Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog

older | 1 | .... | 133 | 134 | (Page 135) | 136 | 137 | .... | 189 | newer

    0 0

    A shortage of police in the Western Cape required the “unusual step” of calling national police chief Riah Phiyega to account, a provincial lawmaker said.


    Cape Town - A shortage of police in the Western Cape required the “unusual step” of calling national police chief Riah Phiyega to account, a provincial lawmaker said on Tuesday.

    “What is becoming abundantly clear is that staffing, especially in the visible policing unit, is drastically under strength,” said Mark Wiley, chairman of the standing committee on community safety.

    “Vacancies simply do not get filled. Promotions are static, especially at constable level.”

    He said there were too few officers to fill shifts, and that those who were on duty were managed in a way which “defied all logic”.

    It was not unusual to see a single vehicle patrolling a sector, and for shift members to barely know each other because they were called from off-duty shifts.

    “The effect on morale must be horrendous,” Wiley said.

    Phiyega said it was not so “unusual” to be called to account and she would always make herself available.

    She disputed claims that the SA Police Service was struggling with vacancies.

    “It's not easy to head an organisation which has 200 000 members.... Our population to police ratio sits at about one (officer) to 360 (people), which shows we compare fairly well with other countries,” she said.

    Western Cape premier Helen Zille said statistics from the provincial police showed that the ratio of population to police was much higher in Cape Town, specifically the 10 areas with the highest murder rates, such as Nyanga.

    Phiyega said some areas had a much higher concentration of people.

    She said every safety and security body “in the pipeline” had a role to fulfil in keeping these areas free of crime.

    Regarding the filling of posts, Phiyega said the police had grown by almost 60 percent in the past decade.

    “The posts situation should be interpreted in the correct context, with due consideration of the difference between ideal requirements, how many funded posts are granted and actual personnel.... We should never fall below a particular minimum.”

    Figures presented to the legislature showed that 220 police recruits were appointed in the Western Cape in March, and would finish compulsory training in 2015.

    For 2011/12, 232 recruits were appointed and would finish training in 2014.

    This was from a pool of about 600 000 applications in an average national recruitment cycle. Between 15 000 to 20 000 applicants, on average, met all the recruitment criteria.

    This included a matric certificate, driver's licence and passing psychometric assessments.


    0 0

    Western Cape premier Helen Zille and national police commissioner Riah Phiyega faced off over the policing of gangs on the Cape Flats.


    Cape Town - Western Cape premier Helen Zille and national police commissioner Riah Phiyega faced off on Tuesday over the policing of gangs on the Cape Flats.

    Zille, who sat in on a provincial legislature briefing by Phiyega, confronted her about her repeated request for the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) to intervene in gang violence.

    Zille said using the army to keep the peace would allow an already strained police force to gather evidence and do its job.

    “Doesn't it make sense to support a peacekeeping force of the army to come in?” she asked Phiyega.

    Phiyega replied that the solution was not that simple.

    “The issues you are raising, premier, we must talk about sustainable solutions,” she said.

    “Until we get to the point where we start talking about sustainable intervention to look at the root causes of the problems... we will continue in the process we are continuing.

    “The issue of drugs and gangs is not just a policing matter, it is a socio-economic matter. It requires that we all intervene.”

    Phiyega said the police were up to the task of protecting drug and gang affected areas.

    She said it was because of the police that children had been able to return to 12 Manenberg schools which were recently closed for two days because of gang violence.

    “Our jails are full because police are doing their work. Large sentences are being passed because police are doing their work.”

    Mark Wiley, chairman of the standing committee on community safety, corrected Phiyega about her jail comment, and said prisons were overflowing, especially Pollsmoor Prison, because of a backlog in awaiting trial detainees.

    Zille said she agreed with Phiyega that various bodies were responsible for addressing the root causes.

    The Western Cape government had spent R84m on addressing substance addiction and abuse, she said.

    However she disagreed about the Manenberg schools issue, and said children had been able to return only after the provincial government took R6m from the education budget and diverted 71 metro police officers.

    “That wouldn't have been necessary had SANDF helped with peacekeeping patrols,” Zille said.

    She questioned whether the commissioner's reason for not deploying the army was based on research.

    Phiyega said parties should be careful to not politicise or personalise the issue at hand.

    “As the police, our duty is to serve the nation and we use all information and data around us to design our service. We are not politicians, we are pure service providers for the nation,” she said.


    0 0

    The Western Cape government uses community police forums to spy on police, Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega said.


    Cape Town - The Western Cape provincial government uses community police forums (CPFs) to spy on police, says the national police commissioner, General Riah Phiyega.

    “There are now oversight and inspection mechanisms or impimpis (informers) to check how many cars are driving out of a station. It is very disheartening,” said Phiyega during a briefing on policing in the Western Cape to the provincial legislature’s standing committee on community safety.

    Phiyega made her comment after an interjection by the provincial community safety department about how CPFs were helping them identify problems at police stations in the province.

    She said the forums were designed to create a link between residents and the police, not to spy on them.

    The department’s chief director for civilian oversight, Gideon Morris, told the committee the forums helped identify systemic problems at sector level.

    “We ask our CPFs to visit the police stations at least five times a month and record the staffing levels.

    “There are some sectors who are unable to meet the minimum targets,” he said.

    The department was running the programme in 30 policing sectors and planned to double it.

    The public gallery of the legislature was packed with CPF members and Premier Helen Zille also there to listen to Phiyega’s presentation.

    Zille questioned Phiyega on why the police were reluctant to call on the SANDF to help as a peacekeeping force in areas where gangsterism was rife.

    “This country is safe and secure because it is protected by men and women who are doing a thankless job,” Phiyega said.

    She said the police were coping with gang violence, and schools in Manenberg had reopened last week because of their intervention.

    Phiyega said it was the joint responsibility of all spheres of government to address socio-economic issues that helped gangsterism fester in communities.

    “Drugs and gangs are a socio-economic issue, not just a policing matter, she said. “It requires us all to intervene,” Phiyega added.

    Zille said that was why the province had budgeted R84 million to counter drug and substance abuse, and transferred R6m to the city to employ more metro police to help with safety at schools.

    Phiyega said unfortunately the debates around policing had at times been politicised.

    Zille agreed the role of police should not be politicised, but said schools had reopened in Manenberg as a result of the province and the city intervening because the army was not deployed to the area.

    “So we cut the education budget by R6m to start to train new metro police,” she said.

    The province is using funds from the departments of education, community safety and social development to pay the R6m bill.

    Phiyega said the police had 199 936 members - one police officer to 360 residents.

    “It shows we compare fairly well with many other countries.”

    According to the police website, the police-to-population ratio is one to 245 in the Western Cape.

    In the 2012/13 financial year, 220 newly trained uniformed police officers, 72 civilian personnel and 32 experienced uniformed officers joined the police in the province, while 462 left.

    The number of newly trained officers joining the police in the Western Cape dropped from 1 014 in 2009/10 to 917 in 2010/11 and 232 in 2011/12.

    Cape Times

    0 0

    A self-proclaimed agitator has backed up a claim that only a few people are behind the recent protests in the Cape.


    Cape Town - A self-proclaimed agitator has backed up the City of Cape Town’s claim that just a small group of people is behind recent protests around the city.

    But he has warned that residents who co-operate with authorities’ new plans to pay for information on ringleaders run the risk of being regarded as “traitors”.

    The Khayelitsha man, 23, a second-year law student at the University of the Western Cape, spoke to the Cape Argus on condition of anonymity, because of his frequent involvement in faeces-dumping and illegal blockades of the N2. He has been actively involved in protests since 2010, been arrested twice and shot with rubber bullets “dozens” of times.

    “I want to challenge the stereotype that protesters are only desperate, unemployed people with no hope. I am a student, I live in a nice residence and have plenty of food to eat.

    “Yet I return to Khayelitsha because I care about my community and I don’t want to see them being abused by the government.”

    He said he rose with other protesters at 1am, blocked the N2 with burning tyres and dumped faeces at 4am, battled with police and still made it to morning lectures.

    He said that a group of about 15 activists across a range of informal settlements were able to mobilise residents and co-ordinate protests in areas such Khayelitsha’s BM section, Barcelona, Europe, Kanana, Kosovo and as far afield as Dunoon. The existing discontent in these communities made it easy to rally people, he said. The cellular chat application WhatsApp is the group’s main form of communication among themselves.

    Last week, JP Smith, mayoral committee member for Safety and Security, urged the media to stop referring to the protests as being related to “service delivery”.

    Smith said there was increasing evidence that a “political element” underpinned these protests. Smith said the evidence was in the possession of Premier Helen Zille.

    Protests had become more frequent and violent, with increased reports of rock throwing on the N2. A new “intelligence-driven” strategy was needed, he said.

    Smith said prolonged investigations, photographing culprits and offering rewards for information that led to arrests were being considered.

    On Wednesday, he will brief the media on damage to city property from recent protests.

    Responding, the protester said that, although he was an active member of the ANC Youth League, his involvement in the protests had nothing to do with “party politics”.

    “(They) are directed at the provincial government and its failure to provide proper services for people in informal settlements.

    “We do not dump faeces at the offices of the DA, we go straight to provincial legislature. If the ANC takes power in the Western Cape and nothing changes, these protests will continue. In fact, they will intensify. This is a struggle of poor people who are subjected daily to conditions unfit for humans.”

    Many of the main organisers were not affiliated along party political lines, he said.

    In Khayelitsha, the Cape Argus spoke to another man, 37, who said he had been involved in dozens of service delivery protests in Site C over the past few years. He too professed to be an organiser without a party political mandate. He was a member of the ANC, but noted that many of the protests were directed at ANC ward councillors who failed to respond to community grievances.

    “When I was younger we would stone buses and trucks, just as the youngsters are doing today. Now, I see it as my duty to teach them the ways of protesting without putting other people in danger. We do not want to see innocent people hurt.”

    Both activists agreed that when “mob mentality” took over and at times when police fired rubber bullets there was “uncontrollable” violence, looting and vandalism.

    Cape Argus

    0 0

    Friends of Ilan Blecher, the student who plunged to his death on Table Mountain, took to Facebook to pay their respects.


    Cape Town - Friends of Ilan Blecher, the UCT student who plunged to his death on Table Mountain on Sunday night, took to Facebook on Tuesday to pay their respects to the 19-year-old.

    Most remembered Blecher’s optimism and “bright smile”, while others took solace in the fact that the hiker died doing something he loved.

    “Rest in peace Ilan, you wonderful, kind, loving person. Every memory I ever shared with you was one of happiness and adventure,” wrote Jess Tyrell.

    Rachel Sloth-Nielsen said: “The saying, the good ones die young has never been more accurate… Ilan, you will always be missed.”

    Daniel Shepherd recalled how the student would always greet everyone with a “huge naughty grin on his face”.


    Blecher had gone missing in Newlands Forest on Sunday afternoon. The zoology and botany major was walking with his older brother Mischa, but the pair split up so that Mischa could finish his work at UCT'.

    When Blecher failed to appear at his family home the next morning, authorities were alerted and a team of about 30 rescuers went into the forest to try to find him.

    At 4.30pm Blecher’s body was found at the bottom of Dark Gorge, a ravine leading to the saddle between Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak.

    His body was recovered at 8pm.

    Wilderness Search and Rescue commander Anwaaz Bent said the recovery effort was “extremely technical”, involving ropes and a descent down a steep cliff. “This was made all the more difficult by cold winds and the fact that it gets dark on that side of the mountain after sunset.”

    SANParks spokeswoman Merle Collins said it was suspected the student had slipped and fallen.

    “It’s not a popular route ,” said Andy Wood of the Mountain Club of SA. “It’s for the serious mountain walkers and climbers.”

    During winter the route could be challenging because the rocks were damp and slippery.

    “It’s important that people stick to basic mountain safety. Never hike alone and always mark out your route and let people know where you are going, so if something does go wrong we know where to start looking.”

    Cape Argus

    0 0

    Union members at Pick n Pay have threatened to strike unless action is taken against a “racist” branch manager.


    Cape Town - Union members at Pick n Pay have threatened to strike unless the retail giant takes action against a Canal Walk branch manager they have accused of racism.

    South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) members at the branch allege the manager called them “monkeys and baboons”, and once locked a worker in a cage, said official Crosby Booi on Tuesday.

    The manager, whose name is known to the Cape Times, has rejected the allegations.

    Booi said the incidents had taken place in October but had been brought to Saccawu’s attention this month. Workers had lodged grievances against the manager and an independent investigator had recommended a disciplinary inquiry. The manager had been given a final warning, said Booi.

    Saccawu had later met Pick n Pay general manager for the Western Cape, Jarett van Vuuren.

    “The Canal Walk incident was the third. The same manager was at Cape Gate, then Vangate before he came to Canal Walk. We asked the company for CCTV evidence of the worker put in a cage, for its policy on racism and for action against him. They said they had followed internal procedures and the matter was closed,” Booi said.

    He said Saccawu had referred the matter to Pick n Pay’s head office and was waiting for a response.

    “Our members have vowed to strike if no action is taken.

    “This is not the first time racism was experienced at Pick n Pay.

    “In 2009 there was a national strike because of racism in the company,” Booi said.

    The manager said: “These allegations are untrue and the company is busy dealing with people making those allegations.”

    Pressed about a disciplinary hearing he had faced, he said: “Speak to my general manager. I’m not commenting on those things.”

    Asked about his transfers, he said: “I move to stores in the Western Cape.

    “That is how the business is. People move all the time. I’ve never been moved due to allegations of racism.”

    Van Vuuren would only say: “Pick n Pay cannot comment on disciplinary matters through the press.”

    Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich warned of protest action at Pick n Pay if the manager was not removed by the end of the month.

    He called on Western Cape Premier Helen Zille to condemn the action and to threaten to dispose of her Pick n Pay shares unless the company took strong action.

    Workers made the same demand of her in a 2009 dispute with Pick n Pay over racism, but she declined.

    Cape Times

    0 0

    The army will not be sent to deal with 16-year-olds, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said at an imbizo in Mitchells Plain.


    Cape Town - The army will not be sent to deal with 16-year-olds, said Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, in a clear reference to Premier Helen Zille’s call for the SANDF to help deal with gang violence on the Cape Flats.

    Mthethwa was speaking on Tuesday at a ministerial imbizo held at Spine Road High in Mitchells Plain, attended by hundreds of residents who posed questions about drug abuse, gangsterism, crime, police corruption and low conviction rates of gangsters in the area.

    Mthethwa said: “We are not sending the army to deal with 16-year-olds. We as parents need to deal with them, not only here in Mitchells Plain, but other areas too.

    “Why do we have such crimes? Around 25 percent of people in Mitchells Plain are unemployed.

    “The issue of youth and truancy; you are building a gangster if (your) children are not attending school. It starts there…

    “As parents we need to play a role and intensify programmes and the need to have recreational facilities for children after school.”

    He said police had arrested 4 976 suspects in connection with drug-related crimes since January.

    “What is worrying is that 184 were children.”

    Police closed 81 drug houses and secured 2 975 drug convictions in the previous financial year.

    Anneliese van Wyk, chairwoman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on police, said communities needed to speak up and point out who the drug dealers were.

    “Crime hits you hard on a daily basis – it is your children being hurt.

    “We cannot have gang members paying children’s school fees and we can’t have them feeding our children. Where is social development? Role models are needed.”

    Referring to allegations of police corruption, she said: “Police are the only things between us and chaos.

    “Too often we hear complaints of police corruption. If a police officer is doing wrong, take his name and if he doesn’t wear a name tag we can track him down.”

    JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, said the city had spent R82 million on drug treatment clinics and R24m on programmes dealing with gang violence. “There are some serious issues we are facing, such as low conviction rates, and we need to get those figures up.”

    Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said a lot of social issues needed to be addressed. “The people of Mitchells Plain have spoken and posed some serious issues and we need to act in a coherent manner.

    “The convictions rate (of gangsters) is low. It is a major concern and we need deployment of the army in communities to assist.

    “They (gangsters) shoot with live ammunition and get away with what they do.”

    Cape Argus

    0 0

    Despite last-minute donations, including a R50 000 gift from the mayor, The Arch soup kitchen will still close after 35 years.


    Cape Town - Despite last-minute donations, including a R50 000 gift from the mayor, The Arch soup kitchen run by St George’s Cathedral Hall in Cape Town will still close.

    Dean of Cape Town the Very Rev Michael Weeder said the decision had not been an easy one. But a shortage of funds was just one problem – it had also followed threats to the safety of staff and volunteers.

    “The decision was made because we do not have the staff or the number of volunteers to run The Arch efficiently and safely. Sadly there is a criminal element that has started to abuse the cathedral precinct, and we have had situations where our staff and volunteers have been openly threatened.”

    The soup kitchen is headed by Mary van Blerck, a pensioner, who Weeder said would be happy to enjoy her retirement.

    Weeder said the cathedral was grateful for all the donations and volunteers that had allowed the service to run for more than 35 years.

    Mayor Patricia de Lille said that when they became aware of the soup kitchen’s “lack of funds” money was donated from the Mayor’s Special Fund.

    “The reality remains that the city’s resources are stretched. As such, I want to appeal to businesses and individuals to come forward with monetary contributions so that, together, we can ensure that this essential place of assistance to so many people remains open.”

    Cape Argus

    0 0

    Most residents and businesses are satisfied with the overall performance of the City of Cape Town, according to a survey.


    Cape Town - Most Cape Town residents and businesses are satisfied with the overall performance of the City of Cape Town, according to findings in the latest community satisfaction survey.

    The survey measured public perceptions of the city’s delivery of services across the metro.

    The results were revealed by mayor Patricia de Lille on Tuesday. She said that overall 69 percent of residents and 87 percent of businesses were satisfied. The survey, which used a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest score and 5 being the highest) was undertaken by TNS on behalf of the city last August to November.

    The city scored an average rating of 2.9 for overall performance by residents while businesses gave the city an average of 3.4.

    Mark Molenaar, director of client services at TNS, said 3 000 residents and 700 businesses had taken part.

    Molenaar said they used “pure random” sampling and data provided by Statistics SA to determine where in the city to conduct the survey.

    De Lille said the city was one of a few municipalities in the country that used independent research to measure community satisfaction every year.

    “It is heartening that the findings of the survey for the past five consecutive years reflect an increasing level of satisfaction with the city’s service delivery efforts by both residents and business.”

    The average rating for the overall performance of the city by residents increased from 2.6 in 2008/9 and 2009/10, to 2.7 in 2010/11 and 2011/12, to reach 2.9 in 2012/13.

    De Lille said the city felt vindicated to have independent verification that it was doing well in service delivery despite ongoing protests.

    She said although there were a few people who were protesting for proper sanitation, “we have tried to explain that 82 percent of informal settlements are built in an area where it is not possible to put in toilets”.

    De Lille said the city could not please everyone and some protests “are linked to people coming in here yesterday and expecting services tomorrow”.

    Some areas in which residents felt the city needed to improve included road maintenance; affordability of water and electricity; enforcement of by-laws, illegal dumping; land invasions; and provision of housing.

    Businesses felt the city needed to improve road maintenance around businesses, public transport, safety, and reaction time by call centre staff.

    Cape Argus

    0 0

    Fifteen incidents of alleged sexual assault or abuse by teachers have been reported to the WC Education Department since April.


    Cape Town - An average of three incidents a month of alleged sexual assault or abuse by teachers has been reported to the Western Cape Education Department over the past five months.

    Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant, said 15 such incidents had been reported since the start of the financial year in April.

    Last week a Knysna teacher was arrested after a 12-year-old pupil was allegedly sexually assaulted. Police said the man had been allegedly caught “red-handed” by the school principal.

    Casey said 33 incidents of alleged sexual assault or abuse by teachers had been reported during the previous financial year. Fourteen teachers had been found guilty of sexual assault or abuse in 2012/13, while one teacher had been found guilty so far during 2013/14.

    “Charges of sexual misconduct can range from inappropriate comments to different kinds of physical contact. If found guilty the educator could be dismissed.

    Other sanctions, depending on the charge, could include a final written warning or a fine. Sometimes a suspension without pay can be imposed,” Casey said.

    She said the department viewed sexual assault or misconduct “in an extremely serious light”.

    All cases of sexual misconduct by teachers were reported to the South African Council of Educators and noted on Persal, the national register of public servants.

    But it’s not just teachers assaulting pupils - pupils do so too.

    In the first six months of this year there were 10 requests to the department for expulsion involving alleged sexual offences by pupils against other pupils. Seven were expelled.

    Last year 19 such referrals were made to the department and there were 10 expulsions.

    “These included allegations of sexual harassment, indecent exposure, immoral conduct, sexual assault, masturbation and sexual intercourse.”

    Jonavon Rustin provincial secretary of the SA Democratic Teachers Union, said the union rejected any abuse of power by teachers over pupils.

    “If found guilty, these teachers should not be in schools.”

    Pupils can call the Safe Schools hotline on 0800 454 647.

    Cape Argus

    0 0

    The German owners of the bulk carrier Kiani Satu reportedly filed for insolvency shortly before the ship ran aground off Knysna.


    Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court will on Wednesday officially order the owners of a ship which ran aground on the southern Cape coast near Knysna to make all the vessel’s documents and its crew available to the owners of the cargo it was carrying, for the sake of preserving evidence.

    Lawyers acting on behalf of the cargo owners and insurers also plan to investigate the circumstances of the sinking and its relationship to an application by the ship’s German owners, Finja Schiffahrtsgesellschaft, for insolvency in Germany, shortly before the ship ran aground.

    The owners of the cargo of high quality long grain white rice from Vietnam, a company called Hippo Ltd, have instructed South African attorneys to act on their behalf and obtain the documents and the crew’s testimony for an investigation, the results of which could be used during arbitration proceedings on insurance payouts later.

    The bulk carrier Kiani Satu ran aground at Buffels Bay earlier this month. It was pulled off the beach by the salvage tug Smit Amandla on behalf of the South African Maritime Safety Authority and last week it sank 200 miles off the coast.

    It sank with its cargo of 15 000 tons of rice, believed to be worth about R70 million. The rice was being taken to Gabon.

    The initial cause of the ship’s loss had been given as “mechanical failure” which led to a complete loss of power that left the ship at the mercy of the sea and weather during a vicious storm.

    A salvage tug, the Fairmont Glazier, had offered assistance and attached a tow line, but lost it in stormy weather. Early on Thursday, August 8, the vessel ran aground at about 7am. Its crew abandoned ship about two hours later with the help of National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) volunteers.

    Advocate Michael Wragge SC, instructed by Gavin Fitzmaurice of Webber Wentzel, on Friday applied to the high court for the ship’s documents and the crew’s testimony to be preserved as evidence, reportedly to be used during arbitration hearings on behalf of the cargo’s owners and its insurers.

    On Tuesday, Judge Willem Louw informed all parties of his decision to order that the ship’s owners make the records, documents and crew available for the process. He will also order that a special commission, led by advocate David Melunsky, be set up to run the process.

    “We are fully investigating the circumstances surrounding both the insolvency and the sinking,” Fitzmaurice said on Tuesday. “We anticipate that the commission will begin hearing evidence early next week in Cape Town,” he said.

    When approached for comment on the issue, the ship owners’ representative attorney in Cape Town, Edmund Greiner of Shepstone and Wylie, said he did not have permission from his client to speak to the media on their behalf. Greiner was asked for comment on the court application, why the ship’s owners opposed it and also why the sinking of the ship so soon after its owners’ application for insolvency should not be treated as suspicious and investigated.

    The ship’s crew had remained in Cape Town after the sinking, as Webber Wentzel had obtained a court order preventing them from leaving shortly after they had abandoned ship, Fitzmaurice said.

    Cape Argus

    0 0

    The City of Cape Town says it has footage of ANC members leading violent service delivery protests in the city.


    Cape Town - The City of Cape Town says it has video footage of ANC members leading violent service delivery protests, and it will call on police and the National Prosecuting Authority to arrest and charge them.

    The ANC has denied organising illegal protests.

    The city was to have briefed police and the media on Wednesday on the economic effects of the spate of service delivery protests around the city, but the briefing was postponed at the instruction of Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, who is said to have been displeased with the scope of the presentation after viewing a dry run on Tuesday.

    The presentation is understood to include footage of illegal protesters, who the city claims are ANC members, leading protests, burning tyres and committing illegal acts.

    JP Smith, mayoral committee member for Safety and Security, said he had been acting on instructions from Zille when he sent out notice of the postponement.


    “Admittedly, the presentation was put together at the last minute and we agree with the premier that more time would be needed to consolidate all of our information. We have recently received additional evidence from informants about key instigators. The presentation would probably be on Monday, Smith said.

    Smith said the presentation would look at the cost to the city due to the vandalism, traffic delays and negative investment fallout associated with the protests; the city’s “reward-for-information” programme which will see payouts to the public who assist in securing the arrest and conviction of protesters; and footage identifying protesters, who Smith claims are ANC members.

    Protests have become increasingly violent, with cars being stoned on the N2. Smith said he feared that the violence would result in deaths, and has asked police to arrest key protesters and for the NPA to secure convictions.

    He will present CCTV footage of protests where ringleaders can be identified. Smith said this footage proved that the protests were “politically motivated actions by members of the ANC”.

    “We have photos of protesters wearing ANC logos. We have... identified protesters at ANC events and on ANC social media platforms. This is evidence of a political underpinning.”

    The ANC’s Phillip Dexter was outraged by Smith’s accusations: “If he has proof of a conspiracy, let him present it. We have said time and again that members of the ANC who are involved in anti-social behaviour will be subject to disciplinary hearings. Protesters who partake in these illegal protests are not acting on behalf of the ANC.”

    Cape Argus

    0 0

    Winter has bared its teeth with menace in Cape Town - with little respite until Saturday morning.


    Cape Town - Winter bared its teeth with menace on Wednesday - with little respite until Saturday morning.

    Chapman’s Peak Drive was closed at 5pm on Tuesday afternoon because of high winds, but opened this morning at 8am.

    “But we’re monitoring it every half an hour,” said spokesman Al-Ameen Kafaar.

    The Cape Town Weather Office at Cape Town International Airport reported 100 percent chance of rain on Wednesday, with 80 percent on Thursday - but mainly in the form of stop-start showers, and mainly on Thursday evening.

    A total of 30mm was forecast for the traditionally wettest areas.

    At sea south of Cape Point, wind squalls of up to 35 knots were predicted, with slightly lighter winds closer to the Peninsula.

    Cape Argus

    0 0

    A homeless man froze to death in Kuils River, in Cape Town.


    Cape Town - A man froze to death in Kuils River, in Cape Town, on Wednesday morning, paramedics said.

    “The police had found two men huddled under wet cardboard boxes, unresponsive, freezing cold and sopping wet,” ER24 spokeswoman Vanessa Jackson.

    When paramedics arrived one of the men was dead. The other was in a critical condition, with a dangerously low body temperature, and was taken to the Tygerberg Hospital, she said.

    On Tuesday, the City of Cape Town warned of a cold front, which would bring cold and wet conditions, with gale-force north-westerly winds, between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas.

    “The weather warning issued indicates that heavy rain is expected over the Cape Metropole overnight on 27 August and 28

    August 2013,” the city's disaster risk management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said in a statement.

    “We urge residents to exercise caution,” he said.


    0 0

    Heavy rains in the Western Cape have prompted road closures and the evacuation of several communities.


    Johannesburg - Residents of Paarl were evacuated from their homes to community halls on Wednesday night when the Berg River broke its banks, said the Democratic Alliance.

    “A community living near the river has been evacuated to community halls,” said DA Drakenstein constituency head Erik Marais.

    “With more rain expected tonight, more people are to be moved,” he said.

    “Mayor Gesie van Deventer has called up all councillors to go and assist the communities at risk.”

    Warnings of immediate danger because of rising water levels would also be sent to farmers next to the river, said Marais.

    On Tuesday, the City of Cape Town warned of a cold front, which would bring cold and wet conditions, with gale-force north-westerly winds, between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas.

    “The weather warning issued indicates that heavy rain is expected over the Cape Metropole overnight on 27 August and 28 August 2013,” the city's disaster risk management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said in a statement.

    “We urge residents to exercise caution,” he said.

    On Wednesday morning, a man was found frozen to death in Kuilsriver, in Cape Town.

    “The police had found two men huddled under wet cardboard boxes, unresponsive, freezing cold and sopping wet,” said ER24 spokeswoman Vanessa Jackson.

    When paramedics arrived one of the men was dead. The other was in a critical condition, with a dangerously low body temperature, and was taken to the Tygerberg Hospital, she said.

    Later in the day, Franschhoek Pass and Chapman's Peak Drive had to be closed to traffic following mudslides.

    Franschhoek Pass, between Franschhoek and Villiersdorp, was closed after a mudslide and a small rockfall following heavy rains, said provincial transport department spokesman Al-Ameen Kafaar.

    Traffic from Franschhoek to Villiersdorp was being diverted to the N2.

    He said Chapman's Peak Drive was closed after a mudslide covered a large portion of the road.

    “Both Chapman's Peak and the Franschhoek Pass will remain closed until further notice,” he said. - Sapa

    0 0
  • 08/28/13--22:46: Man dies in Cape cold snap
  • Driving rain has caused flooding in areas across the Cape, leaving tens of thousands destitute and at least one dead.


    By Murray Williams, Nontando Mposo and Zodidi Dano


    Cape Town - Driving rain has caused flooding in low-lying areas across the peninsula, leaving tens of thousands of residents destitute and at least one man dead.

    The man was one of two found by police huddled under sodden cardboard. The second man was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

    Informal settlements were flooded, there was a large rock slide on to Chapman’s Peak Drive, and houses in Somerset West were flooded after the Lourens River burst its banks.

    And it’s not over – cloudy, cold, wet and windy conditions will persist until Sunday as a series of cold fronts hit the Western Cape. The South African Weather Service has warned of snow on high ground, localised flooding in low-lying areas, strong winds and rough seas.

    Charlotte Powell of the City’s Disaster Risk Management said many informal settlements had been affected across the Western Cape. They included Strandfontein, Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha, Philippi, Hout Bay, Edgemead, Kraaifontein and Lotus River.

    People posted reports of flooding on the Western Cape Traffic Facebook page. There were reports of flooding in Glamis Close in Maitland; the Engen garage on the corner of Vanguard and Milton roads, Milnerton; Giel Basson near Plattekloof, Montague Gardens; and Monte Vista.

    Powell said: “We will remain on high alert in the next two days until the rain subsides. The city’s community halls and centres in high-risk areas have been made available for emergency shelters… NGOs are helping with cooking and food distribution.”

    About 30 000 residents have been affected by floods over the past few weeks.


    Meanwhile, night shelters were taking strain because of the extreme weather. Hassan Khan of The Haven night shelter in Green Point said the shelter’s intake had doubled in the past two days, and it was expecting more.

    “We make a plan to accommodate them by putting extra mattresses on the floor, and hospitals have also donated folding beds.”

    Vanessa Jackson, of the private ambulance service ER24, described the discovery of the dead man in Kuils River. “As the Cape Town crew were heading back to their base, they were flagged down by the police on Main Road near the 7Eleven. The police had found two men huddled under wet cardboard boxes, unresponsive, freezing cold and sopping wet. One man was dead. The second was in a critical condition, with his body temperature at a dangerously low level.”

    She said he was loaded into the ambulance and paramedics started resuscitation on him during the drive to Tygerberg hospital.

    “By the time they got him to hospital, his condition had improved. He was stabilised and moving his limbs.”

    The man, as yet unnamed by authorities, remained in hospital on Wednesday night.

    Spokesman for Chapman’s Peak Drive, Al-Ameen Kafaar, said there had been a “large” mud-slide halfway along the drive on Wednesday afternoon. “The pass is closed, but we will not be able to assess the situation until the mud is cleared, and we can see what damage there may be to the road.”

    Residents of Paarl were evacuated from their homes to community halls on Wednesday night when the Berg river broke its banks, said the DA.

    “Community living near the river has been evacuated to community halls,” said Democratic Alliance Drakenstein constituency head Erik Marais.

    “With more rain expected tonight, more people are to be moved,” he said.

    “Mayor Gesie van Deventer has called up all councillors to go and assist the communities at risk.”

    Warnings of immediate danger because of rising water levels would also be sent to farmers next to the river, said Marais.


    In Somerset West, the Lourens River burst its banks – flooding the N2 between Victoria Road and Somerset Mall, including a sub-station.

    The water surged down a usually-narrow irrigation furrow and flooded the crescent of Penny Lane. Half a dozen houses were flooded as the street became a fast-flowing river.

    Resident Andrew Rabie was seen at the rear of a neighbour’s house, smashing down a wall with a sledgehammer to let the water out of his house. Residents were filling plastic bags with stones to build barricades.

    Restaurateur Bob McIlroy spent Wednesday evening, clad in a wetsuit, aiding neighbours.

    “The river, which was our street, was rising by about an inch every 10 minutes – so about 30 of us urgently tried to barricade several houses. Some weren’t so lucky – the doctor four houses upstream had the river flowing through his kitchen. I’m standing on my stoep – it looks like a holiday house on the Breede.”

    Cape Argus and Sapa

    * Send your weather pics to and we may publish them.

    0 0

    Cops had to use a stun grenade to disperse protesters outside a court, where two farmers appeared on charges of assault.


    Cape Town -

    Police used a stun grenade to disperse angry protesters outside the Ashton Magistrate’s Court, where two men appeared on charges of assault on Wednesday.

    Police formed a protective ring around Johnny Burger, owner of Rietvallei Wine Estate, and farm manager Wilhelm (Dozi) Treurnicht as they made their way to their bakkie after their brief court appearance on Wednesday.

    Once the men were in the vehicle, the crowd surrounded them, jumped on to the back of the vehicle, hit the windows and bonnet, and threw stones.

    The men had appeared on two charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in connection with assaulting farm worker Flip Engelbrecht and his son, Flippie, five years ago.

    Flippie, now 20, was left epileptic and blind. Later he fell into a fire during a seizure and lost both his hands. Last week he was fitted with a pair of prosthetic hands.

    It is the State’s case that in 2008 Burger and Treurnicht beat Engelbrecht, who worked on the farm, and Flippie, then 15.

    On Wednesday, the small court building, which has only one courtroom, was filled with tension and anger as the community waited for the two men to appear.

    By 9am, more than 100 farmworkers and community members had gathered outside the court to support the Engelbrecht family.

    Burger and Treurnicht arrived after 11am, and it was reported that they were late because one had not been feeling well. This prompted fury from the gallery.

    Shouts of “why are you so special? Who do you think you are?” were yelled as they entered the courtroom.

    “You say that you not feeling well. How you think this child feels and all the other children you assault?” shouted Carina Papenfus, secretary of the Freedom Trust.

    After a brief appearance, magistrate Francois van Deventer transferred the case to the Ashton Regional Court, postponing the matter to September 13.

    As the two left the dock, a community member yelled: “Druk hom vas (get him)!”

    There was a rush for the door, and police formed a protective ring around the duo as the crowd suddenly surrounded them.

    The men reached their bakkie safely, but then people climbed on to the back and rocked it from side to side, while others hit the windows and bonnet.

    “Brand hom (burn him)!” was shouted numerous times.

    As the vehicle moved slowly away, stones were thrown. Police used a stun grenade to disperse the crowd.

    Solomzi Ntlalombi, one of the protesters, said that, although he did not know Flippie he was there to support him.

    “An injury to one is an injury to all. I don’t even know him, but support him because of the pain he had to go through.”

    Nosey Pieterse, general secretary of the Building and Allied Workers Union of SA, said Flippie’s case was not unique.

    “It’s a daily matter of farmworkers being violated. There are many such cases where some have even died, but the farmer is never charged. We are busy reviving those cases too,” Pieterse said.

    Later Flippie said that he was feeling heartsore.

    “The farmer didn’t feel well, but how did I feel after he assaulted me? Blood was running out of my ears and nose. I’m hurting. I can’t do anything for my parents.”

    Cape Argus

    0 0

    Cape Town has taken two crucial steps towards creating one of the finest public transport systems in the country.


    Cape Town - Cape Town has taken two crucial steps towards creating one of the finest public transport systems in the country.

    The City of Cape Town’s council on Wednesday approved 12-year contracts for MyCiTi’s Vehicle Operating Companies (VOC), seen as a crucial next step for the roll-out of the service.

    Mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said three companies that had been established by minibus taxi owners would be tasked with operating parts of the MyCiTi service during the initial roll-out of the system.

    The contracts had been approved after three rounds of public participation between June 2010 and June 2013. “The companies will be responsible for operating the buses, in accordance with the timetables and routes as stipulated by Cape Town’s MyCiTi team; maintaining the buses they are allocated to operate on these routes; and managing the bus depots and staging areas,” Herron said.

    “The success of MyCiTi depends on a number of factors. Firstly, the majority of the current minibus taxi operators must agree to having their operating licences suspended, and to scrapping their vehicles in favour of a shareholding in one of the companies. Secondly, competing bus companies must give up their subsidies for competing routes. Taking this into consideration, a long-term, 12-year contract was necessary to make an attractive offer to current public transport operators.”

    The operation of the bus services will be funded by grant revenue from the national government’s public transport infrastructure grant, the public transport network operating grant, the public transport operating grant, and fare and advertising revenue. Herron argued that the long-term contracts also incentivised the companies to maintain the vehicles. This progress would now allow the city to hasten the expansion of the service.

    Simultaneously on Wednesday, the City of Cape Town adopted “the Transport for Cape Town By-law of 2013”, which the city believes will make for “easier, faster, more convenient and more cost-effective transport”.

    Mayor Patricia de Lille launched the new transport authority, to be known as Transport for Cape Town (TCT), last October and the by-law adopted on Wednesday was “to guide the establishment of a governance structure, operating parameters and requirements for TCT”.

    The city said on Wednesday that the by-law “makes it possible for all nine of the city’s transport functions to be housed under one governance structure.

    The by-law will allow for the development of an integrated transport network across the city, accessible within 500m of nearly every home. It will now go through the gazetting process,” the city said.

    Cape Argus

    0 0

    A Cape Town man was arrested after he allegedly raped his seven-year-old daughter inside a church tent.


    Cape Town - A church employee was arrested in Cape Town after he allegedly raped his seven-year-old daughter inside a church tent.

    It’s alleged the 47-year-old Mitchells Plain man raped the girl inside the tent while her mother was sleeping.

    Angry residents claim the girl’s mother was drunk when the alleged incident happened.

    It’s believed the girl was taken from her mother’s bed into the tent where she was allegedly raped by her father and his friend.

    The attack happened at the Hosanna Ministries Church, situated in New Woodlands.

    Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said the dad of two was arrested and charged with rape.

    “The Mitchells Plain Family violence, Child protection and Sexual offences [FCS] unit is investigating an alleged rape of a minor,” he said.

    “The alleged rape occurred in New Woodlands. A 47-year-old man was arrested and the accused appeared in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate Court on August 16.”

    On Thursday, a group of women confronted the girl’s mother who insists she does not know about the incident.

    The 42-year-old mother also believes her husband is innocent and denies being drunk on the day of the alleged attack.

    “I know nothing about this because she told me nothing,” the mom claimed.

    “I was on my way home from work when people in the street told me my husband was assaulted because he touched my daughter.

    “I can’t believe my husband would do something like that because I will not allow it. He is not that kind of man,” she insisted.

    Resident Selma King, 54, said she took the girl into her care for a few days after the attack.

    “She stayed with me for nine days, then I took her back home,” she said .

    “But until now she still has not received any counselling.”

    Residents have asked the church to remove the tent because it poses a threat.

    Community leader Regina Martin said they’ve contacted the church’s pastor on numerous occasions.

    “Whenever we call the pastor, he said he’s coming but he never does,” she said .

    “There are all kinds of things happening in this tent including rapes and gangsters using the place to do drugs or store their stolen goods.”

    Martin said she brought charges against the father because the mother refused to.

    “When I was told about this, the incident had already happened two weeks prior,” she said .

    “We need to do something about this because something like this can happen to other children as well.

    “The community has had enough of this and we want this tent removed.

    “This tent has been here for four years and it’s time they either build a church or the city should take their land back.”

    The pastor of the church confirmed the man is employed by the church but refused to give any further comment.

    Daily Voice

    0 0

    A man was trapped inside a cave, behind the Chapman’s Peak Hotel, which collapsed on four “vagrants”.


    Cape Town - A man was trapped inside a cave which collapsed in Hout Bay, the City of Cape Town disaster management centre said on Thursday.

    Spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said the cave behind the Chapman's Peak Hotel collapsed on four “vagrants” after 11pm on Wednesday night.

    “The other three vagrants evacuated to safety when they realised... (what was) happening and unfortunately the other man got trapped,” he said in a statement.

    Emergency crews were dispatched to the scene, but could not rescue him due to dangerous weather conditions overnight associated with heavy rains and gusting wind.

    Solomons-Johannes said paramedics would resume the search on Thursday morning on “the assumption that he is still alive”. - Sapa

older | 1 | .... | 133 | 134 | (Page 135) | 136 | 137 | .... | 189 | newer