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    Infighting at one of Cape Town’s biggest minibus taxi associations has claimed the lives of five taxi owners over the past month.

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    Cape Town - Infighting at one of Cape Town’s biggest minibus taxi associations has claimed the lives of five taxi owners over the past month.

    On Thursday, scores of Bellville Taxi Association (Bellta) members affiliated to the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) held a prayer meeting in Delft for one of their members killed last week.

    Transport and Public Works MEC spokesman Siphesihle Dube said the internal Cata conflict involved Bellta members.

    Early this month, Transport MEC Robin Carlisle said there had been more than 30 reports of murder and attempted murder in the minibus taxi industry in the past year.

    No arrests had been made.

    The Cape Argus spoke to Cata regional executive members, who, fearing for their lives, declined to be identified. “Any taxi leader’s life is at risk,” said one.

    The infighting had started as a power struggle, but it had now “spread and is going to escalate”, he warned.

    The taxi owner said he was disappointed that police commissioner Riah Phiyega failed to address the issue of taxi murders when she was in Cape Town this week.

    “The importance of what happened regarding the taxi killings has not been mentioned. But the violence continues.”

    Provincial police spokesman FC van Wyk said the police were doing all they could to arrest the murderers.

    Provincial SA National Taxi Council (Santaco) chairman Vernon Billet said the organisation was aware of the feud.

    Bellta members had agreed to a meeting at which Santaco would act as mediators, Billet said.

    Meanwhile, the family of Krwempayo Simayile, 59, who was shot dead while driving his private vehicle in Philippi on Wednesday last week, said he had been in the taxi industry for the past 20 years.

    His brother Annaboy Simayile said he was afraid of continuing working in the taxi industry.

    “We also fear that we too as his family could be the next targets.”

    Simayile will be buried in Mthatha next weekend. Bellta will hold a memorial service for him on Thursday.

    zodidi.dano@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A man accused of murdering Sharafat Kader for his car and leaving him to die in Clovelly is wanted by Fish Hoek police.

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    Cape Town - A man accused of murdering 23-year-old Sharafat Kader for his car and leaving him to die in Clovelly is wanted by Fish Hoek police.

    Provincial police on Wednesday said the immediate arrest of Enrico Erasmus is sought.

    A warrant of arrest was first issued for Erasmus when he failed to appear in the Wynberg Regional Court on July 16.

    The case was postponed to July 31, when Erasmus again did not show up. On that day the prosecution provisionally withdrew charges of aggravated robbery and murder against Erasmus’s co-accused, Igshaan Pietersen.

    He is expected to be recharged once Erasmus has been traced.

    It is the State’s case that Erasmus and Pietersen beat Kader to death with a spanner on June 6, 2011.

    They allegedly drove to Fish Hoek and dumped his battered body in Clovelly. A man out walking his dog later that morning came across a dying Kader beside the road.

    By the time paramedics arrived, Kader had died.

    Anyone who can help trace Erasmus has been urged to contact Constable Makabongwe Ngqangashe on 072 439 1598 or 021 784 2700.

    Cape Argus


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    The ANC has again demanded an apology from Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille for “deceiving” the public over the city’s finances.

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    Cape Town - The ANC in the Cape Town city council has again demanded an apology from mayor Patricia de Lille for “deceiving and misleading” the public in relation to the city’s finances.

    At a press conference called during lunch at Wednesday’s council meeting, ANC chief whip Xolani Sotashe again accused the city of fiscal dumping and underspending on the budget for the 2012/13 financial year.

    Sotashe said that unlike the previous time when they had accused the city of underspending, they were going to present more proof.

    “Today we have been required to approve an amount of R632 million that will be used to pay for the compensation and scrapping allowance for taxis in the city’s transport, road and stormwater budget.

    “This amount of R632 million has been reported as the money that was spent in the 2012/2013 financial year, so the question would be, where is the money coming from now and why is it being approved in the 2013/2014 financial year?”

    Sotashe also accused the DA of “creative accounting”, adding that the DA had opened a separate account outside of the city for this money and they were now expecting the council to sign off on it.

    He said they condemned this “fiscal dumping” because it bordered on being criminal.

    “What we have been arguing as the ANC is that the city did not spend the 92.9 percent of its budget as the mayor claimed at a recent press conference, but in fact, is guilty of hiding money away and lying blatantly to the press and the public to make themselves look better as the DA.”

    Sotashe said the Provincial Gazette No 71/52 showed that the city had spent only 85.3 percent of its budget in the 2012/2013 financial year.

    De Lille said in response: “I don’t know how we can be expected to apologise for lying when the people who ask us to apologise are liars themselves.”

    Deputy mayor Ian Neilson explained that the figures in the Provincial Gazette were not the final figures. He said the final figures (which will be handed over to the auditor-general at the end of this week) would reflect that the city has spent 92.9 percent of the budget.

    Neilson said there had been no fiscal dumping either but that the city had kept the money that Sotashe was referring to in a separate interest-bearing account which was on the city’s books.

    The money is to be used to as part of the MyCiTi business plan to pay vehicle operating companies who will be contracted to the city for a period of 12 years.

    neo.maditla@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Police chief Riah Phiyega had been misinformed about community police forums, Western Cape Safety MEC Dan Plato said.

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    Cape Town - National police commissioner Riah Phiyega had been misinformed about community police forums which were performing their constitutional duty, not spying on police, Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said on Wednesday.

    Plato said that through the provincial government's Expanded Partnership Programme (EPP), CPFs helped the department to identify problems at police stations.

    He was responding to Phiyega's statement in the provincial legislature on Tuesday that his department was using CPFs as "inspection mechanisms or impimpis", checking on cars driving out of police stations.

    According to the South African Police Service Act, CPFs should ensure police accountability, transparency and effectiveness in the community, said Plato.

    They should also promote joint problem identification and problem-solving by police and the community.

    CPFs were also there to improve communication between the police and the community. "It is unfortunate that the national commissioner would make such misinformed comments and undermine the important and legitimate oversight work being done by the CPF volunteers.

    By objecting to the EPP programme the national commissioner is trying to prevent transparency and accountability of the service to the local communities in which the police serve," said Plato.

    Michael Jacobs, chairman of the Mitchells Plain Community Police Forum, said funding of CPFs for information could be "misconstrued as CPFs being informers".

    "According to the CPFs' constitution they cannot be recruited as informers," he said. "I think CPFs all over the province should check whether they are doing what they should be doing," Jacobs said.

    Hugh Thomson, a former vice-chairman of the Western Cape police forum, disagreed with Phiyega's statement, saying CPFs acted in the interests of the community and the police.

    xolani.koyana@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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  • 08/29/13--03:24: Lucky Luke found by fluke
  • A “shady” Gumtree ad led to the safe recovery of a dog that was abducted from its home in Stellenbosch almost two weeks ago.

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    Cape Town - A “shady” Gumtree advertisement has led to the safe recovery of a dog that was abducted from its home in Stellenbosch almost two weeks ago.

    The three-year-old husky, named Luke, was reunited with his owner on Tuesday.

    But animal welfare organisations are now on the hunt for a man suspected of stealing the dog.

    They believe the abduction is linked to a sophisticated dog smuggling ring that has been operating in the country since the 1990s.

    Leon Muller, an inspector with the Animal Welfare Society in Stellenbosch, said Luke was first reported missing from his home in Idas Valley on August 8.

    Earlier this week, a Gumtree user circulated an advert claiming he had found the dog.

    “We made contact with the man, but he demanded we pay R5 000 before he would hand him over. That’s when we knew something was off,” said Muller.

    The inspector found out the dog was being kept at an address in Kayamandi in Stellenbosch.

    When Animal Welfare Society inspectors and city law enforcement officers arrived, they found the dog chained up on a mattress in a shebeen.

    “The shebeen’s owner told us someone had brought the dog here and left,” said Muller.

    He was reunited with his owner, Lyle van der Merwe, on Tuesday.

    “I’m really happy and relieved. I thought he was gone and I would never see him again,” he said

    Van der Merwe had suspected the dog was stolen because strangers often approached him on the street and offered to buy Luke.

    “I’m going to be very careful in future. I’ve already booked Luke in to be chipped.”

    Allan Perrins, chief executive of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, said he believed the thief was linked to the dog smuggling ring.

    Last year the Cape Argus reported that thousands of pure-bred dogs were being stolen from South African homes and taken across the Angolan border to be thrown into fighting pits or breeding pens.

    “Who knows what could have happened to this little guy if he hadn’t been found,” Perrins said.

    “There is a huge demand for pure-bred dogs like him on the black market.”

    Steps to clamp down on the transport of dogs out of South Africa had been successful.

    But he warned that more opportunistic smugglers would turn to stealing dogs in a bid to extort money from their desperate owners.

    Muller said that he had seen similar cases and warned dog owners to be wary of so-called “good Samaritans”.

    kieran.legg@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The pounding rain in Cape Town has claimed a second life, left thousands destitute and flooded a hospital ward.

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    Cape Town - The pounding rain in Cape Town has claimed a second life, left thousands destitute and flooded a hospital ward.

    The cloudy, wet and windy conditions are set to continue, with widespread thundershowers and snow over the high ground on Thursday and Friday.

    Rescuers on Thursday recovered the body of a man who died when a cave in Hout Bay, in which he had taken shelter from the weather, collapsed.

    On Wednesday a homeless man was found dead under sodden cardboard boxes in Kuils River. His companion was hospitalised.

    Richard Daniels, 66, was one of two found by police huddled under sodden cardboard.

    Vanessa Jackson, of the private ambulance service ER24, described the discovery of the dead man.

    “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.”

    Informal settlements throughout the city were affected, said the city disaster risk management team.

    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 - forcing parts of Vergelegen Medi-Clinic to be closed last night. Nearby, residents of two gated villages smashed holes in perimeter walls to allow the rising floodwaters to flow.

    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.

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

    “But, residents in Mbekweni informal settlement said that the municipality had failed them. With dozens of shacks under shin deep water this morning, residents say that there has been no aid or relocation plans for affected families.

    Alfred Godongwana, a resident of Mbekweni for 10 years, was rallying support for “mass action” against the municipality. He threatened that a protest “unlike anything the municipality has seen before was imminent”.

    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.

    Franschoek Pass, between Franschoek and Villiersdorp, was closed after a mudslide and a small rockfall following heavy rains.

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

    Cape Argus


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    A Paarl policeman accused of raping a teenage girl appeared in the Paarl Magistrate's Court.

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    Cape Town - A Paarl policeman accused of raping a teenage girl appeared in the Paarl Magistrate's Court on Thursday, the National Prosecuting Authority said.

    Western Cape spokesman Eric Ntabazile said the matter was transferred to the Paarl Regional Court.

    The policeman was arrested in July for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl. He was granted bail of R1500 in July.

    He would be back in court on September 17.

    Sapa


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    A Western Cape school vice principal appeared in the Knysna Magistrate's Court for allegedly raping a schoolgirl.

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    Knysna - A Western Cape school vice principal appeared in the Knysna Magistrate's Court on Thursday for allegedly raping a schoolgirl, police said.

    “He was arrested last Wednesday night after the 12-year-old girl's mother laid a charge,” said Captain Malcolm Pojie

    “It is alleged that the victim and another learner were called to assist the suspect with the dissemination of letters to the parents (on Monday during school hours).”

    The man testified on Thursday morning during his bail application.

    He would be back in court on Friday.

    “It is a schedule six matter and the onus is on the accused to show the court why he deserves to be released on bail,” Pojie said.

    The State was opposing bail.

    Sapa


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    A 54-year-old man accused of raping a four-month-old infant has appeared in the Parow Regional Court.

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    Cape Town - A 54-year-old man accused of raping an infant appeared in the Parow Regional Court on Thursday, said the National Prosecuting Authority in the Western Cape.

    The case was postponed at the request of the defence, said spokesman Eric Ntabazalila.

    The man will appear in court again on September 28.

    The four-month-old baby was left in the man's care by its mother on the night of October 19, while she went out.

    Sapa


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    Cape Town is agog with reports that snow has fallen on Table Mountain - and other ranges are white too.

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    Cape Town - Snow blanketed Table Mountain as well as mountains of the Boland and the Helderberg, Jonkershoek and Villiersdorp ranges on Friday morning, according to reports.

    Whiel social media was abuzz with report and pictures of snow in Cape Town, authorities are running relief centres in the rainy city where thousands of people have been affected by the weather.

    “The bad and adverse weather that has hit the Western Cape has left more than 10 000 people in discomfort,” the city's disaster and risk management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said on Friday.

    The heavy rain and cold temperatures were predicted to continue into the weekend.

    “The heavy downpour is exacerbated by cold and wet conditions... there is another low (pressure) frontal system expected to pass through tomorrow (Saturday).”

    Solomons-Johannes said areas hardest hit by the adverse conditions were Philippi, Nyanga, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Lwandle, and Somerset West.

    “The Cape Flats area is the most affected. We have been running a relief centre, handing out blankets and food.”

    On Wednesday, a cold front set in, bringing very cold and wet conditions accompanied by gale-force north-westerly winds between Cape Point and Cape Agulhas.

    Solomons-Johannes said rivers were expected to burst their banks because of the downpour and urged residents in close proximity to be cautious. - Sapa and IOL


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  • 08/30/13--01:56: Community stranded by rain
  • A rural community has been cut off from the rest of Cape Town by flooding, with little help in sight until the waters recede.

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    Cape Town - A rural community has been cut off from the rest of the city by flooding, with little help in sight until the waters recede.

    Mikpunt is just north-west of Klipheuwel, next to the R302 between Durbanville and Malmesbury.

    Resident Marque van der Walt, who has lived there for seven years, explained: “Mikpunt is a community of around 400 people who own or live on a collection of smallholdings.

    “The roads are dirt - they get lightly graded every few months. And the biggest problem is the access, which is a single point of entry, over a low-water bridge over a little stream.

    “In summer it’s a trickle… but in weather like this it becomes a raging torrent.”

    Van der Walt estimated its width at 20m and said it was more than waist-deep. “The only vehicle which crossed today has been a tractor - not even 4x4s have been able to cross the river.”

    Van der Walt said that around 350 people who would normally cross the bridge had been stuck since the flood began on Wednesday evening.

    “There are many of us who’ve been stuck at home for the second week in a row,” he explained.

    Among these people were professionals, schoolchildren, self-employed people - for all of whom the restriction was “a disaster”.

    “I’m embarrassed to phone work and tell them. It sounds archaic, but it’s true - we can’t get to work because we can’t cross the river.”

    Van der Walt said the solution was simple: a new bridge - and the community was waiting for the City of Cape Town to act: “There are constant requests for a bridge - we’ve even sent a petition - but nothing’s happened.”

    In response, the city’s traffic chief, Richard Bosman, told the Cape Argus: “The settlement in question is adjacent to the R302 and the Mosselbank river, and is on private property.”

    The flooding was “due to the establishment of the settlement on unsuitable land”.

    “To address the issue in the longer-term, the owner of the land - the registered farmer - needs to erect a proper bridge as the ‘roadway’ is a drift.

    “The city cannot erect the bridge in this case, as it is private property,” Bosman said.

    On Thursday, some residents stood on the river bank drinking beer as they watched children cavort in shallow puddles.

    Shaun Prins, who was brave enough to wade across the river, told the Cape Argus that when he arrived in the area on Wednesday night to visit his parents, “the river was not as flooded”.

    He said he had only noticed that he was stranded the following morning when he had to go back to home to Kraaifontein.

    “My parents are stuck inside and I needed to leave and go feed my dogs and also open my shop. It’s been closed all day since I have been stuck here.”

    Paul Pienaar, who works for a Boland toilet cleaning company, said he had been told to turn back and should not attempt to cross the river to get into the area.

    “We were just told not to go in, it’s dangerous for the bakkie,” he said.

    Chris Coetzee, who owns two properties in Klipheuwel, said this had been the worst winter they had experienced. “We have had more rain this year than we have had in five years. In the previous winters it never flowed this much,” he said.

    zodidi.dano@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The ANC has questioned why a report on school transport compiled five months before the Rheenendal bus crash is being kept secret.

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    Cape Town - The ANC has questioned why a report on school transport compiled five months before the Rheenendal bus crash in which 14 pupils died is being kept secret by Education MEC Donald Grant and the DA.

    During a debate on education at the provincial legislature on Thursday, ANC MPL Max Ozinsky demanded to know why the report, which had been handed to Scopa (the standing committee on public accounts) almost two years ago, could not be discussed in the legislature.

    The Learner Transport Report looked at the state of school transport and made recommendations on what could be done to improve it.

    Ozinsky said this crucial report remained confidential and could not be quoted in the meeting, despite having been finalised two years ago.

    “The ACDP chairman of Scopa and the DA members agreed to this bizarre, Alice in Wonderland situation, effectively giving the department the right to determine what Scopa can and can’t discuss, in the face of two legal opinions advising Scopa that the report should be made public,” Ozinsky said.

    He said the report, which “would shed light on the deaths of 14 learners in the care of the WCED”, should be made public.

    Ozinsky accused the chairman of the standing committee on community safety, Mark Wiley, who had argued at Scopa on Wednesday that the report remain confidential, of shielding Grant from public outrage.

    “The report is of extreme public interest given that the department was in possession of it six months before a tragic school bus accident claimed the lives of 14 learners near Rheenendal,” Ozinsky said.

    Ozinsky said he had seen the report, but it remained confidential. It contained information that the department was not checking the buses used to transport pupils, a contravention of the agreements it signed with service providers. It had no knowledge of what buses or routes were used.

    Ozinsky said the bus that crashed at the Kasatdrift River, outside Knysna, on August 24, 2011, was not on the list of buses tested for roadworthiness.

    Since the DA had taken over the province in 2009, the Education Department had closed down the operations of the bus inspection team, Ozinsky said.

    Grant’s spokeswoman, Bronagh Casey, said the report was not related to the Rheenendal accident. The report, compiled by internal audit in the Department of the Premier in early 2011, focused on recommendations to improve the system. It was kept internal so that staff could discuss openly challenges faced by the department.

    “(It) remains confidential and should be treated as such, unless the classification is changed.”

    xolani.koyana@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Helen Zille has named 11 individuals she says orchestrated protests involving the dumping of human faeces in Cape Town.

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    Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has named 11 individuals she claims are responsible for orchestrating protests involving the dumping of human faeces in and around Cape Town.

    “Today, we reveal the names of the ANC Youth League 'task team' that is leading the campaign to make Cape Town ungovernable,” she said in a statement on Friday.

    There have been at least a dozen incidents of human waste being dumped in front of buildings, at the airport, or on city highways over the past four months.

    Zille said the protests were part of a campaign to make the city and province “ungovernable” in the run-up to next year's general election.

    “We have been gathering information about the ringleaders of the faeces attacks. Today, we are releasing that information, as well as supporting video footage,” she said.

    A key point was there was only “a small handful of agitators”.

    The statement then lists 11 names.

    Zille called on the ANC “to act against them and subject them to disciplinary hearings”.

    She said the information gathered on the 11 had been handed to the SA Police Service “for further investigation”.

    “We... reiterate our call on the ANC and ANCYL to take swift and meaningful disciplinary action against their identified members involved in past and future attacks, and to co-operate with the police in their investigations by submitting relevant information,” Zille said. - Sapa


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    A wheelchair-bound homeless woman in Cape Town needs help in tracking down her seventeen children.

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    Cape Town - A wheelchair-bound homeless woman in Cape Town needs help in tracking down her 17 children.

    Dianne Julies, 55, says she has three sets of twins and 11 other children who she is now trying to find.

    She has been living on the streets for the last decade.

    The woman is now a common sight in Hanover Park where she begs for whatever she can. She also sleeps at the day hospital there.

    “I sleep in my wheelchair,” she told the Daily Voice.

    “I wasn’t born disabled, but 10 years ago I had a fight with a relative and she hit me with something on my back and I have not been able to walk again.

    “Now I have to wear nappies which I change myself.”

    She said she had to give up all her children because she doesn’t have a permanent place to stay.

    “I lived in Retreat with my husband before he passed away 15 years ago,” she said. “And after that I was in Port Elizabeth and Ceres.

    “I just couldn’t take care of my children. So I decided to give them up for adoption.”

    Julies said she had four children before she got married, five with her husband and seven with her current boyfriend who works at sea.

    “I also had a child with my stepdad, who raped me, and I had an 18th child, but he died,” Julies said.

    Her oldest child is 37 years old and the youngest is four months old.

    “I know my eldest child lives in Mitchells Plain and when I see her, she gives me R1, but now I would like to see my other children so they can take care of me,” she added.

    “I last saw my four-month-old baby when he was born. Some others, I saw them a year ago, and others more than 20 years.”

    * If you can help Julies find her children, SMS DIANNE KIDS to 32832.

    Daily Voice


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    Criminal activities - including a prostitution ring - contributed to St George’s Cathedral’s decision to shut down it’s soup kitchen.

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    Cape town - Criminal activities - including a prostitution ring operated outside the Arch soup kitchen by people who bought food there - contributed to St George’s Cathedral’s decision to shut it down.

    “You would get one or two cars pull up in Queen Victoria Street looking for ‘rent boys’,” said cathedral verger Eddy Esau who has lived on and supervised the precinct for 22 years.

    He said the cathedral had become aware of prostitution outside the Arch two years ago and had alerted law enforcement. “On a Monday morning we get condom packets and condoms lying right in front of the bell tower,” he said.

    A stabbing, drug abuse and theft were other incidents witnessed during the soup kitchen’s operation. Esau said a German tourist who had left a Sunday service early had been accosted and her gold chain stolen. After security apprehended the culprit, “the guy actually swallowed the gold chain”.

    St George’s Cathedral dean Michael Weeder said criminal activities and intimidation of Arch staff were just some of the factors in the decision to close the kitchen. He said it was decided six years ago after a report found the soup kitchen was not providing a “holistic” support service to the homeless who ate there.

    “In a sense we’re only supplying another narcotic to dull the day. Running a soup kitchen is not affecting the progression of a person’s quality of life,” he said.

    The dean met representatives from the mayor’s office this week to discuss his decision to close the Arch despite an offer of R50 000 from the mayor’s Special Fund.

    “A decision was made that the money should still come to the cathedral. I suggested that some of that goes immediately to the Service Dining Rooms. The rest will go to our ministries that support homeless people in different ways.”

    The meeting had been the “beginning of a series of conversations” to discuss how the cathedral could collaborate in supporting the homeless, including becoming a member of the Street People’s Forum.

    Weeder had been contacted by the public numerous times this week with offers of money. “If citizens can sustain this outpouring of solidarity then hopefully the closing of the Arch will be a temporary thing.”

    benjamin.katz@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    The question being asked in fisheries circles is: what was the fishing vessel Claremont doing when it ran aground?

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    Cape Town - Just what was the tuna fishing vessel Claremont doing at the time it ran aground and broke up just off Robben Island in stormy weather?

    That’s the question being asked in fisheries circles about the incident three weeks ago which saw the wooden vessel break up on the rocks on the south-western shores of the island in the early hours.

    The NSRI rescued the 12 people aboard, including the skipper who the Cape Argus has been told is a Mr Da Silva.

    Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk confirmed that police had been informed about the incident by the NSRI. Officers had visited the site.

    The vessel was a wreck, he said.

    A total 45 shucked and three unshucked perlemoen were recovered among the rocks and debris, Van Wyk said.

    The shellfish had been booked in at Table Bay Harbour police station and handed over to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for storage, he said.

    Dive goggles and flippers were found around the wreck site.

    Police had neither opened a case docket nor arrested anyone.

    The incident was being investigated by the SA Maritime Safety Association (Samsa), Van Wyk added.

    Samsa principal officer Captain Gustav Louw confirmed the association had investigated the wrecking to determine the cause and was not taking the issue further.

    “The only thing we had to go on was a statement from the skipper who said he had had engine problems and had ended up on the rocks,” he said.

    The Claremont was based in Hout Bay and was licensed for tuna fishing using poles, with a crew of 19.

    Fisheries sources said the skipper should have completed and posted a “red letter” departure form on leaving the harbour, setting out details of the trip. On leaving the harbour, the vessel should have switched on its compulsory vessel monitoring system so it could be tracked by the operations room of the fisheries department.

    If the vessel approached closer than one nautical mile to Robben Island - a restricted area - it should have notified Cape Town Radio, which in turn would have alerted the Robben Island management authority.

    When asked whether the Claremont had indeed complied with statutory obligations, all fisheries department spokeswoman Carol Moses would say was that the incident was being investigated.

    The Cape Argus was unable to trace Mr Da Silva.

    According to the official fisheries department register of tuna-pole fishing rights, the Claremont is operated by Edgemead-based right holder Da Silva Investments, and the contact person is M da Silva.

    However, neither the landline nor the cellphone numbers listed in the register are operational, and the e-mail address listed bounces with the message “delivery to the recipient failed permanently”.

    john.yeld@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A school vice principal appeared in the Knysna Magistrate's Court in connection with a rape of a 12-year-old schoolgirl.

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    Knysna - A school vice principal appeared in the Knysna Magistrate's Court on Friday in connection with a rape of a 12-year-old schoolgirl, Western Cape police said.

    “He was arrested last Wednesday night after the 12-year-old girl's mother laid a charge,” said Captain Malcolm Pojie

    “It is alleged that the victim and another learner were called to assist the suspect with the dissemination of letters to the parents (on Monday during school hours).”

    He would be back in court on September 3 for a bail application.

    Sapa


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    Two people were killed and five injured in two separate accidents near Worcester in the Western Cape, paramedics said.

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    Cape Town - Two people were killed and five injured in two separate accidents near Worcester in the Western Cape on Saturday, paramedics said.

    Paramedics were called to Robertson Road at around 4am after a BMW crashed into a bakkie, ER24 spokeswoman Vanessa Jackson said.

    A security guard had stopped to assist a man who had broken down and while they were standing on the side of the road the BMW crashed into the security bakkie.

    The owner of the broken down vehicle was killed and the security guard and BMW driver were injured. Both were taken to nearby hospitals.

    In a separate accident a man was killed and two people and a baby injured when a truck carrying wine from Johannesburg overturned on the N1 at Townsriver, said Jackson.

    The driver, a woman and her baby were injured.

    “Another man was found on the scene but it is not clear as to whether he too had been an occupant of the truck or as to whether he was a pedestrian,” said Jackson.

    The man was declared dead on the scene and the injured taken to hospital.

    Police would investigate both accidents. - Sapa


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    Police nabbed four hijacking suspects and recovered stolen cigarettes worth nearly R85 000.

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    Cape Town - Police nabbed four hijacking suspects and recovered stolen cigarettes worth nearly R85 000 when the suspects, who had allegedly held the driver up with a toy gun, panicked and tried to hide in a field when they mistook police parked at a stop street for a roadblock.

    The cigarettes had been stolen from a British American Tobacco delivery truck, which was hijacked at about 8.30am on Friday in Muizenberg. The four, aged between 18 and 20, were apprehended in Philippi by police patrolling farm areas there. They were found with the cigarettes, five stolen cellphones and a toy gun.

    According to Philippi station commander Colonel Desmond Laing, the suspects had previous convictions ranging from murder and assault to armed robbery and hijacking.

    Laing told Weekend Argus he and his team were patrolling the farm areas near Philippi on Friday when they stopped to speak to a group of striking construction workers. “A member of the public informed us that they had seen four men jumping out of a cream Toyota Cressida, and we gave chase,” he said. They found the car with all four doors open. The suspects were lying in wet grass close to the vehicle, apparently attempting to hide.

    Laing said they tried to flee, but were apprehended. They had seen police vehicles at a nearby intersection, and believed there was a roadblock.

    “If they had just carried on driving, we never would have got them,” he said.

    “When we arrived back at the (Toyota Cressida) we recovered six boxes of cigarettes valued at R84 000. One of the suspects admitted to hijacking a tobacco vehicle.” The suspects directed the police to the British American Tobacco truck in Coniston Park. Muizenberg police found that the men had hijacked the driver with a toy gun, taken his cellphone and left him on the side of the road. The driver recognised the suspects and police retrieved his stolen cellphone.

    Laing said they also found a Samsung cellphone on another of the suspects, which had been stolen in Nyanga on Wednesday. They also recovered the toy firearm and three other cellphones from the suspects’ vehicle. After profiling the suspects they found that two were wanted for previous hijackings and armed robberies, specifically targeting British American Tobacco trucks.

    “The suspects further informed us that they sell the cigarettes that they steal to Bellville’s Somali shops as well as Somali shops in the township areas,” he said.

    One suspect was also currently involved in a case of murder, allegedly committed in Nyanga in June. Laing said the case was pending.

    The four suspects had about nine previous robbery convictions between them.

     

    Three cases of possession of stolen property were opened at the Philippi station, while a hijacking and armed robbery case was opened at the Muizenberg station. The suspects are expected to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday. The State will oppose bail.

    Weekend Argus


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    The Western Cape government’s coffers will get a welcome R40m boost to pump into service delivery initiatives when the province’s new casino “sin tax” comes into effect.

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    Cape Town - The Western Cape government’s coffers will get a welcome R40 million boost to pump into service delivery initiatives when the province’s new casino “sin tax” comes into effect on Sunday.

    Western Cape MEC of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Alan Winde said the money would be spread across government departments for increased services to residents where it was most needed.

    There are five casinos in the province: GrandWest, Caledon Casino, Casino Mykonos, Garden Route Casino and the Golden Valley Casino in Worcester.

    Winde said the increased casino tax follows the amendment to the provincial Gambling and Racing Act tabled in the provincial legislature in March.

    He said the amendment to the act, which governs gambling and racing in the province, sought to increase the rate of tax payable by holders of casino operator licences by a 2 percent flat tax rate increase on each of the six tax bands.

    The other issue addressed in the amendments was the relocation of one of the outlying casinos to the Cape Town metro.

    Winde said the two issues had been separated following consultation with the public. “Public hearings regarding the amendments were held in front of the provincial standing committee on Finance in June,” he added.

    Winde said comments on the draft amendments were received from a handful of interested parties, mostly from the casino industry.

    And proposed plans for a second casino in Cape Town had also moved a step closer.

    He added while casinos did generate jobs and increased revenue for the economy, other factors needed to be taken into account too.

    “We will consider all the information before we make a responsible and informed decision.”

    Sun International chief executive Graeme Stephens said the potential to relocate a second casino licence to Cape Town continued to be the subject of debate in the Western Cape.

    “The group does not believe that there is any significant untapped gaming revenue in the region, and certainly nothing that could justify the establishment of another large casino.”

    Weekend Argus


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