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    The ANC has temporarily suspended seven members believed to be the ringleaders of the poo protests in Cape Town.

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    Cape Town - The ANC has temporarily suspended seven members believed to be ringleaders of the poo protests in the Western Cape, pending a disciplinary hearing.

    On Friday, Premier Helen Zille called for decisive action against 11 protesters after her team identified the group as the “task team” behind the campaign to make the city and province “ungovernable” in the run-up to next year’s general elections.

    Three days later, the ANC’s provincial working committee decided on the suspensions of seven people, three of them on the DA list.

    While Zille has welcomed the suspensions, the ANC refuted claims the move was triggered by her call, saying the committee met every fortnight.

    ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said: “This has nothing to do with Helen Zille. The poo wars are not an ANC-sanctioned campaign, so if our members claim to be part of this anarchy, action must be taken against them.”

    The committee considered the matter and on Monday decided to temporarily suspend seven members until disciplinary proceedings against them had been completed.

    “This is the result of continuous defiance of the organisational instruction to desist from engaging in activities that bring the ANC into disrepute.”

    Mjongile said the party had suspended city councillor Loyiso Nkohla, Jaji Diniso, Sthembele Majova, Thembela Mbanjwa, Yanga Mjingwana, Bongani Ngcombolo and Bongile Zanazo in terms of the ANC constitution’s rule 25.60.

    The suspended members are not to take part in ANC meetings or speak on the party’s behalf.

    “The ANC has drawn a line in terms of how their members must conduct themselves. Any members who bring the party into disrepute will have to face the music,” he added.

    Former ANC councillor Andile Lili, another alleged poo tosser, has already been suspended by the ANC for bringing the party into disrepute, following his expulsion from the City of Cape Town for breaching the councillors’ code of conduct.

    He is challenging the decision in the Western Cape High Court.

    Last year, Nkohla was disciplined by the party for disrupting a speech at the Good Hope Centre by President Jacob Zuma and suspended from the party. But the sanction itself was suspended for three years.

    On Tuesday, Zille said: “We welcome the suspension of these seven ANC members for their role in the recent spate of faeces attacks. It sends the message that these disruptions to the N2 and danger to public health do have consequences.

    “We now hope that police investigations will also proceed and result in criminal convictions so that it is made clear there such actions cannot be carried out with impunity and are not tolerated.”

    When the Cape Argus contacted him, a “shocked” Nkohla said he was not aware of the suspensions.

    Despite his suspension coming with a gagging order, Nkohla said they were to hold a press conference on Wednesday to reveal their alternative to the city’s portable flush toilets. They would give their views on the suspensions then.

    Over the past few months, protesters have vented their frustration and rage at poor sanitation in informal settlements by flinging the contents of portable toilets at several provincial government buildings including the legislature, the Cape Town International Airport and on the N2.

    Cape Argus


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    Cape Town councillor David Bryant has proposed that Long Street be closed to general traffic between Wale and Watson streets.

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    Cape Town - Reaction to the City of Cape Town’s proposal to close off the top section of Long Street has been varied, with some saying it will create a “gangsters’ paradise” and some seeing it as a way to attract more people to the area.

    Councillor David Bryant has proposed that Long Street be closed to general vehicular traffic between Wale and Watson streets. The MyCiTi bus and emergency vehicles would still have access, as would service vehicles during set hours.

    He said congestion on this street, which served as a link through the centre of the city, was becoming a problem.

    Marcela Guerrero Casas of Open Streets, a citizens’ initiative that promotes accessible public spaces, agreed that Long Street’s traffic was a deterrent for many people.

    “Increased foot traffic would certainly benefit businesses, but most importantly it will increase safety and create a more welcoming space in the city centre.”

    The reaction on social media was less supportive, with one tweet reading: “Closing off Long Street to motorists would not make it a pedestrians’ paradise, but a gangsters’ paradise. As it is there is no parking available… Where will they park, or will they walk around the corner only to be mugged and killed? We have far more important issues that need attention than this nonsense.”

    Another said: “I love driving up Long Street on my way out of town. It’s such a typically Cape Town place - having to drive slowly and change lanes a few times for taxis or whatever is all part of the fun.”

    There were also concerns about the safety of patrons from nightclubs and restaurants who would spill on to the street. “People are already all over the road, imagine it without traffic? It is going to become uncontrollable,” said one commentator.

    St Martini Church is concerned that its congregation will suffer if the street is pedestrianised.

    The church lets out parking bays as a source of income. There is also a crèche on the premises, with about 100 children who are collected daily by their parents, most of them in cars.

    Rashiq Fataar, of the think tank Future Cape Town, said: “We believe that a vibrant and safer public realm is promoted through more, not fewer, people on our streets and in our public spaces.”

    Long Street was more than just an entertainment zone. “It is a place where religious places of over 100 years have a home, where fashion entrepreneurs take a bold leap in opening a store, where government buildings, restaurants and most importantly people are stitched into a complex, unique and diverse urban fabric

    .”

    anel.lewis@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Prison officials are searching for answers after the discovery of “unauthorised items” in Rashied Staggie’s cell.

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    Cape Town - Prison authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding unauthorised items, which could include cellphones and drugs, found in the communal jail cell of notorious Hard Livings leader Rashied Staggie.

    A decade ago Staggie, set to be released on day parole later this month, was convicted of kidnapping and raping a Manenberg woman.

    He has served 10 years of his 15-year jail sentence, which runs concurrently with a 13-year sentence handed to him in 2004 for stealing weapons from the Faure police armoury.

    Staggie has been detained in the Brandvlei Prison in Worcester.

    On Tuesday James Smalberger, of the Correctional Services Department, said a case management committee and parole board would look into the unauthorised items matter, but as it stood Staggie was set to be released on day parole on September 23.

    Smalberger said as part of the department’s operating procedures, cells and offenders were searched daily.

    This sometimes happened more than once a day and surprise searches were also conducted.

    Smalberger said “contraband” was found on different days in the communal cell in which Staggie was detained, and which included about 30 other inmates.

    He said these unauthorised items could include drugs, cellphones or sharpened objects.

    “It (the unauthorised items) was not found in the possession of Staggie, but offenders in the same cell,” Smalberger said.

    Aside from saying “an illegal substance” was found, Smalberger declined to specify what was discovered in the cell.

    He said cellphones were not allowed in prison cells.

    Inmates could, however, make use of specific landlines to make calls.

    Smalberger said an internal investigation into the unauthorised items had been launched and, if necessary, “disciplinary procedures would be launched against the relevant offenders”.

    caryn.dolley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Hazel Jacobus says she’s been contacted twice by Rashied Staggie regarding the gang-rape of her daughter.

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    Cape Town - The mother of a Manenberg woman raped on gang leader Rashied Staggie’s instruction more than a decade ago and fatally shot recently, says he has twice reached out to her - once in a phone conversation to apologise.

    “This man who lives in the avenue (nearby) dialled a cellphone and gave it to me. He said ‘just listen’. I put my ear to the phone. A voice said: ‘Hello Mums. It’s Staggie’. He said he’s sorry for (the rape). But it wasn’t him,” Hazel Jacobus, 55, told the Cape Times on Tuesday in her Manenberg home.

    “He said his wife had a stroke, he just wants to be a free man, that maybe we can sense the Lord together. I said maybe. I told him he can kill me. He can do anything. But the only person that can take my life is the Lord.”

    She spoke about the March conversation next to a bullet hole in a window - about three weeks ago someone had shot repeatedly into her house. Now she is afraid to leave her home.

    In 2003, Hard Livings gangster Staggie was convicted of kidnapping and raping Jacobus’s daughter Chantelle Knight, 30. The incident still haunts the family.

    On July 30 this year Knight was shot a number of times and her boyfriend Romano Oliver was fatally wounded.

    Jacobus said Knight, with a bullet still lodged in the back of her neck, died a week later in hospital when she decided to switch off machines keeping her daughter alive.

    A while after the shooting, Jacobus said a man she had never seen before arrived at her house. “He said Staggie said he must come from Mitchells Plain to tell me he’s (Staggie) very sorry for what happened. But it’s not him.”

    Jacobus, a mother of eight, said the incident had unnerved her because it was clear her address was widely known.

    The shooting at her house last month scared her and her family further.

    “We’re forever peeping through the window to see nobody’s coming... After Chantelle was raped I used to have nightmares about the Hard Livings shooting at us. Now the nightmares are coming back,” Jacobus said.

    A court judgment on the rape said Knight had become a police informant and Staggie, to restore his trust in her, had her gang-raped.

    She had been 17 at the time.

    On Tuesday Jacobus said after the rape and kidnapping case, Knight had remained in witness protection for a few months. “But she missed us. We had no contact with her and could only see her when we met at (arranged venues). We didn’t know where she stayed.”

    When Knight returned to Manenberg, Jacobus said her family feared for Knight’s safety. “We worried about her all the time.”

    A few weeks before the shooting she said Knight had slept over with her boyfriend in Hard Livings territory for a few nights. “I said I’m going to fetch her because they’re going to kill her,” Jacobus said.

    Her premonition became a reality on June 30 when Knight and Oliver planned to sleep at his cousin’s house in Hard Livings territory.

    Knight and Oliver started walking to the cousin when Knight overheard a man nearby saying “there’s the Staggie witness”.

    “She told me everything while she was in hospital. They got worried so turned to come back,” Jacobus said.

    A man had stopped the couple and asked for a cigarette.

    Then he tried to delay them and prevent them from walking further.

    They were then shot at.

    “First she was shot in the back. She fell. Then her boyfriend was shot. She was then shot in the head,” Jacobus said.

    “After a while she tried to see if she could move.”

    Knight crawled to a friend’s home nearby and named one of the gunmen.

    “When she was in the ambulance she asked if her boyfriend was okay. I lied and said yes. She prayed with me, for her six children, I saw tears come to her eyes. I saw the blood and a small hole in her head,” Jacobus said.

    Two men were arrested for the shooting.

    Because Knight told her what had happened, Jacobus believed those linked to the men who shot her daughter would try and silence her. “I heard they want to hijack me. We can’t sleep. We live in fear.”

    caryn.dolley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Police have asked the public to share any information about a Hanover Park shooting that claimed the life of a 20-year-old man.

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    Cape Town - A shooting in Hanover Park claimed the life of a 20-year-old man on Tuesday and police have asked for help in finding the culprits.

    Philippi police spokesman Lieutenant Lance Goliath said the shooting occurred at around lunchtime in Athberg Walk and the police are investigating a case of murder.

    “The deceased sustained gunshot wounds to both his arms, buttocks and back. The motive for the killing is unknown,” he said.

    “Police will continue clamping down on crime and the perpetrators thereof. The acting station commander, Lieutenant Colonel Desmond Laing, thanks the members for their dedication in combating crime.”

    Also in Hanover Park on Tuesday, a 26-year-old man was arrested for the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition. The man was arrested just after 3pm in Donigal Court, but Goliath said they could not confirm that the suspect was linked to the fatal shooting.

    “He will be charged for the possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition and will appear in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.”

    Goliath said their patrols had yielded another two suspects for the possessions of firearms and ammunition. The suspects were also arrested in Athberg Walk while police were on crime prevention patrols in the area on Sunday and Monday.

    Goliath said anyone with information could confidentially contact the investigating officer, Detective constable Phelisile Ludada on 084 595 2460 or 021 690 1522. Alternatively, those with information can call Crime Stop on 086 001 0111.

    yolisa.tswanya@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Murder accused Fabianus Fillipus has admitted that his fingerprints were lifted from a car found near the scene where two cops were killed.

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    Cape Town - A double-murder accused has admitted in court that his fingerprints were lifted off an abandoned vehicle found close to the scene where two Hout Bay police officers were shot and killed.

    Rael Kassel for Fabianus Fillipus made admissions on behalf of his client in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

    Kassel confirmed that a white BMW was parked outside a shebeen about 50m from where Constables Phindiwe Nikani, 26, and Mandisi Nduku, 27, were killed.

    The vehicle was impounded and examined by a fingerprint expert.

    A week after the murders, Constable Luvuya Soha compared the prints lifted off the vehicle with those of Fillipus. Kassel accepted that the expert found Fillipus’s right index fingerprint on the bonnet of the vehicle and his left thumbprint on its roof.

    Fillipus also confirmed a ballistics report which showed that bullets extracted from the bodies of the police officers belonged to one gun.

    The gun has not been found.

    It is alleged the officers, who were patrolling in Madiba Square informal settlement in Mandela Park on October 12, confronted Fillipus before the shooting and asked him to move the vehicle - a white BMW - he was driving.

    After the vehicle was moved and parked, the officers approached Fillipus but he fled on foot.

    He allegedly returned and shot the officers, who were inside the marked police vehicle.

    On Tuesday, the State called Hawks Captain Kenneth Speed, who attended the crime scene at 1am on October 13, to testify.

    “I took photographs of a white box-shaped BMW found 50m from the crime scene,” Speed said. He was also informed of a possible suspect.

    The prosecution is expected to call its final witness on Wednesday.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Cameraman Adil Bradlow will continue to cover war stories despite his six-day detention in Egypt.

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    Cape Town - The South African cameraman who was detained in Egypt for six days said he was happy to be reunited with his family in Johannesburg, but his arrest had not discouraged him from covering war stories.

    Adil Bradlow, 52, was met by his wife Khadija Magardie and six children at OR Tambo International Airport early on Tuesday.

    “It’s good to be home and my family was very anxious. Being stuck in a world that they know nothing about was nerve-racking, but I’m glad to be here with them now,” he said.

    Bradlow was arrested last week Tuesday along with three of his colleagues while covering events for Al Jazeera in Egypt, after the military had removed president Mohamed Morsi.

    The cameraman said that while being home with his loved ones was good, he did not plan to stay for long.

    “Of course I will go back to covering stories in countries with conflict. I’m a journalist, and I have been covering big stories for most of my life.

    “It’s what a journalist does.”

    But he didn’t plan to return to Egypt any time soon.

    “I think I’ll wait till things calm down a bit.”

    Bradlow said he and his colleagues had not seriously worried during their detention that they would be killed, but had had no idea how long they would be held.

    “They didn’t harm us physically - it was just a long trail of interrogations, from the military to their intelligence, and then it was the overall intelligence unit.

    “And the worst was we were blindfolded each time we moved to the different units.”

    zodidi.dano@inl.co.za

    Cadet News Agency

    Cape Argus


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    Forty extra teachers have been given posts in the Western Cape for 2014 - but Sadtu is not convinced they’ll make a difference.

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    Cape Town - The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) has slammed the number of teaching posts allocated to Western Cape schools for next year, saying the additional 40 staff would not help reduce class sizes.

    Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant, said the increase would bring the total number of posts to 31 131.

    The allocation was made after consultation with school governing body associations and teacher unions.

    She said that given the “economic and financial realities” facing the provincial government, Grant was pleased to have been able to increase the number of teaching posts.

    Last year the number of teaching posts for 2013 was increased by 154.

    Casey said the Western Cape Education Department had started a process of allocating more teachers to primary schools, especially Grade 1 and the foundation phase (up to Grade 3) “to support our number one objective of improving literacy and numeracy performance of primary school children”.

    Sadtu provincial secretary Jonavon Rustin said the 40 additional posts wouldn’t really make a difference.

    “We can’t accept that the basket of posts will only grow by 40. That is really not much and it will not do anything to reduce class sizes in the province.”

    The Western Cape has an average teacher-pupil ratio of about 1:35.

    Casey said the department had been able to complete this year’s (post allocation) process well in advance of the Department of Basic Education’s required completion date of September 30.

    She said that by completing the process so early schools would be able to plan and budget accordingly for the 2014 school year.

    Casey said schools could appeal against their allocation. The online appeals process started on Monday and would be open until the end of September. The appeals would then be considered by the department.

    ilse.fredericks@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The construction sector strike could have a major impact on the Western Cape and the country if it continues.

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    Cape Town - The construction sector strike could have a huge impact on the economies of the Western Cape and the country if it continues.

    The civil engineering industry was on Tuesday wracked with incidents of protest, violence and intimidation as the strike entered its second week.

    The strike began early last week after wage talks failed between the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) - which represents the employers in the civil engineering contracting industry - and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Building Construction and Allied Workers Union (Bcawu).

    But while the labour dispute does not involve the building industry, many construction sites have been affected in their entirety by the civil engineering workers’ protest action.

    “We can’t get on site because they’re intimidating our guys. Our guys have to leave site - there are guys going crazy there,” reported one contractor, who asked not to be named.

    Wage negotiations began in July and a certificate of non-resolution was issued by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration following an unsuccessful conciliation process between the parties.

    “NUM and Bcawu are demanding a 40-percent pay increase on the total cost of employment for entry rate Task Grade 1, while employers are offering 7.5 percent,” Safcec said, arguing that the union demands were unreasonable and unaffordable.

    “It is regrettable that we’ve reached this position given the current state of labour uncertainty and the impact it will have on the industry and the economy”, said Safcec president Norman Milne.

    On Tuesday, however, Safcec and Bcawu announced they had struck a deal that would remain in place until August 31, 2016.

    “The accepted offer allows for a 10 percent wage increase for categories Task Grade 1 to 4 and 8 percent wage increase for categories Task Grade 5 to 9. In addition, severance benefits for the industry were also improved,” Safcec reported.

    John Slingsby from Cape Town firm Slingsby & Gaidien Construction said: “While it is difficult to quantify the cost of lost revenue at this point, we have certainly felt the impact of the strike this week and delays on sites are already noticeable. Our workers and subcontractors have been intimidated and threatened by the NUM strikes. As such we have a limited workforce on our sites and work off sites will also no doubt result in delays as well which we are not yet aware of.”

    Slingsby said a vehicle from one of the firm’s subcontractors was stoned and set alight yesterday morning while transporting his workmen to site.

    Rob Johnson, executive director of the Master Builders Association of the Western Cape, said he could not say how many construction firms in the province were affected by the strike.

    He said the strike had caused several sites of members belonging to the association to close and there were also reports of workers being attacked on their way to work and vehicles damaged.

    Last week, Johnson said a few hundred members of NUM marched to the offices of the Building Industry Bargaining Council where they handed over a memorandum of their grievances against employers in the construction industry.

    “They also vowed not to return to work until their demands were met. This is another key sector of the economy to become embroiled in a wave of industrial action sweeping the country with the motor manufacturing sector already on strike and the gold and textile sectors set to join.”

    He said the association recently concluded wage negotiations for a three-year period, with the labour parties including NUM to the Building Industry Bargaining Council.

    “A wage increase for the building industry in the Western Cape of 7.5 percent was agreed by majority decision of council. After agreement, NUM declared a dispute, stating that they did not agree with the wage increase and the period of the agreement. However, at the time of voting as to whether to accept or reject the increase, they did not say yay or nay, nor did they choose to abstain and instead remained silent. They then issued a dispute against the employers in the building industry.”

    Johnson added that there are 32 000 workers in the building industry in the Western Cape and NUM was trying to project a picture as being those of the majority building industry workers, which was not the case.

    “During Wednesday’s strike, protesters damaged property belonging to the building industry employers - for example, smashing the windscreen of a vehicle while the driver was still inside. This is tantamount to attempted murder.

    “It is our opinion that NUM are abusing the current strike action against the civil industry due to losing ground against other unions. Their fight has nothing to do with the building industry and everything to do with trying to gain relevance amongst current and potential members.

    joseph.booysen@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The NUM has condemned several hundred members who “hunted down” construction workers who defied a strike call.

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    Cape Town - The Nation Union of Mineworkers has condemned the actions of about 1 000 of its Western Cape members who “hunted” down construction workers who went to work on Tuesday.

    The NUM members participated in an illegal march through the Cape Town CBD on Tuesday and visited construction sites looking for workers who were not striking.

    Lesiba Seshoka, NUM national spokesman, condemned their behaviour.

    “We will not encourage people to hunt down those who choose to work. It is their right to choose whether to join the strike or continue to work.”

    The strike began last week when about 90 000 NUM members went on strike after negotiations reached a deadlock.

    On Tuesday strikers made their way through the CBD, brandishing sticks and sjamboks.

    They started at a construction site behind the Media24 building on the Foreshore, then another site at the bottom of Bree Street before going to De Waterkant in Green Point.

    Most of the workers at the construction sites hid inside the buildings. Some ran back inside the construction sites when they saw the protesters getting closer.

    Seshoka said the strikers were demanding a 13 percent increase for this year and a 14 percent increase for next year, while employers were offering a 10 percent increase for the lowest paid workers, and 8 percent for higher earning workers coupled with an inflation-linked increase for next year.

    The lowest paid workers earn about R4 400 a month.

    The protesters were stopped from marching all the way to construction sites in Sea Point by a considerable police presence on Somerset Road.

    The protesters made it back to Cape Town station without incident and got on trains to go to Century City to look for more people who had turned up for work.

    But the Century City construction sites stood empty on Tuesday as they had been evacuated prior to the strike.

    There were a lot of police officers at the Century City railway station to escort the protesters through the main street and back on to the train.

    At 2pm the protesters said they were returning to Khayelitsha where most of them live.

    Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut said on Tuesday that they had opened an illegal gathering and intimidation docket against the protesters who had gathered in the CBD.

    Cape Argus


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    A Cape Town teacher will be posted at predominantly black schools for two months after calling her pupils the k-word.

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    Cape Town - A Cape Town teacher has been taught an expensive lesson for calling her pupils the k-word.

    Vergenoegd Primary School teacher Charleen Damones was last week found guilty of misconduct by the Western Cape Department of Education.

    She has been suspended for two months without pay.

    And she will be posted at predominantly black schools to teach for two months.

    Damones will also have to attend counselling sessions on how to deal with people of different races.

    But one angry parent of a pupil at the school said: “It’s about time she got punished; she thought she could get away with it.

    “But this punishment is just a slap on the wrist. She was supposed to have been fired, not to just be suspended without pay - and even that is only for two months.

    “I don’t know what is wrong with the Western Cape’s Education department. Maybe this could be political.”

    The woman said other parents have also been left angry at the racist language used in front of their kids.

    The 47-year-old teacher was overheard shouting “k****r” at one of the pupils earlier this year.

    But the matter was only finalised last Friday after having been brought to the department’s attention in March.

    Western Cape Education Department spokesman Paddy Attwell has confirmed the teacher’s suspension.

    “We can confirm that the department suspended a teacher at Vergenoegd Primary in Delft for two months without pay for referring to pupils using a derogatory term.

    “The department also issued the teacher with a final written warning, following a disciplinary hearing.

    “The teacher is receiving counselling on diversity and professional conduct from our Employee Wellness Programme.”

    A parent who reported the matter to the Daily Voice added: “It’s now time to face the music and be with the black children [she has insulted].

    “There she will learn that black people are also human beings.

    “I would like everyone to know what kind of a person she is - a pure racist.

    “You cannot belittle people like that. What are the other children supposed to learn from her?”

    Daily Voice


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    Capetonians have been warned that False Bay’s white sharks are expected to start moving towards the Peninsula’s eastern shores.

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    Cape Town - Capetonians and visitors have been warned that False Bay’s white sharks are expected to start moving towards the Peninsula’s eastern shores - but have been urged not to panic.

    Not since May have shark spotters seen a shark at any of the city’s beaches - but that was about to change, said Gregg Oelofse, the city’s head of environmental policy and strategy.

    “Every year at the end of August we start expecting to see them, and then see them use the inshore area as their primary territory,” he explained.

    “Kayakers and surf-skiers were specifically asked to be cautious of the area between Sunnycove and Glencairn Beach, and swimmers were urged not to use the water off Jaegers Walk in Fish Hoek unless the exclusion net is in place, as this is considered a high-risk area,” he said. “Surfers are asked to be especially vigilant in the areas between Sunrise Beach and the Macassar Beach area during the spring and summer months, as research has shown that shark presence in these waters is extremely common at this time of year.

    “There is unequivocally this very distinct change between winter and summer, in which they stop predating almost exclusively on seals around Seal Island,” Oelofse said.

    “We don’t know specifically why there’s that change. In summer we have these strong south-easters and we take a lot of dead seals off our beaches - many of them very young. So you have all these seal carcasses floating off the island, but no sharks.”

    This absence of white sharks resulted in white shark cage-diving operators moving to far deeper waters, up to 20 nautical miles offshore from Cape Point, to see mako and blue sharks instead, he explained.

    “Even though there’s this presence in the inshore areas, the chance of actually encountering one of these animals is minuscule. They have absolutely no interest in us.

    “If they did, they would be picking us off all day every day - but the complete opposite is true. So the seasonal movement of white sharks “should not be threatening or scary”, Oelofse said. “If people follow basic suggestions, the chance of encountering these animals is minuscule.”

    The city advises the following:

    * Use areas where Shark Spotters are on duty.

    * Read the signs to inform yourself of the warning system.

    * Do not swim, surf or surf-ski when birds, dolphins or seals are feeding nearby.

    * Do not swim, surf or surf-ski where trek-netting, fishing or spear-fishing is taking place.

    * Do not swim in deep water beyond the breakers.

    * Do not swim if you are bleeding.

    * Do not swim near river mouths.

    * Do not swim, surf or surf-ski at night.

    * The rate of encounters with great white sharks rises significantly when the water is warmer (18ºC or higher), and during new moon.

    * First-time visitors to beach areas should ask the local law enforcement official, lifeguards or locals about the area.

    * Obey beach officials if told to leave the water.

    * Kayakers and surf-skiers should paddle in groups.

    * Consider using a personal shark shield when you go surfing or kayaking.

    Cape Argus


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    “There were about 60 protesters burning tyres on the road and we had to close the N7 on both sides of the circle, redirecting traffic through Piketberg.”

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    Cape Town - A service delivery protest resulted in the N7 being closed at Piketberg on Wednesday afternoon, Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said.

    “There were about 60 protesters burning tyres on the road and we had to close the N7 on both sides of the circle, redirecting traffic through Piketberg,” he said.

    “The protest is apparently all about housing problems.”

    Africa said the tyres had since been cleared and SA National Roads Agency Ltd staff were cleaning the road surface.

    The road, which had been closed since around noon, was expected to reopen later on Wednesday.

    Lt-Col Andre Traut said no arrests had been made.

    “Our operational members are deployed in the area,” he said. - Sapa


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  • 09/04/13--07:30: DA reacts to ANC suspensions
  • The suspension of seven ANC members linked to recent sanitation protests in the Cape was the result of a provincial government probe, the DA said.

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    Cape Town - The suspension of seven ANC members linked to recent sanitation protests in Cape Town was the result of a provincial government investigation, the DA said on Wednesday.

    “I am convinced that if it were not for the investigation by the provincial government and the unequivocal identification of the culprits, the seven would probably still have been members of the ANC,” Western Cape Democratic Alliance leader Ivan Meyer said.

    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.

    Last week, Western Cape premier Helen Zille issued a list of 11

    people she claimed were part of an ANC Youth League “task team” leading a campaign to make Cape Town ungovernable through various protests.

    She said the “ringleaders” had links with the ANC and the ANCYL.

    “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 at the time.

    She called on the ANC to act against the people on the list and to subject them to disciplinary hearings.

    The information on the 11 had also been handed to the police “for further investigation”.

    The ANC in the province suspended seven of its members on a temporary basis on Tuesday.

    “This is the result of continuous defiance of the organisational instruction to desist from engaging in activities that bring the ANC into disrepute,” provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said.

    “They are not to take part in meetings of the ANC or speak on its behalf.”

    Mjongile said the suspensions were linked to the sanitation protests.

    The men are Jaji Diniso, Sthembele Majova, Thembela Mbanjwa, Yanga Mjingwana, Bongani Ngcombolo, Loyiso Nkohla, and Bongile Zanazo.

    Nkohla is an ANC councillor.

    He and Andile Lili, a former councillor and provincial ANCYL leader, had already appeared before the regional disciplinary committee, Mjongile said.

    The others would appear before the committee within 30 days.

    Lili was expelled as a councillor in March after being found guilty of taking part in the illegal demolition of houses and for making derogatory comments to Khayelitsha residents.

    The ANC suspended him for bringing the party into disrepute.

    He is challenging the expulsion in the Western Cape High Court.

    Nkohla was given a three-year suspended sentence last year for disrupting President Jacob Zuma’s centenary speech at the Good Hope Centre. - Sapa


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    City call centre workers have claimed that only black workers are being hauled to hearings for sleeping on the job.

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    Cape Town - City call centre workers have accused two of their managers of racism, saying only black workers are being hauled to disciplinary hearings for sleeping on the job.

    The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) is representing 22 employees from the City of Cape Town’s technical operations call centre in Bellville. They say the city has failed to resolve a grievance case launched in 2011.

    The employees say they are being victimised for raising their concerns about alleged racist treatment.

    City manager Achmat Ebrahim responded: “The city is aware of this matter and a grievance process has been launched. In order not to compromise the process, no details can be made available at present.”

    Samwu regional secretary Mike Khumalo said that after the dismissal of an employee, the employees pursued a collective racism grievance against two call centre managers. The workers allege the two managers were being racist regarding the different treatment of workers in disciplinary processes.

    The grievance was lodged with the call centre management more than two years ago and Khumalo said that to date the city had not dealt with the case and no resolution had been reached.

    The matter has now been taken to Ebrahim.

    Samwu said that while they had been waiting for the grievance to be resolved, all 22 employees had been charged for sleeping on the job and now faced possible dismissal.

    Employees also claimed white supervisors were getting better treatment.

    “The management introduced 12-hour shifts, which is against labour law. The workers said these hours were forced on them and that there was no agreement.

    “As a result of the long shifts, people fall asleep at their desks while waiting for calls,” Khumalo said.

    He said in the case of one black worker who faced disciplinary action, she stated in her grievance letter that a white employee had brought a pillow to sleep at work but no action was taken against her.

    Employees also claimed that only black supervisors were being demoted while no action was taken against white supervisors who also slept on the job.

    “Instead of dealing with all the workers that were caught sleeping on camera, they ended up only charging the non-whites. There are strong concerns about this because the disciplinary action seems to be based on the colour of people’s skin.”

    The union said it had written several letters to the city recommending the two white managers be moved to another call centre to avoid possible victimisation of workers but this had fallen on deaf ears.

    zara.nicholson@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    The ringleaders behind the Cape poo-flinging attacks have demanded that their toilet model be installed in Khayelitsha households.

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    Cape Town - The ringleaders behind the poo-flinging attacks in Cape Town have given Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and mayor Patricia de Lille an ultimatum to install their proposed toilet model for the city by the end of September or risk national government intervention.

    The group revealed on Wednesday what they called an alternative solution to the sanitation crisis in the Western Cape during a media briefing in Site BM Khayelitsha.

    It follows the ANC’s working committee decision to temporarily suspend the membership of seven of its members believed to be the ringleaders behind the poo-throwing protests.

    Holding up a pamphlet of a Zapiro cartoon depicting Zille’s head as a toilet pot, and the words “I know, I know… it was a crap idea” written on it, the group, including some of the suspended members, said they had taken it upon themselves to explore alternatives to Zille’s “potta-potta” toilets.

    Lwandile Baba gave a demonstration of how the SMARTSAN recycle toilet unit works. The tanks takes 300 litres of water, which is put in every three months.

    The system uses bacteria that “digest” all the sewage from the pan. Toilet paper and newspapers are dissolved into liquid.

    The pumps are run by solar power on top of the roof of the dwelling and a back-up battery is inside.

    The toilet can be connected to between two or three houses.

    The water that is poured into the system is circulated and cleaned up and then flushed back into the system.

    Suspended ANC members Loyiso Nkohla and Andile Lili said they wanted the toilet model to be made available to each household in the township this month.

    Lili added that residents had already indicated that they would be happy with the type of toilets the group is proposing.

    Nkohla said that that the protest action by residents was not driven by any partisan political agenda.

    “They (the protests) are caused by and driven by the despicable living conditions in our communities.”

    He challenged the city to come up with a better solution, if it had any to bring to the table.

    The group refused to discuss their temporary suspension by the ANC, saying the matter was internal.

    Sthembele Majova said: “Some of the people charged, they don’t know anything about that. They have not been informed by the ANC.”

    warda.meyer@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A police constable accused of statutory rape was expected to appear in a Cape Town court, the Ipid said.

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    Cape Town -

    A police constable accused of statutory rape was expected to appear in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate's Court on Thursday, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said.

    The constable from the Grassy Park police station, in the Western Cape, was arrested on Tuesday.

    “It is alleged that the police official and the victim (14 years old) have been having sexual intercourse between July and August 2013 at the policeman's house, which is in the same street as the victim's home,” Ipid spokesman Moses Dlamini said in a statement.

    The girl's friend told her mother.

    Dlamini said each of the incidents had happened when he was off duty.

    Meanwhile, in a separate incident, a constable based at Macassar police station was arrested after being accused of raping a 23-old woman in police cells on July 21.

    She had been arrested and detained for housebreaking and theft.

    “It is alleged that the victim had asked for toilet paper and it had been given by the suspect, who went back to her cell and allegedly raped the victim,” he said.

    The Ipid was notified the same day after she opened a case at the police station. It started investigating but the policeman went off duty and disappeared for a while.

    He was tracked down and arrested on Wednesday and was due to appear in the Somerset West Magistrate's Court soon.

    Ipid is an oversight body which investigates allegations of crime levelled against police officers. - Sapa


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    Traffic cop Ian Sinclair says he never pulled the trigger on his gun during a struggle with ex WP cricketer Luke Fairweather.

    |||

    Cape Town - Former Western Province cricketer Luke Fairweather slammed a city traffic officer so hard against a car’s rear windscreen that it broke.

    Describing the last moments of Fairweather’s life on a Newlands street two years ago, Officer Ian Sinclair told a Wynberg inquest court on Wednesday that he drew his firearm with his right hand, and Fairweather reached for it, covering Sinclair’s hand with his own.

    Sinclair said: “I did not pull the trigger. With the violent struggle for possession of the firearm a shot was discharged.” Fairweather, wounded in the stomach, fell to his knees. “His hand was still on mine. He said: ‘You are going to die.’ Another traffic officer released his hand from mine,” Sinclair said.

     Fairweather collapsed and died. He was 49.

    Sinclair, 62, said that on that day, January 5, 2011, he had been tasked with escorting the South African cricket team from their hotel in the city centre to Newlands and back.

    After arriving at the stadium at 9.05am, he began general patrol duties around the stadium.

    At about 4.55pm he was writing a traffic ticket on Mariendahl Road when he saw a Honda Jazz draw up in a no-stopping area. He began filling in a ticket for the Honda. By the time he had written it, the car had moved to where he was standing. He slipped the ticket through the window to the “elderly woman driving” - Fairweather’s mother, Margeret - and asked her to move the car, which she did.

    “Three minutes later I was approached by a member of the public. He was 5 foot 10 inches, around 130kg and well-built. He walked straight up to me, his face a thumb’s width from mine, and said: ‘Why did you give my mother a f***ing ticket?’”

    “He walked back to the car, now parked in a driveway, crumpled up the ticket and threw it on the ground.”

    Sinclair said he told Fairweather to pick it up: “I said, ‘Pick up the ticket or…’ and he interrupted me and said: ‘Well, then, f***ing well arrest me.’

    “He advanced towards me and used his body to push me back in a very aggressive manner.”

    Sinclair stepped back. Fairweather got into the car and reached for the door handle, but it slipped out of his hand, which seemed to infuriate him.

    “He got out of the vehicle violently and launched an aggressive assault… He… hit me on the upper body. I back-pedalled and drew my firearm… and pointed it to the ground… I thought that would stop the assault. He saw the firearm and shouted: ‘You want to shoot me, pull the f***ing trigger.’

    “He grabbed me by the chest and arms and rammed me into the rear window of a Renault Scenic, which broke the back window.” A struggle for the gun followed, and a shot was discharged.

    “I did not pull the trigger.”

    Sinclair said he had bruises to his eye, cheek, rib cage, arm and hand. He felt shocked, disoriented and confused.

    The hearing continues on Thursday.

    natasha.bezuidenhout@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Chaos erupted at an Engen petrol station in Cape Town as strikers attacked frightened staff and patrons.

    |||

    Cape Town - The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in the Western Cape admits that preventing “scab” labourers from getting to work and shutting down operations at construction sites forms part of its members’ strategy in the ongoing industrial action.

    But Happiness Holiday, the NUM’s Western Cape general secretary, said these strategies needed to be employed peacefully according to the union’s rules. It was against the rules to use violence or assault, to gain illegal entry to a construction site and to vandalise assets.

    The Cape Argus contacted Holiday after viewing CCTV footage of strikers descending on an Engen petrol station on the corner of Hindle Road and the R300, which is a known pick-up point for workers between 5am and 6am.

    Staff at the Engen painted a picture of momentary chaos and violence in the minutes before police arrived.

    The footage shows men, some in balaclavas, armed with sticks, knobkieries and pickaxe handles, arriving at the petrol station shortly after 6am. They speak to petrol attendants and point this way and that with their sticks

    “At first things seemed calm,” said an employee who asked not to be named. “But then they started threatening people and smashing some of the bakkies at the pumps. We were scared so we ran inside.”

    Subsequent footage shows half a dozen men running for the door of the Engen’s shop to escape stick-wielding protesters. Some of the men are assaulted.

    Soon the doors jam (presumably after being locked from the inside) and an unarmed man is left pulling and banging on the door as he tries to escape the attackers. Unsuccessful, he runs off into the darkness of the veld alongside the shop.

    Later, employees told the Cape Argus, attackers pried open the shop’s doors, but by then the people inside had barricaded themselves behind a security door inside the shop.

    “One man was not so lucky,” an employee told the Cape Argus.

    “He was beaten very badly and taken into the veld, away from the lights, by four men. I do not know what they did to him there, but it was a few moments before the police arrived. All the strikers scattered then, and I think that that man would have been killed if the police had not arrived just then.”

    Two bakkies were damaged and one had to be towed away.

    Presented with these details, Holiday said union members were not acting on instruction from the NUM when perpetrating acts of violence or criminality.

    Police confirmed “unrest” related to the strike in several areas early on Wednesday. Hindle Road in Delft was closed for several hours during peak traffic hours. Police also responded to flare-ups in the Old Faure Road, Lwandle, Borcherds Quarry and the Strand. There were no arrests.

    Holiday said there was no evidence to suggest that NUM members were behind the violence, adding NUM members were often blamed for the transgressions of other unions, particularly those of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), owing to the similarity of the unions’ names.

    The City of Cape Town said 50 striking workers, some in Numsa T-shirts, had invaded a construction site office in Heideveld where government houses were being refurbished.

    Some of the contract staff were assaulted. Three people suffered “fairly serious” injuries and were taken to hospital. Numsa has denied that its members were behind the assault.

    The violence against ordinary workers - allegedly by striking civil engineering contractors – has been slammed as “deplorable”.

    In numerous places across greater Cape Town on Wednesday, workers were intimidated, prevented from leaving their suburbs for work and, in some cases, violently assaulted.

    Michael Bagraim, chairman of the human capital portfolio committee at the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, reported that many of these victims had “nothing whatsoever” to do with the civil engineering or construction industries – and were still being targeted.

    “This is deplorable, and must be a first. People are being accused of being scab labour when they have nothing whatsoever to do with this strike or this industry.”

    Asked about the effect of the strike on business, Bagraim said companies were losing money in lost working hours, and these delays came on top of delays from the recent wild winter weather.

    But despite low turnouts by workers, construction was continuing on many sites.

    Sources told the Cape Argus there were simply too many civil engineering construction sites for the strikers to man.

    “The real cost is to the ordinary people who are prevented from earning a living,” Bagraim said.

    The strike involved two unions, the National Union of Mineworkers and the Building Construction and Allied Workers Union (Bcawu). Bcawu struck a deal with the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec) on Monday, which will remain operational until August 31, 2016.

    “The accepted offer allows for a 10 percent wage increase for categories Task Grade 1 to 4 and 8 percent wage increase for categories Task Grade 5 to 9. In addition, severance benefits for the industry were also improved,” Safcec reported.

    Strike violence is ‘deplorable’ although Holiday was reluctant to say that NUM was not in charge of its striking members, a picture of relative regional autonomy in decision-making by striking workers emerged.

    Divided according to their place of residence – as opposed to the companies they worked for – members have formed groups that have met daily in their neighbourhoods. They seem to be taking their cues from shop stewards local to their areas. Holiday, however, maintained that these leaders took instruction from and reported back to head office during the day.

    Provincial representatives from NUM will meet in Johannesburg on Thursday in an attempt to soften their demands before continuing negotiations with employers.

    The NUM is demanding a 13-percent increase for this year and 14 percent for next year. Employers are offering a 10-percent increase for the lowest-paid workers and an eight-percent increase for higher-earning workers, with inflation-linked increases next year.

    Additional reporting by Murray Williams.

    daneel.knoetze@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Two men were arrested while five others managed to flee during a cash-in-transit heist in Cape Town, police said.

    |||

    Cape Town -

    Two men were arrested during a cash-in-transit heist in Cape Town on Thursday morning, Western Cape police said.

    Seven armed men apprehended security guards loading an ATM at Nyanga Junction around 9am, Lt-Col Andre Traut said.

    The men ran to a getaway car with an undisclosed amount of money.

    The group opened fire when they spotted a police patrol arriving on the scene.

    Traut said police shot and wounded one of the men, in his 30s, in the pursuit. Another man, in his 20s, was arrested in NY3, Gugulethu.

    The other five managed to flee with the cash.

    Two firearms were recovered.

    “It is fortunate that no one else was injured during the wild shoot-out staged by the suspects who displayed scant regard for the lives of others,” Traut said. - Sapa


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