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  • 09/16/13--09:42: Cop theft case postponed
  • The trial of three Cape Town police officials charged with theft and extortion ahs been postponed due to illness.

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    Cape Town -

    Illness prevented the resumption on Monday of the trial in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town of three police officials charged with theft.

    When the case was called before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg on Monday, prosecutor Xolile Jonas said one of the three lawyers in the trial had taken ill.

    At his request, the matter was postponed to Tuesday.

    Nkosinathi Mdiya, Mogamat Meniers and Heinrich Gordon, all based at the Diep River police station, allegedly broke the shack door of a self-confessed drug pedlar and addict, and confiscated a plastic bank bag containing the drug “tik” and cash.

    However, at the police station, they allegedly demanded R100 each, and released Anton Pillay without pressing any charges.

    Pillay testified at hearing in June.

    Mdiya, a constable, is charged with two counts of theft, two of robbery and one of extortion (blackmail).

    Meniers, a warrant officer, is charged with one count of theft and one of corruption, and Gordon, a sergeant, is charged with three counts of theft, two of corruption, two of extortion and two of robbery.

    At the June hearing, Pillay, who is currently serving a prison sentence for housebreaking and theft, told the court he was asleep at an informal settlement, and groggy from drugs, when the police first knocked on his shack door and then broke it down.

    The police confiscated the bank bag containing R1650 and 15 tik sticks, and took him to the police station.

    He said he noticed that the money was R1000 short when it was counted in his presence.

    He said Meniers and Gordon remarked that he had a lot of money, and said they would let him go if he gave them R100 each.

    He testified that he did so, and was allowed to leave. - Sapa


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  • 09/17/13--04:28: Boy, 7, mauled by a boerbul
  • A boy is due to undergo surgery after being attacked by a guard dog that escaped its owners' premises.

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    Cape Town -

    A seven-year-old boy was due to undergo surgery in Red Cross Children’s Hospital on Tuesday after being attacked by a guard dog in Philippi over the weekend.

    Zuandrie Mars was walking with his father when a boerboel escaped from the premises of Overland Tours, a transport business in Philippi. The boy was mauled and sustained injuries to his head, arms and leg.

    Speaking from his son’s hospital bedside on Tuesday morning, Zuandrie’s father, Leon Mars, 42, said that he was extremely angry that the dog was allowed to escape the premises. He blamed a security guard at the premises for leaving a security gate ajar, which the dog ran through before attacking his son.

    “He is very badly injured and is still traumatised from the attack. There are wounds all over his body,” said Mars. He added that his son was due to undergo surgery on Tuesday.

    Nazeem Dollie, owner of Overland Tours, agreed that the incident was a tragedy. However, he said it was important to understand why the dog had attacked so viciously.

    “There are open plots adjacent to our property. Kids from the neighbourhood use these to play soccer on the weekend. But, they often come up to our wall and throw stones over - into the yard and on to the roof. This agitates the dogs extremely. The children also use sticks to prod the dogs through a mesh cover in the wall,” he said.

    Dollie said that the dogs were usually calm and did not run from the gate, which was regularly opened to allow busses to pass through.

    “On this day however, the dog saw an opportunity to escape when the security guard opened up to reprimand the kids,” Dollie said.

    Mars said that his son had not taunted the dog. He also complained that, if the dog was really agitated, more care should have been taken to keep it inside.

    Meanwhile, Dollie has offered to pay for all of Zuandrie’s medical expenses. His father, Enver Dollie, has been assisting with transporting Mars family members to and from the hospital.

    “We have not yet decided on whether to put the dog down and will be meeting with the SPCA for advice on the matter this week,” Dollie said.

    Red Cross Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Lauren O’Connor-May confirmed that Zuandrie was in a stable condition on Tuesday morning.

    daneel.knoetze@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Authorities are to probe the death of apartheid activist Neil Aggett in detention more than 30 years ago.

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    Cape Town - The authorities are looking into the death of trade unionist and doctor Neil Aggett in detention more than 30 years ago.

    In a letter in reply to Brian Sandberg, co-ordinator of the Neil Aggett Support Group, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe refers to the government’s commitment to “ensuring that justice is served in the Dr Neil Aggett case”.

    Radebe says in the letter that the matter has been receiving attention from the Priority Crimes Litigation Unit in the National Prosecuting Authority as well as the Hawks.

     Although Radebe’s letter is dated July 9, Sandberg has only recently released the information in it.

     In an open letter to Radebe in February, the group called for Aggett’s interrogators - Lieutenant Steven Whitehead and his superior at the time, Major Arthur Cronwright - to be prosecuted.

    In his response, the minister wrote that any decisions taken regarding the case would be made public “at an appropriate stage”.

    “I trust that this information will alleviate the concerns of the Neil Aggett Support Group regarding the government’s commitment to the satisfactory resolution of this matter,” it read. Aggett, organiser for the Food and Canning Workers’ Union, was detained with 17 other trade unionists.

    He died on February 5, 1982, following an interrogation of more than 60 hours. He was 28.

    It was alleged that he had committed suicide by hanging.

    An inquest was held in Johannesburg in 1982, and the magistrate held that no one was to blame.

    In a joint press statement on Monday, the Neil Aggett Support Group, the Khulumani Support Group and the Food and Allied Workers’ Union welcomed the news that Aggett’s case was “receiving attention”.

    “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission report found that then-police officers (Cronwright and Whitehead) were ‘directly responsible’ for Aggett’s ‘condition’, which ‘led him to take his own life’ on February 5, 1982 as a result of ‘intensive interrogation’.

    “Neither officer applied for amnesty from the TRC and thus could face potential prosecution under the TRC Act,” the statement read.

     leila.samodien@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Coming face-to-face with one of the men behind the Worcester bombing, all Neliswa Busakwa could feel was hate.

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    Cape Town - At a face-to-face meeting meant to help survivors reconcile with one of the men responsible for the Christmas Eve bombings in Worcester nearly 17 years ago, all Neliswa Busakwa could feel was hate and loss.

    Busakwa’s sister, Sweetness Busakwa, 31 at the time, was badly injured in the attack and died four years later in spite of a number of operations.

    Stephanus “Stefaans” Coetzee, 18 at the time, met Busakwa and 40 other survivors and their families on Monday in Worcester.

    He is serving a 40-year sentence.

    Two bombs went off in Worcester on December 24, 1996 killing four people, two of them nine-year-old children, and injuring 67 others.

    One bomb went off outside a Shoprite supermarket frequented by coloured and black shoppers and another at a nearby pharmacy.

    Soon after, Coetzee and Nicolaas Clifton Barnard, 40, at the time of the bombings, Abraham Liebrecht Myburgh, then 23, and Johannes Benjamin van der Westhuizen, then 45, were arrested and admitted to the attacks, saying they wanted to destroy the new democratic order.

    On Monday at a Department of Correctional Services Victim-Offender Dialogue Programme at the Pietman Hugo Hall in Worcester, Busakwa said seeing Coetzee again filled her with anger.

    “I hate you,” she told him. “You took away someone very dear to my heart. My sister left me with big shoes to fill. I can’t forgive you, it’s now between you and your maker,” she said.

    Before she spoke, an emotional Busakwa asked that Coetzee, who was seated behind her, be moved to a seat further away.

    The Khulumani Support Group, which works with apartheid victims, set up meetings at the prison between Coetzee and some of his victims.

    In January more than 60 of the survivors went to meet Coetzee at the Pretoria Central Correctional Centre where he had been serving his 40-year sentence.

    Two weeks ago, Busakwa and several others, met Coetzee at the Worcester prison, where he was recently moved, for the first time since the attack.

    While most of the families forgave Coetzee after the visits, Busakwa, 34, said seeing Coetzee again on Monday forced her to relive her loss.

    “I was at home helping my mother with preparations for Christmas. At about 1pm we received a call to say that Sweetness was injured in a bombing at work.

    “We rushed there, but they had already rushed her to hospital. Her left leg was broken, her stomach was open and there were stones in her chest. It was terrible to see her in so much pain,” she said.

    Busakwa said the family had struggled to cope with her sister’s death and were still feeling the pinch after paying her medical expenses.

    Survivor Lisle Philander, 34, who was a cashier at Shoprite at the time, said she had forgiven Coetzee.

    “When I met him in Pretoria, I actually felt sorry for him once we spoke. I forgave him for what he did to me and everyone else that day,” Philander said.

    The mother of three recalled complaining about a foul smell in the shop before a deafening explosion went off. She wasn’t seriously injured, but Philander said she still had nightmares more than a decade later.

    “There was no support from the government or Shoprite. It’s only recently we’ve been going for therapy and learnt how to work through our feelings.

    “Sometimes I find myself shaking and I still can’t bear to take my children out in busy places,” she said.

    Another survivor, Olga Macingwane, who was the first to reconcile with Coetzee in 2009, received the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation’s Reconciliation Award in 2011.

    On Monday, the hall was filled with relatives, Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele, Khulumani Support Group members, prisoners and residents.

    “I take full responsibility for the bombings. I know asking for forgiveness would be a selfish act, so all I can do is say I’m sorry. I hope that by meeting me, they can find healing…” Coetzee said.

    barbara.maregele@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    DA Western Cape leader Ivan Meyer says the ANC is closing the democratic space and had no confidence in its own councillors.

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    Cape Town - DA Western Cape leader Ivan Meyer says the ANC is closing the democratic space and had no confidence in its own councillors to be available to serve in national and provincial parliaments.

    Meyer criticised the ANC’s decision to bar serving councillors from being included on national and provincial candidate lists for next year’s elections.

    The names of the ANC’s provincial and national candidates have started making the rounds.

    Deputy Minister of International Relations Marius Fransman has been named as candidate for Western Cape pemier.

    At least one ANC city councillor, Rhoda Bazier’s, name is on an ANC provincial list.

    Other candidates on ANC provincial lists include Lionel Adendorf, Zodwa Magwaza, Khaya Magaxa and Pierre Uys. For national lists, Mcebisi Skwatsha, Max Ozinsky and Zou Kota are named.

    It is believed that there is frustration among some ANC members over the ban on local councillors from being included on election candidate lists.

    ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said the decision to bar councillors from being included on provincial and national lists was a long-standing one made by the National Executive Committee.

    “Councillors are deployed for a five-year period and we don’t want any disruptions on local government level. We can deploy councillors elsewhere in exceptional circumstances, so it is not a rule because we can nominate councillors depending on circumstances.”

    Mjongile said once branches nominated a councillor, the provincial and national list committee could consider the councillor’s nomination if it felt the person could add value to the ANC list.

    A councillor would have to resign to serve provincially or nationally.

    Criticising the ANC’s policy, Meyer told the Cape Times: “If the ANC says that councillors can’t be on provincial and national lists, then they are closing the democratic space for their own councillors and it also demonstrates that the ANC has no confidence in the quality of their own councillors.

    “In practice it means they want to protect their own seats in Parliament.”

    Meyer said sometimes people who were councillors made the best members of Parliament as they had experience in grassroot politics.

    “Helen Zille was a councillor and then she became mayor and then premier. In the DA everyone is welcome to apply,” Meyer said.

    Commenting on her nomination to the provincial election list, Bazier said: “I am aware of the nomination but at the moment it is hard to comment on whether I will avail myself as a provincial candidate.”

    ANC chief whip in the city Xolani Sotashe said it was not for the DA to decide how the ANC deployed members. “It’s an organisation decision and everyone who is deployed in the ANC must respect that.”

    While names of ANC candidates have been distributed, the DA is yet to start listing candidates as the party’s three processes for nominations start next month.

    DA federal executive chairman James Selfe said that their lists would be finalised by March. However, he said national spokesman for the party Mmusi Maimane had been nominated as the DA’s premier candidate in Gauteng.

    zara.nicholson@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    A Cape Town court has heard how policemen grabbed a Nigerian man’s car keys and demanded R500 for their return.

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    Cape Town - A policeman in Diep River, Cape Town, grabbed a Nigerian man's car keys and demanded money for their return, the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court heard on Tuesday.

    Three policemen, Constable Nkosinathi Mdiya, Warrant Officer Mogamat Meniers, and Sergeant Heinrich Gordon, all based at the Diep River police station, are in the dock.

    Mdiya is charged with two counts of theft, two of robbery and one of extortion (blackmail); Meniers is charged with one count of theft and one of corruption; and Gordon is charged with three counts of theft, two of corruption, two of extortion, and two of robbery.

    On an extortion charge, Nigerian Daniel Animalu told the court he was driving in the Diep River area on the night of February 26

    last year when he heard a police siren approaching from behind. At first he ignored it, but when the police vehicle started flashing its headlights at him, he stopped.

    He said the police vehicle stopped behind him, and Gordon approached him. Gordon reached into his car, snatched the ignition keys, gave him a cellphone number to call, and drove off.

    Animalu said when he called the number, Gordon told him he would have to pay R500 for the return of his keys.

    Animalu said he reported the incident to the Wynberg police, who said he should call Gordon again, from the charge office, and demand that Gordon bring the keys to the Wynberg police charge office.

    He did so, but Gordon had switched off his cellphone. Animalu tried a second time, got through, and demanded that the keys be returned to him at the police station.

    Soon afterwards, Gordon called and said he had placed the keys on the bonnet of Animalu’s car. Animalu said the Wynberg police insisted Gordon return the keys to him at the Wynberg police station, which Gordon did.

    On one of the theft charges, drug addict and pedlar Anton Pillay alleged that the three broke down the door of his shack in an informal settlement on the night of February 20. He said they confiscated money and drugs, and took him to the Diep River police station.

    There, they demanded R200 each for his release, which he paid. When they returned the confiscated money, he noticed some of it was missing. No charges were pressed against him, he said.

    Pillay was cross-examined by defence counsel Yvette Isaacs, representing Gordon. He admitted being confused in his main testimony about the payment of money to Gordon, to share between them to secure his release.

    Asked if he had lied when he said he had given the money to Gordon, he said he was not sure to whom he had given the money.

    Isaacs asked if the court could accept that he had not in fact given any money to Gordon. Pillay replied: “Yes.”

    The trial continues on November 7.

    Sapa


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    Cameras have caught 8000 Capetonians illegally using the N2's dedicated bus lane.

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    New hi-tech cameras on the N2 have caught a whopping 8000 vehicles illegally using the dedicated bus lane in less than two months.

    Sixteen new super-smart cameras have been installed along a 14km route between the airport and the Black River Parkway, the city’s traffic department says. Each camera housing contains two cameras – an infrared camera, which reads number plates, and a video camera.

    Once the infrared camera reads a number plate, the second camera replays, and records, the four previous frames of video.

    These images are packaged, encrypted and sent to a “back room”, which then saves and distributes them as fines if the images were taken during hours when the bus lanes are active.

    The cameras were installed early in July and 2900 fines were issued for that month, followed by about 5000 in August.

    Despite the news of the cameras from the traffic department, the Cape Argus yesterday saw more than 100 private vehicles illegally using the bus lane between 8.15am and 8.45am.

    The fines issued, attached to the images recorded by the 16 cameras on the route, are for R300.

    JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, said the previous cameras belonged to the Western Cape provincial government and had either been damaged or vandalised.

    “For a long time the system remained dormant, and enforcement was manual.

    “This is both labour-intensive and causes massive congestion, so we asked province to urgently reinstate the system.

    “We came to an agreement that the city would continue with the system, with an existing contractor we use, Syntell, which does fixed-speed cameras, in-vehicle cameras, number-plate recognition cameras and speed-over-distance cameras.

    A SURPRISE IN THE POST

    “It will take a while for people to get their fines and realise the cameras are now working and that they can’t evade them.

    “In the past there were only a few cameras, so people would use the lanes illegally, and then duck back into a legal lane when they approached the cameras.

    “But now there are many cameras, so there’s nowhere to hide.”

    In the past, manual enforcement only happened sporadically.

    “That meant you were only being held accountable out of every 15 or 30 transgressions.

    “So it amounted to a R300 toll a month. Now it’s no longer worth it. Now it’ll be R9000 a month,” Smith warned. -Cape Argus


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  • 09/18/13--00:34: Woman ran over by BMW
  • A woman died when she was run over by a car in Vanguard Drive, Cape Town, paramedics said.

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    Cape Town - A woman died when she was run over by a car in Vanguard Drive, Cape Town, on Wednesday, paramedics said.

    It was believed the woman died on the scene when she was hit by a BMW while trying to cross the road, ER24 said.

    “(We) found that she was lying in the road and had suffered extensive injuries. Assessments revealed that she had no signs of life and she had already succumbed to her injuries.”

    According to the paramedics on scene, the driver of the car appeared shaken but uninjured.

    Police were investigating the incident. - Sapa


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    Increasing unemployment and drug addiction have been blamed for a greater presence of homeless people in the Cape's CBD.

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    Cape Town - Begging and homelessness in Cape Town are on the rise and many view the city centre as the “honey pot” of the metropole, says Taki Amira, chair of the Good Hope Subcouncil.

    Amira has called for an urgent meeting with the Central City Improvement District (CCID) and the councillors responsible for social development in the mayoral and social development portfolio committees to come up with a “point-by-point action plan” to deal with the problem.

    Areas that fall within the Good Hope Subcouncil include the CBD, Green Point, Sea Point and Hout Bay.

    Amira said that while it was “not a crime to be homeless”, more needed to be done to curb the growing numbers of people begging on the streets and living under bridges or on traffic islands just outside the city.

    The CCID “did their bit”, and the ward councillors were allocated funds for street people programmes, yet there were still too many beggars. Tourists were a soft target in the city centre, and many visitors were unaware of initiatives such as the “give responsibly” campaign, which discouraged people from handing out money.

    Karen Cain, a social worker at The Carpenter’s Shop, an NGO providing rehabilitation, training and accommodation for homeless people on Roeland Street, said that while she had not noticed a rise in the number of people using the shelter’s ablution facilities, there were definitely more people drifting in during the day.

    Cain attributed this to rising unemployment and drug addiction, particularly heroin. She said many homeless people wanted to remain close to town and were afraid of using a shelter where they could possibly be relocated to an outlying area. If there was no place near the city centre, they would opt to remain on the street.

    Hassan Khan of The Haven Night Shelter said there had been a “great push of homeless people out of the CBD” by law enforcement and the CCID. This had resulted in a proliferation of street people living and begging on the periphery of the city centre, in areas not as rigorously patrolled. “We expect potential flare-ups and increased tensions as crime rises in these residential areas.”

    Khan said there had been little effort to enforce city by-laws in areas beyond the CBD. “If there was greater uniformity in by-law enforcement, and the same interventions as in the CBD, there would be less incentive to set up camp beyond the city.”

    Without incentives to come off the street, homeless people would continue to live on the periphery of the city centre, sleeping where they could.

    Tasso Evangelinos, chief operating officer of the CCID, said his social development team had noted there were not more beggars, but they were becoming more aggressive.

    The City of Cape Town has a street people policy and by-laws to regulate behaviour. But it has been under fire for the steps it has taken to stop homeless people from making fires and living under bridges.

    Rocks have been set in concrete under the footbridge across Nelson Mandela Boulevard and under the unfinished elevated freeway to discourage people from living there. Fires could weaken the bridges’ rubber and concrete, and the presence of people on these busy roadways poses a risk to themselves, motorists and pedestrians.

    Councillor Dave Bryant submitted a motion to the Good Hope Subcouncil to replace benches on Government Avenue with “inventive designs” to encourage sitting rather than lying down. But the motion prompted an outcry and Bryant withdrew it.

    Finding a solution to the city’s homeless problem was “challenging”, said Jack Mahoney, of The Ark, an NGO dealing with street people.

    “There is a lack of accommodation. Even if they get employment, where do they stay?”

    He said the Ark, based in Faure, was almost at capacity with 798 of its 800 beds occupied. While the city was helping by opening assessment centres, it needed to offer some of its unused buildings on the border of the city for accommodation. “We’ve got to offer them something tangible.”

    Mahoney said that most people wanted to be close to town, where there was a greater chance of finding work.

    Evangelinos said the only way to deal with the problem was to “up the ante radically” on social services.

    It was not a law enforcement issue or a simple question of employing more field workers, he said. There needed to be an appropriate outreach and skills development programme with professional staff.

    The city had not responded to questions about the need for an urgent plan by the time of going to press.

    anel.lewis@inl.co.za

     

    Cape Argus


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    Street-dwellers in Cape Town’s CBD say money is the main reason they aren’t living in shelters.

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    Cape Town - Street-dwellers in Cape Town’s city centre have noticed the influx of newcomers. They say money is the main reason they aren’t living in shelters, which charge around R10 a night.

    It’s Amanda Zondi’s first winter on the streets. She left her children in Durban nine months ago to look for work. When she arrived, she stayed in a shelter for three weeks, but ran out of money and had to leave.

    “In a shelter it’s nice because you sleep under a roof,” she said. Now, when it rains, she takes cover under a tree in the Company’s Garden. “When it’s raining it’s the hardest. You don’t have a place where you can hide. You are wet every day.”

    The faded tattoos on either side of Mike Boikolate’s nose are a mark of his old life: he used to be a member of the 26 gang, but now says he is tired of crime. Since 1998, he has slept on a bench in the Company’s Garden. He’d like to stay in a shelter, but said people drink and shout and don’t obey the shelter rules. “Some people are crazy there.”

    Instead, when it rains, he sleeps with Zondi under a tree. “My blankets are wet. Then people come in the morning and kick us out.”

    Ivan Hendricks used to share a small shelter with a friend in the Bo Kaap, but another group of homeless people stole his plastic sheeting to rebuild their shelter, which burnt down due to a spark from a tik pipe.

    “Whenever there is rain, we jump up and go seek somewhere else,” he said. “We grab a wet blanket, we look for some dry cardboard, and we ramble on.”

    The city centre is the best place to find shelter in winter, according to Trevor Parsons, who has been living on the streets for 28 years. He sleeps with a group on Buitengracht Street, along with Tino Skippers, who has been on the streets since he was four.

    “I’m not saying we who are living in the street are perfect,” said Skippers. “There are guys who break into cars and rob houses - but they do it to survive.”

    Parsons and Skippers both said the Central City Improvement District (CCID) had brought only trouble for street people.

    “They even abuse the children,” Skippers said. “They kick you when you are sleeping and take your blankets away.”

    They also said the CCID told them they’d be arrested for “PK” - a term used to refer to people not obeying police orders, usually street people told to move out of the area.

    The CCID was not available for comment.

    Cadet News Agency

    Cape Argus


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    Capetonians could have a winter treat - snow on Table Mountain for the second time in weeks.

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    Cape Town - Capetonians could have a winter treat on Thursday - snow on Table Mountain for the second time in weeks.

    The City of Cape Town’s disaster response teams were on “high alert as a result of the severe weather system that was developing, and which was set to bring heavy rainfall as from Thursday night and Friday” over the peninsula, spokesman Wilfred Solomons Johannes said on Tuesday.

    The SA Weather Service told the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre of the following weather watches:

    * Heavy rainfalls on Thursday night and Friday over the Cape metro, Overberg, the southern parts of the Cape Winelands and West Coast districts.

    * Localised flooding is expected on Thursday night and Friday in these regions.

    * Disruptive snowfalls are expected over the western high ground of the Western Cape and south-western high ground of the Northern Cape on Thursday, spreading to the Western Cape south-eastern high ground on Friday.

    But there is a lighter side - snowreport.co.za posted: “The latest forecast… is showing snow falling on Table Mountain again on Thursday night and Friday morning. Could it happen twice in one year?”

    The City of Cape Town issued emergency numbers:

    * Flooding, blocked drains and service disruptions: 0860 103 089 or SMS to 31373.

    * Electricity outages:0860 103 089 or SMS to 31220.

    * Road closures: 0800 656463 for delays and deviations.

    * Weather reports: Radio, TV, or weatherline at 082 162.

    * Emergencies: 107 (landline), 021 480 7700 (cellphone).

    Cape Argus


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    A row has erupted between Western Cape Premier Zille and the Justice Department over a name-and-shame campaign.

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    Cape Town -

    A furious row has erupted between Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and the Justice Department over the government’s refusal to provide information on “deadbeat” dads who don’t pay maintenance for their children.

    Both sides have claimed responsibility for the Western Cape’s maintenance defaulter campaign which ultimately names and shames defaulters.

    Earlier this year, the provincial government locked horns with the department over the drunk-driving name-and-shame campaign.

    Zille brought up the issue during last week’s heated debate on the women in the province, accusing the ANC of undermining the provincial government’s work by blocking successful provincial initiatives.

    But the Justice Department, which has a statutory duty to deal with child maintenance, said that as far back as 2005 it launched an initiative – called Operation Isondlo – to improve South Africa’s maintenance system and bring maintenance defaulters to book.

    Last week, the premier told the legislature that when the DA came into office it realised single women often struggled to manage when fathers refused to pay maintenance.

    “It is a very, very serious problem for many thousands of women,” said Zille. A campaign was launched with the police and the Department of Justice to track down defaulters, which had some “fantastic successes”.

    “In a two-week period we found 71 defaulters resulting in 59 arrests. We traced 210 women who had not collected maintenance money that was owed to them, some for many years.”

    But after the fortnight, the national government decided not to give the province any further lists of defaulters or beneficiaries, saying it was going to continue the project nationally.

    Zille said: “What has happened since then? Precisely nothing… And that is a complete disgrace.”

    Western Cape Head of Justice Hishaam Mohamed said the Justice Department and the police had been running the project since 2005.

    Mohamed declined to comment on Zille’s remarks in the legislature except to say that the issue should not be politicised as it involved minor children.

    Mohamed refuted Zille’s claims that “nothing” had been happening. A joint task team of police and justice officials met weekly to plan search operations.

    In the past fortnight, justice officials and a team of 600 police members had swooped on unsuspecting defaulters as part of the Women’s Month campaign.

    “In the year from June last year up until July we’ve had 295 new warrants of arrest while 454 warrants were successfully executed against alleged maintenance defaulters.”

    Of those, 25 matters were struck off the roll, seven defaulters were released on bail, 99 others were released on a warning, 18 remained in custody and 22 matters had been converted into inquiries.

    And at the end of last month, the department handed over cheques to the value of R28 000 to maintenance beneficiaries in Mitchells Plain.

    “Any local government, provincial government department or civil society is welcome to join us in our campaign to ensure defaulters are brought to book,” said Mohamed. “We’ve been tracing people since 2005 and continue to do so. We have been most successful in 2011 up until now.”

    warda.meyer@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Three Cape schools were burgled by ambitious thieves who entered thought the roof, stealing computers and projectors.

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    Cape Town - Three Philippi schools were burgled at the weekend, losing computers, lawn mowers and projectors, and principals suspect they might have been targeted by a single syndicate.

    Thieves entered Sinethemba Secondary, Mzamomhle Primary and Siyazakha Primary through the roof and cut the alarm and camera wiring to get into the classrooms.

    Fundisile Nkumenge, chairman of Sinethemba’s governing body, said theft had been a problem at the school.

    “Last week they broke into our lab and took out all the copper taps; this week they’ve taken two laptops and our sound system.”

    Nkumenga said the laptops contained the school’s data and administration details.

    “Certain robbers are assigned to break in at certain schools,” he said.

    Sinethemba was broken into on Sunday night; Mzamomhle was robbed the night before.

    Welile Ngotso, the principal of Mzamomhle Primary, said he was shocked to see computer monitors scattered on the floor on Monday.

    “Our computer lab was in pieces, the wiring broken. There was a hole in the ceiling and our cameras were broken too,” he said. Twelve computers were stolen.

    Ngotso suspected that the people who broke into the school knew their way around. “They came prepared with pliers and crowbars because they knew the computer towers were locked in.”

    The principal said the robbery would delay the third term reports.

    “We have 1 029 pupils and now that our computers have been stolen teachers need to take turns working on the computers to do the reports.”

    Nomsa Shosha, the principal at Siyazakha, said: “It’s frustrating because you want your school to be more functional; instead, it steps back and the community turns a blind eye.”

    The provincial Education Department’s spokeswoman Bronagh Casey said communities needed to help protect local schools’ assets.

    “I believe we can reduce vandalism if we work together. We appeal to communities to be our eyes and ears and report any suspicious behaviour in and around our schools.”

    Police spokesman FC van Wyk said four suspects had been apprehended in connection with the Sinethemba burglary. One had appeared in court. The other three would appear on Wednesday.

    Cadet News Agency

    Cape Argus


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    Cape Town police are searching for a popular radio station DJ accused of sexually assaulting a colleague.

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    Cape Town - Cape Town police are on the hunt for a popular radio station DJ accused of sexually assaulting a colleague.

    On Tuesday, police confirmed that they were investigating a case against a 34-year-old man after a co-worker laid a charge against him on Monday night.

    Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk says: “A case of sexual assault has been registered for investigation. Police are looking for the suspect.”

    The Daily Voice managed to make contact with the suspect on Tuesday and spoke to him over the telephone.

    When asked about the alleged sex attack at the popular Flats radio station, the man was dismissive.

    “I don’t know that,” he insisted, before slamming down the phone.

    The manhunt comes after he allegedly exposed his private parts to a junior colleague and told the young man to perform oral sex on him.

    He allegedly instructed his victim to touch his private parts.

    And when the man refused, the DJ allegedly took out his penis and demanded oral sex, but the complainant managed to get away.

    The staff member told the Daily Voice he was still trying to come to terms with the incident.

    “I think I will only relax once I know he has been arrested,” he told the Daily Voice.

    The suspect has not been to the Khayelitsha-based radio station since the alleged incident last Friday.

    Daily Voice


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    The Democratic Alliance wants to reward parents receiving child grants if their sons and daughters finish matric.

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    Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance says it wants to reward parents receiving child grants if their sons and daughters finish matric – and it wants teachers to report parents who are abusing grants.

    These are two of the strategies the DA is proposing in its Social Protection document.

    The official opposition wants to restructure financial aid to children, pensioners and the disabled.

    DA MP Mike Waters says they want to reward parents who make sure their children finish high school.

    “We want to reward young adults who finish matric, through our opportunity vouchers and giving them a bonus with that voucher,” he explains.

    In the document, the party proposes incentives for behaviour.

    “A bonus payment for completing Grade 12 and incentives linked to performance in Grade 12 exams” forms part of the strategy.

    The party also touts community oversight to allow teachers or social workers to immediately report abuse of social grants.

    “Community members or teachers can then apply for a review of beneficiary spending when there is suspicion that grants are consistently not being used in the interests of a child,” Waters explains.

    Waters says if the DA is in national government, it will also implement a government internship programme.

    “Bring in a voluntary service where young people can volunteer at the South African Police Service or the defence force, doing admin work with a prospect of being employed full time later on,” he says.

    The DA also wants to make it easier for unemployed people to find work.

    “We will set up one-stop career centres to put unemployed adults in touch with companies to employ them and bridge that divide,” says Waters.

    “Many people just don’t have the wherewithal to go from factory to factory or to travel to find jobs.”

    DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko also believes grants should be expanded to help more South Africans.

    “In South Africa the only people who receive grants are children, pensioners and the disabled – that’s it,” Mazibuko explains.

    “What we have to try and do is link it to ways to bring those at the centre – people who are able to work and are of working age – out of poverty into the formal economy, because we can’t only assist those who cannot be expected to assist themselves.”

    Daily Voice


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    Five years after Danielle de Wee, 18, drowned, her parents are convinced the remains found in a dam are hers.

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    Cape Town - A schoolgirl swept away by a raging river while on her way to write her final matric exam has been found in a shallow dam on a farm in De Doorns, five years after she disappeared.

    Danielle De Wee, 18, was on her way to write her final exam in November 2008 when she was caught in heavy rain, which caused severe flooding in the Boland.

    “I am 100 percent certain the remains are those of Danielle,” said her mother, Maria Bani, on Wednesday. “They found the remains early yesterday morning... we are waiting for DNA testing to be done. But I am certain it is Danielle.”

    Danielle disappeared on the morning of November 5, 2008, while walking to school in the company of her stepfather, Tiser Bani.

    When Bani and Danielle reached a river they had to cross, they found that the crossing had been washed away and the river was a torrent.

    At the time of Danielle’s disappearance, Bani told how Danielle pointed out a rope and pipeline across the river and said they should cross there.

    She was adamant she wanted to go to school to write her final matric exam, an Afrikaans paper. Danielle wanted to study biotechnology after school.

    Bani said they both slipped and fell into the river. He tried to hold on to the girl’s hand, but they lost their grip and she disappeared under the water.

    Attempts later to find her body failed, even when the farm dam was drained.

    The heavy rains that week caused severe flooding in the northern Boland. Flooding caused widespread damage to vines and other crops in the Boland area at the time, and rivers were in spate, flowing to overflowing farm dams.

    On Tuesday, workers digging to remove silted soil from a dam being rehabilitated, dug down about two metres into the sand, and found human remains.

    Danielle’s family believe it is their daughter.

    The uniform of De Doorns’ Hexvallei Secondary School was still recognisable, her mother said.

    “They found the remains early yesterday [Tuesday] morning, I am not sure what time, and a policeman from De Doorns, Blackie Swart, came to inform me yesterday [Tuesday] morning.

    “I am on my way to the forensics department now to identify clothing and for the DNA testing to be done. But I am certain it is Danielle.”

    Bani said she was in shock, but also grateful for the news: “At least now we know where she was and what had happened,” she said.

    Police confirmed that remains were found but spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said his office could not speculate on the identity of the person until all investigation had been completed.

    At the time, the floods were described as the worst in memory. Rain lashed the Cape Winelands and Overberg the whole week of November 5, 2008, and caused about R1-billion damage.

    Farmers with vineyards and fields submerged by the water at the time feared they would not be able to salvage crops.

    Cape Argus


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    A Namibian man who killed two cops has shown no remorse and must get life in prison, the Western Cape High Court heard.

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    Cape Town - A Namibian man who killed two police constables in Cape Town has shown no remorse and must be sentenced to life in prison, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

    Samantha Raphaels, for the State, said Fabianus Fillipus had not shown the court any reason to deviate from the minimum sentence of life prescribed for killing a police officer on or off duty.

    “What makes this case unusual is that nothing was taken from the officers, no firearms or nothing,” she told the court in argument in aggravation of sentence.

    “It is clear that the accused was purely there to shoot and kill. There was a direct intention to kill those officers.”

    She asked the court to impose two life sentences for the murders, and five-year sentences for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

    Fillipus, 29, was convicted last week of murdering constables Pindiwe Nikani, 26, and Mandisi Nduku, 27.

    The constables were shot dead while on duty at Imizamo Yethu, in Hout Bay, last October.

    Nikani died on the scene and Nduku, who was seriously wounded, died later in hospital.

    Raphaels said both officers were killed “execution style”, and submitted that this was an aggravating factor.

    “From July [2013] 'til today, seven police officers have been killed in the Western Cape alone... it has become almost an epidemic where criminals seek to take out those who are meant to protect the community,” she said.

    Relatives of the policemen and off-duty police officers packed the courtroom.

    Fillipus, sporting an ivory cross with a striped jersey and jeans, was emotionless and stared straight ahead of him.

    Nikani's husband Simon Mkwani testified in aggravation of sentence.

    He told the court his mother was looking after their two-year-old daughter, even though she was in poor health.

    He thanked the police for securing a conviction, but said this would not bring back his old life.

    “I'm left alone with no woman because of one man who took her life and her colleague's life as well,” he said.

    Fillipus's lawyer Rael Kassel said the killings were not premeditated.

    Sapa


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    Drie Stokkies contender Tasneem Claassen is days away from competing in the 10th annual National Indigenous Games Festival.

    |||

    Cape Town - Drie Stokkies contender Tasneem Claassen is a hop, skip and a jump away from participating in the 10th annual National Indigenous Games Festival for the first time.

    Claassen is one of 85 players selected in July to represent the province in Pretoria from September 20-24.

    Drie stokkies is one of nine indigenous games in which more than 1 000 participants from across the country will participate. The others are jukskei, morabaraba, diketo, dibeke, kgati, ncuva, lintonga and kho-kho.

    The first Indigenous Games, aimed at promoting cultural diversity, were launched in September 2003 at the Basotho Cultural Village, Free State.

    The festival aims to revive African heritage.

    Claassen, a 24-year-old Lotus River sports coach, said she had played drie stokkies as a five-year-old near her grandmother’s flat.

    “It’s the first time I will be participating in the games. I first heard about it in January when the department tried to get all the schools involved.

    “I’m more excited than nervous because I was in the 2006 Western Province triple jump squad. I’ve got a lot counting in my favour. I’m 1.76 metres tall and I was a sporty child at school,” she said.

    Claassen said that she had trained for drie stokkies at least 45 minutes every second day in preparation for the games.

    “I’m lucky to be a coach and stay fit all the time. The members of my team live in different parts of the province so it’s hard for us to train together. I’m very fit, but when we train together it’s for 45 minutes to an hour of three sticks, running, cardio and stretches,” she said.

    Claassen is one of six drie stokkies team members.

    Alistair Jaer, who will take part in ncuva, said many games helped children with maths and problem-solving.

    “Once I heard about the games at the beginning of the year, I wanted to get everyone involved, including my four children. When I first saw the (ncuva) game board I didn’t think I’d be able to play. The trick to winning is knowing your opponent’s moves.”

    Jaer, 34, said that his team would be accompanied by managers, department officials and a technical team.

    The nine indigenous game codes:

    * Jukskei: a target game which originated in the Cape among Trekboere around 1734.

    * Morabaraba: a two-player strategy board game played throughout Africa.

    * Diketo: players grab as many stones as they can, throw them in the air and catch as many as possible in one hand. Variations are found among the Khoi San.

    * Dibeke: a running ball game which involves a large team and defenders positioned in a semi-circle on the field.

    * Drie stokkies: a running and jumping game played by two teams with five players each.

    * Kgati: a rope jumping game of at least three players. Players can jump the rope in any order, but will be eliminated if the rope is entangled.

    * Ncuva: a strategy board game requiring problem-solving skills.

    * Iintongo: a two-player stickfighting game, one of the oldest traditions in Africa.

    * Kho-kho: a running and catching game where a toss of a coin determines which team will do the running.

    barbara.maregele@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Namibian Fabianus Fillipus maintained his innocence despite being convicted of killing two Cape Town police constables.

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    Cape Town - Namibian national Fabianus Fillipus maintained his innocence on Wednesday despite being convicted of killing two police constables in Cape Town.

    He took the stand in the Western Cape High Court to convince Judge Patricia Goliath that he should not be given the minimum prescribed sentence of life in prison for police killings.

    “I'm worried I've been found guilty of something I didn't commit. I'm also worried at leaving my (three-year-old) child behind and my girlfriend,” he said through his Oshiwambo-speaking interpreter.

    “I feel like appealing against my sentence,” he said, despite not knowing what that sentence might be.

    Fillipus, 29, was convicted last week of murdering constables Pindiwe Nikani, 26, and Mandisi Nduku, 27.

    The constables were shot dead while on duty at Imizamo Yethu, in Hout Bay, last October.

    Nikani died on the scene and Nduku, who was seriously wounded, died later in hospital.

    After being questioned by the judge, it was established that Fillipus had a Grade Seven education, had worked as a boilermaker for about a year and had left for South Africa in 2004 when he lost his job.

    He settled in the Mandela Park informal settlement in Hout Bay and bought a home there when he met his girlfriend.

    At the time of the shooting, he was selling goods to people on the street.

    Fillipus's lawyer Rael Kassel said the killings were not premeditated, but he admitted there were no special or extenuating circumstances to deviate from the minimum sentence.

    Samantha Raphaels, for the State, said Fillipus had not shown any remorse.

    “What makes this case unusual is that nothing was taken from the officers, no firearms or nothing,” she told the court in argument in aggravation of sentence.

    “It is clear that the accused was purely there to shoot and kill. There was a direct intention to kill those officers.”

    She asked the court to impose two life sentences for the murders, and five-year sentences for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

    Raphaels said both officers were killed “execution style”, and he submitted that this was an aggravating factor.

    “From July (2013) 'til today, seven police officers have been killed in the Western Cape alone... it has become almost an epidemic where criminals seek to take out those who are meant to protect the community,” she said.

    Relatives of the policemen and off-duty police officers packed the courtroom.

    Fillipus, sporting an ivory cross with a striped jersey and jeans, was emotionless and stared straight ahead of him.

    Nikani's husband Simon Mkwani testified in aggravation of sentence.

    He told the court his mother was looking after their two-year-old daughter, even though she was in poor health.

    He thanked the police for securing a conviction, but said this would not bring back his old life.

    “I'm left alone with no woman because of one man who took her life and her colleague's life as well,” he said.

    Fillipus would be sentenced on Thursday afternoon.

    Sapa


    0 0

    A former Cape Town policeman has been sentenced to do cleaning and maintenance at a police station for taking a bribe.

    |||

    Cape Town - A former Cape Town policeman has been sentenced to community service in the form of cleaning and maintenance at a police station for taking a bribe.

    Victor Loxton, 39, who was based at the Table View police station, was also fined R2000, payable immediately, or 12 months' jail, and five years imprisonment conditionally suspended for five years.

    In addition to the fine and suspended prison sentence, he was sentenced to three years house arrest, and was declared unfit to possess a firearm.

    Loxton's trial, before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, took the form of plea-bargain proceedings.

    Prosecutor Nontobeko Magopeni told the court Loxton had undertaken, for a R2000 bribe, to use his influence as a police official to secure the release from prison of his friend Marshenino van Witt.

    Loxton boasted to Van Witt's father that he had friends in high places, one of whom was a senior prosecutor at the Parow Regional Court in Cape Town. Loxton said the money would be given to the senior prosecutor.

    Van Witt's uncle paid the money, but later demanded it back because no progress had been made with Van Witt's release.

    Loxton said the money had already been paid to the senior prosecutor, and could thus not be refunded.

    According to the plea-bargain document, the uncle approached the senior prosecutor, who denied receiving any money and initiated a corruption investigation against Loxton.

    It transpired that Loxton had in fact approached the senior prosecutor about Van Witt's release, and that the matter was placed on the roll for a court ruling, in the normal manner.

    According to the document Loxton kept the money for himself, which constituted a corrupt gratification.

    Loxton pleaded guilty to two counts of corruption - one relating to his request to Van Witt's father for the R2 000, and the other to the R2 000 he received from Van Witt's uncle.

    Sapa


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