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    All Colleen Thomas could do on Saturday was wait and pray as she willed the phone to ring in her Cape Town home.

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    Cape Town -

    All Colleen Thomas could do was wait and pray as she willed the phone to ring in her Little Mowbray home.

    Her husband James had been in the Kenyan capital Nairobi when the multi-storey Westgate shopping mall was stormed by a group of armed attackers believed to be from the al-Qaeda-inspired Somali militant group al-Shabaab on Saturday.

    But any hopes the 57-year-old was still alive were dashed shortly after midday on Sunday when she received the news: he had been among at least 68 people gunned down during the massacre that began around noon.

    Thomas, who had been in Kenya to conduct an entrepreneurial training programme for the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, was among at least six South Africans in the mall during the attack.

    Police sources who had entered the building on Sunday evening said they feared the death toll could be “much, much higher (than 68)… judging from the bodies sighted inside” and that the attackers continued to fight back.

    The Red Cross estimated the number of injured at about 200, with 49 others missing.

     

    Among those killed were two diplomats – one from Canada and another from Ghana. The son of acclaimed Ghanaian poet and former UN envoy Kofi Awoonor, 78, was wounded in the attack.

    Governments confirmed that foreign victims included Thomas, three Britons, two French citizens, two Canadians, a Chinese woman, two Indians, a South Korean and a Dutch woman.

    The news of Thomas’s death had come as “a terrible, terrible shock” to the family, said their pastor and long-time friend David Meldrum.

    He spent Sunday consoling Colleen, daughter Julie and foster son Sipho at their home. Another daughter, Sarah, is in Italy.

    Meldrum told the Cape Argus the family was distraught and were not ready to speak to the media about his death.

    As the Cape Argus was going to press, it was reported that Kenyan security forces, apparently backed by Israeli agents, had moved in to try to end the bloodbath.

    “Godspeed to our guys in the Westgate building,” Kenya’s National Disaster Operation Centre said in a message on its Twitter site. “Major engagement ongoing.”

    At the time, the Islamist militants were still holed up with an unknown number of hostages.

    Late on Sunday afternoon, brief volleys of gunfire interrupted hours of stalemate. A Reuters correspondent saw security personnel on the move and as dusk closed in, two helicopters swooped over the mall.

    For hours after the brazen attack by between 10 and 15 attackers, the dead were strewn around tables of unfinished meals.

     

    The assault was the largest single attack in Kenya since al-Qaeda’s East Africa cell bombed the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998, killing more than 200 people.

    In 2002, the same militant cell attacked an Israeli-owned hotel on the coast and tried to shoot down an Israeli jet.

    In a speech to the nation on Sunday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said that while more than 1 000 people had been rescued from the mall, the attackers were still holding out.

    “The criminals are now all located in one place within the building… we have as good a chance to successfully neutralise the terrorists as we can hope for,” he said.

     

    In Cape Town, Meldrum said Thomas had joined a corporate group to visit the mall but had gone wandering off at some point during the day. “While the rest of the group managed to hide and survive, James was killed.”

    While the entrepreneurial trainer’s job had taken him all over the world, the pastor said Thomas’s favourite place had been at home with his family.

    “He was a real family man and he had a great sense of humour… And there was this part of him that just wanted to see everyone grow.”

    He had regularly attended St Peter’s Anglican Church in Mowbray and had also been chairman of the Cape Town Youth Choir.

    Meldrum said plans were being made to transport his body back to South Africa.

    Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Marius Fransman said he would be working closely with Kenyan authorities to make sure this process was completed as soon as possible.

    Fransman visited the family on Sunday “to personally convey the deepest condolences of the government and particularly of President Zuma”.

    “I want to note that Mr Thomas was a true patriot because he worked on development issues,” Fransman said, adding that he had helped boost youth entrepreneurship and combat youth unemployment.

    Friends rallied on Facebook to offer words of support for the family.

    “James, your love, your smile and your big bear hugs will be remembered. Strength to the family,” wrote Roslyn Williams.

    Chris Eksteen posted: “You were my friend for 50 years and our families go back even longer. Your laughter, hugs and solid advice will be missed by all. Rest in peace my dear friend.”

    Another wrote how the 57-year-old’s profile picture perfectly captured his fun-loving attitude towards life.

    According to Jacaranda News, Christian missionary Jako Hugo, his wife Karin and 13-year-old son Maureece were among the South Africans in the mall. They had hidden in a cinema to escape the attackers and were eventually rescued.

    South Africa’s high commissioner to Kenya, Super Moloi, reported that a South African couple had been rescued after spending 24 hours hiding in a fire escape.

    Moloi helped an unnamed relative of Thomas, who had also been in the mall, identify his body in a morgue. Earlier, he said his staff were still checking hospitals and mortuaries for any other South Africans who had been wounded or killed in the attack.

    He described how one South African couple resident in Nairobi had been communicating with the high commission from inside the mall just after the start of the attack.

    They were rescued by Kenyan security forces about 24 hours later.

    Another South African woman with her two young children had been rescued on Saturday evening.

     

    kieran.legg@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Ex-gang leader Rashied Staggie, who is due out on day parole today, plans to return to Manenberg as a missionary worker.

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    Cape Town -

    Fomer Hard Livings gang leader Rashied Staggie will be returning to his home in Manenberg as a missionary worker, according to the Manenberg Community Policing Forum (CPF).

    Staggie was due to be released on day parole early on Monday.

    CPF chairman Kader Jacobs said one of the conditions Staggie had asked for was to be able to move around the area for his “missionary work”.

    “In the community his release does not mean much because of his strict parole conditions,” Jacobs said.

    “Bear in mind that Manenberg people rejected his release.”

    Parole conditions that Staggie must adhere to include that he return to Pollsmoor Prison daily at 6pm

    and be monitored by an electronic tracking device while he is out.

    Staggie has served nearly 11 years of a 15-year sentence for kidnapping and rape.

    He was convicted in 2003 and went to jail in 2004, the year in which he was also convicted of robbing the Faure police armoury and sentenced to 13 years in jail, with the court ordering that the sentences for the two cases run concurrently.

    His lawyer, Janos Mihalik, confirmed that Staggie would be doing religious work while on parole.

    “He was active even before going into prison, so I’m sure he’ll go back to it again.”

    Staggie’s family were excited about the parole, the lawyer added.

    “It’s 70 percent excitement and 30 percent regret, because he should not have been there in the first place,” said Mihalik.

    Prisoners’ rights activist Golden Miles Bhudu said transitioning from prison life could be difficult, and he wanted Staggie to join his organisation, the South African Prisoners’ Organisation for Human Rights.

    “If he wants to, he can get in contact with us and assist us in getting a Cape Town office. It would also assist him to stay out of trouble.”

    If talk in the community that Staggie’s life would be in danger once he was freed was true, the former gang leader should talk to the police and not take the law into his hands.

    “He must walk on the straight and narrow. No one has mercy for people coming out of jail, but he must be innovative in showing the community that he has done his time and show remorse.”

    Going back to old criminal habits after being released from prison was all too easy. Bhudu advised Staggie to stay out of trouble and work on getting his criminal record expunged.

    “To get your record expunged you have to stay clean for 10 years.”

     

    yolisa.tswanya@inl.co.za

    zodidi. dano@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The number of successful traditional circumcisions in the Western Cape is set to improve, following a new arrangement.

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    Cape Town -

    The number of successful traditional circumcisions in the Western Cape is expected to improve under a new arrangement in which provincial health authorities are to provide sterile circumcision kits to traditional surgeons.

    Under a memorandum of understanding, signed by Health MEC Theuns Botha and Robertson traditional leader Chief Jerico Mayataza on Friday, initiates are to be circumcised in a more sterile environment and receive other health support services such as post-operative and HIV counselling.

    Botha said the undertaking, the first of its kind, was aimed at building bridges between traditional and medical circumcision practices.

    “The agreement focuses on methods that can be implemented without compromising the cultural practice of initiation.

    “The main focus is the supply of services that support and respect the initiation process.”

    While the agreement applied only to the greater Robertson area, Botha said it was a “forerunner” of agreements elsewhere in the province.

    Traditional leaders had taken the initiative of asking the department to team up with them.

    Botha said his department would continue with its medical male circumcision programme. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport would play the primary role in traditional initiation.

    He said one of the motives for medical circumcision was to reduce the number of adverse cases involving traditional circumcision. “We want to equip and skill the circumcisers. The objective is to promote the cultural practices without compromising our health objectives,” he said.

    Circumcision has been proved to reduce the transmission of HIV by 60 percent and has been adopted globally as a prevention strategy for HIV/Aids.

    The province launched the medical circumcision programme in 2011. It is part of a wider policy that aims to reduce the incidence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

    According to a national survey, HIV prevalence increased by almost 16 percent from 2002-2008 among males aged between 15 and 49 years.

    In the Cape Winelands, about 1 500 medical circumcisions have been performed since April, and in the province at least 3 600 men have been circumcised at clinics. About 123 cases had complications, but Botha said this was within the norm of between 2 and 4 percent. While medical circumcision was increasing steadily, a lot had to be done to get men to choose this avenue.

    In collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, the department was providing first aid training and kits to nurses and traditional surgeons. Nurses also received bibs and the surgeons overalls. Doctors were on call for emergencies, and local authorities were encouraged to provide clean water.

    sipokazi.fokazi@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A squabble between the Western Cape government, Wesgro and the Cape Film Commission over funding has landed up in court.

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    Cape Town -

    A squabble over funding for the Cape Film Commission has landed up in court.

    The film commission, according to court papers, filed the action in the Western Cape High Court in April in an attempt to get R4.8 million in funding for the 2012/2013 financial year, and a further R5.2m for 2013/2014 (or, alternatively, the amount allocated to the film sector for this period).

    On the receiving end of the case are MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Alan Winde, departmental head Solly Fourie and Wesgro.

    Winde indicated on Friday – after the matter came before the court – that they were opposing the application and that they would file answering papers in due course.

    In an affidavit before the court, the film commission’s chief executive, Denis Lillie, said the commission had expected that the department would provide funding up until 2015 and that it had been cut without proper notice.

    At the time of launching the application, Lillie contended in his affidavit that the commission was on the verge of bankruptcy and that it had had to cancel two projects lined up for December because it had no money.

    He further alleged that the conduct of certain officials of the department had been “malicious”.

    The MEC, Lillie said, had not simply withdrawn the commission’s funding but “any and all association” with it, demanding that the commission cease the use of provincial government trademarks.

    The provincial government withdrew the film commission’s funding in 2011, deciding to channel these funds to investment and trade promotion agency Wesgro.

    The commission was formed in 2000, and, according to Lillie, had always been funded by the province and City of Cape Town.

    Earlier this year, the commission was desperate for funds, but in July, it said that its operations were back on track after receiving confirmation of R5m in funding from the city, though this had come more than a year late. At the time, Lillie said its operations were vital for the economy because of job creation from international studios filming in Cape Town. Among some of the new shows to be filmed in Cape Town was a series, Rescue 3, by the creators of the series Baywatch.

    While the show is set in California, the scenes will be shot in the city.

    Earlier this month, the commission launched a further application, which falls within its main application for a review of its funding cut, asking for the respondents to furnish it with certain records and documents.

    This was the application that came before the court on Friday; however, it was postponed to November 25 for a hearing.

    leila.samodien@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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  • 09/23/13--01:49: Hlophe set to face tribunal
  • Cape Judge President John Hlophe will face a tribunal to deal with a complaint dating back to 2008, says Freedom Under Law.

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    Cape Town - Cape Judge President John Hlophe will face a tribunal next week to deal with a complaint dating back to 2008, Freedom Under Law said on Monday.

    “Next week, after many battles in several courts and many delays on the part of the (Judicial Service Commission) and Judge Hlophe, his conduct is eventually to be considered by a disciplinary tribunal appointed by the JSC,” said the civil rights organisation in a statement.

    According to the original complaint, justices of the Constitutional Court in 2008 alleged that Hlophe had approached justices Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde with the intention of improperly influencing them in a matter before the court.

    The matter involved corruption charges against Jacob Zuma, then the ANC’s president and an ordinary citizen.

    The tribunal is to begin proceedings in Kempton Park next Monday.

    Hearings will be open to the public.

    Meanwhile, JSC secretariat Sello Chiloane said that at a pre-hearing meeting on Saturday, it was decided that a technical point raised by Hlophe and judges Nkabinde and Jafta would only be dealt with during the actual tribunal.

    “All those points are going to be argued on the first day of the hearing,” said Chiloane.

    Chiloane confirmed that the point raised at the meeting had been that the initial complaint against Hlophe to the JSC was not submitted under oath. - Sapa


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  • 09/23/13--02:23: Taxi driver dragged to death
  • Meter taxi driver Mauridi Buhewdwa was dragged for 2km hanging alongside his vehicle by his seatbelt after he was hijacked.

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    Cape Town -

    Meter taxi driver Mauridi Buhewdwa was dragged to death alongside his vehicle after he was hijacked in Cape Town’s CBD last year.

    His name has been revealed in court documents before the Cape Town Regional Court.

    Yakha Singqoto, 22, Aphiwe Ndara, 19, Thando Sikuni, 30, Mncedi Ndzabela, 23, and Vuyolwethu Tshonti, 20, have been charged with murder and aggravated robbery for the alleged hijacking.

    It is the State’s case that the men posed as passengers, got into Buhewdwa’s taxi and assaulted him in a bid to steal his blue Toyota Camry on July 12 last year.

    Police spotted suspicious behaviour and tried to stop the taxi.

    In a desperate attempt to flee, the men allegedly dumped him out of the moving vehicle.

    But Buhewdwa, 35, from Burundi, was still attached to the vehicle via his safety belt and was dragged for about 2km. Forensic crime scene photographs show blood smears across the road close to the Good Hope Centre, where the vehicle eventually came to a standstill.

    Buhewdwa’s body was badly bruised and his clothes were ripped from his body. Only a fraction of his T-shirt still covered his chest.

    After the vehicle came to a halt the men allegedly tried to run away but were arrested and held in custody for two weeks until their bail application.

    The State did not oppose their release on bail because they had fixed addresses and were not flight risks.

    The court heard that while Singqoto and Ndara had no criminal records, Sikuni had a previous conviction for possession of dagga. Ndzabela had a pending case of dagga possession and Tshonti a pending case of drinking in public.

    The men said in their bail affidavits that they disputed their involvement in the crime and would plead not guilty to the charges.

    They were released on R1 000 bail each.

    The case against the men has now moved to the Cape Town Regional Court where the trial is expected to be heard.

    If convicted, the men face a minimum sentence of life in prison unless they can show substantial and compelling reasons to justify a deviation.

    They are due back in court on September 30, when they were expected to arrange a date for plea and trial.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Rashied Staggie's family and businessman Kenny Kunene were there to welcome the ex-gang boss as he was released.

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    Cape Town - Former Hard Livings gang leader Rashied Staggie was released on day parole from Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town on Monday morning.

    His wife, three daughters and son gathered at the prison to welcome him before he was taken away in a black correctional services car around 9.15am.

    Businessman Kenny Kunene, dressed in a purple suit, also offered his support.

    The convoy made its way to the family's brightly-coloured home in Salt River, a 15-minute drive away, where a media contingent gathered on the pavement.

    Kunene, former convict Gayton McKenzie and Ivan Waldeck, chairman of the Western Cape Community Outreach Project, were seen chatting behind the black trellis gate on the porch of the home.

    Two correctional services officials, donning bullet-proof vests and sunglasses, clutched their service pistols and kept a close eye on the home.

    Staggie exited the home around 10.30am and hopped back into the correctional services car.

    Kunene and others led the convoy in a silver Mercedes.

    The family refused to divulge where Staggie was headed.

    Staggie served 11 years of a 15-year sentence for kidnapping and ordering the rape of a teenager, at the Brandvlei Correctional Centre.

    He was recently transferred to Pollsmoor Prison.

    He would have to return to the prison at night until his release on full parole on March 25 next year.

    Correctional Services Chief Deputy Commissioner James Smallberger told the SABC that Staggie was meeting with his family on Monday as part of an orientation process.

    Smallberger said he would be allowed to see his family on Sundays and was not allowed to visit certain areas.

    He was also prohibited from speaking to the media.

    His movements would reportedly be monitored by an electronic tracking device.

    Western Cape correctional services spokesman Simphiwe Xako said in May that the parole board considered a number of facts of relevance to the case before making their finding.

    These included that Staggie had positive support systems and had demonstrated his good behaviour, having had no disciplinary offences.

    Staggie had completed a number of required programs and had served more than two-thirds of his sentence.

    The board also took into account that Staggie's accomplices had already been released.

    The parole board's recommendation was that Staggie be subjected to “normal strict parole conditions under high risk supervision”, including electronic monitoring.

    His parole was conditional on him not contacting victims of his crimes. - Sapa


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    Shocked relatives are trying to make sense of an attack on a tavern in Philippi in which three people were shot dead.

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    Cape Town -

    Shocked relatives were on Sunday trying to make sense of an attack on a tavern in Philippi where three people were shot dead on Saturday night.

    A gang went to Abesuthu Tavern in Lower Crossroads and shot six people, three of them fatally, just before closing time around 11.30pm.

    Police said the gang of six ordered the security guards to open the gate.

    In the tavern there was an argument and they started shooting randomly at the patrons, said provincial police spokesman FC van Wyk.

    Burundian Lemba Jean, 30, was found in a neighbour’s yard. He had four bullet wounds in the back. The second victim, Siyabulela Thumana, 30, was found inside the tavern and the third, Mcedisi Apile, died on the way to hospital. Three others were wounded in the legs.

    One of them, Thabo Sifo, spoke to the Cape Argus from Groote Schuur Hospital. He said he had been sitting at the same table as Thumana, when the shooting started for no reason.

    “I had my back to the door so I couldn’t see people entering the tavern and I just heard shots coming our way and went to the ground,” said Sifo. He was wounded in the leg.

    Thumana’s aunt said the gang had targeted her nephew. “We were told that at the security gate, those men said they were looking for certain people and that they headed straight to the where my nephew was sitting,” she said, adding that the family was shocked to hear of the killing because Thumana was a calm and entertaining man.

    “He was like my only son and he treated me like I was his biological mother.”

    Thumana’s girlfriend of eight years, Nandipha Dyaduma, said she felt sorry for her one-year-old son who would grow up without a father.

    “He didn’t work, but always liked playing outside with our son,” she added, saying that the last time she saw him was at another tavern in their street at around 6pm.

    Residents who live close to the tavern said they were shocked to hear the gunshots.

    Bonginkosi Nyathi said he was awoken in the middle of the night by the shots. “It’s the first time that something like that has happened and people say it was a targeted shooting.”

    By Sunday night no arrests had been made and police were still searching for the suspects.

    zodidi.dano@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Mitchells Plain police have launched an internal investigation after two officers allegedly told an injured man to "f*** off”.

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    Cape Town -

    Police in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain, have launched an internal investigation into an incident in which two officers allegedly refused to assist an injured man who had asked them for help.

    On Friday, investigators invited the man - Alan Bissolati - to the police station, where he recounted his version of events.

    He told them that just before 7am on September 10 he had been transporting 11 staff members in a light delivery vehicle.

    At the intersection of AZ Berman Drive and the R300 freeway, he stopped at a traffic light and striking workers from the civil engineering industry – suspected to have been from the National Union of Mineworkers – approached his vehicle, smashed the windscreen, dragged Bissolati from the driver’s seat and assaulted him with golf clubs.

    “I was injured and ran up to two officers sitting in a police car nearby. They told me to f*** off because they didn’t want to get involved and risk being attacked,” Bissolati told the Cape Argus at the time.

    At the weekend, police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut confirmed an investigation was under way.

    Dismissal from the police service was an option if the members were identified and if the charges proven against them were serious enough, he said.

    Bissolati confirmed that he had been interviewed. “After my statement they asked me to describe the officers, but that is not easy to do. I said that if I saw a photo of them I’d be able to say for sure. They said that they would contact me again on Monday (today),” he said, adding that he was pleased with the police’s willingness to “resolve the matter”.

    Safety and Security MEC Dan Plato also praised police for their quick reaction.

    “This is a great example where a partnership between my department and the police was facilitated by members of the public and the media,” he said.

     

    Cape Argus


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    Former gang leader Rashied Staggie’s release played out like the arrival of an international celebrity.

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    Cape Town -

    Smiling shyly and gesturing at the crowd of journalists swarming around the unmarked correctional services car he was travelling in, Rashied Staggie’s release played out like the arrival of an international celebrity.

    It has been 11 years since the notorious former Hard Livings gang leader was placed behind bars after he was convicted for the rape of a 17-year-old girl and a string of other crimes.

    On Monday morning he was released from Pollsmoor Prison’s main entrance on day parole at around 9.15am.

    Friends and family gathered in the sun-washed parking lot outside the jail in Tokai to greet the 57-year-old.

    His wife, Rashieda, sitting in the back of a parked sedan, with a young child on her lap, said she was excited about his release.

    She added that Staggie had no intention of returning to his “old ways”. But the convicted gangster’s children, of whom four had come to show their support, said they feared for their father’s safety.

    Businessman and ex-convict Kenny Kunene and pastor Ivan Waldeck also came to show their support.

    “I believe he can have a really positive impact on young people,” said Waldeck. According to Waldeck, Staggie would work as a motivational speaker during his six months of day parole. It is this job that has been outlined as a crucial part of his parole conditions.

    Correctional Services chief deputy commissioner James Smalberger stressed that Staggie would not be allowed to freely walk the streets.

    “He will work during the day and return to Pollsmoor when he is done to stay in jail overnight,” he explained.

    Staggie has been fitted with a tracking device on his ankle.

    The device will not only keep track of his movements, but will also alert authorities when he enters areas that he has been banned from visiting.

    Smalberger did not confirm whether one of the excluded zones was the gangster’s old turf in Manenberg.

    He added that Staggie would travel to work by taxi and would be allowed a family day at his home every Sunday. Monday had been set aside as an orientation day for the convicted gangster.

    “A lot can change in 10 years,” said Smalberger.

    Staggie was accompanied by a pair of correctional services employees for the day, which was due to see him visiting the mall, Waldeck’s church in Bellville and the gangster’s new workplace.

    But Staggie first stop was his family home in Salt River.

    Waldeck said he had booked a hotel room so Staggie could enjoy time alone with his family.

    kieran.legg@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Relatives of James Thomas, who died in the Kenyan shopping mall massacre, said he would leave a legacy of fighting unemployment and poverty.

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    Cape Town - Relatives of Mowbray resident James Thomas, who died in the Kenyan shopping mall massacre, said he would leave a legacy of fighting unemployment and poverty.

    He was described as a “gentle giant known for his bear hugs and his complete intolerance of poverty and unemployment” and as “an enthusiast, an encourager, an optimist and an entrepreneur”.

    A statement released on Sunday on behalf of family, friends and colleagues spoke of his legacy of forgiveness.

    “He lived forgiving and would have died forgiving,” his widow Colleen said, adding that he was a “creative visionary determined to see people flourish and reach their goals”.

    “He used every possible method and deep creativity to break through people’s passivity to create jobs for themselves. He simply would not rest until he saw that person fully developed.”

    Thomas was one of six South Africans in the Westgate Mall when armed attackers stormed in and opened fire on Saturday. He had been shopping with friends and colleagues and had wandered off before the shooting started. His friends escaped but Thomas never made it out of the mall.

    His friend, the Rev David Meldrum, said: “We spent Saturday and Sunday morning agonising as we depended on James’s friends for news, but they could not find him. They later identified his body in a morgue and called us on Sunday around 12.30 noon with the terrible news.”

    The family had been told he had been shot, but no further information was available. Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Marius Fransman visited the family.

    Thomas, 57, was involved in an entrepreneurial training programme for the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.

    He was married to Colleen for 33 years.

    The couple have two daughters, Sarah, who is on holiday in Europe, Julie, a UCT student and the couple’s teenage nephew, Sipho Johnson, who lives with them.

    Thomas was the chairman of the Cape Town Youth Choir.

    He founded a development consultancy, Just Think, in 2000 to develop enterprise, finance and entrepreneurship materials for students.

    He trained entrepreneurs in business management.

    natasha.prince@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 09/23/13--07:07: Staggie parole a test: DA
  • The parole of former gang leader Rashied Staggie is a test for the correctional services department, the DA said.

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    Cape Town - The parole of former Hard Livings gang leader Rashied Staggie is a test for the correctional services department, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday.

    “Perhaps the greatest test for South Africa’s correctional services today, is whether it has been able to rehabilitate Mr Staggie and prepare him for release back into society during his 10 year incarceration,” DA MP James Selfe said in a statement.

    “The DA will be closely monitoring the situation and trust that every possible measure has been taken to ensure that Mr Staggie’s release does not result in any further gang-related violence.”

    Staggie was released on day parole from Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town on Monday morning.

    Staggie served 11 years of a 15-year sentence for kidnapping and ordering the rape of a teenager. He was recently transferred to Pollsmoor Prison from the Brandvlei Correctional Centre.

    He would have to return to the prison at night until his release on full parole on March 25. An electronic tracking device would be used to monitor his movements.

    Selfe said that if Staggie violated any of his parole conditions, he should immediately be re-arrested.

    “Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele and his department must ensure that Mr Staggie adheres to all his parole conditions, including reporting back to Pollsmoor every night,” he said.

    “We also call on the SA Police Service to be on high alert and decisively address any potential increase in gang violence following Mr Staggie’s release.”

    Sapa


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    There is no official complaint in the form of affidavit against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe, his attorney said.

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    Johannesburg - There is no official complaint in the form of affidavit against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe, his attorney Barnabus Xulu said on Monday.

    “Five years after judges of the Constitutional Court publicly sought to humiliate and discredit (Justice) Hlophe, it now transpires that there is not even in existence an official complaint,” Xulu told reporters in Johannesburg.

    “The tribunal does not have jurisdiction to hear the matter, because it lacks the complaint,” he said.

    Hlophe is due to face a tribunal next week for alleged misconduct dating back to 2008.

    The initial complaint was made by a full Bench of the Constitutional Court, but it was not carried out under oath.

    The court alleged that Hlophe tried to influence two of its judges ÄChris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde Ä to rule in favour of the now President Jacob Zuma in a case involving the multi-billion rand arms deal.

    The court regarded this as an improper attempt to influence the case.

    In 1994, the Judicial Services Act was amended, and it currently requires a complaint to be lodged by means of an affidavit or affirmed statement specifying the nature of the complaint and the facts on which it is based.

    During a previous inquiry, both Nkabinde and Jafta reportedly distanced themselves from the complaint.

    According to the television news channel, eNCA, the two judges said they are “under no obligation” to attend the judicial tribunal, which is scheduled to be held on Monday.

    It reported that Nkabinde and Jafta had told the tribunal there was no complaint, signed under oath, against Hlophe.

    Said Xulu: “According to the record furnished to the two justices, no such complaint on oath or affirmation has been availed.”

    Sapa


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    Rapport must unconditionally apologise to the University of Stellenbosch and some of its staff over a report published in June about changes at the university.

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    Cape Town - Rapport must unconditionally apologise to the University of Stellenbosch and some of its staff for claims made in a report published in June about changes at the university, the Press Ombudsman ruled on Monday.

    The newspaper was instructed to apologise to the university's rector, Prof Russel Botman, for making the unfounded and unreasonable allegation that his role was being reduced to that of cutting ribbons and kissing babies.

    Press Ombudsman Johan Retief also ordered it to apologise to him for the serious damage this caused to his credibility and reputation.

    No publication had the right to report something just because someone said it. The usual norms and standards set out in the Press Code always applied, he said.

    He made the ruling in response to a complaint by the university about a story published on page four on June 30, and headlined 'US gets new money boss: amazement as rector's post is scaled down and vice-rector is pushed out”.

    The university accused reporter Marlene Malan of malicious intent, claiming she had, among other things, made mistakes because she did not check her facts with the university, twisted information, withheld information and combined unrelated matters.

    Malan reported that the university had drastically changed the way in which it would be managed, and that it was not renewing the contract of vice-rector of community services and personnel Prof Julian Smith partly because of his part in the collapse of the university's high-performance sports institute, and his appointment of Gugu Ntuli as its head without following proper procedure.

    She also reported that Botman would cede his duties as chief executive to Prof Leopold van Huyssteen, and that it was speculated he would serve purely as a ceremonial head who only cut ribbons and kissed babies. She quoted sources who disagreed with this.

    Retief found that malice was not behind her errors.

    He instructed Rapport to apologise for placing management changes at the university in an unnecessarily negative context, and for coupling these with the renewal of Smith's contract and the developments at the sports centre, and for stating as a fact that the correct procedures were not followed in Ntuli's appointment.

    He also reprimanded the newspaper for stating it as a fact that Van Huyssteen would report directly to the university's board. He found the story's sub-heading misleading.

    He told Rapport Malan should have asked the university for official comment about the delegation of some of Botman's duties, rather than relying only on the opinions of certain board members.

    Rapport was given a worded apology which it was instructed to place above the fold on page four under a headline which contained the word “apology” and a reference to the University of Stellenbosch.

    Both parties have seven days to appeal the decision.

    Sapa


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    Former gang boss Rashied Staggie tasted just two hours of freedom before he was back in Pollsmoor Prison.

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    Cape Town - Former gang boss Rashied Staggie tasted two hours of freedom before he was back in Pollsmoor Prison on Monday.

    He was released on day parole, which allows him to be outside of prison to work and to visit his family every Sunday. But after a quick visit to his home in Salt River and a stop at the Blue Route Mall in Tokai for an orientation session, he was back in his cell.

    Correctional services chief deputy commissioner James Smalberger said Staggie’s day parole was cut short as he had no formal job offers. Although pastor Ivan Waldeck said Staggie would work full-time as a motivational speaker at his church, Smalberger said there had been no formal offer.

    Cape Argus


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    Two of mayor Patricia de Lille's bodyguards will appear in court on charges of assaulting poo protester Andile Lili.

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    Cape Town - Two of mayor Patricia de Lille’s bodyguards and three Metro police officers accused of assaulting toilet protest leader Andile Lili are to appear in Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

    They are to be charged with common assault, said police spokesman Frederick van Wyk.

    Speaker Dirk Smit said they had not been suspended because “they haven’t been found guilty”.

    Shortly after the alleged assault last Tuesday, Smit said Lili had been “gently escorted” from the building.

    Lili, who Premier Helen Zille named as a ringleader in the so-called poo protests, opened a case of assault at Cape Town central police station on Wednesday.

    He alleged the men forcefully removed him from the fifth floor at the Civic Centre and punched him while in a lift.

    Lili said an arm and his back were injured in the process.

    Another member of the so-called poo protesters, Sithembele Majova, alleged he was also beaten by the men while in the lift.

    Yesterday, Lili said he was pleased the men were going to court, and will follow it up with a civil suit.

    “On Thursday I will be going to the Western Cape High Court to hand in papers for a civil case against the City of Cape Town,” he said.

    He said the case was for derogatory statements directed at him by the officers who called him the “k-word” and because of “insults” made by De Lille and her mayco committee in February.

    He said they had made public statements that he was responsible for blocking development in Khayelitsha and had made derogatory comments to a resident which was not true.

    Smit said: “There is a full investigation on how Mr Lili got to the fifth floor and who assisted him or did he get there on his own?

    “On the other hand we are investigating if the officials reacted within their authority and did their duty.

    “There is an investigation into the whole matter.”

     

    xolani.koyana@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    The Mamre community will be given the title deeds to 4 200 hectares of land taken from their grandparents more than two decades ago.

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    Cape Town - The Mamre community will on Tuesday be given the title deeds to 4 200 hectares of farm land taken from their grandparents under the apartheid government more than two decades ago.

    The handover by Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti forms part of the town’s Heritage Day celebrations.

    “This transfer is a great achievement for the more than 2 000 households that will benefit from from it. It is the first of similar transfers to other rural coloured communities,” the department said.

    About 500 families had been forced to sell their land in 1986 to make way for the development of Atlantis.

    In June, Nkwinti signed off 2 443 hectares of land to the Mamre Communal Property Association after a successful claim in 2010. The department filed papers at the provincial deeds office for the land to be transferred to the association.

    Since the late 1990s, while the claimants waited, a group of farmers began illegally occupying the land and told authorities they wanted a guarantee of relocation.

    Of the 23 cases relating to land under the Transformation of Certain Rural Areas Act of 1998 reported nationally, 12 were in the Western Cape.

    Mamre Communal Property Association chairman Avram January said the community were “overwhelmed with emotions” to finally be given the land.

    “We are very excited. We as a community are busy rewriting history. Getting this land will allow the community to make a living for themselves.”

    Rural Development and Land Reform regional spokesman Vuyani Nkasayi said: “The land is now officially under the community’s name. They will have full access to the land.”

    The official handing over of the deed will be followed by a number of sporting and entertainment events in Mamre.

    Other Heritage Day celebrations and events in the Western Cape include:

    * The Iziko South African Museums will be hosting a number of activities in the Company’s Garden. The activities include free-entry tours from 11am and a yoga class on the Groot Constantia lawns from 10am.

    * The annual Stellenbosch Heritage Festival will host a number of sports tournaments including soccer and a cycle race. The event starts at 8am with activities for community members in the town.

    * Social development MEC Albert Fritz will participate in the District Six Museum homecoming centre. The event will focus on the “living heritage of the elderly” through story- telling, music and poetry.

    * The Springbok rugby team, former captains John Smit and Morné du Plessis, and South African Rugby Union chief executive Jurie Roux, will attend the opening of the Springbok Experience Museum at the V&A Waterfront.

    barbara.maregele@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Brian O’Connell, vice-chancellor and rector of the University of the Western Cape (UWC), is set to retire next year.

    |||

    Cape Town - Brian O’Connell, vice-chancellor and rector of the University of the Western Cape (UWC), is set to retire next year.

    O’Connell, 67, has held the position since 2001.

    UWC spokesman Luthando Tyhalibongo confirmed on Monday that O’Connell’s contract would come to an end in December next year.

    His post was advertised at the weekend. Tyhalibongo said this was because there was a long process involved in filling his position.

    O’Connell’s career in education spans more than four decades. He has been a schoolteacher and a principal, a lecturer at UWC and head of the Western Cape Education Department – the position he held before his current post.

    His role at the university also extends to being a professor in education leadership and management.

    O’Connell has served two five-year contracts at UWC, the second of which ended in 2010.

    However, Tyhalibongo said, his contract had been extended for two years to coincide with the ending of the Institutional Operating Plan (IOP) – a five-year plan that identifies strategic goals in accordance with the university’s mission and vision: among them financial, infrastructure, leadership, and research and innovation goals – and “the strategic transformation goals embedded in the IOP”.

    Cape Times


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    The former chairman of the University of the Western Cape council has gone to court to challenge his removal.

    |||

    Cape Town - The former chairman of the University of the Western Cape council, Brian Williams, has gone to court to challenge his removal.

    Williams lodged an application at the Western Cape High Court last week, claiming that the decision the council took at a special meeting on September 12 to permanently remove him as chairman was unlawful.

    The university said on Monday that it had received the application filed by Williams, who is still a council member.

    “The university council is seeking legal counsel on the matter,” said spokesman Luthando Tyhalibongo.

    Williams’s attorney, Rael Gootkin, confirmed that he’d received correspondence from a law firm advising that they were representing all three respondents in the matter – the university, the council and the new council chairman - and that they were in the process of taking instructions.

    According to Williams’s affidavit, which has been submitted to the court, the background to the dispute dates to mid-2012 when he and UWC vice-chancellor and rector Brian O’Connell clashed over the appointment of an external investigator to deal with a complaint against a member of the senior management.

    The council had appointed a sub-committee to mend the relationship between the two; however, the sub-committee hadn’t achieved any success.

    A mediation process led by the chancellor, Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, then followed.

    Makgoba was to report back to the sub-committee, which was to prepare a report with recommendations for council.

    O’Connell, Williams claimed, had alleged that he (Williams) was the source of a “concerted attack” on senior management staff.

    In responding, Williams had contended that O’Connell did not have evidence to support the allegations.

    A special council meeting had been arranged for September 12 to discuss the sub-committee’s final report on the matter, but Williams said the mediation process was not complete by then. He had recused himself from the special meeting.

    “At least seven members of the council left on the assumption that the special meeting would not proceed,” he said in his affidavit.

    Williams said he’d discovered after 4pm the following day that he’d been replaced as chairman.

    Williams contends that the council’s decision was “fatally flawed” because:

    * The only body that had the power to remove him as chairman was the convocation.

    * The issue of his removal wasn’t on the meeting agenda.

    * The decision was taken without him having been given notice of it, which meant he hadn’t been given an opportunity to make submissions.

    leila.samodien@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    A fisherman drowned, another is missing feared drowned and four were rescued off Hangklip near Hermanus when their boat capsized.

    |||

    Cape Town - A fisherman drowned, another is missing feared drowned and four were rescued off Hangklip near Hermanus on Monday when their boat capsized.

    National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesman Craig Lambinon said the men were from the Strand.

    “The NSRI did a search and after a hour they were found. One person drowned. One person left the boat to swim to the shore and is missing. The four men rescued suffered hypothermia.”

    The drowned man’s body was found in the boat, which was recovered last night.

    “We have no further details,” Lambinon said.

    Emergency Medical Services spokesman Darren Francis said the four rescued men were treated at Kleinmond harbour and declined to be taken to hospital.

    aziz.hartley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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