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    New business-cum-charity imports reflector wristbands to make pedestrians more visible.

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    Of about 14 000 people who are killed on South African roads annually, 5000 are pedestrians, runners and cyclists. And 3500 road deaths occur between dusk and dawn, when visibility is worst.

    These Western Cape government statistics prompted Gabriella Strömhielm to found a business-cum-charity, See and Be Seen, which imports safety reflector wristbands to make pedestrians more visible on the road.

    Where Strömhielm grew up in Sweden, pedestrians have to take care when using the roads because of limited daylight hours.

    “I looked like a Christmas tree when I went out to play because I had safety reflectors all over me,” she said. “But it’s not a trend in South Africa to wear them.”

    For each reflector bought at a shop or ordered by a company, one will be donated to people who can’t afford them. The idea is for commercial sales to support the business’s charity side.

    “As they buy reflectors, they’re also donating reflectors to underprivileged people.”

    Strömhielm said the incentive for businesses was a tax deduction, BEE points and a stylish safety slap-band with company branding.

    Volvo trucks have already jumped on board, buying 2000 reflectors for staff, while Star for Life schools have ordered 20 000 for their pupils.

    Once business gathers speed, Strömhielm hopes to visit schools around Cape Town to distribute reflectors and present road-safety workshops.

    Ideally, Strömhielm said, pedestrians should wear one wristband on each arm and on their ankles.

    The braking distance of a car from 80km/h to a stop is about 53 metres, but headlights only pick up a person in dark clothing 15 metres away. With a safety reflector, it is possible to see a person 180 metres away, according to See and Be Seen’s calculations.

    The reflectors will retail at R20, which buys one reflector-and-brochure set for the customer and donates another set.

    More details on the See and Be Seen website. - Cape Argus


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    Every year Cape Town’s disaster risk management service deals with a number of disasters, but the service needs cash.

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    Cape Town - Every year, the City of Cape Town’s disaster risk management service is expected to deal with hundreds of fires, floods, and even snow, which has fallen twice in the past month.

    But the service, the biggest of its kind in the country, doesn’t have enough money. Despite this it has still managed to achieve some significant successes, particularly in reducing the number of fire-related deaths.

    According to the disaster risk management centre’s annual report for 2012/13, submitted to the city’s mayoral committee, there are still “inadequate funding arrangements in place”.

    Greg Pillay, head of disaster management and author of the report, said another constraint was the lack of an electronic communication management system linking the city with the provincial and national disaster management centres. This was a “serious concern for efficient and effective communication during times of crisis”.

    Rapid urbanisation and the lack of adequate housing placed pressure on the city to provide infrastructure and services. “The phenomenon of backyard shacks being erected in formal areas has also become problematic, and increased the fire risk. This leads to the problematic hazards of flooding and fires in these communities, as well as contributing to the threat of xenophobia occurring,” he said.

    But, despite these challenges, Cape Town’s disaster risk management team has been showcased internationally as a role model of disaster resilience.

    “The service has grown over the years into something that we can be proud of,” said the mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith.

    The service has been activated at “full strength” for the past few weeks, as heavy rains and severe weather systems have caused flooding.

    More than R16 million has been spent since August providing relief to 200 000 residents affected by flooding. More than 15 000 people were affected by floods over two days last month.

    A series of fires this week caused damage of more than R900 000. Many were caused by gas burners and domestic fires used to keep residents in informal settlements warm.

    As Cape Town prepares for the drier summer and south-easter gales, the likelihood of more devastating fires increases, especially in informal settlements where access is difficult for emergency services.

    Smith said the service was responding well to these blazes, and had reduced the number of fire-related deaths from 7.9 per 100 000 to four per 100 000.

    During 2012/13, teams dealt with several major flooding and fire incidents.

    Pillay said clear funding arrangements and financial obligations needed to be secured from the national and provincial governments, especially when dealing with large-scale disasters.

    anel.lewis@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 09/25/13--01:45: Staggie receiving job offers
  • Former Hard Livings gang leader Rashied Staggie has received several job offers, the correctional services department said.

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    Cape Town - Former Hard Livings gang leader Rashied Staggie has received several job offers, the correctional services department said on Wednesday.

    “There are people who want to employ him and we need to give them space,” said deputy chief commissioner of incarceration and corrections James Smalberger.

    “If they (the potential employers) are happy, we will allow Rashied Staggie to go for an interview.”

    Smalberger declined to give details on the offers, saying it would be “unfair” and “sad” to comment on each specific one.

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

    He 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.

    Smalberger said Staggie remained in the day parole centre at the prison until he got a job. Thereafter, if employed, Staggie 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.

    Smalberger said the day parole centre had lesser security and parolees were allowed to wear private clothes as part of their reintegration.

    Staggie is the twin brother of alleged druglord and Hard Livings gang co-leader Rashaad, who was shot dead and set alight during a People Against Gangsterism and Drugs march on his home in Salt River, Cape Town in August 1996. - Sapa


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    Three members of the City of Cape Town’s VIP protection unit are to appear in court for allegedly assaulting the ANC councillor.

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    Cape Town - Three members of the City of Cape Town’s VIP protection unit, tasked with protecting the mayor and her executive, are to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on allegations of assaulting a former ANC councillor and so-called “toilet protester”.

    Richard Bosman, executive director of safety and security, confirmed that the bodyguards had been charged with common assault after an alleged attack on Andile Lili, but he said reports that metro cops were also to appear in court on assault charges were inaccurate.

    Lili, who was named by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille as the instigator of the “poo protests”, alleged he was insulted, manhandled and assaulted by the bodyguards and three metro cops when he tried to access the fifth floor of the Civic Centre.

    Lili was expelled as a councillor earlier this year for breaching the councillor’s code of conduct.

    He has also been suspended from the ANC for his involvement in the dumping of faeces at the entrance to the Western Cape legislature and at Cape Town International Airport.

    Lili alleged he was assaulted when he tried to find out about his pension at the Civic Centre. He alleged the bodyguards and metro cops forcibly removed him from a chair and pushed him into a lift. They also used racial slurs, he said.

    Council Speaker Dirk Smit said the city was also investigating the matter.

    “How did Lili get on to the fifth floor? Was there assistance from other councillors?”

    Smit said he had confirmed with security that, contrary to Lili’s account, he did not have an appointment to see anyone in the building.

    Staff had been told he was no longer a councillor and that his access to the Civic Centre should be restricted accordingly.

    anel.lewis@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Artist Vladimir Tretchikoff’s painting Miss Wong is to be auctioned in Cape Town next week. But who was the real Miss Wong?

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    Cape Town -

    This is Valerie Howe, or as most people have come to know her, Miss Wong.

    The half-French, half-Chinese woman is the subject of one of artist Vladimir Tretchikoff’s better-known paintings, which is to be auctioned in Cape Town next Tuesday.

    Miss Wong, which has been mass reproduced, is worth between R4 million and R6 million. Auctioneers Stephan Welz are to sell it a few months after Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl fetched R13.8m at a London auction.

    Among the treasure trove of artworks going under the hammer are a Pablo Picasso earthenware pitcher, three other Tretchikoff works and a painting by Alexis Preller, Mapogga Axis Mundi, which has not been seen in public for 40 years.

    “In my opinion, Miss Wong is in some respects superior to Chinese Girl,” said Andrew Lamprecht, a UCT art lecturer and curator of a 2011 retrospective exhibition of Tretchikoff's work.

    “Miss Wong is one of four or five most important Tretchikoffs in existence.”

    The Port Elizabeth-born beauty was 18 when Tretchikoff painted her at his Bishopscourt home in 1955. At the time, she lived in Cape Town and walked her dogs in Camps Bay, where Tretchikoff came across her by chance. This is the story Howe told her son Wayne Young, a cosmetic surgeon in Sydney, before her death in 1995 at the age of 58.

    Young said his mother did not look as Asian as Tretchikoff had made her look, but there was a resemblance.

    He had never asked his mother what she thought of the painting, but believed she was proud of it.

     

    The Tretchikoff and Preller pieces are expected to be auctioned on Tuesday and the Picasso pitcher the next day.

    Preller’s Mapogga Axis Mundi, “underground” in a private collection for four decades, is considered one of his masterpieces and features in a collection of 168 of his artworks to be auctioned.

    Stephan Welz director Shona Robie said the Picasso pitcher, which had also been part of a local seller’s collection, was the type of piece that seldom went on auction in South Africa.

    leila.samodien@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Sangomas and traditional healers have agreed to co-operate with Western Cape health officials regarding the treatment of their clients.

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    Cape Town - A forum representing scores of sangomas and traditional healers will co-operate with the city’s health department on what is the best treatment for clients.

    The Inyangi Forum’s launch in Khayelitsha on Thursday followed a year of talks with healers and sangomas across the city, said Lungiswa James, a mayoral committee member for health.

    “It is important for the city to work with traditional healers as we understand that many people believe in them and go to them even before they go to a clinic or hospital,” James said.

    She said health education was key in the co-operation with the forum.

    “As an example, during diarrhoea season hygiene is important. Sometimes by the time people come to clinics they are sicker. We’ll ask them to first refer their patients to clinics. Afterwards they can go back to them. We said we want a working relationship. Their response was very good,” James said.

    She said the city would offer them support to help enhance public health.

    Forum secretary Thembeka Mantla said: “People come to us for help because there are sicknesses hospitals and clinics can’t fix.”

    Mantla said most people who used sangomas and traditional healers lived in disadvantaged communities like Khayelitsha.

    “Normally patients pay R50 to R150. It depends on the type of illness. We provide health products like herbs and most of ... our medicines come from the Eastern Cape and KZN,”she said.

    aziz.hartley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Strand skipper Philip Schoeman tells of his crew’s nine-hour ordeal after their fishing boat capsized.

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    Cape Town - Clinging to his capsized fishing boat with his son and three crewmen as waves crashed over them, Strand skipper Philip Schoeman saw another crew member break away and try to get to shore.

    Three hours later a second crewman could no longer hold on. He died in Schoeman and his friends’ arms.

    While holding up the last of 10 flares after nine hours of struggling in icy water off Kleinmond, Schoeman gave up hope that he and the others would make it.

    But moments later, just before 7pm on Monday, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) members spotted the four survivors.

    The group was rescued about two hours after the crewman died in their arms and several hours after the other was lost at sea.

    “It was a miracle that the NSRI saw us with the last flare. That feeling, I can’t describe,” Schoeman, who 13 years ago survived a similar capsizing, said from his Strand home on Tuesday.

    Schoeman, 53, a commercial fisherman, his son Philip, 27, and two crewmen, Alwyn du Plooy, of Strand, and Joe Williams, of Brackenfell, survived the ordeal.

    Crew members Piet van As and Anthony de Wit were lost at sea.

    De Wit’s body was recovered on Tuesday, while divers searched for Van As.

    Schoeman launched his boat, Aralda III, with five permanent crew members aboard, at 7am on Monday.

    About three hours later they had a problem pulling up the anchor and Schoeman believes this led to the boat capsizing.

    All six crew clung to the upside-down boat.

    They managed to get life jackets from under the boat and they had a “capsize kit”, which contained 10 flares.

    “You have to stay positive the whole time. You start to accept the situation and talk about it. Then things start to happen. You decide when to let the flares go.

    “Conditions were very extreme. The water was about 12 and a half degrees Celsius. The wind picked up. Water came over our faces all the time,” Schoeman said.

    About four hours after capsizing, Van As complained that there was “too much pain in his legs”.

    Schoeman said the boat was drifting very slowly and Van As realised he could be stuck at sea throughout the night.

    “While he still had a bit of strength in him he decided to drift to shore... We saw him 200 metres away from us. He was going quite well. That’s the last time we saw him.”

    Schoeman fought back negative thoughts as he clung to the upturned boat.

    “When you start to get negative you don’t talk. But you can’t give false hope. You have to be realistic,” he said.

    At one point he thought he saw a boat and his spirits soared, but it was sea spray from a breaching whale.

    The group later spotted a fishing boat coming towards them and Schoeman set off a rocket flare.

    But the boat left.

    “That was (De Wit’s) last hope.”

    Yet another wave later broke De Wit’s grasp from the boat and he swallowed water.

    Schoeman said De Wit’s last words were: “Ek kan nou dood gaan” (I can die now).

    “He died in our arms,” Schoeman said.

    They had nothing to use to tie De Wit’s body to the boat so they had to let it go.

    About 6.30pm Schoeman saw a helicopter circling, but it was too high for them to be spotted.

    “Just before 7pm I saw the NSRI boat. But they turned away. I thought: ‘Oh well. There’s our last hope.’ I only had one small hand flare left.

    “The boat turned around again. I started the flare.”

     

    NSRI members spotted the flare three nautical miles off the Kleinmond shore and rescued the group.

    Schoeman said that 13 years ago he and Van As had survived a similar situation, but in calmer conditions – they spent 15 hours at sea after their boat capsized near Struisbaai.

    “You must always know that life is more important than you think. That’s what we learned the first time. (On Monday) we were in the same situation,” he said.

    Van As’s partner, Alida, was too emotional to speak about the incident on Tuesday.

    De Wit’s wife, Baba, said her husband had fished for 35 years. “That was his life. That’s where he wants to be, the sea,” she said.

    Baba said her husband had kissed her goodbye at 5.15am on Monday and at 7pm she heard the boat had capsized.

    “We were married for 31 years. He was my first and is now my last,” she said.

    caryn.dolley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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  • 09/25/13--04:22: Staggie's son granted bail
  • Rashied Staggie's son Abdul Boonzaaier, accused of drug dealing and other crimes, has been granted R20 000 bail.

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    Cape Town - Rashied Staggie's son Abdul Boonzaaier, accused of drug dealing and other crimes, was granted bail by the Wynberg Magistrate's Court, Cape Town, on Wednesday.

     Bail was set at R20 000 and on condition he stay out of Manenberg, live at an address provided in his affidavit, report to a police station daily, and hand in his passport.

    "The accused is not involved in any violent crimes as per the charges and nothing has been proved or shown that he has endangered any person's life," magistrate Hafiza Mohamed said in the bail judgment.

    She said she understood the State had concerns and this had been remedied by setting bail conditions. She, however, questioned the State's overall lack of evidence.

    Boonzaaier, 25, faces charges of drug dealing, possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, possession of counterfeit notes, money laundering, and gang-related crimes under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (Poca).

    He turned himself in to the Manenberg police station last month.

    Mohamed said the four drug charges, from 2011, were "recycled cases" which had been reinstated after being withdrawn. The firearm and ammunition charges were from May this year.

    "It is of some concern as the State has not provided an explanation for why the accused is only being charged now," she said.

    Mohamed said the money laundering charge seemed superfluous as no evidence had been led to support it.

    Regarding the Poca-related charge, she said the only evidence given by the State was that Boonzaaier had a Hard Livings gang tattoo on his wrist.

    His father, a former Hard Livings leader, was released on day parole on Monday after serving 11 years for rape and stealing weapons from a police armoury.

    In an affidavit previously handed to the court, Boonzaaier denied any gang links, saying he was an upstanding member of the Mitchells Plain community and gainfully employed.

    The court heard on Wednesday that he was married with four minor children, involved in community outreach programmes, and ran a minibus taxi business. Mohamed said he earned around R40 000 a month, had a tax clearance certificate, and no criminal record, previous convictions, or pending cases.

    The case was postponed until November 26 for further investigation.

     

    Sapa


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    The Western Cape's electronic reporting system for drug-resistant tuberculosis is riddled with inaccuracies, according to a study.

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    Cape Town - The Western Cape’s electronic reporting system for drug-resistant tuberculosis is riddled with inaccuracies, a local study has revealed.

    The study concluded that TB in children was under-reported and under-diagnosed. Researchers said this was worrying because it had implications for resource planning and burden estimates.

    This also means the World Health Organisation (WHO), which monitors diseases and assesses the performance of different health systems worldwide, could be getting incorrect information about the state of this disease in Cape Town.

     The study, by Penelope Rose and other researchers from Stellenbosch University’s Desmond Tutu TB Centre, found that only two-thirds of children clinically treated for drug-resistant TB were recorded in the electronic reporting system.

    The Western Cape uses two electronic TB registers: ETR.net captures the provincial TB data, while a separate electronic register, EDR.web, is used to register drug-resistant TB.

    The two registers not only allow the generation of useful TB reports on important TB programme indicators, but they are also aimed at improving quality of data and facilitating more complex data analyses.

    The registers are submitted to centralised TB units before being reported to the national database and then to the WHO.

    Of the 77 paediatric drug-resistant cases analysed, only 49 cases, or 64 percent, were found in the EDR.web - suggesting under-reporting.

    A number of inconsistencies, including cases of eight children that were indicated as not having a confirmed diagnosis, were entered into the electronic system as if drug-resistant TB had been confirmed.

    About 21 percent of children with confirmed drug-resistant TB were entered in the register as not confirmed, while clinically they had a confirmed drug resistance.

    Five children who were treated for drug-resistant TB and initially registered in the electronic register, did not appear in the final count.

    In addition, records of 14 children who were registered in the electronic system did not match the clinical cohort, while seven children who were treated for drug-resistant TB in earlier years were recorded in the register only last year.

    While completeness and accuracy of data were relatively high for the type of drug resistance, at 94 percent, indication that treatment had started was slightly lower at 84 percent and HIV status in HIV-infected children was recorded to be 100 percent accurate.

    Although the Western Cape had about 17 percent of paediatric TB, only 4.4 percent was registered as drug-resistant, prompting researchers to conclude that TB in children was under-reported and under diagnosed.

    The researchers raised concerns about the fact that some facilities had no direct access to the electronic data capturing system, and still used old-fashioned paper registers.

    “The process of transferring data from the paper register at facility level to the electronic register needs to be simplified with improved verification system. The roll-out of molecular diagnostic tests may lead to increased detection of both adults and children” with drug-resistant TB, wrote Rose.

    sipokazi.fokazi@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A 26-year-old fish salesman was shot and killed in broad daylight in Delft, Cape Town.

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    Cape Town - A man selling fish door to door was shot and killed in broad daylight in a street in Delft on Tuesday.

    Leroy Adams, 26 was shot outside a house in Koonap Street.

    “There were two assailants. Witnesses said that they fled the scene, one on foot and the other on a bicycle,” said the communications officer at the Delft police station, Captain Joe Wilson.

    “(Adams) was a fish salesman and working at the time.

    “He and three of his colleagues were going door to door, ahead of a bakkie carrying the fish, Captain Wilson said.

    “They speak to people and try to secure customers when the fish truck comes past.”

    Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said Adams sustained several gunshot wounds to his body.

    Denise Adams, Leroy’s mother, told the Cape Argus on Wednesday morning that the family was in mourning.

    “We have no idea why this was done,” she said.

    A murder case has been opened, but no arrests have been made.

    daneel.knoetze@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A man who sexually assaulted a sleeping teenager will only be sentenced if he fails to attend a rehabilitation programme.

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    The Parow Regional Court on Wednesday postponed to March next year the sentencing of a man who sexually assaulted a sleeping teenage girl.

    Juan-Jacques Filips, 20, appeared before magistrate Amanda van Leeve who, at the request of prosecutor Dersia Rabie, postponed sentencing proceedings to March 27.

    Van Leeve explained to Filips that his case was being diverted in terms of the new Children's Protection Act, to enable him to benefit from a welfare programme for the rehabilitation of sexual offenders.

    He sexually assaulted the girl as she lay asleep on a bed, in March 24 last year, she said.

    According to a probation report, Filips, drunk at the time, entered the room to find the victim asleep. He was caught when the girl's boyfriend entered the room unexpectedly.

    Van Leeve said Filips would only be sentenced if he failed to attend the programme, or to complete it satisfactorily.

    Van Leeve told him: “The court is giving you a second chance in life. Do not mess up. Do not throw away this opportunity. Do not play with your life. You need to do everything that the probation officer says you must do.”

    Sapa


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    There has been an increase in violence in the Cape Flats since the parole of ex-gang boss Rashied Staggie, the ACDP says.

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    There has been an increase in violence in the Cape Flats since the parole of former Hard Livings gang leader Rashied Staggie, the ACDP said on Wednesday.

    “The ACDP is extremely concerned about the level of gang violence on the Cape Flats,” African Christian Democratic Party parliamentary leader Wayne Thring said in a statement.

    “(The ACDP)... has noticed that since the news of Staggie’s release, there has been an increase in violence in the Manenberg area with the community being the ones having to bear the consequences, with schools having to close in order to combat fatalities in the area.”

    Thring said the party hoped Staggie would adhere to his parole conditions.

    “In his new role as a 'motivational speaker', we hope that he will be able to speak to the youth of the area who have been brought up around gang violence,” he said.

    “We trust that the correctional services will be strict on his conditions as the people of Manenberg are experiencing more violence and any form of catalyst could be detrimental to the community.”

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

    He served 11 years of a 15-year sentence for kidnapping and ordering the rape of a teenager. He was recently transferred to Pollsmoor 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.

    Staggie is the twin brother of alleged druglord and Hard Livings gang co-leader Rashaad - who was shot dead and set alight during a People Against Gangsterism and Drugs march on his home in Salt River, Cape Town in August 1996.

    Sapa


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    A woman accused of hacking the internet system of Parliament's operations officer has appeared in a Cape Town court.

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    A woman accused of hacking the internet system of Parliament's operations officer appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town on Wednesday.

    Cleopatra Mosana was not asked to plead to 33 alleged violations of legislation involving the protection of internet-related communications.

    Prosecutor Juan Agulhas told the court her lawyer, Greg Duncan, was in the process of making representations to his office for the withdrawal of the charges.

    The matter was postponed to November 15.

    Duncan asked that Mosana be excused from attending the November proceedings, as she now lived in Centurion.

    The magistrate said a warrant for her arrest would be authorised in the normal manner if she failed to attend.

    It would, however, only be executed if she again failed to attend the next hearing after the November one.

    According to the charge sheet, Mosana allegedly hacked Tango Lamani's internet system between April and June, 2011.

    The charge sheet said Lamani had highly confidential and sensitive information, as well as personal information, stored on his parliamentary PC.

    The charge sheet said “hacking” was a term used by computer literates, and meant to gain access via the internet, into another system, without the authority or permission of the owner of the other system.

    According to the charge sheet, Parliament's IT department informed Lamani that his system had been hacked.

    The charge sheet said Mosana was at that stage in the employ of home affairs in Cape Town, where one of the “infringing” computers was located.

    Sapa


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    The body of a man found by police in Hawston has been identified as that of fisherman Anthony de Wit.

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    Cape Town - The body of a man found by police in Hawston has been identified as that of fisherman Anthony de Wit.

    De Wit died after the fishing boat he was in capsized near Kleinmond on Monday.

    Another member of the crew, Piet van As, also went missing after he tried to swim to shore.

    A second body was found on Tuesday morning.

    NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said, “The body has been handed over into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and police are arranging for the family members to identify the deceased.”

    Police said an inquest docket had been opened.

    Cape Argus


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    Seven people were arrested in Epping after the SAPS K9 unit arrived at the scene of a planned robbery.

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    Cape Town - Police foiled the armed robbery of a cigarette delivery vehicle in Epping 2 on Wednesday, arresting seven suspects following a tip-off.

    The SAPS K9 Unit learnt that the occupants of three cars intended to rob the vehicle near Bofors Circle on Wednesday.

    They arrested the occupants of a BMW, VW Microbus and a Ford Meteor, six men and a woman, aged between 25 and 35, police said.

    One suspect was caught after a brief chase, and in possession of a 9mm firearm.

    The suspects were in possession of illegal firearms and were arrested for further questioning. Their possible involvement in other armed robberies was being investigated.

    In April, armed robbers targeted a delivery truck transporting cigarettes on New Street, Durbanville.

    The driver, the lone occupant of the truck, was held at gunpoint and ordered to drive to nearby Skilpadvlei Street. There, the hijackers unloaded cartons of cigarettes and put them into a getaway vehicle, a white Isuzu LDV. They then fled the scene, according to police.

    However, the Isuzu was intercepted by a security company, alerted by the firm which owned the hijacked vehicle. The guards tried to stop the vehicle but opened fire after the hijackers drove off.

    Minutes later, the Isuzu crashed into a Golden Arrow bus on Durban Road.

    Security officers managed to arrest the three suspects on the scene.

    chelsea.geach@inl.co.za

    Cadet News Agency

    Cape Argus


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    Elective paediatric surgeries, which are facing a six-month backlog at Red Cross Hospital, will receive priority in the next few weeks.

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    Cape Town - Elective paediatric surgeries, which are facing a six-month backlog at Red Cross Children’s Hospital, will receive priority in the next few weeks, after the provincial Health Department launched a weekend drive to reduce these life-changing surgeries.

    The Saturday Surgeries project, launched on Wednesday, will give special attention to specialised procedures including ear, nose and throat operations, which are often overtaken by emergency surgeries.

    The Day Surgery Unit, which is closed on weekends, will be opened on Saturdays for the duration of the seven-week initiative.

    Running for the third time this year, the initiative is privately funded, and it is meant to drive elective surgeries without any negative impact on other patients requiring beds over weekends. Operations scheduled for this year include adenotonsillectomy (surgical removal of adenoids and tonsils), tympanoplasties (repairs to eardrum defects), hernias and excision of ingrown toenails.

    Health MEC Theuns Botha described the project as an excellent example of public-private partnership, a “winning solution for all”.

    “It is a demonstration of government and the private sector taking responsibility together, despite challenges. We are not walking away from the challenges, but making a plan to overcome the challenge, because the cause is greater,” he said.

    The hospital’s medical manager, Dr Anita Parbhoo, said performing these “intricate, time-consuming operations” often resulted in many minor surgical conditions cancelled due to time constraints and pressure on available beds.

    “The idea with this surgical waiting list initiative is that once a big volume of these relatively minor cases are taken off the waiting list, there would be scope for more flexibility for theatre lists during the week. More complex cases which are also a priority could then be given some additional time created by the reduction in the waiting lists,” she said.

    sipokazi.fokazi@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The NPA must decide whether to proceed with charges against three VIP guards who allegedly assaulted Andile Lili.

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    Cape Town - The National Prosecuting Authority is deliberating whether to go ahead with charges laid against three members of the City’s VIP protection services for allegedly assaulting a former ANC councillor and “poo protester”.

    The three VIP bodyguards are accused of assaulting sanitation protest leader Andile Lili.

    The three men did not appear in the Cape Town magistrate’s Court as expected on Wednesday, as the Senior Public Prosecutor decided to send the docket to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a decision instead of putting the matter on the court roll. The men have been charged with common assault, according to a police docket, but have not been formally charged in court.

    They cannot be named until they have appeared in court.

    But NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said the docket had not yet been forwarded to the DPP, because the prosecutor was waiting for evidence from the defence, which was likely to influence the decision.

    “No date has been set for them to come back to court again as no decision has been taken on whether to prosecute or not,” Ntabazalila said.

     

    Lili said he was told by the court that he would be notified when a decision was reached.

    “If the case is struck off, we will challenge it,” Lili said.

    Lili alleged that he was manhandled, insulted and assaulted by the bodyguards as well as metro police when he tried to access the fifth floor of the Civic Centre to inquire about his pension.

    Lili was expelled as a councillor earlier this year, and also suspended from the ANC because of his involvement in dumping faeces at the Cape Town International Airport and the Western Cape legislature.

    chelsea.geach@inl.co.za

    Cadet News Agency

    Cape Argus


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    The education system is damaging millions of youngsters, says Brian O’Connell, UWC’s outgoing rector.

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    Cape Town - The education system is damaging millions of bright young people, says Brian O’Connell, outgoing vice-chancellor and rector of the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

    In an interview following the announcement of his departure, he said the system was making many of the same mistakes the apartheid government had made. O’Connell, 67, has been vice-chancellor and rector for more than a decade.

    He said the failings of the education department, which he viewed as a human rights issue, saddened him.

    “This country is damaging so many millions of bright young people. When they come to us it is quite sad to see how in the beginning they are completely at sea and many of them don’t survive the first month or two. They already understand they have no way of coming to grips with the level of challenge,” he said.

     

    “Those who hang on, those who somehow manage to get through that first year, sometimes failing it, more often than not failing it… once they start really, really engaging with the work… you just see them blossom and you see the genius emerge.”

    O’Connell said that, under apartheid, 90 percent of people, and therefore 90 percent of geniuses, had been barred from participation in education.

    “We are making many of those same mistakes now. It is a sad thing.”

    The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) had missed its opportunity to be the greatest trade union in the world, “a trade union that could lead our nation from where we were in 1994 to glory in 15 to 20 years, by having every one of its teacher members commit completely

    to the academic project, to giving their heart and their soul to the academic project”, O’Connell said.

    “Today, we sit with a union that is not in the vanguard of driving the knowledge challenge. It is a sad thing and a huge opportunity missed.

    “Can you imagine what history would have written about Sadtu? ‘They understood, they marshalled their forces, they began to develop their competencies and passion, and they brought communities together, and changed South Africa completely, and developed for us a viable future’.”

    O’Connell said South Africa would struggle for a long time until pupils and young people were appropriately prepared to attend university.

     

    “That’s a generational thing and I don’t see too many signs of our making rapid improvement with respect to the quality of our students, the quality of preparation of our students for university life. There is nothing wrong with their heads, once you’ve got them and they are committed to the process and they get the right support. Then they just fly.”

    O’Connell is to retire at the end of next year.

    michelle.jones@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    The National Prosecuting Authority says the apparent leaking of Anni Dewani murder case docket is being probed.

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    Cape Town -The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says the apparent leaking of the police docket in the Anni Dewani murder case is being probed.

    Her family asked for the investigation.

    This followed the airing by UK channel BBC One of a Panorama documentary last week, The Honeymoon Murder: Who Killed Anni?, which questioned whether the newlywed’s husband, Shrien Dewani, was innocent.

    The BBC website said Panorama had “obtained the secret police files which make up the prosecution case” against Dewani.

    The documentary, which included forensic experts commissioned by the BBC and whose “findings expose fundamental mistakes… in the police investigation”, made headlines in South Africa and Britain before and after it was initially aired.

    About a week ago, Anni’s uncle Ashok Hindocha called on the NPA to investigate how the documents had been leaked. He said he had e-mailed the Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, Rodney de Kock.

    Speaking to the Cape Times, Hindocha labelled the murder probe “a mess” and said: “Why can’t they keep the papers safe? They should be locked up. This does not look good for the South African authorities.”

    On Wednesday, NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said it appeared the BBC had used information that might have come from copies of the police docket in the murder probe.

    “Only two copies of the content of the docket were made. The circumstances under which copies of the contents of the docket came into the possession of the BBC are being investigated with a view to determining whether criminal offences were committed by anyone,” he said.

    Ntabazalila said copies of the relevant evidence in the police docket had been provided to the legal representatives of Dewani’s co-accused Xolile Mngeni and Mziwamadoda Qwabe. The copies were to be used in the trials against them.

    Ntabazalila said the State was obliged by law to provide such information to the accused before their trials started.

    caryn.dolley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Three teams of divers have resumed a search for two boys who were swept out to sea at Camps Bay beach.

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    Cape Town - Three teams of divers have resumed a search for two missing boys who are feared to have drowned at Camps Bay beach on Wednesday afternoon.

    “Depending on conditions, in my previous experience, it can take up to three or four days for the bodies to resurface,” said James Thomsom, vice-president of the Clifton Surf Lifesaving Club.

    Divers from Metro Emergency Medical Services, Fire and Rescue Services and the police entered the ocean shortly after dawn. They were supported by police jet skiers and the K-9 unit.

    Two teenagers went missing and are presumed dead after they were swept out to sea late on Wednesday afternoon.

    The boys, both aged 16, went into the water to rescue a friend, 15, who was struggling against the rip current at around 5pm.

    The 15-year-old was rescued by a bystander and taken to hospital in a stable condition. He did not sustain serious injuries and was discharged from hospital this morning, said an EMS spokesman.

    The teenagers were on a school tour from North West Province. They attend RB Dithupe Intermediate School in Zeerust, and were due to return home by bus on Thursday.

    NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said the pupils and teachers from the school would be brought to the beach for “closure” before embarking on their trip home. They were scheduled to arrive at the beach at noon.

    The Cape Argus attempted to get comment from the school, but was told by Lambinon that the governing body had asked staff not to talk to the media.

    “We have offered a direct line of communication to the parents of the two children, but thus far they have not contacted us. The school’s staff are currently in contact with them. When the time is right, arrangements will be made for the parents to travel to Cape Town to collect the remains and to have a memorial service at the beach, if they so wish,” said Lambinon.

    The two missing boys were caught in the current that washes from the middle of Camps Bay beach out towards Glen Beach.

    The NSRI were the first to respond, launching a search-and-rescue vessel and divers into the water.

    Two hours after the boys’ disappearance, Lambinon said there was little chance they were still alive.

    Thomsom was on his way to the beach for a game of touch rugby when the first sign of distress was noticed. Five minutes later, the boys had already disappeared beneath the waves.

    “Where these guys got in trouble there is a strong rip current,” he said. “It wouldn’t pull them too far out, but it would make it very hard for them to swim to shore.”

    He said the water was around 13 degrees at the time. “The waves, the cold and the rip current are a cocktail for trouble.”

    Thomsom added that the incident could have been avoided if lifesavers had been on duty. But it is still the off-season, and lifesavers are not stationed until summer sets in and the beaches get busier.

    “If a large group of children are on their way to the beach for an outing, I would suggest that lifesavers are alerted so that special arrangements can be made,” he said.

    The classmates and teachers of the missing boys received trauma counselling soon after the incident yesterday.

    Cape Argus


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