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    A clash between rival gangs captured on CCTV showed the moments that led to the death of a girl called Hope.


    Cape Town - Gangs confront each other every day on our city’s streets – but a clash captured on CCTV this week reveals the moments that led to the death of a 6-year-old girl called Hope.

    The footage obtained by the Cape Argus begins with teenagers confronting a man, believed to be from a rival gang, walking down a street in New Woodlands, Mitchells Plain. They demand his cellphone. There’s a scuffle. They snatch the cellphone.

    A few metres away, Hope van der Merwe and her five-year-old friend, Jaden Dass, are playing.

    The man wants his cellphone back. He walks after the perpetrators, but two of them pull out knives. One of the assailants lifts his fist and plunges his knife into the man’s shoulder and the men disperse.

    It doesn’t take long for back-up to arrive to assist the man who’s lost his phone. The footage shows three men chasing the muggers. A man in sunglasses who is leading the pursuit has a gun. They run towards the park and disappear from the frame.

    Four shots are fired.

    Hope is hit in the head. She dies instantly. A bullet grazes Jaden’s right leg and he falls.

    CCTV footage shows the gunman fleeing.

    On Monday, Jaden’s grandmother Joan Mentoor, 55, heard the shots and ran back to where the kids had been playing. She said “someone was crying very loudly next to the body of a little girl”. This upset Mentoor so much she started crying, not realising her own grandson had also been hit.

    “Then I heard Jaden calling me and when I looked around I saw that he had blood all over his leg.”

    She picked the boy up, but as she started running there were further gunshots.

    Residents said the men captured on camera were from the small New Woodlands community and were well known to the neighbours. Once childhood friends, the group joined different Mitchells Plain gangs – the Fancy Boys and the Junior Mafia. They have been at war since April, allegedly over a drug-dealing turf dispute.

    On Monday, the war claimed its youngest casualty, Hope, who was in Grade R at West End Primary School.

    Hope’s family have erected a little shrine to their lost child in their lounge. Candles and things Hope loved – her first baby blanket, a teddy bear and a “thank you award” from her teacher – surround a photo of the little girl at her Grade R “graduation”.

    “She was a strong girl,” said Dashley van der Merwe, Hope’s cousin and adoptive mother.

    “She was always willing to help and was friendly and loving to everyone around her.

    “Our hearts are broken.”

    A 23-year-old man has been arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder.

    A woman who lives near where Hope and Jaden were shot said New Woodlands was once the most peaceful neighbourhood in the area.

    “Now it is dangerous and we don’t go outside any more. Even last night, after this terrible and senseless death, there was shooting this way and that. These boys need to be taken in, but their parents are protecting them and not giving them up to the police like they should.”

    Asa Daniels, 68, the grandmother of the man who was stabbed, said the group attacked her grandson and stabbed him again a few hours after the shooting.

    “And they smashed all the windows of my house. This stress will be the end of me. What I don’t understand is that all these kids were such good friends when they were young boys.”

    Basil Coetzee, of the Lentegeur Community Policing Forum (CPF), said tit-for-tat shooting was something being experienced across Mitchells Plain and that it was up to community structures, sich as the CPF and neighbourhood watches, to organise (themselves) and to stop the violence.

    “People have to report crimes so that the police can know where to deploy resources,” he said.

    Cape Argus

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    Sekunjalo Investments has laid charges against the Sunday Times over the publication of a Public Protector provisional report.


    Johannesburg - Businessman Iqbal Survé’s company, Sekunjalo Investments, has laid criminal charges against the Sunday Times newspaper and its journalist Bobby Jordan in connection with the publication of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s provisional report implicating the company.

    The charges were laid at a Cape Town police station in terms of the Public Protector Act 23 of 1994, which makes it an offence to publish Madonsela’s provisional reports before they are officially released to the public. But the police have declined to investigate.

    “I can confirm that an individual reported an alleged illegal publication in a newspaper at a Cape Town police station,” said Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut. “However, the incident is regarded as a civil matter and therefore no criminal investigation will be instituted.”

    Traut would not identify the person who laid the charge.

    On Tuesday night, Sunday Times editor Phylicia Oppelt declined to comment.

    The Public Protector report was on her investigation into the awarding of a tender by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for the management of its fleet of patrol and research vessels.

    The Sunday Times reported that Madonsela’s provisional report found there was collusive tendering and/or bid rigging by the Sekunjalo consortium.

    Sekunjalo denied the wrongdoing listed in the report.

    “Collusive tendering occurs when two or more parties in a competitive relationship agree to tender in such a manner that competition between them for that tender is eliminated, rather than to submit independent competitive bids. The outcome of collusive tendering is that the customer pays an artificially high price. The bids by the four bidding entities in the Sekunjalo/Premier Fishing stable contain none of these traits,” Survé said in a statement.

    Independent Newspapers, which owns The Star and IOL, was recently bought by Survé’s Sekunjalo Independent Media.

    On Tuesday night, the SA National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) raised concern about Survé’s foray against the media, saying it could be perceived as sending the wrong message to the Independent group.

    “It’s very unfortunate that while we are fighting against the potential criminalisation of information dissemination (the secrecy bill), we are faced with this kind of action from a company that should be our strategic ally,” said Mpumelelo Mkhabela, the chairman of Sanef.

    “I hope it’s not true, and if it is, I would appeal to the complainant to kindly consider withdrawing the charges.

    “There is a real risk that such a legal action could harm investigative journalism, reducing journalists to mere receptionists of so-called authorised information.”

    Madonsela recently spoke of her unhappiness about the leaking of draft reports, saying she would no longer give affected parties full reports, but only the relevant sections, as a way of guarding against leaks.

    This was after her provisional Nkandla report into the R206 million security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s private home was leaked to the Mail & Guardian.

    The Star

     * We have corrected the headline on this story, which incorrectly referred to the Nkandla report.

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    Fired ANC parliamentary staffers claim that the party diverted statutory funds to finance its 2009 election campaign.


    Cape Town - Fired ANC parliamentary staffers have claimed in the Labour Court that the party diverted statutory funds to finance its 2009 election campaign.

    At the time the ANC caucus retrenched 89 staff members.

    Fifteen employees took the party to court for alleged unfair dismissal.

    On Tuesday, advocate Alec Freund, representing the staffers, questioned former ANC chief whip Nyami Booi in the Labour Court on statutory funds allegedly diverted to pay Oryx Media a total of R7.4 million to, among other things, assist with the party’s election campaign.

    R15.6m was allegedly also diverted for accommodation and travelling.

    Freund told the court that party constituency allowances and party administration funds were not supposed to be used for election and advertising.

    “The funds were used for graffiti, floppy hats, airfares and hotels,” said Freund.

    Booi said it would have been brought to his attention if the funds had been diverted and “that he was not aware of it”.

    Freund submitted in court that Booi may be party to yet another offence.

    In 2009, Booi was one of 31 MPs who pleaded guilty to abusing parliamentary travel warrants in the so-called Travelgate saga.

    At the time he was fined R50 000 (or five years’ jail), and given until January 2014 to pay the money in monthly instalments of R1 000.

    Booi told the court that Freund did not know what he was talking about and had no knowledge of how Parliament’s system runs.

    “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he never worked for Parliament and I don’t want to engage with someone who has never worked for Parliament and doesn’t know how its systems work.”

    Booi denied any knowledge of the figures spent on travelling expenditure which included hotel accommodation, flights and rental cars.

    The case continues.

    Cape Argus

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    Jacobus Visser has told a Strand court how he saw his friend Jake Wootton go flying through the air after being hit by a car.


    Cape Town - With a high-revving engine, the car approached the group of friends from behind.

    There were lights, and they were approaching very fast.

    Then the car hit Milnerton head boy Jake Wootton, flinging him into the air.

    “I saw him do revolutions in the air and then he landed in the drop-and-go area on the road. He lay dead still.”

    This was the testimony of Jacobus “Theo” Visser in the Strand Regional Court, where Schalk Lubbe, 25, the driver of the car that hit Jake in Hermanus at Easter last year, has pleaded not guilty to charges of culpable homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol.

    Visser, 19, said he had known Jake, 18, since Grade 5. They both lived in Table View and often went on family holidays together.

    Visser said after he and a group of friends had been to the pub, they decided to walk along Dirkie Uys Street to the home of one of their friends, Genevieve Grant.

    “The car was approaching from behind. The sound caught my attention. I saw the lights. This was happening very fast. I instinctively pulled (one of the girls to safety). I saw the point of impact.”

    Visser called an ambulance, and then tried to intervene in a fight that broke out between Lubbe and one of the group of friends, Jaime Forknall.

    Jake was taken to hospital and into intensive care, and his friends went there too.

    Meanwhile, Genevieve’s father, Kevin Grant, told the court that he went to the local police station to inquire why Lubbe’s blood had not been drawn. He was told that the police were already on their way.

    When Grant arrived at the hospital he saw Lubbe, but the officers said they were there only to take down witness statements and did not have the kit used to test blood-alcohol content with them.

    At around 2.30am, another officer arrived but said he dealt mainly with murder and robbery cases and that the detective who usually dealt with drunken driving cases did not want to come out at that time of night.

    Magistrate Francine Mouton provisionally allowed this evidence, which was hearsay, until the three officers came to court to testify.

    At the time Transport MEC Robin Carlisle criticised the way the police handled the case, calling it “scandalous”. He said he was concerned that the police’s oversights and shortcomings on the night of the crash might have weakened the case against Lubbe.

    The trial continues on April 7.

    Cape Argus

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    Political newcomers the Patriotic Alliance are pursuing an ambitious plan to unseat the DA in the Western Cape.


    Cape Town - Neither their leaders’ criminal records, nor the gang affiliation of prominent members will deter political newcomers the Patriotic Alliance (PA) from pursuing their ambitious plan to unseat the DA in the Western Cape.

    Entering the political arena at the weekend, PA leader Gayton McKenzie said the party was going to be a “huge force” and would do far more than the DA ever did to transform the lives of the previously disadvantaged in the Western Cape and elsewhere.

    McKenzie and his business associate, Kenny Kunene, announced that the party would contest next year’s general elections following its launch in Paarl at the weekend.

    Styling itself as the “new radical force” focusing on the needs of the poor, the PA said it would “revive” the coloured communities it claimed had been used as “pawns” by DA leader Helen Zille and her party.

    McKenzie said that while Zille was distracted with her “next big challenge, seducing the black vote”, his party would be scooping up the DA’s former support base.

    But the DA’s Western Cape leader, Ivan Meyer, is not worried. He said the DA was confident it would increase its electoral support next year.

    “The DA is a strong brand in the Western Cape, known for good governance and service delivery.”

    Meyer reckoned Western Cape voters had had a history of rejecting small political parties since 1994.

    “This is evident when one looks at the ACDP, NP, Freedom Front Plus, UDM, Cope and all other one-man and-woman shows,” Meyer said.

    McKenzie claimed that if the DA had paid more attention to the needs of the people who voted it into power, there would not be a call for an alternative party.

    “Both the ANC and the DA, both had their chances in the Western Cape and have not done nearly enough.”

    He said the PA intended to introduce policies that would lead to “lasting peace in crime-ridden neighbourhoods”. Its policies would transform the fishing sector from a monopoly that was dominated by white capital to an industry that recognised the rights of poor fishing communities. The PA would also have a revolutionary approach to empowerment, he said.

    The party would fight to transform the conditions of farmworkers, who, according to McKenzie, were “virtual slaves”, particularly in the Western Cape.

    “We will be bold on the land transformation issue, undertaking that land that must be redistributed will be expropriated at a fair rate determined by the state.”

    McKenzie said anyone who was looking for a credible alternative would find a political home in the PA.

    “People like Kenny (Kunene) and I will build the party, but we won’t run the administration. That will be left to people with qualifications, experience and proven success. Politicians often don’t make good bureaucrats, and vice versa,” he added.

    The PA is not deterred that history proves voters reject small parties.

    McKenzie used the example of the Democratic Party, which grew from almost no representation in parliament in 1994 into the DA. “We are going to be a huge force,” he said.

    Cape Argus

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    No more development can take place near Koeberg power station because of concerns for safety in a nuclear disaster.


    Cape Town - The national nuclear regulator says no more development can take place near Koeberg because of fears that people could not be evacuated quickly in an emergency.

    Planning applications running into millions of rand have been put on hold or flagged as a concern. This includes the R140-billion Wescape mega-development on the N7, 37km outside Cape Town, which falls within the red zone - a 16km radius of the power plant. Plans for this mixed-use development would include housing for about 800 000 people.

    “The safety of the population and the opportunity of achieving public housing imperatives should be balanced in the evaluation of development applications located in the Koeberg nuclear power station surrounds,” said Annelise de Bruin, of the city’s spatial planning and development directorate, in a report submitted to council on Wednesday for consideration.

    The impact on residents’ safety in a nuclear disaster, and risks associated with developments close to a nuclear power station, came to the fore internationally after Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011.

    It took Japanese authorities four to five days to evacuate 100 000 residents living near Fukushima.

    As part of its review of emergency preparedness, the national nuclear regulator is working on regulations limiting development within a 16km radius of Koeberg. This area is known as the emergency planning zone.

    The city has put 18 private development applications on hold for the past two years as these regulations were being drafted. Many of these applications fell within the 0-5km precautionary action zone and the 5-16km urgent protective action zone.

    The city’s plans for social housing projects in Atlantis and Melkbos, which combined would provide more than 30 000 housing units, have also been in abeyance.

    De Bruin said these developments and “associated influx of population of lower income groups” placed a larger burden on disaster risk management and the demand for public transport in an evacuation.

    But De Bruin said the regulator had advised the city against approving any development applications between now and July 2016 that could increase the population and extend the evacuation time in a disaster.

    Last year the Koeberg Public Safety Information Forum said it would be possible to evacuate the 5km zone within four hours and the 16km zone within 16 hours as stipulated. But this did not take into account the proposed Wescape development.

    The city has until January 31 to submits its action plan with details of mass care centres and evacuation measures to the nuclear regulator. Its revised 2012 traffic evacuation model can be used until July 2016. However, a new model must be tested and in place by August 2016. The regulator has given condition support, but not approval, for the 2012 traffic plan.

    “The consequences of processing and approving development applications will be significant and difficult (if possible at all) to reverse if applications are approved as rights will vest in the properties,” cautioned De Bruin.

    Meanwhile, the city is improving its evacuation plans. The mayoral committee has recommended that Klein Dassenberg Road should be re-evaluated as an evacuation route for the Witsand community in Atlantis. The public transport aspect of the evacuation plan should be updated to include the latest MyCiti bus routes.

    The city’s human settlements directorate has been advised to cut backyard dwelling in its housing projects and to consult disaster risk management when planning any developments.

    The time taken to evacuate will depend on exit routes, so the city must look at funds for a second lane on Charel Uys Drive and Sandown Road.


    The regulator advised the city to exercise caution when approving plans that will increase the number of visitors moving through the 16km zone. It should limit approvals for projects that include retirement homes, schools and accommodation for the disabled. Any developments that would increase the population by 10 percent in the north-east of the 5-16km zone should also be discouraged.

    Cape Argus

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    Three people have been shot dead and one badly wounded in two separate shooting incidents in Delft.


    Cape Town - Three people have been shot dead and one badly wounded in two separate shooting incidents in Delft.

    Police are investigating whether there was a link between the two incidents, said police liaison officer Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut.

    Unknown gunmen ambushed three men in a bakkie in Pinewood Avenue, Voorbrug, Delft, at about 9pm on Tuesday night, firing shots at their vehicle as they drove by.

    The vehicle stopped and its three occupants jumped out to flee on foot, but they were gunned down in the street by their assailants. Two of the men, aged 27 and 31, died at the scene and the other man, aged 28, was taken to hospital with serious wounds.

    An hour later, two unidentified gunmen stormed into the home of a 28-year-old man in Caledon Street, Leiden, Delft, and shot him dead.

    The victim’s girlfriend was outside at the time, talking to acquaintances in a car.

    None of the gunmen had been arrested by mid-morning, Traut said.

    The motives for the shootings were still unknown.

    “The circumstances surrounding these case are being investigated, and it still needs to be established if there is a link between the cases,” he said.

    Cape Argus

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    Allegations that a former DA councillor was given a job because of her links to MEC Dan Plato have rocked the DA.


    Cape Town - The DA was scrambling on Tuesday to react to allegations that a former DA councillor who was expelled from the party, was given a job because she was closely linked to Community Safety MEC Dan Plato.

    The DA will now investigate whether the appointment to the Community Safety Department of the former DA councillor, who had been accused by the party in court papers of lying, was above board.

    On Tuesday DA provincial chairman Anton Bredell said he was compiling a file on the matter to present to the party’s provincial executive which will decide next week whether to launch a formal investigation into the appointment of Jemayne Andrews.

    Among the issues Bredell is looking at is whether Plato was involved in appointing her on contract as an administrative officer.

    Andrews had previously worked with Plato. His office on Tuesday said he had no involvement with the appointment, which was a “departmental position”.

    But ANC MPL Dorothea Gopie demanded that DA leader Helen Zille give answers in the legislature today about Plato’s relations “with his secretaries”. “The ANC demands of Zille to fire Plato after another scandal rocks his ministry,” Gopie said.

    Zille said she understood that Andrews had applied for a position, gone through a process that had nothing to do with Plato, and been appointed because she fitted the criteria.

    “Can someone please explain what the scandal is about? If no one can give me a valid reason that this is a scandal… all the rest of the questions fall away,” she said.

    Zille said appointments within the department had nothing to do with any DA members.

    Bredell, Zille, DA provincial leader Ivan Meyer and his deputy Theuns Botha discussed the matter On Tuesday.

    This followed reports that some DA members were unhappy about the appointment. Bredell asked Plato to provide details of Andrews’ appointment.

    “I would have had a problem if the appointment was in Plato’s ministry but it was in the department,” he said.

    Bredell said no laws had been broken, but the matter of public perception had to be dealt with.

    Andrews, appointed on a one-year contract in October, had worked with Plato when he was mayor.

    A few years ago she was elected as a DA councillor in ward 22, which included the Belhar area. But according to the DA, which took her to court, she failed to pay the routine once-off “candidate” fee after her election and therefore her membership of the party had ceased.

    Andrews had given various reasons as to why the payment had not reflected in the DA’s bank account, but the DA said in court papers that her “lies and half-truths” showed that she “lacks the integrity to which the DA aspires”.

    On Tuesday Gideon Morris, a chief director in the Community Safety Department, said 19 people had applied for the job. Two positions were filled, one by Andrews, on the recommendation of an interview panel that had consisted of three department officials.

    The third position was still vacant.

    Cape Times

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    Flippie Engelbrecht's spokesperson will be called as a witness over her version of the assault on the farmworker's son.


    Cape Town - Flippie Engelbrecht’s self-styled spokeswoman will be called to the witness stand to account for her version of the assault on the farmworker’s son.

    This version, given during a video interview, is accessible on YouTube.

    Wilhelm Treurnicht, the accused in the assault case, appeared in the Worcester Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning. The trial was postponed after his defence team argued that the state had failed to provide them with details about whether it would call a medical witness to the stand.

    It is the State’s case that in 2008, Rietvallei Wine Estate owner Johnny Burger and his farm manager Treurnicht beat Flippie, then 15.

    According to the Freedom Trust’s secretary Carina Papenfus, the struck-off lawyer who has championed Flippie’s cause, the assault left the now 20-year-old epileptic and blind. He later fell into a fire during a seizure and lost both his hands.

    After co-accused Burger shot himself at his family home, Treurnicht has been left to face court alone.

    On Wednesday morning advocate Pieter Botha, representing Treurnicht, announced to magistrate Petrus Janse van Rensburg that the defence team had subpoenaed Papenfus as a witness for the defence to be cross-examined on details of the assault given in the YouTube interview.

    It has emerged that a second charge against Treurnicht, of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm on Engelbrecht’s father Flip Engelbrecht, will be withdrawn by the state.

    Neither Papenfus nor Flippie Engelbrecht were at the court this morning. At Treurnicht’s court appearance in August, police had to disperse protesters who stoned Treurnicht’s vehicle and threatened him. This morning’s appearance was without inciden and Treurnicht left unimpeded.

    In making the case for a postponement of the trial, Botha recounted numerous attempts by his team, throughout October and November, to receive information about whether the state intended to call upon a medical expert to testify. The defence had requested that the state confirm whether such testimony would be used to argue that Engelbrecht’s epilepsy, blindness and loss of limb was the direct/indirect result of an alleged assault by Treurnicht.

    The state promised to respond to the requests but failed to provide the necessary details, ostensibly because the prosecutor dealing with the case was too busy with other court cases.

    Botha argued for a postponement, saying he could not sufficiently prepare because of the state’s failure to respond adequately to his team’s requests. The state did not oppose the request for a postponement.

    Treurnicht’s trial was postponed and is scheduled for April 4 and 5.

    Cape Argus

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    Helen Zille and Patricia de Lille will meet with prominent Capetonians who issued a hard-hitting statement about the recent protests, to address their concerns.


    Cape Town - Premier Helen Zille and Mayor Patricia de Lille are to meet on Friday some prominent Capetonians, such as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, who issued a hard-hitting statement about the recent protests, to address their concerns.

    Last week, the group of 86 slammed attempts by “a group of political activists” to “promote a climate of hate” through violent protests.

    But they also warned that the delivery of services to the poor in the Western Cape and the rest of the country was inadequate and that it was understandable people were frustrated and angry.

    The group said constructive engagement on the best way forward was possible without resorting to violence and fomenting hate and disrespect.

    They also made suggestions about what local and provincial government could do.

    They suggested that the city and province:

    * Improve procurement processes so that service delivery would not be delayed by many years.

    * Request more funding from the National Treasury for housing and sanitation.

    * Lobby the national Department of Public Works to release land in Youngsfield and Wingfield for housing.

    * Redesign municipal and provincial budgets so that sanitation and other services in poor areas be improved and services in affluent suburbs be reduced until poorer areas were better serviced.

    The city would not respond yesterday to these suggestions.

    However, Solly Malatsi, spokesman for De Lille, said the mayor and premier were scheduled to meet the group this Friday.

    Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela’s spokesman, Bruce Oom, said funding for housing was a set amount received from the national department.

    In the current financial year, provincial Human Settlements received R1.92 billion for housing.

    It had applied for an additional R300 million in 2011/12 to address the informal settlements on the N2, but this had not been approved.

    In this financial year, it requested an additional R56m and the indication was that the request would be considered favourably.

    Cape Times

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    Three people died and three others were injured when three vehicles collided on Sir Lowry's Pass near Gordons Bay.


    Cape Town - Three people died and three others were injured when three vehicles collided on Sir Lowry's Pass near Gordons Bay in the Western Cape on Wednesday, paramedics said.

    “One of the vehicles attempted to overtake and then crashed head-on with another vehicle, flipping the car on top of the other on the N2 just before the lookout point,” ER24 spokesman Christo Venter said.

    Two adults and a child were declared dead on the scene. One of the occupants sustained critical injuries and was airlifted to hospital.

    Two others suffered moderate injuries and were taken to the Helderberg Provincial Hospital by ambulance.


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    A Cape Town man who tried to pay for groceries with a cloned bank card is expected to plead guilty in plea-bargain proceedings.


    Cape Town - A Cape Town man who tried to pay for groceries with a cloned bank card is expected to plead guilty in plea-bargain proceedings later this month, the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Bellville heard on Wednesday.

    Prosecutor Denver Combrink said Moegamat Farouk Martin, 42, of Lansdowne in Cape Town, would probably plead guilty on December 11

    to fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.

    Martin was arrested on August 12, when he tried to pay for groceries worth R13,811 at the Pick n Pay in Kenilworth, Cape Town.

    Kenilworth branch manager John Lendoor was told Martin's credit card payment had been declined.

    Store managers had been warned that fake bank cards were in circulation.

    The prosecutor alleges that Martin was found in possession of a grey master card, supposedly issued by the Bank of America.

    Lendoor recognised the card as counterfeit and alerted the police.

    An investigation revealed that the card was issued by Europay Belgium SCRL.

    Martin is also charged with violating the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act.

    At his first appearance last month, Combrink told the court Martin had been refused bail by the Bellville District Court.

    He said he had already informed defence counsel N Jaftha of the sentence that would be acceptable to the State.

    If Martin disagreed with the proposed sentence, plea negotiations would collapse and the State would proceed to trial in the normal manner.

    Martin remained in custody.


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    A young mother with a BCom degree in marketing received a suspended jail sentence for defrauding Petro SA of R307 400.


    Cape Town - A young mother with a BCom degree in marketing received a suspended jail sentence on Wednesday for defrauding state-owned company Petro SA.

    Alice Mlambo-Mgudlwa, 29, pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud and 11 of money laundering when she appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, in Cape Town.

    The proceedings took the form of a plea bargain, in which she was also placed under house arrest for two years, and ordered to do community service in the form of cleaning and maintenance at the Table View police station.

    The plea-bargain included a confiscation order for her to repay the defrauded amount of R307 400 in full by the end of the month.

    Mlambo-Mgudlwa was a graduate intern at Petro SA from February 2008 and embezzled from the company over four months.

    According to the charge sheet, Petro SA runs a corporate social investment programme that gives donations and sponsorships to needy and disadvantaged schools.

    Mlambo-Mgudlwa started a fraudulent scheme with Lungisa Mtsha, the principal at the Phumelela Day Care Centre in King William's Town, in the Eastern Cape.

    Mtsha allegedly encouraged schools and day care centres in King William's Town to apply for Petro SA sponsorships.

    Mlambo-Mgudlwa presented the applications for payment, and the schools and day care centres would inform Mtsha when payment was received.

    Mtsha then had to inform the schools and centres that there had been overpayments, which had to be repaid.

    The refunds were channelled into Mlambo-Mgudlwa's bank account, with some going to Mtsha as a reward.

    According to the charge sheet, the head of the corporate social investment programme had the authority to approve donations of up to R500 000.

    Aggravating factors listed by prosecutor Denver Combrink were that the victims were schools and day care centres in indigent communities, and that Mlambo-Mgudlwa had abused her position of trust.

    The embezzled funds were channelled into her husband's bank account. Another aggravating factor was that she had lied to him about the unexpected deposits.

    Mitigation, as presented by defence attorney Leon van der Merwe, was that Mlambo-Mgudlwa was able to repay the money in full, from a monthly salary of R20 000 earned in the oil company's employ.

    She had already paid back R100 000, Van der Merwe said. She had also undertaken to testify at the trials of others involved in the embezzlement.


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    Cape Town's city council has removed Junade Hoosain from his position for slurs against a black security guard.


    Cape Town - Cape Town's city council has removed DA councillor Junade Hoosain from his position, the party said on Wednesday.

    Hoosain was found guilty of racism by the city's disciplinary committee after he reportedly used a racial slur against a black security guard, said Democratic Alliance spokeswoman Lisa Albrecht.

    She said the party would now conduct its own disciplinary process.

    The city council was also taking disciplinary action against another councillor, Michael Toko.

    Toko allegedly illegally drew an old age pension grant while earning a salary as a fulltime councillor.

    Albrecht said she was not sure when the disciplinary action against Toko would be completed.


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    A new liquor by-law is expected to be published in the Western Cape provincial government gazette in January next year.


    Cape Town - A new liquor by-law is expected to be published in the Western Cape provincial government gazette in January next year, Cape Town officials said on Wednesday.

    It would repeal all existing by-laws concerned with the sale of liquor, said mayoral committee member for economic, environmental and spatial planning, Garreth Bloor.

    “It is likely to come into effect on 1 February 2014,” he said.

    “The by-law allows for the possibility of extended trading hours during the week and on Sundays for off-consumption trade.”

    Bloor said the city had been sensitive to the need to balance addressing the social impact of liquor trading, without causing job losses and damage to the local economy.

    Applications for the extension of on-consumption trading hours would continue as normal but applications for the consumption of off-consumption trading hours could only be made once the new law was gazetted, said Bloor.


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    Convicted killer Thandi Maqubela will hear next week whether she has been granted bail or will spend Christmas in prison.


    Cape Town - Convicted killer Thandi Maqubela will hear next week whether she has been granted bail or will spend Christmas in Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town.

    On Thursday, the Western Cape High Court heard arguments for and against her release pending sentencing proceedings on February 17.

    Judge John Murphy ruled that her bail judgment would be handed down on Monday and she would remain in custody over the weekend.

    Maqubela retained her stylish fashion sense despite being held in custody for a month.

    She greeted her daughter Spethucwaka in the public gallery and the two said “I love you” to each other before the bail application started.

    Last month, she was found guilty of killing her husband acting judge Patrick Maqubela on June 5, 2009. She was convicted despite no conclusive medical evidence pinpointing a cause of death.

    At the time, Murphy said death from natural causes or suicide was excluded primarily by her conduct, a plethora of lies and her persistence in “irrational subterfuge”, which was wholly incompatible with an innocent person.

    She was also found guilty of forging her husband's will and committing fraud by causing potential prejudice to his estate.

    Her lawyer Marius Broeksma argued on Thursday that she was not a flight risk nor a danger to society. He submitted that she was a first offender and the degree of violence implicit in the murder charge was not very high. The acting judge's death was closely linked to family strife and was not that of an arbitrary victim.

    “I am going to submit that this is not a case where somebody went on a hunting spree... although violence has been found to be involved, it's not so severe.”

    Bonnie Currie-Gamwo, for the State, argued that Maqubela's crimes were serious.

    “The State would contend that murder by its very nature is violent. Someone has lost his or her life,” she said.

    “The very fact that the victims in all three offences are her husband and three children... is indicative that she does not let familial ties get in her way.”

    The defence team believed another court might well come to a different finding on appeal, especially because the convictions were entirely based on circumstantial evidence.

    Broeksma said the State had not only been unable to prove the cause of death but also unable to exclude natural causes.

    Murphy agreed that he knew of only four or five cases in the last 200 years where a person was convicted for murder under similar circumstances.

    Broeksma added it was a “most unusual step” to amend the charges against Maqubela so late into her trial. Should another court set aside the murder charge, Broeksma would recommend a non-custodial sentence for his client on the fraud and forgery charges.

    Murphy said his understanding was that there was a minimum applicable sentence of 15 years in jail because the potential fraud involved more than R500 000.

    The lawyer replied that a court on appeal may look to other factors. The State said a custodial sentence was the only option for the murder conviction.


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    Former Hard Livings gang leader Rashied Staggie has not violated his parole conditions, the Patriotic Alliance said.


    Cape Town - Former Hard Livings gang leader Rashied Staggie has not violated his parole conditions, the Patriotic Alliance said on Thursday.

    “It is alleged that Mr Staggie violated a parole condition stipulating that he not associate with known gangsters. There is no proof of this, as it is a patently false assertion,” said party spokeswoman Lerato Kholoanyane.

    “None of his parole conditions have been violated.”

    The correctional services department revoked his parole on Thursday.

    “The department of correctional services... wishes to confirm that offender Staggie, who is on day-parole, was taken back this morning from his employer and is currently incarcerated at the Pollsmoor Correctional Centre,” said spokesman Manelisi Wolela.

    “We believe he violated his parole conditions,” said Wolela.

    He said the matter was under investigation and standard procedures and processes would be followed, including his appearance before the case management committee and the correctional supervision and parole board.

    Staggie was sentenced in 2003 to 15 years in prison on charges of kidnapping and rape, and in 2004, he received another 13 years for gun theft from a police armoury.

    The sentences ran concurrently, and he served 11 years before his release on day parole in September.

    Staggie reportedly signed a party membership form for the newly-formed Patriotic Alliance on Sunday.

    Kholoanyane said it was Staggie’s right to join any political party, a right which was enshrined in the Constitution.

    “The Patriotic Alliance made the membership of Mr Staggie known in order to show that the party is serious about its vision of combating crime and gangsterism,” she said.

    “The PA has facilitated an anti gang war peace process in the Western Cape and it stands by this work.”

    The Democratic Alliance said it welcomed the department's decision to revoke Staggie's parole.

    “Mr Staggies' re-arrest hopefully illustrates a commitment by the department to enforce parole conditions without fear or favour, and will send a distinct message to other parolees and potential re-offenders,” said MP James Selfe.

    “We look forward to the case management committee and the correctional supervision and parole board's decision, and trust that every possible measure will be taken to ensure that justice prevails.”


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  • 12/05/13--09:17: Special funeral for Eglin
  • President Jacob Zuma has declared a special provincial funeral for former politician Colin Eglin, the presidency said.


    Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has declared a special provincial funeral for former politician Colin Eglin, the presidency said on Thursday.

    Zuma had ordered that the national flag be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the Western Cape on Monday, when Eglin's funeral would be held, presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

    “The country will remember Mr Eglin for his role in promoting human rights and justice in the country during the difficult period of apartheid colonialism,” said Zuma.

    Eglin died on Friday night in Cape Town at the age of 88. He was in hospital with a cardiac problem and was later moved to a frail care centre, where he had been for the past week.

    He was a founder member of the Progressive Party and later became leader of the Progressive Federal Party.


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    A former New Apostolic pastor from Cape Town ,who was jailed for embezzling R3.5 million, has applied for leave to appeal his sentence.


    Cape Town - A former pastor with the New Apostolic Church in Durbanville, Cape Town, who was jailed for four years for embezzlement, applied for leave to appeal on Thursday.

    Craig Vernon Freeman was sentenced on Monday to eight years' imprisonment, four of which were conditionally suspended for five years.

    He appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.

    Freeman had pleaded guilty to falsely informing two members of his congregation that he was engaged in the development of the farm Rhebokskloof, near Paarl. By offering them returns of between 28 and 38 percent, they were duped into investing in the non-existent development.

    Richard Williams-Sims invested R3 350 000, and Deon Scritten R200 000, between July 2006 and January 2007. Neither received their returns, or their money back.

    One of the conditions for the suspended four years was that he repay the money within five years of his release from prison.

    In Thursday’s proceedings, defence attorney William Booth said the sentence was “harsh and severe”, and had induced a sense of shock.

    He said the order that Freeman repay the money within five years of his release from prison was unrealistic, and that he was likely to be unemployed and unable to earn a living from which to repay the money.

    Booth said it was unlikely that Freeman could comply, which meant he would ultimately return to prison to complete the remaining four years.

    He said the test was whether another court might reach a different conclusion and impose a lighter sentence.

    Prosecutor Jannie Knipe countered that Freeman, if unable to comply with the order to repay, would get the opportunity to explain his circumstances.

    He said Freeman had faced a minimum sentence of 15 years for fraud involving R500 000 or more.

    However, the court had ruled there were substantial and compelling circumstances justifying a less severe sentence. The four years imposed was lenient, and not harsh, he said.

    The court will rule on the application on Friday.


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    The City of Cape Town mourned the death of former president Nelson Mandela.


    Johannesburg - The City of Cape Town mourned the death of former president Nelson Mandela on Thursday.

    “His legacy is wrapped in the future of our nation,” mayor Patricia de Lille said in a statement.

    “Though he may not have wished it, he was more than just a man: he was and remains the ideal by which we all try and live.”

    Just before midnight on Thursday, President Jacob Zuma said Mandela, 95, had died at his Houghton residence.

    De Lille said that the city had a special relationship with the international peace icon.

    “To our country's shame, it was the place where he was imprisoned by the apartheid regime for trying to set us free. He was not imprisoned for a crime; he was imprisoned because he knew what justice was and he would not stop fighting until it was achieved.”

    The greatest symbol of his sacrifice was Robben Island prison, the shell of which remained as a reminder of the country's brutal past.

    “But Cape Town is also the place of Madiba's eventual victory. From the balcony of our City Hall, he pledged to continue the fight for our freedom to the city and to the world,” De Lille said.

    Mandela was awarded the freedom of the city in 1997.

    De Lille said that the best way of celebrating Mandela's life was by remembering his legacy.

    “On behalf of the people of Cape Town, I extend my deepest condolences to the Mandela family: his beloved wife Graca; his children; grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.

    “We know of your pain. We share it.”


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