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    Two pensioners, aged 72 and 83, were wounded by robbers shooting at police after an alleged break-in in Cape Town.

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    Cape Town - Two pensioners were wounded by robbers fleeing from police in Elsies River on Wednesday.

    Police spokesman Elvis Mahote said members of the flying squad chased three suspects after they were alleged to have broken into a store in Parow Valley.

    When they reached Elsies River, the suspects fired shots at the police vehicle, wounding the two pensioners, aged 72 and 83.

    “The two victims are receiving medical treatment at a nearby hospital and are in a stable condition,” Mahote said.

    The suspects were arrested shortly after.

    One of the suspects was also wounded in the incident. The three suspects are from 25 to 30 years old.

    Three firearms, money and stolen goods had been confiscated, Mahote said. Police were investigating a case of attempted murder, armed robbery, vehicle theft and possession of an illegal firearm.

    Meanwhile, Carl Piet, who posted the incident on Facebook’s traffic fines, cameras and updates page, said the incident “seemed like something from a movie”.

    He said the hospital where the one suspect was being treated was surrounded by police.

    “The community wanted to hit the robber.

    “Police had to take the man inside again to stop him from being killed by the people,” Piet said.

    zodidi.dano@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A man has been arrested outside Cape Town for possession of contraband cigarettes worth about R1.9 million.

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    Johannesburg - A man has been arrested outside Cape Town for possession of contraband cigarettes worth about R1.9 million on the street, Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said on Thursday.

    “A 32-year-old male was arrested last night [Wednesday] at 8.20pm on the N7. He was coming from the North West to Cape Town,” Africa said.

    The man was arrested at the Vissershok weighbridge about 20km outside Cape Town.

    “The man, driving a truck, was arrested during a routine check by provincial traffic authorities,” he said.

    He was expected to appear in court soon.

    Last week, a man was arrested on the N7 near Klawer after being found in possession of contraband cigarettes with a street value of R1.2m.

    “The [second] man will appear in court once police have finished with their investigation,” Africa said.

    “What we are doing in the Western Cape is working hand-in-hand with the national tobacco companies and police.”

    Traffic authorities were trained to look out for contraband cigarettes, with the country losing around R5.8 billion in taxes due to the sale of contraband cigarettes, Africa said.

    “We, from the traffic side, apart from our normal duties as traffic officials, are working hand-in-hand with [the SA Police Service] to stop crime in the province.”

    Over the past two years, traffic authorities had confiscated illegal substances worth R54m from vehicles, including contraband cigarettes and drugs.

    The N1, N7, and N2 routes into Cape Town were most often used to transport illegal substances and contraband cigarettes.

    “Our message is very clear. We will keep on doing this, and our officers are going to keep doing thorough checks, to ensure illegal substances do not enter the province,” Africa said.

    Sapa


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    Iqbal Surve has again emphasised that replacing the Cape Times editor was part of an effort to re-position the paper.

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    Johannesburg - Dr Iqbal Surve on Thursday again emphasised that the decision to remove Alide Dasnois from the editorship of the Cape Times was part of an effort to re-position the paper.

    Surve, Independent News and Media SA's executive chairman, said in a letter to staff that the decion had “absolutely nothing” to do with the fact that the Cape Times ran a front page story about the Public Protector's finding that the awarding of a fisheries tender by the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries department to Sekunjalo Marine Services Consortium was improper.

    He said the decision to replace Dasnois as editor had already been taken before the Friday paper had been produced.

    “As a senior management team in the Western Cape we had already decided to talk to Alide about her role in the company and the need to re-position the Cape Times as a flagship paper,” said Surve.

    The decision to replace Dasnois had been accelerated, he said, when the Cape Times failed to run a front page editorial on the passing on Mandela on Friday morning.

    “We expected all our titles to run front page editorials on the passing of Mandela and yet the Cape Times did not. It did include a wraparound on Mandela but in some cases that was only an insert in the paper and as a result the front page had no coverage of Madiba,” said Surve.

    “This was an embarassment to us and so we decided to move forward with Alide's redeployment immediately.”

    Surve said that he had not at any time discussed the Public Protector's report with Dasnois, nor had any of the senior management in Cape Town. “The suggestion that Alide was replaced because of that article is completely false, there is not a shred of evidence to back that up.”

    Surve said that the decision to change the Cape Times editor was part of a strategic process that was supposed to take place in Cape Town on Thursday and Friday. As a senior management team we had decided on the need to revitalise the Cape Times by giving it a younger, fresher face.”

    Surve said that the management team felt that Dasnois would be better suited to another role within the company, a role which he has not yet made public.

    He said that Dasnois had not yet responded to the companies redeployment offer.She has, however, released a statement indicating that she is considering approaching the CCMA or the Labour Court over the matter.

    “If we are to increase the circulations of our titles we need to be bold and take risks,” said Surve. “We need to understand our audience and editors need to work with a clear mandate. We need to make tough decisions. This decision was part of that process.”

    Surve said that he is confident that Independent titles under its new Sekunjalo ownership could increase their readership if correctly positioned.

    He also said that he had committed to investing in Independent titles. “At the strategic meeting last week I said that we are committed to re-investing all surplus capital in the company. This we will do for the next five years.” - IOL

     

     

     

    Here follows the full, unabridged text of Surve's letter:

    It has been customary for me to address all our employees of the greater Sekunjalo Group through a year-end letter from the office of the chairman.

    It is my privilege and honour to write this letter as the executive chairman of Independent Media South Africa (INMSA). My annual year-end letter does not normally address specific employee operational issues, but in this instance I have elected to do so since we find ourselves in the midst of a challenging time.

    The past few days have been very difficult for our company, INMSA. Last week, our beloved Madiba passed on. Many of us, including myself, who had personal relationships with Madiba, have spent this week reflecting on his noble values and commitment to a free and non-racial society.

    These trying days also coincided with the start of our strategic session in Cape Town and the planned sessions in Durban and Johannesburg.

    We had a productive and open discussion on the first day in Cape Town, with the top 40 managers. Out of respect for Madiba, we decided to postpone the sessions planned for Durban and Johannesburg to the new year.

    On Thursday evening, on being informed about Madiba, the editorial leadership and management present in Cape Town planned that the group's titles would dedicate the editorial to Madiba for the next morning's publications.

    All editorial teams were encouraged to immediately leave the strategic session for their newsrooms to ensure that the news focus for the following day would be on Madiba and to communicate the plan nationally to the group's newsrooms.

    There was excitement that Independent would have a uniform editorial position on the front and leading pages of all its major publications on Friday.

    This would give our readers the opportunity to learn first-hand information of what had transpired during Madiba's last few hours with family and close friends but more importantly to celebrate the magnificent legacy Madiba left for all of us.

    It therefore goes without saying that on Friday, the senior executives of INMSA were shocked to discover that the only major Independent title that failed to lead editorially with Madiba's passing was the Cape Times.

    I am at liberty to disclose to you that the senior management of Independent had in any event already planned to have a meeting after the strategic session to discuss with Ms Dasnois the performance of the Cape Times and her role in the group.

    The need to improve the performance of the Cape Times and to position Ms Dasnois in a role that played to her passions and strengths had been contemplated for quite some time prior to last week's events.

    At this meeting, in addition to dealing with our plans for her future role in the group, Ms Dasnois was asked by the CEO Tony Howard to explain the failure to lead the newspaper with the Madiba story and her response was that she did not have enough resources to have done so.

    This excuse was not accepted by all present on the basis that all the other newspapers in Independent (except for two smaller regional publications), had the same tight deadlines and in some instances had had fewer resources, and yet they had still been able to lead editorially with the Madiba story.

    Whilst many of our major titles produced wraparounds it was expected that they would have page one lead editorials on Madiba. The Cape Times did produce a wraparound, which in some places was only put into the newspaper as an insert.

    There was nothing about Madiba on the front page or other leading pages.

    It is my considered view, and that of the senior executive team of Independent present at the time with Ms Dasnois, that the failure of the Cape Times to lead with such a momentous event, was an affront to the dignity of Madiba and a disservice to our readers.

    The Cape Times subsequently produced a fitting tribute to Madiba this week.

    I wish to thank all of the members of the Cape Town newsroom for their professionalism from Sunday evening in producing an outstanding newspaper.

    Until now the senior management present at the meeting with Ms Dasnois (including myself, CEO Tony Howard, Regional Manager Sandy Naude and executive Chris Whitfield) have remained silent on the details of what transpired at the meeting in relation to Ms Dasnois, out of respect for the privacy and confidentiality by which every good employee/employer relationship is governed.

    Today we learnt that Ms Dasnois has decided to deal with this matter publicly via online media and to the exclusion of the normal private communication channel between employer and employee.

    Regrettably Ms Dasnois has left us with no choice but to deal with the matter more publicly than we would have preferred.

    I feel that I have to balance the interests of our company, INMSA, and its reputation for editorial independence and integrity versus the privacy and confidentiality normally applicable in relation to the employee-employer relationship.

    Over the last few days, the media has reported claims that Ms Dasnois' discussions with senior management constituted interference with her editorial independence.

    She has further claimed that she was dismissed.

    These allegations are made without a shred of evidence to substantiate these claims.

    It has been suggested by Ms Dasnois and the media that her redeployment was related to an article she published on the front page of the Cape Times on 6 December 2013.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. I can state categorically that neither myself nor any senior member of the executive team discussed this article on the lead page with her.

    One of the reasons for requesting Ms Dasnois to move to another editorial position related to positioning her in a role that played more to her passions and strengths.

    Ms Dasnois' conduct in not leading with the Madiba editorial accelerated this request for her redeployment.

    For the record, in the interests of the company, I took time on Sunday for a further meeting with Ms Dasnois to attempt to convince her to reconsider her decision not to take up the new role.

    Despite this attempt, I have still had no formal communication from Ms Dasnois, other than what I have read in the media.

    Since there is some time before we meet at the strategic sessions next year and you hear from me personally, I would like to provide you with my thoughts and views on the issue of editorial independence and job security since these issues are being raised as a consequence of the publicity about the company in the past few days.

    I want to be clear and categorical. I want to assure all staff of my sincere commitment to the editorial independence of this group and the right of its journalist to do their work without fear or favour.

    This means no journalist has to fear when writing a story if one or more of the companies in Sekunjalo Group is involved. I do not expect special favours or puff pieces to be written by any journalists. All our stories must adhere to the highest standards required.

    This means they have to be balanced, fair and accurate. What they can't be is one sided, inaccurate and prejudicial. I have always valued the principles of transparency, fairness and independence. More importantly, in our quest for fairness, we should give everyone an opportunity of the right of reply.

    As executive chairman, I will uphold these values and expect all of our journalists and editors to do the same regardless of which story it is they cover.

    The board of directors of INMSA has commissioned the drafting of an editorial charter as well the creation of advisory boards (nationally and regionally), which will guide the company on these issues on a daily basis as journalists go about doing their work.

    I also want to debunk the myth that I will frown upon and act against journalists who ask tough questions and probe issues of malfeasance involving politicians, business people and other components of our society.

    I believe that our young democracy is better served when those in power and those that have substantial resources are held to account by stories that seek the truth, that tells the whole story and that gives everyone affected a fair chance and opportunity to state their case.

    On a personal note, no journalist need fear legal action from me if they write about me. In instances where I feel aggrieved about how I was portrayed, I will follow the traditional procedures which are to be followed. I will write letter of complaints and insist on my right to reply.

    Finally, in response to discussions with some of our editors, I need to address the issue of performance and suitability of roles as it relates to editors and job security.

    Again I would have preferred to do this at the strategic sessions which were unfortunately postponed as explained earlier.

    For any business to remain viable it needs to be profitable and successful. The board of directors has to appoint the right people to the positions of management to drive this profitability and success. It is the prerogative of the board of directors to appoint senior management in any organisation.

    I want to be unequivocal and unapologetic about appointing senior executives and editors, as this responsibility rests with the board.

    As a businessman that serves on many international boards, I understand fully that the success of a business is multi-factorial.

    All of these factors have to be considered along with editorial leadership in driving the success of a title. At a time when newspapers are facing a challenging environment, and the sustainability of the business model and security of the employees is at stake, editors cannot be impervious about profitability and the success of their titles.

    Whilst profitability is a variable that would be taken into account when assessing performance of key managers and executives, it will not be the only variable.

    In my capacity as chairman of board remuneration committees, I have applied decisions in accordance with all rules, agreements and legally binding contracts when performance is assessed.

    I see no reason why Independent's employees, journalist or editors should be treated differently. In fact, from the feedback I have received so far, I think many would welcome such performance appraisal both as an incentive and as a measurement tool.

    I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter since I have tried to convey my thoughts in an open and transparent manner which best serves the interests of our company, its employees, integrity and reputation.

    Without your valuable contribution, Independent would not be successful and would not have survived the difficult period over the last decade in the absence of the resources to invest in its growth and future.

    As custodian of this business, I will protect our reputation, our credibility and the wellbeing of all employees. This is a role I take seriously and will execute in the best interest of our company and the long-term sustainability of our business.

    As we approach the new year, we think about that all important resolution.

    My new year's resolution is simply to have the opportunity to meet with each of you individually. I hope that this is possible so that I may hear first-hand your views, ideas, concerns, fears and wishes on how best to grow INMSA into the most successful multimedia company in South Africa.

    I take this opportunity to wish you and your family and loved ones the very best for the festive season and year-end holidays.

    I hope that you have some rest (and fun), so that in the new year we are ready to take Independent to the next level in its growth trajectory as a truly South African multimedia company.

    Warm Regards

    Dr Iqbal Surve


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    Footprints near the body of brothel owner Pedro Lopez will shed light on who was inside his house on the night of his murder.

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    Cape Town - Footprints detected where brothel owner Pedro Lopez, 38, was found dead on May 8 will shed light on who was inside his Oranjezicht house on the night he was stabbed 20 times.

    A footprint comparison report has not yet been filed in the case against Lopez’s employee, Octavia Mulder, 20, and her boyfriend, Trevor Darries, 26, who face a murder charge.

     Mulder testified during her bail application that she and Darries, both from Mitchells Plain, had gone to see Lopez that night to confront him about money he owed her for working as a make-up artist at the brothel.

    She was granted R1 000 bail in July.

    On Wednesday, prosecutor Nation Loliwe told the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court that “a few issues needed to be finalised” in the docket.

    Asking for a postponement, Loliwe said the footprint comparison report, cellphone records and a witness statement had yet to be obtained.

    Isaac Korasie, for Mulder, asked that if a postponement was granted, it should be marked “final, for further investigation” as the case had been on the court roll since May.

    Chantal Gillian, for Darries, objected, saying her client had been in jail since May 13 and that his bail application had been refused last month.

    Magistrate Alta Fredericks granted a final postponement until February 3.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 12/12/13--05:15: Madiba to stand taller
  • At 9m tall and weighing four tons, a new statue of Nelson Mandela made the long trek from Cape Town it’s new home in Pretoria.

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    Cape Town - It is 9m tall, weighs 4 tons and is said to be the largest statue of Nelson Mandela.

    The bronze-coated artwork spent hours on the road from Cape Town this week and arrived on Wednesday at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where it is to be assembled and unveiled on Monday.

    “This is the largest Mandela statue in the world and we believe it is the best,” said Sarah Haines, of Koketso Growth, which managed the project.

    Arts and Culture Department spokesman, Mack Lewele, said they too believed the monument was the world’s biggest Madiba statue.

    The statue, created by South African artists Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren, was cast at four different foundries, two of which are in Cape Town where it was initially assembled.

    It is one among dozens of statues, sculptures, artworks and monuments honouring the statesman. Another is an 8m statue of Mandela that was unveiled in Mangaung last December.

    At the time, it was believed to be the tallest in the world.

    A work of art, possibly a statue, is also in the pipeline for Cape Town, but whether it will match up to the tall order set by the two other statues is still a matter of discussion.

    The City of Cape Town’s naming committee chairman, Brett Herron, said there had been a motion which was supported to erect a statue or public piece to celebrate Mandela.

    Parliament had also been considering a statue.

    The city and Parliament were now working on the project.

    The details, however, were not yet clear and Herron said it was too early to say when the project would be completed.

    There were many reasons for ensuring that the project - or at least the design process - was launched next year, including the 20th anniversary of the country’s democracy and Cape Town’s status as World Design Capital.

    “The details of the statue will be the subject of discussions between the city and Parliament,” Herron said.

    “Those discussions will resume in the new year when we will seek to reach agreement on the location of the installation and the process to be adopted to procure the statue.”

    Those behind the Union Buildings statue, meanwhile, will spend the next few days assembling the monument.

    According to previous media reports, it cost R8 million.

    Haines said it had been initiated by the Presidency and the Arts and Culture Department in honour of the landmark democracy anniversary next year as well the Union Buildings’ centenary.

    In order to make way for the statue, they would have to move a statue of General JBM Hertzog, which would be repositioned on the site and restored next year.

    “It has been a collaborative process to decide on the pose, approach and so on.

    “There’s a very large team of people involved,” she said, adding that the statue could be described as “very warm and inclusive”.

    Cape Times


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    Nelson Mandela would have wanted the African continent to unite, International Relations Deputy Minister Marius Fransman said at a memorial in Cape Town.

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    Cape Town - Former president Nelson Mandela would have wanted the African continent to unite, International Relations Deputy Minister Marius Fransman told diplomats during a memorial in Cape Town on Thursday.

    “Many from across the world ask us: 'How shall we let the legacy of Mandela live on? How shall we keep his dream alive?” he said in a speech prepared for delivery at St George's Cathedral.

    “Let us work together to build more bridges that can connect South Africa and the entire African continent; let us put an end to underdevelopment, Afro-pessimism and everything that hinders progress.”

    Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, last Thursday, aged 95.

    Memorials are being held around the country ahead of his funeral in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, on Sunday.

    Fransman said Mandela had been able to grow and maintain a devoted following locally and internationally despite being in jail for almost three decades.

    During his presidency Ä from 1994 to 1999 Ä he had worked tirelessly to reconcile deep societal divides, heal a conflict-ridden Africa and build bridges with the African diaspora.

    “He understood that to build unity, achieve development goals and overcome the endemic scourge of poverty, we have to stand together in the spirit of international solidarity, as he so eloquently quoted the African proverb: The attacks of the wild beast cannot be averted with only bare hands.”

    Fransman said Mandela was profoundly affected by his visit to Tanzania, Ethiopia, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Ghana, Senegal and Guinea in 1962. The visit provided him with insight into continental diplomacy and liberation strategies.

    When the African National Congress was fighting apartheid, many African countries sheltered its members, often at great cost.

    “Today, we say to all these states, as indeed Madiba and the ANC government has done over the past two decades, our nation owes you an immense debt of gratitude,” he said.

    Fransman, who is also ANC leader in the Western Cape, said he was humbled by the tributes that had poured in from all over the world.

    “His death tells us that the seeds of world peace, justice and dignity for all that he planted wherever he went have taken root. It tells us that though Madiba has passed on, his legacy lives on and his dream will never die.”

    People could honour the anti-apartheid icon by creating opportunities for some 95 million unemployed youth in Africa, and open up new trade and investment possibilities.

    Sapa


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    A 16-year-old youth was stabbed when he and his father were robbed at a dam near George, say Western Cape police.

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    Johannesburg -

    A 16-year-old youth was stabbed when he and his father were robbed at a dam near George, Western Cape police said on Thursday.

    The teenager and his father, from Rustenburg, North West, were fishing at the dam on Wednesday when three men armed with knives approached them, Captain Bernadine Steyn said.

    “The 16-year-old son was assaulted, during which he sustained a stab wound near his left eye.”

    He was admitted to hospital, but had since been discharged. A cellphone, watch, keys, and two wallets were stolen.

    The robbers slashed the tyres of their Ford Ranger before fleeing. No one had been arrested by 2pm on Thursday. - Sapa


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    A woman accused of defrauding the Raya Hotel Group has appeared in court on multiple counts of fraud.

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    Cape Town - A woman accused of defrauding the Raya Hotel Group, owners of the Capetonian Hotel in Cape Town and the Balmoral Hotel in Durban, appeared in court on Thursday, charged with multiple counts of fraud and one of money laundering.

    She was not asked to plead.

    Mymona Creighton, 31, started with the group 10 years ago as the assistant to the accountant and was promoted to the post of accountant seven years later.

    She was based at the head office in Cape Town.

    An attempt at plea negotiations with the State collapsed in September, and during Thursday’s proceedings, prosecutor Simon Leope said the matter would proceed to trial on January 20.

    However, he needed clarity from the defence about what was in dispute, in order to decide which prosecution witnesses to call.

    Creighton appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg, who warned her to appear in court again on January 20.

    She was responsible for the payment of the group’s creditors, and had to present cheques for payment to the group’s management for signature.

    Leope alleges that she either deleted or changed the details of the payees of cheques, after payment had been authorised by management.

    It is alleged that the cheques would then be made payable to fictitious persons, and the proceeds channelled into Creighton’s personal bank accounts.

    To cover her tracks, Creighton would allegedly record the correct cheque details on a management payment schedule, but would intercept and destroy the bank-processed cheques when they arrived back from the bank.

    In this manner, Creighton was accused of eliminating evidence of her manipulation, and misappropriating the money.

    Leope alleges that she concealed the payments, and used fictitious names to hide the true nature of the fraudulent payments.

    Creighton faces 250 counts of fraud involving R10,263,813, and one charge of money laundering.

    Sapa


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    A police warrant officer is accused of accepting a bribe to allow a prisoner out of his holding cell at Wynberg Regional Court to have sex.

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    Cape Town - A police warrant officer, accused of accepting a bribe to allow a prisoner out of his holding cell to have sex, appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town on Thursday.

    At the time, Warrant Officer Bongani Ndikho, 42, was a court orderly in charge of prisoners appearing in the Wynberg Regional Court.

    He was allegedly given R150 by prisoner John Maggot so he could have sex with his girlfriend. Maggot was also in the dock.

    Ndikho faces two counts of corruption. One for allegedly receiving the R150 bribe, and the other for allegedly receiving additional bribes totalling R12 000 in exchange for smuggling dagga parcels to Maggot.

    Maggot faces two counts of corruption, for allegedly paying Ndikho the bribes. Both face another charge of dealing in drugs.

    The charge sheet detailed a number of sms messages allegedly arranging for dagga in parcels to be given to Ndikho to smuggle to Maggot in the court holding cells, and for the payment of bribes.

    In one sms Ndikho allegedly sent, the writer said if the bribe was “not a block (R1 000), don't bother coming”.

    Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg postponed the matter to January 28.

    Sapa


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    Nearly 24 years on, it is unclear what became of the vehicle and who owns it.

    |||

    The department of transport and public works is trying to trace the vehicle that transported Nelson Mandela from prison to Cape Town’s Grand Parade on his first ride to freedom.

    Mandela, who died last Thursday, made his first address on the steps of the City Hall on 11 February 1990 after being released from the then Victor Verster Prison in Paarl - his first taste of freedom after 27 years in prison.

    Kensington resident and ANC veteran Dawood Khan had been tasked by the party to arrange transport for Mandela and his entourage. Khan organised a fleet of Toyotas, including the Cressida which carried Madiba; it belonged to Khan’s daughter-in-law who later sold it.

    Nearly 24 years on, it is unclear what became of the vehicle and who owns it.

    Senior manager in strategic management support in the department Kenneth Booysen had instructed officials to get details that could help track down the vehicle.

    They want the vehicle restored and to become a tourist attraction.

    Head of Ministry Sanele Nyoka said the story was remarkable and finding the vehicle would give an opportunity to Capetonians

    “He was part of the Western Cape,” Nyoka said. “He left a rich history with us.”

    “What we want is to keep some of that history here in the Western Cape.”

    He said the car was an important part of history and it was important that it be restored.

    If found, it would be kept in a place where members of the public could view it.

    “We would love to keep it as part of his legacy. We want people to be able to retrace Madiba’s steps.”

    On Thursday Nyoka sent the vehicle’s registration number, as it appears in a photograph taken the day Mandela came out of prison, to an official who would conduct a search for the current owner.

    Nyoka said transport and public works MEC Robin Carlisle was aware of the project.

    Khan, now 83, could not provide details that could be helpful in the search. He had previously said he didn’t remember who the car had been sold to.

    “We sold it to a private owner,” Khan said on Thursday. “He just gave the money and left. We never saw him again. If we could find him, we would buy it back from him. That is a special car.”

    He said they had tried to find the car a few years ago but gave up the search when it led to a dead-end. - The Argus

    If you know where the Cressida in the picture is now, let us know.


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    The fraud case against a tax consultant, who duped Patricia de Lille, is the longest a Wynberg magistrate has had to preside over.

    |||

    Cape Town - The R1.8 million fraud case against tax consultant Linda Addison-Adams, who duped, among others, Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille, is the longest case a Wynberg magistrate has had to preside over in his 25 years on the bench.

    Wynberg Regional Court magistrate Jackie Redelinghuys said on Thursday the six-year-old case had been dragging on for too long and urged that it be finalised.

    The investigation began in 2005 and when the matter was ready for trial in 2007, the State called more than 40 witnesses in support of its case.

    Initially, Addison-Adams claimed she had taken the money for fees owed to her and had not issued invoices to her clients, but halfway through her cross-examination she decided to admit guilt.

    In June, Redelinghuys convicted Addison-Adams of 72 counts of fraud, 13 counts of theft and eight counts for failing to submit income tax returns.

    “This is by far the oldest trial that has been before me since I’ve been on the bench and I’ve been on the bench for 25 years. It’s high time the case is finalised,” Redelinghuys said.

    He was responding to Addison-Adams’s lawyer John Vrieslaar’s request that the case be postponed because the correctional officer’s report was incomplete.

    Vrieslaar said Addison-Adams’s landlord was reluctant to sign a document confirming her residence because there was a section that stated that he must “care or provide for” her.

    Prosecutor Freek Geyser added that the document also said that the landlord must “provide shelter, food and comply with any court order”.

    Vrieslaar said that the section of the document could be amended to avoid the landlord being liable.

    “It’s in the interest of justice that the report be completed (to provide the court with) sentencing options,” Vrieslaar said.

    Redelinghuys said that a signature of a landlord could not delay this case any further, before granting a final postponement for sentencing.

    Thursday was the second time the matter had been set down for closing arguments and sentencing.

    Last month, Addison-Adams, 54, of Noordhoek, apologised to De Lille for defrauding her of R105 000 but De Lille said her apology was too late. De Lille testified that Addison-Adams had been her tax consultant for 11 years.

     

    Addison-Adams was warned to return to court on January 24.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A Cape Town hotelier was kidnapped outside his Sea Point home, and has been missing for more than 48 hours.

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    Cape Town - A Cape Town hotelier has been kidnapped outside his home and by Thursday night had been missing for 48 hours.

    The police have been tight-lipped, saying only that “the circumstances surrounding a kidnapping case are being investigated”.

    They said that a 60-year-old man had been hijacked outside his residence in Sea Point at about 12.50am on Wednesday.

    “The vehicle was recovered in Langa on the same day,” police spokesman Andre Traut reported on Thursday.

    “Due to the nature of our investigation into the matter, no further information will be released.”

    Police declined to name the man. But his identity was confirmed to the Cape Argus by those close to him. They asked that it be withheld.

    The businessman is Ethiopian and owns two hotels in Addis Ababa, the Kings Hotel Sarbet and Kings Hotel Kality.

    In Cape Town, he owns the Kings in Cape Hotel in Hout Street, in the central business district between Cape Town Tourism’s offices and Long Street.

    The hotel is described as being “fit for kings because we literally treat our customers as kings”.

    “Located centrally in the heart of bustling Cape Town, the Kings in Cape Hotel features 14 carefully appointed rooms only for the comfort of our guests.”

    The hotel also boasts the Sheba Restaurant, “where we serve International and Ethiopian cuisine and many more varieties”.

    Ketema also used to own the most famous nightclub in Addis Ababa, Concorde, before he sold it to a prominent DJ in 2011 for 33 million birr, about R18 million at today’s exchange rate, according to the Capital newspaper in Ethiopia.

    A source told the Cape Argus that Ketema had been abducted as he was driving his silver Mercedes-Benz into the parking lot of the block where he has a flat.

    Another source described the matter as “sensitive”, at the time of going to press on Thursday night.

    Cape Argus


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    A day out at the beach turned into tragedy for a Cape Town family when their son was swept out to sea.

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    Cape Town - A day out at the beach turned into tragedy for an Ocean View family when their son was swept out to sea at Kommetjie on Thursday afternoon.

    Llewellen Faulmann had taken Eric, 13, along with his daughter and a cousin to Long Beach for an outing.

    “I brought them down to the beach to come spend the day because it was the last day of their cousin’s visit,” Faulmann said.

    “He was swimming in the ocean with his cousin, while I was looking after his 8-year-old sister on the beach. Then I looked in the water and realised that something was wrong.”

    He said he saw his son disappear in the water and had swum out to try and rescue him.

    “His cousin said to me that Eric had a cramp or something.”

    Faulmann said he almost reached Eric three times but each time he disappeared in the water until he could no longer see him.

    He asked for help from surfers who called the NSRI and police to the scene. Divers, police and a chopper were dispatched for the search which started at about 4pm. By last night the teenager was still missing.

    The NSRI’s Craig Lambinon said the search would continue at low tide last night and if need be, would continue this morning.

    Meanwhile, the search is still on for the bodies of three cousins from Kalksteenfontein, presumed to have drowned after they disappeared in the surf at Hawston at the weekend.

    Shelton Brewis, 12, Antonio Fisher, 15, and Rojei Spannenberg, 19, were swept out to sea at about 2pm on Saturday.

    Two of their cousins, Preslin and Tiaan Ross, were caught in the rip current but managed to swim back to shore and were reunited with their mother, Elna Ross, 45 minutes later. The boys had gone to Hawston on a bus as part of a day trip from Kalksteenfontein.

    * On Sunday, a 23-year-old Kraaifontein woman drowned in a tidal pool at Strandfontein, despite lifesavers’ attempts to rescue her.

    * A boy, 14, who is yet to be named, drowned at a municipal pool in Piketberg, also on Sunday.

    neo.maditla@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The State will oppose bail for two men accused of killing six-year-old Hope van der Merwe in park in Mitchells Plain.

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    Cape Town -

    The State will oppose bail for two men accused of killing six-year-old Hope van der Merwe in Mitchells Plain last week.

    The little girl died after she was shot in the head while playing in a park with her five-year-old friend Jaden Dass.

    Jaden was injured in the leg.

    On Thursday, Riedewaan Salie and Moegamat Karriem, both accused of murder and attempted murder, appeared briefly in the Mitchells Plain magistrate’s court for the State to obtain bail information.

    The court was told that the State would oppose bail.

    Outside court, protesters held placards that read: “No bail for child killers” and “Spare our children.”

    One protester who declined to give her name said it could have been anyone’s child.

    “My six-year-old daughter was also a victim. Last year she was at a shop when shots were fired, someone pushed her inside the shop.

    “She was lucky; the guy who shoved her was shot dead.”

    The 27-year-old mother said that she would return to court with school children and more residents for the bail application next month.

    Last week, the Cape Argus obtained CCTV footage of the clash that led to Hope’s death.

    The footage starts with teenagers confronting a man in New Woodlands, Mitchells Plain, demanding his cellphone.

    After the pair snatches the phone the man demands it back.

    Hope and Jaden can be seen playing a few metres away.

    It didn’t take long for back-up to arrive to assist the man. three men can be seen chasing the muggers.

    One man 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 and Jaden falls as he is shot in the right leg.

    The case was postponed to January 15 for a bail application.

    Cape Argus


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    Rapist and murderer Johannes Kana was denied leave to appeal his conviction by the Western Cape High Court, the NPA said.

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    Cape Town - Rapist and murderer Johannes Kana was denied leave to appeal his conviction by the Western Cape High Court on Friday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.

    Provincial NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said Judge Patricia Goliath ruled there was no prospect that another court would come to a different conclusion.

    Last month, Kana was given two life sentences for crimes against Bredasdorp teenager Anene Booysen.

    Booysen was raped and disembowelled, and died in Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, on the afternoon of Saturday, February 2.

    Kana had applied for leave to appeal his sentence.

    “We are pleased with this decision as we opposed the appeal. We hope Mr Kana will now move on and start his life sentence imprisonment,” Ntabazalila said. - Sapa


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    The body of a 13-year-old boy who went missing in the surf at Kommetjie Beach, on the Cape Peninsula, was recovered by police divers.

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    Johannesburg - The body of a 13-year-old boy who went missing in the surf at Kommetjie Beach, on the Cape Peninsula, was recovered by police divers on Friday morning, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

    Spokesman Craig Lambinon said the boy went missing on Thursday.

    “An ongoing search operation by police divers... assisted by NSRI Kommetjie volunteers, commenced at 4.35am this morning, and, at around 10.30am, a local beachfront resident noticed the body of the teenager floating in shallow surf and alerted the search party,” he said.

    An inquest docket was opened by police.

    Sapa


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    An American diplomat fell to his death while hiking on the Table Mountain range near Camps Bay.

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    Cape Town - An American diplomat fell to his death while hiking on the Table Mountain range near Camps Bay on Thursday.

    Five volunteer teams from Wilderness Search and Rescue searched through the night. Then, shortly after 6am on Friday morning, the 53-year-old man’s body was spotted by an Emergency Medical Services helicopter. Two paramedics were lowered from the helicopter to the body. The man was declared dead at the scene.

    He had left his hotel in Cape Town and gone hiking on Thursday afternoon.

    Police have identified the victim. However, the American Embassy’s spokesman, Jack Hillmeyer, asked the Cape Argus not to publish the name because they had not received official confirmation and his next of kin had not yet been notified.

    “(The man) contacted his hotel at about 3pm informing them that he was getting lost,” said police spokesman Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana.

    “Before receiving help, he called again, indicating he had found his way again. It is alleged that was the last time the hotel heard from him.”

    Metro rescue workers searched part of the mountain and the body was found. Police are investigating and an inquest docket has been opened.

    “It appears that the man fell to his death on a rocky slope called Porcupine buttress. The area is known to be dangerous and another hiker nearly died during a fall there last year,” said Wilderness Search and Rescue spokesman Anwaaz Bent.

    daneel.knoetze@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The infamous section of the N1 near Laingsburg, known as the “Road of Death”, claimed six more lives in two head-on collisions.

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    Cape Town - The infamous section of the N1 near Laingsburg, known as the “Road of Death”, claimed six more lives in two head-on collisions early on Friday morning.

    Four people died when a Toyota Hilux bakkie and a minibus taxi collided and burst into flames at 3.40am on Friday, said Robert Daniels, principal communications officer for Western Cape Emergency Medical Services.

    The driver of the Hilux and his two passengers died, as did the taxi driver. The taxi was not carrying passengers.

    The bodies of the dead were burnt beyond recognition, Daniels said.

    The drivers of two trucks died at 5am, when their vehicles were also involved in a head-on collision, he said. The trucks caught fire and, in this incident too, the bodies of the men were burnt beyond recognition.

    The fire continued to rage deep into the morning because one of the trucks was laden with crates full of paper. It damaged phone lines, affecting landline and cellphone reception in the area. The N1 had to be closed.

    l At about 6pm on Thursday, two men aged 38 and 25 died in a crash on the Old Faure Road, near Khayelitsha, when their small bakkie was involved in a head-on collision with a car. The driver of the car was seriously injured.

    Paramedics responded to help two colleagues from fire services when the firemen’s water tanker overturned on Klipheuwel Road later on Thursday morning. Two firefighters were taken to the Durbanville Mediclinic. No other vehicles were involved.

    * Meanwhile, unroadworthy taxis were going to be a priority target for traffic officers over the festive season, councillor JP Smith warned.

    Owners and drivers of unroadworthy taxis had better be sure they did not pick up passengers, said Smith, the mayoral committee member for safety and security.

    Cape Town


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    A photo of Madiba taken in 1977 inspired a group of Cape Flats youngsters as they developed their own political consciences.

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    Cape Town - A picture is worth a thousand words, they say - and of course it can still be an inspiration and a powerful symbol even when there are no words competing with it.

    One such image was the famous photograph of Nelson Mandela, taken by a journalist in 1977 midway through his 18 years of incarceration on Robben Island during a government-sponsored propaganda visit for the media.

    Leaning on his spade, the world’s most famous political prisoner, whose words were banned by the apartheid government, glares in icy disdain at the photographer who had clearly not asked his permission to take it.

    And it was that defiant air of Madiba that inspired a group of Cape Flats youngsters as they developed their own political consciences and became immersed in the struggle during the increasingly turbulent decade of the 1980s.

    One of them was a young Hishaam Mohamed, now regional head of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and then a young schoolboy at Perivale Primary School, which was just across the street from his family home in Lotus River.

    Mohamed’s early political awareness came when he discovered that, as a very keen young rugby player, he would never be allowed to play for the club of his choice as sport was then still segregated.

    “I was a rugby nut and I wanted to play for Villagers, but people told me ‘you can’t go there’,” he told the Cape Argus this week.

    When he realised that was true, he helped organise a placard protest, even though he was only in Grade 7 at the time. He used materials from the school’s art room and a slogan from the anti-apartheid Sacos (SA Council on Sport) - “No normal sport in an abnormal society” - something he had read about in the Cape Herald newspaper which was then published by the Argus group.

    During their subsequent, higher profile, protests against the tricameral system that was being introduced by the apartheid government, the then high school students attracted the attention of the police and the security branch, and Mohamed was detained three times at Wynberg police station for contravening the state of emergency regulations.

    “I spent two weeks in the Wynberg cells (on one occasion) and I remember Lynne Matthews, Trevor Manuel’s former wife, bringing us koeksusters,” he recalls.

    It was during this period that Mohamed obtained a copy of the Mandela photograph, possession of which was highly illegal. It really inspired and motivated him and his peers on the school’s SRC and in the Western Cape Student Association to pass matric in 1985, despite having to write during the highly stressful state of emergency that had been declared, he says.

    “We were involved in resistance during the day and were studying at night. It was difficult but that picture really inspired us. I would never have got through matric without that picture. We were inspired by Madiba’s spirit and said to ourselves ‘let’s do it, let’s get somewhere (in life) and to do this we need to be educated’.”

    But there were some doubting Thomases who were not convinced the image was really Mandela - “some of them thought it may just be some bandiet (criminal prisoner), but later Dullah Omar (then a lawyer who had represented Mandela on the island) confirmed it was indeed him. He said ‘no, this is him!’ and so I protected that picture and really looked after it.”

    Mohamed said while he appreciated that his tale of the picture was just a very minor element in the major story of Mandela’s life, the memory of it had reverberated during this week’s Mandela tributes when he saw again how many other people had also been inspired by Madiba. “It felt good,” he said.

    Another memory triggered by Mandela’s death was about the loss of his car, Mohamed revealed.

    “I was so excited about the news of his release from jail that the day before (February 10, 1990) I decided to spraypaint my old blue Datsun with ANC colours, just to get into the spirit of things. It was old and with just two nuts on one of the wheels, but we used it to go to Paarl and we wanted to make sure we had the first spot at the gate for his release.

    “And of course the wheel fell off along the way, so we just abandoned the car and jumped on the back of a bakkie that was going to the jail.”

    He and his friends also got lifts back to the Grand Parade for Mandela’s first speech after his release - and while all that was happening, someone stole the vehicle.

    “Just like Dawood (Khan), I’m still looking for my Datsun - it cost me R1 600 of bursary money!” he laughs.

    (He was referring to businessman Dawood Khan, who supplied the Toyota Cressida that ferried Mandela from jail to the Grand Parade for his first public address. The car was subsequently sold, and all attempts to trace it have failed.)

    Mohamed is also proud of helping to organise Mandela’s electioneering visit to Grassy Park ahead of the first democratic elections in 1994, because this southern Peninsula area was considered a “heartland” of the conservative National Party and the ANC felt it needed to make a major statement there with its trump card - and Madiba duly obliged.

    This week, Mohamed is officiating at tributes to Mandela by Justice Department and court staff - all being held either during the lunch hour or after hours, because “duty comes first - that’s what Madiba would have wanted”.

    The staff are recommitting themselves to upholding Mandela’s legacy through their responsibility to dispense justice equally and uphold all the principles of the constitution, Mohamed says.

    “Madiba showed us that public service is a means of effecting societal change. And we have to bring back integrity, it’s critical. We have to live that integrity - there are a lot of temptations!”

    john.yeld@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A bogus paralegal practitioner was ordered to repay his victims a total of R346 280 by mid-January, or face seven years in prison.

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    Cape Town - A Western Cape bogus paralegal practitioner was ordered on Friday to repay his victims a total of R346 280 by mid-January, or face seven years in prison.

    Chris Lodewyk, 46, was also sentenced to two years house arrest, during which he has to do community service as a cleaner and maintenance worker at the Parow police station.

    He pretended to be an attorney and financial adviser, and defrauded three victims after falsely advertising himself on the internet website Gumtree.

    He appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court before Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg, who warned him he was not allowed to consume liquor during the two years of house arrest.

    He was sentenced on three counts of fraud and one of violating the Attorney’s Act, in plea-bargain proceedings.

    In addition to the house arrest, he was sentenced to seven years, suspended on condition that he repay his victims by mid-January.

    Senior State advocate Razia Valley-Omar told the court Lodewyk advertised himself on Gumtree as a paralegal and attorney, in the name of Legal Max, for more than four years - from January 2008, to March, 2012.

    Lodewyk, who suffers serious depression resulting from an abusive relationship, was recently assessed by the Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital as fit to stand trial.

    On one fraud count, Lodewyk charged victim Richard Watkins fees amounting to R50 280 over a period of three years for legal work in Watkins’s dispute with a motor company.

    On the second fraud charge, he charged victim Werner Schreuder R79 600 to defend Schreuder in high court litigation.

    Lodewyk falsely informed Schreuder that the litigation had gone in his favour, and the first that Schreuder knew that he had been defrauded was when the sheriff arrived at Schreuder’s home to attach his vehicle.

    On the third fraud count, Lodewyk, pretending to be a registered financial adviser, duped pensioners Richard and Elizabeth Dickenson into investing R216 000 in a non-existent company, First Stage Holdings Ltd, for a “guaranteed” annual return of between 16 and 18.5 percent.

    Valley-Omar said Lodewyk had abused his position of trust with the three victims, and had defrauded them in a calculated manner.

    Legal aid defence attorney Hailey Lawrence assured the court that an investment that was due for release in mid-January would enable Lodewyk to compensate his victims in full in accordance with the order.

    Sapa


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