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    Mark Goldberg is a free man after a full bench of the Western Cape High Court set aside his conviction and prison term for the illegal possession and sale of ivory.

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    Cape Town - Sea Point curio shop owner Mark Goldberg is a free man after a full bench of the Western Cape High Court set aside his conviction and seven-year prison term for the illegal possession and sale of ivory.

    Judges Owen Rogers, Patricia Goliath and Andre le Grange set aside Cape Town Regional Court magistrate Wilma van der Merwe’s July 2011 decision to convict Goldberg of five counts under the Nature and Environmental Conservation Ordinance.

    The seven-year prison sentence, with two years conditionally suspended for five years, imposed in April last year, was also set aside.

    In July 2011, Van der Merwe rejected Goldberg’s defence that he was only the manager of the Gift House Curio Shop in Sea Point, which was owned by his mother, Sonja Marcus. When Marcus died, Goldberg inherited the business.

    CapeNature officials raided the curio shop in 2009 and found 43 905 ivory items.

    In handing down sentence, Van der Merwe said Goldberg was convicted of an “exceptionally serious crime”.

    But Goldberg’s lawyer, advocate Reuben Liddell, brought an application for leave to appeal, citing the sentence as “excessive”.

    In the high court judgment, the judges said the perpetrator of the offence, if one was committed, was Goldberg’s mother.

    Judge Rogers said he he felt that the State had not proved beyond reasonable doubt that Goldberg had “assisted his mother in her possession of the ivory, knowing that her possession was unlawful because she did not have statements of origin”.

    Goldberg’s R50 000 bail was returned to him.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The young Cape Town surfer bitten by a shark believes he was protected by an angel and is “so grateful to be alive”.

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    Cape Town - The young Cape Town surfer bitten by a shark believes he was protected by an angel and is “so grateful to be alive”.

    Tom Browne was speaking from his hospital bed in Hermanus on Tuesday, where he was still being monitored to ensure his leg was not infected by bacteria from the shark’s teeth.

    The 19-year-old is a student at the UCT, studying geomatics, the official name of land surveying.

    On Monday, he, two friends and a friend’s father set out for a public holiday surf at Die Plaat, just west of De Kelders on the Walker Bay coastline.

    After paddling out to the backline, shortly before 9am, he was sitting on his board, waiting for a wave when a shark, believed to be a great white, bit his board and leg.

    His recollection of what followed is numbed by the massive surge of adrenalin which remained with him until he was being treated at Hermanus Mediclinic.

    He didn’t even feel pain.

    “Throughout the whole incident, you’re so pumped with adrenalin you don’t feel anything,” he told the Cape Argus.

    “At the time, it’s really like you’re living a nightmare, when you’re in the water, having that experience.

    “But there were so many factors that day, that I believe He was looking over me and had an angel protecting me,” Browne said.

    “I really wanted to live. Being just 19 and studying, and with my love of the outdoors… I had so much to live for. I just couldn’t go that day.”

    He cited several factors which collectively allowed him to survive.

    First, the shark had bitten not only his leg, but the back part of his board, including one of the fins.

    “I’ve been told that that’s probably why the shark bit and then released, because it mistook my fin for a bone,” he explained.

    “Then there was a wave right then, which I could catch” - which had powered him shorewards out of danger.

    “Then, on the shore, normally I’m dropped off when I surf, but we had a car with us. And we’d even parked at the closest point to the beach” - which had allowed him swift access to the hospital.

    He was later told by medical staff that the shark’s teeth had missed a nerve by about 1cm, and had just missed an artery.

    “Even if my artery had just been nicked, it would have been game over,” he said.

    “There were all these factors behind me. It was not just chance - it was a divine experience.

    “I just sat in the back of the bakkie and realised ‘I’ve still got my limbs, I’m okay’.

    “It has made me slightly more religious. I was wearing a cross that day, out in the water, and I felt its power that day.”

    Among the worst parts was the subsequent account by his friend, Cairin Michie.

    “He was facing me as we sat on our boards in the water, and he said it was the scariest moment of his life - watching his friend fighting for his life, but being helpless, not being able to do anything,” Browne said.

    Browne hoped to be discharged from hospital on Wednesday.

    “I’ll be fine. I’m still in shock, but I was very, very lucky.

    “It’s going to take me some time to get back to that spot, but you won’t keep me out of the water,” the surfer promised.

    Cape Argus


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    A dispute over control of the Tweede Nuwejaar carnival could put the Cape Town showpiece at risk, the mayor has warned.

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    Cape Town - A standoff between the City of Cape Town and one of the biggest minstrel associations over control of the Tweede Nuwejaar carnival could affect the whole event, mayor Patricia de Lille has warned.

    The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association, which represents about 33 troupes – more than half of those expected to take part in the parade scheduled for January 4 - is taking the city to court.

    “We are in dispute with the city because we don’t want to be controlled by an event company. This is about principles and our community,” said Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association chair Richard Stemmet.

    But De Lille said the city would “not bend the law” to give in to the association’s demands to manage the event themselves. “This is just not on.”

    Stemmet insisted this latest row with the city was not about funding, but about being controlled by an outside company, Bharooch Event Styling and Management, when its members were spending money on preparations for the annual parade. “They are making money from our event.”

    The city was on Tuesday still hopeful that the impasse would be resolved and that the association would accept its conditions and join the other groups in signing the agreement.

    It has allocated R3.5 million to provide traffic control, law enforcement and other logistical support for the event.

    De Lille said the province also contributed R2m for transport, while the national government provided an undisclosed amount for various costs. With funding coming from all three spheres of government, the association’s demands for extra financial resources and greater control was “unsustainable and unreasonable”.

    She said she would contact Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile about the city’s concerns and to determine how much money would come from the national government.

    Stemmet said the association did not want to discuss the matter further, as the city was reneging on its previous agreements.

    Other events, such as the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour and Cape Town Carnival, were able to appoint their own organisers, and the minstrels should be allowed to do the same.

    “It’s our march and now we must be guests. It is totally unfair.”

    The association had managed its own event for almost two decades, and had always complied with the city’s bylaws, he said.

    But De Lille said it had been clear during negotiations that the association was “hell-bent” on getting the city to give it money to organise the event themselves. She said last year’s parade was a “complete disaster” as the associations battled to organise transport for their members.

    Money had been given to the troupes to arrange their own transport, but this year the city would engage directly with Golden Arrow Bus Services to avoid similar problems.

    De Lille said at a media briefing that extensive efforts were being made to include all the associations in the event. “We are at our wit’s end to try and get them on board.” But negotiations with the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association had been “unco-operative and confrontational”.

    She said the city was working at improving its relationship with the minstrel community.

    In 2011, retired Constitutional Court Judge Kate O’Reagan was appointed as an independent mediator in negotiations and the parade was restored to its original route through the Bo-Kaap.

    De Lille said the city had started discussions in April to minimise potential problems. Most of the associations agreed with the city’s conditions, and had signed the memorandum of understanding on December 3.

    City events director Teral Cullen said conditions included guidelines for arrival times, arrangements with the province for transport, the accreditation of participating troupes and other logistics.

    The South African Christmas Bands Board, which traditionally takes to the street on Christmas Eve, has also not signed the agreement. De Lille said the city would therefore not organise or incur costs for the event, which was “very regrettable”.

    Anton Groenewald, city executive director of tourism, events and marketing, said the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association’s participation would be unauthorised if it did not sign the city’s agreement, but its troupes would not be barred from taking part.

    “I don’t think it will be necessary to arrest them if they do attend,” said De Lille.

     

    anel.lewis@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Activists have picketed outside Newspaper House to call for the reinstatement of former Cape Times editor Alide Dasnois.

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    Cape Town - Activists, journalists and concerned citizens picketed outside the Cape Times’ offices on Tuesday in a call for editorial independence and the reinstatement of Alide Dasnois as the paper’s editor.

    Another group, called the Movement for the Transformation of Media in South Africa (MTMSA), tried to drown out the picketers with singing and music from a band that arrived shortly after the group.

    They demanded “all racist reporters” should be fired and claimed there was a lack of transformation in the media.

    The movement was started two weeks ago and is made up of the Western Cape Social and Economic Development Forum, the Progressive Professionals Forum and the South African National Civic Organisation, which is an ANC alliance partner.

    Police had to intervene to calm tempers, after which most of the movement’s supporters dispersed.

    The Right2Know picket went ahead, joined by AgangSA. Right2Know organised the picket after Independent News and Media SA (INMSA) chairman Dr Iqbal Survé removed Dasnois from her position on December 6.

    Her removal followed a report by the Cape Times on the public protector’s adverse findings against the Department of Fisheries in the awarding of a tender to one of the companies in the Sekunjalo Group.

    Survé has denied accusations that Dasnois was fired over this news report.

    On Thursday, Right2Know co-ordinator Mark Weinberg told the protesters that Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu supported their action.

    Right2Know handed a memorandum to INMSA, which has a week to respond. The memorandum called for:

    * Editorial independence. Right2Know wants a commitment that an editorial charter will be drawn up and an editorial advisory board appointed.

    * The unconditional withdrawal of all threats to sue Dasnois and reporter Melanie Gosling;

    * The reinstatement of Dasnois as editor; and

    * A written assurance by Survé that he will never again sue or threaten to sue any of the group newspapers, editors and reporters.

    “You can’t have transformation of media without press freedom. We cannot have an attack on journalists and an attack on editors like we have seen here (at Cape Times),” Weinberg said.

    “It cannot go unpunished. Someone must take account. When we say transformation we don’t say put your business friends at the top.”

    He said Right2Know picketed because “the owners crossed the line and stepped into editorial just to protect themselves and their own reputation”.

    Mary Burton, a former commissioner on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said the relationship between a newspaper and its readers must be built on trust, “a trust that is hard won and all too easily lost”.

    “We need to be sure that the people who produce our newspapers are independent and free to tell us the truth. There is no democracy without press freedom,” she said.

    MTMSA convener Wesley Douglas said the group protested on Tuesday in defence of Survé.

    He said the issue was not press freedom but resistance to transformation in the media.

    “We are not saying that there should be no coverage of bad things that happen. There is stuff that are in the best interest of all South Africans to know,” Douglas said.

    “The question is: why is it that only black politicians and black business people and what they do negatively (that) is in the press but not what white politicians and white business people are doing?

    “There is a disparity in the coverage.”

    Asked if the MTMSA had any links to Survé, Douglas said he had no links and had never met him before.

    Douglas is also the secretary-general of the African-Chinese People’s Friendship Association.

    Cape Times


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    A 16-year-old boy is in hospital after being shot three times in the stomach and once each in the back, arm and leg.

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    Cape Town - A teenager is lucky to be alive after he was shot six times while walking with friends in Portlands, Mitchells Plain, on Monday.

    Jean-Pierre Lestrade, 16, and two friends were walking down Silversands Street just before 11pm when a white Opel Corsa bakkie went past and the occupants opened fire on the teen.

    A witness said he saw the bakkie with blue tinted windows chase the teenager and his two friends.

    “They ran in different directions. The bakkie slowly crept up to him and one guy jumped from the back of the bakkie.”

    The witness said he heard him shout: “Hosh die nommer raak vol,” which means “I’m paying a debt” in slang.

    He claimed the shooter was a 27s gang member.

    The teen’s mother, Charlene Lestrade, said she was at home when a neighbour told her Jean-Pierre had been shot.

    “I went to him immediately. When I arrived he was lying on the ground, the ambulance hadn’t arrived and he was unconscious.

    “Everything happened so fast. The police said I shouldn’t move him or touch him.”

    Lestrade said once the ambulance arrived, they were taken to Groote Schuur Hospital and Jean-Pierre regained consciousness.

    “He just said, ‘I love you, Mommy’.”

    Lestrade said her son had been shot six times - three times in the stomach and once each in the back, arm and leg.

    She added that Jean-Pierre had survived an incident last year when petrol had been poured on to his face and set alight after an argument over a girl.

    “He is a fighter, a diehard.”

    Lestrade added that her son did not belong to a gang.

    Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said police were investigating a case of attempted murder and armed robbery.

    He said police had responded to a complaint of a shooting in Portlands and had found a 16-year-old with multiple bullet wounds. “The victim was treated at the scene and taken to a nearby hospital.”

    He added that it was alleged that the teen was walking in the street when he was stopped by unknown suspects driving an Opel Corsa LDV. “The victim was robbed of his belongings and shot.”

    *Anyone with information about the incident may contact Detective Warrant Officer Dedrick April at 084 516 7263.

    natasha.bezuidenhout@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court prosecutor allegedly accepted meat and alcohol as a bribe to influence a case.

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    Cape Town - A Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court prosecutor has been accused of accepting meat and alcohol as a bribe to influence a court case he was involved in.

    Job Dlamini was arrested on Friday at 1pm and appeared in the Kuils River Magistrate’s Court the same day.

     

    It is alleged that Dlamini accepted the meat and a bottle of whiskey during a mediation process last September. The mediation was held after hours. It is unclear why Dlamini was only arrested this year.

    William Booth, for Dlamini, said his client had been a prosecutor for 11 years, had a fixed address and no pending cases, no warrants for his arrest and no previous convictions. In support of his client’s bail application he argued that the incident allegedly occurred more than a year ago and that police could have summoned Dlamini to appear in court.

    Dlamini was freed on R1 000 bail and no conditions were attached to his release.

    The matter was postponed for further investigation but Dlamini’s case was transferred to the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court.

    He is due in court again on January 21.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A told the father accused of kidnapping his young son that he did not trust him, before setting bail at R5 000.

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    Cape Town - A Muizenberg magistrate reprimanded the father accused of kidnapping his young son and taking him to live in Limpopo for more than a year, saying he might just do it again.

    Magistrate Yusuf Kamedien told the father, whose identity is being withheld to protect his five-year-old son, that he did not trust him, and set bail at R5 000 - five times higher than suggested by prosecutor Deidre Julius.

    Julius said the father was not a flight risk, had a fixed address in Capricorn and agreed that bail could be set. She told the court the incident stemmed from an argument the man had with his ex-girlfriend over custody of their son.

    The father had allegedly broken down the front door, smashed a window and assaulted his ex-girlfriend during the argument. He has been charged with malicious damage to property, assault and abduction.

    Julius said the boy was well taken care of while at his paternal grandparents’ home in Limpopo for 18 months.

    “I’ve advised the complainant to sort out custody of the child for his safety and security,” Julius said.

    The boy’s mother was at court on Tuesday and told the Cape Argus that she would help raise the money to have her ex-boyfriend released on bail. While she did not want to rekindle their relationship, she did not want him in jail. He is due back in court on February 11.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Two women, who were believed to be sisters, were found dead at the back of a take-away shop on the Malmesbury main road.

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    Cape Town - An apparent double murder in a shop has shocked the residents of Malmesbury.

    Two women, who were believed to be sisters, were found dead at the back of a take-away shop called Eatsumore in the town’s main road at 7am on Tuesday.

    Police said at this stage they could not say wether the two were related and could not give the cause of death nor say whether the two women were sexually assaulted.

    One was found on a bed and the other was found a bit later, under the bed.

    The crime scene was cordoned off by the police so that forensic experts could check the murder scene.

    When the SAPS Forensics members entered the shop they found the body of another female partly hidden under a bed.

    “Police cannot confirm that the two female bodies are related and whether they had been sexually assaulted - their identity also needs to be confirmed,” a spokesman said.

    Cape Argus


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  • 12/18/13--07:18: Crack down on beach boozers
  • More than 600 litres of alcohol have been seized on Cape Town's beaches since the start of December.

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    Cape Town - More than 600 litres of alcohol have been seized on Cape Town's beaches since the start of December.

    “That's nearly triple the amount compared to the same period last year,” said Jean-Pierre Smith, member of the mayoral committee responsible for safety.

    “The city is committed to providing a safe environment for residents and visitors who use our beaches this festive season.”

    He said the disorderly conduct associated with excessive alcohol usage made beaches unsafe and unpleasant for others.

    “In addition to this, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is one of the leading causes of drowning. We will continue to confiscate alcohol on beaches in order to make our beaches safe for everyone,” he said.

    The city has a by-law prohibiting the introduction, possession and consumption of liquor on beaches.

    Offenders would have their liquor confiscated and receive a written notice to appear in court, with a fine of R500.

    Sapa


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    A brave Cape Town grandma has been hailed a hero after saving 14 children from a fire that gutted her home.

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    Cape Town - An elderly Cape Town woman was hailed as a hero on Wednesday for saving 14 children from a burning house. She even went back into the house for one of them.

    Elizabeth Barrett, 68, could not save any of her belongings from the fire, which gutted a Victorian-era semi-detached house in Harrington Street.

    She lost her ID and South African Social Security Agency cards in the fire.

    When the fire started at 7.30am on Wednesday, Barrett was in the house with 14 children - six of them her grandchildren, five children from the streets, and three orphans sent to her from an orphanage to spend the holidays.

    Her daughter Beatrice had been at work at the time.

    Barrett said she had been preparing porridge in the kitchen when she smelt burning wires.

    One of the children woke up and told her smoke was coming from a bedroom.

    The child helped her push the bedroom door open.

    “There was a lot of smoke in the room. Then the fire came up straight to my face. I said to the children, ‘you must wake the others and we must run’, because the fire was too strong.”

    As the children ran out of the house Barrett counted them. One was missing.

    “I saw that there were 13 children and they are supposed to be 14.

    “I ran (back into the house) upstairs and I screamed, ‘Who is upstairs? Is anybody upstairs?’

    “I saw one of the boys, he was under the bed next to the room where the fire was.

    “I pulled him out underneath, but it was so dark from the smoke. It was black smoke all over the house.”

    Barrett, Beatrice and the children found shelter at a workshop next to the house.

    “Everything was burnt out. All the clothes and furniture are gone. We couldn’t save any belongings,” she said.

    “All I could save was the children.

    “The fire was too strong. You know, bamboo burns quickly and there’s a lot of black smoke that comes from it.”

    Barrett, who has lived in the house for more than 30 years, said she had been taking in children from the streets for years. She takes them off the streets, clothes them and puts them through school.

    She receives government social grants for one of her grandchildren and an old-age pension. The family’s other source of income is Beatrice’s salary.

    Barrett said she had to send three children back to an orphanage in Durbanville as there would not be enough room for all of them.

    Some good Samaritans had already donated old clothing, mattresses and food to the family.

    Inside the house the smell of ash lingered in the air, the charred remains of sofas and doors were on the waterlogged floor, water dripped from the ceiling and the roof had caved in.

    A neighbour said they had had seen the smoke and called the fire brigade. He said the fire had been strong.

    xolani.koyana@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Sophia and Sylvia Syster have been found bludgeoned to death inside a take-away shop in Malmesbury.

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    Cape Town - The family of two Malmesbury sisters found bound and bludgeoned to death, said they found it difficult to comprehend their brutal murder.

    Sophia Syster, 43, and Sylvia “Mietjie” Syster, 31, were found dead inside the Eatsumore Take-Aways in Main Road, Malmesbury, on Tuesday.

    While one of the sisters was found bound and naked on the floor, the other was found partially hidden under a bed.

    On Wednesday, the police could not confirm whether the pair had been sexually assaulted.

    Anton Blom, the take-away’s owner, said they had been killed in a cruel manner, apparently with a hammer.

    “I unlocked the shop at 6.35am and found the one lady on the floor in her bedroom.

    “The place was in disarray.”

    He said he was so shocked that he immediately called the police, not yet having seen the other woman under the bed.

    Sophia had been working at the takeaway for 15 months.

    Sylvia often slept on the streets.

    “It was so cruel. I heard she was hit with a hammer.”

    Blom said the perpetrators had come in through the shop’s ceiling.

    “It is such a big shock to everyone.”

    Charney Syster, Sophia’s daughter, said the family could not believe it when they heard the news.

    “It was really difficult for us.”

    “We still have to see the bodies, they have not completed the autopsies yet,” she said.

    The last time she had seen her mom was on Saturday when she had told her that she would be going to the beach on Sunday.

    Godfrey Fortuin, who has known Sophia for 15 years, said she had been his best friend.

    “We planned to go to the beach in Paternoster on Sunday.

    “Everyone is so shocked, something like this has never happened here before.”

    Yellow police tape cordoned off the cafe as officers continued to scour the scene on Wednesday.

    Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said no arrests had yet been made.

    natasha.bezuidenhout@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    It’s been 13 years since Janine Manuel was allegedly killed by her cop husband, and her family may soon get some justice.

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    Cape Town - It has been 13 years since Janine Manuel, who was seven-months pregnant, was killed, allegedly by her husband, a Mitchells Plain police officer.

    Morne Manuel, who was a sergeant in 2000, will hear his fate on Friday.

    The prosecution argued in the Mitchells Plain Regional Court on Thursday that Manuel’s actions on that fateful day were “goal-directed”.

    “(Manuel’s) version, that he acted involuntarily, has no basis. (Manuel’s) actions could only be those of a man who was in control,” prosecutor Mziwanele Jaxa argued.

    Manuel had to unclip his service pistol from its holster, take possession of it, point it at his wife and fire the single shot.

    Janine Manuel, 24, was shot in the right side of her face, above her nose. The couple’s daughter, who was four, witnessed the shooting in the bathroom of her family home.

    According to the State, Manuel shot his wife in an argument over his being late for an ultrasound scan.

    “It’s common cause there was an unharmonious atmosphere because (Manuel) was late for the ultrasound scan,” Jaxa said.

    Dr Gielie van Dyk, clinical psychologist for the defence, testified that a number of “stimuli” led to the September 11, 2000, shooting.

    These included Manuel’s severe emotional distress because of the history of violence in their relationship; he was subjected to verbal abuse on the day; and he was tired after a stressful day at work. Also, Janine Manuel had told him that when he returned from work she would not be there and he could get the key to the house from the neighbours.

    William Booth, for Manuel, said that this was a “slap in the face” and derogatory. Booth explained that after the couple returned from the hospital they went home and when the argument continued, Manuel got into his car. As he made to leave home, his wife shouted that she was also leaving. Manuel went back inside and minutes later the shooting occurred.

    Booth said that if Janine Manuel had not come outside again and scolded her husband, she might still be alive.

    “The incident was brought about by years of issues and problems which culminated on that day,” Booth said.

    He added, however, that his client had not had the intention to kill his wife.

    If he had, he could have done so at the hospital, in the car, or when they first got home, Booth said.

    Another critical point for Manuel was when his wife locked herself in the bathroom with the couple’s daughter.

    This “concerned” Manuel, Booth said, because there were pills in the bathroom and Janine Manuel had attempted suicide before.

    Manuel kicked down the door and tried to calm his wife by placing his hands on her upper arms.

    Thereafter he heard a shot go off.

    Jaxa argued that Van Dyk was biased as he had been Manuel’s personal doctor.

    It was also “convenient” that Manuel remembered everything that led to the shooting and what happened afterwards, but not that he fired the shot.

    Booth argued that there was a difference between mental capacity and physically committing the crime.

    “At the time (Manuel) was so emotionally overwrought that it affected his mental ability and he never knew what was going on,” Booth said.

    Manuel, who pleaded not guilty to murder on July 26, 2005, is continuing to work as a police officer.

    He was cleared at an internal disciplinary hearing.

    Magistrate Nomqondisi Jakuja is expected to give judgment on Friday.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association is seeking an urgent court interdict to retain control of the annual Kaapse Klopse.

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    Cape Town - The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association is seeking an urgent court interdict to retain control of the annual Kaapse Klopse or minstrel parade.

    And it insists that this latest dispute with the City of Cape Town is not about funding, but about who should manage the iconic event that traditionally takes place on January 2.

    Advocate Shaid Bruinders confirmed on Wednesday that the association was busy with an application to stop Bharooch Event Styling and Management from running the parade, which is scheduled for January 4.

    Mayor Patricia De Lille said this week that more than 75 percent of the organisations involved agreed to the city’s conditions and signed an agreement on December 3. Only the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association, representing about 33 of the troops expected to take part, did not sign.

    De Lille said this was despite three attempts to get them on board. Negotiations started in April in a bid to minimise any potential conflict.

    The city provides R3.5 million worth of logistical and support services to ensure the event runs smoothly. De Lille said it became clear during discussions that the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association wanted to have this money paid directly to them so they could organise it themselves.

    But Bruinders refuted this, saying: “It is not accurate to say that we want more funding. It’s about the fairness of appointing a company that does not have the same experience and infrastructure as my client.

    The city’s executive director for tourism, events and marketing Anton Groenewald said on Wednesday that the council had not yet been served with papers. Despite being given more than two weeks additional time to change its position, the association had refused to budge.

    However, Groenewald remained optimistic that the impasse could be resolved.

    About 20 000 people are expected to take to the streets on January 4, just days after Cape Town’s official launch as the World Design Capital 2014.

    * In the article, “Troupes stand firm on money”, it was reported that the Cape Minstrel Carnival Association represents more than half of those expected to take part in the parade. The association, with 33 troupes, in fact represents just under half the 75 troupes expected to participate. The Cape Argus regrets the error.

    anel.lewis@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Vito Palazzolo is to be extradited from Thailand to Italy, where he is expected to serve prison time after being sentenced to jail there.

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    Cape Town - Vito Palazzolo is this week set to be extradited from Thailand to Italy, where he is expected to serve jail time after being sentenced there to nine years’ imprisonment in absentia, says his son.

    His extradition is to take place a year after he appealed against an initial extradition order and after protracted court proceedings that have seen him imprisoned in Thailand for 21 months.

    In 2009, Palazzolo was sentenced by an Italian court for having an association with the Mafia. On Wednesday, Palazzolo’s son, Christian von Palace, confirmed to the Cape Times that his father would be sent to Italy this week.

    “He obviously isn’t happy about it,” he said, referring to his father. Palazzolo, a naturalised South African citizen once based in the Western Cape, was arrested on March 30 last year on an Interpol red notice - one of Interpol’s tools for tracking international fugitives - on his way back to SA.

    He has been detained in Bangkok’s immigration detention centre since then.

    A year ago, a Thai court had ruled that Palazzolo had to return to Italy, but he had appealed against this.

    On Wednesday, Von Palace said his father had unexpectedly appeared in a Thai court on Friday where the appeal judgment was heard.

    “The judgment said he must go back (to Italy),” Von Palace said.

    A number of online Italian publications had quoted Leonardo Agueci, the deputy chief prosecutor in Palermo in Sicily, as talking about the extradition and saying: “It has been a very long procedure.”

    Von Palace said once in Italy, his father was expected to serve the nine-year prison term that had been handed down in absentia, but the 21 months he had already spent detained in Thailand would likely be deducted from this.

    He said “no one” in his family felt positive about the judgment and for the second consecutive year, their festive season had been marred by extradition matters.

    Von Palace said his family was considering what to do about the extradition ruling and the jail time his father was expected to serve, as they believed there were irregularities in the case which lead to Palazzolo being sentenced in absentia.

    Last year, when Palazzolo’s initial extradition had been announced in Italy, images of him appearing gaunt, compared to before his arrest, had emerged.

    Earlier this year, Von Palace had attributed this weight loss to the food Palazzolo was being given in prison.

    He had said his father was being treated as well as could be expected in a prison, but often suffered from colds and flu.

    Von Palace, who had frequently visited his father in prison, had said visits from the family had helped Palazzolo cope.

    caryn.dolley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    The group that almost disrupted the Right2Know picket outside Newspaper House met with INMSA chairman Dr Iqbal Surve.

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    Cape Town - The group that almost disrupted a planned picket organised by the Right2Know Campaign outside the Cape Times offices met Independent News and Media SA (INMSA) chairman Dr Iqbal Survé, editors and management on Wednesday.

    The newly formed Movement for Transformation of Media in SA (MTMSA) was led by convener Wesley Douglas.

    He said it was their second meeting with Survé after the newspaper owner had called them after the protests to find out what they stood for.

    On Tuesday, the MTMSA confronted picketers from Right2Know, working journalists and concerned citizens who showed their support for editorial independence and called for the reinstatement of Cape Times editor Alide Dasnois.

    The MTMSA had come out to support Survé and demanded that “racist reporters” be fired.

    Douglas said they had expected to meet only management on Wednesday but Survé had joined the meeting with several newspaper editors.

    He said MTMSA was started two weeks ago after they felt the media was unbalanced, heavy-handed and reported from a skewed political and racial perspective.

    “It does reflect the mood of the people who buy your papers,” Douglas said in a memorandum he handed to INMSA management.

    He represents the Western Cape Social and Economic Development Forum on the MTMSA.

    The forum is a non-partisan body but is headed by ANC members like Philip Dexter, who chairs the organisation.

    Douglas served as an African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP until 2009 but failed to get re-elected to Parliament after he had appeared as number 19 on the party’s list.

    He said on Wednesday he left the ACDP two years ago and has since joined the ANC.

    MTMSA is also represented by:

    * Waheeda Amien, who teaches law at UCT and is the provincial chairwoman of the Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF). She was joined by PPF deputy president Kashif Wicomb who is a law graduate and chief executive of Merdeka Power.

    * Chelsea Amor Lotz, who is the secretary-general of the Youth Progressive Forum. She has also started her own news site called The SA Observer.

    * Black Business Chamber chairman Sizwe Ngqame. The chamber is a new shareholder in INMSA.

    * SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) provincial secretary Vusi Myeki. Sanco is part of the ruling alliance with the ANC, trade union federation Cosatu and the SACP.

    Douglas said in their meeting with INMSA they had demanded information on how much the company spent on procuring goods and services from black business, how much black staff were paid compared to white employees, the equity plan and black economic empowerment statutes.

    He said they would also approach other media houses.

    The Right2Know Campaign also handed a memorandum with demands to the company.

    INMSA Cape general manager Sandy Naudé did not want to say when they would respond to the memorandums.

    “We are considering our response at present and will hopefully be able to answer the questions in a short while,” she said.

    Cape Times


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    A deaf Cape Town teenager was chased by a gang of boys who beat and stabbed him to death with pangas.

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    Cape Town - A deaf teenager was chased by a gang of boys who beat and stabbed him to death with pangas.

    Sibusiso Mbaliswano, 18, who communicated through sign language and lip reading, was allegedly attacked by a gang known as the Vitos in New Crossroads, Gugulethu, on Saturday night.

    Sibusiso’s family claimed he had no affiliations with any gang, but had mingled with everyone in the area.

    The Vitos from Section Five in New Crossroads are the gang rivals of the Ballads from Section Four, where Sibusiso lived.

    “He was not a gangster, but children in the area loved hanging out with him because he was fun and bubbly, he never let his disability get in the way,” his mother, Ntomboxolo Mbaliswano, said.

    Police spokesman FC van Wyk confirmed that the boy had been chased by a group of young men in Yanta Street and had sustained a stab wound to the chest.

    His aunt, Babalwa Mbaliswano, was first to arrive at the scene: “My friend called and told me to rush to Koornhof Street because Sibusiso had been stabbed. When I got there he was still breathing.”

    He died an hour later at KTC Hospital in Gugulethu.

    His mother, who couldn’t hold back her tears, said she couldn’t understand why her son had been killed.

    “The boys who stabbed him knew him very well. One of them grew up with him.”

    She said gangsters had occasionally targeted her son but had never before harmed him because he was not involved in a gang.

    Sibusiso had just graduated from Noluthando School for the Deaf in Khayelitsha and had been due to start working next year as a bricklayer for a company in Woodstock.

    “He grew up in difficult circumstances. Seeing him mature and not take note of his disability was a relief. He was jokey and everyone in the community loved him,” his mother said.

    Neighbours shared her pain.

    “He liked helping the mechanic nearby fix cars, he was a good child,” said Filda Mabi.

    Ntomboxolo Mbaliswano said she would never make peace with her son’s death.

    “The children who killed him are animals; they deserve to rot in jail. After butchering my son they had a nerve to blast windows in the neighbourhood, they want our kids to retaliate so that there can be war.”

    She said the parents of those who had killed her son had not attempted to make contact to sympathise.

    Police said no arrests had been made.

    zodidi.dano@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Three children drowned while swimming in the lagoon at Leisure Isle in Knysna in the Western Cape.

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    Knysna - Three children drowned at Leisure Isle in Knysna in the Western Cape on Thursday, paramedics said.

    The three, aged between 12 and 13, had been swimming in the lagoon around 12.30pm, ER24 spokesman Christo Venter said.

    They were rushed to hospital where they died. He said the lagoon was known for its strong currents. It was suspected the children had been in the water for some time before being found, Venter said.

    Sapa


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    A former relationship manager at Barclays Wealth was sentenced to 15 years in jail on multiple counts of fraud involving R15 million.

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    Cape Town - A former relationship manager at Barclays Wealth, a division of Absa, was sentenced to 15 years in jail on Thursday on multiple counts of fraud involving R15 million, and one of money laundering.

    John Julyan, 57, who was also a qualified high school teacher, appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, in Cape Town, before magistrate Amrith Chabillal, who said he hoped Julyan would use his teaching talents to “uplift and educate” those in prison with him.

    Julyan had qualified for the prescribed minimum sentence of 15

    years, for a first time conviction for fraud involving more than R500 000.

    Chabillal ruled that numerous circumstances listed by Julyan's lawyer William Booth as substantial and compelling, justifying a less severe sentence, were “ordinary circumstances”. The ruling was expected to be appealed.

    Chabillal said the higher courts had urged the lower courts not to deviate from prescribed minimum sentences for “flimsy” reasons.

    As he handed down the sentence, Chabillal added: “That’s your sentence, and the court wishes you well.”

    Prosecutor Juan Agulhas told the court that Julian almost got away with the perfect crime.

    As relationship manager earning a monthly salary of R50,000, Julyan had been responsible for a multi-million rand off-shore investment belonging to Absa client, Prof Bryan Cremin, who prior to his death from Alzheimer’s had been head of radiology at the Red Cross Children’s Memorial Hospital in Cape Town.

    The professor had been no longer able to manage his affairs, while Julyan was in control of his investments. Agulhas said Julyan had exploited the professor’s plight in a heartless manner, and frequently transferred huge amounts from the Cremin investment into his and his wife's bank accounts.

    Agulhas said Julyan had used the Cremin funds to buy property in Knysna and in the upmarket Cape Town suburb of Constantia. Julyan pumped Cremin's money into a financially troubled business owned by Julyan’s wife, bought a boat that he moored at Knysna, and took his wife on expensive holidays to Austria. Julyan also paid his own mother for the drafting of a will.

    Julyan played hide and seek with the court, and was dishonest in his testimony, Agulhas said.

    “The accused brought our country into disrepute, and portrayed South Africa as having corrupt citizens.”

    He said the case was likely to affect the country’s credit rating, and whether other countries would be willing to do business with South Africa.

    Chabillal said Julyan’s undoing had been his visit to the bank to make a final fraudulent electronic transfer of Cremin's money into his own account. A bank clerk become suspicious, and initiated an investigation that revealed the professor to be incapable of managing his affairs.

    Chabillal told Julyan: “Had it not been for that one last attempt to unlawfully transfer funds into your own account, your actions may well have gone undetected.”

    Sapa


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  • 12/19/13--08:52: Staggie to face parole board
  • Former Hard Livings gang leader Rashied Staggie will appear before the parole board next week.

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    Cape Town - Former Hard Livings gang leader Rashied Staggie will appear before the parole board in a week, the correctional services department said on Thursday.

    He was told on Thursday he needed to find legal representation before his meeting with the board in seven days, the department's Western Cape spokesman Simphiwe Xako said.

    On Wednesday he appeared before a disciplinary committee. On Thursday he appeared before a case management committee at Pollsmoor Prison.

    “The case is sub judice. We don't want to try him in the media, but we are confident about our case against him,” Xako said.

    He denied reports that Staggie's parole was revoked because he joined a political party that consisted of gangsters.

    Staggie, who was on day parole, reportedly joined the Patriotic Alliance two weeks ago. The party was launched in November by ex-convict Gayton McKenzie and his former jail mate and businessman Kenny Kunene.

    eNCA reported that Staggie's role in the party had sparked the move to revoke his parole.

    One of his parole conditions was that he not associate with gangsters, and that by joining the party's ranks, he was inadvertently doing so, the news channel had reported.

    Xako said the department's mandate was to ensure safe incarceration of inmates, and not to prescribe which party they could join or vote for.

    He said the department had a discretion to call anyone on parole at any time to ensure adherence to parole conditions.

    “I do not know where those reports come from. Staggie is an offender, not a private citizen, and it is the department's discretion to call him as he is still under management by the department.”

    Staggie was sentenced in 2003 to 15 years in prison on charges of kidnapping and rape. 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.

    Sapa


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    Nearly half the vehicles applying for public transport permits rejected as unroadworthy.

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    Nearly half the vehicles applying for public transport permits are being rejected as unroadworthy as the Western Cape provincial government cracks down on long-distance buses and taxis over the festive season. With the increased volumes on the roads, transport MEC Robin Carlisle said this was important in stopping road accidents.

    Carlisle said traffic officials had turned down about 40 percent of vehicles presented for permits because they were unroadworthy.

    “This exercise is done through out the year.”

    “We intensify it over Easter, the festive season and July. There is a lot of traffic on the road this time of the year.

    “It has been effective. Except for the two crashes last week, where both drivers had fallen asleep, there have not been any major incidents. We are at 32 percent less fatalities that we had in the same period last year,” Carlisle said.

    He said City of Cape Town and provincial traffic officials tested a large number of buses and taxis, mainly destined for the Eastern Cape.

    Last week, Carlisle had been witness to inspection of buses and taxis at a bus terminal in Joe Gqabi, Philippi East.

    BLUE STICKERS

    Officials tested for roadworthiness, inspected vehicle documentation and whether drivers had the proper permits to be on the road.

    Carlisle said vehicles that met all the requirements sported blue stickers to help traffic officials identify approved vehicles. Uncleared vehicles found on the road were taken off.

    Carlisle said vehicles entering the province were being inspected by officials on the N1 near Beaufort West and N2 near Bitou.

    They mainly keep a look out for overloaded buses and taxis, as well as fatigued drivers.

    He said they were stressing the importance of two drivers on the road in order to avoid accidents. Ideally, a driver should not be at the wheel for more than four hours at a stretch, Carlisle said.

    GOING HOME

    The sounds of suitcases dragged on the pavement, excitement and bus engines at the bustling Joe Gqabi bus and long-distance taxi terminus in Philippi East signalled the start of the journey for many.

    Nkosincedile Dumbela from Khayelitsha was travelling for the first time on a long-distance bus.

    Usually when he visits relatives in his hometown of Gatyane they use the family car. But his parents drove to the Eastern Cape for a funeral last month.

    “I'm a little worried because I've never taken a bus to go home, so I don't know how the trip will be,” Dumbela said.

    Bus owner Alex Nyaniso Mhlaba said his buses, which loaded yesterday destined for Mthatha, had gone to the roadworthy centre for testing.

    He makes available 59 seats in his 60-seater bus for bookings, while the remaining seat is used by the drivers while resting.

    Each one drives 200km of the trip, Mhlaba said. - Cape Times


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