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    An apparent former AWB member reveals what happened when the AWB and Nelson Mandela met at the Hotel Oasis.

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    Cape Town - An apparent former Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) commandant has spoken out for the first time about what transpired between hundreds of the rightwingers and Nelson Mandela when they unexpectedly confronted him in Beaufort West about farm murders.

    This week, the 52-year-old man from Cape Town, who declined to be named as he was ashamed to be associated with the AWB, said he had been present during a momentous October 1993 confrontation at the Hotel Oasis between Mandela and AWB leaders.

    The incident was publicised for the first time last week when the Cape Times ran an account of it, quoting Jeremy Vearey, now a police major-general, who was a member of Mandela’s bodyguard unit in the 1990s.

    This week, the man said he had felt the need to speak out after reading the article.

    He said the Beaufort West incident had nothing to do with disrupting ANC campaign meetings, but was a secret mission focused on alerting Mandela to the murder of farmers.

    “In that period there were a lot of white farmers being murdered.

    “We wanted to instruct him that should another farmer be killed, this is what the conclusion could be.”

    He said had farm murders not decreased, the AWB had plans involving violence.

    “The top structures found (Mandela’s visit to Beaufort West) was the moment and opportunity to address him… We went up in vehicle convoys. Every single one of us was dressed in uniform. We were all armed,” the man said.

    AWB members had then followed Mandela from a Beaufort West airstrip. “We had him monitored… We were a large contingent,” the man said.

    He said by 3am scores of AWB members were stationed in front of Hotel Oasis in anticipation of Mandela’s arrival.

    “(Mandela) came in through the back entrance into the hotel. The front was manned by the AWB.”

    The man said a deputation of AWB members, including a general from the Eastern Cape, two head commandants from the Western Cape and himself, a commandant, had been allowed to address Mandela.

    “He was truly a gentleman. When I stood and watched, I was standing to one side. I thought to myself: ‘What is this all about? He is treating us with respect.’ “

    The man said Mandela who, he recalled, was casually dressed, had graciously listened to the AWB members.

    “Mr Mandela was very polite. There was no animosity from either side.”

    The man said the only violence that occurred that day was a scuffle between black residents and AWB members in an underground parking area. But the situation was quickly calmed.

    The AWB members returned to Cape Town.

    After the meeting, the man noticed “a sudden decline” in farm murders. “I believe Mr Mandela put a stop to it.”

    He said three months after the encounter, he resigned from the AWB. “That’s an era in my life I’m embarrassed to have been part of. I regret it.”

    This week, Vearey, who had said the ANC’s intelligence wing had got wind of the AWB’s plans in Beaufort West, said he viewed the incident as “an operational issue” and not a personal matter.

    He recalled a young member of the AWB being among those present when the leaders addressed Mandela.

    “If a man like that can change, it’s fantastic.”

    caryn.dolley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Police have nabbed 43 maintenance defaulters, who collectively owed more than R500 000, since December 2.

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    Cape Town - Police have nabbed 43 maintenance defaulters, who collectively owed more than R500 000, since December 2.

    Eleven were arrested during a tracing operation in Worcester this week.

    Operation Isondlo, which was launched at the start of the month, aims to find 296 maintenance defaulters who owed an estimated R2.68 million.

    The top 20 defaulters represented 60 percent, or R1.6m, of the total value of maintenance arrears in the province. The top maintenance defaulter, a Strand man who owed more than R223 000, has appeared in court after he handed himself over earlier this month.

    Advocate Hishaam Mohamed, regional head of the Department of Justice, said the department was working closely with the police to apprehend three types of defaulters:

    * Those whose warrants of arrest had been sent by courts to the relevant police stations, but were returned to the courts marked “untraceable”.

    * Those whose warrants of arrest remained at police stations.

    * Those defaulters for whom warrants of arrest had been issued in the first six months of this year.

    Meanwhile, some mothers say they were battling to receive maintenance of R195 000 and R411 000 respectively. A Bergvliet mother said she has been in and out of court eight times, but was still battling to receive money owed. “I have to go to court month after month. He (her ex-husband) was ordered to pay maintenance but he has defaulted and owes R195 000.”

    Another mother, with two children, has been battling to have her ex-husband pay maintenance for the past two years. He allegedly owes R411 000 and was ordered to pay R6 000 per child.

    “He lives in Constantia and is worth a couple of million,” she said.

    Cape Argus


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    Disgraced ex-mayor Jonas White has been arrested and charged with fraud, corruption and money laundering.

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    Cape Town - Disgraced former Cederberg mayor Jonas White has been arrested and charged with fraud, corruption and money laundering along with a former acting municipal manager and a local businesswoman, who was a service provider for the municipality.

    White, who was stripped of his mayoral title and kicked out of the ANC earlier this year after sending lewd pictures to his deputy, Lorna Scheepers, including one of his erect penis covered in cream and decorated with a strawberry, handed himself over to the Hawks recently after an arrangement was made with all three accused.

    White and his co-accused, Bianca Mankay and current municipal official Louis Volschenk - who was acting municipal manager at the local government authority in 2011 when the crime was allegedly committed - briefly appeared in the Clanwilliam Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

    All three face charges of fraud, although White and Mankay face two additional charges of money laundering and corruption.

    White and Mankay, both claiming unemployment during their court appearance, were released on R1 000 bail each, while Volschenk had to cough up R3 000 bail.

    The trio were released on strict conditions, one being that they could not leave the province or contact any of the State witnesses.

    The case was postponed to February 6 to allow White and Mankay to obtain legal representation.

    The Cederberg municipality on Thursday confirmed the trio’s arrest.

    Municipal manager Ian Kenned said the municipality had given its full co-operation to the Hawks investigators since the start of the probe.

    “We will now let the law take its course,” Kenned said.

    A source with close links to the investigation said the charges related to an incident in December 2011 when White, as mayor of Cederberg municipality, allegedly solicited and accepted a kickback of R60 000 from a municipal service provider for a tender to supply food parcels during a municipal event. Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko could not be reached for comment.

    White was expelled in June from the ANC after an ANC disciplinary committee found him guilty of six counts of sexual harassment, fraud and corruption.

    The ANC’s disciplinary hearing also found White guilty of accepting a R60 000 bribe from Mankay, a contractor to the municipality.

    Meanwhile, Local Government MEC Anton Bredell welcomed the arrest and issuing a stern warning to other municipal officials: “Any municipal official who makes himself guilty of a crime, corruption or fraud will be dealt with harshly by the law. We will get you and you will answer for your crimes.”

    warda.meyer@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Ex-banker John Julyan almost got away with a string of crimes, but one last theft attempt was his undoing.

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    Cape Town - In a string of crimes an ex-banker almost got away with, he purloined almost £1 million from the account of a city professor for two and a half years - but one last theft attempt was his “undoing”.

    John Julyan, 57, was on Thursday sentenced to 15 years in jail for 39 counts of theft and one of money-laundering.

    The Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court earlier found that he’d misappropriated £966 203 from the account of a client, Professor Bryan Cremin, a former head of radiology at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital who was unable to manage his own financial affairs because he suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Cremin died last year.

    According to the court’s findings, the transactions began in 2005 when Cremin’s mental health was on a steady decline. Julyan had at the time been an investment manager at Absa Wealth, a division of the bank. He’d used Cremin’s money to rescue his wife’s financially ailing business, purchase properties in Constantia and Knysna, go on at least one family trip to Austria, buy a speedboat, pay his child’s varsity tuition fees and even make a R1m donation to Lifesaving SA, of which he later became president.

    His mother had also received R278 000 for having typed two draft wills for Cremin.

    Julyan resigned from Absa in mid-2008 and during a last stint of leave, had attempted to make another cash transfer.

    A clerk picked up the discrepancy.

    Magistrate Amrith Chabilall described this as his “undoing”, saying that had it not been for this, Julyan’s entire series of offences might never have been uncovered.

    “One shudders to think these crimes could have gone undetected had you not chosen to effect a further transaction,” he said.

    During argument proceedings, prosecutor Juan Agulhas portrayed Julyan’s actions as “what could have been a perfect crime had it not been for (his) insatiable greed”.

    Julyan’s defence lawyer, William Booth, however, asked the court for a sentence of correctional supervision.

    Booth set out a number of factors he considered to be substantial and compelling reasons to warrant a deviation from the minimum 15-year jail sentence, among them that his client was a first offender who had been subjected to a lengthy court process.

    Julyan was also educated, could still contribute to society and was a family man who was not a danger to society.

    While Booth argued that about R6.5m of the money (when the matter first went to court, the stolen money equated to about R10m) had been recovered, Agulhas contended that after deductions, the bank recovered only R2.4m.

    But Chabilall, noting Julyan’s “disregard of remorse”, found that the severity of the crime and the interests of society outweighed Julyan’s personal circumstances.

    leila.samodien@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    A Cape Town man is on the run after allegedly gunning down a woman, her brother and a boarder.

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    Cape Town - A Cape Town man is on the run after gunning down a woman, her brother and a boarder who lived at their house in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, late on Thursday night.

    Police have launched a manhunt for the man, who is close to the family.

     

    It is believed that he opened fire on the three as they sat in a wendy house in Vesuvius Street about 11pm, following a heated argument.

     

    Katrina Jansen told the Cape Argus of her anguish after hearing the shots that killed her two children.

    Earlier today an emotional Jansen cried as she recalled hearing the shots that rang out before she found the bodies of her son, Donald Natus, 30, her daughter Ellen Silvister, 30, and a boarder, Jonathan Afrikaner, 27, who had been staying in a wendy house behind their home.

    Jansen said she had been asleep in the main house and woke with a fright when she heard shouts from her daughter, who was in the wendy house. She jumped out of bed and called her eldest daughter to help.

    Heading to the back yard she heard the voices of her daughter and a man known to the family arguing, but she couldn’t hear what the argument was about. A short while later her son, Natus, tried to run out of the wendy house.

    “I heard Ellen shouting ‘Mummy phone the police’, and by the time I reached the wendy house I heard three shots going off.”

    Jansen saw the body of her son first and could not bear to walk into the wendy house to look at the others.

    No one saw where the gunman fled.

    “To lose two children in one day… it’s difficult,” she said wiping her tears.

    Provincial police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk confirmed that three people had been shot at about 11pm on Thursday.

    He said the bodies of two men, aged 27 and 30 and a woman aged 30 were found.

    “Police are currently looking for a male suspect who is known to them.

    “The circumstances surrounding the triple murder are still unknown at this stage,” Van Wyk said.

    Relatives and neighbours gathered at the house early this morning to offer support before Jansen left for the mortuary to identify the bodies of her children.

    Jansen said that her daughter and her son had been threatened by the man before and that she had also laid a charge against him at the police station recently.

    natasha.prince@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Since the beginning of December the 107 call centre in Cape Town has received 27 536 calls and 30.7 percent of them were prank calls.

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    Cape Town - Since the beginning of December the 107 call centre in Cape Town has received 27 536 calls and 30.7 percent of them were prank calls, the city said on Friday.

    “Prank calls are nothing new, but it needs to be said again: they are time-consuming and could potentially rob someone with a real emergency from receiving assistance timeously,” safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith said.

    “We also know that prank calls are not the work of children only, so I’d like to appeal to families and communities to help us by discouraging this kind of behaviour. Ultimately, it could save a life or lives.”

    Smith said December was a busy month with a spike in call volumes and prank calls keeping the call centre engaged.

    Statistics showed an increase of nearly 8000 calls in December 2012 compared to November 2012 and January 2013, and the city was expecting a similar trend this festive season, he said.

    In December 2012, medical emergencies accounted for 23 percent of the 57 406 calls fielded.

    Sapa


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    Beachgoers are spoilt for choice with eight Blue Flag beaches, which assures strict safety, amenities and cleanliness.

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    Cape Town - It’s beach weather, the holidays are here for most of us, and visitors are arriving in droves.

    And beachgoers are spoilt for choice in a city which boasts eight Blue Flag beaches, a status which assures strict safety, amenities, cleanliness and environmental standards.

    Recent concerns over water quality do raise issues, but the advice from Belinda Walker, mayco member for community services and special projects, is for people to be alert for warning signs posted in the event of problems.

    Weather plays a vital role, and Walker explained that water quality varied according to circumstances, including run-off from stormwater outlets and river pollution.

    “Poor water quality can at times be attributed to rainfall events which wash pollution down the stormwater system and rivers. These are often short-term events and, due to the high energy nature of the sea, the pollution dissipates and clears relatively quickly.”

    The Blue Flag beaches, which account for a significant proportion of the total of 41 in South Africa, are Clifton 4th Beach, Bikini Beach, Mnandi, Strandfontein, Muizenberg, Silwerstroomstrand, Llandudno and Camps Bay.

    A quick list of their special qualities includes:

     

    l Clifton’s Fourth Beach is a definite must-see for anyone visiting Cape Town, despite its icy waters. Due to the narrow and winding steps down to the beach, there is no access for the physically disabled.

    * Bikini Beach, reportedly named after the tiny bikinis worn by students at the nearby Stellenbosch University, is sheltered from the southerly winds of summer, and is close to the Gordon’s Bay Harbour.

    * The 3km stretch of Mnandi Beach offers visitors a kiosk, braai area and a tidal pool, and is watched by 16 lifeguards. There is parking for more than 400 cars.

    * Strandfontein Beach boasts the biggest tidal pool in the southern hemisphere. Waters around the area are usually warm, but it can get very windy in early summer.

    * Muizenberg Beach, despite its limited 200m stretch, offers entertainment for the whole family. The nearby Muizenberg Pavilion offers children a waterslide, an outdoor swimming pool and a mini golf course. The family can also enjoy a meal from any of the surrounding restaurants.

    * Silwerstroomstrand is a resort on the West Coast, about 10km outside Atlantis. Visitors and holidaymakers can rent a bungalow or stay at the nearby caravan park.

    * Llandudno, described as one of Cape Town’s most picturesque beaches, with Judas Peak and Klein Leeukoppie on either side of its edges, is best known for its sunbathing or sundowners. The nearby Logies Bay boasts a bit of history as its caves were once used by the Khoisan people.

    * One of Cape Town’s most well-known beaches for its pristine shore and tranquil waters, Camps Bay remains a popular spot for local and international visitors, and plays host to the Summer Festival.

    Walker said the city would be looking to add more Blue Flag beaches from among its remaining 62 contenders. Only 24 of the beaches have lifeguards on duty during the peak season.

     

    “The eight blue flags are of international standard, and we are working towards increasing the number. Generally, the state of Cape Town beaches is good, but there is always more that can be done, and we are working continuously towards this.”

    She warned too that thanks to Cape Town’s “highly-populated urban environment”, some pollution of beaches was inevitable.

    “Where this occurs, City Health will signpost any beaches not suitable for swimming,” she said, but added that this was “a rare occurrence”.

    City authorities, meanwhile, urged those visiting beaches where lifeguards and shark spotters were present to always be aware, and listen to any warnings given.

     

    kowthar.solomons@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Allegations of aggression, hostility, and even a death threat, have marred the multi-billion rand sale of the V&A Waterfront.

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     Cape Town - Serious allegations of aggression, hostility, and even a death threat, have marred the multibillion-rand sale of the V&A Waterfront.

    The details have emerged in legal documents that are part of a pending court battle, which sees two of the main players in the R9.7 billion deal at one another’s throats over a multi-million-rand so-called “facilitation fee”.

    On one side is Maurice Shawzin, one of the men who formed the now dissolved partnership that brokered the deal. In his corner is liquidator André van Heerden, appointed to recover Shawzin’s fee.

    On the other side is Growthpoint Properties, which bought the Waterfront two years ago in what is considered the most expensive property deal in South Africa’s history. At the time, Shawzin was in partnership with property mogul Neill Bernstein.

    Van Heerden has now instituted an action against Growthpoint for the recovery of the fee. This comes two years after the deal was struck. At that time, Shawzin claimed he was still owed the fee – which led to the dissolution of his partnership with Bernstein, after the High Court ruled in his favour in a dispute with Bernstein’s company, Devland Holdings.

    In terms of the court order, Van Heerden was appointed to pursue the facilitation fee.

    Now, however, Van Heerden claims his efforts to prepare for the legal action to recover the fee are being hampered by that soured relationship between Shawzin and Bernstein. Van Heerden also accuses Bernstein of colluding with Growthpoint to stifle his pre-trial preparations.

    This week, about two months before the main action is scheduled to go to court, he asked the Western Cape High Court to intervene urgently. He claims that Growthpoint has refused to comply with subpoenas to produce evidence he needs for the main action.

    Among the evidence Van Heerden says he needs are letters, diary entries and meeting notes of Growthpoint’s chairman, Francois Marais, chief executive Norbert Sasse, and executive director Estienne de Klerk.

    In addition, he wants the records of the internal communications between Sasse and De Klerk.

    Sasse and De Klerk have not opposed the application, but Marais has described it as an abuse of process.

    Meanwhile, Van Heerden’s affidavit painted a picture of the ugly tension between the two former partners, Bernstein and Shawzin.

    He claimed their relationship had become so hostile that, about two months ago, Bernstein threatened to kill Shawzin if he jeopardised his relationship with Growthpoint – an allegation Bernstein has vehemently denied.

    The incident, according to Van Heerden, occurred at the security desk of the plush Marina Residential Apartments at the Waterfront, where Shawzin lives.

    He alleged Bernstein threatened Shawzin over the intercom phone when he was prevented from entering the complex.

    “He was loud and abusive to him, and stated that if he did anything which destroyed his relationship with Growthpoint, he would kill Shawzin,” Van Heerden said.

    In a separate affidavit, security guard Quinton Samuels said Bernstein arrived at the complex and attempted to gain access to Shawzin’s apartment, claiming he was Shawzin’s son.

    While he said Bernstein was aggressive, he did not specifically say Bernstein threatened Shawzin.

    When contacted by Weekend Argus for his response to the allegations, Bernstein said he wanted to place on record his “utter denial” that he had made any threats to Shawzin.

    “My attempt to visit his apartment at (the Waterfront) was in an attempt to collect a valuable painting that has been in Mr Shawzin’s apartment since June 2011, when I last saw (him),” he said.

     

    Van Heerden alleged further that a transcript of a portion of a pre-arbitration meeting in December 2011, in which Bernstein asked that Shawzin be excused, suggested that Growthpoint induced Bernstein to ensure that Shawzin withdraw or abandon the claim in the main action.

    Van Heerden submitted that there was no legal basis for Growthpoint’s refusal to comply with the subpoenas.

    He asked the court to grant him an order compelling Growthpoint to produce the evidence he required.

     The main action is set down for February.

    In an opposing affidavit, however, Growthpoint’s Marais described the subpoenas as over-broad.

    He denied they were aimed at procuring evidence relevant to the action.

    They were rather an abuse of process, Marais said, and had been issued to harass them and “make our lives unpleasant with the aim of securing a commercial settlement in the action”.

    Marais also denied he colluded with Bernstein, or that Growthpoint intended to stifle Shawzin’s claim.

    According to Marais, at the December 2011 pre-arbitration meeting, Bernstein had proposed a settlement and, once he had made his representations, Growthpoint gave him an opportunity to discuss it with Shawzin in order to get Shawzin’s “buy-in”.

     Marais also said he had no knowledge of the allegations relating to the death threat.

     He added that there was no connection between “Bernstein’s apparent hostility” and any of Growthpoint’s conduct.

     When the case went to court on Thursday, Brian Pincus SC, for Van Heerden, submitted that compliance with the subpoenas was crucial.

    He added that Marais’s allegation that the application was an abuse of process was aimed at justifying non-compliance with the subpoena.

    Marais has, however, denied being in possession of the documents in question.

    He also could not produce his diary entries because his diaries contained confidential information on matters unrelated to the Growthpoint issue, he said.

    Judge Dennis Davis, however, said Marais entered into settlement negotiations on behalf of Growthpoint, and that he found it “extraordinary” that he did not have any documents in his possession during those negotiations.

    Judgment will be given on Monday.

    Saturday Argus


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    A young Western Cape rapist is heading to the Constitutional Court in a desperate bid to stay off the national register for sexual offenders.

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    Cape Town - A young Western Cape rapist is heading to the Constitutional Court in a desperate bid to stay off the national register for sexual offenders.

    The rapist, who was a 14-year-old minor when he raped three boys, has already succeeded in his Western Cape High Court appeal to have the section of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, authorising his name to be entered in the national register for sexual offenders, declared unconstitutional.

    In August, Judges Robert Henney, Burton Fourie and Elize Steyn declared section 50(2) of the Sexual Offences Act invalid and inconsistent with the constitution, as it did not allow courts to inquire and decide after affording an accused the opportunity to make representations on whethertheir particulars should be included in this national register. The rapist wants the Western Cape High Court order confirmed by the Constitutional Court.

    The judges ordered that their order not be retrospective, and its effect suspended for 18 months to allow Parliament to amend section 50(2) of the Sexual Offences Act.

    In the interim, the judges ordered that sex offenders be allowed to make representations on whether their names should be entered into the register.

    The teenage rapist was sentenced to a five-year compulsory residency at the Eureka Child and Youth Care Centre in Rawsonville, after being convicted of the three rapes in August last year.

    He was also charged and convicted of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm for stabbing a 12-year-old girl with a knife. For the assault, he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for three years on condition he was not convicted of assault during that period.

    Director of the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Child Law, Professor Ann Skelton, who represented the teenager at the High Court hearing, had argued that section 50(2) of the Sexual Offences Act violated a number of her client’s rights, and undermined the objectives of the register.

    Skelton said the government had no evidence suggesting that children committing sexual offences against their peers later became adult sex offenders preying on children.

    National Director of Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe have indicated they will abide by the Constitutional Court’s decision.

    The rapist’s Legal Aid counsel, Morné Calitz, described the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act as “over-broad” and said the inroads it made were “substantially disproportionate to the purpose it serves”.

    The provisions of the act are an affront to the right to a fair hearing in terms of the constitution, which guarantees the right to access to courts to have disputes resolved by application of law, in a fair public hearing, he argued.

    Sex offenders listed in the register are barred from being employed to work with a child under any circumstances; having authority, supervision or care of a child; access to a child or places where children are present or congregate and becoming a foster or adoptive parent and temporary or safe caregiver.

    The matter will be heard in February.

    loyiso.sidimba@inl.co.za

    Weekend Argus


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  • 12/22/13--02:29: AbaThembu royals back Mandla
  • The royal family of the AbaThembu kingdom has thrown its weight behind Mandla as the new head of the Mandela family.

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    Cape Town - The royal family of the AbaThembu kingdom has thrown its weight behind Mandla Mandela as the new head of the Mandela family, echoing the view expressed by Mandla’s spokesman, Freddie Pilusa, who says Mandla is now at the helm after the death of his grandfather, Nelson Mandela.

    This comes after Nelson Mandela’s former and second wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, released a statement on Wednesday, 13 days after Mandela’s death, declaring his eldest daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, the head of the Mandela family.

    “In accordance with customary law and tradition, the eldest daughter, being Ms Makaziwe Mandela, will head the family,” Madikizela-Mandela said.

    Makaziwe is Madiba’s only surviving child from his first marriage to Evelyn Mase, and is also his eldest child.

    Mandla is the eldest surviving male in the family. He is the son of Madiba and Mase’s son, Makgatho, who died in 2005.

    Makaziwe and Mandla have been involved in various disputes in recent months, including a court battle over where the remains of three of Madiba’s children should be buried.

    Asked to comment on the issue on Saturday, Pilusa was adamant that Mandla is the chief of the Mvezo.

    “And what that means is he’s the head of the Mandela house, the traditional Mandela house,” he added.

    Pilusa referred to an incident during which Madiba’s father was stripped of his chieftainship soon after the former president’s birth in Mvezo in 1918, when he defied a magistrate’s order to appear in court.

    Pilusa said that, when the chieftainship of Mvezo was restored in 2007, Mandla was “restored as the head of the Mandela house by heritage”.

    On Friday, the royal family of the AbaThembu kingdom released a statement supporting Mandla as the head of the Mandela family.

    The royal family’s spokesman, Daludumo Mtirara, said Madiba made it clear that he endorsed Mandla when he handed over the “traditional spear” of the Mandela house to him in 2007.

    Mtirara said Madiba’s action implied that Mandla would preside over “all the Mandela house’s cultural, customary and traditional ceremonies and ritual events”.

    His statement referred to Makaziwe as an “ordinary member” of the Mandela family.

    Of the statement by Madikizela-Mandela, Mtirara accused her of “ignorance”, and said the royal family felt “embarrassed” by her for “mischievously discussing matters affecting the custom of the AbaThembu kingdom and its nation”.

    However, although Mtirara’s statement appears to represent the entire AbaThembu royal family, he actually represents only a faction of the family.

    Mtirara’s group opposes the rule of the AbaThembu king, King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, and voted in September last year to remove him as king.

    Dalindyebo said earlier in the year that he did not recognise Mandla as chief of Mvezo. Instead, he said that Mandla’s brother, Ndaba, was the rightful heir to the chieftanship of Mvezo.

    The king has said that Mandla is part of the faction trying to dethrone him.

    henriette.geldenhuys@inl.co.za

    Weekend Argus


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    With its major ferry out of action, the Robben Island Museum has been forced to charter private boats.

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    Cape Town - With its major ferry out of action at one of the busiest tourist times of the year, Robben Island Museum has been forced to charter private boats to transport visitors to the historic Island.

    The 300-seater Sikhululekile ferry has not made the trip across Table Bay since December 6, owing to engine problems, Robben Island Museum senior manager Molefe Mabe confirmed yesterday.

    Asked when it was expected to be back up and running, he said he was “not in a position to say”.

     

    With the Sikhululekile out of action, the museum has chartered boats such as Sea Princess, Tigger 2, Nauticat and Condor.

    It has also used the Dias and the Susan Kruger, two smaller and ageing ferries. Both take longer than the Sikhululekile to reach the island.

    The R26 million Sikhululekile was launched in February 2008, and has since been out of action periodically.

    A total

    of R3 294 000 was spent on repairing it in the 2012/13 financial year, according to a Parliamentary reply by Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile. A further R775 000 was spent to repair the Dias over the same period.

    Robben Island Museum attracts about 350 000 visitors a year, with a peak over the December holiday period. Mabe said visitor numbers had been strong this year, and that the majority of visitors had been satisfied with the experience.

    Carla White, spokeswoman for the V&A Waterfront from which the ferries depart, said December was the busiest time of the year.

    “We see visitor numbers grow, particularly in the days leading up to Christmas Day, and on December 31. We expect to see a peak in numbers on the last day of the year.”

     

    Repairs are not the only reason the island’s fleet of ferries are at times not able to make the crossing. Bad weather also means trips get cancelled. In response to this, Robben Island management said earlier this year that the museum would explore the option of acquiring “all-weather boats”, which would be able to make the trip even in rough seas.

    jan.cronje@inl.co.za

    Weekend Argus


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  • 12/22/13--04:40: Cape in top gear for safety
  • The City of Cape Town and police are geared up to ensure Capetonians are safe this festive season.

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    Cape Town - The City of Cape Town and police are geared up to ensure Capetonians are safe this festive season, including deploying five custom-built fire and rescue vehicles to tackle fires in informal settlements using foam instead of water.

    JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, said several new measures had been implemented to keep residents of the Mother City safe.

    Of the most anticipated are five concentrated air foam system (CAFS) vehicles.

    Smith said the vehicles were designed and custom-built by the city for easier manoeuvrability in the townships, and to tackle the hundreds of fires associated with summer.

    “The Fire Department responded to 8 000 fires last year. During one afternoon, I was told there were 27 fires simultaneously, as well as requests from neighbouring municipalities for help. We have factored these numbers in, especially in informal settlements, and believe these new vehicles will make a major difference,” he said.

    Dean Williams, platoon commander at the Roeland Street Fire Station, said the vehicles were perfect for dealing with shack fires, and even fires on ships. “We’ve used them to extinguish fires aboard a ship at the harbour, and another at an abattoir in Maitland, and the difference in effectiveness and speed is enormous. The vehicles can handle almost any fire, except flammable liquids and gas, and makes the environment much safer for our staff.”

    Additional measures include more than 500 volunteers to assist departments like Disaster Risk Management, Traffic Services and Fire and Rescue.

    Smith said the volunteers would work in addition to “seasonal” workers.

    “We have called on our auxiliary law enforcement members or auxiliary members, or ‘specials’ as we call them. They will be providing support to the metro police, in conjunction with various neighbourhood watches. Many of the volunteers will be able to act as traffic wardens to help ease the burden on the roads.”

    Further emphasis has been placed on lost children at the beach, using the identikit programme to make sure children are recovered if abandoned.

    “It is disturbing to think that people would leave their children at the beach and go home, but the reality is that it happens. The identikit programme ensures that no child will be left abandoned on the beach,” Smith said.

    Meanwhile, police said their festive season safety operation was on track. Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said violent and gang-related crimes had been prioritised, especially in areas like crime-ridden Manenberg.

    “Enough resources are available and will be deployed in areas according to crime patterns and intelligence. No area will be deprived of any policing service, while additional attention is given to problematic areas,” he said.

    Kader Jacobs, spokesman for the Manenberg Community Policing Forum, said the area was quiet despite sporadic shootings over the past week, and he viewed the gun battles as a means to test the responsiveness and reactions of the police and metro police.

    “We are aware they may be trying something, and are watching the situation closely. Unfortunately, two other major concerns will be the increase in domestic violence and rape cases. It has become an annual trend that is particularly hard to deal with as we can only provide responsive action and educate people,” he said.

    Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said traffic in and out of the Western Cape was building up constantly.

    “Heavy traffic is something that comes along with the festive season. We have a zero tolerance approach to drinking and driving, speeding, as well as fatigue management. We call on all motorists to follow the rules and ensure everyone gets there and arrives home safely.”

    kowthar.solomons@inl.co.za

    Weekend Argus


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    “I wish to record the city’s continued support for the minstrels and this annual event.”

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    Cape Town - The City of Cape Town and various minstrel associations have signed an agreement to ensure the Cape Minstrels' annual carnival is a success, mayor Patricia de Lille said on Sunday.

    “Minstrel associations will participate in the event management of upcoming Minstrel Carnival events. Next year, the associations will be the overarching event organisers of the Cape Annual Minstrel Carnival,” she said in a statement.

    “The City of Cape Town will assist with competitions at venues such as the Athlone Stadium, Vygieskraal, Florida Park and Delft.”

    It was also agreed that there would be a single VIP area to ensure that all VIPs related to the minstrels were in the same area.

    On Friday, De Lille, the city, and International Relations Deputy Minister Marius Fransman met representatives of the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Association (CTMCA) and the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association.

    De Lille said the city provided R3.5 million worth of logistical and support services such as traffic control, safety and security, law enforcement and cleansing to ensure the carnival was controlled.

    “In addition to this, the Western Cape government provides approximately R2 million for transportation costs of all minstrels groups, Malay choirs and Christmas bands,” she said.

    “I wish to record the city’s continued support for the minstrels and this annual event.”

    On December 17, the city expressed disappointment at CTMCA's failure to sign a memorandum of understanding about the annual carnival.

    At the time, the city said the CTMCA had demanded additional money and greater control of the event and its resources. It said this was unsustainable and unreasonable.

    It described its negotiations with the CTMCA as non-co-operative and confrontational.

    The city said it started negotiations with minstrel associations, Malay choir boards and Christmas band boards in April to ensure this year's road march was properly organised.

    The memorandum was signed by more than three quarters of the interested parties on December 3.

    The CTMCA had refused to sign, despite three attempts by the city to secure its participation.

    The city said events in the next two weeks included the Christmas Choir Bands March on December 24, the Malay Choir “Nagtroupe” March on December 31 and the Tweede Nuwejaar Minstrel March on January 4. - Sapa


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    Justine Sacco left London a PR exec. She arrived in SA later to find she had sparked a twitter furore - and was fired.

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    Cape Town - Justine Sacco left London a New York PR executive. She arrived in Cape Town hours later to find she had been the subject of a twitter furore - and that she had lost her job.

    Now Justine Sacco has apologised unreservedly for a racist tweet in which she said she would not get Aids in South Africa because she is white.

    Sacco told the Cape Argus: “Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologise to the people of South Africa, who I have offended due to a needless and careless tweet.”

    The tweet that sparked outrage was fired off by Sacco as she left Heathrow for Cape Town: “Going to Africa, hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”

    The hashtag “#HasJustineLandedYet” was trending on Twitter as people tracked her flight from London’s Heathrow Airport to Cape Town International Airport on Friday. Sacco, who was head of public relations for InterActiveCorp (IAC), was fired.

    IAC, which owns match.com among others, condemned the tweet and said on Saturday that Sacco and the company had “parted ways”. “There is no excuse for the hateful statements that have been made and we condemn them unequivocally,” said IAC.

    In Sacco’s statement she apologised for being insensitive.

    “There is an Aids crisis taking place in this country, that we read about in America, but do not live with or face on a continuous basis. Unfortunately, it is terribly easy to be cavalier about an epidemic that one has never witnessed first hand. For being insensitive to this crisis – which does not discriminate by race, gender or sexual orientation, but which terrifies us all uniformly – and to the millions of people living with the virus, I am ashamed.

    “This is my father’s country, and I was born here. I cherish my ties to South Africa and my frequent visits, but I am in anguish knowing that my remarks have caused pain to so many people here; my family, friends and fellow South Africans.

    “I am very sorry for the pain I caused.”

    Sacco would not confirm that her father is Joburg-based billionaire, Desmond Sacco, who is listed 20th on the Forbes List of Africa’s richest.

    By Sunday, the hashtag was still trending with others tweeting that they hoped the tweet was fake.

    In one tweet that may or may not have been from Sacco, she said she made a mistake and that it was “just for laughs”. Other tweets included:

    * @Amwesd tweeted: “What de hell did she smoke? Sure it wasn’t marijuana!!!”

    * @Just_K0ky tweeted: “I really understand where Justine is coming from with this, she meant no harm… just kidding I’m black”.

     

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 12/23/13--00:13: Staggie to decide on defence
  • Rashied Staggie has until Friday to decide whether he wants legal representation for his Parole Board hearing.

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    Cape Town - Rashied Staggie has until Friday to decide whether he wants legal representation for his Parole Board hearing.

    The former Hard Livings gang leader was released on day parole on September 23 but it was suspended on December 5 and he was put back behind bars.

    The Department of Correctional Services is yet to give reasons for the suspension. In a statement, the department said Staggie had appeared before a disciplinary hearing at Pollsmoor Prison on Wednesday and, the following day, appeared before a case management committee.

    He now had a seven-day grace period to decide whether he wanted legal representation or to represent himself.

     

    The department’s regional spokesman, Simphiwe Xako, said once this process was complete, a date would be set for the hearing before the Parole Board.

     

    Staggie was convicted a decade ago of kidnapping and ordering the rape of a Manenberg teenager.

    leila.samodien@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    The hero gran who ran into her burning house to save 14 kids could soon be without a place to stay.

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    Cape Town - The elderly woman who saved 14 children from a fire could soon be without a home.

    Elizabeth Barrett, 68, and the children she cares for, have been living in a vacant building since Wednesday after a fire destroyed their home and belongings.

    Barrett rushed into her burning home in Harrington Street, Cape Town to save the children.

    At the time, the owner of the building, which is also in Harrington Street, gave Barrett until Saturday to find another place to stay.

    Barrett said she was told he planned to turn the building into a recycling depot.

    “I have no place to go… I feel (sad) that I must sleep in the street with the children. These are nice children. They are innocent children. That is my only concern,” she said.

    Barrett had lived in the now-gutted Victorian-era semi-detached house in Harrington Street for more than 30 years where the family used the house for their photo-developing business.

    She had four daughters but when her husband died of cancer 10 years ago, she opened her home to homeless people and others in need.

    When the fire gutted the house on Wednesday, she had been sharing her home with her daughter Beatrice, 14 children - six of them her grandchildren - five street children, and three orphans sent to her from an orphanage to spend the holidays.

    She had also taken in six needy adults. Barrett said she went to the city council on Friday to see if they could provide a shelter for her, but was told Mayor Patricia de Lille was on leave and there was nothing officials could do.

    Although the threat of being homeless lingered, Barrett was smiling and laughing with her grandchildren as she prepared lunch for the family on Sunday.

    Three of the young children sat on a table while the older children had gone to a public swimming pool.

    Clothes, mattresses and toys on the floor gave testimony to the strangers and big corporations who had flocked there with donations.

    The Department of Home Affairs had also since visited the family to replace their lost identity documents.

    “I’m really grateful to everybody that has come to us. I want to thank them all. The man who gave us a roof over our head, it would have been difficult without the help.”

    Barrett 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.

    The owner of the building, whose name is known to the Cape Times, could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

    xolani.koyana@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Neighbours tried in vain to save Buhle Madono, 6, from a blazing shack in the Tsunami Informal Settlement in Cape Town.

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    Cape Town - Neighbours tried in vain to save six-year-old Buhle Madono from a blazing shack in Tsunami Informal Settlement, Delft, on Sunday.

    His eight-year-old brother Luyolo survived and was taken to Tygerberg Hospital with critical burn wounds.

    The two boys were alone when the fire started after midnight. Their father had gone to the toilet some distance from their shack.

    Neighbours were the first to respond, but “there was nothing we could do, it was too late”, said Priscilla Ntlonze.

    “It happened fast. When I woke up my shack was also burning. Initially, we heard the boys screaming ‘daddy, we are dying, help us’. We tried to get inside to save them but the blaze was increasing because of the heavy wind.

    “When Msulo Madono (the father of the boys) arrived, he rushed inside to try and help his children, but was stopped by other men because he was also going to burn. He loved his kids. He had bought Christmas clothes for them.”

    Ntlonze said the two boys had a strong relationship and would walk together all the time.

    “I saw them playing together during the day. They usually played with my son. They were not staying here most of the time. They were staying with their mother in Khayelitsha. They came here to spend Christmas with their father. They loved him because he is a good father.

    “It was my first time seeing a man in that state. There is no way of describing how he was. He was prepared to die for his children. We found Luyolo in the cardboard, hiding.”

    Ntlonze had been neighbours with Madono for over two years. She said he had wanted to find his children a local school so that they could stay with him.

    “I believe they were not attending school. He had spoken to me about finding them a school here,” she said.

    Msulo had gone to hospital to be with Luyolo, she said.

    Msulo’s phone was on voicemail.

    siyavuya.mzantsi@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    When Janine Manuel wrote a letter to her loved ones, it seems she knew she was going to die.

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    Cape Town - Just over a year before she died, Janine Manuel penned a letter to her loved ones. In it, she declared her love for her husband and her family.

    Thirteen months later her husband shot and killed her - and the baby she was carrying.

    In August 1999 Manuel, 24, said she was writing the letter “before anything should happen”. By September 2000, she was dead.

    The letter was an unofficial will.

    Manuel’s sister, Adeebah Salie, said she came across the letter in her sister’s belongings after she was shot in the face - in full view of the couple’s four-year-old daughter, Shakeena.

    The Mitchells Plain Regional Court found on Friday that Manuel’s husband, Morné Manuel, intentionally killed his wife, and convicted him of murder.

    Magistrate Nomqondisi Jakuja found that Morné Manuel a police sergeant, killed his wife after an intense argument because he was late for an ultrasound scan. Manuel was seven months pregnant with the couple’s second child at the time. The baby did not survive.

    The case had dragged on for more than a decade but Salie said that with Manuel’s conviction, the family finally had closure.

    Salie became emotional when she read the letter.

    In it, Manuel said she loved Shakeena. “I don’t have much to say but it will go as follows. Shakeena, I love you and (will) always be with you. I haven’t got much but I give to you all my jewellery that’s left.”

    Manuel also said that she loved her husband. “Morné, my husband and friend, to you I can only say enjoy life while it lasts and make the best of it. To you I give half of what I own but that’s not much either, but it’s a token of my love for you.”

    Manuel also thanked her sister for being the person she could rely on.

    “You all made my life something worth living for. And to my mommy (Hilda Hartnick) I will never forget you, for bringing me into this world. You will have my love and respect and with that, 20 percent of what I own. Jerome, you remain by mommy’s side no matter what, I love you.”

    Manuel’s brother, Jerome Abrahams, was killed after being held hostage four years ago. His killers were sentenced to 20 years in jail, Salie said.

    Twenty years ago, another sibling, Quinton Abrahams, died in a car accident in Mitchells Plain.

    The court heard on Friday that Morné Manuel had remarried and was living with his new wife, her two children and Shakeena, now 17, in Heidelberg.

    Jakuja ordered that Morné Manuel remain in custody until February 21 for sentencing.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 12/23/13--02:39: Finding a holiday ride home
  • Hundreds of people swamped the Stock Road long-distance bus terminus in Cape Town hoping to catch a ride to the Eastern Cape.

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    Cape Town - Hundreds of people loaded with luggage sat hopefully on benches at the Stock Road long-distance bus terminus in Philippi on Sunday in the hope of getting a last-minute ride home to the Eastern Cape.

    The taxi rank, which operates from the Joe Qgabi traffic centre, was swamped with people on Sunday, some who said they had slept at the terminus to ensure securing a seat on a bus.

    “I have been here since on Sunday and all buses had departed,” said Nokwanda Waleni who wanted to go to Idutywa for the holidays.

    “I couldn’t leave the terminus because I need to get home.”

    Waleni said that although it had been difficult to get a seat on the bus this year, she often travelled on the Stock Road buses.

    “I trust these buses and even at times when I don’t have money the owners allow us to travel on credit. It’s just safer for me.”

    Entering the bus terminus travellers were met by “touters” who helped carry luggage and tried to find them a seat on buses heading for their destination. The touters had a robust, even aggressive approach, and often argued over travellers.

    Once the travellers reached a bus they pay a R550 fare to the secretary, who was usually seated on the bus.

    The two main routes are Lusikisiki and East London, with pit stops all along the way.

    Bus owner Luthando Mlonzi, who was acting as a touter when the Cape Argus visited the terminus, said the Stock Road buses attracted many travellers.

    “Unlike coastal liners we offer our passengers quality services. We collect them from their homes here in Cape Town, we do not limit their luggage and we even take in luggage that coastal liners would never allow,” he said.

    This luggage, carried free, included fridges, four-burner stoves, doors and trunks.

    Nomonde Milisi said she used these buses because they did not require bookings.

    “I can’t afford coastal liners and this time of the year they are fully booked,” she said.

    MEC for transport and public works Robin Carlisle said the Stock Road buses were licensed and regularly inspected.

    “Within the Joe Qqabi interchange, there is a vehicle inspection station. Staff perform full checks on all buses. Once the bus has been inspected and has ‘passed’ the test, it gets issued with a roadworthy sticker… any traffic official on the road can see that the bus has been inspected and tested for roadworthiness.”

    He said that so far there had been no fatalities on outward-bound buses from Stock Road, although there had been deaths on buses returning to the terminus.

    Mlonzi said the busiest days were December 14, 15 and January 3.

    zodidi.dano@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Nelson Mandela's life will be played on a huge 3D video display that will illuminate the City Hall during a New Year's Eve bash.

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    Cape Town - Nelson Mandela will not be forgotten at Cape Town’s New Year’s Eve bash – the City Hall is to be illuminated with a huge 3D video display on his life.

    Local band Trenton and Free Radical will show the crowds how to the do the much-loved “Madiba jive”.

    The video-mapping display will form part of a five-minute lighting, laser and fireworks show that will mark the start of 2014 and Cape Town’s year as the World Design Capital.

    The Grand Parade will be the epicentre of the city’s new year celebrations and top DJs, performers and dancers will keep the crowds entertained until the countdown to midnight.

    Toya Delazy, DJs Ready D, Fresh, Classy Menace, Dr Jules and Mixi will play on huge cubes atop a triangular stage.

    The stage has been designed to amplify an electro-dance environment, said the city.

    The design of the City Hall will also be celebrated in lights - a “fitting” nod to Cape Town’s World Design Capital status, it said.

    Table Mountain will also be illuminated.

    Grant Pascoe, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing, said the celebrations would be followed by the Nagtroepe, or Malay Choirs, parade, which would proceed down Keizersgracht, pass the City Hall and end at the Bo-Kaap Museum.

    “The City of Cape Town has pulled out all the stops this festive season to present the very best of the city’s unique and diverse cultures. It is inclusive events like these that unite our communities and afford us the opportunity to welcome our numerous visitors in a vibrant spirit,” Pascoe said.

    Big screens and music delay towers will ensure no one misses a beat of the party that will “put Cape Town on top of the world”.

    anel.lewis@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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