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    Renewed shootings in Manenberg between two rival gangs claimed the life of a man who was crossing an open field.

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    Cape Town - Renewed shootings in Manenberg between two rival gangs have claimed the life of a man with some saying the area felt like a “war zone” over the weekend.

    Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said a 31-year-old man was shot dead in Manenberg early on Sunday.

    “He was crossing an open field when several shots were fired at him. He was rushed to the hospital where he died at 4.30am… “

    Van Wyk said a murder case had been opened.

    An eyewitness, who did not want to be named, said the shooting started on Saturday night.

    “It was mad out there. Gangsters were running all over the place. The shooting was very close to where we were. It was like being in a war zone in Manenberg.”

    The eyewitness said that it was speculated that rival gangs - the Americans and the Jesters - were fighting over territory.

    The witness said two people were taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds.

    Four months ago the Cape Argus reported on shootings in the area between the Americans and the Hard Livings, in a series of battles in which nearly 30 people died and schools had to be closed.

    The two gangs made peace and the area had been quiet for months.

    Van Wyk said he could not speculate on the cause of the recent shootings as police were still investigating. No arrests had been made.

    * Meanwhile, in Mitchells Plain an 18-year-old man was shot dead while walking past a tuckshop.

    Van Wyk said the incident happened on Saturday morning and police were still investigating.

    No arrests have been made.

    Van Wyk said Muizenberg police on patrol on Sunday morning were called to a scene by residents who had found a 34-year-old man lying in the street in Vrygrond with stab wounds.

    He said the man was still alive and was taken to a local hospital.

    neo.maditla@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A Nyanga boy was shot and wounded a day before his seventh birthday after a stone was thrown at a Somali spaza shop.

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    Cape Town - A Nyanga boy was shot and wounded a day before his seventh birthday after a stone was thrown at a Somali spaza shop whose shopkeepers say they thought they were under attack.

    Kwanele Mbele was shot in the back on Saturday while playing with his cousins outside his grandmother’s home in Nyanga.

    Police spokesman FC van Wyk said two men had been arrested and would appear in court today on charges of attempted murder and possession of an illegal firearm.

    He said: “The two suspects said the boy had allegedly thrown a stone at their spaza shop and they fired shots, thinking that someone was attacking them.”

    Mangaliso Mbele, Kwanele’s uncle, said he had heard the shots while unpacking goods that the family had just bought. “My other nephews called for me telling me Kwanele had been shot.

    “When I got there he was already on the floor. Together with his father we rushed him to KTC day hospital in Gugulethu.”

    Kwanele was transferred to Red Cross Hospital where he underwent a five-hour operation, said his mother Patricia Mbele.

    “We were supposed to celebrate his birthday yesterday. He was looking forward to getting his cake and having snacks with his cousins and friends. But now my child seems so much in pain.

    “I asked him what happened and he told me that some drunken guy was arguing with the Somali shopkeepers and then the drunken guy threw a stone at them.”

    On Sunday the Somali spaza was closed, but the Mbele family had been contacted by the suspects’ brothers for a talk.

    The suspects’ brothers told the family they feared community members might attack them if the shop reopened.

    The family told the brothers the law must take its course, and they would therefore discourage community members from acting against the shopkeepers.

    zodidi.dano@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Living on the street is a choice for some, an inescapable fate for others, writes Dylan Oktober.

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    Cape Town - Shane sleeps under a highway bridge in the heart of the city. He is 28. He does not want to reveal his last name.

    CNN Travel listed Cape Town among the world’s top 10 Most Loved Cities last year. Shane does not feel the love.

    He wakes each morning to the smell of exhaust fumes and the drone of traffic reverberating through the concrete of the Nelson Mandela Boulevard Bridge on Hospital Bend.

    Shane’s existence is far removed from the glossy travel brochures. His story and the stories of others like him form part of a darker narrative. It is one that lends a cruel irony to the “Mother City” moniker.

    Here on the streets, held in the concrete and carbon-monoxide embrace of the urban sprawl beneath Table Mountain, are those who no longer fit the soft nine-to-five flesh of society. Drugs, poverty, illness, abuse, apartheid - there are many reasons why people no longer fit.

     

    Shane has lived under the bridge for a month. Just him, some blankets, a few Tupperware bowls and a plastic water bottle full of a liquid that looks like urine. He says he is drug-free now, but his addiction has cost him his family.

    “I don’t live here, I just sleep here. I chose to settle here because people rarely come here,” he says. “It just lessens the risk of me being harmed or my things being stolen. Another reason would be that I have some shelter for when it rains.”

    About four months ago he found work at an IT company. It was hard disguising the telltale signs of his homelessness.

    “I had to fake having come from a home and operate within a working environment without giving myself away. I had to fuss about small tells like clean, ironed clothes, arriving early and having money for drinks after work, so that no one would suspect that something was wrong.”

    With nowhere to keep his clothes dry and safe from thieves, it was hard keeping up appearances. It was not long before his secret was discovered and he had to leave the company.

    Shane now earns a living doing odd jobs for people who know him. He cuts grass and fixes computers.

    “Not all homeless people are the same. There are those who choose to live like this and will probably always live like this. And then there are those who really want to overcome their circumstances. Ironically enough, you don’t see them.”

    Shane believes society ignores the plight of the homeless and says there is less support now than before for those at risk of ending up on the street.

    “If you go down to Observatory, you will be able to see new faces of kids living on the streets.”

    He says more needs to be done to stop children slipping through the cracks of society’s fault lines: “Even if you’re living under a bridge, if you have some sort of education, then you stand a major chance of getting out of this life.”

    Fazel Sayed, 28, lives on a traffic island in Lower Church Street, Woodstock, off the N1. He has been there for three months.

     

    “I used to sleep near the long-distance bus terminals before the CCID (Central City Improvement District) chased us away, threatening to lock us up if we didn’t relocate.”

    Three years ago, Sayed was a bank teller in Joburg.

    “The branch that I worked in had been held up three times. This is why I requested to be moved to another branch. I heard about the post in Cape Town through my manager and scheduled an interview in February 2011.”

    Coming to Cape Town was probably the biggest mistake of his life, he says. He went for the job interview. He was told someone would call him if he was successful. The call never came. His savings ran out. He could not find work.

    “Although I kept looking and sending out my CV, I was never able to find a job.”

    One day rolled into the next. A stranger in a strange city, he lost touch with his family in Durban. He was trapped in a downward spiral.

    Today, the former bank teller collects scrap and does odd jobs, hauling rubbish to the Woodstock drop-off site to earn a living.

    “People like us no longer live for tomorrow. Our circumstances have made our lives so difficult that we can only afford to live for today.”

     

    Themba Mqomboti, 49, served 15 years for rape and murder. He was a gangster. When he came out, he had nothing. His wife divorced him. He has lived on the streets since August last year.

    “I want to change my life,” he says.

    He lives under the Nelson Mandela Boulevard bridge in Woodstock. He is one of small band of squatters. They shelter in three lean-tos on a traffic island.

    “I don’t want to go home to my family in Joburg for fear of reverting to my old ways,” says Mqomboti.

    He has a Grade 10 education. He picked up handyman skills in prison, but it is hard trying to go straight when people are not ready to trust you, he says.

    “I try to sell chips and cigarettes, and I have to beg sometimes to have food in my stomach,” he says.

    Law enforcement officers harass the homeless, says Mqomboti. They regularly pick him up. When he returns, his belongings are gone.

    “I have to sleep with one eye open to make sure that my things don’t get stolen. I can only sleep for short periods at a time, and then I have to check that everything is all right.

    “I talk to Jesus every second of every day. I believe Jesus is my life no matter what’s going on around me.”

    Cleo van der Merwe, 19, grew up in Elsies River. While still at school, she became a “stroller”.

    “I was a day stroller. I used to take the train after school to town and beg for money and head back home in the evenings. Although my family was aware of what I was doing, they did not approve of it.”

    Van der Merwe dropped out of school at 14 and became a drifter, living exclusively on the streets.

    “I was earning my own money, and I had the freedom to do as I pleased. It was better living on the streets back then compared with how it is now.”

    Van der Merwe and about 10 other homeless people have settled in a narrow alley off Newmarket Street, next to the Nelson Mandela Boulevard turn-off. Their cluster of makeshift shelters lines the concrete ramp looking out over the Cape Town station yard. Van der Merwe begs for money, for food, and for drugs. Tik and dagga.

    “Now that I know what it’s really like to live on the streets, leaving my home will be a regret that will haunt me for ever.

    “I am okay where I am. I don’t want to return home to my community where I will be ridiculed for leaving.

    “I don’t want to cause unnecessary stress for my frail grandmother who raised me.”

    dylan.oktober@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Cape radio station Heart 104.9 FM has been reprimanded for a presenter's use of the words "jou ma se paw paw".

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    Johannesburg - Cape Town radio station Heart 104.9 FM was reprimanded on Monday for a presenter's use of the words “jou ma se paw paw” (your mother's paw paw), the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) said.

    “The words 'Jou ma se paw-paw' are grossly offensive within the South African context,” it said.

    “They strongly remind of the seriously derogatory original phrase, which need not be repeated here.

    “This is not the kind of language one would wish to be heard or used by children. The words have the capacity of being repeated just for the fun.”

    The BCCSA upheld the complaint that a broadcast had “included a derogatory statement” made in jest.

    It said the broadcaster was reprimanded and not fined because it had apologised and had said use of the phrase was against station policy.

    The BCCSA said the complainant submitted that the phrase was distasteful because women had fought oppression and sexism for centuries.

    “This is a direct attack on women per se and their dignity. Yet here Heart 104.9 FM radio presenters jump on this very band wagon and in so doing encourage sexists attacks on women however 'differently' intended,” she contended.

    The BCCSA said it agreed that the phrase was degrading, but the question was whether it reached the point of advocacy of hatred amounting to incitement to cause harm.

    “We have no doubt that the dignity of the complainant was impaired seriously. The harm requirement has, accordingly, been met,” it said.

    “The words amounted to more than mere disrespect, they debased the femininity of women seriously.”

    However, the BCCSA found that the phrase did not amount to advocacy for which Heart FM could be responsible.

    The BCCSA said that although the words used did not correspond with the original derogatory expression, which was much more problematic, everyone who knew it would have been reminded of it on hearing the “softer surrogate”.

    “Weighing the ease with which the words were said by the male presenter and the laughter it evoked from the female presenters against the indignity suffered by the complainant and, most certainly also by many other women, we agree that the words were ill-chosen and did not fit the high standards which are expected from, especially, presenters.

    “We, accordingly agree with the station manager, that this kind of language is not acceptable on Heart FM....”

    Sapa


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  • 12/23/13--06:15: Fire leaves 1 400 homeless
  • A fire in Valhalla Park, Cape Town, left 1 400 people homeless just two days before Christmas.

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    Cape Town - A fire in Valhalla Park, Cape Town, left 1 400 people homeless on Monday morning, the city's disaster risk management centre said.

    Spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said the centre responded to the fire at the 8th Avenue informal settlement, off Eleanor Road, around 11.30am.

    “The city dispatched emergency and disaster crews that are on-scene and battling the blaze,” he said.

    Of the 585 dwellings in the area, around 350 units were destroyed.

    Six people were treated for smoke inhalation.

    Solomons-Johannes said the local community hall had been opened to serve as emergency shelter.

    The cause of the fire was unknown.

    Sapa


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  • 12/23/13--07:28: Weekend arrests in Cape Town
  • A constable accused of driving under the influence of alcohol was among 86 people arrested in and around Cape Town.

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    Cape Town - A police constable accused of driving under the influence of alcohol was among 86 people arrested in and around Cape Town at the weekend, the City of Cape Town said on Monday.

    The arrests, made between Friday and Sunday, were for crimes ranging from drunk driving and attempted murder, to possession of dangerous weapons and intimidation, resisting arrest and theft from a motor vehicle, said city spokesman Richard Bosman.

    He said officers had adopted a zero tolerance approach to drunk driving.

    Sapa


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    Three home affairs officials were arrested for corruption in Limpopo and the Western Cape.

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    Johannesburg - Three home affairs officials were arrested for corruption in Limpopo and the Western Cape on Monday, the department said.

    “Two officials were arrested at the Beit Bridge border post for allegedly taking bribes from travellers passing through Beit Bridge,” department investigation unit director Connie Moitse said in a statement.

    “The suspects will appear in court tomorrow (Tuesday).”

    The third person arrested was an official who worked at the department's office in Wynberg, Cape Town, for alleged corruption and fraud.

    The Wynberg official was also expected to appear in court on Tuesday, said Moitse.

    Sapa


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    Christmas bonuses and clothes, IDs and savings went up in smoke as a fire raged through a Cape informal settlement.

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    Cape Town - Christmas bonuses and clothes, ID documents and family savings went up in smoke as a fire raged through the Valhalla Park informal settlement on Monday, destroying 350 houses and leaving 1 400 people homeless.

    A howling south-easter fanned the flames as people desperately tried to save televisions, fridges, carpets and other items from the fire.

    By early evening more than half the 585 dwellings in the settlement, near Bishop Lavis, had been destroyed. It is not clear how the fire started.

     

    Theo Layne, spokesman for the city’s fire and rescue services, said nine firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation, and six were taken to hospital. Three residents were injured, included a three-year-old boy who had burns on his feet. There were no fatalities.

    Resident Moira Anthony said angrily: “All my money I saved and stored in my mattress is now gone. But what are people going to do? Where are we going to sleep? I speak on behalf of all the people in Valhalla Park today.

    “We all lost our Christmas clothes, our bonus money that we all worked hard for. It is very sad and makes us heartsore that we have to go through all of this.

    “We will have to pay for new ID booklets, new birth and marriage certificates. We will have to start all over. This is not right. We have to go through these fires year after year.”

    While some people were able to save possessions including television sets, fridges, carpets, mattresses and clothes, others found out about the fire too late, or were not at home.

    Residents Anthony and Marlene Meiring said they had lost their savings of R10 000 in the fire.

    “All I have left now is my black couch and the clothes I have on,” said Anthony.

    Residents helped each other where they could, dragging furniture out of people’s homes and leaving it on the lawn beside Beauvallon Secondary School as they waited for the fire to die down.

    Salaamuddeem Stemmet said he and his friend, Frankie Fernandez, helped to save furniture where they could.

    “There was way too much smoke. It was so thick of smoke that you could not see anything.

    “Gas stoves went off like bombs and that is when we decided to help out. I am not from Valhalla, but we had to help out where we could.”

    Fire services were on the scene soon after the fire broke out, but water was a problem.

     

    People were shouting: “Where is the water? Where is the water?” as the fire spread to more shacks.

    Firefighters were eventually able to find water and started putting out the fire.

    Residents helped the firefighters, along with the police, metro police, law enforcement and disaster management.

    Layne said the wind had seriously hindered their operations.

    “Accessibility was also a major problem – we couldn’t get our guys in-between the shacks and we had to split our forces in three different points,” he said.

    A total of 18 fire engines, 11 water tankers, three rescue vehicles and eight support vehicles were dispatched to fight the fire, which was brought under control about 4.30pm.

    Resident Natalie Adams said candles and oil lamps were a major problem in the area.

    “They smoke oka pyp (hookahs), tik, and burn candles and their oil lamps. People cannot be upset about the fire if they carry on being unsafe.”

    One man, who declined to be named, claimed gangsters used the opportunity to start a fight.

    “I saw how they were shooting from their cars while the fire went on. You would think they would help, but they saw it as an opportunity to fight.”

    Gaironiesa Wilson said the council would do nothing for them.

    “We want houses, but what are they going to do? Nothing.

    “All we get are a few planks and metal sheets to rebuild our homes. That is not enough.”

    Others complained that their councillor was not at the scene. Some even protested that the fault lay with the DA and that people should vote for the ANC in the next elections.

    “DA is ruling here and they do nothing! I know the ANC will provide,” said resident ML Prince.

    Cape Argus


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    Cape Town roadblocks result in 114 arrests for driving under the influence in one weekend.

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    Cape Town traffic and metro police officers made a string of drink-driving arrests at the weekend, including that of a police constable whose blood alcohol level was nearly double the legal limit.

    In a series of roadblocks and operations across the city they arrested 114 suspects and issued several fines.

    At a roadblock on Friday evening on Spine and Makabenet roads in Khayelitsha, officers arrested 16 suspects for driving under the influence of alcohol and issued 29 fines for other offences.

    At the same roadblock, officers arrested a police constable who had a breathalyser reading of 0.54mg of alcohol per 1000ml of blood.

    The policeman also had his service pistol and 16 rounds of ammunition on him at the time of his arrest.

    Traffic officers arrested another 10 suspects for driving under the influence of alcohol at a roadblock in Elsies River on Friday where 36 fines for other offences were also issued.

    On Saturday, officers arrested eight suspects for driving under the influence of alcohol in the Langa area.

    During a traffic task team operation on Sunday in Nyanga, a further six suspects were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. At a roadblock in Belhar, 21 arrests were made for driving under the influence and another 25 arrests in Atlantis.

    Executive director for safety and security Richard Bosman said five drivers were arrested at a roadblock on Jan Smuts Drive in Athlone and 11 more during patrols in the CBD, Table View, Elsies River, Bellville South and Atlantis.

    In Kraaifontein, a suspect was arrested for assaulting a police officer when members of the metro police responded to a fighting incident at the Cape Gate mall parking area.

    ZERO TOLERANCE

    “Our festive season preparedness plan has been activated from 1 December and we are ready for the influx of visitors to our wonderful city. I would like to appeal to motorists to be patient and tolerant on the road.

    “Our officers have adopted a zero tolerance approach to drunk drivers,” said Bosman.

    Officials are also continuing a clampdown on motorists using cellphones while driving, with nearly 2000 cellphones confiscated between August and November. In that period, traffic officers issued fines totalling R17 579.

    Of the 1947 cellphones impounded between August and November, around 1500 have been claimed back by motorists, who have to pay a R1000 fine each.

    638 CELLPHONES UNCLAIMED

    Since the traffic by-law came into effect in 2011 which prohibits the use of cellphones while driving, the city has issued fines to the value of R5.27 million. Of phones confiscated since then, 638 have not been reclaimed.

    Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said there had been a reduction in the number of people using cellphones while driving since the city started confiscating cellphones. Some people were using hands-free devices, which are legal.

    “There are, however, drivers who continue to ignore the by-law, hence the continued enforcement focus,” Smith said. - Cape Times


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    A woman was shot in the leg by a gang of robbers during a cash-in-transit heist in Plattekloof, Cape Town.

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    Cape Town - A woman was shot in a leg by a gang of robbers during a cash-in-transit heist in Plattekloof on Sunday.

    Shots rang out as the robbers and the security guards exchanged gunfire in the raid at about 9.30am, police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said on Monday.

    Despite the security guards’ best efforts, the robbers fled the scene of the gunbattle with an undisclosed amount of cash, Traut said.

    The victim, a bystander, had been treated for a gunshot wound to the leg.

    No arrests had been made.

    Cape Argus


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    An Australian woman and a Canadian man who were attacked in two separate incidents on Signal Hill were allegedly the victims of five men posing as hikers.

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    Cape Town - An Australian woman and a Canadian man who were attacked in two separate incidents on Signal Hill this month were allegedly the victims of five Philippi men posing as hikers, the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court heard on Monday.

    The men, who included three teenagers, have been charged with aggravated robbery, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.

    Ndowose Jakhiwo, 22, and Lunta Mluma, 19, appeared in court on Monday while the minors, whose identities were being withheld, appeared separately in the juvenile court.

    In the first incident, on December 15, the men allegedly accosted an Australian woman who was walking on the footpath on Lion’s Head. She was stabbed five times in the chest and hand. Her assailants made off with her camera, cellphone, cash and credit cards.

    Four days later, a Canadian tourist walking in the same area was also attacked and bound with duct tape. The muggers stole his iPod, cellphone, wallet and camera.

    Warrant Officer John Baker and Table Mountain National Parks ranger Thandisizwe Mbolompo arrested the suspects on Friday after they were allegedly found in possession of the duct tape used to tie up the Canadian tourist.

    “Cape Town Central worked through the night to follow up information and arrested another suspect at his house in Browns Farm, Philippi, and also found international bank cards that belonged to one of the (visitors) hidden underneath his mattress,” said Western Cape police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk.

    Prosecutor Ebrahim Adams told the court that the State was not in possession of the criminal profile of the men and asked that the case be postponed for a week to obtain the information.

    The group are due back in court on Monday.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A Joburg businessman on holiday in Cape Town was gunned down outside a popular Gugulethu bar.

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    Cape Town - A Joburg businessman who was on holiday in the city was gunned down outside a popular Gugulethu bar at the weekend.

    On Monday police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said Eugene Papo, 41, was shot and killed outside the Corner Lounge on the corner of NY138 and NY116.

    The killing took place at around 7pm on Sunday, Traut said.

     

    As Papo was leaving the Corner Lounge two men approached him and shot him twice in the face.

    They then shot him twice as he lay on the ground.

    The gunmen fled the scene in a black Hyundai sedan, Traut said.

     

    According to his LinkedIn page, Papo was the managing director at Qualibooks Naledi and also a managing partner at Jaguar Capital.

    Donald Kau, who had met Papo for the first time on Friday soon after he arrived in Cape Town, said in a Facebook post they believed it was a case of mistaken identity because Papo was well-liked in Joburg. They did not understand why anyone would want to kill him.

    Kau described him as a “gentleman stranger”. “We shared a beer, he met a bunch of my Cape Town peeps and we parted a few hours later,” Kau wrote after hearing about Papo’s death.

    “I promised to set him up for a visit to a classic car showroom to bring his restored Benz in for a valuation.

    “This morning I got news of his passing. May his soul go well. He leaves my world a better place. The few hours I knew him were impressive,” Kau wrote.

    More of Papo’s friends expressed their anger on Facebook.

    Ciko Thomas, managing executive for consumer banking at Nedbank, wrote on his Facebook wall: “Rest in Peace Eugene Dikwaps Papo shot dead due to mistaken identity in a public space. South Africa on the eve of 2014 – such savagery. Such a waste of a beautiful life.”

    At least 27 people commented on Thomas’s post, expressing their condolences and shock at the incident.

    Azola Zuma wrote: “4 times. They shot him 4 times. So heartbreaking, so senseless.”

    Dan Marokane wrote: “Totally disgusted at this… what have we become as society?”

    Another friend, Bontle Makgwa, wrote on her Facebook page that Papo was the friend she would go to jazz sessions with because they both enjoyed it.

    “Who’s going to do Jazz sessions with me again???”

    Papo’s brother, Christoffel Papo, flew to Cape Town on Monday. He spoke briefly to the Cape Argus.

    Christoffel Papo said he did not have enough information about what had happened.

    “All I know is that he was in the company of friends and it was a case of mistaken identity.”

    Papo leaves a child.

    neo.maditla@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Bharooch Event Styling and Management is a Wynberg-based that has won the R3.5m contract to manage this year’s Kaapse Klopse celebrations.

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    Cape Town - Bharooch Event Styling and Management, the Wynberg-based company that won the R3.5 million contract to manage this year’s Kaapse Klopse celebrations, has worked on other big events, including the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and Durban’s official 2010 World Cup Fan Park.

    On its website the company admits to being a “start-up company” on paper, but adds that its members have more than 15 years’ experience in the industry as “freelance specialists”. A company search indicated that Bharooch registered as a private company in May.

    Other events on their website include the Unite the Stars Concerts and the SABC Crown Gospel Awards 2013.

    According to its mission statement, the firm has a “wealth of knowledge in the industry through associations with event companies, different municipalities nationwide or individual clients”.

    The city’s executive director of tourism, events and marketing, Anton Groenewald, said the company was appointed at the end of October after due process.

    Their contract is for the delivery of the event, and runs until the end of March.

    Groenewald said most of money for the minstrels project was spent early this month to secure the services and infrastructure needed.

    The company would have had full responsibility for the minstrels’ events, including the Christmas Bands and Malay Choirs.

    However, two of the larger minstrel associations refused to accept the city’s conditions, which included handing control of the event to Bharooch.

    After threats of legal action and ongoing discussions, the city bowed to the demands of the minstrel associations.

    Groenewald said: “The events company is delivering the event, which includes all the external service providers such as toilets, fencing, sound, stage, lighting and big screens. This year the minstrels will facilitate the event by ensuring that the buses, troupes, and general marshalling will be supplied on time to ensure a smooth and well-run event.”

    From next year, the event will be entirely managed by the minstrel associations, with the city providing the necessary logistical support.

    All queries about the company were directed to the City of Cape Town.

    anel.lewis@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    There were chaotic scenes of looting after two Somali shopkeepers allegedly shot and wounded a seven-year-old boy.

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    Cape Town - Nyanga residents went on the rampage in an apparent revenge attack after two Somali shopkeepers were arrested for allegedly shooting a seven-year-old boy on Saturday.

    The shopkeepers opened fire, believing they were under attack, after a stone was thrown at their shop in an incident over the weekend.

     Kwanele Mbele was hit in the back and underwent a five-hour operation at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. His condition was listed as stable on Monday.

     Zwelitsha residents said they were retaliating against the Somali shopkeepers and would not take any ill-treatment from them.

    “The Somalis should not shoot at people. A boy is in hospital because of them,” said resident Babalwa Mokwoena. “We don’t mind them being here, but we will not tolerate shots fired here again.”

    Two Somali shops were looted on Sunday night – one in Second Avenue about 200m from Kwanele’s home and the other in Phumlani Street, where Kwanele was shot the day before his seventh birthday.

    Oliver Maka, who shared a house with the shopkeepers in Phumlani Street, said that on the night after the shooting, residents had tried unsuccessfully to break into the shop.

    The residents returned again on Sunday afternoon. This time they slipped past an unlocked security gate.

    “They got in and took everything: the stock, the fridges and even the TV that was in a separate room,” said Maka.

     “I called the home owner and told him to come, and when he came he was with other Somali shopkeepers. The shopkeepers refused to take the little things that were left behind saying they would return,” he said.

    Crates were scattered on the floor and groceries spread across the room: spilled maize meal, soap, potatoes and bread lay on the floor.

    Meanwhile, the Second Avenue shop was completely cleaned out.

     The roof, doors, windows and fridges had already been taken by residents. Many claimed that gangsters, taking advantage of the situation, had started the looting.

     Resident Mcedisi Plaatjies said attacks on Somalis were spiralling out of control.

    “The gangsters first threw stones at the Somalis’ bakkie. Then the shopkeepers came out and one fired several shots in the air. Police arrived and then the shopkeepers ran away because their gun was not licensed. After the Somalis left, the police followed and the people started looting,” he said.

    On Monday morning, people were still visiting the empty shop scouting for anything left over.

    “I was too scared to loot last night, so I came in today hoping I would find something. I only found a drink-o-pop sachet and 40 cents,” said resident Hilda Mtwazi.

    A group of men in their early 20s admitted to taking part in the looting. They said they had started at the Phumlani Street shop before moving on to the one in Second Avenue.

     

    “We want to make sure that this shop (in Phumlani Street) does not exist. How could you shoot at a child?” said one of the men.

    Another said: “We were being naughty, but, on the other hand, these people treat us like scum when we come to buy stuff.”

    They men said they had made about R5 000 out of all the looted goods, including the fridges.

    Somali shopkeeper Abdi Mohamed, who also trades in Zwelitsha, said he had closed shop on Sunday, fearing that his shop would also be looted.

    “Yesterday we were scared, but today things are looking quiet.”

    He said he would close shop immediately if he felt unsafe.

     Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed the shops were looted.

    He said two suspects, aged 22 and 28, were arrested in connection with the incident and they will appear in court once they have been charged.

    zodidi.dano@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The Valhalla Park informal settlement in Cape Town will be fast-tracked for an upgrade after a fire there left around 1 500 people homeless.

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    Cape Town - The Valhalla Park informal settlement in Cape Town will be fast-tracked for an upgrade after a fire there left around 1 500 people homeless, a city official said on Tuesday.

    Safety and security mayoral committee member Jean-Pierre Smith said around 350 corrugated iron houses were destroyed in the fire on Monday morning. Eight council rental units were also damaged.

    Smith said 23 people, including nine fire-fighters, were treated for smoke inhalation.

    The city had arranged with its insurers to start emergency repair work.

    The disaster site would be cleared later on Tuesday. On Thursday, engineers would start surveying the land and marking out plots.

    “This process will include the implementation of fire breaks, installation of water points, safe electricity connections and other basic municipal services,” Smith said.

    “The city intends rebuilding the fire victims’ homes during the course of the next week, using enhanced building kits.”

    The local community hall had been opened to provide emergency shelter, and the disaster risk management centre would provide a Christmas day lunch to those affected.

    The public could donate fresh or tinned food, blankets, personal hygiene products and household contents. These donations could be dropped off at the nearest fire station or at the Nooitgedacht Civic Centre in Valhalla Park.

    The provincial African National Congress Youth League and Congress of SA Students said they would visit the area later on Tuesday to survey the damage and offer assistance.

    Smith urged residents to be responsible when using electrical appliances and to exercise caution with open flames.

    Sapa


    0 0

    A judge has described the allegations around the sale of the V&A Waterfront as "the stuff of a poor spy novel".

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    CApe Town - In what a judge has described as “the stuff of a poor spy novel”, allegations of collusion – and even a death threat – have surfaced in a court wrangle over the V&A Waterfront sale, South Africa’s biggest single property transaction.

    At the centre is Maurice Shawzin, a retired businessman who claims he is owed a “facilitation” fee for his role in brokering the deal.

    The Waterfront was sold for R9.7 billion in 2011.

    A liquidator, Andre van Heerden, appointed to recover Shawzin’s fee has lodged an action in the Western Cape High Court to claim the money.

    According to an affidavit by Van Heerden, Shawzin formed a consultancy partnership with property developer Neill Bernstein (by way of his company Devland Holdings) in 2007 to assist property company Growthpoint, to acquire the Waterfront by rendering certain services.

    An oral agreement had been reached that if Growthpoint acquired a substantial portion of the property, it would negotiate the fee amount with the partnership.

    In his application, which Growthpoint is opposing, Van Heerden has asked the court to order the negotiations to take place.

    The relationship between former business partners Shawzin and Bernstein, in the meantime, has turned “hostile”.

    Van Heerden claimed in his affidavit that in an incident in mid-October, Bernstein had become “aggressive” and threatened to kill Shawzin.

    The exchange had taken place over the intercom at a luxury apartment complex at the Waterfront where Shawzin lives.

    “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’s affidavit read.

    In response to an e-mail request for comment, Bernstein denied threatening to harm Shawzin.

    “The purpose of my visit to the V&A Marina apartments was in an attempt to collect personal property,” he said.

    Van Heerden further alleged that Growthpoint had induced Bernstein “for reward” to persuade Shawzin to abandon his partnership claim against the company.

    In an answering affidavit by Growthpoint chairman Francois Marais, he “strenuously” denied any collusion, saying the allegations were “unsubstantiated, scandalous and defamatory”.

    He said he had no knowledge of what had transpired between Bernstein and Shawzin and further denied the “inference” that Bernstein’s alleged hostility had been at the behest, or with the encouragement, of Growthpoint.

    Judge Dennis Davis further noted in court on Monday, that Growthpoint had denied all of the material allegations on which the fee claim was based, including the conclusion of a facilitation agreement between Growthpoint and the partnership, as well as the need for negotiations over the fee.

    Judge Davis also said that court papers were replete with allegations, counter-allegations and “bad faith” between the parties.

    “There is a litany of allegations that is the stuff of a poor spy novel...” he said.

    However, he did not delve into these averments, saying that this was not what was before him to decide.

    The matter came before him after Van Heerden went to court on an urgent basis to secure certain documents in terms of subpoenas.

    He needed the documents to prepare for the hearing, which is expected to begin on February 17.

    These documents include e-mail correspondence, internal communications and diary entries.

    Judge Davis ordered the respondents – Marais, Growthpoint chief executive Norbert Sasse and an executive director Estienne de Klerk – to hand over the documents.

    He also dismissed a counter-application to have the subpoenas set aside.

    leila.samodien@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    While some Capetonians avoid beaches at all costs on Boxing Day, many come in droves for a day of fun in the sun.

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    Cape Town - While some Capetonians avoid the beaches at all costs on Boxing Day, many residents come in their droves from across the city for a day of fun in the sun.

    This annual “pilgrimage” means that popular beaches such as Camps Bay, Muizenberg and Kalk Bay will be packed with people who often don’t get to enjoy the city’s coastal attractions.

    Richard Bosman, City of Cape Town executive director of safety and security, said an estimated 200 000 people were expected on city beaches on Boxing Day (Day of Goodwill).

    The city does have a festive season plan to ensure that revellers celebrate in a safe and clean environment, but residents in Kalk Bay fear that the lack of law enforcement at the harbour’s beach may encourage anti-social behaviour during peak season.

    “People know there’s no control on that beach and they come in overloaded bakkies and taxis,” said Tony Trimmel, chairman of the Kalk Bay and St James Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association.

    He described the influx of “thousands” of people to the beach at this time of the year as an annual “pilgrimage”.

    The beach used to be cleaned and patrolled by the city council, but these services have dwindled now that it is managed by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Trimmel said.

    Harbour staff collected more than 300 bags of litter after last year’s Boxing Day festivities, but Trimmel said the council refused to take the bags away. The state of the beach was “shocking”.

    He said the community was trying to put a plan in place to control access to the beach, as well as and the consumption of alcohol over the festive season.

    Bosman said the beach was part of the harbour, and it was therefore the harbour master’s responsibility to provide services.

    Meanwhile, Camps Bay ward councillor Beverley Schafer has asked for reinforcements at the Blue Flag beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton, ahead of Boxing Day and Tweede Nuwe Jaar.

    She said the city was expecting at least 10 000 people to gather on Camps Bay beach.

    Chris Willemse, chairman of the Camps Bay Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association, said that they had come to expect the large influx of people into Camps Bay on December 26 as something that happened once a year.

    “It's a festive time. Obviously parking is a problem and getting everyone out of Camps Bay is also a bit of a problem.”

    Willemse said people sometimes stayed on the beach until 3am waiting for their transport.

    Some people find Cape Town beaches too full and go further afield.

     

    Although the city has moved into the “festive season” stage of its peak season planning and there will be increased visibility and “sustained” deployment of law enforcement to the main beaches until January 4 Schafer felt that some of the busier beaches were still understaffed.

    Law enforcement would be bolstered by auxiliary volunteers.

    There would also be undercover informal trading police on the beaches to stop illegal traders from selling pirated goods.

     

    anel.lewis@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


    0 0
  • 12/24/13--04:17: Solo SA sailor rescued
  • A solo sailor who was forced to abandon his yacht en route to the Caribbean has been rescued, the National Sea Rescue Institute said.

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    Cape Town - A solo sailor who was forced to abandon his yacht en route to the Caribbean has been rescued, the National Sea Rescue Institute said on Tuesday.

    Michael Kuun, originally from Benoni on the East Rand, experienced difficulties while out at sea at the weekend, said NSRI station commander, Pat van Eyseen.

    “(He) sailed from East London to Saldanha Bay with his girlfriend, and they had picked up some problems with his 43-foot yacht,” said Van Eyseen.

    “Repairs were effected at Saldanha Bay before he embarked on a solo voyage on Friday (and he) headed for St Helena Island, his ultimate destination, the Caribbean islands, where his girlfriend would meet up with him later.”

    Kuun experienced more problems with his yacht as he embarked on his solo trip.

    “He phoned his girlfriend who raised the alarm and on December 22, the oil tanker Aqua Fortune, sailing from Mauritania to Singapore, the nearest vessel in the general area at the time, diverted from her voyage to attempt a rescue effort.”

    In the seventh attempt, the crew of the tanker eventually got Kuun out of the water and onto their vessel.

    Arrangements were made to bring him back to South Africa.

    He arrived in Cape Town on Tuesday and was expected to fly back to Johannesburg later in the day.

    Sapa


    0 0

    The ANC Youth League in the Western Cape will set up a committee to help those affected by the Valhalla Park informal settlement fire.

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    Cape Town - The ANC Youth League in the Western Cape will set up a committee to help those affected by the Valhalla Park informal settlement fire in Cape Town, it said on Tuesday.

    ANCYL convenor Muhammad Khalid Sayed said he and provincial ANC head Marius Fransman led a delegation to the area on Tuesday and saw the need for a resident-led committee.

    “People are going to elect the committee. This committee will be working with us to solve the issues, ensuring houses are built,” he said.

    “It goes beyond just the disaster management. It will also focus on long-term problems such as water, sanitation and electricity.”

    Another function of the committee would be to ensure that the disaster risk management centre was performing its role and that it was well-resourced.

    Residents and other parties planned to meet at the Beauvallon Secondary School on Friday morning to elect committee members.

    The fire on Monday morning destroyed around 350 corrugated iron houses and eight council rental units, leaving around 1500 homeless.

    Safety and security mayoral committee member Jean-Pierre Smith said 23 people, including nine fire-fighters, were treated for smoke inhalation.

    The city had arranged with its insurers to start emergency repair work.

    The disaster site would be cleared later on Tuesday. On Thursday, engineers would start surveying the land and marking out plots.

    “This process will include the implementation of fire breaks, installation of water points, safe electricity connections and other basic municipal services,” Smith said.

    “The city intends rebuilding the fire victims' homes during the course of the next week, using enhanced building kits.”

    After visiting the area, Sayed said the situation was a “complete conundrum” because residents had told him a gang shooting had taken place in the area as the fire raged.

    “There's a compounding problem here,” he said.

    Residents had told the delegation that many of their children's school uniforms had been lost in the fire.

    Sayed said they planned to make sure new uniforms were available. The number of children affected by these losses would be available at a later stage.

    The local community hall had been opened to provide emergency shelter and a Christmas day lunch would be held for those affected.

    The public could donate fresh or tinned food, blankets, personal hygiene products and household contents. These donations could be dropped off at the nearest fire station or at the Nooitgedacht Civic Centre in Valhalla Park.

    Smith urged residents to be responsible when using electrical appliances and to exercise caution with open flames.

    Sapa


    0 0
  • 12/24/13--06:26: Staggie’s parole revoked
  • Former Hard Livings gang leader Rashied Staggie will have a bleak Christmas after his day parole was revoked.

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    Cape Town - Former Hard Livings gang leader Rashied Staggie's day parole has been revoked, the correctional services department said on Tuesday.

    “He deviated from his conditions, met members of gangs and made unauthorised visits,” spokesman Manelisi Wolela said in a statement.

    “He admitted the evidence presented by investigators and by his employer and apologised for his conduct.”

    Staggie was granted parole on September 23.

    He 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 three months ago.

    Wolela said evidence of the violations was presented and corroborated by technical evidence obtained through the electronic monitoring system used to monitor offenders and those on parole.

    “The parole board referred him for further profiling and ordered that he be taken through a behaviour modification programme designed to assist gang members and leaders change their wayward ways,” he said.

    On Wednesday, Staggie appeared before a disciplinary committee. He had appeared before a case management committee at Pollsmoor Prison, in Cape Town, a day before.

    The department previously denied reports that Staggie's parole was revoked because he joined a political party, the Patriotic Alliance, which consisted of gangsters.

    The party was launched in November by ex-convict Gayton McKenzie and his former jail mate and businessman Kenny Kunene. It was reported that Staggie's role in the party had sparked the move to revoke his parole.

    Broadcaster eNCA reported that one of Staggie's parole conditions was that he not associate with gangsters, and that by joining the party, he was inadvertently doing so.

    Wolela said part of the conditions imposed on Staggie's day parole were strict supervision, agreeing to electronic tagging and tracking, no contact with victims, and no contact with gang members.

    Staggie was ordered back to Pollsmoor on December 4 after enjoying the parole which would have ended on March 24, 2014, said Wolela.

    “Had he not violated his parole conditions he would have been on full parole by 25 March 2014 up to the end of sentence on 23 March 2017.”

    Staggie is expected to appear before the Parole Board again on February 14 next year.

    Sapa


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