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    "A magnificent day turned into a nightmare" for a couple whose neighbour shot their dog and then refused to put it out of its misery.

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    Cape Town - Lisa Murray was in her garden picking vegetables on Monday morning when she heard the gunshot.

    Her husband, Neil, was walking their Jack Russell terrier and Labrador down the road from their Buffelsdrift farm, near Ladysmith.

    He said when he heard the crack, he “went completely cold”. For the Murrays, it was “a magnificent day that turned into a nightmare”.

    A neighbour’s two Jack Russells exchanged barks with the Murrays’ dogs as they passed the fence, and Neil Murray was whistling for his pets to follow him home when the shot rang out.

    He turned to find the 10-month-old golden Labrador, Cabby, wounded.

    “She was wobbling a bit and I saw that she was bleeding.

    “I looked for a wound and I found it right next to her bum.”

    Murray turned to Leon Coetzee, the neighbour standing behind the fence with a gun, and asked in anger and bewilderment: “Have you shot my dog?”

    Feeling certain the wound was fatal, Murray then asked Coetzee to put Cabby out of her misery.

    “I told him to kill the dog now because she’s going to die.

    “He gave me a blank look and didn’t do anything about it.”

    Lisa Murray had rushed to meet her husband, and insisted on taking the dog to their vet some 70km south.

    “I insisted we go right away, so we didn’t really ask any questions,” she said. Before they left Coetzee reportedly said he had a bitch in heat.

    Cabby died on the way to the vet, leaving the Murrays with more questions than answers.

    “We’re quite shocked,” Lisa Murray said. “He shot Cabby but Neil was literally about 10m away, and Coetzee didn’t warn anybody he was there.”

     

    Coetzee said he never meant to hit the animal. “I didn’t try to kill the dog. I just tried to scare them off so they wouldn’t come back again.”

    Bigger dogs had been jumping over the fence and accosting his terriers, he said. He said he hadn’t seen Murray when he fired the shot, and would not have done so if he’d known the dog was his neighbour’s.

    “I don’t feel happy about it,” Coetzee said. “He did ask me to shoot it at the scene but I couldn’t because I don’t kill things.

    “I’m not bad in nature. I’m actually very sorry about the whole thing.”

    Police recovered the bullet after an autopsy on the dog. A case of malicious damage to property has been laid, said Captain Malcolm Pojie, Southern Cape SAPSmedia liaison officer.

    In the meantime, the Murrays said their small olive farm no longer feels like the oasis it once did.

    “It’s obviously completely changed our feeling of comfort,” Neil Murray said.

    “I worry every minute where my dogs are; if they haven’t got through the fence… The peace is gone.”

    Cape Argus


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    Cops used a water canon and stun grenades to disperse angry Valhalla Park residents who shut down a busy main road.

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    Cape Town - Police used a water canon and fired stun grenades to disperse angry Valhalla Park residents who shut down a busy main road on Wednesday to protest against poor service delivery.

    Demonstrations broke out along Robert Sobukwe Drive, formerly Modderdam Road, around lunchtime as some pupils were heading home from their first day of school.

    Residents burnt tyres and several of the wooden fences protecting trees along the road.

    They hauled rocks into the road and hurled stones at officers, who in turn fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

    Some residents scolded police for firing the grenades, saying they were traumatising children.

    It is understood the demonstration developed spontaneously after five shacks were burnt down. People said one shack had been deliberately set on fire and the it spread.

     

    Police upset residents when they ordered them to go back to their homes – homes that had burnt to the ground. They said: “But we’re standing in our houses!”

    An angry Ralph Josephs, who lives with his daughters aged three months and five years, shouted at police: “Where must I go?

    “This was my house – you say go to your house, now where must I go?”

    All his family’s belongings were burnt in on Wednesday’s fire, including his camera equipment, from which he made a living.

    “I was trying to save some of my stuff, but police started firing – you can’t save a shoe or a teaspoon here,” Joseph said.

    The city will investigate allegations that the fire was deliberately started to get more names on its property rights lists.

    The Agstelaan settlement was devastated by a fire that destroyed hundreds of shacks two days before Christmas, displacing 1 500 people. New structures have since gone up for the homeless. But tensions have risen in the community since the fire and there have been a number of protests.

    After Wednesday’s fire, resident Adrian Lawrence said a city Disaster Risk Management official had visited. Residents gathered and decided to protest. “We’ve seen other people protest and they get what they want so we wanted to protest.”

    City Disaster Risk Management’s Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said they would not provide relief to residents of the houses destroyed in Wednesday’s fire because they did not want to put staff at risk.

    natasha.prince@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    R13 million spent on repairing vandalised toilets could have been better spent on improving services in townships.

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    Cape Town - The city has spent R13 million in six months on repairing vandalised toilets in informal settlements – money which could have been better spent on improving services in townships, the city says.

    Between July and December the city spent more than R13m on repairing toilets and standpipes, a figure which is substantially more than it spent in previous years.

    Mayoral committee member for utilities Ernest Sonnenberg said the R13m was part of the department’s overall operational budget and that spending the money on repairing vandalised infrastructure prevented the city from making much needed improvements in townships.

    Last year the city was rocked by numerous protests over sanitation and toilet provision with the ANC slamming the DA-led city for not delivering basic services to informal settlements.

    Groups from informal settlements marched to the provincial legislature in October, staging a protest which later turned violent with widespread looting and damage of private property.

    The N2 was also blocked off several times with residents from informal settlements throwing human waste across the highway in protest against the portable flush toilets which the city started providing in a bid to eradicate the bucket system.

    Residents have demanded full flush toilets in all informal settlements, with community leaders calling the portable flush toilets “undignified”.

    The city has, however, said that because of the topography of some of the land where residents live it is unable to install full flush toilets in all informal settlements.

    Sonnenberg said vandalism of water and sanitation infrastructure was a problem in all informal settlements across the metro.

    “These repairs are the result of vandalism or theft and are therefore entirely avoidable.

    The over R13m spent has been on, among others, replacing and repairing stolen taps, broken taps, stolen handles, broken standpipes, stolen handbasins, blocked toilets and damaged toilet structures.”

    Despite the challenges, the city was committed to increasing the provision of full flush toilets in informal settlements. “When a few destructive individuals illegally and selfishly destroy city infrastructure, they not only place a huge demand on the department’s budget which could be avoided, but most importantly obstruct the provision of basic service to the broader community,” Sonnenberg said.

    In this financial year, the city planned to install 1 300 full flush toilets in various informal settlements including Imizamo Yethu, France, RR Section, Dunoon, Rasta Camp and Lansdowne Road.

    “These installations exemplify the city’s ongoing commitment to improving sanitation services. Since 2006 the total number of toilets provided has increased from 14 591 to over 40 700,” Sonnenberg said.

    Since 2006, the budget for water and sanitation services to informal settlements had increased more than fourfold from approximately R123m to over R521m.

    Sonnenberg said the R13m spent was only on repairs to infrastructure above the ground.

    He said the city had also spent money repairing vandalised infrastructure below the ground.

    “This money is spent because people wilfully go and vandalise services when there are other areas where the money could be put to better use for improvements. We also hope with our janitorial programme with city staff on the ground that this will assist us to try to curb vandalism and also repair infrastructure before the situation becomes worse,” Sonnenberg said.

    zara.nicholson@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    A proposal has been made that old Kalk Bay linefish vessels should be declared “moving national monuments” with fishing licences attached to them.

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    Cape Town - Old Kalk Bay linefish vessels should be declared “moving national monuments” with fishing licences attached to the old wooden boats as a way of protecting fishermen and their historic way of earning a living.

    That way the livelihood of a crew, some of whom are third-generation fishermen, will be secured.

    This is a proposal made by Joao Simoes, who has been crewing on Kalk Bay linefish boats for 22 years and who, like hundreds of crewmen around the country’s coast, found himself without a job when the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries failed to renew the fishing licences of many skippers.

    “Kalk Bay is the oldest fishing harbour in the country and should be declared a heritage site, and the old wooden boats should get a fishing licence attached to the vessel itself. The right stays with the boat, whoever owns it or sells it or buys it,” Simoes said on Wednesday.

    “That way there will always be jobs for crew.”

    The idea came to Simoes while he was sitting at home, fretting about how to make a living and thinking of ways to solve the loss of jobs for crews.

    The fisheries department did not renew 235 linefish rights on New Year’s Day, leaving fishermen high and dry with no income.

    Simoes called a public meeting in Kalk Bay on Wednesday, and invited several groups, including the Kalk Bay Ratepayers’ Association and businesses.

    Mark Wiley, a DA MPL who attended the meeting, urged ratepayers and businesses to stand with the fishermen.

    He believed the stripping of fishermen of their traditional fishing rights would take away the fishing community of Kalk Bay and that this would have a profound effect on the village.

    “Kalk Bay may be under a much greater threat than just some people losing their licences,” Wiley said.

    In an interview later, Simoes said many of the fishermen who crewed on boats could not read or write properly and fishing was the only job they knew.

    Many had been doing the job for decades and, in some cases, their families had been fishermen for generations.

    Some of them were extremely poor and living in the open, under the arches on the beach.

    “My main aim is to secure Kalk Bay the livelihood of the vessels and crew in Kalk Bay,” Simoes said.

    “We want to turn these old wooden vessels into historical moving monuments so the licence to fish gets attached to the boat, and not to the owner.

    “That way whoever owns the boat doesn’t matter because that boat will always have a right to fish, as people have been doing here for all their lives.

    “That way the crew here in Kalk Bay are guaranteed work on the boats, because we know there are some boats that will always go to sea.”

    A vessel in the harbour, the Violet Glen, is the oldest working fishing boat in the country.

    “It’s a hard life, you go to sea at four in the morning, you go in storms, and you must pay for bait and fuel, but it is the only one we know and we want to be able to fish,” Simoes said.

    Cape Times


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    A 23-year-old man was shot and killed in territory being disputed by the Americans and the Jesters gangs in Manenberg.

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    Cape Town - A 23-year-old man was shot and killed on Wednesday night in the heart of territory being disputed by the Americans and the Jesters gangs in Manenberg.

    Another man, also 23, was injured in the shooting at 9.20pm.

    Police had not arrested the assailants by the time of publication.

    “Two 23-year-old males were standing in Beatrix Lane when two unknown males approached them. Without any warning, they fired several shots at both men, hitting one of them in the head. He died at the scene.

    “The other man sustained an injury to his foot,” said police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut. He added that the shooters had fled on foot.

    Thames Avenue, which runs off Beatrix Lane, is divided between the rival Jester and American gangs, said a source close to the investigation and with inside knowledge of gang activities.

    “On New Year’s Eve, the two gangs signed a peace treaty to ensure there was not shooting during the end of the festive season. Last night’s shooting was the first since, signifying the treaty has been broken,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous.

    The source said merely stepping foot in a rival gang’s territory was enough to warrant an assassination.

    “A recent one of these shootings happened because news spread that a gang member had attended a braai on a rival’s turf. That is how petty some of these murders are,” the source said.

    “Becoming part of one of these gangs is a form of entrapment – you become a hostage in your own community. You can no longer visit family and friends living in different areas freely.

    “What’s more, the community are not playing their role in ending this trend. Parents want to protect their gangster children, so they do not co-operate with the police.”

    A tragic twist is many of the rival gangsters were childhood friends who used to play sport and games together on the streets where the shootings now occur.

    The Cape Argus arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting last night. The situation was tense, as bystanders watched police secure and investigate the scene. Some bystanders threatened the photographer involved.

    Cases of murder and attempted murder have been opened at Manenberg police station, after the latest shooting.

    Anyone with information can contact Manenberg police at 021 699 9400 or crime stop at 08600 10 111. Manenberg police have guaranteed absolute confidentiality for witnesses and informants. A financial reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest.

    daneel.knoetze@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The complainant in the Riah Phiyega case has been abruptly removed as the WCape's acting Crime Intelligence head.

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    Johannesburg - Brigadier Mzwandile Tiyo, whose name is on the so-called SAPS purge list, has been abruptly removed as acting crime intelligence head in the Western Cape.

    He happens to be the complainant in the case against the police commissioner, Riah Phiyega, for allegedly defeating the ends of justice.

    Tiyo’s name appeared on a list of names of 18 high-ranking officers who should be “exposed or dealt with” before the elections.

    The list was revealed by former national police commissioner Bheki Cele at the funeral service for Lieutenant-General Layton Mzondeki “Sean” Tshabalala. It is not known who drew up the list, but all the officers listed supposedly have strained relationships with SAPS management.

    Tiyo was on leave when he was removed, and replaced by another high-ranking police officer.

    The Star understands that he has not yet been informed of his new deployment. He is expected back at work on Monday.

    Phiyega’s spokesman Solomon Makgale dismissed the claims, saying: “No one has been appointed as a permanent head of crime intelligence in the Western Cape.

    “Brigadier Tiyo was in an acting capacity and he has now gone back to his original position in the VIP protection environment as part of a decision to separate crime intelligence and the protection and security services environments in the country.”

    Tiyo's removal is part of the restructuring of the crime intelligence service, Makgale said on Friday.

    "The streamlining process started last year. Various posts in the unit have also been advertised," he said.

    However, several sources claimed this was a ploy to get rid of Tiyo because of his involvement in the investigation against Phiyega. “This is not a coincidence,” said one source. “I know they will try to downplay this, but the fact remains, Tiyo is a complainant in the current investigation against Phiyega. That’s the reason he is targeted.”

    Makgale said this was “street talk” and would not comment further, while Tiyo declined to comment.

    Tiyo instructed one of his officers from crime intelligence to open a case against Phiyega after he allegedly heard her, in a phone conversation, alerting Western Cape provincial commissioner Arno Lamoer that there was an investigation against him by the Hawks and crime intelligence.

    The phone conversation was allegedly legally recorded by crime intelligence operatives monitoring Lamoer’s calls.

    Lamoer was being investigated for his links with a Cape Town businessman and an alleged drug dealer. 

    The case against Phiyega is now being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

     Sources said Tiyo had received a call on New Year’s Eve from Lamoer’s personal assistant informing him that Lamoer would like to meet him and other crime intelligence commanders. “As the request was at short notice, Tiyo could not attend the meeting,” explained a source.

    According to the source, Lamoer arrived at that meeting and introduced Major-General Peter Jacobs as the new head of crime intelligence in the Western Cape.

    According to the source, that same day, Tiyo received a call from his superior, acting divisional commissioner Major-General Bongiwe Zulu, informing him that Jacobs had been appointed as the new provincial head in the Western Cape.

    solly.maphumulo@inl.co.za

    The Star and Sapa


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    A man contemplating suicide on the roof of Cape Town's Civic Centre fuelled an online frenzy of speculative tweeting.

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    Cape Town -

    A man contemplating suicide on the roof of Cape Town’s Civic Centre on Thursday fuelled an online frenzy of speculative tweeting across the country, sparking heated debate about mental health awareness.

    The drama unfolded with multiple tweets a minute, from the time the man first appeared at around 10am to his capture by negotiators at 4pm.

    Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the man was 25 years old and seemed to be a foreigner. The name he gave negotiators was Michael.

    “He was very incoherent for much of the time the negotiators spent with him,” Smith said. “He was saying stuff that was outrageous. He appears unstable and possibly delusional.”

    The man gained access to the roof through sheer coincidence. According to Smith, he had tried at several other city centre buildings first. At the Civic Centre, he had been admitted to visit a department in the building.

    After that he “found his way on to staircases which according to law have to be open because they are fire escapes”. The door to the roof, which was usually locked and alarmed, was instead open because a lift company was doing maintenance at the time.

    Smith dispelled rumours that the man was a disgruntled city employee. “That was our first guess, but it was eliminated early on,” he said.

    “All employees were accounted for.”

    A crowd gathered on the raised taxi rank and the street below to watch the man, who was at one point partially hanging off the edge.

    While most onlookers reportedly dispersed around lunchtime, the online crowd only grew more fervent in its following of the drama.

    The insatiable online demand for footage and updates reached a peak as some people were apprehended for attempting to fly a remote control helicopter with a mounted camera to the top of the building.

    The hashtag #civiccentreman trended, with many tweeters turning nasty in their commentary. Others were quick to scold them, though, and the discussion continued well after the man was pulled to safety.

    Comedian Siv Ngesi tweeted from @iamSivN: “Word is that the guy asked for an entjie and a streetwise two! Could this be his final meal?”

    @Hey_MissP58m said: “Clicked #civiccentreman hashtag… wish I didn’t. The abundant jokes & lack of empathy about a person’s potential suicide are disgusting.”

    The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) appealed online for anyone with information to come forward so that they could intervene and help the man.

    Peter Dyantyi from Delft had his eyes trained on the roof from 9.30am until the man had been rescued.

    The most tense moment was when the man was hanging over the ledge.

    “I thought he was going to go down,” Dyantyti said. “I turned away, I didn’t want to watch. But the other people said he must jump.”

    One onlooker tweeted about the experience. @kyran_lane said: “Hearing the screams of ‘JUMP! JUMP!’ accompanied by gasps and whistles is something that won’t leave me anytime soon.”

    Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said trained negotiators on the police force had been used to talk the man off the roof: “Our role was to negotiate him down and we were successful. The matter is now in the hands of the Department of Health. He is in hospital.”

    chelsea.geach@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A girl, 13, said that she dodged death after her ex-boyfriend - aged 14 - allegedly attacked her in a stabbing frenzy.

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    Cape Town - This 13-year-old girl said that she dodged death after her ex-boyfriend allegedly attacked her in a stabbing frenzy.

    The young girl explained that she and the 14-year-old suspect had a brief, violent relationship.

    Amelia, 13, said she is lucky to be alive after having a screwdriver driven into her flesh at least eight times.

    The girl sustained brutal injuries to her neck, back, arms and legs.

    Police are now investigating allegations that a minor, who Amelia once called her boyfriend, is behind the vicious attack.

    The 14-year-old boy – whose identity is known to the Daily Voice – has not been arrested and is still in the Grassy Park area where the attack happened.

    Amelia’s mom Desiree Lategan, 38, said that doctors told her that her daughter could have died from the multiple stab wounds.

    The young girl, who still moves with difficulty following the assault, said she was on her way to a games shop on January 8, when she spotted her former boyfriend.

    The teenager, who is in Grade 8, said the young suspect asked her for a cigarette.

    “I said, ‘no, I don’t have one’,” Amelia explained.

    “Then he [suspect] swore at me and hit me.”

    She said that the beating stopped only for a brief moment.

    She claimed the teen then pulled out a screwdriver he had been hiding and allegedly began stabbing her.

    “He came at me from the back and stabbed me all over,” said Amelia.

    She sustained deep gashes to her neck, back, arms, legs and buttocks

    Amelia said: “I was in shock and ran to my friend’s mother who said I must go straight home.”

    Desiree said that her daughter arrived home from the shop, bleeding from her wounds and collapsed on the couch.

    “I heard crying and when I saw her on the couch, I asked her what is wrong,” said the mother.

    “She said her ex-boyfriend stabbed her. The doctor said he stabbed her on all the critical spots and if he had to go deeper, it could have been worse or death.

    “He stabbed her in the back and that could have touched the heart.”

    The teen’s 65-year-old grandmother, who is a nursing sister, said she could have bled to death.

    “She waited so long for medical help, she could have bled out and died or it could have been worse,” the granny said.

    When asked about Amelia dating at her age, mom Desiree said she had only heard rumours her daughter was going out with a boy, but didn’t want to believe it.

    “They were friends and then I thought it was just rumours but I discovered they were [dating],” she said.

    Desiree, who made a case with the police this week, said they fear for Amelia’s life because the boy has not been arrested.

    Showing her wounds, Amelia claims their two-week relationship was violent.

    “Before this [stabbing] we argued over money and we fought with each other. Something must happen because when I see him, I feel scared.”

    Police said a case of assault was opened but no one was arrested.

    Daily Voice


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    Naledi Pandor has warned women not to become targets for men who only want to marry them to acquire SA citizenship.

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    Cape Town - The Home Affairs minister has warned women not to become targets for unscrupulous foreign men who only want to marry them to acquire South African citizenship.

    The warning issued by Minister Naledi Pandor came as she visited senior citizens in Mew Hall in Khayelitsha on Thursday.

    During her speech, the minister called on local women to be careful of people of foreign origin who want to gain South African citizenship through a marriage of convenience.

    She was, however, quick to explain she was not painting all foreigners with the same brush.

    “I am not saying all of them do this [marry to get citizenship],” she told the women at the event.

    “But some get married for their convenience, and later dump you and the child.

    “They do this to get South African citizenship.”

    Pandor explained that sometimes desperate men even pay women to get their hand in marriage.

    The minister added that some women are being paid up to R3 000 to do this.

    “By doing this you are helping someone to get SA citizenship illegally,” she warned.

    “Don’t get married to help someone to get South African citizenship.

    “Some of these people are married in their country of origin, after some time they then go back to their wives and leave their children behind for Home Affairs to take care of.”

    The South African Citizenship Amendment Act imposes stiff penalties of up to 15 years in jail on both the foreigner and the South African helping the foreigner to obtain citizenship by means of an illegal marriage of convenience.

    The Department of Home Affairs said that during the 2011-2012 financial year, there were 1 209 fraudulent marriages involving foreigners and 2 852 the previous year.

    According to the department’s 2011-2012 annual report, investigations in Durban uncovered scores of fake marriages.

    One investigation led to the arrest of five Home Affairs officials, priests and marriage officers, implicated in fake marriages scams.

    Michael Doyi, 72, said he welcomes the minister’s views on marriages of convenience.

    “These children don’t know the seriousness of a marriage of convenience,” he said.

    “It puts a strain on us as parents, because we must help feed their babies and be responsible for paying school fees for the child.

    “This may be done between two people but it gets us as parents into a mess because it’s done for the convenience of only one partner.”

    Pensioner Nomsa Mlunguza, 71, added: “I wish youngsters could hear this.

    “We as parents will never have time to rest because we have to take care of kids left by men who only came here to get SA IDs and then leave.

    “It is fraud and whoever is found doing this should be charged and sentenced harshly.”

    Meanwhile, the minister brought some belated festive cheer to the area.

    Pandor also treated the mostly senior citizens to treats and a meal.

    Some even received gifts of food parcels.

    Outside the hall a staffed mobile Home Affairs office helped pensioners register for the new smart card identity document.

    Daily Voice


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    A man who beat a motorist to death in a road rage attack in 1999 is due in court next month on a new assault charge.

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    Cape Town -

    A Plumstead man who beat a motorist to death with a hockey stick in 1999 in a road rage attack is expected in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on a new assault charge next month.

    Graeme Eadie was back in court on Thursday on an assault charge after allegedly attacking a 67-year-old man.

    The Director of Public Prosecutions is to review the case, and decide its next course of action.

    Prosecutor Keppler Uys said the matter was postponed to wait for a decision on a date from the Department of Public Prosecutions.

    The most recent assault allegedly took place in Plumstead during a “heated argument” on November 22. Eadie allegedly punched the man and damaged his camera.

    He was previously convicted of the murder of 54-year-old Kevin Duncan whom he bludgeoned to death with a hockey stick near Fish Hoek 15 years ago.

    He was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2000, five of which were conditionally suspended, but was released on parole in September 2006.

    It emerged that he had been drinking on the night of the murder.

    During the trial, he said he had become angry when Duncan drove up behind his car, tailgated him, flashed his lights, and overtook on a solid white line before cutting in front of him.

    He was also charged with defeating the ends of justice after he left the scene and changed his bloody clothes, only to return to the scene and pretend to be an onlooker.

    He was sentenced to seven months in prison for this, which ran concurrently with his murder sentence.

    Cape Argus


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    Two paramedics were held at gunpoint and robbed in Gugulethu, bringing the number of incidents in about a year to at least 12.

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    Cape Town -

    Two paramedics were held at gunpoint and robbed in their ambulance in Gugulethu in one of the latest attacks on medical workers, bringing the number of incidents in about a year to at least 12.

    In the first two weeks of this year alone at least two incidents were reported.

    And on Thursday ER24, the company from which the paramedics robbed late on Wednesday are from, said: “According to emergency workers this is not an isolated incident.

    “Recently, another crew was assaulted in Eerste River.”

    In a separate incident late on Wednesday, an EMS ambulance was broken into in Gugulethu, but nothing was stolen.

    In an attempt to keep medics safe, the Western Cape Department of Health previously told staff that their personal safety was a primary concern, and if they felt unsafe they could leave or ask for a police escort.

    On Thursday, police spokesman Frederick van Wyk reiterated that emergency personnel could approach police to be assisted where necessary.

    In an ER24 statement, an advanced life support paramedic, Monradt Stockigt, described how he and a colleague were robbed shortly before 9pm on Wednesday.

    Stockigt said he and a colleague had been in their ambulance in Gugulethu “when a man suddenly slammed a gun against the driver’s window”.

    Stockigt, who had just attended to a patient, had been in the passenger seat.

    “(The gunman) demanded that the ambulance be opened or he would shoot,” he said.

    The gunman had then pushed the weapon into Stockigt’s colleague’s side and demanded money and cellphones.

    Stockigt and his colleague handed over two cellphones and a handheld radio.

    “The robber then tried to grab a siren remote control, but when he struggled to disconnect it, he fled on foot,” the ER24 statement said.

    Neither Stockigt nor his colleague were injured.

    On Thursday, ER24 spokesman Werner Vermaak said paramedics from the company and in the Western Cape would soon undergo an “emergency medical services in hostile environments” training course.

    The course was national and the Western Cape was one of the provinces yet to receive the training.

    Vermaak said he believed Stockigt and his colleague had reacted well during the incident.

    “Equipment can be replaced, lives can’t,” he said.

    Police were investigating a robbery case and an arrest was yet to be made.

    In the first incident this year and about two weeks ago a robber held a paramedic at gunpoint and stole medical equipment in Mitchells Plain.

    On Thursday, on the Facebook forum, Traffic fines, cameras & updates in Western Cape, a paramedic posted a message about the robbery of the two ER24 medics and the ambulance being broken into in Gugulethu on Wednesday.

    The paramedic said: “There’s really no more respect for our EMS anymore.”

    A number of people then reacted.

    “So unfair and selfish towards those people that serve us,” one user said.

    Another said: “That is horrendous, soon paramedics will generalise and say I don’t want to help those sort of people. Well done to those who go out everyday to save a life. Sorry that on top of helping all of us you too have to deal with the scum that steal, rob, rape and generally destroy this country/ world/ life.” (sic)

    Another user said she had wanted to take an emergency medical services course, but after hearing that some people faked emergency calls to lure out paramedics who were then targeted, she had decided to put “her passion for helping others” aside.

    caryn.dolley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    The Western Cape government is to take a hard line with tenants who don’t pay their rent for state social housing.

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    Cape Town - The Western Cape provincial government is to take a hard line with tenants who don’t pay their rent for state social housing and will consider getting social housing institutions and companies to help manage its housing units.

    The province is also contemplating handing units over to municipalities.

    Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela told the legislature on Thursday it was unacceptable that the administration’s rent collection rate was between 30 and 40 percent, whereas social housing institutions were able to collect 90 percent.

    “I am not comfortable to spend money (on maintenance) if the collection rate is (almost) non-existent.”

    The Western Cape would spend R33m over six years on maintenance. The province owns 785 rental units in Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Paarl and Worcester, but intends selling 246.

    Madikizela said the province would look at two possible solutions – a partnership with social housing institutions or companies, or handing rental units over to municipalities.

    The province is also working with municipalities to have more social housing homes built.

    The areas administered by municipalities include Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, George, Oudtshoorn, Mossel Bay, Paarl, Wellington, Vredenburg, Saldanha, Worcester and Hermanus.

    The Department of Human Settlements’ director for affordable housing, Kahmiela August, said there was a need for social housing, especially in towns like Plettenberg Bay, where there was a big demand for cheaper rental units.

    “It is essentially about restructuring, looking where the poor live and where in advantaged areas we can build social units to give people better access to work and transport.”

    August said only Cape Town and Oudtshoorn had plans to build new social housing units.

    The City of Cape Town manages 43 000 units.

    Norah Walker, the city’s director for strategic development, said the major challenge was maintenance. The city was refurbishing 7 665 flats and the work would be complete by mid-2015.

    “It is very difficult to estimate the cost of these projects because you don’t know what is wrong in the flats,” she said.

    The city was building new rental units in Scottsdene, near Kraaifontein, and would start doing so this year in Hangberg, Hout Bay, said Walker. In Hangberg it would cost about R400 000 to build a unit.

    cobus.coetzee@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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  • 01/17/14--01:59: Blind busker: cops punished
  • The three law enforcement officers who forcibly removed a Cape Town blind busker from his spot have been issued final warnings.

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    Cape Town -

    The three law enforcement officers who forcibly removed blind busker Lunga Goodman Nono from his spot have been issued final warnings

    and will be sent for training on how to handle people with disabilities.

    In July Nono, 51, was forcibly removed from his usual spot in St George’s Mall by city law enforcement officers following a complaint from a nearby business.

    The officers said Nono, who had been occupying the same spot since 2008, ignored repeated warnings that he had violated the city’s street musicians bylaw.

    Video footage and pictures showed three officers dragging Nono on the ground after he refused to surrender his guitar, which was also broken during the scuffle.

    The incident caused a public outcry. The city’s executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman, said on Thursday that the disciplinary cases had been concluded.

    “All three members were found guilty and given a final written warning that is valid for six months. They will also undergo sensitivity training in terms of handling people with disabilities,” Bosman said.

    Nono has since returned to his spot while the city has repealed its outdated policy on street musicians and is formulating a new one. Nono was charged and appeared in court for violating the city’s bylaw, but the charges were later dropped.

    He in turn filed a complaint of malicious damage to property against the officers.

    In October, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decided not to prosecute the officers.

    To Nono’s disappointment, the NPA said the State would not be able to prove that the suspects “had a criminal mind” or that there was intent to cause malicious damage to property.

    zara.nicholson@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Prominent Cape Town residents have written a letter asking for officials to urgently address the issue of fires in Masiphumelele.

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    Cape Town -

    Prominent residents have written to Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille asking them to urgently address the issue of fires in Masiphumelele and to prevent “the escalating disparities between rich and poor”.

    Professor Andy Dawes from the UCT faculty of humanities and Dr Lutz van Dijk, co-founder of the Hokisa Children’s Home, have written to the city following several fires in Masiphumelele which have left seven dead since December.

    Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has endorsed the letter, while Rivonia trialist Professor Denis Goldberg, who lives in Hout Bay, has also signed it.

    The letter has been received by the premier and mayor’s offices and has been signed by 80 people from organisations and areas in the south Peninsula.

    On December 1, Masiphumelele was gutted by a fire in which five people died and 200 homes were destroyed. Another fire broke out in the wetlands informal settlement days later on December 7.

    On Christmas Day, a woman died in a fire which destroyed 20 homes.

    In the latest fire, on Tuesday, one man died and 27 shacks were destroyed.

    The city said 600 people had been displaced, and it provided residents with building materials and food parcels.

    The letter writers say food parcels and starter kits are not enough to ensure social justice and appealed to the city to take urgent steps to eradicate poverty and improve conditions in Masiphumelele, which is near Kommetjie.

    In the letter, Van Dijk and Dawes said the situation was worsening each year.

    Van Dijk and Dawes, with the support of the other signatories, are urging the city to take three key steps to prevent the “escalating disparities between rich and poor exploding in our faces, be it with growing crime or political extremism”.

    “It is unacceptable that a community of more than 40 000 residents (is) locked in by walls on two sides with just one access road. The chaos when emergency vehicles attempt to access Kommetjie Road means risking lives,” the letter said.

    The writers called on the city to implement “reblocking” in Masiphumelele, a new city initiative where informal settlements are redesigned, making the pathways between shacks big enough to allow emergency vehicles through. The city also supplies fire-resistant material to rebuild shacks.

    The city has piloted the project in a Milnerton informal settlement, resulting in fewer fires and flooding incidents, and plans to roll out the project in a number of informal settlements this year.

    Van Dijk said: “Proactive planning to ‘reblock’ shacks so as to create access roads for emergency vehicles and basic services is essential.

    “Access to basic services will reduce the risk of disease from waste and polluted water. We offer to assist with fund-raising to rebuild shacks with fire-resisting material. We believe this can be achieved before the next winter in 2014.”

    They are also calling for a second access road to be built in the area, saying this had been promised for years and was meant to be constructed last year.

    Their third call is for the city to conduct a land audit to assess how much land in and around Masiphumelele is city-owned and suitable for housing.

    “There has not been enough political will to identify land in our area suitable for housing for lower income groups. There has also not been enough political will to invest in infrastructure,” Van Dijk said.

    Ward councillor for the area Felicity Purchase said while she understood the residents’ plea, the city had been trying to do what they were suggesting.

    “The city agrees that re-blocking has to be done and we have made two attempts to do so but the community did not co-operate. On one occasion we came in with the equipment and were ready to clear the site and then people invaded the land.

    “I understand people’s desperation to get to the land before anyone else, but community buy-in is key to re-blocking,” Purchase said.

    She said a tender would soon be advertised for construction of 350 houses and a new crèche, while the application for a second access road had been turned down by the provincial government a few years ago over environmental concerns.

    The city has since reapplied to build a second access road as part of an upcoming housing project in the area.

    The executive director for city human settlements, Seth Maqetuka, said the city had a number of interventions that could address access and services, and reblocking may not be the only option.

    He said interventions were dependent on factors such as land availability and suitability, densities, environmental issues and availability of funding.

    “The city also has to consider that… there may be other informal settlements which have a greater need for immediate interventions to address flooding, fires, and access problems.”

    zara.nicholson@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Johanne Farirepi, 22, was so badly burnt in a shack fire that authorities said they would have to use DNA to identify him.

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    Cape Town -

    Blessing Chingore was woken at 4am on Tuesday by the screams of his friend in a neighbouring shack in Masiphumelele. When he got outside the flames were licking through the roof. The single door was chained shut with the lock on the inside.

    He started kicking at the door, broke open a section and saw his friend on fire. “He was alive, but he was burning, his hair was burning because he had dreadlocks. Then he fell down. People were running for their lives because the fire was spreading. Then the roof fell in. It was painful to watch.”

    His name was Johanne Farirepi, he was from Zimbabwe and he was just 22 when he died. He was so badly burnt that the authorities said they would have to take DNA samples from his brother to identify him.

    Fires in the shackland areas of Masiphumelele are one of the hardships people live with. They happen often, fuelled by the fact that many have no electricity so cook on open flames and use candles, while the plastic, timber and cardboard materials used in building them turn the shacks into tinder boxes. Some are so close together that if you put your hands on your hips in the alleys between them, your elbows touch the walls of the shacks on either side.

    No fire trucks or ambulances can get between them.

    Nelisa Jange-Dondolo is a community development worker in Masiphumelele, employed by the city council.

    On Christmas Day there was a fire in Masiphumelele in the backyard shacks of the settlement’s formal housing area, not far from her own house. The area has tarred roads and the fire engines were there fighting the blaze. While they were working, a youngster sat on the side of the road sobbing. His mother was in one of the shacks that had burnt.

    “Some people brought him to me and said please keep him until the fire brigade is finished,” Jange-Dondolo said.

    When the flames were doused, the firemen found his mother’s body.

    Thulani Mandlantse, 13, is from Sebokeng and was visiting his aunt with his mother, Lobuhle Mandlantse. He was not there when the fire started, but came home to see his aunt’s shack in flames. Thulani has relatives up country and one in Khayelitsha, but until it can be decided where he will go, Jange-Dondolo has taken him in.

    On Thursday, she got him registered in the local school. It is another mouth to feed, she says, but what else can she do.

    Shaun Jonas was coming home from his job as a chef at the Brass Bell on Christmas Day when he saw the smoke and flames over Masiphumelele.

    He had had his 4mx2.5m shack since 2004. It was destroyed.

    On Thursday, Jonas was putting the finishing touches to his new shack, built with materials the city council has given those whose shacks were destroyed. It is just wide enough to take his double bed. He is in a backyard of a formal house and an electric cord runs from there to his shack. It ends in an adapter with six items plugged in, including a new TV given by someone who heard of his plight.

    His shack abuts that of the one where the woman died. “She was with another man and he woke up when bits of a burning sail on the roof started falling on him. The shack was locked with a big lock on the inside, but it was full of smoke and he could not find the key. Luckily he could lift up part of the door and escape.”

    Earlier last month there was a fire in the part of Masiphumelele built in a seasonal wetland. Four people died.

    Brian Sityebi says the residents know how it started. “A woman came home from the shebeen and she was drunk but she started cooking. Then she fell asleep and the stove was still on.”

    She died in the fire with three others.

    melanie.gosling@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Police have nabbed a man in Cape Town for death threats, abusive calls and extortion demands to Bheki Cele.

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    Durban - A Durban police unit used cellphone technology to track and arrest a man in Cape Town for death threats, abusive calls and extortion demands to former police commissioner Bheki Cele.

    The man allegedly said that he had been hired as a hitman, and demanded more money from Cele not to kill him. Cele said on Thursday night that he knew his head was worth more than R3 000.

    Until police finalise their investigation, Cele is not taking any chances – he has stepped up security around his home and family.

    A 24-year-old Nigerian national, who allegedly threatened and verbally abused Cele for almost a month, was arrested in Cape Town this week by the KZN Specific Crimes Task Team.

     

    He was tracked to an upmarket complex in Tableview, using cellphone technology.

    Speaking from Johannesburg on Thursday night, Cele said he was at his Umhlanga home watching television with his wife when he received the first call on December 17.

    “This guy with a strong foreign accent was on the line. He said he had been hired to kill me. At first I was taken aback, but did not panic or show my alarm. In fact my wife, who was sitting right next to me, did not even know what was happening.”

    He said the man cut the call, but called back several more times.

    “I eventually called him and told him to stop playing games with me. He told me to call him back after 10 minutes. I refused. He became very aggressive and began calling me some very, very bad names ... ones I cannot mention.

     

    “I would have been mad not to take him seriously ... he wanted to kill me,” he said.

    “He warned me not to go to the police or I would be dead. He also threatened to kill my family. He said he had been paid money to kill me. I was listening very carefully to what he was saying.”

    Cele said the man demanded R4 000 not to carry out the hit.

    “He said the man who had hired him had paid him R3 000 to kill me.

    That’s when I became a little suspicious and started to think he was an extortionist. Is my head only worth R3 000? No ways. It should be much, much more.”

    After the call ended he went to the Durban North Police Station and reported the incident.

    “I worked with police to give them as many leads as possible. The man had given me banking details and I went to Gateway where I deposited R4 000 into the Nedbank account.”

    The man called him back and told Cele he was a good man and he was not going to kill him.

    “He said he would rather kill the man who hired him. He then demanded more money. I told him to tell me who the kingpin was.”

    The man demanded R5 000 more.

    “I told him I did not have any more money. Then all hell broke lose. He started shouting and screaming and calling me very bad names. I remained calm and just listened to him.”

    Cele said he told the man that if he told him who the kingpin was, he would deposit the money into his account.

    “He was not convinced and continued to threaten me. He said his boys were all over the country... even outside my house. He warned again that if I went to the police they would wipe out my family.”

    The calls continued for three weeks, night and day.

    “He would call me at midnight, 4am, at lunchtime... in fact whenever he felt like it.

    “He eventually told me I would have to pay him R2 000 every month as protection money or I would die.”

    The caller also bombarded him with abusive SMSes.

    “I have seen (the suspect) and spoken to him. He is a youngster. I think he has agreed to plead guilty just to protect the syndicate he is working for. But I am not taking any chances. Security will remain tight around my home and family.

    “(Death threats) have happened many times before. But I cannot be a wimp and cry about it to my wife. I have stay cool and calm. That attitude is what helped police nab this guy,” he said.

    “In fact when my wife heard the real story she was shocked. She could not believe she did not know a thing, even though she was sitting next to me.”

    The banking details the 24-year-old man gave Cele to deposit the money belongs to a woman from Cape Town. Police could not locate her at the informal settlement the bank had as her home address.

    A source close to the investigation said the man had three cellphones and seven sim cards. Cele’s cellphone number had been stored on one phone, the source said.

    The source said they were investigating the possibility that the Nigerian was linked to an international syndicate targeting wealthy South Africans.

    “There were lots and lots of numbers stored on the cellphones. But the phone bookappeared to be coded. For instance, one of the numbers was stored as ‘whitewoman’.”

    The suspect has appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on charges of intimidation and extortion.

    The suspect could not give police give passport or travel documents, the source said. The suspect’s phone has been sent to the police cyber-crimes unit for analysis.

    Daily News


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    A Cape Town Aids relief NGO cannot connect with donors as cable theft left them without telephone lines.

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    Cape Town - For most Aids relief NGOs, an endorsement from the likes of international pop star and activist Annie Lennox is a break that brings unprecedented international exposure.

    Yet for Grandmothers Against Poverty and Aids (Gapa), Lennox’s public pledge of support last week could not have come at a worse time – for a little over a month, the Khayelitsha organisation’s phone lines (and e-mail) have been down.

    Telkom has said it is working on the problem, which it attributes to cable theft. But Vivienne Budaza, Gapa’s director, has not heard from the service provider in more than a week.

    “This is a nightmare and Telkom just isn’t getting back to me,” Budaza told the Cape Argus on Thursday.

    “The phone is the key to our organisation. We are accountable to our donors, so communication is very important. And if supporters and donors cannot contact us, we lose out on the materials and the funding that we need. Every phone call missed feels like a million rand down the drain.”

    What is most frustrating for them is that a caller to the office hears a phone ringing without answer, even though there is no registration of the call on the other side.

    “You know how these things go – NGOs are always going under. Callers either think that Gapa is lazy and not answering, or that we no longer exist. It is very frustrating.”

    Gapa provides psycho-social support for grandmothers who have been affected by HIV/Aids. As a generation of young mothers and fathers die prematurely because of Aids, the burden of care for orphans often falls on the grandparents left behind.

    Gapa’s work, coupled with financial support from donors and professionals who donate their time and expertise, the organisation provides a space where grandmothers can come to learn skills and ask for help. There are skills training workshops, crafts making programmes, a vegetable garden and an aftercare where the grandmothers look after children during the afternoons. The organisation also provides legal and psychological support.

    In 2009, journalist Jo-Anne Smetherham and photographer Eric Miller teamed up to document the organisation. Two years later a photo exhibition, The Nevergiveups, along with written profiles of the grandmothers, opened at the District Six Museum. The exhibition travelled to the US last year where a book of photos and stories by the same name was launched.

    Lennox was impressed by the book and posted some of the stories on her Facebook page last week. The reaction was overwhelming. Her last post, accompanied by a photo, detailed her meeting Gapa grandmother Alicia Mdaka. It received more than 14 000 likes, 350 comments and was shared around 1 000 times. “I sent a message to the contact e-mail address on their website, asking how to donate from the US. Haven’t heard back yet,” said one of Lennox’s fans.

    “I never would have heard about this if it weren’t posted here… hmm… who knew,” commented another.

    Telkom spokesman Pynee Chetty took Budaza’s complaint reference number and promised to investigate. However, he said that a disrupted service owing to cable theft was out of Telkom’s control and that the company was also a victim of crime.

    daneel.knoetze@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Teemage hitmen as young as 14 are terrorising the streets of Mitchells Plain, and while police battle to curb the rampant gun trade, the increasing use of homemade firearms threatens to further derail any chance of controlling gang violence.

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    Cape Town - Teenage hitmen as young as 14 are terrorising the streets of Mitchells Plain, and while police battle to curb the rampant gun trade, the increasing use of homemade firearms threatens to further derail any chance of controlling gang violence.

    Mitchells Plain’s worst areas, such as Beacon Valley, have at least one illegal gun on every street, according to police.

    Gangs are using the bravado of youths as a means to eliminate their rivals, sometimes with crude homemade firearms, all the while racking up the number of innocent deaths.

    Brigadier Johan Brandt, acting station commander at Mitchells Plain, said they seized 17 firearms over the past six weeks. But just as quickly, gangsters made their own weapons.

    Over the past nine months, the police have seized 145 firearms. During the nine months before that, they seized 129.

    Of the most recent haul of confiscated guns, 20 were prohibited firearms, meaning they had had their serial numbers filed off. The others were either stolen during housebreakings, lost, or formed part of a new trend of cases where firearms left as part of a deceased estate were sold without being registered to the new owners.

    Brandt said police were facing an uphill battle.

    “I cannot estimate how many guns are on the streets of Mitchells Plain, but in the worst areas, like Beacon Valley, Rocklands and Tafelsig, there must be at least one illegal gun for every street,” he said.

    Tafelsig is split into west and east gang turfs. The Americans and Fancy Boys are based in the west while the Hard Livings, Hustlers and Rude Boys battle for turf in the east. In Beacon Valley, the Firm Boys, the 28s and Mongrels are dominant.

    Brandt revealed they were pursuing several cases of juveniles with illegal guns. A 14-year-old Americans hitman currently faces three charges of murder.

    And the situation is exacerbated by the fact that the more police seize guns, the quicker the gangsters replace them with zip guns, known commonly as “zippies”.

    “These home-made guns are extremely dangerous. Despite the rudimentary design, they are fully capable of using 9mm rounds. Unlike actual guns, the barrel does not have any grooves… This means the direction of the shot is completely random, and is responsible for injuring or even killing innocent bystanders,” Brandt said.

    Abraham Isaacs, spokesman for the Mitchells Plain Community Police Forum, confirmed that gangs were using children to do their “dirty work”.

    “These kids aren’t making the guns themselves and are clearly being supplied by someone… During a meeting in Tafelsig on Wednesday night we could hear shots from a zip gun being fired by youngsters.

    “We are trying to track down the supplier or manufacturer who we believe is an adult supplying these weapons,” he said.

    Isaacs raised the issue of a culture of gangsterism.

    “During a community meeting, one woman identified herself as ‘Mama Hustler’ because her three sons were all members of the gang and she took pride in it. Parents need to set a positive example for their children,” he said.

    MEC for Community Safety Dan Plato called for a concerted investigation into the source of all these home-made guns. - Weekend Argus


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    ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte took a swipe at the DA, urging voters to “liberate” the Western Cape.

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    Cape Town - AS ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte told several thousand people in Cape Town on Saturday that the party would definitely field Jacob Zuma as their presidential candidate in the fast-approaching elections, she also took a swipe at the DA, urging voters to “liberate” the Western Cape.

    Praising the ANC government’s track record of 20 years of governance, Duarte urged voters to have “the courage to take the Western Cape out of the hands of minority rule”.

    She and provincial ANC head Marius Fransman were the main speakers during an upbeat launch of the ANC’s Western Cape manifesto, in Delft on Saturday, where both had their sights set firmly on the DA.

    While plenty of entertainment, from minstrels to hip hop and kwaito artists, kept the mood light, a potential drama was averted after a fence collapsed as marshals pushed back the crowds to make way for the first minstrel troupe to pass. Organisers said no one was injured in the incident.

    Saturday’s event comes a week after the ANC launched its national election manifesto in Nelspruit. The Gauteng launch is set to take place today.

    Fransman told the crowds the ANC would ensure that schools slated for closure here would remain open, that the ANC would address the issue of land in the hands of the “white elite”, and would fight for the rights of the residents of Blikkiesdorp, who he said had been forgotten by the DA.

    Only an ANC victory in this province, he said, could reverse the DA’s “racist” policies which benefited only the rich.

    “We have an army of volunteers to liberate the Western Cape,” Fransman told the crowds.

    “When the ANC is divided, that leads to the downfall of progress.

    We are calling on every comrade... we must put unity in front of all of us.”

    Zuma may not have been present physically, but his face was everywhere – from a giant banner behind Fransman to the yellow T-shirts of many of the supporters.

    Duarte, who followed Fransman, said the ANC had provided water, houses, electricity, schools and was building three new universities, but that its work was not yet done.

    “We cannot afford to give South Africa to people who do not love the people,” she said in reference to the DA.

    The DA won the Western Cape with 52 percent of the vote in the last national election, with the ANC capturing 31 percent.

    Duarte was also clear on Zuma for president, saying she wanted everyone to “understand clearly” that the “president of the ANC is always the candidate of the ANC for the elections”.

    Of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) there was just one mention on Saturday, when

    ANC Youth League (ANCYL) provincial convener Muhammad Khalid Sayed said league members were the “true economic freedom fighters”.

    He also accused the EFF leaders of having “looted the coffers of the ANCYL”.

    The ANC Women’s League, the MK Military Veterans Association and Cosatu gave short speeches.

    Afterwards, leaders cut a cake decorated in the colours of the ANC flag, in celebration of its 102nd birthday.

    jan.cronje@inl.co.za

    Weekend Argus


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    EFF leader Julius Malema told supporters at his party’s manifesto launch that the Cape will be won by either the EFF or the DA.

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    Cape Town - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema was back on the Western Cape campaign trail on Saturday, launching the party’s manifesto in Khayelitsha and declaring that the race in the Cape would be only a two-horse one – between the EFF and the DA.

    But Malema nevertheless took the opportunity to take a swipe at the ANC, saying the “poor calibre” of that party’s candidates in the province pointed to the fact that the ANC leadership wasn’t serious about reclaiming the province.

    Malema arrived nearly two hours late at Khayelitsha’s

    OR Tambo Hall, but that didn’t stop the roughly 1 000-strong crowd from roaring their approval and giving him a standing ovation. They chanted his name over and over.

    “You don’t know what to expect when you travel, but it is wonderful to see so many people here supporting us. Wherever (Western Cape Premier) Helen Zille is, she must be shivering because of all of you.

    “She must get ready to pack up the premier’s office and make way for an EFF official.”

    Malema said he had no doubt that the EFF would be able to take the Cape from the ANC and DA.

    “The party may only have been started in June, but our history of struggle goes back 100 years. The DA and ANC are the same, they are protecting white freedom. It is a DA policy, but the ANC has also taken the same policy. They belong together.”

    What the EFF wanted, Malema said, was land.

    “The people like the DA took our land by force, and what we are asking them is to give it back. We are paying for land that is rightfully ours. We are fighting to take the land back and restore prosperity to you.”

    Malema arrived in Cape Town on Friday and also visited Hermanus and the Overberg in an effort to garner votes in the upcoming elections.

    He said his party was offering an alternative to people in the Western Cape, to break the stranglehold the DA had on the province.

    “The EFF is here. Finally there will be an alternative against the DA who only look after the affluent areas.”

    Western Cape EFF spokesman Nizaam Paulsen said the EFF was virtually guaranteed victory in the poll.

    “The EFF is the fastest growing party in the Western Cape, and we will change the province. There is so much inequality and such a large gap between the rich and poor, it’s probably the biggest in the country.

    “Provincial government has neglected the province so much. As long as the affluent areas are taken care of, areas like Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain are left to deteriorate. We are on the verge of a historic victory in the Western Cape.”

    After the rally, Malema was scheduled to visit Mitchells Plain.

    kowthar.solomons@inl.co.za

    Weekend Argus


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