Articles on this Page
- 01/29/14--02:11: _‘Schools need serio...
- 01/29/14--03:31: _Girl, 10 dies durin...
- 01/29/14--04:52: _DG’s ‘Caucasian’ po...
- 01/29/14--04:54: _Man due in court af...
- 01/29/14--05:23: _Fishers reveal lega...
- 01/29/14--05:48: _Pug’s rhino buddy k...
- 01/29/14--07:05: _Five bust with R1.5...
- 01/29/14--09:58: _‘Too many cases, so...
- 01/29/14--23:31: _Probe into healthy ...
- 01/30/14--00:19: _Blockade after two ...
- 01/30/14--00:34: _ANC shuns vote on N...
- 01/30/14--00:43: _Confusion reigns in...
- 01/30/14--01:08: _Ramphele hits back ...
- 01/30/14--01:50: _Cape Town stadium-f...
- 01/30/14--02:11: _Fresh-air solution ...
- 01/30/14--02:38: _Spotlight on murky ...
- 01/30/14--03:02: _Festive mood at fir...
- 01/30/14--03:30: _Two more Cape kids ...
- 01/30/14--04:12: _Cop university to c...
- 01/30/14--05:33: _DNA Act to keep tab...
- 01/29/14--02:11: ‘Schools need serious help from police’
- 01/29/14--03:31: Girl, 10 dies during PE class
- 01/29/14--04:52: DG’s ‘Caucasian’ post ruffles feathers
- 01/29/14--04:54: Man due in court after young mom’s death
- 01/29/14--05:23: Fishers reveal legal strategy
- 01/29/14--05:48: Pug’s rhino buddy killed by poachers
- 01/29/14--07:05: Five bust with R1.5m perlemoen
- 01/29/14--09:58: ‘Too many cases, so rapists walk free’
- 01/29/14--23:31: Probe into healthy girl’s death at school
- 01/30/14--00:19: Blockade after two fishermen missing
- 01/30/14--00:34: ANC shuns vote on Nkohla fate
- 01/30/14--00:43: Confusion reigns in Agang ranks
- 01/30/14--01:08: Ramphele hits back at Agang critics
- 01/30/14--01:50: Cape Town stadium-for-a-buck bid fails
- 01/30/14--02:11: Fresh-air solution for MyCiTi buses
- 01/30/14--02:38: Spotlight on murky world of ATM bombers
- 01/30/14--03:02: Festive mood at first SA police academy
- 01/30/14--03:30: Two more Cape kids raped
- 01/30/14--04:12: Cop university to create ‘special breed’ of police
- 01/30/14--05:33: DNA Act to keep tabs on crooks
The fourth day of hearings at the Khayelitsha Commission included testimony about insufficient visible policing and bungled cases.|||
Cape Town - Police response time, insufficient visible policing and bungled cases were among the claims made on the fourth day of the public hearings of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry.
Headed by retired judge Kate O’Regan and Advocate Vusi Pikoli, the inquiry was established by Premier Helen Zille after complaints from local organisations about police inefficiency and a breakdown in relations between police and the community.
Hearings have been taking place at Lookout Hill in Khayelitsha.
Madoda Mahlutshana, principal of Chris Hani Senior Secondary School for the past five years, said on Tuesday that
in his experience, the elements of criminality manifested themselves in gangsterism, vandalism, drugs and burglaries at the school.
He told the commission that gangs’ infighting spilled over into the school grounds. He had confiscated a “mini-museum” of knives, pangas and other weapons that pupils claimed they carried for “protection”. There were often fights after school and Mahlutshana liaised with parents and dealt with the incidents in terms of the school’s code of conduct.
Leading evidence, Thembalihle Sidaki asked Mahlutshana about his general experience with the police in the area.
Mahlutshana said it was generally good, but that contacting the station and the response to call-outs “has not been the best”.
In four years the school had experienced about six or seven burglaries and no arrests had been made. “We’ve lost so many resources.”
He said that even when they provided leads to the police, nothing came of the investigations.
He told of “riots” at the school in September, 2011, but when he called the police they sent a single police van.
“Those two policemen were so overwhelmed – the children were all over, breaking government property.”
He did not believe that police were incompetent, but following meetings with parents, it was clear they were not doing enough to help residents.
He commended the local Community Policing Forum (CPF), singling out the Harare CPF. “They’ve been a visible backbone supporting us.”
Zola Secondary School principal Xolela Mjonondwana said the school was burgled seven times in 2012. He told how the school’s governing body had agreed to trap the burglar – hiring a watchman to monitor the perpetrator’s modus operandi.
They caught the burglar, who then took them to the person he had sold the stolen items to. The suspect escaped.
Mjonondwana accused the police of bungling the case. He said they had not taken the issue seriously and there was not enough visible policing in the area.
A 10-year-old Cape Town schoolgirl collapsed and died in her physical education class for no obvious reason.|||
Cape Town -
A 10-year-old schoolgirl collapsed and died in her physical education class for no obvious reason.
Staff at Khanya Primary School in Mitchells Plain are perplexed by the sudden death of Nande Jentile, who was in Grade 6, in her physical education class shortly after 2pm on Tuesday.
The teacher in charge picked up her body, felt for a pulse which was apparently present, then carried the girl to the staff room.
“We laid her down, not knowing whether she was still alive,” school principal Linda Mahote told the Cape Argus on Wednesday morning.
“The ambulance came quickly, but by that time (25 minutes later) it was clear that Nande had passed away.”
Mahote described Nande as a sprightly and lively child, even though she could also be shy at times.
“She was slight and not very strong. But I knew of no previous health problems that she had. Every year she would participate in athletics just like everyone else. She had never shown discomfort during physical education.”
Psychologists had been dispatched to the school on Tuesday to provide counselling to pupils and staff. Nande’s parents had also spoken to the staff.
They were at Salt River morgue to identify the body this morning and could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.
“The Department is saddened by the sudden death of a Grade 6 learner, Nande Jentile, yesterday afternoon,” said Western Cape Education Department spokeswoman Bronagh Casey.
“Nande collapsed at Khanya Primary School in Mitchells Plain, on Tuesday afternoon whilst exercising during the Life orientation period. The school alerted authorities immediately and the ambulance crew confirmed her death on arrival at the school.
“Our condolences to the family and friends of Nande.”
Casey said the cause of death was unknown at this time.
Nande’s parents had told the department that their daughter did not have heart problems and was a healthy child.
A Facebook post allegedly made by a fisheries department director general has landed him in hot water.|||
Cape Town - A post allegedly made by a Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director general on Facebook has landed him in hot water.
The online entry was brought to the Cape Argus’ attention by Shaheen Moolla, an ardent critic of the department who works for natural resources advisory firm Feike.
In an email he referred to a post allegedly made by Desmond Stevens on the website, where the director-general wrote: “My Madiba-installed tolerance level for Caucasians has just expired. My sincere apologies for the harm it might cause in the future. Please stay clear from me if you fit the universally defined descriptions.”
Moolla has lashed out at Stevens’s “blatant racism”, saying he has no place in an office where he is permitted to decide on fishing rights applications made by “Caucasians”.
Of the 303 permit holders in 2013, only 115 were granted the right to carry on with their operations. The previous rights were extended in 2005 and expired on New Year’s Eve.
The majority of the linefishermen not granted rights were white, said Moolla.
“This civil servant will be faced with applications from Caucasians on a daily basis seeking fishing permits, transfer of fishing rights, exemptions or other forms of authorisations pertaining to their fishing businesses… He already apologises for the harm it might cause in future, as if anticipating that his inherent racism will cause harm to Caucasian fishermen.”
There are no signs of the post on Stevens’s Facebook page, at least not for the public to see. Instead, he has replaced his profile picture with a quote saying: “If anything I post offends you please bring it to my attention so I can delete you off my friends list.”
His cover page has been replaced by another quote: “Please don’t get my personal life mixed up with my posts. My posts are for your entertainment not a mirror of what is going on with me behind closed doors.”
After numerous attempts to contact Stevens, where he often turned off his phone or cancelled the call, the Cape Argus eventually made contact with him.
He said: “I refuse to comment, if you have any queries contact the department’s communications office.”
By the time of going to print, there was still no response from the department.
The DA spokesman for Fisheries’ Pieter van Dalen said he had had confirmation that the post had appeared on Stevens’s Facebook page, and he planned to report him to the Human Rights Commission.
“I have been picking up this deep-rooted hate in Parliament for a while… He is trampling on the rights of minorities and he is unapologetic about it,” said Van Dalen, referring to the white fishermen who had lost their rights.
“A lot of us are trying to build a non-racial country and he has broken it all down again… But what it has done, is it opens up the whole fishing rights issue to be challenged and eventually reversed.”
The man who allegedly shot dead a mother who was travelling to work in a taxi was due to make his first appearance in court|||
Cape Town - The man who allegedly shot dead a Retreat mother who was travelling to work in a taxi was due to make his first appearance in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
The man, who cannot be named until he is formally charged, was arrested on Tuesday for the January 21 shooting.
Leslyn Mentor and the owner of the taxi, known only as Tas, were killed in an alleged gang shooting last week.
The taxi came to a standstill on Concert Boulevard close to Main Road in Retreat after being riddled by about 13 bullets.
The incident reportedly occurred during infighting between the Junkie Funkie Kids and the Corner Boys. The owner of the taxi was allegedly a member of the Corner Boys.
Mentor, who was seated behind the taxi driver, was on her way to work on her first day back from maternity leave. Her five-month-old daughter, Lesray Mentor, was at home with her grandmother, Francina Mentor.
Leslyn worked at Pick n Pay in Plumstead, where she had been a cashier for five years. She was expected back at work only in March, but returned earlier because she had no financial support. The man had not yet appeared at the time of publication.
Sacla has revealed the legal arguments behind its court bid to have the Fishing Rights Allocation Process declared legally null and void.|||
The South African Linefish Association (Sacla) has revealed the legal arguments that will underpin its Western Cape High Court bid to have the government’s Fishing Rights Allocation Process (Frap) declared legally null and void.
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has been at loggerheads with Sacla, and most of the fishermen they represent, since the beginning of the year. This followed from the department’s denial of long-term rights to about 190 active line fishermen across South Africa. Of the 215 rights allocated, effective from January 1, 100 went to new applicants.
The department’s deputy director-general for fisheries, Desmond Stevens, has argued that the entrance of new applicants to the sector is consistent with the department’s “transformation” agenda.
The fishermen who lost their rights have noted, however, that many of the new entrants do not have boats, are not based at the coast and are allegedly aligned to the ANC.
This week the linefish association named a legal team which will approaching the high court to seek an urgent interdict against the rights allocation process. Speaking at a Cape Town Press Club meeting yesterday, the association’s legal adviser, Shaheen Moolla, outlined the group’s legal argument.
Moolla contends that the department tried to squeeze the two-year preparation needed for a new Frap into six months.
“As a result, the minister (Tina Joemat-Pettersson) and her staff sidestepped a number of legal requirements,” he said.
* Joemat-Pettersson did not get the cabinet’s approval when developing a new Frap, which is national policy. This was in contravention of section 85 of the constitution, which stated that only the cabinet can pass, develop or implement national policy.
* There was an insufficient public consultation process.
Stevens said that many previous statements by Moolla had been “proven to be false”.
Sir Fabian, a white rhino bull known for his unlikely friendship with a pug, has been killed by poachers near Mossel Bay.|||
Cape Town - A seven-year-old white rhino bull, Sir Fabian – known by visitors for his unlikely friendship with a pug puppy – has been killed by poachers in a Garden Route reserve.
The Nyaru Game Lodge near Mossel Bay had sold the rest of their rhinos in an attempt to keep poachers at bay, but kept Sir Fabian because of his popularity with visitors.
The Department of Environmental Affairs said it was the first rhino killed for its horns in the Western Cape in more than a year, bringing the national total this month alone to more than 40 after 1 004 were slaughtered countrywide last year.
Sir Fabian’s carcass was discovered during a game drive by rangers late on Monday afternoon.
Nyaru owner Ruan Fouché said: “We are so shocked. The farm is in the middle of nowhere and Sir Fabian was our only rhino after we sold two others when poaching started to intensify in the country. We believe he was killed on Sunday.”
He said an autopsy was being done to determine the cause of death. “At this stage we are not sure if he was shot or darted. He didn’t bleed to death, because the horn was removed very carefully. The poachers knew exactly what they were doing.
“The smaller horn was not removed, leading us to believe the poachers might have been interrupted. We had rangers sleep next to the carcass on Monday night in case they returned to finish what they started.”
He said the incident was especially tragic because of the bond Sir Fabian shared with the farm’s pug puppy Madam Gigi.
While Sir Fabian usually had a placid temperament and frequently visited the main lodge, he could become cantankerous at times, but Madam Gigi “had a way of taming the beast”.
“Madam Gigi became part of the Nyaru family around Christmas 2012. From day one it became quite clear to everyone this small pug had a huge personality. One day, two-ton Sir Fabian went for his supplementary feed in front of the lodge.
“Madam Gigi, still a puppy, saw him and ran towards him, and there, right in front of the staff’s eyes, something remarkable clicked between the two. Sir Fabian watched, stunned and in awe, when this small black creature in her pink winter outfit approached. A lot of sniffing, huffing and puffing took place. But from that moment, the two unlikely friends became inseparable.
“Whenever Fabian came to a visit Madam Gigi, she would run up to him, give him a lick, chew lucerne with him and play with him. He would follow her around for a while before disappearing for his daily mud spa in the bush.”
Fouché said staff had been saddened by the incident. “You come to love an animal like that. Every day at about 7pm Sir Fabian used to make his way to the restaurant at the lodge for his food. He will be missed.” - Garden Route Media
Five men have been arrested in Cape Town for illegal possession of perlemoen worth an estimated R1.5 million|||
Cape Town - Five men have been arrested in Cape Town for illegal possession of perlemoen worth an estimated R1.5 million, Western Cape police said on Wednesday.
Spokesman Elvis Mahote said police acted on a tip-off and searched a noodle factory in Neil Hare road in Atlantis on Tuesday afternoon.
They found 18 676 perlemoen pieces, nine unshelled perlemoen and a crayfish in a back room.
Scores of rapists go scot-free as a result of a severely overloaded justice system, the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry heard.|||
Cape Town - Scores of rapists go scot-free each month as a result of a severely overloaded justice system, the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.
“(The number of rapes) can vary... from 50 to 110 cases a month,” Genine Josias, the medical co-ordinator at one of the Thuthuzela care centres in the area, told the commission in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.
Only about seven percent of the perpetrators were brought to book.
“I probably testify in less than 10 percent of the cases I see,” she said.
The rest of the cases were withdrawn or struck off the court roll.
Josias said the police's specialised family violence, child protection and sexual offences units (FCS) only had five investigating officers managing rape cases in the sprawling township.
“Since 2004 to now there has been a huge reduction in the number of investigating officers,” she said, referring to capacity constraints at the FCS unit in the area.
The officers were “burnt out” as they had massive caseloads. In one instance, one of the officers had 180 sexual assault dockets for investigation on his desk.
Josias was speaking on the fifth day of the commission, set up by Western Cape premier Helen Zille after an NGO, the Social Justice Coalition, complained that police inaction was leading to Khayelitsha residents taking the law into their own hands.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa opposed the decision to set up the inquiry, but this was dismissed by the Constitutional Court in October 2013.
Evidence leader Thembalihle Sidaki asked Josias if she was aware of a January 2011 newspaper headline on the discovery of sexual offences kits on a field in Delft.
“I am painfully aware of that incident,” a visibly angry Josias answered.
The kits contained underwear, DNA samples and pubic hairs which she and her colleagues had collected and handed to an investigating officer.
“The kits were from his (investigating officer's) home. It was never handed in (to the forensic science laboratory). We don't know how it landed on the field.”
The officer had since died. Josias said she never received feedback on whether the cases ever made it to court.
Josias broke down in tears when asked about a serial rapist who was arrested one year after she raised the alarm in 2010. She and her colleagues had examined at least five girls under the age of nine who survived violent rapes.
Josias suspected they were the victims of a serial rapist as they were so badly hurt that they had to be examined at a hospital under anaesthesia.
In addition, the girls were all raped in bushes in Endlovini, on the outskirts of the township. When she brought it to the attention of a superintendent and a captain, she was not taken seriously.
It took a phone call to then Western Cape police commissioner Mzwandile Petros, and a threat to alert the media for him to order the formation of a task team to probe the matter.
“Many more girls were raped and I just think they could have done something earlier, you know, to prevent that,” a tearful Josias said.
The man was suspected of raping 21 girls. DNA samples collected could only link him to 11 of the rapes.
“He had no choice but to plead guilty... it didn't actually go to an open court because the evidence was overwhelming.”
When asked about her frustrations in seeing so many sexual assault survivors denied justice, despite her hard work, Josias lashed out at government for “having no idea” what long-term effects rape had on survivors.
“It's not about my hard work. That is my job. We are failing our people. We are failing helpless kids, children that are innocent.”
The father of Nande Jentile, who collapsed and died during an exercise session at school, says she was healthy.|||
Cape Town - Mystery still surrounds the death of a Grade 6 Mitchells Plain pupil who collapsed during life orientation on Tuesday.
Her parents said 10-year-old Nande Jentile was healthy and had no heart condition. A post-mortem to establish the cause of death is under way.
On Tuesday afternoon, Nande, a pupil at Khanya Primary School, had joined her classmates for a routine exercise session during life orientation. Teacher Chanray Morta asked the children to jog a short distance to warm up.
“Nande had jogged for less than a hundred metres when she collapsed. Initially I thought she must have tripped. But, when I got to her I could see that all was not well. She was not conscious, but she still had a pulse,” Morta said on Wednesday, adding that the exercise was not extraordinarily intense and that the temperature was mild.
He felt for her pulse, which was there, picked her up and carried her to the staff room.
An ambulance arrived around half an hour later, but by then Nande was dead. Her body was taken to Salt River state mortuary.
Nande’s father, Sakhiwo Jentile, told the Cape Argus that his daughter had been healthy and normal when she left for school on Tuesday. As mourners gathered at the family home in Philippi, he recalled some of his daughter’s traits.
“She was a smart girl. She was young for her year because she was too advanced. When the children played, she always took on the role of a teacher.”
He said she would read books in her spare time.
“When she found out that her mother had been a sprinter in her youth, she too wanted to become an athlete. (On the morning that she died) she was very excited, because she knew that they would be doing exercise and running at school. It is very difficult for us. But, we are Christians and we have the faith to deal with this.”
School principal Linda Mahote also spoke fondly of Nande, as she pointed the girl out on a class photo from last year.
“It is a very difficult time for all of us, because the teachers and pupils all loved her. No one has any idea about how or why this happened,” she said.
Department of Education psychologists were dispatched to the school on Tuesday and Wednesday. They provided counselling support, after the news of the death was formally announced to Nande’s classmates.
Education MEC Donald Grant has extended his condolences to Nande’s friends and family.
The Jentile family are making arrangements to take Nande’s body to her ancestral home of Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape where the funeral will be held.
Hout Bay harbour was blockaded by an angry crowd after two fishermen were feared drowned while fishing illegally.|||
Cape Town -
Hout Bay harbour was blockaded on Wednesday by angry fishermen and their families after two fishermen were feared drowned while fishing illegally.
A number of those at the gathering said informal fishermen were forced to resort to “poaching” at night because they didn’t have fishing rights.
“(On Tuesday) night, four people went out to sea and only two came back,” said fisherman Angelo Joseph. “How many must we lose before the government gives us our own fishing rights?”
Garth Adonis and Jason Johnston fell overboard between 5am and 6am on Wednesday while out fishing off-shore of the Slangkop Lighthouse near Kommetjie.
They are believed to have drowned. NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said the search for the two men would resume on Thursday morning.
Anthony Theunissen said the protest was aimed at closing the harbour’s economic activity by keeping out trucks that were there to load fish for big businesses.
Some buyers had been allowed in so as not to cripple the earnings of fishermen who had catches to sell.
The crowd dispersed at 1pm after a meeting was scheduled for later in the day with officials of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Community representative Greg Louw, who said he was a cousin of Adonis, said the gathering hadn’t been planned but that there was a need to raise informal fishermen’s concerns. “People have had enough where they need to gamble with their lives at sea under constraints, which come down to them not having access to the sea.”
Theunissen said people in their community had been fishing for generations and knew of no other way of life. “We’re not poachers or criminals. That’s how they classify us, but we’re informal fishermen. Those people who went fishing... did it to put food on their families’ tables.”
Theunissen said informal fishermen in Hout Bay wanted their own businesses, permits and a stake in fish farming.
According to Louw, there were opportunities for informal fishermen to obtain fishing rights; however, they needed support structures to assist them to fill in forms and get over red tape.
“People go out at night to steal, to catch fish to put bread on their tables,” said Carol Opperman, who lost her job at a fish factory last year because she fell ill. “We have to because we don’t have other work.”
Opperman, who told the Cape Times her husband and son had died at sea, said big fishing companies “get cake while we get nothing”.
The department’s fisheries branch spokeswoman Carol Moses expressed the department’s regret over the loss of life. She said the harbour access incident had been “instigated as a result of frustration expressed by the affected fishers regarding access to and ownership of facilities and resources” at the harbour.
While the department did not condone illegal fishing, it acknowledged that most of these fishermen fell in the small-scale sector and that they might in future be beneficiaries of the small-scale fisheries policy.
Amendments to the Marine Living Resources Act, which would provide the legal framework for the policy’s implementation, were currently before Parliament.
Louw said the meeting with the department had gone well because they’d had a chance to raise the community’s grievances over fishing.
The two men who went out fishing with Adonis and Johnston, whose bodies have not yet been found, have been left “shocked”.
Rushda Warner, the wife of skipper Nadeem Warner, said that from what her husband had told her, it had been misty Wednesday morning, the current had been strong and one of the boat’s engines cut out.
“He put off the other engine to find out what was wrong with the one. Then, two waves hit,” she said. “The first one took them. My husband shouted ‘Hou vas ouens’ (hold tight, guys) but it was too late.”
Warner told of having been “threatened” following the incident because some people blamed her husband.
“It was an accident. People are blaming him but knowing him, he would rather let someone else live if he could.”
The other survivor and youngest among them, Stanton Swartz, 23, was reluctant to talk about what had happened on board but said he’d held on as tight as possible when he heard the skipper shout. “I’m in shock. I got such a big fright... I will never again get on a boat. I’ll rather find another job.”
The ANC has accused the Cape Town city council of meddling in its affairs and abstained from a vote on councillor Loyiso Nkohla.|||
Cape Town -
The ANC has accused the city council of meddling in its affairs and abstained from a vote on the fate of one of its councillors, Loyiso Nkohla, found guilty of misconduct for taking part in the poo protests.
“We’re not going to be told by other parties how to handle internal matters of the ANC,” ANC chief whip Xolani Sotashe said.
“We are encouraging people to stand up and challenge this administration on service delivery.”
Sotashe said the ANC noted the disciplinary committee’s recommendation that Nkohla be expelled, but it would not vote.
Ganief Hendricks, of Al Jama-ah, said the disciplinary committee had “jumped the gun” in censuring Nkohla. He said the matter was before the high court and the ANC had taken steps to deal with Nkohla.
He called for the matter to stand over as Nkohla was a young man and a first-time councillor.
But Anthea Serritslev, chairwoman of the disciplinary committee, said the throwing of faeces was not only unheard of in any other community, it was an extremely dangerous health hazard. The decision to recommend Nkohla’s expulsion had been “unanimously agreed after considering all the evidence”, she said.
Ferlon Christians, of the African Christian Democratic Party, said the party could not condone Nkohla’s behaviour and was disappointed in the ANC members of the council for “not taming this young lion”. He added that mayor Patricia de Lille should have done more to resolve the service delivery dispute.
Nkohla was found guilty on three charges of misconduct for taking part in the dumping of human waste at the Western Cape legislature and Cape Town International Airport. He was not found guilty of inciting a breakaway march last year, during a housing protest, that ended with looting and the destruction of property in the central business district. The committee found there was not enough evidence to link him to this.
Only 117 of the metro’s 221 councillors voted in favour of the recommendation to remove Nkohla from office. The ANC abstained and there were six other abstentions. One councillor voted against the recommendation. Local Government MEC Anton Bredell is to be asked to expel Nkohla from the council.
Disillusioned Western Cape AgangSA members are weighing up their options: to jump ship or follow their leader.|||
Cape Town - Disillusioned Western Cape AgangSA members are weighing up their options: to jump ship or follow their leader Mamphela Ramphele to the DA.
Ramphele was named on Tuesday as the DA’s presidential candidate for the coming election.
Outraged members claimed their leader made the decision without consulting them, and have betrayed them in doing so.
A furore has erupted since Tuesday’s announcement with AgangSA and DA members complaining about the veil of secrecy and lack of transparency on the part of their leaders in sealing the deal.
Senior AgangSA members in the province claimed Ramphele’s attempts at an explanation were even more disappointing, since she tried to spin her actions using Nelson Mandela as an example.
AgangSA’s senior Western Cape co-ordinator, Neville Hendricks, said they went to the AgangSA offices in Cape Town on Wednesday to find out what was going on. “She apologised for not informing us beforehand, and tried to give us an explanation using Madiba as an analogy.”
Ramphele had said that when Madiba was in prison speaking to the apartheid government, he also had not consulted with his comrades who would have not agreed with him about the talks.
While they were not impressed with the response, members had decided to give her an opportunity to explain to the masses why she was merging with the DA. “We left there more confused but we’ll wait for the follow-up meeting on Friday. We are all sad, we had such high hopes now.”
Another member said it was more a case of selling your birthright for a plate of food.
Senior AgangSA leaders in the province have been inundated with frantic calls from volunteers, party co-ordinators and supporters, while Cape Flats volunteers agreed the “DA is not the alternative they wanted”.
Fatiema Hendricks-Sulaiman, who gave up her occupational therapy practice to help build the structures of AgangSA, said she handed in her resignation from the party shortly before the announcement.
“I had a feeling this was coming, and I decided to resign. There was no consultation, this is something Dr Ramphele did unilaterally on her own.”
And Hendricks-Sulaiman said members throughout the province people felt abandoned by their leader.
“Dr Ramphele talked about transparency, inclusion, but then does the opposite, leaving the party in disarray.”
People had put their own money into the party and deserved to have a say in how it engaged in politics.
A township volunteer who did not want to be named said she was angry and disappointed:
“How can she be our leader and at the same time she’s with the DA. We wanted an alternative to the DA and ANC.”
Several township supporters were still hopeful their leader would change her mind.
Another volunteer said township residents had been waiting for someone to lead them to a better future.
“We are mad because we did not want to be linked with the DA. Now we have been sold out. She should have taken us in her confidence.”
Francesco Uysrootenberg said he would adopt a wait-and-see stance, until Ramphele reported back to members about her decision.
“The deal looks very complicated, to be the leader of one party and the No 1 candidate for another. However, based on discussions we had with our field officer yesterday the party will stand separately from the DA in the upcoming elections.”
He said he would have appreciated a process of consultation. “We will listen to her before we decide to accompany her on this trip or not.”
In Gauteng similar scenes played out and while party member Donald Tontsi denied there was party infighting, others were upset by the lack of transparency.
AgangSA’s Gauteng chairman Andries Tlouamma said Ramphele’s decision could not be made by an individual, therefore there was no merger. “That is going to be our decision, not her decision. We are the custodians of this party.
“There are structures in a party. There are processes to follow to arrive at certain decisions.”
Tlouamma said disagreements were part of politics. “In a political party, when we disagree, it does not mean we don’t like each other... ”
He said Agang was giving Ramphele an opportunity to consult with them urgently about her decision.
The DA’s Wilmot James said while Ramphele was not yet a DA party member, they “will take care of (her) membership”, as soon as possible.
He said the two parties were intent on merging, but had not yet done so.
The technical committee would take care of the integration process.
Mamphela Ramphele has dismissed as agents provocateurs those AgangSA members who called for a new elective conference.|||
Cape Town -
DA presidential candidate Mamphela Ramphele has dismissed as agents provocateurs those AgangSA members who called for a new elective conference after she announced she was joining the DA on Tuesday.
And as DA leader Helen Zille reiterated that the realignment of politics “is not for sissies”, Ramphele is back in Gauteng on Thursday to calm troubled waters in AgangSA.
Speaking to the Cape Argus on Wednesday, Ramphele said: “We must distinguish from real AgangSA members and opportunists,” adding that she would talk to all her party structures and was confident these were on board.
Tuesday’s announcement that Ramphele would head the DA national ticket as presidential candidate, and that a technical team would oversee the merger between the two parties, has found a largely lukewarm response among citizens, party members and analysts.
But Zille told the Cape Argus on Wednesday night that waves were to be expected when political boundaries were broken.
“The realignment of politics is a difficult task. It is absolutely not for sissies,” Zille said. “We don’t break (political) boundaries without breaking some eggs,” she explained, emphasising the paradigm shift was necessary.
“We have to break the mould. The political boundaries are obsolete. “
However, it appears a long road remains ahead – Rampehele has yet to take out DA membership.
It is understood this would be one of the many issues to be resolved as the technical team was starting to get to grips with the merger.
Neither Ramphele nor Zille wanted to be drawn on deadlines for the merger.
Ramphele has been called a “rent-a-black”, “capitalist” and “traitor” in the aftermath of being named the DA’s presidential candidate.
Even unions have joined in, criticising the businesswoman and her decision to merge her party with the DA.
“(The move) is not surprising because her politics fit in perfectly with what the DA stands for,” the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union said on Wednesday.
“What motivates the party and Ramphele is to defend material interests of the established white capital, and everything they have done previously points to this undeniable fact.”
The union said Ramphele lacked any understanding of politics.
This had become clear when she disclosed her personal finances when she launched AgangSA.
“South Africans viewed that kind of exhibitionism as nothing but an indirect boast to charm the naive and unsuspecting.
“Her adventure into politics is about herself and herself alone and we think she has at last found a political home that fits in perfectly with her line of thinking in DA.”
Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said he predicted the “integration” of Agang.
“(Ramphele) has found her political home in the party of big business, exactly what we would expect from someone who was a managing director of the World Bank and chairperson of Gold Fields.”
This followed comments made by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, who told Eyewitness News on Tuesday that Ramphele was a “rent-a-black, rent-a-leader”.
Ramphele and Zille spoke at the launch of a biography on liberal stalwart Helen Suzman, Bright Star in a Dark Chamber, in Cape Town on Wednesday night.
A last-ditch attempt to sell Cape Town Stadium to the Western Province Rugby Union for R1 has failed.|||
Cape Town -
A last-ditch attempt to sell Cape Town Stadium to the Western Province Rugby Union for R1 failed on Wednesday, as the city council voted in favour of setting up a municipal entity to manage the venue.
Andre Fourie of the Freedom Front Plus proposed that the council enter into discussions with the rugby union to sell it the stadium for R1 as an incentive for them to sell their Newlands facility.
“Then we can write off this loss and get rid of this albatross.”
The stadium, which cost the city R4.5 billion to build, has been running at a loss since Sail de France ended its contract with the city to manage the venue. In May last year, its revenue was only R92 million, while the operating costs were running at more than R400m.
But Green Point ward councillor Beverley Schafer said the city had to adopt the best model, which was to allow a municipal entity to manage the stadium with primary tenants. This means the city will control the majority shareholding and monitor service delivery of the independent organisation.
Only one other councillor supported Fourie’s recommendation. The city had asked a business analyst to investigate five different business models that would make the stadium more financially viable.
Schafer said the city had already had success with its municipal entity Covenco, the holding company for the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). “We have the expertise and the know-how.”
After much consultation and public participation it was decided a municipal entity for the stadium was the best option.
But Fourie said the stadium could not be compared to the CTICC because there had been a market for a convention centre.
Grant Pascoe, mayoral committee for tourism, events and marketing, said it would take about 18 months to establish the municipal entity. The city would also need a new environmental authorisation for the stadium and apply for new zoning rights that would allow for commercial activity. These processes would also take just under two years.
The City of Cape Town will be making urgent adjustments to some of its MyCiTi buses after complaints about the lack of air conditioning.|||
Cape Town -
The City of Cape Town will be making urgent adjustments to some of its MyCiTi buses after commuters complained that the lack of air conditioning made their commute unpleasant.
The new units, which will be retro-fitted to about half of the MyCiTi fleet, will cost the city about R4 million.
Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, said the city had decided to forgo air conditioning because of the ongoing operating and downtime maintenance costs.
“While it was acknowledged that on extremely hot days the temperature within the passenger cabin would be relatively high, it was anticipated that the buses’ natural ventilation, augmented with ducted fans, would provide sufficient airflow and would alleviate the discomfort experienced by passengers.”
But after several complaints from passengers, Herron said the city acknowledged that they were experiencing “a high degree of discomfort, particularly when ambient temperatures exceed the mid to high twenties”.
Herron said the city would, as an “immediate response”, fit a large number of the buses with a forced ventilation unit that would draw in fresh air. The city had procured about 80 of these units at a cost of R30 000 per unit.
The city would also install 10 air-conditioning units, at a cost of R160 000 each, on selected buses to test their efficiency and cost implications. It will take at least four weeks for this to happen.
“Unfortunately, (other than these two measures), we will have to tolerate some discomfort on part of the fleet for the rest of this season as we cannot address the whole fleet in time.”
Meanwhile, the city has warned of road deviations and lane restrictions along Koeberg Road because of the expansion of the MyCiTi service along the West Coast. Motorists in Table View, Milnerton and Plattekloof will be affected.
Details on who is generally behind the blasts and how they operate have been released by police in the Western Cape.|||
Cape Town -
ATM bombers operate after midnight and typically use assault rifles to protect themselves while placing explosives in cash machines.
The profile of ATM bombers in the province is explained in the Western Cape police’s annual report, discussed in the Provincial Legislature on Tuesday.
The report is for the period April 1, 2012 to March 31 last year. It is the first time details shedding light on who is generally behind the blasts and how they operate have been released by the police in the province.
The report said in that in the year ending on March 31 last year, 22 ATM bombings were recorded in the Western Cape. Nine had happened in the Nyanga area and four in the Paarl area.
The report said various groups responsible for the crimes were identified and this had led to 14 arrests and the confiscation of explosives and unlicensed firearms.
“Individuals within the identified groups are suspected to have links with individuals that have access to the components making up the explosive devices,” the report said. The explosive devices recovered had been analysed.
“It was established that the components of the explosive devices used, originate from the gold or platinum mining sector in Gauteng, North West and/or Free State provinces,” the report said.
It said suspects were men and operated in groups of between three and six.
In March 2012 an Absa cash machine outside the De Tyger Kwikspar in Parow was blasted and men with AK-47s had fired armour-piercing bullets at those who had arrived on the scene first. The annual report said suspects concealed their identities by wearing balaclavas or masks.
“The vast majority of cases were perpetrated between 1.30am and 4am, when very few people are around, minimising the risk of the suspects being detected and/or disturbed by unwitting members of the public or law enforcement agencies,” it said.
In one of the latest ATM incidents in the province, two ATMs were damaged by explosives at Brackenfell’s Glengarry Shopping Centre in late November. However, police believed an anti-ATM bombing device which resulted in money being dyed blue had prevented the suspects from getting away with cash.
Previously provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer told the Cape Times that police officers in the Western Cape were working with officers from Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal to try to prevent ATM bombings and make arrests.
Others areas where ATMs were previously targeted included Goodwood, Ottery and Parow.
Long lines of blue and gold-clad police officers marched down the main street in Paarl ahead of the opening of the country's first police academy.|||
Cape Town - Long lines of blue and gold-clad police officers marched down the main street in Paarl on Thursday, ahead of the opening of the country's first police academy.
The Western Cape SA Police Service band belted out an upbeat tune, while members followed in procession.
They assembled in front of the SAPS Academy Paarl, where Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa stood on a small red podium, alongside police commissioner Riah Phiyega.
They made their way into the academy hall, where they are expected to address officers.
Officers wiped away beads of sweat, battling the heat in full uniform.
In October, the SA Police Service partnered with the University of SA to further train members and make the service more professional.
The academy is expected to equip officers with proper theoretical and practical training.
It first opened as the SA Police College for Advanced Training in 1990. It has since undergone name and mandate changes.
Enrolment was aimed at those ranked from Constable to Warrant Officer who were looking to gain executive management and leadership skills.
Students were required to be between the ages of 20 and 30, have three years' police experience, a national senior certificate, and no criminal or departmental cases against them. - Sapa
Cape cops are hunting two men after a boy was raped in a derelict building and a girl was raped in a communal toilet.|||
Cape Town - Police are hunting for the man who raped an 11-year-old boy in a derelict building in Bonteheuwel.
This horrific attack took place little more than a week after the violent attack on a 9-year-old Delft girl who was raped, doused in petrol and set alight.
In Bonteheuwel, on Sunday at about 7.45pm, the boy was walking along Bonteheuwel Avenue, when a man called him, said police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk.
The man led the boy into a derelict building which had been gutted in a fire. Here, the man, apparently known to the people in the area as “Franky”, raped the boy.
Police have also issued an identikit of a suspect in another Delft child rape which occurred earlier this month – on January 12 a 6-year-old girl was raped in a communal toilet.
Police said the rapist is between the ages of 45 and 50. He is 1.65m tall and has a dark complexion.
Anyone with information that could lead to his arrest is asked to contact Captain Beziek at the Delft police station on 082 522 1048.
Reacting to these latest reports of child rape, MEC of Social Development Albert Fritz said that he was “outraged”.
Fritz called on the police to “mobilise every available resource to apprehend the perpetrators”.
“Toward the end of last year I launched a campaign that says ‘child protection starts at home’. I wish to reiterate the importance of looking out for one another’s children in our communities, but also for parents to take responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of their children,” he said.
Delft police have also issued an identikit of a suspect in a rape that occurred in August last year.
In that incident, a 24-year-old woman was forced at knife point into the bushes at the R300 and N2 intersection, and raped.
Police have described the suspect as 20-years-old, tall, slender and with a dark complexion.
Anyone with information is asked to call Warrant Officer Shaun Taylor at Bishop Lavis police station on 083 411 3814 or 082 559 4598.
South Africa's first police university will create a “special breed” of officers, national police commissioner Riah Phiyega said.|||
Cape Town - South Africa's first police university will create a “special breed” of officers, national police commissioner Riah Phiyega said on Thursday.
“We as the SA Police Service (SAPS) have decided to grow our own team: a special, professional breed of police officers and this is what we present to you today,” she said at the opening of the SAPS University in Paarl in the Western Cape.
“You have come this far, you are the pioneers, do not disappoint us.”
She referred to the institution's first batch of students, 23 women and 102 men, as guinea pigs of an initiative to create a more professional, efficient and effective police service.
Graduates would receive a bachelor of policing degree.
“By combining the academic side of university with a professional police culture, we will be able to build future leaders for the police,” Phiyega said.
“As we take these first baby steps, we do so with absolute confidence because we know we have giants in the industry and those who have gone before us.”
Phiyega said the university honoured the call by President Jacob Zuma to take education more seriously.
In October, SAPS partnered with the University of SA to re-skill the service and make it more professional.
The institution was expected to equip officers with proper theoretical and practical training.
It first opened up as the SA Police College for Advanced Training in 1990. It has since undergone many name changes and was best known as the SAPS Academy Paarl.
Enrolment was aimed at those between the Constable and Warrant Officer ranks, looking to gain executive management and leadership skills.
Students were required to be between the ages of 20 and 30, have three years police experience, a national senior certificate and no criminal or departmental cases against them.
They were also required to undergo fitness and psychometric tests.
An act which will make it mandatory for police to take DNA samples from serious crimes suspects and convicted offenders was written into law this week.|||
Cape Town -
The DNA Bill – which will make it mandatory for police to take DNA samples from people arrested for serious crimes and convicted offenders, to be used as part of a national database – was written into law this week.
It has been a five-year journey to turn the bill into a reality, but this could pale in comparison to the difficult task of actually implementing the new act over the next few years.
“There will no doubt be challenges,” admitted Vanessa Lynch, founder of the DNA Project.
But many of these would be addressed by an oversight board and a five-year implementation plan.
Her organisation has been lobbying for the bill as far back as 2004, the year in which her father, David Lynch, was attacked and shot dead by intruders in his Bryanston home in Joburg.
The investigation into his death went nowhere after every scrap of DNA evidence on the scene was lost.
Lynch said it was an exciting moment when the DNA Act became part of legislation this week.
The act would require police to take DNA samples – by swabbing the inside cheek with a buccal swab (similar to a large cotton bud) – from suspects arrested for serious crimes as well as convicted offenders, parolees and detainees.
The sample would then be analysed and the DNA profile entered into an appropriate index on the database.
“The sample itself will be destroyed,” said Lynch.
Searching the DNA profiles against DNA collected from crime scenes, would link people to crimes, including those committed before the act was passed. It could also prove the innocence or guilt of an accused person and help exonerate someone who had been incorrectly convicted of a crime.
Lynch said the act also made provision to regulate the database and protect samples from being tampered with or lost.
But a large part of the act involved training and equipping officers to collect samples.
“There is a five-year roll-out plan to train specially appointed police officials to carry out the task of collecting samples using buccal swabs from arrestees and convicted offenders.”
An oversight body will guide the act through its implementation. Lynch said there were strict time constraints placed on every phase of the act’s implementation to ensure it did not end up being another piece of dormant legislation.
DA spokeswoman for safety and security Diane Kohler-Barnard said the passing of the act was a huge success for the portfolio committee.
She was confident the retroactive collection of samples from jailed criminals would help alleviate the burden on detectives who were sitting on stacks of cold cases.
“The truth is that most criminals don’t just commit a single crime, and many of those behind bars can probably be linked to far more crimes than they have been convicted for.”
The database would make it easy for police to cross-check DNA evidence from their dockets against the forensic profiles taken from inmates.
But, Kohler-Barnard doubted the police would implement the act successfully. She said the police force had a track record of dragging their feet or just ignoring new legislation.
“Time will tell, and I’m hoping they can prove me wrong.”
For forensic expert David Klatzow, it is not only the implementation that is worrying him – which he said would already be hindered by an overburdened and undertrained police force – but that the library had not been tested properly.
“We needed a pilot project or two, but they are rushing headlong into this and we could end up in a situation where the added responsibility for police officials actually slows the system down even more.”