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    The SA Students’ Congress marched to Parliament demanding that government intervene in the higher education funding crisis.

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    Cape Town -

    Students will, within a week, forcibly “close” campuses around the province if the government does not intervene in the national funding crisis in higher education.

    This was the ultimatum issued by SA Students’ Congress (Sasco), who led the students on a march on Parliament on Monday. Sasco maintains that funding shortfalls and mismanagement of available money from Treasury are denying poor students their constitutional right to education.

    Sasco said thousands of students were turned away when they tried to register for the new academic year at their respective colleges and universities.

    At UWC, more than half of the 21 000 had not been registered, Sasco’s provincial chairman, Luzuko Bashman, said.

    Two weeks ago, the Cape Argus reported on chaos at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), where thousands of students were being turned away at registration because of funding shortfalls for government bursaries and outstanding debts. Police had to disperse a crowd of irate students, some of whom were denied registration, after they barricaded the entrance of Bellville’s CPUT campus. There have been similar protests at universities across the country.

    Around 400 students marched from the College of Cape Town campus to Parliament on Monday.

    One of them was 19-year-old Ncumisa Mahlombe, a second-year business management student. She was turned away at the College of Cape Town last week, and told she owed debt from last year and R2 600 in registration fees. This money, she said, was due to her via a government bursary for which she had qualified.

    Bashman handed a memorandum of grievances to Nokuthula Nqaba, the parliamentary liaison officer for Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande. The grievances included:

    * The refusal of some colleges to recognise Sasco and Student Representative Councils (SRCs) as legitimate representatives of students.

    * The placement of students in residences that cost above the allocated money for accommodation for government, resulting in debts.

    * The lack of transport allowance for some students due to funding shortfalls.

    * A policy by some universities which refuse to register students who owe money.

    Bashman said many universities mismanaged student debt and squandered the money made available to them through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme. He called on Nzimande to do financial audits of suspect universities and to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate “the state of colleges”.

    Last week, Nzimande announced a R1 billion injection into the aid scheme to assist with the bursary and funding shortfall. Sasco acknowledged and welcomed this, but added that the intervention had not filtered down to the students.

    daneel.knoetze@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    More than 1 000 people were left homeless when authorities demolished shacks erected on Sanral land.

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    Cape Town -

    More than 1 000 people were left homeless and five were arrested when the City’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit demolished shacks in the two-month-old Siyanyanzela informal settlement in Strand on Monday.

    This happened after members of the Economic Freedom Fighters allegedly told people they should erect shacks on open land belonging to the South African National Road Agency (Sanral).

    Residents said EFF members told them they should go ahead and build their shacks on the land two months ago. The residents were shocked yesterday when the Anti-Land Invasion Unit, backed up by police, tore them down on Monday.

    Vuyelwa Mgodlo said: “This is not fair. Leaders said we can build the shacks and the ward councillor, Mbuyiselo Matha, is aware of these shacks.”

    The mother of five said she had lost all the building material she bought last week for R1 800. “I’m stuck here, I don't know where to go now, my children are at school and they do not know about this.

    “The city knows we don’t have places to stay, why are they chasing us away?”

    Resident Wendy Mhaga, 23, who was staying with her mother when the Anti-Land Invasion Unit arrived, said a neighbour called her early on Monday to say police were searching her home.

    “When I got home police were already searching through my things. They said we could only take the things that were in the house and not the material that I used to build my bungalow, which costs R2 500. We just watched as they crushed our homes,” said Mhaga.

    She said councillor Matha met residents just a few days ago but he did not tell them that Sanral had obtained a court order for their eviction. The first they knew of this was when the authorities arrived on Monday.

    Matha said allegations that he had allowed residents to build houses on the land were untrue. He knew the land was privately owned.

    “I can never ask people to go and build on private land. Those people from the various informal settlements have been on the waiting list for 16 years and were promised that houses were going up after 2007, but it did not happen.

    Matha said that residents were also promised Sanral land along the N2 in the Helderberg region. But after negotiations broke down between the road agency and the City of Cape Town following the e-toll saga, he said residents were “forced” to occupy the land in Strand illegally.

    Mcebisi Maxhwele, whose also lost his shack, said he could not afford to pay a backyard rent of R300 a month and was happy when the EFF said he could build a shack on the site.

    Maxhwele said he understood the city had given permission for them to build on the land. “For six years I’ve been paying rent after my RDP house was sold by some of the leaders. At least I managed to escape with my things but it’s painful because I bought new materials.”

    ANC leaders in the area said people had been misled by EFF members. ANC branch chairman Simthembile Mfecane said he told residents not to build shacks on the site, because he knew it was owned by Sanral.

    But EFF leader Mphathisi Tshitu said residents needed a place to live and the space was open. Most people could not afford to pay rent.

    warren.fortune@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A suspect trying to evade arrest crashed a stolen BMW into another car, then a bus, in a chase that saw a police helicopter land in the middle of a road.

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    Cape Town - A suspect trying to evade arrest in Bellville crashed a stolen BMW into another vehicle and then a bus, in a chase that saw a police helicopter land in the middle of a road.

    The action centred around Durban Road and Bloemhof Street on Monday and resulted in traffic congestion in the area as some lanes were closed.

    While witnesses to the chase took to social media to describe what was happening and to try to find out more, the police remained tight-lipped, divulging only a few details. Police spokesman Andre Traut said a man had been arrested for being in the possession of a stolen vehicle.

    “Circumstances of the matter are under investigation. The chopper assisted with the apprehension,” he said.

    City traffic spokesman Richard Coleman told the Cape Times that the police had been chasing a BMW and during this chase the BMW had crashed into a Honda sedan and then a bus.

    It appeared no one had been seriously injured.

    Traut confirmed the collisions were linked to the police chase, but he did not provide further details.

    It was understood the BMW had crashed into an Intercape bus.

    An Intercape employee declined to comment.

    On Twitter a user said: “Helicopter just landed in the middle of Durban road right in front of our car – police chase!”

    She went on to tweet: “So crazy there was gunshots going off and sniffer dogs. The police were running in the road with guns.” (sic)

    Another Twitter user said “an army of police” had been on the scene.

    On the Facebook forum, Traffic fines, cameras & updates in Western Cape, a user said the BMW had crashed into the bus that was loaded with passengers.

    Another user said it appeared suspects trying to evade the police had driven into oncoming traffic causing a collision involving multiple vehicles. This user said a suspect had been caught by dogs and described what was happening as “crazy action”.

    caryn.dolley@inl.co.za

    cape Times


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    The working class must unite and put the interests of the collective first, Western Cape African National Congress secretary Songezo Mjongile said.

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    Cape Town - The working class must unite and put the interests of the collective first, Western Cape African National Congress secretary Songezo Mjongile said on Tuesday.

    “There are a number of forces inside and outside who are dying to see it (the liberation movement) implode,” he said at the joint National Education, Health, and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) shop steward council in Cape Town.

    “Largely, it has got to do with the fact that some of us have put our interests above the interests of the people.”

    He said former president Nelson Mandela was speaking from the grave to remind workers to renew the party's founding values and unite within the alliance.

    This call was echoed by provincial Congress of SA Trade Unions secretary Tony Ehrenreich, who acknowledged divisions within the congress and said unity was key.

    Mjongile said it was important to solve problems from within organisations, rather than speak out to the media or cause trouble. As an example, he used the much-criticised cost incurred to taxpayers with the upgrade of President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

    “These are mistakes of our democracy. You can't run away from that... In correcting them, we must not throw the baby out with the water,” Mjongile said.

    “You don't disown your own because there are problems. You sit with your family and correct your problems.”

    Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini was expected to address delegates later on Tuesday. - Sapa


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    S’dumo Dlamini has re-affirmed the tripartite alliance with the African National Congress and the SA Communist Party.

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    Cape Town - Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini on Tuesday re-affirmed the tripartite alliance with the African National Congress and the SA Communist Party.

    “It is the Congress of SA Trade Unions' position and a congress resolution to support the ANC. The ANC is not a class enemy. How many times must we repeat that?” he said at the joint National Education, Health, and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) shop steward council in Cape Town.

    “The SACP is not our class enemy... These are our allies.”

    He called on workers to defend Nehawu, its gains made in the liberation movement and ultimately, to work hard to defend the alliance.

    He said Cosatu sometimes failed to identify individuals who were working against it because the organisation was full of “love and trust”.

    Cosatu would not change this loving character but would analyse situations more carefully in future.

    Dlamini said the congress would continue to deal with its problems in the boardroom and warned members not to be confused by what was being conveyed in the media.

    Sapa


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    The mayoral committee proposed the sale of plots of city-owned land at reduced rates to help close the housing gap.

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    Cape Town - The Cape Town mayoral committee has proposed that plots of city-owned land be sold at reduced rates to help close the housing gap.

    Councillor Tandeka Gqada said the recommendation was made to the city council on Tuesday.

    “As a caring city, it is not only important to provide housing opportunities as a means of achieving redress, but it is also vital to enable previously disadvantaged residents to own an immovable asset,” she said in a statement.

    Only the applications of people earning between R3 500 and R15 000, who have not previously bought or acquired residential housing, would be considered. They would also need to be first-time home owners.

    “This market segment has been grossly neglected in the past... Ownership is true economic empowerment,” Gqada said.

    Depending on the size of the plot, the prices were expected to range between R19 000 and R27 000.

    The land under consideration comprised 88 serviced plots in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, and 64 plots in Atlantis.

    Sapa


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    The showing of a cellphone video clip of an apparent vigilante attack was provisionally disallowed during the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry.

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    Cape Town -The showing of a cellphone video clip of an apparent vigilante attack in Khayelitsha was provisionally disallowed during proceedings at the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry in Cape Town on Tuesday.

    The “graphic” clip was to be shared by a former Harare Community Policing Forum (CPF) member, Chumile Sali, during day nine of the hearings, held at Lookout Hill, Khayelitsha.

    Sali joined the CPF in 2011, and testified about his experiences as a member.

    “It was a bad experience,” he told commissioners.

    Sali said when he joined the CPF there were little resources, prompting him to use his own laptop and printers.

    “You have a police station with little support for police members, hence the low morale,” he said.

    In addition, police vehicles were often parked in the police precinct and not used to patrol the area.

    Evidence leader Thembalihle Sidaki tried to show the commission the video clip Sali received depicting a vigilante attack. Norman Arendse, for the police, however objected.

    Commission chairwoman, retired Constitutional Court judge Kate O'Regan, agreed with Arendse.

    “We won't see it right now. We don't think its appropriate at this stage,” O'Regan said.

    Earlier during proceedings, social anthropologist Vicky Igglesden testified about the treatment of foreigners living in Khayelitsha. Adding to an already recurring theme throughout proceedings, Igglesden said police often disregarded the human rights of Khayelitsha-based foreigners, including Somali shop owners.

    Foreigners had reported abuse at the hands of officers.

    The commission was established by Western Cape premier Helen Zille to probe accusations by civil society formations that police inaction was leading to an increase in mob justice killings in the area.

    The commission was delayed for some time when Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa tried to have it scrapped. Mthethwa lost his legal bid to stop the commission in the Constitutional Court in October last year.

    Sapa


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    A thief masquerading as a friend hijacked a car and sped off with children still inside - while their family was busy shopping.

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    Cape Town - A brazen thief masquerading as a family friend hijacked a car and sped off with two children still inside the vehicle – while their family was busy shopping.

    But Mogamat Taariq Adams, 15, and his 10-year-old sister Aisha were lucky to escape with their lives when the car thief dumped them along the road.

    Cops are now hunting for the man who pretended to be a family friend.

    It was nightmare come true for grandmother Faiza Salie, 56, and her daughter Walieda Adams, 36, the children’s mother, when the two siblings vanished without a trace on January 26.

    The Eastridge family left their home in Faiza’s red Toyota Corolla to go to the Town Centre in Mitchells Plain.

    Faiza, her daughter and another woman went shopping while Taariq and Aisha remained in the car with the car keys.

    Faiza said she was in the shops for less than eight minutes when she made the shocking discovery.

    “We parked at the parking area by Campwell Hardware store,” she said.

    “I walked to where I parked and then I saw there is no car and there are no children.”

    Faiza froze for a few seconds when she realised the person who stole her car had also kidnapped her grandchildren.

    The women raced off to the police station.

    But in that time the hijacker had dropped the children off and they were spotted behind the mall by a relative.

    “This man [thief] dropped them off at the back of the Town Centre in an area which they call Smartytown and luckily they saw a relative,” said Faiza.

    But the grandmother said they were more horrified when she learnt the thief used her name to get inside the car.

    “Taariq says this man was wearing a fez and said that Faiza said he must give the car keys because he has to do deliveries,” explained Faiza.

    “He even named Taariq.”

    Faiza said in a dramatic getaway, the man nearly collided with a bus.

    “Taariq and Aisha realised they were being taken when he drove fast over speed bumps and nearly drove into a bus,” Faiza explained.

    She said the man dropped off the kids, telling them to knock at a shop’s door before speeding off.

    “By the time the children reached the door, they saw him driving away,” she added.

    But despite losing her car, Faiza and the children’s mother said they are grateful the kids were spared.

    “Aisha said to me, ‘Mommy, I thought he was going to rape me’,” said Walieda.

    “My children could have been gone.

    Faiza added: “The car is a 1996 model and an automatic with the registration CA 141 203.”

    Police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said police are investigating cases of carjacking and kidnapping.

    “Police are investigating a carjacking and kidnapping cases which occurred in the Town Centre,” he confirmed.

    * Anyone with information can call Detective Warrant Officer Dedrick April 084 516 7263.

    Daily Voice


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    Carbon footprint report shows private cars are responsible for 87 percent of energy usage.

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    Cape Town - Car pools would do more to reduce the city’s energy use than any other intervention, as private cars use 87 percent of the energy consumed by transport coming in and out of town.

    According to the Low Carbon Central Strategy Report released on Tuesday by the Cape Town Partnership, Sustainable Energy Africa and the City of Cape Town, the city’s various consumers - including transport, the government, retail, accommodation and offices - currently use 7100 terajoules of energy each day. If the city opts for a “business-as-usual” approach to its carbon emissions, this daily energy consumption will rise to about 12 600 terajoules by 2030.

    One terajoule will power an average family home for 30 years.

    The report provides a carbon profile of Cape Town’s central economic zone and offers recommendations on ways to reduce its carbon footprint.

    “Since cars consume a disproportionately large amount of energy compared with other vehicle types, any energy efficiency gains in private vehicle use has a large impact,” it noted.

    “Thousands of empty vehicle seats are moving around each day in private vehicles. If more of these seats can be used to move people, overall emissions per head will decrease as fewer cars will be moving around. Road space will free up as vehicles are removed from the road, and companies will save money on the costs of providing parking bays and infrastructure.”

    The city council has allocated R900 million to its integrated transport plan for public transport expansion.

    But “own steam” transport - moving around without using an engine - would go a long way to reducing the central city’s carbon emissions.

    Cape Town Partnership chief executive Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana said: “People are at the centre of a city and the choices that people make will shape the city of our future.”

    With simple, practical changes to our habits, we can reduce our carbon output and secure our sustainability.”

    In carbon terms, the city would have to plant 21 000 trees a year to offset its carbon footprint. The report noted that urban agriculture could play a critical role in getting people involved in environmental sustainability on a personal scale.

    It could be used for food production, income generation, job creation, city greening and social cohesion. Also, by creating appealing pedestrian corridors and public spaces, more people would be encouraged to walk and cycle in the inner city.

    The partnership set up a pop-up urban forest on Tuesday in Harrington Square to show people what the city could look like with more green spaces.

    Cape Argus


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    The ANC says the main issues to be addressed will be that of skewed access to land and property ownership.

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    Cape Town -

    An ANC march on DA-held government offices will go ahead in Cape Town on Wednesday. This comes as DA supporters were to march on Luthuli House, the ANC’s national headquarters in Joburg, although the date for the DA’s march has not been set.

    On Tuesday, City of Cape Town media manager Priya Reddy confirmed that permission for the march had been granted. ANC supporters will be allowed to gather and march in the city between 11am and 2pm. Starting at Keizersgracht, they will first march on the Civic Centre (mayor Patricia de Lille’s office) via Tennant and Christiaan Barnard streets. Next the supporters will march on the provincial legislature (Premier Helen Zille’s office), via Christiaan Barnard, Darling and Adderley streets.

    Marius Fransman, the ANC chairman in the province, who will lead the march, expects a turn-out of about 2 000.

     

    “The main issues to be addressed will be that of skewed access to land and property ownership in Cape Town, as well as the DA’s failure in redressing this,” he said.

    “We will bring attention to the plight of marginalised communities who do not enjoy access to land in the city - people who were displaced by apartheid, people who do not have houses, the Khoi community. We will also draw attention to the fact that (the large majority) of property in Cape Town remains in white hands.”

    Fransman gave the assurance that the march would be peaceful. In October the Cape Town Informal Settlements, a civic group led by expelled ANC councillors Andile Lili and Loyiso Nkohla, marched on the provincial legislature. About 6 000 marchers entered the city and chaos erupted in the CBD when a breakaway group started looting shops and stalls.

    Fransman said there were always agitators, but: “We, however, support peaceful demonstration and dealing with the issues at hand.”

    Zak Mbhele, Zille’s spokesman, said that the ANC was “welcome to exercise their right to picket”, provided it was done peacefully.

    So too, the ANC has welcomed the DA’s proposed march on Luthuli House. The DA march intends to highlight the ANC’s “bogus promises” on job creation. In a statement the ANC said that it would use the opportunity to “mete out a long overdue political education session” to the DA.

    “We would have welcomed the opportunity to educate the DA that successive ANC governments have turned around a collapsing and nearly bankrupt economy in 1994 into a thriving one with growth rates averaging 3.6 percent annually consistently over the last two decades,” it said.

    There have however been fears that a clash between DA and ANC members at Luthuli House would lead to violence. Pieter Groenewald, the Freedom Front Plus parliamentary leader, has warned that the march is a “recipe for conflict”. He queried whether the “questionable motives” of the DA would justify injuries or loss of life. - Cape Argus

    daneel.knoetze@inl.co.za


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    A nine-year-old girl who was raped and set alight in Delft is reportedly recovering rapidly and has been moved from the ICU.

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    Cape Town - Medical staff at Red Cross Children’s Hospital have said they are happy with the progress of the nine-year-old girl who was raped and set alight in Delft two weeks ago.

    “She was moved from the Intensive Care Unit on Monday and continues to receive the necessary treatment,” said EMS spokeswoman Angelique Jordaan.

    Late in January, the child was found lying on a pile of rocks between bushes along the R300 freeway. She told family members she recognised the face of the man who raped her and that he had laughed when he set fire to her, saying “you won’t be able to tell anyone it was me”, the child’s aunt said.

    The 27-year-old man accused of raping, burning and assaulting the girl abandoned his bail application when he appeared at the Bellville Magistrate’s Court at the end of last month. The man, who may not be identified as he has not yet pleaded to the charges, is being held in an isolated cell in Goodwood Prison for his own safety until his next court appearance on March 27.

    Two days after the girl was raped, the police issued a statement saying they would be investigating child neglect on the part of the people responsible for the child. “We will not hesitate to charge those responsible for not providing proper safety for the child and who allowed her to leave her house at such a late hour,” police spokesman Andrè Traut said.

    On Tuesday, Traut said the case had been referred to the director of public prosecutions pending a decision regarding prosecution. - Staff Writer


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    Sanral says the decision to pull out of a deal to buy land for the homeless was purely based on political expediency.

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    Cape Town -

    Sanral says the city pulling out of a deal to buy land for the homeless because it wanted the agency to first resolve its dispute over the proposed R10 billion tolling of the N1 and N2 resulted in more than 1 000 people being evicted at Zola on Monday.

    “The City of Cape Town’s opposition to Sanral’s proposal to buy property earmarked for the relocation of illegal occupants of the land along the Onverwacht Interchange has resulted in the unnecessary eviction of the people of Zola informal settlement,” said SA National Roads Agency spokesman Vusi Mona on Tuesday in response to a Cape Times query.

    “This change in the city’s stance was purely based on political expediency and it is rather unfortunate that the ideology of the city and its regrettable opposition to a policy of the government to relocate people has resulted in inconvenience to some families in the area.”

    City spokeswoman Priya Reddy said on Tuesday night: “The Sanral statement has just come to our attention. We will consider it and provide comment in due course.”

    Mona said: “The latest move is in sharp contrast to the City of Cape Town’s suggestion in 2011 that Sanral should negotiate with the owner of portions 9 and 17 of the farm No 681 in Stellenbosch with the intention of purchasing these properties.

    “The intention was for Sanral to acquire these properties and to then donate them to the City of Cape Town.

    “In return, the City of Cape Town had identified a property at the Macassar Interchange that was to be developed, together with a small portion of land owned by Sanral, for the relocation of the (illegal occupants of the land along the Onverwacht Interchange).

    “This plan followed meetings held during March and April 2011 which were attended by representatives of Sanral with officials and councillors of the City of Cape Town.

    “On 2 August 2011, the owner of portions 9 and 17 of the farm 681 signed a sale agreement for those properties. The price had been determined by the owner in consultation with independent valuators appointed by Sanral and this transaction was about to be approved by Sanral when we received notification that the City of Cape Town would not pursue the provision of low-income housing opportunities on the land adjoining Macassar Interchange until its dispute with Sanral regarding the tolling of the N1 and N2 had been resolved,” said Mona.

    “Consequently, Sanral could not pursue the purchase of portions 9 and 17 of the farm 681.”

    The property was invaded on January 18 and occupied illegally.

    Mona said attempts to prevent the invasion were “met with aggressive resistance”.

    “When the assistance of the SAPS was sought, the organisation was informed that prior to any assistance being afforded, a court order was required.

    “A court order, interdicting and restraining people intending to invade, occupy and erect structures on the subject property, was finally made by the Western Cape High Court on Friday, 24 January.”

    On Monday, more than 1 000 residents were evicted.

    On Tuesday, eight Zola residents were released after spending a night in jail allegedly for participating in an illegal gathering.

    Charges against them were dropped in the Strand Magistrate’s Court as there was not enough evidence.

    They were arrested on Monday during a protest after 450 shacks were demolished at Zola.

    Among those arrested was a 17-year-old schoolgirl. Her mother, Nomandla Msolo, said she was arrested even though she was not part of the crowd protesting.

    “I don’t know why they arrested her. She just came from school. When she was arrested I asked what had she done because she was not even protesting.

    “My daughter spent the night in jail, missed school for something she did not do and she is a minor,” said Msolo.

    About 150 residents gathered outside the court demanding the release of the eight.

    They were addressed by expelled ANC councillor Andile Lili, who said the residents had called him to assist.

    “The residents said they needed our help after their homes were demolished. We held a meeting with the residents (on Monday night) and we organised lawyers.

    “After this, we will open a case because the residents’ building material was taken from them. Some were crying yesterday because they had no place to stay,” Lili said.

    In November 2011, the city applied to the Western Cape High Court for an interdict to prevent Sanral from going ahead with the toll roads. The parties later agreed that the city would halt its interdict application and Sanral would not start work on the projects until a review was completed.

    It was agreed if Sanral decided to start work, it would give the city 45 days’ notice. The notification was received on March 6 last year. - Cape Times

    siyavuya.mzantsi@inl.co.za


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    Ludwe Qupe is facing an attempted murder charge after he allegedly shot and wounded a man in an argument over money.

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    Cape Town - A DA councillor in George is facing an attempted murder charge after he allegedly shot and wounded a man in an argument over money.

    He is believed to have then stashed what turns out to have been a “stolen” firearm at a friend’s house.

    Southern Cape police confirmed on Tuesday that the firearm had been stolen in a burglary at a home in George in 2013.

    Ludwe Qupe, 32, was arrested in connection with the shooting and is out on bail.

    The shooting is the second controversial incident in less than a week involving a DA councillor. Last week, DA councillor Nyaniso Jindela was removed from a council meeting in Stellenbosch after allegedly slapping an opposition councillor, André van der Walt, of the Sibanye Civic Association.

    Jindela said he had been provoked by Van der Walt, whom he accused of using the the k-word during a council meeting.

    On Friday, Qupe missed the whirlwind visit to George by party leader Helen Zille after Thembalethu police had arrested him on a charge of attempted murder.

    The DA’s provincial leadership has given Qupe 24 hours to respond to allegations in DA ranks that he had been in possession of an unlicensed firearm and that the shooting was sparked because he owed the victim money for ammunition.

    While police could not confirm the rumours, spokesman Captain Malcolm Pojie said they would be probing all the claims.

    Police have alleged that Qupe and the victim were arguing in the street near the councillor’s home in Sandkraalweg, Thembalethu.

    A shot went off, hitting a man, 26, in the left arm.

    Pojie said the shooting occurred on Monday, January 27, but Qupe was arrested on Friday after police obtained a statement from the victim when he was discharged from hospital.

    “Police initially battled to get information from the community after the shooting and had to wait to interview the victim.”

    Pojie added that police had found the firearm only after Qupe’s arrest.

    “The firearm was eventually located at the home of one of Qupe’s friends. The firearm has been sent for ballistic testing.”

    Qupe briefly appeared in the Thembalethu Magistrate court last Friday and was released on R1 000 bail.

    The case has been postponed until next month.

    The DA’s chief whip in the George Council, Flip de Swardt, said on Tuesday the party and the city council of George were not considering taking action against Qupe until the court case had been finalised.

    But DA provincial chairman Anton Bredell took a stronger approach, confirming he had written to Qupe to ascertain the facts regarding his arrest and allegations that he had been in possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

    “He has 24 hours to respond, whereafter the party will decide on appropriate action,” Bredell said.

    This could include suspension. - Cape Argus

    warda.meyer@inl.co.za


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    A provincial report said a criminal group had gained access via roofs and forced safes open with grinders.

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    Western Cape -

    George has experienced the highest number of business burglaries in the province with criminals gaining access through roofs.

    Details about which crimes are prevalent in specific areas of the Western Cape are contained in the recently released annual provincial police report.

    The report details which police stations had the highest incidence of specific reported crimes and covers the 12 months from April 1, 2012 to March 31 last year.

    While most areas were clustered around the city, others were situated further away in the province.

    George reported the highest incidence of burglaries at business premises and the provincial report said a criminal group, which operated over weekends, had gained access via roofs and forced safes open with grinders.

    “A disturbing fact is that most stolen property is bought by foreign nations or exchanged for drugs by them,” it said.

    The provincial report said the Beaufort West police station had recorded the highest number of stock theft cases, with 53 reported there in a year.

    “A disturbing tendency identified is that animals are stolen, slaughtered and the meat sold for drugs and/or liquor. An influx of unemployed people to rural areas has impacted on the number of cases being reported,” it said.

    Mitchells Plain station had reported the highest number of attempted murders.

    This station also reported the highest occurrence of a number of other crimes, including sexual offences and assaults.

    A section of the provincial report said factors affecting the Mitchells Plain area included the size of its population coupled with a high unemployment rate and drug abuse.

    Nyanga, labelled as the murder capital of the province, remained the station recording the highest number of killings.

    The annual report said: “The largest contributors to the murder rate are densely populated areas with informal settlements that are gang-infested.” Khayelitsha had reported the highest number of business robberies and the provincial report said the informal sector had made up 65 percent of the 1 934 cases.

    Police at the Goodwood station had recorded three cash in transit robberies, the highest number in the province.

    “Perpetrators operate in groups (and) are mostly armed with hand guns. In certain instances the suspects were armed with assault rifles,” the provincial report said.

    It said most cases had occurred when cash in transit companies were collecting cash at filling stations and at businesses in malls.

    Milnerton was identified as the station which contributed the most to the number of “sexual offences dependent on police action for detection” - these crimes included running a brothel and possessing or dealing in indecent or pornographic material.

    Sixty-four cases had been reported in Milnerton, which was followed by Bellville, with 19, and Sea Point, with 14 cases.

    The report did not investigate why there were more reports of these crimes in certain areas.

    Reports of theft out of cars were most prevalent in Cape Town central, with the police station situated in “a well-known business area”.

    The provincial report said some police stations had reported that some car guards, who were not registered with companies, were involved in stealing out of vehicles and many were repeat offenders released from prison.

    It said that, to make money, they donned reflective bibs and went to parking areas.

    The report said police stations had also reported that many theft out of car cases were “opened merely for the purpose of insurance claims and doubt exists as to the validity of the theft being reported”.

    The annual report offers a more in-depth look at crime affecting the province than the information that is contained in the national police statistics. - Cape Times

    caryn.dolley@inl.co.za


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    S’dumo Dlamini has called on all Western Cape Cosatu members to support the ANC in the national elections to end the DA’s rule.

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    Western Cape -

    Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini has called on all Western Cape members of the federation to support the ANC in this year’s national elections to end the DA’s rule in the Western Cape.

    And he called for unity within the federation at a National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) shop steward council meeting on Tuesday.

    Dlamini was joined by Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich, SACP provincial secretary Khaya Magaxa and ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile. They presented a united front to gain support for the ANC and dispel lingering rumours of a lack of unity between the tripartite alliance and within the ranks of Cosatu.

    “Cosatu’s position is to support the ANC,” said Dlamini. “The ANC is not our class enemy. The SACP is not our class enemy. These are our allies.”

    He wanted people to have the same enthusiasm for the provincial elections as they had for the national poll.

    “We are working very hard to campaign for the ANC, but why is it that we get more votes for one election and not the other election and the DA ends up winning? We all support the ANC at the national level but we think we have a choice at provincial level.

    “We have to put differences aside. Vote for the ANC this election.”

    Ehrenreich attacked the DA, accusing the party of catering only for the wealthy and ignoring the plight of the working class.

    “They keep talking about their slogan ‘Better Together’, but they don’t come down to talk to our people, only to the wealthy. We need to turn around the DA’s undermining of workers.

    “We need to undo the legacy of apartheid and swell the ranks of the ANC and build the vision of the ANC among all in our community.”

    Ehrenreich said he was enraged by the inequality between the different races in the province, and focused on education and transport as key areas.

    Dlamini also called for a unified Cosatu to back the ANC after much infighting since the suspension of general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and the breakaway by the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa). - Cape Argus

    warren.fortune@inl.co.za


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    Somali shopkeepers have accused Khayelitsha police of demanding cooldrinks at closing time in return for allowing the shops to stay open later.

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    Cape Town -

    Somali shopkeepers have accused Khayelitsha police of demanding cooldrinks at closing time in return for allowing the shops to stay open later.

    This was a finding social anthropologist Viki Iggelsden shared with the Commission into Policing in Khayelitsha, based on a research project she did into foreigners’ experience with the police in Khayelitsha.

    On Tuesday, Iggelsden told the commission her research was conducted between December 12 and 16 last year. Twenty Somali nationals were interviewed.

    “Many raised the issue of police having ‘an early closing time rule’, which the Somali shopkeepers did not agree with. Police would come around 8pm asking for cooldrink. The cooldrink was given in return for keeping the shop open,” she said.

    The shopkeepers complained that police arrived late at crime scenes, and that they found it difficult to report crimes.

    “Whenever they went to register crimes they are constantly told to come back later, or police just refused to open a case. Most of the time it is not explained to them why they could not register the crimes. One had to pay a policeman R150 to help him fetch his car which was stolen from him.”

    Somali refugees claimed they were vulnerable to both criminals and the police.

    “They told me about incidents where police further traumatised them after they reported crimes. They would call for police and when the police arrived, instead of investigating the crime they would want paperwork for the shop, search for firearms and steal airtime and money.”

    Iggelsden advised the commission to look into the issue of foreigners acquiring firearm licences, and asked that police be trained to understand refugees’ historic backgrounds.

    “They come from traumatic wars so they are politically vulnerable.”

    Meanwhile, former provincial Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairman Hanif Loonat accused Khayelitsha police of being ill-disciplined. “A lesser-ranked member would disrespect a higher-ranked member. To put it simply, there is no discipline there,” he said.

     

    He added that police absenteeism was also a problem in Khayelitsha.

    “In 2012, we conducted an Easter weekend patrol project in which over 250 members of both the police and the CPF participated. At the start of the weekend we all came in numbers, but as the days went by the number of police members present dwindled.”

    Loonat said when he questioned a Khayelitsha cluster chairperson about police absenteeism, he was told some were on leave and others did not report that they would not be working that day.

    Loonat said over that weekend there was only one murder reported compared to the 23 murders reported during the Easter weekend of 2011 and the 17 reported last year. - Cape Argus

    zodidi.dano@inl.co.za


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    Assaults by pupils, gangsters, and the death of pupils are taking their toll on Cape Flats teachers.

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    Cape Town - Teachers at Cape Flats schools are stressed and burnt out - largely a result of assaults by pupils, gangsters entering the grounds with guns, and the death of pupils.

    A recent study involving 63 teachers from four Cape Flats schools found that more than 65 percent of the participants suffered from high levels of stress and burnout.

    Dr Sharon Johnson, who conducted the research for her doctorate in psychology at Stellenbosch University, said uncertainty about their roles, work overload and the unnecessary amount of red tape that teachers had to deal with also triggered stress and burnout.

    Johnson, head of the department of teaching and learning at the SA College of Applied Psychology, said pupil discipline was the main reason for stress and burnout among participating teachers.

    “Some classes have over 50 students with a poor work ethic and they are violent not only among themselves but also towards the teacher.

    “With corporal punishment banned, educators have not been skilled enough to move from a punitive to supportive model of managing discipline.”

    She said the trauma had a profound effect on teachers: “It affected their work on every level - physical exhaustion, emotionally unable to cope, depersonalisation, feeling isolated and a sense that their needs were not being met or understood. One teacher described his job as ‘survival’.”

    Johnson said different workshops, which were held for the participating teachers, significantly improved their coping skills as well as their interactions with pupils. These included workshops which allowed for teachers to recognise and deal with their emotions and to process traumatic events such as the death of a pupil.

    Teachers who attended at least one of the workshops all reported significantly reduced stress levels. After the exercises teachers felt more in charge and equipped to deal with problem children and started to take control of what was happening in the classroom.

    “They started to realise that the change had to come from them as well as from pupils. While the Department of Education does indeed recognise the daily challenges facing teachers and devise realistic, practical solutions for factors impeding educators from delivering quality teaching, it needs to address stress-inducing working conditions, such as large classes and inadequate resources.”

    Paddy Attwell, spokesman for the department, said the department encouraged staff to approach the Employee Wellness Service of the provincial government for advice and support in dealing with stress and personal difficulties.

    “The service provides independent and professional counselling services free of charge to all employees. The service includes telephone and face-to-face counselling support, trauma counselling and support, and life-management services, including advice on legal and financial matters.

    He said the department was constantly looking at ways of making it easier for teachers to focus on teaching rather than administration and human resource issues. - Cape Argus

    ilse.fredericks@inl.co.za


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    The Bellville offices of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA were broken into at the weekend.

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    Cape Town - The Western Cape offices of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA in Bellville, Cape Town, have been vandalised, the union said on Wednesday.

    Spokesman Castro Ngobese said it appeared to have happened on Sunday night.

    “We opened a case with the SA Police Service on Monday,” he said in a statement.

    No arrests had been made. Ngobese said the burglars tried to set the office alight but failed to do so.

    “A number of cellphones and spare keys were stolen,” he said.

    This was not the first attempt to destroy the union's offices.

    “This follows a long list of similar acts of burglary and vandalism that have occurred at our head offices last year,” Ngobese said.

    The union's offices in Newtown, Johannesburg, were burgled in May and again in September 2013. No arrests had been made following either of the break-ins.

    Security at both the Bellville and Johannesburg offices had since been tightened.

    Sapa


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    Cape Town - The Western Cape community safety department has become a mere postbox for complaints against the police, the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.

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    Cape Town - The Western Cape community safety department has become a mere postbox for complaints against the police, the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.

    “We were no more than a postbox... we could not rapidly reply to complaints,” department head Gilbert Lawrence testified.

    He recounted how he and his officials clashed with the SA Police Service on the interpretation of their oversight role in policing.

    Section 206 (3) allows provinces to monitor police conduct and play an oversight role.

    Lawrence said that prior to 2010, his officials would receive complaints and would ask police for answers.

    In addition, his officials would make unannounced visits to police stations in response to complaints from community members.

    However, this was not allowed after 2010.

    “Our oversight role... required that we should investigate complaints and be able to visit police stations,” Lawrence said.

    “The police then said, this is how we interpret it. The net result was that complaints now have to go to a nodal point.”

    Lawrence indicated the ability to monitor police and respond to complaints against officers was curtailed.

    The department had become a mere postbox for such complaints.

    It also lacked jurisdiction in operational matters, which meant police could cite this as a reason for not providing information on complaints.

    Operational matters are the day to day crime fighting capabilities of the police.

    Norman Arendse, for the police, accused Lawrence of failing to do his job despite having the powers to investigate complaints.

    Lawrence said the confusion on what “oversight” meant was causing some of these failures.

    “We would like a definitive end to this so we know what we can do or can't do,” he said.

    “The police have tremendous powers. They can take away civil liberties... and they need to be held accountable.”

    The commission was set up by Western Cape premier Helen Zille to probe accusations by civil society formations that police inaction was leading to an increase in mob justice killings in the area.

    Its activities were delayed for some time when Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa tried to have the inquiry scrapped.

    Mthethwa lost his legal bid to stop the commission in the Constitutional Court in October last year.

    Sapa


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    The Western Cape's government is deaf to the pleas of its poor communities and is in denial about their living conditions, the ANC said.

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    Cape Town - The Western Cape's government is deaf to the pleas of its poor communities and is in denial about their living conditions, the ANC said on Wednesday.

    The African National Congress marched to Western Cape premier Helen Zille's offices at the provincial legislature on Wednesday to hand over a memorandum of demands, provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile said in a statement.

    The demands include that:

    * the province and the city immediately make land available for human settlements, religious and cultural purposes;

    * the people in Agstelaan in Valhalla Park be given houses;

    * the immediate eradication of the bucket and portable toilet system;

    * housing for backyard dwellers and relocation for those living in informal settlements affected by fires and floods; and

    * the withdrawal of all eviction notices.

    Mjongile demanded a response within 21 days, “failing which we will implement more mass action to force this provincial and city governments to respond to our demands”.

    Zille confirmed receiving the memorandum. She said the protesters were 30 minutes late, that she was sworn at and not given the opportunity to address the crowd once they arrived at her offices.

    “When they arrived I heard them shouting for me to come down. When I did, they shouted 'Away Zille, away, voetsek!' Furthermore, after demanding that I address the marchers, the ANC and Cosatu leaders of the march denied me the opportunity to speak,” she said in a statement.

    Zille said human settlements department officials took down the names of residents with housing grievances who were at the march.

    “The actions of the ANC leaders thus blocked me from creating this opportunity to assist the very people they claim to represent and serve.”

    Zille said she would respond to the issues raised in the memorandum, but said it was ironic that they wanted the release of land which was currently held by the national department of public works. She said the national department had not responded to her requests for three years.

    “If I had been given the right to speak, I would have told the marchers that, at long last, the Western Cape government is making progress with securing the release of much-needed land from the national department of public works in the city,” Zille said.

    Sapa


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