Articles on this Page
- 02/05/14--21:50: _Voetsek Zille, say ...
- 02/06/14--00:34: _Varsity for Cape’s ...
- 02/06/14--00:38: _‘Do-good’ clerics o...
- 02/06/14--00:47: _Accused ‘had relati...
- 02/06/14--00:48: _Pupil swore in matr...
- 02/06/14--01:27: _Missing farmer: Fam...
- 02/06/14--01:34: _‘Sanral stopping se...
- 02/06/14--01:35: _130 complaints agai...
- 02/06/14--01:40: _‘No peace until we ...
- 02/06/14--01:43: _Sunday the day for ...
- 02/06/14--02:11: _Equity case ruling ...
- 02/06/14--02:44: _Gangster gets 25 ye...
- 02/06/14--05:32: _Housing protest shu...
- 02/06/14--06:39: _Dockets missing, so...
- 02/06/14--07:08: _Plato wants journo’...
- 02/06/14--08:34: _Thirsty cops face g...
- 02/06/14--09:08: _Department mulls wa...
- 02/06/14--10:08: _Couple accused of f...
- 02/06/14--21:57: _‘Five protests a da...
- 02/06/14--23:31: _Pensioner in fight ...
- 02/05/14--21:50: Voetsek Zille, say ANC marchers
- 02/06/14--00:34: Varsity for Cape’s little drummer boy, 11
- 02/06/14--00:38: ‘Do-good’ clerics out on bail
- 02/06/14--00:47: Accused ‘had relationship with Bronx owner’
- 02/06/14--00:48: Pupil swore in matric exam paper
- 02/06/14--01:27: Missing farmer: Family to hire detectives
- 02/06/14--01:34: ‘Sanral stopping service delivery in Zola, Strand’
- 02/06/14--01:35: 130 complaints against Khayelitsha cops
- 02/06/14--01:40: ‘No peace until we get proper housing’
- 02/06/14--01:43: Sunday the day for murder in Cape
- 02/06/14--02:11: Equity case ruling in Solidarity’s favour
- 02/06/14--02:44: Gangster gets 25 years for killing boy, 8
- 02/06/14--05:32: Housing protest shuts Helderberg roads
- 02/06/14--06:39: Dockets missing, so suspects walk
- 02/06/14--07:08: Plato wants journo’s detention probed
- 02/06/14--08:34: Thirsty cops face graft charges
- 02/06/14--09:08: Department mulls warders’ equity ruling
- 02/06/14--10:08: Couple accused of fake insurance claims
- 02/06/14--21:57: ‘Five protests a day in SA’
- 02/06/14--23:31: Pensioner in fight for his life on N2
The battle for the Cape turned nasty as Marius Fransman insulted Helen Zille to her face.|||
Cape Town -
The election battle for the Western Cape turned nasty on Wednesday as ANC provincial chairman Marius Fransman publicly insulted DA leader Helen Zille to her face on the steps of the provincial legislature in front of about 1 500 ANC supporters.
They had marched on the offices of Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille at the Civic Centre and then the offices of Zille in Wale Street. Zille met the crowd on the steps of the legislature to accept an ANC memorandum.
But before presenting the memorandum, Fransman, speaking over a loud hailer, called Zille a “master of the politics of deception”.
To a background of jeers and boos from the crowd, Fransman accused her of being anti-poor, of having failed as premier and of being unwilling to personally use the government-issue portable toilets frequently found in informal settlements.
The crowd also waved insulting placards: one portrayed Zille as Pinocchio with the subscript “Premier Liar”.
Visibly irate, Zille was seen speaking sternly in Fransman’s ear as he spoke. Yet she was not afforded the chance to address the crowd, with an ANC member leading the toyi-toying and saying that he did not want to hear her “squeaky voice”. It was “her time to listen”, he said.
Fuming, Zille took the memorandum from Fransman and re-entered the building.
The memorandum accused the DA provincial government of “ignoring the demands of our people” and of failing on service delivery, fighting gangsterism and redressing land ownership in central Cape Town which, according to Fransman, remained in the hands of the “white elite”.
Asked to comment later, Zille told the Cape Argus the provincial government respected the ANC’s right to march, but she slammed the ANC supporters for being late, for shouting “voetsek” (go away) when she came to meet them at their request, and for denying her the opportunity to address them.
“After demanding that I address the marchers, the ANC and Cosatu leaders of the march denied me the opportunity to speak because they knew I would demolish the lies that Fransman… had been stating as fact.
“It is also ironic that they were demanding the release of land, which the national Department of Public Works holds, and on which the national department has not responded to our 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.”
One of the marchers told the Cape Argus about her hopes for the elections and the reasons why she supported the ANC.
Single mother Nomakula Mdygolo, 47, has been an ANC member since her youth and is a veteran of Umkhonto we Sizwe (the ANC’s armed wing during the liberation struggle).
She is unemployed and lives in a shack in Khayelitsha, where she does not have access to a flush toilet.
“We feel that the DA government has betrayed us,” she said.
“Zille is a woman like myself, yet I do not feel she understands my plight as a single mother trying to raise a child in these conditions.
“The toilets fill up with faeces, then come the flies and the disease. It is a terrible way to live and that is why I want the DA out of power.”
Mdygolo admitted that she was loyal to the ANC and would not turn on the party, even if it betrayed her.
Meanwhile, traders in St George’s Mall, Greenmarket Square and around the CBD hastily packed up as the marchers made their way up Adderley Street from the Civic Centre to Wale Street. Many were victims when a previous march turned ugly last October, losing their goods and cash.
“We are very angry,” said Mor Fall, of the square’s Traders Association.
“Law enforcement told me to my face that they could not protect us if there was looting. Now, who will pay for the lost money? Some of us stand to lose around a R1 000 because of losing half a day’s trading. The city must answer to this.”
Richard Bosman, executive director for safety and security in the city, responded: “Law enforcement officers were asked to inform the traders about the march taking place. At no stage did staff say they could not guarantee the traders their safety. Today’s march was very small with no more than 1 000 people present.”
His schedule this year includes touring with international artists, playing the New Orleans Jazz Festival - and university.|||
Cape Town -
He’s taken to the stage with the King of Pop’s drummer, and met Stevie Wonder’s daughter. His schedule this year includes touring with four international artists, playing the New Orleans Jazz Festival again, and gigging in Russia and Las Vegas.
He is also about to become South Africa’s youngest university student.
Daniel Petersen is only 11 years old, but on Friday will be his first day of studying music at the University of the Western Cape Performing Arts Centre.
Despite being nearly half the age of the other students, Daniel is not nervous. “I’ve got this covered. I know I will keep up.
Music means everything to me, and if I want to become the number one drummer or musical director, I want to learn as much as I can know.”
The young talent may enjoy chatting to friends his own age, playing water polo and squash, but when it comes to music, he has focus beyond his years.
“Everyone, if they work as hard as me, can achieve anything. You have to put in the hours. If you don’t practise you can’t be the number one.”
Daniel practises bit by bit, spreading his sessions out over the day. His father, also named Daniel Petersen, said they were lucky to have understanding neighbours. The family lives in Tokai. “The neighbours love it. They tell him to play louder because they’re dancing to it next door.”
Daniel comes from a line of musicians, as his father played jazz drums professionally and his grandfather was a musical director.
If he could drum for any artist in the world, Michael Jackson would be first, but seeing that that’s an impossibility, he’d be happy with Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake or Miley Cyrus.
He knows there are things he will miss out on by not staying at school, but thinks it’s worth the sacrifice. “At least I’m achieving my dreams. Music is the most important thing to me.”
His father said Daniel struggled with academic subjects, but made up for it with his extraordinary skill behind the drum set.
“He’d sit in class for 10 minutes, then start tapping drums on his seats,” Petersen said.
Missing school to tour with musicians and play overseas also set him back, so Petersen and his wife made what they call a “bold decision” to trade his desk for the drum kit.
The veteran musician thinks his son has what it takes to survive stardom. “He must just stay grounded in the character we’ve built with him. At home, no one is famous.”
Three clerics who claim they set out to nab a man suspected of swindling citizenshave instead been charged with kidnapping.|||
Cape Town - Three Mitchells Plain clerics who claim they set out to nab a man suspected of swindling thousands from unsuspecting citizens with the promise of housing, have instead been charged with kidnapping, armed robbery and indecent assault.
Erefaan Martin, 47, and his co-accused Faried Hendricks, 51, and Shahied Lakay, 43, were released on bail by the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday after spending five weeks in prison.
The three Muslim clerics also face charges of intimidation, common assault and impersonating a police officer.
The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) came out in support of the men in a letter to the court, saying they were “exemplary characters” as community leaders.
In an affidavit handed into the court on Wednesday, Martin, a father of three, recalled how he, Hendricks, Lakay and other residents had been introduced to a man who claimed to be from the City of Cape Town.
The man had promised to arrange gap housing for disadvantaged families in exchange for R10 000.
When attempts to contact the man failed and it was confirmed that he was not a city employee, Martin, along with other people who had also allegedly been swindled, devised a plan to confront the man.
“Hendricks posed as a prospective buyer and convinced the man to meet him at the Athlone Police Station where the R10 000 would be exchanged,” it read.
“A large group of people then confronted (the man) when he admitted liability and begged us not to press charges.”
Martin said they had made arrangements with the man to collect their refunds at a public location near Vangate Mall on January 9.
“Suddenly a large number of police officers took us into custody,” it read.
On the charge sheet, the man accuses them of forcing him into a car and driving around for several hours before holding him up at gunpoint for R26 000.
The clerics, who all work for the Mitchells Plain Welfare Organisation, were released on R2 000 bail each because they had no previous criminal records.
The conditions of their bail were that they give their passports to the investigating officer and not contact the State witnesses.
About 30 people who earlier had filled the court’s public gallery in support of the men, waited outside the court to greet them as they were released from custody.
In letters handed to the court, the MJC, along with other Muslim organisations, gave testimony to the clerics’s characters and their social development projects.
Batchelor and Associates attorney Eric Louw said it was sad to see men imprisoned on “fabricated charges” while the police still conducted their investigation.
“Their families were the ones who suffered the most while the men were in prison. Our main concern is for the police to do a proper investigation into this case.
“They are religious leaders and work hard for their community,” he said.
Louw said they had found people swindled out of about R200 000 and expected to find more unsuspecting victims.
The matter has been postponed to May 15 for further investigation.
One of the men accused of murdering Bruno Bronn had been in a relationship with him, according to a summary of the case.|||
Cape Town -
One of the men accused of murdering Bronx nightclub owner Bruno Bronn had been in a relationship with him, according to a summary of the case against him.
Frederick John Coetzer, Fareez Allie and Achmat Toffa appeared briefly in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday. Their trial was to have started but had to be postponed for a second time this week because the defence was not ready.
Allie’s lawyer, Arnold Nel, said he needed to straighten out a few aspects with his client.
The State alleges the trio entered Bronn’s Ocean View Drive home in Sea Point and robbed him of his belongings on February 6, 2012.
According to the summary of substantial facts, Bronn knew Coetzer because of their previous relationship.
The State claims the men went to Bronn’s home in a Toyota Condor driven by Kurt Erispe, against whom charges have been withdrawn in exchange for his testimony against the other three.
Coetzer went into the house followed by Allie and Toffa. Bronn was overpowered and robbed of his laptop and cellphone, among other items. Coetzer allegedly then drove off with the items in Bronn’s silver BMW 330, meeting the others later at a house in Maitland. Bronn’s cellphone and cash were allegedly exchanged for drugs.
Bronn died of asphyxia due to strangulation, according to the autopsy report.
Judge President John Hlophe postponed the case to Monday.
A pupil who used swear words in his exam script is among eight matriculants whose results have been declared null and void.|||
Cape Town - A pupil who used swear words in his exam script is among eight Western Cape matric candidates whose results have been declared null and void.
The pupil had used “inappropriate language” by “referring to the marker using swear words”, said Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant.
Despite cellphones not being allowed in exam halls, one candidate was caught using a cellphone and another was found with crib notes. They have been barred from writing the National Senior Certificate exams for two years.
Five of the candidates were found with a cellphone. They will be allowed to write the exams in October/November.
The candidate who used foul language will be allowed to write the supplementary exams later this month.
Casey said these candidates did not receive a result for the subject they were writing when caught, but their results for other subjects were made available.
All eight candidates were informed of the sanction by letter.
“The candidate will not receive a National Senior Certificate until she/he rewrites the subject and applies for a combination of results.”
Casey said the matric exam rules and regulations were given to all candidates in advance, and they were also asked to sign a pledge, which included a section on complying with these rules.
In 2012, the results of 17 candidates were declared null and void.
The family of a Barrydale farmer who went missing over a month ago, are planning to hire private investigators.|||
Cape Town - The family of Andrew Whittingdale, the Barrydale farmer who has been missing for over a month, are planning to hire private investigators.
The farmer’s brother, Richard Whittingdale, said he had been battling with a hard-working but under-resourced police force who seemed to let two “hot” leads go cold.
“It’s enough now, we have to take matters into our own hands.”
Andrew Whittingdale, 56, owner of the Makouvlei olive farm, was last seen on January 4 on Route 62 in a white BMW.
Earlier, farmworkers had seen him get into the car with two men, apparently willingly. An SMS sent to his business partner asking for R200 000 raised suspicions and his disappearance was reported to the police.
The police have reportedly been in possession of a picture snapped by a CCTV camera of the two men who may have abducted the farmer drawing money at an ATM in Montagu on January 4. Andrew’s account had been emptied.
His brother said, Andrew’s cellphone was found near the Lesotho border.
However, the police would not confirm these reports, saying that the investigation was at a sensitive stage.
On Tuesday, the family set up a trust to fund a team of private investigators. They have called on friends and family of the “well-loved” farmer to contribute anything they can.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said there had been no new developments.
The City of Cape Town says it is Sanral which has stopped it from providing services to Zola residents in Strand.|||
Cape Town -
The City of Cape Town has hit back at the SA National Roads Agency Ltd over its claims it was being held to ransom over a proposed R10 billion tolling of the N1 and N2.
The city said it was Sanral which had stopped it from providing services to Zola residents in Strand.
“Sanral must stop this blame game and put the needs of residents first. Sanral refused to allow the city to provide these services and used the dispute between the city and Sanral on the proposed N1 and N2 Winelands Toll Road Project as the basis for their refusal,” mayoral committee member for human settlements Tandeka Gqada said on Wednesday.
On Monday, more than 1 000 people, including children were left homeless after 450 shacks were demolished under a court order Sanral had obtained.
A day later, in response to a request for comment, Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona said the city’s opposition to Sanral’s proposal to buy property earmarked for the relocation of illegal occupants of the land along the Onverwacht Interchange resulted in the “unnecessary” eviction.
The city’s stance was “purely based on political expediency” he had said.
Gqada said on Wednesday that the city had insisted that Sanral provide water and sanitation services to the households, but its attempts to get a commitment from the agency had failed.
“The city has never objected to Sanral buying land for the historical occupiers of the land when this was discussed in 2011. Sanral’s statement is an obvious attempt to pass the buck on to the city, and is disingenuous,” Gqada said.
Gqada said the city was not responsible for policing the informal settlement and could not provide services as the land was privately owned.
“As the settlements are on private land, the city may not provide services without the consent of the land owner. In the 2004/2005 financial year, Sanral allowed the city to provide a certain number of container toilets. These toilets have unfortunately been vandalised and damaged beyond repair,” she said.
“Sanral appointed a private company to halt further growth of the settlements but new structures, were still erected,” said Gqada.
Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona did not respond to messages. Zobuzwe Ngobese of Meropa Communications which sent Mona’s comment on Tuesday said: “Your query is receiving attention. We will revert with a response.”
Meanwhile Zola resident Ntombovuyo Mdakandini, whose shack was demolished on Monday, said it has been difficult for them to relocate.
“Some of us are sleeping at the community hall. Our building material, which was taken by the officials has not been returned to us. Some have been sleeping at their relatives’ homes. It’s been difficult for us to find a place to stay and we don’t know how long we will stay here,” said Mdakandini.
In three years, Ipid has investigated close to 130 criminal complaints against police officers in Khayelitsha.|||
Cape Town -
In three years, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) investigated close to 130 criminal complaints against police officers in Khayelitsha – half of the complaints lodged last year.
Despite a rise in crimes allegedly committed by police, Ipid recommended action only 11 times last year, between 2012 and 2013, when there were 76 complaints against officers, the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry heard on Wednesday.
Acting head of the directorate, Thabo Leholo, acknowledged before the commission that there could be more cases, but that they were not referred to them.
According to documents the directorate gave the commission, between 2010 and 2011, 19 criminal complaints against police officers were sent to Ipid to investigate.
Between 2011 and 2012, 32 cases were referred to the investigative directorate.
Leholo told the commission that the bulk of the cases had been referred back to the police to investigate further.
He said many were “managerial” matters not under the Ipid’s mandate.
Advocate Peter Hathorn SC, for the Social Justice Coalition and other NGOs, said according to a task team report by the late Sean Tshabalala who was a directorate commissioner, 93 cases of “police-initiated crimes” at the Harare Police Station in December 2011 had been withdrawn due to outstanding blood alcohol reports and inadequate investigations.
He put it to Leholo the “litany” of complaints were eventually withdrawn because they were referred to fellow officers to investigate, instead of having been referred to the directorate.
But Leholo said management at the station was under no obligation to refer cases to the directorate.
Hathorn put it to him that the report also stated 42 pending cases against police in that same period were being prolonged unnecessarily.
The report also said that pending cases such as possession of drugs were not properly investigated and were still outstanding five months later.
There were also outstanding arrest warrants that investigating officers neglected to issue for months.
There was also a conviction that was never registered, Hathorn said.
Hathorn said it was clear that the cases were inadequately investigated.
“It is quite clear that there are very substantial deficiencies in investigation of these police-initiated crimes.
“Would you concur with that conclusion?” Hathorn put it to Leholo.
Provincial Community Safety department head Gilbert Lawrence told the commission that the department’s oversight role had been stonewalled by the police.
It was unable to conduct unannounced inspections of police stations and could not speak to station commanders without permission from provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer.
This defeated the purpose of the department’s oversight role, Lawrence said.
Lawrence said that at one point Lamoer was unhappy about the definition of vigilante killings and asked Community Safety MEC Dan Plato not to mention it publicly.
Advocate Norman Arendse SC, for the police, put it to Lawrence that the department was confused about its role and suggested that it was lazy.
“You have completely neglected the community; your focus is entirely on the police. At the end of the day the police’s job is to protect the community and when they fail, the community will complain. It is your job to pick up those complaints and you have failed to do so,” Arendse said.
Expelled Cape councillors said they had identified 32 tracts of land that could be used for housing for the poor.|||
Cape Town - Expelled City of Cape Town councillors have told the mayor that Mowbray Golf Course, Rondebosch Common, disused military land at Youngsfield and Wingfield and land in Goodwood could be used for housing for the poor.
Former councillor Andile Lili warned mayor Patricia de Lille there would be no peace in Cape Town until the living conditions of the poor were improved.
Wednesday’s meeting between De Lille, Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, the Concerned Citizens’ Group, the new civic organisation Ses’khona and residents of various informal settlements such as Kanana, Barcelona, Dunoon, Macassar, Kosovo and Delft, quickly turned into a stand-off as tempers flared and voices were raised.
“We want land for proper housing. We want dignity for all. Until then, there will be no peace,” Lili said. “We are not interested in politics any more. We will mobilise at least a million people. If you are not careful you will see the anger of the poor.”
After her initial calls for consultation in “good faith” turned into “grandstanding”, De Lille said: “I am always ready to fight. I am not afraid of anyone. I will not deny you your right to protest because I fought for that right.”
Former ANC councillor Loyiso Nkohla, who was recently expelled from the city for his involvement in the poo protests last year, fired the last salvo: “We are (more) prepared than her to fight. We will meet fire with fire.”
Madikizela was told by community members to sit when he tried to correct allegations that had been made against him regarding provincial housing delivery. Residents walked out of the meeting after De Lille told them to “stop their nonsense”.
There was also vocal disappointment that Western Cape Premier Helen Zille was not present at the meeting, which was held shortly before the ANC’s march to the provincial legislature.
Both Lili and Nkohla were involved in last year’s housing protest march that ended in chaos when a breakaway group looted stalls in the city centre.
The former councillors said they had identified 32 tracts of land that could be used for housing. These included Mowbray Golf Course – when its lease expires next month – Rondebosch Common, land in Goodwood, and Youngsfield and Wingfield.
Lili and Nkohla refused to let city officials show a presentation on the city’s human settlements programme.
“We can no longer be locked in engagements and in boardrooms. We will fight until the people listen,” said Nkohla.
Lili added: “Let’s not talk about what government has done, but about what the people want.”
De Lille said: “I would like to place on record that the city is taking part in today’s engagement without prejudice, as the city is still pursuing legal action against some individuals present here today.”
Arms deal activist Terry Crawford-Browne, representing the Concerned Citizens’ Group, said the city’s informal settlements were a “blight and a disgrace”.
“We are sitting on a social time bomb, and we know it as we have been sitting on it for 20 years.”
Crawford-Browne said it was likely that President Jacob Zuma would announce during his State of the Nation speech that military land at Youngsfield and Wingfield would be transferred to the city for housing.
While the R100 billion needed to provide 250 000 social housing units was beyond the city’s capacity, this could be done with funding from the national government.
Madikizela admitted that there were people who did not qualify for free houses or housing subsidies because of their monthly income, but who could not afford a bond from a bank. “The reality is that there are people who are not accommodated by the current housing policy.”
He said the province was grappling with a R26bn backlog in infrastructure. “So we might have the land but if we don’t have money to ensure that people can flush their toilet, we will still have problems.”
Lili said they had applied for permission for a housing march next month, and would take their fight to court if necessary.
Knives are the weapon of choice in murders in the Western Cape and most killings occur on a Sunday.|||
Cape Town -
Knives are the weapon of choice in murders in the Western Cape and most killings occur on a Sunday and stem from arguments. But most attempted killings occur on a Saturday and firearms are mostly used.
The circumstances in which murders and attempted murders occurred in the Western Cape between April 1, 2012 and March 31, are outlined in the provincial police’s annual report.
In those 12 months, 2 580 people were killed – or seven a day on average.
The Nyanga police station recorded the highest number of murders, followed by Khayelitsha, Harare, Gugulethu and Kraaifontein.
The report said that from the circumstances in which most of the killings occurred, it was “clear they were assaults gone wrong and the intention to murder may not have been present at all”.
“Many of these crimes are as a result of arguments progressing to physical assault by the perpetrator or both the perpetrator and the victim.
“What the crime of murder does indicate is the level of intolerance, misguided sense of power and that persons have no means in their repertoire with which to resolve other than violence, especially when intoxicated.”
The report said 23.7 percent of the murders stemmed from arguments, 12 percent were incidents of gang violence, 11.6 percent occurred in robberies, 4.6 percent were by vigilantes, and 1.6 percent due to love triangles.
Fridays ranked third for the highest number of killings.
“The knife was the weapon of choice.” Knives and other sharp instruments were used in 1 069 murders.
Firearms were the second most commonly used murder weapons. In about an eighth of murders, other instruments, including cars, were used.
“The instruments are unknown in 404 incidents… partly due to the instruments not being recovered. Many… are natural, such as rocks and sticks.” Many of these did not have blood on them, contributing “to non-recovery”.
Hospital staff had been the first to report many of the murders. “Victims are taken to hospital… in many instances by the perpetrator after a fight.” Many died from a single knife wound.
There had been 3 280 attempted murders in the year, nearly 1 000 more than in the year before. The report attributed this to “increasing gang turf wars across the Cape Flats, ever-increasing incidents in rural areas and robberies”.
The police stations at which the most attempted murders were reported were Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Bishop Lavis and Elsies River.
Most attempted murders occurred on Saturdays, Sundays and Fridays.
Gang activity accounted for most attempted murders, followed by robberies.
A firearm had been used in most of the incidents.
“This may indicate most were premeditated (and) being gang-related pointed to planning and intention.”
The Labour Court has bolstered an earlier order directing Correctional Services to take into account regional demographics when making job appointments.|||
Cape Town -
The Labour Court has bolstered an earlier order directing the Department of Correctional Services to take into account regional demographics when making job appointments.
In the Cape Town Labour Court on Thursday morning, Judge Anton Steenkamp ordered the department to implement and enforce an order that was granted by the same court on October 18.
In that order, a judge told the department to take “immediate steps” to ensure that both national and regional demographics were taken into account when setting equity targets, more specifically in respect of “designated groups”, which include women, people with disabilities and people who are black, coloured or Indian.
Although this judgment is under appeal, trade union Solidarity brought an urgent application fearing that before the appeal process is finalised, the department would make appointments based on national, rather than provincial, demographics.
While the effect of a judgment was usually suspended pending an appeal,
Judge Steenkamp said there was provision for the court to direct otherwise.
This was subject to a number of factors, such as whether the potential existed for one of the parties to be prejudiced or suffer “irreparable harm”.
In this case, the judge found that there could be no prejudice to the department, much less irreparable harm, were it to take both national and regional demographics into account when making appointments pending the appeal process.
The main court action – the appeals for which are expected to be heard later this year – was brought by the trade union, along with 10 workers, nine of them coloured and most of whom are Correctional Services employees.
They claimed that they had been overlooked for jobs and promotions because of their race as a result of the department’s employment equity plan, which took into account national demographics only.
A gang member has been sentenced to 25 years in jail for killing Junaid McKenzie after a stray bullet struck the boy in the head.|||
Cape Town - A Mongrels gang member has been sentenced to 25 years in jail for killing eight-year-old Junaid McKenzie after a stray bullet struck the Steenberg boy in the head.
Moegamat Shafiek Minnies was sentenced in the Western Cape High Court to a further 10 years in jail for the attempted murder of passer-by Leticia Jacobs, who was also shot, and five years for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Judge Ashley Binns-Ward ordered that the sentences run concurrently.
Gary Peters, 22, who was with Minnies, 25, during the June 2012 shooting, received a three-year suspended sentence and 12 months’ house arrest for unlawful possession of a firearm without a licence. He carried the firearm back to Lavender Hill after the shooting.
On November 4, Judge Binns-Ward found that the shooting was a revenge attack by members of the Mongrels gang who wanted to harm someone close to their rivals, the Junk Funky Kids (JFKs).
The court heard that Junaid’s older brother was a member of the JFKs.
Junaid was playing soccer in front of his Melody Square home in Steenberg at about 7pm when he was shot.
Judge Binns-Ward told Minnies and Peters on Wednesday they had been convicted of “grievous crimes”.
“Their commission in the context of the social evil of gangland violence is an aggravating factor. The effect of that violence on innocent individuals in poor communities on the Cape Flats has been graphically illustrated by the facts of this case.” Junaid’s family “has suffered a grievous loss... it will probably haunt them for the rest of their lives”.
Junaid’s mother, Mariam McKenzie, said she was not happy with the sentence imposed on Minnies. “He was supposed to get more for taking my child’s life... I wanted life or the death penalty.”
The judge found there had been an unreasonable delay in the case regarding the request for pre-sentence reports.
The matter could have been finalised in December but was not because there was no administrative structure between the director of public prosecutions (DPP) and the departments of social development and correctional services.
The judge ordered that the DPP and the departments “expeditiously implement measures to put in place a formal administrative protocol” for processing its request for the reports.
Police were pelted with stones by Sir Lowry’s Pass residents, who also burned tyres and blocked roads in a violent housing protest.|||
Cape Town - Just a day after hundreds marched through Cape Town in a service delivery protest, police were pelted with stones by residents of Sir Lowry’s Pass Village, who also burned tyres and blocked roads with rubble in a violent protest over housing.
Hundreds of protesters blocked the road leading into the village with burning tree stumps, rubble and tyres and had a stand-off with police, who were attacked with stones.
The Sir Lowry’s Pass Village protest followed on the heels of a major political protest march held by the ANC yesterday, during which activists also demanded “proper” housing.
The Sir Lowry’s residents were protesting over a temporary relocation area (TRA) being built by the council.
The floor plans for the first few units in the Riemvasmaak TRA were detailed this week.
However, residents, who are to be relocated from areas which flood during winter, have complained that the units will be too small for their families and furniture.
Alf Johnson, a lifelong resident of the area, lives with six other family members in a spacious shack on the edge of the stream which runs through the village. Every winter his home floods.
“Last time we had heavy rains the water was up to my ankles. A lot of my furniture has been damaged,” he said.
“I applied to relocate here to Riemvasmaak, but now I can see that this will not work. There is barely enough space for two people to live (in the new accommodation).”
Residents said the new accommodation had been badly designed, and they had not been properly consulted during the planning process.
Magriet Britz, of the Neighbourhood Watch, acknowledged the people’s unhappiness, and also said the units were too small.
However, she reprimanded the protesters for raising these issues now, at the last minute.
“There were meetings to discuss the planning for Riemvasmaak,” she said.
“But, people don’t bother coming to these meetings. They are absent when the consultation happens, or when they are there they do not speak up and make their voices heard. Now they have to accept the outcome, because it is too late to change things.”
At the time of publication, residents and local ward councillor Johan Middleton were meeting at a nearby town hall, but the City of Cape Town had not responded to Cape Argus queries.
Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said there were about 200 protesters but other witnesses estimated that there were many more. Africa said the protest had not affected traffic on the nearby N2 highway, but some local roads had been closed.
Suspects often walk free from the Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court because police dockets do not arrive on time, a senior prosecutor said.|||
Cape Town - Suspects often walk free from the Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court because police dockets do not arrive on time, a senior prosecutor said on Thursday.
Testifying at the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry, prosecutor Rochelle Harmse said: “On a daily basis dockets are not brought to court.”
This hampered prosecutors, who were unable to do their jobs without the dockets.
“All the information required for a prosecutor to be able to make decisions come from the docket,” Harmse said.
“You are not going to be able to lead your witnesses without a docket... you cannot proceed to trial without that docket.”
Harmse said it was the responsibility of police, particularly investigating officers, to ensure dockets arrived in court on time.
Monthly case flow management meetings were held to ensure bottlenecks were cleared.
At times these meetings would lead to an improvement in the situation but more often than not the situation would go back to “normal” with dockets not arriving on time, or not at all.
The end result would be numerous requests for postponements, as prosecutors were unable to proceed with matters.
Postponements would lead to an infringement of the right to a speedy trial.
“The state is forced to withdraw the matter,” said Harmse.
She also related her frustrations in working with the police family violence, child protection, and sexual offences (FCS) unit.
“The challenges that I observed in the operation of the FCS unit was that the investigating officers would inform me that they have so many case dockets,” she said.
Her evidence corroborated that of a doctor working with rape cases, who last week told the commission one FCS officer had 180
dockets on his desk.
Delays in investigations and incomplete dockets would lead to suspected rapists going free.
“Many of the cases were withdrawn or struck from the roll.”
Commission chairwoman Kate O'Regan interjected, asking Harmse to compare her experiences with dockets at the Mitchells Plain court, where she was previously deployed, to her time in Khayelitsha.
“It's more serious in Khayelitsha,” Harmse replied.
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.
The Social Justice Coalition alleged police inefficiency was leading to criminals running rampant in the sprawling township, and residents being forced to take the law into their own hands.
The commission's 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.
Western Cape community safety MEC Dan Plato has asked the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to probe police for reportedly detaining a journalist.|||
Cape Town - Western Cape community safety MEC Dan Plato has asked the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to probe police for reportedly detaining a journalist, he said on Thursday.
“The treatment of the journalist and of the vigilante violence victim by the South African Police Service (SAPS) raises serious questions with regards to the police officers' conduct,” Plato said in a statement.
A Daily Sun journalist was detained by police at the Nyanga police station on Tuesday, the tabloid reported on Thursday.
The reporter was taking pictures of police officers who were allegedly photographing a man who was seriously injured after he was beaten and set alight by angry residents in Philippi.
According to the paper the man was accused of breaking into a house and stealing appliances.
The police officers were overheard saying they were planning to post the pictures on Facebook, the paper reported.
The reporter was taken to a police station and said police tried to make him delete pictures and take away his camera.
He was told he would be arrested for attempted murder. He was later released, according to the report.
“If this is true then the police officers have violated the victim's dignity by taking photos for fun social media purposes and not to support any type of investigation.
Ipid spokesman Moses Dlamini said he was not aware of Plato's letter but would comment on it later.
Two policemen are accused of trying to get money for cooldrinks by offering to release an arrested man.|||
Cape Town - Two policemen accused of trying to get money for cooldrinks by offering to release an arrested man appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, Cape Town, on Thursday.
Elvis Mfundo Khontyo, 34, of Delft on the Cape Flats, and Thobile Victor Maphoi, 27, of Langa, appeared before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.
The pair, both constables based at the Langa police station, were warned to appear in court again on March 7.
They are charged with asking for and getting a bribe. According to the charge sheet, they were on patrol together in April, 2012, in the late morning, when they stopped a car driven by their alleged victim, Rammutla Malatsi.
A search of his vehicle revealed that Malatsi was wearing the belt of a prison official's uniform. They allegedly arrested Malatsi because wearing the belt violated the Correctional Services Act.
The constables allegedly told him they would release him if he gave them money for cooldrinks. According to the charge sheet, Malatsi gave them R100 and reported the matter to the Table View police station.
The correctional services department will study a judgment forcing it to abide by an earlier ruling on employment equity before planning its next step.|||
Cape Town - The correctional services department will study a judgment forcing it to abide by an earlier ruling on employment equity before planning its next step, it said on Thursday.
The Cape Town Labour Court earlier ruled that it had to abide by an order in October to consider both national and regional demographics in recruiting and promoting staff.
The department argued that the ruling need not be implemented as it had launched an appeal.
Judge Anton Steenkamp said the court's previous ruling in favour of trade union Solidarity would be implemented and enforced pending the appeal.
“Should the court order be implemented pending appeal, service delivery will not be adversely affected,” Steenkamp said in his judgment.
“On the other hand, should permanent appointments be made with regard to national demographics only, coloured employees and applicants for appointment will be irreparably compromised.”
Correctional services spokesman Manelisi Wolela said it was important to note that it had always given due regard to “regional needs” when making appointments.
He said coloureds made up 28 percent of their learnership intake for the Western Cape in 2011/12.
“This figure has increased to 50 percent for the financial year 2013/14. This is clearly an indication that the department has always taken regional needs into account.”
Wolela said it was therefore their belief that elements of the court decision might be for academic purposes.
Solidarity approached the court last month for urgent interim relief after it seemed the department had advertised 195 permanent positions, for which some of its coloured members had applied. It had enrolled 194 applicants into a learnership programme.
Steenkamp said it initially seemed no coloured people would be eligible for learnerships. It was only in a last-minute affidavit, handed in on Monday, that the department informed the court that it had decided to deviate from its equity plan for, at least, the racial distribution of people in its learnership programme.
The court ruling in October was applicable at all levels of the department's work force.
The department had only used national demographic targets - 79.3 percent black, 8.8 percent coloured, 9.3 percent white, and 2.5 percent Indian.
Judge Hilary Rabkin-Naicker ruled in favour of 10 Western Cape correctional services officials who had challenged the department's employment equity plan.
Initially five officials challenged the department and they were followed by another five who had been overlooked for promotion because of their race. The judge ruled that all 10 officials should benefit from restitutionary measures created by the Employment Equity Act and the right to equality under the Constitution.
Rabkin-Naicker found they had suffered unfair discrimination in the selection process used for promotion to various posts.
On Thursday, the affected correctional services employees cheered and punched their fists in the air upon hearing the order.
Outside court, the department's deputy regional commissioner Freddie Engelbrecht, who had previously testified on the difficulty of being promoted, said he was happy with the order.
“They can say they are not discriminating but they are. It's a fact. We are saying it's for our children, grandchildren. And it's not just for coloured people but for all minorities, including white people,” he said.
A Cape Town couple who owned a jewellery business face a fraud charge for allegedly putting in a false insurance claim for a house robbery that never happened.|||
Cape Town - A Cape Town couple who owned a jewellery business face a fraud charge for allegedly putting in a false insurance claim for a house robbery that never happened.
Denish Nathoo, 56, and his wife, Ferial Baboet, 52, appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Thursday, before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg, who warned them to appear in court again on March 27.
According to the charge sheet, they owned the business Damjee Bros Jewellers, which specialised in jewellery design and manufacturing.
The wife ran an outlet in Rylands, while the husband operated a store in the Cavendish Square shopping centre, in Cape Town's southern suburbs.
The wife received jewellery from customers for repair, and designed and manufactured jewellery according to customers' specifications. Customers had to pay deposits for the repair or manufacture of jewellery.
According to the charge sheet, jewellery handed in for repair was kept at the Rylands store, and the key to the store was kept at their home in Rondebosch East.
The State alleges that a case docket was registered by the wife for a robbery at their home that never happened.
In the robbery docket, they falsely alleged that their home was forcefully entered while they were asleep, and that they were robbed of various items, including the key to the Rylands jewellery store. They allegedly falsely informed the police that the robbers proceeded to the jewellery store, and stole customers' jewellery worth R900 000.
At the time, the business was insured with the Zurich Insurance Company, against loss or theft at the stores. They were also insured with insurance company MUA, for loss of household contents.
They allegedly submitted a false R956 021 claim with Zurich, and were paid R758 220, but informed their customers that the claim had been rejected.
Similarly, as a result of a false claim submitted to MUA, they were paid out R292 320.
Some of the jewellery which they claimed had been stolen during the bogus robbery was allegedly found in their home and some in one of the stores.
None of the 14 customers allegedly received their deposits back, and that the total loss, including the insurance payouts, amounted to R8.3 million.
A countrywide surge in violent protests as elections loom has claimed nine lives in five weeks.|||
Cape Town -
A countrywide surge in violent protests as elections loom has claimed nine lives, allegedly at the hands of police, in five weeks.
This death toll equals the number of people killed during protests last year, according to statistics from the South African Institute of Race Relations.
There are at least five protests a day, says the Institute for Security Studies.
This week, a number of protests erupted. The East London city hall was petrol-bombed in one flare-up, and in another a man was shot dead in Sebokeng, south-east of Johannesburg.
On Thursday, in the Western Cape there were protests in Sir Lowry’s Pass Village – where roads were closed and journalists injured and robbed – and in Kuyasa in Khayelitsha.
These protests come days after President Jacob Zuma called on the public to act within the law and police to exercise restraint.
While no one has been killed during Western Cape protests this year, SA Race Relations Institute figures show there have been four deaths in North West, three in Limpopo and two in Gauteng.
Police ministry spokesman Zweli Mnisi told the Cape Times: “We are concerned, not only from the viewpoint that police might have shot (protesters). Any loss of life at a public protest is unacceptable.”
He said the police respected the right of people to protest, but expected them to do so within the law.
“What we’re seeing of late is criminality, police being attacked,” Mnisi said. He added that police were never instructed to attack people, but to maintain law and order.
Gareth Newham, the Institute for Security Studies’ governance, crime and justice division head, said he had expected to see an increase in protests this year because before the last provincial and national elections in 2009 there had also been an increase.
During electioneering campaigns, politicians addressed residents more often and residents believed holding protests in that period could be a way of getting their attention.
Jane Duncan, a professor in journalism and media studies at Rhodes University researching the role municipalities play in protests, said municipalities were making it increasingly difficult for residents to protest lawfully.
She said a number of municipalities asked residents to first take their grievances to their ward councillors and mayors before granting permission for them to protest.
These residents were often directed to the ward councillors against whom they had complaints.
She said protests were often “an absolute last resort” taken by residents who realised the lawful route to sort out their grievances did not work.
Georgina Alexander, a programme manager and researcher at the SA Institute of Race Relations, said there were complex factors behind the “increasing levels of violence” in service protests.
A possible reason could be because residents wanted to draw attention to their grievances.
“The logic goes that the more violent the protest is, the more coverage there is in the media, and the greater the pressure on elected officials to respond.
“The level of violence could also be due to an increasing frustration felt by these communities,” Alexander said.
John Feitelberg feels lucky to be alive after a gang of opportunistic robbers besieged his car when it broke down on the N2.|||
Cape Town -
He saw the flash of stainless steel in his attacker’s left hand and knew right then that if he let go of the robber he was dead.
“I had him pinned down, but if I let up just a little bit he could just fling open the car door and stab me,” said John Feitelberg.
When the Sea Point pensioner (he declined to provide his age) broke down on the N2 near the Mew Way turn-off, the last thing he expected was to fight for his life.
But the pensioner managed to survive a small-scale siege when a gang of robbers vaulted over the wall separating the national road and Khayelitsha, descending on his 1999 Honda Ballade.
Feitelberg and his friends were on their way to Somerset West on Sunday afternoon. Plans to see a concert in the suburb were dashed when his car spluttered to a stop near the turn-off to the township.
“The engine had overheated and I started trying to fix it,” he said.
This is when the first opportunistic robber showed his face, clambering over the dividing wall and rushing towards the car. Feitelberg said there was hardly any time to react, and before he knew what was happening, the man had wrestled open the rear-passenger door and ripped a handbag from his friend’s shoulder.
“I screamed at him and he just gave me this defiant look as he ran away… That’s when we all got into the car, locked the doors and I started ringing the police.”
But as he was punching in the numbers he saw three more men climb over the same wall.
“Their leader must’ve had a spark plug or something because he smashed open my window.”
As the glass shattered inside the car, the robber’s accomplices began smacking the back windows, seemingly trying to break them with their bare hands.
“I dropped my phone and that’s when this guy leans into the car to try and grab it.
“Thinking I don’t want him to take my phone, I pinned his arm down. It was only when I saw the knife that I knew I was holding on so he couldn’t take my life.”
While he is not sure how long he sat wrestling with his attacker, he said he would not have been able to hold on much longer. It was then that a security van pulled over, instantly dispersing the gang of robbers.
“I could’ve kissed this security guy,” said Feitelberg.
Sitting at his daughter’s Sea Point home on Thursday, he said he felt lucky to be alive.
“I’m not rattled, I’ve been in dangerous situations before. The rest of my group are traumatised.”
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said police were investigating.