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    A postman's bicycle, a mailbag and more than 40 bullet shells were found after a shoot-out and cash-in-transit heist.

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    Cape Town -

    A postman’s bicycle, a mailbag and more than 40 bullet shells were found along Klipfontein Road after a shoot-out and cash-in-transit heist in which two people were wounded in Athlone on Tuesday.

    The bicycle was used in the heist as one of the robbers apparently carried an assault rifle in the mailbag mounted on the bike.

    Witnesses told the Cape Times that another armed man, dressed in orange Correctional Services clothing, stormed the cash van parked at Absa’s Athlone branch at 9am.

    Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said an undisclosed sum of money was taken. The Hawks are investigating the incident.

    Van Wyk said two guards were wounded and taken to Vincent Pallotti Hospital.

    An attempted murder and robbery case has been opened.

    “A man dressed in orange Correctional Services clothing approached the guards and opened fire,” Van Wyk said.

    “We also found a bicycle and mailbag which were used in the heist.

    “We believe there are five suspects involved in this robbery,” he added.

    Residents of Kewtown who witnessed the incident said they were surprised at how easily the robbers had made their getaway.

    Shaheema Jacobs said she ran inside her home when the guards fired back at the robbers.

    “It became like a movie with gunshots going off like crazy,” Jacobs said.

    “The robbers got into their car slowly. They still fired back at the guards as they got into their car.

    “The shooting stopped and the guys got in and drove away slowly just like any car.”

    Jacobs said the car had Gauteng number plates.

    “One guy came with a postman’s bicycle and had a gun in the mailbag. He took it out and started firing at the cash van.

    “Three others came along in a BMW and they too started shooting. The guards shot back but they were outnumbered. I saw the guy on the bike take the money box.”

    Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It is the second time this has happened at the bank. The first time they tried they were not successful, but now they got the money and injured people.

    “I go to this bank every week. Anyone could have been injured in this (incident).

    “This has to stop.”

    Mark Kirby, 25, a Grade 3 Disaster Risk Management medical volunteer, treated the wounded guards after the police arrived.

    “When all the shooting had stopped, I had a feeling that someone was injured. I went to the scene and told police that I know how to treat gunshot wounds, and they told me that help was needed. I ran back home and fetched all the medical equipment I have,” Kirby said.

    He said the wounded guards were responsive when he treated them inside the cash van. “All the guards told me was that they were in extreme pain. The one was shot in the shoulder and another in the neck.

    “I patched up the wounds… they were both lucky that the bullets did not travel through their bodies.

    “I was just lucky they had not died in my arms.”

    Anyone with information can contact Hawks detective Wayne Louw on 082 623 1089 or 021 918 3344, CrimeStop confidentially on 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.

    jason.felix@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    City of Cape Town safety boss JP Smith said a lack of sex is what fuels ANC councillor Tony Ehrenreich’s political outbursts.

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    Cape Town - Cape Town safety boss JP Smith said a lack of sex is what fuels ANC councillor Tony Ehrenreich’s political outbursts.

    Smith, the Mayoral committee member for safety and aecurity, on Tuesday told the Daily Voice that the ANC man and Cosatu provincial secretary general “needs to get laid”.

    He lashed out at Ehrenreich, who sent a letter to mayor Patricia de Lille about gang violence at Uitsig Secondary School in Ravensmead.

    “Every week he has to say something about me,” said Smith.

    “The city can’t dedicate full-time officers to schools. The members have to deal with service delivery, events and road safety.

    “Tony doesn’t realise he is scoring an own goal, he should be attacking [Police Minister] Nathi Mthethwa.

    “We [Metro police] are not allowed to investigate crime. So how is the city to blame?”

    “If SAPS were arresting people then we would not be sitting with this problem.”

    Ehrenreich penned the letter to De Lille on Monday, saying gang violence was expected to flare up again on Tuesday.

    The letter stated: “We have been alerted that gang violence is again being threatened at the Uitsig High School, and we request that your offices ensure that the SAPS and City Police are in attendance to protect our learners.

    “We are requesting that the school safety officers from the City of Cape Town be deployed to the school as a matter of urgency.

    “There are daily assaults on learners outside of the school gates in the morning and it has now escalated into the school grounds and classrooms. This situation is perpetrated by local thugs.

    “We need an urgent intervention to mitigate the threat, whilst we address the longer term systemic crisis that gives rise to this.”

    The Daily Voice visited the school on Tuesday where frightened learners spoke of the threat they face daily.

    They said gangsters have access to the school and threaten pupils and teachers alike.

    A 16-year-old girl explained that a gangster beat her with a stick just last week.

    “Gangsters walk in and out of the school and they don’t care who sees them,” she said.

    “Last week while I was walking to class, a gang member came to me and he hit me with a stick. My arm was bruised.

    “The gangster is a 28s member, and they always come here and threaten people.”

    The frightened girl said there is no proper security at the school.

    “There were Bambanani security but they were so pap,” the teenager added.

    “The gates are locked when we are inside but gangsters still get over the fence and come to look for their rivals [in the school].”

    The girl said the violence has been happening for more than four years.

    “The principal can’t protect us because he is also scared,” she added.

    “We are not safe in this school.”

    Western Cape Education Department spokeswoman Bronagh Casey on Tuesday said they are investigating the claimed by the learners.

    “The principal denies that any incidents have occurred,” she said.

    But the Daily Voice can reveal that staff members are all too familiar with the violence.

    “We have found knives on learners and we heard about guns [in the school],” revealed one staff member.

    “I am scared to be in this school and when they [gangsters] come we can’t do anything but stand and watch. We need help here.”

    Daily Voice


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    The Lotus River family of five who perished in a shack fire had been without proper access to water for more than a month.

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    Cape Town - The family of five who died in a Lotus River shack fire on Monday had been without proper access to water for more than a month. Now relatives are seeking answers from the City of Cape Town, after the taps ran dry while they were attempting to fight the deadly blaze.

    Peter Jacobs, his wife Carmen, their daughter Chandre Agulhas, 23, their son Kirk, 13, and grandson Matthew Agulhas, 2, died when they were trapped in a backyard wendy house at 408 Fifth Avenue in Lotus River.

    On Tuesday Jacobs’s sister, Selena Jacobs, told the Cape Argus about the desperation she felt when, in a scramble to fight the fire, she tried to open a tap in the backyard. Water trickled out and then stopped. Selena lives in the house next to her brother’s family’s wendy house.

    “It was up to the neighbours to rig up their hosepipes, to climb on their roofs and to hose the flames from the other side of the wall,” she said.

    Jacobs admitted it was impossible to save the family by the time she was alerted to the fire – even if the hosepipe had worked. But she feels robbed of the opportunity to have tried to douse the flames herself.

    Water access had been inconsistent at the house since Christmas Day, she said.

    “I went to the municipal offices in early January to inquire about it,” Selena said. “They looked on their records and said that they had not switched off the water supply. They could not tell me what was wrong, but promised to send someone. Yet, since then they have not done so or even called me back.”

    Ernest Sonnenberg, mayoral committee member for utility services, said the city had not cut off the property’s water supply, but added that city officials would visit the property to find the fault. “Water to put out fires is taken from fire hydrants and not from domestic connections,” he said.

    “Thus the water that Fire and Rescue Services uses for fighting fire is not affected by any restrictions on domestic supplies. It must also be noted that in these dense and flammable environments, residents must develop habits that promote fire safety. While a garden hose may help to a certain extent if it is available, this would only be in the incipient stages of a fire.”

    daneel.knoetze@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The Western Cape branch of the ANC wants Helen Zille to explain billionaire Nathan Kirsch's relationship with the DA.

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    Cape Town - The ANC in the Western Cape has called on DA leader Helen Zille to explain her relationship with London-based billionaire Nathan (Natie) Kirsch, who was reportedly AgangSA’s donor.

    “The ANC is also well aware of the averred long and historical links between the DA, Zille and Kirsch. There is reason to believe that the undue pressure that Kirsch exerted on Mamphela Ramphele in fact came at Zille’s behest and that it seems she lobbied other funders to do the same,” the ANC statement read on Tuesday.

    Zille said Kirsch had nothing to do with her party’s move for Agang leader Mamphela Ramphele to become the DA’s presidential candidate.

    “I can categorically say that Nathan Kirsch had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the DA’s offer... I have no knowledge of Mr Kirsch's relationship with Dr Ramphele, but the DA did not receive any financial inducements whatsoever to make our offer,” she said.

    “We made it in the interests of strengthening the opposition to a corrupt ANC, and destroying the myth that the DA would ever bring back apartheid. I repeat, Mr Kirsch had absolutely nothing to do with it and was not involved in any way in the offer we made to Dr Ramphele,” said Zille.

     

    Kirsch apparently funded then National Prosecuting Agency prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach’s legal case against the agency. Breytenbach’s name appeared on the DA’s list for Parliament last month.

    Meanwhile, the Primedia Group has condemned an ANC Youth League statement claiming Primedia had links with Kirsch. In the statement, the ANCYL said that William Kirsch was the chief executive of Primedia and that Primedia was owned by Issie Kirsch, brother of Nathan Kirsch.

    Primedia executive chairman Kuben Pillay said the statement was malicious and defamatory. He said Issie Kirsch left the Primedia Group in 2000 and was replaced by Paul Nkuna. Pillay replaced William Kirsch, who resigned in 2009.

    Cape Times


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    Cape Town nightclub owner Bruno Bronn and a man accused of his murder were sexual partners, a witness has testified.

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    Cape Town - Cape Town nightclub owner Bruno Bronn and a man accused of his murder were sexual partners, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

    “It was common knowledge. It was more than just a relationship. It was a working relationship and a sexual relationship,” said Dawid Human, who worked as a DJ at Cape Town's gay night club The Bronx for four years and helped out with maintenance.

    He was referring to Frederick Willem John Coetzer, who he identified in court as a bouncer at The Bronx.

    Coetzer, Fareez Allie, and Achmat Toffa have pleaded not guilty to charges of premeditated murder and aggravated armed robbery.

    The men are accused of killing Bronn, 50, in his Green Point home on February 7, 2012. According to the indictment he was strangled and died of suffocation.

    A fourth suspect, Kurt Erispe, has become a State witness.

    Human said The Bronx closed down about a week or two before Bronn's death and the manager had asked Coetzer to leave the club a month or two before that.

    “I know in the last two weeks (before his death) Bruno wanted to end the relationship.”

    Human identified Toffa in the courtroom and said he had seen him alone at the club and with Coetzer. He did not know Allie.

    Carien Teunissen, for the State, asked whether Bronn ever did his own maintenance work.

    Human replied that either he or Coetzer helped him out with maintenance. Bronn had a tool kit in the kitchen pantry.

    Teunissen asked what he thought of a policeman's evidence that a hammer, rubber mallet, and chisel were found in Bronn's main bedroom.

    “That's very odd,” Human replied.

    The trial continues.

    Sapa


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    Bruno Bronn was being harassed by his sexual partner because he wanted to end their relationship, a witness says.

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    Cape Town - Cape Town nightclub owner Bruno Bronn was being harassed by his sexual partner because he wanted to end their relationship, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

    Dawid Human, who worked as a DJ at the gay night club The Bronx said Bronn had told him before his death that he wanted to end it with Frederick Willem John Coetzer, a bouncer at the club.

    Coetzer, Fareez Allie and Achmat Toffa have pleaded not guilty to charges of premeditated murder and aggravated armed robbery.

    They are accused of killing Bronn, 50, in his Green Point home on February 7, 2012. According to the indictment, he was strangled and died of suffocation.

    A fourth suspect, Kurt Erispe, has become a State witness.

    Bronn visited Human's flat two days before his death and confided in him about Coetzer's behaviour.

    “This (visit) was very unusual. (He was) traumatised and scared. He wasn't his normal self. He wasn't relaxed. He looked very nervous,” Human said.

    Human said they should go out for a coffee, but they chatted at home instead and he left soon afterwards.

    Arnold Nel, for Allie, asked why Bronn was traumatised.

    “He told me he wanted to get away from his house because he's starting to get scared of John. He's harassing him. He said he didn't want to take no for an answer as such and he wanted money.”

    Bronn had said Coetzer would constantly ring his doorbell at 3am or 4am and he would eventually let him in only because he did not want to disturb the neighbours.

    Human said Bronn had found Coetzer on a set of steps one day and Coetzer told him: “You didn't think you could get rid of me that easily”.

    Henry van Niekerk, for Toffa, asked if Bronn had mentioned what Coetzer had wanted the money for. Human said he did not know.

    The Bronx closed down about a week or two before Bronn's death and the manager had asked Coetzer to leave the club a month or two months before that.

    He said Bronn continued to pay Coetzer small amounts of money for occasional maintenance.

    “He did some maintenance work. On some occasions, he asked for money and said he did the job but it was never done and I had to do it,” Human said.

    The trial continues.

    Sapa


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    Claims made by the DA on Twitter about service delivery and job creation cannot be substantiated, a website says.

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    Cape Town - Claims made by the DA on Twitter about service delivery and job creation cannot be substantiated, according to a report published on Tuesday.

    Website AfricaCheck, which fact-checks claims made by politicians, organisations and the media, found the DA could not back up several claims it made on social media.

    The claims made on the DA’s Twitter account include that the party’s municipalities had created 31 000 “job opportunities” in the past year, and that the city “delivers more to poor residents than any other city in the country”.

    When veteran journalist Ray Joseph took the matter up, DA spokesman Zak Mbhele was unable to track down sources to back up the claims.

    He wrote to Joseph: “Concerning the job opportunity figures, no one so far can give me anything concrete.

    “I must say that this exercise has been very useful on my side in identifying a clear systemic deficiency of information management.”

    The DA regularly publishes updates, pictures and claims from the handle @DA_News to 60 000 followers.

    All DA accounts use hashtags to spark conversation and interaction among their online following. One of these, #DAdelivers, was used to publicise many of the service delivery claims that could not be substantiated.

    Mbhele told the Cape Argus the figures relating to delivery in the Western Cape came from various documents, such as the Statistics SA census 2011 report, the UN State of World Cities report and national and provincial government reports.

    “The only area in which there was difficulty was in obtaining a time-specific set of figures for Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) job opportunities created by the government in the Western Cape. The figures for the first half of 2012/13 are available on the national Department of Public Works’ EPWP website, but not those for the second half. Reference documents for all other facts and figures requested which relate to Western Cape government delivery were sent to AfricaCheck,” he said.

    While the unsubstantiated claims may set alarm bells ringing, they are not illegal in electioneering terms.

    According to Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) spokeswoman Kate Bapela, the Electoral Code of Conduct regulates what is legal on the campaign trail. However, the code will be signed only in March by parties contesting the elections.

    The code prohibits parties from publishing “false or defamatory allegations”.

    According to the AfricaCheck report, unsubstantiated claims by the DA include:

    * Western Cape government created 60 000 “work opportunities” in the second half of 2012/13.

    * 99.1 percent of households in the Western Cape have access to piped water.

    * 93.4 percent have access to electricity.

    * 96.9 percent have access to toilet facilities.

    * The City of Cape Town delivers more to poor residents than any other city in the country.

    * The gap between haves and have nots is the smallest in Cape Town.

    * Of the R18 billion spent on service delivery in Cape Town, R11bn was spent on the poor.

     

    Find the original report by Ray Joseph at www.africacheck.org.

    chelsea.geach@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Bruno Bronn was a private person who guarded his possessions, his friends and colleagues told the Western Cape High Court.

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    Cape Town - Slain nightclub owner Bruno Bronn was a private person who guarded his possessions, his friends and colleagues told the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

    Dawid Human, who worked as a DJ at Cape Town's gay night club The Bronx, said Bronn let people use his white BMW sometimes, but was very particular about his silver BMW.

    He said an exception was when Bronn went on an overseas holiday and let his sexual partner at the time, club bouncer Frederick Willem John Coetzer, use the silver BMW and stay at his house.

    Coetzer, Fareez Allie and Achmat Toffa have pleaded not guilty to killing Bronn at his Green Point home on February 7, 2012. They have also pleaded not guilty to using a firearm to rob Bronn of his luxury car and other items, including a laptop.

    Prosecutor Carien Teunissen asked Bronn's friend and ex-bartender Bashar Rihawi whether he let Coetzer use the silver BMW.

    “No way. It was the last thing we expected that he would give his car to John.”

    Human was asked whether he had ever seen Bronn and Coetzer kissing.

    He replied no, because “he didn't want to do it in front of us”. Human often used to visit Bronn's house and never saw Coetzer there.

    Bronn's friend, Frederick Andre du Preez, agreed that he was a private person. Coetzer hired him to install kitchen cupboards at Bronn's house and he eventually became friends with Bronn.

    “I did not see him (Coetzer) at Bruno's residence after that or at the club,” Du Preez said.

    Arnold Nel, for Allie, asked Du Preez if Bronn had ever used drugs.

    “I know that in the past he might have used drugs, but not in front of us... That was a part of his life he kept to himself.”

    Human admitted in cross-examination that Bronn had used dagga and the drug cat (methcathinone).

    Questions were raised about Bronn's health and physical condition before his death. Human said Bronn was HIV-positive but had shown no signs of the disease.

    He went swimming with Bronn shortly before his death and saw no physical marks on his arms, legs, or feet.

    Sapa


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  • 02/12/14--08:26: Power restored in Manenberg
  • A generator was installed in Manenberg to provide interim power to the area, the City of Cape Town said.

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    Cape Town - A generator was installed in Manenberg on Wednesday morning to provide interim power to the area, the City of Cape Town said.

    “This action comes after days of threatened violence which prevented City staff, under the advisement of the SA Police Services, from entering the area,” Mayoral Committee Member Ernest Sonnenberg said.

    On Monday evening, the Manenberg Laan substation started tripping due to a cable fault.

    The police advised the electricity services not to enter the area on Monday evening or Tuesday morning because of violence in the area.

    On Tuesday afternoon, electricity staff went into the area with a police escort to set up a generator and locate the fault.

    “However, they only had an opportunity to identify a faulty feeder which feeds into Sabie Walk, before they were advised by the SAPS to leave the area for their own safety,” Sonnenberg said.

    Staff tried to return on Tuesday evening with metro police, but before the generator could be connected they were advised to leave. This was because two people had just been shot and the gunmen were still in the area.

    “While the safety of City staff remains a priority, residents are assured that the City is doing all that it can to ensure service delivery to all of our residents,” Sonnenberg said.

    Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille had planned to visit Manenberg on an election campaign drive on Saturday but the visit was reportedly cancelled because of gang violence.

    Sapa


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    Bruno Bronn did not report his sexual partner's harassment to police because he did not want a scandal, his ex-bartender and friend testified.

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    Cape Town - Slain nightclub owner Bruno Bronn did not report his sexual partner's harassment to police because he did not want a scandal, his ex-bartender and friend told the Western Cape High Court.

    “He didn't want a scandal. As a businessman, as a club owner, you have staff, you don't want noise,” Bashar Rihawi said.

    He had told the court he often reprimanded club bouncer Frederick Willem John Coetzer for harassing Bronn, who did not want to continue their relationship.

    Rihawi said he had even tried convincing Bronn to report him to the police.

    Lawyer Patrick Scott, for Coetzer, asked him why Bronn never went to the police if he was so scared.

    Rihawi replied that they all lived nearby and that Bronn chose to phone them instead whenever he had trouble.

    “He was trying to be polite and not make any noise.”

    Coetzer, Fareez Allie and Achmat Toffa have pleaded not guilty to killing Bronn at his Green Point home on February 7, 2012. They have also pleaded not guilty to using a firearm to rob Bronn of his luxury car and other items, including a laptop.

    Rihawi told the court that when he and his ex-boyfriend visited Bronn's home a few days before his death, they witnessed an argument between Bronn and Coetzer.

    He said Coetzer had jumped over the wall and onto the property, something he apparently did often.

    He could not remember everything that was said but remembered Bronn shouting: “Why did you jump?” and “Get out of my house”.

    “(He said) he didn't want him in his space and he must just move on. He didn't want him to be nearby. He doesn't want him to be a part of his life,” Rihawi said.

    Bronn called for a taxi and Coetzer said he needed R50 to pay for transport.

    “I gave him the money (from Bronn), expecting him to leave, but then he came back.”

    He said Coetzer wanted his keys and a bag of clothes but Rihawi could not find it in the garage.

    Rihawi told Coetzer not to irritate his friend but it seemed as though he did not care.

    “(He was) careless because it wasn't the first time arguing with him about Bruno.”

    The court heard that Coetzer had allegedly taken a pair of gold cufflinks, a watch and traveller's cheques from Bronn's safe. Bronn had desperately tried to get them back.

    “John re-sold the cheques back to him,” Rihawi said.

    A new witness was expected to be called when the trial resumes on Monday.

    Sapa


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