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  • 12/21/12--10:50: Teens sell sex for booze
  • Schoolgirls are selling their bodies to sugar daddies to buy alcohol

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    Cape Town - Schoolgirls are selling their bodies beside illegal shebeens to earn money for alcohol.

    Some teens as young as 16 openly admit to prostituting themselves to “sugar daddies” for cash.

    The shocking revelation follows a Daily Voice investigation into the rise of underage drinking during the festive season.

    Some girls confess that they turn to dirty old men who buy them alcohol in exchange for sex - because they cannot get money from their cash-strapped parents.

    One 17-year-old Samora Machel resident, known only as Nthabiseng, says it’s easier to get money from guys at a shebeen than from her family.

    “My parents don’t know that I drink so I get money from the guys I meet while I’m out partying,” she tells the Daily Voice.

    “I don’t drink every day but I go out on weekends with my friends for some fun.

    “We dress up and go out with just enough money for the first round of drinks because we know we will meet some guys there who are going to buy us some more.

    “We’ll start dancing and chatting with them and then the drinks will come.

    “It then means after partying we go somewhere and have sex.

    “Usually it’s in the car or out in the bush.

    “We don’t go to their houses.”

    Some shebeen owners admit allowing teenagers into their drinking dens.

    But they say they cannot always keep track of who they hang around with or leave the premises with at the end of the night.

    “I’ve had my shebeen open for about five years now and I don’t usually sell alcohol to minors,” Phumla Madizeni, 40, tells the Daily Voice.

    “Obviously these young ones try their luck sometimes to try and get in here - but I chase them away.

    “But there are those who ask to stay and I let them because I know them.

    “They come in to buy their beers and their ciders - I never ask where they get their money from.

    “The younger ones usually come in groups, but I don’t interfere.

    “The only time I ask questions, it’s for their age and when I tell them to leave when they start getting too drunk.”

    The Daily Voice team witnessed groups of skimpily-dressed teenage girls openly drinking on the streets and dancing around drunk on the road.

    And when the sun went down, the skirts got shorter - and the shorts even shorter.

    Nthabiseng says the girls wear short skirts to attract more men.

    “Guys only notice the girls with short dresses on and make-up,” she tells the Daily Voice.

    “We dress up to look older so that we don’t get thrown out.”

    Statistics released by the South African Breweries (SAB) earlier this year revealed that one in two teenagers in South Africa drink or has been drunk.

    Many shebeen owners say they try to keep the teenagers out of their taverns by demanding to see IDs at the entrance.

    But they admit it is hard to keep track of everyone on a busy day.

    “Schoolgirls sometimes knock here at 6am while in uniform to buy beer. They often get very upset when I refuse to sell to them,” Babalwa Kenqa, 43, says.

    “Once they are drunk, they have no respect for the elders, they stagger here down the road with older men shouting and screaming.”

    *This article was published in the Daily Voice


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    Local residents were up in arms and forked out R2.8m to fight the unpopular plan.

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    Cape Town - In what has been hailed as a victory for civil society, which forked out millions of rands to prevent development of the Sea Point Pavilion site, provincial authorities have finally said no to a luxury hotel and spa there.

    With its 52 bedrooms, private sundeck and swimming pool, as well as sea-facing public restaurant, the planned upmarket hotel sparked massive controversy, not least because special permission was needed to authorise construction below the high-water mark.

    The huge outdoor pool complex is a Cape Town institution, and local residents dug deep into their own pockets to fight the hotel plans – to the tune of more than R2.8 million, according to Janey Ball, project manager for Seafront for All (Seafa), a non-profit voluntary association established to ensure that the land, zoned as public open space, remained available for all to use.

    Seafa and the Sea Point Ratepayers Association were quick to welcome the news yesterday that Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell had rejected the proposal, which has been up in the air for about six years.

    Bredell refused the application from

    On Track Developments, owned by Laurie Peregrino, which won a contract to develop the site in 2000.

     

    The City of Cape Town owns the site.

    The contract was a long lease, including a development plan for upmarket hotels and a commercial node for leisure and tourism adjacent to the popular municipal pool.

    Property in the area is so sought after that one estate agency confirmed this week that it had closed sales worth R200m on the Atlantic seaboard in October and November alone.

    These included a luxury R65m, five-bedroom Bantry Bay home, while another was sold in Clifton for R20m.

    On the Sea Point Pavilion plan,

    the developer needed written authorisation in terms of the Environmental Conservation Act, along with special authorisation for construction below the high-water mark. But Seafa lodged a legal review against former MEC Tasneem Essop’s decision on the basis that she had not exercised her mind before granting a record of decision in favour of the development.

    Judges Siraj Desai and Burton Fourie then ordered that the record of decision be referred back to the MEC for environmental affairs and development planning to be reviewed, in accordance with certain guidelines, as set out in the judgment – such as a new environmental impact assessment.

    The developers appealed, but lost, and then lost a further appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal last year.

     

    Yesterday Bredell said that in terms of the Western Cape High Court judgment to remit the matter for reconsideration, the authorisation decision issued by Essop on August 16, 2004, was set aside.

     

    “Authorisation for the execution of the development is refused in terms of section 22 of the Environment Conservation Act, 1989,” he said.

    Bredell added that he had made the decision after considering all the relevant documentation.

    He also decided against allowing the applicant any further extension of time within which to submit the final environmental impact report which had not been submitted in terms of the stipulated timeframes.

     

    “Accordingly, the decision is based on the available information on the file which also does not address the deficiencies identified in the Western Cape High Court judgment,” he added.

    Welcoming the decision, Sea Point Ratepayers Association chairman Gary Muller said Sea Point had never wanted the development, and that it was “ridiculous” that it had taken so long to to reach a conclusion.

    “I’m very glad the minister has kicked it out. I sincerely hope this is the end of it,” he said.

    Ball added that she was delighted that environmental reason had prevailed.

    “We are now waiting in hopeful anticipation for the City of Cape Town to do the right thing and withdraw the proposal call/award,” she said.

    She added that the campaign had cost civil society well over R2.8 million, all of which was privately funded. -Weekend Argus


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    A man burnt to death and 10 people were left homeless after separate shack fires.

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    Cape Town - A man burnt to death and 10 people were left homeless after separate shack fires in the Western Cape on Saturday.

    A 26-year-old man died after being trapped in his the bedroom of his shack in Parkwood, the City of Cape Town's Disaster Risk Management Centre said.

    Spokesman Wilfred Solomons- Johannes said he could not escape a blaze that broke out in his home.

    “The fire gutted a formal house and backyard dwelling,” he said.

    The blaze also left two adults and four children homeless.

    In a separate incident, in Philippi, a fire detroyed a wood-and-iron structure at Brown's Farm informal settlement. Four people were left homeless.

    The disaster response teams assisted the victims with food parcels, blankets, clothing and building materials.

    Authorities have not yet established the causes of the fires. -Sapa


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    A 40-year-old man was arrested after he collected a parcel of heroin at a post office.

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    Epping, Western Cape - A 40-year-old man was arrested after he collected a parcel of heroin at a post office in Epping, Western Cape police said on Saturday.

    “The contraband which is estimated to be worth in the region of R150 000, was concealed in Indian wrapping and the parcel also contained Indian decorations,” said Lt-Col Andre Traut in a statement.

    He said the man was arrested after he collected the parcel - which had been posted from overseas - at Cape Mail post office on Friday afternoon.

    “Routine searches are frequently conducted at Cape Mail as the mail system is often used to traffic drugs.”

    The man will appear in court in Goodwood on Monday. -Sapa


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    The Sunday Times reported that taxpayers funded a R10-million deposit to build a new fleet of police patrol boats - only to see them auctioned off to somebody else.

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    Johannesburg - The apparent auctioning off of a fleet of patrol boats originally intended for the police, is currently under legal investigation, the police said on Sunday.

    “This matter is now in the legal process and for now I cannot say much on whether we lost or not,” police spokesman Lindela Mashigo said.

    The Sunday Times reported that SA taxpayers funded a R10-million deposit to build a new fleet of police patrol boats - only to see them auctioned off to somebody else.

    The four state-of-the-art vessels were commissioned by the police in January 2007 to beef up their ailing water wing.

    The 32-million tender to build the boats was awarded to Cape Town Company Eraco.

    But it later filed for liquidation and the boats were attached by the sheriff of the court.

    On Sunday, Mashigo said that “the court process will determine whether we get our money back or not. We didn't know that it (Eraco) will file for liquidation.”

    According to the newspaper, police did not bid at the auction in 2010 and appeared to have cut their losses.

    KND Naval Design , a Cape Town boat-building company snapped up the half-built vessels at the auction for about R10-million.

    They will apparently be deployed off the east coast of Africa to protect commercial shipping from pirates.

    Since the auction, the Sunday Times claimed that the police water wing has not invested in any new vessels and its fleet has fallen into disrepair.

    However, Mashigo said the police's water wing was fine for now. - Sapa


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    Home Affairs slams Human Rights Commission’s findings on Cape Town club.

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    Johannesburg - Home Affairs has accused the Human Rights Commission of doing a shoddy investigation into the inhumane conditions of strippers at a Cape Town club.

    The department has now asked the Western Cape High Court to instead consider getting the Hawks to investigate the plight of the strippers at Mavericks.

    The request comes after the commission released a draft report on its investigation.

    The draft report was issued by the commission in October, saying that while no incidence of trafficking of women could be established, the dancers’ right to dignity had been violated because women were required to perform even when they were menstruating.

    The report recommended that the club comply with labour law legislation and that the Department of Labour ensure that this happen. It also recommended that the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill be passed.

    But, according to the department, the commission’s findings were hopelessly unreliable, its recommendations inappropriate and the court could therefore not rely on them.

    “Save for its finding that the (dancers’ rights to dignity had been violated) the commission was reluctant to state categorically that there has been a violation of human rights by Mavericks,” it said in papers filed in court.

    On Friday, the commission’s spokesman, Isaac Mangena, said the department’s response to the draft report was premature and the final report would only be issued on January 25.

    The matter dates to October 2011, when the department withdrew the club’s two corporate permits to bring dancers into the country, alleging it did not ensure that its dancers left the country when their work permits expired.

    In February, the club took the department to court to declare the withdrawal of its licences unconstitutional and to stop the department from deporting its foreign dancers.

    Judge Siraj Desai dismissed the application, but ordered the commission to probe the conditions the dancers were working under.

    But in papers, the department accused the commission of doing a simple on-site inspection of the premises with its manager and accounting officer.

    “It is thus not surprising that during this inspection, it witnessed choreography lessons being given to a dancer. The inference is inescapable that this was staged.”

    It says the commission did not try to visit the club incognito during its hours of operation to see precisely what took place.

    Had it done this, it would have been able to tell how patrons interacted with women, what took place in the private booths and how the women were treated by patrons and management.

    In the department’s opinion, Mavericks grossly violated several fundamental rights, including the right to dignity, the right not to be subjected to slavery, servitude or forced labour, the right to fair labour practices and the right to privacy.

    According to the commission’s report, the terms of employment of exotic dancers were unclear and ambiguous.

    But the department said the commission was mistaken and that the contracts were extremely exploitative and constituted de facto slavery, which violated the constitution.

    Its reasoning was that the dancers did not earn a wage, but had to pay the club R2 000 a week. Foreign dancers were obliged to use the accommodation at a cost of R850 and were paid in “beaver bucks”, a currency used by the club.

    The dancers work nine-hour shifts, five days a week, and 15 hours on a Friday, and had to give Mavericks a portion of the money they earned for private dances, had to drink alcohol during shifts and striptease even when they were menstruating.

    They were fined R12 000 if they wanted to leave the club, R1 500 if they reported for work late or wanted to leave early and R200 for chewing gum.

    Mavericks owner Shane Harrison said they would wait for the final report to be presented in January. - Sunday Independent


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    Beach-goers will have to be on the alert as 12 great white sharks were spotted in False Bay over the weekend.

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    Cape Town - Beach-goers seeking to enjoy the weather and waves at False Bay beaches will have to be on the alert as 12 great white sharks were spotted in the area over the weekend.

    Nine of these sightings took place on Friday.

    According to Shark Spotters project manager Sarah Titley, this is nothing out of the ordinary. “It’s what we expect to see around this time year,” she said.

    Of the nine sightings on Friday, two each were at the Clovelly, St James and Monwabisi beaches.

    The other sightings on Friday were at Muizenberg, Glencairn and Fish Hoek.

    The spotting programme at Monwabisi beach has been running since December 15 and brings the total number of beaches covered by the shark spotters to eight.

    Each time a shark is spotted, a siren is sounded and all those in the water need to make their way out. A white flag sporting a black shark is raised, and no one is allowed back in the sea until the all-clear signal is given.

    In a message posted on their Facebook page, Shark Spotters explained the number of sharks could be the result of a combination of warm water, baitfish and the abundance of yellowtail, which are a popular prey for white sharks.

    Titley said there were no beaches that were of particular concern, though sharks are frequently sighted around False Bay.

    Her advice to beach-goers is to check, upon arriving at the beach, when the last sighting was.

    They could speak to either a shark spotter or a life guard.

    gene.mcaravey@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    The shark exclusion net for Fish Hoek beach has been delivered, but its deployment is being delayed by Environmental Affairs.

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    Cape Town -

    The shark exclusion net for Fish Hoek beach has been delivered, but its deployment is being delayed by the national Department of Environmental Affairs.

    The City of Cape Town has requested a research permit from the department for the trial use of the exclusion net in the southern corner of Fish Hoek beach, but the department has insisted on an environmental impact assessment (EIA) being done for the net’s moorings – the first time such a requirement has been imposed.

    Researchers say this decision could have a significant impact on the deployment of oceanographic equipment such as acoustic recording devices, used by scientists to monitor great white sharks in False Bay.

    City officials have been talking to their counterparts in the department about the project since October last year and want to know why the department is taking so long to formally approve agreed decisions. But the department is in turn querying the accuracy of minutes of meetings where these decisions were supposedly made.

    According to the city, it was agreed at these earlier meetings that the department would provide a research permit for the net to be deployed as a trial and it would also exempt the city from EIA requirements in terms of national environmental legislation.

    But the national department now says this agreement is not reflected in the minutes, and that according to its Integrated Environmental Management Unit, the EIA regulations do not provide for such exemption.

    Senior city environmental official Gregg Oelofse, who is leading the shark net project, told the department that the city had already taken a number of steps based on agreements they believed had been finalised.

    But Dr Alan Boyd, acting chief director of research in the department’s Oceans and Coasts branch, replied that they were honouring their commitments: “It can be noted that matters were still in a basic planning phase even six months ago, with progress over the last months focusing on the technical aspects and consultations by the city.

    Unfortunately, progress and meetings were, in general, not well documented…”Certainly the (department) is interested in the investigation of all possible means of reducing shark attacks whilst being mindful of our obligation to protected species and biodiversity. “In this regard, being regarded as a partner in the trial does not mean not meeting our legal obligations.”

    john.yeld@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Bradley Parkins has avoided long-term imprisonment despite being charged with multiple counts of murder.

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    Cape Town - Alleged Americans gang boss Bradley “Kleinkop” Parkins, once the most dangerous man on the Cape Flats, has avoided long-term imprisonment despite being charged with multiple counts of murder, attempted murder and escaping over the past four years.

    His lawyer, Richard Roode, said single witnesses and poor police work were among factors favouring his client.

    Despite having at least six cases running in courts across the Peninsula since 2008, Parkins has only two previous convictions, the first for escaping, to which he pleaded guilty, the other for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

    Parkins, 32, escaped from the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court’s holding cells on February 16, 2009 allegedly with the help of police officer Raymond Jantjies.

    Parkins was due to appear in that court on a charge of illegal possession of a firearm. After being on the run for two days, police captured him.

    That June Parkins admitted having escaped from custody and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. For the illegal possession of a firearm Parkins was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. Three months later, a Cape Town court discharged Jantjies of charges of corruption and helping a prisoner escape.

    One well publicised case against Parkins was the murder of Athlone police reservist Ernistine Veroni in April 2008. Parkins stood trial in the Wynberg Regional Court, but magistrate Bruce Langa acquitted him in October last year.

    Langa found that there was insufficient evidence to convict Parkins of 21-year-old Veroni’s murder, the attempted murder of her boyfriend, Romeo Petersen, and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

    Langa found that Petersen, who was with Veroni on the night she died, was an unreliable witness. The ballistics report linked spent cartridges found at the scene to a gun found at Parkins’s house in Milnerton.

    But the two bullets removed from Veroni’s body did not form part of the evidence before the court. Langa found that the police, in searching Parkins’s house without a warrant a month after the shooting, acted unconstitutionally, which “fatally weakened the State’s case”.

    Two others, Ashley Oliver and Oscar Williams, were initially charged with the same offences. Williams has since died. Oliver was acquitted of all counts.

    Two separate cases were also pending against Parkins in the Mitchells Plain Regional Court.

    In the first, Parkins and co-accused Dominic Bassier were charged with attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm. They allegedly shot a man 16 times, but they were found not guilty earlier his year.

    The other involved rape and murder, but the case against him was so weak that the State withdrew the charges.

    The murder charge related to the killing of Mogamat Sedick Omar, 54, who was shot six times in the head, shoulder and chest in July 2007. Omar was rumoured to be a member of the Mongrels gang.

    The remaining pending case against Parkins in the Wynberg Regional Court is one of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm. Parkins is due back in court in March.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A Western Cape social worker had her life threatened by a crowd of angry residents, while picking up children for a court case.

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    Cape Town -

    A Western Cape social worker had her life threatened by a crowd of angry residents, some armed, while picking up children for a court case.

    Mellitta Davids, 37, who works for the Department of Social Development, told the Cape Argus she was in Manenberg earlier this month while assisting a colleague when the group, some carrying iron rods and sticks, demanded she leave the area immediately.

    Davids had gone to collect two of three siblings involved in a foster care case after they had been removed from their home due to a history of neglect.

    Davids said she was fearful going into the area: “Anything can happen with the gangsters there and I told my colleague I have a feeling something bad is going to happen.”

    After arriving at the house, Davids remained in the car while her male colleague went to collect the two youngsters. But as she waited for the children, a male resident approached.

    “He came to my side and was swearing at us, demanding to know what we were doing in his area and told us we don’t belong there and to get out. He kept fiddling in his back pocket and I didn’t know if it was a gun,” said Davids.

    Suddenly, she said a group of residents, who appeared to have been mobilised by one man, started running towards the vehicle.

    “My colleague came back to the car and told me to drive, but at that time I just couldn’t move, it’s like everything inside me just switched off. Only the third time when he shouted at me to ‘just drive’ did I go,” she said.

    Left traumatised by the incident, Davids was sent home after she broke down in tears at her work.

    She would like to see more safety measures implemented to protect social workers on duty: “Our caseloads are crazy and even when your life is put at risk you don’t want to stay out because of your workload.”

    She said these incidents were common – last Monday, another of her colleagues was stabbed in his hand after five men attacked him outside Gugulethu police station.

    Department spokeswoman Melany Kuhn acknowledged that social workers often had to enter “hostile” communities.

    “Social workers are often threatened by angry residents, especially when it involves the removal of children from their homes. In other cases, they face the wrath of gangsters and criminals when collecting children who have been victims of crime to testify in court,” she said.

    While they relied heavily on SAPS for protection, she said their assistance was not always “forthcoming” and Social Development MEC Albert Fritz has planned to liaise with the provincial police commissioner to request better co-operation in this regard.

    janis.kinnear@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Authorities believe a zero-tolerance approach to alcohol is the reason for no reported drownings on Cape beaches this December.

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    Cape Town -

    Authorities believe their zero-tolerance approach to alcohol is the reason for no reported drownings on city beaches since the beginning of December.

    JP Smith, the mayoral committee member for safety and security, said more than 1 000 staff members from his directorate, including traffic officers, disaster management staff and lifesavers, had been deployed throughout the province’s beaches and other public areas to clamp down on drinkers and confiscate alcohol.

    “We had only about six near-drownings. This is a huge improvement compared to the 13 drownings we had around this time last year,” Smith said.

    One of the near-drownings involved a 28-year-old man from the Barcelona informal settlement in Nyanga, who was rescued on Muizenberg beach at the weekend.

    According to disaster management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, the man was under the influence of alcohol.

    He was rescued from the water on Saturday by disaster management volunteers and the city’s law enforcement marine unit.

    Nathan Ladegourdie, spokesman for law enforcement specialised services, said 2 144 bottles of alcohol, amounting to 1 608 litres, had been confiscated so far.

    Most of the alcohol – 612 bottles – was confiscated from northern beaches, including those at Milnerton and Blouberg.

    Just over 390 bottles were confiscated on southern beaches such as Strandfontein, while 596 were confiscated in eastern beaches such as Gordons Bay and Strand. About 570 bottles were taken from Camps Bay, Sea Point and Hout Bay beaches.

    Ladegourdie warned beachgoers not to bring any alcohol to any beach in Cape Town as it would be confiscated and spot fines issued.

    Smith said alcohol remained the biggest contributor to injuries occurring on roads, at beaches and around swimming pools.

    “Alcohol plays a major role in many injuries. Between 60 and 70 percent of injuries during this time of the year are related to alcohol… it’s a major destructive force in our city,” he said.

    Apart from the injuries it caused, Smith said alcohol consumption also resulted in a waste of resources.

    “First of all, it’s very difficult to resuscitate a person who is very drunk. Their body’s response to treatment is much slower than a person who hasn’t consumed any alcohol.

    “They tend to be disoriented and often get involved in car accidents or other forms of violence such as stabbing. In most cases, paramedics have to deal with violent patients who fight back while being treated,” he said.

    sipokazi.fokazi@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 12/24/12--01:04: Cape fires claim 3 lives
  • Three people died and 42 people were left homeless in fires across Cape Town over the weekend.

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    Cape Town -

    Three people died and 42 people were left homeless in fires across the city over the weekend.

    Anelesiwe Sigwela, 19, and her boyfriend, known only as “Thando”, burnt to death in a shack fire in Taiwan informal settlement, Khayelitsha, on Sunday morning

    Her brother, Zukisa Sigwela, who lived close by, said he couldn’t explain how sad he felt.

    “At midday (on Saturday) was the last time I saw her. She was at my mom’s place when I went to visit,” he said. Tears spilt down his cheeks as he recalled how he heard screams in the early hours of yesterday.

    “People were saying that my sister died in the fire, but I didn’t believe it.

    “After they extinguished the fire I went to look at the remains and couldn’t believe that it was her.”

    Zukisa said he was close to his younger sister.

    Anelesiwe’s sister, Phelakazi Sigwela, said Anelesiwe was well loved by her friends. “She was a bubbly person and she loved her friends.

    The last time I saw her on Saturday she was sitting under a tree outside our mom’s place. We were having food and drinks. I just feel so hurt,” Phelakazi said.

    Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, spokesman at the Disaster Risk Management Centre, said 16 people were left homeless in the fire.

    He added that the victims lived in separate structures that had been encircled by the blaze.

    “It is believed that the fire was caused by a candle that had fallen over,” Solomons-Johannes said.

    In Parkwood on Saturday, 26-year-old Tyrone Saal died when his house was gutted by fire.

    Two adults and four children were left homeless.

    On Saturday afternoon, a fire was reported at Mimosa Close, Westridge, in Mitchells Plain, where 14 people lost all their possessions and one woman was treated for smoke inhalation.

    During two separate incidents in Mfuleni on Saturday, four structures were destroyed in Luyolo and Mvumvu streets, displacing six people.

    Solomons-Johannes said the city’s disaster response teams assisted the fire victims with food parcels, blankets, baby packs, clothing and building material as well as emergency psychosocial trauma counselling.

    Sapa reported that three people, including a toddler, died when their shack caught fire in Lerato Park, Roodepan, yesterday morning.

    The owner of the shack said he was at his neighbour’s house when his home was gutted by fire, said Lieutenant Andrea Cloete in a statement.

    The man’s girlfriend, 34, their three-year-old daughter and the girlfriend’s 62-year-old mother were inside.

    All three died on the scene.

    Cloete said that an inquest docket had been opened.

    natasha.bezuidenhout@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 12/24/12--02:27: Cape drug trade beat down
  • More than 8 000 have been arrested and more than R5m worth of drugs have been seized since the launch of Operation Drug Watch.

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    Cape Town -

    More than 8 000 people have been arrested and more than R5 million worth of drugs have been confiscated since the launch of Operation Drug Watch on November 26.

    Operation Drug Watch is a LeadSA collaborative initiative between the Cape Argus, 567 CapeTalk, 94.5 Kfm and Western Cape law enforcement agencies to curb the drug trade in the province.

    Readers and listeners are encouraged to report drug-peddling in their areas and are given insight to the latest news on drug-related arrests and confiscations.

    Since the campaign launch, 8 031 people have been arrested for drug-related crimes and police have confiscated drugs valued at R5 462 308.76.

    Dagga, mandrax and tik account for the bulk of the confiscations and are linked to the most arrests.

    Of all the arrests in the past month, the Manenberg police station has had the most – contributing 6.53 percent of the number of arrests, followed by Mitchells Plain and Delft.

    Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said the arrests or “successes” were “inevitably as a result of police intervention”.

    “Drug-related crimes are categorised under ‘crimes heavily dependent on police action’,” said Traut.

    Fourteen of the top 15 police stations with the highest number of arrests – excluding Cape Town Central police station – would regularly conduct drug and gang-related operations, Traut said.

    “These arrests account for 47 percent of total arrests.”

    He said police would continue to focus on these areas.

    “It is no secret that drugs are synonymous with gangsterism, and apart from areas such as Cape Town – where drug arrests are also prevalent – the majority of arrests are made in gang-affected areas,”

    Police have arrested 1 876 people in the past week.

    Police confiscated more than 162kg of dagga this week, valued at R227 845.73, and tik with an estimated street value of R745 863.61.

    Heroin with an estimated street value of R202 096.57 was seized while mandrax worth R53 599.73 was confiscated.

    In Mitchells Plain, 115 people were arrested while 100 people were arrested in Manenberg this week.

    Western Cape provincial commissioner Arno Lamoer said the impact of the campaign would only be determined at a later stage. He said, however, there had been an in increase in drug arrests and confiscations.

    “The main thing about the campaign is that we’ve had a heightened awareness about drugs,” he said.

    Lamoer encouraged people to continue providing useful information to assist police.

    “It is important and we would like to urge everybody to continue supplying information and to refrain from using drugs and enriching drug dealers,” he said.

    Lamoer also raised concerns about alcohol abuse during the festive season and missing children who get lost during festivities or as a result of alcohol abuse.

    “We are also going to be clamping down on drunk driving,” he said.

    Metro police chief Wayne le Roux, said they had seen successes since the start of the campaign: “Particularly in the last month, we’ve had some good confiscations.”

    He said police had capitalised on raising awareness by handing out pamphlets about the campaign and services provided.

    “We made use of it as an awareness month for LeadSA, enforcing and educating people.

    “We tell people where the centres are and it’s time for us to go and talk to people and interact with the public telling them that there are centres available if they want to get help.”

    He said they would continue with operations that have yielded successful results – focusing on vehicle check points and constant house searches.

    “I think we’ve seen the positive results and have made use of the campaign in the metro – using it as a marketing tool and a chance to interact with the public and to cultivate (responsibility),” Le Roux said.

    natasha.prince@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Just over a week ago, Nathan Terblanche, 24, dived from a rubber duck and slammed his head into a sandbank.

    |||

    Cape Town -

    Four people have been admitted to Groote Schuur Hospital’s acute spinal cord injury unit this month following diving accidents. Three of them have been permanently paralysed from the neck down and will probably never walk again.

    Just over a week ago, Nathan Terblanche, 24, of Pacaltsdorp in George, dived into the water from a rubber duck. He slammed his head into a sandbank, an accident that left him paralysed from his neck down.

    A technician for a leading car manufacturer, Terblanche had been hoping to unwind after a hectic year by having a

    relaxing picnic and braai at a local river mouth with friends and family.

    But for the father of a one-year-old boy, life will never be the same.

    Terblanche will probably never be able to do his job again, or take his son fishing or play sport with him.

    Dr Juliette Stander, a spinal injury expert who is treating Terblanche, said that while the unit treated an average of seven patients a year who sustained severe neck injuries from diving accidents, the number looked set to increase this year.

    Stander said the unit’s ICU – the only such unit in the Western Cape – was already at full capacity.

    “Traditionally, our busiest day is New Year’s Day… every year on this day we get a spinal injury related to diving. In most cases, these happen at the beach, tidal pools and rivers. Often people misjudge the depth and hit their heads on sand banks or rocky surfaces.

    “Most of them are typical young males who are either studying or have just started working. We think that males are more at risk because they are more energetic and risk-takers,” she said.

    Stander added that apart from the patients losing their mobility, these injuries also affected the livelihood of many families, as some were breadwinners or young people with their lives ahead of them. About half the beds at the unit were occupied by young men.

    About half of all diving accidents were likely to end as permanent paralysis from the head down, and it could take up to six months of hospitalisation and rehabilitation before a patient could be sent home.

    Stander said most diving accidents could be avoided if people didn’t dive head-first.

    “Head-first diving, whether with outstretched arms or not, is extremely risky.

    “Diving accidents are preventable… rather test the depth of the water first before diving, or avoid it altogether,” she said.

    Apart from diving accidents, the unit, which treats about 200 spinal injuries a year, was also expecting to see more car accident injuries and those related to domestic violence over the festive season.

    “The bulk of the cases we get are alcohol related. It’s mostly car accidents, but another huge chunk has to do with gang violence.

    “The message we want to get out is that about 80 percent of spinal injuries we treat here can be avoided if people avoid risk,” she said.

    While it may be too late for Terblanche to turn back the clock, he has a message for divers: “If I knew then what I know now, I could have avoided the accident… I could have tested the depth of the water before diving or I could have given it more thought before doing it,” he said.

    sipokazi.fokazi@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 12/25/12--23:44: Two missing at sea in SA
  • An eight-year-old girl and a teenager are feared missing out at sea off different parts of the country.

    |||

    Johannesburg – An eight-year-old girl and a teenager were feared missing out at sea off different parts of the country on Wednesday, SABC radio news reports.

    The search for the girl, off Mouille Point on the Cape Peninsula, involved two boats and a helicopter.

    The National Sea Rescue Institute has since handed over the search to the police.

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, off Port St John's in the Eastern Cape, a 15-year-old boy is missing after possibly having been attacked by a shark.

    He had been bathing with several other people at Second Beach, where there has been a string of fatal shark attacks in recent years. – Sapa


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    The body of a six-year-old girl who was washed off rocks in Mouille Point has been retrieved, the City of Cape Town said.

    |||

    Cape Town -

    The body of a six-year-old girl who was washed off rocks in Mouille Point was retrieved on Wednesday, the City of Cape Town said.

    Spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said divers retrieved the body of Bukho Ntsondwa, from Nyanga at 10am.

    She was washed off the rocks on Christmas Day, when a wave washed her off.

    Rescue teams called off the search on Tuesday night due to rough sea conditions and poor visibility.

    “The search resumed on Wednesday, and the body discovered entangled under bamboos some 10 metres away from where the incident took place,” he said. - Sapa


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    A 20-year-old man rescued from drowning at Hout Bay beach has died in hospital, the City of Cape Town said.

    |||

    Cape Town - A 20-year-old man rescued from drowning at Hout Bay beach on Wednesday, died at Groote Schuur Hospital, the City of Cape Town said.

    Spokesman Wilfred Solomon-Johannes said attempts by the medical staff the hospital to completely resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

    “At 4.45pm the doctor on-duty at the emergency trauma unit declared the patient from the Imizamo Yethu Informal Settlement in Hout Bay as deceased.”

    He said an autopsy would be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

    The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) earlier said the man got into difficulty while swimming with a friend in the river.

    “His friend tried to help but was not a strong enough swimmer and struggled to save himself,” said spokesman Andrew Ingram.

    He said NSRI volunteers found the man in two metres of water. He was taken out of the river and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) started until paramedics arrived to take over resuscitation attempts.

    He was airlifted to Groote Schuur Hospital in a critical condition.

    Solomon-Johannes identified the man as Siphamamndla Jamce. - Sapa


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  • 12/26/12--21:55: Cops killed in horror crash
  • Two Cape Town police officers were killed when their patrol van was hit by a BMW in the early hours of Christmas Day.

    |||

    Cape Town - Two Cape Town police officers were killed in a car crash while on duty on Christmas Day.

    Constable Quinton Snell, 33, and Glynis Lorenzo, 38, died when their patrol van was hit by a BMW on Tuesday morning.

    The BMW allegedly jumped a red light and collided with the police van in Parow just before 2am, resulting in the death of the two officers.

    ER24’s Vanessa Jackson said the incident was one of 10 fatal road crashes across the country.

    She said the accident in which the officers were killed took place in De La Rey Street early on Christmas Day.

    “The details surrounding the incident are not clear, as the incident is believed to have involved a state vehicle and police are investigating,” Jackson said.

    “The two occupants of the one vehicle were declared dead on scene, while the other three patients were taken to Tygerberg Hospital by ambulance for further medical care.”

    According to reports,

    police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said Lorenzo and Snell were on a visible policing patrol when they were killed.

    He said the driver of the BMW, who had been hospitalised after the crash, would be charged with culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving once discharged.

    Van Wyk said a blood alcohol test had been performed on the driver.

    Based on the test results, the driver could be charged with drunk driving.

    Lorenzo’s sister, Deidre Gordon, said on Wednesday that Snell and Lorenzo had been working together since the beginning of the year and grew very close.

    “They were very close to one another, they were like brother and sister, they didn’t want to be apart,” Gordon said.

    She said the two had been together since she could remember and that she will miss having regular conversations with her sister.

    “She was a very loveable person and was committed to her job… I will miss chatting to her, she was very supportive,” she said.

    Gordon said her sister was supposed to have joined the family for lunch on Christmas Day after finishing her shift.

    “The lunch was cooked by her and she was going to join us at church after her night shift; then we would come home and eat,” Gordon said.

    Lorenzo was one of three girls. She was single and had no children.

    As police examined the scene of the crash yesterday, a witness said that a woman, believed to be Snell’s partner, was hysterical and repeatedly shouted “you said you would never leave me”.

    Snell, who lived in the street in which the accident happened, was remembered by friends and colleagues on Facebook.

    Gillian Ohlson posted: “My deepest sincere condolences go out to the family of Constable Quinton Snell who lost his life in the early morning in a car accident whilst on duty. May your soul R.I.P and may God keep His comforting hand over your family.”

    “We truly had great times when we all worked together as a unit (A team) u will surely b missed…” wrote another friend.

    Priscilla Johannes, was in sheer disbelief and simply posted: “Yor, I can’t believe it, RIP Quinton Snel.”

    The fatal crash was one of over 1 000 road fatalities on the country’s roads so far this festive season.

    Ashref Ismail, of the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s (RTMC), confirmed that the national death toll was estimated to be over 1 100.

    He said the estimate was based on the fact that between 38 and 40 people died on the country’s roads every day.

    “This is a year-round issue and we should make a big fuss about it and get the civil society, political leaders and all road users to assist in decreasing road carnage,” Ismail said.

    Meanwhile, a three-week-old baby was killed when a car rolled at Camperdown, on the N3 between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, ER24 medics reported yesterday.

    The baby was one of 11 fatalities from accidents across the country that the medics reported attending to between 8pm on Monday and 6am on Tuesday.

    “It appears that the three-week-old baby boy had been ejected from the vehicle as it rolled, and he was found lying outside the vehicle,” said ER24’s Vanessa Jackson.

    Two people died in an accident in the Free State that happened in the rain, between Welkom and Virginia. A further three people were injured.

    Also in the province, a pedestrian was killed in Navalsig, Bloemfontein and a further three were killed outside Paul Roux when their cars were involved in a head-on collision.

     

    In Mpumalanga, two people died and one was injured in a crash on the N12, near Witbank.

    “A single vehicle had left the road and the vehicle had rolled into a roadside ditch,” said Jackson.

    yolisa.tswanya@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


    0 0
  • 12/26/12--23:21: Girl, 6, is swept out to sea
  • A Nyanga family is reeling after a six-year-old girl was swept out to sea and drowned near Mouille Point on Christmas Day.

    |||

    Cape Town -

    A Nyanga family is reeling after a six-year-old girl was swept out to sea and drowned near Mouille Point on Christmas Day.

    Bukho Ntsondwa’s body was retrieved from the water along the beachfront at the corner of Bill Peters Drive early on Wednesday after an extensive search.

    Late Tuesday afternoon, while on a picnic with her mother Nomela Ntsondwa, Bukho was swept off the rocks.

    Emergency staff were called out to search for the girl, but their efforts were hampered by rough seas and poor visibility. The search was called off on Tuesday night.

    When the Cape Argus visited the girl’s home in Lower Crossroads on Wednesday, family expressed shock and disbelief at the incident.

    Uncle Zolile Alfred Mabaso said his sister was unable to speak to the media, still “traumatised” after it was confirmed the body that was found was indeed her daughter.

    He said the family was clinging to the hope she would be found alive.

    Nomela Ntsondwa, accompanied by her four children, had returned home from the Eastern Cape earlier in December to join her mother for Christmas festivities.

    Older sibling, Nangamso Ntsondwa, 14, recalled how she had carried Bukho on her back when she had taken a walk on the rocks.

    “I didn’t even know what happened. The waves were high and went over us and I fell, and the baby fell down into the water,” she said.

    She then hurried to their mother in a fit of tears, screaming for help.

    “My mother still waited long… she thought my sister might still appear.”

    Social workers would be sent to visit the family to provide trauma counselling, said Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, spokesman for the city’s disaster risk management centre.

    janis.kinnear@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


    0 0
  • 12/26/12--23:41: Love triangle ends in murder
  • Gunshots and petrol bombs ended the lives of three people in Philippi East on Christmas Day.

    |||

    Cape Town - Gunshots and petrol bombs ended the lives of three people in Philippi East on Christmas Day.

    Thembisa Mondleki, 26, and Garry Dladla, 38, died in hospital after their shack was set alight by Mondleki’s ex-boyfriend in the early hours.

    Nolusindiso Batyi, 30, owner of the house at which the couple was renting a shack, said they had been sitting together with the couple and a few friends enjoying a few drinks on Christmas Eve.

    “Then my friends and I decided to leave and go hang out elsewhere in the neighbourhood, leaving the couple by themselves,” Batyi said.

    Batyi said Mondleki’s ex-boyfriend, known only as Warren, apparently came over while the couple was sitting outside and started quarrelling with them.

    “Warren wanted to fight, but the couple decided to lock themselves inside their room to avoid a fight. He went away and came back at about 2am (on Christmas Day) with petrol bombs which he had made inside small bottles.

    He started throwing them at the shack and it started burning with them inside.

    But Warren didn’t realise that Garry (Dladla) had a gun. Garry shot him twice in the chest and he fell back with some of the petrol bombs still in his hand… he started burning,” Batyi said.

    Mondleki’s younger sister, Ntombikayise Mondleki, 23, explained that by this time neighbours had already started gathering to try to extinguish the fire, but the couple was trapped inside.

    She said that they managed to get the couple out of the burning shack but that they had sustained serious burns.

    “I remember my sister asking for water, but we were advised not to give her water in case it made her condition worse. They just lay there… and said they were in pain, while we waited for the ambulance to come get them,” she said.

    Ntombikayise Mondleki said they had received a message at about 11am, still on Christmas Day, that her sister and Dladla had died of their injuries in hospital.

    Batyi said that Warren had already died by the time the ambulance arrived.

    She added that the couple had only been dating for the past three weeks and that the ex-lovers had had an “on-off” relationship for the past year or so.

    Batyi said Dladla had been living in Philippi East for the past two years. He was from Kimberley, while Warren was from Zimbabwe.

    When the Cape Argus arrived at the scene of the fire on Wednesday, Batyi and her friends were still cleaning up.

    All that was left of Dladla’s shack was a burnt-out mattress and two small cupboards.

    “We had a really awful Christmas; there was nothing for us to celebrate. We were all crying,” said Batyi.

    Ntombikayise Mondleki said she was still traumatised and it was still sinking in that her sister was gone forever. “We were very close. We did everything together.”

    She said that all the families of the deceased had been informed of what happened and they would start arriving this week to make funeral arrangements.

    Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, spokesman for the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Management Centre said the incident was reported to them at about 3:43am. He confirmed that one person died on the scene and added that “it is believed that (Warren) deliberately started the fire”.

    Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk confirmed that three people had died and that police were investigating a case of murder and arson.

    * In Ocean View, a fire started in a backyard dwelling and left nine people homeless. Solomons-Johannes said the cause of the fire was still being investigated and that arson was suspected to have been the cause.

    In Athlone, four people were displaced when a fire razed a house. Solomons-Johannes said the cause of the fire was unknown.

    neo.maditla@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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