Articles on this Page
- 01/18/13--00:04: _'DA has a proven tr...
- 01/18/13--00:43: _Study reveals local...
- 01/18/13--00:48: _'The ANC can win th...
- 01/18/13--01:12: _FState premier cond...
- 01/18/13--01:12: _Farm workers to han...
- 01/18/13--01:43: _Victim's family has...
- 01/18/13--03:47: _Farmerworkers to ma...
- 01/18/13--04:30: _Teen’s legs found 4...
- 01/18/13--08:37: _Court hears of cop’...
- 01/19/13--01:11: _Grizzly body finds ...
- 01/19/13--01:53: _Man held for murder...
- 01/19/13--01:59: _Farmworkers chart w...
- 01/19/13--02:04: _Strike leader is al...
- 01/19/13--05:31: _Boy dies in shack fire
- 01/19/13--10:00: _Give teens killed i...
- 01/20/13--03:25: _SA chooses female b...
- 01/20/13--03:27: _Take my triplets, p...
- 01/20/13--03:32: _Cape Town fires lea...
- 01/20/13--21:42: _ANC’s plan to take ...
- 01/20/13--21:43: _‘We’ll expel school...
- 01/18/13--00:04: 'DA has a proven track record of excellence'
- 01/18/13--00:43: Study reveals local grape economics
- 01/18/13--00:48: 'The ANC can win the Western Cape back'
- 01/18/13--01:12: FState premier condemns farm attacks
- 01/18/13--01:12: Farm workers to hand over ‘peace policy’
- 01/18/13--01:43: Victim's family has been 'living in fear'
- 01/18/13--03:47: Farmerworkers to march next week
- 01/18/13--04:30: Teen’s legs found 40km from torso
- 01/18/13--08:37: Court hears of cop’s unpaid debts
- 01/19/13--01:11: Grizzly body finds have cops puzzled
- 01/19/13--01:53: Man held for murder was a suspect before
- 01/19/13--01:59: Farmworkers chart way forward
- 01/19/13--02:04: Strike leader is also farm owner
- 01/19/13--05:31: Boy dies in shack fire
- 01/19/13--10:00: Give teens killed in gang war
- 01/20/13--03:25: SA chooses female bishop
- 01/20/13--03:27: Take my triplets, pleads mother
- 01/20/13--03:32: Cape Town fires leave 186 homeless
- 01/20/13--21:42: ANC’s plan to take back the Cape
- 01/20/13--21:43: ‘We’ll expel school sport dopers’
Increased delivery, accountability and a bigger focus on the youth - that’s what the DA in the Western Cape is promising.|||
Cape Town - Increased delivery, accountability and a bigger focus on the youth - that’s what the DA in the Western Cape is promising as it prepares to hold on to power in the Western Cape next year.
“We’ve proven what we are capable of and have a track record of delivery and excellence,” said Ivan Meyer, the DA’s provincial leader on Thursday.
He said the party would go into the 2014 general election with five key objectives:
- To increase their electoral base from 51 percent to 60 percent.
- Help gain 30 percent of the national vote.
- Increase the voter base in targeted areas.
- Significantly increase opportunities for the youth.
- Continue to deliver and reduce poverty.
Meyer said that from May all MECs would be deployed across the province to engage with communities about issues affecting them.
He said there would be increased accountability among local councillors, who will from next month be compelled to report back to the communities on “exactly what they are doing in the ward” through a newsletter.
“In addition, 50 percent of DA ward councillors’ ward allocations must go to youth programmes,” he said.
Meyer said in the Western Cape the party was in talks with “top” ANC officials who wanted to join the DA before the elections.
“I can’t reveal the names, but people are going to be surprised,” he said.
“The DA’s march to the Union Buildings will start in Cape Town next year - with victories in the Western Cape, the Northern Cape and possibly in Gauteng,” said Meyer. “The ANC is no threat. Their deep division will result in their downfall once more.”
Meyer said divisions within the ANC would deepen even further over the next year.
“The tension within that party will help us in 2014,” he said.
About a premier candidate, Meyer said DA national leader Helen Zille would be put forward as the party’s candidate for the Western Cape.
“We’ve said that in our first term we needed stability and in the second term accelerated delivery. Helen Zille has done both during her first term,” he said.
“She should continue as premier for a second term before taking this party to the Union Buildings in 2019.”
Meyer said the party had already launched its ministerial handbook in the Northern Cape and would be launching a similar handbook in Gauteng later this year.
“It is a well-documented fact that the DA delivers where it governs,” he said.
“Many national reports by the auditor-general, the Public Service Commission and other national government departments and independent organisations have confirmed this.
“In 2014 we will accelerate delivery in the Western Cape focusing on a rural housing programme, the establishment of agriculture villages for farmworkers, infrastructure, water and electricity provision and that an economic social summit is held in the agriculture industry as a matter of urgency.”
For every £4.50 (or R63) a British person pays for a kilogram of green seedless grapes in a UK supermarket, only R11.37 will reach the farm gates in the Hex River Valley.|||
Of every £4.50 (or R63) a British person pays for a kilogram of green seedless grapes in a UK supermarket, only R11.37 will reach the farm gates in the Hex River Valley.
Half or R5.91 of that will go to farmworkers, while the farmer has to pay for fertilisers, pesticides and other expenses with the remaining R5.46, before taking his share.
These are just some of the findings of a research report on South Africa’s horticulture industry.
Researchers found only 18 percent of the final retail price of South African grapes sold in the UK found its way back to farmers and farmworkers’ pockets.
The report was co-authored by UCT researcher Margareet Visser after 127 workers were interviewed, along with key industry players and 16 key informants last year.
Researchers found the export value of table grapes had increased by 218 percent to R3.7 billion between 2000 and 2011, that the cost of labour had also grown.
Between 2000 and 2011 the cost of labour as a percentage of gross farm income increased from 35 percent to 52 percent.
The biggest share of the final price consumers pay goes to retailers.
Altogether 42 percent or R26 of the R63 retail price goes to supermarkets in the UK.
Hex Valley Table Grape Association chairman Michael Laubscher said this week that 90 percent of all grapes produced in the valley were exported overseas.
According to the research, 49.94 percent of grapes exported make it to Europe and 20.65 percent to UK supermarkets. The remaining exports go to Asia, the Middle East and the rest of Africa.
More than 32 percent of the retail price goes to getting the grapes from De Doorns to shops in the UK and includes freight, insurance and port fees.
On average 8 percent of the retail price goes to packaging. - Cape Town
Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman has put forward an ambitious plan to win back the province from the DA next year.|||
Cape Town - Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman has put forward an ambitious plan to win back the province from the DA next year, but he has admitted it won’t be easy.
“It will be a very difficult exercise, but very possible,” Fransman told the Cape Argus this week.
He said the party was “ready to take on the DA” and “preparing to govern in 2014”.
Over the next few months, the party will up its membership in the province by at least 12 000, Fransman said.
“We will be opening up the ANC in the province. We have 38 000 members in the Western Cape currently. We want to up that to at least 50 000 this year,” he said.
“No one in leadership positions in the ANC in this province must feel comfortable. All MPs, members of the legislature and councillors will have to show how they are recruiting new members.”
ANC membership in the Western Cape fell from 43 000 in 2011 to 38 000 before the Mangaung conference in December.
Fransman said the ANC’s plan to reclaim the Western Cape was explained in a party document titled “The Peoples Path to Power”.
He said the strategy was based on five key pillars:
- Organisational renewal.
- Re-connecting with communities and civil society.
- Offering alternative governance.
- Ensuring economic transformation.
- Strengthening local governance.
Fransman said the party in the Western Cape was “more united than ever” post Mangaung.
“Yes, there were divisions before Mangaung about leadership preferences. But that’s behind us and we’re working as a united front to win back this province in 2014,” he said.
Fransman said he was convinced that the DA would lose next year’s election “purely on the way they are governing” the Western Cape.
“The DA is engaged in politics of deception,” he said.
“They have a brilliant PR machine and are governing this province using spin-doctor tactics.
“With the ‘Save our Schools’ campaign we’ve demystified their politics of deception and have exposed the DA and the Education MEC (Donald Grant) for who and what they actually are.
“They don’t care about the poorest of the poor, which make up the biggest voting block in this province.
“We’ve worked with those communities. The school campaign has been the most visible example of our commitment to the poor.”
Fransman said economic transformation would be one of the ANC’s key focus areas “when we take over”.
“The DA is in for a big surprise,” he said. “We have already started a massive drive to register our people on the Cape flats. The 2011 census shows that nine out of 10 white people in the Western Cape are registered to vote, while only three out of 10 black people are registered.
“We’re going back to the basics. A big registration drive is under way.”
Fransman said Premier Helen Zille “shot herself in the foot” by referring to schoolchildren from the Eastern Cape as “education refugees”.
“That statement will come back to haunt her at the ballot box. The DA has failed the poor… and we will make sure the electorate is made aware of this over the next year.”
About National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel’s role in the party’s bid to reclaim the province, Fransman said: “Trevor is an important source for the ANC in making this a reality. But so are all the national leaders deployed to the Western Cape. All the leaders will have a role to play.”
Fransman said it was too early to tell who ANC president Jacob Zuma would nominate as the party's premier candidate for the province.
The Free State cannot afford attacks on farmers, premier Ace Magashule was quoted as saying.|||
Free State - The Free State cannot afford attacks on farmers, premier Ace Magashule was quoted as saying on Friday.
The Volksblad newspaper reported that Magashule also urged strong action against those who terrorised farmers.
The Free State experienced five farm attack incidents within the first three weeks of 2013 in which two people were killed.
Magashule’s spokesman Wisani Ngobeni told the newspaper the premier condemned farm attacks and wanted to see perpetrators brought to justice swiftly.
“The province cannot afford that its farmers get terrorised on their farms. Farmers are important role players in the economy,” the report quoted Ngobeni. - Sapa
“We are going to the police and farmers to give them this policy. We are still continuing with the strike but are trying a new strategy.”|||
Western Cape - Striking farmworkers will march in De Doorns on Friday morning to hand over a “peaceful strike policy”, the Food and Allied Workers' Union (Fawu) said.
“We are going to the police and farmers to give them this policy. We are still continuing with the strike but are trying a new strategy,” Fawu shop steward Monwabisi Kondile told Sapa.
“The whole of South Africa thinks we are criminals, but we are not. It's not about violence to resolve something. We are coming with peace to resolve things.”
The shop steward said their demand stood at R150 for a daily wage. However they were keen to negotiate, even looking at between R120 and R130.
“We want peace on both sides. We want to negotiate,” he said.
About 3 000 workers were expected to take part in the march, which would start around 11am, pass the De Doorns police station and end at the Hex River Valley Table Grapes Association.
Kondile said workers would use a back road for the march instead of the N1 highway, which remained closed on Friday due to the protest action.
“We don't want to disturb the N1 because it's a national road and we understand that.”
Thousands of striking workers marched for kilometres along the N1 on Thursday afternoon, braving extreme heat to protest for an increase in their daily wage and a coherent land programme.
The march was led by the Black Association of the Wine and Spirit Industry (Bawsi), which represented a large number of non-unionised workers.
The strike, which started last year, was suspended in December but resumed last Wednesday in various towns in the province.
The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) announced a week-long suspension of the strike on Tuesday, on condition that Agri SA honour commitments to “local-level” agreements and agree to stop the victimisation of workers.
Cosatu's Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich said the suspension excluded De Doorns, because workers there were standing by their demands and were not open to negotiation.
The agriculture department estimated the number of permanent and seasonal workers in the province at around 200,000.
Of these, only five percent were said to be unionised.
The Transvaal Agriculture Union (Tau-SA) said it feared the strike, which had been violent at times, would result in increased violent crime on farms.
“Unfounded accusations blaming farmers exploiting their employees, illegal evictions, or the accusation that farmers have stolen the land to which they hold title deeds, creates a perception that farmers are a criminals who need to be shown no mercy,” said Tau-SA deputy president Henry Geldenhuys.
“This is reflected in the extreme cruelty which characterises farm attacks... Farmers need to ensure that their security arrangements are in place.”
Geldenhuys said farmers had no choice but to accept responsibility for their own safety, stating that three people had been killed in nine farm attacks this year.
The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Thursday said it was investigating over 20 complaints of brutality against farmworkers by the police, farmers and private security.
The labour department was holding an extra week of public hearings in the province to assist in the determination of a new minimum wage for the sector.
Hearings had already taken place in Grabouw, Paarl, De Doorns and Robertson, with the last two to be held in Oudtshoorn and Vredendal.
Department spokesman Mokgadi Pela said an announcement on the new minimum wage determination was expected next month, with effect from March 1. - Sapa
The family of a man who was gunned down in Ottery, said their neighbourhood has been living in fear of gang violence for months.|||
Cape Town - The family of Cassiem Tofar, the man who was shot dead in Ottery on Thursday morning, said their neighbourhood has been living in fear of gang violence for months.
“And we know this case will run to a dead end,” said Tofar’s mother, Faiza Tofar.
“Just as it did when they killed Iyyoep (Tofar’s brother) nine years ago. Just as it did when Cassiem was shot in the leg last year.”
However, three people have been arrested in connection with the shoot-out, according to police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk.
Police have opened a case of murder and another of attempted murder.
The death of Tofar, 36 is the latest in a spate of killings to have occurred among the few blocks of flats nestled between Old Strandfontein Road and a small canal dubbed “Battle River” by locals.
Faiza said her son was on his way to the shop to buy cigarettes before work at about 7am when he was killed.
His father, Yusuf Tofar, said: “I heard 10 or 11 shots. When I peeked out of the window I saw my son lying on the pavement. He wasn’t moving.”
The area was cordoned off, but by noon on Thursday Tofar’s body had still not been removed.
Majidie Abrahams, proportional representative councillor for the city’s sub council 21, said: “I know of at least eight of these incidents over the past six months. The community is really living in fear, and something needs to be done. Trust between them and the police is at a low point because there has been no follow-through on most of the murder cases.”
Thursday’s shooting led to an impromptu protest by community members.
As police searched flats for contraband, residents were quarrelling with officers at street level. They alleged that police at their local station, Grassy Park, were being paid off by gangsters to disappear off the streets shortly before such attacks occurred. They claimed members of the Mongrel gang from across “Battle River” came into their community and killed indiscriminately without being arrested.
Residents denied that the Yuru Cats, a gang with Grassy Park links, were still operational.
Van Wyk urged the community to report their concerns about corruption to Grassy Park’s station commander “so that they can be fully investigated”.
Meanwhile, the Cape Argus was told that the shooting had distressed school pupils in the Old Strandfontein Road area.
Resident David Plaatjies said: “Our children are too scared. My daughter came to me this morning and said ‘Daddy, I don’t want to go to school’ after what happened. She goes to Lotus River High School, which is deep in Mongrel territory - there isn’t another option.
“Innocent kids get shot at and mugged when they walk to school, and many have told their parents that they are giving up altogether.”
Community Safety MEC Dan Plato is scheduled to meet Grassy Park community leaders on Friday night about safety concerns.
“Plato will compile a report based on testimony from the community leaders and will hand this report to the Western Cape police commissioner, General Arno Lamoer,” the MEC’s spokesman, Greg Wagner, said.
Striking farmworkers will march in De Doorns next wee to hand over a “peaceful strike policy”.|||
Cape Town - Striking farmworkers will march in De Doorns next week, not on Friday afternoon, to hand over a “peaceful strike policy”, the Food and Allied Workers' Union (Fawu) said.
“There has been confusion among shop stewards. But this march will take place on January 24 (next Thursday) to the De Doorns police station,” Western Cape organiser Sandile Keni said.
“This memorandum calls for both workers and police to stop the violence. One of the reasons is because of the shooting [of rubber bullets] by police.”
The strike, which started last year, was suspended in December, but resumed last Wednesday in various towns in the province.
The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) announced a week-long suspension of the strike on Tuesday, on condition that AgriSA honour commitments to “local-level” agreements and agree to stop the victimisation of workers.
Cosatu's Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich said the suspension excluded De Doorns, because workers there were standing by their demands and were not open to negotiations.
AgriSA has repeatedly called for individual farmers to negotiate with their workers at farm level, which is apparently taking place.
Keni said they were planning to meet with a farmer in De Doorns on Friday afternoon, who had approached them and asked to hold a meeting.
“We believe we'll be having an offer, and we appreciate that,” Keni said.
A mass meeting would then be held in De Doorns on Sunday.
The Transvaal Agriculture Union (Tau-SA) said it feared the strike, which had been violent at times, would result in increased violent crime on farms.
“Unfounded accusations blaming farmers [for] exploiting their employees, illegal evictions, or the accusation that farmers have stolen the land to which they [employees] hold title deeds, creates a perception that farmers are criminals who need to be shown no mercy,” said Tau-SA deputy president Henry Geldenhuys.
“This is reflected in the extreme cruelty which characterises farm attacks... Farmers need to ensure that their security arrangements are in place.”
Geldenhuys said farmers had no choice but to accept responsibility for their own safety, stating that three people had been killed in nine farm attacks this year.
On Monday, spaza shop worker Letsekang Thokoene, 25, died when he was allegedly shot with rubber bullets in De Doorns.
The same day, a 10-year-old girl was apparently shot in the eye with a rubber bullet.
The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Thursday said it was investigating over 20 complaints of brutality against farmworkers by police, farmers, and private security.
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesman Moses Dlamini said he had received from the SAHRC numerous reports of cases involving police, mostly of assault and the use of rubber bullets at close range.
The labour department is holding an extra week of public hearings in the province to assist in the determination of a new minimum wage for the sector.
Hearings have already taken place in Grabouw, Paarl, De Doorns, and Robertson, with the last two to be held in Oudtshoorn and Vredendal.
Department spokesman Mokgadi Pela said an announcement on the new minimum wage determination was expected next month, with effect from March 1.
Charmaine Mare’s body parts have finally been recovered - scattered almost 40km across Cape Town.|||
Cape Town - Murdered teenage girl Charmaine Mare’s body parts have finally been recovered - scattered almost 40km across Cape Town.
Cops tracked down the 16-year-old Mpumalanga girl’s legs on a property close to Somerset West, just hours before her alleged killer appeared in court on Thursday charged with her murder.
Johannes de Jager made a brief appearance at the Blue Down’s Magistrates’ Court before he was led away to a police cell.
De Jager was arrested on Wednesday morning after cops found Charmaine’s arms stashed in the garage of his home in Elderman Street, Kraaifontein.
They made the gruesome discovery two days after the victim’s mutilated and burnt corpse was found two kilometres away in an open field, just off Darwin Road.
It is understood the suspect then led cops to an abandoned building in Firgrove, near Somerset West, where Charmaine’s legs were hidden.
It is still not known why the killer chopped up the victim’s corpse and hid her body parts in separate locations across the city.
Police are remaining extremely tight-lipped about their investigation and have refused to speculate on the shocking murder.
De Jager appeared calm and unfazed during his brief court appearance on Thursday.
The self-employed mechanic stood in the dock wearing faded blue jeans and a striped blue-and-white golf shirt as his name was called out.
He looked stony-faced and stared straight ahead as the proceedings got underway.
De Jager did not speak at any stage throughout the short hearing.
Magistrate Francis Makamadela postponed the case until January 24, pending further investigations.
The suspect showed no emotion as he was led away to Kraaifontein Police Station where he can be held for up to seven days before being transferred to prison.
Speaking after the hearing, De Jager’s defence attorney Wildre Fourie said he was aware his client may face other charges, but details of these were not read out in court.
“Currently the only charge against my client is just murder,”he said.
“The prosecution has indicated that for now it is only a schedule five matter but it may be changed to a schedule six at a later stage.”
None of De Jager’s family members were present in court.
Back at his home in Elterman Street, the alleged killer’s girlfriend briefly stuck her head out of the door to politely ask reporters camped outside the house to move away from her property.
Neighbours told the Daily Voice they are still struggling to come to terms with the gruesome murder that has rocked the normally quiet and peaceful residential area.
*This article was published in the Daily Voice
A student police constable had a reputation for not repaying loans from colleagues, the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court heard.|||
Cape Town - A student police constable had a reputation for not repaying loans from colleagues, the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court heard on Friday.
Student Constable Zolani Jam-jam (SUBS: CORR), formerly a police reservist, has accused his commander, Captain Riaan Jordaan, of extorting R1000 from him, supposedly as payment for helping the junior get a permanent post.
Jordaan has pleaded not guilty before magistrate S Sonnenberg to charges of extortion and corruption.
Jam-jam claims that, after his appointment, Jordaan said to him: “You owe me.”
Prosecutor Xolile Jonas alleges Jordaan told Jam-jam he owed him R4000 for helping to get him a permanent post.
Police later set a trap, and watched from a distance as Jam-jam paid Jordaan R1000.
Jordaan denies the charges, and claims that Jam-jam had repeatedly borrowed money from him and others, and failed to repay it. Jam-jam denied that he had borrowed from anyone.
He was permanently appointed in February 2010, after Jordaan had provided him with a letter of recommendation the year before.
Jordaan, was arrested on October 7, 2011, and is out on R2500 bail.
In Friday's proceedings, Jordaan's lawyer Johan Botes called two police officials who had served at Tulbagh with Jam-jam, and alleged that Jam-jam had a reputation for not repaying loans.
One of them, Constable Aaron Brink, said he was in discussion with Jordaan one day, when Jam-jam asked Jordaan for money for train fare to Cape Town.
Brink told the court: “Jordaan was surprised, and told Jam-jam he had already loaned him money for the train fare.
“Jam-jam said he had used the money for something else, and Jordaan then took R200 or R300 from his brief case, and gave it to Jam-jam.
“On another occasion, I was in discussion with a clerk when Jordaan approached with Jam-jam.
“Jordaan was angry, and demanded that Jam-jam inform him, in our presence, when he would repay the money he had borrowed from Jordaan. In his anger, Jordaan explained to us that Jam-jam was willing to give others money, but could not repay what he had borrowed from Jordaan.”
In cross-examination, the prosecutor said it was strange that neither Brink nor Jordaan could say exactly how much train fare Jordaan had given Jam-jam.
Jonas added: “Both you (Brink) and Jordaan say it was R200 or R300. This indicates a concocted story.
The magistrate explained to Brink: “This is not about the money. Why didn't you just say in your testimony that the accused gave Jam-jam bank notes from his briefcase, and that you thought it could be about R200 or R300?”
Brink replied: “It wasn't much, and when Jordaan counted it, it was between R200 and R300.
The case continues on February 1. - Sapa
Several grizzly discoveries have challenged Western Cape police this week.|||
Cape Town - The bones found at Lentegeur Psychiatric hospital this week, at first believed to be those of a small child, have been identified as “non-human”.
Provincial health department spokeswoman Faiza Steyn said test results on the bones indicated they did not belong to a child as was previously believed.
On Wednesday police were called to Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital after construction workers unearthed the bag of bones wrapped in a blanket.
This was just one of several grizzly discoveries that challenged police this week.
On Monday, they were called to a Kraaifontein scene where 16-year-old Charmaine Mare’s burnt and dismembered body was discovered by a passer-by.
The following day, the badly-decomposed body of a little girl was found in a shack in Green Point, Khayelitsha.
The owner of the shack had gone on a trip and left a man looking after her shack. But she found the locks changed on her return.
While official tests have not been done, the family of five-year-old Lilitha Mgwebi, who went missing on Christmas Day, has identified the girl as wearing similar clothing.
Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said they were looking for the man, but were struggling without a detailed description.
Meanwhile, police are still seeking information that may lead to the arrest of the killers of two young women, Nokulunga Condwa and Zimasa Mandzingana, whose bodies were found on a farm near Worcester this month. The two were found half dressed, propped up against a fence.
Van Wyk said although the two had been identified this week, the investigation was still under way into what happened after they left a shebeen earlier in the evening.
“Anyone with information is kindly requested to contact the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Gideon Geldenhuys, on 079 497 4992.”
According to crime statistics released last year, 793 children and 2 286 women were murdered in SA in 2011/12.
Institute for Security Studies senior researcher Johan Burger said they had not done recent research to show whether women and children were the targets for more violent crimes.
SA Medical Research Council research, released in November, showed that there was a distinct gender pattern in child murders, with murders of younger children being higher among girls. For adolescent murders, however, the number of boys increased.
The man arrested for the murder of a 16-year-old girl could be recharged for another murder, committed several years ago.|||
Cape Town - The attorney for the man arrested for the brutal murder of a 16-year-old girl in Kraaifontein this week says his client could be recharged for another murder, committed several years ago in Atlantis.
The torso of Charmaine Mare was found in an open field on Monday. Her arms and legs had been cut off, and her body burnt beyond recognition.
On Wednesday, Johan de Jager, 48, was arrested in connection with the murder after Mare’s arms were found in his garage. He appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, charged with murder.
A police source said that Charmaine’s legs were found on Thursday on the N2 near Macassar, after De Jager pointed out the site to police.
olice spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk refused to confirm this last night.
De Jager’s attorney, Wildre Fourie, said that when his client was arrested on Wednesday, the investigating officer had indicated to him that there was another murder case against De Jager in Atlantis, which had been withdrawn because certain witnesses were unavailable at the time. Fourie did not remember the details of the case, but said he had represented De Jager at the time.
“I don’t remember the details, but the victim was an adult woman. I think it might have been about two years ago,” he said.
Some media reports yesterday indicated that the matter related to a 2008 murder.
Fourie said that the investigating officer in the current case had told him it was possible that the Atlantis charges would be reinstated.
It is understood that Charmaine, who arrived in Kraaifontein from Mpumalanga on January 3, had been friends with the daughter of De Jager’s girlfriend.
De Jager’s girlfriend, her daughter and his son went on a week-long cruise soon after the girl arrived, leaving her alone at their Elterman Road home with De Jager. She was reported missing after they returned last Friday, and her body discovered at around noon on Monday.
She was identified by Detective Warrant Officer Daniel Sampson, who checked missing persons records for a description of the necklace and tongue ring found on her body.
Neighbours in the quiet Kraaifontein street said De Jager had lived there for about three years. All those who Weekend Argus spoke to yesterday described him as “friendly” and “normal”.
No one heard or saw anything out of the ordinary, and most said they had not seen Charmaine or even known that she was visiting. A neighbour who had spoken to De Jager just before his arrest on Wednesday said that nothing had been out of the ordinary.
One neighbour said that De Jager had told him the girl would be coming to visit, and that they would be staying at the house alone.
“I warned him that it might not be a good idea that they stay alone just in case something went wrong,” the neighbour said.
When Weekend Argus visited the house yesterday, a woman and a young man came to the door but declined to comment. A pair of schoolgirls walked up to the gate of the house, peering inside, before heading off in another direction, while some other curious onlookers drove past slowly.
At the scene about 5km from the house, where Charmaine’s burnt torso was discovered, a charred patch indicated the scene of the crime. The open piece of land is surrounded by a concrete wall. The body was found near an entrance in the wall, facing the road.
A melted piece of navy blue mesh fabric lay in the burned rubble with another piece of red fabric, with a red and white heart border that could possibly have been underwear.
De Jager will appear in court again next Thursday.
Workers in Wolseley, Worcester and Touws River are planning mass meetings to discuss their struggle for a better wage deal.|||
Cape Town - While farm strikes across the Western Cape have slowly abated this week, workers in Wolseley, Worcester and Touws River are planning mass meetings for Saturday and Sunday to discuss their struggle for a better wage deal.
Disaster management teams watching the ongoing strike action said they had toned down their operations after most workers heeded Cosatu’s call to suspend the strike action.
Provincial disaster management chief director Colin Deiner said following meetings with police and other role players, they were now focusing mainly on monitoring the various hotspots in both the Cape Winelands and Overberg regions.
Deiner said role players would now start assessing the damage caused by the strike action, which resumed on Wednesday last week in several towns across the province.
During the first wave of strikes in November some vineyards were set alight by striking farmworkers, resulting in an estimated R100 million in damages. This week, an export fruit farmer in the Wellington area suffered severe losses in what police suspect was an arson attack related to the farm strike.
Jan le Roux, owner of Sandrivier Estate, had his fruit packing warehouse set alight during the early hours of Wednesday morning. Several tractors were also damaged in the blaze.
Le Roux told Weekend Argus yesterday he was now focusing on picking up the pieces to ensure that his workers kept their jobs.
“We are in a hurry to get things up and running again so that the jobs of the 500 workers currently in our employ are not affected,” he said.
Despite Cosatu announcing a week-long suspension of the strike earlier this week, striking workers aligned to the Bawsi Agricultural Workers Union continued to take to the streets, protesting for a daily wage of R150.
One of the main strike leaders, Nosey Pieterse, said after meeting provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer this week that all strike action had been peaceful.
“There has been no arrest and no incidents of violence reported.
“We are seeking peace and working with the police,” he said yesterday after workers marched on two farms, one in Paarl and one in Wellington, to hand over memorandums listing their demands.
Meanwhile, Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said a section of the N1 highway remained closed at De Doorns late yesterday.
This was the result of damage caused to the road by the strike action.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut confirmed there were no reports of violence by late yesterday.
Cosatu’s Western Cape secretary, Tony Ehrenreich, said the suspension excluded De Doorns, because workers there were standing by their demands and not open to negotiations.
Addressing the issue of farmworkers not being unionised, he said Cosatu was only called on by the workers to assist in facilitating negotiations between them and farmers.
“It is for farmworkers to make sure they join unions. They need to make sure that they are covered and protected,” he said.
Ehrenreich added that unions needed to be more widely available to farmworkers, while farmers needed to stop victimising workers wanting to join unions.
Meanwhile, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is investigating more than 20 complaints of brutality against farmworkers by police, farmers, and security guards.
Nosey Pieterse, one of the main leaders of thousands of farmworkers on strike in the Western Cape, is himself a farm-owner.|||
Cape Town - Nosey Pieterse, one of the main leaders of tens of thousands of farmworkers on strike in the Western Cape, wears many hats – the most surprising of which is that he is a farm owner.
President of the Black Association of the Wine and Spirit Industry (Bawsi), and of Bawsi Agricultural Workers Union of SA (Bawusa), Pieterse has been at the forefront of mobilising farmworkers to challenge their bosses over their wages.
Workers are demanding R150 a day, rejecting the daily minimum wage of R69 set by the government.
Three people have died and nearly 200 others arrested during protests.
Pieterse owns a mixed-use farm of 18 hectares in Hopefield, near Saldanha, and has pigs, sheep and geese. He lives in a gabled manor house, with a swimming pool.
A visit to the farm this week also found a lone cow, and small fields of pumpkins and mealies in front of the workers’ homes.
Two workers claimed they earned more than R150 a day, adding that they were “well looked after” on the farm.
However, Pieterse was quoted in another report yesterday as saying he paid his workers R120 a day.
The workers said they were the only two working on Pieterse’s farm, and could easily care for all the crops and animals.
Approached later by Weekend Argus, Pieterse said the workers were his cousin and one of his sons. His cousin had “personal problems”, apparently involving drug abuse.
He described the farm as a “family business”, adding that he also had plans to launch a drug rehabilitation centre.
To the critics, Pieterse leads a double life – on one hand he’s the farm owner, and on the other the representative of the workers.
The Workers International Vanguard Party has lashed out at Pieterse, calling him a “capitalist” and a “farm industry boss who pretends to represent farmworkers”.
When he wears the Bawsi hat, he represents black farm owners.
His critics add that Pieterse is also a shareholder of leading SA liquor producer, KWV.
According to a deed search conducted by Weekend Argus, Pieterse is listed as a director of no fewer than 15 companies, including a rooibos tea co-operative, a tracksuit and clothing design company, an operational management company, a logistics company, and a trading and investment company.
But in Pieterse’s eyes there’s no conflict of interest.
He said he continues forming new companies because more black people should become entrepreneurs.
“People always say black people should be more involved in the economy. But then when you are, you are being criticised. Yes, I am a director of companies. But they’re not commercial. They work towards the upliftment of key emerging farmers,” he told Weekend Argus.
He said he’s a complex person, and knows that “some people find it difficult to understand me”.
Describing himself as “an educated revolutionary”, Pieterse says he has a diploma in theology and an honours degree in participatory management in the workplace from the University of the Western Cape.
He has worked in various managerial positions, including as human resources manager at Dairy Maid, Dairy Belle and KWV.
He said he felt some “conflict of interest” while working at KWV because he was always busy helping farmworkers fight eviction or unfair dismissals, or helping them battle against alcoholism and foetal alcohol syndrome.
“I was human resources manager and industrial relations specialist at KWV. But I left in 1997 to join Bawsi. KWV has 4 500 shareholders. And I was in the news all the time for fighting evictions. That was in conflict with my job. I was left with a choice: KWV or Bawsi. So I decided to stick to Bawsi.”
Pieterse says he’s also a reborn Christian and a pastor at the West Coast Lutheran Church. He is currently “doing only two things – church and strike”, he says.
“I had no rest over Christmas and New Year because I had to help some parishioners – some were on their death beds.”
He’s also a committed family man. He and wife Denise have three sons, aged 33, 29 and 18, who are all Manchester United supporters while he and Denise are Liverpool fans.
“Myself and my wife are crazy about sport. For the next month, she will be glued to the television watching Afcon games,” he said.
So why does he think he has secured the respect of so many farmworkers when other leaders have failed?
“I think it’s because I’m sincere. I have been working with workers’ issues all my life, and they respect me for helping them fight evictions.”
He had also been involved in the struggle “to liberate the people from apartheid”.
“I was arrested for subversion and at other times detained without charge. I’m from Ravensmead, but I had to go into hiding in Gugulethu because I was considered a danger to the state,” Pieterse says.
And for those who insist he’s a capitalist boss, he says: “Their objective is to demonise me and make the workers doubt me. There’s a capitalist racist campaign against me.”
A boy was killed and 32 people left homeless in overnight fires across Cape Town|||
Cape Town - A boy was killed and 32 people left homeless in overnight fires across Cape Town, a city official said on Saturday.
Disaster risk centre spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said Carlton-Lee Botha, 3, was sleeping in a shack in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, when a fire started around 8am on Saturday.
Two people were displaced in the blaze.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, fires also spread through informal settlements in Belhar, Strand, Mfuleni and Gugulethu.
Solomons-Johannes said these fires left 10 people without homes.
On Friday evening, a fire destroyed five shacks at Potsdam road in Du Noon, Milnerton, displacing 20 people.
No injuries were reported.
Those affected had been assisted with food parcels, baby packs, clothing and building material.
The city asked residents to isolate electrical devices and extinguish gas burners, candles, lamps and paraffin stoves when not in use. - Sapa
At least five teenagers have been killed in the past three weeks as gang wars between two gangs, mostly school dropouts, take hold.|||
Cape Town - At least five teenagers have been killed in the past three weeks as gang wars between two Nyanga gangs, mostly comprising teenage school dropouts, take hold.
Although less well known than notorious gangs like the 28s and the Americans, the Vuras and Vatos have been at odds in the township in a cycle of vengeance that has raged since 2009.
And the local police forum says they’re terrorising the community.
The Vuras say the two members who died were the first to be killed since the conflict began.
They are allegedly responsible for the majority of this year’s murders.
Vura member Thabo, 18, said:
“We’ve killed three or four of them this year. Last year it was around eight. It’s our first time losing lives this year.”
But Vato member Mthetho, 21, said this week that the Vuras had killed the wrong people this time.
“You’ll never hear of a fight that was started by us. They’re right, they’ve always been the ones doing the killing. But this time they killed mostly innocent people.”
Both gangs said they used pangas, knives, golf clubs, hockey sticks and axes during attacks. The Vuras say they’ve also got a home-made gun and the Vatos admit they’re keen to get their hands on some weapons.
In the most recent attacks, on January 9, a 15 year old from from Mawu-Mawu in Nyanga, which is Vato territory, was killed while Vura members were chasing Vato members.
The same day a 20-year-old member of the Vuras was killed at his home in Zwelitsha, Nyanga.
While all the Vato members vow that the 15-year-old was not involved in the gang, a Vura member countered that he was killed to avenge the killing of a 19-year-old Vura member on January 6.
Vura member Zuko said the feud between the two gangs was a cycle of vengeance, which would never end.
“We don’t know what they are going to do to us when we bump into them at night,” he said.
Vato member Thami, 19, agreed that there would never be peace.
“I don’t think there will ever be forgiveness after they killed our friend who did nothing. He just had a lot of girlfriends, he was basically killed for living in Mawu-Mawu and knowing us.”.
Sandile Martin, chairman of the Nyanga community police forum, said adults in the area were being traumatised by the teenagers’ behaviour.
“Families here live in fear, and most of the time it is elderly grandparents that are affected because the majority of these boys live with their grandmothers. At the same time, their parents are also part of the problem because when the boys get arrested they rush to take their birth certificates to the police station to plead that their sons are too young to be in prison,” he said.
The community needed government intervention to help respond to the youth violence.
“We have asked the SAPS and the Tactical Response Team to intervene in the area. We have lots of organisations that have expressed their willingness to help us, but we need resources for these camps and activities we want to engage these youths in. Government must respond financially to assist us with resources,” Martin said.
JP Smith, the city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, agreed that the police needed to take the lead in addressing the violence.
“Metro police are aware of the situation and are doing patrols at affected schools. They are also doing a joint focus on liquor with the SAPS, where we close down illegal liquor outlets and make sure that the legal ones comply with the conditions of their licences.”
He said statistics showed that a lot of the youth violence and crime in Nyanga was generated by alcohol abuse.
“The SAPS needs to prosecute the people involved. They will have to drive a joint strategy on this, and metro police will participate,” Smith said.
Police confirmed that the violence had been happening since last year and said suspects had been arrested.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut said police had arranged awareness programmes at schools in affected areas.
“The police are currently doing everything according to the book to keep the suspects off the streets. Vehicle and foot patrols were also increased,” he said, adding that local media was also being used.
But a major problem remained that witnesses were often afraid to testify against the youngsters involved, Traut added.
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has consecrated its first female bishop in South Africa, Margaret Vertue.|||
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has consecrated its first female bishop in South Africa, Margaret Vertue, the new head of the diocese of False Bay.
Vertue is the second woman to be consecrated as a bishop in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, following Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya of Swaziland, inducted last year.
Vertue was consecrated yesterday by Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba at a service at the University of Stellenbosch.
The consecration of the two women has been hailed as signalling a progressive phase for the church in Africa. It flies in the face of the recent decision by the Church of England not to approve the consecration of women as bishops.
The difference in policy on female bishops was the subject of comments by speakers at Vertue’s installation, with Methodist bishop Michel Hansrod saying the ordination of women was a privilege not shared by all.
Canon John Ford from the Diocese of York expressed the hope that the Church of England would shortly follow the example of Anglicans in Africa.
“Where Africa leads, England may follow,” he told Vertue, asking her to “pray for us in England in our brokenness that we soon may celebrate this day”.
Vertue, who succeeds retired Bishop Merwyn Castle, was one of the first two women ordained at St George’s Cathedral in September 1992. - Weekend Argus
A Zimbabwean woman has made a desperate plea for a South African family to take in her baby triplets, saying she’d rather be separated from her children than take them to Zimbabwe, after she was told she’d be deported there next week.|||
Cape Town - A Zimbabwean woman has made a desperate plea for a South African family to take in her baby triplets, saying she’d rather be separated from her children than take them to Zimbabwe, after she was told she’d be deported there next week.
The single mother, who sneaked over the border last year, heavily pregnant and desperate to find a job, says she left Zimbabwe because she had no food, no money and no job.
Now she fears her month-old babies will starve if she’s forced to take them home when she leaves Vredendal on the West Coast.
In broken English, Chipo Chiramba begged for someone to take in her children, born in South Africa on December 14. “I need help to let them stay,” she said.
Chiramba has three other children staying with her mother in Zimbabwe.
As her deportation looms, she and the babies are being cared for by Heavenly Promise, a welfare organisation that assists vulnerable children and poor communities.
Of her decision to cross the border illegally, Chiramba said she did so out of desperation after being abandoned by the father of her triplets.
“I love my babies, but I need to leave them here. I’ll go back to Zimbabwe and get the right papers to come back. But I cannot take them back to a life of poverty.”
Meanwhile, the Vredendal community have opened their hearts to the plight of the triplets, donating baby food and other necessities.
Three fires in Cape Town at the weekend left 186 people without homes, the city said.|||
Cape Town - Three fires in Cape Town at the weekend left 186 people without homes, the city said on Sunday.
Disaster risk centre spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said the fires broke out in Khayelitsha, Kalkfontein and Maitland on Saturday.
A blaze in Kalkfontein around noon damaged five homes and destroyed two backyard dwellings, leaving 31 people homeless.
A woman was treated for smoke inhalation.
Solomons-Johannes said the cause of the fire was being investigated.
Later in the afternoon, a vegetation fire was reported in Garden Village, Maitland.
A granny flat and backyard dwelling were damaged, displacing five people.
On Saturday night, a fire at SST informal settlement in Town Two, Khayelitsha, razed 37 shacks, displacing 150 people.
No casualties were reported.
The city said the fire may have been caused by a cooking device which was left on or by open flames which were not extinguished. - Sapa
The Western Cape ANC wants to recruit 5 000 volunteers with the sole purpose of unseating the DA.|||
Cape Town - The Western Cape ANC wants to recruit 5 000 volunteers with the sole purpose of unseating the DA provincial government.
The party hopes to enlist activists, retirees, unemployed graduates and others to work full-time for a year to ensure an electoral victory in 2014. They will not be paid.
ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman said volunteers would be recruited by April.
“We want these volunteers to take a sabbatical and give their full time to the ANC for 12 months,” Fransman said on the sidelines of the ANC’s 101-year celebrations in Philippi on Sunday.
“We have lots stacked against us, but it’s possible.”
The ANC used the celebrations, attended by 1 200 supporters, including national party heavyweights, to kick off its campaign to take back the province.
Fransman acknowledged the ANC was facing an uphill battle against a well-organised DA.
The party has suffered a dramatic decline in support at the ballot box since 2004. In April 2009, the ANC secured only 31.5 percent of the vote and the DA 51.4 percent. The number of ANC votes dropped by 88 134, from 709 052 in 2004 to 620 918.
The DA more than doubled its support, securing more than a million votes in 2009, compared with 424 832 in 2004.
“We are up against big capital, the provincial government and the city,” Fransman said.
“But the ANC will fight street by street, community by community, area by area to win back the Western Cape.”
Fransman said the party planned to recruit volunteers from all spheres of society.
“We will get activists, non-governmental organisations, communication specialists, undergraduates who are unemployed, especially engineers, and business people to help us.”
Among the people welcomed at Sunday’s celebrations were taxi bosses from the Congress for Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta) and the Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata).
Fransman said the partywould get involved in every community gripe, mobilise the poor and support workers.
“We must reconnect with communities and grow our membership. Every party leader must recruit new members. If you don’t sign up new members you are out,” he said.
Fransman claimed his party could grow by 12 000 in the next few months. Membership of the ANC in the Western Cape has declined from 43 000 in 2011 to 38 000 last year.
He believed the only way to attract more members was if the province showed a united front.
The provincial ANC has been dogged by infighting. In the lead-up to its national conference in Mangaung last month, half of the ANC in the province supported Jacob Zuma for a second term as party president and the rest supported Kgalema Motlanthe.
National chairwoman Baleka Mbete told ANC supporters that questions lingered about whether the party was united after Mangaung.
“We are supposed to unite the people of South Africa. We cannot do that if we are not united,” Mbete said at the celebrations.
“There is money moving around, buying support for a particular faction. (This) is not ANC culture. The ANC is the movement of the people and we have to remember that the people are watching. They are watching how we behave.”
Mbete said branches should be the starting point for the growth the party wanted to achieve in its structures. This included recruiting more members, young people in particular.
ANC Dullar Omar region chairman Xolani Sotashe said branches should accept the outcome of the Mangaung conference, regardless of whether they had supported Zuma or Motlanthe.
“We must rally behind that leadership led by President Zuma. We must unite. If we are not united, then we must kiss everything goodbye. We must go back to the basics, we don’t need side shows,” Sotashe said.
“We must win back the province. (The Western Cape) must not continue to be the laughing stock of the country.”
The ANC in the province has established a permanent nerve centre to plan for the elections.
DA provincial deputy leader Theuns Botha dismissed the ANC’s plans as wishful thinking.
“It is fine if the ANC wants to recruit 5 000 volunteers, we’ll carry on with our 25 000 volunteers,” he said.
Schoolchildren caught doping to gain an edge in sport could face expulsion as a new testing programme is launched.|||
Cape Town - Schoolchildren caught doping to gain an edge in sport could face expulsion as a new testing programme launches on Monday.
The effort, spearheaded by the SA Institute of Drug-free Sport (Saids), is aimed at eradicating a growing trend of steroid and drug use among teenagers in schools.
“The testing will occur at any time and will not only be limited to athletes,” said the institute’s chief executive Khalid Galant.
The institute said the new programme would allow a school’s principal or a Saids delegate to initiate the testing protocol on any pupil or group of pupils that, on fair and reasonable grounds, is suspected of doping.
Saids will then conduct the test. The Drug-free Sport Act gives the institute authority and jurisdiction to carry out drug testing across all sports codes.
He said the testing strategy was no longer about catching “in-competition” drug cheats and was rather aimed at protecting the health of children by making them realise the dangers of doping.
The list of substances that would be prohibited as part of the programme includes diuretics (which mask the presence of performance-enhancing drugs by flushing them out the system via increased urination), stimulants and steroids.
The Taylor Hooton Foundation, an international organisation focused on educating people on the effects of steroids, said anabolic steroids could be incredibly detrimental to developing bodies.
Cancer, stunted bone growth, blood clotting disorders, liver cysts, infertility and premature balding are just some of the risks attached to steroid abuse.
On Sunday it was reported that 18 out of 62 children independently tested in the past six months had positive results for drugs that were so dangerous they could lead to death.
A quick search on the internet reveals that steroids are relatively easy to come by. Many sites, even local ones, advertise legal steroids while online black markets are saturated with illegal offerings.
The institute said pupils caught using any of the banned substances could be suspended for three months or more and could even receive an outright expulsion.
“In the first year of this programme we will be closely monitoring sanctions meted out to ensure that schools take the doping offenses seriously and hand down sanctions that are consistent across the country,” said Galant.
The institute said around 100 of South Africa’s top schools had signed up for the programme and there was an open invitation for other schools to join in.
Galant said schools would sign an agreement with the institute and be accredited for participating in the programme and ultimately becoming a Saids-compliant school. The accreditation would have to be renewed every 12 months.
The school campaign will kick off with a national road show next week to explain the protocol on a legal and educational basis. – Additional reporting by Sapa