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    Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle has suspended the application for licences of three taxi associations.

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    Cape Town - Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle has suspended the application for new and renewed licences of three associations operating at the Bellville taxi ranks.

    Taxi drivers and commuters say their lives are in danger after a shooting incident on Monday allegedly between rival groups within the Bellville Taxi Association.

    While there were no injuries on Monday, Carlisle said on Wednesday the Cata Bellville, Bloekombos/Wallacedene and Durbanville taxi associations would no longer be able to apply for new licences or renew licences.

    “Taxis were forcibly removed from the rank, shots were fired, several threats were made and a Provincial Regulating Entity official was intimidated and assaulted. This follows a long period of intense engagement with the associations,” he said.

    Carlisle said law enforcement would increase operations at the rank.

    Last year Carlisle placed a two-month ban on the processing of operating licences for several Bellville routes.

    Between June and October, four taxi operators were killed in a quarrel over the routes. The ban was lifted in December after violence subsided.

    Earlier this year three members of the industry were murdered and others wounded.

    Tensions were high at the Bellville rank yesterday and several taxi drivers refused to comment.

    About five police vans and law enforcement cars were patrolling near the rank.

    A group of drivers, who asked not to be named for fear of being targeted, said they were losing customers.

    “People are scared to use taxis because they hear that there is shooting. But it’s only a small group that is causing trouble for everyone,” they said. They added that police patrols had no effect.

    Commuter Elizabeth George, 64 said: “I’m scared when I get out of a taxi because the drivers hate each other and fight so we have nothing to do with it. I came from shopping and got all my pay in the week when they started shooting. People were running everywhere, I had to keep my bags because I could’ve been robbed.” But George said there was no alternative transport.

    Meanwhile, the acting chairman of the Bellville Taxi Association, Justice Ngubo, said the restrictions “crippled” them as they lost a substantial amount of money last year.

    “This is not a solution to the problem. The group that was involved in the shooting (Monday) apologised to the association. They will go through the channels of discipline.”

    barbara.maregele@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Namibian authorities are investigating the cause of a plane crash in which a Cape Town film-maker and a pilot were killed.

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    Cape Town -

    Namibian authorities are investigating the cause of a plane crash in which a Cape Town film-maker and a pilot were killed while filming aerials for a documentary.

    The plane carrying renowned film-maker Richard Matthews and Namibian pilot Mark Berry went down in the mountains near Kaokoland, northern Namibia, on Sunday.

    Matthews had been filming aerials of the dry riverbeds for an international documentary.

    His colleagues in South Africa lost contact with him earlier that day and he did not return to his lodge that evening. After being reported missing, an operation was launched to find the plane, but to no avail. It was eventually found by Flip Blaauw, head of the Namibian Police Air Wing, on Tuesday afternoon.

    Namibian newspaper Die Republikein reported that Blaauw had found the aircraft wreckage about 15km northwest of Purros.

    Blaauw told the newspaper he saw wheels of the aircraft and its wreckage on the slopes of the Rock Gardens while flying over the mountain area. Four helicopters had been dispatched to look for the pair. It was not clear what had happened but Blaauw said he suspected the aircraft may have had engine failure or did not have enough power to go over the mountains.

    He told the Cape Times on Wednesday that the bodies had been taken to Opuwo in the Kunene region by police. They would probably be sent to Windhoek or South Africa to be identified, he said.

    “When we found them they were still in their seats. The aircraft was burnt out. It was just black. I don’t know how they will identify the one from the other,” Blaauw said.

    The Aircraft Accident Directorate was investigating the crash, he said.

    Matthews co-owned Table Mountain Films with Katharina Pechel and Joe Kennedy, and was a member of television film production company Wild images.

    According to the Wild images website, Matthews was a four-time Emmy awards winner who had been involved with film-making for 30 years. He had degrees in zoology and film, photography and television. “So sad to announce the tragic passing of a legend. Richard Matthews and pilot Mark Berry were involved in a plane crash on the afternoon of Sunday 03.03.2013 while filming in Namibia. Richard died doing what he loved. His memory will be cherished by those that were blessed enough to know him,” the company said on its Facebook page.

    In a message on the Table Mountain Films Facebook page, Kennedy and Pechel said their thoughts were with Matthews’s widow, Samantha, and their two children, and Berry’s loved ones.

    Cape Film Commission chief executive Denis Lillie said it was tragic to learn of Matthews’s death. He said Matthews had been a member of the commission.

    “I got to know Richard extremely well during our time together at the International Emmys in New York last year. I found him to be a very warm, generous and humorous man. He had a passion for his work, especially the new aerial system he had recently developed, and he will be sadly missed.

    “Our thoughts go out to his family, his wife Samantha and their two children, together with the family of Mark Berry.”

    xolani.koyana@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    The former Fidentia boss who is alleged to have fleeced funds set up for widows and orphans has more legal problems.

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    Cape Town - J Arthur Brown, the former Fidentia boss who is alleged to have fleeced funds set up for widows and orphans, has more legal problems.

    The SPCA says Brown and a friend are liable to pay nearly R20 000 to the organisation for costs incurred when it cared for the three pets that Brown abandoned about two years ago. SPCA chief executive Allan Perrins said justice had been served.

    “The SPCA is pleased to announce that it has finally managed to obtain judgment against Mr J Arthur Brown and his friend, Ms Lize van den Berg, in respect of the costs incurred by the SPCA in caring for a sheep, a pony and a pig of Mr Brown’s during 2011,” Perrins said.

    Brown, who is on trial in the Western Cape High Court on charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering and theft related to the Fidentia scandal, was ordered to pay R19 024.66 plus interest for the costs of caring for the animals.

    “Mr Brown and Mrs Van den Berg jointly and severally assumed responsibility in paying for these costs; they were also ordered to pay these costs after the conclusion of arbitration proceedings that they submitted themselves to,” Perrins said.

    Perrins said Brown abandoned his pets at the Cape of Good Hope SPCA in Grassy Park in 2011, leaving it to pick up the costs.

    The animals were at the shelter for 14 weeks, which cost about R20 000 for expenses such as food, transport and farrier work.

    The animals, which were acquired for Brown’s daughter, are a dark chestnut Welsh Cob pony, a lard cross pig, and an old Dorper ewe.

    The animals are now with new owners.

    Perrins said that in November 2010 Brown had booked the animals into the SPCA’s boarding facility while he moved house from Hout Bay to Durbanville.

    Brown was supposed to collect the animals but never did.

    The SPCA had tried to contact him and left messages with friends, but all attempts were futile, Perrins said at the time.

    “A warrant of execution can now be issued against Mr Brown and Ms Van den Berg’s movable goods and the Cape of Good Hope SPCA is optimistic that it will recover the R19 024.66 plus interest and costs that is due to it,” Perrins added.

    A default judgment was taken against Brown and because he did not defend the matter it was granted in favour of the SPCA.

    A warrant of execution was also issued against Brown. The sheriff of the court now has to serve Brown with the warrant if he fails to pay the money or his assets could be attached.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    About 2 000 pupils a year fall pregnant in the Western Cape and of these only about a third will go back to school.

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    Cape Town -

    About 2 000 pupils a year fall pregnant in the Western Cape.

    Of these only about a third will go back to school and complete their education after they have given birth.

    The Western Cape Education Department has developed a policy to provide step-by-step guidelines on how principals and governing bodies should support pregnant pupils to ensure they stay in school, says spokesman Paddy Attwell.

    The Constitutional Court is hearing the case of pupils who were excluded from Welkom and Harmony high schools in the Free State after falling pregnant and made to leave school for the rest of the year.

    Department spokesman Paddy Attwell said that 2 108 pupils had fallen pregnant in the Western Cape in 2010, and in 2011 the number was 2 097.

    “Our Cape Winelands district reported the highest number of learner pregnancies in 2011, followed by Metropole East, and Eden and Central Karoo,” he said.

    The aim of the department’s policy was for pregnant pupils to finish matric.

    “The department treats pregnant learners sensitively as learners with special needs, with access to counselling by social workers and psychologists based in our district offices.

    “The (department) works with our schools and other departments such as Health and Social Development to provide appropriate support.”

    He said that the kind of support given to pupils depended on their medical condition and the stage of their pregnancy.

    “Alternatives include staying at school for as long as it is medically advisable. The school will provide learning materials and support while the learner is away from the school.

    “The family must make arrangements for continuing education if the learner is away from school for the duration of the pregnancy.”

    The policy also provided detailed guidelines on how to manage exams for pregnant pupils, particularly those in Grade 12, depending on their stage of pregnancy.

    Attwell said statistics were not available on the number of pupils who returned to school after giving birth.

    He encouraged pupils in need of assistance to contact the Safe Schools Call Centre on 0800 454647.

    michelle.jones@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Fidentia Asset Management had two insurance policies covering a wide range of losses, the Western Cape High Court heard.

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    Cape Town - Fidentia Asset Management (Fam) had two insurance policies covering a wide range of losses, the Western Cape High Court heard on Thursday.

    There was a banker's blanket bond as well as a director's and officer's liability policy for the period Fidentia boss Arthur J Brown allegedly committed crimes, his lawyer Braganza Pretorius said.

    Brown faces nine charges of fraud, theft, corruption and money-laundering, related to Fidentia and several affected companies, between 2002 and 2006.

    Pretorius cross-examined Fidentia's ex-broker Steven Goodwin and asked him to look at the policy documents.

    Pretorius said the Glenrand MIB banker's blanket bond was for the period May 26, 2006 to February 7, 2007, with retroactive cover from 2004.

    It provided R200 million cover per instance of loss, related to risks such as employee dishonesty, electronic securities, and forged cheques.

    “[Do you agree that] this [policy] is so wide that if anybody does anything, if a person is dishonest and everything is lost, this would pay out?” Pretorius asked Goodwin.

    Goodwin agreed this would be the case.

    Pretorius said the second policy was through Santam Ltd and for the period November 29, 2005 to February 28, 2007. It offered cover of R100m.

    Judge Anton Veldhuizen asked Goodwin if he could testify on the validity of the policies.

    “No. I had insight in that the [policy] document was sent to me at some time. I'm not able to say if this was physically operational”.

    Pretorius confirmed he would call other witnesses to back up this information.

    Sapa


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    The City Council and taxi associations are heading for a showdown over the MYCiTi buses operating in Walmer Estate and Salt River.

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    Cape Town - The City Council and taxi associations are heading for a showdown over the MYCiTi buses operating in Walmer Estate and Salt River.

    The Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata) have been given the go-ahead from their lawyers to apply for an interdict to stop the MYCiTi buses from operating on routes which taxis have been servicing.

    Taxi bosses say it is difficult for them to compete with the subsidised MYCiTi service and that this is aggravated by the fact that they are not being consulted properly.

    Last weekend, the city launched the service in the two areas after a three month delay with the licensing process at the Provincial Regulatory Entity (PRE).

    Taxi associations and the Golden Arrow Bus Services (Gabs) lodged objections.

    Cata general secretary Nqazeleni Mataytayi said when their concerns were raised during the hearings, they had the impression that the licences would not be granted.

    Mayco member for transport, roads and stormwater, Brett Herron said: “We went through a lengthy process and the prescribed process for approvals of the licences. The independent transport tribunal went through all submissions and approved the licenses. If Cata wants to bring an interdict then we will deal with it if and when it comes.”

    Herron said he was “disappointed by the strong resistance” to the city’s vision of enhanced public transport for commuters. “We have consulted with stakeholders and we are disappointed that they commit to our transport vision but they are fighting us every step of the way,” Herron added.

    Mataytayi said Cata would first lodge an appeal with the independent transport tribunal over the licences.

    “We will ask for a re-evaluation of the whole process of granting those licences, we don’t want to skip a step. And if we are not successful with the appeal, then we will go to court,” he said.

    Mataytayi said taxi associations were not opposed to MYCiTi, but that they disagreed with how the project was being implemented.

    “It seems the government wants to continue implementing these decisions without talking to the people affected by these decisions.

    We are not saying no to anything, but all affected parties in the IRT should be consulted,” he said.

    Mataytayi said taxi owners were fearful of losing their businesses. “We have no objections to the transport plans, but the taxi industry should be the nucleus of the process, we should be heavily involved and we must benefit from it.

    “But the way it is being implemented now is where we will clash. If the government comes to us to say we need to improve transport and they want us to lead it then it will make sense,” Mataytayi said.

    zara.nicholson@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Two men were shot and killed in their home in Sarepta in Kuils River, by assailants who burst in through the back door.

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    Cape Town - Two men were shot and killed in their home in Sarepta in Kuils River on Wednesday night, by assailants who burst in through the back door.

    One of the victims’ assailants was reportedly shot and wounded.

    Neighbours in Grove Street, near Kuils River Station, said that several shots rang out shortly after 10pm on Wednesday night.

    They identified the dead men as Donovan Booysen and Morne Francis. Booysen was killed by a single shot to the head, while Francis sustained four gunshot wounds to his body, neighbours said.

    One neighbour, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said one of the shooters was shot in the attack.

    “We can’t confirm this, but I understand that he was taken to Tygerberg Hospital where he died,” said the neighbour.

    A hospital spokesman confirmed that a man who had been shot and wounded was brought to the hospital early on Thursday morning.

    Police forensic investigators were on the scene of the shooting until they removed the bodies shortly before 4am.

    Donovan Booysen shared the house with his mother, Beatrice Booysen.

    Throughout the morning a stream of family members and friends visited the house.

    A neighbour said the murders were a shock. “This is a quiet neighbourhood. Here we don’t have the same sort of problems with gangsterism, drugs and crime that one reads about in the papers,” he said.

    The cluster chairman of the Community Police Forum of Kuilsrivier, Mfuleni and Kleinvlei, Julian Unthank, said the shooting was of great concern.

    “We cannot confirm it is gang related. It is the first time this kind of thing has happened here. We’ve had shootings in Kleinvlei and Delft, but not here, so it is a big worry.

    “I want the public to come forward with information if they have any and I believe it is time for the community to get together now and talk about this so we can stop it before we lose control of the situation.

    “I hope from the bottom of my heart that it is not gang-related,” said Unthank.

    daneel.knoetze@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The Western Cape High Court dismissed an application for the acquittal of Thandi Maqubela, who is on trial for the alleged murder of her husband.

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    Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court dismissed an application on Thursday for the acquittal of Thandi Maqubela, who is on trial for the alleged murder of her husband, acting judge Patrick Maqubela.

    The application was based on the grounds that the State had not made out a prima facie case against her and she therefore had no case to meet.

    Judge John Murphy ruled the State had in fact made out a case against her.

    The State alleges Maqubela and her co-accused Vela Mabena

    suffocated Maqubela with cling-wrap in his Sea Point, Cape Town, apartment on June 5, 2009.

    The widow then allegedly forged her dead husband's signature on a counterfeit will.

    Maqubela and Mabena have both pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, fraud, and forgery. The defence claims the judge died of natural causes.

    The case was postponed to October 13. - Sapa


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  • 03/07/13--05:43: Cape's foul food figures
  • One in five food products tested by the City of Cape Town’s health inspectors falls foul of food safety rules.

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    Cape Town - One in five food products tested by the City of Cape Town’s health inspectors falls foul of food safety rules.

    This has been established by the Cape Argus in the wake of the meat and biltong scandals that broke last week.

    City Health has confirmed that its Environmental Health Department typically found “between 72 percent and 79 percent of food samples complied” with regulations.

    The department comprises about 130 officers who are tasked with inspecting some 10 000 restaur-ants, cafes, bakeries, butcheries, general dealers and other establishments dealing with food across the city.

    “They are generally visited every six months depending on the standards maintained at the premises. Samples are taken at random according to a roster and the capacity of laboratories. They are all unannounced,” the city said. “For the period 2011 to 2012, about 7 900 samples were submitted for analysis.”

    Asked what offences were typically picked up for further investigation, the department said there were several.

    “City Health’s programme of sampling and checking that labelling is correct is just one element of the work that the environmental health practitioners do with regards to food safety and control, which is in turn one part of the overall scope of their function.

    “Labels are scrutinised when the samples are taken for analysis and, as indicated, the compositional analyses may highlight a labelling infringement.

    “During routine inspections at the over 10 000 food premises, environmental health practitioners may look at labels of the products on the shelves and address any infringements accordingly. The public are also encouraged to report any concerns about labels to the city for investigation.”

    New labelling legislation promulgated under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act was introduced in March last year to address, among other things:

    * The protection of the consumer from exploitation.

    * The protection of the consumer from false or misleading claims.

    * The provision of information to the consumer as is necessary to make an informed choice according to food safety and health-related individual needs and preferences.

    Microbiological testing was also conducted, which focused on potential problem products, “especially products which are dependent on the cold chain; products which are handled or cut post-cooking; or products which undergo many processes”.

    “The bacteriological non-compliance is more indicative of poor hygiene practice issues as opposed to major health issues,” the city said.

    Regarding meat, the city said: “The sampling programme for compositional compliance mostly focuses on preservatives, colourants, total meat content, micronutrients, aflotoxins, and where specific claims are made on labels.

    “… the use of the different species of meat is not prohibited as long as the meat is obtained from an approved source and is correctly labelled, allowing the public/buyer the opportunity to make an informed decision. The labelling and advertising regulations (promulgated in terms of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act) governs food labelling. In the case of meat products, the species needs to be indicated in the list of ingredients. The labelling regulations also make provision for the specific declaration of allergens in any product.

    “The use of soya and wheat in meat products is allowed. However, the declaration thereof on the label of the product is important as soya and gluten are listed allergens in the legislation. It therefore needs to be declared in the list of ingredients and as allergens.”

    The importation of meat was dealt with by the Department of Agriculture before the consignments were released on the local market.

    “Part of this control entails the certification and clearances by the export countries addressing the food safety components of the meat,” the city said.

    Consumers could contact the city’s call centre at 086 010 3089, or their local environmental health office.

    “The complaints are investigated by the Environmental Health Practitioners and, depending on the outcome, the owner may be served with a letter and/or health education may be carried out,” the city explained.

    Asked how many establishments had been closed recently, the city said: “No shops were closed down. Statistics on legal action are not kept centrally, but dealt with within the individual health districts. These statistics include legal action for non-food related issues, so it is not possible to give stats on food-related issues alone.”

    Cape Argus


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    Former Fidentia CEO J Arthur Brown never stole funds from the company, the Western Cape High Court heard.

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    Cape Town - Former Fidentia CEO J Arthur Brown never stole funds from the company, the Western Cape High Court heard on Thursday.

    Braganza Pretorius said his client, Brown, would dispute that an asset swap between Fidentia Capitalwise and PLJ Asset Holdings in 2006 was done to cover shortfalls.

    Judge Anton Veldhuizen seemed confused by this statement.

    “As far as I know, there is no charge that says he stole from Fidentia,” Veldhuizen said.

    He looked through the charge sheet and could not find a charge of theft against Brown for that period.

    Jannie van Vuuren, for the State, said Brown faced a charge of fraud in that period related to the Transport, Education and Training Authority, which had an alternative charge of theft.

    Pretorius accused the State of having a “shotgun approach” and said it had hinted to such theft in the preamble of the indictment.

    “You must care less about the preamble. It will have to be proved through evidence. Look at the counts,” the judge replied.

    “Don't go off on a tangent with unnecessary things.”

    He said the State could apply to amend the charge sheet, but that he would personally put up strong resistance to that move.

    Pretorius had spent time cross-examining ex-broker Steven Goodwin on the value of properties bundled together as part of the asset swap.

    Goodwin testified he was told in June 2006 that Fidentia Capitalwise planned to dispose of its entire property portfolio as a collective, to benefit from a very rapid asset appreciation.

    He was asked if the properties could be described as “blue chip”.

    “I am unable to say that. I don't know the details and don't live in the Cape. I don't even know where the properties are,” Goodwin said.

    He testified he was told the bank had valued certain assets and he had accepted that this was true, and the values fair.

    The court heard that one of these properties was the Sante Winelands Hotel and Spa at Franschhoek.

    The trial was postponed to Monday. - Sapa


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    The Western Cape government will spend almost R140 million over the next three years on creating jobs, finance MEC Alan Winde said.

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    Cape Town - The Western Cape government will spend almost R140 million over the next three years on creating jobs in the province, finance MEC Alan Winde said on Thursday.

    “This year, in collaboration with the national government and municipalities in our province, we will progressively upscale work opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP),” Winde said in a copy of his speech prepared for delivery.

    “Out of provincial resources, we have very nearly doubled the national incentive grant for EPWP, raising the total contribution from own resources to almost R140 million over the next three years.”

    He said in the 2013 mid-term expenditure framework (MEFT), more than a quarter of a million EPWP jobs in infrastructure, social, economic and environmental sectors would be sustained.

    Winde was delivering his Western Cape Budget in the provincial legislature.

    Over the next three years the province would spend R112.201 million - of which R65.138 million was awarded by the Jobs Fund - on three skills interventions for unemployed youth, said Winde.

    These included a Work and Skills Programme, an artisan programme and the CAPACITI 1000 programme.

    Winde said the Western Cape would this year fund the creation of a further 678 Premier's Advancement of Youth (PAY) project interns.

    Winde said the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP) and other projects, including the development and implementation of a Regional Economic Performance Index, would receive R8.696 million in 2013/14.

    Over the 2013 medium term the Western Cape will invest R49.028 billion - over a third of its budget - on improving education outcomes and access to quality education.

    In the 2013 MTEF the education department's early childhood development programme would receive R1.577 billion, which included an additional R79.602 million in the outer year for extra teachers to support the development of the province's 65,000 enrolled Grade R pupils, said Winde.

    An extra R100.645 million in the outer year of the MTEF was provided for extra teachers across all grades in the poorest schools.

    The Western Cape increased investment in new schools, replacement structures, infrastructure maintenance and extra mobile and fixed classrooms. This programme, which would run for three years, would receive R3.170 billion.

    Over R50 billion had been set aside for people who did not have private healthcare.

    An amount of R33.327 million over the next three years had been dedicated toward the roll-out of an improved diagnostic test for Tuberculosis, he said.

    The department of social development would receives an allocation of R5.1 billion over the 2013 MTEF.

    Funding of R9.460 million has been ring-fenced to provide for additional caregivers at centres for disabled people for the next three years.

    Through the education department R5 million had been allocated for employment of multi-disciplinary teams for 44 centres.

    A total of R1.234 billion had been allocated to the department of community safety, said Winde.

    The department of cultural affairs and sport had been given R445.309 million in 2013/14.

    To promote a reading culture and improve literacy rates, the Western Cape would invest R188 million in 2013/14, R255 million in 2014/15 and R299 million in 2015/16 toward enhancing the 348

    library service points.

    Wesgro, the province's trade, investment and destination marketing agency, would receive R18.864 million to promote competitive sectors.

    Over the 2013 MTEF, the department of agriculture would receive R1.917 billion to target 10 percent growth in this sector by 2020, said Winde.

    Winde said the province would increase its infrastructure budget from R3.3 billion to R5.5 billion.

    The department of the premier would receive R853.843 million in 2013/14. Through this the province would build a solid foundation for cost-effective service delivery.

    Provincial Treasury would receive R1.672 billion and the department of local government would get R551.951 million, he said.

    Winde said over 80 per cent of the province's budget would be utilised to deliver social services and a safety net for the poor. - Sapa


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  • 03/07/13--07:46: Cops hunt cash van robbers
  • A police helicopter scoured the Northern Suburbs after a cash-in-transit heist in morning traffic on Voortrekker Road.

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    Cape Town - A police helicopter scoured the Northern Suburbs this morning after a cash-in-transit heist in morning traffic on Voortrekker Road in which two men were shot.

    The cash-in-transit security guards were ambushed on the corner of Voortrekker Road and Kimberley Street in Goodwood at around 8.35am.

    The Protea Coin security vehicle had been at a Caltex petrol station when shots rang out.

    Two of the guards were wounded and the attackers managed to grab cash bags and a cash box somewhere between the garage shop and the cash van. The robbers fled in a silver VW Polo, a witness said.

    “We thought it was a car back-firing at first,” said the witness, who asked not to be named.

    “We ran outside and saw the two guards there. One was critical - shot in the chest - but the other was still standing up.

    “We saw the vehicle driving away. It was quite scary.

    “The ambulance was very quick, and then another arrived, so the guards were treated.”

    Police spokesman FC van Wyk said they were still assessing how the attack unfolded, but confirmed the shots fired and that the gang had made a clean getaway.

    At the time of going to press, the police helicopter could still be seen above the area.

    Cape Argus


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    Five people have appeared in court in connection with the shooting of so-called gang pastor Albern Martins.

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    Cape Town - Five people have appeared in court in connection with the shooting of so-called gang pastor Albern Martins.

    Martins was gunned at the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Friday when he had to appear on charges of racketeering, possession of abalone and fraud.

    He was on his way to court with his wife Minnie, his son Andrew and two associates Kiyaam Rinquest and Spencer Pietersen when he was shot.

    The shooting was followed by gangland threats of retribution and a spate of further shootings, as yet not officially linked to Martins’ death, followed in the wake of his murder.

    Martins was linked to several gangland high flyers over the years. Police have worked around the clock since Friday to make arrests.

    On Wednesday, the first suspect, a 17-year-old, appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court. Today four more men were also brought before court.

    All appeared in connection with a charge of murder.

    The four men who appeared this morning were identified in court as Ruben Adams, 22, of Delft, Morne Dino, 20, Mitchell Jakobus Tallies, 18, and Dulin Aden Isaacs, 22, of Westbank.

    Police on Wednesday declined to confirm the arrests and a further inquiry this morning had not been answered by press time.

    Attempts to speak to Martins’ close associate, Western Cape Community Outreach Project chairman Ivan Waldeck, also failed this morning.

    Waldeck was reported to have announced that a R500 000 reward for information about Martins’s death had been offered by two businessmen, one from Lavender Hill and the other from Mitchell’s Plain.

    Cape Argus


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    There is no proof that police sought to fabricate evidence against acquitted murder-accused Fred van Vyver, the court heard.

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    Bloemfontein - There is no proof that police sought to fabricate evidence in the prosecution of acquitted murder-accused Fred van Vyver, the Supreme Court of Appeal heard on Thursday.

    “No conclusion can be drawn that fraud was intended,” said Kosie Olivier, legal counsel for the ministry of police.

    The ministry was appealing against a Cape Town High Court decision that it had maliciously prosecuted Van der Vyver.

    He had been charged with the 2005 murder of his girlfriend, Inge Lotz.

    The court was hearing arguments on whether a case of malicious prosecution had been proved, and whether the police minister could be held liable for the damage caused to Van der Vyver.

    Van der Vyver was found not guilty by Judge Deon van Zyl and two assessors after a trial that lasted nine months.

    Referring to evidence regarding the actions of Constable Elton Swartz, who lifted fingerprints from Lotz's flat, Olivier said even if Swartz wanted to commit fraud, he could not do so on evidence.

    “In all probability a mistake was made with the fingerprint handling.”

    Olivier submitted Swartz could not have committed any fraud because he had to have information which only surfaced later in the case.

    Olivier and Van der Vyver’s lawyer Dup du Bruyn spent much time debating on how the fingerprint evidence was handled in Van der Vyver's prosecution.

    This debate was triggered by findings in the High Court in favour of the police on some aspects of Van der Vyver’s case which he had failed to prove.

    Presiding Appeal Court Judge Fritz Brand was initially not happy with the resurfacing of this aspect, but the debate continued.

    Du Bruyn submitted the fingerprint evidence had been fabricated and that there was never a possibility of a mistake.

    “We do not understand the mistake, they (police) do not say.”

    In August 2011, the Cape Town High Court ruled in favour of Van der Vyver after he sued the minister for R46 million in damages.

    Judge Anton Veldhuizen, who presided in the damages action, said the decision to prosecute Van der Vyver was based on the opinion of an expert involved in the investigation. But this was “not worth the paper that it was written on”, the judge said.

    Without this opinion, the prosecuting authorities would have realised there was no valid case against Van der Vyver, and would not have proceeded with the case.

    He was satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that the prosecution should never have taken place, and that the police ministry was liable for the damage caused to Van der Vyver.

    On this aspect, Du Bruyn submitted it was proved the State had maliciously prosecuted the claimant.

    Olivier said Van der Vyver had not managed to prove this malicious intent and asked that the appeal be upheld.

    Judgment was reserved on Thursday. - Sapa


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    Singing car guard Alen Abrahams has his first concert scheduled for later this month and a record deal on the horizon.

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    Cape Town - A rags to riches story has been unfolding in Cape Town over the past few months.

     With his first concert scheduled for later this month and a record deal on the horizon, it’s been a dream come true for Cape Town’s singing car guard, Alen Abrahams.

    Born as a middle child in a family of eight in Kalksteenfontein, Abrahams’s future seemed grim.

    “My father walked out to the bus stop and never came back.

    “I dropped out of high school in Grade 8 to look for a job to feed the family,” he said at a friend’s home in Plattekloof on Thursday.

    A series of poor choices resulted in an unemployed Abrahams living on the streets of Cape Town.

    “I stayed under that bridge in Green Point. On a good day with nice weather, I slept on the top of the bridge.”

    Abrahams recalls days spent on the streets and nights at local drinking holes.

    “It was tough. I knew I had to stop, so when I turned 21, I quit drinking.”

    That same year, his then girlfriend gave birth to their son, Abdul Muhauimin, who is now 10 years old.

    “My life had to change. I knew that even though I wasn’t going to get a key like other 21-year-olds, I had to change.”

    He decided to be a car guard three years ago. Business was slow at first, as he slowly gained the trust of motorists.

    “They need to see you on the streets and get to know you.”

    Realising he needed to do something different to generate more income, Abrahams decided that he would entertain his customers while parking their cars.

    The entertainment included dancing and singing. The technique worked, and by the end of a good day, Abrahams had made between R200 and R250.

    Regarding the video that shot him to YouTube fame, Abrahams said, “I remember the girl that took a video of me; I don’t remember her name though. I never knew it would do all this.” Although his career may be flourishing, his love life is on hold.

    “I’m single and not looking. Why look for a lady if I can look at my music?”

    The passionate musician said he found inspiration in everything, and was always singing a song in his head.

    “Music has chosen me. I open my mouth and the words just come.”

    Abrahams intends to record an album soon, and will continue chasing his dreams of fame and fortune.

    Sitting back and gesturing at his friend’s luxury home, the Meisie singer flashed a gap-toothed smile saying: “No more parking cars for me. I’m definitely a celebrity now.”

    The singing car guard will perform his first concert with a star-studded line-up on March 22 at His People Centre, N1 City. Guest artists include Karen Kortje and Lloyd Cele.

    sibusisiwe.lwandle@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Cape Peninsula University of Technology students develop simulator for disabled drivers.

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    A driving simulator developed by students at Cape Peninsula University of Technology is expected to make driving more accessible and affordable for people with disabilities.

    The project was started when Milnerton resident Nicky Abdinor, 33, who was born with no arms and shortened legs, was introduced to Dr Mugendi M’Rithaa, a professor of industrial design at CPUT.

    Abdinor founded the non-profit Nicky’s Drive which funds car adaptations for people with disabilities.

    She has been driving a specially adapted car, which was donated to her, since 2001. The car came from Britain.

    She drives using her right shoulder and the car has a joystick hydraulic steering system.

    Abdinor said: “Being able to drive means complete independence and mobility and you can’t put a price on that. If you have your car serviced and you are without a car for a day or two you feel annoyed; for a lot of disabled people it’s like that every day.”

    Her car has, however, become unreliable and she has been in need of a new one for years.

    “The technology used in the car has been available in the UK for more than 20 years but is not available in South Africa. I need a vehicle that can transport my motorised wheelchair. It has always been my dream to get somebody in South Africa interested in developing this technology.”

    CPUT took up the challenge.

    The project is headed by M’Rithaa and Professor Oscar Philander from CPUT’s Adaptronic Advanced Manufacturing Technology Laboratory, who have been working closely with Nicky’s Drive and CPUT’s disability unit.

    M’Rithaa said students and staff in CPUT’s mechanical engineering and industrial design departments, the Adaptronic Advanced Manufacturing Technology Laboratory and the Human Performance Laboratory have been working on the project.

    “What we are unveiling is a prototype car in the form of a simulator,” he explained. “It can simulate the dynamics of driving for Nicky. It can also be used for training and assessment for other people with disabilities. The controls are programmable through a touchscreen on the dashboard.”

    Philander said the students had created the joystick steering system and developed the software to operate it.

    He said Abdinor’s old car had belonged to somebody else first and wasn’t set up for her, but the new joystick was modelled specifically for her level of disability.

    Philander said the technology was extremely cost-effective compared with imported technology.

    The simulator would be used to test and mature specific adaptations for Abdinor, then for others with disabilities. The technology would then be transferred to a car she had bought. - Cape Argus


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    Students went on the rampage at the College of Cape Town, damaging property, flipping a car and tearing out a fence.

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    Cape Town - Students went on the rampage at the College of Cape Town campus in Crawford on Thursday, damaging property, flipping a car and tearing out a fence to access the building.

    Students were reportedly protesting against the current transport grant system, according to the provincial Education Department.

    Provincial police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said it was reported that students from other campuses arrived in Athlone to demonstrate.

    He said no arrests were made, but a case of malicious damage to property was reported. He said he heard that there may have been assaults, but none were reported to police.

    Western Cape Education Department spokesman Paddy Attwell said it appeared that the students were demanding R6 000 as a transport grant.

    Attwell said that according to the national bursary guidelines, a college can pay up to R6 000 in transport grants.

    Once the course fees and accommodation costs are covered, the transport grant would depend on specific transport needs - for instance, the distance that students need to travel or where they live, but some of the students were saying they were entitled to the R6 000 regardless, Attwell said.

    natasha.prince@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Finance MEC Alan Winde has prioritised five focus areas to accelerate growth, eliminate poverty and reduce inequality.

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    Cape Town - Finance MEC Alan Winde has prioritised five focus areas - in line with the National Development Plan (NDP) - to accelerate growth, eliminate poverty and reduce inequality in the Western Cape.

    In his budget speech on Thursday, Winde said the provincial government would focus on:

    * Improving the competitiveness of the economy.

    * Stimulating employment opportunities.

    * Improving access to and the quality of social services.

    * Improving the performance of government.

    * Building partnerships for regional socio-economic development.

    Infrastructure investment, he said, was the key to the province’s job creation strategy. There are 573 000 unemployed people in the Western Cape, almost 70 percent of whom are between the ages of 15 and 34.

    The provincial government will spend R4.5 billion on infrastructure projects across departments this year.

    This year will see new schools, clinics and roads being built and upgraded across the province. Some 80km of surfaced roads will be rehabilitated.

    Health and education will receive the lion’s share (72 percent) of the Western Cape’s R43.6bn budget for 2013/14. The two departments have been allocated more than R31bn.

    Health has been allocated R15.8bn. The money will go towards providing health care services at 274 clinics and 53 hospitals in the province. More than R33m will go towards the roll-out of an improved diagnostic test for tuberculosis.

    Just over R15.6bn has been allocated to education. Of this, R1.2bn will be spent on new schools and maintenance of existing school buildings.

    More than R49bn, over three years, will be invested to improve education outcomes and provide quality education.

    “In the 2013 medium-term expenditure framework (three years) the Education Department’s early childhood development programme receives R1.5bn, which includes an additional R79.6m in the outer year for extra teachers to support the development of the province’s 65 000 enrolled Grade R learners,” Winde said.

    By 2015, R100m will have been provided for extra teachers across all grades in the poorest schools.

    Winde said the province’s first priority should be to prevent the most impoverished from turning to substance abuse to escape their circumstances.

    “Drugs and alcohol are an insidious threat to our communities, and to our ability to boost our economy through the active participation of all.”

    Social development has been allocated R81m, out of a total of R1.5bn, to combat substance abuse. R92m will also be spent over the next three years to fund the salaries of social work graduates.

    Transport and public works will receive R4.6bn this year, the third largest slice (11 percent) of the budget. Most of the funding will go towards the preservation of provincial government buildings, road maintenance and 123 construction projects.

    Human settlements will receive R2.1bn. The department aims to build 12 102 houses and deliver 7 012 serviced sites. Of this, R733m will be allocated to the City of Cape Town.

    Community safety has been allocated R388m to “drive the strategy of increasing safety in the province”.

    The Western Cape economy was forecast to grow at 3 percent this year and would accelerate next year, averaging 3.8 percent between 2013 and 2017, Winde said.

    “Despite positive growth prospects for the Western Cape economy and improvements in access to and the quality of public health and education, many social challenges, inextricably linked to poverty and marginalisation, remain,” he said. “These challenges include stagnant employment, rising unemployment, increasing substance abuse, high rates of violent crime, fractured households, housing backlogs, poor literacy and numeracy rates and attitudes toward high risk sexual behaviour, particular in respect of the impact on youth.”

    Over the next three years, the provincial government will spend over R112m on “skills interventions” for unemployed youth.

    Winde said the provincial government’s spending on infrastructure development over the next three years would result in 100 000 jobs.

    Economic development and tourism will get R389m. The money would go towards creating an enabling environment for job creation, Winde said.

    The ANC said the biggest disappointment about the budget were the figures given for housing development, which kept on dwindling.

    “The DA government has further reduced its targets for housing, which over the past four years left tens of thousands of families without the houses promised to them in annual plans,” said ANC MPL Carol Beerwinkel.

    The ANC was also concerned about the increases on education infrastructure and health facilities as the Western Cape could not even spend its present budget on these.

    “Especially the money for science and maths development at Dinaledi schools which is upped to R10 million, but at the third quarter of 2012/13 they could only use 4.3 percent of R9.6 million.”

    Western Cape Budget R43.6bn:

    *More than 250 000 expanded public works programme jobs in the infrastructure, social, economic and environmental sectors over the next three years.

    * R112m for the province’s job skills programmes this year - 3 000 jobs in the work and skills programme, 200 youths to be placed in artisan programmes, 100 unemployed postgraduates to be trained in business analysis, 678 matriculants to benefit from the Premier’s Advancement of Youth (government internship) project.

    * R8.6m for the new Economic Development Partnership.

    * R1.5bn over three years for extra teachers to support the development of the province’s 65 000 enrolled Grade R pupils.

    * R100m by 2015 for extra teachers across all grades in poorest schools.

    * R3.1bn for new schools, replacement schools, mobile classrooms and infrastructure maintenance.

    * R1m to investigate and develop ways to encourage citizens to lead healthier lives.

    * R33.3m over three years to roll out an improved diagnostic test for tuberculosis.

    * R81.4m for substance-abuse programmes.

    * 12 102 houses to be built this year.

    * Extra resources for neighbourhood watch groups and safety programmes.

    * R24m for after-school sport, recreation and life skills programmes.

    * The Treasury to set up a contingency reserve to “insulate” the province against potential external shocks and the stubbornly slow economic environment.

    * R188m to enhance the province’s 348 library service points.

    * R18.8m to Wesgro to promote and market the Western Cape.

    * R67.6m to improve veterinary services.

    * 1 900 farmworkers to benefit from life-skills training and development programmes.

    * R7.7m for the Berg River Improvement Plan.

    * R436m over three years to deliver high-speed internet and to pilot wireless mesh project in Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Saldanha Bay.

    * R1.7bn for the construction of new roads and road maintenance.

    * Province’s own receipts are expected to increase to R2bn this year, of which the main contributors are motor vehicle licence fees, revenue from casinos and horse racing taxes, and hospital fees.

    * One of the outlying casinos will be moved into the city. This will be discussed in the provincial legislature later this year.

    clayton.barnes@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A five-year-old Mitchells Plain girl who went missing two days ago was found just four doors from her home.

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    Cape Town - A five-year-old Tafelsig girl, reported missing on Wednesday, was found on Thursday just four doors from her home, where she was last seen playing with friends.

    Now police, who initially arrested her father, are hunting for a neighbour suspected of kidnapping her.

    The girl has been taken to hospital for an examination.

    The barely conscious girl was found by three neighbours who were part of a search party.

    They said they had thought she was dead.

    “The suspect’s grandson told us she was in their house,” said one neighbour.

    “Me and two other girls went to the house and the door was already opened. we saw her by her pink pants and she was lying on the bed.

    “When we found her, her tongue was hanging out of her mouth and she didn’t move or say anything, like she was drugged or something.”

    The girl’s father said he was angered by the whole incident. He claimed to have been arrested because “police said I looked suspicious”.

    “She’s at the hospital with her mother and I haven’t spoken to them yet, so I am not sure how she is doing,” the father said.

    He said they had searched the house in which his daughter was found in but had not seen her.

    Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said it was believed the girl was held against her will and the police now urgently needed the assistance of the community to find the suspect.

    “We can confirm we are investigating a kidnapping case and that the child was taken to hospital for medical examination,” Van Wyk said.

    yolisa.tswanya@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Three Cape Town men have been arrested for possession of perlemoen worth R1.5 million in Kraaifontein.

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    Cape Town - Three Cape Town men have been arrested for possession of perlemoen ( worth R1.5 million in Kraaifontein, it was reported on Friday.

    The Cape Times reported that the men were caught hosing down 5 808 pieces of perlemoen at the Hub Centre in Peerless Park on Thursday.

    The police had been responding to a tip-off. The men would appear in court on Monday.

    Sapa


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