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    Western Cape farmers are worried that their applications for exemption from the new minimum wage for farmworkers has not reached the labour department.

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    Western Cape - Some Western Cape farmers are worried that their applications for exemption from the new minimum wage for farmworkers has not reached the labour department, it was reported on Thursday.

    Agri Wes-Cape CEO Carl Opperman told the Cape Times he knew of more than 1000 provincial farmers who had sent applications.

    However, according to Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, only 900 forms had been received.

    “We suspect the recent post office strike in Gauteng interrupted the delivery of the applications,” Opperman said.

    He said farmers were waiting for the department's response.

    Farmers who cannot afford to pay the new R105 daily minimum wage were allowed to apply for exemption, and had to submit their financial statements to the department as proof.

    The new minimum wage came into effect on March 1. This was also the closing date for farmers' applications for exemption.

    Farmworkers went on strike last year, demanding that the minimum daily wage be increased from R69 to R150, and that a cohesive land reform programme be implemented.

    The strike, which was accompanied by violence and damage to property in some areas of the Western Cape, was briefly suspended in December and was resolved in January. - Sapa


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    The banning of liquor sales on Sundays and after 6pm on weekdays will fuel the illegal trade in liquor, the WC Shebeen Association warned.

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    Cape Town - A city by-law banning liquor sales on Sundays and after 6pm on weekdays from April 1 will fuel the illegal trade in liquor, the Western Cape Shebeen Association warns.

    “Cutting hours is the biggest mistake. It will open the market and fuel unlicensed trading because consumers will simply go and find an unlicensed trader after 6pm. People will not drink less,” president Mauritz Rossouw said.

    The association represents 18 000 unlicensed shebeens and 1 000 licensed outlets.

    Rossouw said not all municipalities in the province had cut trading hours. In the Overberg hours were unchanged. Cape Town was one of 22 municipalities with a liquor trading by-law, he said.

    In terms of the Liquor Trading Days and Hours by-law, liquor stores will no longer be allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays or after 6pm from Monday to Saturday, while clubs, hotels and casinos, among others, can extend their cut-off time to sell liquor from 2am to 4am on condition they apply for an exemption. Traders in liquor for off-premises consumption also have to stop trading at 6pm.

    For on-premises consumption in residential areas liquor can be sold from 11am to 11pm, and at sport or community clubs from 11am until midnight. For special events, trading times will be part of conditions in the event’s permit. A liquor licence holder will be allowed to sell sparkling wine seven days a week from 8am till 11am as part of a meal.

    The mayoral committee member for economic, environmental and spatial planning, Garreth Bloor, has said the by-law followed extensive consultation about liquor trading hours in the city. Wineries were the only exception when it came to selling liquor for off-premises consumption on a Sunday, he has said.

    Taki Amira, chairman of the city’s Good Hope subcouncil, said only six city centre clubs had applied for exemption.

    “I’m surprised there are so few. I urge them (clubs) to make applications. The main clubs in the city have not applied,” he said.

    aziz.hartley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    A man who allegedly killed Graham Flax, 65, in his Sea Point flat intends pleading guilty to the charges levelled against him.

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    Cape Town - A Delft man who allegedly killed 65-year-old Graham Flax in his Sea Point flat intends pleading guilty to the charges levelled against him.

    This emerged in court on Wednesday when Jerome Benjamin, a 29-year-old cross-dresser who also goes by the name Jade September, appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.

    Benjamin appeared in court with dyed blonde hair, a short floral skirt, denim waistcoat and wedge heels.

    Flax was found dead inside his home at the Costa Bravo Flats in Beach Road on March 3. He had been hit on the back of the head with a blunt object and his face was blue. His flatmate found his body bound and covered with a duvet. Flax was robbed of his cellphone and laptop and his car was stolen.

    Police reportedly said that Flax had met Benjamin over the internet and had invited him to his home.

    The court heard on Wednesday that Benjamin had been charged with murder, robbery, housebreaking and theft of a motor vehicle.

    Prosecutor Anneka Snyman said the case was on the court roll so that an identity parade could be held but it had not yet been completed.

    But after speaking to the investigating officer, Snyman said there would be no need for an identity parade because Benjamin wanted to come clean. This also meant there was no need for him to be held at Sea Point police station.

    “I spoke to the investigating officer and it seems the accused wishes to plead guilty,” Snyman said.

    Benjamin’s lawyer, Chantal Gillian, confirmed that her client wanted to plead guilty. “That’s my instruction,” Gillian said.

    According to the charge sheet, Benjamin’s address was “unknown to the State”. He had been living with friends in Delft for about five years before the incident but when police visited the house, his friends said he had taken his possessions and had said he was moving to Joburg.

    Snyman said on Wednesday that Benjamin had a number of pending cases for theft and fraud, and he had a previous conviction for the illegal possession of drugs.

    Gillian said that Benjamin did not want to apply for bail and would remain in custody until the case was finalised. Benjamin is due back in court on April 19 for the outcome of the post mortem report.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Western Cape Premier Helen Zille says she understands the “frustrations” that compel people to take the law into their own hands.

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    Cape Town - Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has condemned the latest incident of mob killing but says she understands the “frustrations” that compel people to take the law into their own hands.

    Lindile Maci, a suspected robber, was beaten and set alight in Khayelitsha on Tuesday. A family friend said Maci had recently been released on parole from Pollsmoor Prison after serving six years of a 15-year sentence for armed robbery. On Tuesday, he had allegedly robbed two residents.

    Police found Maci’s badly burnt body in an open field at 44 Section in Makhaza, about 30 minutes after the attack. No arrests have been made.

    “The taking of a human life and the disregard for the rule of law that took place in this vigilante killing have no place in a constitutional democracy. However, I understand the sense of frustration and angry desperation that drives people to commit such acts,” Zille said.

    She said a solution to the problem was partly an effective police service that made quick arrests and conducted thorough investigations.

    “Ultimately, we have to deal with the problem of crime holistically and one of the components lies in the family and in the home.

    The young men who make up the profile of criminals breaking the law and being killed in vigilante murders do not become offenders in a vacuum.”

    Last year, Zille established a commission of inquiry into complaints of police inefficiency in Khayelitsha, after an application by NGOs, but it has stalled after Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa challenged its constitutionality. A hearing at the Constitutional Court is set for August 6.

    Zak Mbhele, Zille’s spokesman, said: “The commission is continuing with its work but the social conditions that are contributing factors to vigilantism have been in place for a long time.”

    Mbhele said Zille had yet to meet Mthethwa to discuss the issue.

    Last year, 80 people, at least 19 from Khayelitsha, were killed by “vigilantes” in the province. Maci became the fourth victim this year. An unidentified man was necklaced near the Chris Hani railway station two weeks ago.

    Police spokesman André Traut said five suspects had been arrested in connection with that incident.

    He said “due to a moratorium on crime statistics” he could not disclose how many were arrested last year.

    xolani.koyana@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    The Constitutional Court ruled to evict the family of an elderly retired domestic worker who had moved in with her on a farm.

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    Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled to evict the family of an elderly retired domestic worker who had moved in with her on a farm in the Stellenbosch area.

    However, she and one son could remain, Judge Raymond Zondo said.

    The court had to interpret Section 6(2) of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act, which guaranteed a right to family life for an occupier, and also consider the rights of farm owner Laurence Juta, he said.

    “Accordingly, it would be just and equitable that the applicants be evicted,” said Zondo.

    Farm owner Laurence Juta had originally approached the Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court to evict some members of his former domestic worker Magrieta Hattingh's family.

    She continued staying on the farm after she had stopped working for Juta in terms of a previous agreement, which allowed her and her husband, who later died, to live in part of a labourer's cottage.

    Hattingh's adult sons Pieter and Michael, and Michael's wife Edwina, moved in with her.

    Edwina was temporarily employed by Juta. The two sons claimed they occasionally also worked on the farm.

    Hattingh's younger son Ricardo then also moved in with his mother, as his job did not provide accommodation.

    Ricardo is the family member who gets to stay and he will be able to help Magrieta.

    Juta had wanted Hattingh's older sons, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren off the property, because a farm manager had been cycling long distances to work and needed the accommodation.

    The Hattinghs had argued that Magrieta, whom Juta did not seek to evict, had the right to a family life in terms of the Act and so they should be allowed to stay.

    But Juta had argued that this should not extend to adult self-reliant children, which the Hattinghs disputed.

    The Stellenbosch Magistrate's Court ruled in favour of the Hattinghs, but Juta approached the Land Claims Court, which overturned that judgment and granted an eviction order.

    The matter was then taken to the Supreme Court of Appeal, which upheld the Land Claims Court's ruling.

    The Constitutional Court was asked to consider the interpretation of the Act and weigh up the Hattinghs' rights to family life against Juta's rights as a land owner.

    In handing down the judgment, Zondo said that in terms of interpreting the relevant section of the Act, the court found unanimously that the term “family life” did not just mean dependent minor children, or a nuclear family.

    But, there were competing factors.

    “In this exercise all the relevant factors must be taken into account and a value judgment be made whether it would be just and equitable that Mrs Hattingh does not live with the applicants,” said Zondo.

    “This means that the exclusion or eviction of the applicants from Fijnbosch (the farm) will not infringe Mrs Hattingh's right to family life, because even though it limits that right the limitation is just and equitable.”

    He said, however, that the date of eviction also had to be just and equitable and the applicants should be given about three months from the date of the judgment to leave Fijnbosch.

    Part of the order was to amend eviction dates on the order of the SCA from May 12 and 13 to June 13 and 14.

    Sapa


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    The embezzlement trial of former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown was postponed by the Western Cape High Court.

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     Cape Town - The embezzlement trial of former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown was postponed by the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

    Judge Anton Veldhuizen said the trial would resume on Monday.

    The State was expected to call its next witness on that day.

    Brown has pleaded not guilty to fraud, corruption and money-laundering charges.

    His legal team has denied that he ran a pyramid scheme and used investors' funds for personal gain. - Sapa


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    A grieving sister said that her brother died a painful death after being beaten up by teen thugs over R1.

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    Vredenburg, Western Cape - A grieving sister said that her brother died a painful death after being beaten up by teen thugs over R1.

    Michael “Tjara” Koopman suffered for days with internal injuries after the brutal assault, allegedly at the hands of teen gangsters.

    His heartbroken sister, Helena Koopman, said the young attackers are all still roaming their neighbourhood since her brother’s death.

    She said one of the teen attackers has admitted to assaulting Koopman, 45.

    Helena said a 16-year-old has told them he was part of the attack in Vredenburg.

    “They [teens] wanted money from him, but he didn’t have any,” said Helena.

    “I believe this is what cost him his life.”

    She said Michael was targeted on two occasions by the group of youngsters who have been terrorising the neighbourhood.

    And she believes they saw Michael as a soft target who would not fight back.

    The second attack, which the family believe led to Michael’s death, happened on February 27.

    Helena said her brother was clearly in pain when she spoke to him hours after the assault.

    “He complained about his bladder being extremely painful,” she explained.

    “Michael then told us that the laaities (teens) attacked him because they were looking for a rand.

    “When he told them that he did not have money, they kicked the wind out of him.”

    She said Michael explained that even though he was being attacked by kids, he dared not fight back.

    “He told me he did not want to risk fighting back because then the bigger youngsters are called to really beat you up,” she told the Daily Voice.

    Helena said the following day she returned from work to find her brother writhing in excruciating pain.

    She immediately contacted emergency services and an ambulance transported Michael to the Vredenburg hospital.

    From there he was transferred to the Somerset Hospital.

    Michael’s grief-stricken father, Gert Koopman, said he called the hospital to check up on his son.

    “One of the sisters told me he was fine,” the 63-year-old dad said.

    The next day Michael died.

    Angelique Jordaan, spokesman for the Western Cape’s Health Service, said Michael was seen by a trauma doctor and urologist after he was admitted.

    “He was admitted to the urology ward on March 1 for further treatment,” explained Jordaan.

    “But during a routine check the patient was found to have passed away.”

    And while Michael’s family are upset that his killers are still free, cops said that they are looking into the matter.

    Police say that an inquest docket was opened and is under investigation.

    “On March 7, the post-mortem was done,” Captain FC van Wyk said.

    “However the results are not available as yet.

    “As soon as the postmortem results becomes available, this office will make a decision on the investigation of the case.”

    But this is cold comfort for Gert and Helena, who say the mother of one of the teen thugs made him apologise for being part of the gang that attacked Michael.

    “After Tjara passed away, the mother of a 16-year-old brought him here to ask our forgiveness,” Helena told the Daily Voice.

    “We want to know why police have not arrested anyone for my brother’s death.”

    Daily Voice


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    Aviation fans are outraged that a rare and historically important aircraft is being ripped apart to be sold as scrap metal.

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    Cape Town - Aviation fans are outraged that a rare and historically important aircraft is being ripped apart to be sold as scrap metal.

    When aviation enthusiast Greg van Schaik saw the wing and engine of a Shackleton MK3 long-range reconnaissance plane strewn on the back of a truck, he could not believe his eyes.

    A phone call later, he found out it was the same aircraft that had been on display at Ysterplaat Air Force base since it was decommissioned in the early 1980s.

    “I think it’s absolutely despicable from a heritage and a historical perspective,” he said.

    John Heath, the chairman of the Cape Town branch of the SA Air Force Association, said he was shocked when he was greeted by the sight of air force base workers stripping the plane’s wings and cutting through the fuselage on Tuesday.

    The aircraft, built in 1958, has been at the base for years and the effects of the sun, wind and rain have corroded its chassis.

    “Look, the plane was in desperate need of some tender loving care. They probably asked themselves… ‘do we spend money on it and make it look good again, or do we chop it to pieces and sell it?’”

    Heath, who served as a volunteer reserve pilot in Britain and South Africa, said the Shackleton MK3, used in the 1960s and 70s to patrol South Africa’s borders, was one of the last of its kind left in the world.

    According to him, there was not a single Shackleton left in the UK, where the aircraft was originally manufactured.

    “If the SA Air Force had been thinking out of the box, they could have approached the British consulate and offered them the plane. They would probably have been more than happy to take it off their hands… Now it’s gone.”

    But Christo Stroebel, the commanding officer at Ysterplaat, said the rusted aircraft had become a serious safety concern and had to be removed.

    “One night, the nose wheel part collapsed and the whole plane fell on its tail,” he said. “There was always the fear that pieces of it would start flying around in the wind and hurt someone.”

    The decision to scrap the plane was made almost a year ago by the museum board, who decided the aircraft was beyond economical repair.

    Stroebel said he could understand why people would feel angry or sad about the plane’s destruction.

    “I couldn’t watch when they took it apart,” he said. “It has left a big empty space… it was always a landmark on the base.”

    But he said the base museum always tried to hold on to planes as long as it could and there was consolation in the fact that the more intricate and unique parts of the aircraft had been retained to be displayed at the museum.

    Stroebel said there was still a functioning Shackleton MK3 stationed at the airbase, which was, as far as he knew, the only fully-functioning model left in the world

    kieran.legg@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Residents who lost their homes in a shack fire in Langa in 2005, toyi-toyi-ed outside Delft police station after one of their leaders were arrested.

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    Cape Town - Residents who lost their homes in a shack fire in Langa in 2005, toyi-toyi-ed this morning outside the Delft police station after one of their leaders was arrested.

    Siviwe Nondonga was arrested by police because he was seen as a “trouble maker”, residents said.

    It was unclear this morning if he had been formally charged.

    “But, he is no different from the rest of the community, we are all frustrated. We are here to see him released without being charged,” said resident Florence Myeki.

    Myeki, who has been living between tent camps, community halls and a temporary relocation area (TRA) in Delft, said the provincial and local government had not stuck to their promises to provide housing for those left homeless after the fire.

    A blaze in Joe Slovo informal settlement left 1 600 families homeless in January 2005. A year later, the Cape Argus reported on the confusion of residents as they were moved into a temporary location in Delft.

    “That was years ago. We all thought that we would be out and in new houses by now, but the structures are deteriorating badly and we recently heard the news that the council wants to move us into a new set of TRA structures that are being constructed on land that was supposed to be for real houses,” said Myeki.

    She said residents would resist moving into another temporary location by taking their protests to the streets again this week.

    Cape Argus


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    Cape Town - Elsies River police have arrested three men for attempted murder after shots were fired near a road block.

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    Cape Town - Elsies River police have arrested three men for attempted murder after shots were fired near a road block in Leonsdale.

    Police officers were inspecting vehicles when shots rang out nearby in Boater Close last night, said police spokesman Colonel Andre Traut.

    Police arrested three suspects, aged 22, 23 and 24. The suspects were unarmed, but police found two firearms nearby which were to be sent for ballistic testing to determine if they could be linked to the shooting. The firearms were reported stolen by their owners in Belhar and Cloetesville.

    “We assume that the incident is related to gang activity in the area,” said Traut. No one was injured in the shooting.

    Elsies River is, along with Hanover Park, Lavender Hill and Manenberg, one of Cape Town’s most hotly contested turfs in the city’s gang wars.

    Between 2007 and 2012, police in those neighbourhoods referred 1 469 murder cases to the National Prosecuting Authority.

     

    l The same group of Elsies River police officers also arrested a man in connection with an incident of theft from a vehicle at GrandWest Casino.

    A firearm and a laptop were stolen from the car.

    Police investigated and arrested a 33-year-old man, and retrieved the stolen items.

    “We want to thank the public for their support and co-operation in apprehending these suspects. Police can never do it alone,” said Elsies River station commander Brigadier Denise Brand. She congratulated the officers involved in the investigations and arrests.

    Cape Argus


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    Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday to evict the family of an elderly retired domestic worker who had moved in with her on a farm in the Stellenbosch area.

    However, she and one son could remain, Judge Raymond Zondo said.

    The three sons, Michael, Pieter and Ricardo, and daughter-in-law Edwina, of Magrieta Hattingh in her late 60s, had been living with her in a cottage on the smallholding “Fijnbosch” in Stellenbosch,

    She had worked for the owner of the cottage, Laurence Juta, and later moved in with his consent in December 2002 into a cottage on his property. Her family joined her, and Juta joined two cottages to make one house for them.

    When Hattingh's husband died, he said she could carry on living there.

    But when Juta tried to get the children to vacate their section of the house to make way for a farm manager, so that he did not have to cycle so far to work every day, the children resisted.

    They said their mother had the right to family life in terms of Section 6 (2)(d) of the Extension of Security of Act (Esta) and so they should stay.

    Juta started eviction proceedings at the Magistrate's Court in Stellenbosch but the court ruled in favour of the applicants, saying their mother's right to family life meant they could stay on with her in the cottage.

    Juta appealed this in the Land Claims Court and won, and won again when it was appealed by the applicants at the Supreme Court of Appeal. The applicants took it further to the Constitutional Court.

    The Constitutional Court then had to interpret the meaning of “family” and “family” life in deciding whether the previous courts were right, and how this fitted in with the land owner's rights.

    In the unanimous judgment, written by Justice Raymond Zondo, Zondo explained that the applicants had argued that “family life” meant an extended family, whereas Juta had said it was for the occupant's spouse and dependent children.

    Zondo said there was no statutory justification for limiting family to a nuclear family.

    “....Families come in different shapes and sizes,” he said.

    The age and independence of the children also did not matter.

    But, a fair balance had to be struck so the landowner could enjoy his rights as owner of the land, said Zondo.

    The way to get over Juta's concern of “family life by ambush”, if he gave consent to one person, was through “a proper respect for the rights of the landowner”.

    The court took into account submissions that Hattingh could carry on living there, with one son, Ricardo, who would help her, that neither of the other Hattinghs had worked for him in a serious way or prolonged periods, and that Juta had offered to help with costs if they found somewhere else to live.

    Juta would also take Hattingh to a doctor or hospital if necessary. The family could also visit Hattingh.

    “Having considered all these above factors, in my view it would be just and equitable that Mrs Hattingh does not live with the applicants,” the judgment said.

    “This means that the exclusion or eviction of the applicants from Fijnbosch will not infringe Mrs Hattingh's right to family life because, even though it limits that right, the limitation is just and equitable. Accordingly it would be just and equitable that the applicants be evicted.”

    He also changed the dates of their eviction order from May 12, 2011 and May 13, 2011 to read June 13, 2013 and June 14, 2013, as part of the order. - Sapa


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    Atlantis residents will be among the biggest beneficiaries of the Wescape development project, says Cape Town’s mayor.

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    Cape Town - Atlantis residents will be among the biggest beneficiaries of the multibillion-rand Wescape development project, says Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.

    “Not only will the development create jobs and opportunities, but it will also connect Atlantis to the CBD,” De Lille said on Thursday. “We are very excited and fully support the development.”

    Atlantis, about 45km outside the city, has for years been known as the “forgotten town”.

    Unemployment, lack of housing and crime are the biggest challenges in the area.

    CommuniTgrow, the Cape Town-based private sector urban development company driving the Wescape development, hopes a number of Atlantis residents will buy into the new concept.

    Wescape will assist in providing solutions to many of the metropole’s economic expansion requirements and 20-year plan for education, housing and health, said CommuniTgrow chief executive Ruben Richards.

    The company website says: “Wescape comprises lifelong learning with all-encompassing health care, employment opportunities and social sustenance.

    “The Wescape community development model incorporates industry, technology, food security, infrastructure, waste processing, energy reduction and production in a holistic manner, minimising environmental impact from urban growth. ‘Green lung’ public spaces integrated into residential nodes and community areas in a unique living space, make a safe, accessible and practical environment for all.”

    During the opening of a new electronic-manufacturing company in Atlantis this week, premier Helen Zille said the area was slowly being resurrected.

    “Many people look to the government to create jobs, but the government should only create the context for businesses to invest in our region, and by so doing, create jobs.”

    Richards said communiTgrow had taken advantage of the opportunity and hoped to have its project approved by the provincial government soon.

    Cape Argus


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    A multibillion rand “mini city” could soon spring up 32km from central Cape Town.

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    Cape Town -

    A multibillion- rand “mini city” could soon spring up 32km from central Cape Town. Six years in the planning, Wescape, the city’s biggest urban development project yet, is set to be built near Melkbosstrand on the city’s north-western edge and will connect Atlantis to the city.

    The project is the first mega-housing development since Mitchells Plain was established in the early 1970s.

    The 3 100-hectare development is being driven by Cape Town-based private sector urban development company communiTgrow and will see 200 000 houses, 415 schools, 370 “public service facilities”, such as libraries and clinics, and 15 sports complexes being built over the next 10 to 15 years.

    Wescape is mainly focused on lower income groups – those earning between R4 000 and R6 000 a month. The population is expected to reach 800 000 by 2036.

    The development has been discussed by the City of Cape Town and in January was sent to the provincial Environment and Planning Department for zoning approval.

    The drivers behind the R140 billion development include Bellandia, a property development company with a 46-year track record; ARG Design, the town planners and urban designers responsible for the integrated rapid transit (IRT) system and new Cape Town Station; Ariya and Target Projects, the project management companies behind the CTICC and the Cape Town International Airport upgrade; as well as Pact Developers.

    Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said the new development would “unlock opportunities”, create jobs and connect Atlantis to the CBD.

    CommuniTgrow approached the city with the application for the multibillion rand development last year.

    “We’ve had a lot of discussion and robust debate about this development since the application came in,” De Lille said.

    “In November it was discussed by the council and sent to Local Government, Environment and Planning MEC Anton Bredell’s department for approval. That’s where the process is currently.”

    De Lille said this was the city’s first major housing development and urban project since the establishment of Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha.

    “We are definitely very excited about the opportunities it will bring,” she said.

    “The development will move the city’s urban edge further north. Currently, everything is squeezed between the ocean and the mountain in Cape Town. There is simply no space. I’m very glad that developing is being planned for that area.

    “Along with this comes jobs and a big injection for the city’s construction industry.”

    CommuniTgrow chief executive Ruben Richards said construction would get under way as soon as the zoning was approved.

    “We are in the hands of the local authorities. Once the zoning is approved, we can start with the bulk infrastructure and then the top structures,” Richards said.

    CommuniTgrow has been working on the project for the past six years.

    The development has been described as a “mini city” that will be populated with clinics, schools, libraries and all necessary services.

    The Wescape community development model incorporated industry, technology, food security, infrastructure, waste processing and energy reduction in a holistic way, Richards said.

    “This is going to be something different and unique. People who move into houses at Wescape will also be able to work there. The aim is to create an economic hub there as well. It will also be a green village, safe and accessible.”

    Richards said the project was born out of the necessity to develop affordable housing for lower income earners within proximity to work opportunities as well as social and educational precincts.

    “By creating a community that has access to opportunities from work to community facilities, the social challenges often faced in long-established cities can be mitigated. Households having to travel long distances to work and the subsequent environmental impact is also further reduced,” he said.

    “Inner city development is undoubtedly important and will continue to be part of the city’s development.

    “However, the barrier to the success of inner city housing to accommodate lower income earners is primarily the cost of land within the city parameters.

    “Generally, the closer you are to work opportunities the more you pay for property,” he said.

    The project will be rolled out in phases once final approval is granted.

    The environmental and planning approval process will take at least two years. An environmental impact assessment is under way.

    clayton.barnes@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court heard that the two men accused of murdering pastor Albern Martins were in danger.

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    Cape Town - The Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Thursday heard that the two men accused of murdering pastor Albern Martins were in danger.

    Prosecutor Shane Rispel told the court that Ruben Adams, 22, of Delft and Morne Dino Charles, 22, of Wesbank could not be held at Pollsmoor or Goodwood prisons because it was unsafe for them.

    The men, however, told magistrate Gerald Hattingh that they had no problem being held at Goodwood Prison. But Hattingh said the court could not allow the accused to decide where they should be kept pending their trial.

    Initially, five people were arrested in connection with Martins’s murder - an alleged hit - outside Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on March 1.

    Martins, a controversial pastor known for brokering deals with gangs across Cape Town, was shot in the head at point-blank range.

    He had been due to appear in court with his wife, Minnie, their son Andrew, also known as Alton, Spencer Pietersen and convicted money launderer and alleged mandrax crime syndicate boss Kiyaam Rinquest.

    Soon after the killing, a 17-year-old was arrested followed by four others - Adams, Charles, Mitchell Jacobus Tallies, 18, and Dulin Aden Isaacs, 18, both of Wesbank. All were charged.

    But, on the instruction of the director of public prosecutions, the State withdrew the charges against the minor last Friday.

    Tallies and Isaacs were released on Monday after the case against them was also withdrawn.

    “I can confirm that the charges against the three men were withdrawn due to insufficient evidence,” director of public prosecutions spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said.

    On Thursday, Rispel said the State was opposing bail.

     

    The men are due in court again on Wednesday so that a date can be arranged for their formal bail application.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    “This was the cruellest murder. She has such beautiful children. What happened just gives me the chills.”

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    Cape Town - Four men accused of slashing a Saldanha mother to death abandoned their bail application in court on Thursday.

    Marlon van Wyk, 25, Sharif Padayachee, 22, Ricardo Williams, 23, and Jerome Januarie, 28, appeared briefly in the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court accused of murdering Sinodia Schutt, 32, on February 26 by smashing her jaw and slashing her with a panga several times.

    Prosecutor Eben van Tonder told the court they were awaiting DNA test results.

    The court was told all four men would apply for bail later.

    Residents cheered inside court when they heard the men would not apply for bail this week.

    Outside court, residents gathered to display their anger at the savage murder. Protesters carried posters “Saldanha says enough is enough”, “Geen borgtog” (no bail) and “Stop geweld” (stop violence).

    Deonnie Cloete, one of the protesters and chairwoman of the community police forum, said this was the first time such a gruesome murder had taken place on the West Coast.

    “This was the cruellest murder. She has such beautiful children. What happened just gives me the chills.”

    She added that drugs such as cocaine and tik had become a large problem in the area and a contributor to domestic violence.

    Chrissie Schutt, Sinodia’s mother, said her daughter’s killing had hardened her.

    “They are worse than monsters.” Padayachee used to live with Sinodia and she was struggling for more than a year to get him out of her house”, she claimed.

    Her daughter’s house had previously been petrol-bombed.

    “I’m not afraid of them,” Schutt said defiantly.

    Magistrate Martie Wilson postponed the case to May 15 for further investigation.

    natasha.bezuidenhout@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A lawyer who once represented suspects embroiled in one of the biggest poaching syndicates in the Cape has been busted.

    |||

    Cape Town - The lawyer who once represented suspects embroiled in one of the biggest poaching syndicates in the Cape has been busted by the Hawks.

    Anthony Broadway was arrested this week by the elite team for charges relating to racketeering, money laundering, fraud and the FICA Act.

    The well-known Cape Town lawyer was placed in handcuffs at his home in Boston, Bellville, on Tuesday and made a brief court appearance.

    Broadway was granted bail of R250 000 and was requested to pay R100 000 on the spot and the remainder by March 28.

    Broadway is expected to share the dock with alleged poaching kingpin Frank Barends on Friday at the Cape High Court alongside 25 others.

    Barends and his co-accuseds are currently on trial where they face 534 charges, some which include illegal possession of abalone, racketeering and corruption all relating to activities in and around the Gansbaai area.

    Among the suspects are a police officer, Barends’ wife Josephine and his bookkeeper Sarah Dunsdon.

    Broadway previously represented Barends and some of the other accused who cops say are part of a massive syndicate.

    Chinese national Ran Wei, who allegedly funded and ran the syndicate, is still missing.

    Pre-trial proceedings are expected to continue today.

    On Thursday, provincial police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed Broadway’s charges.

    “The accused was arrested for a case involving racketeering, money laundering, fraud and FICA Act,” he says.

    “He appeared in court and will appear in the Cape Town High Court on March 15 with the other accused.”

    Daily Voice


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    A lawyer and 29 others appeared in the Western Cape High Court on charges relating to an abalone syndicate.

    |||

    Cape Town - A lawyer and 29 others appeared in the Western Cape High Court on Friday on charges relating to a perlemoen (abalone) syndicate.

    Anthony Broadway, dressed in a dark suit and tie, looked uncomfortable as he sat in the dock with his casually dressed co-accused for a pre-trial conference.

    He had represented many of them in the case before his arrest on Tuesday.

    His legal representative Johnny Nortje told the court the police searched Broadway's practice in Bellville and seized computers, files containing privileged information relating to the case and other cases, and his cellphone.

    “In effect, your Lordship, his practice was closed down,” he told Judge Robert Henney.

    Nortje said he planned to launch a review application by next Friday to set aside the search warrant, on the basis of “ulterior motives and malice, which forms the basis of the prosecution”.

    He said the search and seizure matter would, in all likelihood, go to the Constitutional Court as he questioned a situation where the State could access privileged information about the case in such a manner.

    Nortje claimed the search warrant did not specify which items would be seized, there was no affidavit in support of the arrest warrant and he had not received a charge sheet.

    Henney postponed the matter until April 12 to allow the State and defence “to report on what is going to happen”.

    The group face 534 charges, including illegal possession of perlemoen, racketeering and corruption.

    Chinese national Ran Wei, who allegedly funded and ran the syndicate, is still missing.

    Sapa


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    At least 10 people have been killed in a bus accident on the N1 near De Doorns, according to paramedics.

    |||

    Western Cape - At least 10 people have been killed in a bus accident on the N1 near De Doorns on Friday, paramedics said.

    According to ER24, a bus carrying about 80 people crashed down an embankment in the Hex River Valley, injuring scores of passengers.

    Ten people have been confirmed dead, according to ER24’s Twitter feed.

    Rescuers were still trying to free three trapped people, while multiple others were receiving treatment on the scene, ER24’s tweets said. - IOL


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    Two people were killed and 3 000 were left homeless after a fire swept through a Cape informal settlement.

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    Stellenbosch, Western Cape - Close to 3 000 people have been left homeless and two people killed when a devastating fire swept through a large informal settlement at Khayamandi, Stellenbosch, in the early hours of Friday morning.

    About 600 homes were razed as strong winds fanned the flames, and firefighters found the remains of two people in destroyed shacks.

    Acting Western Cape Premier Anton Bredell said Disaster Management experts had been dispatched to to Stellenbosch.

    “Our information is that over 600 shacks were involved, so far. And if you multiply that by four or five people per home, that’s 2 000 to 3 000 people. So, it’s huge, and we are very worried about them.

    “We are assisting with accommodation, blankets, food parcels and anything else to meet their immediate needs – especially as it is now raining. We are doing everything possible to ease their discomfort,” Bredell said.

    Firefighting efforts were hampered by the maze of walkways between the shacks, furniture which had been piled into streets and strong wind.

    “We have estimated that about 600 shacks were destroyed and 2 500 people had been left without a roof over their heads,” Stellenbosch fire chief Lizaan Morta said on Friday morning.

    “We were called just after midnight and, when we arrived at the scene, about 50 shacks had already been burnt to the ground.

    “We eventually had 12 firefighting units there. We had help from Cape Town, the Winelands Municipality and Drakenstein.

    The people worked under very trying conditions.

    “We could not gain proper access to the area and the fire was spread very quickly by the wind and the fact that heaps of furniture were lying in the little streets.

    “By 5am, we had the fire contained and most of it was out by 6am.”

    At 9am, firemen were still damping down the area to prevent smouldering rubble from causing further fires.

    Morta said about 600 shacks burn. However, estimates from residents put the figure at between 4 000 and 6 000.

    Local journalist Mcebisi Mgudu said several thousand shacks had been destroyed.

    “I have lived here all my life. Looking at the extent of it, I would say that at least 6 000 shacks are gone,” said Mgudu.

    The fire spread with “an incredible speed”, Mgudu said.

    “That is why (one of the victims) could not get away. I suspect he was sleeping and he must have woken up surrounded by fire.”

    After a hot, windless day, a strong breeze apparently picked up as the fire started. The cause of fire is not yet known.

    Residents showed cellphone footage of flames towering high above silhouettes of people running from the flames.

    Residents had carried clothes and furniture into the street. This and the density of the settlement hampered fire services from getting vehicles to scene. Pieces of destroyed heavy-duty hose lay among the burned-out shacks.

    The furniture also provided a channel for the fire to spread to formal housing, adjacent to the shacks.

    Metres from where one charred body lay behind police tape, residents worked to salvage what they could from the smouldering rubble.

    Hammers were used to straighten corrugated iron sheets that had buckled in the heat. Rakes and shovels were used to clear plots, where shacks would be rebuilt.

    “It is a terrible tragedy because he (the dead man) was a bright young man, and had a lot of potential.

    “But we have to get going because our own futures are uncertain. This uniform is all I have left,” said Christoph Makhalima, who had returned from his night shift at a petrol station to find his home gone and his neighbour dead.

    At least five brick houses were also burnt down and a car destroyed.

    “When the fire broke out, we thought that we would be safe in a brick house.

    “It was not to be; we could not save anything and now the house will have to be demolished and rebuilt,” said Xolsiwa Goqa as she dug through broken tiles and rubble in her mother’s house, searching for car keys.

    Outside, Elishia Mdoda, Songezo’s mother, was sitting on a wooden chair weeping quietly.

    Andre van der Walt, the councillor for the area, said R50 000 from an emergency fund would be made available to cover the initial costs of the relief effort.

    Their initial priority was to provide people with clean drinking water, food and blankets.

    “We are in the process of setting up three residents’ committees, which will represent the community in dialogues with a municipality task team,” said Van der Walt, adding that the meetings, monitoring and relief would need to be sustained over the next few weeks.

    Church and community halls will be made available to house those who lost their homes.

    Cape Argus


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    Cape Town - A couple accused of killing a policeman and burying his body in their backyard appeared in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

    |||

    Cape Town - A couple accused of killing a policeman and burying his body in their backyard appeared in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

    The court heard that Barnabas Sentiwe could plead guilty in terms of section 105A of the Criminal Procedure Act, which deals with plea and sentencing agreements.

    Lawyers for his wife Phumza Veli said they were not considering that option at this stage.

    Judge Robert Henney postponed the matter until April 12. He said he wanted to see the 105A notice on his desk before proceeding.

    They both remain in custody.

    The couple were neighbours of 29-year-old Constable Monwabisi Mnyombolo in Extension Six, Mfuleni, Cape Town.

    It is the State's case that Sentiwe got into an argument with Mnyombolo at the couple's house in October 2009, accusing him of having an affair with his wife.

    Sentiwe allegedly stabbed the police officer.

    In 2010, he sold his house to Moses Njovana.

    Njovana's wife saw a pair of tracksuit pants in the ground next to the house in 2011, dug them up and found bones inside.

    Police were called to the scene and a shallow grave was unearthed.

    Forensic testing revealed the bones in it belonged to the constable and a post mortem revealed he had been stabbed in the head.

    The State has charged Sentiwe with murder and his wife with being an accessory after the fact. - Sapa


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