Articles on this Page
- 03/19/13--00:46: _Girl allegedly rape...
- 03/19/13--01:43: _Hex River crash: fa...
- 03/19/13--01:44: _Owners defend bus a...
- 03/19/13--04:24: _Surfer tells of rea...
- 03/19/13--04:35: _‘Principal forced m...
- 03/19/13--06:05: _‘Breakthrough’ in K...
- 03/19/13--06:18: _Court hears of Moyo...
- 03/19/13--07:06: _SA art to fetch top...
- 03/19/13--07:19: _Wescape will become...
- 03/19/13--08:21: _Child prostitution ...
- 03/19/13--08:31: _Slain off-duty cop ...
- 03/19/13--08:47: _Court orders refuge...
- 03/19/13--12:10: _Lagoon Bay wins Sup...
- 03/19/13--22:55: _Murdered judge’s wi...
- 03/20/13--00:07: _Pupil, 17, stabbed ...
- 03/20/13--01:02: _Five killed in Cape...
- 03/20/13--02:00: _Karabus faces ‘fina...
- 03/20/13--02:52: _Baby rape accused’s...
- 03/20/13--03:48: _Guard who dodged de...
- 03/20/13--03:50: _Cederberg council i...
- 03/19/13--00:46: Girl allegedly raped for two days
- 03/19/13--01:43: Hex River crash: families identify victims
- 03/19/13--01:44: Owners defend bus after horror crash
- 03/19/13--04:24: Surfer tells of really close shave with shark
- 03/19/13--04:35: ‘Principal forced me to bury dog alive’
- 03/19/13--06:05: ‘Breakthrough’ in Karabus case
- 03/19/13--06:18: Court hears of Moyo’s tough childhood
- 03/19/13--07:06: SA art to fetch top prices at London auction
- 03/19/13--07:19: Wescape will become a slum, say residents
- 03/19/13--08:21: Child prostitution case postponed
- 03/19/13--08:31: Slain off-duty cop identified
- 03/19/13--08:47: Court orders refugee centre to re-open
- 03/19/13--12:10: Lagoon Bay wins Supreme Court action
- 03/19/13--22:55: Murdered judge’s widow: I loved him
- 03/20/13--00:07: Pupil, 17, stabbed to death on bus
- 03/20/13--01:02: Five killed in Cape robbery
- 03/20/13--02:00: Karabus faces ‘final hurdle’ in UAE court
- 03/20/13--02:52: Baby rape accused’s case transferred
- 03/20/13--03:48: Guard who dodged death three times is killed
- 03/20/13--03:50: Cederberg council in chaos, ANC admits
The State is opposing bail for six men who allegedly held a 16-year-old captive in Paarl and repeatedly raped her.|||
Cape Town - The State is opposing bail for six men who allegedly held a 16-year-old girl captive for two days in Mbekweni township in Paarl and repeatedly raped her at knifepoint.
The men - Akhona Thatyeka, 24, Mxolisi Nawata, 26, Monde Ngungawu, 20, Jongizizwe Mahlanu, 23, Mbuyisa Plaatjie, 24, and Vusikhaje Mjezu, 28 - have indicated they want to formally apply for bail.
They appeared briefly in the Paarl Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The men have been charged with a schedule six offence for holding the girl in a shack beginning on February 12 and taking turns to rape her.
The State alleges that one of the men - known to the teenager - lured her into his shack under the pretext of a visit.
He then left, locking the girl indoors, saying that it was dangerous outside. When he returned, he had friends with him. When she refused to have sex with the men, one of them threatened her at knifepoint.
A neighbour allegedly told investigators that a number of men had come in and out of the shack.
When the commotion subsided, the neighbour went to investigate and found the teenager.
The girl told investigators that about 10 men had raped her.
Prosecutor Sonwabo Pama said the State would oppose bail based on the seriousness of the offence, the fact that the girl was a minor and because it was alleged to be gang activity.
Outside the court on Monday, a group of protesters demonstrated against the men getting bail. “Don’t be silenced, speak out” and “Don’t look away, act against crime”, two posters read. Police portfolio committee acting chairwoman Annelize van Wyk joined the protesters outside court.
“We want to raise awareness out of a very sad situation. What is society doing and what message is being sent out?
“We cannot expect the police to prevent such instances. We need to stand up against such crimes,” Van Wyk said.
The ANC Women’s League regional secretary, Sindiswa Sambokwe, said the league was also opposed to bail: “We are here to condemn rape and the killing of our children. We are tired of these rapes. Our children are abused and killed for no reason. Enough is enough. Justice must prevail.”
Mbekweni resident Justice Wani said he was “totally against” rape.
“As far as I’m concerned, it is immoral to do something like this.”
The men are due back in court on Tuesday.
“They’ve been asking for her every day. They are so young and they need her… to bath and feed them.”|||
Cape Town -
It ha been three days since a Khayelitsha family heard that a relative, Boniswa Kodwa, 34, was on the ill-fated bus that crashed on the Hex River Pass on Friday.
Twenty-four people died, including the driver.
On Monday, Kodwa’s partner, Fumanekile Mbondlololo, and cousin, Lindeka Zilindlovu, 33, were among the 22 families that travelled from Khayelitsha to Worcester to identify the bodies of their loved ones.
But Mbondlololo and Zilindlovu set off from the Site C sports and recreation centre on Monday with high hopes, believing Kodwa was alive and recovering at an unknown hospital.
Zilindlovu said there had been different stories about what had happened to her cousin: “Some people who were in the bus told us they left her on the floor, trapped between seats, and that she was still alive.”
At the morgue, Zilindlovu and Mbondlololo could not find her among the dead.
They were then told to look for her at Worcester Hospital. Their hopes spiralled when hospital staff found a person on their list who matched Kodwa’s description.
But when they went up to the ward they discovered it was not Kodwa.
After going through pictures of the dead and looking at the bodies again, they finally found her. Mbondlololo said most bodies were “badly damaged and it was almost impossible to identify them from their faces”.
Mbondlololo and Kodwa had two children together, aged 6 and 7.
“I was so relieved when I thought she was alive,” said Mbondlololo.
“What am I going to tell them (the children) now? They’ve been asking for her every day. They are so young and they need her… to bath and feed them.”
The families of the dead queued to take their turn at the Worcester Forensic Pathology Laboratory morgue.
The double-decker bus, owned by Atlantic City Liners, was carrying members of the Twelve Apostles Church in Christ in Khayelitsha. The group, most of them women, were returning from a national prayer gathering in Secunda.
After identifying his wife - Babalwa Mbele, 31 - an emotional Lwazi Mbele, 37, said her face had been “smashed flat”.
“It was very difficult seeing her like that - hurt so bad. I checked for moles on her feet and back to make sure it was her,” he said.
At the morgue, a representative from the Road Accident Fund, Jacques Furter, told the families that the fund would assist with burial costs.
The church’s leader, Dumisani Ximbi, said the families had been counselled before and after the process. “We made sure they knew what to expect inside as the bodies were badly hurt,” Ximbi said.
The owners of the bus which crashed on the Hex River Valley Pass, killing 24 people, say it had passed safety tests.|||
Cape Town - The owners of the bus which crashed on the Hex River Valley Pass on Friday - claiming the lives of 24 people - say the vehicle had all the right paperwork and had passed numerous safety tests.
They were responding to transport and public works MEC Robin Carlisle who said preliminary investigations into the bus crash had uncovered certification issues.
Carlisle queried issues such as the operating licence, driver’s licence, the vehicle’s roadworthiness and the safety history of the company.
But in a statement, Atlantic Charters and Tours, the Cape Town-based company which owns the bus, said everything was above board.
They said the carrier operating permit had been issued in January and was valid until 2016, while the vehicle licence and operating disc were valid until August.
Carlisle admitted on Monday that upon close inspection the company’s operating licence was valid. Previously it had been believed by authorities that the licence had been issued on December 25 - a day which the Provincial Regulatory Entity’s office was closed - but this turned out to be a clerical error.
Carlisle did confirm, however, that the bus’s roadworthy certificate had expired two weeks prior to the crash, which he said was a serious concern.
Atlantic Charters and Tours did not dispute this fact, but they said the bus had undergone stringent testing at the Joe Qgabi Bus Interchange at Philippi which has its own provincial testing station.
“In December 2012, during the festive season, it was compulsory for every vehicle to be roadworthy and inspected thoroughly every day before departure. This particular bus in question went through full roadworthy testing about every third day during the (festive season),” said the bus company’s spokeswoman Aneeqah Salie.
She added that on the day of the crash, just four hours before the accident, the bus was stopped in Beaufort West by traffic officials and taken to the provincial testing station.
“(It) was inspected thoroughly for roadworthiness and overloading. Needless to say there were no issues found with the vehicle.”
But Carlisle said the tests conducted by the provincial traffic police in no way constituted the requirements for a road certificate.
“Nor does it relieve the obligation to have a roadworthy certificate.”
The cause of the crash is still under investigation, with brake failure suspected as a possible cause.
Carlisle warned that if mechanical failure was behind the incident, the lack of a roadworthy certificate could have serious consequences. - Cape Argus
“As I paddled out, the shark turned and I saw how its dorsal became bigger and bigger.”|||
Cape Town - “As I paddled out, the shark turned and I saw how its dorsal became bigger and bigger. It swam past me and then suddenly a big splash.”
Kenwyn surfer Troy Henri was attacked by a shark when he and a friend surfed at Hawston Beach on Saturday – the same day an angler was attacked by a shark near Struisbaai.
Henri’s friend, Rhomeez Petersen, had invited him and other friends to a beach birthday party. The two were surfing about 60m from the shore when the attack happened, he said on day.
Moments after he saw a black patch beneath the sea surface, a dark shape moved towards him, said Henri.
“I screamed to Rhomeez ‘there is shark in the water’. It swam about an arm’s length past me and I just knew something was about to happen.
“The shark hit the underside of my board and threw me off. I landed on my back in the water and the shark went over me – its tail hitting my arm.
“Then I felt the pressure of the leash pulling me under water. The pressure was released when the leash snapped,” said Henri.
His first reaction was get back to shore, he said.
“All I was thinking was that the shark would come back and my 14-year-old son, who was on the beach, must not see this. I could not see my surfboard,” he said Petersen raised the alarm and lifeguards came to help.
“I’ve surfed the Maldives, Bali, the SA coastline and many other places, and on Saturday the strangest thing was getting out of the water without my board,” said Henri, who was shocked but not injured.
Petersen said: “I heard him scream before he was dragged down. I thought, the shark is eating my friend, there’s going to be blood in the water and a feeding frenzy will follow.
“I thought of what was I going to tell Troy’s wife because I had invited him to my birthday party… ”
He felt huge relief when he saw Henri emerge from the water, said Petersen. “It was the best feeling of my life.”
Henri returned to Hawston on Sunday to fetch his surfboard, which was recovered by Llewellyn Poole, a local surfer who saw the board in the sea.
Said Henri: “I’m giving him a board, but I’m keeping this one. That swim back to the beach was the longest swim I’ve ever done.
“I’m grateful to be alive. Somebody up there likes me.”
A shocked court heard how a school principal allegedly forced an employee to bury a dog alive.|||
Cape Town - A shocked court heard on Monday how a school principal allegedly forced an employee to bury a dog alive.
School cleaner Elliott Mfengu told the Khayelitsha Magistrates’ Court that school head Manono Makhaphela ordered him and a colleague to bury the dog in the schoolyard for defecating.
The dog survived the horror ordeal after being buried up to its neck in a deep pit.
The Luhlazo Secondary High School principal is facing two charges of neglect, torture or cruelty for burying the dog and another one for causing an animal unnecessary harm under the Animal Protection Act.
“It was in the morning of October 20, 2011, and we were called by the principal, telling us to remove a dog that had messed up a classroom,” Mfengu told the court.
“We removed it and thought we would clean up the mess and throw it [the dog] outside the school gates because it could not walk.
“We didn’t take it [the dog] very far because he [principal] said it would come back.
“He said we must dig a hole near the tennis court and put it in there.”
Mfengu, 61, says Makhaphela told him to dig a deep hole so that the dog would not smell once it began to rot.
He told Magistrate XP Menyiwe the principal stood alongside them as they filled in the hole, tossing sand on the trapped dog.
Mfengu says minutes later an animal protection group arrived and instructed them to remove the animal.
The cops came shortly afterwards and arrested him and a colleague, Mkhumbaza Mcedani, who had allegedly helped to bury the dog.
Makhaphela was arrested a short while later.
But the principal’s defence lawyer Wildre Fourie argued that he was nowhere near the scene and had not told them to bury the animal.
The case has now been postponed to May 10.
The dog has since been adopted and called Lilly after it was named Warrior when it was rescued.
Professor Cyril Karabus could be heading for home from the United Arab Emirates by the end of this week.|||
Cape Town - Professor Cyril Karabus could be heading for home by the end of this week, International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Tuesday.
She told the National Assembly South Africans had been working with all communities to bring Karabus safely home from the United Arab Emirates.
"I now can share with the House, that through our diplomatic efforts, the 1/8UAE medical 3/8 review committee has finally met last night 1/8Monday 3/8 and we hope for a conclusion that would be positive by the end of this week and bring professor Karabus home safely," she said.
Earlier on Tuesday, her department announced there had been a breakthrough in the Karabus matter.
Spokesman Clayson Monyela said it was understood that a UAE medical review committee had absolved Karabus from all blame.
He was convicted in absentia in the UAE on charges of manslaughter and falsifying documents after the death of a three-year-old cancer patient.
He was sentenced, in absentia, to three years in jail.
Karabus, 77, is an emeritus professor at the University of Cape Town and is a specialist paediatric oncologist.
Unaware of the charges and sentence, he was arrested and recharged in Dubai on August 18, while in transit on his return to South Africa from Toronto, in Canada, where he had attended his son's wedding.
Monyela confirmed the UAE court met on Tuesday and the medical review committee's report was presented to it.
"Therefore we envisage that the court is expected to deliver its final verdict on Thursday, 21 March 2013."
Deputy International Relations and Co-operation Minister Marius Fransman spoke to Karabus and his legal team on Tuesday morning.
"The South African government is pleased that the medical committee has submitted its report to the court.
"We call upon all South Africans to pray for the finalisation of the case and the safe and speedy return of Prof Karabus to South Africa," he said.
As a democratic state, South Africa respected the sovereignty and the independence of the UAE's judicial system.
"We wish to thank the government of the UAE and in particular the minister of foreign affairs, the deputy minister of foreign affairs, and the minister of state for the manner in which we have engaged on this matter," Monyela said. - Sapa
Serial escapee Bongani Moyo had a difficult childhood in Zimbabwe, the High Court in Pretoria heard.|||
Pretoria - Serial escapee Bongani Moyo had a difficult childhood in Zimbabwe, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.
Testifying in his sentencing proceedings, Moyo, 31, told Judge Natvarlal Ranchod he was raised in Bulawayo. His parents separated when he was five and his family struggled financially.
“I was born in a very poor family. I only attended (primary) school for four years. I was raised by my father and stepmother.
“My father was a farmer, he would sell the crops he cultivated. I did not progress with school because of (lack of) money. In school I was not bright. I always failed.”
He was testifying after he and Khumbulani Sibanda entered into a plea bargain, in terms of which they plead guilty to charges of racketeering, robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of unlicensed firearms, and escaping from custody. They robbed several banks in Gauteng and the North West in 2011, after escaping from Boksburg prison in March that year.
The soft-spoken Moyo told the court he was a widower, like Sibanda.
“I have two children, a boy and a girl. The boy, aged seven, is handicapped and now stays with my stepmother. He cannot move and oozes saliva all the time. My wife died in 2010,” Moyo said.
“It is tough now (for the boy). I had hired someone to take care of him and used to pay the person. My stepmother is unemployed.”
When he moved to South Africa, Moyo said he survived by “shooting pictures”.
He is expected to submit further evidence after an adjournment.
Earlier, Sibanda begged the court to be merciful when sentencing him. He was the first to take the witness stand, during arguments in mitigation and aggravation of their sentences.
The pair has spent close to two years in jail, serving time for other robberies. - Sapa
A Tretchikoff that once belonged to apartheid politician Jan Haak is among several SA artworks to be sold on auction in London.|||
Cape Town - A Tretchikoff that once belonged to apartheid politician Jan Haak is among several South African artworks to be sold on auction in London on Wednesday.
The Herb Seller will go under the hammer at the Bonhams South African Art auction. It is expected to fetch between £80 000 and £120 000 (R1.1 million and R1.6m).
Haak owned The Herb Seller while he was minister of economic affairs in the late 1960s. It has been claimed that the painting was then sold to the former ambassador to the US and minister of foreign affairs, Pik Botha. His wife, Ina Botha, said in a letter to the Cape Times in February that it was a friend of her husband’s who had bought The Herb Seller.
Another iconic Tretchikoff, Chinese Girl, which has been widely reproduced, is expected to fetch between £300 000 and £500 000.
An American woman, Mignon Buhler, bought the picture from Tretchikoff in Chicago when he was touring the US in the 1950s. It is being sold by Buhler’s granddaughter.
The semi-nude painting, Portrait of Lenka (Red Jacket), of Tretchikoff’s lover, set a record for his work when it was sold for £337 250.
The work of another South African artist, Stanley Pinker, will also be auctioned. His Merete and Stephen in a Garden is expected to sell for between £200 000 and £300 000. The painting is of the artist’s children playing in the backyard of their Tamboerskloof house.
Eight South African works from the collection of actor Anthony Quinn, who died in 2001, will also be offered for sale.
Wescape, the multibillion-rand housing development, will degenerate into nothing more than a low-cost housing slum, says an objector.|||
Cape Town - Wescape, the multibillion-rand housing development set to be built near Melkbosstrand, will degenerate into nothing more than a low-cost housing slum, says an objector to the project.
The city called for comments after receiving an application in 2011 to extend the city’s north-western urban edge to develop a R140 billion “mini-city” comprising 200 000 houses, 415 educational facilities (schools, crèches and colleges), 370 “public service facilities” (such as libraries and clinics), and 15 sports complexes on a 3 100-hectare erf between the Cape Town CBD and Atlantis. The period for objections closed last March.
David and Cathy Butler, who live on a smallholding adjacent to where Wescape is to be built, said in their submission that a low-cost housing development would destroy everything they had worked for and negate the very reason they had decided to move there.
“This development will degenerate into nothing more than a low-cost housing, informal settlement slum, which will impact heavily on the value of property,” they said.
In response, Wescape developer communiTgrow said the Butlers were “speculating on the essence of what Wescape will be”.
“The low-income earners are as much part of our society as everybody else and although a significant portion of the housing units will be for that income group, they will be positioned during the detailed planning phases of the project to integrate with the higher income groups and have as little impact as possible, all within the framework of a fully integrated settlement.”
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.
Other objections include the unlikelihood that residents would be able to be evacuated in time in the event of a nuclear accident at Koeberg, only a few kilometres away.
Objections were received from the National Nuclear Regulator, Eskom’s Koeberg power station and the city’s disaster risk management, fire and rescue, and parks departments.
They argued that the development would be within the 5km to 16km Urgent Protective Action Planning Zone and that any emergency evacuation of close to a million residents would fail.
But communiTgrow said: “Koeberg objected on the premise that the application is being made for development rights. The application is however only for the (extension of the city’s urban edge).
“If any objection, submitted as if development rights are being applied for, are considered valid, then the further processes of rezoning, environmental authorisation and subdivision will be obsolete and of no consequence.”
ComminiTgrow said it was “fully aware” that a nuclear regulatory evacuation model and assessment would be required before development rights could be granted.
The application to extend the city’s urban edge was discussed by the city council and has been forwarded to the provincial Environment and Development Planning Department for approval.
Five people accused of selling a young Atlantis girl for sex appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court.|||
Cape Town - Five people accused of selling a young girl for sex appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
The matter was postponed to April 29, a court official said.
The Daily Voice earlier reported that the court released Marantha Lotrict, 28, Evelina Fortuin, 30, and Denise Muller, 33, on R500 bail each when they previously were in court on March 1.
The State had requested that bail be set at R5000 each.
The 14-year-old girl told a school friend and a teacher in November that she was being sold for as little as R20 to men, allegedly by her mother, Lotrict, Fortuin and Muller.
The four, as well as the mother's partner, have been charged with sexual exploitation, human trafficking and living off the proceeds of immorality.
The mother and her partner remain in custody. - Sapa
The Cape Town police officer gunned down in Nyanga was identified as Sergeant Francois Jacobs by Western Cape police.|||
Cape Town - The Cape Town police officer gunned down in Nyanga was identified as Sergeant Francois Jacobs by Western Cape police on Tuesday.
Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana said Jacobs, 33, was stationed at the Gugulethu police station at the time of his death.
He was visiting a local panel-beating workshop in the Vlei informal settlement on Monday night when three men attacked and killed him.
No arrests had yet been made. A case of murder and robbery had been opened.
“Once again, the office of the provincial commissioner (Arno Lamoer) would like to convey condolences to the deceased policeman’s family and his colleague,” Kinana said.
“We also want to reiterate the fact that acts of killing our police officers are condemned in the strongest possible words.” - Sapa
The Home Affairs department must reopen a refugee reception office (RRO) in Cape Town, the Western Cape High Court ruled.|||
Cape Town - The Home Affairs department must reopen a refugee reception office (RRO) in Cape Town, the Western Cape High Court ruled on Tuesday.
Judge Owen Rogers declared as unlawful a decision to close the Maitland office to new applicants for asylum after June 2012.
He ordered the department to have an RRO open and fully functional within the Cape Town metro by July 1.
Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor and three respondents were ordered to pay the costs of the applicants, plus that of two counsel.
The application was brought by the Scalabrini Centre, a non-profit organisation that assisted migrant communities and displaced people.
Last July, the centre obtained an interim order from the court requiring that the department assist all asylum seekers, after it refused to accept new applications.
The department applied for leave to appeal this order but this was dismissed last August.
It had stated that the closure was not planned and due to the expiry of the lease.
The People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (Passop) said that hundreds of asylum seekers had been unable to get documentation since last June and had lived in fear of being detained and deported to countries where their lives and freedom were at risk.
“In addition, many of the asylum seekers have been unable to access health care and schools because they were unable to acquire documentation from the department,” Passop paralegal head Langton Miriyoga said.
He called on the department to comply with the decision of the court.
In terms of the order, the department had to submit a report to the applicants' attorneys at the end of April and May.
In this report, the director general had to state whether compliance with the order was possible, and if not possible by the required date, give a best estimated date. - Sapa
The developer for Lagoon Bay must re-submit its previously approved application for the George structure plan to be amended.|||
Cape Town - The controversial Lagoon Bay development proposal near George has won a challenge in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein with costs. But this is not an automatic green light for work to start on the R5bn golf estate project.
The developer must re-submit its previously approved application for the George structure plan to be amended. The property where the development is planned - the historic Hoogekraal farm between George and Mossel Bay - is designated “agriculture-forestry” and environment MEC Anton Bredell will have to approve a change to “township development”.
This is one of four separate statutory approvals that the developer, Lagoon Bay Lifestyle Estate, has to secure.
The other three are for rezoning and sub-division approval; environmental approval; and approval of building plans under the National Building Act.
The reason for the Supreme Court’s decision lies in its interpretation of constitutional responsibility between various levels of government. It has its origins in a 2007 decision by Tasneem Essop when she was environment MEC.
Essop approved the developer’s application for an amendment to the George structure plan, but added a condition that subdivision and rezoning had to be approved by the province.
Last July the George municipality approved the development’s subdivision and rezoning. But because of Essop’s earlier requirement, the municipality’s approval was sent to Bredell for confirmation – and he turned it down.
When the developer challenged Bredell’s decision in the Western Cape High Court, its application was refused by Judge Bennie Griesel.
The Supreme Court of Appeal said the rezoning application was a matter for thez George municipality, not the provincial government.
Essop had usurped for herself and her department officials a power that had been reserved for the George municipality.
This meant her conditions could not be fulfilled and her final decision was “impossible of performance”.
“The upshot of all this is that the development cannot go ahead until such time as the minister (Bredell) approves the application to amend the structure plan.”
Murder-accused Thandi Maqubela revealed intimate details of her marriage to Acting Judge Patrick Maqubela in court.|||
Cape Town - Thandi Maqubela, accused of murdering her husband, Acting Judge Patrick Maqubela, stood in the witness box of the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday and calmly told Judge John Murphy: “I loved my husband.”
She also revealed to the court for the first time that her husband had been bipolar, and that she went to great lengths to help him cope with the condition.
Thandi Maqubela and co-accused Vela Mabena have pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder.
Maqubela has also pleaded not guilty to fraud and forgery charges stemming from allegations that she forged her husband’s signature on a will, and for presenting it at the office of the master of the Johannesburg High Court, a department that deals with deceased and insolvent estates.
Clad in a sleek black top and wearing one of her signature turbans, she remained composed as she faced Judge Murphy and denied all charges against her.
Marius Broeksma, for Maqubela, cut straight to the chase, asking her: “Did you murder your late husband?”
“No, I did not,” she replied.
She also denied forging her late husband’s signature.
Prosecutors Bonnie Currie-Gamwo and Pedro van Wyk have led evidence to say that the acting judge was killed in his Bantry Bay flat on June 5, 2009; suffocated with cling wrap. He was found two days later under a sheet with a bloodstained pillow over his mouth. Last month, after presenting the evidence of 52 witnesses, the State closed its case.
On Tueday, Maqubela told the court how Patrick Maqubela had been in prison prior to their 1991 marriage for apartheid legislation offences. For six months after he was released, he was unemployed. Both had one child from before their marriage, but she discovered on the day of his funeral that he had in fact had two. The pair had three children together.
She also told the court about their business activities, his various jobs, and her discovery that he was having extramarital affairs.
Broeksma asked Maqubela to explain why her husband attended the Morningside Mediclinic in Joburg.
She replied: “Mainly for minor ailments, but most of the time he used to see a physician at Morningside because he was diagnosed with bipolar.”
The doctor who treated him had since died. Her husband had also attended a Family Life Centre where he took part in “sessions for his condition”.
Broeksma said that the Mediclinic had refused to release certain documents, and that the acting judge’s records had been destroyed.
Maqubela said she had been part of his treatment for his bipolar condition as his partner.
She was also given two books to read – one titled Loving a Bipolar and another book about living with bipolar.
Broeksma asked: “Why did you go to all effort?”
“I loved my husband. I knew I was the only one he depended on. He did not have a supportive family.”
She testified that she had to monitor her husband’s spending, bank accounts and cellphone records after she found he had spent R40 000 on a suit and more than R110 000 on clothing.
This was typical of bipolar patients, she said.
It was also the reason she approached Justice Minister Jeff Radebe – not because she did not want her husband to be a judge, but because she wanted the minister’s help.
Earlier, Radebe testified that Maqubela had complained to him about her husband’s extramarital affairs, claiming he was a sex addict.
On Tuesday, Maqubela said her husband knew about her meeting with Radebe.
The acting judge had held many jobs, she told the court, including a top post with SA Airways. He had also been a legal advisor in the office of the Eastern Cape premier, and had been involved with a Joburg legal firm Daly and Associates.
Things went wrong at Daly and Associates when Maqubela appeared to have lost interest in his legal work. For seven months he did not report to the office.
His wife told the court she became aware of her husband’s affairs when one of the law firm partners told her he had been seen with other women in shopping malls.
Broeksma read SMS messages in which the law firm partner urged Patrick Maqubela to decide whether or not he wanted to stay with the firm.
Maqubela said after talking to the partner, she started monitoring her husband.
“People said they saw him in malls with girls. I did not see him with girls but I checked cellphones and saw communication he had with girls.”
She admitted she had confronted some of the “girls”.
The first worked at a major cellphone firm.
“I sat down with her and told her ‘I am Mrs Maqubela’.” She told the woman she was “aware of what was happening”.
The woman then “admitted it” and soon after resigned from the cellphone firm.
Maqubela said she confronted the woman because she wanted to confirm what the partner had told her, and also to know her husband better and understand his personality.
She did not consider divorce at the time, but continued her research “to find out what was wrong with my husband”.
Another of her husband’s “girls” was in Bloemfontein, and she told him she was going there to confront her. She met the woman’s family, who apologised to Thandi Maqubela and returned the cellphone Patrick Maqubela had apparently given her.
Maqubela was “surprised” when she read SMS messages her husband had apparently sent to the woman.
Maqubela told the court she had met co-accused Vela Mabena at a business presentation for Forever Living products. At the time of her husband’s death, Maqubela, an established businesswoman, had been involved with Forever Living products for about 15 years.
She said that she was an independent distributor and that she was the company’s first manager in the Western Cape. At the time of her husband’s death, Maqubela had been earning R62 000 a month.
The trial continues on Wednesday.
A grade 11 Cape Town pupil was killed after being stabbed while travelling to school aboard a Golden Arrow bus.|||
Cape Town - A grade 11 pupil was killed on Tuesday morning after being stabbed while travelling to school aboard a bus.
An 18-year-old, also believed to be a pupil, was arrested on a charge of murder.
Uviwe Mzingelwa, 17, from New Crossroads, was apparently involved in a fight with other passengers and died at the scene, said Western Cape Education Department spokesman Paddy Attwell.
The fight started at 7.30am as the bus was moving through Gugulethu.
Uviwe had attended Ned Doman High in Athlone.
“Many learners from various schools were travelling on the Golden Arrow bus when the stabbing took place, including Ned Doman, Spes Bona and Garlandale high schools,” Attwell said.
“The passengers received counselling at Gugulethu police station, including 23 learners from Ned Doman.”
He said a psychologist from the department’s Metropole Central district office provided counselling at the school. “Another counsellor from the district supported police counsellors at the police station.
“District officials and senior educators from the schools concerned visited the police station to support the learners and to obtain information on the incident.”
Golden Arrow spokeswoman Bronwyn Dyke said the fight between pupils on the bus had started on Monday.
“According to reports we have received, this started a while ago. It flared up (on Monday) when the deceased and another learner got into a fight. The deceased pulled a pair of scissors on another learner and stabbed him in the finger.”
She said the bus driver had flagged down a nearby police vehicle.
“The deceased and other unruly people were taken off the bus by police.”
Dyke said the fight had then continued on Tuesday when Uviwe was approached by two friends of the injured pupil. “Apparently two of the boy’s friends and the deceased got into another altercation.
He pulled out his scissors. They retaliated with a pair of scissors and stabbed the learner in the heart and he died.” She said the driver had driven to the nearest police station.
Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said a post-mortem would be conducted.
“He was stabbed several times with an unknown sharp object on the body. A murder case was opened for investigation and an 18-year-old suspect was arrested.”
Van Wyk said the suspect, who was currently in police custody, was expected to appear in Athlone Magistrate’s Court once he had been charged.
When the Cape Times contacted the school yesterday, principal Gwynne Philander was not there. Attwell said that Philander had described Uviwe as quiet and committed to his studies.
“He was pleasant, personable and had a good group of friends. The family decided to enrol him at Ned Doman because of his sister’s positive experience at the school. His sister, Sandiswe, was with him when he died.”
Attwell said the department joined Uviwe’s family and friends in mourning his loss.
Five people have been killed in Rocklands, Mitchells Plain, in Cape Town during a robbery, police said.|||
Micthells Plain - Five people have been killed in Rocklands, Mitchells Plain, in Cape Town during a robbery, Western Cape police said on Wednesday.
“Two unidentified men entered the house, allegedly used as a bakery, and demanded the safe, (and) fired shots at six occupants,” Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana said.
“Four people were killed during the incident, whilst two were critically injured and rushed to the hospital. One of the two victims later died in hospital, which brought the number of people killed to five.”
The attackers took a safe and fled the scene, around 10pm on Tuesday. The six were Pakistanis.
A 28-year-old man was arrested and would appear in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate's Court soon.
Police recovered one firearm and the safe. Cases of murder and house robbery had been opened. - Sapa
Professor Cyril Karabus could be coming home soon following a “breakthrough” that could see him being acquitted.|||
Cape Town - Professor Cyril Karabus, the retired paediatric oncologist who has been held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for about seven months, could be coming home soon following a “breakthrough” that could see him being acquitted of the manslaughter charges he is facing.
On Tuesday, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Marius Fransman called for the country to “pray in solidarity” with the Karabus family following reports that the medical review committee tasked with probing the matter had “absolved Karabus from all blame for the death of his patient”.
He said the verdict in Karabus’s case was expected on Thursday. The committee’s report was submitted during the professor’s court appearance on Tuesday.
Karabus, 77, from Kenilworth, was arrested at Dubai airport while travelling with his family on August 18.
He was convicted of manslaughter in absentia in the UAE in 2003.
The charge related to the death of a three-year-old Yemeni girl with cancer in 2002 at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi, where Karabus had been working as a locum. Prosecutors argue that he failed to give a blood transfusion to the child, who later died of myeloid leukaemia.
Flanked by Karabus’s lawyer in Cape Town, Michael Bagraim, Fransman, who visited the UAE for a second time last week to discuss the case with its government, said the South African government was satisfied with the latest development.
“We call on South Africans to pray for the final process on Thursday and in solidarity with Mr Karabus and his family as well as for his safe return to South Africa,” Fransman said.
He thanked the UAE government for its co-operation in the matter, saying South Africa respected its “sovereignty and independence”.
Bagraim said Karabus was taking strain and his health was “failing”. He said the “sickly” professor had been having angina attacks in the past few weeks.
He was hopeful the court would rule in favour of Karabus. There were two final hurdles – Thursday’s judgment and bringing Karabus home.
“We hope and pray the judge endorses the review committee report,” Bagraim said. Karabus would have to be assessed by doctors when he arrived home.
Several MPs praised the way the International Relations Ministry handled the issue during the debate in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
A Durbanville man accused of raping a four-month-old baby is expected to go on trial in the Parow Regional Court in three months.|||
Cape Town - A Durbanville man accused of raping a four-month-old baby is expected to go on trial in the Parow Regional Court in three months.
Gabriel Louw, 54, made his second appearance in the regional court on Tuesday after his case was transferred from the Bellville Magistrate’s Court. He has been in custody since October 20.
It is the State’s case that the baby’s mother left her in Louw’s care on the night of October 19 while she went out.
The baby was asleep when she was dropped off, but a short while later a traffic officer who lives in the same complex heard the constant crying of a baby.
He went to investigate and knocked on the door for about 10 minutes. When Louw eventually opened the door, he allegedly said he had been sleeping.
The baby was inside, wrapped in a blanket.
Later, when the baby’s mother returned and changed her daughter’s nappy, she discovered that the baby was bleeding.
She was checked medically and found to have been raped.
According to the charge sheet, Louw allegedly penetrated the baby’s private parts “with an unknown object”. There has been no evidence as to her injuries.
Louw has not yet been asked to plead.
After his arrest, Louw unsuccessfully applied for bail in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court.
His lawyer, Nolan Martin, withdrew from the case and a Legal Aid lawyer was appointed.
Louw is due back in court on June 4.
Elias Dyasi dodged death on three occasions only to be gunned down in an ambush at a doctor’s surgery.|||
Cape Town - A security guard dodged death on three occasions only to be gunned down in an ambush at a doctor’s surgery.
Elias Dyasi, 59, came face to face with death three times in the last two weeks.
But, on Monday afternoon, he was gunned down and robbed of his firearm.
The devoted dad was standing outside the doctor’s offices that he guards, washing some grapes he had just bought from a nearby vendor, when he came under fire.
His attackers didn’t care that it was broad daylight and there were people doing their shopping in Site C Khayelitsha when they opened fire.
The two men jumped out of a white Opel Corsa and shot Elias several times before taking his gun and speeding off.
Elias was rushed to a Khayelitsha hospital with a number of bullet wounds but passed away upon arrival.
A close friend, who refused to be named, told the Daily Voice that Elias survived three attempts on his life in less than two weeks.
“First a group of men who were travelling in a car pointed a firearm at him two weeks ago,” the man said.
“Again in the same week a man he was walking with was shot in the leg when they came under fire.
“And then a group of men threatened him with a gun again last week.”
They suspect the same suspects are behind the fatal shooting.
Colleague Mongezi Seti, 58, said he spoke to Elias just minutes before he was shot.
“I was sitting with him and just went inside the office. In less than a minute I heard gunshots outside,” he said.
“But when I went out, I saw him (Elias) lying on his back, his gun holster was lying metres away from him.”
Elias’ daughter Babalwa Sofuthe, 22, said that she last spoke to her dad an hour before his death.
“I cannot believe that my dad is dead,” she said.
“He died just an hour after I spoke to him”
Khayelitsha cops said that a case of murder is being investigated.
ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman has admitted that the ANC-run Cederberg municipality is in a state of “chaos”.|||
Cape Town -
ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman has admitted that the ANC-run Cederberg municipality is in a state of “chaos”.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Fransman said the party was “cleaning up the mess” in the Cederberg municipality, which includes the towns of Clanwilliam, Citrusdal and Lambert’s Bay on the West Coast.
Last month, police confirmed that charges had been filed against Cederberg mayor Jonas White for allegedly sending pornographic pictures to his deputy, Lorna Scheepers.
White allegedly offered Scheepers a private trip for the two of them to Durban at municipal expense.
Details were contained in an affidavit submitted by Scheepers to the Western Cape executive committee of the ANC.
At the time, White’s spokesman, Anthony Mlata, said: “The mayor does not recall sending inappropriate messages to any of the citizens in the municipal area in his official capacity.”
On Tuesday, Fransman said the party was “extremely concerned” about Cederberg. The party had launched a disciplinary process against White which would be wrapped up within two to three weeks.
“We are not interested in a witch-hunt, but it is clear to us that there is chaos in Cederberg and it has to be corrected,” Fransman said.
White faces three charges: sexual harassment, financial mismanagement and political interference in the administration.
“These are serious charges and they are all being investigated by us, the Hawks, the auditor-general and the public protector's office.”
Fransman then went on the offensive and said the ANC had revealed its challenges where it governed but the DA was “guilty of cover-ups”.
ANC provincial treasurer Fezile Calana said the DA was “guilty of hiding a lot of things” in the DA-run Mossel Bay municipality.
Mossel Bay’s municipal manager had been accused of mismanagement but the DA caucus had “swept the matter under the carpet”.
“DA mayoral committee member in Mossel Bay Susan Moodie used the K-word and she was given a R10 000 fine. The DA should have fired her.”
Calana was referring to a remark Moodie reportedly made on the phone to a community committee member last May.
She was found guilty of transgressing the party code, fined R10 000 and ordered to make a public apology.
On Tuesday, Theuns Botha, the DA’s deputy provincial chairman, said: “We have to respect the outcome of the disciplinary process. The party had decided to expel her but she took the matter on appeal. She was fined and cannot hold any senior position in council.”