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  • 03/25/13--01:24: Three pilot whales rebeach
  • Three of five pilot whales that were released into the sea rebeached during the night and were put down, the NSRI said.

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    Cape Town - Three of five pilot whales that were released into the sea on Sunday afternoon rebeached during the night, the National Sea Rescue Institute said on Monday.

    “The City of Cape Town… have reported that during the night three of the five whales… were found beached on Long Beach, Simonstown, at 11:30pm,” NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said in a statement.

    At 2:30am on Monday, the three whales were put down after they were found to be in poor health.

    “The False Bay coastline is being monitored by the authorities to determine if the remaining two whales may also beach,” he said.

    Nineteen pilot whales, mostly adults, beached at Noordhoek Beach in Cape Town on Sunday morning. A twentieth whale had managed to swim back into the surf.

    Lambinon, at the time, said five of them were transported to the Simonstown naval base and taken out to sea. One of them had rebeached in Simonstown and was later taken to sea on a tugboat.

    Another nine whales were put down on Noordhoek beach, and another five died naturally.

    Police, sea rescue and other services helped keep the mammals alive on the beach by using sheets and water. Attempts to refloat them had failed. - Sapa


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    The Western Cape Education Department is investing more than R8m this year in a plan to improve the quality of matric passes.

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    Cape Town - The Western Cape Education Department is investing more than R8 million this year in a plan to improve the quality of matric passes.

    Education MEC Donald Grant said reducing the number of underperforming schools would be a main focus.

    Schools are classified as underperforming if they obtain a matric pass rate of below 60 percent.

    Twenty-six schools fell into this category with their matric results last year.

    “Our goal is to support each of these 26 schools in order for them to move out of the underperforming school category,” said Grant.

    Focus areas include monitoring the use of textbooks and developing teachers’ skills in setting exam papers.

    Schools were also required to submit targets for performance and plans for the year through a school improvement strategy.

    “These targets and plans will be monitored quarterly and, where required, the department will provide appropriate, differentiated support to teachers and school management teams.”

    Other interventions include:

    * The tutoring of pupils over weekends and holidays.

    * A telematics project, broadcasting lessons by satellite to 144 schools after school and at weekends.

    * Providing safe homework and study spaces for pupils.

    * Issuing Grade 12 pupils with a study guide, Tips for Success, which includes advice on how and what to study for each subject, the structure of exam papers, and the managing of study time.

    * Providing previous exam papers.

    * Regular visits by officials for curriculum support and monitoring.

    Jonavon Rustin, provincial secretary of the SA Democratic Teachers Union, said the union welcomed the plan, but it was unclear how it would be implemented. It failed to address the problem of large class sizes. The department developed plans without discussion with unions, Rustin said.

    ilse.fredericks@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Kids involved in gangs in an informal settlement in Cape Town have decided to leave the gangs after an intervention by residents.

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    Cape Town - Children involved in gangs in the Nomzamo informal settlement in Strand have decided to leave the gang life behind after an intervention by residents in the wake of two teenagers being murdered last weekend.

    ANC Youth League member Monwabisi Rasmeni said 10 gangs were operating in the area and these gangs had recruited child members.

    “We had a huge gang problem and we needed a solution and that is why we are here today. We are here to address the problem,” Rasmeni said after a community meeting about the problem yesterday.

    Rasmeni said Thabiso Mazimela and Imanga Bota, both aged 17, were killed last weekend.

    He said the community had had enough and they formed a task team to bring an end to the gangs.

    The task team was made up of 25 community leaders including ANCYL members, concerned parents and taxi association members.

    Rasmeni said that the gangs were armed, constantly robbed residents and they were killing each other.

    “We needed to stand up as a community because the police can’t do it on their own. We even took their weapons away and that just shows that (the child gang members) are serious about ending this,” he said.

    He said the weapons confiscated included pangas, golf clubs, homemade weapons and even sickles.

    “These children want help and we are here to do that,” said Rasmeni.

    “We will introduce more sport programmes and other activities that will keep them busy.”

    The children, some as young as 12, said they had learnt their lesson and will not be returning to gang activity after pep talks and interventions by members of the task team.

    One of the gang members, a girl, said she had quit school in 2010, and hoped to go back.

    “We started as friends and we would bully children and then we got a name,” she said.

    “But now I realised that what I was doing was wrong and the reasons that I joined the gang were wrong.

    “I don’t even know why I stayed so long in the gang… I have listened to the messages that (the task team) gave us and I will take it seriously now.”

    yolisa.tswanya@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 03/25/13--01:37: Karabus eager to return home
  • Cape Town’s Professor Cyril Karabus is eager to return home after being acquitted of manslaughter charges in an Abu Dhabi court.

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    Cape Town - Cape Town’s Professor Cyril Karabus is eager to return home to his family and friends after being acquitted of manslaughter charges in an Abu Dhabi court.

    He hoped to be back in time to celebrate his 78th birthday on April 1, he said on Sunday.

    Karabus, a paediatric oncologist, was acquitted of manslaughter in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday, after a seven-month ordeal.

    “I am extremely pleased and relieved that my case has finally come to an end, and that the UAE judicial process has found me not guilty. The medical committee found that I’ve acted correctly in the treatment of my patient and absolved me of any wrongdoing,” he said.

    Karabus, of Kenilworth, was arrested in Dubai after travelling back from his son Matthew’s wedding in Canada on August 18 last year. The charges and his subsequent arrest came after he spent five weeks working as a locum at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi about a decade ago.

    He was convicted of manslaughter in absentia after the death of a three-year-old Yemeni girl suffering from leukaemia in 2002.

    Karabus was accused of failing to give her a vital blood transfusion.

    “I would therefore like to thank my family, my legal teams in both South Africa and the UAE, international governments, business, civil society, and all individuals who rendered continuous support by engaging with UAE stakeholders,” he said.

    Karabus is now awaiting the prosecution which has a fortnight to lodge an appeal. Until then he cannot get his passport back.

    His lawyer, Michael Bagraim, last week asked Deputy Minister of International Relations Marius Fransman to put pressure on the UAE to release Karabus’s passport.

    “I would like to thank the South African government, the embassy in Abu Dhabi and the minister of international relations and co-operation for their continuous efforts to ensure a positive outcome. In particular I would like to thank Marius Fransman,” said Karabus.

    “I look forward to spending quality time with my family and friends. I hope that all the required processes will be finalised as soon as possible,” he said.

    nontando.mposo@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A former security guard is accused of stabbing and trying to rape a woman just metres from Premier Helen Zille’s home.

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    Cape Town - A former security guard is accused of stabbing and trying to rape a woman just metres from Premier Helen Zille’s home.

    The woman was attacked in broad daylight in Leeuwenhof Road, which borders Zille’s official residence, Leeuwenhof.

    Gardeners at Zille’s luxury mansion heard the woman’s screams.

    “We couldn’t see her, but could only hear it coming from the back,” one of the gardeners told the Daily Voice.

    The Cape Town Magistrates’ Court heard on Friday that Thembalani Nontloko, 27, forced a domestic worker back into the house of her employer, undressed the victim and tried to rape her.

    When she resisted, he got a knife from the kitchen and stabbed her repeatedly in her head and back.

    “This man did not know the complainant, yet he attacked her and injured her so seriously,” Magistrate Nikki Oaks said.

    Nontloko allegedly ran out the gate while the woman screamed for help.

    She was treated in Somerset Hospital. He was arrested a few hours later.

    When the Daily Voice informed Premier Zille of the attack, she said it was “horrific and shocking”.

    “I am shocked by any crime, anywhere. It doesn’t especially shock me because it happened near my house,” she said.

    The incident would not prompt her to add more security around her house, she added.

    Nontloko faces a charge of attempted rape. He told the court he had a previous conviction of robbery in 2011.

    Originally from the Eastern Cape, he came to the city as a security guard in 2010 but was now unemployed.

    “Forensic and DNA reports, scene photos and fingerprint analysis are all still outstanding,” said State Prosecutor Geoffrey van Zyl.

    Nontloko initially refused an interpreter but then asked for one. This prompted the State to request a psychological report.

    His case was postponed to April 4 for his bail application.

    Daily Voice


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    Sanral plans to fight back if the City of Cape Town applies for an interdict to halt the R10 billion N1/N2 toll road project.

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    Cape Town - THE South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) plans to fight back if the City of Cape Town applies for an interdict to halt the R10 billion N1/N2 toll road project.

    The city said last week it would apply for an interdict to stop work on the project. This was after it received notification from Sanral that it intended to recommence work on the N1/N2 project.

    The mayoral committee member for transport, roads and stormwater, Brett Heron, said the city was concerned that Sanral was going ahead without Cape Town and its residents having a full understanding of the financial implications, and while a review application before the Western Cape High Court has yet to be decided.

    In November 2011, the city applied for an interdict to prevent Sanral from going ahead with the toll roads. The parties later agreed that the city would halt its interdict application and Sanral would not start work on the project until the review was completed.

    If was agreed if Sanral decided to commence work, it would give the city 45 days’ notice. The notification was received on March 6. This means Sanral could begin work by April 20 without first resolving the city’s concerns.

    The city filed an application in March last year asking the high court to review the decisions by then-transport minister S’bu Ndebele and the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa to start work on the N1 and N2 toll roads. The city believes the decisions have been “unlawful, unreasonable and procedurally unfair”.

    Sanral head of communication Vusi Mona said: “We believe there is no basis for the city to interdict us, but should it go ahead, we will oppose the interdict and seek a punitive costs order against the city.”

    Herron said: “There is a basis for us to apply for an interdict. For us to protect the city and its residents, it is important for the city to have a review of the decision which declared the N1 and N2 toll roads. We don’t want the court to say the decision is reviewable, but the roads have already been built - as happened in Johannesburg.”

    Herron said Sanral had to provide the outstanding information so the court review would be completed speedily.

    Sanral said it intended to begin negotiating with a bidder to conclude a concession contract, secure funding and carry out the work to address safety concerns on the N1 and N2.

    “Sanral has never said it intends to start with the project or to conclude the concession contract on the 20th April 2013. The negotiation of such contracts is time-consuming and so is securing funding for the works,” Mona said.

    Other Sanral work includes widening the road, from the top of Sir Lowry’s Pass to the Houwhoek Pass, from two to four lanes and building more lanes between the R300 and Sir Lowry’s Pass.

    Mona said the bore at the Huguenot Tunnel had exceeded its service level and a second bore needed to be built.

    zara.nicholson@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    The SA Agulhas II had to conduct an emergency medical evacuation after a woman at Marion Island research station became ill.

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    Cape Town - The SA Agulhas II had to conduct an emergency medical evacuation after a woman at the country’s Marion Island research station became ill.

    Nompilo Radebe, who works as an ornithologist on contract in the Department of Environment’s Oceans and Coast branch, is now in hospital in Cape Town.

    Departmental spokesman Zolie Nqayi said on Sunday Radebe had become ill late last year, and her condition had deteriorated recently.

    “Lately she was not responding to medication. The doctor on the Marion team, in consultation with the SA Navy’s surgeon-general, decided on an emergency medical evacuation,” he said.

    He said he was not in a position to say what was wrong with her.

    The new Agulhas left Cape Town on March 12 for the island, which is in the southern Ocean about 2 000km south east of Cape Town.

    South Africa operates a weather station on the island and the station is used by scientists in other fields.

    Nqayi said the Agulhas II was due to make a scheduled visit to Marion Island next month to collect the team of scientists and technicians who were due to return to South Africa in April.

    “The first option was to see whether she could be kept on the island until their return, but we were informed that she was critical and not responding to medication. We then considered using other cheaper alternatives, including the old SA Agulhas.

    None of the other suitable vessels was available and only the SA Agulhas II was available to travel to Marion Island at short notice,” he said.

    The fisheries patrol vessel the Sarah Baartman, a smaller vessel, was designed to do deepsea patrols around Marion and Prince Edward Islands, and would have been able to carry out the rescue at a lower cost. However, the vessel is in Simon’s Town awaiting repairs after a year under naval management.

    The daily cost of running the Agulhas II is around R250 000. It takes around five days to reach Marion Island.

    Cape Times


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    A Gansbaai company has reduced the size of its cage viewing gap, after a great white managed to ram its head into a safety cage.

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    Cape Town - A Gansbaai company has reduced the size of its shark cage viewing gap by 10 percent after a great white managed to ram its head into a safety cage holding a group of tourists.

    The video shot by Bryan Plummer went viral on YouTube as it shows his Canadian friends’ close encounter while shark-cage diving with Great White Shark Tours in Gansbaai on Thursday. The 25-second clip shows a 2.5m great white swim past the bait placed metres from the safety cage. The shark swims up to the cage and attempts to ram its head into the viewing gap of the safety cage.

    A diver closest to the shark moved away quickly as the shark thrashed about for about five seconds, its gaping jaws caught on camera.

    A voice can be heard shouting “stand back” as the shark retreats.

    On Friday, Plummer posted on his Facebook page: “Just after my first dive, I captured this on film… as a great white enters the shark cage. SOOOO lucky no one was hurt. This was terrifying to watch.”

    Great White Shark Tours general manager Greg Donald said although there were no injuries, the company reported the incident to authorities.

    “The cage is built to industry standards and is inspected every year. Since the incident, the viewing (gap in the) cage has been reduced by 10 percent to… 45cm, the lowest in the industry. The incident was reported to the Great White Shark Protection Foundation, of which we are members.”

    Donald said it was the first time a shark had reacted in this way in the 18 years since the company was launched.

    “The shark wasn’t lured to do that in any manner. It did that on its own and we don’t know why.

    “There hasn’t been an incident like this before.”

    Kim MacLean, the Great White Shark Protection Foundation chairwoman and Sharklady Adventure owner, said the incident was isolated and there was no immediate danger.

    “(Great White Shark Tours) are a reputable company. It could’ve happened to anyone… our cages are safe.

    “It’s clear in the video that the juvenile went up to the cage on its own.

    “The shark could have swum fast towards the cage, causing its snout to go into the cage. Seconds later it was gone,” she said.

    MacLean said the process was “safe” and the divers were not in serious danger.

    barbara.maregele@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Dozens of Pakistanis protested against the release on bail of the two men arrested for the killing of four Pakistani businessmen.

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    Cape Town - Dozens of Pakistanis protested outside Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court this morning against the release on bail of the two men arrested at the weekend for the killing of four Pakistani businessmen.

    The group brandished posters that read “No bail stay in jail” and “We want justice”.

    Rana Ehmad, a Pakistani who has lived in Mitchells Plain for 16 years, said they feared for their lives.

    “We are still scared, it’s not easy to move on. We fear for our lives and businesses in future attacks,” Ehmad said. He said they had come out to say they did not want the suspects to get bail.

    At the weekend police arrested two more men, aged 34 and 41, on charges of murder, attempted murder, house-breaking and hijacking. This came after the first suspect, Lehano Jansen, 28, from Lentegeur, appeared in court on Friday.

    The men are alleged to have killed the Pakistanis after a dispute about a lucrative bread deal.

    “The investigation is at a very sensitive stage at the moment, we therefore cannot release any further details on the case,” police communication officer Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana said last night.

    Twelve police officers were on duty in court four this morning to maintain order.

    The suspects had not yet appeared at the time of publication.

    The crowd was set to march to Parliament to hand over a memorandum later today.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The Western Cape human settlements department has delivered over 94 000 sites and houses in the last three years.

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    Cape Town - The Western Cape human settlements department has delivered over 94 000 sites and houses in the last three years, provincial MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela said on Monday.

    “From April 2009 to March 31, 2013... a total of 94,228 sites and houses, will have been delivered, at a cost of R5.12 billion,” he said at the provincial budget vote in Cape Town.

    Around R2.1 billion had been budgeted for the new financial year, starting in April. This was made up of a grant allocation of R1.94bn and an operational budget of around R150 million.

    Madikizela said the focus of the budget was on the poorest of citizens.

    “The provision of housing solutions gives them a hand up so they can become part of the “whole-of-society”, becoming contributors to both their own success, and that of greater society,” he said.

    One of the ways to help the poor was to formalise backyard shacks by upgrading existing informal settlements. Another was to provide affordable housing through market mechanisms and densifying suburbs.

    Madikizela said an area which had long been overlooked was the issue of farmworker housing.

    Many farmworkers had not registered to benefit from housing projects.

    “The department is strongly encouraging municipalities to go on special registration drives in its farm areas,” he said.

    He said there could be potential problems with the design of the national Farm Resident's Housing Programme subsidy, which allowed the department to use public money to subsidise rental accommodation.

    “The new minimum wage for farmworkers will put many farmworker households over the R3500 income level limit for the subsidy,” Madikizela said.

    The department would be working closely with various bodies in the sector to find a solution.

    “The aim is to develop a set of viable and useful on or near-farm accommodation options for typical Western Cape rural situations.”

    The MEC identified another challenge preventing housing delivery to the poor, namely community conflict.

    He said major housing projects often had to be repeatedly stopped.

    “Local leaders and steering committees often use the projects to try to force the department to accommodate their agendas, which range from political agendas, to the promotion of self-interest through accessing work or business opportunities, to local forms of nepotism through trying to influence housing lists.

    “Unfortunately, it is the people who most need houses who suffer as they have to wait longer for their housing opportunities.”

    The department had set up units to deal with potential conflict before it arose and to assign extra security where needed.

    Sapa


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    Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's analysis of the farmworker strikes is “misleading and possibly mischievous”, rights activist Braam Hanekom has said.

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    Cape Town - Premier Helen Zille’s analysis of the farmworker strikes and organisations involved was “misleading and possibly mischievous”, rights activist Braam Hanekom has said.

    Hanekom, director of People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty (Passop), was responding to Zille’s newsletter in which the DA leader criticised Hanekom, Passop and the ANC’s role during the strikes.

    Farming in several towns across the province was brought to a standstill in November to January when workers took part in protests at low wages and poor living conditions.

    Zille wrote that Passop’s leader was a nephew of an ANC minister - a reference to Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom - and said Passop sought to unionise farmworkers for Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu), a Cosatu affiliate.

    Hanekom said Zille’s reference to Passop as being his organisation, shortly after identifying him as being a relative of an ANC minister, had been “unnecessary, misleading and possibly mischievous”. He was disappointed by Zille’s statement about his family ties.

    “My (family) relationship to a political leader does not define me politically or in any other way… My political views are defined by my experience and not my surname,” he said.

    He said he was proud to be a member of the ANC, but Passop was politically unaligned and critical of all injustice, regardless of who was in power.

    Zille wrote that some ANC politicians had “sought to spread the unrest across the province for their political advantage”.

    She said the ANC wanted to present the Western Cape as exploitative, racist and ungovernable, while some of its representatives were labour brokers who earned “super profits” from placing workers.

    Zille believed the strikes were a golden opportunity for the ANC to drive a wedge between two strong DA support bases - farmers and farmworkers. ANC provincial chairman Marius Fransman has denied Zille’s allegations.

    Hanekom said he and Passop supported the unionisation of workers, and he would continue to help recruit workers to Fawu.

    He said unions would help ease tensions when they arose between foreign and South African workers.

    Cape Times


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    An application to halt construction of the N1-N2 Winelands toll highway project in Cape Town will be heard in May.

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    Cape Town - An application to halt construction of the N1-N2 Winelands toll highway project in Cape Town will be heard in May, a city official said on Monday.

    Transport and roads mayoral committee member Brett Herron said the urgent interdict application had been set down for May 16 and 17 in the Western Cape High Court.

    “Despite the best efforts of the city’s legal teams, the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) has thus far not provided the people of Cape Town with a full understanding of the financial implications of this massive project,” he said.

    Sanral served the city with a notice on March 6 indicating that it intended resuming the project.

    “As a result of this notice, it is necessary for the city to proceed with its interdict application to prevent the conclusion of the concession contract, as well as the commencement of the project pending the hearing of the review application,” he said.

    The city previously filed an urgent interdict application in November 2011.

    Sanral agreed at that stage to take no further steps towards implementing the project pending the review application yet to be decided upon by the Western Cape High Court. It had also committed to provide the city with 45 days notice of its intention to start working on the project.

    Herron said Sanral agreed not to conclude a concession agreement before June 1, 2013.

    Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona previously said negotiation of contracts was a time-consuming and lengthy process.

    “Only after the appointment of a concessionaire, and once funding has been secured, can the necessary works under the project be carried out.”

    He said Sanral was willing to engage with the city on the matter.

    Although Sanral respected the city's right to approach the court when it felt aggrieved, Sanral would also exercise its constitutional right in this respect, he said.

    The proposed concession route along the N1 extends from west of the R300 interchange through to Sandhills. The N2 portion of the proposed toll road concession extends from west of the R300 to Bot River.

    According to a diagram on Sanral's website, 106 kilometres of the N1 and 70km of the N2 would be tolled should the project go ahead.

    A notice of intent on its website stated that Sanral would consider an “open road toll” system as used in Gauteng, where remote sensing devices were positioned on gantries and on vehicles.

    The project was authorised by the environmental affairs department and a record of decision was issued in September 2003.

    After considering appeals against the project, the department gave a revised record of decision in 2008. - Sapa


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    Acting judge Patrick Maqubela was diagnosed with bipolar mood disorder, a part of which was sex addiction, his widow testified.

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    Cape Town - Acting judge Patrick Maqubela was diagnosed with bipolar mood disorder, a part of which was sex addiction, his widow Thandi Maqubela told the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

    She accompanied her husband to a consultation with a physician, who diagnosed the judge as having the disorder, which explained his two extra marital affairs, she testified.

    The State alleges that Maqubela and her co-accused Vela Mabena

    suffocated the judge with cling-wrap in his Sea Point, Cape Town, apartment on June 5, 2009. They have pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder.

    Maqubela has also pleaded not guilty to additional charges of forgery and fraud.

    Prosecutors Bonnie Currie-Gamwo and Pedro van Wyk allege that she forged her husband's signature on his will, and then fraudulently presented the forged will at the Johannesburg office of the Master of the High Court.

    Under cross-examination by Currie-Gamwo, Maqubela said she discussed her husband's condition with former Eastern Cape judge president Cecil “Doc” Somyalo.

    Asked why she had disclosed this information to the former judge president, Maqubela replied that her husband had moved in and out of several top paying posts, including one with SA Airways and another with a Johannesburg legal firm.

    He had stopped reporting for duty at the firm, and when she discussed his lack of interest with the senior partner, she was told he had regularly been seen with young women.

    When an acting post was offered to him at the Western Cape High Court, she said she realised how important the job was and that her husband could even secure the position permanently if he worked diligently.

    This spurred her conversation with Somyalo, as Somyalo knew her husband, and she had hoped he would be able to speak to him to impress upon him that he should desist from his behaviour.

    “The post of acting judge was the best job that he had had, and for me it was important that he should do it well, and not just stop going to work as he had done with other jobs,” Maqubela told the court.

    “I wanted him to stop seeing other women, and to stop the reckless spending of money.”

    Maqubela said she had discussed her husband's behaviour with his family hoping the embarrassment would stop him from continuing with his behaviour.

    Asked if she disclosed to the judge's family that he had been diagnosed as bipolar, Maqubela said she had discussed only his affairs.

    As far as she was concerned, it was up to her husband to explain his condition to his family.

    The trial continues on Wednesday. - Sapa


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    Vuyisile Mxhosana recalls the last conversation he had with his younger brother who died in a clash with CAR rebels.

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    Cape Town - He tried phoning every hour, but his brother never picked up.

    It was only on Monday, when news began to filter through from the Central African Republic, that Vuyisile Mxhosana found out his younger brother had been killed.

    Jimmy Mxhosana, 27, was one of 13 South African soldiers who died after army forces stationed in Bangui clashed with rebel fighters.

    When Vuyisile Mxhosana received the news from authorities he said he felt like he had “entered another world”.

    “I can barely speak about it,” he said.

    “The last time we spoke was on Friday. He said fighting had started… He didn’t sound scared, he just said; sort out things with our mother.”

    Mxhosana was the youngest of four siblings, and had always wanted to join the military. As soon as he finished a year at college, he enlisted and began training in Bloemfontein where he climbed through the ranks and eventually joined the Special Forces Regiment.

    Vuyisile Mxhosana remembered driving his brother to the military base just a few days before he was set to be deployed in Bangui in December.

    It was the last time they saw each other.

    “All the memories are flooding in at the moment,” he said.

    But Vuyisile is more worried about his mother, who is dealing with the news alone in Pretoria three years after her husband died.

    “I’m going to go see her, and we will see where we go from there.”

    Funeral arrangements are on hold as the family waits to hear if his body will be brought back to the country. But Vuyisile Mxhosana said he was bitter about a “state that has taken everything and given him nothing but sorrow”.

    Cape Argus


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    A court ordered that a bullet be removed from the pelvis of one of the men accused of killing four Pakistanis.

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    Cape Town - One of the men accused of murdering four Pakistanis at a bakery distribution point run from a home in Rocklands, shot himself in the pelvis during the attack, the State has told the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court.

    On Monday, magistrate Walter Golding granted an order compelling Yazeed Hendricks, 41, of Lentegeur to undergo surgery to remove the bullet.

    As part of the order, police are entitled to use “necessary force” to transport Hendricks to hospital and help doctors prepare him for surgery.

    And if Hendricks does not consent to surgery, Golding authorised the sheriff of Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court to sign the consenting documents on his behalf.

    Police have arrested and charged three men in connection with last Tuesday’s shooting in which Shafique Muhammad, 42, Adnan Haider, 23, Ghulam Baqar, 23, and Shahzad Ahmad, 39, where killed. Asif Nadeem and an unnamed man survived the shooting. Nadeem is in hospital.

    Pakistanis living in Mitchells Plain alleged the murders were a hit organised by a rival businessman.

    The first suspect, Lehano Jasen, 28, of Lentegeur appeared in court on Friday. His case was postponed so that an identity parade could be held.

    On Monday, Hendricks and Mogamat de Villiers, 43 of Wynberg appeared in court for their alleged roles in the shooting.

    Prosecutor Leticia du Plessis brought an application on Monday for a court order to force Hendricks to allow doctors to remove the bullet.

    She said Hendricks had been implicated in a theft of a motor vehicle but that he was also linked to the murder.

    “Accused three (Hendricks) was also at the murder scene and in the rush to get away from the scene, he accidentally shot himself in the pelvis.”

    Once the bullet is in the State’s possession it can be sent for forensic analysis to determine whether it is linked to the crime.

    Hendricks’s lawyer, Dillon Frank, unsuccessfully opposed the application. Frank did not deny that the projectile was inside his client’s body but denied that he was linked to the crime.

    Hendricks is being kept at the hospital section at Pollsmoor.

    The accused are due to appear in court again on April 10.

    Meanwhile, about 200 Pakistani men, supported by immigrants from other parts of Africa and Asia, marched on Parliament on Monday in protest against an “epidemic” of murder and violence.

     

    Nadeem’s family has not yet informed him of the deaths of his friends.

     

    On Monday, the bodies of the four men were loaded on to an aircraft bound for Islamabad, where they will be buried.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    daneel.knoetze@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A Cape Town nurse was told to leave the hospital where she works after she reported for duty with no front teeth.

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    Cape Town - A veteran nurse was told to leave the hospital and go home after she reported for work with no front teeth.

    The 52-year-old woman literally lost her smile when a thief stole her false teeth during a burglary recently.

    Last Friday, the Ravensmead woman was forced to take time off work by her bosses because of her toothless grin.

    She told the Daily Voice that bosses at N1 City hospital told her she would not be allowed to return until she replaced her missing front teeth.

    “The dentures were stolen from my bathroom while I was off last week,” said the embarrassed woman who asked not to be identified.

    “On Wednesday evening I forgot to close the window and they [thief] must have taken it at that time. I only realised my teeth were gone on Thursday afternoon when I wanted to go visit my sister-in-law.”

    She said her grandchild’s soap and shampoo were among the items stolen from her bathroom.

    The woman – who has been working at N1 City hospital for nearly 20 years – said she did not want to stay away from work unnecessarily the next day and headed into the medical facility as usual.

    Little did she know her empty smile would land her in trouble.

    “At work they asked me where my teeth were and one of my colleagues even said I must wear a surgical mask to cover it up,” she said.

    “I jokingly put on the mask but I didn’t want to make it obvious and have the patients think that I have a disease.”

    But the jokes faded when her manager walked in and questioned her about her missing teeth.

    And by 9am, she was told to go back home.

    “She [manager] said I can’t work like this and I must go home to sort it out and come back once I have my teeth,” she explains.

    “I was put on leave but I haven’t signed anything yet and until now I am not sure if it is unpaid leave or my annual leave.”

    Speaking from her home on Monday with just her bottom dentures, the woman said the gold slit in her stolen teeth have special meaning.

    “It is a small piece of gold but it had sentimental meaning to me, it belonged to my ta-ta [grandfather],” she told the Daily Voice.

    “I’ve had dentures for most of my life but I never went without my teeth. Most people didn’t even know I had dentures until now.

    “I can barely eat properly because of this.

    “I had to get a new set made at the hospital which cost me R2 900 and this also puts a dent in my budget.

    “I don’t know what is going to happen if the new dentures are not done in time because my next shift starts on Friday.”

    Meanwhile Netcare Regional Director Ian Goble said: “The matter is at present under investigation as the management who dealt with this case is currently on leave.”

    Public appearance is very important in certain places, and an employer has the right to ask employees to adhere to these practices, a labour lawyer said when asked about the legalities of what happned to this nurse.

    The public image of a company is an operational requirement.

    The labour lawyer said that an employer can ask an employee not to work when certain requirements are not met.

    One example of an operational requirement would be when companies shut down over the holiday period at the end of the year. Most employees “force” workers to take their annual leave over that period.

    This [particular issue] is not a common situation. For me it is more a question of annual leave versus sick leave. And in my opinion this should be sick leave. This lady can submit a sick leave form with a medical certificate, in this case from a dentist or dental technician. The discretion for the employee to take off from work always lies with the employer, according to the lawyer.

    Daily Voice


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    Cape Town drivers to be barred from renewing licences until they have paid their fines.

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    Cape Town drivers will be barred from renewing their vehicles’ licences, and even their own driving licences, until they have paid their traffic fines.

    This is among tough new measures that await errant Cape Town drivers to force them to obey the rules of the road - or be banned from driving.

    The City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said the new measures were the work of a traffic task team, which had been established to combat lawlessness on the roads.

    “Drivers’ behaviour will only change when they feel the consequences of breaking the law.

    “Until now, there has been a belief by some that if they do not pay their fines, there will be no consequences,” said Smith.

    ADMIN MARK

    Even warrants of arrest were not deterring many, Smith said, adding that fines totalling R489 million remained unpaid despite the issuing of warrants.

    “So we have introduced the ‘Admin Mark’,” he said. This was a mark against drivers’ names on the electronic eNaTis system, for those drivers for whom warrants of arrest had been issued.

    “Once a driver has a ‘mark’ behind their name, they will not be able to renew their vehicles’ licences, or their driver’s licence,” he said.

    Drivers caught without licences or vehicle licences will have their vehicles impounded, a measure under new legislation, by the provincial transport department.

    OPERATION RECLAIM

    Smith said they had doubled their capacity for Operation Reclaim to snare drivers with warrants of arrest. Thirty new staffers had been trained and appointed, and roadblocks were now taking place 10 or 11 times a week, up from seven.

    In addition to these roadblocks, Smith said, traffic officers across the city now had hand-held radios on which they could enter number plate details, and which would notify them in seconds if a driver had outstanding warrants.

    New laws were planned which would force drivers to prove their physical addresses when renewing their licences.

    This would enable officers to serve more summonses directly, and enforce subsequent arrest warrants.

    CITY OF BAD DRIVERS

    Sad but true – Cape Town drivers pay scant attention to the rules of the road.

    This lawlessness was starkly proven on Monday when we accompanied two Ghost Squad officers from the traffic department on a brief outing in their unmarked car.

    The trip followed a typical commute from a suburb of Somerset West, along the N2 towards central Cape Town.

    And to prove the point, the officers left it to us to spot the violations.

    In just 60 minutes, we recorded 59 offences - nearly one every minute - and this on a quiet Monday afternoon.

    In the worst case, a high-powered Chevrolet Lumina sports car raced down the N2, weaving in between traffic, before accelerating at speed off towards the airport.

    Ghost squad officer John Bezuidenhout gunned the unmarked VW Golf GTi, and rapidly caught up. Unaware that an officer was on his tail, the driver sped on and for several seconds the Chev was recorded at up to 182km/h. The driver was not fined, however, as he had not been officially recorded.

    At times we were unable to record multiple offences occurring simultaneously.

    60 MINUTES OF LAWLESSNESS: 59 OFFENCES:

    Missing number plates: 7.

    Obscured or outdated number plates: 19.

    No seatbelt: 1.

    SMSing while driving: 1.

    Talking on a cellphone while driving: 1.

    Illegal right turn: 2.

    Illegal u-turn over painted traffic island: 1.

    Unroadworthy vehicle (smashed left rear lights): 1.

    Tailgating: 2.

    Speeding (based the speed of the following patrol vehicle – not recorded): 4.

    Reckless and dangerous driving: 1.

    Over-loading: 1.

    Turning or changing lanes without indicating: 16.

    Shooting a red robot: 2.

    In addition, there were too many instances of jaywalking to record, including on the N2, also punishable offences. These were not recorded in the total, but it is routinely found that pedestrian deaths account for almost half of all road deaths in South Africa. - Cape Argus


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    The last of the 20 whales that was stranded on Noordhoek beach has died.

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    Cape Town - The last of the 20 whales that was stranded on Noordhoek beach on Sunday has died.

    The whale which had been pushed back into the sea when rescue operations began, was found lying dead in the sand on Noordhoek beach on Monday morning.

    Residents and rescue teams had scrambled to save the beached animals, but not a single one survived.

    The city said nine of the whales were put down on the scene, while five others died of natural causes.

    The five “healthier” whales that were transported on trailers, tailgated by a crowd of hopeful volunteers, were released off the coast of Simon’s Town.

    But these whales were later found beached and injured along the shores of False Bay and were subsequently put down.

    Some residents and conservation groups have lashed out at the city saying authorities dragged their heels and were ill-equipped to deal with the mass stranding – with the first whale transported to Simon’s Town almost eight hours after it beached.

    Gregg Oelofse, head of environmental policy and strategy for the city, said he found the allegations “absolutely astounding”.

    “We had 130 people from various agencies, five front-end loaders, seven flatbed trucks.

    “All the equipment was city equipment.”

    He said the reason the machinery took so long to reach the isolated beach was because it was stored in Maitland and most of the heavy vehicles travelled slowly.

    Civilian volunteers questioned the city’s decision to shoot the animals but the city said in an official statement that the operation took place in accordance with an approved large-mammal stranding policy.

    The policy was adopted after the mass stranding in Kommetjie in 2009, where there were 55 beached whales of which 42 were shot dead.

    kieran.legg@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    State land in Cape Town is to be cleared for mixed-income housing in an initiative that could change the face of the city.

    |||

    Cape Town - Prime state land in the Cape Town’s city centre is to be cleared for mixed-income housing, in an initiative that could change the face of the city.

    Among 65 parcels of land identified for the initiative is land on Hope, Buitenkant and Roeland streets currently housing government garages.

    Speaking at a press conference before delivering his budget speech on Monday, Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle said the Western Cape government was to dispose of all unused state-owned property, including abandoned schools, to make way for mixed-income housing.

    The properties earmarked for the regeneration project include vacant and developed land.

    The government garages would be moved to Maitland, where the province had recently bought land.

    It was now “ministerial policy” to dispose of all properties not required by the administration.

    “Such disposals would be aimed at mixed-income housing proposals, and will include excess land at certain schools,” Carlisle said.

    The first “regeneration income” of about R2.2 million, which came from the lease of a Sea Point school, marked an important milestone in the profitable management of the province’s property assets, Carlisle said.

    The multibillion-rand regeneration project was first announced in 2011, and at the time Carlisle said the province’s property portfolio in the city would provide its initial financial leverage.

    “Our aim is to use public sector assets to unleash investment by the private sector. This initiative will, by 2014, regenerate the Cape Town CBD as the catalyst to propel Cape Town forward as a great global city.”

    On Monday, Carlisle said the intention was to “build a strong positive net cash inflow into the asset financing reserve by the sale or lease of provincial properties”.

    “We are also pumping a lot of money into new schools,” he said. “From now to 2016, about 70 new schools will be built.”

    Major developments are also planned for the Artscape/Founders Garden precinct and the CTICC.

    Carlisle’s department has been allocated R4.6 billion for the 2013/14 financial year, of which R1.7bn will be spent on road construction and maintenance projects.

    Carlisle said the provincial government had also taken back the Conradie hospital site near Thornton due to non-payment.

    The property was sold under the previous ANC administration.

    Carlisle said that, despite the residual court challenge, the Chapman’s Peak toll plaza was likely to be completed by June.

    clayton.barnes@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Authorities involved in the operation to save 20 beached whales in Cape Town will meet to discuss how to improve their methods.

    |||

    Cape Town - Authorities involved in the massive operation to save 20 beached whales in Noordhoek plan to meet next week to discuss how to improve their methods – but have assured the public they went all out to assist the stranded mammals.

    The 20 false killer whales beached early on Sunday.

    One managed to swim free, five died, nine were put down and the remaining five were transported to the Simon’s Town Naval Base where they were placed on tugs then released offshore.

    But on Monday, the five had re-beached and were put down.

    Mike Meyer, of the Department of Environment’s Oceans and Coast branch, who was involved in the Noordhoek operation, said a meeting for specific volunteers, city officials, law enforcement and others involved would be held next week.

    “There’s always room for improvement. We’ll look at the things that didn’t go well,” Meyer said.

    One of “the hitches”, the number of people that had come to the beach, would be discussed.

    Meyer said during Sunday’s operation:

    * Reaction time had been affected by various factors, including that not all emergency services staff were operational and immediately available as it was a Sunday.

    Authorities often received hoax calls about beachings, therefore before a full-scale rescue operation was launched, an official had to get to the scene to assess what had happened and how many animals were affected.

    Rescue services were then alerted accordingly.

    Meyer said instead of rushing the beached whales back into the sea, which was not a safe option, rescuers had tended to them.

    Meyer said whales could be kept safely out of the water, if adequately hydrated, for a number of hours.

    * Logistics had been tricky. Front-end loaders, flat-bed trucks and heavy equipment were used to remove surviving whales from the beach.

    Meyer said the vehicles were stationed at a depot in Maitland and staff had to be sorted out to access these.

    The vehicles then had to negotiate a packed Noordhoek Beach. “They had to get through the traffic. That’s why we block people out,” he said, referring to metro police officers who had tried to control and prevent scores of people getting to the whales.

    Meyer said the area where the whales had beached was not near access points to the beach.

    “The sand is very soft. A lot of vehicles got stuck.”

    * Treatment of the whales was carefully thought out.

    Four years ago, in Kommetjie 55 false killer whales had beached in Kommetjie and thousands of people had packed the beach with some trying to swim the mammals back out.

    On Monday, Meyer said rescuers had learned from this and it had been decided not to swim them out.

    This was because once back in the water the whales could have communicated with others, causing more to beach and on Sunday, sea conditions were rough with “high energy waves” which would have made it unsafe for people and the whales.

    * The decision to put down some was made after authorities assessed the whales.

    Those that were “not going to make it” were shot with a rifle. “The welfare of the animal comes first. Not how people feel,” he said.

    caryn.dolley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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