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    The Inge Lotz murder investigator needs help in tracing two women who visited the crime scene after Lotz died.

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    Cape Town - The investigating officer in the Inge Lotz murder case, Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Barkhuizen, has appealed for the public to assist him in tracing two women dressed as goths who visited the crime scene after Lotz was killed.

    Lotz’s body was discovered on March 16, 2005, in her flat in the security complex Shiraz on Klein Welgevonden in Stellenbosch.

     Her then boyfriend, Fred van der Vyver, was arrested and tried for her murder, but after a protracted trial, was acquitted in 2007.

    He sued the minister of police for malicious prosecution, but the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled this week that it could not be found that there was malice in the conduct of the police.

    The murder remains unsolved.

    But Barkhuizen, a highly experienced investigator, is leading a police team which includes one of the most highly regarded forensic scientists in South Africa.

    While their investigation is focused on a new male suspect,

    Barkhuizen is also looking for the two women, who are believed to be in their late twenties or early thirties now.

    It is believed that they arrived at the apartment the evening that Lotz was killed, or during the early hours of the morning.

    Members of the gothic subculture normally dye their hair black, apply dark eyeliner and mascara, paint their nails black, may have piercings, and wear black clothing.

     “While police were busy investigating the crime scene, two young white females, both dressed in black, came to the flat and enquired about Inge’s well-being.

    “They could be students, about 19 to 21 years old at the time.

    “They could have been living in the same block of flats as Inge.

    “The case has received widespread public attention since 2005.

    “To date, these two ladies have not been identified. I am keen to interview anyone with information about their whereabouts and will treat the information with the utmost confidence,” Barkhuizen said.

     Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko told Weekend Argus this week that the Hawks were searching for two Xhosa-speaking women who could have lived in Kayamandi or been in the same church as Lotz.

     However, Barkhuizen said Ramaloko’s comments were incorrect.

    Barkhuizen can be reached at 082 411 2142.

    Weekend Argus


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    About 200 people have been left homeless after four fires swept across Cape Town on Good Friday.

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    Cape Town - About 200 people have been left homeless after four fires raged around Cape Town on Good Friday.

    Disaster Risk Management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said the first fire broke out in Kalkfontein and firefighters arrived at the scene at 6.56pm.

    The blaze was extinguished in just over 30 minutes, but by then

    21 shacks and a house had been destroyed, leaving an estimated 88 people homeless.

    At Masiphumelele informal settlement, a fire destroyed 25 shacks and three houses, leaving 60 people, including two babies, homeless.

    It is believed the fire might have started when a burning lamp fell over and ignited bedding in one of the shacks.

    One woman was treated for smoke inhalation and a man was treated for a fractured ankle after the roof of his house collapsed while he was standing on it.

    He was taken to False Bay Hospital.

    On Friday night, a fire at Fisantekraal informal settlement, near Durbanville, destroyed 11 shacks, and 41 people – 25 adults and 16 children – were left homeless.

    It is believed that the fire might have started after a lit paraffin stove

    fell over.

    Another fire at Lusaka informal settlement in Gugulethu destroyed four backyard dwellings and left 16 people homeless.

    Residents tried in vain to extinguish the fire, using buckets of water, before firefighters and other emergency services officials arrived at the scene.

    It is believed that the fire might have been caused by a short circuit in the electrical wiring of one of the shacks.

    Solomons-Johannes said the victims of the fires were given emergency packs, which included food parcels, blankets, baby packs, clothing and building materials.

    kowthar.solomons@inl.co.za

    Weekend Argus


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  • 03/31/13--02:13: Zero tolerance for offenders
  • Two people were killed in two separate incidents on Western Cape roads on Good Friday

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    Cape Town - TWO people were killed in two separate incidents on Western Cape roads on Good Friday – one a pedestrian and the second a passenger in a vehicle.

    According to provincial traffic head Kenny Africa, the pedestrian was killed on the R300 highway near Mitchells Plain on Good Friday

    .

    After hitting the pedestrian, the driver of the vehicle lost control of the car, smashed through a fence, and rocketed over a concrete wall before crashing into a house, Africa said. The driver suffered minor injuries, and was charged with culpable homicide.

    In the second incident, a passenger was killed when the driver of the vehicle lost control near Blouberg Strand on Friday night.

    Africa said the loss of lives was a “terrible tragedy” and added that the traffic department would continue to enforce its zero tolerance policy.

    “We will not let anyone place another person’s life in danger while travelling on the roads. Any road offenders will be found and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

    More than 700 speeding fines to the tune of R89 000 were dished out to Western Cape motorists so far over the Easter weekend during 12 roadblocks on the major roads.

    According to officials, the highest recorded speed violation in the Western Cape over the last two days was 195km/h in a 120km/h zone, near Beaufort West on Friday night.

    In addition, 17 motorists were charged with drunk driving on Good Friday and the highest recorded blood alcohol concentration was 1.20g per 100ml near Vredendal – far above the legal limit of 0.05g per 100ml.

    Officers were also involved in a high speed car chase from Kraaifontein to Kuils River. The driver was eventually caught and charged with reckless and negligent driving as well as drunk driving.

    “We understand that everyone is in a festive mood, but that does not mean drinking and driving will be tolerated. We warn anyone who thinks they can drink and drive and risk the lives of other people that they will be caught and dealt with in the harshest terms possible.”

    One man was also arrested for carrying false documents near Swellendam.

    Africa said the department also received assistance from Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).

    “The RTMC have made a helicopter available, which alerts us to any incidents on the ground. They also provided us with 10 high-performance vehicles to reinforce our regular operations. This gives us a much greater scope to monitor traffic and arrest any offenders.”

    An additional 22 officers have also been posted on the notorious “death stretch” between Beaufort West and Leeu-Gamka on the N1 highway.

    Africa encouraged all motorists and their passengers to buckle up on the road.

    “Statistics have proven that many accident victims die because they fail to wear seatbelts. Whether it’s the front or back seats, all occupants of a vehicle must wear a seatbelt and we hope motorists will take this seriously. It can mean the difference between life and death.”

    Roadblocks will continue throughout the weekend with the emphasis on drinking and driving, speeding, fatigue management and ensuring safe following distances.

    kowthar.solomons@inl.co.za

    Weekend Argus


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    The justice system in the Western Cape is coming apart in a toxic cocktail of sloppy police work and incompetence in detection.

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    Cape Town - An explosive new report paints a grim picture of the policing system in the Western Cape coming to pieces in a toxic cocktail of sloppy police work and incompetence in detection.

    So low were the standards of crime management uncovered that instances were noted where violent criminals were transported with witnesses called to testify against them at court appearances.

     The Department of Community Safety set up a “Watching Briefs” team to attend court cases – with emphasis on gang-related crimes – to assess how police investigations and prosecutions were handled, and was shocked to discover the poor standard of police work that went into these cases.

    The team included legal experts in the department and post-graduate law students under the leadership of senior advocate JC Gerber, who attended court cases, made observations and reported their findings after almost a year in the field.

    The report found that “some witnesses are transported with the accused, resulting in witnesses either refusing to testify or giving watered-down testimony for fear of reprisals or death”.

    It added that in a recent gang-related murder in Parow, the State witness, who was also awaiting trial in another matter, was held in custody at the same prison as the accused.

    “On the trial date the witness and the two accused (all three in custody) were transported to court in the same vehicle.

    “At court the witness informed the prosecutor that he withdrew his statement and he refused to testify.

    “The witness was the only witness to link the two accused with the commission of a murder.”

    Other highlighted incidents from the recently released report include:

    l In a case in Grassy Park, police remained in their vehicles at what they thought was an accident scene and failed to notice shell casings strewn across the road. Forensic Pathology Services officials had to point out the casings to them. It was discovered that the deceased had been shot 13 times.

    l

    In a case involving a Philippi murder, the investigating officer did not take separate statements from the six State witnesses and, instead, let all six sign a single statement.

     l In a Hout Bay murder case, the police docket was not made available to the prosecution before the accused applied for bail. As a result, the prosecutor did not know the accused had several previous convictions and pending cases. He was released on R300 bail.

     l In a Kleinvlei case, warrants for the arrest of police officers were issued after they failed to appear as witnesses.

    l In an Elsies River gang-related case, a female police officer – the sole witness – deviated from her original statement implicating the accused, jeopardising the State’s case and resulting in an acquittal.

    l In the Wynberg Regional Court, a magistrate acquitted three men of a gang-related shooting because the single State witness deviated from her statement. It was later discovered a reservist constable had not recorded her version.

    Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said of the team’s work:

    “The aim is to provide police management with the necessary information which would ultimately assist them to improve police performance and their conviction rates.”

    The general findings of the report were:

     l Failure of some investigators to ensure dockets are at courts timeously has emerged as a major challenge.

    l Statements were routinely poorly taken and crimes inadequately investigated.

     l Witnesses were not subpoenaed timeously, and so did not turn up at court.

    l Deliberate failures were noted on the part of the police to comply with instructions from prosecutors on taking statements and managing cases in such a way as to boost the chances of securing a conviction.

    However, police union Popcru called the exercise a witch-hunt.

    “To put a watchdog in place to monitor police is one thing, but to use them to criticise and paint a bleak picture of the police is just malicious. We understand that a lot of our members are under pressure and stress, but this witch-hunt against them is not helping anybody,” said Fransisco Fields, Popcru’s Western Cape chairman.

    Weekend Argus


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    Gale force winds are making the construction of the city's highest building unstable, Cape Town disaster management said.

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     Cape Town - Gale force winds are making the construction of the city's highest building unstable, Cape Town disaster management said on Sunday.

    A number of eyewitnesses reported unstable scaffolding at the Portside building in the city's CBD, said spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes.

    “Upon arrival of the city's disaster response teams and the building inspectorate it was established that the scaffolding on the construction site has fallen to the ground.”

    The area had been cordoned off and the building's contractors were told to repair and stabilise the area.

    “The Portside building currently under construction bordering Buitengracht, Hans Strijdom, Bree and Mechau Street, will be Cape Town's newest and tallest skyscraper,” said Solomons-Johannes.

    The building would have 32 floors, office, retail and banking space and 1382 parking bays. - Sapa


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    The wife of acting judge Patrick Maqubela says she confronted a policeman who allegedly blackmailed him with “compromising” pictures.

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    Cape Town - The wife of acting judge Patrick Maqubela confronted a policeman who allegedly blackmailed him with “compromising” pictures, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

    Thandi Maqubela testified that she told her late husband she was meeting the policeman at the Sandton police station and that he was okay with it.

    She said they met in the front entrance of the station at the end of 2008, or early 2009.

    She told the policeman she was aware he was demanding money from her husband, that she did not like this relationship, and that it should be stopped.

    The man apparently denied knowing her husband, but Maqubela said she had seen his number on her husband's phone and he eventually admitted some guilt.

    “He didn't mention blackmail, but agreed he was getting money from my husband.”

    Maqubela and her co-accused Vela Mabena, her business partner, have pleaded not guilty to murdering her husband in June 2009.

    Maqubela has also pleaded not guilty to additional charges of forgery and fraud relating to the judge's last will.

    Bonnie Currie-Gamwo, for the State, put it to Maqubela that no blackmail occurred and that when the two had met, Maqubela had not confronted the policeman about blackmail.

    Maqubela denied this assertion.

    Two “compromising photographs” of the judge, which were not shown to the media, were handed to the court last month.

    Maqubela testified at the time that her husband had shown her the photographs.

    She was asked if anyone else had seen the photos and if her husband had told her where they were taken.

    Maqubela replied that she did not show them to anyone and that her husband became angry when she asked where they were shot.

    She was asked for her reaction to the photos.

    “I was shocked. I don't know what I thought but I was shocked.”

    She said her husband was not happy with the photos and scared of blackmail.

    Currie-Gamwo briefly described the photos in court, saying the judge was the only person captured.

    “In the pictures, your husband's eyes are closed and he's asleep. He's fully clothed,” she told Maqubela.

    Maqubela replied: “Not quite”.

    The prosecutor said that “but for a certain part of his body”, he was clothed and had a suit on.

    The court heard the photographs were posted.

    Maqubela said her husband had told her he opened a criminal case of blackmail, but she was not sure whether it was at Bramley or Sandton police station.

    “The envelope in which the photos were, there was something like when they check for fingerprints. Like a glue or something,” she said. - Sapa


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    A man died when he was struck by a train in Eersterivier, Cape Town.

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    Cape Town - A man died when he was struck by a train in Eersterivier, Cape Town on Tuesday, said paramedics.

    Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said paramedics found his body on the ground at Melrose Station.

    “After they examined him it was found that he tragically died before their arrival due to the extensive injuries that he sustained,” said Botha.

    The accident happened around 12.30pm.

    Police were investigating. - Sapa


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    A man intends to fly from Robben Island to Cape Town this month using helium-filled balloons.

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     Cape Town - A man intends to fly from Robben Island to Cape Town this month using helium-filled balloons.

    Matt Silver-Vallance would be attached to 200 party balloons, measuring around one-and-a-half metres in diameter, his spokeswoman Sarah Gurney said.

    He was currently awaiting ideal weather conditions for the flight. Gurney said the flight would take place before April 27. The SA Civil Aviation Authority had approved the flight and was happy with the safety precautions in place.

    After taking off from the island, he would ascend to a maximum altitude of 182 metres. The trip time would depend on wind direction and speed. The distance between the island and mainland ranged between 9km and 14km.

    Gurney said Matt-Valance would wear a wetsuit and life jacket as a precaution and have a powered paraglider follow him to update air traffic and navigation services. There would be support teams on the ground.

    The so-called Robben Island Balloon Run was intended to raise money for the building of the Nelson Mandela Children's hospital in Johannesburg, a 200-bed specialist paediatric academic and tertiary referral hospital.

    “After four years of planning, the time is almost here,” Silver-Vallance said.

    “I can’t wait to take to the skies to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, which, in the end, is the most important part of the whole event.” - Sapa


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    Text messages Thandi Maqubela sent to her husband on his extramarital affairs were not threatening, the Western Cape High Court heard.

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    Cape Town - Text messages Thandi Maqubela sent to her husband on his extramarital affairs were not threatening, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

    The State read five SMSes sent from Maqubela's phone to her husband, acting judge Patrick Maqubela, between September 2007 and June 2008.

    She was on the stand for his death on June 5, 2009, which she maintains was due to natural causes. She and a co-accused Vela Mabena have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, forgery and fraud, which relate to her late husband's last will.

    Prosecutor Bonnie Currie-Gamwo put it to Maqubela that her messages had an aggressive tone and that she had threatened to expose her husband to various people, including his parents.

    Maqubela replied: “You are not correct. It's not threatening, not exposing. I am married and if something is wrong in our culture, you must go tell your in-laws.”

    Two messages Maqubela sent to her husband on June 24, 2008, alluded to a confrontation a woman had with her and a threat to report her to a police station.

    The second message appeared to be about Maqubela threatening to show a “tape” to this woman's mother and other individuals. The State asked if she remembered these messages.

    “At this point I cannot remember about those two SMSes,” she replied.

    Judge John Murphy asked if she could remember whether she had this “tape”. Maqubela said she must have sent the text messages because they were from her phone.

    Currie-Gamwo asked if this meant the messages could thus be accepted as the truth.

    “Yes, but I am trying to remember who is this lady.”

    Maqubela was asked how she knew Mabena. She testified they first met for business in Cape Town, in June 2008. He was a distributor for Forever Living Products in the Cape. They met a second time at a workshop in Johannesburg, at the start of 2009.

    In March or April 2009, they were at a business presentation and he told her he would like to get a copy of a book on natural remedies. They arranged to meet and hand over the book on June 5, 2009, but an appointment came up. Maqubela said they rescheduled to meet the next day.

    The trial was postponed until Wednesday. - Sapa


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    The Western Cape High Court will hear an urgent interdict by the City of Cape Town in May to halt the Winelands toll project.

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    Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court will hear an urgent interdict next month to halt the Winelands toll project, the City of Cape Town said on Tuesday.

    “The interdict application will be heard in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday 16 May, when the city will seek an order to interdict Sanral from taking any steps to implement the proposed N1-N2 Winelands toll highway project,” the city's mayoral committee member for roads and transport Brett Herron said in a statement.

    This would be pending the final determination of the city’s review application, instituted in the same court in March 2012. Herron said the city was unable to finalise the exchange of pleadings in the review application.

    “Sanral refuses to provide a complete record of documents that are relevant to the toll road project, including how much the project will cost and what toll fees are likely to be levied,” Herron said.

    “As a consequence of Sanral’s refusal to provide a complete record of documents, the city also brought an application to compel Sanral to disclose them.”

    The city filed an urgent interdict application in November 2011. Sanral agreed, at that stage, to take no further steps towards introducing the project pending the review application's outcome.

    Sanral served the city with a notice on March 6 indicating it intended resuming the project. Herron said Sanral agreed not to conclude a concession agreement before June 1, 2013. - Sapa


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    A dead Arnoux's Beaked Whale, found beached at Bakoven in Cape Town, was removed for a necropsy.

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    Cape Town - A dead Arnoux's Beaked Whale, found beached at Bakoven in Cape Town, was removed for a necropsy on Tuesday morning, the City's Disaster Risk Management Centre said.

    The 6.71m whale was discovered by members of the public on Monday, spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said in a statement.

    “Upon arrival of mammal scientists from the oceans and coasts branch of the department of environmental affairs it was established that... (the) whale washed ashore and was already dead.”

    On Tuesday the carcass was taken to the department's research centre for a necropsy to determine the cause of death. There were initial indications of an infection in certain parts of the whale's muscles. - Sapa


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    A traffic officer accused of corruption for allegedly soliciting bribes from drivers has been released on R3 000 bail .

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    Cape Town - A traffic officer accused of corruption for allegedly soliciting bribes from drivers has been released on R3 000 bail in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court.

    Benzil Ramati had spent the Easter weekend behind bars. He was arrested last week on Monday for allegedly taking money from a driver whose vehicle was due to undergo a roadworthy test. The vehicle was not tested but it obtained a roadworthy certificate.

    Prosecutor Pumlani Mpepuka told the court on Tuesday that the State was not opposed to Ramati’s release but called for strict bail conditions, including that he be barred from contacting fellow traffic officers until the trial was over, and that he report to the Macassar police station twice a week.

    Ramati’s lawyer, Gonville Michaels, had no objections and said Ramati had been suspended so would not be in contact with colleagues.

    The arrests of Ramati and another officer, Frickel Terblanche, came after members of the public reported irregularities. Suspected of taking bribes from motorists, the two men were monitored.

    Terblanche appeared in the George Magistrate’s Court last Wednesday, also on a charge of corruption. He too was released on bail of R3 000, and is due to go back to court on April 20.

    During his first court appearance last week, the court heard that Ramati, who is from Pacaltsdorp near George, would be staying in Cape Town for the duration of the case.

    The investigating officer had verified his alternative address in Macassar over the weekend and confirmed that bail could be granted.

    Ramati must report to the Macassar police station every Monday and Friday between 8am and 8pm.

    Ramati is due to appear in court again on May 8.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Mom under suspicion of child neglect after her missing baby was found days after she had handed him to a stranger in a taxi.

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    Cape Town - A Khayelitsha mother is under arrest on suspicion of child neglect after her missing baby was found on Tuesday, four days after she had handed him to a stranger in a taxi.

    Sindiswa Spayile, 29, said she had handed her six-month-old baby boy, Ngcwele, to a commuter as she tried to board a taxi on Friday, but before she could get in the doors closed and the taxi drove off.

    She was taken into custody on Tuesday after the baby in blue pants with a white vest was found at a state safe house for women and children at risk in Khayelitsha’s Town 2.

    “The child is unharmed, has been for a medical check and is in good care. Social workers from Harare took over the child on Friday night when a woman in the taxi brought him to the station,” said police spokesman FC van Wyk. A court date had not yet been set, he said.

    Police said Spayile was arrested shortly after 4pm on Tuesday. The baby would remain in the care of the safe house until the police had completed the investigation.

    Police and relatives had been searching for baby Ngcwele for four days. Social Development MEC Albert Fritz said that after he had read media reports about Spayile and her baby, he had instructed social workers from Khayelitsha to visit Spayile’s house to evaluate the home situation.

    barbara.maregele@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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  • 04/03/13--01:12: One dead in Cape fires
  • A man died and others were left homeless in two Cape Town fires, a city official said.

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    Cape Town - A man died and others were left homeless in two Cape Town fires, a city official said on Wednesday.

    A fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning killed Nkosibonile Tshangale in Philippi, disaster risk centre spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said.

    He said Tshangale, in his early thirties, was apparently sleeping when the fire broke out at the School Yard informal settlement.

    Neighbours tried to extinguish the flames of his shack but were unsuccessful. The police were investigating.

    A second fire the same morning destroyed two shacks and damaged a house in Wallacedene.

    “It is suspected that the fire was caused as a result of a lighted candle that overturned and ignited bedding in the shack,” Solomons-Johannes said. - Sapa


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    The Western Cape Education Department is allocating R30m to reward schools for good performance in numeracy and literacy.

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    Western Cape - The Western Cape Education Department is allocating R30 million of its 2013/14 budget to reward schools for good performance in numeracy and literacy.

    Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for education MEC Donald Grant, said schools that achieved excellent results in provincial numeracy and literacy tests or showed significant improvement in their results would receive cash incentives.

    The tests have been scheduled to be written in October.

    “The department aims to improve literacy and numeracy in all schools in the province.

    To further this aim, the department will be allocating R30m to the incentive programme during the course of the next financial year as we are pleased to be able to show our schools and our educators that we appreciate their hard work in achieving our shared goals of improving learner outcomes in the province.

    These funds are to be used to increase the number and quality of passes in their schools,” Casey said.

    The department has also increased its allocation to special needs education by R43m, compared with last year.

    In his budget speech last week, Grant said the Western Cape already led the country in the provision of special needs education and had allocated 5.7 percent of the budget to this sector or R894.7m.

    Casey said more than R10m would be used for infrastructure improvement, including the construction of additional workshops at skills schools.

    More than R9m would be spent on learning and teaching material as well as teacher training at inclusive education institutions while R3.2m has been allocated for machinery and equipment. A total of R8.9m would be spent on pupil transport.

    Cape Argus


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    Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa says the Western Cape government’s Community Safety Bill is unconstitutional.

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    Cape Town -

    Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa will not allow the police to be turned into a provincial institution, says his spokesman Zweli Mnisi.

    This comes after the Western Cape government on Tuesday confirmed that the Community Safety Bill, approved last week, would be signed into law before Friday.

    “Our position on the bill remains unchanged, we still reiterate that it is unconstitutional and during the public commentary hearings, we were able to adequately advance our reasons,” Mnisi said on Tuesday.

    “The fundamental point here is that the police are governed by the supreme law of the land, the constitution, which makes a clear distinction on national versus provincial legislative powers, functions and oversight frameworks. We are therefore opposed to any purported approach that seeks to make the SAPS a provincial institution where accountability is determined by different structures.”

    But Community Safety MEC Dan Plato hit back, saying the bill would not interfere with the “operational management” of the SAPS.

    The bill was sent to Premier Helen Zille after being approved in the legislature last Wednesday. Twenty-three of the 36 members of the provincial legislature voted in favour of the bill.

    On Tuesday, Zak Mbhele, Zille’s spokesman, said the bill would be enacted either on Wednesday or Thursday.

    The bill, once enacted, will give the provincial government greater oversight over the police. Plato’s office would also be able to call for the removal, transfer or disciplinary action against the provincial police commissioner; investigate complaints of police inefficiency and assess the effectiveness of visible policing. The bill also proposes the creation of a provincial police ombudsman to investigate complaints.

    Greg Wagner, Plato’s spokesman, said the provincial government was ready to fight any court challenge.

    clayton.barnes@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 04/03/13--02:44: Five cops nabbed in E Cape
  • Five police officers were arrested for alleged drug dealing in East London, the Hawks said.

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    Johannesburg - Five police officers were arrested for alleged drug dealing in East London on Wednesday, the Hawks said.

    All five were crime prevention officers working at the Mdantsane police station, said Captain Paul Ramaloko.

    It was alleged they raided the homes of drug dealers and then sold the seized drugs.

    “It (the drugs) was not booked into the cop shop,” he said.

    The group was due to appear in the East London and Mdantsane Magistrate's Courts on Thursday, facing a drug dealing charge and possibly one of racketeering. - Sapa


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    Thandi Maqubela, on trial for the death of her husband, denied compiling a dossier on his love affairs.

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    Cape Town - Thandi Maqubela, on trial in connection with the death of her husband, Acting Judge Patrick Maqubela, has denied compiling a dossier on his extramarital affairs to show his friends and colleagues.

    The widow and co-accused Vela Mabena are alleged to have suffocated the judge, using cling film, in his Bantry Bay flat on June 5, 2009.

    Thandi Maqubela has also been charged with forgery and fraud, relating to her husband’s will.

    Maqubela says her husband died of natural causes.

    On Tuesday, Maqubela was cross-examined by prosecutor Bonnie Currie-Gamwo in the Western Cape High Court.

    Currie-Gamwo put it to Maqubela that she sought revenge after she discovered her husband’s extramarital affairs, and that she went to her husband’s employer and the media to “expose him”.

    She was questioned about a “dossier” compiled about the affairs.

    Witnesses, including Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, have testified that Maqubela showed them a dossier with evidence – cellphone records, hotel bills and other documents – in connection with the relationships.

    Maqubela said in response to Currie-Gamwo: “I didn’t compile a dossier about my husband’s relationships.”

    Judge John Murphy described Radebe’s evidence as “quite specific”.

    Maqubela said she had shown them only “training documents” regarding families, youth, men and women.

    Asked by Currie-Gamwo if Radebe had lied to the court, Maqubela replied: “I don’t know whether I can say the honourable minister was lying, but that’s not what I showed him.”

    Maqubela said she showed Radebe her husband’s sex booster tablets, and hotel bills.

    Currie-Gamwo said this action was part of Maqubela’s plan “to exact revenge”.

    The prosecutor said: “None of them have said you are doing it to help your husband but rather to expose him.”

    Currie-Gamwo added that by going to his friends and colleagues about his behaviour, Maqubela seemed to be trying to destroy her husband’s career rather than trying to assist, as Maqubela had claimed, with his bipolar disorder.

    Maqubela strongly denied this.

    It later emerged that Maqubela had starting talking to friends and colleagues about the affairs before the acting judge was diagnosed as bi-polar, and that her visits to his friends and colleagues were not part of a care-giver’s treatment.

    “It would appear you’ve been threatening to expose your husband from as far back as 2007,” Currie-Gamwo said.

    Maqubela said that she, her husband, and a doctor who had treated her husband for his bipolar condition, but who had since died, were the only ones who knew the acting judge was bipolar.

    Currie-Gamwo questioned Maqubela about “threatening” messages sent from her phone. Among them was a message sent to the acting judge, warning him about “leading a double life” and saying “there’s a time to hide and time to expose”. There was also an SMS regarding a woman who went to the police station, and a message in which Thandi Maqubela threatened to “send the tape”.

    When questioned on Tuesday, Maqubela could not give an explanation for the SMSes.

    The trial continues today.

    natasha.prince@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Cops are probing a conman who allegedly sold a woman fake wristbands for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

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    Cape Town - Police are investigating a conman who allegedly scammed a woman into buying entry wristbands for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

    A Fish Hoek woman, who wasn’t named, reportedly called the police after she bought two wristbands, which turned out to be fake, from someone named “Shaun” for R1 000.

    But EspAfrika, the events company in charge of the jazz festival, said the wristbands weren’t available before the event, which takes place in the city over the weekend, and were only issued at the door when visitors displayed their tickets.

    The Fish Hoek woman met Shaun through classifieds site Gumtree, where she had placed an advert stating she was looking for entry to the sold-out event.

    Shaun phoned her and sold her the unusable wristbands for R1 000.

    Police said EspAfrika had opened a case to investigate the issue.

    The events company’s marketing manager, Carenza van Willingh, said when it was alerted to the wristbands being sold before the event, it asked the Fish Hoek woman to bring them in.

    A quick inspection revealed that the wristbands were copies.

    “You can’t get them outside the venue,” she warned people who were looking for tickets.

    She said once the festival was sold out, people would do anything to get into it.

    “Every year we have the problem of people selling fake tickets or printing their own.

    “But they are all scanned at the door and these tickets won’t get past the scanners.”

    In the past, security teams at the entrance had been forced to turn back many people.

    Van Willingh warned those who were looking for tickets to be cautious because of the large amount of fake tickets and wristbands being sold.

    kieran.legg@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    City of Cape Town demands Sanral disclose how much drivers will pay on Cape toll roads.

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    The City of Cape Town is demanding through the courts that the South African National Roads Agency Limited disclose how much drivers will pay on the N1/N2 toll roads.

    The agency has declined to say, so the city has filed an urgent interdict to stop the toll road project after 15 years in the planning, over uncertainty on how much it will cost drivers. On Tuesday mayoral committee member for transport, roads and stormwater Brett Herron lashed out at Sanral for not providing the cost implications, citing its “obstructive and secretive conduct”.

    He said the city had filed its interdict papers last Wednesday. Sanral spokesman Vusi Mona said opposing papers seeking punitive costs would be filed this week.

    The city lodged an application in the Western Cape High Court in 2012 to review the decisions by then minister of transport S'bu Ndebele and minister of water and environmental affairs Edna Molewa. It believes their decisions authorising the tolling are “unlawful, unreasonable and procedurally unfair”.

    'JUST HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?'

    The city is waiting for information from Sanral such as the costs of upgrading and tolling the N1 and N2, the probable magnitude of the toll fees and the impact on road users, the local economy and the city.

    Sanral has refused to give this information to the city.

    On March 1, the city applied for an order to compel Sanral to provide information for the review to be heard on the same day as the interdict, on May 16.

    On March 6, Sanral sent the city notice of its intention to advance or implement the N1/N2 toll project. It said it would start negotiating with the preferred bidder and, if necessary, the reserve bidder to conclude a concession contract. Negotiation of such contracts was a lengthy process and work on the project would not start soon.

    INTERDICT APPLICATION

    The city applied for an interdict to stop Sanral from working on the N1-N2 Winelands project until it had a full understanding of the costs through the review application. In November 2011, the city agreed to halt its earlier interdict application. Sanral agreed not to start work until the court review was complete.

    If it decided to start work, it would give the city 45 days' notice. This was the notice given on March 6, which means Sanral could start work on the project without the city addressing the costs concerns.

    LONG ROAD TO CURRENT IMPASSE

    Thirteen years ago (Sanral) awarded 'cheme developer' tatus to Protea Parkways Consortium, which proposed operating parts of the N1 and N2 as toll roads.

    The developer said the toll was needed to improve the Western Cape's arterial roads and stop them falling into disrepair as traffic volumes increased. But there was concern tolls would be expensive and could cause congestion.

    One toll was planned for a 104km stretch of the N1 from the Old Oak interchange to Sandhills on the far side of Worcester. A second was planned for a 66km stretch of the N2 from the R300 outside Khayelitsha to Bot River.

    HIGHER COMMUTING COSTS

    By 2003 an environmental impact assessment was approved by the dpartment of turism and evironmental afairs. Construction could go ahead.

    But organisations that feared traffic would be diverted maintained their opposition to the proposals.

    They were later joined by trade unions who said tolls would lead to higher commuting costs for workers. They said money for improving roads could be raised more easily by instituting a fuel levy.

    Later in 2003 Sanral said construction could start in 2005.

    The department of environmental affairs and tourism granted environmental authorisation for the project.

    In 2005 parties including the city appealed against this decision saying the environment minister failed to consider socio-economic impacts.

    They lost the appeal and in 2008 the environmental minister granted the approval and Sanral declared that the highways should be tolled.

    R30 MILLION TUNNEL

    But in 2005, new minister of tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk backtracked on the toll road approval by his department.

    The town of Helderzicht would have been cut in two by the road. It was proposed that Sanral build a 150-metre, R30 million tunnel under the town.

    In 2008, the DA vowed to oppose toll roads in court.

    Two years later Sanral announced its preferred bidder, Protea Parkways Consortium. The agency said it would cost about R10 billion to implement the project.

    But the roads agency now faced concerted opposition.

    Later that year the City of Cape Town applied for an order preventing the agency from going ahead.

    The 2008 environmental authorisation is due to expire this year. - Cape Argus


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