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  • 04/03/13--04:46: No frills for de Lille: City
  • The City of Cape Town will not apply certain benefits allocated to the mayor, deputy mayor, and speaker.

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     Cape Town - The City of Cape Town will not apply certain benefits allocated to the mayor, deputy mayor, and speaker, it said on Wednesday.

    Acting mayor Ian Neilson said in a statement the city would not take advantage of some provisions, as resources should be used for service delivery.

    According to a national government notice in December 2012, the city was entitled to an official furnished residence for mayor Patricia de Lille and the sole use of council vehicles for the deputy mayor and speaker of the city.

    “We must, at all times, remember that the money received from the people of our city must go towards improving the lives of communities across our city,” Neilson said.

    The city introduced a number of austerity measures in its 2013/14 budget tabled in council at the end of March.

    These cost-cutting measures included a R103 million reduction in the general expenses category, which affected travel, office furnishings, catering, and public relations projects.

    The use of consultants had been reduced and there was a saving of R46 million in the staff budget after reducing the number of vacancies.

    “In these challenging economic times we, who have been mandated to spend public money, must do everything to be as prudent as we possibly can,” Neilson said. - Sapa


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    A Cape Town traffic officer, and the motorist he was issuing a fine to, were killed when two men opened fire on them.

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    Cape Town - A Cape Town traffic officer and a motorist were shot dead on Wednesday in Lavender Hill, Western Cape police said. 

    A double murder case was being investigated, Captain Frederick van Wyk said.

    Two men shot the driver of a Toyota Corolla on Prince George Drive around 9am, and the officer issuing him with a traffic fine. The driver died on the scene. Wesley Woodman, the 35-year-old traffic officer who stopped the car, was rushed to hospital. He died on Wednesday afternoon.

    City of Cape Town safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith said the officer had stopped the Toyota for a broken tail light, and that the men had approached him from behind. He said at the time that two men had apparently been arrested.

    Smith said should no arrests be forthcoming, the city would offer a reward for information and get the special investigating unit on the case.

    Acting mayor Ian Neilson said Woodman would be remembered as a man who was targeted while ensuring the law was obeyed in Cape Town. Woodman was a senior traffic officer with 14 years of experience. His service firearm was stolen in the attack. - Sapa


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    No arrests have been made in connection with the fatal shooting of a traffic officer and a motorist in Lavender Hill, Cape Town.

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     Cape Town - No arrests have been made in connection with the fatal shooting of a traffic officer and a motorist in Lavender Hill, Cape Town, on Wednesday, Western Cape police said.

    A double murder case was being investigated, Captain Frederick van Wyk said.

    He said two men approached the driver of a Toyota Corolla on Prince George drive around 9am, while he was being issued with a traffic fine.

    The driver was shot and died on the scene. The 35-year-old traffic officer who stopped the car was rushed to hospital. He died on Wednesday afternoon.

    Safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith said the officer had stopped the Toyota for a broken tail light, and that the men had approached him from behind. He said at the time that two men had apparently been arrested.

    Smith said should no arrests be forthcoming, the city would offer a reward for information and get the special investigating unit on the case. - Sapa


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    Cape Town residents will have another chance to comment on the liquor trading and hours by-law which came into effect this week.

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     Cape Town - Cape Town residents will have another chance to comment on the liquor trading and hours by-law which came into effect this week, a city official said on Wednesday.

    The public participation process was part of the city's consideration of possible amendments to sections of the by-law, said Garreth Bloor, economic, environmental, and spatial planning mayoral committee member.

    “Any revisions to parts of the by-law will seek to strike a balance between the possible economic impact of regulations by ensuring the reasonable sale of alcohol within the hospitality sector, while at the same time looking to address the social effects of alcohol abuse,” he said.

    The first round of participation was expected to commence in mid-April, would be advertised in the media, and run for 30 days.

    The second round was a 45-day period, which would allow for input on draft amendments based on comments received in the first round.

    The announcement followed a request from the city council last week to consider and initiate amendments to the by-law, in terms of the revised trading hours and the Sunday off-site sales prohibition.

    The council recommended that off-site consumption be permitted on application by licence holders in certain categories, excluding local business and residential areas.

    As it stands, the by-law states that licensed businesses may sell liquor for off-site consumption from Monday to Saturday between 9am and 6pm.

    No liquor may be sold off-site on a Sunday, except for wineries, which can trade from their tasting rooms on that day. - Sapa


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    Government has signed a contract with Damen Shipyards in Cape Town for “emergency and urgent” repairs to its fisheries patrol vessels.

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    Cape Town - Government on Wednesday announced it has signed a contract with Damen Shipyards in Cape Town for “emergency and urgent” repairs to its fisheries patrol vessels.

    “The fisheries branch of the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries has signed a six-month contract with Damen Shipyards Cape Town today... for emergency and urgent vessel repairs and maintenance,” the department said in a statement.

    This followed the expiry of the memorandum of understanding between the department and the navy, which has been managing the department's fleet of six patrol vessels.

    “Damen Shipyards Cape Town will be responsible for readying the fleet of vessels, and ensure all vessels are seaworthy and reclassified during its term of contract.

    “The priority and immediate focus is to operationalise the Sarah Baartman offshore fisheries patrol vessel and the Africana

    fisheries research vessel.”

    The department said a tender process for the fleet's long-term management had started.

    “The process is expected to be concluded in July (this year),” it said.

    According to its website, Damen Shipyards Cape Town is a member of the international Damen Shipyards Group. - Sapa


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    Traffic officer Wesley Woodman had pulled Shuaib Afradien over at about 10am when both were gunned down.

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    Cape Town - A Cape Town traffic officer and motorist were shot dead in broad daylight on Wednesday in Prince George Drive in the latest deadly gang violence in Lavender Hill.

    Wesley Woodman, a traffic officer, had pulled Shuaib Afradien over at about 10am and was issuing him a ticket when both were gunned down.

    Arafdien was allegedly a member of the Junkie Funkies gang.

    Deputy mayor Ian Neilson said: “Officer Woodman, a traffic officer for 14 years, was issuing a traffic fine to a motorist when shots were fired by unknown assailants – killing the motorist and wounding the officer in the head.

    “Woodman was taken to Groote Schuur Hospital, where he later died due to the severity of his injuries.”

    Woodman’s service firearm was stolen during the incident.

    “On behalf of the residents of Cape Town, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to his family, who have tragically lost a husband and father.

    “I condemn this senseless act and the callous and cruel behaviour of the perpetrators,” Neilson said.

    Ironically a month ago, on February 21, Woodman wrote about the loss of a colleague and friend on his Facebook page:

    “Another friend! Another colleague… gone! How many more do we have to lose! My family in law enforcement, we all grieve together, we all bleed together! Again I recite the officers’ prayer! Take care, My Family!”

    Woodman was married with three children.

    Kevin Southgate, chairman of the community police forum, said it was sad that an officer of the law was shot when he was only doing his job.

    “It shows how vulnerable police are and that there is disrespect for law enforcement. What does this tell you about how community members feel when police are so vulnerable?”

    Prince George Drive between Concert Boulevard and Retreat Road was cordoned off until early afternoon, while grim-faced residents watched police go about their business.

    When approached one resident said: “I can’t be seen talking to you, it’s too dangerous.”

    It was reported Arafdien, 26, would have appeared in court next month in connection with a charge of murder.

    He was the father of four children ranging from one month to six years.

    His wife and mother-in-law, who were distraught while standing at the murder scene, declined to comment. But his former girlfriend and mother of two of his children, Natalie Rhodes, sat teary-eyed at her home in Lavender Hill.

    Her sister, Natasha, said that while Arafdien had been a member of the Junkie Funkies, he was also a good person.

    “Every Sunday he came to visit and fetch cake from my mom.”

    Another sister, Crystal, said it was sad his children would grow up without knowing their father.

    “We grew up together. He was quiet and came from a decent family.”

    natasha.bezuidenhout@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Police have backed down from threats to arrest journalists and seize computers from the Daily Voice newsroom.

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    Cape Town - Police have backed down from threats to arrest journalists and seize computers from the Daily Voice newsroom.

    On Wednesday last week, eight Mitchells Plain-based officers – led by Warrant Officer Morne Jackson – burst into the Daily Voice’s offices and demanded all records and computer equipment relating to a story they published last month.

    The story was about two pupils who were filmed having sex in the back of a classroom during school hours.

    The officers were armed with a search warrant and came to take away the newspaper’s computers.

    This action would have effectively shut down the paper.

    Top Daily Voice legal eagles Jacques Louw and Leroy Vilet swung into action and obtained a High Court order to suspend the warrant.

    And this week, the State confirmed it would not now be proceeding with the warrant.

    “This is a victory for freedom of speech – and common sense,” says Daily Voice editor Shane Doran.

    “If the warrant was executed, this reckless and unconstitutional act could have shut down this newspaper and threatened the livelihoods of all our journalists.

    “It went entirely against the rights enshrined in Section 16 of the constitution and was a complete waste of taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

    “This was a blatant attempt to kill the messenger and bully the Daily Voice – but it was also an unlawful act that had no justification in law.”

    On March 16, the Daily Voice published a front page story headlined: “Sex in class video.”

    The story was based on cellphone footage – sent to the paper by a concerned parent – of two pupils having sex in the back of a classroom.

    The footage was filmed by a third student.

    The Daily Voice immediately handed the footage over to the Western Cape Education Department, who launched their own investigation into the incident.

    It subsequently emerged the video was filmed last May and had gone viral among students on the Cape Flats.

    The three students have been charged under the Film and Publication Act, but a decision to prosecute the three has still not been made.

    Daily Voice


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  • 04/04/13--01:24: Zille, Mthethwa battle looms
  • The premier says she will fight any legal action challenging the constitutionality of the Western Cape Community Safety Act.

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    Cape Town - Premier Helen Zille says she will fight any court action challenging the constitutionality of the Western Cape Community Safety Act.

    Zille signed the Community Safety Bill into law on Wednesday.

    She said it was a “big step” forward and the first time in South Africa that provincial oversight over the police had been defined.

    The new law gives the provincial government the power to:

    * Call for the removal, transfer or disciplinary action against the provincial police commissioner.

    * Investigate complaints of police inefficiency.

    * Assess the effectiveness of visible policing, among other things.

     

    Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the act was illegal and unconstitutional and he would challenge it “all the way to the Constitutional Court”.

    Mthethwa’s spokesman Zweli Mnisi said the department had noted the enactment of the bill and would be making an announcement on “the way forward” soon.

    Last week, 23 of 33 members of the provincial legislature voted in favour of the bill, which was rejected by the ANC and “partially accepted” by Cope.

    Apart from giving the province greater oversight over the police, the law also allows the Western Cape government to determine its own policing needs and priorities.

    Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said incidents of police brutality, corruption and the “shoot to kill” rhetoric from police top brass “did not paint a picture of a police service that was envisioned for a democratic South Africa”.

    “Oversight remains critical… effective oversight can act as a catalyst for improved policing,” he said.

    The bill also proposes the creation of a provincial police ombudsman.

    Plato said the law was not targeting the police, but sought to promote good relations between the police and communities.

    clayton.barnes@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Residents have started rebuilding their lives after a devastating fire swept through the Kayamandi informal settlement.

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    Cape Town - Residents have started rebuilding their lives after a devastating fire swept through a Stellenbosch informal settlement last month.

    The blaze, in Kayamandi, Zone O, killed one person and left thousands homeless. It started in the early hours of March 14. Fanned by strong winds it spread through the tightly packed shacks.

    The aftermath left 4 500 people homeless and destroyed 1 357 shacks, said Vernon Bowers, spokesman for the Stellenbosch municipality.

    He said the fire was believed to have started when a paraffin stove was left unattended. The municipality had provided temporary shelter for residents in two community halls.

    Bowers said residents had moved back to the informal settlement to start rebuilding their homes over the weekend.

    “We have spent the past weeks cleaning and preparing the area. We are now working on the electrical network and ablution facilities, which will cost millions to repair,” he said.

    “It’s an ongoing process. We’re not only working on getting things back to normal, we want to improve their lives and living conditions.”

    When the Cape Argus visited the informal settlement on Wednesday, residents were hard at work. Most of them were using a mixture of building materials they salvaged from the fire and kits they received from the municipality to set up home again. The building kits include nails, corrugated sheets and wooden poles.

    Resident Gents Silekala, 55, who started building his two-roomed shack on Sunday, said if it wasn’t for the help of local businesses, which donated some of the building materials, he would have had to build a smaller shack.

    “It’s a struggle for us; we lost everything in the fire. The important thing right now is finishing the shack.”

    Silekala has lived in the area for 10 years. “Since I’ve lived here we have had two fires. This was the bigger of the two. It was chaos that night. We tried to save what we could but the way the fire quickly spread from the bottom to the top… we couldn’t hang around in that heat,” said Silekala.

    Around the corner from Silekala’s shack, Mwabisa Kala, 25, was putting the finishing touches to her home. Piles of clothing, pots and pans were littered around the two-roomed shack. Kaka was laying a mat on a muddy floor. She said water seeped through the floor when it rained.

    nontando.mposo@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 04/04/13--02:02: Booze by-law dops test
  • There might be a new by-law in Cape Town, but the Cape Argus did not have any trouble buying booze after 6pm.

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    Cape Town - There might be a new by-law in Cape Town preventing bottle stores from selling alcohol after 6pm, but the Cape Argus did not have any trouble buying up an armful of booze on Wednesday night.

     

    On Wednesday, the Cape Argus went out to try to buy alcohol at various popular drinking holes and found that buying at 6pm and even at 7.30pm was as easy as purchasing alcohol during the official opening hours.

    A patron who did not want to be named said the authorities could make his favourite tipple as expensive as they wanted or shorten trading hours but that wouldn’t stop him from drinking it.

    “If they close the liquor stores earlier, I will just come buy it earlier and keep it by my house; it won’t make a difference to me.”

    In Athlone shortly after 6pm, workers at a small shebeen were unloading cases of beer, but the shebeen was not open.

    We then tried another area, where we were much more successful. The first tavern was fairly quiet, with a couple of people drinking at the bar. We bought two six-packs of cider and one of beer, paying R50 a six-pack.

    The second outlet was a bottle store only - there was no seating area. While a beer truck was unloading, we stuck our hands through the hatch and bought a bottle of brandy, two quarts of beer and a quart of cider.

    The brandy was R100 and the quarts R11 each, with the deposit.

     

    The tavern and shebeen visitors bought their alcohol as if it was a normal liquor day free of by-laws.

    Cape Argus


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  • 04/04/13--02:02: ‘By-law killing profits’
  • Some Cape Town liquor traders have lost up to 50 percent of their daily profit since the city’s new liquor by-law came into effect.

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    Cape Town - Some Cape Town liquor traders have lost up to 50 percent of their daily profit since the city’s new liquor by-law came into effect on Monday. And they will soon be left with no other choice but to retrench staff.

    “All we are pleading for is an extra hour at night,” said Jack Cullinan, head of the Blue Bottle Liquor Group, which represents over 40 liquor retailers in the city.

    “I’ve received over 20 calls from retailers - they are distressed. One retailer in the Capricorn area told me he’d lost 50 percent of his business because of the new trading times.

    “Another trader in Somerset West has lost 30 percent of his daily business. The biggest problem is having to close at 6pm. Between 6pm and 7pm is our busiest time.”

    Cullinan said “more than half our clients come in after 6pm”.

    The by-law bans the sale of alcohol on Sundays and prohibits off-site sales after 6pm on weekdays, including Saturdays.

    Johnny Telo, owner of the Spar Tops liquor outlet in Vredehoek, said: “This is not rational. People only get home after 6pm and they want to enjoy a glass of wine. This by-law doesn’t make sense. We are getting punished and the illegal guys are benefiting.”

    Cape Argus


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    A man who was instrumental in the arrest of Brian Wainstein, the man dubbed the “steroid king”, has been charged with robbery.

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    Cape Town - A Parklands man who was instrumental in the arrest of Brian Wainstein, the man dubbed the “steroid king” for allegedly dealing in steroids, has been charged with robbery.

    Robert Matthey, 32, of Parklands, appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

    His 67-year-old mother, Eleonora Matthey, of Hermanus, stood alongside her son in the dock on a charge of common assault . But after lunch, the prosecution withdrew the case against her.

    The charges relate to a January 19 incident - the same day Wainstein was arrested at a V&A Waterfront residence. Matthey had filed a noise complaint with the police.

    On arrival, the responding officers recognised Wainstein as the man who was wanted by Interpol for “drug-related crimes, counterfeiting and forgery”, and he was arrested.

    A friend of Wainstein’s allegedly took pictures of Matthey on her cellphone at the time but he (Matthey) apparently grabbed the phone and deleted all the pictures. The friend later laid a charge of robbery against him for grabbing the phone.

    Matthey’s lawyer, Niel Slabber, told the court the cellphone was returned.

    Bail was set at R3 000. As part of his bail conditions, Matthey is prohibited from contacting Wainsteins’s friend and entering the V&A Waterfront’s residential and business premises.

    Meanwhile, Wainstein is fighting extradition to the US. An indictment by US prosecutors alleges Wainstein had run an anabolic steroids distribution operation, along with his wife, since 2004.

    Cape Argus


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    Eleven years after Jean Johanna Schapiro was murdered someone has finally appeared in court in connection with her death.

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    Cape Town - Eleven years ago, Jean Johanna Schapiro, 70, was murdered in her Mouille Point flat. On Wednesday, Bonani Lumka, 35, appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court in connection with her death.

    According to the case summary of the case, Lumka left 24 fingerprints around Schapiro’s flat. Schapiro, a widow and grandmother who lived alone, was robbed and strangled in her Albermarle flat in Beach Road at about 10pm on March 15, 2002.

    It is alleged Lumka and two accomplices broke into Schapiro’s ground-floor apartment by damaging the burglar bars and smashing the bathroom window.

    Once inside, the men are alleged to have ransacked the flat. Schapiro had been out, but returned home, interrupting the burglars.

    “She was then beaten up by the accused and his friends and… was strangled with a telephone cord, which caused her death,” a summary of the case reads.

    Schapiro received injuries to her head, mouth and upper arms.

    After the murder, Lumka, who had been lived in Nyanga, and his accomplices allegedly fled to the Eastern Cape. Police visited Lumka’s house eight times, but he was not there.

    Police arrested him when he returned to Cape Town on December 6. The other two suspects remain at large.

    Lumka has been charged with murder and housebreaking with intent to rob.

    The court heard on Wednesday that the prosecution was waiting for DNA test results.

    Lumka’s lawyer, Chantal Gillion, agreed that the case could be postponed for the outcome of the DNA tests and for a decision by the director of public prosecutions on whether the case would be heard by the Western Cape High Court or the Cape Town Regional Court.

    Lumka is to remain behind bars until his next appearance on May 3.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    An official home for the mayor is just one of the many things that the City of Cape Town is cutting out in an austerity drive.

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    Cape Town - An official home for the mayor is just one the many things that the City of Cape Town has cut from its spending in an austerity drive.

    On Wednesday, the city said in a statement that a host of cost-cutting measures had been introduced in the 2013/14 draft budget.

    These will ultimately see a reduction of R103 million in the general expenses category as spending on travel for city employees, office furnishings, catering and public relations projects is cut. The use of consultants has also been reduced.

    Acting mayor Ian Neilson said while many government departments reportedly spent significant amounts of public money on unnecessary items, the city would continue to look for ways to minimise spending.

    “In these challenging economic times we who have been mandated to spend public money must do everything to be as prudent as we possibly can.”

    The city said a host of benefits afforded to councillors under a government notice published by the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in December would not be taken up.

    These included a fully-furnished residence for the mayor and council cars for the deputy mayor and Speaker.

    The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has lauded the City of Cape Town’s efforts to reduce costs.

    Chamber president Fred Jacobs said:

    “We hope all other municipalities will follow suit… We look forward to real and deep cuts in municipal spending that will prove that the city is serious and not simply trying to make a new round of increases seem more acceptable to the public.”

    kieran.legg@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Matt Silver-Vallance has revealed how he plans to fly from Robben Island to Cape Town hanging from 200 balloons.

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    Cape Town - A daredevil is all set to fly from Robben Island to Cape Town hanging from 200 helium-filled balloons.

    Adrenaline junkie Matt Silver-Vallance is doing the death-defying stunt for a good cause.

    He is trying to raise R10 million for the construction of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Gauteng.

    And, as his launch date approaches, he has detailed how he plans to do it.

    “I will be strapped in a harness and I’ll be able to control the height by popping the balloons,” he told the Daily Voice on Wednesday.

    Silver-Vallance will float 600 metres above sea level – the height of a 50-storey building.

    He says: “Of course you have to take many precautions, but I’m not really scared. This is a calculated risk I’m taking.”

    It is going to take at least two hours for the stunt team to inflate the 200 specially-made helium balloons.

    It’s expensive as well as dangerous – the balloons were made in Amsterdam and cost more than R90 000 to manufacture.

    “It’s really just giant party balloons,” Silver-Vallance explains. “We are using all the colours of the South African flag.

    “I’m not really scared. People see this as a big risk but compared to what Nelson Mandela did, it’s not.”

    A team of experts is now closely monitoring the weather, which is the most important factor in determining the date and time of the daring flight.

    They want Silver-Vallance to take to the skies before the end of April.

    ”The logistics of all of this is what’s really keeping me awake at night,” Silver-Vallance says.

    The team of 60 people planning the stunt include Mike Howard, the world record holder for the highest cluster balloon flight.

    * SMS the word “balloon” to 40301 to make a R20 donation to the construction of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

    Daily Voice


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    An opinion piece about love and race in UCT's student paper has got some people's pulses racing, but not for the right reasons.

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    Cape Town - An opinion piece about love and race in the University of Cape Town's (UCT) student newspaper has got some people's pulses racing, but not for the right reasons.

    The Varsity newspaper piece titled “Is Love Colour Blind?” was published in the paper on Tuesday and written by Qamran Tabo.

    Tabo explored interracial dating and surveyed sixty students, ten of each who said they considered themselves to be white, coloured, Indian, East Asian, “mixed” (biracial), or black.

    A pie-chart accompanying the piece, titled “UCT votes on the most attractive race”, surmised that 38 percent of students apparently thought whites were the most “attractive” race, followed by coloureds, and Indians.

    The lowest percentage by race was blacks (eight percent).

    The UCT Student Representative Council (SRC) said on Thursday it was compelled to comment on the opinion piece, while at the same time respecting the newspaper's autonomy.

    “In this particular instance, the SRC cannot condone the manner in which a very sensitive issue has been approached,” said SRC president Lorne Hallendorff.

    “...Greater sensitivity should have been shown to an issue that has painful historical significance. To draw conclusions from a poll of 60 people fails any real statistical requirements.”

    She said the onus was on the writer to comply with various statistical methods to ensure validity.

    The SRC was forced to dismiss the poll, since it lacked statistical merit.

    Hallendorff said they stood by the university's values to “strive to provide an environment for our diverse student and staff community that is affirming and inclusive of all staff and students and promotes diversity”.

    The Young Community League of SA's (YCLSA) UCT branch said it was “shocked and disgusted” by the survey.

    “The YCLSA is working toward a non-racial South Africa in which the deep wounds of the past are not easily forgotten,” said branch chairman Mangaliso Khomo.

    “Under the apartheid and colonial governments, white was deemed the most desirable of races and blacks were forced to use skin whitening creams that burned their faces in order to find employment and education.”

    The organisation said it planned to lodge a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission later on Thursday, demanding an apology and retraction from the newspaper.

    Varsity news editor-in-chief Alexandra Nagel, however, issued an apology in a press release on Thursday afternoon.

    She said the intention of the piece was to create a platform for students to engage on a very prevalent topic.

    The newspaper's role was to act as a mediator and platform, in the same way as social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.

    It did not sanction hate speech, but endorsed the right to have an opinion and create a forum for response.

    “I emphasise that the 'survey' conducted by the writer was for her personal insight and not that of a definitive, scholarly analysis. It was intended as a social commentary on the society in which she resides,” Nagel said.

    She formally retracted the title of the pie chart and said the chart should be read in conjunction with the article, and not as a separate piece.

    The article was written in the opinions section and thus did not necessarily reflect the views of the newspaper, as stated in the online disclaimer, she said.

    “I am aware of the controversy surrounding the sensitivity of race and I understand that the right to freedom of expression has its limits when used unnecessarily to discriminate against others, slandering religion, race, sexuality.

    “However, Varsity feels that the writer was not abusing this right nor had the intention of issuing an attack on individual racial groups, but simply pinpointing a matter that is still affecting the lives of South Africans.” - Sapa


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    The capacity of the Simon's Town naval dockyard to support SA Navy ships is a major problem, navy chief Vice Admiral Refiloe Mudimu said.

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    Cape Town - The capacity of the Simon's Town naval dockyard to support SA Navy ships is a major problem, navy chief Vice Admiral Refiloe Mudimu said on Thursday.

    The dockyard had not been able to attract the requisite skills needed to fully maintain and service the fleet, he told reporters in Simon's Town.

    The navy was seeking to take over the management of the facility, which had been run by arms procurer Armscor since September 2007.

    “One is told that under the old dispensation, we had these capabilities in South Africa,” Mudimu said.

    “Today, if we want to fix any of our systems, we are foreign-dependent. The turnaround is very, very long.”

    For the navy to stay afloat, it needed to have a working dockyard.

    “We have never recovered from the retrenchments that took place (at the dockyard), even long before integration, and after,” he said.

    “We have not yet come out of that crisis. That is one of the biggest challenges. We need to be able to deal with that issue.”

    It had been hoped that Armscor would turn the dockyard around.

    However, while Armscor was exploring new ventures to “revitalise” the facility, it had battled to attract “requisite skills”.

    The navy wanted to take over running the facility.

    However, “this was going to be another battle in terms of the politics of our country”, because the unions involved with the dockyard did not like to be run by the military.

    Navy director for product system support Rear Admiral Monde Lobese, told Sapa the dockyard was only performing a fraction of the repair, refit, and electrical and mechanical maintenance work the fleet needed.

    “We need - in terms of our annual and five year plan - 900 000 man hours a year of work performed; currently the dockyard gives us 200,000 man hours,” he said.

    “An example of the extent of the problem is the dockyard has only one welder, but needs five. The electrical workshop is operating under capacity, as is the mechanical workshop,” Lobese said.

    “And the engine repair capability is not there.”

    Mudimu said the extent of the navy's frustration with the dockyard was “well known”.

    Earlier, he told reporters the navy was going to re-establish a base at Salisbury Island in the Durban Harbour.

    “The SA Navy is going back to Durban.”

    Navy ships taking part in anti-piracy operations in the Mozambique channel and up the east coast needed a base from which to operate.

    Asked when the base would be ready, Mudimu said it was needed “yesterday” but did not put an actual date on its completion.

    The navy previously had a base on Salisbury Island, but this was downgraded to a naval station in 2001.

    The news briefing came a day ahead of Navy Festival 2013, which will see the navy opening its Simon's Town base to visitors on Friday and through the weekend.

    This year's event includes a “diving demonstration” by one of the navy's submarines which will submerge in the harbour as well as other displays and performances within the base.

    Last year's event attracted over 120 000 people.

    According to its website, the navy's ocean-going fleet includes four Valour-Class frigates, three 209-Class submarines, a fleet replenishment vessel, and two Warrior Class fast-attack craft.

    It also operates four Westland Lynx helicopters, eight Oryx helicopters, and five DC3 maritime aircraft.

    Other vessels include a survey ship, two River Class coastal mine hunters, three inshore patrol vessels, and 26 Namacurra Class harbour patrol boats. - Sapa


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    A Cape Town tavern had its liquor licence revoked, Western Cape finance and economic development MEC Alan Winde said.

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    Cape Town - A Cape Town tavern had its liquor licence revoked on Thursday, Western Cape finance and economic development MEC Alan Winde said.

    The provincial liquor licensing tribunal convened a full hearing on Thursday morning after tip-offs from the public regarding Tootsies Inn in Elsies River.

    Winde said the tribunal found that the inn sold liquor for off-site consumption despite having only an on-consumption licence issued in June 2012.

    The inn sold liquor to patrons who looked to be under the influence of alcohol and had had a shooting incident at the premises, indicating “a lack of control”.

    It also made structural amendments to the establishment without formal approval and stored liquor in contravention of the approved plan.

    A police member was expected to deliver a notice to the licence holder later on Thursday, instructing that trade be ceased immediately.

    “As part of our strategy to curb liquor abuse in our communities, the Western Cape government is determined to root out unruly traders,” Winde said.

    “This is a warning to irresponsible traders - if you contravene the rules, we will track you down and shut your doors. Our duty is to protect the interests of law abiding citizens by ridding our liquor industry of bad elements.”

    A new Cape Town council liquor trading and hours by-law came into effect on Monday.

    As it stands, the by-law states that licensed businesses may sell liquor for off-site consumption from Monday to Saturday between 9am and 6pm.

    No liquor may be sold off-site on a Sunday, except for wineries, which can trade from their tasting rooms on that day.

    The Sunday condition has since been placed on hold after the city announced a new public participation process on Wednesday.

    This process was part of the city's consideration of possible amendments to sections of the by-law, said Garreth Bloor, economic, environmental, and spatial planning mayoral committee member.

    The announcement followed a request from the city council last week to consider and initiate amendments to the by-law, in terms of the revised trading hours and the Sunday off-site sales prohibition.

    Many traders had complained that the by-law would drastically affect sales and employment figures.

    The council recommended that off-site consumption be permitted on application by licence holders in certain categories, excluding local business and residential areas.

    The first round of participation was expected to commence in mid-April, would be advertised in the media, and run for 30 days.

    The second round was a 45-day period, which would allow for input on draft amendments based on comments received in the first round.

    The ban on Sunday trading had been temporarily suspended, pending the public participation process. - Sapa


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  • 04/04/13--09:04: Man burns to death in crash
  • A man burnt to death when a car and a truck collided head-on in Riversdale, Western Cape police said.

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    Western Cape - A man burnt to death when a car and a truck collided head-on in Riversdale on Thursday, Western Cape police said.

    The man lost control of his car and collided head-on with a truck, Captain Malcolm Pojie said.

    “The car immediately caught fire with the driver trapped behind the steering wheel, where he burned to death. His identity still needs to be verified.”

    The three occupants of the truck, including the driver, were taken to the Riversdale Hospital. It was believed the driver of the car was travelling towards George, and the truck, carrying a bakkie, was en route to Cape Town. - Sapa


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    A man has been arrested after the murder of a Cape Town traffic officer and a motorist he pulled over, police said.

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    Cape Town - A man was arrested on Thursday following the murder of a Cape Town traffic officer, Western Cape police said.

    Steenberg police caught the 26-year-old, from Parkwood Estate, and confiscated two firearms, Captain FC van Wyk said.

    One of the guns belonged to traffic officer Wesley Woodman, 35.

    Woodman and a motorist were shot dead on Prince George Drive, in the Lavender Hill area, around 9am on Wednesday.

    City of Cape Town safety and security mayoral committee member JP Smith said on Wednesday the officer had stopped a Toyota Corolla for a broken tail light, when the killer approached him from behind and opened fire.

    The motorist, Shuaib Afradien, died on the scene. Woodman died in hospital later that day.

    The arrested man was expected to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on a double murder charge on Friday. - Sapa


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