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  • 04/19/13--04:52: Council eyes R700m subsidy
  • The city council wants control all public transport in Cape Town - and as part of this wants to take over the lucrative Golden Arrow contract.

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    Cape Town - The city council has applied to control all public transport in Cape Town - and as part of this wants to take over the Golden Arrow contract and the R700 million subsidy which the bus company receives annually from national government.

    The city and Golden Arrow are currently involved in a high court dispute over their failed negotiations on how much market share Golden Arrow is entitled to when MyCiTi expands and some Golden Arrow buses become redundant. Golden Arrow says that more than half of its income comes from government funding.

    Last year the city applied to the Department of Transport to become the transport authority which will see the city take control of all modes of transport and take responsibility for rail and bus subsidies.

    Golden Arrow, which has been operating in Cape Town for more than 150 years, transporting 53.6 million passengers annually, says 55 percent of its income comes from the government funding.

    Golden Arrow spokeswoman Bronwen Dyke said in the last financial year, R696 236 000 was allocated to the Western Cape Department of Transport as a Public Transport Operating Grant to subsidise the provision of public transport services.

    Dyke said the subsidy was granted by the government to assist commuters as many citizens cannot meet the true costs of daily commuting.

    She could not say how future subsidies would be affected as MyCiTi expands, but added: “We anticipate that some of Golden Arrow’s existing routes will be cancelled as MyCiTi Phase 1 is rolled out. The company will, in consultation with the provincial Department of Transport, propose to redeploy these buses in other areas where there is currently a dire need for additional buses to supplement existing services.

    “It is very important to note that it is not the company that is subsidised but the passenger who benefits from discounted travelling costs.”

    Siphesihle Dube, spokes-man for the provincial Transport Department, said currently Golden Arrow was the only company that was paid a subsidy by the provincial government. The funding came from national government to province to allocate to Golden Arrow in terms of its contract. Province only managed the Golden Arrow contract, and Dube said they were not aware of any decommissioning of Golden Arrow’s fleet or the mothballing of its assets when MyCiTi expanded.

    The city applied to the Department of Transport to assign the responsibility for the contracting authority function in respect of the Golden Arrow contract to the city.

    “After the transfer of the contract for the Golden Arrow function, the subsidy amount will be reallocated… to the City of Cape Town. The city will then determine how the funds will be used,” Dube said. The integration of Golden Arrow with the MyCiTi expansion will be the city’s responsibility.

    zara.nicholson@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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  • 04/19/13--04:59: Equity report errs: Union
  • The Commission for Employment Equity's latest report contains misrepresentations about transformation in the labour market, trade union Solidarity said.

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    Johannesburg - The Commission for Employment Equity's (CEE) latest report contains misrepresentations about transformation in the labour market, trade union Solidarity said on Friday.

    Solidarity's research institute, SRI, believed the errors were the same as those made in previous years.

    “ [It] repeats... errors and misrepresentations of data that the SRI has pointed out in previous years,” researcher Paul Joubert said.

    The CEE had used race as the only yardstick to measure transformation within the economically active population and ignored other factors.

    This approach was not only extremely one-sided, but also not aligned to Section 42 of the Employment Equity Act, he said.

    “As in the past, the CEE also focuses mainly on slow racial transformation at the top management level, even though the 52 611 people at this level represent less than one percent of the total number of employees covered by the report.”

    On Thursday, the CEE released its 13th edition report on transformation in the workplace which showed that whites still dominated top positions in the workplace.

    The report showed whites constituted 72.6 percent of top management positions in the country last year, down from 81.5 percent in 2002.

    The report reflects the public and private sectors.

    Blacks occupied 12.3 percent of top management positions in 2012, compared to 10 percent in 2002.

    Commission chairman Loyiso Mzisi Mbabane handed the report to Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant at a Transformation Indaba in Boksburg, on the East Rand.

    Coloureds occupied 4.6 percent of top management positions in 2012, compared to 3.4 percent in 2002; and Indians 7.3 percent, from five percent.

    The number of foreigners in top management positions in 2012 was 3.1 percent, compared to zero in 2002. However, this was because the labour department started collecting this data only in 2006.

    Mbabane expressed disappointment at the levels of transformation.

    “It is unacceptable. This is not what you would expect, especially because we have a law,” he said.

    The report was compiled by the EEC using millions of employment equity reports from the public sector and private companies across all sectors of the South African economy.

    It also showed that men continued to dominate top management, although their representation at this level dropped by 6.1 percent, from 86.2 percent in 2002 to 80.1 in 2012.

    Female representation at top management rose by 6.1 percent, from 13.7 percent in 2002 to 19.8 percent in 2012.

    Mbabane said it was disappointing that the percentage of women in top management had increased from 13.7 percent in 2002 to 21.6 percent in 2006, before dropping back to 19.8 percent in 2012.

    The report further showed that blacks occupied 10.8 percent of senior management positions in 2002. This figure had risen to 18.4 percent in 2012.

    Whites occupied 77.9 percent of senior management positions in 2002. A decade later this declined to 62.4 percent.

    Coloureds held 5.1 percent of senior management positions in 2002 and 7.1 percent in 2012.

    Indian representation in senior management stood at 6.3 percent in 2002 and surged to 9.5 percent in 2012.

    Oliphant told the conference the policy to implement employment equity in the workplace would stay.

    “There are those who are calling for a sunset clause on employment equity,” she said.

    “To make this call now is mischievous at best or at worst a callous disregard of history and its negative ramifications that will be felt way beyond the two decades of freedom.”

    Sapa


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    Knysna businessman Adrian Wilson-Forbes was acquitted on all 79 charges against him.

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     Cape Town - Knysna businessman Adrian Wilson-Forbes was acquitted on all 79 charges against him in the Western Cape High Court sitting in Thembalethu, outside George, on Friday.

    The charges had included statutory rape, abduction, indecent assault, trafficking persons for sexual purposes, and making child pornography.

    “It's been a very punishing and very gruelling time and I now have to try and rebuild my life,” Wilson-Forbes, 60, said when leaving court.

    In her judgment, Judge Patricia Goliath slammed the primary witness's evidence describing Wilson-Forbes as a pimp, saying the primary witness and the accused had clearly defined roles in their relationship.

    “The accused made use of the sexual services offered by the primary witness and the primary witness offered the sexual services. Both of them were untruthful,” Goliath said.

    Now 23, the primary witness said that when he was 11-years-old he was abducted and sexually assaulted by Wilson-Forbes, who then allegedly asked him to procure young girls for sexual purposes. He claimed he did this on three occasions.

    Photographic evidence submitted by the State showed Wilson-Forbes in a compromising position with an eight-year-old girl during an incident on March 29 last year.

    Wilson-Forbes claimed he was set up by the primary witness, who held him at knife-point and took photographs of him and the girl under duress.

    He denied all allegations of sexually assaulting the primary witness and two other witnesses during incidents that allegedly took place in 2001/2002.

    Goliath said “the court remained in the dark” as to what had really happened during the incident in March last year and neither version was corroborated by the eight-year-old girl.

    She said the State had to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

    “The version of the accused is improbable, but can the court find it is so improbable that it cannot be reasonably and possibly true? It would be improper for this court to reject the accused's version and convict him.”

    With regard to the earlier incidents, Goliath said there was no conclusive evidence as to the ages of the alleged victims at the times the alleged incidents took place.

    Adjourning the case, Goliath said the request for indemnity for the primary witness was refused. - Sapa


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    Blade Nzimande announced a R10m construction skills development and job creation project in Bredasdorp, to uplift the youth in the community.

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    Johannesburg - Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande announced on Saturday a R10 million construction skills development and job creation project in Bredasdorp, Western Cape to uplift the youth in the community.

    Nzimande said it was an attempt to “ease the material conditions” of the community to tackle poverty and unemployment to avoid crime.

    “Working together with the Construction Seta and the local municipality we have decided to honour the memory of the young Anene Booysen through this project,” he said.

    “She was working on a construction site where RDP houses were being built when this incident took place. She was actively contributing to ensuring a better life for herself and her family through working on that construction site.”

    On February 2, 17-year-old Booysen was raped and murdered.

    Booysen visited a Bredasdorp nightclub on Friday, February 1. A few hours later, she was gang raped and mutilated. She was found at the construction site where she worked the next morning. She died in hospital later that day.

    Nzimande said the partnership with the Construction Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) and the Cape Agulhas Municipality would contribute to the reduction of the high unemployment and poverty rates.

    He said the department wanted learning and training opportunities channelled to townships and rural areas.

    “I have requested my department to ensure that skills development and training are taken to townships and rural communities because that is where these are needed the most,” he said.

    “From the discussions the CETA has had with them and the municipality, it was collectively decided that the CETA would contribute R10 million to address the skills needs of the community.”

    A skills and development centre will be opened and named in honour of Booysen.

    Nzimande urged the youth in Bredasdorp to make use of the opportunity.

    The African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape welcomed the programme.

    “While one does not want to be seen to make political mileage out of such an issue, it is instructive that for all its talk of schemes to aid the youth in the Western Cape by the (Democratic Alliance) DA, it is the ANC that is delivering,” provincial chairman Marius Fransman said.

    “Similar schemes would be initiated throughout the province.” - Sapa


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  • 04/21/13--03:54: W Cape DA out in cold
  • The DA has been rocked by controversy over a campaign to rebrand itself by emphasising its liberal roots.

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    The DA has been rocked by controversy over draft electioneering proposals drawn up in the Western Cape and a campaign to rebrand itself by emphasising its liberal roots.

    Several DA provincial leaders this weekend scrambled to distance themselves from the Western Cape draft proposals, which seek to equate the ANC with the apartheid-era National Party (NP).

    Meanwhile former DA leader Tony Leon cautioned the party that it could not win against the ANC in a contest over the past and pointed out that the party was being selective about its history.

     

    Reports emerged this weekend that the Western Cape’s draft electioneering proposals include an image of the ANC logo with the party’s black, green and gold colours replaced by the orange, white and blue of the old South African flag and images that juxtapose photographs of police shooting miners at Marikana last year with those of the infamous Sharpeville Massacre, when apartheid police killed 69 protesters.

    The proposals are reportedly to be considered at the party’s provincial election campaign launch next month.

    DA chief executive officer Jonathan Moakes said the documents came from an internal presentation in the Western Cape. “It is not intended to form part of our election campaign… It has absolutely no standing”.

    Gauteng DA leader John Moodey said the DA in his province had its own campaigns and intended to focus on service delivery. Drawing parallels between the ANC and NP “is not on the DA agenda in Gauteng”, he said.

    Mpumalanga DA leader Anthony Benadie said discussions on a campaign were still under way. Comparisons between the ANC and the NP were “definitely not” under discussion in Mpumalanga; it was a Western Cape matter.

    Northern Cape leader Andrew Louw said their focus for 2014 elections would be the DA’s successful track record of delivering services to all and telling the DA’s story, not on drawing comparisons.

    Moakes said the DA’s 2014 election campaign would focus on telling South Africans what the party stood for.

    “Most South Africans will want to hear what the DA has to offer,” he said, dismissing that there would be any negative impact on the DA from the Western Cape presentation.

    The DA’s leader in the Western Cape, Ivan Meyer, did not respond to requests for comment.

    The ANC slammed the Western Cape proposals, saying “the DA has stooped to its latest low”.

    “Not only is comparing the ANC to the NP disingenuous, it is also not factual,” said ANC national spokesman Jackson Mthembu. “The ANC continues to uphold the highest values of a free, transparent and democratic country, which cannot be comparable to the erstwhile apartheid system.”

    The DA last weekend launched its “Know Your DA” campaign in Alexandra, Johannesburg with pamphlets depicting Nelson Mandela embracing liberal stalwart Helen Suzman next to the words “We played our part in opposing apartheid”.

    This campaign seeks to emphasise the DA’s liberal legacy and that many anti-apartheid activists, including party leader Helen Zille, are prominent DA members.

    This version of the DA’s history conspicuously avoids mention of Zille’s predecessor, Tony Leon.

    In an interview with Weekend Argus, Leon cautioned the DA against looking to the past.

     

    “You’ve got to stay in the future business; if you get into a contest about the past, the ANC is going to beat you every time. We can have an argument about what the ANC did… but they have all the moral authority because they represented the disempowered,” he said.

    “There is always a danger if you start reliving the past that a lot of inconvenient truths come out.”

    Leon pointed out that the party’s alliance with the New National Party, which had helped win the Western Cape for the party, and the “die-hard NNP voters” from the Cape Flats were left out of the party’s narrative.

    “The reason we formed the DA – let’s not be too precious about it – was to expand the opposition with what was available, and what was available was the NNP. And the reason the DA governs the WC today is because the NNP voters… came into the DA. People are questioning why the white men are being left out of the story; what about the coloured men and women?” Leon said.

    Leon was at the helm of the DA’s forerunner, the Democratic Party. The party rose in the hustings to 9.56 percent support, up from 1.73 percent in 1994.

    Meanwhile, sharply different views have emerged among opposition parties at Parliament on how to broaden collaboration. With elections due next year, there is pressure to produce concrete agreements.

    A DA proposal for dual membership, an approach which led to the party swallowing up much of the NNP 10 years ago and more recently taking in the ID, has been rejected by other opposition parties.

    While these parties have welcomed co-operation, one described this as a “non-aggression pact”, while another hinted that egos and personalities were getting in the way.

    Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said last week there was “a tentative understanding of issues we can take to the electorate that we have agreed (on)”. This included governance arrangements in all spheres of state “if we get the necessary majority”.

    However, DA MP and federal executive chairman James Selfe said while the DA was “in the market” for co-operation after the poll, election co-operation was not feasible unless all participated under the same political banner. - Sunday Argus


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    South Africans need to know that the ANC did not always provide the only opposition to apartheid, says Helen Zille.

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    Western Cape -

    South Africans need to know that the ANC did not always provide the only opposition to apartheid, DA leader Helen Zille said on Sunday.

    “It is at times like these that I realise the extent to which we (the Democratic Alliance) have allowed our opponents to define us and impose their version of our history on South Africa’s political narrative,” Zille said in her weekly newsletter.

    “We must take responsibility for changing this.”

    This was the reason for the party's “Know Your DA” campaign, she said.

    Earlier in the week, a DA pamphlet showing Nelson Mandela hugging former liberal politician Helen Suzman, with the words “We played our part in opposing apartheid”, angered ANC Western Cape chairman Marius Fransman.

    He described it as a “cynical and opportunistic exercise in propaganda”.

    The African National Congress said neither Mandela nor Suzman were ever members of the DA.

    Suzman was a member of the Progressive Party which became the Progressive Federal Party and later merged with other parties to become the DA.

    Zille said the ANC wanted to “own” the history of the struggle against apartheid, so it was quick to downplay and deny the contributions made by others outside the party's fold.

    “They (ANC) are still trying to divorce Suzman’s legacy from the DA, despite the fact that she co-founded our predecessor party, the Progressive Party, and was its sole representative in Parliament for 13 years, between 1961 and 1974, and later became a member of the DA,” she said.

    “Today, we continue to promote and defend the values Helen Suzman stood for half a century ago. These are the same ideas that underpin our non-racial democracy and its founding compact, our Constitution.” - Sapa


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    A Burmese sailor has been rescued from a ship off Cape Town and taken to hospital in a critical condition with malaria, the National Sea Rescue Institute said.

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    Cape Town -

    A Burmese sailor has been rescued from a ship off Cape Town and taken to hospital in a critical condition with malaria, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Sunday.

    Rescue workers initially thought he had yellow fever, NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said in a statement.

    They went out to a bulk carrier ship off Cape Town on Saturday after receiving a report that the 43-year-old man from Myanmar was unconscious and had a fever.

    They found him in a critical condition, placed him on a rescue craft and took him to a hospital in Port Elizabeth, said Lambinon.

    He said the ship was sailing from Cameroon to Singapore, and its last port of call was Cape Town. - Sapa


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    A R10 million project aimed at young people and women in Bredasdorp where Anene Booysen was killed has been launched in her memory.

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    Born out of the horrific rape and murder of 17-year-old Anene Booysen that shocked the world, a R10 million project aimed at young people and women in the quiet town of Bredasdorp where the teenager was killed was launched in her memory on Saturday.

    In addition, a skills development centre is to be created in the very house where she was left to die.

    Anene’s foster mother, Corlia Oliver, a seasonal farm worker who was forced to leave school in Grade 5, will be given a job at the centre.

    Yesterday Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande launched the project in Anene’s memory, saying it would benefit hundreds of local young people through programmes such as training in electrical construction, health and safety, solar installations, carpentry, plumbing, community house building, road construction, as well as recognition of prior learning programmes in construction-related training.

    The schemes were initiated by Nzimande in partnership with the construction sector education and training authority and the Cape Agulhas Municipality.

    Nzimande said: “While the initiative is sadly an offshoot of one of the most tragic criminal acts our country has seen in recent history, it will also mark the dawn of a new era of hope and opportunity for the people of Bredasdorp and surrounding areas.

    “From the ashes of a very sad, tragic incident comes a new beginning in the life of this community. Because a life taken away cannot be brought back and the pain that was caused by the perpetrators of this incident cannot be qualified or fully understood, as government, we thought the least that we could do to ease the pain for the family and the community, would be bringing this project here.”

    He said Anene’s family was consulted

    about the project during its planning stages.

    “The Construction Skills Development and Job Creation Project is an attempt to ease the material conditions of this community, so that some of the offshoots of poverty and unemployment do not lead to a repeat of what happened to Anene.”

    Nzimande appealed to the youth to take advantage of the apprenticeships.

    The training will run for a minimum of nine months and a maximum of 12 months, depending on the field of training.

     

    “In addition to about 700 learners receiving different training, each trainee will also receive a monthly stipend of about R1 500, which will help in alleviating the socio-economic conditions of the community in the short term, while they they will receive “will skills” that will lead to longer-term, more sustainable benefits,” Nzimande added.

    He is expected to announce 10 full bursaries for local youth: five for public college study and five for university study.

    Turning to the proposed skills development centre - which will be named in Booysen’s honour –

    Nzimande said the intended beneficiary of the RDP house where Booysen’s body had been found no longer wanted to move in after the killing and chose, instead, to wait for an alternative home to be allocated to her.

    Since the house was vacant, it was chosen as an appropriate base for the Anene Booysen Skills Development Centre.

     

    “We want to employ Anene’s mother, who is a seasonal farm worker who had to leave school in (Grade 5). This will provide the opportunity for her to work at a centre in memory of her own daughter,” he said.

    Anene’s family welcomed the initiative, saying it would keep her memory alive.

     

    Oliver, who will be celebrating her 41st birthday today, said that to have her daughter honoured was the best present any mother could receive.

     

    “I’m very happy about this opportunity. It means a lot for the community and youth like Anene’s friends, who are unemployed and still at home.

    “While it would have been better to still have Anene here with us, she would have been proud and happy to see how everyone came together to honour her.

    “She may not be here any more and it is possible that, if projects like these existed in our town when she was alive, she may still have been here with us today,” Oliver added.

    Oliver said that, hopefully, other youths would be able to make something of their lives through the initiative.

    Local community leaders also welcomed the scheme, saying it would keep the youth off the streets and out of trouble while creating hope for a better future.

    “The youth in the Overberg is in dire need of training. There are many bright students who cannot further their education because of poverty in the community.

    “This will go a long way to helping our youngsters,” Dirk Jantjies said.

    Themba Tebele said it would be “great” if the training project could be rolled out to other areas.

    - Jonathan Davids, 22, and Johannes Kana, 21, who are accused of raping and murdering Booysen, will appear in the Bredasdorp Magistrate’s Court tomorrow. - Sunday Argus

    warda.meyer@inl.co.za


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    “I don’t require affirmation and reminding,” says Tony Leon of the fact that he has apparently been written out of the DA’s history.

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    “I don’t require affirmation and reminding,” says Tony Leon of the fact that he has apparently been written out of the DA’s history in favour of those with Struggle credentials.

    The new campaign, titled “the DA’s untold story”, was launched last week in Alexandra, where party leader Helen Zille detailed the party’s roots from Helen Suzman’s Progressive Party, and the contributions to the Struggle of members such as Patricia de Lille, Nosimo Balindlela and Joe Seremane.

    Leon, interviewed about his book The Accidental Ambassador: From Parliament to Patagonia, a memoir of his three years as ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, said he was “perfectly relaxed” about it.

    But he warned of the party’s new direction. “You’ve got to stay in the future business; if you get into a contest about the past, the ANC is going to beat you every time.

    “We can have an argument about what the ANC did, and I am aware that their Struggle wasn’t as heroic as they pretend, but they have all the moral authority, because they represented the disempowered.

    “There is always a danger if you start reliving the past that a lot of inconvenient truths come out.

    “Some of them are good, some of them are bad, some are heroic and some not so heroic,” he said.

    For instance, the Progressive Party, which has been hailed as the predecessor to the DA, operated under the apartheid government, and most Africans would not have been able to vote under its policies at the time.

    Leon also wondered why the party’s alliance with the New National Party, which had helped win the Western Cape for the party, and the “die-hard NNP voters” that came from the Cape Flats, were left out of the party’s story.

    “The reason we formed the DA, let’s not be too precious about it, was to expand the opposition with what was available, and what was available was the NNP.

    “And the reason the DA governs the Western Cape today is because the NNP voters, via the NNP machine, came into the DA.

    “People are questioning why the white men are being left out of the story – what about the coloured men and women?”

    But, as Leon points out, he’s no longer in politics, and he doesn’t see himself taking up an ambassadorship any time soon, and he’s also unlikely to secure such a position, having spilled many of the secrets of his three years there.

    For example: how he hung up his own pictures of Suzman and the Dalai Lama in the official ambassadorial residence to offset the compulsory pictures of President Jacob Zuma and Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

    And how his first thoughts upon meeting Argentinian president Christina Fernandez de Kirchner for the first time centred rather largely on how her lips resembled those of Angelina Jolie.

    He’s convinced she’s had large amounts of plastic surgery, and flips to pictures in his book to prove his point.

    “She is older than me,” he says pointing to a picture of her, her skin perfectly unlined.

    If Leon was looking to be employed by the government again, calling Zuma’s cabinet “morally flexible, perhaps ethically challenged”, in the book, probably won’t help his cause.

    Leon says: “There are very bad cabinet ministers and there are very good ones.”

    He hosted about a dozen ministers and deputy ministers during his time in Argentina.

    Some, such as Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, he invited. Others, he says, invited themselves, to “check up on what Tony Leon is doing”.

    And while he has glowing things to say about Gordhan (“he’s a pharmacist by training, so he knows how to create various winning prescriptions”), his time as an ambassador taught him that there were many people in the public service who were not doing their jobs.

    He said Trevor Manuel’s speech about the public service two weeks ago had echoed “exactly what I experienced”.

    “I cannot tell you the number of times I picked up the phone to Pretoria and never got a response and the opportunities that were lost or had to be salvaged because the people at the other end weren’t doing what they should be doing.”

    Leon says he’s happy with his performance as an ambassador, having increased the country’s exposure in a “closed society”, “empowered” his team and given them increased levels of responsibility, and pointing out the huge opportunities that exist in South America. - Sunday Independent


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  • 04/22/13--00:16: DNA Bill heads to Parliament
  • Parliament will review the Criminal Law Amendment Bill which has the potential to help cops take violent criminals off SA’s streets.

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    Cape Town -

    The Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill - also known as the DNA Bill - is on its way to Parliament after being delayed for five years.

    Proponents of the bill say it has the potential to help police take violent criminals off South Africa’s streets.

    According to a cabinet statement, the bill “paves the way to regulate and promote the use of DNA in combating crime, taking into account constitutional requirements”.

    If it is passed into law, the bill will increase the size of the national DNA database: all suspected and convicted criminals will have their DNA profile included on the database, which will be compared to DNA profiles collected from crime scenes and victims of crime.

    The DNA Project says this will greatly assist police in gathering evidence, and prosecutors in gaining convictions.

    The DNA Project, headed by attorney Vanessa Lynch, has been lobbying for this legislation since 2008.

    Lynch has a personal connection to the issue: her father was murdered in his home in 2004, but no one was convicted after all traces of DNA and other forensic evidence were lost.

    “To not utilise all of these things in a country which is screaming - it just seems ludicrous, doesn’t it?”

    Lynch said that by facilitating police efforts, the DNA Bill would put more offenders behind bars.

    The larger the database, the more chance police have of linking an unknown DNA profile to a known profile taken from a suspect or convicted offender.

    According to a press release from the DNA Project, more than one million South African children have been raped since the bill was first presented to the cabinet.

    “We have a methodology that is tangible and works, but people are dragging their heels,” said Lynch.

    The DNA Project is waiting to hear when the police portfolio committee will introduce the DNA Bill into its programme.

    Public submissions will then be called for and the committee will review the bill.

    Lynch is hopeful the bill will be passed before the next election, or DNA project will have to begin the process all over again with the new cabinet, further delaying the process.

    “Then it’s time to literally start toyi-toying to say this is just getting out of hand,” she said. - Cape Argus

    alison.decker@inl.co.za


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    Unemployment and substance abuse are the two main problems plaguing towns in the Cape’s Eden district, MPs heard.

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    Cape Town -

    Unemployment and substance abuse are the two main problems plaguing towns in the Cape’s Eden district, MPs on an oversight visit to the region have heard.

    “After jobs, people want something to be done about the substance abuse problem,” said DA MP and National Council of Province’s (NCOP) delegation head Michael de Villiers.

    The NCOP delegation visited George, Oudtshoorn and Kannaland last week, accompanied by members of the provincial legislature.

    The aim of the visit was to assess service delivery in the seven municipalities and engage with residents.

    “Apart from Kannaland, where there are a few financial concerns, all municipalities’ administration is looking good,” De Villiers said. “Housing also remains a challenge, but unemployment and substance abuse issues are the main problems.”

    A report on the progress of Eden municipalities since the last oversight visit in 2009 will be presented to Premier Helen Zille on Thursday.

    ANC MP Freddie Adams said the provincial government had failed to provide houses, bulk infrastructure and job opportunities for residents.

     

    Briefing MPs on progress made since their last visit to the region, Local Government MEC Anton Bredell said access to piped water in the seven local municipalities in the Eden district averaged at 97.8 percent. Flush toilets averaged at 85.2 percent and 91.1 percent of households had access to electricity though the grid.

     

    “When the percentages are compared with the averages for the province… access to piped water is slightly higher than the average while access to sanitation and electricity is slightly lower than the provincial average,” Bredell said. - Cape Argus

     

    clayton.barnes@inl.co.za


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    After surviving a fire that destroyed hundreds of shacks, Kayamandi residents now face a new problem: lack of solid waste removal.

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    Kayamandi -

    A little over a month after a fire destroyed hundreds of shacks and left thousands homeless in Kayamandi outside Stellenbosch, the community has all but rebuilt itself. Yet, residents have complained that they have faced a chronic lack of solid waste removal since the fire.

    Resident Vuyo Ngxubaza said her queries to the municipality had initially fallen on deaf ears.

     

    Now the municipality has apparently responded to her by explaining there was only one refuse truck serving a large area, and they were working on fixing this.

    “I’m very disappointed because I thought that there would be a better explanation than that,” Ngxubaza said.

    “There are dump sites that haven’t been cleaned in over a month. This, after a garbage truck used to come two or three times a week in 2012.”

    Resident Bulelwa Masanini said she was also disappointed.

    Municipality spokesman Vernon Bowers said he would follow up the community complaints, adding merely that “Kayamandi is cleaned more often than other parts of Stellenbosch”.

    Queries to the municipality’s waste removal section were referred back to Bowers. He elaborated on what the municipality had achieved in terms of aid and relief after the fire.

    He said 28 000 meals, 1 357 housing kits, security, and the replacement of lost identity documents had been sponsored by the municipality. The efforts cost the municipality close to R14 million, he added.

    “Stellenbosch Municipality cleans Kayamandi, which includes Zone O, twice a week. We are engaging the community of Zone O to attend to their claims. Our approach to complaints about service delivery matters is to resolve any challenges by working with the community,” said Bowers.

    Another resident, Nelson Mayezana, said he had been through similar fires before and he was impressed with the municipality’s response to this one.

    “The building materials they gave us were particularly welcome,” he said.

    - Cape Argus


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    The State has laid charges against a Bellville prosecutor for allegedly striking a deal to destroy a case docket in exchange for R1 800.

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    Cape Town -

    The State has laid charges against a Bellville prosecutor for allegedly striking a deal to destroy a case docket in exchange for R1 800.

    Jonas Phoshoko, 38, of Mitchells Plain, and co-accused Mlahleni Mgingi appeared briefly in the Bellville Commercial Crimes Court on Friday.

    Phoshoko, a prosecutor at Bellville Magistrate’s Court stands accused of having been paid R1 800 by Mgingi to destroy his case docket.

    Mgingi was arrested in June 2010 for the illegal possession of dagga.

    The men were arrested on November 23, 2011, and released on bail. An investigating officer obtained a search warrant of Phoshoko’s home and found another unrelated docket.

    In that docket, Mzamo Gam was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. Gam was released on R500 bail and warned to appear in court in January last year.

    The docket was sent to court, but it was never sent back to the Delft police station for investigation.

    The two men are expected to plead to charges of contravening sections of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, theft and defeating the ends of justice.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A dad plans to sue a cop for defamation and emotional trauma damages after a picture of his stepson was posted on Facebook.

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    Western Cape - A Gordon’s Bay father plans to sue a city police officer for defamation and emotional trauma damages after a picture of his stepson was posted on her Facebook page, calling him a vark (pig) for allegedly stealing her son’s cellphone.

    Philip Brink, 53, said his family was horrified when they discovered that a high-ranking police officer had publicly threatened his stepson and another man, accusing them of stealing phones from her son and his friends two weeks ago.

    He plans to sue her for R500 000 damages for the defamation and emotional trauma the officer’s post has caused for the rest of the family by exposing the family to public humiliation.

    After the robbery on April 4 the officer’s status read, in Afrikaans: “Tonight my son and his friends were robbed by two pigs of their cellphones, and the pigs still brag they are going to stab them to death, as they stabbed to death another child at the shop... They assaulted the children and poured alcohol down their throats.”

    Brink’s 20-year-old stepson, Kyle Yon handed himself in and appeared in the Strand Magistrate’s Court on theft charges on Thursday.

    Police are still searching for Yon’s friend who was also allegedly involved.

    Yon remained in custody.

    Brink accused the officer and police of inciting violence on the internet.

    “She (the officer) went online and posted pictures of them without knowing if they were guilty or not. She also accused them of being involved in the stabbing of another young man that my 13-year-old daughter and her friends knew. My wife hasn’t slept since,” he said.

    Brink said he reported the officer to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) for further investigation.

    barbara.maregele@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


    0 0
  • 04/22/13--02:21: Mama cat gives puppy love
  • When a mother cat was faced with a starving pup, maternal instinct won out.

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    Cape Town -

    Cats and dogs rarely see eye to eye, so it came as a surprise to the staff at a Khayelitsha animal clinic when a stray cat adopted a puppy into her feline family.

    The puppy, a tiny crossbreed called Lollipop arrived at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic after she was found wandering the streets of the township.

    Suffering from a bad case of fleas, ticks and worms, the little pup was in a bad condition and had to be treated overnight.

    But the by the next morning, “Lolli” was still struggling, a shivering wreck hiding in the corner of her cage and refusing to eat.

    Clinic spokeswoman Marcelle van Zyl said staff tried everything to keep Lolli warm - from hot-water bottles and blankets to jerseys. But she was still struggling.

    “It was decided that to try to keep her warm we would put her with a stray cat that had been admitted with her three 10-week-old kittens.”

    Nobody at the clinic was sure how the cat would react.

    “Best-case scenario, the cat would foster Lolli as her own, or otherwise tolerate her just enough to let her snuggle up,” Van Zyl said.

    At first the cat was wary of the pup, but by the next day staff found the dog lying quietly suckling from her.

    The three kittens took a little longer to warm to Lolli, but were soon playing with her like one of their own, rolling around in their pen in a ball of claws and paws.

    The pup eventually made a full recovery under the watchful eye of her new mother, who staff said never failed to look after her.

    “When she turned eight weeks, we decided it was time for her to find a new home and move her away from her surrogate family,” Van Zyl said.

    Lollipop was adopted and is now living at riding stables with five other dogs.

    Her new owner said Lolli was settling in to a dog’s life. And the pup was not showing any signs of having picked up tricks from her feline family - no scaling trees, catching birds or pining for sardines.

    kieran.legg@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 04/22/13--04:43: Life-saving tech for W Cape
  • A sophisticated data capturing technology to be introduced in the Western Cape is set to improve ambulance times.

    |||

    A sophisticated data-capturing technology to be introduced in the Western Cape towards the end of the year is set to improve ambulance response times.

    Launching the R250 million system last week, Health MEC Theuns Botha said not only would the new information and communication technology system improve data capturing at EMS call centres, but it would “get ambulance response to emergencies in the shortest time possible”.

    To be run by information technology company Dimension Data in the next four years, the project would be phased in November and would see the existing 10177 communication-aided dispatch technology being upgraded to provide “fast and efficient data capturing and quick dispatching of emergency resources to incidents”.

    Dr Shaheem de Vries, medical services manager at EMS, said once the implementation of the technology was complete in the next few years, it would allow EMS call centres to locate where the call was made.

    “One of the problems we have in informal settlements is locating addresses. If your cellphone technology knows where you are, it would send that information to our system…” he said.

    Once ambulance staff arrive on scene the new technology would also allow them to capture patient details electronically, which can then be sent to the hospital prior to the ambulance’s arrival. - Cape Argus

    sipokazi.fokazi@inl.co.za


    0 0
  • 04/22/13--05:32: Cape commuters left stranded
  • Thousands of Cape Town commuters were stranded again, as Golden Arrow and some MyCiTi drivers continued to strike.

    |||

    Cape Town - Thousands of Cape Town commuters were stranded again on Monday morning, as Golden Arrow and some MyCiTi drivers continued to strike after a deadlock in wage negotiations.

    Other bus services throughout the country were similarly affected.

    While Golden Arrow has locked up its buses and suspended all operations, the City of Cape Town has put contingency plans in place and MyCiTi continues to operate, though at a “slightly reduced service”, said Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, roads and stormwater.

    On Monday morning, members of the Transport and Omnibus Workers Union (Towu), who constitute the majority of Golden Arrow drivers, gathered for a rally at the Samaj Centre in Gatesville.

    Tony Franks, Towu’s spokesman, said they would be setting a time and date for a march on Parliament.

    Towu’s march on Parliament will highlight the fact that bus companies receive government subsidies.

    The strike started on Friday after unions and employers nationally could not settle on a wage increase.

    After initial wage negotiations, which started in January, reached a deadlock, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration intervened and proposed a 9 percent raise as a compromise.

    Towu has said it has been mandated by its members to accept the offer, but confirmed that its members were striking on Monday until a settlement in agreement with other unions and employers can be reached.

    Barry Gie, spokesman for the SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council, said on Monday morning that the industry had been in dire straits for the past five years.

    “Revenue from ticket sales have grown at around 5 percent annually, wages have increased by around 9 percent.

    “This has put employers in a tough position, but the unions tend to ignore that when they come to negotiations,” he said.

    Metrorail in the Western Cape said commuters could use their Golden Arrow clip cards to board Metrorail trains during the strike.

    - A service delivery protest early on Monday forced police and traffic services to close the approach road from the N2 to Cape Town International Airport.

    By 10.30am the protesters had been dispersed by police, but rubble was still strewn over the road, said traffic spokeswoman Merle Louwrens.

    By the time of publication, authorities had begun clearing the road and Louwrens said it was hoped the road would be reopened soon. - Cape Argus


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    The two men accused of raping and murdering Anene Booysen appeared briefly in the Bredasdorp Regional Court before the case was postponed.

    |||

    Cape Town - The two men accused of raping and murdering Anene Booysen appeared briefly in the Bredasdorp Regional Court this morning before the case was postponed.

    Jonathan Davids and Johannes Kana are both in custody in connection with the incident that shocked the country.

    Seventeen-year-old Anene was raped and mutilated and died shortly after identifying one of her alleged attackers.

    The State asked the court to postpone the case as it was awaiting forensic analysis as well as cellphone records.

    Community members and relatives of the accused packed the small courtroom this morning.

    Outside, the road leading to court was cordoned off.

    Nearby, members of Tehillah, a drug rehabilitation centre, stood brandishing posters which read “Bredasdorp Tehillah cares”.

    Chief executive of Tehillah Magda Kleyn said the community should stand together. “We are here with the message that the community should stand together. We can make a difference. The community is filled with drugs and drug lords and we want to put them out.”

    Tehillah is in the process of establishing a substance abuse outpatient clinic in the small town.

    The case has been postponed to May 21.

    Cape Argus


    0 0

    At least a third of Western Cape high school pupils use tobacco, alcohol, and dagga, a provincial social department survey revealed.

    |||

    Cape Town - At least a third of Western Cape high school pupils are using tobacco, alcohol, and dagga, a provincial social department survey revealed on Monday.

    The year-long study found that around 40 percent of pupils in Grades eight to 10 smoked cigarettes, 35 percent drank alcohol, and 35 percent smoked dagga.

    The findings formed part of a survey of around 20,000 pupils at 240 schools by the Medical Research Council (MRC).

    The provincial government and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime commissioned the research to get “reliable information on the prevalence of alcohol and other drug use, mental health problems, and risky behaviours”, to guide appropriate interventions.

    The research revealed that 66 percent of pupils had consumed alcohol at least once in their lifetime.

    Around 37 percent of pupils surveyed started using tobacco before the age of 13. Twenty-eight percent of pupils started drinking before this age and 13.7 percent started smoking dagga before they were 13-years-old.

    Regarding risky behaviour among the sexually active, three out of five pupils admitted to having unprotected sex.

    A quarter admitted to having sex after alcohol or drugs, and a fifth to having multiple partners.

    Many had witnessed a criminal act within 12 months of being surveyed.

    Around 60 percent of pupils reported having seen someone using drugs or someone being beaten.

    Just under half had witnessed drugs being sold. Forty percent of pupils had witnessed someone being stabbed.

    The survey found that the risk of mental health problems was high, particularly among female pupils.

    The MRC suggested that more recreational services were needed, if the link between substance use, other problem behaviour, and leisure-time boredom was considered.

    Government was also encouraged to promote the training of school teachers and counsellors on the early identification of drug use. - Sapa


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    Jordan Lewis died and 21 other children were admitted to hospital after being exposed to illegally dumped chemicals.

    |||

    Cape Town - She went to play with her friends, but when she came back home she was caked in white powder and struggling to stand up.

    Just two hours later, three-year-old Jordan Louis was dead.

    The little girl, who died on Sunday, was playing with a group of friends near a set of bags which had been illegally dumped on the road near her Delft home on the corner of Silver Sands and Symphony Way.

    The local Community Police Forum (CPF) said the children had inhaled dangerous fumes coming from toxic chemicals inside the bags.

    “She just came home with powder all over her body and her mother went to go wash her off,” the child’s grandmother, Ethol Chana, told the Cape Argus on Monday.

    “Then she put her to bed, but she only slept for a minute before she woke up crying and couldn’t walk properly.”

    The toddler was rushed to hospital, where she died two hours later.

    Chana said the family was distraught and was struggling to come to terms with the sudden loss.

    “I am very sad… They need to do something, because if they leave it someone else will lose their child. They need to find the company that dumped the bags.”

    The city’s disaster management spokesman, Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, said six other children were admitted to a hospital in Elsies River after being exposed to the chemicals on Sunday.

    They were later transferred to Tygerberg hospital where they were still receiving treatment.

    A Delft CPF official later said that a further 15 children had been admitted to hospital.

    Three policemen were also admitted to hospital after they inhaled the fumes when they responded to urgent calls from residents on Sunday.

    Solomons-Johannes said the bags had contained a mixture of chemicals including sodium nitrate, which is predominantly used in fertilisers; trisodium phosphate, which is found in many cleaning products; gum powder, used to secure dentures; and hydrogenated glycosides.

    He said samples of the chemicals had been taken and that the city as well as provincial and national environmental authorities would be investigating the matter.

    On Monday, the residents paced nervously around the cordoned off section of the street where the chemicals had been dumped as a hazmat response team cleared away the bags.

    Resident Maxwell Abental said illegal dumping was a massive problem in the area. He said the bags of toxic chemicals had been there for three weeks before the incident.

     

    “The problem is we don’t have electricity. No street lights or anything. Bakkies just come here at night and dump whatever they want all over the road. Now we are living in fear. We don’t know if we will get sick.”

    Queeneth Hulushe, another resident, said that there had been white powder all over the street on Sunday. She said that her daughter had been struggling with her breathing after being exposed to the chemicals.

     

    Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith said dumping was a huge problem in Cape Town. He said there were around 958 illegal dumping hot spots that had to be monitored and addressed.

    He said Jordan Louis’s death pointed out that dumping was not just an aesthetic issue.

    “It is clearly an environmental and health risk.”

    Smith said he wanted to see police come down hard on the company responsible for dumping the dangerous chemicals.

    “It has caused a serious consequence and they can’t get away with it.”

    He urged residents to take a stand against illegal dumping by regularly reporting companies or individuals that did it. It’s about time these crooks are exposed.”

    Jordan’s grandfather, Bennett Chana, said a funeral for the toddler was set to be held on Saturday.

    kieran.legg@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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