Articles on this Page
- 05/25/13--01:02: _Massive search for ...
- 05/25/13--01:11: _Fear after gangboss...
- 05/25/13--02:20: _Cape Town MD in R13...
- 05/25/13--02:36: _1 988 farmers seek ...
- 05/25/13--02:44: _NPA zeros in on Fid...
- 05/25/13--05:39: _Train amputee score...
- 05/26/13--06:38: _Zuma’s VVIP jet que...
- 05/26/13--06:51: _Airport fog havoc p...
- 05/27/13--00:57: _Unease over De Lill...
- 05/27/13--02:12: _Search still on for...
- 05/27/13--02:16: _Fidentia victims ge...
- 05/27/13--03:30: _Award for Obamas ‘n...
- 05/27/13--04:30: _Cape man killed in ...
- 05/27/13--05:26: _Rose-Leigh on road ...
- 05/27/13--05:27: _Cape council cautio...
- 05/27/13--06:25: _Lesbians still bein...
- 05/27/13--06:47: _Spes Bona shooting ...
- 05/27/13--07:53: _Police docket incom...
- 05/27/13--07:58: _Mayor hangs up on i...
- 05/27/13--07:59: _Fidentia saga: Six ...
- 05/25/13--01:02: Massive search for missing professor
- 05/25/13--01:11: Fear after gangboss gunned down
- 05/25/13--02:20: Cape Town MD in R13bn tender probe
- 05/25/13--02:36: 1 988 farmers seek wage exemption
- 05/25/13--02:44: NPA zeros in on Fidentia judge
- 05/25/13--05:39: Train amputee scores victory
- 05/26/13--06:38: Zuma’s VVIP jet queried
- 05/26/13--06:51: Airport fog havoc precedes heavy rain
- 05/27/13--00:57: Unease over De Lille grows
- 05/27/13--02:12: Search still on for missing Cape doctor
- 05/27/13--02:16: Fidentia victims get R17m payout
- 05/27/13--03:30: Award for Obamas ‘not a game’
- 05/27/13--04:30: Cape man killed in R6m jewellery heist
- 05/27/13--05:26: Rose-Leigh on road to recovery
- 05/27/13--05:27: Cape council cautious about funding
- 05/27/13--06:25: Lesbians still being targeted
- 05/27/13--06:47: Spes Bona shooting case postponed
- 05/27/13--07:53: Police docket incomplete 8 months on
- 05/27/13--07:58: Mayor hangs up on interviewer
- 05/27/13--07:59: Fidentia saga: Six years... and counting
A missing professor's family are hopeful that he is alive, as police prepare to trace his cellphone via signal searches.|||
Cape Town - The family of a missing Stellenbosch University professor are hanging on to the hope that he will be found alive, as police prepare to trace his cellphone via signal searches.
Somerset West police have launched a massive hunt for paediatrician and lecturer Dr Louis Heyns, who was last seen at 8.30pm on Wednesday, when he left his brother’s home in Somerset West.
After finishing dinner, his brother Christo told Weekend Argus, Heyns said he had to get home as he had to prepare for a lecture he was giving the following day.
He got into his dark grey Peugeot 308 and drove off on to the N2, where he was last seen on a traffic camera that picked up his movements.
The father of three never arrived home.
His brother said Heyns usually called him when he got home, “but this time he didn’t”.
“I figured he was busy so I didn’t think much of it.”
Meanwhile, Heyns’s wife of 33 years, Dalene Heyns, said that when he hadn’t arrived home by midnight, she sent him an SMS.
As a paediatrician, Heyns often worked late, but she said he normally let her know when he was on his way home, by sending her an SMS.
He hadn’t responded an hour later, and she sent another SMS: “I’m getting very worried now.”
But there was still no answer, so she called her husband’s cellphone, which had been switched off.
Dalene said she then contacted other family members, and when they found out he had left Somerset West more than four hours previously, they reported him missing at the Parow police station.
“That night I called the Metro police and they told me that there had been no accidents in that area. I even called all the hospitals,” she told Weekend Argus.
At 6am the following day she, her brother-in-law and other family members drove around the areas they thought Heyns might be found.
“We knew that to go home he’d have to take the N2, the R300 and then the N1,” Christo Heyns said, “but we found nothing”.
Dalene Heyns said they were having a very difficult time, “but we must believe”.
Christo Heyns said his brother had originally intended dropping some fruit at his son’s nearby home on his way home from dinner, but had decided against it because it was late.
Alwyn Swart, Heyns’s son-in-law, has been on social networks trying to raise awareness about the case.
“The police are hoping to find him using his cellphone signal. From there they (will) search using a helicopter,” he told Weekend Argus.
Detective Warrant Officer Hannes Niemand could not be contacted for comment last night, but police reports said Heyns was wearing a black golf shirt, a grey blue jacket and brown pants. His car registration is CY 121 038.
Anyone with information should call
Niemand at 021 850 1325/44, or Crime Stop on 08600 1011.
Residents of Manenberg are expecting reprisals after a senior Hard Livings gang member and his friend were gunned down.|||
Cape Town - Residents of Manenberg are expecting reprisals by the Hard Livings gang after a senior gang member and his friend were counted among the victims of a number of deadly attacks on the Cape Flats.
Local police are also braced for the funeral service today of a teenage gang member, shot dead at his high school.
Spes Bona pupil Glenrico Martin, who had been linked to the Hard Livings gang, was gunned down at school on Wednesday last week. The Grade 12 pupil died in hospital after being shot in the back of the head at point-blank range as pupils were filing in for morning classes.
Two teenagers have been arrested in connection with the murder.
Although no arrests have made after Thursday night’s hit in Rio Grande Street, which claimed the lives of Donovan Uys, better known in gangland as “Gansie”, and his friend Sandra Simpson, sources within the gang claim the attack is part of internal strife within the gang.
The two were shot and killed while sitting in Uys’s car just a few metres from Simpson’s home. Uys was shot in the neck and Simpson in the heart.
On Friday, as friends and family visited Simpson’s home to pay their respects, the dead woman’s mother Andeline Simpson said she had mistaken the shots for fireworks.
“My son went out to check, and when he came back he said we need to go out and look for ourselves. When I got there Sandra was still alive. She must’ve tried to escape from the car because her body was lying in the street and her foot was caught in the car door. She told her sister she was ‘getting cold’ before she died.”
The family said they believed the murders were intended to undermine an ongoing police case in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court.
Three years ago Simpson, Uys and several others were victims of a shooting in Peta Walk in Manenberg. Simpson was shot in the leg and buttocks.
A suspect was arrested and is on trial for the initial shooting.
Andeline Simpson said Uys and Simpson may have known the Thursday night gunman.
“Witnesses said the shooter stood at Donovan’s window and that they were talking before he pulled out the gun. They must have known him. Why else would they stop and talk with him?” she asked.
Simpson is survived by her 16-year-old daughter Simone and nine-year-old son Jason.
Uys’s brother Shawn said the family was deeply shocked. His brother left his common-law wife of 24 years, four children and five grandchildren.
“We expected this call for a very long time. We knew he was part of a gang, but not once did he bring that world into his home,” he said.
Shaun Uys said the family were unsure of the motive for the attack but that the law should take its course.
He denied earlier reports that his brother and Simpson were a couple, saying they were friends.
Funeral arrangements were being made for next week.
The managing director of a company awarded a R13 bn state tender has been found unfit to run a body corporate.|||
Cape Town - The managing director of a local solar energy company that was awarded a R13 billion state contract has been found unfit to run a body corporate.
The Western Cape High Court placed the body corporate of the luxury Cape Royale – on the site of the landmark Claridges Hotel on Somerset Road in Green Point – under administration last week owing to fiduciary failure on the part of the trustees. Chairman Pascal Phelan and the only other trustee Bettina Heiberg were found to have failed in their fiduciary duty to the body corporate.
Irish national Phelan is also the managing director of Solar Capital, a local solar energy company which recently won the multi- billion contract from the Department of Energy and Eskom to build one of the world’s largest solar farms in the northern Cape. Solar Capital’s chairman is Danny Jordaan (ex-chief executive of World Cup) while Bobby Godsell (a former chairman of Eskom) is a director. Agang leader Mamphela Ramphele is the former chairwoman of the board.
However, it has emerged that the application to have the Cape Royale body corporate placed under administration was filed in June last year and apparently was not disclosed to the Department of Energy. According to the qualification criteria to bid for a tender from the department, each member of the bidder must disclose “the extent of any material pending or threatened litigation or legal proceedings in which it is involved or has been involved in during the last five years”.
Earlier this year Phelan was also involved in litigation with “Sushi King” Kenny Kunene’s business associate, Gayton McKenzie. He took McKenzie to court to recover outstanding rentals of R450 000 for the nightclub ZAR Lounge, which used to trade from the hotel’s premises. Phelan later withdrew the application.
When asked if he had disclosed the Cape Royale matter to the department, Phelan said: “I am a second respondent. It didn’t appear on my radar, much as a traffic fine wouldn’t.”
When asked if he had disclosed the McKenzie matter, he first said the application had been brought by one of the companies in his group, but then said: “Our legal firms deal with these things. I simply don’t know. I will check whether we were required and whether we did.”
Thandiwe Maimane, the chief director of communications at the Department of Energy, said yesterday it was not aware that Phelan had been involved in litigation and said the matter had been referred for legal advice. “The concerned party will be given the opportunity to respond to the matter, whereupon the department will be in a position to respond,” she said.
Phelan, who made his fortune in the beef industry in Ireland, moved to Cape Town in 2002 and soon made headlines when he bought the famous Claridges Hotel for just over R18 million and announced grand plans to revamp the building at a cost of R120m to turn it into one of South Africa’s most luxurious getaways with a 90-room boutique hotel and adjoining luxury apartments.
The colourful Phelan had already made a splash with his Mars 2112 restaurant in New York which, apart from being the largest eatery in the Big Apple, had patrons agog with its “out of this world decor” which saw diners enjoy an interactive experience, including a simulated trip to the Red Planet.
According to a statement issued by Solar Capital in November last year, the company won a R13bn deal to supply the energy grid with electricity generated from a 75 megawatt photovoltaic solar farm being developed in the Northern Cape. The deal is the largest solar bid allocation in round one of the Department of Energy’s renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme.
The De Aar farm will have one of the world’s largest solar farms with four million panels upon completion and will generate enough electricity to power approximately 14 000 homes every year, Solar Capital’s website says.
Handing down judgment in the Cape Royale matter in the Western Cape High Court last week, Judge Vincent Saldanha said Phelan and fellow trustee Heiberg had failed to carry out their fiduciary responsibilities to the body corporate, and that Phelan had failed in his capacity as chairman to ensure that his interests – in the developer and in a company that provided services to the body corporate – did not compromise or impact on his financial duties to the body corporate. Phelan and Heiberg, who is employed by Phelan, are the only two trustees.
Owners of units in Cape Royale have been involved in a dispute with Phelan since early last year over complaints relating to the management of their properties in the body corporate. This culminated in one of the owners applying to court to have the body corporate placed under administration.
The applicant, represented by Michalowsky, Geldenhuys & Humphries, and supported by 26 other owners, alleged that Phelan and Heiberg were guilty of gross neglect and incompetence, and conflicts of interest.
Nearly 2 000 farmers, many from the Western Cape, have applied for exemption from the minimum wage for farm workers.|||
Cape Town - Nearly 2 000 farmers, many from the Western Cape, have applied for exemption from the minimum wage for farm workers.
Labour Minister Mildred Olifant told a press briefing on Thursday, following her department’s budget vote speech, that 1 988 farmers had applied for exemption from the new R105-a-day wage included in the sectoral determination for farmworkers.
Last year farm strikes started in De Doorns as workers protested against the R69-a-day minimum wage.
The strikes spread and turned violent, resulting in the destruction of property and at least two deaths.
Workers demanded R150 a day, but earlier this year the Labour department decided on a new daily minimum wage of R105.
Farmers who said they could not afford to pay the increased wage were given an opportunity to apply for exemption, but were required to provide the relevant proof.
Les Kettledas, deputy director-general of labour policy and industrial relations
in the department, said the highest number of applications for exemption had come from the Western Cape, followed by Mpumalanga, Free State and Limpopo.
Already 470 of these applications, representing around 32 500 workers, had been declined.
Kettledas indicated that many of those denied applications had not included financial statements or proof that the farmers had consulted with their workers on the wage issue.
“Until such time as they provide those, their applications will be denied,” he said.
About 64 applications for exemption, representing 7 500 workers, had been approved.
In her budget speech, Olifant said the department would introduce or amend several pieces of legislation to secure the rights of workers, among them farmworkers and domestic workers.
The department was hard hit in the past year by massive labour disputes in many of these sectors.
Amendments to the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, which are in the works, would include farmworkers and domestic workers not entitled nor covered by this legislation.
Domestic workers have also been recognised in proposed amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).
The amendments, which the department says are “largely technical” and therefore unlikely to be opposed, have already been determined to be affordable and legal by actuaries and attorneys.
The National Treasury has been consulted, but the amendments still need to go before the cabinet, and be released for public comments.
Olifant said domestic workers would, following the amendments, be able to access maternity leave benefits from the fund.
Other planned amendments to the UIF include an extension of the benefits period from eight months to a year.
Women going on maternity leave will also be paid an income replacement rate of 38 to 66 percent of their salaries.
In addition, the period of time family members would have to claim death benefits from the fund would be extended from six months to a year.
This, Olifant said, was to observe various cultures and their mourning processes.
Prosecutors listed at least eight "misdirections" the judge made in former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown's case.|||
Cape Town - Prosecutors in the Western Cape have hit back at Western Cape High Court Judge Anton Veldhuizen’s comment that they mismanaged the case against former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown and have listed at least eight “misdirections” they believe he made, in court papers filed on Friday.
In addition, they object to the R150 000 fine imposed on Brown as “startlingly and inappropriately lenient”.
“The case was not mismanaged. Inasmuch as the court found to the contrary, the court’s conclusion is coloured by the misdirections that reasonably fall to be corrected by another court,” they stated.
The document, submitted as part of the State’s application for leave to appeal against the sentence, also states that the “wholly disproportionate” fine was bad for South Africa’s economy. The State wants a term of imprisonment to be imposed instead.
Earlier this month Brown, who initially faced 192 charges, was fined R150 000 or three years in jail after being convicted of two counts of fraud, related to his dealings with the Training and Education Training Authority (Teta) and the Mantadia Asset Trust Company (Matco), now known as the Living Hands Umbrella Trust.
He pleaded guilty to the two charges after the State had already led evidence.
However, the sentence imposed may not be the end of the saga for Brown in the event that the State succeeds in obtaining leave to appeal the sentence to the Supreme Court of Appeal.
In the document, the State alleges that Judge Veldhuizen erred in:
* Finding that the fraud Brown was convicted of did not fall within the ambit of minimum sentence legislation.
* Imposing a sentence that was startlingly and inappropriately lenient.
* Finding that the State had accepted Brown’s plea to the exclusion of other evidence led in the trial.
* Holding that the court was bound to base the sentence on “the narrow description of the offences in the admissions (Brown had made) alone and completely ignoring the evidence that was already on record as part of the State’s case, much of which had not been challenged by (Brown)”.
* Disregarding the evidence of five State witnesses without giving reasons for doing so.
* Limiting the State during cross-examination of Brown,
* Limiting and then disregarding the evidence of State witnesses who testified in aggravation of sentence.
* Finding, without good reason, that the State had mismanaged the case.
* Failing to consider indemnity for State witness Graham Maddock.
It is the State’s argument that a minimum sentence of 15 years was applicable to each count of fraud of which Brown was convicted.
It submitted that there was a “striking disparity” between the sentence imposed and the sentence that another court would have imposed, because the evidence indicated that Brown acted “merely out of greed”, and showed no remorse.
“His decision to make admissions and plead guilty at the very latest stage of the proceedings, having for years made no admissions and having proclaimed widely his innocence, does not display true remorse.
“He was concerned with his image and rapidly acquired status which control over a multi-million rand group brought.
“It is clear from his evidence that he does not have a true appreciation of the consequences of his fraudulent actions in describing them as mere breaches of contract, even if only potential prejudice is accepted.
“This exculpatory version, tendered after admitting guilt, flies in the face of true remorse. (Brown) contended that he committed the frauds because of ‘bad cash flow planning’.
“This action and motive can hardly mitigate the severity and seriousness of these two crimes.”
In addition, the State alleges that the fine imposed was wholly disproportionate, and that the court over-emphasised Brown’s personal interests over the seriousness and prevalence of the offences, and the interests of society.
“It is submitted that it remains trite that investor confidence plays a major part in our economy, which is regarded as a developing economy and in constant need of new investments.
“The influx of foreign investments is especially important, with investors looking for stability and expecting to see major commercial criminality firmly dealt with.”
On the first day of the 2010 World Cup Siyamcela Moses Mnengi was thrown from a moving train. Now he may finally get compensation.|||
Cape Town - It was the first day of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, and Bafana Bafana scored a goal in the opening match against Mexico.
It was a time that will forever remain etched in the memories of South Africans, especially that of former Khayelitsha van assistant Siyamcela Moses Mnengi - but for totally different reasons.
Mnengi was fighting for his life after losing a leg and suffering severe head injuries after being pushed out of the open doors of a moving train at Nolungile Railway Station, Khayelitsha.
He had been on his way to the Grand Parade Fan Fest.
Mnengi survived, but was left with a serious brain injury that makes him forgetful and affects his ability to complete day-to-day tasks.
Months later Mnengi sued the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa for R9.9 million in damages, alleging that the agency was negligent for failing to ensure that the doors of the overcrowded train were closed before the train moved off from the platform.
Earlier this month the Western Cape High Court ruled that the agency was liable for Mnengi’s injuries. The judgment was handed down last Friday by acting Judge Kate Savage.
Judge Savage, however, was only tasked with deciding the merits of Mnengi’s claim.
The case must now be re-enrolled for the damages sum to be determined.
Mnengi, now 25, said this week he was very happy at the outcome.
“It’s been years and I was thinking of quitting this thing.”
Thanking his attorney André Neser for assisting him with the case, Mnengi said: “He’s the one who made this all happen and always helped me to stay hopeful.”
Mnengi has had a prosthetic leg since 2011, but has not been able to work again, in spite of being the breadwinner for his domestic worker mother, twin sisters and younger brother at the time of the accident.
He struggles with depression, and says he has to rely on his mother for emotional, mental and financial support.
He has often felt useless for being unable to fulfil his traditional role as the eldest son.
To this day, he said, he still had nightmares about the incident, even though he still couldn’t recall the actual details.
These days he takes minibus taxis rather trains.
He said he was looking forward to the end.
“It could be big for me because then I can support my family.”
A date for the case has not yet been set.
The Department of Defence’s plans to spend millions on a jet for the country’s “No 1” have been met with little enthusiasm.|||
The Department of Defence’s plans to spend millions on a jet for the country’s “No 1” have met with little enthusiasm, but experts say that spending on planes with military airlift capacity is a different matter and concur with the defence minister that many of the country’s military’s planes are “antiques”.
Weekend Argus reported yesterday that Defence Minister Nosiviwe-Mapisa Nqakula had announced her department would buy a new VVIP (very very important person) jet, and focus on building strategic airlift capacity, which was sorely lacking. While the budget for the VVIP jet has not been announced, speculation is that it will come from the R4.6 billion in the department’s “secret” account.
Last year, it scrapped plans to buy a new VVIP jet at a price tag of R2bn.
On Friday, Mapisa-Nqakula said buying new aircraft was a matter of urgency since her department was spending millions on chartering flights for VIPs and for airlifting because South Africa had unsuitable or outdated planes.
Yesterday, defence analyst Helmoed Heitman agreed, describing some of the government’s planes as “antiques”. He said because there were no planes with long range and heavy airlift capacity, military equipment had to be transported in pieces and re-assembled on the other side, and troops flew in chartered planes.
The defence force’s VIP squadron 21 operates four planes: the presidential jet, bought in 2002; a Falcon 900 in 1991; and two Falcon 50s in 1982 and 1985, refurbished in 2005.
South Africa’s Hercules carriers date back to 1962 and 1963.
Heitman said South Africa had erred in buying the R600 million Boeing Business Jet, now named Inkwazi, as the presidential jet in 2002, as it was too small and its range was too short.
DA spokesman on defence David Maynier disagreed: “The defence operating budget has been cut to the bone and you would think scarce resources would be directed to the needs of the defence force, rather than (those) of the president.”
South African National Defence Union spokesman Pikkie Greeff also said spending should focus on “military capacity more than VVIP jets. We need to spend more on logistics and troop transport, unless the president will allow the defence force to use his VVIP jet the next time we need to extract soldiers from an operation”.
Greeff said that while he welcomed the minister’s “candid admissions” about the lack of airlift capacity, the issue had only really became problematic after the recent troubles experienced in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Heitman said troops deployed to the CAR had travelled there on chartered flights, and chartered flights had been used to extract some of them.
“Our air transport capacity is way below what we need to do the required work,” he said.
Heitman cited as an example the South African Search and Rescue Organisation, which effects “maritime and aeronautical searches” from half way between South America and South Africa, to half way between South Africa and Australia, and the South Pole. The SANDF is one of the government departments involved, but cannot “begin to cover” the area with its planes.
Thick fog has caused havoc with flights in and out of Cape Town city over the past few days.|||
Thick fog has caused havoc with flights in and out of the city over the past few days – including delaying Premier Helen Zille yesterday as she was trying to get home to attend the DA election indaba – and Capetonians are battening down the hatches following severe weather warnings.
As the weather service issued a warning of fog and heavy rains for the weekend, the premier was tweeting yesterday: “First the flight was delayed by rabbits on the runway! Now ground control is not sure whether we will be able to land in Cape Town. Eish!”
And a few hours later: “Wow, that was an adventure. After an aborted landing attempt we are now safely on the ground, albeit in thick fog.”
Cape Town Weather Office forecaster Kate Turner said yesterday heavy rainfall would affect the city, the Overberg, the Winelands and the southern parts of the West Coast. Although things would clear somewhat tomorrow, the rain would continue until Tuesday morning.
“Our classification for heavy rainfall is equal to about 50mm or more in a 24-hour timeframe,” she explained.
Social media users have been complaining since Friday about delayed flights and there has been confusion about whether Cape Town International Airport was open or closed as a result of thick fog.
Deborah Francis, the spokeswoman for
Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), confirmed that heavy fog resulted in poor visibility at the airport on Friday.
One flight was diverted to George. Yesterday, inbound flights were again diverted, delaying further flights.
About noon, when the fog finally lifted, Francis said the “push now is to get as many flights moving and to get back on schedule”.
Friday’s fog proved hazardous at sea too when the National Sea rescue Institute (NSRI) was called shortly after 5pm to search for three Hout Bay fishermen in a small boat who got lost offshore of Cape Point as visibility deteriorated.
NSRI station commander for Hout Bay, Lyall Pringle, said the men, Kubuli Mntukanti, Stanley Mzimela and Zolile Maya, all from Imizamo Yethu, “had only a vague idea” of where they were based on “their estimated compass direction”.
The NSRI rescued them about 10pm, five hours later, after narrowing down the search area to a passage between the shoreline and up to three nautical miles out to sea, between Kommetjie and Cape Point. - Weekend Argus
Patricia de Lille is creating "deep fault lines" in the Cape's top leadership, says her own administration.|||
Cape Town - Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille’s “street fighter” leadership style is creating “deep fault lines” in the City of Cape Town’s top political leadership, the mayoral committee, since it is believed she “rewards those close to her for sycophancy, rather than for competency”.
High-level staff have also been redeployed from the provincial government to “manage” her, according to sources.
And she has muzzled senior officials with expertise about critical council issues and no political affiliation, from speaking to the media.
These are just some of the allegations being levelled at the mayor, from within her administration.
The Cape Argus sent the mayor’s office a list of questions to which her answers were “nonsense”, “this is nonsense”, and “this is complete nonsense”.
De Lille ended off by saying: “It will be highly appreciated if the Argus gets facts that can lead to a proper response but the mayor will not be involved in speculation by faceless, nameless and useless people who are not prepared to substantiate their allegations.”
Sources, who spoke to the Cape Argus on condition of anonymity, have described her relationships with councillors and officials as “far from collegial”. There is, they say, a growing unease in the corridors of the Civic Centre, where De Lille reportedly rules with an iron fist.
Fear, suspicion and distrust are said to prevail in the “city that works for you”, although De Lille has rubbished the claims, which come from within her administration, as “complete nonsense”.
Questions have also been raised about some of De Lille’s staffing choices.
Belinda Walker’s move from corporate services to community services was viewed by many as a “demotion”. ANC city leader Tony Ehrenreich complained to the SA Local Government Association after De Lille appointed former ID stalwart Gerhard Ras as executive director of compliance and auxiliary services. Ras previously served as a mayoral committee member and then as city manager in the George municipality.
As one source explained, there appeared to be a united front in public, but behind closed doors the tension between mayoral committee members was palpable.
The mayoral committee must approve matters before they are submitted to council for final approval.
Another concern from within the top leadership is that De Lille “trusts no one”.
Even within her office, her dealings with staff have been described as “cool” and “uncomfortable”.
De Lille’s relationship with Paul Boughey, who was moved to the city from the province to serve as De Lille’s chief of staff, is said to lack the level of understanding Helen Zille enjoyed with her staff when she was mayor.
Another familiar face sent to the city by Zille, as leader of the DA and Western Cape premier, is Brent Gerber.
He has been moved to the city to head a new intergovernmental housing initiative, but talk within political circles in both the city and the province is that he was moved because of growing tensions between him and Zille, and to keep an eye on De Lille.
Gerber has denied these allegations, and the post is reportedly just a three-month contract.
De Lille has also tightened the reins on reporting lines in the city.
Officials who are not political appointees may no longer speak to the media.
Only mayoral committee members, who have been handpicked by De Lille, may provide official statements. The Cape Argus reported on this spin city-like situation last July.
Although De Lille is into her third year at the city’s helm, the talk among those in the political know is that she is unlikely to stick around for another term and that moves are already being made to shuffle the city’s top leadership to provincial or national government ahead of next year’s general election. But De Lille says speculation that she will move up to be premier of the Northern Cape next year is “nonsense” too.
In 2005, an informal survey of Capetonians named De Lille as “the most credible” politician and one who would be a worthy mayor or premier. But sources maintain there is a growing sense of unease at the way she imposes her will in all aspects of council business.
Police are continuing the search for Cape Town paediatric specialist and lecturer Dr Louis Heyns who was last seen on Wednesday.|||
Cape Town - Police are continuing the search for missing Cape Town paediatric specialist and lecturer Dr Louis Heyns, who was last seen on Wednesday evening after visiting his brother in Somerset West.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut said on Sunday that the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Heyns were being investigated and that he was still regarded as missing.
Heyns, 59, a lecturer at Stellenbosch University’s medicine faculty, left his brother’s home in Somerset West on Wednesday at about 8.20pm. He is believed to have gone missing on his way home to Welgelegen, in Parow.
His brother, Christo Heyns told a weekend newspaper that to go home, Heyns would have taken the N2, the R300 and then the N1.
His wife, Dalene Heyns, reported him missing when he hadn’t arrived home by midnight and didn’t reply to SMSes.
Laticia Pienaar, Tygerberg Hospital’s principal communications officer, said: “The hospital management is very concerned about Heyns’s disappearance. Our prayers are with the family and we hope he is found soon.”
Nana Rechner, director of The Pink Ladies, an organisation that helps find missing children, said: “We are doing everything that needs to be done to find him. Finding his car is vital.”
News about Heyns’s disappearance has been spread via social networks and flyers have been distributed along the route he is suspected to have travelled, said Rechner.
Heyns drove a dark grey Peugeot 308. His car registration is CY 121 038 He was wearing a black golf t-shirt, brown pants and grey jacket.
* Anyone with information should call Detective Warrant Officer Hannes Niemand at 021 850 1325/44, or Crime Stop on 08600 1011.
More than R17m had been paid out to beneficiaries of the Living Hands Umbrella Trust, which invested with Fidentia.|||
Cape Town - More than R17 million had been paid out to beneficiaries of the Living Hands Umbrella Trust, which invested with asset management company Fidentia.
Living Hands confirmed that R17 673 413.35 had been paid out to 15 200 beneficiaries since January.
This comes after former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown was fined R150 000 for two counts of fraud.
Brown was convicted in the Western Cape High Court recently after he admitted making misrepresentations in handling investments for the Transport Education and Training Authority and the Mantadia Asset Trust Company.
Judge Anton Veldhuizen handed down a R75 000 fine on each count, as well as an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for four years, also on each count.
The sentence drew widespread criticism, with the Financial Services Board (FSB) stating that the sentence would not deter white-collar crime.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has applied for leave to appeal against the sentence given to Brown. Papers were filed on Friday in the Western Cape High Court, NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said.
Brown said that after the case was finalised he would take the curators to court, claiming they have the money.
Many beneficiaries, including ex-mineworkers, widows and orphans, believe Brown did not steal or misappropriate their money. They say they had not been paid out since Fidentia was placed under curatorship in 2007.
But one of the curators, Dines Gihwala, described the claims that the money was with him as “utter rubbish”.
In a statement, Living Hands said a percentage of more than the R1 billion invested with them was made to 15 200 beneficiaries.
More than 67 000 people had invested through Living Hands and there are still nearly 58 000 beneficiaries who still have to be paid.
Those included beneficiaries whose details have not been verified and therefore could not be paid as they have not made contact with the trustees. Over the weeekend, Brown visited beneficiaries of the trust in Khayelitsha.
According to the Weekend Argus, Brown told the beneficiaries that “every month we paid money into your bank accounts then the Financial Services Board came along and said we stole your money”.
“They appointed curators who said they didn’t know who you are, didn’t know your bank accounts, didn’t have account records, and didn’t remember the Living Hands Trust cards you were given. When people started asking questions they said I stole the money.”
* Any beneficiary who had not received payment should contact Odyssy Consultancy CC at 084 259 6592, 074 649 2881, 079 648 5265, 079 648 5249, Fax: 086 621 6758, e-mail: email@example.com to have their details verified or go to their nearest TEBA Ltd office with proper identification, beneficiary trust number and bank account details.
The City of Cape Town has dismissed suggestions that its award for Barack Obama and his wife is a "political gimmick".|||
Cape Town - The city has brushed aside criticism that its granting of the Freedom of the City to US presidential couple Barack and Michelle Obama was nothing but a DA “political game”.
And it has denied that it is trying to gate-crash their upcoming visit to South Africa.
The Obamas are on official state visits to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania from June 26 to July 3 to strengthen “economic growth, investment and trade”, a White House press release stated.
On Sunday, media reported that the question of whether the Obamas would accept the award in person in Cape Town was causing strain between the DA and some groups in the province, including the opposition ANC, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and the Media Review Network (MRN).
De Lille said the couple did not need to visit Cape Town to receive the honour; it could be done anywhere, even in Pretoria or Washington DC: “It’s just a matter of handing over a scroll - we don’t even need a big ceremony.”
The MJC said on Sunday that the reasons for its opposition to Obama receiving the award had not changed from those included in a letter the council wrote to President Jacob Zuma last year.
The joint letter by the MJC and the MRN said: “(Obama) has continued on the path of retaining the mantra of ‘permanent war’ accompanied by zero accountability.”
It termed the award nothing but a DA “political game”. Tony Ehrenreich, ANC leader in the city council, could not be reached for comment on Sunday. In June 2012, shortly after the award had been announced, he called it a “political gimmick” and said it should be withdrawn.
“We are agreed that our political statement will be followed by political action in the form of protest should Obama come to receive the award in the city,” said Ehrenreich at the time.
De Lille said on Sunday that, while she hoped the US first couple would visit Cape Town to accept the award, she understood the Obamas “weren’t coming specially to South Africa to accept it”.
She said they would only visit the city “if President Zuma finds space in his itinerary”. The city had no say regarding the itinerary of the Obamas, as official visits by heads of state were co-ordinated solely through the office of President Jacob Zuma.
The city announced in May 2012 that it was honouring the US president and his wife with its highest honour. “In a cynical age, there is a desperate need for universal hope,” said De Lille at the time. “Symbols that retain their meaning in these times, and ones that embody the qualities to which we aspire, are worthy of the highest recognition.”
De Lille said the correct procedure had been observed when deciding to award the honour, adding the city “doesn’t need permission” to award honours.
A man, 65, was shot and killed by a gang of robbers during a multimillion-rand jewellery heist in Durbanville.|||
Cape Town - A 65-year-old man was shot and killed by a gang of robbers during a multimillion-rand jewellery heist in Durbanville on Sunday night.
Bags containing luxury watches and other jewellery understood to be worth millions of rand were being transported, apparently from an auction at the Commodore Hotel at the V&A Waterfront to a private residence in Vierlanden, Durbanville, when the robbers, who were in three vehicles, struck.
Robbers from two of the vehicles fired at the vehicle transporting the jewellery, stole bags containing the valuables and fled the scene in a third vehicle, reportedly a black Toyota Camry, which was later found abandoned.
Members of the Vierlanden Security Forum said the dead man was from Kraaifontein. He had been shot in the head.
Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk the identity of the dead man was not yet being released.
Members of the Vierlanden Security Forum at the scene on Sunday night overheard the owner saying the value of the stolen jewels was R6 million.
Gareth Leybourne, operations manager for the forum, was one of the first to arrive on the scene after receiving reports of gunshots.
After speaking to the driver of the Quantum, which was transporting the jewellery, witnesses at the scene pieced together a version of events: “It appears as though one Mercedes Benz had been following the Quantum and another one was lying in wait at an intersection with Voortrekker Way, the road leading into Vierlanden. The waiting Mercedes crashed head on into the Quantum and the following vehicle blocked the Quantum in from behind,” he said.
Leybourne said both cars had been reported stolen from Gugulethu and Table View.
He said a 9mm casing had been found next to the body and it looked as though the victim might have been holding a handgun when he was shot, as his fist had been partly closed. He said the gun might have been removed by the robbers.
“The driver of the vehicle (who survived the attack) was in a state of shock last night, so it was difficult to get information from him. He did say that the robbers had been calm, well- trained and highly professional. He said they had been speaking a foreign language,” said Leybourne.
The Cape Argus could not locate the driver on Monday morning.
A woman who lived adjacent to where the robbery took place said she had heard two shots.
The Cape Argus established the identity and nearby address of the owner of the jewellery, but was told at the door by a woman that “no one would be commenting at this stage”. It is unclear whether the owner was the buyer or the seller of the jewellery at the Commodore Hotel auction.
Van Wyk said: “(The suspects) fled the scene with six big cases and four small cases filled with jewellery... Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stop on 8600 10111.”
Rose-Leigh Usher - the Durban cancer patient who recently underwent a stem cell transplant - could be home this week.|||
Cape Town - Rose-Leigh Usher - the Durban cancer patient who underwent a life-changing stem-cell transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital - could be out of isolation and home within a week following her recovery.
Professor Nicolas Novitzky, head of UCT’s haematology unit and who is treating the nine-year-old girl, said she was “progressing well”.
“She is doing very well… she will probably be discharged within a week or so and hopefully she will be ready to go home. Everything is going perfectly fine at the moment,” he said.
Her possible discharge follows six weeks of strict isolation after the critical transplant was performed last month.
Rose-Leigh was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer - hepatosplenic gamma-delta T-cell lymphoma - last June.
Because she had no matching donor in South Africa, the stem-cell unit was imported from the US Cord Stem Cell Bank.
In preparation for her transplant, Rose-Leigh had to undergo a week of intensive chemotherapy to kill her immune system and malignancy on her bone marrow to ensure the engraftment of the new cells.
Novitzky said Rose-Leigh would still need to be strictly monitored for another four weeks to ensure that her weak immune system did not succumb to infections.
So far, Novitzky said, there were no signs of her body rejecting the new cells - a condition that was common to transplant patients.
Rose-Leigh’s mother, Rosemary Ullbricht, said the family was optimistic about her recovery.
“Even though I’m no longer in Cape Town, I’ve received very positive reports about her progress. Her blood results are apparently very good… they show a lot of cell multiplication of cells. I heard that she is now eating on her own again and has regained her sense of taste, which she lost at some point following the transplant. I’m so excited and I can’t wait for her to be back home,” she said.
Rose-Leigh’s story has touched so many people’s lives that, in February, readers of the Cape Argus’s sister newspaper in Durban - the Daily News - opened their hearts and wallets and raised more than R600 000 needed to secure the stem cells and also pay for hospital costs.
Red flags have been raised about money that has been allocated by the City of Cape Town to “needy” community groups.|||
Cape Town - Red flags have been raised about money that has been allocated by the City of Cape Town to supposedly needy community organisations that don’t exist or are based outside the country.
The council is to consider grant-in-aid allocations of R918 500 in total, but Suzette Little, the mayoral committee member for social development and early childhood development, says the council needs proof that these organisations are legitimate before the money is allocated, since it has been revealed that some don’t exist.
One of the suppliers is based in London.
“We will approve grant-in-aid funding on condition that the ward councillors and sub-council managers can confirm in writing that these organisations exist,” said Little.
About 50 organisations involved in projects - ranging from poverty alleviation, youth development and child care to sport - have applied for funding.
Belinda Walker, the mayoral committee member for community services, urged the council to be “extremely cautious” about giving financial support to suppliers, in case the auditor-general viewed the allocation as the city bypassing supply-chain management processes.
“There may well be other suppliers on the list,” she said.
Four requests from questionable organisations have been removed from the grant allocation list, after an investigation by Little’s office.
According to this list, recommended by a sub-council to the grants committee, an organisation that was to supply sports equipment to needy communities in Kuils River, initially applied for funding of R242 000. This is one of the applicants that Little’s office could not trace.
Attitudes to lesbians have changed little in 20 years, says activist Funeka Soldaat, who has been raped, beaten and stabbed.|||
Cape Town - Funeka Soldaat has been stabbed, raped and attacked.
The reason, she says, is because she came out as a lesbian - something which was unheard of in black communities at the time.
Twenty years later, she says, the picture has not changed all that much in townships, where homosexuals are often targeted.
Speaking on Saturday at the Orange Day event (the 25th of each month is UN Orange Day) organised by the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, she said police did not treat hate crimes against lesbians with the same seriousness as other crimes.
Soldaat is the founder of Free Gender, an organisation that raises awareness about hate crimes and gender-based violence.
She told the gathering marking the launch of Orange Day, an initiative to highlight violence against women and children, that she found it problematic Africans found it “uncomfortable” to talk about homosexuality.
She told the Cape Times how she was attacked in what she believes was a so-called “corrective” rape. It was in 1995 and Soldaat was returning from a World Aids Day event in Khayelitsha when four men attacked her as she was crossing a field.
As they were raping her, she said, one of the attackers said: “We knew we would get you one day.” This led Soldaat to believe her attackers knew her.
She said she told police she had been raped because of her sexual orientation, but they had not taken it seriously and would not open a docket.
“It was really difficult for lesbians to go to the police back then because they would make fun of it,” she said. “I believe if they had taken my case seriously, I would have been able to identify my attackers.”
Department of Justice and Constitutional Development regional head Hishaam Mohamed said that in the past 13 months, 64 000 rape cases had been reported nationally. He said President Jacob Zuma and his cabinet had “declared war on gender-based violence”.
Two men accused of killing Cape Town schoolboy Glenrico Martin have appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court.|||
Cape Town - Two men accused of killing Cape Town schoolboy Glenrico Martin appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate's Court on Monday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.
Wilston Stoffels, 18, and Jevon Snyman, 19, would return to court on June 13 for their bail applications, said NPA regional spokesman Eric Ntabazalila.
Martin, 18, was shot almost two weeks ago when entering the Spes Bona High School premises in Athlone.
Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said at the time that three men - two of them armed - dressed in school tracksuit tops approached Martin. One of them shot him in the head.
Provincial education MEC Donald Grant said paramedics revived Martin and took him to Groote Schuur Hospital, but he died soon after arrival.
Snyman was arrested a day after the shooting in Athlone. Stoffels was arrested in Bonteheuwel the following day.
The case was recently transferred from the Athlone Magistrate's Court. - Sapa
It has been eight months since the assault that left 19-year-old Jethro van Schalkwyk in a coma, yet his attackers remain at large.|||
Cape Town - It has been eight months since the assault that left 19-year-old Jethro van Schalkwyk in a coma, yet his attackers remain at large because of an incomplete case docket.
Last September, Van Schalkwyk was assaulted by two men outside a pub in Table View. He hit his head on the concrete and went into a coma after being punched.
In Groote Schuur Hospital, he was kept alive by life support for 10 days before his family agreed that the machines be switched off.
He died on September 18.
Since then, Brenda Prout-Jones - Van Schalkwyk's mother - has worked tirelessly to piece together the circumstances of the assault.
Prout-Jones says two suspects have been identified from CCTV footage of the fight.
Their identities have been corroborated by witnesses.
One of the alleged suspects was a on-duty bouncer, the other a former bouncer on the nightclub scene at Marine Circle in Table View.
Despite this, Prout-Jones has accused Table View police of having moved at an “unacceptably” slow pace in terms of taking statements and gathering evidence to build a case against the suspects.
“For me it has been unbelievably difficult and frustrating. I have tried to assist the police by sharing the information that my investigation has uncovered with them, in return they have not responded to my e-mails, phone calls and requests to get an update on their investigation,” she said.
“I would also like an explanation as to why it has taken so long to complete the docket.”
On Friday, Prout-Jones said the docket had been referred to the National Prosecuting Authority, but had to be redirected because a report from the forensic pathologist who established that Van Schalkwyk’s cause of death was missing.
The Cape Argus queried police about the investigation, but only received the following reply from spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut: “Kindly be advised that there are no new developments to report at this stage. The case is still under investigation.”
Meanwhile, local media have reported on two other major assaults to have take place at nightclubs near Marine Circle.
* Earlier this month, Travis Baard, 20, from Kenilworth was assaulted by six bouncers. The bouncers allegedly used a spade, a brick and a Taser as weapons during the brawl.
Baard is now in the process of taking legal action.
* In February, brothers Xander, 28, and Raynard Loggenberg, 19, were attacked by five men after an altercation with a bouncer.
During the assault the bouncer, the only one of the attackers who seemed to have been officially working as security, hit Xander with a baton - leaving him with a gash in his forehead that required five stitches and a gash on his scalp that required six clamps.
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille has defended herself for hanging up on a CapeTalk 567 radio interviewer.|||
Cape Town - Patricia de Lille has defended herself for hanging up on radio interviewer Afrika Melane on CapeTalk 567 this on Monday morning.
De Lille was being interviewed about the city council plan to bestow the freedom of Cape Town on US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle when she was asked about allegations of a rift in the mayoral committee, and with senior staffers in her administration. Instead of answering, she hung up.
Asked to explain, her office said she had ended the call “as she had stepped out of an important meeting in order to discuss Obama and did not have time to address this issue, which had not been agreed to in any event”.
On the allegations against her, De Lille said: “I will not respond to faceless allegations”.
J Arthur Brown acted out of "greed" and used funds meant for the poor "to live his dream of building an empire", says the NPA.|||
Cape Town - J Arthur Brown acted out of “greed” and used funds meant for the poor “to live his dream of building an empire”, to buy beach properties for his family trusts and luxury 4x4 vehicles, according to the National Prosecuting Authority.
These and other scathing accounts of Brown’s conduct are contained in court papers filed by the NPA, which is applying for leave to appeal against the “lenient” sentence handed down to Brown by Judge Anton Veldhuizen, who has said the case was ”mismanaged”.
Last month, Judge Veldhuizen effectively sentenced Brown, the former head of Fidentia, to a R150 000 fine or three years in jail after Brown was convicted on two counts of fraud. Brown initially faced 192 charges.
At the time, Veldhuizen said he could “only think that the prosecution’s case had been poorly handled”.
The sentence led to an outcry from the Financial Services Board which said the right message had not been sent to other white-collar criminals.
Brown’s two convictions related to misrepresentations made in handling investments for the Transport Education and Training Authority (Teta), as well as during Fidentia’s takeover of the Mantadia Asset Trust Company (Matco).
The NPA’s papers said investment funds received by Fidentia were State funds meant “to train and empower mainly the lower-income members of the community and the struggling end of the economy”.
Under Brown, the trust funds had been used for a number of things which, according to the court documents, included:
* “Purchasing two beach properties for (Brown’s) family trusts and personal benefit in the amount of more than R11m and trying to cover it up with lies about fees owed…”
* “Buying fully overland kitted-out luxury 4X4 vehicles for himself and his co-directors in the amount of R3.3m for no good reason or benefit of the investor, Teta…”
* “R8m was paid from the Teta funds under very suspicious circumstances to an official at the Saudi Arabian embassy. This amount was never recovered.”
“Fidentia continued over the full period of fraud, namely three-and-a-half years, to make repeated misrepresentations to Teta by rendering false statements to it,” the NPA said.
The NPA papers said the Teta funds and Matco funds, trust funds of widows and orphans, were put into high risk investments or “recklessly spent”. Among other things, R12m had been used to buy the Thaba Manzi farm and register it in the name of a family trust in which Brown was a trustee and beneficiary.
The NPA argued that the court had “imposed a sentence that is startlingly and inappropriately lenient” and had “erred by disregarding the evidence of five witnesses called by the State on the two fraud counts without giving any reason for doing so”.