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    Protesters blocked roads near Cape Town International Airport despite an interim interdict banning such behaviour.

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    Cape Town - Protesters blocked roads near Cape Town International Airport on Monday morning despite an interim interdict banning such behaviour, the City of Cape Town said.

    The Western Cape High Court last week granted the city an interdict against 89 former employees of toilet service company Sannicare and seven people associated with the ANC Youth League.

    Utility services mayoral committee member Ernest Sonnenberg said on Monday that the sheriffs of the High Court or the SA Police Service were required to stop any conduct in contempt of the court order.

    A group of people disrupted and blocked the roads around Borchards Quarry.

    Sonnenberg said the interim interdict prohibited a certain group from interfering with service delivery, city staff, and property.

    It also prevented the respondents from blocking any roads into and surrounding the N2, Borchards Quarry, NY108, the R300, Klipfontein Road, Stock Road, Symphony Way, Sheffield Road, and Vanguard Drive.

    “The city views threats of violence and the disruption of basic service provision in a very serious light, and will not allow the actions of a small minority to affect the living conditions of the majority of citizens,” Sonnenberg said.

    “We will continue to use whatever legal channels we can to stop this well co-ordinated attack on city staff, innocent citizens, and public property.”

    Sannicare janitors responsible for cleaning communal toilets blocked a portion of the N2 highway with burning tyres last week and dumped faeces on the road, in protest against being dismissed.

    Soon after, the city complained that residents who escorted city officials to neglected toilets were threatened.

    ANCYL regional chairman Khaya Yozi denied last week that its members had played any part in the toilet dispute.

    “These are very extreme and unfounded allegations. It's just poor of the city, when they are caught with their pants down, to blame it on someone else,” he said.

    “We are not involved in these threats or violence whatsoever.” - Sapa


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    A clerk for the Master of the High Court allegedly asked for a R300 “lunch money” bribe to expedite a letter of authority.

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    Cape Town - A clerk in the office of the Master of the High Court pleaded not guilty to a charge of corruption in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Monday.

    Nandisiwe Lovedalia Hashe appeared before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg for allegedly asking for a R300 “lunch money” bribe to expedite a letter of authority.

    Candidate attorney Pride Jani told the court he was sent to the Master's office in September 2011 to obtain a letter of authority in connection with an estate. He was articled to law firm Glen Marais Inc at the time.

    At the help-desk, he told Hashe he urgently needed the document.

    “She said it normally took a month for the issue of the document.... I said it was urgent and that we could not wait that long,” Jani testified.

    “She asked how badly we needed the document, and I said as soon as possible.”

    He said Hashe told him to wait, and 10 minutes later said that if he “made an offer” he would get the documents the same day.

    “I was intrigued, and asked her what would constitute an offer,” Jani said.

    “She said she had to bring lunch for four clerks involved in the issue of letters of authority, and that she would need R300.”

    Jani said he told his principal (the attorney who whom he was articled) about the incident, and was told not to pay, but to get the clerk’s name.

    “I told her I was a candidate attorney, and that I would not pay a bribe to get things done. She refused to give me her name, but I got it later from one of her colleagues,” he said.

    He said his principal reported the incident to the Master of the High Court, Zureena Agulhas, who asked for a sworn affidavit. Jani said he got the letter of authority two weeks later.

    When questioned by prosecutor Ezmarelda Johnson, Jani identified Hashe as the clerk who had wanted the R300.

    Cross-examined by defence lawyer Chuma Benini, Jani said he had identified Hashe from her “distinct features”, and that he was not confusing her with any of the other clerks.

    Benini said Hashe denied any knowledge of the matter, or of ever having dealt with Jani.

    “I accept that she deals with many people in a day, but I clearly remember dealing with her,” Jani said.

    The case continues on Tuesday. - Sapa


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    A Cape Town bookkeeper was given a suspended sentence for stealing thousands from the Jewish Community Centre.

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    Cape Town - A Western Cape bookkeeper was given a five-year suspended sentence on Monday for stealing thousands of rand from the Jewish Community Centre (JCC).

    The Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court sentenced Ashley Fataar, 47, from Wynberg in Cape Town, for the theft of R144 000 over a period of three years.

    Prosecutor Denver Combrink said three different bodies were involved in the matter - a charity known as the United Jewish Campaign (UJC), the JCC, and the Bnoth Zion Association (BZA).

    The BZA sponsored the UJC's monthly rental, which was paid each month to the JCC. It was Fataar's duty to deposit the money into the JCC's bank account each month. Instead Fataar channelled the rentals into his own bank account.

    Combrink and defence lawyer Haley Lawrence agreed a suspended jail sentence would meet the interests of justice and the community.

    Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg said the court had to focus on deterring Fataar from repeating the offence.

    “You (Fataar) were not a teenager who thought he could show-off, take chances and get away with it. You are an adult, and as such have to realise that crime has consequences.”

    An aggravating factor was that he had stolen from an NGO whose purpose was to care for the most vulnerable in Cape Town's Jewish communities, she said.

    “What goes around, must come around. You thought that you could get away with it, and that the auditors would never detect it.”

    Sonnenberg said Fataar's children had expected honesty and integrity from him and he had stolen despite his adequate salary as a bookkeeper.

    The fact that he was a first-time offender was all that saved him from prison, she said. - Sapa


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    Two Capetonians who thought it safe to buy Krugerrands on installment have not received the coins or their money back.

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    Cape Town - Donovan Barnes and fellow Capetonian Vera Hougaard thought gold was a safe bet when they invested their money with Investments for Life, a company specialising in gold and precious metals.

    The company promised safe returns in an uncertain investment climate by letting its clients pay for Krugerrands in monthly instalments.

    But Barnes and Hougaard say they have not received their coins and have not been able to contact the company’s owner, Matthys van Tonder, since the middle of last year.

    Barnes, 46, from Table View, said he had invested in five Krugerrands from Investments for Life in 2008. “The coins were a fair price,” he said. He paid R66 060 in

    36 instalments of R2 185, and a final instalment of R1 825.

    In March last year, when the time neared for the coins to be delivered, Van Tonder, who Barnes said by then had proved difficult to get hold of, became even more elusive. On March 12, Van Tonder e-mailed Barnes to say he was in Zimbabwe conducting important gold and diamond deals.

    “You will receive your 5 x Krugerrand coins during this month,” he wrote. Van Tonder also wrote that Telkom was to blame for clients not being able to contact his offices by phone.

    Two weeks after Van Tonder e-mailed him, Barnes said, his calls to the offices remained unanswered. Van Tonder tried to put him at ease and again spoke of important business deals involving gold and diamonds.

    But as Barnes persisted, Van Tonder promised to fly back to South Africa with his business partner and deliver the coins personally. He did not arrive and weeks later said he was still in Zimbabwe.

    “If we do not finalise the diamond transaction within the next week my buyers will lose $39 500 000 in revenue,” wrote Van Tonder. “I will be back next week whereby we can have a nice warm cappuccino and me handing you your coins.” Van Tonder’s last e-mail, sent in July, purportedly from Zimbabwe, ended with: “You have my word that you will get your coins.”

    Barnes opened a case at the Milnerton police station.

    “I don’t think it was a scam from the start,” said Barnes.

    “But I think he might have started purchasing the coins once the money came in. Then suddenly people wanted their coins and he couldn’t pay.”

    Hougaard, 31, from Tokai and a project assistant at an engineering firm, said she had started paying off her Krugerrand from Van Tonder in 2008, at R160 a month.

    Like Barnes, she hadn’t heard from Van Tonder since the second half of last year.

    When the Cape Times visited the company’s office in Kloof Nek Road, it had been taken over by another firm. The new occupants say they find surprised clients of Investments for Life asking for Van Tonder.

    The Cape Times’s attempts to contact Van Tonder were unsuccessful.

    Police spokesman Andrè Traut said the case against Van Tonder had been referred to the senior state prosecutor at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court in October.

    jan.cronje@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Just days after a Cape Argus photographer was manhandled by a Home Affairs official, another photographer has been punched.

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    Cape Town - Just days after a Cape Argus photographer was manhandled by a Home Affairs official, another photographer has been punched by Home Affairs security at the Customs House.

    Thomas Holder, a freelance photographer taking pictures for the Argus, was outside the Refugee Reception Centre on the Foreshore yesterday, where a crowd of about 1 000 refugees had gathered to renew their asylum seeker documents.

    When the gate opened, they surged in and Holder started taking photos. “Almost immediately, personnel began spraying the refugees with water from a fire hose.

    “I moved towards the gate with the crowd, never entering the premises, and shot more pictures closer to the gate of police and Mafoko Security staff pushing people out of the doorway of the centre and battling to close the gate.”

    Holder said a security guard noticed him taking pictures and told him to stop. When the photographer refused, another security guard stepped in and grabbed him. Holder said the guard pulled him and then punched him on the chest.

    But Newton Mathosa, manager of Mafoko Security’s Cape Town branch, has denied the allegations. “I was there on the day… I didn’t see or hear anything like this.”

    He said it was implausible that one of his security guards would punch someone in that situation as it would only provoke the crowd to attack.

    The incident at the centre comes less than a week after Cape Argus photographer David Ritchie was allegedly assaulted by a Home Affairs official who then grabbed his camera and deleted pictures on its memory card.

    On Monday, the Cape Argus made contact with the official – who has been identified as Ndivhaleni Mudemeli – who said he was put in a tricky situation and didn’t know how to react.

    “Sometimes you don’t know what to do. I didn’t know what would have happened with the photo.”

    He had not intended to hurt anyone and was mainly concerned over his own safety, claiming that if a picture was used in the wrong way he could be “shot” or “killed”.

    “Sometimes you ask yourself, what have I done… It’s really, really hurting.”

    Yusuf Simons, the department’s provincial manager for the Western Cape, said an investigator would look into the alleged assault.

     

    Cape Argus


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    The parents of a mentally disabled boy are outraged after he was allegedly whipped with a pipe by his teacher.

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    Cape Town - The parents of a mentally disabled boy are outraged after he was allegedly whipped with a rubber pipe by his teacher.

    The seven-year-old, who also suffers from epilepsy, was left with at least 17 painful lashes on his body.

    Now the education department has called on the department of labour relations to investigate the assault claims.

    The shocking news comes as the country kicks off Child Protection Week.

    A dark cloud now hangs over St Joseph’s school in Montana.

    The school is classified as catering for chronically ill children and kids with special educational needs

    Education department spokeswoman Bronagh Casey says the matter has been referred to the Directorate of Labour Relations.

    “The department views cases of corporal punishment in a very serious light. Corporal punishment is illegal in terms of the South African Schools Act,” says Casey.

    Lee-Hagen Dolf, seven, arrived at his Charlesville home last week with his lower body covered in black and blue bruises.

    The family said that Lee-Hagen suffers from epilepsy and shows symptoms Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder which makes him “difficult at times”.

    His mom Charne Dolf, 25, who gave the Daily Voice permission to publish her son’s name, said the boy spoke of the beating when he came home.

    “I did not take him seriously so I made him lunch and forgot about it,” she recalled.

    “It was only when I undressing him that I saw the marks on his body. He was black and blue from the waist down, he had marks on his bum, legs and hands.”

    She immediately rushed to the school and met with Lee-Hagen’s class teacher.

    “From what I understand, Lee-Hagen was refusing to move from his desk or come out of the class so they called the vice principal and she hit him,” said Charne.

    “The next Friday we went there with the police and she showed us this plastic water pipe she used to hit him with.

    “She said that he was being problematic and she had reached her last straw.”

    His grandmother, Lucinda Dolf, 41, said:

    “Going to that school has helped him a lot... we’re proud of him. He knows his name, the colours, But this is really upsetting, they know his situation and should be more patient.”

    Daily Voice


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    A mega-violent depiction of Cape Town life in a new movie called Zulu, has been labelled as a wake-up call for Capetonians.

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    Cape Town - A mega-violent depiction of Cape Town life in a new movie has been praised as an urgent wake-up call for Capetonians, but others warn it could damage the city’s reputation.

    Zulu is a violent portrayal of SA gang culture and is directed by Jérôme Salle and stars Forest Whitaker, Orlando Bloom and several South African actors. The film closed the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday night and “paints a highly cynical picture of post-colonial Cape Town, one in which authorities are corrupt and vigilante justice is king”, Sapa-AP reports.

    Based on author Caryl Ferey’s book of the same title, Zulu centres on two Cape Town detectives who are called in to investigate the murder of a Springbok rugby player’s 18-year-old daughter.

    Whitaker plays chief detective Ali Sokhela of Cape Town’s “serious violent crime unit”.

    “I met the actual gang members from the different communities: the Zulu gang leaders, and the different members out of the prisons,” Whitaker told the Huffington Post. “I find that it helps to find the source of the character.”

    Sapa-AP reported: “Though the film’s barbaric depiction of torture and murder has been panned by some critics as too showy - severed heads, rapes and graphic mutilations - Whitaker said the film was accurate in its portrayal of gangland violence.

    “There were a number of ‘necklacings’ in Khayelitsha, even while we were there,” said Whitaker.

    Bloom stars as Brian Epkeen, a white officer and Sokhela’s subordinate whose family was originally involved in the establishment of apartheid.

    Alan Winde, provincial MEC for Finance and Tourism, said in response: “We sure do have our problems with gang violence. We can’t shy away from them.

    “We are in a constant process of exercising our minds around how to tackle these key challenges.”

    But just as portrayals of the worst of Cape Town held substantial truth, so did the fact that Cape Town was frequently lauded - its World Design Capital 2014 bid was successful, and the fact that several Cape Town hotels had recently received nominations as the best on the continent.

    “The reality is that we have different aspects to our city,” Winde said.

    “We promote the film industry and sometimes they will tell it like it is, sometimes they will exaggerate - good or bad.”

     

    Cape Argus


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    A homeless man was electrocuted when he apparently fell on to high-voltage overhead cables at Cape Town Station.

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    Cape Town - A homeless man was electrocuted when he apparently fell on to high-voltage overhead cables at Cape Town Station early on Monday, cutting the power supply to trains.

    Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said although an ID book had been found in his pocket, they had not yet been able to inform the man’s family, so he could not yet be named.

    Police have opened an inquest docket.

    Metrorail’s Mthutuzile Swartz said preliminary investigation indicated a vagrant sleeping on the station deck fell to his death on to the overhead wires above platform seven at 6.14am.

    Platforms seven and eight were closed for three hours and trains from the southern suburbs diverted to other platforms, causing delays, Swartz said.

    Swartz extended Metrorail’s condolences and said every effort would be made to trace the man’s family

    The body was removed at 9.12am and traffic to the affected platforms resumed at 9.29am after the electricity had been restored.

    There were several posts about the incident on the Facebook page Traffic fines, cameras & updates in Western Cape.

    Anyone with information about the incident can contact Cape Town Railway Police at 021 443 4327, Crime Stop confidentially at 086001011 or SMS Crime Line at 32211.

    Cape Times


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    Disgruntled patients are fed up with appalling service and waiting times of up to 12 hours at a Cape Town clinic.

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    Cape Town - Since childhood, Nabeelah Lodewyk, 45, has depended on the Hanover Park community health centre for her health care needs.

    A few years ago, after she was diagnosed with debilitating fibrosis – inflammation of fibrous tissue characterised by widespread muscle and joint aches – she started using the clinic more regularly.

    “It all started well – I would be in and out of the clinic within three to four hours, but gradually the service got poorer. The clinic became overcrowded and nurses increasingly became hostile towards patients,” she said.

    Now, after 40 years of using the clinic, Lodewyk has given up.

    The medication might have been free, but staff attitudes and poor service have resulted in her avoiding the clinic since last August, when she waited for almost 12 hours one day without being helped.

    “I couldn’t take it any more… when I complained to a nurse that I hadn’t been served, she angrily told me that I’m not the only one and that the reason for my panic was that I wanted to go home and vreet (eat) to break my fast as it was Ramadaan.

    “I was so hurt by her attitude… I felt so humiliated that I walked out of that clinic and have never set my foot in there again. I’m still sick and sometimes get so much pain that I can’t get out of bed, but I’d rather go through that and die at home than to be treated like a nobody seeking free health services,” she said.

    Lodewyk, who now gets her chronic medication from a local pharmacy through her brother, is not the only one unhappy about services at the clinic.

    Gadija Solomons, 74, often has to queue on benches for up 12 hours.

    “I know of patients who have their medication collected on their behalf, but I choose to come on my own so that I can get to walk. I am diabetic and I try to keep active by walking. I also like to come on my own so that I can discuss the side effects of my medication with nurses,” she said

    Solomons says sitting on a hard bench for 12 hours at a time is dreadful.

    Zainoenisa Muller has also had problems. She and a group of women stood outside the clinic, angrily discussing the poor service.

    Muller said: “I joined the queue at 7am to see a district surgeon at 7.30am, but then we were told he would only be here at 11am. There are so many of us who have the 7.30am appointment. When I asked a nurse how we can all be seen at the same time, seeing that they have booked so many of us for 7.30am, she just lashed out at me.”

    Lorraine Adams, 63, who took her granddaughter to the clinic last Friday just before noon after she complained about a severe pain in the neck, claimed patients were not seen for more than three hours as nurses were celebrating “Nurses’ Day”.

    “After waiting there for nearly four hours, people became restless and asked the facility manager why we were not being seen. It is only after that that a few nurses were called out of the function, but it was too late to be seen by doctors who were now packing their bags preparing to go home. I left the clinic at 10pm because nurses were having a party while we waited,” she said.

    While staff attitudes and long queues irked patients the most, others complained of interrupted supply of chronic medication, general filthiness at the clinic, and ill treatment of elderly patients, who sometimes waited even longer than 12 hours.

    But despite their unhappiness, patients claim there is no effective complaints system. No one seemed to pay attention to the suggestions box, while a clinic committee, which normally intervened on patients’ behalf, was being sidelined by the clinic management, they said.

    None of the patients knew about the new SMS complaints initiative launched by Health MEC Theuns Botha last year, which allows patients to lodge their gripes by phone or SMS by sending “help” to 31022.

    Elizabeth Bantom, chairwoman of the Hanover Park Health Forum, confirmed that the clinic committee was “toothless” and for almost a year it had been “sidelined”, making it ineffective. She said they had written letters to the provincial department of health to complain about the clinic’s “bad management style”, but their call fell on deaf ears.

    “No one has even bothered to respond. We are left to our own devices while the community is suffering. These people have no one way of raising complaints except through local structures, but if you don’t have that who will know of their grievances?”

    The Western Cape Health Department’s response:

    For the past week people older than 70 and disabled patients in Hanover Park have been able to get their medication delivered to their homes, said Faiza Steyn, spokeswoman for the Western Cape Health Department.

    She told the Cape Argus the community had been informed. The system reduced waiting times at the Hanover Park Community Health Centre. “In addition, appointment times for chronic patients have been implemented and are working well.”

    Steyn was responding to complaints by patients who spoke to the Cape Argus at the centre on Monday.

    Referring to reports of poor staff attitudes, Steyn said: “This gets addressed as it gets picked up. Unless specifics are provided regarding unit/individual staff member and incidence, only then can these issues be investigated and dealt with accordingly.”

    She said on Nurses’ Day it had been arranged for doctors “to attend to the few patients who were waiting”. These were mainly walk-in patients without appointments.

    Regarding complaints that some people waited up to 12 hours to go through the centre, Steyn said: “Pease provide specific details of those patients who waited so long, so that a folder audit can be done and the matter be clarified.” People over 80, disabled patients, pregnant women, and babies of a year or under had priority at the pharmacy. “All elderly patients are attended to immediately.”

    sipokazi.fokazi@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Poor service has become such a headache for some elderly patients that they have resorted to paying people to collect their meds.

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    Cape Town - Long queues and poor service at Hanover Park Community Health Centre have become such a headache for some elderly patients that they have resorted to paying people to collect their prescription medication on their behalf.

    So-called “tablet collectors” are paid anything between R10 and R20 to collect medication for each patient.

    Hanover Park Health Forum has confirmed that it is aware locals are collecting medication on behalf of elderly patients who can’t do so themselves.

    Elizabeth Bantom, chairwoman of the forum, raised concerns about the collection of chronic medication, arguing the practice was “disruptive” to other patients who were often overtaken by these collectors, and also put patients at risk of taking wrong medication as occasionally couriers mixed up the prescriptions.

    “In most cases the clinic gives up to seven different prescriptions to the same guy… there is no limit or monitoring whatsoever on how many prescriptions one can take. These people are making money and they all vie for clients… it’s a dangerous path.”

    Bantom said when the service was introduced a while ago, collectors were required to have affidavits from patients, but this was no longer happening, and “staff just hand over medicines wily nilly”.

    Last year, Health MEC Theuns Botha said the UTi Pharma, the new supplier to the centralised Chronic Dispensing Unit that distributes chronic medication to about 200 000 patients in the province, would in future deliver medication to patients’ homes instead of clinics.

    Cape Argus


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    A single father is dreading the day he has to tell his three-year-old daughter that her mother was murdered.

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    Cape Town - A single father is dreading the day he has to tell his three-year-old daughter that her mother was murdered in their rented home in Claremont.

    Claude Kruger testified in the Western Cape High Court how the murder of his fiancée, Anzunette du Plessis, 33, had affected him and their daughter, who turned three last Monday.

    An emotional Kruger broke down while seated in the witness box of the high court across from the man - Moegamat Armien Salie - who admitted to killing his partner of eight years.

    Kruger said the killing on October 4 had devastated his life.

    “Where do I start? My whole life is destroyed. My daughter had to see a psychiatrist at two-and-a-half years old. What kind of life is that? Words cannot describe how it has affected us.”

    He felt as if he was living a double life. “In front of her (my daughter) I have to be happy but when she’s not there… it’s like living two lives. But the day will come when she asks ‘where’s Mommy?’ I can’t explain that to her now. I shudder at the thought of that day,” Kruger said, wiping his tears.

    Kruger glanced at Salie intermittently during his evidence. Salie gazed back.

    Salie, 31, of Mitchells Plain, has admitted that he slit Du Plessis’ throat and stabbed her multiple times in the back and chest. But the State did not accept his guilty plea and decided to lead evidence to prove that the murder was premeditated.

    Kruger told the court he had left home for work around 7.30am on October 4, leaving Du Plessis and their daughter at home.

    Their domestic worker and child minder, Ritta Khumalo, had arrived shortly after he left.

    About 11am Khumalo took the toddler for a walk, leaving Du Plessis at home.

    While they were out Salie arrived at the house in Buchanan Street saying he wanted to check on the work he and his father had done to the roof about two weeks earlier. He allegedly attacked Du Plessis and stole household goods valued at R43 000.

    Du Plessis had worked from home as a medical specialist recruiter.

    About 12.30pm Kruger received a call saying his fiancée had been attacked. He rushed home

    , where a police officer told him that Du Plessis was dead.

    Kruger said he and his daughter had since moved to Mpumalanga.

    The trial continues on Tuesday.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Barack and Michelle Obama should not accept Cape Town’s Freedom of The City award, the ANC has said.

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    Cape Town - US presidential couple Barack and Michelle Obama should not accept Cape Town’s Freedom of The City award from “a city that does not care about the poorest of the poor”, says ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile.

    “The city is trying to divert attention from the real issues affecting the city such as sanitation, housing delivery and general service delivery to the poor. To us (the ANC) this is nothing other than a diversion and I think it would be a pity if Obama accepted the award from a city that doesn’t care about the poorest of the poor,” Mjongile said.

    Mayor Patricia de Lille has been slammed by opposition political parties for the decision to honour the Obamas, adopted by council last May with 128 councillors voting in favour, four against and 58 abstaining. The Obamas have accepted the honour.

    Unconnected to the award, Obama leaves on official state visits to Senegal, SA and Tanzania from June 26 to July 3 to strengthen “economic growth, investment and trade”.

    Mjongile said the Obama visit to SA to discuss relations was a good thing but the city was being “opportunistic”. The Obamas should not accept the award until the city showed a greater commitment to improving the lives of the poor.

    De Lille said no arrangements have yet been made to hand the award to the Obamas.

    “As President Barack Obama is a head of state, we will be guided by the office of President Jacob Zuma as state protocol dictates,” she said.

    Opposition parties, NGOs and religious groups have questioned what the Obamas had done to deserve the accolade but De Lille brushed off criticism, saying they had brought hope to the world. She said the award was in recognition of their inspirational example.

    ANC leader in council Tony Ehrenreich has previously called the move a “PR gimmick”, saying the city was hoping to gain credibility.

    ANC Western Cape chairman Marius Fransman, who is also deputy minister of international relations and co-operation, declined to comment, referring the Cape Times to Mjongile.

    The Muslim Judicial Council rejected the award because it said Obama had the blood of thousands on his hands in the US’s war on terror following the 9/11 atrocity.

    zara.nicholson@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    Two Pakistani men who survived a shooting that killed four in Mitchells Plain have returned to their home country.

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    Cape Town - Two Pakistani men who survived a shooting that claimed the lives of four other Pakistanis at a bakery distribution point in Mitchells Plain have returned to their home country.

    Asif Nadeem and Shahzad Ahmed were shot several times, but survived the attack on March 19.

    Shafique Muhammad, 42, Adnan Haider, 23, Ghulam Baqar, 23, and Shahzad Ahmad, 39, died in the attack.

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

    The three men accused of their murder - Lehano Jasen, 28, Mogamat de Villiers, 43 and Yazeed Hendricks, 41 - appeared briefly in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s court on Monday.

    Their bail application was postponed after De Villiers appointed a new attorney.

    De Villiers, who is detained at Pollsmoor prison, was granted a transfer last month after claiming he had been threatened and a gun found in the cell next to his at Goodwood Prison. Magistrate Walter Golding postponed the case to June 14.

    Outside court, Abid Hussain, who owns the bakery and is related to the four murdered men, said the two survivors had returned to Pakistan on May 19.

    “They left for Pakistan a week ago because they are simply too scared to stay in Mitchells Plain.”

    He added that the men could not sleep at night and their families insisted they return home.

    “Their family wanted them home. However, if the court needs them as witnesses they would return.

    “They also received counselling, but there was a language barrier.”

    Iftikhar Butt, general secretary of the Pakistani Community Welfare Association of the Western Cape, said there had been several more incidents of violence at Pakistani owned shops in recent months.

    “More shops were robbed after the incident, this included Philippi and Mitchells Plain.

    “Jobs are created for South Africans (at Pakistani shops), such as a large wholesaler that will be opening soon.

    “We as the Pakistani community need support and we don’t feel inferior because we are part of the community.”

    natasha.bezuidenhout@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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  • 05/28/13--02:22: Cape man’s Oprah post
  • A former Cape Town high school teacher has been selected as the new head of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

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    Cape Town - A former Livingstone High School teacher, who describes himself as an “educationalist by nature” has been selected as the new head of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

    David Wylde, the chairman of the academy’s board of trustees, announced on Monday that after an international search Melvin King, 50, had been appointed as the school’s new head.

    He will take up his position at the school, in Henley on Klip near Meyerton, south of Joburg, next year after the retirement of Anne van Zyl.

    The father of two and “a born and bred Capetonian” is the head of the Bridge House Preparatory School in Franschhoek.

    He said the selection process had included interviews in South Africa before shortlisted candidates went to New York where they also met Winfrey. “It was a pretty rigorous experience,” he said.

    King holds a social science degree and teaching diploma from UCT and a diploma in leadership development from the Wits Graduate School of Business.

    He started teaching at Livingstone High School in 1986.

    “I sat at the feet of masters there. I learnt so much from my teaching experience at the school.”

    After 15 years at Livingstone, King became the founding academic head at Christel House in Ottery.

    He has also been a life skills facilitator at the South African Institute of Race Relations, was elected as the national chairman of the Independent Schools Association of South Africa last year, has been the director of the Franschhoek Wine Valley and Tourism Association and is the deputy chairman of the Franschhoek Schools Transformation Project and the Franschhoek Valley Charter Trust.

    Asked what the main contributions that he wanted to make to the academy were, he said: “I believe in a shared vision approach. I want to understand what people value within the school and enhance that.”

    King said Van Zyl and the board had restored the school’s image after bad publicity in the past, adding that no school was perfect and other schools faced the same issues as the academy.

    He said one of his main responsibilities would be to see to it that the girls fulfilled their academic abilities but also to ensure that leadership skills were instilled in them.

    ilse.fredericks@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A man has been arrested after he allegedly held up two Cape Union Mart employees at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

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    Cape Town - A man was arrested after he allegedly held up two Cape Union Mart employees at the V&A Waterfront as they left the store to deposit money at a nearby bank.

    The suspect fired four shots at security guards who had chased him after the employees raised the alarm. No one was injured.

    Police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk said the 29-year-old man was arrested and his firearm and the money he stole was retrieved.

    “Two sales assistants from a clothing store at building 007 Farocean Marine Building Ouay Four, at the V&A Waterfront, went to go and do the normal daily banking, when they were approached by an unidentified male who took out a firearm and pointed the firearm at them. He demanded the money they had in their possession.”

    The sales assistants “willingly” gave the money to the accused. With security giving chase, the suspect then ran towards the dolosses at Granger Bay. He shot at security during the chase, said Waterfront spokeswoman Carla White.

    Police arrived on the scene shortly after and the man was cornered and arrested.

    White said the man ran toward Granger Bay and was apprehended by security and police near the pier just outside the mall.

    The suspect will appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on a charge of armed robbery.

    Cape Argus


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    “We did not fight and die so that millions of South Africans should continue to live like forgotten people.”

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    Cape Town - South Africa is “at a crossroads” and if it does not change course, “corruption will rob South Africa of its full potential and rob every man, woman and child of their future”, says Agang leader Mamphela Ramphele.

    In a message to mark Africa Day on the 50th anniversary of the AU, Ramphele said on Monday that “rampant corruption” was “robbing citizens of the jobs they need to support our families, the schools our children need to have a future and the ability to afford everyday necessities”.

    The country’s record on accountability showed “we have veered away from the values that drove us to fight against apartheid minority rule and for change”.

    “A failure of governance has allowed widespread corruption and a culture of impunity to pervade our government and our society.”

    Almost 20 years since the end of apartheid, South Africa was still failing millions of its people, Ramphele said.

    “We did not fight and die so that millions of South Africans should continue to live like forgotten people.”

    Only when transparency and accountability were entrenched would everyone feel they had a stake in working for economic prosperity, she said.

    “Our vision for the future begins with a government that listens to the people and a government that answers to the people. It will be an accountable government that makes decisions based on what is best for all its people and future generations, not short-term gain or maintaining political power.”

    This would start with a government that lived by the founding principles of the constitution “in both words and actions every day and never betrays them”.

    This was why Agang was calling for electoral reform and changes to the law to tackle corruption.

    “We want to ensure that every citizen can vote for a person who will represent their local area in the national and provincial governments, and that every citizen can hold that representative accountable for their actions,” Ramphele said.

    She called for a law that would reward officials who exposed official corruption and misuse of funds.

    While South Africa would continue to play a crucial role in the future of the continent, change was urgently needed at home.

    She said the anniversary came at a time of renewed hope for Africa, which had overcome decades of wars and strife to achieve relative peace. This would allow it to “get on with the task of addressing its developmental challenges in order to realise its huge potential”.

    The continent was enjoying one of the highest growth rates in the world, which was expected to “soar even higher given its growing attraction as an investment destination of choice”.

    The dream of an African economic renaissance seemed much more realistic. But she said growth had further widened the gap between rich and poor and had not been accompanied by comparable improvements in health, education and nutrition.

    Agang believed Africa could better manage its vast mineral wealth to improve the lives of all its people by setting out bold national agendas for strengthening transparency and accountability in governance.

    While South Africa was also blessed with valuable natural resources and, as the last country to gain freedom and independence, had been uniquely placed to learn from the mistakes others made along the way, “events over the past years show that we have squandered that opportunity”.

    craig.dodds@inl.co.za

    Political Bureau


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  • 05/28/13--04:30: Outrage over refugee abuse
  • Inhumane. This is how JP Smith of the City of Cape Town described Home Affairs' treatment of people at a refugee centre.

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    Cape Town - Inhumane, disastrous and frankly, disgusting. This is how JP Smith, mayoral committee member for Safety and Security has described Home Affairs’ management of the refugee reception centre on the Foreshore.

    Smith slammed the department after chaos erupted on Monday when security guards hosed down angry people, including children, when they became unruly outside the centre.

    “If you come to pay your bills at a city office, would you be expected to queue on a pavement in the rain for hours on end?

    “Would you be expected to defecate on the pavement, because there are no toilets available? It is a reception area, when one ‘receives’ a guest to provide a service to them, this is not how they should be treated,” Smith said on Tuesday morning.

    Some of the refugees have been queueing every day since last Monday to renew their asylum seeker’s documents, which allow an asylum seeker to live and work in South Africa on a temporary basis.

    On Monday, when the gates were opened and a frustrated crowd of about 1 000 people surged into the building, Mafoko Security staff, contracted by Home Affairs, turned the fire hose on them.

    Mustapha Mohammed, a Ghanaian barber who runs a salon in Christiane in North West Province, said: “I have travelled from North West Province, and expected to have my document renewed within a day or two. Now it has been almost two weeks, and my money has run out.

    “At night I am sleeping right here on the ground by the refugee centre because I don’t know anyone in Cape Town.”

    He said he had to renew his documents in Cape Town because it was his port of entry.

    Delays in the centre’s renewal of asylum seeker documents have seen the build-up of a processing backlog.

    Many people said their “appointments” made on previous days had been nullified each morning with the arrival of more immigrants starting new queues.

     

    The city had warned Home Affairs of the potential for in a meeting convened by the mayor’s office three months ago. The department had apparently assured the city that everything was under control.

    Home Affairs’ provincial manager Yusuf Simons explained that the department “has scheduled more interviews to finalise their outstanding applications” and that this caused an extra influx of people since late last week.

    However, Simons said that the reception centre was indeed “doing its best” in the light of serious capacity constraints. He said the centre’s lease for a much larger building in Maitland had been terminated in June last year. The building in Customs House on the Foreshore was a temporary reception centre which was small and not sufficient.

    Simons said that extra portable toilets had been brought in this month, bringing the total to 20; clean water had been provided and staff had been assisting people since 6am to absorb the backlog.

    However, both the city’s JP Smith and Braam Hanekom, director of refugee rights NGO People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty (Passop), have rubbished the department’s explanation.

    “The department’s excuses are neither here nor there... the department knows how many people they can expect on a given day (because they have records of scheduled interviews and dates when documents expired in their database). If they do not secure the resources, staff and capacity to deal with a predictable influx – the blame for the current situation lies with them,” said Hanekom.

    Smith has said that the large queues have resulted in higher crime in the area and health and humanitarian hazards for those who feel compelled to keep their position in the queues for hours, or overnight.

     

    Hanekom warned of the negative effects these delays had on immigrants’ lives.

     

    Inko Mbumu Pericles from the DRC said: “I have been waiting for days and now my document has expired. I can be arrested by police at any moment, and do you think they care about your excuses before they throw you into the back of the van? The office also wants to fine R2 500 you if you come to them with an expired document.”

    Cape Argus


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    "Kutlwano would have been alive today if we had electricity. I feel as though the municipality has robbed me of my baby."

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    Kimberley - The Sol Plaatje Municipality has been blamed for the death of a 16-month-old baby who died when the oxygen machine he was hooked to stopped functioning due to a power cut that hit Club 2000.

    Kutlwano Kok’s family joined other angry community members in Club 2000 on Monday to protest against the lack of basic services in the area.

    “Kutlwano would have been alive today if we had electricity. I feel as though the municipality has robbed me of my baby,” Kutlwano’s emotional mother Sylvia said. Kutlwano died on Sunday during a power cut.

    Kok said that her son had to be connected to the oxygen machine 24 hours a day.

    “He was suffering from a lung infection. If the electricity goes off, we have to ensure that he is connected to oxygen cylinders which are provided to us once a month. When the electricity went off on Sunday, the cylinder that we had at home had already been used up and there was no oxygen to keep him alive,” Sylvia said.

    She explained that although the gas cylinder was supposed to be changed every month, they had not changed it last month because the child had spent most of the time in the Kimberley Hospital.

    “Last month Kutlwano underwent an operation in Bloemfontein. After he was discharged, we came home but a few days later he was not feeling well so I took him to the Kimberley Hospital. We were only discharged from the Kimberley Hospital on Saturday before we could replace the gas cylinder,” Sylvia said.

    She added that although she blamed the municipality for her baby’s death, she was not considering legal action.

    Community members, who protested in the area on Monday, also blamed the municipality for Kutlwano’s death.

    “The municipality cuts off the electricity without informing the people and forgets that some of our people are sick and depend on electricity to survive.

    “Had they communicated that the electricity would be cut off, the family together with residents, could have made a plan. Kutlwano's death should be on the conscience of the municipality,” the residents said.

    They added that the municipality’s plan of switching off electricity of ratepayers that owed the municipality monthly rates also affects the lives of community members that are sick.

    Spokesman for the Sol Plaatje Municipality, Sello Matsie, said that the incident was regrettable.

    “At this point we will not enter the blame game. We will give Kok’s family time to grieve the loss of their loved one,” Matsie said.

    He pointed out that they would await the outcome of an investigation into Kutlwano’s death to see if he indeed died due to the power cut. Matsie said that the power cut in the area only happened from 4.47pm to 6pm on Sunday.

    “We will also have to look at how we can, from now into the future, encourage community members to report to the municipality family members whose lives depend on electricity due to illness.”

    Diamond Fields Advertiser


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    An uncut gemstone and a "suspicious" payment from a trust fund to an official are central to the Fidentia saga.

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    Cape Town - An uncut gemstone and a “suspicious” payment from a trust fund to a Saudi Arabian embassy official. These form two central aspects of the Fidentia saga – the disposal of assets to free up money and money that has been lost.

    Fidentia was headed by Arthur Brown, who last month was sentenced to a R150 000 fine or three years in jail for two fraud convictions, as well as a further three years suspended for four years.

    The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has applied for leave to appeal against the “lenient” sentence.

    When Fidentia was placed under curatorship in 2007, four trusts lost more than R1.3 billion in investments.

    To try to recover this money Fidentia’s curators had been selling off assets. Some of this money was distributed to the funds’ trustees, who then paid it to the beneficiaries.

    A Fidentia curators’ report to the Western Cape High Court dated January 29 said an uncut tanzanite gemstone was one of the assets they had yet to dispose of. A November 2010 curators’ report said Graham Maddock’s wife had returned the gemstone to the curators.

    Maddock was a former Fidentia accountant and the November report said Brown had given Maddock’s wife the stone.

    “She felt that this gemstone was acquired with ill-gotten gains and did not wish to retain it. This gemstone will be disposed of… in a manner that will realise maximum value,” the 2010 curators’ report said. It was worth about R20 000.

    In its application to appeal against Brown’s sentence, the NPA said R8 million had been paid from trust funds “under suspicious circumstances” to a Saudi Arabian embassy official.

     

    The 2011 report said then-ambassador Dr SM Zedan had “accepted personal responsibility” for the amount and would make an offer regarding payment. He had not done so and his whereabouts were not known.

     

    caryn.dolley@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    The DA has dismissed the ANC's claim that the City of Cape Town does not care about the poor as "baseless".

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    Cape Town - The ANC's claim that the City of Cape Town does not care about the poor is baseless, the DA said on Tuesday.

    “In fact, nothing could be further from the truth,” Democratic Alliance spokesman Mmusi Maimane said in a statement.

    On Tuesday morning the Cape Times quoted the African National Congress saying that US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle should not accept Cape Town's Freedom of the City award.

    “To us this is nothing other than a diversion and I think it would be a pity if Obama accepted the award from a city that doesn't care about the poorest of the poor,” ANC Western Cape secretary Songezo Mjongile told the newspaper.

    Maimane said the award would be presented to Obama and his wife during their three-day visit to the African continent at the end of June and beginning of July.

    “The facts show that the DA-led city of Cape Town delivers better quality services to more poor people than any other metro in South Africa. The city of Cape Town offers the most comprehensive and generous package of free basic services to indigent residents of any metro in the country. This is a fact.”

    He said in the past financial year the city spent 57 percent of its R18 billion budget on service delivery to poor residents.

    “The city has increased its targeted spending on the poor every year over the past six years. The metro has also built dozens of new social facilities, including sports grounds, youth and community centres, drug rehab centres, and libraries.”

    Maimane said these facilities were aimed at helping the poor and providing employment opportunities for local residents.

    He said the ANC's statement would not deter the city's leadership from making the award. - Sapa


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