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  • 02/11/14--01:19: Ex-Bok star out on a warning
  • Christian Stewart appeared briefly in the court on charges of assault for allegedly beating a man who is in a relationship with Stewart's ex-wife.

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    Cape Town - Former Springbok and Canada rugby player Christian Stewart appeared briefly in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of assault for allegedly beating a Hout Bay financial adviser who is in a relationship with Stewart’s ex-wife.

    National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila on Monday confirmed Stewart’s court appearance, adding that the matter had been postponed to February 24 for further investigation.

    “He is out on a warning and no conditions were attached to his release,” Ntabazalila said.

    The former Springbok handed himself over to authorities last Wednesday.

    The financial adviser, Alan Mewett, had laid a charge claiming he was beaten and kicked during an altercation with Stewart on February 2.

    After the incident, Mewett obtained an interim protection order from the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court last Tuesday, prohibiting Stewart from “making any physical contact; or intimidating, threatening, insulting or otherwise verbally abusing him”.

    Stewart’s lawyer, Derek Wille, earlier dismissed the allegations saying Stewart had acted in self-defence.

    warda.meyer@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    A convicted murderer has testified how the planned burglary of holiday houses in in Velddrif ended in a homeowner being killed.

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    Cape Town -

    A convicted murderer has testified that his former co-accused planned the burglaries of holiday houses in a private nature reserve in Velddrif and that they had bludgeoned one homeowner to death after finding him home.

    Lusindiso Boosman was the first witness to testify for the State in the case against Sibusiso Ntetho, his housemate and friend of one year.

    Boosman testified that he and Ntetho were at home in St Helena Bay when Ntetho devised a plan to “go to townhouses. We went by foot, it took us about two hours to get there,” said Boosman, who is serving 23 years in jail for his role in the burglaries and in the murder of Alexander Otton.

    The State alleges the men entered the Flaminkevlei private nature reserve near Velddrif on October 21, 2012 with burglary their intention.

    Boosman testified that they first burgled a holiday house belonging to James Craven and stole speakers, a DVD player, CDs and a microwave oven. They hid the items in plastic bags in nearby bush intending to retrieve them later, Boosman said.

    They went to the house next door not knowing that Otton, 52, a Claremont asset manager, was asleep upstairs.

    “He was so surprised to see us. He jumped from the bed. We tried to hold him and tie him. But he refused, he fought, he was difficult. We ended up tying him,” Boosman testified.

    The men scoured the house, took a bag containing medical supplies; three bags with bottles of wine, electrical equipment, clothes, a cooler box, a toolbox and an iPhone. These items were also hidden in the bush, Boosman said. But while they were carrying the items from the house Ntetho told him that Otton was in the kitchen trying to untie himself.

    Boosman, carrying a stolen airgun, and Ntetho a log of braai wood, began beating Otton, striking his head and lower body repeatedly.

    On Monday, Ntetho pleaded not guilty to murdering Otton and breaking into his home, but admitted that he entered Craven’s house and stole his possessions.

    Judge Nape Dolamo accepted his guilty plea on that count and convicted him.

    The trial continues on Tuesday.

    jade.otto@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Sparks are set to fly in the provincial legislature as politicians scrutinise the R10.3bn spent on consultants over three years.

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    Cape Town - Sparks are set to fly in the provincial legislature next week as politicians scrutinise the Western Cape’s R10.3 billion spent on consultants over three years, “the highest of all the provinces”, according to the auditor-general.

    The DA has blamed the ANC for the spend, a charge the ANC rejected as “just pure nonsense”.

    The R10.3bn is outlined in a report by the AG tabled in the legislature last week which details the spend on consultants between April 2008 and March 2011.

    Representatives of the AG’s office in Pretoria are expected to fly to Cape Town to address MPLs, the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) in the legislature and provincial departments on February 20 on their findings.

    The AG’s report found:

    * Officials who appointed consultants through a limited bidding process did not always declare their conflicts of interest.

    * Contracts were sometimes open-ended in terms of time and costs.

    * Consultants’ work was not always monitored or evaluated.

    * Some contracts were regularly extended.

    * Financial and administrative controls over payments were sometimes inadequate.

    Premier Helen Zille questioned the timing of the AG’s report. She said 29 of the 31 contracts the AG audited were awarded before the DA took control of the provincial government in May 2009.

    Her response was included in the AG’s report.

    Scopa member Bokkie Geyer, DA MPL, said from the DA’s caucus it was important to note that these contracts were entered into when the ANC was in power in the province.

    “The ANC should remember that when they will bring it up in the meeting. The expenditure will be placed in front of their door,” Geyer said.

    ANC chief whip in the legislature Pierre Uys said his party had controlled the province until April 2009, when it lost the elections to the DA, and that by trying to finger his party the DA was being mischievous and indulging in dirty politics before the 2014 elections.

    “They were in charge for the bulk of the period. It is clear what they are trying to do and it is just pure nonsense. The DA is trying to deflect attention from the problems they have. They are playing politics before the elections and it will not work.

    “They must scrutinise themselves properly because it’s pure fabrication for them to now try and blame the ANC. If anything, all this will boomerang on the DA,” Uys said.

    Zille also took issue with the AG’s definition of “consultants”. “The audit has combined contractors, consultants and service providers who deliver capital infrastructure on the ground – like construction companies, architects and engineers are defined under the general term ‘consultant’,” Zille said.

    “This is open to misinterpretation.”

    But Scopa chairman Grant Haskin, ACDP MPL, said Zille had to acceptthe AG’s definition ofconsultants.

    “If you suddenly want to come and change the definition of consultants, you are changing the rules of the game,” he said.

    Haskin said MPLs from three standing committees including Scopa, health and transport and public works, will be present at the meeting.

    “We will question what led to this huge expenditure on consultants and what has happened since. “What did the province do to prevent this from happening again?” Haskin said.

    Leader of the Opposition Lynne Brown, ANC MPL, said the party’s caucus will discuss the report at a meeting on Thursday, before next week’s meeting.

    Cape Times


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    DA MP David Maynier has given the defence minister 10 days to reply to a parliamentary question about flights.

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    Cape Town -

    DA MP David Maynier is gatvol. And he vowed to publicly read out flight logs of former defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu in the National Assembly if current Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula did not reply to the parliamentary question he asked more than a year ago.

    Maynier on Monday said he had had enough: “The minister (Mapisa-Nqakula) has a simple choice: reply to my parliamentary question in 10 working days or suffer the consequences in Parliament.

    “The information, which I will disclose, will clearly establish that Lindiwe Sisulu abused her position and treated the air force like her personal airborne taxi service,” he said.

    He had now resubmitted the parliamentary question.

    Maynier insisted Mapisa-Nqakula could not continue to cock a snook at Parliament.

    The minister’s reply remained outstanding despite two letters from National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu to the leader of government business at Parliament, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, to finalise the matter.

    Central to this controversy is the R40 million Maynier claims the former defence minister spent on over 200 Gulfstream charter flights.

    While Mapisa-Nqakula last year indicated 203 flights were made by her predecessor at an approximate cost of R200 000 each, this was not sufficient detail for Maynier.

    His parliamentary question asked for details of what flight was taken when, from where, to where and at what cost on what type of aircraft, chartered or not.

    Mapisa-Nqakula’s response on flight numbers and costs was also dismissed by Lindiwe Sisulu.

    She rejected the alleged costs and said she had taken only 35 flights.

    Mapisa-Nqakula’s reply was subsequently withdrawn from the parliamentary record.

    Ndivhuwo Mabaya, spokesman for Sisulu, who is now public service and administration minister, on Monday said there was nothing to add to the earlier statements.

    “We have said all we need to say already. There is no need to repeat ourselves. Maynier is a bored MP.”

    No comment was received from the Defence Department.

    According to Parliament, its records showed of the 336 parliamentary questions to ministers during last year, only one oral and 29 written questions failed to solicit a reply.

    During last year, the national legislature dealt with 3 207 written questions and 366 oral questions to the executive. Of the oral questions, President Jacob Zuma replied to all the 18 parliamentary questions put to him, while his deputy answered all his 12 questions, said Parliament.

    Political Bureau


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  • 02/11/14--02:46: Parliament cuts SONA costs
  • The cost of this year's first State Of The Nation address is R2m less than 2013, Parliament's acting secretary has said.

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    Cape Town - The cost of this year's first State Of The Nation address is R2 million less than last year, Parliament's acting secretary Baby Tyawa said on Tuesday.

    Responding to questions at a media briefing on the address, which President Jacob Zuma is set to deliver at 7pm on Thursday, she said the budgeted cost was R5.7m.

    “Spending [on it] is R2m less this year.”

    Earlier, National Council of Provinces Chairman Mninwa Mahlangu said Parliament had “definitely taken into account what Treasury said about tightening our belts”.

    He was referring to an announcement by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, made in his medium-term budget policy statement last year, of severe cuts to government perks.

    Mahlangu said there would be two State of the Nation Addresses this year.

    “In a general election year, like this one, there are two State of the Nation Adresses, one in February, and another one after the election and the establishment of a new Parliament.”

    The general election is set to take place on May 7.

    Responding to a question, National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu said a date for the second address had not been set, but it would be shortly after the election.

    Mahlangu stressed that Thursday's event was not the opening of Parliament because the institution had resumed work last month, with a constituency period and an “intense” committee programme.

    The traditional banquet held on the day would this year be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, and not in a tent, as was done last year.

    “It's cheaper at the convention centre than having tents,” Deputy Speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo told reporters.

    Thursday's event will be a full ceremonial occasion. It will start at 4pm, with MPs, Cabinet ministers and guests arriving at Parliament's Poorthuys entrance.

    As in previous years, there will be processions of dignitaries, including members of the judiciary and provincial premiers, up Parliament Street to the National Assembly.

    Zuma will arrive in time to take the national salute at 6.55pm from a podium in front of the building. This will include a 21-gun salute and a fly-past by aircraft of the South African Air Force. The president's address will be broadcast live.

    On preparations at Parliament, Mahlangu said he could say with confidence that all was on track.

    Debate on what Zuma tells South Africa will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, with the president responding to this next Thursday (February 20). - Sapa


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    Two security guards were injured when gunmen opened fire during a cash-in-transit robbery outside a Cape Town bank.

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    Cape Town - Robbers armed with an assault rifle and hand guns attacked a cash-in-transit van in Belgravia this morning. Two security guards were shot and seriously injured.

    One of the suspects was wearing an orange Correctional Services prisoner’s uniform, said police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk. The robbers fled in a white BMW with Gauteng number plates. Van Wyk said an undisclosed amount of cash was stolen.

    Eyewitnesses said the robbers attacked the SBV security guards delivering the money in 7th Avenue in Belgravia from two angles.

    “Last year there was a similar robbery. But this time the gun that was used looked and sounded like a real machine gun,” said a woman who witnessed the incident.

    She asked not to be named.

    “There were a lot of people around, and everyone just dropped to the ground. But the security guards were very brave. They shot back and handled the situation professionally.”

    Mark Kirby, a 25-year-old level 3 first aider who volunteers with the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre, was first on the scene to help the injured guards. “One of them was shot in the back of the head, but there was no exit wound… The patient was taken to hospital in a stable condition,” he said. Another guard was hospitalised with a gunshot to his neck. Kirby commended the police’s flying squad members who were on the scene in minutes.

    Cape Argus


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    A gangster who had been terrorising pupils and staff at a Parow school for weeks, has been arrested.

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    Cape Town - A gangster who had been terrorising pupils and staff at a Parow school for weeks, has been arrested.

    Police on Tuesday arrested the 28s gang member at Uitzig Secondary School.

    The 19-year-old was tied up and led from the school to a waiting police van. Dawie van Wyk, acting Community Policing Forum chairman for the area, said the man had been embroiled in fighting between the 28 and 26 gangs in the area.

    “It has been going on for months, and what really concerns us is the school has become a hotbed for assaults and drug use,” he said.

    “The school needs more resources to keep these elements off campus, because the fighting and gangsterism is really disruptive to learning. Two safety officers just isn’t enough.”

    It’s believed the man was arrested for trespassing.

    Rosie Smith, one of the school safety officers employed by the Department of Community Safety, said she received death threats on a weekly basis. Her job involves removing trespassers and gangsters from the school grounds – sometimes forcibly.

    The intruders bring drugs, mostly dagga, to deal to pupils during break.

    “At every break time there is a cloud of dagga smoke that comes from the ground’s far corner,” she said. “I have to remove these guys, otherwise there is fighting as well. It’s dangerous work, but I’m not really that scared because I know every one of them personally.”

    Charles Esau, a councillor for the area, suggested an urgent meeting should be set up between the school governing body and the principal.

    “Principals have the right to do random drug tests and this needs to be done to address gangsterism.”

    The school’s principal did not want to comment at the time of publication.

    Cape Argus


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    Bruno Bronn’s domestic worker was shocked to find his home in disarray, the morning after his alleged murder, the court heard.

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    Cape Town - Bruno Bronn’s domestic worker was shocked to find his home in disarray, the morning after his alleged murder, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

    At the time of his death, Bronn owned the gay night club, The Bronx, in the Cape Town CBD.

    Jakoba Marcus told the court the first thing she noticed on her arrival for work at his Sea Point home on February 7, 2012, was that his two dogs were on the veranda, instead of being inside with Bronn.

    Three men have pleaded not guilty before Western Cape Judge-President, John Hlophe, and assessor Jaco van Reenen, to charges of premeditated murder and aggravated armed robbery.

    They are Frederick Willem John Coetzer, Fareez Allie and Achmat Toffa.

    A fourth suspect, Kurt Erispe, has become a State witness, and will be indemnified against prosecution if he testifies truthfully and to the satisfaction of the court.

    Prosecutor, senior State advocate Carien Teunissen, told the court both charges carried prescribed sentences - life for premeditated murder and 15 years for the robbery.

    Although this had already been explained to them by the defence team, the judge insisted that it be explained to them again, for the record.

    Marcus told the court: “Usually, when I arrive for work, the deceased was still asleep, with the dogs lying with him on his bed.”

    She said she had a key for the front gate, and the front door was closed, but unlocked, to give her access to the house.

    She added: “When I went inside, I saw that the door to the pool outside was closed, and the curtains still drawn - both the door and the curtains were usually open to allow the dogs out to go to the toilet.

    “I opened the curtains, and then noticed that all the drawers in the lounge were open, and the house in disarray.

    “The deceased was neat and tidy, and I wondered why (it) was so mixed up from the night before.

    “I worked for him on Mondays and Fridays, and I had expected to find the house as I had left it the previous Friday.”

    She said she went to look for Bronn, thinking he was awake because the dogs were on the veranda.

    She said: “As I went to his bedroom, I passed his study and noticed that his laptop, which he kept on a glass table in the study, was missing.

    “I knocked on his bedroom, and called him by his name, but there was no answer.

    “I opened the door and saw that his bedroom was in disarray.

    “I got a fright and was immediately afraid and thought there had been a robbery.”

    She told the court how she had gone back to the veranda in a state of shock, wondering what to do.

    She first tried to alert the neighbours, but got no reply, and she then stopped a passing security patrol vehicle.

    She said she asked the driver to accompany her back into the house, to see where the deceased was.

    The security officer went into the room and said to her: “Madam, there is a man lying in the bedroom - I think he’s dead.”

    She then went into the bedroom herself, to make sure it was Bronn, she said.

    She said Coetzer worked for Bronn as a handyman, and had a key to the house.

    The trial continues.

    Sapa


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    Toyota written off after he was rear-ended by a police bakkie, now he sits without wheels.

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    Cape Town - The wheels of justice may turn slowly, but they don't turn at all when you're up against the police. This according to a Fish Hoek motorist who claims authorities have swept his case under the carpet after a police bakkie ploughed into the back of his Toyota Tazz.

    “They told me I wouldn’t get a cent,” said Bruce Schnugh, “and it seems they are sticking to that.”

    Schnugh, his fiancée, Tanya Perry, and two-year-old son, Ethan, were travelling along Kalk Bay’s Main Road on October 29.

    It was about 6.35am, and there were only a few cars on the road.

    “Just before the Dalebrook car park (opposite the church) I had to come to a stop because there were a couple of cars turning into the car park,” said Schnugh. He noticed the front end of a police bakkie looming in his rear view mirror.

    “I had just about enough time to brace my son against the impact before they hit us.”

    The force of the blow sent the hatchback careering forward, smashing into one of the queuing cars in front of it. It then bounced back, mounting the pavement before coming to a stop.

    The impact had caused the car to crumple so badly that the doors no longer opened, said Schnugh.

    “I started kicking at them to get out because I was worried my son had been injured… I looked over to see that the police had stopped, got out and were just kicking broken glass off the road.”

    It has been more than three months since the crash, but despite filing an accident report with the Muizenberg police station there has been no progress.

    In that time Schnugh was forced to sell his car.

    His Tazz was not insured and the the repair bill for the rear bumper alone came close to R30 000, almost eclipsing the value of the car.

    Combined with the towing costs and medical bills that followed the crash, the 30-year-old claimed the crash had cost him more than R50 000.

    “All I want is what I lost. I want a proper car again, something I can use to drive my family around, but I’m still sitting here with absolutely nothing because a pair of cops weren’t looking where they were going.”

    Police were asked for comment but indicated on Tuesday that they would release a full statement about the matter on Wednesday.

    Cape Argus


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  • 02/11/14--21:54: Robber cuts boy’s throat
  • A pupil at a top Cape high school is recovering after an attacker tried to rob him and then slit his throat.

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    Cape Town - A pupil at a top Cape high school is recovering after an attacker tried to rob him and then slit his throat.

    The Grade 10 Parel Vallei pupil needed 18 stitches and six internal stitches.

    Education MEC Donald Grant’s spokeswoman, Bronagh Casey, confirmed on Tuesday that “a Grade 10 learner was attacked on Monday afternoon after he was accosted by a man with a knife”.

    “He sustained injuries to his neck area and has received stitches. His parents have laid a charge with the police.”

    On Monday evening, Facebook images were posted showing the teen’s wound, followed by nearly a hundred comments expressing outrage.

    The post was later withdrawn – it is understood this was because the boy is a minor, and his identity needed to be protected.

    Neighbourhood watch spokeswoman in Somerset West reported: “I was informed… that a 15-year-old schoolboy from Parel Vallei High School was attacked this afternoon near the school in Adam Tas Road around 2.45pm.”

    The street is about 500m from the school gates.

    “The schoolboy, according to my report, was rushed to hospital where he apparently received 18 stitches plus six internal stitches.

    “I am sending this out as I am very concerned because many children from our area in Sector 1 walk to and from Parel Vallei school daily, often alone.

    “According to another neighbourhood watcher in our area, Parel Vallei school sent out a communication on Friday, February 7, to warn parents and children that two muggings had taken place near the school that morning – I am not sure if they managed to get away with cellphones and earpieces that young people use to listen to music.

    “Please alert your children and ask them to walk together and to report anything suspicious.

    “Perhaps some of the parents and patrollers in this area can keep an eye out at the start of the school day and at the end of the school day to look out for any suspicious characters,” she warned.

    Casey said the school had reported an increase in crime against pupils walking home from school over the past two weeks.

    “Pupils had been approached by strangers demanding their cellphones or possessions.

    “The school has reported these incidents to the police and has asked for increased visibility around the school community after school hours. The school has not had any threats within the school itself,” Casey said.

    A resident, Michael Day, an investigative author, wrote to the neighbourhood watch: “This schoolboy could so easily have been murdered; in fact the odds of him surviving such a brutal knife attack to the throat are quite small. It is actually quite hard for an attacker to miss the jugular, carotid or windpipe because these organs are so exposed and vulnerable to the blade.

    “Therefore, had the perpetrator’s knife severed his carotid artery, he would almost certainly have bled to death on the spot. And although there can be no doubt that the boy was lucky to survive, we must not allow his extreme good fortune to blind us from the seriousness of this assault,” Day warned.

    Police have confirmed the incident and are investigating.

    Cape Argus


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    A postman's bicycle, a mailbag and more than 40 bullet shells were found after a shoot-out and cash-in-transit heist.

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    Cape Town -

    A postman’s bicycle, a mailbag and more than 40 bullet shells were found along Klipfontein Road after a shoot-out and cash-in-transit heist in which two people were wounded in Athlone on Tuesday.

    The bicycle was used in the heist as one of the robbers apparently carried an assault rifle in the mailbag mounted on the bike.

    Witnesses told the Cape Times that another armed man, dressed in orange Correctional Services clothing, stormed the cash van parked at Absa’s Athlone branch at 9am.

    Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said an undisclosed sum of money was taken. The Hawks are investigating the incident.

    Van Wyk said two guards were wounded and taken to Vincent Pallotti Hospital.

    An attempted murder and robbery case has been opened.

    “A man dressed in orange Correctional Services clothing approached the guards and opened fire,” Van Wyk said.

    “We also found a bicycle and mailbag which were used in the heist.

    “We believe there are five suspects involved in this robbery,” he added.

    Residents of Kewtown who witnessed the incident said they were surprised at how easily the robbers had made their getaway.

    Shaheema Jacobs said she ran inside her home when the guards fired back at the robbers.

    “It became like a movie with gunshots going off like crazy,” Jacobs said.

    “The robbers got into their car slowly. They still fired back at the guards as they got into their car.

    “The shooting stopped and the guys got in and drove away slowly just like any car.”

    Jacobs said the car had Gauteng number plates.

    “One guy came with a postman’s bicycle and had a gun in the mailbag. He took it out and started firing at the cash van.

    “Three others came along in a BMW and they too started shooting. The guards shot back but they were outnumbered. I saw the guy on the bike take the money box.”

    Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It is the second time this has happened at the bank. The first time they tried they were not successful, but now they got the money and injured people.

    “I go to this bank every week. Anyone could have been injured in this (incident).

    “This has to stop.”

    Mark Kirby, 25, a Grade 3 Disaster Risk Management medical volunteer, treated the wounded guards after the police arrived.

    “When all the shooting had stopped, I had a feeling that someone was injured. I went to the scene and told police that I know how to treat gunshot wounds, and they told me that help was needed. I ran back home and fetched all the medical equipment I have,” Kirby said.

    He said the wounded guards were responsive when he treated them inside the cash van. “All the guards told me was that they were in extreme pain. The one was shot in the shoulder and another in the neck.

    “I patched up the wounds… they were both lucky that the bullets did not travel through their bodies.

    “I was just lucky they had not died in my arms.”

    Anyone with information can contact Hawks detective Wayne Louw on 082 623 1089 or 021 918 3344, CrimeStop confidentially on 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.

    jason.felix@inl.co.za

    Cape Times


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    City of Cape Town safety boss JP Smith said a lack of sex is what fuels ANC councillor Tony Ehrenreich’s political outbursts.

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    Cape Town - Cape Town safety boss JP Smith said a lack of sex is what fuels ANC councillor Tony Ehrenreich’s political outbursts.

    Smith, the Mayoral committee member for safety and aecurity, on Tuesday told the Daily Voice that the ANC man and Cosatu provincial secretary general “needs to get laid”.

    He lashed out at Ehrenreich, who sent a letter to mayor Patricia de Lille about gang violence at Uitsig Secondary School in Ravensmead.

    “Every week he has to say something about me,” said Smith.

    “The city can’t dedicate full-time officers to schools. The members have to deal with service delivery, events and road safety.

    “Tony doesn’t realise he is scoring an own goal, he should be attacking [Police Minister] Nathi Mthethwa.

    “We [Metro police] are not allowed to investigate crime. So how is the city to blame?”

    “If SAPS were arresting people then we would not be sitting with this problem.”

    Ehrenreich penned the letter to De Lille on Monday, saying gang violence was expected to flare up again on Tuesday.

    The letter stated: “We have been alerted that gang violence is again being threatened at the Uitsig High School, and we request that your offices ensure that the SAPS and City Police are in attendance to protect our learners.

    “We are requesting that the school safety officers from the City of Cape Town be deployed to the school as a matter of urgency.

    “There are daily assaults on learners outside of the school gates in the morning and it has now escalated into the school grounds and classrooms. This situation is perpetrated by local thugs.

    “We need an urgent intervention to mitigate the threat, whilst we address the longer term systemic crisis that gives rise to this.”

    The Daily Voice visited the school on Tuesday where frightened learners spoke of the threat they face daily.

    They said gangsters have access to the school and threaten pupils and teachers alike.

    A 16-year-old girl explained that a gangster beat her with a stick just last week.

    “Gangsters walk in and out of the school and they don’t care who sees them,” she said.

    “Last week while I was walking to class, a gang member came to me and he hit me with a stick. My arm was bruised.

    “The gangster is a 28s member, and they always come here and threaten people.”

    The frightened girl said there is no proper security at the school.

    “There were Bambanani security but they were so pap,” the teenager added.

    “The gates are locked when we are inside but gangsters still get over the fence and come to look for their rivals [in the school].”

    The girl said the violence has been happening for more than four years.

    “The principal can’t protect us because he is also scared,” she added.

    “We are not safe in this school.”

    Western Cape Education Department spokeswoman Bronagh Casey on Tuesday said they are investigating the claimed by the learners.

    “The principal denies that any incidents have occurred,” she said.

    But the Daily Voice can reveal that staff members are all too familiar with the violence.

    “We have found knives on learners and we heard about guns [in the school],” revealed one staff member.

    “I am scared to be in this school and when they [gangsters] come we can’t do anything but stand and watch. We need help here.”

    Daily Voice


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    The Lotus River family of five who perished in a shack fire had been without proper access to water for more than a month.

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    Cape Town - The family of five who died in a Lotus River shack fire on Monday had been without proper access to water for more than a month. Now relatives are seeking answers from the City of Cape Town, after the taps ran dry while they were attempting to fight the deadly blaze.

    Peter Jacobs, his wife Carmen, their daughter Chandre Agulhas, 23, their son Kirk, 13, and grandson Matthew Agulhas, 2, died when they were trapped in a backyard wendy house at 408 Fifth Avenue in Lotus River.

    On Tuesday Jacobs’s sister, Selena Jacobs, told the Cape Argus about the desperation she felt when, in a scramble to fight the fire, she tried to open a tap in the backyard. Water trickled out and then stopped. Selena lives in the house next to her brother’s family’s wendy house.

    “It was up to the neighbours to rig up their hosepipes, to climb on their roofs and to hose the flames from the other side of the wall,” she said.

    Jacobs admitted it was impossible to save the family by the time she was alerted to the fire – even if the hosepipe had worked. But she feels robbed of the opportunity to have tried to douse the flames herself.

    Water access had been inconsistent at the house since Christmas Day, she said.

    “I went to the municipal offices in early January to inquire about it,” Selena said. “They looked on their records and said that they had not switched off the water supply. They could not tell me what was wrong, but promised to send someone. Yet, since then they have not done so or even called me back.”

    Ernest Sonnenberg, mayoral committee member for utility services, said the city had not cut off the property’s water supply, but added that city officials would visit the property to find the fault. “Water to put out fires is taken from fire hydrants and not from domestic connections,” he said.

    “Thus the water that Fire and Rescue Services uses for fighting fire is not affected by any restrictions on domestic supplies. It must also be noted that in these dense and flammable environments, residents must develop habits that promote fire safety. While a garden hose may help to a certain extent if it is available, this would only be in the incipient stages of a fire.”

    daneel.knoetze@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    The Western Cape branch of the ANC wants Helen Zille to explain billionaire Nathan Kirsch's relationship with the DA.

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    Cape Town - The ANC in the Western Cape has called on DA leader Helen Zille to explain her relationship with London-based billionaire Nathan (Natie) Kirsch, who was reportedly AgangSA’s donor.

    “The ANC is also well aware of the averred long and historical links between the DA, Zille and Kirsch. There is reason to believe that the undue pressure that Kirsch exerted on Mamphela Ramphele in fact came at Zille’s behest and that it seems she lobbied other funders to do the same,” the ANC statement read on Tuesday.

    Zille said Kirsch had nothing to do with her party’s move for Agang leader Mamphela Ramphele to become the DA’s presidential candidate.

    “I can categorically say that Nathan Kirsch had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the DA’s offer... I have no knowledge of Mr Kirsch's relationship with Dr Ramphele, but the DA did not receive any financial inducements whatsoever to make our offer,” she said.

    “We made it in the interests of strengthening the opposition to a corrupt ANC, and destroying the myth that the DA would ever bring back apartheid. I repeat, Mr Kirsch had absolutely nothing to do with it and was not involved in any way in the offer we made to Dr Ramphele,” said Zille.

     

    Kirsch apparently funded then National Prosecuting Agency prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach’s legal case against the agency. Breytenbach’s name appeared on the DA’s list for Parliament last month.

    Meanwhile, the Primedia Group has condemned an ANC Youth League statement claiming Primedia had links with Kirsch. In the statement, the ANCYL said that William Kirsch was the chief executive of Primedia and that Primedia was owned by Issie Kirsch, brother of Nathan Kirsch.

    Primedia executive chairman Kuben Pillay said the statement was malicious and defamatory. He said Issie Kirsch left the Primedia Group in 2000 and was replaced by Paul Nkuna. Pillay replaced William Kirsch, who resigned in 2009.

    Cape Times


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    Cape Town nightclub owner Bruno Bronn and a man accused of his murder were sexual partners, a witness has testified.

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    Cape Town - Cape Town nightclub owner Bruno Bronn and a man accused of his murder were sexual partners, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

    “It was common knowledge. It was more than just a relationship. It was a working relationship and a sexual relationship,” said Dawid Human, who worked as a DJ at Cape Town's gay night club The Bronx for four years and helped out with maintenance.

    He was referring to Frederick Willem John Coetzer, who he identified in court as a bouncer at The Bronx.

    Coetzer, Fareez Allie, and Achmat Toffa have pleaded not guilty to charges of premeditated murder and aggravated armed robbery.

    The men are accused of killing Bronn, 50, in his Green Point home on February 7, 2012. According to the indictment he was strangled and died of suffocation.

    A fourth suspect, Kurt Erispe, has become a State witness.

    Human said The Bronx closed down about a week or two before Bronn's death and the manager had asked Coetzer to leave the club a month or two before that.

    “I know in the last two weeks (before his death) Bruno wanted to end the relationship.”

    Human identified Toffa in the courtroom and said he had seen him alone at the club and with Coetzer. He did not know Allie.

    Carien Teunissen, for the State, asked whether Bronn ever did his own maintenance work.

    Human replied that either he or Coetzer helped him out with maintenance. Bronn had a tool kit in the kitchen pantry.

    Teunissen asked what he thought of a policeman's evidence that a hammer, rubber mallet, and chisel were found in Bronn's main bedroom.

    “That's very odd,” Human replied.

    The trial continues.

    Sapa


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    Bruno Bronn was being harassed by his sexual partner because he wanted to end their relationship, a witness says.

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    Cape Town - Cape Town nightclub owner Bruno Bronn was being harassed by his sexual partner because he wanted to end their relationship, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

    Dawid Human, who worked as a DJ at the gay night club The Bronx said Bronn had told him before his death that he wanted to end it with Frederick Willem John Coetzer, a bouncer at the club.

    Coetzer, Fareez Allie and Achmat Toffa have pleaded not guilty to charges of premeditated murder and aggravated armed robbery.

    They are accused of killing Bronn, 50, in his Green Point home on February 7, 2012. According to the indictment, he was strangled and died of suffocation.

    A fourth suspect, Kurt Erispe, has become a State witness.

    Bronn visited Human's flat two days before his death and confided in him about Coetzer's behaviour.

    “This (visit) was very unusual. (He was) traumatised and scared. He wasn't his normal self. He wasn't relaxed. He looked very nervous,” Human said.

    Human said they should go out for a coffee, but they chatted at home instead and he left soon afterwards.

    Arnold Nel, for Allie, asked why Bronn was traumatised.

    “He told me he wanted to get away from his house because he's starting to get scared of John. He's harassing him. He said he didn't want to take no for an answer as such and he wanted money.”

    Bronn had said Coetzer would constantly ring his doorbell at 3am or 4am and he would eventually let him in only because he did not want to disturb the neighbours.

    Human said Bronn had found Coetzer on a set of steps one day and Coetzer told him: “You didn't think you could get rid of me that easily”.

    Henry van Niekerk, for Toffa, asked if Bronn had mentioned what Coetzer had wanted the money for. Human said he did not know.

    The Bronx closed down about a week or two before Bronn's death and the manager had asked Coetzer to leave the club a month or two months before that.

    He said Bronn continued to pay Coetzer small amounts of money for occasional maintenance.

    “He did some maintenance work. On some occasions, he asked for money and said he did the job but it was never done and I had to do it,” Human said.

    The trial continues.

    Sapa


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    Claims made by the DA on Twitter about service delivery and job creation cannot be substantiated, a website says.

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    Cape Town - Claims made by the DA on Twitter about service delivery and job creation cannot be substantiated, according to a report published on Tuesday.

    Website AfricaCheck, which fact-checks claims made by politicians, organisations and the media, found the DA could not back up several claims it made on social media.

    The claims made on the DA’s Twitter account include that the party’s municipalities had created 31 000 “job opportunities” in the past year, and that the city “delivers more to poor residents than any other city in the country”.

    When veteran journalist Ray Joseph took the matter up, DA spokesman Zak Mbhele was unable to track down sources to back up the claims.

    He wrote to Joseph: “Concerning the job opportunity figures, no one so far can give me anything concrete.

    “I must say that this exercise has been very useful on my side in identifying a clear systemic deficiency of information management.”

    The DA regularly publishes updates, pictures and claims from the handle @DA_News to 60 000 followers.

    All DA accounts use hashtags to spark conversation and interaction among their online following. One of these, #DAdelivers, was used to publicise many of the service delivery claims that could not be substantiated.

    Mbhele told the Cape Argus the figures relating to delivery in the Western Cape came from various documents, such as the Statistics SA census 2011 report, the UN State of World Cities report and national and provincial government reports.

    “The only area in which there was difficulty was in obtaining a time-specific set of figures for Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) job opportunities created by the government in the Western Cape. The figures for the first half of 2012/13 are available on the national Department of Public Works’ EPWP website, but not those for the second half. Reference documents for all other facts and figures requested which relate to Western Cape government delivery were sent to AfricaCheck,” he said.

    While the unsubstantiated claims may set alarm bells ringing, they are not illegal in electioneering terms.

    According to Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) spokeswoman Kate Bapela, the Electoral Code of Conduct regulates what is legal on the campaign trail. However, the code will be signed only in March by parties contesting the elections.

    The code prohibits parties from publishing “false or defamatory allegations”.

    According to the AfricaCheck report, unsubstantiated claims by the DA include:

    * Western Cape government created 60 000 “work opportunities” in the second half of 2012/13.

    * 99.1 percent of households in the Western Cape have access to piped water.

    * 93.4 percent have access to electricity.

    * 96.9 percent have access to toilet facilities.

    * The City of Cape Town delivers more to poor residents than any other city in the country.

    * The gap between haves and have nots is the smallest in Cape Town.

    * Of the R18 billion spent on service delivery in Cape Town, R11bn was spent on the poor.

     

    Find the original report by Ray Joseph at www.africacheck.org.

    chelsea.geach@inl.co.za

    Cape Argus


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    Bruno Bronn was a private person who guarded his possessions, his friends and colleagues told the Western Cape High Court.

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    Cape Town - Slain nightclub owner Bruno Bronn was a private person who guarded his possessions, his friends and colleagues told the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

    Dawid Human, who worked as a DJ at Cape Town's gay night club The Bronx, said Bronn let people use his white BMW sometimes, but was very particular about his silver BMW.

    He said an exception was when Bronn went on an overseas holiday and let his sexual partner at the time, club bouncer Frederick Willem John Coetzer, use the silver BMW and stay at his house.

    Coetzer, Fareez Allie and Achmat Toffa have pleaded not guilty to killing Bronn at his Green Point home on February 7, 2012. They have also pleaded not guilty to using a firearm to rob Bronn of his luxury car and other items, including a laptop.

    Prosecutor Carien Teunissen asked Bronn's friend and ex-bartender Bashar Rihawi whether he let Coetzer use the silver BMW.

    “No way. It was the last thing we expected that he would give his car to John.”

    Human was asked whether he had ever seen Bronn and Coetzer kissing.

    He replied no, because “he didn't want to do it in front of us”. Human often used to visit Bronn's house and never saw Coetzer there.

    Bronn's friend, Frederick Andre du Preez, agreed that he was a private person. Coetzer hired him to install kitchen cupboards at Bronn's house and he eventually became friends with Bronn.

    “I did not see him (Coetzer) at Bruno's residence after that or at the club,” Du Preez said.

    Arnold Nel, for Allie, asked Du Preez if Bronn had ever used drugs.

    “I know that in the past he might have used drugs, but not in front of us... That was a part of his life he kept to himself.”

    Human admitted in cross-examination that Bronn had used dagga and the drug cat (methcathinone).

    Questions were raised about Bronn's health and physical condition before his death. Human said Bronn was HIV-positive but had shown no signs of the disease.

    He went swimming with Bronn shortly before his death and saw no physical marks on his arms, legs, or feet.

    Sapa


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  • 02/12/14--08:26: Power restored in Manenberg
  • A generator was installed in Manenberg to provide interim power to the area, the City of Cape Town said.

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    Cape Town - A generator was installed in Manenberg on Wednesday morning to provide interim power to the area, the City of Cape Town said.

    “This action comes after days of threatened violence which prevented City staff, under the advisement of the SA Police Services, from entering the area,” Mayoral Committee Member Ernest Sonnenberg said.

    On Monday evening, the Manenberg Laan substation started tripping due to a cable fault.

    The police advised the electricity services not to enter the area on Monday evening or Tuesday morning because of violence in the area.

    On Tuesday afternoon, electricity staff went into the area with a police escort to set up a generator and locate the fault.

    “However, they only had an opportunity to identify a faulty feeder which feeds into Sabie Walk, before they were advised by the SAPS to leave the area for their own safety,” Sonnenberg said.

    Staff tried to return on Tuesday evening with metro police, but before the generator could be connected they were advised to leave. This was because two people had just been shot and the gunmen were still in the area.

    “While the safety of City staff remains a priority, residents are assured that the City is doing all that it can to ensure service delivery to all of our residents,” Sonnenberg said.

    Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille had planned to visit Manenberg on an election campaign drive on Saturday but the visit was reportedly cancelled because of gang violence.

    Sapa


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    Bruno Bronn did not report his sexual partner's harassment to police because he did not want a scandal, his ex-bartender and friend testified.

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    Cape Town - Slain nightclub owner Bruno Bronn did not report his sexual partner's harassment to police because he did not want a scandal, his ex-bartender and friend told the Western Cape High Court.

    “He didn't want a scandal. As a businessman, as a club owner, you have staff, you don't want noise,” Bashar Rihawi said.

    He had told the court he often reprimanded club bouncer Frederick Willem John Coetzer for harassing Bronn, who did not want to continue their relationship.

    Rihawi said he had even tried convincing Bronn to report him to the police.

    Lawyer Patrick Scott, for Coetzer, asked him why Bronn never went to the police if he was so scared.

    Rihawi replied that they all lived nearby and that Bronn chose to phone them instead whenever he had trouble.

    “He was trying to be polite and not make any noise.”

    Coetzer, Fareez Allie and Achmat Toffa have pleaded not guilty to killing Bronn at his Green Point home on February 7, 2012. They have also pleaded not guilty to using a firearm to rob Bronn of his luxury car and other items, including a laptop.

    Rihawi told the court that when he and his ex-boyfriend visited Bronn's home a few days before his death, they witnessed an argument between Bronn and Coetzer.

    He said Coetzer had jumped over the wall and onto the property, something he apparently did often.

    He could not remember everything that was said but remembered Bronn shouting: “Why did you jump?” and “Get out of my house”.

    “(He said) he didn't want him in his space and he must just move on. He didn't want him to be nearby. He doesn't want him to be a part of his life,” Rihawi said.

    Bronn called for a taxi and Coetzer said he needed R50 to pay for transport.

    “I gave him the money (from Bronn), expecting him to leave, but then he came back.”

    He said Coetzer wanted his keys and a bag of clothes but Rihawi could not find it in the garage.

    Rihawi told Coetzer not to irritate his friend but it seemed as though he did not care.

    “(He was) careless because it wasn't the first time arguing with him about Bruno.”

    The court heard that Coetzer had allegedly taken a pair of gold cufflinks, a watch and traveller's cheques from Bronn's safe. Bronn had desperately tried to get them back.

    “John re-sold the cheques back to him,” Rihawi said.

    A new witness was expected to be called when the trial resumes on Monday.

    Sapa