Taxi operators believe business development training will help change the public's perception of the industry.]]> |||
Cape Town - Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain taxi operators are grateful for the business development training they are receiving at the University of Cape Town which, they believe, will help change the perception of the taxi industry.
The training is part of a R39 million investment by the City that will see more than 90 members of the two taxi associations participating in the course.
The training offers courses in South African company law and foundations of corporate governance; management; public transport planning and bus operating contract models; and management of scheduled transport operations.
Henry Williams, a taxi owner from Mitchells Plain who has been in the business for 39 years, said the “change” was welcomed by the industry.
“We have been operating our businesses informally and this training is giving us the opportunity to do so formally. So far it’s been a great success. We are evolving and we are more than happy,” he said.
APPLYING WHAT YOU LEARN
Another taxi owner, Sebenzile Tafeni, who started as a driver 10 years ago, said the training would be of great benefit for the taxi industry.
“I came here to get more knowledge on how to run my business and the course has been good so far.
“It is already helping me because I’m applying what I learn here on my business and I can see the change. I just hope the change we are bringing will change the public’s perception of the taxi industry,” he said.
Zongezwa Mtengwane, who hopes to take over her father’s taxi business, said she was happy her father asked her attend the course.
“I grew up in this industry but, after the knowledge I got from the training, I’m now more interested in taking over from my dad and helping to grow his business,” said Mtengwane.
The departments of basic education and transport have prioritised road safety education for school pupils.]]> |||
Cape Town - The departments of basic education and transport have prioritised road safety education for school pupils.
A Learner Road Safety seminar took place at the Department of Basic Education Conference Centre in Pretoria (DBE Conference Centre) on Tuesday to address issues around ensuring schoolgoing children were safe on the roads.
Apart from the two departments, representatives from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), Road Safety Education and the Global Road Safety Partnership South Africa were in attendance.
Dr Pieter Venter, CEO of the Global Road Safety Partnership South Africa (GRSPSA)said in his presentation that each year, there were 1.24 million road traffic deaths worldwide, with the most affected group being young adults in the 15-44 age group.
This group, Venter noted, accounted for 59 percent of global road related deaths.
Venter went on to say that out of this number, 92 percent of all road traffic deaths occurred in low and middle income countries.
“Vulnerable road users account for half of all road traffic deaths globally. Pedestrians, cyclists and riders of motorised two-wheelers and their passengers are collectively known as vulnerable road users,” Venter told delegates.
Thandi Moya of the Department of Transport said that high speed, pedestrians, overtaking, turning in front of oncoming traffic and a disregard of red traffic lights by drivers were major contributing factors to road deaths.
“We need to strengthen our policies to deal with the fatalities,” she said. She added that more needed to be done around education around the behaviours and attitudes of road users in getting them to comply with and respect road rules.
Avi Silverman from GRSPSA said highway crossings being made by school children continued to be a concern, and was one of the main causes of road-related deaths.
Silverman said road safety education was a priority at schools. He said speed humps need to be constructed near schools and pedestrian-heavy areas as a means to force drivers to slow down in these areas.
Enforcing speed reduction “could reduce fatalities by 30 percent” he added, stressing that multiple efforts by key stakeholders were needed to make an impact on lowering the high rate of road-related deaths in South Africa.
The four people accused of killing Emmanuel Sithole are claiming self-defence, their lawyers told a court.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The four people accused of killing Mozambican hawker Emmanuel Sithole are claiming self-defence, their lawyers told the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Mthinto Bhengu, Sizwe Mngomezulu, Sifundi Mzimela and a 17-year-old boy were charged with murder and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm relating to the attack on Sithole during a spate of xenophobic violence which hit parts of South Africa two months ago.
Tshege Ntake, for Bhengu and the minor, told the court that his clients would deny assaulting Sithole intentionally.
Bhengu claims he was beat up by Sithole when he tried helping the minor who had been attacked by Sithole.
Ntake said his client grabbed a knife from vegetable hawker Fabian Gomez’ stand to defend himself from Sithole.
“Accused one [Bhengu] had had an operation on his belly. He fell to the ground after the deceased [Sithole] punched him in the belly. He then recovered and grabbed a knife from your [Gomez] vegetable stand to defend himself,” Ntake told the court.
Gomez, a second state witness, denied Ntake’s version of the events. He had testified earlier that the four accused took cigarettes from Sithole without paying, and then assaulted him when he demanded his cigarettes back. Sithole was stabbed with a knife and beat up with a spanner, Gomez told the court.
“Accused one [Bhengu] will testify that there was never a point where Sithole was assaulted or stabbed. He only used the knife to scare Sithole,” said Ntake.
Ntake added that it was not true that the minor carried a beer bottle.
“He will tell this court that he never poured any beer onto Sithole or hit him with the bottle…he did not have a a beer bottle with him.”
Sithole’s relatives, seated in the public gallery, shook their heads in disagreement as they listened to Ntake
Vhonani Matshidza, for Mngomezulu and Mzimela, said the spanner Gomez referred to was taken from a nearby street mechanic by Mzimela, also in a bid to defend himself against Sithole.
“Accused four will inform the court that the deceased hit him with a brick while he tried to ascertain what a fight that broke out was all about. H grabbed the spanner from a mechanic to defend himself against the deceased.”
Gomez shook his head in disagreement.
“I did not see the event that the lawyer is talking about… I saw the accused take out a spanner from his pants and assault Emmanuel.”
Matshidza said Mngomezulu was nowhere near the scene when the fight broke out.
Magistrate Lucas van der Schyff postponed the trial to July 10.
One of Athlone recluse Michael Volkwyn's dogs has found a loving home with Pretoria doctor Liana Volkwyn.]]> |||
Cape Town - One of Athlone recluse Michael Volkwyn’s dogs has found a loving home in Pretoria.
The mixed breed Jack Russell, named Jacky, has been adopted by Michael Volkwyn’s niece - Pretoria doctor Liana Volkwyn - who described the puppy as well-adjusted and happy.
Liana Volkwyn, who welcomed Jacky into their home last week, said she felt bad that some of her uncle’s dogs - whom he rescued from the street - were to be put down.
“I contacted the SPCA and Jacky was the most suitable dog that could be adopted,” she said.
Liana Volkwyn said Jacky was adjusting to the cold temperatures in Pretoria. She was, however, frightened by the dark when load shedding takes place in the area.
“At night she moans and gets frightened by loud noises, but all in all she is adjusting well after experiencing trauma,” she said.
Last month, a tense stand-off between police and Michael Volkwyn, a retired engineer who had done work for the military, began when officers were called to his house after one of his 13 “rescued dogs” attacked a local resident.
Later, the 61-year-old mechanical engineer shot a police officer, who attempted to confiscate his animals, in the face. Some of the dogs had then witnessed Volkwyn put a gun to his head.
Several of the dogs retrieved from Volkwyn’s home underwent behavioural assessments by a specialist at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) this month.
SPCA’s chief executive officer Allan Perrins said while the dogs were undergoing therapy, one had to be euthanised after attacking an animal care assistant.
“The dog was deemed to present too much of a bite risk and was too unpredictable,” he said.
“The other dogs have been through an awful lot so they are doing well under the circumstances.
“There is regrettably still one - a Collie crossbreed - that is proving to be a real challenge. The dog is fearful of strangers and requires muzzling before being handled. We have decided not to give up on her just yet,” he said.
The dogs will be put up for adoption within the next three weeks because they require their second vaccinations and a general health check scheduled for next week.
“It is a miracle that they have shown such resilience and adaption,” Perrins said.
Three cops from the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court are under investigation after seven awaiting trial prisoners escaped.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Three police officers from the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court are currently under investigation following the escape of seven awaiting trial prisoners earlier this month, Gauteng police said on Tuesday.
“Three police officers are being investigated in relation to the escape but they haven’t been charged,” spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Dlamini said.
He said that although no charges have been formerly laid against the officers, an internal investigation was being conducted to establish if they had aided the prisoners in their escape.
At the time the prisoners were appearing in court to face separate charges relating to repeated counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, housebreaking and theft. The cases were committed in Lenasia, Eldorado Park and Ennerdale.
The awaiting-trial prisoners escaped from police custody at around 4pm on June 8 and all have have been recaptured except two who were currently still at large. Investigations were continuing, Dlamini said.
“Because they were awaiting trial for different cases, we don’t consider the two prisoners to be together,” said Dlamini.
Three of the suspects, Mpho Ramotsole, Luvesh Veerasamy and Brendon Paul, were re-arrested on June 9. Ramotsole was found in Ennerdale while Veerasamy and Paul were found at their respected residences in Lenasia South. Johnson Leroy was located and rearrested in Eldorado Park on June 17 and Romeo Beukes was pointed out by members of the Eldorado Park community and subsequently rearrested on June 22. Dumisani Selepe and Thabiso Sebelwane remain at large.
Dlamini has warned the public not to confront the two suspects but rather to contact the police immediately. A team of detectives and crime intelligence officers have been deployed to recapture the men.
He stated that any officer involved with the escape would face criminal charges as well as disciplinary actions that may result in being discharged from the police service.
Provincial police divers are searching for a Zimbabwean man presumed dead in the Klipvoor Dam, North West police said.]]> |||
Rustenburg - Provincial police divers were searching for a Zimbabwean man presumed dead at local dam in Jericho outside Brits, North West police said on Tuesday.
Police spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko said Gibson Mkhondo, 44, was reported missing on Saturday by his friends.
“It is alleged that the victim went on an illegal fishing mission with his two friends at Klipvoor Borakalalo Game Reserve at around 11pm on Friday,” said Ramaloko. “The three went in the dam to lay their fishing nets, and Mkhondo did not return . It is suspected that he may have drowned.
“Police divers have been searching for him from Sunday with no success, and the search continues,” Ramaloko said.
He said Mkhondo’s two friends were earlier charged for trespassing but the case was withdrawn by the court.
The Western Cape High Court placed Marli van Breda, the axe attack survivor, in the care of an aunt and uncle.]]> |||
Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court on Tuesday placed Marli van Breda, the teenage girl who survived an axe attack on her family, in the care of an aunt and uncle, said Louise Buikman, the senior counsel appointed by court to represent her interests.
“The application in respect of Marli’s guardianship and future care served before Judge Desai of the Western Cape High Court this morning,” Buikman said.
“The Court endorsed my recommendation that Marli be placed in the care of her uncle and aunt who reside in the Western Cape.”
The order was made after Buikman filed a report on Monday bringing the court up to date on Van Breda’s progress in recovering from the attack and motivating why the court should give standing to an agreement family members had reached on her care until she reached majority.
She said Van Breda’s family had also agreed that she should remain on as curator ad litem to assist the 16-year-old in all legal proceedings and would confirm all major decisions relating to her, including schooling and psychological care.
The High Court also ordered that only the curator may liaise with the media regarding Van Breda.
Van Breda, 16, and her brother Henri, 20, survived the attack at their family home on the De Zalze Golf Estate in Stellenbosch in January. Her father Martin, his wife Teresa, and oldest son Rudi were all found dead inside the home.
Marli and Henri have been living separately following the assault.
Marli sustained serious injuries but recuperated well enough to return to school in Stellenbosch in June.
“Marli continues to progress on her road to recovery. She is currently enjoying a holiday visiting family and friends. She is in contact with Henri. She will be attending school with her peers in the new school term,” Buikman said.
A woman arrested for possession of explosives appeared in the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court, North West police said.]]> |||
Rustenburg - A woman arrested for possession of explosives appeared in the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court, North West police said on Tuesday.
Police spokesperson Captain Paul Ramaloko said Sophia Makamo, 43, appeared on Monday when her case was postponed to July 9 for further investigation. She was granted R1 000 bail.
Makamo was arrested on Friday by the Rustenburg Bomb Disposal and Explosive Unit and Phokeng K9 Unit at her house at Zakhele informal settlement in Rustenburg.
Her arrest came after a police sting which led to the discovery a pile of mine explosives stashed at the back of her house. Three ready-made blasting cartridges and 40 shock tubes were seized.
“When asked about the origins of the devices, it is alleged that she implicated her husband. The husband is currently wanted by police,” said Ramaloko.
Ramaloko said on Friday morning that explosives were used to blast open a cash safe at a popular restaurant in Rustenburg when undisclosed amount of cash was stolen.
“Police investigations are underway and no arrests have been made.”
Cape Town - The money that would have been used to send Abulele Nkepu to university will now have to be used to bury her. Abulele, 19, was among the eight who died after a tavern’s staircase railing collapsed.]]> |||
Cape Town - The money that would have been used to send Abulele Nkepu to university will now have to be used to bury her. Abulele, 19, was among the eight who died after a tavern’s staircase railing collapsed.
She and five other young women lost their lives at Osi’s Place - also known as Osawa tavern - in the early hours of Sunday.
Two more were killed when the car transporting them to hospital was involved in an accident.
Abulele was completing her final year of high school and her uncle, Zanovula Nkepu, said he was sad that the plans they had for her will “never come to pass”.
“She had many plans for her future and they all revolved around her education. Next year I was going to send her to varsity, I was putting together some money for that.”
Abulele was a pupil at Chris Hani High School in Khayelitsha and loved music and drama. She was going to pursue something along those lines, he said.
“She was going to go on a school camp in July and she couldn’t stop talking about it. Every chance she got she reminded us that we had to still pay the money so she could go to the camp.”
Going out was something she rarely did and, this time, it ended in tragedy.
He uncle said she preferred to spend time at home “watching TV or studying”.
“That night she went along with her friends but she was someone that kept to herself and she enjoyed going to church.”
Her grandfather, Phumelele Rhaqa, said his wife went to the hospital after news of the incident reached the family.
Vuyolwethu Mbono, Athi Zokufa, Asisipho Dana, Ongezwa Ndaba and Zimkitha Malinga all died at the shebeen.
They were between 15 and 24 years old.
One of the bodies still has to be identified. A young man, who was frantically looking for his sister, was to identify an eighth victim, according to the establishment’s manager.
Ongeziwe Xeketwana, 21, also lost her life in the tragedy and now her three-year-old son, Mpilo, will only have vague memories of his mother.
Her aunt, Nofikile Xeketwana, said little Mpilo lived with relatives in the Eastern Cape and Ongeziwe would only see her son when she travelled there during the holidays.
The last time her family saw her was last Thursday when she went to do her hair.
“She said she was going to do her hair, because she was attending a funeral this past weekend. But we never saw her again.”
Xeketwana said her niece was a very respectful child and was a hard worker.
“We miss her kindness and her free spirit. She was raised very well and was very well mannered.”
The fate of the establishment now hangs in the balance as the Western Cape Liquor Authority has temporarily shut it down.
The Authority’s spokesman, Philip Prinsloo, said once the police report is completed a decision will be made on whether to fine the owner or suspend his licence.
Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo visited the families of the victims on Monday.
She said the DA and provincial government condemned underage drinking.
The families are now planning to bury the victims. The funerals will take place over the next two weeks.
R140 000, allegedly obtained from the illegal sale of dagga by a Camperdown couple, has been seized by the state.]]> |||
Durban - One-hundred and forty thousand rand, allegedly obtained from the illegal sale of dagga by a Camperdown couple, has been seized by the state.
The order to preserve the cash was granted in the Pietermaritzburg High Court and will be held under the custody and control of the exhibit clerk at the Camperdown police station.
In court papers, senior deputy director of public prosecutions, Knorx Molelle, explained that the cash was found in the possession of Gareth Kerrick at the Dunhill Farm in Killarney, near Cato Ridge, and was seized by police on July 17 last year.
Captain Colette Bruwer, attached to the Kwadukuza Task Team, said in an affidavit that she received information that a white male was growing dagga on the farm.
According to Bruwer, upon entering the farmhouse, she and other police officers found sealed plastic bags containing a green-coloured substance which appeared to be dagga.
Four people were in the farmhouse at the time, and were identified as Kerrick, his girlfriend, Frances van Zyl, and their friends, Peter Carl le Roux and Riaan du Preez.
The police established that Kerrick had been leasing the farm from Jacobus Stiglingh, who is the registered owner of the farm and who now lives in New Zealand.
During a search conducted of the farm, it was established that the farmhouse, a room outside the kitchen, an unplastered, external, three-roomed building and a nursery covered in shade-cloth were areas used to cultivate and process the dagga.
Bruwer confirmed that three bin bags containing dried dagga heads was found inside the farmhouse, and a further three plastic packets containing dried dagga was found in the outside room.
Two glass plates and a dish containing what Kerrick confirmed to be dagga oil were found in the study, as well as two glass bottles of dried dagga. A total of 242 dagga plants were found inside pots, as well as five fans, one heater, two temperature gauges, and special lights used to cultivate plants were located around the farmhouse.
The dagga plants and dagga found in the house would yield between two and four kilograms, worth R40 000/kg.
“The plants being harvested were clearly on a large scale,” she said.
Bruwer said that when the couple (Kerrick and Van Zyl) were questioned as to the whereabouts of the money earned from their illegal drug operation, it was Van Zyl who voluntarily pointed out a shed on the farm where the cash had been hidden.
Kerrick removed a stack of wooden boards been placed against a wall to reveal a portable blue safe which contained R140 000 cash, three passports, 100 Jamaican dollars and a silver Indonesian coin.
Bruwer revealed that cash kept as exhibits in the SAPS stations were no longer secure following several cases of theft and burglary, either involving an inside job or outside burglaries, which had been reported in the media.
“The unfortunate and stark reality is that this type of theft is ever increasing and the cash would be safer kept in the custody of a court-appointed clerk,” Bruwer said.
Meanwhile, the criminal cases against Kerrick, Van Zyl, Du Preez and Le Roux, are pending in the Camperdown Magistrate’s Court.
A judge slammed Home Affairs' tardiness after an application for an unabridged certificate landed in the high court.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The Joburg couple who took the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to task over not being allowed to travel with their 15-year-old daughter without the unabridged certificate has abandoned their bid as the department issued the certificate at the last hour.
The high court in Pretoria heard on Monday how Paul and Tracy Lee Derbyshire were sent a text message informing them that their certificate was ready for collection on Saturday, a day after they lodged an urgent application with the high court on Friday after attempts to get the certificate had seemingly failed.
The family applied for the unabridged certificate on May 13 at the Randburg Home Affairs office as they wanted to travel to the UK on Wednesday, during the school holidays.
Legal representative Kaveer Guiness said the family were assured by officials from the DHA that the certificate would be ready by July 1. The family were, however, told upon enquiring on June 18 that they would have to wait a further eight weeks to receive the certificate. As a last resort, the family then proceeded to seek intervention from the courts to force the DHA to act immediately.
While the court heard that the family were told to pick up their certificate on Monday morning, Judge Cynthia Pretorius lambasted the department’s representatives for their inability to respond to the matter in time.
Judge Pretorius denied the department’s request for a postponement in order to seek an affidavit in argument of the costs incurred by the family as she contended they had more than enough time to prepare as they were served the order on June 26.
The judge ordered that Home Affairs pay the cost for the application brought forward as the delay was their fault.
Guiness said the major problem with issuing of certificates was the lack of clarification on the process to be followed and receiving them within a reasonable time frame.
“No one could tell us if the parents were allowed to use the old certificates to travel and how long the process actually takes. People just come up with the figure of eight weeks, but nothing is written to that effect,” he said.
Meanwhile, departmental spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete said all the information had been communicated to members of the public on numerous platforms several times, and the parents’ decision to take the department to court was, therefore, unreasonable.
He said there were many contact details that were made available to the public to call for queries on the process to deal with issues involving certificates.
“We have clearly stated that the standard operating time was eight weeks, and for them to lodge the claim just before the expected date of delivery was a bit premature,” Tshwete added.
Two girls, aged six and eight, were snatched from near their Kagisho homes and allegedly raped in a locked shanty.]]> |||
Kimberley - Two young girls, aged six and eight years, were snatched from near their homes in Kagisho and allegedly raped at knifepoint in a locked shanty in Madiba Square, behind the Northern Cape provincial legislature over the weekend.
A 42-year-old man was arrested on Sunday in connection with the rapes and is expected to appear in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Members of the community who went to search for the girls, said they waited for 30 minutes before the man opened the door that had been locked from the inside.
One of the girls had screamed for her father, who was standing outside the shanty, looking for his youngest daughter on Sunday morning.
He said he found the girls inside the shanty after the suspect eventually unlocked the door.
“I don’t know if he took the time to dress the girls during the long wait. It appears as if they were only raped once.”
The girls were playing in the veld near their home on Saturday evening before they were reported as missing.
The father of the eight-year-old girl said when they went to report the girls missing, the police said perhaps the girls had gone to visit friends.
It is believed that the suspect is a relative of one of the neighbours in the area where he lured the girls by offering them money; he also threatened them at knifepoint.
They apparently took a shortcut through the veld to his home where he lives alone, in Madiba Square.
The father indicated that both girls had sustained injuries and that his daughter’s six-year-old friend was still receiving medical treatment in hospital due to the severity of her injuries.
He said one of his neighbours had seen the man taking the girls to the shanty because she knew where he lived.
“The man was released from prison about a year ago after serving time for nine charges of rape involving women and young girls. My daughter is shocked and crying. She was given medication to sleep. She is still so young and cannot understand what happened to her.”
Neighbours warned that should the man be released from custody, they would take out their anger for what he had done.
“Our children are not safe to play outside. The man was like an uncle to the two girls that he raped. Members of the community wanted to kill him when they found him with the girls on Sunday, but we told them to wait for the police to confirm the charges.”
The Galeshewe Community Policing Forum intends holding an anti-rape march in support of children when the man is expected to appear in court.
Police spokesman, Lieutenant Sergio Kock, said the Galeshewe Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit is investigating two cases of rape.
“It is alleged that on Saturday at about 6pm, the two girls aged six and eight years respectively were reported missing while playing in a nearby veld. The community and police searched for the two friends and they were found the following morning at approximately 6am at a shanty of a 42-year-old man.”
He added that the man was known to the children.
“He was arrested and detained for rape. Both the victims were taken to hospital for medical attention. The six-year-old victim underwent an operation and is currently still in hospital.”
• In another incident a 32-year-old woman was taken to hospital after apparently overdosing on medication after she was also allegedly raped on Saturday evening.
Kock said the woman accepted a lift from a tavern in Galeshewe, with an unknown person.
“The woman alleged that the suspect drove to the ABC Cemetery in Galeshewe where he threatened her with a knife, dragged her from the vehicle and raped her.”
Kock indicated that no suspects had been arrested at this stage.
“Police are investigating a case of rape.”
Anyone who can assist police in their investigation is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Aretha Klaasen on 071 751 3184.
Diamond Fields Advertiser]]>
A safe with firearms, ammunition and documents, allegedly stolen in Schweizer-Reneke, was recovered in Vryburg, police said.]]> |||
Rustenburg - A safe with firearms, ammunition and documents, allegedly stolen in Schweizer-Reneke, was recovered in Vryburg, North West police said on Tuesday.
Police spokesperson captain Paul Ramaloko said the safe was recovered on Monday morning.
“This recovery comes after police received a tip-off from the community with regard to a weapon safe and firearms that were dumped in a water ditch at Roydenroad, Vryburg,” he said.
“Upon arrival at the scene, members of the K9 unit found a safe opened, lying in the water ditch. Three firearms, ammunition and documents were found in it.”
He said the police confiscated the items and they were identified as having been stolen during a burglary in Schweizer-Reneke on Saturday.
No arrest had been made and investigations were underway.
It was a bittersweet day for the family of a murdered KZN woman when her husband entered court as an accused.]]> |||
Durban - It was a bittersweet day for the family of a Mount Edgecombe businesswoman, who was kidnapped and killed last year, to watch her husband being escorted into the Durban Magistrate’s Court by police as an accused.
Gonaseelan Naidu has been charged with conspiracy to murder his wife, and was expected to appear again in court later this week for consideration of bail.
He had handed himself over to investigating officer, Warrant Officer Rajan Govender of the Provincial Task Team, at the Durban North police station on Sunday by arrangement. He is to be accommodated at the police station’s holding cells until his next court appearance.
Nalin Naidu, 47, had forgiven her husband once before for trying to kill her. She had testified on his behalf, which led to him receiving correctional supervision and a four-year suspended sentence for her attempted murder in 2006.
Naidu’s cousin, Rajendra Jugdeo, told the Durban Regional Court last month that they had only learnt of this after her death.
He said Naidu was shot four to five times in 2006 while dropping off her youngest son at school. Jugdeo had gone out to the scene and found her lying in a pool of blood.
He had testified during arguments for the sentencing of 41-year-old Zwelakhe Maphumulo, who had pleaded guilty to kidnapping Naidu on October 29, 2014, and for his role in her murder.
Maphumulo was sentenced to 30 years in jail while his accomplice, Gcina Magwaza, 37, was sentenced, also last month, to 22 years for the murder.
Both men had implicated her husband in their respective guilty pleas.
According to Maphumulo’s guilty plea, he was contacted by his friend, a policeman, and told there was a job they needed to do.
He said he met the friend and three others to discuss killing Naidu for her husband, and they were promised payment afterwards.
He claimed in October 2014, the husband gave them R1 000 to buy alcohol and the knife and told them the job needed to be done now.
They had initially planned to kill her in a park, but had apparently told the husband there were too many people and that Magwaza suggested a place in Shongweni.
He claimed the husband told them he would try to get Naidu out of one of the string of pharmacies she co-owned, and drive with her in that direction.
Maphumulo said the husband stopped on the way and waited for their car.
Naidu was supposed to get out of the car and collect an envelope from their car.
He claimed she was reluctant, but her husband had pushed her out the car and that was when the three of them grabbed her.
At Shongweni, her legs were handcuffed. Magwaza allegedly held her legs while the other suspect held her hands. Maphumulo said he slit her throat and threw down the knife, but Magwaza picked it up and continued to cut her throat before throwing the knife into the bushes.
He said he and Magwaza were paid R5 000 each and were promised R40 000, which he had not received.
The provincial task team had arrested Kholekile Sithole, an alleged accomplice, last week and she was granted R5 00 bail on condition that she assist in the arrest of others said to be involved in the kidnapping and murder.
Speaking outside court on Monday, Jugdeo said it was difficult to see Naidu’s husband again. They had last seen him at the time of Naidu’s death.
“We were such a close-knit family who would often socialise together. We just want justice to be served,” he said.
Sylvester the wandering lion of the Karoo has been captured after leading trackers on a wild chase.]]> |||
Cape Town - Sylvester the wandering lion of the Karoo has been captured and safely returned home after leading trackers on a wild chase for almost a month.
According to Nico van der Walt, Park Manager at Karoo National Park, the lion was eventually captured late on Monday after the trackers found spoor in an area approximately 20km from the Karoo National Park.
“It appears the young lad had covered over 300km during his journey, and a number of sheep and a kudu were reported to have been killed by the lion since its escape,” Van der Walt said.
“The lion had been located by spotters on Monday above steep cliffs in the Nuweveld Mountains... It was darted by a SANParks vet from a helicopter and brought to safety under extremely difficult conditions. It had to be loaded into a sling underneath the chopper while lying immobilised on the mountain side. This was the most dangerous part of the operation as the helicopter blades were not more than two metres from the mountain edge with the lion lying three metres from a high cliff.”
Van der Walt said the lion has now been released into a boma and has been fitted with a tracking collar. “We are happy to report that it is in good health and it would be put under observation for the time being.”
SANParks, Chief Executive Officer, Fundisile Mketeni congratulated the team for their professionalism in discharging their duties. “This has not been an easy task to perform by any measure – we therefore thank all stakeholders from the neighboring communities and all those that assisted in this operation, including a tracking team that came from as far afield as Botswana to assist in bringing the lion back home.”
Sylvester, as the young male was dubbed, escaped from the Karoo National Park on June 5 after a portion of fence was damaged by a flash flood following heavy rains.
His escape was first noticed when a neighbouring farmer came across his spoor on his farm and alerted park managers.
Neighbouring farmers have racked up losses of 26 sheep as the three-year-old lion tried to hunt for food.
According to reports, farmers near the Karoo National Park fear that the usual rate of theft of their livestock will resume now that Sylvester had been captured. However, National Parks spokesman Rey Thakhuli said he was not aware that farmers in the area had associated the lion’s wanderings with a drop in stock theft.
Commentators on a special Karoo Facebook page also mentioned the issue of stock theft , but most residents were thankful that the lion had been captured alive without threatening the lives of farmers and their families.
Cape Argus and IOL]]>
Ongoing gang battles and guards being threatened are the reasons behind GF Jooste hospital being vandalised.]]> |||
Cape Town - Ongoing gang battles in Manenberg have prevented officials from the Western Cape department of public works from inspecting and safeguarding GF Jooste Hospital, which is being vandalised almost daily.
The department’s Al-Ameen Kafaar told the Cape Argus on Monday that departmental officials who inspected the site earlier this year became the targets of gangsters.
“In January when they started boarding off entrances to the hospital the inspectors had to be escorted off the site after being shot at several times,” he said.
Kafaar said the department empathised with the security guards stationed at the site which is situated between Manenberg and Gugulethu.
“They (security guards) faced armed threats from looters and vandals when they tried to stop them,” he said.
Last week, when a Cape Argus team visited the abandoned site, vandals stripped and damaged what was left of the hospital which is set to undergo a multimillion-rand upgrade.
The Western Cape Health Department closed down the hospital last year for major reconstruction that would roughly cost R785 million.
Manenberg Community Policing Forum (CPF) said lax security at the site was a major concern.
CPF Lluwelyn Adams said looting took place on a regular basis but neither law enforcement officials or the security took any preventive measures.
Some vandals trying to rip an aluminum window frame from a wall were caught red-handed by the Cape Argus.
The vandals accused the security of also doing the same.
The All4Security Solutions Company, earning an estimated R600 000 a year to safeguard the site, has denied the allegations.
Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said police had made arrests during patrols in the area but have not been able to successfully prosecute the looters.
“There have been two cases withdrawn as there was no owner to identify the property.
“General patrols will continue to prevent crime in the area,” he said.
According to the health department, the hospital will be rebuilt as a regional hospital and was expected to be ready next year.
The health department’s Marika Champion said that the hospital would serve a larger community than before.
“Once complete, the new hospital will provide a full range of regional hospital services and support to the primary health care platform.
“When it’s ready it will have specialised services including a paediatric section, obstetrics and gynaecology, which the old hospital didn’t have,” she said.
Meanwhile, Kafaar said the department of public works was in the process of trying to reach an agreement where the building would be used in the interim for government business.
Three men appeared in the Bultfontein Magistrate’s Court for the murder of their friend, Free State police said.]]> |||
Bloemfontein – Three men appeared in the Bultfontein Magistrate’s Court for the murder of their friend in Phahameng, Free State police said on Tuesday.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Ian Gaobepe said Mojalefa Ntep, 28, Tshepiso Ntsane, 25, and Lebohang Molefi, 26, appeared in court on Monday. The case was postponed to July 8.
“On Saturday, 27 June 2015 at around 4.10am a 24-year-old male, Jim Qwembula, was brutally murdered outside his home in Phahameng, Bultfontein by three of his friends. This happened after an apparent incident that had occurred earlier that evening,” Gaobepe said.
“The victim had allegedly earlier that evening fought with one of the suspects and stabbed him. After that initial incident earlier, the suspect who had been stabbed refused to open a case. He later organised two of his friends and went looking for the deceased.”
Gaobepe said they found Qwembula at his house in Phahameng and forced him out of the house.
The three men allegedly beat him and stabbed him with a garden fork on his left leg and a panga on the head.
Ntepe, Ntsane and Molefi were arrested and charged with murder.
A mom and her two kids, who were kept overnight in a cell in inhumane conditions, will each get R95 000 in damages.]]> |||
Durban - A mother and her two grown-up children - who had been kept in inhumane conditions in a police cell overnight, without food and bedding - would each get R95 000 for the damages they suffered, the Pietermaritzburg High Court confirmed on Monday.
Judge Jacqueline Henriques found the amount determined by the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court in May 2011 was correct, despite argument by the Minister of Safety and Security’s legal team that it should be reduced to R15 000 each.
Beauty Mbundwini, 50, and her daughters Antonnella, 21, and Ruth Mtshali, 31, had sued the state for unlawful arrest and detention, and malicious prosecution.
At the time, the mother was a domestic worker and the daughters were unemployed.
Judge Henriques said in her judgment that on January 21, 2009, eight to 10 police officers stationed at the Kwandengezi police station, near Pinetown, arrived at Mbundwini’s home.
They did not produce any search warrants, but Mbundwini gave them permission to search the house. They had been looking for her son Sazisa in connection with an armed robbery matter.
The policeman who led the search allegedly planted ammunition in a vase and told Mbundwini this.
The three women and Antonella’s two children, aged 4 and 11 months, were all put in the back of a police van and taken around the residential area, to different houses, to search for Sazisa. They eventually found him.
The women had been arrested for being in possession of ammunition. The mother had also been “physically intimidated and taunted” by the same policeman who had planted the ammunition in the vase, while his colleagues watched.
The women, and her two children, were put in a cell from midnight until about 4pm. Charges against them were withdrawn two months afterwards.
Judge Henriques said the magistrate had found that the leader of the police team had arrested and detained the women and had no intention of bringing them to justice. He also had no reasonable suspicions, on which he could exercise his discretion, to arrest them.
She said the magistrate was of the view that the facts giving rise to the arrest and detention, the inhumane conditions in which they were kept, and the continual abuse of them at the station, was an aggravating factor which led to his making the award.
Of the argument that the award was higher than in similar cases, the judge said each case had to be decided on its own facts.
She said the state employees had acted with malice, for an improper motive and without just cause.
The SA Jewish Board of Deputies has laid criminal charges against ousted Wits SRC president Mcebo Dlamini.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has laid criminal charges against ousted Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) president Mcebo Dlamini.
The SAJBD said it had laid the charges against Dlamini on Monday for racist and defamatory comments made against the South African Jewish community last week.
“Specifically, Dlamini stated regarding the Jewish community: ‘They are devils. They are good for nothing. They are hypocritical, just like (Wits University vice-chancellor) Adam Habib. They are uncircumcised in heart’.”
The comments were made during a live interview on PowerFM last Tuesday.
“Dlamini’s comments are the latest in a series of offensive public statements that he made about South African Jews over the past nine months,” the statement said.
SAJBD spokesman Jeff Katz told The Star on Monday that the SAJBD had laid charges, which included a letter of complaint outlining Dlamini’s hate speech, inciting of violence and crimen injuria, a crime under South African common law, defined as an act of “unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another”.
“Police will investigate and we hope criminal charges will be formally laid against him. We want this to go to court and, furthermore, go to trial. We are grateful to live in the constitutional democracy where such conduct is deemed a criminal offence,” sid Katz.
When The Star spoke to Dlamini on Monday night, he said he was not aware of the charges but would take the necessary action if need be. “I will meet them in court,” he said.
In defence of his remarks, Dlamini said that during his PowerFM interview last week, the Jewish community had misconstrued his “I love Hitler” comments and taken them out of context. “After this, I thought to myself, I will show you exactly who you are. They (Jews) are hypocrites!”
Dlamini was interviewed after a hearing to review his suspension as SRC president.
In response to Dlamini’s PowerFM interview, Wits University spokeswoman Shirona Patel said Habib would not respond to every “irrational, unsubstantiated comment that Mr Dlamini makes as a legal process is under way”.
Dlamini was thrust into the media spotlight recently after his “I love Hitler” comments went viral across social media.
A witness has described Mozambican hawker Emmanuel Sithole's efforts to defend himself against his attackers.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Mozambican hawker Emmanuel Sithole’s efforts to defend himself were no match against his four attackers, the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court heard on Tuesday.
The second State witness, Fabian Gomez, also a Mozambican national, told the court how the fight between Sithole and the four people accused of killing him unfolded in a street in Alexandra in April.
Mthinto Bhengu, Sizwe Mngomezulu, Sifundi Mzimela and a 17-year-old boy are charged with murder and assault with grievous bodily harm relating to the attack on Sithole during a spate of anti-foreigner violence which hit parts of South Africa.
Gomez said he sold vegetables next to Sithole’s stand and saw the four accused approach Sithole on the day of the incident.
Mngomezulu took a packet of cigarettes from Sithole and walked away without paying, Gomez told the court.
“Emmanuel followed them, asking them to give him his cigarettes back. Accused three [the minor] carried a beer bottle, he then poured the beer on Emmanuel’s body and then hit him with the bottle on the head.”
“Emmanuel tried to turn back and run away, but was hit with a spanner on his back…he then ran and they chased after him.”
Gomez, testifying in Tsonga, said he had tried to intervene and help Sithole when he saw Bhengu wielding a knife.
“People were screaming when they saw the guy trying to stab Emmanuel. Emmanuel picked up a brick to defend himself, he threw the brick at the group, I am not sure who was hit by the brick.
“Emmanuel then tried to run away, but then he fell once again… the person wielding a knife stabbed him, he stood up again and ran towards my direction.”
When Sithole stopped by Gomez’s side, the two ran towards a barber’s tent for safety. Moments after seeking shelter in the tent, Gomez testified he saw Bhengu sneak towards them from behind the tent and he then alerted Sithole to run away.
“Emmanuel did not see the one with a knife sneaking towards him, so I shouted at him to run away after I spotted him behind the tent. The rest of them returned and chased after Emmanuel again, all of them disappeared down the street…I didn’t see what happened thereafter,” Gomez said.
The trial continues.