The SANDF will assist in the probe into the death of one its employees, who was killed when a grenade was thrown at her.]]> |||
Durban - The South African National Defence Force will support and assist in the investigation into the death of one its employees, who was killed when a grenade was thrown at her, spokesman, Brigadier-General Xolani Mabanga, said on Tuesday.
Lesego Mohoasa, 33, an air force clerk for the SANDF, at the Bluff Military Base, died in the attack on Sunday morning in her Karridale Drive home in eManzimtoti.
A suspect, 44, a former officer in the air force, who served with Umkhonto we Sizwe in Angola in the 1980s, is on the run.
“All SANDF members are strictly prohibited from carrying arms and ammunitions when they are off-duty. As such, strict measures are applied to ensure that members do not contravene them.
“We are unable to comment further on this senseless killing as this matter is being investigated by the relevant authorities.
“We convey our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased,” Mabanga said.
It is alleged that Mohoasa had an argument with the suspect, after they returned from a funeral.
Police spokesman Major Thulani Zwane said no arrests had been made.
North West authorities reveal a plan to curb the growing problem of criminal youth gangs in the province.]]> |||
Potchefstroom - Police in the North West have embarked on a major drive to address a growing problem of youth gangs in the province, including members of one gang who allegedly raped a mother and her two daughters recently.
Police spokesperson Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone said authorities had recognised the threat to safety and security posed by these gangs, and police working closely with the office of the chief prosecutor in Klerksdorp had embarked on a new strategy whereby all gang-related offences were being allocated to dedicated team of investigating officers and prosecutors and these initiatives were starting to bear positive fruit.
“On Friday, 28 August 2015, six members belonging to the Dickies Lovers and Dogs For Money gangs appeared before the Klerksdorp Magistrates’ Court for bail application. The members of these two gangs normally work together as the Jack rollers to commit rapes.
“Due to the intensive investigation and the incriminating evidence linking them to the house robbery and rape of a mother and her two daughters in Jouberton, they have abandoned their bail application and are remanded in custody until the 6 November 2015.
“The arrest of these six has brought the total number of gangsters already arrested including on a charge of murder to 20,” Mokgwabone said. “The investigation to track and apprehend their accomplices and other gangs is continuing and more arrests can be expected.”
Mokgwabone said that the “moral fibre, social cohesion, peace and security within the communities of Kanana, Jouberton and Khuma in Matlosana have over the past few years been eroded by the emergence and mushrooming of gangs”.
“These gangs, which are mostly youth, have through their total disregard of public order and the law brought fear, despair and anarchy among their communities,” Mokgwabone said. “Crime and criminality especially at night, over weekends and on month ends have gripped these communities where marauding rival gangs often go out to attack opposing gang members. Law abiding citizens have borne the brunt of their criminal acts ranging from assaults, murders, rapes, robberies, intimidation, house and business robberies.
“Young children in schools have not escaped the evil clutches and bad influence of the many gangs operating in these communities and this has necessitated the South African Police Service (SAPS) to develop a multi-disciplinary Gangs and Drugs Operational Plan, of which the objective is not only to combat, prevent, investigate and prosecute gang related crimes but also to mobilise all relevant government and community structures to take a stand against and eradicate this anti-social behaviour.
A community outreach initiative was recently held in Kanana where the Criminal Justice departments, Education, Social Development, Correctional Services, faith-based organisations and the community participated.
Cluster Commander of Klerksdorp, Major General Patrick Asaneng, said: “We call upon all parents, community leaders and the entire communities of Khuma, Kanana and Jouberton to work with the police in making sure that the youth are protected from bad influences of drugs and gangs. Community Police Forums must take an active role in making sure that those who continue to pollute the young by supplying them with drugs and liquor including drug dealers and even non-compliant licensed liquor traders are reported so that they can be arrested and prosecuted.”
Two people have reportedly been shot during an armed robbery at a petrol station near Cape Town International Airport.]]> |||
Cape Town - Two people have reportedly been shot during an armed robbery at a petrol station near Cape Town International Airport on Wednesday.
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk confirmed that an armed robbery took place at the BP service station earlier on Wednesday.
He said there were few details, but police had cordoned off the garage and were on the scene.
Some Pretoria residents are alleging heavy-handedness and even bribery and assault by community patrollers.]]> |||
Pretoria - The use of Gauteng community safety department’s patrollers to monitor central Pretoria streets was an effort by the provincial government to assist both the police and the public “with additional feet on the ground”, senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, Dr Johan Burger said on Wednesday.
“However, they are not ‘police officers’ or ‘peace officers’ as defined in section 1 of the Criminal Procedure Act, and therefore they do not have the powers that the Act bestows on these officers. They will not, for example, have the powers to stop and search persons and/or to arrest them – except under the circumstances provided for in the attached section 42 of the Act,” said Burger.
“In fact, their powers are limited to precisely the same as that of any other ordinary citizen, as described in section 42. Anything these patrollers do, that fall outside of the provisions of section 42, would be unlawful (of course, apart from specific situations where they are called upon by a police or peace officer for assistance as provided for in section 47 of the Act.”
For some time now, some Pretoria residents have been alleging heavy-handedness and even assault by the patrollers who man several streets in the city centre and surrounding areas, including densely-populated Sunnyside and Marabastad. The patrollers wait at major street intersections, summarily stopping and searching pedestrians and checking identification documents. They also arrest suspected criminals.
Burger said residents’ voluntarism should drive their co-operation with the patrollers.
“One could perhaps also allow for voluntary public co-operation with these patrollers when they make a friendly and reasonable request, keeping in mind the greater purpose of promoting safety and security, such as we see with the Radio 702 and Outsurance points people at busy intersections,” he said.
“Since these patrollers are, as far as I know, appointed by the Gauteng department of community safety, I would think that that is a good place to start for people with complaints.”
Some pedestrians alleged that apart from being frisked, they have been forced to pay bribes when they could not produce identification, or provide proof that they owned certain items which they had on their person.
Howard Dembovsky, national chairperson of the Justice Project SA said the patrollers had no right to “stop and search” anybody.
“Community patrollers, organised or not, have no legal standing beyond the rights afforded to every citizen. They have no right to stop and search anyone. Police have only limited powers to do so in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act. Patrollers may not demand any form of identification,” said Dembovsky.
“The community patrollers have a role to play as being the eyes and ears of the police. They are not police. If people have complaints about them, they should lodge them directly with the police station commander of the SA Police Service jurisdiction concerned.”
On Tuesday, Gauteng community safety’s Busaphi Nxumalo said the patrollers were making a difference in the fight against crime within the capital city.
“Patrollers are working with the police to combat crime in our communities. They are trained to deal with the society and obviously to search and effect arrests if necessary. Yes, they are not traffic officers or fully fledged cops, but they assist law enforcers and the community at large. Community Policing Forums are an active organisation and are legal,” she said.
“Crime in Gauteng has increased, more especially house robberies at night, so most of the time these guys don’t sleep, patrolling, while the people who are complaining about them are guarded by the very same patrollers. Patrollers also work at schools. Remember the violence that is continuously taking place in the school premises.”
She said without the community patrollers, the country would not manage to deal with rampant crime.
Regarding allegations of corruption by the patrollers, Nxumalo said she would not comment on the matter because no proof had been provided.
“Let the people go and open a case against the patroller immediately when they are forced to bribe the patrollers. Why do they give them money because they also know it’s a criminal act? Let’s not talk bad of our patrollers because they are doing it out of love for the community and they are not even paid,” she said.
“They risk with their lives on a daily basis. Lastly, they have a right to search anybody provided they have information and the reason to believe (that there is need to conduct a search). They are given permission by the station to conduct the operation.”
Pretoria central police station spokesperson, Warrant Officer Ann Poortman, said she would only respond to the allegations after consulting the station commander.
A high court judge is yet to rule on the admissibility of a confession made by funeral parlour murder accused Deon Mkhwanazi.]]> |||
Kimberley - A Northern Cape High Court Judge is yet to rule on the admissibility of a confession made by murder accused Deon Mkhwanazi, as evidence in his ongoing murder trial.
Mkhwanazi stands accused of murdering local funeral undertaker Wilco Motlhatledi in Lerato Park last year.
Motlhatledi, who was the owner of the Galeshewe-based K Galalelo Funeral Parlours, was shot dead “execution-style” with a single shot between the eyes, allegedly by Mkhwanazi, who pretended to be a potential client.
The State alleges that Mkhwanazi lured Motlhatledi into the veld and shot him at point-blank range. He was killed in front of an employee, Oswald Riet, who accompanied him on the “fake” call-out. They picked up the alleged killer in Motlhatledi’s car. The murder was also witnessed by the employee’s four-year-old child.
The murder trial kicked off on Monday with Riet testifying about the incident.
The State then indicated that it wanted to hand in a “confession” made by Mkhwanazi on June 13 to a Barkly West magistrate, Cornelia Voster, but its admissibility as evidence was challenged by Mkhwanazi’s legal representative, Ferdi van Heerden, who said that the confession was obtained in an “unlawful and unconstitutional manner”.
Van Heerden alleges that his client was assaulted and influenced by police officials to make the statement, and that he was also promised to be made a section 204 witness (State witness) if he did so.
The admissibility of this confession has now become the subject of a “trial-within-a-trial”, which is expected to continue in the Northern Cape High Court on Wednesday.
Speculation has been rife among friends and family of Motlhatledi that the murder was an “organised hit” and, while no details of the said “confession” are allowed to be made known during court proceedings before Judge Johann Olivier has ruled on its admissibility, it is believed that its contents could also possibly implicate the persons alleged to have “ordered” the “hit”.
The investigating officer (IO), Warrant Officer Henk van der Merwe, on Tuesday took the witness stand and testified that while he did take a “Section 204” statement from Mkhwanazi, he did inform the accused that the application to the Director of Public Prosecutions (to be accepted as a State witness) had failed.
However, Van der Merwe testified that Mkhwanazi remained “adamant” that he wanted to “see a magistrate”, a request to which he obliged by organising an appointment with Voster, where he made the disputed “confession”.
Van Heerden on Tuesday repeatedly cross-examined Van der Merwe about the 204 statement and the chain of events leading up to the appointment with Voster, and stated that the IO had fundamentally produced three different versions to the court.
Van Heerden said that while, in a written statement, Van der Merwe said Mkhwanazi wanted to make a confession in front of a magistrate, he told the court during his testimony that he had “no idea” why the accused wanted to see a magistrate, and again later said that Mkhwanazi indicated that he wanted to repeat what he had said in the 204 statement.
Van Heerden added that at no time, immediately before making the 204 statement or before seeing Voster, was his client informed of his rights to remain silent or have a legal representative present and that his client was under the impression that a visit to a magistrate was the last step in being set free.
Van der Merwe responded by saying that Mkhwanazi had received a “14A form”, explaining all his rights, while in holding the cells. He also denied assaulting Mkhwanazi, saying that he was in Bloemfontein on the day of the alleged incident.
Mkhwanazi on Tuesday remained hostile towards members of the media, waving his fists at them and saying that he was going to kill them.
His case will continue on Wednesday.
Diamond Fields Advertiser]]>
Cosas wants pupils to physically retaliate and open criminal cases against teachers who have assaulted them.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The Congress of South African Students (Cosas) won’t withdraw its call that pupils “return fire with fire” if they are assaulted by teachers.
Instead, the organisation wants pupils to physically retaliate and open cases against teachers until the department implements resolutions from last year’s discipline summit.
At a media briefing on Wednesday, Cosas deputy secretary-general Zama Khanyase said the call to retaliate wouldn’t cause chaos in schools as most of them were already chaotic.
“There’s chaos in schools. It’s just that the chaos hasn’t received media coverage,” said Khanyase. “We, as Cosas, are hurt that when a teacher is hit, the media and the department will go there, but when a learner is hit, we don’t get that response. Even before we made the call, there were learners defending themselves.”
She said the resolutions from last year’s discipline summit should be implemented. One of the resolutions was that teachers needed to find alternative ways of disciplining pupils other than corporal punishment, which has been abolished.
“The summit said we must look into alternatives. We understand that teachers are frustrated. As part of our call, we are telling the Department of Basic Education that let us implement the resolutions of the discipline summit,” Khanyase said.
Until then, she said, Cosas wouldn’t take back its call for pupils to defend themselves. “We can’t retract this call until we feel that justice is given to learners. When we say fight fire with fire, we mean that if a teacher hits you, report it to the police.”
Spokeswoman for the Department of Basic Education Troy Martens said it would engage with the leadership of Cosas to ensure there was no violence in schools. “This is concerning. We don’t want schools to be turned into war zones,” she said.
Cosas also announced its decision to uphold the sacking of its president Sandra Baloyi and treasurer Ntombikayise Tini by a special national congress.
Acting president Kagiso Kgabo said six provinces had demanded a special congress and raised motions of no confidence against the two.
Kgabo said Tini and Baloyi would be brought before a disciplinary hearing on charges of bringing the organisation into disrepute with regard to comments they made on social media regarding the legality of the special congress.
The ANC in Limpopo has suffered a legal blow in its plans to remove the Speaker of the legislature Merriam Ramadwa.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The ANC in Limpopo has suffered a legal blow in its plans to remove the Speaker of the legislature, Merriam Ramadwa.
On Tuesday, the EFF, which is the official opposition in the province, successfully obtained an interim court order against the ruling party’s substantive motion to remove Ramadwa.
served on the legislature on Tuesday and forced the ANC to remove the motion from the order paper at the last minute. Yesterday’s motion was introduced last week in the form of a notice of motion by ANC chief whip Falaza Mdaka to remove the Speaker.
EFF provincial chairman and MPL Mike Mathebe confirmed the court order.
“The legislature was served with the court order that forced the House to remove the item from the order paper, and it was never discussed, (during debates in the legislature).”
Mathebe described the order as a victory for the EFF.
Last week, the opposition staged a walkout after Deputy Speaker Lehlogonolo Masoga, who presided over the proceedings, turned down their request to conduct Ramadwa’s removal through a secret ballot.
Tuesday’s court order frustrated the ANC’s plans to remove Ramadwa as Speaker.
Even after it suspended her party membership and ordered her not to enter the legislature premises last month, she officially remained Speaker.
The fault lines between the ANC and its official, Ramadwa, began to show in May when she refused to resign. The ANC had wanted her to swop positions with former MP Polly Boshielo. Former ANC provincial secretary Joe Maswanganyi made way for her by agreeing to move to Cape Town.
Spokesman for the legislature Andries Lekalakala said a media briefing was due to be held on Wednesday to chart the way forward.
The Gauteng provincial government has spent over R500 million to settle medical lawsuits over a period of five years.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The Gauteng provincial government has spent more than R500 million to settle medical lawsuits over a period of five years.
This was revealed by Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu, who was replying to questions from the DA spokesman on health, Jack Bloom, in the legislature on Tuesday.
Bloom asked Mahlangu to give details of medical lawsuits the government had won and lost since 2010 and those it settled out of court during the same period.
In her reply, Mahlangu said the government had lost 168 cases and had made payouts to victims amounting to R540m.
She told the legislature that her department had solicited the help of retired Judge Neels Claassen to deal with the growing number of medical lawsuits against the department.
She said Judge Claassen and senior officials in the department had already begun talking to various medical practitioners, gynaecologists and nurses in labour wards about safety measures to be undertaken during birth.
“Judge Claassen is already talking to the different officials in the labour wards to do proper record-keeping about their patients. We also emphasise that it is important for pregnant women to attend their antenatal services to prevent cases of medical negligence. We encourage them to attend soon after discovering that they are pregnant.
“During the same time, we are investing more on the employment of people in the labour units, especially in hospitals like Tembisa and Chris Hani Baragwanath, which have the highest cases of lawsuits against them,” Mahlangu said.
She said the judge was part of their redress committee, aimed at resolving these cases with the affected patients to prevent the matters being settled in courts.
The conduct of state attorneys, according to Mahlangu, would also come under focus, saying that - at times - they were making out-of-court settlements without the knowledge of her department. So far, the department had settled eight cases out of court.
Reacting, Bloom said: “I welcome MEC Mahlangu’s announcement in the legislature that the department will not fight unnecessary court cases and will admit guilt where indicated.
“This has not been the case in the past, including the recent R13.1m settlement for brain-damaged child Nonjabulo Mavimbela where the department appealed fruitlessly for two years after losing the case in court.”
Bloom said he hoped that these measures would help to ensure fair and speedy settlements of medical negligence, and also fix the root cause of the poor care in the province’s hospitals.
The latest report on South African birth shows that a large number of households are headed by single mothers.]]> |||
Cape Town - South African fathers are largely absent from the lives of their children with the latest report on the country’s births showing that a large number of households are headed by single mothers.
Statistics South Africa released a report on Tuesday on recorded “live births” in 2014.
More than 1.1 million births were registered last year. However, 64 percent had no information on fathers.
The report revealed that while 60 percent of fathers were recorded as legally married, only 31 percent of mothers said they were married, suggesting that many fathers were absent in their households or the raising of their children.
A total of 886 202 births were recorded last year, while 274 957, or 24 percent, were births that occurred in previous years, but registered last year. More than half of the births were registered within 30 days, but only 76 percent of births were registered by the end of last year.
Presenting the report in Parliament on Tuesday, statistician general, Pali Lehohla, said child mortality was also dropping considerably in the country, to about 25 700 or 29.9 per 1 000 live births in 2013 – a significant drop from the 38 228 deaths or 43.5 percent per 1 000 births that were recorded in 2009.
Lehohla said of the 886 202 babies born last year, more than 50 percent were to single mothers and 61.3 percent of births had no information about the fathers of the babies.
According to the 2011 Census, 53 percent who gave birth were single women, and only 30 percent were married. Seventeen percent were cohabiting.
KwaZulu-Natal had the most mothers who never married at 24 percent followed by Gauteng at 17 percent and Limpopo at 14 percent.
Only 8 percent of Western Cape mothers never married while the Northern Cape was lowest at 3 percent.
These women were also more likely to receive care giving and economic support from their mothers than fathers.
Unmarried young mothers were financially struggling, with only 20 percent of those aged between 15 and 19 having full-time jobs.
Activists are in disbelief that a warrant of arrest has not been issued for the man who allegedly threw grenades at his wife.]]> |||
Durban - Gender activists and crime researchers have expressed disbelief that the police had not yet applied for a warrant of arrest for a former lieutenant-colonel who allegedly threw two hand grenades at his wife in their eManzimtoti home on Sunday, killing her.
They pointed out that he stood accused of committing a “dangerous attack” using state weaponry which should not have been in his possession.
One crime expert questioned whether there was not an aspect to the attack and the man’s disappearance that “we are completely unaware of”.
According to police, the couple, had been arguing in their Karridale Drive home in eManzimtoti on Sunday morning when the man threw the grenades and one exploded in the kitchen.
The woman, who has been identified as Lesego Mohoasa, 33, an air force clerk for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) at the Bluff Military Base, was declared dead on arrival at Kingsway Hospital and the man, who is also an uMkhonto we Sizwe veteran, fled and has not yet been found.
Police have confirmed that they were investigating a case of murder and illegal possession of explosives, but provincial police spokesman Major Thulani Zwane told The Mercury that a warrant of arrest had not yet been issued for the man.
He said this was because the families and people close to the man were “co-operating” and his identity was not being released to the media.
He said all police units, including crime intelligence, had been activated to search for him.
Johan Burger, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, said it was “strange” that police wanted to explore other avenues before applying for a warrant of arrest.
“The police should start searching for this person immediately. Clearly this is a very dangerous person. There is absolutely no justification for waiting.
“It is possible that there is an angle to this case that we are completely unaware of. But other than that, it would make absolutely no sense to treat the case in the way that they are doing it,” he said.
Burger said the normal procedure was that once the police were confident that they knew who the suspect was, they would apply for a warrant of arrest. If the suspect had run away, he could be anywhere.
Burger said if police had a reason to believe the man had fled the country, the warrant of arrest had to be made available to Interpol.
Gender activist Anshu Padayachee, a co-founder of the Advice Desk for Abused Women, agreed with Burger’s view.
“It’s a devastating incident. It is worrying that there is no warrant of arrest especially when it is our constant complaint that police do not act when we want them to.”
She added that the matter was “particularly serious” because of the use of military weapons.
Another gender activist, Lisa Vetten, a research associate at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, and who has done extensive research on violence against women, said it was shocking how police were treating the case, given that there was already criticism about the police’s conduct in cases involving violence against women.
“In August, Women’s Month, police were criticised, even in Parliament, for not responding properly to woman abuse cases. It is unacceptable. The co-operation from the family has nothing to do with the issue of the warrant of arrest,” she said.
KZN MEC for Safety and Community Liaison Willies Mchunu said he was disturbed by “this senseless, inhumane and diabolical” murder.
“It is extremely painful to wake up to the terrible news that a woman has been murdered in such a nefarious manner.
“We also appeal to the suspect to hand himself over and urge anyone who might have any information to come forward.”
MK man’s military career:
According to the official magazine of the SA Air Force, the senior officer was born in Umlazi, and attended secondary school in Benoni.
He joined MK in Angola in the 1980s, after leaving the country for military training.
In 1989, he was deployed to the office of the chief representative of the ANC in Zambia.
He was integrated into the SA Air Force Protection Services in 1994. After courses in military orientation and officer forming, he also completed the regimental instructor’s course. He served as the protection operations officer for 516 Squadron and commanding officer of 502 and 506 squadrons before he took early retirement.
At least 800 patients are on waiting lists for orthopaedic operations in Gauteng hospitals, DA health spokesman Jack Bloom said.]]> |||
Johannesburg - At least 800 patients are on waiting lists for orthopaedic operations in Gauteng hospitals, Democratic Alliance health spokesman Jack Bloom said on Wednesday.
“This was disclosed yesterday [Tuesday] by Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in an oral reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature. According to Mahlangu, emergency orthopaedic cases are done daily, and take no longer than 14 days,” Bloom said.
“She said that people lost mobility when operations were delayed and the department had apologised for this.”
Bloom added that a patient, Aubrey Moerane, was told by health workers at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto that he would have to wait for seven years for a hip operation.
“I look forward to the new measures which will hopefully alleviate the suffering of many patients who need hip, knee or spinal surgery, some of whom are currently in wheelchairs. I welcome the MEC’s announcement that the department is finalising a plan to wipe out the surgery backlog,” Bloom said.
“This will require extra theatre time, availability of intensive care beds and collaboration with the private health sector.”
Backyarders in Langa vented their anger demanding that they should be beneficiaries in a new housing project.]]> |||
Cape Town - A sleepless night on the floor in a two-bedroom house she shares with nine of her family members led Nontando Bambani to participate in a violent protest in Langa on Tuesday.
Bambani was one of 100 backyarders who vented their anger, demanding that they should be beneficiaries in a new housing project in Langa.
On Tuesday, the City’s mayoral committee member for human settlements, Benedicta van Minnen, said they would not be “bullied by thugs” that have no regard for the best interests of the broader community of Langa.
She claimed the protesters were a group of youths. However, the Cape Times noticed that Tuesday’s protesters were mostly adult men and women.
People have been protesting since last Monday. Langa backyarders have burnt tyres and thrown rubbish in Bhunga Avenue, blocking several roads hoping that the City would include them on the list of beneficiaries for 463 houses being built in the area.
On Tuesday an office of the City’s disaster risk management was damaged by the protesters and three people were arrested for public violence.
Construction and allocation to beneficiaries was suspended due to the ongoing protest.
Bambani, 46, who lives with her two children and seven relatives, said she had hoped she would own one of the two-bedroom houses which also has a lounge, kitchen and bathroom.
She said her dreams were dashed when the City did not include backyarders on the beneficiary list.
She described her current living conditions as unbearable, tough and a humiliation.
“There is no privacy. Women and men have to undress in full view of each other, it’s pathetic.”
She said she has been on the housing database demand since 1999 and she has been bypassed in the last three housing developments in Langa.
“Patience has not taken me anywhere and this time I am not backing down until I am recognised as someone who deserves a house.”
Vusumzi Mandindi, spokesperson for Sivukile Sonele, the organisation representing the backyarders, said backyarders protested only after the City failed to honour a meeting on Monday afternoon, where it was expected that an amicable solution would be reached.
“People want answers when they would be allocated houses,” said Mandindi.
Van Minnen said the allocation of the houses had been done in accordance with the national subsidy criteria, adding the 463 units is the first phase of more than 1 300 units to be built in the next five years. Backyarders will be accommodated in the project’s second phase.
She said the protest would have continued irrespective of the City’s attendance at Monday’s meeting.
“The City received an invitation at short notice,” said Van Minnen, adding that the City had notified the national human settlement department that the City would not be able to attend.
“The City requested (the protesters’) concerns to be sent in writing. The City has engaged in an open, transparent and bona fide manner,” she said. Police spokesperson Noloyiso Qwexana confirmed the three arrests
A mom and her four-month-old baby were injured in an attempted hijacking in Rosettenville, ER24 paramedics said.]]> |||
Johannesburg - A woman and her four-month-old child were injured on Wednesday morning in an attempted hijacking in the south of Johannesburg, said paramedics.
ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring said the incident occurred on Bouquet Road in Rosettenville.
Meiring said paramedics found both the mother and child standing next to their vehicle, which had crashed into a wall.
“On assessment, paramedics found that both the mother and child had sustained only minor injuries in this incident.”
Paramedics treated both patients and transported them to Southrand Hospital for further treatment.
The mother later told paramedics that she had apparently been hit in the face as she was pulling her child from the vehicle.
Local authorities were on scene for further investigations.
Murder accused Joseph Selala allegedly wrote a ‘suicide’ note saying that he was going to kill the mother of his children.]]> |||
Pretoria - In a “suicide” letter the State alleges was written by the former traffic chief of Siyabuswa, east of Pretoria, he allegedly said he was going to kill the mother of his two children as she had “ruined” his life.
Joseph Selala, 43, is facing three charges of murder in the high court in Pretoria. He allegedly shot his common law wife Vicky Masemola and his two daughters, Kgomotso, 12, and Tlakale Masemola, 8.
Vicky was found dead in her bed following a visit from Selala on December 6, 2013, at her parental home where she stayed at the time. Three empty cartridges were found on the bed.
The two children were found dead in their bed at the home of the accused, where they stayed that night.
Empty cartridges were also found on their bed.
Selala pleaded not guilty to the triple murders and elected to remain silent regarding his defence.
A family member, Magdalene Selala, testified that the accused phoned her on that fateful day and told her to go to his parental home, where he had left a letter in his bedroom. He asked her to read the letter to his mother and to take the police to his house, where they would find “two of his children he had killed”.
In the letter, handed in as an exhibit, Selala allegedly expressed his love for all his children, including the two siblings who were shot dead. He called them his pillars.
It starts off by saying: “I have tried everything possible in life to be the best brother and a good father to my lovely kids… I did not plan to leave you unprepared like this.”
The letter also said that his life was “ruined by my future wife Vicky”.
“I cant take it further. I have decided to kill her for her professional prostitution which she had been practising for a long time. She is a b****… She says my mother is bewitching. That is not true.”
The State closed its case on Tuesday and the defence indicated it would call several witnesses on Wednesday.
The family of the victim told the Pretoria News outside court on Tuesday that Vicky was a kind and loving person. She adored her children, they said. She was an accountant at KPMG at the time of her death.
The family said they were devastated by the news of her and the children’s death. They are a close- knit family and all six her siblings are attending the trial.
The family said they just want to see justice to try to find closure.
Judge Bert Bam this week heard testimony of other family members, who said the accused fetched his two daughters from their grandmother’s home, where they stayed. He also visited the children’s mother in the early hours of the morning she died.
A supernatural game played by school children has been called "demonic" and is sowing fear and panic in Cape Town.]]> |||
Cape Town - A supernatural game played by school children has been called “demonic” and is sowing fear and panic in Cape Town.
Principals from several primary and high schools have now banned the game, saying any pupil caught playing it will be expelled.
The game called “Charlie Charlie” is played with two pencils placed across each other on a piece of paper on which “Yes” and “No” are written.
The spirit of Charlie is “summoned” and asked questions, and Charlie responds by moving the pencils.
Pelican Park Primary school circulated a SMS saying: “Parents, pls be aware of new game, Charlie Charlie, a demonic game downlded frm internet, is prohibited at our school. Learner caught will be suspended.”
One scared 12-year-old boy from Steenberg says he has not been back to school after seeing his friends play the game: “We sat in class on Monday when they started playing this game.
“They asked me to join and I said no but they continued without me and I watched them play.
“They chanted the name ‘Charlie’ thrice and asked, ‘Do you like girls, Charlie?’
“And then the pencil moved without anyone touching it. I got so scared, I thought [the spirit] would come for me.”
However, the boy’s father believes there is a scientific explanation for the pencil moving.
The father said: “I saw this game on a TV documentary just last week. The top pencil is placed in a certain position, it will move as soon as it’s slightly touched or breathing over it.”
But he does find it “weird” that the pencil only moves after the child asked the question.
Carol Johnson from Mitchells Plain said her 14-year-old daughter came home frantic on Monday.
Johnson said: “My daughter couldn’t sleep that night because she was afraid, we prayed before she went to sleep but she was restless again after 1am.
“I will go to the school and plead with the principal to do something about this satanic game.”
Principal Erfaan Dollie of Seaview Primary School in Rocklands, admits the game has been played at his school.
“I am dealing with this situation and I can assure parents that they need not worry because this is all a new trend, just like other such games that came over the years,” Dollie said.
“Why is it that these things are not heard of at upper class schools, why is it just happening at the poorer schools?
“Because our people lack education about these things.
“If you are raising your child with proper morals and values then such games won’t be treated with as much attention as the children are treating it now.
“I have a good school and I don’t tolerate these kind of disruptions.”
Spokesperson for the Western Cape Education Department Jessica Shelver said they were not aware of the matter.
History of the game of ghosts
The “Charlie Charlie” game is a modern incarnation of a Spanish paper-and-pencil game called Juego de la Lapicera, literally meaning “the game of the pens”.
Teenage girls have played Juego de la Lapicera for generations in Spain and Hispanic America, asking which boys fancy them.
The game was popularised in the English-speaking world in 2015, partly through the hashtag #CharlieCharlieChallenge.
Dabbling in the spirit world is not new for South African kids – many have tried their hand at the spooky Ouija board, or played “glasie glasie”.
These games all involve communicating with the supernatural.
But the biggest mystery now is, who exactly is Charlie?
There seems to be quite a few versions, with some Spanish sites saying Charlie could be a child who committed suicide, the victim of a fatal car accident, or a pagan Mexican deity who now convenes with the Christian devil.
Emma Bosiu was in tears as the trial of three people accused of killing and burning her niece was again postponed.]]> |||
Johannesburg - She opened her mouth to speak but words failed her. Instead, tears poured out of her eyes and streamed down her face.
Disappointed with yet another postponement in the murder trial of the three people accused of killing her niece, Emma Bosiu said: “This is emotionally draining. We always come here filled with hope that… we will get closure. All I need to know is why did they have to kill her.”
She was speaking to The Star moments after the case was postponed in the high court in Joburg on Tuesday.
Since last month, Bosiu and other relatives had been hoping that the murder trial of Candice Prevost, her fiancé Ashley de Villiers and former fiancé Wayne Williams would finally start.
The three are accused of luring Bosiu’s saleswoman niece, Nthabiseng Selesho, 23, to their Boksburg home under the pretext of buying jewellery, killing her and setting her body alight after stealing the jewellery, worth over R300 000, on September 4 last year.
Allegations are that the trio were in financial difficulties when Prevost, who was Nthabiseng’s client, told both men about her and the fact that she meets clients at their homes or their offices, carrying the jewellery she was selling.
De Villiers allegedly told Prevost to call Nthabiseng and set up an appointment to meet them at their home. Nthabiseng went to the house where the three were staying, but was killed and robbed of her jewellery. Her body was then set alight.
The trial was supposed to have started on Monday but was postponed to allow the lawyers to consult with their clients. It was postponed once again on Tuesday to allow Williams and Prevost to consult with lawyers.
At the time of her death, Nthabiseng left behind a four-month-old baby, her mother Kedibone and teenage brother.
However, tragedy struck the family again in April this year when Kedibone’s boyfriend shot and killed her as she sat in her car while returning from a gospel festival. He then went home and committed suicide. With both Nthabiseng and Kedibone dead, the children had to leave their home. Nthabiseng’s son went to live with his father, Ketso Monaheng, while her teenage brother went to live with his father and his wife.
Bosiu said the events had left the family shattered.
“The children have now been split among the families and no one lives at the house anymore. Kedibone was never fine after her daughter was killed.
“She was very passionate to see whether this case would end, and now that she is not here anymore, we have to carry on and attend the court case. Sometimes I think it is better if I don’t come, but when I think of Kedibone, I know that I have to be here.
“She was broken about what happened to her child.”
Spring has sprung. But Sactwu’s annual Spring Queen and Fashion Pageant is still without a venue.]]> |||
Cape Town - Spring has sprung. But for the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu), the season has brought with it uncertainty - the union’s annual Spring Queen and Fashion Pageant is still without a venue.
With less than three months to go, the union is struggling to find an appropriate indoor venue to accommodate the more than 6 000 clothing industry workers and business leaders who are likely to attend the event.
This is after the City of Cape Town rented the Good Hope Centre to Film Africa until December.
The pageant has up to 48 competitors in the final round who will be battling it out for title of Spring Queen. The women are aged between 18 and 40.
The event forms part of the union’s bi-local campaign, which promotes locally manufactured clothing, footwear, leather and textile products.
The union was hoping to host its 40th anniversary at the centre on November 14 this year, as it has done every year for decades.
Even booking a year in advance did not secure a place for the union to host its most popular event, said Sactwu spokesman Fachmy Abrahams.
“This is an event that gives the ordinary clothing machinist an opportunity to sit next to the managing director of a company as they cheer on the people representing their product,” he said.
When asked if the union had tried alternative venues, Abrahams said: “No appropriate indoor venues have been located.
“We are trying to make lemonade out of lemons without giving the city an opportunity to block us.”
On Monday, the Cape Argus visited the Good Hope Centre which was a hive of activity as Film Africa crews built the sets for a new four-part mini-series about the discovery of Egyptian boy king Tutankhamun’s tomb.
Mayco member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development Garreth Bloor said the centre was being rented to Film Africa but would not reveal the monthly cost, saying: “The facility has been hired in accordance with the applicable tariff policy.”
He added that the mini-series would be filmed on site.
Leasing agreements for the Good Hope Centre was put on hold earlier this year so that the city could conduct a public participation process.
On Monday, Bloor told the Cape Argus that this fell in line with the Municipal Assets Transfer Regulations. Yesterday, Bloor said that hiring does not require public participation.
The city’s decision to rent the Good Hope Centre to Film Africa had raised the ire of local vendors like Sactwu, which said the city had no regard for “loyal organisations that had supported it throughout the years”.
Early last month, the Cape Malay Choir Board, Sactwu, the Bo-Kaap Civic Association and the District 6 Working Committee launched the RAAKWYS! Campaign to oppose the city’s plans to lease the building.
They are planning to mobilise more than 20 000 people to march against the city’s plans.
Clive Naidoo tried to set the record straight surrounding his altercation with a JMPD cop but SA tweeps were unforgiving.]]> |||
Johannesburg - “South Africa, I apologize (sic) sincerely”
With that tweet, Clive Naidoo believed he would set the record straight surrounding his altercation with an unidentified Johannesburg Metro Police Department officer, which he captured on video and circulated on social media.
His video, captured after he allegedly ran a red traffic light, has become a social media sensation making the hashtag #CliveNaidoo a top trend on Twitter.
But the South African twittersphere can be unforgiving at times.
After becoming the subject of memes that completely took the mickey out of him, Naidoo took to Twitter on Tuesday night to “tell his side of the story”.
The Twitter handle @MrCliveNaidoo was allegedly set up by him solely for that purpose.
Despite his apology, Twitter users got stuck into him once again.
“Has the lady's salary increased yet?” asked one user.
“Don’t apologise to us, apologise to the officer,” read another.
Some even wanted to meet him in person. “How do I get to Bloubosrand from Hyde Park?” they asked.
It all became too much for Naidoo. “Hi guys, please respect me. The officer went too far. I was wrong too, but enough.”
Naidoo said he had been receiving hate messages on his cellphone and that it wasn't his intention to tell the officer that he paid her salary.
He said he was still going ahead with his complaint to the Johannesburg Metro Police Department.
“Unfortunately i am going ahead with the complaint. The woman was unfair and rude,” he tweeted.
Naidoo de-activated the Twitter account a few hours later apparently unable to cope with the trolling.
“Ok, bye guys. I'm deactivating. I wanted you guys to see my side of the story. Honestly. I'm also deleting the video on my fb page.”
Most times he wore a balaclava, but it was a Soshanguve serial rapist’s scar and “beaded” penis that gave him away.]]> |||
Pretoria - “He ruined our lives. We will never forgive him and we hope he rots in jail.”
This was the reaction of some of the victims of the so-called Soshanguve serial rapist who, masked with a balaclava in most instances, raped his victims either at knife- or gunpoint, before robbing them.
Sipho Mbokazi vehemently denied throughout his high court trial in Pretoria that he was a rapist and said it was a case of mistaken identity. This was despite DNA evidence linking him to a few of the rapes and some of the victims saying they would never forget his eyes.
In the instances where he did not wear a face mask, his victims identified him by a distinctive scar on his face. But Mbokazi’s “beaded” penis had cost him dearly, as most of the witnesses described their attacker as having a “bumpy penis”.
Mbokazi admitted that he used to wear beads on his private parts, but said he had since removed them.
He told the court it was not an uncommon practice and that there were many other people who did the same.
He was adamant that he was not the rapist identified by the victims, but could not explain the DNA evidence that linked him to the crimes. His advocate instead attacked the chain followed in analysing the DNA collected at the crime scenes.
But Judge Jody Kollapen found that he was the man who embarked on a reign of terror in Soshanguve for a year and a half, starting in August 2012 and ending in April the following year.
He convicted Mbokazi on 22 of the 35 charges against him. These include 10 charges of rape and nine of robbery with aggravating circumstances.
He found that the victims positively identified him by either his eyes, scar or private parts.
The judge said the DNA evidence couldn’t be disputed.
He also rejected the defence’s argument that the doctors who examined the victims, in most cases could not find any injuries on them. He pointed out that according to the medical evidence, in 70 percent of rape cases no injuries were found.
The court was packed with Mbokazi’s victims, and the judge in acquitting him on some of the charges, explained to them that it was not because he did not believe what had happened to them.
He said he had to give Mbokazi the benefit of the doubt in some of the cases where witnesses were not able to identify him at all.
Several of the victims burst out in tears and cried inconsolably as Mbokazi was convicted.
A young mother, who was brutally raped in front of her 6-year-old son, said the child has been terrified ever since. “He does not want to stay with me and he is terrified of the dark.”
The victims all said they were relieved that their rapist had been convicted.
Emotions ran high during the bail hearing of the 10 Tactical Response Team police officers charged with torture and murder.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Emotions ran high in the Tembisa Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday during the bail hearing of 10 police officers from the Tactical Response Team (TRT) in the area.
They are charged with the torture and murder of Khuthazile Mbendu, 37, in Ivory Park in December last year.
The courtroom was packed with family and friends of the police officers and Mbendu.
An off-duty officer said he believed the 10 men were innocent. “They can’t be accused of such unfair actions. We’re here to support them,” he said, pointing to a group of men.
During bail proceedings, it was revealed that Mbendu had allegedly stolen a car and that the 10 officers had been called as back-up to arrest him.
Defence lawyer Daniel Ralepelle read out each of the accused’s affidavits, which stated that the 10 TRT police officers allegedly arrested Mbendu and took him to Ivory Park police station. “He was handed to the police free from any injury. No one was killed or tortured in my presence.”
In the affidavits, the accused said they were able to afford R2 000 bail each. The State didn’t oppose bail, including that of accused number two and three, Koena Mokobodi and Makgoba Kekana, who have previous convictions.
Mokobodi helped an offender to escape from prison in 2008 while Kekana was convicted of assault in 2013.
“They aren’t a flight risk. They have no assets outside the country and they are not a danger to the public,” said prosecutor Thabo Marema.
As the bail judgment began after a short break, one of Mbendu’s relatives walked out of the courtroom in tears.
Granting them R2 000 bail each, magistrate Vinny Gobind warned that if they didn’t show up for their next appearance, on September 10, warrants for their arrest would be issued.
Many of those sitting in the gallery broke into applause after Gobind’s decision, but not everyone was happy.
Two men approached The Star separately, claiming they had been assaulted by the TRT officers and that the officers were known around the area for terrorising residents.
“I am here to see that justice prevails,” said one of the men, who asked not to be named for safety reasons.