A woman was killed on the N2 near Queen Nandi Drive in KwaZulu-Natal in what appeared to be a hit-style shooting.]]> |||
Durban - A woman was killed on the N2 near Queen Nandi Drive on Thursday, in what appeared to be a hit-style shooting.
A taxi boss was shot and wounded, while his wife was shot dead.
This is the second incident this week in which gunmen have opened fire on taxi owners in the area.
Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said: “It is alleged that the man was driving an Audi A4 vehicle when a Mercedes-Benz came from behind, opened fire and then fled the scene.
“A 48-year-old woman died instantly and a man was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition.”
They had been travelling towards KwaMashu on the north-bound freeway. “The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage. Investigations are continuing,” said Zwane.
On Tuesday, a taxi owner was shot dead when a group of men in a bakkie shot him and his wife on the M25 KwaMashu Highway near the N2 interchange.
“The wife was taken to hospital in a critical condition. The motive for the shooting is unknown,” said Zwane.
Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa’s funeral at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday will be an official one.]]> |||
Durban - Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa’s funeral will be an official one.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu said the provincial government had made a formal submission to President Jacob Zuma to give Meyiwa an official funeral.
“Senzo served the nation with distinction until his last days. As a hero, he will be laid to rest at Heroes Acre in Chesterville where other heroes such as (journalist) Nat Nakasa are buried,” he said.
The funeral service will be held at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, starting at 8am.
Preparations are being co-ordinated by the KZN government, eThekwini Municipality, Orlando Pirates, the SA Football Association and the Premier Soccer League.
A memorial service, open to the public, was to be held at the Durban City Hall at noon on Friday.
Metro police spokesman Eugene Msomi said that they expected about 50 000 people to attend the funeral on Saturday. Parking within the stadium perimeter would be restricted to stadium management, VIPs, accredited vehicles, service providers and emergency vehicles.
He said parking spaces open to the public are the Mustering Fields, Kings Park swimming pool, Suncoast, Old Natal Command, plus on-street parking along uMgeni Road, Livingstone Road, Adrian Road, Windermere Road and Percy Osborne Road.
“We also anticipate some congestion along the Ruth First highway (M4) from the airport during mid-morning,”
On Thursday, high-profile people continued to make their way to the Meyiwa home in uMlazi.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura and MEC for Community Safety Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane paid their respects.
AmaZulu and Royal Eagles football club members and players also visited the family.
Zola Tongo’s fourth day in the stand at honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani’s trial again showed contradictions.]]> |||
Cape Town - Phone records have contradicted claims by a Cape Town taxi driver that Shrien Dewani was desperate to exchange money to pay for the alleged “hit” on his wife.
In his testimony in the Western Cape High Court this week, Zola Tongo told the court that the UK millionaire had phoned him on the morning of Anni Hindocha’s murder asking him where he was.
Tongo testified that Dewani said he had a limited window to do the trade while his wife was in the shower. The plan was to convert a sum of R15 000 to pay the hit men Tongo had arranged to stage the hijacking.
But Francois van Zyl, SC, for Dewani, revealed there were no records of that phone call. Instead, it was Tongo who had contacted the businessman after Dewani had “forgotten” about the arrangement to exchange the cash.
Using CCTV footage, Van Zyl pointed out that the couple had gone for a late breakfast and were relaxing by the pool when Tongo sent an SMS around 11.50am.
Tongo denied this evidence.
“What are you saying that the timeline is wrong?” asked Judge Jeanette Traverso.
“There was some communication between me and the accused, whether he phoned me from his personal cellphone or the hotel phone I don’t know,” said Tongo in Xhosa.
Dewani scowled, looking up at the ceiling, then at his brother next to the dock.
Van Zyl said if that was the case the call would’ve shown up in the detailed billing information for either Tongo’s, Dewani’s or the hotel’s phone – which it did not.
The money exchanged was also in pounds sterling, said Van Zyl, not US dollars as Tongo has maintained.
“This is just a lie,” said Van Zyl.
Tongo stared at the lawyer and said: “If it makes you happy to say that I’m lying then you can proceed.”
It was the driver’s fourth day in the stand, and much like yesterday he conceded having made several mistakes in his plea agreement and affidavit signed in 2010. Whether he pinned the blame on the police or his own memory, parts of his testimony began to unravel under cross-examination yesterday. “Nobody can remember everything,” he repeated throughout questioning.
Tongo is the only witness directly implicating Dewani in orchestrating the death of Hindocha while the pair were on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010. According to his testimony, shortly after landing in the Mother City, the day before the fatal hijacking, the businessman struck a deal with him to have a “business partner” murdered. The killer would receive R15 000, and Tongo a further R5 000.
On November 13, the plan was to drive into Gugulethu where two gunmen would be waiting to hijack the car. But on the first drive into the township, the shooters were running late. Tongo told the court that, thinking on the spot, he took Dewani and his bride to Somerset West.
“That was my Plan B,” he said.
But Van Zyl told the court that the tourist had made a 9.30pm booking at the 96 Winery Road restaurant. It was the reason for the trip in the first place.
“You and him agreed on a price of R1 000 for the trip, including the earlier trip made to exchange the money,” said the lawyer.
“We never discussed that,” said Tongo.
In an envelope handed by Dewani to Tongo during a “secret” meeting at the Cape Grace hotel there was exactly R1 000. The taxi driver has maintained that the millionaire had shortchanged him, but in his plea explanation Dewani said he felt sorry for the driver who had no form of income after losing his car.
The case will resume on Monday.
The sports minister has appealed to sports stars to choose their friends cautiously, saying fame attracts "unholy companions".]]> |||
Johannesburg - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has appealed to sports stars to choose their friends cautiously, saying fame attracts “unholy companions”.
In what could be construed as a veiled reference to the ill-fated relationship between slain Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa and his singer girlfriend Kelly Khumalo, Mbalula warned soccer players to choose carefully who they go out with.
Meyiwa was shot dead on Sunday night while visiting Khumalo at her mother’s home in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni.
“Soccer players, your support and fame attract unholy friends and companions. These unholy friends come to us, but they are the wolves in sheepskin,” Mbalula said on Thursday.
He was addressing mourners at the joint memorial service for Meyiwa, 800m track star Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and welterweight boxer Phindile Mwelase at the Standard Bank Arena in Joburg.
Mbalula, who was married, previously found himself entangled in a nasty relationship with a woman who claimed to be carrying his child. Mbalula admitted to the extramarital affair, but claimed the woman had tried to extort money from him in exchange for her silence.
Khumalo, who has a son with convicted killer, hip-hop star Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye and a daughter with the married Meyiwa, has been disparaged by people commenting on social media.
Meyiwa’s father also told the media “that girl” would not be allowed at his son’s funeral in Durban on Saturday. However, he later said she would be, but Khumalo indicated through her biographer that she would not be attending.
The Star reported on Thursday that Meyiwa’s family were considering legal action to compel Khumalo to hand over the soccer star’s personal belongings, including his clothes and two vehicles.
Sources said Khumalo flatly refused to give the Meyiwas their son’s property when they went to the townhouse the pair shared in Mulbarton, Joburg.
The outspoken Mbalula told mourners on Thursday that Meyiwa’s killers would be caught and prosecuted. “You (killers) can run but you can’t hide…” he said. “This nation will never be at ease until we’ve found them, and the machinery of justice is grinding. Each one of us has the responsibility because somewhere, somehow, someone knows who killed Senzo Meyiwa.”
To rapturous applause, Mbalula added: “If they are your friends, if they are your boyfriends, release them before we catch them. If they are distant relatives, advise them to come to the fore.
“We must consolidate our resolve as a nation to clean our streets of criminals, and let us not celebrate criminals. Let a criminal remain a criminal and not a role model.”
The Star on Monday reported that two men were held for questioning. The following day, the police said they had been released as they could not be linked to the crime.
Mbalula said Meyiwa’s murder must serve as a catalyst to build a hall of fame to induct sports heroes in South Africa.
“We are starting next year to construct a national hall of fame to salute our sporting heroes,” Mbalula added.
Earlier, SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan called for the promulgation of a law to remove illegal guns. “We will take those guns to the furnace and build a statue of Senzo Meyiwa.”
Jordaan said Safa intended to unveil the statue before the Africa Cup of Nations tournament next year.
Police have offered a R250 000 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killers. The killers’ identikits have been issued and Meyiwa’s family have hired 10 private investigators to help the police.
Malaudzi and Mwelase will also be buried on Saturday.
Investigations are continuing.
The robbery of a truck carrying cigarettes created a chain of events that saw cops firing at robbers from a helicopter.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The robbing of a truck carrying cigarettes created a chain of events that saw a shootout between police and robbers who abandoned their car to hijack another one and then crashed it as they drove off.
Apparently the men had not banked on the police chasing them and shooting at them from a helicopter and from the ground. By the time it was all over, the quiet streets of Buccleuch, Sandton, were swarming with police, two men had been arrested and the woman who had been hijacked was left traumatised.
The incident started around 9am in Kempton Park on Thursday. At the Glen Marais Mall, armed men allegedly forced the driver of a British American Tobacco (BAT) truck to drive the vehicle up Hardekool Street. Gauteng police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said once there, the men loaded boxes of cigarettes into a Quantum minibus that was parked nearby.
Both vehicles drove away and police were later alerted and given a description of the robbers’ vehicles, one of which was a Golf GTI. Officers spotted the Golf in Rabie Ridge and started chasing it. When they reached Old Pretoria Road in Buccleuch, the robbers were involved in a shootout with a member of the Gauteng Flying Squad.
“As the shooting continued, the suspects abandoned the Golf and tried to hijack another vehicle. In the process, a police chopper had already joined the chase and the suspects abandoned the hijacked vehicle and ran away,” Dlamini said.
Cheyenne Davis, a paramedic from Emerg-Med who was at the scene, said that during the car chase, police managed to box in the suspects with their vehicles.
The robbers then abandoned the car and fled on foot. While fleeing, they came across a woman driving a black Jeep.
“They pulled her out of the car and got inside. However, they crashed into a steel barrier under a bridge. They got out of the car and ran away again, but police arrested two of them,” said Davis.
The woman, she said, was unharmed but traumatised.
Dlamini said no one was injured, and other suspects in a Quantum were still at large.
While he said R30 000 worth of cigarettes had been stolen, BAT did not want to disclose information relating to the incident as well as stock lost, saying the matter was currently under investigation.
In March this year, a suspected robber was shot dead and his alleged accomplice wounded by a security guard when they attempted to rob another BAT delivery truck parked outside a shop in Athlone, Cape Town.
In another matter, a police officer shot a man who was part of a group that was allegedly trying to rob a tuckshop in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni.
The officer, who was off duty at the time, saw a group of men busy breaking the window of the tuckshop and fired shots at them.
“When they ran from the scene, he noticed that they had carried one of them, and he summoned help. Police came and looked for the man. They found him hiding in the veld with a bullet wound in his leg,” he said.
Dlamini said the 36-year-old man was under police guard in hospital.
Thuli Madonsela’s findings against Jacob Zuma in the Nkandla saga are not binding, a committee said.]]> |||
Cape Town - A draft report by the parliamentary committee on the Nkandla controversy has absolved President Jacob Zuma and concluded that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's findings against him on misspending on his private home were not binding.
“The remedial action of the public protector is not binding,” states the document, discussed by the ANC-only committee on Thursday.
The report also states that contrary to arguments by the political opposition, it was not necessary to call Zuma to answer questions on the so-called security upgrade at his home that spiralled to a cost of R246-million and has haunted him since he took office.
“There was not a need to call persons mentioned as the investigations extensively and exhaustively extracted information from political office-bearers,” it continued.
The draft report accepts damning findings by Madonsela, the Special Investigating Unit and an inter-ministerial team that the project flouted regulations, but lays no blame on Zuma.
It states firmly that “the president did not request the upgrade” at his Nkandla homestead and that the minister of safety and security approved neither the cost nor the design of the project.
This meant, it adds, “that the project was initiated and implemented without the necessary authority and the expenditure could be deemed unauthorised as per the Public Finance Management Act”.
ANC MPs suggested additions to the document - compiled by parliamentary content advisors - that would unambiguously exonerate Zuma and recommend steps against officials who flouted the law.
Mmamaloko Kubayi suggested that the report should include a clear pronouncement that Zuma did not contravene the Executive Ethics Code, since neither the SIU nor the inter-ministerial committee found that he had.
Madonsela, in her report released in March, found that Zuma had in fact contravened the code and had unduly benefited from improvements to his homestead.
Veteran ANC MP Mathole Motshekga contradicted this directly, saying he believed it would be “premature to come to a conclusion that there was undue benefit”.
He went on to ask that the point be made in the report that Zuma had not acted improperly by introducing his personal architect Minenhle Makanya to state officials, and that they had elected to appoint the project leader and failed to follow proper procedure to do so.
“I find that there was gross negligence on the part of the officials,” he added.
Kubayi added that the report should oblige government report back to Parliament on the steps it had taken against officials to prevent future abuses and a perception that the state wasted taxpayers' money.
The drafters are due to next present a final report to the committee from which opposition parties withdrew in protest last month over the ANC's attitude towards Madonsela's report on Nkandla.
They argued that her directive that Zuma repay a portion of the funds spent on his home could only be reviewed by a court of law, and that therefore the ANC and the president's rejection of it was unconstitutional.
But on Thursday, ANC MPs said the ruling party's view had been vindicated by the Western Cape High Court's ruling in the Hlaudi Motsoeneng case last week.
The court correctly held that reports by the public protector were not binding, and therefore put paid to the opposition's campaign calling on Zuma to “pay back the money” - in the catch phrase of the Economic Freedom Fighters, said Motshekga.
“That court has actively come to our assistance by finding that the remedial action of the public protector is not binding and enforceable,” he said.
Motshekga added that this meant that Madonsela's letters to Zuma in recent months, imploring him to respond adequately to her findings, had been misguided.
“The letters of the public protector to the president demanding compliance were informed by her wrong interpretation of the Constitution and the (Public Protector's) Act.”
He said since interpretation had informed the opposition's demands that Zuma reimburse the state, the “pay-back campaign has therefore collapsed”.
Pre-empting claims that the committee lacked legitimacy because it consisted only of ruling party members, Motshekga said these would be “outrageous” and called on the opposition to return to it.
“I hope they will come back and help us understand the basis on which they withdrew.”
The Democratic Alliance, the party that went to court in a bid to enforce Madonsela's findings against the SABC on Motsoeneng's appointment as chief operating officer, has claimed that the same court ruling in fact vindicated its views on the status of her reports.
The DA pointed to the court's qualifying remark that state bodies could only deviate from the remedial action implemented by the public protector if they declared rational grounds, that would stand up in a court, for not doing so.
On Thursday, Kubayi said the committee's thorough reflection on the findings of all three investigations into the Nkandla allegations meant it had rationally applied its mind to the matter. - Sapa]]>
A community hall was burnt down in Kraaifontein, making it unusable for the already disadvantaged community in the area.]]> |||
Cape Town - A community hall was burnt down in Kraaifontein on Thursday, the City of Cape Town said.
“There were signs of a break-in detected in the bathroom ceiling, while safety and security staff also found two un-detonated petrol bombs located on the outside of the building,” said mayoral committee member, Alderman JP Smith.
He said it appeared the fire was started inside the hall.
“The fire caused severe structural damage to the roof, which will make it unusable by the rest of this disadvantaged community.
“Initial observations also revealed that the motive appears to be arson as the safe within the cash hall, as well as the speakers in the hall, remain intact.”
Smith said the impact would mostly be felt by residents who needed facilities the most, such as the elderly who required the hall for their pension payouts.
The National Ports Authority has taken steps to ensure the Ebola virus does not enter South Africa through its main harbours, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown revealed.]]> |||
Parliament - The National Ports Authority (NPA) has taken steps to ensure the Ebola virus disease does not enter South Africa through one of its main harbours, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown revealed on Thursday.
“As of September 23, all vessels (from certain countries) are required to be stringently screened, by port health officials, at anchor, prior to the vessels entering into any South African commercial port,” she said in a written reply to a parliamentary question.
The ports authority is a division of Transnet, and manages all eight of South Africa's main commercial ports - Richards Bay, Durban, East London, Ngqura, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, Cape Town, and Saldanha.
Brown said the West African states of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone were rated as high-risk to the Ebola exposure, while Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia were rated medium-risk.
“The mandate for the control of communicable diseases through South Africa's ports lies with the department of health, which has a port health office at each commercial port.”
However, the NPA played an important role regarding access and control of vessels entering the harbours they managed.
“The standard practice is for all masters of vessels arriving from ports outside South Africa to declare the state of health for all crew on board their vessels to the port health office.”
All vessels from high- and medium-risk countries would be subjected to a search for stowaways prior to being allowed entry to a port.
“As part of the routine port control management procedures, all South African ports... are required to check the last three ports of call for every vessel calling (at) our ports...” she said.
The power system is severely constrained due to technical faults on power stations, Eskom said.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The power system is severely constrained due to technical faults on power stations, Eskom said on Thursday.
“Units that were on maintenance have experienced outage slips, which means the units could not be returned back online on their due date from the outage,” the power utility said in a statement.
Eskom has alerted its key industrial customers and requires them to reduce their load by a minimum of 10 percent as from 5pm on Thursday.
“Should we not achieve the required energy savings, we may need to go into load-shedding from 6pm until 10pm tonight.”
Eskom called on consumers to switch off geysers, air conditioners, pool pumps and all non-essential appliances from 5.30pm to 10pm to prevent the need for rotational load-shedding.
Load-shedding schedules were available on the Eskom website, (http://loadshedding.eskom.co.za/).
Violent shaking sheared small blood vessels in the brain of former Royal Marine Brett Williams and caused a blood clot that killed him.]]> |||
Durban - Violent shaking sheared small blood vessels in the brain of former Royal Marine Brett Williams and caused a blood clot that killed him, the Durban Regional Court heard on Thursday.
“His head must have been shaken around violently. It was probably a violent and sudden shaking of the head that caused it,” Dr Ashley Hammond said.
He was testifying in the case of four men accused of beating Williams to death after a Super XV rugby match last year and conducted the autopsy on March 28, five days after the assault.
Hammond told the court he found two incidents of bleeding in the left temple area of Williams's brain and a blood clot in the ventricles.
“It's a space right in the centre of the brain.”
He said while the bleeding in the temple area - identified as subdural and subarachnoid bleeding - could have led to Williams's death, he believed it was the blood clot in the ventricles that would have caused his death within 25 to 30 minutes of forming.
He said the “shearing or rupturing of the small blood vessels” would have led to the clot forming. There was no indication that Williams had any other injuries to his head and his skull was not fractured.
Williams had abrasions on his knees and elbows, but there were no injuries to his torso. His kidneys, liver, spleen and ribs were all intact.
Blayne Shepard, 23, his brother Kyle, 25, along with Andries van der Merwe, 23, and Dustin van Wyk, 23, each face a charge of murder, three of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and one of crimen injuria.
They are accused of beating Williams to death outside Kings Park stadium on the night of March 23 last year, after the Sharks beat the Melbourne Rebels in a Super Rugby match.
Prior to the final attack, Williams had been in fight with Grant Cramer, a friend of Blayne Shepard. During that scuffle Cramer held Williams in a choke hold before dropping him to the tar unconscious.
Hammond said when he examined Williams's body there was evidence of cyanosis to the neck and head.
“He was probably held around the neck,” said Hammond, but he did not believe this had anything to do with Williams's death.
Cyanosis is the appearance of blue or purple coloration to the skin, from a lack of oxygen.
“The cause of death is a head injury,” said Hammond.
The trial continues.
Shrien Dewani’s lawyers used video clips to show that taxi driver Zola Tongo was lying about the circumstances of their meeting.]]> |||
Cape Town - Shrien Dewani's lawyers showed three video clips in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday to prove their client almost forgot about a meeting to exchange his foreign currency.
Francois van Zyl, for Dewani, was trying to show that murder convicted shuttle taxi driver Zola Tongo was lying about the circumstances of his meeting with their client on November 13, 2010.
Dewani is on trial on a charge of murdering his wife Anni Dewani during their honeymoon in Cape Town.
Tongo, 34, the State's 12th witness, said during cross-examination that he and Dewani agreed to meet at 11am or noon that day to exchange his dollars into rands.
During his evidence-in-chief, Tongo said he was late and Dewani phoned to check where he was. He apparently said he must be quick with the pick-up because his wife was showering or washing.
On Tongo's version, the exchanged money was intended for the hitmen who said they wanted R15,000, not dollars.
Van Zyl said his client would tell the court, if necessary, that the planned meeting was for noon, that he and Anni had enjoyed a late breakfast, and he almost forgot about the meeting.
The court watched footage of the couple leaving their hotel room at 11.13am that day. Both were dressed casually.
Van Zyl said his client was only reminded of the meeting when Tongo sent him a text message and that Dewani did not call Tongo.
“Mr Dewani will say he was at the pool with his wife.”
He said his client changed into jeans for going to the store in town, put UK5000 and his passport in his pocket, and went to meet Tongo.
The court watched a clip of Dewani leaving his room and walking down the corridor at 11.58am.
“I have to put it to you that whole version of yours is just incorrect,” the lawyer said.
Tongo stuck to his version that he and Dewani communicated on the phone and that Dewani went to change dollars, not pounds.
A third video clip was shown of Tongo returning Dewani to the hotel and leaving immediately, just before 1pm.
Van Zyl said this countered Tongo's claims that he and Dewani chatted about the conspiracy to kill his wife Anni inside the car at the hotel.
Tongo replied that he and Dewani chatted on the journey back to the hotel.
Dewani has pleaded not guilty to conspiring to kill his wife. He maintains the couple were hijacked as Tongo was driving them through Gugulethu on November 13, 2010. Her body was found in the abandoned shuttle taxi in Khayelitsha the following day.
Tongo is serving an 18-year jail term. Monde Mbolombo, a hotel receptionist, was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying against his accomplices.
Xolile Mngeni was serving life in jail for firing the shot that killed Anni. He died in prison from a brain tumour two weeks ago. Mziwamadoda Qwabe is serving a 25-year jail term.
Tongo's cross-examination would resume on Monday.
Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso warned the media to give Dewani space after his lawyer complained that photographers had banged on his car window on Thursday morning, causing his client to suffer a panic attack.
“We all want to see justice being done and this kind of behaviour will mean justice is not done,” Traverso warned.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases will test a South African man who worked in Sierra Leone.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) will conduct an Ebola test on a South African man, it said on Thursday.
“Although this patient would not be considered as a suspected Ebola case, the NICD will conduct an Ebola test so as to allay patient and health worker fears and create confidence in the health system,” said spokeswoman Nombuso Shabalala.
“All testing for the Ebola virus is conducted at the NICD's Special Pathogens BSL4 laboratory in Johannesburg.”
She said the results would be available within the next 48 hours.
The NICD denied a claim on Thursday that the man had contracted Ebola.
“This is not correct. A South African man who worked as a fleet manager in Sierra Leone got anxious (upon his return), and was referred to Addington Hospital,” said NICD public health, surveillance, and response head Lucille Blumberg.
“In fact, he did not go (to the hospital), as he did not fulfil what we call a 'suspect for Ebola'. There was no indication - he never had a risk and there was no suspected case.”
Shabalala said the KwaZulu-Natal health department arranged for his admission on Thursday, to allow further assessment and to check specifically for other infections including malaria, given the absence of risk factors and no direct exposure to persons with Ebola disease.
The Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of SA (Hospersa) said in a statement on Thursday that a patient who contracted Ebola had “absconded” from the hospital.
“Hospersa has received reports from panicked members at Addington Hospital that after tests had confirmed a patient to be infected with the Ebola virus the patient absconded from the hospital yesterday (Wednesday).”
The Star reported on Thursday that a suspected Ebola patient was admitted to the hospital.
When asked whether a blood sample was taken because there was a suspicion of Ebola, KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo told the newspaper “Yebo” (yes).
Colleagues fear KZN water worker may have been washed 35km after faling into water tunnel two days ago]]> |||
Durban - A veteran Umgeni Water employee who fell into a water tunnel on Tuesday night – apparently after the metal cover was stolen – is still missing, causing much anxiety to his colleagues and family.
James Mnyandu, 53, an artisan fitter, had been fixing a leak at one of the four aqueducts near KwaNgcolosi outside Hillcrest when he fell into the tunnel and 2m-deep water.
The water utility’s spokesman, Shami Harichunder, told the Daily News on Wednesday that Mnyandu had been with two other artisans from their asset maintenance and management department.
“After they finished with the leak, he went back for a last check and to ensure that everything was in order, and he accidentally fell into the tunnel.”
Harichunder said the metal door sealing the tunnel had been stolen and metal plates around it had been vandalised.
Although the chances of Mnyandu being found alive are slim – it is believed he might have been carried more than 35km through the tunnel – Harichunder said he would not speculate until Mnyandu was located.
“All efforts are being made to try to locate him. We are deeply concerned and will provide all the support required to free him.”
Harichunder said such incidents were uncommon and this was a “difficult” experience for all.
“It’s difficult for us; it must be extremely difficult for his family.”
The pipeline carries water 40km from Nagle Dam to the greater Durban area via the Reservoir Hills treatment facility.
Because of the strategic importance of this pipeline, it could not be completely shut down, said Harichunder. But two of the aqueducts were shut down for a few hours on Wednesday morning to allow rescuers into the 1m-diameter tunnel to search for Mnyandu.
However, it soon became clear that he had been washed further down the pipeline.
Representatives from Umgeni Water have briefed Mnyandu’s family, who live in the nearby Wushwini area.
His home overlooks the Inanda dam wall and he was familiar to staff there although he is based in the utility’s Pinetown office. His colleagues there and at other sites were reeling from shock.
Mnyandu had worked for the water utility for 30 years.
Harichunder said apart from an investigation by Umgeni Water into the incident, the Department of Labour had also sent a team to probe what went wrong.
“We are very concerned about the theft and vandalism of infrastructure; it creates dangerous situations that put our employees at risk,” he said.
Police spokesman, Colonel Jay Naicker, said their search and rescue team would this morning, extend their search to the Umgeni water works plant in Reservoir Hills, more than 35km from where Mnyandu fell.
Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa will be laid to rest at Chesterville’s “Heroes Acre” cemetery in an official provincial funeral.]]> |||
Durban - Slain Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa would be laid to rest at Chesterville’s “Heroes Acre” cemetery in an official provincial funeral, the KwaZulu-Natal government confirmed on Wednesday.
It was also confirmed that the funeral would take place on Saturday at the 60 000-seat Moses Mabhida Stadium and not at Meyiwa’s hometown in uMlazi.
Meyiwa died after he was shot during an apparent robbery at the Vosloorus home of his girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo, on Sunday night.
Premier Senzo Mchunu’s spokesman, Ndabezinhle Sibiya, said funeral arrangements were still being finalised and a meeting would be held on Thursday to discuss logistics with the stadium management.
Social Development MEC, Weziwe Thusi, and Sports MEC, Ntombikayise Sabhida-Saphetha, spent much of on Wednesday at the Meyiwa family home.
They had already visited the family to pay their respects earlier this week, and it is believed they were there discussing the funeral arrangements.
The premier’s chief of staff, Mbuyiseni Mathonsi, was also there.
The funeral for the uMlazi-born soccer star was originally to have been held in the township’s King Zwelithini Stadium.
The Meyiwa family spokesman, Siyabonga Miya, said there would now be a free train service from uMlazi on Saturday leaving at 8am for the funeral.
Two memorial services have been planned for the goalkeeper – one on Thursday at the community grounds at L-Section uMlazi, organised by his friends and former teammates from his London Cosmos days.
A huge tent – which can accommodate thousands – has already been set up at the football grounds for the memorial which was expected to start at 1pm.
The second memorial service, hosted by the provincial government, would take place tomorrow at 12pm at the Durban City Hall.
A memorial service will also be held at the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg on Thursday by the SA Football Association to pay tribute to Meyiwa and South Africa’s other fallen sporting stars, KZN female professional boxer, Phindile Mwelase, and Olympic silver medalist, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, who died in recent days.
Meanwhile, the Premier Soccer League fixture between AmaZulu FC and Mpumalanga Black Aces, which was set to take place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, has been moved to Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu to accommodate the thousands of fans expected to descend to pay their final respects.
It is believed that apart from Meyiwa’s Pirates teammates, rivals from the Kaizer Chiefs FC will also be attending the funeral.
The Soweto derby which was due to take place on Saturday has been postponed to allow players to pay their final respects.
This was the only game in the PSL fixture postponed this weekend.
AmaZulu FC said tickets bought for the original venue could still be used at the KwaMashu stadium.
Ekurhuleni substations have had over 400 power failures in the past two years. Of these, 24 were at the Brakpan town substation.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Ekurhuleni substations have had over 400 power failures in the past two years. The worst problems were at the 48-year-old Brakpan town substation, with 24 outages.
The best performers included Sharon Park, Dunnottar Three Shaft, Germiston Rietcons, Germiston Unions, the Springs Bulk and the Springs municipal substations. These are all at least 60 years old but all ran without a single outage for two years. Ekurhuleni has 62 substations but only a third managed to run for two years without a breakdown.
This is contained in information given to Parliament by Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown in response to a question by DA MP Gordon MacKay.
The minister was also asked for details of the maintenance schedule for each substation, but said a detailed breakdown wasn’t possible.
Instead, a two-page list of typical work done on transmission and distribution substations, ranging from servitude bush and oil changes to “loadshed panel protection maintenance”, defect clearing and cable maintenance was provided.
There were no details on how many of the outages were due to planned maintenance, unplanned breakdowns, or cable theft.
The good news is that about a third of the substations were upgraded in the past two years and another third are being upgraded over the next two years.
In comments to The Star, Eskom said the outages were a combination of planned maintenance and unplanned outages. The utility couldn’t say how many outages were due to theft or sabotage.
One of the substations logged 19 outages, and Eskom confirmed that it supplied power to one of the Rand Water pumping stations affected in the recent water supply problems.
Eskom has warned consumers to preserve electricity or face possible load shedding.]]> |||
Durban - Eskom has warned consumers to preserve electricity or face possible load shedding.
The power utility said yesterday its system was “severely constrained” and would remain so for the rest of the week.
This was due to technical problems experienced at some of the power stations and the loss of additional generating units, Eskom’s chief executive, Tshediso Matona, said
“We are transitioning into a typical summer load profile and a period when maintenance is increased. As the system is tight, any additional problems experienced on the plant increase the risk of load shedding,” Matona said.
“This risk will continue into November. We are doing everything we can to ensure the continued supply of electricity.”
However, should the demand decrease over this period, load shedding would not be implemented.
Eskom has alerted key industrial customers to reduce their load by a minimum of 10 percent.
It has urged the public to switch off geysers, pool pumps, air conditioning and all non-essential appliances from 6pm to 8pm. And staff should switch off the lights when they left office buildings, it said.
The utility’s load-shedding schedules are available on the Eskom website, http://loadshedding.eskom.co.za
Zwakele Mncwango has challenged the eThekwini deputy mayor to charge him with misconduct after he met with representatives of Berea Rovers sport club.]]> |||
Durban - “Charge me”. That was the call on Wednesday from eThekwini DA caucus leader, Zwakele Mncwango, to threats by deputy city mayor, Nomvuso Shabalala, to charge him for allegedly breaching the city’s code of conduct after he met representatives of Berea Rovers sports club over the city’s decision to move it from its premises near King’s Park stadium.
Shabalala had accused Mncwango of “giving outside people” information about council business after he admitted to meeting with Rovers.
But by on Wednesday, the city had yet to charge Mncwango. And the Speaker, Logie Naidoo, confirmed he had not yet received an official complaint.
“In fact, I still believe that what I did in that meeting was in the best interest of the ratepayers and the city… That is the problem with ANC councillors, they do not understand the role of councillors.
“It is our responsibility as councillors to go and hear what the concerns are from the public. To say I have an interest in the Rovers is true, because I do have an interest. I have an interest to solve the matter,” he said.
On Tuesday, the municipality’s executive committee gave the city manager, S’bu Sithole, permission to sign a 30-year lease agreement with Hoy Park Management, a partner of British Premier League club Liverpool, to develop the 14.334ha King’s Park northern precinct, which Rovers shares.
The decision was approved by all members except the DA.
Naidoo said that if Berea Rovers wanted to secure premises, they needed to talk to the city, and not the DA.
“If they don’t want to talk to us because we are ANC, that is fine, but they need to go to the city manager or to the head of Parks and Recreation,” he said.
“We do not want to kick anyone out of where they are, but we also don’t want anyone to stand in the way of development.”
Dave Henry, president of Berea Rovers, did not want to comment until he had met the municipality.
A security guard described how he found three young men hiding in the Greytown house of the man they had allegedly robbed and killed.]]> |||
Pietermaritzburg - A security guard described on Wednesday how he found three young men hiding under beds and behind a wardrobe in the Greytown house of the man they had allegedly robbed and stabbed minutes earlier.
Mbongeni Nxumalo, a Fields Security reaction officer, was testifying at the trial of Sifiso Phungula, 19, Lungisani Zungu, 18, and Lindokuhle Mbhesi, 20, in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
The trio are charged with the murder and aggravated robbery of 66-year-old Cornelius ‘Joe’ Herholdt.
He was stabbed at his home in McCullum Street on February 18 by a gang of knife-wielding men.
Three suspects were found hiding in Herholdt’s house within an hour of the murder by security guards who res-ponded to a call out.
Herholdt was at home with the family’s domestic worker when the gang apparently stormed in and demanded his safe keys.
The elderly man, who had been a Greytown resident all his life and was self-employed in the construction and garden services industries, was stabbed several times in the neck and chest and died on his passage floor.
A neighbour, who heard noises coming from Herholdt’s home, contacted the security patrol and police, who responded immediately.
Testifying on Wednesday, Nxumalo said that he and two colleagues were alerted to an incident at Herholdt’s home at around 10.30am.
“We entered the house through the kitchen door and discovered Herholdt’s body lying in the passage outside one of the bedrooms. He was tied up with rope. We were taken by surprise when we saw the domestic worker approaching us and asking for help,” Nxumalo said.
He escorted the domestic worker outside to his vehicle and returned to the house, when his colleague, Sibusiso Nzama, told him that he had seen one of the assailants running into a bedroom.
“It was dark in the room, so I switched the light on and saw a foot protruding from under the bed and realised one of the assailants was hiding.”
The security guard and his colleagues then pulled out the intruder, who he identified as Zungu.
“We asked him what had happened. He told us that there had been a mistake and Herholdt had been stabbed,” Nxumalo said.
Herholdt’s cellphone was allegedly found in Zungu’s pocket. Zungu then gave up the hiding places of his co-accused and in the next bedroom they found Phungula cowering behind a wardrobe and Mbhesi under the bed, the court heard.
Nxumalo said by that time police had arrived and they arrested the three men and took control of the scene.
The three accused have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and robbery.
Phungula and Mbhesi have both admitted to being on the scene and being arrested.
However, Phungula claims that while he was present when Herholdt was attacked, there was no intention to kill him.
Mbhesi said that he witnessed his co-accused stab Herholdt, but denies acting in common purpose with them.
Zungu has elected to remain silent.
The trial is proceeding.