The eThekwini Municipality has again buckled under pressure from Durban taxi operators, releasing over 40 impounded taxis.]]> |||
Durban - The eThekwini Municipality has once again buckled under pressure from Durban taxi operators, releasing more than 40 impounded taxis – apparently without collecting any fines.
The decision to release the vehicles prompted criticism from several councillors, with DA caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango saying taxi operators had held the city to ransom, “pointing a gun” at city leaders. “How long can we sustain a situation where people break the law and expect city and provincial leadership to always rescue them through a political solution?” he asked.
Thousands of commuters were left stranded and traffic came to a standstill on Tuesday when taxi operators blockaded roads, burnt bins and stoned buses and vehicles in the Durban CBD, with 15 people being arrested for public violence.
By Wednesday, most taxi operations had returned to normal.
The operators demanded the release of 295 minibus taxis which had been impounded by the metro police. They marched on the city hall and protested until mayor James Nxumalo adjourned an executive council meeting to allow taxi industry representatives to address him.
The city said it had agreed to the “speedy processing of impounded taxis following due process” so the remaining taxis could get back on the road – but did not respond to queries last night on whether the outstanding fines had been paid.
But according to Sfiso Mthethwa, chairman of the Greater North Taxi Association, no fines were paid on Wednesday, while Mncwango said he also understood the taxis had been released without the payment of fines.
Mncwango said while he believed some of the taxi operators’ grievances were valid, there were reports that taxi operators walked up to police vans and released fellow drivers who had been arrested.
“These taxi guys want to show how weak our law enforcement is. By burning a municipal vehicle in front of police and city hall, they were showing how powerful they are.”
Nxumalo said: “The destruction of property and injuring of innocent people will not be tolerated. Our lines of communication are open and we want to ensure there are regular meetings with members of the taxi industry.”
City manager Sibusiso Sithole said that “during a meeting with prosecutors dealing with the release of vehicles, they explained that the city was dealing with a difficult situation which called for urgent intervention”.
“We explained to the state prosecutor that if the matter is not speedily resolved it could cause huge damage to the city and the KwaZulu-Natal province as well as negatively affect commuters.
“We don’t want to ever find ourselves in this situation, but what needs to be clearly understood is that metro police have the power to enforce the law and law enforcement operations will continue,” said Sithole.
This was not the first time the operators had put pressure on the city to accede to demands. Last month, armed taxi operators chased workers off construction sites for the R20 billion Go!Durban public transport project.
Last October, taxi operators from areas west of the city caused mayhem in the CBD when they blocked Dr Pixley kaSeme (West) Street, again in protest against the Go!Durban transport system.
In August, Nxumalo ordered the metro police to suspend roadblocks near Pinetown’s CBD after a violent stand-off between operators and metro police. And in July, a group of 100 armed taxi drivers went on the rampage, causing chaos in and around the Warwick Triangle precinct.
In June, a taxi march in Dr Pixley KaSeme Street turned violent. In the same month taxi operators smashed shop windows, stoned buses and damaged a metro police vehicle.
Last night, MF councillor Patrick Pillay said eThekwini had set “a terrible precedent” and he was sad to see the municipality back down.
Njabulo Nyawose, found guilty of culpable homicide after his collision with Burry Stander, is expected to be sentenced in July.]]> |||
Durban - Taxi driver, Njabulo Nyawose, found guilty of culpable homicide after his collision with Olympic cyclist Burry Stander is expected to be sentenced in July.
On Wednesday, evidence was led in aggravation and mitigation of sentence in the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court. The court heard that 25-year-old Nyawose had apparently wanted to commit suicide due to the stress of the incident and the court case.
Nyawose was travelling south-bound on Marine Drive near Shelly Beach in his taxi in 2013 when he crossed the barrier line on the north-bound lane to turn right into Stott Street.
Stander had been cycling north on Marine Drive when the collision occurred, and had suffered extensive “blunt force traumas”. He had died at the scene.
Nyawose had pleaded not guilty to a charge of culpable homicide, or alternatively, reckless and negligent driving.
In April, magistrate, Charmaine Barnard, had found Nyawose guilty of culpable homicide and failure to obey a road traffic sign.
On Wednesday, the court heard Nyawose had apologised to Stander’s family. A social worker had testified about Nyawose’s personal circumstances and had recommended he receive a suspended sentence.
During her judgment, Barnard had found that Stander was not travelling at an excessive speed at the time of the collision, despite defence attorney Xolile Ntsulana’s argument that the speed Stander was travelling at was the sole cause of the accident.
She had also said the court had no evidence before it to indicate exactly where Stander was when Nyawose had turned into Stott Street, but had accepted the State’s version that he was not stationary before crossing over the barrier line.
She found that the taxi driver had driven negligently and this caused the collision to take place.
The Hawks have arrested the man suspected of having killed a police constable in Mpumalanga recently.]]> |||
Cape Town - The police’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) has arrested the man suspected of having killed a police constable in Mpumalanga recently.
In a statement, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said: “A joint operation which comprised members of the Crime Intelligence and Special Task Force led to the arrest of Mthobisi Lennox Ngwenyama (33) who allegedly shot and killed Constable Joseph Baloyi (35) on Wednesday last week.
“Ngwenyama was found hiding at his cousin’s abandoned house at Tshabalala Trust Village in Hazyview, Mpumalanga, at around 2am on Wednesday morning. He will appear in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Friday where he will faces charges of murder, escaping from unlawful custody and attempted murder.”
Baloyi, an investigating officer who was stationed at Kabokweni police station in Mpumalanga, was shot and killed while driving into his house last week. Ngwenyama had escaped from custody on 13 May shortly before he was due to appear in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on a charge of rhino poaching dating back to 2014. Baloyi was the investigating officer in that case.
Acting Head of the Hawks Major General Mthandazo Ntlemeza, said: “We applaud the members who worked tirelessly to bring justice to one of their own. This is testament to the reality that despite the threat from the minority who are after police’s blood, the police are still prepared to put their lives on the line to serve and protect as well as restoring order, peace and stability.”
Connecting electricity illegally is big business in some townships in Cape Town, with one man making R10 000 a month.]]> |||
Cape Town - Connecting electricity illegally is big business in some townships in Cape Town - one man makes R10 000 a month by ensuring the lights stay on in the Marikana informal settlement in Philippi.
The man charges people between R300 and R500 every month for illegal connections from streetlight poles to their shacks.
The City loses R250 million worth of electricity every year because of illegal connections.
An illegal electricity connector hooks people up from electricity poles along Sheffield Road and makes sure that glitches in the system are quickly sorted out.
But residents living in brick houses in Lower Crossroads, opposite the informal settlement along Sheffield Road, are complaining that the illegal connections are to blame for them going without electricity for the past two weeks.
But residents that benefit from the illegal electricity connections say they don’t mind paying for illegal electricity.
On Wednesday, groups of people from each community squared up against each other. Lower Crossroads residents were demanding the Marikana residents stop using electricity illegally.
Unathi Hermanus said her home in Lower Crossroads has not had electricity for the past two weeks and she suspects the illegal electricity from the poles along the road has something to do with it.
She said before the informal settlement was erected their electricity had never been cut off, nor did they experience blackouts.
“We want an end to the practice of connecting electricity illegally because it is affecting people that are acquiring electricity legally.
“We want the police, the City and Eskom to intervene because if we take the law into our own hands, it is going to be ugly,” said Hermanus.
The man responsible for creating the illegal connections said he would speak to the Cape Times on condition of anonymity.
He said he earns about R10 000 a month from about 30 residents that he is helping.
“I am sceptical of revealing more information about this because it is illegal.
“Exposing this (illegal connections) means a lot of people in this area (Marikana) would go without electricity,” he said.
“People can connect to the poles themselves, but I tell them not to interfere or trip the wires I have already connected,” he said, adding that the disadvantage was that people know him and he could easily be arrested.
“I am unemployed and making something out of my life other than killing or raping. The job is risky, but someone has to do something when there is a market,” he said.
The City’s utility services mayoral committee member, Ernest Sonnenberg, said while the City endeavours to remove illegal connections as quickly as possible, residents often quickly reinstate them.
He said about 4 percent of total electricity distributed by the City in 2013/14 was estimated to have been stolen.
An audit of how many schools in the Western Cape have received their textbooks should be commissioned, the ANC said.]]> |||
Cape Town - An immediate audit of how many schools in the province have received their textbooks and other learning material should be commissioned, the ANC in the Western Cape says.
This comes after Maitland High pupils protested over textbook shortages at their school and reports of shortfalls at Gordon High School in Somerset West.
“Those who are responsible for these delays, clearly blind to how much damage they are doing to the development of children and their precious futures, must be brought to book and condemned,” the ANC said in a statement.
Jessica Shelver, the spokeswoman for Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said it was not the responsibility of the Western Cape Education Department’s (WCED) provincial office to identify textbook shortages.
In a statement on Wednesday, Schäfer said all schools in the province had an opportunity to order top-up textbooks online from July 21 to August 15 last year for use this year.
“A preliminary investigation, in the case of Maitland High School has revealed that in the July/August ordering period, orders were placed by the school, and there was a glitch on the WCED online ordering system which resulted in the order not showing up online.”
The glitch has since been fixed.
She said schools were then given an opportunity to order additional top-up textbooks between February 10 and 16 this year.
She said the school’s order had been placed after this deadline.
Cape Town residents trying to keep load shedding at bay now need permission to run a generator.]]> |||
Cape Town - Residents trying to keep load shedding at bay may have to reconsider the option of using a generator as permission from the City of Cape Town may be obligatory for the operation of a domestic generator.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the city said people who have their generators connected or synchronised to the city’s electrical network needed to get permission from the city’s electricity services department.
Should the generator be operated in isolation from the city’s network, permission would not be required, but the city recommended that the installation be carried out by a qualified professional.
“This is to prevent possible damage to appliances if it is not properly installed,” the statement said.
Mayco member for utility services Ernest Sonnenberg said connecting generators to the city’s network would benefit the customer.
“This option allows uninterrupted transfer of the customer’s load from the distribution network to the back-up generator supply, and vice versa, to large consumers with complex production processes that are vulnerable to production and financial losses as a result of regular supply interruptions due to planned outages.”
Aside from proper installation, the city advised that the generator should not be a noise nuisance to any neighbours.
Generators must not exceed 50A-weighing decibels or exceed a residual noise by more than five decibels. Residents that have complaints laid against them will have notices issued to them
Sonnenberg appealed to residents to take care when using generators.
“I appeal to residents with generators to please take extra care to soundproof their devices. In times of load shedding, when tensions are already running high, this kind of noise disturbance can test even the most patient among us.”
The city has received 18 complaints about loud generators, and Sonnenberg added that residents should be wary of any emissions that their generators could give off.
“If any resident feels that the smell or smoke of their neighbour’s generator is causing a nuisance, they are welcome to submit a complaint.
“An inspection will then be performed by the city’s environmental health department.”
Earlier this month, Ghana’s high commissioner to SA, Kwesi Ahwaoi revealed to Ghanaian radio station Starr FM that four Ghanaians living in SA were killed by fumes emitted by their generator.
A two-week-old baby was among those killed in the incident that occurred earlier this month.
Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe said he was not able to provide comment on domestic generators, but added that Eskom was responsible for taking care of the generators that provides electricity across SA.
“We will do all that is possible so that people won’t have to use generators.”
Phasiwe said he had read many articles of people using generators incorrectly like, “reports of people using them inside their homes”, and said Eskom maintained their generators to ensure that there are no such issues.
* All generator-related complaints can be submitted to the city’s general enquiries call centre by phoning 0860 103 089, or by forwarding an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A City of Cape Town councillor’s home was allegedly burnt down by protesting residents from the Marikana informal settlement.]]> |||
Cape Town - A City of Cape Town councillor’s home was burnt down on Thursday, allegedly by a group of protesting residents from the Marikana informal settlement in Philippi East.
The police and city law enforcement officers were on scene at the house of ANC councillor Mzuzile Mpondwana, who was not home at the time of the attack.
No injuries were reported.
According to the ANC chief whip in the city, Xolani Sotashe, the entire house was destroyed.
“I’ve just spoken to him (Mpondwana). He’s fine but his house has been burnt down with everything that was inside,” said Sotashe.
“Apparently they (protestors) attempted to go burn the municipal office where the councillor was working from but when they arrived, the police were there already so the group split, with one group going to the councillor’s house. Apparently they threw the petrol bomb.”
It was unclear whether any arrests had been made.
Residents of the Marikana informal settlement have been clashing with police this week as they attempt to rebuild their homes after being evicted from the privately owned land.
A Craighall family got the fright of their lives when they were told they owed the City of Joburg almost R14.2m.]]> |||
Johannesburg - A Craighall family got the fright of their lives when their electricity was suddenly cut off and they were told they owed the City of Joburg almost R14.2 million.
Mark Kyle said they hadn’t received a pre-termination letter warning them of the arrears.
“We always pay our account, so you can imagine the shock,” he said.
After spending six hours at the Randburg walk-in centre, Kyle was told they had been in arrears and they would send someone to reconnect.
This didn’t happen and the family spent two weeks without power.
“The walk-in centre staff were at a complete loss to explain why we had been disconnected, citing an outstanding payment for R14 199 752, but still we waited for reconnection. No matter how many people I spoke to, no one could explain where this figure came from. There were lots of helpless shrugs all around,” he said.
In fact, after he did a reconciliation, he found he was in credit of R3 353.
“We have also made a payment of R6 652 this week in another attempt to get reconnected, which will take our total credit to R10 005,” he said.
One of the issues, said Kyle, was the smart meter installed in July last year. “It seems it was never connected to the database at the council to pick up the readings - hence the estimates, but how they got to R14m is unbelievable,” he said.
The City of Joburg’s revenue department said Kyle’s bill had been corrected.
Spokesman Kgamanyane Stan Maphologela said: “The City of Joburg has since proactively corrected the anomalies in the affected customer’s bill and unreservedly apologised to him.”
“The customer has been reconnected.
“The city is not obliged to disclose the current status of the customer’s account with any third party due to confidentiality clauses,” he said.
Maphologela said this was an isolated case.
Dr Louis Heyns's family say they have forgiven his killer Marthinus van der Walt, who has been jailed for life.]]> |||
Cape Town - The family of murdered Stellenbosch doctor Louis Heyns say they have forgiven his killer, Marthinus van der Walt, who on Thursday was sentenced to life in prison by the Western Cape High Court.
Judge Andre le Grange sentenced Van der Walt to life for Heyns’s murder and 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances. The sentences will run concurrently.
Earlier on Thursday, Le Grange said he did not think Van der Walt could be rehabilitated and described the 2013 murder as gruesome. He said Van der Walt was a danger to society.
The 35-year-old began his life of crime at the age of 17 and has a string of fraud, housebreaking and car theft convictions. His brother Sarel van der Walt, who entered into a plea bargain with the State, is already serving 24 years for being an accessory to the murder of Heyns who was two weeks shy of his 60th birthday when he was killed.
Van der Walt stood expressionless as the judge passed sentence. Not a single friend or relative was in court to support him.
Earlier this week, the Western Cape High Court acquitted Van der Walt on a kidnapping charge as the State had failed to prove Heyns was hijacked and taken to a notorious gay hotspot in the Strand where his body was found.
Heyns went missing on the evening of the May 22, 2013. His body was found eight days later.
Standing on the steps of the High Court, Heyns’s emotional brother-in-law Andre Mouton said it would take time for the family to process their grief and pain, but that they did not hate Van der Walt. Instead, they have forgiven him.
He described Heyns as a “teacher, brother, guide and father” whose brutal murder would continue to haunt those who loved him.
In a typed statement handed out to the media, Heyns’s widow Dalene said she prayed for her husband’s killer as well as his brother Sarel.
Married to Heyns for 33 years, she said Saturday the 30th of May would mark two years since his mutilated body was found in a shallow grave on the Strand beachfront.
She said “just the thought of the cruelty her husband endured and the intense fear and anxiety he must have felt before his death, threatens to overcome me at times”.
She said she comforted herself with “the hope and belief that God was with him” in his final moments and said “the extreme violence, uncaring and inhumane manner in which her husband was killed has had an indescribable impact on her family and those who knew him well”.
Testifying in aggravation of sentence on Tuesday, a colleague said Heyns’s death had left a massive void in South African paediatrics.
His 30-year-old daughter also told the court that her loving and caring father’s death had devastated her family.
Safa president Danny Jordaan was elected mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay metro in a vote boycotted by opposition parties.]]> |||
Port Elizabeth – South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan was elected mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay metro on Thursday morning, ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa confirmed.
“He is the new mayor,” Kodwa said, adding that Jordaan received 62 votes from the ANC councillors.
Opposition parties boycotted the vote.
The score means that the ANC narrowly made the required quorum to elect a new mayor in the troubled metro.
The ANC holds 63 seats but has had to contend with internal opposition to a decision at national level to rope in Jordaan as mayor ahead of next year’s local government elections.
Jordaan replaces Ben Fihle as mayor.
The ANC is expected to see a tough challenge from the Democratic Alliance, which will be fielding Eastern Cape party leader Athol Trollip as its mayoral candidate in Nelson Mandela Bay.
There are concerns about the City of Cape Town’s budget allocations for water and sanitation in informal settlements.]]> |||
Cape Town - The City of Cape Town’s R37.5 billion budget will be ratified on Friday at a special sitting of the full council, but there are concerns about the allocations for water and sanitation in informal settlements.
The draft budget has come under scrutiny by the Social Justice Coalition (SJC), which says the City’s water and sanitation capital budget has decreased its allocation to the 204 informal settlements from R22 million for this year to R19m for next year.
On Wednesday, about 100 SJC supporters marched to the Civic Centre and handed over a list of names of the settlements that they say will be affected by the budget cuts.
Axolile Notywala, head of the SJC’s local government programme, said that last month the coalition and another organisation, Ndifuna Ukwazi, handed over 500 submissions about the lack of water and sanitation in informal settlements.
Notywala said the issues raised in the submissions have not yet been debated in any council meetings. He said it was understood that it takes time to build infrastructure.
“We do understand that it takes time and not everybody will have access to flush toilets. But we need to see that there is a plan to address it.”
Without proper toilets, Notywala said women in informal settlements were forced to use outside toilets, and they are being sexually assaulted on their way to, or from, relieving themselves. Young children get sick due to a lack of proper sanitation.
Notywala said that children under the age of five, who live in an informal settlement, are more prone to conditions such as diarrhoea - not having access to piped water increased the risk.
Mayco member for utility services Ernest Sonnenberg said all comments made during the public participation process, including the 500 submissions, would be considered at a sitting of the full council.
“No special preference will be given to a certain group when looking at comments for the budget. The R22m highlighted by the SJC is also misleading because the R403m for operational costs is not being included,” he said.
Sonnenberg said human settlements also had a budget specifically allocated for upgrades.
A chase for alleged copper cable suspects led police to two gruesome discoveries in Kroondal, Rustenburg.]]> |||
Rustenburg -Two decomposing bodies have been found in Kroondal near Rustenburg, North West police said on Thursday.
Captain Paul Ramaloko said security officers from a nearby mine were chasing alleged copper cable suspects in the bush when they discovered the first body on Wednesday.
The body appeared to have been thrown in a hole.
The deceased’s neck, legs and hands were tied and he had no shoes on.
While at the scene, the police decided to search the whole area for more clues and that’s when another gruesome discovery was made.
Another body with bound hands and legs was discovered about 100 metres from the first one, Ramaloko said.
He said the second body was suspected to be that of a 39-year-old taxi driver who went missing in Kroondal in May.
“The police further found a single bullet cartridge next to the body. At this stage we cannot link the two murders nor associate them to taxi violence.”
Joburg DA caucus leader Vasco da Gama said the City should look at reducing the huge 10% overall increases in tariffs.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The City of Joburg isn’t listening to its residents.
This is the reaction of the DA in Joburg in preparation for a council debate on Thursday on the R59.5 billion budget announced on Tuesday.
Joburg DA caucus leader Vasco da Gama said few of the requests residents made through the Integrated Development Plan had been heard.
He said the city, instead of looking at blue and green economies such as baking bread with fruit trimming, should rather be looking at reducing the huge 10 percent-plus overall increases in tariffs announced this week.
“The city cannot hear how people are struggling to pay their bills. Instead of merely passing on increases imposed by Rand Water and Eskom, the city should have been more creative about easing the burden of water and electricity accounts.
“Why are people paying so much on municipal accounts? Instead of focusing on getting the basics right, as instructed by Minister Pravin Gordhan, the city is wasting time and money on side issues. These include making bread, turning rubble into stone paper and cultivating mushrooms. These should not be priorities for a city struggling to provide the basics such as water, electricity and housing,” Da Gama said.
Many residents’ requests had also been ignored, he said.
“If you look at the new budget to find where their requests are mentioned, there is not a single recommendation made by ward councillors that has been taken up.”
If further proof of the city’s indifference were needed, the petitions committee was another example, said Da Gama. More than 900 petitions, mostly concerning the Johannesburg Roads Agency and housing problems, were outstanding. That excluded petitions that had not been captured on the system.
Da Gama also accused the city of not fulfilling its promises. “The plans don’t fit the city’s ability levels. Also, the undertaking to get rid of shacks has been forgotten.”
The bail application of two police officers and two informants accused of killing three murder suspects has stalled.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The bail application of two police officers and two informants accused of killing three murder suspects has stalled because the ID parade set to take place on Wednesday was aborted.
The four accused - police officers Floyd Mpho Matlala and Nkopodi Maphale, and informants Clement Madondo and Lwazi Ndlangamandla - appeared on Wednesday in the Oberholzer Magistrate’s Court in Carletonville.
An ID parade to identify the four accused by State witnesses was set to take place on Wednesday morning, but the court heard that Maphale and Ndlangamandla objected to the pointing out because they had no legal representation.
Investigators accepted this, but the court insisted the parade continue on Friday so that the bail proceedings can continue on Tuesday.
On April 17, Madondo and Maphale were accompanied by informers Matlala and Ndlangamandla to Duduza near Springs, where they questioned four murder suspects for a case they were investigating. The officers and their informers allegedly killed three of them, dumping their bodies in the veld.
A senior Independent Police Investigative Directorate investigator, Phumlani Ncobo, last week said Matlala, Maphale and Ndlangamandla detained the four men and later met Madondo at Springs police station.
He said the three allegedly tortured the four suspects until one apparently died and took them to the veld in Duduza. They then took the dead man to Pholosong Hospital in Tsakane.
Two of the victims were allegedly put in the boot of one of the VW Polos the officers were driving, and two, including the dead man, were placed on the back seat.
The man was declared dead at the hospital.
The accused and the informers then allegedly wheeled the dead man back to the vehicle and devised a plan to silence the three remaining victims to hide their crime, according to prosecutor Victor Simelane.
The accused used a case that Madondo was working on in Carletonville as an excuse to drive to the area, where they allegedly dumped the first victim’s body, the court heard.
It is understood that Matlala and Madondo are going to blame Maphale for the murder plot and opening fire on the suspects, and will argue they did not report the crime because they feared for their lives.
On Wednesday, Ndlangamandla told the court that the witnesses who were set to participate in the ID parade were in court, meaning they had already seen the faces of the accused. He then requested that the ID parade take place in the prison where they are being held instead of at Khutsong police station.
The presiding magistrate said he was not aware of any of the witnesses in the courtroom and that the facilities at the police station were adequate to host the parade.
He denied the request.
The man killed in Durban's CBD had allegedly been caught stealing from the shop of one of his alleged attackers.]]> |||
Durban - The situation in the Durban city centre was calm on Thursday morning after an incident the previous day in which an unidentified man was stabbed to death whilst trying to rob a shop.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said: “The situation in Durban is very calm. Police are elsewhere dealing with other crimes. People are just getting overly excited.”
Naicker was responding to questions regarding a killing in Durban on Wednesday afternoon involving a 29-year-old victim and two suspects, aged 31 and 41, on the corner of Grey and Victoria Streets.
The nationalities of the two suspects remained unconfirmed.
“As police, we treat this as a victim and perpetrators. We do not deal with the nationalities,” said Naicker.
According to police, the man killed on Wednesday had allegedly been caught stealing from one of the suspect’s shop.
The victim died instantly from a stab wound to the neck, police said.
According to a witness, the victim had stolen an energy drink from the suspect’s shop.
The two suspects would appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Sanef has criticised the Joburg Metro Police Department for allegedly harassing and threatening two journalists.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) on Tuesday criticised the Joburg metro police department (JMPD) for allegedly harassing and threatening two journalists.
eNCA cameraman Pierre le Roux and Beeld photographer Cornel van Heerden were filming and taking photographs of JMPD officers arresting an alleged drunk driver outside the high court in Joburg.
Two officers told the journalists they had no right to film and ordered them to stop, according to Sanef.
In the ensuing altercation, Le Roux’s camera was damaged after an officer allegedly tried to grab it. The officer also threatened to arrest Le Roux, Sanef said.
Van Heerden got away after also being accosted.
The officers let go of the journalists after another JMPD officer in civilian clothes arrived.
“This behaviour is completely unacceptable and an infringement of the constitutional rights of journalist to do their work in a free and open society,” Sanef said in a statement.
The organisation said it planned to discuss the matter with the JMPD management.
JMPD spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said he had not yet heard about the incident, but that the JMPD could investigate the incident by using CCTV footage if provided with the time and location.
The confession by a man allegedly involved in the fatal shooting of Joburg cops, led to the arrests of his accomplice.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The confession of one of the men allegedly involved in the fatal shooting of police officers on a Joburg highway led to the arrests of his accomplices.
This emerged in the bail application in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court of Nhlanhleni Nzama and his co-accused, Vika Nzama, on Wednesday.
The court heard that Nhlanhleni allegedly confessed to being involved in the shooting and implicated both Vika and their alleged accomplice, Sandile Nyathikazi.
Nyathikazi, who was granted R10 000 bail on Friday, appeared alongside the men in a courtroom packed with their relatives and friends.
The trio are accused of fatally shooting constables Mthokoziseni Myeza and Maisha Mafokoane on the N3 near Modderfontein in March.
Another policeman travelling with the constables was also shot and wounded and is recovering in hospital. One of the suspects was killed at the scene.
Nhlanhleni was arrested at his home in Kranskop, KwaZulu-Natal, a few days after the crime.
The arresting officer, who did not want to be named, told the court that Nhlanhleni tried to flee when the police arrived at his home.
“He was standing in a group, but when he saw us, he was the only one that ran,” he testified.
But the officer ran after him, overpowered and arrested him.
Police recovered a firearm in his possession.
Nhlanhleni claims that after his arrest, officers took him to a nearby field and assaulted him.
But the officer denied the claim on Wednesday and said Nhlanhleni was taken straight to the police station.
Apart from the confession, the court heard that the cellphone taken out of the jacket pocket of the men’s dead accomplice was used to track down both Vika and Nyathikazi.
But the defence argued that the State was unable to link Vika and Nyathikazi to the scene because the ballistics and DNA results were still outstanding.
During Nyathikazi’s bail application earlier this month, the court heard that the trio allegedly shot and killed the police officers because they had prevented them from hijacking a cargo truck travelling from OR Tambo International Airport.
The testimony stemmed from a confession from one of the truck company’s employees, who told the police that they had a meeting with Nyathikazi about the potential hijacking.
Nyathikazi was also hired by the company as a part-time security guard to escort the company’s cargo en route from the airport. But the employee claims he reported the planned hijacking to his employers, causing them to change the time the truck left the airport that day.
Nyathikazi and his gang were unaware of the changes, and by the time they knew, the truck had already left the airport. The gang sped off to the route the truck was taking. Their reckless driving alerted officers on the N3. When they tried to stop their car, Nyathikazi and the others opened fire on the policemen.
The case resumes next week.
Senaoane Secondary principal Lebo Mashuga was fired for mismanagement of school funds, but he is still at school.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Education has fired the Senaoane Secondary School principal for mismanagement of the school’s funds.
Lebo Mashuga has been under a cloud of suspicion over funds for a few years and was suspended for six months last year.
On Friday, the Education Department served him with a letter of dismissal after he was found guilty of mismanaging funds. The school’s financial manager was also found guilty of the same offence and fired.
But Mashuga is still at the school, because he has appealed against the department’s decision to fire him.
Education Department spokeswoman Phumla Sekhonyane explained: “In terms of the labour law, if he is given a letter of dismissal, he is also given the right to appeal within five days, which he has done.”
Mashuga will remain at the school until his appeal has been finalised. He will also draw a salary pending the outcome.
Mashuga was among staff members accused of wrongdoing after a forensic audit was conducted at the school in 2013.
This was after allegations of mismanagement were levelled against the school’s management, including some school governing body members. The other teachers were cleared.
Last year, Mashuga was suspended and ordered to report to the district office. Sources said the suspension was lifted and Mashuga returned to work a week later, without attending a hearing.
It was only when people complained about the fact that he was back that the department withdrew the decision to let him return to the school.
He was also barred from signing school cheques. However, documents that The Star has seen appear to show that Mashuga continued to have access to the school’s funds and was still signing cheques. One of the cheques he signed was to the region of R300 000.
A source who wished to remain anonymous said Mashuga was found to have “spent” about R1 million of the school funds’ books that never materialised. “The children only got the books in August last year, and that is why the matric results were not that great,” the source said.
Other allegations of financial mismanagement included the misuse of funds allocated to the school by the department as part of the Secondary School Improvement Programme, and a R23 000 loan to a teacher.
A sum of R27 000 collected from Grade 12s in 2013 for their matric farewell function was never used for its intended purpose, it is alleged.
Marthinus van der Walt has been sentenced to life in jail for the murder of Stellenbosch paediatrician, Louis Heyns.]]> |||
Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court on Thursday sentenced Marthinus van der Walt, who killed renowned Stellenbosch paediatrician Dr Louis Heyns, to life imprisonment for murder.
Judge Andre le Grange also sentenced Van der Walt to a further 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances. He ordered that the sentences run concurrently.
In passing sentence, Le Grange said Van der Walt, who began his life of crimeaged 17, could not be rehabilitated.
Van der Walt was released from prison four months before the murder of Heyns. He had been serving a three-and-half year sentence for car theft.
Van der Walt was acquitted on a charge of kidnapping as the State had not proved that Dr Heyns had been hijacked and then taken to a notorious gay hotspot in the Strand where his body was found eight days later.