A man handed himself to Johannesburg central police after allegedly stabbing his friend to death, police said.]]> |||
Johannesburg - A man handed himself to Johannesburg central police after allegedly stabbing his friend to death, Gauteng police said on Wednesday.
Warrant Officer Xoli Mbele said the 28-year-old handed himself to police on Tuesday around 4pm.
Sibusiso Nala, 30, was stabbed once in the upper body at the Calcium Building, on the corner of Goud and Jeppe streets, at noon on Monday.
“The deceased and a suspect were friends. They had an argument concerning a phone that was missing. They started to fight and the suspect took out a knife and stabbed his friend,” said Mbele.
Nala died on the scene and his friend fled to Alexandra. The man was expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
There was violence and fires at two Joburg post offices, with a van being burnt at one and protests at another.]]> |||
Johannesburg - There was violence and fires at two Joburg post offices on Tuesday, with a van being burnt at one and protests at another.
This follows 473 casual postal workers being fired on Monday after engaging in a three-week strike.
Throughout the day on Tuesday, a number of former Post Office workers burnt rubbish and blockaded roads outside the Randburg post office.
Joburg Emergency Services spokesman Robert Mulaudzi said they were called to the scene to investigate smoke, but found that the building’s structure was not on fire.
Mulaudzi said that shortly after responding to the Randburg post office, they were called to the Rosebank post office, where a postal van had been set on fire.
Police spokeswoman Constable Mpho Mashakane confirmed that just after 1pm on Tuesday, three people approached the van and set it on fire, before fleeing the scene. She said they were not certain what was used to start the fire, and no arrests had been made.
Mashakane said the incident was isolated and was not accompanied by any other violence or protests at the Rosebank post office.
The 473 fired employees had called on management to employ them permanently and were sacked by the Post Office because they allegedly engaged in violence.
The strike has caused severe delays in the delivery of mail from the Tshwane and Ekurhuleni distribution centres.
The Post Office did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
A Post Office employee said a human resources employee was stoned by casual workers and admitted to hospital last Tuesday. She was in intensive care.
The DA has called on the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Siyabonga Cwele, to put an end to the strike by postal workers, which the party claimed had turned violent in recent days and was costing the Post Office millions of rand.
The DA said striking workers at various post offices had inflicted damage amounting to R5 025 760, and that about 78 690 man hours had been lost, while losses totalling about R71 million had been incurred.
Casual workers’ task team leader Desmond Moeketsi said they had heard about the allegations about damage, but were not the ones responsible, nor had they intimidated anyone.
“We have been coming together and marching peacefully, moving from one place to the other trying to get help. Today we even marched to the premier’s office, but we were turned back as we did not have an appointment,” he said.
Moeketsi said there were permanent employees who were dismissed by the Post Office last month who could also have been responsible for the damage.
He said he was disappointed they were being blamed for something they had not done.
SA Post Office head of group communication Khulani Qoma said the strike officially started on the August 18 and had been filled with violence and vandalism from the beginning.
“We have continually reported the incidents of assault and violence within the affected areas and have tried our best to reinforce the security at our premises,” said Qoma.
A man who beat his wife to death with a steel pipe and buried her in a shallow grave will serve 12 years in jail.]]> |||
Cape Town - A man who beat his wife to death with a steel pipe and buried her in a shallow grave in their yard will serve 12 years in jail.
Mzwamadoda Mfazwe, 45, from Mfuleni was found guilty on Tuesday for murdering his wife, Sibongile Hazel Nkomo, and defeating the ends of justice after he lied to the police about her whereabouts after her death.
He was sentenced to 15 years for the murder, of which three years were suspended for five years, when he appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
He was sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for defeating the ends of justice. The sentences will run concurrently.
Mfazwe occasionally glanced back at the friends and relatives of his late wife in the public gallery.
The couple had been married for seven years and had two children.
He initially pleaded not guilty to the murder charge but later admitted to an altercation with his wife, killing her, tying her up with rope, dragging her body to the yard and burying her, and burying their two dogs on top of her.
Nkomo was 43 years old when she died. Her body was dug up by the police on March 20, last year.
Nkomo’s relatives were not happy with the sentence. Outside court Nkomo’s cousin Ncedisi Piliso said: “It’s bad. We have questions and what will happen with the children?”
A judge has been asked to show compassion to two killers "because they had been disadvantaged by apartheid".]]> |||
Pretoria - A defence advocate has called on a judge to show compassion to the killers of a Pretoria businessman “because they had been disadvantaged by apartheid”.
Paul Shapiro was appealing to North Gauteng High Court judge Tshifiwa Maumela on behalf of Marabe Talane, 35 and Rodney Masemola, 32, who were convicted of shooting Dawie Maree dead in front of his wife and two young children after breaking into their home in Meyerspark in May 2008.
The two are due to be sentenced in November.
Shapiro made a passionate plea to the judge on Tuesday to bear in mind that the pair grew up under a repressive system and had fewer opportunities in life, and should therefore receive a lighter sentence.
But the judge questioned what kind of message he would send out if he allowed the fact that the two grew up under apartheid to act as a mitigating factor, reminding the court that it was now 20 years since the demise of apartheid.
But Shapiro insisted that the court should not forget history, and should handle people who had been “victimised” more gently.
He said the idea was to create a society which respected all. Even those who had done terrible things were entitled to compassion.
He told the judge that any sentence of more than 25 years in jail would be excessive.
Prosecutor Theo Moetaesi, on the other hand, called for life and said the two could not hide behind apartheid, although he did concede that he understood where Shapiro was coming from with the race issue.
Moetaesi asked how Talane had suffered under repression, as he had his matric and even obtained a diploma.
Judge Maumela said that everyone had suffered under the previous regime in different ways.
He said it would be wrong to send out a message which would encourage people to commit crime, simply because they know they could get off lighter if they were previously disadvantaged.
[VIDEO] The last place you'd expect to have your belongings stolen is at a police station's front desk...]]> |||
Johannesburg - The last place you’d expect to have your belongings stolen is in a police station.
But as one man who visited Sandton police station found out, some fellow visitors to the station can be less than honest.
CCTV footage placed on YouTube of the station’s front desk shows an unidentified woman brazenly taking a wallet left on the counter by an unidentified man before walking out of the station.
The 30-minute-long video captured on August 18 shows the woman arriving at the station with documents that she lays across the counter.
She reaches in her bag, apparently fiddling and searching for something, before she slings her bag over her shoulder.
A minute-and-49 seconds into the video, the man - who appears to be in his thirties - arrives.
He too has documents that appear to need certification.
He stands next to the woman, asks for assistance from an officer behind the desk and appears to leave the front desk, forgetting his wallet behind.
The woman, still standing at the desk, talks to an officer who directs her to another section of the station. She then packs her documents and the man’s wallet and heads to where she was directed.
Minutes later, she reappears at the front desk to get a stamp.
She then leaves the station.
The man is again seen 18 minutes into the video looking for his wallet.
The video has been posted on community-crime-fighting project eBlockwatch’s Facebook page.
Founder Andre Snyman said on Monday: “To me, the most interesting thing is, how did this footage get leaked?”
Two men were arrested for attempting to bribe the Diepsloot station commander with R5 000, Johannesburg police said.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Two men were arrested for attempting to bribe the Diepsloot station commander with R5 000, Johannesburg police said on Wednesday.
Spokesman Warrant Officer Daniel Mavimbela said the men aged 34 and 40 were arrested on Tuesday.
“The attempt to corrupt Colonel Amos Balatse reportedly started while Diepsloot police officers were facilitating in a dispute involving two local groups, which were battling over the control of a church in Diepsloot extension ten,” he said.
“One of the suspects is believed to have phoned the station commander on numerous occasions, and requested that he uses his power, to influence the outcome of the facilitation process.”
Mavimbela said that the provincial anti-corruption investigators were called and they set a “trap” for the two men.
The men were arrested shortly after they handed the money to Balatse.
They were charged with bribery and are expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court soon, he said.
Proposed Western Cape legislation aims to end 'senseless' child road deaths.]]> |||
Cape Town - Western Cape government is proposing legislation compelling parents to transport children in proper “kiddie seats” – as in the UK and Australia – in a bid to end “senseless” child deaths on the road.
While no upper age limit has been proposed, it is likely the legislation would affect children too small to wear adult seatbelts safely.
The provincial Road Traffic Management co-ordinating committee has agreed to table a proposal for the legislation and it is expected to be welcomed nationally.
Last year, a total of 191 children up to the age of 19 were killed on Western Cape roads, down from 275 in 2009. Of the total, 127 were pedestrians and 47 were vehicle passengers. The rest were drivers over 18, cyclists, and a small number of unknowns.
Of the passengers under 10, a full 58.3 percent were found outside their vehicles at the death sites, having been flung out.
Hector Eliott, chief director of the Western Cape’s Safely Home campaign and Road Safety Co-Ordination, said:
“Children aged up to 9 cannot possibly be expected to be responsible for buckling themselves in. Children who are properly buckled into an age-appropriate child seat will not be ejected from the vehicle in a collision.”
“We are still working on data prior to 2013, but can confidently state that the majority of small child passengers dying on our roads – at very least 60 percent – are not being properly buckled up.
“It is widely accepted that an age-appropriate child seat or seatbelt doubles the chance of survival in a crash, so it is possible to say that at least half of the child passengers killed on the roads could have survived had they been properly restrained.
“In the Western Cape, this represents at least two children saved a month.”
These stark facts have prompted the provincial Road Traffic Management co-ordinating committee’s legislation working group to agree to table a proposal that would see the legislation include a “child car seat schedule”, like those adopted by countries such as Australia and the UK, and soon China as well.
The working group includes the National Prosecuting Authority and technical, legal and law enforcement representatives. The schedule would include compulsory rear-facing baby seats, and booster seats for older children who are too small to use an adult seatbelt.
Eliott said: “The current National Road Traffic Act is inadequate to protect children, and would not withstand a court challenge made in terms of South Africa’s international, constitutional and legal obligations to further the rights of children.”
The proposed new schedule will include far tougher penalties if a child is not secured correctly. The proposal will also include additional prosecution and penalties if various offences were committed while transporting children. This would include driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, excessive speeding, or other recklessness.
NATIONAL LEGISLATION A CHALLENGE
Eliott said legislation at the provincial level was possible, but would face substantial challenges, and that the proposal was aimed at national level, specifically the National Road Traffic Act.
Currently, all backseat passengers are already obliged to wear a seatbelt, but the law is strangely silent on babies and children up to three.
A senior national traffic source confirmed yesterday that they were also hoping to introduce new laws, and would be receptive to a Western Cape proposal.
In March 2012, former Transport MEC Robin Carlisle announced plans to criminally charge motorists who refused to buckle up their children while on the road.
This came after Jacob Humphreys was jailed for 20 years after 10 children died in his minibus taxi – paving the way for prosecutors to get tough on errant motorists. Humphreys ignored a barrier at a level-crossing, colliding with an oncoming train.
The Cape Argus reported that in 80 percent of car-crash cases treated at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital the children were not wearing seatbelts. Now the proposed new legislation goes further – not only obliging parents to buckle up their kids, but to use proper, appropriately-sized seats.
WHAT OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT?
Asked about public transport, Eliott said: “Large, intercity public transport vehicles are relatively safe, even where seatbelts are not available, such as buses as provided by MyCiTi or Golden Arrow. This is because these vehicles reflect all the forces at play in a collision on to smaller vehicles, and they are rarely in situations where they will roll. This is not the same for intercity buses which travel at high speeds.
“In these, and in smaller public transport vehicles such as minibus taxis, amaphela (sedan) taxis and and metered taxis, parents are advised that children should be buckled into an age-appropriate child seat at all times.”
Professor Sebastian van As, head of the trauma unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, and chair of Childsafe SA, wrote in the Cape Argus yesterday: “The scale of road trauma for children in South Africa is truly staggering. Just under 3 000 children were killed on South Africa’s roads in 2009, according to the Medical Research Council. Children are victims of road crashes far more often than they are of homicide.
“Children aged up to 14 are more than three times more likely to die in a car crash than be the victim of deadly violence.“
The Medical Research Council tells us that in 2009, 572 children aged up to 14 were murdered, compared to 1 789 who died senselessly on our roads. While a large majority of these dead children were pedestrians, the prevalence of child passenger deaths is truly staggering… it is blatantly apparent that many of these children would still be alive if their parents or guardians had taken basic safety precautions.”
Had they acted sooner. Had they not ignored the signs. These are the thoughts haunting Dorina Sihlali's neighbours.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Had they acted sooner when they heard her cries. Had she come to them sooner with her tragic secret. Had they not ignored the signs, perhaps things would have turned out differently.
These were the thoughts that haunted Naturena Extension 19 residents on Tuesday afternoon as they stood outside their neighbour Dorina Sihlali’s house moments after a police van had left with her body.
On Tuesday morning, Sihlali’s 41-year-old son Daluxolo was led into the back of a police van, his hands bound behind his back.
The dreadlocked man appeared calm as police officers escorted him to their vehicle.
He has been charged with allegedly stabbing his 58-year-old mother to death.
It is unclear when the crime was committed.
“This man had hit his mother on Saturday night, threw her out of the house and let her sleep outside in her car.
“We saw what was happening and called the police, who came, warned him about his behaviour and she was let back in her house,” said neighbour Peter Moloi, who lives opposite.
It was Sihlali’s colleague from Life Flora Clinic, where she worked as a nurse, who sounded the alarm on Tuesday.
“I was standing at the stop sign at the top of the street at about 8am with other neighbours when this woman approached us, saying her matron asked her to come check on Sihlali, but got to the house and the gate was locked.
“We all went outside Sihlali’s house, and instead of going in, we thought ‘let’s call the police’,” Moloi said.
He said the same officer who had responded to the incident on Saturday night arrived on the scene with other officers.
After a few minutes, the officer left for Mondeor police station to call the dog unit.
“While we were still waiting for him to return, a call came in on Alex’s phone (one of the neighbours) and it was the officer, saying he had found Sihlali’s son near Sun City (Johannesburg Prison), and when he asked him where his mother was, he answered ‘I killed her’,” he said.
Thalitha Motlhalo, who used to attend church with Sihlali, was so shocked by the news that she sat traumatised outside her gate.
With bloodshot eyes, she said: “We didn’t know he was an abusive boy… We were not aware. You would never say at church… Why didn’t she come to me? She knew I lived alone. She had been living in silence for so long.”
Moloi said the men in the neighbourhood should have apprehended Sihlali’s son sooner.
“We heard when he hit her, but no one here can say they ever went inside the yard. We as men should have done something,” he said.
Some neighbours also alleged the son might have raped her, but those reports were unconfirmed.
This is not the first tragedy to befall the neighbourhood. Moloi said another resident nearby hanged himself in his doorway two weeks ago.
Mondeor police spokeswoman Constable Sibongile Mnguni confirmed the man’s arrest and said Sihlali’s next of kin were in Cape Town and still needed to be informed of the incident.
The ANC says Pansy Tlakula served the people of South Africa with dedication during her tenure at the IEC.]]> |||
The EFF on Tuesday welcomed IEC chairwoman Pansy Tlakula's resignation and said her departure was in the interests of democracy.
“The Economic Freedom Fighters welcomes the resignation of the chairperson of IEC, Pansy Tlakula, following her involvement in maladministration at the Electoral Commission (IEC),” spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.
“Tlakula was a threat to democracy because she could be influenced by politicians.”
Ndlozi said her resignation saved Parliament the trouble of having to remove her to restore public trust and integrity to the IEC.
Tlakula announced her resignation on Tuesday and said she had submitted her letter of resignation to President Jacob Zuma.
“I leave the IEC with a heavy heart and wish to thank the President, the National Assembly and the people of South Africa for affording me the opportunity to serve in one of the most important institutions promoting democracy.”
Tlakula said she believed that in the 13 years she spent at the helm of the organisation she served without fear or favour, and contributed to building an institution that delivered election results that were accepted by all political parties.
“I wish to thank all political parties for the support they gave me throughout the years,” she said.
Tlakula came under attack from political parties in the run-up to the elections, with some calling for her resignation.
She was taken to court by the United Democratic Movement, the African Christian Democratic Party, the Congress of the People, Agang SA and the Economic Freedom Fighters.
The parties argued that her integrity had been compromised. The application followed a forensic investigation by the Treasury into the procurement of the IEC's Riverside Office Park building in Centurion, Pretoria.
The probe found the process was neither fair, transparent, nor cost-effective. It found Tlakula did not give guidance or formally inform various people what was expected of them in the process.
Tlakula had maintained she was not accused of corruption in the report. The Treasury's report followed a recommendation by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her own report into the matter, released in August last year.
She said the process of trying to clear her name had been long drawn out and for the sake of the institution, she decided to abandon this process and resign.
The Presidency confirmed receipt of the letter and said Zuma would consider it.
The United Democratic Movement also welcomed Tlakula's resignation. UDM leader Bantu Holomisa however lamented the time it took for her to step down.
“She has at last seen the light, but it is a pity that she was forced to do so at great cost to government and political parties,” Holomisa said in a statement.
“There are now no more excuses; the Electoral Commission must immediately implement all the findings of the Public Protector, including those that fingered certain IEC officials,” he said.
Holomisa said: “Let this be a lesson to other people in high places who believe they are untouchable and above the constitutional organs and courts of this country.”
The African National Congress thanked Tlakula for her contributions towards building a united country.
Spokesman Zizi Kodwa said Tlakula had served the people of South Africa with distinction and dedication over her tenure.
“As a result of the hard work by advocate Tlakula and her team, the IEC has consistently delivered credible, free and fair elections. Their sterling work has been recognised as such not only in SA but beyond our country's borders and the world,” he said.
The IEC said Tlakula's resignation signalled the end of a “particularly challenging and tumultuous period”.
“The Electoral Commission has noted the resignation of Chairperson Advocate Pansy Tlakula,” the IEC said in a statement.
“Her resignation opens the way for the commission to begin closing a particularly challenging and tumultuous period in the Electoral Commission’s history and to move forward as an institution.”
The commission said it hoped history would show Tlakula had “made a significant contribution to deepening electoral democracy both here and outside of South Africa during her long career at the Electoral Commission”.
It expressed confidence that it had the “capability, experience and leadership within the IEC to continue to deliver free, fair and credible elections”.
The National Freedom Party said on Tuesday that Tlakula should have resigned when Madonsela's report was released.
“As the party, we always held a view that Tlakula should have done the honourable thing and tendered her resignation a long time ago,” NFP President Zanele Magwaza-Msibi said in a statement.
She said the government should not appoint Tlakula into another strategic position.
“It has been the norm whereby we saw people accused of gross misconduct being elevated to senior positions in government and public sector.”
Tlakula's replacement as IEC chairwoman should bring credibility to the institution, said Magwaza-Msibi.
“This is a chance for the ruling party to stabilise the IEC and appoint someone with good track record.”
The office of the ANC Chief Whip said on Tuesday that Tlakula “made an immense contribution to the institution's continuous management of highest quality and efficient elections”.
“We are confident that the IEC will continue to live up to its excellent reputation of presiding over free, fair, transparent and credible election as it had done since the dawn of democracy in 1994,” spokesman Moloto Mothapo said in a statement. - Sapa]]>
A Pretoria businessman's killers could not ask mercy from the court when they had shown no mercy to their victim, the State has argued.]]> |||
Pretoria - A Pretoria businessman's killers could not ask mercy from the court when they had shown no mercy to their victim, the State has argued in the High Court in Pretoria.
Prosecutor Theo Moetaesi on Tuesday urged Judge Tshifiwa Maumela to sentence Lawyer Marabe Talane, 39, and Rodney Katang Masemola, 35, to life imprisonment for the May 2008 murder of Murrayfield businessman Dawie Maree.
Maree, 27, was fatally wounded during a struggle with an armed assailant in his house, in front of his wife Elana and his two young children. He died after being shot in the back.
Masemola was shot in the stomach and the pair's accomplice Seporo Martin Tshebesebe was shot dead during the attack.
Maumela said during his earlier judgment it was not clear from the evidence who had shot whom, but it was clear that the shooting had been prompted by Masemola and Tshebesebe illegally entering the Maree property.
He rejected the men's claims that they had been framed for the murder by racist white policemen.
Masemola's evidence that he and Tshebesebe were standing under a tree when Maree stormed out and shot them, whereafter Elana Maree emerged and fired a shot that killed her husband was also rejected.
The court said it was improbable that Maree's tiny wife could have carried the bodies of two men to the bedroom. There was also no evidence of drag marks or blood outside the house.
However, their lawyer, Paul Shapiro, on Tuesday still insisted that there was something “very odd” about the case and that the whole truth had not been revealed.
Shapiro argued that the court should take into account as mitigation that his clients had grown up under a system which treated them as inferior and gave them less opportunities.
He said Talane had nevertheless managed to get a diploma in business management and Masemola managed to train himself to some extent, even though he had pulled the short straw in life and never had a home or a family.
Maumela expressed concern a message might be sent out that white people in the country had to take extra safety measures because if a black person attacked them the perpetrators would get off more lightly.
He also expressed concern that it might send out a message that anyone who was white was no longer safe in South Africa.
Maumela said everyone had suffered under the previous regime in different ways, including white people who could not go into certain areas or marry who they wanted.
“... My sense is around the message that might be inadvertently sent that might encourage a certain attitude....That's not what we want.
“Remembering the past should not encourage an atmosphere where certain people feel unsafe under the same system,” he said.
Moetaesi said the past should not be used as an excuse to commit crimes and the court should not send out the message that certain people would be treated more leniently simply because of the past.
He said Maree was brutally killed in front of his wife and children, who were still traumatised even today.
“Life imprisonment is an apt sentence. We all choose our destiny. The accused chose to spend the rest of their lives behind prison doors,” he said.
Moetaesi stressed that Maree had employed 100 people and that the accused had, by killing him, deprived them and their dependents of an income.
The trial was postponed to November 24 for sentencing.
Eight people were arrested for allegedly setting two trucks alight and damaging a bus in Mfuleni, Cape Town.]]> |||
Cape Town - Eight people were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly setting two trucks alight and damaging a bus in Mfuleni, Cape Town, Western Cape police said.
Batteries and cellphones were stolen during the violent protest, Captain Frederick van Wyk said.
“The suspects are detained on charges relating to malicious damage to property, possession of stolen property, robbery, theft and public violence,” he said.
They would appear in the Blue Downs Magistrate's Court soon.
Eight buses in total were torched and four others were badly damaged during the protests which began on Monday in the area.
Eleven bus drivers were pulled from their vehicles and assaulted.
Bus company Golden Arrow spokeswoman Bronwen Dyke said while the crowd could have been taxi drivers who were protesting, the company preferred not to speculate and would leave it to police to investigate.
A taxi driver was shot dead during the violent protest on Monday.
The 39-year-old man from Zwelitsha was apparently shot while on his way to work.
Two MyCiti buses were vandalised in the vicinity on Monday. One was stoned on the N2 freeway and another set alight on Mew Way in Khayelitsha.
Golden Arrow buses had been operating on the outskirts of Delft, Mfuleni, and Nyanga since Monday afternoon.
Dyke said bus services resumed in Delft on Tuesday morning.
Due to possible threats to safety, bus services had been pulled out of Samora Machel and were operating on the outskirts of the area.
Van Wyk warned those who were involved in “destroying property and the violation of human rights”.
“The SA Police Service recognises and respects the rights of people to embark on peaceful protests as enshrined in the Constitution of the country, however, if such actions involve violence and infringement of other people's rights, including the destruction of property, the police are obliged to take action,” he said.
“Nobody has got the right to take the law into his/her hands regardless of the reasons to justify such actions.”
Advocacy organisation Public Transport Voice (PTV) on Tuesday condemned the violent protests in the area.
“Even though PTV condemns any acts of violence that happened to Golden Arrow Buses... PTV calls for calm and an initiation of workable solutions to all parties affected by the violence,” spokesman Zingisani Nkanjeni said in a statement.
He said that despite attempts to overhaul the system, public transport in the country remained unequal.
“ 1/8Twenty 3/8 years after democracy the public transport system received by working class people in South Africa remains vastly unequal to an extent that some people are losing their jobs, students missing exams, people missing their appointments.
“Public transport system was the foundation upon which inequality was fashioned during the years of apartheid, but unequal public transport system opportunities still remain amongst the greatest obstacles to equality, dignity and freedom in today's South Africa.”
A Telkom store at Kolonade Mall in Montana, Pretoria, was robbed of electronic goods worth over R200 000.]]> |||
Pretoria - A Telkom store at Kolonade Mall in Montana, Pretoria, was robbed on Tuesday evening of electronic goods worth over R200 000, police said.
“Two armed men entered the store and demanded that the staff go to the back before taking cellphones worth over R200 000,” Captain Johannes Maheso said.
Two men in a gang of four entered the store while the others remained outside. Once they collected their loot, the gang made their getaway.
Maheso said no shots were fired and no one was injured.
The mall's management was not available for comment.
Kolonade was the sixth mall in Gauteng to be hit by robbers in the past two months.
On Monday, Maponya mall in Soweto and Northgate mall were also hit by robberies.
At Maponya mall, six men took part in the crime. According to police, two security guards went inside the mall to collect money. As they were walking inside the mall, they were confronted by a man who pointed a firearm at them, and he took the money in the bags the guards were carrying.
The man left the mall, meeting another man at the entrance who fired a shot. The robbers then ran away, and were joined by four others.
At Northgate mall, two men robbed a cellphone shop. The manager was forced into the back office, where they took money and cellphones and fled. No shots were fired. No one was injured.
The iStore at Centurion Mall was robbed of goods worth over R1 million on August 22.
On August 13, the iStore at Cresta Shopping Centre was robbed and one person was injured when the gang made their getaway.
The Glen's iStore was robbed a few days later.
A man has been arrested for allegedly hijacking and killing a police officer in Meadowlands, Soweto.]]> |||
Johannesburg - A man has been arrested for allegedly hijacking and killing a police officer in Meadowlands, Soweto, Gauteng police said on Tuesday.
The 37-year-old was arrested on Monday after he was identified by a witness, said Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini.
Constable Prins Mashabela, 27, who was off duty at the time, and his girlfriend, were driving to a friend's house in the area on Saturday night.
They were approached by two people, one armed with a firearm, when Mashabela stopped the vehicle to add transmission oil.
The men demanded cellphones from the victim and his girlfriend, said Dlamini.
The pair took the keys and drove off. They forced Mashabela out of the car while it was in motion, said Dlamini.
Mashabela ran after them and knocked on the windows when the car came to a cul de sac, where one of the hijackers got out the vehicle and shot him in the upper body.
His girlfriend managed to flee and reported the crime.
Mashabela was declared dead upon arrival at the Tshepo-Themba Private Clinic.
The suspect will appear in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
An investigation into the conduct of two students who were photographed in domestic worker outfits and smeared with black paint is still ongoing, the University of Pretoria said.]]> |||
Pretoria - An investigation into the conduct of two students who were photographed in domestic worker outfits and smeared with black paint is still ongoing, the University of Pretoria said on Tuesday.
“The disciplinary and investigation are still underway (sic),” spokeswoman Nicolize Mulder said.
“It has not been finalised.”
The students have been temporarily suspended from their residences.
The picture distributed on social media shows the pair of female students in domestic worker outfits with black paint smeared on their faces and arms. They posed with headscarves and padded bottoms. It was published in various newspapers last month.
The students' action was considered racist by many people commenting on social networks with the hashtag #blackface.
At the time Mulder said the picture was taken at a private 21st birthday party but because they were students at the institution, an investigation was launched.
The African National Congress parliamentary caucus on Tuesday said it was interested in the outcome of the matter.
“As the ANC we find this kind of behaviour by the students unacceptable and shows their insensitivity to black suffering,” the caucus said in a statement.
“The punishment by the university in suspending them from the residence but allowing them to attend classes is considered very lenient.”
However, the party found solace in the fact that the SA Human Rights Commission was conducting its own investigation.
“While the commission has still not received a complaint in this regard, the commission decided to launch an own initiative investigation,” spokesman Isaac Mangena told Sapa at the time.
He said the commission was interested in measures the university would implement to address the matter and its significance to other students.
A 19-year-old youth told the court how he and two school friends used dagga before bludgeoning and strangling a 56-year-old man to death on his farm near Brits.]]> |||
Pretoria - A 19-year-old North West youth told the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday how he and two of his school friends had used dagga before bludgeoning and strangling a 56-year-old man to death on his farm near Brits.
Judge Tshifiwa Maumela convicted Ernest Mashudu Nevhulamba, of the Bokfontein squatter camp near Brits, of murdering and robbing Charles Beresford Pretorius Jobling on his farm near Hartbeespoort dam on August 31, 2012.
Nevhulamba admitted that he and two school friends had murdered the 56-year-old Jobling in his home before dumping his body in a nearby river.
He also admitted that he had robbed Jobling of his cellphone, bakkie, wallet and ring.
Nevhulamba was caught after he and his cohorts were involved in an accident with Jobling's bakkie and were taken to hospital. The police traced back the vehicle to Jobling after the accident but his body was only discovered by passersby a day later.
One of Nevhulamba's former school friends, Tshepang Mosito, at first also pleaded guilty to the murder and robbery, but later told the court he wanted to change his plea as he had not realised he would go on trial if he admitted guilt.
Tshepang Mosito's trial was separated from that of Nevhulamba. He will go on trial along with Tshego Mosito and David Thebereng - who denied guilt - in May 2015.
The five were all pupils at the Schaumberg school at the time.
Jobling was a descendant of the Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius and still lived on a portion of the original Pretorius farm.
He was a noted historian and was the chairman of the Hartbeespoort Environment and Heritage Association.
Nevhulamba said in his plea explanation he, Tshepang and David had smoked dagga before David suggested that they must go to the place where he lived to borrow a car from a white man.
The white man was watching television when they entered his house, where David grabbed the man by his neck and choked him.
Tshepang also choked the man with an electric cord and Nevhulamba took an iron bar and hit the man on the head.
David then searched their victim and took his wallet and gold ring, whereafter they loaded Jobling's body into his bakkie and dumped him in the river.
Afterwards, the group picked up some friends and had beer at a tavern.
They were involved in an accident with Jobling's bakkie the next day while on their way home.
Nevhulamba said he realised he had acted unlawfully, took full responsibility for his actions and was remorseful.
His trial was postponed to November 13 for a pre-sentence report.
A 51-year-old man was arrested in the Mooiplaas informal settlement near Centurion, for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend to death.]]> |||
Pretoria -A 51-year-old man was arrested in the Mooiplaas informal settlement near Centurion, Pretoria, for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend to death, police said on Tuesday.
Constable Tumisang Moloto said the man stabbed his 32-year-old girlfriend with a knife during an argument.
“Police recovered and confiscated a knife with blood. It is believed the same knife was used in committing the murder,” he said.
The man was expected to appear in the Atteridgeville Magistrate's Court soon.
The Northern Cape High Court has sentenced a man who raped a five-year-old child to life in prison.]]> |||
Kimberley - The Northern Cape High Court on Tuesday sentenced a man who raped a five-year-old child to life in prison, police said.
“The Northern Cape SAPS management welcomed the life jail term handed down on 39-year-old Hendrik Mohau Cutshwa by the Northern Cape High Court,” Lieutenant Olebogeng Tawana said.
The child was playing outside her family's house in Valspan, Jankempdorp in 2011 when Cutshwa forced her to a nearby local sewerage plant and raped her.
He then ran to her grandfather and told him the girl had been raped.
Cutshwa was arrested after the girl pointed him out.
The SA National Roads Agency Limited will not make representations to the advisory panel on e-tolls and their socio-economic impact.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) will not make representations to the advisory panel on e-tolls and their socio-economic impact, it said on Tuesday.
“No, Sanral will not be making representations,” spokesman Vusi Mona said in an e-mail to Sapa.
He had not responded by early Tuesday evening to a further question as to why Sanral had decided this.
The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) told the panel in Midrand on Tuesday that e-tolls in Gauteng had caused widespread outrage.
“The outrage has been far-reaching, across all sectors of society and has galvanised a defiant citizens' tax-revolt, not yet experienced in our young democracy,” chairman Wayne Duvenage said.
“Our socio-economy can't afford this.”
Duvenage said the idea of tolling Gauteng was appealing.
“While the idea and technology of e-tolling for Gauteng was appealing, its execution has been left wanting for a myriad of reasons, many of which were predictable.”
The vast majority of users would not pay, he said.
“For this reason alone we say it is not failing, but it has failed. The authorities will be well advised to call off the flogging of this horse, which was never alive in the first place.”
Duvenage said authorities could try and force people to submit and get e-tags, but could never force people to co-operate.
The story of a Griquatown teen that killed his father, mother and sister on their farm is headed for the big screen.]]> |||
Kimberley - The story of the Griquatown murders, when fifteen-year-old Don Steenkamp killed his father, Deon Steenkamp, his mother, Christel, and his sister, Marthella, will now head for the big screen after the Karoo Film Company announced that it acquired the film rights to the book “The Griekwastad Murders - The Crime that shook South Africa”, written by Jacques Steenkamp.
Don was found guilty of the murders, as well as rape and defeating the ends of justice in March 2014, shortly before Steenkamp’s book was released.
The Kimberley High Court last month sentenced the then seventeen-year-old to 20 years in jail.
It is believed that Don appealed his conviction and sentence on Tuesday.
Jacques Steenkamp followed the story since tragedy struck at the family’s farm in Griquatown on Good Friday, 2012.
The Karoo Film Company, co-owned by top South African crime writer, Deon Meyer, will now have the exclusive rights to convert the book into a movie for one year. The company was the driving force behind movies like the Die Laaste Tango, Alles Wat Mal Is and Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee.
Jacques Steenkamp on Tuesday said that having his book turned into a movie was “a dream come true” and added that that he was very excited to work alongside the legendary Meyer and Diony Kempen on this project. He confirmed that he would be responsible for writing the screenplay and Meyer was expected to produce the film.
Steenkamp said he met Deon Meyer earlier this year during the 2014 “The Bloody Book Week” book festival in Johannesburg, where Meyer asked Steenkamp to adapt his bestselling book into a screenplay for a feature film.
“The story of the Griquatown murders has a universal theme that will resonate with its audience. It has all the elements of a Greek tragedy, but it will be based on true events. The challenge with converting the book into a screenplay will be to tell a story, that is known by most South Africans, in a fresh and compelling way that will captivate a local and possible international audience.
“Because the story and subsequent court case were filled with so much twists and turns, there won’t be a need to add further surprises,” Steenkamp said.
Meyer added that he was “extremely proud” to be involved in the project with Jacques.
“His book - about a case that held the nation spellbound - is brilliant, and our goal and challenge will be to do justice to it,” Meyer said.
Steenkamp added that the film would probably be shot on location in Griquatown, if the screenplay was approved.
Steenkamp has been a journalist for about seven years. He also studied film in Britain.
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A 24-year-old Thabong woman was found lying in a pool of blood after she was raped and viciously stabbed.]]> |||
Welkom - A woman was found dead in Thabong near Welkom, Free State police said on Tuesday.
Lesego Mothibenyane, 24, of Oppenheimer Park, was found dead in the early hours of Monday morning in the street near G-Hostel, Warrant Officer Malebo Khosana said.
“They found a naked woman lying in a pool of blood on the ground. The paramedics were summoned to the scene and she was transported to Bongani Hospital for medical attention.”
She died later on Monday from multiple stab wounds. She had apparently been raped. A case of rape and murder was opened.
“The suspects are still at large as there are no witnesses at this stage.”