A 28-year-old man was stabbed inside a KFC shop in central Johannesburg by an alleged robber, and later died, police said.]]> |||
Johannesburg - A 28-year-old man was stabbed inside a KFC shop in central Johannesburg, and later died, Gauteng police said on Monday.
Three men allegedly tried to rob him, said Warrant Officer Xoli Mbele.
He then ran into a shop on the corner of Klein and Noord streets.
“(The) victim ran inside the KFC where one of the suspects followed and stabbed him once in the upper body.”
He was taken to hospital but died on arrival.
A 31-year-old man was arrested on Sunday in connection with his murder, said Mbele.
He would appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court soon. - Sapa]]>
A man who raped 15 women, including a child, says he deserved a lesser sentence because he came from a poor background.]]> |||
Pretoria - A man who raped 15 women, including an 11-year-old child while he was masked, has turned to the North Gauteng High Court to appeal against his life sentence for raping the girl, stating that he deserved a lesser sentence because he came from a poor background and was a first-time offender.
Fidus Bongani Mthembu, 26, was however, happy with the 10 years imprisonment he received for raping each of his other 14 victims. While this left him with a total of 140 years’ imprisonment, the lower court at the time ordered that some of the sentences run concurrently and that he serve an effective 70 years of the 140 years.
While confirming the life sentence for raping the child, Judge Tatu Makgoba did overturn the effective 70 years. The judge said the result of this would be that Mthembu will first have to serve his life sentence and then start serving 70 years. He said that in terms of the Correctional Services Act, any sentence of incarceration to be served by an accused runs concurrently with a life sentence imposed on that person.
Mthembu was convicted in the Benoni Regional Court for the series of rapes which occurred in Daveyton between June 11, 2009 and January 22, 2011. He accosted his victims and their partnersat gunpoint and forced them into the bushes. He tied the men with their own clothing and blindfolded the women. Mthembu then raped the women while their partners watched helplessly. He always wore a mask.
The 11-year-old was accosted by Mthembu, who was masked with a scarf, while she was walking along a street. He stopped her and pointed a firearm at her. He forced her to a nearby sport stadium where he threatened to shoot her because she refused to undress.
After the rape he ran away.
Mthembu asked for mercy as his father was shot when he was a little boy and his mother left their home, leaving him with a cruel uncle.
The court, however, said rape was inherently horrific, but raping a child was worse.
Additional cops will be deployed to the N2 after motorists were robbed when they hit rocks thrown in the road.]]> |||
Cape Town - Additional police officers will be deployed to patrol the N2 following a spate of robberies of motorists brought to a stop by the stoning of their vehicles or rocks placed in their path.
Earlier this month, South African Airways pilot Archie Bell, who was driving home towards central Cape Town after a late flight, narrowly escaped a potential robbery at the airport approach road exit, a section that authorities have described as a problem.
Days before this, an SAA cabin crew member was injured after stopping on the same stretch of the N2 because rocks had been placed on the road.
Lynette Mitchell, from Somerset West, narrowly escaped injury when her vehicle hit a rock in the middle of the road about 300m from the airport approach road last week. The impact damaged the bumper and caused the vehicle to swerve before coming to a stop.
Mitchell could not be reached for comment, but her mother, Erika Mitchell, said she had been “totally traumatised” by the experience.
“Her car was a write-off. She was in the left lane and after hitting the rock, swerved to the right. There were two cars behind her and they slowed down,” said Erika Mitchell.
Mitchell said police officers parked on the side of the road had seen what happened and came to help.
Motorists using the M3 between Cape Town and Muizenberg have complained about similar incidents.
A Marina Da Gama resident, who declined to be named, said her granddaughter’s car was stoned as she was driving home from work about midnight.
“Between the Constantia and Kendal Road turn-off stones were thrown at her car.
“Luckily they didn’t hit the windscreen, but there was a lot of glass in the road, so they must have hit other cars. There was a black car at the side of the road that started following her, but she raced to the Kirstenhof police station.”
Constantia Watch has issued a statement notifying residents of “unconfirmed reports of stones being thrown at vehicles on the M3 direction Tokai, between the Constantia on-ramp and Kendal Road off-ramp at night”.
“This may be kids’ pranks, but may be a ploy to get you to stop, for thieves to pounce on you from the bushes or from a following vehicle,” it said.
Police were concerned about the frequency of incidents, particularly on the N2, spokesman Frederick van Wyk said.
“The entire route is well policed by the Western Cape Flying Squad, assisted by patrols from police stations and the metro police.”
During a breakdown, motorists should remain in their vehicles and report the problem by phone, he said.
He urged motorists to report incidents.
The mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said metro police and law enforcement officers would be deployed to the area.
“The freeway management system is also helping us with policing the N2.
“Our circular cameras will watch out for any suspicious movement.
“If we see people loitering around the road or placing rocks on the road, we will act.”
The SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) was aware of reports of an increase in the number of robberies of motorists on the N2 near Cape Town International Airport, spokesman Vusi Mona said.
The SANDF allegedly failed to comply with a court order that prohibits discrimination against HIV-positive employees.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The SANDF is being dragged to court for allegedly failing to comply with a court order that prohibits it from discriminating against HIV-positive employees.
The SANDF’s old health classification policy excluded people living with HIV from recruitment, external deployment and promotion in the military.
In 2008, the Pretoria High Court declared the force’s HIV-testing policy unreasonably and “unjustifiably” infringed on the rights of aspirant members and existing HIV-positive members.
The Aids Law Project (now part of the NGO Section27) had challenged the SANDF’s blanket exclusion, regardless of a member’s fitness levels and actual ability to do the job.
This led to the adoption of a new and improved policy in 2009 which was meant to discontinue the blanket discriminatory policy.
On Tuesday, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria will hear arguments from lawyers representing three new applicants, joined by the SA Security Forces Union and the SA National Defence Union. They are challenging the alleged continuing discrimination of HIV-positive members within the navy.
Section27 is acting on behalf of the applicants.
The case is against the SANDF and surgeon-general of the military health service.
According to the applicants’ heads of argument, six years after the 2008 order the SANDF continues to exclude new recruits solely on the basis of their HIV status.
“It does so regardless of the applicant’s actual state of health, the job to be performed, and regardless of the order of the court,” the papers state.
The applicants have labelled the SANDF’s conduct “unlawful” and want to put an end to it through the court action.
According to the 2008 order, the SANDF was no longer allowed to refuse to recruit, deploy externally or promote any person solely on the basis of their HIV-positive status.
The applicants also argue the SANDF’s insistence on the use of the G1K1 health prerequisite for admission to the Military Skills Development System (MSDS) and the Core Services System could be considered a breach of the 2008 order.
G1K1 is a health classification used to show one has no underlying medical condition, and is therefore ready to be deployed locally and internationally.
In responding papers, the military accepts that in prescribing the G1K1 classification as a prerequisite for admission to the MSDS and the CSS, there is discrimination for those who don’t qualify.
“At present this means all candidates with HIV or other chronic ailments and diseases, as well as persons with debilitating physical or mental handicaps,” their responding papers state.
They argue that for the past six years, the SANDF has been “oversubscribed”, with more applicants than posts available.
“The respondents have therefore been in the position for the past six years of being able to pick and choose from, quite literally, the very best candidates…
“The respondents therefore have to start eliminating recruits and the starting point is their health examination.”
They also state that the G1K1 classification is classified and a G2K1 classification is given to any person suffering from, for example, hearing loss and is not solely reserved for people with HIV.
The applicants argue that the military fails to deal with evidence that an adult with HIV, on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment when their CD4 count is above 200 and has been adherent for more than 24 months, has a “near-normal life expectancy”, compared to an HIV-negative person of the same age.
They also argue that the SANDF’s use of HIV status as an indicator of fitness is inconsistent with international policy for UN peacekeeping forces.
Andisiwe Dwenge, the first applicant in the matter, left the force last year after her contract wasn’t renewed. She contracted HIV in November 2011 and was due to progress from the MSDS to the CSS. She wants justice to be done.
“I was fit then, I am fit now and not on ARVs.”
Survival rates for children with cancer are significantly lower in South Africa than in developed countries.]]> |||
Cape Town - Survival rates for children with cancer are significantly lower in South Africa than in developed countries because many get to hospital when the disease is already advanced, according to a study published in the South African Medical Journal this month.
The study also noted cancer deaths were more prevalent among black and coloured children.
Researchers said new strategies were needed urgently to improve childhood cancer awareness.
The study, conducted at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town and Universitas Hospital in the Free State, examined 3 241 cancer incidents in children under 15 years old between January 1987 and December 2011.
In the Western Cape, the annual incidence of childhood cancer has been estimated at 87.8/million, compared to 62.6/million in the Free State and between 33.4 and 47.2/million between 2003 and 2007 in Africa.
The five-year survival rate in the two hospitals included in the study was 53.8 percent. In the United States, the five-year survival rate of children is nearly 80 percent and in Europe the three-year survival rate for childhood cancer is 81 percent.
Researchers attributed the low survival rate in South Africa to limited resources, co-infections with diseases such as HIV, and malnutrition.
“Children from low-income countries are often malnourished when a malignancy is diagnosed,” the study read.
“Malnutrition in children with cancer renders them vulnerable to chemotherapy-related toxicity and infections, and ultimately increases the risk of death.”
Researchers suggested that malnutrition among black and coloured children in the Western Cape could explain the low survival rate for black children in the study.
They noted that research in 2002 indicated there was “a substantially higher prevalence of micro-nutrient deficiencies among disadvantaged black and coloured infants in urban communities in the Western Cape than in other groups”, which “may result in a worse outcome” for these children.
Limited places to access care in low-income areas, late referrals from primary health professionals and community health workers, parents and communities’ lack of knowledge about paediatric cancer all contribute to the low survival rate.
Researchers advocated creating awareness campaigns countrywide to facilitate earlier diagnosis among underprivileged children and improve the survival rate of childhood cancer patients.
“If you agreed a long time ago to do something with me, you wouldn’t have suffered like you did.”]]> |||
Pretoria - “If you agreed a long time ago to do something with me, you wouldn’t have suffered like you did.”
Feeling violated, City of Tshwane’s corporate and shared services department staffer Miriam Mhlongo filed a complaint of sexual harassment and victimisation against the senior official who uttered these words to her in his office in January.
In the same conversation, the official - whose name has been withheld - allegedly asked Mhlongo “what she had” against city manager Jason Ngobeni that required him to resolve the work-related problems she raised.
“I was perplexed; it literally means one must have something against management before they can resolve issues,” Mhlongo said, who subsequently wrote to the official reaffirming her refusal to “do something” with him.
In the e-mail, she stated that “if agreeing to sleep with you in return for you making it possible for me to get a promotion is the only option that you give me for my misery to come to an end, I regret to inform you that I will rather not get promotion. I am not going to subject myself to any sexual favours with anybody for any sum of money.
In reply, the official “noted” Mhlongo’s work-related issues included claims that the city was creating unapproved positions, denying her a chance to attend training courses and failing to grant her due salary increases or offer her higher positions.
The city has since charged Mhlongo for a variety of offences.
These include that she accused the senior official of sexually harassing her, and wanting her to exchange sexual favours with him in return for a promotion.
An investigator met her last Thursday to look into the matter, but Mhlongo refused to co-operate, saying arbitration was pending on the charges the city laid against her, including that she accused the official of sexual harassment.
The city investigation, she said, was just an attempt to rectify the situation after realising that the matter had not been handled properly.
Her hand struggled under the weight, but Chantel Morris was determined to carry her son’s coffin to his grave.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Holding their helmets in the air and heads bowed, motorbikers formed a guard of honour for 4-year-old Taegrin Morris as pallbearers carried him to his final resting place.
Among the pallbearers were his parents, Chantel and Elwin, who bravely carried the coffin containing the body of the beloved son.
While there were many people who could have carried the coffin from the hearse to the grave, the couple chose to help carry their son to his final resting place and bid him farewell.
Their daughter Erin, 8, walked in front of the coffin, holding a picture of her smiling baby brother.
While her hand struggled under the weight of the coffin, Chantel’s face was a picture of determination as she slowly walked to the open grave and put the coffin on it.
She and Elwin placed a bouquet of flowers on top of the coffin as well as two toy cars that were still in their boxes.
Next to them, Erin’s playful demeanour was testimony to the fact that her young mind was oblivious to the fact that she will never see her brother again.
Even when she and other children released blue balloons with “RIP Taegrin” written on them, she giggled as she watched them disappear into the sky, her young mind still unable to comprehending the severity of what was happening.
Erin was in the car with Chantel in Reiger Park, Boksburg, on the Saturday the previous weekend when they were hijacked.
Chantel had just turned around to strap in Taegrin and when she turned back to the steering wheel, a gun was pressed against her face.
She screamed for Erin to jump out of the car and tried to get Taegrin out of the seat. She felt the car move and pleaded with the hijackers to let her release him as his foot was still stuck in the seatbelt.
But they ignored her pleas and sped off, dragging Taegrin with the car for about 4km before dumping his body and the car next to an abandoned building in Boksburg.
Speaking at the funeral at Reiger Park stadium, Gauteng Premier David Makhura described Taegrin’s killers as “heartless”. Makhura said the heartless killers simply ignored Taegrin cries for help and cries for his mother.
“We are hurt by the pain he endured in his passing and the manner in which his heartless killers took his life.”
Makhura said the community had given Taegrin a new name - Prince of Peace - and said his death should not be in vain, but rather bring much-needed change in Reiger Park.
“The Prince of Peace, in his own way, is saying to us in his name enough is enough, genoeg is genoeg,” said Makhura.
“All of us united in grief should say… his death must bring hope to this community of Reiger Park. This is a ravaged community and I’d like to say, on behalf of the provincial government, that we join you to say enough is enough.
“We have to find all the criminals and drive them out of the communities.”
Among the mourners was Lizzy Phike, the Bronkhorstspruit woman whose husband was hijacked, assaulted and left for dead by his attackers, who sped off with their child Mongezi two weeks ago.
Mongezi was missing for days and finally reunited with his family last week. His father Martin is recovering at home.
Looking at Chantel pained Phike. “Unfortunately, she was not lucky like me to get her son back and all I can say is I am sorry. It is painful to lose a child,” she said.
Since Taegrin’s death, the community has been baying for blood. However, Jerry Joubert, of the New Apostolic Church, cautioned against residents taking the law into their own hands, saying it was not worth it, because doing so would reduce them to the same level as Taegrin’s killers.
“What happened does not make sense and it should not make sense. It is not for us to pursue the agenda of revenge.
“Let us give support to those whose function is to find justice. Let us not become perpetrators in trying to get justice, because we will be exactly the same as the ones who perpetrated the deed.”
With smuggling running rife at the Swaziland border, the Cape Town Rifles have been called in to bring down syndicates.]]> |||
Cape Town - In places, the border that separates Swaziland and South Africa is rather inhospitable.
The bush teems with wildlife, rugged holes conceal deadly black mambas and the humid air is thick with mosquitoes.
But this is where a battalion of Cape Town army reservists, from the Cape Town Rifles (Dukes) Alpha company, will join other regiments in the summer months.
With smuggling running rife in the area, the Dukes have been called in to bring down the syndicates that move drugs, contraband and rhino horns over the border.
“It’s going to be a rough six months,” Captain Mark van Zyl told the Cape Argus.
Van Zyl is Alpha company’s official commander but will be handing over command to Major Robin Collins for the duration of the deployment.
As a group of regiments, married under the banner of a composite battalion known as the 21 SA Infantry Battalion, they will police 250km of wild territory along the South African and Swaziland border - stretching from Josefdal in the north to KwaZulu-Natal in the south.
One company will be in the Kruger National Park where poachers are most prevalent.
Border control duties were recently handed over from the police to the SA National Defence Force.
Since 2012, reservists have been deployed as part of border protection operations and will be on the increase in support of the regular force component.
As a result, they will have full policing rights in the 10km strip from the South African border.
Van Zyl said it was almost like a war zone. With smugglers moving through the area on an almost daily basis there was potential for dangerous standoffs.
Some smugglers were armed, and those that were not had stashes of money to try to bribe their way to safety, he said.
“This is big money we are talking about. This is why we tell our guys that as soon as they are out there their lives are in danger.”
The battalion currently active in the area had exchanged gunfire during standoffs with smugglers, he said.
During the Cape Town Rifles combined battalion’s previous duties on the Limpopo border in 2012 contraband valued at about R20 million had been seized.
Van Zyl said he was proud to have been part of that operation and hoped the company could emulate that in its next tour of duty.
The battalion would focus on preventing undocumented travellers from crossing the border into South Africa and vice versa, he said.
It would also be on the lookout for drug mules smuggling narcotic substances such as dagga, which was commonplace in the area.
Van Zyl said teams would be on standby to assist park rangers in the Kruger Park to nab poachers if required.
The park has already lost 370 rhinos this year, following an almost systematic slaughter of the animals last year when poachers killed more than 1 000 for their horns.
Van Zyl said that human trafficking was also a problem.
The composite battalion is due to spend six months stationed on the border, returning to Cape Town next April.
“These operations will see the company deploy in harsh and extreme weather conditions with an ever-present threat to life of each deployed soldier,” Van Zyl said.
“The deployed members will also be away from their loved ones over the festive season.”
Striking Medunsa students vowed not to allow anyone on to the campus until their demands have been met.]]> |||
Pretoria - A student strike at the Ga-Rankuwa campus of the Medical University of SA (Medunsa) entered its third day today and the students have vowed not to allow anyone on to the campus until their demands have been met.
The students said on Sunday that gates would again be locked and staff and members of the public would be denied access while the students protested against alleged irregularities and unfair practices by lectures and administrators.
“What will they be coming here for if they have no interest in sorting out our problems,” said the president of the student representative body, Melusi Marakalala, on Sunday.
“They have evidence of it all and yet sit on it instead of acting in the interest of the students,” he said.
Among issues in the memo, given to acting deputy vice-chancellor Professor Tsepho Gugushe on Thursday, students alleged that fifth-year students were victimised and named seven lectures, six of them professors, who deliberately “failed students”.
Zuma's failure to respond to the public protector's Nkandla report shows the urgent need to fix the existing code of ethics, EthicsSA has said.]]> |||
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma's failure to meet the deadline and respond to the public protector's Nkandla report demonstrates the urgent need to fix the existing code of ethics for the national and provincial cabinets, the Ethics Institute of SA (EthicsSA) said on Monday.
“The code of ethics itself is a perfectly good one, except that it makes no provision for the process to be followed when the alleged transgressor is the president himself,” EthicsSA CEO Professor Deon Rossouw said.
“It's a well-established legal and moral principle that nobody can be [the] judge in his own case. This is something that must be remedied urgently by Parliament to prevent a replay of the current situation.”
The problem was that the code made no provision for the procedure to be followed if the president was the alleged transgressor, and it was not clear if it even covered the president.
“In other words, the code is not clear about how transgressions by the president should be handled, something that the government set out to rectify through an amendment. A draft amendment was published in 2011, but it has not yet been enacted,” said Rossouw.
“This amendment must be fast-tracked to rectify this serious flaw, and prevent future stalemates such as we are now experiencing.
Section 96 of the Constitution mandates that a code of ethics for Cabinet ministers and their deputies be implemented. Parliament passed the Executive Members' Ethics Act, which came into effect in October 1998, requiring the president to promulgate a code of ethics for Cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and MECs.
The act broadly outlines the provisions of the code, and nominates the Public Protector to investigate complaints against the executive and furnish reports to the president in cases against Cabinet members, their deputies, or premiers and MECs.
Rossouw said the president had promulgated an executive code of ethics in the Government Gazette in July 2000.
“However, this document's definitions no longer make it clear that the code covers the president. It merely refers to 'cabinet members' without specifically including the president,” said Rossouw.
In a report released in March, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found Zuma and his family had unduly benefited from the R246 million security upgrades to his private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.
Zuma declined to respond to Madonsela's report in full within the required fortnight. Instead he said he would wait for the Special Investigating Unit's findings on the matter. The SIU confirmed recently that its final report had been delayed.
Zuma had undertaken to hand National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete a comprehensive report on the outcome of three separate investigations into state spending on his home in mid-July.
However, presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said Zuma needed more information before responding to findings about his home.
On July 5, the African National Congress Chief Whip's office said Zuma had received the provisional SIU report and would provide Mbete with a final and comprehensive response within 30 days. - Sapa]]>
Residents of two Joburg south communities have been warned to be on the lookout for brazen daylight robbers.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Resident of two Joburg south communities have been warned to be on the lookout for a “White Jeep gang” of brazen daylight robbers.
The latest incident took place at midday on Saturday, when the gang - made up of about five men - gained entry to a home on Mount Pellan Drive in Bassonia and fled with valuables.
They used a pickaxe to force the gate off its rail, said Glenvista Community Policing Forum (CPF) spokesman Bruce Lennox.
“It seems to be the start of a new gang. I fully believe we’re going to see them again in the next three weeks,” Lennox said.
The CPF first spotted the gang last Tuesday. They have been named the White Jeep gang because of the Jeep Compass they have used in both robberies.
In the first robbery the gang were more opportunistic, Lennox said, as they stole a new TV from a driveway during a delivery at a home on Ferox Drive in Glenvista in the morning.
It was unclear whether the men were armed, he added.
The CPF had been informed by police that the car’s registration plate is false.
It is in possession of CCTV footage from both incidents and the Jeep’s licence plate is either CB01DBGP or CD01DBGP.
The police spokesman for the area, Warrant Officer Gordon Billing, said he could not comment without the relevant case numbers, which the CPF could not supply at the time of publication.
The Department of Basic Education has labelled teachers union Sadtu’s call for longer school holidays as harmful.]]> |||
Cape Town - A demand for longer school holidays has been labelled as “harmful” to pupils by the Department of Basic Education.
A proposal to have vacations for school teachers and students lengthened was discussed by the SA Democratic Teachers Union last week.
General secretary Mungwena Maluleke complained that holidays had been scaled back year-on-year since 2010.
He said teachers spent most of the school holidays marking pupils’ work, and weekends preparing for the week’s lessons, leaving them with little time to spend with their families or to unwind.
“Where we come from we did not have to work until December 13 only for schools to reopen on January 7 the following year. This is a matter that you need to debate.”
Maluleke was speaking at the union’s provincial conference in Durban on Wednesday.
But Department of Basic Education spokesman Terence Khala said the idea of longer holidays could not be entertained.
“Any time spent away from the presently allocated 200 days of learning and teaching is harmful to the gains made in ensuring appropriate time is spent on the task of teaching and learning.”
As it stands the school calendar year starts on January 15 and ends on December 10.
In that time teachers have a total of 48 days leave - including public holidays - which is around triple the number of average leave days employees in South Africa get. The average employee is entitled to around 15 working days’ paid leave a year.
Khala said the calendar had been settled on because it gave pupils sufficient time to work through their course loads. But he said it would not solely be up to his department on whether the calendar was adjusted. This responsibility belonged to the council of education ministers, and comprised the Basic Education minister and nine provincial MECs.
“They have been presented with a draft proposal to amend the policy governing the creation of school calendars,” said Khala. “They will make a decision once the provinces have reached an adequate consensus.”
Education expert Graeme Bloch said the current system - which since 2012 has sat at around 200 days of school a year - had yielded exceptional results, as evident in the increasing matric pass rate.
He said there was no good reason to move away from it.
The third international mathematics and science study, published in 2011, shows that countries with longer school years perform better in subjects such as maths and science.
The study tracked results in both subjects for grades 7 and 8 in various countries and ranked them in order of academic performance.
The results were telling, with South Korea - which has an average of 220 to 225 school days a year - topping the list. Other top performers included China and Japan which have 221 and 201 school days each year respectively.
A parliamentary ad-hoc committee will again be established to consider Zuma's response to the public protector’s Nkandla report.]]> |||
Johannesburg - A parliamentary ad-hoc committee will again be established to consider President Jacob Zuma's response to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on Nkandla, Beeld reported on Monday.
ANC chief whip Stone Sizani confirmed this on Sunday after a lekgotla of the ANC caucus.
“The president notified the speaker per letter when he was attending the Brics conference that he will deliver a comprehensive submission to Parliament on his return.”
“We are waiting for it now. As soon as we receive it Parliament will establish the committee,” he said.
The previous committee was disbanded just before the May 7 elections.
In a report released in March, Madonsela found Zuma and his family had unduly benefited from the R246 million security upgrades to his private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.
Zuma missed his own deadline to reply to the protector by mid-July and said he wanted to reply after the Special Investigating Unit completed its own investigation. - Sapa]]>
Confidential SACP document were found dumped outside the retail store of prominent businessman Steve Bosch.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Confidential documents that belong to the SACP were found at a rubbish dump outside the retail store of prominent Limpopo businessman Steve Bosch.
Files containing minutes of meetings, non-collected party membership cards and a computer keyboard were among the items strewn outside Sizani Build IT store in Ladine, Polokwane, at the weekend.
A provincial party insider said the dumped documents had been kept at Bosch’s house in Plein Street, which was previously used as the SACP’s provincial headquarters.
After Soviet Lekganyane’s unceremonious resignation as SACP provincial secretary and the subsequent dissolution of his provincial executive, Bosch locked the interim party structure out of his house.
At the time, Lekganyane was ANC provincial executive committee member and housing MEC. Bosch had won contracts to build low-cost housing in Lekganyane’s department.
On Sunday, SACP provincial secretary Gilbert Kganyago said the party would seek legal opinion over the dumping of its material. He said after Bosch had locked his house, SACP material was never returned to the party.
“I think this was just a deliberate attempt to embarrass the SACP by exposing documents, unduly so, to people who are not supposed to see them,” said Kganyago.
Bosch’s house, which the SACP used as its offices until 2011, and the retail store where documents were dumped are kilometres apart. Bosch could not be reached for comment.
The documents include a letter written by SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande to Lekganyane.
In the letter, Nzimande asked Lekganyane’s provincial party leadership to help host 35 guests from different countries who were to attend the SACP special national congress at the University of Limpopo’s Turfloop campus in December 2009.
Nzimande also asked the province and its “institutions” to welcome international guests and ensure their stay was hospitable and warm.
According to the letter, this would include a welcome dinner, a “solidarity” dinner, a heritage tour and transport.
“Both dinners can be hosted by different institutions or personalities such as the premier, mayor or any other at different venues,” read Nzimande’s letter.
SACP national spokesman Alex Mashilo explained that the invitation to host the party dinners was extended to the premier and mayors as individuals, and not to the government institutions they represented.
“Normally, the premier or the mayor in the area where the event is taking place would do a welcome input.”
Lekganyane said he would not take responsibility for the dumped documents.
He claimed that when he resigned as party secretary, he had left everything in the hands of the former provincial leadership.
"The number of violent learners is frightening, and it cuts across primary and high schools."]]> |||
Pretoria - Schools across the country are in the grip of violence and an acute lack of discipline - committed by only 5 percent of pupils - which threatens to tip society and the education system out of control.
The problem was a double-edged one and affected pupils and teachers, a symposium of stakeholders declared on Saturday.
Teacher unions, teachers, school governing bodies and Education Department officials agreed that the scourge knew no boundaries, hitting the most affluent schools and those in poor communities equally hard.
It also posed the danger of creating a society of violent people who knew no discipline.
The experts said it was time to claim schools back from the 5 percent of unruly pupils on behalf of the silent majority.
This should be done in a partnership which required the participation of parents and the community if it was to succeed.
At a symposium on discipline and violence in schools, hosted by teacher union SA Onderwyserunie, (SAOU), participants included Basic Education Department officials, the National Professional Teachers Organisation (Naptosa) and SA Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu).
The Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools (Fedsas), the Governing Body Foundation, the National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB) and other stakeholders also attended.
“We need to get back to delivering speedily,” SAOU chief executive Chris Klopper said. The major problem as identified by teacher unions was the lack of support from the department, he said.
The department was quick to rush in, investigate and charge when staff appeared to be in the wrong, but failed to act when pupils assaulted teachers, he added.
“We want to join hands with parents and tell the department that we want our schools back on behalf of the silent majority. We want to bring discipline back,” he said.
Pupils were not fools and knew it was better to be out of trouble than in, said Tim Gordon of the Governing Body Foundation.
“If they know what you want, 95 percent will give it to you when you want it, but you always remain with the 5 percent problem.”
That 5 percent was what needed to be tackled, he said.
One solution would be to combine rules and tools to effect authority relevant for use in today’s world, Gordon said.
As society was undergoing change, there existed a child from two worlds. One was guilty of the misdemeanor of challenging authority, was cheeky and talked back, he said.
The other’s misdemeanor was bringing weapons to school, fighting with his peers and inviting gangs on to school premises.
“This problem is being serviced by one system, yet it cannot be dealt with equally.”
Naptosa head Basil Manuel said failure to instil discipline in the minority holding education society at ransom posed the danger of a lawless society.
“The number of violent learners is frightening, and it’s worse being that it was not age specific and cut across primary and high schools,” he said.
The involvement of parents and the community was important to sustain lessons taught at school, Manuel said.
The National Association of School Governing Bodies’ Matakanye Matakanye stressed that communication to parents and community structures had to be structured so they understood the message. “They need to know exactly what is being said.”
He also suggested that discipline be made part of the curriculum to be a subject pupils learnt and infused into their minds.
Poverty was another contributing factor, he said, a sentiment echoed by New Life Community Project’s Gerrie Smit, who said violence was sometimes the outcome of deep underlying stress.
The phenomenon was found on both sides of the economic barrier, he said. “For some kids it is part of their survival dynamics, frozen anger so the classroom is in a therapeutic context where they can act it out.”
School was also an economic venue for some, who sold drugs for survival. “We shouldn’t waste time on crisis management. We need to, and can, take back the environment by using the right strategy in dealing with each individual scenario,” Smit said.
Other strategies for solving the violence and discipline problems involved making classes smaller; balancing the methods of dealing with perpetrators and victims; dealing with minor and major crimes; making activists out of teachers; and embracing new realities of modern day pupils.
The results of the symposium would be presented to the department, which would be encouraged to step up and assist those schools which required help, and allow those schools with solutions to use their authority and knowledge.
EFF leader Julius Malema's comments that the DA is funded by the people of Israel has no substance, the party said.]]> |||
Johannesburg - EFF leader Julius Malema's comments that the Democratic Alliance is funded by the people of Israel has no substance, the DA said on Monday.
“Everyone in South Africa knows that everything that Julius says does not have substance,” DA international relations spokesman Stevens Mokgalapa said.
“He says reckless things without thinking. We are not concerned by his comments.”
Mokgalapa said Malema was trying to politicise an issue that was of real concern in the Middle East.
“It's a real issue. People are dying, and we have called for a cease-fire.”
During the Economic Freedom Fighters' one year anniversary rally on Saturday, Malema said the DA should be rejected as it was funded by people from Israel.
“All of us must reject the DA. The DA gets money from Israel,” he told supporters at Thokoza Park in Soweto.
The EFF was the only organisation in South Africa that supported Palestine, he claimed. - Sapa]]>
The family of a Lenasia man killed in an apparent road-rage attack are living in fear as the "killer" is on the run.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The family of a Lenasia south man murdered in an apparent road-rage attack, Joash Harrod, are living in fear as the alleged killer is still on the run, three weeks after the fatal shooting.
On Saturday, police said they were offering a R50 000 reward for information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of Koobendran Moodley.
Police spokesman Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said Moodley’s whereabouts were still unknown and, despite the reward, no arrests had been made.
Harrod’s father Timothy said he was unaware of the status of the case as he had not been contacted by the investigating officers, despite being a police captain himself.
“My family… they’re scared, they’re wondering what’s happening,” he said on Sunday.
“Every time a car pulls up outside or if a phone rings, they jump up to check it out. He (Joash) was a good guy. He was close to me, he was more my friend than my son,” he said.
There have been conflicting media reports of what happened on July 5, but Timothy explained what they had been told.
His son was travelling with his girlfriend and another friend to a shopping mall when they stopped at a four-way intersection.
A car travelling in the same direction - but into oncoming traffic - allegedly collided with the right side of Joash’s vehicle as he turned right at the intersection.
Timothy said the impact had been so severe his son’s car was dragged sideways as Moodley allegedly then reversed, because the vehicles were stuck together.
The cars eventually came apart and Moodley allegedly fled, “without checking if anyone was killed or injured”, Timothy said.
Joash asked another motorist who witnessed the crash if they could pursue Moodley in the witness’s car, because his own vehicle was badly damaged.
Moodley then apparently stopped in Azalea Street, Lenasia south, and Joash got out of the witness’s car to speak to him.
“They were about a metre apart when this guy pulled out a gun. Joash turned to run away and was shot at close range,” Timothy said.
Moodley then allegedly fired at the witness, who was still in his car, hitting him in the hand, before the witness drove off.
Timothy said the family are desperate for Moodley’s arrest so he can face the law and they can have their questions answered.
eThekwini doubles and triples penalties while Cape Town uses hi-tech to get fines paid.]]> |||
Durban - Drivers caught breaking the rules of the road in the eThekwini Municipality face far stiffer fines than previously.
The recent annual rise in penalties more than doubles admission of guilt fines for transgressions such as speeding and not making way for emergency vehicles.
Among the biggest increases is the penalty for failing to comply with the instruction or direction of a traffic officer. The fine - previously R1000 - is now R2500, more than the fine for driving a light motor vehicle without a licence, which is R2000.
Not giving right of way to an emergency vehicle sounding a siren or displaying identification goes up from R500 to R1500.
Some fines, however, have decreased.
Drivers not carrying their licences previously had to cough up R250; now they face lesser punishments, with fines ranging from R100, depending on the licence code.
eThekwini Municipality spokeswoman Tozi Mthethwa said the increases were an annual adjustment determined by the Department of Justice, and varied according to the nature of the offence.
Speeding fines have also increased, with the adjustments depending on the type of vehicle that is being driven.
The new speeding fines for light motor vehicles exceeding a 60km/h limit in an urban area are:
R300 for driving 71km/h to 74km/h - up from R200.
R700 for driving 80km/h to 84km/h - up from R400.
R1000 for driving 85km/h to 90km/h - up from R500.
Breaking an 80km/h speed limit, indicated by a road traffic sign, carries new admission of guilt fines:
R300 for driving 91km/h to 94km/h - up from R100.
R400 for driving 95km/h to 99km/h - up from R150.
R500 for driving 100km/h to 104km/h - up from R200.
R600 for driving 105km/h to 109km/h - up from R250.
R700 for driving 110km/h to 114km/h - up from R300.
R800 for driving 115km/h to 119km/h - up from R400.
New admission of guilt fines for exceeding the speed limit in a 120km/h zone are:
R1500 for driving 150km/h to 154km/h - up from R700.
R2000 for driving 155km/h to 160km/h - up from R1 000.
eThekwini's new speeding fines are higher than those in the Western Cape, sometimes by as much as R800, and for transgressing the speed limit by less.
The fine for an unlicensed Code B driver is now R2000, up from R1000.
Drivers who operate heavy motor vehicles, such as an articulated vehicle of more than 16 000kg a rigid vehicle of more than 16 000kg pulling a trailer of more than 750kg, without the driving licence to do so, will be fined R5000. The previous amount was not supplied by the municipality.
Another hefty increase is for failing to comply with an instruction of an inspector of licences, which is now R2500, as opposed to R1000.
Operating an unroadworthy vehicle will cost drivers R1500, up from R1 000.
The eThekwini municipality did not respond to questions regarding the collection rate of traffic fines.
SMSes KEEP CAPE TOWN’S FINE MONEY ROLLING IN
Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town has persuaded errant motorists to part with R43 million more in traffic fines compared to 2013.
Cape Town traffic services reported R142.3 million in 'traffic income' uring its 2014 financial year (ending June 2014). This is significantly higher than its 2012/13 financial year of R99.3 million.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the increase was not because more fines were being issued but through interventions such as SMS notifications.
Although the fine recovery rate was the best in the country, it was still less than 40 percent, he said.
"Only through ensuring that traffic offenders are compelled to face the consequences of their actions can we change their road behaviour and make our roads safer," said Smith.
The SMS intervention started as a pilot project in April 2014, when the city's traffic fine management department rolled out a reminder service.
In addition first notices of fines were sent by mail, along with a confirmation SMS. The second notice was replaced by a text message. Fourteen days later motorists received a final SMS warning that failing to settle would result in a summons.
"The department receives large quantities of 'return to sender' first notices due to the fact that the physical addresses where vehicles are registered are not updated. This is why the department started the SMS initiative," Smith said.
In addition, Cape Town traffic used number plate recognition to track offenders with outstanding warrants.
The Mercury; Cape Argus]]>
A 21-year-old woman from Vlakfontein, alleged to have been kidnapped and taken hostage, has not yet been found.]]> |||
Johannesburg - A 21-year-old woman from Vlakfontein, south of Johannesburg, alleged to have been kidnapped had not yet been found on Monday, police said.
The woman was reportedly taken hostage on Friday, said Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela.
“She left her home in the morning and said she was going to go look for a job,” Makhubela said.
“At around 5.45, the woman's grandmother received a WhatsApp message saying she must bring R30 000 cash within 24 hours or she won't see her granddaughter again.”
The message also contained information on where the money should be dropped off.
The grandmother reported the incident to the Lenasia police.
“As the police, we also traced the place from where they were contacting her from,” said Makhubela.
The kidnappers were no longer at that location and they did not arrive at the organised drop-off point.
She had not yet been found on Monday morning, said Makhubela.
Police were investigating a case of kidnapping.
A man was killed after a gun battle between assailants and police in Zola, Soweto.]]> |||
Johannesburg - A man was killed in a shooting in Zola, Soweto, police said on Monday.
The incident occurred on Sunday night, said Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela.
“Police had been told that three men in a car had pointed a gun at a Community Police Forum member and taken his cellphone and money,” said Makhubela.
“The police spotted the car and when they tried to stop it, the suspects shot at them.”
Police returned fire and one of the men in the vehicle was killed.
The other two were arrested and the stolen items were recovered.
The pair would appear in the Protea Magistrate's Court soon where they would face charges of armed robbery and attempted murder.