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The families of the victims have testified in the trial of Sibusiso Langa, who drove into a group of joggers, killing five of them.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Sibusiso Langa, the mechanical engineer who drove into a group of joggers in Midrand two years ago, killing five of them, regretted the loss of life, his pastor testified in the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.
Pastor Sakhile Sibeya testified that he had unsuccessfully tried to make contact with the families of the victims to convey Langa's remorse.
Langa was found guilty last month on five charges of culpable homicide and one of drunk driving.
Sibeya said Langa had told him he would be willing to consider some form of financial contribution to the families of the victims.
Asked if Langa was willing to take responsibility for driving drunk and killing five people while driving on the wrong side of the road, Sibeya said they did not talk about this.
“He communicated regret for the loss of life, that he had remorse and that this incident had affected him terribly,” he said.
Mashudu Mills, whose daughter Given died in the accident, laughed when she heard this evidence.
She testified that her daughter was a passionate runner who had won 53 medals, including one in the Comrades marathon and two in the Soweto marathon for which she was training when she died.
She had a business management and marketing degree and was a sales manager at Protea Hotels at the time of her death.
She was an enthusiastic, lovable person whose friends called her “Diva” because of her love of drama and life. They still celebrated her birthday every year.
“All I see is a man who has no remorse at all. All I see is a man who holds a mirror in his hand. All he sees is himself,” she said.
Her daughter had adopted a younger sibling's child, who now had to be raised by her grandmother.
Mills still felt that Langa had murdered her daughter and said he deserved to be sent to jail so that South Africans would know they did not have to fear being knocked down from behind while running.
She said she would not accept Langa's insistence that what happened was just a tragic accident.
“After two years, it's not a sorry. It's just words,” she said.
Reneilwe Lesenyeho's younger sister Nkhotseng testified that the family had lost a friend, breadwinner and mother figure with the death of her sister, who was a chemical engineer employed as a senior project manager.
Lesenyeho had been supporting her and the four-year-old child of a family member, and life without her was a tragedy, she said.
She had tried to reach out to Langa, and had even gave him her telephone number in an effort to obtain closure, but was rebuffed every time.
Isaac Tlale's wife Kgomotso was eight months pregnant with their second child when her husband was killed.
He was an electrical engineer who had just been promoted to director of his company.
Tlale said in a statement her husband's death had changed her life drastically overnight.
She battled with depression and had become a single working mother who had to raise two toddlers on her own.
Seeing Langa in court without any sign of remorse had brought back all her anger and hatred for him, she said.
Tlale was contemplating selling her house because she lived near the accident scene, and had to pass the place where her husband died every day.
Nomvula Dumako's mother Madiepo said her daughter had loved life and her family.
She had an honours degree in information technology, had worked as a developer, and had planned to do her MBA.
Nomvula's son was 22-months-old when his mother died, had no recollection of her and would never feel the motherly love her daughter would have given him, she said.
Margaret Mokoatsi was studying for a Bcom degree and was working as a specialist in information security at a bank at the time of her death.
She was a breadwinner, supporting her sickly father and unemployed younger brother.
“She was the golden girl to the family. Our hearts will remain sore because she was brutally murdered,” her family said in a statement.
Judge Bert Bam postponed the trial to December 11 for the evidence of a psychologist.
A new liquor by-law is expected to be published in the Western Cape provincial government gazette in January next year.]]> |||
Cape Town - A new liquor by-law is expected to be published in the Western Cape provincial government gazette in January next year, Cape Town officials said on Wednesday.
It would repeal all existing by-laws concerned with the sale of liquor, said mayoral committee member for economic, environmental and spatial planning, Garreth Bloor.
“It is likely to come into effect on 1 February 2014,” he said.
“The by-law allows for the possibility of extended trading hours during the week and on Sundays for off-consumption trade.”
Bloor said the city had been sensitive to the need to balance addressing the social impact of liquor trading, without causing job losses and damage to the local economy.
Applications for the extension of on-consumption trading hours would continue as normal but applications for the consumption of off-consumption trading hours could only be made once the new law was gazetted, said Bloor.
Cape Town's city council has removed Junade Hoosain from his position for slurs against a black security guard.]]> |||
Cape Town - Cape Town's city council has removed DA councillor Junade Hoosain from his position, the party said on Wednesday.
Hoosain was found guilty of racism by the city's disciplinary committee after he reportedly used a racial slur against a black security guard, said Democratic Alliance spokeswoman Lisa Albrecht.
She said the party would now conduct its own disciplinary process.
The city council was also taking disciplinary action against another councillor, Michael Toko.
Toko allegedly illegally drew an old age pension grant while earning a salary as a fulltime councillor.
Albrecht said she was not sure when the disciplinary action against Toko would be completed.
In an affidavit before his death Alan Griffiths stated that he met his wife at a haven for prostitutes, but she says that’s not true.]]> |||
Pietermaritzburg - The testimony of a woman accused of killing her husband was disputed in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Wednesday.
Thenjiwe Ignatia Griffiths, 31, claimed she met pensioner Alan Griffiths, 60, in Pietermaritzburg, but according to an affidavit by him, they met in a Richard's Bay haven for prostitutes.
The affidavit was made before his death in an divorce application.
In it, Alan Griffiths said he found out that Thenjiwe was a prostitute. He got drunk, took her home and paid her R1300 to spend the night.
He said he made the mistake of marrying her, and that she assaulted him, locked him up and took his money and car.
On Tuesday, she testified that they met on a street in Pietermaritzburg. Thereafter, she phoned him and went to Richard's Bay. She stayed with him and married him in April 2005.
She claimed he was killed when they were hijacked near Colenso in January 2006.
However, according to the indictment, she is accused of getting two accomplices to pose as hitch-hikers. The couple picked them up and the hitch-hikers subsequently strangled Griffiths.
Thenjiwe claimed that he paid R20,000 lobola to marry her. She told the court she loved him, but that they slept in different rooms as he was an alcoholic and became obnoxious.
Prosecutor Dorian Paver said Alan Griffiths made the affidavit, and said that at one stage he was unable to pay an employee of 12-years as there was no money in his wallet and his car had been taken.
Paver asked Thenjiwe to explain why her husband had made such comments about her, in light of her statement that they had a loving relationship.
She said it was possible that someone else could have written the statement for him.
The trial continues.
A young mother with a BCom degree in marketing received a suspended jail sentence for defrauding Petro SA of R307 400.]]> |||
Cape Town - A young mother with a BCom degree in marketing received a suspended jail sentence on Wednesday for defrauding state-owned company Petro SA.
Alice Mlambo-Mgudlwa, 29, pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud and 11 of money laundering when she appeared in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court, in Cape Town.
The proceedings took the form of a plea bargain, in which she was also placed under house arrest for two years, and ordered to do community service in the form of cleaning and maintenance at the Table View police station.
The plea-bargain included a confiscation order for her to repay the defrauded amount of R307 400 in full by the end of the month.
Mlambo-Mgudlwa was a graduate intern at Petro SA from February 2008 and embezzled from the company over four months.
According to the charge sheet, Petro SA runs a corporate social investment programme that gives donations and sponsorships to needy and disadvantaged schools.
Mlambo-Mgudlwa started a fraudulent scheme with Lungisa Mtsha, the principal at the Phumelela Day Care Centre in King William's Town, in the Eastern Cape.
Mtsha allegedly encouraged schools and day care centres in King William's Town to apply for Petro SA sponsorships.
Mlambo-Mgudlwa presented the applications for payment, and the schools and day care centres would inform Mtsha when payment was received.
Mtsha then had to inform the schools and centres that there had been overpayments, which had to be repaid.
The refunds were channelled into Mlambo-Mgudlwa's bank account, with some going to Mtsha as a reward.
According to the charge sheet, the head of the corporate social investment programme had the authority to approve donations of up to R500 000.
Aggravating factors listed by prosecutor Denver Combrink were that the victims were schools and day care centres in indigent communities, and that Mlambo-Mgudlwa had abused her position of trust.
The embezzled funds were channelled into her husband's bank account. Another aggravating factor was that she had lied to him about the unexpected deposits.
Mitigation, as presented by defence attorney Leon van der Merwe, was that Mlambo-Mgudlwa was able to repay the money in full, from a monthly salary of R20 000 earned in the oil company's employ.
She had already paid back R100 000, Van der Merwe said. She had also undertaken to testify at the trials of others involved in the embezzlement.
The intersection at Lynnwood and University roads in Pretoria will be closed until December 16 for construction work for the A Re Yeng bus service.]]> |||
Pretoria - The intersection at Lynnwood and University roads in Pretoria will be closed until December 16 for construction work for the A Re Yeng bus service, the City of Tshwane said on Wednesday.
“The construction will be to upgrade the existing road, add dedicated turning lanes and upgrade the sidewalks,” spokesman Selby Bokaba said in a statement.
He suggested that motorists use alternative routes.
A Pretoria man has been convicted of abusing and murdering his three-and-a-half-week-old stepson.]]> |||
Pretoria - A Pretoria man was convicted by the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday of abusing and murdering his three-and-a-half-week-old stepson.
“The accused's evidence that nothing was wrong with the baby before he fell unconscious is so improbable that his version can be rejected as a blatant lie,” Judge Bert Bam said.
He found Christiaan “Chris” Oldewage, 29, guilty of the murder of his wife Juanita's baby son Stiaan. He died in Montana hospital in Pretoria on the night of December 12, 2011.
Juanita Oldewage, who was charged with her husband, committed suicide in August.
The baby died of multiple injuries, including a skull fracture, brain injuries, broken ribs, severe internal injuries and bleeding.
The doctor who treated the boy after he was admitted to hospital and a pathologist testified that severe blunt force injury and pressure were necessary to cause a baby's supple bones to break.
The child's great-grandmother and a police constable testified that they had seen deep scratch marks on the baby's face and upper body when he was about a week-and-a-half old. Bam rejected Oldewage's claims that a cat scratched the baby.
Oldewage had no explanation for the baby's severe injuries. He denied resenting the baby because it was not his child.
Bam said it was clear the baby sustained the injuries within 24 hours before his admission to hospital.
He said it was a pity that Constable Marnus Dege had failed to take any action after Mrs Oldewage complained to him that her husband was abusing the baby, and after himself seeing the extent of the baby's injuries.
“It not only amounts to a contravention of the Child Protection Act but was also a serious dereliction of duty that probably had serious consequences. It resulted in the child's death,” Bam said.
Helen Mabapa, for Oldewage, argued he should be sentenced to less than 15 years' imprisonment, especially because he was a first offender and had heart problems.
Prosecutor Celeste Smit asked for a sentence of more than 25
years, saying the brutality of the assault was a severely aggravating factor.
She argued that the baby must have suffered indescribable pain. Bam however said the baby would almost immediately have lost consciousness with such severe injuries.
The aggravating factors in the case were overwhelming and the only thing in Oldewage's favour was his clean criminal record, Bam said. It was the worst possible form of child abuse for which Oldewage had shown no remorse whatsoever.
Baby Stiaan's great-grandmother Dorothea Engelbrecht burst into tears after Oldewage's conviction.
“I am glad that it has finally reached this stage. I'm also happy that the judge said Chris had murdered him.
“I'm not excusing my granddaughter, but she's not here to say what had happened. I'm happy that at least the judge said the little baby would immediately have lost consciousness and would not have felt the pain,” she said.
Oldewage will be sentenced on Thursday.
The bail application by Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and three co-accused has been postponed until Friday.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The bail application by Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and three co-accused was postponed by the Palm Ridge Regional Court on Wednesday.
Magistrate Reginald Dama said it would resume on Friday when investigating officer Mashudu Freddy Ramuhala would testify at 8am.
Krejcir, Desai Luphondo and two members of the Hawks, Warrant Officers Samuel Modise Maropeng and George Jeff Nthoroane, are applying for bail.
They were arrested last month and face charges of assault, kidnapping and attempted murder.
Maropeng and Nthoroane are attached to the Hawks organised crime unit in Germiston.
They submitted through their lawyer Francois Roets, that the State had no case or evidence against them.
They denied the charges and that they had threatened witnesses.
Roets said it was not true that Maropeng owned four luxury cars and four properties.
Dama asked why there was no further evidence, such as documentation, from the traffic department to support the State's claims.
Prosecutor Louis Mashiane said the State stood by its submissions regarding Maropeng.
Mashiane contended that the accused should not be granted bail as they were accused of threatening several witnesses.
“The accused have threatened to eliminate the witnesses. Hence our submission that they should not be granted bail.”
Maropeng and Nthoroane would be free to get to witnesses in their line of duty, he said.
He said Krejcir could flee to the Seychelles with his family if granted bail.
His wife Katerina Krejcirova and their son had “conveniently” returned to South Africa from overseas a day before the bail application could continue.
“This is a man well-equipped to flee at any time. It is on record that the family have several passports, some in assumed names.”
He said Krejcir's claims of assault by the police were not new.
Krejcir had a trend of claiming assault whenever he had to face the law.
These dated back to 2007, during Krejcir's application to oppose his extradition, when he allegedly made similar claims but would not lay charges.
Earlier, Dama turned down an application by the defence to access the police docket.
The docket contains an apparent confession by Luphondo to the police.
Andre Steenkamp, for Luphondo, said his client had been unlawfully arrested, assaulted and had made the confession under duress.
Dama ruled that handing over the confession to the defence would prejudice the State and he turned down the defence's request.
He also turned down an application by the State to submit an affidavit in response to a statement made in reply by the defence.
Mashiane had claimed to have been ambushed with allegations by the defence and contended that he had a right to reply. The defence objected.
Thirty-eight people were injured in three separate minibus taxi accidents in Durban.]]> |||
Durban - Thirty-eight people were injured in three separate minibus taxi accidents in Durban on Wednesday, paramedics said.
In the first accident 11 people in a minibus taxi were injured when it collided with a car in an intersection in Glennwood around 7am, Rescue Care spokesman Garrith Jamieson said.
Around 8am another 11 people were hurt when their minibus taxi left the road and careened down an embankment in Marianhill, near Pinetown.
Shortly before 11am 16 people were injured when their minibus overturned and rolled several times on the M4 South.
“Two lanes were closed on the busy highway while emergency personal worked to clear the scene.”
The injured were also taken to various hospitals.
The Constitutional Court will hear an application for hawkers to be allowed to resume trading in the Johannesburg city centre.]]> |||
Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court will hear an application on Thursday for hawkers to be allowed to resume trading in the city centre.
Michal Johnson, pro bono attorney for the SA National Traders and Retail Alliance (Santra), said in a statement the matter was expected to be heard at 9am.
Last Wednesday, the High Court in Johannesburg ruled that the application by the traders, represented by Santra and the SA Informal Traders' Forum (SAITF), to return to their trading spots was not urgent.
The hawkers had asked the high court to order the City of Johannesburg to allow them to return to the pavements of the inner city to trade.
They were removed to allow the city to verify how many informal traders were operating in the CBD, but were not permitted to return.
Johnson said Santra was seeking leave to appeal the high court ruling as well as reasons for the ruling.
Santra and the SAITF approached the Constitutional Court to seek an interdict for the hawkers to return to the sites where they previously traded.
Johnson said on Wednesday afternoon the city had not filed a reply to Santra’s application.
Czech Radovan Krejcir is a fugitive from justice and could flee to the Seychelles if granted bail, the court heard.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir could flee to the Seychelles with his family if granted bail, the Palm Ridge Regional Court heard on Wednesday.
“He is a fugitive from justice and could flee if given bail,” prosecutor Louis Mashiane said.
His wife and son went to the Seychelles on November 21 and “conveniently” returned a day before Krejcir's bail application. Krejcir told them to return so he could fight for his bail application, Mashiane said.
“This is a man well equipped to flee at any time. It is on record that the family have several passports, some with assumed names.”
Krejcir and three others were applying for bail. His co-accused are estate agent Desai Luphondo and Hawks members warrant officers Samuel Modise Maropeng and George Jeff Nthoroane.
They were arrested last month and face charges of assault, kidnapping, and attempted murder.
Mashiane said on Wednesday Krejcir stated in his affidavit that his mother had transferred R40 million to South Africa via the SA Reserve Bank. He said the money belonged to his mother and it was up to her to decide what to do with it.
Magistrate Reginald Dama asked Mashiane if the mention of the money was to show Krejcir was, as the only child, the person to inherit the money and would not abscond only to leave it behind.
Mashiane said that might be so.
“That could be the case, if the applicant flees, then he can leave the money behind for Sassa to distribute through social grants.”
He was referring to the SA Social Security Agency.
The hearing continues.
A policeman has been killed in a shootout with suspected robbers in Elliotdale, outside Mthatha, Eastern Cape.]]> |||
Mthatha - A policeman has been killed in a shootout in Elliotdale, outside Mthatha, Eastern Cape police said on Wednesday.
“It is with great sadness to report that one of our members paid the highest price in service of the people of the Eastern Cape,” said Brigadier Marinda Mills.
She said Warrant Officer Rodges Sithelo and a colleague responded to a robbery at Boxer Super Store around 9pm on Tuesday.
“Indications are that the two police officials assumed that all the suspects were inside the business premises.”
Mills said they noticed too late that one of the robbers was hiding outside the business entrance, and he started firing at them.
“A shoot-out ensued, as the other three suspects joined in the attack on the two police officials,” she said.
Sithelo and one of the gunmen was killed. Another gunman was wounded and was now under police guard.
“Two of the four suspects managed to flee the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash,” said Mills.
Police seized an AK-47 assault rifle and an R1 rifle.
Mills said a task team had been established to track down the remaining robbers.
“We want to extend our most sincere condolences to his beloved, family, friends, colleagues and all the people who shared his life,” said acting provincial commissioner Maj-Gen Chris Ntantiso.
A Cape Town man who tried to pay for groceries with a cloned bank card is expected to plead guilty in plea-bargain proceedings.]]> |||
Cape Town - A Cape Town man who tried to pay for groceries with a cloned bank card is expected to plead guilty in plea-bargain proceedings later this month, the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Bellville heard on Wednesday.
Prosecutor Denver Combrink said Moegamat Farouk Martin, 42, of Lansdowne in Cape Town, would probably plead guilty on December 11
to fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
Martin was arrested on August 12, when he tried to pay for groceries worth R13,811 at the Pick n Pay in Kenilworth, Cape Town.
Kenilworth branch manager John Lendoor was told Martin's credit card payment had been declined.
Store managers had been warned that fake bank cards were in circulation.
The prosecutor alleges that Martin was found in possession of a grey master card, supposedly issued by the Bank of America.
Lendoor recognised the card as counterfeit and alerted the police.
An investigation revealed that the card was issued by Europay Belgium SCRL.
Martin is also charged with violating the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act.
At his first appearance last month, Combrink told the court Martin had been refused bail by the Bellville District Court.
He said he had already informed defence counsel N Jaftha of the sentence that would be acceptable to the State.
If Martin disagreed with the proposed sentence, plea negotiations would collapse and the State would proceed to trial in the normal manner.
Martin remained in custody.
Murder and attempted murder charges against an NFP councillor and his son were withdrawn by the Durban Regional Court.]]> |||
Durban - Murder and attempted murder charges against an NFP councillor and his son were withdrawn by the Durban Regional Court on Wednesday.
Magistrate Trevor Levitt discharged the case against National Freedom Party councillor Mgezeni “Bhungu” Gwala and his son Celimpilo “Mjabelelwa” Gwala.
The third accused, security guard Skhumbuzo Nxumalo, would still face a charge of murder. Two counts of attempted murder against him were dropped.
The three were accused of shooting dead Cebisile Shezi on October 6, 2012, near the Thembalihle railway station in KwaMashu, after Inkatha Freedom Party supporters converged on the Gwala home, near the station.
Shezi was wearing an IFP T-shirt at the time.
The attempted murder charges related to the three of them firing into the crowd.
Jubilant NFP supporters erupted in song when the decision was announced.
A lack of ballistic tests on the bullet found in a dead IFP supporter seriously undermined the State's case, the Durban Regional Court was told.]]> |||
Durban - A lack of ballistic tests on the bullet found in a dead IFP supporter seriously undermined the State's case, the Durban Regional Court was told on Wednesday.
Simphiwe Moloi told the court that no ballistic tests had been carried out on the bullet found in Cebisile Shezi to link it to cartridges at the scene, or to his clients' firearms.
“In the absence of any ballistic evidence, the accused ought to be released,” he submitted.
Moloi was speaking while making an application to have charges dropped against National Freedom Party councillor Mgezeni “Bhungu” Gwala and his son Celimpilo “Mjabelelwa” Gwala.
The Gwalas and security guard Skhumbuzo Nxumalo are accused of shooting Shezi dead on October 6, 2012, near the Thembalihle train station in KwaMashu, after Inkatha Freedom Party supporters converged on the Gwala home, near the station. She was wearing an IFP T-shirt at the time.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa had addressed IFP supporters at a sports field in A-section, KwaMashu, earlier that day. He did so in an attempt to reduce tension in the area after the abduction of IFP councillor Themba Xulu. Xulu was out on bail after being arrested for allegedly trying to burn down Bhungu Gwala's house.
Xulu's body was found the next day. He had been shot.
Celimphilo Gwala and Nxumalo are in custody. Bhungu Gwala is out on bail of R20,000.
The court, which was packed to capacity with jovial NFP and IFP supporters, heard Moloi tell magistrate Trevor Levitt that the only evidence provided by the State had been to discount the possibility that Shezi was killed by a bullet fired into the air as a warning.
“There are no links between the bullets, the shell casings and the firearms that were recovered,” he said. Seventeen shell casings were found at the crime scene.
Nxumalo's lawyer, Lungile Kheswa, argued that the case against his client should also be discharged, in the light of the contradictory evidence provided by State witnesses Hlengiwe Joyce Mzolo and Zamokwakhe Luthuli.
“The manner in which these witnesses gave evidence leaves much to be desired. We do not know from their evidence whether accused number five 1/8Nxumalo 3/8 was there or not,” he submitted.
During their testimony, Mzolo and Luthuli gave different descriptions of a man they identified as doing the shooting.
Kheswa accused the State of pursuing the case in the hope that the accused would take the stand and implicate themselves.
He pointed out that the two State witnesses had put Gwala's other son Bonginhlanhla Gwala and another security guard, Malusi Sibusiso Ncengwa, at the scene of the shooting.
Charges were withdrawn against them when closed-circuit television footage showed Bonginhlanhla was at his apartment in Umhlanga at the time, and Ncengwa proved he was working in Umbilo.
Kheswa also referred to the police's failure to carry out ballistic tests.
“That was not done. This is a very poor state of affairs,” he said.
The SABC reported on Monday that the court heard testimony from the commander of the KwaMashu police station, Brigadier Zakhele Nzama.
He reportedly testified that Mgezeni Gwala was at the KwaMashu police station waiting to speak to Mthethwa at the time of the shooting.
Unlike previous court appearances, when there was a heavy police presence, there was only one court orderly present on Wednesday.
The prosecution was expected to present its case opposing the applications by Moloi and Kheswa.
Bad weather caused power outages in parts of Johannesburg.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Bad weather caused power outages in parts of Johannesburg on Wednesday, City Power said.
Jukskei Park, Northwold, Bloubosrand, Northriding, Beyers Naude Drive, Windsor, and Roodepoort were among the areas affected, it said in a statement.
“City Power technicians are on site and working around the clock to put power back.”
Power was expected to be restored later in the day.
Three people died and three others were injured when three vehicles collided on Sir Lowry's Pass near Gordons Bay.]]> |||
Cape Town - Three people died and three others were injured when three vehicles collided on Sir Lowry's Pass near Gordons Bay in the Western Cape on Wednesday, paramedics said.
“One of the vehicles attempted to overtake and then crashed head-on with another vehicle, flipping the car on top of the other on the N2 just before the lookout point,” ER24 spokesman Christo Venter said.
Two adults and a child were declared dead on the scene. One of the occupants sustained critical injuries and was airlifted to hospital.
Two others suffered moderate injuries and were taken to the Helderberg Provincial Hospital by ambulance.
Two people were killed when their bakkie collided with a police vehicle in heavy rain in Standerton.]]> |||
Standerton - Two people were killed when their bakkie collided with a police vehicle in heavy rain in Standerton, a Mpumalanga government official said on Wednesday.
The accident happened on Tuesday on the R38 Standerton to Bethal road near an overflowing bridge, said community safety spokesman Joseph Mabuza.
Two bridges were temporarily closed because of damage caused by heavy rain in the Gert Sibande Region.
“The Blesbokspruit Bridge on R39 road between Morgenzon and Standerton and another between Bethal and Middelburg (on the) R35 road were damaged by heavy rainfall on Tuesday,” said Mabuza.
Motorists travelling between Standerton and Morgenzon were advised to use the R38 and R35 instead.
“The R544 Emalahleni road should also be used as an alternative route for motorists travelling between Bethal and Middelburg,” he said.
Mpumalanga community safety, security and liaison MEC Vusi Shongwe urged motorists not to try and cross submerged bridges.
Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir accused the State of assault whenever he had to face the law, the prosecutor told the court.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir accused the State of assault whenever he had to face the law, the Palm Ridge Regional Court heard on Wednesday.
“His allegations of assault are not new. The accused has a trend that upon arrest he goes and claims assault in court,” prosecutor Louis Mashiane said.
Krejcir and three others were applying for bail on Wednesday. His co-accused are estate agent Desai Luphondo and Hawks members warrant officers Samuel Modise Maropeng and George Jeff Nthoroane.
They were arrested last month and face charges of assault, kidnapping, and attempted murder.
Krejcir claimed he was tortured after his arrest and told the court earlier that he had laid charges against the police.
Mashiane said on Wednesday Krejcir made similar claims during his application to oppose his extradition in 2007. He said because Krejcir indicated in his affidavit that he recognised one of the officers who allegedly assaulted him, he wondered why the police would blindfold him if they were aware he knew them.
Krejcir sat rubbing his hands and looking at Mashiane. He occasionally shook his head at Mashiane and sometimes smiled. His three co-accused kept turning their heads and looking at relatives seated in the public gallery behind them.
Krejcir's wife Katerina Krejcirova whispered to their son Dennis as they listened to Mashiane.
Armed tactical response team members kept an eye on the four accused during proceedings.
Luphondo kept writing in a notebook he brought with him, and kept quiet most of the time, speaking to Krejcir only occasionally.
The bail hearing continues.
Two men accused of breaking into Crime Line head Yusuf Abramjee's house have appeared in court.]]> |||
Johannesburg - Two men accused of breaking into Crime Line head Yusuf Abramjee's house appeared in the Atteridgeville Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, Gauteng police said.
The matter was postponed to December 13 and they would remain in custody, Captain Thomas Mufumadi said.
They were arrested after a spate of house robberies, burglaries, and hijackings around Pretoria last month. Police recovered three stolen cars, two unlicensed firearms, ammunition, and money at the men's home.
On November 22 they allegedly broke into Abramjee's house in Pretoria and demanded the keys to his BMW. They fired shots at the house while reversing out of the garage.
Police said at the time the robbers had targeted another house in a nearby street earlier that day.