Saturday, April 30, 2011

R500 000 for Freedom.

April 29 2011

Convicted killer Pranesh Heeralall has paid R500 000 for his freedom. 




                                                                Pranesh Heeralall

Heeralall was convicted last week of killing his business partner Deenadayalan Govender and his bail of R20 000 had been revoked by retired Judge Thumba Pillay. Heeralall hired hitman Bobo Chamane to carry out the murder in 2004. 


                                                            Judge Thumba Pillay

After a trial that lasted more than five years, Judge Pillay found Heeralall and Chamane guilty of murder and sentenced them to 25 years and 20 years in prison respectively. 

Heeralall had Govender killed to claim from an insurance policy he had taken out on him (Govender). Each had taken a policy on each other to ensure that their joint business would not fall into debt if either died. 

On Thursday, Judge Pillay granted Heeralall bail of R500 000 pending his appeal against his conviction as he said there were substantial and compelling circumstances to warrant his release. 

Heeralall’s advocate, Yoga Moodley SC, had argued that Heeralall owned a profitable plumbing business, properties, including a R1.6 million home in Umhlanga Rocks, and had substantial savings of R940 000. 

“He is a devout husband, father and a well-established businessman… If he is sent to jail, it is possible that his business would close and there could be foreclosures on his properties.” 

State advocate Rema Mahabeer said the state was opposed to bail being granted. 

                                                                  Rema Mahabeer

Mahabeer said that sexual predator Ismail Sheik, who is at large after failing to hand himself to the authorities after his appeal was struck off the roll last year, was also a businessman and had had strong family ties to KZN. 

                                                                      Ismail Sheik

“In that case it was an act of desperation… Heeralall’s assets would make it easier for him to escape compared to other convicted people.” 

Judge Pillay imposed strict bail conditions on Heeralall and ordered him to report daily to the Umhlanga Rocks police station, surrender his travel documents to police, and to inform the investigating officer if he wished to leave the province. 

http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/convicted-killer-pays-to-get-out-1.1062418

Protect and Serve

2011-04-28 

'Protect and serve' no longer describes our police..

National police chief General Bheki Cele's office insisted on Thursday that recent reports of police brutality were isolated incidents.

"It will be important for us to treat those as isolated incidents instead of bringing them into one issue and cloud the matter around the issue of police brutality," his spokesperson, Major General Nonkululeko Mbatha, told SABC radio news.

"We cannot obviously deny the fact that in some instances our members can act beyond what is expected which is why... the ICD [Independent Complaints Directorate] will take the process forward.

"In all these examples there are investigations underway," she added.

She was responding to thousands of reports of police assaulting or killing unarmed civilians.
The most recent was this week's shooting death of Jeanette Odendaal, 45, outside the Kempton Park police station.


Cop refuses to call for ambulance


A car guard who said he witnessed the shooting by a sergeant told The Star newspaper in a report published on Thursday that the policeman refused to call an ambulance.

Sipho Baloyi, who had helped Odendaal to park her car when she crashed into a stationary police vehicle, said the sergeant shot her from a short distance after Baloyi alerted the police to the accident in the parking lot.

"A sergeant came around from the charge office and walked out of the station. He didn't say anything, but walked to her passenger window. He shot her upper arm and it looked like the bullet went through her breast and out of her chest," said Baloyi.

The police officer then walked back into the police station, but returned a few seconds later.
He said he pleaded with the sergeant to call emergency services.

But, said Baloyi, the sergeant told him: "She's dying already, there's no point in calling the ambulance."

Cop burst into tears

He said other police officers flooded the scene after the shooting and demanded to know from the sergeant why he had shot her. The sergeant then allegedly burst into tears.

Beeld newspaper reported that Odendaal, who lived in Aston Manor, a few kilometres from the police station, had wanted to report a case of disturbance of peace.

The Star said her family would travel from Middelburg in Mpumalanga on Thursday to identify her body.

The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) said on Wednesday that the sergeant had been arrested and would appear in court soon.

It was believed that he mistook the noise of the crash for gun shots.

Tatane 8 in court

On Tuesday, eight policemen appeared in court in the Free State after allegedly killing unarmed civilian Andries Tatane, who was beaten and shot during a protest in Ficksburg on April 13.

Cele on Tuesday said the country's 8 500 crowd control police officers would get a refresher course in handling protests.

A video of Tatane's death was broadcast on national television.

ICD spokesperson Moses Dlamini earlier said two similar police brutality cases had been before two KwaZulu-Natal courts on Tuesday.

One was in Greytown, where five policemen allegedly strangled a person in custody while the other case, in Hammersdale, involved 15 policemen who alleged beat a suspect who later died.

Western Cape media also reported this week that an unarmed Cape Town club owner had been beaten up by several police officers while he was in handcuffs.

Bulletproof Toilets

Corrugated iron toilet enclosures are not acceptable for Khayelitsha residents because criminals can shoot through the walls, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Friday.

"The corrugated iron relates to the safety of the people that live in that area because of the crime incidences," commission chairperson Lawrence Mushwana said.

He was speaking in Cape Town at the release of the commission's findings on a complaint laid in January by the ANC Youth League against the City of Cape Town.

The commission found that the city violated people's right to dignity by not enclosing 51 toilets in the township's Makhaza area.

The finding comes after members of the league last week demolished tin-and-wood structures the city was putting up to give people privacy, demanding brick and mortar instead.

Toilets removed

The council this week removed the toilets altogether, a move followed by violent protests in which 32 people were arrested.

Commission deputy chairperson Pregs Govender said on Friday that she hoped the fact that the findings were being released now would help bring peace to the area.

The full report would be made public next week.

"The commission finds that the city violated the right to dignity as envisaged by section 10 of the constitution by not enclosing the toilets," she said.

It also found that the consultation process over the toilets was inadequate.

"The commission recommends that the city reinstall the 51 toilets that they removed and enclose them effectively in terms of national law to ensure safety, cleanliness etcetera," Govender said.

She said the city should do the rebuilding with bricks and mortar.

"We don't want corrugated iron structures. We're saying those are not the sort of structures that afford the kind of right to dignity, to safety, because the issue of safety is a critical issue."

Bulletproof

Mushwana said the commission could not recommend corrugated iron when the people living in the area "are telling you what happens in that particular area".

Asked how a brick and mortar toilet was safer than corrugated iron, he said: "In terms of bullets. You can shoot through a corrugated iron and you cannot do so in a mortar. (Those) were the arguments that were advanced."

Asked whether a brick toilet would not have a galvanised iron door like a corrugated iron toilet, he said: "You cannot make the whole structure vulnerable. You can open up if the corrugated iron's all around. I mean, that's what the people who are living there are saying."

"In other words, we are trying to move into a finding that will satisfy both the council and the community."

The city has said that the toilets were erected after it reached agreement with householders that they would build enclosures themselves, and as more than 1 000 other households in the area had done.

It said it did not want to put up permanent enclosures because it planned to redevelop the area.

Dignity

Mushwana said on Friday, however, that people's dignity could not be "held in abeyance".

"I think whatever we want to do, let us do it properly. Let us suit the dignity, the needs of the people."

"It cannot be postponed on the basis that it's going to be redeveloped later."

Govender said it had to be asked why the council, which had a huge budget, did not prioritise the dignity of residents in an area where unemployment and poverty were rife.

Rulleska Singh, spokesperson for Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato, said the city had not received any formal communication from the commission on the findings.

"Until such time as we get the report, the mayor won't comment on the findings," she said.

Friday, April 29, 2011

To the Previously Disadvantaged


We are sorry that our ancestors were intelligent, advanced and daring enough to explore the wild oceans to discover new countries and develop them.

We are sorry that those who came before us took you out... of the bush and taught you that there was more to life than beating drums, killing each other and chasing animals with sticks and stones.

We are sorry that they planned, funded and developed roads, towns, mines, factories, airports and harbours, all of which you now claim to be your long deprived inheritance giving you every right to change and rename these at your discretion.

We are sorry that our parents taught us the value of small but strong families, to not breed like rabbits and end up as underfed, diseased, illiterate shack dwellers living in poverty.

We are sorry that when the evil apartheid government provided you with schools, you decided they'd look better without windows or in piles of ashes.

We happily gave up those bad days of getting spanked in our all white Schools for doing something wrong, and much prefer these days of freedom where problems can be resolved with knives and guns.

We are sorry that it is hard to shake off the bitterness of the past when you keep on raping, torturing and killing our friends and family members, and then hide behind the fence of 'human rights' with smiles on your faces.

We are sorry that we do not trust the government... 
 
We have no reason to be so suspicious because none of these poor "hard working intellectuals" have ever been involved in any form of "corruption or irregularities".

We are sorry that we do not trust the police force and, even though they have openly admitted that they have lost the war against crime and criminals, we should not be negative and just ignore their corruption and carry on hoping for the best.

We are sorry that it is more important to you to have players of colour in our national teams than winning games and promoting patriotism.

We know that sponsorship doesn't depend on a team's success.

We are sorry that our border posts have been flung open and now left you competing for jobs against illegal immigrants from our beautiful neighbouring countries.

All of them countries that have grown into economic powerhouses after kicking out the 'settlers'.

We are sorry that we don't believe in witchcraft, beet root and garlic cures, urinating on street corners, virginity testing, slaughtering of bulls in our back yards, trading women for cattle and other barbaric practices.

Maybe we just grew up differently.

We are sorry that your medical care, water supplies, roads, railways and electricity supplies are going down the toilet because skilled people who could have planned for and resolved these issues had to be thrown away because they were of the wrong ethnic background and now have to work in foreign countries where their skills are highly appreciated.

We are so sorry that we'd like this country to fulfil its potential so we can once again be proud South Africans.

The Currently Disdvantaged.

Moonlighting Murderers

By a doctor who prefers to remain anonymous 


I work at a major Gauteng public hospital. During the course of the last three days, I have had the misfortune of witnessing two young adult patients suffer preventable deaths. 

Many South Africans will easily explain away these deaths with predictable explanations such as collapsing infrastructure, shoddy equipment, long waiting times and poor nursing care.

While this does certainly portray the public sector accurately, these two patients died because the DOCTORS employed to oversee their care were nowhere to be found. That is not entirely true. They were at their nearby private practices at major private hospitals in the city. They elected to discharge their responsibilities there first, before coming across to assist/supervise their much junior and desperate colleagues. 

Sadly, it was too late.

It is no secret that many SPECIALISTS in the private sector hold full-time positions in state hospitals. A fair estimate would be approximately 30% to 40% in Johannesburg. 

Occupation Specific Dispensation has considerably improved the salaries of these doctors at the pinnacle of their professions. This is obviously not enough to retain them or inspire them to fulfil their obligations. 

There are many different stakeholders in this complex issue. These include the state, department of health, the taxpayer, the patients (both public and private), the guilty doctors, the innocent doctors, civil society and the private hospital network.

The department of health is aware of the problem as recently acknowledged in Parliament. 

Dealing with it though is a different issue. Too aggressive an approach will result in a mass exodus of these mobile professionals. Throwing money at the problem has done little to satisfy the professionals. Their solution lies in the forthcoming National Health Insurance policy that most ethical doctors are eagerly anticipating.

The taxpayer should be livid with the situation. These doctors are being remunerated for working forty to sixty hours a week. They routinely claim overtime as well. On average, they work less than 20 state hours a week, with the most negligent, working less than 10 state hours a week. 

They occupy posts that cannot be filled by the willing and able.

The public-sector patient gets the worst deal. He/she largely gets ignored or seen too late. He/she is often seen primarily by inexperienced junior staff members who are able to make a basic assessment, if at all, without being able to institute appropriate therapy until they receive the advice of their absent seniors. The outpatients are left waiting ridiculously at outpatient clinics and appointments are tailored to suit the specialists’ other commitments.

The private-sector patient is almost never aware that their doctor is giving someone else a pathetic deal while smiling in their faces. The objective of this piece is hopefully to educate this group that they indeed have a choice. The ethical choice would obviously be to see the many specialists out there that have no commitment to state hospitals.

The innocent state doctors often are left picking up the slack. Among these are the junior doctors that are so reliant on their seniors to shape their careers. This explains why so many of our younger doctors are lacking not only in confidence but also fundamentally in expertise. The innocent senior doctors are a dying breed. They are the true heroes of the public sector. Sadly, the lure of easy money has shrunk this pool.

All of the three major private hospital groups have doctors working at their hospitals that are employed by the state. Some are even bold enough to publicly declare that some professors are major players at their facilities. It is important to admit that the department of health has a policy (remunerative work outside the public service) that allows these doctors to get away with it. 

Gross violations of the regulations contained within this policy go unpunished. The private hospital groups have only their interests at heart. I have yet to come across a hospital that takes the ethical route and only allows non-state employed doctors to man their facility. It is a good idea and will attract patients that are like-minded.

I hope that I have met my objective. I know that much of what has been written here will not bring back those two patients but I hope that it will prevent further tragedies. This is a complex issue and all too often the government or the ruling party is criticised for its failings with the public health sector. 

My feeling is that a considerable portion of the blame can be found within.

http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/readerblog/2011/04/28/moonlighting-murderers/ 

1994 Queuing to Vote, 2011 Queuing for Sanitation

April 28 2011 


Residents march to demand toilets

Instead of celebrating 17 years of freedom on Wednesday, about 2 000 Khayelitsha residents marched through the city centre demanding toilets and decent sanitation. 

Residents of Khayelitsha simmer with discontent over unenclosed toilets or lack of them as they marched through the city centre to Cape Town City Council offices on Freedom Day. They demanded toilets and decent sanitation, 17 years after democracy, handing over a memorandum of demands signed by more than 10 000 people

In recent months, the local government has come under attack in what has been dubbed the “toilet saga”, as thousands of Khayelitsha residents do not have proper toilet and sanitation services. 

                                  Some residents were angered by the destruction





Ninety-nine percent of the residents agreed they wanted the enclosures
City of Cape Town employees remove every toilet bowl in public view in Macassar settlement yesterday after ANC Youth League members tore down their temporary enclosures.

 






Residents say up to 15 families have to queue to use one toilet, which also exposes them to hygiene problems and crime. 

On Wednesday, the Social Justice Coalition, based in Khayelitsha, held a protest march after a number of speakers addressed them at St George’s Cathedral. 


St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town

“We call on the city to recognise as a matter of urgency the need for public maintenance and existence of sanitation services in Khayelitsha. The city must initiate a public consultation plan and implementation of the plan and a budget to ensure that every informal settlement in Khayelitsha has access to basic sanitation services,” Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said. 

Marchers packed the church on Wednesday, many wearing T-shirts which said: “1994 queuing to vote, 2011 queuing for clean and safe sanitation”. 

                                                                  Vuyiseka Dubula
Vuyiseka Dubula, from the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), told the crowd: “It is the day we celebrate 17 years of liberation and we are discussing a basic right – sanitation – it is not a privilege. It is tragic so many years after our liberation that 10.5 million people across the country do not have access to water and basic sanitation – that goes against humanity. We want to remind the government that our constitution allows us the right to life, dignity and safety,” Dubula said.

                                                                     Zackie Achmat 
TAC chairman Zackie Achmat started his speech by asking the crowd to stand and observe a moment of silence for Andries Tatane, who was killed by police during a service delivery protest in Ficksburg two weeks ago.

                                                                 Andries Tatane
Achmat said: “We must celebrate this day, but we must also be angry but not violent. If we look at our mothers and fathers, we see the hope has gone out of their eyes. We cannot suffer the way they have, our anger must be translated to a peaceful call for change.”
Khayelitsha resident Mabel Somdle said: “Seventeen years after we voted for our rights, I am still queuing for basic services. This makes me feel like I no longer want to vote because not much has changed. We have waited long to use the toilet and we have to walk far. It is dangerous at night, there are reports of woman getting raped at those toilets.”
Residents marched to the civic centre to hand over a memorandum for mayor Dan Plato’s attention.

                                                              Mayor Dan Plato
They held up posters asking for their dignity to be restored through adequate water and sanitation services. One protester held a bucket with “dignity in our lifetime” written on it. Dubula said it was “sad that people were still forced to use the bush or the bucket”. 
When protesters arrived at the city council offices, they held a demonstration by forming a snake-like “queue for toilets”.
The memorandum was signed by more than 10 000 people calling on the city to improve the state of existing sanitation services and to put a time-frame in place to provide each household with basic sanitation and water.

http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/residents-march-to-demand-toilets-1.1061821 

Municipality Looted

Audit reveals litany of financial mismanagement, shoddy accounting

Apr 28, 2011

A leaked Auditor-General's report on a cash-strapped Free State municipality shows an appalling record of financial mismanagement. 

Ngwathe Local Municipality
"The home of growth, prosperity and growth"


The report on the finances of Ngwathe local municipality - which includes the towns Parys, Heilbron, Vredefort, Koppies and Edenville and is part of the Free State's Fezile Dabi district municipality - was presented at a closed council meeting two months ago. Budget Speech

 


Mayor: Cllr M.P Moshodi
 
Members of the Ngwathe ratepayers' association have stopped paying rates to the municipality in protest at its mismanagement. 


PAC Free State provincial secretary, Papi Mafubedu, is in possession of a dossier detailing allegations of mismanagement by the municipality. 

He said: "In Abazimeli informal settlement in Ngwathe, there is no water, no toilets, no streets, no electricity, nothing. When there is a funeral there, it is very painful to watch. The hearse has to park far away from the body." 

An invoice shows that municipal bosses spent R180000 on 200 A5 diaries for top managers at a cost of nearly R1000 each. 

The report, tabled at the council meeting in February, stated that the AG could not verify if assets worth R500-million really existed, because the municipality had no proper asset register. 

The AG could not find any supporting documentation for car allowances of R4.4-million and R2.9-million of "other allowances" given to staff. 

Another R7.5-million of capital expenditure "was not recorded in the accounting records of the municipality". 

The AG said it could not be determined if the municipality had indeed paid R14-million in subsidies to the indigent. 

In the previous year, the municipality had overcharged to the tune of R2.3-million for water and electricity. 

"Management could not provide sufficient appropriate audit evidence that these misstatements had been, and resolved," the AG wrote. 

About R85-million was spent on staff, but the AG could not confirm that this amount was accurate. 



The municipality said it had underspent its budget for providing services by R3.9-million, but the AG said he could not confirm whether this was the actual amount. 

The municipality faces lawsuits of over R31-million had not been factored into its financial statements. 

The AG could not find enough evidence that R8.2-million of VAT reimbursements to the municipality from the SA Revenue Service had been properly recorded by the municipality. 

The municipality tried to claim a further R2.2-million of VAT from SARS. The Revenue Service did not allow this but the municipality never adjusted its books to reflect this. 

Municipal bosses said R353-million of revenue had been generated but the AG could also not find evidence to support R167-million of this amount. 

Seven months ago, a 2009 National Intelligence Agency investigation of petrol-card fraud in Ngwathe municipality found that most of the municipality's cars were not running, but were being "filled", every 15km, at a cost of up to R28000 a month. 

Municipal manager Norman Selai has not responded to questions sent to his office two weeks ago. He promised to do so on several occasions. 

http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/article1041965.ece/Municipality-looted

Brutality not policy - Cele

Police commissioner meets parents of shot woman

Apr 28, 2011

On the day President Jacob Zuma told the nation the ANC was concerned about police brutality, the family of Jeanette Odendaal, who was allegedly shot by an officer outside the Kempton Park police station, identified her body at a mortuary. 

 
Jeanette Odendaal

A grey-haired Dick Odendaal and his wife, Ella, were sad and subdued when they met National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele after identifying their daughter's body yesterday. 


                                                               Dick and Ella Odendaal 

Odendaal, 45, was allegedly shot outside the police station on Tuesday night after bumping into a parked police van. 

Witnesses say they saw a police officer walk into the station to get a firearm and return to Odendaal's car to allegedly shoot her in the left shoulder as she sat in the driver's seat of her white Citi Golf. 

"It would have been much better if it did not happen," Cele told the media after meeting the Odendaals at the police station yesterday. 

Odendaal's best friend, who asked not to be named, said she was "completely shocked" by her death. 

Clutching three clear bags containing Odendaal's watch and other valuables she had fetched from the police, the friend smoked in the garden outside the station, while high-ranking police officials inspected her friend's car, still parked outside the station. 

Odendaal's parents refused to speak to the media. They were flanked by two police chaplains and the station commander of the Kempton Park police station as they listened to Cele. 

Refusing to divulge details of the case, Cele attacked the media for labelling the death as another case of police brutality. 

"There is no policy [of police brutality] that police must step out of the way and use excessive force when it is unnecessary," he said. 

Speaking at ANC headquarters yesterday, Zuma said a "culture" of police brutality should not be tolerated. Referring to the killing of both Odendaal and service-delivery protester Andries Tatane two weeks ago, Zuma said: "We don't want police that are violent against people. 

"We can't allow a situation like the one in Ficksburg where one man carrying nothing in his hands is beaten to death by a pack of policemen. It's not acceptable." 

                                                                              Cele

Cele, however, said he was "not about to retreat" from his previous message to police to protect themselves "when they go for a cash heist criminal or when they go for a bank robber". 

He accused the media of not having reported that 20 police officers had been killed on duty since January or and that last week a young constable was shot dead during an ATM bombing. 

Cele refused to say whether the sergeant who was arrested for allegedly killing Odendaal was mentally unstable. 
"I am not a psychologist," he said. 

Johan Burger, senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, said it was difficult to link the shooting to recent "shoot to kill" rhetoric. 

"The officer allegedly just completely lost all control, took a firearm and apparently shot this woman," said Burger. 

He likened the shooting to a road rage incident, where a person uses a firearm just "because they have a firearm". 

The officer linked to Odendaal's death was arrested by the Independent Complaints Directorate, who have taken over the case. 

He will appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court today.

Cele your cops are out of control. But then what do you understand about the police when you're a teacher and have never served a day as a policeman? You cannot give untrained, uneducated, power hungry fools an instruction of shoot to kill. Was Andries Tatane armed? Was this 45-year old woman posing a threat to YOUR cops? Were either of them pointing a gun at YOUR cops?

Time for Cele to resign - another unqualified ANC cadre appointed for his struggle credentials. 
 
 
Welcome to the new screwed up regime.

I realise that there are still a hand full of honest and good policeman left but lets face, who trusts the police anymore? 

There is this thing about rank amongst the blacks that up until this day still astounds me. The moment you feel you have power it becomes a case of how I can use it to my own benefit and, just dare to cross my path, you will feel my wrath!
 

 

Farm Watch Organisations

Group shocked at farm green lights ban

2011-04-28 

Johannesburg - Farmers organisation TAU-SA is in "shock and disbelief", after Limpopo police vowed to stop farm watch organisations from using "green lights" on their patrol vehicles.

TAU-SA North provincial safety committee chairperson Doors le Roux, said he first thought the statement made by police last week was a "bad April fools joke". "They [the green lights] are imperative so that we can be visible and the criminals and residents can know we are patrolling," he said.

"The...committee has worked hard to open up communication channels with the South African Police Services (SAPS)."

The TAU SA North has a crime prevention programme known as Operation Iron Fist that is run with the full support of police, he said.

"The question now is whether the SAPS have the same purpose as the farm watch groups."

Police know nothing

Limpopo provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, said police management will do all in its power to stop the use of "green lights".

"We have had complaints from members of some rural communities that some farm watch groups using "green lights" think they can do what they like," he said.

"In effect they think they are the police and some of the actions allegedly taken by them are bordering on vigilantism.

"They also claim they are working hand-in-hand with the police, when in fact the police know nothing about them," he charged.

Mulaudzi said "green lights" may not be used unless on private property, and only police were allowed to use blue lights when executing their tasks.

"Emergency services use red lights, and green lights can only be used by Disaster Management personnel.

"Tough punitive steps will be taken against those who contravene this directive," Mulaudzi warned.

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/Group-shocked-at-farm-green-lights-ban-20110428

Bribes for ANC Votes

2011-04-28


ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe heard of unfulfilled election promises when he campaigned in a coloured area in Durban’s polluted South Basin on Thursday.

Mantashe, who was making door-to-door visits in Wentworth, located near two oil refineries, was reminded of former President Thabo Mbeki’s undertakings to voters during the 2004 general elections campaign.

Some of these, which included refurbishment of dilapidated municipal flats, had not materialised, residents claimed.

“They promise they will fix that and that during campaigns and nothing happens. That is why I get cross,” said one man who did not want to be named.

He said he was a "Democratic Alliance man", but was disappointed by all political parties.

Mantashe was accompanied by KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson Zweli Mkhize. The areas Mantashe and Mkhize visited have two wards - one controlled by the DA and the other by the Inkatha Freedom Party.
                                                                    Zweli Mkhize

Most residents welcomed the ANC leaders, but some were hostile. Brian Hargreaves told Mantashe, during a visit to a local supermarket, that he would vote for the ANC if he gave him R1 000 to buy groceries.

Shopkeeper Douglas Seethal said he would vote for the ruling party if Mantashe arranged a second wife for him.

“I need a second wife and I don’t have money to pay for ilobolo.”
More service delivery complaints were raised when Mantashe and Mkhize addressed a group of residents after their door-to-door visits.

They were asked to help reduce high electricity rates and start the process of transferring ownership of council flats to residents.

Although the ANC did not control the two wards, the ruling party was blamed for many service delivery problems.

Mantashe said people should not vote for other parties and then blame the ANC for poor services.

“Don’t vote the DA and blame the ANC. Vote it (ANC) and criticise it,” he said.
 

Xenophobia Starts Again

Xenophobia fears on East Rand

2011-04-28 

Johannesburg - Seventy-one people have been arrested in Katlehong for sending intimidating letters to foreign-owned businesses, police said on Thursday.

Lieutenant-Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou said the arrests were made on Wednesday night after the notices were distributed giving foreign business owners seven days to vacate their premises.
The letter from "Greater Gauteng Business Forum" threatened drastic action against business owners who did not comply.

"The Gauteng SA Police Service is in possession of the alleged letter and views it in a serious light," Ndou said.

He advised business owners who had received the letter to lay criminal charges.
The 71 would appear in the Katlehong Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cops in CCTV beating


CITY police officers have been caught on closed-circuit television cameras handcuffing a local nightclub owner and hitting him repeatedly on the head and body until he falls over.
The footage was captured by cameras in Woodstock’s Dreams Sports Bar late on Saturday night.
One series of images shows the bar’s owner, Nnamdi Muoka, standing next to a table and a couch, his hands cuffed behind his back, while a male police officer hits him with what looks like a torch. 

Muoka is shown trying to evade the uniformed officer, who follows him around the couch and eventually corners him, beating him to the ground. 

One of Muoka’s friends, Nicky Asher-Pedro, said she was also attacked by the officers from the Woodstock police station just before midnight on Saturday, while she was at the bar in Victoria Road.
Asher-Pedro, a former Bush Radio presenter and producer who now works for city magazine the Big Issue, said she was pepper-sprayed, manhandled and her skirt was torn by police officers after she questioned their attack on Muoka.
She, Muoka and the bar owner’s brother, Osita Nwadike, were arrested and detained in the Woodstock police station’s holding cells from the early hours of Sunday morning, before being released on warning on Monday. 

The three are due to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s court on May 10, having been charged under “the liquor act”, Asher-Pedro said. 

When approached for comment, Woodstock police station spokesman Hilton Malila said he was not aware of the incident, but would investigate. 

An officer at the Woodstock police station confirmed the arrests today, and told the Cape Argus the three had been charged with assaulting a police officer. 

Malila would not confirm details of the arrests, referring all further queries to the provincial communications office. 

Asher-Pedro claimed that the trio had not been allowed to make phone calls and that the police refused to allow anyone bring them jackets. 

“I could not even tell my 14-year-old son, who was at home, where I was (over) the weekend,” she said. 

Asher-Pedro said that six police officers entered the Dreams Sports Bar just before midnight on Saturday and told Muoka that there was too much noise coming from the premises.
Muoka questioned them, she said, and the police allegedly responded by swearing at him and telling him to shut up. 

Asher-Pedro said Muoka had persisted, and the officers allegedly threatened to arrest him. She said they handcuffed him and one officer allegedly hit Muoka in the face. 

At that point, she intervened, asking the officer why he was hitting a handcuffed man. 

“That is when they started attacking me, throwing my phone on the floor and dragging me, while ripping my skirt. 

“They pepper sprayed me in the eyes.” 

She claimed that other patrons were also pepper sprayed and were chased out of the club. Some, who were recording the incident on their cellphones, had the phones confiscated, she said. 

Muoka confirmed the incident, saying he had talked to his lawyers and preferred not to comment at this stage. 

The three were due to meet with lawyers today to provide statements, which would be filed to the Independent Complaints Directorate so it could investigate, Asher-Pedro said this morning. 

Muoka showed the Cape Argus several City of Cape Town documents showing he was licensed to do business on the premises. 

Rapes at Easter

April 28 2011

Five incidents of rape, including that of an 85-year-old woman, occurred at the Easter weekend in Limpopo, police said. 

Lieutenant Colonel Mohale Ramatseba said from the five cases, four occurred in the Vhembe area alone. 

The most shocking incident involved the rape of an 85-year-old woman, allegedly by a 17-year-old boy, he said. The boy was arrested on Friday after the incident in Matshena Village. 

On Sunday, a 16-year-old girl was raped when walking home. Two men confronted her, raped her and then stole her cellphone, he said. 

A 19-year-old girl was also raped and robbed of her phone on Friday at Khujwane Village.
“It is alleged the victim was walking to her boyfriend's home when she was also confronted by two men.” 

In Vuwani, a 23-year-old woman was raped in Lwamondo on Sunday night, and in Dennilton a 15-year-old girl was allegedly drinking liquor at a tavern when she was apparently forced into the bushes by two men and raped on Monday night. Ramatseba said drastic steps were taken by police against the tavern owner selling alcohol to the under-age girl.
“Measures being taken might lead to the permanent closure of the tavern, he said. 
 
“Girls are (advised) not to walk alone during the night and also to avoid frequenting liquor outlets alone during the night.”

http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/5-women-raped-in-limpopo-1.1062123 

Cop Shoots Woman

2011-04-28

A car guard who said he witnessed the shooting of an unarmed civilian outside the Kempton Park police station, east of Johannesburg, has told The Star newspaper that the policeman refused to call an ambulance. 

Sipho Baloyi, who had helped Jeanette Odendaal, 45, to park her car when she crashed into a stationary police vehicle, said the sergeant shot her from short distance after Baloyi alerted the police to the accident in the parking lot.

"A sergeant came around from the charge office and walked out of the station. He didn't say anything, but walked to her passenger window. He shot her upper arm and it looked like the bullet went through her breast and out of her chest," said Baloyi.

The police officer then walked back into the police station, but returned a few seconds later.
He said he pleaded with the sergeant to call emergency services.

But, said Baloyi, the sergeant told him: "She's dying already, there's no point in calling the ambulance."

He said other police officers flooded the scene after the shooting and demanded to know from the sergeant why he had shot her. The sergeant then allegedly burst into tears.

Beeld newspaper reported that Odendaal, who lived in Aston Manor, a few kilometres from the police station, had wanted to report a case of disturbance of peace.

The Star said her family would travel from Middelburg in Mpumalanga on Thursday to identify her body.

The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) said on Wednesday that the sergeant had been arrested and would appear in court soon.

It was believed that he mistook the noise of the crash for gun shots.

Zuma - Progress since 1994

2011-04-27 

President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday spoke of how proud he was at the "substantial progress" South Africa has made since 1994 in comparison to other countries that deteriorated after liberation.

"We have done exceptionally well against all odds, in only 17 years," Zuma said at Freedom Day celebrations at the Union Buildings.

He spoke of the importance of Chapter 9 institutions like the Office of the Public Protector and the Human Rights Commission, which formed part of available mechanisms to ensure that apartheid never recurred.

He urged South Africans not allow anyone or any grouping in society to reverse the gains of the country's hard-won democracy.

This day, he said, marked the celebration of a freedom and democracy obtained through the blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifices of scores of freedom fighters and ordinary South Africans.

"We must therefore commit ourselves to not allow anyone or any grouping or structure in our society, to trivialise our freedom or to reverse the gains of our hard-won democracy."

He recalled how a few years ago, people lived in a country whose system of government was declared a crime against humanity by the United Nations.

He also spoke of the pain caused by the legacy of apartheid that stripped away the dignity of millions of South Africans.

Referring to the Group Areas Act of 1950 which designated residential areas according to race, Zuma said the scars caused by forced removals remain to this day.

The government was attempting to reverse the impact, he said.

"Thousands more still bear the psychological scars of being bundled into Bantustans or so-called homelands."

A broken covenant 

I don't see the benefits of freedom, but I hope they will come in my lifetime. I love freedom, but for now it means bloody empty promises. I still have to s*** in such a toilet [a "ventilated improved pit" toilet] and have no privacy in my house. 

I wish they could buy me a house because clearly this government is failing. I don't know why they have not bought me a house and I'm scared to ask them. 

No one in their wildest dream would have dreamed that this place would be like this today. 
 
But the Kliptown you see today is different. On the other side of the railway line is a modern Kliptown, where there is progress, with the government having spent about R300-million to give the area a face-lift. There is a four-star Holiday Inn, underground parking, shops, good roads and houses. That side is strictly for tourists. 








But where we live is rotten. My heart sinks when I cross the railway line. On our side there are streams of dirty and smelly water running around our shacks; there is no electricity. We use communal taps and toilets. We don't have houses. 

You will be surprised that some people here still use the bucket system, which the government promised to get rid of in 2007. If they tell us that they will not do anything for us, better still, we will die in peace knowing that they care less about us."

I will still vote for the ANC anyway; after all, I get an old-age grant from them. 


Hundreds of protesting Cape Town shack dwellers yesterday threatened to boycott next month' s local government elections. 

Thandiswa Gabula, of QQ section, an informal settlement in Khayelitsha, on the Cape Flats, was one of the people protesting against lack of services, including basic sanitation, while participating in a shack-fire meeting organised by the Abahlali baseMjondolo (shack dwellers') movement. 

Gabula, 45, a mother of four, said she felt excluded from South Africa and that Freedom Day meant nothing to her because her community did not have toilets, running water or electricity.
"I have been voting since 1994. My life hasn't changed. I will not vote this time around," she said.
"I know South Africans who have got the means are celebrating this day elsewhere, but this day brings me a lot of sadness." 

For the 23 years that Gabula has lived in the township, she has had to ask her neighbours for permission to use their toilet. 

"I think I will only vote during the national government elections," she said. 

Resident Lulama Njadu, 42, echoed Gabula's sentiments. 

He said his family's circumstances pained him and that he had to send his four young children to Eastern Cape to live with a relative because living conditions in his community were unhealthy. 

"I don't see the reason why I should vote. Leaders have been using us as a ladder to get cushy jobs. Once elected, they take us for fools ... this day means nothing to me but suffering."
Mzonke Poni, spokesman for Abahlali baseMjondolo, said the gathering was not to celebrate Freedom Day but to "mourn it". 

"We live in shacks, in other people's back yards, in rotting council homes and other urban and rural ghettos. But it's not only about where we live or what services we receive," said Poni. 

"Because we are poor, the government treats us as though we are less than human. This is why we are forced to hold Unfreedom Day - to assert our right to dignity." 

Earlier, the Social Justice Coalition and hundreds of Khayelitsha residents delivered a memorandum to Cape Town mayor Dan Plato to demand access to "clean and safe sanitation services".

 http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/Zuma-praises-progress-since-1994-20110427