Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Municipal worker arrested for selling jobs

Municipal worker arrested for selling jobs....

Johannesburg - A Mogale City local municipality employee was arrested on Tuesday for "selling" jobs that were advertised by the municipality in Krugersdorp, Gauteng police said.

Colonel Tummi Shai said the 38-year-old woman promised jobs to destitute applicants at the cost of R1 500 each.

An undisclosed amount of money, which was allegedly paid to her by some of the applicants, was found in her possession.

The woman, who was employed as an environmental specialist for almost a decade, was known to have been leading a lavish lifestyle, Shai said.

"[She had] at least two luxurious vehicles, an Audi A4 and an Audi Q7 SUV.

"It is very likely that we will also be engaging the Asset Forfeiture Unit to look into her possessions having been possibly acquired through the proceeds of crime."

The woman was expected to appear in the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court on Thursday on charges of fraud.

Our cops can't be trusted

Our cops can't be trusted....

Mar 27, 2011 

Too many police linked to too many gangsters and killers...

I am afraid of the police. Some of them seem to be at the centre of some of the most heinous crimes and ominous acts being committed in this country at the moment. 

But our political leaders don't seem at all concerned about what is happening.
Take the raids by the Hawks last week on Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir. He entered South Africa on a false passport in 2007 and has been linked to bribery and murder in his own country and elsewhere, including five recent murders in South Africa.
It appears that he has operated with the help of some senior members of our police service. The Mail & Guardian newspaper reported last week that the H awks are investigating claims that senior members of the police's crime intelligence unit interfered with the Krejcir investigation. Central to the investigation, the newspaper said, are former Gauteng crime intelligence boss Joey Mabasa and the head of crime intelligence, General Richard Mdluli.
"The probe is understood to focus on allegations that crime intelligence engaged in extensive phone-tapping of Hawks members and others involved in the Krejcir investigation. The issue of who motivated for this surveillance, who approved it and whether the information was passed on to Krejcir is a key focus of the investigation," the M&G said. 

This might all seem a bit random, but consider the fact that President Jacob Zuma escaped standing trial for corruption because members of the now-disbanded Scorpions were illegally bugged. 

Recordings of their conversations were released by the acting head of the National Prosecuting Authority, Mokotedi Mpshe, when, in his plagiarised statement, he dropped the charges against the ANC leader and gave him a free pass to the best office in the Union Buildings. 

In the case of the Hawks, too, a known underworld figure, already linked to five murders, is allegedly being fed information by members of police intelligence. It does not help that the wife of the same Mabasa implicated above had set up a company with Krejcir's wife.
Further, the M&G has reported that "Mabasa was also the officer who claimed that he received a telephonic confession from former Krejcir employee George Smith (aka Louka) after Smith had supposedly shot (Teazers boss) Lolly Jackson". 

So let's connect some dots here. 

At the beginning of this month, two crime intelligence officers raided the office of the Public Protector after she had released a scathing report about national police commissioner Bheki Cele's role in the dodgy police headquarters tender deal in Pretoria, in which a friend of Zuma's stands to make a whopping profit.
The two policemen, a Colonel Maluleka and a Captain Nkuta, had visited the Protector's offices and demanded a document referred to in a Sunday Times report. There was no official request and it remains a mystery, a month after this outrageous incident, who ordered the men to violate a Chapter 9 institution. 

So, in just one month, you have two extremely worrying incidents. First, Hawks investigators going after a bad egg are themselves snooped upon and perhaps then threatened, and secondly, the Public Protector is menaced by the faceless manipulator behind two crime intelligence officers. 

Let's take this further. Celebrated writer and Sunday Times columnist Jonny Steinberg wrote on February 13: "Those who rear puppies to be lethal attack dogs ought to ask themselves this: once the dogs are trained to kill, who will control them? Five years from now, will you still be the one who decides whom the dogs do or do not maul? 

"General Bheki Cele has not been asking himself such questions of late, at least not rigorously enough. In 2009, he formed a new police organisation called the Tactical Response Team. It is a large body with units across the country, each staffed by about 100 officers. Their job is to apprehend suspects considered armed and dangerous . 

"I suspect the units have another purpose, one that you will not find in any policy document.
"They are there to send a message: 'Live by the gun, the message goes, and you risk dying by the gun. For, if your activity warrants our attention, we will go after you, and we are loath to take prisoners'.
"I make this claim because it can be inferred from the ways in which team members are already in trouble with the law.
"Eleven officers have been charged with murder after a man in Inanda, in KwaZulu-Natal, was allegedly beaten unconscious in front of his 11-year-old child." 

Let me connect those dots again. 

Claims that investigators are being spied on and information passed to criminals . the Public Protector is 'visited' and her office's further investigation of corruption is essentially chilled.
Finally, ordinary people can be murdered by elite teams - remember the "shoot to kill" injunction? - which sounds ominously like the hit squads that dominate some South American countries. 

This is how the rot sets in. 


Public paid for CEO's funeral

Public paid for CEO's funeral

Mar 30, 2011

THE public forked out R240000 for the funeral of a chief executive officer of a parastatal in 2009.

Louis Selekane, the chief executive of the South African Diamond and Precious Metal Regulator, died in a car accident in May 2009. It emerged only yesterday that the parastatal paid for his funeral.
Chief executives of parastatals earn between R1,5million and R2million a year.
In reply to a parliamentary question yesterday, Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said: "The board ratified the expenditure."
But the Public Finance Management Act defines this as "unauthorised expenditure".
Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi expressed shock and described it as "pure corruption".
"Is the CEO a president or a government minister? Why was he given a state funeral? That is pure corruption. Parliament must pursue getting back that money or heads must roll, or both.
"CEOs earn such a lot of money. What about 1,7million workers who lost their jobs? What message is being sent to those people? That money must be recovered and action taken against whoever authorised that," Vavi said.
Cope spokesperson Phillip Dexter also expressed shock. "It's shocking if its true," he said.
When asked by DA spokesperson on mineral resources, MP Eric Marais, if criminal or disciplinary steps had been taken against the person responsible for authorising the expenditure, Shabangu replied: "Not applicable".
Her spokesperson Musa Zondi said it was the parastatal board's prerogative to decide whether to spend the money on Selekane's funeral.
"The board, as an accounting authority, ratified the decision as it is their prerogative. The minister exercises oversight and does not micro-manage. So there is no need to take action," Zondi said.
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu would not comment on the issue, saying matters raised in Parliament should be dealt through parliamentary structures.

Hospital power outage may last 6 weeks

Hospital power outage may last 6 weeks


Rob Ferreira Hospital in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, may be without electricity for another four to six weeks after a transformer room caught fire last week.

A diesel generator is currently being used to supply some power to the hospital, said provincial health and social development spokesperson Mpho Gabashane on Monday.

"We are currently running the hospital with a diesel generator which is a challenge, because the diesel might run out in the middle of the night, causing havoc for the 250 patients who are still in the hospital," said Gabashane.

He said food was now being prepared at the local prison for the remaining patients.

Critically and terminally ill patients or those who need around the clock care have been transferred to the private Nelspruit Medi-Clinic or the Themba State Hospital outside White River.

"The most fortunate part about the whole situation is that no casualties were reported because of this challenge.

"I would like to extend our gratitude to Themba Hospital and the private Nelspruit Medi-Clinic for helping us with critically ill patients, pregnant women and babies who need to be in incubators," he added.

Anyone else who needs medical care has been asked to go to the Barberton or Themba hospitals until electricity is restored at Rob Ferreira.

Bodies in the mortuary have also been transferred to a private mortuary to avoid decomposition.

Meanwhile, technicians and forensic investigators are currently investigating the cause of the explosion.

Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Mpumalanga legislature, Velly Manzini, commended the department for putting the patients first, but said it was unacceptable for the province's biggest hospital to be without electricity for up to six weeks.

"The DA calls on Premier David Mabuza to intervene and to pull out all stops to ensure that the electricity is restored at Rob Ferreira hospital before any fatalities occur.

"It is really unacceptable that patients must wait six weeks for power to be restored. It really does not make any sense," said Manzini.

15,000 Child Rapes in Three Years

15,000 child rapes in three years

March 30th 2011

MORE than 15000 children under 18 years of age have been victims of rape over the past three years, the Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities said.
Minister Lulu Xingwana said three-year records from Thuthuzela Care centres for rape victims showed that children between the ages of 12 and 17 were most at risk of sexual assault.
"In just three years, 28 Thuthuzela Care centres have been established, with more than 34000 victims visiting for assistance. The group of children between the ages of 12 and 17 years are emerging as the most vulnerable group and represents the majority (about 15000) of people visiting these centres," she said at the opening of Thuthuzela Care centre at Kopanong Hospital in Vereeniging yesterday.
Rape survivors are given antiretroviral drugs to reduce the risk of HIV infection, treated for sexually transmitted infections, counselled and helped to open a criminal case.
The minister said the centres were being established in communities with high incidences of sexual assault to provide a one-stop comprehensive service to rape victims.
"These centres are contributing to an increase in reporting of sexual assault cases as victims know they now have a place to run to for assistance, where they are treated with dignity and respect," she said.
Meanwhile, child rights activists welcomed the "no-nonsense" approach of the police portfolio committee in Parliament which reprimanded senior police for submitting an inadequate annual performance plan. Police were ordered to make their submission again yesterday.
"Police consistently claim that crimes against women and children are a priority. We want to know how they propose to make this a reality, and not just another paper promise," said Lisa Vetten of Shukumisa.
Family violence, child protection and sexual offences units disbanded in 2006 will be operational again from Friday at 176 police stations. 

Gauteng is SA's home of crime.

Gauteng is SA's home of crime - Cele


Cape Town - Half of all the crime committed in South Africa happens in Gauteng, National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele said on Wednesday.

"Gauteng is exactly 50% of South Africa's crime stats. The other provinces make up the other 50%," Cele told a parliamentary portfolio committee on police.

"The stats say that Gauteng is the home of crime."

This made Gauteng a top priority province in terms of resources and the building of police stations.

He said it was disturbing that while the province had 100 townships and more than 200 informal settlements, only 50 of its 135 police stations were situated in the townships and informal settlements.

"[We] need to have police stations mushrooming everywhere in Gauteng. To deal with crime, we have to deal with Gauteng," Cele said.

He said duty corps in the provinces would be maintained and more would be built.

These would be scaled down in "quieter" cities like Cape Town and Durban.

"Because in Gauteng if you go down a little, crime goes up the next day.

"In Gauteng, police stations must be forever there."

Cele was responding to criticism from committee members on wastage of funds and vacant police stations in some provinces. 

Police Spend R161,5m spent on private security

R161,5m spent on private security

March 29 2011 

The SA Police Service (SAPS) spent R161,5-million on private security services in 2009/10, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Tuesday.
In written reply to a question in the National Assembly, he said contracts with private security companies were for the provision of security services to perform guard duties at the various SAPS premises.
SAPS used private security companies for these duties because of the “many advantages”, he said.
Among other things, a comparative analysis had shown it was more cost effective to outsource this type of service than to use trained police officials.
This made more trained police officials available to perform operational police duties.

The private security company was contractually bound to replace any employee absent for whatever reasons, such as sick leave or vacation leave.
Further, the administrative burden of arranging guard duties was no longer SAPS' responsibility and all personnel matters had to be dealt with by the service provider.
The private security company could also be held responsible should any losses occur, Mthethwa said.
Contracts were awarded to 48 private security companies in this regard. 


House of Horrors
30 March 2011

IN one of the most horrifying cases of domestic abuse ever recorded in Port Elizabeth, a traumatised and malnourished 52-year-old woman is in a serious condition at Greenacres Hospital after allegedly being locked up and savagely burnt and beaten with chains and table legs for more than three months.
When police finally discovered Avril Gordon after being alerted by suspicious neighbours, she was “days from death”.
Her 42-year-old husband, Air Force sergeant Frederick Gordon, has been arrested and will appear in court tomorrow for a bail application date to be finalised.
Humewood Police Station head Brigadier Ronald Koll said he had never dealt with such a "gruesome" case where a woman "was treated like a slave and beaten into submission".
"She has lost everything and has no clothes, no money, no friends - absolutely nothing. We were so horrified about this case that everyone clubbed together to buy her the bare essentials like a toothbrush and some basic clothing," he said.
Due to the severity of this case  we are going to be opposing bail.”  Humewood Police Station’s  Colonel Mark Houwland said police were alerted  last Thursday after neighbours contacted the emergency call centre following months of hearing crying coming from a flat in Morstone,   in Forest Hill. 
 “When officers arrived, he (Gordon) refused to open the door, claiming to have lost the flat keys,” Houwland  said. 
“Gordon told officers everything was fine, but they then heard crying  from inside. An officer kicked the  door open and found her (Avril) in a bedroom covered in blood.”
Gordon was arrested and Avril was taken to Livingstone Hospital. She was  later transferred to Greenacres Hospital in a “very serious condition”.
Yesterday morning, Avril underwent emergency surgery as her nose was split in half and her body  covered in open wounds.  According to doctors, she also had severe burns on her back.
Investigating officer Detective-Sergeant  Paul  Roelofse said  if Avril had not been found, it was “very possible”  she would have died within days.
“From what we understand, he allegedly locked her in a small bathroom in the flat at 7am every day when he went to work.
“She used to have a few slices of bread inside the bathroom with her and would only be let out  when he came home at about 4pm.
“We are still trying to talk to her, but it is very difficult as she is severely traumatised.  Neighbours  had heard “very faint crying” coming from the flat “for weeks” but thought it was an infant  crying.  “Only when the crying became repetitive over a few weeks, did they alert the police,” Roelofse said.
“The beatings started getting very intense over the past three months which ... progressed to full-blown attempted murder.”
Roelofse said Gordon allegedly kept Avril’s bank card so  she could not access funds or flee.
Gordon, who is divorced from his first wife, allegedly has a history of domestic violence. However, police did not want to comment on former cases, saying they formed part of the current investigation.
A visit to the flat yesterday revealed blood splatters on all the bedroom walls, with only the bare essentials inside the house. A handful of Avril’s bloodied hair lay on the floor, near to about 15 empty beer cans on a coffee table. Bloodied clothes, pots, pans and torn books were scattered around.
Residents, who  did not want to be named,  said Gordon was always “polite” and generally  a “pleasant man”.
But one man said: “He always drank and would come home from work with a pack full of beers every night. “He would never let anyone into the  flat, as if he was hiding something.”
A  neighbour  said he was surprised a woman lived in the flat  as she was never seen.  “I come and go all day and have never seen  a woman there,” he  said. “I always saw him coming in and out of the flat ...  alone.”
The military police  said protocol prohibited them from disclosing details about a police investigation. A military insider, however,  said Gordon had a history of assault and was being investigated internally.
He is due to appear in the North End Magistrate’s Court tomorrow for a  date for a formal bail application to be set.