Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cop shot in the face

April 19 2011

A police constable was shot dead and another officer wounded when they attended to an ATM bombing scene in Zonkizizwe, Gauteng police said on Tuesday. 
Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the incident occurred on Monday night around 8pm.
Constable Fihliwe Mavis Bengeza, 25, died in hospital after she was shot in the face, he said.
“Her colleague, Constable Sihle Mbatha, 27, was shot in the leg and he is recovering at a local hospital. 

“They were shot when they responded to an ATM bombing at the taxi rank,” Dlamini said.
A second police vehicle which also responded was shot at but no one was injured. 

The suspects, who were allegedly armed with rifles, escaped in a silver VW Golf after taking an undisclosed amount of money from a bombed ATM. 

“They are all still at large.” 

Dlamini said this was a second incident this year in which a police officer was shot and killed while attending to a scene of an ATM bombing. 

In March, Constable Mogomotsi Masango was shot and killed in Hercules, west of Pretoria, by suspects travelling in a black Audi. 

“Police are calling on the community to bring their part in helping to curb the attacks on police officers and identify those involved, so that they can face the full force of the law.


Multiple ID's

Millions of South Africans have more than one ID

Apr 19, 2011 

 Five million South Africans carry multiple identity documents when legally, they should only have one, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Tuesday. 

Her department was able to determine this because the system recorded the dates of re-issue, Dlamini-Zuma said in Pretoria. 

She said that while some people genuinely lost their identity documents (IDs), others handed them over to loan sharks as security then applied for new ones. 

Last year alone, the government re-issued 1.3 million IDs -- more than those printed for first time applicants, said Dlamini-Zuma. 

She hinted that this was the reason for the tariff increase from R20 to R140 for re-issued IDs. 

What was more disconcerting was that 750, 000 of the re-issued documents were not collected.
"... [W]hich means people misplaced their IDs and went to re-apply and then find their documents and they then don't bother to collect them," she said.
"This is quite wasteful in terms of time, in terms of money. It opens up possibilities of corruption." 

Robert McBride - A Disgrace

Flaws of history and heroes

Story of Robert McBride is as complex as South Africa

Apr 17, 2011

                                                                 Justice Malala

 McBride, a mere 23 at the time, detonated the Magoo's Bar bomb. McBride and his comrades had believed that the bar was frequented by police. Three young women were killed and 69 people injured. 

How can I today sit here and begin to justify what he did? How do the parents and relatives of the three killed and injured feel? Anger, frustration, fear - all these engulfed them then and perhaps now. 

McBride appeared before the TRC, disclosed all, asked for pardon and was offered amnesty.
McBride's story is complex, like this country. 

McBride was a hero striking at the very heart of the apartheid oppressor. 

McBride, and the men and women called "terrorists" on the news bulletins we listened to every day, were brave and proud and had managed to strike back against an unbending and murderous apartheid state. Robert McBride was my hero. 

What is truth? Truth is this: if The Citizen wants to deny history then it may go ahead and call McBride a murderer. It may do so because McBride fought - while The Citizen was prospering on apartheid slush funds - for this new South Africa the freedoms of which the newspaper enjoys. He made certain mistakes. 

Those of us who know history - who look at it in its totality - know too that this much is true: McBride killed people, but he is not a murderer. Those who say he is distort truth and deny a complex and complicated history, painted on a wide canvas. 

He's a murderer. And a drunk-driver.

And a disgrace.

The End.

Strike Could Leave SA Cold

Apr 18, 2011

The National Union of Mineworkers has warned of a massive strike that might leave South Africa in the cold this winter if its dispute with Eskom about the implementation of a service agreement is not resolved soon. 

The union, which represents about 16000 of the 31000 workers at Eskom, said yesterday that it wanted to know who was classified as an essential-service worker at the national power utility. 

NUM spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said the implementation of the agreement would lay the groundwork for the start of the negotiating season. 

"They [Eskom] are deliberately dragging with this matter because they don't want a strike. 

"Parliament's essential-services committee designated Eskom as an essential-service provider, which means a minimum number of workers can strike. 

"It does not make sense for cleaners, gardeners, security guards or switchboard operators to be classified as essential-service workers," Seshoka said. 

"The minimum service-level agreement would apply to workers such as technicians, who are required to respond to emergency situations, such as a power failure, which might lead to loss of life if not attended to." 

He said the union would today submit its negotiating demands, including those for improved wages, while it fought the implementation of the agreement. 

The implementation of the agreement was among the issues the unions at the power utility used to threaten a blackout during the World Cup last year. 

The parties went on to fight the matter at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration. That body ruled in favour of the unions. Eskom took the dispute to the Labour Appeal Court, which also favoured the unions. 

Eskom then went to the Supreme Court of Appeal. The date on which the matter will be heard has not been announced. 

The National Union of Metalworkers, which has 7000 members at Eskom, said it would press ahead with its wage demands, irrespective of whether the agreement were implemented. 

Malema takes on BBC

Apr 18, 2011 

Embattled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema kept his cool throughout his interview with BBC journalist Stephen Sackur.

                                      BBC journalist Stephen Sackur

Sackur was interviewing the youth leader on his current affairs show, Hard Talk, which was aired yesterday afternoon. 

Malema, who is currently in court after Afriforum opened a hate-speech case following his singing of struggle song Dubul 'ibhunu, answered Sackur's questions calmly, in contrast to when he referred to a BBC journalist as a "bloody agent". 

Asked if he understood why white farmers felt threatened by the song, Malema said: "No, there is nobody who is threatened there, they are just seeking attention." 

Malema said he and South Africa's youth should be allowed to continue singing the struggle song, and that nobody should "suppress" the ANC Youth League in its expression of the pain it felt during the struggle. 

"This is a process of healing. We shouldn't suppress our feelings. We should not suppress the pain we have gone through.
"We are engaged in a struggle to reconcile, and that reconciliation does not mean suppress or forget." 

Malema dismissed some questions in a quirky fashion. When he was asked if South Africans had overcome the past, given that they still sang the song, he said: "We are overcoming the past; it is not a 21st birthday here, it is not an event, it is not an occasion, it is a process." 

Sackur then asked Malema if he handled his "anger" well, after he referred indirectly to DA leader Hellen Zille as "an ugly woman in a blue dress dancing like a monkey". He asked the youth leader how he felt after he "upset" many South Africans with his comments. 

Malema responded: "You don't know monkey jive? Do you know monkey jive? If I see some ugly woman in an ugly blue dress jiving monkey jive, I could not say that looks like a monkey jive? It is a monkey jive. 

"I upset many South Africans. How many South Africans did I upset? There has never been anybody who came to me with anger." 

On the economy, Malema told Sackur that South Africa had failed to deal with the 70% unemployment of the youth. 

Malema reiterated his call for the nationalisation of mines and expropriation of land. He said the government should claim ownership of the country's wealth, which he said was predominantly owned by "white males". 

Sackur then shifted his focus to Malema's rise and his wealth, and said Malema was a "black South African success story". 

"No. I'm nowhere close to the ownership of the wealth of this country," Malema retorted 

When Sackur asked Malema if he were not wealthy, including owning two houses in leafy suburbs, and luxury cars, and enjoying a good life, he said: "What is your definition of wealth? I have got a serious respect for you. I have seen you do interviews with very powerful respected leaders of the world. 

"You know there is a house here in Sandton which is fashionable that I own. I don't own it, it is owned by Absa. 

"A Mercedes-Benz C63: I don't own that car, it is financed by the bank. If I am out of this job, I will be back in the township living with my grandmother because I have not finished paying for that house. 

"If that is your definition of wealthy, then we have a different interpretation of wealth." 

Concluding the interview, Sackur asked why the youth league, after calling for the nationalisation of mines and banks, called for "wholesale nationalisation". 

"No, there will be sectors in the economy which will not be nationalised. When you speak mining and the banks, mining is a sector, banks is another sector, there are also other sectors in the economy. So wholesale nationalisation would mean everything else including spaza shops," said Malema. 


Drink Valpré says Ficksburg Mayor

Apr 18, 2011

"People say there is no water in this town. What is this?" giggled Ficksburg's mayor, Mbothoma Maduna, reaching into his office fridge for bottles of Valpré mineral water. 

Ficksburg's mayor, Mbothoma Maduna

Maduna's words came minutes before six policemen appeared in the Ficksburg Magistrate's Court, a stone's throw from his office, in connection with the death of Andries Tatane, killed during a protest against the town's crippling water shortages.

On Wednesday, Tatane was allegedly shot twice at close range with rubber bullets, and beaten with batons, by a group of police officers in an attack shown nationwide on SABC TV news. 

He and residents of the nearby township of Maqheleng had marched to the Setsoto municipal offices to demand a reliable supply of water and an immediate halt to the daily sewage spills into roads and gardens in the township. 

A postmortem examination has found that Tatane died from gunshot wounds. The examiner's report will be completed in a few weeks. 

The Times has learned that a number of Independent Complaints Directorate officials were present at the examination by the Bloemfontein district surgeon.
ICD spokesman Moses Dlamini said the investigation into Tatane's death might be finalised by the end of this week. 

Investigators interviewed 14 policemen and arrested six of them. 

The trial of Olebogeng Mphirime, Tehedi Moeketsie, Jonas Skosana, and Mphonyane Ntaje, who face charges of serious assault, and of Israel Moiloa and Mothusi Magano, charged with murder, was postponed to April 26, when they are expected to apply for bail.
Dlamini said more arrests might follow. 

Tatane's widow, Rose, and a relative of one of the six accused almost came to blows in court yesterday. 

After the female relative entered the packed courtroom and demanded seats for the accused's family, Rose Tatane shouted: "Shut up! Shut up! Do you not care that we have lost a person? The only thing you care about is sitting space for your people. 

"Do you know that we could very well ask the mob [of protestors outside] to attack you when we leave this place? 

"I wish I had a gun. I was going to kill them all [the accused] when they come inside!"
A court orderly asked the other woman to leave. 

The six policemen came into the court wearing hats, hooded tops and woollen caps drawn over their eyes to prevent them being identified.
They were remanded in custody and will return to court on Tuesday next week for their bail hearing. 

As they walked out of the court, Rose Tatane shouted: "These are not police, they are thugs!" 

Outside the court, a group of about 500 protesters sang, whistled and waved placards, demanding that immediate action be taken against the alleged killers. 

"No bail! No bail! No bail!" they chanted. Some of their placards read: "Protect us, don't kill us", "Rot in jail", "Shoot to kill" and "Cele do your job". 

Others waved placards showing newspaper pictures of the police attacking Tatane, blood flowing from his chest, and collapsing. 

"Somebody hold us, we will kill these dogs," the crowd shouted, charging towards a group of grim-faced policemen inside the court's yard, safely behind locked gates. 

Facing the municipal building, they sang: "We don't have water, sewage is stinking and it's rotten. What have we done? Why are the police killing us? Why did they kill Tatane? He was fighting for our rights." 

Tsheliso Mpekoa, a local businessman who organised the march during which Tatane was killed, said the residents will not back down in their calls for Maduna, his senior managers and his councillors to resign. 

He said that the municipality was riddled with corruption. 

"We are meeting the co-operative governance MEC, Mamiki Qabathe, on Thursday. The municipality should be placed under administration. There should be an investigation and those who have to be dismissed should be dismissed." 

But Maduna insisted his administration was clean.
"It's a perception and it's not enough to make conclusions that we are failing to deal with corruption.
"If this office is made aware of such acts we will be able to act. If people see incomplete projects, they conclude it's corruption."
Dawood Adam, a senior official of the National Prosecuting Authority, told journalists that the director of the NPA, Menzi Simelane "sends his deepest condolences and calls for calm".