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.” 

Cop Shoots Woman


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


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".