Monday, May 9, 2011

Cop smuggles drugs to prisoners


A Western Cape police sergeant was convicted on Monday of smuggling drugs to prisoners in court holding cells.

Sergeant Thembinkosi Moriat Keya, who was based at the Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court, was found guilty by the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court

Magistrate Amrith Chabillal postponed the case to June 21 for sentencing proceedings.

Initially, Keya wished to plead not guilty, but changed his mind on the advice of defence attorney Shamiema Petersen.

Prosecutor Max Orban told the court authorisation for an undercover operation to expose corrupt police members was given in August last year.

According to the charge sheet, the trap was conducted by a police captain, who made use of two agents.

The captain obtained drugs and cash in the prescribed manner, for use in the operation.

He handed R1 000 in cash, and a packet containing the drug "tik" to one of the two agents, who gave it to Keya to hand to the second agent, named as "Otto".

At the time, Otto was booked into the cells under a fictitious case.

According to the charge sheet, Keya agreed to receive the tik, and to give it to Otto, for a R500 reward.

As soon as Otto received the tik in the holding cells, Keya was arrested and the tik sealed and sent for forensic analysis.

Black-Racist Assaults Old Boer Woman In Hospital

Monday, 9 May 2011

POSTMASBURG government hospital, May 7 2011 – source: Die Ghaap newspaper - In a shocking racist assault, a black man walked into a women’s ward past the black patients, straight up to Afrikaner patient 85-year-old Mrs Lina Coetzee, and brutally beat her up. Her bruised face and bloodied pillow are silent testimony to the vicious assault. The frail old lady was brought to hospital that morning with a broken hip and was unable to defend herself. 

Police more concerned about welfare of arrested assailant – and left without taking any witness statements: 

One of the black male patients from an adjacent ward saved her: rushing to the old Afrikaner woman’s aid, grabbing the attacker from behind and restraining him by locking his arms around the assailant’s arms and upper body. 

Mrs Coetzee’s family members restrained the assailant of their beloved family matriarch until the police eventually bothered to show up. The journalist of the local ‘Die Ghaap’ newspaper noted that there was no sign of any of the usualy security guards at the hospital and that it took the SA Police Force an extraordinarily long time to show up and arrest the assailant.  

A family spokesman said: “The police showed much more concern about the welfare of the black assailant than they did towards the victim and asked lots of questions about the way he was arrested. They showed little interest in taking any statements from any of the witnesses on the ward.  

Mrs Coetzee’s family members said the behaviour of the police is unacceptable and inexplcable. Mrs Coetzee has meanwhile been transferred to a hospital in Kimberley, where she is being guarded 24/7 by family members. The doctor said while she is traumatised, she’s also strong – and hopes that she will recover from the traumatic assault, as a broken hip ‘; already is life-threatening for someone of her advanced years.  

source: submission of scanned newspaper page Sat, May 7, 2011 at 12:52 PM to

President Zuma - Sheryl Cwele

May 8 2011 

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele were briefed by intelligence bosses on the embarrassing high-profile drug trafficking case involving the minister’s wife, Sheryl, long before her arrest. 

The Sunday Independent has established that a group of intelligence chiefs, led by former National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee co-ordinator Silumko Sokupa, told Motlanthe, when he was caretaker president in 2009, that Sheryl was being investigated for drug-dealing. 

The top spy team also comprised former crime intelligence boss Mulangi Mphego and former National Intelligence Agency (NIA) director-general Manala Manzini. 

The intelligence bigwigs are believed to have felt that the case would embarrass the country and erode the credibility of the spy outfits, given the suspect was the wife of a sitting intelligence minister. 

Cwele was appointed Intelligence Minister by Motlanthe in 2008, and in May 2009 Zuma reappointed him to head the renamed Ministry of State Security. 

He has maintained he was estranged from his wife during the period of the investigations. But this was contradicted by reports that he’d spent the 2009 December holidays with her in Mozambique. Sheryl’s lawyer, Mvuseni Ngubane, told the Pietermaritzburg High court last February, during her bail application hearing, that the couple had not been estranged since 2005, as claimed by the State in opposing bail. Ngubane said Cwele and his wife had spent the December holiday together in Mozambique. 

It has also emerged that after details surfaced in March 2009 that Sheryl was linked to a drug trafficking underworld, Cwele told Motlanthe he’d been told his wife was being pursued by police. A top official in the Presidency told The Sunday Independent this week that after the story that Sheryl was involved in drugs broke into the public domain, Cwele went to see Motlanthe.
“The minister did tell the president that there was a criminal investigation into his wife… He felt that he needed to talk to the president,” the official said. “But he didn’t expect the president to help.” 

The Sunday Independent understands Cwele had been briefed by Manzini about his wife. Mphego had authorised the tapping of Sheryl’s phone as part of a probe into Nigerian drug dealer Frank Nabolisa. 

Sheryl and Nabolisa were sentenced to 12 years for drug trafficking by the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday. They have since indicated they would appeal against their convictions and sentences. 

It is understood that a team of intelligence officers investigating Sheryl and Nabolisa and later handed over the intercepted conversations between the two to embattled crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. 

Mdluli used the taped conversations in his plea to President Jacob Zuma late last year to help him fend off what he called a plot by senior intelligence officers to oust him. 

In a top-secret letter to Zuma in November, copied to Cwele, Mdluli said, “These senior loyal members were also active with the interceptions on Minister Cwele’s wife”. Mdluli was “irregularly” appointed by a ministerial committee on which Cwele sat. 

Motlanthe’s spokesman Thabo Masebe could not confirm whether the deputy president had met with intelligence chiefs on the matter, and said the contents of such meetings were confidential. 

“The security chiefs do brief the president on regular occasions… In their meetings they don’t talk about individuals, they talk matters of national security,” he said. Cwele’s spokesman Brian Dube said the minister would not comment on his wife’s matter, as it was still before the courts.
Sources in the intelligence community said the conviction of Cwele’s wife had caused the country embarrassment. “This matter was very serious. It relates to a number of aspects that the intelligence community is mandated and entrusted to guard,” an intelligence official said. It was of such importance the head of state had to be informed. 

The official said at first Nabolisa’s phone had been tapped, but officials soon discovered links to Sheryl. 

Nabolisa and Sheryl, a high ranking municipal official on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, were arrested last January. 

Mphego and Sokupa refused to comment. 

Foreigners Under Threat

Viewer discretion advised!


May 8, 2011

This week marks three years since xenophobia in Gauteng left 62 people dead and 30000 displaced.  

RAMAPHOSA REVISITED: Images on the left taken during the xenophobic attacks in the township of Ramaphosa, on the East Rand, in 2008; on the right, pictures shot this year 

Residents laugh as foreigner burns in his own blankets

As we made our way through the Ramaphosa squatter camp in Reiger Park on Gauteng’s East Rand, a woman’s words made us freeze in horror. “They are burning people down there,” she said.

I ran to the nearest police officer and said: “The locals say they’re burning a person at the other intersection.”

Officers leapt into a Casspir and a Nyala, and drove through the debris and barricades in the road.

I ran after them, with other photographers following.

Two hundred metres down the road we found the first man. He had been severely beaten and was semi- conscious. Police thought he was dead, but later realised he wasn’t.

About 25m from him a man was on his knees. There was a mattress covering him, and it was on fire.

He, too, was alight.

Police threw the mattress off him and kicked sand onto him to put out the flames. Another officer ran over with a fire extinguisher, pointed it at him and extinguished the flames. Other officers radioed for medical help.

The man was alive, but barely. He groaned, but he could not speak.

It was all over in 20 seconds.

There was a concrete pillar lying near him, splattered with blood. We can only imagine what was done to him before he was set alight.

The police stayed with him until the paramedics arrived, doing what they could But residents gathered at the scene were laughing.

Kim Ludbrook, a photographer, admonished them, and we reminded them this was human being and that what had happened was barbaric.
Still they laughed.

The burn victim, whose name has not been released, died last night in hospital. 

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Amukelani Chauke and Caleb Melby went back to two hot spots 

Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave became the personification of xenophobic attacks when images of him being burned alive were published around the world. Despite the resulting outrage, those responsible for his death were never brought to book. 

In July last year, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane called on police to reopen the investigation into the murder of the 35-year-old Mozambican father of four. 

On Friday, her office referred queries about the investigation to the office of community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko. 

When called for comment, provincial safety spokesman Dumisani Ngema said they were waiting for reports from the police on progress in the investigation. 

In the Ramaphosa shack settlement, which was once Nhamuave's home, the police have intensified patrols after a new standoff between local and foreign shop owners forced Somalians and Pakistanis to stop trading. 

The Times has seen a copy of a letter, handed to foreign shop owners late last month by a group calling itself the Greater Gauteng Business Forum, which reads: "You are hereby granted a period of seven days to pack all your things and leave the area . 

"Failing to abide by this humble request will result in drastic measures being taken against you.
"It's not xenophobia, we need no war, no negotiations - the same way you came in, will and must be the same on your way out." 

Reiger Park police spokesman Toni Perifort confirmed that police escorted a group of foreign businessman from the area last week after residents threatened them. 

"The community has requested that the foreigners leave the area. It's business related, not xenophobia related," Perifort said on Friday. 

"On Monday evening, they [the community] started to loot one of the shops. 

"We have confiscated those groceries and are holding onto them while we investigate everything - their licences, where they are getting the goods from." 

Perifort said that, though the community's demands were not xenophobia related, the police were concerned that they could fuel fresh attacks." 

"They want them out as traders. They do not mind if they stay, they just cannot do business. [On Thursday] there was a community meeting that lasted all day to deal with these issues," she said. 

"The police offer a humble request to the community not to take the law into their own hands." 

Three years ago, Ramaphosa's main road was littered with debris from burning shacks.
Mothers fled carrying their children. Police fired rubber bullets at looters, using a nearby bank of post office boxes as a shield. 

In 2008, many locals complained that foreigners were taking their jobs and houses, but today it appears to be all about business. 

Hawkers trading a few metres from where Nhamuave burned to death said they did not want foreigners to trade in the area because their prices were too low. 

"We don't want them here," said Reiger Park resident Allister Swanepoel. "Their businesses are too cheap. 

"Had they not left, the community would have hurt them. Back then it was jobs. Now it is business." 

A Zimbabwean hawker, who would not reveal his name for fear of victimisation, said it was unfair to remove Somalian and Pakistani shop owners and that the root of the problem was that the locals hated competition. 

"These Pakistani shops are now locked up because of this. They employed locals and contributed to fighting unemployment." 

Perifort said the police and tax inspectors were investigating the origins of the goods confiscated from the evicted shop owners. They were also probing allegations of tax dodging. 

"Some have said that we have taken sides. This is not true. If anyone breaks the law, they will be arrested," she said