Saturday, April 30, 2011

Eastern Cape priest accused of selling government baby food

By Lelethu Mquqo
30 April 2011

The Eastern Cape health department has revealed that a Roman Catholic priest has been arrested in Queenstown for possession of a thousand tins of infant formula.

The product, clearly marked “not for re-sale”, was meant for government hospitals.

Spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo says the priest allegedly sold the Nestlé formula for R35 each.

More arrests are expected as the department extends its investigations to Dutywa.

Kupelo says the tragedy is that mothers sometimes get turned away from hospitals where they are supposed to get the formula for free.

Politicians target Cape Town

By Lelethu Mquqo
30 April 2011

The major political parties are focusing their electioneering on Cape Town today.

African National Congress president Jacob Zuma was in Gugulethu this morning and in Nyanga this afternoon.

This evening he will address a fund raising dinner at the Table Bay Hotel in the Waterfront.

Meanwhile, DA leader Helen Zille, Cape Town mayoral candidate Patricia de Lille and Cape Town chairperson Grant Pascoe unveiled the DA Delivery Bus in Mitchells Plain this morning.

Over the next 20 days the bus will travel all over the Western Cape to canvass votes.

Missing person found dead

By Lelethu Mquqo
30 April 2011

A missing Craig Steynberg has been found dead.

23-year-old Steynberg’s body was discovered by police divers in a river not far from the festival venue in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.

He was thought to have drowned but a post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Fickburg residents relieved that police accused were denied bail

By Lelethu Mquqo
30 April 2011

Calm has been restored in Fickburg, with the residents of Meqheleng expressing their relief that the eight police members implicated in Andries Tatane’s death were denied bail.

Tatane was beaten and shot by officers during a service delivery protest two weeks ago.

There were fears that chaos would break out should the policemen be released.

Protestors vowed to be back at court on the 2nd of June when the case resumes.

More delays expected in Eugene Terre’blanche murder case

By Lelethu Mquqo
30 April 2011

One of the accused in the Eugene Terre’Blanche murder trial has a new attorney, which could delay the trial when it resumes in the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday.

Chris Mahlangu's attorney Puna Moroko will be replaced by Legal Aid representative advocate Kjomogso Tlowana.

Moroko says Tlowana needs time to study the docket and consult with his client.

Moroko withdrew because he was not happy working free of charge.

Arms cache discovered at former SANDF member’s house

By Lelethu Mquqo
30 April 2011

A 40-year-old former National Defence Force member will appear in court on Tuesday on charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

The Hawks arrested the suspect after an arms cache was discovered at his home in Springs on the East Rand.

The items found at his home during a raid include about 600 rounds for R-1 and R-5 rifles and shotguns and an unlicensed 9-millimeter pistol.

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela says an Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging uniform was also confiscated.

Minister Dlamini embanking on an awareness campaign in Mitchell’s Plain today

Lusanda Bill
30th April 2011

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini will today be embarking on a two day anti-substance abuse awareness campaign in Mitchell’s Plain.

The minister interacting with civil society organisations that render prevention, treatment and remedy services in Mitchell’s Plain.

On the 2nd of May Minister Dlamini will participate in an Integrated Community Registration and Outreach Programme focusing on the extension of Child Support Grant.

This all follows the 2nd Biennial Substance Abuse Summit which took place earlier this year.

Friday, April 29, 2011

8 police members accused of Tatane’s death have been denied bail

Lusanda Bill
29 April 2011

The eight police members accused of being involved in the death of service delivery protester Andries Tatane have been denied bail.

They all appeared in the Ficksburg Magistrate’s Court today.

Two of the accused, who suffer from diabetes, will be detained in a medical facility to ensure that they receive proper attention.

The case has been postponed until the 2nd of June for further investigation.

FF+ wants fuel levy to be lowered

Lusanda Bill
29 April 2011

The Freedom Front Plus is demanding that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan lower the fuel levy.

This follows next week Wednesday’s fuel price increase.

In Gauteng the price of petrol will be over R10 a litre.

Spokesperson Anton Alberts says this and future increases will have a ripple effect on the economy.

City of Cape Town ordered to enclose Khayelitsha toilets

By Khanyisa Tabata
29 April 2011

The Democratic Alliance says it has taken note of the order, handed down today by Judge Nathan Erasmus in the Western Cape High Court, that the City of Cape Town has to enclose the open toilets provided to the residents of Makhaza, Khayelitsha.

DA leader Helen Zille says the city has tried to do this on several previous occasions.

Each time the enclosures were destroyed by members of the ANC Youth League. After today’s court judgement, Zille says they will, however, try again.

She says they have tried to do this on several previous occasions and each time enclosures were destroyed.

8 police members accused of killing a protestor appear in court

Lusanda Bill
29 April 2011

The eight police members who have been accused of killing Andries Tatane are appearing in court today for their bail application.

Two of them are accused of killing service delivery protestor Andries Tatane two weeks ago.

Residents of Meqheleng in Ficksburg have come out in numbers to hear the ruling of the bail application.

At an earlier appearance, the court heard that releasing the eight officials from custody could spark public disorder and unrest.

Missing Child: Daniel Naude

Missing Adult: Craig Steynberg

203 people killed on our roads during Easter weekend

Lusanda Bill
29 April 2011

At least 203 people were killed in road accidents over the Easter weekend.

According to initial figures released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation KwaZulu-Natal showed the highest number of deaths with 43.

KwaZulu-Natal was followed by Gauteng with 32 and Limpopo and Mpumalanga recorded 30 and 29 deaths respectively.

Road Traffic Management Corporation said that speeding was one of the major causes of accidents, while talking and texting on cellphones was also to blame.

Fuel price hikes not over yet

By Khanyisa Tabata
29 April 2011

Economist Mike Schüssler says fuel prices in South Africa will continue to rise, as long as the political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East drags on.

The Energy Department yesterday announced petrol would go up by 29-cents a litre from Wednesday, while the diesel price will rise by 19-cents.

Schüssler says consumers can expect to see further increases in the coming months.

Meanwhile Kruger International economist, Ulrich Joubert says the fuel price outlook is not however all “doom and gloom”.

He says the current strength of the Rand, along with other factors, will help keep any further increases in the coming months at a respectable level.

Vavi criticise Aurora mining company

By Khanyisa Tabata
29 April 2011

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has hit out at the Aurora mining company, saying it encapsulates capitalism at its worst and greed at its best.

Vavi was speaking at the memorial service for former Cosatu deputy president George Nkadimeng in Pretoria. Nkadimeng died in a car accident in Mpumalanga last week.

Vavi criticised the life of luxury that the Aurora directors, President Jacob Zuma’s nephew Khulubuse Zuma, and former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Zondwa Mandela - live, while workers suffer with two years of outstanding wages, surviving on hand-outs and without electricity.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Petrol to increase next week Wednesday

Lusanda Bill
28 April 2011

South Africans are in for another shock next week as the retail price of petrol will increase next week Wednesday.

The Energy Department has announced that the retail price of all grades of petrol will increase by 29-cents a litre.

The price of diesel will go up by 16-cents a litre and the retail price for illuminating paraffin will increase by 20-cents a litre.

The maximum retail price for LPGas will increase by 53-cents per kilogram.

Two bodies of illegal miners found in Springs

Lusanda Bill
28 April 2011

Bodies of illegal miners have been recovered by police on the East Rand.

The two bodies were found in a disused mine in Springs, it is believed that a tunnel collapsed and buried the men alive.

Several men managed to escape and reported the matter to the police.

The police’s Johannes Ramphora said emergency officials started looking for the men on Tuesday, but the bodies were only discovered on Wednesday.

An investigation is now underway.

Two people murdered in KZN

Lusanda Bill
28 April 2011

A female constable and her partner have been killed in Avoca Hills on Freedom Day in Kwa-Zulu-Natal.

The police’s Vincent Mdunge said the officer, who was based at the Durban Port Security Services, was sitting in a private vehicle with a male data typist from Greenwood Park police station on Wednesday when they were accosted by armed men.

Mdunge says the motive of the killing is still not known at this stage.

A double murder case has been opened and no arrests had yet been made.

Incidents of police brutality defended as “isolated”

By Khanyisa Tabata
28 April 2011

National police chief Bheki Cele's office has reacted to increasing reports of alleged police brutality by insisting that the incidents are isolated.

Spokesperson Nonkululeko Mbatha is quoted as saying the examples should not be brought “into one issue” to cloud the matter.

She admits that members sometimes act beyond what is expected of them, but says transgressions are investigated by the Independent Complaints Directorate.

In the most recent report of police allegedly assaulting or killing unarmed civilians, 45-year-old Jeanette Odendaal was shot dead outside the Kempton Park police station on the East Rand on Tuesday night.

The fight for the Western Cape (Part 2)

Left to Right: Anwar Adams (PAC), Sipho Vanga (AZAPO), Lelethu Mquqo (Bushnews), Ricardo Sedres (IFP) and Jack Miller (Cape Party)

Catch the second of a series of debates with political parties contesting the 2011 Local Government Elections in the Western Cape on Newsline tonight (28 April 2011) at 7pm, repeated Friday at 8pm.

Tune in via 89.5FM or

Police brutality in spotlight

By Khanyisa Tabata
28 April 2011

The Democratic Alliance has expressed dismay at the death of 45-year-old Jeanette Odendaal on the East Rand yesterday, apparently at the hands of the police.

It is believed that Odendaal had crashed her car into a police vehicle outside the Kempton Park station. A sergeant then reportedly came out and shot her.

The DA’s Dianne Kohler Barnard says the incident is unacceptable, especially considering the recent death of Ficksburg protestor Andries Tatane. Kohler Barnard however welcomes the fact that the sergeant was immediately arrested.

A witness is disputing the police version of Odendaal’s death. The man says a shot was fired at her car before she crashed into the police vehicle. The sergeant will appear in court tomorrow.

In Cape Town, police members have been caught on closed-circuit television cameras handcuffing a local nightclub owner.

The footage, captured at Woodstock’s Dreams Sports Bar, showa a man being hit repeatedly until he falls over.

He was being investigated for possible liquor law transgressions. One of his friends, says she was also attacked after she questioned the assault.

ANC condemns heckling of opposition parties

By Khanyisa Tabata
28 April 2011

Civil action group AfriForum says the African National Congress showed its true colours yesterday when members heckled opposition party representatives at the Freedom Day celebrations in Pretoria.

AfriForum’s Ernst Roets says the ruling party needs to realise that these types of actions are not democratic.

The ANC has also condemned the heckling. Spokesperson Jackson Mthembu says it is not acceptable for any speaker to be given a hostile reception.

The President also yesterday conferred National Orders on eminent South Africans and friends of the country. These include former Brazilian president Lula da Silva and American civil rights leader Andrew Jackson.

Others honoured were renowned Afrikaans writer Marlene van Niekerk, photographer David Goldblatt and musician Ray Phiri.

Zuma admits to failures at municipal level

By Khanyisa Tabata
28 April 2011

President Jacob Zuma has promised that municipal services would be improved after next month’s local government elections.

He told the crowd at Freedom Day celebrations at the Union Buildings that qualified and experienced personnel would be appointed, the transparency of tender and procurement systems would be assured and the levels of financial management and accountability would be improved.

Zuma added that the land reform system would have to undergo changes to ensure a more equitable distribution of land.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Opposition parties unhappy on Freedom Day

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 April 2011

The Freedom Front Plus says relationships in South Africa are today more polarised than at any time since the first democratic elections in 1994.

FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder attributes this to leaders like Julius Malema and Jimmy Manyi on the one hand, and white racists on the other hand, making radical statements.

Mulder is also unhappy that Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille only honoured heroes of the struggle during a Freedom Day gathering near in Mamelodi, Pretoria.

He says this gives the impression that one group defeated another.

Meanwhile, in its Freedom Day message, the South African Communist Party says unless something radical is done now about what it describes as “the apartheid economy”, government’s achievements will be greatly undermined by the system of capitalism.

The SACP says while millions continue to "swim in poverty and hunger”, those who have access to power are enriching themselves at the expense of the masses.

The party says corruption is theft from the poor and directly undermines democracy.

Missing Children Alert

Missing Person Alert

West Rand police sergeant arrested after woman’s murder

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 April 2011

A Kempton Park police sergeant will appear in court soon after being arrested for allegedly murdering a woman last night.

The 38-year-old man apparently heard a loud bang outside the police station last night.

When he went outside, he saw that a 44-year-old woman had crashed her car into a parked duty vehicle.

It is alleged that he then opened fire on the victim, killing her instantly. The sergeant was immediately arrested.

The Independent Complaints Directorate has taken over the investigation.

ANC hails Constitution on Freedom Day

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 April 2011

The African National Congress says South Africa’s Constitution, which guarantees freedoms of speech, association and the media, makes the country a world acclaimed constitutional model, with a culture of human rights fully guaranteed.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu acknowledges that pockets of human rights abuses still plague the country.

But the party is satisfied that these including the recent brutal killing of Ficksburg activist Andries Tatane are being effectively dealt with by the criminal justice system.

Freedom Day celebrated countrywide

By Lelethu Mquqo
27 April 2011

President Jacob Zuma will award national orders on a number of outstanding people at the presidential guest house in Pretoria today.

The symbol of the student uprising in Soweto on the 16th of June 1976, Tsietsi Mashinini, will posthumously be honoured with the Order of Luthuli for his bravery and leadership.

Mashinini fled the country into exile and died in Guinea Conakry in 1990.

Soccer administrators Molefi Oliphant, Danny Jordaan and Irvin Khoza will be honoured for their notable contribution to the successful hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup and development of football in South Africa.

Freedom Day celebrates South Africa's first non-racial democratic elections 17 years ago.

The main Freedom Day celebrations take place at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Around 20-thousand people are expected at the venue and roads in the area will be closed all day long.

In Port Elizabeth, former president Nelson Mandela will receive the Freedom of the City award from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

Mandela's granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela, will receive the award on Madiba’s behalf.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bail hearing postponed for the Ficksburg murder-accused

Lusanda Bill
26 April 2011

The bail hearing of eight police members accused of being involved in the death of Andries Tatane has been postponed.

The eight police officers allegedly beat Andries Tatane at a service delivery protest in Ficksburg.

Angry residents in Ficksburg have called for the eight accused to be denied bail.

Magistrate Philip Visser says the Regional Court will make its ruling on the emotional issue on Friday.

SA Roadlink described as a moving graveyard by Minister Ndebele

Lusanda Bill
26 April 2011

Minister of Transport Sibusiso Ndebele has described a SA Roadlink bus as a moving graveyard.

This after a SA Roadlink bus was pulled off the road at a roadblock on Monday.

It is alleged that the undercarriage of the bus was held together by a rope.

Minister Ndebele told the driver of the bus that what he was doing was “attempted murder”.

The licence of the bus driver has since been suspended and the bus was impounded.

A Cape Town couple die in a suspected murder/suicide

Lusanda Bill
26 April 2011

An investigation is underway after a man allegedly shot and killed his wife and then turned the gun on himself.

The shooting happened in Goodwood.

It is alleged that the couple’s three children witnessed the shooting.

Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said it is believed the shooting was sparked by a domestic dispute.

Public Service Commission to establish disciplinary guidelines

Lusanda Bill
26 April 2011

The Public Service Commission wants to establish guidelines for minimum disciplinary steps against public servants guilty of fraud and corruption.

The commission has found that people found guilt often escape with no more than a written warning.

More than 7700 cases have been reported to the National Anti-Corruption Hotline since its launch in 2004.

Since 2004 only 15 percent of cases have been finalised.

Missing Adult: Matsea Alphina

Ficksburg community demands denial of bail in Tatane case

By Khanyisa Tabata
26 April 2011

The court appearance of eight police members arrested after the death of Free State resident Andries Tatane was delayed in Ficksburg this morning.

The suspects will apply for bail – something protesting residents of the Meqheleng Township are opposed to. The crowd of demonstrators showed their support for Tatane’s family and continued to denounce a lack of service delivery.

Tatane was beaten and shot during a service delivery protest almost two weeks ago. The case was delayed because the police order police members had to be brought in from the Bethlehem cells.

Ficksburg community demands denial of bail in Tatane case

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 April 2011

The court appearance of eight police members arrested after the death of Free State resident Andries Tatane was delayed in Ficksburg this morning.

The suspects will apply for bail, something protesting residents of the Meqheleng Township are opposed to.

The crowd of demonstrators showed their support for Tatane’s family and continued to denounce a lack of service delivery.

Tatane was beaten and shot during a service delivery protest almost two weeks ago.

The case was delayed because the police order police members had to be brought in from the Bethlehem cells.

In Johannesburg, police say they have managed to move protestors from the busy Beyers Naudé Drive in Honeydew.

Residents of the Zandspruit informal settlement burned tyres and blocked roads early this morning.

They have now moved into the township, where clashes have erupted.

Police members, who were pelted with rocks responded by firing rubber bullets at the people who are demanding better service delivery.

City of Cape Town and Cosatu at loggerheads

By Lelethu Mquqo
26 April 2011

Cosatu in the Western Cape has threatened to invade premises around Cape Town stadium for its May Day rally.

Provincial secretary and ANC Cape Town mayoral candidate Tony Ehrenreich accuses the city of charging the union federation an additional R1million, on top of the R800 000hiring fee agreed to earlier.

Ehrenreich says Cosatu views the move as an attempt by the city to deny poor families an opportunity to visit the World Cup stadium.

However, Cape Town spokesperson Brett Herron disputes Ehrenreich’s claims.

He says Cosatu was given a 75% discount on the hiring of the stadium and quoted R99 000.

The federation would, however, have to pay for the cost of putting police members on duty and closing off roads.

This brings the total account to around R1.3 million.

Olympic governing body to discuss possibility of an independent investigation

By Khanyisa Tabata
26 April 2011

South Africa's Olympic governing body will today discuss whether to conduct an independent investigation into the financial affairs of Cricket South Africa.

This follows CSA president Mtutuzeli Nyoka’s allegations of financial irregularities.

Nyoka, who was reinstated as CSA president earlier this month after a judgment in his favour, alleged in court papers that 68-million-Rands had gone missing from a CSA bank account.

The federation denies any wrongdoing, saying the money had been held on behalf of the Indian Premier League.

A busy Easter weekend for paramedics

By Khanyisa Tabata
26 April 2011

Paramedics have been working around the clock in response to the increased number of cars on the road over the Easter weekend.

NetCare 911’s Chris Botha says they try and maintain a high visual presence along all major arterial roads, as well as keep a close eye on traffic “hot spots”.

Botha adds that they remain on high alert all year round, not just on public holidays.

In one of the weekend’s worst tragedies, eight people were killed early yesterday morning.

The accident happened on the road between Rouxville and Smithfield in the Free State. A man, a woman and five children from the same family were apparently trying to push their car from the road after a mechanical fault had caused it to stall.

Another vehicle hit them from behind, resulting in the deaths of the adults and the kids, aged between one and 11. The driver of the car that hit them also died after the vehicle burst into flames.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fisherman dies, 2 missing after boat capsizes

By Khanyisa Tabata
25 April 2011

A fisherman died and two others are missing after their boat capsized off Lamberts Bay on the West Coast.

The National Sea Rescue Institute’s Craig Lambinon said volunteers and emergency services were activated following reports to Police of a boat capsized outside of the Lamberts Bay harbor with 3 local fishermen onboard

“Metro EMS, Police and NSRI Lamberts Bay volunteers responded to the scene and our sea rescue craft was launched and a search commenced for two missing fisherman and it was discovered that the body of the third fisherman was recovered by a local fishing boat and the body had been brought ashore where the body was declared dead by paramedics and handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.

"An extensive sea and shore search has revealed no sign of the 2 missing fishermen,” said Lambinon.

160-thousand staff needed for Census 2011

By Khanyisa Tabata
25 April 2011

Statistics South Africa has begun recruiting the 160-thousand staff needed to carry out Census 2011.

Statistician general, Pali Lehohla, says they want to make sure that every home is visited by census officials between the 10th and 31st of October.

Lehohla urged all South Africans to take part in the census as the information gathered was vital to government’s planning.

Roads expected to be busy all week due to upcoming holidays

By Khanyisa Tabata
25 April 2011

The Transport Department says 127 people have been killed on the roads so far this Easter holiday.

Department spokesperson Logan Maistry says thousands of fines have been issued for various traffic offences, with 250 people also being arrested.

Roads around the country are expected to be busy all week due to the upcoming Freedom Day and Workers Day public holidays.

Meanwhile, at least 54 people have been injured in a bus accident near Margate in KwaZulu-Natal.

Provincial Health Department spokesperson, Chris Maxon, says six of the injured suffered broken bones.

It is believed the bus was travelling along a dirt road when the driver lost control, sending the vehicle down an embankment.

127 people killed on the roads so far during the Easter Weekend

By Khanyisa Tabata
25 April 2011

At least 127 people have been killed on South Africa’s roads since the start of the Easter weekend.

Traffic volumes along major roads have been low so far, but police say this is expected to increase over the course of the day.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation says it is their mission to take hazardous drivers off the road.

Spokesperson, Ashref Ismail, says 250 motorists have been arrested.

SANParks rangers take down suspected poachers in the Kruger National Park

By Khanyisa Tabata
25 April 2011

South African National Parks says skirmishes broke out yesterday between their rangers and two groups of suspected poachers in the Kruger National Park.

One of the suspected poachers was shot, another was wounded and a third was arrested when SANPark rangers, assisted by the SA National Defence Force, discovered the poachers while on patrol.

SANParks says at least 138 rhino have been poached so far this year, but 82 people have also been arrested in connection with these incidents.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Richard Mdluli to be sued by Tokyo Sexwale

Lusanda Bill
24 April 2011

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale intends to sue Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

This is in a bid to identify those responsible for allegations that he was plotting against President Jacob Zuma.

Sexwale has already consulted with his lawyers about the allegations.

He is expected to announce his plans sometime this week.

Ministerial handbook to be declassified

Lusanda Bill
24 April 2011

Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi has announced that the ministerial handbook will soon be declassified.

The handbook outlines what benefits Cabinet ministers are entitled to.

This includes the type of residences they may occupy to the value of the cars they may drive.

Baloyi added that the whole reason the handbook will be declassified is to show government’s commitment to transparency.

Motorists urged to drive safely

Lusanda Bill
24 April 2011

Motorists and travellers have been urged by the transport department to be cautious on the roads.

Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele appealed to road users to do the right thing and obey all road rules this Easter.

The department said as part of the Arrive Alive-Make Roads Safe campaign, law enforcement officers would be out in full force along major routes and identified dangerous locations.

The newly-established National Traffic Police will also strengthen enforcement on vehicle roadworthiness, public passenger transport vehicles, speeds too high for circumstances, driving under the influence of alcohol and moving violations.

A prisoner died in Potchefstroom Prison

Lusanda Bill
24 April 2011

Ten inmates at Potchefstroom Prison have been charged by the North West police of murder.

This follows the murder of another prisoner.

Nineteen-year-old Reginald Sethibe was killed during a fight in the holding cells.

Sethibe was rushed to Potchefstroom Hospital with stab wounds but was declared dead on arrival.

Andries Tatane laid to rest

Lusanda Bill
24 April 2011

Andries Tatane was laid to rest on Saturday in the Free State.

Tatane was killed allegedly by police in a service delivery protest in Ficksburg earlier this month.

Hundreds of people gathered at the funeral including Congress of the People leader, Mosiuoa Lekota.

Six police members have already been arrested for being involved with Andries Tatane death.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Floyd Shivambu cant remember sending an insulting sms

By Khanyisa Tabata
23 April 2011

ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu says he can't remember sending insulting cell phone text messages to Independent Newspapers journalist Carien du Plessis.

Shivambu is accused of hate speech for allegedly calling Du Plessis "stupid" in a text messages.

His lawyers have filed an affidavit with the Equality Court in which he says the derogative word is not part of his vocabulary.

Du Plessis wants an unconditional written apology and payment of 100-thousand-Rands damages and the costs of the suit.

South African photographer alive and well in captivity in Libya

By Khanyisa Tabata
23 April 2011

It is reported from Libya that South African photographer Anton Hammerl, who was seized by the militia earlier this month, is alive and will soon be able to speak to his family.

According to a US report released today Libyan authorities released the information to them earlier.

The South African government has received information from the Libyan authorities confirming that Hammerl is in good condition. The report did not provide any further details.

Mass prison breakout in Limpopo

By Khanyisa Tabata
23 April 2011

Limpopo police say 13 awaiting trial prisoners escaped from holding cells at the Botlokwa police station last night.

Eleven of the 13 were being held on rape charges. A prison spokesperson says two police officials, a warrant officer and a constable, were visiting the prisoners when they were attacked.

The officials were overpowered and severely assaulted. They were then locked into one of the cells before the prisoners fled the scene. Two of the prisoners wanted on murder charges have been recaptured.

SA eyes dramatic tourism growth

By Khanyisa Tabata
23 April 2011

South Africa has set its sights on doubling the number of foreign tourists to 15-million per year.

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk says this will be done by targeting markets unlocked by the 2010 Fifa World Cup. New markets extend across Africa, Asia and South America.

Government believes the growth will create almost a quarter-of-a-million new jobs by 2020.

Easter road death toll rises

By Khanyisa Tabata
23 April 2011

Traffic authorities across the country have again appealed for sense to prevail on the roads as the accident death toll continues to climb.

Traffic slowed to a crawl to the coast and to Zion City Moria near Polokwane yesterday but law enforcers fear that drivers could increase their speed today.

In yesterday’s worst accident, 11 taxi commuters died and four others were critically injured when two taxis collided head-on on the N-Four in Mpumalanga.

Four members of the same Cape Town family, including a six-year-old girl, died in a crash on the N-One near Springfontein in the Free State.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cele denies instructing police to shoot-to-kill

Lusanda Bill
22 April 2011

National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele has denied ever instructing police to "shoot-to-kill."

Speaking in Chatsworth in KwaZulu-Natal, Cele challenged anyone with a recorded clip or written confirmation of him saying he instructed police to shoot to kill.

He lashed out at journalists who he claims wrongly interpret what he says.

Cele’s alleged statement came under the spotlight after Andries Tatane was killed, allegedly by police, during service delivery protests at Ficksburg earlier this month.

Setsoto Municipality in Ficksburg to be investigated

Lusanda Bill
22 April 2011

A team has been set to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration within the Setsoto Municipality in Ficksburg.

The Free State has been in the spotlight since the death of Andries Tatane allegedly by police.

Residents have been protesting for weeks for clean water.

There is also a call for the mayor and 19 of his senior managers to be investigated for corruption.

Meanwhile, former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Vusi Pikoli addressed the issue saying the Human Rights Commission (HRC) has been asked to probe Tatane’s death.

Public urged by politicians to be safe this Easter

Lusanda Bill
22 April 2011

Western Cape social development MEC Patricia de Lille says holidays are high-risk periods for kids.

MEC de Lille said intoxicated parents are irresponsible parents.

She expressed that the weekend will be incident free and that all families will benefit from their time together.

The ANC has also stressed that people on the roads must drive safely. It has also appealed to motorists not to drink and drive.

A fire leaves five people dead

Lusanda Bill
22 April 2011

A fire in Lwandle informal settlement outside Cape Town has left five people dead.

Cape Town Disaster Risk Management’s Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said a blaze gutted two shacks killing an entire family, including three children in the early hours of this morning.

The cause of the fire is still not known.

On Thursday evening in another incident 15 shacks were destroyed in Langa.

No body was reported injured or dead in this incident.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

ANC calls on Samwu to reconsider election strike action

By Khanyisa Tabata
11 April 2011

The African National Congress has appealed to leaders of the SA Municipal Workers’ Union to reconsider next month’s mass strike action.

Samwu announced yesterday that its 220-thousand members would embark on rolling strikes across the country from the 13th of next month.

ANC spokesperson, Brian Sokutu says the timing of the strike is less than ideal. Mario Jacobs from Samwu in the Western Cape said they have planned an initial, unrelated protest march in Worcester on 5 May.

Settlement unlikely in Julius Malema's case

By Khanyisa Tabata
21 April 2011

A settlement in the hate speech case against Julius Malema in the Equality Court in Johannesburg seems unlikely.

The possibility was mentioned during the ANC Youth League leader’s cross-examination today.

But Malema says any settlement talks will have to take place without any pre-conditions - something Afrikaner pressure group AfriForum, that initiated the case, is unlikely to agree to.

Earlier, Malema repeated a claim that so-called “dark forces” tell judges what to do. He refused to name the culprits.

Malema also said if people believed his land redistribution policy was controversial, it meant that the Freedom Charter was also controversial.

Cabinet calls for calm after killings

By Khanyisa Tabata
21 April 2011

Cabinet has appealed to South Africans to remain calm and let the law take its course.

The call, made during Cabinet’s regular meeting yesterday, follows the killing of Ficksburg protestor Andries Tatane and police constable Fihliwe Bengeza in a separate incident while investigating an ATM bombing in Katlehong on the East Rand.

President Jacob Zuma and his ministers have sent their condolences to the bereaved families. Cabinet calls on all police men and women to continue to remain true and faithful to their oath.

Meanwhile, the Independent Complaints Directorate says two more police members are appearing in the Ficksburg Regional Court today in connection with the killing of protester Andries Tatane last week.

The pair was arrested in Bloemfontein yesterday. One of them is a lieutenant-colonel commander and the other a sergeant at the Free State public order unit.

The case is expected to be postponed until Tuesday, when they and their six co-accused will apply for bail.

The fight for the Western Cape

Hot debate: Tony Ehrenreich (ANC), Lusanda Bill (Bush Radio), JC Krynauw (COPE) and Ferlon Christiane (ACDP). not pictured: Brett Herron (DA)

Catch the first of a series of debates with political parties contesting the 2011 Local Government Elections in the Western Cape on Newsline tonight (21 April 2011) at 7pm, repeated Friday at 8pm.

Tune in via 89.5FM or

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Samwu strike could disrupt local government poll

By Lelethu Mquqo
21 April 2011

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union has announced that its members will embark on rolling mass strike action from the 13th of next month, less than a week before the local government elections.

The union says factors that have contributed to the industrial action are corruption and nepotism within local government.

Samwu spokesperson Tahir Sema says it is unlikely that the strike will be called off.

Meanwhile the union has called on its members to stop trashing Johannesburg’s streets.

Yeoville residents say workers of the garbage collection company Pikitup went on the rampage in the neighbourhood.

The union has called on the public to report any such behaviour, which it describes as unacceptable.

Four family murders in less than a week

By Lelethu Mquqo
21 April 2011

Johannesburg police say a man and woman were found dead in their home in Protea Glen, Soweto, yesterday.

The 44-year-old nurse and her 47-year-old husband both died of bullet wounds.

An unlicensed firearm, reported stolen in Mpumalanga, was found near the man's body.

The woman is believed to have served her husband with divorce papers on Monday.

It was the fourth family murder in less than a week.

A Centurion grandmother is in hospital after apparently trying to commit suicide after shooting her 30-year-old son and smothering her two-year-old grandson.

In Bloemfontein, a police member killed his mistress and her three children before committing suicide.

In Richmond in the Northern Cape, a farmer killed his wife, two daughters and himself.

Accusations fly as Malema hate speech hearing continues

By Lelethu Mquqo
21 April 2011

Julius Malema argues that AfriForum had brought a hate speech case against him to be in the limelight.

During cross-examination in the Equality Court in Johannesburg, the ANC Youth League president called the trial "cheap politicking".

He also blamed the media who he feels is “distorting his words” and "misleading” the Afrikaans pressure group.

Malema says there are elements in the media who want to perpetuate apartheid.

Meanwhile, AfriForum contends that claims that the ANC wanted to discuss the Shoot the Boer song are "hypocritical".

Spokesperson Kallie Kriel says he has in the past tried to arrange a meeting with Malema, but was rejected with what he describes as "arrogance and threats".

Kriel says claims in court that the ANC had always wanted to discuss the issue with AfriForum are an effort to portray the party as fair and pacifying to the court.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Samwu announces election strike plans

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 April 2011

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union today announced its intention to embark on a mass action protest before, during and after the local government elections next month.

The union says all of its members will join in protest against corruption and the use of labour brokers.

Meanwhile, workers affiliated to Samwu at the Johannesburg refuse collection company, Pikitup, continue their strike.

Piles of rubbish continue to stack up in several parts of the city with workers accusing Pikitup management of corruption and nepotism.

The City of Johannesburg has contracted private companies to help mitigate the effects of the strike.

Dewani detained in mental health hospital

By Khanyisa Tabata
20 April 2011

Murder-accused British businessman, Shrien Dewani has been moved to a medium security psychiatric hospital in Bristol, England.

The 31-year-old faces extradition back to South Africa after being accused of orchestrating the murder of his wife, Anni, in Cape Town last year.

District Judge Howard Riddle renewed Dewani's bail, agreeing that Fromeside's secure environment meant his electronic tag was no longer necessary.

A full extradition hearing will begin on May 3 at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in south east London.

The hearing will be split into two parts, with further time allowed for a psychiatric report on Dewani's condition to be carried out.

Richard Mdluli released on bail

Lusanda Bill
20 April 2011

Crime Intelligence head Richard Mdluli has been granted 20-thousand-Rands bail.

His three co-accused were also released on 10-thousand-Rands bail each.

Magistrate Emmanuel Magomba said at the Boksburg Magistrate's Court this morning that while there was no evidence linking the four to the killing of Oupa Ramogibe on the East Rand in 1999, a witness had seen three of them running from the scene.

Richard Mdluli says the charges that are brought against him were part of a conspiracy against him.

Hangberg residents will not move to Blikkiesdorp

Lusanda Bill
20 April 2011

No Hangberg residents will be moved to Blikkiesdorp.

Brian Williams one of the mediators said “There is an undertaking that the community will not be relocated to Blikkiesdorp and that there is complete commitment to finding a resolution within the area”.

Residents have also been promised that 200 residential units will be built and around 300 structures will be upgraded in the area.

The city and the residents of Hangberg will work together to try and develop the area.

ACDP applauds Statistics South Africa

By Lelethu Mquqo
20 April 2011

The African Christian Democratic Party has commended the work done by Statistics South Africa, and by statistician-general, Pali Lehohla.

ACDP Member of Parliament Steve Swart says many people do not realise the importance of obtaining official statistics about the country.

He says this information is used by parliamentarians to make vital decisions.

Swart urged all South Africans to participate in Census 2011, which is set to take place in November.

Syndicate defrauds businesspeople

By Lelethu Mquqo
20 April 2011

A syndicate falsely using the Public Works Department’s name has defrauded at least 13 Pretoria businesspeople out of more than R3 million.

The Hawks have reportedly arrested three suspects so far, who will appear in the Commercial Crimes Court today.

They allegedly used the names of senior Public Works officials to lure people into buying goods worth hundreds of thousands of rand, with which they then disappeared.

The department has been trying to solve the crime for the past two years.

ANC condemns Johannesburg refuse worker’s strike

By Lelethu Mquqo
20 April 2011

The African National Congress in Gauteng has expressed “grave concern” at the strike by Johannesburg's refuse workers.

The party believes it is intended to disrupt the ANC’s election campaign.

Spokesperson Dumisa Ntuli says they have discussed the timing on the strike in the run-up to the municipal vote with the municipal workers’ union, Samwu.

Ntuli stresses that the trashing and vandalism violates the 2007 Polokwane conference resolution to defend the democratic state.

Samwu has denied any claims of sabotage.

Meanwhile, the Municipality Watchdog asked the City of Johannesburg to appoint contractors to remove waste during the strike, as it was becoming a safety hazard.

Reports are rife of rats and other pests thriving in the piles of rubbish.

Housing fraud estimated at R2 billion

By Lelethu Mquqo
20 April 2011

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale says his department is making progress in stamping corruption.

During his budget speech in Parliament, Sexwale said the Special Investigations Unit was probing at least 20 questionable contracts worth R2 billion.

He says they are also clamping down on organised crime.

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance MP Butch Steyn told Parliament today that the Human Settlements Department is in crisis.

This, according to Steyn, is because 40% of all Government houses built since 1994 need to be either repaired, or demolished and rebuilt.

Government estimates this rectification process will cost some R58-billion.

Steyn says however, that the costs of relocating those affected have not been included.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Suspect breaks down in rugby rape case

By Khanyisa Tabata
19 April 2011

The bail application for the two South American men accused of rape had to be adjourned in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court after one of the accused broke down in tears.

Ramiro Racioppi and Santiago di Meo stand accused of raping a 28-year-old woman in Sea Point over the weekend

Defence advocate Pete Mahalik told the court that there is CCTV footage of the woman walking into the men’s hotel while holding hands and being affectionate with one of the accused.

Mihalik said according to her version of the events she wanted to go home, but Di Meo insisted she stay the night as she was drunk.

He pointed out that it was strange that she was so affectionate when she walked into the hotel’s reception area if she did not want to be there.

Di Meo listened intently to the court interpreter and smiled occasionally after he listened to the doctor say there were no signs of recent anal penetration.

Mantashe warns AfriForum about “Malema-phobia”

By Khanyisa Tabata
19 April 2011

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has warned civil action group AfriForum not to practice what he terms “Malema-phobia”.

He was speaking as a witness at the Julius Malema hate speech case at the Equality Court in Johannesburg. Mantashe warned AfriForum not to tamper with the history of the country because of their irritation with Malema.

He called on the two groups to discuss the issue rather than try to erase history.

Cele apologises to Tatane family

By Khanyisa Tabata
19 April 2011

National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele has apologised to Andries Tatane’s family for his brutal death during a Ficksburg protest last week.

He says he wanted to visit the family last week, but was out of the country.

Cele added that he was humbled by Tatane’s widow, Rose’s, willingness to welcome him to her home, in the light of the community’s anger over the tragic incident.

Six members of the police’s public order unit will spend the Easter long weekend behind bars after being arrested in connection with the fatal assault.

Zuma slams Tatane’s killing

By Lelethu Mquqo
19 April 2011

President Jacob Zuma has spoken out about Ficksburg protestor Andries Tatane’s death for the first time.

Zuma says images of so many police members beating up a man who had nothing in his hands indicate a very strange mentality in the force.

The President calls the incident “totally unacceptable”, saying police are training to handcuff a suspect, not beat the person up.

The images of Tatane being killed have made international headlines.

The six implicated police members will be making their next court appearance next week Tuesday.

Italian tycoon dies in Cape Town

By Lelethu Mquqo
19 April 2011

Italian chocolate tycoon Pietro Ferrero has died while on a business trip in South Africa.

The 47-year-old joint chief executive of the Ferrero group, which owns Nutella and Ferrero Rocher, apparently suffered a heart attack while cycling in Camps Bay, Cape Town.

Reports say bystanders tried to perform emergency procedures on Ferrero, but paramedics declared him dead on the scene.

Ferrero ran the group along with his brother Giovanni.

Their 85-year-old father Michele, Italy's richest man turned the company into a global leader.

Madikizela-Mandela says Mantashe will educate the court about the Shoot the Boer song

By Lelethu Mquqo
19 April 2011

African National Congress’ member of Parliament Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has called the people in the South Gauteng High Court, where Julius Malema’s hate speech case is underway, “illiterate”.

She told the crowd outside the court yesterday that ANC secretary general Gwede about the meaning of the Shoot the Boer song.

AfriForum is charging the Youth League leader with hate speech following the singing of the Shoot the Boer song.

Malema urged his supporters to remain disciplined, so as not to give what he called “enemies” anything to talk about.

Investigation into Tatane’s death speeded up

By Lelethu Mquqo
19 April 2011

The Independent Complaints Directorate says the investigation into the killing of Ficksburg protester Andries Tatane could be completed by the end of the week.

Police members Olebogeng Mphirime, Tehedi Moeketsie, Jonas Skosana and Mphonyane Ntaje are facing charges of assault

Meanwhile two other officials, Isreal Moiloa and Mothusi Maqana are facing charges of murder.

The case against the six has been postponed until next Tuesday for bail hearings.

The suspects are reportedly being kept behind bars over the Easter weekend to prevent them from being attacked by angry community members.

DA mayoral candidate in Tshwane says crime is forcing people to move

By Lelethu Mquqo
19 April 2011

The Democratic Alliance says a crime wave across Pretoria is forcing residents and businesses to relocate to other areas.

Launching the party’s strategy to reduce crime, Brandon Topham, the DA’s mayoral candidate for the city, said community safety should become a priority.

He wants Metro law enforcers to be more visible and specialised units to be reinstated.

Meanwhile Topham called on Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality to urgently intervene in the over-crowding of the Schubert Park building in the city centre.

He added that the building has also become a haven for criminals and thugs.

He says he was recently barred from entering the building when he tried to make a thorough assessment

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bheki Cele retracts his “monkey” statement

By Lelethu Mquqo
18 April 2011

National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele has retracted a public statement he made last year that referred to murder-accused British businessman, Shrien Dewani, as “a monkey”.

The retraction comes in response to a formal complaint lodged with the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, by Paul Hoffman, the director of the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa.

In a written statement sent to Madonsela, Cele said it was not his intention to offend or harm anyone.

Madonsela says she has accepted the statement and that the matter is now closed.

Six Ficksburg police members to remain behind bars

Lusanda Bill
18 April 2011

The six officers accused of murdering Andries Tatane a protester during service delivery protests in Ficksburg, will remain in jail.

The case will continue in the Free State court next week Tuesday.

Politicians and civil organisations have condemned the actions.

The six police members, two of whom face murder charges, will spend the Eastern long weekend behind bars.

Metrorail services crippled by vandalism

Lusanda Bill
18 April 2011

Metrorail today said vandalism is crippling its services.

Vandalism has occurred mostly in Cape Town’s central line which includes areas such Khayelitsha and Heideveld.

Spokesperson Zino Mihi said the problem of vandalism is that it affects so many areas. People get to work late and students get to lectures late and many more sectors.

Services in the area have been affected by the vandalism.

Fire still not under control in Somerset West

Lusanda Bill
18 April 2011

Firefighters are still on high alert in Somerset West today as they try to control weekend fire in the area.

The fire is still burning in three areas and firefighters and emergency personnel’s are hard at work to try and control the fire.

Three people have been treated for smoke inhalation at least 13 houses have been destroyed because of the fire.

Meanwhile a woman pregnant woman died in another fire in Simons Town.

Ficksburg community members urged to maintain calm

Lusanda Bill
18 April 2011

Free State police have appealed to community leaders in Ficksburg to help maintain calm during today’s court proceedings.

Six police members who have been implicated in the killing of Andries Tatane are appearing in court today.

Hundreds of people have gathered outside the town’s magistrate’s court.

The protestors are demanding that the suspects should not be granted bail.

A police vehicle transporting a water cannon drove through the streets of Ficksburg this morning.

Mthetwa welcomes Ficksburg police arrests

By Khanyisa Tabata
18 April 2011

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has welcomed the arrest of six police members, implicated in the death of a protester in the Free State last week.

Andries Tatane died of his injuries after being severely beaten during a service delivery protest in Ficksburg on Wednesday.

Ministry spokesperson Zweli Mnisi says it is important that the public does not pre-judge the case against the six.

It has been reported that Tatane’s family believes that he had been deliberately targeted and assassinated.

Zuma awaits Shiceka’s explanation

By Khanyisa Tabata
18 April 2011

President Jacob Zuma says in a statement he has noted media reports on allegations about the alleged misuse of public funds by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka.

The President views the matter in a serious light and awaits a response to the allegations from Shiceka.

The Presidency does, however, stress that the Minister remains innocent of the allegations unless proven otherwise.

Apart from the alleged misuse of taxpayers’ money for luxury accommodation and overseas trips, reports yesterday also linked Shiceka to the building of a new house in his home village of Ingquza Hill.

It lies in the poorest district of the Eastern Cape where residents last week protested against the lack of service delivery.

Another report alleged that Shiceka has a string of current and former lovers. He has been on sick leave since February.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Arrest of six policemen welcomed by the minister

By Khanyisa Tabata
17 April 2011

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has welcomed the arrest of six policemen who have implicated in the killing Andries Tatane during a service-delivery march in Ficksburg on Wednesday last week.

Spokesperson to the Minister and Deputy Minister of Police Zweli Mnisi says they welcome the arrest of the six suspects.

“We have confidence that our criminal justice system will ensure that any person found to have done any wrongdoing, including police officers, is accordingly punished.

“Again as this development in the investigation does not represent the conclusion of the case, we once again, make a plea to all in society to still respect the process, said Mnisi.

Minisi added that the Minister has been consistent in his stance that those who break the law must be punished.

“We emphasized that police must at all material times, conduct themselves in a manner that is reminiscent of disciplined cops who respect the principles of human dignity and rights,” said Mnisi.

Shiceka accused of more excesses

By Khanyisa Tabata
17 April 2011

Cooperative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka is reported to be building a new house in his home village of Ingquza Hill.

The area is the poorest district of the Eastern Cape. Residents last week protested against the lack of service delivery.

According media reports, a 32-million-Rands tarred road is being routed past Shiceka’s new house, while thousands of residents don't have even dirt roads to reach their villages.

Parliament's ethics committee has referred Shiceka’s alleged illegal spending of taxpayers’ money to the Public Protector for investigation

Firefighters battle blaze in Somerwet West

By Khanyisa Tabata
17 April 2011

The Helderberg fire which destroyed 10 houses and a hotel in Somerwet West yesterday threatened to spread towards Stellenbosch.

Two helicopters joined the fire-fighting effort again today, after about 80 fire-fighters managed to bring it under control last night.

Cape Town Fire Services says they are doing everything possible to prevent the fire from reaching built-up areas again.

Cele wants Ficksburg situation to be handled with care

By Khanyisa Tabata
17 April 2011

National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele says the situation in Ficksburg in the Free State remains tense.

Following the killing of 33-year-old Andries Tatane, allegedly at the hand of police members during a service delivery protest in the Free State town on Wednesday, Cele says the situation needs to be handled with care.

At least 14 police officials are being questioned in connection with Tatane’s death in Meqheleng, but Cele says they won’t be suspended until the investigation proves what happened.

Meanwhile six police members have been arrested in connection with Tatane’s beating and murder.

The Independent Complaints Directorate says two members of the Public Order Unit in Bloemfontein have been arrested for murder and four for assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The six suspects are due to appear in the Ficksburg Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.

Malema cancels KZN campaign

By Khanyisa Tabata
17 April 2011

ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema has cancelled today’s KwaZulu-Natal election drive in the Inkatha Freedom Party stronghold of KwaPhindangene outside Ulundi.

The Youth League says Malema is preparing for his hate speech court case underway in Johannesburg. The IFP earlier condemned Malema’s plans to recruit family members of IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi for the ANC.

They vowed to protect the Buthelezi homestead with their lives.

Somerset West counts cost of devastating fire

By Khanyisa Tabata
17 April 2011

The devastating fire that raged through Somerset West near Cape Town yesterday has been brought under control. But fire fighters remain on the scene.

It destroyed at least 10 homes and the four-star Straightway Head Country Hotel on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain.

People and animals had to be evacuated as helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and at least 29 emergency services vehicles battled the blaze, fanned by a strong wind.

Off-duty fire teams responded to a call for help, while volunteers supplied the emergency workers with food and cool drinks.

Cele refuses to suspend police implicated in Ficksburg attack

By Khanyisa Tabata
17 April 2011

National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele says the members allegedly involved in the killing of Cope election candidate Andries Tatane in Ficksburg will not be suspended until an investigation has been completed.

Around 14 police members are being questioned in connection with the beating during Wednesday’s service delivery protest in the Free State Town.

The attack sparked a national outcry after being shown on national television. But Cele says officials will be given the benefit of the doubt while there is no prima facie evidence of what happened.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fires cause death and destruction

By Khanyisa Tabata
16 April 2011

Cape Town Fire Services have called in all off-duty fire-fighters to help fight the massive fire raging in the Helderberg Mountains above Somerset West. People are being evacuated from their homes and at least 10 farms and other properties have been damaged.

Farmers have also appealed for help to get their horses out of harms way.

The fire started in the town’s nature reserve this morning. Spokesperson Theo Layne says three helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft are helping the crews of 19 fire trucks fight the blaze.

In the South Peninsula, a young pregnant woman died in a fire in an informal settlement in Simon’s Town last night. The 25-year-old woman’s shack in the Red Hill settlement burnt down.

The lack of rain, high temperatures and a strong south-easterly wind has made parts of the Western Cape very susceptible to runaway fires.

Zuma says judicial principles are not being respected

By Khanyisa Tabata
16 April 2011

President Jacob Zuma says South Africa is plagued by slander, rumour-mongering and trials by media.

He delivered the eulogy at the special official funeral of KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Herbert Msimang in Pietermaritzburg.

Zuma appealed for the raising of awareness of key judicial concepts such as innocence until proven guilty and about the crucial role of the sub-judice rule.

The President lamented the fact that Msimang’s tenure as judge president had been extremely short, and that his death had untimely robbed the country of his wisdom.

Fire forces evacuation of Somerset West properties

By Khanyisa Tabata
16 April 2011

Cape Town fire-fighters are evacuating people from their homes as a massive fire rages in the Helderberg Mountains above Somerset West.

The fire started in the town’s nature reserve this morning. About 10 farms and other properties have been affected.

Spokesperson Theo Lane says three helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft are helping the crews of 19 fire trucks to fight the blaze. Motorists are warned that smoke is making visibility in the area poor

Numsa against possible parole for Clive Derby-Lewis

By Khanyisa Tabata
16 April 2011

The National Union of Metalworkers has hit out at possible parole for Clive Derby-Lewis. The right-winger is serving a life sentence for the murder of Communist Party leader Chris Hani.

Numsa also called for a judicial commission of inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the assassination, 18 years ago.

The union’s Castro Ngobese says they hope that Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is not considering releasing Derby-Lewis, despite the fact that he is seriously ill with cancer.

Fake US dollars found in Mpumalanga

By Khanyisa Tabata
16 April 2011

Mpumalanga police have discovered thousands of suspected counterfeit US dollars in a house in Naledi village near Middelburg. Local residents alerted the authorities about unusual movements at an abandoned house.

Police found a trunk filled with 100-dollar notes, chemicals and a safe which still has to be opened.

The chemicals were apparently used to manufacture the fake dollars, which police believed was exchanged for Rands in the community.

Strike in Johannesburg posses a health risk says DA

By Khanyisa Tabata
16 April 2011

A health disaster looms in Johannesburg as rubbish piles up all over the city due to the three-week go-slow and strike by Pikitup rubbish collectors.

A Democratic Alliance candidate in Malvern, Lucas Kunene, says he has seen rats running around the suburb as he canvasses. Flies and cockroaches also pose a problem.

DA health spokesperson in Gauteng Jack Bloom says the city has seen waste management strikes before and contingency plans with private contractors should have been in place.

Meanwhile, a cold, wet snap has hit parts of Gauteng, with Johannesburg’s maximum temperature predicted to hover around 15-degrees today.

Yesterday’s downpour flooded some streets in the CBD. Fog and mist also caused frustrating delays at the OR Tambo International Airport yesterday morning.

Woman burns to death in an accident

By Khanyisa Tabata
16 April 2011

A woman has burnt to death after she lost control of her car and crashed into a tree about 15km outside George on the Harold’s Bay Road.

ER24 spokesperson Derrick Banks says paramedics from George rushed to the scene and found the car complete engulfed in flames.

“The local Fire Department was quick to arrive on the scene and were able to extinguishing the blaze. Unfortunately the driver who was entrapped inside the vehicle had perished in the blaze.

“Extrication equipment was used to remove the body from the burn out vehicle. It is believed that the woman lost control while negotiating a corner and crashed into a tree, said Banks.

He says members of public who were on the scene when emergency personnel arrived said that they tried to free the woman but were unable to because she was entrapped and the flames and heat were too severe.

“The local authorities were on the scene and would be investigating the incident further, said Banks.

South Africa faces Swaziland refugee crisis

By Khanyisa Tabata
16 April 2011

South Africa faces yet another refugee crisis if the political tension in Swaziland is not soon resolved.

This is according to Sanusha Naidu of the Human Sciences Research Council.

Naidu says South Africa has already been witness to the effects of such tensions; as is the case with Zimbabwe.

Naidu says she is not sure if government is fully prepared for this.

Law Society of SA calls for a probe into alleged abuse of public money

By Khanyisa Tabata
16 April 2011

The Law Society of SA has welcomed Parliament's ethics committee's request that the Public Protector consider a probe into Local Government Minister Sicelo Shiceka’s alleged abuse of public money.

The Society says Thuli Madonsela’s office should treat the investigation as urgent, particularly since it is the first time it has had to handle a case against a Cabinet minister.

Shiceka allegedly abused travel and accommodation privileges to the tune of two-and-a-half-million-Rands.

Hanekom calls for dialogue on controversial song

By Khanyisa Tabata
16 April 2011

Deputy Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom has called for a national dialogue about the Shoot the Boer song.

Testifying for ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema in the hate speech case brought by AfriForum in the Equality Court, Hanekom said if the song offended certain people, it should be discussed.

He insists that the song does not refer to a specific ethnic group, but to a system of racial oppression.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Youth League assets could be seized

By Lelethu Mquqo
15 April 2011

The North Gauteng High Court has issued a warrant of execution for the seizure of ANC Youth League assets worth R670 000 from Luthuli House in Johannesburg.

The money is owed to the liquidators of Palanquin Hospitality Management.

It owned the Queens Garden Hotel where the League held its national congress three years ago.

The Johannesburg hotel has since been liquidated. If the debt is not paid, the sheriff is expected to execute the warrant within seven days.

Meanwhile, ANC National Executive Committee Member Derek Hanekom says the lyrics of the controversial song, Shoot the Boer, are not aimed at any particular ethnic group.

He was testifying at the hate speech trial of ANC Youth League leader, Julius Malema in the Equality Court in Johannesburg.

Hanekom says the song is rather aimed at a system of racial oppression, adding that it is important for the group that feels threatened by the song to understand that.

National Press Club comes out in support of SABC protest footage

By Lelethu Mquqo
15 April 2011

The National Press Club has come out in support of the SABC for screening footage of police violently attacking a protester in the Free State town of Ficksburg earlier this week.

The protester, Andries Tatane, died as a result of the injuries he sustained.

The Press Club’s Yusuf Abramjee says the incident needed to be made public, despite the fact that Tatane’s family and friends are not impressed

Meanwhile, the SA National Defence Force continues to patrol the streets of Ficksburg today.

A library and a community hall were destroyed by angry protesters yesterday while two other municipal buildings were set on fire.

Reports suggest there have been no further protests this afternoon.

More children to be registered for child support grant

Lusanda Bill
15 April 2011

Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini has estimated that around a million children under the age of three don’t have access to child support grant.

Over 10 million have registered for grants since the extension of the support grant to 18-years.

Dlamini said "Sassa in collaboration with the Department of Home Affairs will go to every nook and cranny to register these children”.

The Minister added that her department will be pro-active in registering children for the grant.

Pothole and road repair programme to be launched

Lusanda Bill
15 April 2011

A massive job creation drive will be launched in Durban by Transport Minister S’busiso Ndebele on Monday the 18th of May.

This initiative drive is through the S’hamba Sonke-Moving Together roads infrastructure upgrade and maintenance programme.

Department of Transport’s Sam Monareng says the department has set aside R6.4 billion for the year 2011 and 2012 financial year.

Monareng added that S'hamba Sonke includes a massive potholes patching programme that will be rolled out nationally with effect following the official launch.

A national potholes hotline will also be launched for road users to report potholes in any area around the country. This will assist the programme to arrest the decline of infrastructure while creating thousands of much-needed jobs.

Ethics Committee called to investigate Sicelo Shiceka

Lusanda Bill
15 April 2011

Parliament’s Ethics Committee has asked the Public Protector to investigate Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka.

This follows alleged abuse of public funds by Sicelo.

It will be the first such investigation of a Cabinet minister since the ANC came to power in 1994.

It is alleged that Shiceka had spent 640-thousand-Rands in one year on rooms for himself and staff at the One & Only hotel in Cape Town.

Missing Adult: Ryan Clayton

No one arrested yet for protestor’s killing

Lusanda Bill
15 April 2011

Police have not made any arrest following the killing of 33-year-old Andries Tatane, who was beaten to death, allegedly by police members, this week in Ficksburg.

Ficksburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday released 45 protesters arrested for public violence on a warning.

They will appear in court again on the 24th of next month.

Meanwhile, Tatane’s wife has spoken out about her anger saying she will never trust the South African Police Service again.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Questions on arise Dewani’s mental health

By Lelethu Mquqo
14 April 2011

Questions have been raised about the mental state of Shrien Dewani, the British man accused of orchestrating the murder of his wife, Anni, in Cape Town last year.

Dewani’s bail conditions came under review today after he got into an argument with a fellow patient at a psychiatric hospital in Bristol over the weekend.

He had been sent there following a suicide attempt in February.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout who is a criminologist at the University of Pretoria says South African prosecutors will have to wait and see how the British legal system deals with Dewani’s mental state.

Ficksburg residents set municipal buildings on fire

By Lelethu Mquqo
14 April 2011

Two municipal buildings in the Free State town of Ficksburg have been set alight by protesters.

This as the Independent Complaints Directorate continues its investigation into the death of one of the protesters, Andries Tatana, who was killed yesterday.

At least 45 people have been arrested after violent protests broke out over a lack of service delivery in the town.

Meanwhile, Tatana’s death is a glaring reflection of the lack of basic training and the unpreparedness of members of the SAPS.

This is according to the Christian Democratic Party’s Richard Botha, who says the brutality seen in Ficksburg echoes back to the police actions in Rodney King incident, which shook the United States of America some 20-years ago.

Cope leader says protestor’s killing will test democracy

By Lelethu Mquqo
14 April 2011

Congress of the people leader Mosiuoa Lekota says the death of party member Andries Tatane in a fight with police during a protest march in Ficksburg in the Free State will test democracy in South Africa.

The 33-year-old unarmed Tatane was yesterday beaten to death, allegedly by police members, during a service delivery protest.

Lekota says if the government tries to restrain demonstrations in the way it did in Ficksburg, the country can kiss democracy goodbye.

According to the Cope leader, the incident did not seem to be a mistake, but rather a pre-considered act.

NUM considering a day of mourning

Lusanda Bill
14 April 2011

The National Union of Mineworkers has today announced that it is considering a national day of mourning across the mining industry.

This follows the death of two more workers yesterday and today.

NUM General Secretary says “just in these few months, we are already seeing an over 28 percent increment in the number of fatalities largely as a result of ignorance and negligence”.

A possible date for work stoppage could be announced soon.

Ficksburg residents angry after a man died in police attack

Lusanda Bill
14 April 2011

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has been asked to urgently set up a commission of enquiry.

This comes after a man was beaten to death by police in a service delivery protest, in Ficksburg.

Setsoto Municipality Mayor Mbothoma Madona said people in the town are angry.

He added that one death is unnecessary when people have come to peacefully protest.

ANC Brian Sokutu says “While we send condolences to the family of the deceased, we call on Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to institute an immediate commission of inquiry and bring the perpetrators to book”.

Julius Malema confident he will win the hate speech case

Lusanda Bill
14 April 2011

ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema yesterday told supporters outside the High Court to sing peacefully.

Malema changed the lyrics of the controversial song Shot the Boer to kiss the Boer, kiss the farmer.

The ANC Youth League president was confident that his lawyers were winning the case.

ANC member of Parliament Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been on Malema’s side said "We are going to win, because we are children of winners".

Public response well to Cape nature reserves

Lusanda Bill
14 April 2011

The City of Cape Town’s 15 proposed nature reserves has been given the thumbs up by the public.

City of Cape Town biodiversity co-ordinator Cliff Dorse said the city would now submit these proposals to the Western Cape MEC for local government, environmental affairs and development planning for proclamation.

Brian Watkyns city's planning and environment portfolio committee chairperson says many of the sites were proclaimed Local Authority Nature Reserves under the Nature Conservation Ordinance.

He added that others fell under the Environmental Conservation Act and some had no official conservation status at all.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shoot the Boer classified as chant

By Lelethu Mquqo
13 April 2011

University of the Free State lecturer Anne-Marie Gray says if Shoot the Boer or Dubula ibhulu is never heard again it won’t be a loss, as it is a chant and not a song.

Gray told the Equality Court in Johannesburg a chant was much more threatening to people who didn't understand it, because of the repetition and the gestures that accompanied it.

But one of Julius Malema’s advocates broke into song in court to prove that the phrase forms part of an old struggle song.

The ANC Youth League leader is being charged with hate speech for his use of Shoot the Boer.

More than 750,000 IDs unclaimed

By Khanyisa Tabata
13 April 2011

Home Affairs Mnister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma says more than half of the one-point-three-million people who applied for a re-issue of their identity documents in the past year, failed to collect them.

This means that the department is sitting with more than three-quarters-of-a-million unclaimed IDs.

Most of those who had not collected their IDs, had applied for new ones after merely misplacing the original.

Dlamini Zuma urged people to act responsibly and value and protect their IDs.

She called on people to act responsibly and value and protect their IDs, warning that re-issues "increase the possibility of duplicate IDs and identity theft by unscrupulous elements".

Turning to her department's plans to issue an ID "smart card", she said this would be rolled out during the next financial year.

Plans to improve scholar transport on the cards

Lusanda Bill
13 April 2011

The transport system for school pupils will completely change.

The Transport Department’s Director-General George Mahlalela briefed Parliament’s Transport Portfolio Committee yesterday on plans to implement national standards.

The department of education will not be managing scholar transport anymore.

Transport Portfolio Committee Chairperson Ruth Bhengu said over R1billion will be injected into improving the system but that would not be enough adding it must be regulated.

EC hospitals and clinics to be upgraded

Lusanda Bill
13 April 2011

The Eastern Cape health department says one-point-nine-billion-Rands will be spent renovating the province’s hospitals and clinics.

Spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo says for the first time in eight years the department will not be returning money allocated to it to National Treasury.

The state of hospitals and clinics in the Eastern Cape have been criticised on numerous occasions.

The department says it is determined to provide nurses and doctors with the kind of working environment that will ensure quality health care for patients.

The Eastern Cape health department added that the renovations will also provide jobs and stimulate the local economy.

Easter holidays for schools extended by two days

Lusanda Bill
13 April 2011

Schools across the country have been allowed by the department of education to take two days off at the end of April.

This is part of the Easter holidays.

Department spokesperson Granville Whittle said schools that opted for the extra time off were required to provide the department with a plan of how they were going to make up the days lost.

The Western Cape schools opened schools in January two days later, which means the schools in the province will close two days earlier.

Security banned in Malema trial

By Lelethu Mquqo
13 April 2011

Judge Colin Lamont barred privately employed security guards from entering the Julius Malema hate speech case at the Equality Court in Johannesburg.

Security was sharp in the court room on Monday when ANC stalwart Winnie Mandikazela-Mandela made an appearance in support of Malema.

The ANC Youth League leader himself has been closely guarded by at least 10 security guards carrying M14 assault rifles.

The case is expected to take two-weeks.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

22 year old shot dead in Bishop Lavis

By Lelethu Mquqo
12 April 2011

A 22 year old male was fatally wounded when he was shot in chest in Bishop Lavis, Cape Town.

It is alleged the 22 year old deceased stood in front of a well known drug outlet when two unidentified suspects fired several shots at him from an open field opposite the house.

The deceased ran into the garage of the house and collapse and died on the scene.

Caoptain FC van Wyk says the possibility that the incident was gang related is being investigated.

Van Wyk says a murder docket has been opened but no arrests have been made yet.

Police urge anyone who has information on the incident to kindly contact the Bishop Lavis police on 021 935 9802/3 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Free vehicle safety checks for Easter

By Lelethu Mquqo
12 April 2011

The Western Cape Retail Motor Industry has again partnered with the Safely Home campaign to provide motorists in the province with free vehicle safety checks ahead of the Easter period.

The participating members of the National Vehicle Testing Stations Association will provide the free vehicle safety checks from today until the 21st of April 2011.

Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle has urged all motorists in the Western Cape to take full advantage of the Free Safety Checks provided by volunteering vehicle testing stations.

Departmental spokesperson Solly Malatsi says this initiative is to ensure that most, if not all vehicles on the roads are safe.

For details of participating testing stations contact the Cape Town offices at 021 939 9440.

Candidate lists finalised

By Khanyisa Tabata
12 April 2011

The Independent Electoral Commission has appealed to members of the public who are registered to vote in the local government elections on the 18th of May, but cannot make it to the polling stations, to submit their applications for special votes.

IEC chief electoral officer, Pansy Tlakula told a news conference in Centurion that applications must be in before the 3rd of May.

Tlakula says the IEC has now finalised its list of candidates for the election.

She says however that there has only been a slight increase in the number of female candidates. Tlakula expressed her disappointment.

She said there were unfortunately a large number of nominations which did not meet requirements in this occasion than in 2006 when 932 candidates were disqualified.

Tlakula said only the ANC will be contesting all 278 municipal elections. The DA will be contesting 272 municipalities and COPE will contest 214.

She also said that the ward ballot papers with the most candidates are wards 24 in Bishop Lavis and 79 Beacon Value / Eastridge in Cape Town that have 24 candidates each. She said that Cape Town also took the trophy of having the longest party proportional list ballot paper with 32 parties participating.

Elite troops called out in Swaziland

By Khanyisa Tabata
12 April 2011

The Swaziland Solidarity Network says the situation in Manzini has descended into chaos and the State has sent in the Red Barrettes, a special branch of the Swazi Army to quell protesters.

Spokesperson Lucky Lukhele says a police officer is in a coma after mistakenly intimidating bus conductors who were going about their normal duties.

They then attacked the officer. On Grand Valley Hill smoke was seen on the horizon and shots were heard. The four protest centres are the bus rank in Manzini, Salesian high school, SNAT Centre and St Michael’s High School.

Four arrested for murder in Delft

By Khanyisa Tabata
12 April 2011

Four people have been arrested in Delft in connection with the murder of a 30 year old Constable Anele Latile who was fatally wounded last month.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer November Filander says two of his friends who were waiting with him outside his vehicle, were also seriously injured, during which the Nissan Sentra was hijacked.

“A tracing operation that was executed from 4 April resultedin the arrest of four male suspects from the Guguletu and Nyanga areas.

“One of the suspects was arrested in possession of a Blackberry cellphone, belonging to late Constable Latile,” said Filander.

Filander added that two of the suspects already appeared in the Bellville Magistrate's Court yesterday another one appeared today, while the fourth suspect will appear tomorrow, also in the Bellville Magistrate's court on charges of murder, attempted murder and hijacking.

Smash and grab suspects arrested in Elsies River

By Lelethu Mquqo
12 April 2011

Two of the City of Cape Town's Law Enforcement Officers arrested two men that the South African Police Services have been looking for in connection with smash-and-grab incidents in the Elsies River area.

The officers were conducting patrols in Elsies River when they noticed a female motorist that was urgently trying to get their attention.

The left front window of her car was smashed and when they saw two males fleeing the scene on foot with the woman's handbag, they immediately chased after them.

As the officers were chasing the two suspected thieves, one of the men started firing shots at the unarmed officers.

The suspects were arrested and taken to the Ravensmead Police Station and charged with theft, smash-and-grab and attempted murder.

The SAPS confirmed that these suspects are linked to other smash-and-grab incidents that happened at this location.

"Law Enforcement Officers will continue to assist the public as they strive to create a safe, crime-free environment for all persons in the city," said Shaun Smith, who is the Enforcement Services Assistant Chief Law.

Rape case delayed for the 34th time

Lusanda Bill
12 April 2011

Treatment Action Campaign says the community is right to be frustrated at the continuous delay of a rape case in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court in Cape Town.

The case against nine men, accused of murdering 19-year-old Zoliswa Nkonyana in 2006was yesterday delayed for the 34th time.

A handwriting expert needed to be called in after one of the men denied that he had hand-written a statement about the incident.

TAC’s Mary-Jane Matsolo says residents are furious at the delay.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Laurent Gbagbo arrested in the Ivory Coast

By Lelethu Mquqo
11 April 2011

French soldiers have arrested Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo and handed him over to the opposition.

Gbagbo has refused to step down from power since losing an election in November last year.

He had reportedly been sheltering in a bunker underneath his residence in Abidjan since last week.

He had been surrounded by troops loyal to Alassane Ouattara, who is internationally recognised as the country’s rightful leader.

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma says a visit to Libya by a high level committee from the African Union was a “huge success”.

Zuma, who led the delegation, undertook the visit to help broker a peaceful solution to an ongoing political crisis in the North African country.

Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi reportedly accepted the AU’s so-called road map towards lasting peace and democracy.

Rebel leaders remain sceptical however, saying Gaddafi announced several ceasefires over the last few weeks, none of which were upheld.

Another petrol hike expected next month

By Lelethu Mquqo
11 April 2011

Economists are predicting the gloomy news for motorists that the price of petrol is expected to exceed R10 a litre next month.

This comes as Brent crude oil, which is used as a benchmark by South Africa, remained above the $127 a barrel level.

However, there is a glimmer of hope that things could improve and the analysts say that peace talks in Libya, where the unrest has been supporting oil prices, will definitely affect the oil market.

President Jacob Zuma has met with Muammar Gaddafi and is full of confidence that the unstable situation in Libya will soon be resolved.

Negotiations underway to end Pikitup strike in Johannesburg

By Khanyisa Tabata
11 April 2011

Negotiations between the South African Municipal Workers Union and the City of Johannesburg over the Pikitup strike will continue today.

Refuse workers at the waste management agency went on strike last Thursday. The union says it is prepared to suspend the strike if it has a clear resolution from the City on its two outstanding demands.

Samwu is demanding an investigation into alleged corruption and nepotism, which it claims has led to wage disparities. Talks deadlocked at the weekend when Samwu felt the City was not negotiating in good faith.

Pholile Park Informal Settlement leaves 67 homeless

Lusanda Bill
11 April 2011

A fire in Pholile Park Informal Settlement near Strand has destroyed 22 shacks and has left 67 people homeless.

21 firefighters from the Strand, Somerset West, Macassar and Khayelitsha fire stations were dispatched to the scene and the fire was brought under control.

Disaster Management Services Wilfred Solomons Johannes said they will be assisting those affected.

Two female fighters were hospitalised after they were injured while battling the fire. They were among a group of officials dispatched to Polile Park.

The city’s Fire Services Theo Layne said “two firefighters sustained injuries. One suffered smoke inhalation and the other one suffered burn wounds from electrical wiring that was joined to the shacks”.

The cause of the fire is still not known at this stage.

Malema’s hate speech case begins today

Lusanda Bill
11 April 2011

The case of ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s hate speech begins in the High Court today.

Civil action organisation, AfriForum is taking Malema to court for the use of the song “Shoot the Boer”.

Civil action organisation, AfriForum says South Africans are sick and tired of Julius Malema’s alleged strong liking for hate speech.

Malema is due to testify during the two week trial along with ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe.

Muammar Gaddafi accepts a peace plan

Lusanda Bill
11 April 2011

President Jacob Zuma says Muammar Gaddafi has accepted a roadmap for ending the conflict in Libya.

An African Union delegation led by President Jacob Zuma led talks with Gadaffi in Tripoli on Sunday.

The rest of the African mediators are expected to meet with the rebels demanding Gadaffi’s resignation in Benghazi today.

The African Union's road map calls for an immediate ceasefire, opening channels for humanitarian aid and talks between the rebels and the government.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Confidence that refuse strike will soon be resolved

By Lelethu Mquqo
10 April 2011

The City of Johannesburg says it's optimistic that refuse collection services will resume soon.

Pikitup workers who are members of trade union Samwu are still on strike.

Spokesperson of the mayoral committee, Gabu Tugwana says negotiations will continue with the union in an effort to reach agreement.

Refuse workers at the waste management agency went on strike on Thursday.

Their demands include the commissioning of an internal investigation into allegations of corruption and irregular tenders.

More drama expected as Mdluli bail application continues

By Lelethu Mquqo
10 April 2011

More drama is expected when the bail application of crime intelligence boss Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli resumes in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court tomorrow.

Mdluli and three others were arrested in connection with a 1999 murder, but he has fought back with allegations of a witch hunt by police.

Mdluli claims that he was the victim of a witch hunt orchestrated by senior police officers.

Mdluli and his co-accused, colonels Nkosana Sebastian Ximba and Mtunzi Mtunzi and court orderly Samuel Dlomo are accused of killing Oupa Ramogibe in Vosloorus in 1999.

Pretoria train crash costs Metrorail R18 million

By Lelethu Mquqo
10 April 2011

Metrorail says the cost of Friday's fatal train collision in the Tshwane Metro amounts to R18 million.

Metrorail's Gauteng manager, Tembela Kulu, says the wreckage from the accident has now been cleared from the railway line, and trains are running as normal on the route.

Kulu has extended the company's condolences to the family of Anna Maseko, who was killed in the accident.

She was driving one of the two trains that collided in Rosslyn on the line between Mabopane and Pretoria.

Most of the 266 passengers have been treated in hospital and discharged.

The cause of the accident is still unknown.

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