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Cape Argus Reporting June-July 2009

Cape Argus Reporting June-July 2009

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6

THURSDAY JUNE 4 2009

NEWS

Salary concerns could see social workers swell the ranks of striking civil servants
YUGENDREE NAIDOO
Special Correspondent

SOCIAL workers could swell the ranks of a threatened civil servants’ strike over delays in the implementation of the occupation specific dispensation (OSD) in respect of the salaries of skilled staff. The OSD was developed as part of the 2007 wage negotiations, and should have been implemented in July last year.

But in many instances the government has, as yet, failed to do so. Although a final agreement already exists between the government and social workers, it has not yet been signed by the representative unions due to concerns over entry-level salaries for the profession. The Department of Social Development and child rights activists have raised concerns that an extended strike could

hamper the implementation of the groundbreaking Children’s Act, which finally came into full effect last year after spending 12 years winding its way through the parliamentary process. The implementation of the act, which has new provisions governing matters such as child trafficking, adoption and a child protection register, is heavily reliant on the work done by social workers.

Even without them going on strike, the UCT Children’s Institute calculates that South Africa is short of 11 755 social workers. According to the SA Child Gauge 2007/8, released by the institute, the lowest level of implementation of the Children’s Act requires at least 16 504 social workers in 2010/11 for children’s social services. The Gauge estimates that 66 329 social workers will be

needed to implement the act at its highest level. Yet, according to the Department of Social Development, there are only 4 749 social workers employed by the state. Agnes Muller, the Department of Social Development manager of the Children’s Act, said that although the shortage of social workers was a problem, some organisations, like the Children’s Court, were already rendering services

Pain as families identify bodies of ‘zama zamas’
Industry ‘in denial over illegal miners’
ALEX ELISEEV
Staff Reporter

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WEARING dusty gumboots and guarded by police officers, a young illegal miner waits for his turn to enter the mortuary . Around him, the painful drama unfolds as relatives emerge from the building tearing off their surgical masks and gasping for air. One woman sobs under the shade of a tree. Another sits on the pavement, her head buried in her hands. The slow process of trying to identify 63 bodies of illegal gold miners who died in the belly of Harmony Gold’s disused Elands mineshaft in Welkom, Free State, is grim. The 21-year-old miner was in the dark tunnels when the fire broke out and began to smoke out the zama-zamas (chance-takers). He had been underground for about two weeks. He wasn’t mining for gold but selling food to the zama-zamas. Suddenly, he heard someone shouting that there was smoke. “We tried to run. I don’t remember but I must have collapsed. Then I found myself at the (Bongani) hospital.” Yesterday the young man from Lesotho was taken to the state mortuary to help identify his friend, Moeketsi Maseru, with whom he had sneaked into the mine. He said they had bribed security offi-

cers to enter, hidden in a group of legal miners. Nearby, Teboho Msaefana walked out of the overcrowded morgue having identified his cousin, Thabiso Sekonyela. Msaefana said his 25-year-old cousin had left their village in Lesotho to earn money in South Africa. He left his wife and their recently born child in January By March, Msaefana, . 23, came to search for him. Yesterday ended more than two months of searching. The mortuary’s Dr Yusuf Vahed confirmed that of the 63 illegal miners who died, only six had so far been identified. The mortuary is holding twice the normal number of corpses it should and is housing at least 36 of the miners. The other bodies are due to arrive from another morgue for identification. Police said that in the early hours of yesterday six people , were detained in connection with illegal mining. It is suspected they are senior syndicate members. Police Director Jacob Tsumane, head of detectives in the Free State, said about 700 miners had been arrested over the past two or three months.

According to sources at G-Hostel, where illegal gold is allegedly processed and sold, it is clear that there is no shortage of zama-zamas being recruited and trafficked from neighbouring countries such as Lesotho and Mozambique. “Bosses” run groups of 20 or more illegal miners and manage their work underground, which can last for months without a single surfacing. The zama-zamas worked in dark, hot, humid tunnels filled with toxic gases and were under constant threat of arrest, confrontation with legal miners, or disasters. If they died underground, their bodies were brought to a working shaft and, where possible, left with a name and a contact number for a relative. Food and money is smuggled down, gold is smuggled up, and R2 500 is paid as a bribe to sneak in and out of the mine. The zama-zamas have clashed with the police, but exist in peace with legal miners. A senior security source at one of the mines said the problem began and ended with access control. But, he said, the mines were in denial and paid attention to the zama-zamas only when disasters occurred. He estimated that about 3 000 illegal miners worked in the Welkom area. “The zamas will never stop,” he said. And massive job cuts were only fuelling the problem.

IN SOLIDARITY: Dial-A-Ride passengers join their drivers during a protest against the wages the drivers receive. PICTURE: SAM CLARK

Disabled passengers back drivers in pay dispute
LULEKA DAMANE
Staff Reporter

IN AN ACT of solidarity disabled passengers braved the cold and rain to back up their Dial-A-Ride drivers, who are demanding wage increases. Outside the Dial-A-Ride offices in Woodstock yesterday they attracted the attention of passing motorists as they continued the strike, which began last Monday . The drivers are demanding a 45 percent increase, but WCL Trading, the company which holds the contract for the Dial-ARide service, is not moving on its 12.67 percent offer. The drivers have vowed to continue with the strike until their demands are met, which has left their disabled passen-

gers without transport. One driver, Mphakamisi Dapo, said the drivers loved their jobs, and their passengers. “But the money we earn per month is just not enough. We need more; R3 500 is not enough,” he said, adding that most of his earnings went on food to sustain his family . Another driver accused the company owner, Ibtisaam Khan, of refusing to engage with them. Handy Mlombi and other drivers taking part in yesterday’s picket said they had originally demanded a monthly salary of R6 500 each, which Khan had refused. “She does not want to strike a deal with us. She does not want to negotiate. She turns down what we offer,” he said, indicat-

Taxi marshals force motorists to abandon cars
STAFF REPORTER
A MOB of taxi marshals disrupted rush-hour traffic when they forced motorists out of their cars and told them to use taxis along the R511 in Diepsloot in Johannesburg. Nonhlanhla Mavuso and Thembi Mashazi were among those travelling to work when they were blocked by the mob yesterday morning. The two are part of a car pool of four that travel from Diepsloot to an office park in Sandton. “They demanded everyone get out of their cars. It felt unjustified. I have the right to get to wherever I want however I want,” said Mavuso. She managed to get back into the car when the driver said she was his girlfriend. Mashazi was not so lucky . “They said there can’t be too many people in one car. They just opened the doors and told us to get out,” she said. Mashazi said she gave in when the marshals started banging the car. “I thought they were going to beat us up. I got out when I realised they would damage the car,” she said. Police Captain Louise Reed confirmed the incident, but said no arrests had been made because the marshals dispersed when they saw the police. “Taxi operators were upset because people were standing by the robot waiting for lifts, instead of using the taxis,” she said. Reed urged those who had been intimidated to open a case of intimidation. Officials from taxi associations in the area said they knew nothing about the incident.

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CA_NWS_E1_040609_p06 C M Y K
according to the act. She said regulations of the act were being finalised by the department’s legal team after a review by the state’s legal advisers. “We are pushing for it, and hopefully it will be implemented by this year, as the proclamation is already prepared. “It’s about enhancing the services that are already being rendered, and making a start before waiting to perfect it,” Muller said. But the protection of children would be compromised if social workers joined the proposed civil servants’ strike, she said, as children were already at high risk of abuse and trafficking. Stuart Marshall, national organising head of the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union, said the union was trying to avert a strike via discussions with the relevant ministers. But, “unfortunately”, yesterday’s meeting with the nine relevant ministers – including those of finance and health – had to be postponed to June 8 due to a cabinet lekgotla. “Although we have been mandated to sign the agreement by eight provinces, we are agitated as there has to be 100 percent consensus,” Marshall said. – West Cape News

Travelgate accused’s case delayed yet again
JADE WITTEN and RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporters

ing they had dropped their demand to R5 000 a month. Khan confirmed that no agreement had yet been reached, even after a meeting on Tuesday between drivers and management. “We have not agreed to anything… the strike will continue until they feel they have to stop, I suppose,” she said. Yesterday some of the passengers pleaded with Khan to give the drivers the increase they had demanded. “We are pleading that Mrs Khan pay our drivers the money they are requesting because without the transport we cannot go anywhere. We are unable to use public transport,” said Funeka Xanjana. Another passenger, Zolani Kweza, said this would be the

second week that he had not gone to work. “Last week I did not go to work because there has been no pick-up where I live in Crossroads,” he said. On claims by passengers that the service had been stopped in the townships, since the commencement of the strike, Khan said this was done because she was not prepared to risk people’s lives. “Yes, there is no service for areas like Khayelitsha, Crossroads, Nyanga and Guguletu because there have been threats that vehicles would be set alight,” she said. The service has continued in other areas. The drivers denied making the threat. luleka.damane@inl.co.za

WINNER: Leneave Hansen, 23, of Rondebosch with the new notebook he won in the Cape Argus’s IOL Jobs website competition. The competition started on May 27, encouraging jobseekers to sign up to the new site: www.ioljobs.co.za. Jobseekers who register on the site before July 1 can win an MSI Laptop, courtesy of IT Business Campus. PICTURE: HENK KRUGER

A CAPE Town Regional Court has granted a postponement in the Mnyamezeli Booi fraud case for the umpteenth time – for his new defence to “adequately prepare” for trial. Yesterday Booi arrived for , court with his new defence attorney Athol Gordon. , His previous counsel, Mario Wilker, withdrew because Booi could not pay his legal fees. Gordon told the court he was “simply not prepared” for the trial to go ahead as he had been briefed about the case only minutes before the start of proceedings. Booi is one of the 29 MPs charged with fraud relating to the abuse of parliamentary travel vouchers, to the tune of R17 million, between January 2000 and September 2003. He first appeared in court in 2005. During yesterday’s proceedings, Gordon requested a postponement of at least 30 days for him to effectively prepare to defend his client. He said defending Booi without time to review the facts of the case would be “ambitious, unrealistic and frankly irresponsible”. The State is due to bring evidence of a forensic auditor and transcripts of conversations with the accused. But Gordon said Booi would need time to consider whether or not to hire independent experts to examine the evidence of the State. Magistrate Michelle Adams questioned the defence on whether Booi was able to fund outside experts. Prosecutor Jannie van Vuuren entered the fray ques, tioning how it was possible that Booi had this money when his , former attorney withdrew on Tuesday saying Booi could not pay his legal fees. Van Vuuren said that the firing of one defence lawyer in order to hire another and secure a postponement, was “the oldest trick in the book”. He said Booi had gone out of his way to avoid going to trial. Van Vuuren added that Wilker had a duty to inform the court that he would no longer be able to defend Booi, and suggested he come in to court and put his reasons on record. Adams did not finalise a date for the trial to start, but postponed the matter to tomorrow. jade.witten@inl.co.za richie.duchon@inl.co.za

Unaccompanied Zim children flood into SA
FRANCIS HWESHE
Special Correspondent

THE NUMBER of unaccompanied Zimbabwean children fleeing to South Africa has increased sharply a respected international humanitarian organisation has warned. In a startling report, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says that while it had, during the past year, witnessed “a steady increase in the number of unaccompanied children” crossing the border to Musina, and ending up at the Central Methodist Church in Joburg, the numbers had jumped sharply since the beginning of this year. “ of May 2009, there were 150 As children between seven and 18 years staying at the church. These children are extremely vulnerable and exposed to many forms of abuse,” the study said. “Some have lost both parents due to HIV/Aids or other causes.

They were not going to school; some were heading the family themselves. One 12-year-old was looking after his sisters who were seven and five,” it said. Reasons they had left Zimbabwe included realising their parents could no longer support them, “so they just decided they had to grow up overnight and say this is what I’m going to do”. “During their journeys some have been exploited. Some have been raped. A 12-year-old girl was raped in Pretoria and she ended up here. She got an infection and her behaviour completely changed after that. Once something like that happens to a child you fear for more abuse,” the report said. Sara Hjamarsson, an MSF nurse and project co-ordinator in Musina, said in the study that in one incident a 16-year-old was robbed and violently raped near that town by one of the notorious guma-gumas (gangs). “Her genitalia were bruised.

She was infected with an STI. She cannot sit up straight and can hardly walk. She has missed her period and could be pregnant from the rape. She said she could not go to hospital for fear of being deported.” The organisation has expressed dismay at what it believes is a poor response from the Department of Social Development here, and from Unicef. “MSF has repeatedly expressed concerns to the Department of Social Development and Unicef about the situation the children face, providing a list of names and relevant details about each individual child,” the report said. But in spite of the fact that key organisations and agencies are aware of the extreme vulnerability of this group, “no viable solution has yet been proposed or implemented”. Unicef and the department have yet to reply to queries. francis.hweshe@inl.co.za

10

FRIDAY JUNE 5 2009

NEWS

Future of Oudekraal site ‘a world concern’
New environmental investigation of property at centre of court appeal
JOHN YELD
Environment & Science Writer

THE OUDEKRAAL property on the western slopes of Table Mountain is one of the top handful of undeveloped urban land parcels anywhere in the world, and its future is a matter of international and not just local concern. This was the unequivocal message from conservationists during a briefing yesterday by consultants managing a new environmental investigation of the property on behalf of a pos, sible developer. But the consultants stressed

in return that no development plans were on the table, that no formal statutory application process for development had started, and that what would be done on the property over the next six months or so included a range of specialist studies on issues like flora, fauna, geology , water and heritage. These studies were aimed at gathering sufficient baseline material to see whether any of the 370ha property between Camps Bay and Llandudno was suitable for possible development, consultant Doug Jeffery explained. The developer, Property

Promotions and Management (Pty) Ltd, would then take a decision on whether and how to proceed, he said. A limited number of interested parties were invited to attend the briefing at a Century City venue, to discuss the process of the new environmental investigation. One of them, Richard Timms of the Hout Bay & Llandudno Environmental Conservation Group, said he believed there would be “massive opposition” to any development on this site, even if the specialist studies did indicate that some was possible.

Jeffery agreed that the property was “different to most sites”. “I’m fully aware of the sensitivity of this site and that if we don’t do it properly we’re , going to run into a nightmare,” he said. Jeffery has been appointed to manage what is being called an “information-gathering initiative”, which included yesterday’s briefing to “key stakeholder groups”. He explained that Property Promotions and Management (PP&M) had a formal agreement with the owner of the property Oudekraal Estates – ,

whose chief shareholder is Kasper Wiehahn – giving it the right to acquire the property . “In terms thereof, PP&M intends to investigate and assess the possibility of sustainable development of the farm, Oudekraal,” said Jeffery . This agreement was for all the remaining privately owned Oudekraal property – Portions 4, 5, 6 and 7 and the Remainder – and not just the 44ha Portion 7 closest to Camps Bay, which has been the subject of protracted litigation and which is due to come before the Supreme Court of Appeal later this year.

News

BRIEFING
Five children, adult die in rondavel fire
SIX people were killed when their rondavel in Pomeroy, northern KwaZulu-Natal, was set alight yesterday . Police said five children were among the dead. The door was apparently locked from the outside before the rondavel was set alight. The motive for the killing was unknown. – Sapa

Locals react to Obama in Cairo
RICHIE DUCHON and LIZZY ENCARNACAO
Staff Reporters

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Man accused of raping niece, 12
A 26-YEAR-OLD man has been arrested in connection with the rape of his 12-year-old niece in Nelspruit, say police. Superintendent Abie Khoabane said the man was arrested on Wednesday after his niece , alleged that he had started raping her after her mother died in October last year. – Sapa

Police reservist and arms dealer shot
A PRETORIA arms dealer, who also worked as a police reservist, has been gunned down in a suspected hit. Ivan Monsieur, 56, a police reservist at the Midrand police station, was shot dead this week while en route to his office in Lyttelton. Anyone with information can call 0860 010 111.

LEADERS of prominent Jewish and Muslim organisations in Cape Town have reacted very differently to American President Barack Obama’s stance on the conflict between Israel and Palestine, which he outlined during a speech made in Cairo, Egypt, yesterday . In his speech, Obama was unambiguous about his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and called for Hamas to recognise Israel’s right to exist. “The only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security he said. ,” David Jacobson, the executive director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, said: “Obama seems to be forthright, honest, willing to face hard truths, and willing to expose people to hard truths. We stand behind it.” But Moulana Igsaan Hendricks, the president of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) & Al Quds Foundation, was far less supportive, saying that although Obama’s willingness to engage and understand the Muslim world was a step in the right direction, his policy toward the Middle East remained the same. “The Muslim world and Arab world can expect nothing

new to come from Mr Obama.” Hendricks was particularly concerned that Obama had described the bond between the US and Israel “unbreakable.” “He is reaffirming that Israel is a Jewish state. This must be challenged,” Hendricks said. Jacobson disagreed: “The first thing you have to do in order to become a partner for peace is recognise Israel’s right to exist. Obama called for that.” Jacobson said he was encouraged to hear Obama speak with such clarity on that issue. “The Muslim and Jewish populations in Cape Town have strong connections to Israel and Palestine,” he said. He added that local communities of both faith groups were emotional and passionate, and said some of the tensions in the Middle East have occasionally spilled over into what he called a cooling of relations between the local Jewish and Muslim communities. Hendricks said South Africa’s own history was the reason he believed a two-state solution would not work. “We did not accept that in South Africa. Why should it work in the Middle East?” richard.duchon@inl.co.za

GIFTED: Scores of street children were showered with toys, clothes and snacks as part of the Chris Barnard Hospital’s programme for International Children’s Week. Twenty-nine children of Winplay House, an NGO geared at getting street children ready for school, participated. Patients and staff also donated items, including educational toys. PICTURE: SAM CLARK

Zim farmers demand Mugabe honours SADC judgment
PETA THORNYCROFT
Independent Foreign Service

ZIMBABWE’S 77 farmers return to the SADC Tribunal in Windhoek today to demand that President Robert Mugabe

honour its judgment last November that they be left in peace and thousands already evicted be paid compensation. The 77 farmers are now seeking a SADC summit to consider their allegations of con-

CA_NWS_E1_050609_p10 C M Y K
Mahmood Limbada, of the Cape Mazaar (Kramat) Society , said he wanted to confer with the Muslim Judicial Council – which was also invited but which sent apologies because its representative was ill – before commenting. “We have a very important stake here, because we’re mandated with the upkeep of the kramats (burial shrines),” he said. It was the presence of many kramats and Muslim graves on Portion 7 that was the major reason for the Cape High Court overturning development rights here that had been granted in the 1950s. Andy Gubb, of Wessa (Wildlife & Environment Society of SA) praised the would-be developers for initiating the environmental investigation that went beyond the statutory requirements for development applications. “Usually, it’s a rearguard battle for us every time. “This is a much better way – this is how an EIA (environmental impact assessment) should start … “It’s not just our mountain, it’s become an icon for South Africa world-wide. It’s a real responsibility .” But John Powell, of the Camps Bay Ratepayers’ Association, was unhappy that Jeffery had declined to address one of their meetings to explain the process. “I feel compromised, trapped in this room with you. What worries me is that we are almost a captive audience here to help you,” he said. The City of Cape Town and SA National Parks, which are respondents in the Supreme Court of Appeal case, were invited to the briefing, but were advised by their lawyers not to attend. john.yeld@inl.co.za

Exhibition to highlight Islam
FOUZIA VAN DER FORT
Staff Reporter

tempt of the regional court or even Zimbabwe’s expulsion from the organisation. Mugabe’s deputy chief justice, Luke Malaba, aid in January that the regional court had no jurisdiction in Zimbabwe.

More than 4 000 farmers and tens of thousands of farm workers’ families lost their homes and incomes after Mugabe ordered land invasions when he lost a referendum in February 2000.

AN EXHIBITION profiling Islamic institutions of learning, social welfare, finance and business is to be held in the city to address some misunderstandings about Islam. “We would like to promote the correct understanding of general Islamic belief and practices, and a spirit of religious and cultural tolerance of Muslims in South Africa,” said Yusuf Mohamed, trustee of the Muslim Students’ Association. The association will host the exhibition, titled Islam Expo SA from Slavery to Citizenship at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. It will be the association’s second exhibition. Moulana Abdul Khaliq E Allie, secretary-general of the Muslim Judicial Council, said Muslim slaves who were brought to the Cape suffered at the hands of their oppressors from more than 300 years ago. He said Muslims had been involved in fighting apartheid and were role models in exercising tolerance. Felicity Purchase, mayoral committee member for economic development andtourism, said the exhibit was necessary to encourage cultural exchanges. “The Muslim community is an integral part of our city , with a very rich and colourful heritage,” she said. Entry is R20. The exhibit will run from next Thursday to Sunday between 10am and 9pm.

4

TUESDAY JUNE 9 2009

NEWS

Magistrate reprimands ex-lawyer facing 51 fraud charges
LAVERN DE VRIES
Crime Writer

QUEST FOR JUSTICE: Gary Hartzenberg and other former clients are taking their lawyer to court for allegedly embezzling their money. PICTURE: TRACEY ADAMS

THE TRIAL of a former attorney charged with defrauding hundreds of Cape Flats families of millions was due to get under way today five years after he , allegedly fled the country . Carl John Botman appeared in the Bellville Commercial Crimes Court yesterday and was reprimanded by magistrate Amrith Shabilall for delaying the trial. Yesterday’s postponement was the third in the trial of Botman, who appeared in court without his lawyer. Botman argued that it had

not been his intention to delay the matter. He said the trial could not proceed without his attorney , who was based in Malmesbury and had not informed Botman that he would not be in court yesterday . During a court appearance in March, Botman said he would represent himself if he had no lawyer. But yesterday he said that although he had been an attorney he had no experience in , the realm of the Commercial Crimes Court. Magistrate Shabilall rejected this, saying even people without any legal back-

ground could represent themselves because the constitution allowed for their rights to be protected. “A matter of this nature (commercial crime) is no different to any other matter, and you do not have the ultimate right to legal representation. You have been dilatory up until now and you must remember that your rights do not precede the rights of the witnesses and those of the State,” he countered. The magistrate said that although the State thought allowing Botman to represent himself without having scrutinised any documents could be seen as unfair, he felt it was in

City team sets sights on deal with Barcelona
Network to support entrepreneurs
LINDSAY DENTLINGER
Metro Writer

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THE CITY of Cape Town is to lead a delegation of business people to Barcelona, Spain, next week to negotiate a deal to set up an “entrepreneurship ecosystem” in the city – a network of institutions to support and develop business ideas. The city’s executive director of economic development, Mansoor Mohamed, will lead the delegation to hold bilateral talks with the Barcelona City Council on setting up an entrepreneurial system similar to the one employed by that council. Mohamed said Cape Town lacked the necessary support system for entrepreneurs which would allow them to either commercialise their ideas or else provide development for businesses with growth potential and the necessary funding required by others to take their ideas further. The city will spend about R50 000 in travel costs for its delegation, which includes Pat Hill, chairman of the council’s economic development and tourism committee, and its director of economic development, Thembinkosi Siganda. Mohamed will travel at the expense of the Global Entrepreneurship Competition, for

which a Cape Town-based rewards programme for the poor – the Broccoli project – has been selected as one of the world’s 25 finalists. The project encourages the poor to attend skills training workshops in exchange for food vouchers and shelter, and will be vying for prizes in excess of 50 000 (R563 000). The competition invites entrepreneurs from around the world to present their business plans to major corporations and international investors. Mayco member for economic development, Felicity Purchase, said Cape Town was experiencing similar challenges – a decline in the manufacturing sector and high unemployment – to those faced by Barcelona just before it hosted the 1992 Olympics. Today Barcelona was still benefiting from hosting the Games and had achieved “100 years of development within 10 years”, said Mohammed. “We are looking forward to making progress on entrepreneurship. “Urban regeneration, direct economic and higher educa-

tion linkages and municipal markets are also on the agenda,” he said. Representatives from the Cape Town Partnership, Accelerate Cape Town and the Cape Higher Education Consortium will all travel at their own expense. Cape Town Partnership chief executive Andrew Boraine said Cape Town could learn from Barcelona’s regeneration strategy, which had proved successful in redeveloping an obsolete inner-city industrial area into an innovative district. From tomorrow, Cape Town will host the World Economic Forum. The city was recently ranked No 1 out of 34 countries in a recent UCT Graduate School of Business global entrepreneurship study, which also concluded that the city was by far the “most entrepreneurial city in South Africa”. It ranked 190 percent higher than South Africa’s national average. As part of the Broccoli Project members of the public can donate or buy vouchers that can be exchanged by the needy for basic food staples at major retailers. The project encourages people to give beggars food vouchers and will track their contribution online. lindsay.dentlinger@inl.co.za

NO RETURN: Security guards watch over the so-called Blue Building in Junction Road to ensure ex-residents don’t try to move back in. Demolition companies have been asked to submit quotes for tearing down the building. PICTURE: SAM CLARK

Officials wait for nod on Blue Building
RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporter

THE CITY of Cape Town was expected to make a decision today on whether it had the legal authority to demolish the 100-year-old Salt River building that partly collapsed, displacing close to 70 people. Peter Henshall-Howard, head of building development management, confirmed that if they got the go-ahead this morning, demolition could start virtually immediately . Before building’s collapse in the early hours of Saturday morning, the city believed it needed a court order to begin demolition because the owner of the property is no longer alive and no apparent heirs have come forward. But since the building’s collapse has made it a danger to

the community the emergency , aspect of the situation may give the city the legal right to proceed without an order, Henshall-Howard explained. But he stressed that the city was taking time to ensure it made the correct legal decision, so as not to put ratepayers’ money at risk unnecessarily by opening the way to a lawsuit. ”We have a responsibility to the public and ratepayers to consider all the legal aspects,” he said. But at the same time, they could not wait too long. “Drastic action needs to be taken to render the building safe. Not a band-aid solution. It needs major surgery,” Henshall-Howard said. Junction Road, on which the structure – known widely at the Blue Building – stands has been cordoned off and 24-hour

City scores international recognition as downtown of the month Three short-term parking contracts to replace tender
CAPE TOWN scooped the “downtown of the month” award from the International Downtown Association. Andrew Boraine, CEO of the Cape Town Partnership, said the award was a great success for the city . “The IDA, established in 1954, is a system whereby cities are recognised on a monthly basis for the work they have been doing.” Jeremy Wiley president of , the Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry , said it was a tribute to the partnership and the role the private sector plays in creating cleaner, safer cities. – Staff Reporter

LINDSAY DENTLINGER
Metro Writer

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THREE new short-term parking contracts have been issued by the City of Cape Town in the wake of a legal impasse over the award of a permanent parking manager. From next month the city will revert to a cash-only payment system for parking, replacing the smart card that

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CA_NWS_E1_090609_p04 C M Y K
the interests of justice to proceed and ordered Botman to be ready for trial today . Botman had one day to peruse statements and prepare to cross-examine witnesses who are among the 364 people who submitted claims that amounted to R1 085 115.64 to the Attorneys’ Fidelity Fund against the trust money of CJ Botman Attorneys. The State alleges that the trust account of Botman’s practice was R54 871 overdrawn in May 2004 and that he had since then issued 51 worthless cheques drawn from the trust account. Botman faces 51 fraud charges linked to those cheques, and a theft charge. In January 2000 the Cape Town Community Housing Company (CTCHC), in partnership with the city offered new , affordable low-cost houses. Houses were built in Newfields Village, Hanover Park, Lyuoloville, Heideveld, Philippi, Eastridge and Woodridge in Mitchells Plain. Disgruntled residents from these areas refused to pay rent, alleging their homes were shoddily built. Instead they entrusted their cash to Botman, who is also accused of stealing R883 752.20 from the trust account. Last year the provincial government said it would pay R46m for repairs to the low-cost houses after an audit found several structural defects. But residents lobbied to see the cash invested in the trust account to pay off their rental arrears, the alleged result of misappropriation by Botman. Botman appeared in court after he was subpoenaed by investigators from the commercial crimes unit. The court heard that his mother had received the summons while he was in London. He first appeared in court in April last year. lavern.devries@inl.co.za

City pushes for inflation limits for Eskom hike
LINDSAY DENTLINGER
Metro Writer

security is on hand to prevent anyone going too close. City officials said yesterday they had been trying to take action on the building for at least 18 months. Cape Town’s executive director for strategy and planning, Piet van Zyl, said the city’s legal team had tried to contact the estate of the deceased landlord on numerous occasions but had received no response. Complicating the city’s efforts to take action on the decrepit state of the Blue Building is its protection under the 1999 Heritage Resources Act. This requires approval from a heritage resources authority for major action on structures more than 60 years old. Cape Town disaster risk management spokesman Wilfred Solomons said Heritage

Western Cape gave the city its approval to demolish the Blue Building yesterday morning. The city yesterday approved Ross Demolition to do the work of tearing down the building and removing the debris. Ross and Bradis Demolition and Earthmovers inspected the building and provided competing cost estimates yesterday . Ross Demolition project manager Robert Ross said he was contacted by the city late yesterday and told he had been selected. The demolition had to be signed off by the city manager. Ross said his crews would be ready to begin today It would . take about two weeks to complete the demolition and remove all the debris. It would pose no threat to nearby buildings or residents. richard.duchon@inl.co.za

THE City of Cape Town has urged the National Energy Regulator (Nersa) to keep Eskom’s 34 percent tariff hike application to within inflation limits. Eskom’s shareholders and not the public should be responsible for funding its capital expansion programme, the city told Nersa at public hearings in Pretoria yesterday . Delivering the city’s submission, Mayco member for utility services Clive Justus pointed to a number of legislative requirements that Eskom had not complied with in the late submission for a tariff increase for 2009/10. The power utility had failed to submit its annual budget by March 1, as required of a state entity and had not , offered reasons for why this had not been done. Justus also questioned the lack of supporting information, or a capital funding plan to support Eskom’s application. “Eskom’s submission lacks transparency on the real cost of generating electricity and the , city believes Eskom should not be relying on consumers to bear further capital costs. “There are numerous hidden costs such as road maintenance and demand side management initiatives which are non-core business to Eskom.” Last month Eskom revealed that it would apply for another price rise later in the year to cover the balance of its threeyear pricing model. In the absence of clarity on the Eskom price hike before local authorities were required to finalise their annual budgets, the City of Cape Town last month approved an electricity tariff increase for ratepayers of 33 percent from the beginning of next month. lindsay.dentlinger@inl.co.za

could be pre-loaded with credit. Last year the city was interdicted from implementing a R26 million, three-year tender awarded to Street Parking Solutions in July 2008 for the management of more than 3 000 parking bays in the central city, Claremont, Sea Point and Bellville. This was after a review application by unsuccessful bidder Advanced Parking Solu-

tions, a sister company of Numque 20, which manages many of the city’s parking bays. Three years ago the Cape High Court ruled that Numque 20 had an illegal tender with the city A hearing is scheduled . only for November. The city said it would cancel all parking contracts at the end of this month. Motorists here and in the Helderberg area have been

asked to use up the credit on their smart cards before then. Service providers who will provide kerbside parking service from July 1 are: G ACE Parking Services in the Helderberg (Somerset West, Strand and Gordon’s Bay). G Numque 20 in Bellville, Claremont and Sea Point. G Street Parking Solutions in the Cape Town CBD. lindsay.dentlinger@inl.co.za

Tel: 021 507 6300 | Email: info@wpbts.org.za | www.wpblood.org.za

4

FRIDAY JUNE 12 2009

NEWS

Tutu centre to become world peace broker
R162m Foreshore building will play key role in overcoming post-Mandela ‘disillusionment’
ELLA SMOOK
Staff Reporter

A CENTRE dedicated to brokering peace among South Africans, and between warring regions of the world, is set to take shape amid the Foreshore hotels and alongside the International Convention Centre. Construction of the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre is planned to begin next month. The construction would mark the beginning of a development likely to become a global hub for mediation and conciliation, with the challenging aim of restoring social justice to the marginalised, and inspiring leaders to be responsible and committed to those they serve.

South Africa’s dismal ranking on the 2009 Global Peace Index – 123 out of 144 countries – should be treated as “a red warning light rather than an amber one”, Nomfundo Walaza, chief executive of the new Peace Centre, told the Cape Town Press Club yesterday . “It should worry us because we know that despite the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and other efforts at building a sense of common nationhood, we remain divided in many ways,” she warned. The fact that political parties were supported along racial lines at the elections was an obvious indication that all was not yet well. “The fact that we imprison ourselves in our own homes

Centre’s numerous features
THE CENTRE is set to be a six-star green building.The design includes curved pathways moulded around the structure, which find their way to the central contemplative tower, encapsulating the theme of “pathways to peace”. Its features will include: G A revolving, themed Peace Museum. G A large exhibition area to house the world’s largest humanitarian exhibition. G The Peace Room, which will offer a trusted, neutral space for brokering peace dialogues and postconflict negotiations among world leaders.The room will host Africa’s Nakashima Peace Table. G A contemplative space where visitors may reflect on experiences and commit to fostering peace. G The Peace Garden. G A forecourt to serve as a venue for social gatherings and public occasions. G A meditation room. G Teaching and meeting facilities, a resource centre, a café and a museum shop.

ARTIST’S IMPRESSION: The Desmond Tutu Peace Centre will be built opposite the CTICC, and next to three major hotels.
while criminals run free means that while we have achieved democracy we’re still working , on true freedom,” Walaza said. Drawing from the recently released Dinokeng Scenarios –

which sets out three possible futures for the country, recently outlined by a group of

Workers take hammers to Blue Building
RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporter

DEMOLITION workers with hammers, saws and crowbars have begun the task of taking down the Salt River building that partly collapsed last weekend, forcing 70 residents to move to temporary city housing in Delft. The Blue Building, as it is commonly called, sat silently in limbo for much of the week, guarded by 24-hour security as , the city debated whether or not it had the legal right to demolish the structure. Peter Henshall-Howard, director of the city’s planning and building development management, said the National Building Regulations and Standards Act gave the city the authority to demolish the building. To make sure the city was in safe legal territory it served a , final notice earlier this week on Fayruz Investments, the company listed as the building’s legal owner. The notice alerted the company that demolition would start yesterday . Henshall-Howard said there was no protest from the company . On Monday Cape Western Heritage also gave the city permission to demolish the building, which at 100 years old was

BEGINNING OF THE END: Workers start demolishing the building in Salt River that partly collapsed on Saturday. The first step isto make the site safer and to start clearing away the rotten roof rafters. PICTURE: MATHIEU DASNOIS
protected by the 1999 Heritage Resources Act. The act requires approval from a heritage resources authority for major action on structures more than 60 years old. “We followed due process. I’m certain we did all the right things,” said Henshall-Howard. “I’m also a trained structural engineer, and I’m certain the building was dangerous and an immediate danger to surrounding people and buildings.” Once the demolition was complete, the city would sell the vacant property as part of a sale in execution, a legal process that allows the city to sell a private property in order to recoup unpaid property taxes and other fees. He said the owners of the Blue Building owed the city between R100 000 and R400 000. The sale might also help the city pay for the R100 000 cost of demolition Phillip Redelinghuys, project manager for Ross Demolition, said yesterday afternoon that his crew was preparing to make the building safe. There was still the danger of another collapse. “We are securing the place to get stability to get a safe , environment,” he said. Larger excavator machinery would be brought on site soon. Redelinghuys said about 25 people would work on the demolition, which could take up to two weeks. But it could take longer since his crew had to work carefully to avoid damaging the adjacent Junction Hotel and other buildings. David Elton, who owns a residential building across the street from the Blue Building in Junction Road, said: “It’s a sad thing. There were a lot of good people living here. They’ve lost their community .” But he hoped the building’s coming down would have a positive effect on the community and its property values. “If people are more likely to come down Junction Road to look at apartments, that could have a positive effect on income potential, which determines commercial property values,” Elton said. Residents watching yesterday’s start of the demolition said they happy the building was finally coming down. richard.duchon@inl.co.za

Remember

Commuters stranded after threats
THOUSANDS of rail commuters were left stranded for at least two hours yesterday afternoon as Cape Town train station was evacuated because of a security threat. No trains were allowed to leave and all incoming trains were stopped at Woodstock station for nearly two hours while police checked the area. Commuters were escorted from stationary trains and out of the station, while businesses at the station were shut and workers evacuated. Cape Town Central Police Station spokeswoman Carin Loock said the 10 111 emergency line had received an anonymous call at 2.10pm yesterday . “The person said that three bombs would explode within an hour,” she said. The dog and bomb-disposal units had swept all 24 platforms, Loock said, but no explosives or suspicious packages were found. Commuters were allowed back into the station at 4pm. – Staff Reporter

Steel skeletons the start of city’s new film studio
MURRAY WILLIAMS
Staff Writer

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CAPE WHALE COAST
Hermanus, Gansbaai, Stanford, Kleinmond-Hangklip The Weekend Argus aims to publish a feature on the Cape Whale Coast in the Travel Supplement on

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS: BASIC ASSESSMENT PROPOSED “WELTEVREDEN VALLEY” RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT
Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Ref No.: No: E12/2/3/1-A1/550-0644/09. Notice is hereby given of a public participation process in terms of the Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”) Regulations 2006 promulgated in terms of section 24(5) of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) (“NEMA”). Location: The proposed development sites i.e. Erf 2178 (± 3291 m²), Erf 2170 (± 2773 m²) & Erf 8204 (± 612 m²) and Erf 2154 (± 2864 m²) & Erf 8068 (± 1587 m²) are located south of Weltevreden Road and west of Fulham Avenue in Weltevreden Valley. Applicant: Rondevlei Trust Proposed Development: The rezoning, consolidation and subdivision of Erven 2178, 2170 & 8204 and 2154 & 8068, Weltevreden Valley, from Public Open Space to Residential area and Public Open Space area for the development of 9 single Residential erven on Erf 2178, 9 single Residential erven and one Public Open Space erf on Erven 2170 & 8204, and 12 single Residential erven and one Public Open Space erf on Erven 2154 & 8068. Alternatives considered thus far are the type of activity to be undertaken on the above-mentioned erven. In terms of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2006, the application for development is subjected to Basic Assessment. Listed activities in terms of Government Notice No. R 386, requiring authorization are: 20. The transformation of an area zoned for use as public open space or for a conservation purpose to another use. A copy of the Background Information Document / further information can be obtained from the under mentioned consultant. To be registered as an interested and/ or affected party you must please send your name and address (postal, including facsimile and E-mail), as well as any written comments regarding the proposed development, to the under mentioned consultant. Please indicate any direct business, financial, personal or other interests which you may have in the approval or refusal of the application. The closing date for registration / comments is Monday 13 July 2009. OM/11/6863584

20 June 2009
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CAPE Town’s newest film studios will be complete by the time the first whistle is blown at next year’s soccer World Cup. This was promised yesterday by Nico Dekker, chief executive of Cape Town Film Studios, formerly known as Dreamworld. At the studio site, on the corner of the N2 and Baden Powell Drive in the direction of Stellenbosch, the two giant steel skeletons of Studio One and Studio 3 are now complete. These measure 2 100m2 and , 1 200m2 respectively and stand 15m and 12m high, up to their lighting gantries. “You’ll see the enormous strength of the buildings; at any point you can hang a 1.8 ton load,” Dekker explained. The steel work was completed by manufacturers Anchor Steel Projects, which began winching the giant structural steel framework into place on March 17. The bulk infrastructure has also been laid – conduits for electricity sewerage and water. , Turning into the studios from Baden Powell Drive, the grand “access boulevard” is almost complete – which Dekker describes as “My beautiful Yellow Brick Road”. The next step is for the stu-

CA_NWS_E1_120609_p06 C M Y K
35 South Africans including businesswoman Mamphela Ramphele, author Antjie Krog, Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane and the Elders member Graça Machel – , she said the so-called “mood pattern” characterising countries in transition should be noted. “It always starts with euphoria. (Former President Nelson) Mandela represents our euphoria. “We still rely on the Mandela magic and the Archbishop’s (Desmond Tutu) notion of a Rainbow Nation,” Walaza said. But South Africans had not taken responsibility at a subconscious level, Walaza said. “We expect from the world that we have given them Mandela and they must give us the cheque. We believe in the miracle, and when we discover that’s not the way the world works, we move to disillusionment. That’s where we are now.” The Peace Centre would work to remedy this position, to ensure that all in the country “walk together” towards a common national vision. “The Peace Centre will do this by gathering hard-earned knowledge and expertise from South Africa and around the world, and use this, together with our collective skills and experience, to create conducive circumstances for peace.” Walaza said the centre was working hard to finalise the funding of R162 million it needed to build Cape Town’s global indaba for peace. ella.smook@inl.co.za

Council launches probe into sports complex funds
LINDSAY DENTLINGER
Metro Writer

Suspects nabbed by police for robbery
STAFF REPORTER
POLICE have arrested six suspects for two separate cases of armed robbery in Philippi. In both cases police said gun-wielding suspects allegedly robbed their victims and then fled to thick-set bushes. In the first incident four suspects allegedly robbed three women of their cellphones and wallets at gunpoint in bushes opposite Portlands Road before fleeing. Police, on foot patrol, pursued the suspects and arrested them. In the second incident two armed suspects allegedly robbed a woman of a cellphone before fleeing. However, they were soon arrested. The four suspects were expected to appear in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court today . In a third incident, three men allegedly robbed a Woodstock business yesterday . Police on routine patrol, spotted three men running out carrying black bags. The men split into different directions and police gave chase, arresting two suspects. Officers searched the bags, and found chocolates, cigarettes and cash to the value of R15 000. The pair were set to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court today . The third suspect remains at large.

THE CITY of Cape Town has launched an internal investigation into claims of maladministration of the Bonteheuwel sports complex, and the misappropriation of public money intended for its management. Under investigation is the validity of the agreement between the council, which owns the facility and the Bonte, heuwel Sports Council (BSC), the lawfulness of the sports council’s composition, and the exact sums of money the city council has paid to the sports body . Preliminary findings of an impromptu investigation by mayoral committee (Mayco) member of community services, Gerhard Ras, revealed that proper bookkeeping was lacking. It could thus not be determined whether funds were being misappropriated. In a letter to the BSC, Ras said that in the absence of a lease agreement being shown to him, either by the city’s sports department or the BSC, he had to conclude that none existed. Upon request, the BSC could also not provide Ras with financial statements for the 2007/08 financial year. Neither could audited financial statements for the 2006/07 financial year be traced. Ras’s investigation was prompted by complaints from disgruntled sports clubs which

use the facilities. They have accused the sports council of excluding some clubs and of illegally selling alcohol and pocketing the money . Yesterday Ras would not comment on the information, saying he was meeting Mayor Dan Plato on Monday to inform him of the investigation. The BSC receives about R2 500 a month from the City . Last week Ras, who represents the ID on Mayco, lashed out at Plato at a Mayco meeting. He said he had been trying for the previous two weeks to set up a meeting with the mayor to discuss the matter, and alleged that the DA was trying to sweep the matter under the carpet. Ras also found that no liquor licence was displayed, as required by law. A sub-committee of the council’s portfolio committee on community services has now been given two months to further investigate the claims and report back to Ras. Ras has instructed that the investigations include public hearings, and that aggrieved parties be invited to make submissions to the sub-committee. Chairman of the Bonteheuwel Sports Council, Lindsay Davids, said he was “in the dark” about the city council’s investigation. He had some months ago handed requested financial documents to Ras, he said, claiming that Ras had not communicated with him again. lindsay.dentlinger@inl.co.za

Film studio 11 June 2009 Picture : Murray Williams
dio structures to be clad. “It’s an incredible process. They are clad with concrete slabs, 150mm each, weighing five tons, which are built on site because it would be too expensive to transport them,” Dekker explained. “It’s really exciting, because the project is using a lot of local labour. “Staff from a 15km radius around the area are receiving preferential treatment for jobs,” he said. The cladding will be completed by the end of the year, bringing the total investment for this first phase to about R250 million. Next to these are the production offices. And planning is under way for Studio Two and Studio Four, as well as two large workshops each measuring 2 800m2. “These will be used by production companies for the manufacture of sets, and also art departments, wardrobe and all manufacturing processes to be used on site,” Dekker said. The construction so far has been funded by the City of Cape Town, which contributed R30m, Wesgro, which bought a 10 percent share in the studios for R30m, and the Department of Trade and Industry which , contributed R16m for the bulk infrastructure. The investors – Video Vision, the film production company owned by Anant Singh, and Sabido Investments, headed by Marcel Golding, the owners of e-tv and e-sat – have funded the balance. The development also has a bond with Absa. Dekker said productions in Cape Town would be “30 to 50 percent cheaper” than in North America and Western Europe. “Our first pencil bookings, which we can’t disclose yet, are for March next year.”

10

MONDAY JUNE 15 2009

NEWS

Principal goes out on a ledge for reading
LIZZY ENCARNACAO
Staff Reporter

ST GEORGE’S Grammar School principal David Bester was making good on a promise when, clad in navy blue pyjamas and slippers, he sat on a ledge over the school library reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Bester had promised his primary school pupils that if they met the goal of reading a certain number of pages for Readathon 2009, he would don his pyjamas and take to the roof for a day . Starting at 7am on Friday , he found that the children were taking pity on him. He lowered a small basket on string, which they filled with muffins. “I’ll only eat one of them because otherwise I’ll get fat,” he insisted. So what exactly did the children have to do to get him there? Pupils between Grades 1 and 3 read a collective 63 000 pages, surpassing their goal by 55 000 pages. Grades 4 to 6 also beat their goal – by 36 000 pages – during the two-week Readathon. Bester is the first to admit it’s a wacky gimmick – “but the bottom line is it gets kids reading”. Bester is no stranger to challenging his students to read, or providing the incentive. Last year he dressed as a St George’s schoolboy, and the previous year he shaved his head and painted the St George’s emblem on to his scalp. Elsa Goncalves, the librarian at St George’s, said that once the children got a reasonable excuse to read, they couldn’t stop. “Now they’re hooked,” she said. elizabeth.encarnacao@inl.co.za

Shark numbers News worldwide fall to record low
Certain species face extinction
JOHN YELD
Environment & Science Writer

MAN OF HIS WORD: St George’s Grammar School principal Dave Bester gets breakfast from his pupils to keep up his strength during a day spent on a ledge outside the school’s library. Bester, wearing his pyjamas, was rewarding pupils for good reading habits. PICTURE: TRACEY ADAMS

THE SLAUGHTER of sharks worldwide has reached unprecedented proportions and is on a scale much greater than even the infamous massacre on the North American plains 200 years ago that drove the buffalo to the brink of extinction. In some regions of the oceans once-numerous shark species have plummeted to just 1 percent of their original populations and in the Mediterranean Sea marine scientists report a 97 to 99.5 percent decline in shark numbers. According to the recent Global Shark Assessment, if the current rates of decline continue the most threatened shark species will be extinct in as little as 10 to 15 years. This was revealed by the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs during a recent function in Gansbaai to mark World Oceans Day and , to commemorate the International Year of the Shark last week . Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said South Africa had made significant progress in understanding the importance of sharks. “For several years we’ve been committed to studying these animals, both for improving our understanding of their often secretive behaviour, and for understanding our marine

Times change but goal of Hajj remains
RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporter

GROWING up in Cape Town’s District Six for more than 25 years, Mogamat Hoosain Ebrahim can vividly recall the impressive groups of men wearing red fezzes with tassels and women in miliyah (traditional formal dresses) walking en masse to the harbour for the annual departure of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. Ebrahim says preparations for the hujjaaj (pilgrims) used to last up to several weeks and involved visits, prayers and good wishes from family, friends and imams around the Cape. The journey to and from Saudi Arabia by steam ship could last up to nine months. But things have changed dramatically over the past 60 years for Cape Town Muslims making the annual trip to Mecca. Ebrahim, the senior lecturer at the newly established International Peace University South Africa (Ipsa), has chronicled those changes in a new book to be released later this month, The Cape Hajj Tradition Past and Present. In an interview, Ebrahim described an evolution of some of the traditional preparations for Hajj. Whereas pilgrims

Watchdog lobbies for policies to protect women against guns
STAFF REPORTER
AS ACTIVISTS in more than 80 countries prepared to mark the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence, the South African non-governmental organisation Ceasefire is set to lobby for policies that will keep women safe from gun violence. Ceasefire said that in South Africa, one in every three women killed by her husband was shot. The campaign would spread the message by talking to women’s groups and gathering data on access to guns and domestic violence. They would also push for the implementation of local firearm control laws. Ceasefire said the shocking reality for women was that the greatest risk of gun violence was in their own homes. Women were three times more likely to die violently if there was a gun in the house. Usually the perpetrator was a , spouse or partner, often with a prior record of domestic abuse. For every woman killed or physically injured by firearms, many more were threatened. Laura Pollecutt, co-ordinator of the Ceasefire Campaign, said the group was a member of the International Action Network on Small Arms, which was pressing for spouses and partners to be consulted before a gun licence was granted. Although it was not perfect, she said the South African Firearms Control Act did require that an applicant for a gun licence pass a competency test. A person convicted of an offence involving violence or sexual abuse, or physical abuse in a domestic relationship, would not get a licence. Neither could a person convicted of breaching a protection order in terms of the Domestic Violence Act, which also allowed for the confiscation of a firearm. Disarming Domestic Violence was the first international campaign aimed at protecting women from gun violence in the home. The main goal was to ensure people with a history of domestic abuse were denied access to firearms or had their licences revoked. Of the about 900 million small arms in the world today , the group said more than 75 percent were in the hands of private individuals – mostly men. Given this, they said, women were paying a disproportionately heavy price for the multibillion-dollar trade in small arms. Pollecutt said the government should recognise that family killings were the only category of homicide in which women outnumbered men as victims, and pledge to protect women in their homes. The Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence runs from today until June 21.

CA_NWS_E1_150609_p10 C M Y K

BRIEFING
Fake cops steal cigarette delivery
A MAN and a woman posing as traffic officers stole boxes of cigarettes from a delivery vehicle east of Joburg, and locked the delivery staff inside. Two men had just delivered cigarettes in Edenvale when they were stopped by two “officers” who got in the van and drove off, followed by a VW Microbus with a female officer and six other men. The group off-loaded the stock, loading it into a truck in Delmore. – Sapa

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ecosystems.” The threats sharks faced in the modern world were “daunting”, and included commercial long-line fishing and its bycatch, the “methodical massacre” for shark fin soup, habitat loss and destruction – particularly of nursery areas – and pollution. South Africa implemented a formal conservation status for the top shark, the Great White, in 1991 and the department is looking closely at both this species and another top predator, the Tiger Shark, which is found at the highly popular Aliwal Shoals dive site off the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. In a presentation Mike Meyer, of the department’s Marine and Coastal Management (MCM) branch, said there were still gaps in knowledge about sharks’ ecology and behaviour. He described the Great White as “a majestic, beautiful animal, but quite frightening close up”. South Africa was a centre of abundance for this species and Gansbaai was “right at the epicentre”. “But no one has seen the pupping of these animals – that’s quite amazing, and we’re quite unsure of where it’s happening,” Meyer said.

Some of the department’s most important research objectives were to determine how many Tiger Sharks there were, whether there were one or two discrete populations of this species and what its predation patterns were. The department was using a variety of research techniques, including a computer programme that analysed photographs of the unique notches on sharks’ dorsal fins, along with other key features of the animal, creating an automated identification database for individual sharks that was available on the web. “It’s quite a unique system, and important because these animals are moving globally .” Charlene da Silva, responsible for MCM’s in-shore shark research, said the world shark harvest had increased from 53 000 tons to 142 000 tons over the past six decades. “There’s been a deliberate shift to targeting sharks,” she said. Local waters were particularly important for shark conservation because, of the world’s 1 100 species, 260 occurred in sub-equatorial Africa, and 30 percent were endemic (occurring naturally only here). “South Africa has the highest recorded numbers of endemic shark species, and of shark species overall,” Da Silva said. john.yeld@inl.co.za

Woman held over death of boyfriend
A WOMAN has been arrested for allegedly killing her boyfriend after catching him with another woman in Prince Albert, police say . The woman, aged 28, allegedly found her boyfriend, Jack Willemse, 27, on a bench with another woman, said Captain Malcolm Pojie. The suspect allegedly stabbed Willemse in the neck. Willemse then to ran to the home of of a friend nearby where he died, , said Pojie. The woman is expected to appear in Prince Albert Magistrate’s Court tomorrow. – Sapa

Two more suspect ‘pirate’ miners held
TWO suspected illegal miners have been arrested at Harmony Gold’s Elands mineshaft, and one of them has been admitted to hospital with a head injury . The Elands mine is where a recent underground fire killed at least 86 miners. Harmony Gold spokeswoman Marian van der Walt said yesterday a total of 296 “zama-zamas” (pirates) had been arrested since the beginning of the month. – Staff Reporter

REMINISCING: Mogamat Hoosain Ebrahim, who vividly recalls men and women departing for Mecca from their homes in District Six. PICTURE: SAM CLARK
would once go door-to-door, alerting the community of their trip to Mecca and Medina, many now alerted their friends and family through e-mail and SMSes. “Change is inevitable,” Ebrahim said. “And we just have to be part of the change.” However, he lamented some of the traditions he found were being eroded by technology and modern development. Previously he said, a pilgrim could , stay very close to the Masjdul Haram, the main mosque that pilgrims visit on their journey . But new high-rise hotels had now made it cost-prohibitive for many Cape Town Muslims to stay near the mosque and to have a “genuine experience”. He said going on Hajj used to give one status. “It was expected of a pilgrim (back from Hajj) to be honourable. It was expected of a pilgrim to be learned,” he said. “If you came back from Hajj and you wore your fez, it was an achievement. It’s no longer like that.” Ebrahim said the huge number of pilgrims from

around the world making the trip each year had forced the Saudi government to institute quotas regulating the number of pilgrims from each country . The last several years, South African Muslims had had to ask for extensions of up to several thousand people. It had now become an issue of class, he suggested, with those having the most money being those able to go. Ipsa senior lecturer Sheik Fakhruddin Owaisi, 30, came from Medina to study Islam in Cape Town in 1998. He said while he had seen what he called a de-spiritualisation of the Hajj preparations it was still quite an event for locals. “Many still have imams say a prayer before packing their bags and after packing their bags; before leaving their rooms and before leaving their houses. These traditions are still there,” he said. “Whether you follow the original traditions, the goal is to perform the compulsory pillar, and that is pilgrimage,” stressed Ebrahim. “When we get there, we are all united, and everyone is going through the same rituals.” The next Hajj opportunity for Cape Town Muslims will be in November.

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THURSDAY JUNE 18 2009

NEWS

‘Opportunity to bridge social divide missed’
City, province have failed to use 2010 to tackle racism and the class gap, says prof
CLAYTON BARNES
2010 Writer

THE CITY of Cape Town and the provincial government have missed the opportunity to advance social integration in Cape Town ahead of the World Cup, says Professor Edgar Pieterse, director of UCT’s Africa Centre for Cities. Speaking at a 2010 lecture series at the Green Point Stadium visitors’ centre last night, Pieterse told a packed audito-

rium that the government had failed the citizens of Cape Town by being more interested in marketing the city as a prime tourism destination after 2010. More focus should have been put on uplifting the poor and bridging the poverty divide, he charged. “The government should be focusing on the social legacy of the event,” Pieterse said. “The opportunity to advance social integration has been missed.

“Hosting the 2010 World Cup was the perfect opportunity for the city and province to change the narrative of Cape Town. “Racism remains a problem. People are still split along class and culture lines. The World Cup presented a perfect opportunity to change all this, but instead the city decided to spend billions on infrastructure, stadiums and an 18-hole golf course in Green Point.” Pieterse said that after doing extensive research on the

city’s 2010 policies and plans, he came to the conclusion that social integration was severely marginalised in their strategy . “The city failed to appreciate the hierarchical order of cultures, class and identities,” he said. “There was no real time to debate the issues of 2010. Everything had to be done before certain deadlines, without really giving Capetonians a say in whether or not we want these megastructures in our city said Pieterse. ,”

While the city’s 2010 public transport plan was “fantastic” if it was introduced, it was over-emphasised. “The city has completely missed the point over what the primary focus of the 2010 legacy should be,” he said. “They are more trying to improve the inner city for tourism and business, but the social legacy aspect has to be bolder and bigger. Nothing is really being done to benefit the poor,” he said.

Hospital receives boost ahead of 2010
RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporter

CAPE TOWN’s oldest hospital, which expects to be busy during the 2010 World Cup because of its proximity to the new Green Point Stadium, has inched a step closer to full readiness. Somerset Hospital yesterday received a R1m donation from gaming company Grand Slots, which the hospital will use to help buy its first CT (computed tomography) scanner. Directly adjacent to the 70 000-capacity stadium which will host eight matches next year, Somerset’s trauma centre will be a first stop for most out-of-town visitors with health problems. Hospital superintendent Dr Kurt Maart said the CT scanner, used to create 3-D images of the brain and other parts of the body was an essen,

358 DAYS TO GO
tial piece of equipment for trauma care. CT scans needed to be done quickly after head trauma or strokes. “The issue is not access, but speed,” he said. As it stands, the hospital has to send patients that require CT scans to Groote Schuur and other nearby hospitals.

“I think this scanner will be lifesaving,” said Maart. And while Somerset’s chair of finance, Freda Tucker, said the donation now put the hospital at having raised about half of the R6.5m to R8.5m needed to purchase the scanner, there was a deadline to meet. Maart said the scanner would have to be imported from abroad, and needed to be procured by January for it to be available during the World Cup in June. The effort to obtain new medical equipment is part of a larger upgrade and expansion of the hospital’s trauma centre, which began last week. The upgrade will triple the number of available beds at the centre from seven to 22. The hospital has also bought a new R1.5m X-ray machine. Maart said preparations for the potential spike in intakes were on track, and that he was

confident the hospital would be ready for 2010. Somerset Hospital had been co-ordinating with Fifa, and had already held major incident training for doctors and other support staff, including practising how to deal with a chemical or gas leak, a bombing or mass food poisoning. Asked whether the hospital would have enough doctors on hand to deal with a major incident, Maart said Fifa had created a pool of doctors that would be on call throughout the World Cup to complement the hospital’s existing staff. “Somerset is the oldest hospital in the city, and it does require capital support to sustain itself,” said the director of Grand Slots’ corporate social investment, Amelia Jones. “We know the government can’t fulfil all the needs of healthcare,” she added.

OUR BAFANA: Bafana supporters gather at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg last night to watch their team beat New PICTURE: REUTERS Zealand in the Confederations Cup

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Court told of Visser’s unhappy childhood in sex trial
STAFF REPORTER
THE SECRET album containing 300 explicit sexual pictures of former advocate Cezanne Visser and pictures of naked women connected to fugitive Dirk Prinsloo, was dusted off again yesterday for a social worker to look at. Hendrien Nortje, a social worker at Weskoppies Hospital, yesterday took the stand in the Pretoria High Court to testify on behalf of the defence in Visser’s sex trial. Nortje handed a report to court on Visser’s background and what influence it had on her conduct. She testified that apart from interviewing Visser, her mother and her friends, she also paged through the album. Visser’s mother became emotional as Nortje testified about the accused’s unhappy childhood and the fact that Visser’s mother, who has remarried, became pregnant out of wedlock and had to marry Visser’s father. Visser believed she was not wanted when she was born, and she had spent her life trying to please her parents, Nortje said. This, Nortje said, was projected on Prinsloo when she met him later in life, where she strived to please him. The trial continues

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CA_NWS_E1_180609_p08 C M Y K
The integrated bus rapid transit system was a big leap forward, but Pieterse said it was a project that would not really get off the ground in time for the event if the city failed to recognise key roleplayers like taxi drivers. “We can’t solve the problem by not treating them as equal partners,” Pieterse warned. And if the new transport system was rolled out for the World Cup, he predicted that it was unlikely that phases two to four would follow – the ones running through the poorest areas of the city . “There simply won’t be enough money he said. ,” Neither was anything being done to improve communitybased sports ahead of the World Cup. “Again, this was a perfect opportunity to get youth involved and to have set targets in place,” Pieterse said. “Facilities are being upgraded and the Grand Parade is undergoing a makeover, but what will become of these areas after the event? Nothing really .” Citizens needed to fight for a better social legacy project, but ultimately “the opportunity has already been missed with under a year to go to the event”. G The 2010 Lecture Series is presented by experts involved in the planning and implementation of national projects critical to the successful hosting of the 2010 World Cup. clayton.barnes@inl.co.za

CA_NWS_E1_190609_p08 C M Y K

8

FRIDAY JUNE 19 2009

NEWS

SA needs to find out why pupils fail, experts say
Calls for more effective teaching
RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporter

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ALMOST ALL South African children attend school regularly , yet underperform significantly in literacy and numeracy a new , national education report card has revealed. The fourth annual South African Child Gauge, published by UCT’s Children’s Institute and released yesterday, found that 96.5 percent of school-aged children attended an educational institution in 2007. That was up 1.5 percent from 2002. But Professor Shirley Pendlebury the director of the institute , and editor of the report, said the attendance numbers masked other big problems – including the 38 percent of 16- to 17-yearolds who had not completed Grade 9. “What happens when (children) get to school is a very different story she told the audi,” ence at the launch at the Cape Town Holocaust Centre. Of the report card, she said: “We’re drawing a distinction between physical access to education, and meaningful access. “The question is, what are the factors that enable children to learn? And what are the factors that impede learning?” The report card looked at eight factors to determine qual-

ity of education around the country including the prevalence of , libraries, sanitation, accessibility to schools, and performance on evaluations. Paula Ensor, UCT Dean of Humanities and a member of the panel discussing the report and what needs to be done to improve “meaningful” access to education, said teachers needed more specific curricula. “There is little evidence that teachers have a deep understanding of how young people learn numbers,” said Ensor, an expert in maths pedagogy . “We do lots of testing. We know they fail. There’s not enough research on why they fail.” Doron Isaacs, co-ordinator of Equal Education, a Khayelitshabased education advocacy group, said he was concerned about the lack of school libraries in the country The Child Gauge found . that only 7 percent of schools nationwide had libraries that were stocked with books. “There is no national policy on school libraries. It doesn’t exist,” Isaacs said, adding that teachers often tried to play the

role of librarians and spread themselves too thin. “Until we have a policy of remunerating librarians, we won’t have libraries.” Other panellists expressed disgust that 30 percent of schools were funded through a fee system. “Not only do we want it abolished, we want it outlawed,” said Allen Liebenberg, speaking on behalf of the National Association of School Governing Bodies. Liebenberg also said the country’s testing system was an “abomination”. The heavy emphasis on teaching for tests distracted from actual learning, he said. “You can’t fatten a pig by weighing it,” he said. While school attendance was high across the country the insti, tute’s report card found large variations in performance among the provinces. In Limpopo, only 9 percent of Grade 6 pupils achieved the benchmark for literacy, compared with 63 percent in the Western Cape. Pendlebury said she would be watching the new education ministry closely It was essential that . the government uphold children’s rights to education as mandated by the constitution and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Hijacking at school for deaf denounced
ESTHER LEWIS
Staff Reporter

EDUCATION MEC Donald Grant has condemned a hijacking that took place on the premises of Noluthando School for the Deaf in Khayelitsha, and is working on a strategy to improve safety at schools. The incident occurred at 6.30am on Wednesday, according to the school’s acting principal, Thandeka Mavuka, when a driver arrived to fetch the van so that he could start collecting

27 autistic pupils who attend the school. The school gates were apparently opened by security guards, but when the driver tried to leave, the gates were closed. As he got out of the van, four armed men held him at gunpoint. They took his keys, boarded the van and drove off. “He was trembling and so traumatised. I had to take him to the doctor,” said Mavuka. As a result, the 27 autistic children he was supposed to transport did not attend school

that day . Mavuka explained that the autistic children had to be transported apart from the rest of the pupils. They are now being picked up by another of the school’s buses, but this has meant that their arrival at school is delayed. Mavuka said what hurt the most was that the school had worked really hard to raise the funds to buy the van, valued at more than R200 000, late last year. “Why would anyone want to do this to us?” she asked.

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NEWS

SABC executives agree to forfeit raises ‘to improve pay offer to unions’ No-show
CAIPHUS KGOSANA
Political Bureau

SABC executives will forfeit pay increases this year in favour of giving more money to workers. Spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said it had been decided to take the money earmarked for executive pay increases and redirect it to improving workers’ salaries. He said this had allowed the SABC to adjust its pay increase offer to workers from 7 percent to 8.5 percent. “We felt that we were pre-

pared to take a zero-percent increase as executives so that we could fund the 1.5 percent extra that we are giving to them,” he said. But unions representing SABC workers have told Independent Newspapers that the revised offer is not adequate. Gallant Roberts, secretarygeneral of the Communications Workers Union, said the organisation would not allow the SABC to renege on the multi-term agreement entered into with unions. Roberts said they were now

waiting for a Labour Court decision on Thursday on whether workers could go on a legal strike. He said the union had given the SABC a programme of industrial action that would proceed immediately if the court ruled in the union’s favour. “We know there is a financial crisis at the SABC, but workers can’t be made to pay the price,” he said. Roberts said the union was yet to decide whether SABC workers should go on lunchtime pickets, hold demonstra-

tions or withdraw their labour completely . Hannes du Buisson, of the Broadcast, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union, said he did not believe that workers would impose a blackout on Confederations Cup matches. He said if the court ruled in their favour, unions would have to give the SABC 48 hours’ notice of their intention to strike. “The final will have taken place by that time,” he said. Meanwhile, all members of the SABC board, as well as

those who have resigned, are expected to appear before Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications tomorrow to give their account of the crisis at the public broadcaster. This comes as another board member, Nadia Bulbulia, tendered her resignation, making her the ninth member to quit the embattled board that the ANC, its alliance partners and the minister of communications want to see dissolved. Former chairwoman Khanyi Mkonza, businesswoman Gloria Serobe and

ANC plans its way back into power in Cape
Unity is non-negotiable: Skwatsha
ANDISIWE MAKINANA
Political Writer

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TWO MONTHS after losing the Western Cape to the DA, the ANC is plotting its way back into power and drafting a political strategy to win back some of the municipalities it lost to the ruling DA in the province. Among its plans are: dealing with internal divisions and factions; rebuilding ANC branches, especially in coloured communities; analysing the DA’s policies and exposing its “open opportunity society” system as “a slogan for the protection of existing relations of power and privilege”. But at the ANC’s provincial general council meeting in Kraaifontein yesterday, the party’s local leadership had its hands full as it struggled to control the highly charged meeting, which brought together all branches of the ANC in the Western Cape. Members of the ANC Youth

League repeatedly disrupted the meeting, first calling for the media to be removed from the venue and then demanding that the meeting’s credentials be presented before the day’s programme could proceed. The debate about whether it was important that the meeting’s credentials be presented took nearly an hour to be completed. The youth league’s provincial chairman, Siyazi Tyatyam, said later that the presentation of credentials before the meeting was not merely a procedural issue but a fundamental one, because yesterday’s meeting was a decision-making forum. “We can’t take a chance and proceed with the meeting, whereas there could be in at-

tendance people that are not supposed to be here,” Tyatyam said. In his address, ANC provincial chairman Mcebisi Skwatsha called for unity in the ANC, saying this was non-negotiable. “There is only one pressing matter for us to discuss today , one goal for us to achieve and that is to rebuild and to plan the demise of the DA in municipal elections in 2011.” To achieve this, the ANC would need to stop meeting in divisive caucuses, stop labelling and blaming each other, stop lobbying and jockeying for positions and favour. “We must bury factionalism today and we can’t start this difficult task without securing an agreement on this matter.” Skwatsha said the ANC needed a political strategy say, ing the provincial executive committee was finalising a document on building a broad front of opposition to the DA. “At the centre of such a

PROVINCIAL PLANS: ANC members from Western Cape branches gathered at the party’s provincial general council meeting in Kraaifontein yesterday to plan their organisation’s way forward after losing the province to the DA. PICTURE: CINDY WAXA
political strategy must be our unflinching commitment to non-racialism and gender equality . “Ultimately we must agree , that there has been a profound failure of non-racialism in the Western Cape.” Skwatsha said while the ANC retained its high proportion of the African vote, its share of the vote in the coloured communities, rural and Cape Metro, had seriously eroded, while the party had attracted “precious few white supporters”. “The reasons for this sorry state of affairs are many and varied, and require substantial unpacking and analysis.” Some reasons which he listed were factional divisions; hostile perceptions of both President Jacob Zuma and the post-Polokwane leadership created, he said, by the media; and the formation of Cope. Skwatsha warned that in developing a political strategy , the ANC needed to understand the DA and their “ideological bedfellows the ID” and should not underestimate the DA. “We have to define what the DA and its policies are. “Its so-called ‘open opportunity society’ is a slogan for the protection of existing relations of power and privilege and sought to roll back the rights of workers by supporting labour brokers and Export Processing Zones. “We need to understand, analyse and debate that (the fact that) the DA’s messages do find support in minority communities – one of which, the coloured community, is the majority in this province.” andisiwe.makinana@inl.co.za

Boss faces suspension over tender allegations
STAFF WRITER
THE WESTERN Cape’s public works and transport boss is fighting to stay in his position, because of a looming investigation into alleged tender irregularities in his department. Thami Manyathi was told by the provincial government on June 12 to motivate why he should not be suspended and given until Friday to respond. On Friday it was confirmed that Manyathi’s response was with Premier Helen Zille, who would make a decision about whether he should stay on in his post while she concluded an investigation. Officials have not said exactly why Manyathi faces suspension, but his department has been linked to several controversies around multimillion-rand tenders. One of the biggest was the awarding of a R91m 2010 transport contract to Americanowned company Games Transportation Systems Services (GTSS). It is alleged that few attempts had been made to ensure that there were no local companies that met the criteria for the contract, which was not put out to tender. The R91m tender is one of four being investigated by new Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle. Late last year, the provincial Treasury was asked by thenpremier Lynne Brown to investigate contracts between Manyathi’s department and four consulting companies: GTSS, Saha International (Pty) Ltd and local marketing companies Hip-Hop Media Lounge and BrandTalk. Manyathi’s department has also been grilled on other tenders. Last year the provincial standing committee on finance and economic development ordered himto disclose the names of private trusts that won a tender for the province’s integrated smart card payment system for trains, buses and taxis. The province’s acting director-general, Brent Gerber, said he could not divulge Manyathi’s motivation for staying on in his post. “It’s an internal process and I don’t think it’s fair to make that public,” he said. “There’s no time-frame for her (Zille) to make up her mind on the issue.” Zille would only say last week that there was prima facie evidence of “serious” irregularities involving tenders and consultants appointed by Manyathi’s department. She said those allegations would still have to be tested. Manyathi could not be reached for comment.

Probe ordered into R4.3m party for Zuma
CAIPHUS KGOSANA
Political Bureau

SOCIAL Development Minister Edna Molewa has asked the Special Investigations Unit to probe the release of R4.3 million to a KwaZulu-Natal businessman who gave a lavish preelection party for President Jacob Zuma. It was reported a month ago that the SASocial Security Agency (Sassa) had approved the release of the funds to Durban businessman Mabheleni Ntuli, who sponsored the party . Ntuli allegedly received R2.5m from the agency for the party and a further R1.8m to buy food parcels for villagers in

CA_NWS_E1_220609_p05 C M Y K
MONDAY JUNE 22 2009

5

Alison Gillwald – who appeared before the portfolio committee with Bulbulia on Thursday – are the only remaining board members. Portfolio committee chairman Ismail Vadi said yesterday that the committee wanted to hear the views of board members before deciding on the next course of action – which could include recommending the dissolution of the board. The Broadcast Amendment Act gives members of the National Assembly power to dissolve the board, if they feel

that it is not able to carry out its fiduciary responsibilities. Tiyani Rikhotso, a spokesman for Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda, said that, as the board had only three remaining members, it did not have any legal standing. “There are three board members remaining, the chairperson has stepped down and the deputy chairperson has resigned. From that position alone, it (the board) cannot take decisions and does not meet the requirements to remain a board,” he said.

ministry slammed by HRC
RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporter

THE Department of Social Development should explain why it failed to contribute to a recent round of hearings into the work it is doing to eradicate poverty by 2015, says the SA Human Rights Commission. The HRC is expected to send a letter this week to parliamentary Speaker Max Sisulu asking him to act against the department and every government department in the Free State because of their no-show at hearings earlier this month. HRC chief executive officer Tseliso Thipanyane said the commission had written to national and provincial departments late last year requesting progress reports on the realisation of economic and social rights. The reports are mandated by the country’s signing in 2000 of the UN Millennium Development Goals to eradicate poverty by 2015. So few departments responded that the HRC had to postpone its first round of hearings and sent a second request for contributions to hearings that took place between June 8 and 12. Neither the national Social Development Department nor the entire Free State provincial government had responded, Thipanyane said. Social Development’s Zanele Mngadi said his department had a “proud history” of complying with such requests. “There is, from our side, no indication of a request from the HRC. If indeed there was, then we humbly apologise and will discuss with its commissioners the way forward,” Mngadi said. Thipanyane called the response “nonsense”, saying the request for submissions had been put on the HRC’s website. “We’ve been doing this regularly for years. Everybody knows that,” he said. If the HRC was not satisfied with the Speaker’s response, Thipanyane said, he could recommend that the commission pursue criminal charges, or seek a declaratory order that would establish a ruling against negligent departments. richard.duchon@inl.co.za

KwaNxamalala, Zuma’s birthplace in KwaZulu-Natal. The DA spokeswoman on social development, Patricia Kopane, has asked the Public Protector to investigate why Sassa chief executive officer Feziwe Makiwane ordered the agency’s main service provider, Cash Paymaster Services, to release the money to a company owned by Ntuli. Guests at the party were entertained by gospel singer Deborah Fraser. Speaking to the Cape Argus in Parliament, Molewa said she had asked the Special Investigations Unit to probe if there was any wrongdoing by Sassa. Molewa pointed out, how-

ever, that the money was not meant for poverty relief but was disbursed by Cash Paymaster Services from its corporate social responsibility fund. Molewa said a departmental preliminary investigation into the matter had found ”nothing quite unbecoming” in the transaction. The department has pointed out that the corporate social investment fund has supported many projects in the past, including Christmas functions for senior citizens in Calvinia in the Western Cape, KwaZuluNatal Council of Churches’ poverty alleviation projects and HIV/Aids home-based care. Molewa said rooting out cor-

ruption in the departmentwas her top priority . She said there had been much improvement since her predecessor, Zola Skweyiya, had brought in the Special Investigations Unit to trace civil servants illegally benefiting from grants and to probe social grant-related fraud. “The picture has improved. There were instances where the child support grant was received by those who have (money), but many of them are now paying back the money ,” she said. Molewa said the investigations unit was working fulltime scrutinising all transactions related to social grants.

4

WEDNESDAY JUNE 24 2009

NEWS

ANC threatens city over tourism funding
Withdrawal from Cape Town Routes Unlimited breached the law, says Strachan
ANDISIWE MAKINANA
Political Writer

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THE ANC has threatened to refer the City of Cape Town to the Public Protector after it pulled its funding of Cape Town Routes Unlimited. The ANC’s spokesman on economic development and tourism, Garth Strachan, said the decision and the appointment of a parallel body to market the city went against a provincial tourism law. Strachan, who is the former MEC for economic develop-

ment and tourism, said legal opinion he had received while he was MEC was that the City of Cape Town’s withdrawal from the CTRU was in breach of the Western Cape Tourism Act. “As we speak, the law is being breached and I am going to refer the matter to the public protector and the public serv-

ice commission for investigation,” he said. Strachan warned his DA successor, MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde, that he had three options. “One is to seek a court injunction to force the city to abide by the tourism act, to which it was party when this act was formulated and passed,” he said. “Another is to begin a process to amend the legislation, while taking measures to ensure that the law is upheld.”

The third option was to refer the matter to the Intergovernmental Relations Framework to ensure that the city immediately reinstated its funding to CTRU, “and nominates members to the board as it is entitled to do under the law”. In May last year, the City of Cape Town withdrew its annual R24-million funding to CTRU and withdrew its two directors from the body . The city’s contribution accounted for almost half of the organisation’s annual oper-

ating expenditure. The city first gave notice of its intention to withdraw the funding in May 2007. The then-Mayco member for economic, social development and tourism, Simon Grindrod, said it was clear from feedback from the city’s two directors that the organisation was falling deeper into disarray . The city then appointed Cape Town Tourism to perform the destination marketing and visitor services for the city for three years until 2010.

Parties face off in Cape by-elections
LINDSAY DENTLINGER
Metro Writer

THE DA and the ANC are set to go head-to-head in five of seven by-elections to be held across the province today their first , contest at the ballot box since the April 22 elections. Five of the by-elections – two of which are in the metro – will be to replace former DA councillors who have since become members of the National Assembly and provincial legislature. Ward 70 in Durbanville, left vacant by the DA’s Cathlene Labuschagne, who is now a Member of Provincial Legislature (MPL), has automatically been awarded to the DA’s Andrea Crous, since no other party registered a candidate to contest a by-election. In Bellville’s Ward 9, the DA’s Mercia Kleinsmith vies to replace her husband Glen. Glen Kleinsmith, the city’s leading drug buster, was found hanged in his home at the end of April. The DA will be up against independent candidate Mary Carelse in this ward, and the ANC’s Neil Daniels. In Ward 14 in Kuils River, the DA’s Bert van Dalen is hoping to take over from his son Pieter van Dalen, who started the city’s Copperheads in an attempt to clamp down on metal theft, before becoming a member of the National Assembly . The ANC will be represented by Sibongile Mthamo. The DA is also hoping to

regain control over Ward 73, comprising the Meadowridge/Bergvliet area, following the departure of Debbie Schaefer, now a DA parliamentarian. The DA’s candidate will be Carol Bew, competing against independent candidate John Fortuin. The DA and the ANC will also fight it out alone in a ward each – in the Greater Hermanus area to replace the DA’s Mike Walters who is now an MPL, and in Plettenberg Bay (Bitou Municipality) to replace Donald Grant, the new Education MEC. The DA will be fielding Russel Booysen against the ANC’s Allan Berry . In George, son of MPL Eugene von Brandis, Eugene von Brandis jr, is hoping to take over from his father, vying against independent candidate Iona Kritzinger. The DA and ANC will have their toughest battle in Kannaland, where they will be up against three independent candidates and the National People’s Party The seat became . vacant after Kallie Baartman was expelled from the NPP . He will now be contesting the ward for the DA, against the ANC’s Daniel Esau, Andries Windvogel of the NPP , and other independent candidates Petrus Roodtman, who has represented both Icosa and the NPP in the past, Katrina Jacobs and Cornelius Strydom. lindsay.dentlinger@inl.co.za

GRIEVING: Nadine Jantjies’s mother Francina and sister Nasneen take comfort from one another at the memorial service for the little girl.

Show of support at slain Nadine’s memorial service
ZIYANDA SIDUMO
Staff Reporter

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WESTERN Cape dignitaries, family friends and the commu, nity of Wesbank packed the local primary school hall for an emotional memorial service for little Nadine Jantjies, the seven-year-old who was raped and murdered in the area last Monday . Last night, in the Hoofweg Primary School hall, Nadine’s mother Francina and her sister, Nasneen, 11, shed more tears for the young girl.

Among the dignitaries there to convey their condolences were Premier Helen Zille and Safety and Security MEC Lennit Max. The child was last seen at her home last Monday at about 11am. She went out to play with friends, but never returned. Her sister was among those who found her body the next night, after a frantic search. The child was half naked and lying behind the Wesbank High School. A post-mortem revealed she had died as a

result of being strangled. Tears flowed freely last night as words of sympathy were passed on to the devastated family . Zille embraced Nadine’s mother, offering her comfort and urging other community members to look out for each other’s children, and to stand together to fight crime. “We need each other to survive, and we have to fight crime together,” said Zille, adding that she was deeply saddened at the tragedy . “What has happened was

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The ANC’s threats come as the City of Cape Town and the provincial government have agreed to develop jointly a “sustainable solution” to marketing Cape Town and the Western Cape as a globally competitive tourism destination. Winde said there was a need for all spheres of government to work together so that an environment could be created for business and residents to work in partnership with them. “We have given the mandate to the officials to jointly develop a lasting solution for tourism marketing. It is important that the solution is able to withstand changes in political leadership.” The councillor responsible for economic development and tourism, Felicity Purchase, said the city would meanwhile continue to use Cape Town Tourism as an interim measure to provide destination marketing and visitor services. The time frame for developing the sustainable model was nine months, and the key focus was on how to best increase the number of visitors to Cape Town and the Western Cape, she said. “Ultimately we would like to , see the government provide an enabling environment for the tourism sector to grow and create more jobs in the economy ,” Purchase said. “It is therefore important for the proposed solution to provide business and other key stakeholders with an opportunity to contribute resources and participate in the decision-making.” andisiwe.makinana@inl.co.za

Hero could get city award for saving girl
ESTHER LEWIS
Staff Reporter

PICTURE: AYANDA NDAMANE

painful, and we felt we had to be with you. No one deserves this,” she said. Pastor Ronald Ruiters, who has counselled the family said , he was urging them to be strong. “They need to survive after all that has happened to them, and we’re trying to help them cope,” he said. Max told the service that the number of missing children in the Western Cape was alarming, and urged people to work with police since the culprits were often known to local residents.

“Our children go missing and get murdered every day , and we need people to work closely with the police,” he said. The funeral will be held on Saturday at the Hoofweg Primary School. A family friend who lived in the backyard of the Jantjies’s home was arrested and charged with the child’s rape and murder. He is still in police custody and is due to make his , second appearance in Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court this week. ziyanda.sidumo@inl.co.za

THE “ordinary hero” who saved a young girl from an alleged rapist has been nominated for Cape Town civic honours. Mayco member for safety and security J P Smith yesterday lauded Bernard Erasmus, 30, for his heroic act, and put his name forward for the award. “When you hold up people like Erasmus as an example to the rest of the community you , send the message that this is what people should be like,” said Smith. Erasmus downplayed his nomination. “I’m just glad I could help someone in need. I’m glad that I was at the right place, at the right time. I do feel good about that, “ he said. On Saturday Erasmus, who , lives in Somerset West, was on his way home from work when he saw a commotion beside a farm road on which he was travelling. A 13-year-old girl, whose clothes had been ripped from her body was screaming and , trying to fight off an attacker. Erasmus stopped his car and went to assist her. The attacker, armed with a knife, ran away but Erasmus , gave chase and wrestled away the knife. A 22-year-old man was later arrested and charged with rape. Erasmus said he did not consider himself a hero, and did what any “ordinary person” would have done. He said he had acted without thinking because he wanted to help the girl. Smith said such bravery deserved recognition. esther.lewis@inl.co.za

Desperately seeking manta ray’s lost tag
RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporter

WANTED: Grey missile-shaped object about the size , of your hand, with a bulb shape and a short antenna on one end. Known to possess valuable information on the whereabouts of one manta ray Last spotted . in the ocean, 10km off the coast, south of Durban. R5 000 reward. That’s the message from the Save Our Seas Foundation, a non-profit organisation aimed at researching and protecting the planet’s marine environment. And they’re serious about the reward. The foundation is searching for the valuable study tag that popped off a manta ray which researchers had been tracking in the Indian Ocean along the coast of South Africa and Mozambique. “It’s like a treasure hunt,” said spokeswoman Cheryl Samantha Owen, adding that the tag contained important data that had been accumulating for several months about how the manta ray lived, including where it swam, how deep it dived and the water temperatures which it preferred. Manta rays are listed as “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and little is known about their population ecology use of , critical habitat, movements or reproduction, all of which is vital to assess the state of the species and their protection. The tagged ray had produced some information, but most of it would only be accessible when the device was found. The tag was last located about 150km south of Durban and 10km offshore. Anyone finding it should telephone 079 717 9070. richard.duchon@inl.co.za

6

FRIDAY JUNE 26 2009

NEWS

Official told not to tout ‘report’ in Marais trial
Offers ‘inside info’ in accused’s name
ELLA SMOOK
Staff Reporter

A DEPARTMENT of Labour official has been warned to desist from flogging “inside information” on behalf of the man accused of stabbing and killing Stilbaai businessman Basie Marais. An e-mail from the government mailbox of Brian Lemmetjies was sent out to various media houses on Wednesday, offering “the full inside report” in the murder case of Marais, from “the main accused Mr Ricardo Piedt who are (sic) currently awaiting trial at the Buffeljags Correctional facility”. “This includes the physiologic (sic) report of Ms Marais and personal information from the main accused & inside court information and photos”. Ruby Marais, the wife of the deceased, is standing trial alongside Piedt, her former domestic worker Hester Afrika, and Afrika’s sister Elizabeth Lawerdien. Her husband was stabbed to death with a fishing knife in the early hours of October 7, 2006, but Marais has denied that she ordered the hit. She has maintained that she only wanted him to be given “a hiding” for the abuse she allegedly suffered at his hands. Marais was sent for observation at Valkenberg psychiatric hospital earlier this year and the case is set to resume on

WIDOW: Ruby Marais
August 11, when it is expected the Valkenberg report will be presented to the Swellendam Circuit Court. When the Cape Argus contacted the number provided with the e-mail offer of the “inside information”, the man who answered identified himself as Lemmetjies. He said he had recently spent three weeks incarcerated in the same cell as Piedt for “attempted robbery”. He said he and Piedt were now offering Piedt’s “true version of the incident”, despite the fact that he had already testified in court. Piedt told the court in August that he was never asked to murder Marais, but rather to take the rap for the murder at a price of R300 000, and that, on the night of the murder, his only contribution was to make the phone call that lured Basie Marais out of his home.

In an e-mail yesterday again , from the government mailbox of Brian Lemmetjies, he said he had received calls from “several newsagents”, and that he and Piedt had come to the conclusion that “if any of you guys are interested in buying this information you should sent (sic) me via e-mail how much you are willing to compensate him for this information”. However, it appears that neither will benefit financially as a result of selling Piedt’s “true version”, after Marais’s lawyers yesterday sent Lemmetjies notice that he was sailing close to another brush with the law. Dreyer and Dreyer Attorneys told Lemmetjies that if it was found that he was in possession of any of their client’s confidential information he would face a theft charge. At sentencing, it would also be brought to the attention of the presiding officer in the case, Judge Daniel Dlodlo, that Piedt was trying to profit from his involvement in it. The attorneys further noted that they would inform the Department of Labour of the abuse of its property . Lemmetjies could not be reached for further comment. The department’s spokesman, Page Boikanyo, confirmed Lemmetjies was employed at their Swellendam office and said the department would investigate the allegations. ella.smook@inl.co.za

NO QUEUES: The scene at the Nyanga Refugee Centre yesterday, where refugees arriving for documentation were surprised to find queues moving efficiently. The Cape High Court has ordered that the centre must be closed by September 30. PICTURE: SKYLER REID

Closure of refugee centre sparks concern
FRANCIS HWESHE and RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporters

NEWS that the Cape High Court has ordered the Department of Home Affairs to close the Nyanga Refugee Centre by September 30 has left refugees extremely concerned. Already worried about threats to their safety at the Nyanga venue, they say that, if rumours that the centre will be moved to Khayelitsha are true, they could be at greater risk. Burundian Selemani Charles, 36, said he had fled from violence in his home country eight years ago, and had had a temporary visa since 2001. The Bellville barber shop owner said he visited the Nyanga centre regularly to renew his visa, sometimes

sleeping outside for several days to get a good spot in the queue. Charles said rumours began circling yesterday that the centre would move to Khayelitsha. He and other refugees said they feared residents would become violent towards them if that was the case. “We don’t know what’s going to happen, but I don’t think this office will be safe until someone comes out to tell us what to do,” he said. Charles conceded that the centre had become more efficient since the Minister of Home Affairs, Nkosozana Dlamini-Zuma, had visited two weeks ago. But he added: “I don’t trust that it will last.” South African Charmine Abrams said she had waited more than eight hours outside

FF+ urges clampdown on police brutality
LAVERN DE VRIES
Crime Writer

Yengeni’s blood sample diluted, court told
JADE WITTEN
Court Reporter

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THE FREEDOM Front Plus has raised concerns that police brutality appears to be on the increase, based on an as yet unpublished Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) report. Spokesman Pieter Groenewald said the estimated 9 percent increase pointed to a serious problem with the evaluation and training of police members. “These members are also an embarrassment to other trustworthy and hard-working police members. “The figures also confirm why the faith the members of the public have in the police is declining,” he said in a media statement.
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Groenewald called on the police watchdog to be reinforced, so it could properly investigate all claims against police officers, and finalise outstanding investigations. According to him, the organisation had finalised only a little over half of its latest complaints, while almost 2 000 cases opened last year were still outstanding. ICD spokesman Tiyani Sambo said the figures were loosely based on a presentation given to a parliamentary portfolio committee. He would not confirm the statistics, saying that the

ICD was auditing them for publication. Community Safety MEC Lennit Max also declined to comment on the figures, saying that he would reserve comment until the final report was published. Meanwhile, the SA No Torture Consortium has called on the government to finalise the draft Bill to Combat Torture. According to figures presented by the ICD and released by the NGO, at least one third of detainees who die in police custody die of injuries sustained while in custody . “They report that these could have been inflicted by either police or co-detainees. “However, both constitute torture according to international conventions,” the group said in a statement.

It added that the ICD had received 20 complaints of torture and 739 complaints of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm between April, 2007, and March, 2008. “The ICD appears to have had limited impact on the investigation of abuses that occur in police cells, seemingly because the police appear to conduct internal investigations of these incidents, and because the ICD lacks resources to investigate properly the group charged. ,” It said amendments made to the draft Bill to Combat Torture would clarify issues of the prohibition of torture. The ICD is expected to publish its annual report in early August. lavern.devries@inl.co.za

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IT APPEARED former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni’s blood-alcohol sample in his drunk driving case was diluted, State witness Thulani Ntobela, deputy provincial commissioner for policing, has told the Parow Regional Court. Ntobela was testifying yesterday in the trial of former Goodwood police station commissioner Siphiwo Hewana, who is alleged to have ordered police officers to change the facts pertaining to Yengeni’s November 26, 2007 arrest. Ntobela told the court that on December 3 that year he called the laboratory where Yengeni’s blood sample was due to be examined, and was told that the container had not yet been opened as it appeared to have been tampered with. Laboratory officials said they needed a senior official to be present to open it, he said. He went to the lab the following day At the time, Nto. bela was the Western Cape head of detectives. Defence attorney Greg Duncan objected to Ntobela’s evidence, citing it as hearsay as he was the final State witness, and the court had not heard evi-

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CA_NWS_E1_260609_p06 C M Y K

Waitresses held in probe into card fraud
STAFF REPORTER
TWO waitresses at a restaurant in a Milnerton shopping centre and a man have been arrested on allegations of skimming credit cards. The two women, aged 32 and 33, and a 40-year-old man, face charges of fraud and of contravening the Electronic Communications and Functions Act. They were arrested about 3pm on Tuesday . They appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court yesterday and are to remain in custody until their next court appearance. The arrests came after the police, accompanied by forensic investigators from two banks, went to the restaurant after several problems had been reported. Allegations were that customers’ card details had been used for fraudulent transactions. At the time of their arrests, the two women were found to be in possession of electronic funds transfer slips. Police spokesman Inspector November Filander said that the women had led police to an apartment in Parklands, where the man was then arrested. The police found the man was in possession of a cardcloning device, white plastic, and numerous cloned credit cards. The man was also in possession of electronic funds transfer slips. Filander said that this integrated operation by the police and bank investigators should serve as a strong warning to waiters and other staff who intended carrying out similar schemes while working for restaurants. ziyanda.sidumo@inl.co.za

the centre yesterday with her boyfriend from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who needed to renew his papers. “If the closure of the office means people will get better service, great,” Abrams said, adding: “But if it means moving to Khayelitsha, I’m worried about their safety .” Nigerian Emmanuel Vincent, 33, believed the move would be a great relief to adjacent businesses, but that, if the centre had been run more efficiently it would not have been , a problem in the first place. “The problem has do to with official attitudes,” he said, adding that he was surprised at the efficiency of proceedings there yesterday . Citing security concerns for refugees, Vincent said the centre should rather be moved to the city centre.

Home Affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said yesterday that Dlamini-Zuma needed more time to consider the judgment. “At this stage we respect the judgment of the court,” he said. He declined to comment on what would determine the new site for the refugee centre. But it remained the view of the minister that “we need expansion of the services being offered (in Nyanga) to sites in the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape provinces”. Choosing a new site, he said, would involve feasibility and other studies. Asked about a time-frame, he said: “Soon.” Richard Sikakane, Nyanga centre manager, said he had no comment as he had only just heard about the court decision. francis.hweshe@inl.co.za

UNFAZED: Siphiwo Hewana, who is accused of tampering with evidence. PICTURE: MATTHEW JORDAAN
dence of a medical expert. Prosecutor Barry van den Berg argued that Ntobela should be allowed to testify as the State would call relevant medical experts to testify . Magistrate Elsa van Zyl allowed Ntobela to proceed. “They showed me the box containing the exhibit and

explained that the seal was hanging, and not knotted. “Inside the box, he (a lab official who was also present) lifted the glass tube containing the blood, but couldn’t say it was blood, but a red fluid. It didn’t appear to be blood to him,” Ntobela told the court. The sample was then taken to the Health Department for further analysis. “The test was done in my presence and the lady explained that the blood appeared to be that of a very sick old person, and she concluded that it had been diluted,” he said. Yengeni was arrested for drunk driving by Constable Charles Japhta and colleague Jeremy Voskuil, who were allegedly ordered to change the arresting time from after midnight to 9pm. Yengeni was subject to strict parole conditions at the time of his arrest, which prohibited him from drinking alcohol and driving after 10pm. He was acquitted of the charges in December. Hewana has pleaded not guilty to attempting to defeat the ends of justice, incitement to commit perjury and infractions of the Police Act. Cross-examination was to continue today . jade.witten@inl.co.za

Police search for missing girl, 14, last seen in city
STAFF REPORTER
MITCHELLS Plain police are looking for a 14-year-old Strandfontein girl who failed to arrive home on Wednesday afternoon. Fazlin Robertson was last seen about 4pm on Wednesday in the city centre. She is 1.6 metres tall, slender, of fair complexion, with hazel-green eyes, and has a scar on her forehead. She has shoulder-length dark brown hair, a sharp nose, thick lips and flat ears. She was wearing dark blue jeans, a brown jacket, black boots and a black-and-white scarf. Anyone with information should call Mitchells Plain police on 073 804 2000 or 021 370 1706

Nadine accused to stay in custody
BRONWYNNE JOOSTE
Staff Reporter

THE family of slain seven-yearold Nadine Jantjies was preparing for her funeral as the man accused of murdering and raping her was transferred from Bellville police cells to Pollsmoor Prison. The child’s mother Francina Jantjies, and her father Petrus Brand, missed the accused’s court appearance, having to hear the news later from a court orderly . The suspect appeared briefly in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s court yesterday where his case , was postponed for further investigation to August 3. Meanwhile, the child’s funeral is scheduled for tomorrow at the

Wesbank High School. Jantjies’s family spokesman Ronald Ruiters said they had been receiving support from the community, and encouraged people to “please keep this family in your prayers”. Outside the court, Ruiters remained by the couple’s side, who both declined to speak directly to the media. Protesters expressed anger that the suspect had appeared earlier than the time they had been told. Nadine went missing last Monday and her half-naked body , was found near a school, in dense bushes, the following day The . suspect, who had lived with the Jantjies family, was arrested shortly afterwards. bronwynne.jooste@inl.co.za

8

WEDNESDAY JULY 1 2009

NEWS

N2 Gateway and Joe Slovo residents march
Zille urged to mediate between residents and developer
RICHIE DUCHON, ANNA CLAIRE EDDINGTON and NINA JOUBERT
Staff Reporters

NEARLY 200 residents of the N2 Gateway flats and Joe Slovo informal settlement near Langa have marched on the provincial parliament, calling on Premier Helen Zille to mediate between the Gateway tenants and housing company Thubelisha Homes. Thubelisha managed the flats from 2006 until earlier this year when the newly created Housing Development Agency (HDA) took over. The residents chanted ”We want houses” and “Long live the spirit of the poor!” as they marched through the city yesterday waving palm leaves , and holding aloft placards that

read “No rent at N2 Gateway flats” and “If I die, my children will never have their home, why rent for life?” The leader of the N2 Gateway tenant committee, Luthando Ndadandi, delivered the memorandum to Zille. The N2 Gateway project has long been a source of controversy with a damning report by , the Auditor-General, introduced in Parliament in April, detailing economic mismanagement and other inefficiencies. The government has also been criticised for its housing allocation process. Yesterday’s march came against the backdrop of the Western Cape’s enormous housing deficit. Cape Town mayor Dan Plato recently acknowledged that the city had

400 000 families on a waiting list for housing, with another 16 000 being added each year. All this while only 8 000 homes were being built annually . Yesterday Ndadandi complained of “remote-control” management of the N2 Gateway flats by Thubelisha. “We want local government to control this,” he said, giving the thumbs-down to management “from Joburg”. Protesters, many of whom have refused to pay rent over the past two years, argued that Thubelisha had not addressed their problems. “We pay more than the quality of our houses,” said Sinclair Mbashae, an original resident of the N2 Gateway flats. The personal trainer and father of two said he was sup-

posed to pay R1 500 a month but had paid nothing for two years. He said his flat had water damage and mould, exacerbated by a lack of ventilation. Another resident, Elijah Congwana, said his flat had cracks and was falling apart. But Prince Xhanti Sigcawu, Thubelisha’s general manager and head of the N2 Gateway pilot project, said the marchers were “completely unfair” and that the march was politically motivated and timed to coincide with Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale’s budget speech yesterday . “On the rental issue, it’s a lie to say it’s exorbitant,” said Sigcawu, adding that each tenant went through an interview process to make sure rents were commensurate with fam-

ily size and income. “They signed contracts wherein they agreed to the rentals,” he said. Asked about criticism that Thubelisha had been unresponsive to complaints and did not have an office at the Langa flats, he said: “As we speak, all defects have been attended to.” After signing the memorandum, Zille said she and Western Cape Housing MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela would see what they could do to sort out the problems, even though the N2 Gateway was “not our project”. “As you know,” she said, “we were kicked off.” The City of Cape Town was denied acreditation to roll out N2 Gateway houses by the national government while Zille was still mayor. richard.duchon@inl.co.za

CA_NWS_E1_010709_p08 C M Y K
‘GIVE US HOUSES’: Residents from the N2 Gateway flats and Joe Slovo informal settlement protest over what they say are high rents and bad living conditions. PICTURE: HENK KRUGER

Warning over nuclear power station report
JOHN YELD
Environment & Science Writer

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ANY ATTEMPT by Eskom to expand the current environmental impact assessment (EIA) of its proposed new nuclear power station at Bantamsklip, to take in three new nuclear facilities along the South African coastline, will constitute a “critical flaw” in the process, a consultant for an association opposing the project has warned. And Paul Slabbert also says it is of “great concern” that, because of the scale of the proposed nuclear facility at Bantamsklip near Pearly Beach, the national environment department has allowed Eskom to do separate EIAs for this project, without requesting an overall strategic study for the region. Another EIA is under way for required powerlines for this facility . Slabbert pointed to an admission by the department in a television programme that it had made a similar mistake at Saldanha Bay, where it allowed Transnet to apply for ad hoc assessments relating to port developments, without properly considering the overall cumulative environmental impact, or the parastatal’s long-term strategic objectives for the region. “It is imperative that cumulative impact that involves both the (proposed nuclear power station) site and transmission (lines at Bantamsklip) be assessed, and presented to the public in a combined or strategic assessment application,” Slabbert told his client, the Strandveld Tourism and Conservation Association, in a letter last week. The association is an organisation formed recently to oppose construction of a new nuclear power station at Bantamsklip, a near-pristine piece of coastline east of Danger Point. It has

about 250 members who are landowners, residents or members of local organisations. In a 19-page response to Eskom’s application for a revised plan of study for the EIA of the proposed nuclear power station and associated infrastructure, the association states: “We are responsible citizens, not necessarily anti-nuclear or anti-development, but are of the opinion that to consider Bantamsklip as a potential site for a nuclear power station is illconceived from an environmental, ecological and socio-economic perspective.” Slabbert was commissioned to provide technical input for the association’s submission. In another development around the contested nuclear project, a motion by ACDP MP Cheryllyn Dudley was placed on the order paper in the National Assembly yesterday , but did not come up for debate. The motion calls on the government to “seriously consider the concerns of people, the impact of the nuclear proposal on tourism in the area, and the impact on the region in general”. It notes that the proposed nuclear station site is “in the magnificent Whale Coast area and southernmost tip of Africa where there is a delicate and harmonious balance between human settlement, tourism and natural environment”. It “acknowledges that if plans proceed as proposed, concerned residents and environmentalists believe it would be disastrous for the region”. john.yeld@inl.co.za

Small businesses face eviction over rent arrears
SANDISO PHALISO
Special Correspondent

ABOUT 50 small businesses at Philippi’s Eisleben Business Park (EBP)are facing eviction for failing to pay rent. The business park was set up to assist disadvantaged entrepreneurs but has been plagued by management problems and owes the city about R1.6 million in arrears. Tenants, organised under the Kuyasa Eisleben Business Park Committee, say they have not been paying rent because they are unhappy at rent hikes and working conditions at the park. Tenant representative Lulama Hlaphezulu said about 50 tenants received eviction letters from the City of Cape Town last month. Hlaphezulu, who runs an upholstery business from the park, said tenants were refusing to move and had not been paying rent because of complaints about the size of their stalls, leaking roofs and unreliable electricity supply She said “bogus manage. ment” had also doubled monthly rents from R340 to R700, which tenants could not afford. Tenant Bantu Kwelilanga, who runs a sewing business, said he had a family to feed. With the rental increase and the threat of eviction, he may no longer be able to put food on the table. “We have the right to open businesses and generate income for our

families, and the responsibility to pay rent, but the stalls need to be taken care of,” he said. The park is owned by the Philippi East Development Initiative (PEDI), a Section 21 nonprofit company established in 1998, which acquired the park through grant funding from the provincial government. The city is a member of the initiative. In April, the city’s portfolio committee on economic, social development and tourism dealt with a report that recommended an additional R300 000 in funding for the PEDI to pay for a turnaround strategy manager for the business park. This was in addition to R150 000 already provided. Referring to the “dire financial situation” of both the park and the initiative, the report said that during the preceding 24 months, the facility had not been well managed, prompting the appointment of a manager in May 2007 to get it back onto a sustainable footing. “Due to lack of expertise and mismanagement, a very desperate situation developed over the past few years at EBP Many tenants were (and still . are) not paying their monthly rentals, and subsequently the EBP is more than R1 600 000 in arrears.” The city’s executive director for economic, social development and tourism, Mansoor Mohamed, said the R300 000 for the turnaround management had been approved. New management had been appointed about a month ago. – West Cape News

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NEWS

New Robben Island boss faces rocky ride
Minister yet to brief Bredekamp
BRONWYNNE JOOSTE
Staff Reporter

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ROBBEN Island’s new interim boss claims he has no knowledge of what led to the mass resignations at the institution, and has disclosed no concrete plans on how he plans to rescue the embattled heritage site. At a press conference yesterday, Professor Henry Bredekamp said he not received a brief from Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana on the events leading to the resignation of former interim chief executive officer Seelan Naidoo, along with the entire Robben Island Museum Council in May . Bredekamp said he “didn’t have a picture” of the island’s financial situation, adding that he only knew “there was an audit going on”. When asked about the key areas of concern on the island, he said the media had portrayed the heritage site as “problematic”. Bredekamp, who will remain the chief executive of Iziko Museums, started at the island last Friday. He is expected to hold his position there for three months, spend-

ing at least two days a week on the island. Xingwana has tasked him with ensuring service delivery and stabilising operations. “Where there’s smoke… there may be something. You could also try to blow up that whole thing. It is unwise to start off on a negative note,” Bredekamp said. He had not been in contact with any of the former council members, but said he would ask for a report on what led to the mass resignations. “I haven’t had access to a report and it would be preposterous for me to assume what happened. I was not here at that time.” Although his brief from the ministry was to “stabilise operations”, Bredekamp did not identify problem areas yesterday . He said he had noted no “serious problems” during the past few days. “There are

normal operational problems but not of such a nature that I should be concerned,” he said. But Bredekamp did say he had been employed to ensure there “won’t be a repetition of the unstable situation”. Although he admitted to accepting the job “with trepidation”, Bredekamp, who lives in Glenhaven with his wife and daughter, said he would “not get bogged down in the negative”, but would instead opt for a “solution-driven” approach. “I am still in the honeymoon period, and I want to see how long I can extend this. If I start with low morale, how can I expect staff to be inspired?” He will be supported by an interim council, including three senior arts and culture officials, one of whom is former acting chief executive Vusithemba Ndima. Ndima acted for just three weeks, but Bredekamp said this only happened because he was out of the country . Next week Bredekamp travels to Australia for the Inclusive Museum Conference, an arrangement made before he took on his new job. On restructuring plans for

‘HONEYMOON’: Robben Island’s new acting boss, Professor Henry Bredekamp, who has been tasked with stabilising the situation on the island. PICTURE: MATHIEU DASNOIS
Robben Island, he said he was not aware of the exact details. He would have discussions with the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union on his return. Nehawu spokeswoman Suraya Jawoodeen said the union did not doubt Bredekamp’s abilities. “We’re keen to know what he is going to do in the next few months. We want the site to be preserved, to be functional and to have proper working conditions there.” The union had been urging the department for reasons for the resignations, but said it did not hold Bredekamp accountable for these explanations. “He is new. We can’t raise these issues with him. We will be seeking these answers from the ministry said Jawoodeen. ,” The union’s main concern with the department was when the permanent council would be in place. It was appealing to the department to co-opt a labour member to the council.

NGOs applauded at July 4 party Accused tried to slit wife’s throat,investigator tells court
RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporter

SOUTH African community organisations were lauded for the work they do among the country’s poor, as young South Africans of the Amy Biehl Foundation danced and sang at a celebration of US Independence Day . The main hall of the US Consulate in Cape Town was decked out with red, white and blue balloons and banners covered with stars and stripes last night to celebrate the day commemorated tomorrow. In recognition of South Africa as a host country of the consulate, youth of the Amy Biehl Foundation performed traditional African songs and dance to open the event. About 50 members of the Christel House Choir sang the

South African and American national anthems at the commemoration of America’s declaration of independence from the British in 1776. The celebration last night was meant to be a “salute to those who care”, said US Consul General Alberta Mayberry . Mayberry thanked several US-founded and -funded NGOs for exhibiting their work at the event and recognised their contributions to health and education in South Africa. “To whom much is given, much is required,” Mayberry said. She talked about her “sincerest appreciation” for South African-based community organisations. “(Their work) is so much more than our little bit of (US) money can match,” she said, adding in an interview after

her speech, “these communitybased organisations didn’t wait for America to come to town to help children in need”. Western Cape Premier Helen Zille was on hand to celebrate America’s proud heritage. “The US pioneered the multi-party democracy,” she said. “I’ve read a lot about the founding fathers and I find them inspirational.” Several Americans attending the event said they were relieved to be celebrating the Fourth of a July under a new US president. “I’ve been in South Africa for the entire eight years of the Bush administration… I don’t have to pretend I’m a Canadian anymore,” joked Ben Williams, who has lived in South Africa since the mid-1990s.

JADE WITTEN
Court Reporter

AN INVESTIGATING officer has told the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court how an Athlone man walked into his wife’s place of work and slit her throat before attempting to set her alight. It is alleged that Abdul Rudolph slit the throat of his wife, Firdous Fortune-Rudolph, and doused her with petrol in the kitchen of Morkels furniture store at N1 City Mall, where she worked. Inspector Anton Abraham, testifying in Rudolph’s bail application yesterday relayed , the events that unfolded at around 2pm on April 29. He said Rudolph, 30, entered the store to speak to his 25-yearold wife. The couple then went to the kitchen where he asked

her “if she didn’t love or want him anymore”. Minutes later, Abrahams told the court, a knife was produced and he slit her throat. He then poured petrol from a five-litre bottle over his wife, before attempting to set her alight with his lighter. But, as this took place, two of Fortune-Rudolph’s colleagues stormed into the kitchen and shoved him aside. They rescued her and rushed her to hospital. Abrahams testified that Rudolph then knelt on the kitchen floor and slit his own throat. Later he drove off. Mall security guards gave chase and found him unconscious at the wheel of his car. He was admitted to hospital. Both Rudolph and his wife were reportedly in a critical condition, taking at least three

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Gender equity lacking in key posts in W Cape
BRONWYNNE JOOSTE
Staff Reporter

WOMEN have no key representation in most of the Western Cape’s government and social structures, according to a national gender equity network. Sonke Gender Justice Network said gender equity was virtually absent in many institutions in the Western Cape, painting a bleak picture in a province with such high rates of violence against women and children. It said the situation played to attitudes of disrespect towards women. Provincial network head Patrick Godana said most men initially viewed gender equity as women’s rights issues. There was also an entrenched belief that men were sole heads of the household, as figures of authority and financial providers, he said. In a bid to change these perceptions, the network is hosting awareness programmes across the country . Godana said apart from the all-male provincial cabinet in the Western Cape, most power structures in the province were also male-dominated. “Leaders should try to lead by example. They must show they mean business about gender equality This isn’t happen. ing in government, our churches and the judiciary. Women cannot just be windowdressing. “A lot must be done in the Western Cape,” he urged. The situation was particularly alarming in light of the growing number of child murders, and an increase in sexual assaults and rapes. “When we see the high rates of rape and missing children

cases going on, most times men are the culprits. This worries me, it makes me ashamed to be a man.” Another concerning trend was the one, common in the townships, of lesbian women being raped to “show them how to be real women”, Godana said. The network called on the authorities to address the issue. Network staff and volunteers visit the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court each time such a case appears, calling for “justice to be expedited”. Another imbalance the network noted in its research was the gender imbalance at local clinics. “The majority of the people there are women. There is the belief that sexual health is a woman’s responsibility Godana ,” said, adding that this led men to see going to a clinic as a sign of weakness. “In this day and age of HIV/ Aids, this cannot be happening.” The network has head offices in Gauteng and Cape Town, with member organisations across the country It’s . One Man Can campaign involves men across the country discussing issues like domestic violence, women’s rights and reducing the spread and impact of HIV/Aids. Staff interact with individuals, then with focus groups, with the goal of establishing community action teams. This is happening in Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Mandalay . Godana said the network also researched laws relating to issues such as domestic violence, and measured how effectively they were being enforced. bronwynne.jooste@inl.co.za

SUPPORT: Fatima Fortune, mother of Firdous Fortune-Rudolph, at the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court PICTURE: AYANDA NDAMANE
weeks to recover. FortuneRudolph sustained injuries to her face, neck and hands. The accused, who yesterday sat in court wrapped in a blanket in a wheelchair, with a nurse at his side, has since the alleged incident suffered two heart attacks and one stroke, a doctor’s report confirmed. The court also heard Rudolph had a separate case of attempted murder and rape of a former wife pending in the

Wynberg Regional Court. He had allegedly choked and then raped the woman in 2005 and was later released on R2 000 bail. Abrahams also testified to an interim protection order Fortune-Rudolph had secured against the accused in the month before the attempted murder. Abrahams said Rudolph should not be granted bail as he had violated the conditions of the order which prohibited him from physically, emotionally and verbally abusing his wife, harassing her or entering her place of work. Abrahams also referred in court to a petition, signed by close to 10 000 community members, which opposed bail. He said his safety could not be guaranteed if he was released. The bail hearing continues. jade.witten@inl.co.za

Naas try for maintenance
FORMER Springbok Naas Botha yesterday faced his own son in the Pretoria Maintenance Court, when Francois Jooste, 21, applied for maintenance. Jooste is Botha’s son from a relationship with a woman he did not marry He paid maintenance . until he turned 18. After school the son went with his mother to the US as she married an American, but later returned to South Africa. As Jooste was no longer a minor, the first-year computer engineering student could bring his own application for maintenance. His lawyer, Nikki Mitchell, said Jooste, although not a minor, was eligible for maintenance until he was self-efficient and independent, but, as he was a student, he needed maintenance for his studies and to contribute to his living costs.. – Staff reporter

NEWS

Scopa condemns officials’testimony on Gateway housing project
RICHIE DUCHON and NATASHA PRINCE
Staff Reporters

THE STANDING Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) abruptly adjourned a hearing regarding a damning report on the N2 Gateway housing project, calling testimony by government representatives “completely unsatisfactory”. Chairman Themba Godi ordered the officials from the

national and provincial departments of Human Settlement and the City of Cape Town to “go back and do their homework”. “I think the report needs to be re-read by officials and they need to come to a joint response…We cannot and should not continue this hearing,” Godi said. He added that there had been no depth and consistency to the responses given. The hearing yesterday

was called after an auditor-general’s report found the N2 Gateway Project was “not managed economically, efficiently and effectively”. The project was launched in 2004 as part of then President Thabo Mbeki’s “Breaking New Ground: A Comprehensive Plan for the Development of Sustainable Human Settlements”. The N2 Gateway was intended to create permanent affordable housing for the

about 20 000 residents living in shacks at Joe Slovo off the N2 and other informal settlements in Cape Town. The report found that the national and provincial Departments of Human Settlements, with city officials, had not secured enough funding or land for the project before starting construction. In addition, the report found that the relevant spheres of government had not properly identified

recipients for the new houses and that a comprehensive business plan had not been developed before the project began. It cited discrepancies regarding whose job it was to create the business plan in the initial memorandum of understanding (MoU), which specified the roles and responsibilities of the local, provincial and national government. The business plan was finally approved in April 2008.

Printers take Cope to court over unpaid bill
Claims follow key resignations
STAFF REPORTERS
A LOCAL printing business is suing Cope for R226 166 which it claims failed to pay them for work done ahead of the April 22 elections. This Cape High Court action comes after yesterday’s news that one of its leaders, deputy president, Lynda Odendaal had resigned from the party, and elections head Simon Grindrod had resigned from his post. According to the summons served on Cope at its Braamfontein offices in Johannesburg last month, the business, Print-Active CC, owned by wellknown Cape Town guitarist Sedick Khan, did printing work for the party from February 13 to March 12. Print-Active CC said sent an invoice to Cope in March in which it detailed the amounts owed to it. But after Cope failed to respond, Print-Active’s lawyers, Swartz Hess Attorneys and Conveyancers, sent Cope a letter advising it that the party could refer the matter to a debt counsellor, the consumer court or an ombud. The summons was served and received by a receptionist on June 25. The party has until Friday to dispute the claim, and defend the action by filing responding papers. Cope’s national spokesman, Phillip Dexter said he was

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unaware of the summons. Meanwhile, Cope’s general secretary Charlotte Lobe, said , it regretted Odendaal’s decision to resign from the party and as parliamentary MP . Grindrod last night told the Cape Argus that Cope’s choice of Allan Boesak as its premier candidate for the Western Cape in the elections was one of a litany of reasons he had decided to resign. Grindrod, a former city councillor and mayoral committee member representing the ID, had resigned from that party to join Cope. He blamed the party for ignoring democratic processes in electing its leadership, saying he no longer wanted to be part of such an executive. Grindrod said members had not endorsed Boesak’s appointment as the party’s premier candidate and that the decision had been taken by the executive without consultation with members. “I believe it is widely accepted that the appointment of Boesak as Western Cape provincial premier candidate cost Cope dearly The point is . that no democratic

consultation with party members occurred on these important matters. Despite his significant contribution to the struggle, he was clearly not the choice of potential Cope voters or donors,” said Grindrod. Similarly the appointment , of Reverend Mvume Dandala as the party’s presidential candidate, also without consultation with Cope’s members, was a “’monumental error”. This after a party congress in Bloemfontein in December had chosen Mosiua Lekota as its president. After Grindrod tendered his resignation from the national working committee and national executive committee yesterday, he said he would remain an ordinary Cope member in the hope that it would, in future, follow democratic processes in the election of its leadership. He would now be “job hunting like many other South Africans”. Grindrod also blamed Cope first deputy president Mbhazima Shilowa of causing “instability and confusion” in the party and accused him of pro, moting infighting in the party . Shilowa replied by SMS last night that he would only be able to comment once he heard what Grindrod had said after the meeting of Congress National Committee – the party’s highest decision-making structure– on Friday .

UBUNTU: Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, speaks at the launch of the first Nelson Mandela Day which will be celebrated on July 18 – the elder Mandela’s birthday. Inkosi Mandela urged South Africans to dedicate 67 minutes – equal to the number of years Nelson Mandela fought apartheid – on that day to helping the less fortunate. PICTURE: MATTHEW JORDAN

‘Children sent to have sex with illegal miners’
FOUZIA VAN DER FORT
Staff Reporter

CHILDREN are being smuggled underground to have sex with illegal miners who live and work in disused mine shafts, says the director-general for the Department of Mineral Resources, Advocate Sandile Nogxina. Nogxina was presenting a departmental report to a public hearing on illegal mining at parliament yesterday . Johnny Ramrock, secretary for the portfolio committee of

mining, told the Cape Argus this was the first the committee had heard of underground sex work involving children. Last month 86 bodies were recovered after an underground fire broke out in Harmony Gold’s disused Eland Shaft at Welkom in the Free State. and more than 300 illegal miners were arrested. Harmony Gold spokeswoman Marian van der Walt told the portfolio committee that illegal miners lived underground for many months and many employed the services of

The Department of Trade & Industry (the dti) has initiated a review of Bilateral Investment Treaties (a.k.a Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investment Agreements) entered into by the Republic of South Africa since 1994 to date. The objective of the review is to make recommendations to Cabinet in respect of the policy and legal considerations which will impact on any future decisions taken by the executive in respect of the protection and promotion of investments, both from an inward and outward foreign direct investment perspective. After extensive consultation with governmental stakeholders, the dti has developed a draft policy review document which it is now seeks comment on from the general public. In order to access the document and comment thereon, please refer to the dti website at www.thedti.gov.za. For further enquiries and/or hard copies of the document, please contact the official mentioned below. Please note that all comments must be received in writing by no later than 24 July 2009 and must be submitted to: Sureiya Adam Email: sadam@thedti.gov.za Fax: 012 394 2744 Tel: 012 394 1744

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News

Scopa member Roy Ainsley said the MoU was “very badly drafted” and asked who was responsible for drafting it. Department of Human Settlements director-general Itumeleng Kotsoane said: “There is work that has been done to rework the memorandum of understanding. ” Godi asked why the parties were still discussing a reworked MoU 12 months after the report was released and asked when it

would be completed. Kotsoane said it would be completed in two months. Scopa members were not pleased with responses from government and called for a recess. Godi returned to close the hearing. He said the decision to adjourn was “not taken lightly” but that government’s responses were “contradictory and evasive”. richie.ducho@inl.co.za natasha.prince@inl.co.za

BRIEFING
Battle-readiness hearings in secret
THE DEFENCE force will finally brief Parliament on its troops’ combat readiness behind closed doors, after ANC MPs rejected an open debate. The ANC and DA fought during a parliamentary committee debate over whether MPs had the right to question the military operations publicly with the ANC MPs citing , national security considerations. The committee had earlier written to the SA National Defence Force saying Parliament demanded a full briefing on the state of the troops. Defence secretary Tshepe Motumi wrote back to the committee warning that an open briefing could compromise national security .

ANC olive branch on new SABC board
THE ANC has promised to appease its furious alliance partners by consulting them “thoroughly” when a permanent SABC board is selected. The ruling party’s chief whip, Mathole Motshekga, admitted that the process to appoint the interim board was defective. However, Cosatu was still sulking last night, demanding to know why the ANC had ignored its preferred candidates. The National Assembly approved the interim board yesterday following weeks of intense debate, confrontations, infighting and accusations that resulted in the dissolution of the previous board.

sex workers. “We (have) come to know that children are involved in this process,” she said. Van der Walt could not elaborate on how often and how many sex workers were being smuggled underground, but said police were dealing with the situation. In recent months more people had been arrested and disciplinary action had been taken because of the vigilance of police and security officials. The Harmony Gold presentation included graphics of

messages left by alleged illegal miners warning the company to limit security underground. The portfolio committee was also shown photographs of food being strapped to miners about to descend shafts. Apparently a loaf of bread can cost up to R200 underground. The public hearings come after mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu had vowed to crack down on illicit mining. Labourers and mining unions were due to have their say today .

NEWS

‘Opportunists wanted Lekota gone’
SIBUSISO NGALWA
Political Bureau

Judge lambastes cops over Former Cope deputy president hints that Mbeki may have been behind ANC split flop cases
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FORMER Cope second deputy president Lynda Odendaal today accused the party’s first deputy president, Mbhazima Shilowa, of being part of an “opportunistic” faction set on removing party leader Mosiuoa Lekota. Odendaal made the comments to Cape Talk’s John Robbie. She said the party lacked

vision and, apart from Lekota, the leadership was weak. Odendaal, who quit the party and her parliamentary position on Tuesday also insin, uated that former president Thabo Mbeki may have been an “architect” of Cope.

Giving her reasons for leaving, Odendaal pointed to a memo written by former Cope head of elections Simon Grindrod. She said the memo, detailing the party’s weaknesses, had “hit the nail on the head”. She also said the issues raised by Grindrod’s predecessor Mlungisi Hlongwane – who claimed that the party was being led from outside by a “Xhosa cabal” – were true. Hlongwane returned to the

ANC just before the elections. “I haven’t heard anybody coming out in support of Simon Grindrod’s report. Sadly Simon has hit the nail on , the head. Sadly when Mlungisi , Hlongwane resigned, the issues that were in the press at that point in time were quite true.” Odendaal said she had stayed with the party in the hope of helping to build it. She also claimed that there was a plot, involving Shilowa, to remove Lekota. Cope leaders,

including Lekota, have repeatedly denied this. “I was quite shocked after the conference in December, when I was approached by individuals who were saying: ‘we must remove this old man (Lekota)’. Terror is one the greatest of leaders, he is the most visionary individual. “But, sadly there were other , opportunistic individuals… (who) changed his vision.” Pressed to say whether Shilowa was one of those,

Illegal miners ‘trafficked into SA’
FOUZIA VAN DER FORT
Staff Reporter

Commission slams ‘the abuse of market power’
GERSHWIN WANNEBURG
Business Writer

A PARLIAMENTARY portfolio committee has heard how men are trafficked from Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Mozambique to work as illegal miners in South Africa. Representatives from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the South African National Civic Organisation and trade union Solidarity attended a second day of public hearings in parliament’s portfolio committee on mining yesterday . Illegal mining grabbed the headlines last month when 86 bodies of illegal miners were recovered after an underground fire broke out in Harmony Gold’s disused Eland Shaft at Welkom in the Free State. NUM’s secretary for health and safety Eric Gcilitshana said the majority of the men killed in last month’s fire were from Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Mozambique. ”The escalating gold price and the high rate of unemployment has led to many risking their lives to works as illegal miners,” Gcilitshana said. More than 50 000 people have lost their jobs in the mining industry since the end of the third quarter last year. According to the union’s report, illegal mining was estimated to cost the country some R5.6 billion in lost revenue last year.

THE COMPETITION Commission wants to root out anticompetitive practices among the country’s biggest supermarkets before it completes an investigation into the industry , the watchdog body’s deputy commissioner says. Tembinkosi Bonakele said the behaviour of retailers formed part of a bigger national crisis. “We must start perhaps by making this bold statement: there is a crisis in our agricultural markets,” he told parliament’s portfolio committee on agriculture, fisheries and forestry yesterday . “There is a big crisis of price-fixing and abuse of market power,” Bonakele said. Bonakele fielded questions in Parliament yesterday on how authorities can play a bigger role in addressing the factors behind inflation. One criticism was that a Food Price Monitoring Committee set up at the height of run-away inflation had done little to stem prices. Another was that fines that the commission levelled against companies went to the National Treasury and not toward measures to contain inflation. Bonakele said that the source of price-fixing was partly a result of the deregulation of the domestic agricul-

tural industry, which had allowed a few dominant players to emerge. He said the commission hoped to wrap up the probe into supermarkets by the end of next year and counted on submissions from the public, suppliers and supermarkets. Bonakele listed other investigations that had uncovered price collusion in the dairy, bread, poultry and fertiliser industries. The commission announced last week that it would add leading supermarket chains to that list. The investigation follows an outcry over the fact that consumer prices have not fallen in line with lower petrol and other commodity prices. Between January 2000 and May this year, the price of a 700g loaf of brown bread had increased by about 133 percent from just less than R3 to more than R7, according to figures presented by Bonakele. However, the price of wheat, used in the production of bread, had increased by about 100 percent on the SA Futures Exchange. Retailers have denied any wrongdoing and welcomed the investigation. But the commission has said it found evidence that rebates and other measures imposed on suppliers may have forced many out of business and pushed up prices. gershwin.wanneburg@inl.co.za

WINDING DOWN: Thubelisha representatives Prince Xhanti Sigcawu and Mano Pillay face parliamentary portfolio committee members yesterday regarding the closure of the housing group in charge of the N2 Gateway project. PICTURE: BRENTON GEACH

Thubelisha ‘not solely to blame for housing mess’
RICHIE DUCHON and NATASHA PRINCE
Staff Reporters

PROJECT managers Thubelisha Homes should not be held solely responsible for massive problems with the N2 Gateway Project, says Nemhle Dambuza, chairwoman of parliament’s standing committee on human settlements. Thubelisha Homes is the government-appointed housing authority that has been in charge of the project for the past three years. The unfinished housing scheme was

meant to provide permanent, affordable housing to thousands of residents of Cape Town’s informal settlements. It has been bogged down in red tape and misunderstandings between the three spheres of government involved. Since Thubelisha ran out of money last year, a new national housing agency has been preparing to take over. The portfolio committee heard that Thubelisha had yet to place at least 40 remaining employees before its planned shut-down on July 31.. It also emerged that Thubel-

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Odendaal replied: “Unfortunately as much as he denies it, , he is part of that faction.” Grindrod’s memo had also cautioned against Cope leaders worshipping Mbeki. When asked about this, Odendaal said: “There are architects in the backing of this thing… it’s like in the computer industry: you always see the sales guy but you never , really see the architects.” Robbie asked: “Are you saying that Thabo Mbeki is an

architect of Cope?” Odendaal replied: “I…would not go as far as to say that he is… but one has to look at what happened in Polokwane. If you are a bright and intellectual bunch of people you would… have a back-up plan.” Odendaal, a former businesswoman, said she would stay in politics, but it was too early to say where she was going. Shilowa was not available for comment.

SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI and CARIEN DU PLESSIS
Political Bureau

isha had not completed negotiations to transfer ongoing housing projects to provincial authorities. The company also needed to finalise the transfer of Thubelisha management of the N2 Gateway Project to the Housing Development Agency . . Questions were raised about the cabinet’s refusal to approve mandates that resulted in the treasury’s refusal to fund Thubelisha’s management of the project. Dambuza said Thubelisha should not be “demonised”. “Thubelisha has not been the only contributor to this

mess,”she said. “It is clear that environmental assessments were not done. There (are) a lot of inconsistencies.” Some committee members raised concerns that politics was getting in the way of the Gateway project. Another issue was sub-letting and high rentals concerning Phase One of Joe Slovo. Prince Xhanti Sigcawu, Thubelisha general manager for the Western and Eastern Cape, assured the committee that they were addressing the problem. richie.duchon@inl.co.za

GIVEN the high rate of awaiting trial suspects, it seems police measure their performance on the number of arrests, and not convictions, says a prisons inspecting judge. Judge Deon Van Zyl of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services was briefing a parliamentary portfolio committee yesterday . He painted an ugly picture of the state of the awaiting trial prisoners and the police’s inability to crack cases, thus prolonging the detention of inmates – some facing minor charges. He questioned the way magistrates allowed unnecessary postponements. Judge Van Zyl told the multiparty committee that he was certain that out of the 50 000 awaiting trial prisoners, 40 000 would be released because of lack of evidence. The judge said that out of the prison population of 165 000 inmates, 50 000 of those were awaiting-trial detainees. He said there was no need to keep so many detainees in custody awaiting trial. He accused the police of not properly investigating cases and postponing matters in the courts for months and even years, resulting in some inmates succumbing to illnesses. “You don’t postpone the matter until you know there is a bona fide investigation going on. Why are our magistrates allowing matters to be postponed?” asked Judge Van Zyl. He said he would like to see the number of prisoners who had not yet been sentenced halved as soon as possible to reduce overcrowding in prisons. This could be done through releasing detainees who posed no threat to society he said, , adding that a number of individuals had been kept in jail for long periods and at the end of the day charges go withdrawn. , Responding to Judge Van Zyl’s rebuke, Police Department spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi acknowledged that there were many awaiting-trial detainees who should not be in custody . He said there were moves to ensure that those “who have committed petty offences are taken out (of the system)”. He added that the police were not operating in a vacuum and the blame must not only lie with them.

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WEDNESDAY JULY 15 2009

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WORKING ON IT: Western Cape Education MEC Donald Grant unveils plans to improve results in the province. PICTURE: HENK KRUGER

Holiday training for teachers key to MEC’s plan
Many work outside subject areas
RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporter

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TEACHERS in the Western Cape will go on training courses during school holidays and more money will be invested in foundation level education to improve pupils’ numeracy levels. Education MEC Donald Grant said during a media briefing yesterday that these actions were necessary if the province was to address poor numeracy levels. Western Cape pupils have improved significantly in literacy tests during the past four years, but performed much worse in numeracy . The Western Cape Education Department has released a new round of literacy and numeracy results for Grades 3 and 6. These show that literacy pass rates improved from 2004 to last year by close to 20 percent for Grade 3 pupils and by 10 percent for Grade 6. But numeracy pass rates decreased significantly with only , 14 percent of Grade 6 pupils scoring higher than the required 50 percent to pass the numeracy assessment test in 2007. A report released by the department to the Cape Argus last week indicated that many teachers were having to teach outside the subject areas and grade levels in which they had been trained. They included about 40 percent of Grade R teachers who did not have the appropriate training or specialist skills to teach that grade. During the media briefing at the department’s offices yester-

day Grant and the acting head of , the department, Brian Schreuder, emphasised that more responsibility for education needed to be placed on the shoulders of teachers and parents. “A child’s learning opportunities are not five hours at school. It’s the whole day,” Schreuder said. Grant said the department would consider moving targeted schools into community centres that would stay open from 8am to 10pm and offer sports and other activities to keep children out of trouble. “We need to start thinking out of the box,” Grant said. To improve teacher performance, the department had set aside about R14 million to continue the Cape Teaching and Leadership Institute (CTLI) holiday programme for the next five to seven years. This programme invites teachers to devote a week of their holiday to training. The Western Cape secretary of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu), Jonavon Rustin, said the union was in favour of teacher development programmes but these “should not only be (in) a teacher’s own time, but part of the regular work day”. The union favoured the CTLI programme that allowed teachers to take three weeks off teaching for enhanced training and pro-

vided substitute teachers during that period. Grant said the department was also exploring a partnership with private companies and the CSIR (previously known as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) to evaluate teachers’ performances, including how much time they spend teaching. “Our feeling is that 85 to 90 percent of teachers are very dedicated,” he said. We just want to make sure we get that above the 90 percent mark.” Rustin said Sadtu was open to discussions about monitoring. He added, however: “We urge the MEC not to introduce anything new outside collective bargaining, because it may violate regulations.” Grant said he had requested more money for foundation phase education and 81 percent of it would go towards increasing pay for teachers in Grade R to Grade 3. The department also planned to put much of its energy into improving management at the school level, including creating more school management certification programmes. It supported more testing for pupils, including a new assessment test for those in Grade 9, Grant said. The province devotes about 35 percent of its budget to education but Grant said it needed to invest more money . “We talk a lot about the cost of education, but have we ever considered the cost of ignorance? It’s huge,” he said. richie.duchon@inl.co.za

CapeNature reports rise in flora and fauna smuggling by mail
STAFF REPORTER
SMUGGLING of plant and animal species through the post and trading these items illegally through the internet is on the increase, says CapeNature. During the past year, the Western Cape’s conservation authority has seized hunting trophies, wild animal skins, live invertebrates (insects), wild animal teeth and various other plant and animal species – both dead and alive – at various post offices around the province. All of these items were imported without the required permits, said Paul Gildenhuys, programme manager of Cape Nature’s biodiversity crime unit. Suspects – both South African citizens and international tourists – who were caught redhanded often claimed that they were not aware that they required permits, he added. “Because of the volume of packages going through the mail make staff of other organisations aware of the problem. SA Revenue Services’ customs officials played a key role in finding and tracking illegal shipments, but these shipments formed only a small percentage of the overall postal picture. “We wish to inform the public that permits are required for the import of fauna and flora specimens from places outside South Africa. CapeNature is the issuing authority for all biodiversity related import permits in the Western Cape. “South Africa is also a signatory to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora and we therefore have a responsibility to the international community to regulate such trade.” People failing to obtain import permits could be arrested, Gildenhuys warned. G Any queries can be directed to CapeNature’s Law Administration section, call 021 659-3400.

CONTRABAND: An increasing number of species and naturally derived products, like these ivory chopsticks, are being illegally smuggled through the post.
depots, it’s not surprising that people merely send packages via the mail. The nature of the industry makes it difficult to check each and every parcel, and the ones that are found are the tip of the postal iceberg,” he said. Gildenhuys said that partnerships that his unit had built up over the years had enabled them to extend their reach and to help

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NEWS

Newspaper article was ‘a blatant personal attack’, says Plato
LINDSAY DENTLINGER
Metro Writer

MAYOR Dan Plato intends to pursue a defamation claim against a local tabloid newspaper, having already hired private investigators and sought legal advice at his own cost, to challenge an article that insinuated that he was having improper relations with his female staffers. Plato said he had already spent in excess of R10 000 to

seek redress and was considering an offer from a private law firm to pursue the matter pro bono, since they believed he had a case. This comes after a finding from the Press Ombudsman, Joe Thloloe, that although Plato had not been defamed, he had been the “victim of an unfair attack”. In an interview with the Cape Argus, Plato said he would continue to pursue the matter, since, in his view, it had

been a “blatant personal attack”. The article, he said, had insinuated that he was “flirting around” and that he had lied about doing community work. Plato said the article had “victimised” his female staff. In May, he obtained city council approval to use city funds to consult lawyers to pursue legal action against Die Son newspaper. However, Plato said yesterday that to date, he had not

spent a “single cent of ratepayers’ money” in seeking legal advice on the matter. “Personally I’m unmoved by , this. My head is held high. I can look people right in the eye because my community and my staff know the truth. “I will overcome this. It will not detract me from doing my work. My eye is firmly on the ball and I will continue to do my work,” he said. Plato said he believed the article was based on a mali-

cious hoax SMS which had created the impression that it was wrong for him to be travelling in a vehicle with women. “Why is it wrong for me to be driving with women in my car? Why can’t I travel with my secretaries? The best workers in my ward are women and they don’t have transport, so I take them home and fetch food or whatever from them.” “It is so disturbing for me looking at the connection Die Son has made. It is uncalled for

Cyclists warned of mountain knifemen
ESTHER LEWIS, THANDANANI MHLANGA and KOWTHAR SOLOMONS
Staff Reporters

Concourt milestone for Muslim widow
Law to recognise inheritance rights
ELLA SMOOK
Staff Reporter

THE Mountain Club of South Africa has warned walkers and cyclists to be wary of two “knife-wielding men” operating in the area of Rhodes Memorial. The club’s warning comes after a cyclist was robbed while making his way up a section of Rhodes Memorial called Plum Pudding Hill on Saturday . In a statement sent to its members, the mountain club said that while the cyclist had been riding up the hill on Saturday morning, a man had emerged from bushes alongside the path and sat down on a rock. As the cyclist neared, the man produced a knife. The rider got off his bicycle, telling the suspect to take it. He then realised that another man, also armed with a knife, was standing behind him. The robbers took the cyclist’s cellphone, slashed the back tyres of his bike and left. The club also warned that a car had been broken into at the parking area for Peers Cave at the end of June. The petrol flap was broken open, the cap removed, and petrol siphoned “in full view of oncoming cars from the Sun Valley side”. The matter was reported to police and a letter was written to the Silvermine manger of the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP). Greg Moseley, vice chairman of the park’s forum, said that mountain safety had improved over the years. He said nearly all of the attacks had happened on the lower slopes, and not on the mountain itself. Moseley said the park and the police had been doing quite well recently in catching suspects. He added, though, that mountain attacks were nearly impossible to stop completely , as not everyone could be searched. Moseley conceded there were many more muggings in some city suburbs, daily than , there were in the park. “But the difference is, the mountain is a tourist attraction,” he said.

WATCH IT: Cyclists, hikers and joggers have been urged to be on the lookout for knife-wielding thugs near Rhodes Memorial. PICTURE: TRACEY ADAMS
Phumeza Mgxashe, TMNP spokeswoman, said that in the last year about 30 incidents of crime had been reported. She said the figure had peaked at 35 in 2007. The park spent R5 million each year on security Mgxashe , said, and employed 52 rangers specifically for visitor safety . Police spokesman Superintendent Andre Traut said police patrolled the park 24 hours a day . But, he added, it was hard to stop every crime in a secluded area such as the park. Park management recommended taking the following precautions while travelling through the park. G Walk in groups G Carry as few valuables as possible G If an attack does happen, do not resist G Carry a fully-charged cellphone in case an emergency occurs. esther.lewis@inl.co.za

WOMEN in polygynous Muslim marriages will in future be considered equal in terms of inheriting and claiming from estates when their husband dies without leaving a will. Yesterday’s Constitutional Court confirmation of the Cape High Court judgment of Judge Dennis van Reenen means that women will no longer be left destitute, as Fatima Hassam, 62, was when her husband died. At a press conference in Cape Town following her victory yesterday, an emotional Hassam recounted her devastation when she arrived back from her Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca nine years ago to be told by her husband that he had married their shop assistant while she was away . “I was devastated that he was married, it was a big blow to me. From then, I couldn’t handle things. I went to Valkenberg (Psychiatric Hospital). “It was an uphill battle with depression and worry What . would happen to me?” said an emotional Hassam. Unable to face her husband’s new situation, Hassam asked him to move out of their home. But after a year, her nightmare of going into her old age without a roof over her head was realised. Ebrahim Hassam died in August 2001 and because he did not leave a will, his widow stood to lose everything they had worked for and accumulated throughout their lives together. She unsuccessfully lodged claims with the executor of the his estate, but he refused her claims on the basis that polygynous Muslim marriages are not legally recognised. Her husband’s estate was awarded to his second wife. However, Hassam took her

Smoke kills guards
TWO SECURITY guards were found dead at a warehouse in Joburg this morning, emergency services say . “They died of smoke inhalation,” said spokesman Percy Morokane. “It seems they were overcome by smoke from a makeshift heater.” – Sapa

Rescue crew dispatched to Marion Island after researcher falls into icy water
RICHARD DUCHON
Staff Writer

A SOUTH African man who fell into icy waters near Marion Island while on a research trip is in a stable condition.

Nentaag Zishume, 24, from Limpopo, slipped and fell into the water on Tuesday afternoon while taking pictures for scientific research on seals. He suffered from hypothermia, according to Department of

Environmental Affairs spokeswoman Chuma Phamoli. The SA Agulhas, the country’s only polar vessel, was dispatched to the island yesterday afternoon with a Titan Aviation rescue crew and doctor on

board. The ship, which is still about five days from the island, plans to return Zishume to Cape Town late next week, weather permitting. Zishume had been on

Blitz aims to take deathtrap buses off road
ANDISIWE MAKINANA
Political Writer

IN A bid to tackle road deaths in the Western Cape, the provincial government is introducing a new plan which will see unroadworthy buses being impounded when they fail onthe-spot tests. The “intensive blitz” is being launched in response to the bus accident which killed seven people on the N1 near Beaufort West last week. The transport and commu-

nity safety departments are working together to launch the new plan, which will see longdistance buses being tested on the spot for roadworthiness, the verification of operating licences and drivers’ public driving licences and the assessment of drivers’ recent work schedules and alertness. The blitz will be conducted in Beaufort West, where the traffic department has a regional office. Announcing the plan, Transport and Public Works

MEC Robin Carlisle said the exercise was just one element of the province’s commitment to reducing road deaths. He said the project would be launched next Monday and for a period of two weeks, on a 24hour basis, buses leaving and entering the province using the N1 would be subjected to onthe-spot roadworthiness tests. Carlisle said the City of Cape Town had agreed to partner the province by inspecting long-distance buses at the depot before they leave the city .

Compliant buses will be issued with a sticker to indicate their compliance and to avoid unnecessary law enforcement duplication in Beaufort West. “After the two-week operation, the results will be analysed and if serious trends emerge, a more permanent response will be mounted,” he said. Carlisle said that over the coming months the province would announce more plans to halve road deaths in the next five years. andisiwe.makinana@inl.co.za

TOUGH TALK: Mayco safety and security member JP Smith, community safety MEC Lennit Max and transport MEC Robin Carlisle announce the bus blitz yesterday. PICTURE: TRACEY ADAMS

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THURSDAY JULY 16 2009

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and wrong,” he said. Plato said that according to affidavits obtained by the private investigators from people quoted in the article and submitted to the Press Ombudsman, it was clear that allegations were untrue. He said it could not be ruled out that the hoax SMS might have been politically motivated. The legal adviser in the mayor’s office, Keith Nicol, said that in the wake of the Om-

budsman’s finding, Plato’s legal team was looking at avenues to pursue the matter. According to the Press Code, a complainant to the Press Ombudsman waives the right to civil action. Plato would not be appealing against the Ombudsman’s ruling. “Instead of the mayor doing good, it is twisted to look as if it’s something sordid. It’s pandering to mischief makers,” said Nicol. lindsay.dentlinger@inl.co.za

‘UNMOVED’: Dan Plato

Jeyes Bloo loo blocks ordered off shelves
BRONWYNNE JOOSTE
Staff Reporter

SAVOURING VICTORY: Fatima Hassam with her lawyer Igshaan Higgins after the Constitutional Court ruled yesterday that women in polygynous Muslim marriages be considered equal in terms of rights to an estate. PICTURE: TRACEY ADAMS
fight to the courts and yesterday justice prevailed because of the determined efforts of her lawyer Igshaan Higgins, advocate Wim Trengrove SC, who argued the matter in the Constitutional Court, the Women’s Legal Centre Trust, the Human Rights Foundation and the Legal Aid Board. In the unanimous judgment of the Constitutional Court, penned by Justice Bess Nkabinde, the vulnerability of women in polygynous marriages was highlighted. The court said the Intestate Succession Act differentiated between widows married in terms of the Marriage Act and those married in terms of Muslim rites; between widows in monogamous Muslim marriages and those in polygynous Muslim marriages; and between widows in polygynous customary marriages and those in polygynous Muslim marriages. The Act also worked to the detriment of Muslim women and not Muslim men. “The effect of the failure to afford the benefits of the Act to widows of polygynous Muslim marriages will generally cause widows significant and material disadvantage of the sort which it is the express purpose of our equality provision to avoid,” the court said. “Moreover, because the denial of benefits affects only widows in polygynous marriages concluded pursuant to Muslim rites and not widowers (because Muslim personal law does not permit women to have more than one husband), the discrimination also has a gendered aspect.” It said its conclusion did not foreshadow “any answer on the question as to whether polygynous marriages are themselves consistent with the constitution”. “Whatever the answer to that question may be, one we leave strictly open for now, it could not result in refusing appropriate protection to those women who are parties to such marriages.” Polygyny is having more than one wife at the same time, while polygamy is having more than one husband or wife at the same time. ella.smook@inl.co.za

TIGER Brands has been ordered to immediately remove its toilet disinfectant, Jeyes Bloo, from shelves or face criminal charges. The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications has found that the block is not effective, and that it poses serious health risks for consumers. The regulator has appealed to consumers to stop using the product, and urged stores across the country to return the cistern blocks to Tiger Brands. But Tiger Brands said the move had surprised them, and their understanding was that the regulator had an issue with the product’s claims to kill germs and not that it posed health risks. Thomas Madzivhe, from the regulator, said the product was not killing germs effectively , and was having an adverse effect instead. “Tiger Brands indicated that this kills 99% of germs, but they cannot prove this. It actually kills 45% of germs, and that is not a disinfectant.” Madzivhe said the product, which is sold in stores nationally, only killed half of the germs, and caused the remaining germs to build a resistance to disinfectants. “If they are not off the shelves immediately they can , face criminal charges or a fine.” He said all disinfectants had to be registered with the regulator, and that the onus was on the manufacturer to prove their efficacy . Tiger Brands spokeswoman Bongiwe Njobe said they would dispute the regulator’s public health warning. “Their gripe was the packaging and the claim that it kills germs. New regulatory standards say a product must kill 99% of germs to make that claim. We were talking about retraction to work on the packaging, and how we could do this without damaging the brand. Unfortunately we did not have a… constructive dialogue.” Njobe said it was difficult to measure the exact proportion of germs a product could kill. bronwynne.jooste@inl.co.za

Marion Island since April. Phamoli said he was not in the water long before he was rescued, but a medical orderly on the island said his injuries were serious enough to warrant an evacuation. His family

had been notified of his condition, the department said. Richard Skinner, a deputy director in the department, could not confirm what the weather was like when Zishume fell into the water, but

said the area around Marion Island was known for adverse conditions. “The environment you’re working in can be dangerous. It’s cold and windy he said. ,” richard.duchon@inl.co.za

Two men held for robbery
STAFF REPORTER
ATHLONE police nabbed two suspects soon after they allegedly robbed a store in that area of goods valued at R31 000. Police spokesman inspector Ian Bennett said police conducting routine patrols were alerted to an emergency call yesterday afternoon and tracked two of three suspects as they were leaving the SK Superette in Belgravia Road. Three men entered the shop at around 2.30pm yesterday pretending to buy cigarettes. The shop owner became wary of their movements and tried to shut the gate that separates the till area. However, one of the men blocked his hand, pushed the gate open and whipped out a gun. The men made off with a bag of money valued at R28 000, boxes of cigarettes, airtime and cash from the till, all of which amounted to R31 000. Two suspects, aged 26 and 33 were taken into custody. A third escaped with the goods and the guns. natasha.prince@inl.co.za

NEWS

Where were the signs – family
Driver says there was no warning of flooded river where three drowned
NATASHA PRINCE
Staff Reporter

View picture gallery at: http://gallery.iol.co.za
Workers on local farms in the area and some residents said the municipality were usually diligent in putting up the signs, but agreed that the signs were not out on Wednesday . Prince, Dianne Ruiters and her three-year-old son, Giovani Ruiters, were the only survivors who managed to escape the ordeal. They held on to river bank for several hours while their relatives called for help and were later taken to Robertson hospital where they were treated for minor injuries. Yesterday Prince was speak, ing shortly after the body of four-year-old Danielle Kannemeyer was recovered from the gushing water that pressed her little body against the

RELATIVES of the three people who died when their car plunged into the Breede River in Bonnievale, have lashed out at the lack of traffic signs that could have warned them that the road ahead was flooded or that the river had burst its banks. Police divers yesterday recovered the final two missing bodies and the sunken BMW they had been searching for since Wednesday The angry . relatives of the victims said they were surprised to see the road signs in place yesterday morning and said the signs were not there in the early hours of Wednesday morning when the incident occurred. Owen Prince, the driver of the car that was lost in the Breede River said he did not see

BRIDGE UNDER TROUBLED WATERS: Police divers and rescuers retrieved the bodies of Danielle Kannemeyer and her mother Desireè, from Breede River, Bonnievale. PICTURE: MATTHEW JORDAAN
the signs that yesterday blocked both entrances to the low water bridge engulfed in river water. “Why would I drive through a river in the middle of the night? If I saw the sign, I would never have gone across the bridge. Why would I endanger my family?” he asked.

banks of the river. Kannemeyer’s father Winston, said he was relieved after his daughter’s body was found. “I feel like I can almost put it behind me,” he said. He saidhe felt heartbroken, but that he had to be strong for his two other children. The body of his wife Desireè Kannemeyer, 34, was retrieved at around 5.30pm yesterday shortly after the vehicle was located, said police spokeswoman, Inspector Lizl Viljoen. Kannemeyer’s body was trapped in the car. The body of Dianne Ruiter’s son, Adrian Ruiters, 16, surfaced on Wednesday evening. Police divers spent several hours combing the river on boats and jet skis for any further traces of the car. The BMW was one of three cars travelling in convoy from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town.

Film companies scoff at SABC’s payments hotline
RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporter

To the limit

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PRODUCTION companies that make movies and television programmes for the SABC have accused the broadcaster of yet again slapping them in the face. The SABC e-mailed some of its “vendors” earlier this week, offering a phone number to reach a vendor help desk for “all queries and problems with payments”. “If the operator cannot help you immediately you will be referred to the Financial Director of the division who will assist you,” the e-mail said. As the SABC struggles to make it through a financial meltdown, political turmoil and the threat of strikes by its employees, some vendors have not received closing payments for work completed over the past several years. “Why have they got a help desk? Surely they know who they owe and how much they owe them?” said Rehad Desai, a steering committee member of the TV Industry Emergency Coalition. “The question is, when is it going to get paid?” Desai said payment options and scheduling had been a systematic problem with SABC and its contractors. “Most people have learned how and who they need to speak to,” he said. Sharon Farr, a director and producer with Shoot the Breeze Productions, said her company was owed production closing costs dating back two years. She said though it was “a small amount,” receiving the money could help her company stay open a few more months. She said most independent producers were feeling the pain of the situation at the SABC

and were in regular contact with the relevant financial controllers to find out when they could expect their payments. “So I found the e-mail announcing a ‘vendors hotline’ to be a late-in-the-day rather , unsophisticated PR gesture,” said Farr. “I’m glad they sent it – I had a good laugh.” Meanwhile, the Cape Argus tried to call the hotline at least 10 times throughout the day yesterday After leaving a mes. sage early in the day and finally getting through to a live person around 2pm, we were told we would be called back by the end of the day but never were. The , line went to voicemail a couple times and rang indefinitely the other times we called. “Nobody’s got any faith in the ability (of the SABC) to live up to their stated promises anymore. It’s a continuous nightmare to work your way through the various departments,” said Desai. G Meanwhile, a hotline for citizen concerns – as promised by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation address – remains a work in progress. Presidential spokesman Vincent Magwenya said in an e-mailed response to questions from the Cape Argus that the president had started a dedicated service of responding to postal and e-mailed inquiries and those brought in in person to the Union Buildings. Zuma has set a deadline of September 1 to report back on progress made. richard.duchon@inl.co.za

PADDLING PAIR: Pieter-Willem Basson, front, and Hank McGregor leave the start at Zonquasdrift for the second stage of the Berg River Canoe marathon PICTURE: MOUTON VAN ZYL yesterday. McGregor won the 45.7km stage to Bridgetown.

My rescuers were wonderful, says injured hiker
NIKITA SYLVESTER
Staff Reporter

A TOKAI woman has lavished praise on Wilderness Search and Rescue volunteers after she was rescued from a city hiking path after a fall that left her with a broken ankle. Sue Frew was hiking up Myburgh’s Waterfall ravine near

Hout Bay with a group of friends yesterday afternoon when she slipped and fell. The Metro Wilderness Search and Rescue was contacted and an Air Mercy Services helicopter was dispatched to the scene. The rescue helicopter was unable to land because of the difficult terrain where Frew

was injured, but it got close enough to hoist Frew on to a stretcher. She was airlifted to safety , accompanied by two rescuers. The helicopter landed in the nearby Orangekloof field, where paramedics were awaiting Frew’s arrival. While being examined, Frew could not thank her res-

Teen uncovers coffin right next to RDP home
ESTHER LEWIS
Staff Reporter

THE DISCOVERY of human remains by a teenager in Mbekweni in Paarl has roused fear and superstition in some, but brought excitement to others. On Wednesday, Lonwabo Vuka, 17, started digging around his family’s RDP house to build a fence. The house stands on very rocky uneven ground. , As he dug up the rocks, he saw coffin handles. As he dug further, he saw bones. “I thought it could be human and I got very scared, so I called my father,” the teen said yesterday . His father, Mncedisi Vuka, went outside to see for himself whether the remains were human. “There were two thigh bones, two arms and a spine. We didn’t see the skull,” said Vuka. He said the grave must have

GRIM FIND: Mncedisi Vuka explains how his son Lonwabo, 17, found a coffin with human remains inside it on the family’s property in Mbekweni in Paarl. PICTURE: DAVID RITCHIE
been very old, as the wood of the coffin had mostly rotted away . The only things intact were the metal handles on the coffin. Vuka moved into the house with his wife and four children in December last year. “I could never sleep properly here. And before we found

the bones, I didn’t understand why he said. ,” The police were called to the house yesterday and removed , the bones and handles. Police spokeswoman Inspector Jonie Solomon, said they were not investigating the case, but merely overseeing the process. “This could be a heritage grave and is not a police matter,” said Solomons. The National Heritage Council was alerted and are expected to send an archeologist to inspect the site. Lunga Mangena claims to have been born in a house here in 1952, before being moved to another area. He said the area in which the RDP houses were built had been home to a settlement more than half a century ago. “I remember how they used to bury people here. All of these houses are sitting on a graveyard,” said Mangena. esther.lewis@inl.co.za

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Stay away from stagnant water, warns city health chief
NIÉMAH DAVIDS
Staff Reporter

Prince said a traffic officer had told him he could not continue along the N2 as a truck had overturned up ahead. They were diverted along Bonnievale – a road unfamiliar to them. Prince drove ahead of the convoy The relatives who were . following, were shocked to see the BMW stuck in the river when they caught up. They watched as the car glided along the river and began to sink. Desireè Kannemeyer sent out a distress call from her cellphone. Her relatives said she asked them to “pray for us, we are not going to make it”. Kannemeyer was encouraged by her relatives to push down the electric windows with her hands, but the windows were jammed. Inspector Viljoen said the BMW was expected to be recovered from the river later today . natasha.prince@inl.co.za

CITY health officials have warned Capetonians, especially those living in informal settlements, to stay clear of stagnant water after flooding this week. About 20 000 people have been displaced after the torrential rains flooded roads and swamped informal settlements in the Cape Peninsula. The Cape Argus reported yesterday that relief organisations had been spending about R1 million a day on food and blankets for those worst affected by the storms. City health director Dr Ivan Bromfield told the Cape Argus last night that the city had issued a warning to people living in informal settlements to avoid contact with stagnant water, which posed a potential health risk. Bromfield said children should not play in stagnant water and emphasised that water for human consumption should only come from a tap. “Under no circumstances

should people use that water for drinking,” he said. Bromfield told the Cape Argus that, while the stagnant water had not yet become contaminated, the chances were “highly likely” that it would do so, and therefore it needed to be pumped out “rather quickly”. “All staff members at clinics are prepared to deal with patients who may suffer from any illnesses as a result of coming into contact with this water. “But this is also a very busy time for us, because it’s the flu season.” Bromfield said diarrhoea was a clear indication that someone was suffering from a water-borne disease. “Once people start presenting with diarrhoea and they know they’ve come into contact with potentially contaminated water, they need to consult a doctor,” he said. He said the city’s roads and stormwater department was working hard to get rid of the stagnant water “which now poses a health risk to our communities”. niemah.davids@inl.co.za

Students bust after ‘F1 race’ in streets
GRAEME HOSKEN
Crime Reporter

Swine flu toll at 114
ELEVEN new cases of swine flu have been reported, raising South Africa’s toll to 114, the SABC reported today . The World Health Organisation said yesterday that swine flu, officially known as the H1N1 virus, was the fastestmoving pandemic ever and that it was now pointless to count every case, the SABC reported. – Sapa

cuers enough for their efforts and quick response. “I’m so happy Thank you so . much, everyone is just wonderful,” Frew said as she was lifted into an ambulance. She was taken to the Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic for further examination and treatment. nikita.sylvester@inl.co.za

TWO students who fancied themselves as Formula 1 drivers were caught after a threehour game of cat and mouse with police. The two, studying at Tshwane University of Technology and Varsity College in Pretoria, were caught after police blocked off several roads in a bid to stop their escape early yesterday . The chase began when the two, driving a black Aston Martin Vantage and a silver Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, were spotted racing each other along Atterbury Road. The cars are valued at nearly R4 million. The students, aged 21 and 22, are the sons of wealthy Congolese business families living and working in South Africa. Police said they were spotted racing towards Brooklyn at more than 160km/h. A policeman said an alert was put out after the cars, which were “dicing each other”, skipped several red traffic lights and raced past a police patrol van. Police, suspecting that the cars had been stolen, began looking for the vehicles. The drivers dodged their pursuers for nearly three hours, but were caught when members of the Pretoria Flying Squad spotted them. Calling for back-up, the police blocked off the road and forced the youths to stop. Brooklyn police station spokeswoman Captain Colette Weilbach said they were charged with reckless and negligent driving. They were granted R1 000 bail each and were to appear in court today .

Woman walled in by neighbour
SLINDILE MALULEKA
Staff Reporter

A WOMAN in Scottburgh on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast has appealed to her municipality for help after a neighbour built a wall right in front of her driveway . Brenda Hayle, 64, had been content in her Clansthal home for 25 years. But now a feud has erupted with her neighbour – 55-yearold Avlon Clopper – after the wall was built last Tuesday . Hayle said she and Clopper were “almost best friends” at one stage. Clopper, who bought the adjoining property 15 years ago, said the two-metre high fence went up for security reasons. Asked if she realised that her neighbour was trapped behind the fence, she replied: “I believe I have not done anything wrong.”

This morning Hayle said her lawyer had sent a letter to Clopper asking that the wall be removed so that Hayle could use the driveway . “It seems like this will be done today… “I’m more upset with the municipality now because they have not even come back to me,” she said. Hayle, a radiographer at the Scottburgh G H Crookes state hospital said she did not know what she would do next week if the wall was still standing, because she was on standby duty at night. Her only access now is a small makeshift gate that her other neighbour put up for her to get in and out of her garden. Hayle also said that she had made several requests in the past for the municipality to provide her with her own driveway but that these had fallen on deaf ears.

Clopper said her plan to build the fence was passed by the eThekwini Municipality and that her title deed did not mention a servitude on her property . “I am not doing anything wrong and Brenda was aware that the fence was going up,”he said. “We did it for security reasons because on several occasions, unknown people have entered my premises… and I own the piece of land that I have fenced,” she said. Area Councillor Mduduzi Bayeni, who was informed of the matter last Friday said he , had been in contact with the municipality in an attempt to solve Hayle’s problem. Deputy Head of eThekwini Town Planning and Development Unit Lihle Phewa would only confirm they were investigating “to determine the extent to which it is a planning matter”.

4

FRIDAY JULY 17 2009

NEWS

City has failed on housing and health – survey
Outrage over poor service delivery
LINDSAY DENTLINGER
Metro Writer

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HEALTH and housing are the worst-performing of the City of Cape Town’s departments, say residents polled in the city’s annual community satisfaction survey . Overall, the city has marginally increased its performance to 54 percent community satisfaction from only 50 percent last year. Releasing the findings of the survey – the second of its kind – yesterday the city said , this survey more accurately reflected the feelings of disgruntled communities who have been engaging in service delivery protests in recent months. In particular, the city scored worse than last year in two key areas that have sparked the outrage: the provision of basic services in informal settlements and the availability of land for affordable housing developments. Health, law enforcement and housing also all scored poorly in the survey . Mayoral committee member for planning and environment Marian Nieuwoudt said yesterday that the city had scored the worst in areas which were not its sole responsibility .

“I’m convinced that 54 percent is a real improvement,” said Nieuwoudt. While 54 percent of residents rated the city’s services as either good, very good or excellent, 32 percent rated them as fair and 13 percent described them as poor. The city conducted 3 000 face-to-face interviews, split among the city’s eight health districts. Data was weighted to race and gender within each district. While the city had improved in fulfilling its role as a public service provider and of being trustworthy, residents have raised concerns about fighting crime and providing jobs, rating these as even more important than they did last year. The Khayelitsha and Klipfontein health districts were rated has having shown a decline in overall service provision, while improvements were noted in the southern, northern and eastern districts, as well as Mitchells Plain and Tygerberg. Waiting times at municipal

clinics were viewed as a particular weakness. Overall, the city’s law enforcement department scored worse than it did last year, with residents complaining about the lack of bylaw enforcement, the lack of reaction to noise and other disturbances and the lack of action against illegal land settlement and illegal dumping. Overall, the provision of essential services such as refuse removal, water and sanitation services scored well. The city scored highest in providing access to clean water at 3.6 on a scale of one to five, and ensuring minimal disruption to the supply of electricity . The city’s fire and emergency services were highly rated, as were its community facilities such as libraries, community centres and civic halls. Parks were identified as an area for improvement. Scores for the city’s housing department dropped from an average of 2.3 last year to 2.1 this year. The city said it faced significant obstacles in bringing service levels in line with firstworld standards because of poverty and unemployment, crime, vandalism and the lack of community involvement. lindsay.dentlinger@inl.co.za

DRYING OUT: Funeka Mkwambi, a resident of the flood-prone QQ informal settlement in Khayelitsha known as the ‘’Waterfront”, makes the most of a sunny respite to do her washing. PICTURE: SAM CLARK

Mayor pleads for patience on relocation
FRANCIS HWESHE
Special Correspondent

Businesses give city a thumbs up
METRO WRITER
LOCAL businesses have given the City of Cape Town the thumbs-up for providing them with services required to carry on their business, with 77 percent of those surveyed rating the city’s performance as good, very good or excellent. This is an improvement over the 2007/08 community satisfaction survey when busi, ness rated the council’s performance at 69 percent. At least 75 percent of businesses surveyed this year said the city was fulfilling its role as a municipal service provider. The City of Cape Town interviewed 500 businesses between November and January Seventy-eight percent of . business rated their level of trust in the city as fairly strong, very strong or extremely strong, up from 72 percent. But the performance of the city’s town planning and building development is perceived to be less than good and shows little change from the last survey . The city had not improved in speeding up building development and planning applications, neither in enforcing planning and building regulations, said businesses. The city scored poorly in its ability to provide safe and affordable public transport and adequate law enforcement to businesses. There was, however, a visible presence of law enforcement on the roads, a situation that had improved since last year. While scoring the city 3.8 for provision of essential services on a scale of 1 to 5, businesses criticised the city for electricity and water tariffs. The state of roads in the vicinity of businesses was raised as a concern while the lack of public toilets nearby remained an area of perceived low performance and showed the largest decline. lindsay.dentlinger@inl.co.za

SOME of the residents of the flooded QQ informal settlement in Khayelitsha who staged fierce service delivery protests earlier this week will only be relocated to dry land next year, says Mayor Dan Plato. Plato said yesterday that about 300 families from the QQ and RR sections in Site B would be moved to the Bardale temporary relocation area next October. Residents of Burundi in Mfuleni, who had been worst affected by the recent floods, were in the process of being relocated there, he explained. In that community, residents had been living under

“dramatically worse and inhumane conditions”. “We are relocating people from the pond onto dry land. We cannot relocate everyone at the same time. “Communities need to trust us. They need to work with us. We won’t allow people to invade land,” he said. On the Bardale site, residents would have access to electricity and other services while waiting for proper housing units from the government, Plato added. The QQ settlement, which was rocked by violent protests on Tuesday and Wednesday, was relatively quiet yesterday afternoon. But Landsdowne Road, which runs through the area, was still littered with smoul-

Joyriders leave trail of destruction on golf course
KOWTHAR SOLOMONS
Staff Reporter

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THE STRAND Golf Club has had to shut down parts of the course after vandals broke in and caused an estimated R250 000 worth of damage. The vandals “hot-wired” three golf carts which they then used during a drunken joyride of destruction. The club believes that three unknown individuals broke into the golf cart store, hotwired the carts and began their demolition of the golf course in the early hours of last Friday . Most of the damage appears to have been done after a concrete bench was knocked down and used as a plough, ripping up the turf and knocking down

anything in its path. The vandals damaged the turf, benches, signposts and bunkers, wiping out 30 small yellowwood trees in the process. All three carts were destroyed. Strand Golf Club spokesman Johan Mostert said he was disgusted with the vandals’ actions. “Yellowwood trees are notoriously difficult to grow and they’d been planted over 10 years ago. “And there’s the cost of the carts, one of which was brand new. We’ve been forced to close down parts of the course until the damage can be repaired,” Mostert said. Empty beer and liquor bottles littered across the course were evidence of the culprits’

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Ruling on Muslim marriages welcomed
RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporter

dering barricades that had been erected during the protest. A group of residents, mainly children, occasionally tried unsuccessfully to block the flow of traffic by pushing tyres on to the road. Mzonke Poni, chairman of housing lobby group Abahlali baseMjondolo (“Shack Dwellers”), which had masterminded the protest, said it was over “for now”. Resident Funeka Mkwambi, 57, whose makeshift house is built on a seasonal wetland commonly referred to as the “Waterfront”, said the protest had been justified. Mkwambi, who lives with seven other realtives, said that each time the area became flooded, “we have to live in

water”. And after this week’s floods, she was forced to wear gumboots to get access to their home. “It’s not right. You only take them (gumboots) off when you are climbing on to a bed to sleep,” she said, wading through her flooded forecourt to check on her laundry drying on a line outside. “It’s hard to live here. My three children and I suffer from asthma. “Last night I couldn’t sleep, but we don’t have anywhere else to go,” she said, struggling for breath. Poni said that because of the “harsh living conditions”, tuberculosis was rife in the community . francis.hweshe@inl.co.za

THE MUSLIM Judicial Council (MJC) has welcomed the Constitutional Court’s ruling that Muslim women in polygynous marriages have equal status in claiming from the estate of their deceased spouses has been welcomed by . However, it says more action is needed to ensure equality for Muslim women. The court ruled on Wednesday that Fatima Gabie Hassam had a right to a portion of her husband’s estate and that the Intestate Succession Act regarding the matter needed to be changed to accommodate Muslim women in polygynous marriages. Hassam was denied the right to any portion of her husband’s inheritance after he died, and his estate was awarded to his other wife. Abdul Khaliq, secretarygeneral of the MJC, which rules on matters regarding Islamic marriage and divorce, said the council had never opposed Hassam’s claim to part of her husband’s estate, as had been reported, and was pleased with the court’s decision. “The Hassam case is an individual case, but in reality we want to have a Muslim Marriage Act recognised by government institutions.” Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker, an attorney at the Women’s Legal Centre, which acted as a friend of the court in support of Hassam’s case, said the case would hopefully be an “eyeopener” for Parliament and the executive that they needed to create a secular framework for recognising Islamic marriages. But advocate Sheikh Faaik Gamieldien said: “The Constitutional Court served both as court and legislature. What the Muslim community wants is the government to recognise Muslim marriages in law.”

drunken night out. Two names, “Richard” and “Claudette”, were found written in a bunker. While there was no obvious connection to staff or members of the club at present, Mostert said they were not ruling this out. The vandals responsible had seemed to know exactly where to find the carts and other equipment, and how to use them. The golf club is offering a R3 000 reward for any information leading to an arrest. Somerset West police confirmed that cases of burglary and malicious damage to property had been opened. G Anyone with information should contact Constable Phillip Seekoei of the Somerset West police station at 021 850 1340.

RUINED: Some of the damage to the Strand Golf Course caused by joyriding vandals last week.
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TRADERS at the outdoor Epping fresh produce market are negotiating to move into the formal, privatised indoor Cape Town Market. Yesterday the City of Cape Town’s law enforce, ment staff confiscated truckloads of fresh produce at the outdoor market because they said traders were contravening several municipal bylaws. The fresh produce market area has become a target for law enforcement in recent months following many complaints. Several people are living on the stretch of land, with no sanitation facilities or access to electricity and clean water. Residents of Thornton have complained that it is a hotbed of crime and an eyesore. The Epping Central Improvement District (CID) launched a pilot project in conjunction with the city in March. CID head Tony Bartram said they had made several drug-related arrests at the market since then. The city terminated its 20-year lease with the traders in 2001, after which it unsuccessfully sought an eviction order in the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court. It has now lodged an application with the Cape High Court to evict the outdoor traders. The Epping Market Traders Association has confirmed it is in talks with the Cape Town Market to move operations inside the privatised market. Omar Allie, the buyer care manager for the Cape Town Market, confirmed they had been meeting association representatives bronwynne.jooste@inl.co.za

6

MONDAY JULY 20 2009

NEWS

SA goal to end mom-to-child Aids infection
Focus on TB too, Motlanthe says
SAPA and ANSO THOM
SOUTH Africa must eliminate mother-to-child transmission of Aids, says Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. “South Africa must ensure that we dramatically decrease the number of infants that are infected so we can indeed have a generation free of Aids,” Motlanthe said at the 5th International Aids Society conference in Cape Town yesterday . “The importance of the virtual elimination of mother-tochild transmission of HIV was reinforced to me in my meeting with the executive director of Unaids, Dr Michael Sedibe,” he said. “We have begun work on strengthening our PMTCT (Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission) programme and the Minister of Health will soon officially launch our accelerated plan to ensure that we meet the targets set in the National Strategic Plan for HIV and STIs (sexually transferred infefctions).” That plan, drafted under the leadership of the SA National Aids Council (Sanac), sets targets for halving the HIV incidence by 2011 as well as providing care, treatment and support to 80 percent of people living with HIV Motlanthe said. , He also called for greater attention to be given to tuberculosis (TB). “We wish to stress that TB is curable even in the

Blood donors with flu symptoms told to wait two weeks
STAFF REPORTERS
THE GROWING number of swine flu cases in South Africa has led the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service to extend its deferral period for donors showing flu symptoms to two weeks. Spokeswoman Leandi le Roux said any donor with signs of normal flu would usually have to wait a week before donating blood. “But now with the outbreak of swine flu, we have prolonged our deferral period to two weeks. Donors are aware of the criteria and we try to explain the process to them.” Some 70 893 cases of the new H1N1 swine flu have been confirmed worldwide, with South Africa having 119, including 14 in the Western Cape. The illness presents itself with cold- or flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing or muscular aches. Le Roux said blood stocks were much better than had been expected, with blood units of 475ml increasing by close to 1 500 last month. Last year, during national blood donor month in June, 10 426 units were collected, and this increased to 11 837 units last month. “We are working very hard to gain new donors and to educate them about various blood products,” Le Roux said. However, even though stocks were good, the position could change “at any minute” and attendance at mobile clinics was usually low during winter, she said. The non-profit organisation aims to collect 700 units each day . The WP Blood Transfusion Service gained more than 200 new donors last month, but Le Roux said the number of donations had dropped in the first half of this month. Provincial health authorities said there was no reason to panic over swine flu as schools re-open. Western Cape health department spokeswoman Faiza Steyn said national and provincial medical teams would monitor schools in the event of any cluster outbreaks of the flu. She urged pupils with flulike symptoms to stay at home for a number of days “to speed the recovery process”. G Anyone willing to donate blood can do so at one of the transfusion service’s permanent centres, at N1 City and 22 Long Street, Cape Town. Alternatively phone 021 507 6300 or , SMS 33507 to find the nearest blood donor clinic.

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context of co-infection with HIV but additional measures to , ensure that HIV patients are tested for TB and TB patients are tested for HIV must become the norm.” Motlanthe said he would propose that Sanac also focus its attention on TB. He said a World Health Organisation/Stop TB Partnership review of the national TB programme had found that the scheme had been strengthened since the last external review in 2005, with improved cure rates and decreased defaulter rates. However, there were still problems with the programme. “These include the need for a more coherent strategy for TB/HIV integration; strengthened infection control; and strengthening TB control in the mining industry as well as in the correctional services.” Motlanthe also drew attention to the relationship between poverty and TB. He said the country needed “strong social and equitable economic systems to underpin our health systems”. “It is clear that health conditions and outcomes are related to a range of social determinants,” he said. Motlanthe also mentioned other areas of concern.

“Challenges, however, remain. These include: getting more of our people tested; starting treatment as early as possible; improving adherence; decreasing loss to follow-up; improving laboratory turnaround-times; and strengthening drug-supply management.” However, he said, each of these areas was “receiving the necessary attention”. Meanwhile, Unaids’s Sedibe said it was critical to ensure that the programme to prevent the transmission of HIV/Aids from mother to child was implemented widely as it presented the best chance of eliminating paediatric HIV . “It is virtually eliminated in the rest of the world, and there is no reason why we cannot achieve it in Africa.” Sedibe said he had met members of the South African government to “follow up on the ambitious and inspiring goals” of treating 80 percent of those needing antiretrovirals and halving new infections by 2011”. He said Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi had indicated that the government was committed to “picking up the pace of action”. “Political commitment is key to achieving anything. You cannot break the silence without political leadership and political leadership determines the space afforded to civil society input, which brings about the social change needed.”

EXIT LEFT: Renowned Baxter Theatre director and chief executive Mannie Manim is bowing out, and will leave the theatre in the hands of his long-time friend, playwright and director Lara Foot Newton, from November. PICTURE: BRENTON GEACH

Curtain falls on Manim’s tenure as director of Baxter
RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Writer

Stigma driving African HIV rate
PARIS: Rates of HIV infection among gays in some African countries are 10 times those in the general male population, researchers said today . They said stigma and poor access to treatment or testing are to blame. A wall of silence, repression and discrimination are amplifying dangers for men who have sex with men in sub-Saharan Africa, the doctors said in a paper published online by The Lancet. Researchers from Oxford University looked at published studies for HIV prevalence from 2003 to 2009. Prevalence among gays in some parts of West Africa is 10 times that for the general male population, they found. Political, religious and social hostility towards homosexuality is entrenched in many countries, and this breeds isolation, harassment and prejudice, enabling risky sex practices to multiply . “Unprotected anal sex is commonplace, knowledge and access to inappropriate risk prevention measure are inadequate and… in some contexts, many men who have sex with men engage in transactional sex,” the paper said. The paper said secrecy was so entrenched that data about gay sex behaviour in Africa was often sketchy or absent. “There’s surprisingly little known,” said lead investigator Adrian Smith. “What little evidence we do have suggests that men who have sex with men are a vulnerable group… across sub-Saharan Africa.” The paper said: “In the early 1980s, silence equals death became a rallying cry” for gays in the US. “Nearly three decades later in sub-Saharan African the silence remains, driven by cultural, religious and political unwillingness to accept men who have sex with men as equal members of society .” Around 33 million people have HIV according to figures , issued last year by the UN agency Unaids. Two-thirds of them live south of the Sahara. – Sapa-AFP

SOUTH African theatre luminary Mannie Manim says the real beginning of his long and distinguished career as a producer and artistic director was when he saw Athol Fugard’s No Good Friday in his early teens. “It was totally different from the cucumber sandwich, ginand-tonic kind of fare that I’d been involved in,” he recalls. “This was ‘people in accents from the streets where I lived’ kind of thing … it busted my head open and made me realise that theatre can be accessible to anyone.” Manim says that play started his journey as a producer, director and lighting designer for some of the country’s most important political protest theatre of the past 30 years.

ENTERING: Lara Foot Newton
Now he is stepping down as head of the Baxter Theatre, where he has served as director and chief executive since 2000. Manim will leave the theatre in the hands of his longtime friend, playwright and director Lara Foot Newton. When she takes over in

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November she will become the Rondebosch theatre’s fourth director in its 32-year history and the first woman director. Foot Newton has been working for and alongside Manim for more than 20 years. She even remembers experiencing her own “lightbulb” theatre moment at Manim’s Market Theatre, which he cofounded with playwright Barney Simon in Johannesburg in the 1970s . “That night changed my life in the same way as when Mannie saw (Fugard’s play). I said whatever those guys are doing on stage, I want to do that,” Foot Newton recalls. Manim is well known for having diversified the Baxter’s offerings during his tenure as head of the theatre. He remembers the first director of the Baxter, John Slemon, inviting Manim’s Market Theatre company to bring its shows to Cape Town in the 1980s. “There was a big commercial segment of the (Baxter’s) programme (then), and we came with a more gritty cur, rent, what we used to call ‘newspaper theatre’ – the kind of stuff that was going on in the townships, where people couldn’t get to in those days,” Manim says. His goal as director of the Baxter was to incorporate those kind of shows into the theatre’s programme. “What I was wanting to do when I came to Cape Town was hear what the feeling was on the ground of the theatremakers in the city and to try to give them a platform to produce their work. “I think we’ve begun doing that,” he chuckles in a modest, self-deprecating way . Manim says one of the highlights of his tenure at the Baxter was bringing Foot Newton on as a resident director for three years. “Lara brought a direct link with the creative world of South Africa. She’s talking to the new creative forces … and starting to let them know that hopefully there’ll be a home for their work in the Baxter in the future,” he said. Manim says he hopes the Baxter Theatre will remain a place where artists can experiment and where the calibre of the theatre is not judged only by results at the box office. “We really like to see minds challenged as well as seats filled. “And I think if I’ve achieved anything in the nine years, it’s to spread the sense of ownership of the Baxter to all the communities in this region.”

Communities to march for service delivery
THE MACASSAR backyarders, propped up by a host of communities from Khayelitsha and Gugulethu, were expected to march to Mayor Dan Plato’s office this morning to demand delivery on services. The backyarders, who recently unsuccessfully attempted to invade city land, said the march was in support of their demand for land where they could put their shacks, among other things. Housing activist Mzonke Poni said yesterday that the communities planned to engage in “militant action” ahead of the march. – Staff Reporter

Boy, 6, killed in scooter crash
STAFF REPORTER
A SIX-year-old boy who , was riding on his mother’s motor scooter, was killed in a horrific accident in Durban yesterday afternoon. David Williams, who was wearing a helmet and was on the back of his mother Sandra’s scooter died instantly when the scooter collided with a 16-wheeler truck near the Rossburgh station in South Coast Road. “The child was crushed by the truck… the wheels went over him and the helmet,” said Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha. The boy’s traumatised mother was admitted to Wentworth Hospital. The truck driver has been charged with culpable homicide. Clairwood residents are planning to protest against high volumes of truck traffic on the roads in the neighbourhood.

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NEWS

Leah’s body found in sewer
Family dreads having to identify little girl cut up by blades
NIÉMAH DAVIDS
Staff Reporter

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POLICE have recovered the body of two-year-old Leah Arends, who had fallen into a drain while playing with her cousins in Pelican Park at the weekend. Police spokesman Inspector Ian Liebowitz confirmed last night that officials recovered Leah’s body in the drainage system at about 3pm yesterday . The search for Leah, from Grassy Park, started on Friday

afternoon after she disappeared after jumping into a drain while playing. Late that day police moved the search to Zeekoevlei sewerage works in the hope that the little girl had been swept through the system. Remote-controlled cameras

were also put down manholes to check for any sign of Leah or her personal belongings. According to Liebowitz, rescue workers recovered Leah’s mutilated body in the drain system. “Parts of her body were rather badly churned up… as a result of the blades (which crushes solid items) in the system,” he said. Speaking to the Cape Argus last night, Leah’s grandmother Charmaine Arends said her family were trying to cope.

“We are holding up. Or we are trying to hold up. It is not easy; it’s very difficult,” she said. Arends said the family were dreading having to identify Leah’s body. They were expected to do so today . “We don’t know how we are going to deal with seeing her like that. It’s something we can’t really prepare for. No one can.” Arends said she and the rest of her family were tired after spending the past few days at

the Zeekoevlei sewerage works, where officials had hoped to find Leah’s body . “We’ve hardly slept since (she went missing).” Leah disappeared while playing with her cousins, threeyear-old Wade and six-year-old Jenino Scheepers. The only witness, young Wade, told his mother, Samantha Scheepers, that Leah had shifted the thin piece of metal covering the manhole and jumped into the drain. Apparently Leah thought it

Thefts at schools are on the rise
ILSE FREDERICKS
Education Writer

FURTHER reports of vandalism and theft at schools have flooded in since they reopened after the July holidays yesterday . The number of reports have swelled from 17 to 33 as teaching staff and pupils arrived at school, but it is still lower than the same time last year. By Friday, 17 vandalism cases had been reported, but after schools re-opened for the third term yesterday, more reports were received by the Western Cape Education Department. According to the Safe Schools Division, eight cases of damage to property and 25 theft cases were reported. The number of cases reported was lower than last year’s when 43 cases were reported over the same period. Education MEC Donald Grant said it seemed measures to safeguard schools during the holidays had worked. Grant, Community Safety MEC Lennit Max and Social Development MEC Ivan Meyer will be visiting two schools today . ilse.fredericks@inl.co.za

LOOK OUT: Shark spotter Patrick ‘Rasta’ Davids keeps watch while a shark swims close by.

Local production industry growth is ‘thanks to SABC’
PEOPLE should focus on the positive work the SABC has done, particularly in growing the local production industry , the corporation has said. SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said that a few years ago, there were about 20 “mostly white-owned” production houses. Now there were about 400. Kganyago said the SABC was working on reducing payments it owed to production houses month-by-month. Yesterday the Television Industry Emergency Coalition said the SABC was demanding fines of up to R100 000 from independent producers for alleged “lost assets” – items such as sets, props and wardrobes – tallied when a production was signed off. This was causing delays of months, even years, and was “clearly a ruse to alleviate the SABC’s cashflow crisis at the cost of the independent production sector,” the TVIEC said. – Sapa

Spotters get up close and personal with sharks
THANDANANI MHLANGA
Staff Reporter

BACK FROM THE DEEP: Shark spotters Patrick ‘Rasta’ Davids and Monwabisi Sikweyiya emerge from their first shark cage dive yesterday.

THE SEA is quiet and still and it is almost hard to believe that great whites inhabit these calm waters. On an unusually hot winter’s day in the peninsula, and even more so in Simon’s Town, a group of 10 shark spotters will get their first up-close encounter with the predator they’ve observed for so long. Their excitement is palpable as the cage descends into the water. At first, there are no sharks, but within minutes the boat to which the cage is attached is encircled by at least half a dozen. After about 40 minutes, shark spotters Monwabisi Sikweyiya and Patrick “Rasta” Davids are lifted out of the shark-diving cage. “It was that close! Did you see it?” shouted Sikweyiya. Davids responded: “Do you believe me now? There’s nothing to be afraid of ?”

Gender activist slams Malema for playing race card
KARYN MAUGHAN
GENDER activist Mbuyiselo Botha – whom Julius Malema branded as a puppet of white racists – has slammed the ANC Youth League president’s accusations as “pathetic”. Botha, who was left partly disabled after being shot in the head by police during the apartheid era, yesterday urged Malema to deal with the Equality Court complaint made against him by the Sonke Gender Justice NGO instead of playing “the over-used race card”. “No one in this country is untouchable or above the law, and that includes you, Mr Malema,” he said. Botha, Sonke’s advocacy head, was responding to Malema’s claims that the hate speech complaint against him – which centres on his comments that President Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser enjoyed herself with him – was driven by “whites opposed to black rule”. Moments after he backed out of testifying in the Equality Court on the complaint brought against him by Sonke, and in apparent reference to Botha, Malema told his supporters: “The black faces you see in front are not really black… they represent whites who are opposed to black rule.’ He added that if Sonke had been a “real African” organisation it would have resolved its issues without going to court. In an open letter to Malema, Botha yesterday described the accusations as “unwarranted, baseless and misinformed”. “We can only say (the comments) are pathetic… “For the record, everyone should be held accountable for his or her words… All of us need to know that we can’t get away with statements that are misogynistic, demeaning and disrespectful in nature.” Botha said he had served as the secretary-general of the Sharpeville Civic Association, which spearheaded the 1980s rent boycotts, while Sonke director Reverend Bafana Khumalo was a former antiapartheid student leader, and Western Cape Sonke head Patrick Godana was “shot and imprisoned for standing up against apartheid”. “I wonder how it is possible that these blacks can be Uncle Toms at the disposal of their ‘white masters’?” he said. ANCYL spokeswoman Magdalene Moonsamy said Botha’s response to Malema’s comments was aimed at “inciting the youth league president”. Describing Malema as being at the forefront of the fight for women’s rights, she stressed that he had not “tried to run away” from the complaint laid against him by Sonke. She said Malema’s “white puppet” remarks were “not intended to castigate race”. Malema will return to the Equality Court on August 31.

‘BASELESS’: Mbuyiselo Botha

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TUESDAY JULY 21 2009

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Ruling on Muslim marriages expected
RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporter

was a swimming pool, Wade told his mother. On Saturday several resi, dents said they were angry about the time it had taken for the search to get under way as , “precious” hours were wasted on Friday . But Liebowitz said they had sourced cameras from a private company and these had arrived only on Saturday . Liebowitz said an autopsy would be conducted to determine the exact cause of death. niemah.davids@inl.co.za

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PICTURES: BRENTON GEACH

The group was invited by African Shark Eco-Charters to get a close-up view of the sharks they keep a lookout for. “There are more dangerous two-legged sharks on land,” said Davids, a veteran of the shark spotting trade. Davids started out as a car guard at a Muizenerg beach until a 16-year-old teenager lost a leg to a great white. His livelihood was subsequently threatened as the beach saw fewer visitors. This led him to train as a shark spotter. “The local trek fishermen taught me how to look for weather conditions, wind patters, visibility in the water. I was the first shark spotter in Muizenberg.” That was seven years ago, and shark spotting has since grown to encompass this group of youngsters from all walks of life who were given the opportunity yesterday to encounter the great whites. Rob Lawrence, owner and host of African Shark Eco-

Charters, sponsored the group. “These guys do such a good job but only get to see the sharks from the mountains,” said Lawrence. Alison Kock, a shark researcher with the Save our Seas Foundation, said they were grateful to Lawrence for sponsoring the trip as the experience had lifted the shark spotters’ spirits. “Getting to see sharks in their natural environment, up closer than they ever have before, can teach them more in a few hours than years of studying sharks from books or films,” said Kock. Also in the shark spotter group are four women. Ethel Thsandu said that, as a shark spotter, she had learned how to connect with nature. “You get to learn about nature, how to become connected to nature,” she said. The other women said the best part of their job was meeting tourists from all over the world. thandanani.mhlanga@inl.co.za

A NEARLY 10-year process to pass a national law that would recognise Muslim marriages and account for their dissolution could soon be an important step closer to an ending. The Constitutional Court is expected to hand down a judgment tomorrow answering an important procedural question: whether or not it has the jurisdiction to compel the president, his ministers and Parliament to take action on passing a Muslim marriages bill. The Women’s Legal Centre Trust (WLCT), a non-profit organisation that provides legal assistance to women in the areas of housing, health, violence and religion, filed an application last November asking the Constitutional Court to force the executive and Parliament to take action on such a law within 18 months. Lawyers for the WLCT argued that the president and Parliament had violated the constitution by failing to enact laws that recognise “all Muslim marriages as valid marriages”. The application argued that the issue was of “such important political consequences as to require (the Constitutional) Court to intrude into the domain” of other branches of government. The Concourt could rule in favour of the WLCT and allow the group’s lawyers to argue their case; or it could force the organisation to re-file its motion in the High Court, which would amount to a time setback for supporters of codifying Muslim personal law in South African national law. A Muslim Marriages Bill was drafted by the South African Law Reform Commission and submitted in 2003 to then Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Penuell Maduna. WLCT attorney Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker speculated that the bill had been stalled because of a minority in the Muslim community that opposes the bill. “There is some concern that the law would question the supremacy of sharia (law),” she said. Advocate Sheikh Faaik Gamieldien, who helped draft the Muslim Marriages Bill for the law commission, said it that it had gone through all the required public participation processes at the time, but said the bill was still sitting at the Justice Department.

Woman gets 3 years for false rape claim
A WOMAN has been sentenced to three years in prison after she falsely accused a man of rape. The woman, 25, accused a 42year-old man of rape after she apparently had consensual sex with him in October last year. Police said the man spent eight months in custody after bail was denied. Magistrate Pierre Laurens told the woman she had caused the man shame through her false accusation. The Atteridgeville woman pleaded guilty to perjury – Sapa .

‘PATHETIC’: Julius Malema

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THURSDAY JULY 23 2009

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oblems, the SRC would like to hear from them, she said. “I have said that we must go out to these students if they don’t want to come to us,” she said. Moses Masitha,from the University of the Free State (UFS), said some of those in the university community ignored with “reasonable ease” the fact

that its student profile had changed significantly over the past decade. While some white students felt that their space was being encroached on, black students felt that they were seen as guests “in a space they feel they legitimately occupy”. “I venture to say that the day the black student is granted ownership of the UFS, and not merely treated as a guest, he will contribute posi-

tively Masitha said. ,” He also said academic programmes needed to start speaking to prevalent social needs. “Once we all can conceive a space of shared ideals and common humanness, my university will go back to focusing on its core business – that of teaching and learning in an environment conducive for all who inhabit it.” The symposium was hosted

by Stellenbosch University’s Department of Psychology the , Division of Student Affairs and the Office for Employment Equity and the Promotion of Diversity . It was attended by staff and students from several universities and was organised in response to a recently released report on transformation at higher education institutions. The report, compiled by a

committee appointed by former education minister Naledi Pandor, indicated that discrimination, in particular with regard to racism and sexism, was pervasive at higher education institutions. Following the release of the report, Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande asked university councils to respond. ilse.fredericks@inl.co.za

Concourt rejects plea on marriages
RICHIE DUCHON
Staff Reporter

AN APPEAL to the Constitutional Court to force the president, Parliament and others in government to take action towards legalising Muslim marriages through a special law has been dismissed. In a unanimous decision yesterday the Constitutional Court , ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to consider an appeal by the Women’s Legal Centre Trust and said the High Court was the proper place to file the motion. Lawyers for the trust had argued that the Concourt was the right place in which to appeal. In not passing a Muslim marriages

bill, the president and Parliament were in violation of the Bill of Rights, they said. They cited a section of the constitution that says “only” the Constitutional Court can decide when the other branches of government had failed to fulfil a constitutional obligation. But Justice Edwin Cameron, who wrote the judgment, said other parties, including ministers and the Law Reform Commission, were necessarily involved in passing a Muslim marriages bill. “The obligations invoked (by the trust’s lawyers) must … focus on the president and Parliament alone. That is not the case here,” he wrote.

The court declined to rule on whether Parliament, the president or cabinet members might be obligated by the Bill of Rights to make Muslim marriages legal. Trust director Jennifer Williams said the ruling would delay matters but was not a setback for the organisation’s agenda. Had it been a favourable ruling it would have meant “our matter would have been before (the Constitutional Court) sooner and we would have had a remedy sooner”. Justice Department spokesman Tlali Tlali said the bill had been submitted to the cabinet for approval by former justice minister Enver Surty .

TYGERVALLEY
DATA DRIVE: Nine-year-old Felisite Kimanuka of Burundi has her photograph taken for United Nations official records yesterday. She was among about 300 refugees escorted by officials working for the UN refugee agency from their Blue Waters camp to a community hall in Samora Machel, where their personal information was collated. PICTURE: HENK KRUGER

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Foreign nationals in about-turn on UN survey
FRANCIS HWESHE
Staff reporter

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AFTER initial resistance, all the foreign nationals at the Blue Waters camp near Strandfontein have agreed to participate in a protection assessment programme by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). On Tuesday morning, the agency sent buses to the camp in the hope of ferrying residents to a community hall in Samora Machel, Philippi, for one-on-one interviews. But they were met with scepticism and only 45 of the 300 residents agreed to board the buses. The others refused, citing concern for their safety in the townships. But the UN officials were not discouraged and yesterday returned to

the camp, and following discussions, those who had initially declined to participate agreed to co-operate. During the afternoon, the officials could be seen interviewing the camp’s residents at the Samora Machel hall. Police maintained a presence at the hall to ensure the safety of the foreign nationals. On Tuesday the UN agency said it , had not been possible to conduct the interviews at the Blue Waters camp because, according to the government, the site had officially been closed. The new programme, which aims to assess about 5 000 foreign nationals across the city by the end of the month, is intended, among other things, to update the agency’s database, confirm its beneficiaries and identify those refugees and

asylum-seekers with special needs. Yesterday one of the leaders at the camp, Dennis Romazani, explained their initial decision to remain at Blue Waters. “We didn’t refuse (to go to the interviews). We had received wrong information, people panicked and thought they were being forcibly moved to the townships,” he said. Romazani said the residents initially had been made to believe that they would have to pay for their own transport and had not been sure of their destination. But most had changed their minds after a report-back by the small group that had gone to Samora Machel, because these people had assured them it was a safe exercise. “We were scared, but now it’s fine.

As long we are in the hands of the UN,” one of the Blue Waters residents said as he waited to be interviewed. Monique Ekoko, senior regional protection officer for the UNHCR, conceded that the exercise had not been communicated very well to the residents. “It was a matter of explaining the intentions,” she said. Ekoko said that about six families from the Blue Waters community, with others at the Youngsfield base in Wynberg, were due to be interviewed today . She said a temporary UNHCR office, which will allow for the assessment of foreign nationals living outside the camp, would be opened in Bellville this week. francis.hweshe@inl.co.za

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Communities asked to help nab copper thieves
STAFF REPORTER
THE CITY’s Copperheads unit has vowed to crack down on copper thieves by strengthening their relationships with communities to ensure crimes are reported promptly . Among their recent successes are the arrest of a 67-year-old man with 23m of copper cable following a tip-off; the arrest of three men who were digging up cabling in the Edith Stephens Wetland Park along Vanguard Drive, also after a tip-off; and the arrest of a man at a scrapyard in Brackenfell for attempting to sell a 60m section of street lighting cable marked “City of Cape Town”. According to Rudolf Wiltshire, chief for specialised services, copper cable thieves are “constantly” adopting new approaches to stay ahead of the law. He appealed to residents of Khayelitsha, Atlantis, Melkbosstrand and Mamre, in particular, to be vigilant and report “suspicious activities”, because thefts affected communities. G Report offences to the Copperheads’ toll free number, 0800 225 669.

Irish fair loses its goat
DUBLIN: The annual crowning of a goat as king of Ireland at one of the country’s oldest fairs is in doubt after organisers said the heir to the throne may be stopped from travelling to the festival. Traditionally a male goat is caught in the mountains of Kerry and paraded through Killorglin where he reigns for the three days of Puck Fair, a centuries-old festival of drinking, music and dancing. – Reuters

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NEWS

FRIDAY JULY 24 2009

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rt. Dr Caryn Collins, an emergency room doctor at Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Pinelands, was one of three doctors who saw Wilson after he returned to Cape Town and tried to find information about his swine flu test results. “Everyone I spoke to (at the Gauteng Department of Health and NICD) was so nonchalant,” Collins said. “There was complete apathy .

This person could have died and no one did anything about it. “He had apparently had swabs taken, (but) they obviously took no care of the swabs. We don’t know how many others’ cases have gone missing.” Yasmin Isaacs, a receptionist at Pinelands Medicross, who also tried to find out Wilson’s swine flu results, agreed that the NICD was unreceptive. After his condition improved close to a week after returning to South Africa and he was released from the hospital, Wilson received an SMS from Terry Marshall at the NICD. The SMS read: “Hi Mr Wilson. We are unable to track your specimen for influenza testing. It has not reached the NICD.” The NICD’s director of virology Dr Adrian Puren, said proto, cols were in place to ensure specimens could be traced. He said he could not comment on what had gone wrong in Wilson’s case as no tests had been delivered by the Gauteng Department of Health and no official complaint had been filed. He said he hoped forms had been completed when the swabs were taken at O R Tambo Airport, to make sure the specimens could be traced. It was important that doctors file complaints in cases such as this, he said. “If there was a problem, we need to know – were the appropri-

ate channels utilised to ensure the patient was adequately cared for? From our perspective, that’s very very key he said. , ,” A Gauteng Department of Health spokesman referred the Cape Argus to the national Department of Health, which he said would know about operations at O R Tambo. Health Department spokesman Fidel Hadebe was given the information about Wilson’s case and said he would look into the matter. Asked why Wilson would not have been quarantined at O R Tambo, Hadebe said this was not required under World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on preventing the virus’s spread. Hadebe said the health officials at the airport were “trained and highly qualified”. “They make a decision on the info that they have: whether to keep the person or send them to the nearest hospital. “We don’t want to create a situation where people’s lives are unreasonably disrupted.” Wilson said his being noticed by the thermal scanners at O R Tambo had been encouraging. “Everything seemed to have been in place and done correctly . And then it all fell apart.” Collins said she was upset with the system’s failure in Wilson’s case, regardless of whether he had swine flu. As of Wednesday when the , WHO’s Regional Office for Africa released its latest statistics, there had been 119 reported cases of swine flu and no deaths in South Africa. richie.duchon@inl.co.za

FRESH

Scientists in dark over HIV and H1N1
MICHELLE PIETERSEN
Staff Reporter

THERE is a “tremendous amount of mystery” surrounding the swine flu pandemic, and scientists are still unsure of how the H1N1 virus responsible for this flu will react in individuals with HIV/Aids, says a distinguished South African medical scientist. Professor Barry Schoub, executive director for the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, was speaking at a Charles Darwin lecture series event at the University of Cape Town’s New Learning Centre in Observatory last night. Schoub said he could not elaborate on how the H1N1 and HIV viruses would react if combined. “We really can’t comment. We

don’t know how it (the H1N1 virus) will behave in HIV/Aids individuals. “Research is being collected, and detailed characteristics are being assembled.” Schoub said that although a significant amount of information about the H1N1 virus had been collected during a short period, there were still many questions that needed to be answered. “This is a public health problem, and all we know is that the virus has the power to adapt to its host, and its changes.” He also said that there were a number of possibilities as to how the pandemic would pan out. At best, it would “most likely” replace the seasonal flu virus. “The most likely view is that what we are seeing now is that

the H1N1 will replace the seasonal flu. Or maybe that’s what we want it to. “Because this is a new virus and the first pandemic in 40 years, there is a certain amount of unpredictability surrounding it,” he said. In a worst-case scenario, the current outbreak of influenza could possibly be the calm before the storm, he warned. The first outbreak of H1N1 virus had lasted for 10 to 12 weeks – similar to the 1918 pandemic. Then, six months after the first outbreak, a second extremely virulent “wave” of the flu had killed between 50 and 100 million people world-wide. “At this stage the jury is still out – it’s early days. We have to keep a watchful eye,” said Schoub.

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