Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Special task team to probe KZN farm attacks

Special task team to probe KZN farm attacks
Amil Umraw, The Witness

Pietermaritzburg - The South African Police Service’s Provincial Task Team has been assigned to investigate all farm-related incidents, especially murders.

Five farmers have been slain and 15 others attacked in the province between January 1 and May 1 — a worrying figure that has not dropped since last year.

“Police management has prioritised policing in rural communities as they are more vulnerable to attacks by criminals. Police visibility has been increased in rural areas — Visible Policing members are deployed on a 24-hour basis. Whilst we urge farmers to beef up the security within their premises and take extra precautions, it is very important they be active in the police forums and not only attend meetings when they are victims of crime,” said police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane.

He said all crime on farms in the province was “monitored by our rural safety forum”. “All farm murders are given priority and are investigated by the Provincial Task Team. In most of the cases suspects have been arrested and they are in court for prosecution.”

KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) security desk chairperson Koos Marais said the highest rate of attacks on commercial farmers in the province is in the Kwadakuza area near Stanger, with Camperdown taking second place. Marais said the problem is widespread and criminal incidents of this nature are not opportunistic — they are planned attacks by criminals who familiarise themselves with the operations on the farm.

“One should never underestimate the intimidation of farm workers by these criminals. This is, in most cases, how criminals gain the information about where the safe and firearms are kept and when the farmer has made a large sale and has cash on hand,” Marais said. “The figures … may not be increasing, but it is worrying that this issue still exists.”

Marais said the union, with the police, have established a Rural Protection Plan where union members meet with provincial police management on a monthly basis to discuss safety measures on farms. “Across the province, farming associations have also established close ties with police leadership at cluster and station levels within their area,” Marais said.

However, the problem is still faced on the ground.

“A problem still exists with the lack of visible policing in rural areas and the time it takes for the police to respond to an incident. We do understand there are sometimes great distances between police stations and farms,” Marais said.

In an e-mail to The Witness last week, KZN Department of Community Safety and Liaision spokesperson Sipho Khumalo confirmed police in farming areas have “special” security plans and arrangements with communities to ensure they are protected and, at times, their safety prioritised.

“The department has special arrangements with some farm associations that have been encouraged to work with the local communities and community based organisations such as the KwaZulu-Natal Community Crime Prevention Association (KZNCCPA),” Khumalo said. “Indications are these partnerships have improved security in farming communities and have assisted in the recovery of stolen stock,” said Khumalo.

Read more on: pietermaritzburg | kwazulu-natal | farm attacks

ANC in KZN calls for state intervention to halt ward councillor murders.Twelve ANC ward councillors have been killed in KZN

ANC in KZN calls for state intervention to halt ward councillor murders

Twelve ANC ward councillors have been killed in KZN in the past two months.

Clement Manyathela | about 2 hours ago
20/07/2016 (EWN)

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal is calling on the Minister of Police Nkosinathi Nhleko and Minister of State Security David Mahlobo to step in to bring stability to the province.

In the latest killing on Monday, ward councillor Bongani Skhosana was shot and killed while transporting children to school; bringing the number of ANC leaders killed in the past two months to 12.

The KwaZulu-Natal ANC wants the provincial Premier Willies Mchunu to institute a commission of inquiry into political killings in the province and also wants the security cluster to be involved.

KZN ANC spokesperson Mdumiseni Ntuli said: “We can’t allow a situation where KwaZulu-Natal descends to the state it was in before 1994.”
Ntuli says the work by the commission and security cluster ministers will run concurrent with the ANC’s investigations into whether or not the latest killings are linked to divisions in the provincial party.

We track the political violence hot spots.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

ANC ‘involved’ in most political violence

No Corruption No Fear No Favour..........

Hlengiwe Nhlabathi and S’thembile Cele

President Jacob Zuma with the ANC's NEC. Picture: Lucky Nxumalo

A survey on political violence has pinpointed the ANC as being involved in most of the 100 political attacks tracked since 2013.
KwaZulu-Natal remains the battleground where many of these violent scenes are playing out.
This is according to the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) public violence monitor.
The institute, along with the manager for the crime and justice information hub, Lizette Lancaster, will this week release a comprehensive survey on election-related violence.
The data the survey is based on was captured from January 2013 to last month.
Figures shared with City Press this week show that KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 44 attacks that led to the killing of 48 people.
ANC national executive committee member and head of elections Nomvula Mokonyane had indicated in recent weeks that the situation in KwaZulu-Natal was concerning.
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko had established a task team to look into the cause of the violence, but has since remained mum on any progress made by the team.
The province has been a political battleground since the early 90s, when the ANC and the Inkatha Freedom Party were the protagonists.
But now, the killings are happening among comrades turned enemies, with positions being the bone of contention.
In April, four men were shot execution-style at a hostel in KwaMashu, while ANC councillor Zodwa Sibiya was murdered at notorious Glebelands Hostel in Umlazi, south of Durban. Both incidents were believed to be politically motivated.
This week, speaking at the ANC’s countdown to victory event held in Johannesburg, President Jacob Zuma repeated the sentiment that political infighting was simply democracy at work. He added that “families fight and the ANC is a big family”.
Meanwhile, the ISS has placed Gauteng – where 18 attacks have happened to date, resulting in six deaths – at number two.
This is followed by the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, the Western Cape, Mpumalanga, North West and the Northern Cape.
The latest figures come during a tumultuous election period for the ANC as it had to deal with members revolting against the party’s councillor nominations process.
A leaked report from the department of state security indicated concern that the violence could compromise this year’s elections.

Jacob Zuma and the whole ANC are running scared!
That's the reason why they have resorted to crime and violence.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Ronnie Kasrils: The Killing Game has already started

TRAINSPOTTER – Ronnie Kasrils: The Killing Game has already started

Richard Poplak
South Africa
14 Apr 2016 12:12 (South Africa)

Photo: Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils attends the launch of the "Sidikiwe Vukani! Vote No" campaign at Wits University in Johannesburg, Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

The ex-Minister of Intelligence Services does not have anything good to say about the current administration. He has joined the revived Phansi Zuma Phansi campaign, and has begun to speak out regarding the president’s peccadillos dating back to the sepia-tinted exile days. A bad man leads a traumatised country, and the fellow who used to run the spies thinks the killing game has already started. RICHARD POPLAK enjoys a glass of water with the closest thing South Africa has to the Dude, and abides.

Ronnie Kasrils thinks shit’s about to get real.

On a recent Monday, we sat on the verandah of his new house in Greenside, overlooking a modest garden that had already submitted to winter’s cold hand. Fraying plant life aside, the killing of South African citizens, insisted Ronnie over a glass of premium tap water, had already begun. His house was a classic Johannesburg bungalow, and we were within view of a small office that bore an unfortunate resemblance to the room in Mexico City in which Leon Trotsky was wacked with an ice-axe. That act of counter-counter-revolutionary trephination would come to symbolise the factions that eventually rip all movements apart, only for the remnants to be rearranged into a simulacrum of what came before.

Did Ronnie genuinely fear the coming of the ice-axe, or were his mantic revelations just the rumblings of an ex-spook entering his dotage? “Look, I’m 78,” he said, “I’ve lived a long and interesting life. I’ve got nothing to fear because I’m fine with my conscience. If they want to come for me, they know how to find me.”

Who is they? Ronnie was referring to the buffoonish securocrats and their minions that form President Jacob Zuma’s factional forward army. As useless on paper Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko, Minister of State Security David Mahlobo, and Directorate for Priority Crimes (or Hawks) head Major-General Mthandazo Berning Ntlemeza may appear, there can be no denying that Zuma has built around him a security cluster that is puppy-dog slavish, and who by convention wield the state’s monopoly on violence. Ronnie believes that they will soon get the opportunity to wield it at will. He wanted me to think of the killings of ANC members in KZN, of the Glebelands hostel murders in Umlazi, of the armed raid on the Helen Suzman Foundation offices, which saw hard-drives and other data removed during what appeared to be an organised robbery perpetrated by folks who organise robberies.

“I think people need to be afraid,” said Ronnie.

Ronnie, people are afraid.

* * *

If you’re unfamiliar with Ronald “Ronnie” Kasrils, we should probably begin by acknowledging that he is “no angel” — his description. But he is a committed commie badass, and one of the very few members of my tribe that refused to collaborate during the thousands of Shabbats that constituted the apartheid regime. He was radicalised by the bloodletting at Sharpeville, joined the ANC in 1960, and helped found the party’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), in 1962. During the exile years he traipsed across the usual hotspots, and in the early Sixties met a young comrade from Kwazulu-Natal, about whom he has had much to say of late.

The big black mark on Ronnie’s career – besides his Stalinism, depending on how you look at these things – is the Bisho Massacre, during which 28 ANC members were killed by forces loyal to the Ciskei Bantustan chieftain Oupa Gqozo. Ronnie was criticised by the subsequent Goldstone Commission for leading 80,000 marchers into an episode that was almost certainly not going to end well. But people die in revolutions, as Ronnie knows only too well. “If they come back at me with that,” he said of his former homies currently holding office in the Union Buildings, “I know how to defend myself.”

After the regime fell, Ronnie marched his way into the Transitional Executive Council’s Sub-Council on Defence, and from there he became the Deputy Minister of Defence, the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, and ultimately, in 2004, the Minister of Intelligence Services. He lasted in that post until President Thabo Mbeki’s ousting in September 2008, and was privy to much of the filth that proliferated during that unhappy family war.

Now, Ronnie is a pensioner who has stumbled back into the landscape of his youth – he’s not getting along with the authorities. He has lent his voice and his presence to the re-upped Unite Against Corruption collective, a loose affiliation of unionists, religious leaders, ex-ANC stalwarts, civil society organisations and Cape Town picnickers who are trying to form a coherent and vocal mass movement.

So far, they’ve failed.

I wanted to know whether he was wasting his time. At the ribbon cutting of this new collaboration, which occurred last week on the steps of Constitution Court, we were promised a “rolling plan of action” that included, among other things, “conversation”. In my experience, governments aren’t typically conversed out of power. Ronnie shrugged.

“This emergent left really needs to find its centre of gravity,” he said. (I’d argue that the patchouli stench suggests that the “emergent Left” is little more than the old Left in new T-shirts, as opposed to the Fallists and their ideological kinfolk who are changing stuff.) “It’s rather hesitant.” It has probably occurred to Ronnie that this New Left’s enemies know it better than it knows itself. And that its primary target is nowhere near as dumb as most people assume him to be.

* * *

Ronnie has known all the players bounding about on this Cirque du Soleil set for a very long time. Most particularly, he has known Zuma since the president was a 17-year-old comrade coming up through the ranks, a charismatic man-boy who brought more Natal into what was not quite a broad enough church at the time.

Zuma’s biography has yet to be properly written, but as far as Ronnie was concerned, after the future Prez was arrested in 1963 and exiled in 1975, his personality was all but fully formed.

“There were things that we saw. Certain attitudes to women or ideas about homosexuals – backward not in the sense that he was uneducated, but in how he chose to… be. And although we were not all Cromwell’s Puritans – a wife here, a girlfriend there, it was a hard life. Still.” At first Zuma appeared charming, then he appeared to be a liability. The way Ronnie saw it, this was how most exiles regarded the man. But exile had its own nonrules, and much of the ANC’s core was forged in this necessarily amoral desert. What, Ronnie wanted to know, were he and his comrades supposed to do? “We were dealing with a ruthless enemy and you could be struck down at any time.”

Where in this universe did morality serve as useful?

Ronnie and Zuma worked together in Mozambique between 1980 and 1983, as chair and secretary of the underground committee respectively, side by side within the MK structure. It wasn’t a happy marriage. By the time Zuma returned to South Africa from exile, a man who had always enjoyed a simple lifestyle was, according to Ronnie, “taking and taking and taking. He comes back to the country, he’s avaricious. And it gets him into the well with Schabir Shaik.”

As the proto-Gupta entity, Shaik probably needs no introduction in these pages. There was always going to be SAS (Someone After Shaik, if you’ll forgive the acronym), and the poor Guptas were simply next in line with the cashola.

So, how to best this guy?

“Well, Zuma is kept in power by the National Executive Committee and the general congress of the ANC,” said Ronnie. “But a president can be recalled. So where is the tipping point? Given the huge patronage network, and the people who owe Zuma their livelihoods, it’s tough. The only way is through the law, and we’ll see the so-called Stalingrad offence – and fight house to house. Time does run out on these people. We do have the Spy Tapes issue coming up.”

But, as Ronnie noted, Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi are still scampering free. Justice for Zuma must be considered in geological time, and the dude just turned 74, so… yeah. The numbers aren’t good.

Ronnie’s real play, however, and therefore the play of his happy-clappy coalition, was the upcoming municipal elections. He said that should the ANC lose a major municipality, or should the numbers indicate a slip below the 60 percent popular vote baseline? “Then the real fear will hit them. August” – the elections are called for August 3 – “is going to be a really big deal.

“I know the way they see things from inside,” continued Ronnie, “and the pressure from outside counts. Add that to a poor performance in the local elections, and…”


Ronnie said that the ousting, or the attempt thereof, would come at a cost. The pressure would be met by aggression, as it always is. “There are guns out there – there’s ever-present danger.”

Will people get killed?

“It’s very possible.”

But the status quo, Ronnie wanted me to know, was too ghastly to contemplate.

“We didn’t fight for this. What I can’t bear is the comrades who have come in and are milking the people. That I won’t stand.”

There are lots like Ronnie, more every day. For all of them, shit’s about to get real. The Jacob Zuma Ronnie knows does not play fair. But as the author Margaret Atwood once said, with more acid than perhaps even Ronnie can stomach, “I’m an optimist. I like to show that the Third Reich, the Fourth Reich, the Fifth Reich did not last forever.”

Justice, gauged in geological time, is not really justice at all. Ronnie, the ancient spook from a previous age, knows that all too well. His warnings of violence come from a previous age, too. Which doesn’t make them any less sinister. DM

Photo: Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils attends the launch of the "Sidikiwe Vukani! Vote No" campaign at Wits University in Johannesburg, Tuesday, 15 April 2014. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Richard Poplak
South Africa

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Police guard Mamelodi mall amidst running battles with looters


Neo Goba‚ Thabang Thaba And Penwell Dlamini | 22 June, 2016 12:30

Police on Wednesday closed the entrance of the Denlyn Mall in Mamelodi where looters had earlier tried to gain access as violent protests continue in Tshwane.

File photo of a Tshwane protester
This came as a group of protesters started looting shops along Tsamaya Road in Mamelodi East.
Since Monday‚ residents have looted shops‚ barricaded roads and also burned tires‚ preventing the free movement of vehicles.
The protests come after the African National Congress (ANC) leadership announced Thoko Didiza as Tshwane mayoral candidate.
Two police Nyalas were seen chasing looters along Solomon Mahhangu Road.
The group ran quickly west along Tsamaya Road near the Hinterland Street intersection‚ but they refused to disperse as they regrouped next to the mall.
More police gathered inside the mall to prevent further looting around the area. While there was an easy movement of traffic‚ tensions are still high as protesters have not left the vicinity of the mall.
Local taxis‚ known as "small businesses" in Mamelodi‚ have been doing a roaring trade with an abundance of commuters who work and trade around the mall.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

R7m gold bar bust at OR Tambo

national 17.5.2016 11:52 am

CNS reporter

The Lebanese national was intending to leave the country for Dubai with the gold bars.

A Lebanese national was on Monday arrested after being found with gold bars worth more than R7 million rand at OR Tambo International Airport.
SARS Customs officials in Pretoria intercepted the passenger, who was en route to Dubai, and found him carrying 17 rectangular gold bars and three circular bars weighing 23 kg, Mpumalanga News reported.
According to Sars spokesperson Sandile Memela the lone traveller was intending to leave the country without proper documentation.
“When his luggage was scanned, irregular images were identified and a hand search found these to be gold bars estimated to be worth R 7 033 600,” he said.
“The traveller produced self-generated invoices and he was immediately nabbed and handed over to the SAPS but SARS Customs has detained the goods for further investigations,” Memela said.
– Caxton News Service


Monday, April 4, 2016

Paul O'Sullivan released on R20 000 bail

No Fear No Favour No npa Persecution..........

Paul O'Sullivan released on R20 000 bail

2016-04-04 12:41
Lizeka Tandwa, News24

Johannesburg - Well-known private investigator Paul O'Sullivan was granted R20 000 bail, with set conditions, in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Monday. 
O'Sullivan was instructed to report daily to the Sandton police station and not to be within 5km of any international airport. ‎
He was arrested at OR Tambo international Airport on Friday night for contravening the Immigration Act after he was found in possession of three passports. He was travelling with his ‎family. 
The Hawks said they had received a tip-off from the department of home affairs that someone was using multiple passports. 
A task team from Gauteng was dispatched to the airport and, on arrival, O'Sullivan was caught with the different passports. 
A statement issued by O'Sullivan's representative on Saturday said he was not trying to flee the country as had been speculated. 
O'Sullivan was merely taking his daughters back to their school in London and was expected to return on Thursday, the statement added. 
The Star reported O'Sullivan had made a threat two weeks ago in an e-mail and copied the newspaper. 
The Star reported that he he said he had come from a top secret meeting and an amount of R20m was pledged to be used to stop the "Zupta crooks", including the allegedly infiltrated and criminalised SAA, NPA, Hawks and SAPS.
The Star reported that he had also mentioned dates of when he would be leaving the country and that a press conference to reveal corruption by the "Zupta-led" regime was imminent.