Wednesday, September 29, 2010

DOJ Uncovers Cheating by FBI Agents on Exam


DOJ Uncovers Cheating by FBI Agents on Exam


Posted: Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Updated: September 28th, 2010 09:39 AM EDT

By MARK SHERMAN
Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON --

A U.S. Justice Department investigation has found that FBI agents, including several supervisors, cheated on an important test covering the bureau's policies for conducting surveillance on Americans.

Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine said Monday that his limited review of allegations that agents improperly took the open-book test together or had access to an answer sheet has turned up "significant abuses and cheating." The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an arm of the Justice Department.

Fine urged the bureau to discipline the agents, throw out the results and come up with a new test to see whether FBI agents understand new rules that allow them to conduct surveillance and open files on Americans without evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

FBI Director Robert Mueller said that in cases in which misconduct has been determined, personnel actions were taken, and the process continues.

"We will follow up in each of the 22 cases the IG has found for disciplinary action, as appropriate, as well as any other allegations of misconduct," the FBI director said in a statement. Mueller said that when allegations of misconduct "first came to our attention, we moved quickly to investigate, bringing in the Office of Inspector General."

The troubling review of the exam on surveillance rules follows Fine's report last week on the FBI's scrutiny of domestic activist groups. That investigation found that the FBI gave inaccurate information to Congress and the public when it claimed a possible terrorism link to justify monitoring an anti-war rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 2002. That IG report also criticized the factual basis for opening or continuing FBI domestic terrorism investigations of some other nonviolent left-leaning groups.

In the inquiry into the exam, the inspector general looked only at four FBI field offices and found enough troubling information to warrant a comprehensive review by the FBI.

In one FBI field office, four agents exploited a computer software flaw "to reveal the answers to the questions as they were taking the exam," Fine said.

Other test-takers used or circulated materials that essentially provided the test answers, he said.

Fine said that almost all those who cheated "falsely certified" that they had done the work themselves, without the help of others.

Last year, Assistant Director Joseph Persichini, the head of the FBI's Washington field office that investigates congressional wrongdoing and other crime in the nation's capital, retired amid a review of test-taking in his office.

Persichini wrote down the answers to the test while two of his most senior managers were in the room taking the exam together, the IG said. Persichini used the answers he had written down to complete the exam another day, the IG added. A legal adviser also was in the room with Persichini and the two agents discussing the questions and possible answers.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said he was "especially disheartened that several FBI supervisors cheated on this exam" and the senator called on the FBI to implement "a more trustworthy exam process going forward and hold accountable those responsible for the cheating."

Most FBI employees took the exam between May 2009 and January 2010.

"This report reinforces that the FBI cannot police itself," said Michael German, policy counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union. "There needs to be stronger oversight and stronger controls over the bureau's use of its investigative powers."

German also expressed misgivings about the surveillance guidelines themselves, saying they enable the targeting of people for investigation when there is "no factual basis to support that speculative belief."

An FBI professional organization said Monday it supported changes to ensure the integrity of future tests.

"We look forward to working with the bureau to develop better procedures to ensure that future exams are conducted in a uniform manner with clear and consistent instruction in all locations," said Konrad Motyka, president of the FBI Agents Association, which has membership of nearly 12,000 active and retired agents.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

SA facing water pollution crisis


SA facing water pollution crisis
2010-09-28 22:40


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Johannesburg - By 2015, 80% of South Africa's fresh water resources will be so badly polluted that no process of purification available in the country will be able to make it fit for consumption.

The Environment and Conservation Association said in a statement on Tuesday that it was estimated that in five years, almost 80% of the country's fresh water resources would be so badly polluted that no process of purification available in the country would be able to clean it sufficiently to make it fit for human or animal consumption.

"If we do not find a completely new source of water altogether in about two years, most of Gauteng will be without safe drinking water."

The impending disaster that would be created by acid mine drainage as well as sewerage and industrial pollution had on many occasions been brought to the attention of the government, with no positive results however, the association said.

The association would embark on a massive water monitoring project where it would roll out water testing and monitoring in the six major water catchments in Gauteng and Limpopo, to produce independent and accurate results of exactly how bad the country's water was.

Those results would be released to the public and the media, both locally and internationally.

"We will need approximately R1m for this project. It is time that big businesses, especially those that rely on water for the production of their products like Coca Cola, SAB Miller, Windhoek Beer, all soft drink manufacturers and food producers, get involved and make a substantial contribution towards organisations like ours so we can save South Africa's water."

Water preservation and conservation was not just an environmental issue, but an economic issue.

"Almost 56% of the products we consume rely directly on the supply of clean healthy water, and if this water is not available, those products cannot be produced.

"Water affects every single part of our daily lives and without it we cannot survive. We cannot eat and we will be left in a country made barren by pollution."


- SAPA


environment pollution

Family’s cop robbery ordeal






28 September 2010, 00:09

By Thandi Skade

Two police reservists from Mamelodi, Tshwane, were arrested, together with a civilian accomplice, after holding a Somali family at gunpoint in Mayfair, Joburg, for two-and-a-half hours.
A third Mamelodi police reservist, who it is believed made off with R12 000 cash, a cellphone and jewellery, is on the run.
Police were able to arrest the three after the getaway driver drove off, leaving his accomplices to be apprehended by residents.
Abdirisak Igaal, his wife and three-year-old daughter arrived at their Mayfair home around 11am yesterday to find three uniformed
police officers, two male and one female, standing outside his house. They told him they had been sent by “head office” to search the house because he was a suspected drug dealer, although they didn’t possess a search warrant.
“They showed me a docket and threatened forced entry if I didn’t open the door. I said ‘come in’ because I have nothing to hide,” he said.
Once inside the house, one officer body-searched Igaal and began interrogating him about where he comes from, how long he had been in the country and what he did for a living.
“I told them I’m self-employed, that I own a shop that sells airtime and electrical appliances,” he said.
They then marched him to his bedroom, where the nice-cop act came to an abrupt end.
One officer pulled out a gun, cocked it and pointed it straight at Igaal’s head, before allegedly saying: “If you don’t sit down I’ll blow out your brain.”
Another officer allegedly pulled a knife and threatened his other daughter, aged 2, who had followed him into the bedroom.
They stole the R12 000 cash that Igaal had split between three pockets in his pants, as well as his cellphone, while his wife was robbed of her wedding ring and a necklace.
“I was shocked. The children were crying like nobody’s business… There was no heart there, they were merciless,” he said.
He said the trauma would haunt the family for some time to come. “I will never trust cops again; there’s no more trust there,” he said.
The trio fled the scene on foot after their getaway driver fled,
but were quickly nabbed by relatives and residents who had gathered outside the house after hearing of the robbery. One of the reservists was able to escape.
The getaway driver drove back to the scene a short while later, but Igaal’s relatives blocked the road and held him until police arrived.
Duad Ali Diriye, a cousin, said what scared them most was that they were no longer safe in their own homes.
Abdul Sheiq, whose house was robbed by three police officers in July, said he refused to let two cops who were following up on the robbery into his home because he simply couldn’t trust that all uniformed police were who they claimed to be.
Gauteng provincial police spokeswoman Captain Katlego Mogale confirmed that the pair arrested were Mamelodi police reservists, while another reservist was at large. - The Star

The Star

Comments by Sonny

What will the public do when they find out student constables are 'investigating'

their cases?

The only time the I/O contacts a complainant is to complain about items on the list

of stolen property!

What about the assailants?

Who will arrest and prosecute them?

How many more reservists and policemen are busy with organised crime in SAPS

uniforms and equipment?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mohlala locked out of her office

Mohlala locked out of her office
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Being escorted by a guard.

PRETORIA - Ousted Communications DG Mamodupi Mohlala who gained a court order to return to work Monday, had an unpleasant welcome when she arrived at work this morning. She found her office door locked and had a guard accompany her for safety purposes.

She was told that the minister's adviser ordered the head of security not to give her access cards.

Minutes before Mohlala was about to leave the minister's adviser and chief of staff summoned her to a meeting. Moneyweb awaits the outcome.

A court order in August ordered that Mohlala be reinstated as DG of Communications after Siphiwe Nyanda released Mohlala from her position as DG, end July citing a breakdown of relations between the two. The order added that if no solution was found on her deployment by September 27 (when her leave lapses), Mohlala would continue as DG of Communications within her contract of employment.

Mohlala has twice refused a cash settlement from the department. First she snubbed a R1.6m offer and last week she refused to take a R2.9m golden handshake plus R200 000, which covered legal costs. She was apparently offered a job as head of a department of education Seta. But she snubbed it as it was not in the same level as her DG position.

She is said to be interested in becoming the head of the asset forfeiture unit, CEO of Transnet, SA Airlink, the Consumer Protection Commission, or the State Information Technology Agency.

Write to Phakamisa Ndzamela: phakamisa@moneyweb.co.za

Property billionaire hits back at critics


Property billionaire hits back at critics
2010-09-26 17:40


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Julian Rademeyer
Johannesburg - The billionaire businessman at the heart of a controversial ­police headquarters rental deal and a massive farm-buying spree has hit back at critics who say he used his political connections to secure multimillion-rand deals.

It emerged last week that property developer Roux Shabangu was the key figure in a scheme to buy up billions of rands of farmland across South Africa for “land restitution”. Shabangu, 36, asserts that he had a government “mandate” to do so, but the department of ­rural development and land reform says no mandate ever ­existed.

Shabangu is angry. He says the scandal around the police headquarters deal and allegations in the Sunday Times that national police commissioner Bheki Cele orchestrated the move to his buildings and bypassed the tender process is costing him R10m a month.

“Knowing President Jacob ­Zuma is an honour, not a criminal offence,” Shabangu said.

Shabangu’s political connections and his friendship with ­Zuma have been under scrutiny since revelations last month that he had secured a lucrative property rental deal that would see police top brass and specialist units moved to two buildings owned by him in Pretoria and Durban.

“People never think that maybe someone like me or a person of my colour has the knowledge and capability to do such deals. They think he might have a ­connection of some sort with Cele. It is not fair comment to say that.”

Farmland

Last week Shabangu was in the spotlight again as details emerged of his role in a 2007 and 2008 scheme to snatch up vast swathes of farmland across South Africa, purportedly as part of a land redistribution plan.

Shabangu claims he had a government “mandate” to buy millions of hectares of farmland.

But land department spokesperson Eddie Mohoebi said no mandate was ever given to Shabangu’s holding company, Roux Property Development ­Africa, and no other companies had been mandated to acquire land.

Estate agents who spent months sourcing farms lost out on hundreds of millions of rands in commission and some farmers suffered substantial losses when the deals fell flat.

Shabangu and a network of agents employed at the Pretoria headquarters of Roux Property Development Africa and subsidiaries African Dune Investments and Sapphire Cove ­Investments 14 made numerous approaches to estate agents and farmers claiming they had billions of rands to spend on farms.

Estate agents scoured the country at his behest, and Shabangu and entourage flew to some farms by helicopter to ­inspect them.

A letter sent to estate agents stated that Roux Property Development Africa was a “wholly black-owned company” with a core business of property development and a portfolio of “more than R900m”.

Mining

The company also has interests in mining, commodity trading and transport.

The letter set a number of guidelines for qualifying farms, including that they be commercial or grazing agricultural land or game farms.

But numerous farmers and ­estate agents who spoke to Investigations24 said that ­although offers to purchase were signed, the deals collapsed.

Shabangu is adamant that he was “tasked by government ­because of our property expertise to negotiate and get farms”.

“What was happening was that when farmers knew government wanted to buy their land for ­redistribution, the price went up. So government was trying to avoid that by getting a private company to negotiate with these farms.

“We have the mandate in black and white.”

Shabangu said he could provide a copy of the mandate, but could not do so immediately and had not provided it by the time of ­going to press.

However, he says he lost “a lot of money” when the scheme was shelved after the ANC’s ­national conference in Polokwane in 2007.


- City Press


Read more on: land mining tenders jacob zuma bheki cele roux shabangu

Thursday, September 23, 2010

South African police arrest 11 suspected rhino poachers




SAfrican police arrest 11 suspected rhino poachers
Buzz up! ..By ERIC NAKI, Associated Press Writer Eric Naki, Associated Press Writer – Wed Sep 22, 11:37 am ET
JOHANNESBURG – South African police said Wednesday that they have arrested 11 suspected members of a major rhino poaching ring which they said had been linked to many rhino poaching incidents.

Police spokesman Vish Naidoo said the suspects include two veterinarians and a game farmer. He says the 10 were arrested earlier this week and one was arrested Wednesday after he appeared in court to support the accused.

Game farmer Dawie Groenewald was released on 1 million bail ($140,000), which is believed to be the heaviest in the crime's history. The remaining 10 were released on bail ranging from 5,000 to 100,000 rand ($700 to $14,000).

Prosecution spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said they face charges including assault, defeating the ends of justice, fraud, corruption, malicious injury to property and illegal possession of weapons and ammunition.

He said the case was postponed until April for further investigation.

Naidoo said 204 rhinos were killed this year alone in South Africa.

"Farmers must take precautions and game security have to be on the lookout," he said.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, rhino poaching has increased dramatically in the last two years due to high demand for rhino horn in Asia, where it is sometimes used for medicinal purposes.

South Africa, which hosts more than 90 percent of the world's rhino population, has been losing some 20 rhinos per month. Africa has lost 600 rhinos through poaching in the last four years.

"The poaching trend is extremely worrying," said Dr Joseph Okori, head of WWF's Africa Rhino Program. "If it is not stopped, the rhino conservation wins of the last decade will be in jeopardy."

Wednesday's arrest coincides with World Rhino Day. Conservationists have declared a campaign to raise funds to stop the illegal trade of rhino horns.

Both the African rhino and its endangered cousin, the black rhino, are targets of the illegal trade.

Peaceful marches in opposition to rhino poaching were held through South Africa Wednesday. Even professional hunters supported the cause, with the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa donating 400,000 rand ($56,000) toward anti-poaching efforts.

Journalists attending the trial of alleged poachers are detained





Wednesday, 22 September 2010 21:01
CITIZEN REPORTER and SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Three journalists nearly missed yesterday’s rhino poaching trial after police detained them for attempting to sneak pictures of the 11 accused.

South African Press Association (Sapa) photographer Werner Beukes, Beeld photographer Herman Verwey and SABC cameraman Lewellyn Carstens were held for 45 minutes at the Musina police station after the station commander told them they were not allowed to take pictures.

The Citizen understands that the station commissioner took issue after members of the media tried to sneak pictures of the detainees inside the police station – prompting Hawks spokesman Musa Zondi to ask police Colonel Vishnu Naidoo to intervene on their behalf.

Sapa editor Mark van der Velden later expressed dismay at the incident, saying it was an “embarrassment” to the police that a National Prosecuting Authority official had to “intervene and explain things to the police commander”.

After their release the photographers continued taking pictures of the accused crammed in the dock. Most of the men were wearing khaki shirts and denims.

Sariette Groenewald, wearing a striped dress, stood next to her game farmer husband, Dawie Groenewald, while Mariza Toet, a petite blonde dressed in a polka-dot top, was wedged between her veterinarian husband Karel Toet, and his colleague, Manie du Plessis, the two alleged masterminds.

Family members gave audible sighs of relief when the accused were granted bail.

The Citizen

Comments by Sonny

Why was this station commissioner protecting suspected 'Rhino Killers?" Is he

possibly one of the syndicate benefiting from Rhino Horn sales?

A great civil claim is in the pipeline!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Undercover agent spills the beans





22 September 2010, 07:47
By Hanti Otto

He dined and wined with alleged hijackers, met their families, let them sleep over at his flat, but all the while an undercover police agent was gathering information on the syndicate.

This agent yesterday told the Pretoria Regional Court he also bought "hot vehicles", including a Jeep Cherokee newly stolen or hijacked, from these "friends".

The cars also included a Toyota Camry, valued at between R40&nbs;000 and R60 000, but sold for R3 500.

The agent cannot be identified as he still operates undercover.

Andrew "Nanda" Selopyane, 30, Jadvic Sape, 33, Selby Mbezuma Mahlatji, 28, Melvin "Mover" Sibanda, 30, and Frank Makalane, 26, all from Atteridgeville, yesterday pleaded not guilty to a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

It is alleged they hijacked Johannes Kritzinger's Camry near Proclamation Hill in March 2005.

Selopyane is also charged with robbery with aggravating circumstances in connection with the hijacking of Nicolaas de Beer's Jeep Cherokee, valued at R300 000, in Sunnysidein April that year.

The agent testified that his vehicle was fitted with hidden video cameras.

He was given a list of names of alleged hijackers and car thieves in Atteridgeville and Saulsville, and sent to infiltrate them.

The agent had a flat in Kwaggasrand with a video camera and he was given special operational entertainment money. "I had to entertain a certain lifestyle to keep my cover," he said.

His "legend" (cover story) was that he bought stolen or hijacked vehicles for buyers in Joburg, Tembisa and Soweto.

"I bought a Jeep Cherokee, several Camrys and a lot of other vehicles during this operation from February until October 2005," the agent said.

These vehicles would be returned to police and information he gathered used to catch the criminals. He soon befriended Selopyane. "He trusted me. I knew his family and girlfriend."

Sibanda became a "close friend". The agent and the five accused often socialised together.

On March 23, 2005, Sibanda allegedly called the agent, wanting R4 000 for a Camry. The investigating officer told the agent to negotiate and Sibanda accepted a R3 500 offer.

But the investigating officer only gave the agent R3 000. When the agent went to close the deal, all five accused arrived in the Camry.

Sibanda got into the agent's car, not knowing the video camera was switched on. The case is back in court in December.



This article was originally published on page 1 of The Pretoria News on September 22, 2010

The Star

Comments by Sonny

Agent Provocateur!

This case is similar to the "Boeremag" trial!

The Gold and Diamond Branch were famous for this kind of investigations!

Does the Constitution not define these crimes as "Entrapment?"

How many of these cases ever get to trial?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rhino masterminds face charges




2010-09-21 17:06


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Johannesburg - Nine members of an alleged rhino poaching ring will appear in court on Wednesday, police said on Tuesday.

"They will definitely appear in the Musina Magistrate's Court tomorrow," Colonel Vishnu Naidoo said.

The nine include two veterinarians, one of their spouses, and a game farmer and his wife.

They were arrested during early morning raids on Monday at Modimolle, Polokwane, and Musina.

The ring was allegedly linked to "hundreds of rhino poaching incidents", Naidoo said.

"No further arrests have been made as yet."

The accused would face charges relating to breaching regulations governing the protection of wildlife.

"This was a joint effort between the Hawks, SA National Parks, the National Prosecuting Authority, and aviation authorities," Naidoo said.

Beeld newspaper reported on Tuesday that the two veterinarians were well-known in Modimolle, and owned an animal clinic and a wildlife organisation involved in catching and transporting game.

The accused were taken into custody until their appearance on Wednesday.

More than 200 rhinos have been killed for their horns since the beginning of this year - up from a total of 122 poached last year.

Misinformation

Conservation agencies, at a press conference earlier this month, said a growing, wealthier middle class in East Asia and a communications boom were some of the causes for the increase in rhino poaching.

"There is a growing middle class in East Asian society that can afford to buy rhino horn... which they use as medicine," World Wildlife Fund (WWF) spokesperson Joseph Okori said.

Rhino horn is incorrectly believed to treat cancer, among other diseases, in some Asian countries.

Spokesperson for rhino conservation agency Traffic, Tom Milliken, said technological advances in communications had affected the increase in rhino poaching.

"There are 100 million cellphones in Africa. Everyone is connected now. A guy can make a call from a game reserve and say 'I've got the horn, come pick me up'.

"Then a car is (organised) to pick him up and in a day or two he can be on a flight out of the country. This was not happening years ago".

He also attributed the rise in rhino poaching to the growing Asian presence in Africa.

Rhino warriors

Wildlife Ranching South Africa (WRSA) recently called for rhino poaching to be legalised in an attempt to combat it.

WRSA manager Reinhardt Holtzhausen, said the re-introduction of rhino horn to the trade industry, under strict control and standards and overseen by South African authorities, would be the "key to the solution".

Thursday marks the WWF's first "Make a noise for rhino day" initiative in support of the country's "rhino warriors" - the men and women who risk their lives daily against the gangs running the illegal rhino horn trade.

Apart from blowing vuvuzelas and tooting car hooters on September 22, the WWF encouraged people to make donations at www.wwf.org.za. which would be used to buy anti-poaching equipment for guards, including binoculars, radios, night-vision gear, body armour and tracking devices.

- SAPA

News24.Com

Comments by Sonny

The people who are supposed to protect the Rhino are killing them!!

Let the truth be known!

Tshwane municipal manager probed






21 September 2010, 00:06
Investigations into allegations of maladministration, irregularities and misconduct against the suspended Tshwane municipal manager have been completed, said former Truth and Reconciliation commissioner Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza on Monday.

Ntsebeza, who was tasked in February to investigate municipal manager Kiba Kekana, said: "I have completed the investigation and the final report was submitted on the fourth of June."

He said he had given his report to executive Dr Gwen Ramokgopa as well as to some members of the council who had assisted in the investigation.

He declined to comment on the contents of his report or why it had never been made public. It has also not been presented to the city's council.

Municipality spokesperson Console Tleane said: "What we can confirm is that Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza is no longer offering services in relation to this matter.

"We prefer not to comment on whether the investigation is still ongoing on not. We will issue a statement in due course."

Kekana was appointed in April 2007, making him the city's eighth municipal manager since 2000.

He was suspended in October last year on 11 allegations of mismanagement. Five of these were subsequently dropped.

The Pretoria News reported in April that Ntsebeza and Ramokgopa clashed over the dropping of these charges, which it said had the potential to implicate Ramokgopa in wrongdoing.

It reported that Kekana had failed to control Ramokgopa's expenditure, which related to Ramokgopa receiving a housing allowance while occupying a municipal-owned house, and the municipality paying for all her cellphone calls.

On Saturday, the Beeld newspaper reported that a deal was about to be reached that would see Kekana receive a golden handshake of R2.5-million. It said the Tshwane Mayoral Committee had discussed the issue of a golden handshake.

The Democratic Alliance's Gauteng local government spokesperson on Sunday urged the Gauteng local government MEC Kgaogelo Lekgoro to stop any moves to pay the golden handshake.

"The mayor suspended Kekana and commissioned an investigation into his involvement of alleged irregular activities. They must either continue with the investigation or reinstate him," said Nel.

"The MEC must step in and protect the Tshwane metro's taxpayers from an unnecessary and fruitless expense. That money should be used towards service delivery and not towards enriching an ANC cadre."

He said the DA would consider approaching the Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela.

Freedom Front Plus spokesperson Philip van Staden said: "This is a brilliant example of why you should not have a political appointee. The city must get the right guy for the job irrespective of his colour."

Lekgoro's spokesperson said the matter was an issue that needed to be resolved by the Tshwane municipality.

"It doesn't involve us. If the DA makes an allegation why should we comment?" he said. - Sapa

The Star

Comments by Sonny

These probes go nowhere - Take the fraud in Johannesburg and start here!

Estimated accounts are always inflated and never get repaid!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sister contradicts alleged killer's alibi





August 20 2010 at 07:20AM Get IOL on your
mobile at m.iol.co.za

By Karen Breyenbach Justice Writer

A suspected driveway robber and murderer's claims that his fingerprints must have found their way on to the cars of two alleged victims because he may have sold them flowers at his kerbside stall, were dealt blows by two witnesses on Thursday.

Although Gershwin Hartzenberg's sister testified in his defence in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday, she unwittingly contradicted him on central aspects of his evidence.

Christine Scout was called to verify that her brother was in her care while out on bail - and home on the nights two Southern Suburbs women were robbed in their driveways in March and April of 2008.
Continues Below ↓






Hartzenberg said he had moved in with Scout and her family in Grassy Park when he was released on bail in February, 2008.

She, however, told the court that Hartzenberg had moved in after their brother's death in July - months later.

She later claimed to remember that Hartzenberg was home on the night of April 13, 2008, when Jane van Zyl was shot and killed in her Bergvliet driveway, because they would have visited their brother's grave that day. But that was two months before he died. To clarify, she claimed to have become confused by the dates.

Scout also contradicted her brother on whether he had his own room, how long he had dated his girlfriend, whether friends visited him at home and even what lunch she had prepared on April 13.

Hartzenberg's evidence of possibly selling flowers to Van Zyl and touching her car while depositing them on the back seat, was also challenged when the court called back to the stand her widower, Smiley van Zyl.

Van Zyl said he was the one who bought flowers every week, mostly from a retailer. His wife would not have bought flowers from a street vendor. Besides that, they had not had any flowers in the house the week before her robbery and murder.

A police fingerprint expert said Hartzenberg's prints on Van Zyl's car were fresh, because they reacted well to the fingerprint powder.

Hartzenberg's employer, Abduragmaan Williams, then testified that Hartzenberg sometimes sold fruit at the side of the road, too.

But Smiley van Zyl said his wife bought their fruit and vegetables at supermarkets, not from street vendors, whose produce baked in the sun all day.

Newlands resident Linda Heeger was also robbed, but left uninjured outside her house late on March 13, 2008.

The state intended to call back Heeger,too, but she is on holiday abroad until September.

The case was postponed to September 6.

karen.breytenbach@inl.co.za

This article was originally published on page 4 of Cape Times on August 20, 2010

Comments by Sonny

Pity there is no Death Sentence in SA!

No wonder murder and robbery is royal sports!

Zuma: succession debate premature




20 September 2010, 00:09
It was time for the ANC to act against those prematurely mobilising and lobbying for succession, party president Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

"Mobilising and lobbying for succession so early also gives the wrong impression that the ANC comprises of groups of people who are pre-occupied with fighting for influential positions to advance personal interests instead of advancing the programme of the organisation," Zuma told delegates at the midterm policy review conference in Durban.

"It is clear that the time has come for the organisation to act. We must take a decision that those who engage in such activities are in fact undermining the organisation and its work and at worst, are undermining the unity of the organisation.

"Action must be taken against them."

Zuma said a decision was taken by the national executive committee in May to ban public spats and discussions of the 2012 succession and related leadership preferences.

The African National Congress' top leadership body took the decision to strengthen unity, prevent confusion and avoid undermining the confidence of the membership in their current leadership.

The ANC Youth League had recently come out in support of its former president, Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to replace current ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe at the next elective conference in 2012.

At the ANCYL's own national general council (NGC) last month, songs were sung in support of Mbalula and delegates held placards favouring him over Mantashe.

Zuma said action would also be taken against members of the ANC who continued to attack others publicly and he expressed concern about "labelling" and "other divisive tendencies that are also creeping in".

"For example, we have always said the ANC is a broad church but suddenly, there are now people who are said to be about, 'anti-Communist' and others who are 'anti-nationalist'."

Zuma said a new "dangerous method of lobbying" had emerged where people use money to buy support.

He slammed the "abuse of lobbying" which had been a long-standing democratic practice in the ANC.

"It cannot and should not take the form of an instruction on who to vote for, and thereby creating a culture of despising the will of the ANC branch members in good standing, in the manner that the 'slate' method is doing.

"This certainly corrupts the democratic processes of the ANC," he said.

The "slate method" he referred to was when leadership was decided upon according to lists of members aligned to certain factions. ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe and chairwoman Baleka Mbete had also in the past spoken out against the method.

Both leaders were elected on the Zuma slate at the ANC's 2007 national conference. - Sapa

Thnbe Star

Comments by Sonny

Nothing is premature here in SA..... your sugar gets stolen out of your tea before

you can drink it!

5 rhinos killed in Pilanesberg




5 rhinos killed in Pilanesberg
2010-09-20 09:01

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Susan Cilliers, Beeld
Johannesburg - Four rhino carcasses with sawn-off horns have been found in a Pilanesberg nature reserve in the North-West.

A fifth rhino was found still alive, but with its horns sawn off and with a gunshot wound in the back. It later died.

This comes just after several rhinos were marked to prevent poaching in Mafikeng in the North-West at the weekend.

The latest discovery brings the total number of rhinos poached in South Africa since January to 210, Louis Coetzee said on Sunday evening.

Coetzee is the manager of the Mafikeng game reserve, which belongs to the North-West's parks and tourism board.

$60 000 per kilogram

"That's already a significant increase from the 140 rhinos that were poached last year. Their horns are becoming increasingly sought-after, and can sell for up to $60 000 (about R429 000) per kilogram on the black market."

One rhino horn can weigh up to 8kg.

According to police spokesperson Adéle Myburgh, workers from the reserve in the Pilanesberg were counting rhinos when they spotted the carcasses at the weekend.

The animals had all been shot. According to Myburgh, the total value of the five rhinos was about R2.9m.

No suspects have been arrested, but police are investigating.

Coetzee said game poaching has been rearing its ugly head in the reserve since January.

"Two of our rhinos were tranquillised before the poachers cut off their horns, and four were killed. As a result, we've suffered a loss of about R1m.

He said the poachers, who often hail from Mozambique or Zimbabwe, mostly move around on foot and climb through or over fences.

In exceptional cases, poachers are dropped off by helicopter. They then tranquillise or kill the animals before cutting off their horns.

Once the poaching is done the helicopter picks them up again.

"The poachers even cover the helicopter's registration," said Coetzee.

Difficult to replace

Game poachers move mostly at night and use chainsaws or pangas to chop off the horns. They also don't hesitate to kill the calves who are with their mothers, said Coetzee.

Rhinos may be hunted within limits, if one has the relevant permit.

According to Coetzee, any kind of trade in rhino horn products is illegal.

It's difficult to replace a rhino. They live for 30 years on average, and a rhino cow can only give birth about once every three years.

"They only reach sexual maturity from age 7," said Coetzee.

An adult rhino bull can weigh up to 3 tons. Coetzee and other game rangers battled at the weekend to turn one such heavy bull onto its side (to be marked) once it was tranquillised.


- Beeld


Read more on: animals poaching mafikeng

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Establish anti-corruption commission: Afrikanerbond





Sep 19, 2010 2:55 PM | By Sapa
An anti-corruption commission had to be established to fight corruption in South Africa, the Afrikanerbond said on Sunday.

Bodyguards try to stop reporters and photographers from getting close to disgraced former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi outside the Johannesburg High Court when he sought eave to appeal against his conviction on corruption charges.


"South Africa's tax revenue is seen by politicians and civil servants as a personal ATM [automated teller machine] with self enrichment as their only priority," Afrikanerbond chairman Pieter Vorster said at the organisation's Eastern Cape regional meeting in Cradock.

He said that, according to Transparency International, South Africa was 54th out of 180 countries when it came to international perceptions of corruption in 2008.

"Billions of rands have been channelled to the personal accounts of politicians and public servants and very little has been done to stop the tide. It is time for drastic action."

Concerted action against corruption in several countries, including emerging economies, by their own, independent anti-corruption commissions had led to an improvement on their positions on the World Economic Forum's global competitiveness report and on Transparency International's barometer on perceptions of corruption, said Vorster.

"In these countries, politicians and public servants involved in corruption have been investigated and prosecuted without fear or favour and the success of these countries has helped in recovering investment confidence."

He said the fight against corruption, mismanagement, nepotism and fraud would be won not by acting only with preventative measures, but with investigative and prosecuting capabilities too.

The establishment of special anti-corruption courts and a free and independent media would play a major role in fighting corruption.

"In South Africa, such an independent commission must also be tasked with depoliticising the public service, as political appointments create the ideal breeding ground for corruption," said Vorster.

He said the establishment of such a commission would require the necessary political will and would require the recognition that South Africa was essentially a systemically corrupt country.


Times Live

Comments by Sonny

Who is this convicted criminal Jackie Selebi anyways?

Just a corrupt Police (ANC) State to the free world, we'd say!!

Where was the ANC during his trial and conviction?

With an Anti-Corruption Commission, there would be no ANC!

Friday, September 17, 2010

'Cop rented guns, uniforms to thugs'





17 September 2010, 08:12
A defiant policeman, allegedly involved in leasing guns, bulletproof vests, radios, uniforms, blue lights and sirens to gangs of robbers for thousands of rands, stared down his colleagues as he was arrested on Thursday.

The constable's arrest has exposed what is believed to be the tip of the iceberg of a vast criminal syndicate operating from within the ranks of the SAPS.

Police say that through previous investigations, rogue colleagues have been known to rent out equipment such as guns, bullet-proof vests and uniforms for amounts ranging from R500 to R3 000. The figure depended on the type of crime being committed and the period for which the equipment was needed.

The 23-year-old railway police unit member was arrested at his post at Park Station in Joburg, where he was on duty, on day.

"He was defiant. He knew we were coming. He didn't say anything to us. He just stared at us when we told him that he was under arrest and when we handcuffed him," said a cop probing the robbery.

It brings to five the number of people held in |connection with a Pretoria business robbery on Wednesday. The policeman's alleged accomplices were caught in Mamelodi, where the policeman lives; Bon Accord, at the business which was robbed; Brooklyn; and in Nellmapius yesterday morning and on Wednesday evening.

One policeman said they were investigating where the arrested cop and other criminals, who could possibly include other police officers, sourced the equipment to commit crimes. These included radios, bullet-proof vests, blue lights, sirens and uniforms.

This article was originally published on page 3 of The Star on September 17, 2010

The Star

Comments by Sonny

While Comm. Bheki Cele is hiring houses and buildings, his men are renting out

equipments for crimes!!

WHERE IS JUSTICE IN SA?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Robber shot in Durban CBD




16 September 2010, 00:09
A shop owner shot a man allegedly attempting to rob him at the Mercury House building in the Durban CBD on Thursday, police and paramedics said.

"The suspect is in critical condition and on advanced life support while being transferred to the Addington Hospital under police guard," ER24 spokesman Derrick Banks said.

"Two suspects entered the Keogh Coin Place on the 11th floor and held the owner at gunpoint and demanded money," Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Mdunge said.

The owner fired at the men with his personal firearm and one man was seriously wounded and the other tried to flee. They were detained by theowner and a staff member until police arrived.

The owner of the shop was hurt when the robbers "pistol-whipped" him. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment where he was in a "serious but stable condition", Banks said.

The incident took place at around 2pm.

Mdunge said the two men would face charges of armed robbery with aggravating circumstances and they might appear in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Monday. - Sapa

The Star

Comments by Sonny

When more robbers than farmers get killed, then, SA will be on the way to recovery!!

Selebi case cost taxpayers R17,4m




16 September 2010, 12:45
By Michelle Pietersen
Political Bureau

Taxpayers have paid R17,4-million in legal fees for former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi's corruption trial in which he was found guilty.

This was revealed by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa in a written reply to a parliamentary question by Pieter Groenewald of the Freedom Front Plus (FF+).

Mthethwa said a decision to recover the fees could be taken only once the appeal process had been finalised.

Earlier this month, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Jeff Radebe confirmed that consideration was being given to the possibility of the State also paying Selebi's legal fees for his appeal.

Department of Justice spokesman Tlali Tlali said the State would decide within the next few days if it would pay for Selebi's appeal cases.

Selebi was found guilty of corruption by Judge Meyer Joffe in the Johannesburg High Court in July and sentenced to 15 years.

Last month, the former top cop won leave to appeal his conviction.

Groenewald said the FF+ had submitted a complaint to the Public Protector to determine whether taxpayers' money had been misappropriated.

"It is clear that the taxpayers have to fork out money for someone found guilty of being a criminal by a high court," said Groenewald.

"The State should not make any further payments for Selebi's appeal cases because it would boil down to a waste of taxpayers' money."

Kgalalelo Masibi, a senior manager at the Public Protector, said the State had agreed to pay for Selebi's legal costs on condition that if he lost his case, he would have to pay the money back.

"If he appeals, the State can continue paying until all remedies have been exhausted. If he still loses the case, he has to pay the State back," said Masibi.

Tlali said: "At the end there must be reasonable prospects to successfully recover all the money used towards payment of legal costs, should the accused be found guilty."

Selebi also indicated that he intended petitioning Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo in a bid to be allowed to appeal against all aspects of his conviction and sentencing.

This followed the September 6 ruling by Judge Joffe that Selebi can appeal against his corruption conviction only in relation to cash payments he received from convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti.

Selebi had applied for leave to appeal against the 15-year sentencing; the payments of R30 000 he had received from Agliotti; the unfairness of the trial; and the biased nature with which he said Judge Joffe and the prosecution team had handled the trial.

But the judge ruled that Selebi had "no reasonable prospects to succeed" at the Supreme Court of Appeal on all other aspects of his appeal other than the payments.

"I'm satisfied that, save for one ground, there's no reasonable ground for success.

"The only ground is whether the State has failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he received those payments. It's on these grounds that I'm prepared to grant leave to appeal," Judge Joffe ruled.

But Selebi's attorney, Wynanda Coetzee, said her team would petition the Chief Justice to try to appeal more issues.

The date on which the appeal will be heard has not yet been confirmed.



This article was originally published on page 1 of The Cape Argus on September 16, 2010

The Star

Crime comes cheap.

On conviction a serving/suspended commissioner should lose his pension and pay back

for his trial?

What makes SA different?

CRONYISM OR "lE cLUB!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Woman 'brutally' killed in robbery




15 September 2010, 07:36
By Yusuf Moolla and Nompumelelo Magwaza

A 73-year-old woman was strangled during a robbery at her home in Silverglen yesterday.

Sally Naidoo was found with cable ties around her arms, legs and neck in the bedroom of her home in Mountain Rise Road. Relatives found her after she failed to answer calls to open the door.

"I called the landlord to open the gate. When we went in, the house was ransacked and her body was found tied up in her room," said Clinton Singh, a family spokesman.

"Her jewellery was taken."

Relatives and friends watched in silence as forensic pathologyservices conducted investigations and removed the body.

Residents and community policing forum spokesman Edmund Chetty said the community was disgusted by the murder.

There had been a series of housebreakings in the area.

"While we commend the police for their efforts in fighting crime, we need to increase visible policing in the area."

In Umbilo, a 23 year-old woman survived an attack in which a man fired five shots at her outside her home in Bonix Road on Monday

It is believed she knew the gunman.

Netcare 911 spokesman Jeff Wicks said the woman had five bullet wounds to her abdomen, chest and arms. She was in a serious condition when the medics arrived.

"She was stabilised before she was taken to a hospital."

Police - who initially said the woman was dead - were searching for a 30-year-old man.



This article was originally published on page 2 of The Mercury on September 15, 2010

The Star

Comments by Sonny

People don't get to die of old age any more in SA!

Is their anything wrong with society?

Robbers killed in high-speed chase





15 September 2010, 10:31
Three men who allegedly robbed a house in Kempton Park were killed when their vehicle rolled during a high-speed chase with Gauteng police on Wednesday morning.

A group of men allegedly held up a family in the Bredell area and stole their valuables, including a VW Golf, Colonel Eugene Opperman said.

They fled in the Golf, abandoned it and continued in a BMW.

"The Benoni Flying Squad picked up the stolen car with the three armed robbers and a chase ensued along the M57 towards Lyttelton. The driver of the BMW could not handle the speed and rolled the car on a straight road."

All three were killed.

Police found the stolen Golf abandoned near Olifantsfontein. Three stolen pistols and property from the Kempton Park house were recovered.

"We are not looking for any other suspect in this case as we believe the three were the only ones involved," said Opperman. - Sapa

The Star

Comments by Sonny

The best justice is sure justice!!

In full flight!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Gauteng police to be more visible





SEP 13, 2010 | LUZUKO PONGOMA | 6 COMMENTS
EVERY 10 minutes a Gauteng citizen should see a police officer on the street. This is the plan of the new provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Mzwandile Petros.


I will run the police as a business and the output will be measured in the safety of the citizens

He told Sowetan in an interview that there were also plans to brand all police vehicles, complete with cellphone numbers, so that instead of calling 10111 you can call your local police as part of improving the response time on crime.

Petros took over on September 1 from retired general Perumal Naidoo, whose departure put the spotlight on his relationship with the underworld.

This after his farewell party was hosted by Allan Kukard, a brothel owner and an alleged underworld kingpin.

While Petros would not be drawn into commenting on allegations about Naidoo, he has already warned his officers about corruption in a series of imbizos over nine days.

"I made it clear to the officers that we need to improve our corporate image because we cannot succeed if the community mistrusts us. I will be dealing with allegations of corruption and arrested officers," he said.

While he was leading the Western Cape he arrested more police for corruption than any other province, He said he would do the same in Gauteng.

On reports of Gauteng being the home of the mafia, Petros said: "That is better dealt with than spoken about."

He said criminal hotpots would be targeted.

"The resources should follow the problem. We have also looked at putting Flying Squad and a Rapid Response together. A double effect will lead to double results.

"We need to ensure that police intelligence picks up people on pro-crimes instead of waiting for the crime," he said.

"Mark this day on the situation outside, we need to say there has been change.

"I will run the police as a business and the output will be measured in the safety of the citizens," he said earlier when he addressed politicians, senior police officers and the media on Friday.

He was speaking in the wake of Gauteng being named a crime haven in the latest crime statistics on Thursday.

The 50-year-old former maths and science teacher said: "People of Gauteng will come up with the solution on crime. I have spoken to the constables on whether the soles of their shoes and the cars they are driving are OK for the terrain they are patrolling."

He said he also spoke to communities and asked how they felt when they are safe.

Petros, who spent seven years at the helm in Western Cape, said: "The deterrent for crime is the visibility of police, finish and klaar.

"People should feel safe and be safe and it's the obligation of the police to be seen to be doing something," he said.

"There are 192,000 police officers in the country but only 12,000 social workers. Social issues are not part of policing.

"Other stakeholders should be involved.

"Putting criminals in jail is not the solution since most of them come out worse," he said.

Petros said that he would also engage with businesses since they are affected by robberies.

"The impact of crime decreasing will not be measured by crime statistics but by the numbers of those who come to invest and live in the province," he said.


Sowetan News

Comments by Sonny

Who will foot this bill?

Cele's house 'above board'






13 September 2010, 00:09
The acquisition of a R4-million residence for Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele is "thought to have been above board", his office said on Sunday.

"Upon the appointment of General Cele the need for official residence emerged but the Department of Public Works did not have any but was able to facilitate the acquisition of a house which would be occupied by the National Commissioner," Cele's spokesperson Nonkululeko Mbatha said in a statement.

"The acquisition of the residence is thought to have been above board and was done through Supply Chain Management Division."

She was responding to a Sunday Times article that government spent R4,2-million buying and furnishing a home for Cele in the upmarket Pretoria suburb of Waterkloof.

The house cost R3-million with transfer costs, and the police spent R1.2-million on luxury furnishings including a home gym, which was still under construction, the publication said.

Mbatha described the article as "slander" and said Cele had nothing to sign that pertained to the house, and that all inventory was procured through a division belonging to the state.

She security factors had to be considered when purchasing the home.

"It was noted that the alternative properties which were identified did not meet the minimum security requirements," she said.

The statement said Cele was paying a monthly rental of R8 968 for the property.

The Police Housing Policy states that members appointed or deployed for operational purposes qualify for the provision of residential accommodation.

Mbatha said Cele fell within that category.

"Therefore, the house referred to does not belong to General Cele but is and remains the property of the state," she said.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Sunday said it would ask the Public Service Commission to investigate the decision to provide Cele a state residence costing R4-million.

The party's police spokesperson Dianne Kohler-Barnard said she would write to the chairperson of the commission on Monday.

There was no provision the DA was aware of that allowed public money to be spent buying new property for senior managers.

"It is exorbitant, excessive and self-indulgent... there exists already a number of residences in which the national police commissioner could live," she said in a statement.

The money spent on the house came against a background of massive wasteful expenditure by police leadership, said Kohler-Barnard. Mbatha said it seemed as though the Sunday Times had embarked on a "mission" to write "inaccurate" stories about Cele.

"These irregular reports by the Sunday Times will not distract my efforts of fighting crime and corruption but it is a concern that this particular newspaper is seemingly intent on reporting inaccurately and with impunity.

"I will continue to take up this matter with the press ombudsman and South African National Editors' Forum." - Sapa

The Star

Comments by Sonny

....."WHAT REALLY IS 'ABOVE BOARD' IN THE 'NEW SOUTH AFRICA'"?

ONLY THE INCREASE OF CRIME!!

From 'Rage to Riches' in one appointment!

Zuma's son to give away BEE riches








13 September 2010, 07:37
Duduzane Zuma, businessman and son of President Jacob Zuma, has defended his involvement in black economic empowerment (BEE) deals and vowed to give away 70 percent of his stake in the ArcelorMittal SA (Amsa) deal .

"I have decided to spread it among South Africans who are needy and disadvantaged like I once was," he said.

His close business allies, the Gupta family, had also agreed to give away 70 percent of their allocation in the Amsa deal.

Zuma jr said he would set up a broad-based share scheme for disadvantaged South Africans to distribute shares in the controversial Amsa deal.

His Mabengela Empowerment Trust was worth more than R1 billion, he said. A share would go to widows and widowers, orphans and dependants of police officers who had died in the line of duty since April 17, 1994.

Another would go to a bursary fund for underprivileged students studying at universities.

"The inaugural award will go to the University of Johannesburg," Zuma jr said.

"We will particularly target universities in historically disadvantaged areas or universities with a large proportion of students from historically disadvantaged communities."

A portion would go to support women in rural communities and pay for the education of orphans.

Zuma jr was chastised by Cosatu after it was announced he was one of the beneficiaries in Amsa's BEE deal, worth more than R9bn.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said: "Prominent 'business figures', linked to top political leaders, deepen perceptions that there is blatant abuse of power to concoct illegitimate business deals worth billions."

Zuma jr defended his involvement in the deal, saying it had nothing to do with his father being president. "I have been in business long before my father was president."

He had "never done business with government", Zuma jr said. Hard work and dedication had helped him establish himself in business. - Sapa

This article was originally published on page 2 of The Pretoria News on September 13, 2010

The Star

Comments by Sonny

To WHOM and WHY?

Communist rhetoric to say the least...!

Let's hope us poor benefits from 'this' mysterious handout!!

Will Whites be on that 'wish-list' as well?

Friday, September 10, 2010

DA Today 10 Sept 2010






10 September 2010

Welcome to the latest edition of SA Today, the weekly newsletter from the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, Helen Zille.



SA Today
Helen Zille, DA Leader

Zuma must get a grip on the economic tiller
Much of my focus at the moment is on strategies to reduce and alleviate poverty in our country. Entrenched poverty is, without doubt, the greatest obstacle we must overcome if we are to become a successful and sustainable democracy, in which people can live lives they value.

Sustained economic growth is an essential (if not sufficient) precondition to overcome poverty. This means devising and implementing policies designed to make our economy more globally competitive so that we attract more investment and create more jobs. Every country that has sustainably lifted its poorest citizens out of poverty has done so by becoming more competitive.

Yesterday we learned that South Africa had slipped 9 places, from 45 to 54, in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index. The index measures and compares the competitiveness of 139 countries using indicators such as infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health, education, labour market efficiency and innovation.

The index reveals that the biggest brake on our competitiveness is the state of education and health. Our education system was ranked 130 out of 139 overall, while the quality of mathematics and science education was ranked third last at 137. When it comes to health, we were ranked 127 out of 139 for life expectancy – chiefly as a result of the widespread prevalence of HIV/Aids (we scored 136 on that indicator).

Our crime rate – although on the decrease overall according to the latest crime statistics – is also having an impact on our global competitiveness. Out of the 139 countries studied, we were ranked third last at 137.

It wasn’t all bad. In some areas we performed extremely well, scoring better than some of the world’s most developed economies. We were ranked number one in the world for the strength of our auditing and reporting standards, and number one for the regulations of securities exchanges. Unfortunately, it is far easier to maintain a good auditing system than it is to turn around a failing education system or stop the spread of HIV/Aids.

But there are other things that can be done right away to increase our competitiveness, create jobs and reduce poverty.

What emerges loud and clear from this report is how our current labour policies are constraining our global competitiveness, as evidenced by our ranking of 97 for overall labour market efficiency. This low score was a result of our inflexible hiring and firing practices (135th), a lack of flexibility in wage determination by companies (131st) and poor labour-employer relations (132nd).

These findings support the view that I expressed in this newsletter last week that, if we are to become globally competitive, we have to rethink the policies that govern our over-regulated labour environment. Because what we are doing at the moment is destroying jobs, deterring investors and keeping the unemployed trapped in poverty. If the 3.1 million unemployed young South Africans (under the age of 34) are not given a chance to work and develop their skills in the near future, they will end up unemployable for life – a burden to themselves, their families and the state. Most of them will remain permanently trapped in poverty.

This is why we support measures such as the youth wage subsidy for first-time job seekers and the establishment of ‘job zones’ where businesses are exempt from all but the most basic labour laws required to protect the basic health and rights of workers. I think most people would agree that earning a low starting wage is better than remaining permanently unemployed. Unfortunately, the Constitution does not allow us to implement these policies in a province. We have to win power at national level to implement these policies.

But there is a lot we can do at provincial level – ensuring clean, corruption-free government and significantly improving education, for example – that will help create incentives for new business investment and for existing businesses to employ more workers. Gearing all our policies towards sustainable economic growth would prove far more effective and sustainable than any public works programme.

The role of government is to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs to invest and for businesses to expand. This combination creates jobs.

As Barack Obama has said:

“I have always been a strong believer in the power of the free market. I believe that jobs are best created not by government, but by businesses and entrepreneurs willing to take a risk on a good idea. I believe that the role of government is not to disparage wealth, but to expand its reach; not to stifle markets, but to provide the ground rules and level playing field that helps to make those markets more vibrant – and that will allow it to better tap the creative and innovative potential of our people.”

We agree. This week, in the Western Cape, we released our plan to create an enabling environment for growth. We want to make the Western Cape the place to do business in South Africa. And, in so doing, we will help to reduce unemployment and lift people out of poverty as they participate in the productive economy. It is central to our vision of an open, opportunity society for all.

In practical terms, we will do this by developing and marketing a provincial economic brand identity to attract investors, by ensuring that our administration is efficient and corruption-free, by removing unnecessary red tape that hampers business development and by investing in infrastructure – including so-called ‘mega-projects’ such as the Cape Town Regeneration Project.

We are also going to establish what will be called the Western Cape Development Agency. Staffed by people with proven business experience and expertise, the Agency will work in partnership with the provincial government to identify and exploit economic opportunities for local businesses. We envisage it as an “activist” agency with the mandate to find ways of removing the existing state-imposed impediments to growth.

Overly burdensome rules and regulations that constrain both businesses and local governments are a major obstacle to growth and development. This is why, eleven months ago, I sent President Zuma a list of all national laws and regulations that need to be amended and streamlined if we are to grow our economy. In response, the President personally committed himself to following up.

Nearly a year later, I am still waiting for a response. Ironically, changing any law or regulation is a highly complex and bureaucratic process in its own right. The difficulty government faces in creating a development-friendly regulatory environment provides a clue as to why entrepreneurs are often deterred from doing business in South Africa: a survey conducted as part of the Global Competitive Index report cited “inefficient government bureaucracy” as “the most problematic factor for doing business” in South Africa.

I have today requested a meeting with President Zuma to discuss the progress of the project he agreed to undertake. I will also discuss the findings of the Competitiveness Index with him and impress upon him the need for a drastic change to our labour regime. It is time for President Zuma to revisit the proposal for a two-tier labour market he made when he was campaigning for the Presidency – before Cosatu rebuked him and he reversed his position. Now that he no longer needs Cosatu’s support (which he seems to have lost anyway), he can afford to do something bold.

President Zuma must seize the moment now, before it is too late. If he doesn’t get a grip on the economic tiller soon, we will continue to drift. And that will mean increasing poverty and inequality in our country.


Signed Helen Zille

Cop shields ex-officer, threatens civilian – claim







10 September 2010, 00:09
ANGELIQUE SERRAO
A man who tried to lay a charge of illegal dumping against a truck driver found himself on the wrong side of the law when police officers turned on him.
Selvan Govender lives near the corner of Corlett Drive and Whitney Road in Lyndhurst. He said hijackings were happening weekly, houses were being broken into and people were mugged on the street. He believes this is because the road, which ends near a small stream, is not closed off, and the rubbish that’s been dumped illegally provides a convenient place for criminals to hide.
So, when Govender caught a rubble
removal truck from Greenside dumping illegally, he decided to call the Sandringham police.
He said the driver of the truck heard him making the calls and tried to escape. In the process, he bumped into Govender’s car. He then got out of the car and fled on foot.
At that point a police car arrived.
“I tried to convince the officer to run after the suspect, but he wouldn’t,” said Govender.
Another police van arrived, and Govender said the two police officers started arguing about who would do the paperwork.
A third police van with an inspector arrived.
“I told him the officers didn’t want to help. The owner of the truck now arrived on the scene. The inspector seemed to know him and they were talking. |During the conversation I understood that the owner had been a police officer at the station in the past,” Govender said.
After this, Govender said the inspector turned on him and his neighbour, who had witnessed everything.
“He told my neighbour to shut up and that if the matter goes any further something will happen to him,” said Govender. “He then said he would arrest me for reckless driving and I must accompany the officers to the police |station.”
At the police station, Govender said, he spoke to a colonel, who told the inspector to open a case of illegal dumping and reckless driving against the driver of the truck, but Govender said that when the colonel left, the inspector didn’t follow his orders.
He said the owner of the truck arrived at the police station and spoke to the inspector outside, bought the whole station cooldrinks and was laughing with the officers.
“The inspector told the owner of the truck to lay a charge against me. He then wrote down my statement without my input and told me to sign it,” he said.
Govender said he refused to sign the document because it stated that he had been driving recklessly. He left the police station, taking the statement with him.
“As I got to my road I saw a police van following me at high speed. It was the inspector. He told me I couldn’t take the statement, it was police stationery and belonged to the police. He manhandled me and took the statement from my pocket.
“I told him it seemed the law- abiding public had now become the criminals. He asked me what I was going to do to stop him. Then he searched my car, saying he was looking for illegal weapons,” Govender said.
Govender said the whole incident felt unreal. The next day he went to Hillbrow police station and opened a case of illegal dumping and reckless driving against the owner of the truck.
He said he was also planning to open a case against the inspector for corruption and defeating the ends of justice. The case was transferred to Sandringham station and the driver of the truck has since been arrested.
“What worries me is that there is a high crime rate in this area. What happens if something serious occurs? Who will I go to knowing my local police officers threatened me before?” Govender asked.
Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Opperman said that if a complaint was made officially, police would investigate the claims against the inspector.

The Star

Comments by Sonny

If this article contains the 'facts' then ordinary SA Citizens have a lot to be

scared and wary of!!

Let's see if this new area commissioner can put his money and reputation where his

mouth is!

We wish his everything of the best in his career.

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Twins in school racism row





06 September 2010, 00:09
She spoke isiXhosa to a girl who sits next to her in class. And for that, Grade 11 Roosevelt High School pupil Luthando Nxasana was allegedly thrown out of class, prevented from writing two mid-year exams or going to the toilet, and forced to spend three school days standing in a foyer.
During two months of clashes, the school also called the police to report her and her twin sister Lusanda. Police were told the pair were a danger to 800 other pupils and teachers of the Joburg school, who felt threatened by them.
Now their father Thami, who has given permission for his children’s names to be used, has decided to take Roosevelt High School to task. He has laid charges of racism and hate speech at the SA Human Rights Commission and charges of intimidation with the police. And he has asked Education MEC Barbara Creecy to intervene and deal with the matter.
Shawn Scannell, chairman of the Roosevelt High school governing body, said the school was concerned about distorted and inaccurate accounts of the problem.
The matters were being dealt with by the formal structures in the education system, he added.

Scannell said the correct disciplinary procedures had been adhered to by the school and that the two girls had a history of bad behaviour, stretching back to primary school. He also said the matter was sub judice.

“It is also regrettable that the father has not allowed for due process to run its course, but has now resorted to using the media, four months after the fact.”
Luthando alleges her problems started after she had a conversation with a friend.
“It was a free lesson. Everyone was chatting among themselves. Even the teacher was just chatting to some other learners,” said Luthando, who sits close to the desk of her business teacher, Mrs C Venter.
“Lebo sits next to me. She was worried about not completingher work. I told her to relax, she shouldn’t worry.”
But then the teacher heard the conversation.
“Mrs Venter said to me: ‘Luthando, either you speak English or you get the hell out of my class.’ I stopped and looked at her and decided to take my bag and walk out.”
As Luthando walked out, she confronted the teacher, telling her that the reprimand was racist.
Venter then allegedly said: “You’re digging a big hole for your small little body.”
Luthando was taken to the grade manager, Miss L van der Westhuizen, who told her she could not speak vernacular languages because pupils swore at the teachers in their own languages.
According to Van der Westhuizen, Venter had been insulted in a vernacular language once before. A pupil had called her a “fat f***ing bitch”.
“I told her it was my right to speak my language and I will speak it. She tried to make me feel sorry about speaking isiXhosa, but I wouldn’t,” explained Luthando.
Later, Luthando was called in and the code of conduct was readto her.
“But there was no reference to language usage. I said I don’t understand how me speaking isiXhosa is infringing the rules of the school.
“The teachers do play around in vernacular languages. Most have picked up isiZulu words. But nowI can’t speak my language.”
The incident did not, however, end there.
Luthando, who was in a car accident last year, has a fragile leg that is still healing. Despite this, she was forced to spend three days standing outside her grade manager’s office until she could deal with the matter.
There were several otherclashes between May 10 and July 26, including:
lLuthando being prevented from entering Venter’s class;
lThe school calling the police and alleging the two were breaking the rules of the school and insisting on their constitutional rights;
lBeing forced to write exams in isolation;
lBeing prevented from going to the toilet while in detention.
lBeing escorted around the school during break times by teachers and being prevented from writing their Afrikaans and maths exams;
Thami Nxasana said that all he wanted was an objective, formal mediation around the matter.
“The school has not been following the necessary processes. Previously, I had tried to ask fora formal disciplinary hearing, and they did not respond,” he said.
This, he claims, was done last year, shortly after Luthando returned to school following the accident and had been reprimanded for not doing an assignment while sick. He had asked for a formal hearing, but allegedly never got one.
“The school had not called mein on any of these occasions, soI wanted the department to sort it out. I did not want to deal with them directly.
“I do not want to be seen to be covering for the wrongdoing of the children. If they are wrong, let it be dealt with through the proper disciplinary process,” Nxasana added.
Education Department spokesman Charles Phahlane confirmed the matter was being investigated.
“As part of the intervention process, a meeting was scheduled between the school and the parent. However, the parent declined to attend this meeting and indicated that this matter had been reported to the Human Rights Commission.”
He said there had been a serious breakdown in the relationship between the parent and the school’s management.
The department has called on Childline to help resolve the matter.
Human Rights Commission spokesman Vincent Moaga confirmed that they were looking at allegations of racism and hate speech against the school. He said the school would be given an opportunity to respond.

teh Star

Comments by Sonny

Anarchy in the classrooms!

Or, just another hole in the system?

Almost similar to the ANCYL and SACP breakdown process!