Closely watched by dozens of police and security personnel, government officials and scores of bystanders, a visibly surprised young man scrambled to retrieve his meagre belongings as officials swooped on his home and then removed it during an unprecedented clean-up operation in the Port Elizabeth city centre yesterday.
The man’s home – complete with a mattress and bedding, a bedside table, a few decorations and a For Sale sign on a window – was the canopied back of a wrecked, engine-less Ford Bantam bakkie.
His address, until the “home” was removed by authorities at about midday yesterday, was the corner of Robertson and Swartkops streets in Port Elizabeth’s city centre where the bakkie’s rear was precariously propped up off the ground on bricks.
Robertson Street was the fourth city centre area targeted by authorities in a massive operation which kicked off early yesterday.
Led by acting metro police chief Chadrack Sibiya, the three-pronged operation targeted the dozens of illegal vehicle repair businesses in the city centre and addressed lack of by-law compliance in areas around four specific streets that are collectively home to dozens of automotive businesses and associated scrapyards.
The third objective, achieved through temporary roadblocks, was checking motorists for outstanding fines and warrants of arrest. The raids involved Nelson Mandela Bay’s new metro police division, the traffic department, the police, Home Affairs, Customs (SARS), the fire department and several municipal directorates, such as health and safety.
The authorities targeted businesses operating without licences, businesses operating in buildings not zoned for automotive work, illegal working conditions such as non-compliant spray-painting operations, environmental hazards such as the disposal of vehicle oil into the sewerage system, illegal immigrants owning and working in the businesses and the abandonment or the illegal parking of wrecked vehicles.
Municipal spokesman Mthunbanzi Mniki said the operation was just the beginning and that ongoing and follow-up operations would be held.
While the results of the operation were still being quantified late yesterday, Mniki confirmed that roadblocks saw the collection of R45 000 in revenue for unpaid fines.
Speaking during the raids, Sibiya confirmed that police were also checking vehicles seized to determine whether any of them had been stolen or whether any of the businesses were being operated as “chop shops”.
Kobus Gerber, who heads the Nelson Mandela Bay Ratepayers’ Association, said the operation would go a long way towards cleaning up the inner city.
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Julian Brown has just been released from St Albans Prison after paying bail of R800 000. Brown, 30, is the suspected head of a multi-million perlemoen syndicate.
On Thursday, the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court granted his release on R800 000 bail – believed to be the highest amount to be paid to date – also ordering him to report to the police station three times a week and placing him under house arrest between 6pm and 6am.
His racketeering case was postponed to next month for further investigation.
Dad hails medics who saved brave son, writes Estelle Ellis
When cyber entrepreneur Johannes Abbott was wheeled into Greenacres Hospital, he had lost alot of blood and his arm had been severed from his body, his right leg was crushed and his pelvis shattered.
He should not have lived, but he grabbed surgeon Dr Mike Porter’s hand and said: “I am going to make it.” Then he showed a victory sign to his friends waiting in the passage.
Abbott is one of the founding members of Farmboek, a one-stop online service for farmers created in 2013.
He grew up in Port Elizabeth and attended Framesby High school.
At the time of the accident he was living on a farm near Loerie.
Johannes is currently in Groote Schuur Hospital, where he has undergone three operations to reconstruct his pelvis. He will undergo more surgery next week.
Speaking about his son’s miracle recovery from his home in Jeffreys Bay yesterday, Joe Abbott wept when he remembered having to make the decision to have Johannes’s leg amputated.
Abbott said the accident had taken place near Kinkelbos on May 21 when a trailer detached from a truck, hitting Johannes’s bakkie and amputating his right arm.
“He was alone in the vehicle.
“He got out of the bakkie and collapsed, waving for help with his good arm,” Abbott said.
A paramedic, on her way back to Port Elizabeth from a course in Grahamstown, stopped to help.
Gardmed basic life support medic Nandi Poro saw the severed arm lying in the road, found Abbott and dragged him up the incline to the road.
“It is absolutely unbelievable how she saved his life,” Gardmed owner Dave Gardner said.
“I have no doubt that she saved his life. To do what she did all by herself, I don’t know how she got it right. She is one of our youngest staff members,” he said.
“Later Nandi told me that nobody had wanted to stop and help her,” Abbott said.
It was Poro who informed Abbott of his son’s accident when she answered Johannes’s phone before rushing him to the hospital.
“Much later the nurses would tell me that when they saw him they could only hope that he would pull through but nobody thought he would,” Abbott said.
Abbott was moved to tears when he remembered the moment orthopedic surgeon Javed Niazi came out of theatre with pictures of Johannes’s arm and leg.
“He said Johannes would have a better chance to survive if they amputated. It is not easy to just tell a doctor to cut off your child’s leg.
“Then his fight for life really started. God’s mercy was great during those days. The doctors said he was in a most critical condition.
“The more blood he received, the more he bled. His abdomen was filling up with blood. Doctors couldn’t operate because his pelvis was shattered.
“It was a true fight between life and death. His body started retaining fluid. He had to get dialysis,” Abbott said.
Some 11 days after the accident, the fight was at its fiercest.
“I have never prayed like I did that day. They managed to strap his pelvis and stop the internal bleeding. Then his kidneys started working again. His blood pressure started rising.
“I will never forget the day that he could speak for the first time. I walked into his room and he said ‘Hi’. It was a wonderful day.
“I want to say that I will be eternally grateful for everybody who donated blood,” he said.
Johannes had to receive 57 units of blood during his stay in the intensive care unit.
After his condition stabilised, he was flown to Groote Schuur, where internationally trained trauma specialist Dr Maqungo Sithombo is performing a series of surgeries to reconstruct his pelvis. “I want to thank all the doctors who looked after Johannes in Greenacres Hospital,” Abbott said.
“But a special word of thanks to specialist physician Dr Andre Venter who had to deal with all of the crises, the infections and the scares. He saved my son’s life many times.”
Abbott, who recently joined the South African National Blood Service for the Algoa FM Bloodline donor day, said he had never realised how important blood was.
“When I told Johannes I was going to speak at the SANBS day, he said: ‘Dad, you must tell them I am feeling guilty. I never donated blood before but someone’s blood saved my life.’ ”
After final surgery Johannes will move to the Vincent Pallotti Hospital for rehabilitation.
Netcare Greenacres Hospital manager Andre Bothma said survival stories like this made him very proud of the hospital’s team.
On the banks of the Sundays River lie quaint towns full of adventure and natural beauty, surrounded by some of the most impressive sand dunes in the country.
The Sundays River and Colchester area are well known as holiday destinations.
The towns have seen a boom in the residential property market and beautiful, spacious houses are surrounded by available plots and vacant land ready to be turned into homes and holiday accommodation.
Residents of this picturesque part of the Eastern Cape know that the sand dunes and river are not just for sandboarding and water-skiing – the favourite pastimes in the area – but also home to wildlife.
Animals ranging from bushbuck, grysbok and bush pig, to meerkat, mongoose and mice, call the dunes – which can be traced back 100 000 years – home.
The area is also teeming with birdlife and a trip on the Sundays River would expose you to birds such as heron, ducks, weavers and kingfishers, while the Colchester salt pans are home to flamingo and blue crane.
A stone’s throw from the Addo Elephant National Park, Colchester is well known as an animal lover’s paradise, but adrenaline junkies are also lining up for a visit. Safaris, horse trails, sandboarding and water-skiing are popular pastimes along with zip-lining and canoeing.
The Sundays River Valley is home to the longest duel zip line in Africa, which at 500m and speeds of 60km/h is not for the fainthearted.
The valley itself is a low-lying area along the Sundays River which stretches from Kirkwood to Colchester and is characterised by agricultural activities.
In addition to citrus cultivation – hardly anyone leaves the area without some amazing organic fruit – game-related tourist attractions can be found throughout the valley.
The most beautiful time to visit the area is in October when the orange blossoms are out and beautiful white and green gems line the landscape.
A river which gives life to the towns, the Sundays is known as the fastestflowing river in the country.
The Khoisan people originally named it Nukakamma, which means grassy water because the river’s banks are always green and grassy despite the arid terrain that it runs through.
Karl Botha, Owner and Operator, Sandboarding Sundays River:
“It’s the best place to work. Being surrounded by the wonders of nature, the relaxed vibe and the beauty of the river all make for a great experience.”
Company Social Brasserie in Beach Road is one of the freshest additions to the beachfront hospitality scene.
It is fresh in every sense of the word – from the sea breeze and ocean vistas, to the furnishings and decor and – by no means least of all – its dazzling array of refreshments on offer as well as a tantalising menu.
For the beer lovers, there’s an extensive list of enticing froth-blower offerings including a draught craft beer station from which we selected the Jack Black lager – always a fullbodied, crisp and satisfying taste – and the CBC Krystal Weiss – lighter, with its distinctive German influence, and a slight fruitiness offset by its otherwise clean, robust flavour.
On the cocktails and shooters front, the choc-coated cherry shots are a must.
Served in a group of four on a wooden platter, these delicious taste bud pleasers are made up of a juicy amarena cherry with vodka, Kahlúa Cinnamon Spice Liqueur, Amarula and cream.
There are also the custard shots for those with a sweet tooth – tequila, sweet custard and vanilla syrup shaken and served with fresh lime and flamed sugar.
Now that’s an adult dessert.
The wine list is also impressive as it is diverse and imaginative, with a selection of limited stock boutique labels.
When it comes to the food, in addition to individual dishes of steaks, chicken, fish and pizza, there is also an emphasis on company and the sharing of group platters – for two, four or six diners – with skewered lamb, pork belly, chicken wings, sticky riblets, charcuterie with cheeses, pate and pickles, a succulent seafood spread, or an enticing vegetarian combo, among the choices.
With its sophisticated warehouse look – face-brick walls, suspended wooden slat ceiling decorations, innovative light fittings, and checkers-board floor tiles – it all adds up to create a cool, chic and creative space, just the place for good company to get together.
TASTE FOR YOURSELF:
Company Social Brasserie
041 582 2148
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Friends of Bayworld Oceanarium and Museum and the Algoa Caledonian Pipe Band have once again teamed up to host the very popular annual Night at the Museum fundraising event.
The much anticipated third instalment – always a holiday highlight for Bay children – will be held next Saturday, 23 July.
Night at the Museum 3 is ideal for the whole family and not just restricted to any specific age group.
Education is a key aspect of the programme, with various talks and displays on offer.
There’s even a treasure hunt in the museum (one of the programme mustsees) with the aim being to encourage participants to learn in a fresh and fun way by reading the displays in order to answer certain questions.
Entertainment will be provided by the Algoa Caledonian Pipe Band, the Zwartkops Enviro Club Kids and various other performers.
Visitors may bring their own torches along so they might also explore Africa’s Lost World, the Snake Park and the Oceanarium by torchlight.
The museum will be brought to life with the help of Magnetic Storm, so expect thunder, lightning, music, lights and other surprise elements while completing the treasure hunt.
Families taking part may bring their own picnic baskets, but we recommend you support the various food stalls, including the Bloms who are selling hamburgers to raise money for their son Michael’s ALS care, the Friends of Bayworld’s fundraising stalls and Candy Girls.
Visitors are encouraged to dress up as any historical figure (or even Spiderman) if they feel like it.
Night at the Museum 3 starts at 5pm, with doors opening at 4pm, and runs until 10pm. Tickets at R25 each are available from Bayworld or else from Kids Emporium at Baywest Mall.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan battled to regain control over Turkey on Saturday after a coup bid by discontented soldiers, as signs grew that the most serious challenge to his 13 years of dominant rule was starting to falter.
After hours of chaos unseen in decades, Erdogan ended uncertainty over his whereabouts, flying into Istanbul airport in the early hours where he made a defiant speech and was greeted by hundreds of supporters.
Soldiers and tanks took to the streets late on Friday and multiple explosions rang out throughout the night in Ankara and Istanbul, the two biggest cities of the strategic NATO member of 80 million people.
With officials insisting the takeover bid was falling apart, officials said 60 people, mainly civilians, have been killed and 754 soldiers detained.
Erdogan predicted the putsch would fail and crowds of supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came out onto the streets to try to block it.
The strongman denounced the coup attempt as “treachery”, saying he was carrying out his functions and would keep on working “to the end”.
“What is being perpetrated is a treason and a rebellion. They will pay a heavy price for this act of treason,” Erdogan said at the airport.
“We will not leave our country to occupiers.”
Dozens of soldiers backing the coup surrendered on the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul they had held throughout the night, holding their hands above their heads as they were detained, television pictures showed.
There was chaos in Istanbul as angry crowds took to the streets to boo the passing tanks, with smaller numbers welcoming the troops.
As a helicopter flew over the famed Taksim Square, scene of massive anti-Erdogan protests three years ago, the crowd began to boo, shaking their fists at the night sky before they were shot at by the soldiers.
“The people are afraid of a military government,” a 38-year-old man who gave his name as Dogan told AFP. “Most of them have been in military service, they know what a military government would mean.”
The sound of F16 fighter jets flying over the capital Ankara signalled the start of the putsch late Friday, with troops also moving to block the two bridges across the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul.
As protesters took to the streets, an AFP photographer saw troops open fire on people gathered near one of the bridges, leaving tens wounded.
Soldiers also opened shot at protesters angrily denouncing the coup bid at Istanbul’s Taksim Square, injuring several.
Turkish army F-16s launched air strikes against tanks stationed by coup backers outside the presidential palace in Ankara, while the parliament was also bombed, leaving its offices wrecked.
Regular explosions could be heard from the AFP office situated near the complex.
World leaders called for calm, with US President Barack Obama and other Western countries urging support for the government which they said had been democratically elected.
The night of drama and bloodshed brought new instability to the Middle East region, with Turkey a key powerbroker in the ongoing Syria conflict.
In a key moment in the standoff, Turkish security forces rescued the country’s top army general Hulusi Akar who reports said had been taken hostage in the earlier stages of the coup bid.
Istanbul authorities sought to make a show of normalisation with the bridges reopening to traffic and Ataturk International Airport — which had been shut down by the plotters — gradually reopening.
After the initial dramatic military movements, state broadcaster TRT said the troops behind the putsch had declared martial law and a curfew, in a statement signed by a group calling itself the “Council for Peace in the Homeland”.
It said the coup had been launched “to ensure and restore constitutional order, democracy, human rights and freedoms and let the supremacy of the law in the country prevail, to restore order which was disrupted”.
No named military officer claimed responsibility for the actions although Prime Minister Binali Yildirim claimed a key pro-coup general had been killed.
Turkey’s once-powerful military has long considered itself the guardian of the secular state founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923.
It has staged three coups since 1960 and forced out an Islamic government in 1997.
Erdogan’s critics have long accused him of undermining modern Turkey’s secular roots and of sliding into authoritarianism — but the president was believed to have won control of the military after purging elements who opposed him.
But some Turks were welcoming news of the coup attempt.
“Turks are on fire,” Fethi, a 27-year-old tour guide in Taksim Square, told AFP.
“We have hope now,” he added. “Turkey has been in a very polarised state for almost 15 years now… This is the manifestation of all that anger.”
Erdogan immediately pinned the blame on “the parallel state” and “Pennsylvania” — a reference to Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, his arch-enemy who he has always accused of seeking to overthrow him.
But the president’s former ally denied any involvement in the plot, calling the accusation “insulting”.
“As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusations,” he said in a statement.
There has been a flood of concerned reactions from around the globe, with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini calling for “restraint and respect for democratic institutions”.
Obama has been briefed, while the Kremlin said it was “deeply concerned” by the developments.
“Everything must be done to protect human lives,” said a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
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PE businessman tells how he feared for family’s safety after Nice attack
It was 55 minutes of hell – not knowing if his daughter and grandchildren were dead or alive.
Port Elizabeth businessman Gregory Michaelides, 71, yesterday recalled to the minute how long it took him to hear that his family in Nice were safe – and to find out that his seven-year-old granddaughter had been just a kilometre from the deadly Bastille Day attack.
At 10.30pm, a Tunisian-born man zigzagged a truck through a crowd of revellers in the French city of Nice, killing at least 84 and injuring dozens of children.
Two children were confirmed among the dead and another 50 were being treated in hospital after the attack that left bodies strewn over the palm-lined Promenade des Anglais in the French Riviera resort.
Some of the dead, covered with sheets, remained on the promenade in the bright sun yesterday.
Authorities said they had found identity papers belonging to a 31-year-old French-Tunisian citizen in the truck, as well as guns and “larger weapons”.
The driver was shot dead after barrelling the truck 2km through the festive crowd, sending hundreds fleeing in terror.
Michaelides daughter, Mary Michaelides Le Belicard, a former Collegiate High pupil, said yesterday she was in shock and disbelief following her daughter Lara’s narrow escape.
For the full story read Weekend Post, or get the complete newspaper, including comics, classifieds, crosswords and back editions in our e-Edition.
‘Obviously wealthy’ Brown ordered to pay staggering R800 000 to go free
If the suspected head of a multimillion-rand perlemoen enterprise could pay R800 000 in cash for a car, he should be able to come up with the same amount for bail, a magistrate ruled yesterday, drawing shocked gasps from the gallery.
Julian Brown’s bail amount – set at R800 000 by magistrate Estie Petzer – is believed to be the highest set yet in a Port Elizabeth court.
It surprised both the prosecution, which had asked for R500 000 bail, and the defence, which had wanted bail of R100 000.
Petzer said it could not be disputed that Brown was very well off.
Wearing a grey tracksuit top, a tired-looking Brown, 30, of South End, battled to come up with the cash in the hour before the court building shut, bagging himself another night behind bars.
However, it is likely he will pay bail from the St Albans Prison before the weekend.
Brown is accused of heading the enterprise, in which he allegedly employed Eugene “Boesman” Victor, 31, of North End, and Edgar Clulow, 24.
Clulow was released on bail of R2 500 last week.
The court had earlier heard how Brown managed to build up a collection of expensive watches, valued at R200 000, and flashy cars worth close to R1-million.
None of the cars is registered in his name.
For the full story read The Herald, or get the complete newspaper, including comics, classifieds, crosswords and back editions in our e-Edition.
Political parties did not pull any punches last night when party representatives went head to head in a bid to convince the Nelson Mandela Bay public to vote for them in next month’s local government election.
Tempers flared at Port Elizabeth’s Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton as representatives debated job creation, economic development and crime.
The five parties at the second instalment of The Herald “Battle of the Bay” debate were represented by Feziwe Sibeko (ANC), Athol Trollip (DA), Bo Madwara (EFF), Mongameli Bobani (UDM) and Mkhuseli Mtsila (United Front).
Hundreds of supporters – clad in party colours and carrying flags and placards – turned up to participate in the debate, chaired by NMMU politics lecturer Ongama Mtimka.
Organisers battled at times to contain the passionate supporters, a sign of the mounting pressure among political parties in the fierce contest for control of the metro.
The parties promised residents everything from jobs to good governance and creating people-centred municipalities should they take over the running of the metro after the vote on August 3.
Mtsila said it was important to revitalise the township economy to create jobs.
He said priorities had to be shifted from spending money in the affluent areas to impoverished areas instead.
“The state must be at the centre of economic development,” Mtsila said.
“Land must be made available for purchase by people for food production and to create jobs.”
He said the municipal forensic reports’ recommendations had to be implemented.
Trollip spoke about spending more money on infrastructure development to improve investor confidence.
“We must maximise the potential of our city,” he said.
“We have two ports and we should be using our ports optimally.
“Industrial development zones must become export processing zones.
“We should be attracting tourists like never before, but we have become a departure zone,” Trollip said.
For the full story read The Herald, or get the complete newspaper, including comics, classifieds, crosswords and back editions in our e-Edition.
Have you tried: Farking?