In a desperate search for her two-month-old baby, a Port Elizabeth mother spent the whole of yesterday putting up posters of Lizalise Makuzeni.
The little girl was snatched by an unknown woman who had befriended the mother, Phezisa Makuzeni, 22, at the Gqebera Clinic at about 11.30am on Wednesday.
Makuzeni, of Walmer Township, said: “This is very stressful time for me, I don’t know what to do any more.
“I don’t know how to carry on as I keep thinking about what this woman is doing to my baby.
“What is she eating? Is she OK?
“That’s all about.
“It’s especially difficult as I don’t know where to start looking as this woman could have boarded a taxi to anywhere.”
Makuzeni said she had accompanied the police yesterday morning in an attempt to trace the woman’s steps.
The woman, who wore a denim skirt and black knitwear top, left bags of vegetables at the clinic and boarded a taxi that dropped her and Lizalise off at a taxi rank in Govan Mbeki Avenue.
“We went to a fruit and vegetable shop and looked at the CCTV footage and we saw two people who could possibly be the woman,” she said.
“I am finding it hard to remember if the woman wore a doek and glasses or not, but I have been going around the I keep thinking township looking for other mothers [who were at the clinic] who could help me identify the correct woman.”
Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said they were following all leads.
Gqebera Clinic committee members said their attempts to have the Department of Health tighten security at the clinic had fallen on deaf ears.
Fundiswa Mbane said: “We only have one security guard . . . and it is difficult for him to keep an eye on who goes in and out.
“We have asked the department many times to at least install CCTV cameras, but to no avail, and now this has happened.”
Provincial health spokesman Siyanda Manana said he doubted an additional security guard could have prevented the incident.
“The safety of patients and staff at health facilities is a priority,” he said.
“We are installing CCTV cameras in our facilities in a phased manner.”
Manana also urged parents not to allow strangers to look after their children.
Also read: Frantic search after baby snatched
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The Pearson High School Jazz Band will be hosting the Curuba Jazz Band from Germany in a combined concert on Tuesday at 7pm in the NMMU South Campus Auditorium. If the university is still closed on Tuesday due to the protests, the concert will move to the Pearson High School hall in Summerstrand.
The Curuba Jazz Band is a talented, young big band from the School of Music and Arts in the city of Brühl, near Cologne, in Germany.
Conducted by Elmar Frey and Michael Scheuermann, the 20 musicians, between the ages of 16 and 26, who are mainly university students, play from Neil Hefti, Count Basie and Sammy Nestico, Maynard Ferguson, Bob Mintzer and Peter Herbolzheimer to Gordon Goodwin.
Their repertoire is not limited to jazz; modern pop and Latin songs are as important to this big band as new musical works.
The talented band won the state championship of a nation-wide big band competition in their home state for the first time in 2009.
In the past seven years, the band won the same competition four consecutive times. It was also last year’s winner of the WDR jazz award, which they received at a concert with the WDR big band – the band’s greatest achievement so far.
The band also released their first CD, Curuba Jazz Kassette, late last year.
Their visit to South Africa is their first concert tour abroad, which will see them performing in Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town as well.
Their reason for choosing South Africa as their first destination is because two of the band members have links with the country.
The Pearson High School Jazz Band, conducted by teacher Leon Piron, was formed to provide a challenging orchestral experience for advanced music pupils.
To qualify for the jazz band, pupils need to achieve a Grade 6 music level, or higher, in their external music examinations.
The band has received various gold awards at local eisteddfods, is a hit at the school’s annual Music Celebration Concert, and is regularly invited to play at charity events.
Tickets are available from the school at R50 and at the door.
Sylvester the lion, Houdini of the animal kingdom, is to star on TV next week.
The insert on SABC 2’s 50/50 , by Port Elizabeth filmmaker veteran Mike Vincent, focuses on Sylvester’s background at the Karoo National Park near Beaufort West, what led to his escapes and the remarkable evasion of his pursuers.
It follows his journey to his new home in the Addo Elephant National Park, and examines the relationships he has established with other lions there.
Watch Thursday at 8pm.
Port Elizabeth’s thriving quilting community is hosting a Spring Show highlighting the versatile work of members of the Dias Quilting Guild next week.
The exhibition will be held from October 5-9 at Victoria Park Grey Primary School in First Avenue, Walmer.
A new twist to the show is a “Quirky Quilt Questionnaire” for children, who will have to find answers to questions by looking at the quilts.
“This show has a great vibe for young and old. Let’s celebrate the talent and beauty of local fabric artists!” Dias committee member Angie Franke said.
She said items on display would include quilts in several categories made by master local artists and quilters from surrounding areas.
The Spring Show also includes classes from Monday to Friday, October 3-7, at two venues, the Pied Piper in Newton Park and at Victoria Park Grey Junior.
“We have several quilting and fabric shops as well as some from out of town as far as Uitenhage and Plettenberg Bay who will be selling their wares,” Franke said.
A tea garden will also be selling delicious treats.
Entrance is R20 a day or R40 for the entire period. Pensioners pay R10, and children under 12 are free.
The hours are: Wednesday October 5 and Friday October 7: 9am – 8pm, with wine and snacks from 6pm; October 6: 9am – 5pm; October 8: 9am-4pm; Sunday, October 9: 9am –12 noon.
Contact Franke at artvark @cybersmart.co.za or 082-2282220.
About 6 600 unemployed youth will get the big break they need to join the workforce after premier Phumulo Masualle’s Bhisho executive council instructed all provincial government departments to use 1% of their skills funds to finance new internship programmes. The latest Statistics SA Social Profile of Youth report, published in May, showed that youth unemployment – those aged 15 to 34 – remained stubbornly high at 39.5%. Five years ago, that figure stood at 34.2%.
Provincial government spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said in a drive to improve the situation, the exco had given a directive to all provincial government departments to recruit 6 600 unemployed graduates for internships based on their respective fields of study.
“A decision was taken that each department must spend 1% of the skills levy budget,” Kupelo said.
Figures show that only 897 graduates are on internship programmes at various government departments across the province.
“However, this number is far below the target set to hire 6 000-plus,” Kupelo said.
Most of the interns employed are based at the departments of health, social development and safety.
Kupelo said it was critical that all departments played their part in helping upskill unemployed youth.
“OTP [the office of the premier] will write to all heads of departments to comply with the 1% skills levy spend and those who may have already hired less than expected (From the beginning of this financial year on April 1], will be advised to close the gap,” he said.
The auditor-general has blasted the SABC for failing to bring anyone to book for blowing more than R5-billion in irregular expenditure.
The Times has obtained a confidential report that reveals a litany of failings that the SABC’s acting CEO, James Aguma, neglected to mention at yesterday’s presentation of the corporation’s financial results in Johannesburg.
Aguma sought to downplay a loss of R411-million for the 2015-2016 financial year, up from R395-million last year.
He blamed the modest government subsidy, the SABC’s public-service mandate – which includes the requirement that it broadcast in all 11 official languages and screen sports events that “yielded negative returns” – increasing post-retirement costs and the global economic slowdown.
Sports broadcasting rights alone had cost the SABC R573-million, he said.
The SABC had net assets of R2.7-billion, a cash balance of R881-million and had posted a net loss of R411-million.
“The question of us being insolvent is out because our assets exceed our liabilities,” he said.
“It’s sustainable. There’s no creditor who hasn’t been paid.”
But the auditor-general’s “final management report” to the SABC, dated August 15, red-flagged the broadcaster’s financial viability.
“Overall, the results of the above financial indicator evaluation is assessed as ‘red’: (unfavourable, intervention required),” the report said.
It highlighted that irregular expenditure of R5.1-billion “identified in the current and previous year, was not investigated to determine if a person was liable for the expenditure”.
The report revealed that the SABC had awarded 71 contracts worth R150.7-million to “close family members, partners and associates of officials”.
The SABC was “still not collecting the majority of TV licence fees” and collection rates “continue to decrease”, the report said.
“Investments need to be made in improving controls to increase collections,” the report said. “These improvements will be limited by the current cash-flow constraints.”
Aguma blamed the R5-billion in irregular expenditure on “missing records”.
“The challenge across government is records management,” he said. “Is it my fault? I’m not sure. Is it exco? I’m not sure. But we have a strategy to deal with it.”
During the presentation he listed the broadcaster’s achievements.
“We shall take the opportunity to boast for once,” he said, saying that the SABC played 65% local content on radio, compared with the target of 40% set by the Independent Communications Authority of SA.
Nine of the SABC’s radio stations were rated as in the top 10, audit qualifications had been reduced and the broadcaster had won several awards during the year under review.
“The SABC’s financial statements are becoming more reliable and the awards are streaming in,” he said.
Hlaudi Motsoeneng, newly appointed group executive for corporate affairs, said the SABC had tried in vain to dissuade the auditor-general from giving the broadcaster a qualified audit because of irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
“On this one, the R5-billion, we tried everything to influence them but we could not win the battle. They said: ‘On this one, no, we are giving you a qualification’.”
He stressed that the auditor-general was satisfied with the SABC’s contention that it was financially sustainable.
“We related to [the auditor-general] our strategy and they were comfortable with it. We demonstrated to them that we are financially sustainable,” he said.
The SABC was “not in the business of profit”, said Motsoeneng. “We are in the business of making sure we service our audience.”
This week Motsoeneng was controversially reappointed to his old job as group executive for corporate affairs. He takes over from Bessie Tugwana, who had been in the job for seven weeks and who has been moved to a project management unit in Aguma’s office.
Motsoeneng is not expected to take a salary cut for what is effectively a demotion. The annual report said his salary rose from R3.8-million to R4.2-million in the past financial year.
Speculation is rife in political circles that a cabinet reshuffle of sorts is on the cards, but the Presidency dismissed this yesterday.
“The Presidency has been alerted to a list of names which is circulating on social media which is reportedly a new list of ministers and deputy ministers to be appointed in an apparent cabinet reshuffle‚” it said.
“The list is unknown to President Jacob Zuma.
“It is clearly the work of mischievous people who want to sow confusion and uncertainty.
“President Zuma strongly condemns this malicious dissemination of untruthful information by people who do not have the interests of the country at heart‚” spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga said.
It is understood that the disputed list included the names of Blade Nzimande‚ touted as the new Minister of Home Affairs‚ Faith Muthambi as Minister of Public Works‚ Des van Rooyen as Minister of Economic Development‚ Ayanda Dlodlo as Minister of Communications‚ Ebrahim Patel as Minister of Labour and Senzo Mchunu as Minister of Agriculture‚ Forestry and Fisheries.
The list is also said to reserve the post of Minister of Higher Education for Malusi Gigaba‚ Minister of Mineral Resources for Lindiwe Zulu‚ Minister of Small Business Development for Godfrey Oliphant, Minister of Water and Sanitation for Msebenzi Zwane and Minister of Trade and Industry for Lindiwe Sisulu.
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Sacked Nelson Mandela Bay Metro police chief Pinkie Mathabathe has been short-listed for another high-paying job – this time as the chief director at the national police watchdog’s office.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has confirmed that Mathabathe is one of those on the short-list for the top job.
She was seen at the Ipid head office in Pretoria on Monday.
The post of chief director of investigations and information management at Ipid was left vacant when Matthews Sesoko was fired for misconduct.
His post was advertised within days and the closing date listed as September 16 – less than a month after he was axed.
Similar to Mathabathe’s metro post, the annual salary for the Ipid job is listed as more than R1-million.
Mathabathe was fired as metro police chief in June and took the municipality to the Labour Court.
Acting city manager Johann Mettler said Mathabathe had engaged with both the CCMA and the Labour Court in an appeal process, but her appeal to the Labour Court had been dismissed on Friday last week.
His office confirmed that neither the city manager nor corporate services had been contacted as a reference for Mathabathe.
Ipid spokesman Robbie Raburabu said simply: “The candidate has been short-listed.
“Like all the candidates though, no further information will be released [yet] as the process is still unfolding.”
At the interview session on Monday, representatives from the NPA and Hawks were present, as well as newly appointed corporate services head Molefe Matsomela.
However, Matsomela is also under investigation for allegedly being appointed illegally earlier this year.
A letter and documents, titled “corrupt appointment” and seen by The Herald, highlighted that Matsomela had been pre-approved for the post of chief director: corporate services before it was advertised.
He was appointed shortly after the advert was placed.
Mathabathe’s attorney, Cinga Nohaji, failed to respond to voice mails.
According to the Ipid advert, the candidate would undergo security vetting and “his or her character should be beyond reproach”.
It also lists a string of skill requirements, including that the person be results-driven.
Duties will include managing investigators, developing investigation policies and overseeing investigation integrity, quality, standards and performance.
Ipid, which falls under Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, investigates cases involving police, such as police misconduct, deaths in police custody, and other human rights abuses.
Mathabathe is no stranger to the spotlight.
Last year, the municipality was accused of wasteful expenditure for paying her an annual salary of almost R1-million to run the non-existent metro police force.
Mathabathe was recruited as the Bay’s metro police chief in 2014 after a stint at the Tshwane metro police, where she was a deputy chief.
However, she had been booked off on sick leave, later changed to “special leave”, from February this year.
In November, she was appointed acting head of the safety and security department when former executive director Shane Brown asked to be demoted. But in March, she asked to be relieved of those duties and return as metro police chief.
She was fired in June for under-performance and failure to declare a second income.
The second income related to her being a non-executive director of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), which falls under the Department of Transport.
According to the RTMC annual financial statements, Mathabathe attended several RTMC board meetings during her stint as metro police chief for which she was paid about R300 000 in one year and about R38 000 the previous year.
Acting chief Arlin Robile is at the helm while a new metro police chief is being appointed.
Mettler said: “We have finalised the interviews for metro police chief and are currently in negotiations with the preferred candidate. We expect the position to be filled on November 1.”
Seseko’s disciplinary inquiry came after Ipid executive director Robert McBride and the provincial head in Limpopo, Innocent Khuba, were accused of doctoring an Ipid report to cover up former Hawks head Anwar Dramat’s alleged role in the rendition of five Zimbabweans to the Zimbabwean police in 2010 and 2011.
The Constitutional Court ruled earlier this month that McBride’s suspension by Nhleko was unlawful.
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Flanked by two lawyers and an advocate, two young men accused of stealing Buddy the penguin from Bayworld last week made a brief first appearance in court yesterday.
Adrian Doman, 22, and Emile du Plessis, 18, appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court in the wake of huge public interest and social media activity regarding the fate of the three-year-old penguin after it disappeared from the complex more than a week ago.
Buddy – an African penguin and the father of two chicks, one of which has since died – was taken from his enclosure in the early hours of last Wednesday, with staff only realising the next day that he was gone.
He has still not been found after it emerged that he had been released at Pollok Beach.
The accused, supported by family and friends, looked remorseful as they sat in the public gallery waiting to be called forward.
Although the details were not read out in court, Du Plessis and Doman are facing charges of theft, contravention of marine conservation regulations and trespassing.
They handed themselves over at the Humewood police station early this week.
Magistrate Sanjani Naidoo said the case would be postponed pending further investigation and a decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The men were released on a police warning and will appear in court again on November 3.
The legal representatives for Du Plessis and Doman said afterwards the two were “too traumatised” to speak to the media.
For the full story read The Herald, or get the complete newspaper, including comics, classifieds, crosswords and back editions in our e-Edition.
Stranger’s plight sparks mammoth effort – and new friendship
A Port Elizabeth teenager has raised close to R100 000 for a boy stricken with cancer who he had never met, after reading a heartwrenching article in a newspaper about his struggle.
The article sparked an idea for Jordan van Eeden to launch a fund-raising campaign for Jason Sherman.
With both boys aged 16, Jordan decided to set his target at R16 000.
But after reaching his goal he just carried on – and ended with a total of R94 500 earlier this week.
The Grade 10 Harvest Christian School pupil took it upon himself to visit various schools in the Bay asking for donations to his cause.
He also appealed to the public on a radio station for donations, and to create awareness about Jason’s situation.
“I immediately identified with Jason as he was also 16. His story touched my heart and I knew I had to do something,” Jordan said.
“I think Jason’s life story and his courage not to give up and to live as normal a life as possible have inspired many young people in the city.”
The teenager, who was first diagnosed with ostosarcoma (bone cancer) in 2011, was more than grateful for the kindness and selflessness Jordan had shown.
For the full story read The Herald, or get the complete newspaper, including comics, classifieds, crosswords and back editions in our e-Edition.
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