“We shot ourselves in the foot by toppling the apartheid government‚” residents of an Eastern Cape village said on Thursday.
Tsholomnqa villagers had been waiting for a tarred road and decent houses for decades‚ said community leader‚ Wele Ntshongola.
He said the dawn of democracy had marked the beginning of the collapse of quality service delivery for the Eastern Cape rural area which is situated on the R72 outside East London.
“This village was in a good state under the Ciskei homeland led by LL Sebe. We used to have a tarred road… with workers who used to maintain it as well as free seed‚ crops and livestock.”
He said they celebrated when democracy dawned. “Little did we know that democracy would bring more oppression. This democracy is not for everyone and poor rural dwellers are bearing the brunt.”
Ntshongola claims the villagers of are mostly ANC supporters and should be prioritised by the government. “I am not saying that I agree with the policies or laws of apartheid‚ but at least we were getting service delivery back then.”
Tired of their complaints being ignored‚ the residents got together and raised R1 500 for three tractor loads of gravel to fill their badly rutted main road.
“We decided to fix the road ourselves because the Department of Public Works has been ignoring our complaints‚ including a demonstration in front of their offices earlier this year‚” said resident Bonisile Dyani.
Noluthando Matuba‚ 65‚ who also got her hands dirty fixing the road said‚ “ambulances and police cars struggle to come to this area because this road is not good enough for cars
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Gugu Zulu’s body is expected to arrive in South Africa by Friday‚ the Nelson Mandela Foundation said.
“We are hoping the body will be here by Friday‚” said Sello Hatang‚ the Foundation’s chief executive.
Zulu died while taking part on the Trek4Mandela charity expedition on Mount Kilimanjaro on Monday – International Nelson Mandela Day. He complained of having flu-like symptoms on Saturday and posted on his Instagram account that he was “struggling with the mountain”.
His memorial service will be held on Tuesday‚ Hatang said. A special mass will be held at the Kyalami race track in Zulu’s honour.
He will be buried on Thursday next week.
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A man with a firearm on a bus was arrested in Despatch yesterday.
A second firearm was later found on the bus and sent for forensic testing.
Police had received a tip-off about a man with a gun on an Algoa Bus vehicle at about 6.30am, police spokeswoman Captain Gerda Swart said.
“Police officials boarded the bus at one of its stops in Despatch. About 60 passengers were searched and a man, 23, was arrested after a loaded firearm was found in his possession,” she said.
The firearm was believed to be stolen, as the serial number had been filed off.
Swart said that after the arrest, the bus travelled on to Port Elizabeth.
“But at a stop in Humewood, a passenger alerted the driver to a gun that had been hidden on the bus,” she said.
The driver called the police, who sent the second firearm for forensic testing.
“It is still unknown if the firearms were going to be used to rob the bus driver of his takings, or if the culprits were catching a lift to another destination to do a robbery,” Swart said.
A “NO-scalpel vasectomy” that can be reversed with an injection of a sodium bicarbonate solution is expected to become available within the next two years‚ Stellenbosch University said yesterday.
Urologist Dr Amir Zarrabi said: “If it is successful‚ this will drastically change the field of contraception.
“It will give couples a lot of flexibility.
“They will have a safe and reliable form of contraception – with no hormonal or other side-effects – that can be reversed when they want to start a family.”
Like a conventional vasectomy‚ Vasalgel blocks the flow of sperm from the testicles to the penis.
But instead of severing the tube that carries sperm (the vas deferens), a gel is injected into the tube to form a barrier that blocks sperm‚ but allows other fluids to pass through.
The gel can be flushed from the vas deferens by injecting a sodium bicarbonate solution‚ the university said.
Zarrabi said Vasalgel did not require surgery‚ and eliminated risks‚ like bleeding or infection‚ and . . . post-vasectomy pain due to pressure build- up in the testicles.
Human testing was already under way‚ but the reversal had only been attempted in animal studies, the university said.
An off-duty policeman turned the tables on a pair of would-be hijackers, shooting one of them and sending the other one fleeing last night.
The policeman then arrested the wounded hijacker. The second man is still at large.
The two men approached the private vehicle of the off-duty Flying Squad member at a red traffic light in Kempston Road and ordered him out.
The policeman shot one of the hijackers in the leg and upper body. The man is under police guard in hospital.
The second hijacker fled.
The six year sentence imposed on Paralympian Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is shockingly inappropriate‚ the National Prosecuting Authority said on Thursday‚ as it set out its reasons for wanting a stiffer penalty.
The NPA is applying for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal against the prison sentence Judge Thokozile Masipa imposed on Pistorius earlier this month for the 2013 murder.
It said the sentence of six years’ imprisonment on the murder charge attracted the epithets “shocking”‚ “startling” and “disturbingly inappropriate”.
“We respectfully submit that the sentence of six years’ imprisonment does not adequately reflect the seriousness of the crime of murder and the natural indignation and outrage of the public‚” the NPA said in its application‚ filed in the Pretoria High Court on Thursday.
Judge Masipa deviated from sentencing Pistorius to the prescribed 15 year minimum sentence to be imposed by the court for murder because of what she believed were compelling and substantial circumstances to impose a lesser sentence.
“We respectfully submit that it was a procedural irregularity not to formally record what the substantial and compelling circumstances are which justified the imposition of a lesser sentence than the minimum prescribed sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.
“It is unclear to the (NPA) what precisely those circumstances are‚” the NPA said.
The prosecution said the court failed to take into account three major aggravating factors when it sentenced Pistorius.
The first was that it was in the bedroom that Pistorius had formed the intention to shoot and when he realised that there was someone behind the toilet door‚ he fired four shots.
Another aggravating factor was that both the Supreme Court of Appeal and the High Court rejected the argument that Pistorius acted in private defence. The prosecution said there was no justification for his actions.
The third aggravating factor was that Masipa failed to take into account that Pistorius “fired four shots through the door. And he never offered an acceptable explanation for having done so”.
The prosecution said whereas Judge Masipa found that murder was always a very serious crime and the fact that Pistorius thought that Steenkamp was an intruder did not make the crime less serious‚ she misdirected itself in holding that Pistorius’s belief that an intruder had entered the house was a mitigating factor.
The prosecution said while each case must be assessed on its own merits‚ Masipa misdirected herself in under-emphasising the principle that when sentencing in terms of the minimum sentence legislation‚ “a severe‚ standardised‚ and consistent response from the courts” was required in imposing an appropriate sentence.
It also said the court misdirected itself in under-emphasising the interests of the victim and the victim’s relatives.
“The Court misdirected itself in giving too little or no weight to the fact that the deceased was an innocent victim of a needless serious crime‚ and indeed‚ that the deceased’s right to life was needlessly taken from her.”
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Three years in prison or a fine of R100 000 is the maximum punishment an adult can be given for cruelty to animals. But in the case of children‚ such as those who filmed themselves brutally killing a dog in Cape Town‚ the punishment is likely be far more lenient and at the discretion of the courts.
The SPCA’s Belinda Abraham said that all her years at the organisation‚ few incidents of animal abuse had made her “knees tremble” like the dog killing filmed by the children.
The offenders‚ who filmed themselves brutally killing the dog‚ were as young as seven-years-old.
The video, which contains EXTREMELY GRAPHIC FOOTAGE can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfuh0yyn-Z8
The terrified dog is dragged by its laughing tormentors by a nylon rope around the neck. “You are going to die‚ die‚” the children scream‚ kicking the helpless creature‚ pelting it with chunks of concrete.
The injured dog‚ yelping in agony‚ tries to get away but appears to be stunned. It stops moving after a devastating blow from a chunk of rock.
These are the final moments in an incident described as an “act of savagery” as children film themselves killing what appears to be a stray dog in Manenberg‚ Cape Town.
The video‚ widely shared on social media‚ has drawn outrage and swift action by the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.
The SPCA’s Belinda Abraham described it as “an act of pure evil” in an interview with CapeTalk breakfast radio host Kieno Kammies on Thursday.
Abraham said the incident “reflects two cases of outright animal cruelty”.
“Firstly the act of inciting or provoking a dog to attack another animal is a crime – along with the act of watching such a crime which makes witnesses complicit in the crime.
“Secondly the obvious killing of an animal in such a barbaric manner is in direct violation of the Animals Protection Act 71 of 1962‚” she said.
Speaking to TMG Digital on Thursday‚ she said it was difficult to say what the likely punishment for the children involved in the killing would be.
“It’s going to be for the courts to decide‚ and it would be presumptuous of me to say what could be handed down. But I think what really is important here is that the public are made aware to teach their children compassion for animals‚” she said.
“The education of children should begin at home and is ultimately the responsibility of the parents.
“Children might pull the cat’s tail out of curiosity or mischief for example and these can be teachable moments for us to build empathy by pointing out that an animal has feelings.
“However‚ when a child shows intentional cruelty towards an animal that is severe and without remorse such as in this case then this should be taken very seriously. Children who abuse animals require immediate intervention and rehabilitation‚” she said.
The clip starts with a group of children‚ some as young as seven‚ “dragging what we think is a stray dog by a nylon rope around its neck to a secluded spot”‚ said Abrahams.
The children provoke their own dog‚ a pit bull terrier‚ “to attack this terrified stray by delivering some brutal kicks to it”. The pit bull bites the helpless dog but after several failed attempts at getting it to kill‚ “they proceed to then hang the stray dog from a tree”.
“They bring it down again and then they pelt it with rocks‚ chunks of concrete‚ several of which were aimed directly at the dog’s head and were thrown with massive force with obvious intent to inflict the maximum amount of injury pain and suffering‚” said Abrahams.
The video ends with the animal lying motionless in the dust‚ pounded by a large rock. The children later threw its body into some water nearby.
“It’s an act of savagery” said Kammies.
SPCA inspectors identified all of the children‚ and the person who made the video‚ within hours of the incident‚ which happened on Friday. A criminal case has been opened at the Manenberg police station. Social workers from the Department of Social Development have been called in to speak to the children in an effort to rehabilitate them.
Manenberg on the Cape Flats is a suburb where gang violence and drug turf wars occur frequently. The SPCA was unable to speak to the children’s parents on Wednesday due to shooting in the area.
The state vet’s preliminary examination found the dog had broken limbs and several open wounds to the body and skull area.
“These images aren’t young hooligans behaving badly but rather footage‚ we believe‚ of tomorrow’s killers which if left unchecked will certainly kill again.”
A study published by the Southern African Legal Information Institute examines the linkage between animal cruelty and criminal behaviour‚ illustrating that dealing appropriately with animal cruelty offences is a necessary part of addressing problem human behaviour.
The study‚ written by Regan Jules-Macquet‚ among other things‚ highlighted the importance of South African criminal justice stakeholders becoming increasingly aware of the significance of animal abuse and its implications for criminal behaviour and crime prevention initiatives.
“In the event that a case of animal abuse or mistreatment occurs‚ it is suggested that the accused be referred for a psychosocial assessment by either the Department of Social Development‚ or by a civil society service provider‚ such as the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (NICRO).
“This is to ensure that any underlying social functioning and psychosocial issues are correctly identified and taken into consideration when developing the diversion order or sentence. Family assessments will be required in the event that child abuse or domestic violence is suspected‚” the report reads.
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA – which has opened a case against the children at the Manenberg police station – commended a whistle-blower for exposing the incident.
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Western Cape African National Congress (ANC) chairman Marius Fransman‚ asked to step aside from politics after a sexual harassment scandal‚ has resumed his role of provincial party leader with immediate effect.
Water Affairs and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said on Thursday: “He is back in the ANC as a chair. The issues have been resolved.”
Fransman took many observers by surprise when he made an unexpected appearance in Philippi‚ on the Cape Flats‚ with other ANC leaders to welcome President Jacob Zuma who arrived in the area to drum up support for the party ahead of the local government elections.
Fransman smiled warmly as he greeted Zuma and shook the president’s hand.
It is the first time that he has taken part in a high-profile ANC event since being asked to “step aside” earlier this year for allegedly sexually harassing his private assistant‚ Louisa Wynand‚ when she accompanied him to the party’s birthday celebrations in Rustenburg.
Police are still investigating a charge of sexual harassment opened by Wynand and the ANC also conducted an internal investigation into the incident.
City Press published a “leaked” version of the internal investigation report which stated that he should immediately relinquish all politically elected positions he held in the ANC. But the contents of the report were disputed by the ANC.
Since then‚ several inappropriate WhatsApp messages he sent to the young woman have surfaced.
But this did nothing to dampen his enthusiasm when he publicly welcomed Zuma to Cape Town on Thursday with a hearty hand shake and a smile. Fransman wore an ANC t-shirt featuring a photograph of Zuma with the words‚ “Vote ANC”.
Mokonyane said that Fransman would resume his full duties as of Thursday. She did not‚ she said‚ have details about the ANC integrity commission report.
Fransman told TMG Digital‚ “I am here to support (Xolani) Sotashe as the mayoral candidate.”
Reeva Steenkamp’s parents were focusing their energy on the upcoming media launch of The Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation when the news broke that the state would appeal the “shockingly too lenient” six-year sentence imposed on Oscar Pistorius.
June and Barry Steenkamp’s lawyer‚ Tania Koen‚ said on Thursday that the couple had no input on the decision by the state to appeal.
“June and Barry have always fully supported Gerrie Nel and his team’s fight for justice for Reeva‚” said Koen.
“As they have no input in the decision of the state to appeal‚ they are focusing their energy on the upcoming official media launch of The Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation on 19 August 2016‚ on what would have been Reeva’s 33rd birthday.
“Reeva was killed on the same morning she was due to deliver a speech against the abuse of woman‚ at a school in Johannesburg‚” Koen said of Valentine’s Day 2013‚ when Pistorius murdered her.
“June strives to be Reeva’s voice and continue Reeva’s passion in educating and empowering victims of domestic violence and abuse.”
In a statement released on Thursday‚ the National Prosecuting Authority said that the sentence of six years’ imprisonment handed down by Pretoria High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa was “shockingly too lenient and has accordingly resulted in an injustice and has the potential to bring the administration of justice into disrepute”.
The post Reeva’s parents had ‘no input’ on state’s decision to appeal Pistorius sentence: lawyer appeared first on HeraldLIVE.
Judge Thokozile Masipa will hear an application by the State for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal against the six year prison sentence she imposed on Paralympian Oscar Pistorius‚ on a date still to be arranged.
On July 6‚ Masipa sentenced Pistorius to the six-year jail term for murder‚ a sentence that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) intends to appeal against.
The NPA said the sentence of six years imprisonment‚ in all the circumstances‚ was disproportionate to the crime.
It said the sentence was shockingly too lenient‚ and had accordingly resulted in an injustice and had the potential to bring the administration of justice into disrepute.
“We hope that this appeal will also clarify further the principles of sentencing‚ particularly in crime categories for which there are prescribed minimum sentences ordained by legislation‚ notwithstanding the fact that a judicial officer has a discretion to deviate from the minimum sentence after considering compelling circumstances‚” the NPA said in a statement.
It will be the second time prosecuting authorities would seek to have a decision by Pretoria High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa reviewed after they successfully petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to overturn the culpable homicide verdict and five-year sentence she originally gave the Paralympic athlete.
Pistorius shot and killed his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013.
The SCA sent Pistorius’ case back to Masipa for her to preside over the sentencing hearing on the murder conviction.
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