A round-up of the day’s news from South Africa.
BOOYSEN GANG RAPE ‘SHOCKING, CRUEL AND INHUMANE’
President Jacob Zuma echoed the sentiments of the nation when he called the brutal gang rape and murder of a Western Cape teenager an “extreme violation and destruction of a young human life”. Anene Booysen died after being gang raped and left to die in an industrial site in Bredasdorp. “This act is shocking, cruel and most inhumane. It has no place in our country,” Zuma said. DA parliamentary speaker Lindiwe Mazibuko said it was “time to ask the tough questions that for too long we have avoided”. She said we live “in a deeply patriarchal and injured society where the rights of women are not respected. Indeed, there is a silent war against the children and women of this country.” Zuma said the courts should impose the “harshest sentences on such crimes”.
ANOTHER ARREST IN ANENE BOOYSEN CASE
Police have arrested a second suspect in the gang rape and murder of Anene Booysen. Reuters reports the 17-year-old victim was sliced open from her stomach to her genitals, and died as a result of her injuries. Police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said investigations were continuing, and that more arrests were imminent. The victim identified one of her attackers, a 22-year-old man, before she died. He and the 21-year-old second suspect, who was arrested on Wednesday night, are expected to appear in court shortly on charges of rape and murder.
POACHERS STEP UP RHINO POACHING WITH 82 DEAD SO FAR
South Africa has lost 82 rhino – 61 of them in the Kruger National Park – since the start of the new year, and arrested 21 poachers so far, with 14 being caught in the Park. Water and environmental affairs minister, Edna Molewa, is due to talk to regional groups about the issue at an upcoming CITES gathering, and is meeting her Mozambican counterpart on rhino safety and security co-operation later this month. Many of the poachers are crossing the border from Mozambique into the Kruger National Park. She welcomed the announcement from Vietnam that it had banned imports of all white and black rhino specimens. Molewa said this development was “important for South Africa and will assist our law enforcement authorities to effectively deal with the current scourge of poaching”.
CONGOLESE REBELS CHARGED WITH PLOTTING A COUP
Nineteen Congolese rebels, including a naturalised US citizen, have been charged with plotting a coup against the government in Kinshasa. Reuters reports the group, who appeared in court in Pretoria, were led by US-Congolese citizen James Kazongo and had been under surveillance by an elite South African police unit for months before their arrest this week, prosecutor Shaun Abrahams said. Abrahams said the group, a wing of a little-known militia called the Union of Nationalists for Renewal (UNR), were planning a coup in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He said police had a “wish list” emailed to an undercover officer asking for satellite phones, cash, weapons and ammunition, including 5,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 1,000 grenades and a quantity of missiles.
TIME FOR COSATU TO GO BACK TO BASICS, SAYS VAVI
Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi has asked shop stewards to “go back to basics as a union federation and fight for workers’ rights and that of the poor”. Speaking to provincial shop stewards at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus, Vavi said the federation was “not a political party or the ANC. It is not the vanguard or the SACP; it is a union federation. A union federation that does not do its work is something else and not a workers’ organisation”. Vavi said workers should unite and leave behind the differences in leadership that divided Cosatu in the lead up to the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung.
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT GUILTY OF MALADMINISTRATION
The Public Protector has found the justice department guilty of maladministration in the case of a whistleblower, known as ‘Mrs M’. Thuli Madonsela said the “department’s management failed to protect the complainant against victimisation from her superiors and fellow employees”. Mrs M told Madonsela she was victimised and harassed after she discovered employees were misappropriating funds. She told her superiors of her discovery, but no action was taken and the wrongdoers started to harass her. The department stopped paying her salary, Madonsela said. Now Mrs M will be reinstated, and moved to another department. Madonsela said the agreement matched her recommendations in the report.
‘JUB JUB’ APPEAL REFUSED
Magistrate Brian Nemavhidi has refused Molemo ‘Jub Jub’ Maarohanye’s bid to appeal his murder conviction and sentence. Nemavhidi said based on all the facts before the court the applications by Maarohanye and his co-accused Themba Tshabalala failed. Sapa reports that relatives of the victims celebrated when the decision was handed down. The magistrate in December last year sentenced Maarohanye and Tshabalala to 20 years imprisonment each for murder and four years for attempted murder, and a further on year for each count of using drugs, driving under the influence of drugs, and racing on a public road. Four children died when the two drag raced along a busy road, and crashed into a group of school children.
SPEEDING SKATEBOARDER TO BE CHARGED WITH RECKLESS ROAD USE
A Cape Town skateboarder will be prosecuted for reckless and negligent road use after being bust by a speed camera hurtling down the steep Kloof Nek Road at 110 km an hour. Decio Lourenco, who recorded his ride with a GPS device fitted to one of his feet, will not be given the option of a fine, said mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith. Lourenco’s video of his downhill ride, called Spoofing the Cam, has become a hit on YouTube. But the city plans to use the video in its case against him. IOL reports that Smith said the traffic department would scrutinise the YouTube video and the speed camera footage to trace Lourenco. DM
Photo: President Jacob Zuma echoed the sentiments of the nation when he called the brutal gang rape and murder of a Western Cape teenager an “extreme violation and destruction of a young human life”. (REUTERS)
Stephen Hawking held a party for time travellers. He sent the invitation out the day after. Nobody attended.