A round-up of the day’s news from South Africa.
KREJCIR MOVED TO HOSPITAL AS CASE POSTPONED
Radovan Krejcir’s doctor is “credible” and provided enough evidence to ensure the Czech fugitive would be moved from prison to a medical facility, Sapa reported. Judge Ramarumo Monama said the state’s approach to the hearing was “unfortunate” as they concentrated on “peripheral” issues instead of whether he required urgent medical attention. Krejcir’s lawyers claimed police had “tortured” him, and used a Taser, which resulted in serious injuries. Krejcir’s doctor said he could face renal failure without medical attention, and that his injuries were consistent with someone who’d been assaulted. Later, National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman, Phindi Louw, said the Krejcir case – held in camera for security reasons – had been postponed until next week for further investigation.
RAIDS PLANNED ON COMPANIES, MINES FLOUTING WATER LAWS
The water affairs department has issued a stern warning to companies violating the National Water Act and polluting South Africa’s water resources. The department’s enforcement unit, known as the ‘Blue Scorpions’, will be raiding a number of mines operating without Water Use Licenses, as well as companies and farms polluting water courses during National Enforcement Week. Department spokesman, Themba Khumalo, said the ‘blitz week’ would see a “massive effort” in clamping down on transgressors, and that the department was adopting a “zero tolerance” approach towards water crimes. Earlier this month, a mine owned by the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, was exposed by a newspaper for operating without a water license and for diverting river flow and releasing contaminated water despite a warning from the water department.
HUMAN SETTLEMENTS MINISTER WANTS ANSWERS ON SINGH
Human settlements minister, Connie September, wants KwaZulu-Natal’s provincial housing department to investigate the owner of the Tongaat Mall development was involved in building shoddy low cost houses in the province. Two people died with the Tongaat construction collapsed, which was later discovered to have started construction without permission. September’s spokesman said the minister-wanted answers on reports that Jay Singh’s Woodglaze Housing Development Project broke housing regulations. She also wants to know what role the National Home Builders Regulatory Council plays “as such alleged practices by this specific contractor, and all contractors in the country for that matter, are not supposed to occur”.
PANTHER ATTACKS GUIDE AT PRETORIA WILDLIFE ESTATE
A panther has attacked a tour guide at the Farm Inn wildlife estate near Pretoria, the Pretoria News reported. A family visiting the estate to celebrate a birthday watched in horror as the big cat jumped on to the ranger’s back and started mauling him. They threw objects at it, to no avail, said Dani Rinck. Eventually his brother threw water at the cat, and it moved away from the injured ranger. Rinck said the panther came through an enclosure secured only by a rusty padlock. He said the farm’s owners blamed the guide for being in the enclosure but “never once displayed compassion for what he had been through”. He said they’d been told the panther was “aggressive” and often threw itself against the fence.
COMMUNITY APPREHENDS CHILD RAPIST, TAKES HIM TO POLICE
Enough is enough, says North West premier Thandi Modise in her condemnation of a the alleged rape of a four year old boy by a 17-year-old teenager out on bail for the rape of a grandmother. Modise, speaking on the day of the launch of government’s 16 Days of Activism on no violence against women and children campaign, said South Africa needed to “unite in action to name and shame perpetrators”. The child was raped in full of view of friends, and called their mothers to alert them to what was happening. Residents are alleged to have arrived to find the suspect raping the boy. He was beaten up before being taken to the Itsoeng police station. Modise said by apprehending the suspect, the community “epitomised the 16 days campaign message ‘don’t look away’”.
DA WANTS PUBLIC PROTECTOR INVESTIGATION INTO SEZ LAUNCH
The Democratic Alliance says it will request the public protector investigate the department of trade and industry’s R1 million expenditure on the launch of Saldanha Bay Special Economic Zone (SEZ) last month. Trade and industry spokesman Geordin Hill-Lewis said the launch was “nothing but an ANC rally paid for using government funds. It was an abuse of public money and there must be accountability for it.” Western Cape premier Helen Zille was heckled while President Jacob Zuma and other ANC leaders failed to stop the crowd from disrupting her speech. “ANC supporters were bussed in to the event and ANC T-shirts were distributed at the event in plain sight,” Hill-Lewis said. He said dti minister Rob Davies’ lack of action in preventing “a state event from being turned into a political party rally” and using public funding for this purpose meant he may have “breached the Executive Members’ Ethics Code”.
CARRIM: SABC COO JOB WILL BE ADVERTISED SOON
Communications minister Yunus Carrim says the job of chief operating officer at the SABC may be advertised soon, Sapa reported. Speaking to the Cape Town Press Club, Carrim said the “stalemate” over filling the position with a permanent appointee was likely to end soon should negotiations be successful with a candidate who believed he should have been appointed. His spokesman, Siya Qoza, confirmed the candidate was Mvuzo Mbebe, who was recommended for the job in 2007 but was never appointed and got an interdict in 2008 preventing the appointment of a new chief operating officer. That led to the appointment of controversial acting COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Once the legal obstruction is out of the way, the job would be advertised.
TWO MEN FOUND GUILTY OF CHANELLE HENNING’S CONTRACT KILLING
The murder of Chanelle Henning was a “classic contract killing”, says Judge Johan Kruger. Handing down a guilty verdict to former Nigerian Olympic athlete, Ambrose Monye, and businessman Andre Gouws, Kruger said the pair had used ex-policeman Gerhardus du Plessis and his friend Willem Pieterse as “instruments” to carry out the murder. Du Plessis and Pieterse are currently serving 18 -year prison sentences after confessing to killing Henning. Gouws is a close friend of Henning’s former husband, Nico. The pair was involved in a bitter custody battle at the time of her murder. Kruger said Gouws was the instigator of the murder, and Monye supplied the men willing to do the job. DM
Photo: Rescue workers attempt to determine if there are any more injured under the rubble at a collapsed mall construction site in Tongaat, north of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The mall collapsed leaving at least one person dead and 29 injured. (Picture: Giordano Stolley/SAPA)
Watermelons were originally cultivated in Africa.