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Tuesday, 29 July 2008

2980th victim murdered in ongoing armed attacks against smallholdings and farms

from South Africa Sucks

Andre Bam, 26, killed in cold blood, dad Chris injured, Doornpoort AH, Pretoria - nothing robbed

July 29 2008 PRETORIA. During the night, at 02:30 a family at the agricultural holdings of Doornpoort near Pretoria - situated close to a temporary UN's refugee camp for foreign Africans -- was attacked at home by at least 3 armed black men.

This entire area has been under constant siege for several years now, with scores of murders, rapes and robberies by large armed gangs of young black males. Most of the residents here are Afrikaans-speaking - which can be seen by the large number of Afrikaner-churches in the region. And inevitably, their attackers are young, black males.

The son died after attackers fired towards him while he was rushing towards his parents' bedroom to try and help them stave off the attack. The father Chris Bam was shot twice while still in bed - just as he was waking up. The mother Veronica remained unharmed.

And nothing was robbed - at all.

Mrs Veronica Bam woke up first when she heard and saw the men moving around in the sleeping couple's bedroom - her husband Chris woke up shortly thereafter and reacted by shouting -- and then they shot the unarmed man at once, injuring him seriously.

No-one was arrested.

The darkest hour is always before dawn

from South Africa Sucks

Letter from Zimbabwe sent in by John Winter

I reckon that these are the last days of TKM and ZPF. The darkest hour is always before dawn. We are all terrified at what they are going to destroy next........I mean they are actually ploughing down brick and mortar houses and one white family with twin boys of 10 had no chance of salvaging anything when100 riot police came in with AK47's and bulldozers and demolished their beautiful house - 5 bedrooms and pine ceilings - because it was 'too close to the airport', so we are feeling extremely insecure right now.

You know - I am aware that this does not help you sleep at night, but if you do not know - how can you help? Even if you put us in your own mental ring of light and send your guardian angels to be with us - that is a help - but I feel so cut off from you all knowing I cannot tell you what's going on here simply because you will feel uncomfortable. There is no ways we can leave here so that is not an option. I ask that you all pray for us in the way that you know how, and let me know that you are thinking of us and sending out positive vibes... that's all. You can't just be in denial and pretend/believe it's not going on.

To be frank with you, it's genocide in the making and if you do not believe me, read the Genocide Report by Amnesty International which says we are - IN level 7 - (level 8 is after it's happened and everyone is in denial). If you don't want me to tell you these things-how bad it is-then it means you have not dealt with your own fear, but it does not help me to think you are turning your back on our situation. We need you, please, to get the news OUT that we are all in a fearfully dangerous situation here. Too many people turn their backs and say - oh well, that's what happens in Africa .

This Government has GONE MAD and you need to help us publicize our plight---or how can we be rescued? It's a reality! The petrol queues are a reality, the pall of smoke all around our city is a reality, the thousands of homeless people sleeping outside in 0 Celsius with no food, water, shelter and bedding are a reality.

Today a family approached me, brother of the gardener's wife with two small children. Their home was trashed and they will have to sleep outside. We already support 8 adult people and a child on this property, and electricity is going up next month by 250% as is water. How can I take on another family of 4 -----and yet how can I turn them away to sleep out in the open? I am not asking you for money or a ticket out of here - I am asking you to FACE the fact that we are in deep and terrible danger and want you please to pass on our news and pictures. So PLEASE don't just press the delete button! Help best in the way that you know how. Do face the reality of what is going on here and help us SEND OUT THE WORD.. The more people who know about it, the more chance we have of the United Nations coming to our aid. Please don't ignore or deny what's happening. Some would like to be protected from the truth BUT then, if we are eliminated, how would you feel? 'If only we knew how bad it really was we could have helped in some way'. [I know we chose to stay here and that some feel we deserve what's coming to us]

For now,--- we ourselves have food, shelter, a little fuel and a bit of money for the next meal - but what is going to happen next? Will they start on our houses? All property is going to belong to the State now. I want to send out my Title Deeds to one of you because if they get a hold of those, I can't fight for my rights. Censorship!

We no longer have SW radio [which told us everything that was happening] because the Government jammed it out of existence - we don't have any reporters, and no one is allowed to photograph. If we had reporters here, they would have an absolute field day. Even the pro-Government Herald has written that people are shocked, stunned, bewildered and blown mindless by the wanton destruction of many folks homes, which are supposed to be 'illegal' but for which a huge percentage actually do have licenses. Please! - do have some compassion and HELP by sending out the articles and personal reports so that something can/may be done.

'I am one. I cannot do everything, ---but I can do something.. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do.'

Edward Everett Hale

The 'Bring me my machine gun' campaign

By Allison Barrie
Fox News

He may be the most controversial figure in African politics — a skirt-chasing, self-described "Zulu Boy" shrouded by accusations of corruption and rape who marches to a catchy tune called "Bring Me My Machine Gun."

South Africa, meet your next president.

Jacob Zuma, the 65-year-old "100 Percent Zulu Boy" and new leader of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC), has garnered the popular support of communists and young people, some of whom publicly display anti-gay and anti-feminist views.

South African presidents are chosen by the 400 members of the directly-elected National Assembly, one of the two houses of parliament.

Although more than a dozen parties are represented in parliament, the ruling ANC has been the main player in South African politics since 1994, which means that Zuma is the most likely successor when current president Thabo Mbeki steps down.

(The ANC's rivals include the Democratic Alliance (DA), the biggest opposition party, and the predominantly Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).)

Women's groups may be sounding off over the values of the polygamist president-to-be, but Zuma is no stranger to controversy.

Zuma has an estimated 20 children by six different women. His eldest wife, Sizakele Khumao, has renounced her "first lady" status in favor of his new 33-year-old wife.

A former wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, is South Africa's foreign minister and a potential political rival. Another wife killed herself in 2000.

Despite Zuma's removal as deputy president of South Africa after fraud charges two years ago, and subsequent corruption and rape charges, the ANC announced this week that the party will support his candidacy for the national presidency.

During his rape trial, Zuma took a "short skirt" excuse, claiming it was his duty as a Zulu warrior to have sex with a woman if she wore a short kanga (an African wrap), and that he could not leave her "unfulfilled."

Zuma told the court that he knew the woman was "clearly aroused" by the fact that her kanga was "quite short" — meaning knee-length.

"In the Zulu culture, you cannot just leave a woman if she is ready," he explained.

According to his defense team, Zulu men have sexual primacy over women. Therefore, he could not be guilty.

"To deny her sex, that would have been tantamount to rape," Zuma claimed.

The accusing woman, who was 31 and HIV-positive at the time of the incident, is the daughter of one of Zuma's now-dead liberation-war comrades.

She alleged that when she went for advice in late 2005 to the home of the man she had known since childhood and had always called "uncle," Zuma forced his 250-pound frame upon her.

During the subsequent trial, thousands of Zuma's supporters congregated outside the courthouse, chanting "kill the bitch" and pelting the accuser with rocks as she arrived each morning. She was given police protection due to death threats.

At one point, Zuma was caught attempting to bribe the victim's aunt with an offer of two cows and a new garden fence in exchange for persuading the victim to withdraw the allegations.

But was Zuma, the former head of the National AIDS Council in a country where one in seven citizens are HIV-positive, and aware of the woman's HIV-positive status, concerned about unprotected sex?

"I had a shower afterwards," Zuma explained after announcing that he had chosen not to use a condom.

In a country where, according to human rights groups, a woman is raped every 26 seconds, Zuma was found not guilty. His accuser has been granted asylum in the Netherlands.

Zuma's throngs of supporters, who refer to him as simply "JZ," dismiss the rape and corruption allegations as plots masterminded by government intelligence agents to prevent his rise to power.

Zuma has also been accused of taking bribes in a defense-contract scandal for which he still faces trial, as well as charges of consorting with criminals, prostitutes and corruption.

Despite claims that the judiciary is independent, he will have significant influence over his own prosecution as the head of the ANC.

A recent KPMG auditing report alleges that the man at the center of the defense-contract scandal, fraud convict Schabir Shaik, spent over $21 million on Zuma's children, including allowances, cars and cash payment for a wedding.

The report also suggests that Shaik and his companies footed the bill for Zuma's household and travel expenses.

Zuma faces 16 charges, including one charge of racketeering, two counts of corruption, one count of money laundering and 12 counts of fraud.

Ironically, Zuma's problems have only increased his support among the poverty-stricken and the oppressed.

Under President Mbeki, discontent has escalated in the black population.

Most South African blacks still live in shocking conditions, with one person murdered every 20 minutes and unemployment at 90 percent in some townships.

In his striking political comeback, Zuma, who often wears a traditional cowhide robe and Zulu shield, led his thousands of supporters Tuesday, many from the Young Communist League, in preparation to succeed Mbeki as the new ANC leader.

Zuma left home at 16 and joined the ANC as a foot soldier for the armed wing of the liberation movement, Umkhonto we Sizwe or "Spear of the Nation."

At 21, he was arrested for conspiring to overthrow the apartheid government and served 10 years in prison alongside liberation hero Nelson Mandela — as well as his rape accuser's father — in the notorious jail on Robben Island just offshore from Cape Town.

Mbeki is also a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, but unlike Zuma, he is an intellectual who left South Africa to pursue an economics degree in England during the anti-apartheid struggle and never spent time in prison.

A series of corruption scandals, including the theft of millions intended for vital drugs, increased opinion against Mbeki.

Zuma has signaled his intent to "Africanize" the country, and there rumors he plans to seize some white-owned South African farms.

In neighboring Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe's "Africanization" land-reform policies have brought famine to his country through the seizure of white-owned farms.

Ironically, while Mbeki has been criticized for his refusal to take action against the dictatorial Mugabe, a fellow veteran of the liberation struggle, Zuma has called for a tougher South African stance.

Thirteen years after emerging from apartheid and starting down the path of Mandela's "Rainbow Nation", South Africa, Africa's superpower and largest economy now embarks down the road of "Bring Me My Machine Gun."

Allison Barrie, a security and terrorism consultant with the Commission for National Security in the 21st Century, has an M.A. from the King's College War Studies department and has just completed her Ph.D thesis with King's. She attended law school in England and practiced law for four years at two leading global law firms. Allison has contributed to various projects with Britain's Ministry of Defense, including Iraq Operation Telic 5 and other operations dealing with imprisoned soldiers, combat experience and management of combat. She has traveled to over 45 countries and performed as a ballet dancer in productions of the Royal Opera House and English National Opera.

Monday, 28 July 2008

How China's taking over Africa, and the West should be VERY worried

By Andrew Malone, Daily Mail
Last updated at 4:16 PM on 18th July 2008

On June 5, 1873, in a letter to The Times, Sir Francis Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin and a distinguished African explorer in his own right, outlined a daring (if by today's standards utterly offensive) new method to 'tame' and colonise what was then known as the Dark Continent.

'My proposal is to make the encouragement of Chinese settlements of Africa a part of our national policy, in the belief that the Chinese immigrants would not only maintain their position, but that they would multiply and their descendants supplant the inferior Negro race,' wrote Galton.

'I should expect that the African seaboard, now sparsely occupied by lazy, palavering savages, might in a few years be tenanted by industrious, order-loving Chinese, living either as a semidetached dependency of China, or else in perfect freedom under their own law.'

Despite an outcry in Parliament and heated debate in the august salons of the Royal Geographic Society, Galton insisted that 'the history of the world tells the tale of the continual displacement of populations, each by a worthier successor, and humanity gains thereby'.

A controversial figure, Galton was also the pioneer of eugenics, the theory that was used by Hitler to try to fulfil his mad dreams of a German Master Race.

Eventually, Galton's grand resettlement plans fizzled out because there were much more exciting things going on in Africa.

But that was more than 100 years ago, and with legendary explorers such as Livingstone, Speke and Burton still battling to find the source of the Nile - and new discoveries of exotic species of birds and animals featuring regularly on newspaper front pages - vast swathes of the continent had not even been 'discovered'.

Yet Sir Francis Galton, it now appears, was ahead of his time. His vision is coming true - if not in the way he imagined. An astonishing invasion of Africa is now under way.

In the greatest movement of people the world has ever seen, China is secretly working to turn the entire continent into a new colony.

Reminiscent of the West's imperial push in the 18th and 19th centuries - but on a much more dramatic, determined scale - China's rulers believe Africa can become a 'satellite' state, solving its own problems of over-population and shortage of natural resources at a stroke.

With little fanfare, a staggering 750,000 Chinese have settled in Africa over the past decade. More are on the way.

The strategy has been carefully devised by officials in Beijing, where one expert has estimated that China will eventually need to send 300 million people to Africa to solve the problems of over-population and pollution.

The plans appear on track. Across Africa, the red flag of China is flying. Lucrative deals are being struck to buy its commodities - oil, platinum, gold and minerals. New embassies and air routes are opening up. The continent's new Chinese elite can be seen everywhere, shopping at their own expensive boutiques, driving Mercedes and BMW limousines, sending their children to exclusive private schools.

The pot-holed roads are cluttered with Chinese buses, taking people to markets filled with cheap Chinese goods. More than a thousand miles of new Chinese railroads are crisscrossing the continent, carrying billions of tons of illegally-logged timber, diamonds and gold.

The trains are linked to ports dotted around the coast, waiting to carry the goods back to Beijing after unloading cargoes of cheap toys made in China.

Confucius Institutes (state-funded Chinese 'cultural centres') have sprung up throughout Africa, as far afield as the tiny land-locked countries of Burundi and Rwanda, teaching baffled local people how to do business in Mandarin and Cantonese.

Massive dams are being built, flooding nature reserves. The land is scarred with giant Chinese mines, with 'slave' labourers paid less than £1 a day to extract ore and minerals.

Pristine forests are being destroyed, with China taking up to 70 per cent of all timber from Africa.

All over this great continent, the Chinese presence is swelling into a flood. Angola has its own 'Chinatown', as do great African cities such as Dar es Salaam and Nairobi.

Exclusive, gated compounds, serving only Chinese food, and where no blacks are allowed, are being built all over the continent. 'African cloths' sold in markets on the continent are now almost always imported, bearing the legend: 'Made in China'.

From Nigeria in the north, to Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Angola in the west, across Chad and Sudan in the east, and south through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, China has seized a vice-like grip on a continent which officials have decided is crucial to the superpower's long-term survival.

'The Chinese are all over the place,' says Trevor Ncube, a prominent African businessman with publishing interests around the continent. 'If the British were our masters yesterday, the Chinese have taken their place.'

Likened to one race deciding to adopt a new home on another planet, Beijing has launched its so-called 'One China In Africa' policy because of crippling pressure on its own natural resources in a country where the population has almost trebled from 500 million to 1.3 billion in 50 years.

China is hungry - for land, food and energy. While accounting for a fifth of the world's population, its oil consumption has risen 35-fold in the past decade and Africa is now providing a third of it; imports of steel, copper and aluminium have also shot up, with Beijing devouring 80 per cent of world supplies.

The result of China's demand for raw materials and its sales of products to Africa is that turnover in trade between Africa and China has risen from £5million annually a decade ago to £6billion today.

However, there is a lethal price to pay. There is a sinister aspect to this invasion. Chinese-made war planes roar through the African sky, bombing opponents. Chinese-made assault rifles and grenades are being used to fuel countless murderous civil wars, often over the materials the Chinese are desperate to buy.

Take, for example, Zimbabwe. Recently, a giant container ship from China was due to deliver its cargo of three million rounds of AK-47 ammunition, 3,000 rocket-propelled grenades and 1,500 mortars to President Robert Mugabe's regime.

After an international outcry, the vessel, the An Yue Jiang, was forced to return to China, despite Beijing's insistence that the arms consignment was a 'normal commercial deal'.

Indeed, the 77-ton arms shipment would have been small beer - a fraction of China's help to Mugabe. He already has high-tech, Chinese-built helicopter gunships and fighter jets to use against his people.

Ever since the U.S. and Britain imposed sanctions in 2003, Mugabe has courted the Chinese, offering mining concessions for arms and currency.

While flying regularly to Beijing as a high-ranking guest, the 84-year-old dictator rants at 'small dots' such as Britain and America.

He can afford to. Mugabe is orchestrating his campaign of terror from a 25-bedroom, pagoda-style mansion built by the Chinese. Much of his estimated £1billion fortune is believed to have been siphoned off from Chinese 'loans'.

The imposing grey building of ZANU-PF, his ruling party, was paid for and built by the Chinese. Mugabe received £200 million last year alone from China, enabling him to buy loyalty from the army.

In another disturbing illustration of the warm relations between China and the ageing dictator, a platoon of the China People's Liberation Army has been out on the streets of Mutare, a city near the border with Mozambique, which voted against the president in the recent, disputed election.

Almost 30 years ago, Britain pulled out of Zimbabwe - as it had done already out of the rest of Africa, in the wake of Harold Macmillan's 'wind of change' speech. Today, Mugabe says: 'We have turned East, where the sun rises, and given our backs to the West, where the sun sets.'

Despite Britain's commendable colonial legacy of a network of roads, railways and schools, the British are now being shunned.

According to one veteran diplomat: 'China is easier to do business with because it doesn't care about human rights in Africa - just as it doesn't care about them in its own country. All the Chinese care about is money.'

Nowhere is that more true than Sudan. Branded 'Africa's Killing Fields', the massive oil-rich East African state is in the throes of the genocide and slaughter of hundreds of thousands of black, non-Arab peasants in southern Sudan.

In effect, through its supplies of arms and support, China has been accused of underwriting a humanitarian scandal. The atrocities in Sudan have been described by the U.S. as 'the worst human rights crisis in the world today'.

The government in Khartoum has helped the feared Janjaweed militia to rape, murder and burn to death more than 350,000 people.

The Chinese - who now buy half of all Sudan's oil - have happily provided armoured vehicles, aircraft and millions of bullets and grenades in return for lucrative deals. Indeed, an estimated £1billion of Chinese cash has been spent on weapons.

According to Human Rights First, a leading human rights advocacy organisation, Chinese-made AK-47 assault rifles, grenade launchers and ammunition for rifles and heavy machine guns are continuing to flow into Darfur, which is dotted with giant refugee camps, each containing hundreds of thousands of people.

Between 2003 and 2006, China sold Sudan $55 million worth of small arms, flouting a United Nations weapons embargo.

With new warnings that the cycle of killing is intensifying, an estimated two thirds of the non-Arab population has lost at least one member of their families in Darfur.

Although two million people have been uprooted from their homes in the conflict, China has repeatedly thwarted United Nations denunciations of the Sudanese regime.

While the Sudanese slaughter has attracted worldwide condemnation, prompting Hollywood film-maker Steven Spielberg to quit as artistic director of the Beijing Olympics, few parts of Africa are now untouched by China.

In Congo, more than £2billion has been 'loaned' to the government. In Angola, £3 billion has been paid in exchange for oil. In Nigeria, more than £5billion has been handed over.

In Equatorial Guinea, where the president publicly hung his predecessor from a cage suspended in a theatre before having him shot, Chinese firms are helping the dictator build an entirely new capital, full of gleaming skyscrapers and, of course, Chinese restaurants.

After battling for years against the white colonial powers of Britain, France, Belgium and Germany, post-independence African leaders are happy to do business with China for a straightforward reason: cash.

With western loans linked to an insistence on democratic reforms and the need for 'transparency' in using the money (diplomatic language for rules to ensure dictators do not pocket millions), the Chinese have proved much more relaxed about what their billions are used for.

Certainly, little of it reaches the continent's impoverished 800 million people. Much of it goes straight into the pockets of dictators. In Africa, corruption is a multi-billion pound industry and many experts believe that China is fuelling the cancer.

The Chinese are contemptuous of such criticism. To them, Africa is about pragmatism, not human rights. 'Business is business,' says Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhou Wenzhong, adding that Beijing should not interfere in 'internal' affairs. 'We try to separate politics from business.'

While the bounty has, not surprisingly, been welcomed by African dictators, the people of Africa are less impressed. At a market in Zimbabwe recently, where Chinese goods were on sale at nearly every stall, one woman told me she would not waste her money on 'Zing-Zong' products.

'They go Zing when they work, and then they quickly go Zong and break,' she said. 'They are a waste of money. But there's nothing else. China is the only country that will do business with us.'

There have also been riots in Zambia, Angola and Congo over the flood of Chinese immigrant workers. The Chinese do not use African labour where possible, saying black Africans are lazy and unskilled.

In Angola, the government has agreed that 70 per cent of tendered public works must go to Chinese firms, most of which do not employ Angolans.

As well as enticing hundreds of thousands to settle in Africa, they have even shipped Chinese prisoners to produce the goods cheaply.

In Kenya, for example, only ten textile factories are still producing, compared with 200 factories five years ago, as China undercuts locals in the production of 'African' souvenirs.

Where will it all end? As far as Beijing is concerned, it will stop only when Africa no longer has any minerals or oil to be extracted from the continent.

A century after Sir Francis Galton outlined his vision for Africa, the Chinese are here to stay. More will come.

The people of this bewitching, beautiful continent, where humankind first emerged from the Great Rift Valley, desperately need progress. The Chinese are not here for that.

They are here for plunder. After centuries of pain and war, Africa deserves better.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Zuma will rule, "even in orange prison gear"

from South Africa Sucks

South Africa will be led by Jacob Zuma in orange clothing from prison even if he is found guilty in his corruption trial, ANC Youth League President Julius Malema said yesterday.

He told delegates attending the ANC provincial conference in the Free State that the country's prosecutors should save themselves the "embarrassment" and drop charges against Zuma.

"We can't imagine the courts finding (Zuma) guilty because if you arrest him, he will lead us from prison. We are not afraid to be led by a president in orange clothes.

"If you want to save yourselves the embarrassment, you must drop the charges because arresting him will not stop him from being the president. There is no other candidate," said Malema to rapturous applause from the more than 2 000 delegates.

Malema said the party's election campaign will be led by Zuma, ending speculation that the ruling party was concerned about the impact a Zuma trial might have on the party's image.

The fiery Malema pleaded for unity, saying that a united ANC would be a perfect birthday present for former president Nelson Mandela. "Unity will be a perfect birthday present for Mandela. If you don't come back united, you will have disappointed Mandela and other leaders before him.

"An attack on the ANC is an attack on the revolution ... we will fight and fight to ensure that that unity is not compromised ... for that we are prepared to die," said Malema.

The conference, taking place in Parys, began with fanfare and live music, in contrast to the previous chaotic conferences of the youth league and the North West province.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe had a rather sober message for the delegates, urging them to unite the party.

Mantashe and Malema both lamented that ANC members in the Free State had taken the party to court.

A group of party leaders had approached the Free State High Court asking that the conference be stalled, but the case was thrown out of court with costs on Tuesday.

Mantashe said the ANC should send statements to the errant members to pay its legal fees.

"You can't claim to be in love with the ANC and drag it through the courts ... all in the name of love. It can't be correct," he said.

"Nobody should hold the ANC hostage, the tendency (to take the ANC to court) must be fought and be defeated at all costs. They lost the court case and we must send them statements to pay the money. They must know it's costly to undermine your own organisation ... because in the Free State it's becoming a tradition," said Mantashe.

Meanwhile, the SACP has urged Pietermaritzburg residents to take precautionary measures ahead of "the black week" in August, a period expected to be characterised by minimal business activity in the KwaZulu-Natal capital.

This was in reference to Zuma's appearance in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 4 and 5, which is expected to bring the city centre to a standstill as a huge turnout of people is anticipated.

In addition, Cosatu will lead a protest on August 6 which is expected to be supported by the taxi industry.

SACP regional secretary Matthews Ndlovu called on Pietermaritzburg residents who are outside the city to return home before August 3 or to remain where they are, "as it will be very difficult for them to come in or out of the city during this tense period".

The SACP also called on the National Prosecuting Authority to "do the country a reasonable favour" and withdraw the charges against Zuma "before it is too late".

More than 5 000 Zuma supporters are expected to conduct night vigils outside the court from August 3.

Ex-cop tells of cell hell

23/07/2008 23:33 - (SA)
Linda de Beer, Beeld

Rustenburg - A hunting trip turned into a nightmare for a former police officer when he was kept in a crowded cell for a weekend for crimen injuria, along with people who assaulted him and wanted to rape him.

Sakkie van der Mescht, 37, of Rustenburg, North West, allegedly was assaulted repeatedly in the cells.

He said that, among other abuses, he was stabbed in the head with a knife and another sharp object.

His cellmates also tried to rape him, but he fought with all his might to prevent this.

A knife was held to his genitals while the men threatened to cut them off.

After this, he had to sit on the cold cell floor for a long time before his clothes were given back to him, said Van der Mescht on Monday.

Having nightmares

Van der Mescht, a father of two, did not eat or drink anything for the whole weekend.

His cellmates apparently ejaculated in the water that was offered to him.

He said the police visited the cell only once every morning and once every evening.

Since his experience at the end of June, nightmares have been preventing Van der Mescht from sleeping.

His lawyer, Carl Arnold, said they were waiting on the test results for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections because of the dirty knife that was used on Van der Mescht.

On June 27, Van der Mescht was part of a group who went hunting in the Madikwe Trust area.

He was at their camp when two fellow hunters in a pick-up truck were stopped by police.

They were unable to show the licence of another hunter's firearm that was in the car.

After an assurance that someone would go to show them the licence, the police left without taking further action.

Arnold said Van der Mescht and another man drove after the police with the other hunter's firearm licence and identity document, but they repeatedly ignored him when he tried to show the documents to them.

Until March, Van der Mescht had been the police's appointed firearm official in Rustenburg. He works at presnt as a security manger for a hotel group.

Thrown into van

Van der Mescht and the driver of the pick-up truck he was in, stopped at a place where a few police vehicles were standing next to the road.

Some of the police officers apparently stormed at Van der Mescht. The door of the pick-up truck was yanked open and he was jerked out by the arm.

Van der Mescht said he told them he did not appreciate their actions. At that, he was thrown into the back of a police van.

They apparently drove around with him for more than an hour before he was taken to Madikwe police station.

He said: "I was arrested for crimen injuria and intimidation."

Van der Mescht's wife was chased from the police station when she wanted to see her husband on the Saturday. She apparently also was threatened with arrest.

On June 30, Van der Mescht pleaded guilty in Madikwe Magistrate's Court to a charge of crimen injuria, after he apparently was threatened with another seven days in the cells.

Arnold said they were appealing against this verdict which pronounced Van der Mescht guilty.

Regular cell visits

North West police's Captain Aafje Botma said Van der Mescht apparently threatened and swore at the police officer when they were driving next to each other.

She said he was taken to a local clinic so his injuries could be treated.

Police denied they had kept his wife away and said they had visited the cells every hour.

Botma did not answer a question about how a sharp object got into the cell.


Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Land invasion outside Pietermaritzburg

from South Africa Sucks

Anonymous said...
Hi there folks

I have experienced a most traumatic week, and wanted to share the details with all of my many friends on this Forum.

By way of background: I live on a small farmsmallholding just outside Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

It is difficult to even put into words how magnificent my surroundings are. I have always attempted to leave the acacia bushveld around my home intact as a refuge for wildlife, and this means that I have been able to enjoy the sight of our wild antelope grazing on my front lawn.

All of this tranquility was shattered last week when our area experienced a massive land invasion. Although a small number of the "land grabbers" were poor persons, who were attempting to draw the attention of the government to their plight, the vast majority arrived in private vehicles to get "free land". I personally saw a large number of SUV's devastating the landscape, and it became evident that professionals, businessmen and even policemen (predominantly members of the Zulu tribe) were staking claims with plastic chevron tape!

Huge numbers of wild-eyed antelope were dashing out of the bush, and tearing over my property to get away from the land grabbers. Not all of them made it to safety, however, my neighbour came accross a most awful scene outside his gate. He responded to a sound which he said was like that of a screaming baby. There were a whole group of our "new neighbours" cooking the hind leg of a common Duiker (small antelope) while the animal was still alive, and writhing and screaming in pain, my neighbour, Victor, had the sad task of having to slit its throat to put it out of its misery.

Being a qualified lawyer I assisted my neighbours to bring urgent High court interdicts to stop the invasion. These interdicts essentially maintain the status quo (no new occupiers can venture onto the land and interfere with it in any way until the eviction proceedings are heard in the middle of August). The occupiers can, of course, oppose the eviction proceedings in August.

In my affidavit for the High Court proceedings I also referred to the fact that the area which was invaded is the only valley in the world where the rare Aloe pruinosa occurs. I annexed to my papers photographs I had taken of a stand of Aloe pruinosa inside one of the "plots" which had been staked out by an illegal occupier!

How close did the invasion come? Well I have plastic chevron tape attached to much of my boundary fence! At some point the sound of shouting, the chainsaws and falling acacia trees was so close, and so frightening that I sent my wife and five year old son to my parents home for safety.

Due to the fact that the High Court return date is scheduled for a date after the date I had booked to depart for the EEE, I don't believe that I will be able to attend. If the eviction proceedings were to fail, I believe that my own property might be invaded as well.

The most fightening thing of all is that the police essentially played a monitoring role in the last invasion and my neighbours had to pay outrageously high fees to get private security companies to inforce the Court orders. It took the police three hours to respond to my call for help, and they merely spoke to the invaders and left. It does not appear that we can rely on the police to protect our interests.

Our government has also kept the whole thing under wraps, so as not to damage South Africa's image abroad (what with the Soccer World cup due to take place in SA in 2010).

July 22, 2008 8:23 PM

Editor's note:

This story came to us via an anonymous comment placed on the "There's panic out there" story preceding this one. No citation of source was provided but the closest link we could find was
here - and here.

This appeared to have occurred near Ashburton / Mkondeni / Shortt's Drift areas (which all seemingly fall under the Msunduzi municipality) last year as the sources are datelined July 8 2007.

(Uhuru Guru)

Thieves black out city factories

from South Africa Sucks

FOR the sake of about R200, metal thieves plunged a large swath of the south Durban region, including major industries, which will suffer millions of rands in losses, into darkness yesterday.

The Toyota plant in Prospecton, KwaMakhutha, Isipingo and Umlazi will all be without power for a few days because the thieves made off with an electricity transmitting tower's mounting bolts and structural members.

The 50 meter high transmission tower collapsed, causing further inconvenience when high-voltage cables fell on to Umbumbulu Road, between Lotus Park and Isipingo.

Although the police have opened a sabotage case, metal theft for its scrap value is suspected to be the cause of the incident.

The eThekwini Municipality has warned that thousands of affected residents could be without power for up to a week.

The electricity department's Vijay Batohi said it would cost about R2 million to temporarily re-erect the tower. Batohi said copper theft was affecting the department's service to a large extent.

"Millions of rands in annual financial losses are incurred owing to copper theft. What is most concerning about this incident is that Durban south is key to the Durban economy.

"It's frustrating that small amounts of money for scrap metal will result in the city forking out millions," he said.

Toyota vice-president Thapelo Malapo said that the problem would be "disastrous" for the company.

He said the factory had since been shut down and would probably only be operational by Monday.

"The plant became impossible to operate, so we had to shut it down. We (the management) aren't the only ones facing massive financial losses; this happened at the worst time for workers. With the cost of living rising at an alarming rate, they needed to work overtime as that brought them extra money."

Malapo said because Toyota was a large network, supplying an equally large value chain, estimating the company's financial losses would be difficult.

"We have a big network comprised of buyers that we won't be able to supply orders to and we'll cut down on production because of inadequate supplies," he said.

"We deal with a local and international network and our clients won't understand that we have problems; they simply expect us to deliver."


Malapo said losing confidence from clients would be the long-term effect.

Airports Company South Africa spokesman Colin Naidoo said Durban International Airport had experienced a power cut because of the downed tower, but operations at the airport were not affected because an emergency power system immediately kicked in.

Isipingo Hospital experienced a similar problem. However, the hospital reported that back-up generators had kicked in and that operations were running smoothly.

Sapref spokesman Margaret Rowe said the oil refinery experienced a dip in power supply, causing some processing units to automatically shut down. The result was flaring as surplus gases were combusted in the flare stacks.

"These units are in the process of being restarted. We have full electricity supply and we expect the refinery to be fully operational within the next couple of days," she said.

Durban Chamber of Business spokesman Zama Phakathi said the incident was unfortunate as it resulted in business being affected. She said it was critical that electricity towers, which served as a life-line to business, receive greater protection.

"It's unfortunate that petty crime could lead to losses of this magnitude.

"As difficult as it will be, we are hoping the business community will try to adjust to this situation. The municipality, however, assured us that supply would be restored by Friday and we appreciate the quick response," she said.

Police Supt Muzi Mngomezulu said two people were arrested in connection with the incident.

He said traffic was interrupted as electricity wires lay on the ground and robots stopped working.

"No one was injured and no car was damaged. The matter was reported to the police and the dog unit arrived at the scene.

"A woman and a man were arrested. Five other men fled. Because many industrial businesses are affected, the two will face sabotage instead of theft charges.

"This will cost the municipality and businesses millions of rands," he said.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Squandered oil wealth leaves Nigeria in dark age

TUME AHEMBA | LAGOS, NIGERIA - Jul 21 2008 07:53

With oil prices at record highs, government coffers in the world's eighth biggest oil exporter are swollen to unprecedented levels.

Yet the vast majority of Nigeria's 140-million people live in no better conditions than their neighbours in West Africa, the least developed region of the world's poorest continent.

The same is true of many of Africa's major oil producers -- including Angola, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea and Chad -- but Nigeria's sheer size and two-million-barrel-per-day output make the poverty-wealth contrasts more striking.

Nigeria has earned the equivalent in today's terms of nearly $1,2-trillion from oil production over the past four decades, the sort of money that enabled oil-producing Gulf states like Qatar to develop some of the strongest economies in the Arab world.

But its four state-owned refineries are not fully operational, largely due to mismanagement and vandalism, its distribution network is chaotic, and it relies heavily on fuel imports, which cost about $4-billion each year.

In Lagos, a mega-city of more than 10-million people, the elite sip champagne on exclusive islands -- albeit to the incessant drone of diesel generators -- while the masses live in mainland slums without water or electricity.

Ask an average Nigerian on the streets of Lagos how he is and he will likely tell you "things dey hard, but we dey manage".

Healthcare is virtually non-existent, the roads are potholed, unemployment and crime are on the rise, and Nigeria is suffering from spiralling food prices.

"Nigeria is making more money from oil now, but look at the street we are living on," said Efe Oyingbo, pointing to a dirt road where passers-by waddle through muddy waters and motorists try to navigate cavernous, submerged potholes.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Farmer died to protect father

Buks Viljoen, Beeld

Komatipoort - A true gentleman and a genuine gentle giant - this was how Nicky van Veijeren on Wednesday described her "six-foot-four" nephew and godchild Jan-Daniel Venter, 21, who was murdered on Blikkor farm near Komatipoort.

Jan-Daniel and his father Jan, 56, were attacked in their rented house early on Monday evening.

The part-time law student was killed when he stormed at the robbers with a chair in his hands.

He was shot nine times in the chest and stomach and died minutes later.

'How cold-blooded can one be?'

Van Veijeren said the robbers grabbed a silver ring from Jan-Daniel's finger as they fled from the scene of the murder.

"How cold-blooded can one be?"

His father Jan was hit in the shoulder during the shooting. The tip of the bullet is still stuck there.

Jan-Daniel's boerboel, Boela, was shot in his paw. After the attack the wounded dog went to lie on top of his dead owner's body.

The police were initially unable to approach Jan-Daniel's body because the dog was very aggressive.

He was later led away by Jan and locked in another room.

Van Veijeren - who is Jan's sister - said that even though Jan-Daniel's parents had been divorced for years, he lived for them.

"He was a true Christian and had a heart of gold. And now his young life had to be taken away from him by thugs without consciences," she said.

Family 'stunned'

"The family is stunned. They are broken. They're not doing well at all," she added.

The father and son had been watching television on Monday when the three robbers stormed into the house and Jan-Daniel rushed at them.

"He did it to protect his father and he sacrificed his life," Van Veijeren said.

A police task team was hot on the heels of the three suspects on Wednesday afternoon.

Jan's stolen bakkie was found near the Mozambican border on Wednesday morning. It is currently at the Tonga police station, police spokesperson Richard Khumalo said.

Jan-Daniel's funeral will be held at the Reformed Church in Barberton at 11:00 on Friday.

When is daddy coming home?

Nikky Oosthuizen, Die Burger

Cape Town - The widow of a police inspector said her "fairy tale is in pieces" after her husband was shot dead in Tamboerskloof in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Inspector Lukas Nell was searching a suspected robber when the man shot him twice.

His widow Karen Nell, who met her husband when she was 15, said on Wednesday that she lost her "unique, dedicated prince".

The couple had been together for 20 years.

"He helped me with my maths in matric, while he was in police college."

They have a daughter Nikita, 14, and sons, Marnus, 5, and Marnu, 4.

"The boys keep asking when Daddy is coming home from work," Lukas's brother Reinier said.

"His children were crazy about their father.

'Dedicated to his work'

"When they heard the front gate, they would run to greet him."

Karen said her husband was someone who was always ready to help others.

"Even on his days off, student police officers and members of the public would ask for his help. He was dedicated (to his work) for 16 years, even when he was ill."

Reinier said Lukas joined the police force straight after school and never doubted his choice of career.

"He lived for his work."

Lukas was described as a pillar of his family.

"If someone needed something, they would always phone him."

The family said they were very grateful for the support they have received from the community and the police.

A memorial service, organised by Tamboerskloof residents, will be held in New Church Street in Tamboerskloof at 10:00 on Thursday.

There will be another memorial service at Lukas's parents' home in Parow Valley on Thursday evening.

Woman robbed, then thrown in jail by cops

By Alex Eliseev

Pistol-whipped and bitten by armed robbers at her shop, mother-of-three Yasmin Hajat expected police officers to bring her comfort. What she got instead was a cold night in jail.

Hajat, 42, a store manager in Joubert Park, Johannesburg, said this was the eighth robbery she has suffered.

Yet, she said, she was the one treated like a criminal.

"I'm angry," she exclaimed on Thursday, a few hours after being set free by the courts. "I feel like the criminals have more rights than citizens trying to protect their property."

Hajat's store, Joubert Park Wholesalers on Twist Street, was attacked on Wednesday afternoon by a gang of eight armed robbers. They hit her on the head while raiding the clothing and electronics shop.

They started to flee when one of her staff hit the alarm but Hajat jumped over the counter to try to capture one of them.

"We wrestled and he bit me," she explained. "My brother-in-law (Suliman Hajat) apprehended him and shut the roller doors."

The scuffle continued and, in the confusion, someone shouted that the gang was back, Hajat said. Suliman, 37, then fired a shot that hit the robber in the abdomen.

From there, an ambulance arrived to stabilise the intruder and take him to hospital. The police arrived and, Hajat claims, were arrogant and unwilling to listen to her story.

Suliman had used his own licensed gun but was charged with attempted murder. Hajat had armed herself with her husband's licensed pistol - and was slapped with a charge of possession of an unlicensed firearm.

The pair spent the night in jail before a prosecutor at the Johannesburg magistrate's court dropped all charges against them.

Hajat said the worst part of all was that she was arrested in front of her 18-year-old daughter.

Captain Bhekizizwe Mavundla justified the arrests by claiming that the shots were fired when police were already on the scene.

Mavundla claimed the suspect was trapped in the store and was already under citizen's arrest. Shooting him was therefore unnecessary, he argued.

Hajat said she had no idea there were police officers in the store as they were dressed in plain clothes.

Mavundla said this claim would be be investigated.

He added that the wounded suspect was under guard and would appear in court as soon as he was discharged.

According to the latest police statistics, business robberies have shot up almost 50 percent during the 2007/8 period.

Across South Africa, nearly 10 000 cases were reported.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

They jumped on her

Virginia Keppler and Elana Carstens, Beeld

Pretoria - An 82-year-old grandfather of Lombard Street, Wonderboom South, in Pretoria, fought with an axe until his death to protect his wife from five armed attackers.

Andries Visser was shot six times - in the stomach, chest and under his chin - during the attack.

This was after the attackers jumped on his wife Deborah, 70, and hit and kicked her.

Andries heard his wife's calls for help and set upon the attackers with an axe.

After he was shot, he hobbled down the passage and collapsed in front of the bathroom door where he "died in a pool of blood".

Deborah is being treated in the Little Company of Mary Hospital in Pretoria.

The couple, who are the organisers of the annual national jukskei competition for senior citizens in Kroonstad, were attacked in their kitchen at about 21:00 on Tuesday.

Police spokesperson Mirna von Benecke said Deborah had wanted to lock a door outside when she was attacked at her kitchen door.

Father ran from the bedroom

The couple's son Dries, 40, of Centurion, and his children Juan, 9, and Henning, 5, had visited them between 18:00 and 19:00.

"At 22:00 I received a call from my mother who said that my father had been shot," Dries said sadly.

"The robbers attacked my mother first, jumped on her and kicked her.

"They jumped on her," he repeated in disbelief.

He said his mother screamed and his father ran from the bedroom to the kitchen to help her.

"I don't know where my father found the axe, but he tried to fight back and managed to hack one of the robbers.

The robbers shot him six times during the attack."

Dries said that the numerous bullet holes in the walls of the passage testified to the fact that his father had been shot at more than six times.

He said the neighbours heard his mother's cries for help.

"When they went to investigate, they saw the robbers jump over my parents' gate and flee through a hole in the fence across the road, onto the hill.

"The police fine-combed the hill at the reservoir with the help of helicopters but the robbers got away.

"My father is dead and they stole a cellphone and my mother's handbag containing less than R200.

"It's ridiculous," he said.

Dog poisoned a month ago

Dries said he and his sister Zeldi van Straten, 43, were deeply concerned about their mother because she has heart problems and high blood pressure.

Andries and Deborah's godchild Elna Lubbe, 39, visited Deborah in the hospital on Wednesday morning and said she was very muddled because of the shock.

"Ouma repeatedly told the story how Oupa lay in the passage in his own blood."

Lubbe said that Andries and Deborah's dog had been poisoned a month ago and that Deborah apparently saw a green car hovering in front of the house three days before the attack.

"It's as if they've been planning it for months," she said.

Von Benecke said the police were investigating a charge of murder and house robbery.

Andries leaves behind two other grandchildren, Zeldine, 9, and Zandré 14.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Mom takes four bullets to save her son

By Vivian Attwood

A mother was shot four times while trying to stop her son tackling robbers who had just held them at gunpoint while ransacking their house in Mayville.

The family of Sangitha Nagar, 52, said she was shot four times, in the abdomen and arm while trying to stop her 24-year-old son, Samith, from tackling a robber on Monday night.

Samith was shot in the right arm and is in a satisfactory condition. His mother is reported to be in a serious, but stable, condition in the intensive care unit of a local hospital.

Deepika Nagar, 26, was watching television with her mother when the family's nightmare began.

"It was a quiet night and mom was heading to bed," said the shocked young woman.

"I went to my room to get a towel for my shower, and dad and Samith were just relaxing.

"Suddenly I heard my father shout 'Hey! What do you want?' There were six armed men pushing their way into the living room. I screamed, and one of them flung me down onto the tiled floor. My parents and brother were also knocked down and the four of us lay there, too terrified to move.

"My cellphone was lying on my bed and I knew I had to hide it," she said. "Our landline often doesn't work and I wanted to make sure we had some means of calling for help, so I dashed into the room and threw the cellphone under the bed," said Deepika.

She was spotted by one of the armed men and roughly flung to the floor again.

"He took my rings and demanded to know where the safe was. The more my dad tried to explain that we didn't have one, the angrier he got.

"He started to beat dad, and then I just snapped. I didn't care if they shot me, but they weren't going to carry on hurting my father. I knocked the attacker so hard he hit his head on the wall. I can't remember clearly, but one of us pushed the panic button and our security company phoned immediately.

"The men forced my father to say that nothing was wrong and then they headed for their escape car, which was parked in the driveway.

"While I was phoning my boyfriend for help, I saw my brother trying to tackle one of the men and pull him back out of the car.

"There was a lot of shooting and I saw my mother was badly injured and bleeding from her stomach. My brother was nearby, also bleeding."

Neighbours and family tried to stem the bleeding from the two victims' wounds while they waited for an ambulance.

"They were absolutely amazing. Everyone has really rallied round in our time of need," said Navin Nagar, Deepika's father.

"While we are still very worried about my wife, we pray she will make a full recovery. Samith is doing much better."

Bogus cops rob couple

Johannesburg - Several men pretending to be police officers robbed a house in Vereeniging, Johannesburg police said on Friday.

Spokesperson Captain Shado Mashobane said the men in a white car with a police siren stopped a 75-year-old man outside his home on Thursday.

"Four of the men were dressed in police uniform and one was dressed as a metro police officer.

"They also had three plain clothed men with them. They asked the man if he sold one of his vehicles to those men as they had said they knew him," Mashobane said.

The man believed that robbers were policemen and let them into his house.

"Once they were in the house they attacked the man and tied his wife, domestic worker and gardener.

"They also assaulted the man with a firearm. They managed to get away with three firearms, one cellphone, two watches, two cameras, lots of ammunition and the owner's Honda Civic," said Mashobane.

The car was later found in Lenasia South.

Police were investigating house robbery and hijacking, said Mashobane.

Run Love, run!

Dries Liebenberg, Beeld
Richards Bay

With these words, top angler Clive Hunter probably saved his wife's life. He was shot in the chest moments later - the bullet puncturing his heart and a lung.

Hunter, 35, and his wife Zelda, 34, had been fishing at Pipeline - a popular angling spot in Richards Bay.

Hunter's father, Errol, said shortly before 18:00, Clive had told Zelda they should pack up, because the other anglers had left.

Then four men appeared from the bushes.

When Clive saw them, he told Zelda she should run into the sea if he gave her the signal to do so.

The men approached the couple from two sides and began chatting to them, said Errol.

When the men began talking in Zulu, Zelda could sense her husband becoming tense. When one of the men produced a firearm, Clive shouted that she should run.

Errol said Zelda had run until she was knee-deep in the water and then had run parallel to the beach to the nearest pier to get help.

While Zelda ran "like never before", she heard a shot being fired behind her, Errol said on Thursday.

About 300m down the beach Zelda encountered other anglers who went back with her, and they and others looked for Clive in the dark.

His body was found later on the beach.

All the attackers took was Clive's tackle box worth about R60.

Errol said: "Thank God the children weren't with them because I don't know what would've happened then."

The children, 13-year-old Brandon and Megan, six, had been visiting Errol and his wife in Scottburgh when the tragedy struck.

Zelda was to have taken part in her first angling competition this weekend.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Alzheimer sufferer James Frederick Brown, 69, found dead in police cell for 'stealing' chocolate worth R8,50...

"Kill him, kill him,' screamed the Shoprite cashiers as the mob carried the frail old man out, with children punching him from below...

Jul 11 2008 Kriel. Afrikaner Alzheimer sufferer James Frederick Brown, 69, couldn't even remember whether he'd paid for a bar of chocolate -- but he was set upon on Tuesday at the Shoprite supermarket in Kriel by a security guard -- and then attacked by a vigilante mob, which was egged on by screaming cashiers yelling 'kill him, kill him'', while they were carrying the sick old man out of the shop, punching and kicking him.
You can send your protest about this racist murder directly to Shoprite by contacting them here:


Corner Andre & Brownwyn Street,
Kriel, 2271
South Africa

Tel: +27 (17) 648 9500
Fax: +27 (17) 648 9504

Mob carried him out while kids were beating him up:

An elderly eye-witness -- too terrified to provide a name -- described how a large mob had dragged the sick old white man out of the shop - 'children were even beating up on him from below'.

  • "It was horrid. Even the cashiers added to the hysteria by screaming that the old man had to be killed if he wants to steal chocolates.'
    Brown's daughter Rose-Marie Steyn said the old man had wandered from their home at around 12:30 from their home in Springbok Avenue, something he did often. "Everybody in our neighbourhood knew of his confusion caused by his Alzheimer's. We started worrying when he didn't come home at around 13:30,' she said.

Police held him at gunpoint in a dark cell:

A hairstylist working nearby then phoned her husband Willie to let them know that the old man had been arrested for theft.

  • "We spent all afternoon at the police station trying to see him but the police refused, claiming he was 'aggressive' and should rather sleep.'
  • "We told the police that he is an Alzheimer's sufferer but they refused to listen,' said his wife Rosa Brown. "A policeman even told me that he was keeping his gun on him because James was so wild.' They insisted that he be kept in the cells until 18:00.

"When we finally went to fetch him Willie went along to calm my dad down,' said Mrs Steyn. The horrified familyfound the old man lying on his back on the floor of the dark cell, in a large puddle of blood. The police on the scene claimed he 'd probably 'fallen in the cell and hit his head'.
Local doctor Leon Pelser immediately was called in to examine Mr Brown in the cell with family present.

  • Dr Pelser said: 'it was so dark that I had to ask a policeman to turn on his flash light so that I could try and revive Mr Brown. Under these most horrid circumstances I opened up his airways with a pipe and massaged his heart, but to no avail. I entered the cause of death as 'unnatural'.
  • "I examined him very thoroughly because I knew there will be an inquest.'

Police superintendent Abie Khoabane claimed in his comments to Beeld newspaper that Brown 'already had blood on his face and his clothes when the (shop's) security guards handed him over to the police.' He wasn't there at the time - he 's just the police spokesman for the province.
Dr Pelser said he'd found wounds to the old man's right-eye, his nose and chin, and a large hole in the back of his skull. How he came to get these wounds will have to be established by an inquest.

Beeld cited Mrs Sonto Mlotshwa, the manager of Kriel Shoprite - claiming that the old man had been "arrested for theft'.

  • She didn't know a thing about the way he was assaulted by the mob during this 'arrest' although she must have been present, and the security guards wouldn't say a word either.
  • And Shoprite's management are also stonewalling: they were unable to comment as to how a confused old man with Alzheimer's ended up being arrested and assaulted by a howling mob of shoppers, being encouraged to 'kill him' by screaming tellers - just because he couldn't remember whether he'd paid for a R8,50 bar of chocolate or not.

Brown's family are besides themselves with anger. "How can they do this to an old, sick man? He didn't deserve this. His illness made him difficult at times, but he probably just forgot to pay,' his daughter wept.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Restaurants hit 600 times in one year

by Borrie la Grange - The Times, 08 Jul 2008

The murder of a restaurant patron has drawn attention to a growing crime trend — armed robberies at restaurants.

A family outing to a restaurant ended in tragedy when a gang of robbers gunned down a young father-to-be at the Lion Park, north of Johannesburg, on Sunday afternoon.

Kurt Huppe, 27, was shot in the chest when he happened on the fleeing gang, which had just held up about 50 customers.

Huppe was shot as he was returning to the restaurant’s dining area after visiting the toilets.

His pregnant fiancee, Stacey Woolley, and her daughter, Tyla, were waiting for him with Woolley’s mother, Francis.

Minutes before, the gang had ordered customers in the restaurant to lie down while they took their handbags, cellphones and wallets and looted the cash registers.

The incident was the latest in a spate of restaurant robberies that has forced an industry body to classify some Gauteng areas as high risk .

In the 2007-2008 financial year, restaurants reported 600 incidents (300 robberies plus theft and fraud) to the Restaurant Association of SA.

The association has 3 000 members in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. This means that about 20percent of the association’s members were hit by criminals.

Wendy Alberts, chief executive of the association, said: “The situation is getting worse. We have had up to five robberies reported in a week.”

Restaurants and take-away outlets were still “soft targets” for armed gangs, despite the sophisticated security measures some members of the association had put in place, Alberts said.

Last year, Durban builder Marc Joubert was gunned down at the popular St Tropez restaurant when a robbery turned a birthday party into a nightmare. Three other patrons were also injured during the robbery.

The gang robbed patrons of cash and jewellery before firing their weapons randomly in the restaurant.

Alberts said the latest reports from members of the association suggest that gangs usually strike on Sunday afternoons or evenings, knowing that by doing so they will get to the cash before the weekend’s takings have been banked.

Alberts said a recent spate of robberies at restaurants in Pretoria and in the Kempton Park area, on the East Rand, had forced the association to classify them as “caution areas”.

A take-away restaurant in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs has been targeted almost every Sunday, presumably by “the same gang, week after week”.

Police statistics released last week indicated a massive 47.4percent surge in business robberies — from 6689 to 9862 cases — for the 2007-2008 financial year.

This includes restaurant robberies.

Yesterday, Kurt’s father, Dieter Huppe, said his son and Woolley were expecting their first child in December and were “settling down and planning a family”.

They had been “inseparable” for the five years of their relationship, he said.

“He was like a father to Tyla; they were very close.

“She knows that something is wrong and is asking Stacey questions,” Huppe said. He said he had spoken to his son while he was on the way to the Lion Park.

“He sounded happy. It was a total shock when two hours later I got the call that he had been shot.

“It is as though there is no respite from the violence.

‘‘It’s like this violence is becoming more frequent,” he said.

Police spokesman Inspector Odette van Staden said detectives were hunting the eight-man gang responsible for Huppe’s murder.

Dad kills robber in SA Police jacket

Virginia Keppler, Beeld

Johannesburg - A Centurion man has shot dead an armed robber who was wearing a bulletproof vest and police jacket in what was the second armed attack on the man's family and home.

The 36-year-old father also shot two other armed men, who were also wearing bulletproof jackets, during the "little war". For security reasons, the family does not want to be identified.

The attack took place on Saturday morning at 05:30 after about nine men broke down the security gate and front door.

The man's 28-year-old wife and their three children (aged five, two and eight months old) went to hide in the main bedroom along with her mother-in-law and brother-in-law as the robbers and her husband fired at each other.

Fled in two cars

The man said he woke up when his brother shouted "they are breaking in".

The robbers at the time were still breaking down the front door.

"I jumped up, grabbed my firearm and ran to the front door. The first robber stood in the half-open door and shouted that he was from the police an then the guy behind him started shooting".

"I shot back and hit the first guy in the head. I shot a second one in the chest and another one somewhere on the body".

"Their friends picked them up and fled".

"I am almost sure they were wearing bulletproof vests as there was no trail of blood on our yard or outside. But I know for a fact that I shot them", said the man.

He had only six bullets in his firearm and ran back to his room to get more ammunition when the attackers fled.

On Friday night people in a black Golf without number plates had questioned the domestic worker. At 20:00 the woman saw a white Chrysler Voyager near the house and when she went to look, it drove off.

"The night of the incident, the robbers fled in the same two cars", she said.

Police spokesperson Captain Agnes Huma said police were investigating the possibility that the deceased was a policeman or reservist.

She also said the firearms found on the suspect, looked like police service pistols and that the serial numbers had been filed off.

R4, 9mm and .22 as well as shotgun cartridges were found on the scene.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

5 ATMs blown up in Gauteng, South Africa

Johannesburg - Five ATMs have been blown up in separate incidents in Gauteng during the early hours of Tuesday morning, police said.

The first four bombings happened in the Kempton Park CBD, where five armed robbers blew up four ATMs, taking an undisclosed amount of money, said spokesperson Captain Jethro Mtshali.

Meanwhile in Elspark, on the East Rand, 15 robbers armed with automatic rifles held up and disarmed a security guard before blowing open an Absa ATM. Boksburg police spokesperson Sasa Lengene said the robbers fled with two money boxes.

Cases of malicious damage to property and dealing in explosives were opened in both incidents.

Anyone with information about the robberies was urged to call 08600-10111.

Police have reported more than 40 ATM bombings countrywide since April this year.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Durban metrocops abuse street children

July 4 2008 - Durban.

The UK-based children's charity Street Action’s co-director Joe Walker (joe@streetaction.org. contact tel. +27 (0)713490851) reports that he and his wife this week recorded and witnessed at first-hand the abusive way in which Durban's street children are being treated by the metropolitan police force. The metro-cops arrived in a large transport van and a refuse truck, and burnt all of the children's belongings while the kids were down at the beach washing.

Walker warns that 'the city (of Durban) was skating on thin ice by courting potentially negative media coverage of its stance towards street children.' And children's charities in South Africa also expressed concern that this clearly routine metro-police brutality towards the street children in Durban 'will continue in the run-up tot the 2010 FIFA World Cup football tournaments'.

In 2007 the Daily News had also reported an incident where an attorney saw metro-police officials burning street children's belongings.

This week, Joe Walker and his wife, Annabelle, woke at about 7.15am in a flat in the Grosvenor Court building, overlooking the former Military Museum on Snell Parade in Durban, to be confronted by the sight of billowing smoke and terrified children.


Joe writes on their website: ‘Early on the morning of July 1 we saw how the Durban beach front 's street children's home on the hill was raided by the metro-police. The children were down on the beach washing when the metro-police arrived with a huge police van (to arrest or round-up) and a refuse truck to get rid of all their possessions.

See all their webcam pictures:

"The street children were arriving back (from the beach) only to find their possessions taken, burned and the police being extremely threatening towards them. One of the policemen had a huge sjambok (whip) and one of the children was allegedly kicked by another (metro-police officer).

"I just happened to be looking out of my window from my apartment, so I ran down to where the children were and attempted to challenge the police about their actions. They were extremely abusive to the children and myself and threatened to arrest me several times if I didn’t move on. The children's possessions were all taken and burned. They now have no change of clothes and blankets and the winter nights are getting really cold’.

"My wife was documenting the events with her camera cellphone from the flat, and filmed the burning of the children's clothes and other belongings by the police officials.

"Since we arrived in KwaZulu-Natal I have chatted to those particular street kids on a number of occasions, so I tried to intervene and request that the police extinguish the fire. The three police officials were extremely menacing, and threatened me with imprisonment.

"'These kids are the main cause of crime and drugs in this area,' one of them bellowed," Walker told the Daily News in Durban. He said however that this behaviour was in stark contract to the good working relationship with the SA Police Service and the local health department which their South African partner organisation, Umthombo Street Children. "They are committed to working with Umthombo and other partners to developing an understanding of the issue the children face on the street.

"However, this is not the same story when it comes to Durban’s metro-police where children’s rights continue to be abused and ignored,' he writes on his website.

‘Early this morning (1 July) the beach-front home of the children was raided by the metro police. The children were down on the beach washing when the metro police arrived with a huge police van (to arrest or round-up the children) and a refuge truck to get rid of all their possessions.

"The street children were arriving back from the beach only to find their possessions taken, burned and the police being extremely threatening towards them. One of the policemen had a huge shambok (whip) and one of the children was allegedly kicked by another.

"I happened to be looking out of my window from my apartment, so I ran down to where the children were and attempted to challenge the police about their actions. They were extremely abusive to the children and myself and threatened to arrest me several times if I didn’t move on.
"The children's possessions were all taken and burned. They now have no change of clothes and blankets and the winter nights are getting really cold’.

"Apart from the aggression shown by the (metro-)police officials, the fact that they arrived with both a police van and a large police transport vehicle makes it plain that if I hadn't interceded, the children would have been forcibly removed from the area and dumped somewhere outside Durban, as they say has happened many times in the past," he said.

"It feels like these round-ups are being sanctioned from on high. We will definitely be putting the images we captured on our website. The Durban Metro Police need to realise that they are violating children's constitutional rights. These are serious actions that will inevitably be exposed in the international media."

Later in the morning, several of the street children gravitated back to the site of Tuesday's confrontation. They were clean and clear-eyed, but obviously very nervous. "We are scared, but we don't know where else to go," said a 16-year-old girl to Daily News journalist Vivian Attwood.
The Metro Police's spokesman senior superintendent Thokamile Tyala said 'the incident had not been brought to his attention, but that an investigation would be launched.'

Joan van Niekerk, national director of Childline, said she was "absolutely appalled by the allegations". "This is the second fairly serious incidence of police brutality towards children that has been reported to Childline in 2008," she added. "The first, in the North West, required the intervention of the Child Law Centre in Pretoria."

Van Niekerk said that Tuesday's incident underlined the extent to which vulnerable children on the street were "not seen as human beings but another genus altogether".

Tom Hewitt, chief executive officer of the Umthombo Street Children advocacy organisation, said: "Metro Police seem to be operating unilaterally." He also confirmed that the SA Police Service have been cooperating with their organisation and adopted a much more humanitarian approach.


Friday, 4 July 2008

Police chopper shot down

04/07/2008 10:29 - (SA)

Johannesburg - A police helicopter has crashed, injuring all of the three occupants, after being shot at by robbers in Meadowlands, Soweto on Friday morning.

"They were helping the Dog Unit pursue armed robbers at the time and were shot at," said police spokesperson Captain Dennis Adriao.

According to Johannesburg Emergency Services the helicopter hit power lines before crashing.

All three occupants were airlifted to Johannesburg's Milpark Hospital in a very critical condition, spokesperson Percy Morokane said.

The incident happened at around 09.20.

'Ít was the white man's land, now it's ours,' is claim on disputed tape

Five cellphone recordings used to capture Judge Nkola John Motata's ranting, allegedly while drunk, are authentic, a witness told the Joburg Magistrate's Court today.

Richard Baird was being cross-examined this morning by defence attorney Danie Dorfling about the process during which the cellphone recordings were copied onto a CD.

"If it's found on the CD then it must have come off my laptop," said Baird.

Baird's tenant, Lucky Melk, was also expected to testify today.

Melk was present when Motata, allegedly while drunk, crashed his Jaguar into the wall surrounding Baird's Joburg home in January 2006.

The controversial recordings of the judge's outbursts on that day were played for the first time in court yesterday.

The Pretoria High Court judge has pleaded not guilty to the drunk driving charges.

Baird recorded much of what transpired after the crash on his cellphone. It is these five audio recordings that are the central focus of a trial-within-a-trial.

Judge Motata's legal counsel fought to have the recordings ruled inadmissible, but last month the Pretoria High Court ruled Joburg Magistrate Desmond Nair was "entitled and indeed obliged" to listen to the recordings before deciding on their admissibility.

Baird, a former IT manager for a JSE-listed company, used his laptop to play the controversial recordings to the court.

In the first part of the clip, a conversation is heard between Judge Motata and Lucky Melk about the damaged wall.

Melk is heard establishing that the judge was "a man of the law", while Judge Motata speaks about South Africa once being the white man's land, "but now it's ours".

Later he shouts "F*** him, he mustn't insult me", referring to Baird calling him a "drunken person".

A while later, the voice of a metro police officer is heard.

The officer asks for the judge's driving licence. She can be heard asking Judge Motata to be humble. "The situation does not permit us to raise our voices," she says.

During the recording, Judge Motata says: "I know I am at fault. I am willing to pay the person. I am not begging anyone".

The trial continues

Thursday, 3 July 2008

South Africa protecting the bad men of Zanu-PF

South Africa is the main obstacle to the implementation of United Nations sanctions against those responsible for the recent violence in Zimbabwe, as well as the imposition of an arms embargo against that country.

South Africa blocking UN sanctions against those responsible for the violence in Zimbabwe

Take the world cup soccer away from the criminal regime of south africa. Its track record of human rights abuse is becoming all too familiar.

A draft Security Council resolution drawn up by American officials would impose an arms embargo on Zimbabwe, as well as place travel and financial restrictions on key members of the Zanu-PF regime. The New York Times, which was given sight of the draft, reports that sanctions would be targeted against those individuals who "engaged in or provided support for actions or policies to undermine democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe including having ordered, planned or participated in acts of politically-motivated violence."

Opposition to the resolution is being led by South Africa's permanent representative to the UN, Dumisani Kumalo. In an interview with Bloomberg he said "The text is too over the top, I don't think this is the kind of pressure that will work."

As permanent members of the Security Council China and Russia have the power to veto the resolution. Envoys from these countries have indicated they will defer to South Africa's lead on this issue.

In reply to a question about Kumalo's opposition to the resolution, Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin told Bloomberg: "If there is any kind of threat they should be in a better position to tell us if it is proper for the Security Council to move in that direction. I don't recall a precedent for the Security Council to consider a sanctions resolution on the basis of elections."

The resolution is due to be discussed by the Council later today (Wednesday).

On Monday last week Kumalo worked to water down the presidential statement issued by the Security Council on Monday last week, after MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai announced his withdrawal from the presidential run-off.

On Friday he tried to stop the Security Council issuing any statement at all on Zimbabwe's one-man presidential run-off. Again, he managed to secure a watered down version, this time expressing "regret" at the poll.

The Sunday Telegraph (London) quoted one Western diplomat as saying of South Africa's attitude: "We talk to the South Africans endlessly but we just hear rants about colonialism. They don't care that Mugabe is damaging the reputation of Africa - for them it's all about solidarity. They've done nothing. It's pathetic."

On Sunday the Zanu-PF leader, Robert Mugabe, thanked President Thabo Mbeki profusely in his inauguration address. "We are grateful to SADC", he stated, "and the role of statesmanship played by President Thabo Mbeki, the SADC-appointed mediator of the inter-party dialogue between Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations. Zimbabwe is indebted to his untiring efforts to promote harmony and peace."

In an apparent reference to South Africa's efforts on his behalf at the UN, Mugabe also acknowledged the support from "[our] allies and friends in the United Nations Security Council ... and thank them for their unwavering solidarity with us."

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

40 Families attacked every day

30/06/2008 23:23 - (SA)

Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula at the Union Buildings in Pretoria where the latest crime statistics were revealed.

Johannesburg - Every day in the past year, 40 families have been attacked by robbers in their homes.

And the three hours between midnight and 03:00 is the time that robbers prefer to strike.

About 32% of all robberies countrywide occur after midnight.

According to a report by the South African Police Services (SAPS), homeowners should be on the alert also for robbers between 21:00 and 23:59 because 23% of robberies occurred during this time.

The least number of house robberies take place between 03:00 and 06:00.

The number of house robberies countrywide has risen by 13.5% and the sharpest increases occurred in KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape.

Gauteng was the only province which showed a decrease, although the highest number of house robberies was reported in the province.

Wealthy areas a major target

The crime statistics for the year April 2007 to March 2008 were publicised on Monday by the SAPS under the watchful eye of Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The police said in the report that Gauteng residents who lived in wealthier neighbourhoods, "such as Brooklyn, Garsfontein, Sandton, Honeydew and Douglasdale, were more at risk of becoming targets or even of being killed during house robberies".

During these robberies, the attackers usually were armed.

The report said: "Because crime occurs regularly in wealthier areas, there is a good chance that someone famous will be a victim or even be killed.

"These kinds of incidents appear on the front pages and in media headlines and resound throughout the world.

"This focus and selective reporting of crime statistics create an international image of South Africa as a very violent society," said the report.

It added that although house robberies and hijackings took place mostly in wealthy areas, extreme violence resulting in serious injuries or death occurred in few of the attacks.

Robbers mostly want specific items and will use violence to get what they want.

"Victims also perhaps may react in a manner that elicits violence."