Daily News Brief

Daily News Brief
Germiston - credits: mg.co.za

Two Elderly Women Found Murdered In PE Retirement Home

Two elderly women were found murdered inside a retirement home in Port Elizabeth. Early on Thursday morning, staff found two women killed in their rooms at the St John Stella Londt Retirement Centre. It’s believed suspects entered the facility through an unlocked door and trellis gate in the complex’s main building. Agnes Elaine Burns was found dead on her bed with her room ransacked. Rosemary Langton was discovered in the same manner. Police believe robbery to be the motive, however, it remains unclear what was taken.

Sexual Abuse By Teachers Increased By 230% Over Last 5 Years: SACE

The South African Council of Educators (SACE) on Wednesday told Members of Parliament that reports of sexual abuse by teachers rose by more than 230% in the last five years. The council said it dealt with complaints of corporal punishment, verbal abuse, sexual  misconduct and rape. When it comes to sexual cases, the offenders were mostly teachers aged between 45 and 54.

Zandile Gumede’s Assets Seized

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed that its Asset Forfeiture Unit seized assets belonging to former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede in Umhlanga on Thursday morning. The unit obtained a court order for her belongings to be placed under curatorship. Gumede and several of her co-accused face charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering relating to a 2016 waste collection tender worth over R200 million.

Zandile Gumede Feels ‘Violated’ After House Raid

Former eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede told Eyewitness News she felt violated and harassed by law enforcement agencies. The Assets Forfeiture Unit (AFU) raided Gumede’s rented house in Umhlanga on Thursday morning and investigators also went to her residence in Inanda. The raids form part of an investigation against the former mayor and her co-accused in a corruption case linked to a 2016 waste collection tender that paid out over R200 million. Gumede said she was still awaiting official communication from the authorities.

Ipid Dismisses Claims It Manipulated Performance Figures

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has dismissed claims that it manipulated its performance figures. This follows a report by accountability journalism project Viewfinder, that the police watchdog manipulated case statistics and closed cases early. Ipid appeared before Parliament’s police committee on Thursday to brief MPs on its annual performance.

Cyril Ramaphosa: Many Of Mboweni’s Economic Growth Reforms Being Implemented

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government is moving ahead on many of the reforms proposed in the economic growth strategy document released by the Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni in August. He addressed the first sitting of his Presidential Economic Advisory Council at Tuynhuys in Cape Town on Wednesday. Ramaphosa stressed the need to increase confidence levels and for the government to regain the trust of the markets and South Africans.

Ramaphosa: Boycott System Is Over, Paying Will Take SA Forward

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said the government would launch a massive campaign to try and persuade people to pay their bills for services, especially electricity. The president told the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) that while rent and other boycotts helped bring down apartheid, that time was over. Eskom was owed around R20 million by municipalities, while Soweto’s debt was more than R18 million.

Cape Town Murder Rate Dropped Since SANDF Deployment – Police

Cape Town Police have noticed a drop in the murder rate since the launch of Operation Lockdown, which involved the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). Annual crime stats showed there were almost 4,000 murders in the Western Cape between April 2018 and March this year. Since July, police operations were bolstered by a presidential declaration to allow the SANDF to assist with anti-crime operations in the Western Cape.

Department Of Social Development Instructed To Prioritise Programs Dealing With Gender-Based Violence

Parliamentarians have instructed the Department of Social Development to prioritise programs that deal with gender-based violence. Department officials, along with Sassa and the National Development Agency, on Wednesday briefed Parliament’s portfolio committee on Social Development on their annual reports. Crime stats showed that more than 2,700 women were murdered across the country between April 2018 and March 2019.

Traditional Healer Arrested For Allegedly Drugging, Raping Women

A traditional healer was on Wednesday arrested for allegedly raping two women in KwaZulu-Natal. The 32-year-old man allegedly sexually assaulted the two women during separate meetings in Durban between August and September. He’s accused of drugging the women before raping them. The police’s Jay Naicker said in one of the cases, the woman was held hostage for several days before she managed to escape.

Afrikaans Lobby Group Disappointed With ConCourt Language Policy Ruling

Afrikaans lobby group Gelyke Kanse on Thursday said it was disappointed at the Constitutional Court ruling that English should remain the main medium of instruction at Stellenbosch University. While ConCourt judges had different views on the university’s language policy, they were unanimous that the decision to place English above Afrikaans was reasonable.  Judge Johan Froneman said the court found in favour of the institution’s argument.

Edward Kieswetter: Sars Will Take A Long Time To Get Back On Track

The Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (Sars) Edward Kieswetter said on Wednesday the organisation would take a long time to get back on track. Kieswetter took over from Tom Moyane’s disastrous tenure at the tax collection agency in April 2019 and since then, he had been trying to restore the organisation’s credibility. He said while significant progress has been made, there is still a long way to go. Meanwhile, at the Tax Indaba at the Sandton Convention Centre in August, Kieswetter was quoted as saying the success of the country’s revenue service was interlinked to the well-being of South Africa’s democracy.

What To Look Out For

Public Protector Mkhwebane Won’t Oppose McBride’s Application To Suspend Remedial Action

The legal team of the former head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) Robert McBride has made it over their first hurdle to review a Public Protector report with Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s office confirming it will not oppose an interim order to suspend the remedial action. The parties will walk into court in two weeks’ time with an agreement to put the remedial action on ice, while the parties prepare for a full review application. Mkhwebane released a report last week which found an Ipid deputy director was irregularly appointed, and the whistleblower was unfairly suspended.

Dudu Myeni To Ask For Another Postponement After Appointing New Lawyer

Former South African Airways board chairperson Dudu Myeni has appointed a new legal representative and will on Thursday ask the court to postpone an application to have her declared a delinquent director. The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa), which has brought the application, said it would strongly oppose Myeni’s request. The matter was scheduled to be heard on Monday, but Myeni told Outa she could not afford to travel to Pretoria to defend herself.

Heavy Rain, Thunderstorms Set For Gauteng

The South African Weather Service has warned Gauteng residents to be extra cautious as it predicts thunderstorms and heavy downpours for Thursday. It said conditions remained very favourable for first real storms of the new season in the City of Johannesburg, as well as parts of Tshwane and Ekurhuleni. Forecaster Edward Engelbrecht said: “Large hail, strong winds and heavy rain are expected at this time of year. We will see more thunderstorms at this time of year.” The rain comes as Gauteng residents have been urged to use water sparingly.

37 Western Cape Cops Facing Fraud, Corruption Charges

Thirty-seven Western Cape police officers are facing fraud and corruption charges. This was revealed during a presentation of the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) 2018/19 annual report at Parliament’s police portfolio committee on Wednesday. Provincial legislature member and Democratic Alliance (DA) community safety spokesperson, Reagen Allen, said he would write to Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz to request a thorough investigation of these cases.