Weekly News Brief

Weekly News Brief
Polokwane - credits: JOY! News

This week, South Africans as well as members of Parliament expressed their concern following the release of the latest crime statistics. The figures showed an increase in contact crimes such as murder, sexual offences and robbery with aggravating circumstance. Between April last year and March this year 21,022 were killed, which was an increase of 686 murders – this means the murder rate has gone up by 3.4% Sexual offences are also on the rise having increased by 2,312 cases or 4.4%. The Freedom Front Plus’ Pieter Groenewald said that the figures were alarming.

The police confirmed beginning of the week that 12 people have been killed during the recent outbreak of xenophobic violence in the country. Police Minister Bheki Cele, however, said that this number could change once investigations into the conditions under which they died were concluded. The minister also said that a total of 639 people had been arrested for various offenses over the last few weeks that the looting and violence had occurred.

Police Minister Bheki Cele is confident that the high crime rate in the country can still be fixed.

The minister said he believed that previous leaders had systematic means in place to weaken the criminal justice system. Cele was speaking on the Bongani Bingwa Show on 702 on Friday morning, reacting to the crime statistics presented in Parliament on Thursday. He believed that police alone cannot be held responsible for bringing the high crime rate down but called for a “moral regeneration” in South African families. “This situation might take some time, but there is space for rescuing.”

Foreign business owners whose shops have been destroyed say they’ve had enough and want the government to do something about the violence. More shops were vandalised on Sunday in and around the Joburg CBD. Two people were also killed in separate incidents in Malvern and Hillbrow. Attempts by former IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi to ease tensions failed Sunday when a group of hostel residents he had been addressing abandoned the meeting.

In the Western Cape, you are not even safe in your car or your home. Carjacking has increased by 5.1% in the province, and while house break-ins have decreased by 7.6%, the figures are still high. Not only does Nyanga top the list of 30 stations where the most murders have been committed it’s also the country’s top hijacking hotspot. At least 273 hijackings were reported at the station, three less than in the previous year. Hijackings have increased across the province, with hotspots in Delft, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha and Mfuleni. House break-ins are down to below 40,000 in the province, while nationally the figure has dropped from over 255,000 in 2009 to more than 220,000 between April 2018 and March this year.

Fired Old Mutual CEO Peter Moyo is going back to work on Monday after the High Court in Johannesburg ruled again that he should be reinstated. Following the first similar court judgment, the company barred Moyo from entering the premises in Sandton. The insurer later issued a second notice informing shareholders that he was terminated. Moyo and Old Mutual are embroiled in a legal tussle over his alleged conflict of interest regarding his company, NMT Capital.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema  strongly denied receiving or spending any money from the collapsed VBS Mutual Bank. Malema was speaking outside the Hawks offices in Pretoria on Tuesday where he met with investigators to provide a warning statement in a firearm-related case. On Monday, Daily Maverick’s investigative unit Scorpio reported about how more than R5 million was allegedly channeled from VBS bank into an account the leader of the red berets used as a slush fund. Malema was unequivocal when asked whether he had spent VBS funds.

OTHER THINGS WE LIKED

Former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng had the state capture commission in stitches as he tried to convince Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that his talent was more important than education in broadcasting. Motsoeneng was on Tuesday responding to the allegations made against him by other witnesses at the state capture inquiry. He was justifying why he continued to rise even as various letters were written to him to get his matric qualification.

The spike in violence against foreign nationals in parts of Gauteng in recent weeks was debated in the National Assembly on Tuesday. Some Members of Parliament fingered government failure in safeguarding the country’s borders and blamed the situation on undocumented immigrants. The defence minister insisted the soon to be implemented Border Management Authority bill will strengthen border security.

Premier Alan Winde on Wednesday wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula requesting that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) deployment in the Western Cape be extended. In July, the army was deployed in 10 gang-ridden areas as part of Operation Lockdown. The Department of Defence said a decision to extend the deployment has not yet been made and that various security agencies had to sit down to assess the situation on the ground. Winde said he made a request for the army to be deployed for an additional six months in order to reach a point of stabilisation.

The State in the Dros rape trial on Thursday urged the High Court in Pretoria to convict Nicholas Ninow based on the evidence of his seven-year-old victim. Ninow is facing five charges including two counts of rape. He confessed to raping the little girl at the Dros restaurant in Pretoria last year. A witness testified about how Ninow was moving from one table to the next and at one stage even requested a table near the kiddie’s corner. State prosecutor Grace Ngobeni said that from the evidence presented to the court, it was clear that Ninow was looking for a victim on that day. Ninow will know his fate on Monday when the judgment is delivered.

ICYMI

The 2019 Cape Town Marathon will be taking place this weekend.

SATURDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2019

GREEN POINT

and

SUNDAY, 15 SEPTEMBER 2019

SEA POINT, GREEN POINT & DE WATERKANT

The list of road closures for the race are here: