Crime Busters of SA: farm murders 2001-2003
Solidarity trade union: - list of farm murders
2003 - June 2009:
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- A Stuijt
- Retired South African medical journalist, ex-Sunday Times of Johannesburg.
Not getting it right the first time around: the ANC regime says it built 2,6-million houses for the poor after 1994: declared unsafe. these tiny shacks must now be rebuilt in a hell of a hurry…
July 11 2009 – The Sowetan newspaper reports that the ANC-regime is quietly spending R2-billion extra to fix several million shabbily-built, condemned government houses it built between 1994 and 2006, when a new building-standard was adopted. And this time around, the ANC can’t blame apartheid for their poor housing: Zinhle Mapumulo of Sowetan newspaper reports that the regime is being forced to destroy their own sub-standard RDP-houses which were built since 1994 because these were declared unsafe for human habitation. The rush is now on to replace these with four-roomed houses on larger sites costing at least four times as much. Millions of people will be affected by the hasty rebuilding project. The ANC claimed in its manifesto that it has built 2,6-million RDP-houses since 1994. These now condemned, tiny shacks occupy an average 18 square-metre sites and cost up to R15,000 to build. The new four-roomed houses cost up to R58,000 each to build and occupy average 38 square-metre sites. This is a classic case study : “the importance of getting it right the first time around…”
Mapumulo writes that over the last 3-and-a-half years, ‘the government has been quietly demolishing and rebuilding matchbox houses that were built under the first years under ANC-rule.’
These houses, referred to as RDP (reconstruction and development programme) dwellings, were so shabbily-built that many collapse during the slightest storms.
To date, more than R500 million has been spent on this national project, and projections are that the total cost will be in excess of R2-billion. The plan is to spend on average R190-million a year on better quality and bigger 4-roomed family homes. And hopefully, all sub-standard matchbox houses will then be wiped off, reports Sowetan. The government contractors are laughing all the way to the bank…
- The current standard one-roomed and two-roomed structures – built between 1994 and 1996 – have been officially condemned for being of poor quality and sub-standard. They are being replaced by proper 4-roomed houses, writes Mapumulo.
The project started in 2006 after the National Home Builders Registration Council released new specifications for low-cost houses. Kaba Kabagambe, the deputy director-general of the Human Settlements Department, confirmed that the project was already underway in most provinces.
“Government is rectifying the mistakes made prior to the introduction of the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) in 1997,’ he was quoted as saying to the Sowetan.
Johan Minnie, the department’s chief director for information management, confirmed this statement, saying: “In 2005 the department received reports that certain housing projects undertaken since 1995 have severe problems. Some related to incomplete and structurally compromised units, and others were vandalised due to a variety of reasons including community dissatisfaction with either the housing process followed or the quality of the units. At that time, the national housing programme did not exist in terms of which provinces could approve funds to rectify the defects. A new programme was therefore developed and instituted after approval by the minister.”
7,400 unsafe RDP-houses being replaced in 2009:
An estimated 7,400 condemned units would be demolished and rebuilt this year alone. This of course would also require finding alternative housing for those families now living in them. Minnie admitted the project would “affect the current housing backlog”- but that ‘the government had no option because some of the houses were so badly constructed they were deemed unsafe for human habitation and therefore had to be demolished. “
ANC claim: 2,6-million houses built since 1994
- In its election manifesto, the ANC declared that 2,6 million houses had been built for the poor since 1994. It is not clear how many of these have been condemned and will be rebuilt, Sowetan reported. However up to and including 2006, all the government houses were constructed in the same way which has now been condemned.
Pensioner Eunice Majola, interviewed this week, ‘ could not hide her excitement when she spoke to Sowetan about her new house. “I am very happy that the government has finally heeded our calls for better houses,” Majola said. “I do not understand why they built one-roomed houses in the first place. We are poor but we did not deserve such small houses with no proper foundation.”
We have been staying in coffins for years…
She said she was surprised when the contractor demolished her one-roomed house a fortnight ago. “They stripped the corrugated iron roof and pulled the walls down. We have been staying in coffins for years and we are lucky that the small houses didn’t kill anyone. I have been sleeping with my grandchildren and also cooking in this small house for years. But the newly-built house has an open plan kitchen and lounge, a bathroom and two bedrooms.”
Meanwhile, other residents who had already extended their houses told Sowetan they wanted compensation from the government. Bongeka Ngcobo, a mother of three, said she extended her one-roomed structure to a proper house. “I did not get money from the government. And we are all poor but there is nothing said about us. I am hoping that the government will compensate us as well. But I’m happy for my neighbours. These new houses will change our lives for the better,” Ngcobo said.
Two of 3 suspects arrested for murder of Rietvlei farmer Alan Rowe
Sat, 11 Jul 2009 KZN -- A 28-year old man was arrested in Durban on Thursday for the May 13 2009 murder of farmer Alan Rowe, said Superintendent Henry Budhram. This is the second arrest for this senseless assassination-style murder. Police still seek a third man for the attack on the Bloemendal Estate in Rietvlei, KwaZulu-Natal, and during which nothing was stolen.
Rowe (57) was returning from a visit to another farmer in the area on May 13. As he drove his bakkie towards a shed on his farm, he was shot twice in the torso. "The deceased then climbed out of his vehicle and tried to get to his house but collapsed a few meters away, where he later died," said Budhram.
KwaZulu-Natal midlands commercial farmer Rowe, was ambushed and killed in what police claims was “ a land claims dispute related hit over his Bloemendal Estate farm”. However the family disputes this, saying that there are no land-claim disputes regarding Bloemendal Estate at all.
The first arrest was of Busane Machunamahle Mchunu on 21 May. Police are still searching for a third suspect. The 28-year old man will appear in Greytown Magistrates' court on Monday.
11072009 Sapa. http://news.iafrica.com/sa/1564318.htm
The last known farm murders in Bishopstowe date from February 20 2002, when farmer Guy Ian Gardner, 28, was shot dead on the farm Breeze Inn, and on 16 March 1998, when farmer Mr D Donaldson was shot dead by three unknown gunmen and wife Flora barely escaped with her life.
Farming activities are dominated by sugar cane with cattle, poultry, fruit and vegetables. Bishopstowe is not known as a ‘high-crime area’. Bishopstowe latest police stats 2007:
Bishopstowe is situated 10km east of Pietermaritzburg. It was founded in 1910, when a total of 32 acres were bought by German farmers to erect a church and school.
The flora ranges from decidious woodlands to valley mushlands in the Msunduzi Valley. The dominant trees are acacias (thorn trees) Zulu name Umkhambo. Bird life is prolific with raptors well represented.
There are over 60 species of reptiles and many buck and other small wild animals, with its Cumberland Nature Reserve proclaimed a natural heritage site.
Tourists ‘soft targets which attract criminals’, warns Cape Town's top cop:
July 10 2009 -- Cape Town's new municipal police chief Robert Young says it's ‘a fact that tourists attract crime and are a bigger target for criminals because they don't "practice target-hardening like ordinary South Africans".
Young, who took office last week, granted his first interview as the city's top metro-cop to the Cape Argus and issued some dire warnings about the city’s security problems...
He warned that ‘crime levels in the city will not decrease before the 2010 World Cup”, and that tourists 'will be soft targets which attract criminals"...
However, Young has a plan, reports the Cape Argus: saturating the city with Metro Police officers with ‘visible policing’…
Young, who took office a week ago, said it was a case of "too little, too late" to try to introduce measures that would result in a dramatic turn-around of the present high levels of violent crimes.
"It was even too late to start training new recruits to bolster the city's 520-strong force, ‘ he warned.
Instead, he saw 'visible policing' as the city's answer to ‘minimising crime during the 2010 World Cup’’ ... The city would soon be advertising posts for 20 new constables and 17 superintendents which, in turn, would result in further vacancies at the levels of sergeant and constable.
Young also hoped that the experienced officers who had left the force would apply to return to the service.
"We must take away the opportunity to commit the crimes. It is resource-expensive to do this, but we have to try to have a continuous presence of policing," said Young.
- "It's a fact that tourists attract crime. It's no use people saying they don't, because they do. Tourists are a bigger target (for criminals) because they do not practice target-hardening like ordinary South Africans do."
The city has been without a permanent Metro Police chief for eight months. Young was previously the municipal police chief in the rural Swartland region before he took up his new post in the city. He said he would adopt an integrated approach to policing in the Metro which, despite having resources available to it, ‘had been too fragmented in the past.’
‘We must take back our streets…’
PICTURE: Cape Town’s WC2010 stadium in Green Point, photographed in June 2009, suffered another construction setback in July when workers downed tools, demanding higher pay again. All the WC2010 stadia construction sites have seen frequent violence-driven strikes over the past three years. However the construction delays aren’t nearly as worrisome to football supporters abroad as are South Africa’s out-of-control violent criminal gangs.
Eighteen months ago the city ‘unbundled’ its police department into three units - law enforcement, crime prevention and traffic control – and many experienced officers became so disgruntled that they left the force. Young said he wanted to see police officers ‘working across their designated sections’ in order to better manage crime. "We need to start taking our streets back: WC2010 is not the (only) reason we must police. We have our own issues and environment."
- But the police's strategy for managing crime before the World Cup would not be a long-term solution to reducing crime in the city, Young said.
He said that while drug and alcohol abuse were major sources of crime in the city, the Metro Police would focus on targeting drug suppliers rather than users. “It was necessary to change the patterns in which police worked”, Young said. The city's Metro Police was aiming for a 10 percent increase in drug-related arrests and an overall 10 percent reduction of all incidents of crime in the city over the next year. Young said citizens had a misconception about the duties of Metro Police. "We are not in competition with the SAPS. Our main mandate is to prevent crime, not to investigate it," he explained.
The Metro Police had struggled to create a positive image for itself since its inception in 2001.
But Young said he believed that this was because it had not been given a fair opportunity to establish itself properly and had had no "best practices" strategy to follow.The entire article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Argus on July 10, 2009
Meanwhile in Johannesburg, the local cops vowed to 'continue the crackdown on vagrants squatting and illegal street vendors' in the CBD. An estimated 8-million homeless people – more than 80% of them are young people -- are trying to survive on the streets of South African cities.
Tips for women-travellers in South Africa:
Have a happy WC2010! Be prepared: be street-smart and bring earplugs or your own vuvuzelas…
This troop of Ethiopian baboons was shown picking their way gingerly through a wetlands in Ethiopia – but they clearly didn’t like being in the water. View video on YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=qXJeCGaAFws
Also click on this link to access another video of a troop of baboons’ ingenious and highly individualised way of crossing a river, shot by Afrikaans Beeld newspaper reader Peet van Schalkwyk in South Africa’s Kruger Wildlife Reserve.
While young baboons are often seen playing in it, adult baboons take great pains to avoid getting themselves wet all over… Prinsloo filmed his large baboon troop when it was forced to cross a fast-running stream after their leader took a giant leap across. View Prinsloo’s video: http://jv.news24.com/Beeld/Video/0,,3-2082_2535250,00.html