Crime Busters of SA: farm murders 2001-2003
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- A Stuijt
- Retired South African medical journalist, ex-Sunday Times of Johannesburg.
Picture published on News24.com on July 30 2009 – submitted by reader Johan Vermeulen, who photographed the traffic police tangling with the driver of this incredibly-overloaded bakkie in Krugersdorp, South Africa. Someone wrote me on Sept 11 2009 claiming that this picture had actually been taken in some East-European country - however judging from the road signs and the persons in the picture, this picture was definitely taken in South Africca. What do you think? View another one at:
July 7 2009 – PIETERMARITZBURG, KZN – There’s only one question now haunting me about this picture of this overloaded bus: exactly how did they get those two passenger cars on top of its roof? Also notice that they aren’t tied down either…
The picture left appeared on the front page of the Natal Mercury on July 7, splashed right next to the ‘good news story’ telling the country’s long-suffering patients that the striking public service doctors (!) were returning to their posts two weeks after deserting their patients in the country’s disgraceful strike at some 600 public hospitals…including at Groote Schuur, once made world-famous by heart surgeon Prof. Christiaan Barnard for performing the first heart transplant. Barnard was also famous for another fact: all his patients were operated on for free, and none of the doctors and nurses would ever have dreamed of deserting any of their patients over a pay dispute…
June 2009 – CAPE TOWN. The new South African record for overloaded mini-taxis has just been set by a driver from Khayelitsha in Cape Town, who managed to squeeze 112 passengers into one mini-van. Traffic officers Jaco Strydom and Vernon Johnson were speechless when they stopped the taxi and counted 105 children and eight adults crammed into the taxi – which is registered to carry only 26 people. Cape Town’s social service department had to be called in to transport the toddlers to their creche. They had been promised an outing – but the school hadn’t arranged safe transportation. And just a few hours later, Strydom said they pulled over a small farm-vehicle, called a ‘bakkie’ in South Africa, which carried 28 school children:
Six live goats in a Mazda 323:
At Parkweg, Gauteng province, traffic officials were very busy keeping the traffic flow moving around the Confederation Cup football tournament stadium, when two men in a blue Mazda 323 were spotted driving “under suspicious circumstances” at Reitz Street. They found six live goats inside the car. The two men, 27 and 28, admitted readily that they had stolen the goats, but police don’t know where the stock was stolen from, reports sergeant A A. Wrensch, tel (051) 5076030 or cell 082 4461 020 firstname.lastname@example.org He doesn’t have a picture of this event. http://www.sapsjournalonline.gov.za/dynamic/journal_dynamic.aspx?pageid=414&jid=15901
The multibillion Rand minibus-taxi industry carries some 60% of all South African passengers every day. Without them, South African workers would never be able to get to their jobs and kids couldn’t get to school. Officially, there are some 130,000 minibus taxis on South African roads, but unofficially, there are many, many more -- and the impact of this unique transport system, which takes passengers from their front doors right to their destinations without having to wait at any designated bus stops, is poorly regulated.
PREVIOUS RECORD FROM PORT ELIZABETH: 48 PUPILS IN ONE MINI-TAXI
The previous record for taxi-overloads dates from May 22 2009, when astonished Port Elizabeth Beeld newspaper photographer Deon Ferreira came across this charming scene when 48 pupils clambered out of a taxi. The police at Kabega Park had just pulled over this minibus-taxi to fine the driver for being heavily overloaded -- and 48 pupils clambered out with their rucksacks and schoolbooks…
The cops even agreed to let the kids climb back in again to prove to Ferreira that ‘yes, they had all fit inside, snug as little bugs in a rug…’
But whether these kids were safe in these share-taxis is another matter entirely.
WILD-WEST DRIVING IS ALL THE RAGE IN SOUTH AFRICA
For some of the intricacies of hailing minibus-taxis in South Africa, the video explains quite a lot about the wild driving patterns these minibus taxis exhibit while rushing with their passengers, jammed in like sardines in a tin, from place to place, as fast as they can.
A study by the Automobile Association of South Africa recorded an annual total of 70,000 minibus taxi crashes, proving that taxis in South Africa account for double the rate of crashes than all other passenger vehicles combined.
And overloading accounts for 0,15% of all the known crashes, with faulty brakes 0,31%, burst or smooth tyres 1.15%, faulty lights 0.13% ... the list is endless. Most of these minibus taxis are Toyota Hiace vehicles.
And it’s pretty much the same scene in much of Africa. Minibus-taxis rule the roads, and thousands of people die in minibus-taxi crashes throughout Southern Africa every year.
23 PASSENGERS AND A GOAT
The previous record was set when 23 passengers (17 adults and 6 children) and a goat climbed out of a minibus-taxi after it had been stopped for overloading. Traffic officers impounded the vehicle… Below is another example of overloaded mini-taxis.
Click on the picture to enlarge it and to read the original story. I would be very interested in any pictures readers could send me of their own views of overloaded taxis.
South African minibus taxi owners’ associations also are very powerful politically. This week, a warning was issued to the country’s new president Jacob Zuma by members of the taxi industry at the Jabulani amphitheatre in Soweto. They said that if Zuma does not act on the promises he made to the taxi industry before the general elections, all hell will break loose. Taxi owners and drivers, car washers and cooks from various taxi associations assembled to give feedback to members on recent talks with the government over the threatened competition from the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, which is being built to transport the many tens of thousands of foreigh football enthusiasts between venues in Gauteng.
FIFA BRINGS 3,000 OF ITS OWN VEHICLES INTO SOUTH AFRICA…
Former transport minister Jeff Radebe made several commitments to FIFA, the organisers of the World Cup tournaments in 2010, that ‘there would be safe and efficient transport for the estimated 500,000 soccer fans expected during the World Cup football finals in June and July next year.
- "There will be an extra 1 400 taxis and buses available, plus FIFA will be bringing in a minimum of 3,000 vehicles for their own staff to get around the country."
f The Star on May 14, 2009
PLEASE SEND ME YOUR OVERLOADED TAXI PICTURES! email@example.com
July 30 2009 – KOMMETJIE, Cape Town -- By Nikita Sylvester and Henri du Plessis, reporting in the Cape Argus: the photograph below is by Brenton Geach of the Cape Argus.
Police and hundreds of residents of a squatter camp clashed violently in Masiphumelele near the popular oceanside tourist resorts of Fish Hoek/Kommetjie on Thursday morning, leaving a trail of rubber bullet casings and burning rubble in their wake. The rioters also hid behind a truck from the Foodbarn company – and it’s not known whether this truck was looted or just used as a screen against the police bullets..
Sylvester and Du Plessis report that “about 300 residents stormed up Tambo Road just after 8am on Thursday, prompting 10 police officers to race towards the crowd firing rubber bullets to disperse them. Screaming, the residents scattered in all directions, some ducking between houses, before reconvening further down the road and moving up towards police again. For a second time, police opened fire and residents again fled. Some sought refuge behind a canopy as rubber bullets flew past them. An hour later they had gathered again, with ‘children in school uniforms among those milling in the street. Some residents told the Cape Argus they were afraid to send their children to school in the midst of a riot.”
Thursday's protest apparently revolved around ‘service delivery” – (the lack of municipal services to the squatter camp) -- said Inspector Nkosikho Mzuku at the scene.
Housing crisis plans by foreign donors kicked off the Kommetjie/Fish Bay riots:
Previous riots also broke out over a controversial housing development, the Cape Argus’ journalists report. ”Ever since the development backed by foreign donors, was proposed, various groups of residents have clashed over the plan and its proposed site, an area formerly suggested as school premises.”
The organisation Amakhaya Ngoku, (Houses Now) shown on the video, is made up of long-time residents of the Masiphumelele squatter camp who were very much in favour of building new housing at the earmarked school site – however when the news got out, new arrivals streamed in and started erecting squatter shacks on the site – and also started opposing the new development of apartment houses, often with violent protests. reports The Cape Argus.
Now the long-time squatter-camp residents are also demonstrating to get shacks erected at the earmarked school-site. Clearly, this isn’t going to become a new school any longer, with so many people just squatter there – and nobody is happy in this present dead-lock, which shows no sign of getting any better. There are ongoing negotiations with the MEC for Housing, Bonginkosi Madikizela. Also view the article on Page 1 Cape Argus on July 30, 2009