Crime Busters of SA: farm murders 2001-2003
Solidarity trade union: - list of farm murders
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- A Stuijt
- Retired South African medical journalist, ex-Sunday Times of Johannesburg.
Jan 21 2010 -- With Hartbeespoort dam rapidly being turned into an unsafe, gigantic open sewer, e-coli counts soaring and ratepayers threatening to fire local ANC-managers, the sewage spillage in Brits and Hartbeespoort seemed completely hopeless, writes Madibeng Pulse editor Dolf Dreyer. However, the emergency, high-level meeting called on the issue on January 21 2010 has produced new hope that these technical solutions may be overcome – a technical task team has now been appointed to urgently address the problems.
And these problems are formidable, writes Dreyer: “Every day, Brits municipality pumps 11-million liters of raw sewage into the dam’s Crocodile River and Hartbeespoort municipality, 2.2 million liters. That’s 264 residential swimming pools of raw sewage a day”… pouring into the dam which is the main fresh-water drinking supply for many millions of people in North West and Gauteng provinces, including greater Pretoria...
At the emergency meeting on January 21 2010 between ratepayers and experts, Madibeng Municipal officials, a Madibeng Councillor and a representative of the Department of Water Affairs and the Environment, “produced a shining example of the type of cooperation which is possible between people with divergent political views, but unified by a common challenge,” writes Dreyer.
The meeting followed shortly after an angry missive to municipal officials from Pieter Rautenbach, chairman of the local taxpayers’ forum – demanding a solution within three days or the taxpayers would call a legal municipal dispute, withhold their rates and taxes and use this money to start running the municipal services themselves. It’s been done in hundreds of municipalities countrywide, where ratepayers have kicked out their ANC-managers and started running things themselves.
Picture left: this isn’t water – it’s raw human sewage pouring at the rate of 13.2-million liters a day into the Hartbeespoort dam – as it’s been doing for the past three months. The E-coli contents readings for Dec 2009 ‘were too high to even count..’ , writes Dreyer.
“Residents would not be interested in how many sewage plants and pumps, chlorinators and other pieces of equipment are out of order, or how many of the staff are incompetent..”.
The combined effect of these problems is horrifying: Brits pumps 11 million liters of raw sewage into the Crocodile River every day and Hartbeespoort 2.2 million liters. In Brits it is the equivalent of 220 residential swimming pools of 50 000 liters and in Hartbeespoort 44.
The new Hartbeespoort sewage plant at Popo Molefe squatter camp has not worked for three months because of vandalism and neglect…
Mr. Gary MacKay told MadibengPulse on Tuesday that he discovered the sewage works at Popo Molefe settlement had not worked for three months: the plant was overgrown and the equipment damaged through vandalism and neglect.
This is the ‘new’ plant on which MadibengPulse reported when it was opened a little more than a year after long delays because of crooks and chancers. The main problem in Hartbeespoort is that pumps are out of order and just the two pumps at Venice Village would cost R81,000 each to repair. This is money which Madibeng municipality does not have.
In Brits, Clr. Eddie Barlow, read his press release , had meticulous surveys done to investigate the inoperative sewage plants and the results these had on the water quality.
E-coli contents were ‘too high to count…’ on December 15 2009:
He found that the count of e-coli on December 15, 2009, at Hartbeespoort, Brits and Lethlabile was too high to count compared to a count on 12 November 2009. Clr Barlow laid criminal charges against the responsible officials in terms of the Water Act and told MadibengPulse that the investigations are making progress.
At the meeting on January 21 2010, a technical task team was appointed which was mounting an urgent investigation into ways to solve the problem at once. Read the entire story on: http://www.madibengpulse.co.za/?Task=system&CategoryID=29712&HeadingText=News+210110+sewage
A year after a violent gang-attack in which a young Afrikaner woman’s face was slashed, their dog shot and a litter of kittens was murdered, the provincial police commissioner has finally managed to end the fraudulent conditions at the Hartbeespoort police station…
21 Jan 2010 – RIETFONTEIN, Hartbeespoort - Pieter Raath is angry. A cruel attack last year, in which his wife Corrie’s face was slashed and their dog and a litter of kittens were murdered by four illegal migrants from a local squatter camp, has still not brought any justice, writes Dolf Dreyer, editor of Madibeng Pulse newspaper.
The attack against the Raath family on the night of 26 January last year was extremely racist and malicious, with the four berserker attackers screaming: ‘you must all die’. Clearly, said the victims, these four squatters were only out to kill and maim them: they stole nothing whatsoever – but carved up Corrie Raath’s face, (picture); shot dead their beloved white German Shepherd Terry, and even killed a litter of tiny kittens. It was mindless, cruel violence.
Raath said the first team of investigators which were put on the case from the Hartbeespoort police station had mismanaged the case in a very disgraceful manner: not only was the couple forced to flee for fear of reprisals, but at one stage a state-prosecutor, he said, was allegedly even bribed to drop the case and the leader of the four-man attack team was released on a mere R500 bail by the Brits magistrate’s court. This infuriated the local community so much that they even threatened to take matters into their own hands…
“They would have killed us”…
Pieter Raath said the four attackers would have killed them if the flashing blue lights of an arriving security-vehicle hadn’t made them flee. Nothing was robbed and during the vicious attack, the four men were abusive and hysterical, screaming: ‘you all have to die’. The Raath couple moved to Pretoria and didn’t want their address published for fear of reprisals.
Shortly after the attack, Pieter Raath had identified one of the attackers, an man identified only by his first name, “Piet’ – yet this man, who was described as the gang leader, was released on bail on 15 February. One of the other arrested gang-members identified only as “Prince’, also is a well-known felon who has been arrested many times and also granted bail numerous times – in fact Prince and Piet were out on bail when they attacked the Raath family, writes Dreyer. Raath said when he enquired about the case, he heard to his deep dismay that the case had been closed because ‘the file was empty and the investigative detective did not hold an identity parade.’ “He also never fetched forensic photographs from the police-forensic department, and all four suspects were eventually let go’. In November 2009, he was asked to attend an identity-parade after Piet had been arrested again, on another violent crime. And again, he recognised Piet as the leader of their attack gang.
The case was reopened because the local station commander and investigating detectives were transferred because the local community forum, Pieter Rautenbach, launched a community campaign to rid themselves of fraud at the police station.
“It now looks as if the case is getting on track, because on Friday Superintendent Jannie van der Walt visited us with a detective and took another statement from us to reopen the case. Their visit followed after my enquiry two weeks earlier. Dreyer writes that the community forum’s campaign to end corruption at the Hartbeespoort police station appears to be won, with NW provincial police commissioner Beethe undertaking in personal talks with forum members Rautenbach, Johan Pretorius and Ahmed Jalalpor that he would personally make sure that the investigating detective and other detectives named in connection with fraud at the station, would face investigations and if necessary, be charged. The new SAPS commissioner Bheke Cele also said the same thing in December, writes Dreyer.
One matter which still raises deep concerns among the police and the community is the fact that so many violent criminals still get bail far too easily and set at very low bail-costs, after which they can simply stroll out of jail and continue their criminal career immediately. Commissioner Beetha also undertook to pay urgent attention to this problem. Read the rest of the article: http://www.madibengpulse.co.za/?Task=system&CategoryID=28789&HeadingText=News+210110+corrie+raath
Nairobi (AFP) Jan 20, 2010 – Famous archeologist/environmentalist Richard Leakey warns that hundreds of thousands of Kenyans’ survival is being threatened by a one-third completed 240-meter-high Ethiopian hydro-electric dam costing €1.4 billion on Lake Turkana’s primary tributary, the Omo river. Leakey told Agence France Presse news agency on Wednesday that the dam, being built by an experienced Italian construction company, might even create ‘cross-border conflicts’: "The Ethiopian dam project is going to bring nothing but tragedy and harm to Kenya.’
Picture right: The Omo river supplies 80 percent of all the water in Lake Turkana on the Kenya-Ethiopia border. Picture left: the experienced Italian dam-builder Salini Costruttori has been fast-tracking the giant 240-metre tall Gilgel Gibe III dam, planning to complete it within four years.
Funding for the bank is also being raised among the Ethiopian diaspora with Ethiopian bonds as well as from the World Bank and the African Development Bank, with funding also being negotiated with the European Bank.The total dam project is expected to cost €1.4 billion, and consists of the construction of the largest dam in Ethiopia and a powerhouse which will generate 1,870 MW, according to a letter from environmentalists to J P Morgan bank.
Ironically on December 12 2009, Africa Intelligence reported that ‘the Kenyan government’s need to import electricity from Ethiopia is so strong that it also offered to fund 50% of the Ethiopian power station Gilgel Gibe III ‘.
Thus Kenya will help fund a dam project which top environmentalists like Leakey warn, will have a seriously detrimental impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of Kenyans.
The Italian firm Salini Costruttori is constructing the 240-metre tall Gilgel Gibe III dam, which is partially funded by the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the European Bank and now is one-third complete. Questions have been raised in the Italian parliament about the cancelling of a huge Ethiopian debt - and Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also is under criminal investigation by the Finance Police of Rome for ‘corrupt actions associated with its approval of a €220 million loan for another Ethiopian dam, Gilgel Gibe II.” Salinia Costruttori is a major dam-builder: it has already built more than twenty large dams on three different continents and has several hydroelectric projects under construction for the production of more than 3,000 MW: http://www.salini.it/index.php/english/content/workingon
Leakey warned that around 300,000 fishermen and herders depend on Lake Turkana – and hundreds of thousands more, mainly farmers, also rely on the Omo's annual flooding for river bank cultivation and grazing of livestock.
“During the two years it will take to fill the dam reservoir Lake Turkana will recede, increasing its salinity, damage the local economy, degrade biodiversity and increase the risk of cross-border conflicts,” said Leakey, speaking for the Friends of Lake Turkana conservationist organisation.
The group called for construction to be halted pending an assessment by Kenya, which has said it will import power generated from Ethiopia, on the impact the dam will have on the locals and the environment. "What we are asking the Kenya government is to reassess, to rethink about what they are doing before it's too late," said Samia Bwana, a top official of the Kenyan group.
"We are depending on a country that is known for drought, known for rainfall failure, to provide expensive power to Kenya," Leakey told reporters. "There is no future for hydroelectric schemes in arid parts of Africa."
Kenya also plans to build Africa's biggest wind farm around Lake Turkana, which is expected to produce 300 MW. The Omo dam is projected to have a capacity of 400 MW when it is completed in 2013. Leakey said the feasibility study for the Ethiopian dam was "so badly done that the dam may never even fill up because of cracks that are already known to exist." "If it never fills up they will never let the water out and if they never let the water out, Lake Turkana will not only drop some metres it... will be wiped out,” he added with a gesture of despair. http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Ethiopian_dam_to_wreck_lives_in_Kenya_conservation_group_999.html
An independent impact-study by Anthony Mitchell, project manager-consultant in Seattle, WA, citing “a lack of transparency and the absence of a competitive bidding process in the selection of a prime contractor”, also noted that “the World Bank ‘s feasibility study did not include a study on the environmental impact.. and the bank opted not to proceed with a full review of the funding application for Gibe III. A full-scale economic and technical feasibility study was therefore (also) not conducted.”
The funding also is problematic, writes Mitchell: ‘Construction of the dam has begun with Ethiopian sponsorship and is slated for completion in 2011-2012. Construction is supported in part by the issuance of hard-currency, domestically tax-exempt Millennium bonds marketed to the Ethiopian diaspora at a reported maximum 5% rate of interest. The bonds carry the risks of a premature call and uncertain currency repatriation rights. There is no secondary market for Ethiopian bonds. Ethiopia’s currency does not trade freely on global markets. The Millennium bonds have not been found to be marketed with provisions for independent audits of the bond issue or of subsequent fund distributions or bond repayments. To those uncertainties can be added issues regarding currency repatriation (whether repayments will ultimately be made in Ethiopian currency and at artificial exchange rates), taxation, and the interest to be paid in the event of premature repayment (a “call”). http://www.slideshare.net/anthony_mitchell/gilgel-gibe-iii-hydroelectric-dam-ethiopia-technical-engineering-and-economic-feasibility-study-report
feasability study and funding-issues, Gilgel Gibe III dam:
Anthony Mitchell, project manager, consultant at Seattle, WA, pointed out six areas of concern around the construction of the dam.
Letter to JP Morgan Bank regarding $400-m funding of Gilgel Gibe III dam:
“The Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) Contract between the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) and the Italian firm Salini Costruttori for the construction of Gilgel Gibe III Dam was signed in July 2006 following a direct negotiation. No international tender was called, contradicting the internal legislation issued by the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. This practice is out of compliance with European Union legislation on public procurement as well as the procurement guidelines of the World Bank, African Development Bank, and European Investment Bank.