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.
3,000 megawatts extra urgently needed from independent suppliers to supplement Eskom grid – but allowing private power producers is still awaiting cabinet nod
Feb 02 2010 A constitutional amendment is needed before independent power producers will ever be allowed to contribute to the national grid. Yet South Africa urgently needs an extra 3,000 megawatt of power right now. Its current grid dates from before 1994 – and while Eskom has launched a multi-billion Rand grid-expansion programme and has several power stations nearing completion, its grid also was designed to support only 10-million paying consumers before 1994. Now, at least 50-million people rely on this same network, often plugging into it illegally. More than 90% of the household consumers in the townships, for instance, do not pay anything for their electricity at all. That’s why Eskom demands an annual 35% rates hike to pay for it all…
The country's electricity system is at significant risk, Paul van Niekerk of the Energy Intensive User Group (EIUG) said on Tuesday. He was addressing an Energy Dialogue in Johannesburg hosted by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Van Niekerk said the EIUG ‘s 38 members ‘are huge companies that make up for 40% of total electricity sales in SA and these groups employ a lot of people". He said the EIUG was worried about security of supply from 2010 to 2015 and that South Africa's gross domestic product was at stake.
"If the cost of electricity becomes too great, there will be vast repercussions." Van Niekerk said the first integrated resource plan (IRP) had offered little comfort to the EUIG. "We are pleased to hear from [Energy Minister Dipuo Peters] here today that there will now be consultation and we offer our services," he said.
Security of supply was the country's biggest problem and generation performance had to be enhanced. "Distribution and its reliability is a worry, as is the ability to deal with load-shedding.”
Van Niekerk says a national contingency plan is needed as the Medupi power station would take longer than thought to complete. "We need contingency plans in the meantime," he said.
- And this means that all possible sources of non-Eskom power generation needed to be fast tracked. "Three thousand megawatts of independent supply needs to be acquired by the end of 2010."
Van Niekerk said the issue of an independent buyer and market operator needed to be studied and Eskom would have to offer grid access "at a reasonable rate."
He said the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), the body currently reviewing Eskom's tariff application, had to challenge certain aspects of the electricity parastatal's strategy. "Nersa must challenge Eskom's cost of capital, its depreciation methodology, its primary energy costs, operating costs and also capital expenditure, because Medupi and Kusile are too expensive."
He said that the EIUG had also concluded that Eskom's medium-term supply and demand forecast was too low. Van Niekerk said that the 35% hike every year for three years proposed by Eskom was "too high" and would lead to joblessness.
- "Any plan must reduce the rate of Eskom's return on investment and also alternatives to tariff increases must be investigated, such as the selling of bonds and even some assets." http://www.fin24.com/articles/default/display_article.aspx?ArticleId=1518-25_2570152
Picture below: Kusile Power Station in August 2009 – it’s taking too long to complete and is too expensive, warns Van Niekerk:
Professor Diane Hildebrandt, the Wits scientist who is helping China develop its synfuel-from-coal industry, is one of two South African winners of the 2009 African Union Scientific Awards. The co-director at the Centre of Material and Process Synthesis at the Wits School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, received an award in the science, technology and innovation category from President Jacob Zuma at the African Union Summit awards ceremony on 31 January 2010, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The AU award was made to honour Hildebrandt's "great scientific achievement and contribution through science for the socio-economic development of Africa" according to Prof. Jean-Pierre Azin, the African Union commissioner for human resources, science and technology. The award comprises an $100,000 cash prize, a medal and a certificate.
Helped China develop its first synfuel-from-coal pilot plant
- COMPS was responsible for the conceptual design, overseeing the feasibility study done with Lurgi, the basic engineering done by KBR and the detailed engineering, done by SCIDI, China. COMPS also was responsible for all the laboratory testing of the catalysts as well as the commissioning of the pilot plant. The pilot plant has successfully been commissioned and an international review committee has given its approval of the (coal to synthetic fuel) technology.
Hildebrandt is also the winner of the 2009 Woman Scientist of the Year award and is the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARCHI) Professor of Sustainable Process Engineering. A co-founder and co-director of COMPS at the University of Witwatersrand, Hildebrandt supervises 40 postgraduate students and is also the first female chemical engineer to have been awarded an A-rating by the National ResearchFoundation (NRF).
"I would like to thank Wits University, where I have studied and worked for more than 30 years for making this possible as well as the numerous donors and partners who have contributed to this achievement. I am grateful for this award and look forward to making further contributions to the Africa and its development," says Hildebrandt.
Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits University, Professor Loyiso Nongxa congratulated Hildebrandt on her achievement:
"Professor Hildebrandt is an exemplary scientist in the global knowledge arena who is always cognisant of mobilising knowledge for innovation and technological advancement. She is committed to excelling in her field and is unswerving in her commitment to contribute towards the economic development of the country and the continent. We recognise her achievement and we are proud to have a world-leading scientist of her calibre in our ranks."
COMPS is a research and engineering solutions group with the main focus area in chemical engineering and mineral processing. Its objective is to provide the latest cutting-edge methodologies and techniques to synthesise, integrate and optimise processes that support sustainable industrial practice. The Centre's expanding pool of engineers and scientists have developed tools to identify optimum solutions in the field of Process Synthesis
Distillation Synthesis, and Mineral Processing.
- For interviews, please contact Prof. Diane Hildebrandt on (011) 717-7527 or 083 395 2921 or email Diane.Hildebrandt@wits.ac.za
Issued by: Shirona Patel, Communications Manager, Wits University, (011) 717-1019, 084 619
- email Shirona.Patel@wits.ac.za SHIRONA PATEL Tel: +27 11 7171019 Fax: +27 11 717 1065
South Africa – The Strand. The ‘petite, thin, blonde’ young woman accused of murdering well-known Strand pianist Elfriede Weich before stuffing her body into a suitcase has apparently committed suicide in Pollsmoor Prison. Angelique Cilliers, 25, was being kept behind bars at Pollsmoor Prison, awaiting her next court appearance at the Strand Magistrate's Court this Friday.
Picture by Leanne Stander of Die Burger newspaper: At her previous appearance, she showed up in the court room wrapped up in a large shawl and her eyes disguised by dark classes to avoid photographers from getting clear pictures of her. order pic from: http://www.dieburger.com/Content/Galleries/Image/Fotos/Suid%20Afrika/Fotos%20van%20die%20week%2022-29%20Januarie
According to an earlier report in Die Burger, Angelique Cilliers had been scheduled to appear in court last Friday, but was briefly hospitalised for low blood sugar problems, after she apparently went on a hunger strike.
Police spokesman Andre Traut confirmed on Tuesday that Cilliers – described by the news media as ‘petite, blonde and thin’ when she appeared in court earlier -- was found dead at around 3.50pm on Monday - apparently after hanging herself. At her earlier court appearance, she was described by Burger journalist Jan Gerber as still wearing her hospital bracelet when she appeared before magistrate S Du Toit Malherbe. She was not asked to plead to any charges at this remand appearance; was given the opportunity to arrange for a legal-aid lawyer; and her case was then postponed to February 5. She told the Strand magistrate that she would prefer her case to be heard in Afrikaans.
Second murder probe:
Police were also investigating another possible murder case against Cilliers after the body of Winston Ferreira (49), with whom she had an affair, was found in his house. She was charged with theft of Ferreira's bakkie and other belongings and police were still investigating the murder.
Elfriede Weich, 64, was a pianist living in the Welgelegen flats in the popular tourist resort of the Strand. Neighbours say ‘a day could not have passed by without her playing nice music from her piano.” When she stopped playing her beautiful music, residents became worried and asked police to investigate. Initially the police had found Angelique Cilliers inside the flat – a previous resident in the building, and who told them she was housesitting as ‘the owner had gone away’. However police returned to the flat again after they had been called by a local bank where Cilliers had cashed a cheque of R2,000 bearing the victim’s signature. "Police were called to the bank before the body was discovered, but she (Cilliers) was not arrested at that time," said a police spokeswoman.
They then searched the flat, and found it ransacked. The murdered pianist’s body was found inside a suitcase hidden under her bed. Police suspected that she could have been murdered the Sunday before and preliminary investigation indicated that she could have been choked. http://www.themercury.co.za/?fSectionId=&fArticleId=nw20100202092142525C354183
Beeld journalist held illegally for 4 hours at Arnot power station -- for taking photographs of illegal mining activities in a wetlands area
Officials at an Exxaro-coal mine near Belfast held Beeld environmental journalist Elise Templehoff captive for four hours while she was photographing alleged mining activities in a wetlands area. Mr F A V van Rooyen, the security chief at Exxaro held the investigative journalist captive, and confiscated her camera. While he kept her captive inside the office of the Arnot power station for four hours he also kept trying to get the local police to come and arrest her – but they failed to show up and he finally let the journalist go.
Tempelhoff said she was at the World Wetlands Day celebrations at Lakenvlei outside Belfast when she heard from sources there that Exxaro was mining for coal at a wetlands of the Small Elephants River outside Middelburg. She drove there to investigate – and to take photographs as proof: she was also aware of the fact that there were more than 100 mines countrywide which were illegally carving up wetlands in their mining activities, yet she had never been able to obtain any official comment from the Ministers of water-affairs or -mining. This time, she hoped to confront the various government ministers with photographic proof.
“I drove up to the security gate, asked the guard if I could go to the mine to take pictures, he opened the gates for me and I drove through,’ she told a Beeld journalist. She found the wetlands being mined near Mooifontein, and took about four or five frames on her camera when she was confronted by a number of security officials who forced to go to the mining office. There she was ordered to delete the pictures from her camera.
“He (the mining official) asked me what I wanted to do with these pictures. I told him I wanted to show them to Sipho Nkosi (owner of the mine and who also is the president of the SA Chamber of mines), to the Minister of Mining Susan Shabangu, and also to Mrs Buyelwa Sonjica, minister of water affairs, and that I would ask them to comment about this.’
The company’s security chief, Van Rooyen then showed up and told her he’d been ‘ordered to confiscate the camera and to hand her over to the police.,’ she said. “I asked him to show me the mine’s water-license – (granting permission for mining in a wetlands area) and he then proceeded to tell me that ‘I would have to ask the Department of Water Affairs for the document’, “ she said.
Van Rooyen then drove the journalist to the Arnot power station at around 6pm, where they started waiting for the police to arrive. “Van Rooyen repeatedly phoned the police, asking them to come and fetch me. Later on a constable apparently had even put the phone down in his ear,’ she said.
The security chief then released Tempelhoff four hours later – but he refused to return her camera. Exxaro spokesman Hilton Atkinson told Beeld that ‘the mine has not yet decided what they were going to charge Tempelhoff with’, that they would ‘hold a meeting with mine management today,’ and that Tempelhoff ‘had entered dangerous terrain’.
Beeld ‘s managing editor Tim du Plessis has meanwhile also issued a rather limp-wristed statement about the illegal arrest of his journalist, saying that the ‘hard-handed action against a journalist who was merely doing her job, is strongly regretted. And taking away Tempelhoff’s camera borders on intimidation. This is worrying and ominous. Why become so drastic when there’s nothing to hide?”
The fact that this white female journalist might have been in great danger of rape or other physical abuse if the SAPS had actually come to fetch her to spend the night in a local police cell, apparently didn’t occur to Mr Du Plessis. http://www.beeld.com/Content/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/1928/8b8bc7300b8a4b5dbf82a90666d72b46/02-02-2010-01-49/Beeld-joernalis_ure_lank_aangehou_oor_sy_myn-foto%E2%80%99s_neem_