Friday, July 9, 2010

South Africa's criminals wait World Cup out on the bench

Only 172 cases have come to the World Cup courts, the noise of the gavels no match for the vuvuzelas. The scorecard, as tallied by the Justice Ministry through July 5, reads: 104 convictions, 7 acquittals, 28 withdrawn or dismissed, 33 pending.
The World Cup case that drew the most attention was hardly a sin that would startle the squeamish. Two Dutch women were accused of illegal advertising after they entered a stadium wearing orange mini-dresses and leading about 30 other young females clad exactly the same. At the hemline, visible at the upper thigh, was the small purple logo of the Bavaria Brewery.

SHOOT: So let's see this level of no nonsense policing all the time.
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JOHANNESBURG — It has been small stuff, mostly. A Swiss man threw a glass of whisky at a Dutch camera crew. A homeless South African stole a blanket from a tourist’s unlocked minivan. A friend of Paris Hilton’s was caught with a marijuana cigarette. A hotel’s cleaning crew helped themselves to underwear belonging to the English soccer team.

A cataclysmic wave of violent crime in South Africa, the fear of so many World Cup killjoys, has simply not occurred. No wave, barely a ripple. The criminals have put in a more indifferent showing than even the French players.

“With increased police activity everywhere, the criminals have been afraid to come out,” said a police spokesman, Col. Eugene Opperman, allowing that lawbreakers may simply have forgone their misdeeds to watch the games.

By “everywhere,” he meant places tourists were likely to go: the stadiums, the nightclubs, the upscale malls — the focus of 44,000 police officers.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Let's keep up the standards of service delivery, public transport - ZILLE

Zille said "immutable deadlines" now needed to be set up in terms of addressing South Africa's social problems.

"If we can learn this lesson from the World Cup, and apply it in a way that does not erode democracy, it will have been more than worth it."

SHOOT: It shows you that we can up our game when it comes to policing and enforcing, and also, we must.
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Johannesburg - The lessons of the FIFA Soccer World Cup can be used to improve the justice system and service delivery, Democratic Alliance Leader Helen Zille said on Sunday.

"The lessons of the World Cup extend far beyond sport," she said, citing the example of the 56 dedicated courts set up to deal with cases for the sporting spectacular.

"The results have, apparently, been astounding.

"Within four days of kick-off, 20 cases had been brought before the special courts and four finalised. At this rate, the special World Cup courts will finalise five times more cases per month than normal courts."

Zille said an equally "dramatic" example of rapid delivery was the less than four years it took to build the Cape Town stadium.

"In contrast, a proposed housing development, initiated at the same time as the stadium, is unlikely to be completed until 2013."

Zille said the difference lay with the fact that for these projects there was an "unchangeable deadline".

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

During SWC South Africa's infrastructure fails

The government has urged fans to avoid road congestion by using public transport, which received a R40bn upgrade ahead of the tournament.

SHOOT: There's not much in the news about aggrieved fans stranded until 3am on trains with no electricity but you can bet it was a miserable experience. Yes we built stadiums, but we were really ready to host these games when we can't even keep the lights on?
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Metrorail trains were forced to switch from electric to steam locomotives because of the power cut, delaying the last two trains by between two and three hours with the last fans only arriving at 03:30, said Tumisang Kgaboesele, head of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.
"We are very concerned. We have already apologised to our customers," he told AFP.
Metrorail ferried 13 600 people to and from Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld stadium on Wednesday for the Group A match.
South Africa suffered national blackouts in January 2008 that raised alarms about the nation's ageing electricity system.
The 10 World Cup stadiums each have generators to ensure power supplies during matches.
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Strong Earthquake Rocks Johannesburg

SHOOT: Crazy!
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Johannesburg - An earthquake that measured 4.3 on the Richter scale was felt along the West Rand and parts of Johannesburg on Monday afternoon, the Council for Geosciences said.
The quake, recorded just before 14:00, was relatively stronger than those usually measured along the mining belt, seismologist Ian Saunders said.
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Crime in South Africa during the #Fifa World Cup - so far

SHOOT: The most shocking is that while Uruguay is playing their game, their stuff is being swiped in their hotel rooms. Disgusting. These hotels must also be reported and blacklisted after the game.
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Cape Town - The Mother City's special World Cup Magistrate's Court dealt with its first three cases this week, including a theft from a Japanese tourist in a police station, police said on Thursday.
The theft took place at the Caledon Square station in the city centre on Tuesday, police head of 2010 operations in the Western Cape, Major-General Robbie Roberts, said.
"The tourist was in the CSC (community service centre) in Cape Town police station and he left his bag unattended.
"He went up to the third floor and when he returned, he found that his bag was gone."
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Journo robbers jailed for 15yrs

A Nigerian and a Zimbabwean man have been jailed for 15 years for robbing three foreign journalists in Magaliesburg.

  • Chinese journalists robbed

  • Uruguay team robbed at hotel
  • 6 held for robbing soccer fan

    Six people who allegedly robbed a hotel in Mpumalanga and held up a Chilean soccer fan have been arrested in White River, police say.

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    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Warm-up match stampede a wake-up call

    "We have security plans that are there," said Col. Hangwani Mulaudzi, another police spokesman. "I think this is one of those isolated cases where we did not anticipate the large number of people who would be interested in this game."

    SHOOT: I think SA will be caught napping in a bunch of areas, unfortunately. It's not really a 1st world country any more.
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    South African Police officers patrol as the bus of France soccer players arrives for a training session in Knysna, South Africa, Monday, June 7, 2010.

    JOHANNESBURG – No one was killed. Most of the injuries were minor. Yet a stampede at a supposedly low-key warm-up match set off alarms for World Cup organizers as they reassessed their plans for keeping fervent sellout crowds under control.

    Hopes for a safe tournament remain high, officials said Monday. But the scary incident at a Nigeria-North Korea exhibition match was a stark reminder of past stadium disasters, in Africa and elsewhere, that have been one of soccer's recurring and deadly legacies.

    "This is like an alarm clock," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said. "This will not happen in any match of the World Cup — you can be assured."

    In Orkney, South Africa, 42 fans were killed in a melee and stampede at a 1991 match between the archrival Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. Ten years later, when those same teams met at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, 43 people were killed and 155 injured as fans — many arriving without tickets — tried to push into the overcrowded stadium.

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    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    41 prisoners escape South African prison - most ever

    SHOOT: I'm sure tourists will be very reassured by this. South Africa is an incredibly safe country with decent police and government officials - NOT!
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    Pretoria - A mass escape by prisoners at the Harrismith Correctional Centre on Monday has led to the summarily dismissal of two Correctional Services officials who were linked to the escape.

    The dismissals follow a prompt fact finding visit to the facility by Correctional Services Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula - following an escape last night of 41 awaiting trial detainees.

    According to the department, Monday's escape was the biggest single escape from a correctional facility in many years.

    Mapisa-Nqakula said breaching of security cannot be tolerated because South Africans and Parliament expect not just the reduction of escapes, but no escapes from Correctional Centres.

    She said the President's directive is for all departments of the Criminal Justice System to ensure that "all people in South Africa are and feel safe.'

    The minister praised the South African Police Services for making quick and good progress in recapturing eight of the 41 escapees within a few hours after their escape.
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    Monday, May 31, 2010

    Teaching Work Values to Children of Wealth

    “Seriously middle-class families have said for a long time that the investment I’ve made in you is giving you a good education and then you’re on your own,” Ms. Godfrey said. “But now these families are realizing they have a great education, but yikes, it’s tough for them to be on their own. Now it’s not how much money you have, but how big is your network and how can you connect them.”

    SHOOT: I think parents can learn a lot from this.
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    GOOD HELP So what is the right way to help a child struggling to find a job or a career? Ms. Godfrey said it could be difficult to get children started, or what she calls “launched.”

    “A year ago, when we started to do fairly serious work on the launch process, I thought we were dealing with families who had slackers,” she said. “The more we got into it, the more we realized that these were kids who are educated but are having a tough time getting into a purposeful path that will help them maintain their lifestyle.”

    She urges families to set two goals: get children living without subsidies and put them on a career track. “Those families that treat their kids’ launch like any other endeavor are having the most success,” she said.

    This means parents and children need to discuss expectations. If financial help is involved, it cannot be infinite and that must be explained. But most of all, parents have to realize there is more to be done than just educating their children.

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    Saturday, May 22, 2010

    Use #WC2010 when you tweet about the World Cup

    Bangs predicts there will be more mashups and parodies during the World Cup as well as videos examining the political implications of an African nation hosting the tournament for the first time.

    SHOOT: CNN reckons South Africa's World Cup will drive record social media traffic levels. Sounds about right.
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    [The World Cup] will eclipse everything we have seen so far including the U.S. elections and the Super Bowl
    --Robin Sloan, Twitter

    "Our notion is that [the World Cup] will eclipse everything we have seen so far [on Twitter] including the U.S. election, the Oscars or the Super Bowl, simply because it is so international," Robin Sloan, a Twitter employee that works on media partnerships, told CNN.

    And during the last few days of the tournament, he expects World Cup discussion to "absolutely take over Twitter." So far, many fans have been using the Twitter hash tag#WC2010 when they tweet about the World Cup.

    In 2006, after French player Zinedine Zidane head-butted Marco Materazzi of Italy, hundreds of videos parodying the play were posted on YouTube. Some videos placed Zidane in a video game while others showed him in well-known movie scenes.

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    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    14.5°C - April 2010 was the hottest ever recorded

    SHOOT: The hottest ever? I wonder if that has anything to do with that thing people talk about, what is it? That funny theory that was going around until a while back. Global warming or something? I wonder if the hottest ever April has anything to do with us, you know, driving around every day. *Shrugs shoulders and turns on the TV, nothing to do with me. What else is news?*
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    Geneva - April 2010 was the hottest ever recorded, with an average temperature of 14.5°C, the UN weather agency said on Tuesday.

    Citing data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the World Meteorological Organisation said that the average temperature on both land and ocean this April reached 0.76°C above that of the 20th century average of 13.7°C.

    A statement from the US agency noted that warmer-than-normal conditions "dominated the globe, with the most prominent warmth in Canada, Alaska, the eastern United States, Australia, South Asia, northern Africa and northern Russia".

    Weather records go as far back as 1880.

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    Monday, May 17, 2010

    Should football fans fear for their lives at the World Cup?

    "While crime might be going down, it is [often] extremely violent, armed robberies, hijackings. It is very in your face, it is very gruesome. The robbers will come in and not only attack a couple, [but] rape the wife, and severely assault the husband.

    "People are worried about what the government is trying to feed them. The violence associated with crime is increasing."

    SHOOT: I'm a South African, this was my take on the same question >
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    South Africa policeman
    With a multitude of tourists heading to South Africa for the World Cup, a question hangs on many lips: how dangerous is the country?

    South Africa is a place where a lot of violent crime happens.

    That much is hard to dispute.

    Each day an average of nearly 50 people are murdered.

    In addition to these 18,000 murders each year, there are another 18,000 attempted murders.

    Graph comparing murder rates in UK and South Africa

    Kwa Mashu, a township outside Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, has the unfortunate honour of being dubbed South Africa's murder capital by the media, with 300 last year. It took the unwanted honour from Nyanga, a township outside Cape Town.

    "There are extremely high rates of unemployment in some areas. All of this leads to a large element of frustration. Often this is the thing that sparks violence.

    Police in a stadium

    Of the 18,438 house robberies in South Africa last year, 8,122 were in the province of Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg. The likelihood of being a victim is twice the national average there.

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    Saturday, May 15, 2010

    New York Times editor in chief: How I plan to charge for online content

    SHOOT: Intwisting. Well I'm sure all the bloggers out there welcome the news that media companies plan to charge for access to their exceptional journalism. But here's an idea. When these companies are charging for online content, what it stopping bloggers from going out, buying the newspapers, and summarising these stories on their own sites, for free, in their own words?
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    The New York Times’ slow-cooked plan to charge some readers for some of its online content will be put into place in January of next year, editor in chief Bill Keller told other journos at a dinner in New York on Thursday night.

    The Times’ previous attempt to charge for content, TimesSelect, was canceled later that year because too few subscribers had signed up for what was basically a premium content package. Most TimesSelect content was what newspaper editors categorize as commentary or opinion, rather than news reporting. People were uninterested in paying an extra $50 per year to read the Times’ columnists.

    Chances are Keller and company are still trying to calculate exactly how much to give away, and how much to charge for greater access. Without those numbers, the only safe prediction is that they won’t start with a high bar to access. Better to start with a lenient setting that blocks few readers, then ratchet it up to see what the market will bear.

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    Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    KULULA SPECIAL OFFERS - starts and ends 6 May 2010

    SHOOT: Have a look at what it involves below, prices and destinations. If you want to take part in this visit:
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    Jo'burg (OR Tambo) <- -> Durbs
    Jo'burg (Lanseria) <- -> Durbs
    Cape Town <- -> PE
    Durbs <- -> PE


    one way incl. taxes

    Jo'burg (OR Tambo) <- -> Cape Town
    Jo'burg (Lanseria) <- -> Cape Town
    Durbs <- -> Cape Town


    one way incl. taxes

    Should you want
    to travel during the

    "sporting event that
    can't be mentioned"

    in June and July, don't
    despair; we've got some
    great deals on

    off-peak flights for you
    to choose from.

    Remember, book online before midnight on the 6th of May 2010.
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    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Boer maak 'n plan - Vanderbijlpark oke decides to fix potholes himself

    SHOOT: I like this guy.
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    Pierre Bouwer, 54, a businessman from Vanderbijlpark and a committee member of the Vanderbijlpark NTU, started fixing potholes on the Stokkiesdraai Road, just outside the town, along with some of his workers on Wednesday.
    "I'm fixing the potholes myself, because my family and I drive to and from our smallholding on this road at least seven times a day, and each time our lives are in danger."
    Mari Myburgh, chairperson of the local NTU, said she was threatened with arrest if they fix the potholes by themselves.
    "Supposedly we don't have the expertise to do it alone, but Pierre has done his homework. He learned from the supplier of the material that one of the most important steps is to compact the base filler and tar," said Myburgh.
    Bouwer said: "I'm not just filling the hole with soil to hide the problem.
    "Rain water won't be flushing out these potholes so easily any more. I'll be giving lessons on Sunday afternoons," he joked.
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    Broome – with a view

    There’s still money to be made at the end of the world, if you have the courage to get there. And if you’re after magic rather than money, there’s plenty of it, scattered in the sun and the moon, the tides, the stillness and that rare abandonment that one finds in the most faraway places. - by Nick van der Leek
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    Broome, for starters, has a history worthy of an entirely new genre of cinema. Replace cowboys with Japanese pearl divers, horses with camels, and guns with that great killer of divers, ‘The Bends’ and you’re beginning to stir up the mythos - and those blood red sands of Roebuck Bay where Broome is situated.

    Even the name of this place evokes ‘boom’ and ‘bust’.

    Broome is a place filled with the memories of money and murder, a place where tides swell a massive 9 metres (nearby Derby has the world’s second highest tides, peaking at 11.8 metres) and storms so heavy and impregnated with rain that houses are built without gutters.

    View the gallery here

    Nick van der Leek was a guest of Tourism Australia Click here to find out more about holidaying in Australia.

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    Truck explodes on N1 in Pretoria destroying crane and bridge

    Police said one of the reasons for closing the highway was that one of the crane's support pillars had been destroyed sparking fears that it was unstable.

    A woman whose car was flattened when the truck drove over it, sustained serious injuries, while three other motorists, whose cars were destroyed in the smash, walked away with slight injuries.

    Information given to the Pretoria News last night indicated that the truck driver had jumped from his truck moments before the crash.

    SHOOT: There needs to be more inspection of loads and whether vehicles are fit to carry them. Our potholed roads are a symptom of too heavy freights. One person commentated that they felt, during the heat of the explosion, that it was 'the end of the world'. Well, perhaps just the area around the Atterbury turn-off.
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    Traffic in Pretoria east was chaotic on Wednesday evening when a truck transporting chemicals and industrial cables careered out of control, crashed into a construction crane and four cars before exploding underneath the Atterbury Road Bridge killing a motorist.

    Panicked motorists abandoned their vehicles, hid behind their cars and fled for safety up embankments alongside the highway.

    The crash and subsequent explosion saw the highway shut down during peak time, and caused significant jams on adjacent roads.
    The accident, which was on the northbound side of the highway, is believed to have been caused by a mechanical fault on the flatbed horse-and-trailer truck which smashed into a cement truck before it went headlong into the crane and the four cars. The explosion, which led to the truck and sections of the bridge burning for nearly 15 minutes, could be heard nearly a kilometre away.

    It is believed the person killed in the smash was the truck driver's co-driver.
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    Monday, March 8, 2010

    Zille: If the constitution cannot, on its own, prevent us from becoming a failed state, what can?

    The only guarantee of success is citizens who understand that they are personally responsible for preventing power abuse. These citizens understand the power of their vote and use it to protect the constitution and hold their leaders to account. Their leaders know that if they abuse power they will lose power. For a democracy to work, the politicians must fear the voters, not the other way around.

    Voters in a consolidated democracy would never have allowed the rape of their prosecutorial authority. Developments like this show us how far we still have to go.

    SHOOT: Zille would make an excellent president...

    Limpopo has been much in the news this week because of the endemic corruption that is the inevitable consequence of the power abuse inherent in the ANC's version of economic empowerment. It is legalised corruption. It enables the ANC in government to award tenders to the ANC in business to enrich the ANC's leaders. That is how companies, of which Julius Malema is a director or major shareholder, got tenders to the value of R140-million. Three bridges they constructed washed away in a matter of months.

    According to Sello Moloto, the former Premier of Limpopo, Malema "got those tenders by intimidating mayors and municipal managers that they would lose their jobs if they did not approve the appointments of his companies". Malema did this with the help of his ally Cassel Mathale who, as the ANC's Provincial Chairperson in Limpopo, had the power to appoint mayors and deploy municipal managers. Mathale himself is now Premier of this Province.

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    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    In South Africa there are 950 AIDS-related deaths every day

    The South African Burden of Disease study has shown that HIV/AIDS is the cause of almost 40% of premature mortality, measured as years of life lost, in the year 2000 and, with no intervention strategies, will account for 75% of premature mortality by 2010.

    SHOOT: Worse than all these statistics is that you have to hunt for them on the internet. And even worse, you have flags flying at half mast for the alcoholic health minister who advocated - essentially, denial and doing nothing.
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    Figure 1. Estimated prevalence of HIV by sex and age in 2006, ASSA2003
    Figure 1. Estimated prevalence of HIV by sex and age in 2006, ASSA2003
    Figure 2. Projected number of newly infected people by sex and age group, ASSA2003
    Figure 2. Projected number of newly infected people by sex and age group, ASSA2003
    Deaths from AIDS have been increasing from the late 1990s. It is estimated that in 2006 around 740 000 deaths occurred, of which 350 000 were due to AIDS (approximately 950 AIDS-related deaths per day). This mortality has resulted in an increasing number of children who are orphaned. The number of maternal orphans who are under 18 years of age is estimated to be over 1.5 million 2006 and two thirds are as a result of AIDS.
    The demographic impact of HIV/AIDS on the South African population is apparent in statistics such as life expectancy, which has dropped from 63 in 1990 to 51 in 2006, and in the under-5 mortality rate, which has increased from 65 deaths per 1000 births in 1990 to 75 deaths per 1000 births in 2006.
    mortality rates in 2006 suggest that 15-year olds have a 56% chance of dying before they reach 60.
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