Category Archives: SAPA

The Times: Service delivery protest flares up in Durban

There have been six arrests.

Service delivery protest flares up in Durban

About 200 people were protesting on Alpine Road in Durban on Thursday morning, eThekwini metro police said.

The protesters were burning rubbish and tyres, spokesman Eugene Msomi said.

It was believed the protest was about service delivery.

Nabantu Zulu, a resident of the Jadhu Place squatter camp which borders Alpine Road, said residents had been protesting since 3.30am.

Zulu said he had been a resident at the squatter camp since 1991.

Residents were demanding to speak to eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo and would not stop blocking Alpine Road until their demands had been addressed.

“We are living in tins. They [eThekwini metro] gave us these as temporary [accommodation], but how long must we wait?” asked Zulu.

He said residents were demanding land, housing, electricity, water, and speed humps in Alpine Road.

The Jadhu Place squatter camp is believed to have between 1000 and 2000 residents.

Alpine Road is a major road linking the suburb of Overport with the Springfield industrial area.

Protesters, carrying bottles and vuvuzelas, were singing, dancing, and chanting on a hill overlooking Alpine Road.

About three kilometres of Alpine Road was closed.

“We demand housing, electricity, and land,” stated a placard.

The protesters claim they were promised housing in 2007 by a former eThekwini mayor and they had been forgotten.

One of the protesters, a woman, was lying in the street waiting for paramedics after she collapsed during the protest.

The SA Police Service and the metro police were monitoring the protest.

Police had to use teargas at various stages to disperse the group.

Alpine Road was littered with debris, bricks, tyres, and a tree.

Residents of Overport were looking nervously at the protesters from their houses.

Employees of Durban Solid Waste were waiting to clear the road.

Sunday Times: Cape Town fires kill man, over 100 people left homeless

Cape Town fires kill man, over 100 people left homeless

The city’s disaster management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said the body of the 33-year-old man was found after firefighters quelled the blaze at the Siyahlala informal settlement.

He said the cause of the fire was not known, but police were investigating the matter.

Earlier in the day, another fire was reported at the same informal settlement, that left 105 people homeless.

The inferno destroyed 26 shacks.

On Saturday night, at least five shacks burnt down, leaving about 20 people displaced in other informal settlements around the city.

Solomons-Johannes said firefighters across the city were called to battle at least six incidents at the weekend.

“The city’s disaster response will… assist the affected households with the supply of food parcels, blankets, baby packs, clothing and building material, including trauma counselling to the family of the deceased person,” he said.

M&G: Mpisane wins tenders worth R455m – despite conviction

Mpisane wins tenders worth R455m – despite conviction

Controversial businessperson Shaun Mpisane has been awarded tenders worth R455-million after a settlement that allowed her to bypass normal processes.

According to the Mercury on Monday, a report tabled recently before the finance and procurement committee revealed Mpisane’s company Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport was awarded three section 36 contracts between July last year and March this year relating to an Umlazi housing project.

Ethekwini municipality treasurer Krish Kumar said the contracts were as a result of an out-of-court settlement the city had with Zikhulise.

Mpisane took the city to court claiming that the project was stalled by city officials who questioned whether it should do business with a convicted person.

Mpisane has a 2005 conviction for VAT fraud.

The settlement allowed Mpisane to continue with the project, including new phases of construction.

Facing 53 charges of fraud
Kumar said the city was entitled to award the contracts, as Zikhulise was the original contractor and a decision was taken that it was appropriate for the company to continue with the project.

In May, Mpisane will stand trial for allegedly inflating invoices by more than R5-million to cut her tax bill.

She also faces 53 charges of fraud, forgery and uttering.

Shawn, one half of the controversial Mpisane couple, is accused of submitting false documents to obtain Construction Industry Development Board gradings, which were then used to obtain public works department tenders worth R140-million.

In February, Mpisane was arrested on allegations of fraud as the National Prosecuting Authority searched for assets worth R140-million.

The NPA at the time said luxury cars valued at around R22-million were seized from former Durban metro police officer Sibusiso Mpisane and his wife.

The cars included a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a Rolls-Royce Ghost, a Maserati, a Ferrari Scaglietti, a Porsche Cayenne Turbo and a Panamera Turbo, two armoured BMW 5 Series and two Hummers, the authority said in February.

In another case she is also charged with corruption for allegedly trying to persuade a state witness in one of her tax fraud cases to tamper with evidence. – Sapa


The Times: R140m in former Durban cop’s assets attached by Asset Forfeiture Unit

R140m in former Durban cop’s assets attached by Asset Forfeiture Unit

The Asset Forfeiture Unit was on Wednesday morning attaching assets worth R140 million from former Durban metro police officer Sibusiso Mpisane, the Hawks said.

“The AFU together with the Hawks are executing a court order now. The assets are deemed as proceeds of a crime,” spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko said.

Mpisane allegedly misrepresented his construction company to the Construction Industry Development Board by submitting fraudulent gradings.

“He in turn won construction tenders worth R140 million.”

Mpisane became a millionaire after securing construction tenders to build low-cost government houses.

His wife, Shawn, who has been convicted of tax fraud, is on trial for tax evasion in the Durban Regional Court.

She is accused, among other things, of inflating invoices by more than R5 million to cut her tax bill. She has pleaded not guilty.

The Times: Shack fires leave six dead, 360 displaced

Shack fires leave six dead, 360 displaced

Six people have died and more than 360 were displaced after fires that ravaged parts of the country this week, according to various officials.

The deadly blazes were mostly shack fires.

On Sunday, three people including a toddler died when their shack caught fire in Lerato Park, Roodepan, in the Northern Cape.

The owner of the shack said he was at his neighbour when his home was gutted by fire, said Lieutenant Andrea Cloete.

The shack owner’s girlfriend, 34, their three-year-old daughter, and the girlfriend’s 62-year-old mother were inside.

Cloete said an inquest docket has been opened.

In the Western Cape, two people were killed when their homes caught fire in separate incidents in Khayelitsha on Sunday morning.

Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, spokesman for Cape Town metro’s disaster risk management centre, said the one fire was caused by a falling candle, while the cause of the second blaze was unknown.

Two other fires on Sunday morning destroyed two other houses in the same area, with sixteen people left homeless.

In Durban on Sunday, twenty shacks were destroyed at the Kennedy Road settlement in Clare Estate.

On Saturday a man died when his shack in Parkwood, in Mitchell’s Plain in Cape Town, caught alight.

Dozens of people were left homeless, as well as others due to fires in Philippi and Mfuleni, in Cape Town.

Meanwhile, residents in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro were advised to beware of veld fires, which began on Sunday.

Spokeswoman Martie Nel said there was a major fire in veld in Sardina Bay, in Port Elizabeth, on Sunday afternoon.

“Fire fighters are battling with the fire now, they actually brought it under control.”

She said there was no risk to life or property.

On Monday, 320 people were displaced when 80 shacks were destroyed by fire in Cape Town in separate incidents.