March, 2014


Your guide to stopping at roadblocks

A police force tainted by unscrupulous cops makes stopping at roadblocks nerve wracking and sometimes even dangerous. Knowing how to handle the situation can go a long way towards protecting yourself and your family. Howard Dembrovsky, the national chairperson of the Justice Project South Africa, advises the following: Only stop if it’s safe for you “If a roadblock has been set up late at night or in a secluded spot with no other vehicles

Big Tobacco in bed with SA law enforcement agencies

A probe into the tobacco industry can show how two companies have used their resources to influence SA state agencies to protect their interests. An amaBhungane investigation into the R5-billion-a-year illicit tobacco industry can reveal how two major multinational companies used their considerable resources to influence South African state security agencies to protect their commercial interests. In one case, controversial African conglomerate Lonrho was able to sidetrack a criminal investigation of its logistics subsidiary, Rollex, which in 2010 had been caught smuggling truckloads of illegal cigarettes across the border fromRead More

Hawks probe Tracker-SAPS ‘deal’

An 18-year relationship between Tracker and the SAPS is being investigated by the Hawks after a criminal case was opened against the company. Forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan opened a case at the Linden police station in February against the private vehicle tracking and recovery company as well as high-ranking police officers. In the statement, O’Sullivan alleges Tracker had benefited to the tune of R2.5 billion a year through the use of police resources to track its clients’ vehicles.

Police stole watch, bungled evidence at Pistorius home

Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial heard that police officers were clumsy with evidence and even stole a watch from the scene where Reeva Steenkamp was killed, in testimony from an ex-colleague. Former station chief Giliam van Rensburg, who retired from the police last year, testified that an officer stole a watch worth as much as $10,000, in a damning indictment of his ex-colleagues. The watch went missing while forensic experts were examining a blood-splattered box containing seven other timepieces and occurred even after Van Rensburg warned his staff against theft.

New Road is a crime hotspot

SMASH and grab incidents at the traffic light on the New Road offramp are common and resident Stancilla Freese was a victim in February. She hopes her story will help to caution more drivers. On 26 February at 9.10pm Freese stopped at the intersection.

Life in jail for killing cop, gangster

Capetonian Quinton Cordom was handed in effect two life terms on Monday for shooting dead a traffic officer and a rival gang member, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said. Provincial NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said 27-year-old Cordom was sentenced on 10 counts by the Western Cape High Court. He was handed two life terms to run separately for the murders, six years for gang offences and 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Pistorius breaks down as pathologist describes Reeva’s wounds

Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius cried in the dock on Monday as pathologist Gert Saayman described the head wounds of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius sat in the dock with his head bowed and his hands laced behind his neck. He was shaking as Saayman described how a bullet entered Steenkamp’s head in the right upper part, and ran under the skull before it exited from a second wound in the head.

Bargain of the year or a scam?

Ray-bans for R253 – bargain of the year, or a scam? Predictably, many have discovered that it’s the latter, among them Chantal Howse. She was recently sent a link by a friend to “the Ray-Ban SA site”, advertising huge discounts on Ray-Bans “for one day only”.

Another red flag raised in Sassa tender

Bidders were culled for not offering voice verification, which has not been used for two years In 2012, when the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) awarded a crucial social grants contract, its R10-billion decision turned mostly on a “key feature” – something that had been offered by just one of the bidders. The contract was for the payment of about 15-million government grants every month. The feature in question was biometric verification using voice or fingerprints for every payment to confirm that a beneficiary was alive and not aRead More

Waterkloof Two’s parole revoked for 12 months

After a video of them allegedly drinking alcohol and using a cellphone in prison surfaced, two of the Waterkloof Four will spend another year in jail. The parole of two of the Waterkloof Four was revoked by the parole board on Friday, the correctional services department said. The Correctional Supervision and Parole Board decided that Frikkie du Preez and Christoff Becker would only be due for further consideration for parole after spending another year in jail, spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said.

ANC funder probed

A multi-million rand contract awarded to ANC benefactor Robert Gumede’s company is now the subject of a Special Investigating Unit (SIU) probe authorised by President Jacob Zuma Zuma signed the proclamation for the SIU to investigate the tender awarded by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform to the billionaire’s JSE-listed IT firm, Gijima. The SIU will investigate the R360 million contract that Gijima has failed to complete despite the department paying it millions of rand.

McBride now Independent Police Investigative Directorate head

Robert McBride has been appointed the new head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), the police ministry said. “Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa today officially announced the appointment of Mr Robert McBride as the new executive director of the Ipid,” spokesman Zweli Mnisi said in a statement. His appointment would be effective from Monday. The Ipid has been without a permanent head for more than a year following the departure of Francois Beukman.

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