Archive for January, 2014

Vacation/Demolisation of premises. Pic: eNCA

Vacation/Demolisation of premises. Pic: eNCA

SEBOKENG – A road development project in the Vaal region worth R22-million has been standing incomplete for more than a year.

On Monday morning more than 100 residents blocked entrances to the road from early in the morning and called on authorities to finish what they started.

Construction on the Eastern Bypass Road, which runs from Sebokeng through to Vereeniging, stopped after residents refused to relocate from houses that have been built on land demarcated as road.

Over the years locals have made extensions to their properties without complying with building regulations.
This is obstructing the development of the road, says an official at Emfuleni municipality, a stakeholder in the project.

“We have an extensive problem of people ignoring the authorities in terms of building, you just build on your stand, that’s not how things work. There are safety issues which need to be looked into and so on,” said Herman Sekoto, deputy municipal manager, economic development and planning at Emfuleni municipality.

The development is part of the Evaton regeneration project. Other stakeholders involved are the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements.

Members of the community have been issued with notices to relocate and demolish their properties but they are refusing to move, saying that their houses legally belong to them.

The Mgcina family has lived on Sebe Road in Sebokeng since the 1960s and has title deeds to prove that their houses legally belong to them.

All residents issued with notices have united and sought legal counsel to fight the demolition, although some say they are not opposed to relocation if certain conditions are met.

“You’ll never take out people from a house as big as this one and then put them in an RDP house. We refuse that, we’ll never allow that…we don’t say build them a mansion, but build them houses that are suitable that they can sit, that they can give dignity,” resident John Mgcina said.

Protesters also used their action to sing songs calling for change. “Phansi, Zuma” was chanted loudly in between dancing and marching to different locations.

“We are going to vote but we want to make sure that when we cast our vote we want to know that the leadership that is elected are the best leaders,” said Vusi Moris.

A 22-year-old sportsman who wished to remain anonymous said that seeing President Jacob Zuma on television all weekend during the ANC’s centenary celebrations was insulting.

“I was shocked with the face. It was Zuma again. They don’t see us, they underestimate us actually because how can you put someone who was booed at Mandela’s memorial service as the face again?”

“Everybody knows we want him off the President’s seat,” said the young man.

The community says they plan to continue protesting until authorities respond with a plan of how and when they are going to finish the road project.


A brick that is believed to have been used to batter five members of a family. Photo: Itumeleng English

A brick that is believed to have been used to batter five members of a family. Photo: Itumeleng English

Johannesburg – A bloodied brick was at the bottom of the cream enamel wash basin.

On Sunday, the relatives of two dead women and a child and two critically injured cousins tried to wash the blood off it, but some stubborn bloodstains remained at the corners of what the police say was the murder weapon.

A 27-year-old relative of the victims has been arrested and is now the subject of a police investigation for allegedly “hacking his victims with an axe on their heads”, according to an official police statement.
Munu Motloung, an aunt of the suspect, said: “He killed the people who loved him the most.”

She was sitting with eyes cast down during the interview, staring at a stack of pictures of her dead relatives.
They were murdered in the early hours of on Sunday, allegedly with the crude weapon.

Members of the Motloung family – Puleng, 67, Mantsu, 29, and her nephew, 7-year-old Kgalalelo – died.

The man’s two cousins, aged 18 and 15, were critically injured and were in Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.

Onica Motloung was among the first relatives called to the Orange Farm house.

“When I got here at around 6.30am, there were police and paramedics. I was scared, and when I walked inside, I started crying,” the visibly traumatised woman said.

“There was blood everywhere, they were all in one room and there was blood everywhere.” Puleng – believed to be the first to be struck – was rushed to Sebokeng Hospital. Onica was in the ambulance with her.

“She wasn’t talking; she was just quiet, but was still alive. When we got to the hospital, she had lost too much blood and she died.”

Mantsho and the man who killed her were very close, to the point where she was overprotective, as he had no other friends apart from her, Motloung said.

And, as the family tried to piece together what could have pushed the quiet loner, who often got aggressive when drunk, to the brink, a crinkled brown envelope in his bag presented some clues.

A paragraph of apparently cryptic thoughts scribbled on it, allegedly by the 27-year-old, reads: “Is someone like me allowed to join the Illuminati? Any suitable person can join, but to prove that you are suitable involves a long arduous process. We must ensure that the enemy does not infiltrate us, it would be a catastrophe for the human race.”

A Google search showed the piece was cribbed from a website apparently on the workings of the Illuminati (a shadowy secret society).

Motloung said the suspect was a troubled man who had tried to commit suicide three times in previous years. The man lived in Tembisa with his parents, who, she said, were traumatised and in shock.

“They say at his home that when he’d get upset, he would tie elastic bands tightly around his wrists.” In the afternoon, most of the furniture from the rooms the dead women slept in was taken out and placed in the yard in observance of traditional township mourning rites.

Residents and churchgoers streamed in to offer their prayers and condolences.

The 27-year-old – who had fled the scene – was arrested in Tembisa.

Gauteng police spokeswoman Captain Augustinah Selepe said: “The motive behind the incident is still under investigation.

The suspect is expected to appear in the Vereeniging Regional Court on Tuesday, police have said.


FROM LEFT: SABC’s first black female TV news anchor Alyce Chavunduka and Sydney Matlhaku the first black chief subeditor in South Africa.

FROM LEFT: SABC’s first black female TV news anchor Alyce Chavunduka and Sydney Matlhaku the first black chief subeditor in South Africa.

* Former Sowetan senior editor Sydney Matlhaku died on Saturday from a pulmonary embolism. He fell and broke a femur in his right leg on Christmas Day, and had been in Flora Clinic in Florida, Johannesburg, until he was discharged on Saturday. His death occurred on the same day he was discharged.

Born on August 10 1940 Matlhaku was the first black chief subeditor in South Africa. Having worked for The World newspaper and also held senior technical and editorial management positions at The Post and Sowetan until his retirement.

* The SABC’s first black female TV news anchor Alyce Chavunduka has died at the age of 46. The TV and radio personality passed away at the weekend after she collapsed on New Year’s Eve at her Johannesburg home. She was found unconscious and rushed to hospital where she spent a week in coma before her death on the weekend.

Chavunduka was a news presenter on the national broadcaster’s main channel, then called TV1, she also featured on Talk Radio 702 and 94.7 Highveld Stereo.

May their souls rest in peace as they spare us a space in heaven’s newsroom!