E Cape health MEC shown the door

E Cape health MEC shown the door

Eastern Cape MEC, Sindiswa Gomba, has been fired.

She, however, remains a member of the Eastern Cape provincial legislature.

Premier Oscar Mabuyane announced the decision during a press briefing on Thursday.

It followed mounting pressure for Gomba’s removal from office.

Gomba has expressed shock and hurt over her sacking.

The former MEC is one of the 11 people who are facing fraud charges over the Nelson Mandela funeral scandal.

They are accused of siphoning R10 million from the Buffalo City Municipality by flouting tender processes during the funeral in 2013.

The suspects are all out on bail and are expected back in court on March 5.

She is also implicated in the controversial procurement of scooters ambulances that were found not to be fit for purpose.

Cooperative Governance MEC, Xolile Nqatha, is acting in her former portfolio.

Phuti Ramara’s alleged killer to appear in court

Phuti Ramara’s alleged killer to appear in court

The 35-year-old man accused of raping and killing 21-year-old Phuti Ramara is due to appear in the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

The suspect was nabbed on December 28 while on his way to Soweto from Tembisa.

He had apparently planned to cross the border to Lesotho.

The suspect was the last person to be seen with Ramara before her naked body was discovered at an open field in Protea Glen Extension 31 in the early hours of December 7.

It was suspected that she had been strangled with her pants.

Below is an interview with the Ramara family on the murder. – Report by Jozi FM’s Moshe Maswanganyi

Musina Spar manager, security guard charged with GBH for allegedly setting customer alight

Musina Spar manager, security guard charged with GBH for allegedly setting customer alight

The Spar that is at the centre of the burning of a customer in Musina, Limpopo, has resumed operating.

The store went back to business on Monday following talks with local leaders of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Local red berets’ leader Alpheus Mamafa was instrumental into Svodai Mugumbo’s rescue.

The store manager allegedly doused Mugumbo with methylated spirit and his security guard colleague then set her on fire for allegedly stealing from the shop.

Mamafa has told Local Voices that they found the woman with the security guard who was putting bandage on her wounds while trying to convince her not to go to hospital.

Three men, including the security guard and the manager, have been arrested for the crime.

Radali Norman, Tshikwatamba Vhutshilo and John Vanloggerenber appeared in the Musina Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

Limpopo Police Spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe says they were charged with grievious bodily harm (GBH) and were each granted R1 000 bail.

They are due back in court next week Thursday.

Mamafa is urging retailers not to take the law into their own hands when dealing with people who they suspect of theft.  

“We as the EFF are all over – we are watching this thing. Shops must not take the law into their hands. They must report such incidents to the police; otherwise as EFF will tackle them if they violate people’s human rights,” he says.

Mamafa says COVID-19 restrictions have made it difficult for community members to go visit Mugumbo in hospital.

However, they plan assisting her with some essential necessities once she is discharged from hospital.

Woman set on fire at a Musina Spar

Woman set on fire at a Musina Spar

A manager at a Spar in Musina, Limpopo, will be appearing in the local magistrate’s court for the assault of a woman accused of theft.

The suspect allegedly doused Svodai Mugumbo with methylated spirit and his colleague, who works as a security guard, then set her on fire.

“Her entire body was burnt even the private parts,” the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in the area, Alpheus Mamafa, told Local Voices.

He says the store officials tried to hide the incident.

“When I heard about this matter, I rushed to the store and I was told that the security guard took her away. I managed to find them and he was putting bandages on her – convincing her not to go to hospital,” Mafama says.

“We are not condoning stealing but proper procedures must be followed. They shouldn’t have taken the law into their own hands,” he adds.

The EFF leader says immediately ordered that the store and called the police.

The manager is behind bars and Mamafa says they also want the security guard arrested.

The store remains closed, pending talks with management.

The negotiations are scheduled for Thursday.

The victim is recuperating in hospital.

The Meyiwa 5 heads to court amid calls for arrest of mastermind in soccer star’s killing

The Meyiwa 5 heads to court amid calls for arrest of mastermind in soccer star’s killing

All eyes are on the Boksburg Magistrate Court, in Ekurhuleni, where five suspects in the murder of Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa will be appearing on Tuesday.

The accused were arrested on Monday, the same day Meyiwa was killed six years ago.

Police have hailed the breakthrough as a result of a multi-disciplinary integrated approach.

They say they worked closely with the Directorate for Public Prosecutions.

Police suspect that the murder was premeditated with Police Minister, saying more arrests are imminent.

AfriForum has hailed this breakthrough as historic.

“In this day we will remember it’s 6 ago when the tragedy happened. Senzo Meyiwa was brutally murdered and since then I think people in the country have wanted to see justince being done. I think its significant that now we are seeing justice being done.”

The organisation’s private prosecuting unit assisted the police in the matter.

Private prosecutor Gerrie Nel says they will be pushing for the arrest of the mastermind behind the murder.

The Meyiwas are also anxious to see the person behind the murder put behind bars.

Meyiwa’s brother, Sfiso told the media on Monday: “Although we are grateful of the arrest made, we remain anxious that the mastermind was not arrested.”

However, he says, they remain hopeful that more arrests will follow soon.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated the South African Police Service for the breakthrough.

“Today is a day on which we revisit the sadness that affected millions of us as South Africans when we lost Senzo Meyiwa in 2014. But this anniversary is mitigated by the arrest of five suspects who have been unable to escape the reach of the law, regardless of the passage of time. We congratulate the police for their hard work and persistence. We must now allow the criminal justice system and the judiciary to do their work and handle this matter to finality,” the President said in a statement.

Two of the suspects were nabbed in Gauteng while the other three were found in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Orlando Pirates goalkeeper was killed in October 2014 at his girlfriend’s home in Vosloorus, in Ekurhuleni.

The slow pace in apprehending his killers drew the ire of many South Africans as he had allegedly been shot in full view of his girlfriend, singer Kelly Khumalo, her sister, the sister’s then boyfriend who is said to be Chicco Twala’s son – Longwe, and the women’s mother.

Longwe was accused of having pulled the trigger, a claim he has denied.

There were also allegations of a possible police cover-up.

Meyiwa’s father died with a broken heart in July last year, calling for justice for his son.

Axed DA Gauteng MPL didn’t leak information to me: Malema

Axed DA Gauteng MPL didn’t leak information to me: Malema

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has rejected the Democratic Alliance’s claims that axed Gauteng MPL Nkele Molapo leaked information to his party.

Last week, DA Gauteng chairperson Mike Moriarty said Molapo had been booted out of the party for giving the red berrets the party’s Tshwane caucus information.

“We have never spoken to her. I do not know her. I saw a headline that says a person has been expelled because she gave Malema information of the DA. No, the person who gives me the information of the DA is White; it is not a Black person. So, we are dealing with Whites who are concerned there at the DA that this thing is becoming racist and they are not racist. I have given some of them forms so I hope they will come soon. Very prominent Whites,” he told journalists at a press briefing in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

Molapo is also not rolling over and playing dead.

She is taking the party to court.

“After studying the DA’s irrational ruling and obtaining legal opinion on the same, I have decided to file for a review in the court of law, so as to have my case heard by an unbiased, fair and just body. After subjecting myself to all internal processes, approaching the court of law naturally becomes the next step,” she says in a statement.

Molapo says the notion that DA’s internal disciplinary hearing panels are firewalled against politics is a lie.

“Not only is the chairperson of the Federal Legal Commission (FLC) a member of the DA in Tshwane (Gauteng North region) but the chairperson of the panel that heard my appeal is married to a member of the DA in the same region. Both are au fait with the politics in the region.”

She believes that her disciplinary process was biased, unfair and its outcome was predetermined.

The Democratic Alliance is yet to respond to the developments. Acting DA Gauteng Communications Manager, Charity McCord, has told Local Voices that the party is still deliberating on the matter.

Molapo is also embroiled in a sexual harrasment tussle with the DA’s interim Gauteng leader and former Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga. She says the matter is with the police.

Msimanga has denied sexually harrassing Molapo and has laid a crimen injuria case against her.

EFF councillor accused of assaulting cops released on warning

EFF councillor accused of assaulting cops released on warning

EFF PR councillor in Alexandra Moshe Mphahlele (35) has been released on warning from police custody.

He was arrested on Monday following a scuffle at the Alexandra Police Station.

Mphahlele appeared before the Alexandra Magistrate Court on Tuesday afternoon on charges of intimidation, assault, public violence and interfering with police work.

During an interview with the Alex Reporter after his release, the EFF councillor said he didn’t know or understand why he was arrested.

“We had brought the suspected rapist to the police station to be arrested, however the officers did not arrest him instead he was told to sit down in the charge office, we then asked why he was not arrested. Then an argument broke out between officers and the angry residents.”

Mphahlele says he was pepper-sprayed by the police during the scuffle.

“One officer threatened to strike the residents with a chair and then one of the residents poured water onto the officers and we got pepper sprayed. I could not see.”

His version of events are however different from those articulated by Alexandra police spokesperson, Sergeant Simphiwe Mbatha, while confirming Mphahlele’s arrest on Monday.

Mbatha told the Alex Reporter that: “Suspect together with a group of residents stormed our police station on Sunday demanding the release of a suspect accused of rape. I can confirm that a 35-year-old man is in police custody for assaulting our officers and staff members.”

Mphahlele has meanwhile dismissed claims that his arrest was politically motivated.

He is due back in court on 18 November.

21 Giyani villagers to appear in court for mob justice

21 Giyani villagers to appear in court for mob justice

Twenty one community members of the Gandlanani Village, outside Giyani, in Limpopo will be appearing before the local magistrate’s court today.

The 20 men and one woman are part of a group of residents who are said to have assaulted and burnt a local businessman yesterday.

They are facing charges of murder, public violence, arson and malicious damage to property.

Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Mojapelo has told Local Voices that the accused were initially charged with attempted murder, but that has now been changed since the passing away of the deceased.

The suspects also allegedly torched four vehicles, a business office and a house belonging to the owner’s parents.

The angry crowd accused the businessman, who succumbed to his injuries in hospital overnight, of involvement in the disappearance of a local young man.

The community had apparently consulted with a local sangoma, who blamed the deceased and two of his employees for the teenager’s disappearance.

Brigadier Mojapelo says charges are also being formulated against the traditional healer.

Senekal court riot-accused granted bail

Senekal court riot-accused granted bail

The two men charged for the violence that broke out at the Senekal Magistrate’s Court two weeks ago will return to court next month.

They were both granted R15 000 bail on Monday.

Stephen Fourie appeared at the magistrate’s court after being arrested on Friday.

He has been charged with public violence, arson, malicious damage to property and attempted murder.

His co-accused was also released on R15 000 bail after petitioning the High Court in Bloemfontein.

Andre Pienaar escalated his quest for freedom to the court after Magistrate Buti Mlangeni rejected his bid, citing concerns of him possibly interfering with witnesses.

The two will appear before the Senekal Magistrate’s Court together when the case resumes on the 20th of November.

The state says they were part of a group of locals who gathered at the court when the alleged killers of 21-year-old farm manager, Brendin Horner, first appeared.

The locals torched a police vehicle, allegedly fired shots inside court and damaged a section of the courthouse when chaos broke out.

The state intends using a doctrine of common purpose in prosecuting the two.

16 suspected illegal miners arrested in Driekop, Limpopo

16 suspected illegal miners arrested in Driekop, Limpopo

Members of the Limpopo Provincial Organised Crime, Air-wing and Tactical Response Team (TRT) have arrested 16 suspects for illegal mining.

The arrests were made during an intelligence-led joint operation in the Driekop policing area, outside Bugersfort.

The police pounced on the suspects after receiving a tip-off about a group of suspects allegedly mining chrome illegally in the Driekop area.

Items worth R10 million were confiscated during the operation. They include three excavators, a Nissan NP200 bakkie; seven spades and five hammers.

The Provincial Commissioner of Limpopo Lieutenant General Neke Ledwaba has commended the police for acting swiftly to arrest the suspects.

The 16 men will appear before the Praktiseer Magistrate’s Court soon as police investigations continue.

According to independent investigative researcher and technical adviser on illicit artisanal mining, Alan Martin, about 30 000 illegal miners work in and around thousands of disused and active mines across South Africa.

In an ISS Today article published in 2019, Martin says the illegal miners, widely known as Zama Zamas, are organised by criminal syndicates, and cause considerable financial losses and security headaches to established, publicly listed companies.

At least R21 billion in sales, taxes and royalties are estimated to be lost through illegal mining annually.