Category: South Africa


Oscar Pistorius Verdict

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“If convicted of premeditated murder, Pistorius faces a mandatory life sentence, meaning he will be behind bars for 25 years before he can be considered for parole.

Masipa can also convict Pistorius of murder but without explicit premeditation, a lesser crime that still carries up to 20 years in jail. The sentence can be reduced on presentation of “substantial and compelling” circumstances.

If Masipa is not convinced of Pistorius’s intent to kill, he could still be jailed for culpable homicide based on negligent or reckless discharge of his 9mm pistol into the toilet door.

Culpable homicide carries a maximum of 15 years behind bars.

Alternatively, Masipa could accept Pistorius’s primary argument of “putative self-defence” – meaning that he fired into the door because he genuinely believed his life to be in danger from a perceived intruder – and acquit him.

In addition to the murder charge, Pistorius is accused of three lesser weapons offences: One count of illegal possession of ammunition and two counts of discharging a firearm in a public place.” 

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Oscar_Pistorius/Oscar-Pistorius-tense-as-judgment-looms-20140907

If you want to refresh your memory read this- http://www.enca.com/oscar-trial-13-big-inconsistencies

I’m not sure what time the verdict will be released, so I am going to post three helpful links which you can check for details on the verdict.

 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/all-about/oscar-pistorius
http://www.enca.com/coverage/oscar-pistorius-case
http://www.iol.co.za/news/special-features/oscar-pistorius

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The last time I blogged about mousebirds / muisvoels I got a good response in the comments section. I know very little about them except that they are insect eaters and as you can see in the photos taken this morning they love to perch with their stomachs facing the sun.

 

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Info from Wikipedia : Mousebirds are gregarious, again reinforcing the analogy with mice, and are found in bands of about 20 in lightly wooded country. These birds build cup-shaped twig nests in trees, which are lined with grasses. Two to four eggs are typically laid, hatching to give atricial young which develop quickly and soon leave the nest and acquire flight.

 

For the past week the morning air was filled with the sound of “kwe .. kwe”, “kwe .. kwe”, I blindly focused my camera into a far away tree where I could hear the bird song coming from and only when I downloaded it could I see the elusive Grey Loerie.  The Grey Loerie is a large bird and usually perches right at the top of the highest trees. The small berries on this tree might have enticed it to climb in amongst the branches.

 

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Info from Wikipedia: The grey go-away-bird (Corythaixoides concolor), also known as grey lourie,grey loerie, or kwêvoël, is a southern African bird of uniform grey with black beak and strikingly pink gape. It is widespread in savanna woodland, a clumsy flier though extremely agile in clambering through tree crowns. It has a distinctive loud alarm call “quare”, fancifully sounding like “go away”. The crest is raised when excited.

Its diet is mainly fruit (such as wild figs and berries), flowers, buds, leaves,termites, and snails. The habitat it occupies is dry open savanna woodlands, farms, parks, and suburban gardens, often near water.

 

Boksburg lake murderer

suitcase murder

 

Source newspaper clipping here

Selling stuff online.

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We decided two months ago to sell some stuff online. The reason being we need to downsize and move to a smaller place. It was a difficult decision because we are hoarders.
We have decided to sell everything we have not used in the past 18 years.
We were not sure where to start but after selling a few items this is what I have learnt:
We received more responses when we advertised on Olx but it was not possible to find our location on their standard advert form and I had to type it in under description and choose a town close to ours.
Gumtree has a more detailed town listing but not many genuine buyers responded.
We met some of the buyers at our places of work and so far everyone was polite and friendly.
Many people say they are interested and for some or other reason you hear nothing else from them.

Here is a fun advert. Enjoy your day!

CAPE TOWN – Sulking over a bike bought for love, one Cape Town man would like to trade in his two wheeler and girlfriend for a little bit of cash and perhaps a side serving of revenge.

This is not Gumtree’s first time being involved in a revenge case due to thwarted love. A year ago, another man in Cape Town sought to sell his half of the bed after he found out that his wife was cheating on him. It must be something in the water. 

 

 

gumtree140814bike2-jpg

http://ewn.co.za/2014/08/14/Selling-bicycle-and-girlfriend

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After having warmer winter days we suddenly woke to a chilly breeze this morning. Instead of doing some chores outside I decided to unpack a cupboard containing old handbags and shoes. I had packed the stuff there in 2000 when we moved into this house and never used them again.
We are preparing for our next move which will probably happen within the next two years and I decided to delve in and see what I could throw out. I put 10 pairs of shoes and some old children story books out onto the pavement and luckily they disappeared in 1 hour. Glad to be rid of that lot.
Then I found the handbag my parents had bought me in 1994. How do I know this you might ask … we’ll the original crumpled news paper was still inside to keep its shape.
I had a quick look at it to see the news on the day the newspaper was printed which was March 6, 1994.
The Gert van Rooyen case seemed to be one topic in the headlines. For those unfamiliar with Gert van Rooyen, he is a notorious South African alleged to be a paedophile, who shot his girlfriend and himself when police had them cornered but no one knows to this day what happened to the victims.
gert van rooyen 1
 RAPPORT NEWSPAPER CLIPPING 6 MARCH 1994
“Van Rooyen and his lover, Joey Haarhoff’s killing spree started in August 1988.
Tracy-Lee Scott-Crossley, 14, disappeared on her way to Cresta shopping mall in Randburg.
Two months later Fiona Harvey, 12, of Pietermaritzburg, disappeared. On June 7, 1989 Joan Horn, 12, of Pretoria, disappeared.
A 16 year old Durban girl, Janet Delport, escaped the couple’s clutches after she was abducted in a mall in July 1989.
On September 22, 1989, Kempton Park girls, Odette Boucher, 11, and, Anne-Mari Wapenaar, 12, went missing.
The saga, which gripped the nation’s attention finally came to an end in January 1990 when their final victim escaped from their home in Capital Park.
Joan Booysen, 16, was handcuffed, drugged, indecently assaulted and locked up but managed to escape. A few days later Van Rooyen shot Haarhoff, then himself during a police chase. “http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/ghost-of-paedophile-haunts-swartruggens-1.429874 
gert van rooyen 3

A psychic tried to help

Sacrificed to Satan

In Belinda’s mind there’s no doubt. The girls were sacrificed to Satan and their bodies incinerated afterwards.

Gert and Joey followed Satanism,” she tells the mothers. “They wanted young women for Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice, Equinox and Halloween festivals. You’ll find their disappearances are within a few days of these festivals. Satanists allow 48 hours either side for the rituals to take place.”The dates of five of the six girls? disappearances loosely correspond. The odd one out is Tracy-Lee Scott and police have always been sceptical that her case was linked to the rest.

Fiona Harvey went missing on 22 December 1988 (Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, which Satanists everywhere adhere to, is celebrated on 21 and 22 December), Joan Horn on 7 June (Summer Solstice is 21 and 22 June), Annemarie and Odette on 22 September 1989 (Equinox is on 22 September) and Yolande on 2 November (Halloween is on 31 October).

Easy target

“They were unable to find a girl to abduct for Halloween and that’s why poor Yolande was taken – a family member, an easy last-minute target,” Belinda says.

She says the girls were drugged with sleeping pills that Joey had been addicted to all her adult life. But their bodies were kept in perfect condition for the sacrificial ceremonies – they even had make-up put on in preparation.

“Belinda gives frustratingly little detail on how the girls were killed except to say they died peacefully before the “rest of the repulsive proceedings” took place. Afterwards Gert dug holes – although not on the premises where he and Joey lived.

“She opens her eyes and smiles. “But they want you to know their passing was not traumatic. Their consciousness left quickly.

Twisted sex ring

“For Babs the pain worsened when it emerged it was probably her own sister, Joey Haarhoff, who lured the young women into Gert’s twisted sex ring. But there was to be no closure because Gert shot Joey, then himself, as police closed in on them. They took their vile secrets to the grave.”  http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Psychic-sees-missing-girls-20030804

 

This mystery is no closer to being solved than it was in 1994.

On a lighter note an advert on the same front page of Rapport. I guess it is almost old enough to be a classic advert.

 

cigarette ad1 

The message loud and clear was that if you smoked these you would have a happy girlfriend and you would be a winning success at whatever you attempted.

A final story I came across while searching for facts on the case concerns Gert van Rooyen’s son.

“Gerhard van Rooyen, the son of notorious paedophile Gert van Rooyen, has been given a suspended sentence in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court for fraud.

“Van Rooyen (45) pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud, and was sentenced to five years in prison, wholly suspended on condition he repaid an amount of R241 800 owed to several plaintiffs, Beeld reported today.

“Van Rooyen’s lawyer, Donald du Plessis, told the court yesterday his client had found work as a debt collector, where he earned a salary of R25 000 a month, so he could repay the debt.

“It was the seventh time in Van Rooyen’s life that he was sentenced for criminal offences, ranging from theft to fraud and escaping from prison.

“Van Rooyen’s father, who committed suicide, was convicted of abduction and the sexual assault of two girls in 1979 and later linked to the disappearance of at least six girls in the late 1980s.
http://www.citypress.co.za/news/paedophiles-son-pay-back-stolen-money/

 

I would love to see some comments on the topic. Thank you for reading.
 

 

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Metal thieves ‘steal 10km of railway’
16 July 2014, Metal thieves in South Africa have stolen nearly 10km (6 miles) of working railway track, causing about $2.3m (£1.3m) of damage, it’s emerged.
rail-line-theft-in-south-africa
Chunks of track were stolen over the course of several months from a line used to take trains from Johannesburg to a depot in the town of Nigel, The Star newspaper reports.
Five men have appeared in court after being “caught in the act” by the security guards who patrol the track, the paper says.“They’re experts. They’re not making mistakes,” says Thumbu Mahlangu, a member of the local transport committee.
Rail spokesman Mike Asefovitz agrees: “These aren’t the little guys. To take this kind of weight and to cut it up you need specialised machinery.” The stolen rails are reportedly worth about $120,000 on the scrap metal market.
The theft has left 34 brand new train cars stuck at the maintenance plant just as they were due to be put into use, and the depot now fears for its future with about 700 jobs potentially at risk. In South Africa, metal theft is a serious problem costing the economy hundreds of millions of dollars a year. http://nehandaradio.com/2014/07/16/metal-thieves-steal-10km-railway/

Stolen track could cost R25m to replace

17 July 2014, The Ekurhuleni municipality will replace several kilometres of stolen Nigel railway track that could cost up to R25 million to rebuild. As five men were expected to apply for bail in connection with the theft on Thursday, the financial effect could also threaten hundreds of jobs and force a repair depot – which repairs Metrorail carriages – to close its doors.

rail theft

A meeting was held on Monday between the municipality, rail authorities, police and the repair depot to discuss how to fix the problem, after it emerged last week that up to 10km of railway line had been stolen by what appeared to be a highly professional gang of thieves. http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/stolen-track-could-cost-r25m-to-replace-1.1719941

 

Metal thieves almost leave city in the dark

25 Jan 2013, Durban – A crisis caused by metal thieves, which would have plunged Pietermaritzburg into darkness, was averted yesterday by municipal officials and Eskom, but the damage will cost R1 million to repair.

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The main power supply pylon to Pietermaritzburg, in Camps Drift, was tilting and, had it fallen, it would have taken days to restore the electricity supply.

Msunduzi spokesman Brian Zuma said the supporting steel bars which kept the pylon upright had been unbolted and stolen.

“Whoever was involved planned this carefully. They obviously brought along all the necessary equipment to remove the supporting crossing,” he said.

Employees of the electricity department noticed the pylon was tilting on Thursday. At first sight they thought heavy winds were to blame, but, on closer inspection, they saw the supporting structures were gone.

“We don’t know when this happened or if the thieves stole all the steel at once or came at different times,” he said.

He said the municipality had to deal with this kind of problem regularly.

“People don’t just steal electricity, they steal copper and all forms of metal which can be sold.

This is costing the municipality hundreds of thousands of rands,” he said.

As a result of ongoing copper theft in the city, certain suburbs were often without power.

The head of the electricity department, Sabatha Nomnganga, said that fixing the problem was a huge project which would cost about R1m.

“It will entail having to switch off electricity for short periods,” he said.

Eskom has undertaken to work at weekends to fix the problem.

A temporary structure has been put up to prevent the pylon from falling.

Zuma said the department and Eskom would exchange ideas on how to prevent this type of theft from taking place in future.

Vandalism for scrap metal was a widespread problem.

In Durban in June last year the M4 pedestrian walkway and concrete barrier along the uMngeni River bridge collapsed when thieves stole the stainless steel shackles that connected the supporting beams of the structure. http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/metal-thieves-almost-leave-city-in-the-dark-1.1458785

 

Collapsed pylons cause mass power outages

6 June 2014, JOHANNESBURG – City Power technicians are working to repair damaged pylons in Lenasia, with power outages experienced in a number of Gauteng suburbs.

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Lenasia residents have been warned they may be without electricity until Saturday afternoon.

City Power’s Louis Pieterse says cross members of pylons were stolen, causing the bolts to loosen at the base of a pylon, resulting in the collapse of one of them.

“The next pylon on the circuit also collapsed as a result of the strain.”

There are reports of several outages in many areas, including Eldorado Park, Freedom Park, Craighall Park, the Johannesburg CBD, as well as parts of Pretoria.

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At the same time, the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality is also working to restore power in the Springs CBD and industrial areas, which have been without power since the early hours of this morning.

Steel and cable theft has been identified as the cause of the power outages on the East Rand.

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Officials have not specified when power will be restored in the affected suburbs. http://ewn.co.za/2014/06/06/JHB-power-outages-City-Power-repairing-pylons

 

Soweto death toll could rise

26 June 2014, A group believed to be part of a gang of cable thieves were stripping the abandoned building in Power Park when it caved in.

metal building materials

Police are investigating the claim and may charge those rescued with cable theft.

It’s understood the owners of the building in Power Park opened a case with the police.

The police are trying to establish the identity of a fifth person whose body was found at a collapsed building in Soweto.

Police say a fifth body was recovered  by security guards who were patrolling the premises. http://ewn.co.za/2014/07/13/Building-collapse-Fifth-body-yet-to-be-identified

 


 


 

 

 

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