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The Witness
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2016 R6,50 (incl vat)
Thieves nab stereo and torch car
Woodlands family under attack
A FAMILY of six were awoken in the early
hours of yesterday morning by an infer­
no outside when thieves who had broken
into a car on their property, set it alight.
The blaze was so fierce that it blocked
their front door and the family, including
an eight­month­old baby, were forced to
escape through the bedroom window to
Neal Wood, of Woodlands Extension,
said the “whoosh” sound of the car
catching alight under his carport woke
him and his family at around 3 am.
Wood said he and his wife, Sharon,
saw the flames emerging from under
their carport and reaching the roof of
their house.
The vehicle was badly burnt and the
walls and windows of the house were
covered in soot.
When The Witness arrived at the
house in Enoch Sontonga Road yester­
day, the plastic gutters were melted and
the windows were cracked from the heat
of the fire.
Sharon, surrounded by neighbours,
said her first thought was to save her four
children. “I have never prayed like this
in my life. I climbed out with my children
and just ran up towards the road and
started screaming for help,” she said.
According to Sharon, the flames were
Woodlands resident Neal Wood escaped out of his bedroom window with his wife and children after thieves set his client’s vehicle alight yesterday.
Thieves target home eight times in two years
The house had
one attempted
The garage was
broken into
five times
The vehicles were
broken into twice
“miraculously” doused by neigh­
bours with their hosepipes.
“This car had petrol in it and prob­
ably had petrol poured on it. The
flames were so high, it is a miracle
that water alone put out that fire.
Usually the fire department comes
with foam, but the neighbours had
already put the fire out by the time
they arrived,” she said.
This incident marked the seventh
break­in on the Woods’ property in
two years, with an eighth attempted
break­in in this period.
Previously their garage was broken
into five times and a car was also bro­
ken into.
“We only realised it was a break­in
after we noticed the car’s windscreen
was neatly cut out and left at the side
of the house. When we looked into
the burnt car for the remains of the
speakers and amplifier, we noticed
they weren’t there,” Wood said.
Wood, who buys and sells vehicles,
said the vehicle that was set alight
belonged to a customer.
He said he had recently invested
over R8 000 to get the vehicle to a
pristine state to sell it.
“I am running at such a loss and
I have no idea what I am going to
do. I will not make that R8 000 back
and now I have to pay the customer
for the vehicle. I cannot afford this.”
Wood said the family were left
traumatised after the incident, and
his children had not attended school
yesterday. “We need to get out of
here. I cannot raise my children here.”
He described crime in the area as
“terrible” and said break­ins hap­
pened almost daily. “This is too
much for my kids and my family. The
break­ins also happen during the day.
Another big problem is that pupils
are being robbed as they walk home
from school.”
uMgungundlovu North Cluster
spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim
said a case of theft out of motor vehi­
cle and malicious damage to proper­
ty would be investigated by the
Mountain Rise police station.
“The matter is under investigation
and the suspects are unknown at this
stage,” she said.
• [email protected]
Rio stars receive heroes’ welcome
Chad le Clos hugs Caster Semenya while medallists Henri Schoeman (left front) and Cameron van der Burgh (left back) look on after they arrived from the Olympics at the O.R Tambo international Airport yesterday. The team returned with 10 medals and received a heroes’ welcome from fans who gathered at the airport. Report, more pictures: page 8
Sigh of relief for Umgeni after reservoirs stabilise
RESIDENTS and businesses were on
high alert yesterday following the an­
nouncement that Umgeni Water was
shutting down the supply of water to
much of the city for 30 hours to perform
maintenance. Although Msunduzi water and sanita­
tion manager Brenden Sivparsad said his
team was prepared for the shutdown and
had enough water to service the city,
some areas still ran drastically low. The Eastwood reservoir dropped to
10% by yesterday afternoon, which re­
sulted in some homes in the suburb go­
ing without water for a few hours. Sivparsad said they would try to redi­
rect water from nearby reservoirs to as­
sist with the Eastwood situation. The Belfort reservoir, which feeds
Eastwood, Murray Road and Copesville,
was also running low at 36%. “We are fairly concerned about East­
wood and the industrial area, as those
areas are drawing a lot of water. We are
managing the system as best as we can,”
Sivparsad said. He said he was also concerned about
the balancing reservoir that feeds Prest­
bury, as “that usually runs low towards
the afternoon”. However, Sivparsad said last night all
THE closing date for entries to The Witness True Stories of KZN is at 3 pm today, leaving just hours to send us your story that proves KwaZu­
lu­Natal is unique, more special and infinitely more interesting than the rest of South Africa. Now in its 18th year, the competition has four
categories: Open — with a prize of R12 000 for stories of 1 500 words or fewer, and Snapshot, Schools and Opinion, which have a prize of R4 000 each and are for stories that are under 800 words. The winners will be announced in No­
vember. All stories must be true and have a strong link to KwaZulu­Natal.
• State clearly which category you are entering.
• Stories may be submitted via e­mail or post. Send your entries to: The Witness True Stories of KwaZulu­Natal Competition, P.O. Box 362, Pieterma­
ritzburg, 3200, or e­mail [email protected] quoting “True Story competition” in the subject reservoirs were stable and he ap­
plauded residents for heeding the
call to use water conservatively.
He said the team had been con­
sidering shutting down reservoirs
from 10 pm to 3 am in order to
conserve water for today, but there
was no need to take that action
since the reservoirs had stabilised
by 7.30 pm. “Our main concern was that we
wanted residents to wake up with
water running in their taps. The
pressure may be low, but there
should be water in all areas,” Siv­
parsad said. Umgeni Water scheduled a core
maintenance operation from 8 am
yesterday which is expected to last
up to 30 hours. Spokesperson Sha­
mi Harichunder said the planned
shutdown of the Midmar Water
Treatment Works would enable
Umgeni Water to enhance the sus­
tainability of water supply to its
customers. He too urged residents
to use water conservatively. The following areas, in addition
to Msunduzi, are affected by the
Midmar Water Treatment Works:
Swayimane, Bruynshill, Wart­
burg, Dalton, New Hanover, Trust
Feed, Mpolweni and Richmond.
• Do not enclose visuals.
• Please include your contact details in any e­mail attachment; not just in the message field.
• Be sure of your entry before you send it — “improved” versions won’t be accepted.
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• The competition is not open to salaried employees of The Witness.
Distribution: 033 355 1366
General: 033 355 1111
Fax: 033 355 1122
Website: www.witness.co.za
Letters: [email protected]
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Hawks summon Gordhan
CAPE TOWN — The African Na­
tional Congress (ANC) reformists
who were seeking to stave off a rat­
ings downgrade have been dealt a
major blow by news that Finance
Minister Pravin Gordhan must
present himself at the Hawks tomor­
row. That is the conclusion of econo­
mists Dawie Roodt and Peter Mon­
talto, as well as political commenta­
tor Daniel Silke yesterday.
The rand has fallen nearly 3,57%
to R13,90 and is at a three­week low
as a result of the news. “This is very
bad news for us,” said Roodt. “The
rand is reacting badly. This is not
good for us.” Nomura emerging markets econo­
mist Montalto told Fin24 that the
rand will hit R17/$ by the end of the
year. “There is no way the SARB will
cut in a political climate like this,” he
said yesterday.
Treasury confirmed that Gordhan
was summoned to “present” himself
to the Hawks by 10 am tomorrow,
EWN reported. Former SARS deputy
commissioner Ivan Pillay, group ex­
ecutive Johann van Loggerenberg,
spokesperson Adrian Lackay and ini­
tial head of the investigative unit An­
dries van Rensburg were also asked
to report to the Hawks, Daily Maver­
ick reported.
President Jacob Zuma is not di­
rectly linked to who the Hawks are
investigating, but political analysts
believe the investigation has a politi­
cal dimension to it ahead of next
year’s ANC elective conference. It al­
so comes as those in the anti­Zuma
faction attempt to keep SA from slid­
ing into junk status, which would be
disastrous for the country as an in­
vestment destination and would see
an increase in inflation and unem­
Silke said South Africa is “entering
a danger zone for the reformers”. “We knew it would come down to
the reformers to really act and pro­
vide concrete measures for ratings
agencies not to downgrade us later
this year,” he said. “These look like
they are conflicting with those with
who retain the status quo, Zuma and
his inner circle.”
Silke said the election put this all
on ice, and with the dust hardly set­
tling it has started again. Montalto
agreed. “It’s a pipe dream that the
elections are positive for SA in the
short to medium run,” he said.
“The status quo survives and
means … patronage and low growth.
That is not positive.”
Roodt pointed to an announce­
ment on Monday that Zuma would
head up the state­owned entities
(SOE), which means he is taking
power away from Deputy President
Cyril Ramaphosa and Gordhan’s
Treasury. “He is cutting out Cyril and
Treasury,” said Roodt. “It makes
sense. The plan fits together. What
we have here is a Zuma who is panick­
ing. This is fairly forceful stuff.”
The potential arrest of Gordhan
would be a disaster for South Africa,
the DA warned yesterday. — Fin24.
NEW MOON: September 1
FIRST QUARTER: September 9
FULL MOON: September 16 Fire Brigade: 0800 033 911 Flying Squad: 10111 Crime Stop: 08600 10111 Traffic Mpimpa Hotline: 086 221 1011 Aids Hotline: toll­free 0800 012 322 Gift of the Givers Careline:
0800 786 786
Alcoholics Anon: 086 143 5722 Al­Anon and Alateen: 083 415 1717
Famsa PMB: 033 342 4945 Famsa DBN: 031 202 8987
Lifeline and rape crisis (24­hrs) PMB: 033 394 4444 Lifeline and rape crisis (24­hrs) DBN: IN AN EMERGENCY AMBULANCE
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Childline: 0800 055 555 Gay & Lesbian Helpline: 086 033 3331 Gamblers Anon PMB: 033 387 5462 Gamblers Anon DBN: 031 463 1616
Forest Fires PMB: 0861 KZNFPA
Safe City report crime via SMS PMB: 083 767 7233
911 Control Centre, PMB: 033 391 1911
SPCA PMB: 033 386 9267 SPCA DBN: 031 579 6500
NSRI: 031 361 8567
Call Centre: 0800 001 868 Water: 033 392 2128 Electricity: 033 392 5098/ 5096/5029 After­hours number: 033 392 5098 Traffic lights: 033 392 2205 Roads damage: 033 392 2047, 033 392 2059 EMERGENCY CHEMISTS
Albert Falls Dam
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Information supplied
by Umgeni Water.
Scottsville: 033 386 1029 Central: 033 342 1200/
033 346 0550
Northdale: 033 387 1681 POWERBALL
13 19 26 43 + 8
‘The Witness’ IN YOUR POCKET
News, sport, photo galleries, videos and more.
Mayor delay for town Meeting to elect Newcastle mayor rescheduled after crowd storms hall
THE mayoral chains left by outgoing
Newcastle mayor Afzul Rehman, the
winner of four KZN Municipal Excel­
lence Awards, remain hanging at the
council chamber.
Although all other local municipali­
ties in the province have elected their
new mayors and councils, Newcastle has
failed to elect Rehman’s replacement.
Rehman, who has served two terms
as mayor and is ineligible to return, is
likely to be elected the speaker of the Am­
ajuba District council tomorrow.
The ANC’s Newcastle mayoral candi­
date, MPL Makhosini Nkosi, will have
to wait for another day as the infighting
in the party continues.
Newcastle had been scheduled to hold
its first council meeting last Thursday,
but it was postponed to Monday.
The rescheduled meeting also ended
before starting as it failed to reach a quo­
rum. ANC councillors, who form the
majority of the council with 41 of the
67 seats, did not show up.
The Witness understands that munic­
ipal manager Errol Mswane proposed a
10­minute wait to buy time for the meet­
ing to reach a quorum.
However, before the 10 minutes could
lapse, things took a chaotic turn when
a large contingent of people clad in ANC
regalia stormed the town hall.
The crowd demanded to be let into
the already packed hall, and the security
was forced to bar the door to prevent
forced entry.
The ANC councillors were not happy
with the names proposed by their party
for the position of speaker, and said the
mayoral candidate, Nkosi, had also been
imposed on them.
They said those recommended for the
speaker’s position had been running the
Amajuba District when it received a neg­
ative audit report.
The meeting had to be adjourned after
opposition councillors said they no
longer felt safe as irate residents contin­
ued shouting and banging on the hall’s
Municipalities were given 14 days aft­
er the local government elections to bid
farewell to non­returning councillors,
and to hold elections for official posi­
tions including those of speaker and
• [email protected]
The odd couple
A tiger yawns while a piglet stands beside it at Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Chonburi province, Thailand.
cussing the possibility of an early elective conference, its secretary­gen­
eral Gwede Manta­
she said yesterday.
“It’s not a bad
idea … it is actually
being discussed in
various structures of
whether it should
be done,” he told
reporters in Johan­
The ANC Youth
League first mooted
the idea shortly aft­
er the local govern­
ment elections, de­
manding an over­
haul of the party’s
KwaZulu-natal christian council (KZncc)
leadership structures
after it lost three
key metros before
December 2017.
venue: Marianhill, Retreat House, Pinetown
Mantashe said if
25 August 2016
the elective confer­
time: 09h00 AM – 16h00 PM
ence were to hap­
pen before Decem­
enquiries to: Dr. Douglas Dziva ceo
ber 2017, it would
have to reconcile
KZn christian council (KZncc)
differences in the
083 735 3003
ANC’s structures.
[email protected]
— News24.
Inchanga police still on high alert after killings POLICE are on high alert in Inchanga
after 41 people arrested on charges of
public violence appeared in the Camp­
erdown Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
The arrests were made on Monday
after two murders, apparently perpe­
trated by rival political factions, rocked
the community. Police spokesperson Lieutenant­
Colonel Shooz Magudulela described
the actions of a mob on Monday as a
“rampage” following the shooting
death of 40­year­old Nonsikelelo Blose
on Sunday. “Five houses were torched
during the violent protest action. A 38­
year­old, Xolani Ngcobo, was attacked
while at his home. He was stoned and
shot dead,” he said. Blose’s murder is
being investigated by the Hawks and
two people had already been arrested.
Magudulela appealed to anyone with
information that could lead to the ar­
rest of suspects to contact Crime Stop
on 08600 10111. — News24. GREY’S NURSES IN A GREY AREA
20 yeArs
of KZncc
Night staff nurses at Grey’s Hospital picketed outside the hospital yesterday demanding management pay them for their overtime hours worked. According to one of the nurses, management at Grey’s Hospital told nurses they would stop overtime payments and reduce working hours. However, nurses said this was against the Department of Public Service and Administration directive. The Department of Health did not respond to questions by the time of going to print last night. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
23 28 33 + 18
CAPE TOWN — EFF Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu said the party in­
tends to challenge some of Parlia­
ment’s new rules in court. Shivambu said the EFF did not
agree with some of the rules in the National Assembly, which it deemed unconstitutional. Speaker Baleka Mbete reminded
the sitting the new rules were adopted before Parliament went on recess in May, and yesterday’s sit­
ting was held in accordance with the new rules. She called on MPs to be patient and said there would be a period of adjustment. “This House must note that al­
though you have adopted [the rules] like you did with the Nkand­
la report, we are going to take it to court and will come back to draft proper rules,” Shivambu said. Mbete thanked him for the no­
tice given. Parliament drafted and adopted the new rules, which were largely intended to deal with dis­
ruptions and violence in the House. EFF MPs had repeatedly tried to
stop President Jacob Zuma from speaking, and Mbete had resorted to calling in Parliament’s security service to forcibly remove the EFF from the chamber. — News24.
DUT on edge over recent SRC elections
THE situation at the Durban Univer­
sity of Technology remains tense,
with student bodies, which have re­
jected the results of the recent SRC
elections, threatening mass action
should the university not heed their
call for a rerun.
SA Students’ Congress, the EFF
Students’ Command and DA Stu­
dents’ Organisation have all said the
elections, which were won by ANC
Youth League candidates, were
rigged. The ANCYL candidates had
contested the elections under the
banner of Sasco, against Sasco candi­
A Sasco member from the Mid­
lands campuses, who asked not to be
named, said one group of Sasco rep­
resentatives had been elected by the
ANC Youth League, and another had
been elected by Sasco itself, adding
that the elections at the institution
had been “abnormal”.
“First of all, we questioned why
the election processes were con­
trolled by the university’s student
governance department rather than
the IEC. How can the university ap­
point itself to preside over elections
that it has interest in?
“During the counting process, all
the party agents were kicked out at
Indumiso campus [in Imbali, Pieter­
maritzburg] after they had raised
concerns about the process. Only
one student organisation remained
in the voting centre after we were
forcefully removed from the venue.”
The student bodies have demand­
ed an “urgent” meeting with the uni­
versity’s management.
DUT student governance and de­
velopment manager Malusi Nxuma­
lo confirmed that the university
would meet the concerned student
movements today, when all objec­
tions would “be dealt with”. “The students are aware of the
process that needs to be followed and
they must lodge their complaints and
forward their evidence to the Elector­
al Commission,” he said.
Among other issues the student
leaders are expected to raise at the
meeting are allegations that ballot
boxes with marked votes were found
at the Ritson and Steve Biko campus­
es in Durban.
The student bodies also asked why
the IEC logo was blocked on all the
voting material.
Nxumalo said the IEC logo had
been blocked out because the organi­
sation does not preside over the uni­
versity’s SRC elections, but simply
provides the voting material.
“In terms of the electoral policy of
the Durban University of Technolo­
gy, the SRC elections are run by the
university’s Electoral Commission.
There is a memorandum of under­
standing between DUT and the IEC
to this effect,” he said.
• [email protected]
NEGOTIATIONS between the ad­
ministration and SRC at the Uni­
versity of KwaZulu­Natal continued yesterday, while the academic pro­
gramme was suspended for anoth­
er full day. Lectures were halted for most of
last week after unrest broke out on campuses in Pietermaritzburg and Westville. SRC deputy presi­
dent Sduduzo Khoza said that talks were ongoing. “There has been a mass gather­
ing due to a number of issues, in­
cluding fee increment, residences and NSFAS online applications at the Pietermaritzburg campus and Westville campus,” he said. “As student leadership and man­
agement, we decided to suspend academic activities until the nego­
tiations are accomplished, which is to also for the safety of the UKZN community,” he added. — News24. 

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