Don’t make yourself a target

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Captain Pinky Tsinyane explained, “Gauteng 10111 receives roughly 10 301 calls in 24 hours, and at the end of the month, the numbers do increase a lot. While 10111 does all it can to ensure complaints are attended to by police, community members are urged to take note that policing is everyone’s responsibility – be vigilant at all times.”

Residents can make communities safer by practicing the following:

  •  Never walk around alone and do not talk to strangers
  •  Be on the lookout for strange cars or people and avoid getting into vehicles of people you do not know
  • Walk in well-lit streets with other people around and in a group, if possible
  •  Make sure your home is secure and become a member of an armed response service. Be sure that you know all the emergency numbers or have them displayed in an accessible area
  •  Always let someone know where you are going and how long you will be gone. But think twice before advertising your impending absence on social media, criminals also have access to Facebook and Twitter
  •  Avoid using congested streets where you cannot even walk properly, that is where you will find criminals pickpocketing
  •  Avoid displaying valuables where criminals can see them.

http://rosebankkillarneygazette.co.za/170475/dont-make-yourself-a-target/

 

‘AN ATTACK ON THE POLICE IS AN ATTACK ON THE NATION’

JOHANNESBURG – As the Hawks probe the murder of one of President Jacob Zuma’s bodyguards, the watchdog says an attack on a police officer is an attack on the nation.

It’s understood 42-year-old sergeant Mzwakhe Magwaza, who was stationed at Nkandla and part of the presidential protection unit, was asleep when a group of men set his house alight yesterday morning before shooting him.

Hawks spokesperson Robert Netshiunda says a man hunt has been launched.

“The killing on one police officer is the killing of the entire service, because we are trying our best to protect the properties of the people and the state of the people. So when one member is killed, it affects the entire police force.”

At least 60 police officers have been killed in the past 12 months alone.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

OFF-DUTY COP SHOT DEAD IN KHAYELITSHA

Lauren Isaacs & Monique Mortlock

CAPE TOWN – An off-duty police officer has been shot and killed in Khayelitsha.

The constable was shot dead in Harare on Tuesday night.

It’s believed robbery was the motive.

The police’s Andre Traut says, “Last night at approximately 8pm, an off-duty police officer aged 37 was shot and killed while he was sitting in his private vehicle on the grounds of a primary school in Harare.”

Meanwhile, Bedfordview police are searching for a gang of men who opened fire on an Ekurhuleni Metro officer on Tuesday.

It’s understood the officer was approached on the corner of Van Buuren and Van der Linde by suspects carrying a nine millimetre pistol and an AK47.

They started shooting, but the officer managed to escape unharmed.

The police’s Mduduzi Nhlabathi says, “As soon as he saw that he was being shot at, he also shot them back. We’re investigating currently, and the motive is unknown.”

Drug addict jailed for partner’s murder

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October 26 2015 at 08:46pm
By Catherine Rice

Cape Town – The National Prosecuting Authority has welcomed the effective 25-year prison sentence handed down to a drug addict found guilty of murder.

The Western Cape High Court on Monday sentenced 25-year-old Gerhardus Joshua Albrecht to direct imprisonment after he entered into a plea bargain with the State.

Albrecht pleaded guilty to murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

He told the court that on Christmas day 2014 he visited his 62-year-old partner Ernest Will at his home to ask him for money.

The two started drinking, and an argument ensued.

Albrecht hit Will on the head with a porcelain dish, a bottle of brandy, a bottle of whiskey and a knobkierrie.

He then tied him up with a cellphone cable, gagged him and left him to die.

Albrecht then made off with Will’s necklaces, small earrings, antique coins, watches and his car, a Mazda Rustler.

He later sold the car to his drug dealer.

He was arrested on January 14, 2015.

Albrecht was sentenced to 25 years direct imprisonment for the murder and 15 years for the robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The judge ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said: “Criminals do not enter into a plea and sentencing agreement because they have become born agains. They are forced by the overwhelming evidence against them and realise that it would be difficult to escape their time in jail.”

 

Taking a proactive stance against crime

  / 26 October 2015 at 2:12pm

1632804275Murray William has a warning for anyone with ill-intent: We’re your worst nightmare because we’re highly active, committed citizens.

It’s Friday afternoon and my 13-year-old daughter asks me: “Dad, may we walk to the shop?” She and two same-aged friends. I wonder, then say yes.

Why would I say that? Why take that risk?

Because I have trust.

Not in the police, or any other security agency. But in my community.

A year ago, almost to the day, my son, 14, got up at 3am to use the bathroom, and came across a man leopard-crawling down our bedroom passage.

Terrified, he let out a primordial scream, in a split-second armed himself with a hockey stick.

The man fled, back out the lounge window he had meticulously, silently removed.

In the weeks that followed, our neighbours were targeted too.

Until enough was enough, and a core of us met, and thrashed out a plan.

The impact has been dramatic.

The message to those who had targeted us has been clear: First of all, I don’t hate you.

I understand there are probably many authentic reasons why you have walked the path you have. Terrible voids and injustices which may explain your descent into crime. No hope.

Indeed, we must work tirelessly together to try to improve all our children’s life-chances. Your and my children have a common future.

But the moment you threaten my family, or my neighbours, or my community, the game changes. Because, as a father, husband, neighbour, my primary, fundamental responsibility is to protect them.

I will mobilise my entire community around you. And be clear: we radically outnumber you.

And we do not fear you.

We sure did. The knowledge of a burglar in our houses in the dark of night terrorised us. You ruled our hearts with fear.

But in the past year, we have traded in our fear. For unity, purpose.

To be clear: I am not a vigilante. I am not going to break the law. I am not going to hurt you. I will earnestly, non-violently, neutralise the threat you pose using my eyes, my ears, my relentless effort.

We are not tough, or Liam Neesons in Taken, or Rambos or Harry Joshuas – remember him? Far from it.

We’re far scarier than them. To anyone with ill-intent: We’re your worst nightmare because we’re highly active, committed citizens. We have built a united resilience against you.

Against anything which may come to threaten us. We have reclaimed our spaces without lifting a hand in anger.

As a community, we are building a movement of precious common care.

Proactively, jointly, determinedly.

So, to my daughter: Yes, you may walk to the shop. Because I have complete confidence in my neighbours. Just as they trust me.

* Murray Williams’ column ’Shooting from the Lip’ appears in the Cape Argus every Monday.

Cape Argus

Three life terms for brutal serial rapist

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October 22 2015 at 09:25am
By Zelda Venter

Pretoria – “As you stand here to serve a long sentence, you must remember that you did not conquer your victims, as your liberty will be taken away for a very long time.”

This was the message from Judge Jody Kollapen, of the North Gauteng High Court, on Wednesday as he sentenced serial rapist Isaac Dibetso to three life terms as well as a further 188 years behind bars.

Dibetso showed no emotion as the judge gave him a tongue-lashing. “The manner in which you dealt with these women is shocking… You treated them like objects… You seem to think that because you are a man, you can do as you please.”

Dibetso raped eight women – in three cases repeatedly – and was linked to the crimes via DNA evidence and the testimony of his terrified victims, who said they would never forget his face.

Yet when asked whether he had anything to say before he was sentenced, Dibetso still insisted he was innocent.

The 43-year-old Ga-Rankuwa man lured the women to remote spots north of Pretoria, under the pretence that he was going to organise work for them.

Nearly all suffered injuries to their private parts, hands or other parts of their bodies as they were tied up in a remote veld after being raped and robbed. Some were gagged with their underwear.

He conducted a reign of terror in Ga-Rankuwa and neighbouring areas over five months in 2012. His victims were so terrified of him that all of them burst into tears when they saw him in court.

Before sentencing Dibetso, the judge had a message for the victims – some of whom were in court to see their attacker sentenced.

“I was moved by the courage you showed to face your attacker in court. No doubt what happened to you will stay with you for a long time. Your courage is commendable,” he said.

The judge also had a message for Dibetso: “You brutally raped and robbed these women. You had no regard for them as human beings…

“You showed no remorse… It is best that you be removed from society for a very long time, if not forever.”

As Dibetso was led down to the cells, he gave a prolonged glance back to the gallery.

His victims sighed in relief. “Now I can at least sleep again at night, knowing he will not come after me again. He nearly killed me,” said a victim, who had been tied to a tree by Dibetso.

A family member of Dibetso said he can never condone what the man did. “I am sorry for his victims and I ask for their forgiveness on behalf of the family.”

Meanwhile, another rapist, Bongani Mnguni, quietly sat next to Dibetso as he was sentenced. Mnguni will hear his fate on Friday.

He was convicted of raping six women in the Brakpan area, luring them into the bush using a similar modus operandi to Mnguni.

Harbour’s scanner exposes smuggling

October 19 2015

1023966036at 02:44pm By LEE RONDGANGER

Durban – South African customs officials have seized contraband worth R49 million including drugs, wildlife and counterfeit clothing smuggled through Durban Harbour in the past six months.

The secret weapon in customs’ arsenal is the new, hi-tech cargo container scanner which, through its X-ray capabilities, is able to see what is in containers without the need to open them.

The scanner, which has been used in the Durban Harbour for a year, has revolutionised the way they investigate suspicious containers – because customs officials no longer have to physically open them to see if it contains contraband.

Since April, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) customs officials have made 106 seizures and have confiscated contraband that included alcohol, vehicles and cigarettes.

The biggest seizures were for counterfeit goods that amounted to R44.1 million followed by narcotics, R378 000 and alcohol, R374 000.

Since April last year 24.3kg of narcotics valued at R30.2m were seized.

Sars spokesman, Luther Lebelo, said the new scanners – one was deployed in Cape Town Harbour in July – could show the difference between 40 different types of materials such aluminium, steel, plastic and organic.

The scanners are also able to detect if radioactive material is being smuggled and can see through up to 380mm of solid steel, making it very hard for smugglers to hide contraband.

“From a business perspective, if customs were to unpack suspicious containers, we could do three a day. We are now aiming to do 100 inspections a day on a highly targeted and non-intrusive basis. From start to finish, we can scan in under 12 minutes,” Lebelo said.

“This new system also helps increase audit-ability because it is now highly integrated and centrally available over the Sars network, customs has the ability to investigate cases, re-investigate cases, check for quality control, interrogate findings, and we can also tell who did what, which cannot be done at the moment. These are the big benefits,” he said.

Lebelo said that for every single scan that customs did, they opened a case, did the scan, verified the result, generated a marked-up image, and then managed the findings – in the case of a hit.

“The new, integrated scanning process also eliminates fraud, theft and bribery, because all actions are recorded as cases,” he said.

Durban is one of the busiest ports in Africa, handling more than 80 million tons of cargo a year.

A police source, who cannot be named, but has intimate knowledge of the port operation, said the position of the port and its network and trains and trucks made it a favourite for smugglers.

The source said that, unlike other ports of entry such as airports and border crossings, investigators had to rely on instinct and luck much of the time.

“Even with the new scanners they can only do a limited number of scans a day.

“Thousands of containers leave the port every week and you will not be able to check every one of them.

“That is the challenge we have. The scanners make it easier, but sometimes we are able to make busts just on pure instinct and experience from other busts,” the source said.

April to October 13, 2015… Sars Customs seized:

Clothing & textile R648 092

Cigarettes R3 100

Counterfeit goods R44 105 342

Vehicles R65 519

Alcohol R374 816

Narcotics R378 793

Wildlife: 274 items of abalone and 102 items of shells +/- R50 000

Ivory: 35 Items – bangles, elephant tusk +/- R35 000

Other (cellphones, light bulbs etc) R1 253 202

Daily News

 

Cops nab gangsters in high-speed chase

1087051298Johannesburg – Police on Sunday nabbed four men who are allegedly part of a bigger gang that has been terrorising communities in Joburg and Pretoria.

The men, identified by the police as Zimbabweans, were allegedly involved in violent crimes, including murder, attempted murder and house and business robberies.

One of the men arrested was allegedly involved in a robbery at a jewellery store at the Mall of the South last week.

According to Gauteng police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, three of the suspects were arrested in Pretoria North after police received information about an imminent business robbery in the area.

“The suspects were spotted travelling in a Toyota Rav 4. When police approached them during a stop-and-search operation, their vehicle sped off. A chase ensued and the suspect’s vehicle collided with another vehicle from the opposite direction at the R101 in Pretoria North.

“One of the suspects was injured and taken to hospital under police guard,” he said.

Three of the men are linked to a string of crimes, including a murder and house robbery in Sinoville, Pretoria North, last week.

“A man was killed after being shot several times through a kitchen door. The men got into the house and then ransacked it. Several goods, including a plasma screen television and laptop, were stolen,” Dlamini said.

The fourth man was apprehended on Sunday in Rosettenville, Joburg, after a tip-off from the public.

“He was part of a gang that confronted the employees at the Mall of the South where jewellery worth thousands of rand was stolen.

“The suspect was the one who fired several shots randomly while they were fleeing from the scene,” Dlamini said.

On further investigation, police recovered four handguns, 10 plasma screen televisions, gate remotes, cellphones, a Rica machine, cellphone starter packs, balaclavas, a music system and a Toyota Rev 4, which was used as their getaway vehicle. Police were also questioning other suspects who they believed could be members of the gang.

The four men are expected to appear today in the Joburg Magistrate’s Court and Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court.

“We are appealing to all business people to report any suspicious people and vehicles and to upgrade security as the festive season approaches,” Dlamini said.

He warned that during the festive season, several crimes, especially robberies and theft, increased.

“Police are also embarking on festive season operations to make sure that the citizens feel safe,” Dlamini added.

The Star

SAPS hunts Rhodes Park gang of 12

a34rhodes1Cleveland SAPS is investigating two counts of murder and one count of rape following Saturday’s shocking attack involving a gang of 12 men at Rhodes Park in Kensington.

The EXPRESS reported last night (read here) that at 6.45pm on Saturday, two couples were at the park when they were attacked by a group of 12 suspects.

Since the EXPRESS’ initial reports (read here) last night, more details have been provided by the SAPS indicating one woman was raped by one man.

“Two men, accompanied by their girlfriends, were walking at the park, when they were approached by the group of men,” said Constable Mpho Mashakane from Cleveland SAPS.

One man carried a firearm and a second man carried a knife.

The two men, who had visited the park with their girlfriends, were tied up with their clothes and thrown into the lake.

“One of the suspects raped one female victim. The bodies of the two male victims, aged 25 and 32, were later found by police divers,” said Constable Mashakane.

Community members have since taken to social media platforms expressing shock and calling on council for safer public parks.

Be wary of unscrupulous recruiters

1610234726People seeking employment shouldn’t be charged a fee by agencies

JOB-SEEKERS have been warned to stay away from recruitment agencies that demand registration fees or payment with promises of getting them jobs, because what they are doing is illegal.

This comes after two desperate job-seekers were left crushed, allegedly by staff at the Lorraine Hospitality and Recruitment Centre, an agency which operates at Ottawa Mall in downtown Joburg.

The job-seekers were told to report to the recruitment agency the following day, when they would be taken to their workplace to report for duty as their applications had been successful.

However, upon arrival, they were allegedly told to pay R600 registration fees first.

When they said they didn’t have the money, they were allegedly rudely told to leave and to return only when they had the money.

They had to return home, humiliated with the excitement of getting a job dashed.

“I asked them to place me and said I would pay them after my first salary, but they refused. It was at that point I realised it was a scam,” said Omphemetse Mphehlo.

An unemployed Mphehlo saw an advert for a chef on Gumtree and immediately sent an SMS to a number on the advert. Just like Nonhlanhla Zwane, who had applied for a call centre job, they were invited for an interview the following day.

While Zwane

lives

in Soweto, Mphehlo had to find the money to travel from his home in Mahikeng, North West, to Joburg. There, they were “interviewed” and later told they had got the jobs.

Mphehlo, who has a certificate in professional cookery and food preparation, was told that he would start as a chef at the Gallagher Convention Centre the following day.

Excited, the 37-year-old packed his bag and bid his family and neighbours goodbye and made his way to Joburg to begin a new life.
“I even packed my recipe books so that I could show my new employers what I am capable of,” he said.

However, when he arrived at the office that day, everything had changed.

He said be begged them to give him until month-end to pay, as he didn’t have money, but they wouldn’t hear of it.

“I was so disappointed and didn’t know how I was going to break the news to my family. It’s like I am a fool,” he said, close to tears.

Zwane also left disappointed after failing to pay the R600. While there, the pair met Freddy Zulu, Thapelo Mofokeng and Tebello Mokoena, who were also there for “interviews”. They also stopped a desperate Nosipho Masumpa, who was about to pay the R600 to secure a domestic worker position. The Star spoke to the agency’s Vanessa Siki, who confirmed that they charge a registration fee and that if someone does not have it, the agency can deduct it from their first salary. Siki also said she had connections at the Gallagher Convention Centre, Emperors Palace and the Sandton Convention Centre.

“That’s where I send my people. They will test you, and if you pass you’re in,” she said.

The Star checked with Val Wilson at the Gallagher Convention Centre, who confirmed that they didn’t have a chef ’s position at the moment, and even if there were one, they wouldn’t use a recruitment agency from Joburg but rather make use of the services of an “international guy” for that.

Wilson said the recruitment agency was a scam because recruiters can’t ask for money from a job-seeker.

Roly Boardman of the Federation of African Professional Staffing Organisations (Apso) said making job-seekers pay for jobs was illegal.

Boardman, who is chairman of ethics at Apso, said that in the past, a recruitment agency used to get a percentage from a job-seeker’s first salary after helping them secure a job,

But the Employment Services Act had done away with that practice because recruitment agencies get paid by the companies that contract them to help them find the best candidate for a particular position, he said.

“A legitimate recruitment agency would never ask you for money. If they do, they are doing something illegal and should be reported to the police and the Department of Labour.”

Boardman also warned people to be wary of international recruiters.

By Botho Molosankwe – botho.molosankwe@inl.co.za
The Star 22/09/15 Early Edition