Duo in sunflower murder case denied leave to appeal sentence
23 May 2019, 6:23 PM
The two men convicted of killing a teenager in Coligny in North West have been denied leave to appeal their sentences in the North West High Court in Mmabatho. Pieter Doorewaard and Phillip Schutter were convicted of killing 16-year old Matlhomola Moshoeu and sentenced to 18 and 23 years in jail respectively.
They were represented by Senior Council Barry Roux who was acting on behalf of AfriForum. Moshoeu was killed after he was apparently caught stealing a sunflower. The court found that he died after being thrown off a moving vehicle but the men claimed that he jumped.
Some learners discharged from hospital following alleged food poisoning at Pta school
23 May 2019, 6:01 PM
Some of the learners of the Edward Phatudi Comprehensive School in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria, who were admitted to hospital with suspected food poisoning, have been discharged. The 34 learners, mainly girls in Grade 12, started to feel unwell after eating chicken feet they bought from the school’s tuck shop. More learners are expected to be discharged later on Thursday. A mother of a 14-year-old girl says the school informed her that her daughter was admitted to hospital with abdominal pains.
“She bought food, chicken feet at school only, she got a running stomach and her stomach is cramping. She’s not OK, she has a running stomach and goes to the toilet often,” says the mother.
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Stramrood completes 100th crossing between Robben Island and mainland
23 May 2019, 6:00 PM
Extreme swimmer Ryan Stramrood has become the second person to swim 100 crossings between Robben Island and the mainland, in a time of two hours 18 minutes. He follows his late friend and swimming companion, Theodore Yach, who made the swim an incredible 108 times. Yach died last year after suffering asthma-related complications. Stramrood dedicated his seven-point four kilometre swim to Yach.
“Totally elated to be on the beach. No Robben Island Swim is ever easy. Today was my 100th and I’ve made it. It was tough out there, it was cold and it got choppy, so I am very happy,” says Stramrood.
Fellow extreme swimmer and environmental campaigner Lewis Pugh accompanied Stramrood in a support boat.
“It’s an incredible achievement to swim 100 Robben Islands. I have been swimming for 32 years and I have never done an easy Robben Island, never once, and he has now done 100. The thing about Robben Island is that it’s always unpredictable. You think you are going to do two hours and conditions change and it takes three hours, you think you will take 3 hours and it becomes 5 hours. It shows Ryan has got real mental fortitude and ‘vasbyt’,” says Pugh.
State prosecutor, Advocate Wim Trengove has dismissed former president Jacob Zuma’s argument that delays in prosecution have severely damaged his reputation.
He was presenting the State’s case in the former president’s corruption trial underway in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. The case relates to the 1999 multi-billion rand arms deal, in which Zuma allegedly scored millions in bribe money from co-accused – French arms company, Thales.
Trengove says Zuma’s career thrived while awaiting a decision on his prosecution. He says damage to the former president’s honour was instead caused by his association with his former adviser, Schabir Shaik. Shaik was convicted to 15 years in jail for corruption and fraud in 2005, while a question mark on Zuma lingered as he was considered to have been his accomplice.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had said there was a prima facie case against him, but decided not to prosecute. He was later charged and the charges were dropped in 2009. After much dilly dallying in 2018, then head of NPA, Shaun Abrahams decided to reinstate the charges against the former president.
Trengove says it would have been far greater if the NPA never charged Zuma. The State prosecutor says the prejudice Zuma’s legal team is arguing he suffered due to a 15-year delay in prosecution is one of the factors that the court needs to balance in considering the application.
“We must ask ourselves what reputational harm would he have suffered even if he was never prosecuted and I submit with respect the reputational harm would have been severe, because particularly his connection with Mr (Schabir) Shaik and the devastating judgments of the High Court, the SCA (Supreme Court of Appeal) and the Constitutional Court and that reputational harm is a product of the prosecution of Mr Shaik. It is not a product of the delay in the prosecution of Mr Zuma,” says Trengove.
Groenewald calls for President to unite the country
22 May 2019, 7:40 PM
Leader of the Freedom Front Plus (FF plus), Pieter Groenewald has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to use the responsibility given to him by the people to work towards uniting the country and ensuring equal rights for all, including minority groups.
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Groenewald called on the President to heed the call of the nation, even when it may differ from the views of the African National Congress (ANC).
“Honourable President, there’s a huge responsibility on your shoulders. The people of South Africa want hope, they want hope for the future that’s what we need in South Africa. Part of that responsibility is that you are now also the President of the people, all the people and therefore you must ensure that the interest of the people of South Africa is more important than the interest of your political party, the ANC. You have to ensure and enhance nation-building in SA,” says Groenewald.