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THURSDAY June 26, 2014 |0 047 050 4430 | www.mthathaexpress.co.za | mthathaexpress.mobi | email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org | Previously known as the Mthatha Fever
EDITOR: BETTIE GILIOMEE
5 ARRESTED: RESIDENTS WARNED
Anarchy grips Ncora BABALWA NDLANYA
T least 15 people were arrested last week when anarchy erupted in the Ncora Administrattive Area in Cofimvaba.
Special police forces were deployed to restore order and residents were warned to stop their violent behaviour or face arrest. Cofimvaba Station Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Gcinikhaya Taleni, said people had to stop fighting immediately and find other ways to resolve their disputes. “SAPS have deployed Public Order Police (POP) and the Tactical Response Unit (TRT) to defuse the conflict. These units will continue
patrol the area until the situation is calm. Anyone who continues with criminal activities will be arrested immediately,” said Taleni. Whitlesea Corporate Communication, Warrant Officer Namhla Mdleleni, confirmed that police officials from Cofimvaba had arrested 15 suspects and that 13 cases had been opened at the station following the conflict. “The fifteen suspects were arrested after allegedly burning down houses and committing other crimes. The suspects were charged with arson, attempted murder, murder, rape and assault,” said Mdleleni. She said Police officials also confiscated a number of dangerous weapons from the public. It is alleged that nine homesteads were burnt down and that a woman (50) was raped,
stabbed and robbed of an undisclosed amount of money. In another incident a man (50) was stabbed to death and his wife seriously injured. A case of murder had been opened. The conflict follows a dispute in which two factions – Board 4 and Producers Assembly – are not seeing eye to eye about development in the area. According to a source, who wishes not to be named, faction members were blaming one another for not reporting back to the community about developmental issues in the area, with specific reference to the Ncora Irrigation Scheme (NIS). A resident, Ace Posholo, said according to his knowledge, a dairy was operating in the
NIS, and that another one was in the pipeline. “Some of the land has already been ploughed. These people who are attacking us, say they don’t want the development.” He said he was victimised and attacked while he was at home, and told Express that his house was bombed and his tavern, tractor and other vehicles vandalised. “Even though the situation is tense, we are sleeping in our homes. But I have heard that some people were sleeping in the mealie fields out of fear of being victimised at home. According to my knowledge eleven houses were burnt down.” The secretary for the House of Traditional Leaders, Chief Xolile Ndevu, said he was unaware of the problems.
Winter circumcision season launched Nyandeni Great Place recently launched its winter circumcision season and has come up with plans to curb botched circumcision and deaths. Read full story on page 4. PHOTO:SUPPLIED
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June 26, 2014 Mthatha Express
Service delivery protests loom again SIMBONGILE MDLEDLE PRIOR to May’s general elections, many towns in the former Transkei were plagued by service delivery protests and it now seems as if this problem is back. Eighteen Ntabankulu residents were arrested in ward 7 of the Drayini location in Ntabankulu last week. Police spokesperson, Captain Mlungisi Matidane, confirmed the incident, stating that
the police are compelled to arrest residents who are blocking roads. The Express was also told that service delivery protests are looming for towns like Mt Ayliff, Mt Frere and Bizana. People were saying that no one had yet visited these towns to make good on promises made prior to the election. Before the elections there were a number of service delivery protests, which had resulted in interventions by local leaders, who had to convince residents to vote. Political analyst Dr Somadoda Fikeni, ex-
KSD will pay its employees SIMBONGILE MDLEDLE DESPITE speculation that the King Sabatha Dalindyebo (KSD) Municipality’s bank account had run dry, officials are saying that all municipal employees would be paid at the end of the month.
Municipality employees started to panic and threatened to strike, following a newspaper report, that the municipal account had run dry after having paid out millions of rands for a settlement. According to municipal spokesperson, Sonwabo Mampoza, it had been in the pub-
plained why the protests seem to be coming back. “Some community members who were refusing to vote went to vote on May 7, because they were promised that their demands would be attended to after the elections, but now the leaders are not coming to them.” He said people also wanted to express their anger, so that their demands could be met first. Somadoda advised the newly elected government to build the capacity of local government to respond to the demands and commu-
nicate more effectively. He said there was a need to instil professionalism within the municipalities and build confidence. “The government must also second the same people who were previously working for these small municipalities and ask the private sector to also offer their skills. People wearing more than one hat are also posing challenges . . . This creates a lot of problems when it comes to proper accountability,” said Fikeni.
lic domain that employees of the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality would not get their salaries at the end of June 2014. Last week Tuesday, King Sabata Dalindyebo Executive Mayor, Councillor Nonkoliso Ngqongwa, called a meeting with all employees to assure them that they would receive their salaries. “There is no need to panic,” said Mampoza. He said the matter would be tabled before
Council in the next Council meeting. “It was unfortunate that the matter had reached the media, since it was an internal matter,” concluded Mampoza. South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) representative in King Sabata Dalindyebo municipality, Lwazi Madyibi, said the Mayor had assured them that they would be paid and as a result they are not expecting any further surprises. “We trust her,” said Madyibi.
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MTHATHA EXPRESS | THURSDAY 26 JUNE 2014
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June 26, 2014 Mthatha Express
Circumcision season launched
In accordance with the editorial policy of the Mthatha Express, we invite readers to comment on mistakes in the newspaper and shall correct significant errors as soon as possible. Send info to the Ombudsman of Media24’s Local Press, George Claassen, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 0 021 851 3232. Readers can also contact the SA Press Ombudsman at 0 011 484 3612/8 or e-mail email@example.com.
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Nyandeni Great Place launched its circumcision season last Monday in Libode, aiming to prevent botched circumcisions and deaths this winter season.
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POLICE have arrested two suspects for the kidnapping and killing of Mthatha nun Sister Mary Paule Tacke (82). According to police spokesperson, Colo-
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Traditional leaders attending and community members were urged to be on the look-out for any suspicious surgeons and initiation schools in their areas and to quickly report such information to the police and to health authorities. Nkosi Nzululwazi Nobuya from Port St Johns, who was among the traditional leaders attending the launch, said the plan was yielding positive results. “We are now able to control what is going on in our areas and it makes it easy for us to spot illegal initiation schools and the deaths have decreased,” said Nobuya.
Suspects arrested in nun kidnapping and murder SIMBONGILE MDLEDLE
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Nyandeni Great Place spokesperson, Mlamli Ndamase, said the circumcision ritual was becoming uncontrollable so they had to come up with a plan. “Nyandeni came to an agreement that each season will only be officially opened by King Ndlovuyezwe Ndamase to prevent illegal initi-
ation schools in our locations,” said Ndamase. On the day of the launch, an ox was slaughtered and traditional beer (umqombhothi) was prepared to perform a ritual to talk to the ancestors about a safer circumcision season. Ndamase said the ritual was performed to apologize to the ancestors for any wrongs that they have done for their children to die when this custom is performed and to also urge the ancestors to guide the initiates throughout the season. “We hope for a death-free season and we work closely with the department of health and the police,” he said.
ATHOL TROLLIP, DA-leader in the Eastern Cape, said they would only be totally satisfied if more arrests follow in the Hawk investigation which lead to senior Buffalo City Metro officials, including mayor Zukiswa Ncitha and her deputy Temba Tinta, handing themselves over to the Hawks on Monday over the Mandela funeral scandal. “We are very happy about the investigation.
It proves that the Hawks are taking the allegations seriously. But we will only be satisfied once more arrests have been made. “It is clear that money has been laundered and fraud committed and it is important that people suffer the consequences of the offences,” said Trollip. Also on the list of those handing themselves over on Monday, are council speaker Luleka Simon-Ndzele, councillor Sindiswa Gomba and Ondela Mahlangu, who is the acting director of executive support services in the mayor’s office. East London newspaper Daily Dispatch re-
ed herself to the well-being of children, was kidnapped by armed men in Norwood in Mthatha during a visit to the Thembelitsha children’s home. Her body was later found floating in a stream in Tyara Village in Libode. Her car was found in the Qokolweni location about 25 km away from Mthatha.
ported that Simon-Ndzele was the first to arrive at the Hawks offices in East London, followed by Mahlangu. Tinta, accompanied by two body guards, arrived moments later. About 30 minutes later, Ncitha joined them. The Daily Dispatch, broke the story about the scandal a few weeks after the funeral. At the centre of the controversy was the ANC’s BCM regional secretary Phumlani Mkolo, who appeared to have engineered the movement of funds into various bank accounts. In a statement on Monday, the Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs (DLGTA) confirmed the arrests of Ncita, Tinta and Luleka Simon-Ndzele.
June 26, 2014 Mthatha Express
Funeral of beloved ‘Zibs’on Friday SIMBONGILE MDLEDLE NANDI Mpofukazi Mancotywa (74), who passed away last week after a heart attack, will be laid to rest on Friday June 27, at Ross Mission. Mancotywa, who is the mother of the National Heritage Council (NHC), Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sonwabile Mancotywa, will be remembered as parent, grandmother and community builder. The church ceremony will be officiated by the Assemblies of God Church, at the family homestead in Ross Mission, Mthatha, from 9am. Various dignitaries, including Ambassador Rapu Molekane, Lulu Johnson (MP); Minister of Arts and Culture, the Honourable Nathi Mthethwa and the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Honourable Fikile Mbalula, will be attending the funeral service. Sonwabile Mancotywa said “Zibs”, as she was affectionately known, loved music and was a choir conductor. During her early twenties she qualified as a teacher – a profession she was committed to for 60 years. “She was the first African teacher at Gqwesa, an area which was deeply rural and historically marginalized. The choice of this noble profession was as a result of inspiration from her parents who loved education,” said Mancotywa. As a qualified teacher, she nurtured, moulded and produced many generations of pupils during her long years of service. After retirement she opened, and became principal of, a crèche for close on ten years. Destitute and vulnerable children as well as orphans received care and education at the crèche. After a long and successful campaign by her and
her colleagues, the crèche and its welfare services were officially recognised by the Department of Education. The crèche became a feeder school for Ross Primary School. Nandi was the eldest daughter of the late Jameson Mangeni Nozigqwaba and Dora Nozigqwaba. Born in Gqwesa, Qumbu in the Eastern Cape, she was the first born in the second marriage of her father. From Qumbu the family relocated to Mount Frere, where her father ran a hospitality business.
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June 26, 2014 Mthatha Express
Ex-actor chooses forest over civilisation SIMBONGILE MDLEDLE DESPITE a decent education and fame, a man (74) who once starred in a television show, chooses to live like a modern-day Robinson Crusoe in the forest near Port St Johns.
Ben Dekker in his study with a picture of Nelson Mandela.
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Ben Adolf Dekker has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a BA honours degree, and he used to be an Afrikaans actor. He became known for portraying the character of Gaitsigubib in the Afrikaans TV series Vlakte Duskant Hebron. He said his father was Managing Director of an oil company here in South Africa, but that he had forgotten the company’s name. Ben left a life of comfort for the forest where he stays alone and lives off the land. Big Ben, as he is affectionately known, has been staying in the Mthumbane forest next to Second Beach, for almost 35 years now and said he enjoys every second. He told Express that the reason he chose to stay there was his love for the environment and for plants. He cultivates plants to prevent soil erosion. He has built “shanties” inside the forest and sometimes he even accommodates people who don’t have a place to stay. He has a studio where he puts his work and some items he has collected from the sea, a study room and a place where he dries plants which he uses as medicine. He said no one hinders him and that he always sleeps peacefully. Big Ben said he does not spend too much money. “I only buy oil. The rest I get from nature.” He doesn’t smoke and likes to read books about plants and the history of the world and even has copies of Mthatha Express and Uvo Lwethu Express. “The only money I spend is to buy my favourite drink, red wine. The rest I get from the plants and sea,” said Big Ben. According to him, most tourists visit his place to see how he survives. He said he has friends all over the world, including the leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), Mangosuthu Buthelezi. Ben said death alone could terminate his love for the environment. He doesn’t have any children or a woman in his life. When the Express arrived at his place he was busy paving the way to his shanty. “I am preparing the route for my visitors so that they can walk here easily.” Big Ben was born in Centane, before his parents moved to East London, where he pursued his studies at the Saasveld Forestry College. He then went to Rhodes University where he obtained his BA honours. Thereafter he went to Cape Town, where he worked for Amnesty International. He travelled a lot in the countries he was deployed to by Amnesty International. Among other countries, he was deployed to Sudan.
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This is how Ben prepares food at his place in the forest. PHOTO:SIM MDLEDLE
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School receives laptops for research SIMBONGILE MDLEDLE MTN donated eight laptops to the Mbuqe Junior Secondary School in Mthatha last week. The donation forms part of MTN’s drive to include schools in the former Transkei in the digital world. Michael Mcolman, MTN regional Marketing Manager for the Eastern Cape, said the initiative also formed part of the company’s 21-day-campaign to give back to the community who supported them. He said they were enabling pupils to do re-
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Mthatha Express June 26, 2014
June 26, 2014 Mthatha Express
June 26, 2014 Mthatha Express
Letter to the Editor
Reader responds to “PSJ needs help with unwanted ‘tourists,’” published in last week’s Express. I was shocked to read the article published yesterday in the Express newspaper. The alleged ‘facts’ of the article were untrue, unsupported, and inaccurate. The article paints a very different picture to reality. I am even more concerned about statements made by Mnyamezeli Mangqo, the current Mayor of Port St Johns, which are misleading and also untrue. And having spoken to a great number of Port St Johns business owners and residents this morning, we share the opinion that this kind of publicity works completely against our attempts to further develop
the tourism potential in our little town. Port St Johns attracts a number of international tourists. Unfortunately, however, we attract far less international interest than the majority of other parts of SA. Whilst the majority of international tourists head straight to Cape Town and along the Garden Route, the Wild Coast is often missed. This is extremely unfortunate considering the natural beauty, rolling hills, massive waterfalls, and stunning beaches. Port St Johns is also rich in culture, and nowhere else in SA will you find such strong traditional values as in this region. Amapondo and Jungle Monkey Backpackers are the two largest backpackers in town, both of which are successful businesses with great reputations throughout South Africa and even abroad.
The owners of these two establishments work in support of each other to develop a positive reputation for Port St Johns as a tourist destination. They are responsible for attracting a great deal of international tourists, as well as providing a large number of jobs for local residents. Amapondo Backpacker Lodge runs a volunteer programme called the Amapondo Children’s Project (or ACP for short), which is a non-profit organisation located in Port St Johns. (They prefer to refer to their volunteers as ‘voluntourists’.) The Amapondo Children’s Project (ACP) started in 2001 and was registered as an NPO in 2006. It focuses on recognizing the needs of the local people in order to create communityled initiatives, jobs, education, self-empowerment and valuable exchange whilst utilizing the skills and experience of both local and international voluntourists. The ACP offers ongoing community support through its involvement in a number of projects. Their current focus is the PSJ Childcare Centre, the Mthumbane Pre-Primary School and the Khulani Sewing Centre, and they are always looking for more support from voluntourists who give of their time selflessly and altruistically to benefit the local impoverished community. They offer short-term or longterm packages where voluntourists pay a levy that goes into the Non-Profit Organizations private bank account. This is a fund-raising initiative and all the money that is raised from this (mostly) international investment is used directly with the people most in need in Port St Johns. This means that whilst the voluntourists get the opportunity to become involved in teaching, gardening, building and maintenance for a number of these worthy Projects, at the same time, their financial contribution adds to the sustainability of the Amapondo Children’s Project, and all the beneficiaries thereof. Jungle Monkey Backpackers is also involved in various community projects and have even hosted fund-raising events focusing specifically on the musical talent of the Port St Johns’ youth. Events such as these raise the opportunity for disaffected youth in PSJ, whilst encour-
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aging skills, opportunity, and empowerment. The article published in the Express newspaper also mentions drug abuse as a problem within the community of Port St Johns, and makes inferences to these problems being associated with the backpackers (which are described as ‘drug lords’ in the article) as well as the volunteers. This is not true. Whilst the Wild Coast region carries a reputation for marijuana, which is grown in abundance in some of the more rural areas, this ‘national’ concern certainly does not stem from the backpackers of Port St Johns. Both Amapondo and Jungle Monkey Backpackers have strict policies towards drugs. Sign boards frequent both establishments explaining their approach to drugs indicating that illegal substances are not tolerated. The Mayor, Mnyamezeli Mangqo, also made references to illegal activity of boats and ships that frequent the Port St Johns shore lines, where strange and suspicious dealings are going on. The insinuation is that these boats are somehow related to illegal immigration and drug trafficking. Although I have no evidence to claim otherwise, as a resident of Port St Johns, and with a home that overlooks Second Beach, I have never seen any such suspicious boating activity at sea. Furthermore, I can guarantee that if such activity does go on, it has nothing to do with any of the backpackers in town. If a drug problem exists, then this should be confronted directly by the municipality and the police, who should work with the residents and business owners, as well as the backpackers, to ensure that Port St Johns does not attract tourists for the wrong kind of reasons. Instead of this kind of negative criticism of Port St Johns, we should instead be embracing our wonderful community, and be grateful for the local, and especially the international voluntourists who frequent our town and contribute money and time to our residents in need. There are so many reasons to visit this stunning little coastal town. I hope that articles like these, and the statements made by prominent representatives of PSJ, are considered carefully before being made public.
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Legends’ corner Leading and teaching are his passions THIS week, soccer and cricket great, Sakhiwe Mike Sodo, talks to Simbongile Mdledle in the Legends’ corner. Mike, as he is affectionately known, was born and bred in the Ncise Administrative Area in the Ntshabeni Location in Mthatha. “I grew up like any other boy, looking after cattle and taking part in stick fighting (imidlalo). I also played soccer and rugby and took part in athletics and boxing.” In soccer, Mike reached the senior division when his club, Ncise Real Hunters, reached the Transkei Premier League. Real Hunters was one of the first clubs from the rural areas to take part in an organized football league, competing against clubs from urban areas like Bush Bucks, Tembu Royals and Liverpool. “When we were promoted to the senior division, we were number one in the League, meaning we had managed not only to top the log, but to beat the best teams of the time. As the maxim goes, ‘to be the best, you must beat the best’.” Mike had also been chairperson and secretary for the Transkei Football Association, Junior League at different times. He said they had played against many teams, including Khambi Bones, Black Cutters from Ncambele, Home Defenders from Ncambedlana and Efata School for the Deaf. But, according to Mike, none of the teams they had played against ever reached the heights they did. “This was largely owing to the support we received from the late Mr Manyifolo or
Khangelani, as he was known.” In 1980 Mike gradually gave up active involvement in sport, since he had by then registered for a Bachelor of Arts General at the University of the Transkei. “The training schedules clashed with my studies. I had to prioritise and have no regrets over my decision to focus on my studies. It brought me to where I am at today. After finishing my studies, I started teaching. I taught at three schools, Qokolweni Senior Secondary School (SSS), Dalindyebo SSS and Leslie Nkala SSS.” Mike established boxing clubs at each of these schools. When he became an Education Specialist (umhloli), he established the Ikhwezi Boxing Club (IBC). “This was a very important vehicle for driving boxing. My major legacy in boxing was to create friendships among club managers,” he said. The OR Tambo region today boasts a World Boxing Association Pan African Champion and a South African Champion, Simphiwe Khonco, as well as other top boxers. Advising the youth, Mike said one major problem facing the youth was the abuse of drugs. “One way of dealing with this challenge is active involvement in sport. This may not be the only answer to the problem of drug abuse, but there is no doubt that a child in sport is a child out of court. Finally, education is the cornerstone of development. Presently, Mike is furthering his studies with UNISA and still stays in Ncise with his
wife Fezeka, the daughter of Nkosi Vulisango Ndamase of Lukhanyisweni, Libode. “Today we have water, electricity and good schools in the rural areas. I see no reason to migrate and live elsewhere.” They have five children (three sons and two daughters). Mike is working for the department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture in the OR Tambo District as the District Manager. “Our role, among others, is the development of sport in the area. I am reasonably satisfied with the work we are doing.” Sakhiwe Mike Sodo. PHOTO: SIM MDLEDLE
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OR Tambo boxers take centre stage SIMBONGILE MDLEDLE THE OR Tambo region is on a mission to end an old belief that East London is the dominating force in boxing, as per the boxing history of the Eastern Cape.
falo City, Cacadu, Chris Hani, Joe Ngqabi, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan and OR Tambo. OR Tambo came first with six gold medals, one silver and many bronze medals, while Buffalo City took four gold medals. One of the OR Tambo region’s coaches, Viwe Mdletyeni, said the reason they had conquered the elite championships in Port Elizabeth was that the boys worked very hard in training and they showed commitment during this tourney. “So on the day it was just an application of what they have done in training,” he said. Mdletyeni said that OR Tambo had turned the tables and that East London was no longer dominating the boxing scene in the region. “This shows that we have the talent and that OR Tambo is a boxing force to be reckoned with.”
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