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Councillors lash officials over pools W
Ultimatum: Open pools by the weekend!
ith temperatures reaching the upper 30s over the past week, city officials, including senior managers, felt a heat of a different kind as city councillors grilled them over which of the seven municipal swimming pools were in fact operational. All city pools were supposed to open for the new summer season on 1 September but as of this week, all pools, except for Buchanan and Alexandra baths, were still closed. At a tense meeting of the Community Services Portfolio Committee on Tuesday, irate councillors issued municipal officials with an ultimatum to have at least six of the city’s seven swimming pools operational by the weekend and open to the public. DA Councillor Mergen Chetty slammed what he described as a “misleading” committee report dated 20 September which listed the status of all pools except for
the Hoosen Haffejee (Berg) Street swimming bath as “operational”. Chetty told the meeting he would resign if he were to immediately visit the pools and find they were all open for business. The failure to open the pools on time has left the portfolio committee members with egg on their faces as they had visited the swimming pool facilities in August and were assured that all pools, with the exception of the Hoosen Haffejee (Berg) Street pool which requires particularly costly repairs, would be open for the new season. The total cost of repairs to and maintenance for all swimming pools has been budgeted at R750,000. A highly agitated Chetty expressed frustration over the actions of officials at the meeting, who included pool manager for recreation Thomas Roux, and process manager for community development Mandla Zuma, say-
ing he had been inundated with calls from public since 1 September. “For more than three years now the problem of swimming pools has been a recurring saga. This is really frustrating and I have sympathy with the residents who have been enquiring about the status of swimming pools,” said Chetty. Chetty urged deputy municipal manager for community services, Sipho Dubazane, who took office in August, to ensure that the pools are in working order by the weekend.Chetty said that the failure to deal with the condition of pools was a poor reflection on council officials. “Our children are being deprived of aspiring to be Olympians as the city has failed to open these facilities timeously,” he added. The state of swimming pools has been an ongoing challenge for Msunduzi. In the past, Public Eye received complaints about the status of the Olympic swimming
pool in Northdale, which, it was alleged, officials were using for private parties. A pool minder was also alleged to be drunk on duty. Chairperson of the portfolio committee Inderjit Munilal called for the officials to put their house
Taxi hijacking: another suspect nabbed
he second member of the infamous Glenwood taxi hijacking duo that was caught in action on the metered cab’s surveillance camera will be making his appearance today at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court. A 29-year-old suspect, whose name is known to Public Eye, was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday morning at his home in Tamboville. Investigating officer Warrant Officer Ashok Baldowu and his team made the arrest as news filtered through to them about the man’s plans to flee to Botswana. The man and his co-accused, Kevin Saunders, allegedly organised and committed the hijacking of the metered taxi driver in Glenwood three weeks ago. Public Eye published stills of the footage which, according to the police, helped in tracking them down. An officer close to the case said that Saunders and his buddies would drink at a local tavern in Glenwood where they would plan their hijackings. It seems that
Saunders is the ringleader and would get any of his drinking buddies to accompany him on his escapades,” said the officer. According to SAPS, Saunders has been involved in four metered taxi hijackings in the Glenwood area and will also be appearing in
the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court this week. Baldowu commended his team consisting of Warrant Officer Vusi Shabangu, Warrant Officer Shaun Naidoo, Constable Collin Sosibo and Constable Kulekani Mzolo on their excellent work.
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Muslims march against anti-Islam movie
Mohamed Saeed of Pietermaritzburg addressing the crowd during the protest march Photo: John Govender
n response to the anti-Muslim film, The Innocence of Muslims, the Muslim community of Pietermaritzburg staged a protest march from the Soofi Mosque in East Street to the office of the Premier to present a memorandum last Friday. The organised protest march led by Mohamed Saeed of Pietermaritzburg saw just over 100 Pietermaritzburg Muslims, including children and pupils of Nizamia School, making their way through the streets. “The movie is very insulting to our culture and our beliefs. A higher power
must remove the movie from YouTube,” said one of the protestors, Mohamed Enayath. The march organisers said the film portrays a disgracefully distorted image of Muslims and the memorandum presented stated that the movie “traumatised, violated and depressed every believing Muslim”.
Northdale neighbours at war over dog
Northdale family believes that a neighbour has a vendetta against them following three successive attacks by his dog against various family members. Mohammed Khan (21) of Nagpur Road in Northdale was mauled on his face, allegedly by his neighbour’s dog, when he tried jumping over his back yard wall to get on to the road on a recent Sunday. The dog owner then chased after him with a sword, he says. Khan said as he was trying to jump over his wall the dog jumped up and bit him on the nose. The injury to Khan’s nose required about 15 stitches. “When I called the owner and told him that his dog had bitten me he [the owner] started shouting at me and used vulgar terms. He was so furious at me, it was as if I had bitten his dog,” said Khan. The dog owner then chased after him brandishing a sword and he had to run to his aunt’s house, said Khan. His aunt then brought him back home and called his mother, Ranie Scheffer. “When I arrived I saw that my son was bitten very badly and when I confronted my neighbour, his wife started picking me out. Yes, I do have a past and my life is an open book,” said Scheffer. However the dogs’ owner, Tony Swaminathan, strongly disagrees with the series of events ad depicted by the Khans. According to Swaminathan, a 1.8 metre fence separates the two properties. “The only way my dog would be able to bite someone is if that person is climbing my fence or putting their face through the
Right: Mohammed Khan (21) of Nagpur Road in Northdale was mauled allegedly by his neighbours dog fence,” he said. Owner of five dogs, Swaminathan said that his dogs are there to protect his home and family and that’s probably what the dog was doing. When Public Eye visited Khan he was in bed with a disfigured nose and was visibly in pain. Khan said he received 10-15 stitches on his nose and will need plastic surgery to address the scarring. “My son is not the first member of the family to fall victim to this dog, he is actually the third,” said Scheffer. Family members believe that the neighbour uses his dog has a weapon to settle scores with them. Other family members who have allegedly been attacked include Scheffer’s baby whose finger was bitten in February and her
sister’s son in-law, Ricky Phillips, who was bitten in March. Swaminathan’s wife said: “Ricky was not bitten by any of my dogs; he was drunk and said nasty things to my 16-year-old daughter and I slapped him for that,” said the woman. She said the dog that had bitten the baby was a female dog and not the same dog that allegedly attacked Khan. “The baby was poking the dog with his finger through the fence and that is why the dog bit him. She added that her husband did not chase Khan and that it was Khan who was brandishing a “bush knife”. According to Swaminathan, the matter is with the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) which is still awaiting medical reports from the Khan family.
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Let’s support our government
he African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal and its alliance partners have embarked on a campaign to highlight the achievements of our government. We are doing this because we have noted with severe concern that there are people who misleadingly inform the public that our government is failing. When the ANC government took over in 1994, it inherited massive service delivery backlogs caused by the apartheid regime’s years of deliberate neglect of certain sections of the society. In the past 19 years, we have transformed the State through creating new institutions and more importantly building a democratic society. We also dismantled the apartheid regime’s legal framework and that has enabled us to change the socio-economic conditions of millions of people. The ANC government has achieved an enormous amount in terms of electrification, house building, water provision and the much needed infrastructure such as roads, schools and public health institutions. It is worth mentioning that South Africa is measured well in the equality of economic institutions such as intellectual prop-
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erty protection, property rights, accountability of private institutions, good market efficiency. It is also ranked first in strength of auditing and reporting standards, in efficacy of corporate boards, ranked second in protection of minority shareholders and tenth in investor protection. Although the ANC government has made extensive progress since 1994, we are mindful of the fact that the country still faces socio-economic challenges that have to be tackled. That is why the National Planning Commission crafted a clear national development plan which we believe will stimulate growth thus creating much-needed jobs. We are also confident that the massive infrastructure development plans announced by President Jacob Zuma early this year will help our country to industrialise and deal with the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality. The ANC-led government has also done the following: • Government has built 3 million homes • 3,5 million homes electrified • Government has reduced mother to child HIV transmission • Government has reduced HIV transmissions • Spends R90 billion on social grants • Millions of learners don’t pay school fees • Thousands of students receive tertiary financial aid • Government has reduced crime rate • Government has improved access to healthcare • Government has built schools and roads • Crafted a national development plan The media is invited to join us in a march to highlight these achievements. The memorandum will be handed over to Collins Chabane, the Minister in the Presidency responsible for performance and evaluation, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize and Jeff Radebe, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development. The march will take place as follows: Date: 5 October 2012 Venue: Starts at Dales Park (Pietermaritzburg) and will proceed to the Legislature Time: 9 am.
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Public Eye October 05, 2012 - Page 6
553 Chota Motala Road Tel : 033 387 1505
letters to the editor
‘Bring back the I death penalty for barbarians’
really feel sorry for the Le Roux family. How can a human take another human’s life? People like that should be left in the wild to join the lions, tigers and the leopards and feel [slain advocate] Susanna’s pain. If not, bring the death penalty back so we can eliminate barbarians in our society. Sharilla Budhai
What’s happening to Northdale Hospital?
y mum was rushed to Northdale Hospital on 22 September. She needed to use the toilet in the casualty department. What she found there was a pool of urine, soiled sanitary towels on the floor and faeces all over the pan. Do people know how to use a toilet? Does the hospital have cleaners at night? Do staff members check on this? Yes, please also educate people on how to use the toilet. My poor mum had to wait until we got home Sharilla Budhai
Public Eye October 05, 2012 - Page 8
hoever is found guilty should be hanged because people who kill are not worthy of living. You and the driver of the white van! Karma will catch up with you all. Go rot in hell. I’m very surprised at our community for not posting their comments on this matter! Wake up, PMB. What do you all read the paper for? C J Jugmohan
hank you, Public Eye, for releasing the identity of the suspect in the Susanna le Roux case. I won’t stop supporting the Public Eye and the editor. May God bless you all. It really is the most popular newspaper so far. It’s much sought-after and appreciated by the community. Priscilla Padayachee Naidoo
Northdale Hospital night staff needs to catch a wake up
n 19 September my parents had a terrible experience at Northdale Hospital.I rushed my dad to casualty at 6.45 pm as he had uncontrollable pain in his left hand. I dropped him off with my mother as I had errands to attend to. When I returned at 10.15 pm, my dad had still not been seen to. I returned home at 12.15 am as I had to go to work and needed to sleep. At 2 am my dad could not manage the pain any longer so my mother went to ask why no one was attending to him. On entering the doctor’s room my mom found the doctor reading the paper. My mother was very upset and con-
fronted the doctors. Thereafter they immediately called my father and examined him. At 6 am they were still in casualty and my father had X-rays and blood tests done and the doctors had him on an ECG machine. My mother had to take the taxi home because I was going to work and my mother needed to be with my children. My dad finished at the hospital at 11 am. He is diabetic and had not eaten for the 16 hours that he was in casualty. Just because Northdale Hospital is a government hospital does not give the staff the right to treat patients unfairly. Chantal Chetty
letters to the editor
We can make a difference, peacefully
would like to place on record my sincere appreciation to all those little children, women and men who braved the rain and protested peacefully and with graceful integrity against the insulting of Almighty God’s prophets. We all can truly make a difference through peaceful, practical and productive action. As Muslims, we have a religious command and responsibility to uphold truth and justice and fight against inequalities, imbalances and oppression. The central Islamic principle of enjoining good and forbidding evil should be the innermost part of our mission and purpose in life. Moral integrity is an essential part of the Muslim identity and is the personification of an educated and refined human being. It is an important tool towards social cohesion,
social reconstruction and peaceful coexistence. In order to fight against Islamophobia, anti-Islam vitriole and other negative portrayals of Islam, Muslims need to voice their opinions and handle provocations constructively by engaging the mass media and using the correct channels like the judicial systems. We need to use existing laws against Holocaust denial and hate speech laws as an outline to initiate discussion and debate about the freedom of free speech and its limits. The success of the protest march was due in large part to the children who conveyed the necessary information to their parents and to the Public Eye for publishing the invite to the event.
What has happened to justice?
he Juran Raman case is still carrying on. What has happened to justice? Judges are giving fines and letting the accused relocate and carry on with his life while Juran’s family are waiting painfully for a sentence.
Come on, people. Let’s fight for the rights of all people who have been robbed of their lives by people who want to play God. May God bless all the families who are grieving the loss of some one. Anonymous
I am confident that in the crucial challenges ahead in eradicating ignorance, extremism and violence, the true image of Islam will receive the fullest support of the Public Eye and of all conscience-driven individuals around the globe. Mohamed Saeed Pietermaritzburg
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Alcohol on Sundays: take it or leave it
n regard to the letter, “Sunday alcohol: a rip off”, it seems that this person is an alcoholic. Yes, you have a choice. Take it or leave it. I guess you are one of those customers who will go to a chicken restaurant and complain you don’t eat wings. Don’t complain about the bottle store. Join AA. John Black
Thank you Public Eye
t’s good to read well-written and edited news pieces in a community newspaper. Well done! Hema Somai
Love Baba’s sayings
am not a Sai Baba devotee buy I love his sayings. People who I know are his devotees don’t practise his teachings. Come on, spread love not hatred. Sai Baba will love you more. Anonymous Orient Heights Public Eye October 05, 2012 - Page 13
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AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS KWAZULU-NATAL LETS SUPPORT OUR GOVERNMENT
The African National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal and its alliance partners have embarked on a campaign to highlight and celebrate the achievements of our government. We are doing this because we have noted with grave concern that there are people who misleadingly tell the public that our government is failing. The ANC-led government has done the following: i
Government has built 3 million homes
3,5 million homes electrified
Government has reduced mother to child HIV transmission
Government has reduced HIV transmissions
15. 3 million people receive social grants
5.2 million learners don’t pay school fees
Thousands receive tertiary financial aid
Government has reduced crime rate
Government has improved access to healthcare
Government has built schools
Please join our march to highlight these achievements, which, will take place as follows: ¡
Date: 05 October 2012
Venue: Starts at Dales Park (Pietermaritzburg) to the legislature
Time: 9h00 am
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