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2 found guilty of stabbing Dali Mpofu in East London

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2 found guilty of stabbing Dali Mpofu in East London

Two men have been convicted of assaulting prominent human rights lawyer Dali Mpofu by the East London Regional Court.

Chuma Komeni (23) and Thulani Simon (18) attacked Mpofu and stabbed him several times before robbing him of his personal belongings in a bushy area along Eastern Beach in East London on April 11 last year.

The men pleaded not guilty...

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Drop in Easter road deaths

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Drop in Easter road deaths

The death toll on the country’s roads over the Easter weekend dropped from 241 last year to 193 this year, according to preliminary figures announced by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters.

There were 148 fatal crashes this year compared with 201 last year, she said in a speech prepared for delivery in Pretoria.

“The report was compiled by the police, e...

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Ailing SANDF needs urgent resuscitation – Mapisa-Nqakula

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Ailing SANDF needs urgent resuscitation – Mapisa-Nqakula

The decline of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) needs to be urgently turned around, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has said.

“There is an urgent need to comprehensively capacitate and equip the SANDF, rejuvenate and expand its human resource component and fund the operational deployments of the SANDF,” she said in Pretoria.

“These and...

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Marius Fransman faces sanctions after walking out of Scopa meeting

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Marius Fransman faces sanctions after walking out of Scopa meeting

Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman and former health MEC Pierre Uys today walked out of a provincial public accounts committee (Scopa) hearing on the mismanagement of public funds.

“They chose to walk out. It makes a mockery of the processes and acts of Parliament,” Scopa chairperson Grant Haskin said.

He labelled the walk-out “disrespectful”, s...

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Textbooks: Principals are to blame, says department

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Textbooks: Principals are to blame, says department

The department of basic education has accused principals in Limpopo of dereliction of duty for failing to report textbook shortages and retrieve them from pupils at the end of the academic year.

The department is embroiled in a court battle with Basic Education For All and Section27 over the nondelivery of textbooks to 39 schools in Limpopo.

Earlier...

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12 protesters held for public violence

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12 protesters held for public violence

Twelve people were arrested in Randfontein on the West Rand after violent protests today.

“The 12 people have been arrested after they threw stones at passing vehicles on the R28 road. It is not clear why they are protesting,” Gauteng police Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.

The group also placed rocks and burning tyres on the N14 towards...

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2 men arrested for raping teen girls, leaving them for dead

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2 men arrested for raping teen girls, leaving them for dead

Two men accused of raping two teenage girls and leaving them for dead in Mavimbela, Katlehong, have been arrested, Ekurhuleni metro police said.

One of the men was arrested today in Phuthaditjhaba, Free State, and the other was arrested yesterday in Katlehong, said Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago.

The girls, both aged 14, were found by...

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ANC nominates seven MPs for Nkandla committee

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ANC nominates seven MPs for Nkandla committee

The ANC has nominated seven MPs to Parliament to form part of an ad hoc committee to consider President Jacob Zuma’s submissions on the Public Protector’s report on his Nkandla home.

“In terms of the National Assembly Rules, parties were afforded 10 working days to recommend names to the Speaker for appointment to the ad hoc committee,” ANC chief wh...

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Textbooks: Department regards delivery to warehouses as final delivery

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Textbooks: Department regards delivery to warehouses as final delivery

Judge Neil Tuchten has ordered parties in the Limpopo textbooks case to prepare an up-to-date list of the books shortages in the 39 schools affected.

The court has adjourned while Better Education For All and Section27, which represent the 39 schools, and the department of basic education reconcile and update their lists.

Better Education For All...

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Strike violence: Amcu member arrested

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Strike violence: Amcu member arrested

A member of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has been arrested in connection with strike-related violence in Rustenburg, North West police said.

The 27-year-old man had been on the run from police since last month, spokesperson Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said today.

“According to police reports, on Friday, March 28 …...

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6 men arrested for possession of explosives, guns in Limpopo

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6 men arrested for possession of explosives, guns in Limpopo

Six men were arrested for the possession of unlicensed firearms and explosives in Mahwelereng, Limpopo.

The men, five of whom are South African and the other a foreign national, were arrested on the N11 between Steilloop and Mokopane last night, said Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale.

According to the police’s intelligence operation, the men a...

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Where is our water

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Where is our water

For Daniel Sangweni and his neighbours in Canaan village outside Nongoma in the Zululand District Municipality, the most important issue in deciding who to vote for in the May 7 general elections is water.

For Sangweni (49), a police officer in Ulundi, which also falls under the sprawling district administration, water also determined who he voted...

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Newsmaker – Roger Dixon: ‘I used my eyes, My Lady’

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Newsmaker – Roger Dixon: ‘I used my eyes, My Lady’

Roger Dixon admits that he knows nothing about ballistics, blood spatter, wound ballistics, light and sound.

But this didn’t stop the forensic geologist from confidently offering his opinion on each of these subjects before the North Gauteng High Court this week.

Dixon was savaged by prosecutor Gerrie Nel when he took the stand as a defence team...

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Politicians get spiritual

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Politicians get spiritual

Politicians have taken to churches over the Easter weekend in their numbers to campaign for the upcoming elections – but some religious leaders don’t approve.

On Good Friday, President Jacob Zuma started at the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God at Joburg’s Ellis Park stadium, where he asked congregants to vote for the ANC on May 7. He then w...

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Knives out for renegade cop

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Knives out for renegade cop

The senior officer who refused to take the fall for the police at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry will be recalled to the stand after two police ­officers changed their written statements and implicated him.

He refused to do so, and was the only witness from the police so far who has not been represented by SA Police Service (SAPS) lawyers.

Consta...

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Opposition will march if Pansy Tlakula is not fired

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Opposition will march if Pansy Tlakula is not fired

Opposition political parties say if their court application to force President Jacob Zuma to axe elections boss Pansy Tlakula fails, they will march to the Union Buildings.

The United Democratic Movement, the African Christian Democratic Party, Cope, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Agang SA lodged an urgent application in the Electoral...

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SA climbers safe on Mount Everest

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SA climbers safe on Mount Everest

South African climbers are among those people affected by one of the worst ­disasters on the slopes of Mount ­Everest – an avalanche that has left at least 13 Nepalese mountain guides dead.

Four of the Sherpa guides are still missing.

Sibusiso Vilane of Nelspruit, who in 2003 became the first African to climb Everest, sent a message soon after the...

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Breytenbach: Court vindicated me on Mdluli

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Breytenbach: Court vindicated me on Mdluli

Former senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach says she feels “vindicated” by a ­Supreme Court of Appeal decision that overturned her former boss’ decision to drop ­corruption charges against suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

The court on Thursday affirmed the developing legal principle that a decision to drop corruption charges can...

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Book review – Pragmatic practice

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Book review – Pragmatic practice

As a medical student from Soweto, Maria Phalime had high expectations for life as a doctor – until the reality of practising hit home. Her book, Postmortem, describes her journey. This is a condensed extract

I was based at a clinic in Site B in Khayelitsha during the second half of my community service.

I saw about 50 patients a day in quick...

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Book review – Ubuntu at the end of the rainbow

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Book review – Ubuntu at the end of the rainbow

The process of preparing Thinking Africa: A Report on Ubuntu for publication commenced in the week that marked the first commemoration of the Marikana massacre.

Though the place and meaning of this event in a future South African historiography will remain hotly contested, one thing is abundantly clear: two decades later, the ANC’s claim to have f...

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Easter road death toll rises to 24

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Easter road death toll rises to 24

Twenty four people have died and 34 others sustained injuries on South Africa’s roads since the start of the Easter weekend, according to traffic reports and the Road Traffic Management Corporation.

“High level investigation teams are being instituted to unearth the causal factors of these crashes,” spokesperson Thato Mosena said today.

Eight people...

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Andile Lungisa ‘busy with ideological work’

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Andile Lungisa ‘busy with ideological work’

“I am not working but I’m not unemployed,” former National Youth Development Agency leader (NYDA) Andile Lungisa has said.

Speaking after the postponement of his fraud case in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court this morning, Lungisa referred queries about his case to his lawyer.

He was only willing to speak about the upcoming...

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Amcu spends R4m on buses to get striking miners home for Easter

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Amcu spends R4m on buses to get striking miners home for Easter

Buses organised to ferry platinum miners home over the Easter weekend will go as far as Maputo, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa has said.

“The buses will travel to different provinces and as far as Maputo [in Mozambique],” he said today.

Amcu members have been on strike since January 23 at Lonmin,...

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Hundreds still missing in deadly South Korea ferry accident

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Hundreds still missing in deadly South Korea ferry accident

Jindo, South Korea – Rescuers fought rising winds and waves as they searched for hundreds of people, mostly teenage schoolchildren, still missing after a South Korean ferry capsized more than 24 hours ago.

Coastguard and navy divers were diving into the waters at the site of the accident today, about 20km off the country’s southwestern coast....

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Roger Dixon expected to back up evidence after Gerrie Nel grilling

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Roger Dixon expected to back up evidence after Gerrie Nel grilling

Oscar Pistorius’s trial will resume at the High Court in Pretoria today with defence expert witness Roger Dixon returning to the stand.

After a tough cross-examination by prosecutor Gerrie Nel yesterday, Dixon was requested to produce literature to support evidence he gave in court.

Nel had disputed Dixon’s claims that Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot a...

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Youth must remember the struggle and move SA forward – Helen Zille

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Youth must remember the struggle and move SA forward – Helen Zille

DA leader Helen Zille has urged the youth to remember where the country came from and to use their votes to help shape the future.

“In this election it is important for the youth to remember the struggle of the past and vote to move South Africa forward again,” she told reporters in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, today.

Zille made the comments after...

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75 000 special votes so far as deadline looms – IEC

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75 000 special votes so far as deadline looms – IEC

Just over 75 000 applications for special votes have been approved so far, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has said.

“The electoral commission reminds voters that the deadline for applications for special votes in this year’s national and provincial elections is tomorrow,” the IEC said today.

There were two categories of special votes – h...

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Kidnapped UJ student found safe

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Kidnapped UJ student found safe

A University of Johannesburg student kidnapped from the university’s Soweto campus has been found unharmed, Gauteng police said today.

The student was hijacked yesterday and his captors contacted his parents demanding R3 million for his release, Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said today.

The parents indicated they did not have enough money and the...

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R2.5m tender for Madiba statue is above board – Parliament

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R2.5m tender for Madiba statue is above board – Parliament

There was nothing unusual about awarding a closed tender to Dali Tambo to create a bust of former president Nelson Mandela, Parliament said.

“Nothing was untoward,” secretary to Parliament Michael Coetzee said today as he explained how the process of commissioning an artist for the bust unfolded.

“We had a few weeks from February to commission an a...

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R500 bail for mum of toddler found wandering on N1

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R500 bail for mum of toddler found wandering on N1

A 19-year-old woman whose son was found wandering on the N1 freeway near the Grasmere offramp has been granted bail in the Vereeniging Magistrates’ Court.

“She was granted R500 bail today. Her child remains at a place of safety,” said Gauteng traffic police spokesperson Busaphi Nxumalo.

The 19-year-old mother is originally from Orange Farm and faces...

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Marikana: Police’s ‘secret weapon’ can testify by video link

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Marikana: Police’s ‘secret weapon’ can testify by video link

Retired Judge Ian Farlam has ruled that the witness, known as Mr X, will be allowed to testify in camera at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry under certain conditions.

Farlam has put guidelines in place to ensure that the identity of Mr X would not be revealed by any of the parties.

He said a convincing case had been made by the police for the...

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What Reeva told Oscar in Valentine’s card

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What Reeva told Oscar in Valentine’s card

Reeva Steenkamp gave murder-accused Oscar Pistorius a card declaring her love for him hours before he shot her dead in his Pretoria home.

“I think today is a good day to tell you that I love you,” she wrote in a Valentine’s Day card she gave her boyfriend before her death on February 14 last year.

Pistorius has been charged with murdering Steenkamp....

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Cop held for murder after shooting man in back

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Cop held for murder after shooting man in back

A constable has been arrested on a charge of shooting a man dead in Mitchells Plain, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said.

Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said today the 34-year-old constable was arrested in Cape Town last night following an investigation.

He said it was alleged that Sharief Bester (34) and a friend were...

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DA won’t withdraw court action despite Icasa decision to hear SABC advert dispute

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DA won’t withdraw court action despite Icasa decision to hear SABC advert dispute

Communications watchdog Icasa has referred the Democratic Alliance’s advertisement complaint case against the SABC to the Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC).

“Following engagement with the parties, Icasa [Independent Communications Authority of SA] decided to refer the matter to the CCC on an urgent basis for adjudication,” it said today.

“The...

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DA to take Icasa to court

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DA to take Icasa to court

The DA will approach the South Gauteng High Court today in a bid to compel communications watchdog Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to decide on its complaint against the SABC.

The DA described the SABC’s decision to pull a television advertisement called Ayisafani from the airwaves as spurious.

It approached Icasa on Saturday to...

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‘I heard her breathing’ – Oscar Pistorius

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‘I heard her breathing’ – Oscar Pistorius

After Oscar Pistorius broke into the toilet door in which Reeva Steenkamp had been shot, he heard her breathing, the North Gauteng High Court heard today.

“I pulled her around onto me and then I heard her breathing, and then I tried to get her up,” Pistorius said today during cross-examination by prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

Pistorius is accused of...

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Judgment expected in De Jager case

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Judgment expected in De Jager case

The Western Cape High Court is expected to pass judgment today on Johannes Christiaan de Jager, who stands accused of killing and dismembering teenager Charmaine Mare, and murdering prostitute Hiltina Alexander.

His lawyer Sakkie Maartens told the court during his last appearance last month that De Jager was guilty of common assault on a teenager...

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SA at work: Home is where the heart is

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SA at work: Home is where the heart is

Fortune and Bonginkosi Magagula are playing soccer outside their parents’ home. They are kicking a ball back and forth in the afternoon sun.

A few weeks ago, this simple game wouldn’t have been possible. Fortune (21) and Bonginkosi (23) were sharing a one-room building with their parents. Now they’re living in a two-bedroom home in a sprawling mix...

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Nactu pledges support for PAC, EFF

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Nactu pledges support for PAC, EFF

The National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu) has resolved to support the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in this year’s general election, the trade union federation has said.

Nactu had invited political parties to present their 2014 manifestos to the federation’s central committee on March 18, general secretary...

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Spoilt votes a betrayal of the struggle – Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

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Spoilt votes a betrayal of the struggle – Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

Those calling on voters to spoil their ballots in next month’s elections are being “irresponsible and treacherous”, government has said.

Responding to a question on the planned launch of a spoilt-vote campaign by some former government leaders, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said this flew in the face of 20 years of educating South...

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Oscar Pistorius explains emotional breakdown

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Oscar Pistorius explains emotional breakdown

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has refused to accept blame for Oscar Pistorius’ emotional breakdowns.

“His emotions cannot be blamed on me,” Nel told the court today.

This was after Pistorius’s counsel Barry Roux, SC, said repetition of certain aspects caused Pistorius to be emotional, causing the proceedings to be adjourned.

Proceeding...

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North West pupils return to school after violent protests

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North West pupils return to school after violent protests

North West pupils and teachers have returned to school after violent protests, Premier Thandi Modise said today.

According to the provincial education department, 98% of pupils at schools in Bloemhof, Bodibe and Itsoseng reported for classes.

Protests started in Boitumelong, near Bloemhof, last week.

Residents blocked the N12 freeway and set alight a...

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Dewani family checks into plush hotel in Mother City

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Dewani family checks into plush hotel in Mother City

Shrien Dewani’s megawealthy family is staying at a posh Cape Town hotel just down the road from the Valkenberg psychiatric hospital where he is being mentally assessed.

The 33-year-old was formally charged with murdering his 28-year-old bride, Anni, at the Western Cape High Court following an extradition battle spanning nearly four years. He looked...

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Ronnie Kasrils will vote against the ANC

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Ronnie Kasrils will vote against the ANC

On May 7, Ronnie Kasrils will cast his vote against the ANC – as an “act of love”.

Kasrils, a former intelligence minister, is angry with President Jacob Zuma for the “plague of corruption” bedevilling the ANC.

Part of his rage is directed at the Nkandla spending scandal. “Sheer opulence, smacking of Mobutu Sese Seko-ism [referring to Zaire’s former...

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Psychologists watch Pistorius closely

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Psychologists watch Pistorius closely

As Oscar Pistorius testifies, he is being observed by two psychologists – but unlike at the height of his Olympic fame, they are not interested in what makes him a champion.

One watches for signs of a breakdown, the other to determine whether he is lying.

His own psychologist – Dr Lore Hartzenberg – is always on hand to comfort Pistorius after a par...

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Desperate to get their children into former Model C schools

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Desperate to get their children into former Model C schools

Former Model C schools in Gauteng are so in demand that some parents are willing to lie, cheat and falsify documents to enrol their children.

Paul Colditz, chief executive of the Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools, said he knew of two recent cases in which parents had given fake addresses to schools.

When staff went looking for the...

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Malema, JZ fight for Eastern Cape

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Malema, JZ fight for Eastern Cape

They once worked side-by-side to crush common enemies, but this weekend President Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema were on opposite sides in the battle for Eastern Cape in a contest dubbed “master vs student”.

It is difficult to believe Zuma once said Malema was a leader worthy of inheriting South Africa and being its president one day. On the other...

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Gruesome testimony heard against plastic surgeon

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Gruesome testimony heard against plastic surgeon

He was convicted three times in eight years of unprofessional conduct, but that didn’t stop a Benoni plastic surgeon from practising until December last year.

A procession of witnesses took to the stand this week to testify about the pain and trauma they claim to have suffered at the hands of Dr Luke Gordon.

They trusted him, but the Health...

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Election jobs reality

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Election jobs reality

Only 1.3 million of the 4 million jobs President Jacob Zuma promised during his first term were created.

However, the latest Labour Market Dynamics report released by Stats SA this week appears to confirm the ANC’s election manifesto claim that the 1 million jobs lost during the global recession have been recovered – and exceeded by 300 000.

Despite...

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Why Gerrie Nel is Reeva’s cousin’s hero

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Why Gerrie Nel is Reeva’s cousin’s hero

Gerrie Nel is Kim Martin’s hero.

The pitbull prosecutor put it to Oscar Pistorius during his gruelling cross-examination this week: “Reeva doesn’t have a life any more because of you … so tell the truth.”

Martin, Reeva Steenkamp’s cousin – who has been in court watching Pistorius give his account of what happened when he shot her dead – was delighted...

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