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Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Deeply Unpopular Road Tax in the City of Gold: Charles van Onselen Looks at E-toll’s Historical Precedent

Showdown at the Red LionThis week a new e-toll deal was announced. Since its inception the issues around e-tolls have caused social and political dissension.

The new deal addresses some of the important grievances with respect to the tolling system by reducing the tariffs and lowering the monthly tariff caps.

Camilla Bath has written an article about changes to the e-toll tariff structure. Read more about the concessions of the arrangement:

If a motorist is an infrequent user and goes under fewer than 30 gantries a year, there will be no charge.

Public transport vehicles (buses and taxis) that have valid permits will remain exempted.

Motorists no longer need to purchase e-tags in order to benefit from the lower tariffs. Everyone gets the same deal regardless of whether they have an e-tag or not.

All motorists will get a 60% discount if outstanding e-toll bills are settled within the next six months.

Contemporary residents of Johannesburg might be surprised to learn that the dissent and anger about who pays what for driving where predates those odious gantries. Tolling strife goes all the way back to the days Afrikaner Republic, who saw the English city of Johannesburg as “more of a cash cow than a city entitled to independent management”.

There are, perhaps, some uncanny parallels to be drawn between then and now.

Van Onselen wrote an article about early tolling in Johannesburg for Business Day:

Lacking the administrative competence or expertise to run the system, the state looked instead to the market and private enterprise to manage the tolls. The right to collect tolls at stipulated points was put out to tender, with winning bidders being left to manage the risk of making a profit or sustaining a loss. Despite it being a hazardous business, scores of tenders were awarded and toll collectors appointed. The tolls, for some time, produced a handsome return. In just four months in 1894, for example, the state benefited to the tune of more than £9000 – the equivalent of between £4m and £5m (R46m-R58m) a year in current terms.

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David Klatzow: Time is of the Essence in the Investigation of the Unmarked Mass Grave in Natal

Justice DeniedDavid Klatzow, forensic expert and author of Justice Denied: The Role of Forensic Science in the Miscarriage of Justice, says regarding the investigation of the mass grave uncovered on the South Coast of Durban: time is of the essence.

In an article for The Herald, Deneesha Pillay got Klatzow’s comment on the crime scene. He says that the graves being unmarked is enough cause for suspicion to warrant a serious criminal investigation.

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He said it had to be assumed that the grave was a crime scene.

“If they are historical graves that is one thing, but if they are more recent, as this is being punted, you must assume that those buried were done so without proper papers.

“If they were officially buried it would be marked properly and there would be official records from mortuaries and government departments.

Following The Herald article, Bongani Mthethwa, Matthew Savides and Taschica Pillay interviewed a number of former-employees of the previous farm owner for The Times. Their stories cast disturbing light on the mass grave.

Former workers from the South Coast farm say that in the years before prison labour was banned in the ’80s, convicts who worked there were forced to wear old sacks and were beaten for no reason.

“Those who died were buried like dogs in that place,” one former labourer, Willie Ndlovu, told the Sunday Times this week.

“There are many prisoners who died there. Once a prisoner had died, the workers would just dig a hole and bury them in an unmarked grave. We called the place where they were buried ezintandaneni [the place of orphans].”

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Zebra Press to Publish Book by Jacques Steenkamp on De Zalze Murders

The brutal De Zalze Murders have gripped the imagination of South Africans as well as that of citizens in Australia and the United Kingdom, and Zebra Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, will publish the book that will bring you the story behind the media reports.

The Griekwastad MurdersDie Griekwastad-MoordeAfter the success of his first book, The Griekwastad Murders/Die Griekwastad Moorde, SABC journalist and author Jacques Steenkamp is now covering the so-called De Zalze Murders in his next book. Steenkamp will follow this case by taking a closer look into the Van Breda family history in both South Africa and Australia, conducting interviews with family members, friends and various role-players involved in the case, and by covering the trial.

Well-known author Deon Meyer, who will produce a film based on Steenkamp’s The Griekwastad Murders, said: “To make sense of the Van Breda murders requires insight, wisdom, compassion and excellent investigative journalism – as only Jacques Steenkamp can accomplish.”

It is still early days and no arrests have been made since the axe attack on the Van Bredas in their home at the upmarket De Zalze Golf Estate in Stellenbosch on 27 January 2015. South African Police have remained tight-lipped about their investigation and repeatedly declined to comment on whether any suspects have been identified. But it appears that Marli van Breda most likely holds the key to the mystery behind who attacked her and murdered her parents, Martin and Teresa van Breda, and older brother Rudi. Her 20-year-old brother, Henri, survived the attack almost completely unscathed and, as a result, has become the focal point of much speculation in the media.

The latest revelation is that Marli’s throat was possibly cut with a knife instead of injured with the axe. She was recently released from the Vergelegen Medi-Clinic in Somerset West after recovering from her wounds for a month and a half and it is still unclear exactly what she remembers. If she can identify her attacker, which will depend on her memory of that night and whether she gives the police a full statement, this might just end up being an open-and-shut case.

The National Prosecuting Authority has received a docket from the police and will need to make a decision soon on whether or not the police have sufficient-enough evidence to carry out an arrest. Questions that need answering are: What was the motive for the brutal attack on the seemingly happy Van Breda family, and who now stands to inherit the R200 million that Martin had made over the years both here and abroad?

Steenkamp’s book on the murders will most likely be published shortly after the trial. Zebra Press will confirm the publication date closer to the time.

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Zebra Press Acquires Local Rights to Publish Anni Dewani: A Father’s Story by Shekhar Bhatia

Anni Dewani: A Father's Story Anni Dewani: A Father’s Story will be published in South Africa by Zebra Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. The book will be in stores in March.

Anni Dewani: A Father’s Story is a full, frank and ultimately heartbreaking account of Anni’s life from childhood through to the conclusion of the trial of her husband Shrien Dewani in Cape Town, four years after her murder. It is told from the perspective of Anni’s father, Vinod Hindocha, to journalist Shekhar Bhatia and is the extraordinary story of how one family has coped with seeing their hopes for their daughter’s future being so cruelly extinguished, how they tried to live with, and through, the aftermath, their efforts to see justice done and, ultimately, their attempts to reconcile themselves with the court’s verdict and a future without their beautiful daughter, Anni.

On November 13, 2010 while on honeymoon in South Africa, newlyweds Shrien and Anni Dewani, from Bristol, were kidnapped at gunpoint in Gugulethu, a township near Cape Town. Shrien was released unharmed by his kidnappers, but only a few hours later Anni’s brutally murdered body was found in the back seat of the taxi she had been travelling in. She had been shot in the neck. As the news broke, Anni’s loving family were faced with the horrific reality of the loss of their beloved daughter in the most tragic and brutal circumstances. But worse was to come. As the investigation into her murder began, the family quickly had to confront the possibility that Anni’s death might have been orchestrated by the one person she should have been able to trust above all others – her husband.

About the author

Shekhar Bhatia is a London-born journalist who has been on the staff of the Evening Standard, Sunday Mirror, Daily Express, the Observer and the Sunday Express, where he was chief reporter. Bhatia has produced documentaries for British and American TV companies on subjects such as the Oscar Pistorius shooting of Reeva Steenkamp for NBC and the BBC. He also helped produce Channel Four’s Dispatches TV programme on Anni’s death, entitled “Murder on Honeymoon”. Bhatia has spent four years on the murder story, working closely with Anni’s family, who asked him to help them write this book. In November 2014, he was named Journalist of the Year at the Asian Media Awards. He lives in London with his student daughter Chameli and is set to move to New York later in 2015 for work.

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Stoffel de Jager, Don Steenkamp’s Lawyer, is Suing for His Unpaid Legal Fees

The Griekwastad MurdersStoffel de Jager, Don Steenkamp’s attorney, is taking steps to recover outstanding legal fees. Steenkamp was convicted for the murder of his parents as well as the rape and murder of his younger sister. The Griekwastad Murders by Jacques Steenkamp tells the story of the investigation of the crime.

Initially, it was believed that the then 17-year-old Don Steenkamp was a survivor of an attack on his family. He later became a suspect, and was convicted for rape and murder. He is currently serving a 20-year sentence.

In an article for the Diamond Fields Advertiser, Sandi Kwon Hoo provides an update on Steenkamp’s situation and explains the current complications with respect to his legal fees.

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De Jager has refused to disclose the outstanding amount, saying that there was an agreement between him and Div Pretorius from Haarhoffs Attorneys, who appeared on behalf of Heckroodt, not to speak to the media.

Heckroodt was not present in court on Friday.

De Jager, who represented himself, as the claimant, handed over a draft order regarding “monies owed” to Acting Judge Mpho Mamosebo in the motion court in the Northern Cape High Court, requesting that it be made a court order.

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Die Griekwastad-Moorde: Don Steenkamp is weer in die moeilikheid, die keer weens regskostes

Die Griekwastad-MoordeThe Griekwastad MurdersDie jong Griekwastad moordenaar en verkragter, Don Steenkamp, se prokureur Stoffel de Jager het onlangs met regstappe begin om sy uitstaande regskostes in te win.

Maroela Media het berig dat De Jager nie die bedrag bekend kon maak nie. Steenkamp is tans besig om ’n 20 jaar tronkstraf uit te dien.

Die storie wat die land aangegryp het word vertel deur Jacques Steenkamp in Die Griekwastad-Moorde: Die misdaad wat Suid-Afrika geruk het en die Engelse weergawe, The Griekwastad Murders.

Die heruitgawe van The Griekwastad Murders het in Oktober 2014 by Zebra Press verskyn waarin die Steenkamp seun geïdentifiseer word as die skuldige party.

Lees die artikel:

De Jagter het Vrydag ʼn konsepbevel oor “gelde verskuldig” aan waarnemende regter Mpho Maosebo in die Noord-Kaapse hooggeregshof ingedien.

De Jager wou nie die uitstaande bedrag bekend maak nie. Hy het gesê daar is ’n ooreenkoms tussen hom en Div Pretorius van Haarhoffs Prokureurs, wat namens Heckroodt optree, om nie met die media te praat nie.

Maroela Media het laat verlede jaar verslag gelewer oor Steenkamp se oorplasing na ’n ander gevangenis nadat hy die reëls by die Kimberley-gevangenis verontagsaam het.

Lees die artikel:

Grace Molatedi, adjunkkommissaris van die departement van korrektiewe dienste in die Vrystaat en Noord-Kaap, het aan Maroela Media gesê Steenkamp is van die Kimberley-gevangenis na ʼn ander gevangenis “in die streek” oorgeplaas.

RSG het berig dat Steenkamp na die Groenpunt-gevangenis in Vereeniging oorgeplaas is. Molatedi kon dit nie bevestig nie. Volgens Molatedi is Steenkamp na ʼn ander gevangenis oorgeplaas, aangesien hy ʼn “maksimum kategorie oortreder” is en die Kimberley-gevangenis nie voorsiening maak vir dié kategorie oortreders nie.


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David Klatzow on Shrien Dewani’s Acquittal: “I am Deeply Disappointed With the Way the State Runs its Affairs”

Justice DeniedForensic expert and author of Justice Denied: The Role of Forensic Science in the Miscarriage of Justice David Klatzow responded to Shrien Dewani’s case being thrown out of court, calling the trial a “national disaster”.

“It’s been a chapter of gross errors starting from the beginning, letting him go back home, crime scene investigation and the lame-duck prosecutor Adrian Mopp. He (Dewani) can never be retried and this is the end of the case. I am deeply disappointed with the way the State runs its affairs,” Klatzow told Fatima Schroeder, Natasha Bezuidenhout and Chelsea Geach in an interview for IOL.

The reporters also spoke to the late Anni Dewani’s family, who said: “We will now go through this case with our lawyers to confirm whether we can file a lawsuit against Shrien Dewani in the UK.”

British businessman Dewani was accused of plotting to murder his wife Anni while on honeymoon in South Africa in 2010 and consequently extradited to be tried in the Cape Town High Court where he was found not guilty by judge Jeanette Traverso.

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Dewani leaves the country a free man after Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso threw his case out of court on Monday.

The case was thrown out of court on Monday without the defence even presenting its side of events, despite the prosecution fighting for four years to bring Dewani to South Africa to face charges of orchestrating the murder.

On Monday forensic pathologist David Klatzow said the trial was a “national disaster”. He described prosecutor Adrian Mopp as “a lame duck”, while criminal attorney William Booth said: “Evidence must be very poor for the court to throw out the case.”

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Video: David Klatzow Answers the Question, “Do You Think Oscar Got Away with Murder?”

Justice DeniedDavid Klatzow, forensic expert and author of Justice Denied: The Role of Forensic Science in the Miscarriage of Justice, gave his opinion of the verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial to Debora Patta in a video shared by 48 Hours.

In this interview, Klatzow says that he felt that the Oscar Pistorius murder trial was an open and shut case, but that he was unpleasantly surprised by the verdict the judge reached. Speaking about Judge Thokozile Masipa he said, “I can’t see how she can escape the conclusion that he intended to kill somebody behind that toilet door”.

Watch the video:

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Updated Edition of The Griekwastad Murders by Jacques Steenkamp, With Information on Don Steenkamp

The Griekwastad MurdersThe updated edition of The Griekwastad Murders by Jacques Steenkamp is now available from Zebra Press:

This updated edition identifies Don Steenkamp as the perpetrator of the murders that shook South Africa and – in a new chapter – covers his full sentencing …

Just after dusk on Good Friday, 6 April 2012, the peace and quiet permeating the small Northern Cape town of Griekwastad was disrupted when a young teenage boy sped into town in his father’s Isuzu bakkie and screeched to a halt in front of the town’s nearly deserted police station. It was shortly before 19h00 when Don Steenkamp jumped out of the vehicle and ran into the station’s charge office, covered in blood, to announce that his parents and sister had been brutally shot and killed on the family farm, Naauwhoek. Although the killings were initially thought to be just another farm attack, months later Don was arrested for the murders, setting in motion a chain of events that would grip South Africa and divide the people of Griekwastad.

Based on interviews with all the role-players, including the investigating officers on the case, the forensic and ballistic experts, and family and friends of the deceased, and concluding with the verdict and the sentencing, this is the riveting account of what really happened on Naauwhoek farm on that fateful day, as told by the reporter who followed the case from day one.

The Griekwastad Murders is also available in Afrikaans as Die Griekwastad-moorde, with a new edition to be available from 1 November.

About the author

Jacques Steenkamp is one of the best hard-news journalists in South Africa and has reported on nearly a hundred murders. His contacts and sources uniquely qualify him to investigate and expose the truth behind the Griekwastad murders. Steenkamp is the recipient of several journalism and photography awards over the years, including the 2010 Scoop of the Year Award from the national Media24 Legends Awards.

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Zebra Authors at Open Book Festival 2014 (17-21 September)

The 2014 Open Book Festival is being held in Cape Town from Wednesday 17 to Sunday 21 September. Zebra authors to look out for at the festival include Andrew Brown, David Klatzow and Richard Calland.

Devil's HarvestJustice DeniedThe Zuma Years

Wednesday 17 September

Writing to be Read
Venue: Fugard Annexe 2
Price: R40
Time: 6 PM to 7 PM
Andrew Brown, Justin Fox and Fiona Leonard discuss their entertaining, issue driven novels with Diane Awerbuck.

Thursday 18 September

Justice Denied
Venue: Fugard Theatre
Price: R40
Time: 4 PM to 5 PM
Forensic expert David Klatzow tells Richard Calland about the limitations of forensic science.

Friday 19 September

Off the Page
Venue: Fugard Studio
Price: R40
Time: 4 PM to 5 PM
Karina Szczurek asks Andrew Brown, Ekow Duker and Jonny Steinberg about the impact that the content of their books has on them.

Another Great Day at Sea
Venue: Fugard Theatre
Price: R40
Time: 8 PM to 9 PM
Andrew Brown gets the inside story from Geoff Dyer about his latest project.

Sunday 21 September

Raising the Bar with Songezo Zibi
Venue: Fugard Studio
Price: R40
Time: 2 PM to 3 PM
Songezo launches Raising the Bar: Hope and Renewal in South Africa. Richard Calland poses the questions.

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