About 100 People Left Homeless After Red Ants Kicked Out Residents In Flats

61-year-old Shot And Other Wounded During Extension22 Flats Eviction

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The Red Ants and other law enforcement agencies used rubber bullets to disperse residents who were living in Nellmapius, Extension 22 flats on Monday morning. This happened after residents claimed to have held several meetings with previous Tshwane mayor, Solly Msimanga and housing and settlement MMC Mandla Nkomo. The meetings took place after the local elections and they were assured the flats belonged to them. Residents moved in flats last month.

They said they are fed up with empty promises and  have been on the waiting list for a long time. Most of them said to have no where else to go. During the eviction, a number of people were left sitting on the side of the road with their belongings. According to a source, at the point, Red Ants started shooting at the crowd as well as some of the people who were standing around the apartments.

Many of them said they would not allow voting to take place until this matter is resolved. Although people moved in unfinished flats with no water and electricity installed yet, they said they were prepared to pay rent and finish the units themselves as they were desperate for homes. Community members also said the apartments had been left open and unfinished for around three years. Many refused to leave the area until government intervene in this matter. A 61-year-old woman was reported shot in the leg and several other people were wounded during the eviction.

More updates to follow.

By: Fortunate Machaba 

SJAY ARTWORK Grew From Local Events Making To Global Brand Making

IMG-20190409-WA0000When Junior Stephen Baloyi, an entrepreneur from Pretoria, Mamelodi launched SJAY ARTWORKS with a slogan titled “BRINGING VISION TO LIFE” in 2016, he wanted to create a niche business which was to make posters for local businesses around Mamelodi. He did not make money in the first place and wanted his work to be seen by his potential customers. He then started running events with a team around Mamelodi.

“We used to host events at one of the pubs in Mamelodi west but I then thought is not really what I want to do, we all had different ideas and visions and goals and people don’t know what you actually looking for. We later formed an event company management called divergence and collaborated with few others around Mamelodi but I later left the group, said Junior Baloyi.

If we were to sell different ideas in Mamelodi we would all be successful entrepreneurs. The problem with being an entrepreneur especially in Mamelodi, is that we do not support each other financially although you learn what to do and what not to do in business in the end. I’ve learned to have my own code of conduct for my company to avoid people taking advantage especially when coming to payments. He mentioned that he has gained a lot of exposure in the industry and even learned how to be a DJ, events marketing, Own HR and branding. That has helped him to find himself of a massive brand and poster making that has been growing far beyond his original vision. He’s rolling with it adapting right alongside his one-man company.

IMG-20190408-WA0025Junior has been in the industry for 3 years. He still pursue doing more to develop others in Mamelodi and to get his business abroad. “My work motivates me, I believe more in putting words into a picture and seeing my work out there inspire me to do more”, said Junior. He had people who mentored him throughout his journey, although he has done most of the work to get himself at a peak and some of those people were very inspirational to him, one of them being Ron Epidemic who is a producer and produced for popular artists. He influenced him positively in the journey and that tough Junior perseverance and humbleness.

“My sense of focus helped me to be where I am today, responsibilities made me want to be in this business and work for someone at the same time, I always thought it wasn’t enough to live off. I invest more time and money in myself and company to generate more income”, said Junior.

Junior says for those who pursue being in the same business, grasp your skill, everyone has their own way of designing things, use your own designing skills, get your skills right and don’t be in it for money! In few months time, he said he will want to see himself having his own space of work and have a team to work with.

by: Fortunate Machaba 

Khekhe On Bail After Declaring Unlawful Arrest To High Court

Vusi ‘Khekhe’ Mathibela was granted bail after immediate application declaring his arrest was unlawful.

Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela and his co-accused, Elias Skhosana and Stemer Monageng’s Attorney yesterday said the charges laid against them must be dropped as what they were accused of was declared inconsistent.  They appeared in Pretoria Magistrate Court on Friday, 22 March for an ongoing bail hearing and his application was accepted by the court. They are accused of extorting money and intimidating businesses and taxi owners in Mamelodi.  According to the charge sheet, read by the state prosecutor earlier this week, the three of them are facing schedule five charges as the amount they allegedly extorted was just over R600 000. On the other hand, the investigation officer, testified on the same day that the accused actually demanded millions in exchange to protect the development of Denneboom Mall in Mamelodi West.

“I’d say millions. They were demanding R2 million a month for protecting the project. They also wanted another 30% [of the contract] which we haven’t calculated yet”, said the investigative officer, Vongani Shihangule.

He added that witnesses have also accused Monageng of getting contracts for his security company through intimidation. It is suspected that more money than the allocated amount will be lost on the project due to such circumstances. More people are expected to come forth with evidence against the other suspect, Skhosana. He was urged not to go anywhere near malls or people at the moment until further notice. Officer Shihangule opposed bail of the two accused, stating that witnesses still felt intimidated while the extorted deals were still standing. However Mathibela, known as “Number 1 Tsotsi”, had abandoned bail, as an urgent application to regard his arrest unlawful was accepted by the High Court in Pretoria yesterday. According to his defense, his arrest was unlawful as the arrest warrant against him was not presented when he handed himself over. The court was to decide on a date for the urgent application. Mathibela is now on bail.

By: Fortunate Machaba

Vusi Khekhe Awaits For Bail

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Photo by IOL 

The alleged No1 Tsotsi Vusi “Khekhe” Mathibela will wait until Friday to find out if they grant him a bail at Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Elias Skhosana and Stemmer Monageng appeared in court as they were also accused of intimidating and extorting money from Mamelodi business people for so called “protection fee”. They both submitted affidavits stating that the court did not need to keep them in police custody for justice to be served.

Vusi’s counsel has last week announced that he was temporarily abandoning his bail application and instructed his counsel to lodge an urgent high court application to challenge the legality of his arrest.

More updates to follow.

By: Fortunate Machaba 

Visi Handed Himself To Police

Vusi Khekhe handed himself over to the police in Germiston on Tuesday night. This happens after the suspect was accused of allegedly been part of a group “terrorising” Mamelodi community. Police had obtained a warrant for Vusi Reginald Mathibela also known as “Vusi Khekhe” following cases of extortion, intimidation and assault claimed against him. 

“The long arm of the law knows no boundaries, and will forever take its course no matter who you are. Residents of Mamelodi have been living in fear for far too long, the authority of the State will be felt and heard in all corners of South Africa” said Cele.

“We shall continue to stay true to our mission as the police to prevent and combat anything that may threaten the safety and security of any community and investigate all crimes and further ensure that offenders are brought to justice.”

Police said three of the suspects, Zwelibanzi Ngubane, Justice Khumalo and Asante Alfred were charged with possession of unlicensed firearms. They all appeared in the Alexander Magistrate’s Court on Monday and were released on R2000 bail each and their case was postponed to April for further investigation. Police further revealed that the fourth and fifth suspects, Elias Skosana and Kompi Stemmer Monageng were charged with extortion, intimidation and assault. While the sixth suspect was released pending further investigations on a charge of possession of unlicensed firearm.

“We are confident that Vusi Reginald “Khekhe” Mathibela has cases to answer to”, said National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole.

Khekhe is expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court soon. The date is not yet finalised.

By: Fortunate Machaba

Areyeng Bus Damaged Due To Overload

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Picture cited from: Areyeng site

Areyeng buses were not operating this morning due to the bus that was damaged at Denlyn in Mamelodi on Thursday. The bus driver confirmed that the company will be addressing them today. “We had a meeting last Thursday with the CEO of the company, we listed a number of issues we are facing as workers, one of them being the issue of overload which is putting passengers and drivers lives at risk, I was not happy about the response from the CEO”, said one of the bus drivers who does not wish to be named. He added that he was expecting the CEO to say that there will be new buses to resolve the matter instead they were told to stop carrying beyond their legal and safe capacity. Many commuters were left due to bus overload which lead to anger and damage to one of the buses. “I’m going to use a taxi as an alternative because the buses are not operating, I’m not happy the bus is cheaper and going to the taxi is causing me more money”, said a bus commuter, Lindiwe Masombuka. The other user Nini Mampye, added that the company does not care about them because they know how many buses are needed seeing from the number of bus cards that are being sold. Areyeng can’t be reached out for comment at the moment. More updates to follow.

By: Fortunate Machaba

Drug Abuse Needs Alarming Solutions; Mamelodi

Mamelodi has seen an increase in reported contact crimes when compared to the 2015/16 statistics. After research, Mamelodi East has increased by 7.6% from 2207 to 2374 from those years. According to Pretoria East Rekord, the Mamelodi East police station reported a murder rate increase of 48.1 % in 2015. The 2017 statistics revealed 113 sexual offences, 554 common assaults, 80 murders, 766 aggravated assault, 722 drugs crime in Mamelodi. Crime, specifically in drug (Nyaope) and aggravated assault seem to be the highest issues that Mamelodi residents face. The drug is mostly abused by young people in Townships. Other townships such as Hammanskraal and Ga-Rankuwa face the same challenges and also other crimes including sexual offence crime. Hamanskraal had witnessed as a 51.3% increase of sexual offences. IOL published an article on the 31st of October, 2017 about community members in  Alaska (East of Mamelodi) who took initiative on a project called Viva Foundation which prevents sexual violence in the community. The foundation was founded by Leon Kriel. After two years of the project’s operation,  Mamelodi residents managed to drastically reduce incidents of rape and domestic violence through a “simple” panic button. The concept behind the project was to eliminate the crimes rather than dealing with them after they had been committed.

What can be done to eliminate the issue of drugs (Nyaope) and aggravated assaults in communities?

By: Fortunate Machaba