I didn’t do it – ‘horror crèche’ owner

NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on April 11, 2014.

A relative of creche owner of Petite Bumper Dayare Labeeba Truter, leave Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, 10 April 2014, after cases of child abuse and assault against Truter was postponed to 25 April 2014. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

In a court appearance no longer than five minutes yesterday, Labeeba Truter was told she would have to spend 15 more days at Johannesburg’s “Sun City” Prison.

Truter, the principle and owner of Petite Bumper Daycare in Rosettenville, in the south of Johannesburg, was arrested on April 8 facing charges of assault and child abuse. Truter made the news earlier this week following a viral video of a child tied up and gagged at her daycare centre.

In her first court appearance at the Johannesburg Regional Court yesterday afternoon, Judge Hawkins said Truter can formally apply for bail on April 25. Truter looked back at her family in disbelief when she found out she wouldn’t be able to go home after her appearance.

Advocate Herry Bonke Maluleke, Truter’s legal representative said the State could not let her go because she faced “numerous counts and further investigation by the State” would need to be done. “The allegations are yet to be tested,” and the State has to prove them, he said.

Truter stuck to her guns and said: “I’m not the one who did it.” She claimed she had been falsely arrested and the charges she was facing did not even pertain to the complainant’s child.

“It’s not even the same kid. The kid in the Daily Sun is not Beauty and the “father” they spoke to is not her father,” said a frustrated Truter.

She added the child in the video was not even in the country at the moment, as her father had taken her and her mother to Mozambique at the weekend.

Truter said she was called to the bathroom by one of the other children at her daycare and when she got to the bathroom another teacher was there with the child. “When I walked in she hid something behind her back – a cellphone maybe. She has family at the Daily Sun,” said Truter.

Maluleke said Truter would “most definitely” make bail on April 25.

Meet Little Lagos – Jozi style

NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on April 9, 2014.

Evans Emeafa does a client's hair at his family owned beauty salon in Braamfontein, 7 April 2014. The area has been nicknamed little Lagos due to the amount of Nigerian owed businesses in the area. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark
Evans Emeafa does a client’s hair at his family owned beauty salon in Braamfontein, 7 April 2014. The area has been nicknamed little Lagos due to the amount of Nigerian owed businesses in the area. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

You can find anything from vegetables to groceries and a unique haircut to traditional clothing when you visit the Nigerian shop-owners in Braamfontein.

It is a busy area, with loud Nigerian music playing in the shops where both foreigners and students do business.

It is also known as Little Lagos by students who stay nearby.

Some of the Nigerian entrepreneurs in downtown Johannesburg told The Citizen they were happy to hear their mother country’s economy had overtaken South Africa as the continent’s largest.

Biccard Street in Braamfontein has quite a few Nigerian-owned businesses that bring competitive services and products to consumers. Everything from salons, to Internet cafes, gyms and clothing stores line the busy street.

Oluwadamilola Apotieri, a Nigerian business owner in the area, said while the GDP takeover was good news, the truth of the matter is that it will not put food on the table of the poor. “It will not reduce the level of poverty. It will only add up to the political mumbo jumbo.”

Apotieri attributed Nigerian business people’s success to zeal. “Nigerian entrepreneurs do not mind spending time, money and energy to build.”

Ameck Ottance, a dressmaker at Graceland Fashion Design, said: “Nigerians are business-minded people. You can see that from the businesses on this street.”

Evans Emeafo, manager and stylist at a hair salon, said his trade secret lays in “keeping it in the family”.

The salon he works at is owned by his brother and their employees are all family members.

Emeafo said he “was happy that the Nigerian economy was doing so well”, but so was his business. He sees no reason to move back home.

EFF will leave Wits’ Senate House ‘when recognised’

NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on April 4, 2014. 

Students of the Wits EFF branch occupy the 11th floor Senate Room, Wits University yesterday. The students are demanding recognition as an official university club. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Wits entered their second day of occupation on the 11th floor of the Senate House building at Wits University in Johannesburg yesterday. 

The student branch of the EFF on Wednesday occupied vice-chancellor Adam Habib’s office in protest against its lack of recognition by the university as a society.

Security moved the EFF members from the office the following morning, which is when they relocated to the Senate House, with a constant security presence.

Habib said the security measures were put in place as “a precaution to ensure that the occupation doesn’t get out of hand”.

Vuyani Pambo, EFF Wits chairperson, said the occupation would only come to an end once the EFF’s Wits group was recognised as a university society on campus.

“”Every day that passes frustrates our political programme,” he said.

The EFF had followed all the right channels and had interacted with both the SRC and the dean of student affiars, Pamela Dube, on various occasions, yet their application was still rejected, he said.

Reports have indicated that the EFF was not registered because they submitted their application late to the SRC.

“These are lies. This is a tactic,” said Pambo.

He said that the group went into action when they discovered that their application would have to wait until next year.

Habib said the university intended to launch an investigation into the matter, which would be completed today.

On the indefinite period of the occupation, Habib said that students are “free to occupy any public space, as long as they obey the rules”.

However, he added that the EFF group were being unreasonable” as their gripe was with the SRC, and not him.

Habib was away in Pretoria when the students took over his office. He initially engaged with them publically during their occupation of his office live on twitter. Their hashtag #EFFoccupation has gained traction on the social media site.

Pambo said that their “soft radical action” would escalate if the university didn’t engage them today or at latest on Monday.