Bo-kaap residents fight on

Cape Town, December 18 2018 – The David and Goliath battle rages on, between Bo-Kaap residents and developers Blok. The community is objecting to the construction of luxury apartments in their neighbourhood. And now they’ve gone even further. They say the sale of the land is invalid, and the public participation process was inadequate. eNCA’s Pheladi Sethusa has the details. Courtesy #DStv403 #eNCANow 

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Blok Bo-Kaap case postponed

Cape Town, December 6 2018 – The case involving property developer Blok and Bo-Kaap residents has been delayed. The developer is looking to interdict protesting residents, who have in recent weeks blocked construction cranes from entering their community. They say they want to see an end to the unchecked gentrification in what should be a heritage area.

N12 Crash: Defence lawyers drop truck driver

NOTE: Article first appeared on The Citizen website on October 16, 2014. 

The driver of the truck that ploughed into close to 50 cars on the N12 on the East Rand on Tuesday, was left in the lurch by his legal representatives at Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court on Thursday afternoon.

N12 crash truck driver Isaac Maruding in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court. Pic: Tracy Lee Stark.
N12 crash truck driver Isaac Maruding in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court. Pic: Tracy Lee Stark.

Truck driver Isaac Maruding had his first appearance in court on Thursday. State attorney, John Ntuli applied for a postponement of the case to investigate further.

Maruding, facing four counts of culpable homicide and one count of reckless and negligent driving, covered his face throughout proceedings.  His representatives, advocate Gerhard Louw and Deon van Staden initially opposed the postponement, wanting to proceed with Maruding’s bail application.

When Magistrate Samuel Hlubi denied the defences application,  Louw asked to be withdrawn as his client’s representative. “We don’t have instruction to proceed with this case beyond today,” Louw said.

Maruding has a previous conviction for both culpable homicide and reckless and negligent driving, and served time in prison for both, the court heard.

The state asked for more time to properly compile information on those who died in the crash, Ntuli saying “additional charges” may be added in future.

Hlubi postponed the matter until October 22, to give both the state and Maruding the time they need.

Maruding now has to find alternative legal representation after the company appointed lawyers dumped him on Thursday.

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

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

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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.

Court Week [1/5]

Photo: http://www.cultofmac.com

Today we went off to the Johannesburg Magistrates Court to get acquainted with courts and to see our justice system at work.

We began the day by looking at the roll for the day to see which cases/trials  we would want to watch and cover for the day. We were all tasked with finding one interesting case and reporting on it by our 6pm deadline.

It was a bit tricky finding the right court to attend but by midday we had found a few interesting cases and trials to cover. Today we went off in little groups so we could all struggle together, hopefully we all learnt enough today to brave the corridors by ourselves come Wednesday.

We had to be back at the department at 4pm so we could all submit by 6pm. It took me a while to decide which case I would write about because they were all interesting in their own way. We had two drunken driving ones, tax evasion and theft.

What I wanted to write about was a refugee from Mozambique who was charged with theft (he stole a Woolies trolley) and not having any “lawful” identification documents. I didn’t knew that foreigners are obliged to carry some sort of identification on their person at all times or face arrest when they don’t. It seems very 1952 to me. His case made me even more sad when he was sentenced to more jail time because he couldn’t possibly afford the R3000 fine required of him for both “crimes”.

Anyway I ended up not having enough solid information to write that story, so I wrote this one instead:

DIVERSION – A LITTLE KNOWN PLEA

*Names changed to protect identities

Pheladi Sethusa

Guilty or not guilty are not the only choices when a plea is being made in court. People accused of small misdemeanours can plead diversion, which is a plea of no contest against the charges being made.

Thomas* (30) from Berea pleaded diversion to charges of drunken driving earlier today in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court. Diversion is normally only granted to people who commit low value crimes, like shoplifting or possession of a small amount of drugs said his lawyer, James*.

James said that Thomas deserved a diversion because, “he is a taxi driver, a Zulu and a South African.”

The magistrate was not impressed with this argument, saying that his nationality should not divert from the crime committed. To this James replied that it is indeed a mitigating factor in getting his bail dropped.

James claimed that his client could not afford the bail amount which was set at R1000. “Are you taking this on as a pro bono case, Mr James?”, “No I am not,” replied James. The magistrate went on to ask how Thomas could then afford legal counsel but not meet bail.

James asked for Thomas to be allowed to enter the diversion programme. Diversion can only be granted when a person does not deny the charges being made against them, explained James.

The magistrate released Thomas on a warning and told him he can go ahead and enroll for the diversion programme as requested by his lawyer. He would have to come back on May 27 to find out how many hours he would have to serve in the programme.

The diversion programme is run in conjunction with the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA). The programme aims to rehabilitate people who are enrolled.

Once the hours stipulated by the court have been completed, Sibiya must come back to court with evidence thereof. Then his record will be cleared and he won’t have a criminal record to his name.

That is all for today, I am bushed and I have an episode of Isibaya to watch.