20090626

We rob you because we don’t have jobs…

 

Graan_Miep_van_77_WheelchairPatientRobbedGunpoint Jun 25 2009  -- Mrs Miep van Graan, 77, an wheelchair-bound, handicapped Afrikaans woman of Sunnridge in Primrose, Germiston, was photographed by Beeld photographer Bongiwe Gumede while explaining how an armed robber had grabbed her hands and ripped off her jewellery during an armed robbery at her home on Monday-evening. “When I started crying, he put a hand om my back and said, don’t worry, don’t worry.’ 

Click here to find out more!Beeld journalist André Damons writes that the retired couple, Dr Pierre van Graan, a retired dentist, his wife and their housekeeper Mrs Rose Chirwa, 35, were having dinner when the men walked into their home. They were told by the robbers: “sorry, but we don’t have jobs and have to do this’…

Police call it a ‘ housebreaking’.

Dr Van Graan was made to lie down on the couch and his hands were tied up behind his back. Mrs Chirwa was taken to the living room with a gun pointed at her head and also tied up. They searched for ‘the safe’, but Dr Van Graan explained that their safe had never been used or even opened. They spent another half-an-hour looting the house before leaving with Mrs Van Graan’s jewellery and electronic bling as well as CDs, and Dr Van Graan’s watch, a Christmas gift. They also took clothing and shoes, but adhered to Dr Van Graan’s pleas not to take his new tennis rackets. Police inspector William Masondo said they have ‘prioritised’ the area as a ‘housebreaking hot spot’ because they have been occurring a lot lately. “We have most of our officers patrol this region,’ he said. It’s not clear why he referred to this armed robbery of a defenceless old couple as a ‘housebreaking’ instead of an armed attack on a private home. Whatever category he will place this crime under in his ‘crime statistics’, the fact remains that by Friday-morning, there have been no reports of arrests for this crime as yet. http://jv.news24.com/Beeld/Suid-Afrika/0,,3-975_2533246,00.html

Crime stats manipulated – here’s the proof

 

 Crime Stats CoverUp Lennit Max claim June 262009CT June 24 2009 -- CAPE TOWN, South Africa. More than 50 rape cases - some involving children as young as four - were never noted nor investigated by police in the Western Cape because they didn’t want their crime statistics to look bad, Community Safety MEC Lennit Max told the news media this week.

Max feared widespread manipulation of the crime-statistics in the Western Cape province, with his findings that police often also were found to record serious crimes under ‘less-serious’ categories.

It’s a worry which many crime-fighting organisations and besieged citizens in South Africa have been suspecting for years, namely that  the official crime statistics issued by the police service from its Pretoria headquarters, are being grossly understated and manipulated. In this case, the malpractices had been uncovered in the Western Cape province  – however since the SA police is under the centralised control  of the ruling ANC-party, such manipulations could well be taking place countrywide.

Mr Max said he ‘feared widespread manipulation of the crime-statistics in the Western Cape province’, with his findings that ‘police often also were found to record serious crimes under ‘less-serious’ categories….’

Max 'flooded' with calls on alleged crime stats cover-up

  • And he also said that provincial police commissioner Mzwandile Petros had been “either ignorant or dishonest” about the matter.

Max made these allegations when he announced he had asked the police watchdog, the police’s Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), to investigate these and other serious crimes that had been reported to police in the province, but which had allegedly not been investigated by them.  Max asked the ICD to probe the alleged manipulation of crime statistics at the Paarl, Paarl East, Mbekweni and Wellington police stations. Max says Petros told him previously that there was “nothing wrong” at the Paarl police station after allegations of malpractice surfaced and were investigated. But last week, a senior officer showed Max documents and sworn statements detailing the alleged manipulation of statistics at the Paarl police station, which contradicted what Petros had told him.Max said he had also received information from police officers at the four stations about statistics being tampered with.

According to the information he gathered, 56 rape cases reported in and around Paarl, dating back to January 2 two years ago and up to May this year, had not been registered as criminal cases on the police’s database and officers had instead treated them as inquiries - meaning the rapes were recorded but not investigated.

At the Paarl East police station, 19 rape cases had been reported, but allegedly not investigated. At the Mbekweni station, 16 reported cases had allegedly not been investigated. At Paarl, 13 reported rapes had allegedly not been investigated. In Wellington, eight cases appeared not to have been investigated.

  • “As a direct result of these malpractices, young victims were deprived of proper police investigations and perpetrators are walking free,” Max said.

Registered under less serious crime categories:

He also said 27 cases, including burglaries and the theft of cars, had been registered at the four police stations as malicious damage to property - a less serious crime - and 38 serious crimes, including fraud and robbery, had instead been registered as theft. These specific crimes have since been reregistered accurately and are now being investigated. For South African Police statistics, access their documents page on http://www.saps.gov.za  (They haven’t posted any new statistics since the end of 2007, but refer to these statistics as dating from ‘2007/8).

  • Max said allegations of crimes being recorded as less serious than they were had also surfaced at the Oudtshoorn police station, and he feared the manipulation of crime statistics he had so far been notified of was only a fraction of what had occurred at the province’s 147 police stations.

As only station commissioners and cluster commanders at police stations had the authority to decide how a crime is classified, Max said this meant if allegations of manipulating statistics were true, senior officers were to blame.

The MEC said he had previously approached Petros about the possibility of crime statistics being tampered with, specifically at the Paarl police station, but Petros had told him this had been investigated and that the allegations had been found to be false.

  • “He told me it was people just being malicious; that they had something against the directors and these were the only discrepancies found.”

Max has lodged a formal complaint with the ICD’s regional head, Thabo Leholo, about the alleged tampering with statistics. http://www.capetimes.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=5053201

Criminal complaints against police members rose by 71.7% …

It’s not altogether surprising that the SA Police Service is understating the truth somewhat in regard to the crime statistics. The Independent Police Directorate has also had a busy four year taking criminal charges against police members which soared by 71.7% since four years earlier:

  • The IPD says in 2005/2006 there were 1,643 criminal complaints, in 2006/2007, it rose to 1 787 criminal charges, in 2007/8 it rose to 2,101 and the past year registered 2,289 official criminal complaints lodged against police members which had to be investigated.
  • These charges included murder, attempted murder, rape, culpible homicide and serious criminal assaults, thefts and corruption.

And those are just the charges which the public dares to lodge. There’s a lot more out there which people are too terrified to report about. This indicates that there is a very serious problem with the selection and training process of police officers in South Africa. 

The Freedom Front Plus spokesman for security Jan Groenewald said what is even more worrying is that only 51% of 2009 complaints – i.e. 1165 out of the 2,289, could actually be completed. There are a whopping 4,257 cases which still have investigations pending against them. And once again, the SA Police Service refuses to release the latest statistics about this problem, he said. http://praag.co.za/content/view/5134/402/

EU spends €145-million on milk, fruit for European kids

 

Why does the EU feed free milk and fruit to planet’s best-fed kids?

EU Winner of Milk Drink it Up Photography competition June 26 2009 – This picture on the left  - which I am aching to crop all those ugly bits from -- was taken by Hungarian student photographer Benedek Horvath to illustrate the “Milk, Drink it Up” marketing campaign of the EU.

Horvath has thus beaten 709 other young Europeans to win the EU's ‘Milk Power’ photo competition, announced Mariann Fischer Boel, the European Commissioner for agriculture and rural development, speaking at a bakery school in Paris yesterday. It’s rather unclear why he won though, because he didn’t get the highest number of votes.

The photo competition was part of the dairy-products marketing campaign,The Picture Which Got more than 5000 votes didn't win designed to inform Europeans about the benefits of milk and dairy products “as a healthy alternative to junk food and drinks and to prevent health-problems due to obesity”.

Horvath received more than 4,549 votes for his picture. Strangely though, the absolutely terrific picture on the right,  taken by an unnamed entrant, received a whopping 5,186 votes – i.e. higher than any of the three top winners –  it didn’t win: Check it out -- It’s a deepening mystery. The combined second-place runners-up were Andrea Cremona (1332 votes) of Malta, and Teresa Videva (1,490 votes) of Bulgaria.

Just as their voting decisions in this photo competition remain extremely murky, it’s also  not entirely clear however why European taxpayers would have to pay for marketing such commercial food-products by handing these out for free at schools--  adding to the already awesome nutritional intake of some of the most pampered kids on the entire planet.

€145-million for milk and fruit schemes at schools…

It's also interesting to note that the European Union has already allocated more than €55 million to this European School Milk Programme during the school year that is just ending, and that €90 million more is being planned for the next school year for the School Fruit Scheme.

Tenth place winnerFischer Boel motivates this free feeding scheme by claiming that the EU has at least 21-million overweight young people – even more proof that they certainly don’t need extra feeding. However, her intention with handing out free milk and fruit at schools was to 'raise awareness about good nutrition among children and teenagers."

" I am thus delighted to see that many young people have demonstrated their creativity in showing us how much they love milk products by entering the photo competition,’ she added.

The winning photos were chosen by  internet surfers” throughout the EU, and were presented by the Commissioner during her visit this week to the Bakery and Pastry School of Paris.

Horvath wins a Wii Sport computer game console. This was a politically-very, very correct prize because its use “requires a combination of physical activity in a family setting with an interest in technology.”http://www.drinkitup.europa.eu/

The tenth placed picture, left,  got 3,370 votes, more than the two second-place runners-up combined….

Top Ten images – with votes:

http://www.drinkitup.europa.eu/index.php?id=toptenimages