20090720

White SA MPs in racist hell in Nigeria

‘Our week of racist hell in Nigeria’ –

  • Jo-Ann Downs, deputy-pres. of African Christian Democratic Party…

 ACDP senior executives 2009 July 19 2009 -- Doreen Premdev writes on the frontpage of the Tribune that a seven-member South African parliamentary delegation has endured a nightmare trip to Nigeria during which specifically the white delegates were targetted by racist abuse and harassment by officials. Picture: the 2009 election ACDP top executes and delegates.

The entire group, mainly made up of KwaZulu-Natal provincial MPs, was intimidated – and especialy their white members were targetted by racist attacks and bribery attempts. Jo Ann Downs, deputy president of the African Christian Democratic Party, who formed part of a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association study tour of Nigeria, described the trip as a week of "racist hell".'

We sat on the airport floor and waited for three hours

The group, which left South Africa on Tuesday and was led by the deputy speaker of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature Mtholephi Mthimkhulu, was accompanied by  Downs, as well as Lindiwe Bebee (African National Congress), Makosi Nthuli (ANC), Richard Mthembu (ANC), Blessed Gwala (Inkatha Freedom Party) and Ben Ngubane (ANC).

They immediately encountered problems upon arrival in Lagos. Speaking to the Sunday Tribune from Nigeria before her return on Sunday, Downs said the delegation, as well as delegates from other African nations, have expressed"disgust" at the behaviour of some Nigerian officials.

  • "When we landed at the airport we were told there was ‘a problem with our documentation’. A security guard, with a firearm, tried to get us onto a plane back to South Africa, but we were told that we had to wait at the airport for them to sort out the problems.  We sat on the floor and waited for three hours. Eventually they allowed us to go to our hotel but we were escorted by officials. “

She also told of an incident at the hotel, ‘where an official sjambokked (whipped) the driver of their car, in an attempt to intimidate us."

Ordered not to leave the hotel:

Downs said the delegation stayed at the Sheraton Hotel in Lagos on Wednesday night and checked out on Thursday. She said they were given strict instructions not to leave the hotel ‘unless they were going out on official business’.

Downs grabbed for taking pictures in Niger Delta’s Bonny Islands oil terminals:

Niger Delta Bonny Islands oil terminals They booked in at the Protea Hotel in Port Harcourt, in the Rivers State on Thursday.

On Saturday morning the delegation was scheduled to visit Bonny Islands oil terminals, in the Niger Delta, (picture)  when Downs was rounded on for taking photographs.

"I had my camera hanging around my neck, and a man dressed in an overall came up to me. He was shouting at me for taking pictures. He grabbed the camera and I tried to get it away from him. "We struggled for a little while, and the other delegates tried to intervene. Eventually I gave the camera to him, but did complain about the incident. My camera was returned to me."

‘Frankly racist’:

Downs said the white delegates were ordered to "get out" of the boat, but the rest of the delegation protested: "I was shocked that they would treat people that way, it was frankly racist “

  • “After much protest they agreed to allow the white delegates on board,’ she said.

The delegates returned to South Africa on Sunday.

Dr Neville Mills of Evander crically injured in gang attack

 

20090717 Gang steals totally disabled Dr Ceval Mills’ patented electronic voice simulator, shoots down his dad Dr Neville Mills, 63 - critically injuring him…

Jul 19 2009 Hilda Fourie of Beeld newspaper reports:

‘Are you happy now?”screamed the armed gangster afer gunning down Dr Neville Mills of Evander. Dr Mills was gunned down and critically injured when he came running from his room after his wife Ria, 61, shouted when a gunman threatened to shoot their nearly totally disabled son Dr Ceval Mills, 34.

Mills Dr Ceval disabled gunmen steal his patented voicecommunicator July 19 2009 Picture: Dr Ceval Mills has been unable to move anything except his eyes and the thumb and index finger of his left hand -- ever since he was injured eight years ago in a traffic accident outside Shongwe Hospital near Malalane, where he was working as a rural doctor.

The accident’s injuries left him with the locked-in syndrome (a neurological complication whereby a patient loses all voluntary muscle function except for the ability to move the eyelids).  He gained fame two years ago as the winner of Mpumalanga province’s Fundza for Fun (Reading is Fun) writers’ competition for his book “This too will pass’, which sold out its first printing within just weeks. It took him four years to write the book on a laptop computer using his thumb and index finger. He also developed a computer mouse enabling himself to type just as quickly as he did before he was disabled.

Designed patented “Penpal” and “Thingy” voice communicator for disabled people:

Over the last three years, Dr Ceval Mills has worked as a researcher at the medical aid schemes Momentum Health and Discovery Health. He developed an electronic voice simulator with which he communicates – and which now has been robbed. This innovative, self-designed IT apparatus functions with controls that are activated with only the thumb and forefinger of his left hand and which he has named Thingy. He is now working full-time to develop two different IT devices that will make computers more user-friendly for other disabled people with (extreme) limited hand function. A patent has been registered on his first design Thingy --  and a grant was approved by the Department of Trade and Industry for its development and marketing. He is currently registering and developing the second device, which he has called Penpal.

‘Do you want to die today?’

The Mills couple’s daughter Mrs Madie Dittrich, a Pretoria lawyer, said the first words to her mom and disabled brother by the robber gang as they stormed into the Mills home were: “Do you want to die today"?”  They ripped off Ceval’s patented cellphone which he had designed himself and which he wore around his neck, and put a gun to his head.

  • “They told my mom they are going to shoot Cival dead. My mom screamed, and this alerted my dad who was on his bed. He jumped up and rushed to the living room – and when the gunmen saw him they shot him down. Then they screamed at my mother ‘Are you happy now?’  Mrs Dittrich said.

While Neville Mills was lying on the floor, bleeding and critically injured, the gunmen calmly took the family cellphones and laptop-computers and strolled out of the sliding door they had broken through to get into the house. Her brother still tried to push the gangsters with his wheelchair but her mother intervened, stopping him from doing so, Mrs Dittrich said. Neville was rushed to Unitas Hospital where one kidney was removed during a six-hour surgical procedure and his stomach, which also was struck by the bullet, required repairs. Mrs Dittrich said that her mom and brother are very traumatised. Police supt. Abie Khoabane confirmed ‘the incident’ and said nobody was arrested.