Three Zimbabwean guilty of rape and gruesome murder in South Africa

Johannesburg – The three men who raped two women and killed their husbands in Rhodes Park, Johannesburg were found guilty in the North Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday, News24 reported.

Admore Ndlovu, 23, Thabo Nkala, 25, and Mduduzi Mathibela Lawrence, 32, were found guilty of robbery, two counts of rape and two counts of murder.

They were allegedly part of a 12-man gang who attacked two couples who had gone to the park in Kensington on the evening of Saturday, October 17, 2015, after a church service.

The four were reportedly forced to lie on the ground. A knife was used to cut off the underwear of both women before they were raped.

Their husbands, Zukisa Khela and Sizwe Tyeke, were forced to strip and were ordered into the lake, where they drowned. Police divers found the bodies.

The gang allegedly stole their clothes, jewellery, and cellphones.

ANC struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada dies

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation is deeply saddened to announce the passing on of ANC veteran Ahmed Kathrada (87) this morning, at the Donald Gordon Hospital in Johannesburg.

Kathrada passed away peacefully after a short period of illness, following surgery to the brain.

Neeshan Balton, Executive Director of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, confirmed that the anti-apartheid struggle veteran “breathed his last today”.

“This is great loss to the ANC, the broader liberation movement and South Africa as a whole. Internationally, he was staunch in his support for the Palestinian struggle. ‘Kathy’ was an inspiration to millions in different parts of the world,” said Balton.

Kathrada Foundation Chairperson, Derek Hanekom, was overcome with emotion saying he has lost a “revolutionary mentor and dear friend”.

“Comrade Kathy was a gentle, humane and humble soul. He was a determined revolutionary who gave his entire life to the liberation struggle in our country,” he added.

Kathrada will be buried according to Muslim religious rights, details of which will be made publicly available in due course.

Fellow Robben Island prisoner, Laloo ‘Isu’ Chiba (86) said that his comrade’s death has left a deep vacuum in his life.

“I have worked with Kathy for over sixty years. He has been my strength in prison, my guide in political life and my pillar of strength in the most difficult moments of my life. Now he is gone,” said a visibly shaken Chiba.

Kathrada has had an illustrious political career having served between 1994 and 1999 as the parliamentary counsellor to late President Nelson Mandela.

He was born on 21 August 1929 in rural Schweizer-Reneke and was introduced to politics as a young boy when he joined a non-racial youth club run by the Young Communist League.

At the tender age of 17, Kathrada participated in the 1946 Passive Resistance Campaign led by the South African Indian Congress. He was part of 2000 resisters who were arrested and imprisoned for defying a law that discriminated against Indian South Africans.

Kathrada, under the tutelage of Transvaal Indian Congress leader, Dr Yusuf Dadoo, later befriended emerging ANC leaders such as Walter Sisulu, Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo.

In 1951, Kathrada visited East Berlin to attend the youth festival jointly organised by the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), and the International Union of Students (IUS). While there he visited Poland, where the Auschwitz concentration camp left an indelible impression on him.

Back home in 1952, Kathrada was in a group of 20, including Mandela and Sisulu, who were sentenced to nine months in prison with hard labour – suspended for two years – for organising the Defiance Campaign against six unjust, apartheid laws. The campaign was jointly organised by the ANC and SA Indian Congress.

In 1954, Kathrada was placed under restrictions by apartheid security police and was arrested several times for breaking his banning orders. In 1956, he was among the 156 Congress activists and leaders charged for High Treason. The trial continued for four years after which all the accused were acquitted. Kathrada, Mandela and Sisulu were among the last 30 to be acquitted.

While they were on trial in 1960, the ANC and PAC were banned. In 1962, Kathrada was placed under “house arrest”. The following year Kathrada broke his banning orders and went underground to continue his political and military work in the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK).

In July 1963, the police swooped on Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, a Johannesburg suburb where Kathrada and other banned persons had been meeting secretly. This led to the famous Rivonia Trial in which eight accused were sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour on Robben Island. His fellow prisoners included ANC leaders such as Mandela, Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Denis Goldberg, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni.

Kathrada spent 26 years and 3 months in prison, 18 of which were on Robben Island. In 1982, Mandela, Sisulu, Kathrada, Mhlaba and Mlangeni were transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town.

While in prison he obtained four university degrees, namely, BA (in History and Criminology), B Bibliography (in African Politics and Library Science), BA Honours (History) and BA Honours (African Politics).

Soon after his release on 15 October 1989, the ANC was unbanned. At its first legal conference in South Africa, Kathrada was elected onto its National Executive Committee. Until 1994, he headed the ANC’s Public Relations Department. At its Conference in 1997, Kathrada declined nomination to the National Executive Committee.

In 1992, Kathrada undertook the Islamic Haj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

In 1994, Kathrada was elected to Parliament and served as President Mandela’s Parliamentary Counsellor. He was chairperson of the Robben Island Museum Council from 1997 until his term expired in 2006.

In 2008, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation was launched with the aim of deepening non-racialism. Kathrada was an active participant in the Foundation’s work, which includes promoting Constitutional ideals and human rights, youth leadership and development, challenging racism and preserving and promoting liberation history.

Kathrada’s activism spanned a total of 75 years.

Ahmed Kathrada received the following awards:

– Honorary Degree, Central London Polytechnic, February 1986

– Honorary Degree, Canada University of Guelph, February, 1986

– “Isithwalandwe”, the highest award bestowed by the ANC, 1992

– Fellow of the Mayibuye Centre, University of the Western Cape, 1991

– The ANC’s Merit Award for Long Service

– Presidential Order for Meritorious Service Class 1: Gold, 1999

– Honorary Doctorate: University of Massachusetts, May 2000

– Honorary Doctorate: University of Durban-Westville

– 2002 Mahatma Gandhi Award by the Congress of Business and Economics, October 2003

– Doctorate of Humane Letters: University of Missouri, January 2004

– Voted 46th in the Top 100 Great South Africans, 2004

– Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award by President of India, January 2005

– Doctor of Humanities: Michigan State University, December 2005

– Recognition award of his sacrifices and outstanding contribution to democracy, constitutionalism and human rights in South Africa, Constitution Hill Trust, October 2009

– Kentucky State Award, April 2011

– Honorary Degree from Kentucky University, April 2011

– Honorary Doctorate: University of Kentucky, May 2011

– Freeman of the City of Johannesburg, August 2012

– Honorary Doctorate: University of the Witwatersrand, 2012

– Centenary Distinguished Leadership award from ANC Rivonia “Heroes” branch, March 2012

– Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oliver Transformation and Empowerment Awards, April 2014

– Founders Award by the Asian Awards, April 2014

– Medal of the Prefecture of Reunion Island and honorary citizenship from the city of Le Port, August 2014

– Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur from the French Government, Bastille Day 2015

– City of Cape Town’s Freeman of the City, August 2015

– Doctor of Law, University of Cape Town, June 2015

– Freedom of Sedibeng Region, January 2016

– Freedom of the City of London, January 2016

– Honorary Doctorate: Durban University of Technology, April 2016

– Desmond Tutu Social Justice Award from South Africa Partners (Boston USA), May 2016

– Ad Portas’ most prestigious award honouring South African heroes from Michealhouse, October 2016

– South African Men of Year Awards: Honoured Legend, 2016

Books by and about Kathrada include:

1999 – Letters from Robben Island

2004 – Memoirs

2005 – A Free Mind: Ahmed Kathrada’s Notebook from Robben Island

2008 – A Simple Freedom

2009 – Dear Ahmedbhai, Dear Zuleikhabehn

2015: Triumph of the Human Spirit – Ahmed Kathrada and Robben Island

2017: Conversations with a Gentle Soul

Kathrada is survived by his wife, Barbara Hogan, also an ANC stalwart and veteran.

Court blocks Gweru by-elections

THE High Court yesterday blocked the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) from holding Gweru City Council by-elections to fill two vacant positions which arose following the expulsions of former mayor Hamutendi Kombayi and Councillor Kenneth Sithole.

Messrs Kombayi and Sithole were recently fired by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Cde Saviour Kasukuwere following recommendations by an independent tribunal.

The ruling by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi followed an urgent chamber application by the two former councillors who sought an order blocking Zec from holding the by-elections to fill their positions.

The judge interdicted the electoral body from holding elections pending an application for review by the two former councillors challenging their dismissal by Minister Kasukuwere.

“The third respondent (Zec) and fourth respondent (Midlands provincial elections officer) be and are hereby interdicted from holding by-elections for wards one and four in Gweru until the finalisation of an application for review filed by the applicants and others under Case Number HC637/17,” ruled Justice Mathonsi.

The two former Gweru councillors last week filed an urgent chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court through their lawyers, Gundu and Dube Legal Practitioners, citing Minister Kasukuwere, Gweru City Council, Zec and Midlands provincial elections officer as respondents.

Under Case Number HC637/17, Messers Kombayi, Sithole and 12 other councillors are seeking an order to set aside their convictions.

In his founding affidavit, Mr Kombayi said he stood to suffer irreparable harm if the by-elections were to proceed.

“I believe that if the by-elections are allowed to proceed, I will suffer irreparable harm in the event that our pending application for review is rendered a mere academic exercise.
“If the by-elections are allowed to proceed, third parties who have nothing to do with the present matter or the main matter may be appointed for the positions and there will be no other remedy for us,” he said. Chronicle

South Africa home affairs to announce on permits

The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Ignatious Chombo says Zimbabweans working in South Africa under the Zimbabwe Special Dispensation Permits which expire on the 31st of December, will only be able to know if they will be able to renew their permits in south africa without disrupting their work at the end of next month.

In an interview with ZBC News in Harare, Dr Chombo said SADC ministers of home affairs were invited to a conference on migration by their South African counterpart where they were requested to contribute to the South African migration policy.

He said Zimbabwe’s proposal was that those already holding the special dispensation permits should be allowed to renew their permits in South Africa without being forced to return to Zimbabwe.

Over 197 000 Zimbabweans who got the special dispensation permits in 2013 have raised concern that they may be required to return home to process their documents and thereby disrupting their employment.

South Africa has a long history of employing immigrants from neighbouring countries and last weekend’s migration indaba aimed at ensuring that foreigners are properly accounted and cared for in South Africa.

Andy Brown five years later

IN death as in life, the mystery that was Andy Brown remains unsolved.

In fact, Andy aka Godfrey aka Mavunganidze aka Cadia Shoko’s colourful personal life has taken another interesting twist, five years after the iconic star breathed his last.

As a tribute to the late great musician, who died at Parirenyatwa Hospital on March 16, 2012, The Sunday Mail Leisure last week made the arduous journey from Harare to Chavengwa, Mudavanhu Village in Mberengwa where Andy Brown is buried.

His grave is covered with a beautiful granite tombstone shaped like a guitar in honour of the amazing things Andy Brown did with the instrument over the decades.

A four-bedroom stonework house he built next to Gomusasa River near Chomugoti Mountain has collapsed and is now home to a variety of small reptiles, rodents and insects. The weather has had its way with the house and there is simply no life.

The adjacent compound built for his mother also offers little sign of life.

But it was there that we found Gogo Ntombana Ncube, the woman who claims to be the late Brown’s biological mother.
The House Andy brown built for his mother

Gogo Ncube (80) lives with her great-granddaughter, who is disabled and in urgent need of professional care.

The two have one cow and four goats. No chickens scratch and peck around the yard. But Ncube still has enough energy to cultivate her fields, which have maize, groundnuts, finger millet and cowpeas.

She says this produce, plus Government aid, carry them through each year.

When we arrived at the homestead having fought the horrible, rain-damaged roads and contended with collapsed bridges for over seven hours, and having walked almost 3km, Gogo Ncube was about to go to the river for a bath — but she put it on hold.

“Visitors from Harare, with our roads badly damaged by rains, this is completely unexpected, I’m so delighted — please come inside,” she said as she appraised my colleagues Believe Nyakudjara and Tendai Chara, and myself.

After identifying ourselves and stating why we wanted to see Andy Brown’s resting place, Gogo Ncube asked us to feel at home and treat ourselves to sweet sorghum (ipwa).

As one of my colleagues went to the nearby field to get some of the snack, she sat down and started talking …

Gogo Ncube’s Story

“I miss my son so much. When he was alive, we never suffered this much. He always had a way of making things work. He would visit up to three times a year and sometimes he would take me with him to Harare,” she said, almost tearful.

As daylight was fast disappearing, we asked her to show us Andy brown’s grave while we talked.

As she showed us around her homestead and her rapoko field, which she takes great pride in, Gogo Ncube told us how she met Andy Brown’s father.

But having always been told that Andy Browns’ mother — Shingairai Zvondiwe Ncube — was long dead, we were puzzled.

“I am Andy’s biological mother. Munin’ina wangu ayigeza kundidarika, saka vanhu vakangoti iyeyu ndiye mai va Andy vachiona kuita mukiwa ka kwaanga akaita (My younger sister was more polished than me, so everyone just thought she had to be Andy’s mother because of his skin colour).

“But Andy never discriminated. He treated his aunt, myself, his half-brothers and half-sisters and my sister’s children the same. And I didn’t mind, that is the way things are in our culture — zvekuti aunt izvo zvakauya nemakiwa, mai ndimai,” she insisted.

Gogo Ncube said she had other children but they had all died. She said her sister, on the other hand, still had her offspring dotted around the world.

“It was his (step) sisters and (step) brothers, together with some of his children, that helped with the tombstone. They came here sometime back and put this stone, but they haven’t been back since.”

Gogo Ncube says she met Andy’s father in Zvishavane while she was staying with a relative.

“Takangaonana kamwe, akandipa chipo chemwana nechipo chemari. Ko mimba inonetsa kubata here? (We only met once and he gave me the gift of a child and some money. After all, is it difficult to fall pregnant?) I never asked for his name. When you meet a black person like us you ask their totem so that you avoid breaking traditional customs but a white man — what do I need his name for?”

She says as he grew, Andy constantly pleaded with his family to tell him who his father was.

“He would ask me and his uncles, saying the least we could do was just tell him who he was. I had nothing to tell him, I did not know and he thought that maybe I was hiding it from him but the truth was I never tried to find out his identity and I did not care,” she confessed.ogo Ncube said when she gave birth to Andy in 1962, her own mother and other village people thought the child had albinism.

“Asi ini ndaiziva zvangu chokwadi kuti mukiwa uyu (I knew the truth that the child was of mixed race.)”

She said Andy’s father spoke to her in English, which she was not so bad at herself as she had gone up to Standard Three.“Most Grade Seven pupils of these days cannot speak English the way I do,” she declared.

She said at birth Andy was named Godfrey before becoming Cadia then Maunganidze before naming himself Andy Brown.

“We had named him Godfrey but a relative told us that when he grew up he would go to Arcadia in Harare for school and also live there with other people like him. That is where the name Cadia came from,” narrated Gogo Ncube in reference to the suburb in the capital city built during colonial times to mostly house the mixed race community.She said Andy encountered difficulties because of his Shona name and surname which contrasted with his light complexion.

Then he changed his name: “When I asked him where he got that name from, he said all coloured people were named Brown. He explained that while looking for job he was asked his name and because he had encountered problems before he just came up with something, thus naming himself Andy Brown.”

As for the name Maunganidze, she says after she attended one of Andy’s gigs in Harare and after seeing the number of people who had gathered to see him perform, she felt it was appropriate. (Maunganidze, meaning someone who brings people together.)

Queen Mashie’s Story

However, the records show that Andy’s mother was Zvondiwe, and even his late daughter Chiedza’s middle name was Zvondiwe.j

Speaking to Gogo Ncube, my colleagues and I agreed that she did not look sound or act like someone who had a form of dementia or amnesia — but hey, we are not doctors.

She was coherent, appeared quite responsible and is looking after a great-grandchild who requires special attention all on her own.

So why is she calling herself Andy Brown’s mother?

We sought clarification from the late star’s sister Queen Mashie, an artiste based in France but who frequents Zimbabwe and happens to be in the country at the moment.

“She said that? Nhai nhai, asi maiguru vavekupenga here? (Has my aunt gone mad?)” asked Queen Mashie, real name Tatenda Mashiringo, when confronted with Gogo Ncube’s claims.

“I do not know what is happening with her but I love her still. Let me set the record straight. There are seven of us from our mother Zvondiwe. Six of us — Rumbidzai, Nyembezi, Ushemasimba, Fortunate, Sihlezikuphi and myself — share the same father, hence the common surname Mashiringo.

“Our eldest brother, Andy, was the first born. Our mother was a nurse and she met Andy’s father, a British doctor, at a hospital where she worked. They had a thing and Andy was born,” narrated Queen Mashie.

She said Andy lived with their mother for about five years and then she remarried.

“When our mother met our father, she took Andy to our rural home where he stayed with maiguru (Gogo Ncube). That’s how he grew up in the village. Life was not pleasant there but when he finished Grade Seven, our mother took him to come and live with rest of the family in Bulawayo.

“Our father became abusive. He would beat our mother up saying ‘handina mwana murungu ini’ (I don’t have a white child). Andy would hear all this and after a while he ran away from home to live on the streets.”

Queen Mashie says their mother found Andy but could not take him back home. They decided to place him in an orphanage.

“At that time his age did not allow him to be in an orphanage so they changed his age from his authentic March 15, 1959 to 1962, to make him younger.”

Queen Mashie called one of her sisters in Bulawayo to confirm this and she told us the same story in that conference call. She says it was at the orphanage that Cadia Shoko became Andy Brown, although she says she will never know if he came up with the name himself or if it was given by staff at the home.

When Cadia Shoko became Andy Brown, a successful musician haunted by memories of an abused mother decided to start setting things right.

“Andy approached our mother and told her that he would build her a house; that stonework that has since collapsed was built for our late mother. She agreed to leave her life and retrace her steps back to Mberengwa where she is buried next to her son,” said Queen Mashie. Queen Mashie, who has five albums under her belt, says things were not so rosy with Gogo Ncube by the time Andy died.

“He accused her of killing our mother so that she could move into the house Andy built for our mother (Zvondiwe). They did not even talk. She (Gogo Ncube) had children of her own but they are all dead. People say she killed them – I don’t believe all that though.”

A Family Disjointed

Queen Mashie says she believes her brother is resting in peace. However, she has one prayer.

“I pray for his children to be together. They are not getting along,” said Queen Mashie without explaining what exactly was happening. “Don’t get me wrong. We love each other so much. But we have strong personalities and we do not want to be told what to do. We are stubborn. My brother was also like that.”

Queen Mashie wanted a tribute show to mark the fifth anniversary of her brother’s passing.

“I had found a venue, which I was going to pay for and so on but we disagreed with the children. Ammara said she wanted something big for her father and in the end we failed to do anything. I feel like I’m letting my brother down.

“Even if I could, there is no way I can do this without his children. We all have to be there, to work together and properly remember him with a befitting ceremony, but it looks like that is going to be difficult.”

Andy’s high-flying musician daughter Ammara was not picking up her mobile phone last week.

Her younger sister, Chengeto, answered her phone and asked that we send her questions in writing. By the time of going to print, she had not responded.

Memories of a Star

“I’ve got great memories of my brother, my mentor. He was the first born in my family and I was the last born. I learnt music from him, I learnt a lot from him. I have memories of him musically and also as a brother. He was protective and all that. I miss him.

“What I miss so much about him is him being a brother to me, his crazy side especially about being protective. He was so protective.

“As a fan, I love his music, its timeless, I listen to it and I know I’ll listen to it for ever and ever. I still cherish the music and I want to keep his legacy going as a sister and he has got kids also doing the same thing. We are on the same page,” concluded Queen Mashie.

Source-Sunday Mail

Mermaid suspected to have killed Chomumvuri boys

In a rather stranger than fiction case, which left people at Seven Village under Chief Nemangwe in Gokwe shocked, two boys died under unclear circumstances after they were reportedly snatched by a suspected mermaid at Pachemumvuri Dam.

It is reported that the mystical creature first pulled the boys, who were playing near the dam, under water only to resurface with them alive.

While adult witnesses, who had gathered at the scene when the boys first disappeared, were counselling the children on a rocky outcrop near the dam their hysterical parents appeared.

It is said the parents made the mistake of crying about the near death experiences of the boys and the mermaid grabbed the two minors again and disappeared under water. This time for good.

Traditionally, it is believed that when a person is taken by a mermaid people are not supposed to cry as doing so can lead to dire consequences, leading to the death of the victim. Police have since launched investigations into the case.

Acting Midlands Provincial police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende said investigations were in progress to ascertain what really transpired.

“I can confirm that we are investigating a case of sudden death by drowning which occurred at Seven Village under Chief Nemangwe on 19 February at around 12pm when two minors who were herding cattle drowned and their bodies were later retrieved by fellow villagers,” she said.

Before the incident, the creature had reportedly been seen on the banks of the dam several times. Confirming the shocking incident Chief Nemangwe whose jurisdiction the area falls under said a cleansing ceremony had since been conducted at the dam to calm the water spirits.

“It is reported that on the fateful day the two boys who were in Form One and Two at Ganye Secondary School were herding cattle when they saw the mermaid at the dam.

“According to a friend of the deceased boys, his companions jumped into the dam and tried to grab the mermaid because they believed it was just a big fish.

“But the mermaid pulled them down into the water,” said Chief Nemangwe.

The friend then ran home to alert the elders, who arrived at the dam to find the boys lying on a rock, alive.

“When their parents got to the dam they panicked believing their children had died and started crying.

“A whirlwind suddenly engulfed the place before the mermaid swiftly appeared from the water and grabbed the boys for the second time but this time their lifeless bodies resurfaced later,” said Chief Nemangwe.

According to the chief the latest victims were not the first to meet their demise at the dam under mysterious circumstances.

“Two other people that I am aware of were also killed at the same dam in similar circumstances. As a community we have since performed some rituals to calm down the water spirits. During the ceremony we slaughtered a beast and the meat was consumed without salt,” said Chief Nemangwe.

Work on the pumps at Sengwa 2/Gwehava Dam in Gokwe once stopped after terrified workers complained of machines breaking down under mysterious circumstances, and blamed mermaids. The work later resumed after traditional healers brewed beer and carried out some rites to appease the water spirits.

A mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature with the upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa and Asia.