Zimbabweans Arrested after Hyde Park Mall Robbery

Gauteng police have arrested five Zimbabwean nationals in connection with a robbery at the Hyde Park Corner mall this week.
The robbery occured when Zimbabwe Olymplic champion Kirsty Coventry was having coffee at the mall on Thursday morning.She tweeted about this just after the incident.

Six suspects allegedly robbed a boutique store on Thursday morning, fleeing with watches believed to be worth tens of thousands of rands.

Provincial Police Commissioner Deliwe De Lange says the suspects have already been linked to other mall robberies.

“They have already confessed to three mall robberies,” says De Lange.

The suspects are set to appear in court this week.

Cape Town soldiers robbed at Army base

Cape Town – Six rifles have been stolen and soldiers held up during a robbery at a military base in Harare, Khayelitsha, early on Friday.

News24 understands that five armed suspects stormed the 9 South African Infantry Battalion Base, overpowering guards at the gate and stealing their R4 rifles and ammunition.

The robbers forced the guards inside the base and overpowered five more soldiers in the armoury guard room.

It is understood the robbers forced the soldiers to open a safe.

A total of six rifles were stolen during the robbery.

SA National Defence Force spokesperson Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi confirmed the robbery, saying no further details were available as officials were still at the scene.

Police could not be immediately reached for comment.

In August last year a group stole military equipment, assault rifles and hand grenades from the Simon’s Town Naval Base.

They were arrested.

One of the three taken into custody, Duncan Gouvias, was earlier in 2017 handed an effective 43 year jail sentence.

We are members of the ANC in a party political system,we will not vote against the ANC-General Secretary Gwede Mantashe

Johannesburg – The African National Congress has warned that party MPs risk being fired if they vote with the opposition in a motion of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma in Parliament.

“There is no ANC member who will vote for an opposition motion, that will be uncharacteristic of the ANC,” secretary general Gwede Mantashe said.

The warning comes amid claims by opposition party leaders that ANC members had contacted them, claiming that they would support the Democratic Alliance motion for a vote of no confidence in Zuma.

Opposition parties have dared ANC leaders dissatisfied with Zuma to vote with their conscience, instead of toeing the party line.

Several senior leaders – including chief whip Jackson Mthembu, former tourism minister Derek Hanekom, and health minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi – have called on Zuma to go.

READ: It’s final: the ANC won’t save SA from Zuma

The SACP – which has several MP’s in Parliament, including Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande – also called for Zuma to step down. This has been supported by other alliance member Cosatu.

Mantashe said there was no notion of voting with conscience in the ANC.

“Why do you think the ANC is, Father Christmas? I don’t know where this notion comes from that we are a collection of individuals who have conscience. We are members of ANC in a party political system.”

“No army in the world allows soldiers to be commanded by enemy general,” Mantashe said.

Zuma’s reasons accepted

He said the DA itself had fired its own councillors who did not follow the party line in a council vote.

Mantashe was addressing the media on Wednesday at party headquarters Luthuli House, in Johannesburg, following the party’s extended national working committee meeting on Tuesday.

“If you say we will recall Zuma because opposition say that, it won’t work,” Mantashe said.

He said the party had accepted Zuma’s reasons for firing Pravin Gordhan, and that it was a mistake for party officials to differ in public over the Cabinet reshuffle last week.

Mantashe, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and treasurer general Zweli Mkhize had publicly criticised Zuma’s decision to reshuffle his Cabinet, saying they had not been consulted.

The trio said the list was written “elsewhere”.

Mantashe told the media that Zuma had informed them in November 2016 that he was planning to fire Gordhan, but they persuaded him to wait.

Consulted on Gordhan axing

He said Zuma had only consulted them on replacing Gordhan, but not on the rest of the changes in his executive. Zuma appointed former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba in Gordhan’s place.

The SACP revealed that during a bilateral meeting, Zuma told them he wanted to replace Gordhan with newly sworn in MP and former Eskom boss Brian Molefe, which they rejected.

“The list was given to us, we didn’t discuss it, we don’t know where it was compiled, we didn’t discuss it, hence we raised the issue of not being consulted,” Mantashe said.

He said the party accepted that Zuma’s relationship with Gordhan breaking down was sufficient reason for firing him. Mantashe said it “made sense”, but added that speculation over Gordhan’s axing was complicated by the much condemned “intelligence report” that suggested Gordhan was holding secret meetings during his overseas investor road show to undermine Zuma.

Mantashe would, however, not give reasons for the “irretrievable relationship” between the two and compared it to a couple getting divorced. He said there were “tensions that made it difficult for the president and minister to work together”.

South Africa helicopter pilot who crushed and buried wreckage in Gwanda gets bail

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STAFF REPORTER –

The legal representative for a South African business tycoon, who concealed the wreckage of his crashed helicopter in Gwanda last year, has successfully applied for the relaxation of his client’s bail conditions.

Frederick Lutzkie was slapped with an effective 42 months imprisonment for concealing the wreckage of his helicopter that crashed in Gwanda on May 5 2014. The South African business mogul was charged for breaching various regulations of the country’s air space and immigration statutes.

However, Harare provincial magistrate Douglas Chikwekwe later granted Lutzie $2 000 bail, pending appeal against sentence at the High court. He was also ordered to surrender his passport with the clerk of court as part of his bail conditions.

Advocate Thabani Mpofu filed the application on Wednesday to enable Lutzkie have access to his passport until February 20 this year so that he travels to South Africa for a medical check up. The application that was not contested by the state was subsequently granted by magistrate Milton Serima.

The magistrate ordered Lutzkie to surrender back the passport with the clerk of court by February 20.

Circumstances of the matter were that Lutzkie came into the country without any clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz) and also evaded the immigration authorities.

He flew his Hughes MD 500 helicopter registration ZS-RXZ to a lodge in Doddieburn Ranch in West Nicholson without clearance from Caaz.

While flying back to South Africa, his helicopter developed a mechanical fault and subsequently crashed four kilometres from the lodge, westwards of the Ranch.

The helicopter sustained damages due to the mishap, but Lutzkie escaped with minor injuries.

He then dug a 3,5 metre-deep pit using an excavator at the scene of crash before burying the wreckage to avoid detection.

The matter, however, later came to light leading to his arres

Gweru Catholic Cathedral Priest got drunk wrecks car,commits suicide at cemetery

A ROMAN Catholic priest based at the Gweru Diocese Cathedral Church allegedly committed suicide after stealing and crashing a parish vehicle following a beer drinking spree.

The late Father Batsirai Marimbe

Father Batsirai Marimbe, 31, allegedly drank poison and his body was found at Mutapa Cemetery in Gweru at around 6AM on Saturday.

On Friday night, Father Marimbe allegedly took a parish vehicle which had just returned from routine service and went for a beer drink at Eclipse Night Club with a group of his friends.

According to witnesses, Father Marimbe was involved in an accident in the wee hours of Saturday where one passenger was injured.

The witnesses alleged that he abandoned the vehicle and rushed home.

He then went to Mtapa cemetery in Gweru where he drank poison.

Following his death, rumours started circulating on social media that he had been suspended by Gweru Diocese Bishop, Right Reverend Xavier Munyongani.

Parishioners alleged he did not have a driver’s licence.

Father Marimbe drew the ire of the church when he allegedly assaulted a Priest In-Charge at Hama Mission, Father Caesar Muchingami at Serima Mission in Gutu.

He had allegedly been transferred to Gweru pending hearing.

Bishop Munyongani confirmed Father Marimbe’s suicide at a church service at the Cathedral but denied suspending Father Marimbe over his alleged misconduct.

 

Addressing parishioners, a visibly distraught Bishop Munyongani said Father Marimbe had committed suicide for reasons better known to himself.

He said it was not true that Father Marimbe had been suspended.

“There are people who are saying Father Marimbe died because he had been suspended. That is not true. What happened is Father Marimbe took one of the parish vehicles and went for a beer drink with his friends and he was involved in an accident at around 2AM.

“He returned home after the incident and left. He was not suspended as alleged by some of you,” said Bishop Munyongani.

Some of the parishioners who declined to be named alleged that Father Marimbe was in the process of acquiring a driver’s licence.

“When he came to Gweru he had been transferred from Hama Mission where he had assaulted Father Muchingami. He was also in the process of acquiring a driver’s license,” said the parishioner.

The Officer Commanding Midlands Senior Assistant Commissioner Shadreck Mubaiwa could neither deny nor confirm the incident.

“I haven’t received a report regarding that matter. I will have to make a follow up and furnish you with details,” he said.

Father Marimbe became a seminarian in 2004 before being ordained in 2012 after completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies at the University of Zimbabwe.

He will be buried today at Driefontein Mission in Chirumhanzu at the Diocese Cemetery. The Chronicle

Pick n Pay comes to Gweru

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ONE of the country’s biggest retail chain groups, TM Supermarket, is set to close its Gweru Branch supermarket and reopen at another site under the Pick n Pay brand in the city.Pick n Pay, a South Africa-based retail giant, will open its doors in October at the corner of Robert Mugabe Way and Fifth Street, formerly Meikles Departmental Store in the city’s Central Business District.

The South African supermarket chain and Meikles Limited have shareholding in TM Supermarket with the latter having a 51 percent controlling stake while the South Africans own 49 percent.

As part of the arrangement, TM Supermarkets will be rebranded to Pick n Pay.

Refurbishment of the shop is in progress and is expected to be completed by the end of August.

TM Supermarket projects planning and development general manager, Lameck Kunjeku, said the retail chain group management would be meeting its Pick n Pay counterparts from South Africa this week to finalise on the opening of the new branch.

“I can confirm that TM will relocate and reopen its doors using the Pick n Pay brand. Refurbishment of the proposed supermarket is going well and if all goes according to plan the exercise should be completed by the end of August.

“We expect furnishing of the supermarket to take between two to three weeks and then the supermarket will open its doors to the public. However, let me hasten to say that TM management will meet its Pick n Pay counterparts from South Africa this week to thrash out issues such as the exact date on the opening of the shop and other issues,” he said.

Kunjeku said the present TM Supermarket would be leased to other players.

Employees of TM Supermarket at the Gweru branch will be absorbed by Pick n Pay.

Pick n Pay is the second largest retail chain group in South Africa after Shoprite and in recent years has spread its tentacles into the region.

The retailer now has supermarkets in Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi and most recently Zimbabwe, among other Sadc countries.

Pick n Pay’s envisaged opening might have shaken other players in the market, among them the country’s biggest retailer OK Zimbabwe.

OK Zimbabwe has embarked on a hastily arranged refurbishment exercise of its Gweru branch.

The retailer last week was ordered to shut its doors to the public after Gweru City Council accused the supermarket of circumventing council procedures.

However, the retailer reopened its doors on Saturday.

Efforts to get a comment from Gweru City Council were fruitless as the assistant town clerk in charge of media, Tapiwa Marerwa, said he was locked in meetings yesterday.-ONLIN