YEAR IN RE­VIEW– HEAD­LINES

Talk of the Town - - Year In Review– Headlines -

Jan­uary

Gra­ham­stown schools boasted ex­cel­lent re­sults in the In­de­pen­dent Ex­am­i­na­tions Board (IEB) ma­tric ex­ams for 2017. In re­sults re­leased on Jan­uary 3 this year St An­drew’s Col­lege said the 2017 ma­tric class achieved a 100% pass rate, and all the boys have qual­i­fied to study at ter­tiary level for de­gree (97%) or diploma (3%) cour­ses. Kingswood Col­lege an­nounced that their top seven matrics of 2017 gath­ered 32 dis­tinc­tions be­tween them­selves and over 80% over­all av­er­ages. At the Dioce­san School for Girls (DSG), three matrics were listed on the IEB com­mend­able list for be­ing placed in the top 5% of all ma­tric IEB can­di­dates in five sub­jects.

A Ne­mato po­lice­man was shot at, al­legedly by a man he knew, late at night on the road to Ped­die. Sergeant Mzwanele Mafu was off-duty at the time, on Novem­ber 8 2017, and trav­el­ling with his fa­ther and son. A man was ar­rested and ap­peared in court on at­tempted mur­der charges, but Mafu felt his life was in dan­ger when the sus­pect was re­leased on bail.

There was a buzz in the air on Wed­nes­day morn­ing, Jan­uary 18, with feel­ings of great ex­cite­ment and ner­vous­ness as pupils from Port Al­fred and sur­rounds sat for the first day of school, some for the first time en­ter­ing Grade 1 and some for the last time who were mov­ing onto the fi­nal phase of their high school ca­reer.

For­mer Nd­lambe in­fra­struc­ture di­rec­tor Xolani Ma­siza was one of eight of­fi­cials of the Al­fred Nzo District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity who ap­peared in court in Jan­uary on charges of fraud, money laun­der­ing, cor­rup­tion, and con­tra­ven­tions of Mu­nic­i­pal Fi­nance Man­age­ment Act to­talling more than R300-mil­lion. The charges were re­lated to a case of ten­der fraud dat­ing back to 2014. Ma­siza had just been with Al­fred Nzo Mu­nic­i­pal­ity for a few months at the time, hav­ing left his job at Nd­lambe in June 2014.

Fe­bru­ary

Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­ceived yet an­other qual­i­fied au­dit from the Au­di­tor Gen­eral (AG) for the fi­nan­cial pe­riod, 2016/2017 de­spite as­sur­ances by the mu­nic­i­pal man­ager Rolly Dumezweni when that fi­nan­cial year be­gan, that this would not be the case. Nd­lambe has never re­ceived a clean au­dit from the AG, and the ba­sis for the AG’s qual­i­fied opin­ion for the past year was due to, as the re­port states, “…ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture of R368.6-mil­lion (in 2016 it was R284.6-mil­lion).”

Nd­lambe’s iconic Fish River Re­sort re­opened its doors to do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional guests af­ter Eastern Cape-based Man­tis Col­lec­tion se­cured a one-year care­taker con­tract of the for­mer Sun In­ter­na­tional ho­tel from the De­part­ment of Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment and Land Re­form (DRDLR). Sun In­ter­na­tional, who owned the build­ing and ran the fa­cil­ity, had been in ne­go­ti­a­tions with na­tional gov­ern­ment for some time.

A grand­mother from Kleinemonde gave her grand­daugh­ter the ul­ti­mate gift of life – a new kid­ney. Jenni MacLeod, 69, was op­er­ated on at Groote Schuur hos­pi­tal in Cape Town and her kid­ney trans­ported to the Red Cross Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal and trans­planted into her grand­daugh­ter, Alexan­dra Tal­jard, who was just five years old.

Res­i­dents of Ne­mato had the op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress their com­plaints about crime and dis­sat­is­fac­tion with lo­cal polic­ing to the big brass on Fri­day Fe­bru­ary 16, when Eastern Cape Pro­vin­cial Com­mis­sioner Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Liziwe Nt­shinga at­tended an ac­count­abil­ity en­gage­ment event at Titi Jonas Hall in Thorn­hill.

March

Con­fu­sion, fol­lowed by a hasty turn­around by ANC coun­cil­lors, pre­vented the Nd­lambe mu­nic­i­pal ad­just­ment bud­get from be­ing ap­proved at the spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing, held at the coun­cil cham­bers at the end of Fe­bru­ary. “The coun­cil is be­ing hood­winked,” de­clared DA cau­cus leader Ray Schenk, who holds the fi­nance port­fo­lio – ap­pointed to that post when he and the mayor, Phindile Faxi, swapped port­fo­lios in De­cem­ber 2017. Up un­til that point Schenk was re­spon­si­ble for the cor­po­rate ser­vices direc­torate.

There was an at­mos­phere of ex­cite­ment at Titi Jonas Hall over three days in March as hun­dreds of lo­cals au­di­tioned for SABC2’s Showville tal­ent con­test, with a chance to win a R10 000 prize and be fea­tured on TV. In the end it was Sheeba Nolu­voyo Gola from Ndlovini who stole the show with her beau­ti­ful singing. She walked away with R10,000 cash and a tro­phy.

Nd­lambe mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials and coun­cil­lors were con­spic­u­ously ab­sent when it came to at­tend­ing the Tourism Ca­pac­ity Plan­ning con­fer­ence, held at the Royal St An­drews Ho­tel mid-March, de­spite other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, in­clud­ing the two met­ros, Buf­falo City and Nel­son Man­dela Bay be­ing rep­re­sented in sig­nif­i­cant num­bers. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the De­part­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs and Tourism (Dedeat) and the Gov­ern­ment Tech­ni­cal Ad­vi­sory Cen­tre (Gtac) at­tended the meet­ing to help with govern­men­tal in­ter­ven­tions, if and where re­quired.

It was at around 3am on a Tues­day morn­ing when Kris­ten Wa­ters and Kim van Zyl found their 18-month-old dog, Peanut, be­hind the small com­plex in which they live off Beach Road, his front left paw caught in a metal trap. “I was so upset,” said a vis­i­bly shaken Wa­ters. “We searched for over an hour be­fore we found him.”

One of the prov­ince’s top golf­ing spots was about to re­open its doors af­ter a brief hia­tus af­ter the for­mer Fish River Sun Ho­tel swapped hands and was taken over by the gov­ern­ment as part of a land claim by Xhosa clans, and is now un­der the care­tak­er­ship of bou­tique ho­tel group the Man­tis Col­lec­tion. This was an­nounced by new gen­eral man­ager of the re­sort Ash­ley Palm in an in­ter­view with Talk of the Town.

April

It was a very busy and event­ful week in Port Al­fred, when the Royal St An­drews Ho­tel Amanzi Fes­ti­val started on the Easter week­end and con­tin­ued through the week till it con­cluded on the fol­low­ing Sun­day. Among the events were the ma­rina mile open wa­ter swim, jet ski and rub­ber duck races at East Beach and in the Kowie River, body­board­ing and a highly-an­tic­i­pated World Se­ries surf­ing event. The feel­ing of the or­gan­is­ers of the Amanzi Fes­ti­val was that the 10-day event brought much needed rev­enue to Port Al­fred to help stim­u­late growth and cre­ate jobs.

Draw­ing cu­ri­ous stares from passers-by, two Bush­men dressed just in loin­cloths passed through Port Al­fred in April on a walk from Port El­iz­a­beth to East Lon­don with the pur­pose of re­claim­ing the iden­tity of their peo­ple. The leader, who goes by the name, Chief Khoisan SA and his tribesman, Shane Plaatjies, agreed to tell their story to Talk of the Town when a staff mem­ber came across them in the CBD. They said they wanted to be known as Bush­men or Khoisan.

Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­jected a con­tro­ver­sial ap­pli­ca­tion to build a cell tower on the prop­erty of the Port Al­fred Dutch Re­formed Church in Broad­way, For­est Downs. There were nu­mer­ous ob­jec­tions to the pro­posed cell tower from neigh­bours and sur­round­ing com­mu­nity mem­bers when the ap­pli­ca­tion first came to light in May 2016. Ob­jec­tors even staged a protest with plac­ards de­nounc­ing the pro­posal out­side the church while mem­bers ar­rived for Sun­day ser­vices, which re­sulted in some heated con­ver­sa­tions.

May

Although it be­gan fairly qui­etly, an at­tempted land-grab by mem­bers of the Eco­nomic Free­dom Fighters (EFF) de­te­ri­o­rated into scenes of vi­o­lence and de­struc­tion to prop­erty as peo­ple at­tempted to mea­sure out po­ten­tial land plots for oc­cu­pa­tion. Af­ter as­sem­bling at Jauka Hall in Ne­mato around 8am on Fri­day April 27 the pro­ces­sion walked a short dis­tance from the hall to the Ne­mato and Sta­tion Hill cross­roads on Bathurst Road. There, sev­eral EFF mem­bers be­gan in­ter­fer­ing with traf­fic. Ac­cord­ing to po­lice at the scene, af­ter re­fus­ing re­quests by po­lice to move sev­eral EFF mem­bers were taken into cus­tody.

It was an­nounced that Port Al­fred would have a brand new com­mu­nity ra­dio sta­tion, Sun­shine FM 106.1, from the be­gin­ning of July. The sta­tion, pre­vi­ously based in Ped­die, was to be re­lo­cated to Port Al­fred by me­dia en­tre­pre­neur Tapelo Selepe and found a home in the ren­o­vated Her­itage Mall. Selepe said he was de­ter­mined to make it a true com­mu­nity sta­tion with di­verse pro­gram­ming that will ap­peal to a broad spec­trum of peo­ple.

At a meet­ing where farm­ers were glar­ingly ab­sent, the DA as­sured lo­cal sup­port­ers that the party was “ve­he­mently op­posed to the ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land without com­pen­sa­tion and tam­per­ing with the con­sti­tu­tion”. The meet­ing at the Port Al­fred Civic Cen­tre drew a di­verse crowd, with many sup­port­ers from Nd­lambe town­ships singing and danc­ing in their en­thu­si­asm for the party, and a score of Port Al­fred res­i­dents and busi­ness­peo­ple with a stake in large prop­erty de­vel­op­ments. The meet­ing was ad­dressed by DA’s shadow min­is­ter of ru­ral de­vel­op­ment and land re­form, MP Than­deka Mbabama.

The long-awaited dis­cus­sion be­tween Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, the na­tional de­part­ment of pub­lic works and 43 Air School took place at the coun­cil cham­bers and moved the dis­cus­sion re­gard­ing the air­port, the perime­ter fence and the run­way a lit­tle closer to an agree­ment. The air school has been op­er­at­ing on land owned by the state through the de­part­ment of pub­lic works. The ques­tion of whether the school could pur­chase the land has proven con­tentious and the trans­fer of the land to Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity has also been raised.

The DA shone on the spot­light on Nd­lambe’s failed poul­try pro­ject near Kleinemonde, which squan­dered R1.2-mil­lion, with noth­ing to show for it. In a state­ment re­leased by DA MPL Jane Cow­ley, she said the di­lap­i­dated South Seas Poul­try Farm is one of count­less ex­am­ples of lo­cal eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment (LED) projects in the prov­ince that have not ben­e­fited the com­mu­nity at all, de­spite the mil­lions of pub­lic funds that were forked out to fund them. June A for­mer ANC coun­cil­lor landed a cushy job as Nd­lambe’s com­mon­age man­ager at R23,000 a month, but lit­tle head­way had been made in ad­dress­ing the myr­iad prob­lems at Kru­is­fontein com­mon­age in Alexan­dria which re­sulted in a court or­der against the mu­nic­i­pal­ity in 2017. Stray cat­tle, un­branded an­i­mals, dis­ease, lack of fenc­ing, fail­ure to con­trol use of the com­mon­age and pro­lific alien in­va­sive veg­e­ta­tion were among the is­sues the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was in­structed to ad­dress in the court or­der granted to Agri Eastern Cape.

The EFF fired a broad­side at Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in June, ac­cus­ing it of nepo­tism and sin­gling out mayor Phindile Faxi for al­legedly de­ceiv­ing peo­ple about hous­ing projects. In re­sponse, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity ac­cused the EFF of “ma­li­cious and per­sonal” elec­tion­eer­ing. EFF in­terim re­gional core Xolisa Runeli and Ward 7 con­venor Onele Ms­esiwe brought a litany of con­cerns to Talk of the Town say­ing the land and hous­ing is­sue was fore­most on their minds.

A pall of black smoke en­veloped Camp­bell Street out­side the Nd­lambe mu­nic­i­pal of­fices in June as EFF mem­bers burnt tyres in protest against the al­leged de­mo­li­tion and re­moval of grave­stones at an old dis­used gravesite at Es­leyini in Ne­mato. EFF mem­ber Xolisa Runeli was most vo­cal on what he con­sid­ered an af­front to his an­ces­tors and the be­liefs of black peo­ple in gen­eral.

Within a week of be­ing com­mis­sioned, and in con­junc­tion with Mphele En­gi­neers, Viv Dell and his men had cleared and lev­elled a large area at the Port Al­fred land­fill site and cre­ated paths for ve­hi­cles to fol­low and dump their refuse at the ap­pro­pri­ate sec­tion of the dump. It was a bright new be­gin­ning for the land­fill site which had been mis­man­aged for years.

July

Fol­low­ing months of to-and-fro­ing on the Nd­lambe an­nual bud­get the gloves were off, with both the Nd­lambe Ratepay­ers Fo­rum (NRF) and the Port Al­fred Res­i­dents and Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (Parra) claim­ing foul. Af­ter ap­prov­ing a tabled bud­get set­ting the prop­erty rates in­crease at 6.4%, coun­cil changed this to 9% to re­duce a deficit. The NRF and Parra pro­posed that Nd­lambe could have kept the in­crease to 7% if they made cuts to line items like ex­pen­di­ture on uni­forms, ca­su­als, cater­ing and over­time.

A beach buggy driver was saved from harm af­ter his ve­hi­cle caught fire at the cor­ner of Becker Street and South­well Road. Jerry McComb was driv­ing in Becker Street at around 9.45am and was about to turn

into South­well Road to go fish­ing when the un­ex­pected fire oc­curred. A woman walk­ing be­hind the beach buggy yelled re­peat­edly at McComb af­ter notic­ing fire at the back of the ve­hi­cle.

It was a tough year for many South Africans, and specif­i­cally those liv­ing in the drought-stricken and im­pov­er­ished Eastern Cape, but many showed their met­tle on Man­dela Day by giv­ing of them­selves for just 67 min­utes and, in turn, giv­ing some­thing back to their com­mu­ni­ties. Although this year’s cel­e­bra­tion com­mem­o­rates Man­dela’s 100th birth­day, it ap­peared that fewer lo­cal busi­nesses and or­gan­i­sa­tions par­tic­i­pated this year.

Chi­nese in­vestors may soon be do­ing busi­ness in Sarah Baart­man District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity if mem­o­ran­dums of un­der­stand­ing (MOU) progress into trade agree­ments. Five vis­it­ing Chi­nese com­pa­nies – three in­volved in con­struc­tion, one in im­ports and ex­ports and one in for­eign in­vest­ment – signed the MOUs with Sarah Baart­man mayor Eu­nice Kekana and act­ing mu­nic­i­pal man­ager Unathi Daniels af­ter a one-day in­vest­ment and co­op­er­a­tion con­fer­ence at the Royal St An­drews Ho­tel.

Au­gust

A re­tired doc­tor and his house­guests en­dured a ter­ri­fy­ing night-time rob­bery in his Port Al­fred hol­i­day home, in which he was vi­ciously beaten with a ham­mer by as­sailants who wanted his heir­loom Rolex watch. Although the in­ci­dent hap­pened in July, no word of the at­tack got out un­til Dr Heyter Brandt, 75, con­tacted Talk of the Town by e-mail and the tenant of the cot­tage at his Hill Street premises, Johnny Scholtz, came to the TotT of­fices in Au­gust.

Af­ter a tough week at the be­gin­ning of Au­gust of not hav­ing wa­ter, some for up to five days, Nd­lambe res­i­dents, spe­cially ward 10, ap­proached TotT of­fices one af­ter the other hop­ing to find a rea­son for the out­ages. Ward 9 was an­other af­fected area, where wa­ter had been at low pres­sure or sim­ply not run­ning since Sun­day Au­gust 5 up un­til the af­ter­noon of Tues­day Au­gust 7. A com­mon griev­ance ex­pressed by the ma­jor­ity of com­plainants was the lack of no­tice from Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

There was a poor turnout for Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion meet­ing at the Memo­rial Hall mid-Au­gust about pro­pos­als re­gard­ing op­er­a­tions over the 2018/2019 fes­tive sea­son.

Marselle com­mu­nity mem­bers were anx­iously an­tic­i­pat­ing the roll­out of RDP hous­ing in their area, with an up­date given by Ward 3 coun­cil­lor Bon­iswa James on two projects that are in the pipe­line. There was a big turnout by com­mu­nity mem­bers at a quar­terly meet­ing pre­sented by James at the com­mu­nity hall in Marselle in Au­gust. Among those present were Ward 8 coun­cil­lor Them­bani Mazana, Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity hous­ing man­ager Ol­wethu Jo­bela and com­mu­nity stake­hold­ers.

Sun­shine Coast Tourism (SCT) was iden­ti­fied by the De­part­ment of Tourism in part­ner­ship with the SA Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Agency as one of the best case stud­ies on the run­ning of a tourism or­gan­i­sa­tion. SCT was sub­se­quently asked to do a pre­sen­ta­tion at a lo­cal gov­ern­ment tourism peer learn­ing ses­sion at Mpekeweni, at­tended by del­e­gates from all over the Eastern Cape.

Septem­ber

The case of Tonny Donile, who was ac­cused of mur­der­ing of lo­cal busi­ness­man Noel Mad­docks in Au­gust 2016, con­tin­ued in the Port Al­fred Re­gional Court in Septem­ber while the Mad­docks fam­ily and friends had to en­dure an­other ver­sion of what hap­pened on that fate­ful night. Donile was charged with two counts of mur­der, the first re­lat­ing to the death of an al­leged bur­glar at Donile’s tav­ern in Runeli Drive in Ne­mato in 2010, along with the Mad­docks mur­der.

The clo­sure of South­well School, a farm school, and trans­fer of its pupils to Ikamva Le­sizwe Com­bined School in Ken­ton has seen pupils stranded since a con­tin­gency plan to pro­vide trans­port for them has been mired in is­sues of pay­ment. The Eastern Cape De­part­ment of Trans­port made an ar­range­ment with taxi driv­ers to pro­vide trans­port for the pupils when they still at­tended South­well School. Then cir­cum­stances changed when the school closed and the pupils started at­tend­ing Ikamva Le­sizwe.

We re­ported that it would be a fun filled day for all who at­tended the Talk of the Town Her­itage Fes­ti­val, which hap­pened on Satur­day Septem­ber 22 at the Port Al­fred High School fields and club­house, with over 45 stalls booked, great food, com­pe­ti­tions and en­ter­tain­ment for young and old.

The Royal St An­drews Ho­tel was an­nounced as the win­ner of the 2018 Lilizela Best of the Best Ho­tels in the Eastern Cape, at a glit­ter­ing awards cer­e­mony held in East Lon­don on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 20.

Oc­to­ber

Ser­vice roads along­side the R72 had been vir­tu­ally de­stroyed due to the heavy ma­chin­ery used in the on­go­ing road­works pro­ject, and res­i­dents were an­gry about not be­ing able to ac­cess their homes without great dif­fi­culty. San­ral, who own the na­tional roads through­out the coun­try, de­cided some time back that the R72 be­tween the Great Fish River and Alexan­dria re­quired an up­grade, and ap­pointed Mur­ray and Roberts as main con­trac­tor on the pro­ject. Gibb was ap­pointed as con­sult­ing en­gi­neers. Work be­gan to­ward the end of 2015.

A Can­non Rocks res­i­dent blew the whis­tle on a new pipe­line be­ing laid in the coastal vil­lage, af­ter dis­cov­er­ing it was not in­cluded in a pre­vi­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ment (EIA) and that ad­di­tional brine would be dis­charged on the beach from an in­creased ca­pac­ity re­verse os­mo­sis (RO) plant. New res­i­dent Marcia Fargnoli alerted TotT to the pro­ject af­ter con­tact­ing the com­pany that did the pre­vi­ous im­pact stud­ies for Ama­tola Wa­ter for Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s bulk potable wa­ter sup­ply pipe­line from Can­non Rocks to Alexan­dria.

A feather in Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s cap, two beaches were once again been awarded Blue Flag sta­tus and a third, Ken­ton Mid­dle Beach, is a pi­lot Blue Flag beach. Deputy di­rec­tor of com­mu­nity pro­tec­tion ser­vices Fanie Fouche said Kelly’s Beach in Port Al­fred had re­ceived its 14th con­sec­u­tive Blue Flag and Kar­iega Main Beach in Ken­ton- on-Sea had achieved its 10th Blue Flag. They have never lost Blue Flag sta­tus since they first re­ceived it.

Con­sis­tency was the call by the of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion at the coun­cil cham­bers on Wed­nes­day Oc­to­ber 17 with re­spect to squat­ters at the site of the Eku­phum­leni 564 hous­ing pro­ject in Ken­ton. Build­ing houses at the Eku­phum­leni site has been a con­tentious is­sue since its ini­ti­a­tion in 2015 fol­low­ing sev­eral protests where res­i­dents of the area burnt tyres and even threw stones at pass­ing ve­hi­cles as a way to get the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to lis­ten to their plight.

Novem­ber

More than a year af­ter it was meant to open, the In­te­grated Emer­gency Re­sponse Cen­tre at Bush­man’s River was fi­nally handed over to Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity by Sarah Baart­man District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity on Oc­to­ber 19 as we re­ported in Novem­ber. The re­sponse cen­tre re­places the old fire­house which used to house a fire en­gine for the Ken­ton/Bush­man’s area.

The re­luc­tance of po­lice to act against the own­ers of stray­ing un­marked cat­tle in Nd­lambe has been as­cribed to the fact that some SAPS mem­bers are them­selves own­ers of such stray­ing beasts. A Bathurst po­lice­man, Sergeant Mzamo Bryan San­som, was outed as the owner of fre­quently stray­ing cat­tle in the vil­lage af­ter an in­ci­dent last year in which seven of his an­i­mals wan­dered into the Bathurst Show­grounds and im­pound­ment pro­ce­dures were ini­ti­ated.

On Novem­ber 1, Nd­lambe was awarded sec­ond place in the Eastern Cape Prov­ince Green­est Mu­nic­i­pal­ity Awards. Nd­lambe also won the Go­van Mbeki award for the best hu­man set­tle­ments up­grad­ing pro­ject for its work on the 595 homes it erected at the Eku­phum­leni town­ship in Ken­ton-on-Sea.

It came as a shock to many Port Al­fred res­i­dents to hear that the Child Wel­fare clus­ter fos­ter home in High Street would close down in De­cem­ber. TotT first learned of the im­pend­ing clo­sure when a res­i­dent alerted us that the prop­erty in High Street was for sale, then the mat­ter was dis­cussed on so­cial me­dia. The Child Wel­fare com­mit­tee even­tu­ally re­leased a state­ment say­ing the home was clos­ing for cost rea­sons, and that the chil­dren would live with their fos­ter moth­ers.

There was a great deal of an­tic­i­pa­tion and a full house at the last Port Al­fred Busi­ness Fo­rum meet­ing of the year where global con­fer­ence speaker and con­sul­tant to ma­jor in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies, Michael Jack­son, spoke of re­vi­tal­is­ing the lo­cal econ­omy by think­ing out­side the box and col­lab­o­rat­ing. Jack­son said that the past was not an ex­em­plar for the fu­ture, and the old ways of do­ing things no longer work.

De­cem­ber

Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity has to come up with more than R13-mil­lion to pay the Mu­nic­i­pal Work­ers Re­tire­ment Fund af­ter fail­ing to pay the full amount it was obliged to pay over a pe­riod of six years. Of the money the Gra­ham­stown High Court (it is still called that) or­dered the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to pay to the Fund, R9,705,745 is in­ter­est.

Con­victed mur­derer Tonny Donile was de­fi­ant as he left the Port Al­fred Re­gional Court and even raised his mid­dle fin­ger to the gallery af­ter be­ing sen­tenced to an ef­fec­tive 27 years in prison for one count of cul­pa­ble homi­cide, an­other for house­break­ing and a third count for mur­der. Donile was ar­rested in Au­gust 2016 and has been in po­lice cus­tody since then. De­spite many court ap­pear­ances over the in­ter­ven­ing pe­riod where the ac­counts of foren­sic wit­nesses, po­lice and med­i­cal per­son­nel were heard, Donile re­mained adamant that he was in­no­cent of both the mur­der of

NEW HANDS: The keys to the Fish River Sun were handed over to the de­part­ment of ru­ral de­vel­op­ment and land re­form (DRDLR) on Fri­day, and they in turn handed them over to The Man­tis Col­lec­tion. From left are gen­eral man­ager of the Sun Board­walk Mike van Vu­uren, DRDLR act­ing chief di­rec­tor of the com­mis­sion for the Eastern Cape Zama Memela, DRDLR di­rec­tor of le­gal at the na­tional of­fice Isaac Pe­ter, Man­tis Col­lec­tion di­rec­tor Carl Haller and DRDLR

HAP­PIER TIMES: For­mer Nd­lambe in­fra­struc­ture di­rec­tor Xolani Ma­siza pic­tured at the farewell party held for him at the Port Al­fred Civic Cen­tre when he re­signed for ‘greener pas­tures’ at Al­fred Nzo District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity. He ap­peared in the news this year when he was ar­rested along with other of­fi­cials from Al­fred Nzo on charges of fraud, money laun­der­ing, cor­rup­tion, and con­tra­ven­tions of the Mu­nic­i­pal Fi­nance Man­age­ment Act

SAD LOSS: Gam­bit, the widely known friendly gi­raffe who would wel­come vis­i­tors to the Mans­field Game Re­serve, died there in April, but TotT has es­tab­lished that Gam­bit was eu­thanised af­ter an in­ci­dent with a game ranger, and did not die af­ter a short ill­ness as orig­i­nally re­ported by the re­serve

TRA­DI­TIONAL GARB: Chief Khoisan SA, left, and Shane Plaatjies wore jackal skin loin­cloths and car­ried a bow and quiver of metal- tipped ar­rows as well as a pact stick, which is a hol­low piece of dec­o­rated bam­boo used in the same way as shak­ing hands

MAK­ING QUICK PROGRESS: Can­non Rocks res­i­dents are con­cerned about a new pipe­line be­ing laid in the vil­lage without an en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ment be­ing done

VIPS HAND IT TO THE SURFERS: The week-long Royal St An­drews Ho­tel Amanzi Fes­ti­val in April ended with the ho­tel’s spon­sored Port Al­fred Clas­sic, pre­sented by Quik­sil­ver. Giv­ing a shout-out to the surfers at the Port Al­fred Clas­sic launch were, from left, Linda Bekker co-owner of the Royal St An­drews Ho­tel, Sun­shine Coast Tourism man­ager Sand Birch, Amanzi Fes­ti­val or­gan­iser Sx­eaks Nk­winti, Suki Nt­wasa from the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency, Martin Bekker, co-owner of the Royal South An­drews Ho­tel and Zuki Makasi of Gi­jima Sport

CLOSE CALL: Sergeant Mzwanele Mafu in the ve­hi­cle he was driv­ing when he was shot at three times on the road to Ped­die in Novem­ber 2017. A man was ar­rested and ap­peared in court on at­tempted mur­der charges. Mafu told us the story in Jan­uary

ON THE AT­TACK: EFF mem­bers Onele Ms­esiwe, left, and Xolisa Runeli have ac­cused Nd­lambe Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of a litany of wrongs, from nepo­tism to de­ceiv­ing the com­mu­nity about hous­ing

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