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16 Feb 2011

Hout Bay included in Blades “Darkies” comments

Hout Bay included in Blades “Darkies” comments

By Gaye Davis/

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande. Picture: Sam Clark

Sparks flew when Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande lashed the media and opposition parties for assuming “this government of darkies is incapable” when it came to improving education.

Nzimande’s use of the word “darkies” was challenged by the DA as unparliamentary.

Later, Nzimande infuriated main opposition benches when he accused them of sending “security to shoot people in Hout Bay”.

The clashes came during the debate on Tuesday on President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation speech.

Earlier, DA spokesman on basic education Wilmot James had urged Zuma to “face down” teachers’ union Sadtu, which he said was crippling schooling in many parts of the country.

“The fact is that your provincial education ministers in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga are undermining your education agenda by doing a deal with Sadtu which results in teachers being absent from school, teachers who are late for school, teachers who take endless amounts of leave, who, in short, neglect their duty and cannot teach,” James said.

“You have to stand up to Sadtu, Mr President. You cannot remain silent on Sadtu.You have to face down Sadtu, Mr President.”

Zuma should “stand up” for pupils who wanted to learn and grasp opportunities, and teachers committed to education, rather than Sadtu “bosses”.

“There is a gap that lies between what you say and what your education officials do.”

James slammed 2010 matric results as “suspect”. He said qualifications authority Umalusi “practised grade inflation by pushing up marks to make many pass who would otherwise have failed”.

This meant universities had to cope with “more underprepared students” while lecturers were “turned into remedial teachers, trying to fix a problem created by the schools”.

Nzimande fired back, saying that the biggest education priority was improving maths, science and literacy through assessments, teacher development, providing textbooks and workbooks, and building and refurbishing schools.

“So don’t come here and tell us about problems that we already know,” Nzimande thundered. “Don’t have sleepless nights over Sadtu. We don’t stare down Sadtu, we engage Sadtu, we will move along with Sadtu to improve the quality of schooling.

“The 2010 improved matric results are a testimony to the fact that we are beginning to put our schooling system on a much better footing. But unfortunately from the media and the opposition benches we have the same ritual every year.

“If the matric results are bad, this is taken as proof that this government of darkies is incapable. If the matric pass rate goes up, it means the results have been manipulated by these darkies. In either case, the arrogant, sneering tone of this discourse, which is often racist, frankly, is aimed at undermining the confidence of our people in both our education system and government – and they’ll not succeed in that.”

DA national spokeswoman Lindiwe Mazibuko asked Deputy Speaker Nomaindia Mfeketo to rule on whether the use of the word “darkies” was parliamentary. “It may be appropriate in casual settings, but in this house where you are required to act with a modicum of decorum it would be unparliamentary,” she said.

ANC MP Mike Masutha said Nzimande was merely quoting negative sentiments, but Mazibuko insisted on a ruling.

Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota jumped in, asking that a ruling be made.

“If a member of the opposition criticises government, is that justification for calling them racist?” Lekota said.

“Because I am an African … I have behind me members of my party who are white. If they criticise the government, is it because they are racist or because they are critical?”

Mfeketo said she would rule later on the matter.

Nzimande accused DA parliamentary leader Athol Trollip of being selective in criticism of Zuma, saying the DA in the Western Cape affronted people’s dignity with “open toilets” and sent “security to shoot people in Hout Bay” because they “live too close”.

DA deputy chief whip Mike Ellis asked for a ruling on this.

“The honourable minister is standing there and deliberately inciting us by referring to us as shooting people in the townships,” he said. “It is absolutely unacceptable that someone can stand up and make that kind of statement in Parliament.”

Nzimande responded: “I hit where it hurts, and that is why you are crying.” – Political Bureau

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16 Feb 2011

New paddling wave discovered in Hout Bay

When the sea is flat, you have to make your own waves… This clip shows Rob Mousley and Dale Lippstreu playing in the wake of a big tourist catamaran called Nauticat – in Hout Bay, South Africa.
Clip filmed by Carl Malherbe – thanks Carl!

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15 Feb 2011

Ghost spotted in Hout Bay

Ghost spotted in Hout Bay

By Bronwynne Jooste/

Each night staff lay a table for the spirits of a young woman and her lover at a Hout Bay restaurant.

Pots flying off their wall-mounted hooks, lights dimming by themselves and apparitions above darkened stairways are some of the unexplained incidents at a Hout Bay restaurant – and staffers put it all down to the spirits of doomed lovers.

Last week the Cape Argus reported on the suspected paranormal activity at Kitima, a restaurant at the historic Kronendal Manor in Hout Bay.

Each night restaurant staff lay a candle-lit table for the spirits of a young woman and her lover, who are said to have died at the Kronendal farm in the 1800s.

According to the legend, Dutch colonel Sir Abraham Josias Cloete took ownership of the farm in 1835. His daughter Elsa fell in love with a British soldier, but her father forbade the union.

The young soldier is said to have hanged himself from a tree in Oak Avenue. As the legend goes, Elsa died shortly afterwards from a broken heart.

Helen Thomas, who spent a December holiday waitressing at the restaurant, said she witnessed some of the strange incidents during her time there in the early 1990s.

“One night the kitchen staff came out running and screaming. They said the pots had just started flying off the walls.”

On another, particularly stormy night, the lights started dimming by themselves.

“Sometimes it felt normal, but other times I sort of had an uneasy feeling. But we were never really afraid, it was more fascinating.”

Thomas said staff had also seen the ghost of a young woman standing on a stairway landing.

“No one even went up those stairs. Everyone in Hout Bay knows about the ghosts.”

The restaurant owners have decided to acknowledge the tale, setting a table for the pair each night.

Even recently, staff have reported sightings of a young woman staring from the gable window.

It’s a well-known story in the seaside suburb and is included in several articles on local hauntings. Visitors to the farm have also claimed to have seen a young man standing among the oaks, looking back at the manor house.

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15 Feb 2011

Shack dwellers left homeless after fire would consider a move

Shack dwellers left homeless after fire would consider a move
Taken from Booi:

Some residents of a township in the Western Cape town of Hout Bay on Monday said they would not refuse an offer to be relocated.

Many Imizamu Yethu residents have been busy rebuilding after their homes after they were destroyed in a weekend fire.

The blaze was reportedly sparked by a candle.

The City of Cape Town said it is working on a long-term plan to relocate scores of shack dwellers.

Some residents said they are tired of the constant shack fires and admit they would not oppose such a move.

About 160 structures were destroyed by the blaze, leaving 900 people destitute.

Residents said they are grateful that no lives were lost in the incident.

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14 Feb 2011

East Fort car vandalism

East Fort car vandalism

Sent in by a Hout Bay resident:

I would like the public to be aware and know that their vehicles are in danger of being pilfered or damaged when parking (with the aid of the two car guards) on Chapman’s Peak Drive, East Fort parking, when attending any ceremony at the canons. Yearerday, 09 February 2011, between 10:00 and 11:30, the BMW badge on the bonnet of my car was stolen. The BMW emblem  was prized off the bonnet with a sharp instrument damaging the paintwork on the vehicle.

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