Muldersdrift shooting victim goes for rehab

Police shooting victim Len Cloete has been placed into rehabilitation, according to private investigator Mike Bolhuis. A police officer shot Cloete in the head in November during an altercation at a Muldersdrift lodge. Cloete’s family appointed Bolhuis’s company, Specialised Security Services, to represent him and provide updates about Cloete’s health.

A video of the incident showed Cloete confronting police, who were on either side of a doorway. He was naked but later put on underwear and asked for his gun.

The footage showed that he disarmed a policewoman while shouting “shoot me, shoot me” and then faced a second officer who had his gun raised towards the now-armed Cloete. The officer fired and Cloete fell to the ground.

On December 23 the company reported that Cloete, who had been in a coma for several weeks after being shot, was now awake and strong enough to start rehabilitation.

On Thursday, Bolhuis said, “He is much better. He has been placed into a rehabilitation facility. He is doing rehabilitation.” Bolhuis said Cloete's “eyes are open, and he recognises his wife.”

“He kisses her.  One side of his body has feelings and movement,” Bolhuis said.

“He is rapidly getting better. We see it as a miracle and we are extremely thankful for the medical practitioners and their involvement ... and the hospital,” Bolhuis said.

Hundreds arrested during festive season

Police arrested hundreds of people in Cosmo City, Honeydew and Diepsloot for crimes committed during the festive season, police reported.

The vigilant efforts of police to combat crime were successful, Diepsloot police spokesperson Captain Tinyiko Mathebula told the Chronicle.

“Suspects were arrested for offences ranging from murder, rape, possession of unlicensed firearms, assault common under domestic violence, assault GBV annd others,” he said. 

During the festive season holiday, police maintained high visibility in malls and crime hotspots to ensure that the community could celebrate in a safe and secure environment. Police also frequented local liquor outlets to ensure maximum compliance to liquor legislation and the Disaster Management Act. During these operations police managed to recover unlicensed firearms. 

“Curbing the proliferation of illegal firearms in this community remains the station's primary objective, which will go a long way in tackling violent crimes,” Captain Mathebula said. 

The acting Diepsloot police station commander, Colonel Matome Mohale appreciated the collaboration and partnership of police with the community in the fight against crime. "Our communities are a key strategic stakeholder in crime fighting and without their participation, the police cannot win the ongoing fight against crime,” said Colonel Mohale.

Efforts to get a comment from Honeydew police station were fruitless.

MMC Mbundu calls on residents to utilise opportunity centres

The City of Johannesburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development, Councillor Nkululeko Mbundu, has encouraged residents to use Opportunity Centres for business and jobseeker support.

“As residents of our City return after a well-deserved break, many will be eager to start their own businesses, while others will be looking for work. We wish to urge our citizens to visit our Opportunity Centres, which serve as a single point of contact for SMMEs and job seekers thus playing a role in the reduction of unemployment,” said MMC Mbundu.

The Opportunity Centre business model is one of the City’s initiatives aimed at assisting small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and cooperatives in their development and long-term viability. Through a combination of in-house and external resources, Opportunity Centres provide free services to SMMEs and cooperatives.

Cllr Mbundu said the City of Johannesburg’s priority is to create a climate that encourages economic growth with clear and concise economic policy, thus allowing us to rebuild a City that is Pro-business and Pro-jobs.

“Our Opportunity Centres are geared at strengthening in the main our SMME sector, making it easier to open and operate a business while also providing support to jobseekers by registering them on the City’s Jobseekers database. As a result, encourage our residents to visit our Opportunity Centres, and make use of this wonderful infrastructure.”

Some of the services offered by Opportunity Centres include:

Training Services

• Business Management (financial management, bookkeeping, people management).

• Business planning.

• Marketing strategy development.

• Supply-chain training so clients can gain increased access to markets.

Consultation Services

• Providing pre-start, start-up, and existing businesses with business development consulting.

• Advice on business planning and concept generation, as well as tax and financial management compliance challenges.

Facilitation of access to financing through Opportunity Centre partners’ services.

Facilities Usage for Business

• Access to boardroom use for business (e.g. meeting, presentation, interview etc.)

• Access to internet/Wi-Fi for business use (e.g. research, market opportunities, preparation of business proposals.

Jobseekers Support

• The Opportunity Centres also provide jobseekers with a registration database to connect the unemployed with both public and private organisations, as well as capacity-building courses such as job preparation to better equip and prepare job seekers for an interview.

Residents lament armed robberies during the festive season

Armed robbers caused mayhem in Cosmo City during the festive season.

Cosmo City residents allege that armed robbers shot a man at Abuja Crescent in extension 6, shot another two men at Eritrea Street in extension 6, and shot and injured another man at Zimbabwe Street in extension 2. One of the Eritrea Street victims died on the spot, and the other was rushed to hospital.

“This shows the level of unsafety in Cosmo City,” said resident Hlompo Masilela. “We never enjoyed festive season at all. How could we celebrate while others are in pain? How could we enjoy while we are not free? After all we cannot enjoy while we are losing money to the robbers.”  

Some Cosmo City residents said that armed robbers took chances even during the day. “I think the robbers were desperate for money during the festive season,” said Dikeledi Maela. “We have seen many people robbed of their belongings and being attacked during the day. We are calling for more police visibility in the community because Community Policing Forum (CPF) cannot handle the situation without police.”

A series of street robberies marred the festive season, leaving many community members moneyless and without cell phones. 

 In the ever-busy streets near the shops and supermarkets, a worrisome trend developed in which robbers snatched people’s cell phones and other belongings, jumped into a runaway car and disappeared.

“They drive around, and when they see people who are walking down the street who are holding their cell phones, they target those individuals, “said street robbery victim Rebecca Khuzwayo.

According to the victims, a group of two to three people typically drives a car with out-of-state license plates and calls to victims walking on the street.

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