The Weekend's Most Shocking Stories
In this edition of the Weekend's Most Shocking Stories, accidents cause havoc across the country, a chid drowns, fires take lives and a student is murdered...
MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN PRETORIA
A motorcyclist was killed and his passenger injured when their vehicle collided with a bakkie in Danville, Pretoria on Sunday, paramedics said.
Netcare 911 spokesman Jefferey Wicks said the motorcyclist hit the bakkie and then veered into a roadside barrier.
He died at the scene.
The passenger was taken to hospital with critical injuries.
FREE STATE PENSIONER ARRESTED FOR ARMS, AMMO
A Bloemfontein pensioner has been arrested for possession of four shotguns, two revolvers and ammunition, Free State police said on Sunday
"On questioning... he could not give the police a satisfactory explanation as to how he got hold of the firearms and also failed to produce licence for the firearms," said Captain Chaka Marope.
He said the arrest of the 84-year-old man by the Crime Intelligence Unit followed months of investigation.
Police raided his home on Friday and found four shotguns, two revolvers and 102 rounds of ammunition for various calibre firearms.
The man was expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
THREE DIE IN EAST RAND FIRES
Three people died in fires on the East Rand on Sunday, emergency officials said.
One man died in the Makuse informal settlement, outside Germiston, when his shack caught alight, said emergency services spokesman Roggers (SUBS: CORR) Mamaila.
"His shack burnt [down] after a primus stove tipped over."
Emergency workers, who were called in just before 5am, declared him dead at the scene.
In Palm Ridge, Alberton, a person died when their shack burnt down at 3am, said Mamaila.
"We are not sure whether the victim was male or female," he said. The cause of the blaze was also not known.
In Vosloorus, Boksburg, a man burnt to death when his hostel room caught fire just before 1am. The cause of the fire was still being investigated, Mamaila said.
STUDENT MURDERED IN BLOEMFONTEIN
A Central University of Technology student has been stabbed to death in Bloemfontein, Free State police said on Sunday.
The 23-year-old student, whose name was being withheld until his next-of-kin were notified, was found in Park road at 11pm on Saturday, said Captain Chaka Marope. He had been stabbed in the neck and head.
Paramedics declared him dead at the scene.
He was thought to have been walking home from the shops when he was attacked, said Marope.
No arrests had been made.
FOUR DIE IN ROODEPOORT CRASH
Four people died and four were injured when two cars collided head-on in Roodepoort on Sunday afternoon, paramedics said.
The driver of one of the cars was thought to have veered into the path of an oncoming vehicle on Hamberg Road, said Netcare 911 spokesman Jeffrey Wicks.
Four people in one of the cars died, he said. Two people were trapped and had to be extricated.
A man in the other car was critically injured and had to be airlifted to hospital, said Wicks.
The other injured people were taken to hospital by ambulance.
BOY DIES IN PMB TAXI CRASH
A 10-year-old boy died and at least 14 other people were injured when their taxi rolled on the N3 to Pietermaritzburg on Sunday, paramedics said.
The driver apparently lost control of the vehicle and it rolled, said Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha. The passengers were thrown out.
Paramedics tried to resuscitate the boy, but he died on the scene.
A six-month-old girl and two elderly women were seriously injured. Eleven passengers sustained minor injuries.
SEVEN JOBURG ARRESTS FOR PERLEMOEN AND DRUGS
Five men and two women have been arrested in Johannesburg for possession of perlemoen (abalone) and drugs, police said on Sunday.
They were found packaging the perlemoen and drugs at a house in Sandringham on Saturday, said Captain Pinky Tsinyane.
Police seized perlemoen, compressed dagga and crystal methamphetamine (tik) with an estimated street value of R1.3 million.
The people arrested, aged 19 to 35, would appear soon in the Alexandra Magistrate's Court on charges of dealing in drugs and illegal possession of perlemoen.
ONE DIES, 11 HURT IN ERAND CRASH
A person died and 11 people were injured -- five of them critically --when a bakkie collided head-on with a car on the R50 in Bapsfontein, Ekhurhuleni, paramedics said on Sunday.
"When paramedics arrived on the scene they found the patients scattered across the road," said ER24 spokesman Werner Vermaak.
He said it appeared that most of the injured were on the back of the bakkie.
Vermaak said the cause of the accident was not known.
MAN DIES IN HOUT BAY FIRE
A man died when his shack burnt down on Sunday morning in the Mandela Park informal settlement, near Hout Bay, said Cape Town's disaster risk management centre
"There was a fire at about 4.30 this morning," said spokeswoman Mandy Thomas. No other shacks were affected, she said.
"DEAD" CONMAN TOLD POLICE HE WAS BRIGADIER: REPORT
A conman declared dead by home affairs managed to trick the police into believing he was a brigadier with the Hawks, the Sunday Independent reported.
He had been arrested for several other crimes before impersonating a policeman with such success he was allowed to use police cars and other resources while investigating other criminals.
Hawks' spokesman McIntosh Polela told the newspaper the man, who called himself Brigadier Musa Khumalo was being investigated.
"He is in possession of a brigadier's uniform," he was quoted as saying.
"In such a case, junior officers would seldom ask a person to prove his/her rank and credentials."
A warrant of arrest had been issued.
Khumalo claimed to have been sent to KwaZulu-Natal by acting police commissioner Lt-Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.
He helped to arrest Sibusiso Gcabashe, who impersonated dead musician Khulekani "Mgqumeni" Mseleku, according to the newspaper.
CAPE TOWN DOCTOR'S BODY WASHES ASHORE
The body of a doctor has washed up on the Bloubergstrand beach, in Cape Town, Western Cape police said on Sunday.
Warrant Officer November Filander said the body of Waldo Fernandez, 48, was found by a passerby around 7.30am on Saturday.
He said Fernandez's identity document was found in his pocket.
"The case is being treated as a drowning."
The Weekend Argus reported on Sunday that the doctor's BMW had been found, with nothing missing, at a nearby shopping centre in Sunset Beach.
Stepson Steven Vermaak told the newspaper that Fernandez had loved swimming for exercise and that he was a good swimmer.
"The police said they suspect he walked into the sea and the current took him and he drowned, then his body got washed up on the Marine Drive side [of the sea]," he said.
"We're still waiting for an autopsy to tell us exactly what happened, but I don't think he would commit suicide."
TAXI DRIVER KILLED IN KZN HEAD-ON CRASH
A taxi driver was killed, and seven people were injured, in a head-on collision on the N3 near Lions River early on Sunday morning, paramedics said.
Netcare911 spokesman Chris Botha said it appeared that a car had veered into the on-coming lane and smashed into the taxi.
Two people were extricated from the wreckage with hydraulic equipment.
The injured were stabilised on the scene and taken to hospital, but the driver of the taxi died soon after arrival.
CHILD KILLED IN KZN HOUSE FIRE
A child died and its mother was severely burnt when they were trapped in a burning house in Richards Bay early Sunday morning, paramedics said.
Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said: "After the fire was extinguished the body of a child, presumed to be a boy aged around four, was found burnt beyond recognition".
The woman was taken to hospital in a critical condition.
Further details were not immediately available.
BOY DROWNS IN PRETORIA
A three-year-old boy drowned in a swimming pool in Elandspoort, Pretoria North, on Saturday evening, paramedics said.
"Common cause information suggests that the unattended child had fallen into the uncovered swimming pool. His body was discovered floating in the water by a resident," said spokesman Jeffrey Wicks.
He said the child was declared dead at the scene.
MAN DIES IN KZN CRASH
A man died after his car overturned in Illovo Glen on the Natal south coast on Saturday evening, paramedics said.
"Reports indicate that the man was rounding a bend when he lost control, veered off the road and overturned," said Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha.
" Netcare 911 [paramedics] arrived at the scene and found the man still trapped in the twisted frame of his car. After clambering into the vehicle to examine the patient, it was found that he had tragically died due to the extensive injury that he sustained.
MAN DIES IN BRONKHORSPRUIT CRASH
A man was killed and nine people seriously injured when a car and a bakkie collided head-on in Bronkhorspruit on Saturday, paramedics said.
Netcare 911 spokesman Jeffrey Wicks said it was the driver of the car who was killed in the collision on the Delmas road.
"One of nine people sustained serious injuries and had to be airlifted to the hospital," he said.
Wicks said the cause of the accident was unknown but alleged that it appeared as if one of the drivers left his lane.
The other eight people four of whom were in a critical condition were transported to the hospital by ambulances.
BABY DIES IN DURBAN FIRE
A six-year-old child burned to death in a fire that broke out on the seventh floor of the Frenoleen building, in Durban on Saturday, paramedics.
"Fire department and Netcare 911[paramedics] arrived at the scene and after the fire was extinguished found a body of a child suspected to be around six year- old, the child had tragically died in the inferno," said Chris Botha.
It was not known what caused the fire.
SOUTH AFRICAN BABOON RESCUER DIES IN FIRE
Conservationist Rita Miljo, who cared for and reintroduced packs of baboons back into the wilds of South Africa, died in a fire that destroyed much of the headquarters of the sanctuary she built, a sanctuary official said Saturday. She was 81.
Miljo died Friday in the small apartment she kept above the clinic of the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation & Education in the bush of Limpopo province, said Karl Pierce, a director with the sanctuary. With her at her death was Bobby, the first battered Chacma baboon she ever rescued and nursed back to health in 1980 after spiriting her away from a national park without a permit. Bobby also died in the fire, along with two other older baboons that stayed in her apartment, Pierce said.
The fire broke out around 8 p.m. Friday after volunteers and workers left the center for the evening, Pierce said. No one else was injured in the blaze, which consumed the clinic, offices and a house on the property, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) northeast of Johannesburg. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
While Miljo no longer ran day-to-day operations of the center, which cares for more than 400 baboons, she remained a constant presence and a figurehead for the organization she founded in 1989.
"Everybody's still in shock about this," Pierce said.
Born in Germany in 1931, Miljo came to South Africa in the 1950s. In a 2008 article about her in The Washington Post Magazine, Miljo said helping baboons taught her "why people behave the way they do."
"Chimpanzees can be deceitful, just like humans, whereas baboons haven't learned that yet," she said at the time. "So what you learn from the baboons is the truth about yourself. Chimpanzees have already learned to find beautiful little excuses for their behavior."
In South Africa, baboons have a troublesome reputation. In Cape Town, baboons remain known for raiding cars and frightening tourists. Baboons are a protected species under South African legislation but their aggressive pursuits of food have led to conflicts with residents.
Miljo nursed orphaned and injured baboons back to health, then pioneered ways of reintroducing whole troops of cared-for baboons back into the wild, her center said. In 1994, the center successfully released ten hand-reared baboons back into the wild. A year later, 70 percent had survived and integrated back into the wild population, the center said, a success as many thought the human-cared-for baboons wouldn't be able to adjust.
Miljo is survived by a brother who lives in Botswana, Pierce said. Her first husband, Lothar Simon, and her 17-year-old daughter died in 1972 in plane crash.
Despite personal tragedies in her own life, she remained focused on her work to help sick and injured baboons. When asked in 2008 where the body of one of the baboons she sheltered would be buried, Miljo offered a quick answer.
"I remember where each one is and that's where I'm going to be buried, too," she said.
FIVE-YEAR-OLD DIES IN NWEST ACCIDENT
A five-year-old boy died after he was hit by a car in Klipgat, North West police said on Saturday.
Captain Adele Myburgh said a red VW Golf hit the boy on Friday afternoon.
"The 38-year-old man [the driver] alleged that he was trying to overtake a bus that was parked next to the road, when he collided with the 5-year-old that was crossing the street," Myburgh said.
The boy died on the scene.
Police are investigating a case of culpable homicide.
TWO DIE IN A NWEST ACCIDENT COLLISION
Two people died after their cars collided head-on in Zeerust, North West police said on Saturday.
Police spokeswoman Captain Adele Myburgh said a 61-year-old woman, driving a Toyota Tazz collided with a VW Polo on Friday.
The woman died at the scene. The driver of Polo was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died.
Police are investigating a case of culpable homicide.
HARBOUR WORKER HIT BY CRANE
A worker was injured after he was struck by the hook of a crane while working on a ship in the Durban harbour, paramedics said on Saturday.
Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said the incident happened on Friday night.
"It is believed that the man was working in the hull of a ship... when the hook of the crane slammed into his shoulder," he said.
"Paramedics arrived at the scene and found the man to be in a stable condition at the bottom of the ships loading area."
He said the man was stabilised and taken to a nearby hospital.
PEDESTRIAN KILLED IN PMB
A man was killed when he was hit by a car on Blackburn Road in Hayfields, Pietermaritzburg, paramedics said on Saturday.
The accident happened late on Friday night, and the man died soon after arriving at Greys Hospital, Netcare911 spokesman Chris Botha said.
MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN KZN
A motorcyclist was killed along Hesketh Road in Pietermaritzburg on Friday night, paramedics said.
It appeared that the man lost control of his bike and stuck a tree on the side of the road, Netcare911 spokesman Chris Botha said on Saturday.
The man died prior to the arrival of paramedics.