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‘Callous‚ insensitive’ magistrate slammed for treatment of deaf defendant

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Cape Town – A deaf man who was jailed for 15 years for murder has had his conviction overturned by judges who said the magistrate who tried him displayed “appalling insensitivity and prejudice” regarding his disability.

Acting Judge Diane Davis and Judge Thandazwa Ndita said Raymond Kruse was denied a fair trial by a magistrate in Wynberg‚ Cape Town‚ who expressed “undisguised scepticism” about his disability “which amounted to bias on her part”.

They said they would send a copy of their ruling‚ delivered in the High Court in Cape Town on Monday‚ to the Magistrates’ Commission “with a view to raising awareness of the need for … sensitivity training in relation to persons with disabilities”.

The judges said: “If the State decides to bring fresh charges against [Kruse]‚ the case must be tried before a different magistrate and regard must be had to the guidelines set out in this judgment.”

Kruse‚ 63‚ was convicted in May 2017 of shooting dead Nashief Davids in Eastridge‚ Mitchells Plain‚ in 2014. He claimed to have acted in self-defence but he was convicted and jailed for 15 years‚ five years of which were conditionally suspended.

A sign language interpreter was provided‚ but when it became apparent Kruse did not understand sign language‚ the magistrate ruled that communication with him should be in writing.

The judges said this was unlawful‚ shambolic and unfair. Because of his speech impediment‚ when Kruse gave evidence the magistrate ordered him to write his answers down in addition to giving oral answers.

“That is a tall order for anyone‚ let alone someone who suffers from hearing and speech difficulties‚” said the judges.

“Instead of facilitating [Kruse’s] communication‚ the magistrate made it more onerous for him … He was reduced to a passive and powerless spectator at his own trial‚ which rolled on like a juggernaut‚ trampling his constitutional rights in the process.”

Davis and Ndita slammed the magistrate for giving public vent to her scepticism about Kruse’s deafness. “She violated his dignity with her callous laughter and open incredulity‚” they said.

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Skeem Saam’s Koko Mantsha death dismissed as fake news

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Koko Mantsha, the popular Skeem Saam character acto, real name, Lydia Mokgokoloshi is not dead.

Social media is awash with news of her death which seems to have been fuelled by fake news sites aiming to profit from unsuspecting lovers of the 80 year-old veteran actress.

Lydia Mokgokoloshi, has appeared in many television shows including Muvhango and Bophelo ke semphego.

Mokgokoloshi was born on 27 September 1939, in Polokwane, Polokwane Local Municipality, Capricorn District Municipality, Limpopo.

She is most famous for acting as Koko Mantsha the grandmother of Katlego Pietersen (Patrick Seleka) in the soap, Skeem Saam.

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Watch: Thulani Dlomo an alleged ‘Zuma spy’, hands himself in

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Thulani Dlomo, the axed former SSA top spy and former SA ambassador to Japan has handed himself over to police on Friday.

Dlomo’s lawyer Philani Shangase said that he handed himself over at his own will at the Durban Central Police station on Friday.

He said Dlomo was not arrested but wanted to clear his name following media reports.

Dlomo was being interviewed by police officers at 17h00 on Friday.

“He has denied all wrong doing,” Shangase said.

Dlomo was suspected to be one of the instigators of the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

This is a developing story.

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Residents warned against consuming dead fish washing up at Umhlanga and Umdloti beaches – video

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The eThekwini Municipality has sent out a warning to residents against collecting and consuming dead fish and crayfish that have washed up on the beaches of Umhlanga and Umdloti, north of Durban.

The public has been asked to refrain from fishing, surfing and swimming on the beaches after a video of the dead fish on the beaches emerged on social media.

The municipality said it was investigating what caused the marine life to die.

“It is considered serious and can affect one’s health if collected and consumed.”

According to reports, run-off water and chemicals reached the ocean through storm water drains after firefighters battled a blaze at a chemical plant at Cornubia started by looters on Tuesday.

WATCH | Outrage after several monkeys and dog poisoned in Umdloti

“The public is advised to refrain from all recreational activities, including fishing or surfing, bait collection and picking up of dead species in this area,” said the municipality.

“Collecting or harvesting of any marine living resource in the area is temporarily prohibited until the cause is determined and the threat has abated.

“Authorities are investigating the source of the pollution and cleanup companies are trying to contain the spill.”

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