FLAMINGOS PERISH ON POWER LINE.

SANParks rangers are currently monitoring Swartvlei Lake on the outskirts of Sedgefield  for evidence of more injured flamingos, subsequent to a horrific accident this morning (18 July) in which a number of them flew into a nearby power line parallel to the N2. Thus far, two dead flamingos have been found by the rangers whilst another badly injured one had to be euthanized on site.

Furthermore, four seriously injured flamingos were collected and rushed to Tenikwa Wildlife’s Rehabilitation Centre for treatment of cuts and bruises sustained.

Jonathan Britton, SANParks Ranger for Marine in Wilderness, says he is planning to approach the relevant authority regarding the power line in question to see if there are any measures that can be taken to minimise the re-occurrence of such an incident. SANParks wishes to thank Tenikwa who came through to assist SANParks, as well the concerned members of the public who alerted us to this unfortunate incident.

Picture provided by Tenikwa

BODY OF MISSING MAN FOUND

SAPS MEDIA CENTRE yesterday afternoon reported the sad news that they have found the body of Gideon Mativo, the local man who has been missing since 25 June. Four arrests have been made in the case, including one man who is suspected of being the murderer. This same man led SAPS to Gideon’s body which had been placed in a ditch and covered up.

Gideon, a well-liked man whom many will remember from Sedgefield’s Mosaic Market and his jewellery stall at Eden Meander, left home late on that Saturday afternoon to go and pay wages, but never returned.

As the evening wore on and she was unable to reach him on his cell phone his wife Caroline became more and more concerned, and eventually called the police. A friend of the family reports that she had then been told by the SAPS member on duty that she would have to wait 24 hours before she could report a missing person.

A case was finally opened at Conville Police Station, and an extensive search was undertaken. Fears grew worse for Caroline and their three children when SAPS discovered Gideon’s vehicle, a Nissan Qashqai, burnt out in a field near Thembalethu. It had been stripped of its wheels and various other parts.

The investigation extended further, including the search of several small dams in the area by police divers. This joint operation was eventually to include SAPS members from Conville, George, and Thembalethu stations, as well as the Hawks Organised Crime Unit, the Outeniqua Canine Unit and several detectives from the Eden Cluster.
Eventually there was a break-through when police found car parts belonging to the Mativo’s vehicle. This led to the arrest of three suspects on Monday 11 July and a further arrest of the murder suspect the following day. This suspect led the SAPS detectives to where Gideon’s body had been hidden in a ditch near Ballots Bay. He had been stabbed several times in the upper body.

Captain Malcolm Poje said that the four suspects will be in court on Thursday 14 July, facing various charges including murder, theft, and malicious damage to property. He said that Cluster Commander Oswald Reddy offered condolences to Caroline and her family, and commended the SAPS members involved in the investigation for their dedication to bringing the suspects to book and giving the family closure at last.

A DREAM COME TRUE FOR LIZE

Lize Maree, a bedridden 38 year old Hospice palliative care patient from Sedgefield, had a dream come true earlier this month when she had a personal visit from her favourite artist…

‘We are all Beautiful. We are all magical, deserve to be adored…’ sings Kahn Morbee of the Parlotones, and he must know what he’s singing about since it made him and the Parlotones internationally famous.

Surely there are none more beautiful than those who are in service to others? The team from our local Hospice and Kahn Morbee himself provided a shining example of the kind of people that we should all strive to be.

Lize’s mother Bets says that despite being bedridden, Lize is in good spirits and pretty much like any other 38 year old woman. She has long been a huge fan of the The Parlotones and one of her biggest regrets is that she never attended a live concert of theirs. Members of the Hospice heard about this and obviously some thought wheels started turning. Days later who should walk through her door? None other than Kahn Morbee himself!

After a recent series of gigs in and around the Garden Route, he had been contacted by Hospice and asked if he would consider popping in to say “Hi!” to Lize, and that’s exactly what he did! The artist spent some wonderful one-on-one time at her home, really getting to know her. In star-struck Lize’s words, “This is the best day of my life!”. At the end of the visit the happy lady added “The best thing about being sick is Hospice.”

Thrilled with how the day turned out, Hospice PR lady Ashleigh Sanders Smith said “Knysna-Sedgefield Hospice recognizes that our patients need and deserve to have holistic care, covering their physical, psychological-social and spiritual needs.”

Well done to the team at Hospice that made it happen and kudos to Mr Morbee on being not only an excellent artist but a true ‘mensch’ as well. We will never really know of all the work that Hospice does in our community and we’ll never be able to thank them enough.

COMPLAINT AGAINST MUNICIPAL MANAGER TO BE INVESTIGATED

Knysna Mayor Georlene Wolmarans yesterday released the following press release.

At a special Council meeting held on Tuesday 5th July 2016, the Knysna Council considered allegations of serious misconduct made by a member of the public against Mr Grant Easton, the municipal manager.

The Council decided after taking into account the relevant legislative provisions to appoint an independent investigator to conduct an investigation into the allegations. In order not to prejudice the outcome of the investigation, the nature of the allegations against the municipal manager cannot be made public at this time.

The Council also decided that in order to protect the interests of all the parties involved, including the municipal manager, to ask the municipal manager to respond in writing within seven days as to why he should not be suspended for precautionary reasons while the investigation is on-going.

The Council wishes to make clear that the decision to investigate in no way pre-judges the issues involved and has been taken so that the allegations can be fairly tested and that the municipal manager be given every opportunity to answer the allegations.

 

IT’S OYSTERFEST TIME

The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival begins on Friday this week, with a jam-packed programme of events guaranteed to keep locals and visitors of all ages entertained. Whilst the 10 day festival brings a much-needed influx of more than 50 000 excited visitors to the area, Garden Route residents certainly don’t shy away from joining in the fun that is happening right here on the doorstep.
Aside from the popular weekend sporting events, such as the Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour (2nd and 3rd July) and the Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon (9 July), highlights of this year’s Festival include:

Food and drink:-
• Look out for Oyster Hotspots – restaurants in and around Knysna and Sedgefield where you’ll find oyster specials and other interesting dishes over the 10-day period.
• As part of the Best of Brunch promo, local restaurants will serve up delicious takes on everyone’s favourite meal – brunch!
• The Knysna Wine Festival and Night Market will host some of South Africa’s best wine estates on 4 and 5 July where you can meet local winemakers, taste their latest wines and learn about the latest trends in wine-making.
As an extra treat, Heather Walters will perform live on 4 July and Robin Auld on 5 July.
• Seafood Wednesday takes place on 6 July, giving seafood lovers another chance to indulge in all manner of seafood. The event kicks off with a seafood walk-around at participating restaurants during the day; a seafood braai competition takes place in the afternoon, and the ever-popular oyster shucking and eating competition takes centre stage in the early evening.
• Flavours of Knysna served with Tabasco Sauce, also part of Seafood Wednesday, will see some of the best local eateries going head to head in the oyster stakes. We hear Sedgefield’s PiliPili (last year’s winnners) will be there to defend their title!
• The Oyster, Bubbly and Chocolate Experience will be hosted at the Simola Hotel at 18:00 on 3 July where visitors can enjoy instructional bubbly tastings from five different estates, paired with the decadent combination of oysters and chocolate.

Live entertainment:-
• The Comedy Shuckle is a Festival must-see, with top comedians Schalk Bezuidenhout and Kagiso Mokgadi ready to have you doubled over in laughter.
• The Exclusive Glenmorangie Whiskey & Live Jazz cruise is a festive addition to this year’s line-up on 3 July at 17:30.
• If the classics are more your cup of tea, then don’t miss the all-new Opera Gala Concerts on 7 and 8 July.

For the little ones:-
• The Pick n Pay Young Oyster Festival presented by Humpty Dumpty Windmeul Eggs will host fun cooking lessons and arts and crafts for two to 10 year olds. This will take place 2 – 9 July from 10:30 to 15:30 and on 3 July from 10:30 to 13:30.
The Young Festival, situated at the Main Festival Pavilion, is open from 09:00 – 15:30 daily, will include lots of entertainment and is ideal for creative kiddies.
• The Momentum Health Kiddies Zone is a fully supervised, secure and fun area for children aged two to twelve, with great age-appropriate activities such as jumping castles, sand art, colouring and drawing as well as jumping rope games. It is also at the Festival Pavilion and runs from 09:00 to 16:00 daily with extended hours on 4 & 5 July until 21:00
• The Dare2Dash obstacle course is situated at the Festival Pavilion and is open from 10:00 to 15:00 daily

Trail runs
• The ELEPHANT Free Range Trail Run offers three of the most beautiful trails in the Knysna area. These are scheduled between 3 – 8 July at 09:00.
• The Momentum Health OatWell DualX, powered by PeptoPro, will be at the Festival for the first time this year and offers the best of both trail running and mountain biking. The start is at the Festival Pavilion on 7 July at 08:00.

A change of pace
• For those who’d like to take things at a slightly more relaxed place, also on the cards are bridge tournaments and bingo on 1 July, a bowls tournament from 4 – 7 July and the all-new Forest Family Dam Ride on 3 July.

For the full programme and details about all events, registration and ticket costs, please visit http://www.pnpoysterfestival.co.za/ or follow the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival on Twitter @OysterFestival or on Facebook/KnysnaOysterFestival for daily updates.

WARD ONE COUNCILLOR GROOTBOOM RESIGNS

Knysna Municipality has announced that Cllr Irene Grootboom, councillor for Knysna’s ward 1 (Sedgefield’s Smutsville, Cola Beach and The Island) announced her resignation from Council earlier today. Cllr Grootboom also served as member of the Mayoral Committee responsible for Community Services.

Knysna Executive Mayor expressed her thanks and appreciation to Cllr Grootboom for her service to people of Knysna over the last five years.

Her resignation is effectively immediately. Currently no reason has been given for her resignation.

ISLAND ROAD NAMES TO STAY THE SAME

The controversial renaming of the roads on Sedgefield’s Island suburb is not going to happen, and the old names will remain. This after the Knysna Municipality’s Street Naming Committee received numerous objections to the proposal. The original application to have the names changed was made back in 2012 by the standing Ratepayers committee, but only came up for consideration in January this year. Many local residents were happy with the idea of new road names, but many were against it – calling it a huge waste of tax payers’ money.

SASSA GRAND FRAUD: R800 MILLION LOST

According to a release from the offices of Lorraine Botha MPP, Western Cape Spokesperson on Community Development, The South African Social Services Agency (SASSA) has lost an estimated R800 million to corrupt practices in the entity and of that amount, a mere R1.5 million has been recovered.

On 31 May SASSA briefed the Standing Committee on Community Development in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP). It was revealed that between April 2015 and March 2016, a total of 18 807 disputes had been logged with SASSA.

In April 2016 alone, a total of 1 846 disputes were logged with SASSA in the Western Cape. It is clear that beneficiaries cannot rely on the Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (DRM), which are meant to resolve cases of beneficiary exploitation.

It was revealed that beneficiaries received falsified SASSA forms that were used by insurance brokers to fraudulently take out insurance on behalf of beneficiaries. It also emerged from the briefing that third parties are obtaining confidential details of beneficiaries from FICA and not necessarily from SASSA.

THE FARCE SIDE BRINGS THE LAUGHS!

Here we are again after the run of our annual comedy, this year’s ‘Unnecessary Farce’ by Paul Slade.
With Richard Payn (Winner of the Guineas Award 2016 – as in the best Scottish Piper in the country) setting the tone as the audiences arrived for a night at the theatre – Sedgefield style.

Six nights of laughter rocked the school hall venue as the seven players stomped, sneaked, fell around and got shoved into the boards. The Farce Side theatre group has been at it for three years now and with four shows under their belt the talent is really obvious. This year’s newcomers, Cornel Delafield, Elaine Hannah, Tamsyn Godfrey and Mike Young were buoyed (as we all were) by the laughter and applause from the audiences each night. That is after all, what we do it for!
The generous response from our audiences on all platforms has been overwhelming and extremely positive;
“To the amazingly talented cast of 2016. I went in expecting to giggle or maybe even chuckle. What I didn’t expect was to laugh from my belly again and again. Thank you so much for warming up winter, putting a smile on our faces and blowing us away with your startling talent.” Pam Booth

“… we want to say Thank You so much for your (The Farce Side’s) wonderful production. Congratulations to you and your whole team. We so enjoyed it and all the laughter it brought. Fabulous! You did Sedgefield proud.” Jackie and Peter Weaver

“I was super impressed with the tremendously entertaining and well-executed play, Unnecessary Farce!!! You did great!!” Saskia Vershoor

As with any production by The Farce Side there is a lot of gratitude to our very local supporters! Herewith the list. Without these people, companies and businesses, none of the magic would be possible:
The families and friends of each and every cast and crew member of this production.
Scarab Village who provided rehearsal space for the first two months.
Lemon & Lime – the best box office in town.
Build It, Forest Lodge Nursery, Debbie and Deon Snyders, Twinx Costumes, Pick ‘n Pay and Sergeant Sonja Stander .

Lastly, the announcement that everyone has been waiting for, the raffle winner of the fan memorabilia from the set of ‘Unnecessary Farce’ – the set of Three Flying Ducks from the Claymore Pots Studio goes to Cheryl Ferreira!

Congratulations Cheryl! Enjoy the revival of these classic pieces of décor.

MAYOR PRESENTS LAST BUDGET

THE MUNICIPAL budget for Knysna for the 2016/17 cycle was tabled yesterday by Executive Mayor Georlene Wolmarans as part of her final State of the Town & Budget address.

During her address on Tuesday 31 May, themed “A prosperous future for Knysna,” Mayor Wolmarans touched on the highlights of the past term and shared her vision for Knysna for the years ahead: “It is my sincere hope that the next council will build on the achievements we have attained during this term in office and will strive to overcome the challenges that faced us over the last five years.”

Mayor Wolmarans touched on the activities and projects of each directorate, while identifying the pertinent challenges that will be addressed during the next financial year. After concluding her review on the wellbeing and future of Knysna, Wolmarans turned to matters of Rands and Cents.

“The budget for the next financial year continues to reflect the strategies and priorities of the town, chief among them the need to address our dire water security issues”, Wolmarans said in her initial remarks.

“The new budget for Knysna Municipality amounts to approximately R912 million comprising of R174 million in capital expenditures and R738 million for operating expenses. This constitutes a considerable increase of 16% on the adjusted budget for 2015/2016 which amounted to a total of R789 million.”