A shove leads to pupil’s broken arm

As seen on IOL.

Crime & Courts | 31 January 2017
Saarah Survé

Cape Town – A teacher at St Ida’s Primary School in Stellenbosch allegedly pushed a pupil on Monday last week. As a result of the push, the pupil, Azakhe Gxuluwe, 12, broke her arm which is now in a cast.

The teacher said Azakhe and a classmate had been making a noise. “I had to look after two classes. They were loud and it was annoying. I told them to go to class and I pushed her to start moving.”

Azakhe’s mom, Lorretta Gxuluwe, said she had received a message from the principal saying that her daughter was in hospital. “The principal told me that she fell when she was playing.”

Later, Azakhe told her mother that the principal was lying and the teacher had pushed her.

According to Gxuluwe, earlier that day the teacher had allegedly hit her daughter’s face while they were in a classroom.

“I don’t know how to feel,” said Gxuluwe when asked about the incident involving her daughter.

The principal, Glynis Rippenaar, said she had no comment and referred the Cape Argus to the Western Cape Education Department. She said the incident was being investigated.

Department spokesperson Paddy Attwell confirmed that the principal had reported an alleged incident to their Labour Relations directorate.

“According to the principal, the teacher allegedly pushed a learner who had challenged him and answered back. The learner allegedly fell on to her hands and hurt a finger.”

“The department is investigating,” said Atwell.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana said a common assault case had been opened for investigation. No one had been arrested at this stage.

Azakhe has been at the school since Grade R.

See the article here. 


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Malawians of Cape Town

From Mangochi to the Mother City

Oscar (41) arrived in Cape Town in 1995 from a village called Mangochi in Malawi, looking for “any work”. He has been working as a driver for the last five years. PHOTO: Saarah Survé
Javison (42) arrived in South Africa in 2007, hoping to find a better future for himself. Before he came to Cape Town, he worked as a gardener in Johannesburg. He works as a security guard. PHOTO: Saarah Survé
Frank (28) came to South Africa in 2009, looking for work and “greener pastures”. He has been a petrol attendant at the Caltex at the Waterfront and is now a driver. He would like to go to photography or graphic design school. PHOTO: Saarah Survé
Dawood (26), in the blue T-shirt, came to Cape Town in 2012. Dawood has a diploma in business management, but works as a security guard. He is with his younger brother, Mohammed. PHOTO: Saarah Survé
Mohammed (23) followed his brother Dawood to Cape Town in 2014. He cleans houses and works as a gardener. PHOTO: Saarah Survé
Oscar (41) and Mabel (29) got married in Cape Town in 2009. They live with their daughter Moonisah (2) in Claremont. Mabel works as a receptionist. PHOTO: Saarah Survé
Moonisah rides her tricycle through their flat in Claremont. Her Malawian parents hope that she will have a better future in Cape Town, where she was born. PHOTO: Saarah Survé


A police officer reads a sign held by a protesting UCT student, outside Parliament, on 7 October. The sign reads: “Free education. End debt slavery”. He hoped to engage passers-by to further and deepen the debate on free education. PHOTO: Saarah Survé
Police officers and private security stand outside Stellenbosch University’s Education building on 10 October. The presence of police and private security heightened after students and workers began protesting that morning. PHOTO: Saarah Survé


Arthur Nico van der Merwe, 45, sits in the middle of a parking lot in Andringa Street in Stellenbosch. Arthur was released from Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison in Cape Town two days before this photograph was taken. PHOTO: Saarah Survé
A young boy leans against the wall of his home in Old Delhi, India. Many children are left to play without adult supervision during the day. PHOTO: Saarah Survé
A young boy playfully sticks his tongue out at the camera. He lives in a rural area in the Dominican Republic. Over 20% of the country lives in extreme poverty. PHOTO: Saarah Survé


Children, in the Dominican Republic, pose for a photograph in front of their homes. In the absence of toys, they play with old tyres and sticks. PHOTO: Saarah Survé
An old woman sells vegetables at a local market in Peru. PHOTO: Saarah Survé
A family waits while a toddler relieves himself against the wall in a parking lot in Chengdu, China. PHOTO: Saarah Survé

Ducks earn their keep at Vergenoegd

27 September 2016

Look no further than Vergenoegd wine estate for a lazy day of basking in the sun and tantalizing your palate, but don’t miss the duck parade. 

As you take the Baden Powell Drive exit off the N2, it is easy to miss the entrance gates adorned with white plaster ducks. From there, an equally unassuming gravel road will lead you to Vergenoegd wine estate, the gateway to the Stellenbosch Wine Route.

A sign reads “Please drive slowly. Duck parade ahead.”

A sign at the entrance to Vergenoegd wine estate reads “Please drive slowly. Duck parade ahead”. PHOTO: Mary Lamontagne

On arrival I am greeted with rosé champagne, “pink in colour because it has been darkened with red grapes,” explains Marlize Jacobs, the resident winemaker. Jacobs studied winemaking at Elsenburg College in Stellenbosch.

In 1696, Simon van der Stel, governor of the Dutch Cape Colony, granted the farm to Pieter de Vos, who named it “Vergenoegd” which translates to “satisfaction has been achieved”.

In 1862, the estate was purchased by Johannes Gysbertus Faure whose family owned it for six generations.

One of the oldest farms in Stellenbosch changed hands in 2015 when new life was breathed into it.

The vineyards at Vergenoegd wine estate, which is on Baden Powell Drive.  PHOTO: Saarah Survé

At Vergenoegd, you can order a picnic lunch to enjoy on the lawn (prices range from R125 to R450) or book a seat at the long harvest table (R250 pp) and share a meal, prepared by Chef Ryan Shell, with unfamiliar faces. In winter, the harvest table is moved inside the wine cellar.

I take my seat at the harvest table under the oak trees, next to two young women from Montreal. The concept of breaking bread with strangers is a fun way to meet new people. We exchange contact details before the end of the meal.

People enjoying lunch at the harvest table at Vergenoegd wine estate. PHOTO: Mary Lamontagne

Shell, who trained at the Cordon Bleu Cookery School in Johannesburg, welcomes us and explains that we will be eating family-style. This means that all of the dishes are put onto the table so that we can serve ourselves. He also mentions that we should not miss the ducks at 3:30pm.

Shell, who previously worked at Haute Cabrière in Franschhoek, uses the produce grown in his own garden at Vergenoegd in his cooking.

Vegetables from Chef Ryan Shell’s garden served family-style for lunch. PHOTO: Saarah Survé

He personally brings dish after dish to the table, including duck pâté and a whole fish, each served on beautiful ceramics paired with wine from the estate. Each dish is presented with pride and it is evident that the chef treats his products with the utmost respect.

Dessert prepared by Chef Ryan Shell served family-style. PHOTO: Mary Lamontagne

“Vergenoegd”, I sit back, slip my feet out of my sandals and wiggle my toes through the dried peach pips, a clever and sustainable way to decorate the ground.

After our three-course lunch, we are invited into the Cape-Dutch manor house to choose one of the four blending experiences: coffee, tea, wine or olive oil. We are reminded once again not to be late for the ducks.

At the coffee blending experience, we are tasked with creating the perfect cuppa with coffees from Uganda and Ethiopia, presented in square silver tins. With small wooden spoons we scoop mounds of the Bugiso, Sippi Falls and Sidamo into French coffee presses and soon the strong aromas of coffee fills the room.

Three types of coffee arranged for the coffee blending experience at Vergenoegd. PHOTO: Saarah Survé

About 30 minutes into our blending experience, we are ushered out of the manor house and onto the lawn. The distant sound of quacking grows louder until we can hardly hear each other. Puzzled searching reveals a flock of about 1 000 Indian Runner Ducks determinedly waddling from the direction of the dam. The ducks, which are domesticated, stand erect and, like penguins, cannot fly.

Herded by a man in the back and a woman in the front, almost as if they are in an invisible enclosure, moving as one unit, the ducks make their way past us, leaving a trail of small feathers in their wake.

One slightly dishevelled duck tries to make a beeline back to the dam, but jumps back into line, after his path is blocked.

The Indian Runner Ducks parade through Vergenoegd wine estate. PHOTO: Saarah Survé

The wine estate uses the ducks to help with natural snail and pest-control in their vineyards. The estate has been refining this practice since 1984.

The ducks work on alternate days and are herded back and forth from the dam or vineyards to their enclosure in the morning and evening.

The Indian Runner Ducks parade through Vergenoegd wine estate. PHOTO: Saarah Survé

Then back to the coffee blending. If you enjoy the blend of coffee, tea, olive oil or wine that you make, it will be packaged and personalised for you to take home. You can even re-order your blend in the future, because every custom blend is stored in the Vergenoegd library.

Here is a custom belnd of olive oil which has been packaged and personalised . PHOTO: Saarah Survé

According to their website, every Saturday the wine estate hosts a market from 10am to 4pm. In the summer months they host outdoor movie nights under the stars.

If you still aren’t convinced that Vergenoegd is the place to spend a lazy day, for the series aficionados, the television show Black Sails was partially filmed at Vergenoegd.

The Cape-Dutch manor house at Vergenoegd wine estate. PHOTO: Mary Lamontagne

Here is a link to Vergenoegd’s website: http://vergenoegd.co.za/

Catwalk bouncer allegedly assaults UCT student

9 May 2016

Saarah Survé, Stellenbosch Department of Journalism

Stellenbosch – Joel Paarwater (18), a first-year politics and psychology student at the University of Cape Town, was allegedly punched in the throat and jaw by a bouncer outside of Catwalk nightclub in Stellenbosch on Friday night.

Bouncers outside of Catwalk nightclub, Stellenbosch           Photo: Saarah Survé

Paarwater, who was visiting friends in Stellenbosch, was denied entrance into the club by the same bouncer. “My friend and I were at the front of the line for Catwalk and I handed the bouncer my driver’s license. He rejected it and I asked him why. He then threw my license on the ground.”

Paarwater went back to the bouncer and asked him to look at the license again. “I said, with all due respect, can you please just look at it. Then he hit me – for no reason at all.”

Paarwater’s friend, Jordan, saw the situation unfold and tried to jump in. “He tried to defend me, but the bouncer came at him and he managed to block his punch.”

Paarwater said that after the bouncer hit him, he walked away with his friend. “Two bouncers followed us, but soon realised that we were not going to retaliate and they let us be.”

“We were the only people not allowed to enter the club, and the only two non-white individuals in the line. They were considerably more accommodating to the white students trying to enter, as they were allowed in without checking their IDs, while we stood outside,” said Paarwater.

Paarwater decided not to press charges, because he believes that nothing will come from doing so.

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Camera seen in top left corner                          Photo: Saarah Survé

Gian Brink, owner and manager of Catwalk, blamed the bouncers’ actions on the students and the bouncers themselves. He said that it is difficult to work with students, who are often rowdy, drunk or looking for a fight, and that the bouncers need to retaliate if they are threatened.

“I think I remember those guys from Friday night. They must have done something to piss my guys off,” Brink said.

The bouncers, who Brink prefers to call ‘doormen’, are hired from an outside security company, GCL Securities, and are there “to keep everyone safe from people who come to Catwalk with bad intentions”.

Normally, one bouncer verifies identification, while the other oversees.  

“On a busy night, we will have up to six doormen. I can’t control what they do. They handle the situation in front of them. Sometimes the doormen need to restrain the students.”  

“The doormen only do their work to make an honest living, but some people make it really difficult for them,” said Brink.

Brink said that at the end of the day Catwalk is his business and that he does not want to chase clients away. He wants the students to work with them and “come there for the right reasons so that everyone can have a good time and experience at Catwalk”.

This is not the first incident where a bouncer has assaulted someone outside of Catwalk.

SU students go wild for natural medicine

30 March 2016

Saarah Survé, Stellenbosch Department of Journalism

Stellenbosch – KeenMind, a natural alternative to medications like Concerta and Ritalin, is flying off the shelves at the Eikestad Mall pharmacy in Stellenbosch, according to Michael du Preez, who supervises the pharmacy’s vitamin laboratory.

KeenMind claims to improve mental performance.

“It is our biggest seller at the moment as more students move towards a more natural option. We recommend it, because students don’t need a script to buy it and it doesn’t cause a crash, like Concerta and Ritalin, which you do need a script for,” said Du Preez, a biochemist.

Du Preez advised students to skip a weekend of partying and invest in their health instead, which will in turn benefit their education, as they will be able to concentrate better.

“In relative terms, these supplements are not expensive; R205 to R250 for a month’s supply is a tiny price to pay for delayed gratification.”

Du Preez said that KeenMind can work as quickly as three to four days. He added that no serious side effects have been recorded.

Du Preez has first-hand experience with Ritalin, as he was prescribed the drug at age 13. He says that it changed his character. “You become subdued. It’s like a tranquiliser.”

Similarly, Jacques Booyens, a Stellenbosch University (SU) graduate, began using Ritalin at the age of eight. He stopped this year and is studying for the first time without any medication.

Booyens admitted to trying a few natural products for focus, but felt like a lot of them were “just snake oil.”

De-Ann Snyders, a Stellenbosch student in industrial engineering, was also diagnosed with ADD and has been on Concerta for two years.

Snyders said that she tried Bio-Strath, a daily herbal nutritional supplement, but that taking the medication became too much administration for someone with ADD. “It took four days to get into my system and I had to take six pills a day. As someone with ADD, I don’t understand why people want this drug so much.”

“It’s also expensive (about R460 for 300 tablets) and made me very agitated. I felt like a zombie,” said Snyders. “If you don’t need it, stay away. It will help anyone concentrate better, but once you realize that it helps, it can become addictive,” she warned.

Du Preez said that it is important for students to know that there are natural options available, like KeenMind, which doesn’t have negative side effects. He asked students to consider these before they take other medications, such as Ritalin and Concerta.