Ports & Ships Maritime News

Aug 2, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • South Africa to join with Africa in the fight against global crime

  • SA Navy chief calls for stronger ties with Angola

  • Navy frigates visit Eastern Cape ports

  • NSRI rescues yacht off Cape coast

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    South Africa to join with Africa in the fight against global crime

    by Thapelo Sakoana (BuaNews)

    Pretoria, 2 August 2006 - South Africa is to work with other African countries to deal with globalised crime while joining efforts with states beyond the continent that are also mounting similar efforts.

    Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula said police leadership of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was currently meeting in Lesotho to explore ways of addressing crime in the region and continent.

    "... (SADC police chiefs) are discussing how do we respond to crime in the African continent and how do we connect our efforts to the rest of the world as a consequence of globalisation of crime," he said yesterday in Pretoria, briefing the media on government's Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster.

    Mr Nqakula highlighted global crime trends quoting a speech by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

    In the speech delivered on 23 June, Mr Blair acknowledged that crime was a "complicated" global issue that did not only affect one country.

    The minister quoted Mr Blair as saying: "The situation regarding crime is complicated, firstly from the point of view of government it is true that crime has fallen. But surprisingly, given the publicity no one will believe this.

    "The truth is that there have been improvements of progress but the gaps between what the public expects and what the public sees still exists..."

    Mr Nqakula said the Prime Minister's words echoed similar public perceptions about crime in South Africa.

    "In reality, what is happening is simply another facet of globalisation in the changing world. Mass migration is on the march, prosperity means most people have something worth stealing, drugs mean more people are prepared to steal..." he added.

    In the address, Mr Blair emphasised that challenges faced by the criminal justice and immigration systems had grown "exponentially", noting that Europe was not immune to these developments.

    In the context of partnerships against crime, Mr Nqakula highlighted that the police in the country would work with Business Against Crime, the South African Banking Council and the South African Reserve Bank to fight organised crime.

    "Special teams have been established in the provinces to deal with organised crime, while other teams will concentrate on finding suspects against whom there are outstanding warrants of arrest," he said, adding that police intelligence units were on alert to gather information relevant to the investigations.

    The National Border Control and Security Strategy has been finalised while a National Border Control Centre was also established to house the project.

    In this regard, requirements regarding personnel, information and communications technology as well as security infrastructure would be put in place by the end of August.

    In dealing with organised crime, cabinet has set targets to reduce this by between seven and 10 percent.

    The minister said that this type of crime increased towards the end of 2005 and over the past six months.

    However, police have also recorded achievements, such as the arrests of 17 suspects linked to a multi-million robbery at the Johannesburg International Airport in March this year.

    At least nine further suspects were arrested following cash-in-transit heists in Mgungundlovu, seven others in Colenso and two in Modderfontein.

    "Nine suspects were arrested following the robbery of more than R50 million from a Selby bank depot. All the money was recovered when the police intercepted the robbers," said Mr Nqakula.

    Many suspects, he explained, were "repeat offenders" linked to several and various other crimes.

    "The arrest of 11 suspects in connection with the Lyttleton bank robbery in September last year helped the police with information linking the suspects to 15 other cases in Delmas," he said.

    The police have compiled a list of 250 individuals who are part of organised crimes.

    Mr Nqakula added that there were at least 2 899 foreigners sentenced and awaiting trial, arrested for serious and violent crimes (1 310), commercial crimes (879), drugs (341) sexual offences (161) and common robberies (235).

    He explained that although these foreigners were from various countries, included those in the developed world, many of them came from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

    The minister said the national response to crime included mobilizing communities to participate in an anti-crime strategy involving civil society, including the various religious denominations.

    SA Navy chief calls for stronger ties with Angola

    The chief of the South African Navy, Vice Admiral Johannes Mudimu, while paying an official visit to the Angolan Navy and armed forces, says there is a need to improve the exchange of information between the two navies as a means of strengthening bi-lateral ties and for greater cooperation.

    Admiral Mudimu flew to Angola at the weekend after attending the commissioning of South Africa’s latest frigate, SAS Isandlwana in Durban last week. He told his Angolan counterparts that he hoped Angola could benefit from the technology involved with South Africa’s acquisition of new warships.

    Admiral Mudimu also visited Angola’s Navy Seals training unit which is based in the Ambriz district and made courtesy calls on the Angolan Defence Minister, Kundi Paihama and the Chief of Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), General Agostinho Nelumba ‘Saniar.’

    Navy frigates visit Eastern Cape ports

    Two navy frigates recently acquired by the South African Navy are currently visiting Eastern Cape ports. They arrived in Eastern Cape waters after visiting Durban last week where the second of the new ships, SAS Isandlwana, was commissioned.

    After sailing from Durban on Sunday the two separated to go to East London and Port Elizabeth. SAS Amatola, which was commissioned into service at Simon’s Town earlier this year, is currently at East London where the ship has been open to the public to ‘go on board and see where their rands have gone.’

    SAS Amatola, the first of the four ‘Valour Class’ frigates is named for a mountain range and region in the Eastern Cape in which a series of wars were fought between the Xhosa people and the British during the 18th and 19th Centuries – South Africa’s ‘hundred years war’.

    The ship is berthed at K-corner and is expected to sail at noon today (Wednesday) to rejoin her sister ship, SAS Isandlwana for exercises off the Eastern Cape coast.

    SAS Isandlwana, named after a mountain in central KwaZulu Natal that was also the scene of one of the most famous battles in British Colonial history, involving the Zulu forces under King Cetchwayo and a British Army invasion force led by Lord Chelmsford, has been making a similar courtesy visit to Port Elizabeth where the ship has also been open to the public.

    SAS Isandlwana sails later today to join SAS Amatola at sea before they return to Simon’s Town.

    The two remaining frigates, SAS Spioenkop and SAS Mendi are still being fitted out at the naval dockyard in Simon’s Town.

    NSRI rescues yacht off Cape coast

    The yacht Usinga with four people on board, which left Cape Town on Monday bound for South America, had to be taken in tow by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) after running into difficulty about four miles off Vulcan Rock near Hout Bay.

    The yacht began taking on water and by the time the SOS was received by the NSRI the crew were up to their armpits in water. The crew consists of two South Africans now living in the UK and two of their friends. High swells delayed a transfer of NSRI personnel to the stricken yacht but a tow was established and once in calmer waters a pump was sent on board to pump out the water as well as a paramedic to treat one of the crew for hyperthermia.

    Did you know that Ports & Ships lists ship movements for all ports between Walvis Bay on the West Coast and Beira on the East Coast?

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