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Ports & Ships Maritime News

July 19, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson


Shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa


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First View – TOREA

The former Unicorn Tanker vessel NYATHI, now flying the New Zealand flag and renamed TOREA (37,069-dwt, built 2004) which is operated by Silver Fern Shipping on the New Zealand coastal tanker service. Picture by Alan Calvert


News continues below...

Mystery death of female cadet – accusations of sexual abuse and rape

Questions remain unanswered about the tragic death of a Transnet cadet serving on board the container ship SAFMARINE KARIBA who died mysteriously after going overboard into the sea off the coast of Croatia.

At first it was assumed that she had committed suicide but now a disturbing story of sexual abuse including rape is emerging.

Akhona Felicity Geveza, just 19 years old, was taking part in the Transnet National Ports Authority Maritime Studies Programme. As part of her studies she was required to go to sea for an extended period – in her case she was serving on the container ship Safmarine Kariba and was due shortly to become eligible for qualifying as a ships navigation officer.

Her death was initially passed off as a suicide, and Safmarine issued a statement at the recent weekend paying tribute to the young cadet as she was laid to rest at her home village in the Transkei.

But according to a report in yesterday’s Sunday Time, her death has much more sinister overtones, and carries an accusation that Geveza was abused and raped on board the vessel not long before her death. It says she died shortly after reporting the rape to the ship’s master.

The article, which the newspaper says is backed up by a statement by a fellow cadet, of which the Sunday Times has a copy, and reports by others, says that she had reported her rape to the ship’s master, claiming to have been raped and abused on more than one occasion by a senior officer of the vessel. The ship’s master confronted the officer and arranged a meeting involving the accused, the complainant and himself. When the young cadet failed to arrive for the meeting a search of the ship revealed evidence that she may have gone overboard.

Coastal authorities were alerted and a sea search ensued. According to the original announcement made last week the Croatian police recovered Geveza’s body from the sea about two hours later.

The Sunday Times says in its front page article that a number of other cadets and former cadets, both male and female have since come forward saying they too have been sexually abused and raped while serving at sea. They said their careers were threatened if they did not grant sexual favours to ships officers. One former female cadet said that on arrival on board ship, the cadets were told the ship’s master was their god, with absolute control over their lives.

The accusations reported by the newspaper appear to involve several ships in the training programme, and include an accusation against a senior SAMSA official.

The question of Geveza’s death is under investigation by various authorities including by the South African Police Force but there is the doubt over the matter of jurisdiction, as the ship, which sails for a Belgian-based company flies the British flag, and was at sea at the time of the death although close to or within Croatian waters. Transnet, which employed the deceased, says it is investigating the matter, as is Safmarine which dispatched a senior manager to the ship immediately the news broke.

That fact alone appeared to suggest that this was not a simple matter of suicide.

In a statement issued at the weekend Safmarine paid tribute to Geveza, saying that Saturday, the day of her funeral, was a solemn one for the shipping company. In honour of her memory Safmarine is creating a scholarship in her name, the Akhona Felicity Geveza Memorial scholarship that will allow three young South Africans to complete the three-year Maritime Studies Programme at Simon’s Town High School.

The school-based programme provides young South African’s with maritime-related skills while they are still at school “thereby improving their prospects of employment.”


News continues below…

Daewoo Shipbuilding enters South African shipping sector

Seoul: South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), one of the country’s leading shipbuilders, is to enter into the shipping business in South Africa. According to DSME last Wednesday, the CEO and President of DSME Nam Sang-tae met with South Africa`s President Jacob Zuma and exchanged opinions on economic cooperation including the shipping business. They agreed to build a long-term cooperative relationship.

 At the meeting, President Jacob Zuma called for DSME to actively participate in various businesses such as shipping, shipbuilding, construction and energy for the economic development of South Africa, while the CEO of DSME requested an active cooperation from the South African government.

Nam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a South Africa-based shipping company Impinda for business tie-ups in the shipping business. Under the deal, DSME will acquire a 49 percent stake in Impinda.

 DSME, through joint management with Impinda, plans to be in charge of transportation of dry cargo, crude oil and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). 
Afterwards, Impinda will sign a Contract of Affreightment (COA) with major minerals companies in South Africa for the transportation of cargoes for a period over five years. 
The South Korean based shipbuilder successfully solidified its position in the African market upon signing the MOU.

Previously, DSME established a joint venture, which specializes in shipping, named Nidas in Nigeria in 2007.

-source Seatrade Asia

Note: Impinda is controlled by President Zuma’s nephew, Khulubuse Zuma, who is the subject of specualtion regarding the awarding of several oil exploration contracts in the DRC – a region where Jacob Zuma once acted as a mediator in the internal conflict. The younger Zuma is also controversially involved with the troubled mining company Aurora, where employees are claiming they have not been paid wages for several months.


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Impasse brings threat of stopping Saldanha steel exports

A standoff over the cost of iron ore has led to South Africa’s largest steel maker, ArcelorMittal (AMSA) saying it will close the Saldanha export steel works and stop exporting.

At stake are between 3,000 and 4,000 jobs and the production of a considerable amount of steel at the Saldanha plant as AMSA takes steps to close its works. The South African government is said to be gravely disturbed.

The impasse follows five months of negotiation over the price of iron ore, with Kumba, an Anglo-American unit announcing on Friday that it would make AMSA pay in advance for ore deliveries as from August. This was after AMSA rejected Kumba’s proposals for two new pricing systems.

“ArcelorMittal now has no alternative but to immediately initiate plans for the immediate closure of the Saldanha plant, for the curtailment of all exports, and for a material reduction in domestic market production, resulting in market allocation,” the steel company said in a statement.

The Minister for Trade and Industry, Rob Davies has called for an urgent meeting with both sides today (Monday).

Saldanha Steel produces 1.2 million tonnes of steel each year. Kumba was providing Saldanha with more than 6 million tonnes of iron ore a year on a cost plus 3 percent basis, but the dispute arose when AMSA declined to convert old order mining rights in the Sishen mine. Since then negotiations for an interim pricing system have been ongoing but with the latest breakdown it may take ministerial influence to bring the two parties to some form of agreement.


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Construction of Sao Tome and Principe deep water port may begin this year

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Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe – The French consortium that signed a concession contract with the Sao Tome and Principe government to build a deep water port is expected to secure funding “within a few weeks,” a source from the French embassy said in Sao Tome on Thursday (15 July).

Jack Cuzzi, the French business attache in Sao Tome and Principe, said that the concession-holder would soon secure the necessary funding to begin construction of the deep water port, which will be built in Fernão Dias, 15 kilometres north of the country’s capital.

Construction of the deep water port was due to begin over a year ago, but was successively delayed due to the international financial crisis. Earlier this year Oliver Tretout of the Terminal Link company said work could only commence in 2011.

The consortium that signed the concession is made up of three companies, one of which is Terminal Link, and which have the European Investment bank (EIB), the African Development bank (ADB) and the World Bank as some of the partners in this project estimated to cost USD 570 million. - Macauhub


News continues below…

New CMA CGM/Delmas Far East-West Africa service includes Maputo call

CMA CGM in conjunction with subsidiary company has introduced from July a new service between China and West Africa, calling at Maputo on the eastbound direction.

The service, which is known as AFEX operates every 10 to 12 days with a port rotation of Tianjin, Shanghai, Shantou, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Nansha, Port Kelang, Tincan Island, Cotonou, Douala, Maputo, Port Kelang, Tianjin, taking 80 days to complete the rotation.

Eight container ships have been deployed, each of approximately 2,200-TEU capacity. The vessels involved are:
Andre Rickmers, CMA CGM Buenos Aries, CMA CGM Esmeraldas, Delmas Brazzaville, Delmas Libreville, Elisabeth, Hansa Freyburg, Hansa Meersburg.


Pics of the Day – ZEUS


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The Cypriot-owned, Panama-flagged crude oil tanker ZEUS (99,450-dwt, built 1992) which was in Cape Town harbour last week to load bunkers. In ancient Greece, Zeus was the most powerful of all gods, who ruled in a society of gods from Mount Olympus. Zeus also took responsibility for the weather and the rising of the sun and moon each day. An appropriate name for a large ship. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za


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