What a Week in SA!

Weekly news SA

Extreme crime fighting technology was exhibited last week in Bloemfontein which, if utilised correctly, could assist the police force quite dramatically. It was also reported how a fully grown python had curled up in the bonnet of an ambulance near the Kruger park to keep out of the winter chill. A catastrophe at the Lion Park outside Johannesburg turned fatal for an American tourist when she was killed by a lioness. And in other catastrophic news, UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa had his say on the scandal surrounding the FIFA bribe allegations. There’s never a dull moment in South Africa, that’s for sure.

Crime fighting of the future

The latest in crime fighting technology was exhibited at the Free State ICT Summit in Bloemfontein last week. The technology is based on a system whereby a number plate reading device on the vehicle is connected to a central database and is able to immediately relay background information to the officials in the vehicle. A camera which can record sound, video and photos at the scene of a crime is also part of this technology aimed at fighting crime.  

Another aspect of the technology is a special police vest which can also be linked to the control room. It monitors the heart rate and blood pressure of the person wearing it and can immediately detect stress, thereby allowing the control center to send back-up to the officer before he even calls for it.

The system is a joint project being run by Samsung and Vodacom.

Monty the python safe and sound

Last week a woman walking her dogs near an airstrip about 1km from the Kruger National Park made an amazing discovery when she spotted large python curled up in the engine of an ambulance. With the winter cold, the python had decided the engine was a great place to snuggle up for the night.

The python, named Monty, is a fully grown female python and is as wide as a car tyre. She was eventually released from the ambulance after sustaining minor scratches. The python was being monitored and will be released back into the wild soon.

FIFA scandal - bribe or no bribe?

Last week the South African government claimed the alleged $10mil bribe payment was paid towards development in the Diaspora Legacy Programme and was not a bribe to sway the decision of who should host the 2010 World Cup.

UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa found it absurd that South Africa would donate this kind of money to regions that are better off than those in South Africa. He felt the money would have been better spent on South African townships instead. 

‘’The UDM leader said he was starting to wonder if international intelligence agencies were right when they said South Africa was one of the world's most corrupt countries.’’ (News24)

Lion Park attack – eye witness account

Last week an American tourist and film editor, Katherine Chappell was killed after being attacked by a lioness at the Lion Park outside Johannesburg. In the news last week, an eye witness account shed some light on the matter.

It was reported that 38 year old engineer, Ben Govender was travelling in a car behind Chappell when the incident occurred. He was quoted as saying that the tour guide, Pierre Potgieter opened his window first and then Chappell followed. The lioness approached the car and attacked Chappell through the window before briefly retreating with blood in her mouth. The lioness then reared up and attacked a second time.

Chappell died shortly after the ambulance arrived, while Potgieter who tried to fend off the lioness, sustained injuries and suffered a heart attack during the ordeal. He is being treated in hospital.

South Africa is a strange, dangerous, yet fascinating and exciting place to be. With all of the scandal, crime and amazing wildlife which needs to be respected in this beautiful land, comes stories of heartache, disappointment and tragedy. However, hope stays alive no matter what because as we all know, Africa is not for sissies!