Religion report causes a stir


Constitutional Court File picture: Tiro Ramatlhatse/ANA Picture

Cape Town – Religious organisations are spoiling for a fight all the way to the Constitutional Court if legislation is passed to regulate religion.

One such organisation is Freedom of Religion South Africa, which said it would be take the matter of licensing religion to the Constitutional Court, if an amendment of the Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities Act (CRL) is signed into law.

This comes after the CRL Rights Commission released a report on how it proposes to regulate religion. The CRL is a Chapter 9 organisation, which protects the rights of communities to practise their religion, culture and language.

Michael Swain, executive director of the organisation, said: “If the CRL Amendment is passed, the commission will be able to regulate religion in South Africa.”

During the CRL Rights Commission’s hearings on commercialisation of religion it found that people were expected to pay substantial amounts of money before they are prayed for and get blessings.

“People can swipe their bank cards at speed points during ceremonies.

“Some churches are not registered either with the Department of Social Development or with Sars. We recommend that religious communities regulate themselves more diligently to be in line with the constitution and the law,” the report reads.

It further states that it recommends that there is a Peer Review Council, “which will consist of peers from each religion that will give permission to operate, to individual religious leaders. There must also be committees of each religion. Each religion would then have accredited umbrella organisations that are associations, which will recommend the licensing of individual institutions and individual practitioners.”

Swain said: “Our organisation also made recommendations to the CRL Rights Commission, but it was not included in the report. We represent six million people and all different denominations and we are very concerned about it. This proposal is also unconstitutional because there is freedom of religion. We are against people eating grass, but there are other laws for that. Their proposals are not supported by a sound and convincing scientific investigation. Only a random sampling of 85 religious practitioners and institutions. It is unnecessary and unconstitutional.”

The CRL Commission set up and ad-hoc commission after reports of pastors feeding congregants grass and snakes, spraying them with insecticide and making them drink petrol.

Isgaak Taliep, secretary-general of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) said, “The MJC welcomes regulation as long as it is done by religious authorities themselves to ensure that we condone legitimate religious practices and outlaw illegitimate practices done in the name of religion.”

Joshua Hovsha, director of the Jewish Board of Deputies in Cape Town, said: “Today it is our task to respect and defend our hard-won constitutional order. We understand no one is above the law. All religious institutions must abide by South African law and respect our constitutional principles.”

The Council for the Protection and Promotion of Religious Rights and Freedoms (CRRF) has distanced itself from the main proposals in the CRL Rights Commission report. Chairperson Pieter Coertzen said it deplored incidents of abuse in the name of religion, but state regulation and control of religion was not the appropriate way to combat such abuses.

Dr Mathole Motshekga, chairperson of the National Interfaith Council of South Africa, said: “South Africa is a spiritually and religiously diverse society.”

Cape Argus


Foul smell driving tourists away from historic Cape square


SULLIED: Broken toilets and litter are ruining Greenmarket Square.Picture: Tamryn Christians
Cape Town – Traders on Greenmarket Square, a tourist hot spot, are upset about the state of the toilets on the square and the rubbish that’s piling up. Trader Trevor Eden said the public toilets have been in a state of disrepair for the past six months. Only one was working and open until 4pm.“Thereafter, those in need of the toilets are forced to do their business on the outside. This has caused traders an excessive amount of problems as potential customers race away because of the stench,” he said.

“Here is some fine art which is hand made, but the smell just makes it unbearable to even want to have a look,” said a customer.

The person in charge of cleaning the toilets, who didn’t want to give his name, said: “The taps and other essential things are often stolen This is why we need to close the toilets early.”

George Muruta said the state of the area was affecting his nearby business.

“When we get here in the morning, it looks like a river of urine. We have to clean the mess ourselves,” he said .

The city said the matter would be investigated.

Councillor for the area, Suzette Little, said: “Unfortunately the terms of tender do not allow for the facility to be operational until 4pm over the weekends, but we are in talks with vendors to extend the working hours of staff. Ongoing repairs have been effected over the past six months.

“However, we are faced with daily breakages and vandalism ongoing maintenance and additional refurbishment projects are planned for the new financial year.”

SELFLESS: Residents, with Tzu Chi volunteers, pick up rubbish in Block F, Blikkiesdorp. Picture: Think Yellow Projects

Cape Argus

Children watch as robbers shoot mom dead


File picture: ANA pictures
Cape Town – A mother was shot dead in front of her two children after robbers threatened them with a gun and demanded money.Bulelwa Lobi, 35, from Lwandle in Strand, was at home with her two children aged 2 and 11 about 7pm on Monday when the men entered her house.

According to ward councillor Jongidumo Maxheke, the men then asked Lobi for her cellphone and wallet.

“They said the money was not enough, and in fear of getting killed, Lobi offered the suspects R2 000, which she sent her 11-year-old child to collect.”

“After the two suspects received the money, they shot Bulelwa. One of her children rushed off to neighbours for help, but it was too late. It was said by the neighbours that they were unable to hear the gunshots because of the rain.”

Police spokersperson Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed the incident.

“The suspect shot the victim in her head and face, and she died of her injuries. No one has been arrested at this stage. Anyone with information that can assist with the investigation is requested to contact the investigating officer, Detective Warrant Officer Randall van Skalkwyk on 021 845 2060 or 082 522 1208.”

Lobi’s sister Thabisa said she could not believe what had happened.

She also said that the family were fearing for their lives.

Thabisa said her sister’s eldest child, 17, was not coping as he has not eaten since the incident. “My sister was a lovely person, who would always bring joy with her as she entered a room.”

“It feels like she is about to walk through the door right now, as usual.”

Maxheke expressed outrage, condemning the murder. “This is a very serious incident. The abuse of women and children happens far too often in this area.”

“It is time for the community to come together and fight against what is happening”, he said.

Cape Argus

From drug dealer to art teacher


GIVING BACK: Former drug dealer Mark Jeneker is now a dedicated art teacher. Picture: Supplied
Cape Town – He sold drugs to young kids and spent time in prison because of it. Now Mark Jeneker from Mitchell’s Plain is teaching young kids art.
Jeneker, 51, has been teaching young children how to paint at the Town Centre Library in Mitchell’s Plain. 
He is also a volunteer art teacher at Yellowwood Primary School. 
“I was a drug merchant for 20 years and after the murder of my two sons, I told myself that I needed to change,” he told the Cape Argus.
Not being able to pay for the funeral of one of his sons, he decided to approach Oval North Secondary School and Littlewood Primary School in Beacon Valley. There he sold art to raise funds for the funeral and managed to make over R5 000.
“That’s where it all started, I thought to myself ‘if I can ruin these children’s lives by selling drugs to them, I can make a difference by doing something positive’.” 
This year it will be the fifth year that Jeneker is actively involved in serving his community. He specialises in abstract art and creating 3D sculptures from recyclable material. In 2015, Jeneker won R25 000 for his school in a competition. 
He has also won numerous awards for the selfless commitment he has made to the community, including being LeadSA hero in August 2016. Yellowwood Primary principal Donovan Senosi said: “Jeneker has come in as a saviour.
“Since Jeneker’s arrival, all the kids talk about is art. They have no time to bother with negativity.” 
Jeneker has also gone on to sell some of his students’ art at the Cape Town Central Library, with one piece going for R750. 
Last February, Jeneker’s class was set alight by two pupils, but he persisted by having classes outside. The classroom has since been revamped. 
Jeneker started his initiative with the help of Bright Studios and currently sustains it through the sponsorship of Baze Art and also from his own pocket. The classes he offers at Yellowwood Primary costs a mere R5 per child. 
“I am not doing this for the money and some children can’t even afford to pay R5. I owe this to them.” 
Senosi approached Jeneker about two years ago to teach art at his school. 
“I am a firm believer in second chances and as you can see today, Jeneker is an example of what second chances can do. We want to do justice to his talent.”
The arts teacher can do so much more with help from the community. He isn’t asking for money, nor is he asking for recognition. All he wants to do is give back. 
“I have wasted most of my life doing the wrong things. My heart yearns for that never to happen to another child.”
Jeneker is appealing to potential sponsors to join and share his vision in creating a better life for the youth through art.
Cape Argus

It all starts with you

“Racism is taught in our society, it is not automatic. It is learned behaviour toward persons with dissimilar physical characteristics.”
-Akex Haley

From the moment I could understand the human language, I was taught that race was one of the greatest factors that defined people in South Africa. When I was in primary school there weren’t many black children around, every class had about 3 to 4. I grew up with the mentality that because they were the minority in my physical surroundings that they were inferior and added less value to society. This is just an example of the type of mind sets children and even adults are taught to have and grow up with. It does not however only restrict itself to only coloured areas, as I am classified as a coloured. It exists in almost every institution in the country.
Black people are fighting for decolonisation and want their land back from the people who took it from them (whites), which has created a sense of hatred inside of them. There are many examples that prove this statement to be true such as the incident involving Ntokozo Qwabe and Ashleigh Schultz. Qwabe and his friend Wandile Dlamini made Schultz cry when they said that they will only tip her once she returns their land. There are white people who also discriminate in racist ways such as Penny Sparrow.

“These monkeys that are allowed to be released on New Years Eve and New Years Day onto public beaches towns obviously have no education what so ever so to allow them in is inviting huge dirt and troubles and discomfort to others. Im sorry to say I was amongst the revellers and all I saw were black on black skins what a shame. I do know some wonderful thoughtful black people. This lot of monkeys just don’t want to even try. But think they can voice their opinions about statute and get their way dear oh dear. From now I shall address the blacks of South Africa as monkeys as I see the cute little wild monkeys do the same pick drop and litter.”
– Penny Sparrow

There are also damning statistics that show how unequal the society we live in is. This is all as a result of historical racism. The unemployment in 2016 among black South Africans stands at 39% compared to only 8.3% among white South Africans.
As much as I would like to rant about the many other racist incidents I’d rather just leave it there. It is clear that South Africa is nowhere near to being an anti-racist society. If we are not in the middle being taught that one race is more superior to the other, we are being taught to fight the battles our forefathers suffered for. This is wrong in my opinion!
The root of the problem however is that many of us are very good at calling out racists such as Penny Sparrow and Ntokozo Qwabe, yet we hate talking about the bigger picture and how we will deal with racism in South Africa. I believe that is one of the first steps to take if we want the fantasy of an anti-racist South Africa to exist. The place to start is home. The problem with this is that the very institutions such as schools and homesteads that are supposed to be contributing to changing the mind sets of young people are the very same institutions teaching them racist tendencies.
The very first time I was exposed to an accepting diverse group of people was in 2016 when I became a first-year journalism student at CPUT. Individuals are not born racists, they are brainwashed by the institutions they trust the most and the environment they feel the safest in. The sad thing about this is that growing up, young people are forced to go to separate schools and be racially segregated. This means that they are forced to feel safe and trust without using their own instinct. That is something we can’t really control unless we as a people decide to change our ways and what we teach our children. Once this happens then we will have the ability to rewire and unlearn that which we have been taught.

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
-Nelson Mandela

The times we are living in now depict a generation that is slothful and careless. Many do not take the initiative to unlearn and rewire and that is why South Africa is far from being an anti-racist society. The phases we find ourselves in as young people seem to overpower our ability to think beyond. This is disheartening; especially because of the fact that we are the ones who want change. We need to be the change before we can see a change.


Blogging: A self-made work experience


When I was first told to open a blog page for academic purposes during my first year as a journalism student I was hesitant. “More unnecessary work for me”, I thought. I wasn’t intrigued by the necessity at all. It’s been a year now and I have come to realize that in the society we live in today, every job we apply for needs experienced employees. For student journalists blogging is the most efficient way of going about it.

Every job applicant needs a rooted platform from which they have gained experience from, especially journalists. At first, and as you can see in my first few posts, I was assigned to write about very boring and uninteresting topics. This is what kept the essence of blogging away from me. I then decided to write beyond the borders of what I was assigned to in class. I wrote about what intrigued me and as a result, I attracted an audience and gained recognition without even working for a publication yet. This is what every student journalist should aim for.

Whilst blogging helps with experience, it is also a way of creating better opportunities as journalism is a thriving and very competitive industry. Employers will more likely be interested in an applicant with self-made work experience.  More-so, blogging allows for a greater level of engagement between an author and their audience. This helps when you are unsure about what your niche is.

Want to be at the top of the list when looking for a job? Create a blog.

Who said being thirsty is a bad thing?


I’ve come to familiarize myself with this term recently whilst watching a Steven Furtick sermon, entitled The Thirst Trap. In the modern society we live in today,  people are described as being thirsty when they are in dire need or desperation for something or someone (e.g attention).

We live in a day and age where people are always thirsting after the wrong things but nobody said that being thirsty is a bad thing, right?

When I look around me I see a generation who is in constant need of something or someone. What we don’t realize, myself included, is that the things we thirst for today will only satisfy us for a moment. It should actually be obvious seeing that we end up being thirsty for it everyday.

There was this one time I befriended someone from my church. We started forming a very close friendship. What I didn’t know though, was that I was being entrapped. Not by the person, but my dire need and desperation for her friendship. The more time we spent together, the greater the thirst became. And yes I used the ‘we are edifying each other’ line when God told me to let go. I realized that me not wanting to let go was just drying me up on the inside. My thirst only ended when God tore us apart. This was a relationship I never thought would harm me in any way because the both of us serve the Lord.  There’s this famous saying that  ‘too much of  a good thing can be bad’. And trust me, we were intoxicating each other without even knowing. Now my relationship with this person is just me giving a description as to what a thirsty person is and what the consequences are if you thirst after the wrong things. Can relate? Great. People thirst after many other things, such as their family, sex, their phones and even themselves. How often don’t you thirst after something that just cannot seem to fill you? I’ve mentioned this before, but let me say it again. The God we serve is a jealous God. The thirst you have should be quenched by Him. The major difference between being thirsty for God and thirsty for the thing that is consuming and entrapping you now is that God always satisfies. The more you thirst after Him, the more your cup overflows. You will never be empty.

The next time you are in a position where something or someone you love is taken away from you, know that you’ve been too thirsty and God wants your attention.

A Taste of Roeland

My very first experience in this street was a dull one. You may seem confused as the title of this review would make one assume that it’s the complete opposite. And it is. Allow me to introduce to you one of the best ‘models’ of Cape Town – Roeland Street.


From it’s luxurious looking palm trees to the infamous statue of Louis Botha, Roeland Street is sure to attract many.

IMG-20170401-WA0003Central Fire Station                                                                                                    

I never properly observed the street whilst walking around because there was never any time. I recently grabbed hold of the opportunity to explore with my phone. As I walked down this street I noticed that it has everything a human being needs to live by. There is a high school, University, hotel, restaurants, petrol station, fire department, gym and even an archive for those who want to get to know there ancestors a little better. It’s like the mini version of Cape Town all in one!

IMG-20170401-WA0000Enjoy decadent cakes at Charly’s bakery, around the corner

The Kimberley Hotel

IMG-20170401-WA0011The Kimberly Hotel on a hot summers day

Built in 1895 the pub was originally opened as it was the starting point for those leaving Cape Town for the diamond town of Kimberley.

They have beer as well as wine and all the usual spirits and shots. There are big screens so you can cheer on the rugby or football while enjoying a cold one. It’s also worth spending a few minutes looking at all the photos and notices from back in the day.

There are backpacker rooms upstairs (from R175 per person), so if you have one too many you could always spend the night. Then have a beer with breakfast to set you right the next day.

Intersting Fact: Though they have not spent the night I alawys hear people speak about the Kimberly Hotel and the poor service they receive. The poor service you have actually been receiving actually comes from Barney’s Bistro. A complete separate entity.

Barney’s Bistro

Barneys Bistro is situated inside the Kimberley Hotel. ‘They serve pub grub, ranging from toasted sandwiches (from R16) to calamari strips with chips (R40) and steak, egg and chips (R60). The burgers (from R30), served with a good portion of chips, are deliciously home-made (no processed pork patties here). If there’s a group of you, opt for their snack baskets (from R35) or share a platter (from R100). I can also recommend their breakfasts that start at under R20.’

Photo by: Rachel Robinson

Western Cape Archives and Records Service

IMG-20170401-WA0014Western Cape Archives and Records Service

Though there is so much goodness there is also a sad bit of history. The Western Cape Archives and Records Service was also once known as ‘Roeland Street Prison – once labelled Cape Town’s own Black Hole – was originally meant to be an example of good taste to the inhabitants of this city. Now, this 111-year old landmark is to be closed down and replaced with a modern institution at Pollsmoor. It is time to reflect that when Colonial Engineer George Pilkington set about building the prison in 1855 his grandiose plans were almost scuppered by two factors which still plague city engineers today – a shortage of cash and labour.’

So much rich history and bright days ahead, Roeland Street is the place to be!


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To: Jesus

Hey Jesus,

It’s been a while

Possibly the first time in a long time

You know, behind all the pride


You and me

We go way back

It started with a desire that faded

My words, my dreams, my love,  my time wasted


Why oh why did I trade You in just to be liked?

For a moment

A lifetime in exchange for a moment


I’m serving You

But do I really know You?

A headless chicken praying for visions that aren’t even mine


Let me make it mine

Or maybe I should just give it time


Who knows?

This could just be an overreaction

But I’d rather overreact than not react at all

Stop stalling


I’m sorry for pretending

When I didn’t even know how to point You out in the crowd

Between all the false gods


And I shouldn’t be surprised that You’re still by my side

Throughout all the silent denying


So from now on I’ll serve You Lord

Like there’s no tomorrow

And if I fall again

I’ll just read this poem

To be reminded of Your grace

Let me embrace this Heavenly space


In You I’ll find everything I need

Without the vanity

I will make You part of my reality


Thank You for reminding me




Knocking, knocking, knocking

Till I opened up my heart


This is but the start…