Weekly news wrap

PHOTO: Ian Carbutt Woodlands resident Innocent Coon shows where clean drinking water has been flowing outside Walter Hoskins flats since October last year.
PHOTO: Ian Carbutt Woodlands resident Innocent Coon shows where clean drinking water has been flowing outside Walter Hoskins flats since October last year.

Armed men rob paint shop

A BUSINESS owner was in a critical condition in hospital last week after he was shot in his paint shop at Rosedale. Mountain Rise police confirmed that three men, two of them armed, entered the shop and tried to pull a woman’s jewellery off and open the till. The owner and his son tried to tackle the men and the owner was shot in the chest, while his son was pistol-whipped. The robbers fled with about R10 000 and the owner was rushed to Grey’s Hospital.

Cases of armed robbery and attempted murder case were opened. No arrests have been made.

Drought, worst in history

THE last two and a half years have seen the province in the grips of a “one-in-200-year drought” following the below average rainfall during 2014, 2015 and midway through 2016.

Last week, Umgeni Water held a press briefing and tour of the Umgeni Water Treatment Plant in Howick where the state of KwaZulu-Natal’s water, future plans and projects were discussed. Umgeni Water planning services manager Kevin Meier said that 2014 and 2015 had the second and third lowest rainfall in the province’s history, making it “by far the worst drought Umgeni has faced since its existence”. Plans are underway to address the crippling effects of the drought as best they can.

CAT reinstated under K9 unit

LOCAL residents will be thrilled to know that top crime-fighting unit the Combined Action Team (CAT) will soon be back in action. CAT is said to be reinstated under the auspices of the Pietermaritzburg K9 unit and will service both the uMgungundlovu north and south police clusters.The unit will now fall under the control of commander of the dog unit, Lieutenant-Colonel Brian Oberholzer. CAT’s return will be welcomed by many local residents, some of whom expressed concern about the plan to disband the unit last week. CAT consisted of highly skilled and trained officers who had gained a reputation for being highly successful in cracking down on serious crime in the city.

Clicks store in Hayfields robbed

BURGLARS climbed through the roof and blasted open two safes inside Clicks store at Hayfields in the early hours of Sunday morning. The thieves got away with a large amount of money. According to uMungundlovu south cluster police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese, armed men held up one of the centre’s security guards at gun point.

The men then tied up the security guard and took his cellphone. He was not injured, said Ngobese.He said the assailants gained entry through the roof of the shop. They then used explosives to blow up two safes that were inside Clicks. After raiding the safes they fled the scene. Clicks store was closed on Sunday.

Hilton residents terrorised by criminals

A HILTON family hid fearfully in their bedrooms at the weekend while home invaders brazenly ransacked their house for the second time in as many weeks. The couple, and a young man residing on the property were asleep when they were woken up a loud banging sound at around 3 am on Saturday. The burglars smashed windows and fled the house with other appliances. This was the same modus operandi as the first break in. The owner had just replaced some of the things stolen in the first robbery only to have them stolen again. Another Hilton resident said that men attempted to break into their home. The burglars allegedly cut through their wire fence at around 11 pm but were scared off by their dog.

Pedestrians injured in PMB

Two pedestrians were injured when they knocked over on a sidewalk at the corners of Church and Boshoff Streets at the weekend. Shortly before 3pm on Sunday, paramedics from ER24 arrived on the scene where they found the two pedestrians lying on the sidewalk. One of the pedestrians sustained critical injuries and was placed on life support on scene. The other pedestrian sustained shoulder injuries and several scrapes and bruises. The injured was later transported to Northdale Hospital for further care. The driver of the vehicle was not found on scene at the time of paramedics’ arrival. Local police attended the scene.

No repair of burst water pipe since October 2016

WITH the effects of the drought still being felt in Pietermaritzburg, a burst pipe in Woodlands has allegedly been gushing water for months. The burst pipe, outside the Walter Hoskins flats in Woodlands, was allegedly first reported in October last year. A resident, who preferred not to be named, said since the pipe was first reported in October, several other residents had also reported the issue. However, no one had come to repair it. “We are still in a drought and the pipe was reported months ago but it is still running,” said the resident.

“People were phoning in to report it but nothing was ever done. “The water from the pipe is clean, fresh water. It is such a waste.” Msunduzi acting municipal spokesperson Siyabonga Hlengwa said the municipality is aware of burst pipe and will follow the matter up to establish the cause of the delay in repairing it.

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