Johannesburg - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has handed over its final report on Nkandla to President Jacob Zuma, it said on Thursday.
"The SIU wishes to announce that it handed its final report to the presidency late yesterday afternoon, that is, 20 August 2014," spokesperson Boy Ndala said.
Zuma submitted a response on the R246m upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete last week Thursday.
The presidency said he had taken all reports into account.
3 different investigations
There were three different investigations into the upgrades, done by the joint standing committee on intelligence, the public protector, and the SIU.
Earlier this year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found Zuma and his family had unduly benefited from the upgrades and recommended that he repay some of the money.
Zuma declined to respond to Madonsela's report in full within the required fortnight and said instead he would wait for the SIU's findings.
Public spending on security upgrades at his Nkandla homestead have turned into one of the major controversies of the Zuma presidency, as costs escalated to R246m. It emerged the project included a pool (dubbed a "firepool" by government), an amphitheatre, a cattle kraal, and a chicken run, among others.
Ad hoc committee
On Friday, Madonsela's office said the response handed to Mbete by Zuma did not respond to Madonsela's report.
The presidency and the African National Congress's chief whip Stone Sizani disagreed with Madonsela's statement saying Zuma had responded.
The National Assembly on Tuesday resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to consider Zuma's response.
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Cape Town - A train and station facilities were set alight in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, forcing a suspension of services on one route, officials said on Thursday.
- Are you affected? Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.
Protesters set alight two train carriages and an engine at the Chris Hani station on Wednesday night, Western Cape police spokesperson Frederick van Wyk said.
A case of malicious damage to property was opened and no arrests had yet been made.
Regional Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said four carriages, overhead electrical structures, and station facilities were set alight by protesters.
She said Metrorail was forced to suspend train services on the Khayelitsha-Kuyasa-Chris Hani route until further notice. Commuters were asked to use alternative modes of transport on Thursday.
"Police will continue to monitor the situation and Metrorail technical teams will assess the extent of the damage at first light before an estimated date and time for recovery of services can be given," she said.
The train service from Cape Town to Khayelitsha, as well as all other lines, were operational.
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50: De Kock takes a single from the first ball and then Faf hits the down the ground through mid-off for four. Four more, Faf hits the ball through the covers for four more. A couple of singles and then Faf hits the ball through the covers again for four more, brings up the 50 for South Africa.
Panyangara continues, a couple of dots and then Faf flicks the ball through backward square leg for four. Four, Faf hits the last ball through cover for four.
Kamungozi comes into the attack, and De Kock takes a single. Faf drives the ball inside out for four through the covers. Four more, Faf chips the ball in the air over cover for four. 9 from the over.
Three dots and then De Kock takes a single through backward square leg. Just a single from the over.
Faf hits his first boundary, the ball races down to the square leg boundary. A couple of singles as Jongwe changes angles. Two more to end the over.
A couple of dots and then De Kock punches the ball through the covers for four. A couple more and De Kock hits the ball through extra cover for four more. 10 from the over.
Jongwe starts the over with three wides. De Kock pulls the ball through fine leg for a single. Four dots to end the over.
Wicket: Panyangara starts with the ball for Zimbabwe. WICKET! Rossouw is run out, poor start from the opener. He goes for a suicidal single and Waller does well to run him out.
Wicket: De Lange comes back into the attack. Four, Chigumbura hammers this one through the covers for four to get to 90. WICKET! It is all over, Chigumbura falls for 90 as he is bowled by De Lange. Zimbabwe are 165 all out.
McLaren starts his 6th over. Six, Chigumbura hits the ball into the sight screen for a six. Another one, he is really taking control of this innings now, he sends this ball over midwicket for a six.
Parnell comes round the wicket and bowls a wide. Four, Chigumbura hammers the short ball through midwicket for another boundary. Four more, the captain shows some fight, this time it is the full ball and he swings it over cow corner for four. Parnell goes over the wicket and bowls a couple of wides. Chigumbura takes a single to bring Panyangara on strike for the last two balls.
McLaren comes back to bowl in the power play. He starts with a wide and Chigumbura hammers the ball down through mid-on for four. Four more, Chigumbura stands tall and hits the ball through mid-off for four more. Three runs as Chigumbura cuts the ball through point, the fielder does well to cut the ball off as save a run. 12 from the over.
Power play has to be taken, Zimbabwe are batting with their last pair. A couple of runs as Chigumbura digs out the yorker from Parnell through midwicket, he gets his 50 and an important one for Zimbabwe. A couple more as Chigumbura hits the ball through point. A single and Panyangara will have to survive one ball.
Team News - Faf captaining, with ABdV, Tahir and Amla out. Shezi, Rossouw and de Lange all in. Two changes for Zimbabwe - Kamungozi and Panyangara in for Madziva and Vitori. It will be interesting to see how Shezi plays today, he has been a part of South Africa A.
Wicket: Shezi comes back for another spell and strikes with his first ball. WICKET! Kamungozi is out lbw, a swinging ball that the batsman misses and Shezi gets his first wicket in ODIs. It pitched outside leg but was given out, Shezi won't mind that. Chigumbura is out there, watching his team crumble around him. A wicket maiden as Panyangara walks out to bat.
Wicket: Parnell comes into the attack and picks up a WICKET! Utseya is out, bowled by Parnell. Nyumbu walks out to bat. WICKET! Parnell is on a hat trick, Nyumbu comes and goes as hits the ball to point and Faf pouches it. Kamungozi pads the ball for four through fine leg and avoids the hat trick. A single to end the over.
Just a couple of runs from the over, Zimbabwe are 114 for 6 after 33 overs. Chigumbura moves on to 48.
The experienced Utseya comes out to bat, Phangiso finishes another over. Just three singles from it, South Africa bowling well here.
Wicket: Abbott brought back into the attack. Five dots and then WICKET! Abbott picks up his 2nd wicket of the day, Jongwe is out lbw, easy decision for the umpire as the batsman is trapped right in front of the stumps. Zimbabwe are 109 for 6.
Four singles from the Phangiso over, he has bowled 5 overs for 10 runs and picked up a wicket.
Wicket: WICKET! De Lange strikes again, strange wicket, the keeper is the only one to appeal for a caught behind down the leg side. The bowler was not interested, the umpire raised his finger after some time and replays show that it took the glove on the way. Jongwe comes out to bat. Another short ball that sails over the batsman, another wide from De Lange. Three dots to end a good over.
Waller takes a single from the first ball and then five dots from Phangiso to end the over.
100: De Lange comes back for a second spell. A couple of singles and then a couple of dots. A wide down the leg side. Four, Chigumbura hits the ball straight down the ground for four to bring up the 100. A wide for height and Zimbabwe are 102 for 4.
Four dots and then Chigumbura hits the ball through the leg side for a couple of runs.
Shezi continues, Chigumbura takes a single from the first ball. Then a very harsh call for a wide, Shezi can't believe it. Four dots to end the over.
Phangiso continues around the wicket. He finishes a maiden, good bowling from the spinner.
A maiden from Shezi from the other end.
Wicket: Phangiso comes into the attack, first sign of spin from South Africa. A couple of singles and then WICKET! Phangiso bowls Williams, there was a bit of an inside edge on the ball as it crashed into the stumps. Waller comes out to bat. Good start from the spinner.
Just a couple of singles as Shezi finishes his third over.
Chigumbura hits the first ball from Parnell, it is a full toss, straight down the ground for four. Seven runs from the over.
Three dots and then Chigumbura chops the ball to fine leg for a single. Just one from the over.
Four singles from the over, this partnership is now worth 22.
Shezi comes on to bowl on debut, a slip in place for him. A couple of singles and then a couple of dots. Three singles from the over.
Williams hits the ball through the covers for a couple of runs, and then takes a single from the next ball. Three from the over.
McLaren finishes his 4th over, three singles from it.
Parnell starts his second over, a couple of dots and then Williams takes a single to third man. Just one from the over.
A single from Williams and then Chigumbura hits the ball through point for four. 5 from the over.
Parnell comes into the attack, a slip in place. Four dots and then Williams takes a single to deep cover. Just one from the over.
Wicket: A leg bye to start the over and then Raza hits the ball through mid-on for four. WICKET! Raza is out, he scored a quick 30, Phangiso takes the catch and McLaren gets his first wicket today. A wide and a single from the over.
50: Just a single from the over as De Lange finishes another one. The 50 comes up for Zimbabwe.
McLaren comes into the attack. Four, Raza punches the first ball through the covers for four. Another boundary, Raza clips the ball through the leg side for four. A couple of singles and then Raza sends the last ball of the over for four more through the covers.
Four, it was a good ball from De Lange, but Chigumbura covers the line of the ball and hits it through the covers for four. Zimbabwe 35 for 2.
Just a single from the over, Abbott finishes his 4th.
A quick bouncer from de Lange to start the over, it keeps rising and goes over Chigumbura and is called a wide. The short ball is followed by a length ball and then Chigumbura has to dig out a yorker. Three dots and then Raza hits the last ball for four through the cover region
A couple of runs to start the over as Abbott continues. A couple of dots and then Chigumbues pulls the ball through midwicket for his first boundary. 7 from the over.
Three dots and then Chigumbura guides the ball to third man for a single. Four, Raza hits the last ball of the over through the off side for four. Marchant is bowling fast today, there are no speed guns on the ground but he is quick.
Abbott continues, Chigumbura edges the ball to third man again for a single. Four, Raza gets off the mark with a boundary, he flicks the ball through midwicket for four. A couple of singles to end the over.
Wicket: De Lange comes on and takes a WICKET! Rossouw takes the catch and de Lange gets his first wicket. It was a short ball that gets the shoulder of the bat and second slip takes the catch. Three slips as Chigumbura walks out to bat. Chigumbura edges the ball through the slips to third man for a single. A single and the wicket from the over.
Wicket: Two slips in place and Abbott starts with the ball for South Africa. Four, Masakadza hits the ball through the cover for four. WICKET! Abbott strikes, Masakadza is out lbw, plumb in front of the stumps. Raza comes out to bat. A boundary and the wicket from the over.
Team News - Faf captaining, with ABdV, Tahir and Amla out. Shezi, Rossouw and de Lange all in. Two changes for Zimbabwe - Kamungozi and Panyangara in for Madziva and Vitori.
Toss: Toss - SA won the toss and will field.
Greetings - Hello and welcome to our over-by-over coverage of the 3rd ODI from Bulawayo. South Africa have won the series 2-0 but Zimbabwe will be looking to win this and gain some confidence for the triangular series.
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Johannesburg - Unemployed construction worker Daniel isn't sure how he fell so deeply in debt.
All he knows is that African Bank, which was bailed out this month, kept offering him money and he kept taking.
"I can't remember now, I can't remember each and every cent I spent," he said.
At 62 and with a junior high school education, he admits he doesn't understand how interest works.
For years African Bank made high-interest loans to millions of lower-income, black South Africans like Daniel.
This happened even when bank statements produced to obtain the loan showed they would have struggled to service their debts, according to court documents in cases brought by the bank against defaulting borrowers.
Daniel's R226 000 of debt became the South African taxpayer's problem on August 10, when the SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) said it would buy Abil's R17bn bad loan portfolio after the lender revealed it would make a full-year loss and needed to raise more capital for the second time in a year.
As part of the rescue, Sarb appointed a PwC executive as African Bank's curator, tasked with restructuring the bank. The curator, Tom Winterboer, declined to comment for this story.
The credit regulator has defended its oversight of African Bank.
Against a backdrop of labour unrest in the mining industry and rising fuel and food prices, the regulator said some problems were beyond the bank's control.
"Consumer over-indebtedness is not only caused by reckless lending and borrowing, but also micro and macro economic factors that have a direct impact on the debt repayment capacity of consumers, some of which occur after the granting of credit," the regulator said.
Sarb governor Gill Marcus said the bank played an important role in the country's financial system by providing credit to lower income borrowers.
Reuters has examined more than two dozen court filings by the bank against defaulters at the Johannesburg High Court.
These papers reveal that it made loans to at least six people despite holding evidence that the borrowers under-reported their expenses.
Case documents obtained from another source show it also made repeated loans to a woman who had an existing court judgement against her for defaulting on another debt.
In some cases, such as Daniel's, the bank kept lending so customers could pay off existing loans, creating a vicious cycle of indebtedness.
There is no suggestion that the bank acted unlawfully, but the documents show it made loans to people it should have known were likely to have difficulty paying.
"Reckless lending" settlement
Marcus has said African Bank's problems were "largely specific" to its business model of taking few deposits, while providing credit cards and unsecured loans to the lower-paid.
She added that the overall banking sector remained healthy.
The National Credit Regulator last year sought a R300m rand fine against African Bank for "reckless lending" in "at least 700 loans" where consumers had no or inadequate means to pay the loan instalments.
Citing African Bank's cooperation in the case, the regulator accepted a settlement figure of R20m.
Kirkinis declined to comment.
Under his leadership, African Bank cornered the low-income market, eventually lending to nearly 3 million people, in SA where nearly a third of the population, or around 18 million people, are still without bank accounts.
African Bank's no-frills branches are a fixture of black townships and working class neighbourhoods and are often located near bustling taxi ranks.
On a recent weekday afternoon, customers trickled into an African Bank branch near Johannesburg to meet with loan officers who sat behind a partitioned counter.
Posters in the windows advertised mobile phone deals with new loans. "Credit that works for you - apply today," one read.
In February 2012, Abil was riding high. The bank's stock was racing toward a record as investors cheered its rapid growth.
According to the court documents seen by Reuters, one middle-aged secretary was part of that growth, having taken a R120 000 loan.
The monthly instalments of R3 786 swallowed about half her net salary, according to copies of her loan contract and payslips.
African Bank accepted her application for a loan, which stated her expenses were only R750 a month, despite being given documents showing that they were several times higher and included R780 to another financing company and more than R2 000 on groceries and fast food in one month.
The woman did not return calls for comment.
The credit regulator said consumers must provide accurate information to the lender.
If they do not, the bank would have a defence against a claim of reckless lending brought by the borrower.
According to case documents from another source, a 35-year-old government employee was judged in default by a Pretoria court in June 2012 for failing to pay R13 000 in tuition fees to her child's private school.
That default order was outstanding when she applied and received a loan from African Bank in August 2012 and another one in October, documents show.
"(Lenders) won't go to jail for making a loan to someone with a default judgement or who is in arrears, but it is reckless lending," said Marilyn Williams, owner of Johannesburg debt counselling firm DC Clinic.
Mission to serve
By 2012 unsecured credit was growing at 49% a year in South Africa, according to the regulator, after major commercial banks increased their activity in the market a few years earlier.
But the big banks started to get cautious when the economic picture worsened.
"We pulled back in 2012, not because we were in trouble, but because we could see the signs of deterioration," said Sim Tshabalala, co-chief executive of Standard Bank.
Unlike SA's top lender, which has alternative sources of income such as investment banking or project finance, African Bank had nowhere else to go, said Michael Treherne of asset management firm Vestact, which sold its Abil stake in 2013.
"Abil had two choices: Cut back on new loans and lose business or chase profit by extending credit to people it would have otherwise avoided. It chose the latter, and that was the problem," he said.
About a third of the loans it wrote in the second half of 2012 were classified as "medium to high risk", and that ratio didn't start coming down until well into 2013.
That was in part down to Kirkinis's mission.
"We're here to serve the needs, hopes, dreams and aspirations of the majority of the people in this country," he told analysts at what turned out to be his last results presentation in May.
"And whenever one navigates tough times, it's important to actually have this as your compass."
ALSO READ: African Bank curator answers questions
Johannesburg - Golden Lions head coach Johan Ackermann has named his 22-man side to take on Western Province at Newlands this Saturday.
Kick off is at 17:05.
In the forwards, Willie Britz and Warwick Tecklenburg move up into the starting side, joining Derick Minnie in the loose trio. Minnie will captain the side.
Meanwhile in the backline, Ackermann has opted for consistency, selecting the same group which beat the EP Kings 60-19 at Ellis Park last Saturday.
15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13. Juan de Jongh (captain), 12. Michael van der Spuy, 11. Seabelo Senatla, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Michael Rhodes, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Manuel Carizza, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Stephan Coetzee, 1. Alistair Vermaak
Substitutes: 16. Neil Rautenbach, 17. Brok Harris, 18. Ruan Botha, 19. Rynhardt Elstadt, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Jaco Taute
15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Lionel Mapoe, 13. Stokkies Hanekom, 12. Harold Vorster, 11. Ruan Combrinck, 10. Jaco van der Walt, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Willie Britz, 7. Warwick Tecklenburg, 6. Derick Minnie, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. MB Lusaseni, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Schalk van der Merwe
Substitutes: 16. Armand van der Merwe, 17. Jacques van Rooyen, 18. Martin Muller, 19. Jaco Kriel, 20. Guy Cronje, 21. Kwagga Smith, 22. Howard Mnisi
Durban - A top Durban teacher has been arrested for allegedly getting young boys to make pornographic movies, it was reported on Thursday.
The 48-year-old drama teacher has taught at a number of KwaZulu-Natal high schools and has earned a reputation as a “world-class” teacher, The Mercury reported.
Principals of schools that he had previously worked at were shocked at the allegations.
He will appear in court on Thursday.
Just days ago, the South African Council of Educators revealed that around 100 cases of sexual abuse by teachers are reported every year in South Africa, Eyewitness News reported.
The DA urged the basic education department to take steps to stop teachers from abusing pupils.
In one such case, top Cape Town school Bishops is under investigation for incidents that go back all the way to 1990, it was reported in May.
Johannesburg - Daveyton was quiet on Thursday morning following days of protests that resulted in looting and barricading of roads.
"Everything has gone back to normal. No other incidents were reported since yesterday," Ekurhuleni metro police Superintendent Vusi Mabanga said.
"There were no protests overnight or this morning. I don't know the outcome of the meeting that took place [in the area] yesterday."
The protests in Daveyton began on Monday when residents tried to illegally invade land and erect shacks but were prevented from doing so by authorities.
On Tuesday night, shops owned by foreigners were looted in the area, and six people were arrested.
Mabanga could not provide an update on the six.
"I'm not sure if they appeared in court yesterday or if they will appear today."
Rocks which were used to block roads on Tuesday were removed by Wednesday, but some intersections remained blocked.
A meeting between protesters and officials was scheduled for Wednesday to try and resolve the issue.
Another meeting was planned for Thursday.
No speed guns in Bulawayo, but I can assure you Marchant de Lange is bowling fast. Very fast!
Current partnership of 8 going a long way to restoring the Zimbabwe innings
12/2 after 3
DID YOU KNOW?
With AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla rested, JP Duminy is by some distance the most experience Proteas player today, playing in his 121st ODI
Faf du Plessis on 50
Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura is the next man in
Richmond Mutumbami edges a delivery to second slip were Rilee Rossouw takes the catch!
Zimbabwe 4/2 after 1.1 overs!
De Lange picks up a wicket with his FIRST BALL!
NEW MAN IN
Sikandar Raza is the new man at the crease
Successful first over for SA as Abbott rocks Zimbabwe with an early wicket
Zimbabwe 4/1 after 1
Abbott traps Masakadza PLUMB in front, umpire raises his finger and SA strike early!
Zimbabwe 4/1 after 3 balls
Elton Chigumbura (captain), Richmond Mutumbami, Sirkandar Butt, Hamilton Masakadza, Sean Williams, Malcolm Waller, Luke Jongwe, Prosper Utseya, John Nyumbu, Tinashe Panyangara, Tafadzwa Kamungozi
Faf du Plessis (captain), Quinton de Kock (wk), Rilee Rossouw, JP Duminy, David Miller, Ryan McLaren, Wayne Parnell, Kyle Abbott, Aaron Phangiso, Marchant de Lange, Mthokozisi Shezi
HOSTS CHANGE TOO
Zimbabwe have made a couple of changes as well - Kamungozi and Panyangara are replacing Madziva and Vitori
AB de Villiers, Imran Tahir and Hashim Amla are all rested, Mthokozisi Shezi, Rilee Rossouw and Marchant de Lange take their places
The Proteas have won the toss and elected to BOWL
ROSSOUW TO GET A START?
Amla's absence is likely to open the way for RILEE ROSSOUW to get a start
MIGHTY # RESTED
Hashim Amla, the only SA batsman to have scored a century in Zimbabwe in both the one-off Test and previous two ODIs, has been rested from today's match
DALE STEYN BRINGS TEARS TO OUR EYES!
World No 1 speedster, Dale Steyn, is resting at present, dambling in some fishing - with little success!
Click out the article - and picture - link below
SA have already clinched the three-match series 2-0 after winning the opening match by 93 runs and the second clash by 61 runs
LIVE scoring and interactive commentary from the third and final ODI between Zimbabwe and South Africa in Bulawayo.
Sydney - The president of the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, Indonesia, on Thursday called the actions of Islamic State militants "embarrassing" to the religion and urged Islamic leaders to unite in tackling extremism.
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the scale of the slaughter wrought by the extremists in overrunning large swathes of Iraq and Syria and the level of violence being used was appalling.
"It is shocking. It is becoming out of control," he said in an interview with The Australian, a day after IS released a video showing a masked militant beheading US reporter James Foley, provoking worldwide revulsion.
"We do not tolerate it, we forbid ISIS in Indonesia," he added, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as IS was formerly known.
"Indonesia is not an Islamic state. We respect all religions."
He urged international leaders to work together to combat radicalisation.
"This is a new wake-up call to international leaders all over the world, including Islamic leaders," he said, adding that the actions of IS were not only "embarrassing" to Islam but "humiliating", the newspaper reported.
"All leaders must review how to combat extremism. Changing paradigms on both sides are needed - how the West perceives Islam and how Islam perceives the West."
Indonesia is home to the world's biggest Muslim population of about 225 million and has long struggled with terrorism. But a successful clampdown in recent years has seen the end of major deadly attacks.
Jakarta has estimated that dozens of Indonesians have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight and Yudhoyono said he was concerned about their return, adding that he had tasked agencies to oppose the spread of extremist ideology in the sprawling nation.
"Our citizens here in Indonesia are picking up recruitment messages from ISIS containing extremist ideas," said the president, whose decade in office comes to an end in October.
"The philosophy of ISIS stands against the fundamental values we embrace in Indonesia. Last Friday, in my state of the union address to the nation, I called on all Indonesians to reject ISIS and to stop the spread of its radical ideology.
"My government and security agencies have taken decisive steps to curtail the spread of ISIS in Indonesia, including by prohibiting Indonesians to join ISIS or to fight for ISIS, and also by blocking Internet sites that promote this idea."
Monrovia - Security forces acting on the president's orders used scrap wood and barbed wire to seal off 50 000 people inside their crowded slum on Wednesday in an attempt to contain the Ebola outbreak, which has killed 1 350 people and counting.
Hundreds of slum residents clashed with the police and soldiers, furious that their West Point peninsula is being blamed and isolated by a government that has failed to quickly collect dead bodies from the streets of the capital.
The World Health Organisation raised the total death toll to 1 350, and said deaths are mounting fastest in Liberia, which now accounts for at least 576. The UN health agency also warned that "countries are beginning to experience supply shortages, including fuel, food, and basic supplies".
This comes after a number of airlines and shipping services have halted transport to population centres in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. And if the situation in these capitals is bad, it's much worse inside West Point, a huge slum that occupies a narrow spit of land in Liberia's capital of Monrovia.
Hundreds of residents of the seaside slum threw rocks and challenged the riot police and soldiers who installed the barricades on Wednesday, but were soon suppressed. A coast guard boat patrolled sewage-strewn waters offshore, and the president imposed a night-time curfew.
With many families divided by the barricades, people were particularly angry when the local government representative, who had not slept at home, returned to get her family out under an armed escort.
Hundreds surrounded her house until security forces packed the family into a car and hustled them away, firing into the air to disperse the crowd.
Deputy Police Chief Abraham Kromah said later on Wednesday that forces managed to restore order and were investigating to see if shots had been fired.
Fear and tension have been building in Monrovia for days, and West Point has been one of the flash points. West Point residents raided an Ebola screening centre over the weekend, accusing officials of bringing sick people from all over Monrovia into their neighbourhood.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordered the barricades and the curfew.
"We have been unable to control the spread" of Ebola, Sirleaf said in an address to the nation on Tuesday night. She blamed the rising case toll on denial, defiance of authorities and cultural burial practices, in which bodies are handled.
But many feel the government has not done enough to protect them, leaving bodies in the streets for hours or even days.
West Point occupies a kilometre-long peninsula where the Mesurado River meets the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the capital's poorest and most densely populated neighbourhoods, with poor sanitation even in the best of times.
Open defecation is a major problem. Mistrust of authorities is rampant, and many live without electricity or access to clean water.
Few roads go into the area and a major road runs along the base of the point, serving as a barrier between the neighbourhood and the rest of Monrovia. Ferries to the area have been halted, and the community is in "disarray" resident Richard Kieh told The Associated Press by phone.
"Prices of things have been doubled here," Kieh said.
Sirleaf also ordered movie theatres, nightclubs and other gathering places shut, and cordoned off Dolo Town, 50km south of the capital.
While whole counties and districts in Sierra Leone and Liberia have been sealed off and internal travel restrictions have limited the movement of people in Guinea, the sealing off of West Point is the first time such restrictions have been attempted in a capital city in this outbreak.
The virus is spreading fastest in Liberia and Sierra Leone, but the UN health agency reported encouraging signs in Guinea that the outbreak is slowing, and there is hope that Nigeria has managed to contain the disease to about a dozen cases.
Nigeria's health minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu, said on Tuesday that a fifth person had died of Ebola, but all of Nigeria's reported cases have been people who had direct contact with a Liberian-American man who was already infected when he arrived in the country on an airliner.
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Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns have secured a much-need league win when they out-played Moroka Swallows in a 2-0 victory at the Dobsonville Stadium on Wednesday night.
It was by no means an easy three points, but Sundowns, led by the industry and energy of Teko Modise in midfield, were prepared to battle hard for what was a deserved win.
The first half was an evenly balanced affair, the two sides pushing and probing at one another, but failing to create many clear-cut chances inside the box.
Sundowns made the brighter start, but their best chances saw Mario Booysen heading wide of goal from a Modise free-kick, Modise also curling a shot into the arms of Swallows keeper Greg Etafia.
As the game moved towards the half-hour mark, it remained an evenly balanced contest, although Etafia was fortunate to see Tsietso Mahoa clearing the ball off his own line after he failed to gather an aerial ball.
Five minutes before the break Modise had a wonderful chance to open the scoring, but having shown some superb skill to skip through the Birds defence, he slashed his parting shot wide of goal from a tight angle.
The Brazilians started the second half with a lot of purpose, showing some good interplay, although they still lacked the killer instinct inside the box.
But there was to be no denying the current PSL champions when Niang controlled Ramahlwe Mphahlele's near-post cross before slotting in a close range effort past Etafia after 52 minutes.
Modise could have doubled the lead just nine minutes later, but having found himself clean through on goal after some sloppy Swallows defence, he saw his attempted lob blocked by Etafia, who stood up tall to make the save.
With Lerato Chabangu pushed further forward into attack, Swallows were always good for a goal, the Bafana midfielder forcing Downs keeper Kennedy Mweene into a smart save with a stinging long range effort in the 74th minute.
The hosts' hopes of mounting a comeback suffered a blow in the 80th minute when youngster Lantshene Phalane went for an early shower after picking up a second yellow card.
It was then the irrepressible Modise, who set up Sundowns' second goal, after he stole the ball off a Swallows defender, which eventually led to debutant Kudakwashe Mahachi scoring with a clinical low drive seven minutes from time to seal the win.
Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Juan Smith (Getty Images)
Cape Town – South Africa may still be minus the ruler of the lineout world, Victor Matfield, but they will nevertheless put out some unusually tall timber against Argentina in Salta on Saturday (21:40 SA time).
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer’s three changes to his starting line-up for the Castle Rugby Championship second round fixture, revealed on Wednesday, include the return of Eben Etzebeth as No 4 lock and – after an infinitely lengthier absence – Juan Smith in the blindside flank role.
The pairing of Etzebeth (2.03m) with Lood de Jager (2.06m) in the second row certainly gives hooker Bismarck du Plessis some big primary targets to aim for at lineouts.
If anything, too, his longer throw-ins will now be to a more formidable selection of loose forwards, given that in Duane Vermeulen and the 1.97m Smith the Boks also boast two of the finest exponents of the trade planet-wide -- and even their open-sider Francois Louw is no slouch at plucking the ball from the air.
Maybe a particularly concerted Bok lineout assault is intended as a counter to a threatened, repeat bout of Pumas scrum mastery after the angst they caused in that area at Loftus, although Meyer did remind in his media release with the team announcement that “our lineouts are an important attacking platform ... we need to improve this week”.
You suspect that should happen, not only due to the greater collective height and variety of Bok jumpers this time around, but because conditions look like being light years apart (“sunny and mild” is on the cards) from those experienced in Pretoria, and the ball no longer a lottery-causing cake of soap.
The return of the 33-year-old Smith is easily the most gladdening feature of the latest selection to those who admire not only his wide-ranging rugby qualities but the sheer depth of quiet spirit that has got him to Saturday’s line-up for the anthems and a personal 70th cap.
Subsequently ravaged by Achilles woes, which would have permanently sidelined many lesser characters by now, the unassuming Free Stater was still a twenty-something when he last started for his country against England at Twickenham in November 2010.
His loose forward allies in that 21-11 win were Deon Stegmann and Pierre Spies of the Bulls, both of whom are now some way off the Test radar even if the latter is still in slow recovery from a long-term injury.
But Smith has come roaring back for Toulon in all forms of European rugby, and if at least partly to remind that class is permanent, the Boks may be onto a very good thing with his involvement on Saturday against a home side whose fire may need to be doused as early as possible.
Expect him to get stuck in with relish on that score, given that there must be a good likelihood he will only be asked to operate for 50-60 minutes as he is a little short of game time.
The benching of loosehead prop Tendai Mtawarira, after just one start since his recovery from injury, for veteran Gurthro Steenkamp may be interpreted as a step by Meyer to indicate broader dissatisfaction with the old-firm front row from the Sharks, who have arguably been in a little too much of a comfort zone in recent times.
There is a case for saying that perhaps a jaded Jannie du Plessis making way for Frans Malherbe might have been a better call if a minor reshuffle was going to occur, but the latter may see generous service in the second half anyway.
Wholesale retention of the backline that was involved in the dour 13-6 arm-wrestle last weekend seems a commendable, stability-friendly decision by the coach, potentially allowing the raw likes of flyhalf Handré Pollard and outside centre Damian de Allende – both imperfect at Loftus – the chance to thrive in more desirable dry-weather circumstances.
If the going gets nail-biting once more, the experienced Morné Steyn could again provide useful calming input in the closing stages if necessary.
Bear in mind that in the absence of a specialist centre on a remodelled bench, Pollard offers decent emergency possibilities in the No 12 channel, to which he is no stranger.
*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing
Steve Hansen (AFP)
Auckland - The All Blacks have made three changes for the return Rugby Championship Test against the Wallabies in Auckland on Saturday including a Test start for centre Ryan Crotty.
Bruising stalwarts Ma'a Nonu and Jerome Kaino have failed to recover from injuries picked up in last week's 12-12 battle of attrition in Sydney, while Conrad Smith returns after missing the first match due to the birth of his son.
The loss of Nonu produces a new All Blacks centre pairing with the safe Crotty preferred to run on in the 12 jersey ahead of the explosive Malakai Fekitoa who deputised for Smith in the first Test.
Crotty has taken the field as a replacement in his previous seven Tests.
The 32-Test loose forward Liam Messam, who slipped behind Kaino in the pecking order this year, returns to the starting line up in the one change to the forwards.
The All Blacks, the defending Rugby Championship titleholders, considered themselves lucky to escape with a draw in Sydney as the fired up Wallabies brought their 17-match winning streak to an end.
Coach Steve Hansen said their task now is to regroup and defend an impressive record at their Eden Park fortress in Auckland where they have won 32 consecutive games dating back to 1994.
"While we were disappointed with the draw last weekend, we are excited by the opportunity that presents itself this weekend," he said.
"We have been working hard on all aspects of our game this week and there's a definite resolve to improve the quality of our performance."
Other than the forced changes, Hansen has given the rest of the side a chance to prove themselves after last week's lacklustre and error-strewn performance in Sydney.
That means preferring the running skills of Ben Smith at fullback ahead of the raking kicks of Israel Dagg, while Aaron Cruden remains at fly-half and Wyatt Crockett at loosehead prop.
The one change on the reserves bench sees prop Charlie Faumuina's return from illness at the expense of Joe Moody.
Hansen confirmed that Nonu had suffered deep shoulder bruising but is expected to be available for selection for the Test against Argentina in Napier in two weeks.
Kaino, however, has an injured elbow that is expected to keep him sidelined for up to six weeks.
15 Ben Smith, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Reid, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett.Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Sam Cane, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Malakai Fekitoa
15 Israel Folau, 14 Pat McCabe, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Matt Toomua, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nic White, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 James Slipper
Substitutes: 16 James Hanson, 17 Pek Cowan, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Bernard Foley, 23 Tevita Kuridrani
London - Dutch international midfielder Leroy Fer became Premier League newboys Queens Park Rangers' latest signing on Wednesday when he joined from Championship outfit Norwich City.
The 24-year-old -- who was part of the Dutch squad that reached the World Cup semi-finals -- signed a three year contract with QPR.
Fer, who scored in the Netherlands 2-0 group stage win over Chile at the World Cup, spent just a season at Norwich, after moving from Dutch side Twente, scoring three goals in 29 appearances but was unable to stop them being relegated from the Premier League.
"Leroy's arrival is a massive boost for us," said QPR manager Harry Redknapp.
"He's another excellent signing and I'm delighted we've been able to get him to QPR."
Redknapp has already brought in veteran Rio Ferdinand, fellow central defender Steven Caulker and Jordon Mutch -- the latter two from Cardiff who like Norwich were relegated last season -- in the close season as well as Mauricio Isla on loan.
QPR, who were relegated from the Premier League two seasons ago, began their campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Hull last Saturday.
Manchester - Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko on Wednesday signed a new four-year contract which will keep him at the Premier League champions until at least 2018.
The Bosnian international's current deal had only 10 months to run and manager Manuel Pellegrini's determination to keep the striker was fully justified by his performance as City beat Newcastle 2-0 on Sunday.
"I'm really happy here at City -- it's a second home to me so it was an easy decision to stay for the long-term," Dzeko told the City website.
"I knew from the beginning when I started here that I wanted to stay for a long time -- I can't see any place better than here."
"I'm settled perfectly to life here, I know my team-mates, the club, the team, very well and I feel like I can improve even more.
"Over the last three-and-a-half years we've made history together but I feel like we are only at the start of something really special.
"There are still so many objectives and goals that I want to reach from my career in the game and I believe I am in the perfect place to achieve them all."
Dzeko has scored 66 goals for City including the equaliser against QPR on the last day of the 2011/12 season which paved the way for Sergio Aguero to hit the injury-time championship-winning goal.
Pellegrini had been full of praise for the 28-year-old - who joined City from Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg for £27 million in 2011 - after his crucial role at St James' Park at the weekend.
Dzeko created the opening goal for David Silva and the second came in stoppage time from one of his rivals for a place in the City forward line, substitute Aguero.
"It's not strange for me to see him play like that because he finished last season playing very well.
"He has grown. He's a team player," said Pellegrini.
"I'm very happy for him. That's why he is renewing his contract here -- he has a very important duty in our team."
Johannesburg - Moody's surprise downgrade of the country's four biggest banks sent shares in the lenders lower on Wednesday and piled further pressure on the economy, analysts said.
The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) criticised the one-notch cut for the local currency deposit ratings for Standard Bank, FirstRand, Nedbank and Absa Bank.
Economists also questioned the downgrade to Baa1 - Moody's eighth highest investment rating - saying it did not take into account the banks' balance sheets.
Moody's decision, announced on Tuesday, followed the collapse of a much smaller lender, African Bank Investment Limited, which needed a roughly R17bn bailout from Sarb.
The ratings firm said Sarb had limited the risk of contagion but showed it was willing to impose losses on creditors.
South Africa's banking index was down 1.8% by 14:20 GMT, with Barclays Africa Group off 2.4%, Standard Bank off 2.2%, and FirstRand and Nedbank both off 1.5%.
"The biggest four financial institutions in South Africa represent an entirely different business model to (African Bank)," said Razia Khan, head of Africa research at Standard Chartered.
Cut in sovereign rating?
Analysts said the downgrade was expected to rein in lending and could even lead to a cut in the sovereign rating as the economy suffers from the fallout.
In June, Standard & Poor's cut South Africa's credit rating while Fitch affirmed the rating, but put the country on its negative watch.
Consumers are struggling with rising interest rates, high inflation, rising debts and job insecurity at a time when one in four people are without work.
Retail sales contracted month-on-month in June, growth in households' disposable income has slowed and banks have pulled back from extending credit, instilling tighter lending criteria partly to stave off bad loans.
"Weak economic growth appears to have been a substantial driver of Moody’s ratings action. There is concern about consumer affordability pressures and high consumer debt levels," said Khan.
The Sarb has repeatedly cut its economic growth forecast, which now stands at 1.7% for this year, as a series of strikes, including a five-month long work stoppage in the platinum sector, hurt growth.
With second quarter GDP data due next week, economists are mixed about the ability of the economy to avoid a recession, after the economy contracted in the first quarter.
But economists said South Africa's banks face stringent regulations, which had helped most of them weather the global financial crisis better than lenders in more developed markets.
South African banks have a capital adequacy of 14.87% and impaired advances constitute 3.57% of gross loans, according to the central bank.
Moody's caught off guard?
Patrice Rassou, Cape Town-based head of equities at Sanlam Investment Management, said Moody's was caught off guard by the problems at African Bank, which was crushed by bad loans as its core market of low-income borrowers failed to repay debts.
"Now they are trying to remedy that by painting everyone with the same brush. The key issue is why didn't they see the problems before hand."
The Sarb said it disagreed with Moody's reasoning, arguing that the country's banking sector remained "healthy and robust" despite the problems at African Bank.
Although South Africa's big four banks had participated in the unbridled unsecured lending that characterised much of 2010-2012, these loans accounted for just over a tenth of overall credit exposure, analysts said.
The downgrades might now impinge on the lenders' ability to raise offshore money, some analysts said.
"On a comparative basis, South African banks will find their ability to compete for business in Africa curtailed since the cost of funding, particularly non-rand funding, will increase," said Elena Ilkova, a credit analyst at Rand Merchant Bank.
Jonathan Kaplan (Gallo Images)
Peyper has copped some criticism for his performance in the opening Rugby Championship game, which ended in a 12-all draw.
Peyper punished the All Blacks at the breakdown, and yellow carded two of their players - Wyatt Crockett in the 39th minute and Beauden Barrett in the 70th.
While admitting Peyper had made mistakes, Kaplan credited his countryman for punishing the transgressing New Zealanders in the red zone.
Kaplan shared his views via his website, www.ratetheref.co.za:
"NZ were again guilty of marginal tactics under pressure… are the referees finally beginning to understand what needs to be done to eliminate this constant in their game when they come under pressure in their 22m area? Jaco Peyper made mistakes in this game no doubt, but needs credit for dishing out the cards when they were deserved. It engenders a whole lot of trust when the referee is prepared well, and is prepared to act. Having said that, NZ can feel very proud of being able to withstand the pressure at the end of the game despite a numerical disadvantage… how many others would have?
"I’m not sure about some of Peyps general accuracy in this fixture as there appeared to be some questionable calls at the breakdown and certainly Barrett was very unlucky to be given his marching orders as it appeared that the ball was not placed at the tackle, but left the hands of the ball carrier and so it could well have been a case of general play and hence a play on situation. It was a tough call to make as the outcome depends on slow motion adjudication, and perhaps the referee just had enough of what he rightly or wrongly considered to be negative tactics. I still feel for NZ in this particular case."
The All Blacks and Wallabies again meet this week when they duel in Auckland on Saturday (kick-off 09:35 SA time).
Frenchman Romain Poite will be the referee for the clash, with Peyper one of his assistants, alongside fellow South African Stuart Berry. Another South African, Shaun Veldsman, will be the television match official.
Johannesburg – Five armed men ransacked the house of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir while his family, bound by shoelaces and electric cord, watched helplessly, according to reports.
The Bedfordview and Edenvale News reported that Krejcir’s wife, his two sons and a girlfriend were awoken by armed men who had broken into his Bedfordview home on early Wednesday morning.
Eyewitness News tweeted that police had confirmed the break-in at Krejcir’s house.
Police spokesperson Noxolo Kweza told the Bedfordview and Edenvale News that the robbers stole two firearms, cellphones, cash and computers after tying the family up.
Kweza said some of the suspects made off with the Krejcir’s eldest son’s girlfriend’s car, while over the back wall of the house.
#sapsGP 1/6 5 Armed suspects broke into Krejcir’s Bedfordview home & stole 2 firearms, cell phones, cash & PC's in early hours of today. ME— SA Police Service (@SAPoliceService) August 20, 2014
Krejcir : Police have confirmed an armed robbery at Radovan Krejcir's Bedfordview home.— SPeeDEagle (@SPoeDArend) August 20, 2014
Whoever robbed Radovan Krejcir's house clearly has no respect for their own life.— Anele Mkumla (@anelemkumla) August 20, 2014
Radovan Krejcir's house was robbed today. Hmmm.— Bedfordview (@BedfordviewArea) August 20, 2014
Cape Town - A multi-billion-rand land claim by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and other traditional leaders had not been lodged as yet, chief land claims commissioner Nomfundo Gobodo said on Wednesday.
"We haven't received any claim of that nature from the king," she said on the sidelines of a briefing to Parliament's land reform portfolio committee.
Both individuals and traditional leaders were welcome to lodge a claim.
"We receive claims from any citizen in the country that can validate they have a right to land as a result of dispossession due to the 1913 Act. So as long as your claim relates to that time period then we will receive your claim and we don't discriminate on who lodges a claim."
Last month, the Ingonyama Trust indicated it would help the king lodge the claim for land in various provinces.
At the time, trust chairperson Jerome Ngwenya said research was under way to determine the claim's exact extent.
The claim would cover land taken from 1838 onwards. According to land claims legislation only land taken since 1913 could be claimed, which could still make the claim "very substantial".
Briefing MPs, Gobodo said by Monday afternoon 12 464 new claims had been lodged.
The highest number was lodged in the Western Cape, followed by Gauteng and the Free State.
United Democratic Movement MP Bantu Holomisa expressed concern about the confusion about the new land claims process.
"I'm a little worried by the statement by President Zuma when he said the Restitution Act be amended to allow people dispossessed before 1913 to lodge a claim," Holomisa said.
"Recently we heard that the king of the Zulus [and the] the Ingonyama Trust are going to claim in KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape, and the Free State and when you look at it, it dates back up to the 18th century.
"So we need to make sure that we manage this, and the department and yourselves must take the lead on advising the minister and the president."
Gobodo said the Constitution prevented the commission from accepting any claims for land dispossessed prior to 1913.
"If any individual comes to us and says I'm here to lodge a claim for dispossession that happened in 1800, as a commission we have no mandate to take on that claim," she said.