Woman claims policeman robbed her

By Fiona Gounden
A Durban woman has laid a charge of theft after she said she was allegedly robbed by a Metro motorcycle policeman on Friday.

Sally Russell, 46, was on her way home from work in Stamfordhill Road and said as she turned into Leopold Street the officer had flashed his blue lights and ordered her to stop.

"I was way below the speed limit. I stopped my car, got out and walked towards him. He screamed at me to get back into my car and open my driver's side window. The bike was branded with the metro police logo. He was in full uniform.

'Extremely afraid'
"He walked towards me and I was extremely afraid. He then stood next to my window and asked for my licence. As I was taking my licence out of my purse he grabbed all the notes and left. I had R150 with me."

Russell tried to record his number plate but he drove off quickly. "He did not even have his name badge on his shirt."

A shocked Russell then went to the Umbilo police station and was told to go to Durban Central Police Station.

"I reported the incident and a charge of theft was opened. The next time I am flagged down by a police officer I will think twice about stopping. But I was told by officers, while reporting the case, that the law requires me to obey the request of an officer and stop. They did say I had a right to ask for identification and the name and badge number of the officer."

Police spokesperson Gugu Sabela said this was an unfortunate incident and would be investigated.

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   LOA updates list of S-referenced advisers

The Life Offices' Association (LOA), which represents the major life assurance companies in South Africa, has banned the following life assurance sales people from selling life assurance products for five years in terms of its S-reference system.

S-referencing is a means of self-regulation in the long-term insurance industry.

Life assurance company participants in the S-reference system will not employ, accept new business from, or pay commission to an S-referenced intermediary, nor may they employ such people in positions of authority over intermediaries or in training capacities.

The S-reference system aims to protect consumers from advisers who are considered unfit to be marketing the products of the long-term insurance industry.

The system is one of self-regulation operated by the LOA. An S-reference can be imposed on an adviser for up to five years.

After the expiry of the period, the S-reference will lapse.

The following advisers were S-referenced:
  • Zondani G Bhusa of Margate, KwaZulu-Natal (ID No: 5001155982088), for submitting fictitious policies.
  • Cassim Hajee of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (ID No: 6006235197085), for misappropriation of client funds.
  • John K Kicuru of Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal (ID No: 6409235129183), for submitting fictitious policies.
  • Constance M Majiya of Ramsgate, KwaZulu-Natal (ID No: 5807271148085), for submitting fictitious policies.
  • Nick Mavrodaris of Westville, KwaZulu-Natal (ID No: 5006265115081), for submitting fictitious policies.
  • Jabu P Mkhize of Esikhawini, KwaZulu-Natal (ID No: 6910140550082), for fictitious policies.
  • Hlengiwe A Mpungose of Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal (ID No: 7612250692089), for submitting fictitious policies.
  • Nombulelo L Ngcobo of Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natal (ID No: 7512150829080), for submitting fictitious policies.
  • Zola Nombonde of Kokstad, KwaZulu-Natal (ID No: 7306185883083), for submitting fictitious policies.
  • Satish Rampershad of Amanzimtoti, KwaZulu-Natal (ID No: 6209115183080), for submitting fictitious policies.
  • Doris N Shangase of KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal (ID No: 6502280332080), for submitting fictitious policies.
  • Johanna C Theron of Pietermartizburg, KwaZulu-Natal (ID No: 6104110055088), for misrepresentation and submitting fictitious policies.

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   New licence ruling driving people mad

People testing for learner's and driver's licences in Durban can expect even longer queues and more inconvenience as a result of a new ruling that they have to make use of testing centres closest to where they live.

Many aspirant drivers, frustrated with the endless backlogs and poor service offered by local testing centres, have taken their tests at centres as far afield as the province's Midlands. But authorities are putting a stop to this shortcut. Proof of residence will now be essential when booking for tests.

The new rule, which was recently implemented by the KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department, has already affected many people and outraged driving school owners.

On Thursday, scores of angry driving instructors gathered at the Rossburgh testing ground to petition against the changes and to discuss issues which they claim are part of an attempt by the department to put them out of business. The instructors said that as stakeholders they should be involved in the decision-making processes.

'What will happen to those people who live in informal settlements'
The chairman of the Ubhumbano Driving School Association, Sydney Mabanga, said that their businesses had been seriously affected by the changes.

"What angers us most is that the driving schools are not informed about these rules and our clients then blame us for the inconveniences caused by the officials.

"People were not informed in time about the domicile rule, they only learned about it when they arrived at the testing centre and were turned away. The issue of proof of residence has not been properly explained to the public. What will happen to those people who live in informal settlements who do not have residential addresses?" he said.

The Daily News spoke to several learner drivers who said that they were unhappy about the new rule.

Tiffany Naidu said: "This is nonsense. It's unfair because some testing grounds have cameras and some don't. If they want people to go to testing grounds in their own areas, then they must make all testing grounds the same," she said.

"The department is trying to fight corruption, but sending people to other centres where the computerised system has not been installed is pointless. Those who have been involved in corruption will move and begin operating at those testing centres," said Mandlenkosi Gumede.

Transport Department spokesperson Mawande Jubasi said that the decision to implement the domicile rule was taken to curb the influx of people making bookings at a few testing centres.

"People were flooding the same testing centres and were not utilising the other centres. The intention was not to inconvenience people, but to ease the congestion at certain testing centres," he said.

Driving instructors also complained that medical certificates produced by their clients were often refused by licensing officials.

"We don't understand how the officials at Rossburgh can question the authenticity of our clients' certificates as they are not medical officers.

"Our clients are also not reimbursed, even when they bring medical certificates," said Mabanga.

He said there were many issues that needed to be resolved with the transport department.

"We are not taken seriously. When we raise our concerns, which are not only affecting us but also our clients, we are ignored. As important stakeholders in this business we should in fact have a working relationship with the department. However, changes and rules are implemented without consultation," he said.

Jubasi responded that the computerised system would also be implemented at other centres: "Once we have completed the pilot study at Rossburgh, our intention is to roll it out to other testing centres around the province." He added that two mobile testing stations would soon be travelling to rural areas where people could write their tests.

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   SA airports gear up for 2010

Lavinia Mahlangu
South Africa's airports have embarked on a number of multi-billion rand projects to increase their capacity and efficiency ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) has so far allocated R5.2-billion for infrastructure development at Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban international airports.

Acsa's 10 airports currently handle more than 200 000 aircraft landings and 10 million departing passengers annually. As many as three million tourists are expected during the 2010 World Cup.

As Africa's largest and busiest airport, Johannesburg International Airport (JIA) has been allocated the biggest share - R3-billion - of Acsa's infrastructure budget.

More passengers, bigger planes
Key projects at JIA include a new R1.8-billion central terminal building that is expected to be completed by 2009. The facility will be equipped with infrastructure for baggage handling for the Airbus A380 and will be connected to the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link for ease of access by rail.

The A380, officially unveiled in January last year, is currently the world's largest commercial aircraft, eclipsing the Boeing 747. The double-decker plane carries 555 passengers and is part of the fleets of Emirates, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic and Malaysia Airlines, among others.

Acsa is to spend R218-million on nine new aircraft stands at JIA, four of which will be able to accommodate the A380 and will be linked by dual air bridges to the new terminal.

A further R512-million will be spent on an "international pier" that will allow for a substantial increase in the number of passengers boarding and disembarking through air bridges.

The pier development will also provide additional passenger holding space and offer an expanded duty-free mall for international passengers. The pier will also include a bus station to serve departures to remotely parked aircraft.

Cape Town, Durban
Cape Town International Airport will get a R900-million new Central terminal building and a R100-million expansion to its existing parking bay, nearly doubling its capacity from 2 600 to 4 600 public bays.

A new R160-million multi-storey parkade, capable of accommodating 2 500 vehicles, is also scheduled to be operational from early 2007.

Durban International has begun construction of its R90-million, 1 500 bay multi-storey parkade. The first phase of the parkade is expected to be available for use by the end of 2006, with full occupation from 2007.

Acsa said plans were also in place to expand the existing terminal at Durban International and provide more check-in and baggage reclaim facilities.

Air transport 'key to economic growth'
Speaking at the Aviation Safety and Security Conference for Africa in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said the the Airlift Strategy for South Africa, currently before Parliament, aimed to improve South African airlines' international competitiveness.

The strategy, arising from an assessment of the country's aviation constraints identified by the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for SA, aims to grow the country's share of the international transport market and meet the tourism and trade sectors' requirements for cost-effective and efficient air services.

"Air transport has a growing impact on Africa's economies, generating about 470 000 direct and indirect jobs across the continent, and contributing over US$11.3-billion (R79.6-billion) to African GDP," Radebe said.

"If we add air transport-dependent tourism activities, then the number of jobs increases to over 3 million and the contribution to African GDP reaches some US$55.5-billion (R391.2-billion)."

In Africa, Radebe said, 40% of all jobs in the tourism sector were directly linked to air-borne tourism, compared to just four percent in the United States.

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   SA suicide rate higher than world's average

By Miranda Andrew
Tanya Durand* was just 12 years old when she tried to kill herself. The Westville girl, now 15, remembers vividly how she swallowed 12 anti-depressants and lay on the bed waiting to die.

The trauma of almost constant sexual abuse by her maternal uncle since the age of eight, had pushed her close to the edge.

At the age of 12 she developed the courage to tell her parents the truth but the backlash she received only made things worse.

"Her family refused to believe her and turned their back on her," said Linda Naidoo, Childline's KwaZulu-Natal branch director.

She felt alienated and thought that no one understood her pain. So, she took the next step.

She began swallowing anti-depressants hoping that death would be the answer.

But now, three years later she realises that her life is more precious. Durand's attempt at suicide and her story is a common one in South Africa.

Every hour two people in South Africa commit suicide and another 20 attempt to. Globally, one million people commit suicide each year. And by 2020, this is expected to increase to 1,5 million.

Sixteen per 100 000 of the world's population attempt to kill themselves each year. In contrast, South African figures show that between 19 to 25 per 100 000 of the country's population attempt to take their own lives.

"This shows that our figures are a lot higher than the world's average," said world-renowned suicide expert, Prof Lourens Schlebusch of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Schlebusch explains that suicide is an extremely complex phenomenon that consists of six forms.

The first is fatal suicides like jumping off a building or shooting oneself.

The second one is attempted suicides where people try to take their own lives but don't succeed. The third type is para-suicide. This type is a cry for help. Their intention is not to die, but to use it as a problem-solving skill.

And then there's extended/murder suicides where a family member kills his family and then himself.

This type of suicide also includes jilted lovers in dysfunctional relationships. Collective suicides are when a group of people do it together.

And then you have suicide bombers.

Para, fatal, attempted and extended suicides are the most common in South Africa.

"There is a major concern about para-suicides because even though their intention is not to take their own lives, there's a risk that they may succeed," said Schlebusch.

One million people around the world kill themselves each year. And 20 times this figure attempt to with para-suicide.

That's 16 percent of every 100 000 people, said Schlebusch.

In Durban, the murder-suicide rate is also slightly above the global figure.

One percent per 100 000 people in the city commit this type of suicide as compared to 0,22 percent per 100 000 globally.

"Roughly one third of these are adolescents," said Schlebusch.

Hospital-based studies in Durban show that the most at risk of committing suicide is the 20-to-29-year-old group.

Second at risk is the 10-to-19-year-old age group. And in the region, more males succeed in committing the act than women. Two thirds of women try, but don't succeed.

And a more frightening fact - four percent of primary school learners in Durban have thought about suicide.

The youngest recorded Durbanite to commit suicide was 10 years old. The youngest who attempted to but failed was just six. These are just statistics collected through reported incidents at local hospitals.

"What about people living in rural communities outside Durban," he questioned, who don't report the incidents.

"Suicide behaviour is an attempt to escape psychological pain," said Schlebusch, "but if we show them how to overcome this pain, then there is hope."

The first thing a person should do, if they are having thoughts of taking their own lives is to go to a provincial hospital and speak to a doctor or a psychologist, advised Schlebusch.

Name has been changed to protect the identity of the victim.

Why do they do it?

Interpersonal problems - where people can't handle their relationships
  • Family problems
  • Financial burdens
  • Academic-related problems
  • History of depression and substance abuse
  • Exposure to family violence
  • Child abuse
  • High stress levels
  • HIV and Aids related problems

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   'No fee' status shock for schools

Education officials were shocked to learn on Tuesday that some KwaZulu-Natal schools which had been granted "no-fee" status - meaning they would not collect school fees from pupils and would instead be funded by the Education Department - were unaware of their status.

It also emerged during visits by the education portfolio committee to some of KwaZulu-Natal's worst-performing schools that schools were still waiting for their stationery and textbooks seven months into the year.

Six schools in Zululand were visited on Tuesday and six others in the Empangeni district will be visited today.

At Thongwana Secondary School, officials learnt that the school, which had obtained a 17 percent pass in last year's matric exams, had only received half of its stationery and only 30 percent of its textbooks - last month.

Visibly perplexed
Teacher Mthokozisi Wanda said the school considered it lucky because many schools in the area had not received any material at all. Wanda said the school had placed its orders timeously.

The officials were also shocked to learn that teachers did not know the school had been granted no-fee status and was not meant to be collecting school fees.

Wanda said the school had no other income and was therefore collecting fees from the parents who could afford to pay the R90 a year fee - or what part of this they could manage.

According to Wanda, not only had the school not received a cent from the Education Department, but it was unaware of how it would access the money and when. He said the school had no money to run its daily activities in line with the new curriculum or to attend to emergencies. The school has no electricity, no running water and six toilets are shared among 489 pupils.

Senzo Mchunu, the committee's chairman, said he was under the impression that all schools which had placed their orders in time had received their supplies.

"Why are we sitting here talking about this as if we are still oppressed? As if there is no money to get quality education when there is a budget for these things?" Mchunu asked, visibly perplexed.

Attempts to get comment from the education department were unsuccessful.

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   The Gallery

Address: Salisbury Avenue, Westville
Telephone: 031-266-5232

New works by:
  • Shirley Brandon
  • Shirley Howells
  • Lorna Panzenbock
  • David Johnson
  • Peter Sebeko
  • Isaac Sithole

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   KZN to get more ambulances

Durban - An additional 100 ambulances will service KwaZulu-Natal within the next year, the provincial health department said on Tuesday.

Both private operators and the provincial Emergency Rescue Services (EMRS) were expanding their fleets and training up more staff.

KwaZulu-Natal health spokesperson Leon Mbangwa said that by May 2007 the department hoped to increase its fleet to 570 ambulances.

He said EMRS currently had 470 ambulances with 160 vehicles operational at any given time.

"At the moment our response time in rural areas is between 60 and 90 minutes. That's not good enough. We want to bring that to below 60 minutes," he said.

Two of the province's largest private operators are also expanding their service.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said six ambulances had been added to their service and they were considering further expansion.

ER24 spokesperson Neil Noble said that by the end of the year the company hoped to have 30 ambulances in use, including subcontracted services. The company will be opening a base in Pietermaritzburg in the next few months, he said.

"The problem is to get more trained staff," he added.

Mbangwa said the department had 65 people enrolled on a paramedics course starting in August.

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   Call to rename KZN gets mixed reaction

Sipho Khumalo
While the KwaZulu-Natal government has commended Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini on his call for a debate on the need to change the name of the province, and for Zulu history to be rewritten, his call received mixed reaction from political parties on Monday.

At the weekend, the king launched a campaign to collect signatures to test the support for his intended campaign.

In a speech handed to journalists, Acting Premier Mike Mabuyakhulu thanked Zwelithini for consistently and continuously engaging the people of the province to look at their history.

Mabuyakhulu said his efforts to highlight aspects of KZN's history that had been neglected and distorted were commendable.

'This is a challenge to our intellectuals'
He said correcting distortions in history was a pressing goal: "This is a challenge to our intellectuals, historians and scholars to correct distortions that exist in our history, but to do this in a manner that does not expose us to the those who may want to undermine our reconciliation and nation-building project."

PAC leader Motsoko Pheko backed the king, saying "Natal", which was a colonial name, was associated with the suffering and humiliation of the African people.

In a short statement, the ANC said it had noted the signature campaign launched by the king and that some experts were advocating the name change.

However, the party added that it believed that it was important to currently focus on unifying issues that pertained to development and provision of services.

The name change is not a priority for the Democratic Alliance, and its spokesperson Radley Keys said: "KwaZulu-Natal was born after long and arduous negotiations to find a suitable name. If the province is to be renamed, the process must involve everyone, (it should) not (be) a decision of any single individual or group of people. Calling it KwaZulu alone could be considered as sectarian. Let us put it on the backburner and look at the more pressing issues of developing the province."

The Minority Front said it had not taken a position on the issue, but its leader, Amichand Rajbansi, said his party would be guided by the historical boundaries of the old KwaZulu.

The IFP said the king was expressing his view, which was above party politics.

"As such, the IFP would not be commenting on the king's view," IFP spokesperson Jon Cayzer said.

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   Natal Name Is Older Than KwaZulu Nation

By John Wheaton

Let's ignore the insular implications of re-naming our province as KwaZulu, and the implied ostracism of the non-Zulu inhabitants (black, brown and white) and let's also put aside the fact that the original San/Bushmen inhabitants of this area were massacred by the invading Nguni, who took over this region by right of conquest (the oldest permission in the world).

Let's just talk about what came first. This region was named Natal (in honour of Christmas Day) by Vasco da Gama around 1498, the Zulu nation (and thus the Zulu kingdom) was created out of one of many Nguni clans by the great Shaka (one of the greatest leaders in the world) in the early 1800s.

So the name Natal is about 300 years older than KwaZulu, and therefore fully entitled to be part of the heritage of this, now very diverse, province.

While the name KwaZulu excludes all non-Zulus, regardless of their contribution to this region, KwaZulu-Natal is inclusive, in line with the vision of another great man, Nelson Mandela.

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   Alternative medicine proves pet-friendly

By Suzanne Ellis
When Jack the spaniel's hind legs were paralysed as a result of an injury, his owners were distraught.

Their vet did everything he could, but the prognosis was bad. Faced with the dire prospect of euthanasia, Jack's owners began to search for another option.

They, themselves, had benefited from physiotherapy treatment and wondered if anything similar was available for animals. Inquiries eventually led to a practitioner in both animal and human physiotherapy.

Julia Hewitson, who has 28 years experience in this field, began to work on Jack. She administered a series of treatments and prescribed an exercise programme. He began to improve, and before long he completely recovered the use of his legs. Jack's potential date with a lethal injection was struck from the calendar.

Although many people use complementary therapies for their own healing, few are aware that these are also available for animals.

In Durban, three committed professionals offer specialised holistic help for pets - veterinary homeopath Dr Jane Fraser, physiotherapist Hewitson and chiropractor Dr Tammy Meuwese. These women are highly trained in their fields - which involves a thorough medical background.

A graduate of the Royal School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh, Fraser has practised veterinary medicine around the world. After graduating, she developed an interest in complementary therapies and began looking at applying them to animals.

"As I became more aware of different options for treatment, I realised the value of natural forms of medicine and how successful they could be," said Fraser.

Her natural choice was homeopathy and she went on to study for a post-graduate veterinary homeopathic course in London as well as training in animal acupuncture. She has treated animals holistically for more than 20 years.

Hewitson completed the required four years of standard human physiotherapy training and five years clinical experience in Britain before coming to South Africa.

Equine therapy
"As a professional physiotherapist, you have to work on humans before you can work on animals," said Hewitson.

"I have spent the past six years training in animal physiotherapy and have attended numerous animal physiotherapy conferences as well as training in equine therapy."

Hewitson recently established the Kloof Animal Rehab Centre. Meuwese, a chiropractic graduate of the Durban Institute of Technology, has studied in her chosen field for eight years and been in practice for one.

"I studied chiropractic with the object of treating animals. After I completed the course at the DIT, I did a post-graduate course in animal chiropractic in the United States. I have a passion for animals and treating them is my calling."

This calling is common to all three, yet despite their impressive training, knowledge and expertise, they are often only approached when conventional veterinary medicine has failed.

"I often get cases after people have tried everything else," said Fraser who runs a private practice in Glenwood.

"They are chronic in nature and most animals have already received a great deal of medication and the owners are desperate."

While Fraser is qualified to treat the gamut of problems and diseases facing animal, Meuwese and Hewitson are essentially physical therapists. Their hands have the sensitivity to find problem areas and make clinical assessments and adjustments.

Both deal primarily with musculoskeletal problems, injuries, post-operative and soft-tissue trauma, joint diseases, post-operative rehabilitation and the like. But their training and techniques differ as physiotherapy and chiropractic are specialist fields in their own right.

Fraser, on the other hand, applies her veterinary skills to assess appropriate treatment.

"The emphasis is on treating the whole animal, not just the symptoms," she said.

"I take a detailed case history because all factors are vital in establishing the best forms of treatment. I need the animal's previous medical history and information on its personality, habits, relationship with other people and animals, as well as its environment.

"Instead of treating all animals with the same basic drugs used in conventional treatment, I look carefully at each animal's individual requirements and then prescribe supplements and homeopathic remedies and advise on dietary modification. If required, I will administer acupuncture. But if the animal needs the expertise of a physiotherapist or chiropractor, I will refer to Julia or Tammy."

Pet owners most often find their way to one of these therapists by word-of-mouth; vets are reticent to accept the role complementary therapies can play. There are, however, a few vets who do refer clients.

A popular, high-profile and respected vet - who chose to remain anonymous for ethical reasons - said, "Natural therapies definitely have an important role to play and they will be used more and more in the future. Although I do get a lot of criticism from other vets, I work closely with Fraser on a number of cases - especially those where Western medicine can't give me answers."

While many vets may be wary of natural therapies, Hewitson, Meuwese and Fraser all believe it is imperative to work closely with veterinary professionals.

Meuwese, who runs a private practice in Westville, also works from a couple of practices in the Highway area. She said, "Although most of my clientele come from word-of-mouth, I have developed a good relationship with some vets and am earning their respect. They are becoming more relaxed about me treating animals."

"If people contact me directly, I always inform the vet concerned to discuss the case and the treatment," says Hewitson.

"If you don't have a medical diagnosis, you don't really know what's going on."

And Fraser said, "It is important to work under referral from a vet as you need to communicate and assess the progress of a case and what other treatments may be necessary."

Although natural therapies do not necessarily provide a "quick fix", the results are often dramatic, long-term and free from drug side-effects.

"Chronic conditions are not easy to treat," warns Fraser. "People must be aware that these can take time and effort."

Many pet owners who were previously unaware that these therapies are available for animals, now sing their praises.

Jenny Murray turned to Hewitson when her 7-year-old dachshund Honey was paralysed.

"Julia was absolutely marvellous," enthuses Murray.

"I was totally amazed by her sensitivity to the animal. A lot of people just put dachshunds down when they're injured. They should be made aware that there are other options."

After Flugal the cat was run over, he suffered internal injuries that caused him to vomit.

"He couldn't keep any food down at all and lost a great deal of weight," explains owner Joss Armstrong.

"The vet did investigative procedures and tried various treatments. Nothing worked. Eventually he suggested I try Fraser. I was a bit unsure, but it was our only hope.

"Fraser gave Flugal homeopathic remedies as well as homeopathic injections around his stomach. It took about 10 days before we started seeing results, but he eventually stopped being sick as often and could keep down small amounts of food. After three months he'd completely recovered.

"I don't know how this stuff works, but it definitely works. I am delighted with the results and Flugal has never looked back."

And Shanna Guilfoyle's boerbul Dudley has become a regular patient of Tammy's. She treated him for hip dysplasia and now he looks forward to his monthly maintenance visits.

"Dudley absolutely loves Tammy and I am very happy with the treatment she provides," said Guilfoyle.

Although many veterinary professionals remain sceptical, some are taking baby steps into the field, using a few basic herbal and homeopathic remedies in their practices; others are taking giant leaps and are actually studying veterinary homeopathy.

Twenty-two vets from around the country are attending a post graduate course run by UK-based Homeopathic Professional Teaching Group that has been organised locally by Fraser.

One of the vets attending, Dr Sheila Clow, has found that the course has expanded her horizons.

"Homeopathy is fascinating. I now know there is far more to offer than just allopathic medicine. A lot of vets are dismissive of it, but people shouldn't judge what they don't understand."

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   Zwelithini launches campaign to change KZN name

King Goodwill Zwelithini

King Goodwill Zwelithini has launched a campaign to drop Natal from the province's name

King Goodwill Zwelithini has officially launched a campaign to drop Natal from the province's name, KwaZulu-Natal. The signature campaign, which was launched in Durban today, has already sparked heated debate and is threatening to divide the province's people along racial and ethnic lines.

Government has welcomed the suggestion by Zwelithini to re-write the province's history but cautioned against interference with the province's KwaZulu-Natal Heritage Renewal Project. Zwelithini is concerned about how land deals between the Zulu Kings and colonial rulers were portrayed.

The signature collection for the name change will end in September on the day of the Reed Dance. It will then be handed to Parliament.

Zwelithini's campaign comes at a time when the Nhlapo Commission is hearing historical disputes on traditional leadership.

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   Ricky Basnett wins 6* Mr Price Pro

The Bluff local came in from the Round of 96 as a wildcard and after a grueling week of competition, walked away US$ 15000 richer. Busting out in the final and combo-ing his opponent, Australian, Dayyan Neve, Ricky Basnett was carried up the beach like the hero he is. Now ranked at fifth on the WQS, we caught up with the new Mr Price Pro champion right after a champagne-drenched awards ceremony.

Zag: Ricky, you told me about two months ago that you were going to win the Mr Price Pro, did you really believe you would win?

RB: I've been telling myself for about two or three months now that I'm gonna do it so I suppose if you keep telling yourself you're gonna do it, well, I guess it works.

Zag: How have your plans and tactics changed since you first started competing on the 'QS a few years back?

RB: These days I just take it easy before heats. No more parties until afterwards!

Zag: It's easy to be stoked with a result like this but it's even easier to get bummed out when you're not making it out of the first rounds in a contest. How do you plan on keeping your momentum throughout the rest of the year?

RB: I'm just gonna think about this win and keep thinking that I can do it.

Zag: You're the first South African to win in 28 years, is there any way you could possibly describe what you're feeling right now?

RB: Honestly Not! I really cannot describe it at all.

Zag: Any last words?

RB: Come to Joe Kool's! (raucous laughter) That's all I'll say. I'm gonna carry on for a few days!

Interview by Jarryd Smith
Ricky Basnett en route to victory in the 6* Mr Price Pro
Dayyan Neve (Aus) surfed well up until the final where he placed 2nd behind Basnett

Durban, South Africa (Sunday 9 July), Its been twenty-eight years since a South African surfer first triumphed at the Mr Price Pro, formerly known as the Gunston 500, and today Ricky Basnett (Bluff), 20, won the Six Star World Qualifying Series (WQS) event for the first time, since South Africa’s legendary surfing hero, Shaun Tomson back in 1978.

On a day that will be etched into South African surfing history, Basnett who entered as a wildcard into the round of 96, defeated world number four on the WQS Dayyan Neve (Aus) with a total of 15.60 (out of 20.00) to Neve’s 10.50.

Kicking-off with an explosive frontside air-reverse to score 8.5 out of a possible ten points, followed by a hands-free aerial earning 7.17, Basnett left his opponent in a combination situation, a feat that would have made Tomson proud.

As the ocean went flat, Basnett began counting down the minutes before stepping onto the sand as the 2006 champion. Swarmed by friends and drenched in beer, Basnett held the South African flag high as he was carried up the beach above a sea of fans.

“I don’t know what is going through my mind right now, I’m more stoked than I could ever be. This tastes better than beer!” said Basnett absolutely shaking from adrenaline.

“I got those two waves in the beginning and then the ocean went flat. When I saw my friends on the beach with the South African flag and I could not really believe what was happening. I was just sitting out there counting down the time.”

Adding this victory to his stellar performance at the four-star WQS in Margaret River, Australia, where he finished second, Basnett has climbed to fifth on the ASP WQS ratings and is closer to realising his dream of qualifying for the World Championship Tour.

Despite posting the highest individual wave score of the entire contest, an excellent 9.63 (out of ten) against defeating world number 23 Troy Brooks (Aus) in the semi-finals, the ocean failed to provide for Neve in the final and the Australian was relegated to second place.

However, this result was as good as a victory for Neve who has reached three WQS finals this year and is now at number one on the WQS ratings.

“This result means everything to me. I’m trying really hard to make the WCT this year so I’m really happy to get another final, especially in a Six Star,” said Neve who was considering quitting the tour when he dropped to 116th on the WQS at the end of last year, before deciding to give it one last go in 2006.

“It’s not the best place to come second to a South African, but if I’d won back in Australia at my local beach, I know it would be the same, just the other way around. I’m stoked for Ricky, he deserved the win and he’s got his friends and family around to celebrate with.”

Also reaching the semi- finals at North beach today was former Mr Price Pro Champion Neco Padaratz (Brazil), who bowed out to Basnett, needing a 6.44. Taking off on a wave, realising it was not going to have the potential he was looking for, the Brazilian clapped his hands in applause of Basnett, impressing the crowd with his great display of sportsmanship.

South African’s Travis Logie (Durban) and Jordy Smith (Umbilo) made it as far as the quarterfinals, the two surfers finishing equal fifth, earning R14000 for their efforts. Logie was defeated by Brooks, while Smith’s hopes were dashed by Neve.

The Mr Price Pro junior men’s final saw Brandon Jackson (Durban North) successfully defend his Mr Price Pro Junior title over Jordy Smith (Umbilo), who was penalised for an interference.

Taking off on the same wave, Jackson heading left and Smith right, the two surfers met in the middle, Smith failing to make way for Jackson, which cost him the win.

Despite posting two 8.17 scores (out of a possible ten), Smith had his second ride halved, relegating him to second place while Jackson held onto first.

“You can never right-off Jordy, he’s won contests on interferences before”, said Jackson markedly pleased with his win. “Jordy’s won every contest this year but you can’t win them all and I’m just happy I could halt his run.”

Jackson posted two six-point scores for a package of tight off the top turns and, despite numerous attacks from Josh Redman (Umdloti) and Brandon Roberts (Cape Town), who finished third and fourth respectively, maintained his heat lead, earning R3000 for his efforts.

Smith earned R2000 and valuable ratings points, which will keep him at the top off the ASP Africa ratings. Disappointed with his error Smith said, “I just got unlucky I guess, and I’m going to learn from this for next time, but still, well done to Brandon for winning.”

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   Mabuyakhulu warns on KZN name change petition

Sipho Khumalo
Acting KwaZulu-Natal Premier Mike Mabuyakhulu on Thursday cautioned against a signature campaign to change the name of the province, as it might have "unintended consequences".

Mabuyakhulu was commenting just days before Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini will launch a multimillion signature campaign to change the province's name and to rewrite its history.

A task team assembled by the king will launch the campaign this weekend.

On Thursday, Mabuyakhulu said: "With regard to the name change of the province, this is a highly sensitive and politically-involved matter. It is our view that this is a matter that cannot be left in the hands of experts but is rather a matter that should involve the sober and cool minds of all citizens.

'I wish to urge the people of KwaZulu-Natal to focus their minds on the bigger issues'
"I would therefore like to caution against putting out this matter as a rallying point for signature collection, as this may have unintended consequences in the future.

"I wish to urge the people of KwaZulu-Natal to focus their minds on the bigger issues that require our undivided attention as a developmental province," said Mabuyakhulu.

The task team of experts, who will launch the signature campaign, is a voluntary body of those concerned about the "falsified" history of the Zulu people.

The Isithangami project is co-ordinated by Nhlanhla Mtaka. Other members include Prof Otty Nxumalo, Dr Reggie Khumalo, former newspaper editor Khaba Mkhize and Prof Jabulani Maphalala.

"In short, people who are participating in Isithangami are volunteering their services driven by desire that what is wrong should be corrected, and we do not need billions of rands to do that," said Mtaka.

"People made sacrifices in the struggle for liberation not because there was money, and this is in the same spirit of correcting what is wrong and lending dignity to the people of this province.

"In fact we are being inundated with calls from hundreds of people in KwaZulu-Natal and outside the province who want to volunteer their services in response to the call made by His Majesty."

The event will be held at the Durban Community Church outside the Workshop shopping centre on Sunday.

Mtaka said his organisation would take the signatures to the South African parliamentary body tasked with changing the names of streets, cities, rivers, provinces and the like.

But Mabuyakhulu said issues of historical significance that went to the heart of heritage in the province should be handled with "due sensitivity".

"It is on the basis of this that the premier will be approaching the matter around the issues raised by His Majesty the King," he said.

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   Ian Kruger aka Quiet Assasin Wins SABA Wedge Classic

Ian Kruger (CT) earned himself the nickname of the “quiet assassin” for his stealthy tactics of sitting alone away from the pack picking off perfect waves which he annihilated to win the SABA Wedge Classic. Kruger’s victory in the Pro division of the 5A rated Plettenberg Bay event will boost his position on the SABA ratings.

Major sponsors of the R17, 500 event include First National Bank, Robberg Seafoods, Wavecrest Distributors, Ocean Life, deBIS Fleet Management and Fish Bone Design Studio.

“The pros this year showed such maturity and camaraderie – more so than any other division. I experienced this in my drop knee semi-final where I surfed my best heat ever, there was no hassling we just shared waves amongst ourselves; it was an unreal atmosphere. On the last day Mother Nature came to the party and delivered very good surf so all in all this year’s event was fantastic,” said SABA Wedge Classic Organiser Wayne Craig.

Vodacom Bodyboarding Showdown winner Alistair Taylor (Berea - Durban) once again put on a phenomenal display with Air-Roll-Spins to place second in the pro final behind Kruger. Mark Watts (Westville - Durban) was on form up until the final where the set waves eluded him; Watts placed third ahead of Mark Jucker (Port Elizabeth).

In the Drop Knee final Sacha Specker (CT) opened as the siren sounded with a 9-point ride and was untouchable for the remainder of the clash. Sascha Taljaard (Durban) tried to play catch up but finished as the runner up ahead of local star Sampi Kamffer (Plettenberg Bay). Former SABA Champion Vaughn Harris (Cape Town) took fourth.

The Junior final was the best of the day with excellent surf for the 20-minute showdown. Emile von Vollenhoven (Margate – KZN) put together the perfect combination of manoeuvres to out-score Jason Duvenage (Durban) who had a perfect ten under his belt for an invert air move. Josh Kleve (Cape Town) and James Jones (Durban) were hot in pursuit and finished third and fourth respectively.

The SABA Wedge Classic is also supported by Bitou tourism; they provided an exciting line up of activities on the beach for families to enjoy. Product sponsors include Red Bull, Reef Brazil, Arnette Sunglasses and Logic Magazine.

The SABA Wedge Classic is the fourth event on the national circuit which counts towards the crowning of the year end champions in the Pro, Boys, Juniors, Men, Women, Masters, Drop knee, Under 12 boys, Under 16 girls and Development divisions.

Wedge SABA Classic Results:

Pro Final
Ian Kruger (CT)
Alistair Taylor (Berea - Durban)
Mark Watts (Westville - Durban)
Mark Jucker (Port Elizabeth)

Ladies Final
Lyndal Pells (Plettenberg Bay)
Jocelyn Norton (Durban)
Widor Scholtz (Margate – KZN)

Drop Knee Final
Sacha Specker (CT)
Sascha Taljaard (Durban)
Sampi Kamffer (Plettenberg Bay)
Vaughn Harris (Cape Town)

Junior Final
Emile von Vollenhoven (Margate – KZN)
Jason Duvenage (Durban)
Josh Kleve (Cape Town)
James Jones (Durban)

Boy’s Final
Aiden Kleve (Cape Town)
Ian Campbell (Morningside – KZN)
Janek Ferrardi (Durban)
Terence Pieters (Margate – KZN)

U12 Boys Final
Daniel Thorpe (Plettenberg Bay)
Kleron Chont (Plettenberg Bay)
Nicolas Mortin (Plettenberg Bay)
Levi Fraser (Plettenberg Bay)

Men’s Final
Sascha Taljaard (Durban)
Sean Tickner (Durban)
Ryan Johsen (Durban)
Martin Otto (Margate – KZN)

Master’s Final
Lee Slabbert (Cape Town)
Mike van Huyssteen (Gauteng)
Steve Polinski (Cape Town)
Robin Oliver (Cape Town)

U16 Girls Final
Jeline Derbyshire (Plettenberg Bay)
Kina Meyer (Cape Town)
Liezl von Vollenhoven (Margate – KZN)

Development Final
Kyle Wilson (Mossel Bay)
Pieter de Jager (Mossel Bay)
Matthew Cottch (Mossel Bay)
Ethan Koopman (Cape Town)
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   KZN blood bank appeals for donations

Se-Anne Rall
Blood banks in KwaZulu-Natal are facing a serious blood shortage and have appealed for blood-type O and B donors to come forward.

Ianthe Exall, spokesperson for the South African Blood Services, said blood stocks in KwaZulu-Natal were limited to a three-day supply.

Ideally, there should be enough blood for seven days.

The shortage is partly because of the school holidays, as no donor clinics are being held for pupils and teachers.

The blood bank is hoping that visitors to KZN will help out by donating blood.

"We are also depending on the good weather, because this encourages people to come down to the beach and donate.

"There have been Bloodhound buses at North Beach as well as on the Margate, Scottburgh and Amanzimtoti beaches, and at the Gateway shopping centre until July 9.

"With the holiday season coming to an end, a major accident will use up blood stocks quickly. This is something we are not looking forward to," Exall said.

For more information on donations, telephone 031 719 6500 or toll-free 0800 11 9031.


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   Calls for KZN name change may divide the province

King Goodwill Zwelithini

Zwelithini has asked a team of experts to explore whether the name should be changed to KwaZulu

There are fears that calls for the name "Natal" to be dropped from KwaZulu-Natal might divide the province. King Goodwill Zwelithini has asked a team of experts to explore whether the name should be changed to KwaZulu. And on Sunday, Zwelithini's petition campaign, "Isithangami" will be launched.

Nhlanhla Mtaka, the co-ordinator of the "Isithangami" project, says the King has called for the rewriting of history where it will found that there was no Natal and that is part of rewriting history. "It's not the first time this is happening. Egoli was called Transvaal, today it is Gauteng", Mtaka said.

Meanwhile, Mike Mabuyakhuli, the acting KZN premier, has warned that this is a highly sensitive and political issue. The Democratic Alliance (DA) is supporting the provincial government in questioning the timing of the issue. Roger Burrows, the leader of the DA in KZN, says the name should not be changed.

"If there were to be a name change in the province, the Constitution would have to be amended. That was part of the Codesa agreement, part of the multiparty talks, so all political parties would have to be involved. It is the view of the DA that there should not be a name change," said Burrows.
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   Acsa to spend R94m on upgrading Durban airport

Edward West
The company says the expansion is necessary because economic growth and the advent of low-cost carriers increased the number of people using the airport by 16% last year. This amounted to 3,6-million passengers.

Acsa assistant general manager Bongiwe Pityi said traffic congestion was such that 300-400 cars parked outside the allocated parking spaces every day.

“Studies showed we would have run out of parking space by 2008,” she said. Aircraft turnaround times would also be delayed if there was no immediate intervention.

Acsa was also working with government to have the new King Shaka International Airport north of Durban built by 2010.

“We all hope it will be ready, but it depends on the environmental impact assessment (EIA),” Pityi said.

Meanwhile, a multistorey car park was being built for R90m at Durban International.

The first phase will result in 640 additional parking bays by the end of September.

The project was expected to be completed by the end of June next year, with the number of parking spaces increased to more than 2900 from about 1500.

A parking lot for airport staff has also been planned, farther away from the terminal, to cater for about 3000 Acsa staff as well as those from airlines, kiosks and ground support services who were sharing the existing parking with the public.

At least 14 more check-in counters would be installed inside the terminal this year, while four common use self service (CUSS) machines — which look like ATMs — will be introduced. This was to speed up the processing and issuing of boarding passes for passengers with little luggage.

Additional security cameras, a baggage reconciliation system and equipment to screen baggage will also be installed. Only one in three bags was currently being screened.

On the airport’s apron, the number of parking bays for aircraft would also be expanded to hold 11, up from seven.

Government reportedly plans to announce the preferred bidder for the construction of King Shaka Airport in November, with construction expected to begin in March.

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   Dad's plan to raise funds for sick baby

Soothing sounds: A desperately worried Sheldon Vetter has come up with a novel way to meet the mounting medical costs of his sick baby - by offering his services as a pianist at dinner parties. Photo: Bongiwe Gumede, Daily News
A desperately worried doting dad has come up with a novel way to meet the mounting medical costs of his sick baby.

Sheldon and Maureen Vetter of Sunningdale, could not believe it when their only child, Danae, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in June.

"It was something that we had never even thought of. You wonder why it could have happened to your baby," said Danae's mother on Wednesday.

The couple's daughter was not born with leukaemia and her parents have worked out that she got it when she was about five months old. She bruised easily and had a lot of colds which eventually led to pneumonia.

Blood test revealed every parent's nightmare
It was only when she was admitted to hospital with pneumonia that a blood test revealed every parent's nightmare, and she was transferred to Parklands Hospital in Durban where there is a paediatric oncology specialist.

Little Danae almost did not make it the first weekend she was in Parklands as staff could not treat her because of the pneumonia.

Although she is still very sick, her parents say she is taking her illness all in her stride. She is continuing to get chemotherapy and there is the prospect that she will have to get even more "aggressive treatment".

Then came another worry. Although the family's medical aid will cover the baby's hospital stay, it will not meet the medication bill, which is expected to be about R30 000.

Vetter, who works for a shipping company, is now hoping to meet these costs by offering his services as a pianist at dinner parties.

'I would rather earn the money than just ask'
"I would rather earn the money than just ask people to help us. I could play background music - the standards and love songs - while people entertain their guests," Sheldon said.

And if people do not have a piano, Vetter can organise one to be delivered for events. He was a regular pianist at a top local hotel, but when the hotel bought an expensive sound system to pipe music to their guests, he lost the spot.

Like his wife, he is hoping for the day when he gets another type of music to his ears: when they learn that their daughter is clear of leukaemia.

  • To contact the Vetters, telephone 083 466 8552.

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       Major surfing contest rides Durban wave

    Surfer in action

    Over 300 local and international surfers have started taking on the waves for Mr Price Pro

    Mr Price Pro, Africa's biggest and richest surfing competition, is hotting up Durban waters. This year's prize totals R1 million, making it Africa's grand slam of surfing.

    Over 300 local and international surfers have started taking on the waves at Durban's North Beach. In its seventh year, the Mr Price Pro is a world qualifying series event for men and women. Surfers, who make it through this qualifying series, will vie for the World Championship title in Hawaii, and women are now taking the lead.

    Heather Clark, a surfer, says: "It's definitely a growing sport. I went to learn at a surf school and there were so many girls on the beach".

    International surfers here to make their mark
    The South African contingent weighs in with a healthy 77 competitors led by Durbanite Travis Logie, a top seed, who is ranked ninth overall on the international seedings. However, international surfers are here to make their mark too.

    Joel Centeio, a Hawaiian surfer, says: "There's so many good guys from around the world, so it's a battle in every event no matter what".

    The prizes up for grabs are over a R100 000 for the male competitors and R28 000 for their counterparts. The finals take place this weekend and these athletes will take on the waves with verve and vitality to win the coveted surfing title.

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       Diabetes 'reaching epidemic status' in SA

    Lindsay Ord

    Looking at a crowd of people, you'd be hard pressed to spot the people with diabetes. They look like anyone else - and it's perhaps this fact that fuels public apathy about the alarming surge in diabetes.

    There are between two and four million diabetics in South Africa and the disease is reaching epidemic status, according to Sue Frye, Durban manager of the KwaZulu-Natal branch of the Diabetes Association of South Africa (DSA).

    "Diabetes is on a par with malaria and Aids as one of the main causes of death in this country," she says.

    "It is the new pandemic."

    Public apathy surrounding diabetes is a major problem
    It is also one of the major causes of premature death worldwide. Every 10 seconds a person dies from diabetes-related causes and death rates are predicted to rise by 25 percent in the next decade.

    New data from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) show that more than 230 million people, almost six percent of the world's adult population, now lives with diabetes.

    Previous figures underestimated the diabetes threat and the total is expected to rise.

    "Diabetes is emerging as one of the biggest health catastrophes the world has ever seen," says Professor Martin Slink, president-elect of the IDF.

    "The diabetes epidemic will overwhelm healthcare resources everywhere if governments do not wake up and take action now."

    'Diabetes is not a death sentence'
    Despite these figures, little political effort has been made and Frye believes it's time for diabetes to be recognised in South Africa for the massive problem that it is. One of the problems, she says, is that there is no registry of diabetics in South Africa and for this reason she is urging people with diabetes to join Diabetes SA.

    "Only by people joining the association can we get an idea of the number of diabetics in the country," she says.

    "Without this, our pleas to government for improved medication and support are falling on deaf ears."

    Public apathy surrounding diabetes is a major problem and to raise awareness, high-profile figures are throwing their weight behind publicity campaigns. Writing in the Diabetes Association's magazine, Diabetes Focus, golfing legend Gary Player, whose son Wayne has diabetes, says: "I am seriously concerned at the lack of interest shown by so many people in choosing the right way to live.

    In Africa, our greatest problem seems to be a lack of understanding of what diabetes is. In America where 18 million people have the condition, there seems to be a lack of interest - it's much more fun to lounge in front of the television or PC with one hand in the chip packet and the other on the game controller.

    "We need to encourage our children to steer clear of junk food, eat healthily and take part in regular physical activity. Until a cure is found there is no alternative but to encourage youngsters and adults to live healthily."

    The tragedy of diabetes, says Frye, is that it is a condition which can be well managed once diagnosed - but ignorance of the disease is the greatest problem .

    "There are millions of diabetics who are undiagnosed," she says.

    "Diabetes is not a death sentence, so if you are suspicious of symptoms, get tested. With changes in lifestyle and the correct management of the disease, you can live healthily for a long time. There are people with diabetes who run Comrades marathons, climb Kilimanjaro, cycle the Argus Cycle tour and excel at sport."

    Diabetes SA fills a vital need for all diabetics through a national network of branches and support groups, which are invaluable for diabetics and their families. Membership costs R80 a year, which includes the informative quarterly Diabetes Focus magazine. At the moment there are two support groups in Durban and one in Hillcrest.

    Others are planned for the new Diabetes Centre in Glenwood, Durban that opens on August 1. It is hoped that the centre will become a one-stop service and information centre with a 24-hour support line.

  • Contact the KZN branch of Diabetes SA at 031 304 0369/084 717 7443 or fax 031 305 3894 or visit www.diabetessa.co.za

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       Rautenbach Leads SA Girls Charge at Mr Price Pro

    Entering the water for the first time on Wednesday, South Africa’s female contingent made first impressions last with six girls advancing through six heats, in the first round of the women’s five star World Qualifying Series Mr Price Pro.

    Pitted against a host of international talent, Chantelle Rautenbach (Melkbosstrand), Sarah Maritz (Warner Beach), Sarah Baum (Warner Beach), Tarryn Chudleigh (Scarbourgh), Nicole Annels (Margate) and Telana Flanagan (East London) all advanced into the first round of money, the women’s round of 48 at Durban’s North Beach.

    Leading the charge was National Junior team member Chantelle Rautenbach who, at 16, rose to the challenge of her first ever WQS event, posting the second highest individual wave score of the women’s contest so far, an 8.33 out of a possible ten points.

    With a series of lightening fast snaps, finished off with a closeout re-entry, Rautenbach defeated the Japanese duo of Kaori Mayaguchi and Erina Taniguchi as well as South African Champion Penny Robarts (Somerset West).

    “I’m so stoked because I got knocked out in Pro Junior event, so I’m just glad I made it through that last heat,” grinned Rautenbach. Twelve-year-old Sarah Baum, the youngest competitor in the even, turned heads in heat four when she advanced in second position behind French surfer Amandine Sanchez.

    Defeating girls almost twice her age, including Papa Luana (Caribbean) and local surfer Lynne Mackey (Westville) Baum said, “That’s the first time I’ve made it through a heat in a pro event. I’m going to get some money so I’m stoked! I’ll try my hardest to make it through some more heats, but mainly I’m trying to go out there and just have fun.”

    Another Warner Beach surfer to advance on Wednesday was multiple runner-up at the South African Championships, Sarah Maritz who took charge of heat five with a good five-point ride.

    Maritz held onto the lead until the last few minutes when the feisty Juliana Quint (Brazil) managed to step into first place, defeating Maritz by less than a point. Both surfers advanced into the next round.

    A round one victory from world-renowned Stephanie Gilmore (Aus) was no surprise, the Australian youngster defeating Telana Flanagan (East London), Bronwyn Coote (Durban) and Lindsay Brown (USA).

    With a surfing style increasingly compared to some of the best male surfers in the world, Gilmore already has a World Championship Tour title to her credit, winning the Roxy Pro, Australia as a wildcard in 2005. Gilmore posted the highest individual wave and two wave heat total scores of the women’s event and could be a title contender at this year’s Mr Price Pro.

    Others to advance were Jenny Quam (USA), Tais Almeida (BRZ), Juliana Quint (BRZ) and Kaori Mayaguchi (JPN). Top seeds enter the water for the women’s round of 48 at 11h10 am tomorrow (Thursday). The Mr Price Pro women’s division is a five star WQS event which holds a $25,000 (R172, 500) women’s prize-money purse and is one of the most prestigious events on the women WQS.

    The defending Mr Price Pro champion is Melanie Bartels (Hawaii) who has returned to Durban to defend her title.

    Results Womens Round of 60

    Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS); Telana Flanagan (EL)
    Heat 2: Jenny Quam (USA); Nicole Annels (Margate)
    Heat 3: Tais Almeida (BRA); Tarryn Chudleigh (CT)
    Heat 4: Amandine Sanchez (FRA); Sarah Baum (Warner Beach)
    Heat 5: Juliana Quint (BRA); Sarah Maritz (Warner Beach)
    Heat 6: Chantelle Rautenbach (CT); Kaori Mayaguchi (JPN)

    To watch all the action live from North Beach log-on to www.mrpricepro.com
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       Eye of the Tiger wins the Durban July

    Eye of the Tiger crosses the line

    Eye of the Tiger was followed by Sushisan, Equal Images and Lion Tamer

    Brazilian import, Eye of the Tiger, has won the 2006 Vodacom Durban July. Eye of the Tiger, ridden by Gerrit Schleichter, was followed by Sushisan, Equal Images and Lion Tamer.

    Fashion trailblazers steal the show at Durban July
    While horses and jockeys battled it out for the prestigious Durban July title, designers and models in their extravagant outfits had a race of their own - outshining the rest with the glitz and glamour of fashion.

    Big hats, bold colours and dazzling accessories were the order of the day. It seems almost anything went this year, from outlandish head gear, to revealing, little numbers.

    South Africa's diversity was not missed either, as traditional, indigenous wear and exotic attire were part of the mix.

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       Vodacom Bodyboarding Showdown: Sorenson Causes Upset Beating Former World Champ

    The Vodacom Bodyboarding Showdown at the Bay of Plenty on Friday, June 30 had all the ingredients required to make a spectacular event with perfect scores, upsets and world class bodyboarding performances.

    The Vodacom Bodyboarding Showdown is a South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) sanctioned specialty contest boasting a R10, 000 prize purse which was shared amongst the five divisions - Pro, Drop Knee, U20, U15 and Ladies.

    ”The standard of riding at this event was really high and there were many big upsets. Standouts from a judging perspective were Ray Kean’s 10 point ride in the Drop Knee heat and Marc Lightley’s deep tube ride,” commented one of SABA’s most respected judges Sascha Taljaard.

    One of the day’s biggest surprises came when North Beach local rider Robyn Sorenson (Berea) defeated hot shot Karla Costa-Taylor (Berea) who has a world title to her name. 2004 SA Women’s Bodyboarding Champion Sorenson carefully selected the best set waves and outscored her more experienced rival.

    Former national team member Kamala Botha (La Lucia) placed third on an impressive comeback trail with Lize-Mari Ras (Durban North) putting on an improved performance to finish fourth.

    Sihle Xaba : photo courtesy Vodacom

    The Pro Final was off to a slow start with only three waves ridden during the first ten minutes. Alistair Taylor (Berea) sprang into action in the second half of the heat executing big reverse spins off the lip with style. Five times SA Bodyboarding Champion Philip Rodrigues (Durban North) replied with some strong rides which included a large air-roll-spin manoeuvre which earned him second place behind Taylor.

    Less than two points separated national bodyboarding team member Wesley Fischer (Berea) and Sihle Xaba (Durban) who finished third and fourth respectively. “I was stoked with how the Vodacom Bodyboarding Showdown went today - we had fun waves, great weather and an awesome atmosphere at the beach. It’s great to be back with Vodacom sponsoring our bodyboarding event at the Durban Beach Africa festival.

    I was also thrilled to have won the final which was tough and hard fought, but that makes it all the better to have come out on top against such good riders,” commented Pro winner and current SABA Chairman Alistair Taylor.

    The U20 Final proved to be an extremely close tussle with only one point separating first and third place. It was Charles Pass’s (Westville) moment in the sun when he squeezed past Michael Ostler and Stephen Jansens (Westville) to capture first place. Timothy Singh (Berea) showed promise with his fourth place finish.

    The Drop Knee showdown also came down to the wire with the usual favourites fighting for first place. Wesley Fischer (Berea) pipped Sascha Taljaard (South Beach) to the winner’s post with his fluid backhand style. Rheinhardt du Toit (Richards Bay) and Ray Kean (Durban North) stayed in the running for the title but despite shining earlier in the event they finished third and fourth.

    In the U15 Final Janneck Ferrandi (Umdloti) almost doubled the scores of his nearest competitor Adam Waites (Durban North) with Warren ven der Merwe (Richards Bay) placing third. Despite making the final, reigning South African Boy’s Bodyboarding Champion Ian Campbell (Morningside) had to leave the event early so that he did not miss his flight to Plettenberg Bay.

    The Vodacom Bodyboarding Showdown was run by the North Beach Bodyboarding Club.

    The surf conditions deteriorated over the course of the day, competitors were greeted by 1.5-metre perfection in the morning which flattened out with the high tide and cross-shore winds making for tricky conditions during the finals.

    The Vodacom Bodyboarding Showdown was one of the water sports highlights at the 2006 Durban Beach Africa festival in association with Vodacom and the SABC; the festival runs from June 30 to July 9 along the Golden Mile. Vodacom has a reputation for being the Greatest Supporters of SA supporters.

    The next stop on the SABA tour is the SABA Wedge Classic which runs from July 3 to July 7 at Plettenberg Bay.

    Vodacom Bodyboarding Showdown Results

    Pro Final
    1. Alistair Taylor (Berea)
    2. Philip Rodrigues (Durban North)
    3. Wesley Fischer (Berea)
    4. Sihle Xaba (Morningside)

    Ladies Final
    1. Robyn Sorenson (Berea)
    2. Karla Costa-Taylor (Berea)
    3. Kamala Botha (La Lucia)
    4. Lize-Mari Ras (Durban North)

    Drop Knee Final
    1. Wesley Fischer (Berea)
    2. Sascha Taljaard (South Beach)
    3. Rheinhardt du Toit (Richards Bay)
    4. Ray Kean (Durban North)

    U20 Final
    1. Charles Pass (Westville)
    2. Michael Ostler (Westville)
    3. Stephen Janssens (Westville)
    4. Timothy Singh (Berea)

    U15 Final
    1. Janneck Ferrandi (Umdloti)
    2. Adam Waites (Durban North)
    3. Warren ven der Merwe (Richards Bay)
    4. Ian Campbell (Morningside)

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