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27 February 2013

Quick arrest in Harburg farm attack

Harburg farmer Bruno Muhl, who was shot by intruders on his farm, on Friday night ,is in serious but stable condition in hospital  in Pietermaritzburg after undergoing an operation on Monday to remove a bullet lodged in his body. Harburg Police, led by Captain SZ. Luthuli and Pietermaritzburg TRT arrested one of the attackers early on Monday morning.

On Friday night, Nicole Coetzee, who is the caterer at Noodsberg Club, left early as she was not feeling well. Her partner Bruno, who was attending a meeting at the club stayed on.

It is reported that as Nicole got out at the gates of the farm, two armed attackers grabbed her -they shot one of the dogs trying to protect her and bundled Nicole into the house. For about two hours they badgered her to open the safe but as she did not have the keys was not able to so.

When the attackers heard Bruno returning they tied Nicole’s hand behind her back and threw her into a cupboard.

They went outside -Nicole heard a shot then silence. Thinking that Bruno had been killed and the attackers had run off, Nicole forced her way out the cupboard, managed to cut the cables round her wrists and ran outside where she found the injured man. Neighbours were alerted immediately and Harburg Police undertook an intensive manhunt . The arrested man appeared in the New Hanover Magistrate's Court on Tuesday -





There is much muttering round street corners and at petrol pumps at the activities of the new score plus of traffic cops.

First of all the bouquets - certainly the incidents of wild west driving appears to have lessened and drivers and passengers have learnt the expensive way to wear seatbelts and stop at stop streets. This is positive activity and can only improve the safety level of driving .

However one can still see many a one handed driver at the wheel as the other is clutching a cellphone to his or her ear. And what about the mothers with children standing on the seat next to them who are incapable of reading the word “stop” - specially at the Old Mutual corner.

And have the cyclists been included in the road safety blitz as they whizz their way down the wrong side of the street.

Lets not forget the schoolchildren - hopefully someone in the hierarchy is making use of the surplus of traffic officials by sending them to educate and train the thousands of schoolchildren in Umvoti on basic road safety.

Would like to know why on the busy end of month Fridays and Saturdays when every traffic law is broken no officers were seen in Bell or Sargeaunt Streets?

And a final question how many times is it necessary to stop the same driver in town to produce his or her driver’s licence?

Despite the brickbats driving through Greytown is certainly a lot safer than it used to be!

From one who has been fined!



Submission of tariff increases by Eskom.


Electricity comes high on the list of priorities of all stakeholders in the country. The Government appreciate this and give indigenous people 50Kw free electricity. This is enjoyed by the millions of RDP houses, Trust land, and others who have been declared indigent. This is Government policy which the 283 Municipalities have to carry out but the ratepayers have to foot the bill. The minority ratepayers have had their finances stretched to the limit to support all the Government initiative instead of the Government shouldering the burden. The stakeholders are unable to pick up income to meet such exorbitant increases in tariff specially with the low growth rate and high inflation..

 After all, electricity is the responsibility of the Government and they must be held accountable. Eskom is just another government parastatals like SAA which has to receive annual, very generous grants from the Government to keep them afloat. I therefore feel the Government must come to the aid of all stakeholders with similar injection of billions of rands to support our electricity. Modern technology like computers, cellphones to name a couple run off electricity. From being No.1 in Africa`s IT country, we have dropped to No.7. I fear that will the new proposals exorbitant electricity tariff increases, we are going to fall further behind in the technology world.

The stakeholders have not only the usage of electricity to contend with, but all the other auxiliary expenses that go with the electricity supply e.g. basic charge, meters, cable & connection costs to new homes/outlets, purchases and maintenance’s of all electrical goods, theft of cable & material (KDM R49million and rising), Incompetence of staff means consultants and contractors, damages to appliances through poor quality electricity, steep disconnect/connections fees etc. The affluent stakeholders will be able to use alternative electricity and the big users will cut down their usage to economize and there will be less money for the freebies The way forward is for our Government to provide the working Capital for Eskom from taxation or long term overseas loans. It is the people`s money after all.

 These horrid electricity tariff be paid by stakeholders, I fear will depress any growth in our country with the consequences of more job losses, increase social grants etc.

 Frank E. du Toit

Secretary North Coast Kwa Dukuza Ratepayers Association 1




Durban Mens Choir (DMC) is looking for venues for concerts and we were wondering if Greytown is a possibility .

The DMC charges R4000 for a performance including about 20 songs and would require an additional R1000 to make some contribution to the travel costs of its members. The choir is a non profit organisation and the fees charged are to help with the running expenses of the choir ( paying the conductor, accompanist, royalties etc). We would require that all the advertising and ticket sales etc be handled by the Greytown community.

We also offer our CD’s ( we have five recorded) for sale at the interval at a cost of R50 which is I believe a very reasonable price.

A wide variety of songs are sung ranging from religious, negro spirituals to light hearted Irving Berlin songs and classical and extracts from musicals eg Les Miserables and Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera. More details of the type of programme will be made available if and when required.

The best time for such a concert would be a Sunday afternoon (say 14h00) as far as we are concerned as this gives the choir members time to get back to Durban. The duration of concert is about 2 hours including 20 min interval.

We would greatly appreciate coming to sing in Greytown. Please let me know if there is any interest in this.

Jeff Moys

031 7622255 (ah)


Editor’s note: Anyone interested in promoting such a concert is asked to get in touch directly with Jeff Moys.



Greytown Country Club 25 Feb 2013

The next attendance draw will be on Friday (1 March) with R400 up for grabs. Be here at 6:30 – 7pm and you could be the lucky winner.

Friday 1 March is the evening to be at the Club!The food is sponsored and with a sheep and rietbok\bushpig on the spit it will be a night that you cannot miss. Bring your family and friends and neighbors and colleagues and come and enjoy a free meal. Everybody is welcome to come and join in the festivities as this will be a night we will remember for many years to come.

The month’s Happy Hour function was on Friday 22 Feb. The rugby placed a damper on the party mood, but in the end it got up to speed and was a great evening. Thank you to Umvoti Fuel & Oil for being the sponsor of the evening. Jabu did a great job with the meal. The ladies golfers were the biggest winners of the evening as they walked away with the money and the Chivas. David Cunningham and Fanie Nel took the consolation prizes.

Last Saturday, 23 February, was the Green Keeper’s revenge - all the golfers agreed that “Wally had the last laugh”. A smallish field of 14 players enjoyed the peculiar mind of the green keeper on his revenge.

Congratulations to the winners with only half a shot was Eagon Kassier and Oscar Ndawonde with 65.5 strokes and following very closely on 66 strokes was Mike Caldicott and Paul du Preez.

Golf AGM is on Wednesday 27 February at 6pm. There will be a prizegiving ceremony directly after our AGM for the various LOTTO leagues. Snacks will be provided.

Dates to diarize

Tues 26 Feb – Cheap-as-Tuesday

Wed 27 Feb – Golf AGM

Fri 1 March – Sheep & Bush pig on spit

Sat 9 Mar – Mascor monthly mug



People of Destiny Ministries is opening a 24 hour prayer helpline for all Christians and non Christian who may be in need of spiritual counselling,healing and deliverance.

All the services provided are free to the public.

The prayer line opens on 1st March and the number to call is 033 413 3182



During the harsh winter months, desperate cattle owners allow their cattle to stray for many kilometres away from their properties to look for food, as they cannot afford to buy hay and concentrate to feed them.The cattle often end up straying onto sugarcane fields and other structured agricultural lands. This causes tension with the farmers who own these lands, as they have no way of identifying the owners of the cattle

After 72 hours the cattle are sent to the local pound at Weenen. If the owners trace the cattle to the pound they must pay pound fees in order to retrieve their cattle.

Cattle owners in Ntunjambili were reluctant to brand their cattle , as the application for the branding identification was a process they did not understand. Through the CPF cattle owner meetings were set up .Constable Cele from Kranskop Crime Prevention unit, with her colleagues, attended these meetings and assisted the cattle owners in completing the requirements.

W/O Tim Steyn found a shortcut for obtaining the branding cards emailing all the required forms, deposit slip etc to the Department in Pretoria -within two hours the Department had emailed back the branding identification mark which were printed and handed over to the cattle owner - the identification cards were posted to the cattle owners within three weeks .

However there was another challenge .Although the cattle owners had their identification marks, they did not have money to have the branding irons manufactured. Maphumulo Department of Agriculture came to the rescue.with a full set of branding irons, which they kindly lent to the Kranskop Police.

On 11th March 2012 , all the cattle owners, armed with their identification cards and IDs, together with their cattle came together at Ntunjambili dipping tank.The cattle owners made a huge fire and then the branding started. With a kick here and a bawl there, 215 cattle were branded. Kranskop Farmers Association also kindly supported this community policing project and the farmers came along and taught the owners how to brand their cattle .

The cattle owners were extremely excited and overwhelmed by what they had achieved in one day.The joint effort between the SAPS,Ntunjambili CPF, Kranskop Farmers Ass. and the Kranskop Correctional Service was a great success, and the community will always remember this day, when so much effort was made to help them.

(info and photos provided by Lt-Col Caroline Minnaar and compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys)

Published through kind courtesy of “Servamus”



St. James’ Anglican Church will once again be holding a fun-filled, fund raising evening on Friday 15th March and the theme is Pot Luck! You are invited to come sailing with Nic and Helen Bryant as they prepare for a journey around the coastline of the British Isles.

Over the years, they have sailed many, many times, exploring the oceans of the world.

The evening will take the form of a ‘bring and share supper’, all you need to do is bring simple ‘sailing’ food, and bring your own drinks, tea and coffee will be served and crockery and cutlery will be supplied.

The evening, as in the past, promises to be great fun, with pictures of their journey on the big screen.

Funds raised are for general upkeep and projects of this magnificent old Church.

Tickets are available at the Parish Office (mornings) or from Sue Swan Tel. 033 507 0132 or email

Cost per ticket R 50.00 and children 12 or

under R 25.00




Three pedestrians lost their lives when the driver of a delivery truck lost control and plunged off the road down an embankment. The accident occurred early last Thursday morning on the R614 near Applesbosch in the Dalton area.

At the scene ER24 paramedics and other emergency personnel discovered three people under the truck .They had been walking along the side of the road when the driver lost control , veered off the road and hit all three.

The paramedics had to drag the three victims,who had sustained fatal injuries, from underneath the vehicle. The driver ,who was injured, was taken to hospital.




St Cathryn’s course was empty and deserted this past weekend and the Proteas cricket team must have had something to do with it- all golfers glued to the TV watching the excellent victory of the last and final test against the Pakistanis and the Proteas winning the series 3-0. All St Cathryn’s members are also celebrating the fiftieth win of captain Graham and many members would like to shoot a sub fifty on nine holes and those that have turned fifty recently would never dream of scoring a below fifty on nine holes

Fisherman have reported poor catches lately, as the weed in the dam is hiding abundant amounts of small fish, and the larger fish are not taking the lures. Local angler Andries van der Merwe has reported that it is the quiet before the storm and the fish will be on the bite soon.

Supper this Friday night will be prepared by the Grade 10 Class from Hermannsburg School who are coming to St Cathryns for a planning weekend, to prepare for their German exchange partners arrival and the planning of activities for the exchange time. Bookings need to be made to Piet 083 269 1661 by Thursday 28th at 10a.m..



Umvoti businesses are asked to note that with the amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act(OHSA) labour inspectors are now empowered to press for prosecution to ensure compliance with the Act.

The days of companies budgeting for fines in defiance and in some instances showing a total disregard of the OHSA has become a thing of the past.In reality what this means is that companies will no longer simply be issued a fine for contravening the OHSA, but will instead be taken to court which is a lengthy and expensive exercise .

To assist businesses in Umvoti to comply with all the amendments , W/O Tim Steyn will hold a series of

free OHSA training sessions (should there be sufficient demand), Businesses are asked to contact W/O Steyn on email with contact details:

W/O Timothy Steyn or 071 505 3771.


BIZ BITS (New businesses or goods on the local business scene) FAIR DRINK-UM FILTERED WATER/AMANZI AMTOTI ANEMPILO

More and more international research highlights the importance of drinking lots of clean pure water every day. This has led to a tremendous increase in the amount of “bottled spring” water sold throughout the world usually at a fair cost.

Now thanks to the initiative of two Greytown businessmen , Roy Thomson and Strike Buthelezi ,a water vending machine has been set up in the forecourt of Aheers Powertrade. Using reverse osmosis Municipal water is freshly purified right in front of the customers-the machine filters out all chlorine and other chemicals.The cherry on the top is that the selling price is R1 per litre!Take along your own container, whatever size and there is a sterilisation unit on the machine which sterilises the container inside out out before the sparkling clean chlorine free water is bottled right in front of the customer.

For further information phone Roy at 082 777 9039 or Strike on 078 347 5159



For the past 8 years committed (and fit) members of the Rotary Club of Empangeni have cycled a staggering 1800 kms from their home town to Cape Town to raise funds along the way through the link up with Engen in towns en route.

The cyclists rode into Greytown last Friday with Engen Garage their focal point. Recipients of the donation this year is Greytown Secondary School and a group were overwhelmed by the donation of R5 000 from ENGEN plus a further R2000 from the Rotarians.

On reaching Cape Town, the intrepid Rotarians will take part in the Argus cycle ride!



Children’s Home chatter

In 2002 a young German lady came to South Africa to volunteer at Greytown Children’s Home. After her stay at the home, Juliane Albrecht returned to Germany where together with a colleague she established the Laughing Hearts of Africa fund. Every year a generous donation is sent to South Africa – the beneficiaries being, Greytown Children’s Home, Greytown Feeding Project and the Muden Project. Julie has been to South Africa 3 times since 2002 to visit the different projects and establish what other needs there may be.

After returning to Germany, Julie went on to study to be a doctor and qualified last year and is now able to do fund raising for medical needs of the Children’s Home.

Every year Greytown Children’s Home is fortunate to have volunteers from Germany who do a wonderful job interacting with the children. Greytown Children’s Home encourages them to get involved with community projects like The Greytown Feeding Scheme and the Muden Project. Some also volunteer at local schools during their off time.

During Julie’s visit last year she took some time to visit the crèche some of our children attended in 2012. It was established that a jungle gym would go a long way toward making the toddlers days at Esibusisweni Crèche in Enhlalakahle more enjoyable. To this end funds were sent, and Greytown Children’s Home made the necessary arrangements for the installation of a brand new jungle gym.

If there is anyone willing to donate some instant lawn, fencing to safeguard the toddlers, a sandpit and possibly some shade, please contact the owner of Esibusisweni Crèche, Mrs Gugu Dlomo on 076 387 0802 or alternatively,Terry at Greytown Children’s Home on 033

413 2133.



No that vehicle is not travelling on the wrong side of the Muden road - the driver is attempting to avoid wrecking his tyres on the disruptive broken up so-called road! Project this into a typical misty or rainy Umvoti night - someone who is not aware of the pitfalls of this road and the art of zig zag driving-this has the potential of a horrendous accident with injuries and loss of life.

Compounding the apalling state of this section of road is the fact that it these potholes, miniature volcanoes ,booby traps have been “fixed” by contractors at least 6 times in the past year. The prime one in the photograph was “fixed” on the surface less than two weeks ago. Apart from the danger to lives has no one sitting in their ivory tower checked the repetitive fixing of this stretch of road which must work out at an astronomical cost per centimetre


20 February 2013


Fifteen years after been sentenced to a life sentence for the killing of wellknown Kranskop farmer, Friedel Redinger, Thembelani Sibiya’s sentence was reduced to an effective 18 years by three Judges in the Pietermaritzburg High Court last week.

In their summing up the Judges said that Sibiya had been 20 years old at the time of the incident in 1998 and had been drawn into the plan devised by Nkosikhana Gazela who was then 26. Sibiya had co-operated with the Police and had not fired the fatal shot but he was found to have a common purpose with the actual killer.

At the original trial in November 1999 the two were found guilty of Redinger’s murder and robbery by Judge Kondile .Sibiya stated in evidence that he had not known Gasela had had a gun or that Redinger would be killed.

In the Greytown Gazette of 11th December 1998 it was reported at about noon on the 9th, Friedel Redinger, had been ambushed on his farm Dulumbi , forced out of is vehicle and then shot. The attackers drove off in his bakkie. A massive manhunt was mounted for the killers of Friedel, who was highly respected throughout KZN as a farmer, businessman who worked nonstop to uplift the lives of the disadvantaged in the Kranskop area.

Both suspects were arrested at their homes on Saturday 14th. The murder weapon, a homemade firearm was recovered. together with a cellphone and farm radio which had been stolen.

At the memorial service for Friedel, many came to pay tribute, including KZN Premier at the time, Ben Ngubane, who honoured the role he had played as a “man of the people” .



Much loved Neil Pagard died at the age of 84 on 14th February in Arcadia and although not a long term resident of Umvoti in the time he spent here made a great impact on many. Over the years he visited his daughter Colleen Slatter and her husband Walter regularly and in 2011 returned to”live his last days i n SA” with Colleen and family,

Born in Los Angeles in 1928 to Danish Missionary parents, Neil actually schooled in Durban as his parents worked in Swaziland. After which he completed se ven years in the States at college and seminary institutions. In 1950 Neil married Billie -the couple would have seven children.

A missionary with The Evangelical Alliance Mission, known as TEAM, Neil was sent to Swaziland in 1955 -he served as the Principal of Franson Christian High School at Mshlosheni for 17 years building it up to become one of the three top high schools to produce a number of the country’s future leaders.Neil’s work was honoured by King Sobhuza 11 who presented him with a special medal.

In 1973, having joined the Campus Crusade for Christ and trained at their headquarters in America, the Neil returned to Swaziland as Director of the Campus Crusade and after three years moved to KZN to start Campus Crusade in this Province.

His third stage of missionary service was, when in 1984, Neil joined African Enterprises founded by Michael Cassidy. Included in the scope of his work was working as national co-ordinator of the National Initiative for Reconciliation. After Mandela’s release, on a trip to Pietermaritzburg he personally thanked African Enterprise for its work of reconciliation during his prison term.

In 1988 Billie was severely injured in a car crash -Neil was devoted to her care until her death in 2006.

It could come as a surprise to many who knew Neil as a gentle, caring, highly intelligent, loving man to also learn that he was something of an activist. According to an old friend in the United States, Neil left TEAM and Campus Crusade because of “issues of conscience” which in turn led him to his long association with African Enterprise.

Despite failing health Neil continued to care and bless those in need . He delivered the occasional sermon at St James Church. Last April he joyously conducted the marriage service for his grandson,Sean Slatter when he married Elzare at Montello.

A memorial service will be held at St James Church o n Thursday 21st February at 11 .a.m.



In Greytown, as in many centres throughout the world the Women’s World Day of Prayer (WWDP) will be observed. on Friday 1st March. The theme this year is “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” and the service will be hosted in the Shalom Chapel at 5 p.m.

This day is a global ,ecumenical movement of Christian women who call the faithful together on the first Friday of March each year.

WWDP brings together people of various races, cultures and churches in fellowship and understanding.Each year the service is written by one of the 160 countries participating each year- this year by France.

South Africa first took part in WWDP in 1930 with a service in the Sea Point Congregational Church.

The WWPD design comprises of arrows converging from the four points of the compass, four figures kneeling in prayer, the Celtic cross and a circle representing the world and our unity through all our diversity



The high rainfall we have experienced over the summer has started taking it’s toll on our course, with a “marsh” appearing on the first fairway. Water is seeping out of the landing area of a golfer’s first shot. With this, it makes for difficult mowing of the fairways on holes one and ten, and the organisers of the Farmers Agri -Care Monthly Mug deemed that for a first shot , the carry would be too difficult and started the competition on hole fifteen. Now many a members would reason that the carry is not to bad, but members must always remember that visitors are not to be intimidated on the first drive and that golf must be enjoyed at all times.

The Green keeper had to take the brunt of the heckling for the change of what is a local rule… according to members he does not hit a long ball, this rule would have favoured him to start on the fifteenth. The rule will have to be revisited on a competition day to see conditions on fairways one and ten.

Mention must be made of a new collective noun derived out of the St Cathryn’s Clubhouse archives, when on Saturday the Manser family invaded the golf course and looking at them on their arrival someone thought it right to call them a “trouble of Mansers”…... There were two brothers, with sons and visitors and the members really enjoyed their visit and entry into the Mug.

Farmers Agri-Care monthly mug results:

1st: Merwin Rabe nett 68

2nd Paul Els nett 71 oco

3rd Liekie Steyn.

Captains Putter: Corne Kotze

Nearest to Pin 9/18th Darren Manser.

Best Stableford : Liekie Steyn 38 points.

Next Farmers Agri-Care monthly mug will be held on Saturday 16 March and be followed on Sunday 17 March with the first leg of the Triangular Series, this one hosted at St Cathryns. Members who would like to play both and live out of town, please contact us for accommodation.

This Friday we will be hosting overseas guests and will have a traditional bring and braai, should you wish to join us please let us know by Thursday 18h00 for catering purposes - phone 0832691661.



Any ideas as to why every four years there are just 28 days in the month of February?

There are two views which have been passed down through the ages as to why Leap year falls in any year divided by four!

One theory is that Roman King Numa Pompilius added the months of January and February to the year.But even then the year only added up to 355 days and 12 lunar cycles which made the solar year still short by 10 to 11 days. To help rectify the situation King Pompilius then added the month that was known as Mercedinus.This new calendar was closer than the first one. But it still didn’t work perfectly with the lunar cycle.

However Julius Caesar decided to ignore the calendar. He got rid of the month of Mercedinus. He also gave February 28 days except for every four years in which it would have twenty nine days. Thus, this calendar exactly made up of 365 and 1/4 days.

This is why the calendar used today is often referred to as the Julian Calendar. It is basically the same calendar, with a few minor adjustments.

Legend two, states that the reason why February has only 28 days is because of jealousy. Some believe that Augustus Caesar was jealous because his birthday fell in the month of August (which only had 30 days back then) while Julius Caesar was born in July and his birth month had 31 days! So Augusta took one day from the month of February and added it on to August. That left February with only 28 days, except for leap year.

At one stage there was a proposal to change the calendar once again. This proposed change if ever introduced would be a year of 13 months and each month would have 28 days. This would mean a year would equal 364 days and one extra day, two in leap year.

Whatever the reasons - enjoy the last week of the shortest month of the year!



Mrs Stamp lost out on the money as she was not present at the time of the draw. The next attendance draw will be on Friday (1 March) with R400 up for grabs. Be here at 6:30 – 7pm and you could be the lucky winner.

Happy Hour is on Friday 22 February. Umvoti Fuel & Oil is sponsoring the meal. Thank you to the Chiazzari Family. R20 ticket will place in line to win R1000 or a bottle of Chivas Regal and it includes your meal. SAB beer will be sold at half price, sponsored by Greytown Beer distributors. Thank you to the Wilken Family. DJ ROB will be in the house. Come and enjoy the evening @ The Club.

This coming Saturday 23 February is the Green Keeper’s REVENGE! Wally is trying his best to make a difficult game impossible to play… Entry list is on the notice board or phone Elmarie on 0334172441 to enter. T-off will start from 11:30am. The format is a Betterball Stableford & normal green fees are payable. Tea & Sandwiches will be sponsored by the Golf section.


We would like to appeal to all golfers out there: young and old to come and attend the golf AGM on Wednesday 27 February at 6pm. There will be a prizegiving ceremony directly after our AGM for the various LOTTO leagues that played during previous year. Snacks will be provided.

Dates to diarize

Fri 22 Feb - Happy Hour sponsored by UFO

Sat 23 Feb – Green Keeper’s Revenge

Tues 26 Feb – Cheap-as-Tuesday

Wed 27 Feb – Golf AGM

Fri 1 March – Sheep & Bush pig on spit





The Rector of St Peter’s Anglican Church Rev DS Shezi and members of the Parish Council accompanied the Property Manager of the Anglican Diocese of Natal to the church building in Kranskop. This beautiful church was built by the farming community of Kranskop in the mid 50s.

The main aim is to renovate this church and re-start church services which were discontinued after a number of English speaking farmers either left the area or worshipped elsewhere.

We appeal to older members who might still have a constitution to make it available to us so as to look at all the possibilities available including the new direction which must be taken to ensure that the wishes of the pioneers of this project and their legacy is retained. Please post to St. Peter’s Parish Council, PO Box 98 Greytown 3250 or contact the Rector Rev. DS Shezi at 071 8722 311 ,Oscar Zondi at 033-4138406 or Mngadi Sam 072 3197 468

Oscar Zondi


Watch your back when parking Sheer carelessness and negligence by drivers is the major cause of thefts out of vehicles according to a recent survey undertaken by SAPS in Pietermaritzburg.

A number of such thefts occur without any forced entry, which could indicate that the thieves are using a jamming device to jam the motor vehicle’s locking system when the motorist activates the alarm.Such thefts are regarded as an opportunistic crime and the following safety measures are suggested :

Make sure that all the doors and windows are properly locked when you park your car.

Do not leave your firearm in the glove compartment (cubbyhole) or anywhere in the vehicle when you park (this is against the law!).

Valuable items, laptops and cameras should be placed in the boot of your car.

Be aware of people coming to you and informing you that you have a flat tire, their intention could be to steal items that they see inside the car or rob you.

Try to keep your windows closed when driving in the city centre.

Do not open your windows for hawkers and beggars along the road and at robots.

Do not use a cellphone unless you have a hands-free kit.

Lock your valuables in the boot before departure.

At night, park in well-lit areas.

Practice the same prevention skills you apply in parking lots or garages at home.

Store luggage in the cars boot where it is out of sight.

Do not leave your keys in the ignition.

Always lock the doors and close the windows when getting out of the car.

Remove detachable radios and the radios face when getting out of the car.

If possible fit an alarm and/or anti-theft device in your car.

Have your keys ready in your hand as you approach your car, especially if they are difficult to find in your handbag.

· Parking lots with a parking attendant ; supervision or someone patrolling are best, otherwise try to park in locations that are well lit.



In this day stories with a really happy ending are few and far between but a really special one unfolded in Greytown on Sunday. It was a common enough situation -a family of 11 living in one room-mother receiving a grant;older daughter working;5 others at school and four grandchildren. But the working daughter, Nontobeko Mbokazi used her initiative on hearing about Operation Sukumaskhe on the radio-she went to Nkandla and saw the President to ask for assistance.

As a result, through the President’s intervention ,the New Age Foundation of the Gupta brothers donated R200 000 for a house to be built;Umvoti Councillor Lindo Chonco took the necessary action for a plot to be given for the house;the water and electricity connections;the Mavundla construction businesses donated R80 000 for furniture;Aheers donated the tiles which are used throughout the house;the Municipality groceries.

There was a tremendous build up of excitement and anticipation on Sunday morning in Enhlalakahle as the Presidential motorcade sped in and President Zuma, Mayor Mavundla, deputy Mayor Xaba, Speaker Ahmed Shaikh, Councillor Chonco and others arrived at the brand new well built house where the Mbokazi family were waiting. A large crowd gathered to see th historic hand over .

Both the President and the Mayor outlined how the daily lives of the Mbokazi had being improved and they had been given hope ,a future and quality of life through this wonderful intervention. . donated gum poles, a motor car gate and porcelain tiles needed on condition , he said to the large crowd present, the community provide and apply “sweat equity” ! In other words it is now over to the community to make sure these generous donations from the”politicians” are activated .

Nontobeko spoke of her joy and happiness at the incredible gift granted to the family whilst mother Florence, wiped the tears away to tell of her great joy to be given such a wonderful home for her and her family.

Then the grande finale as President Zuma cut the red ribbon to officially open and hand over the house to an eternally grateful and appreciative family with Nontobeko unlocking the door of a dream come true!



One of Greytown’s most familiar sights is no more. The little white Mini, NUM 4471 has gone to the happy classical cars home of Patrick Hathorne in Durban

Long time owner Bryan Paul told the Greytown Gazette that the mini was used four times a day for 42 plus years!

It taught the children how to drive;carted the most amazing loads of cartons from the the station as well as furniture,timber etc and has even taken the family on holiday to the coast and the Berg -with a roof rack and loaded with maid, Nesta, Pam, Bryan and baby Gillian, pram and suitcases!

Rain, hail sunshine, did not deter this faithful servant,, way beyond retirement age. But now it will be restored to its former glory!



In a field of over 1 800 Canoeists who started this year’s Dusi Canoe Marathon, 23 Umvoti Paddlers finished the race at Durban’s Blue Lagoon last Saturday. The Dusi started on Thursday at Pietermaritzburg’s Camps Drift.

On Day 1 the weather was hot with a medium to low river. Day 2 and 3 had almost perfect weather conditions with big water on the second day and a medium to high river on the third.

On the last day, Day 3there was a somewhat controversial starting procedure with the slowest paddlers from the previous two days leaving first and the leaders leaving last.

There were 1 428 finishers.

Damon Stamp again finished in the top 50.

Umvoti Results

Damon Stamp:Pos 28: 8h51,55.

Ed Barry and Lloyd Harris: Pos 208 : 11h06,43.

Miles March and Richard Butcher: 248: 11h22,21.

Deon Bruss and Sias du Plessis:Pos 294 :11h40,10.

Patrick and Sean O’Sullivan:Pos 311: 11h45,44.

Kate March and Kirsty Lee:Pos 315: 11h46,36.

Fuzz and Nick Goble:Pos 397:12h13,08.

Mike Jackson:Pos 422 : 12h19,17.

Ryan Thompson and Brett Fuller:Pos 596 : 13h27,13.

Peter Goble and Andy Lund:Pos 617: 13h34,15.

Craig Behrens:Pos 675: 13h57,47.

Alan and Esther van der Merwe:Pos 711 :14h15,45.

Cavan O’Sullivan and James Pearson:Pos 786:15h00,49.

Caroline Minnaar and Marina Eriksen-Miller:Pos 787 :15h01,31.

Rachel Jarvie and Rosie du Toit:Pos 800 : 15h17,18.

David Pieterse and Brandon Pentolfe:Pos 856:16h19,43

Richard Morby-Smith :Pos 857 : 16h22,21.

Christopher Volbrecht :Pos 861: 16h29,00.

Shannon Smith and Mark Welch:Pos 902: 18h00,56,

Well done to all !!!


Wonderful world of herbs


All who attended the Umvoti Garden Club meeting last Tuesday were treated to a most informative and fascinating talk on “Herbs and their Many Uses” presented by Karen Makin of Peter’s Gate Herb Centre. Rather than overwhelm her audience with too much information about a huge selection of obscure herbs, Karen opted to share her wealth of knowledge of the useful properties of a select number of well known herbs commonly grown in South African gardens. Her enthusiasm and passion for her subject was enough to encourage everyone who attended the meeting to plant up a herb garden and begin experimenting with the fascinating pastime of preparing herbs for use around the home.

In the days of yore, the bountiful plant world provided our forebears with a wealth of cures and preparations for use in the home and on the farm. Much of this knowledge was put aside with discovery and development of the chemical industry. However, as people have become more aware and conscious of the financial and environmental costs of chemical products, there has been a revival of interest in the value of natural alternatives. F

After her talk a range of Karen’s products were on sale and rapidly sold out. For those who were unable to purchase what they wanted, the good news is that The Country Nursery will be stocking a range of the Peter’s Gate products in the near future. Many of these items would make delightful, inexpensive gifts.

This meeting was also the Garden Club AGM at which the 2013 programme was presented. With a variety of different topics, from the art of Bonsai to a practical workshop where members will plant up their own hanging basket and interesting excursions to Kwasizabantu and the magnificent Spring gardens of Benvie, the committee have worked on offering a dynamic and exciting programme. At this meeting two very enthusiastic new members were welcomed onto the committee. Both Sally-Jane Crowe and Veronica Clausen bring with them a wealth of ideas and talent and will be an asset to Umvoti Garden Club.

Please make a note that the next meeting is on Tuesday 12th March and, as it is at Longwood, the home of Clive and Jenny Tedder which is out of town and parking space is very limited, members are please requested to share transport t. Should anyone be interested in joining Umvoti Garden Club, please contact Sheila Redfern 082 4867541 or Kim Steyn 071 6743840.


90 Matrics given a future!

Its an innovative positive double sided programme training unemployed matrics and providing much needed teachers in the rural areas 90 young men and women are taking part in the S.A. National Tutor Services( SANTS) pilot project currently running in Greytown .

SANTS, privately owned education service provider works with the Department of Education which also provides bursaries for the students. Its mission to empower students to a better future through quality education brought to the students’ “doorstep”.

In the Greytown project the students have two tutors , both well qualified teachers - they are Sibongile Chili and Numfundo Putini. Students are taught through a series of modules cover the four year B.Ed degree in the Intermediate and Foundation phase. Exams are written in June and at the end of the year which students have to pass before proceeding to the next level.

This is a very positive move by SANTS and the Department but the latter needs to take the project through to the next levels. The students are cramped into an area which has been rented in the new Aheers Centre - are doubling and tripling up at desks and these conditions are not really conducive to bring out the best in educating them.

In addition , bursaries have been awarded by the Department to students in the rural areas - they have to travel in from Muden., Matimatolo, Msinga on a daily basis - transport is costly. The chances of obtaining reasonably priced accommodation in Greytown are also remote.In an interview with the Greytown Gazette Siiobongile appealed to the community for assistance in regard to the provision of accommodation. Because of the high cost of either transport or local accommodation, Sibongile said that many of the students did not have any money available for food and this lack of nutrition definitely adversely affected their learning capacity.

If anyone can assist in anyway please contact Sibongile Chili on 072 715 0335





13 February 2013


6 February 2013



Four years after the brutal murder of Rietvlei farmer, Alan Rowe, four men were each sentenced in the Mtubatuba High Court last week each to 20 years for murder and 10 for attempted armed robbery, whilst a fifth received life sentence for murder and 20 years for attempted armed robbery. These sentences are in addition to a life sentence handed down in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in July 2009 on Sibenelo Duma who had pleaded guilty to the murder and attempted robbery with aggravating circumstance. Duma had been employed on the farm Bloemendal the previous year.

In handing down sentence, Judge Ron McLaren condemned the murder in the strongest possible terms stating that Duma had been pivotal in hatching the plan to rob his former employer. Still in prison, Duma turned State witness to give evidence on the other members of the gang sentenced last week. Apparently the considerable delay in the follow up sentencing was due to delaying tactics implemented by the 5 accused, Muso Mabaso, Zaks Ndela, Goodenough Ngiba and Msobho Khumalo. Lucky Mhlong who was given a life sentence was out on parole at the time of the murder and had previous convictions.

Alan, wellknown as a progressive and successful commercial farmer, who was highly respected in the community was ambushed as he drove into his farm Bloemendal on the night of 13th May 2009. He was shot in his vehicle, managed to jump out and run but the gang pursued him and gunned him down using a 9mm handgun and .22 rifle. Rietvlei, Greytown Police and a specialised unit from Durban investigated and arrested five of the gang by July 2009.



Dean Brown lost out on the draw as he was not present at the time of the draw. The next attendance draw will be on Friday with R200 up for grabs. Be here at 6:30 – 7pm and you could be the lucky winner.

The golf committee has decided to run the Mascor/NLDTF Monthly Mug and Business League on a pre-entry basis as from this year. Therefore we encourage all golfers wanting to play the Mug this Saturday to please enter your name (and Business League team, if any) on the entry list on the notice board at the Club, or phone the Club with your entry. You should also note your preferred tee-off time. Tee-off times start at 11h30 with final tee-off at 13h00.

This month is the last chance to earn points for your team in the 2013 Business league! Late entries on the day will still be most welcome, but it will help if you let the Club know during the morning.

Dates to diarize

Fri 22 Feb - Happy Hour

Sat 23 Feb – Green Keeper’s Revenge

Tues 26 Feb – Cheap-as-Tuesday

Fri 1 March – Sheep on spit





The Martens family are researching their “roots” which are centred in the Greytown and surrounding area. Although having found much relevant information, one larger shortcoming has been encountered, namely the last resting place of one of the Voortrekker brothers that settled in this area.

Jan Thomas and his Voortrekker brother, Hendrick Jacobus Martens settled in the Greytown area in the early to mid 1800’s. Family cemeteries have been found at “Sophiadale” farm just south of Greytown, that is still in family hands, and at the farm “Highbury” south-east of Greytown, owned by Greg Howden. The grave of the voortrekker, Hendrick Jacobus Martens is to be found at the Sophiadale cemetery, but only Jan Thomas, the son of the Voortrekker Jan Thomas is to be found at the Highbury site.

An appeal is made to the general public of Greytown and the surrounding area for any information regarding the last resting place/grave, of the Voortrekker, Jan Thomas Martens, born in 1800 or 1802. Any assistance in this regard will be highly appreciated by the Martens family.

Contact information: Please contact Conradt Martens at cell: 0824170249 or e-mail with any information.


A JUNGLE...not a cemetery!


After a visit to the local cemetery , I am incensed and appalled at the condition of the area! It is apparent that there is a total disregard for our loved ones that are laid to rest there. You have to weave your way through the overgrown shrubbery and tread carefully to avoid snakes, or worse, human faeces.

In every culture, the dead are revered and respected, but alas not in the culture of Greytown! The local dumpsite has two security guards but our cemetery is left free to be used as toilet facilities, an eating area and graves being robbed of flowers and vases. Can our Municipality not employ just one security guard and employ regular cleaning services? Surely our rates pay for these services. The local councillors can well afford extravagant lifestyles supported by ratepayer’s money. But our cemetery is left unattended and vandalised .

As females we are not afforded the privilege to visit our loved ones’ graves alone in the fear of being raped, robbed and attacked.. The grass is now shoulder height and was already at Christmas time. Whilst at the cemetery I saw a gentleman on a ride-on -mower cleaning around his loved ones’ grave. Unfortunately I am not in that position, I had to employ a man off the street to clean from the entry leading right up to our loved ones grave. It is a disgrace to take visitors from out of town. The photograph speaks volumes. “Ashamed, frustrated and appalled”



Greytown Feeding Project’s own home came one step closer last week as the five colossal Casurina fir trees on the Voortrekker Street property were chained down.

With GFP chairman Mr D.R. Aheer skillfully manning the front end loader and William Cooper of Logquip even more skilfully wielding his chain saw it took just four hours to bring these 120 plus year old trees down.

In an interview with the Greytown Gazette Mr Aheer said he was very grateful to Mr Cooper for voluntarily tackling such a huge task-it was hoped to start building in March and Mr Aheer said donations of any sort -materials or cash would be welcome. The hundreds of Greytown residents who have benefitted from the Greytown Feeding Project’s two hot nutritious meals each week are no longer as the Community Centre kitchens have been hired out and can no longer be used by the committed volunteers who cooked on behalf of the GFP twice a week. Therefore the building of its very own home which will ensure continuity for those in need is so important.

If you can assist in anyway -please contact Mr D.R. Aheer or the Greytown Gazette

Skillfully wielding the front end loader is D.R Aheer and his team of workers while William Cooper assesses the 1.3m girth of one of the trees.



Renowned expert on herbs, Karen Makin of Peter’s Gate Herbal Centre is guest speaker at the Umvoti Garden Club meeting next Tuesday, 12th February at Concordia. It is also the Annual General Meeting - if you are unable to attend please tender apologies.

Through the ages the plant kingdom was regarded as the panacea for a range of household needs. However, with the discovery and development of modern chemicals much knowledge relating to herbs was lost in the mists of time. Also at time, the wisdom and understanding of the value of herbs and their uses were hidden out of fear of being labelled “a witch” and condemned to be burned at the stake!

Fortunately modern times have experienced a revival of interest in herbs and their uses. Attempts are being made to research and retrieve the legacy of herbs and their many beneficial uses.

Garden Club members and guests are welcome to come along to discover more about this fascinating topic. Karen will also have a range of herbal products on sale after the meeting.


70 year old with illegal guns

An AK 47 was one of several firearms found in the possession of a 70 year old man last Wednesday in Msinga. Acting on information on illegal firearms in the area, members of the Pietermaritzburg Public Order Police raided the house in the early hours of the morning.

In the house. in Msinga Top the Police found two unlicensed firearms, an AK 47 rifle, two magazines and a 9 mm pistol with nine live rounds of ammunition. A 70-year-old man was arrested and charged with possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

In another house in the area a shotgun was recovered in an unoccupied house. The firearms are going through ballistic testing to ascertain if they had been used in any crime.



It blew in out of nowhere - one minute a typical summer’s morning -next minute a tornado wind whirling through selected streets in Greytown.

Damage -trees blown over-roofs jitterbugging -some crops flattened -and branches and debris everywhere. A tree which blew down in Okes Street shattered the windscreen of a car and in the photo, taken by Gareth Allen, a magnificent old jacaranda tree hit the tar on the corner of Erskine and McCullum streets.

Then just as quickly as it went.


Hi-jacker gets 12 years sentence

Last year on 2nd November, Miss N, Dlamini was driving towards Pietermaritzburg when she stopped at the Seven Oaks turnoff to give two hitch hikers a lift. However her good deed misfired when, once in the car, they told her to drive towards Rietvlei. On being told to stop, the younger of the two hi-jackers jumped out the vehicle, threatened Miss Dlamini with a knife and told her to get out of the vehicle. She jumped out and the juvenile then drove off in the vehicle with the other hi-jacker.

Rietvlei SAPS later arrested the two in the Mbazwana area -Vusi Qwabe, the second hi-jacker was convicted and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.



Proving its action and not words that count, the newly formed Greytown Environmental Team (G.E.T.) kicks off with its first project this Saturday 8th February from 9a.m. to 12 noon with a clearing and planting programme in the overgrown and neglected Greytown Botanical Garden on the corner of Harding and Sargeaunt Streets. This will be the first of a number of projects to be embarked upon throughout the year by members of G.E.T. working in conjunction with the Municipal Parks Department.

The concept of bringing together a group of environmentally conscious, pro-active people with a concern for Greytown and the environment was launched by Geoff Unwin in November last year. All too often people grumble and complain about the degradation of the environment, litter and appearance of what used to be an attractive town.

At the introductory meeting of G.E.T., it was decided that endless complaining is of no value whatsoever and it is time for citizens who care to make the effort and do what can be done to restore Greytown to its former status as “Jewel of the Umvoti County”.

Caring Greytonians who feel that they would like to constructively join in this community effort to address the environmental issues degrading our town are welcome to come along on Saturday and help begin the restoration of the Botanical Garden.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Greytown Environmental Team please contact Geoff Unwin on 076 810 0697.



We have been very busy not only with the upkeep of the course at St Cathryn’s, but we have also been busy up grading our web page and info for ‘The Amble magazine”.Thank you to Dr Rikus Kloppers and Shaun Williams for their amazing photos and input in these projects. The new web page should be completed by the end of the week and we invite everyone to take a look – and the new “Amble “ magazines should be out by the end of February .

The crested crane juvenile has been seen flying with it’s parents and they were on the third fairway yesterday afternoon enjoying the sunshine before the rain.

Next Farmers Agri-Care Monthly Mug will be held on Saturday 16 February - all welcome to play.

This Friday 8 February we will be lighting the braai fires and making pap and sous, so feel free to bring your meat and come along -please confirm on 083 269 1661. We are open for golf all weekend, but are closed for a private function on Saturday night -9th February.



Its time to tell your partner how much he or she means to you. Instead of just whispering in his or her ear - print a Valentine message in next week’s issue of the Greytown Gazette! Deadline for such messages - in the classifieds or display is 1 p.m. this Friday, 8th February. This deadline also applies to businesses wanting to attract Valentine shoppers and spenders!



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