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EXCLUSIVE | Meyersdal 'hit': Dad of 'gentle giant' bodybuilder counted 11 bullet holes

Johan Reed, 34, who died in an apparent hit while sitting in his car outside the Virgin Active in Meyersdal on Monday, had as many as 11 bullet holes in his body, his father said.

The father, also Johan, was on the murder scene where he identified the body of his son, who was still lying crouched in his car. 

Reed, a well-known bodybuilder in the Alberton area, was a regular visitor to the gym. 

Police have since launched a manhunt for two suspects, News24 reported earlier. 

"Preliminary investigation revealed that the deceased was seated in his car when an unknown suspect fired multiple shots at him, wounding him fatally," said police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters. 

The suspect then got into a white VW Golf GTI which sped off.

"A case of murder will be investigated while the motive for the killing is unknown at this stage. Police have launched a manhunt for the suspects and are appealing to anyone who may have information that could lead to the apprehension of the suspects to call, or visit Brackendowns SAPS, or call the Crime Stop number on 08600 10111," Peters said.

Reed's stepmother, Karen Reed, told News24 that the family was still reeling since the incident. 

"We still don't know what exactly happened. We suspect that it was a hit. Someone wanted to take him out."

She said she was told that her stepson had been involved in a violent altercation at the annual Lusito Land Festival in April. 

'We are coming for you'

"In the process, he hit a woman by accident, which caused a huge ruckus. He was told: 'We are coming for you'.

"But we can't say for certain whether those people were involved or not."

She described her stepson as a "gym fanatic" who was energetic and full of life.

"He was a gentle giant who was loved by many. He had many friends. He had a great spirit." 

"His father is not handling his death well at all. He is extremely sad. He was on the scene [on Monday] where the police allowed him to see his son, which was not a good sight at all. He said he could count 11 bullet holes. 

"He told me: 'Hulle het my kind verniel' (They severely damaged my child)."  

Reed was in a relationship and was the father of a five-year-old boy.   

He is survived by his parents and three brothers.


Riaan Grobler



Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane fires one, suspends four in sweeping purge

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has dismissed the institution's chief operating officer, Basani Baloyi, and suspended four senior officials and investigators.

Baloyi will leave the Public Protector's employ at the end of this month.

Executive manager Pona Mogaladi, chief investigator Abongile Madiba, chief investigator Lesedi Sekele and senior investigator Tebogo Kekana have been suspended, News24 has confirmed. 

It is unclear which investigations they were involved in, but it is understood at least one of them was involved in a complaint EFF leader Julius Malema lodged against the Financial Services Conduct Authority. That report is being reviewed in the High Court.

In a letter penned by the Public Protector's chief executive Vussy Mahlangu, which News24 has seen, Baloyi is deemed unsuitable for the position of chief operating officer, lacking the required skills and conduct.

Mahlangu said in the letter that the Public Protector could not make Baloyi a permanent employee, adding that if she wished to appeal the decision, she should do so directly to Mkhwebane.

Baloyi will not be required to work for the rest of the month but must be available if needed.

Mkhwebane is under political pressure after a series of court defeats related to her pursuit of President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Parliament will also take a decision soon on an inquiry into her fitness for office.

Public Protector spokesperson Oupa Segalwe has been approached for comment. This story will be updated once it is received.

This is a developing story.



Kyle Cowan, Azarrah Karrim and Pieter du Toit




Man shot as 'organised' robberies in Sandton escalate

A man was shot during a robbery in Bryanston, Sandton, on Monday night in what some believe to be an escalation of gangs targeting residents in the posh Johannesburg suburb.

According to Andre Snyman of eBlockwatch, this was the first shooting incident since organised criminals started operating in the area about two years ago.

The victim was shot in the upper body and was taken to hospital where police say he is in a stable condition.

Snyman told News24 that two gangs have been targeting residents and have carried out a spate of robberies and break-ins. The one gang, which Snyman calls the "Bryanston Creepy Crawlies", apparently enters properties late at night by scaling the back walls and crawling underneath security beams – hence the nickname.

 The second gang operates during the day by entering properties through front entrances, Snyman says.

"They use crowbars to lift the gates from their rails. They're mostly after jewellery and TVs. They rip the TVs off the wall and rip out all the wiring and they get into their cars and away they go."

Criminals are doing 'Christmas shopping'

According to Snyman, robberies take place daily.

"There are normally about three of them (robbers), but they have never really shown aggression.

"But [on Monday] night there was a shootout at around 20:30 and a [resident] landed up in hospital."

Snyman says the incident happened at a block of residential complexes near Bryanston Shopping Centre.

"This is the third time those complexes have been hit [by robberies] in the past month."

Police and security companies were on the scene of the shooting until late on Monday night, says Snyman.

"There was pandemonium among all the residents there because of all the previous robberies. Everyone is really scared at this stage because it seems these guys are doing their 'Christmas shopping' and are in quite a hurry to do it."

Snyman says the South African Police Service (SAPS) has been prioritising these incidents. "They have escalated it."

No gangs - just crime as usual

Sandton police spokesperson Captain Granville Meyer confirmed the shooting to News24, but said no gang-related activities were being investigated.

"A man was shot during a house robbery when he confronted three suspects. He was shot in the shoulder and taken to hospital."

Meyer denied that gangs were operating in the area, or that the police were investigating anything gang related.

"This was just a normal robbery. I used to work in the gang unit in Cape Town, so I will know if these crimes are linked to gangs," Meyer said.



Riaan Grobler



No water for 3 months: Thousands left high and dry as drought takes punishing toll in the Eastern Cape

Five villages in Tsomo in the Eastern Cape have been without water for three months.

According to the Chris Hani District Municipality, the villages - Gqogqorha, Emdeni, Mahlubini Komkhulu, Mnyangula and Mmangobomvu - were expected to benefit from the R345m Ncorha bulk water project launched in 2016. It will only be now completed at the end of 2020.

Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mqamelo said the supply from existing boreholes in the area had significantly decreased. Water tankers are being used to transfer water to villages in Intsika Yethu Local Municipality.

"Within the month of October, pumps will be installed and a bulk pipeline from the borehole to the reservoir will also be installed… This is a temporary arrangement since the area is running out of water," said Mqamelo.

 Villagers in Gqogqorha confirmed there was a water tank for resident but it was dry and had not been filled since drought gripped the area.

Ward 10 committee member Mandlakazi Hlazo said about 1 150 people lived in the villages, adding the drought had killed the livestock of at least 27 households.

Madoda Plaatjie, a pensioner and farmer, said he had lost 20 sheep and 40 of his 90 lambs this year.

He added his funds were now exhausted from trying to keep his livestock alive.

Ntomboyise Mabutya said people were fetching water from a stream 3km away, which the villagers share with their livestock. She added municipal water trucks were charging villagers for the water - R1 000 for 2 500l. Also, many households do not have water tanks.

But Hlazo said municipal trucks did not sell water and none of the villagers had come forward with such allegations.

Using a field as a toilet

Nomfezeko Qwane said her household now used a field as a toilet because they could not flush at home.

Since Qwane has a car, she drives 15km to Gxwalubomvu where there is a roadside tap. If she is seen, people in the local community demand she pays R20 for a 20l bucket, but the price varies depending on who catches her.

"We pay either way because we know we don't belong in their village therefore we cannot benefit from their things," said Qwane.

 The principal of Mmangobomvu Primary School, Makosonke Mningeleli, said attendance at the school had dropped. It has 91 pupil and offers classes for grades R to 7.

The school has six water tanks but the water often gets stolen.

Some days, the school was without water and we were unable to make food for the pupils, said Mningeleli.

Yamkela Ntshongwana, GroundUp 


Five things you need to know about the new National Health Insurance Bill

Parliament is set to release the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill by 9am on Thursday morning. Here is how healthcare in South Africa is likely to change. 

1. Will you be able to have a comprehensive medical aid? 

No. Once the NHI has been fully implemented, your medical scheme will not be allowed to cover any health services that the NHI offers. You will have to use the NHI for those services. Your medical aid will only be able to provide you with complementary cover, in other words, services that the NHI doesn’t cover. By when will your medical aid, in its current form, disappear? According to the Bill, the NHI Fund needs to be up and running by 2026 through a system of "mandatory prepayment".

Many experts, however, argue that the NHI will take much longer to take off.  

2. What services will the NHI cover? 

The Bill doesn’t specify what services the NHI would cover, but it does mention that there will be "comprehensive healthcare services".  A benefits advisory committee, appointed by the health minister, will decide which services will be offered. The Bill says these services will be available for free, so there will be no co-payments. 

The NHI won’t pay for treatment when it can demonstrate that "no medical necessity exists for the healthcare service in question", when the medicine or treatment is not included in the NHI’s list of medicines, also known as the formulary, and when "no cost-effective intervention exists for the healthcare service". 

According to the Bill, the NHI will start to buy healthcare services for children, women, the elderly and people with disabilities by 2022. 

3. Will you be able to go to a specialist directly? 

No — if you do, the NHI won’t pay for it. You will have to register at an NHI-accredited primary healthcare facility, and, each time you need healthcare, you will have to go to that facility. You will only be able to consult a specialist if the doctor or nurse at your primary healthcare facility deems it necessary to refer you to one. If you’re travelling and fall ill, you’ll be able to go to an accredited facility in the area you’re visiting. 

4. What happens if you’re an asylum seeker or an undocumented migrant? 

You will only be able to access emergency medical services and services for 'notifiable conditions of public health concern', such as TB. HIV treatment is also likely to be available to asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, as HIV is infectious and it is in the best interest of the country to treat everyone who is infected with the virus to prevent its spread. The children of asylum seekers and migrants, however, will be entitled "basic healthcare services" provided for in the Constitution.

If you’re a registered refugee, you will be entitled to all services, provided that you have registered for the NHI by using your refugee identity card. 

The NHI will also cater for 'individual foreign nationals' determined by the home affairs minister, after consultation with the minister of finance. 

5. Who will pay for the NHI? 

In short, taxpayers. The Bill says the money will be collected "in accordance with social solidarity" through payroll taxes for employees and employers, a surcharge on personal income tax, the reallocation of medical scheme tax credits and general taxes. Money that Treasury currently allocates to provinces through the 'provincial equitable share' and 'conditional grants' will be shifted to the NHI Fund.  

This story was produced by the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism,


Mia Malan



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