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13 November 2013

It sounded like a brief rat- tat-tat of firecrackers but it was certainly not as 6 armed robbers grabbed millions of rand from outside ABSA bank on Friday covering the raid with a fullisade of shots! Miraculously , despite the many people around and customers in the bank the only injury was one of the robbers.
As the bullets sprayed at random, people dived for cover, behind walls , trees and into the Town Hall.
Just after 9 the armoured security vehicle arrived to collect cash from the bank -unconfirmed estimates of R4 million. In a somewhat laid back approach the cash was wheeled out in a trolley with apparently no security personnel checking the surrounds before this was done.
In what has been described as a very well planned and slick operation, the robbers pounced on the trolley -threw it into the back of their vehicle, a Toyota Hi Lux and then calmly drove up Pine Street to Okes and then left into Voortekker to pick up the Kranskop road .Eye witnesses said there were three men crouching very low in the back of the bakkie which had been stolen previously in Pietermaritzburg.While the outside drama was on the go, bank customers and staff threw themselves onto the floor and hid behind counters as one bullet hit a glass door. Two bank employees and a customer were trapped in the entrance door which was locked down for security and were unable to move  out as the key was in the Manager's office!
Considerable damage was done to at least three vehicles parked outside -shot tyres, radiators, windows  and windscreens.An alert went out immediately -a Police van which came out of the station (just round the corner) literally a minute after the bakkie had driven away, unfortunately took no notice of the shouts of witnesses to pursue.
The bakkie was found on Townlands, when Sudesh Maharaj of Field Security, on his way back to Greytown, saw it turning right into the plantation. They had waited for the Police then given chase. The bloodstained bakkie was found abandoned and the cash, apart from one bag had gone.
By Tuesday morning, despite an intensive manhunt, no arrests had been made.
Many people have expressed their concern to the Greytown Gazette on the slack approach to security generally by local banks;the fact that the cash was been offloaded in the open  putting members of the public at risk; and the slow reaction of the police.
This is the third bank cash heist in Greytown in the past year - with the approach of the festive season there could be an increase in such raids on banks and businesses. It is therefore essential, not only for  the banks and businesses to review their security, but also for all security forces, particularly the Police to be prepared  for such evenutalities.
Greytown rumourmongers  and social media users  went over the top making ridiculous and untrue claims that: - not only were the six men shot dead by one man in Kranskop;a customer was killed in the bank;A garage,two other banks and a print shop were also held and robbed!

caption: The abandoned  bloodstained bakkie with three of the robbers' caps left behind as they escaped.
WATER WOES ACTION! A number of Greytown water consumers last month received a very polite “first reminder notice” from Umzinyathi District Municipal Manager suggesting that outstanding balances be paid promptly! These socalled “balances” range from R2000 to R65 000 and not one single socalled debtor has ever been given any statements relating to these amounts -and this is since 2008 involving uThukela,Umvoti Municipality and Umzinyathi. In response to the number of statements received by The Greytown Gazette from concerned consumers, the Editor requested a Greytown legal firm to respond on behalf of all involved. The following letter was sent on Monday 11th to Umzinyathi Municipal Manager:
“We have been approached by a number of residents in Greytown who have recently received a reminder to pay their outstanding water accounts. These accounts include exorbitant amounts that were debited to their accounts in about 2008 without any proper substantiation in the accounts.
There was an outcry in the community when these debits first appeared on the accounts of many residents. After discussions with uThukela, they were advised not to pay the unsubstantiated debits but to continue to pay the current accounts until the debits were substantiated. This has never happened and we ask you to please clarify whether your reminder refers to these unsubstantiated debits.
We have advised our clients that they should not pay the debits until they have been substantiated as was undertaken by uThukela.
Further, on the face of it, it seems that the claims have prescribed and, unless you can convince us that the debits are in fact due, we expect to receive instructions compelling you to reverse the debits so that our clients can have peace of mind.
Please revert to us by return.”
St Cathryn’s news
The nerves were clearly visible on day one of the KZNGU Interclub on the South Coast this past weekend. Nine of St Cathryn’s golfers took part on this annual event, playing in two divisions. Frog senior had one entry and Frog had two entries. The “nerves “come into play when you stand on the first tee box, with up to sixteen other golfers in the queue waiting to tee-off - all watching you attempt your tee shot.
Chirping and comments were the order of the day and the tensions only released when you are able to disappear around the corner of the first fairway.
Senior Frog, captained by Piet Nel played on Selbourne on the first day and on Umdoni the second day. Frog one, captained by Paul Els and Frog two captained by Brent Barkhuizen played at Umdoni on day one and Scottburgh on day two. If any of the teams were to have won in their divisions they were to play in the finals at Selbourne on the Sunday. The top four teams then play in a match play format and the other top ten placements in an Alliance format, and this is what senior our Senior Frog achieved, playing in the Alliance finals on Sunday.
Lots of new golfing friends were made over the weekend, not to mention the possible business opportunities that are made possible due to the shirts and the advertising the golfers wore, sponsored by different companies from Greytown and Kranskop.
Frog 1 were placed 27th and Frog 2, 37th after day two.
Senior Frog 1 were placed 10th after day two. Other golf clubs that went through to the finals in this division were Selborne, Boschoek,Umdoni, Howick Umkomaas, Riverside and Richards Bay.
We are waiting for the Final results of day three to be sent out by the Golf Union.
This Saturday 16 November is a special day on the golfing calendar – the local farmers and members of the Kranskop Farmers Association hold their annual fun 9 hole golf day at St Cathryn’s. Teams are made up of a golfer plus two “hackers” and the format is American Scramble, with each golfer having to use three of their drives.
This is a fundraiser for Golf 911, and all are welcome to play. Please RSVP to 083 269 1661 for golf and the supper to be held afterwards.
Next Farmer’s Agri-Care Monthly Mug will be held on Saturday 23rd from 10h00 onwards – golfers please note.
This Friday 15th the pub will be open and there will be a bring and braai – there are also braai packs for sale-come along and join in!
For your safety and security.
SAPS and the Greytown Community Policing Forum has appealed to members of the public to:
*increase their co-operation and supply of information to be one jump ahead against crime for the safety of your family and surrounds.
*Identify problems throught the CPF and help of the Police to find solutions
*Become involved to get a better understanding of problems being experienced by the Police working under very stressful circumstances but perform to the best of their bailities.
*If you want a crime free town do not hide behind yoiur blinkers and only criticise the CPF and understaffed Police to idenity the trouble spots and criminals in town.
*Failure to co-operate with the Police and not reporting known criminals is actually protecting them and creating a criminal paradise.
The prerequisite key element to the success of the concept of a successful community policing forum is a structured consultation between the Police and community role players.
For further information contact Greytown Station Commander Lt Col Maphalala:033 413 9017.CPF PRO :Ismail Moola :072 874 7445
World Diabetes day is celebrated on 14th November with the positive theme “Let’s take control of diabetes now” and by doing so lead a normal life.Being diagnosed with diabetes is not the end of the world ... the secret is learning how to manage it 24 hours a day through healthy diet, medication and
Diabetes is a medical condition not a disease -the body is unable to make enough insulin or is unable to correctly use the insulin it does make.
Diabetes in children is known as Type 1 and such diabetics are always dependent on insulin because their bodies do not manufacture insulin any more. Type 2 is the most common type, but, due to its gradual onset, is undiagnosed in many people which can lead to complications in later life.It is caused when the insulin produced by the pancreas is either not enough or does not work properly. Most Type 2’s are over 40 , usually overweight and do not exercise!
Some of the common symptoms - excessive thirst, frequent urination, tiredness, exhaustion, unexplained weight loss , etc.. The important thing is to visit your doctor or clinic and be tested. Once diagnosed it is important to follow a high fibre low fat diet, combined with exercise. Being active on a daily basis will help improve your blood sugar control through better insulin use by your body and weight control. Being active the body uses blood glucose faster.
It is also important to test your blood sugar regularly to monitor how good diabetes control in regard to food, exercise or medication is affecting your blood glucose level.
Medication which lowers blood glucose levels is insulin injections for Type 1 which with a correct meal plan and exercise program will mimic the work of the normal pancreas as closely as possible. With Type 2 if diet and exercise fail to bring the glucose level down, tablets could be prescribed which:may stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin;may make your insulin work better;may slow down digestion.
For more information please contact Diabetes South Africa office in Pietermaritzburg - open Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 8.30 to 12.30 at Milborrow Optometrist. Phone: 033 346 0934 or email
Greytown Country club news
Our golf course is shwoing the benefits of spring treatment and some, as well as the effects of loving care by Wally, as the greens are putting truer and are more receptive by the cay. With the generous help and advice from some of our members, and lots of determination and hard work by Chris and Wally, we seem to be on top of the weeds on the greens. The new sprayer also seems to be effective.
Our Mascor monthly mug/business league was played on Saturday and results were:
A div:1st and winner of the Mug: Peter Hardy (64 net);2nd Marthinus Steyn (67 net oco)
B div: 1st: Gary Schwartz(67 net oco) 2nd: Egon Kassier (67 net oco).
Our sincerest thanks again to our sponsors, Mascor Greytown.
Sunday 9@9 entry fee is R9 to play 9 holes-Richard Chiazzari sponsors a chicken to win.
Flip Botha was not present at attendance draw on Friday and lost out on R200. -don’t miss out on this Friday’s draw with R300 up for grabs.
Dates to diarize:
15th November: Attendance draw
29th November: Happy Hour
3)th November: Moths golf day
7th December: Hackers bring and take
14th December: Mascor monthly mug
Greytown Museum contains a fascinating range of items of interest donated by Greytonians and others over the years. Based in the old Greytown residency it is steeped in the history of Umvoti.
There is a special room featuring the histoy of Bhambatha Zondi and the uprising which took place in 1906 against the impostition of poll tax on his people.
There is military memorabilia covering different wars reflecting the residents who took part in the World wars and the liberation struggles to remind of those who lost their lives and possessions.
Information on the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa in 1910, General Louis Botha, who was born in Greytown can be seen.
Other feature of interest include the Zulu cultural room, history of Indians and Muslims in the area, an old kitchen filled with implements from many years ago and lots of artefacts.
On display outside the old coach house with blacksmith tools, and there are steam engines, tractors, a cannon, Spider coach, hearse, ancient sundial and lots more.
GreytownMusuem is treasured by all who visit - local and from afar -for a group visit please phone 0334 413 9124 or email
The Greytown Gazette responded to this appeal from Mr N.S. Phungula and forwarded it to Umvoti Municipality
:”Dear voice of GTN citizens
I have been trying to get ahold of our new mayor; Mr Z Xaba but its becoming an impossible goose chase. I’ve called the municipality and have checked on the umvoti website but none of the email adresses are valid, not even his number on the website. How is the community meant to communicate with their public servant? What happened to the “open door policy” and tending to the needs of each citizen. Please could you forward me the contact details of our mayor and publish them as well, so that the community as a whole is able to access him, as entailed in our citizen rights.”
To assist all residents the reply from Umvoti Municipality IT Manager, Rajeev Kirpal, is as follows:
”From my understanding of the writers complaint , I believe they visited the wrong website since there is only one email address displayed on the official Umvoti Website which is this is received by our records departments which in turn sends the query to the relevant department .
It is possible that the writer found our information on a 3rd party website which we have no control over on the validity or accuracy of the information displayed on those websites. They also might have used the old email address which was on our old domain - this has now changed to .T change happened in 2011.
Under the contact us tab there is also a web based form which the user can fill out and will get a response from Corporate Services.
This is 100% functional and all contact details depicted on the municipal website are working and correct.”
Email contact details
Municipal Manager :
Chief Financial Officer :
Corporate Services :
Engineering Services :
Protection Services :
Speaker’s Office :
Mayor :
Greytown Library :
Disaster Management :
Councillors cellphone numbers will be available from Speaker’s office on 033 413 9198 or mail
Weather update
Saturday night’s hailstorm caught most people by surprise as it erupted into explosive action on its path through Greytown and parts of the district. At the time of going to press no reports of major damage had been received.
According to PANNAR research 16.8 rainfall was recorded on Saturday night bringing the total for the month to date to 30mm. Obviously the hail, some of which was still piled up on Sunday morning, cooled the atmosphere as Sunday’s minimum was 12.69 with maximum not being very much more at 13.65!

I have often worried about tap water quality in Greytown. So I invited Mr Tindall from H2O International, a leading water purification company, to have the tap water tested professionally. A sample was taken and sent to a specialist independent laboratory in Cape Town for analysis. Here is part of the summary received of the detailed 4 page test report.: “Overview of the water is that there is very little active chlorine present. This means the water is mostly unprotected and as such we are seeing a proliferation of organic growth. It is this organic growth that is causing sensitive people to feel ill. Hence we need a purification system that can protect consumers from these biological entities.” In the interests of all water consumers in Greytown I have given local Councillor Paul Buss a copy of the report for presentation to Council -obviously action needs to be taken to rectify the situation. Anyone wishing to see the results and discuss the situation is asked to contact me, Roy Thomson, on 082 777 9039.
Roy Thomson
Greytown Racing Pigeon Club news
The breeding of racing pigeons is a very engrossing subject that requires a lot of attention if one wants to produce future winners. The simplest way of course is to allow the brids to choose their own mates and hope for the best.
The wisest and most productive method is to choose ones matings by study of previous race reords and mate best to best. This does not always work as 80% of the time its only the grandchildren that will perform well.
Anyway after selecting our pairs and mating them up we sit with bated breath for them to start producing.
After approximately eight days the first egg should be laid at about 4 p.m. Incubation does not begin immediately as the hen only stands over the egg until she lays her second which is two days later at about 2p.m.
Both birds then take turns sitting, the cock from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the hens sits the overnight shift until relieced the next morning. Incubation takes approximatelty twenty one days but some birds will sit a couple of days longer if hatching is not on time. But soon desert the eggs if nothing happens. Normally the babies appear within a short time of one another so that there is no difference in size.
Feeding is done by both parents by regurgitating soft food known as pigeon milk.This is a soft curd which is formed on the lining of the parents crop during the incubation period.The babies are fed by inserting the beak into the parents beak and milk is then virually pumped into the babies crop. This milk is fed for approximately seven to eight days when the parents will then start solids until the babies are ready to be weaned at about 24 to 28 days.
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month 1918 the First World War ended  after 10 million military personnel and 7 million civilians had been kjilled in what must rank as one of the deadiliest wars in the history of the world.Hundreds of thousands more were injured and left  scarred by this devastating war of four years.
In Northern France, the areas known as Flanders and Picardy, saw some of the worst and bloodiest fighting in the first year of the war, 1914.  There was complete devastation. Buildings, roads, trees, homes, farms and natural life  were destroyed. In their place a sea of mud, a grave for the thousands who had lived and fought.
But one thing survived -the bright red poppy which as summer approached covered the scarred battlefields with a carpet of colour and hope!
On seeing this brave display, a Canadian Doctor John McCrae was so deeply moved he wrote the following:

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place;and in the sky
The larks , still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
 Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders field." 

 Using this poem as the theme, red poppies became the symbol to honour the dead and are proudly worn throughout the world on Armistice Day also known as Remberance,, Veteran  or Poppy Day on 11th November. Two minutes silence is obsrved throughout the world at noon on the 11th - the first minute in memory of all those who lost their lives in wars and the second minute for the survivors.
I ends


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