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Lynley Donnelly

Cops get street smart

Attacks on members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) rose by 67% between 2004/05 and 2005/06, according to a former policeman and now researcher for the Institute of Security Studies, Johan Burger. But only one more policeman died in the latter period than in the former. Burger said this indicated that the SAPS's ''street survival'' course, introduced in 2005, was bearing fruit.

A hawker’s hell

''Metro is killing me,'' cries informal trader Lydia Masongo. The sole provider for her family of eight, Masongo says continued harassment by the Johannesburg Metro Police Department in the inner city is making it impossible for her to eke out a living on the streets. Since 1994, she has travelled from the East Rand every day to sell fruit and vegetables in De Villiers Street in downtown Jozi.

Proof that small efforts can result in a big change

What happens when ordinary people go that extra mile? Well, grade 11 learners at Weston Agricultural College in KwaZulu-Natal can tell you: they win awards, repeatedly. But, more importantly, they bring about real change for people living in their community.

Flavours of the week

Lynley Donnelly reports on the highlights of this year's Audi Jo'burg Fashion Week.

In a league of her own

A South African teenager, who takes care of her orphaned siblings, brought former United States president Bill Clinton to his feet with her commitment to bringing hope to the lives of other orphan girls in her community. Seventeen-year-old Zethu Ngecza addressed the Clinton Global Initiative in New York recently and received a standing ovation from delegates for her plans to establish support groups for children in her community.

Fashionably crowded

The entrance of Moloi-Motsepe and yet another event to the country's crowded fashion calendar has highlighted the plight of the beleaguered industry. Lynley Donnelly reports.

Volunteers help avert grant chaos

If it were not for the efforts of a group of hardy community volunteers, social grant beneficiaries, scraping a living below the poverty line in the North West province might well have been in for a rough winter. ''Paying the right social grant, to the right person, at the right time and place'' boasts the motto of the new South African Social Security Agency.

Booming trade but still no reform

For pragmatic reasons, police National Commissioner Jackie Selebi's call to legalise prostitution for 2010 could be seen as a step in the right direction. The move was proposed as a way of relieving overburdened cops of the onerous task of policing the sex trade, which will undoubtedly blossom as lusty fans and foreign providers of sexual services start flooding into South Africa.

Giving children their say

The fifth world summit on media and children has highlighted the need for government and the industry to better protect the rights of children in the media without limiting the opportunities for education and access to information the media can provide for them

Reds divided on JZ

Cosatu and the South African Communist Party's strategy for getting ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma into the hot seat is to swell the ranks of the ANC. Once elected with the left's support the allies believe that Zuma will be more amenable than President Thabo Mbeki to a radical programme of social change.

Book Review

Lynley Donnelly reviews the second collection of short stories by Neil Gaiman titled Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders.

Rights on paper, not in practice

''The Google queen, they call me,'' laughs Ingrid Coombs, as she sits in her office. The nationwide travel coordinator for a recruitment company, Coombs has been a quadriplegic since she was 22 years old. But 16 years later, thanks to her resourcefulness and to the flexibility of her employers, Coombs has maintained not only her independence, but also her career.

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