Tag «special assignment»

DISMANTLING VERWOERD’s SOUTH AFRICA – PART 2

Special Assignment

This year marks fifty years since the assassination of South African Prime Minister, Hendrik Verwoerd, who is regarded as the architect of Apartheid. Last week’s part one of this series on the legacy of Verwoerd we highlighted issues around race identity and racial tensions in South Africa half a century after Verwoerd’s death. In this …

Medical Aid Scam

Special Assignment

According to healthcare funders, medical aid fraud is one of the leading crimes in South Africa. It is estimated at between nine and 19 billion rand a year, money which could have been better spent on providing quality health care for all. Special Assignment exposes a series of bogus surgeries operated by a syndicate of …

To Die For

Special Assignment

In Zulu, great men are called iNkakha – a named derived from the pangolin. In Tsonga, it is called the Khwara – the trait of toughness is associated with it. In Afrikaans it is called the Ietermagog because of its habit of eating insects. The pangolin is the most poached mammal on earth and could …

Spieners (Part 1)

Special Assignment

It’s every motorist’s worst fear – being held up at gunpoint and hijacked or having their car stolen. According to police crime statistics, the past four years has seen an upwards trajectory in car hijackings. The country’s hotspots for this crime are Johannesburg, followed closely by Durban. This week, Special Assignment speaks to families of …

Empty Bottles, Shattered Lives

Special Assignment

This week Special Assignment celebrates its recent achievement of scooping two awards at the 2016 Diageo Responsible Drinking Awards for “Empty Bottles – Shattered Lives.” Producer Cleopatra Jones, won in the Best Broadcast category and the overall Journalist of the Year Award. This week’s broadcast is a repeat of the programme that profiled the stories …

War on Women

Special Assignment

“War on Women” tells of the alarmingly high rate of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The country has since the mid-1990s been involved in various outbreaks of civil war. Rape has become a way of life for many soldiers. It is used as a tool for waging war and is perpetrated against …

Love Our Elderly

Special Assignment

In “LOVE OUR ELDERLY’’ we uncover cases at Middelburg State Hospital in Mpumalanga, where elderly patients are admitted for hip fractures and die a few months later. Families of the deceased and other stakeholders believe the elderly patients died due to gross medical neglect. Bets Claasen was 79-years old and Kashane Shabango, 83-years old, reportedly …

State of Limbo

  “…I was told at home affairs that if I die and my ID is still blocked my family will not be able to apply for a death certificate.” Samson Ndhlovu, father of three. An increasing number of South Africans’ ID’s have been blocked by Home Affairs for various reasons. Experts say blocking a person’s …

Tender Sharks

Special Assignment

This week’s Special Assignment looks at scam syndicates that approach unsuspecting people on the supplier databases of various government departments and pretend to be the respective government departments. The scammers then instruct these suppliers to send three quotes for jobs under a million rand to the ‘department.’ The unsuspecting supplier concedes, the quotes are accepted …

Students and the Vice: The Update

Special Assignment

Last year, Special Assignment, exposed a shocking source of student entertainment – university students frequenting night clubs in Hillbrow to participate in live sex shows. Hillbrow is infamous as Johannesburg’s red light district, a place where you can find almost anything. Our investigation revealed that there were many such places in Hillbrow, licensed as bars …

Common Ground

Special Assignment

A Big Fish Production ‘Illegal’ mining is in the spotlight once again. This week’s episode of Special Assignment illuminates the issue with a revealing documentary that explores the underlying complexities of the unregulated side of gold mining, borne out of perpetual unemployment and a shrinking commercial mining industry. Common Ground investigates the intrinsic dynamics of …

By Their Fruits Part 2

Special Assignment

In October 2015 Special Assignment broadcast a documentary titled By their Fruits, the first part of an ongoing investigation into the government’s land reform policies. We focused on Nirwanda – a De Doorns grape farm, nestled in the Western Cape’s Hex River Valley. The farm is a microcosm of some of the problems experienced in …

Indians Can’t Fly

Special Assignment

In 1971, 29-year-old Ahmed Timol, a Roodepoort teacher and anti-apartheid activist fell from the 10th floor of the security police building in Johannesburg. The security police soon coined the phrase ‘Indians can’t Fly’. A police inquest concluded that Timol committed suicide while under interrogation, but questions remain whether he may have been pushed, or tortured …

Bare Witness

Special Assignment

This week Special Assignment looks at South Africa’s highly covert Witness Protection Programme; designed to protect witnesses whose lives may be at risk because the evidence they supply in court can lead to the convictions of dangerous criminals. David Bruce, an independent researcher in policing, crime and criminal justice, says that witnesses are particularly at …

People Live Here

Special Assignment

n this week’s episode of Special Assignment we visit Lapland, one of the largest informal settlements in Gauteng, situated a few metres from Eldoradopark and Pimville in the south of Johannesburg. The shocking conditions that the poorest of the poor are living in in present day South Africa constitutes a human rights tragedy wherein up …

Searching for belonging: autism part II

Special Assignment

This week in the second of a two part series on autism, Special Assignment unpacks a controversial intervention for autistic children based on behavioural modification. Opponents of the so-called Applied Behavioral Analysis Approach (ABA) say the intervention is too intense and robotic, demanding long hours from young children already battling to cope with severe learning …

Autism – Making sense of the spectrum

Special Assignment

Autism experts talk of a global epidemic. One in every fifty children is now diagnosed with the disorder. A few decades ago this disorder was almost unheard of. Triggered in seemingly normal babies and young children, Autism Spectrum Disorder can render a child unable to talk or understand those around them, sensitive to any external …

What Lies Beneath

Special Assignment

The process of reconciliation in South Africa is a daunting – and, at times, seemingly impossible – journey, a course of action driven by principle over personal grudge, the pursuit of good over evil, and the joining together of various forces in an effort to achieve an ultimate ideal. For those intimately involved in the …

Young lives, Wrong Turns

Special Assignment

Due to the overwhelming response to our broadcast of Young Lives, Wrong Turns, Special Assignment will rebroadcast this episode which looks at the growing gang problem in various townships in the Vaal Triangle, with a particular focus on Sebokeng. Residents have been plagued with gang violence since 2010. Many gang members are unemployed or impoverished …

Young Lives, Wrong Turns

Special Assignment

Township gangs are an increasing national problem and the township of Sebokeng in the Vaal Triangle is no exception. The community has been plagued with gang violence since 2010. It is alleged that many gang members are unemployed or impoverished youth who rob businesses and steal from people in order to live. Unregistered and therefore …

Beware the avalanche Part III

Special Assignment

This week’s Special Assignment brings you a third episode in our ongoing investigation into ivory poaching in Northern Mozambique and its spread to South Africa. We focus on the links between ivory, rhino poaching and canned lion hunting and reveal the impact of a trade steeped in violence and greed. Today the value of ivory …

Towards an AIDS Free generation

Special Assignment

One out of five people in the world who have HIV live in this country. Each day there are 1000 new infections in South Africa. If we are to beat the global epidemic, this battle is going to be critical, we have to win the war against HIV right here – Professor Salim Abdool Karim, …

Vhusha: I am a woman

Special Assignment

  In this week’s episode of Special Assignment we investigate the controversial Vhusha rite of passage for Venda teenage girls in parts of Northern Limpopo. The Vhusha initiation ceremony is a colourful but highly secretive ritual which signifies one of the most important stages in a girl’s life. Girls must attend this phase of initiation …