Girlfriend appears in court over murder of Phoenix man stabbed with kitchen knife

Durban – AS FAMILY members of Yogan Moodley performed his last rites on Tuesday, his girlfriend, Alisha Balgobind, appeared in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court charged with his murder.

On Saturday night, Moodley, 30, was stabbed with a kitchen knife on his left arm, the left side of his ribcage, his groin and buttocks at their rented outbuilding in Cardinal Road, Phoenix.

He was taken to Life Mount Edgecombe Hospital for treatment but died on Sunday morning.

Balgobind, 27, who is unemployed, was arrested on Sunday by Detective Warrant Officer Clement Chetty from Phoenix SAPS.

She appeared before magistrate Rajesh Parshotam and is being represented by legal aid attorney Suhana Ramcharan.

Balgobind was released on bail of R2000.

In terms of her bail conditions, she has to report to the Phoenix police station every Saturday before 6pm.

The case was adjourned to December 9.

The court heard that the couple began to argue after they had supper and drinks with their landlord. The couple had been dating since last year and moved in together on October 4.

According to a source, who asked not be identified, the argument escalated into a physical fight. At some point a knife was used.

Rishan Govindsamy, the landlord’s son, heard shouting and went to the outhouse. He found Moodley covered in blood and Balgobind was trying to stop the bleeding.

Govindsamy took him to the hospital.

Moodley was cremated at the Verulam Crematorium. His family declined to comment on the incident.

Balgobind’s father, Sudesh, said his daughter acted in self-defence and had sustained bruises to her face, arms and chest.

“I only found out in these last few days that she was being abused. I am standing by her through all of this. It is tough.”

Balgobind said his daughter and Moodley were friends for many years and began dating last year.

“He seemed friendly and was a good person. Alisha is also a very calm and cool person. I am in shock with what has happened.”


Maritzburg United and Eric Tinkler won’t take Baroka lightly

DURBAN – Maritzburg United coach Eric Tinkler has predicted a tough Premier Soccer League season ahead of his team’s season opener against Baroka FC away.

The Team of Choice will have to get over their disappointment of losing 2-1 to Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN 8 quarter-final last weekend.

Tinkler is wary of the potential dent the knockout cup exit may have had on the players.

“We want to start the 2020/21 season on the front foot. It is important that we try and get a positive result against Baroka,” he said.

“The games will not be easy this season as they all come thick and fast. The fact that we performed well in the first half against Chiefs was encouraging.

“If we can put on a similar performance against Baroka for 90 minutes, we can get a positive result,” said Tinkler.

One of the big questions surrounding Maritzburg is how they will be able to fill the void created by the departure of goalkeeper Richard Ofori.

The Ghanian joined Orlando Pirates this week. During his time with Maritzburg, he established himself as a leader and also proved himself to be one of the top goalkeepers in the Premiership.

Tinkler added that new Maritzburg signing José Alí Meza will be available for the game.

The Venezuela international joined the club from Mamelodi Sundowns during the off season and will be expected to strengthen the team’s attack while collaborating effectively with target men Judas Moseamedi and Thabiso Kutumela.

The Team of Choice will also be without the services of defender Kwanda Mngonyama who has two remaining games left on his suspension following a red-card against Bloemfontein Celtic late last season.

Tinkler’s troops will have to also make do without the services of midfielder Dan Morgan after the New Zealand international picked up an injury in their game against Chiefs at the weekend.

The game promises to be an interesting one and there will be little room for error from both sides, as was the case last season.

Neither side dominated the other during their league clashes last season as each won their home fixture.

It will be imperative that Maritzburg start the season on a good note if they are to once again challenge for a solid top eight finish this season.

The Mercury

Jordan Pickford criticism for Virgil Van Dijk injury is over the top, says Everton’s boss

EVERTON – Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti said goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s challenge on Virgil van Dijk was mistimed rather than malicious and that reaction to the incident, which left the Dutchman facing a lengthy spell out, was over the top.

Premier League champions Liverpool confirmed Van Dijk will undergo surgery on damaged knee ligaments following a challenge by Pickford during Saturday’s Merseyside derby, which finished in a 2-2 draw.

The England goalkeeper, however, escaped retrospective action over his challenge after the Football Association determined the incident was seen at the time by the match officials, including the video assistant referee (VAR).

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum said the way Pickford went into the challenge was “completely stupid” and while the keeper had not set out deliberately to injure the centre back, he “didn’t care about what happened after the tackle.”

The Everton keeper has also faced a barrage of criticism from pundits as well as on social media, which Ancelotti said had gone too far.

“To be clear, we are really sorry for the injury of Virgil van Dijk,” Ancelotti told Everton’s website here ahead of Sunday’s trip to Southampton.

“There was this contact with Jordan Pickford: it was mistimed contact. Jordan arrived a little bit later but his intention was to try to reach the ball. It was not to hurt Virgil van Dijk.

“And after that the reaction is too much. To say it was premeditated, in my opinion, is too much. Virgil van Dijk knows this. Jordan is really sad, really disappointed (about Van Dijk’s injury). It was a strong contact, maybe mistimed, but sometimes in football, it can happen.”

The Italian manager said that new signing James Rodriguez, who has scored three league goals so far, will miss the game against the Saints after the Colombian sustained an injury during a challenge from Van Dijk at Goodison Park.

Captain Seamus Coleman will be out for two to three weeks with a hamstring injury, while the Toffees, who are top of the Premier League with 13 points, will also miss forward Richarlison who will serve the first game of a three-match ban for his red card tackle on Thiago Alcantara last week.


Anger at Plumstead elderly queueing at council offices

Cape Town – Residents from Plumstead are furious at the treatment of the elderly and pensioners at the community’s local council offices.

According to an eyewitness, a group of 100 residents was made to queue outside the municipality in a cold alley with no chairs to sit on nor any structures to shield them from the harsh weather.

Suzzane Vos, 74, said that after arriving at the offices around 8am, she saw long queues with mostly elderly people and immediately asked about the turn-around time to renew her licence, only to be told that she might have to wait up to six hours.

“I was taken aback by the number of elderly people I saw standing in line at the Plumstead municipal offices. They were braving the cold just to get assistance performing their civic duty. It was disheartening … the elderly were clearly struggling against the conditions. The situation there was downright inhumane and I believe our elderly deserve better,” said Vos.

Plumstead councillor Elizabeth Brunnette said she has been approached by a few elderly residents for assistance regarding the situation.

“Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do. However, I escalated their complaints to the city,” said Brunette.

The City said that municipal offices prioritised the assistance for the elderly but for the past few weeks, they have been under pressure to clear a three-month backlog due to the pandemic and lockdown.

Deputy mayor Ian Neilson said: “There are 1.3 million registered vehicles in Cape Town. City officials have been processing double, if not triple, the number of transactions per month over the past few months, but the volumes are high due to the extraordinary and abnormal situation of a pandemic which has affected all aspects of society.

“While the City does give preference to elderly and infirm residents and pregnant women, we would appreciate customers and residents to work with us.

“We would also like to encourage our customers to make use of the various online and other account payment options.”

Cape Argus

WATCH: Donald Trump and Joe Biden clash sharply over Covid-19 pandemic in less chaotic final debate

Trevor Hunnicutt and Jeff Mason

Nashville – US President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden offered sharply contrasting views on the still-raging coronavirus pandemic at Thursday’s final presidential debate, seeking to persuade the few remaining undecided voters 12 days before the November 3 election.

Trump, a Republican, adopted a more restrained tone than he did during the chaotic first presidential debate in September, when he repeatedly interrupted Biden.

But Thursday’s clash still featured plenty of personal attacks between two men who evince little respect for each other, and Trump kept fact-checkers busy by leveling unfounded corruption accusations at Biden and his family.

The televised encounter in Nashville, Tennessee, represented one of Trump’s last remaining opportunities to reshape a campaign dominated by a pandemic that has killed more than 221 000 people in the United States.

Trump has trailed Biden in opinion polls for months, though the contest is tighter in some battleground states likely to decide the election.

“Anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain president of the United States of America,” Biden said.

Trump defended his approach to the outbreak and said the country could not afford to close businesses again, even amid fresh surges.

“We’re learning to live with it,” said Trump, who has played down the virus for months. “We have no choice.”

“Learning to live with it?” Biden retorted. “Come on. We’re dying with it.”

Trump asserted that a vaccine was potentially “weeks” away. Most experts, including administration officials, have said a vaccine is unlikely to be widely available until mid-2021.

Several US states, including the election swing state of Ohio, reported record single-day increases in Covid-19 infections on Thursday, evidence the pandemic is accelerating anew.

Trump, whose instinct remains to run as an outsider, portrayed Biden as a career politician whose nearly 50-year record was insubstantial. But Biden returned again and again to Trump’s nearly four years as president, pointing to the economic damage the virus has done to people’s lives.

After an opening segment on the pandemic, Thursday’s clash pivoted to rapid-fire exchanges over whether either candidate had improper foreign entanglements.

Trump repeated his accusations that Biden and his son Hunter engaged in unethical practices in China and Ukraine. No evidence has been verified to support the allegations, and Biden called them false and discredited.

Trump’s effort to uncover dirt on Hunter Biden’s Ukraine business ties led to the president’s impeachment. The president and his children have been accused of conflicts of interest of their own since he entered the White House in 2017, most involving the family’s international real estate and hotel businesses.

Biden defended his family and said unequivocally that he had never made “a single penny” from a foreign country, before pivoting to accuse Trump of trying to distract Americans.

“There’s a reason why he’s bringing up all this malarkey,” Biden said, looking directly into the camera. “It’s not about his family and my family. It’s about your family, and your family’s hurting badly.”

He accused Trump of avoiding paying taxes, citing a New York Times investigation that reported Trump’s tax returns show he paid almost no federal income tax over more than 20 years.

“Release your tax returns or stop talking about corruption,” Biden said.

Trump, who has broken with decades of precedent in refusing to release his tax returns, said he had paid “millions.” He again said he would release his returns only once a longstanding audit was completed.

The candidates clashed over healthcare, China policy and – after months of anti-racism protests – race relations, with Biden saying Trump was “one of the most racist presidents” in history.

“He pours fuel on every single racist fire,” Biden said. “This guy has a dog whistle as big as a foghorn.”

Trump responded by criticizing Biden’s authorship of a 1994 crime bill that increased incarceration of minority defendants while asserting that he had done more for Black Americans than any president with the “possible” exception of Abraham Lincoln in the 1860s.

Biden criticised Trump’s effort to persuade the US Supreme Court to invalidate the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the sweeping healthcare reform passed when Biden was vice president in President Barack Obama’s administration.

“People deserve to have affordable healthcare, period,” Biden said, noting that the law prevented insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

Trump said he wanted to replace the ACA with something “much better” that would offer the same protections, even though the administration has yet to propose a comprehensive healthcare plan despite a promise to do so for years.

During a segment on climate change, Biden said his environmental plan would “transition from the oil industry” in favor of renewable energy sources, prompting Trump to go on the attack.

“He is going to destroy the oil industry,” Trump said. “Will you remember that, Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania?”

Relatively few voters have yet to make up their minds, and Trump’s window to influence the outcome may be closing. A record 47 million Americans already have cast ballots, eclipsing total early voting from the 2016 election.

The contentious first debate, when the two men traded insults, was watched by at least 73 million viewers. Trump passed up another planned debate last week after it was switched to a virtual format following his Covid-19 diagnosis.

Milan win at Celtic, Alkmaar stun Napoli, Spurs and Arsenal win

STOCKHOLM – AC Milan withstood a late onslaught to beat Celtic 3-1 and AZ Alkmaar overcame the loss of 13 players with positive Covid-19 tests to secure a shock 1-0 win at Napoli as the Europa League group stage got underway on Thursday.

London sides Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal also made winning starts as did fellow Premier League club Leicester City.

Dutch team Alkmaar were under pressure for the whole game as Napoli dominated possession and peppered their goal but Dani de Wit scored in the 57th minute for a stunning victory in Group F.

With Milan’s defence well marshalled by Danish centre-back Simon Kjaer, they looked to be cruising to an easy win at Celtic after first-half goals from Rade Krunic and Brahim Diaz.

However, the Scottish champions came roaring back in the second half and reduced the deficit through Mohamed Elyounoussi. Milan needed a late goal from Jens Petter Hauge, his first for the club, to put the Group H game out of reach.

Celtic’s disappointment was summed up by midfielder Ryan Christie. “I’m gutted to lose tonight, I did feel like we could have pushed forward and got an equaliser, but there’s positives to take from the second half,” he said.

Villarreal and Turkey’s Sivasspor played out an eight-goal thriller in Group I, with the Spanish side grabbing a 5-3 win thanks to a late double from striker Paco Alcacer.

Arsenal, who have not claimed a European trophy since lifting the old Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994, went behind at Rapid Vienna but defender David Luiz and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck late on for a 2-1 Group B win.

Fellow Premier League sides Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur cruised to comfortable 3-0 wins, with the Foxes downing visiting Ukrainian side FK Zorya Luhansk in Group G, while hosts Spurs beat Austrians LASK in Group J.

Tottenham’s fine performance, including an assist from Gareth Bale on his first start back at the club on loan from Real Madrid, spurred on the London side who lost the 2019 Champions League final to Liverpool.

“”We went out there today and did a great job. We were solid and threatening and the most important thing in these games at the start is to get the three points,” Bale told BT Sport.

Bayer Leverkusen went on the rampage against French side Nice in a 6-2 victory that saw winger Karim Bellarabi score twice late on for the home side in Group C.

AS Roma came back from a goal down to beat Swiss side Young Boys 2-1 away thanks to two goals in five second-half minutes by Bruno Peres and Marash Kumbulla in Group A.

Spanish clubs Granada and Real Sociedad enjoyed 2-1 and 1-0 away wins over PSV Eindhoven and Croatian side Rijeka in Group E and F respectively, while Benfica chalked up a 4-2 victory over Lech Poznan and Rangers won 2-0 at Standard Liege in Group D.


I regret US Open and Roland Garros failures, says Novak Djokovic

BELGRADE – Novak Djokovic has played some of the best tennis of his life in 2020 but he regrets the failure to win either the US Open or the French Open in his bid to become the world’s most trophy-laden player, the world number one said on Thursday.

Having won the Australian Open in January, Djokovic was disqualified at the US Open after inadvertently hitting a line judge in the neck with a petulant swipe of the ball during his fourth-round clash with Pablo Carreno Busta.

He was then blown away by Carreno Busta’s Spanish compatriot and world number two Rafael Nadal in straight sets at Roland Garros.

Djokovic has 17 grand slam titles while Nadal and Federer are on 20 each after the Spaniard clinched a record 13th French Open title.

“There is a lingering regret that I didn’t win either the US Open or the Roland Garros this year,” a bearded Djokovic told reporters in drenching sun at his tennis academy in downtown Belgrade by the Danube river.

“I was in outstanding form at both events but having reached the French Open final, I was beaten by a player who was much better on the day.

“I was below par and that’s it. As far as the US Open is concerned, I got myself into an unfortunate situation and was disqualified, but I won several other big tournaments.

“The US Open disqualification notwithstanding, I have only lost one match all season and I’ve played some of the best tennis of my life.”

Djokovic dismissed suggestions he was under intense pressure to overhaul Nadal and Federer in their three-way race to become the greatest male player of all time.

“Pressure has been a part of my life for a long time and I’ve learned how to deal with it,” he said.

“It comes with the territory if you are a top-level athlete and it can also galvanise you. You take physical and mental knocks along the way but it’s all part of the learning curve.

“If I retired now I’d be happy with everything I have achieved but I still enjoy competing and every tournament I enter gives me so much motivation and joy.”


Lewis Hamilton questions Vitaly Petrov’s role as steward after BLM comments

LONDON – Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton questioned the appointment of Vitaly Petrov as a Portuguese Grand Prix steward on Thursday after the Russian ex-racer criticised his campaigning anti-racism stance.

Petrov, who in 2010 became the first Russian to race in Formula One, told Russian publication Championat last month that Hamilton wearing a T-shirt calling for US police to be arrested for the killing of Black medical worker Breonna Taylor was ‘too much’.

“Let’s say a driver admits to being gay. Will they come out with a rainbow flag and urge everyone to become gay as well? I think the FIA will no longer allow such behaviours,” Petrov added, according to translated quotes published in the media.

Informed that the Russian was a steward at Sunday’s race at the Algarve circuit, and with the quotes read out to him, Hamilton expressed surprise.

“I’ve not seen all the quotes, you’ve just recited some of them,” said Mercedes’ six-times world champion, who could celebrate a record 92nd career win on Sunday.

“So yes, of course that is I would say a surprise to see that they would be hiring someone that has those beliefs and is so vocal about things that we are trying to fight against.

“You should take it up with them (the FIA) really. There’s nothing I can particularly do about it.

“We should definitely be including people here who are with the times, who are understanding of the times that we are living in and sensitive to the matters that are surrounding us. So I don’t really understand what their goal is.”

The FIA said it appointed stewards with the relevant F1 experience and expertise and who had expressed an interest in the role.

“The Federation does not discriminate in this process based upon views expressed outside of their function as an FIA steward, provided that any such expression does not contravene the FIA’s regulations and code of ethics,” it added.

Petrov was not immediately available for comment.

Formula One last month set out new pre- and post-race rules for driver attire.

While that prevented Hamilton from wearing campaigning T-shirts on the podium, he has still knelt with a Black Lives Matter T-shirt before the race as part of an official anti-racism campaign involving all drivers.

The Briton has also worn a black facemask with BLM on it.