42 episodes

In this short podcast series, we follow Sunday Times top investigative journalists as they cover the real stories that make-up SA’s national headlines.

Boots on the ground is a true piece of mobile journalism — all interviews, voices and sound effects have been gathered using nothing but smartphones.

Boots on the ground is a production of MultimediaLIVE, a division of Arena Holdings.

PLEASE NOTE: This podcast may contain explicit and sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised.

#Investigation, #Police, #SocialJustice, #Crime, #ServiceDelivery

Boots on the ground TimesLIVE Podcasts

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

In this short podcast series, we follow Sunday Times top investigative journalists as they cover the real stories that make-up SA’s national headlines.

Boots on the ground is a true piece of mobile journalism — all interviews, voices and sound effects have been gathered using nothing but smartphones.

Boots on the ground is a production of MultimediaLIVE, a division of Arena Holdings.

PLEASE NOTE: This podcast may contain explicit and sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised.

#Investigation, #Police, #SocialJustice, #Crime, #ServiceDelivery

    Did apartheid racists convert or rehabilitate after freedom?

    Did apartheid racists convert or rehabilitate after freedom?

    Racist rants such as those by suspended DA MP Renaldo Gouws appear to show efforts to unite South Africa after apartheid did not yield the desired results. Do racists rehabilitate?
    If you browse the archives, you will find apartheid ended because it was unsustainable after years of boycotts and sanctions by the international community. This and civil disobedience by the black majority, coloureds, Indians and some whites who fought to make the country ungovernable.
    Fresh from the racist years, South Africa embarked on practical campaigns to unite the rainbow nation, but it seems racists are hell-bent on airing their views. 
    “Racism is human nature,” says Gabriel Crouse, executive director of the South African Institute of Race Relations' (IRR) legal division, questioning Nelson Mandela’s acclaimed “no-one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin” view.
    An IRR poll shows 80% of black people do not experience racism. According to Crouse, racism is worsened by politicians and the media.
    Crouse is challenged by Ahmed Kathrada Foundation antiracism programme manager Rethabile Ratsomo, who says the institute does not have a true understanding and its research doesn't reflect the day-to-day racism that exists.
    South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) chair Chris Nissen says racial tensions must be seen against the background of colonialism and apartheid.
    “We have not dealt with the issue of race; we smooth it over, hence we see in the commission that one of the highest number of complaints are about racism, because we have not tackled racism's root cause: prejudice.
    “It's not about human nature. Racism is an ideology, racism is being taught and racism comes from one group of people who think they are better than others.”

    Apartheid resemblance?
    Orania, the Afrikaner town in the Northern Cape, has come under scrutiny, with many saying the town resembles apartheid. It was established in 1991 as the country was closing the chapter on racist white-minority rule and transitioned to freedom. The town’s founder, Carel Boshoff, is the son-in-law of apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerd. It has a flag in the colours of the old South African flag.
    In talks with the ANC, FF Plus leader in the province, Verwoerd's grandson Wynand Boshoff, is pushing for recognition of Orania, where he has lived since 1993.
    Boshoff says all people are welcome in the town if they convert to the Afrikaans culture.
    “It’s about culture, it’s not about race. Orania was founded on the basis of self-determination as part of the post-apartheid South Africa.”
    Section 235 of the constitution provides for the right to self-determination by any community sharing a common cultural and language heritage.
    Nissen says: “We cannot allow any one place to be for one people like we had for Bantustans — for the Xhosas there, Ndebeles there, Swazis there and so on. We broke it down, there's no more Bantustans”.
    The SAHRC was established to support constitutional democracy through promoting, protecting and monitoring the attainment of everyone's human rights.

    • 29 min
    The sombre stories of pupils at rural government schools

    The sombre stories of pupils at rural government schools

    In this episode of 'Boots On The Ground', we follow a pupil to a rural school. Among the issues we hear about are drug use at primary schools, a school with only two teachers for nine subjects, and we speak to civil organisations.
    About 41% of pupils who started school 12 years ago did not make it to grade 12 last year. We go on the ground to determine the real impact of the most disadvantaged schools and pupils.
    The Schools Act compels the education department to follow up on dropouts by investigating the pupil's absence from school and provide a remedy, but not much progress has been made. The department works with other government departments, including social development and police, to tackle societal challenges that overlap at schools.
    Civil organisations concerned about education, such as Equal Education, the Zero Dropout Campaign and the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), chat to us and we ask the education department to account.
    One high school showed us a sachet of a white powder drug they confiscated from a pupil on the day of our visit. It was a shocker when we visited primary schools and they also complained of drug use by pupils aged between six and 13.
    Civil organisations accuse government of being disconnected to what is happening on the ground.
    All South Africans have a right to basic education and the Bill of Rights obliges the government to progressively make education available and accessible to everyone through reasonable measures. 
    The end of this month will mark 10 years since basic education minister Angie Motshekga signed an agreement compelling the department to ensure every school is a proper school after civil organisations took the department to court. Ten years later, the department has not complied. In this podcast documentary you will see the life of a rural child attending a government school and hear from civil organisations about the progress with infrastructure.
    Some regions, such as the Eastern Cape, regularly receive learning material late. The LRC launched litigation to force the department to provide stationery to around 3,000 schools in the province. The provincial department argued it had no funds for stationery and textbooks, yet it had to return R205m in unused funds to National Treasury. Again this year the same province forfeited R100m in unused funds. Asked about this contradiction by Boots On The Ground the department could not explain. The Daily Dispatch reported the department continues to underspend despite forking out R553m since 2019 on consultants to assist in spending and planning infrastructure projects. 
    You will hear about the use of drugs by primary schoolchildren and a school that has only two teachers giving lessons in more than nine subjects in a multi-graded school divided into two classrooms.This is one of the nearly5,000 multi-graded schools in SA. 
    In this financial year the basic education department was allocated R22bn by Treasury. An additional R48.7bn allocated to the education infrastructure grant is meant to fix infrastructure backlogs at schools that don’t meet the basic norms and standards.
    Rhodes University professor responsible for education research, Zingiswa Jojo, says extra mural activities at schools are important to keep children away from drugs and other substances. She noted a decline in such activities at schools over the years. 
    She says ordinarily in rural schools classes from grades 1 to 9 do not finish the syllabus.
    'Boots On The Ground' is a TimesLIVE production. The podcast is nominated in the 2023 Radio Awards as the best podcast together with its sister podcast 'Eusebius on TimesLIVE'.

    • 29 min
    Cape of Cocaine EP 4 - 'go to prison, meet nice guys, become a nice guy'

    Cape of Cocaine EP 4 - 'go to prison, meet nice guys, become a nice guy'

    In February 2018 assassins murdered Bulgarian couple Angelo Dimov and Nessie Peeva in their home at around 11 am in the Cape Town suburb of Bergvliet.
    It was not a house burglary gone wrong, it was a hit ordered by a British cocaine dealer who felt he was double crossed.
    There was more to Dimov and Peeva than their friends in the Cape Town southern suburbs knew.
    Dimov was an alleged member of the Bulgarian mafia, a secretive criminal organisation which would go from successfully cloning thousands of credit cards raking in millions of rand to drug dealing.
    Their murders remain unsolved but a burglary, a kidnapping, and a pile of diamonds give clues as to what may have led to their demise.
    The British man who is allegedly connected to their murder is also allegedly a major cocaine dealer and he was playing the same game as the Bulgarian mafia and their fixer Asen Ivanov.
    This week in Cape of Cocaine we reveal for the first time details about Dimov and Peeva’s murders and we delve into lives of the men who helped Ivanov become a major cocaine trafficker.

    • 39 min
    Cape of Cocaine EP 3 - Cocaine Inc: Chasing Ivanov, the Bulgarian mafia's fixer

    Cape of Cocaine EP 3 - Cocaine Inc: Chasing Ivanov, the Bulgarian mafia's fixer

    It’s February 2014 and Hawks Warrant Officer Johan Combrinck has received a tip-off through Interpol that Bulgarian men were busy constructing a large drug lab in a mansion in the Cape Town suburb of Durbanville.
    On the evening of 24 February Combrinck parked his car opposite the house and conducted a steak-out.
    The smell of sulphur was in the air, a sign to Combrinck that chemicals used for processing drugs were nearby.
    In the house Combrinck could see movement. And then a man wearing a hazmat suite and gas mask appears in sight. It’s the same equipment which Combrinck and his men use to protect themselves from hazardous chemicals when they destroy drug labs.
    The next day Combrinck and his Hawks colleagues arrive at the house with a court order.
    They knock on the door. The man who opens it introduces himself as Asen Ivanov.

    • 30 min
    Cape of Cocaine EP 2 - The ghost ships haunting SA's shores

    Cape of Cocaine EP 2 - The ghost ships haunting SA's shores

    Out there with the legendary Flying Dutchman is a fleet of 'ghost ships' trafficking cocaine from South America to destinations around the globe. They are invisible to satellites and tracking systems and make lonely voyages undetected, sometimes across rough seas.
    The Atlantic Warrior is one of them. She belongs to the Bulgarian Mafia and trafficked cocaine from Brazil to Saldanha Bay off the South African West Coast. She is now missing after TimesLIVE Investigations journalist Aron Hyman spoke about her involvement in drug trafficking on Bulgarian national television. 
    Following the arrests of Asen Ivanov and his Bulgarian associates for possession of a tonne of cocaine on 1 March last year police managed to confiscate three ships belonging to the syndicate. It's believed others are still out in the ocean possibly still trafficking cocaine around the world. 
    Episode two of Cape of Cocaine reveals how a fleet of ships trafficked drugs between South America to South Africa and eventually off to Australia on an industrial scale. 

    • 30 min
    Cape of Cocaine EP 1 - Discovery on the shores of Saldanha Bay

    Cape of Cocaine EP 1 - Discovery on the shores of Saldanha Bay

    On March 1 2021 the Windward, a Bulgarian mafia cocaine ship, was three days behind schedule docking at Saldanha Bay harbour on SA’s west coast.
    Bulgarian cocaine fleet manager Asen Ivanov and his Bulgarian associates were waiting, probably worried their Myanmar crew had become lost in thick fog or rough seas. 
    Unbeknown to him, he had much bigger problems because watching the mafia’s every move was Lt-Col Johan Smit and members of the Western Cape police’s narcotics unit.
    When the drug dealers approached the ship, the moment the police officers had been planning for months arrived.
    They were on the cusp of one of the biggest drug busts in SA history and inadvertently exposing a large secret crime organisation.

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Hot Mess with Alix Earle
Unwell
Cancelled with Tana Mongeau & Brooke Schofield
Cancelled & Audioboom Studios
The Ezra Klein Show
New York Times Opinion
Shawn Ryan Show
Shawn Ryan | Cumulus Podcast Network
Hysterical
Wondery | Pineapple Street Studios
Stuff You Should Know
iHeartPodcasts

You Might Also Like

Carte Blanche: The Podcast
Carte Blanche
True Crime South Africa
Killer Audio Creations
Politricking with Tshidi Madia
Primedia Broadcasting
Murder and Mayhem: South African True Crime
Bella Monsoon
True Crime South Africa
TimesLIVE Podcasts
The So What?
J P Landman & Ruda Landman