As Told To: “I have carried the pain of others on my shoulders, but the stories remain, attached to my soul”

Freelance facilitator and chaplain Philip Allan Stoneman (47) is a man with a rich history of experience and accolades to his name. He is the founder of Trauma Support South Africa and is a qualified facilitator and assessor who does freelance training and awareness presentations for Creative Foundations Training, ImpiMed Medical Services and Tensho Security.

Stoneman was also the founding director of the iThemba Rape and Trauma Support Centre – a position he held for seven years. Prior to that, he was involved with the Emergency Services Chaplaincy on the East Rand between 2000 and 2005. 

He has served as a trainer for the South African Institute for Traumatic Stress (SAITS) from 2008 to 2011 and has facilitated several workshops for the Gauteng Department of Health and Department of Community Safety. Stoneman joined the South African Police Service (SAPS) as a reservist in 2006 to better understand the effects of trauma on officers and workers.

In May 2015, he was called as a stated supply minister to the Dalpark Presbyterian Community Church where he ministered until July 2019. He is an ordained pastor and falls under the authority of the Order for Christian Service and Order for Christian Mission. Stoneman currently ministers as a community chaplain in the Fairleads Benoni Agricultural Holdings as a volunteer.

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Braamfontein Clicks store closed after robbery

ROBBED: The Clicks in Braamfonetien, Jorissen street was robbed by a couple of men, on Friday afternoon.

ROBBED: Customers at the Clicks store in Braamfontein were robbed by six armed men on Friday morning.                 Photo: Nokuthula Zwane  

 

The Hillbrow Police are looking for six armed men who quietly walked into the Braamfontein Clicks store on Jorissen Street and proceeded to rob customers of valuables such as cellphones.

According to a witness, the robbers walked into the store at about 11am on Friday, September 9, and asked customers to lie down on the floor. After taking their valuables, they allegedly demanded to see the manager, however, after they were told she was not around, the men quickly left the store before the armed response arrived on the scene.

A Wits student who was present during the incident alerted friends and family on social media of the incident. “I decided to go to Clicks to buy few things, thank God I left my phone because its was battery low. Two minutes inside Clicks, 6 armed guys got in, not even shouting, just whispering to each one of us to lie down,” the student wrote.

Hillbrow Police Station spokesperson, Sargent Mduduzi Zondo, said “no injuries had been reported and no shots were fired during the incident”. He said a case of “company robbery” had been opened at the station and investigations were underway. However, no arrests had been made.

Shortly after the incident, two notices were posted at the store: “We are offline, sorry for your inconvenience” and “It is with great regret that we don’t have a parcel counter, so if you leave your parcels it is at your own risk, Clicks will not be liable for any damage or loss for goods”.

Afterwards, the store was closed until further notice.

Wits Vuvuzela tried to get comment from the Clicks Braamfontein management, but were referred to the corporate Human Resources (HR) department. All calls to Clicks HR went unanswered by the time of publishing.

Project W launches ‘Uber Hour’ to take students to Bree

Uber Hour, an initiative by Project W, is a new plan to help Wits university students get to Bree and Noord taxi ranks safely after school. 

Wits’ Project W have created an initiative to take students from the Wits campus to Bree and Noord taxi ranks in Johannesburg CBD at the end of each day.

This project, which kicked off yesterday, aims to influence Wits management to implement the Uber Hour across campus to get students safely to their respective taxi ranks, said SRC transformation officer Thami Pooe.

Uber is an international transportation networking company that operates by connecting commuters to drivers through a cellphone app.

Presently Uber are sponsoring this service by providing ride shares with the Uber Van which will pick up students at the Wits main campus bus stop. However, Pooe could not offer the specifics of how long Uber was willing to provide the service.

Pooe said Project W was looking into a way to make the ride service sustainable.  He said this could work in two ways, either students pay a monthly flat rate or a small fee for every trip. Pooe said he hopes that Wits will subsidise the service, keeping costs low for students.

Pooe said a transport service to Bree and Noord have been needed and the “SRC have been promising [it] for years, and it’s not happening”. He said the university needed empirical evidence that such a transport service was in demand, and he hopes Uber Hour will prove this.

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Pooe highlighted that many students walk from school to taxi ranks and get mugged on the way. The reason for using Uber as a service is also a logistically viable option, having a bus travel to the taxi ranks can also be a “security hazard”.

Pooe said Project W has been conducting surveys since 2013, with the aim of getting a sense of just how many students have been mugged while walking to and from the taxi ranks to school. “We want to give that to the university,” said Pooe.

 

 

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