On Monday, Lazier was more upset with Patrick’s words than the contact. She let out various insults about Lazier on Sunday. “Lazier was a problem all day,” Patrick said. “He’s been a problem for years.” Danica Patrick accepted the IRL’s Rookie of the Year award Monday night along with some unkind words from Jaques Lazier. A day after Patrick made some kind of contact with Lazier in the back of an IRL safety vehicle, the issue remained a hotly debated topic at a postseason party at Paramount Studios. “It doesn’t matter if it was a tap, but there’s no room for that in this series,” he said. “It was contact, and it’s inexcusable in my book.” Lazier continued, questioning her behavior and experience. “She’s a rookie this year,” he said. “She could not possibly know my history in the IRL. I have built a reputation for being a clean driver. To be attacked like that is inexcusable, and that shows her inexperience.” The punch or tap was the first known fisticuffs in the IRL since A.J. Foyt shoved Arie Luyendyk following a race at the Texas Motor Speedway in 1997. Foyt wasn’t suspended or fined for the incident by the IRL, which was caught on camera. IRL officials don’t have the benefit of videotape as they attempt to assess what happened in the back of the safety truck, although there was at least one bystander who saw or at the very least heard what took place. Dr. Kevin Scheid, who was driving the SUV, stopped the vehicle briefly to calm Lazier and Patrick en route to the infield care center. “I’m not going to break that tie,” he told the Indianapolis Star. IRL spokesperson Amy Konrath said the series’ investigation would likely stretch into next week. Ganassi, the owner of Lazier’s car, said “something” should happen to Patrick when asked if she deserved to be punished. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week She also criticized Chip Ganassi, the owner of Lazier’s car. “I think they’ve crashed every race,” she said. On Monday, Lazier responded by saying, “She was there, and I was there. We both know what happened. The bottom line is I can hold my head up high because I conducted myself like a gentleman. I didn’t do anything wrong.” He also went on to call the contact “a tap,” even though he referred to it as more forceful than that the previous day. Following the incident, the father of a 4-year-old named Kayden said, “My son hits harder than she does.” Yet he downplayed exactly what type of contact that Patrick allegedly perpetrated.
South Africa’s monthly old age and disability grants will increase from R1 270 to R1 350 from April, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told Parliament on Wednesday.(Image: South Africa Social Security Agency)Child support grants will increase from R300 to R310 a month from April and to R320 a month from October, while foster care grants will increase to R830 a month. The increases are in line with inflation forecasts of 6.2% for the 2014/15 financial year.Delivering his Budget speech in Cape Town, Gordhan said the number of South Africans who were eligible for grants would increase to 16.5-million over the next three years.The good news for the fiscus is that the recent re-registration of grant recipients, along with the introduction of a modernised payment system has lowered the cost of administering the system, while removing hundreds of thousands of invalid beneficiaries from the database.South Africa’s social assistance system, one of the largest in Africa, is the government’s most direct means of combating poverty. Spending on social grants accounts for 3% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and is projected to rise from R118-billion in 2013/14 to R145-billion by 2016.The child support and old age grants are the two largest grant programmes, constituting about 75% of total grant spending.Over the past decade, the number of social grant beneficiaries has doubled, from 7.9-million in 2003 to 15.8-million this year, largely due to an expansion of the child support grant.Source: SAnews.gov.zaWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.