KZN to host ANC January 8 Statement: Ramaphosa

KZN to host ANC January 8 Statement: Ramaphosa

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Ramaphosa and others on a walk

The ANC’s January 8 Statement rally will be held in KwaZulu-Natal. The party will also on the same day unveil its election manifesto.

President Cyril Ramaphosa told this to party volunteers who braved inclement weather conditions and walked with him at Esikhaleni Township outside Empangeni on the north coast.

He will also hand over 4 586 hectares of land to the community of KwaMkhwanazi.

The community was disposed of their land before the Native Land Act of 1913.

Ramaphosa thanked the community for being prepared to host the ANC January 8 rally.

He says: “That is going to be the biggest rally where we will be presenting the manifesto. There is no great honour in the ANC for a province to be given that responsibility of not only hosting the January 8 rally but to be hosting the January 8th where we will launch the manifesto.”

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Nzimande urged to probe train vandalism in Cape Town

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Blade Nzimande

Civil Society Organisation #UniteBehind is calling on Transport Minister Blade Nzimande and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) Board to institute a thorough investigation into what it calls the deliberate sabotage of trains in the Western Cape.

#Unite Behind Organiser Zukiswa Vuka says there is a pattern that can be seen in the burning of trains between 2015, after the release of the Public Protector’s Derailed Report and the Current Prasa Board’s fight against corruption.

Vuka says Prasa needs to start working with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Hawks to arrest the perpetrators. She says the increase in the burning of trains is not a normal crime.

She says her organisation suspects that it relates to the issue around tender irregularities that were discovered.

“In 2015, when that derailed report came out we started seeing the burning of trains. The number of trains which have been burned was getting high, and at that time Lucky Montana who is also implicated in the dodgy tenders resigned. Then soon after that there were trains that were burnt. So we are seeing the same patterns even now. Now that there are people who are being cleaned out, people who are being sacked we seeing a fightback. So it’s a sequence, it’s something that has happened before and we are seeing it right now,” explains Vuka.

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Johannesburg Emergency Services on high alert

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SABC weather report

Johannesburg Emergency Services says disaster monitoring teams remain on high alert as heavy rains have rendered the roads slippery.

The South African Weather Service has forecast heavy downpours, strong and damaging winds and the possibility of hail throughout most of the country this weekend.

The City’s emergency services spokesperson, Robert Mulaudzi has urged motorists to be cautious.

He says: “Motorists are urged to continue to exercise caution when driving, since most of our roads are wet and slippery. Extend a safe following distance, obey the rules of the road, avoid crossing flooded roads and bridges.”

“From our side as emergency services, we continue to remain on high alert monitoring most of our low-lying areas, especially our informal settlements,” adds Mulaudzi.

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Ighalo hat-trick takes Nigeria closer to Nations Cup place

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Bafana in action

Odion Ighalo scored a hat-trick as Nigeria took a big step towards the 2019 African Nations Cup finals with a thumping 4-0 home qualifier success over Libya on Saturday as the continent big guns flexed their muscles with significant victories.

Former Watford forward Igalho netted an early penalty to settle the nerves of the home side before scoring two more in the second period to go with a strike from Samuel Kalu against a Libyan side whose coach, Adel Amrouche, resigned unexpectedly on Tuesday.

Nigeria leapfrog the North Africans into second place in Group E after three games, a point behind leaders South Africa, who recorded their biggest ever international victory with a 6-0 hammering of Seychelles in Johannesburg.

In-form Strasbourg striker Lebo Mothiba was among the scorers with his third goal in three games for Bafana Bafana, who might well have hit double figures with some more accurate finishing against the woefully out-gunned Indian Ocean island minnows.

The top two teams in each pool advance to the finals in Cameroon next June and July, and Nigeria and South Africa can all but seal those two Group E places with away wins against the same opponents on Tuesday.

Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye was among the goals as Senegal cruised to a 3-0 home win over Sudan in Group A, with Pape Abou Cisse and M’Baye Niang also on the scoresheet.

Lebo Mothiba is the Man of the Match for this encounter. pic.twitter.com/R7Ik6IcLK0

— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) October 13, 2018

Madagascar join Senegal on seven points at the top of the pool after a 1-0 win in Equatorial Guinea thanks to a goal from Faneva Andriatsima.

World Cup finalists Morocco needed a 97th-minute winner from Faycal Fajr as they edged tiny Comoros Islands 1-0 in Group B, while Zimbabwe took charge of Group G with a surprise 2-1 win in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Defender Ronald Pfumbidzai opened the scoring for the visitors, who added a second via Knowledge Musona, though he was sent off with 15 minutes to play. Yannick Bolasie scored what proved a late consolation for the Congolese.

Tunisia laboured to a 1-0 win at home to Niger in Group J following a first-half strike from Yassine Meriah, and also finished the game with 10 men when Ghailene Chaalali was red-carded five minutes from the end.

Tunisia have a perfect record in the pool with nine points — three more than Egypt, who lost star forward Mo Salah to a groin strain as they defeated eSwatini 4-1 on Friday, ruling him out of Tuesday’s return.

There were also wins on Saturday for Uganda, Namibia and Burkina Faso.

 

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Zimbabwe court grants bail to trade unionists

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Peter Mutasa

Trade union leaders and scores of activists detained in Zimbabwe ahead of planned marches over the country’s worsening economic crisis, were released on bail Saturday, lawyers said.

Cossam Ncube of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights told AFP that Peter Mutasa, president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the country’s largest and secretary general Moyo were among those released by a Harare magistrate’s court.

“The seven ZCTU leaders were granted $50 bail each and ordered by the court to reside at their official addresses,” Ncube said.

“At least 20 others were released Friday in Mutare after they were granted bail.” Mutare is in east of the country, near the border with Mozambique.

The activists were arrested in a nationwide police crackdown Thursday after Mutasa called for protests, despite a police ban on public gatherings in the capital due to a recent cholera outbreak.

The ZCTU planned a national strike to protest against sharp price hikes, a new tax on electronic transactions and daily shortages ranging from fuel to bread.

On Saturday, police patrolled the streets of the capital Harare armed with truncheons, guns and teargas canisters, as water cannon trucks parked on some streets.

Zimbabwe’s moribund economy has hit new lows in recent days with shops struggling to stock shelves, medicine running out and long queues forming outside petrol stations.

The local “bond note” currency, which in theory has the same value as the US dollar has been in free-fall in recent weeks. That has raised fears of a return to the hyper-inflation that wrecked national finances in 2009.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took power last year after Robert Mugabe was ousted by the military has vowed to ensure essential daily goods are available.

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KZN police call for calm following “devices” discovery

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Vishnu Naidoo

The public must not be frightened by the spate of suspicious devices found in and around Durban. Police have given the assurance that none of them was capable of exploding, but said they could have started a fire.

It’s believed about six devices were found in the space of a week, mainly in major shopping malls like Gateway and the Pavillion.

Some were hidden between cushions in major retail stores while others underneath cars.

“We are investigating exactly what these devices were intended for, who was responsible for placing these devices at the places we found them and what’s the motive behind them,” saysNational Police Spokesperson, Colonel Vishnu Naidoo.

Police called for calm and confirmed that no damage to property or injuries was caused. No one has been arrested yet and no one has claimed responsibility.

The Hawks have taken over the investigation.

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AU and UN support peace in South Sudan

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The African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) say they fully support the recent agreement between South Sudan’s warring parties to form a unity government.

The two institutions say that the agreement can be perfected with time, what is important now is peace in South Sudan.

South Sudan was one of the countries whose status was discussed at the second AU/UN annual conference held in Ethiopia.

In their recent round of talks South Sudan President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar have agreed to a ceasefire and to work together.

The two agree that there will be four vice presidents and opposition leader Machar be the first.

The UN says that with the worsening humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, any peace deal that can end the war is a good deal:

Antonio Guterres UN secretary General says: “When I saw that there is a chance of peace I immediately believed that all of us need to do everything possible to make that chance become a reality. The details of the transitional agreement might not be perfect; I think that is totally secondary if peace is indeed achieved.”

With the new agreement there will be additional members to government to accommodate the other warring parties in the conflict.

The terms of the latest deal by the South Sudan warring parties is similar to one that was reached in 2015 but never held.

The African Union agrees that the agreement is not perfect but says it is workable for now.

South Sudan continues to reel from the effect of internal conflict that began in 2013 and has since displaced over 1 million people internally and those seeking refuge in neighbouring Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia.

The AU and the UN say they will not hesitate to take punitive measures against spoilers of peace in South Sudan should the warring factions fail to uphold the new peace  deal they have agreed on.

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Dembele is surprise Belgium pick as Matuidi returns for France

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Moussa Dembele was a surprise pick to replace the suspended Thomas Meunier in Belgium’s line-up and Blaise Matuidi was restored to the France midfield for Tuesday’s World Cup semi-final.

Matuidi missed the 2-0 quarter-final win over Uruguay due to suspension but has been recalled in place of Corentin Tolisso.

Belgium’s right wing back Meunier was cautioned for a second time in the tournament in their quarter-final victory over Brazil and Dembele takes his place in the starting side.

Dembele will play alongside Axel Witsel in the centre of midfield with Belgium coach Roberto Martinez moving Marouane Fellaini to the right.

Nacer Chadli goes from the centre to the left where he will try to nullify the threat of speedy France striker Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe and midfielder Ngolo Kante were included in the France team despite sitting out training on Monday.

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Jiba looking forward to resuming her duties at NPA

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SCA judge Connie Mocumie

Suspended National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Senior Executive Advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi have successfully challenged the High Court judgment which declared them unfit to practice as advocates. The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein has ruled that the High Court in Pretoria misdirected itself when it ordered that Jiba and Mrwebi be removed from the roll of advocates.

The Appeal Court found that the General Council of the Bar failed to prove a case of misconduct against Advocate Jiba.

The case against the duo related to the controversial withdrawal of among other things, murder and corruption charges, against former Police Crime Intelligence head, Richard Mdluli. However, the court was more scathing on Mrwebi’s conduct.

The court ordered that Mrwebi be suspended from acting as an advocate for six months. The suspension period has since lapsed as it was effective from the 15 September 2016.

“Mrwebi provided contradictory explanation if, when and why he decided to withdraw the charges against Mdluli. The majority judgment found that in respect of Mrwebi the GCB established the alleged offending conduct. However, due to the fact that there was no personal gain from Mrwebi’s misconduct and the fact that the purpose of such proceedings are to uphold the rules regulating the profession and not to punish the wrongdoer the sanction handed down by the High Court was not justified,” says SCA Judge Connie Mocumie.

The General Council of the Bar was not immediately available for comment. Jiba’s Attorney Zola Majavu welcomed the SCA verdict and said Jiba was looking forward to resuming her duties at the NPA.

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Trek4Mandela to help save fast melting glaciers

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Letshego Zulu

The 2018 edition of Mount Kilimanjaro expedition is about more than honouring former President Nelson Mandela and keeping girl-children in school.

A 100 trees will be rooted in African soil, in a bid to help save fast-melting glaciers. Late racing driver Gugu Zulu will also be remembered. Zulu died during the 2016 trek up the mountain.

His wife Letshego Zulu kept her promise as she returned in 2017 to complete the journey she and Gugu had started.

This year she’ll help re-green the mountain’s slopes.

“This year I am going back to continue the legacy of my late husband. I am going to plant trees and why trees you may ask, trees are a living legacy. They live for many years to come and with that Gugu will be remembered for many years,” says Letshego.

Sarah Scott from the Kilimanjaro Project is working tirelessly to revive the once lush vegetation.

“She came to me with this grand idea of planting a mini forest in memory of Gugu and I thought that is the best way to remember Gugu. I can always go back to Kili to climb the mountain in his memory but something as grand as a tree I think is the best way to remember him,” says Letshego.

Launched last year, the initiative aims to reverse the effects of climate change.

Scott wants urgent intervention.

“Because of deforestation around the mountain there is less rainfall around the mountain. The cloud cover creates a blanket over the mountain allowing it to be protected from the sun because of deforestation the mountain has spent more face time with the sun and therefore the glaciers are not melting they are evaporating,” says Scott.

The goal is to plant 1 million trees this year.

Letshego will be joined by her and Gugu’s three-year-old daughter, Lelethu.

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