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SABC remembers Bra Hugh Masekela

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The South African Broadcasting Cooperation (SABC) on Tuesday joined the nation in sending condolences to Bra Hugh Masekela’s family.

The world acclaimed Jazz veteran passed away on Tuesday after a long battle with prostate cancer. The public broadcaster has acknowledged the role played by Bra Hugh in making South Africa a better country.

“At home, Bra Hugh, as he was affectionately known, assisted the SABC to achieve its public service mandate which is to educate and entertain the people of South Africa. His has left an indelible footprint for upcoming musicians to draw inspiration from. His immense contribution to the music industry and to humanity will never be for gotten,” read the statement.

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Source: SABCNews

Ugandan university honours Madikizela Mandela

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Winnie Madikizela Mandela has received an Honorary Doctorate from Uganda’s highest institution of learning.

Makerere University honoured the veteran activist for her roles in the struggle against apartheid.

The University awarded Madikizela-Mandela an honorary Doctorate of Laws for her role in South Africa’s liberation struggle.

It is one of the highest distinctions bestowed by the institution.

Her niece Gandai Baai was on hand to receive the award and underline what Winnie Mandela fought for.

“Thank you for turning every girl child, every woman to refuse to be a victim and to refuse to be defeated.”

“Let anyone define you according to their standards, let us continue to ensure the total emancipation of our people in the continent, the women and the children, aluta continua!”

This was the 68th graduation ceremony for Uganda’s largest university.

Most of the graduates may be too young to remember Madikizela Mandela’s leading role in the anti-apartheid struggle. But they still see her as a source of inspiration.

Graduate Shivan Musimenta says, “Her fighting for rights, I think that resonates with Uganda because we are going through the same stuff for our voice to be out there.”

“It’s really a lesson to learn from her, she is a strong woman. She has strong character and we have to take her trend.”

Madikizela Mandela was unable to attend, still there was everything to celebrate; not just her achievements but also those of her former husband, Nelson Mandela.

As with many parts of Africa, Madikizela-Mandela’s legacy can be felt and the efforts of her struggles for freedom continue to resonate well beyond her own homeland.

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The post Ugandan university honours Madikizela Mandela appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..

Source: SABCNews

Children miss school because of drought in parts of Kenya

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Several school going children in some of Kenya’s arid areas have not resumed classes following a long dry spell in most parts of the country.

Children are said to have followed their parents for long treks away from their villages in search of water and pastures for their animals. Most of the affected are Masai who are traditionally herders.

The previous day we met Henry Matiyan, a guardian who had come to collect a transfer letter for his brother.l The drought has forced his family to move several kilometres away from here – he will now continue schooling elsewhere.

“If it continues, it means there will be no school; all these children will go away with their parents,” says Kinuthia.

Kajiado like many parts of Kenya has not received adequate rainfall since 2016.  It is an arid area – meaning it lacks adequate water.

The Masaai people who are the main inhabitants of the area are livestock keepers – the more one has the wealthier they are, now their livestock’s carcasses dot their land, their cattle bomas are empty and so are their pockets.

Kajaido Resident college student Henry Matiyan has been forced to drop out until the rains.

“Ideally the school fees would come have from, from cattle, I as a masaai that is our bank. We have no other place to look for money, the only way is to sell cattles and goats.”

“It’s a big, big loss, big loss. Cows have died, our goats have died, even donkeys,” adds another resident Amos Lau Lau

To save the remaining livestock, they have now moved hundreds of kilometres from here in search of pastures and water for their livestock together with their children.

Only old women, the pregnant and very little children have been left behind.

Food has kept Enosorua Primary school running at least for now. We witness the children receiving a meal of maize of beans – just a cup per child but that cup means the difference between keeping the school open or closed.

“Do you see? That this food makes children come to school?  Yes, that I really accept, because when it is not there, the children cannot come to school,” says Enosorua Primary School teacher, Maxwell Obaga.

The arid and semi-arid areas make at least 80% of Kenya.

Education officials from the county, who refused to speak to the SABC on camera say, although Kajiado is an arid area, it is not classified as a hard ship area and does not therefore receive food rations from the government.

“It breaks our hearts to see our kids go the whole day without food and they are expected to compete with others who have better facilities,” says Sankale.

We sought a comment from Kenya’s ministry of Education but we were yet to get a response by the time of filing this report.

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Source: SABCNews

UN Secretary defends immigration development

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The United Nations Secretary General has defended immigration as a positive development for countries while arguing that the global organisation would continue to fight racism in all its forms.

He was responding to a question on US President Donald Trump’s alleged derogatory statements regarding immigration from Africa and Haiti to the United States.

UN Chief Antonio Guterres says: “As far as I understand, the United States President has denied that he has said that. Our position is very clear, we need to have relations of mutual respect with all peoples in the world and in particular migration is a positive aspect.”

“And migrants contribute not only to the welfare to their countries of origin but to the welfare of the countries where they are part of the development process.”

“The respect for migrants and the respect for diversity, the ethnic diversity, religious diversity, is a fundamental pillar of the UN and it will be a fundamental pillar of the action of the Secretary General.”

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Source: SABCNews

Banyana to play against Sweden on Sunday

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The South African national women’s football team will play their first ever match in Cape Town when they take on Sweden in an international friendly at the Cape Town Stadium on Sunday.

Banyana Banyana, the 2017 COSAFA champions and the number one team in Africa, have a big year ahead with qualification for the 2018 African Women’s Cup of Nations and the 2019 Soccer World Cup taking place.

Playing Sweden who is ranked 10th in the world and fifth in Europe will be a tough assignment, but great preparation for the exciting challenges that lie ahead.

Banyana Banyana interim coach Desiree Ellis says: “Last year was a fantastic year for us and this year is the beginning of a very big year for Banyana Banyana.”

Sweden has played Banyana Banyana twice before winning 4-1 at the London Olympics and 1-nil at the Rio Olympics.

The City of Cape Town have become involved and are serious about giving women’s soccer a voice and a platform for the players to display their talents and provide inspiration to the youth.

City of Cape Town Stuart Diamond says: “Cape Town feels privileged to say thank you to Sweden for coming here so we can honour women’s football and give it the place that it deserves and for young girls to achieve their dreams.”

It will be an historic occasion at the Cape Town Stadium on Sunday and there will also be free entrance to the public although a ticket will be required to enter the stadium.

 

The post Banyana to play against Sweden on Sunday appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..

Source: SABCNews

Professor Kgositsile laid to rest

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World renowned poet, Professor Keorapetse William Kgositsile has been laid to rest at West Park cemetery in Johannesburg.

The 79-year-old died on the 3rd of January after a short illness. Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the nation to put arts and culture at the centre of nation building.

Ramaphosa was delivering the eulogy.

Kgositsile was a decorated artist whose work reached far and wide.

Not only did he spend close to 30 years in exile but he traversed the world teaching at various universities in the United States and on the continent.

Hundreds of people paid their last respects on Tuesday.

Ramaphosa says: “We must do more to sustain the legacy of this icon so that future generations know who Keorapetse Kgositsile is and will continue to follow his footsteps.”

His colleagues had nothing but praise for his work.

Bra Willie, as he was affectionately known may have been a global icon and literary giant, who was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in 2006, but he was no less loving to his family.

Plans are afoot to make what would have been his 80th birthday later in 2018 a big event.

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Source: SABCNews

SABC board to act in line with interim court order

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The Board of the SABC says it will continue to act in line with an interim court order from the High Court in Pretoria in 2017 regarding the appointment of executive management at the public broadcaster.

The SABC earlier denied it had appointed a new Chief Operations Officer (COO) saying the process was still on-going.

This came amid reports that the public broadcaster had appointed media executive Chris Maroleng to the COO position.

The High Court in Pretoria ruled in December that the non-executive members of the public broadcaster’s board appoint the executive members and not cabinet.

This was viewed as a major victory for those campaigning against political interference in the public broadcaster.

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has warned Communications Minister Mmamolo Kubayi-Ngubane not to repeat the mistakes of previous ministers by interfering in the appointment of top management at the public broadcaster.

Kubayi-Ngubane earlier claimed appointments of top SABC management were done via a cabinet process.

This is in apparent contradiction of the December court order.

EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says the minister is not making the pronouncements out of ignorance.

“If  the CEO of the SABC is appointed by the cabinet, then the SABC ceases to be a public broadcaster and then becomes a state broadcaster. Then she is dangerous, because we are shocked, because Cyril Ramaphosa said things will be different, yet under his watch, ministers are continuing intervening with the work of the SABC board.”

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Source: SABCNews

Poet Kgositsile was brave and committed: Ramaphosa

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South Africa’s Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa paid homage to poet and political activist William Keorapetse Kgositsile on Tuesday, describing him as committed, brave and never deterred by the brutal apartheid regime.

After the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, activists streamed out of the country to wage a fierce fight against apartheid from abroad.

In 1961, the year in which the African National Congress (ANC) established its military wing uMkhonto We Sizwe (MK), he was one of the young cadres sent into exile.

“The ANC leadership recognised his potential to be the envoy that would amplify the voice of the liberation movement throughout the world,” Ramaphosa said as he delivered a eulogy at the official funeral of the revered poet laureate in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“He associated himself with people’s resistance struggle at an early age, dating back to the 1950s when he became a member of the ANC.

He was not discouraged and forever remained committed and brave.”

Kgositsile was one of the trusted ANC cadres, and one of the foremost intellectuals, Ramaphosa added.

Kgositsile died after a short illness on January 3, aged 79. He left South Africa aged 23 and returned after the unbanning of political parties when he was in his 50s. Kgositsile was popularly known by his pen name Bra Willie.

He was inaugurated in 2006 as South Africa’s second national poet laureate after the first national poet laureate Mazisi Kunene.

He was also a recipient of the National Order of Ikhamanga for his contribution to literature.

Kgositsile was an internationalist of note who touched the lives of many through his poetry and political activism, and his death has reverberated across the globe.

In his three decades of exile, Kgositsile fought injustices through his poetry, teachings and publications.

He lived in several countries, including the United States, Botswana, Tanzania and Kenya.

Upon his return to South Africa following the jettisoning of the apartheid regime in 1994, Kgositsile worked with several academic and government institutions.

In his lifetime, he mentored countless cultural practitioners, academics and political activists.

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Source: SABCNews

De Lille pushes for drought levy amidst uncertain future

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Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille has once again stated the importance of imposing a drought levy in the Western Cape.

De Lille has called on council to approve the levy which will affect more than 460 000 households in the midst of the worst drought in the province in decades.

In a lengthy statement released by De Lille’s office, she stresses the importance of the much-needed levies. She says due to water users decreasing their water consumption and paying less for the scarce commodity, The Water and Sanitation Department has a projected deficit in the region of R1.7 billion for the 2017/ 2018 financial year.

If approved by council, the income generated will be more than R400 million for the 2017/2018 financial year and approximately R1 billion over three years. But the proposal has not been well received by some.

On Wednesday, the DA Metro Executive called on council not to approve the levy. The public has until next Monday the 15th of January to make submissions.

More than 45 000 submissions have already been received.

Dam levels below 30%

De Lille has confirmed that dam levels in the Western Cape have dropped below 30% as the province battles the worst drought in decades.

De Lille attended the first drilling tests in Mitchells Plain into the Cape Flats Aquifer for additional water supply.

De Lille says it is hoped to gain an additional 150 million litres of water per day from the three major aquifers in and around the Mother City.

“For the first time since the drought began the dam levels are below 30 percent, 29 point four which also means that 19 point four percent is usable, which means it’s very critical now, and also because of the high usage of water, capetownians still use 580 million litres of water per day, there are many people who are not adhering to the 87 litres per person per day, and because of that day zero has now been moved forward to the 22nd of april.”

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The post De Lille pushes for drought levy amidst uncertain future appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..

Source: SABCNews

Families set to identify train crash victims

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The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) says family members of those killed in a train crash in the Free State last week will be taken to the Kroonstad mortuary on Tuesday to begin the identification process.

Nineteen people were killed and over 200 injured when a Shosholoza Meyl train travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg collided with a truck before bursting into flames at a rail crossing between Kroonstad and Hennenman.

Four of the deceased are still unaccounted for.

Prasa Spokesperson Sipho Sithole says those affected by the deadly crash have been receiving medical and emotional support.

“The health authorities have now told us that they are ready to receive the families. We are just hoping that we will have the courage and that bravery to face the families when they see the remains and some of the charred bodies of people that perished in that accident. After that, we will then be dealing with the burial processes, because we don’t know how long the process of identifying the bodies will take.”

 

The post Families set to identify train crash victims appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..

Source: SABCNews

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