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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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Source: SABCNews

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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Source: SABCNews

Rain brings some relief to Western Cape farmers

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Agri Western Cape says good rains and heavy snow has placed the industry in the province in a much better position than last year.

CEO of the organisation, Carl Opperman says although dams are filling up in the province, the drought is far from over.

Ground water was used extensively as a result of the drought, and needs to recharged.

The area from Bredasdorp to Mossel Bay and inland to the Karoo is still in a dire situation.

Opperman says as a result of the drought, many farmers are still in financial dire straits and many face cash flow problems.

Opperman says there is an urgent need for all stakeholders, including government to look at setting up an insurance plan or programme to assist farmers when serious crises hit.

“We’ve got assistance on the live stock side, but there’s no assistance for your horticulture and viticulture, people or your grain farmers at this point in time. We got to really look at it.”

“The upcoming farmers are still in dire straits because there is no capital or balance sheet to back them up. So we must also look at ways and means to assist up and coming farmers. We need to find ways to sustain them and take them further when we face crisis like this,” adds Opperman.

 

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HRC urges better dialogue following healthcare strike

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The Human Rights Commission (HRC) has called on healthcare workers to consider engaging it when they fail to resolve their disputes with government instead of embarking on a strike action that compromises the provision of healthcare.

The Commission is hosting a national dialogue on the impact of protest action on the right to access healthcare services.

The North West province was plunged into chaos a few months ago when healthcare workers went on a prolonged strike action over salaries and poor working conditions.

HRC Chairperson Bongani Majola has also appealed to government to develop early warning systems in order to resolve issues as soon as they are raised.

“Where the state fails to engage properly, we’d like to encourage trade union movements and workers together to consider engaging the Commission instead of venting their frustrations on innocent and ailing members of the public, who are compelled by their conditions to seek help in public hospitals and clinics. The Commission is committed to ensuring that the human rights of everyone are promoted and protected and this includes the rights of healthcare workers.”

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Drivers threaten to shut down Uber and Taxify

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Uber and Taxify drivers have threatened to shut down the ride e-hailing services should their demands not be addressed.

They marched to Uber offices in Krammerville in Johannesburg on Tuesday and handed over a memorandum of demands.

They gave both companies 48 hours to respond to their demands.

Among some of their demands is for the 25% commission which they claim Uber receives, to be reduced to 15%.

Taxify on the other hand, claims its drivers receive between 13 to 20% and that they even increased fares recently in response to the fuel price hike.

Spokesperson for the drivers Vhathuka Mbelengwa says thus far they have not received any official response. ”

Uber has put out press releases about offering driver incentives and fuel top up incentives. These are solutions we have assessed and feel they lack impact in what we are trying to accomplish. We want real solutions. We want our demands met.”

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Source: SABCNews

On July Fourth, Americans celebrate life, liberty

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Americans celebrated their nation’s 242nd anniversary of independence on Wednesday, with concerts, parades and a voracious display of hot dog-eating prowess in New York, as many cities and towns held fireworks displays after sundown.

But the holiday was marked by a widely televised protest at the Statue of Liberty against ICE, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A woman scaled the statue’s pedestal, where she sat for four hours until police brought her down. Police said it was unclear if she was part of the protest against ICE and charges were pending.

Also, two people died and several others were injured Tuesday evening in Rock Island Illinois after a large tree branch fell on them, police reported in local media.

At the White House, President Donald Trump hosted a picnic for military families on the South Lawn during the afternoon, a few hours before fireworks lit up the National Mall.

Independence Day festivities held in Washington featured a concert by the National Symphony Orchestra on the lawn of the Capitol, where “Margaritaville” singer Jimmy Buffett, The Temptations, The Beach Boys and Luke Combs performed.

The Fourth of July holiday marks the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by congressional delegates in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.

The document declared the young nation’s independence from Great Britain and advanced the principle “that all men are created equal,” and had “certain unalienable rights” including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

More than two centuries later, however, it was the pursuit of hot dogs that defined the holiday at Coney Island on the waterfront of New York’s borough of Brooklyn, where Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and restaurants held its 46th annual hot dog-eating contest.

Joey Chestnut once again dominated the competition. The 34-year-old from San Jose, California, won his 11th “Mustard Belt” by downing an astonishing 74 wieners – topping the record of 72 he set last year.

In the women’s division, Miki Sudo, 32, of Las Vegas, won her fifth title by putting away 37 hot dogs.

Heat and humidity hung over the competition, as well as much of the country. The National Weather Service issued heat advisories for the Plains states eastward to the Mid-Atlantic region. Temperatures hit the 90s with the humidity making it feel like 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (40-43 degrees Celsius).

On a day that features countless patriotic parades nationally, the pro-gun control group Moms Demand Action held several marches around the country, including one in Webster Groves, Missouri, where Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill joined them.

“It was hot! But wonderful,” McCaskill said on Twitter.

New York put on an evening fireworks display that ranks as the country’s largest, according to Macy’s (M.N), the retailer that sponsors the annual event.

More than 3 million spectators and 12 million television viewers watched 75,000 shells illuminate the night sky over the East River to the music of singer Kelly Clarkson.

Bostonians celebrated with the Boston Pops along the Charles River, joined by pop vocalist Rachel Platten.

Because of wildfires in southeastern Colorado and drought in the Denver area, most area communities canceled public displays of fireworks, officials said.

Los Angeles held fireworks, as well as a concert and other celebrations at the Hollywood Bowl. Up the coast, San Franciscans watched fireworks on the bay near the Golden Gate Bridge.

In recent years, law enforcement agencies have been on the alert for suspicious activity during the holiday celebrations. Officials said they took extra precautions this year, but have not detected any credible security threats.

An Ohio man was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of planning to detonate a bomb at Cleveland’s Fourth of July celebrations.

The post On July Fourth, Americans celebrate life, liberty 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

Another cash in transit heist in Boksburg

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Police are yet to confirm reports of a cash-in-transit heist in Boksburg East of Johannesburg.

It’s believed the cash heist happened on Atlas and Northrand road in Boksburg.

Motorists have reported hearing sounds of gun fire and explosions.

This is the same vicinity where in May this year five people were arrested after two cash vans were blown open and an undisclosed amount of cash stolen.

Spokesperson for the Motor Transport Workers’ Union Tlhasenyane Motaung says an alleged robber has been shot dead.

“They did try to bomb the vehicle but failed, and one robber was shot dead. Three of our members are injured. One of the guys from the Tactical Support Unit was shot on the leg. There’s also reports that two civilians may have been injured but that’s not confirmed as yet.”

All the wounded have been taken to hospital. Police are currently searching for the other suspects.

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KZN institution under fire for ill treating mental health patients

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The Durban and Coastal Mental Health Home is under fire for the second time this month, as more people continue to make allegations against it.

These range from sexual abuse to ill-treatment and exploitation of patients.

The home is the largest mental health institution in South Africa. It has seven centres around Durban alone, and cares for people who are mentally-ill or have physical disabilities.

Earlier this week the institution was accused of sexually abusing a patient. The claim was made by relatives of the victim.

Another family which chose to remain anonymous told the SABC that the institution used patients as security guards.

One of the patients who works as a security guard at the Phoenix branch of the institution in the north of Durban says he works from Monday to Sunday and earns R300 per month.

He says” “I stay inside here, and only in the morning, I work from 10 o’ clock to 2 o’ clock. They pay R300 monthly. I work everyday.”

In response to the allegations regarding the security staff, the institution says it uses patients as security guards as part of psycho-social rehabilitation and economic integration.

It claims that they are supported by staff.

However, the SABC can confirm that there was no one supporting these patients at the centres it visited.

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Source: SABCNews

Kenyan county governor accused of fraud conspiracy

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A Kenyan county governor and three other officials were charged with conspiracy to defraud the government and abuse of office on Wednesday.

Sospeter Ojaamong, the governor of Busia County in western Kenya, and the three others pleaded not guilty as they appeared in front of anti-corruption Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti.

Ogoti ordered all the four officials to be detained until July 6 when a ruling on their application for release on bail will be given.

Ojaamong was arrested on Wednesday as part of a crackdown that has seen dozens of raids and investigations in the past two months. He told KTN News television on Tuesday he was “clean as cotton, or snow”.

The director of public prosecutions, Noordin Haji, said on Tuesday that Ojaamong, eight other officials and a company would be prosecuted over the theft of millions of Kenyan shillings of public funds.

He said the charges against Ojaamong centered on procurement practices linked to a solid waste management system in Busia, which borders Uganda.

Five others to be charged are still at large.

Kenyan media have reported on more than a dozen graft scandals involving state agencies and officials since President Uhuru Kenyatta was re-elected last year. He has promised a renewed crackdown on graft.

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Source: SABCNews

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