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More than 4 thousand houses damaged by storm in Mpumalanga

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The Bushbuckridge Local Municipality says preliminary investigations suggest that over 4 000 houses in Mkhuhlu and surrounding villages, outside Hazyview, in Mpumalanga, have been damaged by the storm that hit the area on New Year’s eve.

Residents of Mkhuhlu are picking up the pieces and trying to rebuild what has been destroyed. Hundreds of houses were damaged when the storm that was accompanied by hail hit the area just before sunset on New Year’s Eve.

The storm left a trail of destruction, causing damage to structures including a local hospital.

Some residents who do not have insurance face a daunting task of repairing their houses from their own pockets.

“It looks as if somebody was on top of the roof with a hummer, pulling all the roof tiles and also windows are broken and the cars are being damaged, the windscreen, the back windows and on top of the cars, there are lots of dents.”

The residents are calling on government to assist.

The Bushbuckridge Local Municipality says a task team has been established to assess the damage.

Spokesperson for the municipality Aubrey Mnisi says their task is far from over.

“We are meeting as a committee that was established to look into the disaster.”

The municipality has issued out tents to all affected families as a temporary relief measure. More relief aid is expected to arrive in the area.

The post More than 4 thousand houses damaged by storm in Mpumalanga 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

Facebook, Twitter face deadline in Brexit fake news probe

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Social media giants Facebook and Twitter are facing a deadline in Britain to cooperate with an inquiry into so-called fake news in the Brexit referendum campaign, a parliamentary committee chairman said Friday.

The companies have been given until January 18 to share information requested by British lawmakers probing suspected Russian interference around the vote, according to Damian Collins, chair of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee.

He told AFP both his committee and the Government would review what action could be taken if the tech titans fail to comply.

“It’s been over a month since we made the request to Facebook for this information and we need to see some action,” Collins said.

“They have ignored our requests… for information on any activity relating to fake accounts and in fact only responded in relation to accounts set up in the USA but not set up here.”

 

He added: “We have had similar issues with Twitter and we have gone back to them and asked them for deeper investigations.”

 

The Conservative Party member of parliament said the committee had been clear in its requests to the companies, as it examines influence exerted during the 2016 referendum on Britain leaving the European Union.

“We want to know what links there are between fake accounts set up here and Russian agencies,” he said. “They have not answered our questions.”

Collins added it was “simply not credible” for Facebook to continue profiting from advertising while stonewalling his inquiry.

 

The company had shown itself capable of acting, such as during the French presidential election when it removed 35,000 accounts, he said.

“They are best placed to do their own investigating as they know the characteristics of their accounts holders and what payments have been made from Russian agencies and what acocunts they relate to,” Collins added.

Facebook and Twitter did not respond to requests for comment on Friday.

The EU is also looking into whether the social media companies have done enough to prevent misinformation peddling on their platforms.

It launched a public consultation on the phenomenon in November, the first step in a process that could see the promotion of bogus news stories made illegal in Europe.

 

 

The post Facebook, Twitter face deadline in Brexit fake news probe 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

Alleged white lion poacher to appear in court

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A man charged with killing white lions at Alldays in the north of Limpopo, will appear in court soon in the New Year.

Police spokesperson, Moatshe Ngoepe says the suspect was arrested in the Bochum, or Sewabarwana, area on Saturday night.

Several white lions were killed and their heads and paws cut off in various parts of Limpopo in the past year.

Ngoepe says people have also been arrested for capturing another endangered species.

“There has been an arrest of a 28 year old man following the arrest of his accomplice earlier for unlawful hunting of special protected species that is a white lion in Alldays outside Makhado. Meanwhile, two suspects were arrested in Malamulele for possession of pangolin the arrested suspects will appear in court soon our investigations on both cases are continuing.”

The post Alleged white lion poacher to appear in court 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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