Cosatu, N West residents praised for fighting corruption

Cosatu, N West residents praised for fighting corruption

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  corruption Cosatu Job Mokgoro Mahikeng North West politics Supra Mahumapelo

North West Premier Professor Job Mokgoro has praised the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and residents for ensuring that they stop being subjected to unprecedented levels of abuse of public resources.

Mokgoro was speaking at the North West Cosatu 5th Elective Conference which started in Mahikeng on Wednesday night.

He took over from former premier Supra Mahumapelo who was removed following public protests.

Mokgoro insisted that corrupt officials who have been pointed out by the Inter ministerial Task Team probed governance in the province be harshly dealt with.

“If it had not been for Cosatu, other public sector unions and in particular the people of the North West, we would have still been subjected to unprecedented levels of abuse of much needed public resources. The stench of corruption in the public service indeed undermined trust within government and robbed many of our communities of the much needed efficient and effective delivery of services,” Mokgoro says.

Cosatu Provincial Chairperson Solly Lekhu raised concerns with what he termed a dysfunctional alliance within the North West.

Watch the video below for more:

 

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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.

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Another cash in transit heist in Boksburg

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  Boksburg Boksburg heist Cash-in-transit heist Homepage Latest Stories Slider South Africa

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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Woman who scaled Statue of Liberty to protest immigration policy arrested

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A woman was arrested Wednesday after staging a dramatic protest against President Donald Trump’s separation of migrant families, climbing the Statue of Liberty and forcing its evacuation on Independence Day.

Wearing a “Rise and Resist” T-shirt, the woman on the fabled symbol of welcome to immigrants at one point told authorities that she would only come down when parents are reunited with all migrant children separated from them by the Trump administration.

“She resisted at the beginning. She would not come down by voice command,” National Park Service spokesperson Jerry Willis told AFP.

So police placed her in custody, Willis said, noting that the woman was facing multiple federal charges including trespassing and disorderly conduct.

“We assume that she is protesting,” Willis said, based on the woman’s remarks to police.

After nearly four hours on the statue, the woman finally accompanied police down off the monument, tethered to them by wires.

The woman, who has not yet been identified, at one point walked from one side to the other beneath the statue’s sandal.

New York police assisted US Park Police to remove her from Lady Liberty.

Local media first reported that the woman was among demonstrators opposed to Trump’s immigration policy who protested at the site earlier.

But Rise and Resist NYC, which organized the protest, said her protest on the statue was not part of the group’s move.

At least six people were arrested for hanging a banner around the base of the statue that read “Abolish ICE,” referring to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency at the forefront of the immigration debate.

They too were facing misdemeanor federal charges, Willis said.

Cruise operator Statue Cruises said it had to turn away more than 2 000 people waiting to take their tour to the famed statue.

Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration a cornerstone of his administration.

As a result of Trump’s crackdown, distraught children were separated from their families and, according to widely broadcast pictures, held in chain-link enclosures.

His one-time “zero tolerance” practice of separating migrant parents from their children at the Mexican border triggered international condemnation.

While the policy was abandoned, it is still unclear how and when some 2 000 migrant children will be reunited with their parents.

Many trying to cross the US-Mexico frontier are destitute, fleeing gang violence and other turmoil in Central America.

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SA will not reinstate ambassador to Tel Aviv

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  Homepage Featured Story Slider Israel Sisa Ngombane. Lindiwe Sisulu Tel Aviv World

The South African government says it will not bow down to pressure to normalise its diplomatic relations with the state of Israel.

This follows concerted efforts by pro-Israeli groups to urge the Pretoria administration to reinstate its ambassador to Tel Aviv.

The South African government recalled its Ambassador to Israel, Sisa Ngombane two months ago following the killing of at least 60 Palestinian protesters, and the wounding of about 2 000 more along the Gaza strip by Israeli forces.

The Jewish lobby groups have denounced the move to recall the country’s Ambassador as “outrageous”, whilst pro-Palestinian activists have called for the immediate downgrade of the South African embassy in Tel Aviv.

Briefing the media on Tuesday in Pretoria, International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu reiterated government stance not to reinstate its Ambassador back to Tel Aviv.

“I’m very glad that I recalled the Ambassador, because we could have not been in the situation that we are at now. Its been a violation that has been going on for a long time, and we can’t be looking away. We are holding back on our Ambassador until we are certain that we are making headway. For us this is an unacceptable situation, completely unacceptable.”

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Eskom halts retrenchment plans

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  Business eskom Eskom retrenchments Jabu Mabuza Khulu Phasiwe National Energy Regulator of South Africa Nersa

Eskom says it will seek ways of reducing staff costs other than cutting jobs. This after it halted a plan to offer workers voluntary retrenchment deals.

Eskom chairperson Jabu Mabuza announced last month that the power utility was weighing its options to reduce staff by 4.2% to 31 675 employees for the 2018/2019 financial year.

This week reports emerged yet again that the power utility plans to retrench 15 000 workers as part of it’s turn-around strategy.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe says if they decide to retrench, unions will have to be notified first and thereafter negotiation’s will have to take place.

Phasiwe says they want to finalise wage negotiations with unions this week.

He says the issue of retrenchments is not on the agenda.

“We would like to put in on record that Eskom Board together with management have not actually said anything about retrenchments.”

“Over the last few years we have seen a pattern where we are loosing on average about 4% of our staff. As and when people resign some of those positions are not going to be filled and that is different from retrenchment,” says Phasiwe.

This year Eskom applied to the energy regulator Nersa to raise electricity tariffs by 20%. Nersa granted the power utility 5.2% with effect from April 1st.

Phasiwe says they are currently busy with their business plan, which should be finalised by the end of September. “That business plan looks at improving Eskom efficiencies. The plan is going to influence the structure of how Eskom is going to look like going forward.”

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Anticipation brews ahead of Durban July

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  Durban Greyville Racecourse Homepage Featured Story Slider KwaZulu-Natal Lifestyle Vodacom Durban July

Preparations are in place for this year’s Vodacom Durban July.

More than 50 000 people are expected at Greyville Racecourse to witness South Africa’s best thoroughbreds race to the finish off the R3-million event.

Glitz and glamour will be the order of the day, but betting and festivities will not be limited to the racecourse.

Entertainment outlets in the region are gearing up to entertain fun lovers.

Residents of townships around Durban such as Umlazi and Umgababa on the south coast say they are ready to spoil the local visitors and holiday makers.

Owner of a venue near the Old uMgababa Sunlight Beach, Mondli Mtsho Makhathini, says they are looking forward to the weekend.

“Umgababa will host a showstopper event from Friday up until Sunday, where we will be wrapping up the July fun. The Coastal Lounge just opened its doors last month, and the fun is endless. KZN holiday makers who will be returning from the Durban Vodacom July have nowhere but the Coastal Lounge to go. We boast with a sea view and fun. Security has been beefed up, and people should not miss the happiness. The festivities begin on Friday and end on Sunday night.”

This year’s event will be celebrated under the theme “It Is Time” and event organisers say the concept has been warmly received in racing, fashion and social circles.

Fashion designers, hospitality providers and race goers will give their own interpretation of this theme to find that perfect look for the day.

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KZN institution under fire for ill treating mental health patients

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  Durban and Coastal Mental Home Homepage Latest Stories Slider Mental health institutions Phoenix Sexual abuse South Africa

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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Kenyan county governor accused of fraud conspiracy

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  Africa corruption Homepage Latest Stories Slider Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta

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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Mahikeng Municipality manager cries foul over ‘media bias’

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  Homepage Latest Stories Slider Mahikeng Mahikeng Local Municipality politics TVB VBS

The manager of the embattled Mahikeng Local Municipality in the North West Thabo Mokoena has accused the media, including the SABC, of being used to tarnish his reputation, and that of the municipality.

Recent media reports say the municipality has invested R85 million in the VBS Mutual Bank, without following due processes.

The municipality is also reported to be paying R96 000 a month for a non-existent toilet at a local taxi rank following Mokoena’s approval.

Mokoena says the allegations against the municipality are untrue.

“I was told by a certain person, who was the head in the office of the executive mayor… he said to me, the only way to survive reputational damage in Mahikeng, is to give this person at SABC work. He’s a news reporter,” explains Mokoena.

“If you give him work, he’s not going to report bad about you. And that person has sent me the message saying, we’ll be inviting every stakeholder in a hall, where people are going to come, people are going to talk about this thing of VBS or whatever. This is the same person who said I must give him a job,” he adds.

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