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Swellendam families still waiting for compensation
17 February 2018, 7:49 PM

Two poor families from Slangrivier near Swellendam in the Western Cape are still waiting for compensation, almost a year after their homes were damaged in separate freak incidents.

Two buses belonging to the same owner crashed into their RDP homes, just hours apart.

To date, neither the owner of the buses nor the local municipality, have done anything to help.

The home owners say the bus company is refusing to help them.

Hilda Beukes says, “Everytime I’m on the phone with him (bus owner) he puts the phone down on me. I can’t take it anymore. Its 10 months since this happened to my house and I want what’s due to me.”

Another resident, Francina Nykana says, “He (bus owner) says he cannot fix the house because there was no driver in the bus. A person feels embarrassed and hurt and we can’t even invite people over.”

Community leaders are livid.

JB Hoogbaard says, “I think it’s unfair for our residents to be treated this way. There are children who live in these houses. I think it’s time the bus owner keeps his promise to fix these homes and I also think the municipality should follow this up.”

The bus owner declined to be interviewed.

He claims the incidents were an act of sabotage after the brakes of one of the vehicles were tampered with and the handbrake on the other deliberately released.

The municipality says the matter is sub judice and it cannot comment.

For now, the plight of the affected families continues.

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Vatican revives pope’s sexual abuse panel
17 February 2018, 6:53 PM

The Vatican said Saturday it has renewed its anti-paedophile panel as Pope Francis acts to quell the global scandal over the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Nine new members were added to the panel, which had come under fire from two high-profile members, former sex abuse victims who quit at what they saw as a lack of reforms and obstruction at the highest level of the Catholic Church.

US Cardinal Sean O’Malley was confirmed as the head of the child protection panel along with seven other incumbent members.

“The newly-appointed members will add to the commission’s global perspective in the protection of minors and vulnerable adults,” O’Malley said in a statement.

“The Holy Father has ensured continuity in the work of our commission, which is to assist local churches throughout the world in their efforts to safeguard all children, young people, and vulnerable adults from harm.”

As well as O’Malley, the panel is now made up of eight men and eight women, including victims of abuse, the Vatican said.

It was set up in 2014 shortly after Francis was elected Pope, but its work came in for strong criticism last year.

Irishwoman Marie Collins, who was raped by a hospital chaplain at the age of 13, quit the panel in March last year in protest at what she said was the “shameful” blocking of reforms.

Briton Peter Saunders, another sex abuse victim, also left in 2016 after a row over the panel’s handling of allegations of serial abuse by an Italian priest.

The announcement of the revival of the committee came just days after it was revealed that Francis held regular private meetings with people abused by members of the priesthood.

The Pope has described the scandal as a “great humiliation” for the Catholic Church.

But he has been attacked for supporting Chilean bishop Juan Barros, who is accused of covering up crimes by a paedophile priest.

WATCH: ANCYL leader Collen Maine supports recalling of Zuma
17 February 2018, 6:35 PM

ANC Youth League (ANCYL) president, Collen Maine, says the recalling of former President Jacob Zuma was in the best interest of the country.

Maine was speaking in Kimberley in the Northern Cape where he was addressing branch members regarding the ANC’s decision to recall the former President.

Maine also says the youth working group, expected to be established, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his State of The Nation address, will ensure that the voices of the youth in the country are heard.

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WATCH: Internet companies urged to act on spread of fake news
17 February 2018, 6:12 PM

Internet companies such as Twitter, Google and Facebook are being called on to act on the spread of fake news and misinformation.

This after the Office of United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies, known for its trolling on social media.

The indictment claims a Russian propaganda arm, oversaw a criminal and espionage conspiracy, to tamper in the 2016 US presidential campaign, to support Donald Trump and disparage Hillary Clinton.

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McGregor, Birkett take top honours at 2018 Dusi Canoe Marathon
17 February 2018, 5:06 PM

The Dusi dream team of Hank McGregor and Andy Birkett have won the men’s race in the 2018 Dusi Canoe Marathon. The pair fought off stiff competition and extremely hot conditions to cross the finish line first at the Blue Lagoon in Durban.

This is what an ecstatic McGregor had to say at the end: “Hats off to my partner, Andy Birkett. He’s been strong all the way to the finish line. Andy has really outdone himself, he pushes himself to the limits. It’s an incredible feeling to win the Dusi. Such a rush. I must say hats off to the others who came in second and third, it was a tough race for all of us, nail biting stuff.”

Carl Folscher and Hungarian Adrian Boros finished in second, with the home favourites Sbonelo Khwela and Siseko Ntondini in third place.

Meanwhile, Pietermaritzburg’s Peek sisters have won the women’s race in the 2018 Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Jordan and Cana Peek dominated from day one, with strong and steady performances on all three days.

Speaking at the finish line in Durban, the Peeks say they are ecstatic with their win.

“We tried our best … and this was the result. It’s been hard at times but we both managed to overcome the challenges. For this kind of race one has to go into it with an open mind. There are many twists and turns and it’s easy to make a mistake. Besides all the hard work, we had a lot of fun. It’s all about the camaraderie. The result is a good one … we pulled through and we both proud of our achievements.”

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