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WATCH: MPs condemn ongoing acts of violence against women
3 December 2019, 3:10 PM

MPs have condemned the ongoing acts of violence against women in the country. They expressed strong views against the scourge during a snap debate to mark 16 Days of Activism against Violence on Women and Children in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

 

The theme of the debate: Enough is Enough-365 days to end gender-based violence.

The House is also expected to consider a third report by National Assembly Rules Committee for approval.

The Assembly will also take a final decision on whether the two sacked Prosecutors Nomcgobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi should be reinstated or not.

Economic Cluster Ministers will have their final round of answering oral question in the House for this year.

One of the Ministers who is expected to face tough questions about the two cash strapped State owned Entities SAA and Eskom, is Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. One of the questions he will face is around the appointment of new Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter.

 

Stella High School double-murder accused concludes testimony
2 December 2019, 8:40 PM

Stella High School double-murder accused that’s on trial for the alleged murder of teenagers Sharnelle Hough and Marna Engelbrecht was back in court on Monday.

Xander Bylsma has concluded his testimony at the North West High court in Mahikeng.

Bylsma gave evidence as to what happened and where he was on the day before the death of Hough and Engelbrecht. He told the court that he knows nothing about the incident.

They were both found dead at the Stella HoerSkool hostel in Vryburg, last year May. However, he agrees that he had sent the victims SMSes threatening them, days before the incident.

The court also heard that Bylsma had a heated exchange over the phone with Brandon Victor who was in a romantic relationship with one of the deceased.

Meanwhile, the defence has called a car tracking device expert to outline movements of the vehicle that was allegedly used by Bylsma on the eve of the incident.

The court is also expected to hear a DNA expert called by the defence on Tuesday.

“Drivers in KZN should ensure safety of commuters”
29 November 2019, 11:56 AM

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Bheki Ntuli says drivers in the province should ensure the safety of commuters and other drivers this coming festive season.

Ntuli says his department has beefed up its manpower with over 24 000 police officers that will be working throughout the province.

Over 2 000 roadblocks will be held in the province during the holiday season.  Ntuli has issued a warning for all those who will be driving under the influence of alcohol.

“If you are drunk and driving – we will have to get a place to keep you so that you will not put other people in danger. If people are in town – they should enjoy a crime free shopping. We also know that there are looming taxi feuds. We are working hand in hand with bus drivers -so that they stop fighting over unnecessary things. “

Meanwhile, taxi killings in KwaZulu-Natal still remain a concern.

South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) Chief Strategic Manager, Bafana Magagula says even though they have been able to visit all provinces to speak to drivers about the Hlokomela campaign – which allows motorists and taxi passengers the opportunity to anonymously report the behaviour of a taxi driver – they still have a huge challenge with industry killings.

Magagula has urged members of the community and the police to work together in combating this crime.

“It is still a challenge. We’d like to urge the community to assist. Also when the police arrest these people – they must not be given bail. The justice system must be strong.  The fact that there are people who sit and plan to kill others – is really a huge problem.  People must think before they kill. They must think how their kids would feel seeing them dead.”

Taliban ready to resume peace talks – following Trump’s Kabul visit
29 November 2019, 10:07 AM

The Taliban said on Friday they were ready to restart peace talks with the United States, a day after President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan – and said he believed the radical group would agree to a ceasefire.

Trump’s Thanksgiving Day visit was his first to Afghanistan since becoming president, and came a week after a prisoner swap between Washington and Kabul that has raised hopes for a long elusive peace deal to end the 18-year-long war.

“The Taliban wants to make a deal and we are meeting with them,” Trump told reporters after arriving in Afghanistan on Thursday. “We say it has to be a ceasefire and they didn’t want to do a ceasefire and now they want to do a ceasefire, I believe. It will probably work out that way.”

Taliban leaders have told Reuters that the group has been holding meetings with senior U.S. officials in Doha since last weekend, adding they could soon resume formal peace talks.

On Friday, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesperson for the hard line Islamist insurgent group, said they were “ready to restart the talks” that collapsed after Trump had called them off earlier this year. “Our stance is still the same. If peace talks start, it will be resumed from the stage where it had stopped,” Mujahid told Reuters.

Trump cancelled peace negotiations in September after the militant group claimed responsibility for an attack in Kabul that killed 12 people, including an American soldier. “We are hoping that Trump’s visit to Afghanistan will prove that he is serious to start talks again. We don’t think he has not much of a choice,” said a senior Taliban commander on conditions of anonymity.

There are currently about 13,000 U.S. forces as well as thousands of other NATO troops in Afghanistan, 18 years after an invasion by a U.S.-led coalition following the September 11, 2001,al Qaeda attacks on the United States. About 2,400 U.S. service members have been killed in the course of the Afghan conflict.

A draft accord agreed in September would have thousands of American troops withdrawn in exchange for guarantees that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for militant attacks on the United States or its allies. Still, many U.S. officials doubt the Taliban could be relied upon to prevent al Qaeda from again plotting attacks against the United States from Afghan soil.

WATCH: Child Health Priorities Conference
29 November 2019, 8:51 AM

The  Child Health Priorities Conference in Potchefstroom, North West, brings together academics and other stakeholders to discuss issues relating to the health and welfare of children.

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