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IEC in Free State pleased with Maluti-a-Phofung municipal by-elections
28 August 2019, 7:08 PM

The Independent Electoral Commision (IEC) in the Free State says despite experiencing a few challenges Maluti-a-Phofung municipal by-elections went according to plan.

All 91 voting stations in the region opened on time. Queues started to form from as early as seven o’clock in the morning.

Some voters were turned away as their names did not appear on the voters’ roll and voting was almost disrupted in Ward 10 when gang violence erupted.

“We don’t know what is happening here. People have been voting here but were turned away. People must not be denied their opportunity to vote,” says a voter.

The IEC says it has managed to deal with Voters roll issues.

Itumeleng Liba, a Free State Electoral Officer says: “People must vote where they have registered. I would say they are taking chances. But you will find a person is registered in another ward and want to go and vote at the other ward.”

Excited residents say they voted for change.

“We want changes. We want water and electricity,” says a resident.

“We want to vote for a party that will change our lives because ANC has forgotten about us,” adds another resident.

The contest for 15 vacant wards involves 89 candidates from six political parties as well as 16 independent candidates. The municipality is currently under administration due to collapse in governance.

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Fire fighters extinguishing fires in PTA
28 August 2019, 2:36 PM

Police in the Pretoria CBD have dispersed a group of about 3 000 people in order for fire-fighters to extinguish fires at several businesses. The group of people had barricaded Lilian Ngoyi street.

Two fire engines have been extinguishing the blazes while police monitor the situation.

Meanwhile, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Roads and Transport in the Tshwane Metro Sheila Lynn Senkubuge says she will meet stakeholders in the taxi industry later on Wednesday in a bid to resolve the chaotic situation in the CBD.

On Tuesday traffic in some parts of the Pretoria CBD came to a standstill when a taxi driver was shot dead by a suspected drug peddler.

Traffic remains congested on several streets and many shops are closed. Senkubuge says she hopes a solution will soon be found.

“The first thing, we are, as the city, definitely have to apologise to our commuters. First of all to everyone who has to find alternative transport today and for the sheer inconvenience where no one is able to get to where they need to go during the day. We are really are sorry. But can commit that as a city we are working hard to resolve the situation and talk with the taxi industry. We will be having a meeting later today and law enforcement is doing everything they can to resolve this.”

What Zuma said about Hanekom matter of interpretation: Winks
23 August 2019, 9:10 AM

Independent advocate Ben Winks says what the former President Jacob Zuma said about the African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee member Derek Hanekom is likely to be a matter of interpretation in court.

Hanekom, is suing Zuma for R 500 000 for alleging that he was a known enemy agent in a defamation case which will be heard in the High Court in Durban on Friday.

Hanekom served in Zuma’s cabinet in various positions, the last being Tourism minister, despite being outspoken against the former President and openly voicing concerns over state capture.

Winks says Zuma will need to prove that he did not defame Hanekom.

“In the first hurdle you come up against is that you have to show that it’s defamatory. That then is the question for the court to decide. Objectively speaking whether the statement lowers the esteem in which the general community would hold that person. In this case we’re dealing with a statement that he’s a known enemy agent and this is what I was talking about at the State Capture Commission. Now, what’s very interesting about Zuma’s answering is saying I didn’t mean you’re an apartheid spy. I may have been talking about an apartheid spy at the State Capture Commission but I never mentioned your name.”

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Phoenix murder case to resume in High Court in Durban
23 August 2019, 8:02 AM

The triple murder case against the accused truck driver, Colin Pillay, from Phoenix, north of Durban is expected to resume in the High Court in Durban on Friday morning.

Pillay is accused of killing his married lover, Jane Govindasamy, and her two young daughters in their flat in Phoenix north of Durban in September last year.

State prosecutor advocate Cheryl Naidu and defence advocate Amanda Hulley are expected to announce a date for the heads of argument to be heard.

Earlier this week, the court was shown video footage, of the accused allegedly leaving the home of the victims, hours after the murders were committed, holding what advocate Naidu described, as a knife.

St Francis residents traumatised after fire destroys 12 houses
23 August 2019, 7:11 AM

The fire that blazed through St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape has destroyed 12 houses.

The affected families say the ordeal has traumatised them with some already planning to rebuild their houses.

Thomas Jachens has been living in his St Francis house for more than 20 years. He says he managed to salvage some of the family property from the flames.

“We are feeling devastated. The house that is more than 20-years-old has effectively been destroyed so we will have to start from scratch again. Fortunately some of the furniture was rescued but we have to start to pick up the pieces and rebuild the house to where it was again.”

Fire teams and a helicopter from Port Elizabeth assisted in dousing the fires near the golf course.

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