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Family members of Life Esidimeni patients demand answers from Gauteng Premier
22 March 2019, 1:25 PM

Some family members of the former Life Esidimeni mentally-ill patients are at the office of Gauteng Premier David Makhura in Johannesburg to demand answers on when they’ll receive their financial compensation.

144 patients died when they were moved from Life Esidimeni familities to ill-equipped NGOs. All those who took part in the arbitration process have been paid.

However, the new claimants received a message last night informing them they’ll no longer receive the money on Friday as the provincial government had promised, due to a technical glitch.

Gauteng government spokesperson Thabo Masebe has confirmed that 13 families were supposed to receive payment. He’s assured them that their money has been processed and they will be paid soon.

One of the family members Linda Maliehe says they are tired of empty promises. “When are they going to pay, the timeframes, they must say. So is something that they don’t want to give us. Now they say they have technical glitches, which they don’t even explain to us what are those technical glitches. We’re still waiting for the explanation, nothing. So they say we must just wait, it could be fixed today, tomorrow, it can even take weeks. So we don’t know how long it’s gonna take. Honestly we don’t know what to do. Because we’ve tried everything, the media, clearly they do not care.”

Gauteng Government Spokesperson Thabo Masebe says, “There’s no need for anyone to panic. The Office of the Premier has indeed processed payments for some of the people who have made claims and have been verified with the Master of the High court.  The payments have been loaded onto the automated system and they will receive their money anytime, as soon as the money reaches their bank account.”

Law enforcement on high alert due to blackouts
22 March 2019, 12:15 PM

As the rolling blackouts continue, law enforcement officials have been put on high alert for any opportunistic criminal activities as a result of criminals taking advantage of the power outages.

The City of Johannesburg says metro police officers have been deployed at busy intersection to curb potential smash and grab incidents and also help ease traffic jams.

Motorists are urged to be more vigilant and ensure their valuables such as bags and cell phones are kept out of sight.

Johannesburg Public Safety MMC Michael Sun.“We have been deploying between 180 to 220 metro police officers and pointsmen to ensure that traffic free flows and more importantly, our regional crime prevention unit within JMPD have been increasing their visibility and patrols to ensure that we don’t have opportunistic crimes such as smash and grabs; as you can imagine, when the intersections are congested the smash and grabbers tend to do their criminal business.”

Former sport minister Fikile Mbalula.
Mbalula confirms 2011 emotional outburst over Gupta’s influence
22 March 2019, 11:40 AM

Former Police and Sports Minister, Fikile Mbalula, has confirmed his 2011 emotional outburst regarding the Gupta family’s influence on the ANC leadership and former President Jacob Zuma.

Mbalula is testifying before the State Capture Commission of Inquiry in Parktown in Johannesburg.

Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and former Communications Minister Sphiwe Nyanda both testified that Mbalula raised his concerns about the Gupta family after Ajay Gupta called him to congratulate him on his appointment as Sport Minister in 2011.

The call was made before he was notified formally by Zuma.

Mbalula says he spoke out because he believes the Guptas had more privileges than ANC members.

“I took that matter to the NEC to share part of my experience, to say to the NEC that this thing of the Guptas of interfering and calling ministers is a big problem. One day this thing will land us in a big problem. I said these people enjoy the powers that not even the members of the ANC enjoy.”

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Japanese Super Rugby side dropped from competition
22 March 2019, 10:23 AM

The Japanese Super Rugby side, the Sunwolves has been dropped from the competition.

SANZAAR, the governing body for Super Rugby, has announced that the Super Rugby from 2021 will feature 14 teams.

The decision comes after an extensive review that covered not only the commercial viability of the competition, but also broadcast considerations and player welfare.

From 2021, Super Rugby will comprise of the current five New Zealand teams, four each from South Africa and Australia, plus Argentina’s Jaguares.

The conference system will be abandoned, and each team played all the others once, leading to a top 6 play-off series.

The Japanese Rugby Union had already indicated it would no longer underwrite the Sunwolves, as they feel it is not the best pathway to the development of the sport.

Metsimaholo Local Municipality.
Metsimaholo residents desperately deprived of service delivery
22 March 2019, 9:04 AM

Long running political battles in Metsimaholo Local Municipality in the Northern Free State have left residents desperately deprived of service delivery.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) led coalition government has, since the last local government elections, struggled to reign in participating political parties.

Political parties unwilling to work together in Metsimaholo Local Municipality in the Free State have resulted in roads in bad condition, unfinished RDP houses and a R22-million multi-purpose centre that is incomplete.

Metsimaholo Resident Meikie Motlou explains, “The Municipality announced the building of a multi-purpose centre years ago; they left without starting it. Now this place is becoming too dangerous for children. People are even getting killed here. Projects in our area never get completed.”

Neglected projects have also negatively impacted the lives of residents.

Another resident Vusile Moqwathi says “I studied towards a soccer coaching certificate hoping that I would do my practical’s here at this complex, now that it is incomplete I can’t get my certificate; it is holding me back. There are many young people here who would be great soccer players but now they are smoking nyaope.

In desperate need for shelter, some have resorted to building sacks in their yards.

“There are many unfinished RDP houses, some completed the houses themselves but others like my uncle died waiting for their houses. Others here don’t even have electricity” says Mollelo Tshume a resident from Metsimaholo.

The SACP in the province have conceded that there are server service delivery challenges but it believes the coalition is doing fairly well.

The ANC on the other hand believes that it could do better alone.

Metsimaholo Local Municipality speaker Thabo Mabaso says “We are trying to pull together but I will agree if it was the African National Congress alone governing this municipality, we could have done more.”

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