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District six
Zille urged to ensure land restitution to District six community
14 April 2019, 1:30 PM

The District Six Working Committee has called on Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, to ensure restitution in District Six takes place before her term ends.

The Working committee has invited Zille to be the keynote speaker at their meeting in Cape Town.

The chairperson of the Working Committee, Shahied Ajam, says it’s high time that the community’s dignity is restored by returning land to those who have been dispossessed when District Six was declared a whites only area 53 years ago.

Ajam says half of the original 2 400 claimants have accepted monetary compensation 21 years ago, but are living in poverty and squalor.

The remaining claimants are back on the High Court on Wednesday to have Rural Development Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane declared in contempt of court.

This after she failed to adhere to an order to provide the court by February this year with a reasonable plan of restitution for the claimants.

The order was made in November last year.

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Migrants
Rescued migrants arrive in Malta before travelling on: PM
14 April 2019, 1:22 PM

Dozens of migrants stuck on a ship since their rescue in the Mediterranean 10 days ago, arrived in Malta on Saturday after four European countries agreed to take them in.

And as Italy’s hardline interior minister expressed satisfaction at having kept the country’s borders closed to the migrants, Malta expressed frustration at being confronted with the problem again.

All 62 migrants still on the German-flagged ship Alan Kurdi boarded Maltese naval vessels, which brought them to Valletta, where they were to join two women evacuated last week for medical reasons.

The migrants are to be “redistributed between #Germany, #France, #Portugal and #Luxembourg,” Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced on Twitter.

“None will remain in Malta which cannot shoulder this burden alone,” he added.

On Friday, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said Paris and other EU partners would “show solidarity” towards the migrants, who include 12 women and two children aged one and six.

The group was rescued on April 3 from a barely seaworthy vessel off Libya, and brought to the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Sea-Eye chairman Gorden Isler denounced the time it had taken to find a compromise. “It is simply not explainable why it was necessary for people to stay on board during the long negotiations while governments negotiated 64 individual fates,” he said.

But Italy’s hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini refused them entry. Berlin should take the migrants as they had been rescued by a German NGO, Sea Eye, he said.

“It’s their problem, they must deal with it,” Salvini said, adding he had personally written to the ship’s captain to warn him the vessel must not enter Italian territorial waters.

On Saturday, Salvini, of the far-right League party, expressed satisfaction at the outcome.

“As promised, no immigrant from this German NGO (ship) will arrive in Italy. They will go to Germany or elsewhere,” he tweeted.

“The Maltese are right to denounce the danger of the NGOs – we stand beside them in the fight against human traffickers,” added Salvini, who last month insisted Italian ports would be closed to migrant rescue NGOs operating in the Mediterranean to force other EU states to take them in.

Valletta expressed frustration at being caught in the middle.

“Once again, the European Union’s smallest state has been put under pointless pressure in being tasked with resolving an issue which was neither its responsibility nor its remit…,” the Maltese government complained in a statement.

“Malta calls on the NGOs to abide by all applicable conventions and regulations.”

Italy, with EU support, has also since 2017 been training the Libyan coast guard to intercept boats as part of a controversial deal that has seen migrant arrivals to Italy drop sharply.

Last month, Malta received 108 migrants aboard a Palau-flagged tanker hijacked by three young Africans who diverted the boat from Libya.

Although many ships hired by humanitarian organisations have been blocked in ports for judicial or administrative reasons, the Italian group Mediterranean said Saturday that its ship Mare Jonio was ready to set off on a rescue mission.

A total of 356 people have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Bombings
Over 120 killed, nearly 600 wounded in Libya fighting: WHO
14 April 2019, 12:16 PM

Fighting near Tripoli has killed 121 people and wounded 561 since strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive earlier this month to take the Libyan capital, the World Health Organization said on Sunday.

WHO’s Libya account said on Twitter the organisation was sending medical supplies and more staff to Tripoli and denounced “repeated attacks on health care workers, vehicles” during the fighting which erupted on April 4.

Haftar’s forces, which control swathes of the country’s east, have defied international calls to halt their battle against fighters loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord based in Tripoli.

The United Nations’ office for humanitarian affairs said more than 13 500 people had been displaced by the clashes, while more than 900 residents are living in shelters.

“Three medical personnel have been killed and five ambulances have been incapacitated by shrapnel,” OCHA said in a Saturday statement.

As well as fighting on the ground, the two sides have launched daily air raids and accuse each other of targeting civilians.

The north African country has been in turmoil since the NATO-backed overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 which has led to the creation of a bewildering array of militias all seeking to take control.

Haftar backs a rival administration based in eastern Libya that refuses to recognise the UN-backed unity government led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

Crime scene yellow tape
Teenagers arrested for murder of fellow learner
14 April 2019, 10:25 AM

Police in Limpopo have arrested two learners following the discovery of the body of a 17-year-old teenager, who was believed to be pregnant, at a dumping site in the Mokopane CBD.

The victim, who has been identified, disappeared on Friday morning on her way to school.

Her body was discovered on Saturday by a passer-by. She was still dressed in her school uniform.

Police spokesperson Moatshe Ngoepe says the suspects aged 17 and 18 are also learners at the same school.

Ngoepe says: “It is alleged that on Friday, the teenage girl left home to go to school but never returned. We got notified and started with our initial investigations which led us to arrest of the two suspects aged 17 and 18.”

The suspects will appear before the Mokopane Magistrate’s Court on Monday on a charge of murder.

Chris Maroleng
SABC COO’s fate in the hands of the new Board
14 April 2019, 10:23 AM

The fate of SABC Chief Operating Officer, Chris Maroleng, is in the hands of the public broadcaster’s newly appointed board.

Disciplinary processes were initiated against Maroleng late last year.

Following these processes, the City Press newspaper says Maroleng was found guilty of three charges which qualify for dismissal.

The newspaper states that “Maroleng faced charges ranging from gross negligence to breach of fiduciary duty. He was found guilty of approving a monthly acting allowance of R15 000 for an employee despite a written Human Resources decision to the contrary.”

The paper further states that “the two other charges relate to Maroleng’s alleged protection of former Acting Group Executive for Sports, Marcia Mahlalela, who resigned from the SABC before facing a disciplinary hearing of her own relating to the process followed in the appointment of sports broadcaster Robert Marawa”.

SABC spokesperson Vuyo Mthembu says the recommendations and findings of the disciplinary hearing have been handed over to the Board for a decision.

She says: “The SABC can confirm that a disciplinary hearing was held against the COO. The recommendations of the disciplinary committee will be handed over to the new Board when they come into office. The SABC will not discuss the details of the DC and has no further comment on the matter at this stage.”

“We remain committed to ensuring sound governance irrespective of one’s position within the corporation,” adds Mthembu.

The newspaper quotes Maroleng’s lawyer Itayi Gwaunza as saying his client “would make his submission tomorrow and depending on the outcome will then decide on a way forward”.

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