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Nasser Al-Attiyah claims third win at the 2018 Dakar Rally
20 January 2018, 6:01 PM

Toyota‘s Nasser Al-Attiyah won the penultimate stage of the 2018 Dakar Rally, claiming his third win of the race by 11 minutes and 16 seconds from Lucio Alvarez.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz was one stage away from winning the Dakar Rally on Friday but Peugeot’s hopes of a one-two finish in Argentina disappeared.

This after reigning champion Stephane Peterhansel clipped a tree with his front left wheel on a bend that was hidden by a bump.

Sainz, father of the Renault Formula One driver of the same name, ended the penultimate 13th stage from San Juan to Cordoba with a lead of 46 minutes and 18 seconds over Al-Attiyah.

The Spaniard took no risks on the 929km long stage, which was dominated by al-Attiyah. He finished 19 minutes and 37 seconds behind the Qatari.

Peterhansel’s delay after his accident, meant he lost about an hour and fell behind al-Attiyah in the standings.

Toyota’s Dutch driver Bernhard ten Brinke retired with mechanical problems.

In the motorcycle category, Austrian KTM rider Matthias Walkner ended the day with a 22 minute lead over Argentina’s Kevin Benavides on a Honda.

Australian Toby Price, the 2016 winner, took his second successive stage win.

 

 

Jabu Mabuza new Board Chairperson at Eskom
20 January 2018, 5:31 PM

Eskom  has announced Jabu Mabuza as it’s the new Board Chairperson, following confirmation on Saturday of the resignation of Zethembe Khoza.

Mabuza replaces Zethemebe Khoza, who tendered his resignation to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne brown on Friday.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa have been working against a tight deadline, on installing a new board for the embattled power utility.

Government announced the new board members with the aim of stabilising the troubled power utility.

The new board also includes prominent health academic, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba.

Government has recommended that the new Eskom board choose Phakamane Hadebe, a former Land Bank CEO and top manager at Absa, as acting group chief execuive.

The board is also directed to appoint a new group chief financial officer for the parastatal within three months.

Eskom has only days before it must make a large interest payment to bond holders with the recall of short term loans also looming shortly.


Click on the video for more on the story:

Click below to read: Presidency’s statement on Eskom from SABC News

 

W. Cape Muslim community wants autopsies fast-tracked inorder to observe burial rituals
20 January 2018, 4:39 PM

The Muslim community has started an online petition to demand that the Western Cape government adhere to the 24-hour rule for Muslim post-mortems.

Muslim families say since October last year they have had to wait up to a week for bodies to be released as a result of a backlog in the pathology service in the province.

The delays impact on the Islamic tradition to bury before sunset or within 24 hours, and the community in Cape Town is now blaming the Western Cape government of not being sympathetic to their burial traditions.

As a result of a backlog at the mortuaries, the Health Department is taking longer to perform post-mortems and this means families are waiting longer.

The Muslim Judicial Council’s (MJC) second deputy president, Shaikh Riad Fataar says the petition speaks to the Western Cape government, to bring back the 24 hour rule to accommodate the Muslims. “Traditionally what we do is that the funeral should take place as soon as possible, we have had that kind of cooperation all the years, even prior to my existence that cooperation has always been there.”

The Council says prior to 2006, the mortuary was under the South African Police Service, and the commander would issue a written order to say the Muslim community must be accommodated.

The Council says when the Health Department took over, all went well until last year.

“It is affecting our tradition… it is very bad for us because in our tradition, if you die, the quicker we can get you under the ground the better…” said one concerned resident.

The Health Department says the only affected cases are those pertaining to unnatural deaths.

It says it simply has not been able to maintain the 24-hour release period that Muslims need, despite recent interventions to appoint more staff.

Meanwhile, the Council has encouraged many people to sign the petition online.

 

 

DR Congo democracy group says detained activists could be ‘tortured’
20 January 2018, 4:31 PM

A pro-democracy movement has called for the release of five of its activists detained in the Democratic Republic of Congo, saying it fears they could be tortured.

The activists from the Filimbi movement, whose name means “whistle” in Swahili, are accused of “insulting the head of state and inciting a revolt”, according to their lawyer, Chris-Sam Kabeya.

Four of the activists were arrested in Kinshasa on December 30 while trying to organise a protest march against the 17-year rule of President Joseph Kabila for the next day, New Year’s Eve.

All were “detained in total secret since January 1, 2018 at the National Intelligence Agency (ANR) where they would be tortured,” according to a statement from the pro-democracy movement received by AFP on Saturday.

The fifth activist was held a week earlier in the eastern town of Kindu by the military intelligence service where he “was tortured”, said the statement.

“To this day, it is difficult for us to confirm that they are still alive,” it added.

“We condemn with the utmost energy these barbaric acts and demand the unconditional release of our activists.”

The New Year’s Eve anti-Kabila protest descended into violence after the authorities cracked down on demonstrators.

Protest organisers said 12 people were killed, while the United Nations gave a toll of at least five dead a figure that it said could be “far higher,” as its investigators had been barred from visiting morgues, hospitals and detention centres.

An AFP reporter at a demonstration in the central city of Kananga saw a man shot in the chest by soldiers who opened fire on worshippers.

Members of the Filimbi movement have repeatedly been arrested by the authorities in DR Congo, often for speaking out against Kabila.

The new arrests are another sign of rising tensions in the vast central African nation, where the opposition does not want the president’s grip on power to continue.

Under a Catholic church-brokered 2016 deal, Kabila was allowed to stay in office provided new elections were held in 2017.

After months of silence, the authorities said the vote would be held in December 2018 a postponement that has angered democracy activists and Western nations.

 

 

Former ANC MP & Border rugby president, John Ncinane laid to rest
20 January 2018, 4:25 PM

Sports Minister Thulas Nxesi has lauded former African National Congress Member of Parliament John Ncinane for playing a crucial role in the development and transformation of sport in the country.

He was speaking at the funeral service of Ncinane at Victoria Grounds in King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape.

Ncinane served as a Member of Parliament under the reign of former South African presidents, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

He also served as the Border Rugby Football Union president in the early 2000’s.

Friends, colleagues and ANC members gathered at the Victoria Grounds in King William’s Town to bid farewell to John Ncinane.

Speakers described him as a sport fanatic and a people’s leader.

The ANC veteran succumbed to diabetes at his home in Keiskammahoek, outside King William’s Town following a long illness.

Sports Minister Thulas Nxesi says Ncimane was passionate about the development of sports in rural areas.

“In the area of sports, John gave the meaning in the inclusion of rural sport within the main stream of public discourse; he focused his work on Peddie and Keiskammahoek which cost him his family time and lots of money with all the underground work.”

Leaders from various sports and political organisations attended the funeral.

ANC provincial chairperson Oscar Mabuyane says Ncinane was dedicated to community development and his organisation, the ANC.

“He loved his people and his organisation. He was committed to the development of rural community even when he lost position in the national level he went back to his people in Keikammahoek and worked with them to bring development in the area.”

Family member Nomachule Kom says the family is devastated by Ncinane’s passing.

“Usithathu always preached unity in our family, he listened to one’s ideas and he was not bullying us. He was very knowledgeable on how to approach family issues.”

Ncinane was laid to rest in his home town Keiskammahoek.

He is survived by his wife and children.

 

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