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Hoërskool Overvaal pupils receive trauma counselling
19 January 2018, 8:24 PM

Several pupils at Hoërskool Overvaal are receiving trauma counselling, following protests outside the school.

Violent clashes outside the Vereeniging high school have led to almost 40 people being arrested this week.

Protesters are demanding the school to review its language policy after the High Court ruled that the Afrikaans medium school did not have the space to accommodate 55 English speaking pupils.

For pupils at Hoërskool Overvaal, the academic year began with a protest outside their gates. Rubber bullets and stun grenades were fired with a police vehicle petrol bombed.

The school is trying to maintain normality.

Life coach, Pierre Ronquest says, “Protesters are demanding that 55 non-Afrikaans speaking pupils be admitted to the school despite the High Court’s ruling saying the school does not have capacity to admit them.”

Hoërskool Overval SGB, Hardus Visagie  says, “Since Wednesday parents, along with African National Congress, Economic Freedom Fighters and Cosas members have picketed outside, while on the other side of the road, Afrikaans activists and residents gathered to ensure the pupils’ safety.”

Twenty-seven people were arrested on Thursday for the police vehicle that was petrol bombed, while eleven others were arrested on Wednesday.

On Friday, the situation was calm with police and private security at the scene.


Zanozuko Sigcau coronated amaMpondo king despite challenges
19 January 2018, 7:13 PM

The Imbumba yamaMpondo has coronated King Zanozuko Sigcau in Flagstaff in the Eastern Cape. This despite a pending ruling by the Constitutional Court on who should be the rightful king of the amaMpondo.

The daughter of late King Mpondombini Sigcau, Wezizwe Sigcau lodged an appeal, believing she’s next in line.

AmaMpondo, young and old celebrated the colourful event. Traditional music and dance coupled with praise singing was the order of the day.

The event was attended by religious leaders and traditional leaders from Pondoland.

President of the Twelfth Apostolic Church Caeser Nongqunga blessed the king, emphasizing that a woman may never be a king as kingship is determined by bloodline.

“A lot of people think that our cultures are discriminating against women by saying that women can never be kings. The males are the ones that bring the spirit. They are the ones that are bringing in that bloodline. If you are a female you cannot be a king. If you are a king that means the kingship ends with you. It cannot be prolonged to a generation, because your generation does not belong to this royal family you are coming from.”

Government, Contralesa, the House of traditional leaders and others kings from around South Africa were not present. Contralesa says they have taken a neutral stance.

The new amaMpondo King Zanozuko Sigcau called for unity among the AmaMpondo nation.

“This is a new beginning for the AmaMpondo nation. I pledge all amampondo people to unite. Even though there are differences, I think we can overcome them and we pledge for unity even those that are distancing themselves from this occasion we love them and we appreciate our differences so that we learn from each other. Today is the new beginning of unity here in Mpondoland.”

King Zanozuko Sigcau was approved by the Nhlapo Commission as the rightful king, but its findings were challenged.

The matter now is before the Constitutional Court for a final ruling.

The matter will be heard on the 20th of February.

Operation Phakisa in full force with oceans economy in PE
19 January 2018, 5:07 PM

Efforts to develop the oceans economy have gained momentum. The keel-laying of the first tug boat to be built in Port Elizabeth is seen as another step in developing oceans economy as part of Operation Phakisa in South Africa.

The tug boat project is part of Transnet National Ports Authority’s R2 billion investment into its dredging services and is set to create job opportunities.

A Mandela Coin has been welded onto the boat, as a symbol of good fortune, as per maritime tradition.

This will be the first Plough Tug boat to be built from scratch at the Port Elizabeth harbour, which only had boat repairing equipment.

A R100 million was invested in the project, expected to create job opportunities in the metro.

General Manager in infrastructure and port planning, Hamilton Nxumalo, says this is part of Operation Phakisa’s initiatives to promote localisation of businesses.

“Phakisa is about creating opportunities; it’s about creating job employment; it’s about training people and making opportunities available to those that were not afforded in the past. I’m proud to say that with my colleague, we are creating opportunities, during the construction of this dredger. Especially, when this dredger is up and running, it’s going to ensure that we employ more people to come and make sure it’s maintained properly.”

Operation Phakisa has already opened doors for smaller companies in South Africa.

The project was also awarded to a black-owned company, Tide Marine Shipyard – a company that’s working with training colleges to create employment for artisans.

Fabian Crocker is the company’s General Manager, “We have working relationships with Seta colleges as well as the premier’s office, where we have a certain designated number of students coming through the ranks during this build, because of it being an industry, not built for the past 10 years to 15 years in the Eastern Cape. A lot of those skills are more prevalent in Cape Town and KZN. So, what we’ve done is we’ve taken a percentage of experienced people from KZN and used the Seta colleges to train people in the Eastern Cape.”

The plough tug boat is expected to be completed by the end of October 2018.

It will have the latest technology and will be able to sail from port to port, and also assist in neighbouring countries.

German election would further harm SPD, Schulz warns
19 January 2018, 4:25 PM

The leader of Germany’s Social Democrats on Friday urged members of his centre-left party to endorse coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s conservatives or risk facing new elections that could further damage the party.

The SPD is scrambling to rally support among rank and file party members for formal negotiations with the conservatives about another “grand coalition” a move opposed by outspoken members of the party’s youth and left wings.

Nearly four months after a national election, Merkel has still not managed to form a government.

Refusal by SPD delegates to hold further talks could lead to new elections or a minority government for the first time in Germany’s post-war era.

Many experts fear that new elections could further strengthen the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which entered parliament for the first time in September.

The process would also further exacerbate uncertainty that has raised questions about the future of Europe’s largest economy and Merkel’s quest for a fourth term in office.

Rejection of the talks “would lead to new elections, and in pretty short order”, SPD leader Martin Schulz told weekly news magazine Der Spiegel.

He said the SPD which posted its worst result since 1933 in September’s election was likely to see further losses in any new poll.

“If the parties do not succeed in forming a government with the majorities in the Bundestag, then voters will punish them,” he told the magazine.

Schulz also expressed impatience with those who argue that the SPD must reinvent itself in opposition, arguing that it had the power now to improve the lives of everyday Germans.

“I don’t want the geriatric nurse to have to wait four years for better working conditions just so the SPD feels better,” he said.

The leader of the SPD’s youth wing, Kevin Kuehnert, and other opponents of another coalition government, say the blueprint hammered out with conservatives falls too far short of SPD goals.

Schulz and his backers insist the blueprint will benefit German citizens, and dampened hopes that formal coalition talks would result in significantly different results.

“The exploratory talks created a framework for what is possible and what isn’t,” he said. “After all, we don’t want the other side to question things that we fought for and won.”

A new poll by broadcaster ZDF showed that 64 % of Germans and 75 % of SPD members expect SPD delegates to approve further talks with Merkel’s conservatives.

The SPD has vowed to leave the final decision on whether to enter government to members in a vote by mail.

The poll showed that only 45 % of Germans were in favour of another grand coalition, although 68 % of conservatives were in favour, and 57 % of SPD members.

Conservatives would win 33 %% if the next election were held on Sunday, the poll showed, up one percentage point from a poll last week.

The SPD would win just 20 % of the vote, down three points from last week.


Absa Premiership resumes this weekend with a series of matches
19 January 2018, 3:49 PM

The Absa Premiership is back with eight matches to be played this weekend. One of the highlights will be the entertaining Cape Town derby between Ajax Cape Town and Cape Town City, a fixture that Ajax are yet to win.

Kaizer Chiefs will be hoping to stop Baroka for the first time when they visit them, while Supersport United will be looking to continue where they left off after getting their first win since November on Wednesday evening.

Supersport United had their first win since November when they visited Maritzburg United on Wednesday.

They will continue with their trips to Durban when they visit Amazulu on Saturday evening.

Coach Eric Tinkler says that it was a huge relief for them to get the three points in Durban and it’s been a tough few weeks for his charges. He hopes that after their midweek win, they will continue getting points to climb up the log table.

“Obviously, massive relief for me and the players and obviously, the club. You know, I said right in the beginning that games in hand mean very little it’s all about points on board. We went through a bit of a rough patch, a number of injuries, a number of suspensions.”

After going on a shopping spree for quality players, Mamelodi Sundowns will look to forget about last weekend’s thrashing at the hands of a revitalised Orlando Pirates.

Sundowns host Platinum Stars in the early evening game.

In their first round match, Sundowns won the game 1-0, courtesy of a beautiful goal by Khama Billiat.

Coach Pitso Mosimane says they have to start changing things with new signings coming into the team.

“We need to start something different especially in attack. Yes the goals are there, yes we are on top of the log, but I know that the team we have probably on facts it is on the log. But let’s be honest it could have been fire. I mean we lost against Polokwane City twice, we lost to Amazulu, we could be talking a different language now, but you can never be too selfish or greedy or ungrateful to say whilst we are going through this process we try and maintain the proper football that our people like an admire.”

Orlando Pirates, who are looking like a team on fire, host Polokwane City, Pirates fans will be looking for more of what they saw against Mamelodi Sundowns last weekend.

Kaizer Chiefs visit Baroka, hoping to win for the first time against the team from Limpopo.

A win would boost Chiefs’ title challenge as it would bring them closer to the chasing pack.

The matches start today when bottom of the log Bidvest Wits host Bloemfontein Celtic.





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