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SA government warns citizens travelling to China to be well informed about coronavirus
27 January 2020, 9:18 PM

The Department of International Relations and Corporation has advised South Africans travelling to China to be well informed about the implications of the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

The Department says no South African has been infected with the virus as yet.

Dirco has called on those who are already in areas affected by the virus to observe the regulations that have been put forward in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

Last week the Department of Health said it was working on a plan-of-action following the outbreak.

And that they are meeting with various health bodies as more cases are reported in countries overseas.

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases says it has measures in place to guard against the spread of the pneumonia-like virus from China.

Port authorities at all major points of entry into South Africa have reportedly increased their checks on travellers coming from China and Asia.

Two South African teachers working in China have been told to prolong their holidays due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Nelani and Zama Majozi are back in the country and were scheduled to leave next week but their employers in Jiashan County have instructed them to postpone their return.

At least 40 cases have been reported in their county which is eight hours from the epicentre of the outbreak in Hunan province.

The cousins say they’re concerned about their health and job security

“Everything is shut down. Malls are shut down, malls are closed, cities are closed, people can’t even leave their hotels. We need to postpone our flights so we don’t end up paying more but at the same time I don’t know if it’s wise to postpone it and the virus is pretty bad.”

“I am not sure if I want to go back, I am still deciding if I want to go back. It’s not an easy decision to make especially if it means I’m going to be unemployed for months.”

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Tributes continue to pour in for sporting ‘Giant’ Kobe Bryant
27 January 2020, 9:11 PM

Tributes continue to pour in after the shock death of retired basketball legend Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles (LA) County on Sunday.

The retired NBA LA Lakers star perished with his 13-year-old daughter along with seven others when the helicopter they were traveling in crashed into a hillside in the town of Calabasas.

While the National Transportation Safety Board in the US has launched an investigation into the cause of the crash, fans, friends, colleagues and even presidents have all shared in the nation’s grief.

Bryant won multiple NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and was considered one of basketball’s all-time greats.

He and his daughter Gianna along with seven others among them parents, their children and the pilot were on their way to a basketball academy where Bryant coached his daughter’s team.

Despite growing interest and attention near the crash site, authorities have warned people to stay away.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva says: “As you can imagine, it’s a logistical nightmare in a sense, because the crash site itself is not easily accessible. However, we’re now faced with, I guess, well-wishers and people mourning who have descended on the area, on the residential community, and even the crash site itself, and we have to reiterate: it is off-limits to everybody, except the first responders and investigators.”

Thousands of fans flocked to the home of the Lakers – the Staples Centre – which at the time was hosting the Grammy Awards, a team Bryant spent his entire 20-year career playing for.

Other sports legends also weighed in.

Golfer Tiger Woods says: “It’s a shock to everyone, unbelievably sad, and one of the more tragic days I think, well for me the reality is just kind of setting in because I was just told probably about, you know, five minutes ago.”

ATP Tennis player Nick Kyrgios says, “When I woke up to the news, it was pretty emotional. It was pretty heavy, like, all day. Obviously I was having basketball at my house, watching the games. It was heavy. Yes, it’s just tough. It’s horrible news.”

ATP Tennis player Rafael Nadal says: “He had been a true inspiration for the world of sport and for a lot of kids, so yes, it’s one of those days that you want to forget, but of course Kobe Bryant will be in our hearts and our minds for the rest of our lives.”

In messages posted to Twitter, former US President Barack Obama called Bryant a legend who was just getting started on a meaningful second act in life.

US President Donald Trump later also referred to him as one of the truly great basketball players of all time offering condolences to his widow and three other daughters.

A son of Los Angeles and a city coming to terms with his untimely departure.

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Cele says he will not tolerate femicide and abuse of women
27 January 2020, 8:49 PM

Police Minister Bheki Cele says he will not tolerate femicide and abuse of women even in the police force.

He says that several officers have been killed by their partners but a wave of change is coming.

Cele has been addressing the National Police Day in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape.

A stern warning from the Police Minister, saying women are dying daily at the hands of their loved ones, including those within his police force.

Cele addressed thousands of off duty officers donned in civilian clothes.

The minister called on female law enforcement officers to not tolerate abuse and to report perpetrators.

“Female police officers must retaliate and not let criminals take over the streets – to continue fighting crime and not be abused even within the force.”

He has urged law enforcement agencies to continue fighting against criminal forces.

The event was held in the troubled Northern areas, known for gang violence.

The community also weighed in on the event calling for more police visibility.

Khoi and San activist Christian Martin says: “The fact that they happy that the police are commemorating fallen hero’s but the fact remains the area they live in needs more visible policing because the gang violence is killing innocent children and men.”

Police Day is celebrated to reflect on the previous year and to appreciate serving members as well as to pay homage to fallen heroes.

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Former Security Branch policeman’s testimony contradicts Aggett’s death details
27 January 2020, 7:22 PM

Inmates held at the notorious John Vorster Square were under police watch most of the time.  That’s according to a former Security Branch policeman Joe Nyampule.  His testimony contradicts a version given after anti-apartheid activist Neil Aggett died while in police custody in 1982.

In that inquest, the court heard there was no police patrols to check on detainees for three hours on that fateful night.

Entering the notorious John Voster Square as political activist, there was no guarantee you’d leave the premises unharmed or even alive.  It’s where anti-apartheid activist Aggett is alleged to have hung himself in his cell.  But his family has never accepted the apartheid government’s version of events.

In a quest to help establish the events of that fateful night, former Security Branch policeman Joe Nyampule give details.  He detailed how detainees were assaulted during interrogations.  According to Nyampule, those in police custody were made to stand for hours in various positions.  “Some of them would be made to squat, frog, stretch hands upwards, stretch hand sideward, I also observed that detainees were slapped with open hands,” Nyampule told the court.

None of the prisoners, including Aggett, were left unattended for over three hours according to Nyampule’s testimony.

“Impossible that there was no patrol in three hours because they patrol every hour as well as every 15 minutes peep through-hole to see if detainees are alive.”

This contradicts testimony from the first inquest which suggested inmates went hours without police patrolling.

Nyampule says being a Black police officer under apartheid wasn’t easy. “They called us the K-word before they addressed us, captain K.”

The inquest continues on Tuesday.

Click video below:

Wits
Concerns raised over department’s refusal to pay for post-graduate studies
27 January 2020, 7:00 PM

The South African Union of Students (SAUS) has raised questions over the Department of Higher Education’s refusal to pay for post-graduate studies.

SAUS has embarked on a national shutdown of tertiary institutions over issues of student debt.  This after Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimade said that students who qualified for NSFAS funding and have historic debt, would be allowed to register if they signed an acknowledgment of debt.

SAUS National Spokesperson Thabo Shingange questioned why post-graduate students have been excluded.

“Why mustn’t they pay? If you look into the system, the amount of PHDs and women in academic spaces are quite low, black people in these spaces are low, so why shouldn’t government pay?  Who must pay for these things? You have funded these undergrad students for three years with NSFAS and when it comes to honours and masters, where do these riches suddenly come from.”

The union has meanwhile called on universities across the country to allow walk-in applications. The union has written to Nzimande with a list of demands.

They include the extension of NSFAS deadline for funding post-graduate students and for the organisation to extend its services to UNISA students.

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