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President Cyril Ramaphosa
UN looks forward to engaging with SA delegation
12 September 2019, 7:57 PM

The United Nations has expressed both regret and understanding at the decision by President Cyril Ramaphosa to skip this year’s UN General Assembly. The Presidency earlier confirmed that International Relations Minister, Naledi Pandor, will lead the South African delegation to the 74th session and related meetings and events in New York, including an urgent Climate Change Summit convened by the Secretary-General.

The high-level segment of United National General Assembly (UNGA) was due to kick off on September 24.

UN secretary general’s spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric says they however still look forward to interacting with the delegation.

“We’ve heard the news, we obviously regret that the President will not be here but it’s a decision that governments make all the time for whatever reasons that they change the head of the delegation at the last minute.

“I think what is very important for us is that South Africa will be represented at a very high level and the Secretary-General very much looks forward to engaging with the SA Foreign Minister and the rest of the delegation during the General Assembly.”

Ramaphosa decided to remain in South Africa to attend to domestic matters, that included growing concerns around violence against women, instability that has included attacks against foreigners and a struggling economy.

South African Ambassador, Jerry Matjila, says the delegation will be able to carry out responsibilities as assigned by Ramaphosa. “It is understandable, but this has not affected the intensity and the numerous engagements SA has been arranging for UNGA, summits, bilaterals because we should keep the pace and I think the Minister and other Ministers will be able to carry the responsibilities assigned by President Ramaphosa.”

Former President Jacob Zuma also stayed away from the summit, in 2010, to deal with internal matters of the ruling party. Former President Thabo Mbeki missed the session in 2008 after acceding to a demand from the ANC that he step down as head of state.

Maluti-a-Phofung municipality elects mayor
12 September 2019, 6:55 PM

The troubled Maluti-a-Phofung municipality in Qwaqwa in the Free State has finally managed to elect executive mayor, speaker, and chief whip after being dysfunctional for more than a year.

Masechaba Mosia was  elected as the new executive mayor of the Free State town. Tumelo Thebe was elected as speaker and the chief whip is Betsi Mofokeng.  All elected councillors are from the ANC.

The newly-appointed executive mayor has promised that service delivery will be rendered. “ We will make sure that there’s service delivery in the Maluti-A-Phofung. Our people have been complaining a lot. They will now receive services,” says Mosia.

Condolences pour in after Thami Shobede dies
12 September 2019, 5:18 PM

Gallo Records has expressed sadness following the death of singer and Idols runner-up Thami Shobede (31). The performer reportedly died at Kalafong Hospital west of Pretoria.

Shobede became a familiar face on the small screen when he took part in the popular singing competition Idols season 12.

Gallo Records confirmed his passing following organ failure.

Gallo’s Caroline Morabe says Shobede passed away in hospital this morning after a short illness quite quickly. ‘The company and the family are broken right,’ said Morabe.

The singer’s debut single “uthando” made it to the top of the charts. His final album “never lost” was nominated for Best R&B category in the 2018 SAMA Awards. Shobede first entered Season 11 of Idols in 2015. He only made it to the Top 16 and became a runner-up the following year. That secured him a recording deal with Gallo Records.

Messages of condolences have been pouring in on social media for the artist.

Uncertainty clouds Mugabe’s burial
12 September 2019, 3:13 PM

As Zimbabwe mourns the passing of its veteran leader, Mugabe family and the government are at odds over burial arrangements.

The family wants a private funeral at an undisclosed location and date for the late President Robert Mugabe, throwing Harare’s plans into disarray.

Dignitaries, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the opposition MDC leader, visited the family’s home in the capital on Thursday.

Mugabe died in Singapore last Friday, where he was receiving medical treatment. He was 95.

Following a meeting between the two, there is no sign of a way forward. So far, what has been agreed on, is that the public viewings at the Rufaro National Stadium will go ahead.

Whether Sunday will see Mugabe buried at Heros Acre or transported to his home village of Kutama for his burial, is still not clear.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday met with the former first lady Grace Mugabe to finalise the funeral arrangements for her late husband.

The meeting followed the Mugabe family’s releasing of a statement raising concerns about the government’s lack of consultation, saying none of the late former President Robert Mugabe’s wishes are being fulfilled.

Speaking to mourners who gathered, Mnangagwa hailed the late veteran President as a hero and icon of the country. He assured the family that nothing would be done without their consent. It is hoped that clarity on the next few days proceedings will emerge after their meeting.

Chamisa pays tribute to Mugabe

Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa has also paid tribute to late former President.

Chamisa says, “You are aware that Mr Mugabe had connection and relationships with us in the context of politics on the other side with many differences. But beyond differences that we had politically to serve our people we have to reflect on his contribution. So in line with our Ubuntu  and what is expected of us from a leadership point of view, we have come to pay condolences to the Mugabe family and of course to all Zimbabweans and indeed the whole of Africa.”

11 Presidents and 5 former Presidents will attend the funeral. For the latest on the ground in Zimbabwe.

-Reporting by Chriselda Lewis and Abongile Dumako in Harare. 

Western Cape vulnerable because of the level of criminality: Cele
11 September 2019, 8:43 PM

The murdered Western Cape policeman, warrant officer Hilton Joseph, has been described as a dedicated official who always put his job ahead of his personal life. Police Minister Bheki Cele paid a visit to the Joseph’s family in Eerste River on Wednesday, including that of Constable Terrance Mostert who was wounded in the incident.

The policemen were attacked outside a tavern in Mfuleni on Sunday. The grief-stricken Joseph family still coming to terms with their loss. Their father died in hospital after he was shot in the head.

His 22-year-old son, Keanu Joseph, says he was a loving father, devoted to his work.

“My father was a very strong person. he loved his job he was a strict person. He was a man of few words, he was full of love and joy and like I said he loved his family and his job. Most those were the two times he spent most of his time he was such a great example for us.”

Joseph’s colleague 29-year-old Constable Terrance Mostert was shot in the neck. He’s now out of the hospital and recovering at home in Kuilsriver, but he’s still traumatised.

Police Minister Bheki Cele says police officers in the Western Cape are vulnerable because of the level of criminality.

“ We brought more and more resources both personnel human resources and the equipment. We have started the AGU here though it is going to be nationally, but we have started it here we have an army here. The minister of defence gave the answer when he was asked about the extension yesterday, its one of the reason it’s dangerous – gangersterism and criminally surely as we will be releasing stats tomorrow it will be indicated that this remains one of the most dangerous areas the Western Cape.”

Two suspects aged 30 and 31-years-old have been arrested.

They are due to appear in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s court on Thursday.

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