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Deadly weekend on South Africa’s roads
20 October 2019, 7:12 PM

Twenty four learners are still in a critical condition in hospital after seven fellow learners were killed in a crash when the truck they were travelling in, overturned outside Zeerust in North West.

The learners were at a soccer match in Driefontein village.

The driver of the truck lost control, crashed into a tree and overturned. The learners who died are between 12 and 15-years- old.

Some of the distraught family members who re-visited the scene late Sunday afternoon have expressed their pain.

“His name was Mpho – a gift that God has given to us. Look at his academic awards he received last week. We are trying to be strong but it’s painful. We cannot cope. We cannot even eat. We are really distraught,” says family a member.

“It’s a mess here at the accident scene. The car knocked off the poles. It’s like a multi-car crash but it was just one vehicle. It’s so painful. This is really painful.”

The North West provincial Education Department Spokesperson Elias Malindi says the MEC Mmaphefo Matsemela will visit the survivors of the crash in hospital as well as the families of the deceased.

“We are very much devastated about this incident, especially at the most critical time of writing final examinations. So, we are very much heartbroken by this incident.”

More than 10 other people have lost their lives in separate car crashes in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng since last night. Two people have been killed and one critically injured in KwaZulu-Natal on the N3 westbound near Estcourt.

Road Traffic Inspectorate Spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu Mali says one of the victims burned to death after their vehicle burst into flames.

“It is alleged that the driver failed to negotiate a bend causing the collision. There is another person that sustained injuries. However, he was taken to Midlands hospital. Two counts of culpable homicide are being investigated. At the moment, we’ve got RTI busy controlling traffic on the scene in that area due to the fact that the fast lane is obstructed,” says Mngomezulu.

In Gauteng, six people died in two separate crashes. Five people lost their lives in a horrific car crash at Mofolo in Soweto.

Johannesburg Metro Police say the driver of the vehicle lost control in the early hours of Sunday morning.

All the occupants in the car died at the scene. Meanwhile, one man was killed and two others seriously injured after a car and a bakkie collided in Midrand, north of Johannesburg on Sunday morning.

JMPD Spokesperson Wayne Minaar says investigations are underway in the Soweto crash.

“Five people died in the early hours of the morning. The accident happened at about 05h50 and the driver of the Opel Corsa lost control and the vehicle overturned. All the occupants, one male drive, male passenger and three female passengers died instantly and were taken to a mortuary. There will be an investigation into the accident and the cause of the accident will also be investigated,” says Minaar.

Kashmir
India claims it destroyed Pakistan terror camps
20 October 2019, 6:43 PM

India on Sunday said that it destroyed terror camps inside neighbouring Pakistan in a retaliatory attack after militants from Pakistan attempted to infiltrate in restive Kashmir.

Tensions between the two countries have flared and there has been intermittent cross-border firing since August 05, when New Delhi flooded Indian Kashmir with troops to quell unrest after it revoked the region’s special autonomous status.

Islamabad has warned that changing Kashmir’s status would escalate tensions but India says the withdrawal of special status is an internal affair and is aimed at faster economic development of the territory.

“In the retaliatory action that our forces have taken, we have caused severe damage to terrorist infrastructure across and terrorist camps opposite Tangdhar and Teran sectors have been destroyed,” said Indian Army Chief, Bipin Rawat, in New Delhi.

Rawat added six-to-ten Pakistani soldiers and similar number of militants have been killed in a retaliatory move.

Two soldiers and a civilian were killed in cross-border shelling with Pakistan in the disputed Kashmir region, while Islamabad said six died on its side, making it one of the deadliest days since New Delhi revoked Kashmir’s special status in August.

Kashmir has been disputed by the two nuclear-armed neighbours since they both received independence in 1947. The two countries fought two of their three wars over the region.

Cyclists
One dead, two admitted to hospital as KZN Amashova race is stopped
20 October 2019, 4:51 PM

One person has died whilst two others have been admitted to hospital while participating in the Amashova Classic Cycle race.

The race was cut-off in Pinetown, west of Durban. A decision was made by Tsogo Sun Amashova Race Organisers and the Joint Operation’s Centre that the 106 km race was to be stopped when temperatures soared to potentially dangerous levels for cyclists.

At midday, seven buses were sent to collect approximately 400 cyclists who were still riding in the Botha’s Hill region. They were to be brought back with their bicycles to the finish area at Suncoast

The cut-off was made after 28-year-old HB Kruger took the honours in the race after seven attempts, while Carla Obeholzer won for the third time in row in the women’s elites category.

The Durban Metro Police confirmed the cut-off of the Amashova Classic Tour due to heatwave.

Makazole Mapimpi
Springboks advance to semifinals to face Wales in #RWC2019
20 October 2019, 4:11 PM

South Africa (Springboks) will play Wales in the semifinals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup next Sunday, after a day of drama in the final two quarterfinals on Sunday. The Springboks saw off a spirited Japan, 26-3 in Tokyo, while Wales left it late against France, winning 20-19.

It’s a short but storied rivalry between Japan and South Africa, almost exclusively revolving around what happened in Brighton at the 2015 World Cup. While the Boks needed to exorcise those demons, they also needed to come to terms with being the villains in this quarter-final,  such was the universal appeal of the Japanese national rugby team.

Much had been made of the Japanese style of play. The Boks would need to stick to their strengths. They started with a powerful scrum, and unleashed South Africa’s own bullet train, Makazole Mapimpi who brushed aside defenders left and right to open the scoring for the Boks in the fourth minute.

It was imperative that the Boks kept a cool head, however, a tip tackle from Tendai Mtawarira resulted in a yellow card and the green and gold would be down to 14 men for ten minutes.

Of even more concern was that Japan started to beat South Africa at their own game, winning a scrum penalty and putting their first points on the board. With twenty minutes gone the match was precariously balanced.

The Boks were starved of ball possession and when they got their hands on the ball, they didn’t make it count.

It was all starting to get a bit desperate, when Damian de Allende thought he’d scored, but his knees had touched the ground. At the break, the Springboks had a slight 5-3 lead.

After the break, referee Wayne Barnes started to make a few questionable decisions. He saw nothing wrong with this challenge for the ball.

Despite all that, Handre Pollard was able to convert three penalties and extend the Boks lead. Patience would be the key in the second half.

When the Bok pack finally kicked into gear they orchestrated a driving maul right up the middle, gaining metres, Malcolm Marx unleashed Faf de Klerk and the Boks had scored their second try.

The hosts of the World Cup proved to be fallible as well. The Boks pounced on a turnover and sent it wide. Mapimpi shrugged off a dangerous challenge and had his second try of the match.

26-3 was how it ended and the Boks march on to the semifinals.

Eskom
Free State municipalities on brink of financial collapse
20 October 2019, 3:51 PM

Several Free State municipalities are on the brink of financial collapse due to mounting debts running into billions of rand. Municipalities in the province owe water boards almost R4 billion.

The Eskom debt stands at more than R10-billion.

In the Mangaung Metro alone, the debt balance from government, business and households, is more than R4-billion.

Free State Cooperative Governance head, Mokete Duma says the prevailing situation is concerning.

“The issue of revenue enhancement and collection is a serious challenge. We’ve made our own analysis, as the department. For instance, just to cite an example, in one municipality you will find that the bill says R10 million and when you check at what they are able to collect. More often than not, it’s less than R2 million. So, it’s a very serious challenge because the collection ranges between 13% to sometimes, when they are lucky 20%. So, who must then fund 80% that is there?”

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