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Wildfires rage in southern Italy, man dies
11 August 2021, 7:06 PM

Fires ravaged southern Italy on Wednesday, burning thousands of acres of land and killing a man in his home, as temperatures hit records well above 40 degrees Celsius (104°F) and hot winds stoked the flames.

Multiple blazes erupted in Calabria, the toe of Italy’sboot, where a 76-year-old man died after his house collapsed due to the flames, Ansa news agency reported.

“Yet another victim of the fires. We are losing our history, our identity is turning to ashes, our soul is burning,” the mayor of Reggio Calabria, Giuseppe Falcomata, wrote on Facebook.

He urged people to keep away from the affected areas.

Fires are also sweeping through Sicily, destroying trees and threatening property in the southern and central parts of the island, local media reported.

In the town of Floridia, in southern Sicily, the temperature reached 48.8 degrees Celsius in the early afternoon, the highest temperature ever recorded in Europe, daily newspaper Corrieredella Sera reported, citing the regional meteorological information system.

Firemen said on Twitter they had carried out more than 3,000operations in Sicily and Calabria in the last 12 hours, employing seven planes to try to douse the flames from above.

“We must immediately respond to this emergency, providing economic relief to those who have lost everything,” said Agriculture Minister Stefano Patuanelli.

Fuelled by the hot weather, fires have erupted across southern Europe in recent weeks, with huge damage to the landscape on the Italian island of Sardinia.

In Greece, many villages on the Peloponnese peninsula were evacuated on Wednesday as exhausted firefighters battled wildfires for a ninth consecutive day.

At the other end of the Mediterranean, fires also tore through forested areas of northern Algeria on Wednesday, killing at least 65 people, state television reported.

Unit 5 at Eskom’s Medupi Power Station to be switched on Wednesday evening
11 August 2021, 6:04 PM

Eskom unit five of the Medupi Power Station which tripped during the explosion of unit four on Sunday evening will be switched on on Wednesday evening. According to estimates by energy experts, work to replace the unit might run into over R20 billion over a period of two years.

The explosion occurred when technicians were fixing a leakage. Unit 4 was badly damaged and may not be returned to service any time soon. Six staffers have been suspended amid a probe into the maintenance work.

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha explains:

“Unit five power station is returning to service this evening (Wednesday). The investigations into the cause of the explosion of unit four at Medupi power station, to determine the cost the extent of the damage and indeed the duration of the outage and indeed the duration of the outage and how much will cost will commence shortly.”

Medupi Power station explosion worrisome for Lephalale residents and surrounding

Meanwhile, load reduction is underway until 10 pm. The affected provinces are Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, and the Eastern Cape.

Magashule suspects malice in the way prosecution is handling his case
11 August 2021, 2:03 PM

Suspended African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule says he suspects malice in the way the prosecution is handling his case.

The case has been postponed to October the 19th in the High Court in Bloemfontein.

Magashule says these are delaying tactics aimed at taking him out of the ANC by people who want to facilitate what he terms further state capture. He appeared in the court alongside his co-accused, Businessman Edwin Sodi after which he spoke to the media.

There were fewer members of the ANC compared to those witnessed in the past in Bloemfontein to show support for Magashule. Spokesperson of the disbanded Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association Carl Niehaus says it is because they didn’t mobilise for Magashule’s support on Wednesday due to COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

Niehaus says the narrative that Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma are fast losing support is false.


Magashule is facing charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering related to the alleged irregular awarding of a tender for removing asbestos roofing from houses in the Free State when he was still premier. Niehaus says as members of the ANC, they’ll always be behind Magashule.

“No one must try and push the narrative that because of the less than the usual large numbers of supporters that will be here today, that the support of comrade Ace Magashule and also the support of President Jacob Zuma has wanded off, it has not. There’s a deep and fundamental outrage in our nation against the injustices that are being committed against these comrades.”

Thandi Modise,Thembisile Nkadimeng sworn-in
10 August 2021, 6:29 PM

Thandi Modise has been sworn in as South Africa’s new Defence Minister. Modise, who was the National Assembly Speaker, has replaced Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle.

Thembisile Simelane-Nkadimeng has also been sworn in as Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance.

Ramaphosa reshuffled his cabinet last week amid concern about the performance of the intelligence and security apparatus in countering the looting and violence that hit KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Ramaphosa and acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo conducted the swearing-in at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

In the video below is the swearing-in ceremony:

Last week, Zondo sworn in the newly-appointed ministers and deputy ministers announced by the President.

The new members of the executive are tasked with strengthening the capacity of the state to deliver but in a number of cases, reputational damage will need to first be managed.

The atmosphere was jovial as the new ministers and deputy ministers were sworn in on Friday morning at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

In the video below, is the swearing-in of new cabinet ministers:

Mapisa-Nqakula will bring a wealth of experience to the institution: ANC parly caucus
10 August 2021, 2:28 PM

The African National Congress (ANC) caucus in Parliament says former Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, will bring a wealth of experience to the institution.

Mapisa-Nqakula has been nominated by the caucus as Speaker-elect. The nomination follows the selection by President Cyril Ramaphosa of National Assembly Speaker, Thandi Modise to replace Mapisa-Nqakula as Defence Minister.

President Ramaphosa made changes to his cabinet last week.

Caucus spokesperson, Nomfanelo Kota, says Mapisa-Nqakula has vast experience.

“As former chief whip in parly 2001 and deputy chairperson of ANC political committee as well as chair of joint comm of intel, former minister Mapisa-Nqakula, brings a formidable wealth of experience to the new position with a solid track record as legislature and policymaker spanning over a number of years. caucus welcomes her nomination and candidature as Speaker-Elect.”

Meanwhile, some opposition parties in Parliament have expressed their disappointment at the nomination of Mapisa-Nqakula as Speaker-Elect.

Freedom Front Plus leader, Pieter Groenewald and African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) chief whip, Steve Swart, say Mapisa-Nqakula is not the right person for the job.

“The FF Plus will not support the nomination of Mapisa-Nqakula as a speaker, because of no experience not even as house chair. There are many other house chairs with more experience, and who are on merit, better candidates,” says Groenewald.

“The ACDP doesn’t believe that Ms Mapisa-Nqakula is the best person to be speaker, given recent lapses as Minister of Defence. This position requires firmness to ensure order in the house, to make sure parliament keeps the executive to account,” adds Swart.

Swearing in on Tuesday

President Ramaphosa and acting chief justice Raymond Zondo are expected to preside over the swearing ceremony of the former National Assembly Speaker, Thandi Modise and Thembi Nkadimeng as Deputy Minister of COGTA later on Tuesday.

Modise replaces Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula as Minister of Defence and Military Veterans. 61-year-old Modise has served as Speaker of the National Assembly since 2019 and previously held the positions of Premier of the North West and the ANC’s Deputy Secretary-General.

Whilst Nkadimeng who was the President of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) replaces Obed Bapela. At 48, she is one of the youngest members of Ramaphosa’s executive.

Last week, Zondo sworn in the newly-appointed ministers and deputy ministers announced by the President in his cabinet reshuffle on Thursday night.

The atmosphere was jovial as the new ministers and deputy ministers were sworn in on Friday morning at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

In the video below, is the swearing-in of new cabinet ministers:



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