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Court grants prosecution’s request for 7 people linked to Phoenix attacks to appear behind closed doors
26 July 2021, 3:19 PM

The Verulam Magistrate’s Court north of Durban has granted the prosecution’s application that seven people appear behind closed doors on charges linked to what some describe as racially motivated attacks and deaths in Phoenix during the unrest that gripped parts of the country two weeks ago.

Media houses had applied to follow the proceedings.

At least 20 people died in the Phoenix area during the violent unrest, while the death toll in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng stands at more than 330.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says the accused still have to undergo an identity parade.

Police have been keeping a close watch on two groups of people, who gathered outside court.

Residents of Phoenix have come to court to support the accused. Another group of African National Congress (ANC) Youth League and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members are opposed to the granting of bail.

Blitzboks end day one of Tokyo Olympic games unbeaten
26 July 2021, 2:25 PM

 

The South African sevens rugby team has ended day one of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games tournament unbeaten. The Blitzboks who beat Ireland 33-14 in their opening match, scored two first half tries to beat fellow Africans, Kenya, 14-five in their second Pool C match.

No points were scored in the second half.

South Africa takes on the United States in their last Pool match on Tuesday after which the quarter-finals will be played.

Le Clos going for the semis

And former Olympic Games 200 metres butterfly gold medallist, Chad le Clos, has managed to qualify for the semi-finals of this year’s event.

The South African finished sixth in his heat in one minute, 55.96 seconds — more than two seconds behind the world champion, Kristof Milak of Hungary.

Le Clos snatched the 16th and last qualifying spot for Tuesday’s semi-finals.

Police officer killed during a shootout in Boksburg
23 July 2021, 2:47 PM

A police officer has been killed during a shootout with wanted suspects in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.

The shootout ensued after police pounced on a property at which the group of suspects was hiding near Carnival City.

Two suspects were also shot dead and more than 15 others arrested during the incident.

“Two suspects were fatally wounded and 19 suspects were arrested. During that process we managed to recover 7 rifles, amongst the rifles there was 3 r5s, 4 ak47. 2 pistols and 4 explosive chargers which were ready for use,” says acting Gauteng police commissioner, Tommy Mtombeni.

The suspects are believed to be linked to a number of cargo truck hijackings in the area.

ANC MP Joyce Maluleke succumbs to COVID-19
18 July 2021, 11:03 AM

The African National Congress (ANC) in Parliament has confirmed the untimely passing of its member of Parliament (MP) Joyce Maluleke who succumbed to COVID-19 complications. She began her political career in the Limpopo Provincial Legislature, chairing the education committee.

She became a member of Parliament in 2015, serving in various committees. She was recently involved in the interviewing and shortlisting of candidates for the NYDA board.

On Friday, the Mayor of the Matlosana Local Municipality based at Klerksdorp in the North West, Maetu Kgaile, also passed away from COVID-19 related complications.

She was admitted to the Klerksdorp Tshepong Hospital last Sunday.

Kgaile became the executive mayor of the municipality in 2016.

Latest COVID cases

On Saturday evening, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported that 14 701 new COVID-19 cases have been identified in South Africa, bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed infections to 2 283 880. This increase represents a 29.1% positivity rate.

The death toll rose to 66 676 after 291 new fatalities were reported.

The institute says 14 205 299 tests have been conducted so far, in both public and private sectors.

Mbalula urges warring taxi associations in Cape Town to urgently find a solution
18 July 2021, 10:27 AM

High-level talks between government and taxi bosses continue in Cape Town in an effort to end the deadly violence. An independent mediator is meeting with warring taxi associations, Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (Cata), and Congress of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta).  

Since the beginning of the month at least 23 people have been killed in the ongoing feud.

Weeks ago feuding taxi associations agreed to a ceasefire. However, the killings continued.  Twenty-one-year-old Okuhle James was caught in the crossfire this week in Khayelitsha.

Her family is appealing to authorities to end the deadly conflict and has lost all hope in the transport sector. Her father Mthobeli James is struggling to come to terms with their loss.

“We are very devastated in this house, I don’t want to think about this because once I start to think about it I am starting to even shake because I know I can’t really tell you because of the way this thing it’s devastating us and this house now it will never be the same now that Okuhle is not around.”

Authorities have warned that they will have to act decisively to deal with the feud if taxi associations cannot find an agreement among themselves.

Western Cape transport authorities consider closing taxi ranks:

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula attended the meeting. He says while the discussions with taxi bosses are ongoing a lasting solution has to be found.

“We are giving them also an opportunity to go back and report the options on the table but we will have to take a decision at some point about what needs to happen but we are giving peace a chance they too they must understand that we are giving them a chance but with what is happening and the killing of the people we cannot go on government must make a decision.”

Certain routes

The deadly shootings pertain to certain routes. Amid the negotiations yet another taxi driver was gunned down in Mfuleni.

Police spokesperson, Joseph Swartbooi says: “Upon arrival police members found a 28-year-old man who sustained gunshot wounds. A 35-year-old man was declared deceased on the scene, whilst the 28-year-old victim was transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. The unknown suspects who shot at the occupants of the vehicle fled the scene and are yet to be arrested.”

Since the beginning of the year, 82 people have been killed in the ongoing taxi violence in the province. Its hoped that an agreement will be reached soon.

Negotiations between government, taxi associations, and independent mediators continue.

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