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More witnesses expected to testify as Life Esidimeni Inquest resumes on Monday
16 January 2022, 10:04 PM
More witnesses, including the Gauteng Health Department’s former Deputy Director-General for Mental Health Services Hannah Jacobus, are expected to testify in the Life Esidimeni Inquest from Monday.
The inquest that probes the deaths of 144 mentally ill patients resumes in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday morning.
Most of the patients died of hunger and neglect after former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu terminated the department’s contract with Life Esidimeni in 2016.
The patients were then moved to ill-equipped NGOs.
Section 27 legal researcher, Mbali Baduza says they’re optimistic that there will be progress on the inquest after numerous postponements last year.

“Section 27 welcomes the resumption of the Life Esidimeni Inquest this week. It remains an important process to achieve accountability and justice for the 144 mental health care users who died during the Gauteng Mental Health Marathon Project of 2016. After several procedural delays last year, we hope that the process can now move forward uninterrupted so that the high court can make its determination whether there’s any criminal liability on the part of Gauteng Health officials or NGO owners.”

More rain expected in Bloemfontein after weekend of heavy downpours
16 January 2022, 9:29 PM
Heavy downpours have been experienced in Bloemfontein this weekend with more rain still expected. The local Forte Bridge in the CBD was flooded over the weekend but has since been reopened to traffic.
Mangaung Metro spokesperson Qondile Khedama says municipal workers had to open tranches in order to allow the flow of water in some areas.
Khedama says the municipality is trying its utmost best to put its emergency on the ground to deal with any challenges that might arise due to more rains.

Khedama says the municipality will also use its graders to level some of the gravel roads.

“But we also want to, as the city, take this opportunity to apologise to those people who are affected by the flooding at the Forte Bridge and will continuously put the situation under scrutiny just to make sure that at least there’s work that is happening from the disaster management point of view. Teams are there, we are trying to make sure that we are able to disperse the teams we do so immediately.”

Motorists urged to be cautious

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Safety and Transport Management in the North West is warning motorists to be cautious when travelling on the N18 linking Mahikeng and Vryburg because of the recent flooding.

Spokesperson for the department Boitshoko Moremi says, “The N18 just outside Mahikeng is submerged at the same spot where there is a stop and go. Motorists are urged to slow down as they approach the area. Furthermore, the bridge on the R375 road in Mareetsane is filled with water. This is due to the heavy rain experienced currently. The R375 is normally used as an alternative route when there are challenges on the N18. No incidents have been reported.”

Robben Island Museum defends its latest tour package, not designed to exclude South Africans
16 January 2022, 8:14 PM
The Robben Island Museum (RIM) says its latest tour package is not designed to exclude South Africans but offers an alternative way to experience the rich history of South Africa’s liberation struggle.
The cost of the walking tour has been criticised by some indigenous groups. It is R1000 for South Africans and R1400 for non-South African adults.

The Museum’s Council Chairperson Khensani Maluleke says the walking tour is a new income-generating stream that will sustain the museum and protect jobs.

“During this tour, visitors will see eight historic sites, including the Murray’s Bay Harbour Exhibition, the Visitor Centre Complex, the Land of Banishment for Xhosa Chiefs, the Ou Tronk Exhibition, the Blue Stone Quarry, the World War II Precinct, the Agricultural Precinct, the Lime Stone Quarry, and the Maximum Security Prison. This new tour, including the cost thereof, is a pilot.”


Liverpool go second with comfortable win over Brentford
16 January 2022, 8:03 PM

Liverpool climbed to second in the Premier League after goals from Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Takumi Minamino earned them a 3-0 win over Brentford at Anfield on Sunday.

The win moved Juergen Klopp’s side above Chelsea in the table and 11 points behind leaders Manchester City with a game in hand. City beat Chelsea 1-0 on Saturday.

Victory also ended a three-match winless run in the league for Liverpool which left them off the pace in the title race.

Liverpool was without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane who are playing at the African Cup of Nations and their lack of potency in the attack was evident as they struggled to open up a determined Brentford defence.

The home side finally broke through a minute before the interval when a corner from Trent Alexander-Arnold bounced to the back post and was nodded home by Fabinho.

The London team continued to prove resilient opponents after the break although Diogo Jota struck the post after Alexander-Arnold had burst into the box and Brentford keeper Alvaro Fernandez did well to keep out another effort from the Portuguese forward.

But Brentford stayed in the contest until the 69th minute when Oxlade-Chamberlain stooped at the back post to head in a wonderful cross from left back Andy Robertson.

Substitute Minamino wrapped up the win, tapping home after Brentford’s attempt to play out from the back was intercepted by Roberto Firmino who set up the Japanese forward for a simple finish.

There was nearly a dream league debut for 17-year-old substitute Kaide Gordon, who was put through on goal but was denied by another good save from Fernandez.

Klopp was pleased with the way his side had negotiated tricky opponents.

“It’s extremely uncomfortable to play against Brentford, to be honest,” he said.

“They usually play differently but the way they play against us is really difficult. There were so many moments where the ball was in the air and the moment it was on the ground we had to start playing football,” Klopp added.

“It was not always fluent but that’s how it is very often – the set-pieces can be the opener. That was the case today. We could have scored maybe before, but then the next two goals were outstanding.”

Promoted Brentford are in 14th place on 23 points and their Danish manager Thomas Frank was impressed with his players.

“We were unbelievable in the first half against one of the best teams in the world. We kept them quiet. If we had gone to half time 0-0 it would have been a different story, but if we want to get points here we can’t concede from set-pieces,” he said.

“This is a big occasion, playing in one of the most iconic places in the world, but you have to enjoy it for 30 seconds before the game is on, and then you only really enjoy it if you win.”

Experts say cases of teenagers killing parents are often throes of psychotic episodes
16 January 2022, 7:17 PM

While cases of teenagers killing parents are disturbing and unsettling, experts say they’re often in the throes of psychotic episodes that parents may fail to pick up.

The recent case of a 20-year-old woman who allegedly admitted to planning the murder of her parents and two siblings in Mmakau, near Ga-Rankuwa, north of Pretoria in 2016, could be one example.

The woman handed herself over to the police and confessed to having hired two accomplices, both now 23-years-old.

Onthatile Sebati was 15 at the time the crime was committed. It was on the 6th December 2016 when the community of Mmakau, outside Brits, woke up to the tragic news.

But five years down the line, 20-year-old Sebati has emerged as a key suspect. Residents are still in shock. Sebati handed herself over to the police and confessed to the murders three weeks ago.

“It didn’t sit well with us. We were just shocked even now. I don’t know what to say.”

“I remember the day the coffins came out. It didn’t matter how strong one was. Everyone was in tears.”

A police officer, his wife, their pregnant daughter and three-year-old son were all executed in cold blood. The surviving daughter, who’s now the main suspect, told the police at the time that she heard gunshots while she was outside disposing of the water she’d been using to wash dishes.

She said she was shot in the thigh after trying to investigate. She then alerted neighbours who called the police. She told them that she survived after pretending to be dead.

A family member who took Sebati under her care says it’s hard to accept her confession. Japhtaline Sebati was at the court when the young woman and two co-accused appeared in court for a bail application last week.

“I can’t sleep sometimes I wake in the middle of the night. I feel like I’m dreaming.”

Sebati allegedly hired hitmen to murder her parents and siblings using her father’s firearm. Police vowed to leave no stone unturned.

Police spokesperson Amanda Funani explains, “On the 16 December 2021, the now 20-year-old daughter went to Mmakau Police Station where she admitted to orchestrating the plan of hiring the hitmen to kill her family. She also implicated her two friends who are cousins. Tumelo and Kagiso Mokone of carrying out the plan. The two cousins were arrested on 17 and 18 December 2021.”

‘Signs parents fail to pick up’

The motive for the murders is still not known. A psychological expert Reema Nundlall says this behaviour can be driven by a number of factors.

“Some of the signs the parents fail to pick up could include unruly defiant behaviour, threats of killing someone whether it was a teacher or friend or even family member. Aggressive behaviour, depression or anti-social tendencies, are some of the behaviour 15-year-old could have demonstrated.”

The Department of Social Development has recommended that she be sent for psychological assessment. The three are facing five counts of murder, theft and armed robbery. They remain in custody and will appear in court again on Tuesday.



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