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Arrested looters to face full might of the law: Deputy Minister Jeffery
19 July 2021, 5:42 PM

Deputy Minister of Justice, John Jeffery, has warned that arrested looters will face the full might of the law, following unrest that was marked by looting and lawbreaking.

At least 1 000 suspects were expected to appear in various courts on Monday, as the country starts to pick up the pieces of nearly a whole week of mass looting and civil unrest.

Jeffery has visited courts and the department’s office in the Durban metro, to assess the impact the widespread unrest had on the justice system.

Courts experiencing a high number of suspects relating to looting and violence:

Like other government services, the courts were affected by the risk to people’s security and the lack of public transport.

Jeffery met with members of the judiciary, prosecutors, and Legal Aid Representatives to see what assistance they need.

He has outlined some of the charges faced by the detained looters.

“It’s all kinds of crimes arising from the looting,  so it would be arson, it would be breaking and entering, the issue of stolen property, would be the possession of stolen property or receiving stolen property. Those are all crimes obviously there would be more serious cases of instigating the violence which is rarely the case. We want to get to in particular in this area there are murders so there would be murder cases coming to the court.”

Destruction to infrastructure and businesses have run into billions in KwaZulu-Natal.

Cost of damage caused by looting in KZN: Sifiso Skenjana

Women hardest-hit in pandemic job market: UN labour body
19 July 2021, 4:43 PM

Women have been hit harder than men by job losses around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and only men’s employment is likely to recover this year to 2019 levels, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Monday.

Women have been at greater risk of lay-offs or reduced working hours during periods of anti-infection economic and social restrictions, especially in sectors such as accommodation, food services and manufacturing, the UN agency said.

Many women have not only experienced severe loss of income but also continue to bear the brunt of unpaid care work.

“Even though the projected jobs growth in 2021 for women exceeds that of men, it will, nonetheless, be insufficient to bring women back to pre-pandemic employment levels,” the ILO said in a report.

Globally, between 2019 and 2020, 4.2% of women’s employment was eliminated as a result of the pandemic, representing a drop of 54 million jobs, compared to 3% of men’s employment or 60million jobs, it said.

The number of employed women in 2021 is projected to be 13 million fewer than in 2019, while the number of men in employment is projected to be about the same as in 2019.” Only 43.2% of the world’s working-age women will be employed in 2021, compared to 68.6% of working-age men,” the ILO said.

The Americas had the largest regional drop in women’s employment due to the pandemic, at 9.4%, and prospects remain bleak for women in the region, it said.

Senior health officials should account for Life Esidimeni patients’ deaths: NGO
19 July 2021, 4:10 PM

The inquest into the deaths of former Life Esidimeni mental patients has heard there is no reason to depart from the findings of the arbitration by former Deputy Chief Justice, Dikgang Moseneke, into their deaths. The arbitration found among others, that the deaths were unnatural.

NGO, Section 27 which is representing the families of the deceased at an inquest in the High Court in Pretoria says former Gauteng health senior officials which include former Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu, and some of the NGOs should account for the tragic deaths.

The inquest, which kicked off on Monday morning, will determine whether anyone can be held criminally liable for the deaths of at least 144 psychiatric patients.

They died tragically after being transferred to various NGOs when the Health Department cancelled its contract with the Life Esidemeni group in 2015.

The victims died from malnutrition and neglect.

Section 27’s advocate, Adila Hassim’s opening remarks, “Together with the evidence collected during the arbitration and the findings of justice Moseneke will establish a prima facie case against officials on the department and owners of at least two NGOs, Precious Angels, and Anchor. Ultimately, we will submit that this inquest must make findings in relation to the person who was responsible for the deaths. The officials of the Gauteng department unlawfully and negligently, their conduct led to the deaths. They were all aware of the consequences that would follow.”

Life Esidimeni Inquest: 

As many as 17 missing after cargo ship sinks off Liberia
19 July 2021, 2:33 PM

As many as 17 people were missing from a cargo ship that sank off the coast of Liberia over the weekend despite being barred from setting sail, the Maritime Commissioner said.

The Liberian-registered Niko Ivanka left the capital Monrovia on Saturday for a port in the West African country’s south, despite being under a detention order for failing to meet basic safety requirements.

The vessel sent out a distress signal that afternoon, notifying the coastguard that it had taken on water. By the time authorities arrived, it had already partially sunk.

Eighteen people were on the ship’s manifest, 11 of whom had been rescued during a 36-hour search, commissioner Eugene Nagbetold reporters on Monday.

But those rescued said that there were in fact about 28 people on board, leaving 17 missing.

“For now, our concern is a search and rescue mission,” Nagbe said. “My focus is the lives of those people missing.”

The precise number of passengers remained unknown, Deputy Information Minister Jarlaywah Tonpoe told Reuters earlier.

“The vessel was not a passenger-authorized vessel and yet it had passengers on board,” Tonpoe said. “So in the coming days, investigation will establish how many people were on board.”

It was not clear how or why the ship was able to leave harbour or whether it was carrying any cargo at the time. The vessel’s owner, a Chinese national, was arrested on Sunday afternoon, Nagbe said.

Among those listed on the manifest were a Swedish captain, a Chinese crew member, and nine members of West Africa’s regional school examinations body.

Team SA long distance contingent hopeful of medals at Olympic Games
19 July 2021, 2:30 PM

Team South Africa will have the strongest possible long-distance running contingent at the Tokyo Olympic Games. And the team might, for the first time, win a medal in that category since, Josiah Thugwane, won the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

The marathon team boasts experienced and seasoned runners such as SA 5 000 metres record holder, Elroy Gellant, and SA marathon record holder, Gerda Steyn. However, Desmond Mokgobu, and running sensation, Precious Mashele, will also be going all out for podium places, at the World’s greatest sporting spectacle in Japan.

Competing at the Olympic Games is every elite athlete’s dream. And, many will see their dreams become a reality this year after the four-yearly event was postponed last year, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The postponement was a blessing in disguise for 5 000 and 10 000 metres sensation, Precious Mashele, who would have missed out had the Games been staged last year.

The 30-year-old Mashele qualified in spectacular fashion on the last day of qualification by winning the 5 000 metres at a small elite meeting in Durban a fortnight ago.

“I didn’t give up, I just told myself I just said if athletics South Africa can bring pacemakers I will make it – and finally I made it and I am very happy. I am ready to face those guys from east Africa and from Europe.”

While endurance is crucial in long-distance running, marathon runner, Desmond Mokgobu, and Mashele also did some pace work which might be what puts them in contention for a medal. The two will compete at the Olympic Games for the first time, but they are not going there to make up the numbers.

“My dream is to finish in the top three so that I can get a medal and change my life because we don’t have a sponsor and enough support. So if I can win a medal I’ll be happy.”

Marathon coach, Hendrik Ramaala, and running legend, Shadrack Hoff, who were rivals during the peak of their careers, agree the talented runners have the potential to win an Olympic Games medal.

“Long-distance is growing again, we have a full team of very knowledgeable athletes. Very hard working and they know what is expected of them and they are going to push hard to make the country proud,” says Ramaala.

Hoff agrees, “This team I think they are more than prepared, they’re going there, everyone expects the east Africans to get golds. Our boys are ready, this time around they are more than ready than before.”

Members of Team South Africa have been leaving in batches to minimise the risk of contracting COVID-19 – with Mashele to be in the group that will depart for Tokyo on Tuesday.

Team South Africa list finalised for the Tokyo Olympic Games: 

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