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Zuma eligible for parole after serving a quarter of his sentence: Minister Lamola
8 July 2021, 2:25 PM

Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Ronald Lamola, says former president Jacob Zuma will be eligible for parole after serving a quarter of his sentence.

Lamola was addressing the media outside the Estcourt Correctional Services facility in KwaZulu-Natal, describing the moment as one of great restraint.

Zuma was taken into custody on Wednesday night to begin his 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court.

Timeline of Zuma’s court appearances over the last 16 years:

Lamola says Zuma is being housed in the hospitals section while he undergoes an immediate assessment.

He says the former president is in good spirits.

“It should be noted that in terms of section 736A of the Correctional Services Act, an offender serving the and determined or cumulative sentence of not more than 24 months may not be places on parole or day parole until such a offender had served either the stipulated non parole period of a non parole period was stipulated a quarter of the sentence,” says Lamola.

The Correctional Services Minister says all prisoners undergo a full profile report that is sent to a case management committee.

He also described the Escourt Correctional Services facility as a new generation centre.

“It is a new generation correctional centre with an approved bed capacity of 512 inmates it also has a hospital section. As precaution and in line with the COVID-19 measures, the former president will be placed in isolation for a period of 14 days. Further more, he will be assessed by our medical team in conjunction with the the South African Health Military Services and this will determine the conditions for his incarceration,” adds Lamola.

Analysis and reaction to the imprisonment of the former president:

SADC calls for dialogue to resolve unrest in Eswatini
4 July 2021, 9:55 PM

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has urged the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini to engage in dialogue to resolve the impasse that led to a week of pro-democracy protests.

A SADC delegation is in the land-locked kingdom on a fact-finding mission.

The President of Botswana and Chairperson of the SADeC Troika, Dr Mogweetsi Masisi, was accompanied by Botswana Minister of International Affairs, Dr Lemohang Kwape. They met with the acting eSwatini Prime Minister, Themba Masuku.

Calm returns following week-long pro-democracy protests: 

The delegation expressed concern about the disruption of economic activity during the protests.

SADC urged all individuals, groups, and organisations that have grievances to desists from acts of violence and do so through established platforms. It  also called on the security forces to exercises restraint in their response to restore order.

Government estimates the damages to about 3-billion Emalangini, which is an equivalent of R3 billion. Over 5 000 jobs are said to have been lost as a result of the civil protest.

But calm has since returned to the country, with delivery trucks again crossing into the landlocked kingdom.

It’s, however, unclear if the internet has been restored after it was suspended since Wednesday.

Attempted to get hold of the government has been unsuccessful.

PUDEMO leader Mlungisi Makhanya updates on the situation: 

SA reports 16 585 COVID-19 infections, a drop after two consecutive record highs
4 July 2021, 8:40 PM

National health authorities have reported 16 585 new COVID-19 cases in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 062 896.

This increase represents a 30.2% positivity rate.

The health department has also reported 333 COVID-19-related deaths, bringing total fatalities to 61 840.

The Gauteng province accounts for the majority of new cases (57%), followed by the Western Cape (11%), and the KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo (7% each) provinces.

An increase of 384 hospital admissions have been reported in the past 24 hours.

Latest COVID-19 stats in SA: 



England too good for USA in test rugby match in Twickenham
4 July 2021, 8:30 PM

England continued their dominance over the United States in rugby. A second-string English side beat the determined Americans 43-29 in a test match at Twickenham in London.

The hosts enjoyed dominance in the opening half which saw them enjoy a 26-3 lead at half-time. This proved to be a game of two halves as the USA bounced back to score four tries in the second half of the match.

England was looking to redeem themselves after a disappointing Six Nations campaign in which they won just two matches. The last time the two teams met was in the 2019 Rugby World Cup with England beating the USA 45-7 in the group stages.

With most regular players currently touring South Africa, England coach, Eddie Jones, was expected to give at least eight debutants their start in the first team.

On the other hand, the 16th ranked United States were facing a tough encounter having won only one match in their last seven outings. USA was the first to register points on the board through a penalty in the opening minutes of the match.

But it was not long for the hosts to retaliate with a try by Sam Underhill. As expected England dominated the match and it came as no surprise when Joe Lawrence got their second try.

The third try of the match came from Joe Cokanasiga. Cokanasiga crossed over the line for his second try of the match to give England a 26-3 lead at the break.

Then there was a clash of heads between Ollie Lawrence and Marcel Brache in the first half and both players had to be replaced. Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz got the first try of the match for the visitors early in the second half to make it 31-8.

The USA who tried to match their highly-ranked opponents in the second half got their second try through Cam Dolan. The hosts regained composure as 22-year-old Marcus Smith managed to get them another try.

Then Harry Randal produced some piece of magic to increase the lead for the visitors after another try. This was never a one-sided affair with Hanco Germishuys scoring the third try for the USA.

The best try of the match for the visitors came from substitute Christian Dyer late in the match.

Over 300 farmers, farmworkers receive animal feed, groceries in drought-stricken E Cape
4 July 2021, 6:13 PM

More than 300 farmers and farmworkers’ families have benefited from donations, which include animal feed and groceries in the drought-stricken Dr Beyers Naude Municipality in the Eastern Cape.

Non-profit organisation, South African Water Warriors, made the donation as short-term relief for the farmers and their workers as parts of the Eastern Cape continue to bear the devastating effects of a prolonged drought.

Farm owner, Devon Smith, says the donations will give them the much-needed break.

“I mean two-thirds of my animals you either had to euthanise them, take them to be slaughtered, or let them die on your farm because of drought. This is one of the worst droughts we had in a long time in seven years no rain. Currently the Karoo bush, you see trees are dry there are no leaves,” adds Smith.

With no rainfall anticipated to fall any time soon, the farmers fear the worst. Another farm owner, Myhnhardt Loubser, says it will take some time for them to recover.

“Even if it starts raining, if you look at the square metre perhaps and you count how many Karoo bushes are in that square metre. We have lost 40% to 60% of your Karoo bushes. So, that is going to take 10 to 15 years for the veld to recover but that is on the long-term basis.”

The donations range from animal feed, groceries, and bottled water. They come from as far afield as the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

The pandemic has come with its own challenges, besides the exorbitant transport costs that the organisation is struggling with. Founder of South African Water Warriors, Deon Smit, says they spend close to R20 000 on a load of feed in one truck.

“The challenge is actually getting donations, it’s tough everyone is struggling not as much as they are, yourself everyone we’ve got our struggle in some way. So to get donations is very difficult at this stage. But, so far, we have been doing good.”

The drought in the province has resulted in job losses and a lack of income for the farmers.

In May, Water warriors embarked on a 60-vehicle relief effort to help drought-stricken farmers in the Karoo:



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