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Empire actor Jussie Smollett.
Chicago to sue actor Jussie Smollett
5 April 2019, 6:47 AM

Chicago will sue actor Jussie Smollett for the costs of police overtime spent investigating his claims that he was the victim of a hate crime, which prosecutors say were false, a city official said on Thursday.

The lawsuit was being prepared after Smollett (36) refused a demand by the city for $130 000, said Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Law.

“Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29,” McCaffrey said.

“The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook Country.”

Smollett, who is black and gay, touched off a social media firestorm by telling police on January 29th that two apparent supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump struck him, put a noose around his neck and poured bleach over him.

But the actor, best known for his role as a gay musician on the Fox Television hip-hop drama Empire, was charged in February with staging the incident himself and filing a false police report.

Last week prosecutors dropped all charges against Smollett, infuriating police and outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Prosecutors said they stood by the accusation but that an agreement by Smollett to forfeit his $10 000 bond was a just outcome.

The case file was sealed by a Chicago judge, which critics suggested was evidence of a cover-up.

The actor’s criminal defence attorney, Mark Geragos, could not be reached for comment.

On Monday, some 300 people, including off-duty Chicago police officers, took to the streets to protest, calling on Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to resign over her handling of the case.

Foxx, who recused herself from the case before charges were filed, citing conversations she had with one of his relatives, has defended her actions and those of her prosecutors.

Smollett was written out of the final two episodes of “Empire” this season after he was charged with staging the hate crime. Fox executives have not said if he will return should the show be renewed for another year.

Alex protests.
Alex residents expected to meet with city officials on Friday
5 April 2019, 6:19 AM

A public meeting between residents of Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, and officials from the City is expected to take place on Friday morning, to try and find a solution to end the protests.

On Wednesday, thousands of protestors took to the streets, completely shutting down the area.

Schools were closed, businesses were shut down and all entrances and exits of the township were blocked off by protestors.

It was relatively calm on Thursday, with only a few streets blocked by protestors.

Day 2 of protests in Alexandra is well underway #AlexTotalShutDown #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/s7wVF8QXFM


The residents were demonstrating against a lack of service delivery and the mushrooming of illegal structures in the area.

Community leader Sandile Mavundla says, “The latest news we got from the leadership, I’m talking about the councillors, is that they have communicated with the higher structures within the City of Johannesburg and there is a proper public meeting. So let’s appeal to our community to not close the streets, clinics, and schools. Let’s allow everything so we will be listening to the report based on what we have got now.”

Click on video below: 

Prosecutor to the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda.
US revokes visa of the ICC prosecutor
5 April 2019, 5:50 AM

The United States has revoked the visa of the Prosecutor to the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, for entry into the United States.

A response to a SABC News enquiry read as follows: “We can confirm that US authorities have revoked the Prosecutor’s visa for entry into the US”.

The note continues that it’s their understanding that the decision should have no impact on Fatou Bensouda’s travel to the United States to meet her obligations to the UN in New York, including her regular briefings to the Security Council.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in March warned that Washington would impose visa restrictions on persons responsible for the pursuit of any probe against the country at the International Criminal Court.

The move was seen as an attempt by the administration of President Donald Trump to put the brakes on a preliminary investigation launched by the ICC Prosecutor in 2017 into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan since May 2003.

The U.S. is not a member of the Court but Afghanistan joined in 2003.

Jack Dlamini
‘This democracy in this country only benefits a selected few’
4 April 2019, 12:50 PM

Jackie Dlamini (56) from the impoverished Moolman area in Mkhondo local municipality has lived in the area for most of his life and survived by doing odd jobs on farms.

Dlamini, just like most of the residents in the area has been voting since 1994.

He says his community had high hopes when the country attained freedom in 1994.

Dlamini believes that democracy in Sout Africa has only benefitted a selected few. His biggest concern is the lack of electricity. Dlamini rates the countries democracy at yellow, suggesting that we must be cautious.  “There is no change, it still the same as the time before we voted for the first time. I believe that the country should have changed the constitution; it would have been better governed under a Monarchy system.”

Click on video below: 

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba.
Mashaba lashes out at ANC for blaming him for Alex issues
4 April 2019, 11:34 AM

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, has lashed out at the ANC for blaming his leadership for service delivery and housing problems in Alexander North of the city.

This as protests have flared up for a second day in the township – despite calls by ‘Total Shutdown’ organizers to temporarily suspend demonstrations, due to security concerns.

Wednesday, residents took to the streets to protest against the mushrooming of illegal structures in the area.

Businesses and schools were closed for the day and commuters were left stranded.

Residents have threatened to continue protesting until Mashaba attends to their concerns.

Mashaba explains…“Whatever happens in the City of Johannesburg, I have to take the responsibility. What is strange that they are the one blaming me for failing people of Alex, because housing is the competency of the City of Joburg. When I took over, government had R411-million for housing for 2016/17. When they lost and I came over, they cut my budget for housing to R245-million, so this is why I can’t understand why they are blaming me.”

Earlier, ANC Ward 105 Councillor Tefo Raphadu attributed the reasons for the protests to poor leadership by Mashaba.

“It is highly disappointing. The challenges that Alex is having now are not historical problems. The problems happening under Mashaba’s watch – for example, a burst pipe are not a historical problem, rubbish not picked up is not a historical problem, it’s him. He must take responsibility because he says he will deliver and do better. We know what the first administration did but this is under your watch.”

Click on the interview below:

Click on video below: 

 

 

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