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Nomia Ndlovu’s mother tells court she never felt her life was under threat
16 September 2021, 12:01 PM

Maria Mushwana, the mother of former police officer accused of the murder of six of her family members, Nomia Ndlovu, has told the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court that she never felt that her life was under any threatened. 

Mushwana, called by the defence, took to the stand on Thursday morning to answer questions about the whereabouts of Ndlovu around the time of Brilliant Mashego’s disappearance in January 2018. Mashego was Ndlovu’s nephew and the son of Nomia’s sister, Audrey Ndlovu, who was also murdered in 2013. 

Mashego disappeared on January 22, 2018 and was later found killed in Bushbuckridge.  

Asked about Ndlovu’s whereabouts on that day, Mushwana said she had not seen her daughter on that day.  

“She (Ndlovu) came back home after she was informed of the death of Brilliant (Mashego).” 

Ndlovu is also accused of ordering a hit on the life of her mother. However, Mushwana says she never felt her life was under threat at any point.  

“I never felt (threatened) … I was never ever threatened by anyone at my place,” says Mushwana. 

Following Mushwana’s testimony, the court took a five-minute adjournment to allow Ndlovu to say her goodbyes to her mother who is going to be transported back home in Bushbuckridge. 

Nomia Ndlovu | Mother of murder-accused former police officer takes the stand in defence of Ndlovu:

Ndlovu, currently on the stand, is accused of the murders of Witness Madala Homu who was murdered in March 2012, cashing in R131 000 from insurance policies; Audrey Ndlovu killed in 2013 – Ndlovu cashing in R717 000; her boyfriend Morris Mabasa – cashing in R416 000; her niece Zanele Motha who died in June 2016 – cashing in R120 000; her nephew Mayeni Mashaba who died in 2017; as well as Mashego who was murdered in January 2018. 

She is currently being questioned about the reasons behind taking so many insurance policies on all these family members. She says she did so to avoid being burdened in the event one of them passed on and having to contribute to their burial as it had been the case before.  

The trial continues.

‘It was not my voice’, Nomia Ndlovu’s trial adjourns as she complains of ‘acute pain’
16 September 2021, 11:56 AM

Former police officer, Nomia Ndlovu, charged with the murder of six of her family members, has denied that she ever took a policy in her sister, Audrey’s name, posing as her on the phone.

The court heard evidence from an audiologist who examined recorded calls from insurance companies and testified that Ndlovu had posed as Audrey in one of the calls, taking up an insurance policy that eventually paid out R717 000. 

Ndlovu has denied this saying the voice on the recorded phone was not hers.  

“I never took policies pretending to be Audrey. I just want to add this, my lord, my voice is very much similar to that of my sister. If she was here and she spoke, you’d swear it was me speaking,” she tells the court. 

The former police officer, who was arrested in 2018, is currently on the stand being questioned about the reasons behind her taking so many insurance policies for her family members. She says she did so to avoid being burdened in the event one of them passed on as she had experienced it before.  

There was a back-and-forth between the accused and the judge on whether she had in fact contributed to the burial of her sister. However, the judge was quick to remind the accused that the charge was not whether she had contributed or not, but that she had killed people in order to cash in on the insurance policies.  

The judge also heard that the accused had made an offer of R15 000 towards Witness Homu’s 2012 burial, which the judge said he had found odd in that people do not make offers towards a funeral but contributions.

The judge also said even if she paid any portion of the monies cashed in from insurance policies, it should not be regarded as a “contribution” since it was money intended for that purpose.  

“Contribution is anything from your own pocket (beyond insurance policy payout).” 

The accused insisted, all said and done, she had not killed anyone and was innocent, but the judge was quick to remind her that it was not up to her to determine, but for her to only give evidence.  

The court has adjourned to Friday morning after the accused complained of an “acute pain.”

Former Tembisa police officer Rosemary Nomia Ndlovu returns to the stand at the Johannesburg High Court sitting in Palm Ridge:

DA aims to win full control of Tshwane Metro
15 September 2021, 7:39 PM

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has set itself a target of 50% plus one, to have full control of the Tshwane Metro Municipality.  

Mayor Randall Williams revealed his plan for the coming five years if he gets re-elected. He was accompanied by DA leader John Steenhuisen and other party leaders at Groenkloof in Pretoria.  

He says the city needs the DA to make sure that issues of governance and administration are attended to, without political interference, where politicians want to have access to the tender processes.  

Williams spoke to DA members gathered at Groenkloof, in Pretoria this afternoon.

“From the first day that I returned to office, I encountered service delivery backlogs that went back for almost months, in every sphere of work that is required from the city. As you can imagine, the pressure from the residents to turn the city around was emerging, no sooner had we returned to office. We were inundated with complaints from residents on issues that had been reported but left unattended.”

Steenhuisen has appealed to all DA members and potential voters to use this coming weekend and register to vote in the November 1 local government elections.  

He says the DA is determined to further prove to South Africans that at the municipal level, service delivery is an order of the day.

The DA leader told party supporters that they need more votes in order to have an outright majority in Tshwane.

“The people trusted us and gave us the most votes out of any party in the last election, but it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough for us to be able to form our own majority here in Tshwane, so that we can govern uninterrupted for five years. And what that meant … it means we had to rely on some parties who were unstable, who walked on us. We were not guided by values and principles, not even by the project of uniting South Africans to defeat poverty and advance job creation and into a caring livable city.” 

Life Esidimeni inquest adjourned till October
15 September 2021, 5:09 PM

The Pretoria High Court has adjourned the inquest into deaths of 144 Life Esidimeni psychiatric patients until the 4th of October this year. This is to allow some of the role players time to arrange and finalise their legal representation.  

Only four out of the 36 witnesses scheduled to give evidence at the inquest have already testified.  

The inquest is considering whether anyone can be held criminally liable for the deaths, following the closure of Life Esidimeni centers by former Gauteng Health MEC  Qedani Mahlangu in 2016.  

Judge Mmonoa Teffo has cautioned role-players to make use of the adjournment period to finalise their outstanding legal arrangements.

“We can resume on the next term on the 4th of October. And on that particular day, I will keep on checking with the other parties. The evidence leader, my registrar, those parties and then we will confirm whether on that particular day we will proceed. So, depending on what will happen – because I cannot say whether the people shall already have obtained legal representation or not – I mean this is a difficulty. It is something that I cannot anticipate will happen. But should there be problems, (we) shall just see how to deal with that at the time.” 

Families were angry

Former leader for the Life Esidimeni Transfer Project, Levy Mosenogi says engagements between former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and families of Life Esidimeni healthcare users were at times characterised by anger and dissolution.

He was testifying at the inquest into deaths of 144 Life Esidimeni psychiatric patients that is under way in the Pretoria High Court.

Mosenogi is the fourth witness to testify on the transfer of mentally challenged patients from Life Esidimeni centers to other facilities.

The facilities were ultimately shut down by Mahlangu.

Mosenogi says families and employees at Life Esidimeni were unhappy with the relocations.

“It was tough even for me,  so when the MEC came in she decided to take over the chair, she could see that I wasn’t coping. The people were not satisfied with the closure of Waverly. They raised issues and the MEC responded but they were not happy with the response. They didn’t like the responses. There were so many issues raised. They were not happy about the closure of the facility. It was very tough. People were complaining and raising their voices.”

Deputy Director-General of Clinical Services in the Gauteng Health Department, Doctor Richard Lebethe testified before the inquest on Tuesday: 

Maimane’s One South Africa Movement seeks to unite independents ahead of elections
15 September 2021, 3:40 PM

Independent candidates in Sebokeng, Emfuleni, south of Johannesburg, say they want to depolitisize local government and introduce professional leadership in municipalities.  

The One South Africa Movement under the leadership of Mmusi Maimane has introduced a number of independent candidates to the media today that will be running in November’s local elections.  

LGE 2021 | Independent candidates in Emfuleni unveiled:

The independents are running under the banner of the citizen-led New Horizon Movement. 

Tasha Venter is one of the 45 independents under the banner of the citizen-led New Horizon Movement that will be running in all the wards in Sebokeng, Emfuleni. The local authority, which has been under the administration of the Gauteng Provincial Government since 2018, is plagued by poor service delivery and water shortages.  

Another independent candidate, Ernest Nkopane who is running in Ward 34, says enough is enough.

“The politicians in general from 1994 to date have proven failure, not just in Sedibeng but across the country. The third thing that is so much, so much that we have to accept the abnormality and make it normal is the corruption, you know. Corruption that is looted and hidden under your BEE, your tender system and all those things. So, basically, we are saying we are tired and it’s time for us as independent citizens, regardless of your political parties, regardless of your affiliation to stand up and take action for the future generation.”

Addressing residents along the dusty, sewage-strewn streets of the township, Bishop Vincent Jones, who will be contesting the Mayorship of Emfuleni Municipality, proposes a total rehaul of the current system.

“Let’s take all party politics out of local government. We are not talking about one political party. We are saying that all party politics does not belong to local government. And number two, we are saying let’s professionalise. We are going to put the right people, qualified people in the right positions. And number three, we are going to clean local municipality; no corruption, no cadre deployment, no tender system.”

Maimane is assisting the New Horizon Movement take power back to the people. His organisation is training various groups of independents in 12 municipalities across the country on how to run for election and ultimately understand how local government is run.  

The groups are using section 15A of the Electoral Act, which allows for the registration of an organisation to run for elections, without being registered as a traditional political party. It also allows independents to register as a conglomerate to gain the benefit of the proportional representation vote.

“These are people from the community, located close to the community and will remain in the community because, at the end of the day, if you don’t have a New Horizon Movement as we have it, you end up in a scenario where independents have been allowed to stand in this country for a long time in local government. The problem is that when they have won, there is no way to hold them accountable. What we are saying is that we want accountability to operate locally with New Horizon Movement.” 

There are 911 independents running in the November poll, slightly up from the 2016 local government elections. They hope to capitalise on a citizenry that they believe has grown weary of political parties and their often-undelivered promises. 

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