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Joel Sibiya taught us love and discipline: Family representative
11 April 2021, 1:18 PM

African National Congress (ANC) veteran and former Umkhonto we Sizwe commander, Mbhazima Joel Sibiyahas been buried at his home village of Mahatlani outside Giyani in Limpopo.  

He was given an official provincial funeral category two.  

He was exiled in Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania.  

He received military training in Mozambique, Angola and Germany. Sibiya died after a short illness at the One Military hospital in Pretoria.  

Sibiya also served in Parliament as a member of the National Council of Provinces. 

Family representative Ann Phiri says Sibiya married her sister in Zambia and the family learnt love and discipline from him. 

This man was a freedom fighter fighting for his people while he was in Zambia. He taught me and my family so many stories of how he travelledhow he moved from SA to Mozambique and some of his stories were frightening.”

Phiri adds: “He was not only fighting from home but he was fighting for his country from outside. Joel Sibiya was not a man just for South Africa, Joel Sibiya was an international man he was a legend.”  

Chad’s veteran leader Deby targets sixth term in presidential vote
11 April 2021, 10:26 AM

Voting began in Chad on Sunday in a presidential election in which Idriss Deby is widely expected to extend his three-decade rule, despite growing signs of popular discontent over his handling of the country’s oil wealth.

Deby, 68, was first to cast his ballot at a polling station in the capital N’Djamena. He is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders and an ally of Western powers in the fight against Islamist militants in West and Central Africa.

“I’m calling on all Chadians to come out and vote for the candidate of their choice who will have to tackle the major challenges facing our country over the next six years,” Deby told journalists after voting.

Deby seized power in 1990 in an armed rebellion, and in 2018 pushed through a new constitution that could let him stay in power until 2033 – even as it reinstated term limits.

He has relied on a firm grip over state institutions and one of the region’s most capable militaries to maintain power. He said recently he knew in advance that he would win again “as I have done for the last 30 years”.

“Many of you, my daughters and sons, were not yet born when I took power in 1990,” he said at his final campaign rally on Friday. “You have asked me to be a candidate for this sixth term.”

Among Deby’s six rivals is former Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke, but several leading opponents are boycotting the race, including the 2016 runner-up Saleh Kebzabo, who has vowed to make Chad “ungovernable” if Deby wins.

Several recent anti-government demonstrations in N’Djamena turned violent and there was a heavy military presence in the city on Saturday.

As soldiers patrolled the streets, municipal workers collected car tyres and plastics that protesters could set on fire.

On Friday authorities said they had arrested several people, including at least one opposition leader, for what they said was a plot to assassinate politicians and bomb polling stations and the electoral commission headquarters.

The opposition said the arrests showed mounting repression under Deby, whose government also arrested scores of people ahead of the vote, according to Human Rights Watch.

The government rejects allegations of human rights abuses.

It has come under increasing public pressure over a flagging economy as low prices for the main export, oil, in recent years forced cutbacks in public spending and sparked labour strikes.

Norbert Djimadoum, a N’Djamena resident, said he expected many people to express their dissatisfaction by staying at home on Sunday.

“There won’t be a lot of enthusiasm at the polls tomorrow and that will be a victory for the start of change,” he said on Saturday.

Voter registration continues across parts of SA ahead of May by-elections
11 April 2021, 7:59 AM

Voter registration will continue on Sunday in parts of the Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga ahead of by-elections on May 19.  

The IEC in KwaZulu-Natal has encouraged voters from seven wards in the province to register for the by elections.  

Voter Educator at the IEC’s Durban branch, Dr Nonhlanhla Hlongwane, says voting on May 19 will be held under strict COVID19 regulations. 

Instead of the pen that we were using to mark voters, as they enter into the voting station, now we dip an ear bud into the ink bottle and mark the voters’ thumb and discard it for every voter. We will also ensure social distancing and we will sanitise voters as they come through and vote at the voting stations.”  

Meanwhile, the IEC in KwaZulu-Natal says it’s optimistic that voter registration will run smoothly this weekend ahead of the May 19 by-election.

By-elections will be held in 7 wards in different municipalities in the province.

They will take place in ward 10 eThekwini municipality, ward 2 eNdumeni municipality, ward 14 uPhongolo municipality and wards 15; 22 and 30 in Umhlathuze municipality.

The majority of these wards became vacant following the death of councillors.

SABC News Reporter Fanele Mhlongo reports on the KwaZulu-Natal voter registration weekend: 

VIDEO: 28th Annual Chris Hani Commemoration
10 April 2021, 11:40 AM

The ANC-led Tripartite alliance is holding the 28th Annual Chris Hani commemoration in Ekhuruleni on Gauteng’s East Rand on Saturday.

Live proceedings are being streamed in the video below: 

‘Marginalised bearing brunt of COVID-19 due to discriminatory policy decisions’
7 April 2021, 1:00 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the terrible legacy of deliberately divisive and destructive policies that have perpetuated inequality, discrimination, and oppression across Sub-Saharan Africa, according to an Amnesty International report.

The 2020/2021 report published on Wednesday is titled The State of the World’s Human Rights.  It says that across the region, the devastating impact of armed conflict in countries such as Ethiopia, Mozambique, Cameroon, and Nigeria was compounded by the pandemic as a number of states weaponized it to crack down on human rights.  

The crackdowns included killings of civilians and arrests of opposition politicians and supporters and human rights defenders and activists in countries such as Angola, Guinea, and Uganda. 

 The report says discriminatory policy decisions of leaders in the region are costing the already marginalised, including women and refugees, dearly. It says existing inequalities have also left the marginalised communities,  including older people and health workers disproportionately negatively affected by the pandemic, with gender-based violence exacerbating the situation. 

“For example, 21 women and children had been killed by intimate partners in South Africa by mid-June, while over 3 600 rapes were recorded during the COVID-19 lockdown in Nigeria. In CAR, the UN recorded 60 cases of conflict-related sexual violence, including rape, forced marriage, and sexual slavery, between June and October,” it reveals.

It also found that health workers in the region operated in insanitary and unsafe environments due to shortages of PPE and sanitisers. 

“For example, in South Africa, by early August, at least 240 health workers had died after contracting COVID-19. By July, about 2 065 health workers in Ghana had been infected and six had died due to COVID-19-related complications. Despite facing increased workloads and additional occupational risks, health workers in most countries remained without adequate compensation,” says the organisation.

 Weaponising COVID-19

The report also paints a dismal picture of countries where authorities continued to restrict liberties in their handling of the pandemic. 

From Togo to Kenya and Angola to South Africa, the annual report highlights governments using excessive force to enforce compliance with COVID-19 response measures. The use of excessive force led to several cases of multiple killings, including while enforcing COVID-19 measures.  

The report also details many important victories that human rights activists helped to secure in 2020.  These include new legislation to counter violence against women and girls in Sudan and the overturning of a ban preventing pregnant girls from attending school and sitting exams in Sierra Leone.

“Leadership in 2020 came not from power or privilege. It came from the countless people marching to demand change. We saw an outpouring of support for #End SARS, #ZimbabweanLivesMatter as well as public protests against repression and inequality in places across the continent,” says Amnesty International’s Director for West and Central Africa, Samira Daoud.

“We are at a crossroads. We must release the shackles that degrade human dignity. We must reset and reboot to build a world grounded in equality, human rights, and humanity. We must learn from the pandemic and come together to work boldly and creatively so everyone is on an equal footing,” adds the organisation’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena.

The document below contains the full report:

Weather

 

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