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Strong cold front hits Cape Town
10 June 2020, 7:44 AM

A strong cold front has made landfall in the Cape Peninsula, bringing with it heavy rainfall and extremely cold weather.

It is accompanied by gale force winds and rough seas.

Snow is also expected in the higher mountainous areas.

The South African Weather Services (SAWS) says Cape Town, which has been experiencing drought for several years, is set to receive higher than expected rainfall this winter.

In the video below is a comprehensive weather report:

Intense cold front forecast for parts of SA

South Africans should brace themselves for a chilly, windy and wet mid-week following the cold front that has landed in the Western Cape.

The Weather Service says windy conditions will spread eastwards into the Free State and Eastern Cape on Wednesday, and spread to KwaZulu-Natal by Thursday.

The tweet below provides more details:

AfriForum files court papers over self-isolation of repatriated citizens
10 June 2020, 7:04 AM

Civil Rights Organisation AfriForum wants repatriates arriving into the country to be allowed to self-isolate.

The organisation has filed court papers asking the court to rule on the matter.

Repatriates are required to enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival into the country.

Afriforum has also written a letter to the Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille demanding that she provide answers to allegations that some of the quarantine facilities across the country are not meeting Health Department’s guidelines.

Head of Cultural Affairs Alana Bailey says: “We feel that people should be allowed to self-isolate. That is the practice in most countries. Many people find the state facilities a problem. We submitted the papers on Friday and it will go to court by June 17th. In the papers, we basically ask for three things. We feel that, the sooner they know if they positive or not, they can get treatment. They should be allowed to self-isolate and we ask for a process where they can get regular updates on the dates that they can repatriate. Right now, people are already at the airport or at the borders being told they can’t cross today.”

Meanwhile, Managing Director of the Birchwood Hotel in Johannesburg east Kevin Clarence says the hotel is operating under the strict guidance of the Department of Health.

He says and guests are not currently staying in a typical hotel environment and this makes it difficult to keep everyone happy.

“When you come off a repatriation flight and you go into quarantine, you are going into a hotel that is a quarantine facility and in order to be a quarantine facility, you need to adhere to a number of protocols as prescribed by the Department of Health. People are thinking that they are coming into a normal Birchwood environment but it’s very different to that. We have to prepare food as per the guidelines of the Health Department. One of the challenges is dealing with the varied dietary requirements.

We are trying to keep people as comfortable as we can,” says Clarence.

Requests for comment from both the Departments of Health and Public Works have not yet been responded to.

COVID-19 patients cannot be forced into state quarantine sites

Early this month, the High Court in Pretoria ruled that patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus may not be forced into state quarantine.

AfriForum welcomed the ruling after filing court papers challenging regulations which gave the state the power to force anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 into compulsory state quarantine.

In the video below, Afriforum’s Monique Taute described this is a victory for supporters of human rights:

Complaints over inadequate quarantine sites

Last month, a group of quarantined South Africans repatriated from Mozambique were taken to the Zithabiseni Resort in Mpumalanga which is used as a quarantine site.

The group threatened legal action against the provincial government, saying the facility is in ruins and also complained about being served sub-standard food.

In the video below, the repatriated citizens voice their concerns:

 

 

 

 

Legality of tobacco ban to be heard in court
9 June 2020, 9:03 AM

The High Court in Pretoria will hear an application from the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) on the legality of the lockdown regulations which ban the sale of tobacco products in South Africa.

The association has received an answering affidavit from government. Government banned the sale of tobacco products as part of the enforcement of its lockdown regulations to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Tobacco ban nonsensical

In a written reply to the Democratic Alliance (DA), President Ramaphosa said that both submissions and medical literature were used when a decision to ban the sale of tobacco products was made.

He said the effects of smoking on public health were carefully considered, including the effects of COVID-19 on smokers given that the coronavirus is a respiratory illness.

In the video below, the DA says the ban on tobacco sales during Level 3 lockdown is nonsensical:

Devastating economic impact for tobacco traders

Informal traders have warned that their sources of income are being decimated by the ban.

In the video below, President of the South African Informal Traders Alliance Rosheda Muller says a further continuation of this ban will have a devastating impact on informal traders who are trying to make a living:

 

Court to rule on SA Express provisional liquidation
9 June 2020, 7:37 AM

The deadline for the Department of Public Enterprises to oppose the provisional liquidation of SA Express expires on Tuesday as the High Court in Johannesburg is expected to rule on the future of the state-owned airline.

On Monday, hundreds of the airliners’ employees picketed outside the department’s offices in Pretoria.

They were demanding answers about the non-payment of their salaries and are calling for government to delay the liquidation of the airline.

The Public Enterprises Department earlier said it could not afford a further cash injection for SA Express as it had not received any business plan.

In the video below, Pilot Lebohang Matlala who was part of the picket outlines his grievances:

Liquidation likely to go ahead

The final liquidation of the airline is likely to go ahead as government has failed to oppose and give reasons as to why this should not happen.

The airline was placed under provisional liquidation in April this year after a failed business rescue attempt.

If liquidated, employees will not be able to protect their provident and pension funds and other retrenchment packages as all assets will be sold to pay creditors.

The airline employs close to 700 employees who have not been paid since March.

 

The suspects in a Mpumalanga albino teen’s murder to appear in court
9 June 2020, 6:33 AM

Three men accused of killing a 13-year-old girl with albinism will appear in the High Court sitting in Middelburg, Mpumalanga on Tuesday.

Gabisile Shabane was killed together with her one-year-old cousin, Nkosikhona Ngwenya, who also had albinism.

A sangoma, Thokozani Msibi, and co-accused, Mthobisi Mkhize, Themba Thubane and Knowledge Mhlanga were arrested and charged with kidnapping, murder, conspiracy to commit murder and violation of a corpse.

Shabane and Ngwenya were kidnapped from their home in Vosman Emalahleni in January 2018.

Gabisile was allegedly forced to smoke dagga and also drink beer mixed with brake-fluid before she was murdered.

Her body was found buried in a shallow grave.

Ngwenya’s body was retrieved from a stream near Emalahleni.

Themba Thubane has pleaded guilty and he was given two life sentences and a further five years.

The rest of the accused have pleaded not guilty.

The plight of those living with albinism

People living with albinism are among the most vulnerable citizens and face human rights violations and threats.

While violence against albinos is more severe north of our borders, there have been kidnapping and murders here too, allegedly for body parts.

The video below outlines the plight of South Africans living with albinism and celebrates their human rights as the country observed International Albinism Awareness Day last year on June 13:

Weather

 

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