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Kroonstad community bands together in search of missing 9-year-old
5 September 2020, 9:13 PM

Residents of Maokeng in Kroonstad, Free State, have joined hands in the frantic search for a missing nine-year-old girl.

Boipelo Sesele was last seen on Tuesday afternoon playing with her friends. Her mother says she was nowhere to be found, when she sent her 15-year-old brother to call her home for lunch.

“My mother went out saying she’s going to fetch her, she came back and told me that my daughter is missing and they told her that she left with a male person wearing overalls. I just rushed out and went to her friend’s place and asked the friend where was she, and she said she doesn’t know,” says Boipelo’s mother, Mpeile Sesele.

Community member Pinkie Monyake says: “We are so devastated; we can’t even sleep or eat. This thing has unsettled us as a community.”

A missing person’s case has been opened with the police.

Maokeng residents join hands in a frantic search for missing girl:

Life will never be the same without Nathaniel, says Julies family
5 September 2020, 8:04 PM

The family of Nathaniel Julies says life will never be the same without him. Julies, who had a Downs syndrome, was laid to rest on Saturday.

Eldorado Park residents came out in their numbers to pay their last respects to the 16-year-old teenager.

His mother Bridget Harris says she holds special memories of her son and she’ll always cherish them. She was speaking at his funeral service. Only family members and close relatives were allowed access into the venue.

“A wonderful boy Nathaniel for 16 years he has borrowed me him for 16 years and that’s one thing Scorpion can never take away from me. He has engraved wonderful memories in our hearts. Scorpion might have taken him away but we will always have these memories,” she said.

Nathaniel Julies laid to rest:

His peers say the police have become the enemy of the community and they are now scared of them.

“For a policeman to shoot someone that has nothing to do with anyone it is just heartbreaking.”

“I am very scared now I don’t know what are they going to do over this, but I’m very scared. I am very scared the same thing can happen,” they lamented.

One of the older community members said: “It’s very painful especially to his parents to say goodbye in this way. When I looked at the child’s face in the coffin – he was well-loved and it’s hard to say goodbye to something so horrible and traumatic.”

African Christian Democratic (ACDP) leader, Kenneth Meshoe, also attended the funeral service. He has called on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) not to grant bail to the suspects accused of killing Julies.

“The perpetrators must not be given bail. They are guilty of murder. They must not only be charged for murder but also for possessing illegal ammunition that they are not supposed to be in their position. Why did they use that kind of ammunition or bullet to shoot at an innocent boy who is sick? They must be punished severely so that people who have concluded that all police are brutal they would know that brutality is punished.”

Businessman Gayton McKenzie pays tribute to Nathaniel Julies:

Julies was shot and killed last week allegedly by police in Eldorado Park, south of Johannesburg.

Three police officers have since been arrested. Community members allege that the implicated officers told staff at Baragwanath Hospital that the boy was caught in the cross-fire between rival gangs.

His funeral service was held at the Mount Carmel Ministries.

 

Free State family in shock following 20-month-old’s brutal murder
5 September 2020, 6:03 PM

The brutal murder of a 20-month-old baby girl has left a Free State family in shock. Bokamoso Mpembe’s body was found on a farm on the outskirts of Petrus Steyn after a four-day search. She had been raped.

On Sunday, Khoni Mpembe’s former boyfriend – who is not the child’s biological father – arrived at her home.

He assaulted Mpembe before grabbing sleeping baby Bokamoso and ran off with her. He managed to outrun community members who were chasing him.

On Thursday, police found the suspect’s body hanging from a tree several meters away from the baby’s body.

“We are torn apart, to be honest. We are damaged inside, when it’s an elder going we accept easily. But now it’s too much because she’s one year eight months. She still needs our care; she still needs the mother’s care. We did not expect this to happen, especially when we see this on tv, hear on the radio we did not expect that one day it will come to our family,” says the little girl’s aunt, Penny Mpembe.

Bokamoso Mpembe’s body was found on a farm on the outskirts of Petrus Steyn after a four-day search:

A government and police delegation visited the bereaved family.

“How can you take out your anger to a one-year-old eight months child. That person knows nothing, when you were fighting that person knew nothing. But you then decide on your own to go out and destroy and brutally kill that person. Initially, investigations are showing that this child was raped, the doctor is looking around that particular matter,” said Free State Police, Roads and Transport MEC.

Police say the suspect was one of the thousands of offenders who were released on parole recently, as a measure to combat the spread of COVID-19 at correctional facilities.

He had been convicted of domestic violence after assaulting Mpembe and stabbing her multiple times.

MoveOneMillion
Move One Million activists march against social ills
5 September 2020, 4:29 PM

Protesters who supported the call to action by the social movement called “Move One Million” say South Africans are being failed at all levels, socially, economically and politically.

Hundreds of people gathered on the Grand Parade, in Cape Town, under the banner of Move One Million organisation to protest against social ills afflicting the country.

The protesters say corruption is increasing and levels of poverty, murder and gender-based violence cannot be tolerated anymore. This, as yet another woman, Juanita Willemse was murdered allegedly by someone known to her family in Hawston, in the Overberg District of the Western Cape, this weekend.

Protesters say they are taking a stand against what they call lawlessness in the country. Among these, is corruption which they say leads to poverty and hunger, farm murders, and gender-based violence.

The protesters say rampant corruption, rising poverty, and Gender-Based Violence can no longer be tolerated:

Founder of the Move One Million, Jerette Petzer, says they want South Africa to be in the hands of people whose interest is what’s best for its people.

“We say no to corruption, say yes to direct elections. We want accountability, we want our country to be in the hands of who best will look after our country. At the moment it’s not in the hands of those people. We have 15 million people starving in South Africa, it’s unacceptable. We have the worst crime we have ever had in our history. It is absolutely unacceptable.”

Other protesters say South Africans are being failed at all levels, socially, economically and politically.

“I’m raising a daughter myself, I’m here to says the killing of our children must stop, she still needs to be growing in this world,” says one protestor.

Another adds: “I just had a son, I wanna be able to know that the country that I’m living in is able to protect my child.”

“There’s corruption, there’s crime, there are murders. There are people who aren’t having food, yet the fat cats are sitting at the trough and eating enjoying their lives.”

“We as ordinary South Africans need to stand up no matter what the colour of your skin is; we can’t wait on the government anymore to change this country.”

Farm murders under the spotlight

A similar protest in Bloemfontein, in the Free State, says the escalation of farm attacks is a result of the government’s incapacity to fight crime. AgriSA recently reported that 49 people were murdered on farms across the country in the 2019/2020 financial year.

Organiser Chantelle van Zyl says these are desperate times during which unity is important.

“We are just rising against corruption, we are riding against the murders, the darkness in this country, we are saying we are standing together in unity, and we are here just to protest peacefully and just get the message over that we are tired of the darkness that is in this country with such a beautiful nation.”

Protests also took place in Knysna. The Move One Million says it is on a 20-month mobilising campaign to empower citizens to choose leaders and hold them accountable. They say the movement, which is a pressure group with no interest in politics, is supported internationally.

 

Renowned photographer Jurgen Schadeberg passes on
30 August 2020, 10:32 PM

Iconic photographer, Jurgen Schadeberg, has passed way. He was 89.

His wife Claudia announced the news on Linkedin.

Schadeberg drew his last breath on Saturday. He died of a stroke.

He was born in Berlin in 1931 and moved with his family to South Africa in 1950.

Working as Chief Photographer, Picture Editor, and Art Director at Drum Magazine – he captured some of South Africa’s historic events.

They include the 1952 Defiance Campaign, the Sophiatown forced removals and the Sharpeville funeral in 1960. His images also capture key personalities and events in the jazz and literary world such as the Sophiatown jazz scene with Dolly Rathebe, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Kippie Moeketsi.

He is worked in Europe and the US, diversifying into film-making. At the time of his passing, he was regarded by some as South Africa’s Father of Photography and one of the greatest living photographers who has had a career that spans over 70 years.

Together with his producer wife Claudia, Jurgen established The Schadeberg Movie Company to produce a series of some 15 documentaries and dramas about South African social, cultural and political history.

In 2007, he was awarded the Officer’s Verdienst Kreuz First Class by the German President and in 2014 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ICP in New York.

Also in 2014, Schadeberg was awarded a Doctorate for his life work by Valencia University Politecnica.

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