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WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT – WAP calls for total ban on export of lion parts
29 August 2020, 9:53 PM

The following story contains graphic description, which may upset sensitive readers, including children.

The World Animal Protection (WAP) has called for the total ban in the export of lion parts.

Treeshake founder Dave Duarte leads the South African WAP campaign and says the lions spend time in confinement, until they are ready to be killed for their bones. These bones are then shipped abroad for use in traditional medicine in Asia.

WAP says every day thousands of wild animals are poached, farmed or sold into the global multi-billion dollar trade. These wild animals are being traded for food, pets, traditional medicine and entertainment.

Duarte says in 2019 there were around 8 000 lions in captivity in South Africa.

“To put this number in perspective, throughout the whole of Africa, there are only around 20 000 lions left in the wild; so almost half of all lions are in captivity. If people want to stop this, we need to call for a total ban in the export of the lion parts. South Africa currently allows for quotas where certain amounts of bones can be exported illegally. But this sends an unclear message to the market. It doesn’t communicate that this is wrong and it’s unethical, this is pillaging Africa’s heritage.”

Locally, South Africa contributes to the wildlife trade by rearing lions for their bones. The bones are then legally sold to South East Asia to supplement the tiger bone industry. The bones have been known to sometimes be taken while the animal is still alive in order to ensure those harvested are pink in hue.

Duarte says the animals are subjected to immense cruelty throughout their lives.

“The first pain is being separated from their mothers. Lions are very social creatures and in these situations they have no pride. They are kept in crap conditions and are very often malnourished. It’s not unusual to have 5 cubs in a small cage covered in each other’s urine and waste. There are too many cruelties to describe about an industry that is based on exploiting wild creatures, but one that is particularly painful, is the demand for pink bones from the lion being deboned while still alive leaving blood in the bone.”

To try and end the wildlife trade globally, WAP is trying to raise a million signatures to take to the G20 Summit in November.

Below Blood Lions calls for ban of wildlife markets:

Footage emerges showing abduction of activist Tawanda Muchehiwa in Bulawayo
29 August 2020, 6:34 PM

CCTV footage has emerged showing the abduction of activist Tawanda Muchehiwa in Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. He was abducted in broad day light in July and was reportedly tortured for three days.

The footage shows the abductors emerging from a white bakkie then forcing Muchehiwa into the same vehicle which then sped off. The captors accused him of involvement in the planning of anti-government protests.

Zanu-PF’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has accused civic organisations and the opposition of staging the abductions to discredit his government. Edmond Kudzai is a Zimbabwean journalist who obtained the CCTV footage told SABC News that it is authentic.

“The footage is authentic, there’s a Nissan bakkie there an mp300. They’d removed the registration plates from the back of the vehicle. The number was caught I think it’s camera 2 of the CCTV footage. They managed to get the contact details of the person who owns the vehicle and they spoke to him and he said he had no idea the car had been leased to a car hire company so then he got in touch with Impala car rentals and the proprietor said yes the vehicle was hired by one of our regular customers. Impala car rental would know the name of that individual.”

Kudzayi speaks to SABC News in the video below:

Concern over a deteriorating political and economic crisis

Western diplomats in Zimbabwe have expressed deep concern over a deteriorating political and economic crisis in that country. Heads of mission from the United States, Britain, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland have released a statement – saying President Mnangagwa’s initial promises of uniting the country and reforming the economy have not materialised.

They have urged Harare to stop using the COVID-19 pandemic to curtail freedoms.

Activists say the government is abducting, torturing and arresting critics, including a freelance journalist and opposition politician who have spent more than a month in detention over anti-government protests.

The Zanu-PF government denies the claims. – Additional reporting by Reuters

Bikers ride to Union Buildings to draw attention to farm murders
29 August 2020, 6:03 PM

Thousands of Bikers against farm murders and racism converged at Union Buildings in Pretoria in a bid to get government to act against farm killings in the country. White crosses and roses were laid at the lawns of the Union buildings, paying tribute to farmers who have lost their lives violently.

The bikers embarked on a 50km mass ride this morning before making their way to the seat of government. They want President Cyril Ramaphosa to take a tough stance against farm murders. According to the police, 49 farm murders occurred during the 2019-2020 financial year. They say one murder is too many. One of them, Barend Craven, says the President’s silence is deafening.

“We have a very, very silent President over what a lot of European countries have termed a genocide. Why is he so quite? That’s what I wanna know. I don’t wanna know if it was a black farmer, a white farmer and Indian farmer.”

Craven says the march is also against racism and gender-based violence. He says farm attacks are more than just attacks. He describes them as gruesome crimes, mostly against women.

“Our murder rate is high, and sadly a lot of our murders are gender-based murders, they are violent and there’s a history of violence behind them and our murder are sowing a lot of torture characteristics, the nature of the people behind it. They are not going to go and steal a TV; they are going there for enjoyment of torture and a question a lot of people don’t ask is why? What’s the agenda behind this?”

Many who support this course say they hope this mass ride will get the President to act against farm attacks.

“It’s not just for the Whites but for everyone, there’re a lot Black farmers as well. The farmers are there for our future. If they get killed we will not get food. The government doesn’t show any sign or any shout about this, that why I’m so concerned about this, irrespective of colour.”

The Bikers Against Farm Murders and Racism Movement is planning an even bigger mass ride next year, with more than 100 000 bikers expected to attended.

In the video below, bikers take a stand against farm murders:

Archbishop Makgoba likens COVID-19 corruption to act of genocide
24 August 2020, 10:45 PM

The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa Thabo Makgoba says it amounts to an act of genocide that politicians make money out of a pandemic like the coronavirus.

This comes amid growing outrage in South Africa at rampant corruption – especially linked to PPE tenders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Makgoba says the Anglican Church will join the South African Council of Churches’ (SACC) anti-corruption campaign, which will start at the end of August. Makgoba revealed this in his online ‘Week Day’ reflections.

On Friday last week, SACC Vice President Frank Chikane said all churches had been mobilised to fight corruption. Chikane said if the ANC government does not stop corruption – the people will stop it.

Archbishop Makgoba says corrupt politicians in South Africa are simply unacceptable.

“We are all too familiar with position thinking out convoluted reasoning to justify the unjustifiable, such as making money out of a pandemic. That reasoning and conduct are genocidal.  And so we join the churches of the South Africa Council of Churches in the anti-corruption campaign starting from the 30th of August, to say to those corrupt leaders, you are more than hypocrites. Your conduct is under the watch of the society that seeks the mind of Christ and everything that they do.”

Cosatu says corruption and performance of current administration disappointing:

Earlier, the EFF urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to heed his own call and step down from public office until corruption allegations against him are resolved. The party was responding to Ramaphosa’s letter to ANC members on Sunday.

In the seven-page letter, Ramaphosa raised a number of issues and took a hard line on corruption. He urged members facing corruption allegations to insulate the ANC from reputational damage by stepping aside while their cases are being heard. EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo has dismissed the letter as nothing but cheap posturing.

The Congress of the People (COPE)  called on the Justice and Police Ministers to establish an anti-corruption fighting unit similar to the disbanded Scorpions – to replace the Hawks. COPE says the Hawks is a toothless anti-corruption fighting unit. The party says there are many cases investigated by the Hawks that have dragged on for too long.

 

1 677 new coronavirus cases recorded in SA
24 August 2020, 9:46 PM

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says 1 677 new coronavirus cases have been recorded in the last 24 hours, bring the total number of cases in South Africa to 611 450. The death toll now stands at 13 159.

Mkhize was speaking during the Gauteng General Practitioner Collaboration panel discussion on the coronavirus pandemic.

Mkhize has attributed the high recovery rate of 83% in the country to the work of health care workers.

He says the well-being and safety of healthcare professionals will be prioritised.

“All the people who have recovered, we talking about 83%, they actually have recovered in the hands of healthcare workers. Over 27 000 of our colleagues who have become infected with the virus and tragically which has robbed us of 240 of the talented health care workers. We have taken the slogan that says no PPE, no work because we want to encourage all those who are in the leadership to take the issue of the protection of health workers very seriously. It is duty to honour their sacrifice by committing fully to the safety and well being of healthcare workers,” he says.

Below is the discussion stream on managing COVID-19:

 

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