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SABC mourns its Kenya bureau chief Johnson Barasa
24 April 2020, 3:59 PM

SABC is mourning the death of the veteran video journalist and a bureau chief in Nairobi Kenya, Johnson Barasa.

Barasa died on Tuesday after a heart attack.

He worked for SABC for more than two decades. He helped set up the SABC East Africa office in 1998.

The award-winning cameraman covered all South African post-apartheid presidents from Nelson Mandela in the 90s to President Cyril Ramaphosa as recently as January 2020.

Barasa also covered the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the battle for Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as well as several peace agreements in Africa.

His peers describe him as having been knowledgeable yet humble. He was a teacher and a mentor to many. The Kenyan valued education and maybe his greatest pride will be his six children all of whom are now University graduates.

He lives behind a great legacy, his wife and six children.

In the video below are tributes for Barasa:

Ramaphosa sends envoys to Lesotho following army deployment
19 April 2020, 11:34 AM

The team that President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent to Lesotho has arrived in the mountain kingdom.

Ramaphosa has dispatched the envoys in his capacity as the Southern African Development Community (SADeC) facilitator for Lesotho to investigate the latest developments in that country.

On Saturday, Thabane deployed the military to parts of the country to restore order after accusing some law enforcement officials of undermining the kingdom’s democracy. The move came after the Constitutional Court overturned Thabane’s order to suspend Parliament on Friday.

In the video below, SABC’s Rapelang Radebe elaborates on the army deployment:

The deputy leader of the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) party Nqosa Mahao has described the Prime Minister’s behaviour as a threat to the rule of law and says it must be condemned.

Former Energy Minister Jeff Radebe is leading Ramaphosa’s group of envoys sent to probe the matter.

The team will first meet with King Letsie the third and then Prime Minister Thabane.

Political observers are seeing the developments in Lesotho as a sign of growing tensions within the ruling party ABC party.

Thabane has been under pressure to bow out due to allegations that he was involved in his wife’s assassination in 2017. He has agreed to vacate office at the end of July.


Call for an AU probe into alleged abuse of African migrants in China
18 April 2020, 1:34 PM

Politicians from five African countries are calling for an African Union (AU) investigation into claims of discrimination and abuse against African migrants in China.

The group has written an open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa in his capacity as the AU Chairperson.

It includes South Africa’s Mmusi Maimane, Uganda’s Bobi Wine; born Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, and Zimbabwe’s Nelson Chamisa.

Maimane says a continental response to the matter is needed.

He says the Presidency has acknowledged receipt of the letter via email.

The call comes amid reports alleging abuse of hundreds of African migrant workers and students in China’s city of Guangzhou.

One South African who spoke to SABC News recently says she was subjected to several COVID-19 tests despite having tested negative for the virus.

She was allegedly also kicked out of her apartment, with her landlord telling her that the community had said it doesn’t want foreigners in the neighbourhood.

In the video below, the woman speaks about the alleged abuse:

The Chinese government has refuted claims of the alleged ill treatment of Africans in the country.

It has also assured AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat that it is working to improve the situation of African migrants in that country.

More than 4 000 people have died in China from COVID-19 so far with more than 82 000 cases confirmed.

Charles Maja
Charles Maja’s family fined for breaking lockdown rules
18 April 2020, 10:56 AM

The family of Skeem Saam actor Charles Maja has been fined R5 000 for breaking lockdown regulations after the number of mourners at his funeral service exceeded the permitted 50.

Some of the mourners stood around the tent, which had limited chairs.

Police officers removed everyone who had crossed the red tape that was used to cordon off the area where the tent has been erected in Ga-Maja, outside Lebowakgomo, in Limpopo.

They expressed concern that those who were standing had illegally entered the area, which led to the family being fined.

There was also unhappiness that the service was taking too long and some of the items on the programme were removed due to time constrains.

Congo records 5 new Ebola cases, shelves declaration of end to epidemic
18 April 2020, 10:23 AM

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the Democratic Republic of Congo has recorded five new cases of the deadly Ebola virus just as the government was set to declare an end to the epidemic.

Earlier in April, a 26-year-old man died from the hemorrhagic fever in the eastern town of Beni. This latest outbreak has killed more than 2 000 people since it began in August 2018.

Two new vaccines have had a major impact in containing Ebola, but public mistrust and militia attacks have prevented health workers from reaching some areas hit by the virus.

Demonstrators blocked roads in Beni with rocks on Thursday morning, protesting over the authorities’ handling of the latest Ebola flare-up and demanding all Ebola test results be verified by laboratories in eastern Congo’s main city Goma and in the capital Kinshasa in the west of the vast Central African nation.

Health teams were delayed by the protesters but eventually able to resume their work tracing those who came into contact with those newly infected by Ebola, Diallo said. Police said they arrested four people.

In the video below, the DRC had made significant gains in the Ebola battle:

Late in 2019, deadly attacks on health centres in and around Beni forced aid groups to suspend operations and withdraw staff from the last strongholds of the epidemic.

Congo, one of the world’s poorest countries where most people have scant access to modern health care, has also reported 287 cases of the new coronavirus and 23 deaths from the global pandemic.




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