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Sindiso Magaqa
Trio accused of killing Magaqa denied bail
21 May 2019, 5:23 PM

The three men accused of killing former ANC Youth League Secretary General, Sindiso Magaqa, have been denied bail in the uMzimkhulu Magistrate’s Court, in southern KwaZulu-Natal.

The trio, Sibonelo Myeza, Mbulelo Mpofana and Mlungisi Ncalane, also face two counts of attempted murder. The charges relate to the injuring of two councillors, who were sitting in a car with Magaqa when it was sprayed with AK-47 bullets outside a store in Umzimkhulu in July 2017.

The accused are denying guilt.

KwaZulu-Natal National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Spokesperson, Natasha Ramkisson-Kara says, “The matter has been postponed for the 31st of May where their case will be joined to the original accused and the accused will remain in custody.”

Watch Magaqa’s funeral service:

The attack on Magaqa and his two ANC colleagues occurred after a council meeting and was believed to have been linked to infighting in the governing party’s Harry Gwala region. The former ANCYL leader was taken to hospital, but succumbed to his injuries after almost two months in hospital.

Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain goes bust
21 May 2019, 3:37 PM

 

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain has gone into administration – putting more than 1 000 jobs at the firm’s 25 sites in the United Kingdom under threat.

The Jamie Oliver Group says it has appointed Will Wright and Mark Orton of KPMG to oversee the administration of the company. The firms will be managing Jamie Oliver Group’s creditors.

The move follows a tough 18 months for the chef’s business empire, which underwent a restructuring last year after a number of the company’s sites were reportedly under-performing. Oliver’s restaurant group includes Barbecoa, a steakhouse, and Jamie Oliver’s Diner.

The 43-year-old chef, who became famous for his popular TV shows, founded his Jamie’s Italian brand of high street restaurants in 2008.  Oliver used his reputation to put pressure on politicians to combat growing child obesity problems by campaigning for healthier school meals.

His restaurant chain is the latest victim of a brutal trading environment on Britain’s high streets. In March, Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) said it planned to close more than a third of its Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner outlets, while Carluccio’s, Prezzo, Strada and Gourmet Burger Kitchen closed branches in 2018.

 

 

Initiates
Mpumalanga police probing death of initiate
21 May 2019, 2:45 PM

 

The Mpumalanga initiation season has claimed its first known victim for 2019.

A 39-year-old man died on Sunday after undergoing circumcision in Verena.

Spokesperson for Ingoma Forum, the group of medical practitioners that provides support to initiation schools, Musa Thungwa says the initiation school failed to follow regulations.

Thungwa says the tragedy could have been avoided.

“I must indicate that we have been pleading to all these Ingoma holders, the owners of these initiation schools, for the past years since the Ingoma Forum was established on behalf of the Department of Health in 2009, to say that whenever they are to start initiation schools, all initiates must be prescribed and make sure that all protocols and regulations are followed. Unfortunately with this school, things did not go in that particular way.”

Police have confirmed that the school is operating legally and they are investigating the death.

In 2018, at least 11 initiates died at various initiation schools in Mpumalanga.

The numbers have drastically gone down since 2013, where 31 initiates lost their lives in their quest for manhood.

However, the Ingoma Forum is hoping for an initiation season in which no initiate will return home in a body bag.

 

Labour judge mourned, hailed as a human rights activist
21 May 2019, 1:13 PM

Tributes continue to pour in for the late Labour Court Judge, Anton Steenkamp.

He died after being bitten by a black mamba, while holidaying with his wife in Zambia.

Steenkamp’s close friend, Charles Leonard, says his sudden passing has left friends and family reeling in shock.

Leonard has described Judge Steenkamp as a man with exceptional intellect, who was committed to human rights.

Cape Town Labour Court Judge President, Basheer Wagley, says the labour fraternity is also struggling to come to terms with Steenkamp’s passing.

“The legal fraternity is very small everyone know everybody, and everyone is in a state of shock. I have been getting calls all night from people, labour lawyers and labour organisations who are extremely sad, including academics and practicing attorneys and advocates.”

Author and columnist Max Du Preez has hailed Steenkamp as a man of integrity, who was committed to justice and democracy.


The South African Society for Labour Law (Saslaw) has also expressed sadness at the news. It says Judge Steenkamp was on a long leave at the time of his passing.

“Judge Steenkamp will be fondly remembered as an excellent judge and labour lawyer who contributed significantly to the development of our labour law jurisprudence. He also served as the National President of Saslaw.” 

Call for African Union reforms
17 May 2019, 6:30 PM

 

The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) wants the African Union reconfigured and more power given to its secretariat.  It’s not the first time the rights group is making the plea.

The ADF’s call comes as Africa celebrates Africa Month, which marks the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963. That day, now known as Africa Day, saw 32 representatives of independent nations of Africa signing the OAU Charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – which advocated for Pan-Africanism. It’s since been renamed the African Union.

Government says the month is a time of reflection, celebrating gains made since Africa was freed from the shackles of oppression through colonialism and apartheid. Presidency spokesperson Khuselo Diko says it is also meant at looking at challenges that lie ahead, including the deepening democracy and increasing Intra-African Trade.

African Diaspora Forum chairperson, Dr Vusimuzi Sibanda believes there’s little to celebrate. He says human rights abuses on the continent are too glaring to ignore. Dr Sibanda says African leaders have failed to address structural and economic challenges caused by colonial rule and believes inculcating the culture of accountability among African leaders is a first step towards changing the fortunes of the continent. He says the establishment of a regional court like the International Criminal Court (ICC) will ensure that leaders who abuse and steal from national coffers are brought to book.

Director at the Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society, Professor Kwesi Kwaa Prah, agrees with Dr Sibanda. He believes the AU is not for the development of the African people, but to serve the interests of its funders.

Young graduate, Thabang Nkgweng believes the injection of young blood within the continent’s leadership could help Africa discover her potential and reclaim her glory on the global stage.

“So far we’ve had the same people for too long and of course what they are doing is not working. We need new people, young leaders; people who are not greedy. People who understand the concept of government of the people by the people. We can’t have a situation where a health system of the country collapse and a leader flies to another Switzerland or wherever they are flown. We want leaders who understand that upliftment is for everyone.”

Political analyst Sanusha Naidu concurs.

The Africa we want

The AU’s goal for the next 50 years is to create the ‘Africa we want’. This is aimed at erasing the legacy of oppression and poverty that has besieged the continent for decades. African leaders believe this will be achieved through the inculcation of the principle of self-reliance, Africa financing its own development and highlight the importance of capable, inclusive and accountable states and institutions.  However, corruption continues to overshadow these ambitious plans.

Nkgweng says she wants an Africa that is united, respects and sees women as equal to men; a continent that takes pride in who she is and the diverse cultures she possesses. The 25-year-old believes the whole of Africa should have shown solidarity with athlete, Caster Semenya when she was ridiculed by the IAAF’s new rules. She says the decolonisation of our education system is a good place to start the journey of self-love for Africans. “I wish our curriculum taught us about Patrice Lumumba and other Africans who stood up for something, Africans who are strong and maybe it would change our perception for us to know what it means to be African and that if he could do it, then why can’t I do it.”

Naidu says Africa is still far off from changing her story. She says inequality is one of the most pressing issues that need to be urgently addressed. According to World Hunger, about 27.4% of the population in Africa was classified as severely food insecure in 2016, which is almost four times as high as any other region. Alarmingly, food insecurity is on the rise, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa. This while most of the continent’s leaders live in luxury.

Naidu says there’s no quick fix to the problems facing the continent and she’s lost hope at seeing the rich resources the continent boosts trickling down to the poor.

While the continent continues to grapple with finding solutions to its cocktail of problems, Dr Sibanda is encouraging Africans to unite and work together in plucking the continent out of its dark past and fight the scourge of corruption wherever it raises its ugly head.

Watch related video of Presidency Spokesperson Khuselo Diko on Africa month:

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