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India reach 49/1 as third Test remains in the balance
25 January 2018, 9:17 PM

The third Test match between India and South Africa is evenly-poised as the tourists reached 49/1, a lead of 42 runs, in the second innings at the close of play on day two at the Wanderers, in Johannesburg, on Thursday.

Earlier, Hashim Amla top-scored in the SA inning with 61 off 121 balls with seven fours but, if you consider that the other five specialist batsmen in the South African top order made 27 runs between them, you would have been left wondering where the home side would have been without him.

He first kept SA in the game when there was the real possibility that they would be well behind on the first innings and then guided them through a lead of 7 runs in the first innings.

India, who re-arranged their top order with Parthiv Patel opening the batting, got through to the close on 49 for the loss of just one wicket.

It leaves the final Test match well-balanced, with 11 wickets having fallen on day one and 10 on day two, the contest is surely moving to an early conclusion.

Nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada also hung around for almost the entire morning session to help Amla put on 64 for the third wicket, and then Vernon Philander provided the most free-flowing batting of the day in adding 44 for the seventh wicket with Amla in only 12 overs.

Batting on this surface has remained an absolute lottery and the Indian pace attack generally took full advantage of the opportunity with Jasprit Bumrah returning career-best figures of 5/54 and both Buvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma providing excellent supporting roles.

A dozen school children injured in KZN car crash
25 January 2018, 9:08 PM

Twelve children have been injured after the bakkie they were travelling in rolled down an embankment off the Willowfontein Road in Edendale, KwaZulu Natal.

ER24 Spokesperson Russel Meiring says paramedics arrived on the scene to find the bakkie at the bottom of a small embankment.

The children, aged between 7 and 13, had allegedly been travelling on the back of the vehicle.

The children were treated for their injuries, which ranged from minor to moderate, before being transported to Northdale Hospital Provincial Hospital.

The driver of the bakkie was allegedly not found at the scene of the crash, but local authorities are investigating the matter.

In another accident situation in Gauteng, a 15-year-old girl has died after being struck by a car near the school she attended on the R540 in Lanseria on Gauteng’s West Rand.

Netcare911 Spokesperson Nick Dollman says reports from the scene allege that the driver fled the scene in his vehicle after hitting the teenager, who was wearing her school uniform.

When paramedics arrived, a flight attendant from Lanseria Airport was busy performing CPR.

The girl’s injuries were, however, too severe and she died on the scene, approximately 500 metres from the school she attended.

The police are investigating the incident.

Mangope hailed for his contribution to homeland economy
25 January 2018, 9:01 PM

The late president of the former Bophuthatswana, Lucas Mangope, has been hailed for his contribution to the homeland’s economy. He is also said to have been instrumental in building various industries in the homeland, creating jobs for his people.

Some of the big infrastructure developments such as government buildings, stadiums and roads are still in use today.

Mangope died last Thursday at the age of 94, at a local hospital in Lehurutshe.

While some people regarded the late Kgosi Mangope as an apartheid puppet because of his belief in the homeland system, others have described him as a visionary leader, who had the interests of his people at heart.

During his tenure, Mangope created many jobs through industrialisation across the homeland. He also introduced legal gambling in Southern Africa through Sun International Resorts such as Sun City, Mmabatho Sun, Taung Sun and Thaba Nchu Sun.

Winston Rabotapi, Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament, who was the founder and youth league president of the then Bophuthatswana Christian Democratic Party has remembered how Kgosi Mangopes’s administration prioritised job creation.

“You would look in the industry; you would go to Garankuwa; go to Mogwase; go to Moretele; go to Mmabatho; go to Ganyesa; in every region, you would find a small industry and people were busy doing something. His job was not to make people rich, but was to provide bread and candle on the table.”

Mangope’s friend, Omphitlhetse Madikong, says the former homeland leader also believed that agriculture was the backbone of the economy.

“Rre Mangope believed that agriculture was actually the backbone of the economy of the land. Another thing which Rre Mangope … I knew his heart was to see young people developing into powerful entrepreneurs on their own. His heart was more on raising the economy through the involvement of young people.”

Madikong’s sentiments were echoed by former Bophuthatswana Deputy Governor in Moretele, Bafitlhile Pule.

“You know the legacy that he left was job opportunities; even farming used to produce a lot of employment because lot of ploughing would give us a lot of food and many people would be employed. That was his legacy.”

The then regional organiser for Mangope’s party, the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP) Mazulu Motona says his former leader taught the people not to rely entirely on others.

“Kgosi Mangope taught us how to catch a fish so that you must not depend on other people.He had a furniture factory in Motswedi. He was cutting trees in Motswedi and made furniture – the best furniture which was even imported overseas and even the Garona building where the parliament is now, that furniture was delivered there.”

Reverend Cornelius Kgobokwe, former Bophuthatswana Minister for Public Works and Transport, says Mangope managed to boost the then bantustan’s economy, as his government fully subsidised industries.

“He wanted to see every area having industries where people would also improve their lives. The government had a hand by subsidising, so that the Batswana people in different areas could get jobs and improve their lives.”

Reverend Kgobokwe says Mangope also believed in investing in infrastructural development, which saw the construction of stadiums, government buildings, the airport and many other big projects.

Mangope will be laid to rest on Saturday in his village of Motswedi in Lehurutshe near Zeerust.


Lula da Silva faces an uncertain future in Brazil
25 January 2018, 8:51 PM

A Brazilian appeals court voted 3-0 to uphold a corruption conviction for former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a major blow to plans by Brazil’s most influential politician to run for president again in 2018.

The court also increased his sentence from nine to 12 years in prison.

The unanimous decision reduces Lula’s options to appeal the conviction and he will likely be declared ineligible if he tries to register his candidacy for the October 7 election.

A federal judge Joao Pedro Gebran Neto explains, “As for the sentence for inmate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, I speak of my vote as well as the ministerial appeal which seeks a longer sentence, to include other factors and also the defence’s arguments for the penalty to be set at the legal minimum or at the legal minimum for the mitigating circumstances. I analysed these questions one by one, reaffirming specifically that the issue of culpability has the largest bearing on the sentence, and I consider culpability to be extremely high in this case.”

Another federal judge, Leandro Paulsen says, “I agree with the eminent judge’s vote as well as to what he says regarding the realm of the sentence.”

Federal judge, Victor Laus, says, “I agree with Judge Paulsen as well as his excellence Judge Joao Pedro Gebran Neto.”

The court also increased his sentence from nine to 12 years in prison for receiving a bribe from an engineering company vying for government contracts during his 2003-2010 presidency.

Lula da Silva says he plans to be a candidate in this year’s presidential race despite an appeals court unanimously upholding a corruption conviction against the former leader.

Lula, Brazil’s first working-class leader, so far remains free pending future appeals.

Speaking to a massive rally of supporters in Sao Paulo after the conviction was upheld, Lula said it was based on lies and that he had not committed a crime:

“The court’s decision, I can almost respect it because it was theirs. What I don’t accept is the lie from which they made the decision. They know I didn’t commit a crime. I could spend an entire day with the three judges, televising the whole thing, because what I want is for them to show me what crime Lula committed.”

Lula can appeal Wednesday’s decision by the appeals court to Brazil’s top appeals court or to the Supreme Court.

Lula’s defense lawyer Cristiano Zanin Martins says, “We will appeal, of course, we won’t accept this, because we fought a lot, we fought a lot to save this democracy that we have from the dictatorship.”

The appeal may delay a final ruling, possibly avoiding jail and stringing the process out long enough to register his candidacy by the August 15 deadline ahead of the October election.

Click on the link below for more on the story:

50 World Sevens Series for Philip Snyman
25 January 2018, 8:46 PM

South Africa’s Sevens Captain Philip Snyman will run out for his 50th World Rugby Sevens Series tournament at the Sydney Sevens tournament that starts on Friday.

The 30-year-old made his debut for the Blitzboks in 2008 in Dubai and has been part of both squads that won the World Rugby Sevens Series titles, in the 2008/09 and 2016/17 seasons.

This time in 2017, the Blitzboks had set the tone for their successful season, having won the Dubai leg of the series and finished second at home in Cape Town before also winning in Sydney.

Snyman also led the Blitzboks to victory in 2017 when they beat their nemesis England 29-14 in the Australian leg.

While he is confident of success and with that personal milestone of 50 World Sevens Series tournament on the horizon, the Bok Captain and his squad know what matters most.

Snyman says, “I don’t care if it is your first tournament, your 10th tournament or your 50th tournament. You need to stick by the principles and goals you have set as a team. I must admit, up until now, I have not really put too much thought into it, but tonight at the jersey presentation I think it will be reality. But then you need to put that jersey away and you focus on the main things that you have set yourself as a team.”

Snyman joins an exclusive club of players who have reached the 50 tournament mark. Those include Kyle Brown, Cecil Afrika, Frankie Horne, Chris Dry and Branco du Preez, making him only the 6th player to tick that box.

“It’s a massive honour and privilege to play a 50th test on the Springbok jersey. Now, I just want to go out and hit the pitch and enjoy it with my brothers.”

With the Sevens Rugby World Cup coming up, a winning culture and momentum will be key for Snyman and his men ahead of the tournament in May.

For now though, the focus is on Sydney and Papua New Guinea first up on Friday.




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