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Swedish golfer Kristoffer Broberg wins Dutch Open
20 September 2021, 1:00 AM

Swedish golfer, Kristoffer Broberg, held off a ferocious onslaught from German, Matthias Schmid and Alejandro Canizares of Spain to win the Dutch Open in Cromvoirt by three shots.

Overnight leader, Broberg completed his final round on 72 – even par – but had already done enough to finish the tournament on 23 under.
Schmid was second on 20 under, while Canizares, finished in third – five shots off the pace.

Broberg went into the final round on 23 under par. Eight shots clear of his nearest competitor, Marcus Helligkilde.

A birdie on the first hole gave him an impressive nine-shot lead. But the next few holes were quite uneventful after that.
He bogeyed the par four third and managed another birdie at the tenth.

Meanwhile, Schmid and Canizares started to make their way up the leader board.
Schmid managed five birdies over the front nine. And another on the 11th to add to the pressure Broberg was no doubt feeling already.

Canizares’ first nine featured six birdies, and one bogey and kept him in the hunt for the title.

On the 12th, Broberg carded his second bogey of the day but a fantastic approach shot prevented matters from getting worse for the Swede.

Undeterred, Schmid kept carding birdies as he went along with six holes to go, he had closed the gap between himself and the leader from nine, to just two shots.

But on the par- three 13th, he made his first mistake of the day and it would cost him dearly.

A double bogey saw him drop back to 19 under par, together with Canizares and four shots behind the Swede.

Broberg, however, was in trouble at the very next hole, the tension was palpable. And a bogey on the par-four, 14th saw him drop back to 22 under for a three-shot lead.

Canizarez was the first to pounce again. On the 16th, he carded a birdie to move into second place and trail by just two.

Moments later, Schmid joined the Spaniard on 20 under par. Courtesy of a brilliant birdie on the same hole.

With the pressure on, Broberg somehow managed a birdie on the 17th. He gave himself some breathing space again with a three-shot lead and with just one hole in the tournament remaining.

French minister in Mali to pressure junta over Russian mercenaries
19 September 2021, 11:50 PM

France’s Armed Forces Minister arrived in Mali on Sunday to pressure the military junta to end talks to bring Russian mercenaries into the country and push it to keep a promise to return the country to constitutional order in February.

Diplomatic and security sources have told Reuters that Mali’s year-old military junta is close to recruiting the Russian Wagner Group, and France has launched a diplomatic drive to thwart it, saying such an arrangement is “incompatible” with a continued French presence.

West Africa’s main political bloc, ECOWAS, as well as other allies combating militants in the Sahel region, have also expressed concerns over the potential deal.

But Mali’s junta which seized power in August 2020, has dug in, noting that France has begun scaling down its decade-old operation against insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State across the region to include more European countries.

On Sunday, Mali’s foreign ministry called objections from neighbour Niger to the prospect of a deal with Wagner “unacceptable, unfriendly and condescending”.

The visit by Florence Parly to Mali is the highest-level trip by French officials since the talks with Wagner emerged.

An official from the French Armed Forces Ministry told reporters ahead of the visit that Parly would stress “the heavy consequences if this decision were to be taken by the Malian authorities.”

She would also underscore the importance of keeping to the calendar for the transition to democracy leading to elections in February 2022, the official said.

French officials describe the relationship with the junta as “complicated”, although it still relies on Paris for counter-terrorism operations.

Paris said on Thursday it had killed the leader of Islamic State in Western Sahara in northern Mali.

DA calls on Limpopo Premier to investigate corruption allegations against MEC Thandi Moraka
14 September 2021, 10:12 AM

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo says it has written to Premier Stan Mathabatha to investigate allegations of corruption against Sports, Arts and Culture MEC Thandi Moraka.

Moraka allegedly received kickbacks amounting to R600 000 from former Eskom senior official France Hlakudi.

Moraka allegedly received the money from Eskom’s slush fund, Babinatlou Business Services, between 2016 and 2017.

Hlakudi is also facing various charges including fraud, corruption and money laundering in relation to the building of the multi-billion rand Kusile Power Station in Mpumalanga.

DA MPL Risham Maharaj says, “The Democratic Alliance in Limpopo is deeply concerned and has written to Premier Stan Mathabatha to investigate allegations of MEC Thandi Moraka in terms of receiving kickbacks. We call on Premier Mathabatha to investigate these claims as well as to have MEC Moraka explain her circumstances and her transactions and the relationship between her company and Babina Tlou business services.

The DA will continue to call for investigations into possible cases of corruption or untoward conduct and to ensure that those who benefit illegally at the expense of citizens must be held to account.”

Ismail Vadi publishes book titled ‘The Political Backbencher’
14 September 2021, 9:42 AM

Former parliamentarian and Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi has written a book entitled, ‘The Political Backbencher’.

The personal reflection presents a behind the scenes glimpse at the 16 years he spent in the National Assembly in Cape Town.

Vadi retired from politics in May 2019, and has since been working on educating young people on the importance of upholding the values enshrined in the constitution.

He explains the difference in the political landscape today compared to years ago.

“It’s a book that reflects on my years in parliament, so I became a member of parliament in 1994 and then served as an MP until 2021. So this, is a reflection of those years, 16 years in parliament. It’s not a hard history and it is a reflective piece.

The most important part has been the first five years into our transition into democracy. Those were exciting times, people had hope, vision, dynamism about bringing about change in the political system.

It was about changing all the laws and dumping all the apartheid legislation, bringing about a new culture in parliament.”

Popular Netflix series sparks new debate over S Korea’s military conscription
14 September 2021, 8:53 AM

A hit Netflix series is reigniting a debate in South Korea over the country’s massive military, its history of abuse scandals, and the mandatory conscription that fills its ranks with young men.

“D.P.”, short for Deserter Pursuit, has been among the top Netflix shows in South Korea since it premiered at the end of August.

The series follows military police assigned to capture deserters, shining a light on daily life for many conscripts, including mental and physical abuse from other soldiers.

Director Han Jun-hee said he sought to tell a humanising story about how the system makes deserters both victims and criminals, as well as the toll it takes on those forced to do the hunting.

“‘D.P’ is a story of tracing a deserter, but at the same time, it is a paradoxical story of looking for someone’s unfortunate son, brother, or lover,” Han told Reuters in an email.

Asked about the popularity of the show, a defence ministry spokesman said that the military environment has changed and that the ministry has tried to stamp out abuse and harsh treatment.

Last week the military announced that even before the series came out, it had planned to do away with the system of having rank-and-file soldiers track down AWOL comrades. That change will go into effect in July 2022.

South Korea maintains an active duty military of 550,000, with 2.7 million troops in reserves, amid decades of tensions with North Korea. All men must serve for up to 21 months, depending on the military branch.

South Korea’s military criminal law punishes desertion by up to 10 years in prison.

The Defence Ministry says abuse and desertion among conscripts are down, largely because of a 2019 decision to allow enlisted soldiers to use cellphones in their barracks.

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