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Government looking at legislation regarding safe transportation of farm workers
9 September 2021, 3:10 PM

Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza says her department together with the Transport Ministry are looking at appropriate legislation or amendments to promote safe transportation of farm workers.

Didiza paid a visit to bereaved families of the deadly crash that claimed the lives of  two farm workers in Villiersdorp in the Overberg region of the Western Cape.

Four other farm workers were seriously injured while travelling in a passenger trailer truck.

Several deadly crashes have occurred involving farm workers on open trucks in the recent past. Didiza says the issue is receiving serious attention.

“I must say the Minister of Transport is working with us to actually look at the appropriate legislation, it could be the amendment of the existing legislation to provide for the definition of the forms of transport. As you can see from this incident, it’s not like the farm worker transport was at fault, it was actually some of the road users who became impatient on the road and overtook in a manner that was inappropriate.”

School term delayed in Nigerian capital zone amid kidnapping crisis
9 September 2021, 2:53 PM

The start of the school term has been pushed back to an unusually late date in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) without explanation, after schools in nearby states were targeted by kidnappers seeking ransoms.

More than 1 100 pupils have been abducted from their schools across northwest Nigeria since December, including in the states of Kaduna and Niger, which border the FCT to the north and west.

Several parents in the FCT told Reuters their children had turned up at their schools this week expecting lessons to start only to be told the new term would not commence until September 19.

A document issued by the FCT’s Education Secretariat, obtained by Reuters on Tuesday, showed that the new date applied to all schools, whether state-run or private, Christian, Muslim, boarding or day.

It was unusual for public authorities to mandate a start date for private schools.

Reuters has asked the ministry for the FCT for comment.

Several northwestern states have tried to curb the spate of abductions by banning the sale of fuel in jerry cans and the transport of firewood in trucks in order to disrupt gangs who travel by motorbike and camp in remote places.

In a sign that the federal authorities may be stepping up their response, a phone and internet blackout was imposed on badly hit Zamfara State in the far northwest at the weekend to allow the security forces to tackle the kidnap gangs.

It was unclear whether any special security measures were being taken in the FCT. The capital city Abuja and surrounding area, which have better roads and infrastructure than most of Nigeria, are usually considered among the safest parts of the country.

Majority of political parties not receiving direct donations from individuals: IEC
9 September 2021, 2:49 PM

The majority of political parties in South Africa are not receiving much in direct donations from private individuals.

This was revealed by the Electoral Commission (IEC) in its first quarterly report detailing all declarations made by political parties in line with the Political Funding Act.

The Act, which came into force in April 2021, requires political parties and their donors to disclose to the IEC donations of above R100 000 and the IEC to publish this information every three months.

IEC briefing on political party funding:

Head of IEC’s Political Party Funding Unit George Mahlangu, “At the time of the preparation of this report we had 504 registered political parties represented and unrepresented of those of course three have submitted the declarations as per the statement. 108 parties have responded to our correspondence that they have not received donations that require declaration and 393 parties did not respond to our correspondence.”

LGE set for 1 November

Yesterday, Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced that the local government elections will take place on 1 November.

The date will be officially proclaimed on September 20, following the scheduled voter registration weekend later this month.

Minister Dlamini-Zuma’s briefing on elections: 

The official proclamation effectively closes the voters roll and therefore voters can still register for the polls until that date.

Dlamini-Zuma said, “After consultation with the IEC, we have come to the determination that this year’s local government will be held on the 1st of November 2021. This is in accordance with the constitution read with the Municipal Structures Act as the Act prescribes that the election be held within 90 days from the end of the five year-term of local government. We will officially proclaim this date on the 20th of September 2021 after the voter registration weekend.”

Taliban fire in air to scatter hundreds of protesters in Kabul
7 September 2021, 9:25 PM

Taliban gunmen fired in the air on Tuesday to scatter protesters in the Afghan capital Kabul, witnesses said, as video showed scores scurrying to escape volleys of gunfire.

Hundreds of men and women shouting slogans such as “Long live the resistance” and “Death to Pakistan” marched in the streets to protest against the Taliban takeover.

Neighbouring Pakistan has deep ties with the Taliban and has been accused of assisting the Islamist group’s return to power – charges it denies.

“The Islamic government is shooting at our poor people,” one panic-stricken woman on the street says over sounds of gunfire in a video clip shown on Iranian television news. There were no immediate reports of injuries, however.

The Taliban’s rapid advance across Afghanistan as US forces pulled out last month triggered a scramble to leave by people fearing reprisals.

Taliban to hold inauguration ceremony for new government: Officials

US-led foreign forces evacuated about 124 000 foreigners and at-risk Afghans, but tens of thousands were left behind.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States was in contact with about 100 Americans who were still in Afghanistan.

About 1,000 people, including Americans, have been stuck in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif for days awaiting clearance for charter flights to leave, an organiser told Reuters, blaming the delay on the US State Department.

Blinken, holding talks in Qatar, a key interlocutor with the Taliban, said the problem was one of documents.

“My understanding is that the Taliban have not denied exit to anyone holding a valid document, but they have said those without valid documents, at this point, can’t leave,” he told reporters.

sabc news Zuma walking
AfriForum demands answers regarding Zuma’s medical parole
7 September 2021, 7:05 PM

Civil rights organisation, AfriForum, has sent a lawyer’s letter to the National Commissioner of Correctional Services, Arthur Fraser, urgently requesting answers, within three days, regarding former President, Jacob Zuma’s medical parole.

AfriForum Head of Policy and Action, Ernst Roets says they want to know if  Zuma suffers from a terminal disease.

Former President Jacob Zuma placed on medical parole

If not, they want the details of the injury, disease or illness which justified Zuma’s medical parole.

Afriforum further wants to know how Fraser came to the conclusion that Zuma will not transgress again.

Roets says they’ve also requested copies of the application for medical parole and the medical report that followed.

“One would have guessed with a matter as sensitive and high profile as this one, the Department of Correctional Services would have taken extra care to make sure there are no unanswered questions by the public as to why former President Jacob Zuma was released on medical parole,” says Roets.

Roets says questions the legality of Zuma’s release.

“It appears that the contrary has happened and it seems as if the legal requirements were not followed with this decision, which is why AfriForum submitted an urgent attorneys letter on the department in which we ask for answers to be provided by the 10th of September. Depending on the answers we receive, we will decide if further legal action is necessary,” adds Roets.

Experts have described his release as a distraction to bigger issues that are confronting the country.

The Department of Correctional Services granted Zuma medical parole on Sunday on the basis of a medical report it received from his doctors.

Zuma parole | Ulrich Roux on what exactly medical parole entails


Former President Zuma’s release on medical parole sparks mixed reactions from KZN residents






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