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Theme parks housed within cultural spaces to be opened as SA celebrates Heritage Month
3 September 2020, 7:12 PM

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa says his department will open theme parks housed within cultural spaces, where monuments, symbols, and statues from the country’s past will be preserved and protected.

He spoke during a sitting of the National Assembly, as the country marks Heritage Month. This decision stems from a task team that investigated what to do with what is considered offensive symbols.

The preservation of the country’s past national symbols and statues is a sensitive subject for South Africans.  Some believe that anything that is a relic of the country’s colonial and racist past, should not have a place in democratic South Africa.

However, Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa, says dumping some symbols could actually result in them becoming more sought after.  “These theme parks take place in provinces as well, so that we are able to preserve them. They should be preserved, not thrown to the dustbin of history. If you opt to dump them, people will demand them.”

Opposition parties argue their cases

But the Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament, Veronica van Dyk, says the country does not have a heritage landscape. “No heritage landscape because we are divided by the government using our people to refer to some, no longer striving for the rainbow nation.”

Economic Freedom Fighters Members of Parliament and a recording musician, Ringo Madlingozi, says statues that represent the oppressors of the past do not help in fostering nation-building.

“What is our culture on whose terms? In front of Parliament is a statue of Louis Botha, part of the settlers who killed black people. Should we also celebrate him as a nation?”

The Freedom Front Plus says all monuments should be preserved. Member of Parliament Tamarin Breedt says these add to the story of how the nation’s present came about. “What are apartheid monuments? An onslaught on Afrikaner symbols? Add to monuments don’t throughout, how will we know how we ended up here?

Inkatha Freedom Party Member of Parliament Russel Cebekhulu, however, opted to see the situation through rainbow-tinted glasses.

“Yes, not all symbols contribute to what we want to achieve as a democracy. But be reminded of what the constitution says, ‘SA belongs to all who live in it’.”

Eldos residents expected to gather in numbers for Nathaniel Julies’ memorial service
3 September 2020, 6:10 PM

A memorial service will be held in Eldorado Park, in the south of Johannesburg, this evening for Nathaniel Julies, who was shot and killed, allegedly by the police.

The 16-year old’s killing a week ago, sparked unrest in the community with residents calling for justice for Julies, who had Down Syndrome. Two police officers have already been charged in the Protea Magistrate’s Court with murder and defeating the ends of justice.

A third police officer arrested in connection with the crime has now appeared in the same court.:

This evening, Eldorado Park residents are expected to turn up in numbers to pay tribute to the boy.

This comes as a third suspect, 37- year- old, Foster Netshiongolo, made a brief appearance in court today. Netshiongolo faces charges of defeating the ends of justice and of an accessory after the fact.

His case has been postponed to next Thursday for further investigation and a formal bail application.

Two other police officers, 46-year-old Simon ‘Scorpion’ Ndyalvana and 23-year-old Caylene Whiteboy, appear the court earlier this week: 

Julies will be laid to rest on Saturday.

NEHAWU in North West calls for permanent employment of community health workers
3 September 2020, 5:44 PM

Trade union NEHAWU in the North West has called for the permanent appointment of community development workers. NEHAWU members marched in the North West capital Mahikeng, as part of the union’s National Day of Action.

Members in all the province’s four districts participated. The main march was in Mahikeng, where members demanded permanent appointments of more than 6 500 community health workers.

The union is also demanding that its members be supplied with sufficient Personal Protective Equipment.

“Community health workers have been temporary for how long already? So we are saying, we can no longer continue to negotiate the fact that community health workers are wanted by the employer in the Department of Health. and as it is, they are recording the stats that are being taken for COVID-19. Community health workers are playing a prime role in that. So we want permanent employment of community health workers,” says Nehawu Provincial Chairperson Elizabeth Mokua.

Nehawu members embark on a National Day of Action: 

Community health workers voice their grievances 

Some of the community health workers, who were part of the protest, say they have been working for the health department for over seven years now. They now demand permanent employment. “We work normal working hours for a minimum wage and that is very unfair because we provide a service that is comprehensive, that the department can not do without, ” says one of them.

Another community health worker says; “Community health workers are not being recognised in terms of skills development. The department has training and development for other employees who are permanent but community health workers are being discriminated against. So we are saying it’s high time they open doors for community health workers to be permanent so that they benefit from the skills development.”‘

Premier Mokgoro addresses protestors 

In responding to their demands, Premier Job Mokgoro said, “Leadership, I have heard you. I have a fellow Exco member here and we have other Exco members in various districts in our province. We have heard you, on behalf of the total collective and there is nothing that we can commit to, other than we have a moral responsibility to implement.”

NEHAWU has given authorities seven days to positively respond to their demands, failing which they have threatened to embark on a national strike from 10 September.

 

Umhlobo Wenene staff, listeners usher in Spring with Jerusalema dance challenge
1 September 2020, 10:18 PM

The date might say 1 September, Spring Day, but the low temperatures and snowfalls around the Eastern Cape a few days ago, indicate we might still need to keep the winter woollies handy.

On Tuesday, staff and listeners of Umhlobo Wenene decided the best way to celebrate was with a viral Jerusalema dance challenge.

Celebrating the arrival of the new season with dancing which also keeps the gloom of COVID-19 at bay.

The online sensation which is the “Jerusalema” was the perfect platform for the 60th-anniversary celebrations of Umhlobo Wenene.

“Because of the pandemic most of our programmes going forward will be virtual because as much as we are on level two, the virus is still around and we want to make sure we protect people,” says acting station manager Lungisa Nogcazi-Solani.

Acting Marketing Manager Vuyo Mpapela says; “This was not only to activate spring but also to lift the spirits of our team members.”

The threat of rain and the icy wind was no deterrent to the high spirits of the participants. They came to dance, and they did.

Umhlobo Wenene FM celebrates 60 years with Jerusalema dance challenge:

Lungisa to approach ANC top structures to plead his case
1 September 2020, 9:44 PM

The embattled African National Congress (ANC) councillor in Nelson Mandela Bay Andile Lungisa says he will approach the top structures of the party to plead his case.

Lungisa has been given 72 hours by the Regional Task Team (RTT) to step down as Branch Task Team member and as a councillor.

The RTT is using his conviction case of assault to do grievous bodily harm against Democratic Alliance councillor to temporarily suspend his membership.

He was sentenced to two years of direct imprisonment. Lungisa is appealing this sentence in the Supreme Court of Appeals.

“I’ll be writing to the provincial leadership, I’ll be writing to the national leadership. I will complain to the provincial leadership and I will write to the national leadership for guidance because there is an NEC statement. It needs the highest office in terms of guidance of the NEC resolution. I’m saying my matter is not on the corruption side. That’s the matter I will be seeking,”  saying Lungisa.

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