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Limpopo Education investigates allegations of teachers stealing from school nutrition programme
30 July 2020, 3:51 PM

The Limpopo Education Department has deployed a team to the Mukula High School, in Xikhumba village, outside Giyani to investigate allegations of the theft of food items meant for the school nutrition programme.

This follows allegations by some parents that bakkies, which they suspect acted on the behest of some teachers, went to the school and took food items, hours after they had been delivered at school.

Parents of Grade 12 learners were on Wednesday asked to collect food for their children at the school. Some, however, say they got small amounts of food items that will not last the learners for the duration of the week, as directed by President Cyril Ramaphosa that schools should continue feeding learners during this COVID-19 imposed break.

Some parents allege that they saw bakkies leaving and entering the school premises several times last Friday night, a few hours after a truck delivered food items at the school.

“On Friday, I saw a big truck at the Mukula. It was delivering food. It was a bulk of food. So, I don’t know what is happening because they said we must come with wheelbarrows so that we must collect the food, only to find that we got only a few things. But the truck was there and the food was plenty.”

Provincial government investigating allegations

The Limpopo Education Department says a team led by the circuit manager will be investigating these allegations.

“We have asked the district director to look into the matter. First of all, it is worrying to receive reports of possible theft of food since we all know that this is much-needed provision. We also have circuit monitors of the school nutrition programme to check what was delivered and what was given to learners and parents; also tighten up systems around stocktaking to make sure that it tallies with what the SGB and other members of the community are confirming to have received,” says Spokesperson Tidimalo Chuene.

Although parents at Mukula told SABC News that only Grade 12 and 11 learners at the school have thus far been given food items, Chuene says all schools in the province that benefit from the school nutrition programme have been feeding learners for the duration of this week.

Equal Education has been at the centre calling for the government to ensure that learners receive meals:

Meanwhile, the Grade 12 learners are expected back in class next Monday across the country.



Women’s Month to focus efforts on ending violence against gender equality, GBV
30 July 2020, 3:28 PM

Efforts to end violence against women and gender equality are expected to be the focus of this year’s women’s month. Under the theme: “Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights for an Equal Future”, the 2020 Women’s Month Programme, which takes place amid the COVID-19 global pandemic was launched in Pretoria on Thursday.

This year’s National Women’s Day will be celebrated virtually. President Cyril Ramaphosa, who recently described gender-based-violence as the second pandemic is expected to deliver the keynote address.

Women, Youth and Persons with Disability Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, says this year’s Women’s Month focus is a call to action for gender equality to be achieved through a collective effort.

“We should join hands across spheres of government and with all sectors of our society as part of your decade of action towards gender equality. We want to see sustainable programmes that are geared towards achieving this goal. Together with civil society, we are establishing action coalitions that will work to drive visible change for women in our country.”

Nkoana-Mashabane says an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) that President Cyril Ramaphosa set up is ensuring that gender-based violence, femicide, and gender inequality receive appropriate attention.

“The President has formed an IMC and we work together. We exchange information with the whole cabinet yes, but even in the committee that he had formed. This morning at 8c we were sitting with the President,  with the Minister of Justice presenting or sharing with us that which he will share with you later, bills, that are being looked at to be strengthened to strengthen that which we are dealing with here.”

As SABC’s Sipho Stuurman reports Gender-based violence has been described as yet another pandemic plaguing the country:

Police continue to fight gender-based violence 

Minister of Police Bheki Cele who also attended the launch says police continue to wage war against the gender-based violence scourge. South African women experience high levels of domestic violence and gender-based violence.

Cele says the battle against gender-based violence will only be won through a collective effort by all social partners.

“ Police alone are not going to end the brutality and violence against women, that’s a fact that we want to drive home. We’ve got a big responsibility as the members of the South African Police. No doubt about it. But we need to invite and carry everybody around us and be part of the bigger solutions. It cannot be done in the corners by the police alone, working alone there.”

Cele says the 4 728 perpetrators that have been sentenced to life imprisonment is an indication that the police are playing their part. He further explains that police management is dealing with issues that hinder investigations and delay matters.

“For you to do life, somebody should have done a good job in terms of investigation and taking the case forward. So there are good police but indeed there are those that will not do their job as they are supposed to do their job. We are working on that. We have come together. We have made it one of three points to say there should report back on those matters.”

Khusela Diko
The Dikos reiterate there was no corruption in awarding of PPEs contract
29 July 2020, 9:17 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Spokesperson, Khusela Diko, and her husband, King Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko have reiterated that there was no corruption in the Gauteng Health Department’s awarding of  R125 million tender to the king.

They, however, regret the error of judgment that led to the king’s Royal Bhaca company doing business with the department. The contract has subsequently been cancelled.

The news of the tender for the supply of personal protective gear during the coronavirus pandemic sparked outrage from the public.

Khusela Diko has since taken leave of absence from her position pending an investigation into contract.

The couple says in a joint statement that they have never tried to hide their ties with the family of Gauteng MEC of Health, Dr. Bandile Masuku.

They, however, understand that it raises suspicion due to the impact state capture and corruption had on the depletion of state coffers.

They say they support the measures that the government has put in place to investigate and prosecute all instances of the misuse of funds meant for a response to COVID-19.

The king has also denied that his appointment as an independent Audit Committee member of the Johannesburg Market was due to unwarranted political influence but has chosen to resign from the position.

He says his resignation will save the market and the City of Johannesburg from further undue public scrutiny.

In the video below, Political Reporter Samkele Maseko explains the allegations: 

Gauteng police investigate gathering at Andrew Mlangeni’s home
29 July 2020, 7:53 PM

Gauteng police have confirmed that they are investigating whether yesterday’s gathering at the home of the late struggle veteran, Andrew Mlangeni was in contravention of lockdown regulations.

Videos shared on social media show a large crowd of people including African National Congress (ANC) officials, members of the South African Defence Force and neighbours surrounding Mlangeni’s coffin as it was carried into the house.

Police Spokesperson Vish Naidoo says the investigation follows numerous complaints about the gathering that took place before Mlangeni was laid to rest today.

In terms of the lockdown regulations, only 50 people are allowed to gather at the same time while the Disaster Management makes provision for the dispersing of crowds who gather illegally.

Naidoo says after the completion of the investigation, the docket will be submitted to the Directorate for Public Prosecution for a decision.

Mlangeni has been laid to rest next to his wife, June Mlangeni, at the Roodepoort Cemetery in Dobsonville, Soweto, today:

Western Cape sees a steady decline in COVID-19 infections
29 July 2020, 7:38 PM

The Western Cape government says there has been a steady decline in COVID-19 infections and related deaths in recent days. Head of the Health Department, Dr. Keith Cloete, says the decline in numbers is mainly due to safety protocols.

The province currently has just under 3 000 COVID related deaths with over 75 000 recoveries.

Cloete was speaking during a virtual media briefing this afternoon.

While infections in some regions like the Southern Cape and the Central Karoo are on the increase, there’s s steady decline in the Cape Metro.

Cloete says they have planned early for sufficient hospital beds, ventilators, and oxygen masks.

“We had a peak about over 40% at one time. We are now declining to less than 30% in terms of test positivity rate, which means that one in three tests are positive. We have relatively more negative tests than it was previously.”

Economic impact of coronavirus 

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says he is concerned about the economic impact of lockdown regulations on residents. He says he is currently engaging with the national government to find a workable solution.

Winde says although there is a decline in the infection rate, unemployment and hunger are threatening livelihoods.  “

“We need to try and make sure that we find a balance. We need to make sure that more businesses can open. In that regard, I have now written a follow-up letter. I want an urgent meeting with Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma who is responsible for the regulations as well as the health minister, so that we can have a discussion around the Western Cape economy.”

Safety protocols 

Provincial Health Minister, Nomafrench Mbombo, has again emphasised the importance of safety protocols.

“We need to protect the vulnerable; keep the physical distance wherever you are and also do not go anywhere unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. We urge the community that it’s an individual responsibility. It’s everyone’s responsibility to stop the spread.”

Cloete says the release of a scientific report recently shows that there were early cases of community transmissions that were reported in late February and early March preceding the early travel restrictions and lockdown.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation says people who test positive for coronavirus and display symptoms must spend at least 13 days in isolation.

Asymptomatic people need to isolate for ten days.

The WHO’s Maria Van Kerkhove, says, “What we’ve recently done is use the data that I just described to give other recommendations that are not testing-based to say when someone can be released and is no longer infectious. So, what we recommend now is for symptomatic patients … they need to be isolated for at least 10 days from the time that they develop symptoms plus an additional three days after symptoms resolve. If you are asymptomatic it’s 10 days from the time you test positive.”



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