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Students cycle over 1 000 kilometres to raise funds
27 November 2017, 9:02 PM

Thousands of students every year are unable to register at universities throughout the country, due to lack of finances. Over the past year students protested against university fee increases, a move that prompted the government not to increase fees for the 2017 academic year.

However, the fight for free education for all students continues. The University of the Free State Student Representative Council president and friends are on a mission to help deserving students to register next year, even if it means cycling for over 1 000 kilometres between Bloemfontein and Cape Town.

It is an epic eight-day cycle for students by students and an attempt to raise R2 million to help students register for the 2018 academic year.

The cyclists left Bloemfontein on Monday morning and are expected to arrive in Cape Town next week Monday. Money raised from the tour will help needy students.

“We find that in the beginning of the year around registration it is probably the hardest time students face. They come to this place with absolutely nothing, they need to register. This is why we are fund raising, we are riding from here (Bloemfontein) to Cape Town hoping to raise R2 million and we want to make a call to all, absolutely everyone to join us everything matters R20, R50 let us do it so, this why we are doing this and we are very excited,” says University of the Free State Student Representative Council president Asive Dlanjwa.

One of the riders Thulasozwe Mxenge says, “It is a great thing to be part of this thing, I’m really excited to be part of this to help students raise funds. So I’m looking forward to do this ride from Bloemfontein to Cape Town.”

The university has welcomed the move by student leadership to help those in need.

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Sanef sends condolences to Manyaapelo’s family
27 November 2017, 8:49 PM

The government and the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) are the latest to send their condolences to the family of veteran broadcaster and SABC soccer commentator, Cebo Manyaapelo.

Communications Minister, Mamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, says Manyaapelo will be remembered as one of the most admired radio and television sports broadcasters nationwide.

Over the past week, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) has observed moments of silence in his honour. Manyaapelo died in hospital last Wednesday.

He is remembered by his most popular phrases. Cebo “CC” Manyaapelo is being honoured on the streets of his hometown in Mafikeng, North West. He had over 34 years of broadcasting under his belt.

“He actually said to me that I’m his first born child and I remember there was a point when he said to the staff of Motsweding FM that he was going to make sure that I get married and believe you me, I ended up being married, with Cebo being the main man,” says Motsweding FM presenter, Benny Motau.

Imizwilili presenter Lebo Leabile says she grew up listening to him. “The next thing I found myself sitting next to him having a board meeting. The next thing I found myself relieving him, from 6-9 it was him and 9-12 it was me.  It was something like a dream come true.”

His memorial service will be held on Tuesday.

“The memorial service will be held at the SABC auditorium in Mafikeng from nine o’clock. It is organised by the SABC,” says family spokesperson Kenosi Modisane.

Manyaapelo will be laid to rest on Thursday at the Lerwaneng village in Mahikeng.

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Dr Manamela apologises to aggrieved families in Esidemeni tragedy
27 November 2017, 8:45 PM

After a week of testimony, suspended Director of Mental Health Doctor Makgabo Manamela, has apologised to the families who lost their loved ones in the Life Esidimeni tragedy. She also conceded to issuing unlawful licences to Non-Governmental Organisations, a move which cost 143 lives.

On her last day of testimony in Johannesburg, oin Monday, Manamela accused Life Esidimeni lawyers of treating her unfairly.

Many of the patients died, of among others, hunger and starvation. Manamela is one of three senior health officials implicated in the deadly transfers.

On day four, she conceded to issuing unlawful licences to NGOs where 143 patients died. Several witnesses including staff at Cullinan Care Centre have accused Manamela of forcing them to take patients despite not being able to care for them. This, she still denies.

Manamela’s apology did little to appease the aggrieved families. She is still due to face an internal disciplinary hearing on 7 December for her role in the transfers.

Other implicated senior officials are also expected to be called to testify.

The former Department Head Barney Selebano is expected to take the stand next week. His court case challenging the arbitration’s subpoena will be heard on Tuesday. Click below for more on the story:

 

Mbalula hands over sword of command to General Sitole
27 November 2017, 8:42 PM

Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, has officially handed over the sword of command to General Khehla Sitole who had been appointed National Police Commissioner last week.

Ushering in the new police leadership, General Khehla Sitole was bestowed with the powers of the National Police Commissioner; his marching orders protects the citizens of South Africa.

Mbalula says the impact of crime is felt by all and that violent crime is on the increase. General Sitole has been in the police service since the 1980s and has worked his way through various ranks.

The handing over of the sword ceremony is symbolic of giving him the power and authority to uphold the Constitution.

Khehla says he has plans to roll-out and sets out what he will be doing.  He has pledged to work tirelessly to reduce violent crime in the country.

 

 

SACP’s decision to contest by-elections in Free State receives mixed reactions
27 November 2017, 8:15 PM

The South African Communist Party (SACP) has rejected any suggestions that the decision to contest by-elections in the Metsimaholo Local Municipality in the Free State is an attempt to test waters ahead of the 2019 general elections.

During its July congress the SACP resolved to actively contest elections. However, the party was unclear on when or how will the resolution be implemented.

The party says the decision to contest elections in Metsimaholo is the result of interests of the people in that area being subordinated to factional interests that further undermined the alliance.

The elections will be held on Wednesday. The SACP has fielded 42 candidates in the Metsimaholo Local Municipality.

Party spokesperson Alex Mashilo says they cannot continue to be used as an electioneering tool by the African National Congress (ANC).

“When we tell them about the importance of democratic consensus, seeking consultation, in response they are telling us about prerogatives as if they contested for elections and outside the principles of collective leadership and mandate.”

The move could see the ANC further weakened during the poll, opening doors for possible coalitions. However, Mashilo says no decision has been made on who to partner with.

“We have not taken a decision about coalitions but what we are presently discussing is to allow the community to decide together with the SACP on a way forward in that event. We don’t want to impose decisions on people who would have voted for the SACP while we had serious problems about not being consulted.”

At the same time ANC secretary general, Gwede Manatashe says the SACP’s decision is regrettable. “The ANC must further interrogate and engage the resolution of the SACP on state power and its implications for the alliance.  When you put a parallel team to campaign in a municipality you are raising tensions in the alliance and this we hope will be understood.”

No political party won a majority of the vote after last year’s fiercely contested local government elections, forcing parties to enter into a power-sharing deal. The coalition government was dissolved in July after it failed to adopt its 2017/18 budget and later on when its then mayor, Sello Hlasa, defected from Metsimaholo Community Association to the ANC.

The communist party is contesting all 21 wards. Its candidates include respected individuals in the community who are not members of the party.

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni says the SACP’s decision is tantamount to political manoeuvring.

“When you look at that situation, you have two possibilities, one: It could be local dynamics where SACP and the community are self-assured that they will have traction because they are fielding the well-known, well recognized and therefore is going to make it. But also because it fits in the bigger scheme of things where the SACP has promised that it will take part in provincial and national elections should things not work out within the ANC. So it could be seen as test case but at the same time that should be done as a cautious approach because it will depend on whether these were local dynamics which prevailed or it is the SACP strategy and campaign.”

Meanwhile, the Central Executive Committee of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is currently meeting in Johannesburg and is expected to soon pronounce on the Metsimaholo debacle. The federation has also been mum on the SACP’s decision to contest elections.

However, this issue is likely to dominate at the federation’s congress next year.

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