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Gugulethu Seven monument vandalised again
18 August 2021, 7:57 PM

Family members of the Gugulethu Seven are appealing for intervention, after the monument erected to honour their loved ones has once again fallen victim to vandalism.

The memorial was built to commemorate the lives of seven young political activists from the area who were executed by apartheid state security forces in 1986.

Mandla Mxinwa, Zandisile Mjobo, Zola Swelani, Jabulani Miya, Christopher Piet, Themba Mlifi and Zabonke Konile were part of a group of young anti-aparthied activists who were ambushed and gunned down by a Vlakplaas-led unit and apartheid security police.

Nontlantla Miya is the sister of Jabulani Miya. “I think it’s neglected by the heritage, by the community because there are some of the people who know what happened over there and also the government, doesn’t take it [seriously]  because it’s been a long time talking to those who were at the Department of Arts and Culture to fix that.”

 

Steenhuisen seeks answers on lead-up to Gauteng and KZN unrest
30 July 2021, 2:04 PM

Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen says he has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting an urgent meeting to include all opposition parties in Parliament regarding the timeline to the week leading up to the looting and unrest that hit KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng earlier in July.

Steenhuisen says he wants explanations from the president about what was known and what action was taken.

He says they also want the Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo and Police Minister Bheki Cele, who are part of the security cluster, to form part of the meeting.

“The meeting I have requested with the president will offer Minister Dlodlo the opportunity is set out for the benefit of those who are outside the governing party the timeline of events leading up to the violence and looting as well as the details of the reports and briefing that were given to natjoints. It will also offer an opportunity for Minister Cele to explain how much of this he was privy to and why it took crime intelligence and SAPS so long to react. Now it’s critical that these questions are not opposed and answered behind the cloak and dagger veil of secrecy that have characterised the security cluster to date-which was heavily criticised in the Mufamadi high-level panel report.”

Damage caused to Gauteng

Earlier, Gauteng Premier David Makhura says preliminary estimates show that the damage caused by the recent unrest to the province’s economy amounts to three and a half billion rand.

He says the figures relate to the damage caused to businesses and the stock that has been looted.

Makhura says the figures do not include uninsured township businesses.

The Premier was giving an update on the provincial government’s economic reconstruction and recovery plans in response to the unrest.

Makhura is expected to outline measures the provincial government will be taking to help businesses and communities affected by the violent protests.

He says 14 500 jobs have been affected, with 30 malls also affected by the looting.

Phoenix violence

The South African Council of Churches General Secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana says brutal accounts of the events that unfolded in Phoenix recently have been brought to their attention.

Mpumlwana says he was part of a two-day provincial pastoral visit led by the KZN Council of Churches which ended on Wednesday.

He says they also paid a pastoral visit to the Zuma family in Nkandla.

Bishop Mpumlwana says the visit led by the KwaZulu-Natal Council of Churches (KZN-CC) included community members of Inanda, Phoenix and Hindu religious leaders who met with local community leaders.

“We listened to accounts of brutal attacks on innocent people. We listened to a grieving father of a slain son. Percy was his name. We heard of accounts of wounded survivors. We also heard of courageous plans of Hindu and Christian religious leaders to pursue justice, heal the community for the making of peace with justice. Peace that restores the equilibrium of life for these communities that have to rebuild their life together and South Africans. This is a task they intend to go into with zeal in the understanding of the challenges” says Bishop Mpumlwana.

He says they also had a meaningful pastoral visit to the former president’s family.

Mpumlwana says the visit was conducted by representatives of the Anglican Church, the KZN-CC and the Zuma family church, the KZN Regional Council of the Congregational Church on Tuesday.

“We visited and prayed with both the widow of Mr Michael Zuma as well as the family of Mr Jacob Zuma, to pray with and help them cope with the pressure of the situation they have to deal with, especially MaKhumalo who has not been too well, ably supported by MaNgema who graciously hosted us. In both, the resilience in the pain of Phoenix and the dignity of the Zuma mothers in the turbulence of this moment as a family, tell of the strength of the human spirit and the presence of God’s grace in all circumstances,” adds Bishop Mpumlwana.

 

Winde condemns taxi violence, calls for peaceful resolution to Cape Town route dispute
27 July 2021, 8:29 PM

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, has called on warring taxi associations in the province, CATA and CODETA, to resolve their differences peacefully.

More than 80 people have been killed in the province in ongoing taxi-related violence between the two associations since the start of the year.

At least 24 of them were shot and killed since the start of July.

The Bellville Taxi Rank has been partially closed due to the violence. Loading lanes that are used by CATA and CODETA are also not operating at the rank.

This after authorities closed the B-97 route between Mbekweni and Bellvile due to safety concerns for all road users. The route will be closed for two months.

Premier Winde says resorting to violence to resolve issues is unacceptable. He was speaking online during a taxi safety media briefing.

“Whether it’s an economic dispute, or whatever kind of dispute, we cannot use criminality and violence, it is absolutely unacceptable and when it does happen we need to make sure that the full force of the law is brought in, we have to make sure that we move away from this way of operating in our everyday lives and in our society.”

Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, has urged police to conduct comprehensive investigations into all taxi-related incidents of violence which have been reported in the province this year. He was also speaking during the digital media briefing.

“I really want to specifically call on SAPS to do proper investigations into all those people who were arrested for any form of violence relating to taxis and to please make sure that the investigation is of such a quality that we can get convictions and secure convictions by the National Prosecuting Authority so that people can be put behind bars who are guilty of any offence related to violence during the taxi conflict,” he said.

Western Cape police are calling on communities in areas that have been affected by ongoing taxi violence to come forward with any information that will assist them with their investigations.

Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile, says 22 people have been arrested in connection with the taxi war since the start of the year.

“Twenty-two people have been arrested and those cases are running in court, cases within the taxi industry, that’s besides what we said last week on the 12 arrests on firearms and this one of yesterday, that’s beside that. From January until now, we have arrested 22 people and those cases are running currently in court,” says Patekile.

The dispute between CATA and CODETA over the route between Mbekweni and Bellville has been referred for arbitration, which is expected to conclude this week.

Commuters, who are affected by the lack of taxi services, are advised to make use of trains and buses as alternative forms of transport.

Unions express relief following the sealing of the public sector wage deal
27 July 2021, 8:06 PM

Teachers Union, Sadtu, has expressed relief after the Public Servants Association (PSA) signed the draft public sector wage agreement, which includes a 1.5% wage increase.

The signing of the deal brought to an end marathon negotiations between government representatives and unions.

The agreement will also give civil servants a cash monthly gratuity of up to R1 695. The 1.5% wage increase will be back-dated to the beginning of this month.

Sadtu’s general-secretary, Mugwena Maluleke, says: “We want to indicate that is has been a very difficult situation under difficult circumstances. It is the first time that we had to reach an agreement which does not offer other increases except the 1.5%. However, it is a relief to the workers as they did not get their increases in 2020.”

FEDUSA-affiliated public sector unions have also expressed relief at the sealing of the deal following gruelling talks.

The Minister of Public Service Administration, Senzo Mchunu, has praised the leaders of the unions that have come on board, saying they have shown good leadership and negotiated with the interests of the civil servants and the country’s citizens at heart.

For more on this story, see video link below:

DA seeks access to KZN-Gauteng unrest intelligence report
27 July 2021, 6:45 PM

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will be making an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) regarding the intelligence report which the State Security Minister claims she handed over to the police before the recent looting and unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the looting and violence that hit Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng as an attack on the democratic state and an attempted insurrection.

DA leader, John Steenhuisen, says finger pointing between the minister Ayanda Dlodlo and her police counterpart, Bheki Cele about intelligence information needs to be investigated.

“The Democratic Alliance today will be submitting an application in terms of the promotion of access to information for the state information report to which the State Information minister Ayanda Dlodlo she handed over to the law enforcement prior to the recent looting and violence to which Police minister Bheki Cele says he never received. It’s critical that South Africans to know who the when and what of this catastrophic failure of our security cluster to protect the citizens and property,” says Cele.

More than 300 South Africans lost their lives during the riots.

Families appeal for financial help to bury loved ones who passed away during KZN riots:

 

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