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Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
UN changed laws in Afghanistan to protect women and girls: Mlambo-Ngcuka
17 August 2021, 9:48 PM

Outgoing United Nations (UN) Executive Director of Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, says the UN managed to change laws in Afghanistan to protect women and girls in that country.

The Taliban have seized power in the country leaving civilians uncertain of their future especially women and girls.

Mlambo-Ngcuka says part of their mandate was to ensure that tragedies against women and girls do not happen around the world especially now in Afghanistan.

“In Afghanistan, we changed the laws. They got the most progressive laws on violence against women and on women’s economic empowerment. These are some of the gains that we just fear we could lose and we obviously we want to wait and see what would happen. We have stretched our hands to Afghanistan asking for peace. We don’t want to see blood in Afghanistan and many women, young people in Afghanistan have just never known peace. ”

Uganda agrees to temporarily take in refugees from Afghanistan

Meanwhile, Uganda has agreed to a request from the United States to temporarily take in 2 000 refugees from Afghanistan fleeing after the Taliban takeover. The East African nation has long experience of receiving people escaping conflict and currently hosts about 1.4 million refugees, mostly from South Sudan. It was unclear when the refugees will start arriving.

Hillary Ayesiga elaborates on Uganda’s decision:

Residents in Free State town urge government to open more vaccination sites
17 August 2021, 9:20 PM

Some residents in Tweespruit in the Free State are appealing to government to open more vaccination sites in the area.

The small town has one vaccination site which operates on scheduled dates. Residents allege that at times when they arrive on the day for vaccinations they are told that the vaccines are finished.

The residents say having more sites for vaccinations will help many people in the Mantsopa area.

Some allege that they have to travel to the nearby town, Thaba Nchu to get vaccinated. At times they say they are sent back without getting the inoculated and are told the vaccines are finished.

The Free State Department of Health says its vaccine roll out drive in the province is on course.

Spokesperson, Mondli Mvambi, says there is one vaccination site that services four towns including Tweespruit that people in those areas can go to.

Mvambi says the vaccination roll out drive in the Mantsopa area is going well.

“We are satisfied with how our people have been working because we’ve been doing everything in our power to make sure that we inform people on time on when we are coming to that area. So Tweespruit is very small that is why we are concentrated on one area called Dawies Hall, which is accessible to all people and population groups of the local area. We are satisfied that the support of our vaccinators they give to all four towns is adequate and sufficient and enable us to meet out roll out plans. And we are satisfied that we are able to vaccinate people in that area, for instance, we have done a lot of work already.”

The Thabo Mofutsanayane and Mangaung districts have been dominating in numbers of recorded daily infections in the province. To date, the province has vaccinated over 500 000 people out of a targeted 1.9 million population.

 Residents in Tweespruit in the Free State appeal for more vaccination sites:

City of Cape Town dispatches mobile vaccine stations

The City of Cape Town has dispatched three mobile vaccination stations to areas with low vaccination uptake in the metropole. The service is operational in Nomzamo, Philippi and Delft.

Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien, says they hope the service will help to curb the trend of vaccine apathy that is slowly creeping in.

“The vaccination vans will be able to complete registration of clients and to administer their vaccines. As with permanent vaccination sites, priority will be given to persons 60 and older. They can walk in without having registered, to be assisted with that, but also to have their vaccine administered immediately.”

Government has paid almost R70 million to families of Marikana victims
17 August 2021, 8:14 PM

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development’s Solicitor-General, Fhedzisani Phandelani, says most of the Marikana litigation cases have been settled and payment has been made to claimants.

Phandelani says the state has already paid in the region of R70-million to 35 families, through the Wits Law Clinic that represented the families of the victims.

Thirty-four mineworkers were killed when police opened fire on the striking workers at the Wonderkop Koppie in Marikana nine years ago.

According to Phandelani, some compensation has been paid to the families of the slain miners.

“If you were to evoke the once and for all rule you would actually accept that we paid just under R70-million on behalf of the 35 families. But it’s not so because SERI came back to us with damage claims which is something that is not easy to quantify. But we as the state we needed to approach these matters with some degree of humility.”

Phandelani says the only outstanding matter relates to the more than 200 injured miners and members of the public whom the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) represents.

He says the matter has been referred back to the court after the claimants rejected the state’s offer of R500 000 per claimant.

 Video: Compensation for the affected families and individuals remains pending:

Nomzamo Zondo from the Socio-Economic Rights Institute, says the state is not handling the matter in good faith. The institution is representing the injured mineworkers as well as scores of members of the general public who are suing the state for the damages and injuries they incurred on the day of what has become known as the “Marikana Massacre”.

“It means what the state has done in nine years they only paid what the labour of those miners would have earned had they lived. And now we have to fight them in saying what are you coming with to families? We acknowledge the wrongdoing and the trauma that we caused in your lives. But they said to us they are not going to go beyond R500 000  per person because the state is not a bottomless pit, but we didn’t need a bottomless pit because our families would have been supporting us.”

The Farlam Commission, which probed the cause and the aftermath of the August 2012 Marikana Massacre, recommended that families of the deceased miners be compensated and that the mine pay the bill for their children’s educational needs.

Senior NPA official appears in court on rape charges
17 August 2021, 6:40 PM

The sexual offenses case against a senior member of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) from Mmabatho Magistrate’s court in Mahikeng in the North West has been postponed to 29 September 2021.

The 45-year-old accused appeared briefly at the Lichtenburg Magistrate’s Court on various charges related to the sexual assault of a 15- year old minor.

The accused, who is currently out on a R10 000 bail, is charged with statutory rape, sexual exploitation of children, sexual display of pornography, sexual grooming of children and sexual assault.

North West NPA spokesperson, Henry Mamothame, says the postponement is to allow for further police investigations.

The newly appointed prosecutor from Welkom, in this case, has requested a postponement to allow the investigation officer time to complete compiling new evidence that is much needed to strengthen the state’s case. The accused is facing various charges of a sexual nature against a minor. He will remain suspended from discharging his duties within the NPA, and his bail had been extended until his next court appearance. “ 

Western Cape dam levels show signs of improvement
17 August 2021, 5:43 PM

The Western Cape Water and Sanitation Department says it’s implementing short, medium and long-term measures to address and mitigate challenges of bulk water supply.

A delegation from the department has given an update on the state of Western Cape storage dams, while visiting Theewaterkloof Dam, near Villiersdorp, in the Overberg. The dam is currently over 100 percent full.

Theewaterskloof is the biggest dam in the Western Cape and covers a surface area of 48 square kilometres. It has the capacity to hold 480 000 megalitres and is currently overflowing.

A very different picture from three years ago when in 2018, it was on the brink of running dry. It was at the time of one of the most devastating periods of drought in the province.

The department says the Cape West Coast is also showing a healthy outlook with dams hovering at around 90 percent.

However, acting head of the provincial department, Boniswa Hene says the Gouritz River Catchment, in particular, the Little Karoo remains a concern and is currently in a dire water situation.

“We have a programme that we going to collaborate with local municipalities, law enforcement there, we are going to collaborate with the agriculture sector to make sure that the little water that is there is used in the best interest for everyone. We got reports that here are unlawful water users there, people who use water more than their allocation, others use water that they’re not authorised to use, and then those who are obeying the law according to their water use authorisation they suffer a lot. Not only farmers but also for domestic water use.”

A number of measures to improve water security have been listed. Water and Sanitation Department spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau says among the measures is water conservation and demand programmes as well as key infrastructure projects.

“We know about the raising of the Clanwilliam Dam, that is easily our biggest project to be very important for the farming community in the area there, also for the community to basically be able to do secondary industries and access water for the first time and we can see the development along the N7 and then we have the Kwagaskloof Dam where we are also increasing the capacity because we have to plan ahead.”

The average level for Western Cape dams are currently at 77,9 percent.

 

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