For all official information and updates regarding COVID-19, visit the South African Department of Health's website at

Home » Articles Posted by Yolanda Mhlathi (Page 10)

Author Archives: Yolanda Mhlathi

Political parties split on proposed elections postponement
6 April 2021, 3:37 PM

There continues to be uncertainty as to when the local government elections will be held. This after the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) intensified its bid to have the polls pushed back.

Following a meeting of its top leadership last week, the EFF has indicated that the party will write a letter to the Electoral Commission asking that the date for elections scheduled for later this year be pushed back.

Originally the party had proposed that local, provincial and national elections be merged and held in 2024.

Now it says it simply wants a postponement.

“If they don’t want to synchronise, at least they can postpone the elections. There was no political activity and you cannot have a free and fair election without an effective campaign,” says EFF leader, Julius Malema.

Malema’s addresses the postponement in the video below:

The EFF’s sentiments have found resonance with some political parties.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) National Spokesperson, Mkhuleko Hlengwa says, “The IFP believes that there is not sufficient time for political parties to plan and the IEC to meaningfully prepare for these elections under the circumstances and of course, there is a shortcoming in so far as to the extent to which effective campaigning can take place. The IFP, therefore, proposes that the local government elections be postponed to the first quarter of 2022 to enable political parties, the IEC and the citizenry to prepare themselves.”

The Al Jamah-ah party is also sympathetic. “We cannot have free and fair elections and do proper campaigning because of the pandemic. So, we have agreed with the EFF and other parties that all options are on the table. Al Jamah has made a call to the minister of communications in parliament to turn around the post office so that voters can have the option of the postal vote. That was very successful in America to accommodate voters during the period of the pandemic,” says Al Jamah-ah Spokesperson, Shameemah Salie.

Others, however, have rejected the EFF’s proposal outright.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has indicated that it will not support any bid to get the local government elections, scheduled for later this year, postponed.

DA Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone has rejected the EFF proposal, saying, “Our Constitution is clear … what makes us a constitutional democracy is regular elections. The people of South Africa have the right to have their voices heard. We have seen countries across the world show that it is possible to hold mass elections while social distancing and maintaining safety. So, there is no reason why the local government elections cannot proceed in October 2021.”

Mazzone’s sentiments are echoed by Freedom Front Plus Leader, Pieter Groenewald.

“Service delivery in South Africa on the local government level is so poor that the electorate must have the opportunity to elect new councilors. Therefore, this year’s local government elections must take place.”

While the African National Congress (ANC) had previously indicated that it is amenable to the EFF’s suggestion, it did not mention any postponement of the local elections following last week’s meeting of its National Executive Committee.

ANC National Spokesperson, Pule Mabe, says the party must still mull over the idea.

“The ANC is quite concerned that under the current conditions, elections could be held. Of course, we are aware of what the EFF has raised. The ANC takes a view that it should take its own time in getting into some of those issues, especially understanding our own electoral system in the country and making sure that whatever ought to be done does not disrupt the delivery of services to our people.”

IEC CEO, Sy Mamabolo, says that the proposal will soon be processed.

“There are plans to convene a meeting as requested and at that meeting, the commission will avail itself to hear the views of political parties on the proposition to postpone. The commission will probably have to retreat and go and analyse those submissions and balance that against the constitutional principles and arrive at its own position independent of the positions of political parties, of course, the commission has to consider those submissions at arriving at a position.”

Mpumalanga Tourism Parks Agency workers down tools
6 April 2021, 3:19 PM

Workers at nature reserves that fall under the Mpumalanga Tourism Parks Agency have downed tools.

The agency’s CEO, Johannes Nobunga, says the striking workers who are affiliated to National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) are demanding that employees who are acting in certain positions be permanently placed in those positions.

He says gates in some nature reserves are closed.

“The reason for the strike is that, late in 2020, we approved a new organogram as the MTPA and now are engaging in a process of placing the employees. So, there are those employees who are acting in some positions and the union wants us to place them in the positions to which they are acting, which would be unfair to those employees that have not been given an opportunity to act in any position.”

Protest over jobs 

Meanwhile, residents of Khombaso in Nkomazi have blockaded the main road connecting the area with neighbouring villages over job opportunities.

The residents accuse the Nkomazi local municipality of employing people from outside the area in two water infrastructure projects. They allege that some of the vacant posts at the projects have not been filled for years.

Water supply in the area and surrounding villages was disrupted after the residents locked the water reservoir and boosting pump.

Community leader, Sizwe Nsingwane, says the municipality promised to attend to their concerns, but nothing happened.

“The reason we decided to close the road is that the municipality does not want to attend to us and face the problem that they caused at the reservoir, we supposed to benefit as the community since we built the reservoir we don’t benefit so we are tired as the community.”

Anniversary of Dulcie September’s death marked with a webinar
29 March 2021, 10:30 PM

The anniversary of the death of anti-apartheid activist, Dulcie September, has been marked with a special webinar hosted by the University of the Western Cape’s Dullah Omar Institute.

September was shot and killed on the 29th of March 1988, while working as an ANC representative in Paris, France.

On the 33rd anniversary of her murder, academics, struggle stalwarts and diplomats in South Africa and France, paid tribute online to a heroine of the liberation movement.

Shot five times from behind as she was opening the ANC office in Paris, the former teacher was part of various liberal movements against the apartheid government before joining the ANC. Arrested and detained without trial, she was convicted of sabotage in 1964 and was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Upon her release, September was placed on a five-year banning order, prohibiting her from teaching and engaging in any political activity.

Public lecture on anti-apartheid activist Dulcie September:

Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Western Cape, Tyrone Pretorius, says Dulcie paid the ultimate price in her fight for the liberation of South Africa.

“Unlike many who buckled under the yoke of oppression, Dulcie September stepped forward to make her voice known, using her passionate belief in social justice and equality to fight for the freedom of not only her fellow citizens, but her country,” says Pretorius.

September left for exile in England in 1973, and later worked as the ANC’s representative in France, Switzerland and Luxemborg, where part of her duties were to rally international support for economic sanctions against the apartheid South African government.

Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, described September as a heroine of the South African struggle for liberation.

“As a people we are forever grateful for her immense contribution to the freedom and democracy we enjoy today. She remained loyal and principled to the end. She personified extraordinary sacrifice, detention, torture and burnings at a young age, failed to break her spirit.

Her brutal assassination at the age of 52 years robbed us of her life at its prime. We are however comforted by the knowledge that many have been inspired by her and many have chosen to walk in her footsteps to try to emulate her life,” she said.

A documentary premiered by the SABC on Human Rights Day is aimed at reopening the investigation into her assassination. It is believed she was investigating an illicit arms trade.

43 South Africans affected by Palma attacks accounted for: DIRCO
29 March 2021, 9:53 PM

South Africa’s High Commission in Mozambique has tracked 43 South Africans affected by the recent attacks in Palma, in the north of the country.

These include two men who escaped the invasion, by IS-linked militias, by fleeing into the bush. They were later rescued by helicopters.

Their relative, Adrian Nel, was killed in the onslaught.

The International Relations and Cooperation Department says the South Africans were in the area known as Afungi. Some of them are already back home, whilst others have been moved to safer areas within Mozambique.

The High Commission based in Maputo will continue its track-and-trace process to determine whether there are any more South Africans who may have been affected.

The United Nations has condemned the attacks, describing them as heinous acts of violence.

Spokesperson to Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric, says the UN is concerned about the insurgency, which seems to still be evolving.

South Africa’s Ambassador to Mozambique Siphiwe Nyanda weighs in:

SA victim

Adrian Nel (40) was killed on Friday while in a getaway vehicle with his brother and father, leaving the Amarula Lodge Hotel.

His mother, Meryl Knox, says the family had been in the area for work:

Meanwhile, the 21-year-old South African who went missing after the attack in Palma has been found. According to his mother, he is tired but healthy.

Authorities underprepared

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) believes the Palma attacks indicate that authorities have been underprepared and given insufficient priority to the incidents.

The organisation’s Southern Africa Director Dewa Mavhinga spoke to SABC News:

ANC, opposition parties at loggerheads in Free State ahead of Mabuza’s visit
29 March 2021, 9:23 PM

A war of words has erupted between opposition parties and the ANC at the Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality in Qwaqwa, in the eastern Free State, ahead of the visit of top government officials.

Deputy President, David Mabuza, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and Human Settlement and Water and Sanitation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, are envisaged to conduct an oversight with the aim of assisting the ailing municipality’s bid to improve service delivery.

Water shortages and electricity blackouts have become part of the daily lives of residents of Maluti-a-Phofung. The municipality incorporates Kestel, Harrismith and Qwaqwa. It owes Eskom millions of rand. Poor infrastructure is also a major concern.

Residents are hopeful that the visit by the deputy president and ministers will resolve their challenges.

“Our challenges here in Qwaqwa is that there is always lack of water. There is no electricity. Most of the time in the morning or at night there is no electricity and the water is always it is dirty,” says one resident.

“We are still struggling electricity sometimes and we have shortage of water. They are not telling  us why we have shortage of water,” adds another one.

Opposition parties have accused the municipality of failing to provide basic services to the people.

Civic movement MAP 16 Convener, Paratlane Motloung, says the people of Maluti-A-Phofung are still suffering under the ANC government.

“Not all the R220 million was spent on resolving the issues. We are still sitting with the very same issues despite all the rains; despite the work that we have been told it’s been done. I woke up at home without running water and it’s two weeks now,” Motloung says.

EFF Secretary in the Thabo Mafutsanayane District, Mohau Molwele, says the visit by government officials is nothing, but electioneering by the ANC ahead of local government elections later this year.

“We are approaching local government elections. So, we dim and assume that it is going to be another strategy to try and persuade the people of Maluti-A-Phofung to vote the ANC, but over all and above despite two interventions from this municipality from national and provincial government to try and stabilise the municipality. The situation is worse, the level of corruption is rife. As EFF, we don’t welcome the visit of the deputy president. We dim (it) as a futile exercise, as a political expediency,” says Molwele.

“In Maluti a Phofung nothing has change when it comes to water and electricity. Hospitals, Phuthaditjhaba and Bloemgumbusch … they do get water now and then not regularly while other places haven’t received even a drop in Qwaqwa. So, things have been the same. Since the minister and others came and made promises things are still the same,” says  DA Ward Chairperson in Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality, Mathapelo Mokoena.

Dikwankwetla Party of South Africa leader, Moeketsi Lebesa, says they want answers about the disappearance of millions of rand of the water project.

“We are still going days without water. When there is water, it is dirty. We are being lied to. We are told that it is because of timidity level of the water. So, we are expecting the president to tell us how long should we live without water and electricity and he must tell us what happened to R220 million that was injected into Qwaqwa water crisis.”

The ANC says it’s not concerned about opposition parties’ accusations.

“The visit of the deputy president has nothing to do with process of elections. It is the sole responsibility of the ANC to be on the side of the people. Other political parties, as opposition, they will raise their views, but as the ANC, we are not concerned about the views of the opposition. We are concerned about the living conditions of our people. That is where our concern is,” says ANC Regional Task Team convener in the Thabo Mofutsanyana District, Tumelo Thebe.

The municipality was one of Free State municipalities placed under administration. Last year, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Thembeni Nxangisa, lifted the administration much to the dismay of opposition parties.



SABC © 2021