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Tshepiso Moche
Mdluli, Mthunzi sentencing continues on Tuesday
29 September 2020, 6:49 AM

The High Court in Johannesburg is expected to conclude sentencing of former head of Crime Intelligence, Richard Mdluli and his co-accused, Mthembeni Mthunzi, on Tuesday.

The case relates to the 1999 murder of Oupa Ramokgibe, who allegedly had an affair with Mdluli’s customary wife – Tshidi Buthelezi.

In July 2019, Mdluli and Mthunzi were found guilty of kidnapping, common assault, assault with intention to cause grievous bodily harm as well as four counts of intimidation.

However, the intimidation convictions were dropped following a Constitutional Court ruling that sections of the Intimidation Act are unconstitutional.

During sentencing proceedings on Monday, Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng described the crimes that the pair have been convicted of as serious, well thought out and that the perpetrators knew exactly what they were doing.

“In my view, the offences which the accused committed were very serious. The offences the accused were convicted of had been planned and they were executed with meticulous precision. The accused had the time to recant but they chose not to which is their constitutional right and as a consequence of the lengthy trial some of the witnesses were fearing for their lives,” explains the judge.

“Consequently, it is also stated that the object of the police service is to prevent, combat and investigate crime. To maintain order, to protect and secure the inhabitants of the republic and their property and to uphold and enforce the law. That is the ambit of the authority of the accused before court. The accused abused, in an extremely shocking manner; they took state property, utilised the cars, the dockets, utilised manpower of the state. This was the taking of the law into their own hands.”

The judge says that both Mdluli and Mthunzi are seasoned police officers who took the law into their own hands and also abused state resources in doing so.

Richard Mdluli and Mthembeni Mthunzi’s sentencing postponed to Tuesday:

Meanwhile, Mdluli and his co-accused, who are in their 60s, had also appealed to the court not to impose a sentence direct imprisonment as they fear that they will be at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus, due to their underlying chronic medical conditions.

Sentencing proceedings of Richard Mdluli and Mthembeni Mthunzi:

Zondo yet to respond to Zuma’s letter
29 September 2020, 5:56 AM

The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture is yet to respond to former President Jacob Zuma’s letter.

In the letter, Zuma says he will not participate in the commission’s proceedings until the commission chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, recuses himself.

Zuma has sent the letter through his lawyer Eric Mabuza saying he feels Zondo is biased against him and wants to portray him as uncooperative.

Zuma has decided that neither he nor his legal representatives will go to the commission in Johannesburg.

Last week, Zondo ordered Zuma to testify from November 16 to 20.

State Capture Commission issues new date for Jacob Zuma to appear before the commission: 

Zondo said he would not negotiate with witnesses on the date they should give evidence.

The letter says Zondo must recuse himself and a different judge presides over the proceedings.

Zuma’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza says he won’t participate until Zondo is gone. It remains to be seen whether this will happen.

The letter to Zondo was sent on Monday afternoon and the commission’s chairperson is yet to respond.

Jacob Zuma Foundation’s letter to Deputy Chief Justice Zondo deemed as an attack on the judiciary: 

Deputy Justice Zondo said he would hear an application by the commission’s legal team for a summons to be brought for Zuma after the former president’s legal team said he could not appear before the commission last week due to his age. They argued that his doctors had advised him to limit his movements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zuma has in the past indicated that despite his misgivings about the legality of the commission and its terms of reference, he respected it and would co-operate.

Below is Zuma’s letter to the commission:


Letter to Judicial Commission of Inquiry 28 09 2020 (Text)

FEATURE | Wits student designs drone that can screen people for COVID-19
27 September 2020, 7:33 AM

The global war against COVID-19 is central to all developments, as a third of the world remains on lockdown in attempts to conquer it. A few industries stand to benefit by regarding this crisis as an opportunity. One of these is the technology space. In this series titled, COVID Tech, SABC News’ Tshepiso Moche reports on coronavirus-related tech developments in South Africa and globally. In this edition, he looks at a drone that has been developed to help government with COVID-19 screening.

As the country continues to suffer from the effects of COVID-19, some people have used the opportunities presented by the coronavirus pandemic to come up with new innovations.

Wits University aeronautical engineering student, Xolani Radebe and his friends have designed a drone that is able to help with COVID-19 screening.

The drone could be used to detect a person with a raised body temperature in a large crowd using its thermal camera.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen people come up with some innovative ways to address the impact of the virus.

Radebe, who has always had a passion for aviation, says he had no idea that one day he would design a drone.

He worked together with fellow students Tino Kurimwi, Bradley Mamanyoha, Varsty Mauku, Siphesihle Gamede and Neel Moraba on this project.

They are the owners of an aviation company called Rita Sibanyoni Aviation (RS Aviation).

The drone could help in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 as the country moved to lockdown level one from September 21.

Under level one lockdown, people are allowed to gather in groups of not more than 250 indoors and not more than 500 people outdoors.

This means that people are allowed to attend larger gatherings as long as the number does not exceed 50% of a venue’s capacity.

This drone could help monitor people’s temperature when groups of people are gathered and can also be used during search and rescue and fire-fighting.

Some of the challenges Radebe encountered

Radebe says one of his many challenges was getting funds for the project.

He says it is very hard to get funding because there are a lot of people who have the capabilities to design drones.

The 21-year-old from Soweto says he hopes the Gauteng Department of Health will show interest in the project.

According to Radebe, the thermal camera used to design the drone costs around R5000.

This is one of many expensive components to build the drone.

Use of these drones beyond COVID-19

As we enter into summer and with the country experiencing very high temperatures in most provinces, increasing chances of veld fires, these drones have also been designed to help during those incidents.

They can also help officials during search and rescue efforts.

According to the  National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), more than 600 children die by drowning each year, and many more are disabled by a non-fatal drowning incident in South Africa each year.

As the festive season fast approaches, it is expected that hundreds of thousands of people will flock to the beaches.

Radebe says their company had been mentored by Wits University’s Transnet Matlafato Centre to help expand its laboratory space.

The centre helps aspiring entrepreneurs and SMMEs explore and test their products before accessing the market.

Weather service warns of localised flooding in Cape Town
25 September 2020, 2:36 PM

The Cape Town Weather Office says a cold front will be moving across the Cape on Friday, bringing heavy rainfall.

Forecaster Kate Turner says they have issued a watch for localised flooding expected over the Cape Metropole and south-western parts of the Cape Winelands.

She says the cold weather will continue over the weekend.

“This front will move over the province during the course of the late afternoon and into tomorrow. So, cloudy conditions will remain over the next coming days, cool temperatures as well and even some isolated showers lingering into tomorrow, Sunday and into Monday as well,” says Turner.

Below is the full weather report:


Ramabulana murder case postponed to November
25 September 2020, 12:23 PM

The case against a 29-year-old man accused of killing a Capricorn TVET College student, has been postponed to November 27 at the Morebeng Magistrates’ Court in Botlokwa in Limpopo.

Aubrey Manaka is accused of raping and murdering Precious Ramabulana in December last year at her off-campus student residence in Botlokwa.

Manaka also faces an additional charge of raping a minor in 2014.

In the video below, Manaka pleads not guilty: 

Magistrate Lebo Nchabeleng says she is unhappy with delays in completing the investigations.

“Are you talking about the matter of Miss Ramabulana, that one is ready, but we are now being delayed by a 2014 matter. The minute that we postpone it to the Regional Court it means that the investigations are completed.”

“On the next appearance of this matter, I am having DPP’s instructions in addition to that investigations that are outstanding, should be sorted out. A matter cannot be on the roll in this court without a trial date for close to year, this is unacceptable,” explained the Nchabeleng.

Shortly after the murder in 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged to support the family of Ramabulana to start a foundation to address violence in the country.

Ramaphosa has called for an end to violence against women and children.

The government has promised to build a house for the family.

In the video below, President Ramaphosa visits the Ramabulana family:



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