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Security needs to be beefed up at SABC’s Bloemfontein offices: MEC
17 January 2022, 2:39 PM

Free State Police, Roads and Transport MEC William Bulwane says there’s a need to beef up security at the SABC’s premises in Bloemfontein.

This comes after a 27-year-old man was shot and wounded in a stand-off with security guards. The suspect, who is currently under police guard in hospital, was found in possession of several suspicious items.

Bulwane says adequate measures will be put in place to address the apparent security breach.

“We have seen, we have investigated. There are a number of things that security were not in compliance with. The General (Free State Police Commissioner Baile Motswenyane) and the management of the SABC here in Bloemfontein will work on them, including our team.”

Case of attempted murder

Police say they are legally required to investigate a case of attempted murder against the security officer who shot and wounded the man.

Operations were briefly disrupted after the building was evacuated for bomb sweeping. Free State police spokesperson, Motantsi Makhele, says there’s nothing untoward with the investigation against the security guard.

“There must be a case open so that an investigation can prove that was in self defence or a crime has been committed. So, even in this incident, there was a requirement that we must adhere in accordance with what the prescribed case to be opened, thoroughly be investigated. But that doesn’t mean that anybody is in trouble until the whole investigation is concluded.”

The Hawks in the Free State say investigations are under way following the incident. Several suspicious parcels were reportedly seized from the suspect following the involvement of the Hawks and police’s bomb squad unit.

The suspect had also allegedly covered corridor walls with graffiti. Police are also investigating a separate case after a Facebook user allegedly incited the public to burn the Lesedi FM offices.

Head of African Futures & Innovation at the Institute for Security Studies, Jakkie Cilliers shares more:

Grassroots UK Conservatives turning against PM Johnson
14 January 2022, 9:13 PM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a revolt by grassroots Conservative supporters who want him to resign after a series of revelations about parties held at his official Downing Street residence during national coronavirus lockdowns.

From the West Midlands to Scotland, party members – who raise funds and rally voters at election time – are turning against a man many of them had admired for his exuberance, unstuffy if sometimes messy style and his championing of Brexit.

John Strafford, 80, chairman of the Campaign for Conservative Democracy, called Johnson the worst prime minister of his lifetime and said the allegations about him attending parties during the worst health crisis in a century showed him to be reckless and irresponsible.

“People are absolutely disgusted by it. It is a sign of the arrogance of the man. The reality is that Boris is a court jester who wants to be king,” he told Reuters.

“His greatest failure is that he has no judgment, and judgment is the most important quality for any politician.”

Johnson was once the darling of the party’s grassroots members who helped secure him a landslide victory in a 2019 election, allowing him to deliver on promises to finally steer Britain out of the European Union.

They also applauded last year’s rapid rollout of COVID-19 vaccines under his leadership.

‘But the relationship is rapidly souring under the impact of a steady stream of revelations about Downing Street’s apparent flouting of strict lockdown rules.

In the latest twist, one guaranteed to upset Conservative supporters, Johnson’s office on Friday had to apologise to Queen Elizabeth after it emerged that staff had partied in Downing Street on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral last year, at a time when mixing indoors was banned.

Johnson himself was not present at those parties. However, he apologised to parliament on Wednesday for joining a gathering in the Downing Street garden on May 20, 2020, when Britain was under a strict lockdown.

While grassroots Conservative members cannot oust a leader, their views influence lawmakers and they do vote on which of the final two candidates wins the party’s top job in a leadership election.

Morocco, Malawi win, Senegal fail to shine
14 January 2022, 8:34 PM

Morocco proved too strong for the Comoros Islands at the Africa Cup of Nations on Friday, winning 2-0 to stay top of Group C and ensure progress to the last 16 of the finals in Cameroon.

Selim Amallah scored after 16 minutes and Zakaria Aboukhlal struck at the final whistle to ensure the win after Youssef En-Nesyri had an 82nd-minute penalty saved.

The score would have been significantly more one-sided had Morocco taken all their chances as they overwhelmed the tournament debutants at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.

Morocco now have six points while Comoros have yet to open their account. Gabon, who have three points, and Ghana, on none, play their second group match at the stadium later on Friday.

Amallah opened the scoring by blasting home from close range after picking up a rebound following some frenetic defending to give Morocco a deserved lead.

Their captain Romain Saiss headed a corner against the crossbar in the 37th minute and there were two more good chances for Ayoub El Kaabi after the break.

Morocco picked up the pace in the second half and at times laid siege to the goal but found Comoros goalkeeper Salim Ben Boina hard to beat, while also missing some glaring chances.

El Kaabi was again guilty of wasting opportunities while the Comoros defenders tackled desperately to keep their star-studded opponents at bay.

En-Nesyri, whose participation at the tournament had been in doubt because of injury with his Spanish club Sevilla, came on in the second half for his first run out in a boost for Morocco but had his spot-kick saved.

But former Dutch youth international Aboukhlal finally doubled the lead for Morocco as he tucked away a goal in the last minute. He was initially flagged offside but the decision overturned after consultation with VAR.

Malawi stun Zimbabwe

Malawi’s Frank Mhango scored twice as they stunned southern African rivals Zimbabwe with a 2-1 victory in Group B at the Africa Cup of Nations to keep their second round hopes alive at the Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam on Friday.

Ishmael Wadi put Zimbabwe ahead in the first half, but Mhango levelled just before the break and then added the second after 58 minutes as he took advantage of some hesitant defending and supplied a poacher’s finish.
Malawi have three points from two games and lie third in the group behind Senegal and Guinea, who each have four. Zimbabwe have lost both of their matches to date.

Malawi, whose only other win at the Cup of Nations was a 3-0 success over Algeria in 2010, play Senegal in their final Group B game at the same venue on Tuesday, while Zimbabwe will meet Guinea in Yaounde.

Senegal fail to sparkle against Guinea

Pre-tournament favourites Senegal failed to impress again as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Guinea at the Africa Cup of Nations on Friday, with the result all but ensuring both teams’ progress to the knockout stages.

Senegal, heavily impacted by COVID-19 infections, share top spot in Group B on four points with West African rivals Guinea after both teams won their respective opening games on Monday.

With the top two in each group, plus the four best third-placed finishers to advance, four points is expected to be enough for a place in the last 16.

Senegal, however, have done little to live up to their tag as the team to beat at the tournament as they feel the impact of 10 absentees.
Senegal captain Sadio Mane had a chance from a close-range free-kick early in the game at the Kouekong Stadium, but struck the wall with his effort.

He was largely overshadowed in the opening half by his Liverpool teammate Naby Keita, who drove his Guinea team forward on frequent occasions with probing runs at the opposing defence.

It was Keita’s clever through ball that split the Senegal defence and set two Guinea strikers free on goal. Yet Ilaix Moriba had his initial effort saved by Seny Dieng and then Morgan Guilavogui botched the rebound.

Senegal were a much-improved outfit after the break and Bouna Sarr’s searching 52nd-minute free-kick was close to delivering the first goal, needing just a touch to guide it in.

Four minutes later centre back Abdou Diallo powered a header just over the crossbar from a free kick and in the 67th minute Mane’s run straight down the middle from the centre circle set up Sarr with a golden chance but he snatched the ball wide.

Senegal’s 10 missing players, all out because of COVID-19 infections, included captain Kalidou Koulibaly and first choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, who also missed their opening game on Monday, as well as Idrissa Gana Gueye and Fode Ballo Toure, who tested positive following the narrow 1-0 win over Zimbabwe in their opening match.
“It’s been very difficult for us with all of these missing players,” Senegal coach Aliou Cisse said.

Guinea had four players missing, who were in quarantine after testing positive.

SA reports 5 244 new COVID-19 infections
14 January 2022, 7:25 PM

South Africa has reported 5 244 new COVID-19 cases, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed infections to 3 552 043. This increase represents a 13% positivity rate.

Due to the ongoing audit exercise by the National Department of Health (NDoH), there may be a backlog of COVID-19 mortality cases reported. Today, the NDoH reports 128 deaths and of these, 59 occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 93 117 to date.

Latest SA stats:

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Gauteng out of fourth wave 

Earlier, Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla announced that Gauteng has officially exited the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Phaahla warned that despite a noted decrease in COVID-19 related deaths, the Omicron variant is highly transmissible.

He was speaking during a virtual media briefing on government’s efforts to fight the pandemic.

“Gauteng province has officially exited the fourth wave this week and all other provinces have reached their peaks, the other 8 provinces, and are now on a decline. Of note is the fact that the decline in new infections is not a steep decline as was the incline. So this virus rises steeply but it goes down slowly. But at least it is going down and that is encouraging.”

 

Whistle-blower
Whistleblowers call for more protection as recommended in State Capture report
14 January 2022, 7:16 PM

The Whistleblowers for Change body says they hope the Zondo Commission’s report will not just be another document that will gather dust.

The body, which comprises of people who testified at the State Capture Commission, say they would like to see the state implementing the recommendations made by Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo regarding whistleblower protection. They also believe the life of former senior Gauteng Health official, Babita Doekaran would have been spared if the state was serious about witness protection.

Advocate John Clarke on protection of whistleblowers:

Whistleblowers are calling for fundamental reforms to the Protected Disclosures Act. This includes adequate protection and a whistleblowing body to be formed. Martha Ngoye testified on Prasa at the Zondo Commission.

“The pace is very slow. During his evidence at the State Capture Commission, the State President did allude to the protection of whistleblowers. Since then, what has been done to protect whistleblowers? Babita Doekaran had to lose her life. We know of witnesses, who could not even be named. We have requested that it should not be just a talk shop but something must be done.”

Whistleblowers also want South African legislation to be in line with that of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. The UN’s policy provides for the physical protection of such persons.

Thandeka Gqubule-Mbeki testified on the Stratcom allegations at the Zondo Commission.

“The present system offers no inducement to the whistleblower to break cover. We agree that the bonafide whistleblower is activated by duty. We agree with the recommendations of the establishment of the anti-corruption agency. We further believe that such an agency should be independent and impartial.”

Among whistleblowers who responded to the release of Part One of the Commission’s report were former Bosasa Chief Operations Officer Angelo Agrizzi and the UDM’s Bantu Holomisa, who blew the whistle on the PIC. Holomisa urged whistleblowers to continue with their good work but not to align themselves with the state.

“What you are doing reminds me of a civil society, which played a major role in bringing apartheid down to its knees. I’m not implying that you must campaign against the government. But, I think you will make a big mistake if you were to allow yourself to be part of a government institution. Remain independent and be vigilant.”

 

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