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KZN police hunt for suspects after killing of ANC leader
7 May 2018, 7:16 PM

The hunt is on for two suspects who shot and killed an African National Congress (ANC) leader near Margate.

42 year old Sifiso Cele was the party’s treasurer at oShabeni Ward 4 on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast in the Lower South Coast region.

The family was robbed of huge amount of cash and cellphones.

Police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala says Cele and his family were busy with morning chores, when two gunmen stormed the home – forcing the whole family into a bathroom.

“On Monday morning at 6:40, the guy was with his family when one unknown suspects fired a firearm through an unlocked door. At gun point, they demanded cash and cell phones, and they took everyone to the bathroom.”

“And they took the victim to the main bedroom where four gunshots were shot and the suspect fled the scene to an unknown direction and the victim was found with gunshot wounds on the head, and he died on the scene and the charges of house robber as well as murder at the police station,” says Gwala.

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Barca president admits to meeting Griezmann representatives
7 May 2018, 5:02 PM

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has admitted he met with representatives of Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann in October.

Griezmann has indicated he wants his future decided before this summer’s World Cup after Barca were forced to deny in January they had already agreed a deal to sign the Frenchman.

“We had conversations with his representative, as we have with other representatives,” Bartomeu told Catalan radio Rac1 on Monday.

“This was last October, a meeting, nothing more. It should not give rise to speculation.”

Griezmann has scored 30 goals in 51 games this season and can end the campaign by winning the Europa League, with Atletico up against Marseille in the final later this month.

Any deal with Barcelona would place in further doubt the future of Ousmane Dembele, who has endured a difficult first season at the Camp Nou.

Dembele joined Barca from Borussia Dortmund for 147 million euros last year and Bartomeu insists the 20-year-old will not be leaving this summer.

“It’s not on the table,” Bartomeu said. “Dembele is one for the future and we expect a lot from him in the next few seasons.”

Durban South Basin a hotspot for high air pollution
7 May 2018, 4:02 PM

KwaZulu-Natal’s 2018 Environmental Outlook Report has named the Durban South Basin as one of the hotspots for high air pollution levels.

The report by the provincial Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs also highlights other pressing challenges like climate change, mining and illegal dumping.

The heavily industrialised Durban South Basin is home to the largest concentration of petrochemical industries in the country.

Local government’s answer lies with their “Air Quality Management Plan”. But the plan has not even got off the ground yet.

KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs official, Zama Mathenjwa says, “We had planned to start developing it from last year, but unfortunately a few administrative challenges occurred.”

“But we’ve scheduled to start the process in June this year. It will run for about a year and a half to two years. We hope that before the end of 2020 we would have had a comprehensive air quality management plan,” adds Mathenjwa.

55-year-old Vanitha Perumal, who lives in Merebank, says she and her family have never smoked but they have constantly battle rashes, itchy noses and throats and a strong sulphur smell.

Perumal says four generations of her family have battled poor health.

“You’ll find your eyes is burning and itching. Your nose, you’ll get that tickling feeling in your nose. You feel itchiness in your throat and sometimes if it’s very high, depends what is in the air your skin will start for no reason. You’ll think you’ve got a rash but there’s no rash but your skin is just itching.”

“Honestly I feel this very deep in my heart have a good neighbourly relationship. When they’re having a problem on the plant don’t lie and deny it. Tell us the truth we’re not stupid people, we might be living in this house but we’re educated. But we are living here we know when the siren is going on the plant there’s something wrong,” says Perumal.

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Dlamini failed to disclose her involvement in social grants crisis
7 May 2018, 2:08 PM

Judge Bernard Ngoepe has found that former Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini impeded her own cause by failing to disclose to the Constitutional Court the extent of her involvement in the social grants crisis.

There were complaints that the Minister’s self-appointed work streams operated as a parallel structure, frustrating the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa)’s effort to take over the payment of grants from Cash Paymaster Services.

Judge Ngoepe headed up an inquiry to help the Constitutional Court determine whether the minister should pay the hefty legal bill from her own pocket.

In 2015, Sassa promised to take over grant payments by April 2017, after the Constitutional Court invalidated its contract with Cash Paymaster Services.

At the eleventh hour the Black Sash Trust raised alarm bells over Sassa’s inability to take over the payment of grants.

After narrowly averting the crisis, the Constitutional Court asked the minister to explain why she should not be called to answer for the crisis and pay the costs from her own pocket.

She passed the buck to her subordinates, sparking an inquiry.

Judge Ngoepe found that the minister was a less than satisfactory witness, who was evasive and even refused to answer pertinent questions.

He found that fear motivated the minister’s material non-disclosure to the Constitutional Court.

The court has given the parties one week to respond to Ngoepe’s report.

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Manchester United thank outpouring support for stricken Ferguson
7 May 2018, 12:03 PM

Manchester United thanked well wishers from around the football world for showing their support for legendary former manager Alex Ferguson following emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage.

Considered the most successful manager in the history of British football, Ferguson, 76, won 38 major trophies in just over 26 years in charge of United, including 13 Premier League titles and the Champions League twice before retiring in 2013.

United have offered no update no Ferguson’s condition since saying a procedure on the haemorrhage on Saturday had gone “very well” but that a period of intensive care is needed to optimise his recovery.

However, United thanked the many well wishers, including from the likes of rival managers Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, who spoke of their admiration for Ferguson.

“Manchester United would like to thank its friends in the wider football world for the countless messages of support that have been conveyed following the news that Sir Alex Ferguson underwent emergency surgery on Saturday evening,” United said in a statement on Sunday.

“As well as being uppermost in the thoughts of our own players, past and present, Sir Alex has been the subject of many warm and touching comments from other clubs, governing bodies and individuals in the beautiful game.”

Wenger and Ferguson battled for supremacy in the Premier League during the Frenchman’s first decade of a 22-year stay at Arsenal, which will come to a close at the end of the season.

However, they later became friends and Ferguson presented Wenger with a momento on his final visit to United’s Old Trafford ground as Arsenal manager just last weekend.

“I was with him on the pitch last week. I went to see him in the box after the game and he looked in a perfect shape,” said Wenger, after his final home game as Arsenal boss at the Emirates.

“He told me he is doing a lot of exercise, and he looked very happy but that kind of accident can happen. We wish him all well and to recover very quickly. He is a strong man and an optimistic man.”

Sunday saw runaway winners Manchester City, United’s local rivals, receive the Premier League trophy as Guardiola added an English title to the Spanish and German ones he won in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively.

“All the Manchester City fans in the stadium, you cannot find one person who does not wish the best for an amazing person,” said Guardiola.

As City fans spilled onto the pitch at the Etihad in celebration on Sunday, a banner reading: “Football aside get well Fergie” was held aloft.

– ‘The boss’ –

Ferguson famously described his mission upon joining United from Aberdeen in 1986 as knocking Liverpool “off their perch”.

He duly did so as United overtook Liverpool as the most successful side in English domestic football.

And Liverpool manager Klopp described Ferguson as “absolutely the boss”.

“When I heard the news yesterday I really couldn’t believe this could happen. He is absolutely the boss. I wish him the best,” said Klopp after Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat at Chelsea on Sunday.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte added, “I have had the chance to know him and his wife. I understand that this is a special person. Not a normal person.”

An ambulance was called to Ferguson’s home in Cheadle, near Manchester, at 9:00 am (0800 GMT) on Saturday.

Concerns for the Scot’s health then started to mount when it was announced his son, Darren, the manager of English third-tier club Doncaster, would miss his side’s match against Wigan because of “family reasons”.

A brain haemorrhage is bleeding in or around the brain following the rupture of a blood vessel, which can be caused by elevated blood pressure, aneurysms or physical trauma.

Operations to relieve the pressure of excess blood in the brain, as has been the case with Ferguson, are crucial if sufferers are to avoid brain damage or even death.

Bryan Robson, a former United and England captain who played under Ferguson at Old Trafford, said he was hopeful the haemorrhage had been diagnosed early enough to avoid life-threatening damage.

“Hopefully they’ve found the bleed in the brain early enough and it doesn’t affect the boss in any way,” said Robson.

“Everybody respects him highly for what he did in the game. Everyone thinks it was all this ‘hairdryer’, but the boss enjoys a good time, really enjoys his racing and is good company when you’re around him.”

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