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Northwood Boys High learners raise funds to help rebuild KwaMashu’s underprivileged schools
11 July 2020, 3:37 PM

Learners at the Northwood Boys School in Durban North have raised funds to help rebuild underprivileged schools in KwaMashu. Many rural schools across the province have been battling with the effects of the coronavirus lockdown.

Mount Royal Primary School on the outskirts of KwaMashu is one of the schools that is currently receiving assistance from the Northwood School.

The learners give their time every Saturday to donate food parcels, Personal Protective Equipment and refurbishing the school.

Northwood School Head Prefect Vernon Mathongo explains how this initiative came about.

“Mr Viljoen was delivering some hand sanitizers when he realised that there are some kids waiting around and they thought that it was a food parcels vehicle and we realised how privileged we are. We then managed to raise some money and food parcels and that’s the day we started to come to the school and took the initiative to help. This is one of the schools that are a no-fee school and we have values and one of those is to believe that nothing is beneath you and you are never too big to do the small things. Giving back is one of those things and here we’re giving back with time, painting and making the classrooms a better environment for the learners.”

Principal at the Mount Royal Primary School, Nkosinathi Zondo, says they are grateful for the assistance as the school’s learners come from child-headed homes, orphaned homes and underprivileged families.

“This initiative brings a lot of home and happiness. The school caters for learners from Mount Moriah, Mount Royal, Avoca, KwaMashu and Ntuzuma. The learners come from RDP houses and most of their families are headed by children. 60% of the learners are orphaned. This project is really bringing hope and happiness. We are very grateful and we appreciate all that Paul and his group have brought to this school.”

SA records 12 348 new cases of COVID-19
10 July 2020, 9:48 PM

South Africa has recorded 12 348 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24-hour cycle, bringing the country’s total confirmed cases to 250 687. Gauteng remains the province with the most cases, accounting for 34.7% of the nation’s total with 87 033 infections.

The country has recorded 140 new COVID-19 related deaths; 11 from KwaZulu-Natal, 24 from Eastern Cape, 39 from Gauteng and 66 from Western Cape.

This brings the nation’s total COVID-19 related deaths to 3 860.

Western Cape has recorded the most deaths provincially, accounting for 2 295 of the total deaths.

In a statement, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize conveyed his condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thanked the healthcare workers who treated the deceased.

Mkhize says a total of 2 057 232 have been conducted, with 56 663 new tests conducted in the last 24-hour cycle.

1 128 553 (55%) tests have been conducted by the private sector, while 928 679 (45%) others done  by the private sector.

South Africa has recorded 118 232 recoveries so far, translating to a 47.2% recovery rate.

Below is the country’s latest COVID-19 stats:

Below is Minister Mkhize’s full statement:

Limpopo Education MEC ‘disgusted’ by Ben Viljoen High racism claims
10 July 2020, 9:02 PM

Limpopo’s Education MEC Polly Boshielo has expressed disgust after an alleged racist incident at the Ben Viljoen High School in Groblersdal. This after racist graffiti was written on the walls in the boys’ toilets, apparently by white learners.

The racist graffiti, “Of course Black Lives Matter; a dead slave is useless”, has apparently led to the Black grade 12 learners refusing to go to class.

Boshielo Spokesperson, Tidimalo Chuene, says the incident is being investigated.

“The incident if viewed in a serious light and condemned in the strongest possible terms. Racism is an unwelcome behavior that should never be allowed to rear its ugly head in our schools and that’s our undeterred attention to get into the bottom of this. We cannot afford to look away when such prejudice occurs at our schools. We call for calm from our stakeholders as we work towards resolving this matter speedily and creating an environment for our children to learn.”

In the video below, Eastern Cape school rocked by racism claims: 

The incident is one of many racism claims that have been levelled against former Model C schools in South Africa.

Racism and parenting

In a 24 June opinion piece by The Conversation, Cynthia Okpokiri, Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Social Policy at Anglia Ruskin University said Black parents who try to protect their children from potential racial harm often appear controlling; especially to non-Black people and authorities.

She said this includes social workers, teachers and other professionals who work with children and families.

In her 2017 research, she found that Black parents worried that they were frequently misunderstood. On one hand, they feared that their children sometimes misinterpret or do not always appreciate their concerns.

“Black parents have to protect their children from the most destructive forms of racism by educating them through what is known as the talk.

During the talk, Black parents advise their children about how to conduct themselves with authority figures in order to survive. The process of explaining the harsh realities of inequality to children takes many forms. Parents choose the most appropriate age and style for sharing this difficult information,” she said.

KZN musicians call on police to intensify fight against GBV
10 July 2020, 7:40 PM

A group of musicians has called on law enforcement authorities to work tirelessly in pursuit of perpetrators of gender-based violence. The call was made in Umsinga, northern KwaZulu-Natal, where food parcels were distributed among to the needy in the area.

uMsinga was notorious for violence during the apartheid era. The community is also one of the poorest in KwaZulu-Natal.

Most women survive by selling whatever that they can produce and they’re often subjected to violence.

In the video below, churches take a stand against gender-based violence: 

This has prompted local musicians to take a stand.

“The gender-based violence is existing deeply in rural areas and no one is taking a stand to fight gender-based violence. We are here to encourage men that they are not supposed to kill women and children,” says resident Sakhile Khumalo.

Needy residents received food parcels.

Maskandi artist Thokozani Langa says they see that the area is rife with poverty.

“We can see that poverty is rife in this area. We are saying let us stand up and support each other where we can. As you eat at night, you must understand that there is someone who is not eating.”

Resident Zanele Ndlovu made the call for an end to GBV.

“We are pleading with men to do their part in fighting against this scourge. Sometimes I am even scared to walk out of my house at night; this is not supposed to be happening.”

With a sharp increase of cases of violence since the start of the lockdown, police have called on communities to work closely with them.

In the video below, victims of gender-based violence say they fear victimisation: 

COVID-19 claims lives of 36 police officers, over 5 000 others infected
10 July 2020, 7:00 PM

Police Minister Bheki Cele says 36 police officers have lost their lives to COVID-19 and more than 5 000 have tested positive since the lockdown started. Cele was speaking to members of the police at a roadblock on the N1 North on Friday.

He thanked the members for their continued diligent work and urged them to stay safe.

Cele says more than 200 000 people have been arrested for transgressing COVID-19 regulations. He added that several high profile criminals have also been arrested.

Cele says as Gauteng has become the new epicentre of the pandemic, members should be vigilant as they are the first line of defense.

“When you deal with the population out there, remember to be professional and speak to them; work with them in a softer way. But that does not mean when you see the criminal, you laugh. When the criminal shoots you, there is no photo that comes out of that so you have not business to smile with the criminals. And the criminals are taking the chance because we are busy with COVID-19.”

In the video below, Cele addresses police officers: 

The Minister says they have noticed that crime is increasing in the three provinces where the COVID-19 pandemic is the worst.

He, however, says fighting gender-based violence during the pandemic should remain a priority. He encouraged police to continue improving their response to crimes committed against women, children and other vulnerable groups.

Cele says victims who come to the police must be treated with empathy.

“I want to emphasise the call as the president calls it the second pandemic. It is important that people who go to police stations, especially victims of gender-based violence, must be treated with respect. Don’t send them to go and negotiate; it’s not our job. Our job is to arrest those people that perpetrate violence against women and children.”

Cele assured families of policemen and women who died of COVID-19 that the police will support them. He also reminded the men and woman in blue that the police have several support systems available if they should test positive for COVID-19.

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