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Australia
Australia’s Ellis enjoys “surreal moment” with debut hat-trick in T20 against Bangladesh
7 August 2021, 8:16 AM

Nathan Ellis admitted he was fortunate to be a member of Australia’s touring squad in Bangladesh after becoming the first male player to secure a Twenty20 hat-trick on his debut on Friday.

Ellis claimed three wickets with the final three balls of Bangladesh’s innings in Dhaka to set the Australians a target of 128 runs to win the third match in the five-game series.

But while the tourists fell short of their first victory in the series by 10 runs, the match still featured a world first for the 26-year-old.

“It was a surreal moment,” Ellis said of his feat, which had only previously been achieved in the women’s game by Nepal’s Anjali Chand.

“To come out of the other end of it with a hat-trick – it’s not something I planned to happen or thought about happening but pretty amazing and it’s something I will cherish forever. This whole tour has been a bit of a surreal experience for me.

“I’m under no illusions to the fact it’s taken a global pandemic and some boys spending a lot of time in quarantine and bubbles to need a break for me to get here.”

Australia have sent a weakened side on tour to the West Indies and Bangladesh, with the likes of David Warner and Steve Smith not travelling while captain Aaron Finch returned home due to injury from the Caribbean.

Ellis had struggled for much of his four-over spell, conceding 34 runs before making his mark on history to close out the Bangladesh innings.

Captain Mahmudullah saw his off-stump clattered by Ellis before Mustafizur Rahman was caught in the outfield by Mitchell Marsh.

The hat-trick was completed when Mahedi Hasan pulled his attempt into the hands of Ashton Agar at deep square leg.

“It’s my first time bowling on a sub-continental wicket so I’m learning on the run a little bit, just finding what works for me and then setting my fields accordingly and trying to get them to hit to the fielders,” said Ellis.

“So for me it was pretty simple, bowl to my field and hope it goes my way and thankfully it did.”

NW police officers whose bodies were discovered in burnt bakkie to be buried today
7 August 2021, 7:28 AM

Two North West police officers whose charred remains were found at the back of a burnt police bakkie in Ganyesa last week, will be buried during a joint funeral service in Lichtenburg this morning.

The two late officers are Sergeant Mojalefa Molete and Constable Simon Ntekeletsa. They disappeared while on a routine patrol in Mareetsane village, where they were based. High-ranking police and government officials are expected to attend the funeral service.

Five suspects linked to the killing have been arrested and briefly appeared at the Itsoseng Magistrate’s court on Thursday. The police officials went missing last week Monday.

Their remains were found near the farming area of Mosita section, which is over a two-hour drive from Logageng village, where the five suspects were apprehended by the Hawks in the early hours of last week Tuesday.

The suspects will apply for bail next week Thursday on charges of murder, malicious damage to property and unlawful possession of a stolen firearm.

VIDEO: Health Minister updates media on COVID-19 vaccination rollout programme
6 August 2021, 7:30 AM

The newly appointed Health Minister Dr. Joe Phaahla briefs the media on government’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19 and the national vaccination rollout programme.

Springboks
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi says Lions decider brings more pressure than World Cup final
1 August 2021, 10:07 AM

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi says next Saturday’s series decider against the British & Irish Lions in Cape Town is potentially more important than their Rugby World Cup final win over England two years ago.

The Springboks levelled the three-match series with a bruising, ill-tempered 27-9 second-test victory over the Lions on Saturday, an ugly contest which stretched over two hours with a large number of stoppages for contentious Television Match Official referrals.

A loss for the Boks would have meant a series defeat and that desperation from both sides, with the Lions hoping to complete the job, showed in a bitty display that at times threatened to boil over.

“It was the same pressure we felt at the World Cup, but now it is a bit more because this (a Lions series) only happens every 12 years,” Kolisi told reporters.

“It’s game on. We are going to go again. Nothing is different. We are just going to try and do what we did today even harder.

“Nothing will change for us. We’ve just got to do things better, and in the set-piece try and win more of our balls and get more dominance in the scrums. Work harder off the ball. And it’s all about who can control the kicking game.”

South Africa’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus had launched an offensive on the match officials following the 22-17 first test loss, and there were plenty of contentious decisions again, though this time they appeared to favour the Boks.

Not least was a potential red card for wing Cheslin Kolbe when he upended Lions scrumhalf Conor Murray in the air, but instead got away with a yellow.

Kolisi said the players had put the controversy around Erasmus’s statements to one side and focused only on what they could do on the field.

“As a team, we go back to what we know with the systems, the structures of the team, working on fixes. Every individual looks at what they need to do. That’s what we went to because you can’t control everything, but what we can apply on the field, that’s what we focused on.”

Kolisi had said he did not get the same “respect” as his Lions counterpart Alun Wyn Jones in the first test from Australian referee Nic Berry, but praised New Zealander Ben O’Keeffe for his performance on Saturday.

“Today (Saturday) was better. I went to Ben before, it was great working with him. He came to me afterwards and said ‘Thank you. (Assistant) Mathieu (Raynal) as well, the ref for next week.”

SASSA
Disgruntled SASSA applicants cry foul over disability grant rejection
1 August 2021, 9:26 AM

A group of ill workers from Kanana in the North West are crying foul about the process used by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to determine their fitness to work.

They say they have severe medical issues that prohibit them from working yet their application for a disability grant was rejected.

Many in Kanana are unable to work due to being chronically ill or disabled. They have hoped to access disability grants in order to survive but they had no luck.

51-year-old Gladys Seretsi has been diagnosed with arthritis and epilepsy. She says her chronic diseases could not be medically managed and cost her her job. She struggles to walk and rely on crutches, yet her application for a disability grant was rejected.

“I told my doctors that my application has been rejected by SASSA so they should refer me to social workers and the social workers referred me back to SASSA and I still got rejected.”

Shasha Mohoto finds himself in a similar position. He suffers from silicosis but his application for a grant was denied as according to SASSA his illness can be managed with treatment.

“I have been affected by silicosis and when the doctor diagnosed me they said I qualify for a disability grant because of my medical condition but I was rejected at SASSA. I went to a Public Protector who referred me to SASSA again for recommendations but I was not assisted.”

Meanwhile, SASSA says those who are dissatisfied about their applications being declined, can appeal.

SASSA provincial spokesperson Nthabiseng Mosieleng says people have a right to an internal reconsideration if unhappy with SASSA’s decision.

“It should also be noted that if people are not happy with the decision that has been taken by SASSA they have a right to an internal reconsideration mechanism where SASSA can reassess the decision that they have taken. If after SASSA has reassessed their decision and still stand by their decision the applicant has a right to appeal to the Minister of Social Development within 90 days.”

With COVID-19 restrictions in place, the social grants applicants says the process of applying for any social grant has become near impossible.

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