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Commuters in Pretoria remain stranded as taxi drivers strike
29 May 2018, 9:22 PM

Commuters in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria, remain stranded following a protest by taxi operators, belonging to the same association.

Police earlier used rubber bullets to disperse protesters blockading the main road leading into the Kalafong Hospital. They are unhappy about unlicensed operators allegedly calling the shots.

Early Tuesday morning there was chaos as taxi operators barred motorists from entering or leaving the area. They claim their association chair allows outsiders to control operational routes.

Fearing for their safety, they wouldn’t appear on camera. Efforts to speak to the association chair were unsuccessful.  Earlier, police use rubber bullets to disperse the protesting group.

It is again commuters bearing the brunt of the protest action.

“There are no taxis operating. It’s only local ones and I don’t even know why they are fighting,” says a resident.

Another resident says, “I was supposed to be in Johannesburg today to do my stock and everything so I’m disappointed because those people are already closed now.”

The road has since been opened for traffic. Police are still keeping a watchful eye.


PE ready for Ironman
29 May 2018, 9:10 PM

Athletes, spectators and locals can be assured of a safe 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Port Elizabeth in September.

In addition to routine security, 100 unemployed locals will guard the streets on sponsored bikes. All racked up and ready to patrol candidates were put through a series of tests to ensure they are suitable for the job.

They have to be between the ages of 18 and 35, be relatively fit and be able to ride a bike and come from wards that border the Ironman route.

Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) Mayor Athol Trollip says, “I think it’s an extraordinary programme. Safety and security is one of the main pillars we want to be a safe city. We have now incorporated these young people to come on board and to become part of our safety network. We have identified tourism and sports tourism as one of our greatest initiatives to create jobs for young people and unemployment is the greatest problem in Nelson Mandela bay so 100 extra people earning extra money taking that money home. I think that’s greatly significant.”

A number of athletes have been attacked in recent years.

Managing Director Ironman SA Keith Bowler says, “I think this type of programme is not just going to help the Ironman athletes that are coming to the event, but it’s going to help every single tourist and also athletes that come into our city to utilize our beautiful resources in our city.”

The cycle safety officers will be easily identifiable in sponsored outfits.

One resident says, “It’s a great job because we will be on the lookout for the community and the tourists coming to SA for the Ironman.”

“It means a lot to me because as a city ambassador it shows that I am capable of cleansing my city as well,” says another resident.

This safety in numbers programme will run until December.



Samwu to meet Ramaphosa over N West municipalities
29 May 2018, 8:41 PM

President of South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) Pule Molalenyane will meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa to ensure that the signed proclamation for the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is extended to all 22 municipalities in the North West.

The union’s national delegation says it will also meet Co-operative Governance Dr. Zweli Mkhize, who is set to visit the province this week after all municipalities failed to receive a clean audit.

The proclamation that President Ramaphosa signed last week, only focuses on big municipalities countrywide that have contributed to the over R28 billion  irregular expenditure.

Four North West municipalities were among the top 10 identified to be culprits.

Samwu’s president Pule Molalenyane says, “Because of political interference we want people to be held accountable in the North West and be arrested. We have a case where one municipal manager was fired in Limpopo but hired in false disguise in North West. North West is the capital of corruption. So we are going to encourage the president to appoint Special Investigative Unit there, to do a thorough job in all those municipalities.”

Still no Premier for North West 

Names are in the hat, but the ANC has still not been able to choose a new Premier for the North West Province.

The party reported back today following a meeting of its National Executive Committee at the weekend.

The former Premier, Supra Mahumapelo, resigned last week following weeks of protests in the North West, with demonstrators calling for him to step down. ANC spokesperson, Pule Mabe explains…

Parliament condemns killing of two Stella Hoerskool girls
29 May 2018, 8:28 PM

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education Nomalungelo Gina has condemned the killing of two girls at Stella Hoerskool near Vryburg in the North West over the weekend.

Gina says more worrisome is that the alleged perpetrator was previously in a relationship with one of the girls. One of the girls was found hanging from a staircase by the matron at the school, while the body of the second girl was later discovered with a rope around her neck in the bathroom.

They were 16 and 17 years old.

A 19 year old man was arrested and appeared before the Vryburg Magistrate Court.

North West Education MEC Sello Lehari was expected to visit the school on Tuesday.

Chairperson of the SGB Richard Hobson says, “The community and the school are in shock. It’s a very traumatic situation that we find ourselves in. Monday the school did a lot of counselling with the children and with the teachers. There were different workstations that the children were divided into to do basic trauma counselling and to try and get the children, which are our priority as the parent body of Stella High School, is to try and get the children to overcome the situation as quick as possible. There is intensive counselling being done with the teachers also. As we speak now, school has resumed back to normal and everything is going as is.”

The suspect has been remanded in custody until August the 6th, when the matter resumes.

The killings have been widely condemned.

Parly passes resolution to suspend Magistrate Gqiba
29 May 2018, 4:32 PM

The National Assembly has passed a resolution to allow the suspension of the Chief Magistrate of the East London Magistrate’s Court, VT Gqiba, for misconduct.

This comes after the Magistrate’s commission requested Justice Minister Michael Masutha to affect Gqiba’s suspension following allegations of fraudulent claims made in 2015.

The Justice Committee says various allegations brought against Magistrate Gqiba through the commission include, unauthorised and fraudulent travel and subsistence claims, the payment for air-tickets and car rental into her personal account while the department had already paid for the tickets.

Deputy Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli presided over the debate. “Are there any objections to the adoption of the recommendation of the committee, namely that the suspension from office of Magistrate Gqiba be confirmed? No objections. Agreed to.”

The National Assembly resolution now paves way for the formal suspension of Magistrate Gqiba and ultimately her removal from office.

Meanwhile, Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) Chief Whip Narend Singh who supported the suspension of Gqiba says the state and Parliament should act with the same vigour against officials who commit fraud.

“The IFP shares the commission’s view that a judicial officer must act with integrity at all times because it is a judicial officer that metes out justice. Although the financial loss is not great, It is R10 000 or R12 000. I think that is not the point, the fact is that the person transgressed as a person of authority. We will support the removal of the magistrate but one appeal is that we act with the same resolute with government officials who are defrauding us millions greater than the R12 000.”



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