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Matric class of 2020 to commence final examinations despite turbulent year
13 August 2020, 8:04 AM

Despite a turbulent academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic and the national lockdown the matric class of 2020 will now commence writing their final examinations on November 5 and end on December the 15 this year. Exams quality assurance body, UMALUSI says despite the disruption to schooling, matrics will be tested on the whole curriculum.

CEO, Dr Mafu Rakometsi says they cannot lower the quality of examinations.

“What is important to note is that standards cannot be compromised despite the challenges that we’re facing. The curriculum will not be trimmed down, but we’ve got mechanisms that have always been there to ensure that no learner is advantaged or disadvantaged by the year in which they were born and that is the standardisation process that happens after the examinations.”

The 2020 academic year has no doubt been the most difficult to date for pupils across South Africa. The matric class has been really affected.

Matric class has mixed feelings about exams:

Psychologists are advising that pupils’ mental health must be prioritised.

Matric is the culmination of 12 years of schooling. It marks the end of an era and the beginning of the next chapter in a young person’s life.

But with all the joy it brings, it is undoubtedly the most stressful year for pupils.

There are pressures, anxiety and endless learning. The matriculants of past decades may have thought it was tough, but nothing can compare to what the class of 2020 is going through.

They have lost crucial tuition time and face an uncertain road ahead. While some have been fortunate with resources to make up for a lost time, for others it has been a major setback.

Last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced another closure of public schools for four weeks following mounting pressure from teachers’ unions and the public amid rising COVID-19 infections. Grade 12 learners received a one-week break.

The class of 2020 has resumed classes after the one week break.





Fear grips Mthwalume community after the discovery of the body of another woman
12 August 2020, 12:46 PM

Fear has gripped the community of Mthwalume on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast following yet another discovery of a body of a woman in a bush.

The badly decomposed body was discovered by a woman who was collecting firewood.

It is the fifth body of a woman to be discovered in the last nine months of which four of them were discovered during lockdown in that area.

Community Policing Forum chairperson Lucky Bhuyeni says the latest body to be discovered is that of Zama Chiliza who was reported missing two weeks ago.

“I was going past when young women who were collecting firewood stopped me and told me there was an awful smell coming out of the woods and they were scared to go close and asked me to have a look as the member of the CPF. I got out of the car and went to look. I discovered a body that was thrown in the woods and whoever it was covered the body with leaves.”

Meanwhile, police spokesperson Thembeka Mbhele says,  “At the moment an inquest docket has been opened for further investigations since the body was decomposed. And this can be confirmed that this is the fourth body that has been found in that area and we cannot rule out the serial killer. Police are still doing an investigation as it cannot be confirmed also that this is a serial killer that is operating in the area, that is subject to investigation.”

Three weeks ago, the SABC reported that there are suspicions that a serial killer could be on the loose in the area after the decomposed bodies of 4 women were found in a sugar cane field between late last year and July this year. The victims, aged between 16 and 30, were naked with multiple stab wounds.

Below is the story that was done in July:

Hotels, lodge owners lambaste insurance companies for turning down claims
12 August 2020, 10:53 AM

Hotel and lodge owners have lambasted insurance companies for routinely turning down claims for loss of business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many in the Tourism and Hospitality sector say claims for relief that they consider to be legitimate, are being declined. They say this is despite them meeting the relevant criteria for such pay-outs.

According to Tourism Recovery South Africa – more than one million jobs in the sector are in jeopardy and more than 600 000 are currently facing retrenchment.

William van der Riet who owns the Cathedral Peak Hotel, in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensburg mountain says without his insurance payout, many jobs will be lost.

“Insurance companies are refusing to pay even though we qualify in every aspect of the claim. We should be getting relief from the insurance company. They have not come to the party, our business is now closed for over 3 months and there is no sign of it re-opening. Businesses have overheads, it’s not a bottomless pit, and money has run out. We have 200 staff relying on us; UIF has not come through for June. Our staff is stressed, we are stressing, and it’s a very tough situation.”

Many hotels, lodges and B&B’s in the country are on the brink of closure. The extended lockdown, now into its fifth month, has been hard on the travel and Tourism sector.

The restrictions on interprovincial travel have dented recovery plans. This has been exacerbated by the continued closure of the country’s borders as a result of the deadly coronavirus that’s already claimed more than 10 000 lives in South Africa. It’s meant no revenue for the sector from international travellers.

Earlier, Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced that leisure travel is allowed within provinces.

Below is a graphic on some of the eased rules:

Professor Pepeta to be laid to rest on Wednesday morning
12 August 2020, 8:15 AM

Professor Lungile Pepeta will be buried on Wednesday near Bizana in the Eastern Cape. President Cyril Ramaphosa has accorded the renowned paediatric cardiologist a special provincial funeral. Pepeta died from COVID-19 related complications at a Port Elizabeth Hospital on Friday at the age of 46.

At the time of his death, he was serving as Nelson Mandela University’s Health Sciences Executive Dean.

At Pepeta’s memorial service in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, member of the Council for Medical Schemes Doctor Moerane Maimane praised him for his work ethic.

“Prof Pepeta epitomised what government is always talking about: empowering young people and giving them opportunities. If young people could take opportunities they have, as he did, the world would be a much better place.”

Dr Aquina Thulare spoke on behalf of the national Department of Health, saying Pepeta was an inspiration to the youth, as he rose above circumstances in the rural area of Bizana in the Eastern Cape.

“When Dr Pepeta passed on he had managed to lead the health sector in the most incredible way. Born in the rural EC in Bizana he was able to overcome the issues that Apartheid posed to people who were from rural communities, and he managed to reach the highest peaks in the profession that he had chosen: medicine. And we know that where he came from, the Transkei, it is one of the most deprived areas in our country,” said Thulare.

Professor Pepeta was praised for his contribution to the health sector in many ways, especially his compassion and concern for the children of the Eastern Cape.

He will also be remembered for setting up a medical school at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.

Condolences for Professor Lungile Pepeta:

State Capture Inquiry to hear evidence on alleged corruption at Prasa
12 August 2020, 7:06 AM

The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Johannesburg will on Wednesday hear evidence from Attorney Madimpe Mogashoa on alleged corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.

On Tuesday, former Finance Minister Des van Rooyen confirmed that he had appointed one of his special advisors Mohamed Bobat without verifying his qualifications.

Bobat is one of the advisors Van Rooyen came with after his appointment as Finance Minister in 2015.

During his testimony last year, former Treasurer Director-General Lungile Fuzile told the commission that he was informed by senior ANC member Enoch Godongwana that he would get a Gupta minister who would arrive with Indian advisors.

Van Rooyen told evidence leader Advocate Garth Hulley that he had no reason to doubt Bobat’s qualifications.
“Yes, I’ve never seen his CV but I know his profile. I’m referring to knowing his qualifications because he communicated those to me and through my engagement with him, I was able to verify that he was a qualified person. I had no reason not to believe him when he told me of his qualifications,” Van Rooyen responded when questioned about Bobat.

Former Finance Minister Des Van Rooyen testifies:



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