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Papua New Guinea’s leap of faith lands World Cup debut
15 October 2021, 7:40 AM

Faith has played an important role in the development of cricket in Papua New Guinea and on Sunday it will be repaid when the ‘Barramundis’ make their Twenty20 World Cup debut against Oman in Al Amerat.

The majority of the team taking the field hail from a single village located on the southern Papuan coast near the capital, Port Moresby.

Hanuabada, which means “big village”, has been considered cricket’s spiritual home in the former British protectorate since it was first played there in the early 1900s.

“The game was introduced to the villagers by the missionaries. The people fell in love with the sport and embraced it because of the Christian influence,” international umpire Lakani Oala told Reuters.

“Cricket would bring neighbouring villages together by playing amongst each other regularly, which created harmony, peace and forged a strong friendship,” the 62-year-old eighth-generation Hanuabadan said.

“All cricket matches were opened and ended with prayers (and our) national cricket teams still practise this today.”

Growing the game has been a challenge in PNG.

The team play few fixtures, a problem exacerbated by the pandemic, and PNG’s location and reputation as a dangerous travel destination means it is difficult to attract touring sides despite the proximity to Australia and New Zealand.

“Unfortunately where we are, geography is not on our side and we lack international exposure and games,” Cricket PNG chairperson Helen Macindoe told Reuters.

“We’re hoping with the ‘Barras’ making it to the World Cup, there’ll be a little bit more exposure.”

While the world stage is PNG’s focus for the next few weeks, the long-term aim is to continue growing the game beyond Hanuabada and the neighbouring coastal areas.

“A couple of years ago we managed to get some funding through Cricket Australia, New Zealand Cricket and the ICC (International Cricket Council), and we’re building 48 more wickets around the country,” Macindoe said.

PNG are grouped with Oman, Scotland and Bangladesh in the opening round and will need to finish in the top two if they are to secure a spot alongside the top-ranked nations in the “Super 12” stage.

The T20 World Cup, running from October 17 to November 14, was shifted to Oman and the United Arab Emirates from original hosts India due to COVID-19 concerns.

D-Day for public to raise objections against Chief Justice position nominees
15 October 2021, 6:35 AM

Friday is the last day for members of the public to raise objections against those nominated for the position of Chief Justice.

The term of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng ended this week.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is empowered by the Constitution to appoint the Chief Justice, called for the public to nominate Mogoeng’s possible successor.

The names of the nominees who met the criteria were published on the Presidency website.

They are Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe, Constitutional Court Justice Mbuyiseli Madlanga, Supreme Court of Appeal President Mandisa Maya, Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, Advocate Alan Nelson and now acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Another nominee, Wallace Mgoqi, withdrew from the process.

Legal commentator Advocate Modidima Mannya says, “In my view, the top contenders for the position of Chief Justice will probably be Deputy Chief Justice Zondo and President of the Supreme Court of Appeal Justice Mandisa Maya, who both hold considerable  respect in both judicial circles and public life in general.”

VIDEO: Mixed reaction to nominees for the position of Chief Justice:

Gungubele thanks police for rescuing them from hostage incident
15 October 2021, 6:04 AM

Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, has thanked police for rescuing him and his colleagues from a traumatic hostage incident.

Gungubele and Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thandi Modise, and her Deputy Thabang Makwetla were allegedly held hostage by ex-combatants in a conference centre at St George’s Hotel in Irene, Pretoria on Thursday night.

The meeting was called to discuss the plight of the former soldiers of the liberation movements.

The ex-combatants are former members of the ANC’s military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe, the Pan Africanist Congress’s APLA as well as Azanian People’s Organisation’s AZANLA. They are demanding to see President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Gungubele says, “We would like to thank Minister Bheki Cele and all the other security forces for prompt and timeous intervention. We expect the law to follow its course.”

ANC

The African National Congress (ANC) has cautiously reacted to the hostage drama.

ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe says they are hoping to find a solution to the plight of members of former liberation armies.

Mabe has called for negotiations.

He says, “Engagement is key to finding a solution to the problem. Government is always open and is willing to negotiate with the military veterans. The military veterans should never be side-lined or forgotten because they are part and parcel of the ANC’s history.”

Mabuyane has no legal grounds to stop probe: Analyst
14 October 2021, 12:53 PM

Political analyst and legal expert, Dr Mkhuseli Vimba says Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has no legal grounds to stop the investigation against him from continuing.

He has filed papers at the Bhisho High Court to interdict Hawks from investigating alleged corrupt dealings.

Vimba says Mabuyane’s arguments don’t hold water.

He says, “The investigation is a process he will be given an opportunity to state his case once facts have been gathered so for me the most important thing is that he must wait for the process to unfold answer questions posed to him and if he charged he will still have an opportunity to answer in court so his rights are protected so I also doubt very much that if the court will go to an extent of interdicting the hawks from doing their work.”

Public Protector’s report implicated Mabuyane and Public works MEC Babalo Madikizela of unduly benefiting from funds meant for Winnie Madikizela Mandela’s memorial service.

VIDEO: Mkhwebane announces findings:

Mabuyane argues that he has no case to answer, as there are no specific charges against him. He is also questioning the reasons for being subjected to questioning from Hawks officials from the Free State province.

Interview with Mabuyane on decision to challenge Mkhwebane report: 

ACDP marches against “mandatory COVID-19 vaccination”
14 October 2021, 11:22 AM

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) is on Thursday marching to the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg against what it calls “mandatory COVID-19 vaccination”.

Mayoral Candidate for the City of Johannesburg, Bishop Dulton Adams, says the ACDP will make sure that no one is forced to take the vaccine.

He says if it becomes mandatory, it will mean that South Africa is regressing to the Apartheid days, yet it’s a democratic country.

Meanwhile, members of the ACDP are gathering at Beyers Naude Square in the Johannesburg CBD, preparing to head to the Constitutional Court and hand over a memorandum.

Adams says, “We are not against vaccination, we are it for it, we are pro-choice, we want people to make a decision by themselves. We do not go with the notion that it must be mandatory, otherwise, it must be forced, people must be forced to get it.”

“And secondly, to have a passport to go everywhere, we believe it will be Apartheid in reverse really, when you have the vaccinators and non-vaccinators and I don’t think South Africa needs this after the strenuous lockdown we’ve gone through,” he adds.

Students

Amid concerns that COVID-19 vaccinations in South Africa are not going according to the set targets, the Higher Education and training sector is once again calling on students to get vaccinated.

This comes as some universities have been contemplating mandatory vaccination for staff and students and that those not vaccinated must undergo weekly testing at their own cost.

CEO of Higher Health, Prof Ramneek Ahluwalia, says it is a bit too early for tertiary institutions to institute mandatory vaccination:

Weather

 

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