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Today — May 14th 2021Your RSS feeds

Watch: Principal THROWN OUT of Pretoria school by furious parents

May 13th 2021 at 11:53

Well, this principal won’t be ‘chairing’ any meetings at Laerskool Theresapark in the near future. Enraged parents in Pretoria took matters into their own hands on Thursday, by physically removing the school’s top official from the building.

Principal ‘thrown out’ of her own school by parents

Video footage captures the bizarre moment that the principal was carried out of the front door of the secondary school, while still sat in her chair. The mob of frustrated parents can be seen dragging her outside – only for the woman to be unceremoniously dumped from her seat. A second video shows her getting back to her feet.

Now, why exactly has this happened? Scenes like this belong in soapies, or at the very least, sitcoms. But it is alleged that the principal has been ‘bullying’ other staff members at Laerskool Theresapark. There are also accusations which claim the headteacher has driven the facility into ‘financial ruin’ – but these claims have not yet been substantiated.

Watch: Pretoria principal physically carried out of school

Parents chased away Laerskool #TheresaPark principal for allegedly abusing teachers who subsiquently quit their jobs, and is also accused of running the school into financial disrepute.

2 of 2 pic.twitter.com/4LABAvhchk

— 🆄🅼🆂🆆🅰🅿🅷🅴🅽🅸 (@MduZero11) May 13, 2021

Pretoria protest: Gauteng officials asked to clarify altercation

We have made contact with the school and the local educational authorities, and await a response. Gauteng MEC Panyaza Lesufi is likely to be brought in to investigate the incident, as well as the circumstances leading up to it. According to one local with intimate knowledge of the situation, tensions had reached boiling point before Thursday:

@Lesufi please handle this situation at Laerskool Theresapark the Principal is terrorizing teachers and students.The parents,SGB ,traumatized teachers want her out of that school today!!#LaerskoolTheresapark

— kg (@kg_motsepe) May 13, 2021

Cape Town weather: Double barrage of rain to lash the region ‘all weekend’

May 13th 2021 at 11:03

For any Capetonians in possession of hatches, we suggest you get them battened down before Friday night: The Cape Town weather forecast has thrown out a wet and wild prediction for the weekend ahead – and, as long as your DStv signal doesn’t buckle under the strain of the rain, these are perfect conditions for a movie marathon… or two.

Weather warnings for the Western Cape this weekend

The latest projections from Ventusky reveal that the rainfall will begin late on Friday night, persisting through Saturday. But as that cold front subsides, another one sweeps in from the south – creating a ‘double barrage’ for those in the Cape.

On Saturday night, a second, more intense period of precipitation will occur right through until Sunday morning. Things brighten up from that point, but the flood-wary municipality in the Mother City is still coming to terms with the devastation caused by last week’s heavy storms. The SA Weather Service already has a Level 2 warning in place:

“Localised flooding of roads and settlements, as well as minor motor vehicle accidents, are likely. There is a chance for mudslides and rockfalls in susceptible areas and difficult driving conditions on dirt roads. Remain alert while driving, and be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to recognize flood dangers.” | Saws / weather.co.za

Cape Town weather forecast for Friday 14 May

From around 22:00 on Friday evening, the first drops of the downpour will be felt. Thunderstorms are also expected overnight, spreading into the north of the municipality and across to the Cape Winelands.

Spots of rain, rubmlings of thunder and colder temperatures are expected to land on Friday evening – Photo: Ventusky

Weekend outlook: Cape Town weather forecast for Saturday 15 May and Sunday 16 May

As showers continue throughout the bulk of Saturday, a brief evening intermission will make way for that second cold front. More rain is expected to fall, intensifying between 21:00 – 00:00. Much like the night before, the deluge will carry on through the night and into the morning, before dissipating shortly after sunrise.

Up to 20mm to 25mm is tipped to fall in Overberg within a few hours on Saturday night – Photo: Ventusky

So how much rain is falling?

Altogether, up to 70mm could land in the corridor between Paarl and Franschhoek. Cape Town is also on course for a healthy dousing, of at least 30mm within a 24-hour period. The bulk of the rain will fall in the Cape Winelands. Emergency teams are already on standby, but more disruption now seems inevitable for locals.

Cumulative 24-hour snapshot of the Cape Town weather rainfall forecast for the weekend ahead – Photo: Ventusky

Cape Town weather 2

Cape Town weather 3

Cape Town weather 1

Yesterday — May 13th 2021Your RSS feeds

AKA has CANCELLED his upcoming live appearances – due to ‘social pressure’

May 12th 2021 at 11:19

One of SA’s best-known musicians continues to plummet from grace this week: AKA – real name Kiernan Forbes – has dropped out of a major upcoming festival this month, and all other planned live appearances will now be cancelled.

Confirmed: AKA has cancelled his future live appearances

AKA is in the mire, after his partner Nelli was found dead in April. Sympathies have since turned to anger, after video footage emerged of the rapper trying to break down a door to get access to his then-fianceé.

Forbes has been accused of perpetrating gender-based violence, and his public stock has been in freefall ever since. Therefore, it perhaps comes as no surprise that the hit-maker has decided to exclude himself from all major gigs on his schedule. The Huawei Joburg Day is set to be a star-studded event – but they’ll have to cope without the Supa Mega.

Forbes to ‘step back from spotlight’ due to social pressure

On behalf of his management team, AKA has released a statement on the matter. He confirmed that the ‘social conversation about him in public’ has been a major factor behind these cancelled performances. The artist will now take time out to ‘carry out self-introspection and healing’ – raising concerns about his own well-being.

“Kiernan ‘AKA’ Forbes is to withdraw his participation at this installment of Huawei Joburg Day, taking place on 28 May. Out of respect for (the) current social conversation about him in the public domain.”

“AKA has chosen to take the necessary timeout of self-introspection and healing – so that he can adequately address all the pertinent issues in due course. He feels it is important to look after his physical and emotional well-being.”

The T Effect Management team, on behalf of AKA
  • You can also read the full statement here

Statement regarding @akaworldwide's participation at the 2021 #HuaweiJoburgDay pic.twitter.com/w3ieSmrUUi

🐝 AFRICAN_RAP_CITY 🇿🇦™ (@Rap_City_SA) May 12, 2021

‘How bad must he screw-up to get fired?’ – Cele slammed for DNA backlog

May 12th 2021 at 10:45

There are calls for Bheki Cele’s head this week, after the Police Minister was held directly responsible for a disastrous DNA backlog. The processing delay in collections has allegedly increased by 3 000% since 2018, making it more difficult for police to tie dangerous criminals to reprehensible acts. Needless to say, the critics are sharpening their knives…

What is the DNA backlog?

SA’s DNA backlog in case exhibits at the National Forensic Science Laboratories (NFSL) now stands at more than 200 000. Both Bheki Cele and National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole have been asked to investigate partnerships with private laboratories in order to resolve this issue. Alas, there’s been little movement on this front.

Andrew Whitfield, the shadow police minister, tore strips off his opposite number in Parliament this week.

“Since Minister Cele has been the Minister of Police from February 2018 he has presided over an explosion in the backlog of DNA case exhibits from just over 7000 in 2017/18 to over 225 000 this year – nearly a quarter of a million. That is a more than 3 000% increase in the backlog under his watch. It has never been this bad before.” | Andrew Whitfield

Civil society groups ask for Bheki Cele ‘to be fired’

However, SAPS National Spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo recently said in a statement that new administration systems and updated databases went live on the 6th of April 2021, with 10 million samples from the old NFSL system loaded into the Forensic Exhibit Management (FEM) System. Nearly 25 000 new exhibits have also been loaded.

But this purported progress hasn’t been enough to placate one of South Africa’s largest farming institutions. TLUSA, who have been rallying against the rise in rural crimes during Bheki Cele’s ministerial tenure, let the hatted politician know exactly what they think of the job he’s been doing. It wasn’t complimentary, put it that way…

“How badly must a minister screw up in their position to get fired? How many stolen firearms or service pistols must end up in the hands of criminals before Bheki Cele gets the boot? How many farmers, families, and farmworkers must live in fear of another attack because the police cannot process DNA evidence? The situation is unacceptable.”

“We are doing an urgent call on President Ramaphosa to fire Minister Cele immediately. Cele should never have been appointed as the minister of police – he was fired as the commissioner of police in 2013 because of corruption. How on earth did that not disqualify him as a candidate in any position to do with law and order?”

Before yesterdayYour RSS feeds

‘Pay your bills, I’ve been giving you R65k!’ – Black Coffee slams Enhle

May 11th 2021 at 11:13

Divorce is a messy, messy beast. The furious fall-out witnessed between Black Coffee and Enhle Mbali on Tuesday proves that – and the drama played out all over social media. A row over electricity bills prompted the superstar DJ to chastise his estranged partner, claiming that he’d been giving her plenty of money to cover her utilities.

Stop lying!!!
The lies are too much.
I won’t be quiet anymore.
The children you publicly claim to be protecting are suffering because your lifestyle. pic.twitter.com/jRmxwxAygm

— Black Coffee (@RealBlackCoffee) May 11, 2021

How much money has Black Coffee been giving Enhle?

Earlier in the day, Enhle had posted on Instagram that the electricity at her place had been deliberately cut-off, and she hinted that Black Coffee was to blame. The musician was having none of it however, and flew into action online – claiming to have given the mother of his children a new car, child support payments, and R65 000 in handouts:

“I’ve been taking care of all the household expenses. I take care of all the kids and their school needs. On top of this, since November, I’ve been paying R65K towards you and the kids. After separating, I got you a full-paid car in your name.”

“From March I have been sending you electricity statements – which you are aware of. Yesterday they cut the lights and you’re here once again creating another narrative that it was because of me. Take care of your bills!” | Black Coffee

DJ’s divorce plays out online

Enhle is yet to respond, but it is clear that Black Coffee is in no mood to let certain allegations go unchallenged. The pair have been publicly mud-slinging since they agreed to separate, and this bad blood won’t clear anytime soon…

“Just like the assault case, there’s no NDA – never has been. It brought me so much pain to watch your videos making fun of this situation with the kids, they honestly don’t deserve this. I have now settled the electricity bill this time just for the sake of the kids. Moving forward, you pay your electricity bill – the kids shouldn’t go through this.”

Watch: What is the Dakiwe Challenge? New dance craze takes SA by storm

May 11th 2021 at 10:28

Pearl Thusi, Lasizwe, and even Norma Mngoma have given the Dakiwe Challenge a good go this week – sparking an explosion of copycat videos in the process. The new dance craze has taken off big time in South Africa, thanks largely to its celebrity endorsements and an instant approval from TikTok users.

How do you do the Dakiwe Challenge?

We’ve had a few new viral dances to get used to in the past year or so. Who can forget the basic steps to Jerusalema, or the moves for a good John Vuli’ Gate? However, the Dakiwe Challenge comes from a DJ whose star is already on the rise. DBN Gogo, a 29-year-old hitmaker from KwaZulu-Natal, has created a phenomenon with her new groove…

It’s a pretty basic concept, but not everyone gets it right: You’re just meant to stand on the spot, and move your body upwards from your hips in a deliberate circular motion. You get extra points for nodding your head, too. Look, none of you should take advice from us on how to perform cool dance moves – just watch the professionals do it instead, yeah?

Watch: The unofficial Dakiwe Challenge tutorial!

@DBNGOGO O boss Girl 🙌💃💃 pic.twitter.com/nfHB2MbzJ5

— Kgadi Ngoepe (@ngoepe_kgadi) May 8, 2021

DBN Gogo gets South Africans, including Pearl Thusi, moving!

The amapiano-inspired trend was initially picked up by DBN Gogo in Daveyton last year. But in the past week or so, the artist performed the move during a live show – and things ‘blew up from there’.

Part of the Dakiwe Challenge is to make the video as interesting as possible – whether that’s by featuring a famous name, or by doing something creative with your friends. Participants can indeed put their own twists on it, and everyone from Hollywood actresses to politician’s ex-wives are getting in on the act! We’ll leave you with the best of the bunch:

Mood: DBN Gogo with the Dakiwe challenge 🚀. pic.twitter.com/kGOWwq6F0o

— Lugz (@mwanzo_k) May 9, 2021

A challenge! pic.twitter.com/eDimtayLuC

— Sandile Mahlangu (@SandileM_) May 8, 2021

We did the #DakiweChallenge with the audience…best audience ever! pic.twitter.com/G1h7p8vkqm

— Tsitsi Chiumya (@TsitsiChiumya) May 10, 2021

Third wave: Why SA *might* be nearing ‘the worst-case scenario’

May 11th 2021 at 06:17

The forecast third wave of COVID-19 is getting underway in SA – with its severity yet to be determined. Adam Lowe, a member of the Actuarial Society of South Africa’s Covid-19 Working Group, has modelled what our ‘worst-case scenario’ could look like – and there are a couple of factors Mzansi can already ‘tick-off’.

The severity of SA’s 3rd wave of Covid-19 infections will depend on its timing. Research by the @ActuarialSa Covid-19 Working Group shows that an early 3rd wave in May is likely to be less severe than the 2nd wave based on historical precedent. https://t.co/Q3fDjzYcyT

— ActuarialSocietyofSA (@ActuarialSa) May 11, 2021

What’s the worst-case scenario for South Africa’s third wave?

According to Lowe, the worst-possible third wave would see a large spike in cases for May. If these reach the levels of 20 000 new per day – last seen in January – South Africa would be at the mercy of an even DEADLIER resurgence.

“The worst-case scenario would be an early third wave in May as severe, or even more severe, than the second wave. In order for this scenario to materialise an unlikely, but not impossible, combination of circumstances would be required to create an environment where a more infectious variant runs through a population with lower-than-estimated immunity.”

“Although this could be considered a reasonable worst-case scenario, it appears to be significantly less likely than all other scenarios. We note that the severity of the third wave – in terms of confirmed cases, hospital admissions, and deaths – will depend on its timing.” | Adam Lowe of ASSA

Variants, complacency – already noted in SA – can drive ‘worst possible third wave’

Lowe and his actuary colleagues believe that the ‘worst-case third wave’ can be dictated by the following factors:

  • – An overestimate of the people infected in the first two waves, which would result in a flawed estimate of immunity.
  • – A series of super spreader events either through natural behaviour over holiday periods.
  • – Reduced vigilance on the part of a population which has been locked down for over a year.
  • – The more rapid than expected emergence of a new and more deadly variant of the virus.

The good, the bad, the ugly… and the flirtatious

Although there is still a significant way to go before this latest surge of infections reaches its peak, new infections have escalated by 41% in the past seven days – with authorities in Free State and Gauteng already accepting that third wave ‘is here’. What is more, several cluster outbreaks HAVE been reported at university campuses in the past month.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that the general public is easing up on mask-wearing and social distancing, and of course, two new variants have been detected in South Africa this week. Therefore, some of those four criteria for a worst-case third wave have already been met…

However, even on top of all these red flags, SA would need to see an explosion of cases – specifically featuring the new variants – over the next three weeks to fully guarantee that the least-favoured outcome is reached. With only a dozen or so infections linked to ‘new strains’, these numbers aren’t high enough to fuel a savage peak by the end of May.

  • Mzansi might be flirting with a worst-case scenario, but as it stands, we are able to keep it at arms length. For now, anyway…

A new Guinness World Record has JUST been set on Table Mountain…

May 11th 2021 at 05:21

Good luck logging this one on your pedometers… a pair of trail-running veterans have smashed a mightily impressive Guinness World Record this week – after completing a vertical 19km run in less than 20 hours on Table Mountain.

Runners break Guinness World Record on Table Mountain

Christiaan Greyling and AJ Calitz have now officially covered the most vertical distance on foot, by completing the highest number of ascents and descents up Table Mountain. Their international achievement has defeated the record set by an Irish team some years ago, and they even stayed within lockdown restrictions to make their dreams a reality:

  • – They have broken the Guinness World Record ‘for the greatest vertical distance on foot’.
  • – The previous record was held by a team on a mountain in Ireland, with a distance of 18 086 metres
  • – However, Greyling and Calitz smashed that total by adding another 1 300 metres on – thanks to an additional ascent.
  • – They smashed the ’24-hour limit’, completing their run in 19 hours and 52 minutes.
  • – The boys even beat curfew – starting just after 4:00 on Monday and finishing before midnight on Tuesday 11 May.

Trail legends ‘give it everything’ for charitable cause

The lads may be masochists in the eyes of many, but you better believe this agonising act of endurance was all for a good cause. According to CapeTalk, Greyling and Calitz are raising money and awareness for Edunova. The non-profit organisation seeks to bring more advanced technology into disadvantaged schools throughout South Africa.

Fair play, fellas. Now please, for the good of your own health, take a duvet day today, would you? It’s been well-earned…

“We are delighted and overjoyed to have broken the world record for ‘the most vertical ascents and descents’ – on a route that is well-known to us, Platteklip Gorge on Table Mountain, one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of Nature’.”

“It was one of the toughest days of my life with the added pressure of doing it in 20 hours because of curfew, but my partner AJ was strong and motivated me to triumph in what was an achievement of two very dedicated teammates. We are absolutely broken but so happy. This is nothing short of a miracle and a team effort.”

Christiaan Greyling

Spiking: Here’s where SA motorists are most likely to be targeted ‘by new criminal trend’

May 11th 2021 at 04:31

The act of ‘spiking’ has become an increasingly troublesome issue in some parts of South Africa, as petty thugs target motorists on busy highways late at night. This week, the Community Policing Forum (CPF) published the first guide to local hot-spots – where this crime occurs most often – in order to help South Africans avoid a traumatic experience.

What is spiking?

The new criminal trend sees spikes hidden in the road, with the express intention of bursting tyres and slowing cars down to rob the occupants. This anarchic behaviour is also supported by other petty crimes, such as rock-throwing and the placement of stones or ‘significant debris’ on the road. Both the N4 and N1 have been ‘significantly affected’.

According to the CPF, cars that are already in distress prove to be the perfect target for these highway robbers. Those who may get caught-up in these situations have been told to ‘try and get as far away from the incident site as possible’:

“Spiking and other road hazards have become a huge risk for motorists. Cars that are broken down, or having to pull over, have become high-risk targets. We urge all road users to report immediately when they see vehicles with their hazards on. If you become a victim of spiking, our advice is to carry on driving for as far as you can.”

Where are the spiking hot-spots in South Africa?

As previously mentioned, spiking mainly happens under the cover of darkness. It’s an issue that is now prevalent in Gauteng, North West and Mpumalanga. Here are the main times and locations where these crime usually take place.

N4 (Pretoria to Witbank)

  • Donkerhoek Plaza: 19:00 – 4:00
  • Solomon Mahlangu Interchange: 23:00 – 4:00
  • Proefplass Interchange: 19:00 – 4:00

N4 (Brits)

  • M17 at Garankua Bridge: 23:00 – 4:00
  • R101 at Old Warmbaths Road: 3:00
  • R80 Hercules – Soshanguve: Overnight, no specific times given

N1 (Both northbound and southbound)

  • Pumulani at Walmansthal off AND on ramps: Overnight, no specific times given

#Spiking Alert pic.twitter.com/UMJ3wbVOrx

— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) May 11, 2021

Level 3 lockdown ‘on the cards’: Experts DEMAND tougher restrictions for SA

May 11th 2021 at 03:26

Three leading professors have pleaded with the government to consider changing lockdown restrictions, in order to curtail large gatherings that accelerate the spread of COVID-19. With new variants of the disease entering the country, citizens must remain vigilant against the spread of this virus – even if that means returning to Level 3 of lockdown.

Experts ask for ‘limits on gatherings’ as a priority’

On Tuesday, both Dr. Asmal Dasoo (convenor of the Progressive Health Forum) and Alex van den Heever (chair of Social Security Systems Administration and Management Studies at Wits University) called for gatherings to be capped.

The pair believe that current limits, which can stretch to meetings of 500 people outdoors, will need to be dropped down to just TEN – to try and blunt the impact of a third coronavirus wave. As we reported last week, social gatherings – alongside restrictions on travel, land borders, and curfew hours – will be the first to change this winter.

Level 3 lockdown ‘may be deployed again’

Professor Adrian Puren of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), meanwhile, has entertained the idea of moving into Level 3 of lockdown BEFORE new infections properly take-off again. He has speculated that the tougher version of lockdown could be implemented on a local or district-based scale, while SA remains ‘mostly unvaccinated’.

“We have some idea of what we need to prepare for. If we go to a Level 3 lockdown or something like that, we must encourage testing. Each district needs to be looked at and managed appropriately. Hospitals need to be ready – and part of that is vaccination. Every South African has to follow the non-pharmaceutical interventions.”

Level 3 loading? Zweli Mkhize accepts lockdown restrictions ‘will be necessary’

It seems the implementation of tougher lockdown restrictions is now inevitable. Just last week, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize feared that the arrival of a ‘variant of concern’ could force the Cabinet’s hand. Lo and behold, mutations found in both the UK and India have now washed up on our shores – and more drastic containment measures are on the table:

We have noticed a worrying trend of increasing numbers of detected cases in a number of districts and the arrival of a ‘variant of concern’ can drive another wave. For these reasons, the NCCC is deliberating on the issue of border control, and final determinations will find expression in Cabinet and be communicated to the public accordingly.” Zweli Mkhize

Success! Experts separate twins ‘joined at the head’ in Cape Town

May 11th 2021 at 02:29

Ntombikayise Tyhalisi (31), the mother of a set of conjoined twins who underwent a major operation at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital (RCWMCH) in Cape Town, has spoken of her unbridled joy – after her newborns were successfully separated AT THE HEAD by medical specialists.

Medical miracles: Conjoined twins separated in Cape Town

Siphosethu and Amahle were born in February. Their condition has been described as ‘the rarest form of conjoined twinning’ by those who operated on them. The babies were joined in a manner that is referred to as ‘craniopagus twinning’. It occurs about once in every 2.5 million live births worldwide – making these siblings a pair of medical marvels!

A multi-disciplinary team involving a full set for each twin was put together for this unique surgery.  Each team comprised of an anaesthetist, neurosurgeon, plastic surgeon, and nurses, spanning across two provincial departments.

Newborns overcome ‘rarest form of twin birth’

  • – Siphosethu and Amahle were born in the Eastern Cape.
  • – They were sent to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town at only four days old.
  • – The Gods were smiling on the Tyhalisis: The connection between the pair did not involve any shared brain tissue.
  • – There were also ‘no major blood vessels’ going from one twin to the other.
  • – The surgery could have lasted ‘up to six hours’. Instead, doctors finished the separation within 90 minutes.
  • – Both patients – and the mother – are doing well following the surgery, and continue to receive follow up care.

Cape Town experts ‘grateful’ for team effort

Doctor Anita Parbhoo, acting CEO for Red Cross WMCH, thanked the dozens of medical experts who ensured the twins’ surgery would be a success, and spoke of her pride for the successful operation they managed to pull off.

“We’re proud of the entire multidisciplinary team involved in helping these twin patients: from the birthing team in the Eastern Cape and the referring clinicians, to our staff in the wards and theatre and then to those involved with the post-surgery care. A huge thank you to everyone.” | Dr. Anita Parbhoo

US Dollar exchange rate: Rand hits ‘best level in years’ – due to ONE major factor

May 10th 2021 at 06:10

Well would you look at that? South Africa’s flagship currency has staged a major recovery against the US Dollar this week, reaching levels not seen since 2019. The Rand briefly dipped below the $1 : R14 mark on Monday, before stabilising between R14.00 to R14.10. But what has caused this fluctuation in the exchange rate?

What is the latest exchange rate for the US Dollar and the South African Rand on Monday 10 May?

This time last year, the Rand was in meltdown against the US Dollar. As the value threatened to break the R20 mark, months of gradual recovery brought the currency back to the R15 range. But, following a strong few weeks, ZAR has made in-roads on the greenback – yet experts believe this is probably the peak of the resurgence:

“It will be interesting to see whether there is enough momentum for the rand to make a run at the 14.00 level. The expectation is for the rand to test lower, but the fact that 14.05 has held a couple of times leads us to believe that going lower could be a tough slog.”Andre Cilliers, currency strategist at TreasuryONE.

$USDZAR Rand below R14 to the US dollar.

Love it👌🏽 pic.twitter.com/xiZK8uqNcW

— Mthonti_ (@Mthonti_) May 10, 2021

Why is ZAR performing so well?

Quite simply, some jitters in America have helped the Rand along here. Lower-than-expected job creation numbers, combined with higher-than-expected unemployment figures, have somewhat devalued the US Dollar in foreign markets, allowing currencies like ZAR to gain ground on the exchange rate.

Although some have claimed that the Rand has strengthened against the Dollar due to Ramaphosa’s decision to suspend Ace Magashule from the ANC, this suggestion remains anecdotal. This swing in value could, however, lead to cheaper petrol prices next month – given that our oil costs are partly dependent on ZAR’s performance against USD.

With the risk on tone and the everything rally continuing this Monday, the rand breaks 14.00 to the US dollar. pic.twitter.com/whYP8047CM

— Nick Kunze (@NickKunze2) May 10, 2021

ANC MP in hot water for repeatedly calling DA Councillor ‘a house-n****r’

May 10th 2021 at 05:15

A prominent DA Councillor in the Western Cape has filed a criminal case against one of his fiercest political rivals on Wednesday. Faiez Jacobs, an ANC MP in the province, is accused of using the derogatory term ‘house-n****r’ on 23 separate occasions when speaking with Angus McKenzie.

ANC MP accused of ‘racially abusing’ DA Councillor

The ugly exchanges have resulted in the DA representative opening charges of crimen injuria against Mr. Jacobs. It is claimed that the regional ANC supremo used the phrase repeatedly in a public WhatsApp group – causing McKenzie a significant amount of distress. According to the Councillor, the outbursts from Jacobs are ‘clearly against the law’:

“DA Councillor Angus McKenzie laid charges of crimen injuria against ANC MP, Faiez Jacobs. These charges have been brought about due to the consistent racist degradation of McKenzie’s character by Mr. Jacobs. On 23 recorded occasions, Mr. Jacobs referred to Councillor McKenzie as a “house-n****r” on a public WhatsApp group.

“On Friday, 7 May 2021, Mr. Jacobs attempted to justify his use of this derogatory term in an interview, but later admitted on air that he did not have the right to offend people in public. Jacobs knows very well that his conduct was explicitly racist and against the law, and we trust that the subsequent legal processes will send out a strong message.”

What does it mean?

The unpleasant term used to refer to slaves who would be tasked with housework, rather than fieldwork. However, the terminology has changed over the years, largely thanks to the way Malcolm X used this saying.

The political activist explained that a ‘house-n****r is likely to look down on other black people, because they are in a preferable position and do not want to jeopardise their status’. Indeed, one can see what McKenzie has taken such an exception to the antiquated phrase – and he’s confident that the law will support his argument.

SA told to ‘shutdown its Israel Embassy’ – as clashes with Palestinians continue

May 10th 2021 at 04:31

The EFF has made a frank and bellicose statement about the latest set of clashes between security forces in Israel and Palestinian citizens. The political party says that the ANC has taken a ‘weak position’ on the matter, with the Red Berets seeking a meeting with the Palestinian Embassy on Monday. However, the left-wingers want to kick things up a notch.

EFF demand Embassy closure over Jerusalem clashes

Earlier today, party representatives demanded the complete closure of Israel’s Embassy in South Africa. They are also lobbying for the removal of Mzansi’s Ambassador inside Israel, requesting for the delegation to return home.

“The Zionist state of Israel is contemptuous of the Holy Ramadan fasting period to engage in international and abhorrent criminal conduct. We call on the South African government to close down the Embassy of Israel – and recall our own representation from Tel Aviv. The statements issued by our party are irritating – this is a time for decisive action.” | EFF

Why is Israel fighting with Palestinians?

Scores of citizens were wounded in new clashes Monday between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem as a planned march marking Israel’s 1967 takeover of the holy city threatened to further inflame tensions.

“Hundreds of people are injured from the clashes” and about 50 were hospitalised, the Palestinian Red Crescent said about the latest unrest since violence escalated – following the last Friday prayers of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

The clashes were the latest in days of the worst such disturbances in Jerusalem since 2017, fuelled by a years-long bid by Jewish settlers to take over nearby Palestinian homes in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

The unrest of past weeks in east Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as their future capital, has multiple causes. Much of the recent violence stems from a long-running legal effort by Jewish settler groups to evict several Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah. A court ruling earlier this year backing the settlers’ claim to the plots angered Palestinians.

#BREAKING A distressed worshipper films from inside #AlAqsa Mosque complex as Israel police fire tear gas and stun grenades inside.

At least 50 people have been hospitalised after the Mosque was raided on Monday morning#Jerusalem #Palestine #AlAqsa #Israel pic.twitter.com/3seh51OgaX

— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) May 10, 2021

Vaccines come early! Mkhize reveals Pfizer jabs will start ‘ahead of schedule’

May 10th 2021 at 03:25

There’s some much, much needed good news about the mass vaccination programme set to begin in South Africa this month: Millions of Pfizer vaccines are being distributed across the country over the next few days – and the jabs could be rolled out TWO DAYS ahead of schedule, according to Zweli Mkhize.

When will the vaccines be made available?

The Health Minister has confirmed that the ball is properly rolling now that the Pfizer supply has arrived in SA. Following a myriad of delays, hiccups, and ‘out-of-date’ vaccines, the transition from immunising healthcare workers to members of the general public is now likely to start on Saturday 15 May – rather than Monday 17 May, as previously stated.

“The issues around the vaccine is that we expect that the vaccines we received from Pfizer will be distributed after the quality control processes are completed. From the 12th and 13th, they (the vaccines) will be distributed in the different provinces. These provinces will start vaccination around the Saturday 15 May or so.” | Zweli Mkhize

Ramaphosa warns against ‘vaccination apartheid’

The second phase of the country’s vaccination programme is set to prioritise persons over 60 and those with underlying medical conditions. Some 16.5 million people will receive their inoculations in Stage 2 of the rollout. Meanwhile, President Ramaphosa has encouraged other countries to share surplus jabs, and waiver patents for vaccines

“The enforcement of intellectual property rights is critical to research and development and innovation in the quest for human progress. But our position is that such a waiver is necessary at this time. This is an unprecedented situation. It requires that all intellectual property, knowledge, and data related to COVID-19 be put at the disposal of all.”
 
“If we as the international community are truly committed to human rights and the values of equality and non-discrimination, vaccines should be viewed as a global public good. A situation in which the populations of rich countries are safely inoculated while millions in poorer countries die in the queue would be vaccine apartheid.”

  • You can read his full statement here:

As a nation, we must stand united in our effort to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines to save lives and proceed with the national recovery. Our commitment to putting human lives first does not diminish our commitment to honour international trade agreements. https://t.co/qyqjySMbfv pic.twitter.com/XdI9H7vmhM

— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) May 10, 2021

LOOK: Sinkholes have swallowed two major roads in SA this week [photos]

May 10th 2021 at 02:41

In a week of wild weather and subsequent traffic chaos, two roads in the Western Cape and Gauteng both gave way to the immense pressure. Two separate sinkholes, appearing within a few days of each other, have closed off major routes in each province – raising questions about the quality of South Africa’s road infrastructure.

Sinkholes surface across South Africa…

Sinkhole #1 – Gauteng

The most recent incident has been reported near Soweto, and the disruption is still wreaking havoc on Monday.

  • Where is it? Klipspruit Valley Road southbound between Kumalo & Moroka Nancefield Road in Orlando
  • Two lanes of the road have been closed this week
  • Rea Valley Buses have diverted T1, T2, and T3 buses from the region – which now pass through Orlando East.
  • The collapse of stormwater infrastructure caused the road to cave in.

#Eldosfmnews: A section of Klipspruit Valley Road has been temporarily closed off, following a stormwater infrastructure collapse. Two lanes have been affected, while planned repairs are said to be underway. Motorists are urged to drive with caution. pic.twitter.com/e4DHTdBE9K

— Eldosfm (@Eldosfm_876) May 5, 2021

The damage…

Two lanes have been closed, as bus services divert from stops on this road – Photo: JMPD

Its proximity to a riverbed has caused some concern in the past – Photo: JMPD

Sinkhole #2 – Western Cape

Meanwhile, residents in the central districts of the Western Cape face a long wait before they are fully connected again.

  • Where is it? R362 from Robertson to Bonnievale
  • Relentless rainfall during the Cape Storm completely obliterated this significant stretch of road.
  • The route connects Robertson, Bonnievale and Swellendam in the Western Cape.
  • Two people have died in Bonnievale due to the adverse weather conditions.

Bonnievale roads washed away. pic.twitter.com/DOmE2FGtAC

— Ez Booth (@BoothMeila) May 6, 2021

The damage…

The occupants of this vehicle were lucky to escape unharmed: Photo: Twitter

Sinkholes roads south africa
Another crumbled road in Mzansi… – Photo: NARI / Facebook

Klipspruit 1

Photo: JMPD

Klipsspruit 2

Photo: JMPD

Swellendam

Swellendam 2

Photo: NARI / Facebook

Husband kills wife in Shoprite car park – after finding her ‘with another man’

May 7th 2021 at 08:43

Police in Polokwane have made an arrest in connection with a shocking case this week. The suspect is accused of shooting his own wife dead in the middle of a Shoprite parking lot, after discovering she was sitting in another man’s car.

Man shoots wife in Shoprite car park

The 34-year-old is set to be processed in court, after the ‘bullet-ridden body’ of his partner was found slumped inside the parked vehicle. It’s understood that a blazing argument took place when the spouses confronted each other, before the male discharged his firearm and hit his 32-year-old wife multiple times.

“Police in Polokwane arrested a suspect, 34, after he allegedly shot and killed his wife this afternoon, in the parking area of Shoprite, on the corner of Grobler and Landdross Mare streets. The police received a call about the incident at about 14:00 and rushed to the scene. On arrival, the body of a 32-year-old woman was found inside a motor vehicle.”

“The deceased, believed to be from Seshego Township, was together with a certain man inside the said vehicle when her husband arrived. An argument allegedly ensued and the husband aged 34, took out a firearm and shot the woman several times. She died instantly. The motive for the killing is unknown – but domestic violence cannot be ruled out.”

Another case of GBV suspected

SAPS won’t jump to any conclusions just yet, but the DA isn’t being so cautious in its approach. Desiree Van der Walt, the provincial chairperson of the DA’s Women’s Network, has expressed her ‘deep concerns’ over another alleged gender-based violence case. The MP insists that women in Limpopo are now living in fear.

“The Democratic Alliance Women’s Network is deeply concerned by what seems to be escalating levels of gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide cases in Limpopo recently. The continued prevalence of GBV in our communities is extremely worrying and continues to prove that women are not safe in this province” | Desiree Van der Walt

‘I need SA citizenship, it’s not safe in the US’ – Lindani Myeni’s widow

May 7th 2021 at 07:18

Lindsay Myeni, the widow of slain KZN rugby player Lindani Myeni, has pleaded with the South African government to give her citizenship – citing fears about the safety of her children if they stay in the US.

Lindani Myeni latest: Wife Lindsay ‘seeking safety in SA’

The 29-year-old victim was shot dead by police last month, who suspected him of breaking and entering. However, bodycam footage from the incident shows a particularly brutal response by the cops in Hawaii. Lindsay is now embroiled in a legal battle with the Honolulu Police Department – but has her eyes on a long-term future in South Africa.

Mrs Lindsay Myeni addressing the media after the memorial service of her husband #LindaniMyeni pic.twitter.com/8iQfemCsYe

— KZN Provincial Gov (@kzngov) May 6, 2021

Family of Lindani Myeni plotting move away from US

Mrs Myeni has been flown over alongside the repatriated body of her husband this week. While attending his memorial, Lindsay made it clear that she does now want to stay in America with ‘children who are considered black’. After several recent high-profile killings of African-Americans by police officers, the Myenis see South Africa as a safer location:

“My next steps, honestly, I need help from the SA government to get me citizenship so I can stay in my children’s home country without my husband. People think when you are married citizenship to each other’s countries is automatic but it takes five years each side.”

“We’ve always wanted the flexibility to be in whichever country the kids can prosper most and right now I feel like this is the safest country for them. I don’t want to raise kids that are considered black in America, where it’s clearly not safe.”

Joe Biden, Barack Obama ‘asked to help’

KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala also attended the service, offering his deepest condolences to the Myeni family. He remains utterly unsatisfied by the police response to Lindani’s death – and wants the biggest names in US politics to intervene:

“We pin our hopes on US President, Joe Biden, that his intervention might help the wheels of justice to turn with speed. We also pray for former US president Barack Obama’s mediation, who hails from Hawaii, in bringing the killers of Lindani to book. Lindani Myeni is one of our own and his life matters dearly to his family and to us as his nation.” | Sihle Zikalala

ANC pinning hopes on ‘chickens’ to tackle youth unemployment

May 7th 2021 at 06:48

It seems like the ANC has plucked this one out of thin air, but their new youth unemployment masterplan shouldn’t ruffle too many feathers. During an online masterclass this week, Dr. Nkhane Baldwin Nengovhela – from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development – encouraged young South Africans to get into ‘chicken farming’.

‘Have you tried working with chickens?’ – ANC’s career advice

The ANC government, in partnership with the South African Poultry Farmer’s and Supplier’s Association, hosted the Poultry Masterclass Webinar series this week. The information-sharing session on poultry farming highlighted the network of support available through government agencies and poultry associations to young farmers. 

The masterclass is part of series that the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) is hosting to promote entrepreneurship as a contributor to economic growth. Dr. Nengovhela said there’s still room for the country to grow the industry, and called on the youth of South Africa to ‘seriously consider’ getting into the industry.

“The poultry industry is one of the most advanced sectors in terms of farming in the world. I think all young people should consider it for farming. If you think of something called biotechnology, you can’t think of anything than a day-old chick that is raised for meat, or a layer that is raised to be able to lay an egg.” | Dr. Nkhane Baldwin Nengovhela

Can poultry farming help ease youth unemployment?

SA now producing additional one million broiled chickens per week. That’s because poultry farming fell under one of four master plans concocted by the Ramaphosa administration. With almost R1 billion ploughed into the industry, the flightless birds have become a precious commodity – and associated business opportunities are not to be clucked at…

“Four master plans have been completed and signed to date – which are part of the social compact between labour, business, government, and communities – have already had an impact in their respective industries. Through the implementation of the poultry master plan, the industry has invested R800 million to upgrade production significantly.”

Watch: EFF members ‘storm court’ to confront alleged killer, Leon Coetzee

May 7th 2021 at 05:23

Chaos has erupted at the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court on Friday, as angered EFF members attempted to gain access to the dock where Leon Coetzee’s bail hearing is being held. The suspect is accused of murdering his neighbour Thembinkosi Thabethe, after a heated argument – sparked by a WhatsApp conversation – turned deadly.

Who is Leon Coetzee? Suspect accused of murdering black neighbour in Tshwane

Coetzee, accused of calling black security guards on his estate ‘pigs’, denies using the language intentionally. His legal team argue that he acted in self-defence, as Thabethe ‘made threats against his wife’ after reading the contentious message on the social media platform. The state accuses the 55-year-old of stabbing the victim three times.

With a trial date coming up later in the year, many more details still need to be established. The EFF, however, is in no mood to wait – and ground forces in Pretoria kicked things up a notch, storming the court on Friday.

BREAKING:The EFF has broken down gates at the Pretoria North MagistratesCourt. They are demanding access to #LeonCoetzee’s bail hearing, he is being charged with murder for allegedly stabbing his neighbour. Thembinkosi Thabethe died last weekend in hospital @radioislam @all4women

— Naadiya Adams (@Miss_Naadiya) May 7, 2021

Watch: EFF members force their way into Pretoria court

In one video shared online, more than a dozen Red Berets can be seen dismantling a security gate outside. They casually let themselves in, outnumbering the security teams, and go into the courthouse. Officials are still trying to restore order in Pretoria, as no police officers were present at the building at the time of the forced entry.

Members of the EFF have just forced their way into the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court, where Leon Coetzee, accused of murdering Thembinkosi Thabethe is expected to appear. pic.twitter.com/G6MEnCPQG0

— Alex Mitchley (@AlexMitchley) May 7, 2021

EFF issue fierce statement on Leon Coetzee

Meanwhile, the Tshwane Branch of the EFF has released its own statement on the Leon Coetzee trial. Needless to say, the are scathing with the suspect, branding him an ‘arrogant white racist’. Local structures of the party have vowed to ‘cleanse the evil spirits of racism’ within the city. And the colourful language didn’t end there…

“How can a man pick up a knife and mutilate his neighbour without any justifiable cause, unless motivated by racism? A black young woman has become a widow, and six children have been left fatherless. We call for the maximum sentence to be imposed upon Leon Coetzee. We will expose, attack, and defeat racism wherever it rears its ugly head.”

Cape Town hijacker killed by cops following hectic shootout

May 7th 2021 at 04:21

Quick-thinking cops in the Western Cape Flying Squad have been lauded for their bravery on Friday, after they took on a pair of hijackers near Khayelitsha. The dramatic shootout took place in Lingelethu West, leaving one suspect injured and the other fatally wounded. The surviving carjacker will soon appear in court.

Cape Town cops bring down carjacking criminals

With serious and violent crime high on the agenda, members attached to the Western Cape Flying Squad conducted crime prevention patrols in Lingelethu West overnight. Their attention was piqued by a Kia Picanto, previously identified as a ‘wanted vehicle’ by law enforcement officials. Attempts to pull the men over soon turned violent, however.

Gunfire was exchanged between both parties. Sadly for the hijackers, they fought the law – and the law won. One of the suspects died at the scene, whereas the other sustained a single gunshot wound. He was subsequently arrested on the spot. SAPS has since released a statement on the matter, confirming two weapons have also been seized.

SAPS statement on the shootout with hijackers

“The Western Cape Flying Squad conducted crime prevention patrols in Lingelethu West last night when they spotted a vehicle that was circulated as hijacked in Mfuleni. Attempts to pull the vehicle over resulted in shots being exchanged between the occupants of the Kia Picanto and police, which ended when one of the suspects was fatally wounded.”

“The second suspect sustained a gunshot wound and was arrested. Two unlicensed firearms, a 9mm pistol, and a .38 revolver were confiscated. The suspect is due to make his court appearance in Khayelitsha once he has been charged.”

#sapsWC Western Cape #FlyingSquad spotted a hijacked vehicle in Lingelethu West last night during patrols. Shootout ensued between suspects and police. One suspect fatally wounded, second suspect arrested. Two unlicensed firearms confiscated. NP https://t.co/AtMB9xNsEa pic.twitter.com/8wq0t1AgJP

— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) May 7, 2021

‘Who are you? You’re suspended’ – EFF cause chaos for Cyril in Parliament

May 6th 2021 at 08:37

The EFF has wasted no time in giving Cyril Ramaphosa the hazing he could not avoid on Thursday. The Red Berets didn’t give the president a second to start his address during Parliamentary Questions – and Deputy Leader Floyd Shivambu was accused of ‘contempt’ by questioning the president’s authority, following his row with Ace Magashule.

Watch: EFF clash with Ramaphosa in Parliament

You should know the story by now. The ANC officially suspended the corruption-accused Ace Magashule, while criminal charges still loom over him. He didn’t take the decision well, and wrote his own letter of suspension addressed towards President Ramaphosa. As far as Ace is concerned, Cyril is no longer recognised as the serving head of state.

The EFF decided to push the boundaries on this matter, sending Shivambu into bat…

#RamaphosaQandA | Proceedings are off to a rough start when EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu addresses the elephant in the room.

MPs want to know if Ramaphosa can speak for the ANC after #AceSuspendsCyril. pic.twitter.com/YHOMCQp11M

— Jacaranda News (@JacaNews) May 6, 2021

What Floyd Shivambu said to Cyril Ramaphosa…

“Who is representing the ANC today? The information we have is that Mr Ramaphosa is suspended from the ANC… he is not permitted even by his own organisation. It is false to say he is in charge.”

EFF Chief Whip, Floyd Shivambu raises a point of order asking who President Cyril Ramaphosa is representing as he raises the suspension issue.#RamaphosaQandA

— Athi Mtongana (@Artii_M) May 6, 2021

Magashule fall-out dismissed by Parliamentary authorities

Thankfully for Cyril Ramaphosa, the House Speaker wasn’t interested in entertaining what he called ‘social media squabbles’. He shut down the complaints from TWO separate EFF MPs, who soon learned their protests weren’t going anywhere immediately. After the traditional shouting match and Parliamentary chaos, order was restored to the chamber.

Floyd Shivambu: "we need to know if Cyril Ramaphosa is still the President of SA.. In what capacity is he allowed to speak in this parliament"

Deputy speaker : "Order honourable member, i don't know what happens in social media" pic.twitter.com/kcvAyt4a5g

— Akanii ♒ (@LesNgobz) May 6, 2021

‘Shock, dismay’: Ramaphosa breaks silence on Ace’s attempt to suspend him

May 6th 2021 at 07:34

Quite a few things have ‘shocked’ Cyril Ramaphosa during his years as president – but it’s fair to say receiving a letter informing him of his suspension from the ANC has to be one of the more left-field surprises he’s ever had. The tit-for-tat battle with Ace Magashule came to a head on Wednesday, as the party SG fought back against the president.

Who is suspending who? Ramaphosa reacts to Magashule

Responding to an official letter of suspension, Magashule retaliated by sending one back to Ramaphosa’s office. However, Ace somewhat lacks the authority to start telling the president if he should turn up for work or not…

Nomfanelo Kota, acting spokesperson of the ANC Parliamentary caucus, has revealed that President Ramaphosa did address MPs about this matter on Thursday – ahead of what’s likely to be a fiery session of Parliamentary questions this afternoon. The caucus meeting was called as a matter of urgency earlier in the day.

President left ‘shocked’ once more…

According to Kota, Ramaphosa was both ‘shocked and dismayed’ by the conduct of his comrade. Ace Magashule’s attempts to suspend the president have been deemed ‘null and void’ by the head of state, who was at a loss to explain why the Secretary-General of the ANC pulled something so outlandish out of the bag:

“He did in, in his opening remarks at the beginning of the meeting, express his dismay over last night’s events, especially his so-called suspension. He stated that in his view that the so-called suspension was null and void as it had not been discussed by any of the officials. Mr. Ramaphosa is shocked that this attempt came out of the blue.”

"It was with a measure of dismay because this issue of suspending me as the president of the ANC has never been discussed by the officials or anyone, it just came out of the blue but I felt it really is null & void" – Cyril Ramaphosa to ANC caucus @ewnreporter

— Matshidiso Madia (@tshidi_lee) May 6, 2021

Live stream: Ramaphosa takes questions in Parliament on Thursday 6 May

May 6th 2021 at 07:01

This is the one thing you suspect Cyril Ramaphosa DIDN’T want to do after Wednesday’s chaotic showdown with Ace Magashule. But like it or lump it, the president has to face the music with Parliamentary Questions at 14:00 on Thursday 6 May – and we’ve got the live stream for the event right here…

MEDIA ADVISORY: PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA TO ANSWER QUESTIONS IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY; NCOP CONVENES MINISTERIAL BRIEFING ON TRANSPORT pic.twitter.com/ZzWHI9wUOg

— Parliament of RSA (@ParliamentofRSA) May 5, 2021

Live stream: Cyril Ramaphosa to take questions in Parliament on Thursday 6 May

[The live stream will appear here just before 14:00]

What will Ramaphosa talk about in Parliament?

Ramaphosa will deal with a range of issues, many raised by his political opponents, and a press release from the office of the presidency claims that there will be specific details shared on SA’s vaccination programme. GBV, the crisis in Mozambique, and even the state of Mzansi’s economic recovery will all be up for debate:

“President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Thursday, 06 May 2021, use the occasion of his reply to questions in the National Assembly to provide updates on progress with the country’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, economic recovery plan, and efforts to end gender-based violence. The President answers questions in the National Assembly once every quarter.” 
 
“Ramaphosa is also reporting on South Africa’s contribution to regional and continental efforts to address the security situation in Mozambique. The President generally answers questions for oral reply in the National Assembly once every quarter. He will also deal with progress in the implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.”

Vaccine rollout under scrutiny

Indeed, let’s hope that The President does have a comprehensive answer about the COVID-19 vaccines up his sleeve – because EFF leader and staunch Ramaphosa critic Julius Malema is ready to land a few ‘jabs’ on this issue.

[At 14h00]: Cyril Ramaphosa will update the National Assembly on the progress with South Africa Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Here is a question for Oral Reply by our CIC @Julius_S_Malema pic.twitter.com/WesUnv57Ft

— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) May 6, 2021

Live stream: Ramaphosa takes questions in Parliament on Thursday 6 May

A day after he was 'suspended' by Ace Magashule, Cyril Ramaphosa is in Parliament to face several tough questions on Thursday. The live stream is here, too.

Cape Storm turns deadly: Two dead after floods flip vehicle

May 6th 2021 at 05:37

The ferocious Cape Storm shows no sign of relenting on Thursday, and widespread rainfall and strong winds expected to persist throughout the Western Cape up until tomorrow morning. Weather warnings remain in place, but sadly, the extreme conditions have already claimed two lives in the past 24 hours.

Cape Storm latest news and updates: Two dead in Bonnievale

In relaying the latest update on the storm, Western Cape officials confirmed that flooding had caused several serious incidents on Wednesday. Roads have been damaged, major commuter routes shutdown, and there are even reports of vehicles being swept away in some provincial districts. The local government has confirmed the following:

  • Two people died in flood waters in Bonnievale on the R317 last night – after being trapped in an overturned vehicle.
  • Another bakkie that was stuck in floodwaters was towed out and the driver managed to escape without injuries.
  • A number of children that were reported to be trapped under a bridge were found to be safe in a nearby house.
  • Several roads were left badly damaged.
  • The Meiringspoort was closed but has since been reopened.
  • The most significant damage caused by the weather has been reported across the Cape Winelands.

Weather warnings for the Western Cape on Thursday 6 May

Anton Bredell, The Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs, and Development Planning in the Western Cape, has expressed his condolences to those affected by this terrible tragedy. The Cape Storm has dumped over 100mm of rain in some suburbs, pushing emergency services to their very limits overnight.

“Our emergency services have been working tirelessly throughout the night. The conditions caused by the Cape Storm were very difficult and we are grateful for the men and women who stood up once more to help our communities. We hope that we don’t see any further major incidents and urge the public to take care over the next few days.”

“In Robertson and Hermanus, 41mm of rainfall has been measured. Struisbaai, meanwhile, has received 115mm of rainfall. Swellendam has recorded 45mm, and Grabouw 58mm. In Cape Town, between 6mm and 14mm has been measured so far. And finally, the Tsitsikamma region has received about 48mm to 50mm.”

Watch: NEW footage shows CIT hero Leo Prinsloo ‘taking on armed thugs’

May 6th 2021 at 05:06

Savvy driving skills and a fearless desire to catch the crooks have made a household name out of Leo Prinsloo, whose calmness under pressure has earned him a vast array of plaudits in the last seven days. The former top cop managed to derail a Cash-In-Transit (CIT) heist, and a video of the incident has been beamed across the world.

The footage EVERYONE is talking about gets a sequel…

The clip is from an incident that took place on the N4 highway in Pretoria last month. The armoured vehicle is attacked on the road – but the driver and his colleague, Lloyd Mtombeni, maintain cool heads, bringing the fight to the suspects.

They manage to evade one of the assailants’ vehicles – despite being under fire for most of the ordeal. The video that went viral made Leo Prinsloo a national hero. But we aren’t done lauding him just yet…

Watch: New footage emerges of Leo Prinsloo vs CIT robbers

New footage shared online shows the sheer bravery exhibited by Leo Prinsloo behind the wheel, and his comrade Mtombeni in the passenger seat. The vehicle’s dashcam now gives us a front-facing account of the incident that dropped jaws worldwife. The security team can be seen taking on the thugs – ramming into their vehicle as it nips ahead of them.

The last bit was clipped in the previous video. pic.twitter.com/b6btQ8HgcM

— eNCA_BarryBateman (@eNCA_BBateman) May 5, 2021

Who is Leo Prinsloo?

Prinsloo is reportedly a former member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) Task Force who left the service around 2004. He now runs his own weapons training academy in Centurion, Tshwane. He also works as an armed security escort – a very dangerous side-hustle – to earn extra income.

However, being thrust into the public eye for an act of heroism doesn’t come without its downsides. Leo Prinsloo and his family are now under armed guard, after he received death threats from criminals thought to be involved in the botched CIT heist. Truly, no good deed ever goes unpunished in Mzansi…

New COVID cases in SA hit three-month high – as infections rise in ALL provinces

May 6th 2021 at 03:58

Predicting when the third wave of infections will hit a largely unvaccinated South Africa has proved to be a difficult task – but the crest of the tide may just have come into view last night: The number of daily new cases recorded hit a three-month high on Wednesday, breaching the 2 000 mark for the first time since mid-February.

Third wave loading? ‘All provinces’ see increase in infections

Rather than this being a one-off spike in the data, a provincial breakdown of the numbers shows that there are sustained increases of COVID-19 infections across the board. Ridhwaan Suliman is a lead researcher for CSIR, and he has put together a startling graph that exposes upward trends across the country.

Free State, Gauteng and the Northern Cape appear to be experiencing the sharpest increases:

The worms paint a worrying picture about a third wave, showing some troubling form over the past 21 days – Photo: Ridhwaan Suliman

The worrying signs from South Africa’s latest COVID-19 data

  • – The number of new cases on Wednesday – 2 073 – is the highest figure since 18 February 2021.
  • – Third wave fears have been compounded by Gauteng’s seven-day average for new cases – UP 33% in the last week.
  • – Free State has experienced the steepest rise in new infections since the start of April 2021.
  • – COVID-19 hospitalisations have also shown an increase in the past few days, rising by about 5%.

Third wave fears stoked by new figures

The Health Department also reported 46 deaths due to coronavirus yesterday, with a large majority of the deceased being reported in both Gauteng and Limpopo. A study released earlier this week predicted that a third wave could claim ‘at least 7 000 more lives‘ in South Africa – and that’s only in the best-case scenario.

“Today 46 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape four, Free State one, Gauteng 19, Kwa-Zulu Natal two, Limpopo 18, and Northern Cape two – which brings the total to 54 557 deaths. We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased patients.”

COVID-19 graph

Photo: Ridhwaan Suliman

Will those still waiting on R350 grant payments get ‘double pay’ in May?

May 6th 2021 at 02:57

SASSA has issued a media release on Thursday, addressing concerns about a backlog in R350 grant payments. The social support scheme has hit a wall, with applications for new payments lapsing at the end of April. But the agency has moved to reassure its clients that they will be paid ‘all monies owed to them’ – even if they have to double-up.

R350 grant latest – payments still being processed in May

There has been an appeal for calm, after a number of approved applicants showed up at post offices and other venues to request payment of the R350 grant funds still owed to them. SASSA has warned against panic, instead opting to tell those affected that ‘all deserving clients’ will be properly remunerated – even though there are no specific dates given.

SASSA has since been questioned about how *exactly* these payments will be made. Many beneficiaries are at least two paydays behind, due to various administrative issues. They have asked if ‘double payments’ will be made to them, essentially having R700 deposited into their accounts after already missing one payday.

Will SASSA issue ‘double payments’? It’s a grey area…

According to the agency, double payments in May are indeed a possibility for some – but they won’t always be delivered this way. The backlog of funds could be split over a period of days or weeks, rather than arriving as a lump sum. When people receive their outstanding R350 grant – and in what manner it comes – is purely down to ‘luck of the draw’.

“All applicants for the R350 grant can rest assured that the monies will be paid as soon as possible. Even after the grant has ended, payments will be made to those deserving clients. It may not necessarily come as a double payment or a lump sum on the same day, and in some cases, could be split over days or weeks. We apologise for any inconvenience.”

  • You can read the full statement here:

Media Release: All approved but unpaid COVID-19 SRD grant beneficiaries will still be paid #SASSACARES @The_DSD @GCISMedia @nda_rsa @GovernmentZA @PostofficeSa pic.twitter.com/t8wtYezSb6

— SASSA (@OfficialSASSA) May 6, 2021

Lockdown latest: What restrictions are ‘most likely to return’ this winter?

May 5th 2021 at 11:50

The scientific community is almost unanimously certain that a third wave of COVID-19 is coming to South Africa in some form this winter. The threat of ‘new variants’ and cold weather driving the virus could prove to be a lethal cocktail, and whenever coronavirus numbers rise, lockdown restrictions get tougher – it’s a cycle we are on course for this winter.

Variants, cold weather ‘likely to bring tougher lockdown restrictions back’

South Africa has only vaccinated 300 000 healthcare workers, along with Cyril Ramaphosa, David Mabuza, and a number of other political leaders. Although immunisation numbers are expected to ‘shoot-up’ in May, not enough people have developed immunity against the virus to negate the arrival of a third wave.

So, if the inevitable becomes the unavoidable, what can we expect to change from our lives of semi-normality at Level 1? We’ve looked at the six restrictions that are expected to return first, in the event of another COVID-19 barrage:

What restrictions are most likely to return in a third wave?

Travel

Variants are arguably the most worrisome factor for a country that has managed to suppress its caseload, as there are suspicions that different strains can evade both vaccines and the body’s own immune response. The Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) has already stated that ‘leisure and business travel’ should be restricted now.

Border closures

Take the Indian variant, for example. That’s causing a great deal of stress at the minute, as that particular mutation has a similar lineage to the EK484 spike protein that spooked scientists at the start of the year. Not only will international travel laws be tightened, but entire border posts across SA will also act as a first line of defence to tackle a possible third wave.

Gatherings

Wintery conditions make fertile breeding ground for this virus. If there are two things COVID loves, it’s indoor circulation AND large crowds. Should SA be in a position where cases rise, we expect to see the maximum number for allowed gatherings – both inside and outside – slashed dramatically by the government.

Funerals

Much like gatherings, funerals can draw many people in, bringing swathes of mourners together at the same time. If gatherings are subject to tougher restrictions due to a third wave, funerals WILL follow suit.

Alcohol

Previous COVID surges saw booze removed from the shelves, for weeks on end. Prohibition is a crutch used, not always wisely, by the government when new cases increase, and drinkers of South Africa know to expect the worst…

Curfew

This is one of the more flexible lockdown rules, and can be tweaked as the government sees fit. Every time gatherings, personal movement, and alcohol purchases are limited, curfew times get extended. So if we do get that third wave for winter, this restriction is likely to be altered again.

Lockdown latest: How bad will third wave be in South Africa?

Meanwhile, even with the looming threat of a new variant washing up on Mzansi’s shores, the South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium has confidently stated that the inevitable third wave of the virus ‘will be much weaker than first feared‘. That’s because their own independent numbers suggest ‘up to 40% of SA’ has already been infected.

The consortium reckons that the real COVID-19 death toll for South Africa is nearly 130 000, as opposed to 54 000 registered by the government’s official rolling total. They also believe a well-managed response to a virus resurgence would ‘only’ lead to a further 7 000 deaths. But with the Indian variant lurking, the government remains on high alert:

“We wish to reassure citizens that there are no direct flights from India and that all our ports of entry employ stringent containment procedures to minimize the importation of Covid-19. We are currently on high alert to screen passengers and test those who require further assessment.”

Zweli Mkhize

Six things Magashule is banned from doing, after being ‘suspended WITH pay’

May 5th 2021 at 10:45

A day many suspected would not come has actually arrived on Wednesday, and the ANC has stuck to its guns on the ‘step aside’ rule. After giving Ace Magashule 30 days to temporarily vacate his position in the party while he remains accused of corruption, his decision to ignore the deadline has prompted the party to force Ace’s hand.

Ace Magashule suspended – and banned from these activities

Magashule has been suspended, and although he remains on full pay, he is now severely limited in what he can – and cannot – do under the banner of the ANC. In total, six major restrictions have been placed on the 61-year-old:

  • Ace Magashule is banned from carrying out ANY duties in his role as ANC Secretary-General.
  • He is not allowed to ‘represent the ANC publicly’ while suspended from the party.
  • Magashule ‘cannot make pronouncements’ on behalf of the ANC – he has no authority to speak for the party.
  • Ace is also banned from ‘mobilising or organising’ other party structures to protest his suspension.
  • He cannot go ‘longer than a month’ without informing the party about how his criminal case is progressing.
  • And finally, he is limited from appealing the ANC’s decision UNLESS the party agrees to hear his case.

What next for suspended SG?

Magashule is accused of ‘graft’ in Free State. While he ruled as the provincial premier, the political veteran stands accused of orchestrating a fraudulent operation worth more than R250 million, enriching himself and his cronies through an alleged ‘asbestos auditing contract’. He has been charged by the Hawks, and further litigation awaits.

“You [Ace Magashule] have been indicted to appear in a court of law on charges of corruption and fraud, as well as money laundering. Accordingly, you are hereby suspended temporarily, effective from Monday 3 May, up until the final outcome of your court proceedings. This suspension is in the best interests of our organisation.”

ANC statement, signed by Jessie Duarte

Take note, Ace: Top ANC figure becomes first to ‘step aside’ due to corruption

May 4th 2021 at 10:42

We have a feeling Ace Magashule will be reading this news from behind the sofa: Mike Mabuyakhulu has taken a very important first step for both himself AND the rest of the ANC – he became the first significant figure in the party to voluntarily ‘step aside’ from his job after being dogged by allegations of corruption.

Who is Mike Mabuyakhulu?

The KZN Provincial Deputy Chair was identified by the ANC Integrity Commission as someone who had committed blatant acts of maladministration. Although he did not resign within the recommended 30-day window, Mabuyakhulu has now laid down the gauntlet for several other major players in the ruling party.

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the ANC last night instructed the secretary-general’s office to write letters to all members who are affected by the new “step-aside” rule. With Ace Magashule being implicated, however, he has had to hand duties over to Jessie Duarte. Anyone who fails to comply will now be suspended from their roles.

First ANC figure to ‘step aside’ – will Ace Magashule follow?

Mabuyakhulu has become the first person to walk before he could be pushed, and all eyes will soon swivel to Ace Magashule. The party stalwart has dug in stubbornly to ignore the step aside directive so far, but his comrade in KZN could prove to be the first domino of many that fall voluntarily. The deputy chair also released a statement on Tuesday.

“No individual is bigger than the ANC, and all of us should subject ourselves to bonafide ANC decisions. In line with the position adopted by our movement, I hereby respectfully tender my resignation. I will step aside from my position as the Provincial Deputy Chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal.”

“My decision to step aside should be communicated to all members of the party, as well as the general public. It has not been difficult to arrive at this decision, and I would have tendered this letter much earlier – but I learned there was a meeting of national officials that would give more clarity and guidance on the ‘step aside resolution’.”

ANC KZN Deputy Chairperson Mike Mabuyakhulu has stepped aside in position in the KZN province. He is leading by example.

We will wait for rest to follow ✊🏾✊🏾#StateCaptureCommission#PleaseCallMe pic.twitter.com/Yy2rQoPBC7

— Keabetswe Nkosazana Manyobe (@KBmanyobe) May 4, 2021

ZZ2 Protests: EFF blasted for threatening to ‘attack farms and burn trucks’

May 2nd 2021 at 06:30

Representatives of the EFF have been roundly lambasted for stepping over the line during their protests against fresh produce company, ZZ2. The distributor has been accused of ignoring worker’s rights, prompting the Red Berets to conduct a ‘labour desk’ visit with dozens of supporters. However, the rally soon took an outrageous turn.

EFF ‘threaten to attack farms’ in Limpopo

Fired-up EFF members allegedly threatened to burn trucks and attack farms belonging to the ZZ2 group in Mopani, Limpopo. With emotions running high, things started to get out of hand on Saturday afternoon.

They also made threats that if they don't get what they want they will attack ZZ2 trucks and farms. The ZZ2 farm owners were not immediately available for comment. Crdt @SAfmnews

— Shylet Maganga (@shurugwian) May 2, 2021

DA reassure businesses over ‘truck burning’ claims

As expected, the threats have drawn widespread criticism across the political spectrum. The DA made their voices heard too, with Solly Malatsi – the party’s political head in Mopani – branding the taunts as ‘disgusting’.

In a recently published statement, Malatsi gave his support to ZZ2 and the farming communities of Limpopo, and called for heightened police surveillance at strategic points to ensure the safety of land owners and rural workers.

“The DA in Limpopo is disgusted by the EFF’s threats of violence against ZZ2, during their protest yesterday on Worker’s Day. It is opportunistic for them to threaten to burn ZZ2 trucks and attack its farms, all of which will, if executed, destroy the livelihood of thousands of farmworkers.”

“Our local farmers play a significant role in keeping the Limpopo economy running and the DA stands firmly against attempts by the EFF to undermine or attack our farming communities. We call on SAPS to closely monitor the situation and intervene immediately should party members act on any of the threats made.”

Pravin Gordhan, Denel accused of ‘committing war crimes’ – here’s why…

May 2nd 2021 at 05:46

A lot of mud has been thrown at Pravin Gordhan over the last few years. He has felt the wrath of both pro-Zuma forces with the ANC, and he remains the EFF’s most prominent nemesis. However, these latest set of accusations do not come from his political rivals – but rather, a team of investigators looking into economic crimes and the situation in Yemen.

Pravin Gordhan, Denel accused in Yemen report

The Middle-Eastern country has been decimated by an ongoing conflict in the region, after clashing with the respective mights of Saudi Arabia and UAE. The devastation has left 80% of citizens in Yemen requiring ‘humanitarian aid’ to survive. And, according to Open Secrets, there’s might be a trail leading from this war back to South Africa.

The group says they have uncovered evidence of ‘billion-rand sales’ to both the Saudis and the Emiratis, including mortar shells and armoured combat vehicles. These weapons of war may now land Pravin Gordhan in some serious trouble, given that Denel – responsible for manufacturing the items – falls under his Public Enterprises portfolio.

The Minister of War Crimes? Here’s what is behind the Pravin Gordhan allegations

  • Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are involved in Yemen’s humanitarian conflict.
  • The report covers details about an export of war weapons from SA, to the tune of R2.81 billion, to Saudi Arabia.
  • An export of war weapons worth R4.74 billion to the United Arabian Emirates has also, allegedly, been uncovered.
  • Everything from mortars and artillery guns, to ammunition to armoured combat vehicles, form ‘part of the exports’.

DA demand probe into possible Yemen involvement

For the DA, the report is very much a literal smoking gun that ties Pravin Gordhan AND Denel to one of the most brutal ongoing conflicts in the world. Michele Clarke, the party’s shadow minister for Public Enterprises, confirmed that the opposition would now push for a Parliamentary inquiry into any possible South African involvement:

“The DA will write to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises to request that Pravin Gordhan appear before Parliament to answer for the role of Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) in the civil war in Yemen.”

“In a recent report by Open Secrets, titled ‘Profiting from Misery – South Africa’s war crimes in Yemen‘, it was revealed that RDM might have profited off the Yemeni humanitarian crisis by the sale of weapons to parties central in the conflict.”

Zulu succession gets ugly: First wife MaDlamini disputes King’s will

May 2nd 2021 at 04:27

The race to the throne in the Zulu Nation has taken a darker turn this week, following the tragic death of interim regent Queen Mantfombi. This, just weeks after King Zwelithini died, has created a bit of chaos in the succession process – and MaDlamini, the first wife of the recently deceased male monarch, is launching a bombshell legal challenge.

Who is MaDlamini?

According to a statement released by MaDlamini loyalists and their legal counsel, the first wife of Goodwill Zwelithini is unhappy with the contents of his final will. As she is the only wife who married in a civil rites ceremony (as opposed to traditional ceremonies), the royal believes the power should rest firmly in her hands.

MaDlamini has had five children with Goodwill Zwelithini:

  1. Prince Lethukuthula Zulu, the first-born child who sadly died last year.
  2. Princess Nombuso Zulu, a few years younger, is now the owner of Durban-based Ilembe Catering Services.
  3. Ntombizosuthu Ka Zwelithini Duma, who became a businesswoman and co-owns Strategic Persuasions and Zamalwandle Transport Logistics with her husband. She is married to Mbongiseni Duma, a prominent businessman from Johannesburg
  4. Princess Ntandoyenkosi Ka Zwelithini Ngcaweni, born in 1982, serves as an Asset Manager at the Public Investment Corporation.
  5. Princess Sinethemba Bati Zulu, the youngest of the bunch, is studying International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand.

Zulu succession battle latest

  • As per their official line on the matter, two issues have been raised by the MaDlamini camp

“We wish to confirm that there are pending matters before the courts in relation to the estate of His Majesty, the late King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu Nation. The first matter relates to the declarator of the late monarch’s civil union vs the subsequent ’customary’ unions, in order to deal with matters of inheritance and succession to the throne.”

“On the second matter, we can confirm that the will has been read to the royal family. However, based on certain concerns in regards to the handling and signature of the document, it became necessary to place the document’s validity for determination before the courts.” | Statement from MaDlamini representatives

ANC crushed by multi-million rand tax bill ‘left unpaid by Zuma’

May 2nd 2021 at 03:38

ANC finances are seemingly in meltdown at this point, after salary payments were delayed for the end of April. This follows several other wage woes over the past 18 months, that have left workers short of cash. With pressure on the purse strings already high for the party, it seems that a move from SARS has rattled the 109-year-old institution.

SARS bill hits ANC hard

A Sunday Times report claims that a R17 million bill – taken from the money allocated to the party by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) – has been enough to disrupt operations within the ANC. Luthuli House general manager Febe Potgieter acknowledged the situation, predicting that difficulties could last for SIX MONTHS:

“Due to continued financial difficulties, this situation of uncertainty with regard to the exact date of payment of salaries is likely to continue for the coming three to six months.”

“We appeal to the financial institutions and other creditors of our staff to take note that late payments by no means are the fault of the individual staff, and therefore not to penalise them for this unfortunate situation.”

Unpaid tax from Zuma era reclaimed by SARS

With high interest on other taxations still troubling the ANC, staff are no longer guaranteed that their salaries will be paid at the end of each month for the foreseeable future. Their financial struggles have been well documented, as corruption allegations continue to plague the governing party.

This R17 million hit stems back to the Zuma Administration. By the end of 2017, around R80 million in PAYE tax was owed to SARS. Reports claim money WAS deducted from employees, but WAS NOT paid to the Revenue Service. Zuma was ousted from office just months later, leaving Cyril Ramaphosa’s team with a cumbersome tax burden.

Iyoh! ANC is unable to pay salaries again because SARS garnished the funds the glorious movement receives from the IEC. Ewee Jakop Zuma left the tax bill of over R17milllion for Cyril to pay. pic.twitter.com/110Zauyf36

— Abuti Josef🇿🇦 (@AbutiJosef) May 2, 2021

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