Let’s wrap up some of the top stories happening in South Africa this week.
12 PEOPLE CONFIRMED DEAD FOLLOWING THE STORM THAT HIT THE WESTERN CAPE
The Western Cape government has confirmed the loss of 12 lives in the aftermath of the destructive storm that struck the Mother City. Over the weekend, severe weather conditions wreaked havoc, leading to extensive damage caused by flooding, mudslides, rockfalls, fallen trees, and structural damage.
The provincial government is currently conducting autopsies to ascertain the precise causes of death for the 12 individuals. Preliminary reports indicate that eight of them were tragically electrocuted during the storms that battered the province.
In response to the crisis, Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has taken action by signing a major incident declaration.
CONDOLENCES CONTINUE TO POUR IN, FOLLOWING ZOLEKA MANDELA’S PASSING
Heartfelt condolences continue to flood in as the world mourns the loss of Zoleka Mandela. The 43-year-old courageous soul, granddaughter of the late Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, peacefully departed on Monday after a long battle with cancer.
Zoleka Mandela’s journey was marked by unwavering strength as she confronted metastatic cancer affecting her hip, liver, lung, pelvis, brain, and spinal cord.
ESKOM VOWS TO KEEP LOADSHEDDING BELOW STAGE 4 THIS SUMMER
Eskom, the national power utility, has made a commitment to maintain loadshedding levels below stage 4 during the upcoming summer season. In a recent media briefing, Eskom disclosed that it had expended a substantial amount of diesel during winter to mitigate the impact of power cuts.
Bheki Nxumalo, Eskom’s Chief Executive for Generation, applauded the progress and enhanced generation capacity achieved at power stations like Medupi, Duvha, and Majuba. However, Nxumalo cautioned that further efforts are required to address issues at the troubled Tutuka and Kendal power stations.
SIZOKUTHOLA HOST XOLANI KHUMALO RELEASED ON BAIL AMID MURDER CHARGE
Xolani Khumalo, the television presenter known for his role on “Sizokuthola” and as a drug buster, has been granted bail of R20,000. This decision follows his appearance at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on murder charges.
Reports suggest that Khumalo is connected to the death of Robert “Kicks” Varrie, an alleged drug dealer. It’s alleged that Khumalo and his team confronted and interrogated Varrie at his Katlehong residence, leading to his demise.
SENZO MEYIWA MURDER TRIAL RESUMES NEXT WEEK
The Senzo Meyiwa murder trial is set to recommence next week Monday, 02 October 2023, with Constable Sizwe Zungu, the officer responsible for placing all five accused individuals at a Vosloorus hostel on the day of the former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper’s tragic killing, expected to spend an extended period on the witness stand. The trial was postponed to give the defense to consult further with their clients after receiving over 700 photos extracted from the accused’s mobile phones.
AYEPYEP CAPE TOWN RETURNS TO RIGHTFUL OWNERS AND REOPENS FOR BUSINESS
Following a legal settlement, Ayepyep Cape Town has returned to its rightful owners, the family of the late DJ Sumbody (Oupa Sefoka), and is has now reopened for business. Back in August, The Ayepyep Lifestyle was temporarily closed due to escalating fears of violence, extortion, and gang-related activities.
BRITISH AIRWAYS PILOT FIRED AFTER A NIGHT OUT DOING COCAINE AND WILD SEX IN JOBURG
A British Airways pilot, Mike Beaton, was fired after going out for a wild night involving drugs and wild sex in Johannesburg.
A British Airways flight from Johannesburg to London was then delayed for 24 hours. The Sun reports that Beaton’s actions were brought to light when a concerned stewardess reported him to superiors. He had been set to co-pilot the return flight to London.
During his downtime in Johannesburg, Beaton allegedly engaged in debauchery, which he subsequently detailed in explicit texts to a stewardess colleague. Following an investigation, British Airways cancelled the flight, conducted drug tests, and terminated Beaton’s employment.
OVER 7,000 POLICE OFFICERS ARRESTED FOR CRIMES INCLUDING MURDER AND RAPE, REVEALS BHEKI CELE
Police Minister Bheki Cele disclosed that in the last five years, more than 7,000 police officers have been charged with a range of offenses, including grave crimes such as murder, rape, and involvement in cash-in-transit heists. These alleged transgressions reportedly occurred between the 2018/19 financial year and the ongoing 2022/23 period.
Out of the staggering 7,000 officers charged for various crimes, a mere 686 have seen successful prosecution by the National Prosecuting Authority. Minister Cele went on to explain that among these officers, some have already been convicted, while others are currently undergoing trial.
GAUTENG POLICE INVESTIGATE KIDNAPPING SYNDICATE TARGETING LGBTQI+ COMMUNITY
Gauteng police are actively investigating a suspected syndicate that has been targeting members of the LGBTQI+ community. This investigation follows the arrest of seven individuals at the Denver hostel last week. These individuals are accused of kidnapping a student from Wits University.
The incident is reported to have begun when the suspects allegedly lured an 18-year-old Wits student through the dating app Grindr earlier this week. Subsequently, the kidnappers demanded a ransom of R30,000 from the student’s family in exchange for his safe release.
During a media briefing this week, Bheki Cele revealed that police have broken the back of this particular kidnapping syndicate that has so far been linked to over 50 kidnappings where ransom demands were being made.
According to the most recent crime statistics from the South African Police Service (SAPS), there has been a noticeable 8.6% increase in recorded abduction instances in South Africa compared to previous year, with 3,854 cases registered between April and June 2023 alone.
EMPLOYMENT RATE INCREASES BY 0.4 PERCENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
Statistics South Africa has reported a 0.4 percent increase in South Africa’s employment rate during the second quarter of the year. Full-time employment has decreased, while part-time employment has seen a rise.
This increase in employment corresponds to the addition of 39,000 more people in the workforce during the second quarter of 2023. Industries such as community services, business services, mining, and electricity have reported employment growth, while the manufacturing, transport, and construction sectors have experienced losses in full-time employment. The data sheds light on the dynamic shifts within the country’s labor market.
COURT ORDERS FORMER BOSASA COO ANGELO AGRIZZI TO UNDERGO MENTAL OBSERVATION
The High Court in Pretoria has issued an order for former Bosasa Chief Operating Officer, Angelo Agrizzi, to undergo a mental evaluation. The evaluation aims to determine his fitness to stand trial.
Agrizzi, along with three co-accused, faces charges of fraud and corruption linked to four contracts awarded to Bosasa worth R1.8 billion. The co-accused include former Commissioner of Correctional Services Linda Mti, former CFO of the department Patrick Gillingham, and former Bosasa CFO Andries van Tonder.
Agrizzi’s ill health has prevented him from attending court proceedings as an accused since 2020, resulting in multiple case postponements.