Let’s wrap up some of the top stories happening in South Africa this week.
SUSPECTS NABBED BY THE HAWKS FOR ALLEGEDLY TRAFFICKING 14 CHILDREN
Two suspects have been arrested in Kimberley, Northern Cape, for allegedly trafficking 14 children from Midrand, Johannesburg. The Hawks made the arrest after receiving a tip-off about the children boarding a bus to Cape Town. The suspects were found with 14 undocumented children aged between 6 and 14 years. They claimed to be taking the children to their parents, but this has not been verified. The investigation is ongoing.
DA CHIEF WHIP IN UMNGENI GUNNED DOWN
The Democratic Alliance’s uMngeni Municipality’s Chief Whip, Nhlalayenza Ndlovu, was gunned down on Tuesday night (5 December 2023). Three gunmen approached Ndovu’s home, and when the councillor opened the door, they shot him point-blank and fled the scene. The DA’s provincial leader, Francois Rodger, has called on the police to swiftly bring to justice those responsible for killing the party’s councillor.
COURT HEARS THAT AGNES SETSHWANTSHO HAD INSURED AT LEAST 40 OF HER EXTENDED FAMILY MEMBERS
The Molopo Magistrate’s court in Mahikeng, North West, heard that Agnes Setshwantsho registered at least 40 extended family members at five different insurance companies. Setshwantsho appeared in court on Wednesday after her arrest last month on suspicion of killing her niece. Investigating officer Keshi Mabunda told the court that she had disclosed two addresses, but they found at least five residences that belong to her. Setshwantsho was applying for bail, but the case was postponed to next week for the continuation of the bail application.
AMAPANYAZA CRASH 22 NEW BMW’S
Gauteng crime prevention wardens, AmaPanyaza, have reportedly crashed 22 brand new BMWs. Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi initiated the idea of having these wardens to tackle crime in the province. Three cars have reportedly been written off, and 11 are being repaired. These cars were given to them to patrol areas. The incident has raised concerns and criticism, questioning the effectiveness and responsibility of such patrols.
GA-RANKUWA AND MABOPANE CEMETERIES REACH FULL CAPACITY, TO CLOSE IN 2024
The City of Tshwane announced that the Ga-Rankuwa and Mabopane cemeteries have reached full capacity and will be closed in 2024. Mabopane’s lifespan is set to end in February 2024, and Ga-Rankuwa’s in March 2024. Tshwane is now searching for alternative locations for new cemeteries to address the rising demand. The closure dates are subject to the number of burials during the specified times.
SUSPECTED CHOLERA CASE IN EASTERN CAPE PROMPTS HEALTH DEPARTMENT ALERT
The Eastern Cape health department has activated its outbreak response and health promotion teams after detecting a suspected cholera case in a 47-year-old individual from Walmer. The patient is currently in stable condition and isolated at Livingstone Hospital. The department is awaiting toxigenicity results from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. Precautionary measures have been implemented to address any potential outbreak.
POSITIVE YEAR-ON-YEAR INCREASE IN ELECTRICITY GENERATION IN SOUTH AFRICA
Statistics South Africa reports a positive year-on-year increase in electricity generation for the first time in two years. The data reveals a 1.3% increase in distributed electricity across all nine provinces in October. Electricity generation increased by 3.6% between September and October, with a 1.6% year-on-year increase. This marks a positive trend after negative figures in previous months, indicating a potential improvement in the country’s electricity supply.
JUDGEMENT EXPECTED IN PHALA PHALA FARM THEFT BAIL APPLICATION
Magistrate Predeshni Ponnan is expected to deliver judgment in the bail application of Imanuwela David, the alleged mastermind of a burglary at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm. David, along with siblings Florianah and Ndlilinasho Joseph, faces charges of robbery and theft of over $580,000 from the farm in February 2020. The state opposes bail, citing concerns about David’s lack of a stable address. The defence argues that denying bail would not be in the interest of justice and suggests political pressure is influencing the case.
SIX THOUSAND POST OFFICE EMPLOYEES TO BE RETRENCHED
Approximately 6,000 employees at the South African Post Office (SAPO) will face retrenchment as part of a business rescue plan. Creditors have approved the plan, which aims to rescue the struggling state-owned entity by retrenching around 6,000 of its 11,000 employees. The plan also involves closing about 420 SAPO branches. The business rescue is contingent on a new R3.8 billion state-funded bailout. Business rescue practitioner Anoosh Rooplal confirmed that the required 75% of votes were obtained, making the plan binding. The formal retrenchment process is set to commence.
PRASA’S LONG-DISTANCE TRAINS TO CAPE TOWN AND DURBAN ARE BACK
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) is urging South Africans to opt for rail travel between cities this December to alleviate congestion on the roads. PRASA has announced the resumption of long-distance mainline passenger services from Johannesburg to Durban and Cape Town for the festive season. The services were halted in 2021 due to operational and network infrastructure challenges. PRASA spokesperson Andiswa Makanda highlighted the comfort and relaxation offered by train travel, emphasizing it as a cost-effective alternative to road travel during the holiday season. Economy seat prices range from R170 to Durban and R430 to Cape Town, with the option for passengers to bring their vehicles at an additional charge.
THEFT CASE FILED AGAINST POLICE IN GAUTENG FOR DRINKING CONFISCATED ALCOHOL
Black Forum South Africa (BFSA) has reported a theft case against police officers accused of consuming confiscated alcohol from a nightclub in Gauteng’s Sedibeng District. The BFSA CEO, Kgagudi Morota, visited the family of the nightclub owner in response to their claims of mistreatment during a raid last month. The family alleges that the police conducted the raid without a warrant, and their treatment was described as inhumane. The case has been handed over to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) for further investigation. CCTV footage reportedly shows female police officers holding expensive alcohol and celebrating the seized items.