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First witness in Bishop Zondo’s rape trial to be cross-examined

The first witness in the rape trial of the Rivers of Living Waters Church leader, Bishop Stephen Zondo, is expected to be cross-examined in the High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

The 46-year-old woman, alleges to have been repeatedly sexually assaulted by the pastor when she was seven-years-old.

She opened an assault case against him in May 2020.

Fifty five-year-old Zondo is facing eight charges of rape, one of indecent assault and one of defeating the ends of justice.

On Tuesday, the court heard how he allegedly offered to buy the silence of the witness.

Zondo is said to have offered her livestock and R25 000 in exchange for dropping the charges –  which she says she declined.

Stephen Zondo rape trial continues:

A meeting between her and Zondo, and their respective families followed.

She says during that meeting, the pastor denied the allegations and claimed he did not recall anything.

Despite this, he is said to have apologised to the alleged victim’s family, but not to her.

The witness also claims the bishop pleaded for forgiveness and asked her to name her price to keep the matter a secret.

2020 video, Bishop Zondo maintains innocence amid sexual abuse claims:

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Climate and security to dominate US Secretary of State’s maiden Africa tour

Climate change and security in Ethiopia, Sudan and the Sahel are set to top the agenda as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in Nairobi on Wednesday to visit three of the continent’s major players: Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal.

Blinken’s first Africa trip follows the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, where poorer nations called on wealthy governments to do more to help them combat climate change.

His visit will likely seek to underscore the difference between President Joe Biden’s administration and his predecessor Donald Trump.

Trump dismissed some African nations as”s**tholes”, left key diplomatic posts to Africa empty and scoffed at climate change science.

Blinken’s first stop will be Kenya, where President Uhuru Kenyatta will want to discuss security following last month’s coup in Sudan and a widening war in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation and the headquarters of the African Union.

Blinken said last week that Ethiopia could “implode”, a prospect that would widen famine there and send millions of refugees around an already unstable region.

Kenya also contributes troops to an African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia, where Al Qaeda-linked insurgents are battling the government.

The mandate of the AU force is up for renewal next month and the United States is a key donor.

Blinken will also meet civil society representatives, considered an important bulwark of Kenyan democracy ahead of next year’s national election.

Polls can sometimes turn violent and Kenya, East Africa’s wealthiest and most stable nation, is headquarters to many multinationals.

VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA

On Thursday, Blinken will visit Nigeria – Africa’s largest oil exporter – to meet President Muhammadu Buhari, whose government is battling an Islamist insurgency in the northeast and mass kidnappings by armed gangs in the north and northwest.

The two are expected to discuss possible security assistance from the United States, a source in the Nigerian presidency told Reuters.

In July, Nigeria received its first six A-29 Super Tucano planes, four years after the United States agreed to sell the light attack aircraft to fight insurgents.

But analysts say Buhari has made little progress tackling corruption that has eroded the nation’s infrastructure – half of its citizens lack access to electricity – or abuses by the security services.

A judicial panel report this week accused the army and police of firing on protesters in Lagos last year in what it called a “massacre.”

Blinken’s final leg is Senegal, considered one of Africa’s most stable democracies, where the focus will be on leaders and female entrepreneurs.

He will also visit Dakar’s Institute Pasteur, which signed an agreement – alongside Rwanda – with BioNtech in October to build the first mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Africa starting in mid-2022.

Biden’s government has said it was working with manufacturers to help African countries boost vaccine production.

 

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Over 1 000 people, mostly Tigrayans, detained in Ethiopia in week – UN

At least 1 000 people, mostly ethnic Tigrayans, have been detained in cities across Ethiopia in the past week, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Ethiopia declared a state of emergency on November 2, a year after a conflict erupted between the federal government and forces aligned with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the political party controlling the northern region of Tigray.

The declaration, which is valid for six months, allows suspects to be detained without trial for as long as the state of emergency lasts and allows house-to-house searches without a warrant.

“At least 1 000 individuals are believed to have been detained over the past week or so with some reports putting the figure much higher,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement.

“These developments are all the more disturbing given that most of those detained are reported to be people of Tigrayan origin.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed “his concern over reports of arbitrary arrests and detentions, which serve to widen divisions and resentment between groups,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Ethiopian government spokesperson Legesse Tulu did not respond to a request for comment.

Police have previously said the arrests are not ethnically motivated but are aimed at detaining supporters of the TPLF.

The conditions in detention centres were poor and overcrowded and many were not told the reasons for their detention, the United Nations said.

Ten UN workers also were still being held, after the arrest of 16 last week, the organization said.

And 34 contractors remain in detention out of 72 who were arrested last week.

Any Ethiopians working for the United Nations would be held accountable for lawbreaking, the government said Ethiopian staff working for the United Nations or African Union do not live “in space” and will be punished for any lawbreaking, the government said on Thursday, after the arrest of several UN employees for unspecified offences.

Guterres called for the immediate release of detained UN staff members, the UN statement said.

It said UN staff were held without charge and there was no specific information provided for the arrests.

The TPLF, which used to dominate Ethiopian politics, accuses the federal government of centralising power.

The government accuses the TPLF of trying to return to its previous dominance.

Both are accused of violations that may amount to war crimes,the United Nations has said.

 

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Climate and security to dominate US Secretary of State’s maiden Africa tour

Climate change and security in Ethiopia, Sudan and the Sahel are set to top the agenda as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in Nairobi on Wednesday to visit three of the continent’s major players: Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal.

Blinken’s first Africa trip follows the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, where poorer nations called on wealthy governments to do more to help them combat climate change.

His visit will likely seek to underscore the difference between President Joe Biden’s administration and his predecessor Donald Trump.

Trump dismissed some African nations as”s**tholes”, left key diplomatic posts to Africa empty and scoffed at climate change science.

Blinken’s first stop will be Kenya, where President Uhuru Kenyatta will want to discuss security following last month’s coup in Sudan and a widening war in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation and the headquarters of the African Union.

Blinken said last week that Ethiopia could “implode”, a prospect that would widen famine there and send millions of refugees around an already unstable region.

Kenya also contributes troops to an African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia, where Al Qaeda-linked insurgents are battling the government.

The mandate of the AU force is up for renewal next month and the United States is a key donor.

Blinken will also meet civil society representatives, considered an important bulwark of Kenyan democracy ahead of next year’s national election.

Polls can sometimes turn violent and Kenya, East Africa’s wealthiest and most stable nation, is headquarters to many multinationals.

VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA

On Thursday, Blinken will visit Nigeria – Africa’s largest oil exporter – to meet President Muhammadu Buhari, whose government is battling an Islamist insurgency in the northeast and mass kidnappings by armed gangs in the north and northwest.

The two are expected to discuss possible security assistance from the United States, a source in the Nigerian presidency told Reuters.

In July, Nigeria received its first six A-29 Super Tucano planes, four years after the United States agreed to sell the light attack aircraft to fight insurgents.

But analysts say Buhari has made little progress tackling corruption that has eroded the nation’s infrastructure – half of its citizens lack access to electricity – or abuses by the security services.

A judicial panel report this week accused the army and police of firing on protesters in Lagos last year in what it called a “massacre.”

Blinken’s final leg is Senegal, considered one of Africa’s most stable democracies, where the focus will be on leaders and female entrepreneurs.

He will also visit Dakar’s Institute Pasteur, which signed an agreement – alongside Rwanda – with BioNtech in October to build the first mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Africa starting in mid-2022.

Biden’s government has said it was working with manufacturers to help African countries boost vaccine production.

 

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Over 1 000 people, mostly Tigrayans, detained in Ethiopia in week – UN

At least 1 000 people, mostly ethnic Tigrayans, have been detained in cities across Ethiopia in the past week, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Ethiopia declared a state of emergency on November 2, a year after a conflict erupted between the federal government and forces aligned with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the political party controlling the northern region of Tigray.

The declaration, which is valid for six months, allows suspects to be detained without trial for as long as the state of emergency lasts and allows house-to-house searches without a warrant.

“At least 1 000 individuals are believed to have been detained over the past week or so with some reports putting the figure much higher,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement.

“These developments are all the more disturbing given that most of those detained are reported to be people of Tigrayan origin.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed “his concern over reports of arbitrary arrests and detentions, which serve to widen divisions and resentment between groups,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Ethiopian government spokesperson Legesse Tulu did not respond to a request for comment.

Police have previously said the arrests are not ethnically motivated but are aimed at detaining supporters of the TPLF.

The conditions in detention centres were poor and overcrowded and many were not told the reasons for their detention, the United Nations said.

Ten UN workers also were still being held, after the arrest of 16 last week, the organization said.

And 34 contractors remain in detention out of 72 who were arrested last week.

Any Ethiopians working for the United Nations would be held accountable for lawbreaking, the government said Ethiopian staff working for the United Nations or African Union do not live “in space” and will be punished for any lawbreaking, the government said on Thursday, after the arrest of several UN employees for unspecified offences.

Guterres called for the immediate release of detained UN staff members, the UN statement said.

It said UN staff were held without charge and there was no specific information provided for the arrests.

The TPLF, which used to dominate Ethiopian politics, accuses the federal government of centralising power.

The government accuses the TPLF of trying to return to its previous dominance.

Both are accused of violations that may amount to war crimes,the United Nations has said.

 

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Modimong village residents form own security structures following brutal murder of community member

The community of Modimong village near Taung in the North West has formed their own security structures that patrol the village every night. This follows the brutal murder of a 32-year-old resident.

Tshepang Seelo was killed by two suspects known to the community and his body was found in a river three days later.

Modimong is a quiet village located 10 kilometres from the main village of Taung.

Residents had their normally peaceful life disrupted by the brutal death of one of their own. Seelo and the woman he was out with that evening, Tsholanang Khokonyane were allegedly attacked by two suspects while they were on their way home.

“Two boys came and started fighting us. One grabbed me and the other grabbed Tshepang. The other was busy fighting him, while the other kicked me and told me to leave. They continued to fight him. So, I ran and went to one of the attacker’s parental home. I heard a voice, but no one opened. I went to the nearest tavern to seek help. I explained the incident to the residents. We checked everywhere but he was nowhere to be found,” says Khokonyane.

His mother Neo Seelo says his death is a tremendous loss to the family.

“As the mother of Tshepang, I am very hurt about what happened to my son. And he was a breadwinner. Now, I am asking myself when I am going back to work, who will look after my mother. As for those who were arrested, I want life sentence,” says Neo Seelo.

Community members went on the rampage soon after the incident, torching houses believed to be those of the suspects. They say the police failed them.

Gaobusetse Kanyane, a community member in Modimong village, says, “The police failed to assist us. As the community, we took a decision to assist the Seelo family to find their family member. From this point forward, we will not be seeing this kind of horrific acts happening because the body of the deceased was mutilated and dumped in a stream.”

Spokesperson for the Police, Colonel Amanda Funani says two suspects, who handed themselves over to the police soon after the incident, are expected to apply for bail in the Taung Magistrate’s Court.

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IMF says Zimbabwe debt unsustainable, lending would require restructuring

The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday it was unable to provide financial support to Zimbabwe due to its unsustainable debt and external arrears, and any lending arrangement would  require a clear path to a restructuring its external debt.

The IMF said its staff completed a virtual mission to Zimbabwe from October 16 to November 16, and noted “significant” efforts by authorities there to stem inflation, contain budget deficits and reserve money growth.

Zimbabwe, which has suffered from bouts of hyperinflation in the last 15 years, has not received funding from lenders like the IMF and World bank for more than two decades due to arrears.

Its external debt is more than $10 billion and most of it is in arrears.

“A Fund financial arrangement would require a clear path to comprehensive restructuring of Zimbabwe’s external debt, including the clearance of arrears and obtaining financing assurances from creditors,” the IMF said.

Creditors owed by Zimbabwe include the World Bank, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank and the Paris Club. The national treasury says it is working on a plan to clear the arrears.

The IMF reiterated that Zimbabwe’s economy would grow by 6%this year but added that uncertainty remained high due to the effects of COVID-19 and the economy’s vulnerabilities to climatic shocks like drought and cyclones.

“Decisive actions are needed to lock in economic stabilization gains and accelerate reforms,” the IMF said.

The Fund called for greater official exchange rate flexibility, removal of foreign currency market distortions and containment of fiscal deficits.

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[WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT] Police confirm discovery of a human head believed to be linked to Protea Glen body parts case

Police have confirmed the discovery of a head, believed to be that of a woman whose remains were found in a fridge in Protea Glen, Soweto on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Flavio Hlabangwane is in police custody on charges of murder.

Soweto man arrested after body parts found in fridge:

He was arrested after his girlfriend, who was visiting him, found the human remains and alerted authorities.

Police Spokesperson, Brenda Muridili says, “The police have found a human skull buried in a shallow grave next to Glen Ridge, Westanoria road, R558. The skull is linked to the human limbs found on Saturday. These body parts are being connected to a 23-year-old woman from Soshanguve in Pretoria.”

Residents of Protea Glen in Soweto have been left traumatised following the discovery of human body parts.

The owner of the house said he is finding it difficult to explain to his children what transpired.

The owner says that he was telephonically alerted to the gruesome discovery by residents.

The suspect’s case was on Monday postponed to next week at the Protea Magistrate’s Court. This is to allow him time to appoint a legal representative.   

NPA Spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwane, says, “(Flavio) Hlabangwane was remanded in custody until 22 November 2021 for him to apply for legal representation with Legal Aid South Africa. The case relates to the discovery of various female body parts inside a fridge at a room rented by the accused person.” 

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Court hears how Bishop Zondo allegedly offered to buy rape accuser’s silence

The high court in Pretoria has heard how Rivers of Living Waters Church leader, Bishop Steven Zondo allegedly offered to buy the silence of one of his rape accusers.

The 55-year-old faces eight charges of rape, one of indecent assault, and another of defeating the ends of justice.

He is accused of luring his victims on the pretext of praying for them.

Zondo has pleaded not guilty to all 10 charges.

The now 46-year-old woman, who is Zondo’s relative, has given a detailed account on how she was allegedly raped on three occasions by the church leader when she was just seven years old.

2020 video, Bishop Zondo maintains innocence amid sexual abuse claims:

And on all occasions, the preacher would allegedly give her R1 afterwards. She has told the court that during the third incident, the preacher was aggressive because of her screaming and crying when he entered the bedroom.

She also says she only disclosed the alleged incidents to her brother much later in life.

In May last year, she finally opened a sexual assault case against Zondo, 40 years after the alleged incidents.

A meeting between her and Zondo, and their respective families followed. She says during that meeting, the pastor denied the allegations and claimed he did not recall anything.

Despite this, he’s said to have apologised to the alleged victim’s family, but not to her.

The witness also claims the bishop pleaded for forgiveness and asked her to name her price to keep the matter a secret.

He allegedly offered her livestock and R25 000 among others, in exchange for dropping the charges, which she declined.

Cross examination is expected to continue on Wednesday.

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Qunu residents lament lack of access to clean drinking water

Residents of Qunu, the birthplace of the late former president Nelson Mandela, have been without a clean water supply for months. Water is a basic need and everyone has a right to clean drinking water, but residents in the village of Qunu in Mthatha have had to find other means to get the commodity. Their taps have been dry for the past eight months.

Residents have now resorted to fetching water from unclean water sources, which they share with animals.

“We don’t have water here. We get it from the river. But the people we vote for lie and say they do everything for us. We even experience constant power outages. Sometimes we sleep on empty stomach here in Qunu. We are struggling in this village of Dalibhunga,” says a resident.

“It’s been seven months without water. When we go to other places out of Mthatha and we tell people that we are from Qunu, they think we come from rich families, while we are as poor as everyone else. The water we drink from the river is full of diapers here,” another resident says.

“Here in Qunu, we struggle to get water. We fetch it from the river so we can do our laundry, then we depend on water tanks for drinking,” a resident said.

The OR Tambo District Municipality, which is responsible for water provision, is working on fixing the challenge.

“There was a challenge of water challenge in the area because of an electricity issue between us as a district municipality and Eskom. The matter was, however, later resolved and water was restored to the community and the community had water access until recently. The recent water outage is caused by a faulty valve that we have ordered as the municipality, and once it arrives, we will fix the system,” explains Zimkhitha Macingwane.

Water supply in the OR Tambo District has been an issue for a long time. This despite government’s multi-billion rand funding, meant for infrastructural development in the district.

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Date set for the implementation of recently-approved teenage pregnancy policy

A teenage pregnancy policy that was recently approved by Cabinet will be implemented from January next year. The policy will allow learners who fell pregnant to return to school sooner. This was revealed to the National Council of Provinces by the Basic Education Acting Director General Granville Whittle.  

The department, MECs and officials have held talks with the NCOP on the dropout of learners from schools.  

Whittle had to answer some of the questions on behalf of the Basic Education Deputy Minister Reginah Mhaule.

“Cabinet fairly recently approved the policy on teenage pregnancy. We are currently working with a range of departments to develop an implementation plan and we will start implementing that policy from January 2022. One of the key tenets of that policy is that learners who do fall pregnant must be allowed to return to school as soon as possible and in the period where they are off because of the pregnancy, that they be allowed to return, but also that schools provide ongoing educational support to them during that time.” 

The NCOP has heard that about 120 000 learners fall pregnant every year with only a third returning to school after giving birth.    

It was revealed that over 200 000 learners did not return to school in 2021.  

In his opening remarks, NCOP Chairperson Amos Masondo said there are many workable solutions to drastically reduce the school dropout rate.  

Masondo highlighted some of the social factors leading to learners dropping out of school. 

“There are many reasons for school dropouts, from family commitment, illness, lack of interest and poverty, which is largely mitigated by the no fees schools. Whatever the reasons, we need to find workable solutions to drastically reduce and ultimately eradicate the phenomenon of school dropouts.” 

Mhaule told NCOP delegates that the number of learners who did not return to school this year is 200 000 and not 500 000  as she had initially indicated. 

“A nationally representative household survey pointed to a decline in school attendance between November 22 and April 2021. The number is 200 000 not 500 000. I want to put my sincere apology on that because it’s a misprint, because I had to check my records here. It’s not 500 000; it’s 200 000 learners who did not return back to school.” 

One of the questions asked by the NCOP was how teenage pregnancy contributed to learners dropping out of school.  

Whittle responded, “We have got a 120 000 (learners) a year, who fall pregnant. Only a third of actually them return to school. And so, two thirds drop out, which is an important issue. We need to confront not only as the Department of Basic Educations, but in fact, as society large because teenage pregnancy is not only a DBE problem.” 

Deputy Minister Mhaule told the NCOP that proposed changes to the Basic Education legislation will also look into the roles that should be played by some stakeholders to curb the school dropout rate. 

“As we are preparing for the amendments of the Basic Education laws, we are also looking at this matter (of school dropout), because the first person who identifies that a learner is not  coming to school is a teacher. We are not saying that the teacher must be held reliable and accountable.  The teacher (must) report. As the teacher reports to the principal then the principal must report to the School Governing body, because it is the School Governing body that is looking at the governance of the school in general. And it is the School Governing Body that has a contract with parents to make sure that parents allow their learners to go to school.” 

DISCUSSION | Shocking numbers of teenage pregnancies in Gauteng:

Reports by Basic Education on HIV infections among young girls: Elijah Mhlanga

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Qunu residents lament lack of access to clean drinking water

Residents of Qunu, the birthplace of the late former president Nelson Mandela, have been without a clean water supply for months. Water is a basic need and everyone has a right to clean drinking water, but residents in the village of Qunu in Mthatha have had to find other means to get the commodity. Their taps have been dry for the past eight months.

Residents have now resorted to fetching water from unclean water sources, which they share with animals.

“We don’t have water here. We get it from the river. But the people we vote for lie and say they do everything for us. We even experience constant power outages. Sometimes we sleep on empty stomach here in Qunu. We are struggling in this village of Dalibhunga,” says a resident.

“It’s been seven months without water. When we go to other places out of Mthatha and we tell people that we are from Qunu, they think we come from rich families, while we are as poor as everyone else. The water we drink from the river is full of diapers here,” another resident says.

“Here in Qunu, we struggle to get water. We fetch it from the river so we can do our laundry, then we depend on water tanks for drinking,” a resident said.

The OR Tambo District Municipality, which is responsible for water provision, is working on fixing the challenge.

“There was a challenge of water challenge in the area because of an electricity issue between us as a district municipality and Eskom. The matter was, however, later resolved and water was restored to the community and the community had water access until recently. The recent water outage is caused by a faulty valve that we have ordered as the municipality, and once it arrives, we will fix the system,” explains Zimkhitha Macingwane.

Water supply in the OR Tambo District has been an issue for a long time. This despite government’s multi-billion rand funding, meant for infrastructural development in the district.

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Date set for the implementation of recently-approved teenage pregnancy policy

A teenage pregnancy policy that was recently approved by Cabinet will be implemented from January next year. The policy will allow learners who fell pregnant to return to school sooner. This was revealed to the National Council of Provinces by the Basic Education Acting Director General Granville Whittle.  

The department, MECs and officials have held talks with the NCOP on the dropout of learners from schools.  

Whittle had to answer some of the questions on behalf of the Basic Education Deputy Minister Reginah Mhaule.

“Cabinet fairly recently approved the policy on teenage pregnancy. We are currently working with a range of departments to develop an implementation plan and we will start implementing that policy from January 2022. One of the key tenets of that policy is that learners who do fall pregnant must be allowed to return to school as soon as possible and in the period where they are off because of the pregnancy, that they be allowed to return, but also that schools provide ongoing educational support to them during that time.” 

The NCOP has heard that about 120 000 learners fall pregnant every year with only a third returning to school after giving birth.    

It was revealed that over 200 000 learners did not return to school in 2021.  

In his opening remarks, NCOP Chairperson Amos Masondo said there are many workable solutions to drastically reduce the school dropout rate.  

Masondo highlighted some of the social factors leading to learners dropping out of school. 

“There are many reasons for school dropouts, from family commitment, illness, lack of interest and poverty, which is largely mitigated by the no fees schools. Whatever the reasons, we need to find workable solutions to drastically reduce and ultimately eradicate the phenomenon of school dropouts.” 

Mhaule told NCOP delegates that the number of learners who did not return to school this year is 200 000 and not 500 000  as she had initially indicated. 

“A nationally representative household survey pointed to a decline in school attendance between November 22 and April 2021. The number is 200 000 not 500 000. I want to put my sincere apology on that because it’s a misprint, because I had to check my records here. It’s not 500 000; it’s 200 000 learners who did not return back to school.” 

One of the questions asked by the NCOP was how teenage pregnancy contributed to learners dropping out of school.  

Whittle responded, “We have got a 120 000 (learners) a year, who fall pregnant. Only a third of actually them return to school. And so, two thirds drop out, which is an important issue. We need to confront not only as the Department of Basic Educations, but in fact, as society large because teenage pregnancy is not only a DBE problem.” 

Deputy Minister Mhaule told the NCOP that proposed changes to the Basic Education legislation will also look into the roles that should be played by some stakeholders to curb the school dropout rate. 

“As we are preparing for the amendments of the Basic Education laws, we are also looking at this matter (of school dropout), because the first person who identifies that a learner is not  coming to school is a teacher. We are not saying that the teacher must be held reliable and accountable.  The teacher (must) report. As the teacher reports to the principal then the principal must report to the School Governing body, because it is the School Governing body that is looking at the governance of the school in general. And it is the School Governing Body that has a contract with parents to make sure that parents allow their learners to go to school.” 

DISCUSSION | Shocking numbers of teenage pregnancies in Gauteng:

Reports by Basic Education on HIV infections among young girls: Elijah Mhlanga

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Major General Jeremy Vearey’s dismissal upheld

The recent dismissal of top Western Cape policeman, Major General Jeremy Vearey has been upheld by the Arbitrator of the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council.

Vearey was fired earlier this year for what the police top brass said was bringing the service into disrepute with a series of Facebook posts.

Police management said the posts undermined National Police Commissioner, Khehla Sitole. He’s welcomed the ruling of the bargaining council.

“Veary referred an unfair dismissal dispute to the SSSBC. After much deliberation on the matter, the Arbitrator ruled at the end of his 24-page award to the SSSBC that the dismissal of the Applicant, Major General Jeremy Veary was substantively fair,” says National Police Spokesperson, Vish Naidoo.

VIDEO: Two Western Cape police officers fight their demotion in court

 

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Triple suicide bombers in Uganda capital kill three civilians, wound dozens

Three suicide bombers in the heart of Uganda’s capital killed at least three civilians and sent parliamentarians rushing for cover as nearby cars burst into flames, witnesses and police said, the latest in a string of bombings over the past month.

At least 33 people were being treated at Mulago Hospital, including five people in critical condition, police spokesperson Fred Enanga said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The al Qaeda-linked Somali insurgent group al Shabaab has carried out deadly attacks in Uganda. Last month another group, the Islamic State-aligned Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), claimed its first attack in Uganda.

“Our intelligence also indicates that these are domestic terror groups that are linked to ADF,” said Enanga.

The explosions – the first near the central police station and the second very close to parliament – sent bloodied office workers scrambling for cover over shards of broken glass as a plume of white smoke rose above the downtown area.

A single suicide bomber carried out the first blast near the checkpoint at the police station, which killed two people, Enanga said. Then two suicide bombers on motorbikes detonated, killing one other person.

“A booming sound like that from a big gun went off. The ground shook, my ears nearly went deaf,” Peter Olupot, a 28-year-old bank guard who was near the attack near parliament, told Reuters.

“I saw a vehicle on fire and everyone was running and panicking. I saw a boda boda (motorcycle) man – his head was smashed and covered in blood.”

A Reuters journalist saw burned cars behind a police cordon at the scene and a reporter with local television station NTV Uganda said he saw two bodies in the street.

Irene Nakasiita, spokesperson at the Uganda Red Cross, said they would release information about the blasts later.

Ugandan soldiers are fighting al Shabaab in Somalia as part of an UN-backed African Union peacekeeping force. Al Shabaab’s bombings in Uganda include a 2010 attack that killed 70 people watching the World Cup.

Last month, the ADF made its first claim of responsibility for a blast in Uganda with a bomb – packed with shrapnel – that killed a waitress at a restaurant.

Also last month, Ugandan police said a suicide bomber had blown up a bus, killing himself and injuring others. His affiliation was unclear.

The ADF was originally established by Ugandan Muslims but now have their main bases in the forested mountains of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which borders Uganda.

Both the ADF and al Shabaab frequently use explosive devices and have been accused of killing thousands of civilians.

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SA’s water problem could be as bad as Eskom’s rolling blackouts: Water expert

As Rand Water’s planned maintenance enters its second day of the announced 54-hour period, a water expert has warned that South Africa’s water crisis could be as bad as the rolling blackout problem –  if not worse.

Professor Anthony Turton says while Rand Water is a world-class operation, something has to be done with the water problems for the sake of the economy.

“They’re both of an equal magnitude in a way. The difference being that the power outage problem can be resolved, we can still build power stations. But we can’t really extend our water network much more.”

Turton says Sout Africa needs to create ‘new water’ in order to grow the economy.

“Because in 2002 we reached the full limit of the available water supply in the country. Now the only way we can continue to grow our economy is if we create what is called new water,” explains Turton.

Rand Water says it is on schedule to complete planned maintenance:

The audio clip below is the full interview:

Western Cape residents urged to continue using water sparingly

Meanwhile, the Western Cape government has urged residents to continue using water sparingly even though major dam levels are high after good winter rains.

The average dam levels for the province stand at 81%.

Department spokesperson James Brent-Styan says the dams feeding the City of Cape Town are now 98% full.

The Clanwilliam Dam is at 99% and Theewaterskloof at 100%.

VIDEO: Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu and Rand Water media briefing

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LIVE | SAHRC hearing into the July 2021 unrest in SA: Day 2

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)  hearing into the July 2021 unrest in South Africa continues on Tuesday.

 

 

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SA’s water problem could be as bad as Eskom’s rolling blackouts: Water expert

As Rand Water’s planned maintenance enters its second day of the announced 54-hour period, a water expert has warned that South Africa’s water crisis could be as bad as the rolling blackout problem –  if not worse.

Professor Anthony Turton says while Rand Water is a world-class operation, something has to be done with the water problems for the sake of the economy.

“They’re both of an equal magnitude in a way. The difference being that the power outage problem can be resolved, we can still build power stations. But we can’t really extend our water network much more.”

Turton says Sout Africa needs to create ‘new water’ in order to grow the economy.

“Because in 2002 we reached the full limit of the available water supply in the country. Now the only way we can continue to grow our economy is if we create what is called new water,” explains Turton.

Rand Water says it is on schedule to complete planned maintenance:

The audio clip below is the full interview:

Western Cape residents urged to continue using water sparingly

Meanwhile, the Western Cape government has urged residents to continue using water sparingly even though major dam levels are high after good winter rains.

The average dam levels for the province stand at 81%.

Department spokesperson James Brent-Styan says the dams feeding the City of Cape Town are now 98% full.

The Clanwilliam Dam is at 99% and Theewaterskloof at 100%.

VIDEO: Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu and Rand Water media briefing

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LIVE | SAHRC hearing into the July 2021 unrest in SA: Day 2

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)  hearing into the July 2021 unrest in South Africa continues on Tuesday.

 

 

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LIVE | Intra-African Trade Fair: Day 2

The  2021 Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) is underway in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Tuesday marks the second day of the event.

LIVE STREAM:


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NPA welcomes sentencing of Suretha Brits following husband’s murder

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed the sentencing of Suretha Brits for the murder of her hotelier husband, Leon in Pofadder.

Leon’s body was found in a swimming pool in October last year. It had several stab wounds.

Brits was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Circuit High Court in Upington in the Northern Cape.

She further received a 15-year jail term for robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The sentences will run concurrently. She was accused of being the mastermind and allegedly offered R400 000 for the orchestration of the murder on her husband, the owner of the Pofadder Hotel.

The NPA’s Mojalefa Senokoatsane says: “The NPA is happy with the plea agreement sentence that the High Court has given to Suretha Brits, considering the charges that she was facing, that of murder as well as robbery with aggravating circumstances. We are just waiting for the 22nd of November for the trial of her two co-accused to commence after the prosecutions, led by Advocate Hlute who requested a separation of trial.”

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LIVE | SAHRC hearing into the July 2021 unrest in SA: Day 2

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)  hearing into the July 2021 unrest in South Africa continues on Tuesday.

 

 

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Tunisia’s govt says it will implement all deals reached with union

Tunisian employment minister, Nassreddine Nsibi, said on Monday that the government is committed to implementing any deals it reaches with the country’s powerful UGTT union, such as on the minimum wage – even as the country faces a financial crisis.

Tunisia last week resumed talks with the International Monetary Fund on a loan package predicated on Tunis imposing painful and unpopular steps aimed at liberalising the economy.

International donors have also raised the need for broad support within Tunisia for reforms to help tackle corruption and waste, meaning the government is likely to need the backing of the UGTT, which represents 1 million workers and wields huge political clout, to secure an IMF deal.

On Monday, Prime Minister Najla Bouden and the government met with Noureddine Taboubi, the head of the UGTT, and other union officials to discuss the situation.

“There is an agreement that the government will implement previous agreements, including on the minimum wage. We will announce the details soon,” Nsibi told a news conference at the governmental palace.

Taboubi said that the first meeting with the government was positive and that agreements will be issued later.

The government last year approved a plan to raise the wages of about 700,000 employees in the public sector in addition to raising the national minimum wage.

The IMF has urged Tunisia to slash subsidies and its bloated public sector wage bill, however, as well as privatise loss-making state-owned enterprises.

Adding to the government’s problems, the UGTT last week rejected the idea of cutting subsidies, a stance that will complicate its efforts to reach a deal with the IMF.

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Tunisia’s govt says it will implement all deals reached with union

Tunisian employment minister, Nassreddine Nsibi, said on Monday that the government is committed to implementing any deals it reaches with the country’s powerful UGTT union, such as on the minimum wage – even as the country faces a financial crisis.

Tunisia last week resumed talks with the International Monetary Fund on a loan package predicated on Tunis imposing painful and unpopular steps aimed at liberalising the economy.

International donors have also raised the need for broad support within Tunisia for reforms to help tackle corruption and waste, meaning the government is likely to need the backing of the UGTT, which represents 1 million workers and wields huge political clout, to secure an IMF deal.

On Monday, Prime Minister Najla Bouden and the government met with Noureddine Taboubi, the head of the UGTT, and other union officials to discuss the situation.

“There is an agreement that the government will implement previous agreements, including on the minimum wage. We will announce the details soon,” Nsibi told a news conference at the governmental palace.

Taboubi said that the first meeting with the government was positive and that agreements will be issued later.

The government last year approved a plan to raise the wages of about 700,000 employees in the public sector in addition to raising the national minimum wage.

The IMF has urged Tunisia to slash subsidies and its bloated public sector wage bill, however, as well as privatise loss-making state-owned enterprises.

Adding to the government’s problems, the UGTT last week rejected the idea of cutting subsidies, a stance that will complicate its efforts to reach a deal with the IMF.

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Tunisia’s govt says it will implement all deals reached with union

Tunisian employment minister, Nassreddine Nsibi, said on Monday that the government is committed to implementing any deals it reaches with the country’s powerful UGTT union, such as on the minimum wage – even as the country faces a financial crisis.

Tunisia last week resumed talks with the International Monetary Fund on a loan package predicated on Tunis imposing painful and unpopular steps aimed at liberalising the economy.

International donors have also raised the need for broad support within Tunisia for reforms to help tackle corruption and waste, meaning the government is likely to need the backing of the UGTT, which represents 1 million workers and wields huge political clout, to secure an IMF deal.

On Monday, Prime Minister Najla Bouden and the government met with Noureddine Taboubi, the head of the UGTT, and other union officials to discuss the situation.

“There is an agreement that the government will implement previous agreements, including on the minimum wage. We will announce the details soon,” Nsibi told a news conference at the governmental palace.

Taboubi said that the first meeting with the government was positive and that agreements will be issued later.

The government last year approved a plan to raise the wages of about 700,000 employees in the public sector in addition to raising the national minimum wage.

The IMF has urged Tunisia to slash subsidies and its bloated public sector wage bill, however, as well as privatise loss-making state-owned enterprises.

Adding to the government’s problems, the UGTT last week rejected the idea of cutting subsidies, a stance that will complicate its efforts to reach a deal with the IMF.

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Bishop Zondo rape trial continues on Tuesday

The first alleged victim in the rape trial of the leader of Rivers of Living Waters Church, Stephen Zondo, is expected to continue with her testimony in the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday.

Zondo, who is a preacher in the Vaal, is accused of luring some of the victims under the pretext that he was praying for them.

He has pleaded not guilty to all ten charges.

The charges include eight of rape, one of indecent assault and one of defeating the ends of justice.

On Monday, Zondo’s relative testified how he sexually assaulted her when she was about seven years old.

She told the court that her uncle had given her R1 (one rand) and sweets, and warned her not to tell anyone.

In the video below, Zondo claims that he is innocent:

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Congo government proposes 42% budget increase in 2022

Democratic Republic of Congo’s prime minister on Monday proposed government spending of 20.73 trillion Congolese francs ($9.94 billion dollars) in 2022, a 41.8% increase over this year’s budget.

Prime Minister Sama Lukonde Kyenge told parliament the increase would be made possible by strong economic growth, improved revenue collection and higher donor funding.

Despite the continuing impact of COVID-19, Congo’s public finances have improved significantly this year due to high production of chief exports copper and cobalt, lending from donors and government efforts to boost tax collection.

By the end of August, foreign exchange reserves reached $3.3billion, or 13.5 weeks of imports, up from $710.3 million when Lukonde’s government was sworn in in April. By the end of October Congo had already exceeded forecast revenues for the whole of 2021.

“This performance allows us to hope that with greater effort mobilizing revenues… the country can reach even higher budgets, fulfilling its potential,” Lukonde said.

He said the government would further increase tax revenues by digitising customs and other tax reporting, identifying mining companies no longer entitled to certain tax breaks, and expanding the tax base from telecommunications services.

Previous Congolese governments have struggled to live up to promises to meaningfully expand public revenues and typically end up spending only about half of what their budgets call for.

The current government has benefited from extensive donor assistance, including from the International Monetary Fund, which resumed lending to Congo in 2019 seven years after the IMF suspended its last lending programme.

In July, the IMF agreed a three-year, $1.52 billion extended credit facility with President Felix Tshisekedi’s government to support economic reforms and pandemic recovery.

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Nigeria plans mass vaccination drive, considers booster shot

Nigeria will start a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign later this week, aiming to inoculate half of its targeted population by the end of January, government officials said.

Africa’s most-populous country has a goal to vaccinate 111 million people to reach herd immunity.

Under the initiative to start on Friday, 55 million doses or more than a million a day will be administered.

The country has to date vaccinated only 2.9% of those eligible to get vaccines.

The plan will see vaccine sites set up at private health facilities, universities, colleges, stadiums, motor parks and shopping malls among other venues.

Boss Mustapha, head of the presidential steering committee on COVID-19, said the government “has enough vaccines in the pipeline to vaccinate about 50% of the target population by the end of January 2022.”

He also said the government was making efforts to secure booster shots “so as to build a healthy level of antibodies.”

He did not provide details.

Faisal Shuaib, executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said Nigeria received about 5 million AstraZeneca shots last month from the COVAX global-sharing facility, both purchases and donations.

Nigeria also had commitments for 11.99 million and 12.2 million doses of Pfizer Inc/BioNTech and Moderna Inc COVID-19 vaccines, respectively, he said.

The government has purchased nearly 40 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses, which would be coming in batches, said Shuaib.

 

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Man accused of killing seven women in Polokwane abandons bail application

A man accused of killing seven women has abandoned his bail application in the Seshego Magistrate’s Court near Polokwane in Limpopo.

The accused, a Zimbabwean national Themba Dube, has been charged with seven counts of murder and kidnapping.

This after the bodies of women were found dumped in different locations in and around Polokwane.

Dube, who is in the country illegally, had allegedly been using the phone of one of his victims to demand ransom from one of the families. He will appear in court again on the 27th of January next year.

He’s been remanded in custody.

Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and People with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who was in court, has expressed concerns about the killing of women.

“He has killed so many number (sic) of women for doing absolutely nothing. We think women have said they’ve had enough of such problems countrywide and worldwide there’s a cry of gender-based violence with us and femicide. So, the likes of Themba make us think of the pain that women are going through.”

Police said on Sunday the suspect had earlier been arrested for the alleged possession of a suspected stolen cellphone, but further investigations revealed the murders.

The bodies were found dumped in the bush.

Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo says, “We can confirm that seven bodies have already been recovered from different locations under Seshego, Polokwane and western policing areas. The suspect is being charged with murder, rape, defeating the ends of justice and robbery.”

The bereaved Mothiba family at Ga-Chuene village is one of the seven families which lost loved ones allegedly at the hands of the suspect.

The family says 42-year-old Sarah Mothiba was last seen leaving home for work in Polokwane on the 18th of last month.

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Militant attack kills 20 in Burkina Faso, security minister says

An attack by insurgents killed 19 Burkina Faso military police and a civilian on Sunday in the tri-border northern region where the West African nation is battling militants, Security Minister Maxime Kone said.

Kone said the toll was provisional. “This morning a detachment of the gendarmerie suffered a cowardly and barbaric attack. They held their position,” Kone said on national television, adding that 22 survivors had been found.

The attack on a military police outpost near a gold mine in Inata came two days after another attack in which seven police were killed in the area near Niger and Mali.

Militant groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State are active in the tri-border area where several nations including France, Chad, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso have deployed hundreds of troops.

Two Burkina Faso security sources and a diplomatic source told Reuters earlier on Sunday that at least 30 military police were killed in the attack and the toll could be higher, making it one of the deadliest attacks on Burkina Faso troops.

Burkina Faso’s armed forces confirmed the Sunday attack in a statement saying “a gendarmerie detachment was the subject of a terrorist attack”. It did not provide further details.

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SAHRC to begin hearing into July unrest on Monday

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is expected to begin its national investigative hearing into July’s civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng on Monday.

The Commission says that the unrest exacerbated the inequality between certain communities, unemployment levels, poverty, hunger, and food insecurity.

Police, defence, justice, and State Security ministers are among the government leaders set to appear before the Commission.

At least 350 people died when violence erupted in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The Commission further says that the impact of the unrest has been devastating for the country’s economy with huge financial losses to businesses, some of which will not be able to recover and re-trade, resulting in wide-scale job losses.

State of South Africa’s security following looting and unrest:

Effects of July unrest in KZN will be felt for many years to come: Business community

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Five killed in multiple vehicle crash on N2 near Port Shepstone, KZN

Five people have been killed and several others seriously injured in a multiple-vehicle crash on the N2 in Umtentweni near Port Shepstone on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

It is alleged that one of the light motor vehicles was overtaking on a barrier line.

Spokesperson for the provincial Department of Transport Community Safety and Liaison, Kwanele Ncalane says the road is closed and traffic is being diverted to the R102.

“We wish to appeal to all road users to adhere to traffic regulations. We also send our deepest condolences to the affected families. We will also investigate the exact cause of this accident .

Our teams have been there and they have started the preliminary investigations. We are hoping they will soon finalize the report and share what exactly transpired.”

Umgeni road accident

Two men, aged 30, were fighting for their lives following a high-speed crash on Umgeni Road near Springfield Park in Durban. It is alleged that the two men were travelling in a light motor vehicle that collided with another vehicle.

Emer-G-Med Paramedics spokesperson Kyle van Reenen says, “The driver of the was found to be entrapped in the wreckage and in a serious condition. Specialist hydraulic equipment was needed to free the man whilst Advanced Life Support Paramedics worked to stabilize him. Once stabilized, he was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital for further care.”

He adds: “A second man was found slumped over in the back seat and in critical condition. Several interventions were performed to stabilize him before he was rushed to a nearby hospital by ambulance for further care.”

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Police experts examining body parts found in a man’s fridge in Soweto

Crime Scene

Police forensic experts are examining the human body parts that were found in a refrigerator in Protea Glen Soweto on Saturday. Reports say the body parts may not belong to one person.

The man’s girlfriend who had visited him made the discovery while he was out shopping. She then alerted neighbours and an off-duty policeman.

When the community tried to apprehend the man, he locked himself in his room and later tried to harm himself. The man was eventually taken to hospital.

Police spokesperson Brenda Muridili says it’s understood the man works for a major insurance company while his girlfriend is a student.

In the video below, Muridili gives more details:

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Morocco plans additional airport COVID testing amid Europe surge

Morocco will conduct rapid COVID-19 tests to passengers arriving in its airports and ports, and will deny access to any visitor with a positive result, the government said on Saturday.

The measure, which strengthens an existing requirement of a negative PCR test 48 hours before departure, aims to protect the country amid a surge of cases in Europe, the government said in a statement.

Travelers with positive test must be returned at the cost of the airline that brought them into the country, unless they have a permanent residency document, it said.

Passengers visiting Morocco should also have proof of vaccination. The country made the vaccine pass mandatory to access public places after it vaccinated more than 50% of its population.

Morocco has administered more coronavirus vaccine doses than any other African country, inoculating 24.3 million people out of a population of 36 million. It has also started administering booster shots.

Last Wednesday, the country ended a night curfew aimed at combating COVID-19 that it introduced in March 2020 after a fall in cases from the summer peak.

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suspected Limpopo serial killer expected to face multiple charges

A suspected Limpopo serial killer expected to face multiple charges when he appears in the Seshego magistrate’s court near Polokwane.

Police spokesperson Motlafela Mojapelo says the suspect allegedly lured the victims with employment before robbing, raping and killing them.

The victims, aged between 25 and 48, include a Lesotho national. All the seven women have been identified. The women were murdered between August and October this year.

Mojapelo says investigations are continuing.

“The arrested serial killer who was arrested for series of murders whose victims were all women aged between 25 and 48 is expected to appear in Seshego magistrate’s court on Monday facing charges of kidnapping murder defeating the ends of justice and robbery it is alleged that suspect promised victims employment later robbed raped and killed them investigations are continuing to determine whether he’s linked to other cases,” says Mojapelo.

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Mlandeni ‘Mgilija’ Nhleko laid to rest

The late former leader of the Zulu regiments Mlandeni ‘Mgilija’ Nhleko was described by many as a true leader of warriors.

The 72-year-old Nhleko passed away on Monday after a short illness.

He was laid to rest in Nongoma in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The Amabutho came out in numbers to bid their warrior leader farewell.

Regiments came from all over the province and from as far as Johannesburg to gather at the Nhlalangwenya village, the home of Nhleko.

 Funeral of former Amabutho leader Mlandeni ‘Mgilija’ Nhleko:

Chanting traditional hymns, they sang praise songs to Zihogo Zelanga, Nhleko’s praise name.

Members of the AmaZulu Royal family were also in attendance.

Nhleko, fondly known as ‘Mgilija’ was born in March 1949 in Nongoma. He grew up as a headman and later worked in Durban as a police reservist.

He also worked as a driver for a former provincial member of the executive committee, Prince Gideon Zulu.

He retired in 2016 and dedicated his time to becoming a leader of the regiments.

His family says he was a loving and caring person.

Brother Seth Nhleko says, “We lost a loving father in our family as he was always a father to his children and he loved sport as he has a brown belt in karate.”

Nhleko became prominent as he often led the regiments during cultural events and presided over the laying to rest of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini khaBhekuzulu.

Member of the royal family Prince Mbonisi Zulu says: “The royal house is sad for the leader that passed on. He came out during the passing of the late king by taking a stand showing bravery when everyone was concerned about COVID-19. He was a strong leader.”

Earlier this year, Nhleko became embroiled in controversy when he supported former President Jacob Zuma at Nkandla which led to a fall-out with reigning King Misizulu.

A representative of the king also attended the funeral.

DR Dumisani Khumalo says: “Usuthu traditional council; the current King Misuzulu kaZwelithini kaBhekuzulu sent me with a cow to give the Nhleko family. We thank his work at the royal house.”

Some of the Amabutho refused to salute the king, a sign that is causing divisions amongst the Amabutho over the ongoing feud related to the succession to the throne.

The regiments, in a colourful display of amaZulu culture, escorted the body of Mgilija to his last resting place. He is survived by three wives and six children.

The post Mlandeni ‘Mgilija’ Nhleko laid to rest appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa’s news leader..

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