20 nabbed in Naledi safer festive season raid

20 nabbed in Naledi safer festive season raid

Police in Naledi, Soweto, arrested 20 people during a raid of liquor outlets on Tuesday.

The joint operation between SAPS and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) was in preparation for a safer festive season.

Authorities say they want to ensure a safer holiday season for residents.

They visited all liquor outlets in Naledi to check compliance. Some businesses were closed, others fined and their alcohol confiscated.

At least 20 people were arrested for crimes ranging from murder, malicious damage to property, theft, common assault, shoplifting, common robbery and drunk driving.

They will be appearing in court from today. – Report by Jozi FM’s Moshe Maswanganyi

Eskom hauled to court for alleged violation of emission standards

Eskom hauled to court for alleged violation of emission standards

The Department of Environment, Forest and Fisheries (DEFF) is taking Eskom to court over alleged failure to comply with air pollution standards.

The power utility’s Kendal Power Station is at the centre of the legal tussle. Officials allegedly supplied falsified and misleading information in reports to an Air Quality Officer at the power station, violating Section 51 (1) (g) of the Air Quality Act.

The alleged offense took place between 2018 and 2019. Eskom representatives have been summoned to appear in the Malahleni Regional Court on 28 January 2021. 

According to energy expert Chris Yelland, the power utility could be fined up to R10 million and implicated officials could be jailed for up to 10 years – if found guilty.

The power utility has confirmed the receipt of the summons.

Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha says the organisation is charged with three counts, including exceeding emissions limit on air pollutants.

In May, Minister Barbara Creecy ordered the shutting down of one the two units of the Kendal Power Station found to have been posing serious health risks to surrounding communities, while corrective measures were being taken to ensure compliance with the Kendal’s Atmospheric Emissions License.

Greenpeace Africa has welcomed the Department of Environmental Affairs and Fisheries’ move to lay criminal charges against Eskom.

The court case comes amid another looming legal showdown between environmental justice groups and the government.

GroundWork and the Vukani Environmental Movement have lodge an application to the High Court in Pretoria to declare that the poor air quality in the Highveld Priority Area, in Mpumalanga, constitutes a violation of the Constitutional right to an environment that is not harmful to health or well-being of residents.

“Every day, people living and working on the Mpumalanga Highveld are breathing toxic, polluted air that is harmful to their health and well-being. This is the basis of the Deadly Air case, which will be heard by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on 17 to 19 May 2021,” the organisations say.

“Living in Witbank, one of the most polluted areas in the country, has hugely affected our health and lives. Both government and industry have continuously failed to deal with the problem, irrespective of our efforts to engage with them to ensure they take steps to protect human health. Together with groundWork, Vukani has decided to use litigation to push government to take urgent steps to deal with the high air pollution and in the interest of our health and to protect our right to clean air”, says Vusi Mabaso, Chairperson of Vukani.

The applicants are represented by the Centre for Environmental Rights and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, Prof David Boyd, was admitted as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the case by the Pretoria High Court in early November. Professor Boyd is represented by Lawyers for Human Rights.

According to the organisations, Mpumalanga accounts for about 83% of South Africa’s coal production, and Eskom owns the 12 coal-fired power plants located in the area in and around the HPA.  The area has been plagued with deadly air quality for decades, with the high concentration of coal-fired power plants in the province, Sasol’s coal-to-liquids plant located in Secunda, and the NatRef refinery in Sasolburg contributing large amounts of pollution. 

Emissions challenge

Greenpeace Africa has also been complaining about the country’s Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emissions for years.

Over a week ago – while welcoming a sharp drop in the emissions in 2019 – the organisation raised concern that they were still well above the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

It highlighted that the decrease was not due to any proactive action by the government to curb South Africa’s air pollution crisis. Instead, it believes, the temporary reduction in coal-fired power generation, which led to load shedding, could have played a role in it.

Greenpeace has identified the Kriel area in Mpumalanga as a global hotspot for SO2 emissions, and is still a global hotspot by annual emission amount. It says it is also the largest hotspot in Africa and the largest hotspot driven by coal combustion worldwide.

 Below are the organisation’s demands to reduce emissions:

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa to halt all investment in fossil fuels and shift to safer, more sustainable energy sources, such as wind and solar,
  • Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy to strengthen SO2 emissions standards by reinstating South Africa’s 500 mg/Nm3 minimum emission standard and applying flue gas pollution control technology at power plants, smelters, and other industrial SO2 emitters,
  • South Africa’s National Air Quality Officer, Dr Thuli Khumalo, to enforce existing minimum emission standards,
  • Minister Creecy to hold carbon majors accountable for their emissions resulting from the use of fossil fuels by implementing and enforcing national environmental legislation,
  • Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe to revise the commitments made in the Integrated Energy Plan and,
    • abandon plans for installing new coal-fired power stations of 1500 MW capacity scheduled for 2023 and 2027, and
    • increase uptake and implementation of renewable energy generation capacity through radical and deliberate policies and programmes, and
  • Minister Jackson Mthembu to ensure the development of a comprehensive and inclusive Just Transition programme that moves the country away from the use of fossil fuels to renewable energy.
#PutSouthAfricansFirst dangerously fuelling xenophobia, warns Human Rights Watch

#PutSouthAfricansFirst dangerously fuelling xenophobia, warns Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch has joined the debate on the #PutSouthAfricansFirst Movement. The movement is made up of different organisations that believe that foreigners contribute to South Africa’s social ills like drugs, human trafficking and child kidnappings. They accuse immigrants of taking jobs that should be occupied by locals.

The Human Rights Watch says while their idea of being put first is noble, it is dangerously fuelling xenophobia.

Speaking on VOW FM’s Breaking Ground programme, South African Director at Human Rights Watch, Dewa Mavhinga, said in principle – it is important to have people desiring to see citizens’ rights being advanced. “The problem is when you look at the context in South Africa, in terms of  the xenophobia in the past, the complete disregard of the right of non-nationals or migrants, disregard for the Constitution or South Africa and the disregard for the value of human life, “ says Mavhinga. 

Members of the Put South Africans First Movement marched to the Gauteng Premier’s office in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, on Friday. Among their demands was for government to evict foreign nationals from the city. They claim the migrants occupy the most space in South Africa’s economic hub and the first step towards fixing this would be to deport them back to their native land.

However, Mavhinga believes there is another way of getting the country right. “It is not true that Johannesburg is occupied by 90 or 95% by migrants.  These are false stats to scapegoat the nationals. There is a way in which South Africans can have a win-win situation in which it can ensure that the rights of non-nationals are protected but at the same time fully advancing the cause of economic development and supporting citizens because those nationals in South Africa with the rights to work contribute meaningfully to the South African economy,” he says.

“South Africa should also not forget where it comes from, from the apartheid era when it was also helped to be where it is today and if it seeks to be an island, things should be done in the right way,” he concluded.

South Africa needs healing

Voice It In Action (VIIA) is part of the organisations that are behind the call for government to put the interests of South Africans before those of migrants.

The President of the organisation, Kgothatso Moloto, believes this will ensure that the locals get the jobs, services and dignity they deserve, which he says, will help the nation heal from the trauma of apartheid.

Moloto spoke to Breaking Ground ahead of their march to the Gauteng Premier’s office on Friday – to reclaim the city of Johannesburg. They urged the Premier to enforce the law so that South Africans can inhabit the city.

“80-95% of our city is occupied by the foreign nationals, most of the services of the country that are good are happening in the CBD so the reality is most South Africans that need services will not get them.  Access to work, education, health and decent housing they will not get any of this. When reclaiming South Africa we are saying put South Africans first in all these spaces especially in our cities where the heart of the economic hub of South Africa is,” said Moloto.

Moloto believes that the country can start developing if South Africans are put first in all opportunities.

“South Africa is under developing, 20 years down the line when looking at townships; they rent any different from the apartheid era, this is all because there are no resources that are going into these communities through strategic modes coming in into the country. South Africans are not getting the best yet the migrants are getting the best before the South Africans, which is also highly unfair. We are claiming South Africa so that she can be at the place where she has to be at right now with Africa and her people,” adds Moloto.

Moloto says the pain caused by apartheid still haunts many South Africans and the wounds are still fresh.

“South Africa and her people come from a very difficult time from the apartheid time, the effect from then is still felt even today, so South Africa needs to heal from a lot of things. Now a new challenge has been presented by not putting South Africans first, these spams across various departmental requirements from the South African government and to South Africa and her people from interment opportunities, educational opportunities, hospitals and public services even the RDPs thus this causes an imbalance to the country on its own,” he says. – Report by Mmangaliso Khumalo

Man sought for killing girlfriend in Ga-Rapadi Village arrested

Man sought for killing girlfriend in Ga-Rapadi Village arrested

Police in Villa Nora, Limpopo, have arrested the man who allegedly stabbed his girlfriend outside a tavern death in Ga-Rapadi Village last week.

The suspect alerted the police of his whereabouts over the weekend.

He says he fled from the crime scene to avoid been assaulted by angry community members.

The 29-year-old man allegedly stabbed his 25-year-old girlfriend three times on the upper body on Thursday morning following an argument.

He ran away to the nearby mountain when members of the community chased him.

He was due to appear in the Palala Magistrate Court on Monday. – Report by Waterberg FM’s Ratlou Mabula

There shall be no peace in SA as long as foreigners are here, vows PutSouth AfricansFirst leader

There shall be no peace in SA as long as foreigners are here, vows PutSouth AfricansFirst leader

#PutSouthAfricansFirst Movement is making waves in South Africa. The group of activists are calling for government to put the needs of South Africans ahead of foreign nationals.

As part of their rolling mass action, on Friday they marched to the Gauteng Premier’s office to vent their frustration.

#PutSouthAfricansFirst Movement’s National Chairperson, Victoria Mamogobo, says the nationwide protests that South Africa has seen is a sign that the government is oblivious to the reality in the country.

Mamogobo was speaking outside Premier David Makhura’s office, where the various organisations under the #PutSouthAfrucansFirst banner, marched to submit a memorandum.

They called for a safer, cleaner and sustainable community.

The group says the South African government should deport all foreign nationals who have been in the country since 1994.

“It is unfortunate that we have to fight hard to force the government that we elected in power to represent us; we have to twist their arms using force in order for them to listen,” Mamogobo says.

“What kind of government is this that fails to protect its citizens and our country? What kind of government is this that doesn’t want to build a strong wall to protect its citizens?” she asks.

Mamogobo says migrants who have been neutralised should not be spared.

“They must go back home to fix their countries and fight their governments. Those who have a problem with this request are welcome to leave with foreigners. When they leave, because they will leave our country whether they like it or not, there shall not be peace in the Republic, for as long as foreigners are here,” says Mamogobo.

South African First (SAF) political party is among the organisations that are part of the #PutSouthAfricansFirst Movement.

Party president, Mario Khumalo, says he honoured the invitation to join the march because it is based on the national interest. Khumalo wants only the undocumented immigrants to be sent back to their countries of origin.

“The current situation in the country is very shaky, the level of unemployment in the country and a number of undocumented foreigners in this country. Our message is very clear. We need to have strict border regulations undocumented immigrants need to go back to their country; they have no legal bases to be here, with drugs young girls are getting prostituted by the very same people who come to the country undocumented we don’t know who this people are so we need to put the interests of South African citizens first,” says Khumalo.

He says the migrants have nothing to contribute to the South African economy.

“99% of the immigrants who are in South Africa are not even supposed to be here. They have illegal documents so how are they contributing to the economy.”

 “How can they contribute to the economy of this country selling sweets on the streets? How are they paying tax? The only people who will add contribution to South Africa is people with scared skills, poor people should not come here. We already have poor people in South Africa,” says Khumalo.

Voice It In Action (VIIA) President Kgothatso Moloto was also part of the march. He says they are hoping that the government will put in the work to enforce the laws and avoid unnecessary violence.

“The government has neglected proper implementation of immigration laws, so we are here to request that the government start putting in the work to ensure that laws are enforced. When laws are not enforced, this create unnecessary violence and hatred, that should be stopped we shouldn’t be hating each other,” says Moloto.

Some of the issues highlighted in the memorandum include the tightening of the country’s borders and the use of healthcare facilities by illegal migrants. They say this leads to a shortage of medication, which then increases the country’s mortality rate.

A representative from the Premier’s office accepted the memorandum on Makhura’s behalf and promised to respond to the protestors’ demands within 14 days.

Some South Africans have slammed the group as xenophobic, saying they forget that various countries helped end apartheid and also housed activists who were exiled due to that regime’s oppressive laws.

JMPD vows to crack the whip on officials who mistreat hawkers

JMPD vows to crack the whip on officials who mistreat hawkers

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) says officials who abuse their power when dealing with street vendors will be investigated and dealt with.

Spokesperson for the JMPD, Xolani Fihla, made the remark while speaking on Voice of Wits’ Breaking Ground programme on challenges faced by street entrepreneurs in the city and the role of the department.

He says when an informal trader transgresses bylaws – officers should explain to them what they have done before confiscating their goods.

“When your goods are encountered, you have to receive a receipt. If an officer or an official takes your goods without explaining why and where they are taking your goods and how much you have to pay for you to get your goods back – you have to call the JMPD anti-corruption hotline, which is 0800 203 712 and other structures from the City of Joburg you can contact the group forensic and investigations offices.”

Answering complaints of business owners chasing away hawkers outside their buildings in the city, Fihla slammed such practices.

He says companies running business in buildings across Johannesburg have no right to evict hawkers because the city belongs to the local municipality.

Fihla has advised those wishing to run businesses in the city to consult relevant departments, such as the environmental health and the JMPD by-laws unit, for legal and accurate assistance.

Woman stabbed to death in Limpopo’s Ga-Rapadi Village

Woman stabbed to death in Limpopo’s Ga-Rapadi Village

Villa Nora police in Limpopo are investigating a case of murder after a young woman was stabbed to death in  Ga-Rapadi village on Thursday morning.

Police say the incident followed an argument between a couple.

It is reported that the suspect, a 29-year-old man, was at a local tavern drinking when his 25-year-old girlfriend arrived and requested to talk to him.

Once outside the tavern, an argument ensued and the suspect allegedly took out a knife and stabbed the deceased three times on the upper body, before she fell onto the ground.

The suspect reportedly ran away to the mountain when members of the community chased him after witnessing the incident.

He is still at large.

Waterberg FM’s Ratlou Mabula has more.

The incident comes amid five days of mourning for femicide victims and those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 in South Africa.

Young writer from Dan Village chooses ambition over adversity

Young writer from Dan Village chooses ambition over adversity

“Words written down never perish,” are the words that stuck in Nhlanyiso Shiviri’s head and inspired him to become an author. His uncle, who took over a fatherly role in his life after his father’s death, uttered those words to him and he has never looked back since.

The 26-year-old author is from Dan Village in Limpopo. His father died when he was four years old and was raised by his grandmother, Martha Modjadji Mhlongo, mother and uncles.

 Life had its hardships but, he says, he chose ambition over adversity. He loved public speaking since he was young and was part of a debate team in high school.

He describes himself as “not a typical writer with the writers’ look.” All he needs, he says, is his diary, colourful pens and a phone to jot a few notes/ideas anytime of the day when they spring to mind. He then types everything on his laptop days later.

Shiviri says young people justifying their wrong actions as a mistake sparked the interest in him to find out more about the meaning of the word. To find an answer to the nagging question in his mind– he turned to the Bible for answers and read the first three books of Genesis.

Post the reading and lot of prayer – the title What is A Mistake? was born and the writing started. After he had written about 27 pages of the book, he met his mentor Moffat Sebola – a fellow author, academic, member of the Students Christian Organisation and lecturer at the University of Limpopo during a service in 2017. Shiviri says he admired Sebola’s character and his principles and he knew that he should be close to the man.

“I approached him and we started working and praying together, he helped me with the thinking process and structuring of all the parts of the book … when the book was published earlier in the year boosted of 22 chapters with 190 pages.”

What is A Mistake? was published early in 2020 and Shiviri says he is currently working on his second publication titled The Rejected Boy. He plans publishing it in 2021.

“The hardest part of being a writer is once you start (writing) – it is hard to stop,” Shiviri says.

He has big dreams for his village and its people. “I proudly call myself a Bokoharamian with a good heart, wishing to remove the reputation of crime attached to my village someday for good,” he says.

Boko Haram gangsters terrorised Dan Village residents for several years. Things improved when some of the gang members were convicted for various crimes in 2018. There were concerns of a resurgence of the violence recently, but there has been no police confirmation regarding the claims.

 Shiviri wishes to run a first shopping mall for his village to create employment for the locals.

“It does not matter where I go or what I achieve in life part of me will always be a part of Dan Village. I want to be the first youngest highly qualified professor from Dan Village before I turn 35.”

 Shiviri currently holds an honours degree in Psychology from University of Limpopo, Makweng.

Quick facts about Nhlanyiso Shiviri:

  • Lost his father to death at age four in 1998. His uncle became the father and mentor.
  • His uncle once said in 2018 “words written down never perish” the words stuck in his head and inspired him to be an author.
  • He is also a Motivational Speaker.
  • He is a father of two, with two sisters and a brother.
  • To date, 60 copies of What is a Mistake? have been published; 50 sold for R200 each and 10 given away to everyone who helped him achieve his goal. He sells the book himself and to get a copy you can call him on 076 909 7212 or email on shivirishaun@gmail.com

To follow him on Social Media:

–          Facebook: Shaun Nhlayi Shiviri

–          Twitter: @shaun_shiviri

–          Instagram: shaun_za_shiviri

Alex taxi driver accused of teen’s murder to spend Christmas in jail

Alex taxi driver accused of teen’s murder to spend Christmas in jail

The man accused of killing Alexandra teenager, Jabulile Nkosi, will spend Christmas in jail.

Prince Ndlovu’s case will return to court on 21 January 2021.

It has been postponed yet again for further investigations.

The 25-year-old taxi driver is accused of killing 18-year-old Nkosi who was a learner at the East Bank High School at the time of her passing.

Her body was found with bullet wounds in September near the Jukskei River Park in West bank.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in Gauteng believes it has a strong case against Ndlovu.

Spokesperson Phindi Njonondwane has previously told reporters that “the suspect did not apply for bail instead he has applied for legal aid assistance in the matter.”

She says investigations continue to establish whether he has committed other crimes.

Police have also said they have strong evidence linking the Zimbabwean national to Nkosi’s murder.

Different community organisations were picketing outside court on Wednesday, demanding that the accused be remanded in custody.

Others are not happy with the case’s constant postponements.

“Why did they keep on postponing the case because there is clear evidence that Prince killed Jabulile?” asked one picketer.

Mabuza urges unity in fight against GBV

Mabuza urges unity in fight against GBV

Deputy President, David Mabuza, wants South Africans to join hands in the fight against gender-based violence and femicide.

Mabuza officially launched the five days of mourning for femicide victims and the remembrance of South Africans who have lost their lives due to COVID-19 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Gauteng, today.

“The whole nation must rise, and mobilise every street, every community, every church, and every family to join the fight against the murder, and violation of women and children by men. Many lives of women and children have been lost as a result of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide in our own communities,” he says.

As the country continues to grapple with the scourge – the Deputy President says COVID-19 has also caused unprecedented disruptions and anxieties that are significantly impacting the lives and livehoods of all South Africans.

“While we have made significant strides in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, we are saddened that, as a nation, we have lost many lives as a result of COVID-19. Many families have lost their relatives who have succumbed to COVID-19. We have lost frontline workers who died in the line duty, paying the ultimate sacrifice, while trying to save the lives of others from COVID-19,” he says.

More than 21 000 South Africans have succumbed to the illness, while 772 252 others are infected.

“COVID-19 continues to be part of our lives. We should continue to be vigilant, and ensure that we continue adhere to COVID-19 protocols. The reported rising number of infections remains a major cause for concern for all of us. We should continue to behave responsibly to save lives, and avoid any possible resurgence of COVID-19 infections that may result in further loss of lives.”     

Mabuza has called on all South Africans to wear a black armband or any other sign that signifies mourning during the five days.

“During this period, the National Flag will be flown at half-mast throughout the country from 6am to 6pm,” he says. 

Yesterday, Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, launched the Inter-Ministerial Committee on gender-based violence campaign in Pretoria.

Nkoana-Mashabane called on South Africans not to turn a blind eye when it comes to gender-based violence.

Also yesterday, Minister of Police Bheki Cele revealed that 8 000 rape cases were reported to the police in the second quarter of 2020.

Cele said the majority of women were raped in their homes or at the homes of perpetrators.

Wits University student, Wendy Manjeya, has called on the Police Minister to dig deeper in solving the crisis.

VOW FM listener, Palesa Mohlamme, says 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children hasn’t solved the gender issues that are crippling the country.

Women’s financial dependence on men is one of the factors cited as reasons for them to sometimes stay in abusive relationships. In a bid to solve this, government has reiterated its commitment to setting aside 40% of public procurement for women-owned businesses, under the theme women’s economic justice for a nonviolent and nonsexist South Africa.

However, gender activist Lebo Ramafoko doubts this will reach the women who need empowerment. Speaking on VOW FM’s Area Code, Ramafoko said it would be best if the government could also give details on who the benefactors of such deals would be. She’s concerned that the deals could be directed to women who are already empowered – further marginalising the poor.