Political parties in KwaZulu-Natal have come out guns blazing, shooting down rumours of 5G towers being linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This follows the burning of the cellular networks in the province amid social media claims that it helps spread the deadly virus that has the turned the world upside down, claiming thousands of lives.
IFP President Velenkosini Hlabisa says people should stop demolishing the towers as they have nothing to do with the virus.
Hlabisa says the demolition of the towers will only affect the same communities that are being duped into believing that the networks are a problem.
He is urging locals to not reject a COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available in the country to avoid the loss of life South Africa witnessed at the beginning of the Aids pandemic in the country where people didn’t take antiretroviral drugs due to lies that were peddled about them being deadly.
DA KwaZulu-Natal leader, Zwakele Mncwango, has also weighed in on the matter.
He says 5G has nothing to do with the spread of COVID-19.
Urging people to stop spreading unsubstantiated claims, Mncwango says the towers not only assist with communication but also help hospital respirators, which are used to improve the condition of those with breathing problems.
Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has also slammed the attacks on the cellphone network towers.
Calling for the arrest of those responsible for the destruction of the towers, Ndabeni-Abrahams described the misinformation campaign as a threat to investments made into telecoms network infrastructure. – Philani Zulu is the News Editor of Maputaland Community Radio.
Former PR councillor of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in Mhlabuyalingana Municipality in Mbazwana kwaHangaza, in KwaZulu-Natal, Jamson Mthembu has been laid to rest.
Mthembu died after a roof collapsed on him while doing renovations at his home last week Thursday.
His son, Jakwe Mthembu, says he fell on his head during the incident and died a few hours later.
Mthembu junior says the reality of the family’s loss sunk in when his father’s body arrived from the mortuary the day before the funeral service.
IFP President, Velenkosini Hlabisa, Mhlabuyalingana Mayor Nkululelo Mthethwa, Isimangaliso CEO Sbusiso Bukhosini, and other IFP leaders in the Umkhanyakude district were among those who attended the funeral.
Mayor Mthethwa described Mthembu as a gentle and humble man, who was not afraid to speak his mind.
IFP’s Hlabisa said they had lost a lot and no one was as loyal as Mthembu in Nkatheni.
He urged all councillors in the Umkhanyakude district to complete the house where Mthembu was injured.
Local Voices caught up with MCEJO Coordinator Philani Ndimande on Monday evening, during a leadership meeting of organisation.
They said they had just returned from a meeting with the commander of the Ophondweni Police Station where Ntshangase stayed.
“He has asked us to give them 48 hours to find the suspects,” Ndimande revealed. “He had previously said we should give him 72 hours. So this really gives us hope that Mam’Ntshangase’s killers will be found.”
Ndimande says Ntshangase was like a mother to him. Describing losing her as a huge blow for the rural community of Somkhele, near Mtubatuba, in KwaZulu-Natal, he added: “Her death gives us the strength to double our efforts and make her wish come true for her community to be helped through this organisation.”
It is suspected that Ntshangase’s murder was linked to MCEJO’s fight against Tendele Coal Mining’s bid to expand operations in the area.
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has expressed concern that the murder could spark violence.
In a statement, the party says the Mtubatuba community seems divided on the matter.
“We, therefore, urge the leadership and whole community of the area to handle this matter with calm and find a way to balance the mining and environmental activities.”
The party says it will embark on a fact-finding mission to the area next week.
Ntshangase (65) was gunned down in front of his 13-year-old grandson. The child’s mother was not staying with them due to work but she has returned home following the tragedy. Ndimande says they are receiving counselling.
The environmental activist, whom Ndimande has as a leader with exceptional skills, will be laid to rest on Friday in Stanger, in Kwadukuza. Her funeral service will be held at the Maphumulo Lutheran Church. A date her memorial service had not been set at the time of publishing.
‘There must be nothing about our land and us without us‘
The uMfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organisation is embroiled in a bitter legal battle with Tendele Coal Mine.
The mine’s proposed expansion, on the border of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Park, will require the relocation of more at least 21 families from their ancestral land.
Some activists have allegedly also been intimidated and threatened with death.
Ndimande says their concern is the impact this will have on the environment.
“This place gives us peace. We enjoy the tranquillity of the place and living together with nature. We also plant our own crops; have livestock while we live in harmony with the Big Five.”
Ndimande says government is supporting Tendele’s bid and is pushing for mining in various rural communities. “We have a challenge but we are more than prepared to fight for our rights.”
“Our government is pushing to take the land from us; knowing very well that is totally against the environment we are in. Imagine what mining will do to the Big Five. Our water – we are getting it from Mfolozi River and mining will pollute our water.”
He is urging government to listen to civil society and affected communities.
“We need to government to listen to listen to proposals of civil society who are pushing for a just Mining Charter. As she (Fikile Ntshangase) is not the first one to have been killed – and she is a woman, it feels like people that we trusted with our freedom are taking us back to oppression. To me this is even worse. There must be nothing about our land and us without us!”
News agency, GroundUp, has reported that Tendele CEO Jan du Preez has condemned Ntshangase’s murder and recent incidents of violence and intimidation, which he linked to concerns about the threat of job losses. He is also said to have rejected as blatant lies claims that community members who are supporting the mine’s expansion had been bribed.
of parties at the opposite end of the political spectrum – the Economic Freedom
Fighters (EFF) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) – were both on the campaign
trail in Pietermaritzburg today, April 17.
IFP launched its KwaZulu Natal manifesto at the Winston Churchill theatre, with
party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi and the party’s candidate for premier, VF
told the crowd that for the past 10 years the leading party did not govern well.
“The capital city of KwaZulu Natal is placed under administration for the
second time because they have failed,” said Buthelezi. He concluded by saying
there is no need to vote for corruption.
the EFF’s Julius Malema was at the Pietermaritzburg taxi rank where he
addressed a crowd, before moving to the Umngeni Municipality where he led a
service delivery march.
told the crown that the demands of the people are genuine, “They want land,
water, reliable electricity and jobs.” Malema also claimed that municipal
employees had slept their way into jobs. (Umgungundlovu FM – edited by Siya
The National Democratic Convention (NADECO) won’t be participating in the May 8 election as it sent its documents to the wrong email address, party leader Siyabonga Sibisi said in an interview with Ladysmith community radio station Nqubeko.
The party, which broke away from the
Inkatha Freedom Party several years ago, was shocked to realize that they were
not on the list of parties that are registered with the IEC, Sibisi told the station
on April 5.
But he blamed the IEC for the mistake. ‘’We
went to our local IEC office here in Ladysmith to submit our documents, but we
were told that were should contact the national IEC office in Pretoria,’’
Sibisi said. An email to the IEC bounced because they were given the wrong
email address by their local IEC office, and they did not realize that the
email was not sent.
“We only realized that we are not on the
list after realizing that the IEC has invited all registered political parties
to come and sign the code of conduct in Durban,” Sibisi added.
The party leader apologized to supporters
and said the party would partner with other parties and were currently in talks
with the National Freedom Party to this end.