Weekly News Brief

Weekly News Brief

iAfrica  | Sep 20, 2019 12:01

Weekly News Brief


President Cyril Ramaphosa formally apologised to Nigeria for xenophobic attacks on its citizens in South Africa. He said the ugly incidents did not represent the values that his country cherished. The head of South Africa’s special envoy Jeff Radebe tendered the apology on behalf of the South African leader when he visited Nigeria on Monday. Other emissaries were sent to deliver similar messages to different African heads of state on behalf of the South African president.

On Friday, Mpumalanga mother Zinhle Maditla has been sentenced to four life terms in prison for the murders of her children. Judge Segopotje Mphahlele handed down the sentence in the Middelburg Magistrates Court on Friday. The children died in December last year after the 25-year-old mother fed them rat poison. Twenty-five-year-old Maditla fed her four children aged between 11 months and 8-years-old rat poison last December after a quarrel with her then-partner and father of two of the kids.

It was reported this week that according to Interpol, drug traffickers see South Africa as a good investment destination much like some legitimate businesses do. The Interpol Global Conference on the Illicit Drug Trade got under way in Cape Town on Tuesday. Interpol’s head of organised crime Paul Stanfield said South Africa’s drug problems were no different to the challenges in European countries. He said the nation is seen as a gateway to export drugs to high market countries.

A child law expert has said incarceration was not necessarily the answer to dealing with children who commit murder. This after a 14-year-old boy from Delft stood accused of stabbing his father to death; he was arrested on Wednesday. Five weeks ago, another 14-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the murder of his mother in Kuils River. Recent crime stats showed more than 700 murders were committed by children between April last year and March this year. In the same week, The Constitutional Court has ruled that corporal punishment cannot be used in private homes. Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, who presided over the case, said that the defence of reasonable chastisement was inconsistent with the Constitution.

The High Court in Johannesburg has ruled that AfriForum’s Ernst Roets did not break the law when he posted a picture of the apartheid flag just hours after the Equality Court had ruled that its gratuitous display amounted to hate speech. The application was brought by the Nelson Mandela Foundation saying that Roets was in contempt of court. But deputy CEO of AfriForum argued that the display of the old flag could still be used for artistic, journalist and academic purposes. However, The Nelson Mandela Foundation is said to be seeking to go straight to the Constitutional Court to challenge Tuesday’s ruling that said that AfriForum’s Ernst Roets’ tweeting of the apartheid flag was not in contempt of court.

An elderly man has been fined for forcing three men into slavery in Athlone, Cape Town. Cosian Hendriks has been fined R10,000. If he doesn’t pay up, he has to serve two years in prison. That sentence has been suspended for five years. He was arrested along with a tavern owner in Athlone last July. The tavern owner has since been released. The trio was trafficked from Colesburg and sold to the owner of the drinking spot, where they were to be used as slaves.


President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced the extension of the army’s deployment until the end of March next year. Premier Alan Winde said: “Together, across the board, we are building a safer province. I thank the president for this deployment and commit that the province will do what it needs to do, to make this a safer Western Cape.”

A crowd funding campaign raised enough funds for the hire of a private investigator to probe the murders of two Parow relatives. Jesse Hess and her grandfather, Chris Lategan, were murdered in their flat over two weeks ago. There have been no arrests and now a crowdfunding campaign to employ private investigation has exceeded its target of R50,000. By Wednesday morning more than R53,000 had been raised. Capetonian Kate Steyn has been raising money to help crack the case.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday said government would be setting up a fund to help address gender-based violence. Ramaphosa is addressing a joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces, which he called to focus on the crisis of gender-based violence and femicide. He said he would be meeting with the private sector to request funding. “I will be requesting them to give money to this fund”. The president also said gender-based violence was just too vague and simplistic a term. He said it should be called what it is: “male perpetrated violence”.

A decision to set up an inquest into the Life Esidimeni tragedy has been welcomed by various groups, as well as some of the families of those who died. A commission of inquiry was held but the National Prosecuting Authority said there was not enough evidence to haul anyone to court. The process will determine the circumstances of what led to the deaths of 144 psychiatric patients, with the aim of identifying those responsible for the tragedy. Section 27 said it expected the inquest to provide enough evidence to allow the NPA to prosecute those who were responsible.

The Western Cape government is investing more than R1 billion into the training and deployment of 3,000 new law enforcement officers. Premier Alan Winde said more serious measures were needed to curb violent crime in the Cape, which was on the rise. Winde said dealing with violent crime remained at the top of his agenda. He, however, believed it was one of the most complex challenges facing Western Cape authorities.


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