EWN South Africa
Brendin Horner murder: Court hears State witness received death threats - Eyewitness News
The investigating officer in the case on Tuesday morning gave evidence in Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa’s bail application.
The investigating officer in the case on Tuesday morning gave evidence in Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa’s bail application. JOHANNESBURG - The Senekal Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning heard that a State witness who claimed Brendin Horners alleged killers had boasted in a tavern about assaulting a white farmer had since received death threats. The investigating officer in the case gave evidence in Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsas bail application. The pair were handcuffed earlier this month after Horners body was found tied to a fence on the farm where he worked in Paul Roux. The killing sparked racial tensions, thrusting the small Free State town into sharp focus. Matlaletsa and Mahlamba are accused of killing Horner who caught them while they allegedly tried to steal stock. The court heard that Matlaletsa and Mahlamba were heard bragging in a local tavern about beating a white farmer in Paul Roux and taking his car. WATCH: Hes not a murderer - family of Senekal suspect Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.
Mbalula: Work is under way to get Cape Town's rail network back on track - Eyewitness News
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is investing over R1 billion to repair the line.
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is investing over R1 billion to repair the line. CAPE TOWN - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Monday said work was under way to get the Western Capes busiest line, the central line, back on track. The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is investing over R1 billion to repair the line. Mbalula said at media briefing last week that in the province the biggest challenge was the central line. Stripping railway lines and stealing cables has become a regular occurrence in Cape Town. The central line was closed for a year due to ongoing vandalism and during the lockdown criminals attacked the network again, taking just about anything they could to sell. The United National Transport Unions (Untu) spokesperson Sonja Carstens said people had also built informal structures on top of the train tracks so before any work could actually begin, residents needed to be relocated. Mbalula said officials were working on this. This notion that it will take Prasa 20 years to recover the line is not correct. We are working with the city and the Department of Human Settlements to relocate the people who have built shacks, he said. Carstens said when that process is completed, the line needs to be secured while modernisation work is being done. They are suggesting that while crucial work is under way, soldiers should patrol the railway line to protect assets and police guard the stations platforms. We need to fix the cables, the power outages, and the platforms and railway tracks, Carstens said. Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.
Ex-Transnet board chair Mkwanazi willing to pay back the money - Eyewitness News
Mafika Mkhwanazi concluded his testimony at the commission on Monday largely agreeing that decisions the board made were irrational.
Mafika Mkhwanazi concluded his testimony at the commission on Monday largely agreeing that decisions the board made were irrational. JOHANNESBURG - Former Transnet board chairperson Mafika Mkwanazi on Monday said he would not oppose a recommendation by the state capture commission of inquiry that he and his board members repay the R17 million that they handed over to Siyabonga Gama. Mkhwanazi concluded his testimony at the commission largely agreeing that decisions the board made were irrational. Mkhwanazi admits sabotaging legal processes to ensure Gama returned as Transnet CEO He denied, however, that former Cabinet Minister Malusi Gigaba had instructed him to bring back Gama; instead, he told Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that Gigaba only wanted Gamas dismissal reviewed. Mkhwanazi has a glowing profile. He is educated in applied mathematics and he is experienced in chairing boards of state-owned and private companies in South Africa and the continent. Yet he repeatedly said he did not know why decisions were made and did not even know that 75% of legal costs for Gama would amount to R4 million. Evidence leader advocate Anton Myburgh said: I see you are a little stunned. I am because of my interpretation of the so-called legal costs, maybe I dont understand, I am stunned, yes, Mkhwanazi said in response. But you were the negotiator, Myburgh argued. At the time, this detail was not available to me, Mkhwanazi said. Zondo wanted the former Transnet board chairperson to pay back the money. Would you say there would be anything unfair if, in the end, the commission were to recommend to the president that steps should be taken to recover from members of the board who supported this settlement this money that, you and I agree, should not have been paid to Mr Gama? He asked. Chairman I would not be opposed to that, Mkhwanazi said in response. Gama received R13 million in back pay and benefits and R4 million in legal costs even though he had admitted guilt for misconduct and the High Court had ordered him to pay Transnets costs. CONTRADICTORY TESTIMONY At the same time, the commission has heard startling and sometimes contradictory testimony from Mkhwanazi. The former board chair admitted to carrying out instructions from someone who was not even in office yet and agreed to a settlement for Gama only to be stunned by the amount that was paid nine years down the line. He also admitted to reinstating Gama after he defied board resolutions and signing procurement documents worth millions, which he claimed he had not read. The facts show that you and your board acted so irrationally that the only reasonable explanation is that you must have been carrying out an instruction from the minister [Gigaba] to reinstate Mr Gama, Myburgh said. Mkhwanazi said in response: It was not an instruction to reinstate, it was an instruction to review. He conceded he should have told the minister that an independent disciplinary process was under way and should not be interfered with, yet he did not. By your decision, you said in effect this CEO defied board instructions, but we want him back and we will pay him to full back pay, its inexplicable, Zondo said. In hindsight, it's inexplicable and the charge is unacceptable, Mkwanazi said. Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.
SABC: More staffers now in firing line - Eyewitness News
In a communique to the staff at the public broadcaster, the management outlined how they planned to serve similar dismissal letters to what they call a "second cohort" before the end of the year.
In a communique to the staff at the public broadcaster, the management outlined how they planned to serve similar dismissal letters to what they call a "second cohort" before the end of the year. JOHANNESBURG - As South Africans reel in shock over the SABCs decision to fire employees who they considered having been appointed, promoted, and / or received salary adjustments unlawfully, the organisation on Tuesday also revealed that even more people would face the same fate. In a communique to the staff at the public broadcaster, the management outlined how they planned to serve similar dismissal letters to what they call a "second cohort" before the end of the year. So far, 13 staff members have received letters. It is unclear what labour relations laws the SABC considered to pull off the move, which would likely see the 13 employees out of work after receiving "letters" over the status of their employment during controversial Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng's reign. In the letter shared with staff on Monday, the organisation's management said they believed the employees benefited through a process which denied other colleagues equitable and fair access to compete for appointments and promotions. Meanwhile, the SABC News Forum has contested the decision, saying that they are appalled by the decision. The SABC has been considering retrenching workers for some time now so much so that they headed to the Labour Court earlier this year to review and set aside the appointments of 27 employees. This move was, however, unsuccessful. Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.
Four pupils among those detained after French teacher beheading - Eyewitness News
They were among 15 people being held over the incident, one of whom was previously convicted for terror-related crimes and admitted to having had contact with the man who killed Samuel Paty for showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad to his class, the sourc…
They were among 15 people being held over the incident, one of whom was previously convicted for terror-related crimes and admitted to having had contact with the man who killed Samuel Paty for showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad to his class, the source said. PARIS - Four schoolchildren were being held by French police Monday on suspicion of helping a man who beheaded a history teacher to identify his victim in return for money, a judiciary source said. They were among 15 people being held over the incident, one of whom was previously convicted for terror-related crimes and admitted to having had contact with the man who killed Samuel Paty for showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad to his class, the source said. Paty was "pointed out" to his attacker "by one or more pupils, probably in return for payment", according to the source. The killer's parents, grandfather and younger brother, detained over the weekend, remain in custody. Those in custody also included a known Islamist radical as well as the father of one of Paty's pupils who had launched an online campaign against the teacher. One other person was being held on suspicion of driving the killer, and another for allegedly accompanying him during the purchase of one of his weapons. Download the EWN app to your iOSor Androiddevice.
Jean-Claude Van Damme saves life of puppy in fake passport row - Eyewitness News
A dog named Raya was sold to new owners in Norway in September but officials there would not register her because she had travelled on a fake Bulgarian passport, leaving her facing euthanasia.
A dog named Raya was sold to new owners in Norway in September but officials there would not register her because she had travelled on a fake Bulgarian passport, leaving her facing euthanasia. SOFIA, Bulgaria - Action movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme has come to the rescue of a three-month-old chihuahua, saving her from euthanasia on Monday after a legal tussle between Norway and Bulgaria. The dog named Raya was sold to new owners in Norway in September but officials there would not register her because she had travelled on a fake Bulgarian passport. Norway tried to repatriate the animal but Bulgaria refused to take her back because of European Union rules about transport of live animals, leaving the dog facing euthanasia - until the Belgian film legend got involved. Van Damme launched an emotive campaign on social media, posting selfies of him hugging his chihuahua, which eventually persuaded the Bulgarian Food Safety Authority to accept the dog back. "I beg, please, for my birthday, the Food Safety Authority, change your decision," Van Damme wrote over the weekend, launching a petition to save the dog. "They made a mistake, the people who didn't do the paper correctly... But they cannot kill that little chihuahua." Please, sign this @Change petition and help me save a puppy https://t.co/yTxPuXzk3X Jean-Claude Van Damme (@JCVD) October 17, 2020 The food safety authority says Raya will have medical checks when she gets back to Bulgaria and will be put up for adoption. Yavor Gechev from the Four Paws animal rights organisation told AFP on Monday that Bulgaria should be congratulated for showing flexibility but called for stricter control on illegal breeders and animal traffickers. "The export of pets from eastern to western and northern Europe is a lucrative business," he said. The dog's fake passport meant she would have been put down on October 20 under Norway's legislation, said Gechev. The misadventures of Raya resemble the story of Penka the cow, who also faced a death sentence after wandering over Bulgaria's border with Serbia in May 2018. Penka was saved thanks to an international campaign in her defence joined by former Beatle Paul McCartney. Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.
ANC assures FS members it will address concerns over asbestos, Estina projects - Eyewitness News
Members were protesting outside the ANC’s headquarters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on Monday.
Members were protesting outside the ANC’s headquarters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on Monday. JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) has assured its Free State (FS) members that it will respond timeously to their concerns regarding the failed asbestos and Estina dairy farm projects in the province. Members have been protesting outside the ANCs headquarters at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on Monday. Several Free State ANC and government officials are implicated in connection with the failed multimillion-rand projects. - READ: FS ANC members want action against those implicated in Estina, asbestos projects The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has been investigating the failed Gupta-linked Estina dairy farm scandal as well as the asbestos project. Angry ANC Free State members demanded that action be taken against officials implicated in the failed multimillion-rand asbestos and Estina dairy farm projects. They want the national working committee currently meeting to consider taking action against those implicated. - ALSO READ: NPA to continue seizing accused assets in FS asbestos corruption case They handed over a memorandum of demands to ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe who accepted the petition on behalf of the party. We have received your concerns, I will be reporting to the leaders of the African National Congress. But some protesters were not impressed with Mabes response. You must attend to that memorandum as soon as possible, one protestor said. - ALSO READ: Did Estina have its own money to invest in the Vrede dairy project? However, Mabe said he could not make a commitment as to when they would respond: As soon as we have got feedback, we will be able to report back, Mabe said. Demonstrators have warned that they would return to Luthuli House should the party fail to respond as promised. Download the EWN app to your iOSor Androiddevice.
SA revises list of high-risk COVID-19 countries down to 22 - Eyewitness News
The United States, United Kingdom and France are still included on the list.
The United States, United Kingdom and France are still included on the list. JOHANNESBURG - Home Affairs has revised the list of high-risk COVID-19 countries from 60 to 22. However, the United States, the United Kingdom and France are still included. Home Affairs has also revealed that over 4,000 international travel applications have been received from mostly investors in agriculture, manufacturing, mining and tourism. While the updated high-risk country list means that people from these destinations cannot travel to South Africa, special clearances have been issued to visitors conducting business, critical skills visa holders and investors among others. Interestingly, the Home Affairs Department said that in the first two weeks of launching COVID-19 business travel, where people inquire to visit the country, at least 335 investors daily applied to visit the country. In a statement, the department said that this showed that South Africa remained an attractive investment destination. This comes after a Cabinet consideration to review the list of high-risk countries to strike a balance between saving lives and protecting livelihoods. However, nothing has changed concerning travellers from other countries on the continent, meaning that they will still be welcome in the republic after undergoing COVID-19 protocols. COUNTRIES ON SA'S HIGH-RISK COVID-19 LIST:
- United Kingdom
Second suspect in Senekal court violence case granted bail - Eyewitness News
He's implicated in the rampage where the disgruntled group toppled and set a police van alight expressing outrage at the suspects who were arrested for killing farmer Brendin Horner.
He's implicated in the rampage where the disgruntled group toppled and set a police van alight expressing outrage at the suspects who were arrested for killing farmer Brendin Horner. SENEKAL - A second man arrested for public violence in the Senekal farmers protests has been released on bail. Stephanus Johannes Fourie made a brief appearance in the Senekal Magistrates Court on Monday. The court has found that it is in the interests of justice to grant him R15,000 bail. At the same time, Andre Pienaar, the other accused to face similar charges, has also been granted R15,000 bail in the Bloemfontein High Court. Fourie (33) stood in the dock for the first time today after spending the weekend behind bars. #Senekal the second suspect to allegedly commit public violence during the protests by farmers earlier this month has appeared in the Senekal Magistrates court. This state has not opposed bail. KM pic.twitter.com/t0uRoSBodG EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) October 19, 2020 He is facing charges of attempted murder and public violence and incitement to commit violence for the role he played in the violent protests outside the Senekal Magistrates Court earlier this month. The State did not oppose bail but they prescribed an amount of R15,000 for bail, which his lawyer Wayne Gibbs told the court he could afford. However, Magistrate Fundiswa Lufutu still required him to substantiate why he should be given bail. Fourie told the court that he runs a towing company and if he is not released on bail his business will be adversely affected. He also reassured the court that he was not a flight risk and he would attend court faithfully. Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and his wife test positive for COVID-19 - Eyewitness News
The minister said they were in quarantine at home and he was optimistic they would make a full recovery.
The minister said they were in quarantine at home and he was optimistic they would make a full recovery. JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and his wife, Dr May Mkhize, have both tested positive for COVID-19. The minister said they were in quarantine at home and he was optimistic they would make a full recovery. Mkhize was tested on Saturday after showing mild symptoms and confirmed in a statement on Sunday night that the couple had contracted the virus. We decided to go test yesterday [Saturday] when I started showing mild symptoms. I was feeling abnormally exhausted and as the day progressed, I started losing appetite. My wife had a cough, was dizzy, and extremely exhausted. Given her symptoms, the doctors advised that she must be admitted for observation and rehydration, Mkhize said. #ZweliMkhize Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and his wife Dr May Mkhize have both tested positive for #COVID19. The Mkhizes are now in quarantine and have informed the people theyve been in contact with recently to isolate and test. pic.twitter.com/BEqFe67oyQ EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) October 18, 2020 He said their close contacts in the past week were a few of their family members and some of his Department of Health team. We have informed them and advised them to immediately isolate in their homes and be tested, Mkhize said. I am now in quarantine at home and both my wife and I remain optimistic that we will fully recover from this virus. The minister said he would use this quarantine period to rest and recharge because our task to improve the health services of our country and the lives our people even post COVID-19 remains of paramount importance. Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.