Cii News | 19 September 2014/24 Dhul Qadah 1435

News that made headlines on various newswires around the world

MONDAY

According to the Sowetan, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said ANC members and Cabinet ministers would use their buttocks to defend President Jacob Zuma.

Mokonyane was quoted as saying “The attack is not on Zuma, but it is on the ANC. She said Re tlo thiba ka dibono meaning  We will defend with our buttocks],”

At the launch of a water project in Marite, Mpumalanga, on Saturday, she said “Like it or not, Zuma is ours and he will finish the term because we want water”.

Mokonyane said Zuma would finish his term in spite of the controversies surrounding him.

Mokonyane’s spokesperson Brenda Mpitsang told the newspaper the “buttocks” comment was not literal.

——

Government approved a support package for power utility Eskom, which will include the company raising over $4 billion in additional debt and receiving an equity injection from the state.

The announcement highlighted the gravity of the situation facing Eskom, which provides virtually all of the power to Africa’s most advanced economy but has massive funding issues as its costs are running way ahead of its revenues.

Treasury said in a statement that “Eskom will be raising additional debt in the region of R50 billion ($4.5 billion), over and above its original plan of 200 billion rand,”.

The Treasury was referring to an application from Eskom two years ago, when it laid out expenditure forecasts and proposals for the tariffs it said it needed to charge consumers.

——

President Jacob Zuma embarked on another effort to broker a peace deal between Lesotho’s warring factions.

According to SABC reports, political disagreements by rival factions in the mountain kingdom triggered an aborted coup on August 30th.

An emergency meeting of Southern African Development Community regional leaders will be convened in Pretoria today to discuss pressing security issues in Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Zuma is chair of SADC’s Organ on Politics and Defence.

Lesotho’s Prime Minister Tom Thabane failed to meet last Friday’s deadline to re-open Parliament, after rival political leaders deadlocked over the implementation of the South African brokered peace deal.

The re-opening of Parliament is seen as a critical step toward restoring peace and stability in Lesotho.

——-

A spokesman for the Libyan navy said a boat filled with up to 250 migrants heading for Europe sunk off the Libyan coast and many passengers have died.

Navy spokesman Ayub Qassem said only 26 people were rescued after the boat sunk near Tajoura, east of the capital Tripoli.

Qassem told the Reuters news agency that the under-equipped coastguard had few resources to search for survivors.

Migrants have been streaming out of Libya in boats in rising numbers for years, on their way to Europe.

The Italian government said so far in 2014, more than 100,000 have reached Italy’s shores.

Qassem said the migrants on the capsized boat were mostly Africans.

Libya’s coastguard mainly exists on paper and relies on fishing boats and tugs it borrows from the oil ministry.

More than 100 African migrants died in a similar boat accident in August.

—–

The only power plant in Gaza was made ready to work pending the delivery of fuel supply needed to operate it.

The power plant stopped working completely after being shelled by Israeli warplanes during the latest Israeli onslaught on Gaza which lasted for 51 days.

According , CEO of Gaza Electricity Company Walid Sayel, the company received promises from the Palestinian presidency in Ramallah to provide it with fuel in the coming few days.

He pointed out that the damages in the plant had been fixed and that it’s ready to function as soon as the fuel arrives.

Sayel called on Turkey to subsidise the power plant in Gaza, pointing out that the idea of a Turkish fuel ship at the moment is “impossible” to be approved by Israel.

The Turkish minister of energy had said that his country is ready to send a floating 100 megawatt power plant to Gaza after obtaining the necessary permits.

For years, the residents of the Gaza Strip, have been suffering daily power cuts for up to eight hours.

In the case of running out of fuel, the power cuts extended to 12 hours a day.

—–

It has emerged that more than R16m was spent on landscaping at President Jacob Zuma’s home.

In documents from official Department of Public Works made public in pursuit of Zuma’s personal architect Minenhle Makhanya.

Landscaping the grounds of the Zuma family’s sprawling Nkandla compound rose exponentially, with contractors importing protected indigenous trees and plants from across the country.

The embattled architect was slapped with the mammoth R155m bill for his alleged inflation of the cost of the compound.

Among the enhancements are 12 protected cycads, for the landscaping project at a cost of R5 500 each.

Fully grown trees at R7 500 each were also shipped to the rural hamlet and strategically placed for what they say was “secrecy”.

The total cost for trees came to R1.6m.

——-

According to ENCA, Prime Minister Tom Thabane said the security situation in Lesotho remained volatile and its parliament could not reconvene under the current environment.

Thabane was speaking ahead of a SADC summit expected to kick off in Pretoria to discuss the mountain kingdom’s political crisis.

Lesotho’s deadlocked political parties failed to meet a Friday deadline for a fresh peace deal, prompting South Africa to call an emergency meeting of regional leaders.

After promising President Jacob Zuma that they would decide by Friday when to re-open Lesotho’s parliament, rival leaders failed to resolve a crisis sparked two weeks ago by an aborted coup.

On 30 August, an attempted coup by renegade general Tlali Kamoli saw the military assault several police stations prompting the prime minister to flee the country.

—–

A fourth Sierra Leonean doctor has died after contracting the Ebola virus.

A top health official said Dutch charity also repatriated two doctors suspected of having been contaminated with the disease.

The doctors had been placed in quarantine at a hospital in the western city of Leiden where they are undergoing tests to confirm whether or not they have the disease, she said.

Sierra Leone’s emergency services also announced they had sent more teams to assist in burying those who died from Ebola in the west of the country

According to the World Health Organization the Ebola outbreak ravaging west Africa has killed more than 2,400 people since it erupted earlier this year.

Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia are the hardest-hit countries.

—–

Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni alleged that Qatar was responsible for sending three military planes loaded with weapons to a Tripoli airport controlled by an armed opposition group.

The government had already accused Sudan of having tried to arm a group which seized Tripoli last month, forcing senior officials and the elected parliament to relocate to the east.

US officials said that the United Arab Emirates and Egypt carried out air strikes against an armed group from the western city of Misrata conquering Tripoli last month.

Thinni also repeated accusations against Sudan, saying Khartoum had tried sending a military plane loaded with ammunition to Matiga, an airport controlled by the Misrata forces.

Thinni said the Qatari military planes had arrived in Matiga before the Sudanese plane was stopped by Libyan forces in Kufra, which is a desert town near the Sudanese border.

—–

Thirty countries pledged to help Iraq fight Islamic State “by all means necessary”.

A joint statement by foreign ministers taking part in a major conference in Paris talks said support would include “appropriate military assistance”.

The talks had been called to agree a strategy to combat the group, which controls large parts of Iraq and Syria.

Iraqi President Fuad Masum, who co-hosted the conference with French President Francois Hollande, said the international community must pursue the fighters “quickly”.

US officials said several Arab countries have offered to take part in air strikes on IS fighters in Iraq,.

Turkey, however, will only allow humanitarian and logistical operations from the Nato air base on its soil.

——

Irans leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the US seeks to expand its military presence in the Middle East region by declaring war on the ISIL.

The Leader described as “absurd, hollow and biased” remarks made by US officials regarding the formation of a so-called international coalition to battle the ISIL group.

Khamenei noted that there is ample evidence of US officials’ contradictory allegations with regards to inviting Iran to the international conference currently underway in France, aimed at countering the rising threat of ISIL.

On Friday, US President Barack Obama said that the United States is assembling an international coalition with the goal to “snuff out” the ISIL group.

ISIL controls large parts of Syria’s east and north.

In June the group seized large swathes of land straddling the border between Syria and Iraq.

—–

The African Union is prepared to send a team of 30 health workers and other specialists to help fight an Ebola outbreak that killed more than 2,400 people in West Africa.

The volunteers were epidemiologists, clinicians, public health specialists and communications personnel.

They were set to be deployed in Liberia, which the country hardest hit by the epidemic, from September 17.

The AU said a second batch of volunteers will be deployed to Sierra Leone in the next few weeks,.

AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko said this was the time for Africa to show solidarity with the affected countries.

In Brussels, meanwhile, the European Union was holding a meeting with ministers and other high-level officials to coordinate the bloc’s response to the Ebola epidemic.

Contributions to help fight the outbreak were expected to be discussed, including transport options, field hospitals, doctors and medical equipment.

—–

According to reports an academic, who was set to establish what he calls an ‘open mosque’ in Cape Town, has slammed Muslim Imaams.

He reportedly said their rules are chauvinistic and not in line with the 21st century or the Quraan.

According to EWN Taj Hargey, who is Oxford University professor, said his mosque would allow women to lread prayers and also welcome homosexuals and even non-Muslims.

The place of worship was expected to open its doors in Wynberg this Friday.

The so called Academic claimed that they do things according to the Quraan, and not according to the Shariah.

He dismissed Shariah as a concoction of medieval interpretations.

—–

TUESDAY

The United Nations had formally taken over a regional African peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic.

This came nine months after sectarian violence erupted which left at least 5,000 people dead and forced tens of thousands of Muslims to flee to neighbouring countries.

On Monday, the UN took over about 1,800 additional peacekeepers and police joined the African Union’s peacekeeping mission of 6,200 troops already in the country.

Two-thousand French troops, deployed last December, would work alongside the new UN force.

Human rights groups said that the new force, when combined with the existing African troops, is still only about 65 percent of what was authorised by the UN Security Council in April.

They called for the full deployment of a nearly 12,000-strong force, which diplomats said would not take place until early 2015, the Associated Press news agency reported.

—–

The US was set to announce it will expand its response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

According to reports, its plans to deploy 3,000 troops and reallocate at least $500m in humanitarian budget.

White House officials said that President Barack Obama would unveil the plan, which includes building of treatment centres, training of thousands of healthcare workers and establishment of a military control centre for coordination.

Obama has faced criticism for not doing more to check the outbreak

The World Health Organisation said last week had killed more than 2,400 people out of 4,784 cases in West Africa.

—–

Fighter jets from an unknown country have reportedly carried out at least four air attacks near the Libyan capital Tripoli.

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates were believed to have carried out air strikes against armed groups in Libya last month.

Neither country has admitted responsibility for the attacks.

Local militia leaders told the Associated Press news agency that the targets were ammunition warehouses and weapons depots, belonging to a coalition of fighters called Libyan Dawn.

The reports come as Qatar signalled its rejection and disapproval of the statements made by Libya’s prime minister Abdullah al-Thinni, regarding the Gulf Arab state’s alleged interference in his country’s internal affairs.

——

Officials said that the security situation in protest-hit Grabouw had deteriorated to such an extent that not even the fire brigade were allowed in.

Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said that cars were still allowed to pass through the closed off section of the N2 on an ad hoc basis.

But by 09:00, groups of protesters were setting fires next to the road and hiding from police behind a barrier in Slang Park township.

Fire engines were on standby but were not allowed onto the road to douse the fires for fear of being stoned.

A police official said at least 13 people had been arrested.

More shops were plundered overnight, some belonging to foreigners.

At one shop, the gates and fence protecting it were removed by looters.

Reports of cars being stoned in the Pineview area were received on Tuesday morning.

Many residents have reportedly complained about pupils not being able to finish their exam papers yesterday and being sent home for their safety.

Schools were closed today and pupils sent home.

——

A man was arrested for allegedly shooting and injuring ANC Youth League Limpopo leader Boy Mamabolo and three others in Polokwane.

Limpopo police said the suspect was accompanied by his lawyer when he handed himself over in the early hours of this morning.

Said Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said he would appear in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court and would face four counts of attempted murder.

Mulaudzi said Mamabolo was in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

The three others, who were apparently Mamabola’s friends, were treated at hospital and discharged.

Mamabolo faces 72 fraud charges related to his chairmanship of the Limpopo Geographical Names Committee.

He was also embroiled in a court battle with Malema last year over a threatening text message he allegedly sent to Malema.

—–

Israel’s Likud Central Committee meeting was held on Monday despite efforts exerted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to abort it as he called for his ministers and Likud officials not to attend.

The committee head and Member of the Knesset Danny Danon, was the prominent speaker in the meeting.

Danon was dismissed from his position as deputy defence minister by Netanyahu during the war on Gaza because he was an outspoken critic of the prime minister’s policies.

He was greeted as upcoming prime minister.

A number of senior Likud leaders, including Avi Dichter and Moshe Feiglin attended the committee’s meeting, in addition to a number of municipal heads.

Observers saidrepercussions of the Israeli war on Gaza, were still posing a threat to Netanyahu’s factional and government coalitions.

The war undermined Netanyahu’s control over his party and government.

——

A truck transporting 35 000 litres of petrol that was hijacked in Johannesburg in the early hours of the morning , was found empty in Protea Glen a few hours later, Soweto police said.

According to Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela, the truck driver said he was hijacked by four men on his way from Alrode to Sebokeng.

The truck was en route to Sebokeng, near Vanderbijlpark, to deliver the 35 000 litres of petrol.

The value of the petrol was estimated to be more than R400 000

Makhubela The empty truck was recovered in Protea Glen.

He appealed to anyone who might have seen what happened to the petrol to come forward with information.

—–

The British prime minister once again urged Scots to vote against independence,

He promised Scotland sweeping new powers in the event of a “No” result, ahead of this week’s historic referendum.

In his last visit to Scotland before Thursday’s election, David Cameron warned that a vote for independence wouldn’t be a “trial separation” but a ”painful divorce”.

Opinion polls are suggesting the referendum remains too close to call.

Cameron’s trip was a last-ditch effort to try to persuade Scotland’s half a million undecided voters to reject independence.

Alex Salmond, the leader of the pro-independence SNP, was also campaigning yesterday urging Scots to choose its own leaders and rule itself.

——

The death toll from a collapsed guesthouse at a megachurch in Nigeria’s financial capital Lagos rose to 57.

State government officials were investigating the cause of the collapse of the guesthouse at the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos’ Ikotun neighbourhood,

A total of 131 people were injured in the collapse of the hostel, which housed Nigerian and foreign followers of the popular preacher and televangelist TB Joshua.

Joshua’s network of churches and a television station have attracted people from around the world to Lagos with promises of receiving miracles and prophecies from the man followers dub “The Prophet”.

Joshua suggested that a low-flying aircraft was responsible for the collapse and released security camera footage apparently showing a plane flying four times over the hostel before its collapse.

Rescuers said the building was overburdened by additional floors being constructed on top of its existing foundations.

——

MPs heard today that South Africa has up to five years to go before its electricity supply crisis is over.

However they also heard that consumers may face limited power cuts this summer.

Briefing a joint meeting of Parliament’s energy and public enterprises committees, Eskom acting CEO Collin Matjila said it would be 2019 before plans the power utility had in place came together.

He said many of the utility’s power plants were very old, and required complete refurbishment.

Meanwhile Eskom executive Dan Marokane warned that consumers could face power cuts during the coming summer season.

He said they have some unreliable supply that could impact on their ability to meet demand during this period.

According to a document distributed by Eskom at the briefing, “if load is shed during summer it is likely to be from 6am until 10pm and as per published schedules”.

—–

WEDNESDAY

South Africa’s high commissioner to Nigeria said the death toll in a building collapse in Nigeria is still uncertain on Wednesday.

Lulu Mnguni told eNCA the numbers could still either go up or down, adding that there was a lack of access to information on the ground.

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said the number of South Africans killed wa based on information received from victims’ families and friends.

President Jacob Zuma announced on Tueday that 67 South Africans were killed and “scores of others” injured after faith healer TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed on Friday in Lagos.

The Star reported that about 300 South Africans from five different church tour groups had been lodging in the structure that collapsed.

Agencies reported that over 100 injured people had been rescued.

——

Gauteng transport chiefs werecoming to the realisation that the province’s two flagship projects – Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and Gautrain – are not having the desired effect.

Officials suggest the two multibillion-rand projects seem to be working against each other.

More than R40-billion had been spent on the two projects.

Gautrain bosses recently told the provincial roads and transport portfolio committee that they did not initially view the upgraded freeways as a threat to the Gautrain.

On the contrary, they had expected motorists to pour into Gautrain carriages as they battled to keep up with the rising cost of driving private cars on Gauteng’s newly e-tolled freeways.

They said that “due to public pressure”, concessions including capping monthly costs of e-tolls at R450, exemption of public transport and a three-year delay in implementing e-tolling had stifled the expected flow of motorists to the high-speed rail network.

—–

According to the Transvaal Agricultural Union, there have been 1734 farm murders since 1990.

TAU SA general manager Chris van Zyl said this was according to the union’s own investigations which were based on fellow farmers, media reports and reported cases.

He was speaking in Johannesburg at the SA Human Rights Commission hearings on farm murders.

Van Zyl said in most cases the farmers knew the perpetrators.

He said accusations of farmers as racist also contributed to the attacks.

Van Zyl recommended that President Jacob Zuma and his cabinet condemn farm attacks.

AfriForum previously complained to the SAHRC that the police were not doing enough to protect farming communities.

According to AfriForum, 91 attacks on farms and 42 murders on farms have been reported in South Africa since January.

——-

The Syrian opposition said it halted a measles vaccination campaign in the northeastern Idlib province following reports children had died after being innoculated.

The announcement was posted on the websites of the Syrian opposition National Coalition and the rebel interim government.

It stressed that a first round of vaccinations against measles, which began a month ago, had been carried out “without any problems.”

They said the vaccines being used in the latest campaign had come from the same source as those in the previous round, without specifying what that was.

Britain-based NGO, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said at least 12 children died and dozens more are suffering from poisoning or allergic reactions after measles vaccinations.

The group said medical sources had suggested that the vaccines could have been compromised, either because they were expired or poorly stored, but there was no confirmation.

—–

Bangladesh’s Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of Delwar Hossain Sayedee.

Sayedee was a powerful leader whose sentencing last year touched off the deadliest political violence in the country’s history.

In a ruling, the court reportedly said the 64 year old should spend “the rest of his natural life” in jail.

Sayedee, vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was one the country’s most popular Imaam, with millions of followers.

In advance of Wednesday’s ruling, thousands of police, the elite security force, Rapid Action Battalion, and the paramilitary border guards tightened security in major cities and towns across the country.

—–

Johannesburg Water said water was restored in all areas of Johannesburg, except those supplied by the Hurst hill reservoir.

Spokeswoman Millicent Kabwe said The Hurst Hill reservoir still had low water levels.

The reservoir supplies Hurst Hill, Albertville, Martindale, Westbury, Montclare, Coronationville, Bosmont, Newlands, Braamfontein, Melville, Emmarentia, Greenside, and Waterval.

Water tanks would be sent to affected areas.

Kabwe appealed to residents with normal water supply to use water sparingly.

—–

Violent protests erupted at the Tshwane University of Technology Wednesday forcing management to close the Pretoria campus.

TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said the University had expected students back in class today following several days of violent strike action.

She said they were meant to return but violent protests erupted again at Pretoria and Soshanguve, the arts and Arcadia campuses.

Police had been called in and security had been increased on the campuses.

Student Representative Council secretary general Signified Tivana said students would not return as management had not yet resolved their issues.

—–

At least 48 people were reportedly been killed in Syrian government air bombardment around a town in the central province of Homs.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, two days of air strikes left women, children and men including rebels among the dead.

Nearly a dozen fighters and multiple rebel commanders were also reported killed in the bombardment, which targeted Talbiseh, a town in the north of Homs and on the country’s main north-south highway.

The Observatory said the death toll from the bombardment of Talbiseh, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, was expected to rise because dozens of people including children were in critical condition.

In other Syria-related developments, Faleh al-Fayad, Iraq’s national security adviser, briefed Bashar al Assad on efforts to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant,

Syrian state media reported that this was the first such meeting since the US launched air strikes on the group’s fighters in Iraq.

According to the UN data, more than 190,000 people have been killed in Syria’s conflict and millions more displaced.

—–

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told senators that the United States is “at war” with ISIL fighters in Syria and Iraq.

The Pentagon chief told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday that the US fight against ISIL will not be an easy or brief effort.

He said destroying ISIL will require more than military efforts alone, adding that it will require political progress in the region, and effective partners on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

He defined victory as when the mission of degrading, destroying and defeating ISIL is complete.

Hagel said he will recommend having US “military advisors” fight with Iraqi troops against ISIL if the situation requires it.

The Pentagon has deployed more than 1000 troops to Iraq.

The US calls them military advisors, but according to American defense officials, the troops are comprised of Marines and special operations forces from the US Central Command region.

—–

A man was killed and another injured when men believed to be cable thieves opened fire on members of the Blyvoor community, near Carletonville, on the West Rand.

The community members had gathered on the road opposite an electricity supply substation on Tuesday when they were shot at.

A Blyvoor resident, said the incident happened shortly after a power cut hit the mining town.

Suspecting that power cable was once again being stolen at the substation a whistle was blown to alert residents.

As the crowd formed on the road opposite the substation shots were fired.

One man was shot in the head, another in the shoulder.

Residents learned that the man with the head wound had died in hospital.

Residents said they are fed up with illegal miners and metal scavengers preying on their community.

This was not the only killing in Blyvoor.

Police discovered the body of a man in a veld yesterday.

It is suspected that he was killed in a dispute between two rival factions of Basotho illegal miners.

The police found spent R4 and R5 ammunition and gold ore next to the body.

—-

According to information on the church’s website, a building collapse at The Synagogue Church of All Nations in Nigeria, which killed 67 South Africans, was not the first.

It describes the building that collapsed as an “architectural masterpiece”.

The church has had three previous locations, and each time something happened to its structure.

The church said the roof of the first church was blown off by a storm, the second church was washed away by a flood while the third church also collapsed due to severe weather conditions.

The multi-storey guesthouse belonging to a church that collapsed on Friday is believed to be part of at least five South African tour groups staying at the church of faith healer TB Joshua.

Joshua’s network of churches and a television station have attracted people from around the world to Lagos with promises of receiving miracles and prophecies from the man followers dub “The Prophet”.

—–

Diplomats gathered in the Spanish capital Madrid to try and find a solution to the crisis in Libya after clashes in Benghazi left at least nine people dead and 30 wounded.

Representatives from Libya’s armed groups are not attending the conference, which opened on today and is being attended by representative from 16 nations, the UN and the Arab League.

Libya has two competing governments which were both sworn in this month.

The country’s former government in the capital Tripoli is refusing to accept the new one in the remote eastern city of Tobruk.

Libya’s government and elected House of Representatives last month relocated to Tobruk after an armed group from the western city of Misrata seized Tripoli and most government institutions.

The weak government has proven unable to control former rebels who helped topple Gaddafi and are now fighting each other for power.

Western powers and Libya’s neighbours fear the country will turn into a failed state.

—–

The Muslim Brotherhood rejected foreign intervention in the Middle East under the pretext of confronting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

According to Anadolu news agency the group says the intervention is nothing but “a new attempt to divide the Middle East.”

The agency cited a statement issued by the Muslim Brotherhood saying: “A large number of regional extremist organisations recently emerged possessing advanced weapons and huge sums of money to attract young enthusiastic Muslims who lack sufficient knowledge about Islam.

These organisations exercise extremism, cruelty and brutality in the name of Islam, not only distorting the image of Islam, but also giving its enemies a pretext for a new intervention in Islamic countries to sabotage and kill its people.

The Muslim Brotherhood warned of a “fierce war where Muslims fight each other, with thousands of victims falling and huge sums of money wasted, creating new divisions in the region.”

In a similar statement, the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria announced its rejection of extremist groups that deviate from the true Islamic course, describing the Islamic State as a “radical organisation that commits heinous crimes”.

The latter statement said they refuse to engage in a war under the pretext of fighting terrorism while in truth it is a war on Islam.

It said the US and the West and all concerned must define terrorism before any move against terrorists to avoid targeting moderates.

—–

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and his Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu were kicked out from the National Assembly again.

This time they Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa of “murdering” 34 Marikana mineworkers.

Ramaphosa was answering questions in the National Assembly when Malema stood up and stated that the deputy presidents hands has the blood of people who died in Marikana.

Speaker Baleka Mbete demanded Malema withdraw the statement, as it was unparliamentary.

Malema refused, prompting Mbete to order him to leave the House.

Shivambu was ordered out after he repeated Malema’s sentiments.

Another MP raised a point of order because he believed an EFF member showed the Assembly the middle finger.

—–

The Umngeni (Howick) municipality has to pay R450,000 to a woman seriously injured when a pothole caused her car tyre to blow and the vehicle plunged down an embankment.

KwaZulu-Natal Judge President Chiman Patel endorsed this consent order in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

Lorraine Margaret Burns’s attorney blamed the accident on the municipality’s employees who did not repair potholes on the Umngeni-Curry’s Post road.

After the accident, in July 2008, Burns was admitted to ICU and spent three weeks in hospital with dislocated shoulders and head and other injuries.

The municipality contended Burns was negligent in failing to keep proper watch, failed to avoid the pothole, and did not exercise reasonable care and skill.

The municipality submitted This negligence caused, or contributed to the accident,.

—–

 

THURSDAY

People in Scotland voted on whether the country should stay in the UK or become an independent nation.

Voters would answer “Yes” or “No” to the referendum question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

The BBC said with over 4.2 million people – or 97% of the electorate – registered to vote, a historically high turnout is expected.

——

There had been no changes to restrictions on Gaza’s crossings since a ceasefire agreement went into effect at the end of August.

Maher al-Tabba, director of public and media relations at Gaza’s chamber of commerce, said the Kerem Shalom operates with the same restrictions as before Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.

Around 3,700 trucks have entered the besieged enclave between Aug 28 and Sept 15, almost a third of which were aid trucks.

Over 1,400 tons of cement entered Gaza between Sept 2 – 15 to be used in internationally funded projects initiated before the conflict.

Unemployment rates are expected to surpass 55 percent in the near future.

—–

Liberia’s president called on the world to do more to end a spiralling Ebola outbreak that has crippled her country.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf described US President Barack Obama’s commitment to ramp up efforts against the virus as “significant” but said she hopes it will only be the beginning.

She said that this disease is not simply a Liberian or West African problem, adding that the entire community of nations has a stake in ending this crisis.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has also touched Guinea, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Nigeria, and is believed to have infected nearly 5,000 people.

Public health officials have warned that the window is closing to stamp out the outbreak and that promises must be converted into action quickly.

—–

A pointsman in Centurion was hospitalised after being attacked by a swarm of bees while directing traffic.

According to the beeld, Gert Venter, who has been a pointsman for 13 years, was attacked by the swarm of bees on Tuesday afternoon on the corner of Piet Hugo Street and Ruimte Road.

Motorist Vena Strauss told the Afrikaans daily that she tried to help him but was forced back into her own car when the bees started attacking her.

Motorists gathered around him in their cars and some tried to scare off the bees with fire extinguishers but to no avail.

Eventually a man in a bakkie, Bertus Myburgh, shouted at Venter to jump on his bakkie and he sped off.

Venter was admitted to the high care unit at One Military hospital in Pretoria and was moved to a normal ward on Wednesday.

——

Die Volksblad reported that a sheep farmer from Namibia, Kobie Hoffman died on Tuesday from Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

CCHF is, like Ebola, which is a viral haemorrhagic fever and the symptoms are similar.

In both cases the patient needs to be quarantined to prevent the spread of the virus.

Mr Hoffman was in Upington to attend a wedding when he started feeling ill and was taken to the emergency room at the local hospital.

The virus is transmitted mainly by Hyalomma ticks, which have distinctive brown and white bands on their legs and are known in South Africa as bont-legged ticks.

Die Burger reported that the doctor initially gave him an injection for tonsillitis and sent him home.

He later returned to the hospital where Congo fever was dismissed since his blood platelet count was normal.

That evening Hoffman was reportedly flown to Bloemfontein by air ambulance service Aerocare.

Despite the hospital staff’s best efforts, Hoffman passed away on Tuesday evening.

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Qatar’s ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani denied accusations that his country funds the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant.

He told Germany that his own country is threatened by the armed group.

Last month, a German minister accused Qatar of financing ISIL, and the US has expressed concern that funds from Arab states, including Kuwait, have helped the armed group that has taken over large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

He said what is happening in Iraq and Syria is extremism and such organisations are partly financed from abroad, but Qatar has never supported and will never support terrorist organizations.

Qatar has long faced criticism, including from neighbouring Gulf Arab states, of using its vast oil and gas wealth to back armed groups across the region.

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Economic Freedom Fighters chief whip Floyd Shivambu vowed to “publicly withdraw the middle finger” after flipping the bird at Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday.

In a statement, Shivambu tried to explain his actions captured on parliamentary television footage showing him giving Ramaphosa the middle finger shortly after being told to leave the National Assembly.

Shivambu said he raised his middle finger towards Mr Ramaphosa to express the disgust of the reality that workers have lost lives due to his pursuit of private profits and interests.

The EFF chief whip said the middle finger was not necessary because there are platforms to express the utter disgust for Mr Ramaphosa’s role in Marikana and everywhere else where he is involved.

He said while he would not withdraw his comments that Ramaphosa “murdered” workers at Marikana in 2012, but he regretted the hand gesture.

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The Eastern Cape health department said two drivers were suspended after a woman in labour fell out of their moving ambulance in Ntabankulu, near Mt Frere.

The departments spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the patient sustained injuries and delivered a lifeless baby.

The two crew members left the patient unattended in the back of the ambulance while they sat in the front.

The rear door of the ambulance opened, resulting in the patient falling off and they did not even see that occurrence.

They only realised the patient was missing when they got to hospital.

A motorist picked the woman up and rushed her to hospital.

Kupelo said the provincial government would put tracking systems in ambulances to minimise the risk of abuse of vehicles and to monitor services.

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President Jacob Zuma Local said government needs to go back to basics.

He told the presidential local government summit in Midrand that the bottom line is that local government exists to serve the people

He said Municipalities must take more decisive action to involve communities and community organisations in the matters of local government.

In April the co-operative governance ministry held a roundtable discussion on service delivery and identified a number of reasons for protests in many municipalities.

Zuma said many communities became impatient when they saw services being delivered to their neighbours, yet they were still waiting.

Other reasons were demands for municipal infrastructure, anger against corruption, nepotism and non-response from government.

The aim of the summit was to develop a plan to strengthen local government by getting the basics right.

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According to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, hundreds of public schools remain without piped water, electricity, and sanitation,

In written reply to a parliamentary question, she said of the country’s 23 742 public schools 862 did not have access to water, 1 366 did not have access to electricity, and 643 did not have access to sanitation facilities.

A table accompanying the reply shows the majority of these are in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Of the 5 469 schools in the Eastern Cape, 582 are without water, 550 without electricity, and 519 without sanitation.

In KwaZulu-Natal, of the total 5 858 public schools, 181 do not have water, 628 do not have electricity, and 81 lack sanitation facilities.

Motshekga said her department had prioritised the provision of basic services to schools.

Regulations in this regard were passed in November last year, and within three years of this date all schools had to be provided with acceptable basic services, she said.

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According to parliamentary spokesman Faraj Hashim, Libya’s Tobruk-based parliament rejected the new cabinet of Abdullah al-Thinni.

Thinni presented a cabinet with 16 ministers on Wednesday, but members of parliament rejected those names on Thursday.

Libya has two competing governments. The country’s former government in the capital Tripoli is refusing to accept the new one in the remote eastern city of Tobruk.

Armed rebels who backed the rebellion to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 have kept their weapons, staking claims to territory, oil and other resources.

An armed group from the western city of Misrata seized the capital Tripoli in August and forced the elected parliament to move to the east of the country.

The Misrata group has set up its own parliament and government, which are not internationally recognised.

As violence continues to flare up in Libya, diplomats gathered in the Spanish capital Madrid to try and find a solution to the crisis.

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Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden accused the United States of routinely passing private and unedited communications of American citizens to Israel.

Snowden told James Bamford from the New York Times that the intercepts included communications of Arabs, and Palestinian-Americans, whose relatives in Israel and the Palestinian territories could become targets based on the information.

The material included “unevaluated and unminimized transcripts, gists, facsimiles, telex, voice and Digital Network Intelligence metadata and content,” according to documents leaked by Snowden.

The Israeli intelligence reportedly use the info to force the Palestinians into becoming collaborators.

The snooping has been carried out based on a deal between the US spy agency and the Israeli intelligence since 2009.

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Security sources and residents say Houthi rebels have pushed into Yemen’s capital Sanaa after clashing with the army in the city’s northwest outskirts.

The Shia Houthi rebels have been battling pro-government Sunni fighters in an escalation of weeks of clashes and protests.

The Houthis, who belong to the Shia Zaidi sect of Islam, have been involved in a decade-long conflict with the Sunni-dominated government, fighting for more control and territory in the north.

At least 50 people have been killed in clashes involving Houthi fighters in different parts of the country since Tuesday.

Critics say the Houthis are trying to grab power and carve out a semi-independent state for themselves in the north – something they deny.

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South African Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus said that she would stand down on November 8 when her five-year term ends.

Marcus, who guided South Africa through a turbulent five years since the global financial crisis, told a news conference at the end of a Monetary Policy Committee meeting, that she notified President Jacob Zuma about her decision.

According to Reuters news agency, she said this was her last MPC, adding that she advised the president some time ago that she would not be available for renewal.

She said she thought the bank has an outstanding team of leadership, both in the executive, monetary policy, leadership, management of the bank.

Marcus said shes quite comfortable saying that whoever the president chooses to succeed as the next governor will continue with the strength of this institution and do an excellent job.

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FRIDAY

Eight bodies, including those of three journalists, were found after an attack on a team trying to educate locals on the risks of the Ebola virus in a remote area of southeastern Guinea.

Government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara told Reuters that the eight bodies were found in the village latrine, adding that three of them had their throats slit.

The gruesome discovery came as the World Health Organisation said more than 700 more Ebola cases had emerged in West Africa in the past week.

The alarm came as Sierra Leone readied for an unprecedented three-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the Ebola in a controversial move which experts claimed could worsen the epidemic.

The WHO said the death toll also passed 2,600 people, an increase of roughly 200 from the last estimate.

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Pakistan’s military said it killed 23 fighters in aerial strikes across North Waziristan tribal district in the northwest region near the Afghan border.

In a statement the military said aerial strikes carried out on what they called terrorist hideouts in Zerom, Ismail Khel, and Datta Khel in North Waziristan, killed 23.

In June, the army began major offensives in North Waziristan aimed at clearing the area of armed groups, including the Taliban, after a raid on Karachi airport ended faltering peace talks.

Residents said many civilians died in air strikes, but as the conflict zone is off-limits to journalists, there is no way to independently verify the number and identity of those killed.

North Waziristan has become a major base for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban), which rose up against the state in 2007.

Pakistan’s army says it has killed more than a thousand fighters and has lost 86 soldiers since the start of the operation.

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Voters in Scotland rejected independence from Britain in a referendum that had threatened to break up the 307-year union between them.

Before dawn after a night of counting that showed a steady trend in favor of maintaining the union, Nicola Sturgeon, the deputy head of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, effectively conceded defeat for the “yes” campaign that had pressed for secession.

With 26 of 32 voting districts reporting, there were 1,397,077 votes, or 54.2 percent, against independence, and 1,176,952, or 45.7 percent, in favor.

At that point the tally seemed wider than opinion surveys had suggested but it gave pro-independence campaigners a strong platform to press for greater powers and autonomy for Scotland promised by British political leaders during the campaign.

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The first containment of aid from Gift of the Givers has entered Gaza.

The goods was stuck in Cairo in since august.

Gift of the givers chairperson Imtiaz Sooliman said the goods include medicinal items.

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According to Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko,murder and violent crimes had increased since last year.

He said despite the five year trend showing a decrease in crime, the year in review shows an increase in violent crime, after revealing that murder, attempted murder and robbery are all up.

The minister and the National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega released the statistics at the police training college in Pretoria.

Nhleko said the five year trend showed persistent problems of contact crimes and an increase in social unrest.

The figures are derived from cases reported and dealt with, and have been audited by the Auditor-General.

Earlier this week, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said while the trend of contact crimes was continuing to increase, the police didn’t appear to have no clear strategy to solve the problem.

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France carried out its first air strikes in Iraq against positions of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, joining a US-led operation to defeat the rebel group.

In a statement, French President Francois Hollande said the strike destroyed a logistics depot held by ISIL.

It said that at least two Rafale fighter jets were involved in the operation in northeastern Iraq, and that the target was “entirely destroyed”.

Hollande’s office also said other operations would continue in the coming days.

On Thursday, Hollande announced that France would provide what he called “aerial support” to the Iraqi army in their fight against the ISIL, which has taken over nearly half of the violence-ridden country.

France has already conducted reconnaissance flights over Iraq that started on Monday, and dispatched weapons to the Kurdish forces fighting the ISIL group.

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India’s prime minister dismissed al-Qaeda’s plan to set up a South Asia branch.

He said it was “delusional” to think the country’s Muslim minority would follow orders to wage a struggle based on religion against their country.

This was Narendra Modi’s first reaction to al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri’s announcement this month that the group would set up a new operation to take the fight to India,

In an interview with CNN Modi said Indian Muslims will live for India, they will die for India – they will not want anything bad for India.”

There have been relatively few reports of young Indian men leaving to fight causes abroad, which experts say is because local grievances have kept them at home.

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Houthi rebels have shelled Yemen’s state television offices in Sanaa as they push into the capital,

According to local officials hundreds of residents were forced to flee for fear of an escalation of violence.

The armed Shia rebel group clashed with the army on the northwestern outskirts of Sanaa, shutting international flights to the main airport.

Battles erupted a day earlier between the Houthis and fighters loyal to the Islah party, which is the Muslim Brotherhood’s branch in Yemen.

The two sides fought in Shamlan, a suburb of Sanaa that is home to the Islamic Iman University, an institution seen as a breeding ground for Sunni armed rebels.

The advance by the Houthis came after weeks of unrest in Sanaa, where the Houthis have blocked the road to the main airport and staged anti-government sit-ins at ministries.

At least 50 people have also been killed in clashes involving Houthi fighters in different parts of the country since Tuesday.

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National police commissioner Riah Phiyega said she is “very concerned” that the murder rate in South Africa has risen to almost 47 killings a day in the past year.

She was speaking at the release of the 2013/14 crime statistics in Pretoria.

Over 17 000 people were murdered in the country in the 12 months to March,

This was a five percent rise from the previous year, this equated to 800 more deaths

Data shows that South Africa, with a population of 53 million, has among the highest rates of violent crime in the world, with murders up more than nine percent in two years.

While statistics also showed an increase in attempted murder, robbery and theft, the longer 10-year-trend showed that overall crime is on the decline.

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Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said the murder rate in the country is reflective of a “war zone”.

She told reporters at the SA Police Service Tshwane Training Academy that we  now have a second increase in two years in the murder rate..

She said the 47 murders a day figure is what one would expect in a war zone.

Kohler-Barnard said this year’s statistics were almost back to the 2006 levels when there was a spike in the murder rate.

She added there had only been four increases in murder since the advent of democracy and two of them were under national police commissioner Riah Phiyega.

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The Institute for Security Studies said South Africa urgently needs a new approach to crime, violence and public safety.

The statistics showed murder had risen by 5%, home robberies were up by 7.4%, business robberies were up by 13.7% and car hijackings had increased by 12.3%.

The ISS said the statistics “are a stark reminder of how far South Africa still has to go to reduce violence and crime”.

Gareth Newham, head of the ISS Governance, Crime and Justice division, said the increase in serious violent crimes such as murder for a second consecutive year was concerning.

Meanwhile, AfriForum said Communities in South Africa live in fear due to inadequate and sluggish response from the SAPS

In terms of aggravated robbery, SAPS reported over 11 000 carjackings, and more than 56 000 cases of motor vehicle and motorcycle theft.

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Cape Town residents exchanged strong words about “open religion” outside what proclaims to be South Africa’s first gender-equal, non-sectarian mosque.

Local Shaheem Vardien, from Manenberg, said Hargey was creating “mischief” among Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

He insisted that they were not radicals and had practised their religion peacefully in Cape Town for 300 years.

There were calls for the building to be called an open place of worship and not a mosque, as it insulted the religion of Islam.

Hargey’s so called mosque welcomed all sects of Muslims, non-Muslims and women to take part in the sermon.

Public order policing vans lined the road close to the unassuming green industrial building, sandwiched between auto-repair workshops.

At 1 pm, a group of people entered the mosque accompanied by three police officers and the media.

Women made their way to chairs or the carpet, not separated by partitions or walls.

Hargey was to deliver a sermon on the nexus between Islam and Christianity.

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