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Your World this Past Week

Yusuf Alli – Cii News

MONDAY4 November

The trial of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s deposed president, on charges of incitement of violence and murder was postponsed till January 8.

Egypt’s deposed president, Mohamed Morsi, was brought from the secret location of his four-month detention to face trial on charges of incitement of violence and murder.

Moris’s appearance at a police academy in an eastern Cairo district was his first public appearance since his military-orchestrated overthrow on July 3.

If convicted, Morsi – Egypt’s first freely elected president – could face the death penalty.

Morsi will faced charges along with 14 other Brotherhood figures and allies – including Mohamed el-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian – in connection to clashes last December outside his presidential palace that left at least 10 dead.

A Brotherhood-led group has called for mass rallies, while the interior minister has ordered the deployment of large numbers of security forces to guard the trial venue.

The start of the hearing was delayed by nearly two hours over what security officials inside the courtroom said was a dispute over Morsi’s refusal to wear a prison uniform, in part of his rejection of the trial’s legitimacy.

He told the court that he is the country’s “legitimate” leader and it has no jurisdiction to try him.

The proceedings were soon adjourned because the defendants – Morsi and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood figures – started chanting and disrupted the hearing.

Since his ouster, Morsi has been held at a secret military location.

He was flown by helicopter early on Monday to the trial venue – a police academy in an eastern Cairo district.

His co-defendants were taken to the venue from their jail in a suburb south of the city in armoured police cars.


Members of the National Union of Mineworkers at Northam platinum mine in Limpopo went on strike.

The NUM chief negotiator at the Northam platinum said the strike started on Sunday night without any incident of violence.

Ecliff Tantsi said over 7000 NUM members representing approximately 80% of the workers at the mine went on strike demanding an increase of R2100 for core workers, such as rock drill operators, and R2000 for non-core workers.

The union further demanded that the R2200 living out allowance be increased to R3718.


Advocate Dali Mpofu has handed over his resignation to the ANC’s Saxonwold branch and . joined firebrand political leader Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

He said policy changes in the African National Congress during the party’s Mangaung conference last year was one of the main reasons he decided to resign from the party.

Mpofu believedthe Eff can do more for the country, especially the poor.

He said it was a personal decision to leave the ANC and said it was a long time coming.


Iranians across the country marked the 34th anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran, dubbed the den of espionage.

As in previous years, Iranians from all walks of life are holding nationwide rallies to mark the historic takeover of the former US Embassy in Tehran.

On such a day in 1979, a group of revolutionary Iranian university students took over the US Embassy which they believed had turned into a den of espionage that aimed to overthrow the state.


Six people, including a sangoma, were killed in Khutsong allegedly by residents this weekend

This happened after about 400 men, believed to be Khutsong residents, held a meeting to discuss gangsterism.

Gauteng police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila said a group of men went to a house in Khutsong Extension Three, where they attacked a 61-year-old traditional healer, setting him and his house alight.

The man died on the scene.

Other splinter groups from the meeting went to Extension Four, Phase Two, where two young men, allegedly members of a gang, were assaulted and set alight. They also died at the scene.

Malila said that in Extension Five, Carletonville, the groups assaulted a number of people they accused of being gangsters.

Two alleged gang members were stoned, one died on the scene and the other at the Carltonville Hospital. The body of a sixth man was found on Sunday night. He had also been set alight.


A new independent US report says Doctors and nurses working under US military orders have been involved in the abuse of terrorism suspects.

The study says medical professionals helped design, enable and participated in “torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” of detainees.

The report was compiled by an independent panel of military, health, ethics and legal experts.

The two-year study was carried out by the Institute of Medicine and the George Soros-funded Open Society Foundations.

The report said the collusion began at US prisons in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and at CIA secret detention sites after the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US.

It found that the department of defence and the CIA actually changed core ethical standards to facilitate participation by health professionals in the abuse of detainees.


According to local media reports Pakistan would review its relations with the US following the drone strike that killed Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud.

The Dawn newspaper reported that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, would meet General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of army staff, and attend a briefing at the Foreign Office.

There also reports that parliament would debate blocking NATO supplies in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Citing unnamed sources, the Dawn also reported that Sharif was expected to make a policy statement on the situation arising out of the killing last Friday.

Pakistani authorities were taking the first steps towards initiating talks with the Taliban when Mehsud was killed, prompting Chaudhry Nisar, interior minister, to accuse the US of “scuttling” peace efforts.


A Pakistan court granted bail to Pervez Musharraf, the former military ruler, over a deadly raid on a mosque.

This brought his possible release closer after more than six months of house arrest.

The ruling by an Islamabad district court meant Musharraf was on bail in all the cases brought against him since his return to Pakistan from self-imposed exile, including one relating to the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Judge Wajid Ali approved bail on condition Musharraf pay bonds totalling $2,000.

Musharraf was arrested last month over the deadly 2007 raid on the Red Mosque in Islamabad, just a day after he was given bail in the last of three major cases against him dating back to his 1999-2008 rule.

A 32-year-old man accused of multiple rapes who escaped from police custody in Brits has been re-arrested.

Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said the man was arrested this past weekend after he escaped on September 17.

He was found hiding in bushes in Zone six in Letlhabile near Brits.

He was initially arrested on August 13, on 13 charges of rape committed in the areas of Letlhabile, Limpopo, and Lethabong near Brits between 2009 and 2012.

He was expected to appear in the Brits Magistrate’s Court again on charges of escaping from lawful custody.


Four people had been charged over the siege at the Westgate shopping centre in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, in which more than 60 were killed.

The four foreigners werecharged with aiding so called terrorist groups in Kenya and being in Kenya illegally.

Their nationalities have not been disclosed, but they are said to be ethnic Somalis.

These are the first charges to be brought in relation to the September siege.

The four have been named as Mohammed Ahmed Abdi, Liban Abdullah, Adnan Ibrahim and Hussein Hassan.

All four have pleaded not guilty to the charges, which also included obtaining false identification documents.


Economic Freedom Fighters Leader Julius Malema said he was expecting many more people to join his party, but insisted he was not targeting the African National Congress.

On Sunday it was revealed Advocate Dali Mpofu joined the EFF after being a member of the ruling party for 33 years.

Mpofu represented the miners at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry and Malema has been an avid supporter of the miners and their fight for higher wages.

Malema says many more will be following Mpofu’s example but will not necessarily be from the ANC.

Meanwhile, the ANC has responded to Mpofu’s decision by stating it confirms suspicions he was consistently acting against the ruling party.


About 10 000 Russian nationalists marched in Moscow in an annual show of anger against the presence of Muslim migrants that has previously escalated into violence.

The city-sanctioned demonstration was staged in the same blue-collar region on the city’s outskirts that saw riots break out three weeks ago over a stabbing murder blamed on a citizen of Azerbaijan.

A show of Slavic pride would conclude with a performance by a white supremacist rock group whose lyrics idolise Hitler and call for the destruction of other ethnic groups.

The so-called Russian March has been previously accompanied by violent attacks against ethnic minorities and foreigners working in the city.

Ethnic tensions have been building up in Moscow and other major cities absorbing a steady inflow of migrant labourers from impoverished Muslim regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The workers often endure hazardous labour and living conditions and are increasingly regarded with disdain by many Muscovites.


BlackBerry abandoned a plan to sell itself and instead would replace its chief executive officer and attempt to raise about $1 billion from institutional investors, including its largest shareholder.

Shares of BlackBerry dropped 19 percent to $6.33 in premarket trading.

The company will raise the money with a private placement of convertible debentures.

BlackBerry’s largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, will take up $250 million of the debt documents.

Fairfax announced a tentative $9-a-share offer for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company in late September.

However Reuters said on Friday that Fairfax was struggling to finance the $4.7 billion bid.


President Jacob Zuma yesterday opened a joint summit of the Southern African Development Community and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.

He said the decisions taken there would have consequences for Africa’s future.

The summit would discuss solutions to problems facing the SADC and Great Lakes regions.

It would also receive the United Nations Peace Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region and consider its implementation.

Zuma said that the two regions needed to work together to urgently restore peace and security, as the UN’s Intervention Brigade had now been fully deployed to restore stability to the east of the DRC.


TUESDAY- 5 November

Reports said the gruesome murder of an Eldorado Park teenager at the weekend appeared to be a revenge killing for another girl’s death nine months ago.

Sandy Maharla’s killing bears striking similarities to the rape and murder of Micaela Manneson, who was found in a stretch of veld in Nancefield in February.

Little more than charred bones were left after her corpse was surrounded with tyres that were set alight.

Jonathan Maharla was charged and convicted of Micaela’s murder.

Maharla’s 18-year-old sister was found murdered on Sunday morning in the veld at Eldorado Park, south of Joburg, her body burnt almost beyond recognition.

Her remains were found just a few kilometres from where Micaela’s body was found in February.

The Star is reporting that the prime suspect in Sandy’s killing is allegedly one of Micaela’s relatives – who was detained by police yesterday.


Durban property owners are paying so called super rates to improve the safety, cleanliness and investor desirability of their neighbourhoods.

The Florida Road area and Botha’s Hill have been granted approval by the city to operate as a Special Rating Area, after the precinct was deemed to be in crisis.

An SRA allows residents to get their own supplementary services, such as additional security guards, street cleaners and landscapers

There are also plans in place to establish a similar model in Ballito.

For an SRA to be approved by the municipality, at least 66 percent of residents and 51 percent of business owners in the precinct needed to be in favour of the initiative


Fighting continued to rage in the Democratic Republic of Congo despite M23 rebels calling for a ceasefire and international efforts to end the bloodshed.

On Sunday, government troops drove the M23 from hilltop positions in the east of the country, where rebels were holed up after being forced from their last stronghold of Bunagana last week.

The army said the rebels had been bombing Bunagana and said it showed the ceasefire declaration of the M23 rebel group at the weekend was worthless.

Envoys monitoring the conflict for the UN, EU and African Union urged both sides not to undo progress made in peace talks

They say M23 should renounce its rebellion as agreed and the army should hold off from further military action for now.


Authorities put a shopping mall in Paramus, New Jersey, on lockdown last night after a gunman was spotted and witnesses reported hearing shots, US media said.

No injuries were immediately reported.

One gunman dressed in black was being sought by police.

Witnesses gave varying accounts of the number of shots they heard.

Many stores scrambled to close their gates, and shocked workers and shoppers scurried out of the popular mall in a suburban area near New York City.

The incident that recalled September’s tragedy at a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya where an attack claimed by Somalia’s al Shebaab killed at least 67 people.


Palestinian officials in the besieged Gaza Strip say that the coastal enclave is facing fuel and electricity shortages because of the Israeli-imposed blockade.

The only power plant in Gaza has shut down its generators following a fuel shortage, caused by Israel’s destruction of tunnels used for carrying fuel into the enclave.

With the severe fuel shortage, power cuts have been lasting for 12 hours daily since last Friday.

In September, energy authorities in Gaza warned of an impending shortage of fuel and called on Egypt to resume deliveries to Gaza.

Egypt has also destroyed supply tunnels leading into Gaza over the past months.


A father was patrolling one side of Khutsong on the West Rand when a mob attacked and killed his son in another section during a wave of killings.

According to a report in the star, the Khutsong crime fighter’s son was accused of being a criminal and burnt alive with a friend at the weekend.

Simon Khumalo and his other son Desmond had joined other patrollers who were going around the township looking for members of the Casanova gang said to be terrorising the community.

Khumalo’s son Akhona, 24, and a friend Mojalefa Maleho, 23, had fled the sight of an approaching mob singing and brandishing weapons.

After beating them, they sent someone to go buy paraffin and doused them with it, put a tyre on them and set them alight.

Khumalo was at the other end of the township at the time, and had been among people gathered at a local stadium to discuss crime.

Six people accused of gangsterism were burnt and killed in the township over the weekend.

No arrests have been made.


Thirty-two children, aged between 5 and 15, were injured when the school bus they were travelling in overturned in Krugersdorp.

ER24 spokesperson Vanessa Jackson said the children were flung around the bus as it overturned.

All of the children managed to free themselves from the wreckage or were assisted by their friends and fellow learners to climb out.

Eight children had moderate injuries while the remaining 24 had minor injuries.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident.


India launched its first inter-planetary mission in an attempt to become the only Asian country to reach the planet of Mars.

A rocket carrying a 1.35-tonne unmanned probe vehicle lifted off from the country’s southern island of Sriharikota,

It begins a 300-day, 780-million-km journey to study the Martian atmosphere.

The Mars Orbiter Mission, known as Mangalyaan or Mars Craft in Hindi, is to first ride a rocket into an elliptical orbit around Earth.

It was programmed to perform a series of technical manoeuvres and short burns to raise its orbit before propelling towards Mars.

The mission is India’s first inter-planetary journey that requires developing technology to allow a probe to run autonomously.


A special court in Bangladesh has sentenced more than 150 people to death.

The sentenced were from hundreds of mutineers accused of murder and arson at the headquarters of the country’s border guards in 2009.

Some 850 people had been accused of involvement in the bloody rampage that broke out in the capital, Dhaka, and quickly spread to a dozen other towns, killing 74 people.

The trial began in August 2011, with charges pressed against the 850 people in 2010 after an investigation that ran more than a year.

There were 801 members of the force among the 850 charged, and 23 civilians, including a former opposition lawmaker.

About 4 000 people have already been found guilty of involvement in the mutiny, all in mass military trials.

They have been jailed for up to seven years.


The partly burnt body of a 10-year-old boy was found in a field in the Ramaphosa informal settlement on the East Rand.

Police spokesperson Tsekiso Mofokeng says the boy was found dead with socks stuffed in his mouth and a used condom was found next to his body.

The 8-year-old was reported missing yesterday at the Reiger Park police station.

He was last seen on Sunday evening playing with friends in the area.

His body was found yesterday by a man walking past the field in Ramaphosa and He alerted the police.

The body matched the description of the boy who was reported missing.

A case of rape and murder had been opened.

No arrests have yet been made.


According to a report An Israeli MP called on all Jews who lived in South Africa to immigrate to Israel immediately, without delay, before it’s too late.

The business day reported that Avigdor Liberman, chairperson of Israel’s parliamentary committee for foreign affairs and defence, made the comments in response to International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane’s stance, that South Africa would not engage with Israel until progress had been made in advancing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and addressing Palestinian grievances.

It quoted Liberman as saying The government of South Africa is creating an atmosphere of anti-Israeli sentiment and anti-Semitism that will make a pogrom against Jews in the country just a matter of time.

Nkaona-Mashabane slammed Israel’s plans to build new settler homes in east Jerusalem as pro-Palestinian activists launched an international campaign for the release of political prisoners.

She said the last time I looked at the map of Palestine, she could not go to sleep, as Its dots, smaller than those of the homelands created under apartheid to give blacks a sense of autonomy.


The UN estimates that about 9.3 million people in Syria, or about 40 percent of the population, need humanitarian assistance owing to the country’s ongoing civil conflict.

Valerie Amos, the UN humanitarian chief, says that 9.3 million people now need outside help to survive, and 6.5 million are now homeless inside the country.

The population of Syria is about 23 million.

Amos’ plea to the Security Council follows the Syrian government’s promise to ensure delivery of vaccinations and humanitarian aid across the country, after an outbreak of polio in the northeast and warnings of malnutrition in areas under military siege.

Twenty-two children in Deir Ez-zor province bordering Iraq were left paralysed last month.

The polio virus has been confirmed so far in 10 of them, and experts say it could spread quickly across the region.

The United Nations Jenz Laerke says aid should be allowed into the country immediately.


The Democratic Republic of Congo’s M23 rebel group declared an end to its 20-month rebellion, saying it is ready to disarm and demobilise troops and pursue a political solution to end the crisis in the east of the country.

The M23 declaration was issued hours after government forces drove the rebel fighters out of their last two strongholds today.

African leaders had urged the group to renounce their rebellion to allow the signing of a peace agreement with DRC President Joseph Kabila’s government.

Congolese government spokesman Laurent Mende said many rebel fighters were surrendering after government soldiers seized control of Tshanzu and Runyoni.

Mende said the Kinshasa government was ready to pursue peace talks.



Debate was heating up in an Israeli parliamentary committee over one of the conflict’s most controversial issues, access to Jewish access to Masjid ul Aqsa.

Israeli parliament members are pushing for free Jewish access to what they call the Temple Mount.

But Palestinians said allowing Jewish prayer at the holy site would be a dangerous provocation.


The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has lashed out at a leading Durban school after pupils apparently produced a range of T-shirts depicting unflattering images of leading party members.

Provincial ANC spokesperson Senzo Mkhize said the party was tipped off by a member of the public about the T-shirts, which were displayed at a mall by Westville Boys High.

The T-shirts beared the faces of President Jacob Zuma, president Nelson Mandela and ANC NEC member and former police commissioner Bheki Cele with derogatory captions.

Mkhize says they view this as an attack on the ANC and on the country since the South African flag featured in the background

Westville Boys’ High School headmaster Trevor Hall said he noted that the artwork of some learners, in the form of printed T-shirts on display, has caused offence to a political party.

He said the three artworks in question were created by free-thinking learners as part of their art portfolios for examination.

Hall stressed the display of the T-shirts was not intended to offend in any way and apologised to the extent that any offence was caused.

The T shirts were removed as soon as a complaint was received.


A domestic worker who accused her employer’s partner of racial abuse and assault has turned to the Equality Court for damages of R100 000 and an apology.

35 year old Andre Van Deventer, allegedly assaulted Gloria Kente, who is aged 49, spat on her and used a racial slur against her.

She worked for the family for eight years and alleged Van Deventer had racially abused her for some time, escalating into assault in June.

This was triggered by Kente asking Van Deventer to look after his baby while she took a shower.

He allegedly shouted at her saying he doesn’t like kaffirs and made statements like kaffirs throw kaka at the airport and don’t pay for the mess to be cleaned, because kaffirs don’t pay tax.

Kente said the abuse had left her hurt and humiliated.

Andre van Deventer appeared briefly in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on charges of common assault and crimen injuria. The case was postponed to 4 December.


The family of the murdered 10-year-old boy who was found burnt and possibly raped claim the police ignored them when they first reported him missing.

Siphamandla Madikane sister and neighbours who helped search for him accused the police of not helping them when they initially reported him missing.

Siphamandla’s sister Bongiwe, 23, said her mother and the boy had gone to a nearby shop on Sunday afternoon to buy paraffin as there was no power in the area.

They also complained that police had not arrived the night before when they were called.

The police’s Mofokeng said an investigation was being carried out to determine the actions of the police in the matter.


The UN-Arab League envoy to Syria said that peace talks between the Syrian government and rebel groups will not go ahead as planned in November.

Lakhdar Brahimi however said that diplomats were still striving to see if they can have the conference before the end of the year.

The announcement came after he met senior diplomats in the Swiss city of Geneva in a new push to prepare the already long-delayed peace conference.

Brahimi said that the opposition was divided on its aims.

President Bashar al-Assad’s government signalled it was not ready to negotiate handing over power.

Ahmad Jarba, the president of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, said it would not attend without a clear time frame for Assad’s departure, and also opposed Iran being at the talks.


Polling opened in the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan in a presidential election in which incumbent Emomali Rakhmon is set to win a new seven-year term.

The five candidates standing against Rakhmon are virtual unknowns even inside the country, with next to no chance of victory.

Rakhmon, who has increased the number and length of his terms by revising the constitution through a referendum, won 79 percent of the vote in the previous election in 2006.

According to the constitution, His next term must be his last,.

A turnout of at least 50 percent is required to make the election valid.

Polls close at 8pm, and first official results are expected early tomorrow.


Hong Kong property firm Shanghai Zendai took its first venture into the African market with a deal worth $104 million to develop land in Johannesburg, which is South Africa’s commercial hub.

On Tuesday Shanghai Zendai purchased a 1 600-hectare parcel of land in the eastern Johannesburg suburb of Modderfontein.

It plans to redevelop the land over the next 15 years into a commercial, residential and light industry hub.

The firm said it selected the plot due to its strategic location between the city’s airport and Sandton City financial district, known as the richest square mile in Africa.

Shanghai Zendai is a private conglomerate involved in equity investment, asset management and real-estate.

It has developed hotels, offices and houses in 12 Chinese cities.

Its first overseas project was in 2011 near Auckland in New Zealand


The Syrian information minister said Saudi Arabia is responsible for the death and destruction throughout the Islamic world today, including in Syria.

Omran al-Zoubi made the remarks in a television interview broadcast on Monday.

He advised Riyadh to halt its policy of sponsoring terrorism against Syria and other regional countries, such as Iraq, Lebanon, and Algeria.

His comments came after a meeting between Saudi foreign minister, Saud al-Faisal and his US counterpart John Kerry on Monday.

During the meeting, the Saudi official reportedly lamented the international community’s inaction on the Syrian crisis, particularly the US decision not to intervene militarily.

Syria has long accused Saudi Arabia of being one of the main regional sponsors of the foreign-backed freedom fighter.

Several dogs and cats, that have disappeared in Kimberley recently, particularly in Cassandra and De Beers, could have ended up as food after a homeless man was found skinning a dog.

Police found the homeless man in the veld adjacent to Hull Street in De Beers. He was busy skinning the dead dog with a Stanley Blade.

Police contacted Mario van der Westhuizen from the SPCA, who immediately intervened.

Police at the scene said that the man, reportedly from QwaQwa, had indicated that he regularly slaughtered, skinned and ate not only dogs but also cats that he found in the area.

The dog’s throat had been cut and the carcass had been almost completely skinned by the time the police arrived.

Van der Westhuizen said that the man was obviously disturbed and in need of psychiatric help.


A series of devices packed with ball-bearings exploded outside the provincial headquarters of China’s ruling Communist Party.

Local police verified on a social media account that there were several explosions caused by small explosive devices near the party provincial commission in Taiyuan, the capital of the northern province of Shanxi.

According to the police statement one person was wounded and two cars were damaged.

It said Public security officials were on the scene and working all-out to investigate the incident.

China’s official Xinhua news agency reported that Ball bearings were seen scattered around the scene.

The accident is suspected to be caused by self-made bombs.


A Margate landlord battling to get hold of a family renting his property was greeted by the horrific sight of a murdered mother and son, with her partner also found dead of gunshot wounds.

The landlord investigated after he found the place locked last week and attempts to contact the family had failed

Margate police are now investigating two counts of murder and an inquest docket after the three people were found dead in their home in Bauhinia Road in Margate.

The mother and son’s bodies were found in the bedroom, with that of the man in the kitchen.

A gun was allegedly found next to his body.

Police spokesperson Captain Vincent Pandarum said their bodies were already in an advanced state of decomposition.


An Egyptian court upheld a ruling that banned the Muslim Brotherhood and ordered its assets confiscated.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest and most influential Muslim group, was banned in September after President Mohamed Morsi was toppled by the army following mass protests against his government on July 3.

Osama el-Helw, a Brotherhood lawyer, said the group will appeal the ruling.

In the initial September 23 verdict, the court ordered the Brotherhood’s assets seized until criminal courts delivered their verdicts in the ongoing trials of the group’s leaders and members.

Charities that are affiliated with the organization are also feeling the pinch.

They say that over the past couple of months, things have gotten very difficult for them indeed, and their donations have all but totally dried up.


Cosatu said the framework agreement for a sustainable mining industry must be implemented.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said the SAPS and NPA must do everything possible to implement that agreement, so that people can walk in the streets in safety and enjoy their constitutional human right to move freely without fear of attack.

He was reacting to the death of former National Union of Mineworkers Lonmin shop steward Percy Letanang.

Letanang died in hospital last night after being shot seven times when he arrived home in Segwaelane, near Marikana, in North West, on Sunday night.

Craven says Cosatu is outraged by the continuation of what are clearly deliberate assassinations of NUM members in the area, and the failure of the police to arrest most of the perpetrators and bring them to justice.


At least seven people were killed by a blast in the centre of the Syrian capital Damascus.

State media said 50 people were also injured by the explosion in front of the central railway office, while an activist group said 20 were hurt.

Sana news agency blamed what it called terrorists for the bomb.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group, said there were conflicting reports about whether a bomb or a mortar shell had caused the blast.

The explosion comes a day after the latest round of international diplomacy failed to fix a date for a long-delayed peace conference on the Syrian conflict.

Last month, an explosion near Damascus airport cut off power to large parts of Syria.


The Philippines evacuated coastal areas and put emergency workers on alert, as a storm expected to grow into a super typhoon headed towards the central islands

The area is still recovering from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit last month.

Reports say Typhoon Haiyan, with gusts of up to 185km/h, was moving over the sea at 30km/h and may make landfall at mid-day on Friday in the central islands of Samar and Leyte

Officials in the central Cebu, Bohol and Albay areas have closed schools, prepared emergency shelters and food and put emergency workers on alert.

Thousands of people on Bohol Island are still in shelters after their homes were destroyed in an October earthquake that killed more than 200 people.

Typhoon Bopha, the strongest storm to hit last year, flattened three coastal towns on the southern island of Mindanao, killing 1 100 people, and destroyed crops, property and infrastructure worth $1.04bn.



Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s wife says he was poisoned to death in 2004 with radioactive polonium.

She has now received the results of Swiss forensic tests on her husband’s corpse and decribed the situation as a real crime and a political assassination.

A team of experts opened Arafat’s grave in the West Bank city of Ramallah last November, and took samples from his body to seek evidence of alleged poisoning.

Mrs Arafat however did not accuse any country or person, although she noted that Israel had branded him an obstacle to peace.

She told Reuters the polonium must have been administered by someone “in his close circle” because experts had told her the poison would have been put in his coffee, tea or water.

Arafat signed the 1993 Oslo interim peace accords with Israel and led a subsequent uprising after the failure of talks in 2000 on a comprehensive agreement.


The Palestinian Liberation Organisation called for an international inquiry into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat,

This came a day after Swiss scientists said he probably died from polonium poisoning.

A report by Swiss experts, obtained by Al Jazeera, showed that Arafat’s exhumed remains contained 18 times the natural levels of the highly radioactive isotope, polonium-210.

Wasel Abu Yusef, a member of the PLO’s executive committee says The test results proved Arafat was poisoned by polonium, and this substance is owned by states, not people, meaning that the crime was committed by a state.

The central committee of the Fatah party, which is headed by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and which dominates the PLO, would to meet on Thursday to discuss its findings.

A top aide to former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon says the premier had ordered that no harm be done to Arafat.


The US secretary of state John Kerry, said that Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are “illegitimate” and not helpful to ongoing efforts for peace between Palestine and Israel.

Kerry’s comments came after he met Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, in Bethlehem.

He added that there was no deal that the Palestinians recognised the illegal settlements in return for peace.

Kerry also announced that the US would provide $75 million to aid the Palestinian economy.

An anonymous senior Palestinian official told AFP news agency that the Palestinians would refuse to continue the talks as long as Jewish settlement on the West Bank proliferates.

Abbas, in a speech broadcast on Monday, said that after all the rounds of negotiations “there is nothing on the ground”.


Cosatu called on Gauteng residents to join it in the fight against e-tolls, labour broking and the proposed youth wage subsidy.

They will be rolling out mass action including drive-slows, go-slows and mass protests.

The first go-slow will take place tomorrow on the M1, N1, N12 and the M2 for the entire working day. Cosatu would also target the N3, the R24 and the R21 in Ekurhuleni.

Cosatu said they are willing to to fight the e-toll bill even if it takes five years.


A six-year-old boy died in Durban after swallowing a firework during the Diwali festival.

Tyreece Jordan Naicker swallowed the firework on Sunday morning but only told his mother later that day.

She made him regurgitate and found a piece of the firework.

He was rushed to hospital where he later died.

The boy’s uncle, Ronnie Naicker, said he was not certain what the firework was called and how much he had swallowed.

The tip of the firework has to be rubbed on the floor to ignite, in a similar way to striking a match. The firework lets off a fountain of sparks.

Naicker said the boy, who attended primary school, was his normal self the entire Sunday evening but took a bad turn on Monday.


A prison official said Pakistan has freed former President Pervez Musharraf from house arrest after he received bail earlier this week.

Prison officials were withdrawn last night from Musharraf’s home on the outskirts of Islamabad,.

According to official Wajad Ali, Musharraf is free to move around Pakistan.

Musharraf’s lawyer has said he is still barred from leaving the country pending the court cases against him.

A court granted Musharraf bail on Monday in a case involving his alleged role in the death of a Muslim religious leader killed during a raid on the Red Mosque in Islamabad in 2007.

That paved the way for his release after the necessary paperwork.

Musharraf has been granted bail in three other cases against him.


President Jacob Zuma says he played no role, direct or indirect, in the irregular landing of a private jet, transporting guests to the Gupta family wedding, at the Waterkloof air force base in April.

Responding to questions in the National Assembly yesterday, Zuma said he “knew nothing” about the landing of the private jet chartered by the Gupta family, who are his personal friends, on behalf of their guests from India.

An inter-departmental team investigation has cleared Zuma and his ministers of any foul play in the matter.

However it found that senior government officials colluded to allow the Gupta jet to land at Waterkloof, which is usually reserved for use by the government and official visitors.

Last month, a senior air force official implicated Zuma, in testimony given under oath, telling a military tribunal probing Guptagate that the person referred to as “number one” by suspended chief of state protocol Bruce Kholoane was the president.

Zuma, speaking publicly for the first time on the matter, told MPs yesterday he could “not speak on behalf” of some official at a military tribunal.

He insisted his office had nothing to do with the landing of planes at airports.


Two police officers had been arrested for allegedly raping a 17-year-old teenager from Atteridgeville.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate says the rape allegedly occured in September after the two officers stopped at a local tavern where the victim was fighting with her boyfriend.

They apparently threatened her boyfriend and told her to get into their police van, promising they would take her home.

The officers then allegedly stopped the vehicle and ordered her to get into the back of the van before raping her.

They then dropped her off at a nearby police station.

IPID’s Moses Dlamini said the officers were arrested after being identified by the victim and her boyfriend


Tajikistan’s President Imomali Rakhmon won a new seven-year term in yesterdays’s election,

According to the country’s Central Election Commission, He received 83 percent of the vote after all ballots were counted.

The 61 year old Rakhmon has been at the helm of the poorest ex-Soviet nation since 1992.

He ran against five little-known and largely loyal candidates after his only serious rival representing the opposition was disqualified.

Turnout at the election was 86.6 percent.

Rakhmon, who has increased the number and length of his terms by revising the constitution through a referendum, won 79 percent of the vote in the previous election in 2006.

According to the constitution, his next term must be his last.


The ANC Youth League says theJohannesburg High Court decision to put the organization under provisional liquidation is “flawed”.

The Youth leagues national convenor Mzwandile Masina says they are of the firm view that the honourable judge erred both in law and substance by granting a winding-up of a voluntary association.

He said The ANCYL is of the view that this judgment is flawed on the basis that such a decision can only be applicable to a corporate body and not a voluntary political association.

The African National Congress Youth League was put under provisional liquidation last week.

An events company in Bloemfontein applied for the ANCYL to be sequestrated over a R15 million debt not settled since 2008.

This reportedly means that the affairs of the ANCYL will be put in the hands of the Master of the High Court, and that its interim leadership is no longer in a position to make any decisions until the final order in January.


Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane says there is no ban on government officials travelling to Israel.

Following Cabinet’s fortnightly meeting, he says that Government has not imposed a ban on travel to the State of Israel by government officials on Wednesday.

Cabinet’s pronouncement on the matter follows International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane saying a week ago that South African ministers would not visit Israel.

Her comments provoked former Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman to warn the local Jewish community that South Africa was “reating an anti-Israel and anti-Semitic atmosphere.

He said Cabinet recognises the right of the Palestinian people for self determination, and the right of Israel to exist alongside the state of Palestine.

Chabane moved to reassure South Africa’s Jewish community, insisting they have nothing to fear.


The Democratic alliance says the fight against e-tolling in Gauteng is not over.

DA spokesman Mmusi Maimane South Africa has chosen the most cumbersome, the most expensive system that only benefits a few, rather than considering the majority of this province.

The DA will bring a high court application to fight the constitutionality of the e-toll bill signed by President Jacob Zuma in September.

Maimane said the bill was incorrectly tagged as a national competency that should be dealt with by the national government.

The DA filed its application in the Western Cape High Court yesterday, and asked the court to hear the matter urgently.

Maimane said the DA application differed from the Outa application because it was about the tagging of the bill.



A series of attacks in Iraq, including a double car bombing targeting a military base, has killed 30 people across the country.

The deadliest attack took place when the two bombers drove their explosive-laden cars into a military base in the town of Tarmiyah latelast night, killing at least 19 soldiers and wounding 41.

Soldiers guarding the base opened fire on the first car bomber as he approached, but he still was able to detonate his explosives against a gate protecting the facility.

Two minutes later, the second suicide bomber rammed his car through the gate and exploded when he reached a crowd of soldiers who gathered after the earlier blast, police said.

Tarmiyah, a former rebel stronghold home to Sunnis, is about 50 kilometres north of Baghdad.


Syrian troops have recaptured parts of a military base seized by rebels earlier this year in a fierce fighting near Aleppo international airport

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Heavy fighting erupted around Base 80 outside Syria’s main northern city,.

A fighter near the airport called the army offensive the heaviest barrage in more than a year on rebel-held areas near the airport.

Initial reports suggested both sides had suffered casualties in the fighting, and the Observatory added that towns near the base had come under heavy bombardment, along with neighbourhoods of Aleppo city.

Elsewhere, the Observatory reported ongoing fighting around a key weapons depot near the town of Mahin in central Homs province.

Rebel groups seized control of part of the depot earlier this week, and the Observatory said the army and opposition were bringing in reinforcements.


Rival armed groups have clashed for hours across Tripoli, sending residents fleeing for cover.

At least one person was killed and 12 wounded in the worst fighting for months in the Libyan capital.

The second outbreak of street fighting within days shows how the government is struggling to contain the armed groups that helped overthrow Muammar Gaddafi two years ago but kept their guns after the NATO-backed uprising.

The clashes erupted after the leader of an armed group, Nuri Friwan, died from his wounds after he was shot on Tuesday at a checkpoint manned by fighters from Soug al-Jomaa, an eastern Tripoli district.

Rival groups fired rocket-propelled grenades at the attackers from a bridge, witnesses said.

Heavy shooting could be also heard in at least three other districts close to the foreign ministry, state television building and embassies.

Former Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela, who faces 13 poaching charges, is considering pleading guilty at the the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court

Prosecutor Waldo Smit asked regional Magistrate Corrie Greyling to postpone the case to 12 December.

His alleged poaching crimes were committed at Himeville in February and Besters, near Ladysmith, in April.

They include the offences of hunting between sunset and sunrise, hunting from a vehicle and using an artificial light.


South African cities are engaged in the process of rolling out public Wi-Fi hotpots in an effort to make high speed mobile data freely available.

The new service though, could be used by criminals to entrap users who are unused to the environment, warns a security consultant.

Jonas Thulin a security consultant at Fortinet says While access for all is a commendable goal, there are security risks in extending free and low-cost Wi-Fi access in public places.

The cities of Tshwane and Cape Town are in the process of rolling out Wi-Fi access points for residents.

He warned that such networks might pose a security risk.


Trade union, Building and Allied Workers Union of South Africa says 4,000 workers employed by the JC Le Roux group on farms near Paarl, Stellenbosch and Piketberg downed tools.

Western Cape Agriculture Department says another farmworkers’ strike couldn’t come at a worse time as harvest season begins.

It’s been more than a year since the province’s farming sector was rocked by a violent strike.

Workers demanded a daily wage increase of R150, compared to the R69 many claimed to be earning in accordance with the national sectoral determination for minimum wages in the farming sector.

The department’s Wouter Kriel says We are now once again entering a harvest season, which is the time when formers can generate income which has to sustain them for the rest of the year.

Bawusa also said while relations between it and some farmers are improving, some of its union members have not been called back to work and are now unemployed.


Public Protector Thuli Mandonselas office says the state intends seeking a court order to prevent her from releasing her report on Nkandla.

Her spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said The Public Protector received court papers indicating the state’s intention to interdict and restrain her from releasing her provisional report on the security upgrades at the president’s private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal to affected, implicated and interested parties for comments.

This followed a special request made by the organs of state in question to have access to the report ahead of all other parties, to establish if the report would compromise President Jacob Zuma’s security.

The public protector has asked the lawyers for her office to request a postponement so that she can prepare a proper response.

She has also drawn criticism from the ruling party for saying that South Africans may be disappointed with the report’s findings.


The so-called ‘Birthday Rapist’ Mlungisi Mtshali was sentenced to 212 years in prison plus 39 life sentences in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court.

He was convicted on 112 criminal charges, including 39 counts of rape, after convincing women to go to hotels with him claiming he was celebrating his birthday.

Mthsali broke down ahead of his sentencing, telling the court he was determined to change.

He admitted he broke the law and lived a careless life but insisted he was capable of change.

Mthsali told the court he wanted to be there for his four-year-old son and provide for him at some stage.

The judge said he only showed remorse during sentencing this week and believed he only regretted getting caught.


The Pakistani Taliban has vowed to orchestrate a wave of revenge attacks against government targets after naming commander Mullah Fazlullah as its new leader.

The threat comes a week after Hakimullah Mehsud, the previous leader of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was killed in a US drone strike.

Speaking to Reuters, Asmatullah Shaheen, head of the Taliban shura, or leadership council, said they will target security forces, government installations, political leaders and police

He said the Taliban’s main target included army and government installations in Punjab province, the political stronghold of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

He assured civilians not to be afraid, saying theywill not target civilians, bazaars or public places.
Tags: Your world this week, Yusuf Alli

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