The five stories that made headlines this week.
Vanderbijlpark Tragedy Ends The Week On A Sad Note
Imagine sending your child to school, not knowing you are sending him to his death. The Education Department says the death of three pupils at Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng on Friday morning was a sad day for the education sector. They were killed after a walkway collapsed. Twenty-three people were injured. Emergency services were called in the morning and said they found a number of pupils still trapped underneath the structure. Paramedics say that all pupils have now been removed from the rubble. Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi says the school has been temporarily closed following the incident. Lesufi said a pathway connecting the main school building to classes collapsed, leading to the tragedy.
Prison Escape In Gauteng Leads To Security Chaos
Two prisoners escaped at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Friday morning. The two men, who were due to be sentenced for murder on Friday, managed to escape from the court. Chaos ensued when police realised the prisoners were missing. The court was put under a lockdown and judges had to be locked in. The people inside were not allowed to leave the building and those outside were not allowed to enter. Gauteng police spokesperson Kay Makhubela says: “The court is back to normal but the police are still busy doing their investigation and trying to see if they can get more information that can lead to the arrest of the suspects.”
The Zondo commission, The Mokgoro Enquiry and the PIC Inquiry Keep Exposing Dirt On South African Officials
The two commissions, the Zondo and Mokgoro have kept the public entranced with their explosive revelations. Yesterday at the Zondo commission, COPE Member Dennis Bloem, says he agreed with the testimony of former Bosasa COO – Angelo Agrizzi on corruption allegations within the Department of Correctional Services. Over a nine day period, Agrizzi provided – among other allegations – damning revelations to the Commission that Bosasa paid several bribes to top government officials to get government contracts. And things are not looking good for suspended advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi at the Mokgoro Enquiry. A constant allegation against the two is how they are accused of having refused to prosecute high-ranking government officials. Both Jiba and Mrwebi are due to testify at the inquiry. And now, in a surprising move, all the board members of the Public Investment Corporation have resigned. And this is while the commission of inquiry investigating PIC’s improper conduct is not even finalised. They said they believed they were being discredited through the inquiry.
Shamila Batohi Has Officially Taken Her Position at NPA
Shamila Batohi is the first female head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and takes over one of the toughest positions in the country. Political analysts say Batohi will need to strengthen her leadership skill as she may face pressure to act swiftly against those who have been implicated at the current Commissions of Inquiry. She was appointed in December by President Cyril Ramaphosa and has promised to serve her country with justice and fairness. South Africans will be looking to Batohi to repair the NPA, whose reputation has been tainted by allegations of political influence over the years.
#PleaseCallMe vs Vodacom
For almost two decades, Nkosana Makate and Vodacom have been in a legal battle over the compensation owed to him. Earlier in January Vodacom said that the group had decided on the settlement amount. However, in a Facebook post, Makate said that he did not agree to the offer. Vodacom had to shut down its campus in Midrand on Thursday, as the Please Call me movement, in support of Makate, arranged a protest at its headquarters. The company’s Nkateko Nyoka says the Please Call Me Movement is being misguided. “Vodacom has always been willing to compensate Mr Makate.” The telecommunications giant is adamant it has abided by the Constitutional Court’s order and is not in the wrong. Vodacom and Makate are set to square off in court again with Makate hoping to take the company’s offer, which he says is an insult on judicial review.
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Here’s your feel good story of the week. Hundreds of flamingo chicks rescued.