Stay informed and up to date with all the latest news in South Africa by reviewing the day’s major headlines on Wednesday 23 September.
While some South Africans prepare for a ‘long weekend’, aided by Heritage Day on Thursday, a recent spate of vicious road accidents and stern warnings from Police Minister Bheki Cele dampens the upcoming public holiday spirit. Meanwhile, Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, is expected to update the public on coronavirus-related relief efforts.
TODAY’S LATEST NEWS IN SOUTH AFRICA, Wednesday 23 SEPTEMBER
Farm attacks and lockdown laws: Busy week for Bheki Cele
Bheki Cele has received a flurry of fierce criticism stemming from his comments related to farm attacks and murders. The outcry, which emanates from a parliamentary session wherein Cele noted that farm attacks could not be classified as ‘priority crimes’, coincides the minister’s appearance in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal.
Earlier this week, Cele convened an imbizo to address issues of farm attacks and racial tensions following the brutal slaying of Glen Rafferty and his 60-year-old-wife, Vida. Cele attempted to quell boiling tensions in Newcastle but was instead met with a barrage of fiery questions by farmers. In turn, farm workers accused farmers of abuse and intimidation.
Cele further avoided questions relating to the tense imbizo while detailing Level 1 lockdown laws on Tuesday. The police minister noted that over 300 000 South Africans had been arrested since lockdown was first instituted in March and took specific aim at liquor outlets which continued to ‘flout the rules’.
Cele added that no alcohol would be sold, for off-sit consumption, on Heritage day.
The minister also outlined a list of gender-based violence hotspots and reaffirmed the police force’s commitment to suppress the scourge of crimes committed against women and children.
Minister Lindiwe Zulu to update on social relief efforts
After snubbing a media briefing last week, Social Development Minister Zulu is expected to provide feedback on a number of issues today. Zulu, who will be joined by the CEOs of the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and NDA, Totsie Memela and Thamo Mzobe, will update South Africans on:
- The status of the COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant
- Status of transfer of payments to Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs),
- Food relief
- Prevention and control measures at the department’s facilities – including residential care facilities for older persons
Zulu’s briefing is expected to begin at 15:00 and comes amid fierce allegations of incompetence embattling the Department of Social Development and Sassa.
#23SeptemberCleanSA: Xenophobia rears its ugly head
Human rights group are on high alert today, as the trend, #23SeptemberCleanSA, threatens to inflame xenophobic tensions across South Africa. Demonstrations, closely associated with the #PutSouthAfricaFirst movement which has taken direct aim at foreigners living and working in the country, are expected to gain momentum in major metros.
Former Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, who has been blamed for stoking the flames of xenophobic strains as a result of his tough talk on foreigners and South Africa’s porous borders, has distanced himself from the planned demonstrations, saying:
“Let me be clear: I do not condone violence in any form against any person or group.
My issue is not with foreign nationals, but with a broken immigration system and government that has allowed criminality to flourish.
We must respect the rule of law.”
Wartburg horror smash: Cops on the hunt for truck driver
Police are still on the hunt for a truck driver involved in the horrific collision which killed 12 people and left others in a critical condition on Tuesday. The crash, which occurred on the R33 near Wartburg in KwaZulu-Natal, involved a fuel tanker and a minibus taxi.
KZN MEC for Transport and Community Safety Bheki Ntuli, who rushed to the scene of the smash, has confirmed that investigations into the cause of the accident were still ongoing. Ntuli added that the truck driver had since ‘fled’ the scene and that police were attempting to track him down. Ntuli described the act of fleeing the scene of the accident as ‘inhumane’.
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Read the original article on The South African