Never miss a beat when it comes to the latest news in South
Africa – review all major headlines on Thursday 30 January.
As the deadly coronavirus threat creeps ever-closer to South Africa’s borders, government vows to intensify screening processes at points of entry, particularly for travellers coming from Asia. Meanwhile, violent protests at universities in KwaZulu-Natal and the North West have forced early closures at the start of the semester. In sports news, the Blitzboks eye redemption at the Sydney Sevens.
Today’s latest news
in South Africa, Thursday 30 January
Africa on ‘high alert’
The Department of Health and Home Affairs have vowed to collaborate in an attempt to prevent the deadly coronavirus outbreak from spreading to South Africa. Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said that while suspected cases of the coronavirus were under investigation in the Ivory Coast and Zambia, South Africa was well prepared to halt the highly contagious disease at its borders.
No cases have yet been reported in South Africa.
Mkhize noted that his department was working closely with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NCID) and that points of entry into the country remained the greatest concern. The minister confirmed that heat screening processes would be intensified at airports, especially on incoming flights from Asia.
While other airlines have banned travel to China, where the virus has already killed more than 130 people, South African Airways (SAA) has come under fire for not following suit.
At least 35 South Africans are still stuck in the city of Wuhan — considered to be the epicentre of the outbreak — which has since been placed under total lockdown.
North West University (NWU) in Mahikeng has been forced to shut its doors following a wave of protest spurred on by the South African Union of Students (SAUS). The organisation has called for a nationwide shutdown of public universities, citing grievances concerning fees and historical debt.
NWU spokesperson Louis Jacobs confirmed that students had been urged to vacate the campus until further notice.
Similar scenes played out at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) Westville campus this week. On Wednesday morning, students armed with petrol bombs and other weapons, torched a university building. Registration was suspended when a thousand students rushed the Howard College campus.
SAUS national spokesperson Thabo Shingane explained the purpose behind the new wave of #FeesMustFall protests, saying:
“Poor students cannot further their postgraduate studies and are sitting at home without funding — and thousands of students cannot get meaningful employment because their academic records are withheld by their institutions.”
The union has vowed to continue its call for a nationwide
shutdown until immediate solutions are implemented to ease the distress of
Last chance to comment on controversial ‘land expropriation’ proposal
Interested parties have until Friday to comment on legislation amending Section 25 of the Constitution.
Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee to Initiate and Introduce
Legislation Amending Section 25 of the Constitution on Tuesday reminded all the
stakeholders of the approaching deadline.
This comes as written submissions are sought on the Draft
Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill.
The aim of the bill is to amend the Constitution of South
Africa so as to, among other things, provide that where land and any
improvements thereon are expropriated for the purposes of land reform, nil
compensation may be payable.
“Written submissions must be received by no later than 31 January 2020,” said the committee.
In August 2019, the Advisory Panel on Land Reform and
Agriculture proposed for the amendment of the Constitution that clarifies that
expropriation without compensation may be necessary in limited circumstances. (Source: SAnews)
Mob arrested for
fatal stoning of two brothers in Limpopo village
Limpopo police have arrested four men and four women in
connection with the stoning death of two middle-aged brothers in an apparent
case of mob justice that took place on a mountain outside Letebejane village.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, preliminary investigations in Rakgoadi, near Groblersdal, had linked the double murder to the disappearance of a 23-year-old man in June 2019, while he was fishing in the Oliphants River with a group of people that included the two brothers.
The missing man, Peter Phathlamohlaka, has not been found. (Source: ANA)
Blitzboks seeking to
restore pride at Sydney Sevens
The Blitzboks have not forgotten the disappointment of a substandard performance last week in Hamilton, but stand-in captain Stedman Gans says this has been overshadowed by the opportunity to bounce back in emphatic fashion.
Gans will lead the Springbok Sevens team for the second time in the Sydney Sevens, where they will line up against France, Argentina and Samoa in Pool B at Bankwest Stadium, in Parramatta, on Saturday.
With the 10th-place finish in New Zealand behind them and valuable lessons learnt from the rare under-achievement in the third leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the Blitzboks – who are in second place on the overall log with France – will enter their pool as third-seeds.
With the format of the tournament again seeing only the pool
winners advancing to the Cup semi-final, the pressure on the side will be high.
SABC to broadcast
2020 athletics events
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and
Athletics South Africa (ASA) had agreed to broadcast athletics events for the
2020 season, the organisations said on Wednesday afternoon.
The agreement was signed at the SABC in Auckland Park
earlier in the day.
Events to be broadcast include marathons, track and field,
and road running events.
“The marathons that SABC and ASA will bring to South Africans include the Cape Town Marathon, Two Oceans Marathon, Comrades Marathon, Nelson Mandela Marathon and Soweto Marathon,” said the broadcaster via an e-mailed statement.
ASA president Aleck Skhosana thanked SABC executives for
“working tirelessly with ASA to safeguard the success of the deal between
the two parties”. (Source: ANA)
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