Daily Archives: March 3, 2018

SOUTH AFRICA: CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST STUDENTS AFTER 16 MONTHS

CAPE TOWN–After 16 months of delays in court proceedings, the Bellville Magistrate’s Court has dropped charges against a group of 23 students from the University of the Western Cape, who had spent a week in jail, reported GroundUp.

One of the students, Nwabisa Zenani, told GroundUp that she wasn’t involved in the Fees Must Fall protest. She said she had been studying for upcoming exams on the day she was arrested in October 2016.

Investigations by the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) led the students’ Legal Aid attorney to make representations to the prosecution. Charges of public violence were withdrawn on Monday.

Zenani, who is studying accounting, said being falsely accused and imprisoned was “terrifying”.

“Never in a million years do you expect to find yourself in that situation,” she said.

Fellow accused Jabulani Ngobeni, who is also studying accounting, said he “was devastated” when he was charged with public violence.

Zenani and Ngobeni said that, when they were arrested, they were inside a university residence watching the protest escalating outside. Zenani said someone had thrown a stone at the police from the building.

“They [the police] just started banging down all the doors,” said Zenani. “They beat some of us; they swore at us; and then they moved us to Bellville police station.”

The students appeared in court two days after their arrest and were denied bail.

They were told to return the following week. In the meantime, they would be held in Pollsmoor and Goodwood prisons.

Zenani said that the experience of going to Pollsmoor was one that she “wouldn’t wish on anyone”.

“The only light you see is through a small window that has burglar bars I felt that I had been cheated, victimised by a system,” said Zenani. “You always hear how the system fails people. You only understand when you are the victim.”

“The mind shuts down You don’t feel like it’s real,” he said.

When they appeared in court again, their bail was set at R3 000. With help from sympathetic staff and the student representative council, the money was eventually raised.

The students are now in the process of returning the money to the people who donated it to them.

Associate professor Shirley Brooks, who supported the students, said they feared their degrees would be rendered useless, but they kept on studying, believing they would be proved innocent eventually.

“No firm would take them on for a vacation job or internship,” she said.

Zenani and some of the students approached the LRC. Bathandwa Xhallie, a candidate attorney, advised them to replace their attorney with one from Legal Aid.

“Over an entire year their previous attorney hadn’t managed to get a police docket. It was ridiculous,” said Xhallie.

“The allegations [against them] were firstly false and secondly, none of it made sense. We compared the students’ statements and looked at what the police dockets said and we came to the conclusion that there wasn’t a case.”

She said that the police’s statements didn’t add up.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) didn’t respond to requests for comment.

As a result of the court case, a number of the students had to repeat modules and some of their scholarships were withdrawn, said Xhallie.

The university had also put a “hold” on the students’ transcripts (proof of their results), which stated that they were facing disciplinary hearings. The LRC helped to get these removed.

“Most of the students that we were representing were not part of the protests,” said Xhallie.

Ngobeni said he was relieved the charges had finally been withdrawn.

“I’m finally cleared of all this mess that I wasn’t supposed to be in in the first place,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to suing the State,” said Zenani. “I feel that a part of myself was stolen from me.”

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

FOUR SOUTH AFRICANS AMONGST VICTIMS OF SOMALIA BOMB ATTACKS

MOGADISHU–Four South Africans have been reported amongst those killed in two separate attacks in Somalia. The attacks were carried by the militant group, Al Shabaab, near the capital, Mogadishu.

Somali authorities say militants rammed a vehicle loaded with explosives into a military base in Afgooye town about 30 kilometres south of Mogadishu.

Al Shabaab has released a statement claiming that 80 soldiers were killed among them four South Africans. However, reports say close to 11 soldiers died in the attack.

The South Africans killed in the attack were military trainers training the Special Forces at Afgooye.

In a second attack, a roadside bomb killed six soldiers, while they were being taken back to Mogadishu.

It is unclear if these South Africans were killed on the road or the military base.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

KENYA VOLLEYBALL TEAMS SET FOR AFRICA CONQUEST, TICKET TO WORLD CLUB TOURNEY

NAIROBI– Kenyan teams Pipeline and Prisons wound up their training, hoping their preparation was enough to help them win the volleyball Africa Club Championships, which starts in Cairo on Monday.

The two sides are due to jet out on Saturday for Cairo with Kenya Prisons coach David Lung’aho buoyant he will break the duck in the Egyptian capital and secure the team its first title in five years. Kenya Prisons last won the title in 2013.

“It has been four agonizing years since we last won the title. Other teams have improved and done well, but it is down to our own preparations and how we have strengthened the team. Competition is good and we always expect tough challenge each year,” said Lung’aho in Nairobi on Friday.

On the other side, Kenya Pipeline head coach Japheth Munala said he will not give up his quest for the title without a fight and warned there will be no love lost should his side end up clashing with Kenya Prisons in the finals.

“I know there will be other teams, especially from North Africa, but we have done our homework and believe we will get to the finals. Whoever we meet there will mean nothing to us as long as they stand in our path to the title we will crush them,” he warned.

Kenya Prisons will be hopeful they will win the title to secure qualification to the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championships, which will be held in Zhejiang Province of China for the next two editions in 2018 and 2019.

China will follow Brazil (1991, 1994), Italy (1992), Qatar (2010, 2011, 2012), Switzerland (2013, 2014, 2015), the Philippines (2016) and Japan (2017) as host country of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship.

The current format of the tournament involves eight teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation over a period of one week.

Winners of continental championships from Asia, Africa, South America, Europe along with the host city’s team and a nominated team from North America will be making the finals in China.

The number of teams is increased through wild card invitees. The current champions are Turkey’s Vakifbank Istanbul, who defeated Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro 3-0 in the final of the 2017 edition, to win their second title in the competition.

The annual Africa Club Championship has attracted a record 22 teams. “It has been very hard for the girls for the last one month but they put in great effort so we believe in them. It will be good if Kenyan teams meet in the finals,” said Lung’aho.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

KENYA VOLLEYBALL TEAMS SET FOR AFRICA CONQUEST, TICKET TO WORLD CLUB TOURNEY

NAIROBI– Kenyan teams Pipeline and Prisons wound up their training, hoping their preparation was enough to help them win the volleyball Africa Club Championships, which starts in Cairo on Monday.

The two sides are due to jet out on Saturday for Cairo with Kenya Prisons coach David Lung’aho buoyant he will break the duck in the Egyptian capital and secure the team its first title in five years. Kenya Prisons last won the title in 2013.

“It has been four agonizing years since we last won the title. Other teams have improved and done well, but it is down to our own preparations and how we have strengthened the team. Competition is good and we always expect tough challenge each year,” said Lung’aho in Nairobi on Friday.

On the other side, Kenya Pipeline head coach Japheth Munala said he will not give up his quest for the title without a fight and warned there will be no love lost should his side end up clashing with Kenya Prisons in the finals.

“I know there will be other teams, especially from North Africa, but we have done our homework and believe we will get to the finals. Whoever we meet there will mean nothing to us as long as they stand in our path to the title we will crush them,” he warned.

Kenya Prisons will be hopeful they will win the title to secure qualification to the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championships, which will be held in Zhejiang Province of China for the next two editions in 2018 and 2019.

China will follow Brazil (1991, 1994), Italy (1992), Qatar (2010, 2011, 2012), Switzerland (2013, 2014, 2015), the Philippines (2016) and Japan (2017) as host country of the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship.

The current format of the tournament involves eight teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation over a period of one week.

Winners of continental championships from Asia, Africa, South America, Europe along with the host city’s team and a nominated team from North America will be making the finals in China.

The number of teams is increased through wild card invitees. The current champions are Turkey’s Vakifbank Istanbul, who defeated Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro 3-0 in the final of the 2017 edition, to win their second title in the competition.

The annual Africa Club Championship has attracted a record 22 teams. “It has been very hard for the girls for the last one month but they put in great effort so we believe in them. It will be good if Kenyan teams meet in the finals,” said Lung’aho.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

‘BENEFICIARIES OF COLONIALISM WILL BE DEFEATED IN SOUTH AFRICA’

JOHANNESBURG-The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) has condemned a request from an independent Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for intervention in the South African land debate.

Janice Atkinson wrote to British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to prevent South Africa from becoming “another Zimbabwe”.

“The British government has a duty to South Africa because of our cultural links, trading partnership and because it is a Commonwealth member. It is our duty to step in and mediate,” she wrote.

“For far too long the hard left of the ANC has been taking control. Their policies are increasingly shaped by the Marxist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), because they are losing votes to that party’s hatred, divisive racism and its promise to under-educated South Africans that all will be well if they simply take white people’s farms and businesses.”

In her letter, Atkinson said she had been in contact with the Freedom Front Plus’ Dr Corne Mulder about the situation.

“Scandalously, the European Parliament has refused my repeated requests for a debate on a situation. If this were happening in other countries, the EU would properly regard it as a humanitarian catastrophe in the making. Because it is South Africa, the EU chooses to turn a blind eye,” Atkinson wrote.

“It is clear that imminent constitutional changes in South Africa will enable the government, not only to seize land belonging to white farmers but also to expropriate businesses, homes as well as conservation projects in the Kruger National Park.”

The ANCWL said Atkinson was part of a “fascist right-wing” United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and said she was still of the belief that South Africa was a British colony.

Atkinson was expelled from UKIP in 2015 for bringing the party into disrepute.

“Atkinson and many others, who still think that SA is still under the British colony, must be warned and be informed without fear that SA is a sovereign state and cannot be dictated by right-wing fascists in the mecca of imperialism on how to run the affairs of the country,” said the ANCWL’s secretary general Meokgo Matuba.

“Beneficiaries of colonialism, which included slave trading and looting of resources of other countries, will be defeated in SA.”

Matuba said, if Atkinson really cared about the well-being of South Africa and its people, she should call for the return of all minerals looted from South Africa.

“The ANCWL calls for the SA Parliament to instruct [the] European Parliament to call their fascist member of parliament to order and warn her against meddling with the affairs of SA Parliament,” Matuba said.

“The ANCWL calls the ANC-led government to declare any foreign right-wing fascists who behave like Atkinson, a persona non grata in SA. The era of colonialism is over and we cannot allow being continuously lectured by those who benefited from the slave trading and looting of African resources.”

The Big Land Debate: Should there be expropriation without compensation?

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK