Body of Abducted Man Found on R50 Road in Standerton

NELSPRUIT, South Africa – The Standerton police have recovered the body of 42-year-old Mr. Wayne Henderson, wrapped in a duvet, on the R50 road near Standerton. The body was discovered by a farm worker in the early hours of Tuesday, November 7, 2023, around 03:00.

According to South Africa Police Service, Henderson is believed to have been abducted in Hercules, Pretoria, Gauteng. His body was found close to a vehicle, a grey Renault Sandero, which had been reported missing by his father in Hercules. Blood stains were detected in the boot of the vehicle.

Henderson, who had a sliced-open neck and a stab wound on his head, was positively identified by a family member at approximately 07:30 on the day of discovery. The circumstances surrounding his murder remain unclear, but police from both Standerton and Hercules are diligently working to connect the dots that may lead to the arrest of potential suspects.

The police are appealing to the public for any information related to Henderson’s murder. Community members with information can contact Standerton’s Captain Sean Brouwer at 079 499 6312 or the Crime Stop number 08600 10111. Information can also be submitted via the MySAPS App, and confidentiality is assured for all information received.

South Africa Ramps Up Efforts to Combat Protection Fee and Business Extortion Syndicates

Pretoria, South Africa – The Deputy Minister of Police, Mr. Cassel Mathale, led a crucial debate in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) focusing on combating protection fee syndicates and business extortion, including construction mafias. This debate engaged permanent delegates to the NCOP, some MECs, and councillors from the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).

According to parliament of South Africa, Mathale provided an overview of the organized crime landscape, noting that since August 2019, 766 cases of business extortion were reported. From April 2023 to September, 92 cases were investigated, leading to 43 arrests, primarily in Gauteng and the Western Cape. He emphasized the challenges faced due to witness intimidation and underscored the importance of arresting all involved in these crime networks, from runners to planners and benefactors.

The economic impact of such crimes was a key point of discussion. Representatives from various political parties, including the Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), acknowledged the significant effects on the economy and the livelihoods of the poor. They emphasized the need to strengthen law enforcement capabilities, including the police, to tackle this issue effectively.

Government’s Response to Extortion Syndicates

The government’s response to these crimes has been aggressive, with Mr. Mathale highlighting the SAPS’s strategy to respond to extortion. The national policing strategy aims to dismantle criminal syndicates, and additional crime prevention and combating resources have been allocated. The economic infrastructure task team, operational since June 2022, has played a pivotal role in tackling these crimes.

According to parliament of South Africa, The police are also improving their investigative capacity, with specialized teams focusing on extortion-related crimes. This includes organized crime investigators from detectives and forensic services of SAPS.

Collaboration and Multifaceted Approach for a Safer Society

Mr. Mathale stressed that combating crime is not solely the police’s responsibility; a collaborative effort involving communities and various stakeholders is essential. KwaZulu-Natal’s MEC for Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs, Mr. Siboniso Duma, echoed this sentiment, calling for a multifaceted approach involving multiple agencies, including the Hawks, Crime Intelligence, the National Prosecuting Authority, and the South African Revenue Services.

Ms. Shahidabibi Shaik, Chairperson of the Select Committee on Security and Justice, emphasized the need for collaboration among different government levels to address these crimes effectively. She highlighted ongoing government investments in police infrastructure, technology for crime prevention, and new SAPS member enlistments. The Hawks have been instrumental in investigating illegal mining, while the Border Management Authority is tackling illegal migration and cross-border crimes.

Ms. Shaik concluded that economic development can only flourish in an environment where the rule of law is respected and upheld.

Igembe South Calls for Joint Efforts to Protect Children’s Rights and Safety

Igembe South, Kenya – Vincent Kaunda, the Children’s Officer of Igembe South, has emphasized the need for a unified effort among parents, religious leaders, schools, and government bodies to combat violence against children. His appeal was made during the inauguration of Children Justice Service Month at Maua law court ground.

According to Kenya News Agency, Kaunda pledged to collaborate with local authorities, including chiefs and Nyumba Kumi representatives, to address grassroots issues of child abuse and exploitation, particularly during the long holiday season. He underscored the commitment to protect children from various forms of abuse, including child labor, defilement, female genital mutilation (FGM), and early marriages.

Highlighting the growing concern of incest in the area, Kaunda warned that many cases go unreported due to familial stigma. He urged immediate reporting of such incidents for prosecution, regardless of the perpetrator’s relation to the victim. Kaunda also called for a collective responsibility among stakeholders in protecting and upholding children’s rights.

Caroline Obara, the magistrate of Maua Law Court, spoke at the event, highlighting the court’s dedication to prioritizing children’s rights and wellbeing during the Children’s Justice Service month. She stressed the court’s role in raising public awareness about children’s rights, including access to education, healthcare services, and basic necessities.

Obara emphasized the importance of parental care and guidance, noting the neglect of parental roles in favor of house helps and grandparents, which contributes to children’s indiscipline and immorality. She pointed out the prevalence of school-aged boys in miraa harvesting in the region, advocating for parents to prioritize education, especially for the boy child.

The magistrate also encouraged parents from underprivileged backgrounds to utilize government programs like the Elimu Scholarship and the Presidential Secondary School bursary scheme. These programs aim to support needy children in obtaining education. Additionally, Obara highlighted the legal consequences of defilement under the Sexual Offences Act, including life imprisonment for defilement of a child 11 years or younger, and significant prison terms for offenders who defile older children.

High Commissioner of Ioba Calls for Peace Promotion in Burkina Faso

Dano, Burkina Faso – The High Commissioner of Ioba, Bernadette Adenyo / Sermé, called for the promotion of peace in Burkina Faso during a flag-raising ceremony held in Dano on Monday, November 6, 2023. The ceremony was part of the monthly national color raising tradition, held this time at the Dano municipal high school.

According to Burkina Information Agency, the event was marked by a notable mobilization of constituted bodies and students from the secondary establishment. The defense and security forces (FDS) conducted the flag raising, accompanied by the singing of Ditanyè by all participants.

Bernadette Adenyo, the first official of Ioba province, used this occasion to reiterate her commitment to the nation. She reflected on the significance of recent national celebrations, including National Citizenship Week and the commemoration of Martyrs’ Day, both of which highlighted a collective awareness and grievance. Adenyo emphasized the need for concerted efforts to foster peace throughout Burkina Faso.

The High Commissioner pointed out that past events occurred due to lapses in responsibility, underscoring the duty of every citizen to contribute to the nation’s construction and safeguarding. Citing an extract from the Minister of Justice’s speech during the launch of Citizenship Week, she emphasized the importance of civic duty.

Addressing the student community, Adenyo encouraged discipline and excellence, expressing her desire for them to bring unprecedented pride to Burkina Faso. She extended gratitude to the educational body for their sacrifices and wished for a peaceful and academically successful school year.

Kenya Red Cross Raises Alarm as Floods Worsen in North Eastern Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya – The Kenya Red Cross is urgently calling for increased efforts from various stakeholders to mitigate the escalating flood crisis in North Eastern Kenya. The situation has led to a significant rise in the number of displaced households, with fears that the figure could soon exceed 40,000.

According to Kenya News Agency, the organization’s regional head, Mohamed Abdikadir, expressed growing concern in a phone interview with KNA. He stated that the continued heavy rains are exacerbating the crisis, with the biggest challenge being the delivery of essential supplies to those cut off by floodwaters.

Abdikadir highlighted the dire need for food, non-food items, shelter, and medications to prevent respiratory and waterborne diseases. Sanitation issues are also a major concern in submerged areas. Mandera County is currently the most affected, with Elwak town and its surroundings completely inundated. In Wajir County, Buna, Diff, and Dadajabula towns are under water, while parts of Garissa County, including Hulugho, Galmagalla, Gurufa, and Modogashe, are either isolated or submerged.

The Kenya Red Cross has resorted to airdropping supplies in inaccessible areas, with ongoing assessments for Dadajabula and plans to airlift relief supplies from Moyale for Buna. The Mandera county government has provided support, including the airlift of 9.8 metric tonnes of supplies to over 1,000 families in Elwak, along with water purifiers.

Additionally, families in various settlements along the River Tana in Garissa and Tana River counties have been displaced. Many have set up temporary roadside shelters, awaiting aid from governmental and humanitarian agencies. The situation is particularly dire for young families and those vulnerable to cold weather and disease outbreaks.

Kofa, a local resident, expressed the community’s distress and need for urgent assistance. Concerns about waterborne and respiratory diseases are mounting among those displaced.

North Eastern Regional Commissioner John Otieno, who recently inspected the damaged Garissa-Modogashe Road, urged the public and motorists to avoid crossing flooded roads. He noted that the 14 fatalities in the region were due to drowning, emphasizing the danger posed by the floods.