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Easter road death toll rises to 24

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Easter road death toll rises to 24

Twenty four people have died and 34 others sustained injuries on South Africa’s roads since the start of the Easter weekend, according to traffic reports and the Road Traffic Management Corporation.

“High level investigation teams are being instituted to unearth the causal factors of these crashes,” spokesperson Thato Mosena said today.

Eight people...

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Andile Lungisa ‘busy with ideological work’

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Andile Lungisa ‘busy with ideological work’

“I am not working but I’m not unemployed,” former National Youth Development Agency leader (NYDA) Andile Lungisa has said.

Speaking after the postponement of his fraud case in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court this morning, Lungisa referred queries about his case to his lawyer.

He was only willing to speak about the upcoming...

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Amcu spends R4m on buses to get striking miners home for Easter

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Amcu spends R4m on buses to get striking miners home for Easter

Buses organised to ferry platinum miners home over the Easter weekend will go as far as Maputo, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) president Joseph Mathunjwa has said.

“The buses will travel to different provinces and as far as Maputo [in Mozambique],” he said today.

Amcu members have been on strike since January 23 at Lonmin,...

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Hundreds still missing in deadly South Korea ferry accident

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Hundreds still missing in deadly South Korea ferry accident

Jindo, South Korea – Rescuers fought rising winds and waves as they searched for hundreds of people, mostly teenage schoolchildren, still missing after a South Korean ferry capsized more than 24 hours ago.

Coastguard and navy divers were diving into the waters at the site of the accident today, about 20km off the country’s southwestern coast....

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Roger Dixon expected to back up evidence after Gerrie Nel grilling

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Roger Dixon expected to back up evidence after Gerrie Nel grilling

Oscar Pistorius’s trial will resume at the High Court in Pretoria today with defence expert witness Roger Dixon returning to the stand.

After a tough cross-examination by prosecutor Gerrie Nel yesterday, Dixon was requested to produce literature to support evidence he gave in court.

Nel had disputed Dixon’s claims that Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot a...

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Youth must remember the struggle and move SA forward – Helen Zille

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Youth must remember the struggle and move SA forward – Helen Zille

DA leader Helen Zille has urged the youth to remember where the country came from and to use their votes to help shape the future.

“In this election it is important for the youth to remember the struggle of the past and vote to move South Africa forward again,” she told reporters in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, today.

Zille made the comments after...

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75 000 special votes so far as deadline looms – IEC

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75 000 special votes so far as deadline looms – IEC

Just over 75 000 applications for special votes have been approved so far, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has said.

“The electoral commission reminds voters that the deadline for applications for special votes in this year’s national and provincial elections is tomorrow,” the IEC said today.

There were two categories of special votes – h...

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Kidnapped UJ student found safe

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Kidnapped UJ student found safe

A University of Johannesburg student kidnapped from the university’s Soweto campus has been found unharmed, Gauteng police said today.

The student was hijacked yesterday and his captors contacted his parents demanding R3 million for his release, Warrant Officer Kay Makhubela said today.

The parents indicated they did not have enough money and the...

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R2.5m tender for Madiba statue is above board – Parliament

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R2.5m tender for Madiba statue is above board – Parliament

There was nothing unusual about awarding a closed tender to Dali Tambo to create a bust of former president Nelson Mandela, Parliament said.

“Nothing was untoward,” secretary to Parliament Michael Coetzee said today as he explained how the process of commissioning an artist for the bust unfolded.

“We had a few weeks from February to commission an a...

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R500 bail for mum of toddler found wandering on N1

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R500 bail for mum of toddler found wandering on N1

A 19-year-old woman whose son was found wandering on the N1 freeway near the Grasmere offramp has been granted bail in the Vereeniging Magistrates’ Court.

“She was granted R500 bail today. Her child remains at a place of safety,” said Gauteng traffic police spokesperson Busaphi Nxumalo.

The 19-year-old mother is originally from Orange Farm and faces...

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Marikana: Police’s ‘secret weapon’ can testify by video link

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Marikana: Police’s ‘secret weapon’ can testify by video link

Retired Judge Ian Farlam has ruled that the witness, known as Mr X, will be allowed to testify in camera at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry under certain conditions.

Farlam has put guidelines in place to ensure that the identity of Mr X would not be revealed by any of the parties.

He said a convincing case had been made by the police for the...

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What Reeva told Oscar in Valentine’s card

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What Reeva told Oscar in Valentine’s card

Reeva Steenkamp gave murder-accused Oscar Pistorius a card declaring her love for him hours before he shot her dead in his Pretoria home.

“I think today is a good day to tell you that I love you,” she wrote in a Valentine’s Day card she gave her boyfriend before her death on February 14 last year.

Pistorius has been charged with murdering Steenkamp....

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Cop held for murder after shooting man in back

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Cop held for murder after shooting man in back

A constable has been arrested on a charge of shooting a man dead in Mitchells Plain, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said.

Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said today the 34-year-old constable was arrested in Cape Town last night following an investigation.

He said it was alleged that Sharief Bester (34) and a friend were...

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DA won’t withdraw court action despite Icasa decision to hear SABC advert dispute

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DA won’t withdraw court action despite Icasa decision to hear SABC advert dispute

Communications watchdog Icasa has referred the Democratic Alliance’s advertisement complaint case against the SABC to the Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC).

“Following engagement with the parties, Icasa [Independent Communications Authority of SA] decided to refer the matter to the CCC on an urgent basis for adjudication,” it said today.

“The...

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DA to take Icasa to court

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DA to take Icasa to court

The DA will approach the South Gauteng High Court today in a bid to compel communications watchdog Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to decide on its complaint against the SABC.

The DA described the SABC’s decision to pull a television advertisement called Ayisafani from the airwaves as spurious.

It approached Icasa on Saturday to...

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‘I heard her breathing’ – Oscar Pistorius

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‘I heard her breathing’ – Oscar Pistorius

After Oscar Pistorius broke into the toilet door in which Reeva Steenkamp had been shot, he heard her breathing, the North Gauteng High Court heard today.

“I pulled her around onto me and then I heard her breathing, and then I tried to get her up,” Pistorius said today during cross-examination by prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

Pistorius is accused of...

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Judgment expected in De Jager case

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Judgment expected in De Jager case

The Western Cape High Court is expected to pass judgment today on Johannes Christiaan de Jager, who stands accused of killing and dismembering teenager Charmaine Mare, and murdering prostitute Hiltina Alexander.

His lawyer Sakkie Maartens told the court during his last appearance last month that De Jager was guilty of common assault on a teenager...

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SA at work: Home is where the heart is

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SA at work: Home is where the heart is

Fortune and Bonginkosi Magagula are playing soccer outside their parents’ home. They are kicking a ball back and forth in the afternoon sun.

A few weeks ago, this simple game wouldn’t have been possible. Fortune (21) and Bonginkosi (23) were sharing a one-room building with their parents. Now they’re living in a two-bedroom home in a sprawling mix...

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Nactu pledges support for PAC, EFF

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Nactu pledges support for PAC, EFF

The National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu) has resolved to support the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in this year’s general election, the trade union federation has said.

Nactu had invited political parties to present their 2014 manifestos to the federation’s central committee on March 18, general secretary...

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Spoilt votes a betrayal of the struggle – Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

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Spoilt votes a betrayal of the struggle – Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

Those calling on voters to spoil their ballots in next month’s elections are being “irresponsible and treacherous”, government has said.

Responding to a question on the planned launch of a spoilt-vote campaign by some former government leaders, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said this flew in the face of 20 years of educating South...

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Oscar Pistorius explains emotional breakdown

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Oscar Pistorius explains emotional breakdown

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has refused to accept blame for Oscar Pistorius’ emotional breakdowns.

“His emotions cannot be blamed on me,” Nel told the court today.

This was after Pistorius’s counsel Barry Roux, SC, said repetition of certain aspects caused Pistorius to be emotional, causing the proceedings to be adjourned.

Proceeding...

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North West pupils return to school after violent protests

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North West pupils return to school after violent protests

North West pupils and teachers have returned to school after violent protests, Premier Thandi Modise said today.

According to the provincial education department, 98% of pupils at schools in Bloemhof, Bodibe and Itsoseng reported for classes.

Protests started in Boitumelong, near Bloemhof, last week.

Residents blocked the N12 freeway and set alight a...

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Dewani family checks into plush hotel in Mother City

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Dewani family checks into plush hotel in Mother City

Shrien Dewani’s megawealthy family is staying at a posh Cape Town hotel just down the road from the Valkenberg psychiatric hospital where he is being mentally assessed.

The 33-year-old was formally charged with murdering his 28-year-old bride, Anni, at the Western Cape High Court following an extradition battle spanning nearly four years. He looked...

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Ronnie Kasrils will vote against the ANC

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Ronnie Kasrils will vote against the ANC

On May 7, Ronnie Kasrils will cast his vote against the ANC – as an “act of love”.

Kasrils, a former intelligence minister, is angry with President Jacob Zuma for the “plague of corruption” bedevilling the ANC.

Part of his rage is directed at the Nkandla spending scandal. “Sheer opulence, smacking of Mobutu Sese Seko-ism [referring to Zaire’s former...

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Psychologists watch Pistorius closely

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Psychologists watch Pistorius closely

As Oscar Pistorius testifies, he is being observed by two psychologists – but unlike at the height of his Olympic fame, they are not interested in what makes him a champion.

One watches for signs of a breakdown, the other to determine whether he is lying.

His own psychologist – Dr Lore Hartzenberg – is always on hand to comfort Pistorius after a par...

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Desperate to get their children into former Model C schools

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Desperate to get their children into former Model C schools

Former Model C schools in Gauteng are so in demand that some parents are willing to lie, cheat and falsify documents to enrol their children.

Paul Colditz, chief executive of the Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools, said he knew of two recent cases in which parents had given fake addresses to schools.

When staff went looking for the...

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Malema, JZ fight for Eastern Cape

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Malema, JZ fight for Eastern Cape

They once worked side-by-side to crush common enemies, but this weekend President Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema were on opposite sides in the battle for Eastern Cape in a contest dubbed “master vs student”.

It is difficult to believe Zuma once said Malema was a leader worthy of inheriting South Africa and being its president one day. On the other...

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Gruesome testimony heard against plastic surgeon

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Gruesome testimony heard against plastic surgeon

He was convicted three times in eight years of unprofessional conduct, but that didn’t stop a Benoni plastic surgeon from practising until December last year.

A procession of witnesses took to the stand this week to testify about the pain and trauma they claim to have suffered at the hands of Dr Luke Gordon.

They trusted him, but the Health...

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Election jobs reality

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Election jobs reality

Only 1.3 million of the 4 million jobs President Jacob Zuma promised during his first term were created.

However, the latest Labour Market Dynamics report released by Stats SA this week appears to confirm the ANC’s election manifesto claim that the 1 million jobs lost during the global recession have been recovered – and exceeded by 300 000.

Despite...

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Why Gerrie Nel is Reeva’s cousin’s hero

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Why Gerrie Nel is Reeva’s cousin’s hero

Gerrie Nel is Kim Martin’s hero.

The pitbull prosecutor put it to Oscar Pistorius during his gruelling cross-examination this week: “Reeva doesn’t have a life any more because of you … so tell the truth.”

Martin, Reeva Steenkamp’s cousin – who has been in court watching Pistorius give his account of what happened when he shot her dead – was delighted...

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Staff lash SABC for ‘taking sides’

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Staff lash SABC for ‘taking sides’

Senior SABC news executives say they have been ordered not to broadcast footage of the crowds attending opposition election rallies.

This instruction – and SABC board chairperson Ellen Tshabalala’s warning to news staff that their cellphones were being monitored – has underlined the controversial role the public broadcaster is playing in this year’...

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22 councillors removed but mayor with ‘27 bodyguards’ remains

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22 councillors removed but mayor with ‘27 bodyguards’ remains

A story reminiscent of Tlokwe is playing itself out in the Mogalakwena municipality where the ANC was in the process of removing councillors from their positions after they had been found guilty of voting with the opposition.

However, action was yet to be taken against Mogalakwena mayor Tlhalefi Mashamaite following a damning forensic report in...

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4 teens held for school bus stabbing

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4 teens held for school bus stabbing

Four high school pupils aged between 16 and 19 have been arrested for allegedly stabbing four others on a school bus in Cedara, outside Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

“Two accused were released into the care of their parents since they were minors,” Captain Thulani Zwane said today.

Four pupils were yesterday stabbed during a fight on...

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SA halves murder rate, UN report shows

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SA halves murder rate, UN report shows

The United Nations’ latest report on crime shows South Africa has halved its murder rate, government said in a statement.

“Government has and continues to, through the justice, crime, prevention and security cluster, ensure that steps are taken to fight and reduce crime,” government spokesperson Phumla Williams said yesterday.

She said the SA Police...

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Thousands march for Mamelodi pupil allegedly raped by teacher

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Thousands march for Mamelodi pupil allegedly raped by teacher

Thousands of school pupils from various schools in Mamelodi, in the east of Pretoria, today marched in support of a schoolgirl allegedly raped by her teacher, the Congress of SA Students (Cosas) has said.

“We have about 10 000 students who have joined us to take their future into their own hands,” said Cosas president Collen Malatji.

The pupils, who...

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Crocodile caught wandering around mall

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Crocodile caught wandering around mall

California – Don’t shed any tears for a crocodile that was captured wandering outside a pet store at a Northern California shopping mall.

California Fish and Wildlife officials have taken custody of the croc, are feeding it rainbow trout and will likely donate it to a zoo.

Police say the crocodile was apparently left outside the Roseville store by...

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Police with criminal records ‘not fit to serve’

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Police with criminal records ‘not fit to serve’

More than 1 000 police officers with criminal records will be removed from the SA Police Service, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s office has said.

“SAPS is in the process of removing 1 017 officers while another 67 have left the service,” said acting spokesperson David Barritt yesterday.

He said the removal comes following an audit ordered by...

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Oscar Pistorius back on the stand

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Oscar Pistorius back on the stand

Today marks the fifth day of murder-accused Oscar Pistorius delivering evidence before the High Court in Pretoria.

The paralympic athlete is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

He shot her dead through a locked bathroom door at his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day last year. He claimed to have mistaken her for an intruder.

Pros...

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Nelson Mandela led when Hani was assassinated – Motlanthe

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Nelson Mandela led when Hani was assassinated – Motlanthe

Former president Nelson Mandela led the nation when Chris Hani was assassinated 21 years ago, deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe has said.

“Today 21 years ago, our country experienced a very tragic event, the assassination of comrade Chris Hani,” Motlanthe said yesterday during the handover of a $1 million (R10.4 million) donation at Taung Agr...

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Case withdrawn against Radovan Krejcir’s wife, son

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Case withdrawn against Radovan Krejcir’s wife, son

The case against Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir’s wife, Katerina Krejcirova, and his son, Dennis, was withdrawn in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, the National Prosecuting Authority has said.

“We assessed the case and took a decision that a case could not be established based on the information in the docket,” NPA spokesperson Nat...

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It was not deliberate – Oscar Pistorius

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It was not deliberate – Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius claimed he did not remember firing four shots into a door in the deadly volley that killed Reeva Steenkamp.

He also told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria today that he did not touch the trigger of a Glock pistol that went off in his hand in a restaurant.

The double-amputee Olympic runner insisted his girlfriend’s death was an...

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Stan Mathabatha: This patient is ready to go home

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Stan Mathabatha: This patient is ready to go home

The national intervention team of administrators may not have given Limpopo the all-clear but Premier Stan Mathabatha has likened it to a patient ready to leave hospital and go home.

While commending national intervention, which saw five departments being placed under administration in December 2011, Mathabatha seemed confident that the Limpopo...

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Premier worried that protests instigated by councillors

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Premier worried that protests instigated by councillors

North West premier Thandi Modise has expressed concern at allegations that councillors instigated protests near Lichtenburg.

Reports that some Ditsobotla local municipality councillors and municipal officials instigated the violence that had erupted in Bodibe and Itsoseng township outside Lichtenburg was worrying, she said in a statement today.

“The...

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Reeva upset by ‘Bitch’ song – Oscar Pistorius

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Reeva upset by ‘Bitch’ song – Oscar Pistorius

Reeva Steenkamp was upset by the words of a song being played while driving with her boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius, the high court in Pretoria has heard.

“The words of the song upset her,” said Pistorius, who is on trial charged with her murder.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said the song was “Bitch don’t kill my vibe” by US musician Kendrick Lamar.

After what...

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Rhinos valued more than gang victims – Gayton McKenzie

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Rhinos valued more than gang victims – Gayton McKenzie

President Jacob Zuma should tackle gangsterism in Cape Town rather than the plight of the rhino, Patriotic Alliance president Gayton McKenzie has said.

“Many more young coloured men are dying every day than the white rhino,” McKenzie said in a letter to Zuma today.

“The deaths of the rhino are such a hot topic on government’s agenda that you were wil...

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Jacob Zuma: What have Mickey Mouse parties done for the poor?

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Jacob Zuma: What have Mickey Mouse parties done for the poor?

President Jacob Zuma has hit the campaign trail around Durban in a bid to woo undecided voters to make their mark next to his head on the ballot paper on May 7.

At Nigli sports grounds in Nagina, a township between Chatsworth and Mariannhill,

Zuma tore into the media, saying that they used his name and that of the ANC to create controversy and sell...

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I did not intend to kill Reeva or anybody else – Oscar Pistorius

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I did not intend to kill Reeva or anybody else – Oscar Pistorius

Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has reiterated in the high court in Pretoria that he did not murder his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

“I did not intend to kill Reeva, My Lady, or anybody else for that matter,” said Pistorius after being asked by his lawyer, Barry Roux.

Pistorius has been charged with Steenkamp’s murder after shooting her dead through his...

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4 years later Shrien Dewani may face the music

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4 years later Shrien Dewani may face the music

Shrien Dewani has been formally charged with murdering his 28-year-old bride, Anni, at the Western Cape High Court following an extradition battle spanning nearly four years.

The matter has been adjourned until May 12 while Dewani is psychologically assessed at the Valkenberg psychiatric hospital.

Family members of the murder-accused including his...

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Revealed: Reeva Steenkamp’s final words

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Revealed: Reeva Steenkamp’s final words

“Baba, can’t you sleep?”

These were Reeva Steenkamp’s final words, just minutes before she was gunned down in Oscar Pistorius’ bathroom.

This was the dramatic testimony of Pistorius, who today broke his silence about the events of the night he killed Steenkamp.

Minutes after telling Steenkamp that he couldn’t sleep, he got up to move two fans in from...

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Scores of teachers bully their colleagues – study

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Scores of teachers bully their colleagues – study

The University of the Free State’s education faculty has found that a huge percentage of teachers have been victims of workplace bullying by co-workers and managers.

“South African teachers are working in toxic environments characterised by disgruntled, overworked and stressed teachers,” school of education studies lecturer Dr Lynette Jacobs said to...

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