Mahikeng takes Comerades Marathon

Winner of 2022 Comrades Marathon Tete Dijana.

Mahikeng: Dijana who hails from Lonely Park village in Mahikeng has been running from early age whilst a learner at Lapologang Secondary School. 

He is currently employed as a security guard at the Mahikeng Campus of the North West University. He took leave a few months ago to intensify his preparations for the Comrades marathon. 

Premier Maape maintains his story personifies tenacity. 

” The people of the province personify what I said in my maiden State of the Province Address when I qouted Nigerian Author and Poet, Ben Okri. We are people who have the capacity to endure and turnaround our lives no matter the challenges confronting us” said Premier Maape. 

Hot on Dijana’s heels was Edward Mothibi who also hails from Mahikeng at Magogoe village. Mothibi was the men’s defending champion of the Comrades Marathon. 

Premier Maape also takes this opportunity to congratulate Adele Broodryk from Potchefstroom who obtained third position in the Women’s Marathon. The mother of two who is also a Lecturer at the North West University was competing for the first time in the Comrades Marathon. 

” This continues to demonstrate that the province is abundant with talented people. We have been working hard in resuscitating and promoting sports in various parts of the province. And our efforts are now paying dividends” remarked Premier Maape. 

Plans are already underway to give the two champions and all who participated in the marathon a heroes welcome. 

 

 

MAAPE MOURNS THE PASSING OF STRUGGLE VETERAN – RITA ALICE NDZANGA

Struggle veteran and trade unionist Rita Alice Ndzanga. Picture supplied


Mahikeng – North West Premier, Kaobitsa Bushy Maape has on behalf of the North West Provincial Government expressed sadness at the passing of struggle veteran and trade unionist Rita Alice Ndzanga.

Ms Ndzanga, passed away on Wednesday, 17 August 2022, at the age of 88. She was born on 17 October 1933 to Isaac and Alina More at Mogopa Village near Ventersdorp. In 1977 her husband Lawrence Ndzanga died in prison after being incarcerated for political activities. 

Reflecting on Ms Ndzanga participation in the liberation struggle, Premier Maape said she belonged to a generation of stalwarts who dedicated their lives to the liberation of the country. She was also instrumental in the formation of the South African Congress of Trade Unions. 

“She belonged to a generation of leaders who were ethical, resilient and selfless” remarked Premier Maape.

In 2004 Ms Ndzanga was the recipient of the National Order of Luthuli for her contribution in the country’s realization for a non-racial, non-sexist, free and democratic South Africa. This includes her immense contribution in advocating for workers’ rights during a period marred with exploitation, abuse and racial oppression of the Black working class.

It was around this period and in particular in 1969 where Ndzanga was detained under the Terrorism Act and kept in jail for eighteen months. Upon her release she was banned and restricted to Senaoane Township for a further five years. 

Premier Maape conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and comrades of the late veteran Rita Ndzanga. He hailed Mama Rita Ndzanga as a trailblazer whose fighting spirit and sacrifices will be engraved in the country’s revolutionary discourse and in particular organised labour. 

“She diligently  served workers and prioritized their interests particularly in dismantling Apartheid and its draconian laws. Her contribution as a Member of Parliament forms of a rich legacy she leaves behind” said Premier Maape.

NGAKA MODIRI MOLEMA PROVIDES LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES WITH NEW SERVICE VEHICLES R 5.2 MILLION TO ITS LOCALS

Cherry Picker and two (2) Waste Compactor Trucks were handed over to Tswaing Local Municipality under the leadership of Mayor Norah Mahlangu as well as another Cherry Picker for Mahikeng Local Municipality. Picture Supplied.

Tswaing: The Executive Mayor of Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality Cllr Kumolo Molefe has on the 20th of July 2022 handed over a Cherry Picker and two (2) Waste Compactor Trucks to Tswaing Local Municipality under the leadership of Mayor Norah Mahlangu as well as another Cherry Picker for Mahikeng Local Municipality.

Tswaing Local Municipality has been experiencing a lot of financial constraints for over a long period of time, thus communities experienced lack of service delivery for even basic services such as, waste collections, water shortage, sewer spillages amongst others and resulted in a court case which ruled that Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality are obliged to take over the responsibility of water and sanitation services as a Water Authority.   

Executive Mayor, Cllr Khumalo Molefe has since the inception of his term of office committed to ensure that all Local Municipalities within the jurisdiction of Ngaka Modiri Molema District are supported with these yellow fleet to enable them to provide quality services to communities.

District Mayor Khumalo Molefe together with the mayor’s of the two local municipalities.

In his acceptance, the Executive Mayor of Mahikeng Local Municipality, Cllr Tshepiso Mphehlo highlighted that for the longest period the Municipality has been operating with one Cherri picker which has its own mechanical challenges, “therefore we are so excited as Mahikeng has been under the spotlight for wrong reasons over a couple of years concerning the non-appealing of our environment inclusive of non-operational city lights, Executive Mayor of the District, I really appreciate the support that will enable us to serve our communities in a manner that is acceptable” as Executive Mayor Mphehlo accepted the keys.

In his closing remarks, the Executive Mayor of Ngaka Modiri Molema, Cllr Khumalo Molefe highlighted that: “it is the duty of the District to ensure that Local Municipalities are functional and render exceptional service delivery in ensuring that there is a change on the narrative as far as service delivery is concerned in Local Government. We will continue to provide quality service delivery through the District Development Model (DDM) and further provide tools that enhance such services.

A SCHOOL KITCHEN BURNT DOWN AT GAETSHO SECONDARY SCHOOL

Burnt kitchen, storeroom and tuck shop at Gaetsho Secondary School. Picture Supplied

Lichtenburg: The community of Boikhutso Township near Lichtenburg has woken up to a disappointing incident of a burnt kitchen, storeroom and tuck shop at Gaetsho Secondary School on Wednesday, 17 August 2022.

It is alleged that on Tuesday night on the 16 August 2022, at around 20:00 the principal received a call from a community member that the school was on fire.

Immediately the fire department and the police were called to the scene. The raging fire took about 5 hours to be finally extinguished.

The MEC for Education, Mmaphefo Matsemela called for those behind the fire to be arrested.

“As a department, we are extremely disappointed by this horrible incident of a burnt building. This is aimed at derailing our efforts of providing conducive learning environment to the learners in schools.

“I am calling that those behind this barbaric incident to face the full might of the law. We are happy that teaching and learning is continuing without any disturbance”, expressed MEC Matsemela.

MEC Matsemela indicated that fortunately the school has a new kitchen which was completed late last year and school was not using it yet. She said the school will now use it.

Four gas stoves, six big pots, a fridge and some groceries were damaged by the fire.

The School Governing Bodies is expected to meet later today, 17 August 2022 to discuss the way forward. The school in the meantime has borrowed alternative stoves from the local business people

The cause of fire is still unknown and a case of arson has been opened with the local police.

Department of Employment and Labour tells employers to act decisively on harassment or accept liability

Mahikeng: The Department of Employment and Labour told employers attending the Employment Equity roadshow that failure to take adequate steps to eliminate harassment will render the employer vicariously liable for the conduct of its employees who harass others.

The Director: Employment Equity, Ntsoaki Mamashela, told the workshop today, August 17, 2022. She said: “Failure to take adequate steps to eliminate harassment once an allegation of harassment by an employee has been submitted within a reasonable time, will render the employer vicariously liable for the conduct of the employee in terms of section 60 of the EEA. This is the case even if the harassment consists of a single incident”.

She told the gathering that any allegation of harassment by an employee brought to the attention of the employer requires of the employer to consult all relevant parties; take the necessary steps to address the complaint in accordance with this Code; the employer’s policy and where applicable, the collective bargaining agreement; and take the necessary steps to eliminate the harassment.

This is according to the new Code of Good Practice on the prevention and elimination of harassment in the workplace that was published on 18 March 2022. The Code covers owners; employers; managers; supervisors; employees; job seekers and job applicants; persons in training including interns, apprentices and persons on learnerships; volunteers; clients; suppliers; contractors; and others having dealings with an organisation.

Mamashela said: “The protection extends to both public and private spaces; where the worker is paid, during rest or meal breaks or using sanitary facilities, washing and changing facilities; work-related trips, travel, training, events, or social activities; related communications including those enabled by information and communication technologies; employer-provided accommodation; and when commuting to and from work in transport provided or controlled by the employer.”

On the issue of EE reporting in the province, the numbers are dismally inequitable with 40 percent of senior management positions occupied by white males with an economically active population of 2.9 percent, black males with an economically active population of 28.8 percent sharing the spoils of senior management positions of just above 16 percent with white females with an economically active population of 3.7 percent.

African females with an economically active population of 22.3 percent occupy a slight percentage above coloured females who have an economically active population of 18.2 percent. The tail end is occupied by Indian men and women as well as foreign nationals in both sexes, all with an economically active population of less than one percent.

For the previous three years, more Africans were more qualified and skilled, followed by coloureds and whites occupying third position.

Deputy Director: Employment Equity, Masilo Lefika told the gathering that the Employment Equity Amendment Bill currently being in Parliament awaiting ascension to and signing by the President will address the imbalances that are experienced in the province.

In sharing their experiences, Commissioner Pietersen from the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration highlighted the fact that the CCMA has jurisdiction in hearing disputes on harassment provided the complainant earns R224 080.08 as per the Basic Conditions of Employment Act provision and those above the threshold are covered only if there is consent or agreement.

“Harassment is in the eyes of the recipient and even a single incident can lead to harassment. Sexual harassment specifically is a good reason for a dismissal” he said.

The next EE Roadshows will take place in the North West and Mpumalanga Provinces on 18 August 2022 in Mahikeng at Seasons Conference and Weddings, Lichtenburg Road, Dihatswane Village and Nelspruit (Mbombela) at Khayalami Hotels, 29 van Wijk Street followed by Rustenburg on 19 August 2022 at Bogosi Lifestyle Farm, Dinie Estate Road, Kroondal.

The national workshops will be held from 10:00 to 13:00 and members of the media are invited.

More information on EE is obtainable from the Department website http://www.labour.gov.za including updates on the schedule for venues.

CASE AGAINST JULY UNREST SUSPECTED INSTIGATOR TRANFERED TO KZN

Matthews Stanley Ntjontjo during his appearance at the Ventersdorp Megistrate Court. Picture Supplied

Ventersdorp: The Ventersdorp Magistrates’ Court transferred the case against Matthews Stanley Ntjontjo (51), to the Regional Division of KwaZulu-Natal, set to appear on 17 August 2022, where further proceedings that includes bail application will be heard. He indicated that he would source the services of a private attorney, to represent him when the matter sits at the Durban Regional Court.

Ntjontjo’s arrest emanates from intensive investigations by the Hawks, and other law enforcement agencies, at which he is charged with conspiracy to commit public violence, incitement to commit public violence and incitement to commit arson. The charges are linked to his alleged participation in a WhatsApp group, that conspired with others by posting messages that created instability, through the looting of shops and businesses, as well as the destruction of properties through violent means during the period of 8-17 July 2021.

This act of incitement was allegedly orchestrated during the arrest of the former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, and it resulted in vigorous acts of looting and destruction of property, at which a huge financial and job losses were registered. Tjontjo will remain in police custody until his next court appearance, at the Durban Regional Court where his case will be joined with that of the other accused persons, who are facing similar charges.

Lekalakala to miss fraud case court appearance due to illness

Mahikeng: The High Court of South Africa; North West Division postponed the fraud case against the former head of the Department of Health in the North West, Dr Andrew Lekalakala to 03 October 2022, owing to his ill health. His defence attorney provided the court with a medical certificate.

Lekalakala is facing two charges of fraud, one of contravening the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and another, in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (PRECCA). The charges relate to alleged fraudulent awarding of a contract for mobile clinics to Mediosa Health Pty (Ltd) in February 2017, a company linked to the Gupa family. The mobile clinics were meant to service rural communities in the North West.

A similar project was already being implemented in the Free State province and Lekalakala, as the then accounting officer, allegedly decided to participate in the same contract and elected to apply the Treasury Regulations that allow for participation in an existing contract arranged by another organ of state, with the same contract terms. It was however discovered that the awarding of this contract did not comply with Treasury Regulations and the project was not budgeted for. The accused also falsely indicated during a management meeting that the service by Mediosa Health was a National Department of Health initiative that would be rolled out to other provinces. He further lied that there was compliance with the Treasury Regulations.

Mediosa Health allegedly received an upfront payment of R30 million and Lekalakala is alleged to have received gratification in a form of a trip to India, accompanied by his spouse and his associates. The state also intends proving that the service level agreement was signed on this trip and not at the Department of Health offices.

The state is expected to call its second witness when the trial commences in October. Meanwhile, Lekalakala is still out on R5000 bail and it was extended until his next court appearance.

Traditional healer gets life for murder of girlfriend

The High Court of South Africa; North West Division, sitting at Mogwase Regional Court, sentenced Thapelo Ramoruki (29), to life imprisonment for the murder of Tsholofelo Tsheko, known to be his girlfriend. He was sentenced to a further six-year imprisonment, for pointing a firearm and the court declared him unfit to possess a firearm. The sentence will run concurrently.

It is alleged that on 12 January 2021, Ramoruki who is a traditional healer together with Tsheko, their one-month-old baby and Tsheko’s younger brother drove to Sandfontein cemetery, to perform a ritual for his child. He took with him petrol, a pellet gun, a knife and traditional beer for that purpose. They then performed the ritual and subsequently moved to a nearby dam to cleanse themselves before going home.

At the dam, Ramoruki pointed a gun at himself, then later pointed it at Tsheko and ordered her to hand over the baby to her younger brother. He further instructed them to wait in the car. He then poured the girlfriend with petrol and set her alight. He went on to stab her in the abdomen several times, while she was burning. Tsheko’s younger brother saw flames and heard his sister screaming for help. He then took off with the car to seek help, police were also called and the suspect was arrested on the scene. Tsheko was rushed to Moses Kotane hospital, where she received medical attention but died on 13 January 2021.

The post-mortem report determined the cause of death, as multiple injuries, caused by stab and burn wounds. In aggravation of sentence, Adv. Sello Maema pleaded with the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence, as there are no compelling and substantial circumstances to justify that. Judge Tebogo Djadje shared the same sentiment and indicated that there is a huge outcry on gender-based violence and femicide and courts should restore faith in communities on such serious offences.

The Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West, Dr Rachel Makhar-Sekhaolelo, welcomes this conviction and she lauded the SAPS and the state prosecutor for their hard work. “This should be a stern warning to those who may want to commit a similar offence that the criminal justice system is serious in dealing with gender-based violence and femicide and the abuse of women and children”, she concluded.

Long hand of the law catches up with former senior traffic department official

Phokeng: The Bafokeng Magistrates’ Court postponed a case against Levy Ikaneng, a former senior official at the Provincial Traffic Department, to 20 April 2022 for further investigations. Ikaneng is charged with two counts of negligent driving and failure or refusal to give blood/breath sample, both charges being in contravention of the Road Traffic Act.

Ikaneng, who is a husband to a senior magistrate, was allegedly arrested on 23 April 2016 after he knocked down a man with a Volvo sedan in Tlhabane. Upon his arrest he refused to have his blood/breath samples taken as he was suspected to be driving under the influence of alcohol.

The pedestrian who was knocked down by Ikaneng is said to be bedridden and wheelchair confined as a result of the incident.

The matter was brought to the NPA’s attention by the family through a complaint after the docket was mysteriously closed without being handed over for prosecution. Advocate Cavin Mphaga took it upon himself to probe the matter with the SAPS and three years later it was brought back into the criminal justice system for prosecution.

Ikaneng is currently out on a warning and the court warned him not to interfere with the state witnesses and to avail himself on the next court appearance.

The Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West, Adv Rachel Makhari-Sekhaolelo lauded Advocate Mphaga for his unwavering pursuit of justice for the victim by ensuring that the matter is brought back to the criminal justice system. “The NPA is serious in discharging its mandate of bringing justice to the most vulnerable without fear, favour or prejudice”, she said.

Released by SIU

NWU’s Prof Smit has new spiece named after him

Professor Nico Smit


Potchefstroom: According to Sir David Attenborough, who has at least 17 species named in his honour, having a species named after you is the “biggest of compliments that you could ask from any scientific community”. 

Internationally acclaimed North-West University (NWU) researcher, Prof Nico Smit, was recently complimented in such a way.

Researchers from the Queensland Museum in Australia and the Prince of Songkhla University in Thailand named a new species of cirolanid isopod in his honour.

Prof Smit is from the Water Research Group in the NWU’s Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

The new species, Metacirolana nicosmiti, was discovered living on the coral reefs in Fiji and has very unique diamond-shaped ornamentations on its head.

Metacirolana nicosmiti Bruce & Rodcharoen, 2021
Metacirolana nicosmiti Bruce & Rodcharoen, 2021

In their species description published in the December 2021 issue of Marine Biology Research, Drs Bruce and Rodcharoen state that the name of the new species honours Prof Smit, for his contribution to the knowledge of the Isopoda, primarily fish parasites, of southern Africa. It also recognises his influence as a colleague and mentor to numerous young scientists.

To date, Prof Smit and his students have already described more than 36 new species of isopods from across the globe, including Hawaii, the Caribbean, Africa, Australia and India.

This recognition puts Prof Smit alongside another person who excelled in what he did, namely the late lead vocalist of the rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury. He also has a cirolanid isopod named in his honor, the species Cirolana mercury

Issued by the North West University

%d bloggers like this: