Monthly Archives: September 2016

Farm workers urged to lead a healthy lifestyle

The Bokone Bophirima Department of Health in partnership with AgriAIDS, none governmental organization with interest on the health of farm workers, on Friday, 23 September 2016 engaged farmers and farm workers on health issues affecting the farming community. The engagement was held at Rothman Boerdery farm just outside Brits town.

The engagement was part of the broader departmental strategy of expanding health services to groups like farms that do not have fixed health facilities. The strategy received a major boost from Rothman Boerdery with announcement of building a clinic. The envisaged clinic will help more 700 Rothman Boerdery farm workers and those from neighboring farms. According to Jeanie Rothman, Human Resource Manager at Rothman Boerdery, plans for a clinic were necessitated by the fact that farm workers take time from work just to collect medication. This affect production, she said.

“We welcome efforts by the department of health and AgriAIDS to ensure that farm workers receive health services,” Rothman said. Mobile clinics visit farms regularly to dispense medication, treat patients for minor ailment, tuberculosis screening and HIV Counseling and Testing.  Agriculture is the most important economic activity in the Bokone Bophirima Province. The government has given agricultural development a high priority, as its role is critically important to the overall social and economic development of the Province. Jeanette Sibasa from AgriAIDS said her organisation focuses on combating HIV/AIDS and decreasing the burden of disease from TB and non-communicable diseases among agricultural communities. Sibasa encouraged farm workers to continue using health services provided to them by both the department and AgriAIDS.

Farm worker, Locardia Mupa thanked the department and AgriAIDS for organising the outreach event. She urged farm workers to utilise health services and to lead a healthy lifestyle. Health MEC Dr. Magome Masike urged farmers and farm workers to test for HIV and screen for TB, diabetes, hypertension at least once a year. Each one of us must ensure that every member of our family does the same, he said.

MEC Masike urged farmers to work with the department by allowing access of Mobile clinics to intensify immunisation, and nutrition services to all farm workers children. We need you to encourage workers to utilise health services provide by AgriAIDS and the department through mobile clinic regularly, he said.

What Heritage means in our Country

Not many people understand the real significance of or meaning behind Heritage Day which is celebrated annually on 24 September.  For some, it is an opportunity to simply get together with family and friends for a braai, but does this take into account the multitude of cultures that make up our “rainbow nation”?

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Social Media not so Social?

There is a lot of unethical going around that social media is not so social anymore.  Social media is taking over our private sphere, people today commit suicide because of what is posted on social media. A recent incident happened in Hebron when a teenager Mpho Kalate (19) is suing her mother for posting embarrassing pictured on her social media.  The 19-year-old from Hebron near Brits claims the snaps, which include having her bathing when she was a baby, amount to invasion of privacy.

The matter was regarded by the magistrate as a serious offence and amount to invasion of privacy and therefore remanded the case to 27 October 2016, for further investigation.  Serious crimes linked to social media including murder, blackmail and paedophilia are now being reported to police at a rate of one every 45 minutes. It has revealed that a 149 per cent rise in offences involving Facebook and Twitter since 2010.  One of the most shocking cases was the murder of a young girl, 17, by serial sex offender after the friend groomed her on Facebook.

Sex crimes involving social networking sites have more than quadrupled in the past five years from 354 in 2010 to 1,549 in 2014, our research shows.   

Criminals deserves Corporal Punishment?

Some members of the community says mob justice is the way to go to eliminate criminals and reduces criminal activities they perform on a daily basis.  The “punishments,” which often result in death, regular occur in the impoverished townships across the country.

Letlhabile and Oukasie are some of the areas where crime rates are higher, people are taking matters into their own hands, despite police calls to hold back.  They believe that this is the only way they can deal with the criminals

We visited Letlhabile and Oukasie, sprawling townships just outside the Brits Central Business District.  Here, all the residents we met spoke of the high crime rate coupled with the apparent inability of the police to deal with cases. Many preferred to turn to the community thugs to sort out their problems rather than rely on the police.  Although some thought that the establishment of the community policing forum would also assist in the fight against the criminal elements.

In some areas, CPF programs are underway and the community is in the process of establishing more CPF members which they believe that they will be able to deal with crimes in the areas. While the process of CPF establishment is underway, criminals continue roaming around and terrorising the innocent.  During our visit, we were shown incident after incident, recorded on mobile phones or cameras, which demonstrated just how the community dished out their punishments. In one incident, a man from the same area is seen half naked and bleeding, sitting in the centre of a pack of men and women who were fuming with anger saying that he has stolen a cellphone and he needs to be taught a lesson.

The men around him are clearly holding sticks, some have stones and others have bricks in their hands.  The man is pelted with rocks which bounce off his head and his bare back.  He is kicked and whipped and when he tries to run away, he’s felled and yet more stones are thrown at him. They leave him to recover and then he’s hauled in front of the mob again only to be beaten further.  He was saved by his two friends a his mother who came in and pleaded with the mob that he heard enough. In one of the  incidents, two women whipped a man, accused of stealing a number of items and involved in a number of rape cases.  He was whipped deliberately aiming for his genitalia as the crowd yells encouragement to them.

This in most cases result in death or permanent damage.  Witnesses told us that he had lost consciousness by the time the police and medics arrived and he died in hospital.  I asked several of the residents if they agreed with this form of justice. They all do, to every man and woman we asked. Some reiterated that if someone broke into your house or attacked you, who would you call. They call the community to deal with the criminal.  They say if the police arrest them, they will only be freed and then they may come back to hunt them. But if they blow their whistles, the community will come and deal with the perpetrators.  Justice requires that bad actions bring bad consequences on the agent.  It’s argued that the desire for justice is merely emotional and instinctive, but even if that were true it wouldn’t rationally mean it should be disregarded. People often claim that if our punishments were based purely on deterrence they would be milder, but I don’t think this can be rationally justified. If we are only concerned about deterrence we will not wait until people actually commit crimes, but incarcerate anyone who looks likely to offend.

Indeed, we may inflict severe public punishment on people we secretly know to be innocent simply to achieve the required shock and awe. It’s suggested that unjust punishment is an offence against human rights: maybe, but how much worse to deprive human beings of the right to be considered responsible agents? Retribution, or justice, recognises that people deserve to be judged on their acts, not their propensities, and that their dignity as agents deserves respect. I should rather be flogged than enslaved. Corporal punishment is best defined as the use of physical pain, injury, discomfort or humiliation to penalise unruly or criminal behaviour. It has been widely applied in the context of criminal justice throughout human history. Where liberal democracies now overwhelmingly favour custodial sentences as a response to criminality, sentences incorporating flogging, whipping, beating and disfigurement were much more common before the nineteenth century.

Accident at Hendrik Verwoerd Street

Police and the EMS closed the intersection on Brits CBD between Hendrik Verwoerd and Van Velden streets for an investigation on the accident on Wednesday.  The accident happened on the 22 September 2016, when two motor vehicles collided within each other leaving behind one passenger with minor injuries.

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SANCO condemns Wits University violent clashes

The South African National Civic Organisation(SANCO) on Tuesday called on Wits University Management to investigate violent clashes between protesting students and private security that resulted in alleged injury of over 10 students.

We wish to condemn in the strongest terms possible the ugly scenes captured on camera by media and in particular the conduct of the private security who demonstrated poor crowd control and violated protocol and procedures for dealing with what was initially a peaceful protest,” said SANCO National Spokesperson, Jabu Mahlangu.

Mahlangu said that it was unacceptable and unjustifiable for professional private security to have engaged in violent confrontations that included stone throwing with protestors instead of apprehending those who might have transgressed university rules. “It suggest that they are either poorly trained or didn’t have an effective security plan, crowd management strategy,adequate equipment and or manpower to deal with the situation that unfolded,” he stressed in calling on the university management to terminate the services of the private security company that was involved in the altercations.

Mahlangu warned that the use of excessive force and violence to deal with the current wave of protests is likely to invite violent retaliation which might even resulted in destruction of public properties and injuries on both sides of the parties involved. He appealed to students to exercise their right to protest in a peaceful manner and to marginalise anarchists that are determined to destabilise higher education.  “We commend those universities that have announced 0% fee increases for 2017 and are exploring interim solutions while the commission appointed to investigate funding of free higher education completes its work,” he added.

Letlhogonolo Nthontho and Dibaba Arrested for attempted Murder

On Saturday  afternoon a group of men headed by Mr Letlhogonolo Nthontho met at the soccer field to clarify dispute with machete and pangas attacked and intimidated .

6 People were reported injured in the clash . They were hospitalized.  Today 27/09/2016  Mr Letlhogonolo Nthontho and Dibaba and will appear in court on the 28/09/2016

The community marched to the Royal Palace in an effort to demand that the Chief’s spokesperson and also the man who imposed himself as the royal family lawyer, Letlhogonolo Nthontho must be removed from the Traditional Affairs.

The information indicates that Letlhogonolo Nthontho came at the royal family in Bapo Ba Mogopa and imposed himself as the lawyer so that he can sign in the dealings of the royal family.  The allegations further indicates that for him being the lawyer can have a bigger finger in the pie. Indeed Nthontho caught bigger fish and made good signings and good dealings with the mines surrounding Bapong.  He did not only impose himself as the lawyer but went on saying he is the spokesperson and will represent the royal family. Tthe family supported the appointment of Nthontho because they knew that they will financially benefit out of this unwanted appointments by betraying the community whom they say they are illiterate and cannot count figures.   What about the community who suffers a lot on a daily basis?  Political system influences negatively in the running of the tribal authority.  If the new MEC, Tebogo Modise does not lead the investigation process, Modise will end up also being held accountable for the infighting of the chieftainships in Madibeng.

A recent information point out that Nthontho faked his identity and originally he is not from South Africa, he is from Lesotho.  Is Nthontho not the leader the community should rely on?  He imposed himself, he lied to the community, he faked his identity and of course he was  allegedly accused of stealing money and owning companies using the influence from the royal family. The community of about 200 people marched to the royal palace in a quest to demand that Nthontho to be removed from the tribal council and investigations continue.  It seems like no one is taking any actions regarding the removal of Nthontho in Bapo Ba Mogopa. 22 September 2016, this clearly indicates how our government is so ignorant in some of the issues related to the traditional and tribal councils.  The following is the statement made by the office of the North West Premier regarding leadership dispute in Bakwena Baphlane ba Ramokoka;  Setting the record straight on Baphalane ba Ramokoka dispute.  The Office Of the Premier would like to respond to an article on the Mail & Guardian dated 16 September 2016 (P16) which states that Premier SOR Mahumapelo has been sitting on a report into the leadership dispute since last year regarding the Bakwena Baphalane ba Ramokoka.

This is incorrect and the Office Of the Premier would like to set the record straight as follows:  The fifth administration received a report on the resolution of a dispute related to a traditional battle on Bakwena ba Phalane ba Ramokoka from the fourth administration. The Mafereka Commission was established by the fourth administration working with the National Departmant of COGTA.  We would like to place it on record that the report is not on the Premier’s table as it was referred to the National Department of COGTA. Why is our government not taking note of all these traditional and tribal councils in the North West Province? The government should also give them platform in council to view their problems so that they can avoid misusing the money from the D-account. South African government should be like the United Kingdom where you find the House of the Lord in control of things. The House of Lords is the second chamber of the UK Parliament. It works with the House of Commons to;

It make laws, check and challenges the actions of the government and provides a forum of independent experties.  The house of Lords Chamber spends about 60% of its time on legislation; the other 40% is spent on scrutiny, questioning government and debating issues and policy.  Committee work takes place outside the Chamber.