Wednesday, July 31 2019

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Rape-accused pastor secures trial delay

The trial of rape and human trafficking accused Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso and his two co-accused has been rolled over for a day in the Port Elizabeth High Court. The defence team is preparing arguments in the application to compel the state to provide further particulars to the charges against Omotoso. State advocate Nceba Ntelwa indicated the state would oppose the application. There are 97 charges against Omotoso, 60, Zukiswa Sitho, 28, and Lusanda Sulani, 36. A new trial was meant to start on Tuesday before Judge Irma Schoeman. It will now start on Wednesday.

Bag-snatcher ‘didn’t know’ it was full of dagga

An opportunistic bag snatcher got more than he bargained for when he was apprehended by pursuing officers in Cape Town – who discovered the bag was stuffed with dagga. Law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason said officers responded to a complaint about people being robbed on Delft Main Road and Olifant Street on Monday. The man was eventually caught by police after they spotted him running away from a woman whose bag he’d taken. “The officers opened the bag and found 10 parcels of dagga. The bemused officers turned to the suspect, who said he robbed the woman of the bag and was unaware of its contents,” said Dyason. The bag-snatcher and the bag owner were detained by police.

Burst water pipe floods trench, killing worker

A man was killed while another three escaped when the water pipe they were fixing burst and caused the trench to fill, with one of the workers stuck inside. The incident occurred on the outskirts of Despatch in the Eastern Cape at midday on Monday. According to officials, the four men, working for a municipal contractor, were fixing the water pipe when it burst and the trench filled with water. Three workers were able to escape, but the body of the fourth man was recovered in the trench later nearly two hours later. Police said that while it is believed that the man drowned, an autopsy would be conducted.

Mkhwebane crowdfunding campaign hits R50,000

By Tuesday morning R50,266 had been pledged to cover the cost of public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s legal fees. A group calling itself Democracy in Action said: “This is humbling because it comes from ordinary South Africans. We are still accepting donations, our target is R900k.” The Constitutional Court delivered a judgment this month in Mkhwebane’s bid to avoid paying a cost order from the high court. The court dismissed her application to set aside a 2018 high court judgment which ordered that she pay 15% of the costs in that case from her own pocket. This followed the remedial action contained in her 2017 Absa-Bankorp report‚ which found that Absa should repay R1.1bn to the Reserve Bank. Mkhwebane is personally liable for an estimated R900,000.

SA unemployment rises to 29%

There are 49,000 fewer people employed in domestic environments, while the beleaguered mining sector is among the industries to have shed thousands of jobs. This is according to the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey released by Statistics SA on Tuesday. Overall, the unemployment rate worsened from 27,6% in the first quarter of 2019 to 29% in the second quarter. The report states: “The number of employed persons increased in six of the 10 industries, with the largest increases recorded in trade (84,000), community and social services (48,000), construction (24,000) and manufacturing (9,000). However, employment losses were recorded in private households (49,000), transport (42,000), mining (36,000) and finance and other business services (21,000).”

Deputy agriculture minister in hospital

The agriculture, land reform and rural development ministry says deputy minister S’dumo Dlamini is on sick leave after being admitted to hospital with a “severe headache”. “In consultation with the family and the visits we have had we are pleased to inform you that he is recuperating very well, hence he tendered his apologies to the relevant authorities on all official engagements,” ministry spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo said on Tuesday. “The family and his doctors request privacy while they are attending to him.”

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