Are you keeping up with the latest news stories and headlines in South Africa? We’ve got the news you really need to know on Thursday 16 September 2021.
In a country riddled with incidents of crime and bad news, it’s unusual to find a happy ending to what could have been a ghastly story. This is what happened when a Gauteng mother was safely reunited with her family after being kidnapped on Tuesday. Thanks to good work by law enforcement, swift action led to the victim’s safe return and the arrest of at least one kidnapper.
A thirty-year-old Gauteng mother who was kidnapped has been safely reunited with her family after police swooped on her captors and rescued her this week.
Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said a multidisciplinary team consisting of members in the South African Police Service (SAPS) swooped in on her kidnappers in a shack in Kgabaletsane in the Klipgat policing precinct in the North West province on Tuesday.
“A multidisciplinary team consisting of members from the National Crime Intelligence Unit, National Organised Crime Unit, local and district detectives from Tshwane, as well as members of the Tactical Response Teams (TRT), members of the Hartebeespoort Dam police station and National hostage negotiators worked around the clock to find the mother that had been kidnapped from her home in Atteridgeville, Gauteng,” Mathe said.
“During the kidnapping ordeal, her kidnappers made contact with the victim’s brother, demanding a ransom,” Mathe said.
Mathe said that immediately after the report was made, police and the multidisciplinary team, assembled and mobilised the 72-hour activation plan.
“In the meantime, the victim’s car was found yesterday afternoon by a vehicle tracking company. The multidisciplinary team intensified its efforts and followed up on several leads and just after midnight the victim was found under guard by one of her kidnappers in a shack in Klipgat,” Mathe said.
The victim was immediately rescued and taken for counselling and debriefing by the SAPS hostage negotiators.
Allegations that Solvista Secondary School in Phoenix allowed Covid-19 positive learners to come onto the school premises to write exams on two occasions were of “extreme concern”.
“Further claims that learners were placed in a position where they were obliged to do so, when they should have been isolating under strict conditions, are equally alarming and require a full investigation.” Keeka said.
According to Covid-19 protocol, no known positive learners are allowed, under any circumstance, to be on school property. Isolation facilities in schools are only there for those identified during screening processes.
The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema attended a community meeting in Sebokeng, Gauteng, and reportedly criticised the fact that beneficiaries of the Social Relief of Distress Grant have to pay for basic services such as water and electricity.
According to TimesLive, Malema who previously called for the R350 SRD grant to be increased and made permanent made similar statements at the community meeting. He said the R350 grant is not enough to sustain the people who need it and that the government should be paying the poor more but also acknowledged that social grants are not a permanent solution.
“Being a Sassa beneficiary means that you are poor. As the government, why then do you expect money from the poor?” questioned Malema. He went on to say that SASSA beneficiaries should not be expected to pay for water and electricity and suggested that municipalities should have a database of grant recipients.
“That way, you will be able to support your children,” said Malema. “Water and electricity are expensive.”
An alert police officer spotted and recovered a hijacked truck that was carrying a R3 million load and arrested the alleged hijacker at Koppies near the Vaal Plaza in the Freestate on Tuesday.
Freestate SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said an alert police officer had managed to recover a truck suspected to have been hijacked at Koppies and arrested a suspicious man who was found in the hijacked truck.
“Warrant Officer Gielie Strauss spotted a truck parked next to the road, on the off-ramp from R59 towards the Vaal Plaza and left it there,” Makhele said.
Makhele said that later that day at around 10.25pm, the SAPS Gauteng Response Unit had reported that a truck owner had reported that he had picked up that the driver that was driving his truck is not his driver. This raised the suspicion that the truck the officer had spotted earlier might be the same truck.
“When WO Strauss went back to the truck he found that the truck fit the description of the possible hijacked truck. This time he found an African male at the truck. Upon interrogation, the man said that the truck was hijacked,” Makhele said.
“The owner was informed and he came to the scene. While still at the scene, the original driver arrived at the Engen One Stop with his hands tied up and signs of injuries on the face,” Makhele said.
Two people were killed and four others injured when a kombi crashed into a group of men who were pushing a bakkie.
ER24 said the accident happened on Tuesday evening in Eikenhof, South of Johannesburg.
“Two people sustained fatal injuries, while four others were left injured following a collision between a bakkie and a kombi.”
Paramedics arrived at the scene shortly after 19h30.
“The paramedics said they found two patients lying in the middle of the road. Unfortunately, the two men had sustained fatal injuries and were declared dead at the scene by paramedics.
“Three others were found lying next to the road and had sustained serious injuries. The driver of the kombi was still inside the vehicle and had sustained moderate injuries.”
It furthermore said it is understood that the bakkie broke down and was being pushed by a group of men when the kombi rear-ended the bakkie.
The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra performed its first concert in front of an audience since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, outside the main entrance of Groote Schuur Hospital on Wednesday.
The concert was dedicated to frontline health workers nationally, recognising the work that they have done and are still doing. There were a few hundred spectators in the audience, most of them were health workers.
Brandon Phillips, the conductor, said that it was touching for orchestra members to support frontline workers and to help motivate them to “carry on saving the world and saving our people”.
He said that a slow piece played during the concert is normally dedicated to family or friends when they pass on. “I put that piece in there to reminisce on what we are going through.”
The orchestra also played pieces from the movies The Lion King and Pirates of the Caribbean in order to “uplift everyone”, added Phillips.
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