Seven Gauteng pupils die this week, 10 this year
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has repeated a call for spiritual leaders to intervene as more pupils have been reported dead. Within a week, seven pupils have died in tragic circumstances, taking the total deaths to 10 this year. The department said a 17-year-old female matric pupil from Oosrand Secondary School was allegedly assaulted by passengers in a taxi on Saturday. She jumped from the moving vehicle in Germiston, and died at the scene. Meanwhile, an eight-year-old pupil from Durban Deep Primary drowne in flash floods at the Princess informal settlement in Roodepoort on Saturday. The department has sent officials from the psycho-social unit to give counselling at schools and to the bereaved families.
Pregnant women ‘sleep on floor’ at hospital
Plans have been put in place to refurbish some of the old buildings at the Shimankana Tabane Hospital in Rustenburg, the department of health said on Monday. “One of the old buildings has, for example, been refurbished for use as an extension of the outpatient department. The district is also advocating for a district hospital in the long term,” said spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane. This comes after reports at the weekend that pregnant women are forced to sleep on the floor due to a lack of space in the hospital. Women who recently gave birth at the hospital told Newzroom Afrika they were forced to sleep on hospital benches and in wheelchairs for several days. Lekgethwane said the lack of space was largely due to population growth, an influx of migrant miners, an increase in non-communicable diseases and that the hospital was historically built for “a small white minority during apartheid”.
R114m Powerball winner lives in backyard shack
A mother of four from Soweto, who struggled to make ends meet and was dumped because she did not have a fancy job, is relishing the thought of driving past her ex-boyfriend in her new car. But first, the 35-year-old backroom resident, the latest R114m Powerball jackpot winner, will have to learn to drive and get a licence. Lottery operator Ithuba said on Monday that the winner was taking a chance when she played with R5. She bought a ticket at a cafe in Roodepoort. Speaking of her challenges, she said at times she struggled to make ends meet and sometimes received help from family. She is planning to stop working and spend time with her children. Among other things, she wants to own a house, build her mother a comfortable home and buy herself a stylish car.
Western Cape DA leader out of leadership race
Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela will not stand for the position of federal leader when the party elects new leaders in May. Madikizela wrote to party structures on Monday morning saying he will instead seek to retain his provincial role when the Western Cape goes to its next congress later in the year. “I am not withdrawing. You can only withdraw if you threw your name in in the first place,” he said. “People were using the conversation from last time when I said I would consider standing in May, but I never put my name in the hat.”
‘Train arsonists’ in court, as dept says R1bn lost
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has called for train arsonists to receive harsh sentences. On Sunday, Mbalula visited a house in Heidelberg that was used as a melting factory for cables stolen from the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa). Two people, one allegedly employed by Prasa, were arrested for cable theft. “The suspects were caught in action, melting rail train cables and other train components at their illegal ‘cash for scrap’ operation,” the transport department said. In another incident, four people were arrested on Friday for burning trains at the Braamfontein train yard in 2019. Mbalula was at the Westgate magistrate’s court waiting for them to appear in the dock on Monday. The department said R1bn had been lost due to the torching of trains, vandalism of power stations, public disorder, train collisions and floods.
Woman student held for fatal Fort Hare stabbing
A 24-year-old student at the University of Fort Hare (UFH) has been arrested in connection with the death of her “close friend” at the university. Yonela Boli, 24, an MSc geology student, died at Victoria Hospital in Alice after being stabbed in the early on Saturday morning. A senior university official called the student’s death an unwelcome case of gender-based violence, while an SRC leader called on the university to urgently implement mental health support systems for students. Department of health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said Boli arrived at hospital about 4am on Saturday with a stab wound in his back. “He went into cardiac arrest on the way to an X-ray examination at 5am. Resuscitation attempts failed and he was pronounced dead,” he said. UFH said Boli and the suspect were registered students. The suspect is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.