Court for man over ‘stolen’ Pierneef
A man, 42, has been subpoenaed over the disappearance of an R8m Pierneef painting from the office of the Free State premier. The man, who was not identified, has been called to appear before the Bloemfontein Magistrates’ Court on March 4 on fraud, theft and other charges relating to the disappearance of the painting. The alleged theft occurred while Ace Magashule was clearing out his office in March 2018 upon taking up his position as ANC secretary-general.
SA’s misery is at an all-time high
Twenty Plenty is how the new year 2020 was initially greeted. But hopes of a “happy new decade” were swiftly crushed. In January 2020, SA hit an all-time monthly low, according to the Happiness Index, which started recording the happiness levels of South Africans in April 2019. The Happiness Index, or Gross National Happiness Index (GNH), is based on sentiment analysis of the daily tweets of South Africans. The scale of happiness runs from zero to 10, with five being neutral. “Unfortunately, the increase in affect happiness after the 2019 elections was short-lived and we are now at the lowest average happiness levels since the index was launched,” the team said on Monday. A “staggering number of tragic child deaths” was one of the reasons for the unhappiness - as were reports of retrenchments and staff downsizing. Load-shedding also made us unhappier.
Outages in Joburg after city loses extra power
City Power has lost generating capacity from the Kelvin substation, which had allowed it to keep the lights on in Johannesburg despite Eskom’s load-shedding. “Unfortunately this has forced us to embark on load-shedding at stage 2 as declared by Eskom,” City Power said on Monday. The entity said in a statement it has been receiving electricity from two lines at Kelvin power station, which contributes 10% of overall power supply, with the rest coming from Eskom. However, one of the lines was damaged at the weekend and repairs were not yet complete. “As such only one is currently online at Kelvin Power Station, leaving us vulnerable,” City Power said, adding it had to start load-shedding from midday on Monday.
Massive decline in rhino poaching in 2019
Rhino poaching has continued on its downward trajectory. The department of environment, forestry and fisheries said on Monday that 594 rhino were poached nationally in 2019, down from 769 rhino in 2018 and 1,028 in 2017. Minister Barbara Creecy said the decline was due to a combination of measures, including improved capability to react to poaching incidents, deployment of technology, improved information collection and sharing and better regional and national cooperation. Creecy also paid tribute to rangers who battled poaching in conservation areas daily. When it came to elephant poaching - which has been on the rise - the department said 31 elephant were poached in SA in 2019. “This is a decrease in the number of elephant poached in 2018, when 71 were killed,” the department said.
Police clash with students at KZN varsity campus
Police fired rubber bullets at protesting students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s education campus on Monday after the students allegedly assaulted a security guard. According to police, a group of students blockaded the entrance to UKZN’s Edgewood campus at the start of the 2020 academic year. “This morning at 9am a group of students blockaded the entrance at UKZN Edgewood campus, and attempted to petrol bomb the dining hall and security guard vehicle,” said Col Thembeka Mbele. Mbele said the group then fled and later allegedly assaulted the security guard, who was taken to hospital for medical treatment. Later in the day, a vehicle was set alight at the campus. Meanwhile, two building at the university's Howard College campus were also set alight in related protests.
Man held for murder of Pmb businesswoman
A man has been arrested in connection with the murder of Pietermaritzburg businesswoman Kavitha Nerputh. KZN SAPS spokesperson Col Thembeka Mbele confirmed on Monday that a man had been arrested on Friday and would appear in court in Pietermaritzburg on Monday. A police source said the man was arrested near to where Nerputh’s body was discovered last month. Nerputh was found strangled with a cellphone charger cable in her locked car, which was parked at Alexandra Park. The owner of a weight-loss product company became a social media hit in 2017 when she threw her then four-year-old daughter a R100,000 carnival-themed birthday party.