Judiciary slams attacks on Zuma judge
The office of the chief justice has “noted with concern” the “attack” on Judge Dhaya Pillay after she issued a warrant of arrest for former president Jacob Zuma. On Saturday, the office said the bench was aware of various statements made against Pillay in public and in the media by individuals and interest groups. These “seek to intimidate judicial officers and interfere with the administration of justice”. KZN acting judge president Mjabuliseni Madondo said Pillay had assured him that corruption accusations levelled against her in public and the media were untrue. Last week, the Judicial Service Commission shortlisted Pillay for a Constitutional Court vacancy.
Red flags over Mandela children’s hospital
Three years after the official opening of the 200-bed Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg, concern has been raised that the facility is not operating at capacity. DA Gauteng MPL Jack Bloom submitted questions about the hospital to Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku. A total of 1,625 patients were treated in the six months from April to September 2019, but the oncology unit is still not open, according to Masuku's reply. The hospital’s average bed occupancy rates are: paediatric ICU (67%), neonatal ICU (71%), neonatal high-care unit (34%), cardiac/surgical ward (72%), and renal/surgical ward (21%). There are 62 vacant posts out of 401 employees, with difficulties in recruiting paediatric trained nurses and sub-specialists because of a countrywide shortage.
Eskom warns of ‘probability’ of load-shedding
While Eskom suspended stage 2 load-shedding at 9pm on Sunday, it warned that there were a probability of rotational power cuts this week. It said its emergency generation reserves had adequately recovered, which led to load-shedding being suspended. “Even with more generating units returning to service by Monday morning, the prognosis for next week is that the probability of load-shedding remains,” Eskom said. At the weekend, Eskom implemented stage 3 rotational power cuts to “accommodate the shortage of capacity and to replenish emergency reserves”.
Police officer arrested over family massacre
A police officer has been arrested in connection with the murders of a family of six in Mpumalanga, outside Pietermaritzburg, in December. The warrant officer, 51, was arrested in Johannesburg on Friday. KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Lt-Gen Khombinkosi Jula said the man was charged with murdering Mvumo Msomi, his children, Dumisani, Philisiwe and Celiwe, his nephew Dumisani, and their neighbour Bongani. The Msomi family was hit by a hail of bullets after their house was surrounded by unknown people on the evening of December 11. He also faces charges of attempted murder in relation to Msomi’s youngest child, Luyanda, 3, his wife, Zanele, and children Slindile, Sifiso and Senathi, who were in the house. The man was expected to appear in the Mpumalanga Magistrate’s Court on Monday alongside co-accused Buhlebakhe Khomo.
Guards wounded as Gauteng hit by cash heists
The spate of cash-in-transit robberies continued at the weekend. Police spokesperson Col Brenda Muridili said security guards were attacked by armed men during a cross-pavement robbery at Kit-Kat Cash & Carry in Pretoria West on Saturday. One guard was shot in the leg and a second in the head. On the same day, cash-in-transit robbers ambushed a cash van in Krugersdorp, but left empty-handed since there was no money in the vehicle. The suspects fled. In Sasolburg on Friday afternoon, a group of armed men in three vehicles blew a cash van apart and fled with an undisclosed amount of money. Two security guards were slightly injured. The SA Banking Risk Information Centre said last week that since the start of 2020 there had been 35 cash-in-transit incidents recorded in SA.
Three burnt bodies found in Muizenberg
Three burnt bodies were found in Hillview, Muizenberg, on Sunday. Police spokesperson Brig Novela Potelwa said law-enforcement officers found the “badly burnt” bodies on Sunday evening. The bodies had not been identified yet. “Detectives are probing the murders, as well as the motive. The situation in the area remained tense on Sunday night, with police monitoring a group who gathered nearby. However, no further incidents were reported overnight,” Potelwa said. Police remained on high alert on Monday.