Govt halts return to school for some grades
The government has decided not to allow all pupils who were scheduled to return to class next week to do so. In a statement on Thursday afternoon, the national basic education department said that only grades 6, grade 11 and grade R would be allowed to return as planned on Monday. The decision was taken following a meeting of the Council of Education Ministers earlier on Thursday. “The decision affects all provinces,” said spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga. Seven grades at ordinary schools were set to return next week, along with schools for those with intellectual disabilities or with autistic leaders. But this will no longer be the case. “After careful consideration of all the reports, the CEM took a decision that only grade 6, grade 11 and grade R will return to school on Monday July 6, 2020. The other grades will be phased during the month of July,” said Mhlanga. Education minister Angie Motshekga said the exact return to class would be determined by a number of factors, including the spread of the coronavirus across the country.
SAHRC slams eviction of naked man from shack
The SA Human Rights Commission is planning to take the City of Cape Town to court over lockdown evictions. This follows a humiliating incident, captured on video, of a naked Bulelani Qholani being dragged out of his shack – which was also destroyed – in the Empolweni informal settlement in Khayelitsha on Wednesday. SAHRC commissioner Chris Nissen, who visited the site on Thursday, said: “We will explore litigation against the city on evictions during the lockdown because it is illegal to do any evictions during Covid-19. The court can give you an order to evict but you cannot execute it during Covid-19.” Nissen said the city was in contravention of the Disaster Management Act. “I saw the video, I must tell you it’s horrific. There are no words to describe it,” said Nissen. Mayor Dan Plato has apologised to Qholani and said the city had suspended four officers.
Saucy trio put the con in condiment
Chinese tech giant Tencent has been fooled by impostors posing as representatives of the country's most famous chilli sauce brand, police said, in a saga that nearly pitched the two famous brands against each other in court. The dispute between Tencent and legendary Chinese sauce Lao Gan Ma heated up this week when a court announced it would freeze assets of the chilli maker. The court said the request came from Tencent, which had sued the manufacturer for not paying advertising fees under a 2019 contract. But as confusion reigned, Lao Gan Ma said it had never entered the deal, and reported the matter to the authorities. Police said three suspects aged between 36 and 40 had been detained in relation to the case. Preliminary investigations showed the trio had faked a Lao Gan Ma company seal and pretended to be managers of the chilli firm to sign a cooperation agreement with Tencent. - AFP
Cop caught with thousands of illicit cigarettes
A police officer in uniform was arrested in Polokwane this week transporting thousands of illicit cigarettes. The 41-year-old is a sergeant stationed at the Beitbridge border. He was arrested by police in Polokwane for alleged possession of illicit cigarettes on Tuesday along the N1 south of Polokwane, police said. His colleagues from Polokwane had been patrolling the road near Tweefontein when they stopped the Toyota Hilux bakkie he was travelling in. It was searched and 20 boxes of illicit cigarettes worth about R350,000 were seized. "The member was disarmed and arrested on the spot. The vehicle was also confiscated,” police said.
Seized Chinese cargo a real shock of hair
US customs officials said on Wednesday they had seized a shipment of products made from human hair believed to be made by Muslims in labour camps in China's western Xinjiang province. They were part of an $800,000 (R14m), 13-ton shipment from Lop County Meixin Hair Product Co. US Customs and Border Protection ordered on June 17 that the company's goods be held on grounds it uses prison and forced labour, including from children. Lop County Meixin was the third Xinjiang exporter of human hair - typically used in weaves and extensions - to be blacklisted in recent months for using forced labour. - AFP
Now you sieg it … swastika quietly vanishes
Finland's air force, which for over a century has had a Swastika as part of its emblem, has replaced the controversial Nazi-linked symbol with a golden eagle, the military said Thursday. The decision to remove the emblem was actually made in 2017, but it has taken time to roll out the change and only received widespread attention this week when a Helsinki professor spotted the change. According to the air force, the new emblem with a golden eagle has been its official logo since 2002 but some units and aircraft kept the one featuring a swastika, which was the official logo from 1918-1945. Since 1945, Finnish military aircraft have featured a white-blue-white roundel as the national insignia but the swastika remained in some unit emblems, unit flags and decorations. - AFP