South Africa

Daily news update: Mbeki on EFF shutdown, load shedding, and Cele on Facebook rapist

Here’s your morning news update: An easy-to-read selection of our top stories. Stay up to date with The Citizen – More News, Your Way.

Daily news update: 18 March

‘Let’s avoid unnecessary conflict’: Mbeki calls on EFF to protest peacefully during national shutdown

A file picture of former president Thabo Mbeki.
Former president Thabo Mbeki. Picture: Masi Losi

Former president Thabo Mbeki has weighed in on the Economic Freedom Fighter’s (EFF) planned national shutdown, calling on the party and its supporters to demonstrate peacefully on Monday.

The EFF and other organisations are planning to take to the streets in a nationwide shutdown against President Cyril Ramaphosa‘s leadership of the country, load shedding and crime, among other issues.

The protest action has raised concerns over the repeat of the deadly 2021 July civil unrest that resulted in the destruction of public and private property as well as the looting of stores and shopping centres.

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Eskom reduces load shedding to stage 2 from Saturday

load shedding new years eve 2022
Picture: iStock

Eskom has announced that load shedding will move to stage 2 from 12pm on Friday until further notice.

The struggling power supplier said the downgrade in load shedding was because of improvements in generation capacity over the past day.

“Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 12pm midday today until further notice. Eskom will provide an update as soon as any significant changes occur,” said Eskom.

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Cele says DNA ‘doesn’t seem to match’ Facebook rapist as Correctional Services remains mum

Police Minister Bheki Cele / Correctional Services
Police minister Bheki Cele in Nomzamo Park, Soweto on 11 July 2022. Picture: Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Police Minister Bheki Cele says DNA results have seemingly confirmed that the body found in a prison cell does not match that of Facebook rapist, Thabo Bester.

In May last year, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) announced that Bester had been found dead in his cell at the Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein, Free State, after a fire broke out.

However, it has since emerged that Bester, who was convicted in 2012 for rape and murder, could be alive.

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Alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe’s case delayed once again

Zandile Mafe at the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town for pre-trial proceedings on 24 February 2023.
Zandile Mafe at the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town for pre-trial proceedings on 24 February 2023. Picture: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

The pre-trial hearing of alleged Parliament arsonist Zandile Mafe has been delayed once again due to logistical arrangements surrounding his admission to hospital for mental observation.

Mafe, who has been in police custody for more than a year, appeared briefly in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

He faces charges of housebreaking with intent to commit arson, arson, terrorism and theft in connection with the Parliament fire on 2 January 2022, which destroyed the Old and New Assembly buildings.

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City of Tshwane fails to elect new mayor after DA coalition walks out of council sitting

Tshwane metro council sitting adjourned
Council members at the special council meeting in Pretoria on 28 February 2023. Picture: Gallo Images/Beeld/Deaan Vivier

A new mayor in the City of Tshwane could not be elected after the Democratic Alliance (DA) and its coalition partners walked out a council meeting.

The city’s new speaker, African Transformation Movement (ATM) councillor Mncedi Ndzwanana, who presided over the meeting, resolved to adjourn the council sitting on Friday because there was no quorum.

The Tshwane council was expected to elect a new mayor following the resignation of Dr Murunwa Makwarela.

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‘We’re not barbarians, but we’ll be militant,’ says Vavi on Monday’s national shutdown

Saftu’s general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi leads the National Union of Public Services and Allied Workers march to the health department and premier’s office on 11 October 2018 in Polokwane.
Saftu’s general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Picture: Gallo Images

Zwelinzima Vavi, the general secretary of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), has dismissed any suggestion that Monday’s planned national shutdown will be characterised by violence and intimidation.

Vavi has slammed government as well as other political parties and organisations for spreading public panic about the national shutdown.

He said President Cyril Ramaphosa‘s administration has every reason to panic over Monday’s demonstrations because South Africans are finally taking a stand against the country’s many socioeconomic challenges.

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Is trouble brewing between Prince William and Kate Middleton?

William and Kate
Prince William and Kate Middleton at the Baftas. Picture: Instagram @princeandprincessofwales

The rumour mill is swirling that there may be trouble in paradise between royal couple Prince William and Kate Middleton.

They have been some reports over the last few years suggesting that William and Kate may be experiencing some marital problems.

Many gossip sites have had a field day in the past, however, reputable media was reporting on Thursday that there may be some weight to the rumours.

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Riveiro has high hopes for Makgopa at Pirates despite lack of game time

Riveiro has high hopes for makgopa at Pirates
Orlando Pirates striker Evidence Makgopa during training. (Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has high hopes for striker Evidence Makgopa, who despite lack of game time, the Bucs coach believes has a bright future.

The 22-year-old Makgopa has struggled to get game time at Pirates since joining them from Baroka FC last year in June. Injuries have been a huge set-back for him, making it difficult to break into the starting line-up.

The Pirates coach, however, is happy with the way the striker has carried himself despite his lack of game time.

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