Monthly Archives: December 2016

Three inmates die in St Albans

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has confirmed the death of three inmates on Monday at St. Albans Correctional Centre near Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape.

According to DCS Eastern Cape, it is alleged that at approximately 09h00, inmates at St. Albans Maximum Correctional Centre attacked officials with sharp objects.

The department on Tuesday said the incident resulted in the unfortunate death of at least three inmates.

A total of 25 offenders and five officials sustained injuries. Correctional Services, emergency services and other law enforcement agencies responded to the incident and managed to restore order. Investigations are continuing, and further updates will be provided.

Members of the public are advised that visits to St. Albans Correctional Centre have been suspended with immediate effect until further notice.

The Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Thabang Makwetla and DCS National Commissioner Zach Modise visited St. Albans yesterday. The correctional facility houses approximate 5 000 inmates.

St. Albans falls within the category of the “Big Five” of South Africa’s Correctional Centres. These include Pollsmoor, Kgosi Mampuru II, Durban-Westville and Johannesburg Correctional Centre otherwise known as Sun City.

The Deputy Minister said the St. Albans incident was tragic and unfortunate.

This incident is a sharp reminder of the many life threatening conditions under which no less than 38 000 Correctional Officials perform their daily duties in all our 243 Correctional Centres.

According to the preliminary report received by the Deputy Minister, a total of 33 inmates started attacking officials who were on duty.

He said the offenders who were carrying sharp objects and self-made knives violently attacked officials, which led to an unfortunate standoff until reinforcement were called in.

In the ensuing attack, a total of 13 officials were injured with six of them critically injured and admitted in hospital.

The report said three inmates lost their lives — one in local prison clinic and the other two at the nearby hospital.

In order to strengthen our enforcement capabilities, we have decided to place St Albans on a lockdown and suspend all family visits to the centre. This is a necessary precautionary step in order to bring back normalcy to the centre, he said.

The Minister has extended condolences and sympathy to the families and relatives of the deceased inmates.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Party political squabbles not for religious leaders

President Jacob Zuma has reiterated that religious leaders should avoid becoming embroiled in divisive party political squabbles.

The Presidency on Tuesday said President Zuma has noted the ongoing commentary on statements he made during the annual Twelve Apostles’ Church in Christ (TACC) International Thanksgiving Day celebrations held in Durban, on 4 December, where he cautioned religious leaders to avoid being drawn into divisive party political squabbles.

He said religious leaders should ideally strive to be above such and unite all the people in the pursuit of justice, righteousness and the common good.

It is the President’s view that it would be helpful if religious leaders rose above the mudslinging so that they could be able to mediate and bring about peace where the need arises.

President Zuma understands, appreciates and commends the role that the faith-based community played in the struggle for liberation which led to the dawn of freedom and democracy in our country, said the Presidency.

It said government also values the role that that the faith-based sector continues to play in the reconstruction and development of South Africa and in promoting national unity.

Source: South African Government News Agency


As 2016 winds down, South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), is reflecting on an eventful 2016, its worst year since it took power in 1994 after the end of apartheid.

The party has experienced a decline in electoral support, losing major metropolitan municipalities during the August local government elections. Tshwane, which encompasses the national administrative capital of Pretoria, the financial hub of Johannesburg, as well as Nelson Mandela Bay in Eastern Cape Province are all now run by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA).

The ANC ends the year reeling from major crises, which have captured international headlines. Its worst performance in the elections led to calls by some within its ranks for the current leadership to step aside.

The party admits the losses came as a shock, and a wake up call to redeem itself. ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says: We have been on on-going introspection, as you know that introspection is not an event, it’s a process.

“We have been doing it every NEC (National Executive Committee) since the elections in August, up to the last NEC; but coupled that with the programme that is going back to the people talking to the people, humbling ourselves.”

The dismal performance resulted in a wave of calls from senior party members for President Jacob Zuma to resign. And now the ugly succession debates, seem to be coming to the fore.

Mantashe agrees they rumblings are threatening to tear the party apart, ahead of the ANC’s elective conference in 2017.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to lock horns with outgoing African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in a bid to succeed President Zuma as party president.

This thing called succession can’t be a function of individual ambitions; it can’t be just a function of lobbying. It can’t be a function of friends and association who are promoted. It should be about what is the kind of leader we need in the current (situation). And we are determined that we must talk to the challenges facing the movement today and try to find a leader who can actually be reflective of the challenges facing the movement, says Mantashe.

Mantashe says if this is not handled well, it may lead to the worst outcome in the 2019 general elections but he is hopeful that the party will elect a credible leadership in 2017.

One, there should be leadership that leads the motive forces of change. Two, it should be leadership that understands the challenges of the day. And the leadership that is attached to the forces of change; then society is going to come back.

Corruption and factionalism are also some of the key challenges confronting the ANC. “One of the things that we have to act against strongly as the ANC is the importance of no longer talking about corruption as a perception,” says Mantashe.

“That we deal with corruption as a reality facing us and we must confront. Number 2 is the question of factionalism, that a divided movement can never be at its best. We must work for unity and cohesion of the movement.

The ruling party also met the veterans, who raised concerns about the loss of support for the ANC. After a public spat, the veterans and the ANC leadership have agreed to resolve their differences.



Anglican bishops in South Africa’s Western Cape Province have rejected President Zuma’s call for religious leaders to stay out of politics, according to Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

Makgoba said Sunday he was happy that some of the Anglican bishops in the Western Cape had rejected President Zuma’s call for religious leaders to stay away from politics.

He said this when addressing congregants at the midnight mass at the St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town on Saturday night.

I am pleased that the bishops and their chapters in the three Western Cape dioceses — Cape Town, False Bay and Saldanha Bay — have rejected President Zuma’s comments and have told him very firmly and I quote: ‘No, Mr President, we will not refrain from engagement in the political terrain. Our people live there, work there, suffer, cry and struggle there. We live there too and cannot and will not stop commenting or acting on what we see and what, in our opinion, is unjust, corrupt and unacceptable to God’s high standards of sacrificial love’.”

President Zuma recently said religious leaders should confine themselves to praying for the government instead of getting involved in politics. He said this when he responded to religious leaders who participated in a campaign calling on him to resign.

Makgoba also said that South Africans were still yearning for hope and the courage of leaders to stand up and speak truth.

We hear the cries from those on the edges of our society. Mr President, we will ignore your call made from the palaces of power where you and your fellow leaders live in comfort,” he said.

“We will lament and ask God; where are you God when your people are marginalised and excluded? We will continue to wage the new struggle, the struggle for equality of opportunity, for equality of outcome and to end economic inequities.

South Africa is not broken. We have a sound Constitution. We have seen over this past year that we have resilient institutions. The courts, especially the Constitutional Court, civil society, the media, whistle-blowers in the government and private sector, and the many honest and hard-working public servants we have are all doing their jobs well.


Minister Faith Muthambi: Fundrasing launch of the Healing Centre Christian Church

Speech delivered by Minister of Communications, Ms Faith Muthambi, at the fundrasing launch of the Healing Centre Christian Church, Sundani village, Limpopo

Khosi Vho-Sundani and the Traditional Council

Khosi L. Matsila

The Mayor of Lim 345 Local Municipality, Cllr. Joyce Bila,

Cllr. F.D. Mutavhatsindi

Pastor N.D. Mathukha

Leadership of the Healing Centre Christian Church and Doroka Ministries

Pastor K.M. Munarini

Pastor N. Muluvhu

Chairperson of the National Lotteries Commission, Prof. A. Nevhutanda

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good Morning!

Programme Directors, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the leadership of Doroka Ministries Initiative which is the brain-child of the Healing Centre Christian Church, for launching this outstanding fundraising campaign. As you move around these deep rural remote areas, you can see faces of children, young mothers, child headed household youths and the unemployed who desperately need our help.

I am mindful of where we come from as a nation. We all know that South Africa is a developing Nation. The Apartheid regime caused great uneven economic development with poor parched areas designated for habitation by poor African communities.

These so-called Bantustans or homelands were the breeding grounds of cheap black labour force and a dumping ground for those whose labour is no longer needed in White South Africa. When their energy has been sucked to exhaustion, the so-called Self-Governing States became the dumping ground of those already abused and exploited who became the burden to their families in terms of ill health and many other factors. They came back from the cities empty handed and the meagre earnings were not enough to initiate developmental projects in these areas where commerce never spread a sail.

It is on this score that we must always remember that in order to analyse the current socio-economic ills engulfing the country, it is important to first study its unfortunate history and as well as to acknowledge the role played by the religious institutions.

We also need to praise the ANC-led Government for our Liberation and Democracy. It is also about reporting frankly on the challenges we face against the backdrop of our remarkable achievements since the dawn of democracy.

Government is trying to redress the imbalances of the past with the little at its disposal. The State President, His Excellency Jacob Zuma on the 20th September 2016 during the General Assembly of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, said:

In South Africa we have put in place a National Development Plan which is aligned to the AU Agenda 2063, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. At the core of our development plan is the focus on poverty eradication and the upliftment of the standard of living of our people. Our National Development Plan is also in line with the drive for industrialization of Africa.

He went further to say that:

We committed ourselves to an ambitious and transformative global development programme that seeks to address the triple challenge of this century, which is Poverty, Unemployment and Inequality.

For an effective combat of the ills bedevilling our country, we have to partner with Government because Unity is Strength. I know that in order to achieve these great noble goals, the Healing Centre Christian Church, has organised this fundraising event. I am not their spokesperson but I grew up in poverty stricken rural areas and I understand their plight. This Ministry has six branches with the Head Office here at Ha-Sundani, and other branches at Ha-Davhana, Vuwani, Vyeboom, Nkuri and Malonga. With a membership of just over two hundred across the branches, the initiatives of the Doroka Ministries is a great vision to address the plight of the poor rural residents.

It is encouraging that even if you had started small, you alredy have thirty (30) destitute families under the care of the Doroka Ministries. Children touch our hearts in a special way. It is therefore encouraging to find your Ministry already engaged in helping sixteen learners from Grade R to Grade 12 pursuing formal education as an escape route from poverty. I know that there are child-headed families because of the HIV/Aids scourge.

Social challenges such as alcohol, drug abuse and teenage pregnancies should be a concern for all of us. If children represent our future, then it is upon every one of us to support their journey into adulthood.

Programme Directors, we are all responsible for the future of Ha-Sundani and surrounding villages as well. I am made to understand that this Fundraising Project has a three year history.

The Department of Communications is engaged in changing the way it transmit Digital Terrestrial Television by moving from analogue to digital. This is part of a strategy to promote a society that has effective access to information in order to fully exercise and protect their rights. This programme will enable the citizens to make informed decisions about their lives. The ANC led Government will give these Set Top Boxes to five million deserving poor households at no cost.

We are therefore encouraging you to go to your nearest post office to apply for the Set Top Boxes.

There are benefits accompanying the migration from analogue to digital. Some of these are as follows:

You will get free access to more channels � SABC will now have up to 18 channels.

New free-to-air broadcasters will be licensed, adding to viewer choice.

More choice and diversity as a result of more channels

Better picture and sound quality (not necessarily HD).

An electronic TV guide (also known as an electronic programming guide or EPG) that enables you to plan what to watch at a touch of a button.

Multi-language tracks, descriptive video for visually impaired and blind people, and closed captioning facilities for deaf and hard of hearing people.

To listen to radio via your television set.

The viewers will be exposed to educational and developmental issues taking place in other parts of the country or the globe. It is part of a motivation especially when some positive role models are directly flighted in your living rooms. Sport and other recreational programmes will relief some youth from boredom and deviant behaviours.

How do you apply for the Set Top Boxes?

Applicants need to bring the following documents in order to be assessed:

South African Identity Document

Proof of Residence

Proof of possessing a TV set

Proof of household income below R3 200 per month.

Programme Directors, let us appreciate the efforts by the Doroka Ministry Initiatives for their sterling work within the communities they serve. I appeal to donors to feel good about your giving and hopefully dig even deeper in your pockets. Some of you can offer educational scholarships to learners with potentials or you can adopt a child or a family to help them in any way possible.

We must invite private companies to come and invest in these poor areas as part of poverty alleviation and job creation strategy. We can achieve a lot if we put our hearts and minds together and act as a unit. Government will not be able to address the triple challenges on its own. Together we can make things happen.

If you will be on the road, please obey the traffic rules, don’t text messages while driving, don’t drink and drive and if you are tired take a break and rest. Arrive Alive

I wish you a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. May the God Almighty continue to bless this Ministry to change the lives of our needy communities.

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa