Daily Archives: September 20, 2017


JOHANNESBURG, More than 20 Grade Four pupils on the East Rand area of Greater Johannesburg are now on HIV treatment after they were pricked with what appear to be used syringes, allegedly by their classmates.

It was the start of what was supposed to have been a normal school day, but just before 9 am last Wednesday morning, the 23 pupils, including a 9-year-old, were pricked with used syringes.

My wife is the one who went to the school to pick the child up after receiving a call that my child has been pricked with a needle and we have to come and fetch her and take her to a health services clinic,” said a victim’s father. The girl was rushed to a health facility, but doctors drew a blank.

“He said to us he is going to see another doctor because he was not sure what to prescribe to the child and the dosage. It was the first time that he had to deal with a case that a child had been pricked with a used needle,” added the victim’s father.

The question remains: How did the 11-year-old get her hands on the syringes? The victim says her classmate told her that she picked the syringes up in the street on her way to school. But the deputy principal says the pupil brought them from her home where a relative was using them.

The 9-year-old victim was later brought to a health facility and put on a month’s supply of HIV treatment.

You have to test again after the post-exposure prophylaxis period to ensure there was no infection transmitted during the injury which was intentional. It’s a cause for concern because children could easily get HIV,” said the Chairperson of the Health Committee of the South African Medical & Dental Practitioners, Norman Mabasa.

It is believed that no action has been taken against the minor responsible. For now, all the parents can do is wait to find out whether if any of their children may be infected with HIV.


Deputy Secretary-General Asks African Union Dialogue for Help in Designing Development System towards Partnership on Region’s Transformation

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at the African Union Dialogue, in New York today:

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this dialogue. I am honoured to be among such an influential group of people from my home continent.

This dialogue is testament to the strong partnership between the African Union and the United Nations. Our organizations have embarked on implementing two extremely ambitious agendas � Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Along with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement, these mutually reinforcing agendas provide a robust framework for action, across all dimensions of sustainable development. Their full implementation will significantly change prospects for people in Africa and around the world.

The transformative nature of these agendas requires significant changes to the way nations plan and implement their sustainable development priorities. It will require action at a breadth and scale never before seen. It will require partnerships across sectors, and aligning and unlocking international financing to advance human well-being.

It will also demand a United Nations development system recalibrated to meet the heightened demands of these agendas, and the priorities and challenges of all countries. It is in this context that the Secretary-General presented his vision to reposition the United Nations development system in June this year.

Three key principles guide our efforts: first, reinforcing national ownership and leadership across all activities of the United Nations development system; second, ensuring country-specific responses rather than a one-size-fits-all approach; and third, making country-level delivery the litmus test for success.

As the Secretary-General has stated, the true test of reform will not be measured in words in New York or world capitals. It will be measured through tangible results in the lives of the people we serve.

On the basis of these principles, the Secretary-General has put forward an initial set of 38 ideas and actions to strengthen the system. Combined, these measures provide a powerful road map for change that would significantly reposition the system to support the 2030 Agenda. It will also support implementation of Agenda 2063.

The Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063’s First Ten-Year Implementation Plan feature a 90 per cent convergence in their goals. A system that is fit for purpose is one that can flexibly adapt to specific needs and priorities of regions and countries.

This idea is at the heart of the Secretary-General’s vision for a reconfigured United Nations presence at the regional and country levels. We want to modulate our support to the unique priorities, needs and financing mix of each country.

Today our organizations continue to strengthen our partnership. We have raised our strategic partnership through the adoption of a Joint Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security and we continue to seek ways to support the African Governance Architecture, including the African Peer Review Mechanism.

We are also working to enhance the United Nations’ partnership with Africa’s Regional Economic Communities, and we are supporting African integration, including through efforts to establish the Continental Free Trade Area. Preparations are now under way for a joint United Nations-African Union framework for implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.

Some elements for such a framework could focus on financing and partnerships. As we develop this new framework for cooperation, we need to ensure alignment and complementarity with any existing frameworks.

The United Nations development system is also actively supporting many of your Governments as they integrate the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063 into country plans and strategies.

We have also initiated efforts to integrate Sustainable Development Goal targets and indicators into national statistical systems to ensure effective monitoring of progress. The High-Level Political Forum offers a platform for peer learning, as countries share their challenges, lessons learned and achievements. I commend the active participation of African Union members in the voluntary national reviews and encourage more to consider participating in the near future.

The General Assembly has also established the United Nations Monitoring Mechanism to review progress on commitments made towards Africa’s development by African countries and their development partners. This includes commitments made under the 2030 Agenda, as well as corresponding commitments made by African countries for Agenda 2063.

And the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Platform for Africa’s Development, which is currently being established as part of joint United Nations-African Union collaboration, will also play a critical role by integrating real-time data on key performance indicators of the 2030 Agenda, Agenda 2063, and other commitments made towards Africa’s development.

The partnership between the United Nations and the African Union will continue to deepen in the coming years as both organizations seek to respond to the challenges facing Africa in areas of peace, security, human rights, governance and sustainable development. The United Nations development system can support our common priorities.

The Secretary-General and I are determined to remain ambitious in our efforts to reposition the system for the challenges and opportunities ahead. I ask you to stay engaged, help us maintain the ambition, share your perspectives. Help us design � together � a United Nations development system that will remain a partner of choice for Africa in its path of transformation. Thank you.

Source: United Nations

Gauteng Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation participates in National Indigenous Games, 24 to 29 Sept

Team Gauteng to participate in the National Indigenous Games

Team Gauteng will yet again participate in this year’s National Indigenous Games starting from 25th to 28th September, at Polokwane, Limpopo.

The province has been part of the Indigenous Games since their inception in 2003 and managed an average top 5 position over the years.

The games are an initiative of the department of Sport and Recreation

South Africa’s mass participation programme to ‘Get the Nation to Play.’ With September being heritage month, the games form part of the heritage celebrations and are in celebration of South Africa’s cultural diversity

The team will arrive at the Limpopo capital, Polokwane, at the Seshego Sports Ground, 24th September for the opening ceremony by Minister Thulas Nxesi.

The 100 member team has been hard at work preparing to participate in games including morabaraba, stick-fighting, dibeke, juskei, drie stokkies, among others.

Source: Government of South Africa

Bogus doctor held for fraud

A bogus doctor was arrested in Soweto for allegedly issuing fake medical certificates to motorists seeking to apply for public drivers’ permits.

The woman was arrested on Tuesday after law enforcement agents from the National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit, the Hawks, the Health Professionals Council of South Africa, the Medicines Control Council and Home Affairs raided her surgery.

Medicines, patient files and government documents were confiscated during the arrest.

The arrest brings to five the number of bogus doctors arrested in Gauteng in four weeks as part of Operation Recall.

The doctors are all originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo and use the practice number of a local doctor to conduct their business, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said in a statement.

Investigations by RTMC have revealed that there are more than 32 000 unlawfully issued public drivers’ permits.

Holders of these documents are believed to be on the roads driving busses, trucks and taxis. These people are placing the lives of other road users at risk as they might not be medically fit to be driving vehicles, RTMC said.

These documents will be cancelled as soon as investigations have been completed.

Members of the public are advised to contact the RTMC on 0861 400 800 to report traffic related corruption and fraud.

Source: South African Government News Agency

AP Interview: Morocco to Expand Counterterror Efforts Abroad

SALE, MOROCCO A top Moroccan security official says his government is working on a new strategy to track Moroccans who become radicalized in Europe, part of beefed-up counterterrorism efforts by a country that is both a key player in the global anti-extremism struggle and a source of international jihadis.

Preventing radicalization of Moroccans abroad is especially important after Spanish extremists with Moroccan origins carried out last month’s deadly Barcelona attacks, Abdelhak Khiame, director of an agency known as Morocco’s FBI, told The Associated Press in an interview.

“Really I was frightened by what we saw happen in Barcelona. They were all youths of Moroccan origin, their parents were Moroccan but they themselves had no connection to Morocco other than their origin and their family,” Khiame said Tuesday in his polished headquarters in Sale, near the capital, Rabat.

“Morocco’s government now must adopt another method just to control the return of those people and keep a watch on them, try and gather intelligence on them,” he added.

He would not elaborate on what surveillance measures that monitoring strategy would entail, but insisted on the importance of intelligence cooperation across borders, and said his agency is working on establishing offices in partner countries.

His agency, the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations, is also cracking down on Moroccans returning from fighting with the Islamic State group in Syria, Iraq and Libya. It has arrested 85 men, 14 women and 27 children returnees to date, he said.

Moroccans make up an unusually large subset of IS foreign fighters – a total of 1,664 people at the agency’s last count. While larger numbers came from Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, experts say Moroccans play a sizeable role among the thousands of foreign fighters in the extremist group. So do dual Moroccan-European citizens, who were notably behind IS attacks on Paris and Brussels in 2015 and 2016.

Khiame’s agency, created two years ago to consolidate and strengthen anti-terrorism and anti-crime efforts, says it has dismantled 42 Islamic State cells and five others.

Rights groups warn that counterterrorism authorities are being overzealous and have caught up innocent bystanders in the dragnet. Thomas Galley, a Frenchman serving prison time on a terrorism financing conviction based on a confession in Arabic that he says he didn’t make and can’t understand, is among those that Human Rights Watch says is being unfairly held. Khiame insisted that the government has proof of his extremist activities.

Beyond jail and prosecution, Khiame said the government recognizes the need to solve the roots of radicalism through tackling poverty, training moderate imams and banning extremist preachers, and re-integrating former radicals.

He warned of a risk of “reverse terrorism,” or Moroccan emigrants who become radicalized in Europe then come to Morocco to stage attacks.

He cited the example of a man who embraced extremism while living in Catalonia and who was interrogated by Moroccan authorities after the Barcelona attacks, and found to be plotting violence in Morocco.

Khiame said the man had no link to the Barcelona attacks, which left 16 people dead after a partially failed attempt by a network of teens and other young Spaniards to set off explosions in the area.

Khiame’s agency helped identify the suspects and is working closely with Spain on the investigation.

The agency was also instrumental in helping French police find a leading suspect in the November 2015 attacks on the Bataclan theater, cafes and a stadium in Paris.

Rooting out radicalism is important to preserving Morocco’s reputation as a beacon of stability in a volatile region, and King Mohammed VI speaks out regularly against religious fanaticism.

Experts say Moroccans abroad are especially vulnerable because of the challenges of integration and a tug-of-war between two cultures and identities.

Source: Voice of America