Monday, April 16, 2012

Articles from the Daily Sun on April 16, 2012

Summary of articles from local newspaper

Cover Story:  “Where Teaching is impossible. . . 3 Classes, ONE ROOM”   Three teachers using three different languages all talk at once as they teach different subjects to the 80 grade three pupils who are crammed into one classroom.  But the Senianya Primary School in Rooiboklaagte, Mpumalanga, is not even on the list of 94 schools identified by the national education department as needing urgent help.  While each teacher speaks a different language 80 little kids, desperate to learn something, were facing in different directions trying to pick up some scraps of knowledge.  But provincial education spokesman Jasper Zwane said they were not even aware of the problem because they hadn’t received a report from the school’s governing body.  “They must write a report.  That’s the only way we can know,” he said.  The teachers were too frightened of being victimized by the provincial education authorities to talk to Daily Sun.  There should be three classrooms for grade R, not one.  Grade R is most critical phase where kids need to get full attention and this situation is not good.  The Mpumalanga Department of Education was informed about the problem at the school but has done nothing about it.   (Front page photo shows a very crowded classroom.)

“Zuma Ties the Knot–Again” President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, 70, will marry for the sixth time this coming weekend.  After he marries Bongi Ngema he will have four current wives.  One wife committed suicide in 2000.  He was divorced by another in 1998.  Zuma is legally married to Sizakele, Nompumelelo Ntili and Thobeka, who are all South Africa’s first ladies and taken care of by the state and taxpayers. . .  Waiting in the queue to marry the president is Sonono Khoza, who has a child by him.  Wife number eight will be Swaziland’s princess Sebentile for whom Zuma paid lobola (bride price) for in 2002.  Some countrymen supported him.  Others think it is a bad idea: Smanga Mpanza: “As long as he is doing it the right way, I don’t see any problem.”  Kamohelo: “Polygamy is a sin, so Mr. President is offending God’s law.”  Matodzi Jason: “He’s an African man.  If he can support them, why not?”

“60 schoolkids saved from this coffin on wheels!”  Traffic officer stopped a taxi that was designed to carry 16 passengers.  They found many school kids crammed inside.  And as the pupils got out of the taxi, the cops counted them one by one...they totaled 60!  The steering mechanism and breaks were in very bad shape.  The tires were worn out.  And one of the kids told Daily Sun they paid R150 a month for transport! The Toyota Siyaya was stopped on Blood River Road near Polokwane.  The driver, who is also a Teacher, was arrested and locked up.  Cops organized other taxis to take the school kids to their home.  Transporting
school children has been in the news since the term began on April 10th.  Providers had not been paid so 15,000 school children who were normally provided with transport, had to walk until cheques were issued.

“Malema will carry on!”  (p. 2)  Malema will continue talking and acting as president of the ANC Youth League!  This despite the ANCV’s national Disciplinary Committee decided to suspend him and barred him from organisational activity.  The league concluded that Malema should continue as its president because the decision of the disciplinary committee wasn’t officially communicated to ANCL. 

I just finished reading An Inconvenient Youth, the biography of  Julius Malema by Fiona Forde.  She concludes, “Malema has very little life experience and way too much power; a lethal mix that has completely gone to his 30-year-old head.”  A fatherless boy, born and raised in a township, Malema never completed high school.  His current popularity comes from organizing “service delivery protests’ while taking bribes, payoffs and gifts from companies hoping to secure government contracts.  Forde notes that there is a vacuum in African National Congress leadership today.   Malema has risen to power by providing hasty solutions to complex problems.  “There will come a time when people will stop depending on the state and try to access the wealth and the land themselves.  And who will they turn to?  Malema!  And that’s what makes Malema what he is: a man with an uncanny ability to read the socio-economic conditions around him; a man that can empathize with the people’s  hardships (p. 244)  while positioning himself to become the next president of South Africa.

“Malema is a threat” (p. 30)  Following his remarks equating President Jacob Zuma to a dictator, I had to asked myself two things.  Firstly, what role does Julius Malema play in the ANC besides creating divisions within and outside?  Secondly, what about the corruption allegations and the fact that he is under investigation.  Malema is not only a threat to the nation’s stability, but also to the survival of the ANC. quote by Ramohale Rabothata Limpopo

“Tricked and Trapped!”  They thought they were signing for ownership of their RDP houses.  But they were actually signing them away!  And now, the 400 families in the Sol Plaatje squatter camp in Roodepoort, west of Joburg, will live in dusty shacks without running water or electricity.  Today, the houses meant for them are crumbling and squatters are living in them.  The problem came after residents signed documents of satisfaction.  They didn’t understand what they were signing and the documents said the houses were finished to their satisfaction.  The municipality could then pay the contractor.  The contractor did not even fit windows or doors in some of the houses.  Others have no toilets. . .  Corruption Watch executives director David Lewis said they have received many complaints about the RDP houses.  He said the culprits should be dismissed from their jobs and never be allowed to work in the public service again.

“Battle over houses turns Ugly” Some people claim that RDP houses meant for flood victims are being sold to family and friends of a development forum.  Three houses belonging to forum members were burnt down on Thursday in Chatty near Booysen Park, Port Elizabeth.  Angry people marched to Councillor Bhungane’s office to demand the removal of the forum, but the councillor wasn’t there.. The councillor’s supporters and flood victims fought with knives, axes and pangas.  An Eastern Capes local official said: “I don’t understand why people are fighting.  There is massive service delivery taking place here.”

“We are Living Like Pigs” We are sick and tired of waiting.  Our main priority is to get electricity and replace the bucket system with flushing toilets but our municipality is unwilling to meet our demands.  For a month our buckets have not been collected.  Electricity was supposed to be installed last year but we are still in the dark.  In order to get light we have to rely on illegal connections.  Enough is enough!  We want service delivery.  Anna Nel, (59) told Daily Sun: “I have been here for 15 years but I still live like a pig.  When it’s wet I have to walk in the mud.  At night I live in the dark like a wild animal.  At election time the politicians come along and promise us a better life but once they are in office our living conditions get worse.”  Ward Councillor Sandar Fillis said: “People are angry with the company installing electricity in the area.  They say it’s too slow.  But the companies are busy on site putting in infrastructure to build houses for them.”

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