Fear for lives as gangsterism spreads everywhere in Secunda

The groupings are young people between the ages of 14 and 23 and are said to be making a living out of robbing people.

Residents in the Mpumalanga townships of Secunda are asking officials to do something as youths in the area turn into gangsters terrorising the community.

Those who say they often find themselves in direct confrontation with young tsotsis are workers who come home at night and find the boys waiting for them in the dark. 

The increase in these crime is reported in eMbalenhle, Kinross and Leandra.

One of the groups is reportedly called Phanda, the other one is Phandakazi, another Kauta and Borokosiya and the most popular of all of them is the Wrong Turns.

They will then use dangerous weapons to take people’s belongings during the night, even committing murder in some cases to feed their alcohol and drug habits. 

The residents complain that they no longer have the freedom to go out, especially at night, as the gangsters are now everywhere.

They say they have “taken over the townships” and are “being terrorised daily”.

The Ridge Times say the gangs are known to be “territorial” and “when residents go to other sections [of the townships] they are intimidated by these groups”.

The department of community safety’s Sipho Khuzwayo said they are looking at the issue and will “deal with it swiftly”.

He urged community members to come together and work with cops in arresting the problem of the unemployment-hit Mpumalanga townships. 

“If this is not dealt with swiftly, our communities will be in serious danger,” Khuzwayo said.

“Residents can provide information anonymously and we ensure that safety is guaranteed.

“We also heard about the traditional healer behind this [who is allegedly helping the boys with muthi to do the crime] and we are following up on some leads in order to apprehend him,”  he said. 

(edited by ZK)

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Phosa’s 27-year-old daughter writes about being in abusive relationship 

Her book is launched this week and is co-authored by Timothy Maurice Webster.

Daughter of ANC heavyweight Mathews Phosa, 27-year-old Tshepiso, has a real life story out in a book and in some parts it speaks about her past in an abusive relationship and the challenges she underwent in life before becoming the businesswoman that she is today. 

She said being the daughter of both Pinky and Mathews – Mzansi’s big names – could not save her from the problem that most women in the country are faced with, being abused in the name of love. 

Tshepiso’s real-life story book is called Fuelling Futures and is sub-titled ‘From Influence to Impact’ and the work is about “transforming your pain into power”. It will be available at the end of July 2019.

She told a City Press reporter in Mbombela while she was launching the book that had she not gone through challenges in life she wouldn’t know the pains of others and be able to assist. 

She said in the book she goes into “details about how I was raped and how I was strangled and lost my voice for two months”.

At one time she had thoughts of ending her own life – after being badly messed up by a boyfriend. 

“We talk about transforming your pain into power. I lost my voice but I could still write,” said Tshepiso. 

Tshepiso is a businesswoman who owns fuel stations and somebody who gives a helping hand to the poor. 

SEE ALSO: Tshepiso Phosa adopts orphanage centre

She said many people do not understand that one has to go through a lot of challenges in order to get somewhere in life. She says she has an “independent life” from her politically powerful parents.  

“I’ve made wrong choices and mistakes, which have taught me the best lessons. I’m the woman that I am today because of those experiences. Most importantly, I’m human and God’s purpose for me is different,” she told the Sunday weekly.

*Read more about Tshepiso HERE

The book will sell at R200 at retailers and R350 if delivered by courier.

(edited by MLM) 

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Two NGOs want Sasol, Eskom gone for polluting space

Sasol’s plant in Secunda and the NatRef oil refinery have now also been listed as messing up the air that people breathe.

Two Non-Profit Organisations or NGOs are heading to the Tshwane High Court to force the South African government to respect the constitutional rights of people with regard to the air pollution being caused by Mpumalanga’s Sasol and Eskom power plants. 

The NGOs want the Judge to declare the air pollution a violation of people’s constitutional rights and to force the government to take action to enforce the Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) that calls for a drastic reduction of air pollution.

The organisations are GroundWork and the Vukani Environmental Justice Movement in Action.

In a statement, the two NGOs said papers were served on Friday at the Tshwane high court and the concern is that government “is not holding the big polluters to account”. 

ALSO RELATED: Greenpeace challenges NUM to “engage on renewable energy”

83% of South Africa’s coal production is in Mpumalanga.

Of the utility’s 18 coal-fired power plants, 12 are in Mpumalanga. 

Sasol’s coal-to-liquids plant in Secunda and the NatRef oil refinery in Free State also have been mentioned as polluters. 

“The area has been plagued with deadly air quality for decades,” GroundWork said. 

GroundWork said in 2012 an air quality management plan was published by the government to clean up the air pollution but since then little had change.

Amongst those that the NGOs demand should account for Eskom and Sasol’s air pollution is President Cyril Ramaphosa, environmental affairs minister Barbara Creecy and air quality officer Dr Thuli Khumalo.

 (edited by ZK) 

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Mswati poised to take helm of Nkangala mayorship 

The sources say the man is such a powerful force to the extent that he receives frequent calls from ANC deputy president DD Mabuza and is also poised to become the next ANC regional chairman.

An imminent cabinet reshuffle in the eMalahleni local municipality and Nkangala district municipality may see ex-ANCYL regional chairman Mduduzi ‘Mswati’ Nkosi becoming the new mayor of the district, this paper has learnt.

013NEWS understands that the factions are preparing for a battle that will see Nkangala mayor Sarah Masilela removed from her position and Mswati taking over from her. 

This should “ensure stability” as ANC deputy president DD Mabuza also flexes his muscles while appointed Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane flexes hers, changing spokespersons and bodyguards for the ones she prefers over those of her predecessor.

Sources say Mswati is so powerful to the extent that he receives frequent calls from Mabuza and is also poised to become the next ANC regional chairman in what will look like the installing of one of Mabuza’s lieutenants in Mpumalanga’s economic hub. 

It is still unclear where this puts Speedy Mashilo, the regional ANC chairman who is believed to be having interest in provincial political battles.

Mtshweni-Tsipane may become the new ANC chairwoman in that battle with Gert Sibande chair Muzi Chirwa apparently becoming the secretary.

Mashilo was on the top 5 on the list sending people to legislature for the 6th provincial government in which Mtshweni-Tsipane was number one. But Mashilo, who has been serving as MEC for traditional affairs and co-operative governance, never made it when Mtshweni-Tsipane announced her cabinet a week ago. 

Both Mswati and the ANC in the region said suggestions that Mswati is gunning for Masilela’s position was unfair and they “have never discussed that”.

“I think what you are saying is a rumour and I should not entertain it,” Mswati said when asked whether it was true if he was gunning for Masilela’s position.

He said if there was “such a thing” he was going to “release a statement”.

League regional secretary Thabang Mathebula said they know nothing. 

“As far as I know there was an REC meeting that deliberated on the issue of accessing the performances of councillors only for the purpose of services delivery. I really know nothing about a cabinet reshuffle coming to remove a mayor. 

“What I can say is that as young people we want young people to occupy strategic centres of power. We are having a policy with the ANC and we want 20% of young people to occupy positions in all the municipalities,” Mathebula said Thursday last week. 

“But for the issue you are raising I don’t want to say things I don’t know,” said Mathebula. 

ANC regional spokesman Sello Matshoga said they have always wanted clean governance in the district but issues of Mswati have not been discussed. 

“The last REC meeting that we discussed matters of governance was when we spoke about Victor Khanye municipality as well as Thembisile Hani and we spoke about the issues of accessing the performances in terms of what it must deliver to people and we were able to make certain changes on certain deployments.

“Other meetings that are being talked about as ANC we can’t say they are there because we have not heard about them or made them part of REC decisions. It’s just rumours and as the REC we do what is there and not rumours because rumours do not feature in our discussions for the lives of our people. We will always communicate decisions and that won’t be a problem as it has never been. And we always release press statements to communicate our decisions,” said Matshoga.

(edited by ZK) 

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Government says certain men fixing damaged homes in KaNyamazane are “illegal contractors”

They have now been asked to vacate all sites but there is apparently resistance.

The Mpumalanga government has said that it has discovered through complaints that there were certain “illegal contractors” on site fixing damaged KaNyamazane homes. 

The human settlement department says there are about 150 homes that have now been fixed by unauthorised contractors.

They now condemn these “reported activities” in the strongest terms.

Government has now moved to meet all stakeholders on site and deal with the problem.

In a statement, the province’s human settlements department said they learnt through authorised sub-contractors during a meeting about “illegal activities” of fixing homes.

The government is currently busy in the KaNyamazane area fixing the more than 2000 homes that were ravaged by a hailstorm in May last year.

Three months later the people took to the streets, demanding that government fixes their homes. 

SEE ALSO: Shoprite Liquor looted during violent KaNyamazane protest

Departmental head Kebone Masange said it was “opportunistic” of unauthorised tenderprenuers to be on site. 

“All illegal activities that are taking pace should be stopped,” Masange said.

He said they expect the homes that “have been sanctioned by the department to be considered” and there should be consequences to those doing work illegally.

The money to assist the people of the area fix their damaged homes came from the national department of human settlements.

The money was given to the provincial department “with strict conditions and will be audited as the project is being consolidated”, the department said.

(edited by ZK)

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