Refilwe Mtshweni to cast her vote in Vosman  

Millions of South Africans are heading to different polling stations to exercise their democratic right to choose a government of their own choice.


Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni will be voting in the eMalahleni area of Vosman, her office announced. 

She will vote at 8 o’clock in the morning at the Ebenezer Church in Ward 8, eMalahleni, spokesman Zibonele Mncwango said.

The IEC on Tuesday said the country’s 22 924 voting stations were ready to open from 7 in the morning to 9 at night. From then on counting will begin. 

But in instances where the 9 o’clock closing time finds voters in queue, they will be allowed, the electoral body said. 

“The past two days of special voting have helped to iron out any teething problems and ensure everything is in place and ready,” the electoral commission said. 

Meanwhile, the EFF also announced provincial leader Collen Sedibe will be casting his vote at the White River Town Hall. National secretary Goodrich Gardee voted one day before the election date of 8 May as a special voter at the KaMagugu Primary School in Mbombela. 

The DA said Jane Sithole, a Premier candidate for the party and a provincial leader of the official opposition party in Mpumalanga, will vote at Curro Bankenveld, eMalahleni.

ANC deputy president DD Mabuza will vote in Barberton. The venue is the Azuri farm, just a kilometre from his house and is scheduled to be there at 11 in the morning.

(edited by ZK)

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Rot at Mpumalanga health department continues despite cabinet reshuffle 

Issues of financial mismanagement and wasteful expenditure are part of the department’s daily operations.


The DA in Mpumalanga has said that the rot at the province’s health department continues despite Sasekani Manzini being the new MEC.

Manzini, who was public works MEC,  replaced Gillion Mashego in July 2018 when Premier Refilwe Mtshweni swopped them, making Mashego the new public works MEC.

DA leader Jane Sithole said the state of the province’s health continued to deteriorate and this has been revealed recently in the department’s quarterly report.

In just three months, 29 cases of hospital negligence were reported and the department is being sued by the victims for millions and millions of rands.

In their report to the portfolio committee on health, the Mpumalanga department said they are faced with issues of collapsing infrastructure, staff shortages, shortage of specialists and unserviceable hospital and clinic machines.

ALSO SEE: Refilwe Mtshweni says conditions at eMalahleni hospital brings her closer to tears

The department also stated how expired medicine to the value of R1.1 million were stored at their depot. This is basically 53% more expired medicine than what the hospitals and the clinics together previously reported, Sithole said.

“By failing to safeguard the people’s right to healthcare as enshrined in Section 27 of the Constitution, MEC Manzini and her failing ANC are truly killing the millions of Mpumalanga residents who depend on the state for healthcare,” she said in a statement.

The department is also sitting on R1 billion debt.

While the department believes the budget cut by R88 million is making it hard for them to run a proper healthcare system, Sithole said that now is being used as an excuse by the MEC for the “systematic failures”.

She called for the department to be placed under administration “to address the gross financial mismanagement”.

“A capable DA-led government would then put systems in place to deal with the understaffed and under resources healthcare facilities so that the people can finally access adequate healthcare.

“Only a DA-led government can bring real change to this department by fighting the corruption and maladministration that has crippled it. We will also speed up the delivery of services to ensure that healthcare can be accessed by all who need it,” said Sithole.

(edited by ZK) 

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DA blames Gupta’s troubled Optimum mine for load-shedding

Workers protested, burning tyres at the mine’s gate a week ago over unpaid wages stretching over months.


The Democratic Alliance says the State Capture by the Gupta family which got the Optimum Mine in Middelburg to the hands of the Guptas has really impacted on Eskom’s capacity to generate electricity.

The party on Friday described the mine as the “face of State Capture” and said had it not been for it Eskom wouldn’t be struggling with coal supply.

Eskom is reportedly having a serious coal shortage, with a number of power plants having few days of coal left.

The trouble faced by the Gupta mine are a result of the closure of their bank accounts by the four major banks after being accused of corruption, money-laundering and capturing the state, leading to them being unable to run their businesses, including the Optimum Coal Mine.

Leaders of the party including Mpumalanga Premier candidate Jane Sithole, Parliamentarian Natasha Mazzone and Geordin Hill-Lewis visited the mine last week Friday where workers had burnt tyres, protesting over unpaid wages which they said stretched over a period of several months.

Mazzone said the Gupta family through Tegeta Exploration and Resources which bought the mine from Glencore in 2016 “pillaged” the mine and “caused great havoc”.

“Workers have not been paid and the country is experiencing load-shedding because coal is not being mined. So we are here because Optimum Coal Mine is the very face of state capture,” Mazzone told the media.

She said what needed to happen now was for public enterprise minister Pravin Gordhan and mineral resources minister Gwede Mantashe to come together and “sort out this problem”.

“It is also of utmost importance that these rich fat cats are brought to book – they have been earning money while workers who have done their jobs diligently have not been paid,” she said.

“We cannot have poor families starving while these fat-cats prosper at their expense,” Mazzone said.

She said her party would raise the issue in Parliament.

She added the workers were bearing the brunt of state capture, something they have nothing to do with.

“We cannot allow those implicated in corruption get off scot free, whilst the victims of their crimes suffer in silence. We will absolutely raise this in Parliament, the DA is the voice of the people and we will represent those who are suffering as a result of state capture,” she said.

(edited by ZK)

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DA complains about increasing KwaMhlanga rape cases, lack of police resources

They said the situation is worrying as now sexual abuse becomes “a system”.


The DA in the Mpumalanga province wants an end to the scourge of sexual abuse as well as a properly equipped cop shop.

The party said since last year the number of reported rape cases in the KwaMhlanga area of Mpumalanga increased from 118 to 146 this year and they believe the number of rape incidents are rife when taking into considerations unreported cases.

Mpumalanga Premier candidate Jane Sithole together with DA Women’s Network leaders Nomafrench Mbombo and Annerie Weber submitted a memorandum of demands to the KwaMhlanga police station after a minor was raped in the area a week ago.

The KwaMhlanga police allegedly sent the minor back home when she tried to open a case, apparently citing that the officers responsible for rape victims were not available.

In their memorandum to police boss Brigadier Winnie Mavuso Monday mid-day this week, the three leaders said they wanted the cops to do more in making sure the victims of rape were protected.

Earlier, Sithole told the residents that the scourge of women abuse was actually “a system” and needed to be fought the “same way we fought Apartheid”.

She said it was worrying that KwaMhlanga continued to be leading in terms of rape cases and was unacceptable.

“That is wrong and if we sit down as community and do nothing it will continue. And also what made the suspects to be released so early is because the police are not able to handle evidence,” Sithole told the community members.

She said a week ago a child was raped in the area and the cops sent her back home without opening a case, apparently because the officials responsible to handle rape cases were not available.

“Today it can be a neighbour’s child or somebody you completely don’t know and if you don’t stand up against it, tomorrow it’s your own child or yourself,” she said.

“I always say that Apartheid was defeated by the community. The community stood up and said ‘we are sick and tired of this system’ and today this system of sexual abuse must be defeated by the community,” Sithole said.

In her address, Mpumalanga DA Women’s Network leader Annerie Weber said it was “inhumane” to take advantage of unemployed women and sexually abuse them while promising to give them jobs.

“It leaves women devastated and degraded and ripped of their dignity,” Webber told the community members.

“Women deserve fair access to jobs,” she said, “we will not sit back while women are exploited by perverted officials who abuse their positions of power and take advantage of women’s desperation for employment,” she said, adding the DA will always be there for women.

SEE ALSO: DA decries Msholozi township ‘sex for jobs’ scandal

DA Women’s Network national leader Nomafrench Mbombo, who is also the health MEC in Western Cape, urged the KwaMhlanga residents to stop voting for ANC.

She said the ANC was responsible for policies that ensured unemployment and forced husbands to leave their homes and go work in Gauteng.

“It is women who carry the whole burden at the end of the day. Do you know why you are still the highest unemployed here in Mpumalanga? It’s because six months later when we come for votes you will receive food parcels and then vote for the same government, for the same party that gave you no job,” Mbombo said.

The police said they would investigate the issue of the child who was sent back without a case opened and were happy to work with the communities in responding to such issues as the lack of resources.

(edited by ZK)

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DA’s women structure to march for ‘honest’ KwaMhlanga policing

They say recently a child was raped in the area and the community caught the man but police actions left many community members disappointed.


The DA’s women network is taking a war to the KwaMhlanga police station.

They want the cops in the area to do their jobs “honestly” and “professionally”.

Both DA women’s network leader Nomafrench Mbombo and Mpumalanga Premier candidate Jane Sithole will lead the march to the cop shop.

The party says people continue to receive poor services from police and they suffer as a result.

“Recently, a young girl was raped and despite community members catching the perpetrator in the act and calling the police, the SAPS took an hour to respond,” provincial spokeswoman Buchule Putini said.

She said when the DA investigated the matter, they were told the station does not have enough vehicles to attend rapidly to reports.

“There are no rooms where victims can be kept safe overnight and there is a limited number of trained police that handle sensitive cases,” she said.

The safety of women and children in South Africa is under attack, the party said.

“And we cannot put trust in the unequipped police. In 2018 there were 1260 assault cases reported in the province,” Putini said.

DA women’s network will hold a public meeting with the residents of KwaMhlanga and then hand over a memorandum to the KwaMhlanga police station.

(edited by MLM)

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