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500 Free State police officers vaccinated

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Staff Reporter

About 500 police officers from the Free State have received the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine as the province steps up efforts to vaccinate essential service workers and the general public against COVID-19.

Acting MEC for Police, Roads and Transport Mamiki Qabathe and Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane officially launched the programme on Thursday with a call for police officers to take the jab and save lives.

“I am encouraging each and every Free Stater to get vaccinated,” said Qabathe, who is the MEC for social development.

“The first phase started with the frontline workers from the department of health and then the elderly, aged over 60. We were all eager, saying when are we coming in?”

“The jab is not sore. It’s just normal. I am happy that I am vaccinating together with the men and women in blue – the police and our traffic officers,” she added.

“They are also frontliners . . . going out there risking their lives and those of their families in order to serve us.”

Between March 2020 and July 2021, a total of 2 008 police officers were infected by COVID-19 in the Free State.

The province recorded 58 fatalities related to the virus among the police.

A total of 16 vaccination sites have been set up across the province.

The provincial police vaccination programme is expected to run for a month.

Motswenyane said she was happy the police were finally getting vaccinated as the coronavirus continues to put people’s lives at risk.

“As law enforcers, we come into contact with perpetrators who may be infected with the coronavirus,” she said.

“So, by getting vaccinated, I can say we are safer now to carry out our duties.”

The provincial police boss could however not give an exact number of those to be vaccinated but stated that all police officers, reservists, office staff and contract workers are eligible for vaccination.

“Remember, this is voluntary but as the provincial commissioner together with the labour unions, we are encouraging members to come forth for the vaccine so that we can all go out there and serve communities without the fear of being infected,” said Motswenyane.

Several police officers who were vaccinated at the provincial launch expressed confidence that they will be able to do their work without worrying much about infections.

“It’s very important . . . we have been on the frontline since the beginning of COVID-19. So, it’s important that we get our vaccines so that we can do our work to the best of our abilities,” said Sergeant Ian Gaobepe.

Constable Puleng Koena said she welcomed the opportunity to get vaccinated as she is aware of the dangers of the disease.

“Prevention is better than cure, that’s why I am here. I will be more comfortable when dealing with people but still I don’t have to relax. I still have to be safe, observing all the important measures,” said Koena.

Sergeant Nthabiseng Khoba, a member of the public order police unit, said she witnessed the difficulties her father went through after testing positive for COVID-19 and will not take chances by not getting vaccinated.

“My father stayed in hospital for 17 days and I saw how critical he was. And at public order police where I work, we lost a lot of members due to COVID-19. So, if there is anything that I can do to save my life, I will do it. The first step for me is taking the vaccine,” said Khoba confidently.

LEADING FROM THE FRONT . . . Free State Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane receives a jab of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

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Two Free State women allegedly killed by ‘druggie’ sons

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SHOCKING MURDER . . . A 65-year-old woman was allegedly stabbed with a sharp object by her 28-year-old son after she failed to give him money to buy drugs

Two women from Mangaung have allegedly been attacked and killed in two separate incidents by their own sons believed to be using drugs.

In the latest incident which happened in Kagisanong along Masike Street at the weekend, a 65-year-old woman was allegedly stabbed with a sharp object by her 28-year-old son after she failed to give him money to buy drugs.

Police spokesperson for Mangaung Metro Lieutenant Colonel Thabo Covane said in the woman died on the scene from the stab wounds.

“The victim had visible multiple stab wounds on the head and body,” he said, adding the matter was reported by the brother to the deceased, who was also attacked by the suspect who is now in police custody.

Covane said the complainant informed the police that the suspect is believed to be using drugs and had asked his now deceased mother for money to buy drugs but she told him that she didn’t have money.

“The suspect got angry, went out of the house, came back with a piece of iron and stabbed the deceased with it several times,” he explained.

“When he was done, he turned to the complainant and also stabbed him on the chest.”

Covane said the uncle survived the attack but the daring suspect locked them inside the house and had to wait until Friday morning to get help.

The suspect was later traced and arrested by the police.
He is expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court this Monday facing charges of murder and attempted murder.

In a similar case, a 42-year-old man will be applying for bail at the Botshabelo Magistrates Court on the same day after allegedly strangling to death his 71-year-old mother last Sunday, August 7, 2022 in the E-Section, Botshabelo.

The suspect is also said to history of substance abuse.

Free State acting provincial police commissioner, Major General Modise, condemned the killing of the two elderly women. – Staff Reporter

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Magashule loses ConCourt bid to reverse ANC suspension

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APPLICATION DISMISSED . . . The Constitutional Court says Ace Magashule has no prospects of successfully appealing his suspension as ANC secretary-general

Former Free State premier Ace Magashule has lost his latest court bid to have his suspension as ANC secretary-general lifted.

He had approached the Constitutional Court seeking to have his temporary ousting from Luthuli House reversed.

In a judgment handed down on Wednesday, the apex court said Magashule had no prospects of successfully appealing his suspension.

“The Constitutional Court has considered the application for condonation and the application for leave to appeal. It has concluded that, although there are no reasonable prospects of success on the merits of the application for leave to appeal, the delay in bringing the application for leave to appeal is minimal,” the court said.

Magashule first approached the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg to challenge his suspension, but the matter was dismissed with costs.

He subsequently approached the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which dismissed the application in January 2022, prompting him to take up his case with the Constitutional Court.

Magashule was suspended from the ANC in May 2021 because of the party’s step-aside rule.

The rule requires ANC members facing criminal charges to step aside while their court cases are under way.

Magashule is facing corruption charges linked to the Free State asbestos corruption scandal. – Staff Reporter

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Municipal manager facing tender fraud charges granted bail

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THE ACCUSED . . . Maluti-a-Phofung municipal manager Futhuli Patrick Mothamaha is out on bail

Maluti-a-Phofung municipal manager Futhuli Patrick Mothamaha, 49, was on Friday released on a bail of R500 000 by the Phuthaditjhaba Magistrates Court after he was arrested by The Hawks for fraud, corruption and Contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act.

The state alleges that he allegedly awarded a contract of R58 million to Kill Crime Security Company in 2020 without following proper procurement processes.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said Mothamaha allegedly signed a service level agreement on May 19, 2020, appointing the company to render security services to the municipality for a period of three months without following procurement processes.

“The municipality continued to pay Kill Crime Security Company for almost two years without a contract,” said Shuping.

He said Mothamaha was supposed to appear with his co-accused, father and daughter who are the owners of Kill Crime Security, Thabiso, 55, and Dimakatso Sekhosana, 29, on Monday after they were instructed by The Hawks to hand themselves over on Sunday, but he failed to do so.

The Sekhosanas appeared on Monday facing similar charges and were released on bail of R150 000 each.

Part of Mothamaha’s bail conditions are that he must not enter the offices of the municipality, not interfere with the investigations nor intimidate witnesses.

The case was postponed to September 30 for further investigations. – Staff Reporter

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