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CUT urges Free Staters to embrace technology

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EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY . . . Briefing the media at launch the second Free State 4IR Summit, Dr Mafole Mokalobe, Professor Alfred Ngowi and Palesa Chubisi

Central University of Technology (CUT)’s acting vice-chancellor and principal, Professor Alfred Ngowi, has encouraged Free Sate residents to welcome change and embrace technology as it is gradually becoming a way of life.

He said this during a media briefing held in conjunction with the Free State Provincial Government to launch the second Free State 4IR Summit set for this week.

“People should not be afraid of change but rather equip themselves with the 4IR skill set that will keep them relevant in their workspace,” said Ngowi.

The summit will take place at the Boet Troskie Hall at the CUT’s Bloemfontein campus from July 21-22.

“The world is moving towards an era of artificial intelligence and the public sector, institutions of higher learning and corporate giants are coming together and collaborating to stay relevant with the times,” he explained.

The theme for this year is “Accelerating Economic Growth and Development of the Free State Province Through Innovative 4IR Technologies for Eradicating Poverty and Unemployment”.

The first summit was held in 2019 but it was not possible to hold a follow-up event the following year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ngowi said this year’s summit serves as a continuation of the first one in terms of the broader objectives of consolidating the participation of youth and forging new networks with critical role players in the province.

“The benefits of these partnerships will improve the costs and accessibility of new technologies that are being conceived,” he said.

“We are seeing how these technologies are also creating opportunities that will stimulate the economic growth of the province.”

The acting director general of the Free State Provincial Government, Dr Mafole Mokalobe, expressed satisfaction with the measures taken by both the government and CUT to make technology a part of society’s daily life.

He further urged the organisers of the tech summit to reach far-flung areas and introduce technology to people who do not have access to it.

Mokalobe said the provincial government found the advantages accruing from being part of the summit extremely important.

“That’s why we felt quite strongly that we needed to partner the Central University of Technology . . . and other partners who are part this process as we go along,” he said.  – Staff Reporter

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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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