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Maya appointed deputy chief justice

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MAKING HISTORY AGAIN . . . Justice Mandisa Muriel Lindelwa Maya

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Supreme Court of Appeal Judge President Justice Mandisa Muriel Lindelwa Maya as the deputy chief justice of of South Africa.

A statement issued by the presidency on Monday said Maya will assume her new role from September 1, 2022.

“Justice Maya will contribute to the ongoing transformation process of the judiciary,” said Ramaphosa in the statement.

“Her ascendency to the apex court will serve as a beacon of hope for scores of young women and make them believe that South Africa is a country of possibilities regardless of gender, social or economic circumstances,” he added.

According to the statement, Maya brings more than two decades of a distinguished career as a judicial officer.

She is the first woman to hold the positions of deputy president and president of the Supreme Court of Appeal. – Staff Reporter

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Jessie Duarte laid to rest after succumbing to cancer

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SUCCUMBED TO CANCER . . . ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte

ANC deputy secretary general and former ambassador Jessie Duarte was laid to rest on Sunday afternoon.

She succumbed to cancer on Sunday morning and, as per Muslim rites, she was buried after a funeral service at Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg.

In his message of condolence, President Cyril Ramaphosa described Duarte as a selfless leader whose love and passion for assisting the poor were immeasurable.

“Jessie Duarte’s sense of justice was keen. Her sympathies for the poor, the vulnerable, the destitute, and the marginalised ran deep.

“She had empathy and could walk in other people’s shoes and see through their eyes. It is this that enabled her to see the suffering of our people and empathise with them.

“She took up their cause and stood firm on her principles, even when her stance attracted criticism or personal attack. She was a champion of the oppressed everywhere,” said Ramaphosa.

The president said ANC officials had planned to visit Duarte on Sunday afternoon, but were instead met by the news of her death.

He stressed the pivotal role played by her in her pursuit of equality.

“As the secretary of the Federation of Transvaal Women, she was part of building and leading a powerful women’s movement that directly challenged the oppression of black women and shook the foundations of the apartheid state.

“She mobilised women across the country to resist the restrictions imposed upon them by a racist and sexist political system and a patriarchal society.”

Ramaphosa declared a special official funeral for Duarte.

She was granted the special funeral as a result of having been South Africa’s ambassador to Mozambique from 1999 to 2003.

The 69-year-old Duarte was undergoing cancer treatment and had been on medical leave since November last year. – News24

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Eskom puzzled by municipalities taking it to court

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JUST PAY UP . . . Eskom Central East Cluster general manager Agnes Mlambo wants municipalities to settle their accounts on time and avoid unnecessary court battles

National power utility Eskom says it does not understand why some municipalities failing to settle their accounts on time choose to rush to the courts instead of simply paying what’s due.

Eskom’s Central East Cluster general manager Agnes Mlambo said this after Letsemeng Local Municipality in the Free State and Matlosana Local Municipality in the North-West were forced in two separate court rulings this week to settle the arrears for their bulk electricity supplies and always pay on time as they are legally obliged to do.

Mlambo, who is responsible for the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal region, says she finds it incredible that some municipalities are willing to spend millions on legal costs instead of using the funds to pay for electricity services delivered by Eskom.

“This proves the unwillingness of these municipalities to do the right thing, which is to fulfil their legal duties by paying Eskom for electricity supplied,” Mlambo is quoted as saying in a statement.

“These municipalities collect revenue from electricity sales at a mark-up from their customers, but do not pass the revenue on to Eskom.

“In the meantime, Eskom must cover the costs of diesel, coal, salaries and other expenses to keep supplying electricity to these non-paying municipalities.”

Eskom provincial spokesperson Stefanie Jansen van Rensburg said the judgments conclude lengthy legal battles that started in 2020 when the power utility served the municipalities with notices to interrupt electricity services due to non-payment of their electricity accounts.

“Both judgments are unambiguous on the obligation of the municipalities to service their Eskom current accounts and pay arrear debt,” said Van Rensburg.

She said since the start of the legal proceedings, the two municipalities have been taking payment holidays but they now have to pay.

In January 2020, Letsemeng’s arrear debt totalled R41.1-million.

Now, two and a half years later, the municipality’s overdue debt has risen to R119.7-million and it is faced with paying the legal costs of both parties.

And similar to Letsemeng, Matlosana’s arear debt stood at R422.4-million in January 2020 and has now reached a staggering R1.054-billion.

Eskom Northern Cape and North- West Cluster general manager Marion Hughes said payment for services is imperative for institutions to be sustainable.

“We should not have to use extraordinary measures, like the courts, in order to receive payment for services rendered,” said Hughes.

“For Eskom to survive another 99 years and more, a high sense of responsibility and commitment is needed by all.” – Staff Reporter

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Bogus hitch-hikers nabbed after hijacking truck

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STOLEN BUT RECOVERED . . . This truck was allegedly hijacked at gun point

Two men have been arrested after they allegedly hijacked a truck driver who gave them a lift while travelling from George.

Lejweleputswa district police spokesperson Captain Stephen Thakeng said in a statement the 52-year-old truck driver from George was refilling his Volvo truck with diesel on Tuesday at about 18:00 when a person who introduced himself as Denver Jacobs asked for a lift together with “his assistant”.

Thakeng said they travelled together until they approached Jakkalsdrift, near Winburg, when Jacobs wanted to relieve himself.

“He alighted the truck and when he came back, he apparently pointed the truck driver with a handgun,” said Thakeng.

“He was tied on the neck and instructed to jump off from the truck. The two suspects drove off . . . with a load full of wheat,” he added.

The truck driver managed to untie himself and got a lift from an ambulance heading to Ventersburg where he reported the incident.

A case of truck hijacking was registered and the Welkom K9 Unit was activated together with other police stations nearby.

The two suspects aged 25 and 27 years old, from the Western Cape and Phomolong in Hennenman, were arrested two hours later for possession of a suspected stolen truck with a load of wheat.

A Retay gas pistol was found in their possession.

The two suspects – whose case is being investigated by the Welkom Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit – are facing charges of truck hijacking and possession of a suspected stolen truck and goods.

They are expected to appear in the Winburg Magistrates Court soon.

Meanwhile, a security officer was robbed of two firearms, several valuables and identity documents while on duty in Welkom on Tuesday night.

Thakeng said in a separate statement the 23-year-old security officer was attacked at the corner of Tempest and Alma roads in Dagbreek in the mining town.

He said the guard was approached by two unknown men who pointed him with firearms.

“The other one grabbed his Mosberg shotgun from behind and took his personal firearm – 9mm CZ PO7 number K916146 with seven live ammunitions, iPhone, Tablet, iPad Mini 4, identity document, driver’s licence, Capitec and Nedbank cards and firearm licence,” Thakeng said.

He added: “They pulled him into an open field where there were seven to eight other additional suspects. These suspects went to Welkom Electrical site and left him with two suspects. The victim could hear shots being fired and all suspects fled on foot including the two who were guarding him.”

The guard managed to scream for help and he was rescued by other security personnel and the police.

Police are now investigating a case of armed robbery and are appealing to anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the alleged robbers.

Welkom SAPS Detectives can be contacted on 0828488120 or Police Emergency number: 08600 10111. — Staff Reporter

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