This web page(s) regularly focuses on the leading Free State (South Africa) newspaper – Free State News – the first regular newspaper to be orchestrated fully by black people in the Free State province (the paper celebrated its 10th year anniversary last year). The paper has been published on a weekly basis since 1999. Regular items like “Feature of the week” have appeared here over the years.
Free State News crew
Maki Mohapi aka “Madam Maki” “H.C”
051 447 1655
FEBRUARY 26 – MARCH 4 2010
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Pristine roads in the offing” By David Mofokeng(Front page)
Pristine roads in the offing!
By David Mofokeng
The recent splendid revamping of roads in Mangaung provided the backdrop to a press conference orchestrated by the Department of Police, Roads, and Transport on Tuesday this week. Venue was the Perm Building, Maitland Street. Issues discussed included the state of the roads in the Free State and Bid or Tendering Processing.
The public roads are on course due to the forthcoming World Cup that will take place in this country. “There are contractors who will not only close potholes but will also make repairs and improvements” DDG of Police, Roads and Transport Mr George Makaukau said. A tender advertised and closed on the 22 January 2010 engendered a huge and successful turnover of the proposals despite speculations by members of the public, political parties and business community.
It is anticipated that the work will commence on or before the 01 March 2010 and although the mammoth work will not be completed in the 108 days left before the World Cup but a relief will be obtained in the medium to long term that will be done up to four years depending on the size of the scale and the scope of the roads.
It was also stressed that there was a back log in terms of immediate attendance of closing of potholes in the short term due to the short supply of materials. It has now been corrected, with materials being delivered; and the district engineers and the staff have embarked on a programme of closing of the pot holes across borders. “Due to the scope of work and capacity challenges we have also a programme contract development program which have appointed small contractors started Xhariep District, Motheo, Thabo Mofutsanyana, Fezile Dabi and Lejweleputswa.”
There is a total of 260 contractors from 79 of last year with a total of anticipated 36 of short term, appointments of 10 500 including 260 job creations for last year. It was also emphasized that the contractors will not only close potholes but will also be trained in various scales on the road to assist in the process.
With Kgang Abel Motheane
Book: The growth of Free State Black writing
Author: Bareng Morogosi
First published: 2002
In literature, criticism and comments are not only important they are part of the whole thing. They ensure that the final product - the books, are more appealing to the public, and hopefully more qualitative.
It thus gives me a lot of satisfaction that in the Free State here a large body of criticism and comments already exist for black literature in tertiary institutions like universities.
We can feed our minds on these criticisms. To my knowledge, the very first of this series of books is The growth of Free State Black Writing. (first published in early 2002). It contains four main chapters:
• Qoopane’s Adventures in Journalism
• Lebuso’s Africanism and Women
• Characterization in Bolaji’s fiction
• The poetry of Lebohang Thaisi
Through these essays, we are introduced to the works of four key black writers based in the Free State. Is Lebuso fair to women in his book, African Renaissance anti-clockwise? How does Qoopane treat journalism in his own book? How does Bolaji create characters in his panorama of fiction, and how successful is this icon? And the general simplicity of Mr Thaisi’s early poetry is commended too.
FEBRUARY 19 – FEBRUARY 25 2010
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Horror in Bultfontein” By Selematsela Katleho (Page 2)
HORROR IN BULTFONTEIN
By Selematsela Katleho
The internecine battles in schools in Bultfontein are now worrying the powers that be, with increasing attention being paid to the goings-on among recalcitrant educators.
This week (on Tuesday, February 16) there was chaos in Rephulusitswe High School that almost ended in tragedy. Blood flowed as groups of gangsters apparently caused havoc.
A witness told Free State News: “It was frightening. We (the learners) had to run and scatter in different directions as the gangsters almost held us to ransom. It started in the townships where the tension began to simmer…and boiled over in school,”
A group, called “Born to kill” orchestrated some attacks which led to a Grade 9 student being stabbed on the head with a scissors. Authorities at the school confirmed the incident with an eye-witness adding: “It was horrible. This thing of using dangerous weapons by miscreants is causing unease for all”
He added: “it could have been even worse. The pupil was stabbed but he could have been killed. The younger students are in a state of panic. It is not right for schools to become something like war zones. Now we hear that even the national media including television, is focusing on the goings on here,”
Free State News also learnt that authorities at the school are calling on distinguished citizens from the area to wade in. “For example we have invited pastor Thabo Mafike who has always done Bultfontein proud to come and counsel the trouble makers in particular. We are happy he has responded positively,”
DEAR DIARY (Column by Mpumelelo Mtjekelo)
I don’t know what a good friendship is. May I say I don’t even know what friendship is. I once or twice had a good friend, while then she still cares about me and loves me. But I wanted more; I wanted a certain type of a friend; maybe I wanted to “fit-in”.
It was just not me; I was never the kind of a person who will be with certain people because of their style and not because of our similarities. I did anyway, lost a good friend and went to a bunch of “the girls” who are noticed, adored and somehow respected. I don’t know what I was thinking but it felt great just walking with them let along being with them.
The difference is that these kinds of friends don’t look out for each other. You get burned and all they can tell you is; we did not send you there, what in the world were you thinking. Do not expect a helping hand from them. They only adore and stick by you in good times, do not expect to see them in bad times. There are really those kinds of people and it hurts seeing someone that you once thought that they care for, not caring for you at all at that time.
Looking at us you’d think we are good friends, always together etc but if you were to be with us for just more than an hour you’d realize that what we had can never be compared to friendship. I went back to my old friend and she accepted with open hands. I somehow found peace in it but a part of me still wanted to go to my old friendship which looks good but is never really good.
There is this wild friendship and there is this calm friendship, and I had to choose.
I choose to be alone and let God be my friend for once. With Him I realized who are my real friends, those that love and care for me. I also learned to know that I am my own best friend meaning I should also love and care for myself.
Who is your best friend?
FEBRUARY 12 – FEBRUARY 18 2010
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “20 years of New dispensation” By R. Khotseng (Front page)
20 YEARS OF NEW DISPENSATION
…world celebrates Madiba’s epochal release from incarceration
By R Khotseng
It is now more or less exactly 20 years ago that South Africa’s first black President, Nelson Mandela walked out of jail to the delectation and excitement of the world. The release was a catalyst to major changes in the country including true democracy. Free State News talked to some people in the Free State this week who mused on the significance of the release and developments so far…
Lebohang Masisi was enthused about the anniversary: “It’s incredible really” he said. “Madiba’s release from prison till date coincides with fantastic developments in modernity which even we blacks are now enjoying. I mean things like easier access to cell phones, Colour TVs with live sports; movies; internet etc. I must stress that in sports we’ve landed the best of all – hosting the 2010 World Cup this year. But it’s more than this. After Mandela’s release we were able to join the big exciting world of international football – play at Africa Cup of Nations Finals; host it and win it; play at World Cup finals. Many of our people like to complain a lot but generally we should be very grateful considering the hell of apartheid our parents, grandparents had to endure. Things have been great”
Mariam from Malay Camp says: “From that time, things have changed for the better. In schools, hotels and flights we (blacks) are no longer unequal. In work places, equality is evident and it is even enshrined in the constitution of our country. Through affirmative action the imbalance of power in work places is the thing of the past. Lastly we are able to live in a previously white only environment and share the same households”
Peter from Ipopeng said: “We expected a real democracy where all people deserve the fruits of such democracy. But it seems as if all opportunities are only reserved for individuals whose families and boyfriends are employed at high positions. We all fought for freedom in our own ways – whether ANC, PAC, Black Consciousness…”
Mampe chipped in: “At least things have changed a lot since then. Human rights that were denied the majority of black people are now applied to all – this includes infrastructure in our previous dusty streets. However we have to fight problems like nepotism and corruption,”
Teboho from Thaba Nchu said: “Ag! We are physically free, but for many of us emotionally and economically we are still rather poor. Yes more blacks have acquired more opportunities and privileges; but a lot still has to be done for the majority,”
FEBRUARY 5 – FEBRUARY 11 2010
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “A Milestone in the history of South Africa!” By R. Khotseng (page 2)
A Milestone in the history of South Africa!
By R. Khotseng
2nd February 1990. A date carved in stone in South African epochal history. This date, early this week marked the 20th anniversary of the un-banning of the Liberation Movement and the release of political prisoners across the country.
At that time, 20 years ago, the then President of South Africa, Mr F.W De Klerk made an unexpected and amazing announcement inside the white-only apartheid parliament. He un-banned the liberation Movements/Forces that were in operation from exile.
Such Movements included the powerful African National Congress (ANC), the Pan African Congress (PAC) and BCMA. Some have contended over the decades that the then government had little choice as large parts of the country were being made ungovernable; and there were so many sanctions against the country. De Klerk himself has stated that it was the conscionable thing to do.
This announcement was made on February 2 at the time; afterwards the nation saw the release of political stalwarts such as Govan Mbeki; Zephania Mothopeng, Walter Sisulu and the rest. Few months ahead of that, numbers of liberation forces from Umkhonto we Sizwe, APLA and AZANLA landed in their “promised land”.
The strategic release of Nelson Mandela proved the seriousness of the announcement that raised more excitement and hopes of the oppressed and exploited black masses. Mandela’s release was followed by a series of dialogues such as “Talk about talks”, “Tuinhuis Bosberaad”, CODESA and Multi-party negotiations. All of these talks culminated in the 1994 Democratic Election where Mandela became the first black President of the country.
However two decades on now, people have different opinions about the great announcement of two decades ago. Whilst some have benefited greatly from the new dispensation, many others’ hope and expectations have been dashed with poverty and joblessness still rife.
Yet it is still memorable and magnetic that this anniversary coincides with South Africa hosting the mammoth World Cup finals later in the year.
Dear Diary Column (With Mpumelelo Mtjekelo)
TRYING TO IMPRESS
We do so much for certain people, we give so many to many people but the sad part is that we forget about ourselves; after all we are trying to impress. We want a part that belongs to them, at the same time we want to be part of it, otherwise known as “to-fit-in”.
We want to belong to a certain group or somebody, go places, eat in a certain way, movement, dress etc just to impress. We don’t stop contributing. One would spend time, money, moments, destroy important things just to fit in. Give and give and never get- it is a long road. Other times we want to win back something we lost (friendship, love, trust, closer etc). Something we once had, something we may never have again.
Let’s admit it, it didn’t last only because it was never going to last, it didn’t happen only because it was never going to happen. LET IT GO! It is not worth the sacrifice. A wise teacher once said to a group of learners if you have a bat. Don’t lock it in a cage, don’t lock it in the house, let it go, let it fly, let- it- go “she said” and if it comes back, it is really yours but if doesn’t come back... It was never yours.
Don’t try to have what is not yours, we normally go far to get the sweetest things in life but never realize that the sweeter it gets, the bitter it will be. The most precious things in life are just beneath our legs, you don’t have to go far just go deep and you will find them or maybe they will find you.
Never try to impress someone because they may just never be impressed.