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
APRIL 30 – MAY 4 2010
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Premier Magashule leads FS delegation to China” (Page 3)
Premier Magashule leads FS delegation to China
Premier E.S Magashule this week led a high-powered delegation comprising Members of the Executive Council and local business people on a working visit to the People’s Republic of China.
Mr. Magashule will be accompanied by MECs Mxolisi Dukwana for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Fezi Ngumbentombi for Public Works and Rural Development, Mamiki Qabathe for Agriculture and Sisi Ntombela for Social Development.
The delegation is scheduled to visit various provinces in China: Gaung Dong, Jiangsu, Anhui, Shaanxi and Jiangxi from 28 April to 11 May 2010. The visit is a result of bilateral
relations that exist between the Free State Provincial Government and China.
The Free State government signed Letter of Intent on Friendly Exchanges and
Cooperation and a Joint Communiqué with Jiangsu Province between 1998 and
During his working visit, Premier Magashule and his delegation will pay courtesy
calls to the Governors of all the provinces of China which the Free State
Provincial Government has relations. Magashule will discuss the implementation plans with his Chinese counterparts where Arrangements for Cooperation have been signed. While in China, Magashule and his delegation will also attend the official opening of the 2010 World Cup Expo and South Africa Pavilion in Shangai.
Premier Magashule will also explore economic opportunities as part of the drive
to ensure foreign direct investment in the Free State. The Free State Province
and China have already developed strong economic ties with China. A Chinese
business consortium is currently developing a R45-million fish hatchery at Gariep
Dam. The project will create much needed jobs in the province. An additional
R15-million is to be given each year for three years.
The hatchery will also be used to advance research, providing a facility for
agricultural scientists, technicians and farmers to test new farming methodologies.
For more enquiries contact Wisani Ngobeni Cell: 072 594 9099 or Thabang Mokoka, Cell: 082 947 5171
POETRY CORNER (Page 6)
By Thamsanqa Job Mzamo
only one little finger left,
testimony to human cruelty!
our brother, nelson chisale,
turn'd to modern-day daniel:
he was fed to the lions.
but unlike daniel,
for him there was no miracle...
the ferocious man-eaters were hungry,
and one little finger left, bore testimony to that!
his modern-day darius, mark scott-crossley,
and his cohorts, tortured him first,
the history repeated itself:
our brother, nelson chisale,
was thrown into the lion's den;
but for him, no next-day checking
if he was still alive, no!...
but one little finger left,
bore testimony to white cruelty!
*T Job Mzamo is the author of the collection of poems, Pride of my Heart. He comments here: “This poem was written and rewritten painstakingly. Your enjoyment and comments on this poem will be highly appreciated. TJM”
APRIL 23 – APRIL 29 2010 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Hlasela Campaign in fine fettle in Botshabelo” By Piet Motaung (Page 6)
“Hlasela Campaign” in fine fettle in Botshabelo
By Piet Motaung
Operation “Hlasela Campaign” has got into its dynamic stride in Botshabelo, with Premier Ace Magashule tackling unemployment rate, poverty, poor service delivery, corruption and education at grassroots level.
On this august occasion, the Premier led the way on a door to door campaign around different sections of Botshabelo as well as Botshabelo hospital to examine and ascertain the situation on the ground.
At Botshabelo Arena, the Premier announced that the journey to change people’s lives in Botshabelo has already started. He added “My Department has done amazing work.” Also, the MEC for Sport Art Culture and Recreation Mr Dan Kgothule handed out soccer kits to the Coca Cola soccer teams ; and schools soccer team.
He also handed out impressive cricket kit to Seropi Intermediate School and announced that Botshabelo Arena will become an indoor sports centre. Msebenzi Zwane, MEC for Cooperative Government, Traditional Affairs and House Settlement said: “1000 houses will be built in Botshabelo and these houses will be different from those of usual RDP’s. They will be 15 metre square upwards together with a bathroom.” He added “Only registered construction companies of Botshabelo will build these houses”
“We are going to start using title for the deserving people and we are going to finish up the 392 unfinished RDP houses here in Botshabelo” said Zwane. He did not leave behind the major issues of the beleaguered VIP toilets. He stressed: “We are going to start renovating these toilets.”
Mr Manyoni was very angry with those taverns that open 24 hours daily; and also with taverns very close to schools. “They must be closed up,” he said. He added that some volunteers will be trained to become traffic cops while others will guard places like clinics and schools. N2 Roads will be renovated as “they are not in good condition”
MEC for Education Mr Tate Makgoe said amongst 2,500 school learners who were given bursaries in the whole of Free State, 155 of them were from Botshabelo. Mrs M.G Qabathe, MEC for Agriculture gave money for three projects in Botshabelo to develop their projects.
The Health Department Minister, Ms Sisi Mabe announced that new clinics will be built at B Section. “15 people who were volunteering at Botshabelo hospital from 2004; as I speak now we have employed them permanently!” Mabe said
Sisi Ntombela, MEC for Social Development, managed to issue ID Books to the elderly: beneficiaries like Ms Moitheri (85) as well as Tladi Francina (83). She further announced that they are going to hire 78 outreach teachers and they are going to be paid by the Free State government “We will also train 135 other such teachers” she said.
The Premier, Ace Magashule, added that they have given 199 children the child supporting grant and they have also assisted 131 disabled people – they were all given the disabled grants. “There will be a College of nurses at Thaba Nchu. All the volunteers will start training and they will earn while training” Magashule said.
He added that 200 youths from Botshabelo will be permanently employed.
PARALLAX SNAPS (Column) Page 9
With Hector Kunene
Faith vs reality
Indeed it is an honour for me to be given such a resounding, positive response as I continue embarking on our journey to prosperity! I thank you in advance with great humility as a reader of this column. Your contribution is enormous; please continue to be glued to column after column. This gives us strength after strength as a local newspaper to put more effort in delivering you an insightful and vibrant production.
Enough of my “charms”! Let us get to the bottom line. Before we even talk about faith and reality we need to understand exactly what we are talking about. Often times we find ourselves engaging in different issues or topics that keep our mindset focussed on the prize and yet we simply lack the pure understanding of the true meaning of what we are talking about. To make an illustration : you find people arguing about who is right and who is wrong whereas they should be fighting to understand where they are both coming from in terms of understanding the issue.
One can be “fighting” that poverty is caused by the lack of employment whereas the other could be “fighting” that poverty is caused by laziness. Yet both are right but the challenge is nobody wants to view it from another angle. One fights to prove that the glass of water is half full, and the other fights to prove that the glass is half empty yet both is true. This is a reality of life. We are bound to be different in our thinking and in our way of discerning things. We are social beings that come from different spheres of life and I find this very special because we can take an opportunity to learn from one another. Reality calls for what is currently happening and also counts on what has already taken place.
Let us now adopt faith and dissect it with the meaning we can choose to agree on. Faith is a substance of those things you are hoping to see taking place. This is where we differ again in views. For the fact that we differ does this mean we should not be in the same room? We are social opinionated beings and we need to allow our differences to appear but we do not need to be controlled by them. Faith allows us to reach our dreams even the ones that seem impossible. Faith gives us a journey of mental pleasure and we freely think of anything that we hope to see happening in our lives. Nothing can stop this movement of thinking and creating a certain picture of imagination. This is the power of the mind. It is designed without limitation. If you can see then you can do it if you believe it. Long before I started with this awesome column called Parallax Snaps I had faith that one day I will be writing for Free State News. My faith was transferred to action and today wallah I am a columnist.
Now it is up to you to determine your own life by starting it in seeing it in your mind utilising faith. Faith has now been converted to reality. Faith without action is dead. If I did not put action to my faith I would still be dreaming but now I am living my dream. It may take a few hiccups definitely and this is where you need to remain focussed all the time. Focus on the prize; put more energy on what benefits you. Have room for critics but do not let them define your destiny. You are meant and predestined for greatness. It is all up to you to make the first move. Our biggest mistake is we tend to focus more on the question “what will people say?” instead of saying let them have their opinions but I will do what I need to do at the expense of my needs. The question I leave you with is: whose life are you living? Then why please someone else if you live for yourself?
Till next time folks!!!
APRIL 16 – APRIL 22 2010 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Indignation mounts over brutal killing” By S Botsime (Front page)
Indignation mounts over brutal killing
By S Botsime
On Monday (April 19) the Bloemfontein Magistrate court will come alive with a hive of protesters, as indignation against an alleged racist killing escalates.
“The protest will be against the mysterious bail grant of Marius van Niekerk who has been charged with the murder of a black gentleman, Sdeku Wotshela. Sdeku who was viciously attacked by a group of white men at the Bloemfontein pub last year,” a spokesperson of the family told Free State News.
Free State News learnt that the deceased, who was training as a manager for Metcash at the Trade Centre in Bloemfontein, was on a business outing with colleagues and a client when he was allegedly attacked by a group of white men. “Sadly he passed on, dying on the spot; but shockingly the main attacker Van Niekerk was released within 24 hours of his arrest on bail hearing.” the family spokesperson added.
A number of Mangaung artists are expected to be among those protesting against this development. Among them will be the well known poet, Raselebeli “Magic” Khotseng, who said that twenty years into the new dispensation, such incidents should not happen again. “I was also a victim of racism during apartheid,” he recalled to Free State News. “I was thrown into jail and tortured. But those days are supposed to be in the past”
The Senior State Prosecutor at the Bloemfontein Magistrate Court, South African Police Service (Park road police Station) and lawyers of the accused facilitated the controversial bail. There will be a list of demands that will be handed over to the representative of the SAPS and National Prosecuting Authority at the Magistrate Court
Free State News confirmed that police permission has been granted for this gathering wherefore friends and members of the Wotshela family will protest in this wise. Over 100 participants are expected to ventilate their dissatisfaction on Monday. “There will be no routes taken but (they) will gather at the Court house…people will use their own transport to the gathering and will disperse after handing over”
With Kgang Abel Motheane
Poetry is a boon
Today I would like to talk about the importance of poetry is that something that arouses one’s emotions and expectation, the poem itself brings home many things in everybody’s life.
Poetry is a real life literature element; for the students it is a must that they learn and be tough in the poetry writing. In Mangaung many fine poets have emerged. They include the likes of Flaxman Qoopane, Job Mzamo, Lebohang Thaisi, Pule Lechesa, Charmaine Mrwebi, Tanki Phafoli, Teboho Mohanoe, Seleke Botsime, Jah Rose, Hector Kunene, - and yours truly!
Memorable books some of these poets have churned out include A Voice from Mangaung, (by Thaisi), Pride of My Heart (by Mzamo), The legacy we leave behind (by Lechesa) Enter the Night (by Mohanoe) among others.
The genre of poetry also attracts literary criticism. Literary appreciation evaluation are part of the Province “criticism” There is no point in a plethora of works being churned out without a complementary body of criticism to go with it. The exploits of our poets have been dwelled on over the years, in publications like The growth of FS Black Writing series (2002 – 2009) and perspectives on Free State Black Writing
We are supposed to teach the children at school – we must not discourage them we may learn them to be future writers. We in the province have great talent among the youth
APRIL 9 – APRIL 15 2010 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Singing in the rain!” By S Botsime (Page 5)
SINGING IN THE RAIN
By S Botsime
The show started on a very positive note with the Mangaung choral rendering items that kept people on their feet. The show boasted artists like Keke, Tshepiso, Hlengiwe Mhlaba and Teboho and friends.
Hlengiwe (Sdudla se Thekwini) gave her utmost and it was fascinating to witness some of the people who attended the function repent at the show and become born again. One could feel the Holy Spirit all over the place and in the Rose Garden. The humble Pacofs CEO Mr. Manyoni was also seen mingling with the crowd.
Then the stage was taken by Teboho who serenaded the audience. The brother can sing, dammit! One can be surprised that his album did not win any award at all and if one is into gospel and lives in Free State it is definitely a shame not to have his album. The rain was pouring and it was indeed “Pula tsa Mahlohonolo”. Gospel lovers were singing along and to my surprise they hardly felt the rain at all. The show was stopped due to rain and unfortunately Keke and Tshepiso did not perform.
Some people were seen singing and dancing in the rain hoping to see the Prophet Keke Phoofolo and Tshepiso. One must commend Pacofs for a job well done although the weather was not on our side!
PARALLAX SNAPS (New column) Page 5
With Hector Kunene
World Cup fever in Bloemfontein!
I greet you with this new column, with the promise of many to come! I’m Hector Kunene “the enterprising poet”. Please sit back and enjoy this empowering opinion which will keep you posted on many things that life can offer.
Apparently the world is anticipating the first ever World Cup finals to be staged on our African soil – here in South Africa! Many excelling countries have emerged and raised the standard so high that every fourth year the expectations are sky high!
I am sure you have seen a variety of interviews in your newspapers, TV, Magazines, radios, sport forums and many more of the media related medium of information. The question is: have you asked yourself if we are really ready for this outstanding event of the world? Locally I was looking at the facilities that will be used on June for the World Cup and to my opinion the work is not done yet but it looks like we will be able to beat the dead line.
As much as the buildings can be erected and the stadiums can accommodate the suitable numbers of fans, I have had to challenge myself in introspection concerning my personal readiness and I am glad to be ready. Bloemfontein is undoubtedly the best leading supporters with its teeming Siwelele fans! First ever in Africa and I believe that we are good contenders for the record of the world supporters and as soon as I am done researching this one I shall come back to you with the facts.
The Siwelele fans are going to take the world by storm. This is indeed a Province that is full of passion for the football and our kids have a will that they will pass it on to the next coming generation just like we have received it. Indeed this world has not seen nothing yet! I have had to look at the price of the supporter jersey and yes I must admit the jersey is a bit too heavy to afford especially if you have no source of income available. The shopping of the jersey from the street escalated since the inception of the New Jersey and if you walk into Plaza mall at the fruit and veg. sellers you will notice that the jersey is hanging there at a different price than the original jersey at sport shopping zones!
Whether the jersey is affordable or not is not a matter of concern compared to our readiness as a nation for our boys to do excellent. The facts about our rating are not pleasing as we go to the matches as underdogs but that will not stop us from raising our flags high with pride as Africans. The advantage of home ground will be a huge booster and we will go to every game with our heads held high.
Well, till next week folks!
APRIL 2 – APRIL 8 2010 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Botshabelo heroes lauded” By Piet Motaung (Front page)
Botshabelo heroes lauded
By Piet Motaung
The Premier of the Free State, Ace Magashule, has stated that the history of Botshabelo was not formally written down, even though Botshabelo is one of the biggest townships in South Africa.
“Heroes like the late Kaizer Sebothelo was a resident of Botshabelo – that is one of the reasons we are bringing the legislature to Botshabelo for this budget occasion” he said.
The Premier was speaking during the Budget vote at the Botshabelo Arena. Other dignitaries included Hon Seisa Mohai MEC for Finance, State members of the Provincial Executive Council, members of the Free State Legislature who graced the Botshabelo Community at Botshabela Arena, among others.
“In this financial year, Botshabelo is one of the places that would be paid attention to. This is in line with towns’ development under Operation Hlasela” the Premier said, amidst applause. Hon Mohai also added that the budget vote statement was dedicated to the memory of fallen anti-apartheid activists of Botshabelo.
He went on to point out that the Free State government helped 247 students with bursaries/funds, and that they have now completed their studies and are set for gainful employment in Departments; some via internships; and also at the Premier’s Department.
At a media briefing the Premier also announced that all employees of the Community Radio Station and of certain newspapers will be given a stipend by the Free State government. “You people work very hard and get little. You should be remunerated too,” He also said the government will create more jobs, strive to reduce crime and tackle poverty head on.
Honourable Seisa Mohai, MEC for Finance together with the Honourable Premier unfurled a Budget Vote statement. Mr. Mohai said that there are things that need to put in place so as to enhance the strategic role of Treasury - like development of people, own resources revenue, support to provincial departments, support to municipalities, and improved infrastructure.
“Furthermore, we shall review the performance of the departments quarterly. This includes our intended intake of 20 interns and 10 learnership programmes from FET Colleges, needing pragmatic learning to complete their studies. We shall pay particular attention to improving employment equity figures of the department, especially with regard to people with disability”