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 has been published on a weekly basis since 1999. Regular items like “Feature of the week” have appeared here over the years.
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FEBRUARY 25 – MARCH 3 2011 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “IEC holds forth on imminent elections” By Seleke Botsime. Front page
IEC HOLDS FORTH ON IMMINENT ELECTIONS!
By Seleke Botsime
The IEC had an illuminating workshop/summit at President Hotel on Wednesday this week. The workshop was meant to foster and encourage political tolerance ahead of the local government elections.
The stakeholders who attended the function included the political parties ANC, APC, DA DPSA, PAC, COPE; and others, including the traditional leaders.
IEC Provincial Chief Electoral Officer, Chris Mepha was pleased to declare that order and serenity essentially prevail in the Free State. He said: “It is no secret that the Free State elections are always peaceful. We are happy to have our other IEC colleagues here”
Eastern Cape’s Provincial chief electoral officer, Revd Bongani Finka adumbrated on what makes an election free and fair. “Free meaning free of speech, political tolerance and it is the work of the IEC to intervene in this coming election. There is no universally recognised standard by which the quality of election is judged and measured. It’s been said that the election of South Africa has been respected around the world but we at IEC must not rest on our laurels,”
Interestingly, the political parties were given seven minutes each to do their presentation on the issue of how to achieve free and fair election.
African National Congress was the first party to be given the podium and the speaker was Sbongile Besani (the provincial secretary) who said that there is a need for transparency. “We need to remember that the elections start when the campaign begins. He said that it is important that we should encourage people to vote irrespective of their doubts or problems that they are encountering.”
The second party to take the podium was a member of ACDP who posed the concern that IEC must make it a point that they must be punctual either on opening and closing of the polling station. Also, posters that are destroyed during the election must come to a stop since it costs a party a lot of money to put up the posters.
APC’s Paseka Mosoadiba (Provincial Chairperson) said that it is only through hard work and collective responsibility that a free and fair election can be enhanced. Thereafter, it was COPE’s Mr Kganare who said that votes should be of equal value and IEC must give clarity to the voters.
The DA’s Jankelshon said that the party concentrated on small issues like thorough training of the IEC staff in order to exercise their duties smoothly; and the shortage of ballot papers. He said that it is a collective duty to respect political parties; and Hlasela must not be treated as a political party since there is a lot of money that is being invested into it.
Thereafter it was Dikwankwetla, of the UCDP who said that the parties must not abuse their political status through broadcasting on community radio stations. It was also stressed that the visibility of the police will be seen at the polling station. Traffic will be regulated as there will be intelligence to do screening of voters.
HILLSIDE VIEW CHILDREN’S LIBRARY
By Flaxman Qoopane
Reading in the townships should be encouraged to promote literacy.
Oscar Pitso, a story teller, stressed this whilst addressing teenagers at the Hillside View Children’s Library in Mangaung last Saturday. He said: “The Hillside View Children’s Library aims to develop a culture of reading among the children and the adults of Hillside View. If we read books, magazines, newspapers and comics, we get knowledge and we become educated. Reading in the townships should be encouraged to promote literacy”.
The library was born after the University of the Free State (UFS) Library Service donated 1000 books to the library in April 2010. The library is in a huge shack donated by a businessman from Gauteng, through the help of Jacomien Schimper, Director of the Provincial libraries under the Free State Department of Sport, Arts Culture and Recreation.
The furniture including twelve chairs, two tables and two shelves were donated by Marthalize Van der Westhuizen from Astellas Pharma PTY LTD. The Exclusive Books and Die Volksblad newspaper made a great contribution to the library. Part of the library’s success can be attributed to the partnership it received from the University of the Free State, Exclusive Books, Die Volksblad, Marthalize van der Westhuizen and the Department of Sports, Arts Culture and Recreation.
“We appreciate this support from our funders. “We are planning to launch the library soon,” said the children who are members of the library
FEBRUARY 18 – FEBRUARY 24 2011 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Correctional Services’ Excellence Awards” By Flaxman Qoopane. Page 2
CORRECTIONAL SERVICES’ EXCELLENCE AWARDS
By FLAXMAN QOOPANE
The Department of Correctional Services in the Free State and Northern Cape region held the third Regional Excellence Awards in Bloemfontein last Friday.
Pastor Mohau Rammile from the Global Reconciliation Church in Bloemfontein said; “People should not miss their season, famine is a place of dryness, a seed has a relationship with the ground, people should not walk away from their hostile environment. God says to us we don’t have to move away from the place of problems, remember seasons come and go.”
Councillor Eddie Goliath, from Motheo District Municipality welcome the guests and dignitaries to the award ceremony, he said; “To those officials who are awarded awards, it is a proof of your hard loyal work and dedications, and also your effort to strive to achieve the best. And those that won’t receive awards, remember there will always be a next opportunity to excel and achieve your goal.”
Grace Molatedi- Acting Regional Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Service in the Free State and Northern Cape said; “We are honoured to be having this wonderful occasion, those officials who have been nominated for the awards, we recognise your hard work and your successes because of your sacrifice and dedication to the Department of Correctional Service and the country as a whole. Some of our officials paid the highest price to our department. They even sacrificed their lives. We honour them for their sacrifice; we thank the families of these officials who will be given the awards for their support during their work period. We need to improve our fight against corruption and fraud in our region”.
During the occasion, Marlene Droskie, Division Head Supply Chain Management, from the Fauriesmith Correctional Centre and her team Noleen Eksteen (finance), Esther Kale (supply chain clerk) and Regan Mokgwera (staff support) were the winners of the Minister’s Award. “On behalf of my team, I am very glad to receive the award as an appreciation for our hard work” said Marlene.
The team of eight officials led by Johan Massyn Deputy Director; Head Inspectorate Correctional Services in the Free State and Northern Cape (Bloemfontein Regional Office) won two awards, the National Commissioner’s Award and the Deputy- Minister’s Award. “It is a privilege to win these two awards, we worked hard as an inspectorate team and deserve this token of appreciation, we really tried to make a difference and I think today is the proof that we were successful in our task”, said Massyn, who was also awarded the Batho Pele Award.
The Good Governance Award was won by Vaughan Owen Feder, Regional Policy Coordinator at the Regional Commissioner’s office in Bloemfontein; “He said; this is the second time I have won this award on the regional level. On 16 April 2010 I won the National Correctional Excellence Award in the same category. I feel very blessed to be nominated to represent our region in Durban on 4 March 2011. By the grace of our Heavenly Father, I am what I am. I would like to proceed to be an Ideal Correctional Officer and the Ambassador to Excellence”.
The Best Performance Compliance Manager Award went to Phillip Rudolf Ferreira from Upington Area Commissioner’s office, Manager Security and Facilities. Gert Van Huyssteen, Section Head; Supply Chain Management Springbok/ Namaqualand in the Northern Cape was awarded the Best Performance Supply Chain Manager on Management Area level Award.
Helena Johanna Fourie, a Correctional Officer in charge for Skills Development and Handcraft with the inmates, at the Goedemoede Correctional Centre in Aliwal North was awarded the Masibambisane Award. “I am dedicating this award to the inmate at our centre and the community of Aliwal North. I am excited about this achievement”, said Fourie.
Lebogang Morakile an Opera singer of note and also an officer from Grootvlei Correctional Centre Medium B in Bloemfontein entertained the audience with four classical songs including O’Sole Mio, Non Piuandrai, Piei Isu and Friends for Life. The corporate gifts were awarded to Pastor Rammile and Councillor Goliath. Johan Massyn, Vaughan O. Feder, Helena J, Fourie, and Marlene Droskie will represent the Region at the National Excellence Awards in Durban, KwaZulu Natal on the 4th of March 2011.
Safety Month launched amidst fanfare!
By Seleke Botsime
The Department of Police, Road and Transport pulled out all the stops at its function at Memel – as Safety Month was launched with fanfare!
The Executive Mayor of Phumelela, Mayor T.J Motaung was there in full force. The function was opened by a prayer by Pastor Matlala who acknowledged the presence of everyone at the function including all the councillors, stock farmers and leaders of the community. “It is vital that the community helps the police in order to track down those who are taking the law into their own hands,” he emphasised
General Motsoenyane said that it is the responsibility of civic society at large to help to remove those who think they are above the law from the society. She emphasised that there must be a street committee in order to maintain order. Meanwhile, the representative of the Farmers, Mr Loui Steenkamp said: “We have to stand and say enough is enough to crime. There are an alarming number of stock thefts and when an individual exposes those who are doing crime, they might disappear!”
There were traditional dancers who entertained everyone at the function. As part of her speech, Motsoenyana said that the theme of this year is “Crime is our concern”. She added that in Memel the crimes that are most committed are rape and assault including stock theft. “We have to deal with the root core of that problem, not the symptoms if we are serious about eliminating crime.”
The speech of the Mayor highlighted issues such as the livestock, “people who possess have become the victims of the stock…there is the need for more police visibility, the need for community patrols” There was the unfortunate allusion to the fact that some elements of the police collude with stock thieves because of personal interest.
The Mayor added that people should put an end to stock theft. “It is obvious that there are specialists when it comes to stock theft, and the community should be aware that people who do this are experts in their own way. It is only when we close the community kraal that things will change.” He also talked about the invisible stock theft where people lost their animals which were confiscated by commercial farmers.
His last word was to the effect that this year, the local Government Elections and National Census will take place; hence “I am urging everyone to go and register for the coming election. Those who won’t be going for the vote must know that other people will vote for them.”
FEBRUARY 11 – FEBRUARY 17 2011 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Blind couple makes sweet music” By Flaxman Qoopane. Page 5
Blind couple makes sweet music
By Flaxman Qoopane
“We sing first to entertain ourselves, then we entertain our children and lately we entertain the crowd or our audience,”
The above words were uttered by the famous blind couple, Simon Tshidiso and his wife Primose Manyambo from Phase 2 in Mangaung.
Tshidiso was born blind in Mangaung on 1 February 1967. He attended the Bosile School for the Blind and Deaf in Petersburg. Between 1990 -1994 he was a private teacher at the Thuboloha School for Blind and Deaf.
“At the school, there were many musical instruments, and in 1990 I learned how to play a piano and a keyboard. And in 1992-94 I was a conductor of the school choir,”
Primrose was born blind at Empangeni in Durban on 8 July 1972. She attended at the Vuleka School for the Blind and Deaf in Durban.
How did the blind couple meet? Primrose said: “In 1989 I was attending at the Philadelphia school for all disabilities in Tshwane, and my husband was attending at Optima College in Tshwane as a switch- board operator,”
So in 1989, the Optima College Football Club, visited our school and our school played a draw of 1-1”
Simon said: “During the evening we held a concert and Primrose sang There is music in the air by Letta Mbuli. I also performed, a number of songs accompanied with a keyboard,”
“After the concert, my husband sent his friend Joseph Nkosi [blind man] to me and …that’s how it started!”