Monday, March 28, 2011

FREE STATE NEWS (MARCH 2011 editions)

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.

Free State News crew


Moses Vinger

Confidential Secretary/Manager

Maki Mohapi aka “Madam Maki” “H.C”


Kaya M

News Editor

Omoseye Bolaji

News Desk

S. Botsime


Flaxman Qoopane
David Mofokeng

Office Assistant
Gavin Ignitius

Lay-out artist
Tumisang Takang (Star)

Contact number:
051 447 1655

MARCH 25 – MARCH 31 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Basking in Correctional Services Awards!” By Flaxman Qoopane. Front page

Reproduced hereunder:

Basking in Correctional Services Awards!

By Flaxman Qoopane

The Regional Inspectorate team of seven members from the Department of Correctional Services in the Free State and Northern Cape region won the second position and was awarded the Deputy-Minister’s Award during the National Corrections Excellence Awards ceremony held at the International Conference Centre in Durban on 4 March.

Speaking to the media during a handing over ceremony of trophies, certificates and a cheque of R5000 to the Regional Inspectorate team held in Bloemfontein on Wednesday, Grace Molatedi, Acting Regional Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services in the Free State and Northern State region, said: “We congratulate our Regional Inspectorate team led by Johan Massyn”

Other team members are the following: Assistant-Directors Rita Botes, Meshack Mgese, Pule Raleting, Chris Mahonono, Frank Tanyane and Olson Murphy, who raised the Region’s flag high when they garnered second position when Depurty Director Massyn received the Deputy Minister’s award on behalf of his team from Dr. Ngoako Ramatlhodi. Each member of the team was given a certificate,

Deputy-Director Massyn said: “I am very proud of the team because they have gone the extra mile to put us in the position to win the national award.

“I won the Batho Pele award on regional level. For Batho Pele award, community involvement and high standard of service delivery is my passion. It is good to assist the public with information so that they know the activities of other departments”

The Deputy Minister’s Award is given to a team that has contributed to a positive healthy environment and to the wellness of fellow employees; has shown excellence in assisting and collaborating with co-workers; has provided a positive role model of the ideal correctional official to other officials and offenders; has treated everyone with respect and dignity; and has championed sound ideas for the development of workplace well-ness and share their knowledge, skills and experience with others.


With Kgang Abel Motheane


It was an exciting time when the Indian-born Achal Prabhala from Chimurenga, visited the Free State whilst doing research on FS Black Writing. Achal has devoured world literature all his life, and works for a number of international agencies and universities.

Achal, after extensive conversations with Free State writers, and after poring over many of the books produced, will write a lengthy report on the healthy state of Free State Black literature which will be published in the renowned Chimurenga journal – read all over the world.

Achal, both charming and cerebral, met with distinguished writers like Flaxman Qoopane, Pule Lechesa, Hector Kunene, Omoseye Bolaji, Jah Rose, yours truly, among others – during his visit. He also examined the Free State library network which is famed for its sophistication. He made comprehensive notes during all his forays.

Achal Prabhala also took time out to visit Flaxman Qoopane’s famous literary gallery and library situated at Hillside View in Mangaung. Mr Qoopane, a repository of extraordinary knowledge as regards African black literature, explained the whole genesis, growth and fame of FS Black Writing to Achal.

After a satisfactory time in the Free State, Achal expressed his satisfaction all around. “It has been a fruitful, illuminating trip,” he said “I shall be flying to India later this month, but I will make sure I prepare a worthy, lengthy article on Free State grassroots literature which will be published during Winter,” Achal has since returned to India.

MARCH 18 – MARCH 24 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Councillors get grimy for the community” By Seleke Botsime. Front page

Reproduced hereunder:

Councillors get grimy for the community!

By Seleke Botsime

Councillors and volunteers got their hands dirty and cleaned the targeted areas of Mangaung this week. Earlier, they were also in Heidedal. The campaign kick-started last week when they cleaned ward 21. It will continue in places like Botshabelo at ward 38.

Speaking to Mr. Papiki Moeng, he told Free State News that this cleaning has nothing to do with the coming elections. “It is only that we have identified the need for this campaign since there are many places in Mangaung that need a face-lift. Some areas are so bad that if they are not cleaned it will have a negative impact on the community that lives there; and even criminals will take advantage of them.”

Another member, Mr Goilwe Skakane said that they work in conjunction with Mangaung Mayor, Playfair Morule in order to speed up the process of cleaning. “We have been assisted with tractors and side caters for the grass in order to make the job well done and immediately after the rubbish has been collected and put aside, the Municipality comes and collects the rubbish,”

The campaign started at ten o’clock in the morning, with some 130 volunteers taking part in the campaign. Familiar faces like Mme Nomsa, Cllr Phongolo and Erasmus just to mention a few, were very much in the thick of action! It was a day-time job, and by the afternoon one realised the impact of the campaign on their faces - all in the name of offering free service to the community of Heidedal!

MARCH 11 – MARCH 17 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “10 000 shoes for impecunious learners! ” By Michael Tlhakudi. Front page

Reproduced hereunder:

10 000 shoes for impecunious learners!

…Alah-Yen provides ray of hope

By Michael Tlhakudi

Winter beckons on the horizon; the time when the ravages of cold exerts profound suffering on many; especially the impecunious. With this in mind Alah-Yen is already in the forefront of making life easier for the needy!

Alah-Yen Foundation is a non- profit organisation based in Mangaung, Bloemfontein. It is now embarking on a campaign to raise 10 000 school shoes for the disadvantaged communities in and around the Motheo district in the Free State.

The Foundation that was started back in 2009 with the sole aim of assisting learners to restore the culture of learning is now appealing to community, government and local business to come on board on this venture.

“We have seen in our communities number of learners going to school without shoes and this has become a concern, we then decided to do something about it hence we initiated this campaign” said project leader Lehlohonolo Mokoena .

The campaign is in conjunction with Motheo District Municipality and Motheo FM a local based radio station. “We therefore request the government, local businesses as well as the members of the community to come on board and assist in helping these kids to have a smooth process of learning. We know very well in winter is difficult period to concentrate in class when you are cold”.

Alah-Yen Foundation has already raised a significant number of shoes. “We do not know at this stage how many shoes have been dropped off. But we intend to collect at least 10 000 school shoes before the end of May just in time for the cold season” said Mokoena.

This initiative is aimed at Primary learners who are either orphans or disadvantaged.
“We know some parents receive government social grants, but this is not sufficient to help the disadvantaged and orphans to meets their needs.”

The team has already identified schools in the Motheo District Municipality and is in the process of capturing data of how the collected shoes will be distributed. “We want to make it an annual event and expand it to the other parts of Free State in the coming years but for now our focus will be only in Motheo District that includes Thaba-Nchu, Botshabelo, Tweespruit, Ladybrand , Hobhouse and the surrounding areas.” .
Mokoena further added that they are thrilled with the response they have received so far. He said: “The response has been positive thus far. We have received calls from local business inquiring about this initiative. Some of them want to donate in bulk, so yes the response has been incredibly positive.”

The Motheo Youth Desk has also shown support in this programme. “We certainly hope that they will make our job easier with their massive support”. Mokoena said his team is working tirelessly to make this project a success. He indicated that they might not make it to 10 000 but the “little” that they would have acquired will definitely make a difference.

“We do not anticipate people to drop very old shoes, but we also do not want to put pressure on people to buy brand new shoes as long as they are in good condition they are welcomed,” he concluded. The foundation also intends to host a gala dinner and music festival just before they hand shoes to the respective schools.

Those who want to donate school shoes should drop them at Youth centres in Bloemfontein, Thaba Nchu and Botshabelo as well as Motheo FM studios in Bloemfontein.

MARCH 4 – MARCH 10 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Priest saves miscreant from mob justice” Page 3 By Flaxman Qoopane

Reproduced hereunder:

Priest saves miscreant from mob justice!


An incensed, angry mob nearly killed a youth who allegedly stole R500 from a woman in Bloemfontein on Monday afternoon. Thanks to a priest who came to his rescue, and saved him from being killed by the mob. He was later arrested and admitted at Pelonomi Hospital after he suffered severe injuries.

This journalist was at the Post Office in Maitland Street on Monday at 14:00 pm, and to my chagrin I witnessed a group of men approaching a youth; and one of the men requested the youth to give him the R500 he allegedly stole from a woman.

“I don’t know anything about the stolen money from any woman” said the suspect. A quarrel ensued between the men and the suspect. The man started attacking him with knobkerries and iron bars; they hit his arms, face and the head. He screamed for help, and he admitted that he stole the money from the woman. He gave the R500 that he stole to one of the men.

The woman whose money was allegedly stolen by the suspect came to the scene, and punched the suspect in the face with her fist, and she demanded her money from the thief. She received her stolen money back. The suspect tried to run away but the angry mob chased him, tripped him and he fell down on the pavement in front of the pharmacy!

One of the furious people said; “Leshodu ha le bolawe” (kill the thief). They started beating up the suspect with everything they could find, they kicked him, and he laid on a pavement in severe pains. He was too weak to talk to the crowd. However a Good Samaritan (the priest) came to the rescue of the suspect. Tears fell down from his eyes. He begged for mercy; “I thought I am going to die” he said.

At 14:45 pm, two police come to the scene. They found the suspect next to the pharmacy where he was hiding. He was arrested and locked in a van and driven to Thabure Satellite Police Station in Bloemfontein.



By Seleke Botsime

The IEC had an illuminating workshop/summit at President Hotel recently. 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.

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