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
Maki Mohapi aka “Madam Maki” “H.C”
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APRIL 29 – MAY 5 2011 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Qabathe promises better life in wake of Tatane demise” Front page. By Bongani Tshabalala
QABATHE PROMISES BETTER LIFE IN WAKE OF TATANE DEMISE
By Bongani Tshabalala
The imbroglio continues over the actions and repercussion of the eight policemen involved in the alleged assault and death of Sello Andries Tatane. This was pursuant to a service delivery protest march which took place outside the Municipal offices in Ficksburg recently. Tatane’s funeral was an exceedingly sombre one at the weekend.
It was a moving funeral, graced by National Freedom Party Leader (NFP), Zanele ka Maqwaza Msibi; Cope President Mosiuoa Lekota; DA MP Wilmot James; MEC for Sports Arts and Culture, Dan Khothule, among others. Also present was the dynamic MEC for COGTA and Deputy Secretary of ANC in the Free State, Mamiki Qabathe.
Speaking at the funeral last Saturday, the ANC Free State provincial Secretary Sibongile Besani addressed the crowd of more than 1 000 mourners who attended the Megheleng Stadium under the pertinent marquee tent.
He assured the people that the ANC will provide better life for the people in the area. “The death of Tatane has given us a salutary order to bring poor service delivery to an elevated standard, and not let our people wallow in dissatisfaction,” a calm Besani said.
Mme Qabathe condemned the burning of council buildings by youth during the protest that erupted after Tatane’s death. She went the extra mile for the community when she announced that her Department will carry all the costs of rebuilding the Library, for one; “as it is our children’s future at stake here…I also call on religious leaders to bring peace and stability in this town in their intercessions. We promise a better life for all, as that is our mission,”
Tatane’s sister, Seipati, nipped in the bud the efforts of those she perceived as wanting to use Tatane’s funeral as an opportunity for electioneering. It appeared that various political parties tried to unfurl banners and chant slogans during the proceedings. “Please do not turn Tatane’s funeral into a political spectacle,” she said. “Understand our pain and loss,” Meanwhile Mr. Lekota called for the eradication of the bucket system in Meqheleng, and for better service delivery in general.
Mothusi Lepheana of the SAHRC in Free State described Tatane’s death as a “waste”, saying the Commission would monitor the investigation into Tatane’s death every step of the way. “We shall take legal steps to help the family to preserve Tatane’s dignity,” he said. “The Commission is in discussion with the Tatane family as regards the possibility of bringing a civil lawsuit against those liable for the violation of his rights and ultimate death,”
Molefi Nonyane, the man who famously held Tatane, with consternation etched on his face after he had been shot - a photo that has now gone around the world - told the mourners: “The late Tatane was spiritually ill and perturbed due to poor service delivery. In his heart he was troubled because of the problems here, but his body was healthy,”
Tatane was laid to rest at Ficksburg cemetery. Hundreds of mourners dressed in T – shirts bearing Tatane’s photograph braved the rain, singing lustily as they led the procession to the cemetery which lies on the northern outskirts of the town. And the tears came cascading down...
“Art is my only umbrella!" says white writer
By Flaxman Qoopane
Vic Walker, a Master’s Degree in Drama and Theatre student at the University of the Free State (U.F.S), has published his first book of short stories – Little Wheels of Happiness.
Walker told Free State News: “Little Wheels of Happiness has the following short stories – The Wheel, Horse Power, Samson in the Free State, The Great Trek, Aardvark Jackals, Why can’t Calves As Well, Dear Mother-In-Law, The Cape is Too far”
Vic did his first year in B.A degree in drama and theatre arts at U.F.S in 1992. And he resumed his studies in 2006 and finished his degree at the age of 50, in 2007.
“In 1992, there was no lotto, which meant that there were no loans or bursaries to study in the arts at the University. I could only resume my studies in 2006, after I sold my stand (piece of land for R100 000) in Rosendal in the Free State and I went back to U.F.S to study,”
At the age of 13, Walker was invited to read a theatrical work at the Bethlehem Amateur Theatre in the Free State. “That thing lingered. I went to Durban. I became a beach-bum (a beggar). And I was a swimmer, my love was swimming,”
According to Vic, in 1992 his mother gave him R3000 to go and study at the University. “I was jobless, living with my mother, and I came to UFS to study. I could not buy books at the University. So I worked at the Fonteina Hotel in Bloemfontein. I had a place to stay and I got food. I was a bouncer for six months at the hotel,”
Alas, the hotel was to change hands. “The hotel was sold. I was on the street. I went to the Head of Drama at the University to study on debt. After I told him that I was living in the veld, he accommodated me in the theatre and I was comfortable,”
“Art is my only umbrella,” he emphasised to Free State News. “I have been living with art all my life. I was doing paintings, selling them from door to door. I’m in the said league as a preacher. I am a professional beggar with my paintings,”
APRIL 22 – APRIL 28 2011 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Magashule revels in Sparkling Cleaning Campaign” Front page. By Bongani Tshabalala
MAGASHULE REVELS IN SPARKLING CLEANING CAMPAIGN
BY BONGANI TSHABALALA
The go-ahead, dynamic Premier of the Free State, Ace Magashule practically displayed the importance of “example rather than precept” when he personally took centre stage at a revelatory Cleaning campaign in Parys!
Magashule was in tow with critical government departments. Magashule explained to the community at a pertinent press conference at Lentswe Community Radio Station in Tumahole that the Provincial Government in liaison with Government Garage will positively utilise big Graders, Tractors Tipper Trucks to make life easy for our Municipalities, Public Works, Department of Police Roads & Transport.
He said: “We need to look at the suburbs - they are neat and clean. We don’t need diseases that will kill our kids unnecessarily” He, with his entourage took to the street of Tumahole with Parys Mayor, Mr Max Mosholi and Fezile Dab, District Municipality Mayor, Mr Jonas Ramokhoase. They started first at an old Dumping site where the District has plans of Building two multipurpose-parks and removing illegal occupants of that place with their shacks in order for the government to fulfil its mission
As they traversed the Street of Tumahole, Magashule took a turn to Ahang Sechaba Primary School where he entered the playground of the school, and greeted the excited pupils. In the process he identified school needs; having a meeting with School Staff members and addressing educators. “I really must make an example of my own home town as regards punctilious cleanliness,” he said.
The Premier pointed out that educators are part of the community. “They must participate in anything the government does and support the same in order to see progress in our work. I am going to maintain this campaign forever.” He went on to emphasise the fact that taverns must be closed at 12 midnight, and he would not allow taverns next to any schools. “This campaign is working hand in glove with police as they have made some arrests in Welkom in connection with illegal liquor activities.”
Magashule also personally discovered that the school needs a sports field, proper running water and sewage, extension of toilets and a Computer Centre with a need of some 50 Computers “because there are three educators who are willing to offer their time on weekends to teach children about the world of computers, very important in our modern times,”
Magashule went on to assure the people that in two weeks’ time there will be computers, and the sports field will be ready in two months’ time as well. As for the issue of toilets, he said: “Our government wants to run this cleaning campaign process for the betterment of our children and community to believe in us all the time.” All Officials, including Magashule, were excellent, and on the qui vive in cleaning the dusty streets of Tumahole township, etc.
APRIL 15 – APRIL 21 2011 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “OBP’s fecund liaison with Dept of Agriculture” Front page. By Bongani Tshabalala
OBP’s FECUND LIAISON WITH DEPT OF AGRICULTURE!
By Bongani Tshabalala
It was a hive of activity on Tuesday this week as the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development orchestrated an occasion which saw people at the farm of Rietfontein South East of Thaba Nchu witnessing the agreement between Onderstepoort Biological Product (OBP) in conjunction with the Department. People of the village come in large numbers to the community hall despite the chilly weather interspersed with torrents of rain.
MEC M. Zwane was accompanied by departmental Officials as well as Head of Department, Dr Dimakatso Moorosi. Dr Mashishi/OBP from the department was the programme director as Me Mosoeu welcomed everyone in the name of the community as a ward committee member. Dr Mojapelo explained the purpose of the day; to wit, the partnership of OBP and the Department of Agriculture and Land Reform “by introducing vaccine in our animals; as we saw in 2002 the outbreak of rabies was so incurable and we don’t want to see that happening again in our farms or communities.”
Mr. Ayanda Ntsho, Acting Chief Executive Officer explained clearly that OBP is a state- owned entity from Pretoria and it has seen good works that have been performed by the Provincial Government of Free State through Operation Hlasela. “It is their desire to come and assist with vaccine and donate a fridge to the person who will be selling the products to the emerging farmers as regards their herds or stock and they have made a research about Rietfontein. Alas, they have to go to Bloemfontein or Thaba Nchu to buy medication for their livestock,”
Now Operation Hlasela is bringing vaccine to emerging farmers, Mr. Ntsho pointed out. He also emphasized the fact that people nowadays are used to the life of urban areas and think that they can make a living out of urbanization, an idea which did not sit well with him. “We have done research that we can develop lives in rural areas and we must ensure that we develop one another throwing in a helping hand. We must take care of our cattle because herds represent our wealth,” He stressed that OBP shall annually supply vaccines to targeted identified areas and especially to emerging farmers. “We shall identify and support entrepreneurs in the Province and supply fridges and initial stock as part of creating new distribution channels for emerging farmers. It will also partner with the Province to provide technical training on trans-boundary animal disease and prevention to farmers and provincial personnel, and assist in contributing financially to the provincial annual scientific forum and joint research projects.”
MEC Mosebenzi Zwane disclosed in Rietfontein that statistically 1709 diseases affect people “and 832 of them we get them from the animals”. He added: “We’re going to empower entrepreneurs of this village so that you no longer struggle to get to the shops. We as the department (DARD) will talk to our service provider to assist us with right stock for your shop because I have made a research and I have found that you struggle a lot to get to the shops nearby,”
Zwane concluded by saying: “We are setting in motion strategies of preventing diseases in Rietfontein until it goes throughout the Province, same as Operation Hlasela.” Thereafter, a memorandum of partnership and agreement was signed between Ondertepoort Biological Products and Department of Agriculture and Land Reform by two heads - Dr Dimakatso Moorosi (from DARD) and Mr. Ayanda Ntsho (from OBP). Refrigerators and initial stock were handed over to the emerging farmer Mr. Neo Edmond Leserwane, and Mrs. Alice Leserwane. After that, all animals in the village were given vaccines.
APRIL 8 – APRIL 14 2011 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Simphiwe Dana’s fillip for the youth”. Front page. By Flaxman Qoopane
Simphiwe Dana’s fillip for the Youth
By Flaxman Qoopane
The Bochabela Public School in Mangaung received a donation of ten boxes from the illustrious musician, Simphiwe Dana at the school last Thursday.
Simphiwe Dana told Free State News: “This donation of many books to the Bochabela Public School form part of our campaign The Black Culture Educational Tour held at the Paradise Hall and at Bochabela Public School on Thursday 31 March this year.
Dana partnered with the Creative Works, bold as music.com and Black Carrot Solution aims to promote a culture of reading in the disadvantaged communities in the rural and townships areas.
Speaking at the donation event at Bochabela Public School, Dana said: “We need a national campaign where we will encourage a culture of reading books and stories in our mother tongues and indigenous languages among our children, learners, teenagers, youth and our adults. By donating books to those who don’t have books, forms part of nation-building,”
Lupi Ngcayisa from the Lupi Ngcayisa Foundation in Gauteng accompanied Dana and her team during the tour. He added: “All of us can only promote a reading culture by encouraging parents to read books to their children at home. We need to be members of the libraries in our communities. And we must form reading and book clubs for young and old”
Lesley Mokone, the Principal of Bochabela Public School said: “The school is proud to receive the donation of books from Simphiwe Dana and her team, and also from the Mangaung Local Municipality Library Unit under Elizabeth Francis and her team.
The visit by Dana was emotional. We try to encourage our learners to read and participate in any activity that takes our effort further.”
Ellen Boikanyo, an educator at Bochabela Public School said: “Twenty five learners in Grade 2 and 3 wrote their short stories in Setswana. They were able to hand those stories to Dana who will edit them, and later publish them into a book. Because of the inspiration the learners gained from Simphiwe Dana, they are going to write more stories and songs,”
A community member and cultural activist, Serame “Icebound” Makhele said: “It was really exciting to see the down-to-earth Dana interacting with the learners, educators, and the ordinary people’ encouraging them to be educated and addicted to read books,”
The BOOKSHELF (Page 2)
With Kgang Abel Motheane
Sesotho Literary Museum buzzes
The Sesotho Literary Museum buzzed as 180 learners from Mahapung Primary School (Ficksburg) came to witness literary history in the making, savouring the profiles and work of many indigenous writers.
The Museum invited Mr. Kgang Abel Motheane (prolific author) to give the learners lessons about writing and reading skills. He also entertained them with old, riveting Tswana songs.
Mr. Motheane stressed the importance of reading and writing, and literary creativity in general. “We must relish intellectual development and appreciate our wordsmiths,” he said. “Who knows how many budding writers and authors are among you young ones now?”
Teachers and learners were very proud at the occasion, and their creativity was sparked off too. They, like the young ones were encouraged with the information they received. “It’s been an enlightening process,” they agreed.
Literary Museums are very, very important places that preserve our literary history. Just like the world class literary Museum in Grahamstown, the NELM (National English Literary Museum), the Sesotho Literary Museum continues to hold its head high.
APRIL 1 – APRIL 7 2011 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Military veterans in spotlight” Page 2 By Flaxman Qoopane
Military Veterans in spotlight
By Flaxman Qoopane
The Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thabang Makwetla, attended the Free State, South African National Military Veteran Association (SANMVA) Conference at the President Hotel in Bloemfontein at the weekend.
Mr. Makwetla said: “On behalf of Lindiwe Sisulu, the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, I thank the SANMVA Preparatory Committee in the Free State for organising this conference. Minister Sisulu fully supports this conference of the military veterans.
“We took office in 2009, and in August 2009, SANMVA was formed by the Azanian People’s Liberation Army Military Veterans Association (APLAMVA), Azanian National Liberation Army Military Veterans Association (AZANLAMVA), the Council of Military Veterans Organisation (CMVO), Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veteran Association (MKMVA), Transkei Defence Force, Bophutwatswana Defence Force, Ciskei Defence Force, and Venda Defence Force Military Veterans Association.”
According to the Deputy-Minister, the formation of SANMVA was necessitated by Military Veterans Act of 1999. “We have launched four provincial SANMVA; the Free State SANMVA is the fifth to be launched. We are left with four SANMVA to be launched in four provinces. These developments bring comforts to the military veterans.”
He added: “Before the parliament, there is a Bill that indicates who a military veteran is. All of us South Africans who joined the military organisations that integrated in December 1996 are recognised as the military veterans.”
The Bill says the government will provide support to the military veterans and also their dependants. The policy says the military veterans will be assisted with houses, free transport, and health facilities. They will be trained and educated and will be assisted with counselling. They will also have access to business opportunities and employment.