Friday, August 26, 2011

FREE STATE NEWS (August 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”


Thobeka Funani (aka 'supermodel')

Kaya M

News Editor
Omoseye Bolaji

Seleke Botsime
Flaxman Qoopane

Columnist, Feminine Flutters:
Regomoditswe Motsalane

Sesotho Editor:
Kgang Abel Motheane

Lay-out artist
Tumisang Takang

Contact number:
051 447 1655

AUGUST 26 – SEPTEMBER 2 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Mbeki bestrides Vista Arena” By Flaxman Qoopane. Front page

Reproduced hereunder:

Mbeki bestrides Vista Arena

By Flaxman Qoopane

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki was the key note speaker during the Africa Arise Summit 2011 held at the Vista Arena University of the Free State South campus in Bloemfontein at the weekend.

Mr Mbeki congratulated the Student Empowerment Movement (SEM) from the University of the Free State and the Africa Arise Project, and the Empowerment Temple Bible Church for inviting him to address the Africa Arise Summit 2011.08.22

He said: “The topic I have been asked to present at this Summit is the Effects of leadership Bankruptcy in Africa. The 20th century was marked with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Africa celebrated when Apartheid was defeated. Although problems of underdevelopment and poverty have not yet been solved, Africa and its leadership have done a great deal in terms peace and stability in Africa.

“Today we have only two countries in the continent; namely Somalia and Libya involved in war. Steps must be taken to bring peace in Somalia and Libya, when we talk of democratisation of our continent. We recall that between 1990 – 1994 31 of the 52 countries in Africa held competitive elections. We need to speak positive about happened in our continent. We must salute such achievements.

“During the last 21 years, much progress has been made in Africa. We must not become victims of the negative stereotype. Our youth in the continent must act together to address corruption, and our religious leaders must also address the moral regeneration.”

Thabo Mbeki added: “Since we meet at the University of the Free State, the students must strengthen our African institutions. The youth of our country will take the leadership of our country and will be better empowered to handle the advancement of the continent. The role of the student is to study,”

He also stressed that Africans must have innate confidence in themselves. “We must not listen to people who say we are failures in Africa, We must make assessment about ourselves. Our universities are facing challenges to be agents of change,” he rounded off, amidst ringing applause.

AUGUST 19 – AUGUST 25 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Kgalema in Bloemfontein for pivotal Aids Council” Front page. By Nthabiseng Lisele

Reproduced hereunder:



The City of Roses - Bloemfontein - was the place to be at the weekend as the metropolis was graced by distinguished guests whilst the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) met in a plenary session in the Free State Province.

The meeting was chaired by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and attended by ministers and deputy ministers, representatives of civil society sectors, as well as Premier Ace Magashule, and MECs of the Free State province.

The plenary was convened under the theme “Policy in Action”, which aims to deliberate on a wide range of interventions towards tackling the dual epidemic of HIV and TB.

In 2009, government made far-reaching policy changes to expand access to treatment, care and support to groups identified as critical to efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality. These include pregnant women, people who are co-infected with HIV and TB, and HIV exposed infants who test positive at birth.
Recent studies point to some encouraging signs that reflect the impact of these policies.

In April 2010, the country embarked on a massive HIV counselling and testing (HTC) campaign seeking to test and screen 15 million people for HIV and other chronic diseases. The campaign has been a tremendous success with millions of people responding to the call to know their HIV status.

Over the 15 months of the HCT campaign, 14 million people have been counselled and more than 12 million have tested for HIV in the public centre. In addition, 1,5 million were tested in the private sector. This reflects a six-fold increase in the number of people testing for HIV over the previous year. Of those tested, two million people were found to be HIV positive and were referred for further care.

It was also agreed that SANAC will embark on a targeted campaign to encourage more men and people at high risk of contracting HIV to present themselves for counselling and testing.

The Deputy President, in his suave manner urged all South Africans who tested positive not to despair but to return to their local clinic to receive care. He also explained some of the great strides made by government in this wise.

Government has increased the capacity to care for people living with HIV and require antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. Free State News learnt that the number of public facilities now providing comprehensive ART has increased from 490 to 2001. More than 1 750 nurses have been trained on Nurse Initiated and Managed ART (NIMART), making it possible for professional nurses to put people onto treatment.

Free State News also learnt that another fillip has been added with SANAC endorsing the National Health Council (NHC) policy to initiate treatment for all those who test positive with a CD4 count of 350 or less. The current National Strategic Plan on HIV, AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and TB (NSP) 2007 -2011 comes to an end in December 2011.

SANAC has now officially launched the first draft of the next NSP and announced the process that will lead to the development of the new National Strategic Plan on HIV, AIDS, TB and STIs 2012 – 2016. The NSP development process will culminate in the launch of the NSP 2012 – 2016 on 1 December 2011 - World AIDS Day.

The objective of the NSP development process is to ensure that all people in South Africa have the opportunity to participate in the development of the plan that will guide South Africa’s response to HIV, TB and STIs over the next five years.

AUGUST 12 – AUGUST 18 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Effervescence as Famsa marks Women’s Day!” By Seleke Botsime

Reproduced hereunder:

By Seleke Botsime

FAMSA held an illuminating function to celebrate Women’s Day (on Tuesday August 8 this week). The event was orchestrated at the offices of FAMSA (Family South Africa) and attracted some prominent ecumenical figures, and many other stakeholders.
The opening prayer was done by Pastor Malangabe who stressed the significance of the

fairer sex leaving a legacy: “just like the gallant women who took part in marching to Pretoria decades ago,”. The programme director, Ntate Mantutle welcomed everyone who attended the function. .Also present were women who were clients of Family South Africa. Mmaditaba Moletsane gave information about Famsa, underling that it was established since 1954. “Famsa renders pivotal services ranging from Marriage counselling, trauma, pre-marriage counselling, to divorce mediation. Recently they have decided to bring service closer to the people by visiting the police stations like Batho police station. We are hoping to spread our wings even further,”

Patience Sekhonyana, a fourth year student at the university explained the purpose of the day. She explained: “Women of yore did not have rights like women of today, alas. Today, organisations like FAMSA strive to empower women and equip them with enough knowledge in order to have a way forward.” Mathabo Mohale read a poem stressing the importance of women, titled: “Specially for you".

The first guest speaker was Mrs. Lydia Wesi, a lecturer at the National Hospital. She thanked all the women who participated. “Indeed, women went through a lot, but they need to know that the Big Nanny is always watching (God)! I used to be a client of FAMSA and I am proud of the help that I have done. When I experienced lot of death in my life to a point I was unable to handle it, as we all experience problems and there is always a solution for every problem.”

Mrs. Matsemelela who announced that she was a domestic violence survivor said that women should know that anything that happens in their life is not by mistake. “There is always a lesson to be learnt, even when sometimes one does not see it. On my own part, I was abused both emotionally and financially. But through it all I managed to make it and now I run a home-based care and I am a ward councillor.” She pleaded with every woman that they must find their purpose and leave a legacy.

The last speaker was the motivational speaker, Mrs Dichabe. She said that women are much stronger than many could imagine. “God will give us the right antidote for a problem; so one needs to persevere at all times despite the challenges. I must stress the importance of self-respect among women; we must learn to give in order to be blessed since the hand that gives is more blessed than the one that receives. A woman doesn’t have to sell her soul in order to achieve in life. When a woman knows her role and her worth she can achieve more,”.



By Flaxman Qoopane

The commemoration of 1976 “Mangaung Students Revolt: Ihobe Secondary School” was held at the Assemblies of God Church in Mangaung at the weekend.

Fikile Qithi, former student leader of Ihobe Secondary School and former political prisoner at Robben Island said: “The event marks 34 years commemoration of Mangaung Students Outburst. He paid tribute to younger students in Mangaung who were inspired by Soweto uprisings of June 1976 who also took part in the struggle against Afrikaans as a medium language of education.”

He also paid tribute to young students from Ihobe Secondary School, Marang Primary School, Sehunelo High School, Lereko High School St Bernard Roman Catholic School for rejecting the imposition of Afrikaans. These included Mpho Diba, Pinkie Litheko, and Fikile Qithi.

Zingile Dingani, the former Ihobe Secondary School student and now Secretary of Parliament from Cape Town said: “I’m a former learner at Ihobe Primary School. We learned Geography and mathematics in Afrikaans. That helped us to raise our consciousness.

“People including Issac Moroe the journalist from The Friend and teacher Mawonga Maqhina played an important role by politicising the Mangaung Students League. Mangaung became the centre of the students’ political activities. It was a very tough time during the 1980 students like Papie Makoto died during the struggle. We never had battles between the ANC and the PAC. We worked together in the Free State. People of this province liberated themselves.”

He added: “It is good that this occasion has been organised in Mangaung, we are going to have the ANC Centenary in the Free State next year. The people of this province must participate in the centenary celebrations.”

Sekhopi Malebo, former chairman of the ANC in the Southern Free State and MEC for Public Works Roads and Transport in the Free State said: “In 1977, the struggle reached its peak in Mangaung Students marched from Sehunelo High School to Moemedi High School. We had one slogan in the streets Black Power! We urge those students who were part of the struggle that took place in Mangaung to come together with comrade like Fikile Qithi and write a history book about the students’ uprising in Mangaung.”

Poets including Jah Rose, Flaxman Qoopane, Hector Kunene, Raselebedi Khotseng, Imbongi Sibongile Potelwa, a third year in Financial management recited a poem in Xhosa language.

Potelwa said: “My poem was about the great contribution done by the students of Mangaung during the struggle. In the poem I appreciate the price paid by those martyrs in order for us to be where we are today. Our youth must take this beautiful country to the next level,”

AUGUST 5 – AUGUST 11 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Magashule revels in ecumenical occasion” By Bongani Tshabalala

Reproduced hereunder:



Thousands of Methodist Church members gathered in Bloemfontein in Rocklands at Mangaung Outdoor Sports Centre at the weekend. The occasion was graced by the Premier of the Free State, Mr.Segobelo Magashule together with Mangaung Metro Mayor, Mr. Thabo Manyoni.

The ceremony was in aid of a thanks giving prayer, part of the Programme of the Free State Provincial Government to build close working relations with the churches. Earlier this year, the Provincial Government successfully hosted the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) and the Rivers of Living Waters.

This occasion acknowledged the role of the Churches whilst praying for the peaceful local government election which was held on 18 May 2011. Among the coterie of distinguished guests was the MEC for Health, Fundiswa Ngubentombi together with panoply of Methodist pastors. Hymns, worship songs and choruses punctuated the air, making the Rocklands Township to roar with waves of praises!

Mayor Manyoni welcomed the visitors with gusto. He acknowledged the stirring work done by John Weasley, who was the inventor of Methodist Church. He also urged togetherness of all races in the country. Before the Premier took the podium to deliver a key note address, there were choruses all over the place. Amadodana a se Wesile entertained the congregation, with even the MEC Ngubentombi and Journalists caught up in the spirit of songs. They danced with élan!

In his own speech, Premier Magashule rubbished the accusations made by Congress of the People (Cope) concerning the accounts of Operation Hlasela He said: “Cope comprises a group of people who are jealous and confused as well as bitter. They don’t want to see the ruling party progress, nor do they want to see people’s lives change for the better. As regards the section of the Media that is busy criticizing our works as Free State Government, we are fully aware of their machinations; we know all about them. We are going to expose them all, as we cannot turn a blind eye onto those accusations. We cannot condone false statements and defamation,” said a solemn Magashule.

Magashule went down memory lane straddling the history of the 1889 Annual General Council (AGC) in S.A of Methodist as Amadodana Ase Wesile celebrated 100 years. “This church played a pivotal role during the Apartheid era and the sundry movement of ANC. There were great leaders like Rev Mahabane and Enoch Sontonga - who was a missionary teacher of Methodist church missionary for pastors. We thank the Church; including those who are not formal members of this church, for your loyal support through thick and thin,” said the charismatic Premier.

He added: “To those who are unemployed, you must keep the positive flame alight and be sure that tomorrow will be okay - press on!” The Premier exultantly quoted the Bible, encouraging the congregation as the session petered to an end. Meanwhile, Mayor

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