FREE STATE NEWS OCTOBER 25 2013 SAMPLE STORIES
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
Free State News crew
Maki Mohapi aka “Madam Maki” “H.C”
Maki Mohapi aka “Madam Maki” “H.C”
051 447 1655 051 447 1655
051 447 1655 051 447 1655
MASSIVE DOOR TO DOOR CAMPAIGN
By Letshego Moeng
“Our volunteers should be taken into consideration when opportunities come up. If comrades are so patient to do door to door and thus if work comes up they should be first priority especially those that work hard”.
This was said by the Premier of the Free State Ace Magashule who was speaking during the door-to-door campaign at the Batho Location community hall where he pointed out that these people are the reason for the occasion and they should not be forgotten as the aim is to ensure that they don’t lose heart.
He also said that he is happy with the way the comrades have done and what they did, doing massive door to door.
Free State News gathered that the reason for the door to door campaign was to find out the difficulties and challenges faced by their residents; such as the bucket system, dilapidated houses of which people are free to decline if they want to build themselves a house leaking water, those who have been using candles and are without electricity and the roads. Service delivery was on roads and the issue that there is nowhere to walk at times when it is raining.
Addressing some of the issues he pleaded for counselors to do their work. Magashule said:
“The elderly should be taken care of with regards to their indigent and counselors should decrease their electricity and water accounts so that it will be affordable for them.
To conclude the matter emphasized how the elderly should also be taken care of and be given first priority as they are the vital voters in the country. He said that it pains him that contractors don’t finish their job but he will do his best to address these issues.
In talking about education he said that children who have finished school and still want to further their studies should know that his office is open to giving out bursaries and that in Bloemfontein there are lack of engineers.
During the address he put emphasis on how being educated is such an important endeavor and how the parents should encourage them to go to school. The youth was also encouraged to join the ANC youth league organisation.
The people present at the occasion were the volunteers and the entire premier’s executive.
“I am happy with the cooperation of comrades and that the leadership should forget the comrades”, concluded Magashule.
One of the volunteers proudly said how much she loves the premier and that they love being involved with the communities as it keeps them in touch of some of what is happening in our communities and she is glad to be of assistance and trust that these people’s challenges will be addressed.
Interfaith prayers geared towards solving corruption
By Raselebeli Khotseng
The Public Protector of South Africa office in the Free State this week organised an inter-faith prayer for the Free State good governance 2013 in Bloemfontein at Bram Fischer building (Bunga Hall)
The purpose of the event was to pray for good governance in the Free State province so as to eradicate poverty. The occasion is a kick-start for the next week’s national good governance week initiated by the national public protector Thuli Madonsela. Organisations, government officials were supporting this venture together with inter-faith denominations and their religious leaders.
The event was opened with a national anthem and short prayer. Thereafter the programme director Mr Morgan Mashinini, a senior investigator for public protector in Free State introduced guests who included Ms Griessel, a provincial representative of public protector [Free State] and Mr Lehlohonolo Manama also an official in public protector’s office. Meanwhile Rev Mary Lebopo, a convener of Mangaung Metro Regeneration Movement was also introduced.
In her opening remarks, Ms Griessel told the participants that their inputs and participation are of paramount importance as they will contribute towards the government resolution to eradicate poverty. As she talked about strengthening good governance she said, “Good governance reflects good values and ethical principles”
Moreover Mr Mashinini asked civil organizations and government departments to be part of good government week as Madonsela requested. “We need to insure government that is accountable to identify problems that perpetuate poverty’ he said. He called upon participants to visit malls and tell people about good governance. Madonsela felt that we should engage faith denominations as a way of seeking divine intervention’. He finally asked faith organizations to pray against maladministration and said officials must know that corruption does not rob the government only but also the poor.
“Let’s pray for that so as to enjoy the fruits of our democracy,” he concluded
Rev Lebopo conducted an inter-faith prayer together with other FBO’s believers from African Religion; Christianity, Rastafarism, Bahai, Islam,Koranas [Khoisan], and Traditional healers. This interfaith prayer was conducted though candlelight.
Racism is abhorrent in a democratic South Africa
By Ishmael Mzwandile Soqaga (pix above)
The apparently racist behaviour of one of the teachers in Wilgehof School towards innocent black pupils reminds me of the catastrophically racist period of apartheid. The whole period of apartheid was egregious and disastrous for all South Africans.
For instance the Soweto uprising was caused by elusive racial policy of apartheid. And the announcement of FW De Klerk to un-ban all opposition parties in South Africa on the other hand was heroic. However, there are important lessons to be learned from racial apartheid. Firstly racism in nature is not presentable in society as its effects are greatly detrimental. Secondly another disadvantage of racism is that it only regards only one racial group in a diverse society as superior than others.
Simultaneously there is more phenomenal lesson we should continuously learn from a democratic South Africa. Since its inception democratic South Africa has done very well to create a constitution that provides human rights for all. Democracy promotes equality for all and equal opportunities for all. Enormously democracy is growing and is gaining more experience, trying hard to build the nation where man is free from all forms of racial prejudice and suppression of human rights. However, as cosmic progresses are made certain hiccups of racial prejudice are materializing.
I am content with the action of the visionary white person who openly reported the racist conduct of a white teacher in Wilgehof School. A teacher contravenes the education code of conduct and acted in the manner that has neither interest for professional teaching nor committed to the constitution of South Africa. It must not be a staggering surprise that people of the same color disagree on issues of race. Absolutely, it is evident that democracy is sufficiently enough to change the societal perception. The standard which it has set has made an extraordinary impact in a new country with a new society which is resolute to live racially together. By this stage no one will wish to see apartheid again.
Personally, I am greatly awesome with the decision of Human Rights Commission to find Mr. Mac Kay guilty of his racial conduct towards black pupils in the school. The commission has proven itself beyond a doubt that is the true exponent of human rights in South Africa. Human rights violation is daunting and incongruous. Any person who commits and displays such indecorous obsolete ideas is a threat in society and to democracy.
The South African Human Rights Commission has found that the conduct of Wilgehof Primary School teacher Mr. Lenard Mac Kay and his crude racist remarks perpetrated against black learners amount to racism and hate speech of unfair discrimination.
Significantly Mr. Craig Theim is the groovy-caring parent who understands how important education for all children is. His non-racial commitment illustrates clearly that he is a committed citizen of South Africa who believes in human rights and diverse society. For South Africa to achieve a complete outstanding outcome of non-racial society it needs prodigious parent like Mr. Craig Thieim.
Constantly we need to remember the charismatic leadership of the protagonist of non-racial South Africa, Mr. Nelson Mandela. As the first black president of South Africa he ensured that racial atrocities committed by erstwhile white apartheid government are forgotten and forgiven. In his inaugural statement in 1994 he said "We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.” It is almost the second decade since the new nation begun and South African society is racially healthy and halcyon. Nevertheless it is difficult for certain people to change their misleading axiom of racism.
On the 14th of January, 2008, Jozef Johannes Nel drove to the Skierlik informal settlement, where he shot and killed 4 people, including a two month old baby, wounded eight and shot and missed 3 others. He was arrested and found guilty of a racially motivated murder; and he was sentenced on the 21st of November, 2008. Furthermore, on the sixth of March 2008 the Commission received a complaint following an international dissemination of an extremely offensive racist video produced by four of the UFS students. The video depicts four white male students making the African employees (complainants) swallow a bottle of beer, run a race, play rugby and kneel and eat what looks like mincemeat which had been urinated upon.
It is unfortunate for Mr. Mac Kay to act contrary to the constitution of South Africa; for him to display a full size of the historical apartheid flag in front of his classroom was pathological. And again for him to put a poster in the class that depicted black people as having monkey-like noise and primate brains who could only make confusing noise was fallacious and absurd. Such teaching and behavior takes our country backward, the results will be malady. Equal treatment for all children in school is paramount. The onus rests on our shoulders to value the democratic foundation which was laid under the stewardship of Nelson Mandela.
Therefore our responsibility is to commit ourselves for building a non-racial society coupled with the attainment of reconciliation. We should continue to build a better South Africa which will protect and invariably safeguard the rights of all people especially of children. To be a successful nation we must always act for the interests of the country and at all time respect the rule of law of the country. Schools are important institutions to groom and nurture the minds of children. In multiracial schools it is very imperative for teachers to be good exemplars and desist from promoting anything that intend to psychologically harm the impressionable minds of the children.
Schools must be an inspiration to children, not pursue baseless ideas of racism. I have a firm belief in South African Human Rights Commission which is keen for the advancement of human rights. But I am also of the opinion that more national racial campaign awareness programmes need to be initiated and fully established in schools. The day of reconciliation is much more popular and is fundamental. Let also racism get the same attention for the achievement of a non-racial South Africa.
* Mr Soqaga is an author, essayist and sports lover
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