FREE STATE NEWS (October 2009 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 celebrates its 10th year anniversary this year). The paper has been published on a weekly basis since 1999. Regular items like “Feature of the week” have appeared here over the months.
Free State News crew
Maki Mohapi aka “Madam Maki” “H.C”
Thato Josephine Nkatswang
051 447 1655
OCTOBER 30– NOVEMBER 6 2009 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK:
“Curtains drawn on Operation Hlasela” (By Gloria Marobele) Page 3
Curtains drawn on Operation Hlasela
By Gloria Marobele
Operation Hlasela tapered to an end in Jaggersfontein where Premier Ace Magashule was accompanied by MEC’s and other illustrious people. The national Minister of Mineral and energy, Suzan Shabangu also visibly graced the occasion.
The main purpose of Operation Hlasela was to attack poverty, drug abuse, racism, illiteracy etc. Operation Hlasela went to different parts of the Free State province where people were helped in large numbers. All the departments participated with gusto and each helped where they could.
Free State News spoke to government officials from different departments to ascertain their roles in Operation Hlasela. Dr Sipho Khabane, an Acting Head of the Department for the Department of health said “We as the department came up with a new and unique Mobile Clinic which was supplied to us by donors. It helps us to go to all the rural areas because it can withstand bad roads. This is Gariep District exclusively and in it there is an examination room, a place where you keep your drips etc. Most importantly it can give people ARV’s and so this is to make it easier for people to get them”.
Tsietsi Moqhobai from Home Affairs said: “Our role here is to make sure that people get their ID’s, passports, marriage certificates etc. We sometimes have challenges though; for instance when a person is old and he/she is applying for an ID while she/he does not have a Birth Certificate and maybe the person was abandoned by her/his parents and the person obviously does not have the parent’s particulars. In such cases we then work with the Department of Social Development to do a research about a person and then confirm that the person was really abandoned and then we can make an ID for that person”.
One of the highlights of the day was a couple which got their marriage certificate. One person got her ID, six family members got their birth certificates and two babies that were born in Jaggersfontein hospital were given clothes to wear. Two local soccer clubs received kits and balls, the Friends of the poor (integrated banks which are working together to fight poverty) gave clothes to the government volunteers. Educational toys were donated to a local crèche, a hostel with live children who are from the farms was painted and a local businessman volunteered to take few local children to school.
Meanwhile, Premier Ace Magashule encouraged students to work hard and finish school because government has bursaries. “The MEC of Social Development will send 35 Social Workers to come and help in this area. One ambulance will be given to Jagersfontein, 60 bicycles were given to students who live in farms. Home Affairs Offices have been opened and cleaners and health workers were employed permanently at the local clinic”
It was a celebratory occasion. The community members rejoiced, chanted and ululated. Joy was written on their faces. Hope was brought to those that were hopeless; and those that did not have food were provided with food!
MY MIND AND MY HEART (Poem) Page 7
BY TIISETSO M THIBA
My mind and my heart
Shall you let me breathe the decent air?
Because pleasant odours improve the liberation of my health
My mind and my heart
Decide my future route
So let my footpath be remarkable
Let me be the enduring heady scent
Be my derrick to up-lift me from the muck
Show me the blazing future
Let me be the good taste not the awful one
Let me the example of the ambitious
Give my heart strength to be serenity
And to accept things that I couldn’t change in life
Because in life I’m not making rules
I’m just trying to be me
And I’m not the provoker or the pugnacious
Connection as a tongue and saliva
Is what you are
My heart and my mind
Revamped my intact life
Absurd of bravado success
Your seminar was bizarre
You conclude to make me the masterpiece
You are my leading-stick when I can not glimpse danger from afar
I was a fade rose and they keep watering me until I mature inside
Like an ant mind and paste forever beam on my face
Resenting sanctimonious folks and their smirk
My mind and my heart
Edify me to forgive and forget
Let me be the amicable savour
Superior of mine is because of your affiliation
OCTOBER 23– OCTOBER 29 2009 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK:
“Ntombela tackles poverty head on” (By S Botsime). Front page
NTOMBELA TACKLES POVERTY HEAD ON!
By S Botsime
The MEC of Social Development Sisi Ntombela is a woman of substance, a colossal lady with strong empathy for the disadvantaged. She made it very clear that she has been given the mandate that “that no child must go without food”. The message is loud and clear that her department is at war against poverty!
Their strategies include starting a bank in the social development that people will donate food and clothing to help the needy working hand in hand with NGO’s. Free State news learnt during the media briefing that she was at Clarens in a place called Mokobobo. She went on to state that 60% of the people living there are HIV positive and only two families have decent jobs! She added that there is a home where there are eleven children there, and six of them are HIV positive.
The entourage with the MEC started by visiting hot spots in town, starting from Hoffman square where she magnanimously gave the children bread and soup and fruits. Thereafter the vicinity of Super clean (next to Central park) was visited; here, three street children were the lucky beneficiaries of food from the MEC. Mme Ntombela even ordered her staff to take their shoe sizes in order to donate to them on her next visit. One of the street kids there confessed that he started to sleep on the streets since 1992!
The next port of call was Setshabelo Center at Raamkraal where the horrific living conditions of more than ten street children, with one of them being pregnant was witnessed. Free State News had the chance to interview one girl who claimed that she is from De-Aar. The minister suggested that renovations should be made since the Center was in a very bad state and even there was no widow at the Center. Another child Free State News spoke to admitted staying there with her boyfriend. “It’s a survival of the fittest for ever on, since we are afraid to stay alone because we are terrorised both physically and sexually by men who are staying in the township who know our conditions.”
Then after the MEC heard their complaints, apprising them about what the department could do for them, all roads led to the dumping site where about 311 people work mostly recycling waste and selling it to Scorpions and OFS for them to survive. The minister urged all the people who were working at the dumping side to be patient with the government and she promised to bring the Premier Mr. Magashule “next time, so that he can witness and listen to your grievances”. She also suggested that she will try to give them clothes, so that it could be easier for them to do their jobs. It was all in a day’s work for the indomitable Sis Ntombela!
OCTOBER 16– 22 OCTOBER 2009 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK:
“Tsoseletso learners off to Germany” (By S Botsime). Page 3
Tsoseletso learners off to Germany
By S Botsime
The hall of Tsoseletso High School was packed full with learners and journalists, including top officials from the government as the departure of two students going overseas was formally celebrated. The occasion was graced by Honourable MEC Magoe.
These students will depart for Germany tomorrow (17 October) where they will be based till 8 January 2010, staying approximately three months in a foreign country. The students who are bound for Germany are Bonolo Motsalanea, girl in Grade 11, and Bafana Tshabalala, a Grade 10 boy.
The purpose of the trip is part of a youth exchange programme which has been going on for a few years now. The programme will broaden the learners’ knowledge and help them to be more independent and learn how to solve problems, but most importantly to help the Free State Authority in pragmatic fashion during the World Cup next year. Bonolo is going to stay with the host family, Angela& Dirk Helmo staying north of Germany; and Bafana is going to stay with the host family Johannes Rammela in Ochsenhausen in the south of Germany.
Mr Motlolometsi, the principal of Tsoseletso was emotional throughout the ceremony and very proud of the students that were going to Germany. He thanked the honourable MEC Magoe who took time off from his busy schedule to attend the function. Some of the sponsors who were there were Lengau Community Bus Service and Mr. David Ferreira of Sportsmans Warehouse. The principal thanked all the sponsors saying that they are now “friends of Tsoseletso”.
The guest list, apart from the MEC, included Mr Mofokeng, Mr Khoarai Khoarai (the master himself!) and parents of the chosen learners. In his speech the MEC said: “Tsoseletso is indeed the centre of excellence and it must be institutionalised. Other learners come and learn from Tsoseletso”. He continued by pointing out the cardinal role of education especially to an underprivileged child - since he came from a poor background.
Me van Resburg proudly presented the learners bound for overseas to the audience. It was pointed out that she was responsible for writing the powerful proposal to the MEC that led to the successful sponsorship of the two learners in the end.
Mr.Khoarai impressively stated that any one can have a title as long as he or she occupied the post but that’s where one can be called a principal even when he is sinking the ship. I was very humbled to be part of an excellent school that has been doing so well since inception. Mr. Sello Nduna (of Bloemfontein Celtic fame) who is also a teacher at the famous school was the MC and he confirmed that Tsoseletso is the best. Pele ya Pele basotho.
DEAR DIARY (Column for teenagers) by Mpumelelo Mtjekelo
Words constitute a very powerful tool. Words can build a person and words can destroy a person. Words have changed my life in so many ways and I have to admit that they have changed my life in both good and bad ways.
There are people who say things without thinking straight, they don’t think about what impact the words can play in an individual’s life. As a teenager we are told a bunch of things by elders, I believe they want a better life for us all. Looking at school, there was a point in my life when my results were dropping. Please do realize that no one plans to fail, the little results which were not so impressed were actually my best shot.
As a child who is trying so hard to stand up and to succeed but yet keep tripping and tripping, at the same she doesn’t stop trying. Then comes a teacher, he looks at the report of the child, looks down at the child; in front of other pupil and say to her you are failing! Just tell me, after being told that to the face. Will that child be able to try to stand again?
Some people have to be told that they are failing in order for them to succeed while others don’t want to be told. It is OK, I do understand that the teacher was only trying to alert the child about her school work but how is the teacher doing that? Is the teacher building or destroying the learner? At the end of the day it is not about the teacher telling the learner that she is failing but it is in how the teacher tells the learner.
But hey! People say a lot of things and so it is up to an individual to choose which words do they absorb. These kinds of words we choose to absorb are supposed to be the words that build us; we should not let words destroy us. After all, we are what “we” say we are!
OCTOBER 9 – 15 OCTOBER 2009 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK:
“Sublime poetry lights up Pacofs” (By S Botsime). Page 6
Sublime poetry lights up Pacofs
By S Botsime
Distinguished bards and wordsmiths converged at Pacofs last Friday to showcase their skills at the Lesedi jazz room. The atmosphere was feisty and exciting as the night wore on.
The master of the ceremony was the one and only “Crazy dude” Superman (GAO). Among the poets who graced the occasion included the likes of Raselebeli “Magic” Khotseng, Jah- rose, Rita Chihalwa, Naledy, Icebound, the polished Sipho Mnyakeni to mention a few.
Poetry enthusiasts were also present, soaking in the atmosphere. It was a night when lovers of well crafted and well delivered lines of poetry could enjoy themselves. Rita and Sipho were particularly impressive.
The jazz room was packed with artists. A strange element was added when a minority fringed protested, carrying placards calling for the boycott of the Mangaung cultural festival (Macufe) - since the show was part of it.
Ice-bound took us back down memory lane with a display of one of his favourites. As for Rita, she was overwhelming and impressed that evening. Dammit, you rock girl! She was sincere, downright sassy, and was highly applauded by the audience.
As for Sipho Myakeni he delivered three excellent poems, but the one that blew so many minds was the one called Cliffhanger part 2. He examined the saga of Caster Semenya. He also delivered a message that local artists were being undermined, and not appreciated enough. All in all it was a memorable occasion.
OCTOBER 02– OCTOBER 8 2009 edition
FEATURE OF THE WEEK:
“FS learners revel in Road Safety Competition”. (By Gloria Marobele) Page 3
FS Learners revel in Road Safety Competition
By Gloria Marobele
Last week in Kroonstad, ten schools competed against each other in a laudable venture called Participatory Educational Techniques (PET). They presented the rules of the road using drama, PowerPoint presentations and dance.
At the occasion, two schools came from each district in the Free State and were randomly chosen. The purpose of this competition was to help learners understand that Road safety is not only the government’s responsibility but of everyone.
These students had to find a problem in their road and resolve it working together with South African Police Services (SAPS) and the Traffic Department. Sbongile Malinga, a Project Manager explained that this Competition started in KwaZulu Natal in 2004 by the Provincial schools. “Five boys and five girls per schools for Grade 10 and 11 were supposed to participate. Learners attended workshops which were to clarify what was needed from them and they started rehearsing in June. Learners have done well and the message has been passed”.
Motswela Senior Secondary School which is based in Kroonstaad also participated in this competition. Free State News had a chat with Motswela learners and they said “this project made a very big difference in our school and society, because after we had identified what was wrong in the road next to our school, we then had a meeting with the community members and taught them about the rules of the road. We painted a pedestrian crossing next to our school and taught the children of a Primary school which is next to our school to cross only in a pedestrian crossing.”
Grace Radebe (16) is a Grade 10 learner and this is what she said: “This competition helped us to be aware of things that we were not aware of. After school we used to play soccer on the road and not even think about cars that are passing, but now we started a Sports Day in our school. Every Wednesday, we close the gates in our school and play in our playgrounds. My message to all the South African learners is that safety is our number one rule and we need to be sober minded”.
“It’s good that the learners took an initiative and did something like this because most accidents that we have in our locations involve learners. They walk slowly across the roads and don’t think about cars which are behind them. I hope that next time many learners will be involved so that this can make an impact in many learners” said the Sergeant.
Meanwhile, all the learners that participated received school bags and medals. Beang tse Molemo came in third, winning themselves R6 000. The second position was taken by Ngwathe Secondary School which went home with R8000. The pole first position was taken by Motswela Secondary School who went home with R12000. Motswela will be representing Free State at the National Competition in KwaZulu Natal.
Martha Pertesen, a learner at Motswela who participated in this competition told Free State News “It’s like it’s unreal, when they were announcing we had lost hope because we were the last school to be called. We are now going to rehearse and fix our mistakes. We are going to sit down and discuss how we are going to spend the money that we won.”
Sam Motshabi, a judge at the event said: “Their presentation was good, focused and covered all the objectives. They met the requirements and their display was good. They are brave and we trust that they will represent Free State well. We will make sure that they are well groomed but we are still going to sit down and talk about that”.