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Police Arrest Suspected Killers Of South African Actress, Thandeka Mdeliswa1 minute read

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Three people have been arrested for their alleged role in the shooting of South African actress, Thandeka Mdeliswa.

The 34-year-old actress was shot at her family home in Evander, Mpumalanga on September 3 after she waded into a heated argument her older brother had with two men.

She died two days later at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.

On Saturday, 12 September 2020, the Police in Mpumalanga confirmed they have made some arrests over the case.

“Three men have been arrested in this regard, including the one believed to have shot Mdeliswa,” the police said in a statement.

“Police on Friday arrested a 27-year-old man in connection with the murder, and another two suspects, aged 24 and 29, for unlawful possession of the firearm believed to have been used in the murder.”

Mdeliswa played the role of Khanya Hlophe in the television soapie Ikani. After she was shot, killers fled the scene.

Her family in a statement last Sunday described the 27-year-old as “a young, talented and inspirational actress which her family and community were looking to see flourish”.

“The brutality which was inflicted on our daughter has left us deeply hurt. This is another incident of violence against women which our country has to fight against. We believe that justice will be served,” the statement said.

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South Africa’s Police Arrest Public Officials For Inflating Project Costs

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South African authorities have arrested four former public officials for inflating the cost of a prjoect.

The Hawks, on Thursday, arrested former senior Gauteng Department of Health officials for alleged R1.2 billion tender irregularities committed almost 13 years ago.

The arrested are a former head of department who was also an accounting officer at the time; chief director of information communication and technology; head of supply chain management; and the deputy director for executive support.

They are accused of receiving kickbacks for their role in ensuring the contract was awarded to an undeserving entity and have been charged with fraud, corruption, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.

Police say the case emanates from February 2007 where the State Information Technology Agency (Sita) submitted a proposal to continue with an information technology maintenance programme at the department.

The Hawks’ Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase said the total cost of a project like that was not meant to be over R57 million for a period of three years.

“The contract was instead awarded to a private entity at a whopping cost of around R1.2 billion without following due tender procedures.

“Two private company directors who unduly benefited from the tender are yet to be charged along together with their two companies. The said directors are reportedly outside of the country but steps have already been initiated to ensure that they are accounted for,” Nkwalase said.

The four appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Thursday.

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#EndSARS: Miscreants Raid Prisons In Ondo, Delta States, Releases Inmates

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Violence in Nigeria continued on Thursday with suspected miscreants raiding at least two correctional centres and setting prisoners free.

Armed thugs reportedly attacked a police station in Asaba, the Delta State capital. The hoodlums also allegedly raided the Warri Correctional Centre – Okere Prison – in the Warri South Local Government Area of the state, shooting sporadically.

The police station was reportedly set on fire.

The hoodlums reportedly moved to the Police Special Protection Unit in the area in an attempt to set it ablaze but were repelled by security personnel there.

It was also learnt a protest was currently ongoing at Oleh in Isoko South Local Government Area of the state by young persons, who have barricaded all major roads leading in and out of the community.

Recall that the office of the Federal Road Safety Corps along the Benin-Asaba-Onitsha Expressway and the beautification garden at Koka Junction, Asaba, were on Wednesday night set ablaze by thugs.

State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, had on Thursday morning announced a 48-hour curfew across the state.

The governor also ordered the closure of all public and private schools in the state until November 2, 2020.

In Ondo State, hoodlums on Thursday broke into the National Correctional Service Centre in Okitipupa, the headquarters of Okitipupa Local Government Area and forcefully released the inmates.

It was gathered that no fewer than 58 inmates were released during the attack while a vehicle was burnt.

It was also learnt that several items were destroyed on the premises of the prison.

Also on Monday, an attempted jailbreak at the Ikoyi prison in Lagos was foiled by the security forces. Videos shared online showed smoke billowing from parts of the prison while inmates were seen running.

The prison authorities called for reinforcements and they said that no prisoners managed to escape.

Earlier in the week, hundreds of inmates escaped a correctional facility in Edo State after it was raided by suspected miscreant, prompting Governor Godwin Obaseki to declare a 24-hour statewide curfew.

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Group Lambastes Egypt Over Execution Of 49 People In 10 Days

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Egyptian authorities executed 15 men convicted for alleged involvement in three cases of political violence as well as 2 women and 25 men convicted in criminal cases between October 3 and 13, 2020, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday.

In a statement, the rights group asks the Egyptian Government to immediately halt executions, and re-try those sentenced to death in grossly unfair trials.

According to HRW, 13 of the 15 men charged with political violence had been held in Cairo’s Scorpion Prison.

Their executions follow a suspicious incident inside Scorpion’s death row ward on September 23 in which Interior Ministry forces killed four prisoners after those prisoners killed four security personnel. Authorities alleged the prisoners were trying to escape, the group said.

“Egypt’s mass executions of scores of people in a matter of days is outrageous,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

“The systematic absence of fair trials in Egypt, especially in political cases, makes every death sentence a violation of the right to life.”

The government typically does not announce executions, or even inform the prisoner’s family.

On October 13, the pro-government Al-Masry al-Youm newspaper published the names of eight prisoners executed in the Maximum-Security Prison in Minya governorate, south of Cairo, including a woman.

On October 6, pro-government newspaper Al-Watan said authorities in Cairo Isti’naf Prison carried out 11 executions, including a woman, convicted in criminal cases.

Al-Watan reported on October 3 that authorities executed eight prisoners and on October 8 another seven in Alexandria, in murder and rape cases.

The independent Al-Shehab Center for Human Rights published on October 7 the names of 15 people it said authorities had executed on October 3. Ten had been convicted in the South Giza Case 3455 of 2014, known as the Ajnad Masr (Soldiers of Egypt) case; three in the North Giza Case 4804 of 2013, known as the Kerdasa case; and two in the East Alexandria Case 6300 of 2013, known as the Alexandria Library case.

The Kerdasa and Alexandria Library cases stem from violent events coinciding with the August 14, 2013 violent dispersal of the largely peaceful Rab’a sit-in protesting the army’s removal of President Mohamed Morsy, a day in which security forces probably killed over 1,000 protesters.

The Kerdasa case involved violent protests and an armed attack by a mob on the Kerdasa police station, killing its warden and 12 other Interior Ministry officers and soldiers, and mutilating an officer’s body.

A terrorism court sentenced 183 out of 188 defendants in a grossly unfair mass trial.

The Cassation Court, Egypt’s highest appeal court, overturned the ruling in February 2016 and ordered a retrial before a different terrorism court, which in July 2017 sentenced 20 to death, 80 to life in prison, acquitted 21, and sentenced the rest to long prison terms.

The Cassation Court upheld these sentences in September 2018. Seventeen of the 20 sentenced to death remained on death row.

Nine leading Egyptian human rights organizations said in a 2018 statement that authorities ignored basic fair trial guarantees, including access to legal counsel and the need to establish individual criminal responsibility.

In the Alexandria Library case, authorities charged 71 people following violent protests near the library and killings of 16 people, including an officer and two soldiers, in different incidents.

In September 2015, a criminal court in Alexandria sentenced three defendants to death, one of them in absentia, and the rest to prison.

The Cassation Court upheld the death sentences in July 2017 and acquitted four defendants. Human Rights Watch reviewed 66 pages of the case file comprising the indictment and the evidence, mainly unsubstantiated allegations by security officers with scant material evidence that two executed, Yasser Shokr and Yasser al-Abasiery, were responsible for the killings.

In the Ajnad Masr case, authorities charged about 45 defendants of involvement in armed attacks by Ajnad Masr, an extremist armed group, which claimed responsibility for several attacks in 2014 and 2015. In December 2017, a Giza terrorism court sentenced 13 to death, others to prison terms, and acquitted 5. In May 2019, the Cassation Court upheld the sentences. Three people from this case remain on death row.

Under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt has become one of the top 10 countries for executions and death sentences. Those arrested for alleged political violence frequently face a host of abuses including enforced disappearances, torture to extract confessions, and no access to lawyers. In an examination of 28 death sentence cases since 2016, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights found that authorities had forcibly disappeared 198 people, and 212 said they had been tortured. The majority of those sentenced to death were convicted in military or terrorism court trials that do not meet fair trial standards.

Authorities routinely add dozens, sometimes hundreds, of defendants to a case without justification. Mass trials, which became the norm after 2013 in political cases, do not allow sufficient time to present a defense or to establish individual criminal responsibility.

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