Tens of thousands of Nigerians have been taking to the streets for more than two weeks to protest against police brutality.
Young people mobilising through social media began staging demonstrations calling for the abolition of the federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which has long been accused of unlawful arrests, torture and extrajudicial killings.
The hashtag #EndSARS has been trending not just in Nigeria but across the world for several days.
What is SARS?
SARS was a special police unit set up in 1984 as Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, battled rising levels of crime and kidnappings.
Initially, it was successful in reducing cases of violent crime but more recently the unit had been “turned into banditry”, according to Fulani Kwajafa, the man who set up SARS.
In June 2020, Amnesty International released a report that documented at least 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment and extrajudicial execution by SARS between January 2017 and May 2020.
What triggered the protests?
The protests were sparked by a viral video allegedly showing SARS officers killing a young man in the southern Delta state. Authorities denied the video was real.
The man who filmed the video was arrested, provoking even more anger.
How did the government respond?
With no signs of protesters backing down, President Muhammadu Buhari stepped in and disbanded the unit.
“The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reform in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people,” Buhari said.
Last week, Muhammed Adamu, inspector general of police, said all SARS officers would be redeployed to other police commands, formations and units.
That drew condemnation from protesters who pledged to keep up their campaign demanding accountability and justice for the victims of police brutality.
In recent days, the protests have turned violent with shots fired at demonstrators.
On Tuesday, Amnesty said there was “credible but disturbing evidence” that security forces in Lagos, the country’s commercial capital, had shot at protesters, killing them.
Have the protests spread across the world?
The #EndSARS protests have taken place in several cities across the world including, London, Berlin, New York and South Africa.
On Tuesday, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on President Buhari and the Nigerian army “to stop killing” protesters.
Police in South Africa have re-arrested Malawian Prophet, Shepherd Bushiri, and his wife Prophetess Mary Bushiri allegedly for fraud and money laundering about K5 billion (R102 million).
Bushiri’s spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo has confirmed the arrest of the Bushiri and his wife.
The two have been arrested today by the Hawks, South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) which targets organized crime, economic crime, corruption, and other serious crimes.
Bushiri’s wife was arrested at home.
However, a news report by eNCA alleges that Bushiri was “apprehended after attempting to evade arrest”. The report says Major 1 as the Malawian born prophet is fondly called “subsequently handed himself in at Silverton police station in Pretoria”.
A statement on Bushiri’s Facebook Page revealed that Bushiri’s fresh arrest relates to a certain investment pertaining to a company called RISING ESTATE.
“He [Bushiri] believes in the justice system of the country and he will abide to all what the law compels until all this war is done.
“As the matter is still currently under criminal investigation, we have been advised not to discuss this matter any further,” reads part of statement.
Bushiri who leads the Enlightened Christian Gathering was also arrested in South Africa together with his wife in 2019 for fraud and money laundering. The couple had been on bail and their case was recently adjourned to 2021.
The Clicks pharmacy group was forced to close its 880-store franchise on Monday after 37 stores were vandalised, looted and in some cases petrol-bombed.
This was after the EFF protested outside the stores following the publication of an offensive and racist ad for a hair care product made by Unilever brand TRESemmé on the Clicks website last Friday.
The ad depicted the hair of a black woman as being “dry, damaged, frizzy and dull”, and put it against that of a white woman with hair described as “colour treated, fine, flat or normal”. The ad campaign was apparently meant to celebrate all hair types, but the discrimination was implicit: “Black women, use this shampoo and you can have hair like this white woman.”
The outrage was immediate. Marketers never seem to learn.
Clicks, Unilever and TRESemmé took the ad down on the same day and published an apology, with Clicks taking to social media to apologise to customers.
The EFF jumped into the fray and published a statement saying that its “progressive forces” would ensure that Clicks would be held accountable for its actions.
EFF Secretary-General Marshall Dlamini wrote to Clicks, demanding that it publish the names of all of the people involved in commissioning, producing and publishing the ad, whether they were internal staff or employees and directors of third parties.
If Clicks did not comply “in writing” within 24 hours, the EFF would close all stores “without further notice”.
The EFF followed this up with a warlike Twitter campaign:
Clicks replied to the EFF via its legal team at Werksmans, stating that privacy laws meant it could not release the names of the people involved (and for their own safety), but pointing out that Clicks acknowledged the ad was offensive and that the CEO Vikesh Ramsunder had apologised unreservedly. The open letter was later published, and Clicks invited the EFF to further discussions.
Werksmans then instructed the EFF to cancel the threatened shutdown of the stores and remove all content from social media which it said inflamed and incited violence against Clicks, its properties and staff.
Bob Mabena’s wife, Eucharist, was driving him home from hospital on Monday when he suddenly suffered a cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. A few hours later, he was gone.
The veteran radio and TV host’s death has sent shock waves across the nation, and left his family devastated.
“The family are at a stage where it is starting to settle in. As you can imagine, it was traumatic for everyone when we all found out initially. It is a roller-coaster ride, emotionally,” family spokesperson Winston Maimane told the press.
Winston said Bob first fell ill on Friday, and on Saturday was told by his doctor to go to hospital. He spent Saturday and Sunday in hospital receiving treatment and was told he would be discharged on Monday morning.
However, things took a turn for the worse once Bob left the hospital and was on his way home.
“I got a call from his wife while they were still driving home to say that he had basically just stopped breathing. She said they had just left the hospital and so I told her to make a U-turn and take him back.
“We all rushed there, me and some other friends of his, and we sat with his wife and four-year-old child for two hours while they tried to resuscitate him. Eventually, around two in the afternoon, they confirmed that he had passed.”
The Hawks on Friday confirmed that the wife of a former minister had been arrested in Pretoria.
“She was arrested based on allegations of assault and damage to property and a warrant for her arrest had been issued,” said Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi to the media.
The woman is expected to spend the weekend behind bars, and will appear in a Pretoria court on Monday.
Mulaudzi would not confirm the woman’s identity, but a police source, speaking off the record, confirmed to the press that the woman in question was Noma Gigaba, wife of former home affairs and public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba.
The source made claims and confirmed the contents of a circulating WhatsApp message which stated that two officers arrested Noma on Friday and that she was being held at the Brooklyn police station until her court appearance.
It was reported that the matter involves major damage inflicted on a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon worth in the region of R3m. A video circulating on social media, claiming that the vehicle belongs to Gigaba, shows smashed mirrors and glass on the floor, and long scratches down the passenger side. One of the scratches appears to spell out the word “cheater”.
SABC 1’s popular soapie Uzalo has become the latest big name show to halt production due to Covid-19 after a crew member tested positive for the coronavirus.
In a statement, the broadcaster said it has been notified by producers, Stained Glass TV, that it was shutting down on Friday and would “follow all the necessary protocols”.
It said the broadcast of the soapie would not be affected.
The broadcaster confirmed that all other productions which had been halted because of the virus had now resumed.
This includes Muvhango, which put a stop to filming last month to reduce the risk of exposure to Covid-19 on and off the set.
Uzalo actress Thuthuka Mthembu said the production had gone a long way to ensure safety on set. This included limiting the number of people on set for a recent wedding scene, social distancing, wearing of masks and sanitising before exchanging rings.
“The work we do requires us to get up close and personal with each other, so it has been incredibly challenging and we have had to do things differently.”
“We have our masks on and we are doing a lot of communicating with our eyes. It has to happen for the safety of all of us.”
Cyril Ramaphosa spoke to the nation at 20:00 last night and announced a few regulations that are to be changed as of the beginning of this week.
There are more than a dozen new pieces of legislation that were thrusted upon South Africa.
They cover everything from alcohol, cigarettes and wearing a mask to when you can leave your home.
The laws, gazetted by cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, take effect immediately.
This is everything you need to know about the new Disaster Management Act regulations.
Booze banned (Regulation 44)
“The sale, dispensing and distribution of liquor is prohibited,” the Act states, giving legal force to the announcement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday night.
The regulation also bans the transportation of liquor, except if it is required for industries producing hand sanitisers, disinfectant, and similar products. Transportation of alcohol is allowed for export, and from manufacturing plants to storage facilities.
Tobacco products still banned (Regulation 45)
Unsurprisingly, the new regulations continue the ban on tobacco and related products.
The regulation states: “The sale of tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products to members of the public and to persons, including retailers who sell directly to the members of the public, is prohibited. The sale of tobacco, tobacco products, e-cigarettes and related products for export is permitted. The sale of tobacco from farmers to local processors or local manufacturers, and from processors to manufacturers, is permitted.”
Curfew is back on (Regulation 33)
Rampahosa said on Sunday that many of the social ills linked to excessive alcohol consumption took place at night, which meant a curfew needed to be brought back. This was made law by regulation 33 of the Act.
“Every person is confined to his or her place of residence from 9pm until 4am daily, except where a person has been granted a permit to perform a service permitted under Alert Level 3, or is attending to a security or medical emergency,” the law states.
Wearing a mask is not an option — it’s the law (Regulation 5)
Regulation 5, which governs the wearing of masks, has been changed to force South Africans to wear them, including in open spaces.
“The wearing of (a) a cloth face mask, (b) a homemade item, or (c) another appropriate item, that covers the nose and mouth, is mandatory for every person when in a public place,” the regulations state.
They go further to state that you cannot use any form of public transport — in any capacity or role — without wearing a mask. You also cannot go into or be inside a building, place or premises without a mask. You cannot “be in any public open space” without a mask.
The exception is for people who are performing “vigorous exercise in a public place”. However, social distancing must be in place, with the person doing the exercise maintaining “a distance of at least three metres from any other person”. What defines “vigorous” will be determined by health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize in due course.
Employers must provide masks, and that includes school bosses (Regulation 5)
“An employer must provide every employee with a cloth face mask, homemade item, or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth when in the workplace,” regulation 5 of the Act states.
The law says an employer may not allow any employee to perform any duties or enter the employment premises if the employee is not wearing a mask, or something appropriate.
It also puts similar responsibilities on the shoulders of school owners, managers and principals.
“The principal of a school, or owner or manager of an early childhood development centre, must take all reasonable steps to ensure the relevant authority supplies the school or early childhood development centre with sufficient cloth face masks, homemade items, or other appropriate items that covers the nose and mouth to provide to a learner of that school or early childhood development centre who does not have a cloth face mask, homemade item, or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth,” the law states.
If a pupil arrives at school without a mask, they may be provided with an appropriate item, if possible, or must be “isolated and his or her parent, guardian or caregiver must be contacted to, without delay, bring [one] for the learner”. If this isn’t possible, plans must be made to safely transport the child back home.
You can go to your local park (Regulation 39)
The new regulation removes “beaches” from the list of prohibited places, and also allows you to visit parks. However, this is not permitted for exercising and is “subject to health protocols”.
Taxis can operate at 100% capacity (Regulation 43)
In what is perhaps a surprise move, but one that seems to show government buckling to pressure, taxis have been allowed to operate at full capacity for local trips. This is defined as anything less than 200km.
“For purposes of this regulation ‘long distance travel’ is a trip of 200km or more. whether the travel is within a province or interprovincial,” subsection 1 of the regulation states.
For long distance trips, a 70% capacity is permitted.
“Bus and taxi services may operate under the following conditions: (a) May not carry more than 70% of the licensed capacity for long distance intra-provincial and permitted interprovincial travel; and (b) may carry 100% of the licensed capacity for any trip not regarded as long distance travel in terms of sub-regulation (1),” the law states.
Punishment for breaking the rules (Regulations 14 & 48)
Regulation 14 deals with specific punishment for those who fail to enforce the wearing of masks within their ambit of operation. Regulation 48 is overarching and deals with people who break the laws themselves.
Regulation 14 states that when those responsible for enforcing the wearing of masks laws fail to do so — whether it be a taxi driver, company owner or school principal — they could face, on conviction, “a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and imprisonment”.
Regulation 48 also hands down the same punishment for those who breach other regulations — that is a fine or imprisonment of no more than six months, or both.
A male medical student at Stellenbosch University assaulted a female fellow student. Police have launched an investigation since, but no arrests have been made yet.
The incident took place at Ubuntu House, a residence on Tygerberg campus, in the early hours of Saturday, July 4.
The incident sparked outrage in the university community, and Anti-GBV Movement SU, an advocacy group, which spoke out about it.
Lebogang says both she and her alleged attacker are final-year medical students and were chilling in a friend’s room with their buddies on Friday.
She says at around 1am, the man kept touching her bum and after asking him to stop several times, she slapped him, which led to the alleged assault.The young woman says the man was drinking and made a pest of himself.
“A final-year medical student assaulted me because I kept asking him to stop touching my ass. He continued, and a guy friend of mine spoke to him and told him to stop,” she alleges.
“He continued and after the third time, I slapped him and asked him to stop. This is what I got for asking a man to respect my body, my space,” she says pointing to her dik eyes.
She says a security guard broke up the fight and removed the man from the room.
Taking to Instagram after the incident, she expressed her fear of what her alleged perp might do in the future.
“This person is going to become someone’s doctor. He could do this to me, being his peer/colleague, imagine when he is examining your grandma, mother and children.
“Imagine what he could do if he was in a position of power?” the post reads.
Since then Stellenbosch has been called out by the Twitter society because the severity of the situation is not being taken seriously.
It has been reported that the 3rd year student has been sent to a private accommodation and the university did not necessarily check on Lebo’s well being or if she was okay.
Lebo shared her story on The Radio Police on Wednesday night expressing how she felt about the situation and how the matter has not yet been resolved.
Other students who are attending at the university fear for their safety saying that if matters like these can be easily disregarded they do not feel comfortable being part of the Stellenbosch community.
Since then people have been demanding for justice on the matter.
Senior Director of Student Affairs at the University, Dr Choice Makhetha confirmed in a statement that the alleged perpetrator was temporarily suspended as a disciplinary investigation is set to take place.
The man, whose identity is not known, could not be reached.
The annual South African Music Awards (Samas) are the latest big event in South Africa to be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and are now moving online for this year’s edition.
Organisers on Monday confirmed that the 26th edition of the awards will take place next month and follow a brand new format. Here is how things are going to go.
The awards will move from the previous home at the Sun City Superbowl to online streaming service My Muze by Vodacom and Mzansi Magic, on DStv channel 161.
The awards are normally broken up into an industry awards on Friday and the main ceremony on Saturday, as part of an action-packed awards weekend.
This year the party has been extended to the whole week, with the awards presented over five nights between August 3 and 7, at 9.30pm.
The episodes will be broken into 30-minute shows, except for the last night which will be a 45-minute grand finale. The awards have always been known for catchy themes that celebs try to interpret when dressing up for the red carpet.
This year’s theme is a playful one: ForThaKultcha. The red carpet parade will move to the Twitter streets, where everyone is invited to share the spotlight.
The awards will be presented by two main hosts, who are yet to be revealed. There will also be guest presenters and panellists.
And of course what would the Samas be without several show-stopping performances and collaborations from Mzansi’s favourite and gifted musicians.
The nominees in the Record of the Year and Music Video of the Year categories, that are open to be voted for by the public, will be announced on Thursday, July 9 2020 on the SAMA26 social media pages and My Muze by Vodacom.
“We look forward to the SAMA26 virtual experience. Our teams are hard at work to deliver a show that we will all be proud of given the current state the world is in. I invite you all to tune in, plug in and do it for the culture,” RiSA CEO Nhlanhla Sibisi said in a statement.
As the Covid-19 death and infection numbers continue to climb up, most celebrities are starting to see the severity of the illness and actress Rami Chuene told fans the pandemic has always been “real”, but is more alarming now because “people you know are now getting infected”.
Many thousands of South Africans have been infected with the coronavirus since March, and several celebs confirmed this week that they or their family members have contracted the virus.
Several TV productions have been halted over the last month or so over fears that staff may have come into contact with someone who had the virus.
As the virus starts to hit “closer to home”, Rami took to Twitter to tell fans the statistics have “always had names”.
As South Africans we need to start taking COVID-19 more seriously and take necessary precautions to make sure we heal and get through the pandemic.