Gauteng Churches in South Africa Mull Over Adopting Cashless System to Reduce Crime – Brief South African News Update: November 2, 2023

 Gauteng Churches Consider Cashless Payments to Reduce Crime ,In response to a series of armed robberies at places of worship in Gauteng, authorities and faith-based organizations have discussed measures to enhance safety.

One proposed solution is to transition from cash transactions to card payments and electronic fund transfers within churches. This comes in the wake of the tragic death of Pastor Dwayne Gordon during a church service in Newlands, Johannesburg.

While the move to cashless transactions is considered a step toward addressing the security issue, some faith leaders argue that it may not be the sole solution.

They recommend information sharing among religious leaders on crime trends, increased awareness, cooperation with community policing forums, and the use of armed response services, CCTV cameras, and metal detectors. However, some faith leaders express dissatisfaction, feeling that the focus is biased towards established churches.

University Provides Food Hampers to Students as Aid Scheme Fails

The University of Limpopo and its Student Representative Council (SRC) have provided food hampers to 2,000 students, including those who did not receive their allowances from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in September, reports TimesLIVE.

 The financial aid scheme also failed to pay November allowances on time. Four direct payment providers, eZaga, Tenet Technologies, Norraco Corporation, and Coinvest Africa, struggled to pay students after receiving funds from NSFAS.

An investigation recommended cancelling the direct payment contracts due to irregularities, but Tenet Technologies said they had not been officially informed.  NSFAS has blamed a system upgrade for the delays. Students are frustrated and concerned about the impact of the delays on their studies.

Wife of Missing Soldier Calls for Release of Belongings

Juanita Thompson, the wife of missing South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldier Isak Thompson, has criticised the police for withholding her husband’s bank card and identity book.

Isak disappeared mysteriously over three months ago from the SA Army Infantry School in Oudtshoorn, along with an army R4 rifle. Juanita, who has been separated from him for a decade, is now left to care for their four children and is struggling without his income.

The police say they are keeping Isak’s bank card for investigation purposes, while the SANDF continues to pay his salary. The family is frustrated by the lack of information and cooperation from both the police and SANDF regarding Isak’s disappearance and his belongings. The investigation remains ongoing.

Inquiry into Parliament Arson Accused’s Fitness to Stand Trial Begins

An inquiry into Zandile Mafe’s fitness to stand trial for alleged arson at Parliament begins today (November 2, 2023), reports eNCA. Mafe has rejected assessments from both an independent panel and a private psychiatrist, both of whom concluded that he is not fit for trial.

He is facing terrorism and arson charges related to the Parliament fire incident. The inquiry is being conducted under Section 77 of the Criminal Procedures Act, which addresses the procedures for handling individuals considered unfit for trial due to mental illness or intellectual disability.

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