South African Police Minister Found Guilty of Violating MPs’ Ethical Code – South African News Roundup – October 3, 2023

 Police Minister Bheki Cele has been found guilty of breaching the code of ethical conduct for Members of Parliament (MPs) after a contentious incident at a crime imbizo (gathering) in Cape Town last year.

During the imbizo, Cele clashed with Ian Cameron, the director of Action Society, who accused the minister of failing to protect citizens and not adequately deploying police to crime hotspots.

The situation escalated when Cele told Cameron to “shut up,” and police officers forcibly removed Cameron from the venue. The Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests has called for Cele to publicly apologise to Cameron in front of the National Assembly. Cameron welcomed the outcome, emphasising the importance of holding Cele publicly accountable.

Load Shedding Costs South African Municipalities Billions

Load shedding (power cuts) in South Africa has wreaked havoc on municipalities, costing them over R1.6 billion to repair damaged infrastructure and causing revenue losses exceeding R21 billion per year in nearly 80 municipalities.

Responding to a written parliamentary question, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Thembi Nkadimeng said vandalism and theft of electrical infrastructure during load shedding have become rampant, with some municipalities experiencing more than 100 incidents per day.

These challenges have forced municipalities like City Power in Johannesburg and Cape Town to spend substantial amounts on security and anti-vandalism efforts. This situation, coupled with municipalities’ financial struggles and their substantial debts to power utility Eskom, has had severe economic repercussions, discouraging investment and undermining the reliability of South Africa’s power supply.

Govt to Conduct Survey on Learners’ Unusual Behaviour

The South African Basic Education Department will conduct surveys at 3,000 schools across the country to investigate the reported unusual behavior in learners, reports SABC News. These incidents include uncontrollable screaming, hallucinations, and even suicides among students.

The Department’s spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, said that the surveys will commence after schools have reopened. The decision to conduct the surveys was made due to the increasing number of such incidents, which were initially considered isolated cases, prompting the need for a comprehensive investigation into the root causes.

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