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Protesting miners chase away South African President Ramaphosa on Labour Day

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was forced to abandon his Workers’ Day speech and whisked away by security officials in the northwestern city of Rustenburg after protesting mine workers stormed the stage and forcefully stopped him from making the speech.

The disgruntled miners employed by the state-owned Sibanye-Stillwater Mine, were staging a protest on Sunday to mark the international labour day, and made demands of an increase in their wage of 1,000 rand ($63) per month instead of the 850 rand ($54) being offered by the mine, when Ramaphosa made a stopover to address them.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa decided to mark the Workers Day, a public holiday in South Africa to mark May 1, by giving a speech to union members in Rustenburg, a mining center,” one of the organisers of the protest said.

However, the President was roundly booed by the miners as he started his address with a call for the striking workers and other members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions to calm down and listen to what he had to say.

“We have heard that you want your 1,000 rand. We will deal with that matter,” Ramaphosa told the protesting workers.

But shortly after that, Ramaphosa was forced to give up his speech altogether when angry miners stormed the stage and overwhelmed police surrounding the stage. Ramaphosa’s security guards had to whisk him away from the venue.

“The striking workers have become even angrier in recent days over reports that Sibanye-Stillwater’s CEO, Neal Froneman, earned more than 300 million rand ($19 million) in 2021 in salary payments and company share schemes,” an labour union official in the Northern province said on Monday.

“The tumultuous scene Sunday indicates the challenges that Ramaphosa faces later this year in his effort to be reelected head of the ANC as the unions are a key constituency of the party,” he added.

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66-yr-old South African man sentenced to 18 years for forcefully marrying, raping 13-yr-old girl

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A 66-year-old South African man, Bheki Nxasana, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison by a Gqeberha High Court in the KwaZulu-Natal province, after he was found guilty of forcefully marrying and raping a 13-year-old disabled girl.

The court also sentenced Nxasana’s accomplices, Mxosheni Sibiya and Nomvo Nxasana, who is Nxasana’s sister, on charges relating to “child trafficking and forced marriage of a 13-year-old mildly mentally challenged girl.”

Court documents made available to journalists on Friday, reveals that Nxasana had forcefully married and raped the mentally disabled girl in connivance with Sibiya and Nomvo.

According to the the spokesperson of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Luxolo Tyali, the victim who is an orphan, was married off to Nxasana, in 2016, by one of her relatives.

“Evidence is that the victim was orphaned and lived with a relative in KwaDukuza in KwaZulu-Natal,” Tyali said.

“The relative gave her up to her Sunday school teacher who was friends with Nomvo, the sister of the would-be husband.

“Nomvo took her to her daughter who lived in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape, where Bheki, who worked in Gqeberha, comes from.”

The NPA spokesman said investigations showed that Bheki, with the assistance of Nomvo, initiated “lobola” (customary marriage) negotiations and dowry payments were made in 2016.

“Bheki took the teenager to his house where he allegedly strangled and raped her repeatedly in the name of marriage.”

“The teenager was made to dress in newly married woman’s (makoti) traditional attire and lived at Bheki’s homestead where she worked as a new bride.”

“She managed to escape after the matter was reported to the police in April 2017 and the suspect was arrested.

“During the trial, all the accused claimed that they were not aware of the girl’s age when they entered her into a customary marriage and were not aware that they were acting unlawfully,” Tyali added.

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Former Kenyan policeman, three others sentenced to death for murder of human rights lawyer

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A former Kenyan police officer, Frederick Leliman, alongside three accomplices, were on Friday, sentenced to death by a Nairobi High Court for the murder of a human rights lawyer, his client and a taxi driver.

Leliman and the three others were convicted of carrying out the murders in one of the most popular cases of police brutality and extrajudicial killings in the eastern African country.

The lawyer and activist, Willie Kimani, was representing a motorcycle taxi operator who had sued Leliman for shooting him at a traffic roadblock in 2016 at the time he was murdered.

The bodies of Kimani, the client Josephat Mwendwa and a taxi driver, Joseph Muiruri, were discovered in the Ol-Donyo Sabuk River, in the east of the country, days after they were reported missing.

Evidence produced in court showed that the three victims were abducted by a team led by Leliman after a court session on June 22, 2016, and were briefly locked up and later taken out and murdered in an open field.

While Leliman was given a death sentence, former police officers, Stephen Cheburet and Sylvia Wanjiku, received sentences of 30 and 24 years, respectively, while a police informant, Peter Ngugi, was jailed for 20 years.

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