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What you need to know about Martha Marais’ compensation after Mamelodi Hospital abuse

Pensioner Martha Marais was tied to a bench at Mamelodi Hospital.

“We are not going to be punitive, because we understand the challenges that our health workers work within, but we have entered a process which we will share with the human rights commission and the family on the processes that we have taken in addressing all the issues of training, rehabilitation and general management of the hospital.”

The five-year plan

Masuku said the department was working on a five-year plan which aimed to ensure the quality of services and care received by patients. It included ensuring that health workers were provided with necessary equipment and the appointment of a new CEO at the Mamelodi hospital.

“It’s an ongoing process, it’s not going to be something with an end date, because it’s part of our five-year plan in terms of our priorities to make sure that we improve patient experience. Part of that is making sure that our health workers work in a conducive environment, with necessary equipment.”

Undisclosed settlement amount 

The department would not be drawn into disclosing the settlement amount, but saidMarais was in “good spirits and doing better”. She now received her treatment from Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.

Receiving help 

Family spokesperson Virginia Keppler told eNCA that counselling had helped in Marais’ recovery. “She did receive counselling and she’s doing much better, and what we’re happy about is that she speaks less and less about the incident.”

Social development opens hotline for anxious matriculants ahead of release of results

Matriculants and their parents have been urged to make use of the services of trained social workers through the hotline opened by the social services department.

Matriculants and their parents have been urged to make use of the services of trained social workers through the hotline opened by the social services department. 
Image: File/ Shelley Christians

The department of social development has widened the scope of its gender-based violence command centre to give counselling to matric pupils who are anxious ahead of the release of their results this week.

Minister of basic education Angie Motshekga will release the national results on Tuesday evening, and the individual candidate results will be released on Wednesday.

The hotline opened to matric pupils on Sunday.

“The department urges matriculants and their parents to make use of the command centre to receive counselling and support from trained social workers,” the department said in a statement.

The number to dial is 0800 428 428.

Those in need of help can also request that counsellors call them back by dialing *120*7867#. The service is free from any cellphone.

Deaf matriculants and their parents can also get assistance via the helpline as the department has put in place a Skype line for their assistance.

“Just add ‘HELPMEGBV’ to their contacts and a social worker will accept the invite and call them back,” the department said.

More than 790,000 pupils sat for the final matric exams in 2019. The department revealed that 596,720 pupils received social grants.

“The department wishes to remind the grant beneficiaries who pass and are accepted at institutions of higher learning that they will no longer be means tested by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) when they apply for financial assistance,” the department said.

The social grant beneficiaries automatically qualify for NSFAS when they apply.

The department urged those who were not successful in thee exams to try again.

“The ‘second chance matric support programme’ by the department of basic education is available to support learners who wish to use the second opportunity to sit for exams. We encourage learners to register at their schools or district offices,” the department said.

It urged parents to watch for any signs of depression in their children after the release of the results, advising them to urgently seek assistance.

SANDF members accused of stealing rifles released from custody

The DA described the theft of rifles from an armoury as a symptom of bigger problems in the military.

The 12 defence force (SANDF) members who were arrested in connection with the theft of 19 R4 rifles have been released from custody and will appear in court again on March 10 for trial.

The defence force discovered the weapons were missing during a spot check at an armoury at Lyttelton Tek Base in Pretoria on December 24.

Soldiers on duty at the base on the day the theft was discovered were arrested and appeared in a military court in Thaba Tshwane on December 28.

They were remanded until last Friday, when they made another application to be released.

SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said on Monday that the members were released on Friday.

Dlamini said the members will face charges of housebreaking, theft and the loss of firearms.

After the report of the theft, the DA questioned how the break-in had happened, saying there were questions the SANDF had to answer.

DA shadow minister of defence Kobus Marais asked whether the theft could have been an inside job, where the guards were positioned during the incident and why they failed to foil the break-in.

“This embarrassing robbery is a symptom of bigger problems in the SANDF,” Marais said.

Those fingered in Zondo inquiry must be convicted – Cosatu

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande at the 25th annual Joe Slovo commemoration at Avalon cemetery in Soweto.

Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Bheki Nthalintshali has called on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to charge those fingered in the Zondo commission – even if they are sick or old.

“Those fingered must face the music. Whether others are sick or old, they must be convicted first and then they must ask for pardon,” Nthalintshali said at the commemoration for the SACP’s former national chairperson, Joe Slovo, at the Avalon cemetery in Soweto on Monday.  Slovo died in 1995.

Nthalintshali said bonuses should not be paid to Eskom staff.

“If we give them bonuses we are encouraging them to implement more load-shedding,” Nthalintshali said.

He lashed out at the ANC for not sending one of its leaders to Slovo’s commemoration.

“You can’t come to a grave and make commitments that you can’t keep. The ANC has 90 leaders. If they can’t send one here, then the party is in danger.”

He said cabinet ministers who did not want to do their jobs should be fired.

He commended transport minister Fikile Mbalula for being visible on the roads during the festive season.

“All we are waiting to hear from him is when are we are getting rid of e-tolls. People don’t want e-tolls. They don’t even pay for them,” Nthalintshali said.

Beware: South Africans are falling victim to cellphone porting scam

Arthur Goldstuck, a commentator on ICT and mobile communications, has blamed service providers for not having measures in place for a security issue which was raised years ago.

Arthur Goldstuck, a commentator on ICT and mobile communications, has blamed service providers for not having measures in place for a security issue which was raised years ago. 
Image: 123RF/Nonwarit Pruetisirirot

Service providers have been blasted for not having proper security measures in place to protect the identities of their clients.

This after several cellphone users from different service providers fell victim to identity theft in a number-porting scam.

The online crime sees fraudsters transfer clients’ cellphone numbers from their  network service provider to another without the clients’ knowledge.

In one instance, an MTN user received a SMS on Saturday afternoon confirming that a porting request was being processed on his cellphone number.

“The port request has been received and is now being processed,” the message from the service provider read.

When phoning MTN to report the matter, the call centre told him the porting department was open only on weekdays.

On Monday morning he was lucky. He was informed that the porting request had been declined because he was on contract.

A Cell C user was not so fortunate.

Nonkululeko Njilo told TimesLIVE she received an SMS on Sunday evening that an application to port her number was successful.

Her number was ported to MTN without her authorisation.