Monthly Archives: February 2012

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Zulu king slams Congolese marchers
CANAAN MDLETSHE | 21 February, 2012 00:33

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini


Zulu monarch Goodwill Zwelithini used his speech at this year’s opening of the KwaZulu-Natal legislature yesterday as a platform from which to lambast the Congolese who marched to parliament in Cape Town last week.

“I understand that South Africa is a democratic country and welcomes people from different countries who have run away from their countries for different reasons. As a result, South Africa is home to many Africans but I must express my disappointment at the behaviour of these people.

“Their marching to parliament was disappointing. They come to South Africa as immigrants but once they are here they make themselves freedom fighters, who in turn tarnish the good image of South Africa,” he said.

A group of about 300 Congolese marched to parliament to demand that President Jacob Zuma denounce the re-election of President Joseph Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“They must understand that Zuma was elected by the majority of South Africans and they don’t have a right to march against him. It boggles [the] mind that an immigrant who left his country for political reasons can come and act like that.

“If such behaviour is allowed to continue, I have no doubt that locals might ask themselves many questions and I hope it will never happen,” said Zwelithini.

It is a tradition for Zwelithini to open the provincial legislature a day before the state of the province address.

Premier Zweli Mkhize is expected to deliver the address today and will present the provincial government’s plans to root out corruption and accelerate rural development.

Political party leaders, members of the legislature and the judiciary, businessmen and traditional leaders attended the opening of the legislature.

Zwelithini called on the provincial government and the private sector to work together to build tertiary educational institutions.

“It is quite evident that the number of tertiary institutions we have cannot cope with the increased output at the basic education level.

“The problem is known: institutions receive tens of thousands of applications but can only accept a fraction of them.

“Therefore, we need more universities, colleges and technikons. Let us budget for these institutions, build them, staff them and equip our children with skills they need to better their lives.”

Zwelithini said that, though the national government was responsible for building tertiary educational institutions, he believed that the province could deal with the demand for higher education.


Bobbi Kristina Goes Missing After Mom Whitney Houston’s Funeral

Us Weekly – Sun, Feb 19, 2012 3:56 PM PST


Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown had her grandmother, Cissy Houston, at her side during the 3.5-hour long funeral for her mother, Whitney Houston, held in Newark, NJ Saturday.
But once the services ended and her mother’s casket was carried out of the New Hope Baptist Church to “I Will Always Love You,” the 18-year-old alarmed her family and friends when she went missing. Meanwhile, it was being speculated that she was using drugs at that time.
PHOTOS: Whitney and Bobby’s family album
“There was some confusion about Bobbi Kristina’s whereabouts last night for a short time, but she’s OK,” a Houston family spokesperson told The Daily Beast on Sunday, adding that drugs were not part of the equation. “She needed some time alone.”
No word if Bobbi Kristina (Whitney’s only child with her ex-husband Bobby Brown) attended the repast held for Houston’s family and friends after the funeral.
NEWS: See what Kevin Costner, Alicia Keys and others said at Houston’s funeral
On Feb. 11, Bobbi Kristina, who was at the Beverly Hills hotel when her mother’s body was found in a bathroom inside her hotel room, was rushed to the hospital following the tragic news.
PHOTOS: Whitney Houston, 1963-2012
At Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, the teen was treated for stress while a psychiatric evaluator was brought in to determine if she needed to be placed on a 5150 (an involuntary psychiatric hold).
“Everything [was] stressful,” Billy Watson, an extended family member, explained to Us Weekly. “Her mama died, so she broke down. Nobody expected her to pass as quickly as she did. [Bobbi Kristina] had a nervous breakdown.”
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Bullied into suicide
MCKEED KOTLOLO | 21 February, 2012 00:33


Bullying on the rise

David “MoDav” Hlongwane became South Africa’s latest victim of school bullies when the Grade 10 pupil hanged himself rather than return to school and face his tormentors again.

This is the story of a 16-year-old mercilessly punched by four classmates at Lethabong Secondary School, in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria.

A day after being bullied – which experts say is increasing alarmingly – he hanged himself at home.

Tuesday, February 14

On StValentine’s Day, David is bullied by four other Grade10 boys aged between 18 and 20. They pick on him and beat him up.

During the lunch break, the youngsters approach David and ask if his nickname is “Killer”.

When he says “No”, they attack him, grabbing him by his clothes.

He manages to escape, bleeding, to the staff common room.

The school principal, MZ Serwadi, gives David and his attackers letters to take home to their parents, asking that the parents visit the school the following day.

The pupils return to their classroom but, after school, one of the boys – who has previously been suspended for slapping a teacher – attacks David again.

David again manages to escape.

When he gets home, he does not tell his mother, Sheila Hlongwane, about the bullying, merely saying that he is tired and wants to sleep.

Wednesday, February 15

David’s stepfather, Sam Mabuza, who did not go to work that day, wakes the teenager after when he realises that he is going to be late for school.

As on any other weekday, David puts on his uniform, eats breakfast and leaves for school.

Mabuza goes to visit relatives, deciding later to return home on foot instead of paying the R7 taxi fare.

David has, in the meantime, returned home and played a recording of his favourite gospel song.

When Mabuza opens the door of his home, he finds David hanged from the rafters.

“He was still breathing. I immediately cut the electric wire with a side cutter and quickly arranged transport to take him to the clinic.

“He was certified dead on arrival,” Mabuza says.

Searching through their son’s clothes, his parents find the letter from the principal, which he has not shown them.

“You are urgently requested to come to the above-mentioned school on February 15 at 8am in connection with your child David Hlongwane,” it reads. “Your immediate response would be much appreciated.”


David’s parents meet the principal, the four bullying pupils and the pupils’ parents.

Hlongwane says the youngsters admitted bullying her son.

But, she says, the principal insisted that only two of the pupils had participated in the attack. Instead of allowing the boys to speak for themselves, Serwadi spoke on their behalf.

Bullying David was not the boys’ first misdemeanour at school.

In November, one of them became rowdy during examinations. When he was silenced by a teacher, he made jokes about her, then slapped her face. He was suspended for seven days.

Nearly a week after David committed suicide, the chairman of the school governing body, Reginald Maganxa, says he did not know about the suicide.

He promised yesterday to call an urgent meeting of the executive committee of the governing body to discuss the teenager’s death.

Several attempts to reach Serwadi yesterday failed.

Charles Phahlane, spokesman for the Gauteng education department, said the department was “shocked” at the news of David’s death.

“We will investigate the circumstances of the assault.”

The department said it would send counsellors to David’s family.

Gauteng Childline director Lynne Cawood said bullying was on the increase but it was difficult to substantiate this because there was little research or baseline history.

“It is difficult to [prove] but bullying is definitely on the rise and this is concerning. It is exacerbated by the fact that bullying is taking a new form with the invention of communications technology . it is a worrying phenomenon.”

Johannesburg educational psychologist Melanie Hartgill echoed Cawood’s sentiments, saying technology made bullying easy. – Additional reporting by Sipho Masombuka


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