Science and Technology on deployment of South African nanosatellite from International Space Station

South African nanosatellite successfully deployed from International Space StationWeighing just 2,5 kg, South Africa’s first privately owned nanosatellite, nSight1, has been successfully sent into orbit from the International Space Station (ISS). Depl…

MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana sends condolences to Baiju family

MEC Dlungwana morns the passing of District Director Mrs Jennifer Baiju

It is with great sadness that the MEC for Education in KwaZulu-Natal Mthandeni Dlungwana have received the news of the passing away of Mrs Jennifer Ann Baiju, an outstanding administrator and leader. Mrs Baiju passed away today, 30 May 2017 after a short illness.

She served the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education in various capacities for more than two decades.

Mrs Baiju, who committed most of her life in the education sector, was a district director of uMgungundlovu at the time of her passing. She was instrumental in promoting the transformation of education system.

Over the past few years the department of education benefited from her visionary leadership which portrayed her philosophy that teaching should make a difference in society � MEC Dlungwana remarked.

Her contributions and expertise in the field of education have been widely acknowledged by colleagues in the department.

As we mourn her passing away, the department appreciates her invaluable contribution, and she will be remembered as one of the most dedicated leaders the department has produced.

We take this opportunity to convey our sincere condolences to the friends and members of the bereaved family. We thank God for Mrs Jennifer Ann Baiju’s life during the past several decades.

Source: Government of South Africa

Nigeria’s Biafra Separatist Backers Mark 50 Years After War

ONITSHA, NIGERIA � Members of Nigeria’s Biafran separatist movement on Tuesday marked 50 years after civil war saw more than one million people die trying to create a state for the Igbo people.

Residents in Onitsha in the southeast staged a “stay home” to reflect on those who died fighting from 1967 to 1970. The action also was meant to disrupt economic activities in the commercial hub.

The Igbo are one of Nigeria’s largest ethnic groups but remain largely marginalized in politics. Some still call for a separate state.

“People are really suffering. We have been marginalized so much, so that is why we are agitating for the sovereign state of Biafra,” said one street trader, Elebo Nicholas.

Posters showed images said to be of starving children during the conflict. Hunger became a weapon, as the region long had relied on other parts of the country for food.

On Sunday, Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of The Indigenous People of Biafra, spoke to cheering supporters in Umuahia city.

“The injustice is still there, the deprivation is still there, the subjugation is still there,” he said. “Unfortunately it’s not been addressed, so we wish to deal with it once and for all.”

Kanu’s arrest in 2015 led to protests. Amnesty International has said Nigeria’s military killed at least 150 peaceful protesters between August 2015 and August 2016 and detained hundreds demonstrating in support of the breakaway state.

The roots of Biafra came from a 1966 failed coup led primarily by Igbo army officers who killed the prime minister, who came from Nigeria’s north. Angry northerners attacked Igbos living there.

The declaration of the largely Igbo region that includes part of the oil-rich Niger Delta as the Republic of Biafra then sparked civil war.

Source: Voice of America

Deputy Minister Zou Kota-Fredericks visits beneficiary of house built by Hydraform Technology, 29 May

Establishing partnerships with the private sector to create sustainable livelihoodsHuman Settlements Deputy Minister, Zou Kota-Fredericks will visit a beneficiary of a house built by Hydraform Technology, a leading alternative building technology compa…

Child Protection Week gets underway

Pretoria � Government, led by Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, will today launch Child Protection Week in Langa, Cape Town.

As the custodians of the Children’s Act, the Department of Social Development said the annual campaign will this year be launched under the theme, ‘Let us all Protect Children to Move South Africa Forward’.

The launch, which will be held at Langa High School Sports Grounds, seeks to raise awareness and educate society about the rights and responsibilities of children.

South Africans are encouraged to report child abuse to the 24-hour Gender Based Violence Command Centre on 0800 428 428 or *120*7867#.

South African children experience and witness multiple forms of violence in the home, family, community and school, usually at the hands of someone they know.

Violence affects children of all ages. Children under the age of five are most likely to be abused and killed in their homes, while teenage boys are at increased risk of being killed in the context of male-on-male interpersonal violence, said the Department of Social Development.

One in three children are victims of sexual violence and physical abuse before they reach the age of 18, while about 12% of children report neglect and approximately 16% report emotional abuse.

In the period of 2013/14, the department said about 18 524 (29%) of sexual offences reported to the police were children under the age of 18 years, equating to 51 cases a day.

The crime statistics do not give child-specific information every year. The 2013/14 report is the latest information, said the department.

It said the rape and murder of children is not an unusual event, as one case is reported every third day.

These shocking statistics are the reality of many South African children and government is doing all it can to make sure that children are safe, especially in the home where parents and loved ones are expected to be their primary caregivers.

Government has, through the Children’s Act, availed services to make sure that every child receives care and protection, said the department.

Educational puppet show teaches children about their rights

On the backdrop of Child Protection Month, the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison in the Northern Cape has brought to life a puppet show to pre-schoolers about children’s rights.

The provincial department said the initiative, hosted recently in Hartswater by the department and its stakeholders, is one of the ways to make children aware of their rights and issues of safety.

The puppet show, the department said, is a way to ensure messages reach children in a way that is easy for them to understand.

The department said it wants children to know and understand their body parts, and to know what is appropriate and what is not.

It said children need to know they can tell their parents, guardians or teachers if someone is touching them inappropriately or saying inappropriate things to them.

The department’s Acting Regional Manager for the Frances Baard District, Greg Jammer, said the department wants to caution parents and guardians to be observant to changing behaviour or patterns in their children.

If a vibrant and outspoken child suddenly behaves differently, that is a red flag to pay attention and calmly ask questions and also to be observant of signs of child abuse.

Parents need to keep tabs of their children’s whereabouts and keep a close eye on them, said Jammer.

Speaking to the children during the puppet show on Friday, Sergeant Tumelo Sebuasengwe from the Hartswater Police Station, cautioned them to avoid walking alone or accepting lifts or sweets from strangers and to always play close to home and in groups if possible.

Sebuasengwe pleaded with parents not to wait long periods to report missing children, as they could be gone too far by then.

If you have looked everywhere and ran out of places to look and still have not found your child, immediately seek help at your nearest police station, he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency