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One killed, two seriously injured in South African mosque attack

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- One person was killed and two others seriously injured after they were attacked at a mosque in the town of Verulam, around 15 miles from Durban, South Africa on Thursday afternoon.

According to local media, people were worshipping in the mosque in Ottawa’s Old Main Road earlier this afternoon when a group of armed man stormed into the place and slit three persons’ throats.

The attackers then set fire on the mosque and fled in a white Hyundai Getz.

They are supposed to be three Egyptian nationals.

However, their motivation is still unknown.

Private security company Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) said that one person died and the other two are in critical condition.

Securities from Rusa are searching the area.

They request the public’s assistance in apprehending these suspects.

A horrific graphic video posted on social media shows one man in jeans lying in a pool of blood.

A medical worker is pressing his neck to stop the bleeding.

Not far from him, another injured man is treated with the wound on the belly.

Police and members of the community are on the scene.


South African MPs condemn attack on mosque

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South African MPs on Thursday condemned an attack on a mosque in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal Province.

One person was feared dead and two others were wounded in the attack that happened on Thursday afternoon.

The motive for the attack is still under investigation.

Three knife-wielding attackers entered the mosque and carried out the gruesome attack before setting the building alight, police said.

The attackers fled the scene in a white Hyundai.

No one has been arrested.

Attacks on religious institutions are downright criminality and should be condemned, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police said.

The attack was shocking and the South African Police Service (SAPS) should prioritize the investigation into it, Committee Chairperson Francois Beukman said.

"A mosque is a religious institution, and South Africa’s Constitution guarantees and protects the right to religious practices," Beukman said.

This kind of attack on three innocent people is totally unjustified, he said, adding that "we want our communities to live in harmony, practicing their religions without fear."

"Everything should be done to arrest the perpetrators," said Beukman.

Anyone with information should contact law enforcement agencies, he said.


South African law enforcement agencies launch raids on illegal immigrants

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South African law enforcement agencies have successfully conducted raids on illegal immigrants in Cape Town, rounding up a total of 25 suspects, authorities said on Thursday.

The raids were launched on Wednesday in two areas frequented by illegal immigrants, said Thabo Mokgola, spokesperson of the Department of Home Affairs.

The 25 illegal foreign nationals were arrested for allegedly contravening the Immigration Act, according to Mokgola.

More illegal immigrants will be arrested as investigations are continuing, he said.

Law enforcement agencies also arrested a manager at one of the restaurants that were visited, said Mokgola.

The manageer, he said, will be charged for contravention of the Immigration Act, which prohibits employment of illegal foreign nationals in South Africa.

Random inspections at places of employment are conducted to ensure that employers of foreign nationals comply with immigration laws, Mokgola said.

Employing foreigners who are not in possession of enabling documents is an offence, he added.

"Those who persist in flouting immigration and labor laws of the country will face the full might of the law," Mokgola warned.

This is in support of the national drive towards safer communities wherein citizens and documented foreign nationals are and feel safe, he added.

Zambia raises concern to South Africa over attacks on truck drivers

LUSAKA Zambia (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government on Thursday said it was concerned over continued attacks on Zambian truck drivers in South Africa and asked authorities in that country to do more to assure the safety of the drivers.

The concerns come following the petrol-bombing of three Zambian drivers and their trucks by violent protesters in Groblersbrug, Limpompo Province which happened on Wednesday May 9 at night.

The attacks left one of the drivers with life-threatening injuries and another one with minor burns.

Last week, about 30 foreign trucks, including three Zambian trucks were burnt to ashes in Kwazulu-Natal, bringing the total number of Zambia trucks burnt in various parts of South Africa to six.

Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba appealed to South African authorities to urgently help safeguard the safety of Zambian truckers involved in the transportation of goods between the two countries.

The Zambian envoy said the unfortunate incident had the potential to disrupt international trade and halt the movement of goods and services between the two countries, according to a statement.

He has since called for calm among Zambian truck drivers as his office has engaged the South African government to help put in place measures to safeguard their trucks and their goods.

He further commended the quick response of South African authorities to arrest those involved in burning of the trucks.

South African government plans state-owned bank

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- The South African government is contemplating setting up a state-owned bank.

The ruling party, Africa National Congress (ANC), has been pushing for the establishment of a state bank to break the "monopoly" held by South Africa’s big-four banks.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa supported the move for the setting up a state-owned bank "for financial inclusiveness, affordability and bank charges."

"We need to create a better conducive for more banks that will make money available to the general population of our country. In some (other) countries, there is a plethora of banks to make finance accessible to a number of stakeholders," Ramaphosa told reporters on Thursday.

At the ANC congress in December, delegates gave the South African government an ultimatum to ensure that a state-bank is up and running within six months.

Calls for the establishment of the state-owned bank in the form of the Post Bank, had been on the drawing board within the ANC for more than 10 years.

The ANC delegates demanded that the bank is given a developmental agenda aimed at providing services to South Africans who are excluded from the commercial banking sector.

Early this year, Post Bank filed its application for a commercial banking licence with the Reserve Bank.

"I am quite confident that the Reserve Bank is professional enough.

"It is able to process the application in an expeditious manner," according to the Post Office statement.

"We had specific requirements we had to heed within 12 months and submit a final application.

"The deadline was July 4 to the Reserve Bank.

"We met that deadline.

"We submitted on June 27," it added.

South Africa champions efforts to connect Africa with broadband: minister

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South Africa is championing localization and skills development to ensure that Africa is connected to broadband, Minister of Telecommunication and Postal Services Siyabonga Cwele said on Thursday.

For this purpose, "we must measure our progress through statistics to determine how far we have come and how much further we need to be," Cwele said after attending a cabinet meeting in Cape Town.

South Africa welcomes the new target set by the just-concluded United Nations Broadband Commission Spring Meeting that broadband/ internet user penetration should reach 75 percent worldwide, 65 percent in developing countries, and 35 percent in least developed countries.

Another target is that entry-level broadband services should be made affordable in developing countries, at less than two percent of monthly gross national per capita income, Cwele said.

"Partnerships such as the Internet For All are crucial to closing these gaps," Cwele said.

Cwele is one of 52 global Broadband Commissioners that are drawn from leaders in government, business, academia, policy makers and international agencies.

He said he had just concluded successful engagements at the United Nations Broadband Commission Spring Meeting and attended the Smart Africa Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda earlier this week.

According to Cwele, Smart Africa Summit decided that all African countries should have a funded national broadband plan or strategy, or include broadband in their universal access and services definition.

The One Africa Network will soon be rolled out by Smart Africa member states, Cwele said.

The summit was designed to use information and communications technology (ICT) as a driver of socio-economic development and to promote accountability, efficiency and openness by putting in place policies and a regulatory environment that encourages partnerships, entrepreneurship, job creation and knowledge sharing, according to Cwele.

This year’s meeting was attended by people representing 92 countries, he said.

According to the UN Broadband Commission, half of the world’s population remain unconnected to the internet, with most of these people being in developing countries and on the African continent.



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