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South African Teachers Voice Concern As Schools Reopen

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Teachers Voice Concern As Schools Reopen In South Africa

With millions of pupils back in class in South Africa after the government ordered the reopening of schools on Monday, teachers unions in the country have expressed concern whether the government has addressed cases of overcrowded schools and water supply shortages.

According to a local media eNCA quoting the president of the National Professional Teachers’ Organization of South Africa (NAPTOSA), Basil Manuel said “We want schools to reopen. We want our kids back at school. Our teachers are ready, but of course, not at all costs. The schools don’t want to be the next place where the next wave of the virus starts.”

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Speaking on the issue of safety, he added that “the biggest outstanding issue is still the social-physiological support for both teachers and learners,” adding that not all learners are resilient because some live in communities where people are dying or family members have been infected and need support just like teachers.”

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The largest union in the country, the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) said many schools in the country which has registered more than 611,0001 coronavirus cases, the highest on the continent were underprepared to deal with the influx of students.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Department of Education Elijah Mhlanga said schools are ready to deal with the influx of learners with safety measures in place to combat spread of COVID-19.

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Back in July, President Cyril Ramaphosa had closed schools again  following a public outcry on rising coronavirus cases after learning institutions were briefly reopened.

Monday’s resumption of classes comes as the country registers a decline in new infections. The health minister said the country was “over the surge which has placed it as the world’s fifth worst-hit country from the Coronavirus.

South Africa has recorded a total 13,159 fatalities so far.

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Bah Ndaw Sworn In As Mali’s Transitional President Following Coup

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Bah Ndaw Sworn In As Mali’s Transitional President Following Coup

Mali’s new interim president Bah Nda`w has been sworn into office today, Friday at a ceremony in the nation`s capital, Bamako.  The former defence minister and retired army colonel was picked by coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, to head a transitional government until elections are held. Colonel Assimi Goita, will serve as deputy president.

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Nda`w said, in his inauguration speech, that he will end militant insurgency in the country’s north and stop organized crime.

The military junta in Mali took over power and forced Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta out of office five weeks ago. ECOWAS leaders have overseen negotiations for a return to democracy.  The appointment of a civilian president was a condition for the west African regional group, ECOWAS, to lift the sanctions it earlier imposed after the coup.

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Mali leaders are hoping ECOWAS will lift sanctions on the country after the inauguration. The new government is expected to be in office for a transition period of 18 months that will lead to an election.

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Ethiopia Charges 2,000 Over Violence After Musician’s Murder

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Haacaaluu Hundeessaa

In Ethiopia, nearly 2,000 persons have been charged over deadly violence that followed the killing of a popular singer in June.

More than three months ago, at least 166 persons were killed when violent protests erupted following the murder of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, some in protests against authorities and some in ethnically-targeted attacks.

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Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, the country’s attorney general, Gideon Timothewos said the arrested persons are being charged for their conduct that resulted in the death of hundreds of citizens.

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He did not give details on the charges or on whether any prisoners had been released without charge.

On June 29, Haacaaluu was shot dead while driving in the capital Addis Ababa. He was one of Ethiopia’s biggest musical stars and a powerful political voice, with many of his songs speaking out on behalf of his Oromo ethnic group and calling for more freedoms.

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South Africa To Reopen International Travel

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South Africa To Reopen International Flight

South Africa says it will reopen its borders to international travel next month.  President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country has seen a significant drop in daily new coronavirus infections.

South Africa is the worst hit nation on the continent with more than six hundred sixty-five thousand confirmed COVID-19 cases. The virus also claimed more than 16,000 lives in the country. So far, more than 4 million coronavirus tests have been conducted.

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Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said travellers must present a 72-hours certification of covid-19 negative result.

Authorities say airports in Johannesburg and Cape Town are the only other two airports that will be open to let locals travel abroad and receive foreign visitors from countries deemed non-high-risk.

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