Ex workers protest against ‘unfair COVID-19 retrenchment’

“I had been working for Magies Farm for nine years until COVID-19 lockdown,” said Lanseria resident Tebogo Mashitwa, speaking alongside her former work mates who were protesting the way they lost their jobs.

“In April, our boss told us that she was unable to pay us, and we had to get paid through Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).She promised to pay us for three-month notice. However, we only received salary for two months. What we need to understand now is why we did not receive our salaries for all three months as promised.  We feel unfairly treated, and life is very tough at the moment.”

 The former workers claimed that their boss automatically retrenched them after they had refused to work three days a week. They also said it was difficult to work for their boss as she was somehow abusive to them.

“We approached the Bargaining Council to get some help. However, we never got any help,”Mashitwa said.

“The amazing part is that some people got hired soon after we got retrenched,” said Prisca Thusi, who worked for the company for the past seven years. “We have been attending several meetings with the boss, but we do not have any clarity about the situation. She says we owe her, instead. We really want clarity about the situation. She gave us  retrenchment letters, which we cannot understand.”

“Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are no longer able to keep you in employment,” reads part of the Termination of Employment letter, which was issued on 29 April 2020. “We will give you one month notice pay for the month of May. You will not be required to report for duty over this notice period,” reads the letter.

One man hacked to death in Zandspruit

A 51-year-old man was hacked to death in Zandspruit on 19 September 2020.

The deceased was allegedly attacked after confronting people who had built shacks on his space, according to the police. One suspect, in connection with the incident has been arrested, according to Honeydew police spokesperson Captain Balan Muthan.

“As he went to enquire about the illegal occupation of his space,” Captain Muthan said, “there was an argument. A 24-year-old suspect and his accomplice attacked the deceased with an axe. The police managed to arrest one suspect while the other one still remains at large. We are still investigating the case. We are praising the officers for their quick response to arrest the suspect. ”

Zandspruit community has been facing a series of criminal activities of late. In another  incidents, one woman was hijacked of her white BMW car on 19 September and one man was shot dead on 21 September at night. �s�����

Deep Down: Wendee’s inspirational EP

“When I fell pregnant at the age of 15, I went through emotional and physical pains,” said 21-year-old Ndivhuwo Nethwadzi, speaking about her recently released EP titled “Deep Down.” Nethwadzi is also known as Wendee.

Wendee said that “Deep Down” was inspired by her lonely battle against life experiences. “When my parents found out (that she fell pregnant) they got devastated. My mom was in tears, and it broke my heart. However, I kept everything to myself.”

While she was pregnant, she said, she experienced much regret and remorse, although she still performed very well at school and she never quit studying. “I used to receive humiliating words from people. If it was not for God, I would have probably committed suicide. I have realised that God gave me a strong character.”

She said the songs that are in her EP reflect what she has gone though in her life. “My ‘Deep Down’ EP is all about encouraging anyone else out there who might be facing challenges that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.”

The nine-track EP was produced by Veebeats Exclusive under Green Roots Records, featuring Wendee and four other artists: Scima, Chronic, Dizzy and Nellisiwe.

As the country celebrates heritage, Wendee said “I value my culture a lot. I feel like it's a big part of me. Because of it, my parents raised me with good morals and principles, which today make me. It's something I'm proud of, hence it's in my music along with ‘Deep Down’s’ artistry.”

 Being an upcoming female artist is difficult, Wendee said. “Generally, people do not take you seriously as an artist, and not having all the necessary resources to get your craft out there is a challenge to female artist.”

Born in Thohoyandou in Limpopo province, Wendee relocated to Johannesburg at the age of three. She started her musical career in 2008. She focuses on Gospel, Afro pop, Hip-hop and House music. She is currently studying BHS in Emergency Medical Care at University of Johannesburg.

Facebook: @Wendee

Instagram: @wendee_za

 Where to get her music: https://ditto.fm/deep-down-wendee

Crime increases as lockdown levels are eased, police say

“We have been dealing with various crime cases ever since the liquor stores opened,” said Honeydew police spokesperson Captain Balan Muthan speaking about the escalating crime in Cosmo City, Zandspruit and parts of Roodeport.

Cosmo City has experienced a lot of house breakings and shop-robberies in Cosmo City, the captain said.

“During level 5 lockdown, the community was peaceful and no one was complaining of crime,” Captain Muthan said. “Things slowly changed at level 2 when the selling of alcohol was permitted. This clearly shows how alcohol is contributing to crime in the community.”

 President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that a number of South Africa’s lockdown regulations will be relaxed as the country moves to a level 1 lockdown from midnight on Sunday (20 September). As the country enters level 1 of lockdown, restrictions around the sale of alcohol have relaxed.

However, police say they are ready to fight against crime in level 1. Honeydew police station has recruited more detectives, Captain Muthan said. “We want to detect more criminal activities in the communities. Our aim is to increase police visibility during day and night. We will continue working with Community Policing Forum (CPF), who are also doing good in terms of fighting against crime.”

Captain Muthan said that even though coronavirus seems to be fading away, it is still necessary to continue complying with the lockdown regulations.

“I know people think the virus is over,” he said. “It is still here, and it has also affected us as the police. Therefore, I would like to encourage community members to continue taking measures against the virus. This will also lessen criminal activities in the community.” rgb(149(s��Q�f

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