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Police release names of three women who died in the stampede at Shepherd Bushiri church



Shepherd Bushiri church

The South African Police Service (SAPS) on Sunday released the names of three women who died in an apparent stampede at the Shepherd Bushiri-led Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church in Pretoria West last month.

“First deceased was identified as Ms Nondumiso Patricia Pringane, a 59-year-old, from Nyanga East in Cape Town. She was positively identified by her sister,” Pretoria police spokeswoman Captain Augustinah Selepe told the African News Agency (ANA).

“The second deceased Ms Matshila Sarah Mohlala, aged 69 years, from Soshanguve, was positively identified by family members. The third deceased was Lehlogaholo Maria Segodi, born in 1958 on 21 December. She has been positively identified by family,” Selepe said.

The SAPS is investigating the death of the three female congregants who died during the stampede at the ECG church on December 28. A case of defeating the ends of justice has been opened, relating to the removal of the bodies from the church premises.

SAPS Gauteng spokesman Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said the investigation was now at a “sensitive stage”.

“Remember, when an incident like this [deaths] police are supposed to be the first to take over and make sure that investigations are conducted at the scene and have the bodies transferred to the government mortuary for postmortem.

“But because there was tampering of the scene, a case had to be opened and we are investigating that. The investigation is at a sensitive stage and we believe that we will make sure we bring the responsible people to book,” said Makhubela.

However, the charge was not laid against the charismatic ECG leader, contrary to some media reports.

“What I can tell you is that the case of defeating the ends of justice is opened. We are going to investigate to determine and find who is responsible for removing the bodies or to tamper with the scene of the bodies. After that, we will know who is our suspect.

At the moment we are investigating the case,” said Makhubela.

ECG spokesman Terrence Baloyi said the popular church was cooperating with the police probe. “We shall cooperate with the police and observe the law.” Baloyi said the ECG church was currently in “recess” until January 20.

The last service at the church was held on New Year’s Eve.

African News Agency

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Chris Cash: The UK Parliamentary Researcher Accused of Spying for Beijing Authorities




In March of this year, a British parliamentary researcher was arrested on suspicion of being a Chinese spy. The researcher, Chris Cash, was revealed to be a 28-year-old history graduate with links to many Tory MPs. He had been seen associating with senior Tories such as security minister Tom Tugendhat and Foreign Affairs Committee chair Alicia Kearns. Cash was believed to have been recruited as a sleeper agent while living and working in China and sent back to the UK to infiltrate political networks critical of the Beijing regime.

Cash was the leader of the China Research Group, a body advocating for a more hawkish British policy towards China. Co-founded by Tory ministers Tom Tugendhat and Neil O’Brien in April 2020, the group focused on industrial, technological, and foreign policy issues. The group’s website claimed that it aimed to provide informed knowledge on China and promote debate and fresh thinking about how Britain should respond to the rise of China.

Chris Cash was arrested in Edinburgh and released on bail until early October, along with another suspect. It is unclear how much access Cash had to foreign affairs intelligence or what kind of influence he may have held in Westminster. While he held a parliamentary pass, he did not have security clearance.

China has denied all accusations of involvement in an espionage scheme involving Cash, calling them malicious slander.

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Pope Sends Prayers to Comfort Morocco Earthquake Victims as Death Toll Surpasses 2,000



Pope Francis Morocco

On Sunday, Pope Francis expressed his prayers and support for the victims of the powerful earthquake that hit Morocco, resulting in the highest number of fatalities in over 60 years. During his Angelus message, he prayed for those injured and those who lost their lives, along with their families.

The Pope also expressed his gratitude towards the rescue workers who are working tirelessly to help the victims. He concluded by saying that they stand in solidarity with the people of Morocco during this difficult time.

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African Union’s Inclusion in G20: A Significant Acknowledgment of a Continent with 1 Billion Inhabitants




The world’s most powerful economies, the G20, have welcomed the African Union (AU) as a permanent member, recognising Africa’s more than 50 countries as important players on the global stage. US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi both expressed support for the AU’s permanent membership.

The AU has advocated for full membership for seven years and, until now, South Africa was the only African country in the G20. The AU represents a continent with a young population of 1.3 billion, which is set to double by 2050 and make up a quarter of the world’s population.

Africa’s 55 member states have long pushed for meaningful roles in global bodies, including the United Nations Security Council, and want reforms to the global financial system. The continent is increasingly attracting investment and political interest from global powers like China, Russia, Gulf nations, Turkey, Israel, and Iran. African leaders are challenging the framing of the continent as passive victim and want to be brokers instead.

They seek fairer treatment by financial institutions, delivery of rich countries’ long-promised $100 billion a year in climate financing for developing nations, and a global tax on fossil fuels. The AU’s full G20 membership will enable it to represent a continent that’s home to the world’s largest free trade area and abundant resources needed to combat climate change. The African continent has 60% of the world’s renewable energy assets and over 30% of the minerals key to renewable and low-carbon technologies.

African leaders want more industrial development closer to home to benefit their economies. Finding a common position among the AU’s member states, from economic powers to some of the world’s poorest nations, can be challenging, but Africa will need to speak with one voice to influence G20 decision-making. African leaders have shown their willingness to take collective action, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a high-profile G20 member, Africa’s demands will be harder to ignore.

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