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10 February

Mayor in the hot seat

- Lizzy Bapela & TK Mashaba

Massive protests erupted in Bela-Bela’s township on Tuesday, 7 February. Protesters barricaded the entrance and exits to the township, burned tyres, and threw rocks. Scuffles were reported with police and at least one building was burned down, in addition to the mayor’s personal vehicle. Schools in the towhsip were closed down for safety, leading to many learners joining in the protests, and a large number of residents could not reach their workplaces in town due to the protests. Read more on Page 2 and 3

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10 February 2017 Website:


Marchers began blocking movement to and from town in the early hours of the morning, fleeing from police. Photo: Lizzy Bapela

Mayor Jeremiah Ngobeni with police guard before he tried to address the protesters. Photo: TK Mashaba

The mayor’s car burnt to ashes after being set alight by the angry protesters on Tuesday 7 February. Photo: TK Mashaba

Police in custody of a man alleged to have stoned the police during the crossfire. Photo: TK Mashaba

Police trying to disperse the angry protesters after they burnt down Jeremiah Ngobeni’s car on Tuesday 8 February at the township. Photo: TK Mashaba

This man was shot several time in the crossfire of rubber bullets and teargas during a protest that erupted in Bela-Bela on Tuesday 7 January. Photo: TK Mashaba

The police tried to control the crowd. Photo: Lizzy Bapela

ela-Bela came to a standstill on Tuesday, 7 February, as angry protests erupted across the township. Community members burned tyres in the streets and barricaded all exits from the township, and Bela-Bela Mayor Jeremiah Ngobeni’s personal vehicle, as well as several buildings, were set alight. According to protesters, the main reasons for the march are the new basic electricity charges, the KPMG report which is still not available after months, and the lack of response to a memorandum of demands that was handed over to the municipality last year. The riots come after a number of peaceful marches and community meetings held in the town recently. The most recent meetings were held on Friday, 3 February and Monday, 6 February, at which community members expressed their intention to continue protesting until their concerns are addressed. The gathered crowd’s sentiment was that enough is enough, and they urged all community members to join the march. Those who are employed in town, as well as businesspeople and learners at local schools, were unable to reach their destinations. The main streets and corners were barricaded with trash, burnt tyres, and tree branches from about 05:00, and the protesters spent the day playing hide-andseek with the police. As soon as the police dispersed rioters from one location, chaos would erupt in another, and witnesses reported a number of ‘stampedes’ as marchers were turned back with rubber bullets. Some protesters even hid in other people’s yards in order to evade the police. The police also came in for criticism from protesters, many complaining that police officers abuse their powers as they “behave as though they own the town.” The march was also aimed at preventing residents from buying electricity from the municipality, and urging them to stop paying their rents. The idea here seems to be to deprive the municipality of income. The protesters sang struggle songs and demanded that the mayor address them. However, he could not make himself heard and eventually fled in a police vehicle. Later in the morning, the protests were joined by flocks of learners who had been sent home for the day for their own safety after local schools communicated with the circuit, while homebodies emerged to witness the protests. Curiously, the movement does not appear to have a leader or a spokesperson, and the meetings were not chaired. Some protesters told the media that the protest was initiated by a collective, while others simply did not know who had kicked the protest off. Many protesters, while happy

10 February 2017 | Website:

Protesting home owners told The BEAT that they would love to see the municipality cancelling all of their debts so that they could start from scratch. Walter Modise, who rents a place in Leseding, said that many were concerned that the price hikes in the electricity tariffs were going to cause rents in the area to skyrocket. “The rates are already too high,” he said. Despite rumours going around the township, NJ van Heerden from Change for Bela-Bela said that the protests and the preceding meetings had not been organized by him or his organization. The mayor promised to comment once he was released from police protection, but could not be reached once he left the police station. His car was petrol-bombed and burned to ashes while he was at the municipal offices with the police, and nobody at the municipality could be reached for comment. Threats were also made against Ngobeni’s house, as well as his parents’ home, but both premises were guarded by private security and were not attacked. At around 22:00, protesters gathered in the area of Swift Diesel, barricading the R101 with burning tyres and stones. Police and traffic officials attempted to control the scene. Three tuckshops allegedly owned by foreign nationals were broken into and looted during the night as well. Damages from the looting have not been estimated yet. At the time of going to press, Bela-Bela Police’s LieutenantColonel Abel Phetla said that so far, ten people have been arrested for public violence and were expected to appear in court on Wednesday, 8 February, and the mayor has opened a case of malicious damage to property but could not name any suspects. Protesters moved the mayor’s car from the clinic to a four-way stop next to the Civic building and an old bar and set it alight. Protesters told the media that the mayor and the police watched helplessly as this occurred. Apparently police only opened fire with rubber bullets after the car was burning, and only after being told to by the mayor. The mayor had also promised to address the community at Sunfa Stadium, but neither the mayor nor the protesters actually went to the stadium. Township residents say that the situation mostly calmed down at around 17:00 on Tuesday, 7 February. At the time of going to press the situation was tense but calm, with police officers guarding several important points.



Bela-Bela mayor Jeremiah Ngobeni’s car in full flame after it was set alight by the angry protesters on Tuesday 7 February Photo: TK Mashaba

Civic Centre offices were also set alight by the angry protesters on Tuesday 7 February. Photo: TK Mashaba

These learners were among the protestor who were breaking the stalls at the entrance of the Bela-Bela Township before they were dispersed by rubber bullets and teargas. Photo: TK Mashaba

Small children joined in on the march, helping to fuel the fires. Photo: Lizzy Bapela

Schoolchildren did not want to be left behind and joined in the protest. Photo: Lizzy Bapela

Road signs were destroyed and used to also barricade the roads. Photo: Lizzy Bapela

Some of the protesters were snatched from a yard after they were alleged to have stoned the police nyala with rocks. Photo: TK Mashaba

The Bela-Bela township road blocked with rocks as the protestors were waiting for the mayor Jeremiah Ngobeni to address them. Photo: TK Mashaba

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10 February 2017 | Website:

Suspect arrested in Roodekuil robbery Justin Steyn Police officers have arrested a man who has allegedly been involved in a house robbery in Roodekuil, just outside of Bela-Bela. The attack occurred on Tuesday 24 January when an unknown number of men attacked 84-year old John Ramalho at his smallholdings residence. Ramalho said that he was attacked at midday when the men broke into his house and assaulted him. He said the men stole all of his firearms, jewellery, cash and electronic devices before tying him up and fleeing in his Nissan double-cab bakkie.

This man has been linked to a robbery incident in Roodekuil. Photo supplied

Passengers survive weekend wrecks

A member of the local neighbourhood watch discovered Ramalho and police as well as members of the Heritage Protection Group were dispatched to the scene. A damaged wire and footprints were discovered from where the men allegedly entered the premises. Ramalho was taken to the Bela-Bela hospital for treatment is currently receiving counselling. On Thursday, 2 February it was announced that the Bela-Bela police investigations have linked one man to the incident. Their investigations have led them to the Themba area in Hamanskraal where an arrest was made and investigations are continuing.

Public Notice regarding basic electricity charges in Bela-Bela

Units of the Advanced Paramedics Assistance (APA) Waterberg branch attended to two potentially fatal accidents near Bela-Bela over the past weekend. Photo: Supplied Justin Steyn Units of the Advanced Paramedics Assistance (APA) Waterberg branch attended to two accidents near Bela-Bela over the past weekend. On Saturday, 4 February APA medical teams were dispatched to the N1 North highway between the Mantsole Weighbridge and the Codrington turnoff to a motor vehicle accident. According to APA spokesperson Andy Gill, medics found that it was a minibus which had rolled. No other cars were involved in that accident. Gill said that there were approximately 9 passengers on scene of which 2 sustained serious injuries, with the others sustaining minor to moderate injuries. He said that the injured were transported by APA and Provincial Services to hospitals in Bela-Bela and Modimolle.

The two seriously injured patients were later flown via a helicopter to a hospital in Johannesburg. Three other patients with moderate injuries were transported by APA Ambulance to a hospital in Johannesburg. APA medics attended to another accident on Sunday, 5 February on the N1 South highway just before Mantsole weighbridge. Gill told The BEAT that two cars collided on the highway, one lost control, veered off the road and collided with a vehicle which had broken down in the highway’s yellow lane. “The people that were fixing their vehicle inside the yellow line were knocked over in the process of this accident,” Gill said He added that medics treated three people at the scene, 1 with serious injuries, 1 with moderate injuries and 1 with minor injuries. “These patients were stabilized on the scene by our paramedics and transported to a Hospital in the area,” he said.

The people who were fixing their vehicle inside the yellow line were knocked over in the accident

In a surprising sequel to the protests of 7 February, The BEAT received a copy of this notice just before going to press on Wednesday, 8 February. The notice was being handed out at various points throughout town, and indicates that the basic electricity fee that was added to municipal bills on 2016, has been suspended. This fee has been the cause of serious unrest in Bela-Bela over the past several months, including marches, protests and other disruptions to the orderly working of the town. It was also cited as one of the main causes of Tuesday’s protest. The BEAT was unable to discover whether the message was authentic.

10 February 2017 | Website:

A home for people living with disabilities



Limpopo farmers to fight army worms

Mzamane Ringane The founder of Sedibeng Happy Angels Disability Centre in Modimolle, Iris Komane with the aid of board of directors and their friendly staff, have gone an extra mile to care for people living with disabilities. The centre has extended their services by accommodating and caring for people living with disabilities 24 hours a day. Komane said so far they have five children who are under the centre’s full care. “We have two from children from BelaBela and three from Modimolle, who are under our full care. Their families visit them during the weekends, and most of them have shown improvements since they were enrolled here,” she said. When The BEAT visited the centre in Modimolle on Tuesday, 7 February, the children were enjoying themselves while participating in Art assignments. An Arts teacher at the centre, Rebecca Shongwe, was at work with a team of children who seemed to enjoy their given tasks. Komane said being at the centre helps the children feel that they are capable of doing things that any other person can be able to do. The centre’s founder emphasised that the nutritional needs of children living with disabilities must also be catered for duly. She called on all parents to embrace their disabled children, and further urged them not to isolate them. “The first step is to accept them, support them and also give them hope,” she said. Komane told The BEAT that most of the children are now lively and more active since they are receiving the much needed care. The centre has moved to a new location, on the main taxi road to Phomolong. For more information contact Iris Komane on 072 434 5046.

Rebecca Shongwe shows the children how it is done. Photo: Mzamane Ringane

The children at Sedibeng were enjoying their task of the day. Photo: Mzamane Ringane

Farmers in Limpopo are on the warpath with a new infestation that could prove to be catastrophic for Maize production. Photo supplied Justin Steyn The founder of the centre Iris Komane advises the children on how to complete their tasks. Photo: Mzamane Ringane


Students to get their share of Shoprite bursaries

Students seeking financial support for the 2017 academic year can still apply for their share of R20 million worth of bursaries from the Shoprite Group’s bursary programme. The bursaries are offered to both matriculants applying to higher education institutions in South Africa as well as students currently completing tertiary qualifications in programmes such as pharmacy, chartered accounting, logistics and industrial engineering, IT, hospitality, retail business management and professional cookery. Candidates may qualify for a bursary of up to R70 000, depending on the course of study and institution, which allows for tuition, books and accommodation. Additionally, each of the bursaries is linked to work-back agreements with the Shoprite Group, giving students the boost they need to kick-start a great career. As South Africa’s largest private sector employer with over 140 000 employees, the Shoprite Group recognises the value of investing in opportunities for young people to obtain a qualification and acquire the necessary skills for gainful employment. The Group has already created over 2700 opportunities to the value of over R110 million for students since its Bursary Programme was initiated over two decades ago. The retailer has increased its support to students in line with demand for access to tertiary education over the past few years, and is looking to fill close to 300 study opportunities for the 2017 academic year. Prospective students are urged to apply online at

Farmers in Limpopo are preparing themselves for an alien invasion of sorts. This week the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries received several complaints from farmers of an unidentified caterpillarlike pest causing damage to maize production. The fall army-worm, a foreign insect from South America, was positively identified to be responsible for the disasters farmers have face in January by the Agricultural Research Council, Plant Protection Research Institute (ARC PPRI) after collecting samples throughout the Province. “The samples were jointly collected by scientists from the ARC Grain Institute and the North West University. These were caterpillars that had to pupate and emerge as moths before a positive identification could be done,” said the department spokesperson Bomikazi Molapo on Friday 3 February. According to Molapo, the damage reported so far has been mainly to yellow maize varieties, especially sweet corn as well as maize planted for seed production. The worm also threatens other staple foods such as potatoes, maize and sorghum. Molapo said that the department will take action now that the threat has

positively been identified. “The South African Emergency Plant Pest Response Plan, which deals with new pest detection in South Africa, is already in motion. The actions implemented depend on the pest, the extent of the spread and extent of the damage,” she explained. “Now that there is a positive identification, we will continue with our awareness actions to provide farmers with accurate technical information and control options,” Molapo said. She added that the department is working closely with the Provincial Department of Agriculture and farmers to assess the damage on farm level, to determine other hosts affected and to implement road shows where farming communities are made aware of the pest. According to Molapo, no pesticide was previously registered to be used against the Fall Armyworm because it is a new pest to South Africa. “A plant pest action group has also been initiated by the department which consists of members from several producers associations and industries which may be affected by this pest. The group will meet regularly and progressively determine the way forward to manage this pest,” Molapo said that a full assessment on the damage of each region will be provided in due time.



10 February 2017 | Website:

Leaners given second chance Bela-Bela police are searching for the relatives of Victor Mpampisana Landane (46). They have asked that the family contact them as soon as possible. Please contact Warrant Officer Tommie van Blerk at 082 496 8227

Some of the students who attended the programme launch at community hall. Photo: TK Mashaba

TK Mashaba The Department of Basic Education has established a new support programme for leaners who did not perform well in previous years. This includes the 2016 matriculates who failed, and those who are modularising certain subjects. The programme was launched on Tuesday 31 January at Bela-Bela community hall and was attended by about 50 students around Waterberg district. This programme will give them the opportunity to be taught those subjects and write an exam afterwards, said the facilitator, Sammy Motalane. The leaners will be hosted at Maope High School to rewrite again for 2017. According to Motalane, this is an opportunity for all the learners who have not done well to improve.

“You’re given second chance so you need to be thankful for that and also make us proud and pass this time around,” he added. Motalane said the leaners have now and till 20 February to register with the Bela-Bela circuit to write the exam. “These exam programmes will be free of charge and the leaners will be assisted with study guide and other relevant study materials,” added Joseph Mashishi principal of Raeleng Secondary School. Vingerkraal principal Winnie Mafora will be the centre manager of the whole programme. “The leaners are required to attend their entire schedule subject per timetable and those who only failed few can choose to attend with those who are modularizing” said Mafora. Only those who are modularizing will write their examination during May and June and those who has failed few subjects will be writing their examination around October.

LIM 368 LOCAL MUNICIP ALITY MUNICIPALITY COMMENTS ON 2015/2016 ANNUAL REPOR REPORTT OF THE PREVIOUS MODIMOLLE LOCAL MUNICIP ALITY MUNICIPALITY Notice is hereby given in terms of Section 21(a) of the Municipal Systems Act, No 32 of 2000 and Section 127(5) of the Municipal Finance Act, 2003 (Act 56 of 2003). Members of the public, communities within Modimolle Municipality, Government Institutions, Business Communities, Private Sectors and Civil Society Organisations are hereby invited to comment on the Annual Report for Modimolle Municipality for the 2015/2016 financial year. The report is accessible on the municipal website: or alternatively the hard copies of the report may be perused during office hours from 7:30 – 16:15 on Mondays to Fridays at the following venues: ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾

Modimolle Municipal Building: O R Tambo Square, Harry Gwala Street Phagameng Library Modimolle Town Library Mabatlane / Vaalwater Municipal Offices Mabaleng Municipal Building

The closing date for written representations or submission is 28 February 2017 at respective sites. Written comments should be directed to: The office of the Municipal Manager Private Bag X1008 MODIMOLLE 0510 For further information please do not hesitate to contact Mr T Freysen (Divisional Manager: Organisational PMS) during office hours: Tel Cell E-mail

: : :

(014) 718-2043 083 446 4973

The Civic Centre O R Tambo Square Harry Gwala Street MODIMOLLE 0510

O P SEBOLA MUNICIPAL MANAGER (Notice number 5/2/2017 – 6/2/2017)

To ADVERTISE, Complete your Classified form here and send it to one of our offices...

BLOCK add can also be done at BELA-BELA (014) 736 2723 additional charges. MODIMOLLE (014) 717 1774 For more MOOKGOPHONG information please (014) 743 3802 contact our offices. |

10 February 2017 Website:

Raeleng and Forever Resorts reward good leaners


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Easter games gaining momentum Methodist Church Pastor Molifi Tau in action during the Sunday 6 February build-up. Photo: TK Mashaba The Raeleng Secondary Schoool leaners during the award gala dinner held at Forever Resort. Photo: TK Mashaba The Mabaleng Soccer team with its new soccer kits. Photo: TK Mashaba The Pep Store Staff, from left, Elias Dingangoane, Ngoakwana Mokgehle, Machoene Ngoako, Santera Sigh, Lumba Ngcezu and Mike Nong. Photo: TK Mashaba Former Orlando Pirates player and educator Sisco Maphokga in action during the Sunday build up. Photo: TK Mashaba

Overall best performers Kabelo Mosela, Forever Resorts General manager Tom Biewenga and Lettie Mafafo. Photo: TK Mashaba

TK Mashaba Forever Resorts in partnership with Pep Store rewarded the Raeleng Secondary School grade 8, 9, 10 and 11 leaners of 2016 during a gala dinner held at Forever Resorts on Thursday 26 January. This was Forever Resorts’ social responsibility to awards the leaners that did well, said Sam Rammutla. From grade 8, second place went to Paulinah Makutu with Karabo Banda as the Top leaner. And in Grade 9, runner up was Popie Sibiya with Lettie Mafafo as the top leaner. In grade 10, for commercial studies, Sunnyboy Mebe was the runner up and top leaner was Bohlale Makutu . In science, still on grade 10, Mary Zitha was runner up while top leaner was Kabelo

Moselane and in grade 11 commercial studies, Lerato Chipana was runner up with Joseph Malete as top leaner. Under general, Matron Mosupye became runner up while Florina Chipana came as top leaner. In science, Stevens Dube was runner up while Arrington Mapfumo came as top leaner. For the overall best performers for male it was Kabelo Mosela and for the ladies it was Lettie Mafafo. For the best educators, it was Mashele Mary while the beast achieving administrator was Emily Setswane and Francinah Mokubela came as the best leaner support agent. Forever Resorts General manager Tom Biewenga thanked all who did well and urged them to always doing best as education will help them and their family in future.

Mabaleng B team player in action (white jersey) against Mothobi players during Sunday soccer build up. Photo: TK Mashaba

TK Mashaba The Easter games preparation is gaining momentum with so many people attending the usual Sunday soccer and netball game been played every weekend. More than 200 people came to the Bela-Bela community hall to see the old folks playing soccer. The other thing is that the forms for those who want to participate for the fun run has been released and anyone who

wants to participate can go to the specified place and fill the forms. According to Benjamin Molekoa, the coordinator of the event, they are welcoming anyone to come and run in this fun run which will be 5km and 10km precisely with flat rate of R10 per person. “We are happy about the attendance by far and people can get the forms at various schools and the local taxi rank in town” said Molokoa. The Mabaleng team also unveil their new soccer kits that have been sponsored by Dr Masemola.

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10 February 2017 | Website:

Home Defenders battered at home Mzamane Ringane Waterberg SAB Regional League’s Stream-A defending champions, Modimolle Home Defenders FC conceded a whopping seven goals, when they hosted Qualitho FC of Rapotokwane at the Ephraim Mogale Stadium in Modimolle. The two teams battled it out on Saturday, 4 February, with Qualitho FC grabbing a 7-2 victory at the end of the 90 minutes. Qualitho FC sits on top of the table with 29 points, collected from a total of 12 matches that they played so far. Home Defenders are on position nine, with only seven points collected from their 11 league encounters. Qualitho FC will be looking at a chance to sustain a winning momentum when they host Vaalwater’s Boys 2 Men, with Home Defenders hoping for a much needed win when they visit Diesel N Dust

in Bela-Bela. Boys 2 Men FC go into the game against Qualitho FC with their eyes fixed on maximum points, after they dropped crucial points at home when they played to a 1-all stalemate with Troublemakers FC. Diesel N Dust FC will certainly be a tough opponent for Home Defenders, as they are still oozing with confidence following an impressive 3-1 win against their local rivals Bela-Bela Happy Hearts. NTK Happy Boys who defeated their local rivals Bussel FC 2-1 last weekend, will lock horns with yet another local opponents Modimolle All Stars this coming weekend. Modimolle All Stars are still licking their wounds after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Bela-Bela Pirates. In other fixtures this coming weekend, Troublemakers FC will do battle with local opponents Celtic FC, while Happy Hearts of Bela-Bela will host Modimolle’s Bussel FC.

Modimolle Troublemakers shared spoils with Boys 2 Men FC in a 2-all stalemate. Photo: Mzamane Ringane

Marathon club holds first race Andries van der Heyde The Warmbad Marathon Club will be presenting a fun run on Thursday, 16 February. Since the event will be following closely on Valentine’s Day, the organizers have asked that the participants wear red. Athletes will be able to take part in the 10km and 5km run on the Alma road, and water points will be available on the route. Every

participant will also receive a small Valentine’s Day present, and the winners of the 10km Men’s and Women’s divisions will each receive a T-shirt.There are no formal entry procedures, and those who wish to participate merely have to arrive on time. The event kicks off at 17:30 at Laerskool Warmbad’s hostel gate in Robbertson Road.Annemarie Kriel of the Marathon Club said that those who wish to participate may walk or run as they please, and added that they hope to see many people taking part.

The Warmbad Marathon Club will be hosting a fun run on the Alma road outside BelaBela on 16 February. Photo supplied

Limpopo minnows to take on African champions Mzamane Ringane The recent announcement of the Nedbank Cup’s last 32 draw has produced an interesting, but yet challenging fixture for Limpopo’s third division team Mariveni United FC. The SAFA Mopani region’s SAB League team has been drawn against the The CAF Champions League (CCL) winners, Mamelodi Sundowns in the last 32 of the Nedbank Cup. The CCL is an annual international club football competition run by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). Mamelodi Sundowns FC is currently recognised internationally after outshining the rest of their African opponents, while the Limpopo lads are yet to make a name for themselves. For Mariveni United FC and the rest of the soccer followers in the province, there is no pressure as the team has already made the Limpopo people proud by reaching the last 32 of this lucrative competition. The Waterberg soccer fraternity missed out on an opportunity to have a team at this level of the competition, after BelaBela Diesel N Dust FC was knocked out at the provincial leg of the Nedbank Cup. If Mariveni United FC could snatch victory in the David versus Goliath affair

and reach the last 16 stages, then they can certainly go all the way. Baroka FC remains a good example that in football, anything is possible. The Ga-Mphahlele team beat the odds when they were still in the SAFA second division, and went all the way to the semifinals after beating Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows. There is a guaranteed R100 000 prize

money for teams that exit during the last 32 stages of the Nedbank Cup. The prize money increases as the teams advance to the next stages of the competition, with the main winner set to receive a total of R7 million. Being part of the teams campaigning in the last 32 of the Nedbank Cup will also present the third division players an opportunity to showcase their talent in

front of a bigger audience, which is likely to include scouts from all walks of life. Mamelodi Sundowns FC was drawn as the host, with the date and venue of the match yet to be announced. Baroka FC will visit FC Cape Town, while Polokwane will be at home against African All Stars. The knockout tournament is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 8.

The Beat 10 February 2017  

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