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News today: Malema’s gun, protests, govt’s overspending, several fires

News today includes judgment reserved by the East London Magistrate’s Court in Julius Malema‘s trial as the accused sought to have their charges dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

Meanwhile, Scopa heard how national departments racked up more than R18,5 billion in unauthorised expenditures over the years.

News today: 21 September

The weather forecast for today promises a variety of conditions across the country, with a particular focus on fire risks – full forecast here.

Stay up to date with The Citizen – More News, Your Way.

Malema’s gun not a toy

The state has defended its case against Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema and his bodyguard Adriaan Snyman.

Judgment was reserved by the East London Magistrate’s Court in Malema and Snyman’s trial on Wednesday as the accused, who pleaded not guilty, seek to have their charges dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

Malema Adriaan Snyman trial / EFF celebrations
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The EFF leader is facing five charges, including the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, discharging a firearm in a built-up area or public space and reckless endangerment to person or property, while Snyman faces two charges under the Firearms Control Act.

CONTINUE: ‘Why didn’t Malema fire at crowd’: State argues gun was not a toy

Malema’s lawyer also insisted the state’s case has ‘deficiencies’ – read full article.

WATCH: Swellendam violent protest

A service delivery protest in Swellendam, in the Overberg region of the Western Cape, turned violent after a building was set alight by residents.

Swellendam Protest
Resident also also set a fire truck alight during the protest. Photo: Swellendam Municipality – SWEMun/Facebook

Protesters torched the local Thusong Centre and blocked the N2 freeway on Tuesday.

They also set a fire truck alight during the protest.

CONTINUE: WATCH: Swellendam residents torch building in violent protest

Government’s R18,5bn in overspending

The standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) has heard how national departments racked up more than R18,5 billion in unauthorised expenditures over the years.

Q&A Session in the National Assembly at the Good Hope Chamber on 9 March. Picture: Gallo Images/Die Burger/Jaco Marais

The department of cooperative governance, department of communication and information system, department of water and sanitation, and department of telecommunications and digital technologies made their presentations this week.

According to the National Treasury, the overspending occurred in 13 different government departments and entities over the years, with five entities still being processed.

CONTINUE: Government departments rack up more than R18,5bn in overspending

More fires…

The city has been hit by numerous fires at buildings or houses over the last few months and The Citizen got its safety boots on to experience what life is like on the frontline of such disasters.

“We are not here for the money, we are here for the people of South Africa. This is a calling from God, being a firefighter. We are saving a nation, it’s what we do,” said firefighter Doctor Nempumbuluni.

Watch: In a firefighter’s boots

There has been yet another fire in the Joburg CBD, this time at the South African Revenue Services (Sars) building.

Johannesburg Emergency Services spokesperson Nana Radebe said two fire engines and fire fighters arrived on the scene on Wednesday to fight the blaze.

Yet another fire at a Marshalltown building in the Joburg CBD
Photo: Joburg Emergency Services.

CONTINUE: Yet another fire in Joburg CBD – this time at Sars building in Marshalltown

A fire has destroyed part of Summit Grill and Skybar Restaurant in Garsfontein, east of Pretoria.

Tshwane emergency services spokesperson Charles Mabaso said the fire broke out in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Fire guts parts of Summit Skybar Restaurant in Menlyn
The fire broke out in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Screengrab of video

WATCH: Fire guts parts of Pretoria restaurant

Two people have been injured after a fire gutted multiple shacks at Pipeline informal settlement in Kya Sands, north of Johannesburg.

Johannesburg Emergency Management Services spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said the blaze has been extinguished.

CONTINUE: Two injured after fire guts informal settlement in Kya Sands, Joburg

Tshwane in the dark after storm

Parts of the City of Tshwane have been left without power after a substation was struck by lightning and gutted by fire.

No reported injuries after storm wreaks havoc in Pretoria, Tshwane
Calm before the storm in Tshwane. Photo: X/@tWeatherSA

City of Tshwane spokesperson Selby Bokaba said the capital city experienced “unprecedented storms” in the northern parts in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“This storm has caused massive destruction to households in Hammanskraal and surrounding areas and, as a result of lightning, the temporary Pyramid Substation, which was built next to the Rooiwal Power Station, caught fire, burning the transformer, including the container.

CONTINUE: Parts of Tshwane left in the dark after lightning hits substation

In other news today:

Yesterday’s News recap

READ: Taxi feud, idle staff paid, Boks bench split, anti-cadre bill, Nsfas saga

from The Citizen https://www.citizen.co.za/news/news-today-south-africa-21-september-2023/

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