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Watch: Abducted Shiraaz Mohamed says he blames negotiator for his worsening situation

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Durban – Another video of South African journalist Shiraaz Mohamed who was kidnapped in Syria has been shared on social media platform WhatsApp.

Shiraaz was kidnapped while accompanying the Gift of the Givers humanitarian agency into Syria to document their efforts to assist Syrian refugees and those affected by the war in January 2017.

In the latest video which is clearly edited and cut, it shows an armed masked man in military fatigues opening the door to an underground cell where Shiraaz is laying on the floor. It is clear that he has lost weight and is in a traumatic situation with tattered clothing. Blindfolded he is removed from the cell.

His hands can be seen shaking while the armed man uses an electrical shaver to cut off his lengthened beard. Shiraaz then addresses the viewers after he is made to wear an orange overall. He calls out for help to the South African government and a Fekri Shabaan.

From previous interviews on Salaamedia, it is known that Shabaan who was a representative of the Gift of the Givers in Turkey previously, invited Shiraaz to do the humanitarian coverage for the organisation in the first place.

He has since left the organisation but seems to still be a central part to the issue regarding Shiraaz’s kidnapping.

In the video, Shiraaz blames Shabaan for his worsening condition. “These people are very angry with the way you are speaking with them, the way you are doing the negotiations. My living conditions up until the last time you spoke to them was OK. My life has become very difficult. Please I beg you Dr Fekri Shabaan change the way you are speaking with them, change the way you are negotiating with them, listen to them and give them what they want.”

Shiraaz added that he fears he will be killed and that his captors have put the blame on Shabaan if that happens.

According to Dr Imtiaz Suliman of the Gift of the Givers they have not been involved in the negotiations since 26 June 2019 as his family decided to use an alternative source.

In a message to the family on the date Dr Suliman wrote, ”As a policy we cannot be involved if the family of a hostage chooses another option. Accordingly we have stopped all processes and withdraw from the case with immediate effect. It’s the most dangerous action if more than one party is involved in negotiation for the same hostage at the same time.”

Source: Salaamedia

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N2 Kei Cuttings bus accident leaves 27 dead

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At least 27 people have been killed in a bus accident on the N2 at Kei Cuttings between East London and Butterworth in the Eastern Cape on Monday afternoon.

The death toll has been revised from earlier reports which indicated that 10 people have died.

Eastern Cape transport department spokesperson, Unathi Binqose, says the number of the deaths could increase as more people were still trapped inside the wrecked bus.

A large number of search and rescue personnel, traffic officers, firefighters and paramedics are on the scene.

Binqose said the death toll is likely to increase as search and rescue personnel plan to flip the bus over to see whether more people are trapped underneath.

The accident took place on the notorious section of the N2, known as the Kei Cuttings, north of the Kei River, which is known for its perilous twists and turns.

Binqose said the driver of the bus is among those who died.

The driver is believed to have lost control of the long-distance passenger bus before it plunged 200 metres down a steep embankment.

Read | 13 killed in KZN horror truck and minibus taxi crash

“He lost control just before he could cross the river on the last curve,” said Binqose.

Chief director of clinical support services for the health department, Kidwell Matshotyana, told TellitallSA that 22 people were stable and did not want to go to hospital.

“In terms of the injured people, we have five patients admitted at Frere Hospital and one at Life St Dominic’s Private Hospital [both in East London],” he said.

The department will arrange transport for the 22 people, who don’t want to go to hospital, to the nearest town. They will be given accommodation.

The bus is understood to have been transporting passengers from Cape Town.

Hospitals and emergency services in the area and further afield were offering help with triaging patients.

He said the police had the grim task of going through the luggage to find identity documents, in order to begin informing the next of kin of the tragedy.

The department would also work with the bus company to establish a contact centre for worried families checking up on people who were on the bus, and those details would be announced later.

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Skeem Saam’s Koko Mantsha death dismissed as fake news

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Koko Mantsha, the popular Skeem Saam character acto, real name, Lydia Mokgokoloshi is not dead.

Social media is awash with news of her death which seems to have been fuelled by fake news sites aiming to profit from unsuspecting lovers of the 80 year-old veteran actress.

Lydia Mokgokoloshi, has appeared in many television shows including Muvhango and Bophelo ke semphego.

Mokgokoloshi was born on 27 September 1939, in Polokwane, Polokwane Local Municipality, Capricorn District Municipality, Limpopo.

She is most famous for acting as Koko Mantsha the grandmother of Katlego Pietersen (Patrick Seleka) in the soap, Skeem Saam.

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Watch: Thulani Dlomo an alleged ‘Zuma spy’, hands himself in

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Thulani dlomo

Thulani Dlomo, the axed former SSA top spy and former SA ambassador to Japan has handed himself over to police on Friday.

Dlomo’s lawyer Philani Shangase said that he handed himself over at his own will at the Durban Central Police station on Friday.

He said Dlomo was not arrested but wanted to clear his name following media reports.

Dlomo was being interviewed by police officers at 17h00 on Friday.

“He has denied all wrong doing,” Shangase said.

Dlomo was suspected to be one of the instigators of the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

This is a developing story.

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