Initiation schools close down again as SA goes to alert level 3.

By Cwenga Maqhubela

Initiation schools in South Africa halted by the second wave of Covid-19

Photo by: Johnnie Issac

On a normal year with normal events, this time of the year initiation schools from across the country were expected to be fully operating. Celebrations when the initiates come back from these schools would have been underway as we speak, but the unfortunate circumstances of Covid-19 halted all of that.

On the 27th of December 2020, the President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa announced the immediate implication of alert level 3 of the lockdown after the numbers of infections of Covid-19 had rapidly increasing in the past 3 days. This means under alert level 3 there are no initiation schools that are expected to be operating at this time.

No more initiates are allowed in the Eastern Cape

Photo by: Carl Collison

What will happen to initiates now?

Ministers in the National Command Council gave a media briefing on the 28th of December specifying on what the president had announced the night before. Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma specified that no more initiates will be allowed to go to initiation schools as they are now prohibited. Initiation schools were recently given the go ahead under alert level 1 in the Eastern Cape except for the Nelson Mandela Bay and the Sarah Baartman district as they were identified as Covid-19 hot spots.

There were initiates that were already in these schools before the president made the announcement, what does this mean to them? Minister Dlamini Zuma stated that “all those initiates that are already in the initiation schools will be allowed to complete their initiation but no new intakes will be allowed.” All the celebrations that usually take place after the initiate has returned home ‘imigidi’ are prohibited. This decision was taken with the understanding that these celebrations can be done later. If any family fails to comply with these regulations, they will be subjected to punishment by the relevant authorities.

Nelson Mandela University students stand against gender-based violence

By Cwenga Maqhubela

Nelson Mandela University students taking a stand against Gender Based Violence in North campus, Port Elizabeth

Photo by Cwenga Maqhubela

Ever since the country faced a global pandemic in Covid-19, the attention slightly moved from other issues such as gender-based violence, femicides and police brutality to mention a few. According to Rose Gawaya, an adviser at the Social Policy Network, the government GBV and femicide command centre alone recorded more than 120,000 victims in the first three weeks of lockdown. The Vodacom support call centres saw a 65% increase in calls “from women and children confined in their homes seeking urgent help” after lockdown began.

Now that the country has moved to alert level 1 and the lockdown restrictions have been eased, students from Nelson Mandela University have taken an initiative to raise awareness by having a walk/march in several areas in the Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth. Student support movements from NMU like Man Mansion and Memeza joined forces to raise awareness about GBV. The walk/march started on the 21st of September and continued to the 23rd of September. They started at Korsten student residence to the nearby location areas such as Noxolo, Dwesi and Zakhele. The last day of the march was destined to Summerstrand, Nelson Mandela University campuses.

NMU students at north campus after walking from 163 Durban Road (Korsten) for over five hours on September 23

Photos by Cwenga Maqhubela

Nzaliseko Mayekiso who was the march coordinator explained that the initiative was launched to make people aware about the ongoing crisis of GBV most especially in the location areas. “Men are regarded as the protectors of families or the society, hence we targeted to go the nearby communities and remind our brothers and sisters that we still hold the same responsibilities,” he said. The movement included an awareness for black lives matter which is also a problem on its own. According to Nzaliseko there were many campaigns launched in support of GBV, but the main challenge is the back up for these cases. The message from these students to the public and the municipality’s leadership is simple, “we need an urgent response from the police when such cases are reported, and they should be taken serious by the police. The public can respond to this by reporting any related cases and making sure that no one is mistreated whether you are female or male,” said Nzaliseko as he explained what response do they wish to intrigue.

Statistics in South Africa shows a rapid growth in the number of reported cases in Gender Based Violence, think about those cases that never get reported, think about those people who are actually in danger but are not aware of that. It takes a simple conversation in any sort of gathering to tackle such issues and not come up with better solutions, just like how one would a plan to get a bottle of vodka during level five of lockdown.

A special tribute to Kaunda Ntunja

By Cwenga Maqhubela


The South African Rugby community paid their last tributes to legendary Xhosa rugby commentator.
Image by SuperSport

It is not often that we wake up to such stories in the rugby community but on Monday the 20th of July we heard about the sad passing of one of South Africa’s most passionate rugby commentator and former professional rugby player Kaunda Ntunja.


Kaunda Ntunja was born in East London and grew up in King Williams Town. He made his rugby debut for Dale College XV and went on to represent South Africa at school level and junior springbok level. He made history by becoming the first black captain to lead the SA schools side and junior springboks. Ntunja also played for the Sharks junior side before moving to the Free State Cheetahs were, he won the Currie Cup with them in 2005.

How Kaunda Ntunja made his name known as a commentator

After deciding to put an end to his professional rugby career he went on a venture of joining in the commentary team initially as an English commentator. He then later moved on to the Xhosa side of commentary were he managed to build a name for himself by using monologues and poetic driven commentary that lured many rugby lovers to enjoy the sport. He was mostly known as “Zizi” or “Bev” by many and created a name for himself by using his skills and knowledge acquired in his drama studies and combining them with his passion for rugby.  One of his most known phrases he liked to use whenever a try was scored is, “yiBubbly!, Shampompo!, Shampizi!, Ohh! Int’ ezhlwahlwazayo! In an interview he had on a show called Homeground on SuperSport he mentioned that one of many things that makes him happy is how black people are starting to up their standards and succeeding in South African Rugby. Zizi was twice crowned as the SAB Sports Media Commentator of the year proving his qualities behind the mic.

What does this loss mean to his colleagues?

Zizi worked with several other passionate commentators, he shared the stage with likes of Khaya Malothane, Lonwabo Mthimka, Xola Nthsinga and many others at SuperSort. Khaya Malothane worked with Ntunja most of the times, he described him as more than just a colleague but as a brother as well. Malothane praised Ntunja for his passion for rugby and how he managed to entertain people from the commentary box. “I remember the first time listening to his commentary in English, it really showed that he was lost or in the wrong side of commentary because you just could not get the energy from him.” Malothane says Ntunja was a very respected man at SuperSport because of his work ethic and desire to put an effort on everything he does for his show Phaka and in commentary. Amongst many things Khaya and Kaunda shared, one highlight that Khaya can outline is the growth of black South African players in rugby and how that always made him happy. “In one of our last conversations I had with him, we discussed about how the Springboks would have to prepare for the upcoming Rugby Champion and, British and Irish Lions tour,” that is what Malothane said when explaining his last conversation with Ntunja. Malothane said Ntunja’s passing came as real shock and he had never thought of losing a friend as close as Ntunja so soon.

Friends and family

The passing of Kaunda Ntunja was announced by his sister Tando Ntunja on Monday. This came as a shock to the rugby community and the SA Rugby Union president Mark Alexander expressed words of encouragement to the Ntunja family on behalf of the union. His wife Aviwe Ntunja took it to twitter and expressed her feelings on her husband’s passing. This comes at a time of real hardship to the Ntunja family as Kaunda and Tando had lost their father earlier on this moth due to a heart failure. Kaunda Ntunja leaves behind his wife Aviwe Ntunja, one child and his sister Tando Ntunja.

Phumla ngoxolo Bev! lala Zizi elihle! Huntshu Dlamini!

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SA mourns another epidemic, femicide

Column/ Opinion

By: Cwenga Maqhubela

A call for men to take action as the country battles the rise of femicides. Photo by: AFP PHOTO / Rajesh Jantilal

In the mist of a global pandemic covid-19, South Africa faces another dark cloud as women perish in the hands ‘men’. I wish this was all new to us but the unfortunate part is that we hear about these cases on a daily basis. As we celebrate youth day today, I sense that these kinds of celebrations are no longer the same as women fear for what may happen to them or who is next.

I remember growing up and reading about the brutality that was posed by the famous serial killer Moses Sithole against women just after the apartheid era. His arrest brought relief and hope to many women in the country that such brutality had came to an end. Unfortunately, that is a dream we all hope to witness. 25 years later, women still live in fear as they are still victims of femicide. As the country is still trying to heal from the wounds of Karabo Mokoena, Uyinene Mrwetyana, Gomolemo Legae, Precious Ramabulana and many other women who have lost their lives in the hands of men in 2019, 2020 seems to be continuing from where the previous year left off. Recently, we have read about the brutal killings of Tshegofatso Pule and Naledi Phangindawo who have also been murdered allegedly by their partners and sadly the list does not end with these two cases.

I recently had a conversation with one of my female friends about everything that has been going on, and it really cut deep into me to hear about how she is affected by all of this. She might not be directly involved but it has a psychological effect on her just as every other women. Would you blame a woman for walking down the street and screaming “men are trash,” or are you willing to take a stand and say ‘enough is enough.’

Women protesting for justice and peace against GBV and femicide in Johannesburg on August 2, 2018. Image by: Martha Puth.

Gents this one is for you. I wonder to myself that do you actually have a moment self introspection before taking any decision. One may commit murder and come with an excuse that they were raised by an abusive father. That’s totally gibberish, your family being abusive to you does not mean you will also be one. While I was scrolling down the streets of twitter, I was shocked to see how we are so fragile and defensive about about our manhood as opposed to when a woman is killed or raped. I am talking from a man’s point of view, at this moment, I am ashamed of my gender. It is really up to us gents that we step up or we add to the ‘trash’. If you are sitting back and not reporting any mischievous behavior against women, you are trash.

Happy youth day, I pray to God that we have a better tomorrow.

The future of investigative journalism

By: Cwenga Maqhubela

Investigative journalism is the future of real journalism. Image by: Student News Daily

Often when people hear of the word journalism the first thing that jumps into their minds is ‘oh! so you like peoples news’. Actually, that is not the case and we get different kinds of journalism that people give interest to and they all have their different ways of informing people. Investigative journalism is one of the most important kinds of journalism because of its purpose and distinctive qualities from other kinds of journalism.

In a world of corruption and censorship where things are running under carpet with the intentions of illegally gaining something for your own benefit, it is high likely that one will get away easily without telling the truth. Investigative journalism is here to change all of that with the aim of uncovering and telling us about serious matters that are of concern to us. Imagine how much more could have the Guptas benefited if the Guptas and Associates scores R5.3 BN in Locomotives kickbacks had not been reported about. We should also keep in mind that even those who intend to hide the truth from the public are also capable of misinformation that may deceive the public. It is in this manner that I emphasize the extreme importance about Investigative journalism

Mark Lee Hunter, the author of Story- Based  Inquiry: A manual  for investigative journalists describes investigative journalism as, “Investigative journalism involves exposing to the public matters that  are concealed – either deliberately by someone in a position of power, or accidentally, behind a chaotic mass of facts and circumstances that obscure understanding.” As opposed to just any other kinds of journalism this specific field requires the journalist to be extra attentive to every detail they get. When I am writing a simple sport story it is always expected that all my sources are revealed as they are but in this field things differ at times. You may find an investigative report that has sources that are revealed and sometimes sources may be creditable and anonymous due to certain reasons and circumstances. Jane Duncan tells about how investigative journalists often put their lives at risk when conducting these reports and warns that investigative journalism is not for the fainthearted.

Read more on: Jane Duncan’s, The Staff of investigative journalism

In a country like South Africa that is often the centre of corruption scandals and many other events that require investigative journalism skills, it is important that we have more of these journalists. With traditional journalism slowly dipping due to social journalism, we see more of our journalists leaning on writing reports or stories that are user generated rather than going out there and finding the actual merits of the story and getting the right people to give them the right answers. Luckily there is a remedy to all of this, individuals who aspire to be investigative journalists need to be identified from as early has their high school grades by implementing programmes in schools that exposes them to the field. By doing so that will enhance their knowledge from a young age so that when they need to do it in practical at a later stage either in tertiary or work place they are familiar with what is required of them. One thing that is important about investigative journalism is that it has to have specialists. It is not a bad idea for one to be a versatile writer or reporter but since given how demanding it is to put together an investigative I strongly recommend that if you have interest in this field you then have to specialize on it.

I have been exposed to the to the characteristics of investigative journalism and have the qualities to be a specialist, but I prefer to stay on my beat and do what I believe I can do best. Lee Hunter urges that, “whether your story appears in a big medium or a small one, make sure it is noticed by the people for whom it is important. If you achieve no   other result, you will allow them to feel that someone cared about theirs story.”

Aphiwe Dyantyi focuses on the positives

By Cwenga Maqhubela

Aphiwe Dyantyi scoring a try during a Rugby Championship match against Australia at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Photo: SA Rugby

The 26 year old Springboks and Emirates Lions winger was charged with a doping offence after testing positive for multiple anabolic steroids and metabolites back on July 2, 2019. He later on appeared for a hearing and was banned from participating in any sporting activity for up to 4 years. He went on to apologize to his teammates and management for the impact these news had caused, “I want to apologize in advance to my teammates and management at the Lions and Springboks‚ my friends and my family for the negative impact this news may have,” he said.

This was a topic of interest for many rugby supporters and some of them claiming that he was sabotaged and set up so that he may not participate in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. The flyer played for UJ in the Varsity Cup Young Guns were he pulled up impressing performances and managed to score himself a deal with the Golden Lions in 2016. He featured in the 2016 and 2017 Currie Cup squad for the Golden Lions and in 2018 was part of the Lions Super Rugby squad. He made his international debut for the Springboks against England in June 2018 and since then he never looked back, starting in 13 of South Africa’s 14 Tests in 2018 and scoring six tries, including braces against Argentina and in the win over the former world champions New Zealand in Wellington.

After the ban, Aphiwe took a decision not to be held back by the bad publicity and maintain his focus on keeping fitness and prepare for a return to competitive rugby after the ban. He has been keeping himself busy with workouts and training at home. This has also provided him with much time to spend with family and friends. Aphiwe Dyantyi is expected to make his return in 2023 at the age of 29. Surely for his fans and team are expecting a strong return from him, will be that is case? we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Not bad for a Sunday|Thanks for the challenge @cristiano #nikelivingroomcup #playinside

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Lerato Chabangu plans a return to professional football after dealing with depression

By Cwenga Maqhubela

Lerato Chabangu looks to revive his football career after having serious depression and alcohol issues.
Photo by: Baberwa FC images

Former Bafana Bafana and Mamelodi Sundowns player Lerato Chabangu believes that he still has what it takes to return to professional football, this is after he has recovered from alcohol abuse and depression. He is now playing for Baberwa FC an amateur team from the ABC Motsepe league.

What happened?

Lerato Chabangu created a name for himself at Mamelodi Sundowns from 2005 to 2009 and went on to play for Moroka Swallows from 2011 to 2015. Before having depression and alcohol problems. He then signed for Chippa United unfortunately for him that deal did not even last for six months. Chabangu said he started to have depression problems after his spell at Chippa United and that made him find an excuse of comforting with alcohol sometimes. “I was in a wrong space and most of my friends lived in the townships. I have no one to blame but can say I have destroyed myself. If you are in the wrong space, negative things will easily catch you,” he said when asked what led to his depression. Chabangu says he has lost everything he had and is living with his grandmother.

Click here to read more

What is Chabangu up to now?

Lerato Chabangu has now resurrected his football career with Baberwa FC and he hopes to achieve a lot with his current team. He is not only focusing on his career as an individual but also plays a role of a mentor to his teammates. “I feel good that I’m playing again, I play with a lot of youngsters and it is more difficult playing with them because of their pace. I am giving them the challenge to push and work harder,” he said.

(Left image) A picture that went viral when Chabangu was still under alcohol abuse and depression. (Right image) Lerato Chabangu prepares for his debut at Baberwa FC.                                                                                                                                                       Images by: Sim Gajane and Baberwa FC images

Where does he get support and what are his goals from now on?

‘All you need is love’ as he was known in the football pitch is getting support from Baberwa fc supporters and his supporters back home in Tembisa, “Baberwa football supporters and my people from back home are giving me the support I need and I am appreciative of that,” Chabangu said. He has planned his return to professional football as either a player or a coach as he plans to be a coach after he has decided to hang up his boots. Chabangu also had plans to open up the ‘Lerato Chanbangu foundation’ and try to help people from where he comes from, he added that “I will be open to help youngsters so that they should not go through what I went through.”

Listen: Click to listen to Robert Marawa’s interview with Lerato Chabangu on Marawa Sports Worldwide

Lerato Chabangu’s word of advice

Chabangu emphasized on how one can easily lose themselves to alcohol abuse and says excuses wont help in such cases, but they only make the situation even worse. There are several other football players and coach(s) who have fall short due to depression and alcohol abuse, Masibusane Zongo, Jabu Mahlangu, Mbulelo Mabizela, Junior Khanye, Olaleng Shaku, Oscarine Masuluke and Kgoloko Thobejane. On a recent interview on Kickoff magazine, Lerato Chabangu has given words of advice to troublesome Masibusane Zongo and has warned him to change his was before it is too late. Reflecting on the general aspect of the whole situation Chabangu expressed his appreciation to everyone who has been supporting him through these tough times, he said “be careful of what you do in life, stay strong and keep on praying. Thanks to the loved ones who have been supporting me, I really appreciate that.”

Read: Chabangu gives verbal hiding to Zongo

Loyiso ‘bra Lloyd’ Sitsheke, a legend to be remembered

Story by: Cwenga Maqhubela

Umhlobo Wene FM sports presenter Loyiso Sitsheke may be gone but he will forever remain in the hearts of sport lovers and his colleagues
Image:  @UWFM88_106FM

On the 29th of April 2020, Umhlobo Wenene FM station manager Phumzile Mnci announced the passing of one of its veteran sports presenter Loyiso Sitsheke. Although it is still unclear as to what was the cause of his death, he will be remembered for his passion and love for radio and sports at the SABC.

Who is bra Lloyd?

Loyiso Sitsheke who is well known as bra Lloyd or ta Lloyd was born at Qumbu village in the Eastern Cape and was raised by foster parents because his biological parents were workers in the Western Cape. He started working on radio in the 1990s at a local radio station (UCR FM) in Mthatha as a sports presenter then went on to take over the breakfast show and other several shows in the radio station. He initially had an interest in news broadcast and worked at and SABC as a news anchor in isiXhosa.

Thabiso Mosia talks about bra Lloyd

That is where he met Thabiso Mosia (at e-tv) who was a sportswriter at e-tv sunrise and he had also wrote scripts for bra Lloyd. A year or two later bra Lloyd went on to work at Umhlobo Wenene FM where he hosted a sports show that was ‘moonlighted’ by Mosia temporarily because the show did not have a content producer at that time. One of many things his former colleagues have in praise for bra Lloyd was his punctuality and preparedness for his shows as well as how he interacted with everyone in the office. Thabiso also outlined how bra Lloyd was always eager to learn new things, “back then he didn’t understand golf, so he would say, you guys are watching golf as if you are watching football, and as time went on he taught himself and understood it” he said. As he continued to build a name for himself as a sports presenter at Umhlobo Wenene, bra Lloyd also created a bond with his listeners which led to a rapid increase in the listenership over the past 10 years. Thabiso recalls on how he would open the lines on air and interact with fans in his show after a Soweto derby weekend, saying some fans used to accuse him for being a Pirates fan, some would say he is a Chiefs fan and some would say he is a Sundowns fan. He enjoyed that feeling of not being known as to whether which team he supported and that showed good qualities of a sports presenter.

Click here for an interview article with Loyiso Sitsheke

At Umhlobo Wenen FM bra Lloyd worked with a lot of people and has also inspired lot of them during the time he has spent in the radio station. He has worked with Sthera (the main man) Ngqezana, Mthuthuzeli (ta Mthura) Scott, Thando Gqamane, Mluleki (Coach) Ntsabo, Amaza Ntshanga and Zizo Tshwete are amongst many of the people who know bra Lloyd at a personal level.

Amaza (right), Zizo (center), bra Lloyd (left) on Masigoduke on December 13 2017.
 Image by: Amaza Ntshanga

Mluleki Coach Ntsabo on bra Lloyd

One of his colleagues at Umhlobo  Wenene Mluleki (Coach) Ntsabo shared his view on how he knew bra Lloyd from a professional point of view to a personal point of view and described their relationship with bra Lloyd like that of a ‘big brother and little brother’ and can never forget how respectful he was. “You’ve got to know Lloyd off air first to understand him when he is on air. Off air he is laid back, full of jokes with a great sense of humour, but when on air there is a shift to professionalism with some signs of his off air character still there,” said Mluleki when I asked him about Loyiso’s character on studio. Amongst many things that Mluleki can say he has learned from Loyiso, he is grateful that bra Lloyd taught him to never take anything for granted, and he must enjoy his work as much as it is stressful. Loyiso was never a walkover of a person, he always asked when he needed more information about something. All his colleagues have high praises for his ability to translate any word from English to isiXhosa and deliver a 100% pure Xhosa content. When I asked Mlulelki about how he felt when he heard that bra Lloyd is no more he said, “It took me by surprise when I heard that he has passed on because he was on air just the night before and had a great interview with Zolani Bongco.”

Thando Gqamane talks about Loyiso Sitsheke 

Thando Gqamane who is a sports journalist and commentator at Umhlobo Wenene FM worked with Loyiso mostly on weekends when there are live games and even midweek sometimes. He explained Loyiso as a person who was able to bring out the best in him and would encourage him to reach his full potential at every aspect of life. The last interview he had with Loyiso was on the second week of the lockdown where he was called to talk about gaming under the lockdown restrictions. Thando said he was inspired by how the interview went on from just gaming to be more about health awareness and how it informed people on what they can do during lockdown. Just like many other colleagues, Thando holds high of the respect bra Lloyd had for everyone working with him and how he used to greet him every time he gets to studio, “he was one man who would hardly ever shake your hand without standing up and that alone says a lot about the level of respect he had for people. He would refer to me by my clan name which is something very important to an African black man and is regarded as the highest order of respect.”   His passing came as shock to everyone and the news that he has passed has left everyone at Umhlobo Wenene devastated and in disbelief.

Words of encouragement for his fans, colleagues, and family

As per the strict lockdown rules, most of his colleagues could not go down to Qumbu and pay their last respect to him but however they were able to do so when Umhlobo Wenene FM had a memorial service for Loyiso Sitsheke. It is a great lose to the sporting industry and his family as he had an impact in many people’s lives not just about his passion for sport but about life in general.

Mluleki Ntsabo: We all know that it is hard for everyone to deal with such a great loss, but we should accept it and let him rest in peace. We should also understand that his purpose was to entertain people and he fulfilled his purpose. In his honour we should keep on listening to his shows even if its someone else driving the shows now.

Thando Gqamane: I am part of that group that is still in disbelief that bra Lloyd is no more, but the work is never done and we will continue to pick up where he left off and make sure that we relive his memory. We will continue to do what he used to do and continue to do what he taught us. This loss is not just for Umhlobo Wenen FM and Loyiso’s friends and family, but it is a loss for people in general. Let us accept that Gods plan is unchanged and normalize that.

Thabiso Mosia: These are tough times for everyone who knew bra Lloyd but eventually we will have to accept the situation. Ta Lloyd played his part at Umhlobo Wenene FM even the numbers from the past ten years on the show reveal the growth he has brought for the radio station.

Special thanks to Mluleki Coach Ntsabo, Thabiso Mosia and Thando Gqamane for the interviews.

PSL suspends handshakes in matches due to the outbreak of Coronaviras

Suspension of handshakes in the PSL

Story by Cwenga Maqhubela

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) have banned the pre-match handshake amid fears over coronavirus.

This comes after South Africa’s Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed on that South Africa has recorded its maiden positive test case for the virus on Thursday.

The league has now released the following statement announcing that players and officials will not shake hands prior to PSL and National First Division (NFD) matches.

As the League, it is pertinent that we advise our Clubs’ management, players, technical staff, match officials, match commissioners, sponsors, PSL staff and other stakeholders the importance of the recent COVID-19 outbreak.

This advice is to be wary of controllable risks factors. With several teams in the Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship, including playing within the continent, we feel it is necessary for us to caution as a League.

As indicated by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Department of Health and the World Health Organisation, the virus is droplet spread – so it is spread via droplets when coughing.

Some precautionary measures include, but are not limited to:

•  Shaking of hands should be suspended to reduce spread risk. •  When coughing, cough within the elbow or a tissue (dispose of the tissue in the correct manner). •  Wash hands frequently with soap and water or utilise waterless hand washes often especially after contact with individuals. •  When handling public space materials (trolleys at airports and public spaces etc), it is advisable to, if possible, use disinfectant wipes on these items also to reduce risk. •  Limit direct contact with individuals by handshaking, hugging as much as one can.
Should an individual have flu-like symptoms and has travelled to one of the countries with a present outbreak, you should consult with your healthcare practitioner, but it is advisable to contact the Corona Virus hotline number on 080029999 to speak to a dedicated practitioner to advise accordingly.

Again, as communicated by the NICD, there is no need to panic but the precautionary measures as indicated above, are advised to avoid the spread of the virus.

FIFA appeals Russias ban from 2022 world cup

Story by Cwenga Maqhubela

Russia national team banned from 2022 FIFA world cup by the the World Anti Doping Agency.

FIFA has made contact with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to clarify how Russia’s ban from major international sporting events applies to football.

On Monday, WADA’s Executive Committee endorsed a recommended four-year ban for Russia, with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) declared non-compliant again over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

The suspension means athletes will not be able to compete under the Russian flag at the 2020 Olympics or the 2022 Winter Games.

It would also appear to prevent Russia from entering the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, although WADA’s International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories does not list UEFA as a “major event organisation”, so Stanislav Cherchesov’s side will be free to compete at Euro 2020.

However, the Russian Football Union said it was hopeful football would not be impacted but it was waiting to hear from FIFA.

FIFA is yet to reveal its stance on the suspension but has confirmed to Omnisport it is in contact with WADA and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).

“FIFA has taken note of the decision taken by WADA Executive Committee today,” a FIFA spokesperson said.

“FIFA is in contact with WADA and ASOIF to clarify the extent of the decision in regards to football.”

RUSADA has 21 days to appeal the suspension, which would see its case referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Jonathan Taylor, chair of the Compliance Review Committee that recommended the sanction, told a news conference: “It is the event that decides the world champion that is covered by the ban.”

However, Taylor acknowledged each sport would be assessed on a “case-by-case basis”.

“Let’s be clear about the totality of this package. It’s a four-year package and relates to a number of different things,” he said. “In terms of participation, the standard is clear.

“There will be no flag at the events that are covered. There will not be a Russian flag and athletes will not be competing as representatives of Russia.

“The details from sport to sport will have to differ because some are team sports, some are individual sports. There is going to have to be a case-by-case basis.

“Nevertheless, what is important to note is that the standard says it is under the control and approval of WADA to ensure appropriate and standardised enforcement.

“That may, if there is a CAS case, be taken to CAS so it can see and endorse it itself.

“Can we be definitive now in every case as to what it will mean? No, but the standard is clear. They will not be there as representatives of Russia.”

WADA president Craig Reedie said in a statement the body had delivered “a robust response”.

“Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial,” he said.

Other concerned parties, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), can also appeal to CAS if RUSADA chooses not to.

An appeal from the IOC, another Olympic committee or an international federation – such as FIFA – would have to come within 21 days of RUSADA accepting WADA’s decision.