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By Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist

Daily news update: SA’s crime stats, boy allegedly shoots principal, 31 pharmacy students hospitalised

Here’s your morning news update: An easy-to-read selection of our top stories.

In today’s news, the latest crime statistics show that South Africa has seen an increase in murders while sexual offences have declined, a 13-year-old boy was arrested for allegedly shooting his principal, and 31 pharmacy students from Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University were hospitalised after a practical session.

We also look at reactions from civil organisations and political parties to the crime statistics, a Social Development office being forced to vacate the premises after not paying rent for months, Minnie Dlamini’s upcoming roast and the Proteas fighting to the end against New Zealand.

News today: 17 February

Crime stats: Murders increase in SA while sexual offences decline

South Africa seen a slight increase in the number of murders, although sexual related crimes have gone down, according to the latest crime statistics.

Quarterly crime statistics / Operation-Shanela
Police Minister Bheki Cele. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Police Minister Bheki Cele released the third quarterly crime statistics of the 2023/2024 financial year on Friday.

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Gauteng pupil arrested for allegedly shooting principal

A 13-year-old boy has been arrested after allegedly shooting the principal of Primrose Primary School in Germiston, east of Johannesburg, on Thursday morning.

Gauteng pupil arrested for shooting school principal
Picture: iStock

According to police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi, the 51-year-old school principal was taken to a local hospital.

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31 pharmacy students hospitalised at SMU after experiencing ‘eyesight problems’

Thirty-one third-year pharmacy students from Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU) were hospitalised after they experienced an “eyesight problem” following a laboratory or practical session at the university.

Health scare: 31 pharmacy students hospitalized at SMU after experiencing 'eyesight problems'
Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University. Image: Twitter/@MarvelHlungwani

The higher education institution suspended academic activities for Bachelor of Pharmacy third-year students with immediate effect on Thursday afternoon after they experienced eyesight problems.

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‘South Africans have been abandoned by government’ – reactions to crime stats

Civil organisations and political parties have criticised the government’s actions, or lack thereof, in dealing with crime in South Africa.

Rape, crime stats, gbv
While reported sexual offences have decreased, its levels are still unacceptably high, civil organisations claim. Photo: iStock

Amnesty International SA, ActionSA and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have all called for an overhaul of the policing system. Civil organisation Action Society said the statistics show the government has abandoned its citizens.

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Staff kicked out as govt department fails to pay

As the National Treasury’s austerity measures begin to derail key government programmes, KwaZulu-Natal Social Development employees have been forced to vacate the department’s service delivery offices in the uMkhambathini Municipality, outside Pietermaritzburg, after the department defaulted on its rental payments.

Nonhlanhla Khoza
KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza. Photo: Supplied

After not receiving rent from the department for several months, the owner of the building — which is located in Camperdown — kicked out the department staff before locking the property’s gates.

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‘Therapy is cheaper than divorce’ − Minnie Dlamini

Showmax is gearing up to present the highly anticipated roast of Minnie Dlamini, scheduled to be filmed on 5 April and subsequently aired on 26 April.

Minnie Dlamini
Media personality Minnie Dlamini. Picture: Instagram/@minniedlamini

The announcement was made at The Cracker Zac in Rosebank on Thursday evening.

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‘BBMzansi’: Liema decides on her future on the show after her grandmother’s death

Many viewers were concerned about Liema’s future on BBMzansfollowing her grandmother’s passing.

‘Big Brother Mzansi’ housemate Liema Pantsi. Picture: Instagram/@bigbromzansi

Liema‘s social media manager released a statement on Tuesday confirming that her grandmother passed away on Tuesday, 13 February.

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Under-strength Proteas praised for ‘almost pulling off the impossible’

They admitted they were outplayed, but Proteas captain Neil Brand and coach Shukri Conrad were full of praise for the second-string national team after they punched above their weight in the second Test against New Zealand.

Proteas captain Neil Brand
Proteas captain Neil Brand congratulates Black Caps player Matt Henry after the second Test in Hamilton. Picture: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Having arrived Down Under without most of the national squad’s regular players, due to commitments in the recently concluded SA20 series, the tourists were thumped by 281 runs in the first match at Mount Maunganui last week.

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Broos wants to meet injured Foster to discuss AFCON absence

Hugo Broos still wants an explanation from Lyle Foster, as to why the Burnley striker was able to play for his club in the English Premier League, but not his country at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Lyle Foster - Burnley
Lyle Foster played for Burnley despite not being available for Bafana at the Africa Cup of Nations. Picture: Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images

The Bafana head coach has also said that his players will have a say on whether Foster is welcomed back to international duty.

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