Avatar photo

By Chulumanco Mahamba

Digital Night Supervisor


Daily News update: Oscar Pistorius, back-to-school, EC initiation deaths, Home Affairs offline and more

Headlines you may have missed:


News today includes a legal analyst said Paralympian Oscar Pistorius may not be able to put his blades back on and compete in athletics as before until his full sentence is served and the Department of Basic Education has cut down on holidays with its 2024 school calendar.

Meanwhile, traditional leaders in South Africa have expressed their shock and outrage at the high number of initiate deaths during the December period and frustrated South Africans have been stuck in long queues after the Department of Home Affairs’ systems went offline this week.

News Today: 5 January 2024

In today’s weather update, the weather service has warned about severe thunderstorms with possible heavy downpours, severe lightning, large hail and strong damaging winds in three provinces; extremely hot and uncomfortable humid conditions in the Western Cape and extremely high fire danger in two provinces. – full weather forecast here.

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

Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner might not be able to compete once released

With just a day left before Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is to be released on parole, a legal analyst said he may not be able to put his blades back on and compete in athletics as before until his full sentence is served.

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) on Wednesday confirmed Pistorius will be released on Friday, 5 January under strict conditions.

Oscar Pistorius will be released on Friday, 5 January 2024. Photo: AFP Getty Images

He will not be allowed to give any interviews, with the Department of Correctional Services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo saying an elevated public profile linked to Pistorius does not make him different from other inmates nor warrant inconsistent treatment.

Legal analyst Mpumelelo Zikalala told 702 that if Pistorius wanted to return to athletics, he would have to get permission from the parole board.

CONTINUE: Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner might not be able to compete once released


Back-to-school: Term dates, new subjects and shorter holidays for 2024…

About 14 peaceful sleeps are left before it’s back to school again. Not only for the kids, but also for parents embarking on the daily school, dodging potholes and minibus taxis…Here’s what to know about the 2024 school year.

The 2024 public school calendar kicks off on 17 January and concludes on 11 December, adding up to a total of 203 instructional days – four more than in 2022 and 2023.

It’s back to school for learners across the country on 17 January. Photo: iStock

School holidays have been shortened in 2024, with the calendar making provision for just 25 days off, compared to 32 days in 2023 and 33 in 2022.

In addition, school holidays have been structured to include most of this year’s public holidays.

CONTINUE: Back-to-school: Term dates, new subjects and shorter holidays for 2024…


Policeman calls private security after being robbed

Police officers vow to protect the communities they serve from crime, but when one was a victim recently he called a private security company for help.

According to private security company Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA), the police detective was robbed and attacked by two unidentified suspects in Verulam Central Business District, KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.

A policeman was robbed while walking the street. Picture for illustration purposes. Photo: SAPS

The detective said he was walking in an arcade in Verulam CBD when the suspects choked him and took his Nokia phone.

The detective chased the two with his firearm, shooting off two warning shots.

CONTINUE: Policeman calls private security after being robbed


Traditional leaders outraged at Eastern Cape initiation deaths over the festive season

Traditional leaders in South Africa have expressed their shock and outrage at the high number of initiate deaths during the December period in the Eastern Cape.

According to the Royal Leaders of South Africa (Rolesa), a body representing traditional royal families, at least 35 boys died in the Eastern Cape during the summer initiation season running from December.

Picture: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Thulani Mbele

It was common for the Eastern Cape to have two initiation seasons, while other provinces only have one winter initiation season.

CONTINUE: Traditional leaders outraged at Eastern Cape initiation deaths over the festive season


Home Affairs offline nationally

Frustrated South Africans have been stuck in long queues after the Department of Home Affairs’ systems went offline this week.

Reports indicated the systems have been offline since the New Year started, with the department only confirming an outage.

Picture: Gallo Images

It said all services it offers, including ID card and passport applications, are suspended.

CONTINUE: Home Affairs offline nationally


In other news today:


Yesterday’s News recap

READ HERE: Mbeki rumours, Pistorius release date, KZN storm count, Mangolele threat and more

Read more on these topics

Daily news update

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits