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Anger in South Africa as disabled teen dies after police shooting | News

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Johannesburg, South Africa – Residents in the South African capital are angry after a disabled 16-year-old boy was allegedly shot dead by the police.

Nathaniel Julius, who had Down’s syndrome, died in a hospital in Johannesburg on Wednesday night, hours after he was shot by the police metres away from his home in the city’s Eldorado Park suburb.

The killing occurred after residents in the neighbourhood – ravaged by drugs and crime – took to the streets to protest the lack of housing in the area.

In recent months, the South African police have faced allegations of brutality during the enforcement of coronavirus restrictions.

Police claimed Julius was wounded in a shoot-out between gang members and police officers when a stray bullet hit him. But the family and the community rejected the claim.

According to the family, the teenager was shot in the chest when he was unable to answer questions from the police.

Witnesses said Julius was holding a biscuit in his hand when police began questioning him, but he was not able to answer properly due to his condition.

Witnesses alleged that police officers bundled Julius into a van after the shooting and took him to hospital several miles away, where he died.

‘Justice for Nathaniel’

“Police should be trained to minimise the possibility that bystanders will be killed. The facts are not clear here, but a shoot-out does not in itself constitute justification for the death,” David Bruce, an independent expert on policing in South Africa, told Al Jazeera.

During the protest on the day of Julius’ death, Eldorado Park residents hurled rocks at the police, who retaliated by firing rubber bullets and stun grenades.

A provincial government official, Faith Mazibuko, visited the teen’s family on Thursday and announced that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IDIP) will probe the case.

Addressing the reporters later, Mazibuko said the police officers deployed in Eldorado Park during the incident have been removed while the case is being investigated.

Meanwhile, more violence followed on Thursday, with residents calling for an overhaul of the police force in the area.

Residents of Eldorado Park protesting the death of the teenage boy allegedly shot by the police [Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters]

In a statement on Wednesday, IDIP spokesperson Ndileka Cola said it was difficult to reach the scene of the incident “as the situation had been volatile” and that it was difficult to conduct interviews “as the community was violent”.

On Friday, Police Minister Bheki Cele was confronted by an angry crowd chanting “Police are corrupt!” and “Justice for Nathaniel!” as he visited Julius’s parents in Eldorado Park.

‘Worrisome’

According to the boy’s family, the police are trying to “cover up” the “cold-blooded” killing.

The shooting is reminiscent of other instances of recent police brutality in South Africa during the coronavirus lockdown that started on March 27.

Bruce compared the boy’s shooting to the killing of Tyrone Moeng, 19, who was fatally shot by the police on April 13.

Themba Masuku of the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum said, “The killing of a defenceless young man by the police demonstrates serious problems in our policing”.

“It is highly unlikely that this young person posed any threat that warranted lethal force. The culture of impunity and lack of respect for life is worrisome because everyone especially children must feel safe around the police. Force should be used as a last resort,” Masuku told Al Jazeera.

“We have a moral duty and that is to demand the truth. We must demand answers and expect to get only the truth,” said Yasmin Sooka, executive director at Johannesburg-based Foundation for Human Rights.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema

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When court sat on Friday to hear the Kiggundu’s application to stop independent audit, he did not have a written application, and Justice Henry Adonyo instead ordered the plaintiff’s lawyer Fred Muwema to go make a written application seeking court to dismiss the audit and return to court on September 30 for a hearing of the application. But this adds more pressure on Kiggundu who is choking with the loans.

On 31 August, the judge ordered the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) to carry out and independent audit into the accounts of the businessman and financial statements exchanged between the two parties, and present a report to court.

When asked by journalists why he has filed for an application seeking dismissal of the audit, Fred Muwema had this to say. “We are saying that let the validity and legality of those credit facilities (loans) be decided first before you can audit” He said.

The ruling on the application of the main suit to determine whether the businessman owes loan arrears to the bank is set for 5th October 2020, after which a date for hearing of the case will be set.

Background

Hamis Kiggundu through his companies Ham enterprises and Kiggs International (U) ltd sued DTB branches in Kenya and Uganda for deducting money from his accounts something which the bank contends and said they only acted as per the loan agreement of deducting 30% from Kiggundu’s accounts to recover the credit facilities rendered to him between February 2011 and September 2016

But Court documents filed by the bank in their defense shows that Kiggundu, between February 2011 and September 2016, was granted various credit facilities by the said DTB Banks.

First, via Ham Enterprises Limited, Kiggundu obtained a loan of $6,663,453 and another Sh2.5bn from the DTB (U) to finance his projects in the real estate business.

Later, according to New Vision, he got a facility worth $4.5m through Kiggs International (U) Limited from DTB (K) and mortgaged his properties, which include Plot 328 located at Kawuku on Block 248 Kyadondo, three plots that include 36, 37 and 38 on Folio 1533 Victoria Crescent II situated in Kyadondo and land on Makerere Hill Road on LRV 3716 Folio 10 Plot 923 Block 9.

Documents show that as of January 21, 2020, Kiggundu was in default on payment obligations of $6.298m on the loan facility of $6.663m, as well as sh2.885b on the demand overdraft facility of sh1.5b and the temporary demand overdraft facility of sh1b.

The banks say that Kiggundu was in default on the payment of another $3.662m out of a total loan facility of $4m and another $458,604 on a loan facility of $500,000, as of January 21, 2020.

The DTB consequently served him with a demand notice to either pay up or lose the assets that he submitted as collateral security. The bank threatened to attach a plot on Makerere Hill Road and other prime commercial properties.

Analysts says that Kiggundu’s lawyer is playing delaying tactics aimed at stopping the independent audit as ordered by the court earlier. Kiggundu had wanted court to believe his own audit of loan transactions, but that would amount to injustice to the banks that gave him money-DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya.

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded

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The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      





Source – observer.ug

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19

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Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  





Source – observer.ug

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