Thu, Dec 3, 2020

Coronavirus infect all and sundry- That it only affects rich people is a myth

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By Buti Botopela…in Ikemeleng community. As at 15 March 2020,the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster, responding to COVID-19 cases which had been reported. The message shared is loud and clear that we must slow down the spread of this virus in order for us to be able to respond to all the health needs in our communities. I personally felt that my life is at risk . Ikemeleng community is made up of multi African nationals and many don’t even know, what COVID – 19 is. What does it mean when people say it’s lock down? In Ikemeleng community, move around freely and they only disappear when they see the police and soldiers moving around the community streets making sure that people are safe and indoors.
I interviewed 3 of the community members whose names can’t be revealed.

I asked them about what coronavirus and lockdown means to them. Their response was that coronavirus only infect the rich people and not poor people.COVID – 19 is increasing poverty within the community. They even told me that they are not going to sleep with empty stomachs as they depend on piece jobs to feed their families. The situation is getting worst daily. What trajectory or what path this pandemic will take is uncertain.

We all need to help the government slowdown the spread of this virus by complying with the rules set out through avoiding visiting others and playing together especially the kids should stay home and indoors.

Army using force to enforce lockdown in Lesotho

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Lesotho Flag Animation (Close-up)

by Rapule Moiloa…A friend of mine from Lesotho said that she witnessed how the lock down is affecting people in Lesotho in terms of how the army uses force with the police is hiding behind the army and allows the army to beat people and use force. The queues at groceries shops are long and she said that Shoprite closes around 11am and the people with small businesses are affected since they sell fast food etc. She also said that at least the government has announced price reduction in fuel prices.

The pain of a boy who misses his parents

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By: Francisco…On February 20, we interviewed a 10-year-old boy living in the Liberdade neighborhood, he was selling coconut cakes and looking very concentrated and apparently feeling isolated.

Asked about his name and where he lived, the little boy replied that his name was Sawali and that he lived right in front of the place that sold the cookies, specifically in the Liberdade neighborhood, Matola city and Maputo province.

Little Sawali is 10 years old and attends 4th grade at the Escola Primária da Liberdade. This boy, lives with his grandmother and sister, daughter of his aunt and his mother’s sister. Questioned about the whereabouts of his parents, moved, the little one said that the mother had died and his father is in another province, specifically in Gaza and lives with another woman and children.

1. When you go to school, who is selling the cookies?

Sawali says that no one is selling the cookies, sometimes when he returns early from school sells them.

2. What has your Mana been doing?

She hasn’t done anything, sometimes she helps our grandmother, but there are few times she has done it, it depends on her mood and her willingness to do it.

3. In relation to your father, have you spoken to him? Have they visited you?

“I spoke to him one day on his cell phone, but it was a long time ago, he never came to visit me, I was the one who visited him, but it was also a long time ago.”

Noticing little Sawali’s shyness and emotion in relation to this conversation, we chose to change the subject, asking him, what he wants to be when he grows up, promptly stated that he wants to be a professional football player and that he had Messe, the Jersey 10 from Barcelona as his idol.

4. Can you mention any rights of child?

• “The child has the right to play, study, pray and grow up.”

He is such a brilliant child who endures the pain of having lost his mother and lack of support from the father.

A dor de um menino que sente a falta dos pais

Por: Francisco Manhique

Figura 1. Foto desfocada, com vista a preservar a imagem do menino.

Figure 1. Blurred photo, in order to preserve the boy’s image.

No dia 20 de Fevereiro entrevistamos um menino de 10 anos residente no bairro da liberdade, ele vendia bolinhos de coco e estava com aspecto muito concentrado e aparentemente sentindo-se isolado.

Questionado sobre o seu nome e onde morava, o pequeno menino respondeu que se chamava Sawali e que residia logo em frente em relação ao local que vendia os bolinhos, concretamente no bairro da liberdade, cidade da Matola e província de Maputo.

O pequeno Sawali tem 10 anos e frequenta a 4ª classe na Escola Primária da Liberdade. Este menino, vive com a avo, Mãe de sua Mãe e mana, filha de sua tia, irmã de sua Mãe. Questionado sobre o paradeiro dos pais, emocionado, o pequeno disse que a Mãe tivera falecido e o seu pai está numa outra província, especificamente em Gaza e vive com uma outra mulher e filhos.

  1. Quando vais a escola, quem fica a vender os bolinhos?

Sawali afirma que ninguém fica a vender os bolinhos, por vezes, quando volta cedo da Escola, retorna na venda dos mesmos, e qualquer trabalho da escola tem realizado enquanto vende.

  • Oque sua Mana tem feito?

Ela não tem feito nada, por vezes ajuda a nossa avó, mas são poucas as vezes em que tem feito, depende do seu humor e sua boa vontade o fazer.

  • Em relação ao seu pai, tens falado com ele? Ele têm-te visitado?

“Falei com ele um dia ao telemóvel, mas já faz muito tempo, ele nunca veio visitar-me, eu é que fui um dia lhe visitar, mas também faz muito tempo.

Notando a timidez e a emoção do pequeno Sawali em relação a essa conversa, optamos por mudar de assunto, perguntando-lhe, oque ele quer ser quando crescer, prontamente, afirmou que quer ser um jogador profissional de futebol e que tinha Messe, o Camisola 10 do Barcelona como seu ídolo.

  • Podes mencionar alguns direitos da criança?
  • “a criança tem direito de Brincar”;
  • De estudar;
  • De rezar; e
  • Crescer.

Esses são alguns dos direitos da criança mencionados por este menino que sente a dor de ter perdido a sua mãe e clara auxência de seu pai.

Citizen’s health put at risk in public transport

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By: Francisco Manhique… In the wake of Covid-19, the government set a rule that passengers in public transport must sit three people per row.

Asurvey carried out by one activist trained by Act Ubumbano showed that this is not full complied with by public transporters who claim that their businesses have been affcted as they are not able to meet their daily targets.

This is because when public transporters are not controlled by the municipal and traffic police, they do not comply with the law, resulting in overcrowding in public transport and this is worsened by passengers who remain passive whilst they are put at risk.

the survey also established that public transporters do not abide by the stipulated hygienic practices and only one does. This was observed in the Liberdade neighborhood, Maputo Province, when traveling to the city of Maputo, specifically towards the downtown area. The transporte always clean the vehicle and disinfect the passengers’ hands whenever they enter and exit the vehicle.

“Quando todos estivermos mortos, não haverá dinheiro que restituirá as nossas vidas

Por: Francisco Manhique

Foi instituído aos transportes públicos que cumprissem coma norma que estabelece que “todos os passageiros devem ocupar por cada fileira três pessoas, em transportes públicos com lotação máxima de 15 lugares, e aos TPM’s que cumprissem a regra de que todos os passageiros devem estar sentados”.

Por conseguinte, em puro trabalho de sondagem realizado no âmbito do activismo, pela ACT Ubumbano, notamos que essa regra não foi acolhida de forma satisfatória pelos transportadores públicos que acusam sentirem-se lesados, por não conseguirem estabelecer a receita diária.

Estes, quando não controlados pela polícia municipal e de trânsito, não cumprem com a nova lei, verificando-se assim a superlotação nos transportes públicos aliada à cooperação dos passageiros que tornam-se passivos à essas irregularidades.

Ainda no trabalho de sondagem, no que diz respeito as regras de higiene nos transportes públicos, apenas um observa todas as regras incluindo, as de superlotação. Esse facto, foi observado no bairro da liberdade, província de Maputo, na deslocação para a cidade de Maputo, concretamente no destino à baixa da cidade.

O cobrador sempre limpava a viatura e desinfetava as mãos dos passageiros, sempre que estes entrassem e saíssem da viatura. Por outro lado. Este facto não foi observado em outras viaturas, desta forma, notando-se o maior valor por dinheiro em Motoristas dos transportes públicos, dizemos, “quando todos estivermos mortos, não haverá dinheiro que restituirá as nossas vidas.

Commercial establishments aware of hygienic practices to combat Covid-19

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By: Francisco Manhique...The commercial establishments in Bairro Ferroviário are attentive to hygiene practices in relation to Covid-19, however, it is common to clean the hands of citizens before making any purchase.

In addition, economic agents have made such action mandatory, aware that they are at greater risk, as they deal with a large number of people during the day, on the other hand, some commercial establishments have disobeyed the orders stipulated by the government in relation to Covid- 19. All amusement centers were closed, the places of worship also closed.

However, it has become mandatory that at 5 pm alcohol sales centers are closed. Through this law, young people lock themselves inside tents and bars, giving the impression that the place is closed, while they have fun night and day.

Estabelecimentos Comerciais atentos as práticas de Higiene em prol do combate ao Covid-19,

Por: Francisco Manhique….Os estabelecimentos comerciais no Bairro Ferroviário mostram-se atentos as práticas de higiene em relação a Covid-19, no entanto, torna-se comum a limpeza das mãos da parte dos cidadãos antes de perpetrar qualquer compra.

Ademais, os agentes económicos, tem tornado obrigatório tal acção, cientes de que estão em maior risco, por lidar com maior número de pessoas durante o dia, por outro lado, alguns estabelecimentos comercias tem desobedecido as ordens estipuladas pelo governo em relação a Covid-19. Todos os centros de diversão foram encerados, os locais de culto seguem a mesma linhagem de enceramento.

No entanto, torna-se obrigatório, até o período das 17 horas encerar os centros de vendas de bebidas alcoólicas. Mediante, essa lei, os jovens trancam-se dentro das barracas e bares, dando a impressão de que o local está fechado, enquanto os mesmos divertem-se noite e dia.

Infringement of human rights under pretext of enforcing lockdown- as livelihoods are threatened

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Anonymous…On the 8th of April one guy was beaten so badly by police here near my flat in Durban, Russell Street. We are really suffering because this has been happening since the lockdown started, sometimes they don’t even ask where you are going they just start beating you. Some of our papers have expired we can’t go for renewal because we even scared to go to home Affairs. We have a fear that we will be arrested after lockdown because we are now illegal citizens because we have no papers.

by Michael…It’s day 12 of the lock down as I am getting ready to go out, buy grocery for PACSA garden assistant. My what’s app is full of messages, other forwarded from PACSA Process Facilitators. As per government directive, for me to leave my house I need permit, classifying my work as essential service! I wonder if fighting for social justice is classified as one, human rights watch is one them, buying groceries for the garden assistant is one of those. First two  kilometers from my house road block. Here is my conversation with the police officers;

Police: Where are you going,

Me: Going to buy grocery

Police: Didn’t you buy before the lock down.

Me : I did, but this time is not mine, its for a colleague who is being paid on a daily basis depending on the work he does and as we are in a lockdown he is in a danger of hunger and starvation.

SA citizens pour out their feelings on lockdown

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by Nompilo…The conditions of conducting burial processes during lockdown are very frustrating and hard more especially in rural areas where the people strongly believe in their cultural practices and beliefs and where information about coronavirus has not been sufficiently spread. We had a very bad experience with my family at Maphumulo in Mambedwini, KZN having to bury our father under such restrictive circumstances. Having to adhere with the rules of lockdown robbed us opportunity and opportunity to mourn and bury our father in honour according to the dictates of our culture.  

by Njabulo Togane, PACSA, Pietermaritzburg, KZN…My name is Njabulo Togane and I reside in Cinderella Park which is a diverse community in terms of race. The community has different setups such as informal settlement, RDP houses and self-built houses. As we mark day 13 of the South Africa lockdown as a person who works with the marginalized constituencies who don’t have any means of communication but only meeting at PACSA office has been very much difficult to engage and communicate with them and I feel helpless because the regulations that were enforced upon us as the public of South Africa limited my movements.

by RapuleLucky not his real name is my friend from Soweto and he is one of the people who has a small business next to Bara Hospital. He sells sweets, snacks, cold drinks and he said to me last night that he is worried about paying his son’s fees, pay rent as he is renting for now the rent is 1000 rands because his business has been affected. He is contemplating to look for work after the lockdown.  

AnonymousIn my community(Eshowe) the problem now is alcohol it’s really scary the way people are in need of alcohol than to protect themselves from corona ,they are people who are selling it even police know them but they are keeping quiet about it, people are wasting money on alcohol than food, it’s really confusing what people are doing.

Living conditions undermine social distancing

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Since the enforcement of lockdown has begun things have been very difficult especially when it comes to maintaining social distance. It’s been difficult for us to comply with at home because we are living in a RDP house which is one room and we are a family of 7 including my mother ,2 sisters, 3 children and myself. We are very concerned because we can’t keep one meter apart as we the house is too small for all of us. During cold weather it is like we are breathing the same air. We are not sure if coronavirus is going to spare us in case one of us gets infected.

Poverty places women in vulnerable and precarious situations

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Poverty has placed women in vulnerable and precarious situations such that they find themselves in abusive relationships and having children with different men. Thando (not her real name) from Vaal highlighted this when she spoke about her difficult situation as an unemployed single mother living in abject poverty.

She narrated her ordeal on how she faced harassment from her husband but people advised her to stick to him because she was unemployed and she depended on him for the upkeep of the children. She therefore continued to stay with him for the sake of her children despite her suffering physically and emotionally.  She however managed to escape from the jaws of abusive, sought counselling and started to live her own life and fending for her children. She has this to say;

“Abuse will always happen until women say no to abusive partners and report their cases to police station. However, the major challenge is that some women report their cases to the police but drop them later for the love of their partners and this makes them continue to suffer.”

The Scourge of Unemployment for Young Women in Diepkloof

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By Rapule Moiloa

Gender violence is real. Rights are violated by men who perpetrate criminal behaviour and abuse against women and children. Women face many challenges every day. Poverty, unemployment and low self-esteem puts young woman in awkward situations that find them in relationships where they are emotionally and physically abused.