By Panashe Chigumadzi (@panashechig)
A round up of last week’s biggest news and newsmakers from South Africa and around the world.
1. Deadly attacks in Gaza on religious holiday
As Muslims in Gaza began celebrating Eid al-Fitr, there was fear and mourning on Monday instead of holiday cheer as missiles struck several sites in Gaza. Monday’s violence followed an almost 12-hour pause in fighting and came as international efforts intensified to end the three-week war between Israel and Hamas.
Eight people, including seven children, died following missile fire on a refugee camp on the edge of Gaza City and atleast two more Palestinians were killed in other attacks on Monday. Four Israelis were killed in a mortar attack at Eshkol in southern Israel near the Gaza border.
The United Nations on Monday called for an “immediate” ceasefire in the fighting that has already killed more than 1,040 Palestinians, 43 Israeli soldiers and three civilians on the Israeli side.
2. 11 Parents of the Chibok girls have died since the kidnapping
Since the mass abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram three months ago, at least 11 of their parents have died, residents report. The bodies of seven fathers of kidnapped girls were among 51 bodies brought to Chibok hospital after an attack on the nearby village of Kautakari this month. At least four more parents have died of heart failure, high blood pressure and other illnesses that have been attributed to the trauma of the mass kidnapping.
Chibok is increasingly troubled, with frequent attacks on the roads, which are studded with burned out vehicles, cutting the village off from the rest of the country. Commercial flights no longer go into the area and the government has halted charter flights.
It has been reported that around 57 young women who managed to escape in the first few days are recovering. Counselling is being offered to families of those abducted and to some of the students who managed to escape. Girls who had first refused to discuss their experience are now talking about it and taking part in therapeutic singing and drawing.
3. Mercedes-Benz Cape Town Fashion Week
African Fashion International (AFI) once again brought us the 2014 Cape Town Fashion Week at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. It began on Thursday, 24 and ended on Saturday, 26 July 2014 with multiple shows giving some of South Africa’s best designers a platform to unveil their 2014 spring/summer collections.
In total, the event included 15 shows from 27 designers including Anisa Mpungwe, Craig Port and Marianne Fassler.
4. Bonang Matheba returns to MetroFM
After a public break up last month, the SABC and Bonang Mathebahave reconciled. Fans will see her going back at Metro FM hosting ‘The Front row’ from 09h00 to 12h00 on weekdays, from Monday 11 August 2014 which Majota ‘Phat Joe’ Khambule hosted in her absence.
Matheba’s contract was reinstated and she since has ‘unreservedly withdrawn’ all her public statements made with regards to her departure prior to the FIFA 2014 World Cup, saying, “I am thrilled to re-engage my long standing relationship with the SABC. The support I have received from the listeners and viewers has been overwhelming, and for that I am grateful. I look forward to an aligned future plan with the SABC, doing what I love as I spearhead my business plan. It’s an exciting time head”.
“The SABC would like to welcome back Ms. Matheba and accepts her apology. Our aim as broadcaster is not to destroy our talent but to nurture and help young people to grow in this challenging industry. We respect their craft and are willing to assist where we can” said SABC Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
5. Shakes Mashaba appointed as Bafana Bafana coach
On Sunday, former South African coach and national team player, Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba was announced as the new Bafana Bafana coach. He was chosen by the SAFA national executive committee ahead of the highly punted Carlos Queiroz who was recommended by the Safa technical committee.
SAFA President Danny Jordaan said: “He has a proven record, is a hard worker and he fulfilled all requirements we were looking for to drive our senior national team back to where we all believe they belong – at the top.”
In his position as the national coach, Mashaba previously qualified Bafana for the Africa Cup of Nations (2004) but lost his job after declining to choose the squad his bosses wanted for a high-profile friendly against England. He remains the only coach to have taken South Africa to the Olympics (Sydney 2000) soccer tournament for Under-23 sides.
“I’m thrilled with the honour you bestowed on me,” Mashaba said. “I’ll pull out all stops to ensure our people feel part of the national team and the only way is to bring good results.”
6. Air Algerie crashes in Mali
Air Algerie Flight 5017 was carrying 116 people when it took off early Thursday from Burkina Faso to Algeria. Less than an hour into the flight, the aircraft disappeared from radar after changing its flight path because of bad weather.
The plane’s wreckage was found in Mali’s Gossi region, making it the third major international aviation disaster in recent days. Air Algerie’s crash came less than 24 hours after a twin-engine plane crashed while attempting to land Wednesday in Taiwan’s Penghu Islands, killing 48 of the 58 people on board, and a week after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed in Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.