When Brittany Hawley received her master's degree from Clarkson University over the weekend, her service dog, 4-year-old "Griffin," was honored, too. The good boy assisted his 25-year-old handler as she worked toward her degree in occupational therapy. He went with Hawley to classes, and even assisted her at an internship where she assisted patients. And on Saturday, Griffin aided Hawley, of North Carolina, once more as she made her way across the stage of the Potsdam, New York school's recognition ceremony. The university's board of trustees honored Griffin for what they said was "extraordinary effort, steadfast commitment and diligent dedication to the well-being and student success" of Hawley.
Think that emergency care is just a call away? You might want to think again. Less than half of the required number of ambulances are on the road this festive season, figures obtained by Bhekisisa show. In May, the Treatment Action Campaign released reports on the state of healthcare in seven provinces. A shortage of ambulance and emergency medical services [EMS] personnel were significant problems in all of the provinces surveyed, the documents show. In response, Bhekisisa requested the latest EMS vehicle and staff numbers from all nine provinces. The Gauteng, North West, Western Cape, Mpumalanga, and Eastern Cape health departments responded, and the national health department provided figures
You made it through the year. Kick back, relax and take a read through the 2018 that was. Life, death, politics and protest — healthcare in South Africa saw what was arguably its most volatile year in more than a decade in 2018. Since Bhekisisa started five years ago, we've broken news — and then broken down the science behind it. From the Cape to Cairo, our reporters didn't just tell you about problems this year, but they uncovered — and evaluated — solutions too. “Journalists who add a solutions-oriented lens to their reporting aren't only watchdogs, but also 'guide dogs'”, our friends at the Solutions Journalism Network recently summed up in this great post. “Providing rigorous coverage and
The Kouga municipality is calling for donations to assist firefighters containing the blaze in St Francis Bay. Earlier, the municipality said in a Facebook update that 11 houses burnt down completely and a few others were damaged. They were unable to say how many houses had been damaged. It appealed for the following donations: small bottles of water; energy drinks; energy bars; Bar One chocolate or other chocolates; eye wash; and easy meals, such as hamburgers, hotdogs, pies, sandwiches, etc. Those who are able to assist should contact James Mzangwa from Kouga's Disaster Management team on 081 561 6313 or Liezl Clause from the St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group on 083 285 7166. Earlier in
A field ranger at Leopard Rock Lodge in the North West was killed when an elephant attacked him on Friday. Mark Lautenbach, who was a manager and guide at the Madikwe Game Reserve, where the lodge is located, suffered extensive injuries after he tried to redirect the musth elephant into the bush when it broke down a fence and entered the lodging area. The animal was put down after the incident. MEC of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development Desbo Mohono noted the accident and described Lautenbach's death as a "loss to the wildlife sector". "This is a great loss to the wildlife sector as Lautenbach was a highly committed and trained ranger with years of experience in the field. We pray
It is perfectly legal to own or display the old South African flag, but be mindful that it could also be considered insensitive and offensive to show it off, a flag expert says. The expert's comments were made amid a furore over a flag that a man was selling online. "If you want to display it, that is your right," said Bruce Berry, secretary of the SA Vexillology Association. "But if you stick it up outside or wear it to a rugby match, there will be a reaction and most people must understand that. "It's still legal. There's no prescription against it. It's part of the constitutional right to freedom of expression. But you must understand there are other people who might not appreciate it in
A police officer from the the Rapid Rail Protection Unit in Johannesburg has been shot and killed, after he was allegedly involved in a robbery. The officer is reported to have been robbing his victims of their cellphones, when he was scared off by the approaching blue lights. The police said the officer made a run for it, before shooting at the police who were giving chase. Police returned fire and struck him on his leg and upper body. Ekurhuleni police spokesperson Captain Mega Ndobe said the suspect then fell to his death some few streets from the shooting scene. "The suspect fell at a certain house at Dhlomo Street, where paramedics were called and subsequently certified the man dead
A high-ranking police officer who sent pornographic videos to detectives and was seen in the company of a notorious Capetonian underworld figure has been appointed to head the Hawks in the North West. On Tuesday, ANC activist Colin Arendse wrote a letter to Police Minister Bheki Cele to complain about Major General Patrick Mbotho's appointment in the North West. It was Arendse who complained that Mbotho - then deputy provincial commissioner of detectives in the Western Cape - sent two graphic sexual messages, apparently to an official group comprising several detective commanders in the province, from his official cellphone via WhatsApp on July 13 last year. Mbotho said when he realised he had
At least 33 people died in 31 accidents on Gauteng's roads over the long weekend, prompting Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane to plead for motorists to adhere to the rules of the road this festive season. Included in the 33 deaths were 15 pedestrians, 11 motorists, five passengers and two motorcyclists. The MEC called on law enforcement agencies to keep Gauteng safe by enforcing the rule of law on all drivers who disregarded the rules of the road. "I urge the law enforcement agencies to double efforts and declare a zero tolerance [attitude] - not only to drivers who display unbecoming behaviour, but also our own officers soliciting bribes from motorists. We cannot allow few individuals
Donald Trump has wished Michael Flynn good luck at his sentencing today. The President's former National Security Advisor has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak. Trump wrote in a tweet this morning: 'Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn. 'Will be interesting to see what he has to say, despite tremendous pressure being put on him, about Russian Collusion in our great and, obviously, highly successful political campaign. There was no Collusion!' Special Counsel Robert Mueller (left) released a memo about the January 2017 interview in which Michael Flynn (right) lied to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian
A 25-year-old man, who killed two Cunningham Senior Secondary School female pupils, is to spend 20 years behind bars for the murders. This, after the Eastern Cape High Court in Mthatha sentenced Andisile Cetane to 20 years in jail for the murders, but acquitted him of rape charges. Cetane killed 16-year-old Sphosethu Waphi and 20-year-old Nandipha Mtuzula at a forest outside Butterworth while they were on their way to school on two separate occasions in May 2016 and May 2017. Butterworth Cluster Commander Brigadier Ngangema Xakavu said that the conviction should send a "strong message to all those who are involved in criminal activities that they will face a full might of the law". He condemned
High hopes preceded a two-week gathering of some 14,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries that concluded Dec. 15 in Katowice, Poland. The conference, known as COP24, was expected to reignite worldwide efforts to curb climate change. The conference chair, Poland’s Michał Kurtyka, was so pleased at the conclusion he leapt off the podium to congratulate delegates.
Western Cape police are seeking information on how a baby boy came to be floating in a plastic bag in the waves at Muizenberg. The infant was spotted in the water on November 16 at the Muizenberg beach front. He was wrapped in a blanket inside the plastic bag. Miraculously, the baby survived and was stabilised and taken to a nearby hospital. "The infant is currently in a healthy and stable condition and still at hospital," said spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk. An attempted murder and concealment of birth docket has been registered so long, and anybody with information can contact detective Warrant Officer Henry Abrahams on 082 522 1080. Nadene Grabham, operations director of the Door of Hope
Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa has made public a post-election violence probe team's report which blames the country's security forces for fatally shooting six people and injuring 35 others during post-election protests in Harare. Mnangagwa constituted the commission of enquiry, chaired by former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe, to investigate the August 1 violence in Harare. The protests appeared to have been triggered by delays in releasing the results of the presidential poll amid fears of rigging. Mnangagwa won the election but his main rival, Nelson Chamisa, leader of the opposition MDC, did not concede defeat saying the election was rigged. Reading out the commission's
A 46-year-old nurse, who was shot at her home in Nkwenkwe, Melmoth in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday night, has died. Nothando Biyela died on Monday at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital after she was shot in her head. It is alleged that three assailants shot her before they made off with her motor vehicle, which police later found abandoned in Eshowe. KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo condemned the murder and described it as a "real tragedy". "The murder of Sister Biyela is a sad day as we have just emerged from our campaign against femicide and other forms of gender-based violence, through the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children. "You just know that something