Follow The Trace | No takers

first_imgIt is absolutely not my intention or wish to continue to beat that proverbial dead horse. The dwindling appeal of Test cricket, especially in the West Indies, but the substance of my column this week is inspired by a unique, and in a sense weird, instructive experience. I found myself in possession of a couple of extra complimentary tickets for the historic 50th test match at Jamaica’s cricket Mecca, Sabina Park. The tickets were for Saturday’s second day when traditionally most cricket fans would indulge in the experience of the ebbs and flows of what was promising to be a competitive Test match between the home team West Indies and Pakistan. On Friday evening, well before the rains came, I realised that I would not be able to attend Saturday’s play, so I immediately set about calling around to close family and friends who I thought would be interested in watching some Test match cricket. My first choice was my brothers, knowing first hand of my sibling’s deep affinity for West Indies Cricket. I called my first brother and told him I had two tickets to cricket, in a muted tone, he said he thought of attending the game but decided against it. I called my second brother, again with what I thought would have be musical cheers to his ears; he said thanks, but no thanks, he was heading out of town for the weekend, I then called my third brother, who was far less diplomatic, saying he was not interested in watching the West Indies lose. No options Having exhausted all my family options, I then turned to some good friends who I knew were avid cricket fans. Friend number one said he would be busy and would not be able to make it. Friend number two never answered my call or my voice note, explaining the availability of complimentary test match tickets. Things were getting desperate, so I flippantly asked my other half if she wanted to watch some cricket on the weekend, she was blunt and terse in her response saying, “I have better things to do than to waste an entire day watching the ‘wutliss’ West Indies.” I was still determined to do this good deed and not let the tickets go to waste, so I called two other cricket friends trying to sell to them the historic nature of the game and encourage them to go out and support the West Indies, almost in a chorus they responded with an emphatic ‘No!, Not interested!’. It was then that I realised that I was faced with the once unthinkable reality of having two premium complimentary tickets for test match cricket at Sabina Park, and absolutely no one I knew seemed interested in these tickets. I could not help envisaging the contrast that would surely occur in my having two complementary tickets for any Sabina Park game in the upcoming the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and struggling to find any takers. That would never happen. Indeed, I would certainly struggle to get hold of two complementary CPL tickets in the first place. In reflecting on the here and now, I can remember the glory days when the West Indies were THE West Indies. I can remember how excited I would get at the mere thought of the Windies coming to Sabina Park that special experience of my father taking me to see the great champion team with the likes of Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards, Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner and company, when a ticket to cricket was like precious gold. Compare that to the here and now, when there are still no takers for my tickets. This is yet another stark reminder of how the face of cricket has changed, especially in the Caribbean. The attendance for this test match was predictably, but still heartbreakingly poor. For the few purists who remain in denial about the demise of Test cricket generally, but especially in the West Indies, you can all continue to put your own spin on that reality if it gives you hope. Incidentally, I still have those two tickets.last_img read more

More than 20 homes broken into at Bath Settlement

first_imgResidents of Bath Settlement, in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) have reported an alarming increase in the frequency of breakages into house over the past two months and are calling for more mobile patrols in the community.More than 20 persons reported to Guyana Times on Wednesday that they were victims of home invasion at least once over the past two months. Residents say the thieves have been removing almost anything.Three houses situated next to each other at Lutheran Street were broken into over a two-week periodRamphal, also called “Black Cha Cha” of Lot D 33 Waterloo, Bath Settlement, said the first of his three break-in’s was two months ago. He said he woke on a Sunday morning and noticed that his door was opened and also his freezer. Missing were a case of Coco Cola, a five-gallion bottle of cooking oil, a radio and groceries from his home. He said the intruders also ate the sausages from the freezer and left the empty packet behind.“The next night they come back again and go away with all the grocery… about two weeks ago was the last time they break into the house.” Ramphal did not report any of the incidents to the Police, saying that it will be very time consuming and it would be almost impossible for the Police to find out who the perpetrators were since on each occasion, they left no traces.Another resident, Angele Ragunandand, called “Teacher B”, reported to this publication that the first of three breakages at her home was one month ago. On that occasion, she said the lower flat of her home was broken into. It was during heavy rainfall and the family was asleep. The discovery was made the following morning. According to the pensioner, the thieves took a bicycle, two working bags and some documents.Ragunandand said four days later, there was a second break-in which was considered greater. During that break-in, all of the groceries in the house were taken. The groceries had been purchased for a wedding.On the third occasion, Ragunandand said the perpetrator was seen dressed only in underpants. All three incidents were reported to the Police.Another pensioner, Mansaram Persaud, said about a month ago he awoke and saw his front door open and louvers missing. “At about three o’clock I heard a noise and get up and take the torchlight and look around but I didn’t see anything so I go back to bed.” Three hours later, he discovered his door open and a laptop computer missing, along with a bottle containing bleach and food from the refrigerator.One day later Persaud found a crowbar in his back yard.Meanwhile, at Lutheran Street, three houses situated next to each other, were broken into over a two-week period. A mandir situated in the next street was broken into thrice, residents reported.Last Monday, the home of a Pandit at Furniture Street was broken into. Entry was made by shattering a glass window and then removing bars from the window. The home was ransacked and two laptop computers, a cellular phone, jewellery and cash were missing during that mid-afternoon breakage which was reported to the Police.On Wednesday, Guyana Times spoke with several others in the village who claimed to be victims of the home invasions as well, describing similar instances as Ramphal, Ragunandand and Persaud. Residents also say there are others but this publication has not been able to confirm those reports.Meanwhile, some of the items taken from the homes have reportedly been discovered at an unoccupied house.Divisional Commander Ian Amsterdam when asked on Tuesday about the apparent increase in the frequency of home invasions at Bath Settlement, told Guyana Times that the Police were not in receipt of information which would suggest such increases.He noted that the Police had one person before the court for a breakage in the community. Chris Rampersaud was jailed on Tuesday for breaking into a Bath Settlement home on July 6.Amsterdam says persons need to report breakages to the Police.Andrew Carmichaellast_img read more

Too Late for Flowers

first_imgBy Saah MillimonoIn a rickety zinc shack crawling with mice and cockroaches, Theresa lived together with her younger sister, her daughter, and me. Besides her daughter, Theresa had some elder children, a couple of prominent men and women, who lived in Monrovia . The men worked as CEO and chief accountants at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL); while the women operated huge businesses, one of them owning an extravagant restaurant that catered exclusively for American and European clientele.Theresa was about seventy-one, lean, gray-headed, with a wrinkled face and almost toothless mouth. Two years before I had moved into the shack as a tenant, which had been built by Theresa’s late husband, Theresa had suffered some stroke that had left her right leg and left arm crippled and useless. Besides the meager rent she received from me and made a living, she sold pepper and palm oil on a ramshackle table at Redlight market.Beatrice, Theresa’s daughter of about eighteen, was a frivolous girl who was never fond of helping her mother, except cooking whatever Theresa brought each evening. Then she would leave the house to loiter about the neighborhood, swaying her big hips, flirting with gronna boys, and basking in the attention they gave her.Theresa’s younger sister, Sarah, was short, full-breasted, with a tight face that made her looked younger than her thirty-eight years. She used to leave the house at night, dressed in fancy clothes, high heels, and all makeup. Then she would return early in the morning, wads of notes stuffed into her pockets, disheveled beyond recognition, go into her room, and sleep for hours. No one else knew what she was up to every night until one day I was washing her clothes and found a batch of condoms in her trousers pocket. Only then did I know she was perhaps a nightwalker.One day it was raining heavy when Theresa returned from the market shivering wet, her teeth chattering with cold. Sarah took her into the room and lay her down on the mattress. She then ran to the local medicine store, bought a few paracetamol capsules, and took them in to Theresa, who swallowed a couple of the tablets gratefully. That was all the medical care she received that day. It did her no good, though. In the evening her illness went from bad to worse.At dusk, I overheard Sarah and Beatrice fussing with each other.“Where have you been the whole day?” asked Sarah.“I was at my friend’s house,” retorted Beatrice.“What were you doing at your friend’s house when you should have been here to mind your mother?”“That’s none of your business!”“All right, I will teach you a lesson!”“I dare you! You are not woman enough.”I came out of my room just in time to see Sarah grabbed a stout stick to whack Beatrice, who instantly dashed out of the house and into the yard. Moments later, she was shouting obscenities at her aunt, much to the amusement of the neighbors.The next morning, Theresa’s cries for help rumbled through the zinc shack – and for hours. When Sarah eventually appeared from her night hustle, she heard Theresa’s screams and went berserk.Kicking the front door open, she stormed into the house. “What the hell is going on here?” she shouted. “Theresa, I say Theresa, stop shouting in the house for God’s sake. You are not the only sick person in the world.”But Theresa only sobbed.“I say Theresa, wouldn’t you keep your mouth shut? Oh, my God, what sort of trouble is this?”“Sarah, please call Beatrice to help take me to the toilet,” said Theresa in a trembling voice. “My stomach is running and I can hardly get up from the mattress.”“Beatrice isn’t in this house,” shouted Sarah. “I told the stupid girl to stay here and help you but she just won’t listen. She even had the nerves to abuse me. Now, you have got to shut up and let me hear my ears. I’m already sick and tired myself.”But Theresa’s sobs and groans only grew steadier.Disgruntled, Sarah spun on her heels and stomped out of the house.Beatrice finally came home the following day. Instead of showing remorse for how badly she had treated her mother and aunt, she quarreled with Sarah once more. They broke into a violent fight then. The neighbors eventually had to tear them apart, with both of them pulling and nearly rooting out each other’s hair. Theresa, who hadn’t been taken to the toilet the day before, had already urinated and defecated on herself. Now she lay in her own mess, weeping as flies buzzed about her.“Beatrice, you and Sarah should take your mother into the bathroom and clean her up,” said one of the neighbors.Beatrice frowned and folded her arms. “She’s got cholera, and I am not going to catch it.”“She would have caught it for you, you idiot,” shouted Sarah at her.“Oh, it’s you again, right? I see, you’ve just forgotten that I nearly pulled out all your hair,” said Beatrice, stabbing her finger at Sarah. “All right, the next time I will scratch out your eyes for you.”They would have dashed at each other’s throat once more had the neighbors not  intervene.“What! This is outrageous,” shouted an old man. “You both have sand for brains. Theresa is sick, and, instead of tending to her, you are both fighting. And for what?  Nonsense. Look, if you don’t get into your senses I will take both of you to the police station at once. Understand?”They both nodded their heads.“Now, both of you go into the room, bring Theresa out into the bathroom, and get her cleaned up,” ordered the old man. “The neighbors and I will clean up the room.”Only then did Sarah and Beatrice tend to Theresa. They went into the room, together with the old man and a couple of neighbors. Moments later, Sarah and Beatrice came out of the room, carrying Theresa between them like a sack of rice, and took her into the bathroom. Beatrice went to fetch water.Moments later Sarah and Beatrice came out of the bathroom, with Theresa shuffling between them, either of her emaciated arms draped over their shoulders. In fact, she looked terrible, pallid with her eyes having sunk deep into their sockets. They carried her into the room, which the neighbors had cleaned up as best they could, and lay her down on Sarah’s mattress. Her own mattress, tainted with feces, had been carried out into the sun.“Patrick, please write a letter to Theresa’s elder children,” Sarah told me. “Tell them that their mother has fallen ill, that her condition is terrible, and that they should take her to hospital at once.”“All right, sister Sarah,” I said, got a pen and a sheet and then sat down to write.When I had finished writing the letter, Sarah sealed it in an envelope, said she was going to take it to Theresa’s elder son, and left.At dusk, she returned and, much to everyone’s happiness, said that she had given the letter to the elder son, who had relayed its contents to his brothers and sisters, and that all of them had decided to come the following day. That was Monday.Monday came.  However, they did not show up.Tuesday. Growing anxiety. Still no children.Wednesday. The elder brother’s houseboy came and told us that the children were sorry about their absence and that they would surely come on Thursday.Thursday – and yet no luck.Theresa died on Friday.Theresa’s children eventually arrived on Saturday and got out of  their flashy cars – two BMWs, a Chevrolet, and a Continental- richly dressed, annoyingly pompous, and chatting on cell phones. They went into the house but soon came out with handkerchiefs over their noses, though Theresa’s corpse had not yet begun to rot. The elder brother called St. Moses Funeral Parlor and requested for a hearse.Moments later, the hearse drove into the yard and came to a stop. The children all went to the driver as he got out of the car.The elder brother said, “Hurry up and get the corpse into the car. I want to get the hell out of here at once. At this moment I should have been at a meeting with a Swiss banker.”“And I should have been meeting some big client from England . He will boost the publicity of my hotel.” That was the elder sister.“I just don’t understand why these people did not bury the corpse long ago, of course,” said the younger sister. “They should have understood that we are very busy business people.”“They just want to have us lavish our money on a wake,” said the younger brother. “Well, we will spend whatever money we can so that these poor and helpless people won’t tarnish our reputation and say we neglected our own mother.”The others nodded their approval.It must be noted that they had all spoken barely above whispers. I was leaning against the hood of one of the BMWs, and they did not want me to eavesdrop.Theresa’s corpse, wrapped in a drab blanket, was brought outside and then put into the hearse. Sniveling and dabbling at their faces ostentatiously, the children all got into their cars, together with Beatrice and Sarah, and followed the hearse to the funeral home.A week later there was a big wake-keeping, attended by all of Theresa’s children. Both brothers wore expensive black coat suits, their shoes polished to a glitter; while their sisters, together with Beatrice and Sarah, were dressed in purple and white gowns that made the neighbors gawked with wonder. The wake lasted whole night long, with people eating and drinking and fighting each other in their drunkenness.At dawn, the coffin was taken to the Du-port Road cemetery and placed in a tomb overlaid with expensive tiles, a door made of pure gold at the entrance.The following night, armed robbers descended on the tomb and robbed it. They ripped off the door, removed the corpse form the coffin, and stripped it of the several gold rings and a huge god chain round its fingers and neck. They even stole the coffin and left the corpse in a bush beside the tarred road. The corpse was then put into another coffin, a very cheap one, and placed back into the tomb. Then the entrance was sealed with cement.No more splendors. No more thieves. No more trouble.Next day, I passed by the cementery to pay homage to Theresa, and met the bouquet of flowers, which Theresa’s children had given her, strewn over the ground and trampled on by robbers’ feet. Looking down at the flowers, I shrugged and said to myself, Theresa wouldn’t enjoy these flowers anyway. She’s already dead and gone.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Olunga nets eight goals in massive victory

first_img0Shares0000Olunga scored seven goals in Japanese Div 2 league as his club won 13-1NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 24 – Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga hit eight goals as his side Kashiwa Reysol put 13 past a hapless Kyoto Sanga in the Japanese second division league on Sunday.Olunga, who has been in fine form with his club, opened the floodgates of goals six minutes after kickoff before going on to add goals in the 23rd, 33rd, 57th, 65th, 67th, 76th and wrapping up with a goal one minute into the added injury time. “What a way to end the season. Scoring 8 goals is more than I could ever imagine but by God’s grace it was possible. I want to thank everyone who supported me through out the campaign. Until next season Graçias,” Olunga said after the match.Harambee Stars striker celebrating after scoring eight goals against Kyoto Sanga in the 13-1 win. Photo/Michael Olunga FacebookThe heavy win saw Kashiwa Reysol go five clear points at the top of the league standings ahead of Yokohama FC who are second while Omiya Ardija are third on 75 points with all the teams having played 42 matches.Olunga has so far netted 26 goals for his club in 30 appearances accompanied with seven assists while in the league cup he has two goals in three appearances.0Shares0000(Visited 527 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

BUSINESS BOOMING IN DUNFANAGHY AS TOURISTS FLOCK TO THE BEAUTIFUL SEASIDE VILLAGE

first_imgDUNFANAGHY is booming, that’s the verdict of business owners and traders based in the area following a hectic Easter holiday period. The scenic seaside village is a notorious hot-spot for tourists and is regularly frequented throughout the year.However, there was a huge influx of tourists over the Easter holiday period and the majority of visitors to Dunfanaghy stayed on beyond the weekend. The town has been a hive of activity with bars, shops, cafes and restaurants packed out all week.Local hotels have reported an increase in bookings compared to last year and say they expect a very busy summer ahead.If the weather is as glorious as it has been all week during the summer it will add to the attraction.The beautiful beach in nearby Marble Hill has been mobbed all week while Ards Forest Park has also been very busy. The majority of visitors hail from Northern Ireland who own holiday homes in Dunfanaghy, and when the weather is as good as it has been it really is the prefect retreat for the family.One local said, “It’s absolutely brilliant to see, we’ve been lucky that at different periods throughout the year we get plenty of visitors to Dunfanaghy.“It gives a great boost to the local economy and because of this a number of new businesses have opened in the locality.“However, I must admit I couldn’t believe how busy the town has been all week, I knew it would be busy at the weekend for Easter, but by Monday I expected it to have quietened down considerably.“It was the opposite in fact, I think it must have got even busier, but it’s a great boost to everybody in the town and long may it continue.” Dunfanaghy has been used by many in the tourism industry as an example to other towns in Donegal to show the positive effects of promoting a healthy tourism trade can have on your local economy.BUSINESS BOOMING IN DUNFANAGHY AS TOURISTS FLOCK TO THE BEAUTIFUL SEASIDE VILLAGE was last modified: April 10th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BusinessDunfanaghyFeaturesnewslast_img read more

JUSTICE NOT SERVED ON ALL THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR BANKING CRISIS – DOHERTY

first_imgSinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD, responding to the verdicts in the Anglo trial said there would be mixed emotions from the public in response. He added however that there is still a long way to go before the Irish people feel justice has been served on all those culpable in the Irish banking crisis.Deputy Doherty said: “There will be mixed emotions to the two verdicts last night and today from the Irish people. “Though Judge Nolan quite correctly pointed out that these men were facing technical charges and weren’t answering for the problems of the entire banking system, many people just saw this as a trial of the former bankers who contributed to the crash.“We are still waiting for justice to be served on all those culpable in the Irish banking crisis.“The failures in Irish banks, the reckless loans availed of by developers, combined with the policies of Fianna Fail, have caused great long term economic suffering for the Irish people.“Austerity budgets, unsustainable debt to GDP level, emigration, poverty, unemployment and repossessions have been the sentence handed out to ordinary people.“Meanwhile, those responsible for the crisis haven’t been held fully to account and the Irish public know that.”JUSTICE NOT SERVED ON ALL THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR BANKING CRISIS – DOHERTY was last modified: April 17th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Team SA shines at IAAF World Champs

first_img5 September 2011Team South Africa might have started the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea slowly, but they ended them in style, raising hopes of a strong showing at the London Olympic Games in 2012.Ultimately, South Africa finished 17th on the medals table, with two silvers and two bronzes but, in terms of total medals won, only seven nations won more medals than South Africa’s four.The four medals are an improvement of one on Team South Africa’s performance at the World Championships in Berlin in 2009. In the two World Championships preceding that, South Africa came away without a single medal, so the progress is pleasing.China, too, won four medals, Commonwealth powerhouse Australia won three, and France and Cuba picked up four each, including one silver and three bronzes.National recordThe men’s 4-by-400 metres squad, which included double-amputee Oscar Pistorius, signalled a sign of good things to come on Friday when they broke the three-minute barrier for the first time in finishing third in their heat behind the big gun squads of the USA and Jamaica.The time of two minutes 59.21 seconds by Pistorius, Ofentse Mogawane, Willie de Beer and Shane Victor bettered the previous South African record of 3:00.20, set at the 1999 World Championships by Jopie van Oudtsoorn, Hendrik Mokganyetsi, Adriaan Botha and Arnaud Malherbe.400 metres hurdlesBefore the relay squad had an opportunity to contest the final, two men, LJ van Zyl and Cornel Fredericks, took part in the 400 metres hurdles final.Running in the difficult outside lane, without the ability to gauge where his opposition was, Van Zyl grabbed bronze in 48.80 seconds, while Fredericks finished fifth in 49.12. Victory went to Britain’s David Greene in 48.26.Van Zyl’s bronze and Fredericks’ place in the final continued a strong South African tradition in 400 metres hurdling, which includes a silver medal in the 1999 World Championships, won by Llewellyn Herbert.4×400 metres finalThe men’s 4-by-400 metres relay team returned to the track on Saturday with one change to the line-up. Oscar Pistorius was, somewhat controversially, omitted from the squad, with LJ van Zyl, the fastest man over 400 metres in South Africa in 2011, taking his place and running the anchor leg.A strong run by Shane Victor saw South Africa pass the baton in third place after the first leg. Ofentse Mogawane then put in a scorching leg to take over the lead. Willie de Beer, on the third leg, maintained a strong position for South Africa before handing over to LJ van Zyl.The hurdles’ star did well to hold off Jamaica, but the USA’s Leshawn Merrit had too much finishing speed as the Americans claimed gold, with South Africa finishing in second place to secure silver.Thanks to his run in the heats, Oscar Pistorius also picked up a medal and made history as the first athlete with a disability to win a medal at the IAAF World Championships.Greatest javelin competition in historyJavelin thrower Sunette Viljoen then claimed bronze in arguably the greatest women’s javelin competition in history, with the top three throwers registering fantastic marks.Maria Abakumova lifted the title with a championship record throw of 71.99 metres, the second-best distance ever recorded. World record holder Barbara Spotakova pushed her all the way, ending second on a distance of 71.58, while Viljoen took home bronze with an African record of 68.38 metres.Caster SemenyaTwo other South african performers stood out on Saturday as Caster Semenya qualified for the final of the 800 metres with her best time of the year, one minute 58.07 seconds, as she won her semi-final. Luvo Manyonga, aged just 20, placed fifth in the long jump with a leap of 8.21 metres.Semenya then turned in a superb performance on the final day of the Championships, running a fast season’s best one minute 56.35 seconds in the final of the 800 metres, but she was beaten into second place by Russian Maria Savinova, who claimed the title in a world leading one minute, 55.87 seconds, not far off Semenya’s winning time in Berlin two years previously.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Presidential Hotline calls on Joburg

first_img20 March 2012 The City of Johannesburg says it is busy clearing the backlog of complaints over billing issues, and has promised to settle new complaints within 30 days, after residents turned to South Africa’s Presidential Hotline for help on the issue. The Presidency met Johannesburg officials on Monday after its hotline received 8 000 complaints over billing problems in the city since April last year.“We came because we wanted to understand how the city is engaging with issues like the billing system – the system which has been an issue raised by residents,” Deputy Performance Monitoring Minister in the Presidency Obed Bapela told reporters after the meeting.“We know the numbers that were clocked in by our presidential hotline and the premier’s hotline were over 8 000. The city has already begun to engage and resolve almost 5 000 of those particular cases.”‘To see how the city is dealing with issues’Bapela said residents had approached the hotline to say they were unable to get satisfactory responses from the city.“So instead of responding to all of them individually, we felt that let’s come in and engage with the city in a corporate governance model to see where the city is and how they are dealing with issues.”He said most of the cases reported to the hotline included the finalisation of deceased estates, complaints on amounts to be paid, cut-offs and clearance certificates.66 000 billing queries by end of JuneCity of Johannesburg mayoral committee member Geoffrey Makhubo said the city would seek to resolve at least 66 000 billing queries by the end of June.June was the deadline it had set to attain stabilisation of the revenue system.“We are confident that we are on track. We still have backlogs of queries that we are dealing with,” Makhubo said.“Today’s problems should be solved today rather than adding on to the backlogs. So we are focused on the backlogs. New queries will be resolved in 30 days. That is our promise to the residents of Johannesburg.”The number 66 000 reflected the total number of outstanding billing queries at present.City to launch customer charterMakhubo said the city would launch a customer charter at the end of March.“That customer charter would bind us to certain service levels, certain standards and would articulate the rights and obligations of the city and articulate the rights and obligations of the customer,” he said.City officials and Bapela had a two-hour meeting on Monday which included a visit to the city’s customer relations centre.“We are quite satisfied as the presidency with the response given by the city … Some matters are beyond them,” Bapela said.“Unfortunately we arrived when the system was down … We spoke to a customer who said the usual waiting period is 15 minutes. We call on Joburg residents to raise their problems, but they should also pay for services.”‘Pay for your services’Local government and housing MEC Humphrey Mmemezi said after the meeting on Monday that the city was properly run.“There is no reason for the citizens of this city [Johannesburg] to have their stress level raised up … We are happy that the city is run properly. They are able to indeed report and account for what they are doing,” Mmemezi said.“If you want the services, we must indeed support the municipality, we must pay … The municipality must be supported, so start paying. With the municipality, the groceries and car payment must be the last.”Bapela said the presidency would also visit other municipalities to see what problems they faced.Sapalast_img read more

Ashwini wants to win more medals

first_imgIn a matter of two months Ashwini Akkunji has shot to stardom with a brilliant performance at the Commonwealth Games in the Capital which was followed by two gold medals at the Asian Games.Her overwhelming success at the Commonwealth Games even forced the women’s relay coach to persuade the Karnataka athlete to pull out of the 400m hurdles but Ashwini did not cave in under pressure and emerged with flying colours in Guangzhou.Ashwini scripted India’s most memorable Asian Games campaign with two gold medals – 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay – in athletics but the feeling is yet to sink in for the lanky hurdler. “The past two months have been just unbelievable for me and I can’t believe what I have achieved,” Ashwini told MAIL TODAY on Monday.While a gold in the women’s 4x400m relay was predicted well before the Asian Games but the pole position in 400m hurdles came as a huge surprise even for Ashwini. “I thought I was good enough to get a medal in 400m hurdles but honestly, I never thought I would outsprint a strong field to get a gold.”But Ashwini had her strategy planned and executed it brilliantly although there were jitters before the start of her race. “Just when I was about to start my race, I went completely blank but I regained my focus well before it was too late,” she recalled.”Hurdle race is something where you have to be self dependent. I made sure that I don’t look around my opponents during the race because if someone hits the hurdle it can affect your concentration.advertisement”But I had my strategy in place which I employed to good effect and the result was there for everyone to see,” she added.However, Ashwini’s brilliant sprint in the penultimate lap of 4x400m at the Commonwealth Games could have robbed India of a valuable gold. “Our relay coach was a little concerned about my fitness so he asked me to concentrate on the relay even and skip the hurdles event.”But I wanted to test myself in hurdles as well and was optimistic about my chances of winning at least a medal. So I decided to participate in both the races,” she said.While the accolades are flowing from all corners for Ashwini, she does not want to rest on her laurels. She feels the need to improve her timing if she has to make her presence felt at the Olympics and World Championships.”I know what I have achieved but there is still a lot to be done before I become a prominent name worldwide. I have to work more on improving my speed and and will get back to my training soon.”With London Olympics in 2012 being the ultimate goal for her, Ashwini wants to approach the event well prepared and is targeting Asian Championships in July and the World Championships in August next year as her next big stop.”The London Olympics is not too far and I have to be in good shape to get a medal there. The Asian Championships in Japan next year will test my mettle which will be followed by the Worlds in August. “So I will get back to training sooner than what I had expected but I need to keep up my fitness as well,” she noted.But at the moment, Ashwini can do nothing but savour her success with her relatives and neighbours in Kundapura Taluk, Karnataka who are waiting to welcome their star athlete. “I have been getting phone calls regularly ever since I landed in Delhi last night and people back home are eagerly waiting for my return.”I guess they have planned a massive celebration for me and I can understand their emotions. But for me, rest is all what I need at the moment.” But the journey to success hasn’t been that easy for Ashwini who took up athletics in 2000 as her father saw a lot of promise in her.”I used to run in school and was fairly quick but it was after my father suggested me to take up athletics that I took it seriously.” “We used to see PT Usha and Shiny Wilson in those days and they were a great source of inspiration for me,” she pointed.last_img read more

Premier League: West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini to Have Surgery on Fractured Collarbone

first_imgManuel Lanzini is likely to be sidelined for the rest of the year after suffering a fractured collarbone during West Ham United’s 3-0 defeat by Burnley in the Premier League.The Argentine midfielder, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, fell awkwardly after being fouled by Burnley’s Ashley Westwood during the closing stages of the match on Saturday. Lanzini required oxygen and was carried off on a stretcher at Turf Moor, before the club confirmed the player would have surgery in London on Monday.The problems continue to mount for West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini, whose team slipped to 16th. They are now without a win in their last six league matches and sit just five points above the relegation zone. Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Fractured CollarboneinjuryManuel LanziniPremier League First Published: November 11, 2019, 3:21 PM ISTlast_img read more