Outbreak of ‘Fall army worm’ confirmed at farms in North West

ABOVE: Farmers affected by the fall army worn in Moses Kotane local municipality attended the launch of the fall army worn control programmed in Magong near Rustenburg on Saturday. The programme aims to create awareness and educate farmers about the fall army worm and control options. Photo: ANA/Iol News

Rustenburg – Two incidents of fall army worm (FAW) infestation have been confirmed in the North West, the rural, environment, and agricultural development department said.

The FAW infestation was confirmed at farms around Mogwase in the Moses Kotane local municipality and at Brits in the Madibeng local municipality.

In a bid to fight the worm invasion the department launched the FAW control programmed in Magong near Rustenburg on Saturday to create awareness and educate farmers about the worm and control options.

Mpho Sekgala from the national department of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries said the problem with the FAW was that it had a wide host range which affected crops such as maize, sorghum, soybeans, groundnuts, and potatoes.

Sekgala said the department would assist farmers with technical information and control options and continue with assessment of spread and damage awareness.

“Farmers should work hand in hand with the department for technical advice on chemicals before using any,” he said.

One of the farmers, Christopher Sefara, said he started planting in December and three weeks later he saw a lot of birds and butterflies around the farm.

“According to my knowledge an increased number of birds on the farm may be an indication of army worm. We had not yet experienced great damage because in my opinion the department is making an effort to assist us and we are very grateful for their support.”

Confirmation of FAW presence brings automatic activation of the contingency plan developed by the department. In line with this plan funds have been set aside for buying pesticides to assist affected farmers.

North West premier Supra Mahumapelo said it had been agreed with the national department to use the agricultural support grant to help farmers affected by the worm.

“We have already reached an agreement with the national department of agriculture and forestry to utilise our comprehensive agricultural support grant to assist farmers for effective control of army worm in Bojanala and Ngaka Modiri Molema districts,” he said during his State of the Province address on Friday.



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WICKED! Man kills girlfriend, stabs her mother before hanging himself


ABOVE: File photo


Polokwane – Police in Seshego, Polokwane, are investigating a murder, attempted murder, and an inquest following an incident on Saturday night and Sunday morning, Limpopo police said.

“It is alleged that a 41-year-old man went to his girlfriend’s parental home at about [9.30pm] and on arrival he broke the door of the house, entered, and started stabbing the girlfriend, killing her instantly, and further stabbed the girlfriend’s mother and left the scene,” Lt-Col Moatshe Ngoepe said.

Responding to the incident, the police found the 30-year-old girlfriend with multiple stab wounds lying in a pool of blood in the bedroom. Her mother was seriously wounded and was taken to hospital for medical treatment.

“[A] police manhunt for the suspect ensued until in the early hours of today [Sunday] when he was found hanging and dead at a distance away from where he killed his girlfriend. Cases of murder, attempted murder, and inquest were opened and the motive behind this senseless killing is unknown but domestic violence cannot be ruled out. Police investigations are still continuing.


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Check out Stunning brand new Nokia 3310 that hit the market( photos)

ABOVE: Arto Nummela, Chief Executive Officer at HMD Global, shows the new re-launched Nokia 3310 phone, ahead of the opening of the Mobile World Congress wireless show in Barcelona, Spain. Photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP/Iol News


Sydney – Referred to as “the unbreakable phone,” the Nokia 3310 has been relaunched worldwide on Monday, to the delight of nostalgic tech enthusiasts.

With popular games like snake, huge battery life and an affordable price tag, the product sold 126 million units worldwide, making it the most popular phone in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

Finland-based HMD Global is re-launching the simple Nokia 3310 model along with unveiling three new devices at Mobile World Congress. Photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP

“I think it was the simplicity,” UNSW, School of Electrical Engineering Professor, Jinhong Yuan told Xinhua.

But Monday’s launch in Spain, has hit a snag with the Australian market, because the new sleeker model is designed for 2G networks, which are in the midst of being phased out in Australia as the network is updated to 3G.

Nokia 3310 device is displayed after its presentation ceremony at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Photo: Reuters

The Finnish brand, now backed by electronics firm Foxconn, did state that they will tailor the phone to individual markets, whether that includes Australia however is unclear.

“It depends on quite a few issues, for the phone to be working in the Australian environment it will have to be certified with Australia’s frequency band regulation,” Yuan said. “Mobile phones use different frequency bands in different countries, it depends on different standardisations.”

Attendants check the newly re-launched Nokia 3310 phone, during a Nokia presentation in Barcelona, Spain. Photo: Emilio Morenatti/AP

Updates to the device will include a colour screen, camera, a micro SD card slot and the ability to play MP3s.

“The love for the brand is immense. It gets a lot of affection from millions and millions of people,” Nokia Chief Executive Rajeev Suri said at the launch.

But the marketing strategy to reintroduce a 17 year old phone, doesn’t have everyone convinced.

“HMD (Nokia) owns a retro hit and is surfing on the ‘vintage’ hype to re-create buzz around the Nokia brand,” Forrester Research consumer devices analyst, Thomas Husson said.



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Table Mountain Cape Town. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.ABOVE: Table Mountain in Cape Town. Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Eye Witness News


CAPE TOWN – A second body has been found on Table Mountain within the space of a week.

Hikers found the body of an unidentified man on the mountain on Sunday morning.

The cause of death is unknown at this stage.

Last Sunday, officials retrieved the body of an Icelandic teenager.

He fell to death at Platteklip Gorge.


Meanwhile, Table Mountain National Park has urged hikers to prepare accordingly before heading off on a hike after another hiker had to be airlifted from Lion’s Head.

On Sunday morning a metro Emergency Services helicopter could be seen hovering above Lion’s Head.

Table Mountain National Park’s Merle Collins says a hiker had fractured her ankle and had to be helped off the mountain.

Collins says, “We’ve had a lot of fractured ankles on Lion’s Head for the past couple of weekends. We’re not really sure what the exact reason is, but we’d like to encourage our hikers to wear the correct shoes.”

Collins says there’s more than enough online guides to prepare hiking hopefuls.

“There’s a hiker’s network on the Table Mountain National Park website, you can go to the information on what to wear.”



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Unisa Chancellor and former president, Thabo Mbeki. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN – Former president Thabo Mbeki has been inaugurated as the chancellor of the University of South Africa.

Mbeki’s foundation has partnered with the University of South Africa through programmes, including the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library and South African Democracy Education Trust.

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