Best and worst of year past

While Lim­popo cel­e­brated the ac­com­plish­ments of its peo­ple, there were also sto­ries that shocked peo­ple and sparked vi­o­lent protests

The New Age (Gauteng) - - MPUMALANGA NEWS - MONTSHO MATLALA montshom@the­newage.co.za

IN ONE of the most grue­some sto­ries in the prov­ince this year a man was ar­rested for ex­hum­ing bod­ies from graves and sell­ing their de­com­pos­ing body parts to tra­di­tional heal­ers for muti.

Dur­ing a tribal meet­ing at Tshi­tava in Venda, a teenage girl re­ported that her ex-boyfriend was ex­hum­ing dead hu­man bod­ies and hack­ing off their body parts to sell to tra­di­tional heal­ers.

Po­lice and other rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties ob­tained court or­ders to ex­hume at least five bod­ies. In some graves, head­less bod­ies were found while in oth­ers the en­tire corpse was miss­ing.

Five peo­ple in­clud­ing two tra­di­tional heal­ers were ar­rested and are still be­hind bars try­ing to get bail.

The case is con­tin­u­ing and the trial will start next year.

The ar­rests also sparked vi­o­lent protests by com­mu­nity mem­bers who at­tacked sev­eral houses be­long­ing to lo­cal tra­di­tional heal­ers.

An­other in­ci­dent that rocked the prov­ince was the vi­o­lent protests over the mu­nic­i­pal bor­der in Vuwani which forced pupils to spend about two months at home.

Pub­lic build­ings, schools and ve­hi­cles were torched by some res­i­dents re­fus­ing the in­cor­po­ra­tion of Vuwani into the Lim 345 mu­nic­i­pal­ity in Mala­mulele which was es­tab­lished af­ter the 2016 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

An­other ma­jor high­light in the prov­ince was the spec­tac­u­lar bi­cy­cle kick by Os­carine Ma­su­luke of Baroka FC which saw the goal­keeper jet­ting off to Lon­don as one of the three fi­nal­ists for best goal of the year at the pres­ti­gious Fifa Puskas awards in Oc­to­ber.

Al­though he did not win the cov­eted prize, Ma­su­luke won the hearts of many, in­clud­ing sports com­men­ta­tors and soc­cer fans.

Born and bred in the dusty Wa­mankena vil­lage out­side Giyani, Ma­su­luke has cer­tainly made a name for him­self in the soc­cer world.

An­other re­mark­able event this year ar­rived when 12-year-old Tshe­go­fatso Mo­ra­pedi snatched the 2017 na­tional Spelling Bee cham­pi­onship crown.

The girl from Seshego showed that it was pos­si­ble to beat your peers at the SA Na­tional Spelling Cham­pi­onship 2017 even if you were a Grade 6 pupil at the no-fee town­ship school, Let­lotlo Pri­mary School.

The prov­ince net­ted an­other big fish in 2017 in the form of Ce­cilia Molok­wane who won enough votes to be­come the pres­i­dent of Net­ball South Africa (NSA).

Lim­popo crowned it all when, with just a R7.50 bet, a pen­sioner won a cool R39.5m in a Lotto Plus jack­pot in April.

The vis­i­bly shocked pen­sioner from a ru­ral vil­lage, who pre­ferred to re­main anony­mous, said his long-held dream of buy­ing a trac­tor would fi­nally ma­te­ri­alise.

Ithuba, the Lotto op­er­a­tor, said that this year Lim­popo seemed to have a lucky streak. Ithuba’s big­gest ever Power­ball jack­pot of R87m was also won by a player from Lim­popo.

PIC­TURE: FACEBOOK

CHAMP: Tshe­go­fatso Mo­ra­pedi won the na­tional spelling Bee.

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