Rescue operations continue in Zimbabwe

By Drum Digital
04 January 2015

Search and rescue operations were underway in the north of Zimbabwe on Sunday after a number of people were left stranded by rising rivers, state media reported.

This follows the death of eight people, including four children, on Saturday after their car was swept off a bridge in Mashonaland West, near the town of Kadoma.

On Saturday, the main highway linking Harare to the Chirundu border post with neighbouring Zambia, had to be shut down for several hours to allow flood waters from a nearby dam to subside.

However, by Sunday, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation's Power FM station reported that the waters had subsided and the road had been re-opened.

The broadcaster said "scores" of people who were reported to be stranded in Mashonaland west and central provinces on Saturday had since been rescued, but search and rescue operations were underway on Sunday for others who might be marooned.

It did not say how many people were believed to be stranded.

Two other people who were swept off an island in the middle of the Angwa river were found to have managed to swim to safety.

-SAPA

Report into matric cheating expected soon: Umalusi

The first report detailing alleged cheating during the matriculation exams at 69 examination centres across the country is expected at the end of January, Umalusi said on Sunday.

"At the end of this month, we should be receiving the first formal report," said Umalusi spokesman Lucky Ditaunyane.

He said that mid-February was the latest possible period by when the first report would be submitted, but that the target remained the end of January.

Overall, said Ditaunyane: "the investigation is ongoing."

Late last month, the assessment monitoring body announced that, following a probe, 39 centres in KwaZulu-Natal were implicated in cheating and 19 in the Eastern Cape.

On Sunday, Ditaunyane confirmed that reports of cheating in six centres in Gauteng, two in Mpumulanga and one each in the Western Cape, North West and Northern Cape had also emerged.

Umalusi council chairman Prof John Volmink previously explained that during auditing processes at marking centres, evidence was picked up of "group copying," whereby it appeared someone had dictated answers, some incorrect, to students.

Umalusi CEO Mafu Rakometsi has promised "drastic measures" will be taken against all who are found to be involved the cheating.

The centres where reported cheating took place will have their results withheld, when the country's matriculation results are released on Tuesday.

A total of 550,127 full-time and 138,533 part-time candidates wrote the basic education department's examinations.

-SAPA

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