South Africa: What’s Happening In South African News – April 21, 2022

Cape Town —  

South Africa Mourns Passing of Environmental Scientist Ndoni Mcunu

Environmental Scientist Ndoni Mcunu, 33, the founder of Black Women in Science (BWIS), died on April 16, 2022 while on vacation with friends at the Cradle of Humankind in Krugersdorp, her family said in a statement.

Mcunu’s family is waiting for the post-mortem results but it is suspected that a gas leak at the lodge was the cause of death.

Mcunu was a well respected climate change advocate, who was studying towards her PhD in  climate change and agriculture at the Global Change Institute at Wits University.

In 2022, Mcunu co-authored the Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Africa report on extreme weather events and climate change in Africa. She was also listed as the top 50 most inspiring women in tech in South Africa in 2017 by the Netherlands Embassy.

Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said that South Africa has not only lost a beacon of hope for the value of science in society, but an environmentalist who advocated for building capacity and networks for black women scientists and researchers in Africa.

Man Who Robbed, Assaulted World-Renowned Ndebele Artist Esther Mahlangu Applies for Legal Aid 

Simon Skosana, the man who allegedly confessed to breaking into the house of globally-acclaimed Ndebele artist Dr Esther Mahlangu, and robbing the 87-year-old, has been further remanded in custody after he appeared before the Mdutjana Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga. Skosana has been in custody since March 2022, after he was apprehended by the police in Mpumalanga following the robbery and assault at Mahlangu’s house.

Wayde Van Niekerk Pulls Out of SA Champs

Sprint star Wayde van Niekerk  has pulled out of the ASA Track and Field Senior Championships due to injury. Van Niekerk, the 2016 Rio Olympic gold medallist in the 400m, recently returned from his base in the United States and was due to represent Boland Athletics at the event in Cape Town. “I’m disappointed. I was excited to compete but unfortunately things have not been going my way over the last few weeks,” Van Niekerk said in a statement.


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