News roundup

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Last week in the news, we read a few heartwarming stories of how a jobless man followed his dreams and is now receiving the payoff for doing just that. We also read how some of South Africa’s top CEO’s braved the Joburg winter on the streets, in order to raise money for charity. The initiative was highly successful and raised a large amount of funds for Girls and Boys Town. On Saturday, a brave 40 year old man managed to foil a hijacking near Alexandra, wounding one of the perpetrators. In a more concerning story, last week we heard how supposedly two men had attempted to stow away on board a BA flight from Johannesburg to London. Although still under investigation, one man was found dead on top of a London shop’s roof after supposedly falling from the plane, while the other was found unconscious on board. Jobless man realises his dreams with his own helicopter In the news last week it was revealed how a jobless man, Vusimuzi Mbatha from the Siza informal settlement near Rustenburg realised his dream of building a helicopter. Constructed with cans, drinks crates, scrap metal and finished off with a petrol engine, motorbike battery, two way radio, a television and a clock - the machine is nothing short of unbelievable, given the circumstances of Mbatha. Since the first report of this feat, the man has subsequently received a number of job offers and due to reader’s responses, will have the chance to take a helicopter flight in Cape Town. Mbatha became fascinated by helicopters after seeing one flying over the platinum belt during a strike last year. Mbatha who only has a grade 7 education, then decided to build the machine. For pictures and more on this story, see this link Stowaways on a London flight from Johannesburg It’s not very often that you hear about stowaways catching free rides with a plane, especially when it’s a flight as long as the one from Johannesburg to London. Last week it was reported that a suspected stowaway was being treated in a London hospital and another one was found dead on the roof of a London shop, directly under the flight path of Heathrow airport. The authorities could not say where the man being treated in hospital was found on the plane, but that he was alive and unconscious when discovered. It’s now being investigated whether or not, both men were stowaways aboard the 12 875km flight from Johannesburg to London. Brave Man foils hijacking On Saturday afternoon a 40 year old man was travelling with a seven year old child on London road near Alexandra when he was confronted by three men, who pointed a gun at him and demanded his vehicle. Bravely, the victim got out of the car and asked that they release the child. Soon after, the victim fired shots at the suspects and wounded one of them. The other two who were said to be armed, then fled on foot. The wounded suspect is under police guard in hospital. CEO’s out in the cold for a good cause It was a cold and miserable night for some of the country’s most successful CEO’s last week Thursday. In a bid to raise money through a charity drive called CEO SleepOut, and initiated by Radio 702, over 200 top CEO’s spent the night sleeping on the cold hard ground of a Joburg street. The charity initiative managed to raise R20 million for Girls and Boys Town and was attended by the likes of Lonmin CEO Ben Magara, Mail & Guardian CEO Hoosain Karjieker, City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau and Gauteng Premier David Makhura. This last week we saw stories of desperation, heartache and failure, but also of bravery, success and compassion. Without a doubt, these are the undercurrents that run deep through the blood of South African people, and make our country the tumultuous and disappointing, yet at the same time, exciting and positive place it is today!