#Top5atFive: Here’s what’s happening in Lesotho and around the globe

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Happy Wednesday! Here’s a wrap of the stories that have been making waves in Lesotho and around the world in the first half of the week.

1. Local headlines: 

The Minister of Law, Justice and Constitutional affairs, Prof Nqosa Mahao, received a mobile traffic court from the Road Fund on Tuesday.

The traffic court is a specialised judicial process for handling traffic ticket cases. People who are given a citation by a police officer will be given a chance to plead guilty and pay the indicated fine directly to the court house.

Being mobile means it is a formal court that will conduct proceedings in locations, usually in remote areas where no justice services are available. Designed to save time, reduce legal and other expenses, the mobile traffic court goes to the place of offence and provides justice speedily. [Lesotho launches mobile traffic courts, theReporter]

2. Local headlines:

Berea livestock farmers are the latest in line for Rams and Bucks aid, through the Wool and Mohair Promotion Project (WAMPP) following a livestock auction that was held in Teyateyaneng last Wednesday.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Informative Newspaper, Lesotho National Wool and Mohair Growers Association (LNWMGA) chairperson Mokoenihi Thinyane stated that livestock development includes accessibility of quality “seed” – rams and bucks in this context.

He added that the biggest challenge for local farmers is access to them because they are found in South Africa and it gets quite complicated to get them since they are highly expensive, plus high transport costs, tax and other logistics.

Therefore the project found it fit to meet farmers halfway:  farmers lend four of their extremely low-quality livestock that will be sold by the project to butcheries through an auction. This is also meant to get rid of low quality animals from rangelands to avoid their breeding. [Breeding boost for Berea livestock farmers, Informative News]

3. Global headlines:

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has given a lifeline to all rejected applicants of the R350 Covid-19 special grant and promised to find out why many applications were rejected.

Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said they were surprised by the high number of applicants. Letsatsi said they have decided it would be wise to reconsider the applications before subjecting them to an appeal process, which comes at a cost and resultant delays, especially to poor people impacted negatively by the national shutdown. [Sassa gives rejected R350 special grant applicants a lifeline, News24]

4. In lifestyle:

Young Musicians Emporium (YME) Tunes is set to host the Khalala virtual auditions for young aspiring singers from Wednesday 1 July to 25 July, 2020.

YME Tunes is an online music shop that is aimed at selling content from creators direct to their supporters using the two most prominent mobile money platforms, M-Pesa and Ecocash

The founder and chief executive officer of YME, Sechaba Mokoqo, told theReporter that the auditions will be virtual due to the conditions of the Covid-19 lockdown. Mokoqo said the winner will be awarded a recording contract with YME music which will see their music video recorded, while also receiving mentorship for three years. [Opportunity for rising stars, theReporter]

5. What we’re reading: 

There has been quite a bit of controversy since Beyoncé announced that she’ll be releasing a visual album titled Black is King. According to producers, the show “is an affirmation of a grand purpose, with lush visuals that celebrate Black resilience and culture”. The announcement has stirred debate on representation of the African continent in the West, amongst other things.  This article eloquently explores some of these tensions and we think it’ll be a great read. 

[Beyoncé and the Heart of Darkness, Africa Is a Country

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Matlhabeli Molaoli
Matlhabeli is a reader, an Afro-feminist and a firm believer in the power of human-centered design to create lasting social-economic impact. She is a rising junior at Smith College where she majors in both Biochemistry and Anthropology and also dabbles in venture consulting for the local start-up ecosystem. Matlhabeli also enjoys dialogue so she has spent much of her time attending, speaking at and organising TEDx conferences in both Lesotho and South Africa during her time as a student at the African Leadership Academy.