Boots on the ground

MULTIMEDIALIVE  |  Podcast , ±24 min episodes every 2 weeks, 1 day  | 
In this short podcast series, we follow Sunday Times top investigative journalists as they cover the real stories that make-up SA’s national headlines.

Boots on the ground is a true piece of mobile journalism — all interviews, voices and sound effects have been gathered using nothing but smartphones.

Boots on the ground is a production of MultimediaLIVE, a division of Arena Holdings.

PLEASE NOTE: This podcast may contain explicit and sensitive content. Listener discretion is advised.

#COVID-19, #SALockdown, #Coronavirus, #Investigation, #Police

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The children orphaned by Covid-19

Grace Rohan cannot understand why at seven years old she no longer has a daddy while her mother, who is in her 40s, still has hers.The grade 2 pupil from Durban and her 18-year-old brother, Daniel, are mourning their father, José, who died of Covid-19 in February, a month after he turned 51.About 1,600km away in Langa, Cape Town, Sindiswa Lugulwana, 70, asks God to grant her a long life. She cares for three orphaned grandchildren whose single-parent mothers - twin sisters Phumla and Phumeza - both died of Covid-19 in January at the age of 45.And in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, Dewald Badenhorst, 14, is mourning the death of his father and his stepmother, who died days apart in January. He is being cared for by his brother, Billy, 24.Today on Boot’s on the Ground: behind South Africa’s national headlines, we are going to listen to the stories of those who the pandemic has left orphaned. We are going to take a moment to remember the person they have lost and to mourn with them.

Raped and then raped again: an 11-year-old's horror story

Somewhere in Burgersfort, Limpopo, there is an 11-year-old girl whose life will never be the same. She sits quietly on a bright red wooden bench beneath a tree, gripping her father's hand.
Her parents fear she is on the verge of another epileptic fit. Since her second rape, the fits have intensified.
As her father speaks about the family's anxious wait for her HIV results, the girl watches leaves blow across the dusty front yard of their home.
She is seated just a stone’s throw away from the outdoor toilet that served as the scene of her first assault.  
In today’s episode of Boots on the Ground: Behind South Africa’s National Headlines, we are going to interrogate sexual assault and the scourge of gender-based violence in SA.

One year of Covid-19: Reflecting on SA's biggest moments

Today marks exactly a year since the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in SA. Since that day there have been 1,517,666 confirmed cases and 50,462 Covid-19-related deaths countrywide.

In this episode of Boots on the Ground: Behind SA’s National Headlines, we relive some of the most memorable moments from the pandemic - moments we ought not to forget, as we continue to wage war against Covid-19.

Covid-19 is no hoax, people are dying to keep you safe

South African front-line health-care staff have been tirelessly battling the Covid-19 pandemic since the country's first cases were recorded in March last year. 

In the latest official figures,close to 47,000 South Africans have died as a direct result of the virus, and the actual death toll is estimated to be a lot higher.Every day South African paramedics, nurses, doctors and other front-line workers risk it all, in an attempt to save as many people as they can.

In this episode of Boots on the Ground: Behind SA’s National Headlines, we send one of our toughest videographers, Emile Bosch, behind the veil at Tembisa Hospital, where he is confronted with his worst fear: being isolated and alone in a Covid-19 ICU ward.

Murdered over a mine: the story of Fikile Ntshangase's assassination

Six bullets. That’s what it took to silence 65-year-old KwaZulu-Natal grandmother and anti-mine activist Fikile Ntshangase.

Her crime? Standing firm in opposition to the expansion of a coal mine in her community.

In today’s episode of Boots on the Ground: Behind SA’s National Headlines, we look into the assassination of uMama Ntshangase, an anti-mine activist from northern KwaZulu-Natal, and we consider the environment of intimidation in which she and other vocal anti-mine activists find themselves.

Marikana | Justice delayed is justice denied

When the ninth anniversary of the Marikana massacre comes, the trial of the police officers implicated in the murders of five people who were killed at the mine on August 13  2012 — three days before the massacre — will be nowhere near conclusion.

This as the court case, which is being heard in the North West High Court, was postponed on Friday.

Both the state and defence agreed to have the matter postponed to May 10 2021. When the case returns to court then, it will only sit for three weeks before being postponed again to July.

A war is raging: cash-in-transit heists escalate

SA’s cash heist season has struck early with armed gangs launching waves of deadly attacks which have already left 24 people dead and dozens injured this year.

Criminologists and CIT companies say driving the surge, which began in August two months ahead of the annual November heist peak, is the easing of lockdown regulations.

Despite the lockdown, SA Banking Risk Information Centre data, showed a 29% increase in cash van attacks between 2019 and 2020.

The killing of Kinnear: a community demands justice

In this episode of Boots on the Ground: Behind SA’s National Headlines, we look into the assassination of Lt-Col Charl Kinnear, one of SA’s most respected police officers and commander of the police's anti-gang unit. 

The Boots on the Ground podcast is dedicated to unravelling some of SA’s biggest news stories. It follows Sunday Times reporters as they investigate the stories making the headlines. 

Survivors recount their farm attack experiences

When she hears of a farmer and their family brutally attacked, tortured or murdered, emerging Bloemfontein farmer Mimmie Jakobs has flashbacks to the moment three men burst into her home.

Stabbed multiple times, beaten to a pulp, her jaw broken, face fractured and left for dead, Jakobs, who farms lucerne and pecan nuts, stumbled for nearly 14km through neighbours fields through the dark before she found help.

Seven months since her attack in February, and following multiple week long hospital admissions, Jakobs, likes hundreds of established and emerging farmers who have survived violent attacks, is battling to get back onto her feet and keep her farm productive.

In todays episode, we follow Sunday Times senior reporter Graeme Hoskens as he talks to the survivors of farm attacks.

The uncollected dead of Covid-19

A new directive from the health department that anyone who dies of natural causes outside a hospital be tested for Covid-19 before a death certificate is issued has thrown the funeral industry into confusion.

The instruction, issued on Wednesday by health director-general Sandile Buthelezi, has sparked anger and confusion among undertakers and health professionals who say it will delay burials and pose health risks.

The directive states that "testing must be done before the human remain[s] are released to the funeral undertaker".

The new regulation is aimed at improving statistics on the number of Covid-19-positive people dying outside of hospitals. This data could affect SA's Covid-19 death toll, which is currently 2%. Health experts believe the number could be four times higher.

The collateral death toll of Covid-19

According to the official figures released on Sunday night, 10,408 people have died in SA as a result of the coronavirus.  

While more than over 10 000 deaths is already a significant number, funeral parlours have reported a spike in the funerals they are being required to cater for. They report numbers which are much higher than the official reported death toll.

So what are we dealing with here?

Our reporter Graeme Hosken spent the week combing through the death-toll figures with SA’s undertakers. 

Prospective transplant patients face a Catch-22 decision due to Covid-19

It’s month four of SA’s national lockdown, and while most of us have begun to settle into the new normal, the danger Covid-19 presents for our country has not yet dissipated.

SA is now one of only five countries to have recorded over a half million confirmed Covid-19 cases. While these are daunting numbers for all of us, for South Africans desperately waiting for a live-saving organ transplant, the mounting risks have them praying for a vaccine.

In this episode of Boots on the ground, we discuss how the pandemic has affected South Africans who are waiting for an organ transplant. What are their fears, given the extraordinary risks, would they accept a transplant right now, and how has added pressure on hospitals affected the care they are able to receive?

This short podcast series follows Sunday Times reporter Alex Patrick and senior reporter Graeme Hosken as they track, record and reflect on the real events and people that make up SA’s biggest Covid-19 news stories.

Follow this link to become an organ donor:

25 episodes

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