Eutaw City Council receives reports on finances, sales tax collection and Water Department

At its regular meeting on November 23, 2021, the Eutaw City Council received reports in its budget, bank accounts, sales tax collections and the Water Department.

Two Council members were absent – LaJeffrey Carpenter and Tracy Hunter – but a quorum was present which allowed the meeting to proceed.

Based on recommendations from their Financial Adviser, Ralph Liverman, the Council reviewed and approved several bank resolutions to close several certificates of deposit and place checking accounts into money market accounts, which will earn interest on surplus funds on deposit in these bank accounts.

Liverman also presented a detailed report on the opening balances in all city banking and operational accounts as of the start of the fiscal year on October 1, 2021.

The most interesting report that Liverman furnished was a record of sales tax and motor fuel revenues received by the City of Eutaw over the past three fiscal years, which shows the impact of the Love’s Travel Center in significantly increasing the tax revenues paid to the City of Eutaw.

A chart summarizing this information is included in this news report. The chart shows revenues for the three fiscal years, FY2018-2019, which was the year before Love’s opened for business, FY 2019-2020, which includes the first eleven months of Love’s operation and FY 2020-2021, which includes a full year of the truck stop and travel center operations.

The chart shows an increase of sales taxes from $530,962 before Love’s, to $772,756 for last year, which was a full year of operation for the travel center. This is an increase of $ 241,794 or 31%

The fuel tax increase, which is based on 3 cents per gallon, increased from $54,798 to $472,377, which is an astounding increase of
$ 417,574 or 762%.

Overall sales tax and motor fuel revenues increased from $692,730 to $1,515,045, which was an increase of $822,315 or 119%. On a monthly basis this represents $126,253 in tax revenues added to the city budget.

Note that the total sales tax rate in Greene County is 10% of which 3% goes to the municipality, in this case the City of Eutaw; 3% to the County Commission, and 4% to the State of Alabama. So, the county government and State of Alabama are receiving similar increases in revenues, to those received by the City of Eutaw.

It should also be noted that much of the increase in tax revenues which is attributed to the Love’s Travel Center were from people traveling through Greene County on Interstate 20/59, not from residents of the city or the county.

The Eutaw Water Department reported continuing progress in collections and reducing water losses. The City collected over $75,000 in water revenues for November 2021, which was about double what had been collected in previous years. There are 1,461 customers, with 12 new customers of which 9 were customers found, who previously had not been billed. There are still 534 accounts with $63,469 past due and receivable, some of which are under payment agreements.

In other actions, the Eutaw City Council:

• Did not approve, November 24, the day before Thanksgiving for a full day paid vacation for employees. They left this benefit at a half day.

• Approved changes in the right-of-way for utilities and access to Raintree Apartments LLC and a similar adjustment for Rollingwoods Apartments.

• Heard reports from the City Engineer and Chief of Police.

• Agreed to pay bills for November 2021.

Bingo gaming distributions for October total $528,519.72

On Friday, November 19, 2021 Greene County Sheriff Department issued a listing of the bingo distributions for October, 2021, totaling $582,519.72 from four of the five licensed bingo gaming facilities.  The October distribution reported by the sheriff does not include the additional $71,000 from Greenetrack, Inc. distributed to the same recipients, independent of the sheriff.
The bingo facilities distributing through the sheriff include Frontier, River’s Edge, Palace, Bama Bingo.  The recipients of the October distributions from bingo gaming include Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, and Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).           
  Sub charities include Children’s Policy Council, Guadalupan Multicultural Services, Greene County Golf Course, Housing Authority of Greene County (Branch Heights), Department of Human Resources, the Greene County Library, Eutaw Housing Authority. Newly added  sub charities include the Historical Society, REACH, Inc., Headstart  Community Service and This Belong To US.
Bama Bingo gave a total of $116,080 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $33,750; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500, and the Greene County Health System,  $12,500. Sub Charities, each received $1,045, including REACH;  Community Service received and $475 and This Belong to Us received $95.
     Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $117,150 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $33,750; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,875; Greene County Board  of Education, $10,500; Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities each, $1,027, including the Historical Society and REACH. Community Service received $467and This Belong to Us $95.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of  $118,288 to the following:  Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $33,750; City of Eutaw, $9,250; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee  each, $3,875; Greene County Board of Education, $10,500; Greene County Health System, $12,500. Sub Charities each, $1,027, including the Historical Society and REACH.  Community Service received $467 and This Belong to Us received $92.
  Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $177,001.72 to the following: Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $45,765; City of Eutaw, $12,543; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $5,254.50; Greene County Board of Education, $14,238 and the Greene County Health System, $14,238; Sub Charities received $1, 375, including the Historical Society and REACH 375. Community Service received $625 and This Belong to Us received $125.
  In the Sheriff’s October distribution report, supplemental funds, totaling $139,899.30, were provided by each of the four licensed facilities.  Bama Bingo contributed $30,570; Frontier contributed $30,750; River’s Edge contributed $14,275 and Palace contributed $64,304.30 in supplemental funds..  

 

Newswire :Billionaire Robert F. Smith and other corporate leaders mount campaign to close the Digital Divide

By Jose Marquez

TriceEdneyWire.com) – With protests having erupted in cities across the country over police violence targeting Black men and women, the civil rights and social justice movements have shot to the forefront of U.S. politics in a way not seen since the 1960s.

While much of the conversation rightly has centered on police brutality and the role law enforcement plays in American society, communities of color also are discriminated against in numerous other ways. Many Black Americans, Latinos and other people of color are given substandard educational opportunities, lack avenues to workforce training and advancement and, arguably most important in today’s tech-driven world, face a dearth of access to reliable, affordable broadband internet.

Congress made a good first step in ameliorating this dire situation when it passed President Biden’s infrastructure
bill, but the $65 billion allocation in broadband for all is hardly enough to close the digital divide.

The gap in digital access is particularly wide in communities of color, where one in three families with children lack a high-speed internet connection at home — a rate of disconnection more than 50 percent higher than that of white families. The problem is exacerbated in areas across the South from Atlanta to Houston where 35 percent of Black adults lack any access to broadband at home.

The private sector is already doing this with a little-known but ambitious effort like the Southern Communities Initiative. It is seeking to address the socio-economic challenges that African Americans face throughout the region. And among the goals of this partnership is to expand broadband access across six metro areas throughout the South: Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Houston, Memphis, and New Orleans. The effort has the backing of some of the most powerful individuals in corporate America, including PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, Vista CEO Robert F. Smith and BCG CEO Rich Lesser.

We are not too late to bridge the digital divide, and the Southern Communities Initiative will almost certainly play an important role in helping accomplish that in communities like my hometown of Atlanta. But this important work cannot be left to private individuals and organizations alone. Lawmakers must do their part to ensure that high-speed internet is available and affordable to every American, no matter where in the country they live.

While policymakers in Washington have focused on getting broadband access to rural areas, we must also make sure that urban areas are not overlooked. Census data has shown that while there are approximately 5 million rural households without broadband access, this problem is three times as large in urban areas—with around 15 million urban or metro households without broadband.

Affordable and ubiquitous access to high-speed internet, however, is just the starting point. We also must expand access to the hardware and software people need to take full advantage of all the internet has to offer and maintain an ecosystem of digital educators, repair workers, designers and other tech specialists who can keep improvements going long into the future.

Guaranteeing that all Americans have broadband access would not only help close the digital divide but would also give the United States an edge in global competitiveness as it would bring millions of people more fully into the digital economy. One study from last year found that only about 30 percent of African Americans had access to broadband compared with about 60 percent of whites.

There is a broad consensus from civil rights leaders to corporate heads to policymakers inside the Washington Beltway that broadband access is a right of every American. Lawmakers must take note and ensure that all Americans have the ability to log on.

Jose Marquez is the national President and CEO of TechLatino: Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA).

Newswire: African countries rage at new travel bans by vaccine hoarding countries

South African President Cyril Ramaposa


Nov. 29, 2012 (GIN) – Southern African countries are facing new travel restrictions after the discovery of a handful of coronavirus variants, first found in Botswana. For some African leaders, it’s the classic case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.
 
“Despite the repeated warnings of health leaders,” declared former British prime minister Gordon Brown,  “our failure to put vaccines into the arms of people in the developing world is now coming back to haunt us. We were forewarned – and yet here we are.”
 
“We are concerned that there seem to have been attempts to stigmatize the country where it was detected,” said Botswana Health Minister Edwin Dikoloti while criticizing derogatory reports of a so-called “Botswana variant”.
 
South Africa will remain on the lowest ‘Level One’ of its five-level lockdown strategy to fight the Covid-19 pandemic despite the global panic around the detection of the Omicron variant in the country, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced.
 
Ramaphosa also called on more than 20 countries that have imposed travel bans to and from South Africa and its neighbors to immediately end the ban to avoid further harm to the economies of these countries, which have already been battered by the pandemic.
 
“The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic,” he added. 
 
Matshidiso Moeti, regional director for Africa for the World Health Organization, also criticized travel curbs and called on countries to follow science and international health regulations in order to avoid such measures.
 
Shabir Madhi, a South African vaccinologist, told Al Jazeera it was “naive” for countries “to believe they can stop the spread of this variant with a blanket ban on countries in southern Africa”.
 
“The virus has already found its way into these societies from individuals that haven’t even travelled to or come into contact with anyone from southern Africa,” he said. “In South Africa, we have one of the globe’s best COVID sequencing capacities based on our experience with treating HIV and TB. We have been ahead of the game for a while now and we are thus a victim of our success.” 
 
In the absence of mass vaccination, Covid is not only spreading uninhibited among unprotected people but is mutating, with new variants now threatening to unleash themselves on even fully vaccinated people in the richest countries of the world.
 
As the new variant was spotted Saturday in Britain, Germany and Italy, one country after another shut their doors to southern Africa. 
 
Countries slapped with new travel restrictions by the UK include South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Angola. 
 

Newswire: Pioneering Black Golf Champ Lee Elder dies at 87

Lee Elder

 

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Lee Elder, a golfing pioneer, and the first Black player to compete in the Masters has died at 87.
“It’s remarkable to look back on Lee’s life and career and realize the hardships he endured and the sacrifices he made to reach golf’s highest level,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan.
“To have the success he had while paving the way for others to dream big and achieve is a testament to the type of man he was and how much talent he possessed. The TOUR is profoundly grateful for the career of Lee Elder, and we extend our sincere sympathies to his family.”
Born in 1934 in Dallas, Texas, Elder took up golf to help his parents financially. He caddied at the all-White Tennison Park Golf Club in Dallas, but soon the golf pro began allowing Elder to play the course.
In 1959, Elder joined the United Golfers Association and dominated the all-Black group. According to BlackPast.org, Elder won four Negro National Open Championships and an eye-opening 18 of the 22 tournaments in which he participated.
Using the purses from those victories allowed Elder to participate in the 1967 qualifying school for the PGA TOUR. In 1971, Elder made history as the first Black player invited to participate in the South African PGA Tournament.
“His participation in that event made this the first integrated sports event in South Africa since the establishment of the official Apartheid policy in 1948,” researchers at the Black Past wrote.
However, they noted further that Elder and other Black golfers continued to face racial challenges at home. “Although the PGA Tour was officially open to African Americans, it was not friendly to them. Many tournaments would not allow Black golfers into the clubhouse and instead required that they change and eat in the parking lot,” the researchers wrote.
However, in 1975, Elder made history again in Augusta, Georgia, when he was invited to compete at the Masters Open, the most prestigious tournament in golf.
With his victory at the 1974 Monsanto Open, Elder automatically qualified for the Masters Open, but he also became the first Black player invited. Unfortunately, Elder missed the qualifying round in the tournament.
Still, his entrance was an African American milestone covered by almost every major magazine and news program in the country, noted the Black Press.
Elder played in five more Masters, won three PGA tournaments, and was named to the 1979 Ryder Cup Team. He had a combined 12 tournament victories on the PGA and Senior Tours, earning more than $1 million on each tour.
However, his invitation to the Masters in 1975 proved that African Americans could compete at the highest levels of golf, the researchers continued. “Lee Elder was a pioneer, and in so many ways,” legendary golf champ Jack Nicklaus told Bill Fields during a PGATOUR.com interview.
“Yes, he was the first Black player to compete in the Masters Tournament, but that simply underlined the hard work Lee put in to further the cause of everyone who has a dream to play on the PGA TOUR and perhaps thinks there were too many barriers before them. It was wonderful that the Masters Tournament and Augusta National paid a well-deserved tribute to Lee by inviting him to be an Honorary Starter on this last Masters. That morning, you could see the joy in Lee’s face, and Gary Player and I were honored to enjoy that moment with him. That memory will remain special for so many, including me, for many years to come.
“Lee was a good player, but most importantly, a good man who countless people very well respected,” added Nicklaus. “The game of golf lost a hero in Lee Elder. Barbara and I send our heartfelt condolences to Lee’s wife Sharon and their entire family.”

Newswire: After guilty verdicts, Civil Rights Leaders exhort Black America to ‘Never Stop Running for Ahmaud’

By Stacy Brown, NNPA Newswire

After nearly two years of pain, suffering, and wondering if the men who killed Ahmaud Arbery would pay for their heinous crime, the 25-year-old’s family finally received justice.
A Glynn County, Georgia, convicted Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William Bryan of felony murder. “Guilty. Guilty. Guilty,” civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump exclaimed.
“Nothing will bring back Ahmaud, but his family will have some peace knowing the men who killed him will remain behind bars and can never inflict their brand of evil on another innocent soul,” Crump continued.
NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson called the verdicts long overdue. “Ahmaud Arbery’s death was unnecessary and fueled by racist ideologies deeply engrained into the fabric of this nation,” Johnson insisted. “Generations of Black people have seen this time and time again, with the murder of Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, and many others,” he continued.
“The actions and events perpetrated by the McMichaels and William Bryan leading up to Ahmaud’s death reflect a growing and deepening rift in America that will be its undoing if not addressed on a systemic level. “We must fix what is genuinely harming our nation: white supremacy.”
The jury found Travis McMichael, who shot Arbery in February 2020, guilty of all nine charges, including malice murder and four counts of felony murder.
The panel found his father, Gregory, not guilty of malice murder but convicted him on felony murder, unlawful imprisonment, and other charges.
Bryan escaped a guilty verdict on malice murder, but the jury found him guilty of three felony murder counts, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal intent to commit a felony.
The men, who also face federal charges, could spend life in prison when sentenced. Judge Timothy Walmsley bound the men over and will soon set a sentencing date.
“Ahmaud Arbery should be alive today. This tragedy should have never happened,” said Florida Congresswoman Val Demings, who is a Democrat. “I am keeping his family in my prayers. But we must move forward together to dispel the shadows of our past and to ensure the safety and civil rights of every American,” Demings asserted.
Crump insisted that Black America must keep fighting for civil rights and justice. “This case, by all accounts, should have been opened and closed,” Crump demanded.
“The violent stalking and lynching of Ahmaud Arbery was documented on video for the world to witness. Yet, because of the deep cracks, flaws, and biases in our systems, we were left to wonder if we would ever see justice,” Crump remarked.
“[The verdict] indicates progress, but we are nowhere close to the finish line. America, you raised your voices for Ahmaud. Now is not the time to let them quiet. Keep marching. Keep fighting for what is right. And never stop running for Ahmaud.”

COVID-19

As of November 30, 2021 at 10:00 AM
(according to Alabama Political Reporter)

Alabama had 845,761 confirmed cases of coronavirus,
(4,278) more than last week with 16,119 deaths (76) more
than last week)

Greene County had 1,302 confirmed cases, (5 more cases than last week), with 45 deaths

Sumter Co. had 1,392 cases with 41 deaths

Hale Co. had 3,184 cases with 89 deaths

Note: Greene County Physicians Clinic has testing and vaccination for COVID-19; Call for appointments at 205/372-3388, Ext. 142; ages 18 and up.

Newswire : House passes transformational Build Back Better Act,but will the Senate follow suit?

Pre-school classroom

By Jane Kennedy

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Frequently compared to President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the $1.9 trillion package – the Build Back Better Act – includes investments in child and elder care, universal pre-K and an extension of the child tax credit to provide economic security for tens of millions of working families and pathways to return to the job market. It also addresses the adverse effects of climate change.

“Honoring President Biden’s vision and addressing the needs of the American people, this legislation presents the most historic and transformative agenda in a century. Build Back Better will forge extraordinary progress for the American people: creating good-paying jobs, lowering costs and cutting taxes, while making the wealthiest and big corporations pay their fair share,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in a letter to her colleagues.

The Build Back Better Act provides a list of social benefits that would address issues of high importance to African-Americans. President Biden hopes it will be passed by the predominately Democratic Senate and reach his desk shortly after Thanksgiving. Among the benefits:

Lowers Health Care Costs:

Approximately 3.9 million Black people were uninsured in 2019. Despite the Affordable Care Act’s premium subsidies, coverage under the ACA was too expensive for many families, and more than 570,000 Black people fell into the Medicaid “coverage gap” and were locked out of coverage because their state refused to expand Medicaid. President Biden’s framework closes the Medicaid coverage gap while also lowering health care costs for those buying coverage through the ACA by extending the American Rescue Plan’s lower premiums, which could save 360,000 black people an average of $50 per person per month. With these changes, more than one in three uninsured Black people could gain coverage. It also makes an historic investment in maternal health. Black women die from complications related to pregnancy at three times the rate of White women.
The legislation will also:
• Empower Medicare to negotiate lower drug costs for seniors and halts Big Pharma’s outrageous price hikes above inflation for all Americans.Ensure Americans with diabetes don’t pay more than $35 per month for their insulin.
• Create a new, out-of-pocket cap of $2,000 on what seniors pay for their drugs in Medicare Part D.
• Lower premiums dramatically for those who buy insurance on their own through the Affordable Care Act.
• Extend affordable coverage through the Affordable Care Act to millions of Americans in states that have refused to expand Medicaid.
• Expand Medicare to make hearing care more affordable for seniors.
Lowers Child Care & Family Care Costs:

The cost of child care has placed a serious financial burden on Black parents who are two times more likely than White parents to have to quit, turn down, or make a major change in their job due to child care disruptions. In addition, only 26.8 percent of Black 3- and 4-year old children are enrolled in publicly-funded preschool, while the average cost of preschool for those without access to publicly-funded programs is $8,600. Most families will save more than half of what they currently spend on child care, and the vast majority of families will pay no more than 7 percent of their income for child care. It will also reduce the cost of home-based care for the hundreds of thousands of older adults and people with disabilities who need it but lack access. Investment in home care will raise wages for home care workers, 28 percent of whom are Black.
The Build Back Better Act also saves most families more than half their current spending on child care, ensuring the vast majority of families will have to pay no more than 7 percent of their income for child care.
It also:
• Expands the basic promise of free schooling in America for the first time in 100 years with universal pre-school for all 3- and 4-year-olds.
• Establishes a universal and permanent paid family and medical leave program, providing four weeks of paid parental, family caregiving, and medical leave.
• Gives more than 35 million families a major tax cut by extending the Biden Child Tax Credit.
• Expands access to high-quality home care for older adults and people with disabilities.
• Cuts the cost of postsecondary education, with such steps as increasing the maximum Pell Grant.
• Reduces families’ housing costs and expands housing options.
Housing and Nutrition

The coronavirus pandemic exposed and created many inequities related to housing and left millions of Americans in fear of facing eviction or foreclosure. Thirty percent of Black renters pay over half their income in rent. The Build Back Better Act will enable the construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of more than one million affordable homes, boosting housing supply and reducing price pressures for renters and homeowners. It also will make investments to improve the safety, energy efficiency, and quality of existing public housing, where nearly half of residents are black, and expands the availability of housing choice vouchers to hundreds of thousands more families, including the nearly half of current voucher holders who are Black. In addition, it calls for the removal of lead-based paint from housing units, which disproportionately affects Black children, and provides grants for resident-led community development projects in neighborhoods that have faced systemic disinvestment.

Food insecurity is another problem that has disproportionately affected Black households at a higher rate than the national average, particularly during the pandemic. To help ensure that no one has to worry about whether they can provide nutritious food for themselves or their children, the Build Back Better framework will ensure that the nutritional needs of Black children are met by expanding access to free school meals during the school year and providing students with resources to purchase food over the summer.

What’s Next?

On the night the Build Back Better vote was to take place, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy forced a delay until the following morning by delivering an 8 hour, 32-minute floor speech—the longest in House history—during which he assailed the legislation as “big government socialism.” And, as with most legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, not a single Republican supported the bill, which also lost the support a lone Democrat who voted against it. Now it’s the Senate’s turn. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer hopes to pass the bill by Christmas, but he first has to convince all 50 Democrats and the two independents who caucus with them to back the plan. It won’t be easy. The paid family leave provision may be cut to satisfy a demand from Sen. Joe Manchin, and Sen. Bernie Sanders will call for provisions in such areas as Medicare and climate to be strengthened. Any changes to the legislation will have to be voted on in the House, where Pelosi holds a razor-thin majority and can only afford three defections from her party.

In the meantime, Democrats have some selling to do. Many of the bill’s provisions won’t go into effect until after the 2022 mid-term election cycle where Democrats will go head to head for control of both houses. They will need to convince the American public of the many ways their lives will be made easier and more affordable by the Build Back Better Act.

Newswire: Private funeral held in South Africa for de Klerk, last of the Apartheid-era presidents


Nelson Mandela and de Klerk sharing Nobel Peace Prize in 1993

Nov. 16, 2021 (GIN) – There will be no state funeral for South Africa’s last white president, Frederick Willem de Klerk, his foundation said in a published statement.
 Instead, Mr. de Klerk will have a private burial following cremation on Nov. 21 for family members that will be closed to the media. He was 85 years of age.
De Klerk, who won praise worldwide for his role in scrapping apartheid and shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela in 1993, has a conflicted legacy among the country’s Black population for his failure to curb political violence in the run up to South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.
 There was little appetite among South Africans for a state funeral – which ultimately was not scheduled to take place.
 De Klerk passed away after a battle with cancer at his home in the Fresnaye area of Cape Town. After his death, his foundation published a video in which he apologized for “the pain and the hurt and the indignity and the damage” apartheid caused during decades of white minority rule.
 His previous refusal to apologize came as recently as last year when he said he did not believe apartheid was a crime against humanity. He also angered right wing Afrikaners who viewed him as a traitor to their causes of white supremacy and nationalism by ending apartheid.
 Lukhanyo Calata, son of the anti-apartheid activist Fort Calata, claimed the former president was directly involved in his father’s death and should have been held accountable. Instead, he took “the secrets about the murders of our fathers to the grave.”
 Fort Calata and fellow activists Matthew Goniwe, Sparrow Mkonto and Sicelo Mhlauli were community leaders, guilty of such things as being part of a Marxist reading group, forming street committees, writing a letter to the municipality about dirty streets, fighting an unfair rental system and writing for a community newspaper. 
 In December 1984, Goniwe called for a boycott known as the “Black Christmas” of white-owned shops, infuriating the white business community. The boycott was successful as the Lingelihle community did not buy food or liquor from white-owned stores.
 In 1985 they were abducted and murdered by South African security police under orders of the apartheid regime. The so-called Cradock Four who came from the town of Cradock, were members of the anti-apartheid United Democratic Front.
 A document leaked to the press years after their deaths resulted in the removal of several police officers. At the second inquest, a judge ruled that the “security forces” were responsible, but named no one individual.
 Calata, Goniwe, Mhlauli and Mkonto were buried in Cradock on July 20,1985, at a massive political funeral attended by thousands of people from all over the country. Speakers at the funeral included Beyers Naudé, Allan Boesak and Steve Tshwete. A message from the then president of the ANC Oliver Tambo was read. It was also the first time that a huge SA Communist Party flag was unfurled and openly displayed at the funeral.
 De Klerk oversaw the end of white minority rule as the country’s last apartheid president and shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela.

 

 

Newswire: Investigators exonerate men convicted in the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X

Malcom X

By Stacy M. Brown: NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

Two of the men found guilty of the assassination of Malcolm X had their convictions thrown out on Thursday, the Manhattan district attorney, and lawyers for the two men said, according to the New York Times.

The stunning reversal recasts history and reopens the case of the slaying of Malcolm X, who died in a hail of gunfire at the old Audubon Theater in New York’s Harlem area.

The exoneration of the two men, Muhammad A. Aziz, and Khalil Islam, represents a “remarkable acknowledgment of grave errors made in a case of towering importance: the 1965 murder of one of America’s most influential Black leaders in the fight against racism,” the Times reported.

The newspaper noted that a 22-month investigation conducted jointly by the Manhattan district attorney’s office and lawyers for the two men found that prosecutors and two of the nation’s premier law enforcement agencies — the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department — had withheld key evidence that, had it been turned over, would likely have led to the men’s acquittal.

The two men, known at the time of the killing as Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson, spent decades in prison for the murder, which took place on Feb. 21, 1965, when three men opened fire inside a crowded ballroom at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan as Malcolm X was starting to speak.

Earlier this year, the civil rights leader’s daughters formally requested that authorities reopen the murder investigation because of new evidence.

“Any evidence that provides greater insight into the truth behind that terrible tragedy should be thoroughly investigated,” said Ilyasah Shabazz, one of Malcolm X’s six daughters.
Shabazz and her family cited a deathbed letter of confession from a man who was a policeman at the time of the 1965 killing, alleging New York police and the FBI conspired in the murder.
Raymond Wood wrote his responsibility was to ensure Malcolm X’s security team were arrested days before he was shot dead in Manhattan, the daughters stated.

The men convicted were all members of the Nation of Islam and were each sentenced to life in prison. At the time of his death, Malcolm X had separated himself from the Nation of Islam.
Assassins gunned him down at the age of 39.