Machinations at the SABC have now gone too far- DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for the Parliament to take a stand against the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) censorship.

DA’s National Spokesperson, Phumzile van Damme said they have written to African National Congress Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu to request an Unusual Meeting.

“The DA has written to the ANC Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu, requesting an Unusual Meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Communications in terms of National Assembly (NA) Rule 223,” said van Damme

She also said the meeting is to discuss the deeply concerning machinations at the SABC that have gone too far.

Van Damme added the parliament can no longer turn a blind eye to the blatant chilling of freedom of expression and the press at the SABC. She further reiterated they will not rest until Motsoeneng is stripped of his position.

Following the SABC’s banning of airing violent protests, negative stories about President Jacob Zuma, the resignation of Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jimmi Matthews and the suspension of three Journalists, the DA has been adamantly calling for SABC’s COO Hlaudi Motsoeneg to be axed.

On Monday handed in his resignation and said the corrosive atmosphere at the SABC has impacted negatively on his moral judgement.

In another attempt to be heard, the DA lead by its Leader Mmusi Maimane headed to the SABC to picket and call for Motsoeneng to fall.

The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) called on SABC leadership to urgently reverse its decision to censor the news and allow its journalists to work in a free environment that does not compromise their ethics’

“The SABC is an asset of the South African public as a whole and that it is being turned into a state broadcaster that only serves the interest of the ruling party is wrong and must be condemned,” said Sanef.

DA calls on Muthambi to boot Motsoeneng out of the SABC

The Democratic Alliance has called on South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) Chief Operations Officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng to be fired from the public broadcaster.

DA’s National Spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said Motsoeneng has to be stripped of his position so that the SABC can honour the constitutional imperatives.

“The DA echoes this sentiment resoundingly and will be calling on SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, to be fired at once as we believe the erosion of the SABC can be laid squarely at his feet and those who seek to protect him,” said van Damme.

The DA’s call comes after the SABC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jimmi Matthews on Monday handed in his resignation and said the corrosive atmosphere at the SABC has impacted negatively on his moral judgement.

 

“For many months I have compromised the values that I hold dear under the mistaken belief that I could be more effective inside the SABC than outside,” said Matthews in the letter.

He added he can no longer be part of what is happening at the SABC and described it as “wrong”.

Matthews’ resignation follows after three SABC journalists ‘politically motivated’ suspensions, as it was alleged they reported on anti-censorship protest after they were instructed not to.

Last month Motsoeneng ordered the broadcaster to not broadcast footage of violent protests where property is destroyed.

Matthews’s resignation comes barely five months after he took over from Frans Matlala who was suspended after he was appointed to take charge of the broadcast last year.

Van Damme said it must be remembered that Matlala was baselessly suspended for acting in a manner too independent for Motsoeneng and his protector in the Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi.

She added they cannot allow Motsoeneng persist in recklessly controlling the SABC and called on Muthambi to take firm action to protect the state’s assets.

Nkandla deadline a day away

Tuesday will mark the deadline of the National Treasury to determine how much President Jacob Zuma must pay back for his Nkandla home.

R246 million was spent on Nkandla but reports conducted indicate that Zuma is set to only pay back a very small percentage of the amount.

In late March the Constitutional Court ordered that Zuma must pay back a reasonable amount of the money spent on all non-security upgrades for his homestead.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and a full bench of Judges ruled out that the President  failed to uphold and protect the constitution when he failed to comply the Public Protector’s remedial action.

Mogoeng added the Public Protector’s remedial action is binding and Zuma has to comply with the action.

The Democratic Alliance on Monday said Zuma has defrauded the country and he now has to pay back the amount used for his personal mansion, the party also added the President should repay “100% of the reasonable costs”.

 “President Zuma was fully aware of the Nkandla updates and the inflated costs related, yet he kept quiet as millions of rands of taxpayers money was spend on lavish upgrades the Zuma homestead, to the benefit of the Zuma family,” said DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

Maimane called the National Treasury to communicate a clear message to all public representatives that corruption will not be tolerated.

The Leader added they are still waiting for all those who were involved in the abuse of state resources at Nkandla be brought to book.

On the other hand the National Treasury said it is on track and insisted it will meet the Nkandla deadline.

The Treasury is on Tuesday set to present the figure of the reasonable amount the President must pay back to Constitutional Court.

After presenting the amount, Zuma will have a total of 45 days to pay the final amount.

 

ESSP program Brings change to school

The Extra School Support Program (ESSP) is a program part of the extended public works project introduced in 2011. The aim of the program is to assist teachers in enhancing and reinforcing the work done by educators and further more assist learners who do not have the support at home with homework.

The program often focuses on three subjects which are mathematics, English and Home-Language. The ESSP members play a major role in assisting the learners as some learners still find it difficult to spell or even understand a sentence instructing how certain homework’s should be done.

Dan Pharasi Primary School’s Mathematics Head of Department (HOD) Mrs Masemola said: “I have seen so much improvement with the students in mathematics, I can gladly say the number of students passing goes up every year and as a school we are pleased that we always get members that are fully dedicated.”

The program consists of nine members, three are school patrollers, two are sports coaches and four are homework assistances.

Homework assistances work closely with subject HOD’s, who are the ones the assistances go to in order to get the home-activities given to students according to the ESSP timetable for the day.

The learners get grouped according to their grade and subjects that the members will focus on, on that particular day.

The program starts from 12:00 to 16:00, which is why there are patrollers that guide the school daily for 24 hours.

As part of their description the members are required to produce monthly reports and attendance register to the GDE.

“It’s never easy bonding with children but we succeed as it becomes easier for the students to freely ask questions and for us as homework assistances to be able  to identify learners that need more attention than others, we are able to do that because of the relationship we have with teachers and students.” said the general supervisor Beauty Sibande.

“We as a school are also proud that we produced a student that was accepted at Ophrah Winfrey’s school. And we also promise that we will continue producing such students thanks to our teachers and homework assistances,” added Masemola.

 

ANC members protest over Didiza’s nomination as Tshwane Mayoral Candidate

The African National Congress (ANC) has called for calm as party members have allegedly began protesting over the nomination of Tshwane city’s Mayoral candidate, former Public Works Minister Thoko Didiza.

A metro cop car was overturned and a motorist’s phone was confiscated then destroyed and stones tossed at peopled living in nearby flats for trying to take pictures.

 

The incident took place in the city centre of Pretoria on Monday afternoon.

On Sunday night it was reported that there was a shooting outside the venue following the announcement that Didiza has been chosen to run as mayor for the Tshwane city.

On Monday morning the ANC confirmed DIdiza’s nomination, following the intervention of the National Executive Committee (NEC) as the Tshwane Regional Executive Committee (REC) presented three names to the Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee (PEC).

“The PEC, to whom the names were recommended, was however not convinced of the candidates proposed and made a representation to the National Executive Committee (NEC) for an intervention in Tshwane,” said ANC Deputy Secretary-General Jessie Duarte.

Duarte condemned the violent behaviour and called on all ANC members to respect the decision to appoint Didiza and rally behind her.

IFP set to regain its supporters in KZN

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) will be launching its election manifesto with the hope to regain and attain more support in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).

In preparation of the manifesto, the party’s Head of Election Campaign Narend Singh said the manifesto will allow them to re gain the lost ground.

Signh also said they are contesting for all wards in the province and they have also fielded candidates in certain municipalities outside KZN.

“Every single ward in KZN and wards in Free State, Western Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng, those are the areas we will be focusing on and we are hopeful this time to get more seats than we’ve had before in the provinces outside KZN and Gauteng,” said Singh.

In 2011 after the municipal elections, the party managed to retain only two municipalities out of 19 municipalities in the province.

IFP

The IFP will launch its election manifesto on Sunday, with the hopes of filling the King Zwelithini Stadium.

IFP Leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi will deliver the party’s election promises and savaging the party from its 2011 Municipal election performance.

Mahlobo reassures the country on alleged terrorist attack

State Security Minister David Mahlobo has reassured the country and citizens that his department will ensure the safety of all people in the country.

Mahlobo reassures the country on alleged terrorist attackThe Minister said security services will continue to work on matters of violent extremism and terrorism.

“We remain a strong and stable democratic country and there is no immediate danger posed by the alert,” the Minister said on Monday.

This comes after the US embassy on Saturday sent a warning message to its citizens in the country about possible terror attacks by Islamic militants targeting shopping areas and malls in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Mahlobo said the security services of the country have liaised with the Americans on the concerns they have and these engagements will continue as part of the ongoing work.

New KZN Premier reshuffles his cabinet

New KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Premier Willies Mchunu has reshuffled four members of his cabinet.

Mchunu on Monday announced that he made changes in the Arts and Culture, Economic Development, Education and Agriculture departments.

Bongi Sithole-Moloi replaced Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha in the Arts and Culture department, African National Congress (ANC) KZN branch Chairperson Sihle Zikalala has replaced Mike Mabuyakhulu in the Economic Development department, Peggy Nkonyeni replaced Mthandeni Dlungwana in the Education department and Cyril Xaba was replaced by Themba Mthembu in the Agriculture department.

On the other hand Mxolisi Kaunda has filled the position of Transport MEC, which was previously held by the Premier.

When questioned where the four members would be redeployed, ANC KZN said they haven’t discussed the members’ new positions.

Opposition parties in the province described the reshuffle as clear indication of political scores being settled.

Inquiry Board set to hand over recommendations on Phiyega’s case in August

Closing arguments on the Claassen Board of Inquiry into suspended National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega’s fitness to hold office were on Friday concluded.

The board heard from representatives for the injured miners, families of the deceased and Amcu. All the parties submitted that Phiyega is guilty of misconduct.

Evidence leaders placed Phiyega under fire for not presenting her side of the Marikana story. Phiyega’s lawyers said there was no need for the top cop to testify before the inquiry.

On Wednesday, the inquiry heard that Phiyega had succumbed to political pressure during the violent labour unrest.

In August 2012, 44 people were killed at Marikana’s Lonmin platinum mine.

Advocate Ismael Jamie said that the findings of the board may result in criminal liability; he also told the board that he believed that they had presented facts which proved that Phiyega was not fit for office.

On the other hand Advocate William Mokhari said they believe Phiyega should be acquitted, he told the board Phiyega didn’t break the Police Service Act and that disciplinary regulations were not applicable to her.

The board is set to hand over its recommendations to President Jacob Zuma and all affected parties by August.

ANC GP ‘fails’ to fill up FNB Stadium

 It has been alleged that the African National Congress Gauteng branch has called on other provinces to assist in filling up the FNB stadium for their Manifesto.

It was through Twitter that it was said there were busses coming from the Free State to attend the provincial Manifesto.

 

On the other hand it has been speculated that President Jacob Zuma might be booed of while trying to address ANC GP members and supporters.

This is after the ANC GP was ‘forced’ to accept Zuma’s apology over the Nkandla issue, following ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings.