ANC GP asks Mbeki to join their elections campaign

 

The African National Congress(ANC) in Gauteng (GP) has reportedly asked former President Thabo Mbeki to join the party’s election campaign.

With the ruling party is facing its toughest electoral contest since the dawn of democracy and ANC Gauteng has resorted to lobbying party veterans.

ANC GP Leader Paul Mashatile said his office has written to Mbeki to ask that he campaign for the party.

In 2008 Mbeki resigned as President and from the ANC, this was after ANC’s National Executive Committee announced it was going to remove him from office before the end of his term.

Mbeki was then caught up in accusations that he conspired to undermine ANC leader and current President Jacob Zuma.

Since his recall in 2008, Mbeki has however, not actively campaigned for the party.

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau met Mbeki on Monday at the Thabo Mbeki Foundation in Killarney, Johannesburg and he then said the meeting with Mbeki was important.

“It was a particularly important period because we are literally running two election campaigns; we are running a campaign to lead the city of Johannesburg in as much as we are running a campaign to lead the world. We thought it would be important that we keep him updated about both campaigns but also about the work we have been doing,” said Tau.

The list of ANC veterans who have agreed to join the ANC on its campaign trial in Gauteng includes: former president Kgalema Motlanthe and struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada.

 

Nehawu not halting parliament strike over bonuses

 

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has vowed it will not halt with its strike action against the Parliament for backing away from an agreement to pay workers performance bonuses.

This is after the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) on Monday found no evidence that the Parliament’s management acted with malice or irrationally when reducing the bonus payments of employees.

The CCMA further insisted that both the parties must continue negotiating the issue internally.

In 2015 Nehawu approached the CCMA to request the declaration of Parliament’s review of performance scores of employees as “unfair labour practice”.

And the issue of performance bonuses gave rise to a month-long strike by parliamentary support staff since last year.

Nehawu’s Provincial Secretary Eric Kweleta said they will be taking the matter up internally as there are still individuals who are not pleased with their performance payouts and the suspension of five workers pending disciplinary action.

“The CCMA just reaffirmed our position that this is depute resolution process that are there. They’ve since instructed both parties must by the end of September resolved their thing.”

“There are no winners or losers there. The CCMA just reaffirms that both parties must address this thing internally and resolve it by 30 September,” added Kweleta.

On the other hand, the Parliament said it believes that the ruling will be an indication to the union that officials acted in good faith

“The ruling by CCMA is a thorough vindication of the position of Parliament in its submissions and public pronouncements. Parliament’s management acted in good faith in its engagement with employee issues. It also exposes the unreasonableness of the local branch of Nehawu and those that joined in the unfair condemnation of Parliament,” said the Parliament.

The Parliament added it hopes that the ruling will close the current chapter of negative engagement.

 

DA pickets outside Parliament for the SABC 8

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is today picketing outside Parliament against the dismissal of four journalists by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

DA’s National Spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said they are there in support of the four of the SABC 8 who were fired by SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

“These were hard-working, committed, journalists who committed the “sin” of standing up for the integrity of the SABC,” said van Damme.
Van Damme added they will hand over a memorandum to the Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, and Mr Jackson Mthembu’s parliamentary offices.

“We are calling on African National Congress’s Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu to walk the talkand support the DA’s call for an urgent meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Communications to consider the ongoing crisis at the SABC,” said van Damme.

On Monday four SABC journalists, Jacques Steenkamp, Krivani Pillay, Foeta Krige and Suna Venter, were dismissed by the public broadcaster.

The four journalists are part of a group of eight which took a stand against the SABC for censorship over the broadcaster’s decision not to broadcast violent protests.

Van Damme said the aim of their picket is to demand that the Parliament takes action over this debacle.

“What is happening at the public broadcaster is prime example of the systemic party capture, which continues to take shape in our country,” said van Damme.

In the memorandum, the DA’s demands include: the immediate reinstatement of the four of the SABC 8 fired, dropping of all disciplinary charges against the rest of the SABC 8 ,the broadcaster to immediately implement ICASA’s decision reversing the ban on the airing of footage of violent protests and the suspension of Motsoeneng.

Van Damme reiterated and said they will fight with their all to prevent the SABC from joining the long line of captured institutions, including the Hawks, the NPA and SARS, which serve, not the people of South Africa, but at the behest of President Jacob Zuma and the ANC.
By Senzile Kubheka

Pistorius’s sentencing an insult to woman- ANCWL

The African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) said it is dissatisfied and is disappointed by the six year sentence for murder granted to Oscar Pistorius.

ANCWL Secretary General Meokgo Matuba said the judgement was an insult to woman as it excluded issues of gender based violence.
“The ANCWL is dissatisfied with the judgement …due to the fact that South Africa has high rates of gender based violence cases and statistics indicate that a woman is killed in every eight hours in our country,” said Matuba.

On Wednesday, Judge Thokozile Masipa handed down Pistorius’ sentence saying the mitigating factors outweigh aggravating ones, which justify deviating from the minimum sentence of 15 years.
Pistorius was been sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, a sentencing more than two years in the making.
Matuba said they believe that the sentence is just a slap on the wrist on a murderer case and spit on the faces of the family and relatives of the victim.
“The sentence creates loss of trust in the judiciary system for many women who are abused and murdered daily in our country,” the SG said.
She added they have studied the judgment and have developed a position that they planned to make public following sentencing.
“We have closely followed the trial and Judge Masipa gave undue sympathy to the murder accused Pistorius. As the ANCWL we are appalled by the assertions made by the judge that this was not a gender based violence case. The pathology report had enough evidence to prove that the victim had injuries outside the shooting,” said Matuba.
“It is ANCWL’s view that if there is an appetite from judiciary system to deter people from committing this gruel acts of abusing and murdering women, the judiciary system must ensure that abusers and murderers receive the harshest maximum sentences and be locked in correctional facilities to fully serve their sentences and be released when they have been fully rehabilitated,” she added.
Matuba further said they will continue fighting for transformation within the judiciary system for all the women who are abused murdered and then receive a slap on the wrist from the judiciary system.

Pistorius’ trial sparks racism among South Africans

Oscar Pistorius’s sentencing of 6 years in jail for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by the High Court in Pretoria has brought South Africans, particularly blacks, to believe that the country’s Judicial System ‘reflects and promotes’ cultural clashes in the country.

On Wednesday, Judge Thokozile Masipa handed down Pistorius’ sentence saying the mitigating factors outweigh aggravating ones, which justify deviating from the minimum sentence of 15 years.

A huge debate about the quality of High court Judges has heated up as Pistorius’s trial has been compared with Sindisiwe Manqele who was sentenced to 12 years behind bars for the 9 March 2015 killing of her rapper boyfriend, Skwata Kamp Member Nkululeko ‘Flabba’ Habedi and the two men who were convicted and sentenced to 15 years each for robbing an South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) news crew at gunpoint during a live broadcast outside Milpark Hospital.

Former estate agent, Penny Sparrow who was fined R150 000 for likening black beachgoers to monkeys‚ once again through twitter praised Masipa and said she deserves to be a change of skin colour.

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Not only did the verdict ‘promote’ racism within the country’s justice system, but it has also brought the quality of work done by South African high court judges back under public scrutiny, leading to black lawyers being labelled as regularly stereotyped and having their competence questioned.

This is not a new phenomenon in South Africa, but underlying the debate is much more than the quality of the country’s judges, it is about race.

South Africa’s judiciary is highly dominated by men and has a higher proportion of white judges compared to the country’s race demographics.

It also puts the spotlight on transformation of the legal profession as a whole, drawing questions like is transformation about creating conditions that are open, bias- free and non-hierarchical? Or transformation is a shield of prejudice and hindered assumptions linked to race? The Judicial Service Commission role to ensure transformation is also now been placed under scrutiny.

But as it seriously stands now, Masipa is in need of serious defence, with social commentary racially prejudiced, ‘blacks’ are livid and the Supreme Court I presume had anticipated the public discourse footed by this verdict.

And lingering in people’s minds is the question whether he will at least serve the sentence as according to the Criminal Procedure Act‚ he must serve 50 percent of his murder sentence before he can be considered for possible placement on parole.

A consolation for citizens is that Pistorius will celebrate his 30th birthday in jail.

By Senzile Kubheka

Cachalia dishes out ‘discouraging’ details about Masina

Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Ekurhuleni Mayoral Candidate Ghaleb Cachalia has gone out of his way to discredit African National Congress’ (ANC) Ekurhuleni Mayoral Candidate Mzwandile Masina, in a bid to win over Ekurhuleni dwellers.

Cachalia earlier on Tuesday said he will reveal Masina’s the track record and reveal that his appointment was done with scant regard for the jobs crisis that Ekurhuleni is facing.

“Since his appointment as Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Masina has been a controversial figure and it is unlikely that he will innovate and create the environment needed to get Ekurhuleni moving forward again,” said Cachalia.

Cachalia was addressing the media at Edenvale when he stated Masina is a career cadre and a hot-headed President Jacob Zuma supporter and that has relied on political patronage to be deployed as the Mayoral candidate in Ekurhuleni.

He then listed what he called “Masina’s infamous moments and Masina’s record as Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry.

Cachalia stated: “Masina travelled to the ANC manifesto launch in Port Elizabeth by way of a luxury jet. The Sunday Times reported that there were four other passengers, and that the trip from Johannesburg cost approximately R220 000,”

“Masina has been directly responsible for the South African manufacturing industry – which is shedding jobs. In Ekurhuleni alone, more than 100 000 jobs were lost in the first quarter of 2016”.

Cachalia went on to say Masina has been deployed to various positions with no real credentials to support his appointment.

“It appears he has been parachuted into positions where his support for Mr Zuma can be leveraged to further the interests of the President and his network,” said the Candidate

Masina through twitter said he has no time for people who are bored and want attention.

“When those misappropriating struggle credentials of their parents, I ignore and focus on the ground,” said Masina.

Nkoana-Mashabane makes another international blunder

International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has once again stunned the world as she publicly claimed to know nothing about Britain’s referendum to exit the European Union (Brexit).

Nkoana-Mahabane was on Monday in Pretoria questioned by journalist on whether Bexit would affect South Africa’s Trade relations with France.

The Minister replied and said: “Brexit? We don’t know about it, we saw it on television. We hear that it will impact, when it started, negatively to our trade and investment relations with the countries from that part, but we haven’t seen real evidence,” Nkoana-Mashabane told journalists.

“Maybe it is still coming. But one thing first, we are not members there [at the EU], and we can only say is viva democracy,” she added.

The Minister’s latest utterances have thrown her credibility as South Africa’s chief diplomat into serious question, as President Jacob Zuma is set to go on a state visit to France next week.

Earlier this year the Nkoana-Mashane messed up an interview which was done at the global news network’s studios in Doha, Qatar, By South African-born journalist Jane Dutton.

During the Al JAzeera’s interview on international current affairs, the Minister responded to questions incoherently and void of any grasp of the domestic and international matters within her purview as a Minister.

She later then said she was acting in “defence” of the country when she shot down questions during the interview.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said if South Africa is to weather the storm brought on by Brexit, the country needs a Minister of International Relations that is fit to navigate the complexities of the potentially challenging renegotiations of our trade agreements.

“Nkoana-Mashabane’s ignorance notwithstanding, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation’s apex priority is to act on South Africa’s behalf and diligently engage with, and respond to, world events in the interests of South Africans,” said the DA

The Party then called on the President to exercise his power and reconsider Nkoana-Mashaba’s fitness to be the country’s national diplomat-in-chief.

“We are the only party realising Mandela’s legacy in SA”- DA

The Democratic Alliance on Monday evening aired their latest television advert, despite the attacks that it received from Former President Nelson Mandela’s family.

DA’s Refiloe Nt’sekhe adamantly said they will not stop airing the advert, saying it is an affront to the principles which Nelson Mandela stood for.

She also said Mandela was the first democratic president and his legacy and the important democratic principles which he fought for, belong to all South Africans.

“The DA’s election advert, which depicts the personal story of a voter in South Africa who draws on the memory of Nelson Mandela – and the ideals which he fought for – before casting her ballot for the DA is a manner consistent with the relevant code,” said Nt’sekhe.

 

Nt’sekhe added it is not the first time that parties have featured Mandela’s voice in elections campaigns and adverts; she also said in 2014, shortly after his death in December 2013, several parties accused each other of using his name to score political points.

She then reiterated and said: “the DA is the only party realising utata Madiba’s legacy in South Africa today”.

On Monday Mandela’s Grandson, African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament (MP) Mandla Mandela lashed out at the DA for using his grandfather’s voice in their advert and demanded the party to take down the advert.

He further said the DA’s use of Mandela’s voice is “gross violation of electoral code”.

“We are disgusted by the flagrant abuse of former President Nelson Mandela by the Democratic Alliance, which is using his voice in an election advertisement broadcast on YouTube,” said Mandla Mandela.

Nt’sekhe replied and said what this ugly attack does demonstrate, however, is that the ANC has changed and it is not a party of Madiba, committed to building a united and prosperous South Africa.

She added the grandson is welcomed to take the matter to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) if he wishes to express his opinion.

Zuma ‘allies’ no longer interested in assisting with Nkandla debt

President Jacob Zuma is now set to pay the R7.8 million for all his non-security upgrades on his Nkandla homestead on his own.

This follows after Zuma’s ally and pioneer BEE Don Mkhwanazi, who earlier this year together with other businessmen offered to assist the President repay the Nkandla debt, died of what is believed to be a heart attack.

With the deadline looming, the Sunday Times also reported that prominent businessmen from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), who also came forward offering help to the President, are no longer willing to do so because his term in office will soon come to an end. One source said, “What will they get in return?”.

A week ago the National Treasury handed Zuma a R7.8-million bill for upgrades at his Nkandla homestead, on which more than R240-million was spent.

On the other hand Zuma’s family has led out a cry to plea saying they have no idea where the President will get the money from.

They also cried and said: “We are not a rich family”. They also claimed that the family would not be able to afford the multimillion-rand sum that the president has to pay.

Meanwhile both Zuma have made it clear that the President is no seeking out any donations or assistance to settle the debt.

And the African National Congress (ANC) has also said that it no plans of assisting or donating any funds for Zuma but reiterated that he will pay back the full amount as ordered.

The party added paying up shouldn’t be an issue as Zuma understands his commitment in court.

On the other hand, with the Gupta family having cornfirmed that they have returned to South Africa after being away over several controversial issues tied to their name, the family has kept its silence on whether will assist the President or not.

But according to the family’s spokesperson, the Guptas are not just back in the country full time, but their relationship with the president is still intact.

Possibility is Nkandla debt might be secretly paid for by the Guptas family, as they have warned the media to halt trying to follow their every move and publishing unfounded speculations.

According to the Constitutional Court order, if Zuma received any type of donation to pay for the non-security upgrades, he’d have to pay a donation tax and publicly declare the donation.

Zuma has until 24 August to settle the amount with the National Treasury.

 

ANC denies DA’s request to meet and discuss SABC chaos

The African National Congress (ANC) has declined the Democratic Alliances plea to have an Unusual Parliamentary Meeting to discuss SABC chaos.

The ANC replied in a letter and said they will deal with the matter as soon as the National Assembly reconvene after the local government elections.

The Party later then called on Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and the SABC board to launch a probe into the Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

ANC’s Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the probe should look into “serious” allegations that Motsoeneng abused his power and that he had undermined the SABC’s editorial policies, failed to carry out its public mandate and suspended people “willy-nilly”.

DA Spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said the ANC wants Minister Muthambi and the SABC Board to investigate Motsoeneng because they know it will be another whitewash.

She added Muthambi is a “staunch” supporter of Motsoeneng and has promoted and protected him at every opportunity.

“The truth is that Mr Motsoeneng was deployed to the SABC to do the ANC’s bidding during an election where the ANC stands to lose major support. Waiting until after the election stands to serve the ANC,” said van Damme

Van Damme further said they will give the ANC in Parliament one more chance to fix this matter and convene a meeting of the Communications Committee, or face being in dereliction of its constitutional duties to conduct oversight over the SABC.

“This simply cannot wait until after the election. The problems at the SABC are now, and need to the fixed now,” she said.

 

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 led 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.