Students set to picket outside Parliament

University Students around the Western Cape are expected to march to Parliament, to demand answers for the Fees Must Fall crisis.

Universities including: the University of Cape Town (UCT), University of the Western Cape (UWC), Stellenbosch University (SU) and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) have been in support of the Fees Must Fall movement and are expected to be part of the march.

The march is set to coincide with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s medium-term budget speech in Parliament.

CPUT’s Fees Must Fall spokesman Lukhanyo Vangqa said is the prpose of the mach is to get the government to respond to the issues of higher education.

“The purpose of the march is to highlight the plight of students, to legislature, who are unable to access higher education because they are poor and black,” said Vangqa.

UCT Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price urged staff members and the general public to join the students’ picket outside Parliament.

 “Members of the UCT executive will participate in the UCT Employees Union picket. We invite staff and students to show their support for the cause of greater state funding for higher education and more affordable education for all by participating in one or other of the protests,” said Prince.

On the other hand Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said the government is working on plans to address the crisis.

He then said the government is expanding efforts to provide free education to poor students.

Zuma to be grilled in Parliament

President Jacob Zuma is set to appear before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to answer oral questions from opposition parties.

The President will come face to face with the opposition in parliament and is expected to answer questions about the investigation against Finance Minister Pravin Godhan and about its disastrous consequences on the country’s economic stability.

Earlier this month, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), confirmed that Gordhan was served with a summons and will be charged and prosecuted for fraud.

The NPA said the Minister is charged for approving early retirement for South African Revenue Service (Sars) suspended deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

Recently, Justice Minister Michael Masutha revealed that he and Zuma knew long ago that the Finance Minister was going to be prosecuted for fraud.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) said they will be questioning why the charges were brought at such a crucial time for the country.

On the other hand At least 80 heads of top South African firms including Anglo American, Barclays Africa Group and Naspers want fraud charges against Gordhan to be dropped.

The corporate leaders joined opposition parties, analysts, and top leaders inside the ruling African National Congress, including Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who have publicly expressed support for Gordhan.

Masutha reveals Zuma was aware of Gordhan’s prosecutions

 

Justice Minister Michael Masutha revealed that He and President Jacob Zuma were made aware of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s prosecution a long time ago.

Masutha’s revelation comes after it was known that National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Head Shaun Abrahams met with Zuma at Luthuli House a day before Abrahams announced that the Gordhan will be facing charges of theft, corruption and fraud.

Abrahams said the Justice Minister invited him to meet with Zuma at Luthuli House, he added the reason for the meeting was to discuss the Fees Must Fall crisis and not the case against Gordhan.

Masutha also said there was nothing improper about the meeting between the president and Abrahams. He adamantly said the meeting was to discuss the Fees Must Fall saga and not Gordhan.

“Did I think about the venue? I just thought the National Director of Public Prosecutions has the liberty to enter any building and to attend a meeting as long as that meeting is not illegal,” said Masutha.

When questioned about the place which the meeting took place, Masuthat said the venue didn’t matter because the meeting was not for the African National Congress.

“I don’t think it really matters what really matters is, was it an ANC part political meeting or not, the answer is no,” said Masutha.

Masutha, then said he was surprised at the controversy surrounding the meeting and where is was held.

DA to approach Constitutional Court over ICC withdrawal

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is set to take the Governments’ decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court to the Constitutional Court.

DA Leader Mmusi Maimane said they will be filling for an urgent application for direct access to the Constitutional Court in order to challenge the decision taken by the cabinet.

“The decision taken by the South African Government is at odds with the county’s commitment to international justice and human rights, it marks  a dramatic decline in South Africa’s standing in the international community,” said Maimane.

On Wednesday, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane begun the process of withdrawing from the ICC and notified the United Nations (UN) about the move on Thursday, citing the court’s perceived biases against African states as a reason for the exit.

The document also highlights the dilemma the country faced last year when Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir visited Johannesburg for an African Union summit.

Last week Maimane said the country’s withdrawal from the ICC cannot be cleared without approval from the National Legislature.

And later said they will be approaching the court to have Nkoana-Mashabane’s decision to withdraw from the ICC rendered “unconstitutional, irrational and procedurally flawed”.

However during a media briefing Justice Minister Michael Masutha said the approval of the National Legislature is not required before the executive enters or exits from international agreements.

Maimane said to withdraw from the ICC entirely undermines the efforts to safeguard the right of citizens both here in South Africa and internationally.

“South Africa’s withdrawal from the ICC sends the message that as a country, with global standing, we do not believe in holding those who commit the most horrendous of acts, such as genocide and war crimes, to account. We are now siding with murderers and dictators from across the globe,” said Maimane.

He added they want the constitutional to render the decision as “irrational” and that the Minister was supposed to communicate with the Parliament before taking the decision.

The United Nations has since confirmed receipt of South Africa’s notice. The process is expected to take up to a year before a total withdrawal is completed.

MKMV calls on Mthembu to resign

Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMV) have called on African National Congress Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu to resign from his position.

This follows after Mthembu urged the ANC top six leaders to resign from the party, saying the leadership is abusing power and using governmental institutions to settle political scores within the ANC.

MKMV leader Kebby Maphatsoe said Mthembu’s utterances are a display of pure ill-discipline, he added the comments would promote factionalism within the party in the national assembly.

“He can’t call for all NEC members to resign, if he is principled and brave enough, we will be happy if we can hear tomorrow that he has sent a letter of resignation to the office of the secretary general,” said Maphatsoe.

When asking the top six leaders to resign, Mthembu said he includes himself and President Jacob Zuma.

“President Jacob Zuma is the president of the ANC. When I said the entire ANC leadership that has already taken collective responsibility must take the fall, I meant everybody, myself included, including President Zuma,” said Mthembu.

Maphatsoe said Mthembu’s comments prove that he is not fit to lead the ANC caucus in Parliament; he added Mthembu has continuously spoken against the party’s NEC.

 

Mthembu tells ANC top six to resign

African National Congress (ANC) Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu has reportedly urged the ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) to resign from the party.

Mthembu said the top leaders have are abusing power and governmental institutions to settle political scores within the party. Mthembu then used Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s saga with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

“In my view, a minister is being pursued for political reasons, and then charged with fraud. That’s why I’ve then said, perhaps we are not the leadership that can take the ANC forward under these conditions,” said Mthembu.

The Chief Whip then said he is also calling on President Jacob Zuma to resign as he is also part of the top six.

“President Jacob Zuma is the president of the ANC. When I said the entire ANC leadership that has already taken collective responsibility must take the fall, I meant everybody, myself included, including President Zuma,” said Mthembu.

When it comes to Gordhan’s issue, Mthembu vowed that he will support Gordhan fully; he also said he will accompany him to court.

Recently Mthembu has proved to be the ‘black sheep’ of the party as he has revealed and touched on issues that have truly affected the ANC

Earlier this Month Mthembu told ANC Members of Parliaments (MPs) they needed to ask why they concluded to support and refuse to implement the Public Protector’s Nkandla report.

Malema encourages FeesMustFall shutdown

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Leader Julius Mamela has encouraged students to continue with the shutdown of universities as the Fees Must Fall campaign because that is the language the government understands.

Malema said the students must not be discouraged by rubber bullets, tear gas and jail. He then said their lawyers are ready to work.

“Our lawyers are readily available, they have been working day in day out bailing out students and encouraging them to go back to the pickets line,” said Malema

“You must be proud that you shaming the government of using the same tactics apartheid used to suppress genuine demands of our people,” added the leader.

Malema on Thursday addresses the Media on Issues including Fees Must Fall campaign, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s saga and State Capture.

The leader said he is proud of the students and added if the students allowed them to join the protests, they would be right there by their side.

“The students have made it very clear that they don’t want political leaders there, they are capable enough to hold the fees must fall on their own, they don’t want it politicised, they don’t want it hijacked for political reasons, otherwise we would have been there ourselves we are not scared of anything,” said Malema.

He then condemned the government for bringing Minister of State Security David Mahlobo and Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko to disrupt peaceful protests the students are having.

He then reiterated that the students shouldn’t be discouraged by pain as this will benefit them and future generations.

“Pains will always be there but after pains you will rejoice and say you worked very hard, and not only you but the many generations that will come after you, they will salute you and hold you  in high regard like they do with 1976. Don’t be discouraged,” added Malema

By Senzile Kubheka

EFF, ANC possible merger to jeopardise Ramaphosa’s chances of being President

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s chances of succeeding President Jacob Zuma are gradually vanishing.

This follows after Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Leader Julius Malema in an interview he had at ENCA’s CheckPoint, made an astonishing offer of merging with the African National Congress (ANC).

Malemma then predicated that after the 2019 elections, ANC support will drop below 50% while his party will increase to 9%-10%.

With Zuma’s second term as ANC president set to end in December 2017, it remains unclear who will be the next successor.

The ANC Youth League and Women’s League are vouching for a female president while the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) have made it crystal that they support Ramaphosa as the next President.

Political Analyst, Aubrey Matshiqi said if the merger between the EFF and ANC would be successful, Ramaphosa’s future in the party would be jeopardised.

During Malema’s interview, he said he was willing to work with Winnie Madikizela Mandela once the two parties have merged, however Matshiqi said Madikizela-Mandela would have to play a huge role of mediation between Malema and Ramaphosa.

“If Winnie Mandela is going to become a factor in an  kind of mediations process, I suspect it going to me a multi pronged process…it may also be about Cyril Ramaphosa’s future in the ANC so she may play a mediation role in that respect,” said Matshiqi.

“Of cause she must make Cryril Ramaphosa acceptable to Julius Malema in the EFF, given Marikana,” added Matshiqi.

Matshiqi then reiterated that if there shall be a merger, Ramaphosa’s chances of being the next President will lie on Madikizela-Mandela’s ability to convince Malema.

By Senzile Kubheka