“We were the first victims of the ‘war room’”-Cope

The Congress of the People says it was the first opposition party to fall victim of the African National Congress (ANC)’s alleged smear campaign.

Cope Spokesperson Dennis Bloem said they were not surprised when Public Relations Consultant Sihle Bolani, revealed that the ANC hired her to be part of a so-called secret smear campaign against the opposition parties.

“COPE is not at all shocked or surprised by the scandalous dealings that were exposed by the PR practitioner Sihle Bolani. COPE believes every word of Bolani,” said Bloem.

He went to say the ANC began their smear campaign during the 2009 national elections, in a bid to discredit the party from acquiring votes.

“The unethical and immoral ANC started its war room immediately after the formation of COPE. It was in full operation during the 2009 National Elections; COPE was the first victim of the war room and the ANC spent millions of rands in dirty tricks against COPE,” said Bloem.

On Tuesday Bolani said she is suing the ANC for R2.2 Million, as she spent three months as project manager for the ANC’s so-called “War Room”.

Bonani also revealed that she worked with ANC Stalwart and icon Walter Sisulu’s grandson Shaka Sisulu, who was the individual that the ANC paid.

Sisulu admitted to briefly working with Bolani but denied he was paid by the ANC nor took part in the covert operation

Bloem slammed both the ANC and Sisulu for denying being part of the covert operation to discredit opposition parties.

“No amount of denials can convince the public that Shaka Sisulu and his other comrades were not involved in these immoral and unethical dirty tricks. Bolani has exposed all of them. It’s a screaming shame that the ANC used R50 million of tax-payers to fight its opponents,” said Bloem.

On the other hand, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are set to report the ANC to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and consider other legal options.

 

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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

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.

Can the Blue Government live up to its promises?

After a peaceful well orginised Democratic Alliance (DA)’s March for jobs, one question lingers through my mind, Can the DA produce what it highly sang as their economic five year plan?

Can Mr. “I am not black, I am a South African” Herman Mashaba lead Gauteng to what they call “complete freedom”?

During their March yesterday Federal Leader Mmusi Maimane warned Gauteng’s government that the province will soon be under the blue government.

Fazed with unanswered questions after the procession was led, speeches delivered, ANC and Zuma must fall songs sang, I remain to ask-Is the DA fighting against our economical challenges or our black South Africans unknowingly follow a hate battle between the two parties?

Maimane said the ANC Government is protecting the Gupta’s by which South Africans are made to believe the Gupta’s are full of corruption, they are taking the land and feeding off the economy, but South Africans need to think about what really is behind this story.

Maimane said the ANC, or rather Jacob Zuma must answer where are the jobs. Well indeed he has to and every citizen believes SA is in need of change and a government that will produce economic related positives.

Hence I conclude the DA is fighting a great battle the wrong and #ZumaMustBringOurMoneyBack is proof that their battle strategy is all wrong, in the mist of being so obsessed with Zuma they have forgotten their own manifesto.

The party needs to be cured of the Zuma Obsession syndrome or what will become of our fellow South Africans, as they will all be looking for gold promised by the “Blue Machine” when they no longer fighting the battle with ANC.

The party has to wake up and notice that ‘attacking’ the ANC will draw them attention, but not the needed votes. It’s every party’s job to lure in voters and DA is certainly not doing that.

After Maimane emphasised that they are too serious about creating jobs and creating a well economy and used the Western Cape as an example, with the best quality education and lowest number of employment.

The Gauteng province also needs to see results hence the DA is advised to silently fight the battle by polishing their campaigns and re-visiting their own manifesto before they lose sight of what their goal is, which is to bring change that creates employment.

Senzile Kubheka