Weekly News Brief

Mossel Bay, Downtown​, South Africa​
Mossel Bay, Downtown​, South Africa​

HEADLINE NEWS THIS WEEK

In quotes: Cyril Ramaphosa’s Promises To Reform South Africa

African National Congress (ANC) leader Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as the country’s sixth democratic president on Wednesday. Eyewitness News has compiled some of Ramaphosa’s top quotes since taking over from former President Jacob Zuma last year.

Old Mutual Suspends CEO After ‘Breakdown In Trust’

South Africa’s number two insurer Old Mutual Ltd said on Friday chief executive Peter Moyo had been suspended following a “material breakdown in trust” between him and the board. A spokesperson for the company said Old Mutual chairperson Trevor Manuel would provide more information at the insurer’s Annual General Meeting on Friday afternoon.

Zondo Seeks Answers From Hawks Over Transnet’s R647m Payment To Fake Supplier

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has ordered his legal team to ask the Hawks why they did nothing when whistle-blowers told them of the R647 million payment Transnet made to a fake supplier, Business Expansion Structured Products (BEX). The company secured R5 billion through the deal.

Public Protector Finds Gordhan Guilty Over SARS Retirement Payout

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found Minister Pravin Gordhan guilty of improper conduct regarding a payout for former South African Revenue Service commissioner Ivan Pillay’s early retirement. It’s also understood that she suggested action would need to be taken to recover the money.

Appointment Of New MPC Member Chris Loewald Welcomed

Economists have welcomed the appointment of Christopher Loewald as the sixth member of the monetary policy committee, lauding him as a man of integrity. While announcing its latest rates decision on Thursday, the SA Reserve Bank also revealed that Loewald will be joining the MPC for a three-year term from the first of next month. His appointment follows the resignation of deputy governer Francios Groepe earlier this year, and the retirement of former MPC member Brian Kahn in 2018.

Zuma’s ‘Stalingrad Approach’ To Trial a Myth, Argues Lawyer

Former President Jacob Zuma said that the so-called Stalingrad approach he’s been accused of employing over the years to avoid prosecution was nothing but a myth. Yesterday, the State told the Pietermaritzburg High Court that Zuma was partly responsible for his trial delays.

There’s a Just Cause To Prosecute Jacob Zuma – NPA

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has argued the motive behind the prosecution of former President Jacob Zuma, even if it is politically motivated, was irrelevant because there was just cause to proceed with the matter. This was among the submissions made by Advocate Wim Trengove in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday, where Zuma’s trying to have the case against him scrapped.

Zuma: I Have To Sell Socks And Hats To Pay Lawyers

Former President Jacob Zuma has told supporters outside the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg that he could not afford to pay the legal fees for his ongoing trial. He has applied for a permanent stay of prosecution in a case involving a raft of corruption charges related to the multibillion-rand arms deal.

Malema: We’ll Keep Advocating For Free Movement Of Africans in Africa

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said the party would stop at nothing to secure the interests of African people. The red beret leader made the remarks during the party’s post-election briefing in Braamfontein on Thursday. He said: “We reiterate our call for African unity. We continue to advocate for free movement of goods and people in the African continent which is long overdue. We will never retract on this statement even if it threatens our electoral growth.”

Hawks Investigate After Mop Murdered While Responding To Robbery At Farm

The Hawks are investigating the murder of a police officer in Stellenbosch. The constable was shot while responding to a house robbery on a farm on Wednesday evening. Die Burger on Friday reported that the man may have been accidentally shot by a fellow officer. Police watchdog Ipid may join the investigation.

Anoj Singh Blamed For Accelerating Delivery Of Transnet Locomotives

Former Transnet engineer Francis Callard said that the new procurement of locomotives was torpedoed by executives who accelerated the delivery process for no reason. Callard blamed former Transnet chief financial officer Anoj Singh, who requested that the delivery of the locomotives be reduced from seven years to four years. Testifying at the Zondo commission of inquiry on Thursday, Callard said this resulted in the price of the 1,064 trains increasing from R38 billion to almost R55 billion.


OTHER THINGS WE LIKED

Mount Everest Conqueror Saray Khumalo Finally Started Her Way Home

South African mountain climber Saray Khumalo is expected to touch down on home soil next week. She finally left the Mount Everest base camp on Wednesday where she’d been waiting for a flight home while the bodies of climbers who died on the mountain were being recovered.  Her friend Erika Gibson said they’d had to reschedule her flight.  Khumalo arrived at the base camp on Saturday after making history as the first black African woman to summit the world’s highest mountain.

Mogoeng Explains Why Motsamai Is Now An MM Despite Murder Conviction

Former PAC member Kenny Motsamai, who was convicted of murder in the 1980s, has been sworn in as one of the new members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Before swearing in delegates on Thursday morning, Mogoeng took some time to address the swearing in of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) member Motsamai.  Motsamai is a former military commander of the Azanian People’s Liberation Army and spent 27 years in jail for killing a white traffic officer.

Cyril Ramaphosa Elected As President Of SA, Opposition Wishes Him Well

African National Congress leader Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as the president for the sixth democratic Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.  Members of the national legislature were sworn in on Wednesday morning by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

Sisi Ntombela Re-Elected As Free State Premier

Sisi Ntombela has been re-elected as the premier of the Free State.  Former Maluti-a-Phofung mayor Vusi Tshabalala will be the new chief whip in the province while Zanele Sifuba has been elected to the speaker position.  The Free State legislature joined several other provincial bodies in holding its first sitting on Wednesday where its newly elected members were sworn in.

Youngest NCOP Member (20) Prepares For New Start In Cape Town

The youngest member of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), the African National Congress’ (ANC) Itumeleng Ntsube from Botshabelo in the Free State, has been accredited at Parliament.  The 20-year-old will be sworn in on 23 May after attending orientation in Cape Town on 21 May.  Ntsube matriculated in 2018 and is studying towards a degree in education in Bloemfontein.

Swearing-in Of David Mabuza As MP postponed

Deputy President David Mabuza has requested that his swearing-in as a Member of Parliament be postponed.  A statement issued by ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said that Mabuza made the request in light of an Integrity Commission report.  This means that Mabuza won’t be joining his fellow party officials on Wednesday morning to take the oath. He has indicated he would like to first address the allegations by the commission.

Makhura Re-Elected As Gauteng Premier

David Makhura has been re-elected as the premier of Gauteng.  The African National Congress (ANC) earlier nominated David Makhura for the position but the Democratic Alliance also nominated Solly Msimanga for the same role.  Members of the Provincial Legislature were sworn in this morning by Judge Dunstan Mlambo.

CoJ To Treble Budget To Electrify Informal Settlements

The City of Johannesburg will treble its budget for electrification of informal settlements from R260 million in the past three years to R750 million for the next three years. Finance MMC Funzela Ngobeni delivered his budget speech, totaling expenditure of R58 billion for the 2019/2020 financial year.

NPA Questions If Jacob Zuma Acted In Good Faith In Arms Deal Case

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has questioned whether former President Jacob Zuma was acting in good faith when he spent nearly a decade fighting the attempt to review the decision not to prosecute him. That was among the submissions in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday where the NPA was opposing an application by Zuma and arms manufacturer Thales for a permanent stay of prosecution. The case relates to the controversial late 1990s arms deal.

DA Requests Fresh Probe Into Mkhwebane’s Fitness To Hold Office

The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants a fresh investigation into Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness for office.  The party has written to new National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise asking her to initiate a parliamentary inquiry.  In the wake of another judicial slap-down, the DA was pinning its hopes on the sixth Parliament to thoroughly investigate Mkhwebane’s fitness for office.

Ford Kuga Fire Death Inquest: Expert Finds No Evidence Of Wiring Or Component Failure

An expert testifying in the Ford Kuga fire death inquest said that he’d found no physical evidence of any wiring or component failure.US-based engineer John Loud began testifying in the Western Cape High Court on Monday, on his investigation into the cause of the vehicle fire that claimed Reshall Jimmy’s life in 2015.

Rob Packham’s Evidence Described As ‘Suspicious, Improbable’

The Western Cape High Court has found that convicted killer Rob Packham’s evidence was suspicious and improbable.He’s been found guilty of killing his wife, Gill, and for defeating the ends of justice.The school secretary’s body was found in the boot of her burnt out car last year in Diep River.

Jacob Zuma Misleads Supporters With Acquittal Utterances

Former President Jacob Zuma has misled his supporters, telling them that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has been hellbent on charging him with corruption even though five judges had acquitted him of the charges.The former president faces charges of corruption, racketeering and money laundering, related to the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal.

Omissions In Transnet Locomotive Deal ‘Deliberate Misrepresentation’

A former Transnet electrical engineer says several omissions and misrepresentations in a multibillion-rand locomotive deal appeared to have been used to justify a significant escalation of costs for the project.Francis Callard testified at the state capture commission of inquiry on Monday about the procurement of 1,064 locomotives from China South Rail.

Cause Of Fire At BhekiMlangeni Hospital In Soweto Being Probed

Some patients have been evacuated from the BhekiMlangeni Hospital in Soweto after a fire broke out in the early hours of Monday morning.Johannesburg Emergency Services said that the blaze affected the administration block and has been contained.It’s still unclear what the cause of the fire was.

2 Foreign Nationals To Appear In Court For Kidnapping EC Businessman

Two foreign nationals will appear in Mthatha Magistrates Court on Monday after they were arrested for kidnapping an Eastern Cape businessman and extorting a ransom from his family.According to police, a third foreign national was fatally wounded in a subsequent shoot-out with police on Saturday during an operation by a multi-disciplinary task team.


In Case You Missed It

Africa Health Exhibition & Congress 2019

May 28 @ 08:00 – May 30 @ 17:00, Gallagher Estate, Gauteng, Save the date to attend Africa’s largest healthcare exhibition, Africa Health. A leading platform for international healthcare professionals and medical experts to collaborate and share insights for the ever-growing African healthcare market.

Entries Open For The 2019 Top 100 Young Independents – Young People Making An Impact

The search is on for the Top 100 Young Independents (TYI) 100 inspiring and aspiring young leaders from across sub-Saharan Africa. In its fifth year running, the Top 100 Young Independents competition seeks to identify young people who are involved in projects that are contributing towards developing their communities against all odds.