Daily News Brief

Daily News Brief
Secunda, Mpumalanga photo credits: ShowMe™ South Africa

Tributes Flow As Aspiring SA Astronaut Mandla Maseko Dies

Tributes are pouring in for South African Mandla Maseko after he died in a bike accident this weekend. Maseko, who was known as ‘Spaceboy’ and ‘Afronaut,’ was going to be the first black African to travel to space. The 30-year-old man was a candidate officer in the South African Air Force and a public speaker.

WC Department Of Agriculture To Roll Out Safety Plan After String Of Farm Attacks

The Western Cape Agriculture Department is rolling out a rural safety plan following a string of farm attacks in the province. An inter-ministerial rural safety committee was set up last month to deal with farm attacks and includes all 10 members of the local Cabinet. There have been 18 attacks in the province since the beginning of the year.

MEC Fritz Calls For WC State Of Emergency Following Philippi Killings

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz said he wanted to declare a state of emergency following the killing of 13 people in Philippi. Fritz said 55 people had died in the province over the past weekend, although not all in gang-related violence. He said the provincial government’s hands were cut off as it had no control over police, which is a national function. He said police have lost the fight against crime and he wanted a tougher approach, a state of emergency with curfews and access controlled roads.

Farm Manager Attacked, Thrown In Fire In Alleged Land Claims Dispute

The manager of a farm owned by the Mathulini Communal Property Association in Mtwalume, KwaZulu-Natal has been hospitalised after he was attacked and thrown into a fire on Saturday evening. IFP MP Inkosi Bhekizizwe Luthuli in a statement on Sunday said the “perpetrators of this violent and unlawful act invaded the farm, set it alight and threw him into a fire with the intention of killing him”. A case of assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm has been registered and is currently under investigation.

Department Of Transport Urges Motorists Not To Panic Over E-Tolls Future

Amid a public fallout over the future of e-tolls, the Transport Department has urged motorists not to panic. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Gauteng Premier David Makhura got into a heated debate on social media a few days ago, forcing the president to intervene. Mboweni is adamant that motorists must pay for the controversial system, while Makhura is not backing down and wants e-tolls to be scrapped.

200-400 Liters Of Oil Spilt Into Algoa Bay

The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries said authorities were monitoring an oil spill in Algoa Bay in the Eastern Cape. The incident took place in the wee hours of Sunday morning during offshore bunkering operations in Anchorage 1 of the Port of Nqura. Approximately 200 to 400 litres of fuel from the receiving vessel MV Chrysanthi S, flag state Liberia, was spilt into the sea as a result of overflow during the fuel transfer.

Mkhwebane Finds Tender Corruption At Lesedi Municipality

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has made adverse findings of the manipulation of processes and tender fraud as well as the violation of the Constitution against the Lesedi Municipality in Sedibeng. The findings were against the appointment of the manager of special programmes Melekola Melato, also known as MaDlamini. The public protector has also revealed how the law was not followed when the municipality awarded two tenders amounting to just below R500,000.

Gupta Waterkloof Scandal: Bruce Koloane Denies Giving Permission For Landing

Former head of state protocol Bruce Koloane has rejected an allegation that he instructed that an aircraft chartered by the Gupta family be permitted to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base. Koloane made the submission at the state capture commission of inquiry on Monday, which heard evidence related to the controversial 2013 landing for a private wedding party. He pleaded guilty to three charges related to the incident and was issued with a final written warning before being appointed as South Africa’s ambassador to the Netherlands.

Gupta Waterkloof Damaged Air Force And Sa’s Reputation – Msimang

The chief of the South African Air Force Fabián Msimang said that the 2013 landing of a Gupta chartered flight at Waterkloof dealt a heavy blow to the image of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). Msimang told the Zondo commission of inquiry that the incident was a breach of national security and should never have happened.

Steinhoff CFO Philip Dieperink To Step Down, Theodore de Klerk To Take Over

Steinhoff International has announced the resignation of its chief financial officer Philip Dieperink.  According to a media statement released on Monday, Dieperink would step down after the embattled retailer’s annual general meeting at the end of August. He would be replaced by Theodore de Klerk who was the group’s operations director. Steinhoff’s share price plunged in December 2017 following an accounting scandal involving several senior executives fingered in wrongdoing.

UKZN Confirms Gordhan Did Complete Pharmacy Degree In 1973

Speculation over an old tweet that has resurfaced questioning the tertiary qualifications of Public Minister Pravin Gordhan has been put to bed. Gordhan’s qualifications came into question at the time after a claim was made that then-finance minister Des van Rooyen, who only lasted a few days on the job, was the most qualified of the finance ministers former president Jacob Zuma had appointed during his term. According to available information, Gordhan graduated in 1973 from the then-University of Durban-Westville (UDW) with a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree.

CT’s By-Law On Fines For Homeless Violates Rights, Says SAHRC

South African Human Rights Commission officials will this week meet with Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato over a policy on homeless people. The commission received hundreds of complaints from people living on the streets regarding their treatment at the hands of municipal officials. Last week, the City of Cape Town was criticised for fining homeless people in the city. The municipality issued 199 fines over a period of six months to homeless people and has denied harassing those living on the streets.

Katlehong Community Denies Burning School During Protest

The community of Katlehong has on Monday denied claims that they set a primary school on fire during a protest. Sections of Katlehong Primary School were set alight last week during allegedly during a protest over lack of electricity. In a statement from the Gauteng Education Department, the department said it accepted the community’s position that it did not mobilise for the burning of the school.

What To Look Out For

Globetrotting Soweto Based String Ensemble Buskaid Perform In Joburg

Buskaid, which is based in Diepkloof, Soweto has now entered its 22nd year. In that time, the Buskaid Ensemble has travelled the world 26 times to huge international acclaim. It’s the only South African orchestra to have played at the BBC Proms and was subsequently named as one of the world’s 10 most inspirational orchestras by the UK’s Gramophone Magazine.   Now Gauteng audiences have the chance to hear and see this remarkable group of highly talented young musicians, many of whom battle with difficult circumstances in their everyday lives. Buskaid will perform at the Linder Auditorium on Sunday July 21st at 15:00h

Gordhan To Announce Action Plan On Mkhwebane’s Latest Findings

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is expected to announce his action plan this week as he prepares to challenge Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on the so-called South African Revenue Service (Sars)’s rogue unit. On Friday, Mkhwebane found that Gordhan violated the Constitution when he approved the establishment of the unit, also called the high-risk investigation unit. She said that only the president has the constitutional mandate to form a covert unit that investigates high profile individuals and politicians’ tax affairs.

SABC ‘Continues’ Engagements With Ndabeni-Abrahams For Bailout

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Monday said despite Treasury declining its funding request, it was continuing engagements with the Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. The public broadcaster has been in a financial crisis for years now with concerns raised about its continued ability to make payments to workers and service providers.