Daily News Brief

Daily News Brief

DA Eastern Cape To Lay Criminal Charges Against Amathole Municipality Officials

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape has laid a criminal complaint of fraud against the Amathole District Municipality, its former municipal manager Chris Magwangqana and the Siyenza Group. Mkhwebane’s report had found that Magwangqana failed to fulfil his fiduciary duties as the accounting officer and as a result, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in excess of R103 million was incurred.

SIU Sits With R500m Debt Due To Government Entities Not Paying Up

The head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) said it was saddled with almost R500 million in debt because government departments and entities weren’t paying up for work done. Advocate Andy Mothibi has told Parliament’s justice committee the outstanding debt could pose a risk to the unit’s functioning if it was not addressed soon. Despite efforts to recoup the money, the debt has ballooned, with the SIU saying this made it impossible for some critical investigators’ posts to be filled.

Dan Matjila Never Received VBS Loan, Lawyer Tells PIC Inquiry

Lawyers representing former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) CEO Dan Matjila said that he has never received a loan from VBS Mutual Bank. Matjila was back on the stand at the commission of inquiry into alleged impropriety at the PIC. On Monday, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa tweeted that he had been made aware of a Nexus Forensic Services report detailing how Matjila received a loan of R2.5 million from the bank.

Koloane: I Used Zuma’s Name To Help Approve Gupta Waterkloof Landing

Former head of state protocol Bruce Koloane has admitted to using former President Jacob Zuma’s name to put pressure on Department of Defence officials to authorise the Guptas landing a privately chartered jet at Waterkloof Air Force Base. Koloane admitted to so-called name-dropping at the state capture commission of inquiry on Tuesday but he denied ever being in communication with Zuma or the other politicians whose names he used. On Monday, he could not remember the conversation he had with the Defence official but was presented with audio recordings of the phone calls, which refreshed his memory.

Aircraft Assembled, Flown By SA Teenagers Lands Safely In Egypt

The first aircraft assembled, and flown, by South African teenagers arrived safely in Cairo, Egypt, on Monday, after it jetted off from Cape Town last month. The aircraft was assembled by a group of 20 students from vastly different backgrounds. According to the BBC, the four-seater Sling 4 plane landed in Namibia, Malawi, Ethiopia, Zanzibar, Tanzania and Uganda during the 12 000km trip to Egypt.

4 Year Old PE Girl Hospitalized After Being Caught In Gang Crossfire

In Port Elizabeth, a four-year-old girl is in hospital after being hit in the back when rival gangs opened fire on each other on Sunday. The police’s Priscilla Naidu said the shooting erupted as children were playing in a street.

Philippi East Residents Demand Action From Cele After 11 People Killed

Philippi East residents are again demanding action from authorities and not just promises that crime will be tackled. Police Minister Bheki Cele addressed residents on Monday following a weekend in which at least 11 people were shot dead. There were seven murders in Delft and two in Hanover Park since last Friday.

Safety MEC Albert Fritz: Western Cape Murder Rate Paints Picture Of All-Out War

“It’s all-out war.” This is how Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz is describing the province’s high murder rate, aggravated by almost daily gang gun battles. Fritz has reiterated the Western Cape needs to be given control of the police in the province, a promise which featured prominently on the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s election manifesto. Added to this are repeated calls for the army to be sent into communities worst affected by gangsterism.

Two Metrorail Carriages Go Up In Flames Near Blackheath

Two train carriages have been destroyed in a fire near Blackheath. The blaze broke out on a motor coach on Monday night between Melton Rose and Blackheath stations. Metrorail said two commuters were slightly injured while escaping the flames. This year, so far, a number of trains have gone up in flames in the city.

Transport Minister Mbalula: Economic Burden E-Tolls Carry Can’t Be Ignored

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said that although government acknowledged the overwhelming opposition to e-tolls in Gauteng, the economic burden they carry cannot be ignored. The minister was part of a presidential task team formed to find a solution to the debacle, which has seen outright public defiance of the e-tolling system. A few days ago, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Gauteng Premier David Makhura clashed on social media over e-tolls, with the president calling the incident regrettable.

What To Look Out For

SABC Confident Turnaround Strategy Will Save Broadcaster

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) said it was confident that its turnaround strategy would save the organisation. This comes after Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams cast doubt on the strategy when she appeared before the parliamentary portfolio committee responsible for her department. The strategy is one of the factors which were considered by the National Treasury when deciding on funding options for the public broadcaster.

ANC To Decide Fate Of Corruption Accused Ethekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede

As eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede prepares to return to work on Wednesday, the African National Congress (ANC) said it is yet to decide whether she must actually resume her duties. The party forced Gumede to take 30 days leave after she was charged with fraud and corruption related to the awarding of a tender worth over R200 million. She has since been released on R50,000 bail.