Daily News Brief

Daily News Brief
East-London-Eastern-Cape - credits: showme.co.za

SAA Cancels Flights To Hong Kong For Second Day

South African Airways (SAA) has once again cancelled all flights between Johannesburg and Hong Kong on Tuesday. This came as Hong Kong’s international airport cancelled all its flights for the second day due to protests. SAA first cancelled its flights on Monday as tensions swelled between protestors and police officials in the Chinese-led territory.

Zandile Gumede Removed As eThekwini Mayor

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has confirmed that Zandile Gumede has been removed as eThekwini mayor and would be redeployed. Gumede has been on extended special leave since her arrest in May on fraud and corruption charges related to a R208 million waste collection tender in 2016. The mayor’s bail conditions, which included her being barred from interacting with some municipal officials, were relaxed at her court appearance last week. Gumede’s case was postponed to January next year.

Decision To Fire Zandile Gumede Nothing To Do With Court Case: KZN ANC

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) African National Congress (ANC) provincial secretary Mdumiseni Ntuli said the decision to fire eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede was unanimous. Gumede’s axing was confirmed during a briefing earlier on Tuesday. Ntuli said the final call to have her removed was made by provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala and went unopposed. Ntuli said the KZN ANC had lost confidence in all executive deployees led by Gumede at the Ethekwini Municipality.

NHI Bill Not Thought Through Properly: Doctor’s Forum

The South African Private Practitioners’ Forum (SAPPF) said the current National Health Insurance (NHI) model would cause irreparable harm to the country’s entire healthcare industry. Last week, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize released the NHI Bill that sets out to provide access to healthcare to all South Africans, regardless of their financial circumstances. Parliament’s health committee was expected to meet to discuss the bill, which would pave the way for an extensive public consultation process.

DA Vows To Fight Against NHI Bill At All Cost

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday questioned the constitutionality of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill which was before Parliament. This followed last week’s release of the NHI Bill by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. The bill, which sets out to provide universal healthcare to all South Africans regardless of their financial circumstances, will now be processed by Parliament before it becomes law. The battle for universal healthcare will continue in Parliament as the DA vowed to fight the NHI bill when it’s presented to the health portfolio committee.

Trade Union Solidarity Considers Private Prosecution Against Brian Molefe

Trade union Solidarity will on Tuesday announce further steps it intends taking against former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe. Last week, the Constitutional Court dismissed Molefe’s application for leave to appeal a High Court order related to his R11 million pension payout. The High Court in Pretoria ruled in January last year that Molefe was unlawfully granted the retirement package and that he pay back what had already been paid out.

Free State Government Paid Estina Dairy Project Before Any Work Was Done: State Capture Inquiry

The state capture inquiry has heard how the Free State government started paying the Estina dairy project large sums of money long before it could ever have done any work. Treasury’s former director-general in the province Anna Susanna Fourie was on the stand on Monday recalling the events surrounding the Estina scandal. The project was meant to help emerging farmers to grow their businesses but it became a vehicle to channel more than R200 million to companies with links to the Guptas.

Taxi Drivers Blockade Several Roads In Pretoria

Tshwane motorists and commuters on Tuesday morning had to contend with another blockade in the capital. Minibus taxis blocked off several roads in the Marabastad business area, but it was not clear why. The Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) were trying to remove the vehicles.

PIC Did Well During My Tenure, Matjila Wraps Up Inquiry Testimony

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) inquiry will now hear evidence from other witnesses after former CEO Dr Dan Matjila’s unexpected four-week stretch on the stand. Matjila wrapped up his testimony on Monday and addressed allegations of impropriety at the state-owned asset manager. The former PIC head was a central figure to the commission after having served as CEO for four years and overseeing some questionable deals. However, Matjila maintained that the R2 trillion government worker’s pension fund manager did exceptionally well during his tenure.

What To Look Out For

Parliament To Start Process Of Selecting New Deputy Public Protector

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will have a new deputy by the end of the year. Deputy Public Protector Kevin Malunga’s term of office comes to end on 9 December. Parliament will now have to begin the process of finding a new deputy Public Protector. Speaker Thandi Modise informed Parliament to start the process of finding his successor before recommending a suitable candidate to the president. Malunga hasn’t had an entirely smooth ride at the Chapter 9 institution.

Derek Hanekom’s Defamation Case Against Jacob Zuma To Be Heard Next Week

The defamation case brought by African National Congress (ANC) MP Derek Hanekom against former President Jacob Zuma is expected to be heard next week in the High Court in Durban. Hanekom, who’s also a member of the ANC’s national executive committee, is suing Zuma for R500,000. Hanekom now wants Zuma to compensate him. His is arguing that the accusations had caused immense harm and damage to his reputation. He also wanted an apology. The matter was set down for 21 August.

Jiba’s Application To Cross-Examine Agrizzi At State Capture Inquiry Postponed

Fired deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba’s application to cross-examine former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi at the state capture commission has been postponed indefinitely. Jiba wanted to clear her name after Agrizzi testified that the advocate and her former colleague Lawrence Mrwebi received bribes to help quash a criminal investigation into Bosasa. Agrizzi later pulled out of appearing before another inquiry which was investigating Jiba and Mrwebi’s fitness to hold office.

Solidarity, AfriForum Start Process To Hold Brian Molefe Criminally Responsible For Pension Payout

Trade union Solidarity has announced that with the help of AfriForum’s private prosecutions unit it had initiated the process to hold former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe criminally responsible for his unlawful pension payout. The move followed the decision by the Constitutional Court last month to dismiss Molefe’s application to appeal a High Court order, which found he had unlawfully enriched himself. Solidarity had also served a summons on Molefe to attach about R700,000 of his property to repay a costs order made against him.