Weekly News Brief

Weekly News Brief
View of Ladysmith - photo credit: Michael-Gundelfinger

Good Evening South Africa,

The Inspiration of Bob Collymore, City of Capetown Under Fire Over Its Homeless, The Future of eTolls, Malema Loses Bid To Declare The Riotous Assemblies Act unconstitutional and much more…

Something To Ponder

The Inspiration of Bob Collymore

The continent of Africa just lost a great man this week. Bob Collymore, CEO of Africa’s most successful venture, Safaricom. Safaricom is Kenya’s and Africa’s leading multinational communications company. Before joining Safaricom in 2010, Bob, as he was popularly known was Vodacom’s Chief Officer, Corporate Affairs, based here in South Africa. Before that, Bob was the Governance Director for Africa at Vodafone and Marketing Director Vodafone, in charge of the Asian market.

This man had a long and illustrious career, influenced and changed the course of history, not only for corporate but for individuals and as well as nations. During his memorial service on 4th July and in fact since news of his demise broke Monday morning; accolades have flown like a river from all corners of the world. The British citizen  of a poor background was born in Guyana and brought up by his grandmother in the absence of his single mother who was residing and working in the United Kingdom. From an early age, his grandmother instilled in him a very strong sense of discipline and commitment.

Many corporate leaders boast of university degrees and other qualifications from institutes of higher learning. In fact, there are few who have climbed the corporate ladder without those qualifications. But, not Bob Collymore. Though he rose to lead one of the largest corporations in Africa, Bob had no college education. He could not get a scholarship to see him through university and so he exit the formal education scene at the age of 16 where he was forced to look for employment to earn a living. Starting on the floor of departmental store in the UK, Bob cleaned the store floors and stacked shelves. He worked tills and worked himself up the corporate ladder to end up at the top.

What is so inspiring in this story is that like other focused and dedicated giants of our time, Bob Collymore proved to himself and the world that university education is not the epitome of success. It is not everything. Dedication, focus and hard work is. To the young and jobless college and university graduates, here is a good lesson. If the white-collar job is not forthcoming, do not lose hope. Take whatever is available and dedicate yourself to working hard. Focu on where you want to go and start wherever you are. Read widely. Education is not only found within the four walls of a classroom of lecture theatre. Bob Collymore had a passion for reading. Reading keeps one on the know as to the happenings and trends in the world. Self education is much more useful as you are not restricted to a few chosen topics by a lecturer.

To our youth, what to take from the life of this fallen giant –  believe in yourself and move towards your destiny. Bob Collymore died having achieved the highest that the world could offer. From the humble beginnings cleaning departmental store floors and stacking shelves, he exited the world as an CEO earning 10 million Kenya shillings – roughly R100,000 a month.  Not a bad record of achievement.

Bob Collymore, you were a legend, an inspiration. May your soul rest in peace.

– Lucy Thairu


As winter cold continues to bite, the City of Cape Town has been negatively portrayed in the news says it’s looking for enforcing existing bylaws and fining scores of homeless people. Though the city has maintained it is not being heartless, it insists it is just implementing bylaws that have been in place for long. Now, the city says it has a policy aimed at getting homeless people into shelters and then getting them reintegrated into society. The Safe Space concept is one of the interventions they believe is working.

The South African National Air Force was in the news this week after their Waterkloof Air Force Base is said to have been used for landing by a private chartered plane by the Gupta family in 2013.  On Thursday, head of the Air Force, Fabian Msimang testified at the state capture inquiry that the entity was safeguarding their system to prevent another incident of civilian aircraft landing at the base

Zukisa Faku has resigned as a Member of Parliament. She was found guilty of abusing an official credit card when she was the Buffalo City mayor. Faku’s resignation follows an ANC decision to withdraw her nomination as basic education portfolio committee chairperson.  The wife of ex-ANC chief whip Stone Sizani, was also found guilty of defrauding the department out of more than R1 million and was due to be sentenced by the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court this week.

This week, the Transport Department said that Minister Fikile Mbalula viewed the push-back against e-tolls as an urgent matter and the future of the system would be high on the agenda when he meets with Transport MECs on Friday afternoon. Mbalula met with roads agency Sanral in the Western Cape to explore various options and address concerns around e-tolling. During his State of the Province Address this week, Gauteng Premier David Makhura also promised residents that the system would be scrapped, even committing to paying some of the debt.

The search for a missing man which was reported at Parkview Police Station last month continues. Wayne Smith was last seen last month at his workplace in Rosebank. Gauteng police said they will now take over the case following concerns over a lack of progress because of insufficient resources at the local station. Police said that they were pursuing leads that suggested he could have been hijacked after his car and cell-phone were tracked to Tembisa.


There was a little sigh of relief for cash-strapped consumers with the price of fuel going down substantially at midnight. Petrol has dropped by 96 cents a litre while diesel now costs up to 75 cents less. Illuminating paraffin has also come down by 57 cents a litre. Economist Sanisha Packrisamy said that the latest fuel adjustments were welcome.

On Tuesday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) announced that it would not prosecute Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and former State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba after the pair laid counter-charges against each other. Letsatsi-Duba laid a complaint against Mkhwebane, accusing her of unlawfully being in possession of a classified document, while Mkhwebane herself alleged that the minister was interfering with her constitutional duties.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng said that it would go as far as the National Council of Provinces to oppose Premier David Makhura’s views that the province’s four academic hospitals should be the responsibility of national government. Makhura said in his State of the Province Address on Monday that his view is that Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital, Steve Biko Hospital and George Mukhari Hospital should be run by the national government.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has called for greater accountability and serious consequences against prisoners and officials who engage in illegal activity. Lamola said the number of irregular and unacceptable episodes of security breaches in prisons have attracted negative publicity for the department. The minister has now called for serious consequences for officials and inmates.

Eskom has said that it would now work towards a mutually beneficial solution regarding money still owed by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa). Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube had assured Eskom last Friday that a payment had been made. But Eskom then denied receiving any money. The power utility finally confirmed receiving payment from Zesa on Tuesday after a number of promises were made to pay about R140 million.

EFF leader Julius Malema’s application to declare the Riotous Assemblies Act unconstitutional was dismissed by the High Court in Pretoria. Malema challenged the constitutionality of the Act, saying the State was using apartheid-era legislation to prosecute him. The charges relate to two incidents back in 2014 and 2016 in which the EFF leader allegedly incited party members to invade unoccupied land. A case was brought against Malema by lobby group AfriForum. EFF has now said it would approach the Constitutional Court to challenge the constitutionality and validity of the Riotous Assemblies Act of 1956.


International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference 2019

July 23 @ 08:00 – July 24 @ 17:00

Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Ghanaian Navy, the inaugural International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference 2019 will feature the largest gathering of Africa’s maritime industry, as we host regional and international Chiefs of Naval Staff to celebrate this important milestone.