Weekly News Brief

Weekly News Brief
East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa - credits: flickr.com

This week marked the 7th anniversary of the Marikana massacre. Thousands of people gathered at the koppie in Marikana on Friday to remember those who were killed during a wage strike seven years ago. The event was organised by mining union Amcu. At least 34 miners were gunned down by police on 16 August 2012. There have been growing calls for the affected families to be compensated and for action to be taken against those responsible for the massacre.

It is also the week in which a Cape Town organisation has collected more than 60,000 signatures, calling for bail to be denied in the Meghan Cremer murder case. Jeremy Sias, Charles Daniels and Shiraaz Jaftha appeared in the Athlone Magistrates Court on Thursday. Police arrested the trio shortly after the Cramer’s body was found. Scores of protesters, dressed in black, gathered outside the court where Sias and Daniels abandoned their bail applications. Jaftha opted to proceed with his application for bail, which is set to be heard on 11 September.

Lawyers for Old Mutual submitted to the Johannesburg High Court on Friday that there was a clear breakdown of trust in the relationship between Peter Moyo and the board. Old Mutual has taken the CEO to court for clarity on whether a ruling by the same court in July directed the company to allow him to return to work. Moyo arrived at the insurance giant’s Sandton offices after the court ruled that his dismissal was unlawful.

The Western Cape High Court has denied convicted killer Jason Rohde’s leave to appeal his bail dismissal. Rohde’s legal team had approached the court earlier on Friday to overturn Thursday’s judgment. The court on Thursday denied him bail which he was hoping to get pending a Supreme Court Appeal (SCA) application to have his conviction and sentence overturned.

Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba has temporarily sealed the Public Protector’s records related to her investigation of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s African National Congress (ANC) election funding as requested by the president. On Wednesday, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane filed the record with the High Court in Pretoria as part of the president’s application to review and set aside the report and its findings. President Ramaphosa has, however, asked the records not to be available to the public while his legal team establishes whether some of the confidential records, such as bank statements, were obtained lawfully.

The High Court in Pretoria has found Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has shown total disregard for the taxpayer which is among the reasons the court ordered personal costs against her. Judge Ronel Tolmay has ordered the Public Protector personally to pay 7.5% of the legal costs for the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac). The two parties successfully applied to the court to have Mkhwebane’s report on the Vrede dairy farm project to be reviewed and set aside.

Zandile Gumede was been removed as eThekwini mayor. 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.

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.

OTHER THINGS WE LIKED

A Vanderbijlpark mother wants justice after she and her four-month-old baby were threatened and pepper-sprayed by a woman, who allegedly also called her a baboon. Itumeleng Tsoeu, aged 30, has since given a statement to police officers who are trying to track down the woman after the incident, which took place on Monday at the Vaal Mall. Tsoeu told Eyewitness News how she was screamed at over a parking spot as she sat in her car, breastfeeding her son.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said that his department would put more emphasis on railway safety to reduce the increased number of train accidents and ensure that train operations were efficient. The minister said this during his site inspection visit on Thursday alongside the department’s agency, the Railway Safety Regulator. The visit had been aimed at assessing the condition of rolling stock and to ensure that rail operators adhered to the standards and procedures amongst others.

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Inquiry said its team would continue with investigations and if need be, allow for further public hearings. The inquiry into alleged impropriety at the Public Investment Corporation held its last sitting on Wednesday after seven months of testimony. The commission heard from 77 witnesses.

The Board of Healthcare Funders has come out in support of the new National Health Insurance Bill. The Health Minister sent the Bill to parliament this month. It seeks to equalise the levels of care that South Africans can access whether they are well off or poor. The ANC’s parliamentary caucus is also backing the Bill, saying it’s the first step to free, comprehensive and quality

South Africa on Thursday announced visa waivers for four countries in a bid to boost tourism amid an economic crisis and falling visitor numbers. Visitors from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand will no longer require a visa to visit for holiday, conferencing and business purposes, Home Affairs Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said.

Zephany Nurse has won the right to reclaim the name her kidnappers gave her. She’s the young woman who was snatched shortly after her birth in 1997 and raised as her kidnapper’s own child. When she hit high school she made a friend who bore an uncanny resemblance to her and it turned out was her biological sister. She was reunited with her birth family just before her 18th birthday and all records of the ensuing case were sealed because she was a minor.

ICYMI

Sue Williamson: ‘That Particular Morning’

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

August 31 @ 08:00 – 17:00