Weekly News Brief

Weekly News Brief

HEADLINE NEWS THIS WEEK

First Sitting Of New Parliament Set For 22 May

Parliament said that the first sitting of the National Assembly, when MPs will be sworn in and the president will be elected, is provisionally set down for Wednesday, 22 May. This will mark the start of the country’s sixth democratic Parliament.

KZN Floods Declared a Provincial Disaster

The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department confirmed that the deadly KwaZulu-Natal floods have officially been declared a provincial disaster. At least 70 people were killed when torrential rains battered the province during the Easter weekend leaving hundreds more destitute.

SA Institute Of Chartered Accountants To Independently Observe Elections

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has been accredited by the Independent Electoral Commission to independently observe the elections next week. This is the second time the accounting body is carrying out this task after the 2016 local government elections.

SAHRC Calls For Public Hearings Into State Of Alexandra

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has called for a public meeting with Alexandra residents after assessing the dire conditions in which they live. The commission was conducting a joint site inspection with the office of the Public Protector on Friday following last month’s protests.

Modernised Home Affairs Office Launched In Stellenbosch

A modernised Home Affairs office was on Thursday launched in Stellenbosch. With its new state-of-the-art infrastructure, this is a move from the traditional manual system to a paperless system. Home Affairs Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan explained how the new system was faster and more efficient.

Caster Semenya Loses Court Challenge Against IAAF Testosterone Rules

The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Wednesday rejected Caster Semenya’s challenge against IAAF rules forcing her to lower her testosterone levels to compete with women, even as judges labelled the regulations “discriminatory.” The IAAF says the rules are essential to preserve a level playing field and ensure that all female athletes can see “a path to success.”

Booysen Tells Zondo Inquiry He Was Targeted For Fighting Corruption

Former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen believes he was persecuted because he fought against corruption. On Thursday, Booysen testified at the state capture commission, where he detailed how former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) official Nomgcobo Jiba’s racketeering authorisation was reviewed and set aside. Booysen was leading several high-profile investigations.

Zondo Wants Clarity On Status Of SAPS Officers Implicated By Booysen

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has asked police management to report back to the state capture commission on the status of the South African Police Service (SAPS) staff whom have been implicated by former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen.  Zondo raised concerns following the testimony.

Polls Haven’t Been Free and Fair, Says Group Fighting For Independent Candidates

The Counsel for Groups and Individuals which applied to the Constitutional Court to have next week’s elections put on hold over the exclusion of independent candidates on the ballot said that the country’s elections have not been free and fair since the adoption of the proportional representation system. The application was postponed to 15 August, while its urgency was dismissed.

Cele: KwaZulu-Natal, North West High-Risk Areas For Election Disruptions

Police Minister Bheki Cele said that KwaZulu-Natal and the North West province have been identified as high-risk areas for this year’s elections. High-risk areas are prone to violent protests which may disrupt the casting of votes in the affected locations.

No Water, No Vote: Water Struggle For DBN Residents Ahead Of Ramaphosa Address

Supporters dressed in Cosatu regalia have started filling the Sugar Ray Xuma Stadium in Durban ahead of commemorations to mark May Day. But motorists going to the stadium in the heart of Clermont cannot ignore scores of residents who are carrying water buckets after a two-week shutdown.

ANC Will Not Protect Criminals

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has reiterated that those who have looted from the state and used their positions for their own personal gain will be dealt with decisively. Several high-ranking politicians and government officials have been implicated in serious allegations of corruption at the state capture inquiry. He said the ANC will not protect criminals.

Ramaphosa: If You Don’t Vote, You’re Punishing Yourself

President Cyril Ramaphosa said that those who abstain from voting on 8 May would punish themselves, not government. Ramaphosa made the comments during a visit to the town of Mqanduli in the Eastern Cape. He told residents they should vote for the ANC if they want to see changes.

Demerit System Coming, Nzimande Warns Motorists

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande wants to get high-tech when it comes to road safety. He said his department would find innovative methods to help police the roads and that this would include an evidentiary breathalyser. Nzimande said the new evidentiary breathalyser alcohol testing system would help authorities clampdown on drunk driving.

AfriForum Has Double Standards On Old SA Flag, Mandela Foundation Tells Court

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is arguing that AfriForum has double standards when it comes to the display of the apartheid-era flag. The foundation has turned to the Equality Court wanting the flag banned and declared hate speech. Lobby group AfriForum is opposed to it.

Third Murder Charge For Euthanasia Advocate Sean Davison

Euthanasia advocate Sean Davison now faces a third murder charge. Davison appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Monday where the State revealed it was adding another count of premeditated murder to the charge sheet.  Davison made a brief court appearance where he learned that he is now facing a third murder charge.

KZN Government Not Coping With Impact Of Flood Damage

The KZN government said that it was unable to cope with the impact of the damage caused by deadly floods in the province on Easter weekend. KwaZulu-Natal has approached national government requesting that it declares the situation in the province a national disaster. Schools, hospitals, police stations are among the many places that were destroyed in the floods, with the government saying the damage amounts to R1.1 billion.

Pathologist Testifies On Jeremiah Ruiters’ Injuries

A pathologist has continued to testify against a Kensington woman and her boyfriend on trial for the neglect, rape and murder of her 18-month-old son Jeremiah Ruiters. Jeremiah Ruiters was apparently beaten to death in June 2017.  Pathologist Marna Du Plessis testified about bleeding in parts of the toddler’s brain and spinal cord, caused by blunt force trauma.

Another Child Wounded In Gang Shooting

Yet another child has been wounded in a suspected gang shooting, this time in Worcester. It’s believed the six-year-old girl was sitting at the back of a bakkie driving in the Avian Park area when she was caught in the crossfire.

Shiraaz Mohamed’s Family Hopeful Of Safe Return From Captivity

The family of abducted South African photojournalist Shiraaz Mohamed say they are hopeful of his safe release. Mohamed was captured two years ago in Syria while travelling with humanitarian organisation Gift of the Givers on a relief mission. Journalist Shirley Brijial, his former wife, said the family will do everything they can to get him home alive.

Court Reduces Sentence Of Plettenberg Bay Paedophile William Beale

A 15-year sentence handed to Plettenberg Bay paedophile William Beale has been set aside in the Western Cape High Court. Beale had brought an appeal challenging the punishment slapped on him by the Thembalethu Regional Court in George in November 2017.  Beale’s sentence has been reduced to 10 years.

OTHER THINGS WE LIKED

South Africans Voting Abroad:‘Smooth Sailing’ With Flags, Bok Jerseys And High Spirits

Thousands of South Africans living abroad cast their ballots this past weekend. The Independent Electoral Commission said that thousands made their mark. Several South Africans abroad told Eyewitness News on Sunday that the voting process was “smooth sailing”.  Back home, South Africans will head to the polls on 8 May.

KZN Government Sets Up Dedicated Help Desk To Assist Flood Victims

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu said that the government has set up a dedicated help desk to assist the bereaved families of the Easter weekend floods. The disaster claimed the lives of at least 70 people and left hundreds displaced in Durban and its surrounds. The province has declared a day of prayer and mourning on Thursday for those who lost their lives.

Bo-Kaap Becomes A National Heritage

The Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association says it knows that the hard work is not over yet after the Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa on Tuesday night declared that 19 areas in Bo-Kaap have been declared heritage sites. The process has entered phase one and the sites have been gazetted.

Easter Road Deaths Drop By 48%

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has announced 162 people died on South Africa’s roads during the Easter period. It was a 48% reduction compared to last year when 309 people were killed over the same long weekend. The department’s preliminary report covered the period between 18 and 22 April.

Maimane: Black, White, Indian And Coloured Can Work Together

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane told voters to choose a party that shows how South Africans, regardless of colour or creed, can work together for a better country. He wrapped up the party’s last major rally in the Western Cape on Wednesday.  Mmusi Maimane said that he was proud to be in the DA.

Election Contest Not About Filling Seats In Parliament – ACDP

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) has formed a human chain in Johannesburg as part of its election campaign ahead of a May Day rally on Wednesday. Party president Kenneth Meshoe said they were not just contesting elections simply to fill seats in Parliament.

Political Leaders in Big Push To Gain Support Ahead Of Polls

Political parties are going all out on Workers’ Day in an attempt to consolidate support ahead of the 8 May elections. President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the Cosatu national events in Durban while IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi will be in the same province. DA leader Mmusi Maimane will be in Cape Town and EFF leader Julius Malema will be in Alexandra.

SA’s Failing Health System In Spotlight Ahead Of Vote

Six psychiatric patients are tied to their beds in two tiny, dimly lit cubicles in the emergency ward of South Africa’s biggest hospital, where the country’s dire healthcare crisis is starkly evident. The scenes at the vast Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, in the township of Soweto outside Johannesburg, provoke little visible reaction from hurried staff or from other patients.

Old SA Flag a Symbol Of Black Oppression

The Nelson Mandela Foundation said that publicly displaying the apartheid flag represented decades of the dehumanisation of black people. Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, who represents the foundation, said that the flag was a symbol of white supremacy and a reminder of the oppression of black people.

Stellenbosch University ‘Deeply Regrets’ Controversial Study On Coloured Women

The Stellenbosch University said that the coloured community was right to feel that their dignity was compromised by a controversial study. The university’s deputy vice-chancellor Eugene Cloete said that the institution regretted the study. The university has launched an investigation into the study which was published by an international journal.

MultiChoice Group Bans Steve Hofmeyr

MultiChoice is done with Steve Hofmeyr. The pay-TV company will now actively avoid airing any content in which he might appear in future, including the broadcast of any library material that features him. “MultiChoice is proud of its support for Afrikaans, not only our investment in content for our DStv platforms but also our sponsorships of festivals, events and the broader Afrikaans performing arts sector.”

Mxolisi Zondo Slams Impropriety Allegations As ‘Utter Nonsense’

Advocate Mxolisi Zondo – who has been accused of impropriety at the state capture commission of inquiry – regards the allegations against him as utter nonsense, purely conjecture and without supporting facts and evidence. Zondo adds that he will not apply to cross-examine witnesses because he considers such a “fool’s errand”.

ICYMI

Africa Health Exhibition & Congress 2019

May 28 @ 08:00 – May 30 @ 17:00, Gallaher Estate, Gauteng

Save the date to attend Africa’s largest healthcare exhibition, Africa Health. A leading platform for international healthcare professionals and medical experts to collaborate and share insights for the ever-growing African healthcare market.