Weekly News Brief

Weekly News Brief
photo by MyRoof

HEADLINE NEWS THIS WEEK

Finally this week, President Cyril Ramphosa this week announced his cabinet, which was met with support from various quarters. He retained two ministers, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni at Finance, and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan,  The move  was seen as key to  rooting out the rot at state-owned enterprises and overhauling Eskom.  Delay in announcing the lineup was caused in part by the delayed swearing in of ANC deputy president David Mabuza.  Mabuza had postponed his swearing in saying he wanted to first clear his name after the party’s integrity commission recommended that he and other ANC members be removed from the party’s candidate list to Parliament over various offences.

Pravin Gordhan however is facing troubles with allegations made against him by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane stating that Gordhan violated the constitution by by approving former South African Revenue Service deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay’s early retirement. Gordhan has argued under oath that the Public Protector’s timing of the release of the report was politically motivated.

The ongoing Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture  this week saw the chairperson deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo asking the national police commissioner to clarify why nothing was done  when whistleblowers opened a case about the fraudulent payment of R647 million to a fake supplier in 2017.  The state capture commission of inquiry also heard how a locomotive manufacturer submitted a cost proposal of more than R600 million, but Transnet bosses accepted it on face value without interrogating how the sum was reached.

This week also saw Eskom’s CEO Phakamani Hadebe announce his resignation. Hadebe said his resignation was due to health reasons. He said that the role came with unimaginable demands and he decided it was in the best interests of the company and his family to resign. Eskom is set to deliver its report for the past financial year to the board on Tuesday and is expected to announce a loss of over R20 billion.

The EFF was put on its defence when an investigation by Scorpio  revealed that money stolen from VBS Mutual Bank funded the party’s fourth birthday bash in Umlazi, Durban, in July 2017. The party also lost a case launched by Former finance minister Trevor Manuel on Thursday.

The High Court in Johannesburg ordered the EFF to pay the former government minister R500,000 and apologise for defamatory and false statements the party had made against him. The EFF is said to be getting ready to appeal the ruling but Manuel’s lawyer Dario Milo said the its chance of success in this case was dismal.

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OTHER THINGS WE LIKED

South African mountain climber Saray Khumalo landed at OR Tambo International Airport after her historic climb of Mount Everest.on Monday morning to a hero’s welcome. Addressing the crowd of supporters and well wishers, Saray said she hoped she could inspire African children to reach their own personal summit and conquer their own challenges. “It’s just realising that anything is possible and that finally it’s been done; and that a child that’s sitting somewhere, maybe in the dark, can have hope to actually conquer their own Everest,” she said.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said it had received support from former directors at Bosasa who were willing to testify against Angelo Agrizzi in his crimen injuria case. In a recording submitted as evidence at the state capture inquiry earlier this year, the former executive could be heard using the k-word in reference to black Bosasa directors. The SAHRC has accused Agrizzi of hate speech and racism. He appeared in the Equality Court sitting in the Randburg Magistrates Court earlier on Wednesday.

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ICYMI

Ben Harper Announces Tour To South Africa

June 1 @ 08:00 – June 6 @ 17:00

Grammy-Award winning, multi-platinum-selling artists BEN HARPER is coming to South Africa in June 2019.Ben Harper will headline at the Zakifo Music Festival on 1 June at the Durban Botanic Gardens before heading to Cape Town on 4 June at GrandWest. He will wrap up his South African tour in Pretoria on 6 June at Sun Arena Time Square.