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Edwin Cameron
ConCourt to hold special sitting in honour of Justice Cameron
20 August 2019, 5:47 AM

The Constitutional Court will on Tuesday hold a special sitting in honour of Justice Edwin Cameron who will step down from the apex court, 25 years after his appointment as a judge.

Cameron began serving the Constitutional Court in January 2009. For decades, he has been championing the rights of gay and lesbian people as well as fighting denialism and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS.

Cameron, who is openly gay, was one of the first public figures to disclose his HIV status. Advocate Jeremy Gauntlett, one of his friends, says:.

“He has left behind this enormous body of work, something like 400 judgments overall in which he has participated. Someone like Judge Cameron has been an exceptional legal scholar, an accomplished legal writer and a judge.”

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Zandile Gumede
Thousands of ANC KZN members support Gumede recall
18 August 2019, 8:04 PM

Thousands of African National Congress (ANC) members, who claim to represent the 110 ANC branches in the eThekwini region, have come out in support of the provincial leadership’s decision to recall eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede.

Gumede was recalled along with Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo and other members of the executive in the two municipalities.

Tension within the ANC in eThekwini has been brewing for months.

They stem from a decision to first place Gumede on special leave which was later extended and then her recent recall.

This flows from her being charged with corruption and fraud, relating to an alleged irregular R208 million tender.

She’s out on R50 000 bail and is due back in court in January next year.

The Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) said its decision to recall the office bearers was based on an assessment of the performance of the municipalities.

Sunday’s gathering comes after Gumede’s supporters disrupted a meeting on Friday where provincial leaders were meant to explain Gumede’s recall.

The ANC leadership this week is expected to announce who will fill the positions of mayor and the other executive committee members in the two municipalities.

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JMPD to investigate cause of N1 crash
18 August 2019, 7:30 PM

Johannesburg Metro Police (JMPD) say an investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash that claimed ten lives on the N1 South near Midrand.

It is believed the driver of a speeding minibus taxi lost control of the vehicle and it hit the concrete barrier.

One passenger was ejected from the taxi and landed in the opposite north bound lane. The freeway has been re-opened in both directions.

JMPD spokesperson, Xolani Fihla says: “Our accident unit from the JMPD has collected evidence and a case would be opened for culpable homicide and negligent and reckless driving and we would just find out what exactly happened to lead to this accident. I should think if the driver was driving at a safe speed even though he was at fault the accident could have been avoided.”

Boris Johnson
UK faces food, fuel and drug shortages, says contested leaked document
18 August 2019, 6:47 PM

Britain will face shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it leaves the European Union without a transition deal, according to leaked official documents reported by the Sunday Times whose interpretation was immediately contested by ministers.

Setting out a vision of jammed ports, public protests and widespread disruption, the paper said the forecasts compiled by the Cabinet Office set out the most likely aftershocks of an o-deal Brexit rather than the worst-case scenarios.

But Michael Gove, the minister in charge of coordinating “no-deal” preparations, challenged that interpretation, saying the documents did set out a worst-case scenario and that planning had been accelerated in the last three weeks.

The Times said up to 85% of lorries using the main Channel crossings may not be ready for French customs, meaning disruption at ports would potentially last up to three months before the flow of traffic improved.

The government also believes a hard border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, an EU member, will be likely as plans to avoid widespread checks will prove unsustainable, the Times said.

“Compiled this month by the Cabinet Office under the codename Operation Yellow hammer, the dossier offers a rare glimpse into the covert planning being carried out by the government to avert a catastrophic collapse in the nation’s infrastructure,” the Times reported.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said it did not comment on leaked documents. But Gove said it was an old document that did not reflect current preparedness.

“It is the case, as everyone knows, that if we do have a no-deal exit there will inevitably be some disruption, some bumps in the road. That’s why we want a deal,” Gove told reporters.

“But it is also the case that the UK government is far more prepared now than it was in the past, and it’s also important for people to recognise that what’s being described in these documents… is emphatically a worst-case scenario,” Gove added.

A government source blamed the leak on an unnamed former minister who wanted to influence negotiations with the EU.

“This document is from when ministers were blocking what needed to be done to get ready to leave and the funds were not available,” said the source, who declined to be named.

“It has been deliberately leaked by a former minister in an attempt to influence discussions with EU leaders.”

NO TURNING BACK

The United Kingdom is heading towards a constitutional crisis and a showdown with the EU as Johnson has repeatedly vowed to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 without a deal unless it agrees to renegotiate the Brexit divorce.

Yet after more than three years of Brexit dominating EU affairs, the bloc has repeatedly refused to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement. Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said on Twitter he had signed a piece of legislation which set in stone the repeal of the 1972 European Communities act – the laws which made Britain a member of the organisation now known as the EU.

Though his move was largely procedural, in line with previously approved laws, Barclay said in a statement: “This is a clear signal to the people of this country that there is no turning back (from Brexit).”

A group of more than 100 lawmakers wrote to Johnson calling for an emergency recall of parliament to discuss the situation. “We face a national emergency, and parliament must now be recalled in August and sit permanently until October 31 so that the voices of the people can be heard, and that there can be proper scrutiny of your government,” the letter said.

Johnson will this week tell French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Westminster parliament cannot stop Brexit and a new deal must be agreed if Britain is to avoid leaving the EU without one. Merkel said during a panel discussion at the Chancellery: “We are prepared for any outcome, we can say that, even if we do not get an agreement. But at all events I will make an effort to find solutions – up until the last day of negotiations.”

Johnson is coming under pressure from politicians across the political spectrum to prevent a disorderly departure, with opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn vowing to bring down Johnson’s government to delay Brexit.

It is, however, unclear if lawmakers have the unity or power to use the British parliament to prevent a no-deal departure, likely to be the UK’s most significant foreign policy move since World War Two.

EFF confirms MP received money from President Ramaphosa
18 August 2019, 5:25 PM

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has confirmed that one of its MPs received funds from President Cyril Ramaphosa that was allegedly taken out of the account that managed the funds for his African National Congress (ANC) presidential campaign in 2017.

MP Tebogo Mokwele has confirmed that she received R40 000 from Ramaphosa allegedly through his CR17 account.

The EFF says Mokwele told the party leadership about the money and that it related to a personal problem.

The EFF claims the admission confirms that the President was directly involved in the CR17 account.

Party spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says the money was given as a form of condolence over the deaths of two of Mokwele’s family members in April this year.

“The aunt of Mokwele and her husband were shot dead in a situation that was believed to be a robbery and President Ramaphosa gave her the R40 000 as a condolence. This comes to us as a confirmation that Ramaphosa had a direct knowledge because the money came from a CR17 account, this is two years or so later the money came in on a situation that happened this year and Ramaphosa has been saying the money of his campaign he didn’t know anything about this. But this is evidence that he was very aware and he could even give instruction for money to be delivered from those accounts.”

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