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D-Day for Makhura to reshuffle cabinet
10 October 2019, 9:08 PM

It is still not clear whether Gauteng Premier David Makhura will make this week’s deadline to reshuffle his cabinet.

Makhura is expected to drop a male member of the executive council – the MEC and replace it with a female in line with the ANC NEC’s resolution that where a premier is male, 60% of the executive must be women.

Makhura had a 50:50 gender parity.

ANC Gauteng Spokesperson, Bonisile Modise says it was never the intention of the province to defy the NEC instruction.

“We did not think that the issue should only be applying to Exco, where its MEC’s and so on and so forth. Hence there would’ve been 50/50, but moving forward, we’ll enter into that debate to say ‘when (should the) issue of 50/50 or 50% minimum apply?’ Because if you check in Gauteng, the Exco on itself it has 5 males and 5 females, excluding the Premier. And that to us, also means that we have satisfied the issue of minimum of 50%. But in this instance, we’ve learned that the specific is that the 60/40 should apply within Exco and not in terms of overall decision-making processes.”

‘There’s rampant corruption, nepotism in Limpopo municipality’
9 October 2019, 9:11 PM

ANC Secretary in Limpopo, Soviet Lekganyane, says there’s rampant corruption and nepotism in the Mogalakwena Municipality in Mokopane.

Lekganyane says that relatives of the councillors are mostly considered for employment. He also says that some ANC leaders have acceded to doing business with the municipality.

Lekganyane says government officials must swiftly deal with the problem. Government leaders will meet managers and  councillors of the municipality on Monday next week.

Lekganyane says, “We met with ANC leaders here. They’re doing business with that municipality. They have not denied it. There’re siblings of councillors who have been employed there. Nobody has denied that. It’s true it’s happening. So, those in government must go and confront those cases of malpractice and correct them.”

Lekganyane calls for calm amid threats on his life and family members. The threats started after Lekganyane presented a report about the problems in the Mogalakwena Municipality to the national leadership.

Lekganyane says police have interviewed him and have taken statements regarding the alleged threat.

“We must not be rattled by this until the police have conclusive evidence that there’s something that constitutes a threat on the lives of the family of the ANC Provincial Secretary. I’m with them here, giving them details of what we know or what we have heard. It’s only for the police to validate information and they can make a statement whether that information constitutes a threat or not.”

Meanwhile,  the ANC in Limpopo says the two senior officials allegedly implicated in the looting and collapse of the VBS Mutual Bank should clear their names in the court of law.

Treasurer Danny Msiza and Deputy Chairperson and former Vhembe District Executive Mayor, Florence Radzilani, were implicated by the Reserve Bank report.

Msiza and Radzilani have also stepped aside from ANC PEC activities following recommendations by the Integrity Commission.

Recently, some ANC branches have been calling for their re-instatement.

Lekganyane says that ANC branches should not be used for personal fights.

“The comrades should not expect that the solutions from their problems must come from the ANC. They can also take active steps and apply for that report to be set aside by a court of law. In fact, it is something that they could have done long ago. You see, when allegations are made against you, you can’t bury your head in the sand.”

Erasmus lays down the law as South Africa eye quarterfinals
6 October 2019, 3:23 PM

South Africa face one final hurdle in their bid for a Rugby World Cup quarter-final place but seem certain to brush aside the challenge of minnows Canada when the teams meet in a Pool B encounter at the Kobe Stadium on Tuesday.

The Springboks need a bonus-point win to make sure of their place in the knockout stages, though a victory of any kind would do the trick unless Italy produce the shock of the tournament and down New Zealand in their final pool match on Saturday.

Bok coach Rassie Erasmus, however, has warned that any players failing to produce the required intensity during the game against Canada will quickly find themselves on the sidelines.

Erasmus has continued his rotation policy and made 13 changes from the side that overwhelmed Italy 49-3 in Fukuroi City on Friday, though he has kept captain Siya Kolisi in the starting XV as the flanker continues his return to full match sharpness after a serious knee injury.

“He played a full 80 minutes (against Italy) and was wonderful. I think it was his best game since he has been back from injury,” Erasmus told reporters in Kobe on Sunday.

“The plan was always just to get him to the World Cup, to make sure the knee holds up.

“After that, we wanted to get him to play a full 80 minutes. He can do that now and his form is back to where it was, so to take him off the pitch would be like starting the process all over again. The more game-time he gets the better.”

Erasmus said he would demand the same commitment and intensity that his side showed against the Italians.

“The team’s make-up is a bit different but we expect the same intensity in all four of our next games (if they make the final). One thing that will be vital going into the knockout stages is intensity and big moments.

“If these players don’t step up then they will fail to stay in the team. They know that and it will be one of the challenges for them.”

New Zealand head Pool B with 14 points from three games, with South Africa and Italy both on 10. Canada and Namibia have yet to claim a point.

Damian Willemse will start at full-back after flying in as an injury replacement for Jesse Kriel, while Elton Jantjies gets another run at fly-half after his poor showing in the 57-3 win over Namibia.

Canada have made six changes from the side that lost 63-0 to New Zealand last time out, with an all-new front-row in props Hubert Buydens and Jake Ilnicki either side of hooker Andrew Quattrin, and the inclusion of lock Kyle Baillie, scrum-half Phil Mack and full-back Andrew Coe.

Wing DTH van der Merwe will make a Canadian record 15th World Cup appearance when he lines up against his native country.

Trump slams Romney as ‘pompous ass’ for critique of Ukraine call
5 October 2019, 8:20 PM

President Donald Trump on Saturday (October 5) called US Senator Mitt Romney a “pompous ass” after his sharp critique of the president’s push for other nations to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic political rival.

“Mitt Romney never knew how to win. He is a pompous ‘ass’ who has been fighting me from the beginning,” Trump wrote of his fellow Republican on Twitter.

Trump once again defended as “appropriate” a July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which has triggered a House of Representatives impeachment inquiry, and said his call for China to investigate Biden and his son Hunter was linked to corruption, not politics.

“If Mitt worked this hard on Obama, he could have won. Sadly, he choked!” Trump wrote. “He is so bad for R’s.”

Romney was the Republican presidential nominee who lost to Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. On Friday, Romney said Trump’s actions regarding Biden were “wrong and appalling.”

“When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated,” Romney said on Twitter on Friday. “By all appearances, the president’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.”

FF Plus accuses SAHRC of bias in Etzebeth racism saga
5 October 2019, 7:46 PM

The Freedom Front Plus has accused the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) of bias in the handling of the case of Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth. The party says the SAHRC has already found Etzebeth guilty without affording him an opportunity to defend himself.

This after the SAHRC’s acting legal head, Buang Jones said on Thursday that they would use the rugby player to set an example of the consequences of hate speech in Langebaan in the Western Cape.

Etzebeth is accused of assaulting two men in an alleged racial incident.

FFP leader Pieter Groenewald says Jones’ remarks are proof that the SAHRC is biased.

“The aim of the Human Rights Commission is to be objective, to be unbiased and these sort of remarks is proof that they are biased. The Freedom Front Plus, for instance, has laid many charges for instance against the leader of the BLF for hate speech, but they just don’t act on the complaints we lay. So, why suddenly, this urgency?

The SAHRC says the law must take its course in the matter of Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth. It says the complainants in his matter have asked for financial compensation of over R1 million.

The SAHRC has formally lodged an application for the alleged racism slur complaints against the Springbok lock to be heard in the Equality Court in Hopefield on the West Coast.

Jones says the court will determine whether Etzebeth contravened the Equality Act.

“We have since reconsidered our position as the Human Rights Commission. Instead of embarking on a protracted investigation process, we should take this matter to the courts to pronounce on whether or not the allegations against Mr Etzebeth are true or not. We have not made a finding against Mr Etzebeth. We are taking this matter to court. The allegations will be tested.”

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