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Man City banned from European competition for two seasons by Uefa
14 February 2020, 9:37 PM

English champions Manchester City have been banned from European competition for the next two seasons and fined 30 million euros ($32.53 million) by European soccer’s governing body Uefa after an investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

Uefa said in a statement that City had committed “serious breaches” of the rules while the Premier League club swiftly said they intended to appeal the decision to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The ruling, if upheld, would mean City would not be able to compete in next season’s Champions League should they again qualify for Europe’s top club competition.

Uefa’s FFP rules are intended to prevent clubs receiving unlimited amounts of money through inflated sponsorship deals with organisations related to the owners.

The Adjudicatory Chamber of Uefa’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), said City had broken the rules by “overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to Uefa between 2012 and 2016” and added that the club “failed to cooperate in the investigation”.

Nelson Mandela Foundation weighs in on De Klerk matter
14 February 2020, 7:31 PM

The Nelson Mandela Foundation says it’s time Parliament looked at ways to enact what it calls a ‘Hate Law’.  The Foundation’s CEO Sello Hatang was reacting to utterances by former Deputy President and the last apartheid-era President, FW De Klerk.

During an interview with the SABC News last week, marking 30 years after Mandela’s release and the unbanning of political parties, De Klerk said that he did not “fully” agree with the UN’s ruling that apartheid was a crime against humanity.

Watch the interview with De Klerk as he controversially denies apartheid was a crime against humanity:

Hatang says it should not be left only to institutions such as theirs to address such issues.

“Maybe it’s time that Parliament says let’s look at hate law. Let’s look at what happens when you have a nation that’s trying to re-image itself; rebuild itself, and you have elements who still believe that they have every right to cause insult, to cause further pain, in fact, to just disregard the pain of others. So, I live in hope that Parliament, maybe, will look at these things and say enough is enough.”

On Thursday, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) used De Klerk’s presence at the State of the Nation Address (SONA) as one of the reasons to disrupt the proceedings.

In an unexpected turn of events, the EFF moved from raising issues about Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to requesting Parliament to remove former President FW de Klerk from the house.

Watch the video below as the EFF asks for De Klerk to leave the house:

EFF leader Julius Malema says the former President has proven not to have remorse over Apartheid atrocities and therefore does not deserve to be a guest in the democratic Parliament.

Malema referred to De Klerk as a murderer.  “We have a murderer in the house. We have a man who’s got blood of innocent people in this house.”

‘Apartheid was a crime against humanity’

Meanwhile, the United Nations has unequivocally confirmed that Apartheid was a crime against humanity, rubbishing claims by De Klerk to the contrary.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has confirmed to SABC News that Apartheid was a well-established crime against humanity because it meets two key elements of being both widespread and systematic.

As our Correspondent at the UN, Sherwin Bryce-Pease reports the General Assembly adopted a resolution as far back at 1966 when it labeled Apartheid a crime against humanity  – a determination that was endorsed in a Security Council resolution in 1984.

“The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights pointed to the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. Article 1 of that Convention declares Apartheid a crime against humanity and that inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of Apartheid are crimes violating the principles of international law.

“In addition, the Rome Statute specifically lists the Crime of Apartheid in its list of Crimes Against Humanity, while Human Rights Watch confirmed it as a distinct crime against humanity and a crime also under customary international law,” Bryce-Pease explained.

‘Difficult to charge De Klerk’

The Human Rights Commission says it would be difficult to charge FW De Klerk for his apartheid remarks.

The commission’s CEO Tseliso Thipanyane explains, “Since 1994 we’ve said let’s us move from the past to the future and also remember the ANC itself took a number of National Party members Mr Marthinus  Van Schalkwyk became ministers in the new South Africa. So we can’t focus on one person and not focus on others. There are a number of people who were in the previous apartheid government and became officials in the new South Africa.”

In the video below SAHRC CEO Tseliso Thipanyane explains why it would be difficult to charge De Klerk:

 

Ramaphosa must give ‘action plan’ to address the high unemployment rate: Analyst
13 February 2020, 3:45 PM

The country is anxiously waiting to hear how the government intends to address the high unemployment rate and crises at the failing state-owned enterprises when President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State-of-the-Nation Address on Thursday evening.

South Africa’s economy is growing below 1% making it even less likely to create jobs to reduce the high unemployment rate which is now sitting at 29% and is expected to increase in 2020.

Analysts say the President needs to give a clear indication of what government is going to do to stimulate the economy.

Chief Economist at the Centre for Risk Analysis Ian Cruickshanks says Ramaphosa must give action plans.

“He’s (going) to say that these are his plans for growing the economy, getting it at a higher tempo and then by that way, manufacturing the possibilities of new jobs.  Job creation – he must show us the plans that they have. They keep talking about it but nothing ever happens. All we see is even higher unemployment. So, clear the strategy of the recent past has not been working.”

Meanwhile, the red carpet has been rolled out in the Parliamentary precinct ahead of Ramaphosa’s address.

The carpet is normally the final touch in getting the precinct ready for the SONA.

The red carpet runs from the bottom of Parliament street where the procession starts to the steps of the National Assembly.

President Cyril Ramaphosa concludes the procession of the three arms of state, Premiers and other prominent guests.

Parliament has budgeted just over R2 million for the event. But besides many frills being cut, the pomp and ceremony remains.

Once on the steps of the Assembly, the President receives a 21-gun salute, the national anthem is played by the navy brass band and a fly over completes the ceremony.

Ramaphosa and presiding officers then enter the National Assembly for him to deliver his speech.

Watch the video below for the SONA Build-up livestream:

-By Naledi Ngcobo and Zalene Merrington

Mpumalanga Taxi Association up in arms over killings of its drivers
13 February 2020, 2:34 PM

The Vukanini Taxi Association in Mpumalanga has described the killing of the three of its drivers as an ambush. This follows a stand-off between taxi operators and bus operators for the past two weeks.

It is alleged that taxi operators are against bus operations in local townships.

Roads to and from Mbalenhle township were barricaded, vehicles entering the area were hijacked and used to block roads.

The association’s Chairperson Fanyana Sibanyoni says as an association they find the conduct of the police disappointing.

Meanwhile, the association says six of its members are in hospital in a critical condition. 29 people have been arrested so far.

“We were told that police came, broke the gate and came inside the rank and shot our drivers without the drivers saying anything to them and our drivers were shot, dead three of them. Six of them are in hospital. It is an ambush because more than a hundred kombis, all kombis that were inside the rank were damaged. Even our offices; you can go and look at them; they were damaged. Snookers where drivers are keeping themselves busy were damaged. They shot everything that is inside the rank. It was an ambush really and we are so disappointed that in our own government we are still behaving like we are still in apartheid government.”

Japan confirms its first coronavirus death: Health Minister
13 February 2020, 2:15 PM

Japan on Thursday confirmed its first coronavirus death, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said.

The victim was a woman in her 80s living in Kanagawa prefecture, which borders on Tokyo, Kato told a news conference. He did not give further details.

A cruise ship that spent two weeks at sea after being turned away by five countries over fears that someone aboard might have the coronavirus arrived in Cambodia on Thursday (February 13), to the relief of passengers and praise from global health officials.

Meanwhile, the MS Westerdam, carrying 1,455 passengers and 802 crew, slowly pulled itself towards port with the setting sun in the background.

Adding to the dramatic effect, the ship tooted and passengers cheered as it anchor in at the port of Sihanoukville.

It was earlier seen from the docks of the Cambodian port town after anchoring offshore early in the morning.

People at the docks prepared to welcome passengers with bouquets of flowers, as embassy officials and Cambodian health authorities waited alongside journalists.

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