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SABC Head-Office
NGO demands timetable on SABC Board selection process
22 February 2019, 12:32 PM

Lawyers for non profit organisation, Media Monitoring Africa and Support Public Broadcasting Coalition – SOS, have given the National Assembly and the Presidency until 5PM on Friday afternoon to give a timetable on when the SABC Board selection and appointment process will be completed.

This comes as the Communications Committee is expected to start shortlisting candidates on Tuesday from the 233 nominations received for the eight SABC Board vacancies.

The lawyers’ letter drafted by Dario Milo from Webber Wentzel is addressed to President Cyril Ramaphosa, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and Communications Committee Chairperson Hlengiwe Mkhize.

Milo says SOS and Media Monitoring Africa are requesting a copy of the envisaged timetable that has been agreed on for completing the appointment process before March 19, 2019.

They want a timetable which includes dates by which candidates will be shortlisted and when the shortlisted candidates will be interviewed.

They also want dates of when the recommended names will be provided to the National Assembly and when candidates approved by National Assembly will be appointed by the President.

The lawyer’s letter further says: “Please provide this timetable to us by no later than 17H00 on Friday, 22 February 2019”.

Naledi Pandor
Nehawu vows to intensify strike action at training colleges
22 February 2019, 12:05 PM

Labour union Nehawu has vowed to intensify its strike action at Technical and Vocational Education and Training(TVET) and community training colleges across the country.

This after a meeting between Nehawu, student organisations, the Ministers of Higher Education and Labour collapsed on Thursday.

Nehawu says Minister Naledi Pandor allegedly refused to heed their request to excuse Higher Education Director General Gwebinkundla Qonde from the meeting.

Nehawu says Qonde is the reason workers are on strike.

Nehawu’s Secretary General Zola Saphetha says: “We are meeting over this weekend to focus on what needs to be done. We are quite clear that we must intensify and part of the intensification program – we’ll have to speak to other components under the Higher Education and Training such as members in the office of the Minister and members in Parliament to join the strike including our members in university. This is a war that cannot be lost.”

 

 

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya
Zimbabwe’s currency reality check puts plaster on deep wound
22 February 2019, 11:55 AM

Zimbabwe’s decision to scrap a peg between its quasi-currency bond notes and the US dollar brings a welcome end to a failing monetary policy, but it is not the solution to a deeper crisis, economists said on Thursday.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on Wednesday said it would carry out a “managed float” of the surrogate bond notes and electronic dollars, effectively creating a national currency for the first time since adopting the US dollar in 2009. The bond notes and electronic dollars will be known as a separate currency called RTGS dollars.

Banks were closed for a public holiday on Thursday.

Street traders said there had yet to be any change on the black market, where one US dollar still costs around 3.5 bond notes and $4 in electronic funds.

“I think if the RBZ manages to keep liquidity low the rate will definitely stabilise,” one trader said.

Due to a desperate lack of hard currency, the bond notes and notional dollars in the electronic banking system have been steadily dropping in value on the street, worsening the hardships of ordinary Zimbabweans as inflation soared.

Many foreign traders have stopped accepting bond notes as legal tender, leaving businesses such as millers, brewers and miners hamstrung.

A more realistic approach will be welcomed by investors and foreign donors but it will not reverse the currency crisis, experts said. The RBZ only has enough foreign exchange for two weeks of imports.

“The fact that officials finally came to their senses and ditched the notion that Zimbabwe’s quasi currency was at par with the US dollar, is comforting,” said Jee-A Van Der Linde,analyst at NKC African Economics.

“With consumer prices soaring, significant amounts of multilateral debt arrears, virtually no foreign reserves, and confidence at rock-bottom, Zimbabwe’s problems are still far from over nor is the road ahead any clearer.”

The RBZ hopes its new measures will temper demand for dollars on the black market and ease inflation as the new currency settles at fair value.

This will only work if the central bank can access foreign exchange on international markets, which it says it has secured. Many Zimbabweans have their doubts.

“What they have done is to reintroduce the Zimbabwe dollar without the name. We have seen this before, it will lose value very soon,” said James Mawire, a manager at a firm that sells mining equipment.

“What is lacking, and which is most important, is confidence in the government. People don’t trust the government and the Reserve Bank.”

Though the RBZ said it had accessed sufficient lines of credit to buttress the exchange market, it provided few details.

“There are many questions that remain unanswered,” said Tony Hawkins, professor of business studies at University of Zimbabwe.

“This is a step in the right direction but it is not a solution. What they need is a large supply of dollars, without that this will not work. So you call this a bandage and not a cure.”

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson’s estate sues HBO over new film
22 February 2019, 11:55 AM

The estate of Michael Jackson is suing HBO for what could amount to more than $100 million worth of damages, according to the lawsuit filed on Thursday.

The network is set to broadcast a documentary next month where two men claim they were sexually abused by the late singer starting from when they were seven and 10 years old.

The documentary – titled Leaving Neverland – already premiered at the Sundance festival last month.

The singer’s family then called it a ‘public lynching’ and maintain he was “100% innocent”.

Jackson died in 2009 and was acquitted of charges in a similar case in 2005.

The lawsuit doesn’t aim to prevent the documentary from airing, but it does say it violates a contract signed with the network in 1992.

It allowed HBO to air Jackson’s Dangerous world tour, but it included a clause that the channel would not disparage the singer then or any time in the future.

An attorney for the Jackson estate said this “one-sided marathon of unvetted propaganda” is in breach of that agreement.

HBO said on Thursday their plans to broadcast the film remain unchanged.

It’s due to go out over two parts on March 3 and 4.

Pule Mabe
Mabe sexual harassment accuser to go to CCMA
22 February 2019, 11:05 AM

Kgoerano Kekana, who was allegedly sexually harassed by ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe is planning on seeking relief from the CCMA.

This follows the clearing of Mabe by an internal ANC committee of sexual harassment charges.

Kekana says that only one of eight witnesses who would have corroborated her testimony were called by the panel and that she had to go to great lengths to explain herself.

In a statement, she says she is exploring other avenues to get relief.

She says, “The question which I am posing to myself and if given an opportunity to ask, I will ask the panel given another chance, what kind of evidence were you looking for because as a person or woman what did they want from me. Did they want me to show them finger-prints on my body or CCTV footage because even from the testimony which was given by other witnesses, none of them has placed me outside the room.”

“For the mere fact that they even say its not even allowed on staff workers room, so all these things that they have said, how do they come to the determination that there isn’t any evidence.”

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