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Zandile Gumede
ANC to announce new eThekwini mayor within seven days
13 August 2019, 6:24 PM

The new Mayors of the eThekwini Metro in Durban and the Msunduzi Municipality in Pietermaritzburg are expected to be announced within seven days. This is according to the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal following the drastic decision to overhaul the entire leadership in the two municipalities.

The party says it will redeploy the leaders.

For weeks, the ANC was in discussions about the action they would take against government officials, implicated in serious crimes.

The embattled eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede, who faces fraud and corruption charges, was one of them.

But in a surprise move on Monday night, the party opted for a complete overhaul. It now says its decision to remove the leaders was based on the assessment of certain municipalities.

The party cited poor performance and mismanagement as reasons for the move.

While Gumede refused to comment, the Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo says he accepts the ANC’s decision.

“I have not been fired. We met with the party and they have told us we are being redeployed. I have no problem with that. I will do what the party instructs of me.”

Meanwhile, the ANC’s alliance partner, the SACP in KwaZulu-Natal says the sweeping changes in the municipalities are long overdue.

It says the ANC must avoid past mistakes of deploying wrong personnel to key positions.

KZN SACP Secretary Themba Mthembu says, “It’s a long-overdue decision in the light of the outcry, not only from many people in the ANC but the larger community of KwaZulu-Natal, who have been seeing these two important cities and towns being dragged towards economic bankruptcy.”

Opposition parties have also welcomed the decision to dismiss both executive councils.

eThekwini IFP leader Mdu Nkosi says, “It’s not enough. The ANC must tell us how they are going to deal with these members who are saying they are still going to take them to court; how they are going to deal with these members who are the supporters of Zandile Gumede, who want her to be the mayor. They have been protesting and disturbing people who are coming to the city.”

The ANC top five will meet on Wednesday to decide on who will fill these vacant positions.

Watch video below for more on the story:

Venezuela pro-government legislature holds session, may disband congress
12 August 2019, 9:01 PM

Venezuela’s pro-government legislature holds a session on Monday amid accusations it is planning to disband the opposition-run parliament and convene early legislative elections, potentially escalating the country’s political crisis.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido on Sunday said the Constituent Assembly would make the decision during a Monday session, after President Nicolas Maduro called for an “offensive” against congress.

Such a move would fuel criticism of Maduro in the international community and would almost certainly halt Norway-brokered talks between the government and Guaido allies meant to reach a negotiated solution to Venezuela’s political stalemate.

Diosdado Cabello, vice president of the ruling Socialist Party and head of the Constituent Assembly, on Sunday night confirmed via Twitter that a session was scheduled for Monday but did not say what would be discussed.

“Nothing will stop us, we are free and we will be victorious!!” he wrote.

A Constituent Assembly official did not respond to a message seeking details on the session.

Congressional elections are held every five years, and are not scheduled until December 2020.

The opposition in 2015 won a two-thirds majority of congress in a landslide vote, taking control of parliament for the first time in 16 years.

Maduro’s government refused to recognize any of its decisions and the Supreme Court has shot down every measure it approved.

In 2017, Maduro launched an election to create the Constituent Assembly, an all-powerful body that is officially tasked with rewriting the constitution but in practice functions as a parallel legislature with no checks on its power.

The opposition broadly boycotted that vote, and the creation of the institution was harshly criticized around the world as undermining democracy.

Lady Gaga tries to channel ‘fury into hope’
12 August 2019, 7:55 PM

In El Paso, Texas, there are books for third-grade students, many of whom have none at home. Disabled students in Dayton, Ohio, will get bouncy chairs to help calm them for learning.

Science kits will go to fifth graders in Gilroy, California.

Those are just three of a series of local classroom initiatives that Grammy-winning singer Lady Gaga has pledged to fund as students in those shaken communities, the latest US cities to endure mass shootings, go back to school this week.

Her aim is to bring a measure of hope to places devastated by an extraordinary week of mass shootings in a country numbed by a steady beat of news about gun violence.

“I want to channel my confusion, frustration, and fury into hope,” Gaga said on Facebook, where she announced the donation from her Born This Way Foundation in partnership with nonprofit DonorsChoose.

Gaga pledged to “fully fund” 162 school projects, including requests made by teachers from 125 classrooms in El Paso, 14 classrooms in Dayton and 23 classrooms in Gilroy.

The value of the total donation was not disclosed. DonorsChoose did not respond to a Reuters question on the matter.

Back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton a week ago left 31 dead. Three more were killed when a gunman opened fire at a food festival in Gilroy the previous weekend.

The dead included three young people of school age. A 6-year-old boy, Stephen Romero, was playing near a bounce house at the Gilroy Garlic Festival when he was killed.

 

Mnangagwa issues stern warning that MDC must protest peacefully
12 August 2019, 7:43 PM

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has issued a stern warning to opposition party the MDC to ensure their upcoming protests are peaceful.

The MDC has planned a series of demonstrations against the current economic and political hardships.

In the past, opposition-led demonstrations have often ended in violence – with the army being called-in.

Mnangagwa says the right to demonstrate shouldn’t be used to violate other people’s rights.

Related video click below:

SAA cancels Hong Kong flights
12 August 2019, 7:11 PM

South African Airways (SAA) says it will only get an update later on Monday evening on the situation at Hong Kong International Airport and whether flights can be resumed to and from the country.

SAA has cancelled flights to and from Hong Kong following a mass demonstration that shut down the country’s international airport.

The airline has advised customers to contact the airline or travel agent to reschedule flights or receive an update.

Pro-democracy demonstrations have continued for over two months in Hong Kong.

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali says they are working with other carriers to limit the impact on passengers

“The situation will be reviewed or assessed at approximately midnight South African time and about six in the evening in Hong Kong time, that is the time at which we will get an update as to whether or not carriers that operate to Hong Kong or out of Hong Kong will be able to resume operations.”

“We are doing everything possible to assist passengers including those who have to travel beyond a point in South Africa as well as the points in Hong Kong where we have been liaising with other carriers to be able to operate and to carry our passengers beyond those points.”

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