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Dlamini calls on ANC to treat women and men equally
13 August 2019, 9:33 PM

ANC Women’s League President Bathabile Dlamini has urged the ruling party to be consistent and treat women and men equally.

This comes in the wake of the recall of eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede following allegations of corruption.

Speaking at the league’s dialogue with President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Umoyeni Conference Centre at Parktown in Johannesburg, Dlamini said men are not recalled when they face the same allegations.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa says his administration is determined to fix the major economic challenges that are currently facing the country. The President was addressing the dialogue.

President Ramaphosa says government also plans to address the challenges that are crippling state owned enterprises.

“We are going through a very challenging economic cycle at the moment that is also being made worse by our woes in Eskom and other state owned enterprises. What I can say comrades is that we will turn our economy around. We are going to turn it around whether people like it or not, we are going to do it because we have it within us to be able to focus more closely to what needs to be done. Watch this space.”

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Hanekom, Zuma court battle may cause deeper ructions within the ANC: Analyst
13 August 2019, 7:45 PM

African National Congress NEC member, Derek Hanekom and former president Jacob Zuma’s court battle may cause deeper ructions within the ruling party. This is according to political analyst, Xolani Dube.

The former Tourism Minister is suing the former statesman for R500 000 over what he says is a derogatory tweet that caused him reputational damage.

The spat follows a frank admission from ANC NEC member Hanekom in July, saying he had meetings with the EFF on plans to oust Zuma as president of the Republic.

Hanekom said, “At that particular time, we had common interests, and so we stood together. Most of us in the ANC agreed on this course of action. There’s nothing wrong with co-operating with other parties on the right course of action.”

A day later, former president Zuma hit back at Hanekom in a tweet.

He tweeted that he was not surprised and that Hanekom had been a “known enemy agent.”

Hanekom is now taking the matter to court.

In court papers filed by his lawyer, Hanekom wants Zuma to delete his tweet, acknowledge it was entirely false and apologise.

But analysts say that this may cause deeper divisions within the ruling party which is playing itself out in the public domain and may push Zuma to disclose his sources.

Political scientist at Unisa Dirk Kotze says, “The fact the Hanekom takes former president Jacob Zuma to court is clearly an indication of what we’ve seen after the Zondo Commission, where there was a division in the ANC about it, especially those who were implicated. It may split the ANC even more than what it was in terms of the factional fault lines.

“The legal implications, as a person who’s not a lawyer, are more or less the following: It will force Zuma to reveal his sources or information and what basis did he come to the conclusion that Hanekom was a spy or worked for the apartheid government.”

Political commentator Xolani Dube says the ANC is becoming toxic.

“Their language for hatred amongst themselves is being transported into the public domain, and we need to be isolated from this as the public. To go beyond calling someone a spy,  is putting someone’s life in danger. For a ‘president’ to tweet such things in the public domain and celebrate when his organization is in a corner shows that to a certain extent, anything bad that is happening in the ANC, he will celebrate because he is no longer ‘a part of the ANC.’ What are we left with if these things are happening in the governing party?”

The matter will be heard at the Durban High Court next week Wednesday.

Meanwhile, former Communications Minister Simphiwe Nyanda is considering cross-examining Zuma at the State Capture Inquiry.

This follows claims made by Zuma that Nyanda was an apartheid spy. Both parties were not available for comment.

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Mnangagwa calls on Zimbabweans to cherish the peace they experiencing
13 August 2019, 7:43 PM

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called on Zimbabweans to cherish the relative peace that is currently prevailing in the country.

He was speaking at Defence Force Day celebrations that were held in Harare on Tuesday.

As the opposition braces itself for the much anticipated mass nationwide demonstrations – Mnangagwa says citizens must stay vigilant and reject those who wish to perpetuate violence, disunity and unrest.

He has also challenged the Defence Force to continue to be loyal to the country.

“I challenge the ZDF to always be mindful of the fact that building and developing a new Zimbabwe requires a force which is loyal, patriotic, and reliable and committed.”

“I further urge you to remain resourceful and vigilant towards enhancing and guarding against contemporary threats to our democracy and security.”

Clashes at Hong Kong airport; UN urges restraint over protests
13 August 2019, 7:24 PM

Protesters clashed with police at Hong Kong’s international airport on Tuesday evening after flights were disrupted for a second day, plunging the former British colony deeper into turmoil.

The scuffles broke out in the evening between police and protesters, after an injured person was taken out of the main terminal by medics.

Several police vehicles were blocked by protesters, and riot police moved in, pushing some protesters back and using pepper spray at times amid heated scenes.

Protesters also barricaded some passageways in the airport with luggage trolleys and other objects.

Hong Kong’s Airport Authority said operations at the airport had been “seriously disrupted” and that departing passengers had been unable to reach immigration counters.

Hong Kong’s stock market fell to a seven-month low.

Ten weeks of increasingly violent clashes between police and protesters have roiled the Asian financial hub as thousands of residents chafe at a perceived erosion of freedoms and autonomy under Chinese rule.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Hong Kong to exercise restraint and investigate evidence of its forces firing tear gas at protesters in ways banned under international law.

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Second Mpumalanga Cycle Tour kicks-off end August
13 August 2019, 7:14 PM

A second Mpumalanga Cycle Tour for 2019 takes place at the end of August.

The first event in 2019 was held in January. It is one of the major cycle tours in South Africa.

The annual Mpumalanga Cycle Tour takes cyclists across the north-eastern part of the province.

They ride from one town to the other, with the hope of encouraging community members to fall in love with the sport.

The seven day event had to be shortened to a four day race tour, but it remains a tough one.

Cycle Tour director Hendrik Wagener says: “It will last over four stages; we will start at the Blyde Canyon Forever resort, going through the Abel Erasmus pass to Swadini, it’s 94 kilometres.”

“Stage two will be from Swadini to Orpen Gate at the Kruger National Park, back to Swadini. Stage three, that’s from Swadini to Forever Resort Blyde Canyon. Our last stage will be 150 kilometres. It will go through God’s Window, Graskop, Sabie, the finish will be at Mbombela Stadium.”

The tour has been the breeding ground for elite professionals over the years.

Lydenburg-born Willie Smit, who won the event three years in a row, is one of the success stories.

He now plies his trade in Europe for Swiss cycling team, Katusha-Alpecin, on the UCI World Tour.

And just like at the UCI event, the safety of the cyclists is of paramount importance during the Mpumalanga Cycle Tour.

Director-General for Culture, Sport and Recreation, Bhutini Ngoma says: “The department is working closely with the South African Police Services, the Department of Community Safety and Security, to ensure that there is protection for our riders. There will be road closures where they will be travelling, the roads will be monitored.”

The tour will start on the 30th of August at the Blyde Canyon in Matibiti.

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