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Pierre Nkurunziza
Burundi lawmakers to make president “Supreme Guide” ahead of elections
24 January 2020, 7:54 PM

Burundi is drawing up legislation ahead of May elections to give President Pierre Nkurunziza the title of “Supreme Guide of Patriotism”, state television reported, despite widespread rights abuses and an economic meltdown under his leadership.

Nkurunziza, whose decision to run for a third, five-year term in 2015 sparked widespread protests and violence, has pledged not to stand in the polls. His party, the CNDD-FDD, will pick a presidential candidate this Sunday.

Prosper Ntahorwamiye, the government’s spokesman, said the council of ministers would send legislation confirming Nkurunziza’s title to parliament, which is controlled by the ruling party. It’s unclear what powers the title will confer.

“Nkurunziza deserves consideration for services he did for the Burundian people, who decided to elevate him to the rank of the supreme guide in patriotism,” Ntahorwamiye said on state television.

The proposed new bill comes after parliament passed another bill earlier this week, granting Nkurunziza hefty pension perks including a 1 billion Burundi franc ($535,000) retirement villa.

In September, the United Nations warned that police, security forces and the ruling party’s youth league, the Imbonerakure, were committing serious human rights violations.

Those included killings, disappearances, torture and gang rape of alleged political opponents, and that violence was likely to spike as polls approached. Burundi condemned these accusations.

Burundi is one of the world’s poorest countries and lost donor funding after the political violence following the 2015election. Its GDP per capita was $270 per person in 2018, World Bank statistics show.

Party members in the CNDD-FDD said potential candidates in the party primary on Sunday include the party’s Secretary General Evariste Ndayishimiye and the speaker of the national assembly, Pascal Nyabenda.

The winner will face off with the opposition Frodebu and CNL parties in the May election.

Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus
Nienaber new Boks coach, but Erasmus will have ‘hands-on’ role
24 January 2020, 4:35 PM

Jacques Nienaber was named as the new head coach of World Cup winners the Springboks on Friday, but director of rugby Rassie Erasmus will still have a “hands-on” role, including sitting in the coaches’ box on match day. Nienaber, 47, has been elevated from his position as defence coach and takes over the day-to-day management of the team from Erasmus, South African Rugby confirmed on Friday.

“Jacques will be responsible for the test match preparation and day-to-day team operations but, as the director of rugby, I will be with the team for the majority of the time and in the coaches’ box with Jacques at matches,” Erasmus confirmed in a media release.

“I’ll still be responsible for the strategy and results with Jacques taking operational control. The structure allows the director of rugby to spend more time on other aspects of the role.”

Nienaber has been the front runner for the job since Erasmus announced after the World Cup that he would step down as coach. The pair met in the South African army and have worked together previously at South African side the Stormers, as well as at Munster in Ireland Nienaber was praised for tightening up the Bok defence ahead of their World Cup triumph.

“This is a massive honour and responsibility, but I think I have a good understanding of what it entails, especially in this new structure,” says Nienaber.

“I’ve worked with Rassie in a coaching capacity for nearly two decades now and we have a very good idea of how each of us thinks and as I’ll still be reporting to him, our working relationship won’t be changing.

“It’s a big step-up for me in terms of carrying the day-to-day leadership role and there’ll be other adjustments but in many ways, it will also be business as usual.

“We’ve built up a good culture over the past two years and we’ll simply be looking to extend that,” he added.

Mzwandile Stick has been reappointed as assistant coach while former Ireland international Felix Jones will remain with the team but in a new role as a European-based coaching consultant “to improve communication and alignment to address the reality of the number of South African players based on that continent”.

Deon Davids has been appointed forwards coach, taking over from Matt Proudfoot, who left for England, while former Bok prop Daan Human will act as scrum coach.

Nienaber’s first matches in charge will be two tests against Scotland and one against Georgia at home in July.

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Glynnis Breytenbach
DA says State Capture commission extension imperative
24 January 2020, 1:39 PM

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it is imperative that an extension is granted for the lifespan of the Zondo Commission into State Capture. Chairperson of the commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, has announced that the South Gauteng High Court has been approached to extend the commission’s work until the end of the year.

DA MP on Justice, Glynnis Breytenbach says the DA supports the move. She says even though it means that taxpayers fork out more money, a longer lifespan could mean that billions of rands lost due to corrupt activities would be recovered.

She expressed hope that as the commission extends its investigations, more people are likely to be prosecuted.

Cyril Ramaphosa
Khoza expresses gratitude over ANC visit
19 January 2020, 9:30 PM

Chairperson of the Orlando Pirates Football Club, Irvin Khoza, has expressed his gratitude following a visit by the African National Congress (ANC) leadership to his Soweto home on Sunday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, his deputy David Mabuza, alongside Treasurer General, Paul Mashatile and Ace Magashule the Secretary General visited the Khoza family in Soweto to pass their condolences after the passing of Khoza’s wife Mantwa last week.

He says the funeral service will take place on Saturday in Soweto and his wife will be laid to rest at Westpark cemetery on the same day.

“Thank you very much we convey our thanks to the movement, the cabinet for your presence here. Saturday we are taking her to her final resting place. We starting at 8 o’clock at the Holly Cross at Hector Pieterson and then at 11 o’clock when we come back we will be stationed at top zone with everybody,” explains Khoza.

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Residents
Butterworth battles crippling drought
19 January 2020, 7:38 PM

The crippling drought gripping the Eastern Cape continues to make life harder by the day for residents of drought-stricken towns. Butterworth is one of the hardest-hit towns and has been without water since last year.

Boreholes have been sunk, but only about half of them provide usable water. Residents of the Mchubakazi Township are fuming after the Amathole District Municipality allegedly provided them with dirty water.

The residents say they sometimes go for days without water.

“The problem is that the water is so dirty. It’s worse today. People drink it as dirty as it is. Even the taste is disgusting. When the water trucks don’t come those who afford do buy the water while those who can’t go to the rivers in Zazulwana.”

“I don’t know how we’re going to survive in the next two years if it’s happening now and it’s bad. The taste of the water is salty and we are getting sick of this water. Sometimes it skips a day for us to get water. Today we get water, tomorrow we’re not going to water. We’re going to have water again on Tuesday. Some of us can’t afford to but water. We don’t have vehicles to get water from the river. So it’s bad,” some residents say.

The Amathole District Municipality says residents must not consume water that is marked unfit for human consumption or seems unfit for use.

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