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Busisiwe Mkhwebane
“No legal basis not to implement rules on removal of heads of Chapter 9 institutions”
2 February 2020, 5:30 PM

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise says there is no legal basis for the Assembly not to implement the rules on the removal of heads of Chapter 9 institutions.

Parliament says Modise was responding to a letter received from Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane who states that the rules on the removal of heads of Chapter 9 institutions are unconstitutional and unlawful.

This comes after Modise approved a motion by the Democratic Alliance (DA) which requested that a process be initiated for the removal of Mkwhwebane.

An independent panel of experts will conduct a preliminary assessment on whether there are grounds for the Assembly to proceed with the removal or not. Parliament’s Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo explains.

“The determination that the motion complies with the rules does not imply that a decision has been made, as to the required prima face assessments as the independent panel of experts is yet to be established.  The National Assembly and the Joint Rules of Parliament safeguard against any risk of abuse of power or unfairness, including the inquiry process outlined in the new rules. Parliament’s processes also as well as the rules adhere to the rules of natural justice including the audi alteram partem rule and are informed by the relevant constitutional principles of fairness, transparency and accountability. Accordingly there exist no legal impediment or grounds for the Assembly not to proceed with the implementation of the new rules,” explains Mothapo.

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Blitzbok
Fiji sinks Blitzboks hearts by winning the Sydney leg final
2 February 2020, 4:26 PM

The Blitzboks narrowly missed out on winning the Sydney leg of the HSBC Rugby Sevens against Fiji in an entertaining encounter. It was the first time that Fiji had won in Sydney with a 12-10 victory over South Africa.

Following a disappointing performance at the Hamilton leg in New Zealand last week, the Blitzboks came out guns blazing in Sydney in their efforts to redeem themselves. They cruised past the pool stage with comfortable victories over Argentina, France and Samoa.

They went on to seal their passage through to the final after victory over the USA in their semi-final clash. The Blitzboks won 19-12 after the score was deadlocked at 12-12 at half-time.

JC Pretorius, Selvyn Davids and Stedman Gans went over for the Blitzboks to win by three tries to two.

In the final, Fiji held off the Blitzboks to claim their first-ever Sydney Sevens title. Both teams won all their matches to reach the final. It was the Napolioni Bolaca show as the Fiji beat South Africa.

Neil Powell’s men committed too many errors which denied them the victory. The Blitzboks had survived an early scare as the Pacific Islanders came close to scoring from kick-off.

Moments later they managed to score a converted try through Bolaca who raced clear from the scrum. JC Pretorius replied for the Boks Sevens to reduce the deficit but Bolaca got the second just on the stroke of half-time as Fiji led 12-5 at the break.

The second half didn’t produce as many tries with Zain Davids going over for the only try in this period to make it 12-10 midway through the second half. However Fiji put on a brave fight to win the final and prevent the Blitzboks from a comeback.

FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela
Decision to unban apartheid was consciously driven: De Klerk
2 February 2020, 2:58 PM

Former President FW de Klerk says the decision to unban political parties 30 years ago was consciously driven and not made under pressure.

Sunday marks the 30th Anniversary of De Klerk’s announcement of the release of former President Nelson Mandela from prison and the unbanning of all political parties.

De Klerk says despite ongoing speculation about his motive for the decision, it was done for the good of the country.

“Our decision, it wasn’t because of the pressure. Yes, the pressure was there. It kept us on our toes. It was bad for South Africa that we were becoming more and more isolated but it was conscious driven. We wanted to dismantle the injustices of apartheid. There are still people today describing me as a traitor who come from that old right wing. They still persist in calling me a traitor every time I make a public appearance and on social media some of them come forward to say that,” says De Klerk.

African National Congress (ANC) Veteran Pallo Jordan says former President FW De Klerk had no choice but to unban political formations and release political prisoners in 1990. Jordan who was in exile in Zimbabwe at the time says the international pressure on the apartheid government was increasing.

“The Banks were refusing to loan South Africa any more money. Internationally the regime was absolutely isolated. The only international statesperson they could rely on, not even support but less critical remarks about them was Marget Thatcher. I mean every other significant figure in the world was denouncing the South African regime. He had no friends,” explains Jordan.

 

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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