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FILE PHOTO: Singer Janet Jackson makes a heart symbol after receiving the Global Icon award at the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards at Bilbao Exhibition Centre in Bilbao
Janet Jackson gets Rock Hall of Fame place on Brit-heavy list
14 December 2018, 12:11 PM

Janet Jackson finally won her place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday when the pop singer was named as one of seven music acts to be getting a place in music history.

Jackson, 52, the younger sister of the late Michael Jackson, will join Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks and five British bands – Def Leppard, Roxy Music, Radiohead, The Cure and The Zombies – as the latest inductees, the Rock Hall announced.

Billboard magazine said it was the biggest British line-upon the 33-year history of the Cleveland-based Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Janet Jackson, a five time Grammy Award winner, had been nominated twice  previously, but never made the cut with the 1 000 artists, historians and members of the music industry who select the inductees.

“We did it u guys. Thank U for all your love and support, “Jackson tweeted on Thursday.

Nicks, 70, a two-time Grammy winner known for her haunting vocal style, was inducted into the Hall 20 years ago as a member of the popular 1970s group Fleetwood Mac. She will be inducted this time for her solo career.

All seven acts will be formally inducted at a ceremony in Brooklyn, New York on March 29. Artists must have released their first recording at least 25 years ago to be eligible for induction.

“What a way to wrap up an incredible year,” tweeted Glammetal band Def Leppard, which formed in 1977 in northern England and toured North America and the UK in 2018.

The Zombies, formed near London in 1961 and best known for their hit singles “She’s Not There,” and “Time of the Season, “were part of the British invasion of pop music that made it bigin the United States in the 1960s along with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks.

“I know it’s fashionable in some circles to say, ‘I don’t mind whether I get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or not,’but that is not how I’ve ever felt,” Zombies co-founder RodArgent posted on the band’s Instagram account.





Customers are pictured inside an MTN dealer shop
MTN, Nigerian central bank dispute will be over “very soon”: regulator
14 December 2018, 7:43 AM

The Nigerian telecoms regulator said on Thursday that an $8.1 billion dispute between South African telecoms group MTN and the Nigerian central bank “is being resolved and very soon it will be over.”

Nigeria’s government “is disposed to (an) amicable resolution,” Umar Garba Dambatta, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, told reporters in Abuja.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday a Nigerian judge adjourned a hearing over an $8.1 billion dispute between South African telecoms giant MTN and the central bank until January 22.

The dispute is over the transfer of $8.1 billion of funds which Nigeria’s central bank said the company had sent abroad in breach of foreign-exchange regulations. MTN has denied any wrongdoing.

Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, accounting for a third of the South African company’s annual core profit. The mobile phone network serves 56 million people in Nigeria.

The adjournment came at the request of the central bank and MTN lawyers.

“We are still making moves towards an out of court settlement,” a central bank lawyer told the court.

The attorney general – listed as co-defendant alongside the central bank – has agreed on the move to reach a settlement, a lawyer representing his office said in court.

An MTN lawyer said discussions were on going.


Yemen's leaders shaking hands.
Yemen’s warring parties agree to ceasefire in Hodeidah
14 December 2018, 6:41 AM

Yemen’s warring parties agreed on Thursday to cease fighting for the Houthi-held port city of Hodeidah and withdraw their troops, the first significant breakthrough for U.N -led peace efforts in five years of conflict.

At the close of a week of talks in Sweden, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a framework for political negotiations would be discussed at the next round of talks at the end of January between the Iranian-aligned Houthis and the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu MansourHadi.

Western nations, some of which supply arms and intelligence to the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015, had pressed the two sides to agree confidence-building steps to pave the way for a wider truce and a political process to end the war, which has killed tens of thousands of people.

The conflict has pushed Yemen, the poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula, to the verge of famine. The World Food Programme said the Hodeidah deal was a much-needed boost for its task of feeding 12 million severely hungry Yemenis.

The Houthis control most towns and cities including the capital Sanaa, from where they ousted Hadi’s government in 2014. It is now based in the southern port of Aden.

“You have reached an agreement on Hodeidah port and city, which will see a mutual re-deployment of forces from the port and the city, and the establishment of a governorate-wide ceasefire,” said Guterres.

“The U.N. will play a leading role in the port,” he told a news conference in Rimbo, outside Stockholm.

The United States, which provides military support to the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, welcomed the agreement.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that while many details still needed to be worked out, the talks marked a pivotal first step. “Moving forward, all must continue to engage, de-escalate tensions, and cease on going hostilities,” he said in a statement.

In a largely symbolic rebuke to President Donald Trump, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution on Thursday to end military backing for the war in Yemen. The measure is unlikely to become law.


U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths said both parties would withdraw “within days” from the port, a main entry point for most of Yemen’s commercial imports and aid supplies, and later from the city of Hodeidah, where coalition troops have massed on the outskirts.

Houthi forces would also pull back from the port of Salif, used for grains, and Ras Isa, used for oil. Revenues from the three ports would go the central bank branch in Hodeidah.

A Redeployment Coordination Committee including both sides will oversee the ceasefire and withdrawal, according to the agreement. It will be chaired by the United Nations and report weekly to the U.N. Security Council.

International monitors will be deployed in Hodeidah city and the three ports, and all armed forces are due to pull back completely within 21 days of the ceasefire coming into force.

Saudi ambassador to Yemen Mohammed al-Jabir told Al ArabiyaTV that enforcement procedures relating to Hodeidah would start on Friday.

Another joint committee overseen by the United Nations will set up humanitarian corridors to Taiz, Yemen’s third city.

“This is a minor breakthrough. They have been able to achieve more than anyone expected,” said Elizabeth Dickinson,Senior Analyst, Arabian Peninsula, at International Crisis Group.

“Saudi Arabia has taken a firmer hand with the Hadigovernment, which has in turn been more cooperative.”

She added: “The big game is the political framework, which would pave the way for actual peace negotiations.”

Riyadh has come under increased scrutiny over the Yemen war and its activities in the region since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The Sunni Muslim Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened to restore Hadi’s government, but is now bogged down in a military stalemate and wants to exit the costly war.

The Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Khalid binSalman, said the deal would help ensure the security of the Red Sea, one of the world’s main routes for oil tankers.

Guterres said the UN would push on with tackling issues hanging over from the talks, including reopening Sanaa airport and shoring up the central bank.




Qedani Mahlangu
ANC NWC requests Mahlangu to step down from Gauteng PEC
11 December 2018, 1:04 PM

The African National Congress’s (ANC) National Working Committee (NWC) has decided that former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu should step down as the party’s Gauteng Executive Committee Member.

In October the ANC’s Gauteng Integrity Committee recommended that Mahlangu, Brian Hlongwa and former Emfuleni mayor Simon Mofokeng should not hold any public office positions.

The ANC Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) which is expected to meet on Tuesday says it is not aware of such a decision.

In a letter seen by SABC NEWS the ANC NWC requests that Mahlangu step down from the ANC’s Gauteng PEC with immediate effect.

However, this decision does not affect Mahlangu’s membership of the ANC. It’s not clear at the moment what the NWC’s stance is on Hlongwa and Simon Mofokeng.

The ANC’s Gauteng Integrity Committee had also recommended that the three be removed from the ANC and its structures.

However, the PEC disagreed saying this was the view of the ANC’s constitutional disciplinary committee and not the integrity committee.

Mahlangu resigned as Gauteng Health MEC in the wake of the Esidimeni tragedy.

Hlongwa stepped down as ANC Chief Whip in the Gauteng Legislature. Mofokeng also resigned at both mayor and councillor of the embattled Emfuleni municipality in the Vaal.

Tom Moyane
Moyane’s lawyer to decide on way forward
11 December 2018, 12:14 PM

Former SARS commissioner Tom Moyane’s lawyer Eric Mabuza says they will study Tuesday’s court judgment before deciding the way forward.

This after the High Court in Pretoria dismissed with costs Moyane’s bid to get his job back.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will now proceed with the appointment of a new South African Revenue Services (SARS) commissioner.

Mabuza explains, ” We will study the judgment and look at whether those findings were justified in the circumstances. The Judge criticises part B of our application. We’ll deal with that and if necessary we’ll supplement our papers so that we ensure that part B of the application is before court. Certainly, we are coming back because this was merely to freeze the status quo, it had nothing to do with the substance of the application.”

Last week Moyane demanded to have his dismissal be overturned to stop the appointment of a new commissioner and to have Nugent interim report set aside.

Ramaphosa fired Moyane following the recommendation of the Nugent Nugent Commission which found that his tenure at the revenue service had been damaging to the institution and the country.

Judge Hans Fabricius said national interest far outweighed the narrow financial impact on the applicant.  In handing down the judgement, Fabricius described Moyane’s behaviour as abominable.

“The whole of the application is an abuse of the process of this court, in my opinion the facts of the matter before me clearly show that the penaltive costs order against the applicant is justified. His behaviour throughout these proceedings is abominable. Under the above mentioned circumstances the order is therefore as follows the application is dismissed with costs including the cost of two counsels and on the attorney client scale,”says Fabricious.

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