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Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng
Mogoeng says it is not his job to pass judgment on new MPs
21 May 2019, 9:30 PM

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says it’s not for him to judge some of the new Members of Parliament (MP) that will be sworn-in and who have been implicated in wrong doing.

He was speaking in a special interview with the SABC in Parliament ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of the 400 MPs on Wednesday.

Chief Justice Mogoeng will preside over the ceremony. He says as a judge he and his colleagues do not rely on what they read on newspapers or hear on television or radio.

“My responsibility is just to check that the constitution has been met and administer the oath of office, that responsibility you are asking is for another arm of government hence there’s separation of powers,” says Mogoeng.

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Home Affairs office
Mozambique naturalised citizens take complaints to Home Affairs
21 May 2019, 8:45 PM

Some of the people living in South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province came for refuge, fleeing the civil war in Mozambique in the 1980s. Most of them have been naturalised as citizens and their children were born in Mpumalanga. But now they’re crying foul saying local authorities have blocked their identity documents.

They took their complaints to the Thulamahashe Home Affairs in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga on Tuesday morning.

It’s a generational crisis that stems from a displacement that took place three decades ago.

Goodman Mhlanga fled war in Mozambique even though he became a naturalized citizen in South Africa, his ID was suddenly blocked.

“In 2008 they blocked my ID and I couldn’t access my money at the bank. I am not alone there are about 1.8 million of us from Nkomazi, Giyane and Bush.”

His story is not unique; Ben Mahungele was born in South Africa, but also with origins from Mozambique. The 31-year-old failed to finish matric and that’s because he has no ID.

Mahungele says, “The situation is very hard it’s costing me a lot of things, my mother is still suffering. I don’t know what to do to help her.”

They marched to Home Affairs as their children are also bearing the brunt.

Community leader John Mdluli says, “Children must get their rights of getting birth certificate, because they’re suffering. Some of them are staying at home because they don’t have birth certificates. We have to show government that our children are the future for tomorrow.”

Home Affairs has promised to help them individually but also warned there will be an intense verification process to solve their problems.

Home Affairs spokesperson Siya Qoba says, “We advise the group to come to our offices as individuals in that way we will be able to assist them. But they would have to prove they are indeed South Africans.”

However, the affected people will have to go through their lives undocumented.

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Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Public Protector’s fitness to hold office questioned again
21 May 2019, 7:27 PM

 

Is the job of Public Protector Busisiswe Mkhwebane on the line? That’s a question that’s been asked since a High Court’s damning decision against her.

It declared Mkhwebane’s Estina Dairy Farm report unconstitutional and invalid. On Monday, Judge Ronel Tolmay ruled in favour of the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution and set the report aside.

The court also ruled that she failed to properly investigate those implicated in the R224 million scandal around the Estina Dairy Farm project in the Free State.

She’s considering appealing the judgment. There were always going to be big shoes to fill. In October 2016 Public Protector Busisiwe Mkwebane succeeded.

Thuli Madonsela, who had significantly increased the visibility of the Chapter 9 institution, just two and half years into her seven year tenure of office Mkhwebane is again on the ropes.

Mkhwebane’s detractors insist that this is just the latest instalment in the saga of the Public Protector’s incompetence. And whilst taking the Public Protector to court is accepted as a proper platform the problem is the number of times her rulings are overturned.

Prof Steven Friedman says, “She has had judgments where the judge said you don’t understand the constitution, she appears to be the wrong person to keep the job.”

Other judgments include her report recommending the nationalisation of the Reserve Bank on which she backtracked and the setting aside of her recommendation by the courts that ABSA pay back more than R1 billion for an apartheid-era bill.

But the pertinent question remains: can Mkhwebane be removed from office?

Meanwhile, Mkhwebane has vigorously rejected the latest court judgment saying that the report was never a final one and indicating that she will consider lodging an appeal.
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Preparations underway at Loftus Stadium
Preparations for President’s inauguration in full swing
21 May 2019, 6:29 PM

Preparations are at an advanced stage for the historic Presidential Inauguration of South Africa’s sixth administration at the Loftus Versveld stadium in Pretoria.

The Inter Ministerial Committee on Presidential Inauguration says their choice to host the event at the stadium will cost over R100 million less and be more inclusive to the public.

Loftus Versveld stadium is famous for being the home ground for the Blue Bulls rugby franchise.

It is also the venue where high profile Premier Soccer League matches take place. The 1995 Rugby World Cup , the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and the round of 16 games of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, are among the some of the big sporting events that have been hosted at the stadium.

It will be the first time in South African history that the Presidential Inauguration is hosted at Loftus Versveld stadium.

Hugo Kemp, from Loftus Versveld management, says, “It’s an absolute pleasure and privilege to host this event. We’ve had many major international events but this I think is the cherrie on top. It’s even bigger and better than the world cup, so we are just privileged to be part of this process and this great event.”

Government opted for the stadium instead of the Union Buildings to make the event inclusive and to cut costs.

Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says, “The venue as you know is Loftus Versveld stadium instead of the Union Buildings and the choice of the venue was determined by a number of factors like the cost, because preparing the Amphitheater is more costly than hiring the stadium.”

The stadium has a capacity of over 50 000 seats, but will only accommodate 32 000 people and the 4500 invited guests.

Park and ride facilities will be at the Tshwane Events Centre for those driving themselves and accreditation will be at the local Affies School next to the stadium.

Phumla Williams from the GCIS says, “There are about 4500 dignitaries that have been invited formally, those 4500 have to get accreditation and that accreditation has been communicated to them. There is accreditation for the media, we have also issued an invitation to the members of the media to apply I think around April. Lastly there is what we call accreditation for the public that will be coming, using their cars those are supposed to use the shuttle service which will be moving from the Tshwane events centre. Members of the public will go through a process which also we call it accreditation but it is to clear them.”

It is estimated that government will spend R120 million for this year’s inaugurations celebrations.

“It’s not going to be much more than the R120 million and last time it was more than R240 million, but until you have the event, you can’t tell to the cent how much it has cost. The public was torn as to whether they will attend the inauguration,” says Dlamini-Zuma.

Streets near the stadium precinct will be closed and arrangements have been made with residents close to the stadium to also get accreditation.

 

 

Mark Barnes.
Postbank to provide affordable credit to customers
20 May 2019, 9:44 PM

The Post Office wants to provide affordable credit to the unbanked population and stokvels.

It’s expecting the Reserve Bank to grant it a licence to operate as a commercial bank anytime soon.

Postbank says it has met all the regulatory requirements needed to be issued a licence. About 6 million customers have accounts with Postbank with over R5 billion deposited in the bank.

The Post office is currently administering social grants and other transactions. Now it wants to tap into advancing loans to the unbanked.

Post Office CEO, Mark Barnes says, “I think that is one of our primary purposes is to look at how better we can provide credit at an affordable price to the unbanked and that means you have to think differently about technology.”

Postbank will also be granting loans to small businesses especially the spaza shops in the townships.

And it says these businesses will not need to have collateral to secure a loan.

It’s optimistic that offering lower interest rate to them will help make them more profitable and honour their tax commitments.

“One of the big challenges is that poor people pay the highest costs for unit of consumption because the spaza shops can’t afford to buy wholesale,” says Barnes.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni tabled the financial matters Amendment bill in Parliament this year.

The bill is aimed at allowing state-owned entities to establish a bank.

 

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