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IEC Western Cape says it will closely monitor COVID-19 developments ahead of LGE
9 July 2021, 4:45 PM

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in the Western Cape says it is closely monitoring COVID-19 developments in the country, in the run-up to local government elections, expected to be held in October.

The pandemic has disrupted preparations for the upcoming elections, causing the next voter registration weekend to be delayed by two weeks.

Whether or not the Local Government Elections (LGE) will go ahead in October, is yet to be confirmed. A third wave of COVID-19 infections and new variants of the disease are the biggest challenges standing in the way of elections going ahead.

Addressing a webinar, the IEC in the Western Cape says it is confident that it will be fully prepared and all the necessary staff will be trained by October. Provincial Electoral Officer, Michael Hendrickse, says the training of staff will continue.

“I’m confident that we will get to our staff and we’ve got this period where we are now and training will continue over this weekend, carrying on, so yes I am confident that we will make sure that all our staff is trained. It is essentially two-person per registration station and I am sure we are going to get there, a lot of these staff members are staff members that have previously worked for us as well.”

New technology, such as a device for registration and an updated website will be used to increase registration numbers and improve voter turnout.

The Western Cape currently has around 3 million registered voters on its voters’ roll. Only 3 400 of whom fall in the 18 to 19-year-old category.

Hendrickse says they are now working on ways to attract more voters in this category.

“You’ve seen we’ve been working towards online and maybe that will help as well because young people are generally more tech-savvy and they generally will be more willing to just go online and register, so that also will then assist us that.”

In the province, 406 wards and 381 Proportional Representation Seats will be contested in the upcoming elections.

For more on this, see the full statement below:

Magashule vs ANC case a lesson that internal party issues should not involve courts: Analyst
9 July 2021, 3:20 PM

Legal expert, Sanusha Naidoo, says the dismissal of ANC’s suspended Secretary-General Ace Magashule’s case by the High Court in Johannesburg is a lesson that internal party issues should not involve courts.

Last month, Magashule had asked the court to lift his suspension for failing to vacate his position following a directive under the ANC’s step-aside resolution.

The resolution stipulates that all criminally charged members must step-aside until their cases have been finalised.

Magashule also wanted the court to declare the ANC constitution to be inconsistent with the country’s Constitution.

Naidoo says the judiciary gets nervous around political cases.

“There is a political connotation to these things. The fact of the matter is the pronouncement that was made around checking to see whether rule 25.70 was legal was justified. It had political connotations. You can’t ignore it and I think that when you start using the courts to fight these political battles then, of course, the court gets nervous and I think in this case the court realise that in the context of what was happening I mean the entire application has been dismissed.”

Magashule has instructed his lawyers to appeal the Johannesburg High Court ruling dismissing his application to have his suspension set aside.

Magashule says he is confident that a higher court will preside over the case without fear, favour, or prejudice. He says he believes the Supreme Court of Appeal will come to a different outcome.

In the video below, Judge Jody Kollapen hands down judgment:

New-look Sharks to line up against touring Lions
9 July 2021, 2:15 PM

South Africa’s Sharks have retained only four players from Wednesday’s heavy loss to the touring British & Irish Lions for their repeat meeting in Pretoria on Saturday, coach Sean Everitt announced on Friday.

Only captain Phepsi Buthelezi in the back row, scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse and wings Thaakir Abrahams and Werner Kok, who will move inside to centre, are retained from the starting team comprehensively beaten 54-7 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg in midweek.

The Sharks have been hastily arranged as opposition for Saturday’s third tour match at Loftus Versfeld after original hosts the Bulls could not field a team after being hit by COVID-19 infections.

The quick turnaround means a vastly changed team for the Sharks, who already have nine players away with the Springboks, ahead of the three-test series against the Lions later this month.

“But this is by no means a third choice side”, the coach insisted at a news conference on Friday.

It’s a little bit of late notice, but there is massive excitement to get another opportunity against world-class opposition, said Everitt, whose team were due to play in the Currie Cup this week and who did have a 34-man squad in a bio-bubble in a Johannesburg hotel.

They were the only team to whom SA Rugby could turn to offer the Lions opposition for the weekend fixture, as they have had none of the COVID-19 infections that have beset the game in South Africa over the last week, causing disruption to the Lions tour as well as the Springbok’s preparations.

“We see it as a massive privilege for our young team to develop after being starved of international action in the last 15 months. I think we have a shot at redemption. You always have to be positive, we felt even though we lost heavily on Wednesday, we did put the Lions through their paces. We need to sort out the errors that we made and we are definitely going out there to put on a better display,” Everitt added.

The Sharks are waiting for permission to use three extra substitutes in the match.

Team

15-Anthony Volmink, 14-Marnus Potgieter, 13-Werner Kok, 12-Murray Koster, 11-Thaakir Abrahams, 10-10-Lionel Cronje, 9-Jaden Hendrikse, 8-Phepsi Buthelezi (capt), 7-Mpilo Gumede, 6-Dylan Richardson, 5-Reniel Hugo, 4-Le Roux Roets, 3-Wiehahn Herbst, 2-Kerron van Vuuren, 1-Nthuthuko Mchunu

Replacements: 16-Dan Jooste, 17-MJ Majola, 18-Khutha Mchunu, 19-Thembelani Bholi, 20-Jeandre Labuschagne, 21-Cameron Wright, 22-Boeta Chamberlain, 23-Jeremy Ward, 24-Lourens Adriaanse, 25-Rynhardt Jonker, 26-Curwin Bosch.

Bafana on top of Cosafa Cup Group A after second win
8 July 2021, 9:02 PM

South Africa went top of Group A after registering their second successive win in this year’s Cosafa Cup tournament. Bafana Bafana registered a one-nil win over a 10-men Eswatini in Gqeberha, earlier on Thursday afternoon.

It was another unconvincing win by the tournament hosts after they also beat Botswana with the same scoreline.

The visitors, who matched their more fancied opponents pound for pound in the first half, suffered a major blow when their captain Felix Badenhorst was red-carded on the stroke of half-time after a second bookable offence.

Despite playing with a man down, Eswatini came close to scoring at the start of the second half, but Bafana Bafana captain Veli Mothwa made a brilliant save.

Thabang Sibanyoni came off the bench to put Bafana Bafana ahead in the 59th minute. Mothwa kept South Africa in the lead with another important save 12 minutes from time.

With only the keeper to beat, Kagiso Malinga failed to stretch South Africa’s lead three minutes before regulation time. Eswatini also came close to scoring in injury time, but Bafana Bafana managed to hold on for a one-nil win.

Eswatini was looking for their first win against South Africa in nine matches.

Lesotho beat Zambia

In an earlier match, Lesotho produced the first major upset of the tournament when they beat favourites and defending champions, Zambia, 2-1.

Defending champions Zambia were looking for a win in their opening match of the 2021 Cosafa Cup tournament. They came up against Lesotho, a side that wanted to redeem themselves after losing 3-1 to Eswatini in the opening match of the tournament on Tuesday.

Zambia had a lot of familiar faces in their starting line up including veteran keeper Kennedy Mweene as well as forwards Justin Shonga and Augustine Mulenga.

The six-time champions controlled the match from the word go and it came as no surprise when Shonga put them in the lead in the 29th minute after a goalkeeping blunder.

Mulenga almost doubled Zambia’s lead 11 minutes before the break. The Zambians enjoyed a slender lead at half-time, despite having enjoyed almost 65% of possession.

Lesotho fluffed their best chance of the match to find the equaliser, 12 minutes into the second half. Zambia was also wasteful in front of goal.

Substitute, Motebang Sera, eventually scored the equaliser for Lesotho 20 minutes before regulation time.

Lesotho was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty 12 minutes from time after Sera was fouled inside the box, but the assistant referee raised his flag for an off-side. But Sera was not to be denied three minutes from time when he completed his brace for Lesotho’s first-ever win against Zambia.

Zuma’s incarceration affirms SA’s rule of law: Analysts
8 July 2021, 8:20 PM

Local and international market analysts say the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma has affirmed South Africa’s rule of law.

The move has also reassured investors that South Africa’s judiciary remains independent.

The arrest of Zuma has been shrugged off by local markets, but widely noted. Analysts say that it is a show of independence by the country’s judiciary.

Earlier this year, the rating agency Fitch ranked South Africa at 58th place for political stability and rights and for the rule of law, Institutional and regulatory quality and control of corruption. It said the country reflects strong institutions and well-entrenched democratic processes. However, the recent period of alleged State Capture has raised questions about whether these strengths are over-stated.

Ashburton Investments, Patrice Rassou, says: “In terms of investors especially foreign investors coming in, what they want to know is the constitution and the rule of law in South Africa, foreign investors see this positively in terms of the administration.”

The investment community says the markets would have reacted if Zuma was not incarcerated. However, this is a positive sign as this case proves to be a test of the country’s constitution and institutions of governance strength.

Sasfin’s deputy chairperson, David Shapiro, says: “I don’t think the markets will respond to Zuma’s arrest, they would have reacted if they had not arrested him it would have been a more of a negative response.”

The country’s image has been hit in a positive light as the former president’s incarceration proves that the country is fighting against lawlessness and corruption, while confirming that no one is above the law.

“Investors, economists and South Africans around the world concerned with lawlessness may see this as a signal that SA is taking action against lawlessness,” says Reputation 1st Group, Brand Reputation Analyst, Tshepo Matseba.

Although it may not have a direct effect on the markets and the country’s image, the former president’s arrest is viewed as a step towards long-term social stability to accelerate economic growth.

Incarceration of Zuma has affirmed SA’s rule of law: Market analysts

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