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Liverpool working to get midfielder Keita back from Guinea following coup
6 September 2021, 2:40 PM

Liverpool are in touch with authorities to safely bring back midfielder Naby Keita following a military coup in his homeland of Guinea, the club said on Monday.

The 26-year-old was supposed to take part in Guinea’s World Cup qualifier against Morocco in Conakry when the game was called off after a group of soldiers reportedly ousted President Alpha Conde and later dissolved the government on Sunday.

“We are in constant contact with Naby and have had regular communication via his national team management,” Liverpool said in a statement.

“We are satisfied that he is safe and well cared for. Obviously, the situation is fluid and we will maintain regular dialogue with the relevant authorities as we work to get Naby back to Liverpool in a timely and secure manner.”

While the country’s borders have reportedly been closed, the Moroccan team were allowed safe passage home later on Sunday.

Keita started Liverpool’s opening two league games and was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw against Chelsea.

Liverpool next face Leeds United on Sept. 12 after the international break.

Gupta associate Iqbal Sharma expected to appear in court on Monday
5 September 2021, 10:00 PM

Former Transnet board member and longtime Gupta associate, Iqbal Sharma, is expected to appear in the Regional Court in Bloemfontein on Monday alongside three senior officials of the Free State Department of Agriculture.

The accused are facing charges relating to R24.9 million the Free State Department of Agriculture paid for a feasibility study on potential farming projects in the province.

Sharma is among a group of 17 accused who are facing charges of fraud, corruption money laundering, and contravening the Public Finance Management Act.

The court proceedings are expected to set a trial date.

In July, the High Court granted Iqbal Sharma half-a-million-rand bail after his initial bail application was turned down.

Former Free State Department of Agriculture officials Peter Thabethe, Limakatso Moorosi, Seipati Dlamini and Sharma’s brother-in-law Dinesh Patel, were released on R10 000 bail each in June.

Two of the Gupta brothers, Atul and Rajesh, and their wives Chetali and Arti are also among the accused.

The Guptas are not in South Africa and the state has obtained arrest warrants for the brothers and their wives, in connection with the case.

Estina dairy farm beneficiaries tired empty promises
5 September 2021, 9:54 PM

The intended beneficiaries of the Estina Vrede dairy farm say they are no longer interested in the Free State government’s empty promises. It’s been nine years since the project came into existence.

They say they have been lied to for far too long to believe anything.

In the latest development, the Department of Agriculture has told them that the controversial project will finally be handed over to the rightful beneficiaries in January next year.

The intended beneficiaries say their names were merely used to steal money that was used to set up the dairy farm which ended up benefitting other people.

“There is no way we can be happy because people who come here talking about the dairy are still saying the same thing that was said to us years ago in 2012. We have never heard of anything that is tangible. It is still the same promises that was never fulfilled,” says one of the intended beneficiaries.

“We are called beneficiaries? Have you ever seen someone called a teacher and not teaching? For over 10 years (we’ve) been called beneficiaries, what have we benefited?” asks another.

“The recipe that they are using is still the same Gupta recipe, nothing has changed. We are given the same medicine for different illnesses. The things that were bought for that dairy in 2012; the cattle are now old, they cannot produce milk; machines are old and are still the same machines that were installed years ago and they are broken.”

Meanwhile, the Free State Department of Agriculture says it is complying with the January 2019 Free State High Court order and has verified 65 beneficiaries so far.

The order stipulates that the beneficiaries must be incorporated into the project.

The more than R220-million farm project, linked to the Gupta family, has been at the centre of a corruption and money-laundering scandal.

Agriculture Department Spokesperson, Zimasa Leputla says the department has also complied with the Public Protector’s report by offering a formal apology for the delays.

IEC expected to announce program for upcoming elections on Monday
5 September 2021, 9:35 PM
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is expected to make an announcement on Monday about the programme for the forthcoming local government elections (LGE) after meeting this weekend.
Last month, the Electoral Commission applied to have the elections postponed after an inquiry recommended a delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its ruling on Friday, the Constitutional Court set aside the government’s decision to have elections on October the 27th, saying instead the polls must go ahead between that date and November the 1st.
The court also told the IEC to determine within three days of the order if it is “practically possible” to hold a voter registration weekend ahead of people casting their ballot.

Independent elections analyst, Dawie Scholtz, says the commission needs to speak out on a way forward.

“When you think about the potential outcomes of this election there are two distinct scenarios to think about’ the one hypothetical scenario is where the IEC allows the ANC to register its missing candidates in which case we have a normal election; and then the second version is where the ANC does not get to register the missing candidates. It will be very interesting, very unique, and very disruptive election to look forward to. I think in both scenarios it’s actually an extremely uncertain situation for a number of reasons. We’ve also had by-elections stop quite a while ago. We don’t have by-election data and so, it’s very difficult to know what the current trends are in the electorate.”

IEC set to make an announcement on the programme for the forthcoming LGE 2021:
Zuma supporters ‘relieved’ following decision to release him from prison
5 September 2021, 8:17 PM
Supporters of former president Jacob Zuma have described the decision to release the former president as a huge relief, saying there was no need for the incarceration of the former president in the first place.
This, after the Department of Correctional Services on Sunday announced that Zuma has been placed on medical parole due to ill health.

The former president has been serving a 15-month jail sentence for contempt of court after ignoring a Constitutional Court directive to appear before the State Capture Commission.

Supporters of former president Zuma have welcomed the announcement by the Correctional Services to release him on parole after spending almost two months in prison.

Few days after he was arrested violent protests marred by looting and burning of businesses erupted in both KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Who should be held accountable for recent unrest in SA?

Former Spokesperson of uMkhonto wesizwe Military Veterans Association, Carl Niehaus, who is suspended from the ANC says Zuma should not have been arrested in the first place.

“His arrests was illegal. It was abused by the Constitutional Court and his release is conditional. It should have been a total unconditional release, not a parole, but we are nonetheless grateful that president Zuma will be able to go back home and to his family and we hope that a lesson has been learned by the Constitutional Court to allow itself to be abused for factional political purposes.”

The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has also commended the Department of Correctional Services for releasing Zuma on parole.

Party Provincial Spokesperson Nhlakanipho Ntombela says they have been engaging with their top leadership persuading for the release of the former president.

“It has been our plea now and then in a number of our engagements with a number of stakeholders including with the national officials that the matter is considered. And hopefully, all people of KZN will welcome the decision for Nxamalala. (He) deserves (to) rest as he is old enough.”

The Jacob Zuma Foundation has also described the decision as humane.

The Foundation Spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi says the former president is not well, and releasing him will help him to recover from home.

“It just indicates humanness in the system. So, we are very happy that president Zuma will be able to recover at home. He is still not well, but at least he will recover at the comfort of his home as it were, so we welcome this development.”

Last month, Zuma’s fraud and corruption case was postponed as he could not be in court after he was admitted at the military hospital.

Former President Jacob Zuma placed on medical parole: 

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