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New Koos De la Rey bust unveiled in North West
15 September 2021, 3:14 PM

The Federation for Afrikaans Culture (FAK) unveiled a new bust of Boer War General, Koos De la Rey after the original bronze bust was stolen from his grave earlier this year at Lichtenburg in the North West.  

De la Rey was shot and killed on 15 September 1914 while he was en route to Potchefstroom military camp from Johannesburg. His driver did not stop at a roadblock set up for the Foster gang and police opened fire on the car and De la Rey was killed.  

He was a boer war general, who was highly lauded for advocating for boer independence and was commemorated with an unveiling of a brand new bust in his honour.

CEO of the Federation for Afrikaans Culture Dr Danie Langner says, “Before the war, he wanted freedom. During the war, he fought with respect. Even after the war, he strived for freedom and he did that with integrity, with energy until his last breath.”

Family representative, Louis Pretorius, says, “General De la Rey is not only an ancestor of mine. He is also an example to all people. We are very privileged as Afrikaaners to have him as an ancestor.”

With De la Rey’s original bronze bust having been stolen earlier this year, many have denounced the vandalism of culturally significant historical monuments and called for better engagement around them.

Jacques Muller, sculptor of the new bust, says, “I was inspired to do this bust because of the historical significance of the man himself, as well as the artwork that was vandalised and stolen. Because I think it is essential for us to preserve our cultural history. It doesn’t matter what it represents.”

While the local hospital was named after De la Rey and another monument in his honour stands in the city centre, 27-year-old Nkululeko Wittes questions his relevance in this day and age.

“General De la Rey was a person who fought for the Afrikaner. So, why is it relevant to unveil his statue today.”

Pele transferred out of intensive care, says hospital
14 September 2021, 10:06 PM

Pele has been moved out of intensive care and into a general room after the Brazilian soccer great underwent surgery to remove a tumor in his right colon, Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein hospital said on Tuesday.

The hospital added in the statement that the 80-year-old is in good clinical condition.

A three-time World Cup winner, Pele was admitted to hospital earlier this month after a tumour in his right colon was found during routine tests. The tumour was removed and sent for analysis.

Pele has suffered from hip problems for years and cannot walk unaided. His public appearances were already being cut before the COVID-19 pandemic and since then he has made few unnecessary forays outside his house near Santos.

Judge John Hlophe approaches Johannesburg High Court in bid to have decision by JSC set aside
14 September 2021, 9:37 PM

Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe has approached the High Court in Johannesburg to try and review and set aside the decision of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).  

The JSC has recommended his impeachment by parliament.  

In court papers, Hlophe is also seeking to interdict National Assembly Speaker and President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

The constitution gives the president powers to suspend a judge who is the subject of  impeachment by parliament.

Parliament’s Justice Committee is now processing the JSC’s recommendations. It was told by Parliament’s legal advisors last week that there was no need to develop rules for the removal of a judge as that would amount to a parallel enquiry. 

Hlophe was found guilty by the Judicial Conduct Tribunal earlier this year of trying to influence two Constitutional Court Justices Chris Jafta and Bess Nkabinde in a matter involving then president of the ANC Jacob Zuma. 

Discussion on Judge President John Hlophe guilty verdict: Paul Hoffman:

In April, the Judicial Conduct Tribunal, in a statement, said Hlophe’s conduct seriously threatened the independence, impartiality and dignity of the Constitutional Court.

In 2008, Justices Bess Nkabinde and Chris Jafta claimed that Hlophe had sought to influence their rulings in favour of the then ANC President, Jacob Zuma who was facing trial for corruption in the Thales matter.

The Judicial Conduct Tribunal now says that Hlophe’s conduct breached the provision of section 165 of the constitution in that he improperly attempted to influence the two Justices of the Constitutional Court to violate their oaths of office.

The tribunal said his conduct also threatened the public’s confidence in the judicial system.

The Judicial Service Commission is due to review the report’s findings.

 

 

DA files petition against renaming of Brandfort to Winnie Mandela
14 September 2021, 8:23 PM

The DA in the Free State has filed a petition with more than 700 signatures against the renaming of Brandfort to Winnie Mandela.  

Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, gazetted the name change over a month ago. This as part of preserving the legacy of all freedom fighters.  

The late struggle stalwart, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, was banished to the sprawling town of Brandfort in 1977.  She lived there for almost nine years.  

Those who are opposed to the name change, say government should be focusing its financial resources on improving service delivery.  

Issues raised include a lack of basic water supply, sewer spills and poor infrastructure.  

Local businessman and resident Frans Posthumus, 

“Name change is actually the last thing in Brandfort that needs to be rectified. Sewer problems, electricity problems, account problems, roads, lack of people with necessary qualifications, it’s our big problem here in Brandfort. I think if they can rather build a Winnie Mandela Clinic – that’s something for the community. That will be more worthwhile than changing the name.”

These residents feel that public consultation was inadequate and have echoed the sentiments of Posthumus.

“I don’t like it very much because Brandfort has a unique history. So, I really don’t think it’s a great idea. For me, it’ll always stay Brandfort,” says one resident.  

“I’m not feeling very well because they didn’t consult us. They change our town into Winnie Mandela’s names,” says another resident.  

“The infrastructure of this place is gone. There’s no infrastructure. If they can just use the money to fix the roads … even the City Hall is gone. There’s no windows in the City Hall.”

A close friend of Winnie Madikizela Mandela’s in the 1970s, and former primary school teacher in Brandfort, Nora Moahloli, explains what makes them unhappy…  

“We are not happy, ntate! The reason is when starting this, they promised that – even when writing the letters asking for permission to use the name – they said it’s going to be from Masilonyana to Winnie Madikizela Mandela, but all of a sudden now, they are saying Brandfort to Winnie Madikizela Mandela. It’s not nice. It doesn’t sound well.”

The DA has emphasised that it is waiting for reaction from Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa.  

DA’s councillor in Masilonyana Local Municipality, Marieta Visser, says, 

“It is now more than a month since we officially launched request for the documents to prove that public participation did take place. But there’s no reaction from the minister, province or nobody (sic). More than 700 people signed the petition to say that they were not informed about this process. People tell us that there’s a lot of things that they want to change, but not the name of Brandfort. We’ll now have to wait for the minister to react to our request for public participation.”

Free State DA against renaming of Brandfort to Winnie Mandela:

The FF Plus’ Member of the Free State Provincial Legislature, Armand Cloete, says the minister is driving this issue to change the name to hide the fact that the ANC has not delivered on their promises.  

He says it’s nothing but political populism.

“The whole process rigs of political populism in the sense that, according to the legislation, there should be public participation and then the authority should listen to the community. We know that this will cost a lot of money to taxpayers and it affected different spheres of government and that municipality does have that money.”

The EFF, however, supports the renaming. But as for basic service delivery, the party’s chairperson in the Free State, Mandisa Makesini, does not mince her words.

“We hope it is not only the electioneering machinery to convince the people of Bradfort to vote for them. The people of Brandfort are still suffering. They don’t have toilets, water, houses. They are still unemployed. They will have to make sure that the change the lives of the people of Brandfort completely. The people of Brandfort deserve better because that town is named after Mama Winnie.”   

Meanwhile, the ANC in the Free State says it stands by the community’s wish to see the name changed to Winnie Mandela.  

Spokesperson for ANC’s Interim Provincial Committee (IPC) Oupa Khoabane, says, “As the ANC, we agree with the people of Brandfort who want the name to be changed to Winnie Mandela. We believe that those who are against that are those people who don’t want to see any change and who don’t want to identify themselves with the changing history. So, we really support (the move) because it’s an issue that was demanded by the people of that place, that Brandfort be changed to Winnie Mandela.”  

The Department of Arts and Culture says all objections have been referred to the South African Geographical Names Council.  

The minister is expected to respond to the objections later.

Mixed reactions to approval of name change of the town of Brandfort to Winnie Mandela:

Mining production up by 4.1%
14 September 2021, 5:30 PM

Figures released by Statistics South Africa show that Mining production increased by 4.1% in July 2021 compared with June 2021. The largest positive contribution to the increase came from iron ore, platinum group metals, chromium ore and gold.    

The latest Mining Census report indicates that coal is still the largest contributor to total mining sales, while platinum group metals remain the largest employer in the sector.  

The report indicates that mining exports accounted for 61% of earnings in 2019.   

Itani Magwaba of Stats SA says, “We export a lot of our coal. Iron Ore is the second and in terms of rand value, Ore is R56 billion. Gold, we earn about R43 billion from our gold exports. R42 billion or 13% from our platinum exports. 10% or R31 billion from our manganese exports, and R30 billion or 9% from our palladium exports.” 

Meanwhile, Zambia’s newly-appointed mines minister Paul Kabuswe says the government will ensure stability and predictability in the mining sector, seeking to allay fears of royalty hikes.

Kabuswe also says the government must root out corruption in mining, which is the engine of Zambia’s economy. He also says he may not do everything in the coming budget but has assured to bring back sanity in the mining sector before 2026.

Kabuswe has also promised to stabilise the economy. – additional reporting by Reuters

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