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VIDEO: Ramaphosa’s closing remarks on the ANC NEC meeting
29 March 2021, 9:54 PM

ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa is making his closing remarks following the meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee.

Live proceedings in the stream below:

Norma Gigaba to sue state after NPA’s decision to drop charges against her
26 March 2021, 12:51 PM

The National Prosecuting Authority has withdrawn all charges against Norma Gigaba, born Mngoma.

The estranged wife of former minister, Malusi Gigaba, appeared at the Hatfield Magistrate Court in Pretoria to face charges of malicious damage to property and crimen injuria. She allegedly damaged a car her estranged husband had been using after borrowing it from a friend.

A Pretoria high court last month declared that her arrest was unlawful and an abuse of power by members of the Hawks and her husband.

Mngoma says it has been a long journey.

“It has been a very emotional journey, I don’t want to lie. Although I have the very best legal team who stood by me, I still need to be a mother. Regardless, I had to appear in court, prepare for court and face the public. Twitter and everyone was saying things about me and people don’t know what happened. What happened is not what has been said. Whoever opened the case is the one who propagated the whole thing and the truth will come out,” she says.

She is overjoyed:

“I am so happy, actually like I am very very excited because it’s been a long journey. Like few months, I think it’s eight months right now going through this process which is what’s unfair and planned to make me, to humiliate me and to destroy me. I think my image and everything,” she says.

Her lawyer, Eric Mabuza, says they will be bringing a civil lawsuit against the state.

“For all the humiliation…the trauma; the unlawful detention. For all those things as well as her reputation which has been tainted by this unlawful arrests,” he says.

“Her family life has been affected. Her children have been affected. It is unimaginable what she has gone through, facing the full might of the state but we are pleased that she stood resolute and firm and calm and now she can rebuild her life. We are finalising the court papers to sue so that she can get her dignity and the state must pay for what they have done to her,” adds Mabuza.

Magufuli to be laid to rest on Friday
26 March 2021, 10:00 AM

The late former Tanzanian  president John Magufuli will be laid to rest on Friday in his home  district of Chato.

The government has called on the elderly children and those with comorbilities not to attend the burial ceremony, but rather to watch the service on television.

Since his death thousands have lined up the streets around the country when his body was taken to different regions.

Last respects for late President John Magufuli in Tanzania:

A mother and her two children as well as two other relatives, also children, were killed in a stampede that occurred at a stadium in the port city of Dar es Salaam where hundreds of people were paying their last respects to Magufuli earlier this week. It remains unclear what triggered the stampede.

Magufuli passed away last week Wednesday from heart complications.

On Monday nine heads of state, including President Cyril Ramaphosa, joined his successor, Samia Suluhu Hassan and other Tanzanians in the capital Dodoma to pay their last respects.

Tanzania has declared 21-days of mourning, with flags flying at half-mast for the period.

Government won’t fund SAA again, says Gordhan
25 March 2021, 8:25 PM

The Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan, has reiterated that the national fiscus will not in the future fund the South African Airways (SAA).

Gordhan and the SAA Business Rescue Practitioners (BRPs) briefed Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on the airline’s business rescue process and investigations carried out by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

Besides previous bailouts amounting to billions of rand, the airliner has received R7.8 billion to implement the business rescue process. The total cost of the process is R10.5 billion.

Gordhan says government is taking responsibility of restructuring costs and the private equity partner has to come with future capital.

“The fiscus will not make any contributions in the future, let me emphasise that the fiscus will not be required to make any contributions in the future because the parallel process to this that is taking place is the acquisition of a strategic equity partner and with all of those interested parties discussions have taken place with it has been made clear that whilst we take responsibility as government for the restructuring costs, the partner has to come in with future capital,” says the Minister.

The future of SAA in the spotlight once again:

The SAA BRPs have told Scopa that the business rescue process will come to an end in the next weeks.

Business Rescue Practitioner, Siviwe Dongwana, says the process has resulted in the SAA becoming solvent and liquid. It has also resulted in a reduction in liabilities and claims.

Dongwana adds that they were able to offer workers better packages compared to what they would have received if the airliner was liquidated.

“There was a general consensus that SAA had a high number of staff relative to the airline of its size we have now gone through a process where we reduced the airliners employees from 4 700 to approximately a thousand through VSP and Section 189, which was found to be in line with the Labour Relations Act,” he says.

In September, an Intellidex Capital report warned that funding the airline from the fiscus would have serious implications. It said this would force some government departments to make large cuts in their expenditure on important things like infrastructure  and also send a worrying signal to investors, including the IMF and the World Bank.

Corruption destroyed state’s ability to get things done, says Ramaphosa
25 March 2021, 6:20 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the capability of the South African state has been severely weakened by corruption and state capture.

He says government has often outsourced services to consultants to address its lack of capability but that also failed to yield positive results.

Ramaphosa says the role of the state has once again been brought into the spotlight by COVID-19, which now presents an opportunity to bring about transformation in government.

The President was participating in a virtual master class for senior leaders in government hosted by the school of governance.

“And we’ve seen how outsourcing has also weakened our state and even those states we tended to outsource to we’re themselves captured, were also deeply involved in the challenges that we had to face of corruption, but what corruption did was to absolutely destroy our ability to get things done because through that the financial capability was weakened, there was over pricing,” he says.

National School of Government master class:

Ramaphosa says government needs to strive to be an entrepreneurial state by being more innovative, taking risks and adopting an investment driven approach in its leadership. He says government needs to be more people-centred and purpose driven if it is going to succeed in the fight against poverty and inequality which has been exacerbated by COVID-19.

The President believes that the public sector needs to be professionalised through the procedural appointment of deserving individuals.

“That redesigned process is also starting at the governing party. The governing party is now focused on ensuring that we get more skilled people, not just people who know others. More skilled people to be brought in either at local government level right throughout. And then we want to focus on professionalising the public service,” he says.

Cabinet last year approved the National Implementation Framework (NIF), which is aimed at  professionalising the Public Service.

At the beginning of this month, President Ramaphosa urged ordinary South Africans to participate in the consultation process aimed at making a professional public sector a reality.

 

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