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Zikalala mum on push for Zuma’s presidential pardon, says ex-president is in high spirits
22 July 2021, 5:38 PM

Former President Jacob Zuma is in good health and high spirits, says KwaZulu-Natal premier, Sihle Zikalala.

Zikalala attended the funeral of Zuma’s brother Michael in Nkandla on Thursday afternoon.

Zuma was also there after he was granted compassionate leave to attend the burial.

However, Zikalala, who is the governing party’s KZN chairperson, would not be drawn into whether the ANC in the province is pushing for a presidential pardon for Zuma.

“He is in good health and in good spirit he came to be part of the funeral and pay his last respect to his brother and I think we should applaud and thank the Correctional Services for ensuring that he participate in the send off his young brother we have made our point clear and we have made our submissions in terms of the engagement and I think it is better that the authorities such as the Minister and the Presidency handles that matter,” says Zikalala.

Zikalala attends Zuma’s brother’s funeral:

Zuma is currently serving his 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court at the Estcourt Correctional Centre.

Earlier, his supporters descended on the ANC offices in Durban, demanding his immediate release.

They also called for the prosecution of those involved in the killing of people in Phoenix.

They dispersed after delivering their memorandum of demands:

The former president has returned to his cell.

Security was tight at his brother’s funeral, with the media not allowed within the precinct of Michael Zuma’s funeral service.

Jacob Zuma
Zuma’s supporters flock to ANC KZN offices, demand ex-president’s immediate release from jail
22 July 2021, 3:17 PM

Supporters of former president Jacob Zuma have descended on the ANC provincial offices in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. They say they want the ANC in the province to support calls for Zuma’s release.

Zuma is serving 15 months in prison for contempt of court. He had ignored the Constitutional Court order that he continue appearing before the State Capture Commission.

On Thursday, the Correctional Services granted the former president compassionate leave to be able to attend his brother’s funeral, Michael, which is under way.

Now his supporters believe he shouldn’t return to custody.

Their march is believed to have been organised online after #FreeJacobZuma posters were circulated on social media.

The posters also feature a motorcade that claimed to be heading to the ANC’s provincial offices in Durban – calling for Zuma’s release from jail.

The governing party in KwaZulu-Natal has distanced itself from the event, with ANC provincial spokesperson, Nhlakanipho Ntombela, saying they do not know who organised the event.

A memorandum is expected to be handed over.

ANC members demand immediate release of Zuma:

‘Law must apply’

The news come as the country is reeling from recent violent unrest, which followed Zuma’s incarceration.

It’s left more than 200 people dead and billions of rand worth of damage after KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng residents went on the rampage, looting and destroying infrastructure.

More than a thousand people have been arrested for the crime.

This amid calls for law enforcement authorities to bring the perpetrators of the unrest to book.

Community activist Ishwar Ramlutchman says the law must apply.

He also condemns the loss of lives in Phoenix where more than 20 people were killed.

“We were very devastated about the looting and we condemn such acts. The very root cause of all this racial tension started with the looting, now when we go back and look at the lives that have been lost in Phoenix. We condemn all those that have murdered civil society. Gone are the days that we live in a society where we take things in our own hands and there the law must apply. We request the authorities, they must work hard and bring the perpetrators to book,” says Ramlutchman who was adopted as a prince of the Zulu nation by the late King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the unrest as an attempt to destabilise the democratic order. – Report by Nonhlakanipho Magwaza

Fort Calata Foundation exerts pressure on NPA as push for justice for the Cradock Four grinds on
21 July 2021, 3:07 PM

The son of one of the Cradock Four, Lukhanyo Calata, says he’s not confident that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will prosecute outstanding cases unless forced by a court of law.

On the 36th anniversary of the Cradock Four’s burial on Tuesday, Calata launched an application to compel the NPA to bring to book the 1985 murderers of Fort Calata, Matthew Goniwe, Sparrow Mkhonto and Sicelo Mhlauli.

The quartet had been accosted by apartheid police on their way to a United Democratic Front (UDF) meeting. Their burnt bodies were found a few days later in bushes.

When South Africa transitioned into democracy – the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up, where perpetrators could seek amnesty for apartheid crimes if they fully disclosed their involvement in the crimes they committed. It was understood that that those who failed to appear before the TRC would then be actively pursued and prosecuted by the NPA. However, that has not happened.

“There was a lot that was expected of the successive administrations of former presidents Thabo Mbeki, former president Kgalema Motlanthe even though he was there for a short while. Unfortunately that work we are expecting to be done by the current administration of Cyril Ramaphosa,” says the founding director of the Fort Calata Foundation, Lukhanyo Calata.

Former TRC Commissioner, Dumisa Ntsebeza, wrote a supporting affidavit in which he calls for the president to appoint a commission of inquiry. He says government is failing to prosecute known persecutors.

“The fact that we are still calling for prosecution is in fact a scandal and it’s something that the NPA or the South African government, the post apartheid government should explain to the people of South Africa, says advocate Ntsebeza.

The legal application cites former apartheid president FW de Klerk as a respondent – saying he could provide insight into the informal agreement that some crimes and violations of human rights during the oppressive regime would not be brought to court.

“What De Klerk needs to come out to this country and tell us is – who are the ANC leaders that got into the agreement to not prosecute TRC cases. What did he say in the meeting of 10 June 1985 when the state security council on the permanent removal of Fort Calata, Matthew Goniwe and Mbulelo Goniwe from society? What did FW De Klerk say in that meeting?,” asks Calata.

The FW de Klerk Foundation declined to join the panel discussion on the matter – claiming it would not be given a fair platform.

Meanwhile, the NPA has reassured that the agency is no longer politically-influenced and committed to chasing apartheid cases.

Calata say he cannot rely on the NPA’s word and believes this legal route is the only way to achieve justice.

Inquest into deaths of 144 Life Esidimeni patients begins on Monday
19 July 2021, 5:00 AM

The inquest into the deaths of 144 Life Esidimeni patients is set to begin on Monday in the Pretoria High Court. The 144 mentally-challenged patients were part of a group of over a thousand patients moved to non-compliant NGOs. This followed the termination of a contract between the Gauteng Health Department and the Life Esidimeni group in 2015. Due to neglect, dehydration, torture and hunger, they died between March and December 2016.

The inquest is one of the final steps to give closure to the families of the 144 victims of the tragedy.

Spokesperson for Section27, Julia Chaskalson, says the inquest will be presided over by a judge but is not a criminal trial.

“What’s starting in Pretoria is an inquest investigating each of those deaths and essentially try and establish whether there was any criminal action or omission on the part of state officials and NGO owners which was responsible for that death. The inquest is not a trial, nobody is going to be found guilty but it’s just to establish any criminal liability and whether that could open the door for the NPA to lay charges and to prosecute in future,” she says.

In March 2018, retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke awarded the families R1 million in damages and R200 000 for emotional suffering and funeral costs, after an official inquiry. He found government officials acted in breach of the law and the Constitution when they ended the Life Esidimeni contract and moved patients to NGOs without due regard for their well-being and state of health.

The NPA indicated in 2019, after studying the 144 dockets, there was not enough evidence to prove causation of death, nor enough evidence to link the actions of different role players to the eventual deaths. The judge will now determine if someone can be held liable for the deaths after the inquest.

Nomvula Nonjabe’s sister was one of the patients that was moved from a Life Esidimeni facility to another NGO, but survived the ordeal. Nonjabe says they need justice and not just compensation.

“I’m feeling hopeful, right, because it is justice in the right direction. So I’m really hoping the outcome would be that justice will be served for the families. Because I think that will also bring a bit more closure to the families other than just the compensation. Because there was a criminality on it because people died so justice needs to be served,” she says.

Over a thousand mentally-challenged patients were moved between March and December 2016 to other NGOs. Of those, 144 were confirmed dead while some have still not been found.

Andrew Pieterson lost his brother in the tragedy. He says the inquest must run its course, but he doesn’t believe anyone will ultimately be charged and convicted.

“Even if somebody is found guilty nothing will happen to that person but this should happen because half a loaf is better than no bread. We support this in full, Section 27 must carry on but as I said to you, one is wondering if things will turn around or not,” adds Pieterson.

Section27 represents some of the families of the deceased.

The inquest is expected to last more than 40 days and an estimated 30 witnesses will be called to testify:

South Africans congratulate Bafana for Cosafa win, ANC hails it as a great tribute to Madiba
18 July 2021, 10:00 PM

The African National Congress (ANC) has joined South Africans in congratulating Bafana Bafana on their victory against Senegal in the Cosafa Cup 2021.

The game took place today, Sunday, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, in Gqeberha, in the Eastern Cape.

Describing the team as the nation’s pride, the governing party says: “Their victory is a great tribute to the former statesman of the Republic of South Africa, president Nelson Mandela, who was born today in 1918. The team participating in community charity work ahead of today’s match showed great collective efforts in bettering society in honour of Madiba,” says the governing party in a statement.

The party says Bafana Bafana continue to fly the South African flag high and have become a team to be reckoned with both on the SADC and African continent.

South Africa beat guest side Senegal 5-4 after sudden death to lift their fifth COSAFA title.

The game had to be decided in penalties after it failed to produce any goals after 120 minutes of play.

Both sides created very few scoring opportunities in the first half that failed to produce any goals.

Senegal coach Joseph Koto got a red card on the stroke of half-time for arguing with match officials.

There was no goal after ninety minutes and the game went into extra-time, which also failed to produce any goals. Bafana Bafana scored their first two spot kicks, before Pape Ndiaye denied Ethen Brooks. Captain Veli Mothwa also saved a penalty and it went to sudden death.

Nyiko Mobbie scored South Africa’s first spot-kick in sudden death.

Then Ndiaye balloned his kick over the bar to hand Bafana Bafana the 2021 COSAFA title.

#BafanaBafana is trending on social media as South Africa celebrate the milestone.

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