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Khoza urges prominent South Africans to lead by example and take COVID-19 vaccine
18 May 2021, 12:57 PM

Premier Soccer League and Orlando Pirates Chairperson, Irvin Khoza, has called on prominent people in South Africa to lead by example and get vaccinated against the coronavirus, as soon as they are eligible.

Khoza says this will save many lives.

Dr Khoza was vaccinated on Monday, which was the first day of the start of Phase 2 rollout, at a government facility in Munsieville on Gauteng’s West Rand.

“It is very important that as role models we remain meaningful to our community that we impact on because there is no point of staying out of the community which raised me. When we say things, we got people who are able to copy and try to imitate and make sure that they do the right thing. It was important that we create that mindset which gives confidence in the efficacy of the vaccination. There is a lot of doubts gossip and mongering about the vaccination,” he says.

Khoza has also appealed to football supporters to be patient until they get a go-ahead from government on when they will be allowed to attend games at the stadiums.

Khoza says if many citizens could be vaccinated, this will give government a picture of when to give a green light for supporters to go to stadiums. Crowds at the stadiums are still prohibited. Khoza says now the focus should be to save lives.

“When there is a time for government to give a go-ahead. The reasonable chance of supporters who have been vaccinated. Supporters are passionate people. As much as you can give guidelines in terms of social distancing, but when the emotions are high they are bound to remove the masks and sing. But if you have vaccinated, you minimise the extent of the damage if you are able to catch up with the virus. I don’t think the government is ready now for everybody to be given the vaccination to fast track the test of how many supporters we allow to the stadium,” he adds.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says the number of elderly people who were vaccinated at more than 80 sites nationwide on the first day will be announced later on Tuesday.

The department says vaccinations at some sites were disrupted by Eskom’s load shedding.

SAMA calls for more vaccination sites:

Information on what one needs to register for the vaccine:

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Unions reject Eskom’s wage offer, Num describes it as a joke
18 May 2021, 11:57 AM

Eskom unions have rejected a 1.5% wage offer tabled by management. Management made the offer on condition that unions agree to forego leave and other benefits, which Eskom workers have enjoyed for many years.

The talks were suspended two weeks ago after unions demanded that Eskom CEO, Andre De Ruyter come and present the company’s turnaround strategy to them. That finally happened, paving the way for the negotiations to proceed.

Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha says the company’s offer is due to its financial circumstances.

“Eskom has been making losses and is reliant on the taxpayer for funding…so the offer is dependent on the workers excepting some changes in the conditions of service,” he says.

Unions promptly shot down the offer.

“There’s no offer on the table, what has been given is a joke, is a 1.5% that is conditional,” says Acting General Secretary of Num, William Mabapa.

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) says their members will not entertain any offer below the consumer price inflation, currently sitting at 3.2%.

“Eskom is playing with us, 1.5% which is below-inflation, is not even a starter for our discussions. We told them that we’re not accepting the 1.5. We can only talk about them making an offer if the 1.5 is above inflation,” says Numsa’s chief negotiator Vuyo Bikitsha.

Both Num and Numsa are demanding a 15% salary increase with Solidarity pushing for a 9.5% hike.

The high-stakes talks continue.

Details in the video below on other issues the power utility and unions differ on:

eSwatini teachers lead protest against police brutality after law student’s death
18 May 2021, 11:35 AM

Teachers in eSwatini have taken to the streets in a protest against police brutality.

The Swaziland National Association of Teachers led the march to the Manzini regional police head offices to deliver a petition.

The protest comes after a law student, Thabani Nkomonye’s body was found dumped in bushes in an area called Nhlambeni.

The incident sparked a public outcry after allegations emerged that the 25-year-old was killed by the police.

President of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers, Mbongwa Dlamini, says they need answers.

“We demand answers, because we don’t understand the way in which Thabani Nkomonye died. We strongly suspect that police have been involved in the killing of Thabani. So we had a march yesterday (Tuesday), together with the University of Swaziland students. We are demanding that the national commissioner of police must give explanation or resign if they fail to give us clear explanation as to what caused Thabani to die or what did Thabani do to deserve the killing by the police,” he adds.

Senior Magistrate Nonhlanhla Dlamini has been appointed to lead a probe into the matter.

Nobody will ban me under democracy nor remove ANC from me, vows Magashule
17 May 2021, 2:15 PM

Suspended ANC Secretary General, Ace Magashule, says no one will ban him under a democracy nor remove the governing party from him.

Magashule was speaking outside the High Court in Pietermaritzburg.

He was part of several high-ranking ANC officials who had gone there to support former President Jacob Zuma, who is facing fraud and corruption charges.

Addressing Zuma’s supporters outside court Magashule said: “I am going to be short because am banned, but I can assure you…nobody – nobody under a democracy will ban me. Nobody will remove the ANC from me. I won’t form a party, I won’t leave the ANC and I die in the ANC.”

He also promised to mobilise everyone, including people who are not ANC members, to come to the trial of the former president. “Next week we will being the whole Free State here. We want the whole KZN here on the 26th of May.”

Among conditions for the suspended ANC Secretary-General is that he doesn’t pronounce on ANC matters. He was also asked to apologise to ANC structures for unilaterally suspending party President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

When SABC News’ Senior Political Reporter, Samkele Maseko, asked him whether he will ever apologise for the move, Magashule said: “I’m in court my brother. We were here to support him. President Zuma was ready. He has always been ready. I’m ready for any court action.”

ANC dynamics play themselves out at former president’s court appearance:

Magashule is challenging his suspension in court and wants it to declare the party’s step-aside resolution uncostitutional. The resolution orders members facing serious charges to temporarily vacate office.

ANC NEC member, Tony Yengeni, reiterated his support for both Zuma and Magashule.

On Magashule’s suspension, he said no party leader elected at a conference should be removed from office willy nilly.

Earlier, ANC high-ranking officials in KwaZulu-Natal, provincial chairperson Sihle Zikalala and provincial secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli, were booed by the Zuma supporters.

‘Don’t fight battles here’

Zuma called for restraint, saying: “We are here for the trial and not political activities. Please comrades let’s talk about issues like comrades.”

“If we come here to support Zuma…let’s do that and not do other things. The battles you want to fight…please do it elsewhere and not here. If I need to deal with a comrade, let’s do it in a proper platform,” urged the former ANC President.

Zuma says he wants the court to apply the law properly.

“They said on the 26 we are coming back for the trial. I don’t want to say much because we will say a lot in court. This case isn’t fair and it has people who were conniving with law enforcement agencies, swearing (at) me yet they  are in charge of the case,” he said.

Zuma and arms company Thales face charges linked to the arms deal.

The former President’s full address is in the video below:

De Lille ready to testify

Public Works Minister, Patricia de Lille, who is scheduled to be the first witness in the case says  she’s more than ready to give evidence next week. De Lille raised the alarm on the allegations of corruption in the arms deal more than 20 years ago. She was also in court on Monday.

“The arms deal saga more than 22 years ago it was a test for government. If we had acted quicker and responded to the corruption allegations 22 years ago we would have not been in the pandemic of corruption that we see today. Because after that it became a free for all as we are seeing now. I’m relieved that it’s began, even if it’ll take another week, it’s fine it’s going to start,” she said.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) reiterated that it is ready for trial.

NPA Spokesperson, Sipho Ngwema, says the State will closely examine the plea from the defense as well as calls for the recusal of the state’s Advocate Billy Downer.

“We need to understand in terms of what they are raising. We’ll see the application as it comes and we are hoping we should be able to deal with that but at face value Billy has been a member of the national prosecuting authority for many years. They have been dealing with him on this case for the last 2 decades as a member of the NPA. I hope and we hope this is not a way of bringing issues that have failed before with regards to the politicisation of this cause and using those issues to collapse the matter,” says Ngwema.

Former President Zuma is expected to enter his plea when the case returns to court next week Wednesday.

Geoff Makhubo to kick off State Capture Inquiry proceedings on Monday
17 May 2021, 5:00 AM

Johannesburg Mayor, Geoff Makhubo, will face the third degree on Monday when the commission investigating allegations of state capture resumes.

The hearings will start at 10am in Johannesburg.

Makhubo will give testimony on ANC money flows during his tenure as the treasurer of the Greater
Johannesburg Region of the party.

The state capture commission has heard that numerous payments were made by EOH Africa to the governing party’s bank accounts to help fund ANC accommodation costs, employee stipends, transportation, and merchandise at major party events.

ENS Forensics MD, Steven Powell, has accused Makhubo of having written various emails to EOH employee Patrick Makubedu requesting over R6 million in payments to be made to the ANC’s accounts in 2015 alone.

The Johannesburg Mayor is also said to have irregularly received payments from EOH Africa through his service providing company named Molwewane Consulting.

More information on these claims is in the video below:

The Zondo Commission will also have an evening session.

Former Eskom Group CEO, Matshela Koko, will give evidence when the session kicks off at 4pm.

Last week, Koko told the commission that he and his family footed their own bill for their trip to Dubai in 2015, not Salim Essa as alleged by other witnesses. Koko says he personally paid R330 000 for the holiday to Indonesia and asked former Eskom official Suzanne Daniels to assist him with visa applications for Dubai and changing flight plans.

Koko says he has since been able to get information from Salim Essa’s lawyers, which can prove that Essa did not make a R100 000 payment towards his trip as it has been alleged.

“We planned for it, we paid with our money, but we had difficulties with our passports so we could not pm my daughter could not get passport so I went to miss Daniels, because between Ms Daniels and my professional assistant, they never battled with Visas, things happened quickly, I gave all the documents we had to Ms Daniels. We booked our trip to Dubai, we’ve paid for it, don’t need Salim Essa to pay for it. There is the evidence that we paid for it,” he said.

More of Koko’s evidence comes after former minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s testimony in the video below:

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