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Lesufi announces Gauteng 2020 matric exam schedule
27 September 2020, 1:26 PM

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi says matric examinations will start on November 5, 2020 and will run through to December 15, 2020, while marking will take place from January 14 to 22, 2021.

Lesufi briefed the media on the grade 1 and grade 8 applications for 2021, as well as the matric examination scheduled for later this year due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown.

Matriculants will be writing along with those writing supplementary examinations from 2019, as well as adults who want to write their matric.

Lesufi says in order to adhere to social distancing the department has approached various other venues and employed around 12 000 invigilators.

“We’ve got a total of 152 000 candidates that have enrolled for the 2020 examinations. We have approached additional community halls, additional examination venues and additional churches. We now have 1 088 examination centres that will be utilised for these exams. We have also expanded our invigilators to 12 000 and have managed to train 1 088 chief invigilators. I want to take this opportunity to wish our matriculants good luck, Skeem Saam, The River come and go – matric comes once,” says Lesufi.

Lesufi briefs media on online registration for 2021

Gauteng matriculants head to exam readiness camp

The Gauteng Education Department says it has arranged a two-week camp for matriculants to help them prepare for the 2020 finals exam.

Matric learners throughout the country have been attending weekend classes in readiness for the final exams which will start in November.

Lesufi says the two-week camp is an additional effort to salvage learning time lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“So far, we are doing weekend classes. We will take those who are struggling to a camp for almost two weeks to ensure they can catch up and those that didn’t have an opportunity to use online learning. We can’t just leave them, we have to give them the necessary support – so indeed we are going to take others for camp for some time because we really need to prepare them,” Lesufi says.

 

Opposition parties slam Ramaphosa’s action against Mapisa-Nqakula as insufficient
27 September 2020, 12:02 PM

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says the action taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa against Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is a “slap on the wrist”.

Mapisa-Nqakula unlawfully conveyed an African National Congress (ANC) delegation to Zimbabwe on an SANDF plane earlier this month.

Ramaphosa on Saturday ordered that Mapisa-Nqakula be not paid her salary for three months, starting in November, and ensure that the state funds used for the trip are paid by the ANC.

Her salary will also be paid to the Solidarity Fund established to support the country’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

DA shadow minister of Defence Kobus Marais says this is a sign that Ramaphosa is weak, with no authority over his cabinet.

Marais says, “The President has downplayed this abuse of state resources, by stating it was an error of judgment. He himself admitted the minister did not act in the manner that talks to good governance – that she failed to act according to legal transcripts warranting care in the use of state resources and that she acted in a way that is inconsistent with her position. These are damning findings against the minster and yet she gets this slap on the wrist.”

Mixed reaction to ANC’s Zimbabwe trip reimbursement:

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) says Ramaphosa must make public the two reports he received from Mapisa-Nqakula.

The IFP says it can’t only be Mapisa-Nqakula who faces the consequences, but there’s a trail of individuals who work in Defence who must also account.

IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa says, “The President seems to have jumped quite a number of steps into arriving at sanctioning which of course must happen. The absence of transparency in the process actually has no credibility to what the President has done because the minister was not the only one who violated the constitution which has been a deliberate part in the ANC to ignore the separation of party and state.”

United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa has also rejected the reprimand of Mapisa-Nqakula saying she should have been fired a long time ago.

Holomisa says, “You will recall that it is the same minister who had a lift to her son’s girlfriend or girl’s boyfriend from Congo, the Guptas Waterkloof Airforce landing happened under her watch, the killing of Collins Khosa of Alexander and her conflicting statements is there for everybody to see.”

Ramaphosa reprimands Mapisa-Nqakula over the ANC-Zimbabwe trip

The Congress of the People (COPE) says that the President does not take state security seriously. They add that it is a very serious offence to transport civilians on a military plane.

COPE’s Dennis Bloem: “We are saying that if it was in another country where state security has been taken seriously then the President could have fired the Minister of Defence immediately. But we know that President Cyril Ramaphosa does not have any powers. He is not in charge of his government. It’s Luthuli House who is in charge who is taking decisions. So he is in a very difficult situation. He must look to the left to the right. This decision that he has taken you can see it’s not taken wholeheartedly. He was just trying to please the people to issue out a statement. This is a very serious offence to transport civilians in a military plane, it’s a gross offence.”

 Dennis Bloem speaks to SABC News

Virologist says government is monitoring COVID-19 trend despite disbandment of committee
27 September 2020, 9:45 AM

Virologist and advisory expert to government Professor Tulio de Oliveira says they are still monitoring the trend of coronavirus in the country for signs of a second wave of infections.

This follows news that Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize has disbanded the government Chief Scientific Advisory Committee on COVID-19.

The Committee was established during the pandemic in April to advise the government. Earlier this month as the infection rate began to ease, Mkhize announced the reconfiguration of the committee.

De Oliveira says it was the right time to disband the committee and there are various working groups that are still advising  government.

“I do believe that it was the right time but I also believe that if infections start to grow again we will also have what we call a second wave advisory committee or MAC. So there are many different structures, the ministerial advisory committee that have the key scientists and insiders that you have what you call working groups.”

“For example, we participate in the working group of reinfection, we did participate in the working group of aerosol transmission and we have been invited to participate in the working group of the second wave of infection,” adds De Oliveira.

Mkhize disbands the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19:

Medical association concerned over disbandment of COVID-19 advisory committee

The SA Medical Association has raised some concern over the disbandment of the government’s chief scientific advisory committee on COVID-19.

Dr. Mkhize appointed another committee last week that will focus on vaccines for COVID-19.

Chairperson of the SA Medical Association, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, says although they respect Mkhize’s decision, the minister should not exclude scientific input.

“We should not disregard the scientific input of the scientists. It’s his prerogative what he wants to do, I would have just done it a bit differently because there are still unfinished reports that need to go in. We never know what the politics behind everything is and maybe the minister will get a committee that is in favour and say more things that are appreciated at government level.

I think if you want to have a good committee you need to get a committee that has got very strong views and not afraid to criticise.”

E Cape police arrest two in possession of illegal ammunition and firearm
27 September 2020, 8:45 AM

Police say two men have been arrested for the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition during a police operation in the Qumbu area in the Eastern Cape.

The police went looking for suspects with outstanding warrants of arrest. The first arrest was of a 43-year-old man at Caba location, where police confiscated 96 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

The second person arrested was a 44-year-old male from Mafusini. He faces two charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Police spokesperson Khaya Tonjeni says the men will appear in court on Monday.

The police are encouraging people in possession of illegal guns to take advantage of the extended fire-arm amnesty period which ends on the 31st of January 2021.

President Ramaphosa reprimands Mapisa-Nqakula for ANC trip to Zimbabwe
27 September 2020, 7:14 AM

President Cyril Ramaphosa says Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will not receive her salary for three months, starting from November 1, 2020.

Ramaphosa says Mapisa-Nqakula did not act in the interest of good governance and failed to act within the law when she transported an ANC delegation to Zimbabwe on an SANDF government aircraft earlier this month.

He has opted to reprimand Mapisa-Nqakula after considering her report on the matter.

Mapisa-Nqakula’s salary will be paid into the Solidarity Fund, which was established to support the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The President furthermore directed Mapisa-Nqakula to make sure that the ANC reimburses the state for the cost of the flight to Harare and to report to him once that has been done.

Mixed reaction to ANC’s Zimbabwe trip reimbursement:

Public Protector to investigate the use of state funds by ANC

The Public Protector’s Office says it will investigate the use of state funds and resources for party interests by the African National Congress (ANC) after its delegation travelled to Zimbabwe.

This is despite the ANC apologising and agreeing to pay back the costs incurred on the trip.

The Public Protector’s spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said, “The PP will be investigating on the basis of three complaints from AfriForum, Freedom Front Plus (FF-Plus) and the African Transformation Movement (ATM) – the last two complainants are from political parties represented in Parliament.”

“They want her to investigate different aspects of the matter. It does not matter whether any of the players in the matter have decided to make amends, it is important for the PP to establish what happened, who did what and whether what they did was in compliance with the law,” added Segalwe.

The ANC says it will pay back the costs incurred to fly the party’s delegation:

Story by: Mamokete Marumo

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