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AU seeks solutions to gain respect from Western counterparts
25 January 2018, 8:42 PM

The African Union executive council has begun its two day meeting at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia.

The council is preparing for the upcoming AU summit at the end of the month where South African President Jacob Zuma is expected to lead his country’s delegation.

The AU Commission wants African leaders to decide how to command respect from its external partners like the United States.

African Foreign affairs ministers will spend two days deciding the agenda that African leaders will deliberate on when they meet later this month.

Top AU officials want them to consider how the continent will address what they call disrespect from US president Donald Trump.

Chairperson AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat elaborates: “Through the messages of despise, of hatred and the desire to marginalise and exclude Africa and the statements like those on Jerusalem and the reduction of the contribution to the peacekeeping operations budget in the world; and also leaders to believe that multilateralism is facing a serious crisis and the continent cannot keep quite about this.”

Solidifying self-dependence will also be a key issue.

The AU Commission says African member states have already started contributing to the continent’s peace fund, but more ought to be done.

Mahamat says, “In the financial year 2017 we have reduced the contribution of the partners to 74% to the programme budget. For the budget 2018, the share of the partners will be only 59% which represents substantive progress.”

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa says that nearly half the population of Africa believes that African governments have either failed or been unable to address the effects of corruption. It has challenged African leaders to action.

Executive Secretary UN Commission for Africa, Vera Songwe,  says “The question is what do we do next? How many countries will decide in this year of fighting corruption that they will resolutely sign the agreements? How many countries in Africa will ensure that transfer of resources outside the continent is legislated and transparent?”

South Africa is seen as one of the states that is successfully implementing anti-corruption policies.

South Africa’s role in the African Union is key especially in peace and Security in the Southern African region.

At the summit President Jacob Zuma is expected to lead the South African Delegation.

Rhino horn poaching declines in SA
25 January 2018, 5:47 PM

Environmental Affairs minister Edna Molewa says commitment by law enforcement agencies working hand to hand with the civil society is aiding the country in the conservation of rhinos.

Molewa says the government’s strategy to combat rhino poaching has contributed towards the decrease in this illegal trade last year.

She says rhino poaching in and around the Kruger National Park has declined as compared to other provinces.

Molewa says nationally rhino poaching went down to 1028 last year as compared to 1054 in 2016.

She commended the police as well as special national park rangers for the arrest of about 446 alleged poachers in 2017, saying:

“A total of 502 alleged rhino poachers and 16 alleged traffickers were arrested nationally bringing the total figure to 518. This represents a decrease from 2016 when a total of 680 poachers and traffickers were arrested.”

On the detection of horn at ports of entry and exit like OR Tambo International Airport, Molewa says the environment management inspectors working with the police and South African Revenue Services continue to do great job:

“During 2017 there were 8 seizures of rhino horn at O.R Tambo International Airport. Our first case at ORTIA of 2018 involved the arrest of a South East Asian national. The woman has been charged with illegal possession of rhino horn and exporting without a CITES permit.”

Molewa says the rhino horn busting cases and the new techniques the poachers are using has made them to be more vigilant.

“We continue to register some success in our fight against Rhino poaching, but we are equally aware that the battle is not yet over. We would continue to be vigilant. The increase in other provinces of poaching rates and attempt coupled with the sharp rise in elephant poaching tells us that as we progress and involve so do the technics and methods of the poachers. It’s up to us therefore to remain ahead of the game at all times and we believe that we are equal to the task.”

Molewa has called on members of the public to report any suspicious activities around the wildlife to their nearest police station.

Danny Jordaan likely to retain Safa presidency
25 January 2018, 5:38 PM

The President of the South African Football Association, Danny Jordaan, looks set to be elected for a second term when the country’s football governing body holds its elective congress on the 24th of March.

The Football Transformation Forum (FTF) has put its support behind Jordaan with 41 of the 52 Safa regions said to have endorsed him.

FTF has, meanwhile, ruled out both former Safa Vice-president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana and former Bafana Bafana Captain Lucas Radebe from the running saying the two are ineligible to contest for the presidency as they don’t serve on any Safa structures.

Formed in 2008, just a year before the 2009 elections, the Football Transformation Forum seems to have positioned themselves as kingmakers with candidates it endorses winning in the last two elections of Safa.

In 2009, the FTF had a say in Kirsten Nemantendani being elected president of the association, while in 2013 Danny Jordaan emerged with most Safa regions voting for him.

Now, the FTF has endorsed Jordaan for a second term only a few weeks after Nonkonyana announced that he will stand.

FTF Secretary-General, Mzwandile Maforvhane says as far as they are concerned, the 2018 Safa elections are over as Jordaan who is their preferred candidate will prevail.

“FTF believes the election process is already over, because the Safa regions have already taken a decision on who is going to lead SA soccer. We know for a fact that the coastal and inland regions had separate meetings where they declared their preferred candidate and it was Dr Jordaan.”

Last week, Nonkonyana held a media briefing where he outlined reasons for his campaign saying he decided to stand after he was approached by certain regions.

Nonkonyana hinted that Lucas Radebe might also throw his name in the hat for the Safa presidential position.

Maforvhane says Nonkonyana is ineligible as he was expelled in 2014 and he still owes Safa money.

“First, he was expelled by the Safa regions in 2014 and he has not been reinstated. Secondly, he lost numerous court cases against Safa with costs and still owes it money.”

Maforvhane also says Lucas Radebe doesn’t meet the criteria to stand for Safa presidency.

“We also believe Mr Lucas Radebe was wrongly advised in terms of the role he can play in the development of football in the country. FTF is willing to advice Mr Radebe in case he wants to contribute positively to football in the country.”

There was a show of support for Jordaan at the briefing with a number of Safa NEC members in attendance.

Three of those were also FTF members who represented five Gauteng regions, five Limpopo regions and 31 other regions comprised of Mpumalanga, Western Cape, Northern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal and Western Cape.

Safa NEC member Mxolisi Sibam and Chairperson of Limpopo Safa Maluleke Jack say Jordaan has support of around 41 of the 52.

“The meeting we had in East London, 31 of the 33 regions has declared their support for Dr Jordaan. We are only working on the two and we are positive.”

Maluleke Jack elaborates, “We’ve got five regions in Limpopo and all have met and agreed on the candidature of Dr Jordaan.”

Meanwhile, the South Gauteng High Court will on Monday rule on the appeal made by Nonkonyana to have his expulsion from Safa set aside.

The SABC sends its condolences to the late Sandy Mokwena’s family
25 January 2018, 5:21 PM

The SABC wishes to extend its condolences to Mr Sandy Mokwena’s family and speaks highly of his contribution to the broadcaster.

The public broadcaster says although Mr. Mokwena is currently known for the role he played on e.tv’s scandal, as Bra Eddie Khumalo, he has also featured on a number of SABC programmes such as Generations, Yizo Yizo, Soul City, Going Up and Khululeka among others.

“Mokwena first cut his teeth in acting, playing the role of Cappie on the hit music ‘Ipi Tombi’ that went on a world tour in the early 70’s. Boasting almost four decades in the industry, South Africans have had the pleasure of watching him grow and evolve with every character he portrayed. His talent and craft was a sight to behold and his death is an immeasurable loss to the TV and Film fraternity.”

 

The SABC says they will allow Mr Mokwena’s memory to live on. “His life story may have come to an end, but his memories will remain alive in our archives.”

Tributes are pouring in for veteran actor known as ‘Bra Eddie’ in the soapie Scandal, died overnight in hospital.

Mokoena’s peers and a later generation of actors say his contribution to the industry is unparalleled.

Veteran actor Sello Maake ka Ngcube remembering Sandy Mokoena who has worked for various productions. Maake ka Ngcube says not only was Mokwena a friend he was also a mentor.

“When I was still a young actor then and Bra Sandy was a ‘grootman’ that we grew knowing about. He was involved prior to me in ‘iphi ntombi’. He was an amazing dancer and drummer as well. Second last time I worked with him was on scandal. He was first of all a dedicated actor, diligent he was very giving as an actor.”

Artist Tony Kgoroge says Sandy Mokoena’s contribution in the arts industry was immense. Kgoroge who is well celebrated both in front of and behind the camera says Mokoena set a high standard for his generation of actors…

“Bra Sandy was one of the people we used to look up to. Those are the people who came earlier in the industry, so each and every time we looked into the industry while we were studying we’d be like if I can be at that level and do things he’s doing. He took some time off acting and when he came back you’d think he’d start from the bottom but he was still maintaining the same aura of being great.”

ETV PR Specialist Michael Pocock says although Mokoena had been ill for a while although he had still been working.

“Etv is saddened by this condolences go out to his family and his cast and crew of Scandal he definately will be missed he was on Scandal since the first episode aired which was in January 2005 so he is very entrenched and part of the fibre of etv brand and he will be solely missed by all of us.”

Mokoena’s illness has not yet been disclosed. His crew and cast at Scandal has been given the day off. Pocock says he died of natural causes.

 

ANC to protest further against Hoërskool Overvaal
21 January 2018, 9:32 PM

The African National Congress (ANC) at Sedibeng Municipality in the Vaal says there will be another protest on Monday at the Hoërskool Overvaal in Vereeniging.

Party members are demanding that the Afrikaans-medium school admit 55 English-speaking learners.

A court ruled last week that the school did not have the capacity to admit them.

An ANC-led protest outside the school last week turned violent, dividing the community, and several people were arrested for public violence.

ANC leader in Sefdibeng, Tlhoriso Mofokeng says the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) will support Monday’s protest.

“We have a programme – and our programme would only end when the school says we are opening doors for your children. That is when we will call off our programme… to say that now we have achieved what we wanted to achieve. There would be a demonstration at the school led by SADTU.”

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