Actor Shona Ferguson passes on from COVID-19 related complications
30 July 2021, 5:08 PM
Television actor and executive producer Shona Ferguson has passed on due to COVID-19 related complications.
Ferguson is the co-owner of the production company, Ferguson Films, which has produced shows including, among others, Rockville, The Queen, Igazi, The River, and The Herd.
As an actor, Ferguson starred in some of South Africa’s best soapies including Generations as Ace, as Dr. Leabua on Muvhango in 2006, and Tyson on Isidingo’s Season 1.
The Botswana-born actor went on to play JB Bogatsu on the Ferguson Film’s Rockville, Jerry Maake on the Queen, and Simon Masire on Kings of Joburg. Ferguson’s career has not been without obstacles.
Last month he took to Twitter to reflect.
A moment of reflection & gratitude:
17 years ago a Hollywood producer asked me if I had a back up plan. I was obviously shattered because I had just done multiple takes of an audition. He continued to say… “You don’t have what it takes.”…
An agent told me it wasn’t going to be easy to get me jobs because I didn’t have the right “look”. A veteran actor, loved & respected by millions told me I am not memorable & so did lot of producers. Many actors criticized me & made bets I would never make it in this industry.
Ferguson has been married to actress and co-owner of Ferguson Films, Connie, since 2001.
VIDEO: Ministers of Small Business Development and Trade, Industry and Competition brief media
29 July 2021, 4:17 PM
Ministers of Small Business Development and Trade, Industry, and Competition are briefing the media on business support measures. The briefing follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s s address to the nation on Sunday.
Below is the briefing:
VIDEO: Minister Nxesi’s briefing on COVID-19 alert level 3 measures
28 July 2021, 4:00 PM
The Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, is briefing the media on COVID-19 Alert Level 3 measures in relation to the labour and employment sector.
The briefing follows president Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on Sunday in which he moved the country to level 3 lockdown following his meeting with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC).
Minister Nxesi sheds light on how the labour sector will be affected:
Political parties react to Moseneke’s report on local government elections
20 July 2021, 9:10 PM
Despite being one of the parties to initially disagree with any postponement of the local government elections, the Congress of the People (COPE) says it respects and accepts the report of former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.
COPE’s Dennis Bloem reacts to the report:
It says this is because the Moseneke report is based on expert and scientific advice rather than political sentiments, and all political parties and stakeholders were consulted.
In a statement, the party says it also recognises the reality that the COVID-19 third wave is causing havoc in the country and says the postponement to early next year will give all political parties more time to campaign.
The Economic Freedom Fighters has called on the Independent Electoral Commission to accept and support the recommendations of the Moseneke inquiry.
The party says it will go on to propose an emergency convening of Parliament in a bid to pass an urgent motion to amend the constitution to allow for the postponement of elections beyond the established five-year term of municipal councils, and beyond the 90-day deadline that would require elections to happen in November 2021.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance says it does not support the postponement of the elections. The party says it is possible to hold elections within COVID-19 protocols.
DA Spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube on the party’s reasons for not wanting a postponement:
“The LGE must adhere to the constitutionally prescribed timeframe. According to the Constitution, the LGE must take place every 5 years. Arguments that the LGE will lead to increased COVID-19 infections can be disputed in light of the various by-elections which took place since the start of the State of Disaster. Furthermore, most scientific models, at this stage, predict that there is a very good possibility that infection rates will be stable and even low in the period immediately before and on 27 October,” says the party in a statement.
The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) also welcomed the proposed postponement of the elections. IFP Chief Whip Narend Singh says the party welcomes the fact that Moseneke was very pragmatic and comprehensive in dealing with the recommendations that were finally made.
Singh shares more:
In the past two months, Moseneke has canvassed the views of more than 4 000 ordinary South Africans and heard submissions from political parties, electoral practitioners, and scientists.
Moseneke says that the recommendations that he has made are motivated by the experience of other countries that have held elections during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the advice of leading scientists.
“We conclude that it is not reasonably possible or likely that the local government elections scheduled for October 2021 will be held in a free and fair manner as required by the peremptory provisions of the constitution and related legislation and we go further to find that the scheduled elections would be free and fair if they are held no later than the end of the month of February 2022.”
INFOGRAPHIC: Moseneke’s report:
Other considerations relate to the IEC’s election schedule, particularly voter registration, scheduled to take place just six days after the expected lifting of alert level 4. Moseneke says that national disaster regulations will restrict political parties from adequately informing eligible voters.
He says the choice between October 2021 and February 2022 to hold local government elections lies in the number of South Africans that will have been vaccinated.
Moseneke says his recommendations have not been made lightly, as only the most compelling reasons can justify deferring elections.
“Some have argued that deferment may encourage or initiate a slippery slope that may undermine the democratic project we think that this argument has considerable force only the most compelling of reasons must justify the deferment of a term of elections set by the supreme and other law in our country. It is for that reason that our recommendation is that elections be deferred only once and to the earliest possible date to be determined as the safest of the shortest within which local government elections can be held without excessive loss of life.”
Former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke ‘s report:
IEC Chairperson, Glen Mashinini, has thanked Moseneke and his team for carrying out their inquiry, describing it as in-depth, comprehensive and transparent.
“Over the coming days it is the intention of the commission to study the inquiry report in-depth and to engage with a range of key stakeholders regarding its findings and recommendations and this will include our key stakeholders including political parties via the political party multiparty liaison system along with the various key role players and then make a final determination regarding the local government elections during the next few days.”
The IEC will make the final determination on when the elections will be held:
Should the IEC elect to follow the recommendations of the Moseneke Inquiry, it will then need to approach the Electoral Court to apply for the postponement, putting forward reasons why the poll should be deferred.
US law expert affirms view that SA experienced an attempted insurrection
Professor Penelope Andrews of New York Law School believes the riots, looting, and arson in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng were part of a broader attempt to render the country ungovernable and in an effort to thwart a legal process that landed former President Jacob Zuma behind bars for contempt of court.
Similarly, rioters in Washington sought to stop the legal process of certifying Joe Biden’s Presidential win, rendering former President Donald Trump a one-term President, and thereby exposing him to greater legal scrutiny.
The 6 January attack on Capitol Hill in Washington or events in South Africa that began on 9 July in response to the arrest of former President Zuma are analogous, at least according to Law Professor Penelope Andrews.
“I think that the analogy with the capitol riots is actually quite apt. The dictionary definition of insurrection is a violent uprising against an authority or the state and I would say that this was an attempt if you look at the facts in South Africa, this was an attempt to incite a violent uprising, so I think that it was if one could think about it in legal terms, an attempted insurrection.”
Andrews sees multiple similarities between the attempts at insurrection in both countries in that the rioters, at the very least in part, sought to stop a legal process, in the United States the certification of President Biden’s election victory, and in South Africa to stop the legal detention and incarceration of former President Zuma.
She also explains that both Trump and Zuma seek to connect their personal legal challenges to that of the country while both use every maneuver available to them to circumvent or block any accountability.
“President Trump was intent on staying in office so he wouldn’t have to face a range of legal problems, and ex-President Zuma has also shown himself not wanting to be held accountable and to escape the reach of the law – that’s the third. The fourth analogy I see is loyal, loyal supporters despite the facts, they are – President Trump’s supporters, ex-President Zuma’s supporters – they all are loyal despite their interests not in any way being followed by these two men. And then finally I would say one has to look at the party. The ANC is deeply divided and I would say the Republican Party is also divided and Donald Trump sits at the centre of the division of the Republican Party and Jacob Zuma sits at the centre of the division in the African National Congress.”
Both men continue to wield significant political influence in their parties and the country, with implications for the principle of the rule of law.
“The point is there is a contest going on in SA about the reach of the law and the idea is the Constitutional Court in its judgment stated very clearly that Jacob Zuma is not above the law. But I think the consequences go outside of the law. The reason why these followers continue to support the ex-Presidents is because the conditions under which they live suggest that the major political parties do not take account of their conditions, so the gross economic inequality in SA and the lack of dignity within which many people have to live their lives means that there’s a ready constituency of people who are alienated and outside of the good of the new SA. Similarly in the United States, many of Donald Trump’s supporters are people who feel that the country no longer supports them – now much of it is in racist ideology, in the United States it’s about whites feeling that the country is becoming too brown for them, in SA it’s a class issue, it’s an economic issue.”
Andrews called for law enforcement to hold perpetrators and instigators accountable in order to reinforce the country’s constitutional project while urging Parliament to follow the US example and set up a multi-party probe into the genesis and executive failures linked to the riots in South Africa.