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Zimbabwe High Court dismisses journalist Chin’ono’s appeal for bail
6 August 2020, 5:31 PM

Zimbabwe’s High Court has dismissed investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono’s appeal for bail. The journalist was arrested last month and charged with inciting public violence.

The charges are related to Chin’ono promoting anti-corruption demonstrations that were set for last week Friday.

Harare has since conducted a brutal crackdown on dissent.

Chin’ono was denied bail in the Magistrate Court last month after it found that he was a flight risk and could possibly continue to incite violence.  He then turned to the High Court seeking relief.

Defence lawyers argued that the journalist would not pose any risk to society and should be released on bail.

The High Court delivered the judgment without any reasons for the decision.

Meanwhile, opposition politician, Jacob Ngarivhume, who was arrested on the same day as Chin’ono and faces the same charges, will know his fate on Friday when the High Court delivers judgment in his appeal.

There are growing calls for action against the arrests of journalists and activists: 

 

Zimbabwe government denies violating human rights

Zimbabwe government has denied it’s violated human rights. It’s described recent allegations as misinformation, peddled by political individuals and global actors.

Last month, security forces cracked down on anti-corruption activists participating in demonstrations. At least half a dozen people were arrested for peaceful protests in their communities. These incidents have drawn international condemnation.

 

 

At least 11 people arrested in Phillippi following violent protests
6 August 2020, 4:32 PM

At least eleven people have been arrested in Philippi on the Cape Flats after a violent protest in the area. A Golden Arrow bus was torched and a container belonging to informal traders was set alight when residents of the nearby Siyangena informal settlement staged a protest demanding services.

Informal business traders in Philippi have suffered extensive damage during the early morning protests. One of the informal business owners Sibongile Manakele says they have lost everything.

“We keep all our clothes in this container after we are finished selling for the day. But today, we found this container on fire; nothing left. We have nothing to sell now. We rely on this business to feed our families. We bought new clothes in order to sell on payday. This is our only way of survival.”

A spokesperson for Golden Arrow Bronwen Dyke-Beyer says three buses have been set alight in different places around Cape Town since the start of the protests weeks ago.

Dyke-Beyer has condemned the acts.

“One of our drivers was robbed in the process and another suffered a neck injury. Golden Arrow condemns this criminal act in the strongest term possible. It’s not acceptable to attack innocent people and destroy the same vehicles helping people to leave their homes and accuses economic opportunities. Each bus costs approximately R2.4 million. This will affect our passengers. We call on SAPS to apprehend those who are responsible.”

One of the community leaders at Siyangena informal settlement Lulama Coto says they struggled to contain the anger of the community.

Coto says they have been staying on the private land they illegally occupied in 2018 without electricity.

“We need services like water, toilets, and disaster management must get involved whenever we have a problem.”

Police have been deployed in the area to maintain law and order.

Celtic Coach hopes his players will avoid injuries during Nedbank Cup semi-final
6 August 2020, 4:28 PM

Bloemfontein Celtic Coach, John Maduka, is hoping that he has prepared his players well to avoid early injuries in their Nedbank Cup semi-final fixture against Baroka FC at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

Football in the country will resume this weekend after a four months absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The league also adopted five substitutions that can be used by each team for the remainder of the season.

Maduka welcomed the league’s decision following the long lay-off. “Remember also that the game pushes you, you go and play against Baroka, and you can only be in charge when you are in possession of the ball. If Baroka is playing quickly, you try and adapt. You make sure you compete and that’s the time you get injuries and all those things. But in our preparation, we tried to make sure we prepare them as much as we know there will be injuries but there mustn’t be too many of them.”

Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa last week approved the PSL’s plans and safety regulations which include testing as well as training and playing in a safe, sanitised environment.

The announcement came amidst a number of players and officials at Absa Premiership clubs having tested positive for COVID-19.

Two players from Kaizer Chiefs who were among those tested positive two weeks ago and three officials at Stellenbosch FC have also tested positive for the virus.

 

‘SA’s Constitution does not allow for dissolution of cabinet’ as suggested by UDM
6 August 2020, 4:19 PM

Some political parties in Parliament say South Africa’s Constitution does not allow for the dissolution of Cabinet, as called for by United Democratic Movement’s (UDM) leader, Bantu Holomisa.

In a statement, Holomisa has called for the dissolution of government to be replaced by a caretaker administration until the 2024 national and provincial elections.

This is as allegations of looting by several state officials continue to surface amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Holomisa believes that this will help root out rampant corruption and hold those responsible accountable.

“We would be fooling ourselves if we expect the ANC to clean itself. Ramaphosa might be serious to say he wants to end corruption, but so far, the indications on the ground are that his own people are not listening to him. They are continuing to loot. At local government, it has worked where you appoint an administrator. It is going to be the same arrangement at the national level, where the Members of Parliament will continue doing their oversight work and approving legislation and find out exactly what is happening in institutions.”

Political parties reject Holomisa’s proposal to dissolve the Executive

‘Not practical’

Some Members of Parliament say this is not an option under the country’s constitutional democracy. However, other parties have shot Holomisa’s proposal down.

“It is not practical to do so. It is in the hands of electorate to get rid of ANC government in 2024 and that is how to ensure you get a new competent government,” says  Inkatha Freedom Party Chief Whip, Narend Singh.

Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) leader, Pieter Groenewald and says those implicated in corruption must be charged and if found to be guilty, go to jail.

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader, Kenneth Meshoe, and Congress of the People Spokesperson, Dennis Bloem, say they would support any means to remove the African National Congress (ANC) from power provided that it is in line with the constitution.

The ACDP says they are sick of corruption and looting.

“ANC should be voted out because the constitution doesn’t allow anything else. But I can understand Holomisa’s suggestion,” says Meshoe.

COPE says it would support the removal of President Cyril Ramaphosa and the cabinet since the country is in crisis economically.

ANC
Pressure mounts on the ANC to empower its Integrity Commission
4 August 2020, 9:46 PM

Pressure is mounting on the African National Congress (ANC) to adequately equip and empower its Integrity Commission to do its job.  The governing party adopted a resolution to set up the commission at its 2012 national conference.

This commission is constituted to deal with unethical behaviour within its ranks.  However, the commission is sometimes accused of being toothless.

The ANC Integrity Commission came into being some eight years ago when there was evidence of unethical behaviour amongst some party members.

It was empowered to act independently which meant it did not need anybody to refer the case to it whenever it notices that a member has acted in a manner that compromises the integrity of the organisation.

The role of the NEC

But after doing its works, its findings and recommendations are subject to the National Executive Committee (NEC) thus limiting its efficacy. This has resulted in some of the ANC and the general public saying it is just a toothless task team of the NEC.

At the funeral of its founding Chairperson Andrew Mlangeni last week, ANC member Malose Kekana said the best tribute to the former chair of this commission is to have it report directly to the national conference.

“The transition of the ANC from a liberation movement to being a political party and incumbent with the ability to dispense patronage and therefore, the source of corruption, has been a difficult transformation for many of these veterans. If you wish to honour the memory of Ntate Mlangeni, I propose that, Mr. President, you spearhead the change of the ANC constitution to make the Integrity Commission is an independent constitutional structure that does not report to the NEC, but to the conference. These veterans are one of two strong pillars that are holding up our movement. The other pillar is the support we enjoy from our people,” said Kekana.

Empowerment 

ANC veteran Mavuso Msimang on the other hand says the ANC Integrity Commission can function optimally if it is adequately empowered to do its job.

”They need to be adequately equipped to carry out their work and they do make recommendations. If the complaint and the accusations right now is that they lack teeth, it’s not because the people who serve on the commission lack the integrity and the will. It’s not as if they are selective and take some cases and not others. What’s referred to them, they deal with and they make recommendations. They may take time for the recommendations to be implemented, (and) they may be rejected as has happened in the past. ”

Corruption 

While the ANC grapples to ward-off corruption allegations emanating from the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the COVID-19 pandemic, its alliance partner, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), has warned the ANC-led government to shape up or risk losing support from its traditional allies and power in the next elections.

“He (President Ramaphosa) is really doing nothing. All we ever hear from him is analytics and cliche. We don’t know how many speeches we have listened of him committing to fighting corruption, yet corruption still happens all around him in his own administration; in his own organisation and we haven’t seen anyone being taken to task. And we made it very clear to the president that if he fails there will be a parting of ways. You cannot get a mandate from the people then you say you cannot act. Deliver on the mandate. That’s what the people voted you to do,” says Spokesperson Sizwe Pamela.

Consistency 

Meanwhile, Political Analyst Dr. Ralph Mathekga says consistency would help to restore the respect of the ANC Integrity Commission.

“The biggest challenge that the ANC Integrity Commission faces is actually integrity, because its recommendations lack integrity. This is because the commission has not functioned consistently. There have been some glaring cases that the commission hasn’t focused on. There are some people who believe they have been cleared by the commission such as the Deputy President of the ANC and yet, you hear the commission saying we have not cleared the Deputy President. So, it is not really very clear what is going on with this commission and the challenge is that if you failed to act consistently in the past, when you start doing it even those that actually deserve to meet the consequences they will then have a valid reason to ask, ‘why now?'”

Although the ANC has the Integrity Commission at both national and provincial levels, they function differently.

At the provincial level, most cases are referred to the Provincial Integrity Commission by the Provincial Executive Committee.

The latest such cases include the one involving PEC members and Presidential Spokesperson Khusela Diko and Gauteng Health MEC Bonagani Masuku as well as his wife who are accused of corruption in the awarding of tenders in PPEs in Masuku’s portfolio.

Weather

 

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