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Maile demands explanation on Lukhwereni’s dismissal from office
3 March 2021, 3:22 PM

Gauteng’s Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Lebogang Maile has written to City Johannesburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo requesting that he responds within three days on what the terms and conditions of the “mutual termination of employment” between the City and the former City Manager entail.

The City issued a statement on Tuesday saying that the City and its manager, Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni, have agreed on a mutual termination of employment effective 28 February 2021.

Maile also wants Makhubo to present him with the initial employment contract as well as any settlement agreement entered into between the City and Lukhwareni.

DA Joburg Caucus leader, Councillor Leah Knott says they believe Lukhwareni is being made a scapegoat for COVID-19-related corruption.

“I repeat my concerns that he is being made a scapegoat for Geoff Makhubo’s failings in the city, which include over R400 million in corrupt COVID expenditure along with service delivery falling apart. In an election year, we have to worry that Dr Lukwareni is being pushed aside to make way for a more compliant cadre, who will enable looting to fund the campaign of a financially bankrupt ANC.”

Should the tender system be re-examined following PPE corruption?

DA willing to go into coalitions after local government elections
3 March 2021, 2:16 PM

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says its values and principles will guide it on the matter of which political party it will go into coalition with post-local government elections scheduled for later this year.

Leader John Steenhuisen was speaking during a discussion on the party’s social media platforms where he was joined by Federal Chairperson Helen Zille on the topic of coalitions.

Earlier this week, Steenhuisen told the SABC that the DA is willing to co-operate with progressives within parties across the political spectrum including the African National Congress.

He has however denied that this means the DA will go into coalition with the governing party as has been reported.

“The real choice is – do we have the values and principles in common? Can we get something to work in service of the residence and citzens that we serve? And if so, what does that look like? And that’s what is used as the litmus test as to do. You form something and I have been very clear about this, if we cannot get something together around the values and principles, we will take our seats on the opposition benches and be the best opposition that can possibly be in that particular situation.”

DA responds to coalition reports with the ANC if Cyril Ramaphosa remains President: 

South Africa needs to talk about a future beyond ANC: Mnguni
28 February 2021, 1:55 PM

Political analyst Lukhona Mnguni says the country needs to start talking about a future beyond the African National Congress (ANC) as the party has decided to sink the entire country into a discourse of division that goes against the common good.

He was commenting on the looming meeting between the leadership of the party and former President Jacob Zuma to discuss his refusal to testify at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.

Zuma is sought by the Commission to respond to almost 50 witnesses who have implicated him.

Mnguni says what prompted the meeting is the enormous pressure the party has been dealing with in terms of court rulings and the ANC’s governance.

He says the state should do scenario planning to make sure that no one gets hurt and there is no bloodshed should Zuma get arrested. He says no possibility should be dismissed.

Mnguni elaborates on his views in the video below:

Zuma has vowed not to return to the Zondo Commission, citing elements of bias, among other concerns.

Some members of the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKVA) have been camping outside his Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal, vowing to defend the former president from arrest.

Proper data management will boost fight against GBV: Gauteng Safety
28 February 2021, 1:00 PM

Capturing the correct data will help strengthen the fight against gender-based violence in the country, says acting head of the Gauteng Community Safety Department, Sipho Thenjekwayo.

He was commenting on the launch of the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Data Management Command Centre.

Ikhaya Lethemba Victim Empowerment Centre in Johannesburg is running the project. It is intended to give support and care for gender-based violence victims. It will also track response to the needs of victims.

“One of the things which we have done as a province, is to take this data management and research very seriously. One of the battles we must win in terms of gender-based violence is data management.

Data all over the world, once properly managed, it gives you an edge, you are able to fight, you are able to show the scale of the problem. You are not just being emotional about the problems and challenges on gender-based violence, but you have data to back it up,” says Thenjekwayo.

Government has been accused of complacency in dealing with the scourge.

Police need more training

Police Minister Bheki Cele has recently conceded that some police officers need to be trained to fully understand the seriousness of gender-based violence.

Cele, intends to open a unit that will specifically deal with the crime. He has sent out a strong warning to police officers that subjected victims of GBV to secondary trauma, saying they will face serious consequences.

Crime stats on rapes and domestic violence:

Discussion on the scourge of GBV in South Africa:

Doctors Without Borders reiterates call for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines
28 February 2021, 11:51 AM

International humanitarian medical NGO, Doctors Without Borders, has reiterated its call to wealthy nations and pharmaceutical corporations to provide solutions to ensure equitable access to coronavirus vaccines for poor countries.

MSF has urged world leaders to support a proposal by South Africa and India to waive monopolies on COVID-19 medical tools.

“A vote is going to be happening at the WTO’s council and if that proposal is supported – at the moment there are 100 countries supporting SA and India’s official proposal – then that means that if we waive intellectual property and if patents are not upheld, then countries in middle and lesser-developing context are able to produce the vaccines themselves and the technology to treat COVID. The same countries that are hoarding the vaccines are the countries that are blocking this waiver,” says an advocacy coordinator for MSF’s Access Campaign, Kate Stegeman.

In January, the World Health Organisation said it was in advanced negotiations with Pfizer about including the company’s COVID-19 vaccine in the agency’s portfolio of shots to be shared with poorer countries.

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