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Tunisia arrests lawmaker and TV presenter who called president a traitor
3 October 2021, 12:00 PM

Tunisian police on Sunday arrested a member of parliament and a television presenter who have been prominent critics of President Kais Saied since his seizure of power in July, their lawyer said.

The lawyer, Samir Ben Omar, said the military judiciary had ordered the arrests, accusing the pair of “conspiring against state security and insulting the army” after they broadcast a programme on Zaytouna television station.

Aloui Abdellatif is a member of parliament for the conservative religious Karama party and Ameur Ayed is a presenter on Zaytouna. In the programme, they strongly criticised Saied and called him a traitor.

Neither the police nor army were immediately available for comment.

Saied suspended parliament, lifted the immunity of its members and assumed executive authority in July before saying last month he would ignore most of the constitution and rule by decree for a period of “exceptional measures” with no set end.

His intervention, following years of economic stagnation and political paralysis, was welcomed by many Tunisians but has cast doubt on Tunisia’s democratic gains since the 2011 revolution that ended autocratic rule and triggered the Arab spring.

Saied has said he will not become a dictator and has promised to uphold rights and freedoms. Since July a small number of parliamentarians have been detained on old charges that were activated when their immunity was lifted.

Many other politicians and business leaders have been subjected to travel bans, though Saied said these would only be imposed on people facing judicial summons or warrants.

However, there has been no widespread campaign of arrests so far and the press has been able to continue to publish stories critical of Saied and the authorities.

Most of Tunisia’s political elite have urged him to say how and when he will get out of the crisis and two protests have taken place against his actions over the past two weekends.

On Sunday Saied’s supporters are expected to rally in Tunis to show their backing for his intervention, which they see as necessary to reset a political system that did not respond to the needs of Tunisians.

Ramaphosa to continue election campaign trail in Gqeberha
3 October 2021, 10:59 AM

African National Congress president Cyril Ramaphosa will embark on the second leg of his campaign trail to Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape on Sunday.

He concluded his visit to the Buffalo City Municipality on Saturday. Ramaphosa will address the people of the Bay starting in Wells Estate and then move Ward 50 and then Jacksonville.

His visit will end with community meetings.

Residents of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro say they want jobs and the delivery of basic services.

“There is only one clinic, the place if full of shacks, I live in a shack as well. We need houses, we do not have houses. If the president can help us with houses.”

Ramaphosa is in Nelson Mandela Bay for the ANC’s Eastern Cape Election campaign:


Wall collapses, kills four people during a wedding in Limpopo
3 October 2021, 9:57 AM

Four people have been killed and eleven others seriously injured after a wall collapsed on them in Thokgwaneng village outside Lebowakgomo in Limpopo.

The incident happened on Saturday during a wedding.

According to the police, people attending the wedding ceremony were reportedly seated in a tent that was attached to an unroofed building.

Chaos broke when a storm blew up the tent and in the process, the wall collapsed- killing three people instantly.

The fourth person succumbed to injuries in hospital.

Police spokesperson Motlafela Mojapelo says the process of identifying the deceased has begun and their identities will be revealed after their next-of-kin are informed.

In the video below, Mojapelo says investigations are continuing:

Police investigations are continuing.

Philippines’ Duterte says daughter running for president in 2022 elections: media
3 October 2021, 9:32 AM

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter would run for president in next year’s election and her father’s long-time aide, who filed his vice presidential candidacy, would be her running mate, broadcasting firm ABS-CBN news reported late on Saturday.

Sara Duterte-Carpio is currently mayor of Davao, the Philippines’ third-largest city, and filed on Saturday to run for mayor again. She has previously said she would not run for national office next year.

ABS-CBN news based its report on an interview that Duterte had with a broadcast journalist right after he announced that he was retiring from politics while accompanying his closest loyalist, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who filed his vice presidential candidacy.

He was asked: “So is it clear, Sara-Go?”

When asked to confirm what the president said, Duterte-Carpio’s spokesperson, Mayor Christina Garcia Frasco told Reuters: “The extent of my knowledge is also what was reported in local news. We have no comment on the same.”

Go did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

ABS-CBN news said it obtained permission from the broadcast journalist to use the video showing Duterte outside a hotel in Manila where the registration of candidates was taking place, and that a transcript was also provided.

In the same clip, Duterte was asked when his daughter would file her candidacy for president, he said: “I really do not know. I do not have any idea at all”.

Asked if he had given his daughter permission to run for president, he said: “Ah, no, actually we don’t talk about politics, ever since we never talk about politics. I would say that it is for the better,” Duterte was quoted as saying.

Duterte, 76, said on Saturday he was retiring from politics, a surprise move that fuelled speculation he was clearing the way for a presidential run by his daughter.

He had been expected to run for the No. 2 job, a plan most Filipinos oppose as violating the spirit of the constitution which sets a one-term limit for the president to stop power being abused.

Duterte-Carpio’s mayorial re-election filing, did little to douse speculation she has her eye on the presidency.

Political analysts were sceptical, noting that last-minute changes were still possible, as in 2015 when Duterte entered the presidential election race at the eleventh hour and won by a huge margin, and Duterte-Carpio, they said, could do the same.

Candidates have until October 8 to register, but withdrawals and substitutions are allowed until Nov. 15, leaving scope for last-minute changes of heart.

Mantashe describes South Africa’s high unemployment rate as a ‘global crisis’
3 October 2021, 8:49 AM

African National Congress national chairperson Gwede Mantashe has described the high unemployment rate in the country as part of a global crisis.

He says government should create a conducive environment for entrepreneurship to assist unemployed South Africans. This as the number of unemployed people is now at 7,8 million (actively looking for jobs) in the second quarter of 2021. This is an increase of 584 000 compared to the first quarter of 2021.

Eastern Cape has recorded the highest official and expanded unemployment rates.

Mantashe who took the ANC local government election campaign to Kimberley says it’s not possible for government to employ every South African.

“National government must have the responsibility to create an environment for unemployment. There are two things that you must do if you want to deal with employment. Never promise that government will employ everybody, because it’s not going to happen. But the government must create an environment for people to take initiative, promote entrepreneurship. If you are a small business you employ two people, you have removed two people from unemployment and encourage them and support them. In South Africa, only 10% of the GDP comes from small and medium enterprises.”

More jobs lost in the second quarter of 2021:

Unemployment increased to 34.4% in the second quarter of this year: Stats SA

Unemployment is at its highest since Statistics South Africa started tracking the figure in 2008. Stats SA’s quarterly labour force survey shows that unemployment increased to 34.4% in the second quarter of this year, from 32.6% in the first quarter.

Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke announced the latest quarterly stats in  August.

The survey showed that the number of employed persons decreased by 54 000 in the second to 14.9 million.

It further indicates that the number of unemployed persons increased by 584 000.

Maluleke said, “The unemployment rate for the 2nd quarter for 2021 – the number of those who were employed in the 1st quarter of 2021 had declined in the 2nd quarter by 54 000 people. The number of unemployed increased by 584 000 people from 7.2 million people to 7.8 million people. The unemployment rate of SA in the 2nd quarter of 2021 is 34.4% – this is the highest we have seen since 2008.”

Economist and employment analyst Andrew Levy said, “That is an increase of 2.4% and that is a huge number and obviously we can put this to the post-COVID situation and the ongoing retrenchments that are being seen right across the economy, obviously also reflecting the very negative economic outlook we are facing. So all in all a serious wake-up call to everyone, government, the departments dealing with labour.”



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