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Watch Zimbabwe, SA Bi-national Commission meeting
3 October 2017, 10:00 AM

President Jacob Zuma is hosting his Zimbabwe counterpart Robert Mugabe.

Efforts to ease tensions over the continued influx of Zimbabweans to South Africa are under scrutiny amid South Africa-Zimbabwe Bi-national Commission meeting in Pretoria.

– By Tshepo Ikaneng

Mugabe in SA for second Bi-National Commission
2 October 2017, 10:21 PM

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is in South Africa on an official visit. Mugabe is set to meet President Jacob Zuma, as the two countries convene the second Bi-National Commission session

Mugabe jetted off to South Africa on Monday and visibly absent was the first lady Grace Mugabe. This could be seen as an attempt to avoid antagonism, amid attempts to have her tried for allegedly assaulting a South African model.

The focus of this visit is the Bi-National Commission which marks its first anniversary and since its inauguration a year ago.

Harare believes the results are already tangible.

The visit comes amid speculation that Mugabe could propose that Zimbabwe adopt the South African Rand. The neighbouring country is currently using the US dollar as a currency of exchange.

All the economic indicators are in the right direction, they are pointing upwards

The Zimbabwean cabinet believes that the country has turned the economic tide, following fuel and food shortages. “All the economic indicators are in the right direction. They are pointing upwards. Agriculture is up and because of its contribution we are now projecting a growth of 3,7% at the end of this year. Tobacco farmers alone this year have earned around 600 million that is an indicator that the economy is growing. We are also coming out of deflation,” says Zimbabwe Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa. Pretoria hopes that this session will move beyond trade agreements particularly on the backdrop of the United Nations General Council while some countries including the United States are pulling out on some treaties. As the two heads of state meet, the question is – Will the non-governing body find resonance during formal or even informal deliberations from the first lady’s assault case to the public spats, between Zanu-PF and the ANC? This is no surprise and the history between the two parties dates back to the struggle years. Furthermore, efforts to ease tensions over the negative impact of the influx of Zimbabweans into South Africa will come under scrutiny during the South Africa-Zimbabwe Bi-national Commission which will take place in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Currently, there are about 1,5 million Zimbabweans living in South Africa who have fled their homeland mainly due to economic hardships.

Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi has welcomed South African cabinet’s decision to allow migrant Zimbabwean nationals living in the country be given another opportunity to apply for work permits to extend their stay.

“Co-chair, I wish to express appreciation of the government of Zimbabwe for the decision taken by your government for availing Zimbabweans with exemption permits for their exclusive benefits. This decision will benefit not only individuals concerned but also our two countries.” Click below for more on the story:

– By Aldrin Sampear

Tambo and Mandela In Conversation dialogue – ‘OR Tambo, a servant amon
2 October 2017, 5:21 PM

He never approached us as President, but as a servant among servants.” These were the words of Lindiwe Mabuza as she reflected on the leadership legacy of Oliver Tambo, the longest-serving ANC President. Alongside Mac Maharaj and Luli Callinicos, the three struggle veterans engaged in a dialogue titled “Tambo and Mandela In Conversation”. On the night, Mac Maharaj offered the most critical recollection of these leaders, and also warned the audience against what he called the “syndrome of the great leader”. His emphasis here was that great leadership comes not from a celebration of individuals, but from a “collective” that also takes responsibility, both in its errors and successes. At a time when South Africa is experiencing a leadership crisis, Maharaj reminded us that the best way of avoiding prolonging this is to “stop consulting in the middle of doing things”. His call to action, or what Maharaj described as “action vested with vision”, echoed the style of leadership of both OR Tambo and Nelson Mandela, who believed not only in action, but also in diversity in action. Maharaj stated that, when looking at the tradition in leadership, it is impossible to not look at Tambo, who was resilient, Mandela, who was resourceful and Walter Sisulu, the strategist amongst the three leaders, because in leadership, they were inseparable. Mabuza offered another perspective of Tambo’s leadership – the most special quality being his ability to “self-sacrifice” which, coupled with his spirituality, made him a most “attentive, highly spiritual, ethical, and morally upright” leader of the people. Similarly, this is what Mabuza characterised as “servant among servants” – the leader who could lead not by placing himself above his people, but by being among them. This quality in Tambo’s leadership allowed him to work across different sectors of society in his, and the ANC’s, fight for the freedom of black people in South Africa. In the same manner, Callinicos, reflecting on the state of current leadership in the country, suggested that the leaders of today seem to be “located in a different moral universe”. Callinicos was cautioning here against a type of leadership that refuses to be accountable to the people, even in the evidence of its clear shortcomings, including having been found to have flouted the Constitution. Still, recalling the words of Tambo, Callinicos reminded those at the dialogue that: “Comrades, if you think the struggle is difficult, wait until you get into power.” Cumulatively, all three panellists gave a very diverse and profound portrait of OR Tambo and his leadership legacy. And, in a note that reminded us that the struggle for a free and just South Africa continues, Maharaj said that his “time is up” and that ours “is coming”. This, indeed, was the leadership of Tambo: continual action by all for freedom, regardless of class, race, and gender.

– By nelsonmandela.org

‘Internet compromises role of public broadcasters’
28 September 2017, 10:15 PM

The role of public broadcasters is at a risk of being compromised by the internet, mobile phones and social media networks.

Southern African Development Community (SADC) broadcasters gathering in Namibia for the Southern African Broadcasting Association’s Africa and Digitalisation Conference heard that some social media platforms have more users compared to public broadcaster audiences.

Public broadcasters find themselves between a rock and a hard place, losing viewers and listeners at alarming rates.

New technologies are stiff competition.

Public broadcasting representatives says sophisticated media consumer demands, the understanding of audiences and media markets are key to sustaining public broadcasters across Southern Africa.

In other parts of the continent, social media entrepreneurs are attracting more followers than local public broadcasters.

Other broadcasters complained that their international counterparts who operate in the continent are shrinking their market. The proposal is that broadcasters coming to the continent should be regulated.

“We will have to find resources wherever they are. That means you must be fearless. When they say we are going to train your people, it is on your terms,” says Former NBC Director General Albertus Aochamub.

Delegates will try and convince policy makers and regulators to come on board and help save regional public broadcasters.

– By Manelisi Dubase

Al Bashir extends helping hand to South Sudan
28 September 2017, 9:35 PM

Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir has extended a helping hand to South Sudan saying his government will pull out all the stops to ensure that there is a lasting peace and stability in their neighbouring state.

Al Bashir gave the keynote address at the opening of the Intelligence and Security Services Conference underway in the capital Khartoum.

He says Sudan’s national security will not be complete unless there is stability in South Sudan. Intelligence, security officials and experts from across the continent are trying to find lasting solutions to threats facing Africa.

They have been looking into how they could combat terrorism, human trafficking and other forms of organised crime. The conference was opened by Sudanese President, Omar Al Bashir.

“I would like to affirm through this conference that we will spare no efforts in giving all the assistance possible for our refugees from our neighbouring country South Sudan, despite the absence of the assistance coming from the international community,” says Bashir.

“We have to maintain the relationship because we are one country”

The security situation in South Sudan featured prominently in his speech. “It’s our conviction that our national security will not be complete unless we have security and stability in all our neighbours, especially South Sudan and we are hopeful that will get calm, stability and peace in a very short time.” The announcement has been welcomed by South Sudan intelligence officials. “We have to maintain the relationship because we are one country, with the same culture, relationship and we have a common border. We are sharing so many things,” says South Sudan General Intelligence Bureau Dut Chagai. However, asked why the former Deputy President Riek Machar was in South Africa as a guest of the South African government, Chagai had this to say: “That one ran away from the country, because he knows what he did. He is now in SA and he had been invited to attend the national dialogue and he declined. What can we do for him?” Click below for more on the story:

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that members of the US intelligence services, the CIA are also attending, a move that has been seen as a softening of diplomatic relations between Sudan and the US since Obama’s announcement on the easing of some sanctions against Sudan in January.
President Omar al Bashir extended a hand of friendship to South Sudan saying that the crisis in that country should be resolved urgently and that his country would do everything possible to ensure that there is lasting peace and stability in South Sudan.

– By Njanji Chauke

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