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Zandile Gumede
ANC disbands eThekwini Regional Executive Committee
9 June 2019, 9:44 PM

The African National Congress’s (ANC) Provincial Executive Committee meeting in Mpangeni on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast has decided to disband the party’s eThekwini Regional Executive Committee. The region was supposed to hold its conference last year but postponed it due to the general elections.

eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede has also been asked to take leave of absence. Gumede, who is also the regional chairperson, is out on bail of R50 000 after allegedly defrauding the municipality about R208 million in a refuse removal tender.

“Without saying comrades who are charged are guilty as the PEC, we want to affirm the decision we have taken, we have taken a view that anyone who is charged for any serious case will have to step down and the ANC subject that mater to processes within the movement. The ANC should finalise those processes within 30 days, and that stepping down means, a comrade charged must take a leave, but if a comrade is not taking a voluntarily leave the ANC will be compelled to remove that comrade and ensure that members of the ANC vote out that person,” says Sihle Zikalala who is the Provincial chairperson.

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Stuart Baxter
23 man Bafana AFCON squad named
9 June 2019, 9:30 PM

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has named his 23-man squad that will play in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt. It is basically the same group of players that beat Libya 2-1 away in their final qualification fixture.

Kaizer Chiefs defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Mamelodi Sundowns striker Sibusiso Vilakazi have been included in the squad, after recovering from injury. Baxter says choosing the 23 was not an easy process.

“As you can imagine, this hasn’t been an easy process. It is certainly not made easier when we have issues in the camp. We had an early injury to Keagan Dolly which was a blow. Then Rivaldo called in on the day of assemble that his mother was seriously sick and after that, we’ve never heard from him,” explains Baxter.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs), Darren Keet (Bidvest Wits), Rowen Williams (SuperSport Utd)

Defenders: Sifiso Hlanti, Thulani Hlatshwayo (capt), Buhle Mkhwanazi (all Wits), Daniel Cardoso, Ramahlwe Mphahlele (both Chiefs), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Thamsanqa Mkhize (Cape Town City)

Midfielders: Hlompho Kekana, Tiyani Mabunda, Themba Zwane (all Mamelodi Sundowns), Dean Furman (SuperSport), Thembinkosi Lorch (Pirates), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford/ENG), Thulani Serero (Vitesse Arnhem/NED), Bongani Zungu (Amiens/FRA)

Forwards: Lebogang Maboe, Sibusiso Vilakazi (both Sundowns), Lebo Mothiba (Strasbourg/FRA), Percy Tau (Royal Union St Gilloise/BEL), Lars Veldwijk (Sparta Rotterdam/NED)

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Rafael Nadal
King of Clay Nadal wins 12th French Open title
9 June 2019, 7:33 PM

The King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, has won a record-extending 12th French Open title in Paris. The 2nd seeded Spaniard defeated 4th seed, Dominic Thiem of Austria in four sets on Sunday.

Nadal recorded a 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory in three hours.

The first set between arguably the two best players on clay this season lived up to all expectations. Nadal and Thiem served up tennis of the highest quality as they battled to draw first blood.

It was the Spaniard who secured the first break of serve. In the eight game of the opening set and then held his own to clinch it 6-3 in 55 minutes. The second set was much of the same. Brilliant baseline rallies were at the order of the day again but this time, it was the Austrian’s turn to strike.

Nadal, however, took no prisoners in the third set. He broke the Thiem serve twice and made the most of the Austrian’s nine unforced errors in the set. Nadal quickly wrapped up the set 6-1 in just 24 minutes to take a 2 set to one lead.

The world number two also pounced early in the fourth. It became clear that Thiem’s epic five-set semi-final clash against Novak Djokovic on Saturday, was taking its toll. The Austrian simply could not match Nadal’s power and precision and the Spaniard clinched the set 6-1 to win his 12th French Open crown against a worthy opponent.

“Congrats to Dominic and I feel sorry because he deserves it here too. I really hope that he will have the chance in the future. He has an unbelievable intensity, an unbelievable passion for the sport and he is a very hard worker. So I just want to congratulate him and encourage him for the future. All the best to you and your team, well done,” says Nadal.

“Rafa, well done of course I’m very sad to lose but you’re such an amazing champion, such a legend of our sport. We are really happy that you are playing. It’s amazing, 12 times here. It’s unreal. I will try next year again, for sure,” says Theim.

It was Nadal’s third consecutive title at Roland Garros and his 18th overall. With the win, he becomes the first player in tennis history, male or female, to win the same Grand Slam singles title 12 times.

Banyana Banyana players practising
Banyana learning from World cup experience
9 June 2019, 7:01 PM

Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis believes the three-one defeat against Spain in their 2019 World Cup opening match was a true reflection of the encounter. Despite the loss, she was proud of the courageous performance her players displayed at the Stade Oceane in Le Havre in France.

The first 45 minutes of Banyana Banyana’s World Cup debut appearance will be one to remember for many years. It was a sight of pure determination from the South Africans. Every one of them on the pitch put their bodies on the line and then a 25-minute strike by Thembi Kgatlana left the Spaniards rattled.

Kgatlana who also scored against Nigeria in their first game of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations just a few months ago, became the first Banyana Banyana player to score at World Cup.

“The coaches have been encouraging me throughout the whole time we arrived in France that I get into a good position. But I want to play someone else who is in a better condition where as I’m also in better position so why not take a shot because sometimes the keepers are not ready,” says Kgatlana.

The Spaniards desperation was evident as they struggled to get the equaliser. However, it was in the second half that they would up their game forcing Banyana Banyana to adopt a defensive approach that would go on to cost them the game.

It led to two penalties given to Spain – after consultation with the new Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system and a subsequent red card to shown to South Africa’s fullback Nothando Vilakazi.

“If you score your second goal in the 70th minute it’s almost over whether you are defending high up or deep you invite trouble when you deep because any loose ball that you don’t pick up around that area gets punished,” says Ellis.

Although the result didn’t go Banyana Banyana’s way there were a few positives that the team will take to the next match against China on Thursday. Most notably the last line of defence which was better organised up until the side was reduced to ten players.

“It’s just unfortunate that those little didn’t go our way and we look forward to our next game and it’s going to help moving forward certain things that happened today that we need to fix and go forward with a positive mind set,” says Andile Dlamini who is a Banyana Banyana player.

The outcome was not ideal, but the memories of making history by representing their country at the biggest women’s sporting event will live with them for a very long time to come.

Mmusi Maimane
DA to set up organisational review panel
9 June 2019, 6:39 PM

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is to set up an Independent Organisational Review panel. This panel will be tasked to review the party’s ability to build a democratic alternative to the African National Congress (ANC).

The review will assess the party’s performance during the elections. DA leader Mmusi Maimane addressed the media after the DA’s Federal Council.

The DA  lost close to 3% in the national vote. Most of those votes went to a resurgent Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus).

Now the party has opted for a review – a decision welcomed by its Federal Council. Maimane says the DA will work tirelessly to regain lost voters.

“The review will investigate the party’s objectives,” says Maimane.

The panel will include a number of other independent members to be announced over the course of the next week. Consultations will continue until the next council meeting in October. The DA also announced the stepping down of the party’s Federal Executive Chair James Selfe.

On Helen Zille the party’s leadership was reluctant to say if any action will be taken against her. She has notoriously tweeted on black privilege and colonialism ruffling the party’s feathers. Zille tweeted that black privilege was the ability to loot a country of billions and be re-elected.

Maimane says the party will continue to hold those in power accountable.

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