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Mboweni calls for legalisation of cannabis for tax purposes
11 January 2020, 3:24 PM

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has called for the legalisation of cannabis in order to collect more tax revenue.

He made the announcement on Twitter, saying he would put the idea to cabinet. His office declined to further comment on the matter.

In the tweet, the Minister says, “the majority says: LEGALIZE IT.”

“I will put the proposal to the Cabinet Lekgotla this January. The people have demanded it!”.

The minister tweeted a photograph of the plant saying he found it growing on his farm and wondered how it got there.

He says “should we just legalize this thing once and for all? I can see the responses! Say it”.

In a subsequent tweet he says a neighbour found the plant growing on his land too “The economy of Lusikisiki and Tzaneen is waiting for legal growth of the stuff!! R4bn plus!! Tax money!!”

Despite a recent Constitutional Court decision that permits home use and cultivation, the sale of cannabis on any scale remains illegal.

See Mboweni’s original tweet below:

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams
Communications department working on lowering data costs
7 November 2019, 10:33 AM

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams says the country is well on its way to seeing data costs fall.

South Africa has some of the most expensive data in the world and due to limited spectrum because of television broadcasting still hogging frequencies.

Spectrum refers to radio frequencies needed by cellphone companies to transmit data – currently cellphone companies cannot transmit wireless signals over the same frequencies in the same markets at the same time.

Ndabeni-Abrahams said additional spectrum will be released.

“I am going to focus on my sector because I want all my people to have access to connectivity – that’s the first thing that we are bringing and those data prices definitely they going to fall. We issued the policy direction, Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) issued the information memorandum on Friday – we are kick-starting the process of licensing.

Legal minds tackle rape, molestation sentences
14 November 2017, 4:11 PM

The Constitutional Court is being asked to remove an apartheid era law which drew a distinction between rape and molestation which is  deemed “less serious”.

Eight alleged sexual assault victims of businessman Sidney Frankel may never see justice. They came forward nearly four decades after the alleged molestation.

The NPA declined to prosecute because they had missed a 20-year deadline.

One might argue that Sidney Frankel cheated the system. At the time of the alleged offences in the 70’s and 80’s, rape was narrowly defined.

Frankel is accused of what would have then amounted to molestation, a lesser offence, with a 20 year expiry date.

Justice Edwin Cameron explored this aspect with the victim’s lawyer Anton Katz, says, “The pre-constitutional apartheid legislature had powers which the democratic legislature did not have. One of those powers was to confer an unjust immunity, according to your argument and according to the High Court judgment, on sexual offenders non rape violaters of people after 20 years and now you want us retrospectively to take that immunity away. Katz J Cameron, we submit it was not an immunity. It’s a procedural right that a suspect would have been granted by the apartheid legislature not a substantive right not to be prosecuted.”

It is  alleged that Frankel preyed on vulnerable children, including orphans. He vehemently opposed the Constitutional Court challenge even up to his death bed.

The High Court later saddled his estate with half of the victims legal costs.

The Estate’s lawyer Sha’ista Kazee says the Justice Ministry, and therefore the taxpayer, should pay all of the costs.

Meanwhile, Katz argued for the Constitutional Court to simply scrap the law and be done with it.

“Why would they need 24 months from now? They’ve had 18 months to do something and they’ve done nothing. Why? Why didn’t the minister just go to parliament and correct the defect. Why is the executive using the court to achieve a parliamentary result?”

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