The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has rejected claims published in a Sunday newspaper article that the public broadcaster intends to spy on its staff. The article in the Sunday Times alleges that the State Security Agency has been brought in to spy on staff members in order to stem leaks to the media.
The public broadcaster has slammed the reports that the SABC Board took a decision “to spy on its staff members”. In a statement the SABC says the claims that the board took the decision are totally false and no such decision has been taken.
The statement further expressed concerned that the newspaper used confidential board minutes to sensationalise and deliberately distort information, thereby causing panic and a trust deficit between the SABC Board and employees.
This is ahead of the much-anticipated Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture that will take place in Soweto on Saturday.
Prof Ndebele spoke of the need to treat the Constitution as an activist document, which has the capacity to galvanize South Africans’ collective energies. He gave an example of the country’s Rugby World Cup wins dating back to 1995.
“I think that you can agree our perspective to the World Cup victory is very different. I think we have gone beyond let’s give it a go. We are one country, we are one people, it may be emotional, it may be sentimental but it is something to work with. So what I am trying to say is that anything that can contribute to a collective sense of purpose will help us and the constitution is at the centre of it all because it is clear what each of us has to do,” says Ndebele.
Chief Justice Mogoeng, who will be the keynote speaker at the Lecture, has called on South Africans to be more vocal against the wrong-doings of their leaders and officials. Mogoeng has spoken about the need to confront what he describes as the ailments of corruption, racism, tribalism and gender-based violence that afflict society.
“Each and every one of us has a responsibility to contribute towards the realisation of our shared aspirations because when you do you are killing the disease you killing that sickness a failure to do what we are supposed to do in line with the constitution and Madiba’s vision gave birth to the challenges that we have today. We have to confront them so this mind your business approach explains where we are,” says Mogoeng.
Mogoeng says the social ills that have plagued society are a result of men and women of goodwill turning a blind eye. Mogoeng has also defended the right of judges to speak about matters of social justice, which he does regularly. He argued that it is not only in the judgments of courts where the battle for economic and social rights must be fought.
“Our struggle, our constitution, our challenges are all about the need to secure justice for the people of South Africa and you can’t talk justice and not talk about racism, you can’t talk justice and not about the land, you can’t talk justice and not talk about what Madiba referred to as either trade justice or economic justice and you can’t be shallow. You have to dwell deep and identify the dynamics below that which you are articulating,” says Mogoeng.
Watch related video below:
Soweto festival celebrates people with disabilities
22 November 2019, 7:59 PM
A concert to recognise people with disabilities takes place at the Soweto Theatre in Johannesburg on Friday evening.
Among the artists to perform at the “We Can Arts Festival” are musical legends Steve Kekana and Babsy Mlangeni.
The event comes as South Africa and the world will observe International Day for People with Disabilities on the 3rd of December.
Watch interview with Steve Kekana below:
SAA to resume operations after wage deal
22 November 2019, 5:58 PM
Operations at South African Airways (SAA) will return to normal from Friday evening – with salaries being paid as scheduled later this month. SAA had earlier warned it might not be able to pay salaries amid the wage strike.
The CCMA, Unions and SAA have all confirmed that the wage dispute has ended. The CCMA – who mediated the tough wage talks has praised the parties for remaining in the mediation process.
The National Union of Metal workers (NUMSA) and the Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) ended their week-long strike after signing an eight percent wage deal with SAA management.
Workers will get a 5.9% increase and a further 2.1% when the airline returns to profitability. Amongst other things, SAA has also postponed the planned retrenchments of 900 staff.
NUMSA’s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola addressing union members outside the SAA buildings in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg, says “We engaged in two days of marathon negotiations in order to draft an agreement which is satisfactory to both parties. We consulted our members and they have given us a mandate to sign the proposal and we are calling off the strike action at SAA and SAAT with immediate effect. Our strike was never just about wages . At the centre of our demands was to secure changes which could result in the long term sustainability and assist it to get back to the path of profitability.”
SAA has also committed to paying salaries for the month of November to its staff, and thereafter. SAA had earlier warned it might not be able to pay salaries amid the wage strike.
“Salaries will be paid in November, salaries will be paid in December, government has committed to that. So the first big amount is being paid now for operational purposes and salaries and government has committed to another payment in January and that’s going to pay for your 5.9%.”
SAA says it will restore a full flight schedule in stages over the weekend. The airline says it will start operating a “near normal service” from Saturday.
This after the airline cancelled most of its flight at the high of the strike and only resumed flight based on capacity. -Reporting by Mbalenhle Mthethwa and Amina Accram
Watch workers celebrate the wage deal agreement, see video below:
ANC commends Hawks for toilet tender arrests
22 November 2019, 2:26 PM
The ANC in the Amathole region in the Eastern Cape has welcomed the arrest of 10 suspects linked to the Siyenza toilet scandal.
They were arrested for allegedly colluding to access funds in the Amathole district municipality by flouting procurement procedures.
Nine of the suspects have been granted bail of R40 000 each and one accused was granted bail of R10 000.
They face charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering amounting to more than R600 million awarded to the Siyenza Group to build toilets across the province. It was discovered that over R200-million was paid by the time the project was put on hold.
The accused include former Amathole district municipality manager, Chris Mangqangwana, former CFO, Mpumelelo Shezi and Siyenza group director, Bongani Mpeluza.
NPA spokesperson Luxolo Tyhali says bail was not opposed and the case was postponed to the 5th of February next year.
ANC Amathole regional secretary Thembalethu “Terris” Ntuthu says the law should take its course.
“We really appreciate the work done by the law enforcement agencies in this case. The Hawks for arresting those who are alleged to be involved in wrong doing in the Amathole District Municipality toilet tender. We have no other option as the ruling party but to just accept and appreciate the actions so we don’t see anything wrong done by the law enforcement agencies.”