South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Wednesday 16 September
ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule has been forced to eat his words after initially claiming that the ruling party had not abused state resources.
Never miss a beat when it comes to the latest news in South Africa, be sure to check out all major headlines on Wednesday 16 September.
While the ruling African National Congress (ANC) prepares to reimburse government for its trip to Zimbabwe, the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture unveils the deep rot of corruption which smothered Eskom during Jacob Zuma’s presidential tenure.
TODAY’S LATEST NEWS IN SOUTH AFRICA, Wednesday 16 SEPTEMBER
Just ‘plane’ wrong: Ruling party says it will pay back the money
The ANC has agreed to reimburse government, following a national outcry over the party’s use of state resources to facilitate travel into, and out of, Zimbabwe. The ANC delegation, led by Secretary General Ace Magashule, travelled to Zimbabwe last week, where they met with the ruling Zanu-PF amid serious concerns of political and socioeconomic destabilisation in the poverty-stricken country.
Upon the delegation’s return, Magashule was quizzed about the irregular use of the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) aircraft to service party needs. Magashule initially denied that the ANC had acted improperly.
On Tuesday afternoon, the ANC admitted that it had “travelled in an unusual manner”. Opposition parties have, however, called for harsher repercussions.
Kobus Marais, the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Shadow Minister of Defence, has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to immediately fire the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) leader Pieter Groenewald has already submitted parliamentary questions, concerning the exact cost of the ANC-led expedition, to Mapisa-Nqakula.
Furthermore, both the DA and FF Plus have blasted the ANC delegation for breaking lockdown laws.
State Capture Commission hears of Guptas’ NDZ connection
Deputy Chief Justice Judge Raymond Zondo could barely keep his cool after hearing bold claims of ‘morbid curiosity’ from former Eskom company secretary, Suzanne Daniels, on Tuesday afternoon. Daniels, who worked at Eskom during the Zuma administration, testified before parliament, in 2017, on the influence of the infamous Gupta family.
Daniels continued her testimony before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and elaborated on the Guptas’ power over the utility’s board. Daniels added that the Guptas were betting on Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to win the presidential race as that would’ve quashed ongoing investigations into malfeasance within the embattled state owned enterprise.
Daniels added that she had been offered an R800 million bribe by the Guptas.
Former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko, who has been implicated by Daniels on more than one occasion, has argued that the former company secretary is not a whistle-blower but rather a main player in the divisive mismanagement of the utility at the time.
Minister Zulu to report back on social relief efforts
The Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, is expected to brief the media today on various issues concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and associated relief systems. Zulu, whose department has been marred by technical failures, backlogs and court defeats since the start of the outbreak, will be joined by the CEO of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) Totsie Mamela.
The media briefing, which is expected to deal with the embattled COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant, food relief and Department of Social Development Facilities, comes just days after Sassa launched a new online platform to assist beneficiaries as a means of lightening queues at paypoints and post offices.
Sassa’s online platforms have been notoriously poorly managed, with system breakdowns leading to confusion and frustration.
Parliament to oppose AfriForum application
Parliament is set to oppose AfriForum’s court application to have declared as constitutionally invalid Parliament’s adoption of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) report on the possible review of Section 25 of the Constitution.
Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said Parliament’s basis for opposing the application, which is scheduled for hearing at the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday, is that the relief AfriForum is seeking has become moot.
“This is because the process of potentially amending Section 25 of the Constitution has moved far beyond the factual background underlying AfriForum’s application and makes the relief it seeks of no consequence,” Mothapo said in a statement on Tuesday.
Mothapo said Parliament has already considered and adopted the CRC report, and this happened in December 2018 after the court dismissed AfriForum’s application for an interim interdict to stop Parliament from adopting the report. (Source: SAnews)
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