Author Archives: Staff Writer

Africans Unite Concert: Arts & Culture slammed for ‘funding foreign-owned company’

The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture has been slammed for allegedly funding a foreign-owned company to organise the upcoming Africans Unite Concert.

A group calling itself “Tshwane Entertainment Collective” has written an open letter to Minister Nathi Mthethwa to raise objections against the alleged funding.

It wrote, “As creatives, artists and event organisers who seem to never do enough to warrant receiving funding from your department in particular, we were surprised to see a foreign-owned company, “Play Network Africa,” soliciting funding and support at the drop of a hat without any signs of due process.”

‘Arduous funding processes for local companies’

The concert has been scheduled for 24 November at the Sun Arena in Tshwane, while the Cape Town event will be on 23 November. It seeks to spread messages of unity following the recent xenophobic incidents in parts of Gauteng.

Several entities signed off on the open letter to Mthethwa, including TrapLords, HomeComing Events, and Mams Arts Festival.

They claimed that local companies often endure “arduous processes,” including long waiting periods, while seeking funding from the state.

They asked Mthethwa to clarify “how this particular event managed to receive such tremendous support in such a short period of time.”

Objection to Burna Boy’s participation

Several artistes, including local rapper Kwesta and Nigerian musician Burna Boy, are set to headline the Africans Unite Concert.

The Tshwane Entertainment Collective has however objected to Burna Boy’s participation because of his controversial tweets during the xenophobic unrest in August and September.

They accused him of incitement and spreading falsehoods, adding, “He further promised to inflict his own violence on locals before giving your government an ultimatum which you seem to have received and succumbed to.”

The group further questioned the logic of holding such a concert in an affluent area of Tshwane, noting that people affected by xenophobia don’t usually live there.

“They live in our townships and central business districts and quite frankly cannot afford to splurge R400.00 – R1200.00 on attending a concert that does not seek to address their lived realities in any meaningful way,” they argued.

They called on Mthethwa to cancel his department’s sponsorship of Africans Unite Concert and to respond to their open letter within three working days.

Kind cops donate clothes, groceries to girl, 13, and her granny living in shack

Kind police officers in Umbulumbulu, eThekwini in KwaZulu-Natal have won praise after going beyond the call of duty over the weekend.

The officers donated clothes and groceries to a 13-year-old girl and her grandmother, who are living in a shack.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) shared the story on its social media pages on Sunday along with pictures of the girl and granny’s living conditions.

‘Girl chased away by mom’

SAPS captioned the images, “A 13-year-old girl chased away from home by her mother was taken to her granny in Umbumbulu by police.

“Police arranged clothes and groceries for the girl and her granny. They also spoke to the councillor who agreed to build a new house for the granny.”

SAPS did not indicate why the mother allegedly chased away her daughter, whose identity, as well as that of her granny, was not revealed.

Lindiwe Sisulu steps in

The tweet got the attention of Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, who promised to take action.

She tweeted, “We will get in touch with the Councillor there to expect my team. We will build a house and of course inform Social Development so that the family is registered for help.

“With Police like these we will get this country right. They deserve my nomination for the ‘Best Police’ Award!!”

Other social media users also praised the officers for their kindness. @Just_Visiting commented, “Excellent P.R (no sarcasm). Need to highlight the dedication majority of police persons give to this underpaid, under-appreciated, under-equipped and dangerous job. Thank you to these men for showing us what ubuntu really means.”

“That’s great, so please before we blink can we get solid commitment and timelines about this project. Please don’t let this end on Twitter; there are too many people living in poverty. Thanks SAPS; keep us posted,” added @mahaliamatsini.

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula also said, “Long live @SAPoliceService. Job well done! God bless.”

Others, like @IAMMZU, had something to say about the councillor, “Where was the councillor all along? Am I wrong to think that the councillor is supposed to be someone who is always amongst his/her constituency. By the way, big up SAPS; this is beautiful.”

Ramaphosa: Fake news fuelled much of recent xenophobic unrest

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said fake news fuelled much of the recent spate of xenophobia in parts of Gauteng.

Ramaphosa was speaking during an “Invest in Africa’s Space: Conversation with African Heads of State and Government” session at the ongoing Africa Investment Forum on Monday in Johannesburg.

He said, “The problem that often happens with all this is that fake news becomes the order of the day. In our situation, much of what happened was fuelled by fake news.”

‘South Africans are not xenophobic’

He cited pictures of “people jumping out of burning buildings” being circulated on social media as an example, saying the alleged incident happened in another country but was being purported to have happened in South Africa.

Ramaphosa explained that this fuelled reactions in other countries, which necessitated sending out special envoys to give a proper account of the situation.

The President said, “Inherently, South Africans are not xenophobic. The government of South Africa is irrevocably committed against xenophobia. We abhor it.”

He nevertheless acknowledged that while South Africa has welcomed foreign nationals fleeing difficult political and economic conditions in their countries, South Africans often want to “protect their own self-interest” when the local economy worsens.

In August and September, a number of shops, both local and foreign-owned, were looted and damaged during the unrest.

12 people lost their lives, two of them foreign nationals, according to the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Hundreds of foreign nationals subsequently decided to return to their countries of origin.

Africa Investment Forum 2019

According to its website, the Africa Investment Forum is “Africa’s investment market place – a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform dedicated to advancing projects to bankable stages, raising capital, and
accelerating the financial closure of deals.”

The annual event kicked off on Monday in Sandton and will conclude on Wednesday, 13 November. This year’s theme is “Accelerating an Integrated Marketplace.”

In addition to President Ramaphosa, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo are also in attendance.

It comes on the back of the South Africa Investment Conference 2019 held last week, where Ramaphosa raised about R363 billion in investment pledges.

Man who took viral KFC proposal video speaks out: ‘It’s genuine love’

The man who took the video of Hector Kansi proposing to his girlfriend Nonhlanhla has spoken out about it.

Kateka Malobola’s video went absolutely viral after KFC South Africa re-shared it on Twitter earlier this week, racking up 2.9 million views so far.

In another video he posted on Friday, Malobola described the proposal as an expression of “genuine love.”

‘The whole country’s got a wedding’

He said, “So this is me, very teary right now. That was just an honest video. I was as surprised as the other people that were there, watching this man propose to his lady that was overjoyed, very shy but overjoyed.

“I really didn’t make much of it. I took the video and sent it to a group that I’ve got in my WhatsApp to say, ‘Check this out.’ And I put it on Facebook, put it on Instagram and boom, the whole country’s got a wedding!”

Malobola went on to describe Hector as “brave” for proposing in front of everyone. He said, “It’s not even about the video, it’s about love. I’m not as brave as he is.

“He went down in front of everyone at KFC… and flip, there it was – the man proposed. And it’s genuine love.”

He urged those who are “looking down” on the simple proposal to “embrace this thing called love.” Watch his video below.

KFC proposal story goes global

Thanks to Malobola’s viral video, the beautiful couple has received dozens of offers from ordinary citizens, celebrities and corporates to sponsor various aspects of their wedding and honeymoon.

The offers include a fully paid Cape Town holiday, inclusive of flights and 5-day accommodation, by Kulula.com. Popular wedding planner Precious Thamaga also offered her services pro bono.

Celebrities also chipped in, with singer Zakes Bantwini offering to perform at the couple’s wedding for free.

The outpouring of goodwill for Hector and Nonhlanhla has now caught the attention of global and continental news platforms.

BBC News Africa published the story on its website on Friday with the headline, “Twitter goes wild for South African KFC marriage proposal.”

The US-based Washington Post also published it with the title, “A couple got engaged at KFC. Then South Africa united to find them – and pay for their wedding.”

Trevor Noah becomes 1st African comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden

Halala – South Africa’s very own Trevor Noah has become the first African comedian to sell out the world’s most famous arena – New York’s Madison Square Garden (MSG).

Noah performed at the sold out arena on Friday as part of his “Loud and Clear Tour,” which is expected to continue until June 2020.

He joined comedy legends such as Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Kevin Hart and Russell Peters to sell out the MSG. Overall, he’s the 10th comedian to achieve the feat.

‘We did it!’

Africa Facts Zone, a platform that reports on interesting facts from Africa, shared news of Noah’s accomplishment on Twitter on Saturday.

A proud Noah also shared a photo of himself at the iconic MSG on Instagram along with the caption, “We did it!”

View this post on Instagram

We did it!

A post shared by Trevor Noah (@trevornoah) on

The popular host of The Daily Show has filled South Africans on social media with pride after his remarkable achievement.

Author and marketing guru Khaya Dlanga attended Noah’s show and shared the experience on Twitter.

He wrote, “And that ladies and gentlemen how how Trevor Noah, filled up Madison Square Garden! What an achievement! South Africa is untouchable right now.”

What a week for South Africa

Noah’s achievement comes on the back of a phenomenal week for South Africa. It all started when the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup last weekend.

South Africa’s netball team, the Proteas, also won the 2019 Africa Netball Cup, while popular rapper Sho Madjozi finally met WWE star John Cena on the US The Kelly Clarkson Show.

On social media, South Africans have rallied to literally plan a wedding and honeymoon for a couple whose KFC proposal went viral.

Swimmer Chad Le Clos also won his 144th and 145th World Cup gold medals at the FINA World Cup Series in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday and Friday respectively.

Social media has been abuzz with these milestones. Twitter user @Kgaugelo_SM remarked, “Then Trevor Noah goes & fills Madison Square Garden. Incredible. Springboks, Kaizer Chiefs, the KFC Proposal, Sho Madjozi & now Noah. Hey man, it’s been an awe-inspiring week. Thank you Mzansi. May we hear of more good stories. We deserve a break from all the nonsense.”

Zuma discharged after being hospitalised for a week for ‘unknown ailment’

Former President Jacob Zuma was reportedly discharged from hospital on Thursday after being admitted for a week for an “unknown ailment.”

Dudu Myeni, the chairperson of the Jacob Zuma Foundation, confirmed the news on Friday, IOL reports.

Zuma was reportedly at an unnamed Durban hospital. Myeni has asked the public to “give him space” to recover.

Inquiry appearance postponed

The state capture commission of inquiry announced earlier this week that Zuma had been scheduled to continue his testimony from 11-15 November.

However, the former President’s lawyers told the inquiry just hours later that he was “ill” and therefore unable to appear.

This compelled the inquiry to postpone his appearance. This was the second postponement of his testimony after his corruption trial caused the first postponement in late October.

Zuma was expected to shed more light on his links with the infamous Gupta brothers as well as the firing for Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan.

Other “areas of interest” the inquiry identified for his testimony include the proposed nuclear deal with Russia and testimonies of ex-GCIS head Themba Maseko and former minister Barbara Hogan, among others.

Zuma’s other legal woes

On the same day Zuma was reportedly discharged, the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed his application for leave to appeal a ruling that compelled him to apologise to former minister Derek Hanekom.

Hanekom hauled him to court for defamation for calling him an “enemy agent.” It’s unclear what Zuma’s next legal step would be.

The ex-President has also filed leave to appeal a previous ruling that dismissed his bid for a permanent stay of prosecution in his corruption trial.

If he doesn’t succeed in this appeal, the pre-trial could be held in February 2020 and the full trial could start in April.

Zuma is also fighting a potential bid by VBS Bank liquidators to repossess his Nkandla home after reportedly defaulting on his repayments.

In 2016, the Constitutional Court ruled that he had to pay back a portion of the costs for security upgrades at Nkandla. He subsequently took a loan from VBS.

Mzansi Twitter plans free wedding, honeymoon for KFC proposal couple

South Africans on Twitter are legit making wedding and honeymoon plans for the now-famous KFC proposal couple – all for free.

In true Ubuntu spirit, volunteers from all walks of life – ordinary citizens to corporates – are making free-of-charge pledges.

KFC South Africa has already found the couple and identified them as Hector Kansi and Nonhlanhla.

Free wedding planning, honeymoon

Hector’s proposal to Nonhlanhla at a KFC outlet on Wednesday has absolutely warmed the hearts of South Africans.

Soon afterwards, MC @alphi_s, popular doctor Sindisiwe van Zyl and brand strategist Joe Human have been coordinating the pledges and plans.

Popular wedding planner Precious Thamaga has offered her services pro bono. She wrote, “I will plan, design and coordinate the wedding pro bono and collab with one of the venues, dress & suit designers.”

Kulula.com came up with a stunner: “Hey Mzansi’s favourite couple! Your honeymoon is on us! #kululaholidays are giving you a holiday in Cape Town, incl flights and 5 nights accommodation.”

Free fuel, free phones, free everything!

Huawei Mobile SA has also offered two mobile devices to the couple “to capture all their memorable moments,” while Total SA has pledged free fuel to their wedding venue.

Puma South Africa chipped in: “Bhut’ Hector and his lovely bride Nonhlanhla each deserve R10 000 of in-store #PUMA threads. Get us in touch with them.”

FNB is prepared to give the couple “couple R5,000 towards their future together in an FNB Gold Cheque account,” while Audi SA will offer a ride to their honeymoon destination.

Celebrities haven’t been left behind. Singer Zakes Bantwini has offered to perform at Hector and Nonhlanhla’s wedding for free.

MC and TV personality K Naomi added, “If the wedding committee will have me. In addition to the dress, I’d be happy to assist with jewellery! Every girl deserves to be the bell of the ball.”

Some well-wishers have chosen to reman anonymous. Businesswoman Farah C. Fortune tweeted, “@sindivanzyl @joe_human_ @alphi_s Someone I know who wishes to remain anonymous would like to donate 10K to the couple towards starting their new life together. Please one of you DM account details so I can pass on.”

Wow! What incredible spirit of Ubuntu South Africans have. Meanwhile, Hector and Nonhlanhla have finally made an appearance.

Whoa! Sho Madjozi absolutely loses it as John Cena surprises her on TV

Sho Madjozi literally couldn’t see WWE star John Cena as he snuck up behind her while she performed the hit song John Cena on TV on Thursday.

Madjozi was appearing on The Kelly Clarkson Show in the US when she got the surprise of her life – and her reaction was absolutely epic.

Before performing, the local star spoke about how much she wanted to meet John Cena. Despite the song taking the world by storm, they were yet to meet, she said.

‘I love him a lot’

Madjozi added, “I love him. I don’t know man. I don’t know what will happen because if I see him I’m gonna [lose it]. I love him a lot, yeah.”

Well, little did she know that the same John Cena she couldn’t see was about to pull a real fast one on her. Watch the epic moment below.

Sho Madjozi first performed John Cena for COLORSXSTUDIOS, a music platform that showcases talent from around the world, in August.

It became an instant hit globally, getting rave reviews from such legends as US musical legend Missy Elliot.

John Cena also danced to the hit song in September when he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He also walked out to a WWE match while the song played recently.

Local fans react

Naturally, Mzansi fans are beaming with pride on social media at Sho Madjozi basking in the global limelight.

@Kimo_NK tweeted, “My gosh… I’m so damn proud of Sho Madjozi. This girl deserves all the greatness [and] all the praises. She finally met John Cena!”

“Sho Madjozi wearing istofi on a western platform is my favourite moment. Her not conforming to how revealing you should wear in order to appeal to the popular culture is a W for African culture,” added @DayoDarkie.

Others, such as actress Hulisani Ravele, remarked just how great this week has been for South Africa.

She wrote, “Between the Boks, Sho Madjozi meeting John Cena, the #KFCProposal’s wedding preparations, I am a proudly-overjoyed-ALL-UP-IN-MY-FEELS South African citizen.

“Si awesome yaz’! Sure, we have our multitude of issues, but shoo, just for today, just for this week, let’s be.”

‘One has to play the chess:’ Ex-COO accuses Mkhwebane of ‘playing political games’

A former chief operating officer (COO) in the Office of the Public Protector has accused Busisiwe Mkhwebane of “playing political games.”

Basani Baloyi is engaged in a labour dispute with the Public Protector after her contract was not renewed, Mail & Guardian reports.

In her affidavit, she cites a WhatsApp message Mkhwebane sent her in which she says, “One has to play the chess.”

CR17 and rogue unit investigations

According to Baloyi, the message was related to Mkhwebane’s investigations into the so-called SARS rogue unit against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and the CR17 campaign funding against President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mkhwebane wrote, “COO, I worked with few people to deal with the sabotage of the PG [Pravin Gordhan] camp. The notice is almost ready for rogue [unit], will issue this week and report will also be issued in the manner I will determine.

“The notice for the president is also ready, will call him this week to discuss the notice. It is not about you but one has to play the chess.”

Baloyi has reportedly attached a screenshot of this WhatsApp message, which Mkhwebane sent her on 26 May.

In her affidavit, she says, “I understood the reference to playing chess … to mean that the public protector was playing a political game.”

‘Dealing through media’

However, Mkhwebane’s spokesperson Oupa Segalwe denied there was anything in the message that suggests Mkhwebane was “playing a political game.”

He said, “The text in question was sent at the time when the subject of the investigation was dealing with the Public Protector through the media. The Public Protector’s text was therefore referring to countering that.”

Baloyi wants to be reinstated to her position. She claims she was purged because Mkhwebane and her CEO, Vussy Mahlangu, saw her as an “obstacle” to “using their powers for their own personal advancement.”

Segalwe has denied this, claiming Baloyi’s allegations are “baseless and malicious.” He said Baloyi had been on probation and was not confirmed because of her “performance and conduct.”

In their respective reviews of Mkhwebane’s reports, both Ramaphosa and Gordhan have questioned her motive in the way she conducted her investigations.

Mkhwebane could also soon face a parliamentary probe, which the Democratic Alliance (DA) initiated, into her fitness to hold office.

‘When love wins:’ Vaal man gives SA the feels with KFC proposal

A man in the Vaal, Gauteng, has given thousands of South Africans on social media the feels with his heartwarming proposal at a KFC restaurant.

KFC South Africa shared the video on Twitter on Thursday – and wants help in identifying the loving couple.

It captioned the video, “Mzansi please help us find this beautiful couple, re batla ho ba blesser. DM us any leads, there might be a Finger Lickin’ Good surprise in it for you too. Batho ba Vaal re thuseng! We love love. #KFCProposal.”

Romantic moment

Twitter user Kateka Malobola took the video and was the first to share it. The proposal happened on Wednesday.

The man is seen in the video on his knees, fitting rings on his girlfriend’s ring finger.

She appeared to have accepted the proposal and seemed overwhelmed and surprised by the warm gesture.

Fellow patrons at the restaurant applauded as the man proposed. Others took videos of the romantic and adorable moment.

Social media reactions

The video has gone viral, amassing more than 72,000 views, 5,500 likes and 2,600 retweets so far. Many social media users congratulated the couple.

“When love wins,” wrote Jimmy Raphela, while Dimpho Manonyane added, “The beautiful moments don’t have to cost much! This is so beautiful.”

@ifti_35 said, “This though… No fancy restaurant or professional photographers, just love! Forget others. Do what makes you happy. Others will always be opinionated either way.”

“This is soo beautiful and sweet. They look so happy. Ncoo love is beautiful yazi,” added @Profnggama.

Although some argued that the man could have chosen a “fancier” place for his proposal, many others came to his defence.

One of them, Nonhlanhla Mahamba-Nkosi, said, “Some are laughing.. What’s funny? That the guy is living his life according to his standards? Do you… And stop being miserable. Each to its own.”

Congratulations to the couple!

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