Author Archives: Staff Writer

Trevor Manuel apologises ‘unreservedly’ for disparaging comment about judge

Old Mutual board chairperson Trevor Manual has apologised for his disparaging comments about a judge.

During a press briefing last week, he referred to Gauteng Judge Brian Mashile as a “single individual who happens to wear a robe.”

If you take a board imbued with the responsibility and accountability and you get that overturned by a single individual who happens to wear a robe, I think you have a bit of a difficulty.

Trevor Manuel

He was defending Old Mutual board’s decision to appeal Judge Mashile’s ruling in favour of Peter Moyo, the company’s chief executive office.

‘Wholly inappropriate’

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Manuel apologised unreservedly, adding that his language was “wholly inappropriate.”

He explained that it wasn’t his intention to show disrespect to Judge Mashile or his judgement.

My unguarded observation, although withdrawn, has understandably caused disquiet for which I apologise unreservedly, to the honourable judge presiding and to my fellow South Africans.

Trevor Manuel

Manuel further said he “sincerely regretted” the way he voiced his disagreement with the ruling.

He reiterated his “respect for the judiciary” while reaffirming his full support for the board’s decision to appeal Judge Mashile’s ruling.

Criticism

Manuel came under criticism from various quarters for his remarks on the judge.

The Black Management Forum (BMF) slammed him for “showing disdain for Judge Mashile and the judiciary.”

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Leading by example or doing what’s expected? Tito Mboweni flies economy class

The National Treasury has shared a picture of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni flying economy class to Cape Town.

Treasury posted the image on its Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon.

The image was captioned, “Minister of Finance @tito_mboweni leading by example. Flying economy class to Cape Town. #WalktheTalk.”

Twitter users react

Some South Africans on Twitter praised the minister for indeed leading by example.

I hope your colleagues are humble enough to take note and emulate you as a matter of principle.

Twitter user Thabang Motsohi

Now that’s how you save money; @tito_mboweni has the power to make sure everyone follows suit. These are the cuts we need.

@0206smile

However, others weren’t so impressed. They argued that this should be expected, especially on a two-hour flight.

This should not be something special. It’s a 2hr flight. No one should be flying in business class on this route.

@FutshaneLinda

He needs to change the law/finance polices to force public servants to do that, not being a role model.

@Cyandern

But why do we post such things when this should be the norm?
He isn’t great for doing this; he’s just a person doing his job.

@Jennenem526

Mboweni’s cost-cutting measures

Mboweni has been vocal about cutting costs in government, especially perks accorded to ministers and deputy ministers.

He was instrumental in Cabinet’s adoption of a revised ministerial handbook earlier this year.

Some of the cost-cutting measures in the handbook include restrictions on the purchase of new vehicles by ministers.

Air travel for spouses of ministers is now restricted as well.

Other measures extend to municipalities, including limits on use of consultants and capping prices of mayoral cars at R700,000.

Mboweni himself instructed Treasury to sell two BMW X5 models purchased for his predecessor in favour of cheaper cars.

Ramaphosa asks Mkhwebane to explain how she received ‘stolen’ CR17 emails

President Cyril Ramaphosa believes that private CR17 campaign emails were “stolen.”

Ramaphosa makes the claim in an affidavit on his review of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on the R500,000 donation by Bosasa ex-CEO Gavin Watson to his campaign.

The president has therefore called on Mkhwebane to explain how she got these emails.

It is my belief that these emails were stolen from the CR17 campaign computers. I call on the PP to explain how and from whom she received these emails.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

‘Improper or gratuitous reasons’

Ramaphosa further believes Mkhwebane included CR17 bank account information in her investigation “for improper or gratuitous reasons.”

This is because Mkhwebane made no findings about the information in her report, he argues.

Therefore, the inclusion of this bank account information was not “relevant” to the Bosasa investigation, he adds.

Mkhwebane obtained the information from a Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) report.

According to Ramaphosa, not a single finding in Mkhwebane’s report against him was supported by the evidence.

He also slams the Public Protector for allegedly not allowing his lawyers to question the late Gavin Watson.

This is despite Watson indicating that he was willing to have an interview, Ramaphosa contends.

Review

Ramaphosa has taken Mkhwebane’s report on review, arguing that it is “legally and factually flawed.”

Mkhwebane made several damning findings against the president, including that he “deliberately and/or inadvertently misled” Parliament.

She also found that Ramaphosa had exposed himself to a risk of conflict of interest by accepting campaign donations in his name.

The Public Protector said Ramaphosa’s failure to declare the donations was a breach of the executive code of ethics.

She further found suspicion of money laundering and directed the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to investigate further.

She also suggested that the large amounts donated to CR17 campaign created a “risk of capture.”

Jeff Radebe conveys SA’s ‘profuse apologies’ to Nigeria over xenophobic unrest

Former Minister Jeff Radebe has conveyed South Africa’s apology to Nigeria over the recent xenophobic unrest in parts of Gauteng.

Radebe met Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Monday.

He is one of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Special Envoys to several African countries.

They have been dispatched to reaffirm South Africa’s commitment to Pan-Africanism.

Speaking to the press afterwards, Radebe said he conveyed Ramaphosa’s “sincere apologies about the incident that has recently transpired in South Africa.”

He added that the unrest did not represent what South Africans stand for and that the perpetrators will be “brought to book.”

The Nigerian Presidency also issued a statement reaffirming the close ties between the two countries.

President Buhari responded to profuse apologies from the South African president, pledging that relationship between the two countries will be solidified.

Nigerian Presidency

Nigerians returning

A number of Nigerian nationals have opted to return to their country in recent days following the unrest.

12 people lost their lives, 10 of them being South Africans. There have been no reports of Nigerians losing their lives.

A number of South African business operating in Nigeria, such as Shoprite, were recently targeted in retaliation.

South Africa’s consulate in Lagos was also forced to close down briefly after protesters marched to it.

Buhari’s Special Envoy

Radebe’s meeting with President Buhari follows a similar meeting between President Ramaphosa and Buhari’s Special Envoy Ahmed Rufai Abubakar in Pretoria earlier in September.

Following the meeting, Ramaphosa reaffirmed the “firm and strong relations” between the two countries.

He said Nigeria had undertaken to act against the targeting of South African assets in Nigeria.

Buhari is set to make a state visit to South Africa in October, when these matters are likely to be further discussed.

Rietondale High School vandalised after being renamed from Hoërskool HF Verwoerd

Rietondale High School in Pretoria has been vandalised just a month after being renamed from Hoërskool HF Verwoerd.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi confirmed the development on Monday via Twitter.

The vandalism reportedly happened on Sunday.

According to the Gauteng Education department, “criminals” defaced the school’s main gate by spraying paint on it.

Taps and shower heads, which were recently installed in the school’s new bathrooms, were also stolen.

Transformation agenda

Lesufi expressed outrage at the incident and said it “undermines our transformation agenda.”

This act will not deter us from our agenda of transforming the education system.

Vandalism targeted at our schools requires the urgent attention of all structures of civil society and our partners in the education sector

Gauteng MEC

He called on the police to “do everything in their power to apprehend these faceless individuals.”

Symbolism of renaming

The school was renamed in August at a widely publicised event which Lesufi attended.

The department said at the time that the renaming “symbolises a democratic gesture of moving South Africa and its citizens from a painful past of inequality and racial divisions.”

HF Verwoerd was a former Prime Minister of South Africa during apartheid.

Many view him as the driving force behind the deepening of apartheid’s system of segregation based on skin colour.

Ramaphosa on being booed: ‘Zimbabweans expressed their anger against SA’

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said Zimbabweans who booed him at the funeral of the late Robert Mugabe were expressing their anger against South Africans.

The crowd at a stadium in Harare booed Ramaphosa as soon as he began addressing them on Saturday.

However, they cheered him when he apologised for the recent xenophobic unrest and assured them that South Africans are not xenophobic.

Speaking at the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) national congress in Durban on Monday, Ramaphosa said the booing wasn’t directed at him personally.

They expressed their disappointment, expressed their unhappiness. They expressed their anger against us as South Africans, and they saw me as representing all of us in South Africa.

Their reaction was against us. The whole stadium, some 40,000 people, booed me.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

‘I have apologised’

The president acknowledged that the crowd’s mood became positive as soon as he apologised.

I have apologised on your behalf, and I hope it does sink into our consciousness that the world expects us to act in a way where we will respect the rights of people of other nations.

Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa said the world places South Africa at a much higher pedestal because of its Constitution “that enshrines the rights of everyone.”

He added that the Freedom Charter, which was adopted in the 1950s, says that “South Africa belongs to all who live in it.”

He urged South Africans to refrain from targeting foreign nationals because their countries also contribute to South Africa’s economy.

The president reiterated that everyone in the country, whether citizens or foreign nationals, must obey the law.

Nzimande: SA absorbing foreign nationals because African leaders are ‘looting’

South African Communist Party (SACP) General Secretary Dr Blade Nzimande has asked African leaders to stop “looting” their countries.

He said the “looting” is a major reason why South Africa is absorbing many foreign nationals from other African countries.

Nzimande was addressing the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) national congress in Durban on Monday.

African leaders themselves must get their act together, such that they don’t destroy their country and people have to leave.

As South Africa, we cannot absorb the result of all the problems that are made by leaders who want to loot their country, who do not care about their own people.

SACP leader Dr Blade Nzimande

He wondered what other African leaders are doing to make their countries better places to live in.

Nzimande also blamed instability in other African countries that forces people to flee to South Africa.

However, he cautioned South Africans not to target foreign nationals.

Unrest

The SACP leader was reacting to the recent spate of xenophobic unrest in parts of Gauteng.

However, government has insisted that it was mainly criminality rather than targeting of foreign nationals.

Nevertheless, reaction from other African countries has mostly been anger against South Africa.

Zimbabweans attending the funeral of their late President Robert Mugabe booed President Cyril Ramaphosa during the funeral service in Harare over the weekend.

Ramaphosa apologised for the unrest, sparking cheers from the crowd.

Crowd boos Ramaphosa at Mugabe funeral over recent xenophobic unrest

President Cyril Ramaphosa faced a difficult crowd in Harare, Zimbabwe, during the funeral service of the late Robert Mugabe.

The crowd booed him soon after he was introduced, forcing the programme director to intervene.

Ramaphosa resumed his address after the crowd quietened. He apologised for the recent xenophobic unrest in part of Gauteng.

I stand before you as a fellow African to express my regret and to apologise for what has happened in our country.

What has happened in South Africa goes against the principles of the unity of African people that President Mugabe and President Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and the great leaders of our African continent stood for.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

The president said the government is working hard to strengthen social cohesion.

He emphasised that South Africans are not xenophobic and are not against people from other countries.

The crowd was appeased by Ramaphosa’s apology and in fact cheered him for it.

Ramaphosa expressed his condolences to the people of Zimbabwe on behalf of the South African government.

‘Stop discussing my heartbreak’ – Jessica Nkosi after baby daddy ‘cheated’ on her

Popular actress Jessica Nkosi has asked her fans to stop discussing her “heartbreak.”

Nkosi sparked debates on social media about her relationship with actor TK Dlamini via several Instagram stories she posted overnight.

In the stories, she revealed that Dlamini, who is the father of her daughter Nami, had been unfaithful to her.

To you who is seeing the father of my child behind my back, you are free to be with him fully now… *no more hiding” lol enjoy babe.

Jessica Nkosi

The Isibiya actress confessed that she was heartbroken.

However, she thanked her Instagram followers for giving her proof of Dlamini’s alleged infidelity.

And yes, I am heartbroken. Shattered actually. But you know what… I will be fine!! Good in fact.

To my Instagram followers that came with receipts and pictures when you saw them out together, thank you. You truly love and care for me. Ngiyabonga. I would have never believed it.

Jessica Nkosi

Trending

As could be expected, Nkosi has been trending on Twitter on Saturday over the revelations.

Debate is raging between those who sympathise with her and those who argue that she has similarly “taken” men from other women.

As much as y’all will try normalise cheating but this is not a nice feeling where no women/men should go through. It’s the the worst pain ever. Strength to you sis.

Twitter user @ria_ramokolo

Why you all feeling sorry for Jessica Nkosi??? Karma is best served cold. Have you forgotten how she stole Nomzamo Mbatha’s boyfriend???!

Twitter user @tawanda55803720

‘Be productive’

The debate got so heated that Nkosi jokingly asked her fans to “stop discussing my heartbreak.”

https://twitter.com/JessicaNkosi/status/1172773404275019776

Dlamini, who stars as Mastermind in SABC drama Skeem Saam, has not commented on the developments yet.

View this post on Instagram

We’re almost there…

A post shared by Ntokozo Dlamini 👑 (@tk_dee) on

The two welcomed their baby daughter earlier this year, but rumours of their relationship being on the rocks have persisted.

‘Where’s our First Lady?’ Twitter debates Dr Motsepe’s ‘silence’ on gender issues

South Africans on Twitter are debating the perceived “silence” of First Lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe on issues affecting women and children.

The debate arose early on Friday when a Twitter user, @lara_robertson, tweeted about the Sandton shutdown protest.

Many others joined her in questioning why Dr Motsepe seemingly hasn’t commented on recent events affecting women.

Some even wondered what the role of First Ladies is.

Others felt that Dr Motsepe could use her influence and stature to lend weight to gender issues.

In defence of Dr Motsepe

However, many Twitter users were quick to defend the First Lady.

University of Pretoria academic Dr Sithembile Mbete suggested that people misunderstand the role of First Lady.

Others said she has been active on gender and children issues all her life and doesn’t need to do anything differently now that she’s First Lady.

The Presidency’s 2010 clarification

During former President Jacob Zuma’s first term in 2010, The Presidency issued a statement on the role of spouses of the president.

It said under the Constitution, there is no official designation of a “First Lady.”

However, “The Presidency provides administrative support to the spouses of the President through its spousal office.”

The spouse may engage in activities that support the president’s work, but this is voluntary and not mandatory, the statement said.

Dr Motsepe’s recent public engagements

Dr Motsepe has had several public engagements in the recent past.

In August, she was the keynote speaker at the Ntataise Network’s annual conference, where she spoke on Early Childhood Development.

In July, she spent her Mandela Day distributing learning resources to children at the Early Care Foundation in Johannesburg.

She has also accompanied President Cyril Ramaphosa to several overseas engagements.

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