Category Archives: Society

Police release Simphiwe Dana after ex-fiancé laid assault counter-charges

Musician Simphiwe Dana spent some time in police holding cells on Wednesday after handing herself over to the Norwood police station in Johannesburg.

In a statement released via civil society organisation Wise4Afrika on Friday, Dana said she decided to hand herself over after her ex-fiancé laid assault and crimen injuria counter-charges against her.

She said the prosecutor declined to prosecute her and dismissed the counter-charges as “flimsy.”

‘Re-victimisation of victims’

Dana alleged that her then-fiancé physically attacked her on 27 December, 2019 and threatened her against laying charges against him.

She nevertheless laid assault and intimidation charges against him on 30 December and shared the details on social media. Her ex-partner then filed the counter-charges earlier this week.

The popular singer said, “My experience has been a disturbing revelation about how the criminal justice system can be manipulated to re-victimise and harass victims of intimate-partner abuse.

“There appears to be an increasing trend of abusers laying counter-assault charges against their victims as an intimidation tactic.”

Dana to pursue case

Dana said her holding cell was “full of domestic violence survivors whose partners had laid counter-charges.”

She described this as a bullying and intimidation tactic used by abusers to escape accountability.

Best known for her 2009 hit track Zandisile, Dana vowed to pursue her case against her ex-fiancé and see it “through to the end.”

In an Instagram post in December, she revealed that her ex-partner had boasted that he had a friend in the police service “who runs the province.”

She added, “I was intended to marry him. I don’t play that game. In a world where we have sleepless nights for our daughters, a man threatening me in this way will have all my wrath. His name is Leshoto Itsweng.”

Dana stated that she would not conduct any further media interviews on the matter. Itsweng has not publicly commented on the case.

Khabonina Qubeka demands R40m after hospital disposed of placenta 'without consent'

Isidingo actress Khabonina Qubeka is demanding R40 million from Johannesburg’s Life Bedford Gardens Hospital after it disposed of her placenta allegedly without her consent.

Speaking to SowetanLIVE, Qubeka claims she signed an agreement with the private hospital asking it to keep the placenta when she gave birth to her daughter Lwandle in 2018.

She and her husband Vuyisile Colossa cited cultural reasons for wanting to keep the placenta. However, they claim the hospital disposed of it despite their signed agreement.

‘The child’s blanket’

Qubeka, who is widely known for her role as Nina Zamdela in Isidingo, explained, “A placenta is the child’s blanket and culturally it benefits the child and the entire family.”

Colossa, who hails from the Tsonga community, added, “You can cleanse the child traditionally if something happens to them. Some other cultures they plant it and then plant a tree to represent the life of the child.”

The couple approached the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Commission), which is handling their case.

On Wednesday, Qubeka posted on Twitter about the case, “When you sign a legal document with a hospital to save your human tissue, it’s your human right, women’s right, cultural and civil right!”

Hospital denies liability

Qubeka and Colossa met the hospital’s management in November 2018 when they put forward their R40 million claim, but reportedly couldn’t reach an agreement after the hospital denied liability.

In a statement, the hospital claimed Qubeka failed to complete an affidavit for her placenta’s disposal “nor queried upon discharge the whereabouts of the placenta.”

“As a result, the hospital is obligated to dispose of the placenta in an ethical manner as required in terms of legislation,” it added.

Besides cultural reasons, placenta encapsulation has emerged as a business and a major reason mothers choose to keep their placenta.

According to placentaencapsulation.co.za, it involves dehydrating and grounding the placenta into fine powder and then placing the powder in capsules.

Some mothers believe ingesting these capsules helps them with postpartum healing and preserving their youthful looks.

The provinces and sectors you're most likely to get a job in Q1 2020

Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal – these are the provinces where you’re most likely get a job in the first quarter of 2020 (January-March).

This is according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey released this week.

The Survey interviewed a representative sample of 753 employers across South Africa. The key question was, “How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of March 2020 as compared to the current quarter?”

4% gains expected in Western Cape

Employers in the Western Cape reported a net employment outlook of +4%, meaning they forecast payroll gains of 4% in Q1 2020 compared to the previous quarter.

Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal followed at +3% and +2% respectively. However, Eastern Cape and Free State have net employment outlooks of -5% and -1% respectively.

Image credit: Screenshot from ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Q1 2020

In overall terms, South Africa’s net employment outlook in Q1 2020 is just +2%. This is because 10% of employers are forecasting an increase in payrolls, 8% a decrease, and 81% expecting no change.

This is the weakest net employment outlook in five years. The Survey adds, “Hiring plans remain relatively stable when compared with the previous quarter, but decline by 3 percentage points in comparison with the same period last year.”

Sectors you’re most likely to get a job in

According to the Survey, hiring pace is forecast to be the strongest in the Finance, Insurance, Real Estate & Business Services sector at +4%.

Employers in the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector reported a net employment outlook of +7%, while those in the Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry & Fishing sector reported +5%.

Job seekers in the Restaurants & Hotels sector should remain optimistic because the outlook is +4%.

Manufacturing (+3%) and Public & Social (+1%) sectors show some promise, while Mining & Quarrying sector employers reported no change in outlook.

However, employment in the Construction sector continues to weaken with an outlook of -9%. The Transport, Storage & Communications (-6%) and Electricity, Gas & Water Supply (-2%) also remain weak.

The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey has been running for over 55 years, according to its website.

It is conducted quarterly “to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforces during the next quarter.”

EFF calls for state-owned bank in honour of late Richard Maponya

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has called for the establishment of a state-owned bank in memory of legendary entrepreneur Richard Maponya.

Maponya passed away in the early hours of Monday after a short illness, his family announced. He was aged 99.

In a statement EFF said such a bank would “prioritise investment in young African entrepreneurs,” something Maponya was known to be passionate about.

‘A bank that believes in African entrepreneurs’

EFF said, “In his memory, the government must establish a state-owned bank that will prioritise investment in young African entrepreneurs.

“To truly honour Maponya is to believe that African people can be enterprising, innovative and creative; that there are many like him in our country and continent, but lack the financial investment and support for their businesses.

“This is truly the key solution to dealing with the massive African unemployment – a bank that believes in them.”

The party also took a dig at the African National Congress (ANC) government, accusing it of “inaugurating” kleptocracy that is the opposite of Maponya’s integrity.

‘Businessman of integrity’

EFF said, “Long before South Africa had a black government, he was already a brilliant property developer.

“This makes him not only formidable, but also a businessman of integrity, something the conditions of kleptocracy inaugurated by the ANC government make impossible.”

Despite training as a teacher, Maponya ventured into entrepreneurship and started off with a number of grocery stores in Soweto in the 1950s.

He founded the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NAFCOC) in 1964 to promote the interests of black businesses at the height of apartheid.

Over a span of 50 years, his business empire expanded beyond retail into property development. The iconic Maponya Mall in Soweto is often touted as his signature entrepreneurial achievement.

The late entrepreneur’s family appealed for privacy during this period and said funeral arrangements will be revealed in due course.

'A pioneer:' Ramaphosa pays tribute to legendary entrepreneur Richard Maponya

President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to legendary Soweto-based entrepreneur Richard Maponya, who passed away on Monday aged 99.

In a statement, Ramaphosa described Maponya as a “pioneer” and the “doyen of black business” in South Africa.

He wrote, “We have lost a pioneer, a trailblazer and a man of extraordinary fortitude who paved the way for the racial transformation of the South African economy.”

‘Short illness’

Maponya’s family announced early on Monday that he had passed away after a short illness. He celebrated his 99th birthday on 24 December, 2019.

He founded the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NAFCOC) at the height of apartheid in 1964 to promote small businesses.

Although Maponya was a qualified teacher, he turned to entrepreneurship early in his life, starting with small grocery stores in Soweto in the 1950s.

His business empire expanded over a period of 50 years beyond retail into property development. The famous Maponya Mall in Soweto is often touted as his signature achievement.

‘Resilience, determination’

In his statement, Ramaphosa said Maponya sought to inspire and support countless young entrepreneurs through his success story.

He said, “Dr Maponya’s life is a testament to resilience, determination and the power of vision: namely to see black business grow to assume its full role as the key participant and driver of our economy.

“He was of that rare breed of entrepreneurs who would not be held back or become disheartened by difficult operating conditions – in fact, having obstacles put in his path drove him even further to succeed.

“The Maponya name is a veritable institution in our public life, standing for excellence and inspiring generations of South Africans.”

Ramaphosa hailed Maponya’s “towering legacy” and called on the business community to help realise Maponya’s dream of a youth entrepreneurship academy.

The late entrepreneur’s family appealed for privacy during this period and said they will announce funeral arrangements in due course.

EFF to SA: Avoid 'capitalist, opulent performance of riches' this Christmas

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has wished South Africans a “revolutionary” merry Christmas.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the party also called on citizens to shun “opulent performance of riches” this festive season.

It evoked the symbolism of Jesus Christ being born in “a stable, on a manger, to stranded migrant parents on transit to partake in a tax census.”

‘The poor and landless’

EFF said, “Under these conditions, the birth of the Messiah immediately identifies with the poor and landless who are without access to healthcare, shelter, food, water and other basic needs.

“It is the duty of revolutionaries to mobilise this progressive reading of this symbolism against the capitalist, consumerist, egotistical, selfish, opulent performance of riches that has become the order of the day during festive seasons.”

The party said remembering Jesus Christ “is to remember the poor, the inequalities and injustices of the capitalist order of things.”

It added that no one must go without food or shelter and urged South Africans to have a “revolutionary spirit of selflessness and generosity.”

Bethlehem ‘an occupied territory’

The EFF added, “Finally, let us remember that Bethlehem, the historic city of Jesus’ birth, is an occupied territory by the modern apartheid state of Israel.”

It reiterated Palestine’s call for the international community to isolate Israel through boycotts and sanctions until Palestine is free.

Meanwhile, EFF leader Julius Malema revealed in a question-and-answer session with his Instagram followers on Sunday that he will spend Christmas at his late grandmother’s house in Seshego, Limpopo.

He said he will also host a community thanksgiving event in the same area on Boxing Day.

Malema held a similar event in 2018 and donated a tractor to the community for farming.

However, amaBhungane reported in September that Afrirent, a company that won a R1billion fleet contract with the City of Johannesburg, allegedly paid for the tractor.

Afrirent denied the allegation, while Malema has consistently dismissed amaBhungane‘s reports as the work of “Stratcom.”

eNCA fires Kanthan Pillay and lifts Khayelihle Khumalo's suspension

TV news channel eNCA has parted ways with its director of news Kanthan Pillay “with immediate effect.”

In a statement on Friday, the channel said, “This follows outrage and condemnation after a tweet he posted. The tweet does not represent the views of e-Media Investments and the channel.

“After intense overnight investigation and consultation, the channel decided it had no alternative but to end its relationship with him.”

‘No room for any other outcome’

eNCA added, “Although he was acting in an individual capacity and his posting was unsolicited, he was nonetheless a senior member of staff and the channel believes there was no room for any other outcome and that damage control was imperative.”

eNCA said it takes allegations of censorship against Pillay “very seriously” and is cooperating the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) about the matter. It will also appoint “an external expert” to investigate.

Jeremy Maggs, eNCA‘s editor-in-chief, said, “All news organisations have one currency and that is credibility. It is clear this negative attention has adversely affected eNCA’s reputation and credibility.

“However with the talented and dedicated staff we have I believe the channel can recover. Right now our immediate priorities are to mend strained relationships and to rebuild credibility with its audience and other stakeholders as soon as possible.”

Khayelihle Khumalo’s suspension lifted

eNCA has also lifted the suspension of journalist Khayelihle Khumalo, according to several journalists working for the channel.

Khumalo also confirmed the development, “Suspension is lifted and Kanthan Pillay is gone. Rats are delighted. What a journey.”

Pillay had suspended Khumalo for tweeting about Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) National People’s Assembly after eNCA withdrew its coverage.

On the same day political reporter Samkele Maseko announced his abrupt departure from eNCA, Pillay tweeted, “Rats swimming towards a sinking ship. #EarlyXmasGift.” He later apologised for the tweet.

Maseko later said Pillay had refused to allow him to serve a 30-day notice period upon handing in his resignation letter.

He further accused him of censorship in the newsroom and throwing him out of the eNCA building “like a dog.”

Several eNCA journalists celebrated news of Pillay’s suspension and welcomed Khumalo back. Thembekile Mrototo wrote, “Kanthan Pillay is officially gone from eNCA. Good riddance!”

Xoli Mngambi added, “On @KhayaJames, after strong demands from staff to news management, his suspension has been lifted. Welcome back Khaya.”

Samkele Maseko rejects Kanthan Pillay's apology as eNCA journalists take stand

Political reporter Samkele Maseko has rejected eNCA senior manager Kanthan Pillay’s apology.

In tweets posted on Friday, Maseko said, “I note and reject Mr Kanthan Pillay’s apology. We can no longer accept apologies for racial and corporate abuse.

“It would be inhumane of me to accept an apology while another black child still faces the abuse of power by the same man.”

Khayelihle Khumalo’s suspension

Maseko was referring to the plight of his former colleague at eNCA Khayelihle Khumalo, who is still under suspension for tweeting about the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) National People’s Assembly (NPA) after eNCA withdrew its coverage.

Pillay issued a formal apology on Thursday to Maseko, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), e-Media Investments and the public for his now-infamous “rats” tweet.

On the same day Maseko announced his abrupt departure from eNCA, Pillay tweeted, “Rats swimming towards a sinking ship. #EarlyXmasGift.”

Maseko later said Pillay had refused to allow him to serve a 30-day notice period upon handing in his resignation letter. He further accused him of censorship in the newsroom and throwing him out of the eNCA building “like a dog.”

In his apology, Pillay said, “I hereby express my unreserved apology to all that were offended by my irresponsible and ill-conceived statement on Twitter, posted on Tuesday, 17 December, 2019. I deeply regret the statement I made and retract it in its entirety.”

eNCA journalist take a stand

Meanwhile, several eNCA journalists have announced that they met with the TV news channel’s management and taken a stand for independent journalism.

They all tweeted the same message, “After recent disturbing events, we’ve met with eNCA management and made it clear we stand for independent journalism.

“We’ll protect the sanctity of our credibility. We won’t allow the integrity of our news profession to be made a mockery of. #CredibilityFirst #NoToCensorship.”

The journalists include Xoli Mngambi, Heidi Giokos, Dasen Thathiah, Aviwe Mtila, Thembekile Mrototo, Lindokuhle Xulu, and Mmanaledi Mataboge-Mashetla, among others.

Mngambi and Jane Dutton also spoke out against Pillay in an on-air message. They said, “It is our view that the individual’s actions do not represent our editorial views or values.

“We will never tolerate victimisation of anyone. We stand in solidarity with our suspended colleague Khayelihle Khumalo and apologise to Samkele Maseko for the way he was treated.

“We do not condone or tolerate censorship and we trust the company’s leadership to deal with these issues decisively.”

UPDATE: eNCA has since lifted Khayelihle Khumalo’s suspension and fired Kanthan Pillay as head of news. For more on that story, click here.

eNCA's Kanthan Pillay apologises to Samkele Maseko, SABC for "rats" tweet

eNCA‘s senior manager Kanthan Pillay has apologised to political reporter Samkele Maseko, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), e-Media Investments and the public for his now-infamous “rats” tweet.

In a statement on Thursday afternoon, Pillay said, “I hereby express my unreserved apology to all that were offended by my irresponsible and ill-conceived statement on Twitter, posted on Tuesday, 17 December, 2019.

“I deeply regret the statement I made and retract it in its entirety.”

‘Action taken in haste’

He said posting the tweet was an action he took “in haste and without thinking,” thus placing his employer, colleagues, family and friends “in a most embarrassing position.”

Pillay added, “I accept that my actions were irresponsible and unbecoming of a Senior Manager in any newsroom.

“The statement I made is unacceptable and rightfully rebuked by all concerned. In the next few days, the matter will be further discussed and investigated, and whatever the outcome will be binding on me.

“I regret having been drawn into a Twitter war and I ask for your understanding with the knowledge that I [am] deeply remorseful of my actions.”

The infamous ‘rats’ tweet

Pillay sparked controversy on Tuesday when he tweeted, “Rats swimming towards a sinking ship. #EarlyXmasGift.”

He posted it on the same say Maseko announced his abrupt departure from eNCA. Maseko later tweeted that had Pillay refused to allow him to serve a 30-day notice period upon handing in his resignation letter.

On Wednesday, he accused Pillay of throwing him out of the eNCA building “like a dog” and “censoring political talk.

Maseko tweeted, “Do you want me to speak about how you instructed that @MYANC MP Bongani Bongo be censored by removing all the allegations he made at Minister Pravin Gordhan?”

Other prominent figures in the media industry, such as radio presenters Thando Thabethe and DJ Fresh, also accused Pillay of being “arrogant” and “a bully.”

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) also called for a boycott of eNCA in the wake of the allegations.

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) issued a statement expressing concern at “allegations of editorial interference in the newsroom at eNCA.”

'A bully:' Thando Thabethe, DJ Fresh make more claims against eNCA's Kanthan Pillay

Popular radio personalities Thando Thabethe and DJ Fresh have made more claims of mistreatment at the hands of eNCA‘s senior executive Kanthan Pillay.

In a tweet on Wednesday, DJ Fresh wrote, “His becoming hands on at YFM was the reason I jumped ship, and why it was so easy to leave!!! He is not a nice person at all…”

He also replied to a tweet by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Thursday and wrote, “Shall speak for myself … that man has zero emotional and social agility! Narcissistic… A bully…. Arrogant AF! YOU CAN’T TELL HIM [ANYTHING]!!!!”

‘Didn’t get to serve my notice’

Thando Thabethe picked up on DJ Fresh’s tweet and added, “Didn’t get to serve my notice at Y or even do 1 more show after letting them know I got offered a show on 5, got told leave immediately!!! Further got told to leave Club808 immediately.”

The controversy surrounding Pillay was sparked by political reporter Samkele Maseko, who claimed Pillay refused to allow him to serve his 30-day notice period after handing in his resignation on Tuesday.

Maseko also accused Pillay of censorship,”“Do you want me to speak about how you instructed that @MYANC MP Bongani Bongo be censored by removing all the allegations he made at Minister Pravin Gordhan?

“What happened to a simple journalism principle of two sides to a story? Getting both parties to answer for themselves?”

Yet more claims emerge

Sunday Times journalist Qaanitah Hunter also recounted her experience of interacting with Pillay, who is also the founder the Capitalist Party of South Africa, also known as “Purple Cow.”

She tweeted, “Not long ago I was doing an interview and the purple cow was also on. He fat shamed SAA air hostess unprovoked.

“Then when I was talking about challenges facing journalists he said it was “millennial tears” and we know nothing about struggle. A bully.”

Media personality Leslie Kasumba quoted DJ Fresh’s tweet and wrote, “Oh my gosh I co-sign this! He even faked a whole water case against me, lied that it cost the company x amount and it was not the case.

“He is a horrible horrible man! I never had the courage back then but yea what a bad human being!”

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has called for a boycott of the news channel, while the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) has expressed concern at Maseko’s censorship claims.

Both Pillay and eNCA have remained mum on the controversy so far.

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