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Mam Winnie a towering figure in fight against apartheid: UN

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A towering figure in the struggle for Apartheid is how United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres described Ma Winnie Madikizela Mandela.

Guterres says, “As a strong and fearless woman, she had to fight patriarchy’s definitions of womanhood. In apartheid South Africa, the combination of patriarchy and racism together meant that black women confronted enormous obstacles from the cradle to the grave – making her own achievements all the more exceptional.

The UN Chief led tributes at a memorial in New York that included the President of the General Assembly and Ambassadors representing each and every region of the world, describing her as a symbol of resistance who left an indelible mark on the history of the 20th Century.

The head of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka also lauded her role in the fight for women’s equality and empowerment.

In a video message Mlambo Ngcuka said, “Her courage sometimes looked even as if it intimidated the Apartheid system and that is what made her such an iconic leader because the system that people were afraid of, she was not afraid of. instead she made the system to be afraid of her…

“She was not just a wife of an iconic leader, she was an iconic leader in her own right, on who’s shoulders many other leaders, men, women, children, young people were able to stand and find their place in society. This is the memory we want to try and keep,” added Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Her advocacy for women’s rights, including in her role as president of the ANC Women’s League, reflected her dedication to justice.

Her sacrifices were acknowledged as having changed the course of history – her resilience described as inspiring by General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak.

Lajcak said, “In every period of history, there are some people, who are different to others. And that is because they are willing to sacrifice everything, to change the world around them. And, we owe a great debt, to people like this. Their sacrifices benefit all of those who come after them. And, their sacrifices – in a small or a serious way – change the course of history. I do not think any of us could deny that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is one of these people. And that is why we are all gathered here, today, to pay tribute to her.”

Ambassadors from each regional grouping paid tribute, the United States as host country, additionally India, Cuba and Namibia’s Ambassador Neville Melvin Gertze on behalf of SADC.

Gertze says, “Mama Winnie, mother of the nation, spear of the nation, you have fought the good fight, you have finished the race but your legacy will live on to inspire generations to come, to never surrender to injustice but to stand up for justice. Let us honour her memory by rededicating ourselves to the next phase of the struggle, the economic emancipation of the suffering masses. The struggle now is to lift the poor out of a life of hunger and despair. To bring universal health to people everywhere, to improve the quality of life for all but most especially for the most vulnerable in the world. Let us ensure that no-one is left behind.”

Human rights lawyer Gay McDougall who stood alongside Madiba when he voted in the first democratic election in 1994 – described Mam Winnie as having rallied a nation when the leadership of the ANC was sent to prison or exiled.

McDougall says,”By taking a leadership role in uMkhonto weSizwe, the military wing of the ANC she shattered notions of a woman’s place in liberation movements and perhaps she insisted on staying close and living with people in the townships and because so many of her sister warriors came out of the trade union movement, she and they had a clear vision of a future SA in which black babies no longer die of hunger and all children would have equal access to quality education; a South Africa in which poverty was a distant memory.”

A life of great accomplishment in a nation and world now challenged to complete the task.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela by Okuhle Magcaba

Celebrating Winnie Madikizela Mandela by SABC Digital News

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Political parties react to Zuma’s court appearance

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Former president Jacob Zuma says the charges against him are a continuation of what he calls a political conspiracy against him. He was addressing his supporters outside the High Court in Durban after his brief appearance on Friday.

Zuma’s case will be heard on June 8th. This after both the prosecution and the defence teams requested more time in order to allow Zuma’s legal team to bring a review application against the NPA’s decision to reinstate the charges against him. Zuma’s legal team will lodge the application on May the 15th.

Zuma is facing 16 counts of fraud, money laundering and racketeering related to the multi-billion-rand arms deal.

DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, says it will be in the best interest of all South Africans for  Zuma to personally pay for his legal fees.

Maimane says the DA will continue to keep a close eye on the court proceedings to ensure that justice is served.

“First of all I think it was significant that he came to court and set on the dock, telling the people of South Africa that anybody is held accountable. Secondly we hope as we have said that the NPA will prioritise this case so that we resolve the matter. Thirdly we’ve gone to court to fight that Mr Zuma fees should not be payed by the people of South Africa…he must pay them in his personal costs. He can’t appear in curt on the money of the people, ” he said.

UDM leader, Bantu Holomisa has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to clarify whether any taxpayers cash was used by the KwaZulu-Natal government when it came out in support of former president Jacob Zuma at court in Durban.

Holomisa has expressed concern over the support received by the former president  from the KwaZulu Natal provincial government.

KZN Premier Willis Mchunu, MEC’s Sihle Zikalala, Weziwe Thusi,  and Mthandeni Dlungwana as well as Ethekwini Executive Mayor Zandile Gumede were amongst officials who attended the court appearance.

Holomisa wants an official investigation into whether KwaZulu-Natal is a federal state.

“But of concerned to me is the appearance of the premier and entire cabinet to this case and one wonders how much did KwaZulu-Natal government pay to bus those people who were in attendance – clearly Cyril Ramaphosa the president of the republic needs to clarify exactly as to whether KZN is a federal state or what.”

The PAC says Zuma’s court appearance signals a new  page for the country. Secretary General, Bennet Joko says Zuma must use this opportunity to prove his innocence as he always said he wants his day in court. He says South Africans must not be fooled by the support he is receiving in and around KwaZulu-Natal – because the law will make its own  findings on the case which might just see the former president being found guilty.

The PAC’s Bennet Joko  says they have not forgotten about the multi-billion Rand arms deal saga.

“The PAC hopes that Mr Zuma will embrace the opportunity given to him and state his case in the court of law. And that the courts will also pronounce that this arms deal was a misplaced priority. Where African people are landless, ravaged by porverty – and the priority was given to buy arms – where there seems to be no security threat in the country. ”

Watch video below:

 

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‘Arrogant’ Mamelodi Sundowns stay on course for treble

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“Arrogant” Mamelodi Sundowns stayed on course for a treble by overcoming hosts Cape Town City 2-1 on Sunday in a South African FA Cup quarter-final.

Percy Tau and Hlompho Kekana scored within eight minutes during the second half at Cape Town Stadium before Bradley Ralani halved the deficit to set up a tense climax.

Sundowns will be away to Maritzburg United in the semi-finals while Kaizer Chiefs host Free State Stars.

“We want to win the South African league and cup double and the CAF Champions League this year,” Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane said before the quarter-final.

“I would rather say that than appear to be lacking confidence and ambition. Many may view us as being arrogant — but we have won trebles before.”

After eliminating Cape Town City, Mosimane added: “Experience counted for a lot today in a tough, close, exciting cup tie.

“While delighted to be in the semi-finals, we need to be more clinical. The boys should have scored several goals during the first half and the woodwork foiled us twice.”

Cape Town coach Benni McCarthy, part of the 2004 UEFA Champions League-winning Porto squad managed by Jose Mourinho, said he was hurting but proud.

“No coach wants to lose at this stage of the competition, but I can only salute the efforts of my players. They did not lie down when two goals behind.

“Our only failing was finishing and if you do not take your chances against a team stacked with stars like Sundowns, defeat is inevitable.”

On Saturday, Chiefs edged Baroka 1-0, Maritzburg defeated Bloemfontein Celtic 2-1 and Free State eliminated second-division outfit Ubuntu Cape Town 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

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Traffic authorities appeal to ZCC pilgrims to exercise patience

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Some motorists travelling on the R71 between Moria and Polokwane in Limpopo have applauded traffic authorities for controlling traffic flow along the heavily congested road.

Thousands of motorists are travelling to various destinations from Moria following the ZCC’s annual Easter pilgrimage. These drivers say they expect to take longer than normal to reach their destinations.

“I’m going to Venda maybe plus-minus 4 hours from here to Venda, because there is a lot of traffic and the traffic cops also are looking at each and every corners… I believe everything is gonna be fine.”

There is moderate traffic congestion on the R71 in Mankweng, outside Polokwane, Limpopo, as thousands of ZCC pilgrims make their way from Moria following the church’s Easter sermon.

Traffic officials are controlling traffic at many intersections in Moria and Mankweng. Hundreds of busses and small vehicles started lining up on the busy R71 at 5 o’clock after the church service has ended.

Many of the motorists are making their way to the N1 south bound en route to Gauteng and other destinations.

Limpopo traffic authorities are appealing to motorists who will be travelling on the province’s busy routes over night to exercise patience.

The N1 southbound and the R71 will be heavily congested as ZCC pilgrims make their way from Moria following the church’s annual Easter pilgrimage.

Traffic spokesperson Matome Tauatsoala says officers are on hand to ensure that all motorists reach their destinations.

 

Traffic is expected to peak on Monday.

Related video click below:

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S African designer gets global recognition

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Up-cycling used Rooibos tea bags into handbags has put Gracious Dube on an unexpected career path.

Gracious Dube from Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay has been catapulated to the fashion capital of the world, Paris.

Dube says her bags have now become a sought after item in Europe. “Especially what’s happening now after being interviewed by radios and stuff, it’s like wow! Really, it’s something big. When I started I was just doing it for the sake of OK. I’m going to get extra money but at the end I noticed that OK, by making nice quality things people will buy more. So it’s all about maintaining good quality, people they buy more.”

Dube is one of the 16 people that works at a social responsibility project to help impoverished women from the township on the Cape Peninsula.

Her products were spotted by a French designer and before long became a sought after item in Europe.

33 year old Gracious Dube is a little overwhelmed by her success. “Especially what’s happening now after being interviewed by radios and stuff it’s like wow, really, it’s something big,” she said.

She started working at Original T-Bag Designs in 2006. They produced all kinds of artistic and practical items made from tea bags.

Founder of the project, Jill Heyes trains and encourages the women to hone their business skills. Besides the products made at the workshop, they can also design and make products at home.

Dube did just that and created a bag that is a popular item in the store.

“This is immensely exciting and you know Gracious works very hard and we are buying several hundred of those bags every month from her, now that’s alongside working from 9 till 5. Some days she’s at our shop at the watershed so she’s putting in many hours and that’s the only way you’re going to get a business to work,” said Heyes.

French designer and upcycle store owner, Carine Khalil saw Dube’s design. She approached the store and they worked together to adjust the design for the French market.

The bag is now sold at Khalil’s store in Paris.

“When I started  I was just doing it for the sake of ok, I’m going to get extra money but at the end i noticed that ok, by making nice quality people will buy more so ja it’s all about maintaining good quality, people they buy more,” said Dube.

Hundreds of Dube’s bags have been sold. The silk-lined handbags are made up of 50 Rooibos tea bags.

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Judgment reserved on Atul Gupta and Bank of Baroda case

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Gupta brothers (L)

Judgment has been reserved in the High Court in Bloemfontein in the preservation order matter involving the controversial businessman Atul Gupta and the Bank of Baroda.

The legal representatives for Atul Gupta and the Gupta companies have argued that the High Court in Bloemfontein has erred in granting the preservation order to freeze the assets of the Bank of Baroda and the R10 million his in personal account.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) argued that various deposits were made to the Bank of Baroda from the Estina project.

The money left the account as soon as it was deposited.

NPA’s Advocate Thato Ntimutse argued that there is a string of illegitimate transactions in the account and that Bank of Baroda failed to keep proper records of their banking. The court heard that the bank does not operate within the prescripts of the law.

At some stage it received a fine of R11 million from the Reserve Bank.

Ntimutse says: “The fact of the matter is… the Bank of Baroda runs an account which is like a trust account of an attorney, where all the money comes into a single pool, entries are made by someone at the bank to say a certain amount of money has gone in for a certain client.”

The Bank of Baroda’s Legal representative refuted the NPA’s allegations.

Luc Spiller said: “The National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) also went on to make various allegations about the inadequacy of record keeping Baroda.

“The response to that, there has no bearing upon this case… as because it has nothing to do with the principle of co-mangling. The instances of inadequacy are wrong records.”

 The case which was set down for two days has been adjourned; judgement will be delivered next Friday.

 

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Black women dominate the newsroom: Report

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Young, black women are more likely to be employed as journalists than any other demographic in South African newsrooms.

This is according to the latest Wits Journalism report which looks at the state of South Africa’s newsrooms.

State of the Newsroom 2017Fakers and Makers, also looks at job placement in the newsroom, fake news, fact checking and threats to media freedom.

According to the report, there is a disturbing culture of harassment and intimidation of journalists, a “worryingly permanent feature of our media landscape”.

 

Read the full report below:

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Still no word on President Zuma’s fate

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The African National Congress (ANC) is still mum on the details of the talks on the fate of President Jacob Zuma.

This as opposition parties prepare to force the Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete to reschedule the debate of the motion of no confidence in Zuma as early as next week.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa has spent the week holding talks with the embattled Zuma to discuss issues relating to his imminent departure from high office.

Following the postponement of the State of the Nation Address (Sona), Zuma has had his public engagements reduced as the nation anxiously awaits a decision on his future.

It’s been one of the most toughest week for the ANC top leadership, as tension over the future President Zuma as Head of State heightened.

On Thursday, Ramaphosa addressed the ANC parliamentary caucus for the first time this year, amid growing anxiety over plans by opposition parties to stage a major government shutdown in protest against President Zuma’s continued stay in office.

Faced with mounting pressure to expedite Zuma’s recall, Ramaphosa was forced to issue a statement earlier in the week to assure South Africans that talks regarding the fate of the country’s President were on course.

Both Ramaphosa and ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe had to cancel their participation in the planned weekend ANC mass mobilisation campaigns in the Cape, to concentrate on discussions to secure Zuma’s dignified exit.

The postponement of the Ubuntu Awards due to be addressed by President Zuma, fuelled more speculations that the fate of the President might be sealed this weekend.

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IFP leader admits to challenges plaguing the party

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IFP President Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) President, Inkosi Mangosuthu Buthelezi, says the party has decided to postpone its provincial and national conference due to internal squabbles.

The party leader said challenges of slate politics were not unique to African National Congress (ANC), as the IFP was facing similar challenges.

Inkosi Buthelezi was speaking at a gathering in Durban where the party welcomed new members.

With the National election set to be held next year, the IFP has hit the ground running, even before its election campaigns are officially launched. The party is already on a mass recruitment drive, and wants to regain the position it lost in 2014 as the official opposition party in KZN.

Since the 2016 local elections, the IFP has been on an upward trajectory winning most of the by-elections.

Inkosi Buthelezi believes the party’s recent successes has renewed people’s faith in the party.

“I come from the ANC Youth League… I come from the same political place as you do. But, just like you, when I saw that it was changing, and that things were not being done in the best interest of my country, I chose my country…, I  chose to stick to principles to maintain my integrity.”

Expressing concern that factionalism was hurting the party, Buthelezi admitted that the IFP too is facing its own challenges.

“I cannot lie and say that all is well with the IFP… we too are experiencing a number of challenges, and looking at these issues we decided that it’s not the right time to hold our conferences.”

IFP new member Romeo Hulane hopes party the will bring change.

“We are very happy to be joining the IFP, I feel that this is the party that will assist us with the work we are doing to change people’s lives.”

Despite announcing his intentions to step down, Buthelezi remains party president.

It remains uncertain if and when the IFP will hold its conferences that will elect new leadership.

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‘Modern day workers need to possess multiple skills’

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Labour experts at the annual World Economic Forum have warned that workers who are not willing to undergo continuous re-skilling risk being targets of job losses.

This has emerged during a panel discussion at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzwerland.

Director of London School of Economics Minouche Shafik says future jobs will require workers who possess more than one-skill.

Shafik says the number of displaced workers due to the adoptions of automations and technology is growing fast.

She says it’s workers who have embraced technology through further training that would survive.

Shafik says modern day workers should be prepared to learn multiple-times in their career.

But others say the education system needs to play catch up with this growing trend of workers reskilling themselves in various sectors.

CEO of eBay Devin Wenig says: “I do think the education system is woefully unprepared for the economy that’s coming or is already here. That doesn’t mean that the world needs two million software engineers, what it does mean is that even in creative industry, art, digital proficiency is increasing the difference between people who are succeeding and those left behind.”

The South African Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago who was in the audience also made a contribution to the discussion.

“We can’t protect jobs because the nature of jobs is changing but we can protect people, the talk of these jobs have been informalised. Has anyone bothered to ask them what they would like to do. Here we are as elites trying to tell the poor what jobs to accept and how to shape their lives,” says Kganyago.

As the forum enters its second day on Wednesday, some of the anticipated panel discussions will include a talk with Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Deputy President Ramaphosa will be a contributor in a breakfast session entitled “Building Peace in Africa.

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