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Gauteng Government Wants PPE Tender Looters Blacklisted

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Gauteng government wants PPE tender looters blacklisted

The Gauteng provincial legislature’s health portfolio committee wants all those implicated and found guilty for irregular issuing of personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders to be blacklisted and stolen funds, if any, recovered.

The health portfolio committee, through its chairperson Rebecca Phaladi-Digamela, issued these strong remarks after the Gauteng Department of Health fired its chief director supply chain management, Thandi Pino, for her involvement in the irregular award of tenders worth millions of rand.

Pino took employment with the Gauteng Health in March last year and the acts of irregularities happened in April – soon after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the R500 billion Covid-19 funds to fight the deadly pandemic.

She was fired early this month following an internal disciplinary hearing after the recommendations of the Special Investigative Unit (SIU), which is probing other people linked to the alleged acts of irregularity including former Health MEC Bandile Masuku.

Read Also:  EFF Rejects Reinstatement Of Afrikaans At Unisa

The issuing of PPE tenders were handled in Pino’s office. Independent Media understands that Pino provided the SIU with a sworn statement which allowed the law enforcement agency to get to the bottom of their investigations.

On Tuesday, Phaladi-Digamela said her committee welcomed the dismissal of the senior official in the supply chain unit of the Department of Health in Gauteng for the official’s role in the awarding of illegal PPE tenders.

“The portfolio committee views this as a positive step in the fight against corruption and hopes this will go a long way in arresting the scourge of corruption in our departments. The portfolio committee has always advocated for the department to apply consequence management when supply chain laws are contravened and processes deliberately disregarded.

Read Also:  KZN Premier Zikalala Leads Peace Walk In Phoenix

“The portfolio committee would like to see other aspects of consequence management applied in this case, such as the recovery of the stolen money or assets forfeited to the state and the blacklisting of the official concerned to prevent the official from resurfacing in another government department or another provincial administration,” she said.

Phaladi-Digamela said that her portfolio committee’s main concern was the lack of proper systems in the department of health which should ordinarily prevent this kind of corrupt practices by being detected before incurring any expenditure.

She said the portfolio committee would further engage the department on its plans in the fight against corruption through parliamentary channels such as committee meetings and public hearings.

Read Also:  Jolidee Matongo's Family Left Shocked And Devastated By His Sudden Death In Horrific Crash

Similar sentiments were also expressed by DA’s health spokesperson, Jack Bloom, who has been instrumental in calling for action against those involved in the irregularities since after the government incurred losses of more than R2.9 billion.

“I welcome the dismissal of Thandi Pino which should be followed by a criminal prosecution for her alleged role in the PPE scandal. It is clear that she did not act alone, so a court will hopefully probe the role of others, including former chief financial officer Kabelo Lehloenya, former head of department Mkhululi Lukhele, and also Bandile Masuku who was health MEC at the time.

“Every effort should be made to expedite criminal proceedings in this matter, and the return of money that was unlawfully spent,” Bloom said.

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EFF Rejects Reinstatement Of Afrikaans At Unisa

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EFF Rejects Reinstatement Of Afrikaans At Unisa

The EFF has rejected the Constitutional Court’s decision to reinstate the Afrikaans language as a learning and teaching medium at Unisa.

The EFF said the court ignored the linkage between race and language in the context of South Africa’s history.

“The selective choice of Afrikaans as a superior language perpetuates superiority over indigenous languages, and is an insult to the standing of Africans and their heritage of rich languages.

Read Also:  Christian Group Approaches Concourt To Interdict Cyril Ramaphosa On Mandatory Vaccinations

“In the grace period to 2023 determined by the court, we call on Unisa to retrace its steps correctly and with lawful and procedural precision, do away with the 1976 language of national oppression, racial segregation, exclusion and supremacy,” the party said.

It said if the Afrikaans language was reinstated at Unisa, then the university must use African languages as a medium of instruction, including Swahili.

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The Concourt gave Unisa until the start of the 2023 academic year to revise its language policy which did away with teaching and learning in Afrikaans.

The court passed a judgment on Wednesday which found the university in contravention of Section 29(2) of the Constitution, which relates to the right to receive an education in an official language or language of choice.

Read Also:  EFF Rejects Reinstatement Of Afrikaans At Unisa

The Concourt upheld a ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) last year, following a battle between Unisa and lobby group AfriForum.

The university made changes to its language policy in 2016 which removed Afrikaans as a dual medium of teaching and learning.

AfriForum then took on the university to have its decision reversed and Afrikaans reinstated.

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Christian Group Approaches Concourt To Interdict Cyril Ramaphosa On Mandatory Vaccinations

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Christian Group Approaches Concourt To Interdict Cyril Ramaphosa On Mandatory Vaccinations

The South African National Christian Forum (SANCF) has approached the Constitutional Court to urgently interdict the government from declaring the Covid-19 vaccination mandatory.

The SANCF filed papers in the apex court citing President Cyril Ramaphosa and cabinet ministers as respondents.

The group is seeking an urgent interdisciplinary order against the mandatory Covid-19 vaccination, claiming it raises a threat to South Africa’s constitutional democracy and the Bill of Rights.

They have also asked the court to interdict the government from depriving or limiting access or benefits to un-vaccinated citizens.

“Christians are now forced to take a Covid-19 vaccination against their religious beliefs as they are told that government is preparing a Covid-19 passport, and without it, they won’t be allowed to go to church. This is further discrimination and creates a stigma to those who choose not to vaccinate,” the SANCF said in an affidavit.

Read Also:  Christian Group Approaches Concourt To Interdict Cyril Ramaphosa On Mandatory Vaccinations

In their court papers, SANCF wants the government to protect the constitutional rights of all South Africans regardless of the decision to take or not take the vaccine.

The matter is expected to be heard next week.

In an accompanying affidavit, the leader of the SANCF Pastor Marothi Josias Mashashane said that should this matter be rejected by the court, “the entire democracy would be at stake”.

Read Also:  EFF Rejects Reinstatement Of Afrikaans At Unisa

He said they would argue that it would be illegal for an employer to make vaccinations compulsory without considering the individual’s Constitutional rights, such as bodily integrity.

“The applicant will argue that although vaccinations globally has been mentioned as a major role player in the fight against the virus, this does not mean there is or there would not be any possible alternatives,” his affidavit read.

He added that their case was not about a “for or against the vaccine” debate, but about the freedom to choose.

Read Also:  KZN Premier Zikalala Leads Peace Walk In Phoenix

“The applicant is of the view that the government under [Ramaphosa’s] leadership should educate and influence people into taking informed decision for their safety and that of the others, but regulations that restrict peoples’ rights can in no way be supported.

“The applicant is of the view that leadership is an influence and integrity for people to believe in the leader having the best interest of his or her followers in making any decision, unlike dictatorship, a real leader allows people to make choices without undue duress or fear,” Mashashane said.

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Jolidee Matongo’s Family Left Shocked And Devastated By His Sudden Death In Horrific Crash

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Jolidee Matongo's family left shocked and devastated by his sudden death in horrific crash

The family of the late Joburg mayor, Jolidee Matongo, said they were devastated by his sudden death.

Matongo died in a horrific crash on the Golden Highway. His two protectors were rushed to a hospital. The crash also claimed the life of the driver of a Nissan bakkie who was attempting to avoid hitting a pedestrian, who also died.

Speaking to Independent Media on Sunday, family spokesperson Muzikayise Ndlovu said he was hurt, and that it was very difficult to cope with what happened.

“Some of the family members have gone to KZN because we had prepared a ceremony. Matongo was also due to go to KZN when his untimely death happened. We are very distraught, we are very hurt, we are still trying to come to terms with what has happened. With hope and God we will get stronger,” said Ndlovu.

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The crash occurred on the Golden Highway, which is two minutes from Matongo’s house in Lenasia South.

“As we visit his family home to honour him and comfort the family during this grieving period, we appeal for Covid-19 regulations to be observed. To this end, the ANC will soon advise on the memorial services and funeral arrangements after consultation with the Matongo family,” said ANC Joburg region secretary Dada Morero.

Read Also:  EFF Rejects Reinstatement Of Afrikaans At Unisa

The ANC has admitted that Matongo’s death has created a vacuum in the City, and would also affect its election campaign.

The concession was made by ANC Joburg spokesperson Sasabona Manganye, who said that his party would now focus on two key issues. One was campaigning to win the upcoming local government elections, and the other was to give Matongo a befitting send-off.

“His death has created a vacuum in the City of Joburg. This means the City of Joburg does not have members of the mayoral committee. There is no executive authority. The Speaker and city manager will have to play those particular roles for now,” Manganye said.

Read Also:  Jolidee Matongo's Family Left Shocked And Devastated By His Sudden Death In Horrific Crash

However, he said Matongo’s death would not have an impact on service delivery as he had left the City with a service delivery blueprint. According to Manganye, the management of the city was busy carrying out his plan.

Manganye said they would select the next person on their candidate list to replace Matongo. He said they did the same in July following the death of former mayor Geoff Makhubo. According to Manganye, Makhubo had topped the list of his party’s candidates list before he succumbed to Covid-19.

Manganye did not rule out the election of another mayor.

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KZN Premier Zikalala Leads Peace Walk In Phoenix

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KZN Premier Zikalala Leads Peace Walk In Phoenix

Almost two months after the Phoenix violence that left 36 people dead and stoked racial tensions between the suburb’s Indian community and their African neighbours, the KwaZulu-Natal government has started its series of reconciliation initiatives.

The first peace and reconciliation initiative, which was recently passed by the provincial government, will take place on Tuesday at Phoenix.

It will draw participants from the nearby African townships of KwaMashu, Inanda, Ntuzuma and the informal settlement of Bhambayi, where some of those who were massacred came from.

Read Also:  Christian Group Approaches Concourt To Interdict Cyril Ramaphosa On Mandatory Vaccinations

The peace march will also see the entire provincial government cabinet marching in the heart of the suburb in the north of Durban.

It comes as the top team of SAPS detectives specially assigned by police minister Bheki Cele to probe the matter continues to make more arrests.

By September 2, 2021, Cele told the media that the detective’s work had led to the arrests of 56 suspects believed to have committed the gruesome killings allegedly under the guise of protecting their homes and businesses during the mid-July unrest that came with looting.

Read Also:  Jolidee Matongo's Family Left Shocked And Devastated By His Sudden Death In Horrific Crash

Some of those arrested remain in custody, while others have been granted bail under strict conditions by the Verulam magistrate court.

Announcing the peace march, the provincial government said they would also be joined by the civic society.

“KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala will lead Members of the Executive Council on Tuesday, 14 September 2021, and join civil society in a peace walk that will take place in Phoenix, which was the epicentre of violence and racial tensions during the civil unrest.

Read Also:  EFF Rejects Reinstatement Of Afrikaans At Unisa

“The peace walks form part of the provincial government’s concerted efforts to enhance unity and social cohesion in the province following the civil unrest and racial tensions.

“The government of KwaZulu-Natal has adopted a 365-day social cohesion and moral regeneration programme as part of building a united and a peaceful province,” it said in a statement on Monday.

 

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Judge Hlophe’s Removal Process To Get Under Way After The Polls

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Judge Hlophe’s Removal Process To Get Under Way After The Polls

Parliament has indicated that it will not reopen the inquiry into Western Cape High Judge President John Hlophe or run a parallel process to that of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

However, the justice committee said this week it will stick to the law and do its work before reporting back to the National Assembly.

This was after Parliament’s legal advisers made a presentation to the committee on the process to be followed.

Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula had received a report from the JSC after it found Hlophe guilty of gross misconduct.

This related to the finding that he had tried to influence justices Bess Nkabinde and Chris Jafta in the arms deal case of former president Jacob Zuma.

The recently concluded complaint was lodged with the JSC almost 12 years ago.

In the meeting of the justice committee, it was agreed the process would not be opened up but to ensure it was dealt with properly.

Read Also:  Jolidee Matongo's Family Left Shocked And Devastated By His Sudden Death In Horrific Crash

Legal adviser for Parliament, advocate Barbara Loots said the removal of a judge would require a two-thirds majority.

“That is different from section 194 because the inquiry process has been done, it is not for Parliament to look at what the grounds were because the JSC has done that.

“The role of Parliament here unlike sections 89 and 194, it performs the check and balance function. The National Assembly’s role here in section 177 is such a check,” said Loots.

She said Parliament has a limited role in this regard.

“The National Assembly should not rubber-stamp anything. Every decision the assembly takes should be rational.”

Read Also:  EFF Rejects Reinstatement Of Afrikaans At Unisa

She said the committee must also do the background check on the matter.

“There are no special rules necessary as we are not doing an inquiry.”

Chairperson of the justice committee, Bulelani Magwanishe said this was not the reopening of the process.

He said the committee would have to follow what is prescribed in the law on its role in the matter.

“The issue of giving the affected party the right of reply the question will be, ’would that not amount to the re-opening of the process’, because what if the person comes with 100 issues that in his opinion were not properly dealt with then it means we must give the same to the JSC, the right of reply to the JSC. Would that not amount to the re-opening of the process,” said Magwanishe.

Read Also:  Judge Hlophe’s Removal Process To Get Under Way After The Polls

DA MP Werner Horn said the role of the committee is to advise the National Assembly on what would need to happen.

He said the scope of the committee was clear and it cannot go beyond what is required of it.

“The challenge for us as the committee is that we must advise the national assembly to maintain the balance between not serving as a rubber-stamp as legal services put it and embrace that check and oversight function while not venturing into the terrain which could make us guilty of acting as a review body,” said Horn.

ANC MP Qubudile Dyantyi said they would need to apply their mind properly on the matter.

The removal process of Hlophe will be done after the November 1 local government elections.

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