SA congratulates new Sierra Leone President

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated Julius Maada Bio on his election to the position of President of Sierra Leone.

“On behalf of the government and the people of the Republic of South Africa, we congratulate Mr Julius Maada Bio on his election as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone,” said the Presidency in statement.

President Ramaphosa also commended the outgoing President, Ernest Bai Koroma who served for 10 years.

“The peaceful and democratic manner under which these elections were conducted signify yet another positive step towards the deepening of democracy on the African continent,” said President Ramaphosa.

The President said he looked forward to strengthening bilateral relations between South Africa and Sierra Leone.

SA issues diplomatic démarche to Australia

 

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Thursday issued a diplomatic démarche to the Australian High Commissioner to South Africa, Adam McCarthy.

Governments use démarches to protest or object to actions by a foreign government.

As such Minister Sisulu has demanded a retraction of the comments made by Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on the South African land redistribution process.

Media reports reported that Dutton said they are exploring how to bring white South African farmers to Australia on humanitarian grounds due to the land redistribution process and the violence on farms, which they say is racially charged.

He was quoted as saying that South African farmers require “special attention” as they’re being persecuted. He added that white farmers should receive fast-tracked humanitarian visas from a “civilised country” like Australia.

Ministerial spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said: “It was communicated to the High Commissioner that the South African government is offended by the statements which have been attributed to the Australian Home Affairs Minister and a full retraction is expected”.

The high commissioner, who was accompanied by his deputy, undertook to immediately communicate with their government to convey the message from the Minister and South African government

Former President Zuma to face prosecution

 

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams has announced the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to prosecute former President Jacob Zuma on charges of racketeering, corruption, money laundering and fraud.

“After considering the matter, I am of the view that there are reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution of Zuma on the charges listed in the indictment served to him prior to the termination of the matter by former acting national director of prosecutions Mokotedi Mpshe,” Abrahams said.

Addressing a media briefing on Friday, he said that a trial court would be the most appropriate forum for these charges to be ventilated and to be decided upon.

“Justice must not only be done but must also be seen to be done. I am mindful that everyone is equal before the law and enjoys the rights to equal protection and benefit of the law,” he said.

According to Abrahams, the former President was indicted on 28 December 2007 on charges of racketeering, corruption, money laundering and fraud. On 10 February 2009 former President Zuma’s lawyers submitted written representation to Mpshe.

“On 6 April 2009 Mpshe announced his decision to terminate the prosecution of Zuma and the very next day the NPA withdrew the charges against Zuma in the Durban High Court.

“Mpshe’s decision of 6 April 2009 was taken on review. On 13 October 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal declared Mpshe’s decision to terminate the prosecution of Zuma as irrational,” Abrahams said.

Earlier this year, former President Zuma submitted representations to Abrahams in respect of the indictment.

Following the submission of his representation, Abrahams appointed an experienced prosecution team to peruse the evidence and advise him on former President Zuma’s representations.

“Zuma’s representations, broadly speaking, largely relate to allegations of a prosecution characterised by prosecutorial manipulation in propriety, fair trial abuses, prosecutorial misconduct, deliberate leaking of information to the media and irrational decisions made by various national directors and/or acting national directors of public prosecutions along with inexplicable delays for approximately 15 years in bringing his matter to trial,” he said.

Abrahams said the former President disputes all allegations against him.

“The Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal will facilitate the necessary processes for Zuma and his co-accused to appear in court,” he said.

Additionally, Abrahams has instructed the state attorney to brief senior counsel to oppose an application for a permanent stay of the prosecution of former President Zuma which was recently filed in the Cape High Court by a non-profit organisation. – SAnews.gov.za

President Ramaphosa tees off for charity

 

President Ramaphosa and struggle stalwart Andrew Mlangeni at the Presidential Golf Challenge.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will this morning tee off at the annual Presidential Golf Challenge alongside business leaders and stakeholders.

Held at the Atlantic Beach Golf Estate in Melkbosstrand, Western Cape, the golf challenge raises funds for charities designated by the sitting President and provides an opportunity for networking between government and partners in other sectors of society.

The 2018 Presidential Golf Challenge proceeds will be donated to the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation which will in turn distribute funds to deserving charities, the Presidency said.

“President Ramaphosa welcomes private sector funding for charities and commends companies and individuals for finding the means in tough economic times to demonstrate generosity and goodwill in support of needy communities and organisations.”

The golf event also affords President Ramaphosa an opportunity to emphasise the role of business in economic development and to appreciate the positive impact of corporate social investment on poverty alleviation and the transformation of South African society.

This annual challenge is hosted by the Ministry for the Public Service and Administration in partnership with the private sector as part of a programme of activities concentrated around the State of the Nation Address.

Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, Members of Executive Councils, Directors-General and heads of state-owned enterprises are expected to play a round of golf. – SAnews.gov.za

SA, Zimbabwe to strengthen trade relations

President Jacob Zuma and President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe have undertaken to strengthen economic trade and cooperation between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

“The two Heads of State agreed on the need to strengthen economic cooperation and expand economic and trade relations between the two countries, and to make this a key feature of the South Africa-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission agenda, in support of President Mnangagwa’s mission to revive the Zimbabwean economy which has been hit by sanctions and other challenges over many years,” said the Presidency in a statement.

On Thursday, President Zuma received a courtesy call from President Mnangagwa at his Mahlamba Ndlopfu residence in Pretoria.

President Mnangagwa is on his first working to South Africa after his inauguration on 24 November 2017, which is also his first official visit outside of Zimbabwe since his assumption of office.

The Zimbabwean President thanked President Zuma for the warmth and hospitality provided to Zimbabweans living in South Africa.

“He appealed to the Zimbabweans to return home to put the skills that they have acquired in South Africa to great use in the rebuilding the Zimbabwean economy and development of their motherland,” said the Presidency.

The two leaders share a warm history of having worked together while in exile in Mozambique, in their then responsibilities for intelligence and security services for the ANC and ZANU-PF respectively.

Among the issues discussed on Thursday was the need to strengthen historical relations between the two countries and neighbours and the need to ensure the further deepening of these relations.

The two leaders also agreed to keep in close contact on an ongoing basis to share ideas as neighbours on political issues as well as regional, continental and international issues affecting their two countries and the continent.

The Zimbabwean President congratulated President Zuma and the ruling party on the successful national conference of the governing party, the ANC, and extended his good wishes to the new President of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the Deputy President of the Republic.

President Zuma also congratulated his counterpart on the successful congress of the Zimbabwean governing party, ZANU-PF, and on his election as President of the organisation.

Cyril Ramaphosa elected new President of the ANC

Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected as the 14th president of the ANC. These are the results of the election. 
President 
Cyril Ramaphosa – 2440
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – 2261
Deputy president
David Mabuza – 2538
Lindiwe Sisulu – 2159
National chair
Gwede Mantashe – 2418
Nathi Mthethwa – 2269
Secretary-general
Ace Magashule – 2360
Senzo Mchunu – 2336
Deputy secretary-general
Jessie Duarte – 2474
Zingiswa Losi – 2213
Treasurer-general
Paul Mashatile – 2517
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane -2178

4 776 delegates will vote for ANC president

South Africa’s ruling party ANC is holding highly contested elective conference. Either of presidential candidate Cyril Ramaphosa or Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will need 2389 voters to become the next ANC president.

ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte this morning presented credentials to the 54th ANC conference after several delays over disputes.

After the court order earlier this week that the PEC’s members cannot attend the conference, provincial executive committees of Free State and KwaZulu-Natal are excluded.

KwaZulu-Natal is still leading in terms of the number of delegates; the number of delegates of 870 has declined to 804. Mpumalanga’s 736 delegates declined to 708.

Free State has dropped from 409 to 349. North West has also been reduced from 538 and now stands at 446. The final number of delegates is 4 776.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said that there will be one ANC deputy president.

 

 

President Zuma to appeal court judgment on NPA

 photo:Kopano Tlape GCIS

 

President Jacob Zuma is set to appeal the North Gauteng High Court judgement which set aside the appointment of Shaun Abrahams as the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP).

“Whilst the President awaits a full briefing on the judgement, he has been advised that an early assessment displays, with respect, various grounds upon which a successful appeal may be prosecuted,” the Presidency announced on Friday.

This follows a ruling by the High Court in Pretoria which set aside the termination of former prosecutions boss Mxolisi Nxasana and the appointment of Abrahams.

The court ruled that President Zuma may not have a say in the appointment of a new NDPP as he faces the prospect of criminal prosecution himself, and is conflicted.

The ruling added that a new NDPP must be appointed in the next 60 days.

The application was brought by civil society organisations who challenged Nxasana’s R17 million pay-out, which he has now been ordered to pay back as it was invalid.

Responding to the ruling, the Presidency said the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is an important institution in the constitutional democracy, appointments in respect of which are not made lightly.

Together with judges, who likewise are appointed by the President, the National Director of Public Prosecutions plays a vital role in the criminal justice system.

Minded by the principle of the separation of powers, constitutional legality and the rule of law, the judgement will be appealed.

“Out of deference to the court and the judicial system, these grounds will be properly ventilated in the normal course in court proceedings,” the Presidency added. – SAnews.gov.za

Deputy Minister refutes Gupta meeting claims

Public Enterprises Deputy Minister Ben Martins has rebutted a testimony by Eskom’s suspended company Secretary and legal services head Suzanne Daniels that he attended a tea party that was also attended by, among others, members of the Gupta family.

The Deputy Minister briefed the media at the Imbizo Centre in Parliament on Thursday.

“I am perplexed by Ms Suzanne Daniels’ testimony to the parliamentary inquiry into Eskom.

“She falsely claimed that I had attended a tea party in Johannesburg with her, Mr Ajay Gupta, Mr Salim Essa and Mr Duduzane Zuma,” Deputy Minister Martins said.

“The truth is that I met Ms Daniels several times in her capacity as Eskom Company Secretary, together with the then Chairperson of Eskom Dr Ben Ngubane, Department of Public Enterprises Director-General Richard Seleke and Minister Lynne Brown in Cape Town and Tshwane to discuss the Brian Molefe matter.

“I admit to admonishing Ms Daniels for the governance lapses that had taken place under her watch as the Company Secretary and Legal Advisor at Eskom, during the meetings we had with the Minister of Public Enterprises and Dr Ngubane. My collegial constructive criticism was never meant as a personal attack,” he said.

The Deputy Minister’s response comes after Daniels gave a testimony at a Public Enterprises Portfolio Committee’s inquiry into Eskom.

Briefing journalists, the Deputy Minister said he would have responded to the testimony on Wednesday, but that he could not do so as he heard about it late on Wednesday in between his other official commitments.

“As the head of Eskom’s legal department, Ms Daniels should account to Parliament for what happened under her watch rather than seek to use the occasion to reinvent herself as clueless ignoramus.” – SAnews.gov.za