Never miss a beat when it comes to the latest news in South Africa – check out all major headlines on Thursday 6 February.
As South African Airways (SAA) struggles to soar beyond the quagmire of dysfunction, damning testimony before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture reveals the corruptive rot which clipped the national carrier’s wings. In sports news, a confident Proteas squad looks to maintain its momentum heading into the second One Day International against England on Sunday.
Today’s latest news in South Africa, Thursday 6 February
How Dudu Myeni stole SAA’s shine
Riveting testimony by Sibongile Sambo, a founding member and director of SRS Aviation, before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has unearthed the deep roots of corruption at SAA while under the administration of Dudu Myeni.
According to Sambo, who had extensive dealings with SAA Technical board chairperson Yakhe Kwinana during Myeni’s tumultuous tenure, the airline’s operational and financially stability was dogged by dodgy dealings.
Appearing before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Sambo alleged that Kwinana had offered R100 million to secure an irregular agreement with a US-based firm.
This comes just days after damning testimony by former SAA chair and chief executive, Vuyisile Kona, which implicated the sons of former president Jacob Zuma and former Free State premier Ace Magashule, Duduzane Zuma and Tshepiso Magashule, in a bribery scandal involving the infamous Gupta brothers.
It’s alleged that Tony Gupta offered a R500 000 bribe to Kona for a suspicious ‘consulting contract’ related to tenders involving Lufthansa Consultancy and McKinsey and Company.
Load shedding: No end in sight
South Africans will continue to suffer under the burden of load shedding as Eskom struggles to complete its critical maintenance program. After a particularly grim week of rotational cuts, made more frustrating by Eskom’s scheduling blunders and backtracks, load shedding, which was due to be terminated at 06:00 this morning, will continue until Friday. Worse still, is the high probability of powerlessness this coming weekend.
At the end of January, Eskom’s new CEO, Andre de Ruyter, who has been tasked with turning things around at the embattled power utility, announced that the likelihood of load shedding was likely to increase over the next 18 months.
Speaking at the recent Mining Indaba, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, revealed plans to create a separate energy supplier which would alleviate pressure on Eskom. De Ruyter said that Mantashe’s announcement came as a ‘surprise’.
Probe into Life Esidimeni tragedy intensifies
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has agreed to the National Prosecuting Authority’s request that a joint hearing be conducted into the Life Esidimeni deaths.
On 28 January 2020, Lamola requested the Judge President to designate a judge to preside over the Life Esidimeni inquest in the High Court in Pretoria.
NPA Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions: Gauteng Division (Pretoria), Advocate George Baloyi, took a decision to refer all Esidimeni matters to a joint inquest hearing on 3 September 2019.
In 2016, former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu was fingered as the leader of the project, under which mental healthcare patients, who were based at the Life Esidimeni healthcare facility, were moved to NGO facilities to cut costs.
The termination of the contract resulted in the deaths of over 140 patients, who died to due to septicaemia, hypothermia and in some instances, hunger. (Source: SAnews)
Arts and Culture to host the Social Compact Convention
Government will host the Social Compact Convention in an effort to build a society that works together to deal with the key challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality as outlined by the National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030.
“The NDP advocates for a social compact that will contribute substantially creating the necessary political, economic, social condition for sustainable development. At the core of this social compact, all sectors are expected to make firm commitments that will expand the social wage for the poor,” said Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture will host the Social Compact Convention on the 6 – 7 February 2020 at Saint George Hotel as part of Social Cohesion and Nation Building Strategy. This compact represents a collective agreement between all South Africans on how to address major issues in the country through a united effort. (Source: SAnews)
We are hungry to do well – Kings coach Kempson
Southern Kings coach Robbie Kempson has called for consistency in his team’s performances in the Pro14, saying there were enough positives from their first derby against the Cheetahs to remain in high spirits.
The Port Elizabeth side suffered a last-minute 31-30 defeat against the Cheetahs in Port Elizabeth two weeks ago before slumping to a 45-0 defeat against the Free Staters in Bloemfontein, but despite this Kempson refused to be deflated.
With a two-match tour ahead – against Munster on February 14 and the Scarlets on February 23 – Kempson knows there is plenty to play for especially after the positive signs of growth his charges have shown in the last few months. (Source: ANA)
Kaizer Chiefs get Nedbank Cup boost ahead of clash with Royal Eagles
Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp is delighted to have Zimbabwean playmaker Khama Billiat back in contention for this weekend’s clash with Royal Eagles.
Middendorp’s men will host the National First Division outfit at the FNB Stadium on Saturday 8 February from 18:30. They will have Billiat and new signing Anthony Akumu Agay available for the contest.
Kaizer Chiefs were beaten finalists in last season’s Nedbank Cup, failing to make amends for a dreadful league campaign when they lost to TS Galaxy. Amakhosi remain the most successful club in the history of the competition lifting the cup a total of 13 times. Their most recent Nedbank Cup title came in 2013 under Stuart Baxter.
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