Tag: DA

Zuma’s Medical Release Causes Instant Uproar

The Department of Correctional Services on Sunday announced that former President Jacob Zuma has been placed on medical parole.  Zuma was recently sentenced to 15 months in prison by the Constitutional Court for contempt, after failing to appear before the state capture commission of inquiry and answer questions.

In its statement, the Correctional Services Department said Zuma’s medical parole eligibility is impelled by a medical report received by the department. “Apart from being terminally ill and physically incapacitated, inmates suffering from an illness that severely limits their daily activity or self-care can also be considered for medical parole.

“Medical parole placement for Mr Zuma means that he will complete the remainder of the sentence in the system of community corrections, whereby he must comply with specific set of conditions and will be subjected to supervision until his sentence expires.”

AN ‘UNACCEPTABLE MOVE

An immediate uproar followed the announcement of Zuma’s medical release.  The Congress of the People (Cope) has condemned the decision to grant Jacob Zuma medical parole. Denis Bloem described the decision to grant Zuma medical parole as unacceptable.

“Placing former President Jacob Zuma on parole makes a mockery of the parole system in this country. It is quite clear that Jacob Zuma received preferential treatment from day one from the Department of Correctional Services.”

“The release of Zuma on medical parole is a very clear signal that people in this country are still being treated based on their political connections. This is a serious breach of justice and is something against which a very strong stance should be taken,” said Ernst Roets, head of policy and action at AfriForum.

The One SA Movement (OSA) said it was seeking more transparency from the department of correctional services on how it reached the questionable decision to grant Zuma parole.  OSA will submit a formal application, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, requesting the full record that led to the department’s decision.

“This is crucial to ensure the public is taken into confidence that government’s decision was in good faith, and is furnished with both reasons and rationale behind such a decision,” OSA said.

The DA’s John Steenhuisen said: “A report on the health status of any prisoner must be subject to the recommendation by an independent board to confirm, in truth, that a prisoner is indeed deserving of medical parole. Given that Jacob Zuma publicly refused to be examined by an independent medical professional, let alone a medical advisory board, this decision is a violation of the act and therefore unlawful.”

On Sunday, the Department of Correctional Services said former that President Jacob Zuma’s medical parole could only be revoked if he did not comply with its conditions. The infamous former president has been released on medical parole for an undisclosed condition.

Zuma would have been eligible for parole on 23 October but was placed on medical parole based on a report from the South African military health services.

While Zuma’s “medical observations” are shrouded in mystery, the former president’s secret ailment has allegedly worsened since he began his sentence at the Estcourt Correctional Services Centre in KwaZulu-Natal.

Correctional Services spokesperson Singabhako Nxumalo insisted that all offenders are eligible to be placed on medical parole should they be seen fit.

“Apart from being terminally ill and physically ill, inmates suffering to the point where they miss their daily activities or self-care can also be considered for medical parole.”

DA Lays Criminal Charge Against Malema and Zuma’s Children

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has laid a criminal complaint against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, and also three of the former President’s children for inciting violence.  Glynnis Breytenbach lodged the complaint on Wednesday morning at the Cape Town central police station against Malema, as well as Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, Edward Zuma, and Duduzane Zuma.

According to Breytenbach, in the period leading up to Zuma’s arrest, as well as after his imprisonment, his children on various occasions took to social media posting comments, which appeared to encourage the violence that has devastated KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

“In my view, if you are a leader and have influence in society, you owe it to South Africans to uphold the rule of law and work within the bounds of the Constitution of this country and do everything you can to encourage your citizens and followers to obey the law.”

Opposition parties say they wanted to hear more about the instigators behind the spate of violence and looting affecting KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. President Cyril Ramaphosa Wednesday held a virtual meeting with the different political parties represented in the National Assembly. They’re discussing the ongoing anarchy threatening South Africa.

Some political parties have said that Ramaphosa needed to give more details regarding law enforcement plans to quell the fires. While the main opposition parties don’t agree on the deployment of the army, with the DA calling for more soldiers and the EFF for no boots on the ground, other parties have said they were interested in getting a frank assessment of the situation from the president.

Cope’s Denis Bloem said there needed to be an update on those taken into custody.

“They went public on media to say there will be unrests and instability in this country. Why were they not arrested,” said Denis Bloem for Cope. His sentiments are echoed by al-Jamah’s Mogamad Ganief Hendricks who said he would share his constituency’s hardships with Ramaphosa.

“Businesses have completely been devastated and there are many small towns that have been trashed.”

 

Gauteng Police Stations Struggle without Vehicles

Police stations in the Vaal and Benoni area been revealed to have the highest number of out-of-service vehicles in Gauteng. This according to data provided by police minister Bheki Cele in a reply to a DA written question in the National Assembly.

Michael Shackleton, MP and DA Gauteng shadow MEC for community safety called on Bheki Cele and the Gauteng MEC for community safety, Faith Mazibuko, to ensure the 2,170 police vehicles in Gauteng that are out-of-service are immediately attended to and brought back to their respective police stations to render essential services to residents.

This is an increase of 763 vehicles out-of-service compared to last year November when 1,407 police vehicles were unavailable.

Gauteng police stations that have the highest number of out-of-service vehicles are:

  • Vereeniging: 100
  • Benoni: 82
  • Springs: 65
  • Protea Glen: 58
  • Silverton: 54
  • Midrand: 53
  • Johannesburg Central: 50

In total, there are 5,967 police vehicles operational in the province.

Cele said that his department has improved command and control in terms of fleet management, and has deployed artisans from various other garages to the problematic garages to adequately address the high number of out-of-service vehicles. The department is also using a global financial authority to purchase stock in bulk.

A situational analysis has been conducted in terms of mechanical transport to compile an operational risk and mitigation strategy to increase the number of operational vehicles available.  The DA has urged Cele to ensure the current mitigation strategy that has been implemented is reviewed on a regular basis to assess whether it is yielding positive results.

DA wants ‘flexibility’ on some Level 3 lockdown restrictions

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has said that the best way South Africa can navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, while waiting for the vaccine, would be to limit the damage from lockdown restrictions by taking a more differentiated approach.

DA leader John Steenhuisen has criticised President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of the country staying on Alert Level 3 of the Lockdown, with some amended restrictions.

“South Africa is effectively bankrupt. We cannot afford to support businesses and jobs affected by restrictions. So, we therefore don’t have the luxury of restricting the good with the bad,” Steenhuisen said.

“We need a differentiated, preventive approach rather than the current blunt instrument of uniform strategy across the country. The blanket ban approach destroys lives and livelihoods unnecessarily and it distracts and diverts law enforcement resources to areas that don’t make a difference at the expense of areas that do”

DA leader John Steenhuisen

The so-called family meeting comes as South Africa reported a record spike in daily coronavirus cases and deaths the last few weeks and follows consultations with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), which governs the current lockdown.

Most of the measures he announced on 28 December 2020, will remain in place – including the ban on gatherings.

The curfew has however been adjusted to 21:00 until 05:00 – while wearing a mask in public still remains compulsory.

Another contentious lockdown restriction which remains in place is the ban on alcohol sales and on-site consumption – this has paid off as healthcare workers have reported less trauma cases in hospitals due to alcohol, making them more productive in the fight against COVID-19.

LOCKDOWN LEVEL 3: THE DA’S SUGGESTIONS TO GOVERNMENT

  • Allow provincial/district flexibility between level 2 and level 3, depending on the level of pressure on hospitals
  • To take pressure off trauma facilities and reduce superspreader events, target alcohol restrictions where the real risks are, but allow low-risk alcohol-related trading.
  • Lift the beach ban to bring relief to coastal economies, as the chance of overcrowding is unlikely due to the festive period being over
  • Lift the curfew
  • Further limiting gatherings where necessary

The DA has also called on Ramaphosa to give clarity on the 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses which are headed to our shores, particularly on where they are coming from and when they can be expected.

Dlamini-Zuma Challenged in Court for Closing Beaches

The Great Brak Business Forum (GBBF) and AfriForum have joined forces to take on Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister, over the regulations pertaining to beaches in South Africa. The group hopes to overturn government’s decision to close all beaches in the wake of a new variant of COVID-19 spreading rapidly through the country. This is another challenge to the government’s COVID-19 regulations and is expected to be heard in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday. The Great Brak Business Forum claims they were adversely affected by the lockdown regulations and the December season was their only hope to restore the economy in the district after months of lockdown.
“It is unconstitutional and discriminatory to close certain beaches given the enormous economic impact that it will have on especially coastal towns that have been suffering the whole year due to the lockdown regulations.”
“The December holiday is an opportunity to recover their economies to an extent and the closing of the beaches will lead to immense, irreparable damage for the businesspeople of these towns,” said Monique Taute, AfriForum’s head of campaigns in a statement.
She added: “To visit the beach is a form of recreation that takes place outdoors and people are exposed to the sun that contributes to a healthier immune system. The alternative is that people will turn to places like shopping centres and restaurants that hold a much higher risk of spreading the virus.”
The Democratic Alliance (DA) is hopeful it would get a judgment in its bid to reopen Garden Route Beaches. The loss of income would devastate the already crippled tourism trade in the area. The High Court heard the application on Monday but judgement has been reserved.

DA loses big in By-elections

According to preliminary results issued by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), it appears that the Democratic Alliance (DA) is the biggest loser in Wednesday’s by-elections.  Results are still being tallied, with the final outcome expected to be announced at midday, but the DA appears to have lost at least eight seats in Gauteng, the North West, Northern Cape and the Western Cape.

In another development, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) appears to have outshone the African National Congress (ANC) during the by-elections in KwaZulu-Natal. Preliminary results shows that the IFP has taken five out of 12 wards contested in KwaZulu-Natal. This includes a ward in Nkandla, which was previously under the ANC. The DA appears to have retained three wards in KZN, while the ANC retained four.



In Gauteng, the DA has been the biggest loser where it lost two wards to the ANC and another two to the Patriotic Alliance and the Al Jama-Ah party. The ANC seems to have won in 12 of the 14 wards contested in Gauteng. 11 wards were contested in the Western Cape and the DA lost one ward to the Good Party while managing to retain eight wards. The ANC retained two wards in the Western Cape. The ANC won 19 seats in the Nothern Cape including two snatched from the DA.  The DA managed to hold on to Renosterberg Local Municipality.  In the Eastern Cape the DA won 1 ward while the ANC retained 18.



In Mpumalanga the DA managed to keep two wards while the ANC retained three wards. The DA lost two wards to the ANC and Freedom Front Plus in the six that were contested in the North West.
In total, the ANC won five wards in the North West.

In the Free State, so far the DA has managed to retain its ward in the Matjhabeng Local Municipality while the ANC has kept its two wards in the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality.

 

DA Compares EFF to Nazi’s

Violence erupted outside the Brackenfell High School in Cape Town when protesting members of the Economic Freedom Fighters clashed with parents.  A private matric ball was allegedly attended by only white students and their parents.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) strongly defended the parents of the school, criticising the police for failing to disperse the EFF protesters before tensions escalated.  The DA compared the EFF’s behaviour to that of the German Nazi’s in a tweet saying the Nazi’s had the brown shirts that went around terrorising minorities, South Africa has the red shirts”.



The Jewish Board of Deputies is currently in a meeting to discuss the offensive tweet and said that it would be responding soon. Meanwhile, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said that it was shocked and disappointed that racial segregation was still happening at private events after years of a free democracy.

The commission has called for swift action by those investigating the conduct of the two teachers who attended the private matric ball.

 

John Steenhuisen beats Mbali Ntuli to become new DA leader

John Steenhuisen has been elected to lead the DA full-time for the next three years.

Steenhuisen, who has been interim leader since November last year after the resignation of Mmusi Maimane, defeated KwaZulu-Natal MPL Mbali Ntuli at the DA virtual congress at the weekend.

It was a landslide victory with Steenhuisen obtaining 80% of the votes.

The 2,000 DA delegates at the elective congress also opted to retain party strongwoman Helen Zille as the DA federal council chairperson. Zille had been challenged for the position by DA Gauteng chairperson Mike Moriaty.

DA MP Dion George has also been retained as the party’s finance chairperson, or national treasurer.

Current Limpopo DA leader Jacques Smalle, Western Cape MEC Anton Bredell and Refiloe Ntsheke have been elected as the first, second and third deputy federal chairpersons, while Ivan Meyer was elected unopposed for the position of federal chairperson.

James Masango and Thomas Walters have been elected unopposed as the two deputy federal council chairpersons.

National News – Did ANC follow procedure for flight to Zimbabwe

The Democratic Alliance is still not satisfied with the response from Presidency.  The DA wrote to National Treasury to determine whether Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni consulted with Minister of Defense and Military Veterance, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula in terms of the Defense Act before she and the delegation left South Africa for Zimbabwe.

The ANC promised to pay back R105 000.00 for this trip.  The expenses for this trip was over R230 000. President Cyril Ramaphosa asked for a report on this trip and Mapisa-Nqakula was publickly censured by the president and docked several month’s pay.  The DA is still not satisfied with the outcome and wants to know what steps Treasury, if any, would take against the minister and the ANC.

Kobus Marais, DA spokesperson, cited with the Defence Act and emphasised that it clearly stated that the defense minister should first consult the minister of finance before allowing conveyance of any person who is not an officer of employee of the State on board a South African Air Force aircraft.

In the two reports submitted by Minister Mapisa-Nqakula to President Cyril Ramaphosa there is no reference of any consultation with the Minister of Finance.

News: DA calls on Ramaphosa to lift Covid-19 lockdown curfew, open borders

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to end the curfew imposed in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19, open all sectors of the South African economy, and allow for international travel and reintroduce a normal school week.

“Lockdown restrictions must be ended entirely and immediately, with the exception of mass gatherings in confined spaces. This severe and prolonged lockdown has plunged our economy, the lifeline of our society, into unprecedented crisis. We simply cannot afford the luxury of blanket restrictions on economic activity,” said DA leader John Steenhuisen.

“Rather, government should trust people to take individual responsibility in line with clear safety guidelines. The lockdown has devastated South Africa’s economy, causing immense suffering, including widespread hunger. It has increased, rather than decreased, risk for millions of households, and aggravated inequality, including educational inequality.”

Steenhuisen said the country now faces the prospect of a deep and prolonged depression as debt spirals out of control.

“Respected scientists, such as vaccinology Professor Shabir Mahdi and Dr Glenda Gray, both members of government’s ministerial advisory committee, have advised that lockdown is not serving any useful purpose and should be ended, with the exception of large gatherings in confined spaces,” said Steenhuisen.

He said in calling for a full opening of the South African economy and schools, the DA is not denying the risk of a second wave of Covid-19 infections, “even though the scientific consensus is that this risk is low”.

“Rather, we believe that the risk posed to households by a deep and prolonged depression is far greater on balance. Furthermore, the recovery rate for those infected is now much higher than some months ago, while societal behaviour change and a build-up of herd immunity are both serving to considerably slow the rate of transmission, which was the original purpose of lockdown,” said Steenhuisen.

“We need to get back to work, to school, and to our lives – and we need to do it safely. But we need to do more than that. We also need to agree as a society to back the economic reforms that can get our economy growing again, and that can roll back poverty, unemployment and inequality.

“These include urgently opening up the energy market to enable a reliable, affordable power supply and auctioning spectrum to bring down data costs, as well as opening the labour market for small business, to boost job creation.

“And finally, we must walk away from investment-killing policies such as NHI (national health insurance), EWC (expropriation without compensation), asset prescription and SARB (SA Reserve Bank) nationalisation.”

Steenhuisen said “poverty is a deadly pandemic in its own right requiring decisive action from our government that has so far not been forthcoming”.

Speculation is rife that President Cyril Ramaphosa will this week address the nation and announce a further easing of lockdown restrictions to level 1.

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