Never miss a beat when it comes to the latest news in South Africa; check out the day’s biggest headlines on Tuesday 8 September.
While the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) vow to continue their national shutdown of all Clicks stores, amid reports of vandalism, arson and looming criminal charges, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has lashed out at those seeking to sow division within the party by ‘tarnishing’ the reputation of Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.
TODAY’S LATEST NEWS IN SOUTH AFRICA, Tuesday 8 SEPTEMBER
EFF vows to keep Clicks store shut this week
Clicks stores across the country saw red on Monday, with hundreds of EFF members making good on their threats to close the retail outlets. The nationwide demonstration, expected to continue for the rest of the week, follows a controversial ad campaign which labelled African hair as dry, damaged and frizzy.
While the CEO of Clicks, Vikesh Ramsunder, issued a public apology and summarily suspended two employees responsible for the campaigns placement, EFF leader Julius Malema dismissed the retraction and called for party members to continue the ‘attack’. Malema, who personally spearheaded protest action in Polokwane on Monday, said:
“If any store of clicks is open, inform the EFF and we will close it. We are tired of white arrogance.”
At least two Clicks stores were damaged by petrol bombs in the lead up to Monday’s protest action, with an outlet in Komani, formerly Queenstown, viciously vandalised by rampaging EFF members.
Andrew Whitfield, the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) Shadow Minister of Police, had called on Police Minister Bheki Cele to hold Malema responsible for the EFF’s incitement to violence. Whitfield said:
“The DA will be submitting evidence of the EFF’s violent behaviour and malicious destruction of property to SAPS and will put pressure on the National Police Commissioner to ensure that Julius Malema and his thugs are not given special treatment.”
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, are just two of the many public figures who have openly condemned the EFF’s actions. Additionally, the SA Human Rights Commission has requested an urgent meeting with Clicks.
Jacob Zuma corruption trial postponed
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), which recently noted that the former president would appear before the Pietermaritzburg High Court on hefty corruption charges related to the Arms Deal saga, despite the Jacob Zuma Foundation announcing that contrary, has backtracked on its initial statement.
The NPA’s spokesperson in KwaZulu-Natal, Natasha Kara, confirmed that the highly anticipated court date would be postponed, as agreed to by both parties.
Zuma and co-accused French arms company Thales stand accused of corruption, money laundering, fraud and racketeering. The Jacob Zuma Foundation recently lashed out at the NPA for implementing disruptive and degrading ‘delaying tactics’ aimed at frustrating the former president’s bid to prove his innocence. The foundation said:
“The foundation expresses its disappointment with the NPA’s state of unreadiness to proceed with its long-awaited trial against president Zuma.”
DA reaffirms commitment to policy of ‘non-racialism’
The official opposition party, which has been hit with a wave of high-profile resignations and allegations of fierce factional infighting following the exodus of former party leader Mmusi Maimane and Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba, has released a report on its highly anticipated Policy Conference.
Facing a barrage of questions from the media, Federal Council Chairperson Helen Zille — who has been accused of silencing her detractors within the DA and widening fissures along racial lines — denied that there was a ‘purge’ of black leaders within the official opposition party. Zille explained:
“That is not true, one provincial leader is facing charges and that one person happens to be the one provincial leader who isn’t black.”
Zille reiterated that the latest high-profile departure, that of Gauteng leader John Moodey, was an attempt to avoid disciplinary action related to a sex-for-jobs blackmail scandal. Zille added that the DA had asked both Maimane and Mashaba to stay with the party but that both leaders decided to resign of their own accord.
The DA is due to hold its elective conference next month.
ANC: Minister Mbalula won’t be distracted by smear campaign
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has, once again, vehemently dismissed rumours of factional infighting, this time associated with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. The ANC’s statement follows a notice issued by Mbalula who lashed out at allegations of corruption and nepotism within his department.
Mbalula argued that he was the victim of a malicious ‘smear campaign’ aimed at heightening tensions within the ruling party.
The ANC supported Mbalula’s assertions, claiming that the transport minister had been targeted by detractors who purported to be from the ruling party. ANC National Spokesperson, Pule Mabe, said:
“The ANC distances itself from these faceless individuals and rejects their claim that they act as ANC comrades, members and supporters, with the contempt it deserves. Disciplined ANC cadres understand the internal channels to raise issues and do not use the cover of being cadres, members or supporters to promote anarchy.
The ANC urges Comrade Mbalula not to be distracted by those peddling malicious gossip.”
Student Financial Aid Scheme receives over 160 000 applications
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has received more than 160 536 applications from students seeking funding for 2021, since the opening date for funding applications on 3 August 2020.
NSFAS Administrator, Dr Randall Carolissen, said that during the first month on average NSFAS has been receiving more than 5 000 applications a day, with the number going as high as 6 000 during the last days of August.
“To date, over 188 733 applications have been submitted,” Carolissen said in a statement on Monday.
Carolissen said NSFAS anticipates a high volume in applications leading up to the closing date due to the recent economic strain due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Applications are opened for Grade 9 to 12 learners and out of school youth who wish to further their studies at any public Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college or universities across the country.
NSFAS urged prospective applicants to apply on time before the closing date on 30 November 2020. Applications are submitted online via a smartphone, personal computer, or by utilising applications centres of NSFAS partners. (Source: SAnews)
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Read the original article on The South African