Community Members Mourns Death Of 6-Year-Old Girl Who Was Shot And Killed In A Cross Fire Of Gang Violence In Lavender Hills

A 6-year-old Nathlia Pienaar, was caught in a cross fire of gang violence while playing with her friends outside her home on Saturday 25th, August 2019 in Lavender Hill.

According to reports she was playing with her friends at about 9;30 – 10 am in the morning before she was been shot and killed by a gang member in the area.

The members of the community are protesting following the incident, and the spike of gang violence around the area.

One of the protesters stated during an interview session that the community is fed up with the situation, some people are even fustrated because innocent people are being killed.

Two suspects have been apprehended by the police and they will appear in court on the 6th of September, 2019.

ANC KZN set to defend its decision on Gumede at the national level

The controversial mayor of eThekwini Zandile Gumede seem not to be backing down even after withdrawing her resignation letter as she has complained to Luthuli House that the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal has treated her unfairly in the process that led to her removal.

The Confrontational mayor withdrew her resignation on Wednesday following a meeting with her followers the previous day.

Ace Magashule, ANC secretary-general revealed that Gumede contacted him, complaining about how the party’s provincial leaders had treated her. He said “She has communicated to me that she has not been fairly treated. We said ‘we have been communicating with the leadership. Just be patient and allow us space as the national leadership.” He also revealed that Gumede had met the top six two weeks ago and told them her side of the story.

Mthembu who still insists on the provincial decision said “We have said to the mayor of eThekwini ‘we have heard you. There is provincial leadership in the province. We will consult the leadership of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal. “We have heard the side of the mayor, we will hear the leadership of the ANC.” He also said the provincial leaders will defend their decision.

Ricardo Mthembu, ANC KZN spokesperson said there was nothing unfair about Gumede’s remova. He said “I don’t think to ask a person to leave a position is unfair. “We followed process, the same process that was followed when she was deployed.” KZN ANC officials are expected to meet with the party’s top six on Monday to tell their side of the story.

Zandile Gumede caused a crisis for the ANC in KZN on Wednesday by withdrawing her resignation; this forced the party to call off a council meeting that was to be convened to elect her successor, transport MEC
Mxolisi Kaunda.

Earlier this month, the ANC decided to remove Gumede as mayor after a government report revealed that the level of service provision had declined under her watch in eThekwini. The report also revealed a spike in service delivery related protests in the area.

Legal protector for Gordhan reacts to withdrawal of application against him by public protector

Prior to the withdrawal of public protectors’s application at the Constitutional Court to appeal the judgment against her by Judge Sulet Potterill, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan is adamant that Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane withdrew her appeal against the North Gauteng High Court ruling in the Constitutional Court because it was bound to fail.

Tebogo Malatji, legal advocate for the Public Enterprises Minister reacted on behalf of his client following the confirmation by Mkwebane’s office that she had withdrawn her appeal filed two weeks ago at the apex court in which she sought to challenge the decision of Judge Sulet Potterill to interdict the implementation of remedial action against Gordhan. He also said Malatji said: “We did not expect the withdrawal. We can only speculate about the reasons for the withdrawal but would want to believe it is based on legal counsel that the application has poor prospects of success.”

Oupa Segalwe, Mkhwebane’s spokesperson yesterday said “We can only confirm that there has been a withdrawal but can’t say anything further.” On its Twitter account, the public protector’s office said: “@AdvMkhwebane has indeed withdrawn the application after taking advice on the matter. She is not at liberty to share the details thereof. This is part of our broader litigation strategy concerning this case.”

The notice of the withdrawal states that: “ the first and second applicants (Public Protector and Busisiwe Mkhwebane, respectively) hereby withdraw their application for leave to appeal directly this Honourable Court against the whole of the order and judgment granted by Her Ladyship, Potterill J, of the Gauteng division of the High Court on 29 July 2019… ”

Last month Mkhwebane made scathing findings against Gordhan in her report, saying the minister had misled Parliament about meeting one of the Guptas. she also found that Gordhan played an instrumental role in the formation of a “rogue unit” which was allegedly used to monitor the day-to-day lives of several people in the country.

The protector wanted President Ramaphosa, the National Prosecuting Authority and the police to act against Gordhan for allegedly operating a “rogue unit” during his tenure as SA Revenue Service commissioner in 2007. In her remedial action, she asked prosecutions head advocate Shamila Batohi and the police to institute prosecutorial and criminal investigations against those who were allegedly involved with the “rogue unit”.

Gordhan has since taken her findings on judicial review.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane speaks up concerning her removal from office

The embattled Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has spoken up; she said she has been on the defensive against unwarranted attacks since taking office in October 2016. While addressing the student chapter of the Black Lawyers Association at the University of South Africa today, Mkhwebane said She believed she was under attack for daring to “touch those who are seen by some as paragons of virtue. Now there is a threat to remove me from office under the pretext that I am incompetent. The argument is that some of my reports have been set aside by the courts.”

Earlier this month, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled Mkhwebane should pay cost in a case relating to her investigation into the multimillion-rand Estina dairy farm scandal; She has also been labelled “dishonest” by the Constitutional Court.

Mkhwebane however noted that if a Public Protector was removed because a court had set aside its report, then judges should be removed from the bench because an appellate court had set their ruling aside. She said “But, as a woman leader, what do you do when faced with such challenges? “A responsibility like the one I am entrusted with requires one to develop a very thick skin. I am not going to allow any distractions. I am focused on taking the services of this office to the grassroots.”

On Tuesday, the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services had unanimously decided to refer the matter of an inquiry into Mkhwebane’s suitability as Public Protector to the rules committee. This committee will be asked to draft rules that would serve as a guideline for the removal of any Chapter 9 institution’s head, such as the Public Protector.

The ANC’s whip on the committee, said: “Currently, Section 194[1] of the Constitution provides for the removal of the Public Protector on the grounds of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence. It said “The Constitution also states that should a committee in the National Assembly find such an adverse finding against the Public Protector, then the incumbent would be removed from the Chapter 9 institution.”

The ANC study group on justice motioned that the decision to remove Mkhwebane is welcomed by them; they have however received insults and disappointment notes from the public through twitter.

Just In:-Man shot-and-killed outside residence

A 47-year-old man was shot-and-killed this morning outside his residence on Indus Road in Copesville, KwaZulu Natal.

ER24 paramedics, along with another service, arrived on the scene at 07h45 to find the body of a man lying in the driver seat of his light motor vehicle, parked in the residence driveway.

Medic quickly assessed the man and found that he showed no signs of life, having sustained a gunshot wound to his head.

Unfortunately, nothing could be done for him and he was declared dead on scene.

The details surrounding this incident are not yet known but local authorities were on the scene for further investigations.

Man allegedly killed wife by poisoning her food with heroin weeks after she gave birth

44-year-old Jason Thomas Harris has been arrested for the 2014 murder of his wife, Christina Ann-Thompson Harris, 36. He is accused of killing her by poisoning her bowl of cereal with heroin just weeks after she gave birth to their second child.

Five years after her death, he has been arrested for first-degree premeditated murder, solicitation of murder and delivery of a controlled substance causing death.
Police reportedly obtained information that Harris had allegedly tried to hire a hit man to kill her – before allegedly feeding her the cereal which contained heroin.
Investigators believe he gave her the bowl of cereal the night before she died.
The next morning, Harris reportedly called a neighbour and asked her to check up on his wife. But the neighbour found Christina unresponsive in bed.
Harris’ siblings reportedly subsequently told police of statements he had made about ‘getting rid of Christina’. Several co-workers also said they’d heard worrying statements from him, reports said.
Harris is alleged to have said he didn’t want a divorce so he wouldn’t have to deal with child custody issues and child support payments.
One co-worker claimed Harris had talked about hiring a hit man to kill his wife, according to reports. He even allegedly asked the co-worker to carry out the killing for $5,000.
Harris is also alleged to have taken part in conversations about finding odourless and tasteless drugs.
If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.

Ethekwini residents on the receiving end of ANC’s factional war

The DA in eThekwini is deeply frustrated by the ongoing ANC chaos regarding Zandile Gumede. Gumede has now withdrawn her resignation as the City’s Mayor after initially resigning on Monday.

The council meeting to elect new City leadership that was meant to have taken place today was postponed by the City Manager.

The City Manager has obviously postponed this meeting on the instruction of the ANC, which is completely illegal and inappropriate.

The City Manager should not be taking instructions from political parties.

The DA did predict that Gumede wouldn’t go quietly. We had already resubmitted our motion to remove Gumede from the Executive Committee to the former Council Speaker, William Mapena. Our legal team was consulted in this process.

Mapena disallowed the motion on the basis that it would be ‘impractical to perform’. This is one of the bases for disallowing motions in the rules but was misused for political reasons. We will again consult our legal teams to mount a potential challenge in this regard.

Without clarity as to who is in charge, the city is at risk and is left in the lurch. Section 28 of Council’s Rules of Order prescribes that during any emergency and when Council or committees aren’t sitting, the Municipal Manager takes emergency decisions in consultation with the Mayor.

This currently cannot happen and the legal status of various office bearers is unclear.

A report on business in eThekwini, commissioned by the City and published some time back, showed that ‘corruption’ and ‘poor leadership’ where key reasons why Durban business owners wanted to move their businesses elsewhere.

The economic effect of Gumede’s corruption and the ANC’s catastrophic handling of this matter cannot be overstated. The City’s economy has ground to a halt, with 0% growth under the current circumstances. The poor and unemployed are suffering due to ANC mismanagement.

The ANC has been treating the City like its political football for too long. The biggest losers have been the residents of Durban.

Service delivery has declined sharply whilst the ANC has forgotten its core mandate, and the instability and inconsistencies have created absolute chaos.

The DA is the only choice for the people of eThekwini for clean governance. We have a proven record of creating jobs, delivering title deeds and increasing investments in the municipalities we govern. It is possible for eThekwini too.

ANC is at it again

The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes with regret that the African National Congress (ANC) has chosen to table yet another motion of no confidence in a DA Mayor.

A motion of no confidence against the DA-led City of Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa is currently being debated in Council.

We understand that the ANC is now in the role of opposition, however it is important to note the disruptive nature of such motions.

This is the fourth motion, of no substance, that the ANC has tabled in the city since 2016.

In Tshwane, previous reasons given for these motions have been addressed as is the case with the reasons offered by the ANC in this instance.

The DA understands better than anyone the challenges that go along with being in opposition but there is a responsibility that goes hand in hand with that.

The stream of baseless motions only disrupts the business of delivering services to the people.

We want to fix issues.

When the DA took over the administration of the City of Tshwane from the ANC, it was in a mess due to ANC incompetence.

Since 2016, the City has reduced unauthorised expenditure by over a billion rand, taken tenders worth billions on review such as the PEU Smart Meter contract valued in excess of R2 billion, the West Capital Project, the Moipone Fleet Contract, the City Hall scandal, and the Broadband contract, slashed 900 plus ANC political appointees in the mayor’s office, allocated more than R137.2 million towards EPWP initiatives, extended clinic hours at 24 facilities and launched a Hopeline so that those affected by drugs can get help.

Mechanisms of holding government to account are available in Council, these include written questions that must be answered by the executive.

We invite our colleagues to engage with us in dialogue and to use the proper channels of the Council to raise concerns and hold the DA-led multiparty government to account.

100 000 Newcastle residents are set to be without electricity

The Democratic Alliance today calls on KZN CoGTA MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, to urgently place the Newcastle municipality under administration as an estimated 100 000 residents are set to be plunged into darkness.

This after the local municipality consistently defaulted on payments towards a debt in excess of R2 billion debt, which has been accruing since 2017, owed to Eskom.

During the recent KZN budget debates, the DA raised the issue of provincial municipalities owing monies to Eskom. We also warned of the looming disaster if this was not dealt with. At the time, MEC Hlomuka responded saying that “For our part, we have been conducting revenue enhancement campaigns in selected municipalities and we have been successful.”

Clearly this is not the case for Newcastle. The DA is once again calling on the MEC to use his powers of intervention and put this municipality under administration so that the issues of governance and leadership can be urgently addressed.

According to an official notice from Eskom, industrial, commercial and residential areas which receive electricity from the municipality will be disconnected from 6am until 12pm, and again from 3pm until 8.30pm, every weekday from September 30 till October 6. From October 7, electricity will be disconnected from 6am till 8pm on weekdays, until the municipality has paid all its outstanding debt.

Newcastle is a prime example of how wrong things can go when there is a lack of leadership – at both a provincial and local level. The fact that it is one of at least six municipalities which are on the verge of having their electricity cut off speaks volumes. The others include;

• Mpofana (Mooi River)
• Mthonjaneni (Melmoth)
• Ulundi
• Inkosi Langalibalele Municipality (Estcourt); and
• Abaqulusi.

Next week the DA will meet with various community leaders and business people in Newcastle who are going to have to cut staff and decrease productivity amongst other things. The ANC is killing this town and it is because money has been spent recklessly and without oversight. We expect the MEC to act swiftly.

Public Protector pulls back appeal against Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s ruling

 The nation’s public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane who has been trending in the media has withdrawn her to appeal to the Constitutional Court challenging a High Court’s decision to stay the implementation of her remedial action on the existence of a “rogue unit” in the South African Revenue Services (Sars) while Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan was at the helm.

The notice that was seen states that “…the first and second applicants (Public Protector and Busisiwe Mkhwebane, respectively) hereby withdraw their application for leave to appeal directly this Honourable Court against the whole of the order and judgement granted by Her Ladyship, Potterill J, of the Gauteng division of the High Court on 29 July 2019…”

The public protector had made scathing findings last month, against Gordhan in her report saying the Minister had misled parliament about meeting one of the Guptas. She also found that the enterprise minister played an instrumental role in the formation of a “rogue unit” which was allegedly used to monitor to day to day lives of several people in the country.

Mkhwebane in her remedial action, asked the National Director of Public Prosecutions Adv Shamila Batohil and the police to institute prosecutorial and criminal investigations against all those who were allegedly involved in the formation of the so-called rogue unit.

The Enterprise minister, Gordhan took her findings on review; he initially asked the High Court in Pretoria to interdict the implementation of her remedial action pending his review application in which Judge Sulet Poterill to.