Today's Big Stories

Zwelinzima Vavi speaks out and Cosatu affiliates sit at his side

Vavi breaks the silence after his dismissal and maintains his support

Former Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi is preparing to give his first official response to being dismissed by Cosatu’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) on Monday at a press conference in Sandton.

On Tuesday 31 March Cosatu President S’dumo Dlamini said that anyone within the union who acted in support of Vavi, who has been part of Cosatu since the 1980’s, would also be disciplined. The CEC took the decision on Monday, after Vavi said on Sunday he would not attend the meeting as an act of deliberate defiance. EWN’s Govan Whittles with the latest:

Vavi has just started speaking and the first thing that he’s mentioned is that he condemns the decision to dismiss by the CEC. And of course we know that Cosatu, in effect, has barred any of its affiliates from having meetings with Vavi or continuing to work with him. Today we see seven unions that are represented, sitting next to Vavi; six of them are Cosatu affiliates and the seventh is Numsa. This is a clear indication that the unions are not yet willing to change sides to S’dumo Dlamini and would rather stick with Vavi. We are waiting for him to announce what he will do next now that he is out of a job. He looks quite focused and he has some of the people he worked with from his early days with him. We have a feeling that what he is going to announce what will be the fundamental change in the way South Africa's labour movement operates.

Public Protector report on Gupta Waterkloof landing complete

The Public Protector has confirmed that her probe of an investigation into the landing of a plane of wedding guests at the Waterkloof Air Force base is now finished. EWN’s Barry Bateman, who first broke the story about the Gupta family’s wedding guests landing, is at the media briefing by the Public Protector’s office:

The Public Protector was asked to investigate whether the initial probe by Minister Jeff Radebe was done properly and in terms of the requirements of an investigation. Now the complaint was launched by Colonel Christine Anderson, if you recall. She was implicated in the landing of the aircraft and was suspended for quite some time. We understand that this investigation by the Public Protector has been concluded and is now in the stages of responding to the findings. What we’ll now here is whether Radebe’s investigation was just a white wash to protect certain people or not. What we've heard from her legal team is that Anderson was never given an opportunity to respond to the allegations against her. So it’s almost a suggestion that the findings against her were cobbled together and crafted in a manner in which to implicate certain people. So we are given a sense of whether or not to believing that report by the Minister.

Why confidential TRC records should be made public

From 2001 the South African History Archive (SAHA) has been lobbying for the records of the confidential hearings at Truth and Reconciliation Commission to be made public. The daily Maverick reported this morning that records of about 174 hearings that were held behind closed doors in the 1990’s will now have to be given to the South African History Archive. The then lead investigator for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is now also the chair of the SA history archive - Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza:

Section 29 of the Promotion on National Unity and Reconciliation Act 34 of 1995 was intended to encourage people to come and make disclosures which they probably would not have been able to make once the process is open. We should remember that some of these people would’ve have been security police who did not want at that particular stage some of the disclosures they were making to be made public. They wouldn’t otherwise come to the hearings. The Act provided that they could come with their attorneys or advocate to a session which was chaired by the commissioners.

Dispute over Mining Charter continues

It was confirmed on Tuesday 31 March that the Mineral Resources Department is now going to court because the ministry and the mining industry disagree on how to interpret the Mining Charter, which stipulates that companies have to be twenty six percent black owned. The main concern is over past ownership accounts and what will happen were a company gives twenty six percent of its shares to black owners who then sell them. Advocate Mahlodi Muofhe of the Department of Correctional Services explains why there is no agreement:

You’ll find that mining enters into a BEE deal and after a few years or the same BEE company sells back to the mining company; and that mining company will still want to claim that they are compliant. Even before the Mining Charter there were issues around the continued consequences. The long and short of it is that it is not just a matter of compliance. It’s a matter of saying we are a democratic country and we are aware that for almost 100 years people who worked in South African mines did not benefit. Patriotism should be driving us to ensure that empowerment filters through to ordinary people on the ground because these minerals belong to them. It defies logic that in 2010 there was a declaration which formed the basis of the Mining Charter, but we keep on shifting the goal posts. We agreed that all the matters that we don’t agree with should be subjected to a judicial process so that we can get the correct interpretation.

Noah receives backlash from Americans

South African comedian Trevor Noah was named as the new and third host of The Daily Show. This was after Jon Stewart who hosted the show from January 1999 left the show.

The twitter sphere over the last twenty four hours there’s been a host of claims that Trevor Noah should not be host of The Daily Show in the US the bases of the claims were based on tweets he sent over the last few years that made jokes of Jewish people and fat women. Managing Director of Shaw Media, Communication and PR Melinda Shaw:

I think Trevor was expecting some kind of tension and attention on him. I think digging through somebody’s old twitter feeds is really searching high and low for something to point fingers at. There are people who should watch what they say and do in public and those people are politicians and not comedians.

Nigeria’s new leader Muhammadu Buhari makes history

Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed that Muhammadu Buhari will be the country’s next President, after current President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat overnight. EWN’s Nigerian correspondent Samson Omale shares what the reaction has been to Buhari’s victory:

Reactions have been great and varied. One of the most celebrated men right now is the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Even the opposition is they are thankful that he has been humble enough and have seen him as man of his word. Jonathan was able to congratulate Buhari even before the final results were declared. In his conceding speech, he said that no blood of Nigerians was worth his ambition. That has gone on so well with a lot of Nigerians.

Jean-Jacques Cornish, African Correspondent, shared his views:

You can talk about democracy but the real acid test is when the incumbent government is moved. This is the most heartening news for Africa. We did expect the loser in the election to cry foul; security forces were braced for that. And we expected that there would be dissent into some sort of violence, after the results. Today Buhari said that he extended a hand of fellowship to Goodluck and he commended him for stepping aside peacefully.

'The new Visa Regulations are not a problem' - Home Affairs

The CEO Cullinan Holdings, Michael Tollman on the previous Midday Report claimed that the South African tourism industry was already being badly hit by new visa regulations for people coming here on holiday.

Last year, Home Affairs said foreign visitors would have to appear in person to apply for visas to have biometrics taken. It is reported that parents and guardians travelling with minors would have to have unabridged birth certificates for children under 18, showing the names of both parents. Minors travelling with one parent must have an affidavit of consent from the absent parent according to the Business Day.

Mayihlome Tshwete is the spokesman for the Department of home Affairs:

No I don’t agree with Tollman’s claims. I think we should be careful of making a misdiagnosis on the issue. We should also acknowledge that there is a group of people who from the onset of the regulations have reviewed that it is going to be the worst thing that ever happened to tourism and their views won’t be shifted from that. And anything that plays into that argument for them must be credited to the regulations. They ignore issues of Ebola, they ignore that the tourism industry is not static, it moves and changes from one season to the other.

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