The Covid-19 pandemic has provided South Africa with many moments of reckoning; critical moments that require decisive, historic action which will be judged by history. We appear to be approaching another one.
By and large, these decisions have always been in the hands of the politicians. As warnings of a surge in infections come loud and clear, we cannot say we didn’t know. We have been asked to change our behaviour, and be responsible. We were warned about a second wave months ago. It is coming, and once again we must act. Gauteng and the Western Cape have been on notice that if we don’t change our behaviour tougher restrictions will be applied.
We’ll have to watch this space very carefully. A Christmas in lockdown is looking increasingly likely, and wouldn’t that be just the most fitting end to a dreadful year for so many?
We’ve raced through the week, and as we begin Thursday 3 December let’s look at the latest news and headlines swirling around at the moment.
Not since the Zuma years have we had to observe a motion of no confidence brought against a president, but here we are. The African Transformation Movement (ATM) will today put forward the most off-topic motion in living memory. Why they have chosen to do this in the middle of a pandemic is still a mystery but the likelihood of it succeeding is almost zero.
Even the Democratic Alliance find this one a waste of time.
TODAY’S LATEST NEWS IN SOUTH AFRICA, Thursday 3 December
WHY WON’T THE DA SUPPORT A MOTION OF NO CONFIDENCE?
With Cyril Ramaphosa facing his first motion of no confidence on Thursday, some political onlookers may have assumed that the DA would take the opportunity to voice their disdain towards the president. However, party whip Natasha Mazzone has revealed that the opposition ‘will abstain’ from the crunch vote.
The African Transformation Movement (ATM) was successful in lodging the motion, but it’s looking increasingly unlikely that the vote to try and remove Cyril Ramaphosa will achieve anything at all. The party, with two seats in Parliament, blames the president for failing to address issues such as corruption and inadequate service delivery since 2018.
However, their greivances will not be backed up by the blue benches of Parliament. Mazzone has explained, quite frankly, that the proposed motion of no confidence is ‘frivolous’, and distracts from more pressing issues that are facing MPs.
“The Democratic Alliance (DA) will abstain from voting in tomorrow’s motion of no confidence brought against President Cyril Ramaphosa. We believe that this is a frivolous motion that has been brought before Parliament by the African Transformation Movement (ATM). It only offers an ‘entertainment break’ from the work of Parliament.”
“The ATM – a side project of the Zuma/Magashule faction in the ANC – is destined to fail without the majority support of MPs. The two ATM MPs, together with a large portion of ANC MPs, will need to vote in favour – a step which may also place a number of Zuma/Magashule allies in the Ramaphosa Cabinet on the chopping board.”
LOCKDOWN ‘RECOMMENDATIONS’ WILL BE DEVASTATING
The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it is aware that the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) is considering two lockdown restrictions.
According to DA Shadow Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Dean Macpherson, the NCCC is considering curbing the sale of alcohol from Monday to Thursday in “hotspots” as well as recommending that hospitality establishments, such as restaurants and bars, stop serving food and alcohol by 21:00.
Macpherson said that should the two recommendations be implemented, it would have a destructive impact on the economy, as well as thousands of restaurants across South Africa that have only begun to get back on their feet.
“These are also not sustainable solutions going forward as businesses cannot factor in a ‘stop/start’ approach every time there is a “wave” of COVID-19,” said Macpherson.
CELE ‘UNAWARE’ OF MULAUDZI FUNDING REQUEST
Police Minister, Bheki Cele has confirmed that Hangwani Mulaudzi – the suspended spokesperson for Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DCPI), otherwise known as the Hawks – was under no obligation to declare the R3 million in funding his Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) received from the corruption-accused National Lotteries Commission (NLC).
Mulaudzi was a member of the Hawks at the same time as he solicited the funds, in an apparent attempt to bankroll a sports centre in Limpopo. The Hawks are currently investigating the NLC for a range of accusations relating to fraud.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) submitted questions to Cele over the scandal that saw Mulaudzi step down from his post in November, and were told that the funds were deposited into the account of an NPO founded by the former spokesperson. He also said that Mulaudzi was not actively involved in the investigation into the NLC.
“There is nothing that prohibits a senior member of the DCPI to be in charge of a non-profit organisation,” he said.
“It would not be acceptable for a senior member of the DPCI to solicit funding from an organisation which is under investigation by the DPCI if such solicitation is done in his capacity as a member of the DPCI.”
“However, the funds were not received by the senior member in his capacity as a member of the DPCI. The funds in question was a matter between the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) and the non-profit organisation, which had nothing to do with the DPCI.
Makhura appoints new Gauteng Health MEC
On Wednesday 2 December 2020, Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced new appointments within the Department of Health. The reshuffle, according to Makhura, has come in order to strengthen and support the department.
Makhura said COVID-19 procurement malfeasance and corruption set the department back. He said the involvement of senior officials in irregularities in the procurement of goods and services, severely weakened the management structure of the Health Department.
“The Head of Department and the CFO have resigned while several other senior managers have been placed on precautionary suspension. The Gauteng Department of Health requires urgent intervention to strengthen its systems and processes,” he said.
Makhura said that after consultation with Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize, it was decided that an Intervention Team made up of experts and professionals with experience in the health sector, would be established.
M1 BRIDGE SHOOTING: WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
Two men were killed, and another left critically injured, following a shooting on Xavier Road in Ormonde, south of Johannesburg. The incident occurred at the M1 Bridge, a popular commuter route in the city.
Reports first came in after 13:30 that there had been gunshots fired. Emergency teams arriving on the scene found that a silver vehicle had been riddled with bullets. Two people were found dead in the car, with a third rescued and now receiving life-saving treatment in hospital. Sadly, nothing could be done to revive the deceased.
The circumstances behind these killings remain unestablished. There was no trace of the perpetrators by the time the alarm was raised on the M1 Bridge, but some unverified reports have claimed that this bloody incident was triggered by a gangland dispute. Police remain on the scene to carry out their preliminary investigations:
ER24, the first responders who arrived at Xavier Road, issued the following statement on Wednesday afternoon:
“At approximately 13h30 ER24 paramedics arrived on the scene to find the local authorities already in attendance. A light motor vehicle was found parked in the middle of the road riddled with numerous bullet holes. On closer inspection, medics found two men in the front of the vehicle while a third man was found seated in the rear of the vehicle.”
“Medics assessed the men and found that the two in front had sustained numerous gunshot wounds and showed no signs of life while the man in the rear was in a critical condition. Unfortunately, nothing could be done for the two men, and they were declared dead.”
WATCH: MOTORIST BRUTALLY ASSAULTED ON N2 HIGHWAY
Police have confirmed that a motorist was brutally attacked by a group of taxi drivers on the N2 highway in Cape Town early on Wednesday morning. A video depicting how the assault took place has since been making the rounds on social media.
The video, which is relatively short, shows three men beating another man on the shoulder of the N2 highway. The men can be seen punching, kicking and hitting the man with a bag. The person taking the video appears to be inside a taxi pulled off on the side of the road.
A woman, who is said to be the motorist’s mother, can also be seen briefly in the video. Western Cape SAPS Captain FC Van Wyk said Athlone police are investigating an assault which took place around 7:30 on Wednesday morning.
“A man was assaulted by taxi drivers on the N2 between Bhunga and Jan Smuts Drive,” said Van Wyk.
“Circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation. No arrest has been made as yet,” said Van Wyk.
Anyone with any information about the incident is kindly requested to contact Athlone SAPS on 021-697-9238 or Crime Stop on 08600-10111.
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