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South Africa: Today’s latest news and headlines, Friday 2 October

Never miss a beat when it comes to the latest news in South Africa; stay informed with all the biggest headlines on Friday 2 October.

As more high-profile arrests, emanating from the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, continue to stack up, corruption involving coronavirus relief funds and their allocations in Gauteng pile heavy pressure on Premier David Makhura. In sports news, rugby fans look forward to the clash of two Springbok squads, as Newlands prepares for the highly anticipated Green versus Gold Showdown.

TODAY’S LATEST NEWS IN SOUTH AFRICA, FRIDAY 2 OCTOBER

STATE CAPTURE DOMINOES BEGIN TO TUMBLE AS ARRESTS MOUNT

Riveting testimony regarding an ill-fated asbestos clearing project in the Free State has resulted in several arrests. On Thursday afternoon, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) confirmed that an interprovincial swoop, carried out by the Hawks following businessman Edwin Sodi’s time before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, had netted six suspects implicated in the Free State saga.

Additionally, former African National Congress (ANC) MP, Vincent Smith, is the latest high-profile politician to be charged with fraud and corruption related to State Capture. Former Bosasa boss Angelo Agrizzi was charged alongside Smith at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. Both accused have been granted bail.

With the net closing in on corrupt public officials, the arrests related to the Free State asbestos scandal spells bad news for top political players within the ANC. Sodi, who has also been arrested and released, revealed that ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule — who, at the time, was the Premier of the Free State — had scored millions of Rands in kickbacks.

The latest allegations of Magashule’s wrongdoing bare several similarities to the infamous Vrede Dairy Farm scandal, with both projects effectively falling flat despite millions of Rands being diverted to the community upliftment schemes. The funds have not yet been recovered.

John Steenhuisen, leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), has called for the arrest of other ANC high-rankersinvolved in State Capture, saying, specifically, that Magashule’s recurring appearance in numerous Free State scandals is cause for serious concern. Steenhuisen said:

“The only way to stop this rot is to cut it out entirely. That means charging, prosecuting and jailing everyone involved, even if this removes half the ruling party’s top structures.”

Following the wave of arrests, party insiders claim that the ANC has ordered an urgent meeting of top structures to debate the fate of those charged with corruption.

GOVERNMENT RELEASES 700 000 HECTARES OF VACANT LAND TO BOOST AGRICULTURE

The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, has announced the release of 896 farms — accounting for 700 000 hectares of land currently under State control — which is intended to boost South Africa’s agricultural development. Didiza noted that parcels of land would be advertised in the coming weeks.

Additionally, application forms will be available at district and provincial offices of the Departments of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. The latest release of farms forms part of government’s accelerated land reform programme. The parcels of land allocated in each province are as follows:

  • The Eastern Cape has received an allocation of 43 000 Ha
  • Free State has been allocated 8 333 Ha
  • KwaZulu-Natal will release 3 684 Ha
  • Limpopo will disburse 121 567 Ha
  • Mpumalanga will receive 40 206 Ha
  • Northern Cape will release 12 224 Ha
  • North West will release 300 000 Ha
  • No land will be advertised in Gauteng and the Western Cape

Detailing the Land Allocation Enquiry Process, Didiza said:

“Such enquiry will assess farms that have been acquired through the Pro Active Land Acquisition (PLAS) programme. The land enquiry will investigate and determine how individuals and communities, who are currently occupying the land, got access to it.”

Government will offer successful lessees a 30-year leasehold, with an option to buy. No sub-leasing will be permitted.

TENSIONS BOIL AT LUTHULI HOUSE AS ANC ‘UNABLE’ TO PAY SALARIES… AGAIN

The ruling party is not immune to the vicious cash crunch which has beset South Africa in the wake of six long months of hard lockdown. On Thursday, the ANC’s General Manager, Febe Potgieter, revealed that the party was unable to fit its exorbitant salary bill and that payments would be delayed until 9 October. This isn’t the first time that the ANC has failed to meet its alary obligations to Luthuli House staffers.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), led by firebrand Julius Malema, condemned the ruling party’s ‘exploitation of workers’ while taking jabs at ‘imaginary billionaire’ President Cyril Ramaphosa. Adding insult to the ruling party’s injury, Malema called on dissatisfied ANC employees to approach the EFF’s labour desk for assistance.

The EFF added that the ruling party’s inability to meet its internal financial responsibilities was further indication of poor economic governance on a national level.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE POLICE SERVICE AMENDMENT BILL

Police, political parties and civil societies have welcomed Cabinet’s approval of the South African Police Service Amendment Bill. The Bill, now open for public comment, will replace the South African Police Service Act of 1995, which predates the constitution of South Africa.

Police Minister Bheki Cele, who was recently grilled over corruption and criminality within the ranks of law enforcement, said that the latest Bill would go a long way to improving the calibre of future policemen and women, saying:

“These amendments make room for accountability and discipline within the police service and I believe they will go a long way in ensuring that the SAPS better serves the people of this country whilst at the same time, boost the trust between communities and the men and women in blue.”

Main amendments proposed include:

  • Vetting South African Police Service (SAPS) members via life style audits and conflict of interest inquiries
  • Those joining the service will also need to be subjected to processes to ensure the integrity of the organization is maintained
  • Police recruits will be expected to also submit a buccal sample for DNA testing
  • To enhance the framework for the establishment, powers, functions and control of municipal police services
  • The assurance that no automatic rifles may be used in crowd control, and that lethal force may not be used for protection of property only, however whenever life and property is endangered simultaneously, use of lethal force will be warranted.

Members of the public have been encouraged to comment on the South African Police Service Amendment Bill which has been published in the Government Gazette.

SPRINGBOKS READY FOR GREEN VERSUS GOLD SHOWDOWN AT NEWLANDS

For the first time since winning the Rugby World Cup in 2019, the Springboks will, after an extended period of coronavirus-induced absence, grace the iconic — and soon to be defunct — Newlands stadium on Saturday.

The Springbok Showdown, will pit Green, led by World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi, against Gold, captained by star centre Lukhanyo Am.

Read more about the star-studded clash, which kicks off at 17:00 on Saturday, here:

PITSO MOSIMANE MAY TAKE PSL STARS UP TO EGYPT

South African coaching giant Pitso Mosimane sent shockwaves through the entire continent after announcing his departure from Mamelodi Sundowns after a highly successful eight year stay at the club.

Mosimane is tipped to takeover the hot-seat at African giants Al Ahly following the departure of Rene Weiler. Mosimane’s pending move to the ‘African club of the century’ may very well open up opportunities for some of his former stars to link up with him up North.

Mamelodi Sundowns could be dealt with a number of blows should Pitso Mosimane come knocking for some of his former stars while Kaizer Chiefs are not safe as well. The defending PSL champions are undoubtedly one of Africa’s wealthiest teams however, the financial muscle that Al Ahly possess when it comes to transfers is unparalleled on the continent.

LATEST WEATHER FORECAST, FRIDAY 2 OCTOBER

Take a look at weather forecasts for all nine provinces here.

LIVE TRAFFIC UPDATES FOR CAPE TOWN, JOHANNESBURG AND DURBAN

Stay one step ahead of the traffic by viewing our live traffic updates here.

HOROSCOPE TODAY

Free daily horoscope, celeb gossip and lucky numbers for Friday 2 October.

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