Ramaphosa: SA Govt Will Pay Zuma’s Legal Fees

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the undertaking with Jacob Zuma was signed in good faith and that the former president will personally have to pay back the money if he loses.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has defended the government’s undertaking to spend millions on Jacob Zuma’s legal costs in court action over the fraud and corruption charges against him.

Ramaphosa told Parliament that Zuma will personally have to pay back the money if he loses.

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) claims the deal struck with Zuma is unlawful and is gearing for legal action to force the Presidency to recover the R15.3 million that taxpayers have forked out so far.

President Ramaphosa says the undertaking with Zuma was signed in good faith.

“With regards to the payment of legal costs, in case he loses the case, he would be willing (and) able to pay back the money and of course, if that fails, the government has other legal means to which it can go and recover the money”.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says they believe Zuma’s total taxpayer-funded legal bill stands at around R64 million.

Ramaphosa says he’s unaware and that the R15.3 million calculated so far relates only to the corruption charges.

A fresh legal battle now looms, with the DA set to challenge the legality of the agreement and to seek an order forcing the Presidency to get Zuma to repay the money.


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Source: EWN [1]. Image source: [1].

Who is Patricia de Lille? The Life of an Embattled Cape Town Mayor

Patricia de Lille has a long history of being active in South African politics, but her more recent years, as Mayor of Cape Town, South Africa’s fourth-largest city, and the country’s legislative capital, haven’t been too kind to her.

Born in Beaufort West, in the Western Cape, she became involved with the South African Chemical Workers Union during her first job as a laboratory technician, eventually becoming the Union’s regional secretary, and then National Executive Member in 1983.

In 1988, she was elected as National Vice-President of The National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU), the highest position for a woman in the trade union movement at the time.

In 1989, de Lille was elected onto the National Executive Committee of the Pan Africanist Movement (PAM). In 1994, she led a delegation in the constitutional negotiations that preceded South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994, and was then appointed the position as Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Transport, a position she held from 1994 to 1999. She also served on various portfolio Committees including Health, Minerals and Energy, Trade and Industry, Communications, the Rules Committee, and the Code of Ethics.

de Lille led the call for an investigation into alleged corruption in the South African Arms Deal, an effort that garnered her a great deal of respect amongst South African citizens. She said she was, however, accused by some of being unpatriotic and embarrassing the country as a consequence of her efforts to investigate the Arms Deal.

In June 2003, de Lille founded the Independent Democrats (ID), a South African political party that held 7 seats in the country’s National Assembly after the 2004 general elections, and 4 seats after the 2009 general election, as well as gained 2% of the votes cast during the 2006 municipal elections.

The ID positioned itself in the center of the South African political spectrum, espousing a conservative liberalist ideology. The party stated that, if elected to power, it would focus on combating crime, makeing South Africa a leader in renewable energy, and financing a minimum social grant by taxing luxury goods, tobacco, and alcohol.

Logo of the now-disbanded Independent Democrats

In 2010, de Lille formed an agreement to merge with the country’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, into which the ID was absorbed. The deal was made in partnership Helen Zille, then-DA leader, and current Premier of the Western Cape. As a result, the ID did not contest the 2011 local elections as a separate entity, instead fielding its candidates on the DA’s ballots. In February 2012 then-DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko reshuffled her shadow cabinet, which included appointing members of the ID to shadow portfolios for the first time. This was seen as a move towards strengthening the cooperation between the two parties, heading towards the completion of the merger, which occurred in 2014, when the ID officially disbanded as a separate political organization.

During her time as leader of the ID, de Lille also served as Minister for Social Development of the Western Cape, from 2010 to 2011.

In mid-2011, de Lille succeeded DA member Dan Plato and was appointed Mayor of the City of Cape Town, a position she still holds.

In recent months, de Lille has come under fire for potential misconduct, amidst a broad investigation into numerous of Cape Town’s management executives. The independent investigation, conducted by law firm Bowman Gilfillan, is focused in part on irregularities relating to the ongoing Foreshore Freeway project’s tender process,. The project is aimed at revitalizing a section of the city’s Central Business District and easing traffic flow. Cape Town has the worst traffic in South Africa, and, according to the latest TomTom traffic index statistics, is the 48th worst city for traffic in the world.

After numerous DA party members asked de Lille to resign, the DA’s Federal Executive reviewed feedback from the Mayor as to why she believes she should remain in her position, and decided to charge her with alleged misconduct. The Mayor will be investigated by the DA’s Federal Legal Commission, to which she will be afforded an opportunity to present her case.

Although de Lille will remain in her position, the duties to handle Cape Town’s drought will, if the DA’s Cape Town caucus passes a resolution, be deferred to deputy mayor Ian Neilson and Mayoral Committee member for water, informal settlements and waste services, Councillor Xanthea Limberg. Furthermore, de Lille remains suspended from party activities.

These current events stand in contrast to the positive recognition that the Mayor has received over her years of political involvement. A Markinor survey conducted in 2004 found that de Lille was South Africa’s favorite politician, after Thabo Mbeki. In the same year, she was voted 22nd in the Top 100 South Africans series that aired in the country on national TV. Also in 2004, she was awarded the Freedom of the City of Birmingham, Alabama, and was awarded the honour of being one of the Top 5 Women in Government and Government Agencies. She was also awarded the 2004 Old Mutual South African Leadership Award in the Category of Woman Leadership.

In July 2006, she was the first woman to be recognised as Honorary Colonel of 84 Signal Unit in the South African National Defence Force. In August 2006, she received the City Press and Rapport Newspaper award as one of top 10 women in South Africa. At the invitation of Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, de Lille was the only South African Member of Parliament who attended the United Nations Millennium Project, hosted by the Earth Institute at Columbia University, in New York City.

It remains to be seen what the future holds for Patricia de Lille’s political career, with the next hurdle along her path being the feedback she receives from, and defense in front of, the DA’s Federal Legal Commission, relating to the Bowman Gilfillan investigation. As it stands, Cape Town, in the midst of its worst drought in recorded history, may have a new Mayor take the helms sooner than expected.


Source: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6]. Image sources: [1], [2].


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Fresh Bid to Oust Zuma

President Jacob Zuma has until Tuesday 9 January to step down as head of state, or risk facing yet another motion of no confidence vote.

The President has already survived two motions of no confidence in the NEC, as well as eight in Parliament. This time, however, he will no longer be the leader of the ANC, and members in the Ramaphosa camp may be more willing to vote against the President, without fear of reprisal.

As it stands, Zuma may face a choice between voluntarily resigning, or facing public embarrassment by being forced out by his fellow party members, on public television. Either way, he would be vacating his position over a year earlier than he would have had he been able to complete his second term as President.

The economy has performed poorly during Zuma’s time as leader of South Africa, and credit ratings have been downgraded over the years, negatively impacting foreign investment, and therefore the livelihood of all of the country’s citizens.

There is great hope that the new ANC leader, Cyril Ramaphosa, who was voted in at the ANC’s recent National Conference, will have a positive impact on the country’s economic state, drawing from his extensive business experience.

Zuma’s preferred candidate for leader of the ANC, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, failed to garner more votes than Ramaphosa during the Conference. It is thought that she will still be given a position in the party’s new cabinet, in order to placate her supporters.

Numerous ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) members have stated that Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom is preparing a fresh motion of no confidence in President Zuma, which he plans to bring forth before the senior members of the ANC meet on 10 January.

The President is also facing calls to step down from the ANC’s alliance partners, the South African Communist Party (SACP), and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

Those in support of Ramaphosa feel that Zuma’s having been at the center of numerous controversies has hurt the ANC’s reputation in the eyes of the general public, as well as its performance in the 2016 municipal elections. They believe that this trend will continue into the country’s next general election, scheduled to take place during 2019. An early Zuma departure, they hope, will serve to strengthen confidence in the party’s ability to root out corruption, and lead the nation going forward.

For more information about the 2019 South African general election, click here.

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Source: [1], [2]. Image source: [1].

Will Zuma Still Be President at the State of the Nation Address?

In their new year’s resolution statement, African National Congress (ANC) stalwarts and veterans said that for the party to achieve unity, President Jacob Zuma needs to resign as leader of the country. The statement was part of the annual resolutions that ANC veterans make at the turn of every year.

Part of the statement is as follows: “In 2018 no one should ever again believe that they can avoid their day in court because of their position in society. Real action against corruption has to happen. That starts with the urgent appointment of a new head of the National Prosecuting Authority. It must be followed by the politicization of our law enforcement agencies”.

“A clear message to SA would be for our country’s president to voluntarily step down. If the president really loves the ANC and wants it to remain in power by 2019, he would assist it by handing over the leadership”.

Opposition parties have called for steps against the President to be taken before the State of the Nation Address (SONA) next month.

Parliament recently announced that the 2018 SONA will take place at 7pm on Thursday 8 February. The President of will deliver the Address to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces in Cape Town, marking the official start of the Parliamentary program.

SONA sets out government’s key policy objectives and deliverables for the year ahead‚ highlights achievements‚ flags challenges, and outlines development interventions for the coming financial year.

The State of the Nation address is broadcast live each year on major news channels, such as eNCA, SABC News, ANN7, and Parliament Channel, as well as on numerous South African radio stations.


Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4]. Image source: [1].

Cyril Ramaphosa Becomes the New Leader of the ANC

South Africa’s governing party, The African National Congress, has announced that its 4700 delegates, who began voting on Sunday night, have elected Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as the new party leader. Ramaphosa will replace Jacob Zuma as the head of South Africa’s governing party, and will lead the country into its 2019 General Elections, Zuma is ineligible to run again, having reached his two term limit.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, former Minister, former Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and Ramaphosa’s opponent, secured 2,261 votes, compared to his 2,440.

Cyril Ramaphosa served as the Secretary General of the ANC from 1991 to 1997, and has been South Africa’s Deputy President since 2014. Ramaphosa remained in the country during the apartheid years, despite his criticisms of the then-government, while many of his ANC peers were exiled. He spent time defending the rights of black miners as leader of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM).

Relied on by Nelson Mandela during transition talks when the ANC government was about to come into power in 1994, Ramaphosa was Mandela’s pick to succeed him. However, due to pressure from other ANC members, Thabo Mbeki became the country’s second President.

Ramaphosa turned to commerce, using his investment vehicle, Shanduka (Venda for “change”), grew rapidly, and acquired stakes in mining firms, mobile operator MTN, and McDonald’s South Africa. Phuti Mahanyele, a former Chief Executive at Shanduka, recalled that Ramaphosa was a passionate leader who required staff to contribute to charitable projects aimed at improving access to education for the underprivileged.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma garnered 179 fewer votes than Cyril Ramaphosa during the race to lead the ANC.

Five other top party positions were voted on during the ANC’s 54th National Conference. The role of Deputy President goes to Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza. Gwede Mantashe, current ANC Secretary-General, will assume the role of the party’s National Chairperson. Ace Magashule, current Premier of the Free State, has taken the position of Secretary-General. Jessie Duarte retained her position as Deputy Secretary-General. Gauteng Provincial Chair for the ANC, Paul Mashatile, will be the party’s Treasurer-General.

Members from both camps within the ANC have been elected to the party’s highest positions. Magashule and Duarte both expressed their support for a Dlamini-Zuma win in the run-up to the election, while Mantashe publicly supported Ramaphosa.

During the 2014 general election, the ANC garnered 62.15% of the vote, with the DA taking 22.23%, and the EFF going home with 6.35%. This gave the parties 249, 89, and 25 seats in South Africa’s 400-seat National Assembly.

The next South African general election will take place in 2019. Exact dates have yet to be announced.



Sources: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9]. Image Sources: [1], [2].