English news @14:00, 29 November 2018
Written by Ashia Nkontsa on 29/11/2018
News Editor: Xolisa Sindaphi
Marking has started for 2018 Matrics
The matric exams have been written and markers will get to work over the next fortnight. Yesterday marked the last day of 2018 matric final exam period.The pass rate will be announced on 3 January. The Basic Education Department‘s Elijah Mhlanga says marking has already commenced in two provinces. In the next 15 days all marking and capturing of data will be completed and they’ll move to the next phase, the release of results.
Afriforum to challenge President Ramaphosa about land expropriation
Advocacy group Afriforum will today challenge in court President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plan to change the Constitution to allow land expropriation without compensation. Ramaphosa, who replaced scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma in February, has made land redistribution a flagship policy as he seeks to unite the fractured ruling African National Congress (ANC) and win public support ahead of an election next year. Land is a hot-button issue in South Africa, where racial inequality runs deep even 24 years after the end of apartheid. Whites – 9% of the 56 million population – still own more than 70% of agricultural land. Since white minority rule ended in 1994, the ANC has followed a “willing-seller, willing-buyer” model whereby the government buys white-owned farms for redistribution to blacks. Progress has been slow. Afriforum, an advocacy group that mostly represents white Afrikaners, is questioning the legality of a key parliamentary committee report that recommended a change to the Constitution.Afriforum says the committee illegally appointed an external service-provider to compile the report and also failed to consider more than 100,000 submissions opposing land expropriation without compensation.Parliament, where the ANC enjoys an overwhelming majority, filed an answering affidavit arguing that Afriforum was trying to frustrate the legislative process. Parliament says the report was produced by its staff and that it had considered all submissions. The committee’s report is just one step in a long process to change the Constitution.
National assembly to take over the Parliament’s Eskom enquiry
Parliament’s Eskom inquiry report will now be handed to the National Assembly where the recommendations will be pursued. The portfolio committee on Public Enterprises on Wednesday unanimously adopted its report into governance failures and state capture at the power utility. The findings implicate several individuals and companies linked to Eskom. The committee says that while it did not accuse anyone in the report, it has recommended that law-enforcement agencies make further investigations into findings and observations made during the inquiry. African National Congress MP and inquiry chairperson Zukiswa Rantho says the committee recommends a criminal investigation into possible cases of fraud, corruption and other unlawful conduct with respect to the action of the listed individuals and firms with the possibility of financial crimes. The committee also recommends that former Ministers Malusi Gigaba and Lynne Brown be referred to the Zondo Commission to explain their roles in the governance failures and alleged corruption at Eskom.
Parktown Boys High accused of enabling abuse
A child development and protection expert has blamed the so-called code of silence at Parktown Boys’ High for enabling the abuse of pupils to go on for so long. Luke Lamprecht testified yesterday at the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court where sentencing proceedings of convicted sexual predator Collan Rex are being heard. The 23-year-old former assistant water polo coach has been found guilty of 144 charges of sexual assault and a further 12 of common assault. Lamprecht, who specialises in transsexual abuse, has testified about the lasting effects that Rex’s actions will have on the boys he preyed on during his time as an assistant water polo coach at Parktown Boys’ High.He said the boys trusted Rex as their senior and he abused that trust. Lamprecht said victims experienced a deep sense of emotional abuse and would require prolonged psychological treatment. In his pre-sentencing statement, Rex claimed when he was a pupil at Parktown Boys, he was exposed to a culture which normalised inappropriate behaviours, such as wrestling and the touching of genitals. However, Lamprecht testified that there is no way anyone can view such behaviour as normal if they kept it a secret.
Nicholas Ninow to be admitted for Psychiatric assesment
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says the Dros rape accused Nicholas Ninow stands a better chance of getting admitted soon at the Westkoppies Psychiatric Hospital for his assessment. This is despite the fact that a spot at the facility will only be available next year and he is number 14 on the waiting list. Ninow is accused of raping a seven-year-old in the bathroom of a Dros outlet in Silverton in Pretoria. The case has been postponed to 15 January. Women and Men Against Child Abuse organisation says it’s disappointed with delays in the case because the State could not find space for the accused to undergo a mental evaluation. Ninow was due to be booked at Weskoppies today.But there is still no bed available for him with only one available next year. NPA’s Phindi Louw says his best chance of getting evaluated is at that facility. The accused is expected back in court on 15 January but the state says if a spot at the mental hospital becomes available before then, he would have to appear in court before he is transferred.