Category Archives: Key Issues

Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba on assistance provided to Commission of Inquiry into alleged State Capture

Following concerns raised by the Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry to Alleged State Capture, Deputy Chief Justice Zondo, I have written to President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Chairperson of the Commission to provide clarity on the issue of security clearances.

In keeping with the undertaking I made in Parliament in May this year with regards to the State Security Agency (SSA) lending all the necessary support required by the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, I have provided a breakdown on all the security clearances issued and those that remain outstanding including some of the delays occasioned by the applicants, some of whom have flatly refused to subject themselves to the process.

In this regard, I have shown on the record that all requests received for confidential security clearance have been completed and what remains is the higher level top secret security clearances. I have also given an undertaking that the remaining work shall be completed by no later than 21 September 2018.

I have also advised the President and the Chairperson of the work the SSA conducted over and above the vetting services which included security, cyber, counter intelligence and vetting awareness. SSA also administered technical surveillance counter measures and threat and risk assessment.

I wish to reiterate that we remain committed to assisting the Commission to fulfill its mandate and will ensure the completion of the outstanding work in this regard.

Source: Government of South Africa

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association African Region Conference Opens in Botswana

The 49th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) African Region Conference opened officially on Saturday. The speakers who presiding over its opening emphasised the importance of the theme: The Role of Parliaments in Fostering Regional and National Security.

In her opening address, The President of the CPA Africa Region and the Speaker of the National Assembly of Botswana, Ms Gladys Kokorwe, stressed the significance of the theme to the future of the continent. In its broad sense, security is necessary for stability and socio-economic development in Africa. This theme challenges us to determine what role we can play in this regard.

The theme, she emphasised, should not be looked at in a linear way, but be embraced in its totality to ensure food security. This conference affords us an opportunity to share experiences and to facilitate measures that will tackle the impact of climate change on food security in our respective countries and on the continent. We are optimistic that when all is said and done we would be better off as the region than we were before this conference, she said.

CPA’s founding values of human rights, peace and security, its culture of human rights and good governance clearly demonstrate that it has the necessary tools to resolve conflicts, said the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Africa Region, Ms Thoko Didiza, from South Africa.

What is currently missing is the role of women in this regard. The role of women in conflict resolutions, peace missions, in defence and security sector is critical if we were to attain the goal of this conference, she said. The theme of this conference speaks directly to the silencing of guns in Africa, which is one of the priorities of the Africa Agenda 2063, Ms Didiza said.

As parliamentarians, we must determine not only how we can measure its progress, but also what role women can play in the execution of this aspiration. The women’s role in overthrowing colonialism is recorded. In South Africa we are, in this month, commemorating the contribution of women, such as MaSisulu, in the liberation struggle of our country and in ushering in our democracy. This shows that women can make a difference in this regard.

The threat to our security whether real or imagined demand innovative thinking, said the Chairperson of CPA Africa Region, Ms Lindiwe Maseko. It is hoped that delegates will share country experiences that will enable us to come up with legislative frameworks that will advocate for new security frameworks that will foster peace and territorial integrity of our countries.

Reflecting on her tenure, she urged the incoming office bearers of the CPA Africa Region not to relent on changing the status of the CPA. The changing of the CPA status is an ongoing struggle. Don’t relent, we are close to attaining this goal.

Its transformation, she stressed, should encompass its nature and character, its organizational identity, its aims and objectives, its values and funding options.

Reiterating the significance of changing the status of the CPA, the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Cameroon and the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Ms Emilia Lifaka, said it was not a question of if, but when the status of the CPA will change. She admitted that this matter has divided the CPA, but she also commended Africa’s unyielding resolve to change the status of the CPA from a charity organisation to an international organisation that has a recognised parliamentary status.

On the growing influence of Africa in the CPA, she said Africa’s collective voice is indisputable. My ascension to the chairpersonship of the CPA would not have be achieved without this conviction and the architects of thereof.

She commended Ms Maseko’s resolve in putting Africa’s interest high on CPA’s agenda. Ms Maseko, thank you for job well done. You always aimed for the sky and your resolve has landed the Africa Region at the helm of the CPA. Thank you for your love of Africa. You have showed us that an Africa with one collective voice is indisputable.

Security is a precondition for development and parliaments’ role in this regard cannot be overemphasised, said the Deputy President of Botswana, Mr Slumber Tsogwane. Our parliaments are faced with challenges of executive overreach, but Despite that they must strive to seek ways that will enable them to be beyond reproach, he said.

They must use their mandates to pass good laws and policies, hold the executive to account and fight corruption. This is significant because stronger parliaments breed stronger democracies, he said.

The oversight role of African parliaments needs to be strengthened, he reiterated, to ensure that they uphold the aspirations of the people, and ensure that policies and budgets that they pass are aligned to the shared values of their respective countries.

Weighing in on the changing status of the CPA, he said, I concur that CPA should be repositioned to promote the advancement of parliamentary democracy in Africa.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

Regional conference on nuclear disarmament gets underway

The adoption of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will be in the spotlight at the African Regional Conference on Nuclear Disarmament and Lethal Autonomous Weapons, which gets underway in Pretoria this morning.

The conference brings together members of the diplomatic corps, international organisations and civil society to engage on ways and means of taking forward the landmark adoption of the TPNW on 7 July 2017, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said on Wednesday.

The treaty is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination.

The adoption of the Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons is a historic achievement, given that the elimination of weapons of mass destruction has been on the multilateral agenda for more than 70 years since the adoption of the very first resolution by the United Nations General Assembly in 1946.

Participants at the conference will also examine the prospect of the development of weapons, which once activated, could select and engage targets without human control. This category of weapons has been termed Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS).

Furthermore, discussions will focus on the range of humanitarian, ethical, legal and technological considerations pertaining to such weapons.

The conference — which is hosted by the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and DIRCO — will be addressed by DIRCO Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers this morning.

The regional conference is a contribution to South Africa’s active involvement in international disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control efforts aimed at the creation of a safer and better world for all.

South Africa, the only country in the world to dismantle nuclear weapons it developed, has already been a signatory of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons since 1991.

Source: South African Government News Agency

MEC Debbie Schafer launches anti-bullying campaign in Mitchells Plain, 16 Aug

Minister Schafer, Paxton Fielies and Carl Waistie to launch anti-bullying campaign in Mitchells Plain

Tomorrow, Provincial Education Minister, Debbie Schafer, Season 13 Idols South Africa winner, Paxton Fielies, and radio DJ and TV presenter, Carl Waistie will be launching an anti-bullying campaign in Mitchells Plain.

Given the prevalence of bullying in our schools, the WCED has embarked on a campaign to highlight the effects of bullying on learners, as well as, to draw attention to the fact that learners who film, post or distribute videos are also participating in the bullying.

The campaign also provides tips on what one can do to help victims that are being bullied, as well as, the types of support that is available for learners that are experiencing such abuse.

The campaign is called, Raise your voice, not your phone.

Here is a preview of one of the video’s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBOr46mWHQs

Learners don’t realise you don’t need to beat somebody up to be a bully. We needed a way to help learners realise it for themselves!

Time: 10h00

Venue: Beacon Hill Secondary, 1 Derby St, Beacon Valley, Mitchells Plain

Date: 16 August 2018

We chose Beacon Hill Secondary for this event, as it recently experienced its own incident of bullying � both in school and on social media.

It is our intention to use the toolkit that has been developed to educate learners and schools throughout the province, to Raise your voice. Not your phone. It is a message that should be heard all over the world.

Source: Government of South Africa

Teacher killed, suspect(s) sought

NELSPRUIT – Police are looking for suspect(s) responsible for the death of a 50 year old teacher, Florence Nyundu from Sifunindlela Trust, Kabokweni, near White River.

Nyundu was found murdered yesterday, 13 August 2018, at approximately 01:00, when police were summoned to the local hospital after she had been brought in by family members with a gunshot wound on her upper body. The reason for her murder is currently unknown and police are investigating.

Any person with information that could assist police in their investigation as well tracking down of the perpetrator(s), is urged to contact Captain Shaka Nkosi at 082 525 4637 or Sergeant Shikisha Sifunda at 076 598 1945. The SAPS Crime Stop number may also be called at 08600 10111.

Source: South African Police Service