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Ramaphosa says he tried to resist corruption as Zuma’s deputy

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President Cyril Ramaphosa, testifying at a graft inquiry on Wednesday, said he chose to “remain but resist” rather than resign as deputy president when allegations of widespread corruption surfaced under his predecessor Jacob Zuma.

Ramaphosa, Zuma’s number two from May 2014 to February 2018, has made the fight against corruption a pillar of his presidency, though opposition parties have criticised him for not doing enough to stop the rot during his time as deputy.

Appearing for the second time at an inquiry probing allegations of graft during Zuma’s nine years in power, Ramaphosa said the first option available to him was to resign as deputy president.

While this would have earned him praise from many quarters, he said, it would have “significantly impaired” his ability to end corruption.

He said he ultimately opted to “remain but to resist, hoping that we can turn things around”.

Ramaphosa defeated Zuma’s ex-wife to win the leadership position in the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in 2017 and then helped engineer Zuma’s ouster as president.

“With the benefit of hindsight, I am certain that this was the necessary and correct course of action,” he said.

The inquiry, headed by acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, is looking into allegations including that Zuma allowed businessmen close to him – brothers Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta – to influence policy and win lucrative government contracts.

The Gupta brothers have repeatedly denied corruption accusations and are now believed to be living in Dubai.

Zuma has denied corruption was prevalent under his administration.

He claims the inquiry is politically motivated and has refused to fully cooperate with it.

His imprisonment last month for ignoring a court order to testify before the Zondo commission ignited some of the worst violence in post-apartheid South Africa.

Zuma, who is serving a 15-month sentence, was admitted to hospital last week, forcing the postponement of a separate corruption trial.

Widely referred to as “state capture”, the influence of the Gupta’s extended network only became known through investigative journalists and whistleblowers at state-owned companies, including power utility Eskom and freight logistics firm Transnet. – Reuters

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Magashule loses ConCourt bid to reverse ANC suspension

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APPLICATION DISMISSED . . . The Constitutional Court says Ace Magashule has no prospects of successfully appealing his suspension as ANC secretary-general

Former Free State premier Ace Magashule has lost his latest court bid to have his suspension as ANC secretary-general lifted.

He had approached the Constitutional Court seeking to have his temporary ousting from Luthuli House reversed.

In a judgment handed down on Wednesday, the apex court said Magashule had no prospects of successfully appealing his suspension.

“The Constitutional Court has considered the application for condonation and the application for leave to appeal. It has concluded that, although there are no reasonable prospects of success on the merits of the application for leave to appeal, the delay in bringing the application for leave to appeal is minimal,” the court said.

Magashule first approached the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg to challenge his suspension, but the matter was dismissed with costs.

He subsequently approached the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which dismissed the application in January 2022, prompting him to take up his case with the Constitutional Court.

Magashule was suspended from the ANC in May 2021 because of the party’s step-aside rule.

The rule requires ANC members facing criminal charges to step aside while their court cases are under way.

Magashule is facing corruption charges linked to the Free State asbestos corruption scandal. – Staff Reporter

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Maya appointed deputy chief justice

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MAKING HISTORY AGAIN . . . Justice Mandisa Muriel Lindelwa Maya

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Supreme Court of Appeal Judge President Justice Mandisa Muriel Lindelwa Maya as the deputy chief justice of of South Africa.

A statement issued by the presidency on Monday said Maya will assume her new role from September 1, 2022.

“Justice Maya will contribute to the ongoing transformation process of the judiciary,” said Ramaphosa in the statement.

“Her ascendency to the apex court will serve as a beacon of hope for scores of young women and make them believe that South Africa is a country of possibilities regardless of gender, social or economic circumstances,” he added.

According to the statement, Maya brings more than two decades of a distinguished career as a judicial officer.

She is the first woman to hold the positions of deputy president and president of the Supreme Court of Appeal. – Staff Reporter

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National

Jessie Duarte laid to rest after succumbing to cancer

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SUCCUMBED TO CANCER . . . ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte

ANC deputy secretary general and former ambassador Jessie Duarte was laid to rest on Sunday afternoon.

She succumbed to cancer on Sunday morning and, as per Muslim rites, she was buried after a funeral service at Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg.

In his message of condolence, President Cyril Ramaphosa described Duarte as a selfless leader whose love and passion for assisting the poor were immeasurable.

“Jessie Duarte’s sense of justice was keen. Her sympathies for the poor, the vulnerable, the destitute, and the marginalised ran deep.

“She had empathy and could walk in other people’s shoes and see through their eyes. It is this that enabled her to see the suffering of our people and empathise with them.

“She took up their cause and stood firm on her principles, even when her stance attracted criticism or personal attack. She was a champion of the oppressed everywhere,” said Ramaphosa.

The president said ANC officials had planned to visit Duarte on Sunday afternoon, but were instead met by the news of her death.

He stressed the pivotal role played by her in her pursuit of equality.

“As the secretary of the Federation of Transvaal Women, she was part of building and leading a powerful women’s movement that directly challenged the oppression of black women and shook the foundations of the apartheid state.

“She mobilised women across the country to resist the restrictions imposed upon them by a racist and sexist political system and a patriarchal society.”

Ramaphosa declared a special official funeral for Duarte.

She was granted the special funeral as a result of having been South Africa’s ambassador to Mozambique from 1999 to 2003.

The 69-year-old Duarte was undergoing cancer treatment and had been on medical leave since November last year. – News24

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