CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
Student protests at the Cape Peninsula
University of Technology (CPUT) continued on Wednesday,
prompting a stern warning from the South African government.
“It is completely
unacceptable that a few people should continue to hold our
nation to ransom, including through violence and the
destruction of education infrastructure that we badly need to
empower students and the next generation,” said Blade Nzimande,
Minister of Higher Education and Training.
Students at the
CPUT have been protesting for days over the suspension of four
students in connection with an earlier demonstration on
The protest turned
violent at some point when students blocked all roads to the
university and tossed mattresses, bookshelves, bottles out of
students also got involved in violent skirmishes and
destructive conduct before the police intervened to stop the
chaos, according to Nzimande.
authorities and law enforcement agencies to “deal decisively,
and without mercy” with all these criminal acts.
“This is about a
tiny band of people who harbour criminal intentions and who
are hellbent on destroying the lives and future of thousands
of students and their families,” the minister said.
He urged student
leaders to engage in constructive discussions with authorities
and other stakeholders to deal with the many legitimate
challenges that confront the country’s higher education.
protest is reminiscent of the widespread student protests over
tuition increases that paralyzed all major universities across
the country last year.
South African ruling party
lambasts “witch-hunt” against public protector
CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
The ruling African National Congress (ANC) on
Wednesday voiced “grave concern” over a parliamentary inquiry
into Public Protector Busisiwe ‘s fitness to hold office,
calling the move an “opportunistic witch-hunt.”
“The ANC views
this intended inquiry in a very dim light believing it to be
an opportunist exercise requested by the opposition for
political expediency,” the ANC said.
This came after
Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional
Services agreed to a request from the opposition Democratic
Alliance (DA) to institute an inquiry into the public
protector’s fitness to hold office.
Also on Wednesday,
the DA called on President Jacob Zuma to suspend Mkhwebane
pending the parliamentary inquiry.
The DA cited
Mkhwebane’s alleged misconducts, which include a failure to
investigate allegations of state capture, in which Zuma and
some senior government officials were accused of collaborating
with the Indian Gupta family in looting the state coffers.
appointed to her current position almost a year ago following
an exhaustive and thoroughgoing process by parliament, which
declared her a “fit and proper person to hold such office.”
caused a stir in South Africa, with the ANC fully supporting
her amid strong opposition from the DA.
tenure, she (Mkhwebane) has chosen to focus her attention on
serving the masses of our people rather than solely conducting
Hollywood style investigations,” ANC national spokesperson
Zizi Kodwa said in a statement on Wednesday.
Kodwa lauded the
courage of Mkhwebane for questioning the mandate of the South
African Reserve Bank (SARB), a private financial institution,
and for calling upon ABSA bank, successor to apartheid-era
bank Bankorp, to repay money lent to it by the SARB.
clearly rattled cages and unsettled entrenched interests,”
According to South
Africa’s constitution, the public protector may only be
removed from office on the grounds of misconduct, incapacity
or incompetence, said Kodwa.
into none of these categories, instead she has been at the
receiving end of a concerted campaign to discredit her since
her appointment almost a year ago, Kodwa said.
inquiry is merely a witch-hunt designed by the opposition to
intimidate her into silence and bend her to their warped views
on what constitutes the work of the public protector,” Kodwa
The Office of the
Public Protector was established by the constitution to
support constitutional democracy in the country.
As an external
state institution independent of the government, the office is
tasked with the investigation of misconduct in any state
affairs and all spheres of government including that of public
Eight dead as storm damages
buildings in South Africa
JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) --
Strong winds and thunderstorm in the last two
days hit South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal, leaving eight people
dead and many others homeless or without electricity,
officials said Wednesday.
municipality’s head of communications unit Tozi Mthethwa said
strong wind with a speed of 70 kms per hour wreaked havoc with
some river banks busting. Some roads had to be closed and
approximately 570 faults have been reported to electricity
been working around the clock to restore power to affected
residents. While power has been restored in most affected
areas, the southern parts of Durban bore the brunt of the
storm,” Mthethwa said.
Member of the Executive Council for Cooperative Governance (COGTA),
Weziwe Thusi, said they are assisting those affected by rains.
Thusi said eight
hospitals had been damaged but patients are safe. In addition,
a total of 42 schools in KwaZulu-Natal were gravely affected
by the storm, including nine high schools where there are
upcoming matric examinations. The government is working to
ensure that learners there are able to write exams as per the
The rains have
also resulted in casualties and damaged infrastructure in
other provinces like Mpumalanga and Gauteng, it was reported.
South African stocks continue
JOHANNEBURG South Africa (Xinhua) --
Share prices on the Johannesburg
Stock Exchange (JSE) pushed to fresh highs as mid-cap
continued the rally on Wednesday.
The share was up
0.24 percent to 57,770.33 points at close of session, marking
a record high and bringing gains over the past nine sessions
to 4 percent. The top 40 indexes was 0.15 percent up at
51,438.55 points and the Industrial index, which is also at
record levels, was 0.79 percent higher.
biggest share on the JSE which represents 17 percent of the
Industrial index, was a modest 0.91 percent firmer at R3200.
Other big shares were modestly higher. British American
Tobacco was 0.01 percent lower at R876.6 and Richemont traded
0.76 percent stronger at R125.09.
Sasol was lower
0.26 percent to R393.02. Standard Bank was up 2.03 percent to
R166.26, Nedbank 2.1 percent to R212.9 and MMI Holdings 1.94
percent to R18.96.
Mondi was the
biggest loser among the blue-chip companies, dropping 8.17
percent to R344.75, following a quarterly report saying “it
recorded an 8-percent rise in its underlying operating profit
for the third quarter.”
The local unit,
which traded as low as R13.79 to the dollar on Monday, was
0.94 percent stronger at R13.57 making rand hedge shares,
which earn most of their income in dollar, less attractive.
rand extended a rally away from six-month lows early on
Wednesday, amid rife speculation that U.S. President Donald
Trump’s tax overhaul plan would hurt the dollar.