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Compiled by Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist

Daily news update: Exam papers leak, foreign nationals exemption permits, festive fuel price dip

Here’s your morning news update: An easy-to-read selection of our top stories.

In today’s news, the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal has rejected claims of a matric examination leak, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi grants over 230 000 foreign nationals exemption permits, and motorists may pump for joy when they see a petrol and diesel price drop next week.

We also look at questions around transparency on party funding declarations after only six political parties disclosed the donations they received in recent months, the City of Joburg denying R2.6 million will be spent on its year-end event, and another woman has been accused of having her family members murdered for insurance payouts.

News today: 2 December

Department of Education disputes exam papers leak

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education has rejected claims that the integrity of the matric exams were compromised.

KZN Education MEC Mbali Frazer. Photo: Gallo Images
KZN Education MEC Mbali Frazer. Photo: Gallo Images

In a press release, the department said they wish to assure the people of KwaZulu-Natal that the integrity of the 2023 NSC exams is still intact.

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Motsoaledi grants 178 000 Zimbabweans, 54 653 Basotho two-year exemption permits

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has granted 178 000 Zimbabwean nationals and 54 653 Lesotho nationals exemptions permits for another two years.

Motsoaledi grants 178,000 Zimbabweans, 54,653 Basotho two-year exemption permits
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: GCIS

The permits for Lesotho nationals were expected to expire on 31 December 2023, while Zimbabwean Exemption Permits had two expiry dates of 31 December 2023 and 28 June 2024, as decided by the courts.

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December fuel price: Motorists could find cheer at the petrol pumps this festive season

Mzansi motorists will be pumping for joy come next week Wednesday when the petrol and diesel price is set to take a festive dip just in time for the holiday season.

fuel petrol diesel price december 2023
Decent decreases in both diesel and petrol are sure to rev up festive travels. Photo: iStock

End-of-the-month data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF) indicates that the petrol price is likely to come down by around 98 cents in December, while diesel is looking set for significant reductions of between R2.23 (500ppm) and R2.29 (50ppm).

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Calls renewed for party funding transparency as ActionSA questions EFF’s non-disclosure

Questions around transparency on party funding declarations have resurfaced after only six political parties disclosed the donations they received in recent months.

EFF party funding disclosure
South Africans cast their votes at the Philip Nel fire station voting station in Pretoria on 1 November 2021. Picture: Jacques Nelles

On Thursday, the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) released its second quarter disclosure report covering the period from 1 of July to 30 September this year.

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City of Joburg sets the record straight: ‘No R2.6m spent on Year-End Party’

MMC for Group Corporate and Shared Services (GCSS) Loyiso Masuku says no City of Joburg funds have been spent on the “rumoured” R2.6 million year-end event and long-service awards ceremony for qualifying employees.

MMC says she 'became aware' of 'rumoured' R2.6-m Joburg year-end event and cancelled it
Councillors in the City of Joburg council chambers in Braamfontein on 30 September 2022. Picture: Neil McCartney / The Citizen

This follows calls for her resignation by the Democratic Alliance (DA) for her alleged role in the irregular diversion of funds to pay for the “rumoured” R2.6 million party for 500 employees.

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Another North West woman accused of orchestrating murders for R320,000 payout

North West woman stands accused of masterminding a plot involving the deaths of her cousin, Sandy Maleshane, and her father for insurance claims.

Insurance scheme: North West woman accused in family murders for payouts
Insurance scheme: North West woman accused in family murders for payouts. Picture: iStock

Charmaine Bila, 38, appeared at the Stilfontein Magistrate’s Court in North West on 20 November on two separate charges of murder and one of attempted murder. This appearance followed her initial arrest on 17 November.

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Police find decomposing body of missing man

This week, SAPS search and rescue officers in KwaZulu-Natal discovered the decomposing body of a Durban man who had been reported missing in Verulam, north of Durban.

Sagren Kaniappen
The late 59-year-old Sagren Kaniappen. Picture: Supplied

The body was that of 59-year-old Sagren Kaniappen, who went missing last Friday while he was doing an airport pick-up as a self-employed tour driver.

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Trevor Noah becomes first comedian to win Erasmus Prize since Charlie Chaplin

South African comedian Trevor Noah became the first comedian to receive the Erasmus Prize in 58 years since English comic icon Charlie Chaplin.

Trevor Noah-Erasmus Prize
South African comedian Trevor Noah in the 2023 Erasmus Prize recipient. Picture:trvornoah/Instagram

“As the youngest recipient I will be reading my speech from my phone,” quipped the comedian opening his speech.

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Sarafina! wraps up a successful 2023 with honours at Marrakech Film Festival

The year 2023 has been a fulfilling one for South African classic film Sarafina! more than 30 years after it debuted on big screens.

Leleti Khumalo-Sarafina
Sarafina! lead actress Leleti Khumalo at the Marrakech International Film Festival. Picture: Supplied

Sarafina! was honoured with a Special Screening at the 20th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival at the prestigious 700-seater Cinéma le Colisee with lead star, Leleti Khumalo in attendance.

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It’s tight at the top of the leaderboard at the SA Open

For the second day running a player from Sweden leads the way in the SA Open being played at Blair Atholl Country and Equestrian Estate in Lanseria.

Jesper Svensson
Jesper Svensson leads the SA Open after the second round. Picture: Luke Walker/Getty Images

After Joakim Lagergren grabbed the lead by one stroke after the first round late on Thursday, on Friday it was the turn of Jesper Svensson to go to the top of the leaderboard.

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Van Wyk grateful to Banyana coaching staff after equalling African record

Banyana Banyana defender Janine van Wyk is grateful for the opportunity to play after starting in the 1-1 draw with Burkina Faso in the final round of the Caf Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) qualifier match at Charles Konan Banny Stadium in Ivory Coast on Thursday.

Van Wyk grateful to Banyana staff after equalling African record for most international caps
Banyana Banyana defender Janine van Wyk (Picture: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)

Van Wyk became the second player male or female to reach 184 caps for the national team in Africa after Egypt legend Ahmed Hassan.

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