Vhahangwele Nemakonde
Digital Journalist
4 minute read
24 Sep 2021
5:01 am

Daily news update: No salaries for ANC staffers, Tutu auction fetches R3m and Durban beaches ‘safe’ to reopen

Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Here’s your morning news update: An easy-to-read selection of our top stories. Stay up to date with The Citizen – More News, Your Way.

General views of the African National Congress (ANC) headquarters Luthuli House in Johannesburg, 9 December 2020. Picture: Michel Bega

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ANC staffers face tough long weekend as party fails to pay salaries again

ANC staffers will have to wait a while longer for their salaries as the governing party’s inability to pay its employees continues.

In a letter, ANC general manager Febe Potgieter-Gqubule informed staff the party would not pay their salaries for September, in addition to the outstanding salaries for July and August.

“This is to indicate that we are not yet in a position to pay outstanding salaries for July and August 2021. Unfortunately, September 2021 salaries, due on the 25th of this month, are also delayed,” Potgieter-Gqubule said.

Where is former president Jacob Zuma?

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Gallo Images/Rapport/Elizabeth Sejake

The Jacob Zuma Foundation has left South Africans wondering about the former president’s whereabouts.

On Thursday, TimesLive reported that Zuma returned to his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal after being discharged from a Johannesburg hospital on Wednesday.

However, the foundation, through its spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi, tweeted that it would not be commenting on the matter.

“Dear media, the foundation is inundated with a barrage of calls following a Media report which purports that H.E President Zuma is back at Nkandla. The Foundation wishes to reiterate its earlier position that the discharge from Hospital of H.E Prez Zuma will not be made public,” reads the tweet.

Digital Vibes: How Mkhize’s aide splurged on Gucci, Smeg and a Turkey holiday

Tahera Mather Digital Vibes Zweli Mkhize
Digital Vibes purported owner Tahera Mather, left, with former health minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Tahera Mather/Facebook

Tahera Mather, one of the beneficial owners of Digital Vibes and a close associate of former health minister Zweli Mkhize, reportedly splurged R90,000 at a Gucci store in Sandton, using money that was paid to the company by the Department of Health.

Her spending spree, however, didn’t end there.

Of the R530,000 used for home renovations, R193,000 went towards buying expensive Smeg kitchen appliances.

The total expense for all of the transactions, which was paid for using taxpayers’ money, comes to about R100 million.

Desmond Tutu’s 90th-birthday auction fetches R3.5 million

Desmond Tutu's 90th-birthday auction fetches R3.5 million

A book authored by South African Nobel Peace Prize laureate and retired archbishop Desmond Tutu was a top seller at an auction to celebrate his 90th birthday, his representatives announced Thursday.

A signed first edition copy of Tutu’s 2004 book “God Has a Dream” was part of paraphernalia auctioned to honour the anti-apartheid icon, who turns 90 on October 7.

“The leather-bound hardcover is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, is signed by the Archbishop, and is number 525 of a small print run of 1,200,” the Tutu foundation said in a statement.

UPL says Durban beaches safe to reopen after chemical spill but experts sceptical

UPL says beaches safe to reopen, but experts, municipality say no
A member of a spill cleaning crew removes dead fish from the river in the uMhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve in Durban on 18 July 2021. Picture: GUILLEM SARTORIO/AFP

Following a devastating chemical spill from a warehouse in the Cornubia area, north of Durban, two and a half months ago amid riots and looting, beaches have been given the all-clear. 

However, this update was provided by the owners of the warehouse, United Phosphorous Limited (UPL) – the same corporation who has to date not made any of its follow-up reports of the state of groundwater pollution public. 

In a statement released on Thursday, UPL said a report written by independent specialists had been sent to the eThekwini municipality. The report contains chemical analyses of beaches and sea water conducted over the past few weeks. The last samples were said to have been taken on 8 September. 

Tshegofatso Pule murder: Alleged mastermind denied bail for the third time

Tshegofatso Pule
Ntuthuko Ntokozo Shoba appears in court. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Ntuthuko Shoba, the alleged mastermind behind Tshegofatso Pule’s gruesome murder, has suffered another blow after he was denied bail for the third time.

The third bail application was heard virtually in the Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday, with Judge Nomonde Mngqibisa-Thusi saying the Roodepoort Magistrates Court was justified in denying Shoba bail, according to Power987.

Tour guide dies in elephant attack at Limpopo game reserve

Man dies in Elephant attack
Picture: iStock

A 50-year-old tour guide died after he was attacked by an elephant while conducting a game drive.

The incident took place at a game reserve in Gravelotte, Limpopo, on Thursday morning.

ER24 paramedics said when they arrived on the scene, they found bystanders performing CPR on the man.

“We took over and assessed the man, but unfortunately, he showed no signs of life. He was declared dead at the scene,” said ER24’s Ineke van Huyssteen.