Today's Big Stories

Former SAA CEO claims that the airline's Chair has falsified minutes for bribes

Did SAA’s chair lie about board resolutions to get a bribe?

EWN broke a report this morning that suspended South African Airways (SAA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Monwabisi Kalawe has claimed, in legal papers, that the airline’s Chair Dudu Myeni altered a board meeting resolution in order to receive an incentive payment from the airline airbus.The legal papers also suggest that, then Public Enterprises Minister, Malusi Gigaba spoke harshly to Myeni and that that was why he was moved from that Ministry to the Department of Home Affairs.

In addition, Kalawe alleges that Myeni appears to be untouchable, claiming that she may have sold her house to pay President Jacob zuma’s legal bills. Kalawe is now going to the Labour Court to stop his disciplinary hearing; claiming that the charges against him have been brought unfairly.Guy Lietch, publisher of aviation magazine SA Flyer Magazine, shares his views:

These claims are particularly tragic because it’s such an unholy row. It is very hard to get to the bottom of them especially the claims about the falling out of the Minister (Malusi Gigaba) and the Chairperson. I think the real issue, if there is likely to be any substance to these claims. On face value, I have to say, it doesn't look like it. It seems extraordinary that these claims have been made in the first place, because the risks are high. In my experience, the airbus is extremely to allow itself to become vulnerable to kickback or bribes. It is very hard to believe. The timeline on these claims is difficult because the airline fleet has been in continuing negotiations. Kalawe’s claims are that Myeni wanted the airline to buy the air-crafts out right, rather than lease them, which is in contradiction with what we know the airline is trying to do; given its parlous balance sheet. These allegations will be extremely hard to prove.

Patrick Craven resigns from Cosatu following Vavi’s boot

It was confirmed on Wednesday 1 April by Patrick Craven that he was stepping down as the National Spokesperson for the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), following the decision by Cosatu’s Central Executive Committee to dismissed its General Secretarty Zwelinzima Vavi. Patrick Craven explains why:

Why did I resign? Basically, because I felt I couldn’t possibly defend, to the media and to the public, the decisions taken by the CEC ON Monday, which included the dismissal of the Secretary General. It also included the final closing of the door on Numsa and it 365 members, and the affiliation of the union called Limusa – which I don’t think is a union at all - Mr Vavi himself called it a shelf-union, which I thought was quite appropriate. There were also a range of new restrictions on office bearers, officials and staff, which would have made my job in communications impossible. It is totally impractical and fundamentally wrong in terms of freedom of expression to prohibit Cosatu staff from attending an event that may be attended by Mr Vavi. It was an emotional moment for me to resign, and I’m still coming to terms with it. But I must stress that it doesn’t mean I will be abandoning any involvement in the worker’s struggle or political debates. I still support the same basic views which I have defended for years. It’s a departure from those views which has made it unavoidable to make this unfortunate move.

Satisfaction over Tsotsi's resignation

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says she is satisfied with the resignation of Eskom board chairman, Zola Tsotsi. According to Brown the board raised serious issues about its chairman but declined to go into the details about why the board wanted him removed. CEO of Eskom, Tshediso Matona is also on suspension at the moment.

We have leadership fallout. We have to fix that leadership fallout. I am the Minister, I must make sure that the board acts on this things. Then as acting chair, these executives to act are very skilled executives they have been in the system for more than 20 years. They are engineers; they are CA’s so they are very skilled. Of course I don’t want acting but at this stage that’s what I have to contend with so we can stabilize Eskom.

Eye Witness New’s Gia Nicoladies:

I think to a certain extent yes she does sound confident. Talks about turning around things at Eskom, she admits that there are problems at Eskom from leadership to delays in build programs, by keeping the lights on in general. But she says even though we have acting executives in place at the moment there are highly skilled, they have a wealth of experience in terms of years and she does believe that things can be turned around.

The City of Joburg has a new Ombudsman

The City of Johannesburg has appointed a new Ombudsman to take complaints from residents. His role will be to deal with a range of public complaints to improve the City's commitment to providing quality and efficient service to residents and customers. Sduduzo Gumede, City of Joburg Ombudsman:

From the 1st of July this year, we will open our doors. We will have e-mail communication and have a presence in all seven regions of the city with customer service stations and Ombudsman offices in each. The public will still have to go through the established processes of the city, if you are not satisfied with the way it is addressed or if there is no outcome, you can escalate it to the office of the Ombudsman. We are working on the capacity to deal with all the complaint. I will be recruiting both internally and outside, people with the requisite skill to execute my mandate. But of course, this will depend on the budget granted by the Council; which I hope will be favourable. I have the power of recommendation and you have to give some weight to a ruling made by an office. I expect that my rulings swill create a lot of excitement in Council. The ruling will be made public and transparent.

DA wants the NPA inquiry to dig deeper into Jiba

The Democratic Alliance will be holding a press conference today to address what it plans to do to ask President Jacob Zuma to change an inquiry into National Prosecuting Authority Head Mxolisi Nxasana to also include an inquiry into one of his deputies advocate Nomgcobo Jiba. EWN Reporter Mia Lindeque with the latest:

The DA has delivered the letter to the office of the Presidency and they are waiting on a response and an acknowledgment that it has been received. DA Member of Parliament Advocate Breytenbach read out several allegations against Jiba saying that they can’t understand why Jiba is still in office, whilst President Jacob Zuma is investigation whether Nxasana was fit for office. She says that Jiba oversaw the withdrawal of murder and corruption charges against Richard Mdluli and was presiding over the spy tape saga and said that Jiba refused to cooperate with an inquiry to senior management at the NPA. Now the DA has said that Jiba is bring the NPA into disrepute and that she is arrogant, dishonest and has an appealing behavior. They claim that President Zuma is protecting Jiba while evidence is clear that she must be suspended. We do not that Nxasana has also asked for Jiba to be suspended. And we will wait to see how far the DA gets with this. The DA says that if President Zuma doesn’t listen to them, they wil take the issue to court.

Sars hits the tartget against all odds

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has announced that it had exceeded its revenue collection targets by over R7 billion despite battling what looked like an internal divisions over what was claimed to be a rogue spy unit. Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene confirmed that Sars collected over R980 billion in revenue for the 2014/2015 financial year. Business day editor Songezo Zibi:

The disruptions at Sars were at the top. They didn’t have a commissioner for quiet some time, they had an acting commissioner and that acting commissioner was later suspended by the new commissioner. The second thing is that the period under report at the moment it relates mostly to last year because taxes and individual collections were done last November so it just had a few months. I think the periods to look to is the next one rather than previous periods.

Al Shabaab claims Kenyan university attack

Witnesses say explosion and heavy gunfire were heard at the Garissa University College, near the border with Somalia, early on Thursday, with ambulances already at the scene. It is also being reported by local media that the gunmen have taken hostages inside the complex after raiding the university. It is believed Kenyan armed forces are now on the scene. EWN's Kenyan correspondent Vauldi Carelse:

We understand that it is fifteen dead at the moment, according to government confirmation. The fear is, of course that this number will rise. 600 students are unaccounted for at the moment. According the university, only 282 have been accounted for of the total 815 at the University. It’s been eight hours since the attack and students are recounting how they managed to hide out in fields, cross fences and get away from the gunshots and explosions. It might just be that those 600 unaccounted could be hiding out. Al Shabaab has said that of the hostages they've taken, they have only released those who are Muslim. Al Shabaab has been modeling themselves on Boko Haram and have been carrying out similar attacks in recent months.

Only one bidder for Sanral bond auction

Confirmation this morning from the South African National Roads Agency limited that it is worried about how much longer it can continue to run after a bond auction got only one bidder yesterday. Auctions last year and in February this year also failed to raise the revenue it needed. Wayne Duvenage on Sanral:

If we go back in time with the number of events that took place, really it has culminated and some serious questions have been asked around the way this organisation is behaving with the court case recently in the Supreme Court over Cape Winelands toll routes. I think it sparked a lot of concern around the few people who have been participating in the bond auctions.

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