Today's Big Stories

Midday Report Live Blog 30th September 2014

On Midday Report today...

Julius Malema is accused of corruption relating to several tenders that were issued by the Limpopo provincial government amid claims that he has been funding his lifestyle through these payments. Malema has said that he is the victim of a political conspiracy. Stephen Grootes chats to EWN reporter Govan Whittles was at the court in Polokwane and told Stephen that the reason given by Judge Ephraim Makgoba for postponing the case for almost a year is because of unavailability of some of the accused' lawyers. Julius Malema says he had also requested that his case be done separately to avoid the delay but his plea was denied.

Govan reports that Julius is still sticking to his guns and his defense is that the state has no case against him and he's willing and ready to face the courts. He also spoke to about 500 of his supporters outside the court saying the NPA were targeting him, saying the Judge President of the Northern Gauteng Court is biased.

In Cape Town parliament’s ad hoc committee to consider President Jacob Zuma’s response to the public protector’s findings that he benefited improperly from the government spending on his Nkandla home is meeting again, but without opposition parties who walked out last week. EWN reporter Rahima Essop reported from Cape Town, confirming that opposition party members were indeed absent. Rahima says Corne Mulder of FF said he won't be taking part in the ad hoc committee, there seems to be belief that the ANC is only forming part of the committee to rubber stamp what Luthuli House has instructed.

KZN Head of Public Servants Association Claude Naicker who is representing the 12 officials that were charged with wrong-doing relating to their role in the decision to spend over two hundred million rand on President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home, spoke to Stephen Grootes saying that the proceedings had commenced and that they believe the matter is a private issue and that they oppose media presence. Claude told Stephen that he still believes the charges won't hold water and confident the case will be won by his clients.

Yesterday on on Midday Report Stephen Grootes spoke to Dr Poppy Ramathuba, President of the South African Medical Association who slammed the home affairs department and particularly its junior officials for taking so long to process applications by foreign doctors to work in South Africa. Stephen spoke to Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi who responded first by saying that in May earlier this year a meeting was help to amend some of the rules and regulations when it comes to the issue of registrations of foreign doctors.

Dr Motsoaledi told Stephen that every country in the world needs doctors and people shouldn't believe the myth that somewhere there's a group of doctors that are waiting to come to South Africa. He explained that for balance, there are rules in place where all countries agree that there will be no direct recruitment of doctors from one country to another.

The Minister also responded to Stephen's question about private medical institutions, saying that was not the solution. Dr Motsoaledi said they are planning on working on more public medical institutions which will be rolled out soon. The Minister said private medical institutions will hurt the industry more.

The International Crisis Group says that Zimbabwe is an insolvent and failing state, and its institutions are hollowing out. Stephen spoke to Piers Pigou-Southern Africa Project Director for the International Crisis Group who responded to a question from Stephen about the impact of Robert Mugabe's presence, saying the issue of succession was a bone of contention and that the possibility of continuing ruling by Mugabe was not good news for Zimbabwe.


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