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Daily Podcast – April 02, 2024


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Daily Podcast – April 02, 2024

2nd April 2024

By: Thabi Shomolekae
Creamer Media Senior Writer


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For Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Thabi Shomolekae.

Making headlines: Speaker loses bid to stop arrest over alleged graft; Pro-Russia X accounts tout Zuma’s party, CIR says; And, Parties petition Ramaphosa not to sign Electoral Matters Amendment Bill



Speaker loses bid to stop arrest over alleged graft


Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula lost a court bid to prevent the authorities from detaining her over allegations of corruption, and now faces arrest.

The judgment was handed down in the High Court in Pretoria today.

Mapisa-Nqakula, who faces possible graft charges related to her tenure as defence minister, had launched an urgent application for the court to compel the National Prosecuting Authority to suspend plans to arrest her and share with her evidence related to the case.

The controversy surrounding Mapisa-Nqakula, a senior African National Congress leader, comes two months before South Africa holds national elections in which the party is at risk of losing its national majority for the first time since it came to power three decades ago.

Opinion polls show voters are dissatisfied with the ANC over issues including its failure to deal decisively with State corruption and arrest officials accused of graft.



Pro-Russia X accounts tout Zuma’s party, CIR says

An analysis of accounts on social media platform X that have been used to promote Russian interests in South Africa are now being utilised to rally support for a new party backed by former President Jacob Zuma, according to a director at the Centre for Information Resilience, or CIR.

The observation is the latest example of how Moscow appears to be using social media to try and sway the outcomes of votes around the world as it seeks to promote leaders that can help further its interests. Russia allegedly interfered in the US election in 2016, which saw social media being used to sow distrust in the process and institutions. More recent examples in Africa include support for pro-Russian military regimes in West Africa.

Zuma, who led South Africa from 2009 to 2018 and forged closer ties with Moscow during his tenure, announced in December that he would campaign for the uMkhonto weSizwe Party, or MKP, rather than the ruling African National Congress, in next month’s elections.

Several X accounts that praised Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since it began in February 2022 and have drawn parallels between Zuma’s leadership and that of Russian President Vladimir Putin, have been used to promote the new party ever since, the CIR said in research shared with Bloomberg.

The most prominent of the accounts on X, formerly known as Twitter, has about 170 000 followers and constantly posts endorsements of MKP and Zuma, said Tom Southern, the London-based independent non-profit’s director of special projects. The account interacts with thousands of others, amplifying its impressions, the CIR research shows. At times, those impressions exceed one-million per post.



And, Parties petition Ramaphosa not to sign Electoral Matters Amendment Bill

Ten opposition parties, currently represented in Parliament, have petitioned President Cyril Ramaphosa to not sign into law the Electoral Matters Amendment Bill, on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.

The Electoral Matters Amendment Bill was passed by the National Council of Provinces last week and sent to Ramaphosa for assent.

The Bill is a sequel to the Electoral Amendment Act that was passed last year to provide for independent candidates to stand for election in Parliament and provincial legislatures.

It provides for the regulation of the private and public funding of independent candidates and independent representatives, among other things.

Non-governmental organisation My Vote Counts made submissions to Parliament, arguing that, in its current form, the Bill is “unconstitutional, and undermines” the Constitution in respect of transparency and accountability in political party funding legislation.

Other civil society organisations are also calling for the Bill to be reviewed.

The political parties that have petitioned Ramaphosa include the African Christian Democratic Party, the African Transformation Movement, the Congress of the People, the Democratic Alliance, the Freedom Front Plus, GOOD Party, the Inkatha Freedom Party, the National Freedom Party, the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania and the United Democratic Movement.

The parties says that if the President assents to the Bill they will be forced to join civil society, which has already given notice of its intention to approach the courts, to oppose this legislation on the grounds of unconstitutionality.


That’s a roundup of news making headlines today

Don’t forget to follow us on the X platform, at the handle @PolityZA


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