South Africa: Statement from the Presiding Officers of Parliament on Nelson Mandela International Day

Parliament remains resolute in its pursuit of fearless oversight, transparency, openness and accountability

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to seize land from white farmers without compensation
PRETORIA, South Africa,  Nelson Mandela’s birthday today is particularly special as it marks 100 years since his birth. This year we are also celebrating the centenary birthday of Ms Albertina Sisulu, another dauntless fighter for a democratic South Africa. It was Ms Sisulu, who, on 9 May 1994, nominated Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela as democratic South Africa’s first President – at the inaugural sitting of the democratic Parliament.

In a speech straight after this, from the same Cape Town City Hall balcony from which he had delivered his first speech after his release in February 1990, Madiba pronounced: “We place our vision of a new constitutional order for South Africa on the table not as conquerors, prescribing to the conquered. We speak as fellow citizens to heal the wounds of the past with the intent of constructing a new order based on justice for all. …This is the challenge that faces all South Africans today, and it is one to which I am certain we will all rise.”

As we commemorate the lives and legacies of Madiba, MaSisulu and the many others who resolutely opposed the injustices of our brutal past, let us recommit to realising, fully, the society based on our Constitution’s founding values. Human dignity, the achievement of equality and advancement of human rights and freedoms, non-racialism and non-sexism, universal adult suffrage, a national common voters’ roll, regular elections and a multi-party system of democratic government, to ensure accountability, responsiveness and openness.

Parliament reaffirms its determination to continue building an activist people’s Parliament, responsive to the needs of the people and driven by the ideal of a better life for all. Through its constitutional function, Parliament shall continue to strive for the realisation of the ideals, values and freedoms, which Madiba championed. Restoring dignity and redressing apartheid injustices are necessary for the healing of the wounds of a long and brutal past – to realise the freedom from want and discrimination, which our Constitution appeals we should work towards, for actual freedom.

Speaking during the penultimate year of his presidency, Madiba said: “Our land reform programme helps redress the injustices of apartheid. It fosters national reconciliation and stability… It also underpins economic growth and improves household welfare and food security.” As we mark Madiba’s birthday today, Parliament’s Joint Constitutional Review Committee is on the ground in all provinces facilitating a national conversation on this very issue. Earlier this year, Parliament mandated the committee to determine whether a review of section 25 of the Constitution and other clauses is necessary to make it possible for the state to expropriate land in the public interest without compensation and to propose constitutional amendments, where necessary.

Our land reform programme helps redress the injustices of apartheid

The people are their own liberators and through this process they are making bold submissions to the legislature regarding how restitution of property, of which thousands of South Africans were dispossessed because of racially discriminatory laws or practices after 19 June 1913, can be achieved. They are speaking out regarding how land reform and social justice can be speeded up so that we truly heal the wounds of the past and build the national cohesion to free up factors inhibiting our common desire for economic growth and prosperity. Through this people-centred process, and through the common wisdom of the people of this country, we must intensify healing, redress the injustices of the past and roll back the legacy of apartheid and colonialism.

Parliament remains resolute in its pursuit of fearless oversight, transparency, openness and accountability. Scrutiny and oversight of Executive action continues to improve, as demonstrated in Parliament’s recent inquiries into mismanagement and allegations of state capture at public enterprises and entities.

Inspired by the noble principles, values and ideals of Maida, MaSisulu and other struggle warriors, Parliament will continue intensifying its programmes to realise the goals of a better life for all.

As we mark the centenary of Madiba, we urge the younger generation, in particular, to rally behind achieving our common goal of building a better South Africa. As Madiba once remarked: “It’s in your hands now”.

In commemorating the centenary year of both Madiba and MaSisulu, not only Parliament is galvanizing South Africa. The international community is doing so too. Parliament’s proposal that has urged the largest world body for Parliaments – the Inter-Parliamentary Union – is considering adopting a declaration that Parliaments of the world commemorate Madiba.

We urge all South Africans: Let’s take action and inspire change for the better in the communities where we live.

TRUMP THREW COUNTRY ‘UNDER THE BUS,’ SAYS FOX NEWS HOST AND DAUGHTER TO U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA

President Donald Trump threw his “own people and country under the bus” when he stated on July 16 that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of meddling in the 2016 election, despite the U.S. intelligence community’s evidence, according to a Fox News host and the daughter of the U.S.’s ambassador to Russia.

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President Donald Trump, President Vladmir Putin – Helsinki Summit 16 July 2018

Abby Huntsman—whose father, Ambassador Jon Huntsman, was with Trump during his bilateral talk with Putin Monday in Helsinki—blasted the president following his botched press conference with Putin. That the accusation came from a Fox News host could prove especially damning for Trump, who has often praised the network for its coverage of him and his administration.

“No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus,” Abby Huntsman tweeted.

Establishment Republicans also attacked Trump over his acceptance of Putin’s denials. John Weaver, who headed up U.S. Senator John McCain’s two presidential campaigns, encouraged Jon Huntsman to resign if he has “any honor.”

Another Fox Business host, Neil Cavuto, said Putin “appeared to run circles” around Trump.

“I don’t think you get a second chance to make a good first impression at a stage and venue like this,” Cavuto said, according to Mediaite. “I just found that Vladimir Putin appeared to run circles around the president and get him to buy, that is, the guy standing next to him, hook line and sinker, every single sneaky lie and misstatement he has made on this matter.”

After a private, one-on-one meeting and a bilateral discussion with their staffs, Trump and Putin each took questions from reporters. Trump was specifically asked if he believed Putin’s denials over the U.S. intelligence community and offered a riff of his own denial of collusion, while blasting the Justice Department, Democrats and the FBI.

“And I say it all the time. There was no collusion,” Trump said. “I didn’t know the president. There was nobody to collude with. There was no collusion with the campaign, and every time you hear all of these, 12, 14… It’s stuff that has nothing to do, and frankly, they admit these are not people involved in the campaign… But to the average reader out there, they’re saying ‘maybe it does.’ It doesn’t.”

Trump concluded, “We ran a brilliant campaign, and that’s why I’m president.”

The summit came just days after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers for conducting the hacking operation against the Democratic National Committee in 2016

Despite awkward body language; brief, sober answers, President Donald Trump winked at Russian President Putin

President Donald Trump winked at Russian President Vladimir Putinat the beginning of a presser that was characterized by “awkward body language” and tame, short answers.

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President Donald Trump will meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on July 16, 2018. Jack Taylor/Getty Images; Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Trump’s friendly gesture was the wink heard round the world and supported a tweet the president sent out earlier which indicated that the cause of U.S.-Russian tensions was not Russia, but the United States and, particularly, the Mueller probe.

More discomfiting still, Russia’s foreign ministry agreed with Trump’s assessment, tweeting out as much Monday.

People reacted harshly to Trump’s little wink at Putin and his overall demeanor with the Russian president:

John Aravosis

@aravosis

Oh my god. Trump looks like he just got schooled by his teacher. The shoulders hunched over, hands in lap. Could he be more submissive?

Mark Stone

@Stone_SkyNews

Very awkward body language… but @realDonaldTrump did offer Vladimir Putin a wink. @SkyNews 😉

rabia O’chaudry

@rabiasquared

Only Trump could make Putin look like the classy one

Mark Stone

@Stone_SkyNews

Very awkward body language… but @realDonaldTrump did offer Vladimir Putin a wink. @SkyNews 😉

European Union is an enemy of the USA; President Donald Trump

By Crimson Tazvinzwa

President Donald Trump called the European Union a “foe” of the U.S. in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS News’ Face The Nation.

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Trump-Putin Helsinki summit

“Well I think we have a lot of foes. I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe,” Trump told host Jeff Glor during an interview that took place at a Trump golf course in Scotland.

“Russia is foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they’re a foe. But that doesn’t mean they’re bad,” he said. “It doesn’t mean anything. It means that they’re competitors. They want to do well and we want to do well.”

Masiyiwa’s Econet Wireless Global builds Africa’s first terrestrial fibre network, stretching from Cape Town to Cairo

By Crimson Tazvinzwa

CAIRO — Telecom Egypt has signed a memorandum of understanding with Liquid Telecom to enable the pan-African group to complete Africa’s terrestrial fibre network stretching across the African continent, the companies said on Saturday.

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Strive Masiyiwa overcame protracted government opposition to launch mobile phone network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in his country of birth in 1998.

Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Strive Masiyiwa’s Econet Wireless Global, has been building a fibre network across southern Africa covering Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It also has a presence in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda.

“Liquid Telecom will link its network from Sudan into Telecom Egypt’s network via a new cross-border interconnection – bringing together a 60 000 km network that runs from Cape Town, through all the Southern, Central and Eastern African countries, and has now reached the border between Sudan and Egypt,” the two companies said in a statement.

They did not provide a time frame for the completion of the network or any estimate of the cost.

“Completing our vision of building a single network running on land, all the way from Cape to Cairo is a historic moment for the company and for a more connected Africa,” Strive Masiyiwa, founder and executive chairman of Econet, said in the statement.

A US-based Kenyan research scientist presented ‘Pioneer Award’ from ‘Face2Face’ Africa for his discoveries of drugs used to treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases

A US-based Kenyan research scientist has been honoured at a banquet in New York for his discoveries of drugs used to treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Dr George Njoroge was presented with a “pioneer award” from Face2Face Africa, a pan-Africa media company, for his sustained impact on science and medicine.

The 64-year-old Kiambu native holds more than 100 patents for his work on cancer and immunology.

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Renowned US-Based Kenyan Researcher Dr George Njoroge Honored at FACE List Awards

Currently a senior research fellow at the global pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, Dr Njoroge plans to move next year to Naivasha, where he is establishing a biotechnology institute.

He said he hopes to attract 100 doctoral degree-holders from around the world to take part in the institute’s work on malaria, Aids, diabetes and cancer.

“Africa has to step up the plate and get involved by participating in the global scientific platform,” Mr Njoroge said in accepting the Face2Face Africa award on Saturday.

“We cannot afford to be left behind. In Africa, we have great brains and abundance of resources — we just need to embrace the power of biotechnology.”

He added in an interview that the latest of his numerous awards is particularly meaningful because it specifically honours persons of African origin.

Dr Njoroge credits his now-deceased mother, Alice Nyaucha, for having inspired his interest in science through her work as a practitioner of herbal medicine.

Dr Njoroge received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nairobi and earned a PhD in organic chemistry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

He is married to Esther Nyambura, who works at Eli Lilly as an accountant. The couple have two adult children, both of whom are studying for medical degrees.

It is hard not to fall in love with Donald Trump’s press conferences, not that they are informative but hilariously leakage and lack of it

Donald Trump never fails to amuse. He is very, very funny. You can say that he should be no laughing matter – he’s the most powerful man in the world, his words and actions are deadly serious, and you’d probably be right. But then, I mean, just look at him – listen to him. He reduces world politics to an amazing farce, and it’s impossible not to slightly love for him for it.

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US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are welcomed at Blenheim Palace by Britain

What sane person could possibly watch today’s press conference with Theresa May and not crack up? It was a comic masterpiece. When he described the relationship between Britain and France as ‘in terms of grade, the highest level of special. So we start of with special …. I would say the highest level of special. Am I allowed to higher than that? I don’t know.’

As to his advice to May about Brexit, he added, ‘I did give her advice. I think maybe she found it too brutal! Because I can see that … [turning to May] I dunno if you remember … I did give her a suggestion. I can fully understand why should thought it was a bit tough and maybe someday she’ll do that. She might very well do what I suggested.’

The awkwardness over May and Trump over his sensational Suninterview yesterday was hilarious. On Boris Johnson, he said ‘They asked … how would Boris Johnson be as a Prime Minister? I said yeah he’d be a great Prime Minister. He’s been very nice to me  I think he thinks I am doing a great job. I am doing a great job, that I can tell you – just in case you haven’t noticed. But Boris Johnson would make a great Prime Minister.’

[Change on tone] ‘I also said that this incredible woman right here is doing a fantastic job and [pause] I mean that… Yesterday I had breakfast, lunch and dinner and then I said ‘what are we doing tomorrow?’ and we are having breakfast and lunch with Theresa May and I’m going to see her again later.’

His summary of the complexity of Brexit? ‘And that Brexit is a very tough situation. That’s a tough deal. Between the borders, and the entries into the countries, she’s going to do the best.’

The sheer hypnotic weirdness of Trump media events is hard to describe. Trump did his ostentatious refusal to talk to CNN for being fake news routine – old material, but perhaps his best. At one point the famous British journalist Robert Peston, a competitor to Trump in the narcissism stakes, tried to be more amusingly arrogant than Trump. He failed, though his pink shirt was lovely. The weight of his ego was crushed by the Commander-in-Chief.

If Alec Baldwin, the best Trump impersonator there is, stood up and did a mock Trump press conference, he couldn’t have made it 10 per cent as funny as that.

Perhaps it’s wrong to giggle at the Commander-in-Chief. These are grave matters of state. Perhaps we are witnessing the collapse of western democracy and the liberal world order. Perhaps we are witnessing the opposite? Nobody can tell. But who knew it would so rip-roaringly entertaining?