News24.com | Best of City Press: Sunday May 27

Here are the top stories from Sunday‘s City Press newspaper, in case you missed it.

 

Senior DA leaders are plotting to form a breakaway “true liberal party” which they hope will contest next year‘s general elections.

Angry about the direction the party is taking under the leadership of Mmusi Maimane, the senior leaders have been holding consultations and are said to be keen on getting Western Cape Premier Helen Zille to head the new force.

City Press is aware of at least five senior and prominent MPs who are said to be involved in this new initiative. The move comes in the wake of serious tensions over race, transformation and other policy positions.

 

The Hawks are investigating eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede for actively facilitating money laundering, fraud and corruption, allegedly to pay back cronies who helped her political ambitions.

A hard-hitting forensic report on which the case is based states that Gumede summoned a municipal official to her home to demand that a R25m tender go to handpicked companies.

Those companies, the report states, may have belonged “to councillors and political figures that had supported Gumede in her political endeavours and that councillor Gumede owed them a token of gratitude in the form of contracts from eThekwini”.

 

The man responsible for auditing government books blames the “state capture years” under former president Jacob Zuma for municipal coffers being looted with impunity.

In an interview with City Press, Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu painted a picture of increasing looting with neither accountability nor consequences over the past five years at municipal level.

Makwetu last week announced that out of a total municipal budget of R362.13bn in 2016/17, irregular expenditure amounted to R28.376bn (an increase of 75% on the previous financial year), and fruitless and wasteful expenditure amounted to R1.5bn, a 71% increase from the year before.

 

Minerals Council SA and Mining Minister Gwede Mantashe might be headed for a clash if the latter resorts to implementing the “use it or lose it” principle he hinted at in his recent address at the council’s annual general meeting.

Addressing the media in the presence of the council’s president Mxolisi Mgojo and CEO Roger Baxter last week, Mantashe said the large number of mines under care and maintenance was one of the key factors identified for the recent reversed economic gains of the industry and government was considering implementing the use it or lose it principle.

 

Mondli Makhanya:

In Africa Month, we say all sorts of sweet things about our continent. The African Union issues statements about continental unity and economic progress. There is dancing and the celebrating of culture. But on the ground, human rights are violated as in any other month, democracy is trampled upon, fiscuses are raided and elites eat big while the poor suffer.

Most sadly, Africans embrace dictatorship as if it is the norm. Mswati is feted. Nkurunziza is given an extension and Mnangagwa is trusted.

 

For someone whose very nickname – Mr 360 – suggested impeccable timing, the Proteas’ retiring resident genius AB de Villiers has, over the years, played just enough false notes to point to his being human.

The first such off-key moment was the occasion of his singing in Maak Jou Drome Waar. The second has to be the announcement of his retirement from all international cricket this week, which was as abrupt as it was ill-timed if you’re a South African cricket fan.

When De Villiers’ retirement video dropped – as is the wont of sportspeople these days – the surprise was palpable in how many scrambled to find the words to describe what the gifted batsman’s career meant to them.

 

South African film makers have returned from the world-famous Cannes Film Festival in France, with smiles on their faces and freshly signed sales deals in their pockets. It was a year, they told City Press, where black films and women’s films stole the spotlight.

The big news was about two films with a strong South African presence, Rafiki and The Harvesters – both in competition and both co-productions with other countries.

 

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