LOCAL: University of the Witwatersrand Student Representative Council president Mcebo Dlamini has publicly denounced Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Habib’s decision to remove him from the SRC, saying he (the professor) is not God. Dlamini, whose academic future at the university is in doubt, told Power FM last night that he was voted in by the university’s black students and they should be the ones to determine his future. Dlamini added that Habib was simply under pressure from white donors to remove him from his position. The University reiterated that the decision to strip Dlamini of his SRC duties was not informed by his recent racist comments about white people or his public declaration of his love for Adolf Hitler. Dlamini was dismissed based on allegations of assaulting a staff member and also of failing to supply the legal office with certain vital documents.
LOCAL: A Stellenbosch University lecturer who allegedly sent a racist SMS to a student has been suspended. Dr Anton Stander, a nuclear physics lecturer, has been temporarily relieved of his duties, the university’s chief director of strategic initiatives and human resources Professor Tobie de Coning confirmed. This follows a racism complaint laid by sociology student and #OpenStellenbosch forum member Sikhulekile Duma, who last week received an SMS which read: “Jou swart moer van die wit boer” (“You black bastard from the white farmer”). De Coning said formal disciplinary procedures had been initiated against Stander. The incident would be handled decisively and fairly, De Coning continued, explaining that a committee of preliminary investigation would now investigate the claims. Duma told City Press that members of the movement had received numerous threats. This, he said, was the first one which members were able to trace to a possible source. #OpenStellenbosch has spearheaded a number of protests and meetings surrounding transformation at the university in recent weeks.
LOCAL: The court order allowing a Cape Town advocate to commit suicide with the help of a medical doctor will remain in force, even though he died two hours before the order was granted. Judge Hans Fabricius yesterday refused an application by the government and the Health Professions Council to rescind his order, saying it concerned a matter of public interest and could affect more people than just applicant Robin Stransham-Ford, who succumbed to prostate cancer shortly before the landmark ruling. Fabricius believes the Constitutional Court and Parliament should reconsider the issue of legalising assisted suicide. Lesego Montsho-Moloisane, representing the ministers of justice and health and the National Prosecuting Authority, argued that Stransham-Ford had already died when the order was granted, which made the court order moot. Fabricius said his order did not prohibit others who sought the right to commit assisted suicide from coming to court. “Now a cause of action has been established and it’s forward-looking. It’s for the Constitutional Court to decide if it has become moot because the applicant died.” In written reasons for his ruling, which was handed down on Monday, Fabricius said the absolute prohibition on assisted suicide in common law did not accord with the right to human dignity, freedom and security protected by the Constitution.
BUSINESS: If South Africa is to meet its National Development Plan (NDP) target of creating 11 million jobs by 2030 the country will need over 49 000 SMEs growing at a rate of 20% per annum. Alternatively the economy would need no less than 8,2 million small and micro-enterprises to create the same number of jobs. This was revealed by the Endeavor jobs calculator, a global tool developed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), National Statistics Agencies and Endeavor Insights, which takes into account the different factors essential to job creation. “The Endeavor job calculator can estimate how many entrepreneurs, such as businesses, are required to create new employment opportunities,” Endeavor SA MD Catherine Townshend said. She added that, “Endeavor believes that by providing much-needed support to scale up businesses by way of helping them think bigger and make more informed decisions, they are able to multiply their success. CEO of FNB Business Mike Vacy-Lyle concurs with this view. “South Africa has reserved large sums of funds to boost business development,” he said. “Therefore, we need to take a realistic approach to ensure that such an investment yields the desired results. It is important to note that calling for more investment in scalable SMEs does not mean that micro-enterprises should be neglected. Those businesses will still need to be developed, over a longer lead time.”
LOCAL: Cassper Nyovest (real name Refiloe Phoolo) has donated R100 000 to victims of xenophobia, thereby living up to a promise he made when Zimbabweans threatened violent action against him should he perform in their country. As a result of the xenophobic attacks that were taking place in South Africa last month Zimbabweans had vowed that Cassper would be hurt if he entered the country. But the musician defied the threats and even his own mother’s orders and performed in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, on 25 April. At the time he said he would donate the proceeds of the concert to help victims of xenophobia rebuild their lives. The multi-award-winning artist announced his good deed on social media yesterday and handed a cheque to the Zimbabwean ambassador to South Africa on behalf of his company Family Tree Media.
SOURCES: News24Wire, TimesLive, EyeWitnessNews, eNCA