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While you were sleeping: Thursday, 2nd February 2017

DRC opposition leader dies, Romania gripped by mass protests, and awkward call cut short between Trump and Turnbull.

Thursday, 2nd February 2017

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.”
Langston Hughes

 
 

After months of warnings, Sassa officials, presenting on Wednesday to Parliament’s portfolio committee on social development the agency’s readiness for the April 1 takeover of the payment of social grants to some 17-million vulnerable South Africans, shockingly revealed that it had, in essence and through its own tardiness, manufactured an emergency that will most certainly now hold the Constitutional Court and Treasury hostage. This means that service provider CPS/Net1’s tender, which the ConCourt ruled irregular, has to be extended for 12 months if grants are to be paid. Sassa has yet to approach the ConCourt and has presupposed it will rule in its favour “in the national interest” or else plunge the lives of millions into chaos. 

 
 
 

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

DRC opposition leader dies aged 84

Congo’s UDPS party chief Etienne Tshisekedi has died in a Brussels hospital today, aged 84. The opposition leader had arrived in Belgium on Tuesday for medical reasons, with many in his party speculating as to his health. Given the volatility in the DRC at present, Tshisekedi’s death will certainly not help anyone’s cause at all, least of all President Joseph Kabila’s.

 

Widespread protest spreads through Romania

The largest protests since the fall of communism in Romania have spread throughout the country. Numbering in the hundreds of thousands, Romanians are furious at a series of laws passed that decriminalise a number of corrupt activities that are jailable only if the offence resulted in 44,000 euros or more in damages. Because apparently the solution to corruption in Romania is to simply legalise it…

 

Trump cuts short Australia call

A routine call between President Donald Trump and Australia’s President Malcolm Turnbull was cut short on Wednesday. The reason? Evidently bringing up Australia’s bilateral refugee policy. Both leaders subsequently called American-Australian relations “strong”. Details on the exchange appeared vague, and Turnbull refused to speculate on the actual conversation. At any rate, on a scale of one to “Mexico”, Australia’s relationship with America probably remains a healthy number.

 

I am treated differently, complains Mourinho

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has complained that he is being judged by a different set of rules by officials when compared to other club counterparts. Mourinho was talking to the press following a goalless draw with Hull at Old Trafford. In all likelihood, if Mourinho’s team had secured a victory, the complaints about special treatment would be far less voluminous.

 
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IN NUMBERS

1707

The year in which a castle’s moat in the Czech Republic was first filled with bears. “Bear Moat” is still bearing bears to this day.

 

Are you enjoying your dose of Zapiro? Be sure you don’t miss a single cartoon by viewing Zapiro’s dedicated section right here .

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

Today in 1990 FW de Klerk announced the unbanning of the ANC.

The US constitution document is lowered into a bomb-proof bunker every night.

 

FEATURED ARTICLES

Op-Ed: Morocco wrong-foots its African critics

BY TERENCE MCNAMEE, GREG MILLS & J PETER PHAM

 

The Trumpian Gauleiters

BY J BROOKS SPECTOR

 

OPINIONISTAS

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