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Daily podcast – March 28, 2013.

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Daily podcast – March 28, 2013.

28th March 2013

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March 28, 2013.
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
Making headlines:

Communications Minister Dina Pule is expected to face a panel hearing in April regarding complaints that have been lodged against her.

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A Zimbabwean court frees Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's aides on bail.

And, President Jacob Zuma confirms that Brics countries will engage in formal talks on a new development bank.

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Communications Minister Dina Pule will face complaints lodged against her during a nine-member panel hearing from April 22 to 26. The hearing comes as Pule’s actions within the Department of Communications were publicly scrutinised in what she had labelled a politically motivated “smear campaign” over the past year.

The panel, formed by the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests and chaired by Professor Ben Turok, would hold a hearing on the matter concerning Pule.

The committee’s co-chairperson Lemias Mashile said the committee took a decision on February 20 that, in terms of paragraph 3.1 of the procedure for the investigation of complaints, a hearing must be held to deal with complaints against Minister Pule.

Spokesperson Siya Qoza said the Minister welcomed the hearing and would cooperate fully.

 

Four aides of Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai were freed on bail on Wednesday, more than a week after their arrest drew criticism of President Robert Mugabe's security forces in an election year.

The four, along with prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, had been arrested for breaching the official secrets law. The detentions came a day after Zimbabweans overwhelmingly voted for a new constitution that seeks to curb the presidency and expand civil liberties.

High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu, when overturning last week's decision by a lower court to deny the four bail, said he is of the firm view that granting bail with strict conditions will meet the justice of the case.

The bail for the four was set at $500 for each. Mtetwa was also granted bail for the same amount on Monday.

 

President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday the five Brics nations would begin talks to establish a development bank. However, he warned that Brics nations needed to be vigilant "to underlying weaknesses" in the world economy.

The establishment of a Brics development bank was suggested at the Fourth Brics Summit last year. Finance ministers of the five countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, met on Tuesday to iron out details of the bank.

According to the Russian finance minister, agreement couldn’t be reached on a number of issues related to the bank's formation. These included whether voting rights would be accorded based on the size of contributions by member states, or by consensus; and the bank's location.

Notwithstanding the fact that Brics members all had their own problems, Zuma said cooperation of the Brics countries with the rest of Africa was critical, as Brics countries stood to benefit from their convergence and collective strength.

 

Also making headlines: 

The Industrial Development Corporation has signed MoUs with its counterparts from China, Russia and Brazil to facilitate mutual cooperation for improved economic growth and job creation.

The Rustenburg bus-rapid project is on track as the Rustenburg local municipality unveils the design for the Central Station.

And, MPs are cautiously optimistic about the National Energy Regulator of South Africa's determination of electricity tariffs.

 

That's a roundup of news making headlines today.

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