Thabo Mbeki speaking at the opening ceremony of the World Association of Newspapers conference in 2007.South African President Thabo Mbeki announced his resignation on Sunday night, following a request that he do so by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Saturday.The NEC’s decision to “recall” the president is widely seen as a result the 12 September ruling by Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Chris Nicholson that Mbeki, or members of his executive, might have interfered with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decision to charge ANC President Jacob Zuma.Judge Nicholson suggested there was an inappropriately close relationship between the NPA heads and the justice ministry, and that Mbeki and the Cabinet should take responsibility.“I would like to take this opportunity to inform the nation that today I handed a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Honourable Baleka Mbete, to tender my resignation from the high position of President of the Republic of South Africa, effective from the day that will be determined by the National Assembly,” Mbeki said in a televised address.He will remain in office until the National Assembly accepts his resignation and determines the date of his departure.Speaking at a news conference in Johannesburg today, Zuma said Mbeki “remained a comrade”. “After careful debate and discussion the NEC decided to recall comrade Thabo Mbeki. This was one of the most difficult decisions the NEC has ever had to take in the history of the ANC. “We fully understand that the decision comes with a degree of pain to comrade Mbeki, his family, friends, members of the ANC, ordinary South Africans and members of the international community with whom we interact. “Comrade Mbeki has devoted decades of his life to the ANC and our country. The decision to recall him was not taken lightly, but it has to be taken in the interest of making the country move forward.”Mbeki has been a member of the ANC for 52 years, having joined what was then a liberation movement at the age of 14. He was appointed deputy president after the ANC won South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, and succeeded Nelson Mandela as president in 1999.He was due to stand down after his second term of office after South Africa’s next elections in April 2009. According to the country’s Constitution, individuals may not hold the presidential office for more than two terms.The ANC is expected to announce its nominee for acting president shortly. Once elected by parliament, the acting president will convene the Cabinet in terms of the Constitution. Today, Zuma hinted to journalists that the acting president may be ANC deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe.“The transition will be managed with care and precision,” Zuma said. “We will announce the name of our candidate in Parliament at an appropriate moment. We have in cabinet many experienced ministers, including the deputy president of the ANC, Kgalema Motlanthe. I am convinced that if given that responsibility, he would be equal to the task.”The marathon of public officeMuch of Mbeki’s speech last night was spent on thanking his party and his people.“I would like sincerely to thank the nation and the ANC for having given me the opportunity to serve in public office during the last 14 years as the Deputy President and President of South Africa,” Mbeki said.“Indeed the work we have done in pursuit of the vision and principles of our liberation movement has at all times been based on the age-old values of Ubuntu, of selflessness, sacrifice and service in a manner that ensures that the interests of the people take precedence over our desires as individuals.”He likened public office to a marathon of long roads, steep hills, loneliness and uncertain rewards at the end, and urged South Africans to cherish the freedoms gained by many years of anti-apartheid struggle.“We should never be despondent if the weather is bad, nor should we turn triumphant because the sun shines,” he said.He traced the achievements of his office, including transforming the economy “resulting in the longest period of sustained economic growth in the history of our country,” spurring social progress and winning South Africa the right to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup.Mbeki was popular with investors, who praised his pro-business policies.But, he said, problems remained.“Despite the economic advances we have made, I would be the first to say that even as we ensured consistent economic growth, the fruits of these positive results are still to be fully and equitably shared among our people, hence the abject poverty we still find coexisting side by side with extraordinary opulence.”He said he was convinced that the incoming administration would improve on the work done so far in South Africa’s 14 years of democracy.‘No interference’In his speech, Mbeki insisted that neither he nor his Cabinet had interfered in the work of the NPA, despite Judge Nicholson’s ruling.“I would like to state this categorically that we have never done this and never compromised the right of the National Prosecuting Authority to decide whom it should prosecute and not prosecute,” he said.“This applies equally to the painful matter relating to the court proceedings against the president of the ANC, Comrade Jacob Zuma.”He said that since the attainment of freedom in 1994, the government had acted consistently to respect and defend the independence of the judiciary.He assured the nation that the successive governments since 1994 had never acted in any manner intended wilfully to violate the Constitution and the law.“We have always sought to respect the solemn oath of office each one of us made in front of the Chief Justice and other judges, and have always been conscious of the fact that the legal order that governs our country was achieved through the sacrifices made by countless numbers of our people, which included death.”For this reason, he said “our successive governments have honoured all judicial decisions, including those that went against the executive”.However he said this did not mean that the executive did not at times have strong views which “we would have publicly pronounced upon”.“The central approach we adopted has always been to defend the judiciary rather than act in a manner that would have had a negative impact on its work.“Indeed, on the infrequent instances when we have publicly expressed views contrary to those of the judiciary, we have done so mindful of the need to protect its integrity.”Mbeki concluded his speech by thanking the people of South Africa, in all 11 official languages.“Once more, I thank you most sincerely for affording me the opportunity to serve you and to serve the people of Africa,” he said.Read the full text of President Thabo Mbeki’s speech on the Presidency of South Africa website.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email [email protected] articlesGovernment in South AfricaSouth Africa’s ConstitutionSouth Africa’s political partiesUseful linksPresidency of South Africa Parliament of South AfricaSouth African Government Online
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In recent weeks, Monsanto has made multiple efforts to acquire Syngenta. Thus far, attempts have been rejected by Syngenta, but Monsanto shows no signs of backing down.Although the initial offer of $45 billion was made in private, the matter became very public due, in part, to a YouTube video released by Syngenta laying out the parameters of what they called an unworkable deal.“We have unanimously concluded that the proposal significantly undervalued Syngenta’s prospects, but also really underestimated the huge execution risk of this transaction as well as the substantial damage that could occur to our integrated business,” said Michel Demaré, Chairman of Syngenta’s Board of Directors. “The second proposal was much easier to make a decision on because it was a copy paste of the first proposal.”The only difference in Monsanto’s second offer was a $2 billion payment to Syngenta if the merger failed to get regulatory approval.“The fact is that this is a very complex transaction that has been proposed and it will take a long time to be solved and as a result there are a lot of uncertainties and no guarantee of completion,” Demaré said.Syngenta is not shutting the door on a possible deal with Monsanto, but says it awaits an offer that would be more fitting of the value of the Swiss-based pesticide maker. Much of the news about a possible gobbling up of one agricultural giant by another has been focused around stocks and shareholders, but what will a Monsanto acquisition of Syngenta look like on a farmer-level?“This possible deal is about bringing innovation to farmers,” said Mike Frank, Monsanto’s Vice President of Global Commercial. “We have a long history of being in the crop protection business, but we haven’t invested a lot from a research and development standpoint. From our perspective, this acquisition would fill out our portfolio, scale up our R & D capability and allow us to accelerate our innovation pipeline, ultimately bringing new tools to farmers.”There are some overlapping technologies between the two companies and that may have producers wondering how the marketplace might be affected by an acquisition of this magnitude.“We know that farmers want choice and that farmers need good competition,” Frank said. “What we would buy and keep that Syngenta offers is their crop protection portfolio.”If the deal were to go through, Monsanto plans on divesting Syngenta’s seed and trait businesses, as well as Syngenta’s Touchdown glyphosate product, which is a direct competitor of Monsanto’s Roundup.“It would be our responsibility to find good owners for those assets,” Frank said. “At the end of the day the farmers will have the same choices they have today.”If Monsanto and Syngenta do get to a point that a deal can be made, regulatory bodies from around the world would take a look at the details to make sure it would be a good deal for the two company’s shareholders and their customers, which is ultimately the farmer.AUDIO: The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins visited with Monsanto’s Mike Frank about the possible acquisition of Syngenta. Listen to their conversation.Monsanto Mike Frank Syngenta Acqusition
In Monday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks made his first substitutions eight minutes into the game. Nick Collison and Caron Butler came in for Thabo Sefolosha and Serge Ibaka with the Thunder down four points.This wasn’t the first time the Thunder’s starting lineup had been outscored in its first stint of a game — it was the 48th this season (including the playoffs). The first few minutes of a game are a relatively small sample, of course, but it’s a telling trend: The Thunder’s starters have put them behind in 53.3 percent of the team’s games. And yet the Thunder have won 70 percent of all games so far.Monday night, though, they didn’t. Everything tightens in the playoffs; small weaknesses become magnified and exploited. The narrowest of margins in the beginning can become the deciding factor between victory and defeat. For the Thunder, figuring out how to start building a lead right from the opening tip could be the difference in extending a playoff run.All season, the Thunder have struggled with their starters. In part because of injuries, the Thunder used nine different starting lineups by the time the playoffs rolled around. Those nine different starting lineups had a raw plus/minus of -10 in the 589 minutes they played before the first substitute came in, which is an average point differential of -0.8 per 48 minutes. That number doesn’t seem overwhelmingly negative until we compare it to the Thunder’s season-long differential of +6.3 per 48 minutes using all lineups.In other words, the Thunder’s ability to recover from slow starts is a reflection of their immense talent. Their starting lineups play an average of just over six minutes a game, and in that time the -0.8 per 48-minute point differential works out to just hundredths of a point per game. Their win percentage is almost identical regardless of whether their starters build a lead or dig a hole, 74 percent to 67 percent.But there is an enormous difference in the Thunder’s margin of victory between those two scenarios. In games where the starters build a lead to begin the game, the Thunder have won by an average of 10.86 points. In games where the starters have left the team behind, the Thunder have won, but by an average of just 1.77 points. The Thunder are good enough to eventually overwhelm almost any opponent, but the lead, or lack thereof, that they create for themselves at the beginning of a game carries enormous weight in determining the final margin of victory. It’s something to keep in mind as the Thunder’s starters take the court on Wednesday for Game 2.A methodological note for those interested: The lineup data for this post came from the gameflow charts at popcornmachine.net. I took the game results, final-point margins and number of starting lineups from Basketball-Reference. The per-48-minute differential for all lineups came from NBA.com. I’m kind of a stats polygamist when it comes to sources.
Recommended for you Related Items:2016 general elections, status cards Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 18 Jan 2016 – Cabinet during its meeting last week agreed to abolish the cost for obtaining a National Status Card or TCI Status Card for first time applicants. Now, payment will only be expected when there are replacements for stolen or lost status cards. The status Cards became the main identifier of indigenous people in the territory just before the 2012 General Elections. First time fee for Status Cards, abolished by Cabinet Former Premier says 2016 too important to miss; joined call for last minute registrants Unqualified Applicants, 75% cannot vote in TCI Use file photo of the lines at registration Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp