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NEWSFLASH NEWS AGENCY 22 November 6 am

Good morning,

In this bulletin:

# The ANC NEC is embarrassed by the non-payment of staff salaries
# ActionSA claims it lost 64-thousand potential votes over the name error on the ballot paper
# And in motorsport, Lewis Hamilton reduces Max Verstappen’s championship lead to eight points

# ANC NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane says the party is deeply embarrassed by the non-payment of party staff salaries. Some staff members who haven’t received their salaries for the past three months staged a picket outside the St George’s Hotel in Irene, Pretoria yesterday. This is where a special meeting of the ANC’s National Executive Committee was being held. ANC staff representative committee member Mandla Qwane says none of their demands have been met:

Play sound: ENG ANC Mandla Qwane

Qwane says the ANC employees have joined a workers union that will represent them:

Play sound: ENG ANC staff join NEHAWU

# ActionSA says analysis of this year’s local government election indicated that the party lost 64-thousand potential voters due to the omission from the proportional representation ballot paper. The party’s notice has been published in the government gazette to ensure its name features on the ballots. ActionSA failed to submit its abbreviated name to the Independent Electoral Commission ahead of the elections leading to the blank space on the ballot. The party says with the looming by-elections and the suggestion of election re-runs, this move was critical.

# The province of KwaZulu-Natal has recorded an estimated 21-thousand teenage pregnancies since March 2021 to date. KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza says the alarming statistics indicate that early pregnancies and gender-based violence should be an awareness campaign targeting not only women but men as well. Khoza says some of the pregnancies were among girls between the ages of nine- and 14-years-old. She was speaking at the Mpandwini Area in Mbumbulu, south of Durban, where government and traditional leaders discussed the role of men in curbing gender-based violence.

# Sudan’s military coup leaders have reinstated Abdalla Hamdok as prime minister and will release all political detainees under a new agreement. Hamdok, who was placed under house arrest following last month’s coup, signed a new power-sharing agreement with coup leader Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan yesterday. At least 40 people have died in mass protests against the coup. According to reports the United Nations and the US played a crucial part in crafting the agreement. It remains unknown how much power Hamdok and his cabinet will have.

# Motorsport: Mercedes’ driver Lewis Hamilton has cut Red Bull’s Max Verstappen’s championship lead to eight points with two races remaining. This is after the seven-time world champion won the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix ahead of Verstappen and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, his first podium finish since 2014. If Verstappen wins in two weeks’ time in Saudi Arabia and Hamilton does not finish in the top ten then the Red Bull man will become the world champion with a race to spare. Mercedes leads the constructors’ championship by five points ahead of Red Bull.

# Financial indicators: The dollar is trading at 15-rand-71-cents and the euro at 17-rand-72-cents. One British pound costs 21-rand-10-cents and Bitcoin trades at 57-thousand-764-dollar-5-cents. Gold is selling at one thousand-844-dollars-42-cents a fine ounce and Brent crude oil is quoted at 78-dollars-40-cents a barrel.

# And finally, Miss South Africa 2020, Shudufhadzo Musida, says she is delighted to finally have the opportunity to shine on the international stage. She has departed for the Miss World competition to be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on the 16th of next month. The pageant was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Musida says she is excited to take what she has focused on throughout her reign, mental health awareness, to an international audience. Cape Town designer Warrick Gautier is responsible for Musida’s Designer of the World dress and finale gown.

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