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AFRICA/CARIBBEAN NOW: Ramaphosa Stamps Authority on NEC, Calls Zuma on Plot Allegations

Former South African President Jacob Zuma is set to be summoned before the ANC’s top six to explain his recent mysterious meeting with high-profile ANC leaders in KwaZulu-Natal, which has sparked allegations of a plot to oust President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The ANC wants answers on the alleged Maharani Hotel plot meeting last month, the Johannesburg-based City Press reported. Among the details sought is clarity on the coincidence that current and former leaders of the party who had previously lobbied against a Ramaphosa presidency — including Secretary-General Ace Magashule — found themselves all in one place at the same time without any prior arrangement.

Luthuli House was at the time neither aware of, nor informed about, any planned meeting involving Magashule, whose position as secretary-general is akin to that of chief executive officer of the governing party.

The high-level probe is to be presided over by Ramaphosa himself as he gradually stamps his authority in the 90-member ANC national executive committee (NEC).

Ramaphosa’s assertion of his authority is in contrast to earlier perceptions and criticism that he was finding it difficult to lead the divided ANC following his election as party leader, which took place in December at Nasrec, south of Johannesburg.

Those expected to be summoned before the top six to explain the alleged plot include Zuma, former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo, ANC Women’s League Secretary-General Meokgo Matuba and ANC Youth League KwaZulu-Natal leader Thanduxolo Sabelo.

Discussions about the plot were held after inputs by a number of ANC leaders, including former deputy finance minister Sfiso Buthelezi, head of the NEC’s subcommittee on economic transformation Enoch Godongwana and ANC Veterans’ League president Snuki Zikalala.

An NEC member said most of those attending the meeting wanted the matter to be given serious attention.

“NEC members felt that the matter should be laid to rest; others said there was no need to investigate because the plot to unseat the president was created by the media,” the insider said. “It was then resolved that the ANC national officials should probe the allegations and compile a report.”

Another NEC member said they viewed the matter in a very serious light.

“We are not going to dismiss it,” the member said. “We are expecting the NEC to give us the report in the next NEC meeting.”

Foundation Grants $829K in Scholarships to Bahamian Students

The Lyford Cay Foundation this year granted 28 scholarships, valued at about $829,500, to Bahamian students seeking higher education abroad.

This year more than 500 Bahamians completed the application this year. Applicants are evaluated based on their financial status, academic merit, institution reputation, availability of the field in The Bahamas, career goals, and qualifications, The Tribune reported.

The newly awarded scholars will be studying a variety of majors from health and environmental sciences to engineering technology to information sciences.

Technical scholars will be pursing majors in radiography, cardiovascular technology and plant science and agricultural technology.

Scholarships are only awarded to students studying abroad in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom.

The mission of the foundation is to give to the less fortunate. Candidates are most likely to be selected if the applicant is the first person in their family making an effort to attend college.

The Lyford Cay Foundation’s scholarships awards, valued up to $15,000 each year, can be renewed each year if the minimum grade point average has been maintained by the student.

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