Weekly Press Review – 17 January 2014

Tina Joemat-Pettersson has already made headlines in 2014 with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) stepping up in defense of allegations against the minister.  According to DAFF, the Public Protector’s allegations against Joemat-Pettersson are unsubstantiated and President Zuma has no grounds for disciplinary action against her.

Many would disagree with this, but Department director-general, Edith Vries ‘s response to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report into the R800 million a year tender irregularly awarded to Sekunjalo Marine Services Consortium stated that, although these irregularities are not being disputed, four of the allegations against Joemat-Pettersson have nothing to do with the tender.

DA MP Pieter van Dalen has voiced his disapproval by stating that the department’s reaction was a “last ditch effort to protect the minister from being held accountable.  The pressure is now rightfully mounting for her to be removed from cabinet – once and for all.”

An interesting proposition has been put forward by a local Kalk Bay fisherman to declare old Kalk Bay linefish vessels “moving national monuments” with fishing licences attached as a way of protecting fishermen and their historic way of earning a living.

The proposal has been made by Joao Simoes, a local fisherman, in response to the lack of jobs after the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries failed to renew the fishing licences of many skippers.

Certainly food for thought.

As if there was not enough genuine heartbreak and tragedy in the world, a Chinese theme park has added a life-sized replica of the Titanic featuring a shipwreck simulation giving visitors a harrowing sense of the 1912 disaster.

Visitors will be shaken, tumbled and sound and light effects will be used to create the feeling of water coming in.  “They will think they are drowning,” says Su Shaojun chief executive of the company funding the project.

Each to their own.

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