A former hotel cleaner turned-businesswoman hosted a dinner at the weekend, honouring those in the hospitality industry doing jobs similar to what she was doing when she started out.
Francine Zana, 33, said she was overwhelmed by the support she had received from business owners and friends.
“All I intended was to give to those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend such evenings,” she said.
The dinner saw 100 people enjoy a three-course meal at the Dolphin’s Leap Conference Centre in Port Elizabeth.
“There were tears, laughter and joy, but most importantly, the women enjoyed themselves and I can’t thank my supporters enough,” Zana said.
Isango Gate housekeeper Phumlisa Nohayi, 34, said she was inspired and encouraged by Zana’s journey.
“It gave me hope that dreams do come true,” she said.
“As housekeepers, we’re not always seen as people. It was nice to be on the receiving end and being pampered.”
Former boss and now friend Tania Plakonouris, of the Wilderness Foundation, said she first met Zana when she appointed her as her housekeeper.
“She’s a very inspirational woman. It was a warming event through a celebration for people who serve all day.
“Francine is one of those who say they’ll do something, go out and do it and I believe she’ll go far,” Plakonouris said.
The owner of Exclusive Hospitality Concept, Zana said hard work and dedication had helped her open her own consulting company.
Zana works from home with hotels, bed and breakfasts and private homes.
She always dreamt of doing well for herself, but had to drop out of EastCape Midlands College in Uitenhage due to a lack of funds.
“My dad worked, but had five children to take care of and funds were a bit tight. So I dropped out of school while studying business management and worked as a cleaner at a bed and breakfast for four days a week,” Zana said.
“You find a lot of graduates today who are sitting at home with degrees but aren’t willing to work as cleaners because they believe the job is beneath them. I couldn’t afford to think like that and thank God I didn’t,” Zana said.
She seized an opportunity to work at the Kelway Hotel, working her way up from cleaner to house cleaning supervisor and office manager.
“A new manager had come to the Kelway and she eventually promoted me as a receptionist and that was the first time I got to use a computer,” Zana said.
What she did next shocked friends and family. She left that position to move to the new No 5 Boutique Hotel, owned by the Mantis Collection.
“I took a R3 500 salary cut because I was looking at the bigger picture. I knew the position of cleaner supervisor would open even bigger doors for me,” Zana said.
She learnt the most while working for the Mantis Collection company.
The best friend of Christopher Panayiotou’s girlfriend told the Port Elizabeth High Court on Monday morning how the murder accused often bought her expensive gifts.
Describing him as extremely generous, Clarishka Kapp said Panayiotou bought her a Polo handbag, a watch from a trip overseas and a cellphone worth R7 000 – gifts similar to those he bought for his girlfriend, Chanelle Coutts.
Defence advocate Terry Price SC said Panayiotou also bought Jayde similar gifts.
At one stage the court was forced to adjourn when Kapp broke down. Price said Kapp was misleading the court and purposefully left out vital information in her testimony in chief.
Price attacked much of Kapp’s testimony to court on Thursday, claiming she had certain dates mixed up.
Price said cellphone billing placed Panayiotou, Kapp and Coutts in Port Elizabeth on the weekend of September 29 2014, when Kapp claimed they were in George.
Questioning a photograph Coutts allegedly sent Kapp of the two of them in bed together, Kapp admitted that the photo was in response to one she had sent to them of herself in the bath.
“It only showed the top half of my body and I had a glass of wine in my hand,” Kapp said.
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South Africa’s bond market showed a slightly weaker bias on Monday morning in line with the rand hit by fraud charges levelled at Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan last week.
The yield on the R186 bond was at 8.86% in early trade‚ from Friday’s 8.81%
“The data calendar is light today and trading is expected to remain muted as the market awaits further political developments‚” said Rand Merchant Bank analysts Michelle Wohlberg.
Gordhan is due to appear in court in November in connection with charges relating to the early retirement of former South African Revenue Service deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.
Nebank Corporate and Investment Banking said the saga unfolding around the finance minister would continue to weigh on the rand and that would affect bonds.
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Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will represent South Africa at the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the death of late Mozambican president Samora Machel on Monday.
He and 34 others died while travelling back from a summit in Zambia when the plane he was in crashed into a hillside near the borders of Mozambique‚ Swaziland and South Africa.
There have been conspiracies over the years that the South African government was behind bringing down the plane‚ but the official cause of the accident was given as “pilot error”.
Machel’s widow Graça married the late former SA president Nelson Mandela 12 years after his death.
The Presidency said this year’s anniversary is organised under the theme “Commemorating life-long dedication to the people of Southern African people‚ We remember them!”.
Its intention is to:
– “Commemorate the lives of President Samora Machel and the 34 others who died during the plane crash at Mbuzini;
– Highlight the role played by the people of Mozambique towards the liberation of South Africa and other countries in the subcontinent‚” and
– “Promote Liberation Heritage as a vehicle to foster social cohesion‚ nation building‚ economic development and inclusive citizenship.”
“As a consequence of the sacrifices made by the people of Mozambique including the late president Samora Machel in the struggle against apartheid and towards the creation of a non-racial‚ democratic and non-sexist society‚ our two countries today enjoy strategic bilateral political‚ economic‚ trade and cultural relations‚” the Presidency said.
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A Bay bellydance studio is inviting fans of this exotic art to a gypsy-oriental-Halloween show next weekend to raise funds for students to perform in the Middle East.
Rakshada Bellydancers is joining dancers from Port Elizabeth, East London, Gauteng and Serbia for the performance on October 29 at the Londt Park sports club hall in Fernglen.
Rakshada bellydancer Nicky Gouws said the “beautiful dancers” from Serbia now living in Cape Town would be a highlight.
“We are hosting the show, which is part gypsy, oriental and Halloween, in aid of a fund raiser for our local studio to tour Egypt to participate there in workshops with international dancers” said Gouws.
The artists are Ajsa Samia from Serbia, Diamonds of Kahire from Pretoria, Cario Moon from Johannesburg and Desert Divas from East London. Bay singer Elston Benjamin will emcee and he and Gypsy King singer, George White, will also perform a few numbers.
The show is at 6pm and tickets are R130, which includes the dance studios as well as the music.
- Tickets and further information from Gouws, 072-801-0474, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip believes the ANC’s short-sighted strategy of disrupting meetings in the city is backfiring.
On Thursday night, Trollip left a meeting in Uitenhage after a scuffle among those attending broke out.
At the meeting, Trollip and ANC member Luyolo Nqakula became embroiled in a spat.
And in a video, seen by The Herald, people can also be seen shouting as they push and shove each other.
Nqakula claimed that deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani had skipped the second item on the agenda, which was meant to deal with the purpose of the meeting.
Trollip called on the ANC to investigate the disruptions. “I have on numerous occasions warned the local leadership of the opposition against encouraging this dangerous and undemocratic strategy. But the opposition has already lost control of its structures and now they are reaping the whirl wind they’ve sown,” he said.
He said ANC councillor Xola Sabani now faced a charge for violating the code of conduct after he tried to hijack a meeting at the Nangoza Jebe Hall on September 29.
“We can’t also be spoon-feeding the opposition,” Trollip said.
He had asked the ANC leadership to investigate and provide a report to Nelson Mandela Bay council chief whip Werner Senekal by Friday.
“This foolhardy strategy is short sighted as all it achieves is to deprive needy and vulnerable residents of being able to interact with the new administration to highlight their needs, hopes and aspirations,” Trollip said.
“The DA-led council is determined to continue engaging the citizens of this metro in order to craft the best possible IDP and budget, that is informed by a comprehensive and inclusive public participation process.”
ANC regional task team convener Beza Ntshona said Trollip was misleading the public that the party was disrupting the meetings.
He called on Trollip to supply proof that the ANC was behind disruptions.
Sabani said he was unaware of any charge.
Two Uitenhage authors are on a path to teach pupils “good values” with the release of a new audio book called Die Avonture van Spikkels en Skitter.
Founder of the Help Our People Excel Foundation (Hope) Adelle Gascoyne and Grade R school teacher Andene Torlage released the audio book last week at a church sale.
Describing the audio book, Gascoyne – who has written 23 e-books and a print book – said the book was about a starfish, Spikkels, and a star, Skitter.
“The two main characters, who come from different backgrounds and cultures, become friends and go on adventures together. This book deals with making friends, rejection, self-esteem, bullying and resisting peer pressure,” Gascoyne said.
Levyvale Pre-Primary School teacher Torlage said she wanted to cater specifically to children around the age of her pupils.
Gascoyne and Torlage are hoping to turn the audio book into a series of stories and said Die Avonture van Spikkels and Skitter Volume 1 was the first six stories in the series.
“Our goal is to have 36-42 stories that will hopefully span an entire school year with one story per week filled with activities to build literacy, numeracy and essential life skills,” Gascoyne said.
The authors said they were also looking for an official publisher to assist them in getting the book out to a wider audience.
The authors are hoping to expand their audio book into isiXhosa and English and added that they had already started with the written aspect of translating.
Die Avonture van Spikkels en Skitter retails for R100 and with each purchase you get an activity book and crayons.
For more information on how to get a copy, contact Adelle Gascoyne on email@example.com.
Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle has spoken out against those who put their own interests above others.
He was addressing mourners at the funeral of ANC struggle veteran Sipho Hina on Saturday at the JYH liso Memorial Presbyterian Church in New Brighton.
Hina, 77, died on October 6 at his New Brighton home.
Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral, including political and religious leaders.
Hina, a father of six children, was buried at the Zwide cemetery’s Heroes’ Acre.
In 1983, Hina was arrested for Umkhonto Wesizwe activities and sentenced to 14 years in prison, serving his time on Robben Island.
Masualle said: “While others are full of themselves, he [Hina] remained humble.”
He described Hina as a man from the golden generation who had raised the bar during the struggle
What was supposed to be Port Elizabeth businessman Kutloano Headbush’s homecoming celebration with friends and family, instead became his funeral.
Before his death, Headbush asked his aunt Talks Gunguluza to prepare a party for Saturday.
Instead, Gunguluza spoke at his funeral at the Nangoza Jebe Hall on Saturday where she mentioned his “premonition”.
“He saw things from a spiritual point of view. He told me ‘I am going home, aunt’. He said let us prepare a big function for October 15.
What day is it today?” she asked.
Headbush, 52, was the former president of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce(Nafcoc).
He died at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria after spending three months there.
Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo also spoke.
“He made great strides in business. Nafcoc provided him [with] a platform to give advice to black businesses. He lived and breathed Nafcoc,” Somyo said.
The ANC realised from the out set that business is a vital mechanism to address unemployment.
Let us not fail him in death and let us not fail him in life.” Other speakers described Headbushas a selfless, loving, humble man who put others first.
Other speakers described Headbush as a selfless, loving, humble man who put others first.
The temptation to “call it” is huge. When Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, or the public protector – or one of the many other brave South Africans who are standing up against corruption and theft – manages to engineer a victory for the forces of good, we all start using those key words – turning point, inflection, the final straw that broke the ANC’s back.
Careful, now. The demise of President Jacob Zuma has been “called” many times by many experts. They have all been wrong. Ten years ago, he was accused of rape. Last week, his rape accuser died.
When a man sleeps with his late friend’s young daughter, you would think he would be ostracised by his society. Zuma became president.
When a man has more than 783 counts of fraud, corruption and racketeering hanging over him, you would imagine that he is the furthest one could be away from the most powerful office in the land. Zuma got voted in not once, but twice. With a 62% majority.
This, despite impregnating another of his friend’s daughters.
This, despite the rumours swirling around that he takes his orders from a bunch of crass businessmen in Johannesburg’s Saxonwold suburb.
The past week gave us yet another glimpse of just how rotten Zuma’s relationship with the Gupta family is.
The man faced tough questions from Thuli Madonsela, the former public protector. Zuma knew that the rotten apple was about to be cut open and the worms were about to crawl out.
And so he did what he knows best. He went to the courts to stall, to dissemble, to use every legal nook and cranny he could find to wriggle out of the tight spot he finds himself in.
It is amazing just how slimy an individual we have in the Union Buildings today.
Just read Gordhan’s court documents released at the weekend and you shudder at the depth of the rot in our body politic.
Zuma and his friends are not happy to just be bent themselves, but they have groomed their sons to be the carriers of their ill-gotten gains.
This week’s revelations are just the tip of the iceberg. The numerous transactions detailed in documents by the Treasury to the court are but a small sliver of information about what it was exactly that went down.
One day we will read with horror the names of those who were paid, those who colluded and acted corruptly.
One day we will understand what Zuma and Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen were so desperate to hide this past week.
We already have an inkling. The BBC suggested on Friday that phone records put Van Rooyen at the Gupta home the evening before Nhlanhla Nene was unceremoniously kicked out by Zuma in December.
The evidence of collusion and corruption just keeps mounting up. The latest revelations have therefore led to many saying: “Surely this is it? Surely it is over for Zuma now? Surely the ANC must cut him loose?”
Yet be careful in proclaiming that this is the last straw.
Zuma is not an enemy one can afford to under-estimate.
Ask those who campaigned for Thabo Mbeki in the ANC’s presidential race in the run-up to Polokwane in 2007.
They relied on public shock at his antics and utterances to stop him. His comments about taking a shower after sex with an HIV-positive person were supposedly going to torpedo him.
Yet no scandal, no matter how disgusting and revolting, touched Zuma. He simply does not care. Neither do his supporters. It is all water off a duck’s back. He just keeps going, swatting criticisms and enemies aside.
He is the ultimate survivor. He will survive this weekend’s revelations too.
Sure, three ministers and Cyril Ramaphosa supported Gordhan at the weekend. That is four members of a 34-member cabinet.
Add perhaps another six who have the same instincts. That means two-thirds of the cabinet still backs Zuma.
In the crucial 110-member national executive committee of the ANC, Zuma has about 60% support from the likes of the intellectually challenged Kebby Maphatsoe, Bathabile Dlamini and Collen Maine (who on Saturday called for a war in defence of Zuma). This is the only body that can fire Zuma. There is no doubt the battle is intensifying. The stakes are getting higher. The crooked nuclear deal and others have to be signed – and quick. Neither side will give in or give up.
What we have seen is yet another round in the ongoing battle.
The good guys have won a round. The bad guys are suffering a bloody nose after trying to stick fraudulent charges against Gordhan.
But it is not the end of the fight. Zuma is still fulminating, still angry, and like the villain in a horror movie he has many lives.
Just when you think he is down and out he returns to wreak havoc.
Expect a very long and turbulent political year ahead.
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