‘Simply wrong’ that South African teams are leaving Super Rugby

first_imgWales Online says the Durban-based Sharks are set to leave the competition to join the European PRO14 competition for 2019-20.The Cheetahs and Kings, who were cut from the down-sized Super Rugby last year, already play in the competition which includes teams form Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.The report said that the Lions and Stormers would likely follow suit.Despite the Lions making the Super Rugby final last year South Africa’s franchises feel they are handicapped due to the different time zones.But SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos has described the report as unfounded.”SANZAAR – through its joint venture partners – Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa – is currently engaged in a detailed strategic planning process that will deliver a roadmap for the organisation, Super Rugby and The Rugby Championship from 2018-2030,” he said.”As part of this process the partners have fully committed to the strategy and future participation.”Any talk of a change to the stakeholder relationship and partners withdrawing, and so-called Trans-Tasman competitions is unsubstantiated speculation and simply wrong.”South African rugby has also seen an exodus of top players who chase lucrative deals in Europe, with the move to the PRO14 considered a way of stopping that trend.The Cheetahs finished third in their conference this season to make the play- offs, and PRO14 organisers believe the inclusion of further South African sides would increase the standard of the competition.Last week a Fairfax report revealed that Super Rugby bosses were looking at expanding into the USA, which now appears to be a contingency plan should the South African franchises jump ship.last_img read more

Who Goes to Justice Ministry?

first_imgFollowing the resignation on Monday, October 6, of former Justice Minister Cllr. Christiana P. Tah, rumors are now flying around Monrovia as to who will succeed the former Justice Minister.Liberia’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, resigned her post for what she termed among other things, “collapse of rule of law” within the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration.Already, familiar names have been thrown from corner to corner, even within the corridors of power. Among the possible candidates are former Justice Minister under Liberia’s ex-President Charles Taylor, Cllr. Lavela Supuwood, the managing partner for the TIAWA Law and Associate, Cllr. Yarmie-Quiqui Gbeisay, Sr.,  President Sirleaf’s private lawyer, Cllr. Roland Dahn, as well as Cllr. Michael Jones, among others.But though Cllr. Jones’ name surfaced, his chances are infinitely remote since, regardless of his highly reputed knowledge of the law, the Supreme Court suspended him from practicing law for five consecutive years since 2012.Yet, to even drop his name in the bucket-list suggests that the President’s options may be assumed severely limited.  The Justice Ministry’s portfolio requires someone at the helm who is morally strong and knowledgeable enough to manage the nation’s security forces, on the one hand; and who can be the “lynch-pin” in the relationship between the Executive branch of Government and the Judiciary, on the other; and everything in between. Other names being mentioned within the public domain are the present Solicitor-General, Cllr. Betty Larmie Blamo (whose name came first on the list), as well as former Solicitor-General, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, and Cllr. Winston Tubman, among others. Cllr. Tubman in 2011, contested for the Liberian Presidency on the ticket of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) against the incumbent President Sirleaf, but lost the vote. Tubman, who now runs a law practice in Monrovia, also served as Minister of Justice under the late President Samuel K. Doe in the early 1980s.  These names are being especially speculated among top-notch lawyers in the corridors of the Temple of Justice in Monrovia. Meanwhile, it is reliably learnt that following the resignation of Cllr. Tah, official activities at the Ministry of Justice are being paralyzed owing to recent decision by President Sirleaf to dismiss several highly placed officials of the MOJ.Without the prosecuting arm of the government in the face of Minister Tah’s resignation, security apparatuses, including the National Security Agency (NSA), the Liberian National Police (LNP), the Bureau of Immigration for Naturalization (BIN) and other smaller units are doomed to go-slow on operations, pending the appointment of their new boss by the President. The public is, therefore, hoping that President Sirleaf will appoint a candidate with strong moral character and a wealth of experience in the legal profession, particularly dealing with the public in the face of the country’s present day reality.  “This is to avoid any incident of regret in the wake of the resignation of Cllr. Tah,” one eminent lawyer hinted the Daily Observer Tuesday during a mobile phone conversation. Also, several other persons who spoke to the Daily Observer late yesterday expressed regret for Cllr. Tah’s resignation, indicating that her decision was a “great setback to the justice system since she was one of such persons with level-headed administrative qualifications.” On Monday, Cllr. Tah resigned her post when noted that “I cannot be the Minister of Justice and not supervise the operations of the security agencies under the Ministry of Justice, for example; or what is ‘the rule of law’ if the President asserts that she does not trust the Ministry of Justice to independently investigate allegations of fraud against the National Security Agency? What is ‘the rule of law’ if a duly appointed Minister of Justice with oversight for security has grave concerns about what her volitional resignation will mean for her own personal security and freedom as a Liberian citizen?”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Davis, Virginia’s first GOP woman in Congress, dies of breast cancer

first_imgRICHMOND, Va. – U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Davis, a Republican who represented southeastern Virginia for seven years, died Saturday morning after a two-year battle with breast cancer, her office said. Davis, 57, died at her home in Gloucester. Davis was found to have breast cancer in 2005 and had a recurrence this year. Her health took a turn for the worse during the past week, her office said. She became Virginia’s first Republican woman elected to Congress in 2000, and she was a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee. “Her determination to fight the disease is an inspiration to all of us,” President George W. Bush said in a statement. “She was a fine example of a public servant who worked hard to cut government waste to ensure the people’s money was used wisely,” Bush said. “Her common-sense values will be missed on Capitol Hill.” Gov. Timothy Kaine, a Democrat, will schedule a special election, probably before the end of the year, to fill the remaining year of Davis’ term, Kaine spokeswoman Delacey Skinner said. Her first piece of legislation, passed by the House in 2001, increased the life insurance benefit paid to survivors of military members killed on duty. Before Congress, Davis served four years in the Virginia House of Delegates. A conservative who came from modest means, Davis was known for her unquenchable inquisitiveness and how quickly and deeply she learned about any legislative issue. “I always admired Congresswoman Davis’ strong convictions and the tenacity that she brought to bear in acting on them,” said U.S. Sen. John W. Warner, a fellow Virginia Republican. She attended Hampton Roads Business College; she got her real estate license in 1984 and her real estate broker’s license four years later. In 1990, she opened Jo Ann Davis Realty. She underwent chemotherapy treatments and a mastectomy when her cancer was first diagnosed in 2005. When the cancer returned, she underwent chemotherapy again and often monitored hearings from home. Survivors include her husband, Chuck, two sons and a granddaughter.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more