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Bafta TV Awards: Stars gather for ceremony

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Bafta trophy, Jodie Comer and Sandra OhImage copyright
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The stars of the small screen are gathering in London for this year’s Bafta TV Awards.

Killing Eve leads the pack with five nominations – including best actress nods for both Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer.

A Very English Scandal, Bodyguard and Patrick Melrose are among the other nominees.

The ceremony takes place on Sunday at the Royal Festival Hall in London, and will be shown on BBC One.

The Bafta Craft Awards – which recognise behind-the-scenes talent like writers and sound editors – took place last month, with A Very English Scandal going home with the most trophies.

Killing Eve’s nominations this year are unusual, in that Bafta actively bent the rules this year to allow it to be nominated.

The British Academy’s rules say shows must have been broadcast in the UK first in order to be eligible.

Killing Eve premiered in the US on BBC America last April, five months before it arrived on BBC One and the iPlayer.

A Bafta spokesman said: “Bafta’s television committee deems Killing Eve a British series.

“Killing Eve received 14 nominations, nine of which were eligible under Bafta’s criteria, and five of which were deemed eligible by the TV committee due to the significant creative contribution from key UK talent throughout the production.”

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Image caption

Dame Joan Bakewell will receive the Bafta Fellowship at the ceremony

As usual, the recipients of the night’s lifetime achievement prizes have already been announced.

Journalist and broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell will be honoured with the Bafta Television Fellowship.

Happy Valley and Queer As Folk producer Nicola Shindler will be presented with a special award in recognition of her contribution to the television industry.

The Baftas are on BBC One on Sunday 12 May at 20:00 BST until 22:00 BST.


The top Bafta TV nominees

Killing Eve – 14

A Very English Scandal – 12

Patrick Melrose – 6

Bodyguard – 5

The Little Drummer Girl – 5

Mrs Wilson – 4

Mum – 4


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ConCourt to rule on personal cost order against Public Protector

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The Constitutional Court is set to rule on Monday morning on whether Public Protector Busiswe Mkhwebane should be held personally liable for a portion of the legal costs that the SA Reserve Bank incurred to overturn the findings of her Absa/Bankorp report.

Judgment is set to be delivered at 10:00 in Johannesburg. 

The matter relates to the scathing judgement delivered in mid-February 2018 by the North Gauteng High Court, which set aside the findings and remedial action of Mkhwebane’s Absa/Bankorp report. 

The public protector, in report published on June 19 2017, had tasked the Special Investigating Unit with recovering R1.125bn in “misappropriated public funds”, describing the funds as an “illegal gift” given to Bankorp by the SA Reserve Bank in the 1980s. As Bankorp and other banks were later subsumed into Absa, Mkhwebane ruled that the funds be recovered from Absa.

In her remedial action, she also ruled that Parliament should introduce a motion to amend the Constitution to change the SA Reserve Bank’s mandate to focus on economic growth. This caused the rand to fall as investors feared it would limit the central bank’s independence. This section of her report was already set aside in August 2017. 

Following the publication of her report, the SARB, the minister of finance, Absa and National Treasury instituted review applications set aside her directive that the SIU recover funds from Absa. These applications were later consolidated. 

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria set aside Mkhwebane’s findings in February 2018, citing a “reasonable apprehension of bias” in her work. Mkhwebane was also ordered to personally repay 15% of the SA Reserve Bank’s legal costs, while the office of the Public Protector was ordered to pay the remaining 85%. The court stated this was “necessary to show our displeasure with the unacceptable way in which she conducted her investigation as well as her persistence to oppose all three applications to the end”.

Legal challenges  

Mkhwebane’s applications for leave to appeal the judgment in the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal were refused.   

The public protector then sought leave to appeal the section of the ruling relating to her personal liability for the legal costs in the Constitutional Court.

The case was heard in November 2018. Mkhwebane’s legal team argued that a personal costs order could prevent the office of the Public Protector and other Chapter 9 Institutions from operating effectively, as they will be concerned about being penalised. 

In court papers lawyers for the SA Reserve Bank, meanwhile, argued that the court should declare that Mkhwebane abused her office during the investigation that led to her report. The central bank has also asked that its costs in Constitutional Court should be
paid by the Public Protector personally. 

Monday’s judgment will be relevant to another pending legal fees case against Mkhwebane. Her report into the Vrede dairy farm was set aside by the Pretoria High Court in May this year as unconstitutional and invalid. The court’s ruling on legal fees was reserved, awaiting the Constitutional Court’s decision in the Absa/Bankorp case.

Fitness to hold office

The apex court’s ruling comes at a time when Parliament is dealing with calls to probe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.

In June Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise referred a DA request for an inquiry into the public protector to Parliament’s oversight committee on justice and correctional services. According to a report in the Sunday Times at the weekend, Mkhwebane has written to Modise threatening her with legal action if Parliament tries to remove her. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa, meanwhile, in a televised address on Sunday evening called Mkhwebane’s finding that he violated the executive ethics code “fundamentally and irretrievably flawed”. The president announced he would be taking taking the report on urgent review.

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Triad gangster attack in Hong Kong after night of viole…

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HONG KONG, July 22 (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s opposition Democratic Party is investigating attacks by suspected triad gangsters on train passengers on Sunday, after a night of violence opened new fronts in the political crisis now deepening across city.

Screams rang out when men, clad in white t-shirts and some armed with poles, flooded into the rural Yuen Long station and stormed a train, attacking passengers, according to footage taken by commuters and Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting.

Some passengers had been at an earlier anti-government march and the attack came after several thousand activists surrounded China’s representative office in the city, later clashing with police.

Lam, who was injured in the attack, said he was angry about a slow police response after he alerted them to the trouble, government-funded broadcaster RTHK reported.

Lam said the police action had failed to protect the public, allowing the triads to run rampant. The party is now investigating.

“Is Hong Kong now allowing triads to do what they want, beating up people on the street with weapons?,” he asked reporters.

Hong Kong has been rocked by a series of sometimes violent protests for more than two months in its most serious crisis since Britain handed the freewheeling city back to Chinese rule in 1997.

Protesters are demanding the full withdrawal of a bill to allow people to be extradited to mainland China for trial, where the courts are controlled by the Communist Party, and independent inquiries into the use of police force against protesters.

On Sunday police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse crowds of activists on the edge of Hong Kong’s glittering financial district after they had fled China’s Liaison Office.

The Chinese government has condemned the action, which saw signs and a state symbol daubed with graffiti.

The continuing unrest in Hong Kong marks the greatest popular challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

The Hospital Authority said 45 people were injured in the Yuen Long attack, with one in a critical condition. Some 13 people were injured after the clashes in Hong Kong island, one seriously, the authority said.

In a statement early on Monday, police “strongly condemned” both violent incidents and were investigating both cases.

Some police had been injured in the clashes after protesters hurled bricks, smoke grenades and petrol bombs, the statement said. (Reporting by Donny Kwok, Vimvam Tong and Greg Torode.)

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In other news…

July 18 marks Nelson Mandela day. All over the country, South African citizens devote 67 minutes to charitable causes in memory of Madiba. It’s a great initiative and one of those few occasions in South Africa where we come together as a nation in pursuit of a common cause. An annual 67 minutes isn’t going to cut it though.

In the words of Madiba:
“A critical, independent and investigative free press is the lifeblood of any democracy.”

Every day Daily Maverick investigates and exposes the deep rot of state capture and corruption but we need your help. Without our readers’ support we simply won’t survive. We created Maverick Insider as a membership platform where our readers can become part of our community while ensuring that we can keep doing the investigations that we do and, crucially, that our articles remain free to everyone that reads them. Sign up to Maverick Insider this Mandela Month and make that meaningful contribution last longer than 67 minutes.For whatever amount you choose, you can support Daily Maverick and it only takes a minute.

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The Russo brothers on the past obsessions that fuel their filmmaking future

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