FIVE MINUTES: South Africa
- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
- South Africa
- 13 Jun 2012 11:45 (South Africa)
A round-up of the day's news from South Africa.
SECRECY BILL MEETINGS CANCELLED
All further meetings of the committee redrafting the Protection of State Information Bill have been cancelled after ANC MPs and the department of state security deadlocked on proposed changes. A parliamentary official confirmed on Wednesday that meetings scheduled for the next week were scrapped to give political parties time to deliberate on the way forward. The move comes after government on Tuesday objected to amendments proposed by the ANC in May, in response to sustained criticism of the bill and threats to take it on constitutional review. The department of state security rejected proposals by the ruling party to give greater protection to whistle-blowers, to remove all minimum prison sentences from the bill and to narrow the definition of national security.
R210 MILLION FOR ZUMA, MOTLANTHE FLIGHTS
Flying President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe to their various engagements since the pair assumed office has cost taxpayers more than R210 million, former defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu has revealed. In written responses to two parliamentary questions, tabled on Wednesday, she said Zuma and Motlanthe had used a total of 499 SA Air Force flights. These included aircraft operated by the SAAF's 21 (VIP) Squadron and its Reserve Squadron, as well as flights chartered by the SAAF. Of the 499 flights, Zuma used 286, at a total cost of R140,515,430.15; Motlanthe used 213, at a total cost of R69,746,680.47.
SATAWU RESPONSIBLE FOR RIOT DAMAGES
The Constitutional Court has upheld a judgment that holds trade union Satawu liable for a riot damage claim. The court ruled on Wednesday the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (SATAWU) was responsible for damages caused during a march in Cape Town in May 2006. It found that the Regulation of Gatherings Act afforded victims effective recourse when a gathering became destructive and resulted in injury, loss of property, or life. "The organisations are intimately involved in the planning, supervision, and execution of the gathering, but the potential victims are not," Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said in the ruling.
LICK, NOT BITE, CAUSED CANOEIST’S RABIES
An Underberg farmer who died after contracting rabies was licked, not bitten, by a rabid dog, chief director of veterinary services Dr Malcolm de Budé said. De Budé said it was not commonly known that the rabies virus could be transmitted through abrasions in the skin.
When the rabid dog licked damaged skin on Graeme Anderson's hand, the virus passed into his blood stream. Anderson, 29, who was also a top canoeist, died last week after machines keeping him alive were switched off. He spent five weeks in the ICU at a Pietermaritzburg hospital before his death.
MAN KILLS TWO CHILDREN
A Western Cape father was arrested after he allegedly killed his two children in Muizenberg on Wednesday, police said. Warrant Officer November Filander said the 50-year-old man slit the throats of his two-year-old son and three-year-old stepdaughter after he fetched them from their crèche in the Village Heights informal settlement.
Residents called the police. The mother was not around at the time. The man was under police guard at a local hospital after he tried to kill himself. The motive for the crime was not yet known.
SAN LEADER DAWID KRUIPER DIES
Traditional leader and healer of the Khomani San of the Kalahari, Oom Dawid Kruiper, died in an Upington hospital on Wednesday. The 71-year-old was transferred from the Gordonia regional hospital to the Upington Medi-Clinic after his condition deteriorated on Tuesday night. He was in a critical condition in the hospital's intensive care unit, and died just before noon on Wednesday. A family representative, Anna Festus, said the group Friends of the Bushmen undertook to pay Kruiper’s medical expenses. Festus said prior to Kruiper's death, well-wishes were sent from across the world, including from the Permanent Forum for Indigenous Groups of the United Nations in New York, and from friends and family in London.
VETS AND HUNTER IN COURT FOR RHINO POACHING
Two veterinarians and a professional hunter appeared in the Pretoria North Regional Court on Wednesday in connection with the wrongful possession and distribution of veterinary drugs commonly used in rhino poaching. The accused are Dr Douw Grobler, formerly head of the Kruger National Park's wildlife capturing and veterinary services unit, private veterinarian Dr Johannes Gerhardus Kruger, and professional hunter Hugo Ras. The matter was postponed to 19 June.
REFUGEES PROTEST IN TSHWANE
Police were called in to curb a violent protest at the Tshwane interim refugee reception office in Pretoria on Wednesday, the home affairs department said. Spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said the dissent disrupted traffic and business in the area and a number of vehicles were "pelted with stones". He said Ethiopian nationals who “allegedly did not want to queue for services” sparked the protests. "A decision was made to suspend operations at the centre for the day, while serving women, children and the most vulnerable only." About 1,000 refugees protested at the facility on Wednesday morning. DM
Photo: Flying President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe (above) to various engagements has cost taxpayers more than R210 million. (REUTERS)