FIVE MINUTES: South Africa
A round-up of the day’s news from South Africa.
RAMPHELE SWIPES MINING, HOUSES, GOVERNMENT AND UNIONS
Academic, activist and chair of Gold Fields, Mamphela Ramphele, left no one in the mining industry unscathed in her keynote address to delegates at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town. Ramphele said mining didn’t benefit the majority of citizens, and that “mining tax revenues vanish in the black hole that is the central fiscus and end up funding large rural estates for presidents”. She warned that events at Marikana and De Doorns were a “wake-up call” for South Africans that “time bombs” were waiting to go off. Ramphele said unions had dropped the ball by not fighting for proper housing and promoting proper families. She said they were perceived to have become part of the elite with a “focus on consumption and status for themselves”. Ramphele said it was “critical” to accept
“the fact that the traditional way of mining in South Africa with its reliance on cheap, low-skilled and plentiful labour is over. It is not sustainable”.
AFU SEIZES ASSETS OF R140 MILLION FROM FORMER POLICEMAN
The Asset Forfeiture Unit, working with the Hawks, has attached the assets of Sibusiso Mpisane, a former policeman from Durban. Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko said the unit executed a court order to attach over R140 million worth of Mpisane’s assets, as they are believed to be the proceeds of a crime. Mpisane, whose wife Shauwn has been convicted of tax fraud and is facing charges of tax evasion, is accused of allegedly misrepresenting his construction company to the Construction Industry Development Board by submitting fraudulent gradings. He won tenders worth R140 million. Cars seized included Mercedes Benzes, two Maseratis, and two Porsches. Two Lamborghinis were not found at the couple’s home, valued at R80 million.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH AS GIRL DIES AFTER GANG RAPE
A 17-year-old girl who was gang-raped and left for dead has died. The Bredasdorp teenager managed to name one of her attackers before dying. The man and three others have been arrested. “We cannot let another girl or woman suffer like 17-year-old Anine Booysen, who died this morning, did. We commend her for her bravery and for identifying one of her attackers before she succumbed to her terrible injuries,” said ANC Women’s League spokeswoman, Troy Martens. The ANC Women’s League said sexual crimes against women and children were a “national shame” and that “enough is enough”. The Women's League said “everyone in society needs to take a stand and fight this morality issue together as a nation with one strong voice saying, enough is enough.”
STATE MISSES DEADLINE IN ZUMA SPY TAPE CASE
The Office of the State Attorney has missed the deadline for heads of argument in the DA’s application to compel the National Prosecuting Authority to hand over to them a reduced record of decision in the Jacob Zuma corruption case. “What is currently in dispute is the documents and other material relating to the decision not to prosecute Jacob Zuma, including the so-called spy tapes,” said chairperson of the federal executive, James Selfe. “Our heads of argument make it clear that the tapes were given to the NPA by the National Intelligence Agency and not by Mr Zuma’s legal team, and that they cannot therefore be privileged.” Selfe said it was clear Zuma’s legal team “knows that what is on those tapes could be damaging and do not want them to get out. If this is correct, it will prove our contention that the decision to drop the charges against Mr Zuma was irrational and unlawful”.
POOR MAN WINS MILLIONS IN LOTTO
A poverty stricken KwaZulu-Natal man, who lived on R750 a month doing odd jobs, has won R6.5 million in the national lottery. He bought a R20 ticket in January. Gidani spokeswoman Thembi Tulwana said the 54-year-old man hid his ticket in his shoe for safekeeping after discovering he’d matched the winning numbers. He said he’d had dreams that he would win one day, and always played the same numbers. Tulwana said the man planned to keep his simple life, but wanted his children to join him in Johannesburg where they could attend the best schools.
SANGOMA WHO MARRIED 13-YEAR-OLD ARRESTED
The marriage of a 13-year-old girl to a 57-year-old sangoma is “is the worst form of child abuse and a tragic violation of a child’s rights”, says the department of women, children and people with disabilities. The child’s parents consented to the marriage, but a villager told social workers, who stepped in a removed the girl to a place of safety. Initially, as the child’s parents had consented to the union, charges against the sangoma were withdrawn. But they were reinstated and the man has been charged with statutory rape. “Girls have a right not to be forced into early marriages or sexual relationships,” the department said. “Our wish is that this girl will go back and be allowed to live her life as any child again.”
BREYTENBACH DENIES BEING ‘TOO CLOSE’ TO HELLENS
Suspended National Prosecuting Authority senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach says she’s known criminal lawyer Mike Hellens 25 years, and had “social interactions” with him. Breytebach was suspended by the NPA after Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) accused her of being “too close” to him and complained about her handling of the criminal case against them. Advocate Wim Trengrove asked whether she would be lenient on Hellens’ clients as the two worked in rival positions. Breytenbach replied, “quite the opposite”, and said she didn’t like losing, particularly to Hellens, who’d been working for ICT rival, Kumba Iron Ore, a company also accused of a crime in the ICT case. Breytenbach contends she was suspended over her decision to prosecute crime intelligence boss, Richard Mdluli.
PRESS OMBUD: ANC WON’T GO AHEAD MEDIA APPEALS TRIBUNAL
Press Ombudsman Joe Thloloe believes the ANC won’t go ahead with a media appeals tribunal, despite its Mangaung resolution to ask Parliament to investigate the feasibility of such an organisation. Thloloe told Sapa the ANC “realises an attempt to have a media appeals tribunal will turn into a battle in the Constitutional Court”. Thloloe, who is director of the Press Freedom Council, said it had told the chair of Parliament's portfolio committee on communications it would be happy to make a presentation on the issue. The ANC had already conceded that it was satisfied with suggestions made by the Press Freedom Commission (PFC) to improve accountability in the print media. DM
Photo: Mamphela Ramphele (REUTERS)