Politics

SA Political Diary – Monday 6 June

By Simon Williamson 6 June 2011

The weekend saw Julius Malema get going again, while the IFP - believe it or not - has criticised President Zuma. Zanele Mgwaza-Msibi finds that being the head of a party isn't so easy while the DA continues its Arms Deal mission. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.

Julius Malema has poured praise upon ex-president Thabo Mbeki (a man in whose recall he played a significant part) saying he was one of the best cadres ever produced by the ANC. He did, however, mention two Mbeki failures: He sought a third term as ANC president and was intolerant of others’ views (something for which Malema would never stand, obviously). Malema indirectly took a poke at ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe (who claimed Malema was the reason no white people voted for the ANC) by saying that white people hated Mbeki passionately because he was an Africanist.

Read more: IOL

The IFP has criticised President Jacob Zuma, accusing him of breaking the law by extending the term of office for Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo past the 12-year limit. Said IFP MP Marco Oriani-Ambrosini: “If media reports are correct, the president acted unconstitutionally as only an act of Parliament may effect such an extension, not the president purporting to act in terms of an act of Parliament.” One would expect a judge to have a reasonable grasp of the law…

Read more: IOL

The DA has questioned how Durban business tycoon, Shauwn Mpisane, ever received tenders after it was revealed she was convicted of tax fraud and barred from running a business in 2004. DA spokesman George Mari said Mpisane’s excuse – new to business when the allegations of tax fraud were proven – “did not wash”.

Read more: Politicsweb

The SACP, Cosatu and Cope have all heaped praise on the treasury’s decision to blacklist 120 crooked companies with which the state will no longer do business. However, the SACP warned to beware of centralising too much power within the treasury (because centralised power isn’t okay if it isn’t centralised around us), Cope said it wanted more companies which benefited from political connections added to the list (ones from pre-2009 too?) but Cosatu seemed very happy.

Read more: Politicsweb, Politicsweb, Politicsweb

The DA’s shadow minister of defence and military veterans, David Maynier, will be handing over a memorandum to Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) in response to the Hawks’ decision to drop the investigation into the BAE Systems leg of the Arms Deal which the party claims is “riddled with contradictions and factual errors”. Maynier provided an example, the Hawks’ claim that three of the BAE Systems portion of the investigation had passed away – however, Fana Hlongwana, one of the alleged suspects who received R200 million, is very much alive.

Read more: Business Day

Business Day reports that an NUM central committee meeting last week showed cracks were developing in the tripartite alliance as the run up to an eventful 2012 for all three entities takes place – the ANC, Cosatu and the SACP all have elective conferences next year and, while everyone will naturally deny it, the process of electioneering is under way. At the meeting Cosatu accused the SACP of being weak due to its proximity to government – SACP leader Blade Nzimande, deputy leader Jeremy Cronin and Gwede Mantashe, among others, all serve in senior positions in government or the ANC. The SACP does fear Zwelenzima Vavi may be angling for its top position. Labour and the communists are certainly not united at the moment.

Read more: Business Day

The ANC has buckled to pressure and extended the deadline for the Protection of Information Bill, admitting that it would not be able to make everyone happy by the 24 June deadline. The bill has faced vociferous opposition from political parties, the Right2Know campaign and Cosatu.

Read more: TimesLive

Embattled ANC Northern Cape leader, John Block, could be facing more trouble as an investigation into illegal salt mining has been passed on to the Hawks. The permit under which SA Salt (Pty) Ltd, of which Block is a director, mines was not only fraudulent, but physically forged. How this has taken six years to resolve is beyond us, but SA Salt’s permit expired in 2005 and the site was awarded to Saamwerk Soutwerke consortium which actually applied for the permit through the proper channels. Saamwerk’s operation was halted when SA Salt produced a permit “released” on the same day. Other accused directors of the company include Andre Blaauw, his mother Cornelia and Gift van Staden, the mayor of Upington.

Read more: IOL

Zanele Mgwaza-Msibi, head of the surprisingly successful National Freedom Party in the recent local government elections, finds herself between a rock and a hard place. Her party is the kingmaker in a few KZN municipalities contested between the IFP and ANC, which means she is required to side with either the party she broke away from or its sworn political enemy. There is no easy way out as a rebellion(which Mgwaza-Msibi called a “misunderstanding”) in the Estcourt and Eshowe municipalities defied the party’s coalition plans with the ANC. It’s still unclear what the ramifications could be of who would govern in hung municipalities.

Read more: IOL


Photo: Reuters.

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