SA Political Diary – Wednesday 8 June

By Simon Williamson 8 June 2011

Jacob Zuma has denied he ever claimed he would serve one term while tensions with the Youth League continue, this time via Gwede Mantashe. The DA has criticised the government's fracking task team and Gareth Ackerman has spoken about the ramifications of the Protection of Information Bill for business. Oh, and taxpayers spent R1.9 million on Blade's 32 days out of the country last year. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.

Jacob Zuma has told The New Age he never said he would serve only one term as ANC president and  nor ever said he wanted two terms –  but would do as the ANC instructed. Strangely, I found this in a 2008 article on IOL in which he said, “I would prefer to leave after one term. Even if it is not one term, I think in the second term, I should be able to begin the process of winding down.” While Zuma may be correct in saying he didn’t deny it, his 2008 statement is bloody close, isn’t it?

Read more: The New Age, IOL.

The ANC in Western Cape has declared the battle against racism will be won or lost in the province due to the higher levels of apartheid engineering which took place there. Songezo Mjongile, the ANC’s WC secretary said, after a provincial executive committee meeting, that although the party had advanced since the 2006 local government polls, it was more likely due to the implosion of Cope and rejection of the DA-ID alliance. By our count, the ANC got the most votes in 24 Western Cape municipalities in 2006. In 2011 that happened only three times. Must have been a fun meeting.

The ANC Youth League in Eastern Cape has thrown its support behind Julius Malema in the league’s presidential race, but wants its own chairman, Ayanda Matiti, to be secretary general, although support for Malema did not hinge on this. Interestingly, when Matiti was elected chairman, the Eastern Cape branch, according to the Sunday Times, was more of a fan of Andile Lungisa, who subsequently fell out of the leadership race and now pisses away money on behalf of the National Youth Development Agency.

Minister of home affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, will head up a task team to investigate the ANC’s election lists balls-up. KZN will be the team’s first port of call before the rest of the country undergoes scrutiny. Joining Dlamini-Zuma on the panel are Naledi Pandor, Ellen Molekane, Hermanus Loots, Lehlohonolo Moloi, Nonzwakazi Sigxashe and Archie Whitehead.

Gwede Mantashe has criticised Julius Malema for creating scapegoats before the ANC Youth League’s elective conference after Malema said ANC leaders were plotting to oust him. This adds to speculation that relations between the elder ANC and its youngsters are not at an all-time high, and the league is allegedly unhappy with the current ANC leadership.

Read more: Business Day

The DA’s shadow minister of water and environmental affairs Gareth Morgan has appealed to minister of mineral resources Susan Shabangu to broaden the diversity of the panel considering possible hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the Karoo. Morgan criticised the selection of panel members solely from the departments of trade and industry, mineral resources and science and technology, but none from water and environmental affairs or the national planning commission. Morgan also pointed out that the DA had called for a moratorium on gas exploration since 1 February.

Read more: News24

Justice minister Jeff Radebe has defended Jacob Zuma’s decision to extend the term of office for chief justice Sandile Ngcobo, and made it clear that legal opposition would be met head on. “We believe Wits is wrong in fact and in law, and we will resist any legal challenge from the Centre for Applied Legal Studies. We believe we are on solid legal ground.”

Pick ’n Pay chairman Gareth Ackerman said yesterday the Protection of Information Bill will have a direct impact on business and foreign investment. He claimed investors need assurances the South African government was serious about fighting corruption, and reliable and transparent economic data was vital. “Without the assurance that financial data is not manipulated, that vital information is not being suppressed and that government malfeasance is not being concealed, it is virtually impossible for the private sector to make the long-term, strategic investment decisions that are essential to its survival.”

Minister of higher education, Blade Nzimande, made seven overseas trips last year at a cost of R1.9 million to the taxpayer. Nzimande said the costs of the trips needed to be evaluated against the benefit arising from them, like strengthened collaboration between South African and international universities, and China pledging R200 million for the refurbishment of SA’s further education and training colleges. The minister spent 32 days abroad last year and was accompanied by four to five officials on each trip.

Read more: Timeslive

Jacob Zuma investigated schools in Eastern Cape yesterday to assess the state of education in the province. In March, Cabinet placed the EC education department under administration after the collapse of the system. The basic education department claims the province’s problems include a strategic leadership vacuum, incorrect structures and poor financial management. There’s also, of course, the ubiquitous problem of monitoring and evaluation.

Ekurhuleni municipality will be invoicing political parties R27 for every political poster it is forced to take down. Parties had a maximum of 10 days to remove the posters, and failure to do so has contravened municipal by-laws which deal with illegal advertising. DM

Photo: Reuters


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