SA Political Diary - Wednesday 6 July
- Simon Williamson
- 06 Jul 2011 01:27 (South Africa)
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has announced a resolution to the controversial open-air Makhaza toilets. The second-most-important story about the public protector today involves her busting Hessequa mayor Chris Taute for illegal solicitation. Cope has uncovered a severely complicated bit of corruption in the Northern Cape, which investigators are supposed to be keeping under wraps due to an apartheid law. Two Soweto councillors have had their houses burnt down by angry protesters and the IFP accuses the Gauteng premier of hate speech. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has announced a resolution to the controversial open-air Makhaza toilets in Khayelitsha, which will now be enclosed using concrete. De Lille said she hoped this would reunite the city with the people of Makhaza.
Today's second-most-important story involving public protector Thuli Madonsela is the midday press conference where a report into the findings against Hessequa mayor Chris Taute for illegally soliciting party finds was due to be discussed. As no one knows whether the public protector has been/is currently being/will be arrested (at the time of writing), this story remains unfinished. (For an update on the most-important story, see Phillip De Wet's Twitter stream. His article on Madonsela will be published shortly.) Returning to the report: it's been made public, and lashes Taute to the point where his position must surely be untenable.
Read more: PoliticsWeb, PoliticsWeb.
Members of a team investigating the misuse of public funds in the Northern Cape, which was uncovered by Cope, were forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement relating to their findings, claimed the Right2Know campaign on Tuesday. To make things even worse, R2K also claimed that the laws under which this was done were found in the apartheid-era Protection of Information Act which the then-government used to keep military secrets from those it considered terrorists. A member of the investigative panel, Fred Wyngaard, said he refused to sign the agreement but if he had, he could have faced a R10,000 fine or up to ten years in the slammer. The investigation centres around the fraudulent purchase made by the provincial government of a second-hand Mercedes Benz worth R600,000 which was then registered in ANC provincial secretary Zamani Saul’s name, even though he is not an MEC member. A spokesman for the Sol Plaaitjie municipality (where one will find Kimberley) said that the dealership was at fault and deliberately deleted the Northern Cape government as the owner and inserted Saul’s name, as well as forging his signature on documents. The dealership denies this and has hired a lawyer to deal with the matter. Oddly, neither Saul nor ANC chief whip David Molusi who requested the procurement are due to testify before the commission.
Read more: The Sowetan; PoliticsWeb.
The Centre for Child Law at Rhodes University has distanced itself from comments made by the DA’s Wilmot James on Tuesday regarding education infrastructure upgrades at mud-hut schools in the Eastern Cape. The centre noted “with concern” what James said, which was that the national education department was bound by a high-court order to upgrade specific schools, and that he would urge all organisations involved in the proceedings to see that it was done. It also claimed that erroneous newspaper reports stated the DA was working side-by-side the Centre for Child Law, although reports in Business Day, the Sowetan, IOL and the statement on PoliticsWeb, did not portray a direct relationship between the bodies, although James' original statement does. As far as we’re concerned, the more people pushing for reforms at schools made of mud which suffer without toilets and educational facilities, the better. The Eastern Cape provincial education department was doing such a bad job that it was effectively put under administration in March and is now being run by national government.
Read more: PoliticsWeb.
Homes of two councillors in Soweto were burnt down on Tuesday by an angry crowd. The arsonists initially blockaded Chris Hani/Old Potchefstroom Road in the morning before torching the house of councillor Joe Nemaungane, who was not at home, in the early afternoon. Unsatisfied, the group continued to the house of councillor Miriam Ramafola and set it alight too. Ramafola was not home at the time, but four children and a woman were rescued by emergency crew and neighbours as the fire, thankfully, burnt only part of the house. Locals in the area are apparently infuriated at the new installation of pre-paid electricity meters – although we’re unsure of the specific reason. It is also possible that the ANC’s election lists stuff-up, notably the selection of Nemaungane, could have caused tension in the area. The ANC’s Gauteng spokesman said that no amount of frustration should allow people to act violently.
Read more: TimesLive
The department of transport is mulling the idea of uniform number plates for the whole of South Africa, transport minister Sbu Ndebele admitted on Tuesday. He followed this up with a discussion concerning the new “smart” Gauteng number plates with two DA representatives. Unfortunately, we cannot find reports of anyone telling the minister what a stupid idea this is.
Read more: Business Day
Humphrey Mmemezi, Gauteng MEC for local government and housing, reminded poor white people that they are also eligible for RDP housing and were being included in the Chief Mogale housing project. This statement was made at his budget speech in the Gauteng Legislature on Tuesday, where Mmemezi also listed the other housing projects around the province, including neglected programmes in Alexandra, Bekkersdal and Evaton, and newer projects in Vereeniging, Tembisa, Krugersdorp and Germiston.
Read more: The Star
The DA in KwaZulu-Natal has welcomed a government plan to introduce performance assessments for school principals and deputy-principals, which could mean that they will be forced to sign performance agreements. The project's long-term aim would be to include teachers but we're fairly certain we'll hear from Sadtu before that happens.
Read more: Sapa
On Tuesday we reported on a violent fracas between the ANC and IFP at a rally on Sunday, and the war of words between leaders of the two parties continues. IFP MP and national organiser Albert Mncwango has now accused Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane of hate speech, after she called the IFP a “dead snake”. This insult has been used before by both President Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema, although they aimed it at formerised president Thabo Mbeki. Although it is insulting, we’re not 100% sure that the IFP really gets what hate speech is all about.
The NFP has postponed all of its upcoming rallies as party leader Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi is mourning the death of her mother, the party announced on Tuesday.
The Rustenburg municipality has recovered R151 million owed to it. While that’s great, it makes up an ocean drop of the R1,3 billion which is outstanding.
Eastern Cape MEC for local government, Mlibo Qoboshiyane has, slammed some municipalities in the province for regressing after a report from auditor-general Terence Nombembe. Of the 237 municpalities audited in South Africa, only seven received clean reports. Don’t get too despondent, that’s up from three the previous year.
Liquor outlets and hijacked buildings will be at the forefront of Gauteng crime-busting initiatives, claimed community safety MEC Faith Mazibuko at the release of the province’s R423 million budget on Tuesday. There will also be focus on banks, shopping malls, spaza shops, firearms, illegal mines, drug outlets and hostels.
Western Cape MEC for housing Bonginkosi Madikizela claims that housing policy in South Africa isn’t working. Before you call him Captain Obvious, he has a whole explanation about it which is just too long and too detailed to summarise here.
You can read the statement on PoliticsWeb instead.
The minister of correctional services, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has admitted that nearly R3 million was spent on the process advertising the renaming of correctional facilities. Note: this is not the money for renaming them, this is the cash that invites the public to participate in the process.
Read more: PoliticsWeb
The Freedom Front Plus has compared itself with the Black Management Forum, which stormed out of Business Unity South Africa on Monday. The party claimed that the BMF now understood what it was like having only a small voice, and that the rights of minorities should be respected in South Africa.