SA Political Diary – Tuesday 19 July

By Simon Williamson 19 July 2011

The DA calls on the Public Protector to investigate KZN spending nearly 90% of its housing budget on one project. Bitou municipality stays fragmented and South Africa and friends celebrated Nelson Mandela's birthday yesterday. Sars is yet to receive a request about investigating Julius Malema's finances. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.

The DA in KZN has called on the Public Protector to investigate the terms of the Vulindlela tender process which saw a R2.1 billion contract handed to Dezzo Construction. The deal seems dodgy because the department of human settlements cancelled the tender procedure before the contract was awarded, and the province is spending R2.1 billion out of its R2.4 billion housing budget on only one project. To be fair, the ANC is yet to comment (at the time of writing) on how payments for this project will be structured. The Vulindlela project should construct 25,000 homes over five years, although the DA has expressed concern at how the ownership structure of the houses will work as residents will not be given title deeds.

Read more: Politicsweb, Business Day
Bitou municipality continues to achieve very little as the new DA-Cope alliance, which has a majority on the council, struggles to assert any kind of authority. In the latest spat, the council removed the municipal manager Lonwabo Ngoqo after he presented a letter informing members that officials would not work with the new council. Co-operative governance spokesman for the party, James Lorimer, said the delaying tactics were to halt the council’s work until Cope heavyweight Mbhazima Shilowa could replace the (king-making) Lekota-aligned Cope council member with one of his own, which Lorimer expects to swing the board back in favour of the ANC. If we wait for Cope to come to a conclusion though, Bitou council may not have any rubbish picked up before Christmas.

Read more: Sapa, via IOL

Everyone with even the remotest tie to South Africa dropped everything on Monday to celebrate the 93rd birthday of Nelson Mandela. Some of the big politicos also did their 67 minutes of community work as Graca Machel helped villagers plant vegetable gardens, defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu helped convert an old school into a community hall,  basic education minister Angie Motshekga spent the morning teaching primary school children, transport minister S’bu Ndebele painted old people’s houses, the IEC painted desks at a school in Pretoria… you get the idea. The birthday man flew down to Qunu in the Transkei to celebrate entry into his 94th year and President Jacob Zuma popped in to see him. We’ll be pulling out the paintbrushes again on 19 July 2012.

Read more: Sowetan, EWN, Politicsweb


President of South Africa and the ANC, Jacob Zuma, launched the ANC’s 1 million membership recruitment drive on Monday in Johannesburg – the party currently has 914,852 members. Zuma did, however, warn that “our growth in numbers [must] not change the character of the ANC”.

Read more: Sowetan
Gwede Mantashe told Jacob Zuma to act on allegations of corruption as they were doing damage to the image of the ANC. We were hoping he’d go with something like “because taxpayers’ money isn’t for just anyone to piss around as they like”, but we’ll take any action.

Read more: IOL
The DA wants to know why KZN premier Zweli Mkhize has not yet suspended Mike Mabuyakhulu and Peggy Nkonyeni considering that there are warrants out for their arrest – even if police have acted on them thus far. Probably because they haven’t yet been charged with anything, would be our answer.

Read more: Politicsweb

Staying with Zweli Mkhize – the premier will also testify in the Three Amigos trial involving massive corruption in KZN’s public health sector, but is not being charged with any wrongdoing or implication in the affair.

Read more: IOL
Magnus Malan, who served the apartheid regime as defence minister from 1981 until 1990, died at home on Monday.

Read more: Business Day

SA Revenue Services reported on Monday it was yet to receive a request to probe the finances of Julius Malema. Over the weekend, the DA called for a lifestyle audit disputing his earnings, as well as his education-related earning potential, versus the R16 million value of the house he was going to build. Malema has said he would co-operate with any investigation into his finances. DM

Photo: Reuters



The Trojan Horse that wheeled R600m out of state-owned entities

By Susan Comrie for amaBhungane

Some firing squads are all issued with blank cartridges with the exception of one person. This helps alleviate personal responsibility for the execution squad.