Politics

SA Political Diary – Thursday 21 July

By Simon Williamson 21 July 2011

Cope will ask the Public Protector to investigate whether the Northern Cape ANC's electioneering budget was taxpayer funded. The Cele-Mahlangu-Nkabinde-Public Protector row continues as Cele again postpones a press conference at which he was going to speak about the allegations against him. Julius Malema has responded to all the conjecture about his new house and finances, and the DA continues its quest into cabinet car-hire expenditure. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.

Fred Wyngaard, Cope’s Northern Cape provincial chairman, will be writing to the provincial Public Protector with a charge against the Premier of the province, Hazel Jenkins, about R10 million of taxpayers’ money which he claims was spent on electioneering. Wyngaard claims Jenkins did this by diverting funds from safe ANC councils to those where the party achieved 55% or less in the 2009 elections, and then publicly announcing them at the state of the province address in 2011 before the funds were used for electioneering purposes by the ruling party. While Cope criticises Jenkins, it has firmer words for Northern Cape ANC chairman, John Block, who is facing his own glut of corruption charges. “While the Premier was brazen enough to announce these transfers as a service delivery measure in her state of the province address, the other real culprit is the executive authority over at provincial treasury who made the transfers. Guess who that is? The ANC chairperson and the man who calls himself ‘El Presidente’, John Block,” Wyngaard said.

Read more: Politicsweb
 
Police chief general Bheki Cele has yet again postponed a media briefing (supposed to be today) in which he was due to respond to the Public Protector’s report regarding new police headquarters in Durban and Pretoria – he stands accused by the report of maladministration. The Thursday conference was postponed from Tuesday. This does mean that none of the presidency, minister of police or Cele has yet responded publicly to the report. Diane Kohler Barnard, DA’s shadow minister of police, released a statement that this silence “represents a further erosion of the values on which our democracy is built”. Barnard also called on Cele and public works minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde to resign. Jimmy Manyi has also waded into the debate saying that the Public Protector should have released the report to Parliament – which is still considering it, according to ANC treasurer general, Mathews Phosa – before  going public. Manyi also claims government is treating Cele and Mahlangu-Nkabinde as innocent, according to Sapa. This is, presumably, in the interim while the government sits on the report – the same way people shout “innocent until proven guilty”, we hope. Madonsela has called for action to be taken against those mentioned in her report to maintain the authority of her office.

Read more: Politicsweb, Sapa, via IOL

The ANC Youth League hosted a press conference about Julius Malema’s (now alleged) new house, during which Malema said: “A house costing R16 million to construct only exists in the imagination of right wing, narrow-minded and obsessed white people who always think Africans cannot and should not build houses of their own”. At the same conference he also said he was not a public figure and, therefore, had no reason to disclose his finances to the media or the public (he is legally correct in this assertion). “Sars [the only body which could legally look into Malema’s finances] has access to our bank accounts all the time and, if there was anything wrong, they would have acted already. If they decide to undertake investigations into anybody, the youth league will support that,” Malema said.

Read more: Daily Maverick, EWN, M&G, Politicsweb

In the SA Political Diary on 5 July we reported on DA MP and shadow minister of labour Ian Ollis’ investigation into cabinet expenditure on car hire. The results were less pretty than a deformed cockroach, and new information released by the department of public enterprises isn’t any better with the ministry’s new numbers bringing total car-hire expenditure up to R1,5 million. Malusi Gigaba, minister of that department, spent more than R13,000 hiring a Toureg for one day which is nearly R10,000 more than the market value for such a transaction. The arts and culture department hired a MercedesBenz E-class for R5,891 a day, but the market value is R2,130. According to a statement released by Ollis, follow-up questions have been sent to the relevant ministries and we await responses.

Read more: Politicsweb, Politicsweb


IN BRIEF

The sheriff of the court has seized assets belonging to Mbhazima Shilowa to pay R72,000 in legal fees which he owes to Mosiuoa Lekota. We fully expect Shilowa to sue to get them back.

The National Youth Development Agency has criticised the current set of strikes, claiming they may cause unemployment and cause struggling companies even further woes. The agency said it will renegotiate loan repayments from small business and entrepreneurs it funds – around 31,000 since its inception – if they can prove the strikes have affected them.

The South African Human Rights Commission wants the government to push an anti-torture bill through Parliament as torture is not recognised as a crime under South African law. This has come in the wake of a prisoner at Pretoria Central Prison having been visited by the minister of correctional services, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, after he was alleged to have been tortured by six warders as they tried to get him to disclose the whereabouts of a cellphone. An investigation into the torture allegations is currently taking place.

Read more: M&G

Cosatu has lambasted the DA-run City of Cape Town for not spending R100,000 to support businesses in Atlantis. The statement is brief and doesn’t go into any explanation outside of “addressing problems” as to how the R100,000 should be used, but does claim that the city gave R40 million to “white-owned” tourism businesses. We’re not not sure if Tony Ehrenreich, who made the statement, was talking about the R40 million spent by Cape Town on visitor services and destination marketing – which drives one of the city’s top income streams.

Read more: Politicsweb
 
The Lotto paid the South African Football Association R107 million last year – R30,9 million to the Safa head office, R72,6 millon to the World Cup LOC and R4,27 million distributed to smaller regions. Danny Jordaan claims the organisation can account for every cent of the receipts.

Read more: The New Age

Julius Malema will visit a black man who was shot three times by his white neighbour for defending the Youth League president. Sowetan reported the incident, which happened in Queenstown on Monday, and Malema has decided to visit the victim in hospital in East London. He’ll also be checking out the provincial structures in Eastern Cape.

Read more: Sowetan, Politicsweb

Justice minister Jeff Radebe will meet with National Prosecuting Authority director Menzi Simelane and Willie Hofmeyr, head of the assets forfeiture unit, over tensions between them and the way forward to protect the integrity of the NPA. The tensions escalated, unexpectedly, when the Hawks began investigating Hofmeyr.

Read more: Die Burger, via News24

ANC national chief whip Mathole Motshekga has announced the party will open information centres around the country where councillors will be able to work safely. Party councillors have been gunned down, attacked and had their houses burnt down this year.

Read more: The New Age

Deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe will deliver the keynote address at the sixth World Congress of Education International at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Friday.

A former Western Cape education department official, Bridget Claasen, was sentenced to five years in jail for R1 million in fraud.

The department of health has admitted that Gauteng hospitals are owed R1.5 billion, including a missing R167 million from medical aid companies. Other departments in the province are owed between R4.4 million and R672 million.

The DA has called for the release of the report by the Free State government about the Ficksburg protest which resulted in the death of Andries Tatane. According to The Star, the Free State provincial authorities uncovered evidence of rampant corruption, maladministration, looting, nepotism and so on in the Setsoto municipality. A Free State government spokesman said a response would be forthcoming soon.

Read more: Sapa, via TimesLive


Gallery

Analysis

Fudging, obfuscation and misdirection hobble the route to the nitty-gritty of expropriation

By Marianne Merten

"Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old' when I would never call him 'short and fat?' Oh well I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!" ~ Donald J Trump

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