Politics

SA Political Diary – Monday 25 July

By Simon Williamson 25 July 2011

Not unusually, it's Malema everywhere and the ANC Youth League president is hogging headlines, again. Nomvula Mokonyane could face a no-confidence vote in the Gauteng Legislature as the power struggle between her and Paul Mashatile continues. The ANC Youth League has found another target for lavish praise: this time Tokyo Sexwale, and Zwelenzima Vavi says he wouldn't accept a government post. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.

It could be a pretty interesting Monday morning in the Gauteng Legislature as premier Nomvula Mokonyane may face a vote of no confidence. This all seems to relate to Mokonyane’s use of national intelligence services to uncover corruption within the provincial government, which in some cases has led to resignations rumoured to be of people close to Paul Mashatile. It is well known that there is a power clash between Mokonyane and Mashatile, the leader of the ANC in Gauteng (and current minister of arts and culture), who were both aiming for the position of premier. The Sunday Independent reports that Mokonyane has had to deal with severe micro-management from senior party members who have attempted to turn her into a lame-duck leader. The feistiness of the DA’s Jack Bloom and some individual errors on the premier’s part (and her team’s) hasn’t helped her, as Mashatile’s faction will use these against her when the legislature sits today.

Read more: Politicsweb, Sunday Independent via IOL, EWN

It’s been a Malematastic weekend. As South Africans we compulsively click on any headline which mentions Julius Malema, so here’s a brief sum up of what you may already know. The press and opposition leaders began accusing Malema of building a R16 million house, funded by the R20,000 to R25,000 estimated salary (although City Press estimates his earnings at R50,000 a month) that he receives as president of the ANCYL. The DA’s Diane Kohler Barnard called for Sars to investigate but the Youth League told her and Sars to butt out as Malema is not an elected public official, and isn’t rich by his own definition anyway. City Press, however, had its own investigation going and went to court on Saturday to fight out whether Malema was “public official” enough to have a story about a secret trust fund published on Sunday. The judge (the same one who adjudicated Malema’s “shoot the boer” case) ruled in the paper’s favour. One can see why Malema didn’t want to story published: it alleges that he has a trust fund named after his son in which people place “donations” in return for tenders. Malema denied that the fund was used for criminal activity or bribes but didn’t answer any of City Press’s questions. Of all the accusations thrown at Malema so far, this one by City Press is probably the most valid due to his appearance in court – a process he initiated – and not merely founded on circumstance or conjecture. Instead of trying to equate Malema’s speculated finances with his known assets, City Press has two sources and proof that the trust fund exists, plus an attempt in court to quash the story. The DA, expectedly, has called upon the fund to be investigated, and Afriforum has laid a charge of corruption against the Youth League president. Oh, and the ANCYL website was hacked, again.

Read more: City Press, City Press, iAfrica, Politicsweb, Politicsweb, The Daily Maverick


IN BRIEF

Staying with Malema’s never-ending news stream, a piece of land he owns – and coughed up R900,000 for – is under claim by the Ga-Mothapo community, and has been since 1995. While the corners of one’s mouth may twitch at the irony in Malema’s “no compensation” rhetoric, one can sense the frustration of those backing him if, in 16 years, the land is yet to be evaluated for price, let alone land-claim ownership.

Read more: City Press

The role of the Public Protector and its relationship with parliament is under the spotlight as Thuli Madonsela disagreed with ANC treasurer-general Mathews Phosa’s comments last week regarding her findings. In case you’re not aware, Phosa said that Parliament would debate the findings of the Public Protector and refer to cabinet what action should be taken. According to the DA’s Diane Kohler Barnard, it is the Presidency which should be mulling over the Public Protector’s report and Parliament has no mandate to amend the report – the results of it must tie in with the Constitution. Phosa is, surprisingly, the only senior official who has commented on the findings against police commissioner General Bheki Cele and minister of public works Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde.

Read more: Politicsweb, IOL

Much like the overexuberant birthday wishes for deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe last week, the ANC Youth League has poured praise upon minister of human settlements, Tokyo Sexwale, for arranging a youth summit where aims up until 2030 were discussed. The statement said: “The ministry of human settlements is amongst the best if not the best ministry in government concerning provision of real opportunities for young people to participate in government,” and “The ANC Youth League holds the view that the initiative of the ministry of human settlement reflects the vision of the ANC Youth League on the attainment of economic freedom in our lifetime and real inclusion of young people in policy-making processes.” No surprises if the league backs Motlanthe and Sexwale for the ANC leadership next year, then. Oh sorry, I forgot they’re not campaigning yet.

Read more: Politicsweb

Tony Ehrenreich has expressed issues with the tourism industry in Cape Town, specifically mentioning the prices of wine and crayfish which he claims make tourists feel ripped off. Ehrenreich also lamented the lack of worker involvement in Cape Town’s biggest income-generator, mentioning the exclusion of a labour representative by the MEC (Alan Winde) for economics within the portfolio. Ehrenreich also echoed his sentiments from last week, comparing the lack of financial assistance from the City for Atlantis compared to the R40 million it gives to tourism businesses.

Read more: Politicsweb

Both deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe and Western Cape premier Helen Zille spoke at the Education International conference held in Cape Town on Friday. Zille spoke about the increase in accountability in Western Cape schools since the DA began governing there in 2009: targets for learners remaining in the school system; literacy and numeracy results; final examination pass rate; pass rate with access to higher education; and pass rate in maths and sciences. Zille claims that a decline in these statistics has been halted. She also said that all students in the Western Cape from grades 2 to 7 will have their own maths textbook, and will have their classroom time protected vigorously (which is one of the areas where she clashes with Sadtu). She said 45 new schools will be built in the next three years and there will be a renewed focus on accountability – the quality of teachers being massively important.

Read more: Politicsweb

Deputy president Motlanthe’s speech focused more on the unification of a divided system inherited in 1994 and the rollout of nearly 100% availability of basic education to South Africans. Moving forward, the government’s plan is two-fold: firstly, to commit teachers to be on time, be prepared and professional as well as have classrooms stocked with necessary material. The second part of the plan is to provide training for teachers, maximising their performance in the classroom as well as the students’.

Read more: Politicsweb

Patricia de Lille has released a statement listing her and the City of Cape Town’s council’s successes in her tenure so far. Firstly, she passed a budget (with a majority on the council – which was delayed until the DA took over the council, remember). Secondly, the council has decided to enclose the famous loos in Khayelitsha and is “moving towards some resolution with the people of Hangberg”. Thirdly, Eastern Boulevard will be named after Nelson Mandela and fourthly, she will seek to engage with all members of the city, including leader of the opposition on the council, Tony Ehrenreich.

Read more: Politicsweb
 
Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi has stuck it to the ANC again, as well as had a firm dig at SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, saying that he would never accept a position in government “under the conditions of today”. Vavi also said that although Cosatu backed the dissolution of the Scorpions back in 2008, the federation probably wouldn’t have made the same decision in 2011.

Read more: Business Day
 
President Jacob Zuma has said that succession debates within the ANC are “not an issue” and that they take place within the party all the time. While he may be correct about their occurrence, they are rather important as they give us, the 48-odd-million who aren’t in government, our next set of leaders.

Read more: Timeslive

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has declared a war on corruption in ANC-controlled municipalities and all spheres of government. He also repeated his assertion that the breakaway National Freedom Party only existed to support the ANC.

Read more: Sapa, via IOL


Photo: The Daily Maverick

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