Politics

SA Political Diary – Tuesday 26 July 2011

By Simon Williamson 26 July 2011

The department of trade and industry does a 180° on the Walmart-Massmart merger, while Limpopo - having power ripples -  denies Malema tender controversy, as does the ANC Youth League. We could have 1,200 teacher vacancies which will only be available for five years and Lindiwe Sisulu is preparing South Africa for piracy. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.

Controversy just won’t seem to leave Limpopo alone. After yesterday’s Malema trust fund, tender-fraud allegations, the office of Premier Cassel Mathale has distanced itself from accusations that the province is a hotbed of corruption. The statement challenges anyone with evidence of corruption to report it to law enforcement, and then lists achievements against corruption – 40 blacklisted companies and 44 sacked corrupt employees. Staying in Limpopo, Sowetan reports Mathale’s “lieutenants” want the ANC’s provincial general council moved to this year (it is scheduled for next year, along with six other provinces) to flush out those who might challenge him for the leadership. Kothongo Matome Mopai is quoted as saying “we” (which we assume refers to the aforementioned “lieutenants”) want the current provincial secretary (Joe Maswanganyi) replaced by the SACP provincial secretary. Maswanganyi told the paper that the PEC can be moved, but must be approved by the ANC NEC.

Read more: Sowetan, Politicsweb.

After Malema and his ANCYL leadership team yesterday refuted any financial irregularities and branded the media part of an elaborate conspiracy to discredit Malema, everyone has pretty much had a go at him. The DA, again through shadow police minister Diane Kohler Barnard, said his explanation was not good enough and the source of his funds ought to be investigated. Cope – which finally decided to join the Malema party – agreed, saying an investigation was warranted (the statement was issued by Phillip Dexter so we’re assuming it’s the Lekota Cope demanding this). Cosatu in Limpopo has also backed a full forensic investigation into the trust fund, but says the investigation shouldn’t just be limited to it – check out all who benefit from government tenders. And if that wasn’t enough, the IFP Youth Brigade has said it respects the privacy of any South African, but Malema’s lifestyle is not private enough to warrant this philosophy – they will be writing to the Public Protector, Sars, Hawks and the ANC’s ethics committee.

Read more: EWN, Politicsweb, Politicsweb, Politicsweb, Politicsweb, Daily Maverick.
 
The department of trade and industry has done a 180° turnaround on the Walmart acquisition of a majority holding in Massmart, releasing a statement challenging the merger and requesting another application to jump through at the Competition Tribunal. Rob Davies, minister of trade and industry, said, according to Sapa on 6 June, he welcomed the previous findings of the competition commission so this represents a backflip of R16,5 billion proportions. The SACP doesn’t like the deal – at least it’s been consistent – because of “the terrible record of Walmart with workers’ rights and their[sic] anti-union stance”.

Read more: Politicsweb, Sapa


IN BRIEF

Of the 2,000 new councillors appointed since May’s local government elections, 60% (according to Sadtu and Natu) are teachers who will ask the department of education to grant them unpaid leave while they serve. The teacher unions, unsurprisingly, are pro this motion, but no one has suggested what to do with 1,200 vacant teaching posts which will only be available for five years.
Read more: Sowetan
 
The ANC changed clauses and provisions in the Protection of Information Bill yesterday which were publicly welcomed by opposition parties and organisations. The ANC, in making the changes, claimed it did not want the bill to be able to hide corruption.

Read more: Business Day

The Cape Argus has submitted an application through the Western Cape high court under the Promotion of Information Act to get the presidency to release the Oilgate (you may know it as oil-for-food) report. The report has been kept secret since 2006.

Read more: Cape Argus (via IOL)

Jimmy Manyi, government spokesman, said government wants a free media, but it should not be “a proxy for other stakeholders”. He also said, as an indication of this, government had a big enough majority to have passed the Protection of Information Bill without consulting other parties if it so wanted. Manyi told the press he was no longer permitted to speak about the Public Protector.

Minister of defence Lindiwe Sisulu warned of the dangers of piracy along  southern Africa’s vulnerable coastline and shipping routes. “Our assessment is that Southern African waters are increasingly becoming an attractive alternative to Somali pirates as they try to avoid the clampdown by various maritime task forces around the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden – purely by moving into largely unprotected parts of the Indian Ocean”.  Sisulu said a military strategy was currently being considered.

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts in North West will hold public hearings this week on municipal finances to determine whether public funds are being used properly.

Leader of the DA in the Gauteng Legislature, Jack Bloom, has lambasted Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane for not running Gauteng with any inspiration from the Western Cape government, such as getting principals and vice principals at schools to sign performance contracts, or forbid government employees from owning more than 5% of companies which do business with government.

Read more: Politicsweb

In more car hire investigations by the DA, it has come to light that the department of public services and administration has also spent major cash. Minister of public works, Richard Baloyi, spent R357,483 and his deputies (he has had two under him as Roy Padayachie was moved to head up the communications ministry) have used up R1,446,828. 

Read more: Politicsweb 


Photo: Daily Maverick

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