SA Political Diary – Tuesday 2 August

By Simon Williamson 2 August 2011

The ANC smacked the ANCYL down for comments it made about what it wanted to do with another country's government. Tony Ehrenreich will be approaching the Public Protector about 49-year leases taken under apartheid and wants all council-owned land audited. The government has confessed that the nationalisation debate is harming foreign investment, and Mabuyakhulu and Nkonyeni were processed in court in KZN. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.

The ANC came down on its Youth League like a tonne of expropriated farmland on Monday. The league, over the weekend, said it was going to unite the opposition parties in Botswana to bring down the current ruling party. The ANC told its youngsters where to get off through spokesman Jackson Mthembu, who emphasised Botswana’s autonomy.

Read more: Daily Maverick

The ANC opposition leader on the Cape Town city council, Tony Ehrenreich, has called for an audit of all council land and property acquired before the end of apartheid, and claimed it should be returned for proper redistribution. One of the deals he mentioned specifically was the Gordon’s Bay bungalows – prime beachfront real estate, according to the statement – which were leased out for 49 years at R1,200 a month in 1986. An estate agent quoted by the Cape Times said that British, German and Swedish people occupied the land. Ian Neilson, deputy mayor of Cape Town, said that these leases were in place before the DA took over the city and, therefore, it could not make changes to them. Ehrenreich maintains that an investigation into the leases would show that the current tenants were politically connected in the ’80s. He will approach the Public Protector.

Read more: Cape Times, via IOL; Politicsweb

Barely a day after the ANC in the mineral-rich Limpopo became the second province, following the North West, to endorse the Youth League’s call for the nationalisation of mines, former youth leader and Public Enterprises Deputy Minister Malusi Gigaba has cautioned against “reckless debate” on the matter. Addressing the American Chamber of Commerce on Monday morning, Gigaba conceded that the nationalisation debate was deterring foreign investment. “We who run the country know the harm this reckless debate is doing to the good image and investments of the country.” The DA in a statement welcomed Gigaba’s stance but said it was clear that ministers were divided about the issue. Housing Minister Tokyo Sexwale has previously come out in favour of nationalisation, while Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu suffered a fierce attack by the league after reassuring mining bosses that nationalisation wasn’t ANC policy. The League has vowed not to support leaders who opposed its stance on nationalisation. The ANC’s Limpopo body endorsed the call for nationalisation at its provincial general council over the weekend, where it also expressed support for Youth League leader Julius Malema, saying the questioning of his finances by the media was because of the leadership tussle ahead of the ANC’s elective congress in Mangaung next year.

Read more: Business Day

After they were secretly arrested, fingerprinted and charged last week, KwaZulu-Natal economic development MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu and the speaker in the provincial legislature, Peggy Nkonyeni (who is also ANC provincial treasurer), were granted R100,000 bail each in connection with a multi-million-rand fraud, corruption, and money-laundering case. The two appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court with co-accused Ronald Green-Thompson, the former head of the KZN health department, who was released on R40,000 bail. They face charged relating to a R1 million “donation” paid by South American businessman Gaston Savoi to the ANC in 2007, allegedly in exchange for a R45 million government tender for his company, Intaka, to supply water purification plants to hospitals and clinics in KZN at inflated prices. Mabuyakhulu was the ANC’s provincial treasurer and Nkonyeni health MEC at the time. Their next court appearance is scheduled for 20 January next year. ANC KZN deputy chairman Willies Mchunu and secretary Sihle Zikalala, his deputy Nomusa Dube and several ANC provincial bigwigs came to court to show their support. Their arrest followed disagreements within the National Prosecuting Authority over whether the case is winnable. The IFP has called on both to stand down from their jobs while their cases proceed.

Read more: City Press


The National Youth Development Agency has called on the government to ensure that projects intended to empower youth deliver results. The fact that the NYDA has a budget so large it could set up its own task team doesn’t seem to have entered the discussion.

Read more: Sapa, via TimesLive

Two municipalities in Mpumalanga (eMbalenhle – where you find Secunda and eMzinoni, where you’ll find Bethal) have apologised for problems with the electricity supply. Although the power system in the region was upgraded last year, illegal connections and metre-bypassing have stuffed it up.

The DA has asked national government to explain why R10 million was spent on Siyabonga Gama while he was suspended. Gama was suspended originally in 2009, then sacked in 2010 before being rehired earlier this year. The DA wasn’t finished there: it also raised alarm about R8.264 billion in irregular expenditure identified by auditors, and what amplifies the problem is that only expenses of R25 million or more were taken into account.

Read more: EWN, iAfrica

The DA’s shadow minister of water and environmental affairs, Gareth Morgan, has called for a moratorium on rhino hunting until oversights in the awarding and execution of permits have been dealt with. Morgan mentioned that some terms of the permits are not being met, for example, the individual whose name is on the permit is legally supposed to be the one to shoot the animal. The DA wants a national database, a full audit of rhino hunts in the last 18 months and a new discussion on the number of permits handed out each year to take place during the proposed moratorium. We don’t think Edna Molewa will bite at this one.

Read more: Politicsweb

Afriforum youth will bring a court application to force the Department of Defence, Rural Development and Land Reform to cough up details about a training camp at a military base for 8,000 people. An organiser of the training said that there would be lessons in patriotism and discipline, but that there would be no military training. A Sapa news release said “among others, the ANCYL and the Young Communist League would also have undergone training” but doesn’t specify who “the others” are. Afriforum youth’s questions of the organisers included how the attendees were selected and whether they were affiliated with any political party. The organisation also said it had requested an invitation but had not yet received one.

Read more: Sapa, via TimesLive

On Monday we reported that the DA had criticised the Department of Arts and Culture for the amount of money it spent dismissing the Pan South African Language Board CEO Ntombenhle Nkosi – which amounted to R5.4 million. The board replied that the cost was incurred due labour legislation, and the labour court ruling against it. Unfortunately though, that cost may increase as the statement released by PanSALB said that Nkosi retains the right to appeal.

Read more: Politicsweb

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has decided to sue Business Day and independent political analyst Protas Mgadlala for an article published on 30 June 2010 which he called “libelous”. A statement from the IFP said: “The article contained a wrongful and defamatory statement made by Mr Mgadlala in which he attacked the integrity and character of Prince Buthelezi.” The article claimed that Buthelezi warned of violence ahead of the party’s annual general conference, and then quoted two analysts who claimed this was a self-serving announcement. One, Aubrey Matshiqi claimed that Buthelezi’s statements fed the culture of violence, and the other, the aforementioned Mgadlala, featured in this quote: “Independent political analyst Protas Mgadlala agreed, saying Mr Buthelezi ‘has always been a violent man’.”

Read more: Business Day; Politicsweb; Sapa, via IOL

The South Africa National Editors Forum will meet with the ANC in the Eastern Cape to improve relations. ANC provincial spokesman, Mlibo Qoboshiyana, said in a statement: “The main point for the summit is for both the ANC and the media to improve their relations in a manner that avoids the hostilities experienced before and during the election period.” If you remember, those hostilities were the ANC chairman of Nelson Mandela Bay urging people to burn down the Eastern Cape Herald, simultaneously saying that blacks who vote for white should be driven into the sea. The ANC distanced itself from the comments at the time.

Read more: Sapa, via TimesLive

Additional briefs by Carien du Plessis.

Main photo: Daily Maverick


Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?

Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.

Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.

Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.

*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.


Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.


Prosecute the Prosecutors! Zuma puts NPA on trial

By Greg Nicolson

The sound of Krakatoa exploding travelled around the earth three times.