SA Political Diary – Thursday 4 August

By Simon Williamson 4 August 2011

The ANC-YL tussle over Botswana continues to distract us from Julius Malema's financials as Gwede Mantashe joins the fray. Lindiwe Mazibuko has rejected assertions that she is Helen Zille's favourite to replace Athol Trollip as leader of the opposition in Parliament. White folks still dominate business and will continue to do so for 127 more years if the current rate of change in employment equity continues, according to a shocked CEE, and South Africa has loaned Swaziland a bucketload of money with some pretty severe (if you're King Mswati) strings attached. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.

The ANC’s harsh response to its Youth League’s plan to unite Botswana’s opposition earlier in the week was quite firm, but not enough to tame its young lions into shutting up about it. A statement released on Tuesday by the league said that it would continue its regime-change plans there, and then decided to turn on the latest opponent of nationalisation, public enterprise minister and former ANCYL president Malusi Gigaba (who served before sports minister Fikile Mbalula). It followed that up with a few soundbites which are sure to ignite a debate about just how autonomous the league is from the party’s leadership. This has a lot to do with government responses to the situations in Libya and Côte d’Ivoire. Their issue with Gigaba was also that he announced his and government’s opposition to the “AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE” (their capital letters, not Daily Maverick’s), you know, those imperialist thugs who have basically colonised Botswana. This forced Gwede Mantashe, the ANC’s secretary general and secret enemy of the ANCYL, to release his own statement which said the senior leadership of the ANC will meet the league on Monday where one of the agenda items will be, “We will therefore have to reaffirm the relationship between the ANC and its leagues,” which can be read as “Jackson Mthembu is the spokesman for the party, not Floyd Shivambu”. Mantashe also said the league going publicly against the ANC is a “serious transgression”. “ANC clearly has no policy of supporting regime changes even in countries governed by parties who may not share our ideological outlook.”

Read more: Daily MaverickThe New Age, Politicsweb

DA national spokeswoman Lindiwe Mazibuko, speaking after her address to The Cape Town Press Club, denied she was Helen Zille’s preferred candidate to take over as DA leader in Parliament when that post opens later this year. The position is the second most powerful in the party. Although Mazibuko is rumoured to have a pretty tight relationship with Zille, her age (she is only 31 – a year older that Julius Malema, incidentally) may come into play, but she fobbed that off by saying there was a need for a generational mix in politics. The Sunday Times reported on 26 June that the choice – expected to be pretty much a straight shootout between Mazibuko and Trollip – could get a bit messy as Trollip allegedly attempted to have a snap election. Trollip, the report says, was stopped from doing so by another senior DA member, Diane Kohler Barnard, who is also believed to support Mazibuko. The Sunday Times also reported that Zille would have preferred Ryan Coetzee to have landed Trollip’s job in 2009 and that this may be a source of tension within the party (we don’t agree). A political analyst, quoted in Business Day, said Mazibuko’s close relationship with Zille would be an advantage for her when the caucus elections occur. Mazibuko was actually at the press club as a guest speaker to chew the fat about the question “Is South African politics really only about black politics?”, and she used the stage to accuse the ANC of harbouring racism and misogyny, quoting some of its members statements in recent times such as Malema’s “tea girl”, and Nceba Faku’s “black South Africans who voted for the DA should go to Europe or be driven into the sea”.

Read more: IOL, Business Day, Cape Times (via IOL)

The Commission on Employment Equity said on Wednesday that white people still dominate management positions in South Africa, holding 71% of them. Blacks featured next with 13%, Indians with 7% and coloureds with 5%. These stats applied only to companies with 150 employees or more. CEE chairwoman, Mpho Nkelo, said at the current rate of change (from the last published results in 2006), it would take 127 years for the racial breakdown in top management to reflect population demographics. The Black Management Forum said it was disappointed with the report, “This report confirms what we have been saying about business in South Africa. Business is not serious about transformation.” A statement released by labour minister Mildred Oliphant expressed shock at the numbers, but trade union Solidarity said the numbers were nonsense, listed some of their own, and lamented that no one was congratulating anyone else for the drop in white senior management numbers since 2000.

Read more: Politicsweb; Politicsweb


South Africa has offered a loan to Swaziland to resolve its pretty dire economic crisis, but the loan comes with some strong strings attached, one of which is a pretty rapid movement away from the absolute monarchy and allowing democratic opposition a voice.

Read more: Daily Maverick

The DA’s shadow minister of trade and industry Tim Harris (whose job it is to argue with Rob Davies) said yesterday it was time for President Jacob Zuma to take a stand regarding nationalisation as it was stonewalling foreign investment. This came on the back of public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba’s anti-nationalisation statements yesterday. Harris said, “… there is no clarity on what the President or the rest of his cabinet believes. Or, indeed, what the government’s official position is.” He followed it up firmly: “Investors will need to hear an unambiguous statement from President Zuma before they are prepared to discount this ‘debate’ as simply the ramblings of the largely irrelevant ANC Youth League.” The ministers who are openly against nationalisation are Gigaba, minister of mines Susan Shabangu and Rob Davies. A similar sentiment has been expressed by ANC treasurer general, Mathews Phosa.

Read more: Politicsweb

Members of parliament are divided over the proposed laws making the Constitutional Court the apex court of the country, which would mean it would become the court of last resort for every legal case, not just constitutional matters. In other words, a deluge of unimportant crap would fill up the time of highest court in the country.

Read more: EWN

North West could turn into an ANC battleground, according to Mafikeng councillor Pontsho Tabane, who said a vote of no confidence was looming against the party’s regional executive committee. He told The New Age the committee was accused of letting the ANC Youth League in the province run wild.

Read more: The New Age

The IFP’s branch chairman in uMfolozi, Themba Cebekhulu, has been killed. Assailants entered Cebekhulu’s house at around 20:30 and gunned him and his fiancé down. This was seven days after another IFP councillor in Ndwedwe, north of Durban, was also killed.

Read more: Sapa via News24

The South African Institute of Race Relations has sought to clarify the number of police killed. The institute claimed the number had actually declined by 61.9% since 1994, and had steadily gone down from the early 2000s. In 2004 it dropped below 100 and then averaged between 100 and 110 since then.

Read more: Sapa via TimesLIVE

The DA criticised Zuma’s lack of response to the Public Protector’s report over the police headquarters which was announced so long ago you may have forgotten about it. Well, don’t. We’re waiting to hear from Zuma too and all eyes are on whether he will choose to ignore it and invite a world of trouble from Cosatu, or fire minister of public works Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde and invite a world of trouble from Cosatu for not having fired the other corrupt minister in his administration, Sicelo Shiceka.

Raed more: Politicsweb

Shadow minister of labour Ian Ollis’s car hire investigation continues. He got the department of correctional services to admit minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has chucked R434,379 on car hire since 1 March 2010. She used a car on 34 occasions, which means she spent nearly R13,000 every time she hired a vehicle.

Read more: Politicsweb

Photo: Reuters


Commission of Inquiry into SARS, Day Five

SARS was broken while fixing a problem that never existed. It cost R204-million

By Pauli Van Wyk

Microwave popcorn is nothing special. You can have the same effect with normal popcorn kernels and a brown paper bag.