Politics

SA Political Diary, Friday 5 August 2011

By Simon Williamson 5 August 2011

A corruption investigation by Cope in North West has been thwarted on the whims of the ANC speaker. More organisations respond to the Commission for Employment Equity report, including strong words from Cosatu. Government releases the NYDA festival report, confirming that we were correct to all throw a fit at its R100 million price tag. By SIMON WILLIAMSON.

On Wednesday 6 July we reported that a task team was investigating the dodgy purchase of a new car by the Northern Cape provincial government. The car wound up registered in the name of ANC provincial secretary Zamani Saul, who is not a member of the legislature. When the team was set up to investigate this matter, Fred Wyngaard of Cope refused to sign a document keeping it secret (under an apartheid-era secrecy law, nogal), but remained on the panel. Aside from the car purchased with public funds for someone who is a party man, not a government man, a whole lot of laws about tendering were also broken. Well, a month later, when Wyngaard and his panel were due to interview Saul as part of their investigation, it was shut down by the speaker of the Northern Cape legislature, Boeboe van Wyk. Not only that, but when the task team was assembled, the legislature’s legal advisor (appointed by the ANC-dominated legislature) and members involved in the purchase of the car were added to it. It also looks like the speaker will go to the provincial parliament and get it to vote on whether an investigation should continue.

Read more: Politicsweb

We reported yesterday that the Commission for Employment Equity had found that the racial demographics in management and senior management were still severely skewed towards white people, and that black, Indian and coloured people were still under-represented in comparison to population ratios. Business Unity SA said it was committed to strengthening the transformation process and regretted that representation of coloured people, women and people with disabilities fell short. “We will continue to encourage our members to consider replacing the retiring leadership with those who are underrepresented at the top of organisations,” its statement read. The ANC responded in stronger fashion, accusing business of disregarding labour laws, so it was left to Cosatu to really get stuck in. “It is a national disgrace that we have done so little after 17 years of democracy to reverse the racial imbalances we inherited from the days of apartheid,” Cosatu stated, and laid the blame on the Employment Equity Act. Its statement ended with: “The Freedom Charter said that ‘all apartheid laws and practices shall be set aside’. We have changed the laws but clearly not all the practices!”

Read more: Politicsweb, Politicsweb, Politicsweb, Politicsweb


IN BRIEF

Julius Malema, with a cabinet minister as his sidekick (yes, you read that correctly – it was Fikile Mbalula), urged a group of students at UJ to become economic revolutionaries.

Read more: Daily Maverick

In ten days the chief justice’s term comes to an end and the presidency is still mum on who will replace him. Zuma is bound by Parliament to speak with the Judicial Services Commission and leaders of opposition political parties before he makes this choice.

Read more: EWN

The department of justice has spent R84 million leasing a building it doesn’t use. The lease was taken out in January 2010 and the building will only be staffed in November this year. We’re going to have to find something else to nationalise to pay for waste like this.

Read more: Politicsweb

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has finally parted ways with crooked roads and transport head of department Benedicta Monoma. It wasn’t quite the fire and brimstone with which we’d like to see corruption dealt, in fact Mokonyane conveniently just let Monoma’s employment contract expire, but hell, some days we’ll take it. The DA’s Jack Bloom said the matter should have been dealt with ages ago.

Read more: Politicsweb, Politicsweb

Anton Alberts of the Freedom Front Plus said there are sufficient legal grounds for Botswana to sue Julius Malema regarding all his talk about removing the nation’s current government. It’s pretty doubtful anything will come of this, but the party reckons that even if it can get Malema banned from Botswana, it would have achieved something.

Read more: Politicsweb

The National Youth Development Agency has finally released its report on the festival it hosted last year and confirmed that all the hysterical reactions we had – about the outlay of more than R100 million – last year were justified.

Read more: Daily Maverick

The Msunduzi municipality has requested assistance from the Special Investigations Unit, the Commercial Crimes Unit and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to nail former municipal manager Rob Haswell. The council has opened a case with the SAPS for a criminal investigation and expects him to be charged with fraud, financial misconduct and corruption. This relates back to the beginning of last year when Pietermaritzburg’s finances tanked, which forced the ANC to recall some councillors (who were then put back on the city council this year. Go figure).

Read more: Sapa, via News24

The Azanian People’s Organisation has noted the conduct of Julius Malema, particularly his new Botswana regime change song-and-dance, with “alarm”.  The organisation also mentioned that he had insulted some very senior ANC members, including Thabo Mbeki, Naledi Pandor and Blade Nzimande, but was never reined in by the party leadership. As far as Azapo is concerned, Malema is out of control and there is very little the ruling party can do about it.

Read more: Politicsweb

 


Main photo: Reuters

 

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