FIVE MINUTES: South Africa
- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
- South Africa
- 16 May 2012 09:20 (South Africa)
A round-up of today's news in South Africa.
TURNING TABLES ON COSATU
A march by South Africa's main opposition party on the headquarters of union federation Cosatu descended into chaos on Tuesday, with police firing teargas to disperse crowds of rock-throwing protesters. About 1,000 members of the opposition Democratic Alliance marched through downtown Johannesburg in support of a government plan to subsidise the wages of young people in a bid to ease chronic unemployment among the unskilled youth. The group was met by angry Cosatu members who blocked the streets. The protest turned the tables on the powerful union movement, whose frequent marches in major cities often descend into violence and property destruction.
VAVI REJECTS YOUTH WAGE SUBSIDY, AGAIN
A youth wage subsidy will use workers' tax money to further enrich company bosses and had to be opposed, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Tuesday. He said youth receiving the subsidy would also not receive a full wage. "We demand equal pay for work of equal value," Vavi said, addressing a crowd outside Cosatu House in Braamfontein. The DA is demanding Cosatu stop its opposition to the subsidy. Vavi said youth unemployment was a "ticking time-bomb" with 72% of the unemployed being under 35 years old.
NO BAIL FOR POLO PLAYER ACCUSED
A man accused of stabbing South African polo star Sibusiso Duma to death was denied bail in the Howick magistrate's court. Sibongiseni Mchunu, 24, allegedly killed Duma in Lidgetton, near Howick, on 1 May. Magistrate Thembinkosi Nene on Monday ordered Mchunu to remain in custody for his own safety. Duma represented South Africa against Australia in the Kirkland International in 2009, scoring five goals and receiving the player of the match award. He was the first development polo player to climb the ranks to international level.
HAWKS ON MURDER CHARGES
Twelve police officers appeared on murder and other charges in the Bellville Regional Court on Tuesday. This was the first appearance of the two police captains, two warrant officers, a sergeant and seven constables, all attached to the Hawks. They face 13 charges that include murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and attempting to defeat the ends of justice. The charges, among others, relate to the kidnapping and murder of Sidwell Mkwambi, 24, a New Crossroads resident allegedly tortured to death in 2009.
DE LILLE PLANS REVITALISATION OF BUSINESS DISTRICTS
Cape Town recognised the important role of business and was introducing plans to support it, mayor Patricia de Lille said on Tuesday. She said the city needed business to succeed “especially considering city-regions are the engines of international economic and social development”. Private sector investment would be encouraged by a capital budget of almost R5-billion for maintenance, upgrades and backlogs in infrastructure. Task teams had been appointed to deal with revitalising business districts. Focus areas include Bellville, Manenberg, Hanover Park, Lotus Park, Bishop Lavis, Valhalla Park, Bonteheuwel, Kuyasa, Atlantis, Athlone, Oceans View and the Mitchells Plain.
HENNING ACCUSED ASKS FOR TIME TO FIX LAWYER ISSUES
Murder accused Ambrose Monye on Tuesday asked a Pretoria magistrate for time to "fix" his financial problems and get his lawyers back before the case was moved to the High Court. The bail application of Monye and André Gouws, two of the men accused of murdering Pretoria teaching assistant Chanelle Henning, was delayed because Monye's lawyers did not arrive in court. The towering former Nigerian Olympic athlete said he’d sent relatives to negotiate with his lawyers. Magistrate Maryke de la Rey instructed prosecutor André Johnson to phone the lawyer for clarity.
WALMANSTHAL ANNOUNCEMENT SOON
An announcement on the issue of bogus pieces of land sold at Walmansthal will be made this week, minister of land reform Gugile Nkwinti said on Tuesday. Nkwinti, speaking to media ahead of his budget speech in Parliament, said those who had bought the land in the area would "inevitably" lose it and appealed to members of the public to stop buying land or sites from bogus sellers. Walmansthal, north of Pretoria, has been the site of ongoing land invasions. Nkwinti said "desperate communities" were being sold stands that belonged to the state.
GOVT BATTLES TO PAY ON TIME
The government's non-compliance in paying suppliers within 30 days has reached alarming levels, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday. Zuma acknowledged that a “key contribution” to the development of small business would be if government paid suppliers “within the prescribed 30-day period”. Zuma was speaking at the Soweto International Conference on Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development, at the University of Johannesburg's Soweto campus. The current number of unpaid invoices older than 30 days in national departments was at 2,438, with amounts in excess of R88-million. In provincial departments there were 11,370 invoices outstanding, amounting to over R548-million.
Photo: Mayor Patricia de Lille has acknowledged the vital role of business, and the importance of revitalising downtrodden business districts. DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE.