FIVE MINUTES: South Africa 27 September
- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
- South Africa
- 27 Sep 2012 05:44 (South Africa)
A round-up of the day's news from South Africa.
MALEMA ACCUSED OF MONEY LAUNDERING
Julius Malema has been accused of money laundering, a charge he denies. The expelled ANC Youth Leader appeared in court in Polokwane, in Limpopo, where he faced charge of “improperly” receiving R4.2 million rand in deals involving state tenders. He was released on bail after a 10-minute hearing. But it was outside the court where he played to the crowd, calling President Jacob Zuma an "illiterate" leader of a "banana republic" and accusing the National Prosecuting Authority of taking its orders from Zuma. "I'm unshaken. I'm not intimated by nonsense. They are wasting time," he said. In an interview with Reuters last week, Zuma dismissed Malema as “just talk”.
ANC DENIES ABUSE OF STATE AGENCIES IN MALEMA CASE
The African National Congress has denied state agencies are being used to fight political battles in the case of expelled ANC Youth League leader, Julius Malema. “We reject this accusation with contempt as it is misleading and seeking to undermine the rule of law and jurisprudence of the country,” the party said in a statement. The ANC was responding to accusations by the ANC in Limpopo and the ANC Youth League that “there are 'clear indications that abuse of power by the state is again taking place in South Africa”. The ANC says the party and President Jacob Zuma “have no role in the charges” against Malema.
JOURNALISTS FORCIBLY REMOVED FROM MALEMA HEARING
The SA National Editors Forum has asked the South African Police Service to explain why journalists were removed from court where the Julius Malema case was being heard. "We have asked the SAPS for an explanation and for an undertaking that journalists will be guaranteed access to the proceedings without the threat of harassment or intimidation," Sanef said in a statement. "Should reporters on the scene face further exclusion from the courtroom, or the use of force by SAPS or other security personnel, we will take legal action." Journalists and photographers were told to leave the court in Limpopo where the expelled ANC Youth League leader was appearing on charges of money laundering. A few were manhandled by security as they were ejected.
WITS INDUSTRIAL ACTION SUSPENDED
Academics at Wits University have suspended industrial action in the interests of
students, according to their union. Asawu said the decision to resume normal service had demonstrated that its members were “committed professionals who put the interests of their students, who will soon be preparing for and writing examinations, above themselves by voting for a suspension of industrial action that may impact on students, until 2013”. Senior management, however, said it was surprised the union had “once again” walked away from “an extremely generous offer of a second salary increase in January”. Wits said it was “grateful” students had not been disadvantaged by the protracted industrial action. The action included two one-day strikes and more than six weeks of the boycotting of administration meetings.
TRUCK STRIKERS ATTACK PARK STATION
The truck drivers’ strike turned violent on Wednesday when hundreds of strikers barged into Johannesburg’s Park Station. The group had gathered at nearby Beyers Naude Square when the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) asked them to move. Eyewitness News reported that strikers wielding axes and pangas had earlier attacked working drivers by stoning vehicles on the N2 Highway east of Johannesburg. "All the transport vehicles are being stoned. The protesters are running around with pangas and axes," a witness told the website. In Cape Town, striking truck drivers set two trucks alight in Nyanga, police said. Satawu says it will intensify the strike as parties had reached a deadlock. Unions are asking for a 12% pay demand after rejecting a lower offer by employers.
NYDA LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK
The Democratic Alliance has accused the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) of “using funds meant to better the opportunities for the youth of South Africa for its own ends. Joe McGluwa, shadow minister for the presidency, says the NYDA used money to “swell their own bank accounts and extend patronage to the politically connected”. McGluwa was responding to the recently released annual report of the NYDA which, he says, is failing to deliver on its mandate, saying employees were laughing “all the way to the bank”. Almost R14 million was spent on travel and entertainment expenses and over R33 million on communication and PR expenses. In terms of delivery, the NYDA had missed its target for projects initiated by the youth by 95.9%. Of the R20 million allocated, only R0.8 million was spent.
AMPLATS THREATENS TO FIRE STRIKING MINERS
Strike season in South Africa’s mining sector has continued to impact on AngloGold Ashanti's operations while Anglo American Platinum has threatened to fire miners taking part in illegal wildcat strikes. Amplats chief executive Chris Griffith described the country's platinum sector as "in crisis" as shares in the company plunged. Amplats said attendance at its four Rustenburg mines remained below 20% and it would take action against strikers from Thursday. Most of AngloGold's 35,000 workers have joined the wildcat action that began last week at its Kopanang mine. Reuters reports there are close to 75,000 workers on strike or prevented from going to work because of intimidation
across South Africa's mining sector, accounting for 15% of the mining workforce.
DEWANI ACCUSED’S CONFESSION ADMITTED
A Cape Town judge has admitted the “confession” of the man accused of killing honeymoon tourist, Anni Dewani, in November 2010. Judge Robert Henley ruled in a trial-within-a-trial that Xolile Mngeni's statement and his pointing out of scenes linked to the crime, could be used by the state in its criminal case. The defence claimed Mngeni had been assaulted by police and had been forced into making his statement. The defence argued that Mngeni was interrogated for a lengthy period and that his health concerns were ignored. The trial resumes on 8 October. DM
Photo by Reuters.