A round-up of the day’s news from South Africa.
CONVICTED CORRUPT STATE OFFICIALS TO BE NAMED AND SHAMED
The justice department is stepping up the fight against corrupt officials, minster Jeff Radebe says. Part of the justice, crime prevention, safety and security cluster’s strategy is to publicly name and shame those “whose actions undermine the integrity of the criminal justice system and the work of the JCPS cluster as a whole”. Radebe told a media briefing that within the next few days, the justice department would publish all name of those convicted in corruption cases, as well as those whose assets have been frozen or have been forfeited to the state. Radebe said the criminal assets of 59 people, valued R816 million, had been frozen and that “nearly R78 million has already been forfeited and returned to the state”.
CARL PISTORIUS FACES CHARGE OF CULPABLE HOMICIDE
Oscar Pistorius’ older brother Carl is facing trial for killing a woman motorcyclist in a car accident some five years ago. He is charged with culpable homicide after the accident, which took place in 2008. In a statement, Pistorius’ lawyer Kenny Oldwage – who is also representing Oscar Pistorius in his murder trial for shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp – said, “Carl deeply regrets the accident”. Oldwage said blood tests conducted by the police at the time showed Carl had not been under the influence of alcohol. Charges were initially dropped, he said, but were reinstated by national prosecutors.
ANC: STRICTER BAIL MEASURES FOR RAPE ACCUSED
Stricter measures need to be put in place in granting bail to rape suspects, particularly repeat offenders, the ANC says. The governing party echoed the call by its women’s league, which has publicly supported a ‘no bail for rapists’ position. ANC spokesman, Keith Khoza, was reacting to the news that a man arrested in Tzaneen last week for raping a two-year-old toddler was out on bail for the rape of two women. Khoza said the “granting of bail is something that should not been done easily particularly somebody who already has a track record of raping”. In the meantime, the ANCWL has supported a move by the education department to hold special assemblies across the country in which students will read a pledge, and listen to talks on rape and sexual violence.
PITYANA LASHES ZUMA IN LETTER
Human rights lawyer and theologian Barney Pityana has written a letter to President Jacob Zuma asking him to resign for his “poor leadership, moral perversion” of the country and weekly scandals. The Sunday Independent reports the former vice chancellor of the University of South Africa as saying he could not “accept a notion habitually bandied about in the ANC, that leadership is by collective”. Pityana said that there could be no “collective leadership without a leader, inasmuch as there can never be a team without a captain. A so-called ‘collective leadership’ strikes me as mob rule”. He said he had got to the point where he could “no longer keep silent”, and that the nation’s morality “was in paralysis”. Pityana said his letter was intended to stir up debate about the country’s political governance.
MILITARY INTERVENTION IN DRC A SHORT-TERM SOLUTION
Military intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was a short-term solution to bring security to the eastern parts of the country, but lasting peace needs “far reaching actions from the DRC government and its neighbours, says President Jacob Zuma. He said only a comprehensive political solution would form the basis of lasting peace in the eastern DRC, and that all armed groups should immediately cease all forms of violence, release child soldiers, and permanently lay down their arms. A peace, security and co-operation framework for DRC was signed in Ethiopia on Sunday. “Its success will depend on the commitment and ultimately the concrete actions taken by all the parties to it, to interpret and implement it to its fullest noble intention,” Zuma said.
LIMPOPO TEXTBOOK SHORTAGE TO THE TUNE OF 42,000
Limpopo schools are short of 42,000 textbooks, and the Federation of School Governing Bodies of South Africa (Fedsas) has confirmed the shortage, the Democratic Alliance says. DA Limpopo legislature caucus leader, Desiree van der Walt, said it was time basic education minister Angie Motshekga broke her silence on the issue. The DA found a warehouse in Polokwane stacked with thousands of books on 6 February, but so far, Motshekga has offered no explanation except to “allow her spokesperson to spread misleading information to the public over the last three weeks”, Van der Walt said. “We also want concrete plans on when the shortages will be addressed and how this will be verified.”
PUBLIC SERVANTS NOT HAPPY WITH ‘NO BUSINESS’ RULE
While government and union leaders are publicly behind a decision to stop state officials from doing business with the state, City Press reports that behind the scenes, this is not the case. Public service and administration minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the National Development Plan and the Public Service Commission had both recommended the prohibition, and that legislation to this effect would be promulgated. But senior officials told the newspaper most of the state’s 1.5 million public servants were at a “lower level” and didn’t “earn enough to sustain their lives”. They had “no choice but to explore other opportunities”.
VIOLENCE AND VANDALISM AT PROTESTS OUT OF ORDER
Violent and disruptive behaviour during demonstrations and protests will not be tolerated, justice minister Jeff Radebe has told a media briefing held by the justice, crime prevention, safety and security cluster. Radebe said the cluster had to “ensure that the country’s infrastructure, which is critical for economic growth, is not targeted by vandals during these protests and demonstrations”. He said “violent and disruptive” conduct during protests had caused damage to public and private facilities, and impacted on the Constitutional right to peaceful protest. Radebe said such cases would receive priority in the courts, and that all new police recruits are being given basic crowd management training. DM
Photo: Carl Pistorius (Greg Nicolson/ Daily Maverick)
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason." ~ Thomas Paine