South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 4 March 2013

A round-up of the day's news from South Africa.

AMCU RECOGNISED BY AMPLATS, WITH 40% REPRESENTATION

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has been recognised by Anglo American Platinum. Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa told City Press the union now had full organisation rights and would be able to “implement formal structures and appoint shop stewards”. Amcu now represented 40% of the workers at Amplats, which is just under 60,000 people, the mines spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said. Rival union, the National Union of Mineworkers, said workers were siding with Amcu to get back at the ANC and that workers would return to NUM, eventually. Rivalry between the two unions is believed to have been the root cause of recent violence at mines, including Marikana, where police shot dead 34 miners in 2012.

ANC WILL INVESTIGATING FIRING OF CAPE TOWN COUNCILLOR

The ANC in the Western Cape will investigate the removal of one of its Cape Town city councillors, Andili Lili. Lili was fired by the Western Cape local government department of Friday. “The ANC regional executive committee has, at a meeting on Saturday resolved to institute its own investigation,” the party said in a statement. It said the allegations against Lili were of a “serious nature” and would be referred to the disciplinary committee. Sapa reported that Lili was last year found guilty of making derogatory remarks about a Khayelitsha resident during a committee meeting, leading a group to illegally demolish another resident’s home in Khayelitsha, and calling a resident a thief and a witch doctor at another meeting, among other allegations.

PISTORIUS DROPS DAMAGES CASE AGAINST FORMER NEIGHBOUR

Oscar Pistorius has withdrawn a R2.2 million reputational damage claim against a woman who was injured at his home in 2009. The Sunday Independent reported the Paralympian Oscar Pistorius had dropped the damages claim against his former neighbour Cassidy Taylor-Memmory. Taylor-Memmory accused Pistorius of slamming a door on her during a party at his house. He was arrested and spent a night in jail, but police later dropped the charge. His lawyer, Gary Pritchard, told the newspaper the merits of the case are no longer relevant “as we are going to settle, and the terms of the settlement will remain confidential”.

EIGHT POLICEMEN ARRESTED FOR KILLING TAXI DRIVER

The eight policemen accused of dragging a man tied to the back of a police truck through a busy Johannesburg have been arrested on suspicion of murder. The video recording of the incident that resulted in Mido Macia dying has a result of his injuries was broadcast around the world. Moses Dlamini, a spokesman for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) said the men would answer to a charge of murder when they appear in court on Monday. The IPID said Macia was found dead in detention, and an initial post-mortem said he showed of head injuries and internal bleeding. Police commissioner Riah Phiyega said she wasted assure South Africa the video didn’t represent how the “South African Police Service in a democratic South Africa goes about its work”.

CORRUPTION ‘HUGE CONCERN’ FOR UNIONS, SURVEY SHOWS

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has told the annual bargaining conference of the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) that corruption in unions was of “huge concern”. Speaking in Cape Town, Vavi said a survey conducted among its unions showed one third of members say there is corruption in the union. “And 12% say they have actually, personally, experienced it,” Eyewitness News quoted Vavi as saying. He has denied being involved in procurement irregularities in the sale of the labour federation’s old building in Johannesburg. Supporters believe supporters of President Jacob Zuma are targeting him  for his outspoken criticism of the Zuma administration.

‘GANG PASTOR’ SHOT DEAD ON COURT STEPS

Police have denied an arrest in the case a controversial Cape Town pastor being gunned down on the steps of the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court. The Weekend Argus said the assassination was aimed at silencing ‘gang’ pastor and former member of the 28s gang, Albern Martins, as he was about to face abalone smuggling and drug-related charges. The newspaper’s sources said Martins was about to turn State witness in the case. Martins, his wife Minnie Martins and son Andrew were accused of being in possession of millions of rands worth of perlemoen. Martins was killed when three men followed him up the steps of the court, with one man shooting him in his head. Martins earned his reputation as a ‘gang pastor’ by handling over 200 gang funerals.

ZUMA MISSES DEADLINE TO APPOINT SIU HEAD

The DA has accused President Jacob Zuma of missing another legal deadline when he failed to announce the appointment of a new head of the Special Investigating Unit. Justice minister Jeff Radebe said at the time of the State of the Union Address that the president would name the new investigations boss by the end of February. DA justice spokeswoman Debbie Schafer questioned why the president had left the important position open for 14 months. “The President in his SONA address pleaded with all to ensure that South Africa is seen as a desirable place for investment,” Schafer said. “Action, or rather inaction, like this prevents us from doing so.”

MOTAUNG AND THREE OTHERS FACE FURTHER FRAUD CHARGES

Bobby Motaung and three others have been arrested on charges fraud and graft but are out on bail of R15,000 each. The charges relate to alleged tender corruption in the building of the Mbombela Stadium, according to City Press newspaper. The Kaizer Chiefs boss, his co-director at Lefika Emerging Equity Herbert Theledi and CFO Chris Grip, who are already to be tried for fraud in the Nelspruit Regional Court on 22 April 22, now s face additional charges. Grip’s lawyer Michael Romanos was also arrested but later released on a warning. The three, with Mbombela municipality’s former manager Jacob Dladla and Tebogo Kubeka, who face the same charges, will appear in court on Monday. DM

Photo: Oscar Pistorius (Greg Nicolson)

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