A round-up of the day's news from South Africa.
PULE QUESTIONS THE FITNESS OF THE SABC BOARD
Communications minister Dina Pule has met the board of the SABC to discuss the various governance scandals taking place at the public broadcaster. In a statement issued after the meeting, Pule said she was “most concerned about the latest breaches of corporate governance that are playing themselves out in public”. Pule was referring to the on-going drama around acting COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng who was fired by the board, then reinstated by chairman Dr Ben Ngubane, then told the reinstatement wasn’t legal. Pule has now written to the parliamentary portfolio committee on communications asking them to “urgently look into the fitness of the SABC Board to remain in office”.
WITS CONCERNED OVER SEXUAL HARASSMENT ON CAMPUS
A lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) accused of sexual harassment has been fired after the university discovered he had failed to disclose past accusations of harassment in a previous job. Another lecturer has been suspended while claims that he sexually abused students are being investigated. “The allegations of the nature and extent of sexual harassment, as reported in the Sunday Times and in social media, at the University of the Witwatersrand are deeply concerning,” chairman of the Wits Senate, Professor Loyiso Nongxa said. He said the student/lecturer relationship should be based on “trust, integrity and respect”. Nongxa said any allegations “must be taken seriously and investigated as a matter of priority” and that the university’s sexual harassment policy was under review.
LONMIN WORKERS BACK UNDERGROUND AFTER BRIEF STRIKE
Workers at Lonmin platinum mine have returned to work after a brief illegal strike. The mine’s spokeswoman, Sue Vey, said over 6,000 miners were back underground, and that the strike had cost the company a shift’s worth of production. The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) is believed to have been behind the protest. The union is demanding that rival union, the National Union of Mineworkers, close its offices on the mine, as it is no longer the majority union. Vey said Amcu wanted majority recognition agreements to be settled. Lonmin said discussions on a new recognition dispensation “are on-going and therefore we do not yet have a new recognition agreement in place” but that ”the majority union should be rightly recognised in a system which promoted inclusive representation”.
PENSIONER SHOT AT IN PRETORIA JEWELLERY ROBBERY
A bullet grazed the head of a pensioner at after a gang of jewellery robbers shot at him as they made their escape from the Menlyn Park mall in Pretoria. Police spokeswoman warrant officer Annabelle Middleton said five armed men entered the mall, and forced staff at the NWJ jewellery shop to lie on the floor while they robbed it. As they fled the scene, they fired a single shot at the elderly man, who was getting a shopping trolley. Middleton said he was treated at the scene, but that the shops attendants were “traumatised”. Police believe the men’s accomplices were waiting outside in two getaway cars.
DA CAUCUS LEADER IN ETHEKWINI OUSTED IN VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE
The DA’s eThekwini caucus leader Tex Collins and fellow councillor Ronnie Veeran have been ousted after a vote of no confidence at a caucus meeting. The Mercury reported the DA leader in KwaZulu-Natal, Sizwe Mchunu said the motion of no confidence passed with a majority vote, and that the decision was not based on a single issue. “The caucus members felt the party was not strongly represented at the executive committee level and that a new approach was needed,” he said. Mchunu denied the vote was the result of the Collins and Veeran being ineffective in dealing with issues, such as the controversial Manase report, at the exco. The Manase report details fraud and corruption in eThekwini and has been kept under wraps since it was issued.
ANC: PISTORIUS’ FATHER ‘POLITICISED’ TRAGIC INCIDENT
The ANC has lashed out at Oscar Pistorius’ father Henke after he told a British newspaper that the ANC-led government did not protect white people from crime, and that the family owned weapons not only for hunting but also for personal protection. “Not only is this statement devoid of truth, it is also racist,” said spokesman Jackson Mthembu, adding that it was “sad” that Pistorius’ father had ‘”chosen to politicise a tragic incident”. The Pistorius family also distanced themselves from the story published in The Telegraph. Family spokesman Arnold Pistorius said in a statement the family own weapons purely for sport and hunting purposes and that Henke Pistorius’ comments did not represent the views of the family. Mthembu said the ANC welcomed the family’s statement.
TEACHER UNION THREATENS DEPT, CALLS FOR MOTSHEKGA TO RESIGN
The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) wants basic education minister Angie Motshekga to resign, saying it has lost confidence in her. The union said the minister should “do the honourable thing and take the road less travelled by submitting her resignation”. The union’s stance comes after Motshekga withdrew an agreement that protected collective bargaining. Motshekga’s spokeswoman said the minister was “disappointed” to hear from Sadtu via the media when the department was “always committed and available to meet and discuss any concerns raised by unions, as we regularly do”. Sadtu has also threatened that it would not take part in any departmental programmes, would be in schools for seven hours and that “no extra effort beyond that must be expected from us”.
CWELE APPEALS TO WITNESSES TO TAXI MURDER TO COME FORWARD
State security minister Siyabonga Cwele has appealed to members of the public who witnessed police dragging a taxi driver tied to a SAPS vehicle to come forward. Sapa reported that Cwele told the National Assembly that government viewed the death of Mido Macia in a serious light and wanted action taken against those responsible. Cwele appealed to witnesses to pass on information to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), particularly those who have video footage of the incident that later led to the death of Macia while in police custody. Eight police officers have been arrested in connection with the murder of the Mozambican national. DM
Photo: Henke Pistorius (REUTERS)
Watermelons were originally cultivated in Africa.