South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 20 March 2013

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


The Asset Forfeiture Unit has seized Julius Malema’s farm in Limpopo. The National Prosecuting Authority granted the AFU a forfeiture order “for a farm that is alleged to belong to Mr Julius Malema as part of a money laundering scheme”. Spokesman Medupe Simasiku said in a statement the farm is estimated to be worth about R4 million. He said the farm was registered in the name of Gwama Properties, the sole director of which is Lesiba Cuthbert Gwangwa. “It is noteworthy that the AFU application was neither opposed by Mr Gwangwa or his company Gwama Properties, nor by Mr Malema, who is alleged to be the real owner,” Simasiku said. The court said the property was bought with the proceeds from fraud, corruption, theft, and money laundering.


Ministerial interference in board decisions and the functioning of the SABC is at the heart of the crisis at the public broadcaster. Board member Suzanne Vos told parliament’s portfolio committee on communications that minister Dina Pule’s interference had become “extremely problematic”. Vos also targeted former chairman, Dr Ben Ngubane, who she accused of “singular, unilateral, decision-making”. The committee has now dissolved the SABC board, and is nominating interim board members to ensure the continued functioning of the SABC. Pule denied she had interfered, saying if she had “some of the things at the board would not have happened”. Vos is not the only member to point her finger at ministerial interference. Several other board members, over the course of the past year, have said the same.


Riah Phiyega says she stands by the press statement issued by the police the day after the Marikana massacre in which she said the SAPS had to “employ force to protect themselves” from the group of miners. The national police commissioner was testifying before the Farlam commission of inquiry. Sapa reported that evidence leader Mbuyiseli Madlanga said the statement was not well considered. But Phiyega it was compiled by commanders from the joint operations centre and that it, to the best of her knowledge and information, presented the facts. Madlanga said the impression was that the commissioner had “rushed” to issue a press statement that absolved the police of wrongdoing.


A survey by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation has found that 40% of young black South Africans have little or no confidence in the country’s political parties. Those surveyed by the SA Reconciliation Barometer were under 35 years old. “Not only young South Africans but adults, really believe that political leaders are not responsive to their views, and they have no power to change the opinions of what happens in government,” said IJR researcher Kate Lefko-Everett. About 58% of young South Africans said they would consider supporting a political party different to the one preferred by most of their friends and family. The Constitutional Court was the institution which all races and age groups had confidence in, with 69.4% of the sampled population giving it the thumbs up.


The South African Institute of Race Relations says around 52% of crimes (1.7 million) are not reported to the police. The SAIRR says according to data from Statistics South Africa the number included 82,000 unreported cases of house robbery and 8,000 unreported car hijackings. One thousand murder cases weren’t reported, equalling three per day. Researcher Kerwin Lebone said expenditure on private security rose from R2 billion in the 1990s to an estimated R50 billion in 2011.”All these facts taken together signify a lack of confidence in the police by some sections of the population,” he said in a statement. “Unlike information from the SA Police Service, which is based on actual cases reported, the Stats SA data is a sample survey of 31,000 private households (including workers’ hostels) in all provinces.”


The man accused of murdering ANC councillor Wiseman Mshibe has been sentenced to life in prison for planning and executing the crime. Durban High Court Acting Judge Thomas Ncube who said political murders were prevalent in the province and that offenders must be severely punished for them sentenced Nkosiyabo Ngubane. Prosecutors alleged that the motive for Mshibe’s murders was tension in the ANC. Ncube said the crime was premeditated as Mshibe had been followed from Umlazi to Yellowwood Park, and was shot as he entered the yard of his Coedmore Road home in March 2011.


Human settlements minister says the growth in South Africa’s informal settlements was being driven by the rural-urban migration of the poor and jobless. Tokyo Sexwale said the country faced a crisis similar to an internal refugee situation, where the poor migrated to the cities. The led to informal settlements growing “uncontrollably” and the populations within them increasing rapidly. Sexwale, who was speaking at the establishment of the chair for education in human settlements development management at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, said this imposed service delivery pressures on resources that were not budgeted for by “perceived affluent municipalities”.


An ANC councillor in North West has been arrested for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl. The ANC in North West said it “vehemently condemns abuse, rape and torture of women and children and is therefore taken aback by this terrible development”. Spokesman Kenny Morolong said in a statement. While the party “believes in the established legal jurisprudence of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, our movement notes with regret that these allegations have serious implications on the moral integrity and image of the ANC”, he said. Police spokesman Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said the girl and her friend were walking back from a sports ground on Saturday when the 45-year-old councillor gave them a lift. He allegedly raped the girl at a nearby dam. She escaped and told her mother, who reported it to the police. DM

Photo: Julius Malema (REUTERS)


Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?

Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.

Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.

Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.

*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.

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