A round-up of the day’s news from South Africa.
ANC CONDEMNS ‘DESPICABLE ATTACK’ IN BOSTON
The ANC has condemned the Boston bomb blasts that killed three and injured more than 130 people as a “senseless and dastardly act of terrorism”. It said there was no justification for such a “despicable attack” in which two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon. The two South Africans injured in the blast were spectators, Department of International Relations and Co-operation spokesman Clayson Monyela said, adding that none of the 28 runners taking part in the marathon were hurt. The ANC sent condolences to the families of those who died, and were injured in the attack. “We also call on the world community under the auspices of the United Nations to join hands in the fight against terrorism,” the party said in a statement.
DA CALLS FOR DETAILS ON GOVERNMENT LOAN TO ZIMBABWE
The Democratic Alliance wants Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to give details on the R900 million loan to Zimbabwe. DA finance spokesman Tim Harris said he’d submitted a parliamentary question in an effort to find answers on the motivation of the loan, its repayment terms and whether there were any conditions attached. “We believe that any financial support provided to Zimbabwe should be conditional on the money being spent on specifically defined projects that will improve the prospects for real democracy in Zimbabwe through free and fair elections. Under no circumstances should we tolerate extending a credit line without strict political conditions,” Harris said.
KHAYELITSHA POLICE INQUIRY ON HOLD UNTIL CONCOURT JUDGMENT
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s continued opposition to the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into policing in the township has led to a temporary postponement of public hearings. The commission said it would suspend its investigation until after the Constitutional Court had ruled on the matter so as to “avoid unnecessary waste of public funds”. It wouldn’t stop working altogether, though, and would continue to collect statements from community members and collate research on “relevant matters”. The inquiry was set up by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille last year to investigate allegations of police inefficiency. Mthethwa is appealing a High Court judgment that ruled against granting an interim interdict to stop the Commission from issuing subpoenas against the police and from holding public hearings.
POLICE CONFISCATE CELLPHONES WITH PISTORIUS IMAGES
Police working on the Oscar Pistorius murder case were offered thousands of rands for photographs taken by officers after the paralympian’s arrest. The Star reported that police confiscated cellphones from 45 officials after finding out they had photographed him. Disciplinary action was being taken against those officers, police said. Hilton Botha, the man who initially led the investigation before leaving the police service, said media companies had offered to pay between R5,000 and R10,000 for photos. A foreign company was prepared to pay over R400,000 for a photograph of the toilet door through which Pistorius shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in February.
COSATU TO SUPPORT DA CAMPAIGN AGAINST WINELANDS TOLL ROADS
Arch rivals the Democratic Alliance and labour federation Cosatu will join forces to fight electronic tolling in the Western Cape. Business Day reported Cosatu’s provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich as saying he would support the campaign to resist tolls on the N1 and N2 highways. The leader of the DA in the Western Cape, Ivan Meyer, said the poor would bear the brunt of the proposed Winelands toll project. The Western Cape High Court will hear the City of Cape Town’s application to stop the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) from building toll plazas on 16 May.
GORDIMER WARNS GOVERNMENT OVER TROOP DEPLOYMENT IN AFRICA
The South African government should take care not to support the wrong sides in its peacekeeping missions in Africa, says Nobel literature laureate Nadine Gordimer. Sapa-AFP reported that the outspoken writer said it was “very very troubling” that 13 SANDF soldiers died in the Central African Republic and that more troops were being deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo. She said while it was “wonderful” that South Africa was willing help solve crises in Africa, “You may indeed (be) helping to support the wrong side, in some cases the government is the wrong side and the other cases, it’s the rebels.” Gordimer said it seemed that “morally, we should not send our troops to kill when we are not quite sure what it’s all about”.
HIGH COURT MAKES MALEMA ORDER FINAL
The High Court in Pretoria has made final a provisional order for the preservation of Julius Malema’s assets. Malema owes the South African Revenue Service (Sars) R16 million in tax, but last month missed a deadline to challenge the application by Sars for sequestration of his estate to cover that bill. The application for the order was brought after the sheriff of the court tried to remove assets from Malema’s Polokwane home, finding that some of them were no longer there. His remaining assets were auctioned for R54,810. The Asset Forfeiture Unit has seized the former ANC Youth League leader’s farm in Limpopo, and his homes in Sandton and Polokwane. Sars rejected a R4 million settlement offer in January.
SHOP EMPLOYEES ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT ON WOMAN
A video of an assault on a woman accused of shoplifting uploaded by the Daily Sun to its YouTube account has resulted in the arrest of five people. Limpopo police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the five – Matthew Makofane, Maria Mahlaela, Gladys Maphanga, Refilwe Mzimba and Thabang Makuwa – were all employees of a clothing shop in Jane Furse. Makofane and Mahlaela received R500 bail each but the other three were remanded in custody as all had previous allegations of assault against them. “Further investigations revealed that three of the employees committed a similar crime involving young children,” Mulaudzi said. DM
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When threatened the Central African Horror Frog will break the bones in its toes and force them through its skin Wolverine-style to create makeshift claws.