South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 19 April 2013

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

GAUTENG ANC: DA NOISES ABOUT WINNING GAUTENG A ‘PIPE DREAM’

The ANC’s Gauteng secretary, David Makhura, says the party will experiment with new forms of campaigning – including the use of social media – in the run up to next year’s general election. The Times reported Makhura’s intention to “to pay special attention to the youth and the middle class in suburbs and townships across the province”. A recent research report commissioned by the ANC showed that the middle class and the rich were no longer supporting the party, and that the youth could be swayed to vote for opposition parties. Makhura said the DA did not threaten the ANC in Gauteng, saying the “noise” about winning the province was “nothing but a pipe dream”. 

VAVI: TIME TO EXPOSE AND CRUSH THOSE WHO LEAK INFORMATION 

Zwelinzima Vavi has lashed out at leaders of Cosatu, accusing them of treason for leaking rumours to the media. The secretary general of the labour organisation, addressing a National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa conference, said he was “of the view that there can be no common ground with those leaders who are sources. Either they succeed to divide and weaken Cosatu or we expose and crush them”. Vavi, who did not name the leaders he was referring to, said his detractors should produce evidence that he and his family benefitted from the sale of Cosatu’s Braamfontein building, an allegation levelled at him through leaks to the media. He said if they’d had proof, they would have given it to the newspapers long back”.

J ARTHUR BROWN GUILTY ON TWO COUNTS OF FRAUD

The Western Cape High Court has found former Fidentia boss J Arthur Brown guilty of two counts of fraud. He was originally arrested on 197 charges six years ago. Judge Anton Veldhuizen found him guilty of defrauding the Transport Education and Training Authority and the Mantadia Asset Trust Company (Matco), but acquitted him on seven other charges of corruption, money laundering, theft, and fraud. Speaking to the media outside court, Brown said he’d been vindicated “in many respects”. He said he’d been accused of running the biggest pyramid scheme in South Africa, and of stealing billions of rands and hiding the money offshore. His R1 million bail was extended and he will return to court on 29 April for sentencing arguments.

MISSING CAPE TOWN SURFER FOUND ALIVE 

The Cape Town man who went missing at sea, suspected of being swept overboard while suffering from seasickness, has been found alive after 27 hours. The National Sea Rescue Institute said Brett Archibald from Camps Bay was found sunburnt and dehydrated, and reported he came close to drowning at least eight times. The NSRI’s Craig Lambinon said Archibald had been “stung by jellyfish, picked at by fish, and seagulls had tried to pluck his eyes out”. Archibald was on a surfing trip to the Mentawai Islands, off Sumatra. No one aboard the boat on which he was travelling, the Naga Laut, realised he had gone overboard. People on a surf charter boat spotted him on Thursday morning.

NPA AND AFU WIN ORDER TO SEIZE ASSETS OF RHINO POACHING KINGPIN

The North Gauteng High Court has granted a preservation of assets order to the National Prosecuting Authority and the Asset Forfeiture Unit under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act against a suspected rhino-poaching ringleader. Joseph Nyalunga, a former policeman, is presently facing charges in the Middelburg Regional Court. Nyalunga was arrested during an undercover operation in March during which police recovered more than R5 million stashed in a metal coffer in the garage. The order was granted on the basis that the money represented the proceeds of unlawful activities, or was used to commit offences. The Asset Forfeiture Unit had last year seized assets worth more than R3.2 million from the accused.

GAUTENG HEALTH MEC WARNS OFFICIALS ON KICKBACKS

Senior managers in the Gauteng health department have been warned about  “taking kickbacks leading to price hikes and delays in payments for suppliers”. Health MEC Hope Papo, addressing a performance review meeting, said the reason the department found itself under financial pressure in 2011 was mainly as a result of “wrong and reckless decisions and practices”. He said the reason the department found itself under financial pressure in 2011 was mainly as a result of “wrong and reckless decisions and practices” and that this had to “come to an immediate stop”. Papo said it was “puzzling that invoices disappear for periods of over two years and resurface when a supplier has taken legal action”, referring to a case where a supplier was owed R34,000 for a period of over two years because one official had kept the invoice for no apparent reason.

YOUTH EMPLOYMENT ACCORD A ‘NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT’

The Democratic Alliance says the youth employment accord released on Thursday is “a national embarrassment and represents a betrayal of South Africa’s 4.7 million unemployed youth”. The party says the Youth Wage Subsidy, renamed the ‘Youth Employment Tax Incentive’, the only policy on the table that would create real new jobs for young people, has been left out of the document.

It said the “interventionist, public-sector-led, distortionary proposals, and are almost entirely inconsistent with the National Development Plan”. Finance spokesman Tim Harris said most of the ideas would not lead to job creation. “There is no way that ‘youth brigades’ and ‘youth co-operatives’ can even begin to create the 4.7 million jobs we need for South Africans under the age of 34,” he said.

INTERDICT AGAINST DELIVERY OF HELICOPTERS TO ZIMBABWE REMAINS

The North Gauteng High Court has ordered that an earlier interdict against the delivery of Alouette helicopters by the South African National Defence Force to the Zimbabwean army has been upheld. AfriForum’s legal representative, Willie Spies, said the minister of defence would be held liable for the costs of Thursday’s court action. The rights group instituted legal proceedings in terms of South African legislation and the Constitution that stipulates State or any other person may not export arms or military equipment to another country without the proper permit. A permit may only be granted if the National Conventional Arms Control Committee was satisfied that the human rights record of the receiver was acceptable. “This never happened and AfriForum is now applying to have the decisions of the South African National Defence Force reversed,” AfriForum said in a statement. DM

Photo: Zwelinzima Vavi (Greg Nicolson/ Daily Maverick)

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