South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 25 April 2013

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

TUTU ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL FOR TESTS

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has been admitted to a Cape Town hospital, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation says. The Foundation, run by his daughter the Reverend Mpho Tutu, said Tutu was in hospital for the “treatment of a persistent infection and to undergo tests to discover the underlying cause”. It said in a statement that the Archbishop “spent the morning in his office today before checking into hospital. He was in good spirits and full of praise for the care he receives from an exceptional team of doctors. The non-surgical treatment is expected to take five days”. Tutu was recently honoured with the Templeton Prize, an award given to someone who has “made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension”.

COSATU TELLS MOTSHEKGA NOT TO POUR OIL ON SADTU FIRE

Cosatu has told basic education minister Angie Motshekga “not to even think” of taking action against teachers who joined a protest calling for her resignation. Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini said there was “a fire already” and said should Motshekga go ahead with her threat to enforce the no work, no pay rule, it would be tantamount to pouring “oil on the fire”. Dlamini said Cosatu supported the South African Democratic Teachers Union’s demand for Motshekga – and her director general, Bobby Soobrayan, to go, and called on President Jacob Zuma to “recall” her.  “We are calling for the president to fire that DG,” he said. “The education of our children cannot be held to ransom by two individuals.”

NO MORE HEROES AT DTI OR NCC

Public protector Thuli Madonsela says the director general of the department of trade and industry (dti) interfered with the National Consumer Commission’s (NCC) human resource management, and abused his authority in doing so. Speaking at the release of her report, There Are No Heroes, Madonsela said the dti “acted like an over-protective parent, not willing to allow an 18-year-old child to stand on their own two feet”. Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi, former commissioner of the NCC, said the dti and its DG, Lionel October, had abused its oversight powers and interfered with operations. The department accused Mohlala-Mulaudzi of failing to implement proper financial systems. Madonsela agreed, but said the dti was partly responsible, as it hadn’t provided the commissioner with resources.

CEO OF LION SANDS GAME RESERVE DIES IN CHOPPER CRASH

The CEO of Lion Sands Private Game Reserve died when the helicopter he was piloting crashed in Mpumalanga on Tuesday, according to The Lowvelder. Nick More, who owned the aircraft, was one of four passengers who died in the crash. The other three were Pierre de Villiers, Lance Cooper and Elmarie Martens. The foursome was en route to Grand Central Airport in Gauteng. When the helicopter failed to arrive, More’s secretary called his flight instructor, Roger Mortlock. The newspaper said Mortlock tracked More’s phone’s location via GPS and found the wreckage on a farm near the N4 highway. More’s other property, owned with his brother Rob, was named third-best hotel in the world by Tatler magazine in 2006.

ICASA APPROVES TOP TV’S PORN APPLICATION

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has approved pay television operation Top TV’s application to introduce porn channels to its offering. Top TV, which has been facing financial challenges, applied to screen three adult content channels – Playboy TV, Desire TV and Private Spice in an effort to increase its revenue stream. “The authority upholds the view that there is no law of general application prohibiting the production and distribution of adult content in South Africa. Only the production and distribution of child pornography is expressly prohibited by law,” said Icasa’s Paseka Maleka. The authorisation comes with the proviso that adult content is screened during the “watershed” period between 8pm and 5am.

FASTJET MAKES FAST MOVE WITH ZUMA’S SON

Low cost airline Fastjet has joined forces with President Jacob Zuma’s son Edward Zuma and businessman Yusuf Kajee to launch cheap flights in South Africa. UK-based Fastjet, which had hoped to buy the bankrupt 1Time airline, said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Blockbuster, an investment company owned by Zuma and Kajee. It said in a statement the new airline would have a 75% South African shareholding, which would make it compliant with regulations on air license ownership. Fastjet and Blockbuster will be using Federal Air, a South African air charter service based at OR Tambo International Airport, to operate its flights.

OPPOSITION PARTIES SUPPORT MORE FUNDING FOR NPA

Opposition parties have come out in support of increasing the budget of the National Prosecuting Authority. The NPA says a shortage of money is preventing it from staffing sexual offences courts with as many competent prosecutors as they need. ACDP MP, Steve Swart, said he’d made a “strong plea for additional funding” and that the NPA was spending its resources properly. DA MP Dene Smuts agreed. “The NPA’s predicament really is of special concern, therefore I think the justice committee will be able to recommend additional funds,” she said. Acting national deputy director of public prosecutions, Thoko Majokweni, told parliament’s justice and constitutional development portfolio committee that it was unlikely that the NPA would meet its target of two prosecutors for each sexual offences court because of “budgetary constraints”.

SIU ‘A UNIT IN DISARRAY’

President Jacob Zuma must take direct responsibility for the “abysmal” state of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), says DA deputy spokeswoman on justice, Debbie Schafer. She said Zuma’s “irresponsible actions in respect of the SIU” had a “negative impact” on the fight against corruption in South Africa. Schafer was responding to the appearance of acting SIU head Nomvula Mokhatla in parliament, who was tasked with presenting the SIU’s Annual Performance Plan, Strategic Plan and Budget. “All it projected was a unit in disarray after losing some of its senior staff members, with no leadership. The plan itself was threadbare to say the least, with a number of the targets that were given being substantially reduced,” Schafer said. She said the party tool “no delight in pointing out that we have been warning of the SIU’s downward spiral for about a year now, and it was very apparent today”. DM

Photo: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu (REUTERS)

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