South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 14 May 2013

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

AMCU PRESIDENT APPEALS FOR END TO KILLINGS

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) president Joseph Mathunjwa has called for an end to the killings in North West, saying there have been “too many who have died”. Mathunjwa’s statement on the death of Steve Khululekile, an AMCU regional organiser who was shot dead by a group of men on Saturday night, was read to the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the Marikana massacre by lawyer Heidi Barnes. Khululekile was expected to testify before the Commission. He is the third witness to have died. “I do not know who was responsible, but I want to take this opportunity through the commission to plead with all mineworkers to help stop these killings,” said Mathunjwa.

ANC CONDEMNS NORTH WEST KILLING SPREE

The ANC has condemned “in the harshest terms” the spate of murders in North West. The party was responding to killings that took place at the Nkangeng informal settlement in Marikana.  Two brothers were killed and two women were wounded at Nkaneng when a group of armed men attacked them in their shack. Police responding to the murders were shot at as they passed Wonderkop. AMCU organiser Steve Khululekile was killed in a nearby tavern. ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said “Marikana cannot be allowed to deteriorate into a bastion of lawlessness” and that Marikana’s recent violent history “must not perpetuate an acceptance within the community that the South African criminal justice system will tolerate any anarchy as an accepted characteristic of any part of our country”.

MILLIONS STOLEN IN HEIST AFTER BIEBER CONCERT

Robbers have pulled off a major heist at Soweto’s FNB Stadium, making off with millions of rands in a daring robbery. Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said it was alleged that a stadium employee had locked money in a walk-in safe after the Justin Bieber concert, and left for home around 11pm. But on arriving at work on Monday, she found several doors leading to the main safe had been tampered with, Sapa reported. Mogale said the suspects had used a rope to gain entry from the roof to the safe and “removed millions of rands in cash”.

SPEAKER SISULU ‘PASSES THE BUCK’ ON NKANDLA REPORT

The Democratic Alliance has challenged a decision by speaker of the national assembly to refer a report on spending at Nkandla, President Jacob Zuma’s private home, to the joint standing committee on intelligence. DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said this effectively means the contents of the report won’t be made public. She said, as the report would be discussed behind closed doors, information would be buried and “prevent those at the top from being held accountable”. Mazibuko said the report should be referred to the portfolio committees concerned, namely public works, defence and police, “where they should be scrutinised in public”. She said speaker Max Sisulu had “passed the buck” by referring the report to the intelligence committee.

SANGOMA WHO MARRIED 13-YEAR-OLD BREACHES COURT ORDER

A 57-year-old sangoma who earlier this year married a 13-year-old girl in a move that outraged South Africans has been arrested for breaching a court order that forbade him from seeing his ‘wife’. Limpopo police spokeswoman Colonel Ronel Otto said the man posed as her uncle and visited the child at her place of safety. When social workers looked for her, the found her at the man’s house, and her mother there too. Both were arrested for contravening the court order. In January, the man was initially charged with marrying a minor, but the case was withdrawn. “Such practises cannot go unabated in a country where children are protected and have a right to education, [and] a stable and safe environment,” government spokeswoman Phumla Williams said at the time.

SACTWU PENSIONERS WANT THEIR MONEY BACK FROM PIC

An asset management company used money belonging to Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) pensioners to pay the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Business Day reports. The PIC, South Africa’s largest institutional investor, now faces a claim of R11 million despite its claims it was unaware of the source of the money. A commission of inquiry set up to investigate the alleged theft of Sactwu workers’ pension funds fingered asset manager Trilinear. The PIC’s chief investment officer, Daniel Matjila, said the PIC received the money “in good faith”. Trilinear had an investment management agreement with the PIC dating back to 1997. It was tasked with investing R500 million on behalf of the PIC. They were ‘terminated’ after PIC discovered “irregular misappropriation”.

AGANG KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN WITH HIGH LEVEL APPOINTMENT

New political party Agang has appointed a campaign director in what leader Dr Mamphela Ramphele called its first “high level appointment” ahead of the 2014 elections. Nkosinathi Solomon, a banking executive, was “worth the wait”, Ramphele said, adding that he has “R1 billion budgets, run operations with staff complements of up to 2,500 people and has both local and overseas experience in the banking and oil sectors”. Ramphele said more top-level staff appointments were expected soon and that the party was “excited at the quality of people we are attracting.”

WESTERN CAPE DELIVERS 100% TEXTBOOKS

An investigation by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) into delivery of textbooks to schools has found the Western Cape is the only province to have delivered 100% of textbooks delivered to schools this year. IOL reported that an interim report by the SAHRC found that the province’s use of a centralised procurement system and an electronic system to record and monitor the status of book deliveries contributed to its success. Last month, the department of basic education called on education MECs in all nine provinces to attend an investigative hearing into why certain schools in Limpopo and the Eastern Cape had not received textbooks.

DA WANTS ANSWERS ON WHY AL-QAEDA INVESTIGATION WAS STOPPED

Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko has refused to comment on a report that security services monitored the training of al-Qaeda operatives in South Africa. The Daily Maverick reported that police had been watching ‘terrorist’ training activities in Pretoria near the notorious Vlakplaas farm and in the Klein Karoo. DA spokeswoman Dianne Kohler-Barnard said the party wants answers on why an investigation into the activities was stopped. “South Africans deserve an explanation as to what happened and why the investigation was stopped. If there was no terrorist threat then Crime Intelligence should be able to explain their reasoning for halting their investigation,” she said. “These are extremely serious allegations, with both national security and international relations implications, and cannot be ignored. Minister Mthethwa must appear in Parliament to provide clarity on this situation.” DM

Photo: Robbers stole millions of rands in profits after the Justin Bieber concert in Johannesburg. (REUTERS)

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