A round-up of the day’s news from South Africa.
ANC: TREAT MADIBA’S HEALTH AS A SERIOUS MATTER
Former president Nelson Mandela is still in hospital with a recurring lung infection, and his condition remains “unchanged”. A statement from The Presidency on Saturday, after Mandela was admitted to hospital, said his health was “serious but stable”. Earlier, The Star reported that the family had banned all visitors, except for close relatives. But the ANC dismissed this, saying there were “general restrictions that permit only relevant people to have access. As the ANC we have deferred this responsibility to President Zuma to liaise with the family and the hospital”. The party called on media to “treat Madiba’s health as a serious matter and stop making unwarranted speculations”. The Star quoted highly placed sources as saying the family had barred “including government leaders and senior party officials”.
RHINO POACHER SHOT DEAD ON LIMPOPO GAME FARM
Police, trackers and farmers in Limpopo united to track down rhino poachers on a game farm in the province, eventually shooting one and arresting another after 24 hours of following their tracks. Police spokeswoman Colonel Ronel Otto said a worker on the farm saw “strange tracks” in the Cumberland area, alerting farmers and the police. Two private helicopters assisted the trackers, who spotted a man sitting under a tree. Otto said one of the suspects, a Mozambican national, fired at a helicopter, and at the team tracking him. He was shot dead. Another man, from Zimbabwe, was later arrested on the farm. Police confiscated a hunting rifle and ammunition, as well as an axe. Otto said.
MEN APPEAR IN COURT FOR DR LOUIS HEYNS MURDER, ROBBER CASE
Two men accused of murdering Dr Louis Heyns have abandoned their application for bail while lawyer for a third man, charged with being in possession of Heyns’ stolen car, has argued for a bail hearing to be heard next week. Brothers Marthinus and Sarel Van der Walt are accused of robbing and killing the Stellenbosch University medical professor whose body was found in a shallow grave in Strand two weeks ago. Juan Liedeman, in whose Malmsbury chop shop Heyns’ car was found, is being charged robbery as an accessory after the fact and defeating the ends of justice, both schedule six offences.
ANCYL TASK TEAM DISBANDS ORGANISATION IN FOUR PROVINCES
The task team charged with sorting out the ANC Youth League’s troubles have disbanded the organisation in four provinces. Convenor Mzwandile Masina said ANCYL structures in Limpopo, Free State, North West, and Northern Cape had been collapsed. Those in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, and the Western Cape were “reconstituted”. BDlive reported that patronage and factionalism were among the reasons given for the disbandment. Masina said some “drastic measures have to be taken to rebuild” the youth arm of the ANC after looking at the findings of a national assessment of youth league structures. The team is still to decide on what to do about the Eastern Cape. Gauteng needed further assessment to “ascertain the real state of the organisation”.
JULIUS MALEMA LOSES HIS FARM
Former ANC Youth League leader, Julius Malema, has lost the farm after his Schuilkraal farmstead was sold at auction for R2.5 million. The buyer, The Star reported, was Malema’s neighbour, Callie Calitz of Wencor Holdings. The money for the farm, as well as that for his incomplete mansion in Sandown, which was sold for R5.9 million, has gone towards settling his R16 million-tax bill. Other goods, such as his car and household items, were sold separately. The Asset Forfeiture Unit attached the farm in March because the authorities believe the property had been bought from crime proceeds after a R52 million tender had allegedly been awarded illegally to On-Point Engineering. Malema’s Ratanang Family Trust had shares in the company.
ZUMA PAYING ‘FAIR’ RENT ON NKANDLA LAND
President Jacob Zuma is paying a fair rent for the land on which he has built his private home in Nkandla. The Ingonyama Trust Board, which administers the tribal land, says the R800 Zuma pays is based on a traditional system of land. Judge Jerome Ngwenya, the chairman of the trust, told the Mercury newspaper Zuma’s position had not influenced the rent he paid. He said Zuma had paid for his portion of the tribal land in terms of traditional law, which predated the 1900s and the Ingonyama Trust, which was established in 1994. Ngwenya said the tribal system allowed people to own land with the permission of the chief.
DURBAN POLICE ARREST MEN WITH R1.4 MILLION HEROIN
Police in Durban have arrested two men with more than R1.4 million worth of heroin in their possession, concealed in the lining of their suitcases. The men, Jamali Saidi and Ali Abdalla Ali, are alleged to be linked to a multimillion-rand Tanzanian drug syndicate. The Durban Organised Crime Unit and Crime Intelligence arrested them after a two-month operation, the Daily News reported. A source told the newspaper this was a “significant arrest” as the men were “high flyers” who did not deal in drugs, but delivered them to dealers for “kingpins”. The heroin was transported by ship from Afghanistan to Tanzania, before moving to South Africa.
DA SUBMITS PAIA APPLICATION ON NKANDLA CLASSIFICATION
The Democratic Alliance says it cannot “tolerate a situation where the government is allowed to bury reports that are meant to answer serious questions about how it is that over R200 million of public money was spent on one man’s private home”. Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko says the party will now submit a Promotion of Access to Information application to the public works department to access all documents relating to the classification of its report into the R206 million upgrade of President Zuma’s private home in Nkandla. Minister of public works, Thulas Nxesi, has ignored calls by the DA to clarify on what legal basis the report was classified. “We now need answers,” Mazibuko said. DM
Photo: Police in Durban have arrested two men with more than R1.4 million worth of heroin in their possession, concealed in the lining of their suitcases. (REUTERS)
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