A round-up of the day’s news from South Africa.
MANDELA ‘STILL THERE’ SAYS DAUGHTER
Former South African President Nelson Mandela is responding to touch and is “still there”, his eldest daughter Makaziwe said on Thursday after visiting the critically ill anti-Apartheid leader in hospital. “I won’t lie, it doesn’t look good. But as I say, if we speak to him, he responds and tries to open his eyes. He’s still there. He might be waning off, but he’s still there,” she told SABC radio. US President Barack Obama called Mandela a “hero for the world”. Speaking in Dakar, at the start of his African trip, Obama said Mandela’s legacy would “linger on through the ages”. President Jacob Zuma said Madiba’s condition had improved, and that he remains “critical but now stable”.
QUNU CHIEF GIVES PERMISSION TO MOVE BODIES OF MANDELA CHILDREN
Nkosikazi Nokwanele Balizulu, the chief of Qunu village, says she has granted permission to the Mandela family to exhume the remains of former president Nelson Mandela’s children, Makgatho, Thembekile and Makaziwe, from Mvezo to be reburied in Qunu. She told City Press Madiba’s daughter, Makaziwe, approached her on Tuesday to ask for permission to exhume the three bodies from Mvezo and to rebury them in Qunu, from where they had been moved by Mandla Mandela. The newspaper was unable to reach Mandla, Mandela’s oldest grandson. Balizulu said she gave letters of to a funeral parlour they had appointed “as per their instructions”.
SA, NIGERIA SEE DECLINE IN FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT
Africa was one of only two regions in the world to experience an increase in foreign direct investment in 2012 but inflows to regional giants Nigeria and South Africa declined, a United Nations report says. While global FDI fell by 18% last year, Africa bucked the trend with inflows increasing 5% to $50 billion, as countries like Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda reaped the benefits of new discoveries of oil and gas, according to the 2013 World Investment Report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. FDI flows to South Africa slumped 24% to $4.6 billion in 2012, largely due to a foreign mining company offloading its stake in a South African subsidiary, the report said.
SOUTH AFRICA PART OF NEW DRUG ROUTE, SAYS UN
South Africa has become an important destination for criminals as they move drugs from Afghanistan down the east coast of Africa. This is the result of “improved policing along the ‘Balkans route’ to European markets, as well as increased demand locally”, said the United Nation’s 2013 World Drug Report. The report, issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said new psychoactive substances (NPSes), which are unregulated, have been found in seven African countries, including South Africa. South African NGO, LeadSA, launched an initiative called Drug Watch this week, in partnership with Crimeline. It aims to strengthen the fight against drugs by bolstering the work done by the police, community police forums, the government and the metro police.
ANC’S TLOKWE WHIP SUSPENDED OVER MAPHETLE AFFAIR
The ANC’s chief whip in the Tlokwe municipality in North West has been suspended. The party’s provincial disciplinary committee (PDC) suspended David Kham for three years after he was found guilty of misconduct and bringing the ANC into disrepute, The Star reported. Kham’s suspension is the result of his role in an incident last year in which a DA councillor replaced the ANC mayor, Maphetle Maphetle. ANC councillors refused to vote, allowing the DA to take over. “He was given an opportunity to resign as the chief whip of the ANC and single whip of the council after being implicated in the matter of the removal of the mayor preferred by the ANC,” said PDC chairman Mike Khauwe. Other councillor involved will also face the disciplinary committee.
SHERIFF COULD SEIZE GAUTENG HEALTH DEPT ASSETS
The sheriff of the court has attached assets of Gauteng’s health department after it ignored a court order, issued in April, to pay a medical negligence claim, Sapa reported. The department has now been until 13 July to pay victim Queen Mpinga whose leg was amputated as a result of negligence on the part of the Natalspruit and Pholosong hospitals in 2006. The Times reported that the sheriff catalogued 400 computers, 600 desks, and 800 chairs at the department’s head office, which it will seize if Mpinga is not paid R750,000. Mpinga went to hospital for treatment for a wound on her ankle. She was sent home and told to treat it with Betadine.
HOME AFFAIRS ESTABLISHES XENOPHOBIA ‘FORUM’
The department of home affairs has established a “forum” to host discussions on xenophobia, says deputy minister Fatima Chohan. Chohan said government was gravely concerned about the level of violence directed at foreign nationals. “We felt there was a need to discuss the matter with foreign national business people,” she said after a meeting with business and community leaders in Pretoria. The discussions were sparked by the recent spate of violence directed at foreign nationals. In some instances, businesses belonging to foreign nationals were looted. Chohan said she hoped the forum would encourage people to address the challenges they face. “We believe this is a healthy way to address conflicts. We hope this will result in a process and culture of resolving problems.”
PROTEST LEADER TELLS NEWSPAPER HE WAS AFRAID FOR HIS LIFE, DIES
A man who led protests in Cato Crest over allocation of RDP houses told a newspaper two hours before he died he was afraid he would be killed. The Daily News reported that Nkululeko Gwala did not want to attend a meeting held by eThekwini mayor, James Nxumalo, and health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo to discuss rising tension in the area during which two local councillors’ offices were torched because he feared he might be killed. He told the newspaper the reason he had led the protests this week was that councillors were giving low cost houses to politically connected people. He said he was leading the protests for “the rights of the people”. Two men shot him a couple of hours later as he was making his way home. DM
Photo: A child sits in front of candles lit by wellwishers as they gather in support of ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital where he is being treated in Pretoria June 27, 2013. (REUTERS)
"Man is by nature a political animal" ~ Aristotle