South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 3 July 2013

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

DA TAKES BACK TLOKWE – WITH HELP OF ANC COUNCILLORS

The Democratic Alliance has resumed control of Tlokwe municipality after 29 councillors from all parties, including the ANC, voted to return DA councillor Annette Combrink to the position of mayor. In a statement, the DA said it welcomed this “united front against corruption in the municipality”. The reason given was that former mayor Maphetle Maphetle failed to deal with corruption exposed in a forensic report commissioned by the DA. Last year, Combrinck unseated Maphetle, but was ousted in February when he won by 31 votes to her 21 votes. The ANC in the North West says ANC councillors in Tlokwe have “behaved in a manner that is against the ANC principles and Constitution”. It will meet with lawyers as they believe Maphetle’s removal is “irregular”.

NXESI HANDS NKANDLA REPORT TO PUBLIC PROTECTOR

Public works minister Thulas Nxesi has handed over the controversial government task team report into the spending at Nkandla to the public protector. Thuli Madonsela told eNCA she had received the report. The public works ministry has also confirmed that it was Nxesi who classified the report as top secret. EWN reported the ministry’s Philip Masilio as saying Nxesi met with Madonsela on Tuesday morning. “The public protector had requested the minister to provide her with the Nkandla report and the minister made the report available to her,” Masilio said. But the report has not been declassified. A task team comprising members of the justice and security cluster investigated the R206 million price tag spent on President Jacob Zuma’s private home in Nkandla.

CRIMINAL CHARGE OF GRAVE TAMPERING LAID AGAINST MANDLA MANDELA

A case of tampering with a grave has been opened against Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, Sapa reports. Eastern Cape police spokesperson Mzukisi Fatyela said a criminal case was opened against Mandla Mandela on Tuesday at Bityi police station, but refused to say who had laid the charge. The criminal charge is the latest salvo fired in an ugly dispute between Mandla Mandela and 16 members of the Mandela family, headed by daughter Makaziwe. The family want the remains of three of Mandela’s children returned to Qunu. They allege Mandla Mandela had the graves moved to Mvezo, which he claims is the Mandela’s ancestral home, without the rest of the family’s consent. The case continues in the Mthatha High Court.

DE KLERK IN HOSPITAL FOR HEART OPERATION

South Africa’s last white president, FW de Klerk, has undergone a procedure to install a pacemaker. De Klerk received the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with his successor, Nelson Mandela, in 1993 for overseeing South Africa’s transition from white-minority Apartheid rule. “He expects to be discharged from hospital within 24 hours. He’s going to get a pacemaker and then coming out,” De Klerk’s personal assistant, Brenda Steyn, told Reuters. Last week, De Klerk’s office said the former president had cut short a European holiday because of the failing health of 94-year-old Mandela, who remains critically ill in hospital. President Jacob Zuma has wished former President FW de Klerk a speedy recovery following his admission to hospital.

SOMALI GOVT SATISFIED WITH SA EFFORTS TO STEM ATTACKS

The Somali government is satisfied with the efforts of the South African government to address the recurring attacks on Somali nationals, especially shop owners in the country. “A lot has been done to address the problems… We found common [ground], common action and common sentiments on how we can avert such incidents in the future,” said Somalia deputy minister of foreign affairs, Dr Jamal Barrow.  Barrow was on a fact-finding mission to assess the situation on the ground and to engage with SA authorities. Barrow, who met with Somali nationals in some townships to get a first-hand account of the conditions under which Somalis live, said the attacks were criminal in nature. Barrow met with home affairs minister Naledi Pandor and deputy minister of police, Maggie Sotyu.

SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR DEWANI IF HE’S EXTRADITED TO SA

A psychiatrist has told the Westminster Magistrate’s Court in London that murder accused Shrien Dewani will be allowed access to a mainstream health facility in South Africa instead of being sent to a court-appointed forensic unit if he is extradited to South Africa. Dewani stands accused of masterminding the murder of his wife Anni on their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010. Dr Ian Cumming said South African authorities had told him Dewani would be sent to a general ward at Cape Town’s Valkenberg Hospital, the Press Association reported. They were going to make an exception for Mr Dewani. He would probably be the first person that they would do that for,” Cumming said.

NPA TREATMENT OF BREYTENBACH IS ‘UNUSUAL’ SAYS LAWYER

The lawyer for National Prosecuting Authority prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach says the conduct of her employer is “unusual”. Andrew Ridding SC told the Labour Court Breytenbach’s new job at the NPA was not the same as the one she had prior to her suspension. The NPA suspended Breytenbach on 15 charges, all of which were dismissed by a disciplinary hearing. Breytenbach maintains the NPA is still trying to prevent her from prosecuting former crime intelligence head, Richard Mdluli. Ridding said the NPA was doing all it could to “prevent Miss Breytenbach from getting her hands on the docket of… (Richard) Mdluli”. Breytenbach has made an urgent application to get her original job back as regional head of the NPA’s specialised commercial crime unit in Pretoria. DM

Photo: Suspended National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach is seen at a disciplinary hearing in Pretoria on Thursday, 7 February 2013. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

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