South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 4 July 2013

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

OUSTED TLOKWE MAYOR IS ‘ILLEGALLY OCCUPYING’ HIS FORMER OFFICE

Ousted ANC Tlokwe mayor Maphetle Maphetle is refusing to leave his office after he was unseated by both his own and DA councillors this week. “The DA is consulting its legal team on the possibility of an interdict to end the illegal occupation and bring immediate stability to the municipality,” said the party’s North West leader Chris Hattingh said in a statement. The DA’s Annette Combrink was unanimously voted in as the new mayor for the second time since November. ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said the party would “spare no effort in seeking to determine the motive behind this unacceptable and inexcusable conduct” referring to Mphetle’s ouster, not the charges of corruption against him exposed in a forensic audit.

SHERIFF OF THE COURT BREAKS DOWN GATE TO MVEZO

The gates to Mandla Mandela’s Mvezo village have been broken down to allow officials from the sheriff of the court’s office to gain access to the remains of three of Nelson Mandela’s children. eNCA filmed the action after a judge at the Eastern Cape High Court ruled for 16 members of Nelson Mandela’s family, ordering that the bodies be exhumed and returned to their original gravesite in Qunu. eNCA said three hearses entered the property three hours after the ruling. Mandla Mandela removed the bodies in 2011, saying that as the eldest grandson, it was his responsibility to decide where the family’s gravesite should be situated. The family, led by Mandela’s oldest daughter Makaziwe, disagreed.

MANDLA MANDELA FURIOUS OVER ‘ALLEGATIONS AND DIRT’ THROWN AT HIM

Mandla Mandela has taken aim at his critics over the “allegations and dirt thrown in his direction”. Former president Nelson Mandela’s oldest grandson, who is chief of Mvezo, lost a court bid to overturn an interim interdict demanding that he return the remains of Mandela’s three dead children to their former resting place in Qunu. His spokesman, Freddy Pilusa, said in a statement Mandla Mandela had been “denied the right to respond to the contents of the court application against him”. Eastern Cape High Court Judge Lusindiso Pakade ordered the sheriff of the court to exhume the graves at Mandla Mandela’s property in Mvezo and move them to the family farm in Qunu for reburial. Mandla Mandela said he would hold a press briefing on Thursday to “to put to bed a lot of the issues circulating in the public space,” Pilusa said.

ZILLE: MANDELA FAMILY MUST BE GIVEN SPACE TO RESOLVE DIFFERENCES

Helen Zille has stopped by the Medi-Clinic in Pretoria to lay down flowers and wish former President Nelson Mandela a speedy recovery. The DA leader and premier of the Western Cape said she was in Pretoria and “could not drive past the hospital without doing anything. The DA supports the father of the nation, Nelson Mandela”. Zille would not be drawn into the row over the Mandela family feud and said the family must be given the privacy to resolve their differences. The Mandela family would decide on his final resting place, she said.  “Wherever his final place will be I hope the whole nation will embrace it.”

SIZANI CRACKS ANC WHIP OVER ELECTRONIC MONITORING OF MPS

New ANC chief whip Stone Sizani says his office fully supports parliament’s proposed initiatives to regulate the leave and attendance of MPs, including an electronic monitoring system, biometric fingerprinting and sanctions to deal with unauthorised absence. He lashed out to the Democratic Alliance’s “outright rejection of the proposed electronic monitoring system”, which, he said, “is illustrative of its obstructionist opposition style that seeks to frustrate every progressive initiative both within and outside parliament”. DA chief whip Watty Watson said MPs shouldn’t be tagged like cattle. He said government isn’t allowed to tag prisoners, as it would be an infringement of their rights. The Freedom Front Plus said the problem with absenteeism emanated from the ANC, not the opposition parties.

TWO SA PILOTS DIE AS ‘BATMAN’ PLANE CRASHES IN BOTSWANA

Two South African pilots have died when their plane, which featured in the latest Batman movie, crashed in in Botswana, Beeld reported. Rob Tasker, 75, and Lindy Brooks, 56, from Batair Cargo left Lanseria Airport in their Embraer Bandeirante en route to Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A planned landing in Francistown in Botswana went awry after heavy mist caused them to take a second pass as they could not see the landing strip. The plane’s wreckage was found two hours later. In the film, The Dark Knight Rises, the plane ‘crashes’ using computer generated special effect.

DA SHOCKED BY SAHRC REPORT INTO A FREE STATE MUNCIPALITY

A South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) report into living conditions in the Free State’s Masilonyana municipality has “shocked” the Democratic Alliance, Sapa reports. Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said the report revealed “startling information about conditions of the community which has left me shocked and angered”. Mazibuko laid a complaint at the commission following a visit to the settlement last year. “These are conditions which no South African should have to endure,” she said. The SAHRC found Joe Slovo residents had endured contaminated water and water shortages for the past two years. Residents had complained about unknown substances, slime, flies and mosquitoes in their water, which also had a foul smell at times.

ANCYL CONDEMNS ATTACK ON DA YOUTH LEADER’S HOME

The new leadership of the ANC Youth League in the Western Cape has expressed sympathy to the DA youth activist Luzuko Mngqibisa whose home was petrol bombed on the weekend, calling the attack “cowardly and thuggish”.  Spokesman Muhammad Khalid Sayed said violent acts of intimidation are “devastating to the psyche of young people in the Western Cape, particularly those residing in poor communities still affected by Apartheid”.  Sayed said in a statement that politically active youth needed an environment free from intimidation. He rejected the DA’s claims that the attack was part of an ANCYL campaign to make the province ungovernable, saying there was “no such campaign led by us”. Police are investigating a case of arson. DM

Photo: Mandla Mandela, grandson of former South African President Nelson Mandela, sings during a church service near the home of the former president in Qunu June 30, 2013. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

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