South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 16 July 2013

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


The African National Congress has praised outgoing Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale for his “dedication and commitment” to his leadership role in the province. Mathale announced his resignation on Monday following a recall by the party. In a statement the ANC said Mathale had left behind “a prosperous, thriving and stable province notwithstanding some of the challenges experienced in recent times”. The challenges included five departments being put under administration and the provincial executive committee being dissolved and replaced by a task team. Mathale denied he and his government had tried “to derail or delay any process of investigation or disciplining any irregular conduct”. DA legislative leader, Desiree van der Walt, said, “Mr Mathale’s track record in government is so poor that he should have been shown the door a long time ago.”


Deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe says the African National Congress is being prevented from being more united and effective by “vested personal interests”. In an interview with the Financial Times, Motlanthe said if the party did not “pay attention to the importance of being relevant to the people of South Africa, it will run the risk of losing power”. He expressed concern over the upcoming 2014 general elections, saying it worried him a “great deal” as voters “assess a party not on the basis of its glorious history but on the basis of what they experience”. Motlanthe doesn’t believe the crisis in the ANC had reached its apex yet.  “I think it will be self-delusion to believe it’s something that can self-correct. It has to get worse first,” he told the newspaper. He said people leading service deliveries protests came from the ANC. He said the leadership of the party in 1994 were not “tainted by the trappings of power”.


Advocate Dali Mpofu has announced that lawyers representing Marikana miners at the Farlam commission of inquiry have pulled out of the proceedings. The decision comes as mineworkers wounded and arrested during the Marikana labour unrest wait to hear a Pretoria High Court ruling on an application for the state to fund their legal team. Mpofu said the lawyers’ instructions from the miners were to wait for the judgment but that in the meantime the lawyers would not participate in the proceedings, Sapa reported. Mpofu wants President Jacob Zuma and Justice Minister Jeff Radebe to approve payment for the mineworkers’ legal team.


The Democratic Alliance wants an urgent investigation into the allocation of R895 million to a food security project being handled by Masibambisane, an NGO chaired by President Jacob Zuma and run by his nephew, Deebo Mzobe. Dion George, the party’s representative on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), said he would ask its chairman, Themba Godi and the auditor general, Terence Mombembe, to investigate monies allocated by various national and provincial government departments. “There appears to be no tender for this project nor any explanation provided for why Masibambisane must act as a middle-man, where the already exists a Zero-hunger Campaign project in the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries,” George said.


The controversial R2 billion ‘Zumaville’ development is going ahead, as the local chief has given his permission, the Cape Argus reports. The Nkandla-Mlalazi Smart Growth Centre, planned to surround President Jacob Zuma’s private home in Nkandla, is a project of the Masibambisane Rural Development Trust, co-headed by a cousin of Zuma’s, Sibusiso ‘Deebo’ Mzobe. The development includes a school, libraries, a sport centre with tennis courts, housing, communal gardens, modern residential units, a shopping mall, a college, banking facilities and other amenities. Mzobe told the Sunday Times that the local chief, Vela Shange, had approved the development. Local residents had protested, as they didn’t want to move or have family gravesites cleared. Public protector Thuli Madonsela said last year she would investigate ‘Zumaville’.


The Pretoria High Court has found Johan Kotze guilty of murder. Judge Bert Bam found the so-called ‘Modimolle Monster’ and one of his co-accused, Andries Sithole, guilty of the murder of his former wife’s son, Conrad Bonnette. The judge said Kotze, Sithole, Pieta Mohlake and Sello Mphaka were all guilty of kidnapping and gang raping Ina Bonnette, saying it was “obvious that all four are guilty of it”. Kotze was also found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm for the torture of Bonnette, whose testimony the judge found “believable”. Kotze pleaded not guilty on the basis of temporary insanity.


Zwelinzima Vavi has increased his personal security, as he fears for his life. “I am scared. This matter came to the public sphere three years ago, and it seems people who issued the threats then are still on a mission to attain that,” he told Eyewitness News. The Cosatu secretary general, who is fighting for his political life within the labour federation, said he’d started receiving death threats in 2010. He said he was told he would “go down” the same way as the former deputy minister of health, Dr Molefi Sefularo, who died in a car accident, which, Vavi said, was thought to be “engineered”. Vavi is undergoing an internal investigation for alleged corruption involving the sale of Cosatu’s former headquarters.


A Durban man has been convicted of money laundering in a British court. Bradley Rogers was extradited to the UK last year after it was alleged he was working for an international fraudster based in Spain. Rogers was accused of processing £715,000 from acts of fraud through his bank account between October 2007 and September 2010, the Daily News reported. He was sentenced to two years and 10 months in jail at the Ipswich Crown Court. “You willingly laundered sums of money through bank accounts for no other reason than personal greed,” Judge Rupert Overbury told Rogers. The newspaper said at the age of 23, Rogers had surrendered control of his bank account to Muldoon and from then on it was used to process the proceeds of crime. The money came from fraud in which there were 14,000 victims. DM

Photo: Cassel Mathale (Greg Nicolson)


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