South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 22 July 2013

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


The Rhodes University Law Clinic, meant to provide  “free legal services to the indigent people of Grahamstown and the surrounding area, who cannot afford to pay a private practitioner”, took on the case of the 16 Mandela’s against Mandla Mandela. The Sunday Times reported that the Clinic regarded some of the Mandela applicants as being “indigent”, but listed the jobs and directorships of the children and grandchildren, which ranged from MPs and ambassadors to mining and petroleum interests. Legal Aid stipulates applicants for its services should earn less than R5500 after tax, be on state grants and not be worth more than R300,000 in terms of house ownership, car, furniture and clothing. Deputy director of the Clinic, Wesley Hayes, is the Mandela’s instructing attorney.


New transport minister Dipuo Peters says the investigations into the car accident that killed Gauteng economic development MEC Nkosiphendule Kolisile should be sped up. “The death of MEC Kolisile and his protectors is yet another stark reminder of the challenges we continue to face on our roads,” said Peters in a statement. Kolisile was killed in a head-on collision with a truck in the early hours of Saturday morning on his way to a funeral in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape. A Road Traffic Management Corporation team of crash and incident reconstruction and investigation experts is assessing the site of the accident to determine the cause of the accident, she said. Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane said she was told the MEC’s vehicle was making way for an ambulance, when they went into oncoming traffic and collided with a truck, killing Kolisile, Sergeant Tebogo Motsei and Constable Tshepo Jobo.


Former deputy finance minister Jabu Moleketi has become a victim of a criminal gang that targets people leaving OR Tambo International Airport, the Sunday Times reports. Moleketi told the newspaper the gang was quite clearly rushed, and grabbed his suitcases, and stole goods worth R70,000. The attack took place at his home in Observatory in Johannesburg. Moleketi had just returned from a G20 meeting in Russia, representing the Development Bank of Southern Africa, which he chairs. He believes the gang followed him from the airport. They attacked him as he entered his house, blocking the sensor and using guns to intimidate Moleketi. Police are investigating.


The ANC is in the middle of another succession battle as factions allied to President Jacob Zuma and the party’s deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, rage over who will be deputy president of the country next year, after the general elections. At the heart of the debate, the Sunday Independent reported, is if the country should have a female deputy president with Baleka Mbete and Lindiwe Sisulu touted as possible candidates. Sources told the newspaper Zuma’s faction believes the deputy president of the party doesn’t necessarily have to be the deputy president of the country. But Ramaphosa’s supporters say the positions must be occupied by the same person to prevent there being two centres of power.


President Jacob Zuma’s cousin Debbo Mzobe, who runs the Masibambisane rural-development initiative NGO that Zuma chairs, has six default judgments against him for not paying his bills. Mzobe has been given the job of running a R895 million-food security project on behalf of government. City Press, which broke the story last week, reported the judgments related to school fees, loans and personal debt. Mzobe has refused to publish the NGO’s financial statements, and said he pays for his own travel and accommodation at the five-star Michelangelo Hotel. Zuma has criticized the media’s reporting on the Masibambisane, saying the project will go ahead.


A director o Dave Sheer Guns, Gareth de Nysschen, allegedly sold weapons and ammunition bought for South Africa’s Special Forces to countries in conflict, the Saturday Star reported. In an affidavit presented at the Lenasia court, the state said military intelligence had been investigating De Nysschen for two years. He is believed to have illegally imported  “weapons of mass destruction like the Gatling gun and 40mm rockets”, but the weapons were never delivered to Special Forces.

The affidavit said the weapons were shipped to Syria, Sudan Republic of Chimbote and Kenya. De Nysschen was arrested last week with DSG general manager Efthimios Demis Karamitsos. The state has opposed bail.

The state opposed bail, with Magistrate Syfred Mati postponing judgment.

The weapons were bought under the auspices of a tender awarded to New Generation Arms Management (NGAM), the newspaper reported.


The Hawks have confirmed they are investigating former communications minister Dina Pule. National Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko said the matter was reported in the Western Cape Central police station, but that the matter was now in the hands of the Hawks and that it was getting “the attention it deserves”. Earlier, the Democratic Alliance has accused the South African Police Services (SAPS) of either losing the docket on former communications minister, Dina Pule, or is “failing in their duty to investigate the allegations of corruption against the former Minister”. Communications spokeswoman, Marian Shinn, said the Hawks in the Western Cape have revealed they have “no record of the corresponding case number and that the specific case is not being investigated by the Hawks”.


There is a hit out on the man accused of killing striptease kingpin, Lolly Jackson. Newspaper Sunday World said underworld figures have claimed it would be a “miracle” if George Luca, who is expected to stand trial for the murder of Jackson, made it to the trial. The justice department has been told by Interpol to expect Luca next week after he lost his fight against extradition from Cyprus, where he fled after Jackson’s death. Spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga told the newspaper the logistic for Luca’s return would be finalised this week. His testimony would “rattle cages”, the source said. DM

Photo: Mandla Mandela (REUTERS)


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