A round-up of the day’s news from South Africa.
CHARGE OF EXTORTION LAID AGAINST VAVI RAPE ACCUSER
Cosatu secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi has denied allegations of rape directed at him by a woman who says he helped her find a job at Cosatu’s offices. The woman and her husband were trying to blackmail him to the tune of R2 million, the union leader said. The woman, who spoke to Sunday newspapers, said this was a “trick” and that Vavi’s wife, Noluthando, who had asked her to put in writing what it would take for her promise to “keep quiet”, had set her up. Vavi has admitted to having sex with the woman but says it was a consensual act between two adults. Vavi’s lawyer, Dup de Bruyn, said a case of extortion had been lodged against the woman at the Sandton police station. Vavi said on Twitter he had “apologised profusely” to his wife.
MUGABE TARGETS TUTU IN LATEST ANTI-SA DIATRIBE
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is the latest target of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. The aging Mugabe, whose country goes to the polls this week, told supporters Tutu, a “respectable man”, should step down “because he supports gays, something that is evil. We say no to gays”, City Press reported. Mugabe laid into President Barack Obama, whose support for gays was “very wrong”. “The Americans want us to embrace gays. I say go away with your money as long as you support gays,” Mugabe said. In 2009, Mugabe called Tutu “an angry, evil and embittered little bishop”. Tutu said on Friday he “would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this” and condemned religious justification for anti-gay prejudice.
SELEBI’S MILLIONS IN LEGAL FEES BEING CONSIDERED BY PHIYEGA
Former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi, convicted of corruption while in charge of the South African Police Service, owes R17.4 million in legal fees – and does not have enough money to pay them. City Press reported that his replacement, General Riah Phiyega, would decide whether Selebi has to pay the whole amount, or part of the amount owed. Zweli Mnisi, spokesman for the minister of police, told the newspaper information on Selebi’s financial situation had been given to the ministry but denied he was being given “special treatment”. He said Phiyega would carefully consider the information. Selebi is out of jail on medical parole.
SISULU FAMILY PAID FOR PRIVATE PLANE FOR MANDELA FAMILY FLIGHTS
The Sisulu family paid for chartered aircraft to fly the Mandela family between Johannesburg and Mthatha during their legal fight with former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela. The family has claimed poverty in order to get the legal aid from the Rhodes law clinic, a director of which, Wesley Hayes, is their lawyer. According to the Sunday Independent, the son of Zwelakhe Sisulu, Moyikwa, said his office as “a service we extended to the family paid for the flights There has been a lot of strain on them and we were trying to help”. He said the Sisulu family had tried to mediate in the battle of the Mandela family gravesite between Mandla and Makaziwe Mandela, who is a cousin to public service minister Lindiwe Sisulu. Although one of the flights was booked through Sisulu’s travel agent, Moyikwa Sisulu said, but he paid the bill. He said his aunt was on the flight, which meant her office was involved in the arrangements.
KZN ANC WANTS CLARITY ON POSITION OF THE PREMIER
The leadership of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal wants the party’s national executive committee (NEC) to confirm its plans for the province’s premier Zweli Mkhize, who doubles up as the party’s treasurer general. Chairman of the ANC in the province, Senzo Mchunu, confirmed to City Press that the party in the province wanted clarity on whether Mkhize should move to ANC headquarters before next year’s general elections, so that it was “not left uncertain and left to speculation”. The province would follow the NEC’s directive, Mchunu said. The KZN ANC hosted a governance summit at which Mchunu told delegates that government positions came with responsibilities to the electorate.
ANC ACCUSED OF USING FOOD PARCELS TO BUY VOTES IN TLOKWE
The South African National Civic Organisations regional secretary in Tlokwe, James Gadinabokao, has accused the ANC of abusing state resources in an attempt to buy votes “given the timing of this distribution of food parcels, especially in this ward”, the Saturday Star reported. Gadinabokao was referring to Ward 9, where by-elections are due to take place after 14 ANC councillors were expelled from the party for siding with the DA in an effort to rid the council of mayor Maphetle Maphetle for the second time. Councillors on both sides have accused Maphetle, allegations being probed by the public protector. Gadinabokao said social development minister Bathabile Dlamini had been frequenting the area and would deliver food parcels this week.
DA HAS CHANCE TO WIN GAUTENG, SAYS FORMER ANC STRATEGIST
The Democratic Alliance has a chance of winning Gauteng province in next year’s general elections, the party claims. National spokesman Mmusi Maimane said politic strategist Stan Greenberg – who worked with the Mandela-era ANC during the transition to democracy – conducted an “extensive poll into voter sentiment” in the province. Greenberg said the ANC under President Jacob Zuma had “lost sight” of its original goals and now “presided over inequality and unemployment”. He says the ANC’s shift away from Nelson Mandela’s values would cost the party in next year’s elections. Greenberg, who is based in Washington and worked for President Bill Clinton, and his team will provide the DA with advice and research in its 2014 election campaign.
CLAIMS ANC SECURITY HEAD FIRED OVER LIBYAN BILLIONS
The ANC’s head of security whose knowledge of the $10 billion in money and assets stashed by Muamar Gaddafi loyalists in South Africa has been fired. Tito Maleka was sacked to weeks ago, the Sunday Independent reported, saying it was the result of his “knowledge of the involvement of senior government and ANC officials in the disappearance of the Libyan billions”. The newspaper claimed two sources in the ANC said Maleka had stepped on the toes of some ANC leaders by working with the Libyan government to recover the assets. One of the sources said the Libyans were angry that “South Africa stole their money. This money is with senior leaders in our country”. Gaddafi is believed to have moved assets to South Africa prior to the uprising in Libya that cost him his life. DM
Photo: Zwelinzima Vavi