A round-up of the day’s news from South Africa.
GOVERNMENT TO BUY MALA MALA, BUT ASK OWNERS TO STAY ON
Government is buying Mala Mala Game Reserve, one of South Africa’s most exclusive game reserves. Rural development and land reform minister Gugile Nkwinti said the state would ask the owners, the Rattray family, to stay on. Nkwinti, speaking at a national house of traditional leaders lekgotla, said while the land ownership structure in South Africa needed to transform, there was no need for the economic use of the land to change. The move follows one of South Africa’s most expensive land claims by the Mhlanganisweni community, who were removed from the land during Apartheid. Nkwinti didn’t reveal how much government was prepared to pay for the 13,000-acre reserve, said to be worth R900 million. The Constitutional Court is expected to rule on what is fair and equitable.
JOB GAINS OFFSET BY INCREASE NUMBER OF JOBSEEKERS, SAYS STATS SA
Statistics South Africa has reported that South Africa’s unemployment rate increased to 25.6% in the second quarter of 2013. Statistician General Pali Lehohla told reporters at the release of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey a net gain of 100,000 jobs was seen in employment in the second quarter but this was offset by a 122, 000 increase in job-seekers. The formal and informal non-agricultural sectors showed growth of 1.1% and 1.4% respectively in the second quarter. Construction, trade, finance and other business services were the biggest contributors to the 100,000 net gain in employment in the second quarter, with construction gaining 62,000 jobs and trade gaining 52,000. The gains in trade follow on five successive quarters of job losses. Lehohla said the results showed that having a tertiary qualification increased one’s chances of getting employment.
WOMAN CONVICTED ON CHARGES OF BESTIALITY
The Pretoria Regional Court has convicted a woman of bestiality. Beeld newspaper reported Jana Smith pleaded guilty to four counts of bestiality and one of trying to use a child to create child pornography. Smith told the court she was manipulated and controlled by her former boyfriend, Morne Fourie, who had fantasised about bestiality. Fourie is still to appear in court on separate charges of distributing bestiality-related pornography, and of creating and distributing child pornography. Smith admitted to having sex with two dogs on four occasions. Fourie’s lawyer said the woman had completed Grade 10 in a special school and that she had been molested as a child.
TLOKWE DRAMA CONTINUES AS OUSTED ANC MAYOR REFUSES TO LEAVE
Ousted ANC mayor of Tlokwe, Maphetle Maphetle, is still refusing to leave his office despite a court ruling that the council meeting in which he was unseated was valid. The ANC in North West, Kenny Morolong, said Maphetle and the council’s speaker, Barei Segotso, planned to appeal Judge Neil Tuchten’s ruling, a move the ANC supported. The Democratic Alliance’s Annette Combrink, who was voted in as mayor, has been unable to take office due to the ANC’s legal manoeuvring. The Times reported that Segotso, who came in for a tongue-lashing from the judge, was refusing to call a council meeting to avoid a vote of no confidence against her. The judge accused her of putting factional ANC interests over and above the interests of the council.
TIME TO DISBAND NYDA AND REDISTRIBUTE FUNDS FOR OTHER YOUTH PROJECTS
The National Youth Development Agency has postponed its award ceremony due to its CEO, Steven Ngubeni, being suspended. The organisation posted a message on its website saying the SA Youth Awards had been put on hold “until further notice”. The awards were due to cost R10 million, comprising R R6 027 000.00 on the ceremony, and a further R4 097 994.48 that has already been spent on advertising the event. Minister in the presidency, in reply to a parliamentary question from the DA, confirmed the amount. DA spokesman Joe McGluwa said given the poor track record of the NYDA, and the millions of unemployed South African youth, it was “simply not justifiable for the organisation to “spend such an exorbitant amount on a single event”. McGluwa said it was time President Jacob Zuma disbanded the NYDA and made funds available to “more meaningful” youth projects.
CHARGES REINSTATED AGAINST TAXI DRIVER ACCUSED OF KILLING STANDER
The National Prosecuting Authority has reinstated culpable homicide charges against minibus taxi driver Njabulo Nyawose, the man who allegedly killed Olympic mount bike rider, Barry Stander. Charges against the taxi driver were provisionally withdrawn while the directorate of public prosecutions to decide whether to prosecute him or not. NPA spokeswoman in KwaZulu-Natal, Natasha Ramkisson, told Sapa “everyone was concerned” over the decision to withdraw charges. “The matter is due in court on 21 August to reinstate the charges and a trial date will be set after that,” she said. Stander was killed in January while he was cycling in Shelley Beach on the KZN South Coast. He was fifth in the men’s cross-country race at the 2012 London Olympics.
NO FUNDS FOR SA AIR FORCE SQUADRON IN DURBAN FOR SEARCH AND RESCUE
The South African Air Forces’ two helicopter squadrons based in KwaZulu-Natal received no funding for sea and mountain rescues, but got funding for 300 flights for VIPs, Beeld reported. This follows news last week that the SAAF’s Agusta helicopters were give no operational funding but were also used by VIPs. The newspaper reported 15 Squadron’s helicopters were used to fly President Jacob Zuma from King Shaka airport to Nkandla, only 100 kilometres away, for weekends. Two Oryx helicopters are used to transport Zuma to his private home, each flight costing in the region of R36,000. Pilots in Durban and Cape Town are no longer able to apply their search and rescue skills due to funds being used for VIP flights.
ALLEGED SUGAR CANE FIELD SERIAL KILLER YET TO PLEAD
The man accused of being KwaZulu-Natal’s serial killer, responsible for the deaths of five women, has yet to plead to charges relating to the murders and charges of robbery and theft. S’phiwe Patrick Khoza’s lawyer, Zanele Ndaba, told magistrate KG Chetty that her client had not been informed of his right to remain silent before he made a second confession, the Daily News reported. He was also taken to point out locations where the crimes were allegedly committed. Ndaba said she advised the detective branch commander, Colonel Ronnie Heeralall, that any confession by Khoza would be under duress. Khoza is alleged to having operated in uThongathi, in the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast area, and was responsible for the murders of five women whose bodies were found 3km from each other in the sugar cane fields. DM
Photo: ANC’s Andrew ‘Maphetle’ Maphetle and DA’s Annette Combrink
Some firing squads are all issued with blank cartridges with the exception of one person. This helps alleviate personal responsibility for the execution squad.