A round-up of the day's news from South Africa.
ANC IN NORTH WEST BATTLING ON SEVERAL FRONTS
The ANC is battling another front in North West province as 15 councillors in the Ngaka Modiri Molema district threaten to resign. This follows the ousting of ANC mayor of Tlokwe by the party’s own councillors and the DA, which has now won the mayor’s seat. Councillors in the Ngaka district have objected to the names put forward by the ANC for positions of chief whip, speaker and mayor. If the councillors resign, by-elections will have to be held, as they will be on Wednesday in Tlokwe where the councillors expelled by the ANC are standing as independents. SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande has called on members to mobilise against what he called the party of “baases and madams”. The ANC said it would “intensify” its efforts to mobilise the community in Tlokwe.
ARMS DEAL COMMISSION POSTPONED OVER CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS
Judge Willie Seriti has agreed to postpone the arms deal commission of inquiry for two weeks at the request of lawyers for the department of defence. The lawyers want the issue of declassification of documents dealt with before the hearings, which started on Monday, continue. The commission also needs to appoint a third commissioner after the resignation of Judge Francis Legodi for “personal reasons” last week. Commission spokesperson William Baloyi said the commission was waiting for guidance from the presidency, on the legality of starting the hearings without a third judge, as envisioned by President Jacob Zuma when he announced the commission. The commission is investigating longstanding allegations of fraud and corruption around South Africa’s R70-billion arms deal.
CITY OF JOHANNESBURG APOLOGISES FOR MANDELA BILLING ERROR
Former president Nelson Mandela is the latest victim of the City of Johannesburg’s series of billing mistakes. The city delivered an arrears ultimatum to Mandela’s Houghton home – and promptly apologised to the family for “any inconvenience caused by this unfortunate incident”. Spokesman Kgamanyane Maphologela told Sapa officials had gone to apologise to the family and the children’s foundation. Earlier, Eyewitness News posted a copy of the pre-termination notice on its website. But spokesman for the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory, Sello Hatang, said it was an error, a fact confirmed by Maphologela who said the address and account number belonged to another customer in a neighbouring suburb.
POO PROTESTORS STRIKE WESTERN CAPE LEGISLATURE
Cape Town’s notorious ‘poo protesters’ have struck the Western Cape Legislature for the second time. Just days after the directorate for public prosecutions announced its intention of pursuing a case against the ringleaders of the group, four men once more dumped faeces on the steps of the legislature.
Police spokesman Andre Traut said the circumstances surrounding an incident this morning at the Western Cape legislature were being investigated. “Four male suspects dumped human faeces on the steps and fled the scene,” he said. The alleged ringleaders are reported to be former ANC councillor Andile Lili, and ANC proportional councillor Loyiso Nkohla. The third man is Thembela Mbanjwa. A further 180 people were found in possession of human waste at a train station appeared in court on Friday.
VIP PILOTS COULD LOSE INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATION DUE TO LACK OF FUNDS
VIP pilots tasked with flying President Jacob Zuma may soon lose their international ratings, as there is not enough money in the South African Air Force budget to send them for retraining. Die Burger reported that three pilots in the 21 Squadron are already unable to fly as their certification had expired. Uncertified pilots could be banned from a country’s air space as it is against international aviation rules. The newspaper reported that continuation training takes place in the United States and the United Kingdom and while the US offered free training, the air force was forced to cancel, as it didn’t have enough money for the pilots’ flights and accommodation.
GREAT WHITE SHARK ATTACKS BOAT OFF CAPE COAST
A great white shark has attacked an inflatable fishing boat just off the Strandfontein coast outside Cape Town. The crew were fishing for smooth hound sharks, prey for great whites, the Cape Argus reported. The attack by the seven-metre long shark left a gash about half a metre long as well as a number of the shark’s teeth in the boat’s hull. Owners Kevin Overmeyer and Chad Battle said this was the first time something like this had happened. Although they see great whites “quite often”, they had never attacked the boat. A passenger on the boat said one of the fishermen had just pulled a smooth hound shark on to the boat when the great white came out of the water, and took hold of the side of the eight-metre boat.
DA FILES PURSUES FRAUD CASE AGAINST KZN POLITICIANS
The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal says it is entitled to the record of decision in the case of the National Prosecuting Authority dropping charges of fraud and racketeering charges against high-profile KZN politicians. DA leader in the province, Sizwe Mchunu, said the party had submitted a responding affidavit in a bid to get the record of decision in the case of economic development MEC, Mike Mabuyakhulu, and speaker Peggy Nkonyeni. “We can’t have one concept of justice for the powerful and connected and another for ordinary citizens,” Mchunu said. He said the NPA’s claim the information requested in the DA’s PAIA application would vindicate its decision to withdraw the charges. “Why then has it refused the DA’s Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application?” Mchunu asked.
FOUR-MONTH-OLD BABY, SEVEN YEAR OLD BROTHER, BOTH RAPED
Western Cape police have confirmed that a four-month-old baby and her seven-year-old brother were raped in Ceres at the weekend. Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer said the baby had been sleeping in bed with her parents when a man snatched and raped her in the early hours of Saturday morning, Sapa reported. Her brother was in the house and raped at the same time. The man is believed to have been staying in the house at the time of the rapes. “The child is currently at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, where she had reconstructive surgery, and she will stay there for a long time,” Lamoer told reporters at a police memorial service in Kuils River. “As you can see, there is a sick society outside. Some men can’t take the responsibility and we need to make sure this person is arrested.” DM
Photo: A great white shark (REUTERS file photo)
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason." ~ Thomas Paine