A round-up of the day’s news from South Africa.
PUBLIC PROTECTOR, DEFENCE MINISTER VISIT NKANDLA
Public protector Thuli Madonsela has visited President Jacob Zuma’s private home at Nkandla as part of her investigation into the so-called ‘security upgrades’ that cost the taxpayers over R206 million. Defence minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, accompanied the public protector at her request, the presidency said in a statement. The presidency said Madonsela met minister in the security cluster prior to the ‘in loco’ inspection to discuss security protocols. “Government wants to re-iterate its commitment to co-operate with the investigation of the public protector,” the presidency said. “The public protector and the government have agreed that the necessary care needs to be taken to ensure that security is not compromised while this inspection takes place.”
YENGENI HASN’T LEARNT FROM PREVIOUS BRUSHES WITH THE LAW
Tony Yengeni has been arrested for drunk driving in Cape Town for the second time. The member of the ANC’s national executive committee and head of its political education portfolio spent the night in prison, Die Burger reported. The Democratic Alliance has called on national police commissioner, Riah Phiyega, to make sure “no political meddling” takes place. In 2007 the case against Yengeni was struck off the roll when his blood sample was interfered with. The station commander at the Milnerton police station was convicted of defeating the ends of justice while Yengeni walked free. “It is clear Yengeni has not learnt from his previous brush with the law and shows the impact of letting criminals get a free pass,” said DA police spokeswoman, Dianne Kohler Barnard.
COSATU PRESIDENT HAS ‘PREJUDGED’ VAVI, SAYS NUMSA
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) says comments by Cosatu president Sidumo Dlamini have “contaminated” a planned meeting to discuss the fate of general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. In a statement, Numsa said it had lost confidence in Dlamini after he failed to “engage the presidents of affiliates to rescue Cosatu from imploding”. Numsa said the reasons and motivation for convening a special meeting of the central executive committee had been “prejudged by the Cosatu president’s public utterances”. It said Dlamini had “determined” that Vavi had brought the Congress of SA Trade Unions into disrepute before the CEC received a report on the matter”. The matter relates to Vavi’s admission that he had an extramarital affair with a married employee at Cosatu. Dlamini, know to oppose Vavi, had “taken sides”, said Numsa.
DA MAKES PAIA APPLICATION TO SCRUTINISE MEDUPI AGREEMENTS
A submission in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act will shed light on the agreements between Eskom and its contractors at the Medupi Power Station development, the DA says. “While it is well known that labour disputes between contractors and workers late last year and earlier this year at Medupi hampered progress and caused further delays, shoddy production by contractors including ANC linked Hitachi Power Africa among others has added to the crisis,” said public enterprises spokeswoman Natasha Michaels. She said it was “imperative” that contracts are made public as the delays could “have ramifications in Eskom’s ability to provide electricity to the country”.
ENATIS CONSORTIUM, TRANSPORT DEPT DISPUTE MILLIONS IN COURT
A consortium at the centre of the government’s controversial eNatis contract stands accused of billing the department of transport R12 million for work not done. But Tasima is in the middle of a court battle with the department for what it alleges are R118 million in unpaid fees, The Times reported. The Tasima consortium was awarded the R403-million contract for licensing administration in 2001 and from 2007, the contract was renewed on a month-to-month basis. T
The Road Traffic Management Corporation, one of the respondents defending the court action, said fees claimed by Tasima were in dispute and that its former CEO, Collins Letsoalo, had reported the consortium to the Hawks, alleging fraud and corruption. Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko confirmed the case against Tasima, saying investigations were at a “delicate stage”.
NIECE OF DEPUTY MINISTER RAPED AND KILLED
The niece of the deputy minster of mineral resources has been brutally raped and murdered outside Ikhutseng, Warrenton in the Northern Cape. The body of minister Godfrey Oliphant’s niece, Kgomotso Vivian Mapitse, was found on women’s day, the Diamond Field Advertiser reported. “She was lying on her side with her pants pulled down to her knees. She was abandoned to die outside,” a community member told the newspaper. Oliphant described the death of his niece as “tragic” after visiting the family. Mapitse has a two-year-old son. She is believed to have left her home to visit friends.
PRESIDENTIAL MEDICAL UNIT AWAIT OVERTIME… FOR A YEAR
Members of the military’s presidential medical unit have not been paid overtime, says spokesman for the South African National Defence Union (Sandu), Pikkie Greeff. “We are writing a letter of demand through our attorneys today [Monday] demanding that the department must pay the overtime due to our members. If there is no response in 30 days we will issue summons,” he told Sapa. Greeff said members of the presidential protection unit had not been paid overtime for over a year. “They have been promised payment on several occasions, this cannot go on like this,” he said.
KILLING OF KZN COUNCILLOR A MARK OF ‘POLITICAL BANKRUPTCY’
The murder of ANC councillor, Makhosonke Msibi, in Ulundi is an indication of the political bankruptcy and immaturity of people who had been rejected by KwaZulu-Natal voters, the ANC says. Co-operative governance MEC Nomusa Dube said acts such as political killings “simply serve to make us even more determined to entrench full democracy and free political activity throughout KwaZulu-Natal”. She said Msibi was shot dead hours after he had returned from a ceremony welcoming hundreds of new members from the Inkatha Freedom Party and the National Freedom Party in Nongoma. Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Mdunge said Msibi’s son opened the door when a man knocked soon after the councillor had returned home from Nongoma. “The man fired shots at him when he emerged.” Msibi suffered multiple gun shot wounds and died at the scene. DM
Photo: Zwelinzima Vavi (SAPA)
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