A round-up of the day’s news from South Africa.
COSATU PLACES VAVI ON SPECIAL LEAVE PENDING INVESTIGATION
The Congress of South African Trade Unions has placed general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on special leave, Cosatu’s president Sidumo Dlamini has confirmed. Dlamini ended speculation on Vavi’s fate when he told reporters the organisation would “conduct a full investigation into the allegations and to ask both the general secretary and the staff member to attend disciplinary hearings”. Vavi admitted to having an affair with a junior employee, who initially accused him of sexual harassment, but later withdrew the claims. Dlamini said the process would be conducted “in full compliance with the Cosatu constitution”. But the National Union of Metalworkers of SA says the meeting was not properly constituted and the results premeditated with the aim of suspending Vavi.
EFF URGES VAVI, NTOLA TO FIGHT ‘ZANC’
Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters have urged suspended union leaders Cosatu’s Zwelinzima Vavi and Sadtu’s Thobile Ntola to “not be silenced by Palace politics” and to “fight” the “neo-liberal, reactionary, corrupt, and directionless faction that currently run politics in the Zuma African National Congress”. In a statement, the EFF said the suspension of Vavi and Ntola had not come as a surprise as it had warned the union federation it would be “swallowed into same politics of reforms, and all those who push for a radical agenda will be isolated, banished and portrayed as anti-ANC and “the dominant ANC/SACP faction in Cosatu will rid it of independent progressive leaders”.
ARTISTS, ACTIVISTS, ACADEMICS SUGGESTED FOR NEW ‘NY’ STREET NAMES
Child Aids activist Nkosi Johnson, cartoonist Zapiro, murdered US anti-Apartheid activist Amy Biehl, jazz artist Don Tshomela, neurologist Frances Ames and Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika composer Enoch Tontonga are some of the people who could be honoured with streets named after them. The Cape Argus reported that a panel headed by Shado Twala has delivered its recommendations to Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille on what to rename 90 derogatory ‘NY’ (Native Yard) streets in Gugulethu. Twala told the newspaper the process of going through 4,500 proposals “brought out all (types) of passions”. Twala said NY streets would be given proper descriptions, so some would be “lane” or “drive”. NY 1 was renamed Steve Biko Drive last year. The 90 suggestions will be referred to the mayor and naming committee, before being opened again for public comment.
MANDELAS SECURE HAYES AS LAWYER TO CHALLENGE FATHER’S TRUSTS
Wesley Hayes, a lawyer with the Rhodes Law Clinic, has been given permission to represent former president Nelson Mandela’s daughter in their bid to get control of some of their father’s investment companies, The Star reports. Mandela’s daughters Makaziwe and Zenani are trying to have trustees George Bizos, businessman Tokyo Sexwale and lawyer Bally Chuene removed as directors of Harmonieux Investment Holdings and Magnifique Investment Holdings in order to gain control of Mandela’s money. Now they’ve roped in the man who successfully represented them in their case against Mandela’s grandson, Mandla, to have the remains of their three relatives returned to a gravesite in Qunu. Rhodes said Hayes was representing the Mandela’s in his personal capacity.
FARMWORKER ARRESTED FOR RAPE OF BABY, BOY
A local farmworker from the Ceres district in the Western Cape has been arrested in connection with the rape of a four-month-old baby girl and a seven-year-old boy. The man appeared in the Ceres Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, Western Cape police said. Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut said the 25-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday. He said the Ceres community had assisted the police in their investigations. “Crimes against children are regarded our top priority, and we will not relax any of our efforts when a suspect in this regard is sought,” Traut told Sapa. The man snatched the baby from her parent’s bed earlier this month. A boy in the same house was also raped.
PAGAD LEADER ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH MURDER OF TANZANIANS
The national co-ordinator of People Against Gangsterism and Drugs, Abdus Salaam Ebrahim, has been arrested in connection with a triple murder and an attempted murder in Athlone, Cape Town. His lawyer Tashriq Ahmed told the Argus Ebrahim was being held for the murder on Tuesday night of three Tanzanian men and the attempted murder of a woman. Police spokesman Captain FC Van Wyk said cases of murder and attempted murder were opened, and Ebrahim “taken in for questioning”. Ahmed said Ebrahim was “in high spirits” as he knew he had done “nothing wrong”. Ashim Nassoro, who was in a house next door to the tuck shop where the shootings took place, said he saw men armed with AK-47s and 9mm pistols firing shots from outside the premises.
AGLIOTTI TELLS SARS THEY’RE ‘WASTING THEIR TIME’
Glenn Agliotti has told South African Revenue Services (Sars) investigators they’re “wasting their time” looking for money they believe he has banked in offshore accounts. The convicted drug dealer and friend of disgraced former police commissioner, Jackie Selebi, told Radio 702 he believed the investigators were making a “political statement” because he was “back at the top again”, EWN reported. Agliotti said he respected as “the only efficient government body” in South Africa, looking for money in by looking for money in accounts in Geneva and Guernsey was a waste of taxpayers’ money.
NUM PULLS OUT OF MARIKANA COMMEMORATIONS
The National Union of Mineworkers has pulled out of the commemorations marking the first year after the Marikana massacre in which 34 miners died at police hands, and 10 others in wage-related unrest prior to the 16 August killings. Spokesman Lesiba Seshoka said in a statement the organisation of the events had been “hijacked” by the Marikana Support Group that had filled the programme with only opposition parties. Seshoka said deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe’s office was supposed to organise the commemorations. The NUM and rival union Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union were to share a stage in a move to ease tension in the area. DM
Photo: Zwelinzima Vavi (REUTERS)
The 2016 Rio Olympic medals are already showing defects including rusting and chipping.