South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 19 August 2013

A round-up of the day’s news from South Africa.

CRIMINAL COPS RESPONSIBLE FOR MULTIPLE CRIMES, AUDIT SHOWS

Information previously withheld from parliament’s portfolio committee on police shows 568 of SAPS’ 1,448 identified criminal members are guilty of multiple offences. DA police spokeswoman Dianne Kohler Barnard said a police audit showed 3,204 offences were committed by the 1,448 police officers. These include 54 for murder, 116 for attempted murder, 37 for rape, 33 for attempted rape and 917 for assault. Kohler Barnard said the numbers must be viewed “as a crisis in the SAPS” and that the audit only went up to the end of 2009. She said national police commissioner Riah Phiyega should immediately dismiss the officers as she is empowered to do.

WESTERN CAPE DIVERTS FUNDS TO FIGHT GANGSTERISM IMPACTING SCHOOOLS

The Western Cape government is to divert R6-million from its education budget in an effort to help combat gang violence, Premier Helen Zille and executive mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille said in a joint statement. The provincial education department last week closed schools in areas hard hit by an upsurge in gang violence. Provincial and local officials met with residents in affected areas to discuss options for the schools, Sapa reported. Zille and De Lille said provincial government and the city had no power to investigate and prosecute crimes and gangsters, which is a national competency. They appealed to SAPS to deploy more police to the areas and for President Jacob Zuma to reconsider a request to deploy the defence force to patrol severely affected areas.

ROGUE INTELLIGENCE REPORT IS ‘RUBBISH’

A “spy report” that suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says was circulated by the federation’s president Sdumo Dlamini “to smear and destroy” him has been dismissed as “rubbish” by other prominent South Africans mentioned in the document. Advocate Vusi Pikoli, former national director for public prosecutions, told City Press the rogue intelligence report was “rubbish”, backing Vavi’s point that it was “total fabrication”. The report names key SA figures that it claims were paid to advance the interests of the United States via an organisation called the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). It said the NED and its South African agents were behind civil unrest, President Jacob Zuma’s corruption case and funding Dr Mamphela Ramphele’s party, Agang SA. Vavi said the report was proof of a political conspiracy against him.

DON’T DRAW US INTO YOUR ‘MUD’, MANTASHE WARNS COSATU

The African National Congress does not want to be drawn into Cosatu’s “mud”, says the party’s secretary-general Gwede Mantashe. He accused suspended Cosatu boss Zwelinzima Vavi and his supporters of “trying to draw us into this matter. We don’t want to be drawn into that mud”, Mantashe told the Sunday Independent. On Friday, Vavi said the labour federation was being reduced “a labour desk of the governing party, where leaders, whose ambitions are to serve in Parliament and cabinet, will be able to advance their individual personal careers”. Mantashe said if the ANC wanted to form a labour desk, it would “not need Cosatu” to do so.

‘ADVOCATE BARBIE’ APPROVED FOR PAROLE

The woman known as “Advocate Barbie” is to be released on parole. Cezanne Visser, who is serving a seven-year jail term for indecent assault, manufacturing and possessing child pornography, as well as for defrauding a children’s home, will qualify for parole after serving half her sentence, the Sunday Times reported. The correctional services deputy commissioner James Smallberger said Visser’s parole fell under the “maximum category” that came with strict conditions, the newspaper reported. Smallberger said Visser, like other offenders in the same category, had to serve half of her sentence before “she qualified for to be considered for placement on parole”.

HILTON COLLEGE OUTDOORS TRIP STRUCK BY DOUBLE TRAGEDY

One pupil has died and another was seriously injured on Hilton College’s annual Outward Bound school leadership excursion. A group of 10 boys and two teachers from the prestigious school were hiking in the Drakensberg mountains when one boy, James Loxton, suffered multiple seizures and later died in hospital. Another boy, Xilombe Tlakula, had his arm crushed by a falling boulder earlier in the week and had to have his arm amputated. The Saturday Independent reported school principal Peter Ducasse saying the school would review future excursions in light of this week’s dual tragedies. Tlakula is in a stable condition in the Albert Luthuli Hospital.

LIMPOPO’S NEW PREMIER SWEEPING CLEAN

New Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha is taking action against some of his heads of department previously implicated in incidents of fraud, corruption and maladministration during sacked former premier Cassel Mathale’s term of office. Charges have been formulated, the Sunday Independent reported, and Mathabatha has met with public service and administration director-general Mashwahle Diphofa and national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega. The results of an investigation by the public service department have been handed to Mathabatha.

SOUTH AFRICA BACKS SADC PLAN FOR SINGLE CURRENCY

South Africa has backed a Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) plan to launch a single currency for the continent, but says it’s unlikely that the goal of doing so by 2018 would be met. Trade and industry minister Rob Davies said there were “a few challenges” that were being addressed as well as “a bit of unfinished business “ in terms of the free trade agreement. Davies was a part of delegation to a SADC summit in Malawi. Davies said there were fears – which he dismissed – that the introduction of a single regional currency would “tilt balances of trade and investment in favour of the more stable economies in the region that may eventually swallow the smaller economies”. DM

Photo: Gwede Mantashe & Zwelinzima Vavi.

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