South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 26 August 2013

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

VAVI BELIEVES ROGUE REPORT ORIGINATED IN INTELLIGENCE SERVICES

Zwelinzima Vavi’s legal team have written to state security minister Siyabonga Cwele demanding he investigates the origins of a report alleging he and other South African leaders are ‘agents’ for a US NGO. Vavi believes he is the victim of a crime intelligence operation aimed at discrediting him headed by a former bodyguard of President Jacob Zuma, Major General Chris Ngcobo, City Press reported. Vavi is understood to have confronted Ngcobo, who, the suspended general secretary of Cosatu believes, is tapping his phone and who falsely warned him of an alleged plot to assassinate him. Vavi is understood to think the report originated within the intelligence services.

ANC’S TLOKWE COUNCILLORS’ EXPULSION OVERTURNED

Fourteen councillors sacked by the ANC for their role in the unseating of Tlokwe mayor Maphetle Maphetle, through a vote of no confidence, have had their expulsion from the party overturned. Sapa reported the national disciplinary committee, headed by Derek Hanekom, found not guilty on two counts related to the motion of no confidence because they were charged seven months after the alleged misconduct, in contravention of the ANC constitution. They were also found not guilty of failing to endorse the appointment of the municipal manager in June this year.

ZUMA BROKE HIS WORD, SAYS FORMER CAR PRESIDENT

Ousted president of the Central African Republic, Fancois Bozize, says President Jacob Zuma broke his word that he would send more South African troops to the CAR. Bozize, in an interview with the Sunday Times, which took place in Paris, told the newspaper Zuma made a “secret back-room deal” with both Bozize and his son – who met Zuma in SA in December 2012 – to boost the number of troops in the CAR, but sent fewer than promised. Fifteen SANDF soldiers died in action when rebels over-ran Bozize’s forces. DA defence spokesman David Maynier said an investigation was needed to find why troops were sent to CAR and if Zuma misled parliament in hid persistent claim troops were deployed for training purposes only. The SANDF told the newspaper troops were there to protect SA interests.

SANDU, SANDF AT ODDS OVER REPORTS OF TROOP ACTION IN DRC

The South African National Defence Force Union (Sandu) says troops deployed in the intervention brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo have clashed with M23 rebels. But spokesman for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga told Sapa head had “not heard about any of this”. Sandu said troops “have been engaged in at least two incidents of engagement with enemy rebel forces near Goma over the past 12 hours” and took out “an enemy machine gun nest hampering the advance of Congolese forces and also returned mortar fire on rebel force”.

GAUTENG HEALTH SUED FOR R1.9 BILLION

Gauteng’s health department is being sued for R1.9 billion as a result of 336 lawsuits against it, an investigation by City Press and Media24 Investigations has revealed. The report said parents whose babies were brain damaged during birth by nurses and doctors around the province lodged 35% of the claims. In its investigation, the team found “an attitude of callous indifference displayed by staff responsible for these bungled births towards the mothers and the babies they delivered”. Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi said a lack of supervision, especially at district hospitals’ contributed toward the problem.

MANDELA SHOWING ‘GREAT RESILIENCE’ BUT REMAINS CRITICAL

Former President Nelson Mandela, who has been in hospital since early June with a lung infection, is showing “great resilience” although he remains in a critical but stable condition, the presidency says. “While at times, his condition becomes unstable, the doctors indicate that the former president has demonstrated great resilience and his condition tends to stabilise as a result of medical interventions,” it said in its latest update on Mandela’s condition. “Doctors are still working hard to effect a turnaround and a further improvement in his health and to keep the former president comfortable.”

COMMUNITY GAME RESERVE LAUNCHED IN KZN

Land restored to the community of Somkhanda in 2005 has become the site of a community game reserve, facilitated by the government’s Green Fund. Environment Edna Molewa launched the R22-million ‘Farming the wild’ project in the uPhongolo district KwaZulu-Natal. The department said sustainable use and conservation of wild animals and indigenous vegetation resources has the “ability to green and transform the poor rural economy of South Africa”. The Somkhanda game reserve is a participant of the Black Rhino Range Expansion Programme, which introduces rare and endangered black rhino to the reserve. Revenue streams will be generated from hunting, live game sales, game products and ecotourism.

‘GUPTAGATE’ MAN KOLOANE KEEPS JOB, TAKES DEMOTION

The man at the centre of the recent ‘Guptagate’ scandal has been demoted for illegally authorising the landing of the Gupta family’s chartered aircraft at the Waterkloof Air Force Base. The Sunday Independent reported Bruce Koloane pleaded guilty to charges abusing diplomatic channels, misrepresenting the facts during his “facilitation” of the landing and compromising the “processes and procedures” of the international relations department. He has been removed as chief of state protocol in the department. The report said Koloane would return from his suspension in October, forfeit two months salary and take a position lower than that of deputy director-general. DM

Photo: Zwelinzima Vavi (SAPA)

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