South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 29 August 2013

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

‘ANC BEHIND VIOLENT PROTESTS AND WE HAVE PROOF’

The ANC is behind violent service delivery protests in Cape Town, and the City of Cape Town has the proof, says mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith. The Cape Argus reported the city has video footage to prove its case, and will demand that police and the National Prosecuting Authority arrest and charge the perpetrators before the violence results in deaths. Smith said CCTV footage of protests shows ringleaders and proves “politically motivated actions by members of the ANC”. He said protestors were identified at ANC events and on ANC social media platforms. “This is evidence of a political underpinning,” Smith said. The ANC denies it is behind the protests.

MATHALE’S WIFE ON ILLEGAL MINING CHARGES

The wife of former Limpopo premier Cassel Mathale has handed herself over to the Hawks over charges related to illegal mining, The Star reported. Mokgadi Kgohloane faces a possible R5 million fine or 10 years’ imprisonment if found guilty of mining illegally. Kgohloane and five others were released and warned to appear in the Naphuno regional court in November. The suspects are all directors in the mining company Blue Platinum Ventures 16 (Pty) Ltd and are accused of operating without permission from the department of mineral resources. They face 15 counts in relation to the alleged contravention of mineral and environmental, and water laws.

CORRUPTION, POOR SERVICE DELIVERY IN PUBLIC SERVICE, INCREASES

There has been a significant increase in corruption and poor service delivery in the public service, says public protector Thuli Madonsela. The office of the public protector tabled its annual report in parliament this week, BDlive reported. Madonsela reported there was “a sharp rise in complex service delivery and corruption complaints” in the 2102-2013 financial year, with an “unprecedented” total of 33,777 complaints. This was about 6,400 more than in the previous year, Madonsela said, and her office finalised 22,400 investigations. She said this signalled an increase in public confidence in the work done by her office.

MURDERED MARINE MAY HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN EARLIER FIGHT

The British former marine killed in a fight at Kings Park Stadium, where the Sharks rugby team was playing a super rugby match, may have been involved in an earlier attack, the Durban Magistrate’s Court has heard. Brett Williams died in March after being embroiled in a ‘pack attack’ with brothers Blayne and Kyle Shepard, Andries van der Merwe and Dustin van Wyk. The men are charged with murder, three counts of assault with intent to commit grievous bodily harm, and one of crimen injuria. Another man, Grant Cramer, was charged with assault with the intent to commit grievous bodily harm. Prosecutor Krishen Shah said the new claim would be investigated.

NUM TO GIVE GOLD SECTOR STRIKE NOTICE

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) will give gold producers on Friday 48-hour notice of its intention to strike over deadlocked wage talks, Reuters reported. “The decision to issue a strike notice on Friday has now been taken,” the source, who asked not to be identified. The NUM has rejected “with contempt” a final wage offer from the Chamber of Mines. “An offer of 6% on basic wages has been made to categories six to eight, as well as to miners and artisans, and officials,” the chamber said in a statement, adding that accommodation allowances would be increased in accordance with the consumer price index. The NUM wants R7,000 a month for surface workers and R8,000 a month for underground workers.

ANC MUST APOLOGISE TO KOHLER BARNARD, SAYS DA

The ANC’s chief whip must withdraw accusations that Democratic Alliance police spokeswoman and member of parliament’s ethics committee, Dianne Kohler Barnard, transgressed the ethics code, says the party’s deputy chief whip. Stone Sizani accused Kohler Barnard of “violating her oath of confidentiality and the ethical code of conduct by disclosing sensitive information to her friends on social media”. Sizani based his accusation on a journalist’s column, who subsequently confirmed her comments were “misinterpreted and taken out of context”. Sizani should apologise to Kohler Barnard, withdraw his comments and disseminate the apology through the same channels he used to distribute his statement, the DA said.

WITHDRAW SECRECY BILL, SAYS NELSON MANDELA CENTRE FOR MEMORY

The director of the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory’s archives says the Protection of State Information Bill must be withdrawn and redrafted. Verne Harris said the bill is unconstitutional despite last-minute amendments, Sapa reported. Harris said the bill’s fundamental flaw was that it was designed to have parallel means of dealing with state information, contrary to what was envisaged by the Constitution and the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). “The apartheid state set up parallel state information access and record-keeping regimes, one for classified information and one for all others. This was the basis for the secrecy and lack of accountability which characterised the apartheid system,” he said.  “A democratic South Africa does not want to return to parallel regimes.”

SOUTH AFRICA IS ‘SAFE AND SECURE’ SAYS PHIYEGA

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega believes South Africa is “safe and secure”, BDlive reported. Speaking at a briefing of the Western Cape provincial legislature, Phiyega dismissed premier Helen Zille’s plea for the South African National Defence Force to be deployed to areas crippled by gang violence. Phiyega said South Africa had a favourable police-to-population ratio, that they were “up to the task” and doing their job “very well”. Zille challenged her claim, as areas such as Nyanga – the murder capital of the country – are reported to have one policeman per 1,400 people. DM

Photo: Riah Phiyega (SAPA)

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