A round-up of the day's news from South Africa.
WORLD EDITORS’ FORUM CALLS ZUMA TO ACCOUNT FOR MEXICO REMARKS
The World Editors’ Forum has written an open letter to President Jacob Zuma calling his remarks on “patriotic reporting” in Mexico an “insult to the dozens of murdered Mexican journalists whose work made them targets of organised crime”. Author of the letter, Andrew Heslop, called Zuma to account, saying he was the “custodian of South Africa’s democracy” and as such, should listen to the people. “By no uncertain terms is it your job to instruct the press on how to report the successes and failures of the South African dream,” Heslop wrote. “The truth cannot be hidden, especially in this digital age, and as we have so tragically seen in Mexico, such dreams turn quickly to nightmares if the press cannot freely speak.”
MAZIBUKO LASHES ‘MERCEDES MAYOR’ AHEAD OF TLOKWE BY-ELECTION
It is clear residents of Tlokwe have had enough of corruption, says DA parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko. Speaking ahead of by-elections in the municipality of Tlokwe, Mazibuko said ANC leaders had come out in support of “Mercedes mayor” Maphetle Maphetle, facing several charges of alleged corruption, instead of doing what was best for residents. Mazibuko said residents had not sat back and let Maphetle “abuse” them, including irregularly buying a R736,000 customised Mercedes-Benz, but had broken the trend by ensuring his ouster and replacing him with a new mayor. She asked residents to remember that the ANC had not apologised for the corruption or pledged to put people first but was hoping “you will vote blindly for them again, because like the ‘Mercedes Mayor’, they are arrogant”.
MALEMA AND ZUMA SQUARE OFF IN LIMPOPO
Julius Malema has thrown down the gauntlet to President Jacob Zuma as electioneering started in earnest in Malema’s hometown of Seshego in Limpopo, City Press reported. Malema addressed residents on Saturday, telling them the ANC was “too arrogant and thinks it’s untouchable”. Zuma was due to talk to an ANC Youth League gathering on Sunday to celebrate its 69th anniversary, also in Seshego, in what is seen as a move to counter Malema’s mobilisation for his new party, Economic Freedom Fighters, in the province. The area was the scene of service delivery protest this week that saw R40million worth of damage.
NPA PURSUING BREYTENBACH ON ‘SPYING’ CHARGES
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has accused senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach of being a spy for the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad, in the latest development of an ongoing battle between factions in the criminal justice system. City Press reported the NPA is pursuing criminal charges against Breytenbach, the woman who wanted to prosecute suspended police intelligence boss Richard Mdluli for fraud. The newspaper reported a pro-Mdluli faction in the NPA has a letter they say proves she is a spy. Breytenbach was earlier this year cleared of 15 charges brought against her by her employer.
PR MAN FOR POLICE, BLACK BUSINESS COUNCIL ACCUSED OF RUNNING BROTHEL
National police commissioner Riah Phiyega’s recent spin-doctor, Makhosini Nkosi, has been exposed as running a brothel. Nkosi told the Sunday Times the premises – where his PR company is also situated – was an “an interesting B&B” that offered “sensual massages” as part of its masseuse services. Nkosi’s other clients include the National Prosecuting Authority, the Black Business Council, and the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals. The newspaper reported prostitutes work from the “B&B” charging from R400 up to R3,000 “for extras”. Nkosi said he would close down the B&B. Police are investigating.
ZUMA NEPHEW CONNED IN R50 MILLION GOLD DEAL
President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Khulubuse Zuma, has been conned over what he thought was a deal to buy R50 million worth of gold bars, which turned out to be zinc. Zuma and business partner Sikhumbuzo Shamase spent millions of rand on a trip to Conakry, Guinea’s capital, to collect the bars, the Sunday Times reported. They chartered a jet to bring in the precious cargo under armed guard, which, when opened, contained copper and zinc bars. Zuma and Shamase said the cargo had passed a laser gun test and had been certified as being 99.9% pure gold by Guinea’s Central Bank. Shamase told the newspaper the military and traditional leaders colluded in a corrupt system and that the partners had taken a knock as the price of doing business in Africa, the same reason they gave for not reporting the case to the police.
GUPTAS’ BUILDING EXTENSION ANGERS NEIGHBOURS
Neighbours of the Gupta family have complained to the City of Johannesburg about what they call “illegal” and “ugly” extensions to the family’s Saxonwold compound. The Weekend Argus reported residents are taking the fight to the city’s town planning hearing next week after the council confirmed alterations had deviated from previously approved plans. A resident told the newspaper the building’s footprint was 170 metres squared more than allowed under Johannesburg’s town planning rules and also flouted height restrictions. But a spokesman for the family – close friends of President Jacob Zuma – said the proper procedures had been followed.
VAAL BUSINESSMAN KIDNAPPED IN PAKISTAN
A Gauteng businessman has been kidnapped in Pakistan. Arshard Ali, from Meyerton, was in Lahore on business, and was on his way to board a plane back to South Africa when four men in a white bakkie kidnapped him, Eyewitness News reported. His family have appealed to the department of international relations and co-operation for help, his wife Emel told EWN, adding that the kidnappers had not told them what they wanted. She said she wanted to go to Pakistan to look for her husband. DM
Photo: President Jacob Zuma (REUTERS)