South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 23 September 2013

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

ONE SOUTH AFRICAN DEAD, SIX OTHERS RESCUED AFTER KENYA MALL ATTACK

One South African is among the dead in Kenya’s worst terror attack since the bombing of the US Embassy in 1998. Six other South Africans, including two children, have been rescued after gunmen stormed a mall in Kenya, killing at least 59 people and injuring over 170 more. President Jacob Zuma has sent his “deepest condolences” to the family of the dead South African. He said terrorism in any form could not be condoned. “South Africa stands firmly with the international community in condemning all terrorism, and this act in particular,” he said. The Sunday Independent reported South Africa’s high commissioner to Kenya, Super Moloi, saying two couples resident in Nairobi were shopping in the upmarket Westgate mall when the attack began. They called the High Commission in Nairobi to report they were trapped, communicating via SMS. The international relations department said consular assistance was being given to the family of the South African.

PASS BILLS THAT MAKE ANC LOOK GOOD, PARTY INSTRUCTS MPS

The ANC has devised an elections strategy that orders its members of parliament to rush through legislation that benefits it, and slow down controversial bills or those that might offend traditional leaders. MPs should focus on legislation that enhanced the profile of the ANC in the “eyes of the electorate in the run-up to the 2014 elections”, the Sunday Times reported. Opposition parties are reportedly outraged, as the ANC in a confidential document instructed parliamentarians to ignore six private members bills – including the DA’s defence bill aimed at breaking down secrecy around arms procurement – before parliament closes in November. DA chief whip Watty Watson said he would ask speaker Max Sisulu to call a meeting to discuss the “appalling abuse of the parliamentary process” that “undermines the constitutionally enshrined independence of Parliament”.

SAGEKAL LOGISTICS TRUCK FAILS BRAKES TEST

A truck belonging to Sagekal Logistics has failed a brakes test after being taken to a testing centre in Pinetown. The company also owns the articulated truck that killed 23 people when its driver crashed coming down deadly Fields Hill outside Durban. Weekend Witness reported the truck ran out of fuel and stalled on the M3. Officials found a Zimbabwean driver at the wheel, who was arrested for having an “improper” licence. A transport department spokesman confirmed a truck was impounded and failed a brakes test, but refused to confirm or deny it belonged to Sagekal Logistics. The company confirmed a truck had been impounded.

MANTASHE OPPOSED TO COSATU SPECIAL CONGRESS

The ANC’s secretary general is opposed to the Congress of South African Trade Unions holding a special elective conference. Gwede Mantashe told City Press it was the “worse thing” Cosatu could no because “we are fighting”. Mantashe said the controversy over the future of general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, suspended over an affair with a Cosatu employee, and was not the right environment for such a congress. Despite nine out of Cosatu’s 19 affiliates calling for a congress, some reports question whether it would go ahead. Cosatu’s own research showed Vavi had strong support among ordinary union

POLICE TARGET CABLE THEFT SYNDICATES, ARREST 20

Limpopo police have arrested 16 people for cable theft with a street value of more than R500,000, Sapa reported. Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said police also confiscated two vans when they went to the Amandelbult mining shaft in Thabazimbi this weekend after receiving information about a cable theft syndicate. “The syndicate of more than 26 people would spend a week underground, cutting copper cables and stashing them at a secret hideout,” he said. Earlier, police arrested four people with stolen copper cable worth R250.00 in a series of raids on scrap metal dealers in Tzaneen.

FORMER ANC TLOKWE COUNCILLORS ACCUSE LEADERS OF BRIBERY

More allegations of ‘bribery’ have been levelled at the ANC over the ongoing political drama in the Tlokwe municipality. This time, former ANC councillors have accused party leaders of trying to bribe them with promises of well-paid government jobs if they did not contest by-elections in the area, the Sunday Times reported. The allegations follow those of the DA’s, which has accused the ANC of bribing voters with food parcels. Tlokwe’s newly elected independent councillor, Stone Mahlabe, who won ward 26, said ANC North West chairperson Supra Mahumapelo offered him a government job while another former ANC councillor, Maseapei Madiehe-Teme, said science minister Derek Hanekom had visited her at home and promised a proportional representation seat or a government job.

GANG BOSS STAGGIE DUE FOR PARTIAL PAROLE

Hard Living’s gang boss Rashied Staggie will remain a “sentenced offender” for six months and will have to report back to Pollsmoor Prison every night, a deputy commissioner of correctional services said. Staggie is due for ‘parole’ today, but conditions include wearing an electronic tracking device, not contacting any victims of his crimes and sleeping in prison at night, James Smallberger reported. The Weekend Argus reported that the Manenberg community policing forum has vowed to keep a watchful eye on Staggie, who was convicted of rape in 2003 and sentenced to 15 years in jail. He was later also convicted of robbing the Faure police armoury, receiving a 13 year sentence. Smallberger said if Staggie “behaved himself” he would be fully paroled.

ALCOHOL AD BAN BILL PASSED BY CABINET

Cabinet has approved that the Control of Marketing of Alcohol Beverages Bill, which will be gazetted for public comment this week, says social development minister Bathabile Dlamini says. It was the state’s responsibility to protect the health and well being of South Africans, she said and that research indicated that alcohol advertising influenced behaviour negatively. A study by Econometrix into the impact of such a ban could see thousands of jobs lost. The industry contributes R7.412 billion to the economy. Sports events would be significantly impacted, with South Africa’s ability to host international sporting events hampered. Sports sponsorships lost are estimated to be between R350 million to R700 million. DM

Photo: Gwede Mantashe (REUTERS)

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