South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 25 September 2013

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

SA TO INVESTIGATE PASSPORT OF WOMAN LINKED TO AL-SHABAAB

A woman alleged to be involved in the planning and execution of a terror attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi is in possession of a South African passport, Beeld reported. The department of home affairs said it would work with Kenyan authorities in investigating the validity of Samantha Lewthwaite’s passport, said spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa. He said the government had not yet had “sight” of the passport or an official request from Kenyan authorities. A South African expert on terror group Al-Shabaab said Lewthwaite travelled between Britain, Kenya, South Africa and Pakistan. The passport was in the name of ‘Natalie Faye Webb’.

ANC CONDEMN’S KENYAN ‘ATROCITIES’

The African National Congress has “strongly” condemned the terror attack by armed militia who seized control of an upmarket shopping mall in Nairobi, killing 68 people and injuring scores more. Spokesman Jackson Mthembu said the party remained committed to a peaceful Africa. The ANC sent its “heartfelt condolences” to the victims and their families, and in particular, the family of South African national, James Thomas. The ANC said it supported the call that “those responsible for these atrocities should be found and punished for these acts of terror”.

FISHERMAN DROWNS OFF HANGKLIP, ANOTHER MISSING

The National Sea Rescue Institute has confirmed a fisherman has drowned off Hangklip near Hermanus in the Western Cape. Another fisherman is feared missing, while a further four were rescued when their boat capsized. The Cape Times reported the four rescued men were suffering from hypothermia. NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said the organisation launched a search after the boat capsized and after an hour, found the survivors. “One person drowned. One person left the boat to swim to the shore and is missing,” Lambinon said.

AMCU SERVES 48-HOUR STRIKE NOTICE ON AMPLATS

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has confirmed members at Anglo American Platinum will down tools on Friday. Amplats will make good on its promise to cut 3,300 jobs at the mine, BDlive reported. President of Amcu, Joseph Mathunjwa, says a 48-hour strike notice was served to the company. Amplats maintains its restructuring plan is vital for its long-term sustainability. The mining group’s spokeswoman, Mpumi Sithole, said the company had received the strike notice but warned that industrial action would result in further losses for Amplats.

UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN CAPE CHAIR FIGHTS REMOVAL

A meeting held by the council of the University of the Western Cape in which chairman Brian Williams was removed is unlawful, he says. Williams has lodged an application at the Western Cape High Court, the Cape Times reported, in which he claims the dispute dates back to a 2012 clash in which he and the rector, Brian O’Connell, disagreed over the appointment of an external investigator to deal with a complaint against a member of UWC’s senior management team. Williams said a mediation process was incomplete when a special meeting was called to discuss a report into the matter, and recused himself, as did at least seven others. But the meeting proceeded, and Williams was replaced as chairman, a decision he said is “fatally flawed”.

UN SECURITY COUNCIL ‘UNFAIR’ AND ‘UNDEMOCRATIC’

President Jacob Zuma believes the United Nations Security Council is out-dated and needs to change, BDlive reported. Zuma is in New York to address the United Nations General Assembly. Zuma said the big five countries that comprise the permanent members of the Council, with their veto rights, were part of the problem in world governance. He said it should be transformed to reflect new realities. “You have a minority that has the last word and unfortunately is no longer helping. It is actually becoming part of the problem,” Zuma is reported to have said. “As small countries we believe the arrangement is unfair, it is undemocratic, it’s not good any more.”

ONLY TWO HOURS OF FREEDOM FOR STAGGIE

Former Hard Livings gang boss Rashied Staggie enjoyed only a few hours of freedom before being taken back to Pollsmoor Prison, the Cape Argus reported. Staggie was granted day parole, with strict conditions, one of which was that he needed a job. Correctional services chief deputy commissioner James Smalberger told the newspaper Staggie’s day out was cut short, as he had received no formal job offer. Pastor Ivan Waldeck said Staggie would work as a motivational speaker at his church, but Smallberger said he had not received a formal offer. Staggie was able to visit his home in Salt River and the Blue Route mall for an “orientation” before going back to prison after just two hours of freedom.

PUBLIC PROTECTOR TO INVESTIGATE MINISTER’S TLOKWE FOOD PARCELS

The office of the public protector has confirmed Advocate Thuli Madonsela will investigate allegations that social development minister Bathabile Dlamini used food parcels to buy votes ahead of by-elections in the troubled municipality. Sapa reported the matter would be looked at in terms of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act. The Democratic Alliance asked Madonsela to investigate Dlamini, as she visited Tlokwe just a few days before the by-elections. “The distribution of food parcels just before nine by-elections can only be construed as the dishonest use of public office to further a party-political agenda,” said Mike Waters, spokesman on social development. DM

Photo: President Jacob Zuma (Jordi Matas)

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