South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 11 October 2013

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

CAPE TOWN HITMAN SHOT DEAD

A witness to one of Cape Town’s most sensational unsolved murders has been shot dead. Former Sexy Boys gang member and hitman, Leon ‘Lyons’ Davids was shot in Belhar, the Cape Argus reported. Davids was believed to be a witness in the assassination of crime boss Cyril Beeka in 2011. Sources told the newspaper Davids was linked to Beeka’s murder and was trying for a plea bargain in return for naming the masterminds behind the assassination. He was also alleged to have information relating to the hit on enforcer Yuri ‘The Russian’ Ulianitski, who was shot dead with his four-year-old daughter outside a Milnerton restaurant in 2007. Davids was thought to have been in a witness protection programme.

DLAMINI-ZUMA SHOULD BE NEXT PRESIDENT, SAYS NKONYENI

South Africa is ready for a female president says newly appointed KwaZulu-Natal education MEC, Peggy Nkonyeni. The Daily News reported Nkonyeni disagreed with a recent statement by the ANC Women’s League that the country was not ready for a woman as president, and said Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma should be next in line after Jacob Zuma. Nkonyeni was addressing a function in Durban hosted by Islamic business platform, Minara Chamber of Commerce. She said she believed South Africa has “many women who are more than capable as leaders. In fact I believe that Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma should be our country’s next president. She is definitely capable of leading our country.”

CABINET APPROVES SHALE GAS EXPLORATION REGULATIONS

Cabinet has proposed new regulations to govern exploration for shale gas, approving the gazetting of technical regulations on petroleum exploration and exploitation. Mineral resources minister Susan Shabangu shale gas exploration and exploitation marked the “beginning of the reindustrialisation of the economy”. She said government was satisfied that the technical regulations had addressed recommendations contained in the investigation report for hydraulic fracturing of 2012, as well as the cabinet directive to augment the existing regulations. Environmentalists are adamantly opposed to fracking in the Karoo area.

WONGA GROWS ‘BEYOND EXPECTATIONS’ IN SOUTH AFRICA

UK-based online short-term loan provider Wonga has achieved growth “beyond expectations” in South Africa, the company says, even as concerns grow over levels of unsecured lending in the continent’s top economy.  Only a year and a half since launching in South Africa, Wonga extends tens of thousands of loans a month and has so far escaped the criticism it has received in its domestic market.

The London-based lender, which has come under fire at home from the Anglican Church for charging annual interest rates of 5,853 percent, offers South Africans loans up to R8,000 rand at 0.17% per day for a maximum of 50 days.

DEFENCE DEPT THREATENS TO GAG UNION BOSS

The leader of the South African National Defence Force Union (Sandu) has received a letter from the Department of Defence that threatens to gag him from speaking out on military issues. The Times reported that Pikkie Greeff has been accused by state attorney William Motsepe of making unauthorised, reckless and irresponsible comments. The letter said Greeff did not have the authority to ”disclose operational matters in the media” and that his statements could “affect the morale of deployed troops”. Earlier this year, Greeff commented on issues around SANDF deployment to operations in the Central African Republic and in the DRC.

WARDERS, PRISONER STABBED IN MANGAUNG PRISON VIOLENCE

Just one day after the department of correctional services took over management of the privately run maximum security Mangaung Correctional Centre, two prison officials from G4S security and an inmate were stabbed and wounded by prisoners. The prison has been marred by a number of violent incidents, particularly after several hundred warders were fired for taking part in a strike. The department appointed Gauteng correctional services deputy commissioner Zacharia Modise as the acting head in an attempt to stabilise the situation. Modise confirmed the warders and prisoner were stabbed during gang-related fight in the prison. The department said it was aware the situation was “tense and volatile”.

GOVT SAYS PEOPLE WILL PAY FOR E-TOLLS, COSATU SAYS NOT

Government doesn’t believe Gauteng residents will protest against e-tolls once they are implemented, says acting CEO of GCIS, Phumla Williams. “Cabinet calls on users of Gauteng’s freeways to abide by the law, demonstrate good citizenship and make their contribution to a better South Africa by registering for e-tags and paying for use of these world-class roads,” Williams said in a statement following a cabinet meeting. She told reporters the fact that people have “already tagged” indicated that people wouldn’t protest in their numbers. Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven disagreed, telling eNCA the labour federation was planning a mass protest. He said the “vast majority” of Gauteng resident were opposed to e-tolls, and that government was going to “enormous lengths to bully people into buy e-tags”.

MPS UNDER FIRE FOR INSULTING AGRICULTURE MINISTER

Two MPs have come under fire for remarks made to agriculture minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson. ANC chief whip Stone Sizani said he had learned that during a “heated debate” MP Salam Abram “called the minister a liar, conducted himself rowdily and disruptively before storming out of the meeting in anger”. He said that as the meeting adjourned, DA MP Pieter van Dalen referred to the minister as ‘teef’ (Afrikaans for bitch). Business Day, however, reported that Van Dalen said “dief”, Afrikaans for ‘thief’.  Sizani said the ANC would begin a disciplinary process against Abram and called on the DA to do the same for Van Dalen. DM

Photo: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (REUTERS)

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