South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 17 October 2013

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

I WON’T SHUT UP, DA MP TELLS PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE

A briefing by the department of public works to parliament’s portfolio committee on its annual report erupted in anger when opposition MPs were prevented from asking questions on Nkandla. Chairwoman of the committee, Catherine Mabuza, told members to wait for the public protector’s report into ‘security’ upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s private home, Sapa reported. DA MP, Anchen Dreyer, lodged an angry complaint. She said she wouldn’t “shut up to please the ANC” and nor would she stop asking “asking difficult or potentially embarrassing questions. I’ve got a right to ask any question I want to”. She said rulings such as Mabuza’s “happened time and again.”

PULE FAILS TO DECLARE BUSINESS INTERESTS ON TIME

Parliament’s ethics committee says MPs will be named and shamed for failing to disclose their business interests within the deadline. The MPs include former communications minister, Dina Pule, eNCA reported. Committee chairman, Ben Turok, had strong words over Pule failing to deliver her submission. “The issue for us is, is she going to comply honestly? Whether it’s a week later or a week earlier is of little interest. What interests me is, is she going to tell us the truth?” Turok said. The 2013 Register of Members’ Interests was released during a committee meeting. It lists the business interests, sponsorships, gifts, property, travel, pensions and other financial interests of MPs.

FIELDS HILL BUS DRIVER’S USED FAKE PERMIT

Sanele May, the driver from Swaziland accused of killing 24 people when his truck crashed into four minibus taxis and two cars on Fields Hill, had a fake public driving permit. Detective Warrant Officer Sanjeev Singh told the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court officials from Swaziland’s transport department had confirmed that May’s public driving permit was a fake. He went on to get a false South African traffic register certificate by using his fake Swazi permit. May does have a driver’s licence, but would only have been allowed to apply for a public driving permit in 2014.

POLICE CLOSING IN ON TODDLER MURDER SUSPECT

Police are closing in on the man they believe raped and murdered two toddlers in Diepsloot this weekend. The Star reported that residents found bloodstained clothing, a nappy and a used condom in his shack near where the girls’ bodies were found. Cluster commander Major-General Oswald Reddy said Zandile Mali and her two-year-old cousin Yonelisa had been mutilated and it appeared as though they had been raped too. He said the main suspect was “on the run”. DA spokesman, Mmusi Maimane, said the delay in providing communities such as Diepsloot with adequate policing was “a failure of police oversight by the provincial government”.

SAB WINS INTERDICT ORDERING FAWU TO STOP MEMBERS’ VIOLENCE

The labour court has granted South African Breweries a national interdict ordering the Food and Allied Workers Union (Fawu) to instruct striking members to stop committing acts of violence. The move followed an illegal march to the company’s Customer Interaction Centre (CIC) in Johannesburg in which workers carried knobkerries and pickaxes, disrupted traffic, drank alcohol in public and intimidated CIC employees, SAB said in a statement. Less than 30% of the bargaining unit is engaged in strike action.

LEGAL AID BOARD NEEDS MONEY FOR COMMISSIONS, MARIKANA

Legal Aid South Africa needs more money to accomplish its mandate, an MP and a judge told the parliamentary portfolio committee on justice.  Democratic Alliance justice spokeswoman, Debbie Schafer, and chair of the Legal Aid board, Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, said the justice department should allocate more money to the board, the Mail&Guardian reported. Mlambo said there should be provisions that whenever commissions of inquiry are formed then there is funding. He was responding to a ruling that Legal Aid should pay the legal costs of Marikana miners injured during the massacre and arrested afterwards, estimated to be in the region of R17 million.

SHABANGU: I’M NO PUPPET

Roux Shabangu has denied accusations that he fronted for white companies. In a statement he said, “Fronting for whites? Don’t make me laugh. I am no man’s puppet”. Earlier, The Star newspaper reported Shabangu had been given a R6 million helicopter and R4 million in kickbacks in a lease deal involving the public works department. The Star’s story was based on court papers in which the department is asking the court to nullify the lease agreement with the businessmen. Shabangu said if the department wanted to cancel the Vermeulen Street lease “they should have done that in 2009”. He queried why it had taken them four years to realise Japie Van Niekerk was not BEE compliant.

SAHRC: CHILD PROTECTION REGISTER NOT BEING UPDATED

The South African Human Rights Commission says the department of social development isn’t registering criminals who use and target children, Sapa reported. SAHRC spokesman, Isaac Mangena, said an investigation, spurred by a complaint, showed the DSD had failed to properly implement the Child Protection Register. He said this “weakened the framework for the protection of children and resulted in a violation of section 28 of the Bill of Rights”. Court officials were not properly trained in the “functions necessary to enable the DSD to fully update the register”. DM

Photo: Nkandla (REUTERS)

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"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason." ~ Thomas Paine

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