South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 21 October 2013

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

COSATU ‘DEEPLY DISTURBED’ OVER MOEPI MURDER

Forensic auditor Lawrence Moepi, gunned down in the parking lot of his firm’s Houghton offices, wasn’t just involved in probing the arms deal, but was also investigating the sale of Cosatu’s headquarters. Moepi was a director of auditing firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo and involved in several high profile fraud investigations. Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini said the labour federation was “deeply disturbed” by Moepi’s murder. Executive chairwoman on the firm, Nonkululeko Gobodo, said staff was shocked and saddened by the news, and that the company would support the police in their investigation. “Lawrence was an inspirational leader, and his insight, wisdom and talent will be sorely missed,” she said.

COMPETITION COMMISSION HEAD RESIGNS OVER PORN

The department of economic development has accepted the resignation of the head of the Competition Commission, Shan Ramburuth. He is accused of spending thousands of rands of taxpayers’ money downloading and watching pornography. The Sunday Times reported Ramburuth used a government SIM card, spending an average of R15,000 an hour, on hardcore porn, a contravention of the Commission’s policy. Ramburuth said he would repay the money, reported to be R120,000. A report by consultant Paul O’Sullivan and Associates, handed to Patel last month, said Ramburuth visited “inappropriate sites, which were of an explicit pornographic nature”.

WINNING LOTTO TICKET THEFT CLAIM A HOAX

A man’s claim that his R33-million winning lottery ticket was stolen has proved to be false, the Sunday Independent reported. Earlier, Sipho Ngcobo said men dressed in police uniforms, on the night of 14 October, stole the ticket in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal. But CCTV footage taken in a Spar in Wartburg, in the Midlands, showed the unnamed winner jumping with joy at news of his win. The time on the footage was 11am on 14 October.  The newspaper quoted the unnamed winner – a driver and father of four – as saying that his bank accounts had been frozen as a result of the investigations launched by police.

PIKOLI ‘DISGUSTED’ WITH BEHAVIOUR OF ANC, ANCWL

Vusi Pikoli says he was “disgusted” with the behaviour of the ANC Women’s League, and the ANC, when they turned on the young woman who accused President Jacob Zuma of rape. The former head of prosecutions at the National Prosecuting Authority is the subject of a new book by Mandy Wiener, My Second Initiation. In a report in the Sunday Independent, Pikoli is quoted as saying the ANC should have been charged Zuma internally with bringing the ANC into disrepute, instead of turning the complainant into a “pariah”. He said he was particularly disgusted with the ANC Women’s League. Pikoli said although Zuma was acquitted of rape, what was more important was the “moral question that arose”.

NUMSA SPECIAL CONGRESS TO DECIDE ON ANC VOTE, COSATU

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is considering whether to support the ANC in next year’s general elections. Numsa is at odds with Cosatu over the suspension of general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and with the ANC over its National Development Plan. Numsa will be hosting a special national congress in December, the Weekend Argus reported. Shop stewards are currently canvassing the views of members across South Africa. It believes much has changed since its last congress, such as the Marikana massacre, a divided Cosatu, the NDP and challenges facing the tripartite alliance.

MALEMA ‘CRASHES’ AT HOMES OF FAMILY, FRIENDS

Julius Malema is effectively homeless, sleeping at the homes of friends and family after his houses and farm were auctioned by the South African Revenue Services (Sars) to cover an outstanding tax bill of R16 million. The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) told the newspaper he was living the life of a nomad and that although “they have taken everything from me, but they can’t destroy me”. He said he’d lost friends but that he still had “comrades” who invite him to “crash” at their homes when Malema is on business in Johannesburg.

BILL BANS CIVIL SERVANTS FROM DOING BUSINESS WITH GOVT

A clause in the Public Administration Management Bill that would ban civil servants from doing business with government has been welcomed by the Democratic Alliance. Public service spokesman Kobus Marais said regulating the business interests of state employees was a long-standing policy of the party. Marais’ reaction followed a City Press report that said a former Eastern Cape chief financial officer and her family had interests in more than 100 companies involved in deals with the sate, and had received more than R7 million between 2003 and 2009. A company belonging to her daughter made R2.8 million. Unions said the law must apply to all politicians, from MPs and premiers to MPLs and MECs. The new legislation would also require all public servants to declare their business interests, including those of their families and relatives.

CORRECTIONAL SERVICES EMPLOYEES WIN AT LABOUR COURT

A Cape Town judge has ruled in favour of 10 correctional services employees who challenged the department’s employment equity plan, claiming they had been passed over for promotion on racial grounds. Judge Hilary Rabkin-Naicker also ruled the department should take into account national and regional demographics when setting equity targets, Sapa reported. Acting national commissioner of correctional services, Nontsikelelo Jolingana, said the department would appoint a team to review its policies “with respect to implementation of the Employment Equity Act as directed by the court”. The department froze promotion for coloured South Africans in the Western Cape. DM

Photo: Julius Malema

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