A round-up of the day's news from South Africa.
PRIME SUSPECT IN DIEPSLOOT MURDERS CONFESSES
The prime suspect in the murders of two Diepsloot toddlers has confessed to the crimes, says National Prosecuting Authority spokesman, Medupe Simasiku. “He has confessed to two charges of murder, rape and kidnapping,” Simasiku said outside the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court. The man, who was arrested in Alexandra last week, allegedly killed two-year-old Yonelisa and her cousin Zandile Mali.
The two girls were buried on Saturday. Four men have already appeared in court in connection with the murders. They have been charged with two counts of murder, two counts of rape and one count of abduction. Their case was postponed to Thursday for them to apply for Legal Aid.
SIX MILLION INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYERS CONTRIBUTE TO FISCUS
Just over six million people, out of more than 15 million individuals registered on the South African Revenue Service’s personal income tax register, have paid into the fiscus, Sapa reported. Sars head of revenue analysis, Randall Carolissen, told a media briefing ahead of the launch of the 2013 Tax Statistics document that the other nine million registered tax payers were either not employed, or are below the tax threshold. So far 86% of the returns submitted by taxpayers have been assessed. “The assessed taxpayers had aggregated taxable income of R1.0 trillion and a tax liability of R206.7 billion,” Carolissen said. Income from salaries, wages and remuneration, pension, overtime and annuities accounted for 79% of total taxable income.
ZUMA: DA ‘SPY CASE’ LEGAL ACTION COST OVER R1 MILLION
The Democratic Alliance’s continued legal fight to gain access to the notorious ‘Zuma spy tapes’ has cost the taxpayer over R1 million, President Jacob Zuma said in a written reply to a parliamentary question. “An amount of R1 262 479.70 has been paid to date in respect of costs incurred in defending litigation brought by the Democratic Alliance for the record from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in relation to the NPA’s decision with regard to the president,” Zuma said. “The recordings represent one aspect of the litigation instituted by the Democratic Alliance. The amount paid is a reflection of the costs of the entire matter, and not only in respect of the recordings,” Zuma said.
PUBLIC PROTECTOR: WHO SHOULD BE GIVEN NKANDLA REPORT?
Thuli Madonsela says her office has finished a draft report on so-called security upgrades, which cost the state (and taxpayers) over R200 million, at President Jacob Zuma’s private home in Nkandla. But the public protector doesn’t know which government authority to give it to, the SABC reported. Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko, said while the party appreciated Madonsela’s “dilemma”, “this report cannot be delayed by the government’s disregard of accountability measures”. “It is both in the public interest and in the interest of accountability and transparency to ensure that the full and unexpurgated report is made public,” she said. Madonsela said she had faced “unusual challenges” in investigating the matter. Mazibuko said as the DA had requested the report, it should receive a copy as has been done in the past.
BAIL CONDITIONS CHANGED TO ACCOMMODATE NOISY SEX
One of the men implicated in the Dave Sheer Guns case has had his bail conditions amended after complaining they infringed on his ability to have sex with his girlfriend, The Star reported. Gareth de Nysschen is facing charges of receiving more than 200 000 rounds of military ammunition allegedly stolen from 21 Infantry Battalion in Lenasia. De Nysschen’s bail conditions required him to stay at a relative’s flat in Boksburg, but he asked his bail conditions to changed so he can live in a flat with his girlfriend, who wanted to give him “emotional support” during this traumatic time. The investigating officer told the court De Nysschen’s girlfriend was a “screamer” and that he needed privacy while having sex.
ZUMA APPOINTS PERSONAL LAWYER AS ‘SPECIAL ADVISOR’
President Jacob Zuma’s personal lawyer, Michael Hulley, has been appointed a special advisor to the president. Democratic Alliance chairman of the federal executive, James Selfe, said a reply to a parliamentary question submitted by the party revealed Hulley’s duties are to give legal advice to the president at a cost (to taxpayers) of R693.77 per hour. Zuma said in his reply “the person” was employed on a part-time basis and has no fixed annual remuneration. Selfe said the DA would submit follow up questions to Zuma to determine how the Presidency has paid to Hulley’s law firm and the total number of hours he has rung up in his capacity as special advisor. Selfe said the president seemed “quite content to have his substantial and ever increasing legal bill being passed on to ordinary South Africans”.
NGUBENI MUST BE REINSTATED, SAYS LABOUR COURT
The Labour Court has ruled that the National Youth Development Agency must reinstate its CEO Steven Ngubeni as the decision to fire him was in breach of his contract, Sapa reported. Judge Andre van Niekerk said the termination of employment should be set aside until the NYDA complied with clause 10.1 that says employees can be fired if a disciplinary hearing found them guilty, if they committed a breach of material obligation, or if they were found guilty of any act which would entitle the NYDA to terminate their employment. The NYDA board axed Ngubeni after it came to the conclusion he was guilty of financial mismanagement and gross dereliction of duty.
MOKONYANE DOUBTFUL STARTER FOR GAUTENG PREMIER IN 2014
ANC leaders in Gauteng doubt whether premier Nomvula Mokonyane will remain in the position after next year’s general election. The Mail&Guardian reported her name does not appear on lists currently being circulated in the party’s branches. ANC provincial executive councils have to decide on three candidates whose names are then submitted to Luthuli House. But sources told the newspaper Mokonyane did not have the support of the PEC and that her name was not among the top five candidates. Mokonyane, who is a supporter of President Jacob Zuma, was accused of running parallel political programmes to those of the PEC and using state resources to undermine ANC leadership in the province. Gauteng provincial leaders were opposed to President Jacob Zuma being head of the ANC for a second term. DM
Photo: Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane (SAPA)
Watermelons were originally cultivated in Africa.