South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 28 October 2013

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

AFU SEIZES ASSETS OF DURBAN BUSINESSMAN AND ANC BENEFACTOR

The Asset Forfeiture Unit has confiscated two properties in Ballito and La Lucia and 26 luxury cars belonging to KwaZulu-Natal businessman and ANC benefactor, Ishwarlall (Ishwar) Ramlutchman. The Sunday Tribune reported Ramlutchman is accused of submitting false documents, including financial statements, to the Construction Industry Development Board to improve the firm’s grading to bid for tenders larger than it had the capacity to deliver on. His company was awarded more than R52 million in tenders for 16 projects from the provincial government. Ramlutchman and his company, AC Industrial, have been charged with fraud and corruption is Durban’s special commercial crimes court. He pleaded guilty, and is out of R20,000 bail.

STAFF RUCKUS AT NPA AS NXASANA’S EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT LOCKED OUT

New head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Mxolisi Nxasana, is embroiled in a fight with the Public Servants Association after he had his executive assistant, Jackie Lepinka, locked out of her office. A junior clerk was also deployed to another unit, allegedly because he doesn’t want his predecessor, acting prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba’s closest aides working with him, the Sunday Independent reported. Now the Association has written to the justice department’s director general, Nonkululeko Sindane, to complain about the Lipinka’s treatment. She has served in the offices of four acting and national directors – Vusi Pikoli, Mokotedi Mpshe, Menzi Simelane and Jiba.

POLICE SEARCH FOR MAN AFTER FATAL SHOOTING IN FOURWAYS

One man has died and two others were critically injured after a shooting outside a pub in Fourways, north of Johannesburg. Police spokeswoman, Captain Lydia Mtila-Dikoloma, told Sapa police are searching for an unknown man who fled the scene of the shooting. Mtila-Dikoloma said three people were shot, and a 25-year-old died in hospital as a result. Reports said two men argued outside a pub near the Fourways Mall. One man left, going into the Mall and when he returned, the shooting started.

REPORT: RAMAPHOSA TO FACE FARLAM COMMISSION

Cyril Ramaphosa will face retired Judge Ian Farlam at the Marikana commission of inquiry and will be asked to explain allegations that he put pressure on the police to act against protesting miners in the days before the massacre at took place. City Press reported the ANC’s deputy president’s actions were revealed through a transcript of a high level meeting, attended by Lonmin executive, Barnard Mokwena, and North West provincial police commissioner, Zukiswa Mbombo, where a discussion took place over Ramaphosa pressuring police minister, Nathi Mthethwa. Ramaphosa was pressuring Mthethwa to end the violent strike at the Karee mine in which nine people had already been killed. There are also questions why the transcript was not made available to the commission.

PHIYEGA TAPED TALKING TO LAMOER ABOUT INVESTIGATION

Taped recordings of national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega by crime intelligence operatives monitoring the calls of Western Cape police commissioner, Arno Lamoer, record her telling Lamoer she was aware of investigations into him. The Sunday Independent reported crime intelligence were monitoring Lamoer’s calls after allegations were leveled against him that he was connected to a Cape Town drug dealer and businessman. Phiyega believes crime intelligence is conducting a smear campaign against her after she suspended its acting head, Major General Chris Ngcobo. The Sunday Tribune, whose reporters have heard the tapes, said Lamoer criticised Phiyega over her restructuring of the top police leadership structure.

WESTONARIA MAYOR WON’T STEP DOWN OVER BEKKERSDAL VIOLENCE

Executive mayor of the Westonaria local municipality says she’s not willing to step down over the ongoing violent service delivery protests in Bekkersdal, Eyewitness News reported. Nonkoliso Tundzi said she is extremely concerned about the situation in which 20-year-old Themba Khumalo was shot dead, roads barricaded and shops looted. Residents want a task team set up to probe allegations of corruption within the municipality and for it to be put under administration. They want the mayor to resign over “failing” the community. Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane, who was booed and driven from Bekkersdal last week, says a new administration for the Westonaria will be rolled out this week.

GAUTENG ANC FINALISES PREMIER LIST AHEAD OF 2014 ELECTIONS

The ANC’s provincial executive council (PEC) in Gauteng has compiled its list of premier candidates for next year’s general election, and current premier Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has not made the top three, City Press reported. Provincial secretary David Makhura heads the list, followed by chairman Paul Mashatile and the province’s ANC Youth League leader, Lebogang Maile. Mokonyane was placed 21st. But the premier was placed third on the list of province to national candidates, indicating that the Gauteng ANC wants to see her go to parliament. The ANC’s powerful national executive committee, of which Mokonyane is a member, could still reject the province’s list.

AMCU THREATENS STRIKES AT AMPLATS AND IMPLATS

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) has declared a wage dispute with Anglo American Platinum just weeks after an 11-day work stoppage over planned job cuts at the mine. Now Amcu is threatening industrial action at Amplats, and is consulting members over a possible strike at Impala Platinum (Implats) too. An Amcu shop steward at Implats said there was frustration in the shafts but he was not sure whether workers would back a strike with Christmas holidays looming. North West premier, Thandi Modise, urged parties to negotiate in good faith. She said the framework agreement for a sustainable mining industry should guide the wage negotiation process. Implats has said it has offered its lowest-paid workers increases of at least 8% for 2014 and then annual raises of 7% in the following two years. South Africa’s inflation rate is currently 6%.

Photo: Cyril Ramaphosa, in the June 2, 2005 file picture. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

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