South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 6 November 2013

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

EFF MEMBERS SHOT, ARRESTED AND INJURED AT MOOIPLAAS PROTEST

Police have fired rubber bullets at protestors taking part in a service delivery protest at the Mooiplaas informal settlement outside Pretoria. Earlier reports said protestors were shot at the Union Buildings, but that police said the march was cancelled. However, Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng told BDlive police intervened after the crowd became violent. He said rubber bullets were fired and four people, all members of the Economic Freedom Fighters, were arrested. EFF Gauteng spokesman Patrick Sindane confirmed its members were shot and injured. Police denied protestors were shot or arrested due to their political affiliations.

ANC ACCUSES MADONSELA OF LACK NEUTRALITY OVER NKANDLA REPORT

The ANC says while it respects the office of the public protector, it is concerned at the manner in which Thuli Madonsela handled the draft report on Nkandla. In a statement, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the fact that Madonsela had handed the report to the minister in the security cluster, excluding President Jacob Zuma, “communicated volumes”. Mantashe said Madonsela’s “confusion” over who to hand the report to “worked on the psyche of the public in a way that reflected negatively on the President”. He accused Madonsela of not being neutral and “protecting interests of a particular section of society”.

SAB STRIKE SETTLED

Global brewer SABMiller has reached a wage deal with more than 2,000 workers in South Africa, ending a five-week strike that had little impact on beer production. SABMiller, which is also listed in Johannesburg, said it had agreed to raise wages by 7%, plus performance-related pay, back-dated to 1 July. “I was proud of the resilience of the majority of our employees during this difficult period who worked together to ensure the impact on our operations was minimised,” said Mauricio Leyva, head of the brewer’s domestic unit. Workers belonging to the Food and Allied Workers Union initially demanded a 9.5% wage hike and for the company to do away with performance-related pay.

POLICE ARREST BOLIVIAN STUDENT WITH COCAINE

Police in Durban have arrested a Bolivian medical student at King Shaka International Airport who had two kilograms of pure cocaine concealed in his suitcase, the Daily News reported. The drugs were meant for a wealthy Durban businessman. A police spokesman said the cocaine had been sealed in a silicone bag and that resin was used to disguise the smell so that sniffer dogs could not detect the drugs. The man was arrested after being profiled by crime intelligence, which had monitored him entering and leaving the country more than six times in a few months. A source told the newspaper pure cocaine was in demand by the rich and elite in Durban.

NPA WITHDRAWS THOUSANDS OF DRUG-RELATED CASES

The National Prosecuting Authority has withdrawn nearly 73,000 drug-related cases between 2010 and 2013, the Democratic Alliance says. Justice spokeswoman Debbi Schafer said this breaks down to “66 cases per day, 467 cases per week or 2,025 per month”. The figures were gleaned from a response to a parliamentary question. “Drug abuse and addiction is destroying families, ruining young people’s lives, and a contributing factor in most violent crime in South Africa,” Schafer said. “The first step in reducing drug abuse is arresting and convicting those involved in drug-related crimes.” She said she would follow up with questions on why the cases were withdrawn, asking whether this was due to “corruption, failure of forensic laboratories, inadequate police investigation or other factors”.

KRUGER PARK WARNS LOCAL COMMUNITIES ON TB-INFECTED BUFFALO MEAT

Buffalo meat from the Kruger National Park could be infected with Bovine Tuberculosis (TB). People living around the Park have been warned not to eat buffalo that has not been checked for TB. Spokesman William Mabasa said some buffalo that escaped the Kruger and wandered into communities could be infected with TB. He warned residents not to poach the animals, saying when buffalo were killed outside the Park it should be under the supervision of the state’s veterinary services. Other species that have also been recorded with TB, include cheetah, leopard, badger, kudu, bushbuck and spotted hyena. “The incidence in these species is very low and does not represent a serious risk due to the very low incidence in these species,” Mabasa said.

GOVERNMENT’S THREE ECONOMIC POLICIES NEED COHERENCE

Government needs to be more coherent in its three major economic policies, the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE) says. Executive director Ann Bernstein said there was no common and coherent view in the National Development Plan (NDP), the economic development department’s New Growth Path (NGP), and the trade and industry department’s industrial policy action plan (IPAP). “The economy is in trouble and South Africa needs certainty. It’s time to make the tough choices and stick to them,” Bernstein said in a statement. In its Policy Gridlock report, the CDE said the three documents offered contrasting accounts of the constraints South Africa faced and offered “very different ideas about where the jobs will come from”.

HAS WESTERN CAPE RUGBY STAR BEEN CHARGED WITH DRUNK DRIVING?

A Western Cape rugby star has been arrested for drunk driving, but police and prosecutors are arguing over who freed the player after his arrest at the weekend, and whether he’s been charged, the Argus reported. Police spokesman Captain FC Van Wyk said Gordon’s Bay police arrested the player in the early hours of Sunday morning and that he appeared in the Strand Magistrate’s Court on charges of drunk driving. But NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said the player had not appeared in court and that the matter was not on the court roll or records. Police refused to tell the newspaper when the rugby star was released, from which premises, how long he had been detained for, on what grounds he had been released and whether he had been formally charged. DM

Photo: Thuli Madonsela (SAPA)

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