South Africa

FIVE MINUTES: South Africa

By Daily Maverick Staff Reporter 27 November 2013

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

NUMSA: LEAVING COSATU WOULD BE A ‘LAST RESORT

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa doesn’t want to leave labour federation Cosatu, says its general secretary, Irvin Jim. Jim addressed media in the aftermath of news of the resignation of Numsa’s president, Cedric Gina, saying to leave Cosatu would be a “last resort”. Gina told Independent Newspapers the decision to resign was “very hard” but was necessary so as to “raise questions” on how the union is run. Jim said it would discuss Cosatu, the ANC’s performance and its refusal to drop etolls at its upcoming conference. Numsa deputy general secretary Karl Cloete, denied allegations that Gina had been prevented from speaking to the media.

MEMBER OF HAWKS ARRESTED OVER KREJCIR CONNECTIONS

A member of the Hawks has been arrested in connection with Czech businessman Radovan Krejcir’s case. Police spokesman Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale said the 41-year-old warrant officer was arrested in connection with the same case for which Krejcir and his associate, named by the NPA as Desai Lupondo, were arrested. The kidnapping and attempted murder case was believed to have taken place in Elsburg in June.  Makgale said more arrests are expected. Krejcir is also fighting extradition to the Czech Republic, where he is wanted to serve an 11-year jail term for various charges. –

STRIKES IMPACT ON SA ECONOMY, SLOW GROWTH

South Africa’s economic growth has slowed more than expected in the third quarter of the year, dragged lower by a contraction in manufacturing after weeks of strikes in the automotive sector. The economy grew 0.7% quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter, after rising by a revised 3.2% in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said. Manufacturing, which contributes 15% to South African output, fell by 6.6% over the previous quarter, although this was offset by an 11.4% rebound in mining as the sector recovered from its own labour disturbances. An economist from Investec said GDP data showed weak growth due to significant strike-related work stoppages, falling confidence levels, slowing consumer spending due to high indebtedness and moderating growth in real disposable incomes.

POLICE TO INVESTIGATE R100M CONTRACTS AWARDED TO CITY EMPLOYEES

Police and the Hawks in Johannesburg are to investigate the awarding of more than R100 million in contracts to companies owned by City of Johannesburg employees. Chairman of the city’s group audit committee, Jocelyn Armstrong, told The Times the situation would continue until public servants were banned from doing business with the state. Public service minister Lindiwe Sisulu has sent the Public Administration Management Bill to parliament, which, if enacted, will make it illegal for public servants to do benefit from business deals with the state.

CAPE TOWN SHOP OWNERS WARNED TO CLOSE AHEAD OF MARCH

Shop owners and traders in the city centre have been warned to close their doors on Friday in expectation of a march by the Cape Town Informal Settlements Organisation, the Cape Times reports. The city refused permission for a march, but organisers said it would go ahead. A march last month erupted in violence, with traders the biggest losers as looters tore through their stalls and smashed windows. A spokesman for the marchers, Sithembele Majoba said there would be “no cancellation at all. Whether it’s legal or not, we will march”, adding they would wait for Premier Helen Zille to address them. Police said the law enforcement would “deal with any kind of marches.”

CREDIT AMNESTY ‘ILL ADVISED AND NOT WORKABLE’

A decision by trade and industry minister Rob Davies to replace adverse credit bureau listings with an ‘affordability index’ is ill advised and not workable, says Fred Steffers, chairman of PS&S. Steffers said years of experience in the credit industry showed “consumers lie about their income. There is also no indication how this index will be calculated”. He said the move would have a “profound effect” on a large number of credit providers. Ratings agency Fitch warned an amnesty would “fail in its aim to bring individuals from the cash economy into the consumer credit market” as it would make banks more wary of lending to new borrowers. Dti said the amnesty would result in a “small risk increase” but Steffers disagrees, saying the opposite was true.

HIJACKED CAR FOUND IN KAIZER CHIEFS PLAYER’S PARKING BAY

A car filmed being hijacked by CCTV cameras in downtown Johannesburg has been found in a parking bay belonging to a Kaizer Chiefs player, Sapa reported. The video of the Rav 4 hijacking has had nearly a million hits on YouTube and led to the arrest of the four men involved. Kaizer Chiefs Football Club said the player, who was out of the country at the time of hijacking in downtown Johannesburg, was dealing with the matter, said spokesman Vina Maphosa. Police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini said police were still investigating and could not comment on who the owner of the parking bay was.  The case against Siphelele Mdlalose, Khanyisani Ngubane, Mhlonishwa Mchunu and Ntobeko Hlatshwayo is pending.

DIEPSLOOT BABY MURDER CASE POSTPONED

The case of the Diepsloot couple accused of murdering the woman’s seven-month-old baby has been postponed until January 2014 for further investigation. Sapa reported Nokuthula Gumede and her Mozambican boyfriend Fernanado Sidanvo would remain in custody until then. Sidanvo told the court he lost his residence permit when Diepsloot residents ransacked his shack. Police spokesperson Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng said rats gnawed off the baby’s foot while the child was left alone in a shack. DM

Photo: Lindiwe Sisulu (REUTERS)

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