News in and around South Africa.
Imran Khan has been as sworn in as Pakistan’s new prime minister after his party’s victory in last month’s election tainted by the alleged intervention by the military.
Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath at a ceremony in the capital, Islamabad, on Saturday where political and military leaders, former sports stars and diplomats participated.
Khan was elected as the prime minister by parliament on Friday as his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), swept the election, vowing to bring an era of accountability and prosperity to the country.
PTI won the most seats in the July 25 election but fell short of an outright majority. It allied with independents to form a coalition.
In the national assembly, Khan secured 176 votes on Friday, beating Shehbaz Sharif, president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), who got 96.
“In this country, before everything else, we have to make sure there is accountability,” said Khan, in a speech after the vote in parliament.
“Those who have looted this country and indebted it, I promise this today that no one will escape.”
The long-time opposition politician takes the reins of power for the first time in his 22-year political career, having led a strenuous campaign against corruption and government mismanagement since he retired as one of Pakistan’s most popular cricketer in 1992.
The PTI’s election victory was marred by widespread allegations of irregularities in the vote counting process, and opposition parties on Friday decried the results as “unacceptable”.
In his speech, Khan welcomed any investigation into the election results, saying he would support the process. He also committed to empowering parliament, and attending at least twice a month to answer other lawmakers’ questions.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has “hopefully” learnt from its mistakes ahead of the 2019 national government elections, Western Cape DA premier candidate Alan Winde says.
Seated in his ground-floor office in Cape Town’s iconic Long Street, Winde – who has been the Western Cape MEC for Economic Development the past nine years – explains that some DA leaders’ choices have had “bad implications” for the party.
He is careful not to name anyone.
“I think [their decisions] damaged the DA over time, but [you] have suddenly begun to see a different DA at the moment,” Winde told News24 in an interview.
“I think the DA has also been looking inwardly now in the last while saying: ‘This is what’s happening out there. We need to do something about it.’”
Winde is one of seven candidates, including Western Cape DA leader Bonginkosi Madikizela, vying for Helen Zille’s post as premier of the Western Cape in 2019 – a province where the DA enjoys a two-thirds majority.
He cited the manner in which the DA addressed the ousting of several of its mayors in the Western Cape, including Knysna, Matzikama, Berg River and Cape Town, as places where the party “took a hit” politically.
“You would rather that it was dealt with much more swiftly, but legal processes take time and whether it’s here [in Cape Town] or in our other councils, legal processes take time.”
He says a lot of the conflict people are seeing within the DA – the “screaming and shouting” – is because it’s a year before the elections.
“You can deal with it quietly behind closed doors and cut throats, or you [can] deal with it in an open way, which I think is the way it should be,” he says.
“Of course, politically you take a hiding for it, but I think that’s the right way to do it: to show that you are busy dealing with it.”
But, Winde, who has been in the Western Cape legislature since 1999, believes voters should still reward the DA with a two-thirds majority in the Western Cape, despite frustrations over its management of the water crisis, and the matter of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille.
The latest Ipsos poll in July placed DA support nationwide at just 13% – nearly 14% less than what it got in the 2016 local government elections.
“Sure, it was a crisis. I mean we were going to run out of water. We haven’t had sufficient water investment. We should have had a lot more over time, but there was management of it.
“I mean there are other towns [in the country] that have actually already run out of water and no one says a word. I’m not sure what those voters are saying or doing, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to be judged on how you ran things and how did things.”
He says good regional leadership is the difference between a town “flourishing” or failing, regardless of a country’s economic environment.
“What we took over [in 2009] was a place that was known for brown envelopes. It was a place that was implementing ANC policy and it was definitely on a decline,” Winde says.
“We can go back to that if we want to.”
When asked about land expropriation without compensation, Winde – who also heads the Department of Agriculture in the Western Cape – searched for the resolution of the ANC’s 54th elective conference in December below a heavy stack of documents on his desk.
He turned to page 11 of the resolution where he underlined sections of it.
“The ANC should, as a matter of policy, pursue expropriation of land without compensation,” Winde reads from the resolution. “This should [however] be pursued without destabilising the agricultural sector, without endangering food security in our country and without undermining economic growth and job creation.”
Winde says whenever he is asked to speak about land reform to investors, he reads these passages from the resolution.
“I mean ‘hello’! Look at the document, [an] ANC document. Who carries it around? Winde. I mean I just cannot believe that [President Cyril Ramaphosa] has allowed the EFF and the David Mabuzas of the world [to dedicate].”
“The ANC has failed themselves in this document.”
Winde says the positivity around Ramaphosa’s election as president seven months ago has dissolved with the land debate.
In July, Ramaphosa said the ANC would amend the South African Constitution to “explicitly” allow land to be expropriated without compensation, but did not give details about the changes the ANC proposed.
Winde says the land debate makes him think of the three people tasked by Ramaphosa to bring a trillion rand worth of investment into South Africa over the next five years.
“The one has already written a piece that says we can’t bring in this investment while this [land] debate is going on in South Africa and one of the others I have met with personally and [is] very very frustrated.
The only solution for South Africa, Winde says, is that the ANC is challenged in the electoral box.
“You know a strong ANC is definitely not going to make our country any better. They’ve been strong for long enough. Quite frankly, there needs to come some change,” he says.
“You hear all the debate about whether it is a knife’s edge until the election and then [Ramaphosa] going to make his move. Well, quite frankly, thousands of people are unemployed that doesn’t help any of them.”
Why premier? Winde, a father of two children, believes it’s the natural next step for him.
“I’ve done what I need to do here. Ten years is long enough in one portfolio and you probably need new blood in that portfolio,” Winde says.
“So either it is do I step up to be premier, or do I look for another challenge?”
Pay the right amount of money to the right students at the right time.
This was the task that the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Higher Education and Training, Connie September, gave to the floundering National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) on Thursday.
In the meeting, it was revealed that NSFAS still hasn’t finalised all payments for 2017 and that payments for 2018 were also lagging behind, although most students benefiting from the scheme had been paid.
The genesis of their problems, said executive officer Steven Zwane, was the decision to adopt a new system, taken at the Higher Education Summit in December 2016.
No ‘adequate solutions’
Dr Diane Parker, the deputy director general for universities at the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), pointed out that funding was not the root of the NSFAS’ failings.
“The major area of concern is the unknown number of students who haven’t received funding,” she said.
She added that they had concerns about the quality of NSFAS data.
“Despite the daily support of departmental officials and DHET support teams, the NSFAS was not able to put in place adequate solutions to address the problems coherently and quickly.
In July, Minister of Higher Education and Training Naledi Pandor directed the board to not open 2019 applications, and to first complete the funding cycles for 2017 and 2018. The 2019 applications were supposed to open on August 1.
In the first week of August, two NSFAS board members and its chairperson, Sizwe Nxasana, resigned.
Pandor called an emergency board meeting, where the board decided to ask the minister to put the NSFAS under administration, which would effectively bring their term to an end.
Pandor agreed. Nonetheless, Neil Garrod was appointed board chairperson.
He told the committee that they would continue their work while they wait on the appointment of an administrator and that they did not take the decision to commit “hara-kiri” – effectively disbanding themselves by requesting to be put under administration – lightly.
“The immediate task of the administrator is to ensure the effective close-out of the 2017 and 2018 funding decisions and disbursements, [and to] put in place plans for the 2019 funding cycle,” Parker said.
“The 2019 applications will be opened in early September 2018 and an effective plan for delivering student financial aid, which will involve the support and collaboration of universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges will be developed in the next month. Work has already begun on this,” she said.
‘Our anxiety is not gone’
The committee welcomed Pandor’s and the department’s interventions but wasn’t happy that things escalated to this point.
National Freedom Party MP Moses Khubisa said: “Why are the heads not rolling if the job was not done well?”
ANC MP Juli Killian added that she would be guilty of dereliction of her duties if she didn’t express her “very, very serious reservations” about the NSFAS’ management.
“They have really done South Africa a very serious disfavour. Some of the sufferings of students could have been averted,” she said.
“We can’t let those who let South Africa, let the young people down get away scot-free,” she said.
September said: “We’re not walking away from this meeting saying that everything is fine, that all students will get their money.”
“I don’t think the anxiety is gone,” she said.
“Our anxiety is not gone,” Parker agreed. “We know we are not out of the woods.”
Zwane said the department should also shoulder some of the blame for the decision to change the system.
Monthly Release of Selected Data
The office of the Minister of Police has again capitulated in what was a three-pronged legal attack by a Durban businessman, who was harassed and thrown into jail several times because of a”civil dispute” he had with racehorse owner Roy Moodley.
Earlier this year, the minister conceded liability for the actions of Durban North cluster commander Reuben Govender – allegedly acting at the behest of Moodley – for two of Vinesh Juglall’s claims for damages.
Last week, when the third incident was to be ventilated in a trial in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban, the matter again settled with an order that Juglall be paid R500 000 in compensation for all of his claims and that the minister pay his legal costs.
Juglall sued both the minister and Govender, but the order taken by consent was only against the minister.
In his court papers, Juglall said he had been involved in a business deal with Moodley over the proposed R12m sale of a property in Durban’s city centre.
The deal also involved an option to purchase the shares in the Durban Computer College and DCC Campus Computer FET Institution.
When the deal soured, Moodley summoned Juglall to a meeting at an attorney’s office in March 2012, ostensibly to resolve the dispute.
But when Juglall arrived there, Moodley was absent and he was arrested by Govender on a charge of fraud, alternatively theft, without a warrant.
He was detained at the Phoenix police station until the following morning.
‘Pay up or stay jailed’
He said Govender told him that he would stay behind bars until he settled the matter or paid back the R12m.
He was only released after his attorney brought an urgent application in the High Court in Durban.
Juglall also obtained an interdict against Govender, preventing any further intimidation or harassment.
Juglall’s attorney Zane Haneef, then made representations to the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, asking for a determination of whether or not there was any merit in the allegations of criminal conduct which justified his arrest.
While this investigation was being done – and notwithstanding an agreement that, should there be any need to arrest Juglall it would be done by arrangement – Govender arrested him again without a warrant.
He was detained at the Phoenix police station and only released after another urgent High Court application.
The third claim – which settled last week – involved Juglall’s arrest in February 2013.
It was alleged that Govender, or other police officers “acted maliciously” by taking the docket to a prosecutor to sign off on a warrant for the same charges without informing her about the history of the matter and that it was still being investigated by the NDPP’s office. The criminal charges were later withdrawn.
News24 has previously exposed an alleged “chummy relationship” between Moodley and the senior police officer.
This was after it was revealed that Govender had sought and obtained a warrant of arrest against journalists and authors Jacques Pauw and Pieter-Louis Myburgh.
The complainant was Roy Moodley, who had been named in their books as being one of former president Jacob Zuma’s benefactors.
The warrant was later cancelled after the intervention of senior police officer Brigadier Andre Holby. He also laid a criminal charge against Govender.
IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini said there were currently three cases under investigation against Govender.
“Two of them are complete. Once all three are completed, we will refer them to the NPA for a decision.”
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The ANC in Tshwane wants the City to be placed under administration and President Cyril Ramaphosa to assign the Special Investigating Unit to probe allegations of looting there since the DA took over in 2016.
These were some of the remedies suggested on Wednesday at a media briefing which the party’s newly-elected chairperson Dr Kgosi Maepa and the party’s caucus in the council held.
The party leadership expressed “disgust” and sought to expose what it termed “historic capex grand theft by the DA administration”.
This is linked to reports in the Sunday Times over the weekend which stated that Municipal Manager Moeketsi Mosola brought in Midrand-based engineering consultancy firm GladAfrica to manage infrastructure projects worth R12bn, despite being advised that doing so was illegal.
Mosola, who held a media briefing ahead of the ANC’s address, detailed processes around the deal in an attempt to clear his name, saying that appointing GladAfrica was “in compliance with legislative prescripts governing the City of Tshwane’s supply chain management and the Municipal Finance Management Act”.
But Maepa read from a statement: “It cannot be business as usual anymore when kleptomaniacs such as these continue to remain at the helm of the City and its departments.”
Maepa claimed that the DA-led administration outsourced the City’s multi-billion-rand expenditure budget to GladAfrica.
He said, through the tender, GladAfrica became a “middleman”, which service providers and those seeking to do business with the City had to go through.
“Bringing in the consultancy has dramatically inflated prices as the consultancy fees are way beyond accepted rates as approved by the Engineering Council of South Africa and the Department of Public Service and Administration,” he complained.
He added that this meant the DA-led municipality had done away with a competitive bidding process, which was the norm.
The ANC also shared its views on what it believed should happen to the municipal manager, saying he should be suspended immediately and that it would pursue criminal charges against Mosola.
It also recommended that MEC of Local Government Uhuru Moila should place the municipality under administration.
“The MEC of Local Government in Gauteng must immediately invoke Section 106 (1)(b) [of the Municipal Systems Act],” said Moepa.
This would lead to the setting up of an investigation into allegations of maladministration, fraud, corruption or any other serious malpractices occurring in a municipality.
The ANC has also said that it would approach the Public Protector to investigate their complaint.
The ANC also wants Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga to step down.
Msimanga, who Moepa called “Mr I Don’t Know” and “Mr I Was Not There”, was warned against distancing himself from the scandal. The ANC regional chair said Msimanga’s job meant he had to play an oversight role.
Msimanga earlier released a statement accusing the ANC of being hypocritical and claiming that investigations into the GladAfrica tender were continuing.
“I again put on record that we are diligently investigating this matter and have been doing so for some time now. I am nevertheless mystified by the ANC’s hypocritical call to investigate corruption when it is this DA-led multi-party government [which] has taken several contracts concluded by the previous administration on judicial review,” Msimanga said.
He said the ANC has been linked to the West Capital Project, the PEU Smart Meter Project, the Moipone Fleet Contract and the Broadband Contract.
The ANC, however, is yet to give dates for when it plans to take its complaints to both the Public Protector and the police. It has assured journalists that it had uncovered numerous other scandals in the DA-led municipality.
The owner of the firearm that was found next to the body of co-author of The Lost Boys of Bird Island Mark Minnie, could be charged with negligence.
Police spokesperson Captain Johan Rheeder said the owner, believed to be a friend of Minnie’s, could be charged after his firearm was found near to Minnie’s body.
Rheeder added that, although a case has not yet been opened, it was standard procedure.
Fifty-eight-year-old Minnie was found on the friend’s smallholding in Theescombe on Monday evening and he had a gunshot wound to the head. The firearm was next to his body.
Rheeder also confirmed that an autopsy had been performed on Minnie on Tuesday.
He said blood samples were taken and gun residue tests on Minnie’s hands were done before they were sent to a forensics laboratory in Cape Town for testing.
Responding to rumours that Minnie was shot between the eyes, Rheeder said he could confirm that Minnie had sustained a single gunshot wound to the head, but could not be more specific about the location of the wound.
He added that the death was still being treated as an inquest.
Minnie was the co-author of the controversial book, The Lost Boys of Bird Island, which details allegations that former apartheid minister Magnus Malan was part of a paedophile network.
Since news of his death broke, many have questioned the timing and nature of Minnie’s death.
“There is no way that he would have taken his own life. What is happening is very scary. Clearly, there is more to this,” said a former colleague, who worked with Minnie when he was in the police narcotics unit in the 1980s. The person did not want to be named.
Another colleague, who also asked to remain anonymous, described Minnie as a man who “worked hard and played hard”.
“He was a bit of a maverick, but he got things done. He had a wide network of contacts back then,” he said.
News24 previously reported that the book detailed how three former National Party ministers, including one who is still alive, were alleged central figures in a paedophile ring that operated during apartheid.
Investigations into Malan – as well as John Wiley (former minister of environmental affairs) and another former minister, who was considered a possible successor to then president PW Botha and who is still alive – were halted by the police, and the investigating officer was hounded from service in the 1980s.
These and other explosive allegations are contained in the book by Minnie, a former police officer, and Chris Steyn, a former investigative journalist.
According to the book, Malan, Wiley and the other minister were involved, along with disgraced Port Elizabeth businessman Dave Allen, in ferrying coloured minors to Bird Island, in Algoa Bay near Port Elizabeth, where the children were molested and forced to satisfy the older men’s sexual fantasies.
Malan died in 2011, while Wiley and Allen’s deaths in 1987 were recorded as suicides, fuelling the speculation around Minnie’s death.
I was 13 when Magnus Malan made me ‘his wife’ for a night – alleged child sex victim
One of the victims of an alleged paedophile network involving senior apartheid government ministers and businessmen in the 1980s has described to Netwerk24 how he was kidnapped, raped and forced to perform other sexual acts by former defence minister Magnus Malan and another “uncle”.
The man, whom Netwerk24 dubs “Mr X”, is now 44, married and a father of two. He told the publication that he had been kidnapped at the age of 13 in 1987 by a group of white men in Port Elizabeth. He and four other coloured boys were reportedly given liquor and he passed out.
According to Mr X, he realised the next morning that he had been raped by a man he refers to as “Uncle One”, before being forced into more sexual acts. After that, Malan reportedly fetched the 13-year-old and further molested him. Mr X claims he bled after being repeatedly abused, and was made to be Malan’s “wife” that entire night.
Netwerk24 said it was impossible to independently verify the allegation, but carried the interview due to public interest following the alleged revelations about Malan.
News24 reported on Sunday that three former National Party ministers, including one who is still alive, had been named as central figures in a paedophilia ring that operated during apartheid.
Analysts at the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) believe that a list said to contain the names of farms that are to be targeted for land expropriation without compensation is “legitimate”.
“While we note the statement by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform that ‘there is no truth to this document, the IRR, whose analysts have had sight of the list, has every reason to believe it is legitimate,” campaign manager Terence Corrigan said on Tuesday.
Corrigan said government had decided to start farm seizures before public comment and parliamentary processes were concluded.
“This is at odds – as the IRR has long warned – with assurances made by ruling party and government leaders that only unproductive land will be seized.
“The IRR has long cautioned that undermining property rights will have catastrophic economic and social ramifications,” Corrigan said.
On Friday last week, lobby group AfriForum posted on its website that it had “obtained a list of farms identified” for expropriation.
List disputed by government
It claimed it was being circulated within the rural development department.
AfriForum encouraged farmers to check if their farms were on the list and to contact the organisation so that they could “prepare for a joint legal strategy”.
However, the department has disputed that a such a list exists.
Earlier this month, City Press reported that the ANC had identified 139 farms to be expropriated without compensation in the coming weeks, to test section 25 of the Constitution.
The list, shared by AfriForum, contained the names of 195 farms.
AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets said the list came from a “confidential source”.
Farmers ‘worried’ exposure
Agri SA president Dan Kriek said AfriForum’s publishing of this list was “grossly irresponsible” as it had itself acknowledged that its legitimacy was in doubt.
“They themselves don’t know if it’s valid or not,” Kriek said.
Speaking at a media briefing on Monday, Kriek said that two farmers whose farms were on the list had contacted him.
“By the way, some of those farmers were extremely agitated that they have now been exposed,” Kriek said.
He said the farmers were “extremely worried about the name of their farm [appearing] on a list”.
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