Category Archives: Media

South Africa – Mantashe on ANC owning up to #Guptaleaks

News24

2017-06-24 07:48

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe (Lerato Sejake, News24)

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe (Lerato Sejake, News24)

 

Tshwane – The fact that some ANC members have confirmed being implicated in a trove of leaked Gupta emails is good for the political party says its secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

He delivered an address on Friday night at the ANC Gauteng’s policy conference taking place throughout the weekend in Irene.

“There is something positive coming out of these emails up, to now four of our comrades have owned up. Four, yes, owned up.” He told delegates.

Mantashe who used the opportunity to deliver a political school style lecture spoke about the state of branches and members of the party. He also praised those who confirmed their involvement with the family said to have close ties to the president.

The Guptas have been accused of having undue influence over President Jacob Zuma and some state owned enterprises. The family is also said to have had a hand in making key decisions such as appointing ministers in the country.

Their role in claims of state capture has been likened by some, such as the academic fraternity, as a soft coup.

‘We used to lie blatantly’

Among those who have confirmed the claims are Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo who admitted that she had taken a trip to Dubai courtesy of the Gupta family, North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo who was cited as being one of the many faces in the liberation movement to have pitched at their Saxonwold home and the president’s advisor Lakela Kaunda has admitted that in 2008 she was a non-executive director of a Gupta owned company, but resigned after 6 months.

“It didn’t used to happen, we would deny everything [and say] no I don’t know what’s going on. We used to lie blatantly” said Mantashe in explaining how the posture of the party needed to change when it came to negative developments around the party.

“They all said it, yes I was there, yes it true, yes it’s true, yes it’s true,” said the SG in Xhosa.

He also reiterated the calls for a judicial inquiry, which the president has now said he would establish.

“It must be constitutional and enforceable,” said Mantashe.

Mantashe said the 105 year old liberation movement needed to change its posture on matters in the public domain, not only speak out against wrong doings but show that it was actually taking measures to address the problems.

He praised one of his comrades, former mayor of Ekurhuleni and now Member of Parliament Mondli Gungubele for his role in an adhoc committee on communications and its handling of the troubles at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

“When you started confronting the situation at the SABC then people began to see that the ANC knows the difference between right and wrong,” said Mantashe.

No political ideology

The ANC SG also decried the state of branches saying there was a decline in political ideology in the movement.

“Comrades begin to howl and use common sense that is not so common because they are guided by no ideology,” said Mantashe.

Giving insights on areas where current office bearers and stalwarts disagreed, Mantashe said former leaders of the party who had called for a national consultative conference had wanted to discuss the state of the organisation without the branches.

“We didn’t agree with veterans when they said we don’t want the branches [because] their politics [are] too poor,” he said describing the request as flawed.

When you say that you are blaming the victim, he added.

“You recruit a person say for 23 years, then say a member who has been around for 15 years is of poor quality, that member of the branch is a victim of you not doing what you should do,” he said.

Mantsashe said when he visited different branches across the different regions to deliver political school he found leaders, even in regions, did not know about the national democratic revolution.

“This is not isolated. It’s not rare, you come across it everywhere,” he said.

Mantashe said party members were not busy with discussions but too focused on issues around deployment and tenders.

He also said the party needed to accept that society was correct when it placed high expectations on the party.

“When people complain of state capture and that family [the Guptas] we then say what about white monopoly capital,” he went to define this as flawed.

“You are selecting the lowest common denominator to measure yourself because white monopoly capital is the essence of the revolution.”

Kenya – Raila accusation of poll rigging and police/army being prepared for this

Daily Nation

Wednesday June 21 2017

By NATION TEAM

A fresh battle front between the National Super Alliance and Jubilee Party was opened on Tuesday after the main opposition flag bearer, Raila Odinga, dragged the military into an alleged government plot to rig the August elections.

Mr Odinga claimed the Kenya Defence Forces, National Police Service, regional coordinators and county commanders have been mobilised and are being trained at Nairobi’s Embakasi Barracks to help tilt the elections outcome in favour of the Jubilee Party.

But Deputy President William Ruto quickly hit back at the opposition, accusing Nasa leaders of  engaging in “unnecessary noise” over elections to scare Kenyans from turning out on August 8.

MAINTAIN PEACE

The KDF and the police also denied the claims, saying they were in training to prepare to maintain peace and ward off any threats during the elections.

Mr Odinga alleged that there was an ongoing training of KDF, police, county commanders and regional coordinators at the Embakasi Barracks to give them skills on how to influence the elections.

“They (the trainings) have every semblance with what was done at the same venue in the lead up to the 2007 General Election in which APs were later dispersed as election officials and poll agents for the Party of National Unity (then President Mwai Kibaki’s party),” Mr Odinga told journalists at his Capitol Hill offices on Tuesday.

RETAIN POWER

He went on: “A series of meetings of officers from the National Intelligence Service have taken place with the sole purpose of coming up with a plan to help Jubilee retain power at all costs, particularly in the event that the courts maintain that results declared at the constituency level are final.”

The claims rekindle the 2007 presidential race in which Mr Odinga lost to President Kibaki when ODM leaders claimed APs and the military were used to not only “guard President Kibaki’s votes” but also to influence the counting of votes and the elections process in the opposition strongholds.

In his testimony before Justice Phillip Waki commission which investigated the cause of the violence that ensued after the elections, Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o said “there were massive transfers of Police and APs to ODM strongholds and selected people from central Kenya to assist in affecting the vote manipulations and to violently suppress the attendant protests.”

LOST LIVES

About 1,133 Kenyans lost their lives and more than 650,000 others were displaced in the violence that resulted after Mr Kibaki was declared the winner.

Mr Odinga alleged that a similar plot was being developed after a High Court ruling — which the electoral agency has appealed against — that presidential election results announced at the constituency level will be final.

He alleged that the meetings are being held in Naivasha, followed by what he said were “frequent consultations under the chairmanship of former Chief of General Staff Julius Waweru Karangi to actualise the plan developed by the National Intelligence Service.”

“Jubilee appears to be putting all its hopes on the old centralised tallying at the Bomas of Kenya that enabled them to doctor and change results.

SECURITY OFFICERS

It is now turning to using Intelligence and security officers to influence the elections,” Mr Odinga, who was accompanied by his chief campaign manager and Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi, said.

He went on: ‘We are inclined to believe that the above activities are meant to subvert the will of the people in the upcoming elections.”

But campaigning in Embakasi, Mr Ruto accused the Opposition of creating “unnecessary noise” around elections to scare people from taking part.

“I hear them claim we want to rig. I want them to be ready, as everyone else is, for elections,” he told a rally at Tassia Grounds.

ALWAYS COMPLAIN

“They always complain. They complained about (IEBC) commissioners.

They complained about the Biometric Voter Registration system.

They complained about ballot papers and now they are saying the military is helping us to rig,” he said.

“They have no agenda to sell. They have no track record and they know they cannot win an election so they keep creating excuses.”

Mr Ruto said the opposition was afraid to compete fairly.

POWER STRUGGLES

“They should leave our military out of this. We have a professional military and the people who are known to drag the military into their power struggles are well known. They should not drag the rest of us into it.”

Interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka clarified that the multi-agency coordination committee was created to ensure that government activities are harmonised.

“In case of crisis we do it very well by ensuring the different units works seamlessly and in a coordinated manner,” Mr Njoka said.

Also taking part in the training are officers of Nairobi Fire brigade, National Disaster Operations Centre and other non-governmental organisations such as St John Ambulance, because they are involved in emergency services.

NOTHING TO HIDE

“Now that the media was invited at Embakasi on Monday shows there is nothing to hide.

The idea was inspired by past experience in 2007 and 2013.

In the former there was the post-election violence and in the latter there was the Westgate terrorist attack where the military and police were uncoordinated,” said Mr Njoka.

He added that the media would be invited to field questions when the training ends on Friday.

FACILITATE RIGGING

In Kakamega, County Commissioner Kang’ethe Thuku dismissed Mr Odinga’s claims that more than 100 military officers had been deployed to the region to facilitate rigging.

“There is nothing like a military camp in Kakamega. I’m shocked by the allegations and Mr Odinga should get his facts right before rushing to make such allegations in the media,” said Mr Thuku.

Kenya – Odinga dares government to arrest him over its allegations of hate speech

Star (Kenya)

Jun. 20, 2017, 6:00 pm

Opposition leaders during NASA's tour of Kajiado county on June 20, 2017. /KURGAT MARINDANY
Opposition leaders during NASA’s tour of Kajiado county on June 20, 2017. /KURGAT MARINDANY

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has dared the government to arrest him on allegations of hate speech.

Raila reiterated he did not regret his remarks in Kajiado, regarding land belonging to the Maasai communty.

On Monday, the NASA flag bearer dismissed as “absolute nonsense” calls that he be probed for allegedly issuing hate remarks in the county.

He was quoted telling the Maasai community not to sell their ancestral territory to “outsiders”. He later denied claims by Jubilee Party that he asked communities to return to their ancestral lands.

NASA supporters during the Opposition coalition’s tour of Kajiado county on June 20, 2017. KURGAT MARINDANY

During another tour of the county on Tuesday, he noted the appeal is genuine and that pastoralist communities should not sell their heritage in total disregard of their children.

“I am not scared by them and if they want to arrest me, I am all over here [sic]. Such remarks by [Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery and others], who seem to care about the plight of the Maasai community do not move me an inch,” the Opposition chief declared in Kitengela.

He spoke in Kitengela late in the evening after arriving from Kimana and Emali where he addressed thousands of NASA supporters in political rallies.

Raila said wherever he goes, he will advise pastoralists not to sell their land because he is free to comment on anything, especially matters affecting Kenya.

Raila claimed Jubilee leaders are part of the problems touching on land and will never provide any solution.

“How can they be part of the solution yet they buried the Kriegler commission report and the one by the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission that revealed the land mess in the country?”

He was with his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya), Machakos politician Wavinya Ndeti and governors David Nkedianye (Kajiado) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni).

A section of ODM legislators have also dared the government to arrest Raila.

They are Senators James Orengo (Siaya), Moses Kajwang’ (Homa Bay) and MPs Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay County) and Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town).

Orengo told the government to go ahead and “test the anger Kenyans have on Jubilee leadership” by arresting Raila.

Kenya – Jubilee calls for probe over alleged Odinga hate speech

Star (Kenya)

Probe Raila over ‘hate’ remarks, Jubilee asks NCIC

Jun. 16, 2017, 3:00 pm
Opposition leader Raila Odinga receives Kajiado politician Tarayia ole Kores to ODM Party in Maili 46, Kajiado West on Thursday, June 15, 2017. /FILE
Jubilee Party has written to NCIC chair Francis Kaparo asking him to investigate opposition leader Raila Odinga over hate speech.

This followed comments by the NASA presidential flag bearer during his tour of Kajiado County on Thursday.

Raila asked the residents to protect their lands and not sell them to ‘outsiders’.

“…until now there is no land because of poverty…we want to change that so that people don’t sell their parcels.”

“Keep your land with you so that you don’t cry foul later on…let the buyers remain at their places of origin,” Raila said.

Jubilee views the comments as amounting to hate speech and want the opposition chief probed over the utterances.

In a letter seen by the Star on Friday, Secretary General Raphael Tuju said the comments are likely to spark violence.

“We all know that it only requires a very small match to start a very large and dangerous fire. With these comments, Raila has struck that match.”

“…the use of irresponsible and inflammatory language will ignite tensions within local communities and can only be regarded as hate speech,” Tuju said.

He asked the commission to review the utterances and establish whether NASA contravened the law with respect to hate speech.

“Raila’s language must be challenged today in the most robust terms. Kenya must move forward as a united nation and not be allowed to fall back into the hands of the abyss of violence.”

He said anyone, regardless of their position in the country, should not be allowed to incite such tensions and violence ahead of the August elections.

“They must face the full force of the law and this must be demonstrated publicly so that Kenyans and the whole world can see that such behavior will not be condoned,” he said.

Tuju demanded that the NCIC and other investigating agencies rein in Raila to put a stop to “the dangerous comments.”

The letter was copied to the Law Society of Kenya, IEBC, heads of diplomatic missions, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and religious organisations.

“It is the responsibility of all good people of Kenya never to be silent when we recognise that some among us seek to take us down a dangerous path that could destroy this country,” he said.

This came after President Uhuru Kenyatta told off Raila for inciting Kenyans to violence.

He said Raila is treading the same path that led to the 2007/2008 post election violence.

“Yesterday he was talking about ‘wenye inchi‘ and ‘wenye wanafaa kurudi kwao‘ (those who belong and those who should return to where they came from) … and that is the same language he used to create conflict last time,” the President said in Bomet.

Nominated MP and JP Nairobi senator aspirant Johnson Sakaja said Raila has “crossed the red line and should be tamed now.”

“We all have the experience. People have lost their loved ones. People have been maimed. People have been injured. Scars still exist.”

“Even within the context of a power struggle that we are in right now, there is a line that we cannot allow any politician to pass,” Sakaja said.

South Africa – interim SABC board sacks Hlaudi Motsoeneng

Mail and Guardian

SABC Board Chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama announced that the former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been found guilty in an internal disciplinary hearing. (David Harrison/M&G)
SABC Board Chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama announced that the former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been found guilty in an internal disciplinary hearing. (David Harrison/M&G)

The SABC interim board has confirmed the dismissal of Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Briefing the media on the outcome of Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s disciplinary hearing the SABC Board Chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama announced that the former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been found guilty in an internal disciplinary hearing.

“We engaged an independent chair to chair that disciplinary process on our behalf. The chairperson has recommended that Mr. Motsoeneng be dismissed and the SABC interim board has accepted those recommendations and we have communicated with Mr. Motsoeneng with regards to his dismissal from the SABC,” said Kweyama.

READ MORE: The wisdom of Hlaudi: It’s all about having the balls

Motsoeneng faced charges of bringing the SABC into disrepute and causing irreparable damage to the broadcaster.

This comes after Motsoeneng publicly criticised the SABC for reversing his 90% local music policy in a press briefing on April 19.

Kweyama refused to give further details on Motsoeneng’s dismissal.

“I will not be going into the details of the notice period as those are people’s files but it suffices to that Mr. Motsoeneng has been dismissed from the SABC,” said Kweyama.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng found guilty in SABC internal disciplinary hearing – report

Former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. (Gallo)
Former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. (Gallo)

Former SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has been found guilty in an internal disciplinary hearing, a reliable source close to the hearings told News24.

An additional source confirmed this to the Mail & Guardian.

Motsoeneng faced charges of bringing the SABC into disrepute and causing irreparable damage to his employer.

The charges related to his four-hour long press briefing on April 19, where he defended his “90% local” policy.

He also criticised the parliamentary ad-hoc committee charged with looking at the former board and interim board member Krish Naidoo.

It is understood that the interim board will today have a meeting to discuss the ruling by disciplinary hearings chair advocate Nazeer Cassim.

When asked for comment, Cassim said he had released the report early on Monday, and only the SABC would make the announcement.

SABC spokesperson Kaiser Kganyago told News24 that he had not yet seen the report and would only comment at a later stage.

Motsoeneng has suffered one court defeat after another.

Western Cape High Court Judge Owen Rogers ruled in December 2016 that Motsoeneng could not work at the SABC at all, unless Madonsela’s report was set aside or a new disciplinary hearing cleared him of wrongdoing.

He is appealing that judgment.

In November 2015, the Western Cape High Court declared his appointment as chief operations officer irrational and illegal, and set it aside. The court denied him leave to appeal.

In September 2016, the Supreme Court of Appeal also denied him leave to appeal

In May this year, the Labour Court denied his application to stop the current disciplinary hearings and for Cassim to recuse himself.

Mostoeneng could not be reached for comment

More to follow on this developing story. – News24

South Africa – e-mails show Guptas asked to buy air time for ANC

News24

#GuptaEmails: Guptas asked to buy airtime for ANC election agents

2017-06-02 21:15

Cape Town – The Guptas were asked to buy airtime for 362 ANC agents in the Free State a day before the 2014 general elections, emails leaked from the family have revealed.

On May 6, 2014, Mosidi Motsemme, an employee at the Free State provincial legislature, emailed a list of party agents to Free State premier Ace Magashule’s son Tshepiso, with the following request:

“Attached please receive a list of FS ANC party agents in need of airtime, they all use MTN. It will be appreciated if air time amounting to R120 per person could be loaded today, 06 May 2014.”

This was “as per directive of FS ANC Chaiperson (sic) “. Ace Magashule is the ANC’s Free State chairperson.

The list was also forwarded to a person named Kabelo Nthongoa, who forwarded it Tony Gupta.

It was unclear if the airtime was ever bought.

The leaked e-mails reveal that the Gupta’s company, Sahara Computers, sponsored trips to Dubai for Tshepiso Magashule and his brother Thatho. Shortly afterwards, they paid for a trip for President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane.

Zuma’s trip to Dubai was booked on December 4, 2015, shortly before his father fired Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister on December 9.

The flight was from OR Tambo International Airport to Dubai International Airport on December 6, returning on the 20th.

The Magashule brothers’ flights were also booked on December 4. They left South Africa on December 15 and returned on the 24th.

Luxurious hotels 

They stayed at the luxurious Oberoi hotel in Dubai and Sahara picked up the tab. There are emails from the hotel’s sales manager Sarah Ben Haouem to Sahara CEO Ashu Chawla.

Thatho Magashule’s bill was 10 240 Emirati Dirham. This amounts to approximately R36 000 at the current exchange rate.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the emails provided “solid evidence” that the ANC, at all levels, shared a “close beneficial relationship with the Guptas”.

“The corrupt rot within the ANC extends throughout the organisation, all the way through to the provincial structures of the ANC. Members of the ANC have the Guptas on speed dial, providing finances for their every need,” said Maimane.

This week he laid charges of corruption and treason against Zuma, the three Gupta brothers Atul, Ajay and Tony, and eight others.

“To stop the corrupt Gupta empire, we need to stop the whole ANC. Corruption is an enemy of the people that steals jobs and robs the poor of opportunities, and we must end it at once.”

Ace Magashule’s spokesperson could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The ANC on Friday called on government to institute a process to establish the veracity of the emails and get explanations from those implicated. It said it was concerned by the emails, which contained worrying claims about the nature of the relationship between government and private interests, spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

He reiterated the ANC national executive committee’s resolution to call for the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture.

The Gupta’s lawyer Gert van der Merwe earlier said the leaks were part of a political smear campaign and that the family had been advised to lay criminal charges against the media houses reporting on them.

Ethiopia – journalist given 18 month jail sentence for subversion

Reuters

Ethiopia gives journalist 18-month jail term for subversion

By Aaron Maasho | ADDIS ABABA

ADDIS ABABA An Ethiopian journalist was sentenced on Friday to 18 months in prison on charges of subversion, his lawyer said, but is expected to be freed within a week as he has been in jail since his arrest in late 2015.

Critics say Ethiopia, an important Horn of Africa ally of the West sandwiched between volatile Somalia and Sudan, regularly targets journalists for alleged security offences as a way to stifle dissent and clamp down on media freedoms. The Addis Ababa government denies those accusations.

Getachew Shiferaw was arrested in late December 2015 and charged in May last year with involvement in the operations of the outlawed anti-government group Ginbot 7.

That charge was later dismissed by a court but he was convicted on Wednesday of undermining state power by trying to prevent a government official from performing his duties through collaboration with an anti-government group. The charge was punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

“The high court’s ruling means he can walk out as a free man next week because he has already spent 17 months under detention,” his lawyer, Ameha Mekonnen, told Reuters.

Getachew, formerly a freelance writer for several magazines, was also editor-in-chief of the opposition Semayawi Party’s Negere Ethiopia publication at the time of his arrest.

Prosecutors accused him of colluding with a member of Ginbot 7, which the government has designated a “terrorist” organisation, alongside two domestic secessionist groups, as well as Islamist groups al Shabaab and al Qaeda in Somalia.

Ginbot 7 was formed by opposition figures who took part in the disputed 2005 election. They subsequently fled into exile and launched a rebellion against Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia’s 547-seat parliament does not have a single opposition politician, and opposition groups accuse the government of constant harassment and intimidation.

On Thursday, an opposition politician was sentenced to six and a half years in prison over a series of anti-government comments on Facebook that the court deemed to have encouraged terrorist acts.

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho; editing by Katharine Houreld and Mark Heinrich)