Tag Archives: malema

South Africa – in reporting Tshwane don’t forget the killings in Tembisa

Daily Maverick

Julius Malema, the ANC, and the new war smouldering in Tembisa

  • RICHARD POPLAK
  • SOUTH AFRICA
Main photo: Julius Malema in the home of the late Fighter Tsietsi Mthibe, paying his respects. (Richard Poplak)

Maybe political murder is what we have to get used to. Maybe riots, uprisings, looting, are the new normal. Maybe chaos is a higher form of order. And maybe mock civil war is only mock until it isn’t. By RICHARD POPLAK.

 

So here’s a personal/professional choice: watch the country burn in the townships of Tshwane? Or watch it implode in the township of Tembisa? On the face of it, the two options are pretty much identical: either way, it’s front row seats at the Dissolution Derby. But examined closer, even national meltdowns have their nuances. In this case, the C-grade civil war in Tshwane is a factional disagreement brought about by the ANC national structures imposing a mayoral candidate who no one in the region seems to have heard of, and who will almost certainly disrupt the queue at the feeding trough. Some wanted Mayor Sputla Ramokgopa to stay. Others hoped his deputy would be able to become King Pimp.

This, apparently, was an argument worth dying for.

No one — by which I mean no one — in Tshwane’s ANC structures wanted a former Mbeki protégé from KwaZulu-Natal, name of Thoko Didiza, to drop in and run the joint.

This, apparently, was an argument worth torching Tshwane for.

And so news outlets filmed Not Safe For SABC dystopian long shots of Tshwane in flames, two perfect plumes of smoke rising like sentinels watching over our Fall.

Meanwhile, just a shortish drive south of Pretoria’s restive streets, Tembisa was quietly waking up to another day of being Tembisa. The whole place was covered in a layer of Highveld dust, which erased all primary colours and allowed the sun to light the location in symbolic gold. And while life was just life, that was about to change. Because on Tuesday the Economic Freedom Fighters had scheduled a visit to the homes of two slain Fighters, both of whom had lost their lives campaigning in the township’s notorious Sethokga Hostels.

Sethokga, a series of horrific, pseudo torture chambers in which black humans were supposed to live, was built in the Soviet style by the previous lunatics. (Why did such avowed commie-haters keep aping Stalinist architecture? Perhaps because we realise ourselves most astutely in the systems we profess to loathe.) Tembisa’s carefully planned ethnic divisions meant that the hostel was split between Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party supporters and Xhosa ANC backers. In the days when there was such a thing as a third force, the regime pitted the two against each other. As the gerontocracy drowned in its own debt and prune juice, the hostel became a charnel house. Sethokga has never recovered, nor was it ever going to recover. It should have been razed in order to grow carnations or to build a Disney Theme Park, but instead it was maintained as a gerrymandered stronghold for old ANC warlords and their crews of rent-a-thugs.

Photo: Malema locked in an argument with a cop. Malema wanted to address the dead Fighters. Cop not so much. (Richard Poplak)

That said, all kinds of life happens inside Sethogka, and the EFF had managed to establish the place as something of a mini-moon base. Which is why two Fighters named Tsietsi Mthibe (56) and Kenny Monjomani (39) felt safe enough to campaign door-to-door there in April and May respectively. No one sent them the memo: political violence in this country is a thing. Both were allegedly bashed up by hostel residents with bricks, knobkerries, sjamboks, golf clubs, mayhem’s usual blunt apparatus. Neither man died at the scene – according to their families, they were finished off by the reprehensible non-service at Tembisa Hospital.

Regardless of the details, the EFF leadership had picked this day to come and visit the families, and to go drop in at Sethogka in order to make an impression.

You know where this is headed, right?

***

At around 11:00, a red Range Rover Sport pulled up to an RDP house in the middle of the township, and out leapt the incredible shrinking Commander-in-Chief. Once, Julius Sello Malema bore the hoggish heft of an ANC Big Man. Now, he makes Obama look fat. His mood was muted, sombre. He wore a mustard-coloured jacket, chinos, premium loafers, and a perfectly canted EFF branded beret. He ducked down through the doorway, and sat in the modest home with its pink walls, corrugated iron roof, and single bulb illuminating the mother, the son, the daughter, the wife.

In sotto voce, he made his sympathies plain.

Mpho Mthibe, son of the late Tsietsi,, listened intently. Mpho, who wore long dreads and a dark jacket and his own EFF beret, has a big job at a big insurance firm. Education-wise, Baba Mthibe provided. And now his ass is dead. “Politics was his passion,” Mpho Mthibe told Malema. “Since his death, there has been no communication from the cops whatsoever. We really really want justice for baba.” The murder has fallen into the gaps, into the shadows that define these affairs. “We want to thank you as a family for stopping whatever you’re doing to come here to see us,” said Mpho.

After the EFF top dogs split for the second dead Fighter’s house, Mthibe told me that he was determined to find out who had murdered his father. “We know that the cops have gotten video footage, and they know who the culprits are. But we have not been formally briefed. All I have is a case number and who is handling. So now my father has been laid to rest, justice must be done, and we won’t rest until that happens. The last thing we heard is that the police have statements, but it’s just hearsay. My father stayed in Tembisa Hospital there for three weeks, and the EFF were fighting for him the whole time.”

Some things can’t be fought for.

The second photo-op called, and I was guided by Fighters deep into the township, where the RDP houses and lower middle class homes gave way to a peri-urban nightmare. Lean-tos, shacks, medieval sanitation, dirt roads running with sewerage. Inside a cramped but clean mukhuku, there was weeping, grief. A tableau of misery, lit by TV cameras.

Photo: Malema inside the shack of murdered Fighter Kenny Manjomani. This puts a starkly human face on political violence. (Richard Poplak)

“We just heard the call that he has been injured,” Lucas Tesela, brother-in-law of the late Fighter Kenny Monjomani, would later tell me. “We get to hospital, we find that he was really bad. He cannot speak. They hit him with bricks, steel, everything. The other people who knew him took him to his room in the hostel. Then he went to Tembisa Hospital.”

That, of course, was the last anyone saw Kenny alive.

A loudhailer loud hailed. The mielies whispered in the breeze. It was time to go to go and do things that the SABC would find unfilmable.

***

For those who haven’t been recently, it’s almost impossible to describe how abjectly shitty is the Sethokga Hostel. Think of 15 or so three-storey concrete buildings doused with the contents of a colostomy bag, then set on fire, and then forgotten by civilisation for 20 centuries.

The place is a national embarrassment for a nation that is impossible to embarrass.

When the EFF contingent arrived at around 13:00, they did not get a rousing welcome. But they did get a welcome. About 300 men with a dazzling array of hitting devices were waiting. The Boers, in their infinite wisdom, built this place in honour of the latest generation of X-box First Person Shooters, long before there were such things as First Person Shooters. Sethokga is a run-n-gun maze, the intricacies of which favour the home team.

Photo: Massive contingent of armed anti-EFF folk. Malema said to cops: ‘Deal with the armed criminals.’ (Richard Poplak)

And the home team was winning. They chased a contingent of Fighters against the wall of a building, and dozens were hammered with clubs. A News 24 journalist named Hasan Variawa was clubbed from behind while he filmed the action. (The sucker punch remains a Sethokga specialty.) I rode a bakkie full of Fighters towards the EFF High Command, hearing the first two rubber bullets pop as we approached.

Give Julius Malema this much: the dude has brass balls of sizeable dimensions. He could have backed down. He could have gone home in that sweet Range Rover Sport. Instead, he decided to burnish his legend by standing his ground. He screamed at the cops, telling them to arrest the homeboys with weapons, rather than harass the peaceniks without weapons. He dug in at the frontlines like Hannibal, separated only by a Nyala and a contingent of crappy riot cops from the (presumably?) ANC cadres and their beating sticks. It was brilliant theatre.

“It is your job to make sure we can campaign here. There cannot be no-go areas in a democracy,” fumed the CiC.

There we stood, a genuine Mexican stand-off. The cops would not go to disarm the mob. But they did beg the EFF to leave.

“South Africa!” said Malema, to no one in particular. “The police are something else. People are throwing stones at me, and they tell me to get in the van. Why me? Deal with the criminals.”

So it went, for about an hour. Malema called for two representatives from the ANC contingent, who were eventually walked through the mud for a consultation. There was yelling, some running, some waving of sticks. Eventually, after it was clear that this was going nowhere, the scene was shifted to a field on the other side of the hostel.

“Never back down,” Malema told the faithful. “Never be intimidated. Blacks should never fight blacks. We should be in solidarity. Don’t make whites proud.”

But smart whites know that everyone fights everyone, and that civilisation is only a couple of assholes away from playing its Trump card. Malema had successfully blown open the divisions in Tembisa, and had successfully politicised the murders of his two Fighters. It was time for the Commander-in-Chief to go to the police station, and yell some more. The violence continued: the thugs in block 34 apparently stepped up their attacks, targeting Pedi people (Malema is a Pedi), injuring 33.

Watch: Malema accuses Thembisa police of inaction (eNCA)

Pot stirred. Outrage machine turned to eleven. War smouldering. More funerals to film.

I watched as a Golf GTI chased the CiC’s Range Rover out of the hostel grounds: brakes, accelerator, brakes, accelerator. In South Africa, it would be incorrect to say that politicians in their high-end vehicles frequently kill citizens. It would also be wrong to say that they don’t. DM

Main photo: Julius Malema in the home of the late Fighter Tsietsi Mthibe, paying his respects. (Richard Poplak)

South Africa – Malema says only EFF can fight ANC

News24

EFF leader Julius Malema (Jenni Evans, News24)

Johannesburg – The EFF is the only party that will truly be able to contest the elections against the ANC, unless the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) rigs votes, party leader Julius Malema said on Monday.

“It is only us and the ANC in this election, unless the IEC enters the contest, conspiring to rig the elections. We have written to the IEC to ask for meetings,” said Malema.

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Malema was addressing journalists at the party’s national list conference for local government election candidates in Midrand.

According to Malema, IEC special votes and party agents were points of concern.

“These [special] votes are not accompanied by party agents. When they [IEC] visit those old people, party agents are not allowed. And me, as a voter, I decide if I want a certain party in my home. If I don’t want the ANC, they must not come to me.”

Malema said the EFF had asked the IEC how special votes were monitored.

“How do you ensure that a vote is not manipulated? Every vote counts. We have to have a means to monitor every vote, including the special votes. The IEC is unable to respond to that. We have asked for a meeting on that matter.”

South Africa – Zuma’s son Edward lays into EFF, “stupid banks” and Rupert

News24

(City Press: Khaya Ngwenya)

Durban – President Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward, on Friday said “certain leaders” were using people’s genuine concerns to fuel anarchy.

Zuma referred to EFF leader Julius Malema’s remarks about residents of Vuwani, Limpopo, burning schools in protest against a Municipal Demarcation Board decision to incorporate their area into a new municipality.

“Never, ever burn down schools, clinics and community halls,” Malema told residents of Gugulethu, Cape Town, on May 15.

“Take ownership of them. If you have a problem with the councillor, go to them and fight with them. You know where the ANC offices are, where the DA is, where the EFF is situated. Fight with them. Leave property alone,” Malema said.

In a statement, Zuma said the continued “war talks by some small opposition party must be taken seriously and be attended to with immediate effect” and that South Africa was under siege.

Zuma said the EFF was “agitating workers” against the ANC, following the “nonsensical decision” by the country’s four major banks to stop doing business with the Gupta family, which had links with the Zumas.

Zuma attacked business tycoon Johan Rupert, and alleged that Rupert had “captured” the judiciary to ensure his father’s removal from office through courts.

He recently laid a charge of corruption against Rupert at the Nkandla police station.

He appealed to the ANC and government to stop banking with the “stupid banks” that wanted to “suffocate” workers. The Postbank should be resuscitated and all government accounts kept there instead, he said.

South Africa -ANC wants EFF charged over clash in parliament

Mail and Guardian

The EFF again attempted to stop Jacob Zuma from speaking in the National Assembly on Wednesday, which led to a violent brawl with protection services.

A brawl broke out in Parliament on Tuesday when the EFF again tried to stop President Jacob Zuma from addressing the assembly.

The battle lines in South Africa’s politics have been drawn afresh after security guards forcibly removed members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party when they tried to prevent an address by President Jacob Zuma in parliament.

About 20 EFF members, who were wrestled from their seats by plain-clothed guards on Tuesday, refused to let Zuma speak and shouted down Baleka Mbete, the speaker of the National Assembly.

The EFF argued that Zuma was not fit to address the house after recent court decisions against the president before adding that they would repeat their disruptive actions until he resigned.

“These bouncers must know that if they give violence, we will respond with violence. We are not scared,” Julius Malema, the EFF leader, said outside parliament.

“Zuma will never find peace in this parliament. Every time he comes here the same thing will happen.”

Al Jazeera’s Tania Page, reporting from Johannesburg, quoted the EFF as saying “it is simply doing what its voters wanted it to do: Holding the president and parliament to account”.

As Zuma looked on impassively inside the parliament building, the EFF politicians – dressed in their uniform of red workers’ overalls – fought to try to remain in the chamber until they were physically removed through a side door.

He asked parties to behave with decorum in the assembly and deal with national problems.

“This house needs to do something about itself … I believe that there is a lot that we have to do in this country to fight poverty,” Zuma said.

‘Disgraceful actions’
In a statement, the ruling party said it wanted the EFF to face charges for its “disgraceful actions” in the assembly.

The actions piled pressure on Zuma’s ruling African National Congress in advance of the local government elections in August where the party faces a tough challenge from rivals seeking to take advantage of his missteps.

In April, Zuma survived an impeachment vote in parliament launched by the opposition after the constitutional court ruled he had ignored an order to repay state funds spent on his private home.

Later that month, the High Court overturned a previous decision seven years ago of dropping 783 corruption charges against Zuma when he was still the country’s deputy president.

Concern over report
In a separate development  on Monday, South Africa’s rand hit a two-month low against the dollar and government bonds weakened after a report in the Beeld newspaper hinted that Pravin Gordhan, the Finance Minister, faced arrest.

The report raised concerns of a repeat of the run on the rand and bonds in December after Zuma changed finance ministers twice in a week.

The government strongly denied the report.

Beeld, citing several sources it said were close to Gordhan, reported that he was aware of the plans to arrest him and was unfazed.

South African news media quoted Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane as saying: “If finance minister Gordhan is arrested, that would be a profound threat to the economic stability of South Africa.” – Al Jazeera

South Africa – EFF rejects Zuma Nkandla offer and says Guptas should leave SA

Mail and Guardian

The EFF has rejected Zuma’s Nkandla proposal and accuses the president of trying to influence the Constitutional Court judges.

EFF leader Julius Malema. (David Harrison, M&G)

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema is not prepared to accept President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla settlement proposal unless he agrees to the party’s terms.

“We not going to agree to any settlement until he reaffirms the powers of public protector, and two [reaffirms that] the remedial actions of public protector are binding and three that President Zuma agrees in the settlement that [by] failing to implement the remedial action he was in breach of the Constitution and his oath of office,” Malema told reporters in Johannesburg on Thursday.

“We will not agree that he had all the right to behave in the manner he did. We are not going to be party to any settlement which does not speak to those three points.”

On Tuesday, Zuma sent a letter to the court to suggest that it order the auditor general and finance minister to determine how much he should pay back for the multimillion-rand upgrades to non-security features at his home in Nkandla. Zuma was prepared to pay for the visitors’ centre, the amphitheatre, the cattle kraal, chicken run and the swimming pool. There was a “need for finality”, Zuma’s lawyers said.

However, the Constitutional Court responded on Wednesday saying it was up to the parties to decide on the settlement.

“The settlement proposal is a matter for the parties to decide and calls for no directions from the court at this stage,” the registrar said in the letter.

Malema accused Zuma of trying to influence the Constitutional Court judges by sending the letter.

“In his typical way of trying to control everything and influence institutions of the state, unduly so, he then took a copy of the proposed settlement to court in an attempt to influence judges.

“Zuma being Zuma writes to us and copies judges so that he can influence judges, so that when we arrive at court the judges already see him as a reasonable man,” he said.

But Malema said the judiciary had always rejected “ANC control”. “I’m happy we were able to see this crook even before he is attempting to do things [which are] unacceptable.”

The EFF and Democratic Alliance were due to argue in the Constitutional Court next Tuesday that Zuma needed to comply with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations and repay a reasonable part of the R246-million spent on renovations at Nkandla.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane told the Cape Town Press Club on Thursday morning that they would not accept Zuma’s proposal. The DA wanted the matter heard in court so it could make a ruling on the public protector’s powers.

Gupta’s propaganda machinery?
Meanwhile, Malema also warned that Gupta-owned media such as ANN7 and The New Age will not be welcome at his party’s events.

“Gupta must leave the country. We tired about talking about [the] Guptas. We going to take practical action,” Malema told reporters in Johannesburg.

“Gupta media must no longer come to EFF events. We don’t want to see The New Age and ANN7.”

Malema accused them of being products of corrupt activity, used to perpetuate corrupt actions.

“It’s… propaganda machinery.”

He said protectors of corruption would not be tolerated.

Addressing the reporters from The New Age and ANN7, Malema cautioned them to “move out the way”.

“Sisters and brothers in Gupta firms we love you and don’t want you to be casualties.

“We cannot guarantee the safety of those printing New Age and ANN7.”

Malema said the Gupta’s would be dealt with the same way apartheid was.

The Guptas are said to have a close relationship with President Jacob Zuma and other highly placed ANC leaders.

ANN7 earlier promoted on their Twitter page that they would be carrying the EFF press briefing live on Thursday.

Shortly after Malema’s comments, the broadcast was stopped. – News24

South Africa – is Zuma finally off the hook over Nkandla

Mail and Guardian

While a new cast of characters have the painful task of figuring out how to further secure Zuma’s rural home, the heat is off the president – for now.

Parliament's ad hoc committee has recommended that further steps be taken to ensure Jacob Zuma's safety at Nkandla. (David Harrison, M&G)

A new security assessment of President Jacob Zuma’s rural Nkandla home is in the works, an assessment various institutions agree will in all likelihood find a need for further work to be done to complete, or supplement, over R200-million worth of upgrades already effected.

Parliament, meanwhile, will in coming weeks finalise its current investigation into Nkandla, with no adverse finding whatsoever against Zuma himself.

The opposition Economic Freedom Fighters asked the Constitutional Court to give Zuma lessons in his constitutional obligations, and marching orders on Nkandla, an application that shows little promise of resulting in a hearing.

And despite rumblings from particularly the ANC in Gauteng earlier this year on Zuma’s handling of the Nkandla saga, those noises appear to have been hushed for at least the time being.

So though former ministers, government officials and an architect still face trouble on Nkandla, Zuma himself appears – at least for now – to be off the hook.

Why more steps?
In its final report on Nkandla tabled for consideration last Friday, Parliament’s latest ad hoc committee on the matter recommended “that the executive ensures that all necessary steps are taken to ensure the safety of the head of state and his family is not compromised”.

Why would more steps be required, almost six years into a massive security overhaul?

“Most of the work is incomplete especially those [sic] that relate to security monitoring of the president’s private residence. Consequently, it is clear that the current security arrangements are insufficient and incomplete,” the committee told the national assembly.


The Democratic Alliance’s Mmusi Maimane questions President Jacob Zuma about expenditure, apparently on security measures for his home in Nkandla. (Photos: David Harrison, M&G)

Various MPs expressed shock that a closed circuit TV system supposedly at Nkandla was not operational when they visited the complex.

The committee is not the first group to assert that Zuma is still not sufficiently secure at Nkandla. Almost exactly a year ago the Special Investigating Unit formally recommended another security review of Nkandla “as soon as possible”, and “noted a number of matters of concern” on security there, although in the name of security it would not disclose specifics.

New assessment
Police ministry spokesperson Musa Zondi this week confirmed plans for a new assessment, but said there were no timelines for the process yet as it would depend on discussions with the department of public works.

The department of public works did not respond to questions.

Nkandla has been the subject of four major security assessments and evaluations since 1999 involving either the South African Police Service and South African Defence Force, or both.

Just how more work on Nkandla can be structured to be legal and in compliance with regulations, who will be willing to do the work and who will take responsibility for such a task are all thorny questions complicated by years of investigations.

Nkandla was declared a national key point in 2010. In terms of legislation governing such points, dating from 1980, work necessary to secure a key point must be funded by the owner of the property or from a special government account set up for that purpose. But in an inter-ministerial report on Nkandla released in December 2013, ministers of the security cluster found that complying with that law would be in conflict with the Public Finance Management Act, a modern law that institutes strict controls on the spending of state money, and leaves little room for special accounts.

Cabinet memo
The security cluster ministers also found upgrades at Nkandla should have been governed by a 2003 Cabinet memo, which requires the president to sign off on security measures to be implemented at his private residence, after those measures are determined by the police and costed by the department of public works.

The Nkandla infrastructure should have been subject to an “immovable asset management plan”, the ministers said, which would quantify ongoing maintenance costs (to which no number has yet been put in various investigations), and the capital costs should be apportioned to “the relevant stakeholders”, signalling potential trouble as the SAPS and defence force argues over who requested and should pay for what.


Parliament’s ad hoc committee, chaired by Cedric Frolick, said earlier that the president did not have to pay back the money already spent on his KwaZulu-Natal home.

The individual functionaries, who will have to implement those steps for a new security assessment, will no doubt be mindful of the fact that a dozen department of public works employees involved in previous Nkandla work are being held personally responsible for failing to follow various rules and prescripts.

Two former ministers, who were ultimately responsible for those functionaries, still face censure.

The project leader for a new assessment will also be aware that the previous project leader, architect Minenhle Makhanya, is being held personally liable for R155-million of state money spent on Nkandla in a continuing matter before the high court in Pietermaritzburg.

Subsequent scrutiny
Various companies and contractors who did work on Nkandla found themselves accused of fraud, poor workmanship, and fleecing the public purse during subsequent scrutiny.

When Police Minister Nathi Nhleko suggested in July that more money would have to be spent on Nkandla, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe characterised it as “reckless” in its timing.

These issues will face a set of ministers and technocrats different from those who dealt with Nkandla between 2009 and 2012, but will not be Zuma’s direct responsibility. The only responsibility he will face in the renewed security assessment and its implementation, according to the findings of the various investigations to date, is to assume ethical responsibility for the effective application of state funds. Demanding as much from those intimately involved, and holding them accountable should they fail, will likely satisfy that requirement.

That represents only a temporary reprieve for Zuma, however.

In mid-June, chairperson of the ANC in Gauteng, Paul Mashatile, sought to distance the party from Nhleko’s report, which formed the basis of the parliamentary ad hoc committee’s findings, and the suggestion that more money would have to be spent on Nkandla.

Not the position of the ANC
That was not the position of the ANC, Mashatile said. He was subsequently backed by the party in the province.

Well-informed speculation at the time spoke of a possibility that the ANC would be asked to consider requiring Zuma to pay personally for any new work. Such speculation died down in the two months since, but insiders this week suggested the plan was not yet entirely dead.

Zuma also faces the prospect of a newly empowered public protector demanding, again, that he repay the state for some of the personal benefit he has derived from the Nkandla project. In September the Supreme Court of Appeal will hear a different matter, which has been brought by the Democratic Alliance, that has the potential of declaring Madonsela’s findings to be binding.

And should the Special Investigating Unit’s R155-million claim against architect Makanya fail, the unit has the option of trying to recover the money from those unduly enriched – a group it found to include Zuma himself. – With additional reporting by Qaanitah Hunter and Matuma Letsoalo


EFF goes for the constitutional jugular

The Economic Freedom Fighters do not have a particularly good chance of being heard on Nkandla before the Constitutional Court, but nonetheless in court papers it took the opportunity to express its intense displeasure with Parliament, the speaker Baleka Mbete and President Jacob Zuma.

On August 4, the party finalised papers asking the court to declare that both Parliament and Zuma, in their handling of issues related to Nkandla, had failed their respective duties to uphold the Constitution. That was several days before Parliament’s ad hoc committee on Nkandla tabled its report, and well before Zuma appeared in Parliament to answer, among others, an EFF question about Nkandla – but only one day after public protector Thuli Madonsela said it was up to those who thought her office required protection to do the protecting.

The EFF told the court in its notice of motion that Zuma should be forced to give effect to Madonsela’s recommendations, and the court should declare that Zuma’s failure to do so, and Parliament’s failure to force him to do so, was a failure of their constitutional obligations.

The court accepts direct applications under only exceptional circumstances and at its own discretion. This week, experts said Parliament had not yet formally adopted the ad hoc committee report, which would conclude its Nkandla investigation; the Nkandla matter would be heavily influenced by a Supreme Court of Appeal hearing in September, which itself is likely to be taken on appeal to the Constitutional Court; and that the EFF would be hard-pressed to explain why the Nkandla matter was urgent.


Unhappy: EFF leader Julius Malema.

The experts all agreed that the EFF’s chances of securing a hearing were slim. But the application itself gave EFF leader Julius Malema the opportunity to promise Zuma the party would see him in court – and it gave the party a fresh platform to express unhappiness with not only Zuma but also Mbete. The EFF deputy president, Floyd Shivambu, said in a supporting affidavit Zuma had violated the Constitution, committed a serious constitutional breach, and had undermined the independence and effectiveness of the public protector.

Shivambu said Mbete, though only cited nominally as a respondent to represent the National Assembly, was required to act impartially in her role.

“The experience of the EFF with the current speaker has been that she is not impartial, is prone to procedural lapses, and openly hostile to the EFF.”

To date, the Democratic Alliance has been the party leading the various legal threats and challenges on Nkandla, but it said this week it would not join the EFF in its approach to the court.

The DA’s James Selfe said the party would wait for a determination in its Supreme Court of Appeal case, which is seeking clarity on the public protector’s powers in the matter regarding the SABC’s chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng. It is scheduled to be heard in Bloemfontein on September 18.

If the protector’s findings are found to be binding, Selfe said, that would enable a demand for the implementation of her findings on Nkandla.

“The issue regarding Nkandla and Hlaudi Motsoeneng are very similar, except in the matter of Hlaudi Motsoeneng the remedial action recommended by the public protector is very precise,” Selfe said. – Phillip de Wet and Qaanitah Hunter


When Parliament rewrote history

The latest ad hoc committee on Nkandla last week tabled its report for consideration by the National Assembly, with every sign that the report will be adopted by Parliament as a whole – despite the fact that it contains several blatant and critical factual inaccuracies.

In several instances the committee (officially titled “Ad hoc committee to consider the report of the minister of police in reply to recommendations in the report of the ad hoc committee to consider the report by the president regarding security upgrades at the Nkandla Private Residence of the president”) accepted assertions by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko that are flatly contradicted by documents.

Facts accepted by the committee, with its stamp of approval either directly or tacitly, include that:

  • Nhleko could find zero evidence that President Jacob Zuma had “requested anything to be constructed” in his perusal of “all reports related to” Nkandla. In her March 2014 report on Nkandla, public protector Thuli Madonsela relates that Zuma personally told her he had “requested the building of a larger kraal”;
  • The figure of R246-million spent on Nkandla was a cost estimate “by the media and opposition parties”. The R246-million number actually came from Madonsela’s report, in which she “conservatively estimated” that to be what would be required from state coffers before the project is completed, based on work that still had to be done at the time. The actual number (incorrectly rounded down instead of up by Madonsela herself) is R246 631 303.04;
  • Implicitly, the only “alleged non-security features” at Nkandla are the swimming pool, animal enclosures and a social node. The Special Investigating Unit, in a report on an investigation commissioned by Zuma, pointed to roads built for the sole use of the Zuma family, air conditioning installed in family residences, and extensive landscaping around the private residences; and
  • Nhleko’s status as a Cabinet minister does not oblige him to “make favourable judgments towards the president” because the president also appoints people such as judges to their positions.

The committee apparently did not notice that it requires a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly to remove the likes of a judge (and similar presidential appointees) from office, whereas a Cabinet minister serves at the absolute pleasure of the president and is specifically denied any security of tenure.

Consideration of the report by the National Assembly was yet to be scheduled as the Mail & Guardian went to print, but was expected before the end of August.

Both the DA and the EFF were expected to vote against its adoption, as are the African Christian Democratic Party and Freedom Front Plus, but the vote would be easily carried by the ANC, which has welcomed the report as tabled. – Phillip de Wet


South Africa – Malema says he will see Zuma in court

News24

  
“Let’s meet you in court,” said Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema at the close of this afternoon’s question-and-answer session with President Jacob Zuma in Parliament. 
Malema got the last word after Zuma, who was asked when he was going to pay back the money for Nkandla, referred to the parliamentary process that is currently under way. 
Although speaker Baleka Mbete had not “recognised Malema”, he stood up and said: “It is very clear that we are never going to get an answer. Let’s meet in court.” 
In his reply, Zuma also answered that the Public Protector’s report had stated that he should instruct the minister of police to determine how much he should pay back for “security upgrades” at his home in Nkandla. 
This was despite the Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, pointing out last week that her report did not say this. 
Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane corrected Zuma, saying that Madonsela’s report required him to determine, with the treasury’s assistance, how much he should pay back. 
The sitting took place with members of the controversial Parliamentary Protection Services standing guard outside the doors of the National Assembly. A DA member commented that he recornised two of the new recruits – former SAPS members – mostly dressed in white shirts and black pants, from a previous sitting of the house, when the EFF MPs were forcibly removed. 
After Malema asked his question and Zuma said that the parliamentary investigation was still under way, EFF members repeatedly rose for points of order even though Mbete had not recognised them. 
Opposition MPs – especially United Democratic Movement MPs, whose leader Bantu Holomisa was unable to speak due to the constant interjections – became visibly fed up with the EFF’s behaviour.