[ANC Daily News Briefing] 10 May 2012
ANC Daily News Briefing
ancdnb at list.anc.org.za
Thu May 10 02:46:20 EDT 2012
A N C D A I L Y N E W S B R I E F I N G
THURSDAY 10 MAY 2012
PLEASE NOTE: This News Briefing is a compilation of items from South
African press agencies and as such does not reflect the views of the ANC.
It is for reading and information only, and strictly not for publication or
TRIPOLI 9 May 2012 Sapa-AFP
LIBYA EX-REBELS IN DEADLY RAID ON GOVERNMENT HQ
One man was killed and four people wounded as Libyan security forces on
Tuesday repelled armed demonstrators who attacked government headquarters
in Tripoli, a senior official said.
The country's interim prime minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib read out a
statement on television denouncing the violence and vowing not to give way
to "outlaws" making demands at the end of a gun.
The casualties occurred as government forces sought to clear the area and
open access to the besieged building, interim government spokesman Nasser
Manaa was speaking to journalists inside the government complex just hours
after the attack.
The one man killed and three of those wounded were members of the interior
ministry's Tripoli High Security Committee called in to deal with the
situation after dialogue failed, he said.
One of the assailants was also wounded.
Tripoli High Security Committee head Khaled Besher said 14 assailants had
A group of demonstrators had shown up at 9:00 am (0700 GMT), he told
journalists. Armed men had soon joined their ranks.
By noon, the crowd had grown to 200 people, including gunmen from the
western town of Yefren backed by about 50 trucks mounted with anti-aircraft
guns and rocket launchers.
Representatives aired their grievances including the non-payment of cash
stipends for former rebels who fought against the regime of Moamer Kadhafi,
Manaa told reporters.
After some gunmen forced their way into the building and opened fire, the
interim government started evacuating personnel and called for back-up, he
Earlier, a public official said former rebels had opened fire with anti-
"Some men entered the premises and fired from inside," sparking chaos as
people scrambled for cover, he said.
Residents in the area reported hearing heavy exchanges of gunfire.
By 5:30 pm, fresh security forces were posted at the back, front and side
entrances of the glass government building, which had dozens of its windows
shattered in the attack.
Ammunition shells littered the area and the capital's usual sunset traffic
jams were cleared by the violence, an AFP journalist said.
The Libyan government started paying out stipends to former rebel fighters
a few months ago, but suspended the process after a few weeks citing
irregularities, provoking angry protests from unpaid fighters.
Kib appeared on television late Tuesday to denounce the violence and to pay
tribute to the member of the interior ministry security force who had been
The government "will not give in to blackmail and to outlaws and will not
negotiate under the threat of arms," he said.
"The interior ministry has arrested the attackers and the situation is
completely under control," he added.
He called on Libyans to turn out to pay their respects to Ali al-Gaout, the
security force member killed in the clash, describing him as a hero and a
It is not uncommon for demonstrators to carry arms when staging rallies in
front of government buildings in the capital.
But Manaa, who blamed the violence on the dark legacy of 42 years of
dictatorship, said: "We don't want this to become a widespread phenomenon."
In a message to former rebels, he stressed that there was no need to make
"demands through force" and proposed dialogue instead.
Tuesday's violence marks the worst attack in Tripoli against Libya's new
rulers, who have struggled to rein in rogue militias.
But the tough reaction shows the interim authorities are willing to call on
their growing forces to counter threats against state institutions.
The clashes came as Libyans across the country registered to vote in the
first national poll in more than four decades. Libyans are expected to vote
for a constituent assembly in June.
PRETORIA 9 May 2012 Sapa-AFP
SA RHINOS AT MERCY OF GLOBAL SMUGGLING NETWORK
Petty hunters, corrupt wildlife officials and Asian traffickers have all
been snared in South Africa's crackdown on rhino poaching as special
prosecutors battle syndicates feeding the trade in horns.
More than 160 people are currently before the courts, exposing the complex
supply chain stretching from South African parks to Southeast Asian
consumers, said Joanie Spies, a prosecutor with the Rhino Project.
"Slowly but surely we're moving upwards and getting higher people who did
not pull the trigger," Spies told AFP.
The National Prosecuting Authority set up the team to help combat the
dramatic surge in poaching that has seen more than 200 rhinos killed so far
The cases have exposed corruption within the systems meant to protect the
Private game owners, national park rangers and veterinarians have been
arrested. Authorities have also caught pilots who flew helicopters to spot
and dart the rhinos, and both small-time and professional hunters who shot
"There is a great level of organisation involved," Spies said.
Some rhinos are shot by small-time hunters hoping for a lucky break by
capturing a horn that sells for more than its weight in gold in Asia, where
it is used in traditional medicine.
Not all of these hunters know what they're doing. One man in April sawed
off a horn from a fiberglass rhino serving as decor at a safari lodge.
Other rhinos are killed by professionals who have helicopter support in
tracking and darting the animals before hunters shoot and de-horn them.
Whoever does the shooting, the horns can end up in the hands of the same
Asian kingpins, Spies said.
Vietnamese and Thai nationals have been arrested for trying to smuggle
In one case, Thai national Chumlong Lemtongthai faces trial for colluding
with a South African game farm owner to stage legal trophy hunts.
He is accused of hiring Thai strippers and prostitutes as hunters who posed
with the massive beasts' carcasses to document the kills to obtain some of
the handful of legitimate export licenses for mounted rhino horns.
Authorities say he bought horns at around 65,000 rand ($8,400, 6,400 euros)
a kilogramme and resold them for up to $55,000 a kilo.
Horns typically leave the country through Johannesburg's international
airport, or through the port of Beira in neighbouring Mozambique, where
oversight is lax.
The horns may transit in shipping containers or air travelers' hand luggage
in Asian cities like Hong Kong.
Customs officials in Hong Kong say they have seized 52 horns over the past
five years. Last November 33 horns were found in a single container marked
as carrying "scrap plastic." It had come from Cape Town.
The biggest market for the horns is currently Vietnam, watchdogs say.
"The resources that you would require to coordinate getting poached horns
from South Africa to Vietnam means there is little doubt there are large,
organised syndicates involved in that," Naomi Doak of conservation group
TRAFFIC told AFP in Vietnam.
So far, prosecuting the top levels of such syndicates has been an elusive
goal. Cracking a syndicate requires piercing through three or four layers
of crime, Spies said.
Cases that have gone to trial in South Africa have landed stiff penalties.
Three Mozambican poachers were handed 25-year sentences in January after
they were detained with fresh horns, rifles and an axe in the world-famous
Kruger National Park, where much of the poaching happens.
Spies said South Africa is stepping up its efforts by creating a combined
task force of police, military, prosecutors and environmentalists.
"You get better convictions, better sentences," Spies said.
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
KZN ANC WANTS RIGOROUS INDUCTION
The KwaZulu-Natal ANC wants a more rigorous process to induct new members
into the party, Business Day reported on Wednesday.
"The selfish pursuit of self-interest and factional interest are now placed
above the interest of the entire organisation and the people as a whole,"
reads part of a document to be discussed at the party's policy conference
African National Congress provincial secretary Sihle Zikalala said a new
rigorous induction process for members should include extending the
probation period to six months, from one week, and require prospective
members to undergo "compulsory political membership induction".
Zikalala said the party should also conduct background checks. Another
proposal was that a member had to serve for at least five years before
being allowed to take up a leadership position.
This was to ensure those who were elected to national or provincial
leadership positions were "tried and tested".
CAPE TOWN 9 May 2012 Sapa
PROTESTERS BLOCK CAPE ROAD
About 200 people blocked a road leading to Sir Lowry's Pass village with
burning tyres on Wednesday morning, Western Cape police said.
Lt-Col Andrè Traut said police had taken no action yet as they were
protesting peacefully. The motive for the protest was unclear.
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
MADONSELA TO ASSESS DA REQUEST FOR TOLL PROBE
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has agreed to consider the DA's request
for a probe into the Gauteng e-tolling contracts, the party said on
"Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has responded to my request for an
investigation into the Gauteng e-toll contracts, including a possible link
with arms deal corruption," Democratic Alliance Gauteng caucus leader Jack
He received an e-mail from her on Wednesday morning to say the matter would
be assessed to establish jurisdiction and merit, among other things.
"Like the arms deal, questions about possible corruption in the e-toll
contracts will not go away until there is a credible investigation," he
"Speculation that something is being hidden has increased with the
unexplained resignation of [SA National Roads Agency Limited] CEO Nazir
"The truth needs to come out."
The protector's spokeswoman Kgalalelo Msibi confirmed the communication
On Thursday, the DA said it had asked for an investigation on the grounds
that suspicion was high that politically-connected people may have
benefited from the plan to toll major highways around Johannesburg.
Bloom said there were reportedly allegations of links between Swedish
companies involved in an arms deal and Austrian company Kapsch TrafficCom.
He said there were also 35 sub-contracts with confidentiality clauses.
Alli resigned suddenly on Monday, just over a week after the Opposition to
Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) was granted an urgent interdict to stop the
launch of tolling on 185km of highways around Johannesburg.
The project has since been put on hold and it is not yet clear what
Sanral's next move will be.
Reasons were not given for Alli's resignation. He will remain in office
until June 3.
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
SERVICE DELIVERY PROTEST ON ERAND
Residents in Kwa Thema, near Springs, barricaded streets with burning tyres
on Wednesday, in a protest about toilets and drainage, police said.
Police were told they took to the streets after a contractor, who was
supposed to build toilets and develop drainage system in the township, left
the area, Sergeant Andries Tshabalala said.
The protest started on Tuesday night, after a community meeting.
"The situation is calm. The protesters are moving from one point to another
in the township and no violence has been reported," Tshabalala said on
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
GAUTENG HEALTH TO PAY NGOS
Gauteng non-governmental organisations (NGOs) owed money by the department
of health will be paid before the end of the week, the department said on
"The Gauteng department of health would like to reassure all non-
governmental organisations which are still awaiting payments that the
monies will be released tomorrow [Thursday]," said spokesman Simon Zwane.
He said some NGOs were paid last week, but there were others which did not
receive their money because of technical problems with the payment run.
"An amount of R63 million is scheduled to be released tomorrow [Thursday].
The department is doing everything possible to ensure that all obstacles to
payments [being made] are removed and that the money is released
He said NGOs were among 2,600 suppliers prioritised for payment in this
Last week, all suppliers of medicines and medical products were paid.
"The success of this payment underlines the seriousness with which the
department regards the commitment it has made to honour all its
obligations," he said.
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
AFRICA RIPE WITH PROSPECTS: MOTLANTHE
Structural changes in the global economy could position Africa as a
significant player, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Wednesday.
"The demand for Africa's natural resources, particularly from emerging
economies in the south, offers renewed opportunities for Africa's
developmental prospects," he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the
Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, Germany.
Growing interest by traditional development partners as well as increased
trade and investment from new emerging economies had given impetus to
economic growth and development in Africa, Motlanthe said.
As such, Africa was often referred to as the "new investment frontier".
Africa was the second fastest growing continent of the world, after Asia,
with enormous reserves of raw materials.
It had 60 percent of unused, arable agricultural land globally, a young and
growing population, and a growing middle class with considerable purchasing
It also saw steady improvements in economic governance. Motlanthe said
these factors could result in Africa becoming the next leading source of
global economic growth.
However, problems such as small and fragmented markets, inadequate
diversification of industrial output, and low levels of intra-African trade
and infrastructure, had to be tackled.
More attention also needed to be paid to multilateralism and market access
for African products.
"There is, in our view, no way forward other than to move ahead with
rebalancing the global trading system in favour of developing countries.
This can only be achieved through multilateral processes and engagements,"
CAPE TOWN 9 May 2012 Sapa
ZUMA MUST RE-SUSPEND MDLULI: DA
President Jacob Zuma must instruct Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to re-
suspend crime intelligence unit head Richard Mdluli, the DA said on
Mdluli should be suspended pending the outcome of investigations, after
numerous allegations of criminality were levelled against him, Democratic
Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko told journalists at
"President Zuma also needs to provide South Africa with an urgent
explanation as to his involvement in the appointment of Richard Mdluli as
head of the crime intelligence unit in the first instance, following the
dropping of charges against him by the National Prosecuting Authority
(NPA)," she said.
As head of the executive, such an important appointment could not have been
made without his knowledge.
If Zuma supported his appointment, he should explain why he believed
Mdluli, who had "numerous criminal allegations against him", was a fit and
proper person to head up such an important crime-fighting division.
"If the decision was indeed made without his involvement, and without any
discussion by Cabinet -- as was announced this past week -- then President
Zuma has clearly demonstrated he has no control over his own government,"
The decision by Mthethwa, if indeed it was his decision, to reinstate
Mdluli as the head of the unit tarnished the reputation of South Africa at
home and abroad.
"The serious charges Mdluli faces are of such gravity that, in any other
democracy, he would be precluded from such a senior post.
"Giving Mr Mdluli the sole power to sanction wiretapping is the stuff of
espionage and spy novels, not the practice of modern democracy where the
separation of powers is clearly delineated."
Mazibuko said she intended to oversee a number of steps in Parliament to
ensure that the Zuma administration was held to account Mdluli's
These included a formal motion to the members of the portfolio committee on
police on whether special hearings should be undertaken, in terms of
National Assembly Rule 202(1).
Among other things, direct questions would also be put to Mthethwa during a
parliamentary debate, and further parliamentary questions would follow.
Mazibuko said she further intended to ask Auditor General Terence Nombembe
for a meeting to discuss the "misuse of the Intelligence Fund by Mdluli"
when he headed crime intelligence, and request that he provide Parliament
with a report detailing his findings in this regard.
The DA would seek legal advice as to whether there was a case to review the
suspension of charges by the NPA against Mdluli, which had been described
as a "slam dunk case".
"The time has come for President Zuma to explain, unequivocally, his
involvement in the reinstatement of Richard Mdluli, and in doing so, take
clear corrective action by re-suspending him," she said.
CAPE TOWN 9 May 2012 Sapa
CAPENATURE CEO SUSPENDED
The Western Cape conservation body CapeNature's CEO Manana Moroka has been
suspended, its board said on Wednesday.
Spokesman Karl Lotter said an investigation was being conducted into an
alleged "breach of trust" between Moroka and the board.
No more details about the reason behind the suspension were immediately
The board had appointed Kas Hamman as acting CEO until the investigation
Moroka was appointed CEO in June 2011 on a three-year contract. When she
was appointed, CapeNature described her as having "extensive leadership
She had served as CEO for Proudly SA from 2005 to 2009 and deputy director-
general for marketing in the trade and industry department from 2003 to
The board said no CEO had ever been suspended "in the history of
CapeNature", but that three executive directors were suspended in 2007.
Their suspensions were eventually lifted and they returned to work.
CapeNature falls under the provincial department of environment affairs and
development planning. It is responsible for 31 provincial conservation
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
AG MUST GO TO PARLY OVER CONCERNS
The DA plans to ask the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) to
call Auditor General Terence Nombembe to Parliament to discuss his concerns
about financial management in the public sector.
"If the government is not taking the AG's office seriously, Scopa certainly
must," Democratic Alliance MP Dion George said in a statement on Wednesday.
"I will be requesting the Scopa chairperson... to call the AG to the
committee to discuss both his concerns and the way in which he feels public
finance management and accountability can be improved."
Speaking in Pretoria on Thursday, Nombembe raised the alarm over what he
called a weakening of the pillars of governance protecting South Africa's
Describing his office as vulnerable, he said there was a growing lack of
government support for his warning about this deterioration.
Nombembe said management supply chains, service delivery, security of
government information and accuracy of government reports were
"Things are serious, and they are even more serious than we thought they
are," Business Day quoted him saying.
"They are more serious because the people that are employed by government
to do work are least prepared and equipped to do it. The situation is
He said his office would soon release the audit results for local
municipalities, and he expressed his dismay at them.
The people voted into power were slow in taking responsibility for what
they had been voted in for, Business Day reported.
BLOEMFONTEIN 9 May 2012 Sapa
NCAPE PROTESTS DISRUPT TRAFFIC
Protesters burned down a municipal building at Mataleng, in Barkly West,
after a failed meeting with municipal leaders, the Northern Cape police
said on Wednesday.
Warrant Officer Ernest Kale said the municipal building was set alight and
four foreign-owned shops were looted after a community gathering on Tuesday
Police said protesters also blocked the R31 road between Barkly West and
Postmasburg with burning tires and stones.
No arrests were made.
Dikgatlhong municipal spokesman George Damoense said the municipality was
still trying to find out the main reason for the protests.
"We are still on a fact finding mission to see if it's political or related
to allegations of corruption."
He confirmed that the protests started after the local mayor did not arrive
at a community meeting as promised on Tuesday night.
Damoense said the mayor was in Upington on another engagement.
Police were keeping watch.
PARLIAMENT 9 May 2012 Sapa
HAWKS PROBING SAPS ICT DIVISION
The Hawks are investigating allegations of corruption within the SA Police
Service information communication technology (ICT) division, Police
Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Wednesday.
Speaking in the National Assembly during debate on his budget vote,
Mthethwa said he had, in the past two years, emphasised the need to look at
policing more smartly and the need to get value for money from the amount
spent on technology.
Currently, the department had a budget of approximately R2.6 billion for
technology, as allocated under the Technology Services Management (TMS)
"However, allegations of tender mismanagement, irregular expenditure, and
lack of return on investment have been brought to my attention," he said.
"Therefore we will now be adopting a two pronged-strategy to deal with this
Firstly, he had instructed that the Directorate for Priority Crime
Investigations (the Hawks) to conduct a comprehensive investigation into
allegations of corruption in the TMS environment.
"Secondly, I have instructed that I expect by the end of May 2012 to
receive a plan from TMS regarding a turn-around strategy, with clear plans
on what they will spend on over the next five years and how."
All major projects had to be planned for, and had to speak to operational
priorities, which had to be accompanied by transparent procurement
processes, he said.
PARLIAMENT 9 May 2012 Sapa
MDLULI 'SHIFTED' FROM CRIME INTELLIGENCE
SA Police Service crime intelligence unit head Lieutenant-General Richard
Mdluli is to be "shifted" from his current position immediately, Police
Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Wednesday.
Mdluli would be moved to another position as determined by acting national
commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, he told the National Assembly during
debate on his budget vote.
Mthethwa said he had noted the "recent utterances, public discussions, and
at times misrepresentation and misunderstanding" of SAPS processes by some
in society, particularly in relation to the crucial crime intelligence
Allegations of mismanagement of funds and nepotism were levelled against
The Inspector General of Intelligence, Faith Redebe, had oversight of crime
intelligence's financial management.
"As part of her mandate, she is further able to look into any other issue
that may arise in the course of this investigation. And contrary to what
the media is saying, this investigation is still in process. We are not
going to be subjected to any public, analysts' or media courts," Mthethwa
There had been unfortunate public accusations and counter-accusations
within SAPS management. What seemed to have sparked this off was a widely-
reported letter, which Mdluli was reported to have written to, among
others, Mthethwa as police minister.
"This letter seems to have political connotations and has caused tensions
within the management of the SAPS.
"It alludes to some conspiracy theory, of some in management ganging up
against him. I have instituted a task team, led by the state law adviser to
investigate such allegations, because they are so serious as to suggest the
meddling of policing functions in politics."
While this probe was underway, he had, in consultation with the acting
national commissioner, decided that Mdluli should be shifted from his
current position "with effect today" [Wednesday], as the head of crime
intelligence and moved to another division, as determined by the Mkhwanazi.
To this end, Mdluli had been informed of the decision and had pledged his
support to the process.
"We shall therefore allow and observe this process to be carried through
without any undue interference," Mthethwa said.
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
SANRAL ANNOUNCES ACTING CEO
SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) engineering executive Koos Smit
will act as its CEO when Nazir Alli leaves in June, the agency said on
He would remain in the role while the board undertook the recruitment
process, said board chairwoman Tembakazi Mnyaka.
"He is an engineer of great experience and is widely known in the industry
for his contributions to the agency's successful development and
maintenance of South Africa's national road network.
"The board has every confidence that Mr Smit will ensure that the daily
operations of Sanral continue at the high level for which the agency is
She said the board took note of speculation about Alli's sudden
Media reports suggested he was the "fall guy" for problems encountered in
getting the public to accept the introduction of toll roads in Gauteng.
These included a court interdict granted in favour of the Opposition to
Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) to stop the start of electronic tolling.
Alli had not said why he was leaving in his resignation letter, and Sanral
"did not believe it necessary in the circumstances to try to explore with
him his personal deliberations and reflections", said Mnyaka.
"We can be certain, however, that this was Mr Alli's own choice. He was not
asked to resign. In fact, in the recent performance assessment of the CEO,
the board assessed him as well above average in his performance.
"It is widely acknowledged that Sanral's record of delivery under Mr Alli
has made it one of the best-performing state owned enterprises for a number
"Further, the agency has been independently named an employer of choice for
two consecutive years. We believe this decision of a chief executive with a
long record of service and achievement should be respected, rather than
interrogated," she said.
Outa attorney Pieter Conradie said he had not received notice that Sanral
intended applying for leave to appeal the interdict.
He said he was writing to the government to obtain all the documents
related to the tolling project, ahead of a court application for a review
of the process.
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
MPUMA PROTESTERS APPEAR IN COURT
Nine protesters appeared in the Bushbuckridge Magistrate's Court on
Wednesday on charges of public violence and arson, Mpumalanga police said.
Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Hlathi said they each received R1000 bail and
the matter was postponed to May 31.
"Two minors were also arrested on Monday, but they have since been released
into the custody of their parents," he said.
On Monday, protesters in Lilydale burnt municipal offices and a grader.
They were unhappy that drinking water in the area had been found unfit for
According to the 2012 Blue Drop Report, the water of 14 municipalities,
including Bushbuckridge, did not meet government standards.
Residents were advised to treat the water by boiling it or adding bleach
before drinking it.
Hlathi said the situation on Wednesday was quiet and no incidents of
violence had been reported.
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
CITY DID NOT COMMUNICATE: COUNCILLOR
The rollout of a paid parking system in Johannesburg was not communicated
to ward councillors at all, a councillor said on Wednesday.
"This is very typical of the city's communication procedure. We are never
notified in good time. In this case, as far as I know, no ward councillor
was ever notified," said Ward 117 councillor, Tim Truluck.
Earlier on Wednesday, the municipality said it met the required legal
obligations when it established a paid parking system.
"We issued notes to the public and businesses," Pieter de Klerk, the city's
legal representative, told reporters.
"In Parkhurst, questions were raised if it [public consultation] was
sufficient. We thought it was sufficient, but the community wanted more
engagement," he said.
Truluck said the city's communication regarding paid parking had been
"In some cases, I think the fact that we are DA councillors is part of the
"We often find ANC councillors know about things and we don't. It's
remarkable that the suburban areas where rollout is taking place are DA
wards," said Truluck.
He said if the city had rolled the project out in "more suitable" areas
first, the municipality would have been able to learn from the experience.
"In Rosebank's case, if rolled out properly, I do support it. In Parkhurst,
as it stands now, I do not."
Truluck objected to there having been little public consultation, and
believed the Johannesburg metro police were not the correct people to
oversee the scheme.
"If they can't do it in Parkhurst over two months, I don't see how they can
implement this city-wide."
Parkhurst Village Residents' Association chairwoman Cheryl Labuschagne
"vehemently" disagreed with the city's assertion that residents had been
communicated with before the project's rollout.
"There was no communication with our previous councillor Sharon Sabbagh.
The contract was signed in 2009. There have been no communications
whatsoever," she said.
Residents received notice of paid parking only the day before its
implementation on January 5, she said.
"I have not heard a positive comment about it at all. In fact, people in
Braamfontein have expressed huge reservations. In Parkhurst, there have
been no positive comments that I've been aware of," said Labuschagne.
After welcoming submissions, the city had taken about six weeks to reply to
the association's submission when the project was first rolled out.
The submission was turned down because "they had already entered into a
contract," said Labuschagne.
The areas targeted for the paid parking system are: Braamfontein,
Parkhurst, Rosebank, Roodepoort CBD, Sandton, Corlett Drive, Brixton,
Emmarentia, Birnam, Melville, Florida, Norwood, Fordsburg, Parkview,
Greenside, Craighall Park, Northcliff, Rivonia and Linden.
At the moment, tariffs are set at R8 an hour and R4 for 30 minutes.
No less than 74.8 percent of the revenue will go to service provider Ace
Parking, and 25.2 percent to the City of Johannesburg. Money generated from
fines will go directly to the City.
The system is scheduled to be introduced in most areas in June.
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
CONCOURT TO RULE ON STRIKE NOTICES
The Constitutional Court will hear on Thursday whether the Labour Relations
Act (LRA) requires every employee who goes on strike to give notice to the
The SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu), with most of its
members belonging to Equity Aviation Services (EAS), served a notice as
required by the LRA and embarked on a strike in November 2003.
Other employees who did not belong to the union participated in the strike
without giving notice.
The company believed it was unlawful that those who did not give notice
participated, and requested them to return to work. They did not.
Equity later dismissed them for unauthorised absenteeism during the strike.
The Labour Court held in favour of the workers and found that the
dismissals were unfair because the employees were not required to be
members of the union or to give notice to strike.
The Labour Appeal Court held that where a union had given the requisite
notice on its members' behalf and embarked on a strike, other employees who
were not members, need not give notice for their strike action to be
EAS appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal, which reversed the decision,
ruling that a separate notice had to be given by non-union members for
their strike to be protected.
The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the dismissals were, therefore, not
In the Constitutional Court, the union is challenging the SCA's
interpretation of the LRA. Equity is arguing in favour of it.
The union submitted that the Labour Appeal Court was right and that no
notice by non-member employees was required.
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
CHARGES AGAINST LIMPOPO PROTESTERS DROPPED
Charges of public violence against nine protesters have been withdrawn by
the Musina Magistrate's Court, Limpopo police said on Wednesday.
Lt-Col Ronel Otto said the case was withdrawn on Tuesday because of a lack
The nine people had been arrested -- four of them on Sunday and the other
five on Monday when they handed themselves over to the police -- for public
The arrests arose from a protest about service delivery issues by the
The protest started on Sunday, when residents marched to the house of
Musina mayor Carol Phiri and that of the chief whip of the municipality
Simon Madamalala. Protesters demanded that they be removed.
The protest continued on Tuesday outside the court were the nine arrested
"The situation is calm at the moment; no violence was reported on
Wednesday," she said.
PARLIAMENT 9 May 2012 Sapa
MPS WARN ON SERVICE PROTESTS
Opposition MPs urged government on Wednesday to take firmer action on
service delivery problems, warning that the situation was spiralling out of
"Even the staunchest ANC loyalist cannot but admit that local government
has sunk beyond crisis [levels]; it is becoming a fully-fledged national
disaster," Congress of the People MP Juli Kilian said.
Speaking during debate in the National Assembly on the co-operative
governance and traditional affairs department's R54.7 billion budget, she
said the situation was "frighteningly reminiscent of South Africa in the
Her remarks come against a backdrop of service delivery protests in at
least four locations around the country on Wednesday, including a municipal
building set alight at Barkly West, in the Northern Cape, and a school on
fire at Tlapeng, in North West.
The SA Police Service also reported that residents of Kwa Thema, near
Springs, and protesters from Sir Lowry's Village, in the Western Cape, had
barricaded streets in their areas with burning tyres.
Democratic Alliance MP John Steenhuisen told the House that "drastic steps"
were needed to reform local government.
The country was facing service delivery protests at a rate, on average, of
two a week.
He said President Jacob Zuma's recent statement, made in an address to the
National Council of Provinces, that "service protests are not a threat to
the stability of the country" displayed a "remarkable political naiveté".
On the co-operative governance department's turn-a-round strategy, aimed at
reforming municipalities, Steenhuisen said some municipalities had been
turned around so many times they had ended up facing the exact same
direction they were when they started.
"The truth of the matter... is that we've been turned around so many times
that we've actually begun to become a little bit dizzy," he said, to
laughter from MPs.
The Inkatha Freedom Party's Peter Smith referred to the "appalling" state
of local governance, while Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenwald warned of
a descent into anarchy.
"If no strong action is taken against corrupt officials... there will be
total anarchy in local governance," he said.
Opening the debate earlier, Co-operative Governance Minister Richard Baloyi
announced that the government planned to hold a series of "service delivery
assessment sessions" around the country.
These would "engage with all councillors, all traditional leaders, and
finally, all civil society formations, all on service delivery questions".
His department would also review legislation that some claimed was impeding
"We have put together a team of law experts to deal with this matter, in
that we either establish facts and validate the claims and then continue to
review the laws, or we fail to validate and then remove such laws from the
This review would be completed by August this year.
On service delivery protests, he condemned the violence.
"People are getting intolerant of the situation and easily take to the
streets and become extremely violent at times."
"We have seen the destruction of government property and councillors'
houses at the Lesedi Municipality in Gauteng recently."
Residents of Sunrise Park, in Rustenburg, had referred to a "war-zone"-like
situation in their area.
"We condemn this [violence] in the strongest possible terms, more so when
some of these issues raised may be finalised without resorting to
violence," he said.
BLANTYRE 9 May 2012 Sapa-AFP
IMF MISSION TO VISIT MALAWI
An IMF mission hopes to recommend new loan programmes for Malawi following
a visit next week, an official said Wednesday, after the country devalued
its currency to boost the economy.
The mission had been in "regular contact" with Malawian authorities and
would get donors to contribute funds for political reforms, IMF
representative Ruby Randall told reporters.
The IMF expects to recommend the approval of a new programme for Malawi to
its executive board after the mission returns to Washington in June, she
The impoverished southern African country this week devalued its kwacha by
a third against the dollar, a key IMF demand to get the economy back on
Randall welcomed the "important measures" that would help liberalise the
foreign exchange market, increase foreign exchange and bolster investor
confidence in the country.
"In short, ensuring that the exchange rate continues to reflect foreign
exchange market conditions will help to encourage private investment and
diversified growth," she told journalists.
Relations with the IMF had broken down last year and the global lender
suspended a $79.4-million (55.7-million-euro) credit facility meant to
cushion chronic foreign exchange shortages.
New Malawian President Joyce Banda has moved swiftly to heal breaches with
international donors following the sudden death of her predecessor Bingu wa
Mutharika from a heart attack last month.
Mutharika had resisted devaluation, arguing it would trigger inflation and
hurt the poor in the southern African nation, where 39 percent of the 13
million citizens live on less than a dollar a day.
DURBAN 9 May 2012 Sapa
ZUMA LAUDS PADAYACHIE
Public Service and Administration Minister Roy Padayachie and his peers did
not use activism to get positions, President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.
"They never marketed themselves as possible members of the African National
Congress national executive committee or as members of cabinet," he said at
Padayachie's funeral in Durban.
"They were happy to work in the background as long as work was done to
advance the struggle for freedom and a better life for all."
Padayachie died in a hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Friday during a
Delivering an eulogy at the funeral, Zuma said some people might not have
been aware of Padayachie's political career and contributions because he
never saw the need to make them known.
"He was satisfied with the fact that the freedom he sacrificed much for had
While Padayachie was studying towards a Bachelor of Science degree in
Durban, he had worked closely with a small group of activists, including
Pravin Gordhan, Yunus Mahomed, Yusuf Vawda and others.
"Armed with the Freedom Charter and also the Black Consciousness
philosophy, they turned the Indian University at Salisbury Island, which
later became the University of Durban-Westville, into a hive of political
activity," Zuma said.
"They were highly politically trained and organised, and could skilfully
form structures that combined both overt civic campaigns and clandestine
The group mobilised students, workers, and neighbouring communities in
Phoenix, Chatsworth, Lamontville, Chesterville and others around several
Padayachie's activities attracted the security police, who hounded him,
making a normal family life almost impossible.
He also completed a Masters Degree in Agricultural Economics at the
University of London.
Zuma said it was during this time that he met "comrades" such as President
Oliver Tambo, Yusuf Dadoo, Aziz Pahad, and others
"The stay in London deepened his political education and consciousness."
In 2004-2009, he worked as deputy communications minister and then he took
up the position of deputy minister of public service and administration
from 2009 until 2010.
He was next appointed as Minister for Public Service and Administration,
and still held the position when he died.
Zuma said Padayachie made a mark in each portfolio.
"In the communications portfolio, he used the opportunity to bridge the
digital divide. He was often seen in remote areas delivering computers to
Zuma described Padayachie as a man who loved his country and its people.
"We will always remember this trait of humility and placing the needs of
the country before one's own."
Padayachie is survived by his wife Sally and two daughters.
KAMPALA, Uganda 9 May 2012 Sapa-AP
UGANDA DENIES SUPPORTING SUDANESE REBELS
Uganda says fresh allegations by Sudan that Uganda supports anti-Sudan
rebels is a tactic to divert attention from Uganda's claim that Sudan is
sheltering warlord Joseph Kony.
James Mugume, permanent secretary at Uganda's Foreign Affairs Ministry,
said Wednesday a formal complaint was made this week by the Sudanese
embassy in Uganda.
Mugume said he asked Sudanese diplomats to bring proof and to form a joint
committee with Uganda to investigate the allegation.
Ugandan army spokesman Col. Felix Kulayigye said Khartoum's counterclaim is
intended to diminish the seriousness of the claim that Sudan is sheltering
Uganda and Sudan have long had a difficult relationship stemming from
Kampala's open support for the rebel movement that supported independence
for South Sudan.
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
DOZENS HELD OVER NWEST PROTESTS
A total of 58 people were arrested in the violent protests over roads in
North West villages, police said on Wednesday.
Brigadier Thulane Ngubane said 34 men and 24 women had been arrested since
the start of protests on Monday.
They face charges of public violence, malicious damage to property and
looting. They were expected to appear in court soon.
"The main concern of the communities which fall under Kagisano Molopo
District Municipality is alleged to be a need for a tarred road linking the
affected villages to Ganyesa."
Ngubane said residents were outraged because they were promised tarred
roads three to four years ago.
The villages affected include Tlhapeng, Dipudi, Tsaodi, Kgokgole, Southey,
"The province is also faced with unrest in Lomanyaneng villages and Mogwase
Pupils from primary and high schools were forced on Wednesday to join and
support the protests.
"A bottle store in Southey village, a classroom at Ramadile primary school
in Tlapeng village and a old local clinic building in Elias village were
set alight by protesters," Ngubane said.
Shops run by foreign nationals were also looted and vandalised on
A pregnant woman died in Southey on Tuesday when an ambulance was blocked
by protesters from entering the village. Ngubane said the ambulance was
turned back by an unruly mob.
"Police today attempted to calm the situation after community members of
Dipodi, and of the surrounding villages, started throwing stones at passing
vehicles and burning grazing fields with tyres from a scrap yard in Dipodi
Police were keeping watch later on Wednesday.
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
OCEANA ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY FOR PRICE FIXING
The findings of a Competition Commission probe, which revealed that Oceana
group had fixed prices, was acknowledged by the group on Wednesday.
"While we deeply regret the Commission's findings, we acknowledge that this
occurred, with the exception of the Sea Harvest matter," said chief
executive Francois Kuttel in a statement.
He said the group had co-operated fully with the Commission.
"The bulk of the penalty relates to open negotiations which were in place
for the purposes of compensating skippers, crew, and some private boat
owners in the small pelagic fishery for over four decades."
Although this was "technically a contravention of the Competition Act",
Oceana was under the impression that this was covered by collective
"The remaining infringements were technical in nature and in certain cases,
never implemented. Most importantly, no harm was done in any way to
consumers through any of these infringements," Kuttel said.
Earlier, the Competition Commission announced it had fined the Oceana group
R35.7 million for price fixing.
"Oceana has agreed to pay a penalty of R35,750,050 which represents five
percent of its turnover derived from its pelagic fish [pilchard, anchovy
and red eye] operations in South Africa in 2010," the commission said in a
Oceana admitted that Oceana Brands, Foodcorp, Premier Fishing SA, Gaansbaai
Marine, Terressan Pelagic Fishing, Paternoster Visserye, Pioneer Fishing
and Saladanha Foods, as members of the South African Pelagic Fish
Processors' Association (SAPFPA), agreed to fix prices paid to vessel
owners, operators, skippers and crew for catching pelagic fish.
This was done through meetings and correspondence distributed by SAPFPA to
its members and a standard formula applied to the price of fishmeal to
determine the prices to be paid.
The group said it "respectfully disagrees" with the Commission's inclusion
of Sea Harvest interested parties as complicit in the price fixing, because
"the company was not even aware that the agreement existed until 2010".
The commission said Oceana entered into agreements with its competitors --
Pioneer Fishing, Premier Fishing and Saldanha Bay Canning -- in the
processing and canning of fish, and they shared information which gave rise
to indirect fixing of the price of canned fish sold to consumers.
Oceana Brands and Pioneer Fishing also agreed to not compete with each
other for suppliers of fish in Mossel Bay.
In 2006, Oceana entered into an agreement with Pioneer Fishing to fix the
quota rental fees payable to three companies in Port Elizabeth for the use
of their pilchard quota for the 2006 fishing season.
Oceana entered into agreements to allocate fishmeal customers and to fix
the prices of fishmeal with its competitor, the SA Fishmeal Marketing
Brimstone Investments Corporation Limited and Tiger Brands Limited, both
substantial shareholders in the Oceana Group, were signatories to a
shareholders' agreement with Sea Harvest which contained a non-compete
clause, the commission said.
"The commission concluded that the shareholders' agreement prevented Sea
Harvest and Oceana from competing in the hake and pelagic fish markets,
respectively, between 2000 and 2008," it said.
The settlement follows a complaint initiated by the commission in July
Kuttel said that activities relating to two of the contravention charges
ceased with this complaint.
"The others were identified during our compliance audit as contraventions
and the conduct in question was immediately discontinued," he said.
Pioneer Fishing applied for and was granted conditional leniency.
The agreement has been filed with the Competition Tribunal and will be set
down for confirmation of the order there.
So far, the commission has fined Pioneer Foods R195 million for being part
of a bread cartel, wire mesh companies R27 million, and South African
Airways R18.7 million and Singapore Airlines R25.1 million for price fixing
on flights between South Africa and Hong Kong.
In terms of the Competition Act, the Competition Commission has the power
to investigate restrictive business practices and abuse of dominant
Kuttle said a number of measures, including a Competition Law compliance
programme and compliance audits were introduced to prevent future
"Oceana operates responsibly and ethically in strict accordance with the
laws of the country and the King III principles of good corporate
PARLIAMENT 9 May 2012 Sapa
SEXWALE MOOTS STATE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
The department of human settlements is considering establishing a state-
owned construction company, Minister Tokyo Sexwale said on Wednesday.
Sexwale said when houses were built in the government housing programme,
the department relied "by and large" on inexperienced shovel, wheelbarrow
and bakkie brigades.
"Many of these discredit the good name of genuine and committed small to
medium emerging contractors," he said.
"This does not take away the fact that some small companies have
experience, but a lot of fly-by-nights take the taxpayer to the cleaners
with their shoddy workmanship.
"Is it perhaps not time to establish a state-owned construction company? We
at human settlements are exploring this idea together with Public Works."
Sexwale said the department was a key player in the property market, with a
recent study finding that 1.44 million of the six million registered
residential properties in the Deeds Registry were government subsidised.
This represented 24 percent of the total number of registered residential
Sexwale said this could increase to 35 percent if the backlog in issuing
title deeds was overcome.
The department, he said, would focus on low cost housing construction
projects in its attempt to root out corruption and maladministration.
More than 50 housing projects, valued at R4.2 billion, had been identified
as the targets of an investigation, Sexwale said.
"The new focus in our current investigations is on low cost housing
"In this regard, more than 50 housing projects with the value of R4.2
billion were identified. Over 40 investigations have been completed and 17
Sexwale said Limpopo had "taken the lead" in the fight against corruption
by blacklisting 24 contractors for shoddy workmanship, non-delivery and
incompetence, and recovering more than a million rands from these
More than 290 public servants who had committed housing subsidy-related
misconduct and fraud had been arrested.
Nearly R30 million lost through corrupt activities had been recovered,
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
MOVING MDLULI NOT THE ANSWER: AFRIFORUM
The decision to "shift" crime intelligence unit head Lieutenant-General
Richard Mdluli to another position did not resolve problems within the SA
Police Service, AfriForum said on Wednesday.
"Moving Mdluli is not the answer. The problem must be dealt with head-on
and not moved around," spokesman Nantes Kelder said in a statement.
Earlier, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa told the National Assembly during
debate on his budget vote that Mdluli's new position would be determined by
acting national commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.
Allegations of mismanagement of funds and nepotism had been levelled
Kelder called for Mdluli to be suspended, pending investigations, rather
than moved to a new position.
"Reassigning him is nothing more than cadre redeployment."
He said AfriForum's lawyers were still trying to get a court review of the
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)'s decision to drop fraud and
corruption charges against Mdluli .
Fraud, corruption and murder charges have been dropped against Mdluli.
The City Press reported that the fraud and corruption charges related to
improper use of crime intelligence money.
The criminal charges against Mdluli related to his ex-girlfriend's
boyfriend Oupa Ramogibe's 1999 murder.
The NPA's Glynnis Breytenbach, who was working on the Mdluli case, was
suspended. She was regional head of the NPA in Gauteng's specialised
commercial crime unit.
The NPA, however, denied that there was a link between her suspension and
the Mdluli matter.
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
MOURNERS FIND THE 'GOOD' IN SHICEKA
Former traditional affairs minister Sicelo Shiceka was a good man who
deserved to be honoured, mourners said at his memorial service on
Gauteng ANC Youth League deputy chairman Simon Molefe said the African
National Congress should not have to apologise for honouring Shiceka.
"They [Shiceka's critics] say we must be worried that the ANC is honouring
him. He must be respected and we are not apologetic."
If South Africans could forgive people who murdered their families during
apartheid, they could forgive Shiceka, he said.
The backdrop for the speakers at the memorial was an enormous banner
bearing Shiceka's face.
Earlier, a group of ANC Women's League (ANCWL) members sang a song praising
Shiceka as a hero as they pointed at the banner.
Attending the service was Shiceka's wife Cleopatra Salaphi and his 12-year-
old daughter Bonolo Mandisa.
ANCWL Gauteng member Patricia Chueu said a "dark cloud" surrounded Shiceka
before his death.
"We know that people, including some of us, have labelled him as corrupt
and all other sorts of names. In all that people have forgot the good that
She also launched an attack at the ANCYL's attempts to create a succession
debate in the party.
"The current debate... by the Youth League that the current deputy
president [Kgalema Mothlanthe] must contest the standing president [Jacob
Zuma] and that the former Youth League president [Sports Minister Fikile
Mbalula] contest with the secretary general [Gwede Mantashe] is incorrect,"
"It is dismissed with contempt."
Chueu's comments were met with shouts of disapproval from several mourners.
Reverend Joseph Maphatsoe said that it was incorrect for people to judge
Shiceka for his shortcomings.
"God does not judge. Our judgment is based on jealousy... [Shiceka] was
fighting for our liberation, and there are those against the liberation who
will exploit even the slightest mistakes and blow them out of proportion."
Joe Mpisi from the SA Communist Party said the media had also exploited
"Etv gave him all sorts of labels. We knew that he was selfless and we will
always remember him as being selfless. After he passed on, one of the
journalists from the same Etv had the audacity to give comrade Sicelo the
title of loser of the week," he said.
"Some in the media have lost touch with humanity and operate like a
programmed machine. We must speak out about this, and about the morals of
the media. Our government must take a stand on this conduct."
Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele said Siceka believed in an ANC that
worked for the interests of people and did not wallow in factionalism.
"He was my friend... but he was also difficult to agree with. He enjoyed
life and lived to the full."
He said the ANC was becoming a "cult" that focused too much on its own
future. "This has nothing to do with the historic mission of the ANC,"
"That [side to the] ANC believes that it was parachuted from heaven with
all the wisdom -- knowing what people want. That ANC believes that people
are ignorant and have no intelligence.
"That ANC believes it can meet... and decide what people want and move on.
It is that ANC that always says to people, 'we liberated you'."
He said that side to the party forgot that the South African people where
" It faces a risk of being told by South Africa listen... 'we will not
forget you'. Now you [the ANC] need to prove that you are relevant to our
Shiceka died in St Mary's private hospital in Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape,
on April 30 after a long illness.
Zuma removed him as a minister in October after Public Protector Thuli
Madonsela found he had racked up over R1 million in travel costs for
himself, his staff and his friends, in violation of the executive ethics
This included a trip to Switzerland to see a girlfriend jailed on drug-
He continued serving the ANC as an MP, but had been on sick leave since
Shiceka will receive a state funeral, and will be buried in the Westpark
Cemetery on May 12.
JOHANNESBURG 9 May 2012 Sapa
FORMER WCAPE ANC CHAIRMAN SUSPENDED
Former Western Cape ANC chairman Jeff Swart has been suspended for a year,
SABC news reported on Wednesday.
Swart was found guilty of "undermining the respect for and impeding the
functioning of the structures of the organisation and provoking divisions
and the breakdown of unity within the ANC".
However the provincial disciplinary committee said that his sanction was
suspended for two years on the condition that he did not repeat the
The party said Swart pleaded guilty and apologised for remarks he had made
to newspapers about the provincial leadership of the party.
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria 9 May 2012 Sapa-AP
2 KILLED IN NIGERIA ATTACK BLAMED ON ISLAMIST SECT
At least two people were killed in an attack on a northeast Nigeria market
that the military blamed on a radical Islamist sect waging an increasingly
bloody sectarian battle in the country.
The attack happened Wednesday in the city of Maiduguri, where the sect
known as Boko Haram once had its main mosque. Witnesses said the gunmen
came into the market and shot two traders dead before fleeing while firing
wildly into the air.
The witnesses requested anonymity out of fear of angering the military or
Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, a military spokesman, blamed the attack on Boko Haram.
He said soldiers later killed one suspected sect member and arrested two
others who carried out an attack on a military post.
CAIRO 9 May 2012 Sapa-AP
WOMEN ACCUSE EGYPTIAN MILITARY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
Women protesters and rights groups on Wednesday accused Egyptian troops and
prison authorities of sexual assault during the latest crackdown on
demonstrations, reviving allegations they are using abuse to intimidate
female detainees and protesters.
The charges added new tension to Egypt's presidential election campaign,
just two weeks before the voting.
More than a dozen women were among more than 300 protesters detained
following a protest outside the Defense Ministry in Cairo last weekend.
In charges that recalled dark incidents from earlier protests, rights
activist Aida Seif al-Dawla said that female prison guards sexually
assaulted some women by inspecting their vaginas under the pretext of
searching for drugs.
"This is a sexual assault," activist Seif al-Dawla said. "The women are
injured, physically and emotionally."
Some of the released female detainees also said they were verbally and
sexually abused by troops after they were detained.
One of them, Aya Kamal, testified Tuesday before the parliament's human
rights committee about abuses as she was being arrested.
Kamal told the committee in the televised testimony that she was holed up
in a mosque to escape troops charging in to break up the protest.
She said soldiers stormed the mosque and then took turns insulting,
groping, smacking and spitting at her and other female detainees. She said
male detainees were also beaten and threatened with sexual assault.
One soldier hit her with a club on the head, knocking her unconscious for a
few seconds, while another tried to remove her head veil, which many
conservative Muslim women in Egypt wear.
At one military facility, Kamal said soldiers celebrated the arrival of
"They insulted us girls, they opened the windows (of the van) and tried to
reach out to touch our bodies and harass us. We were threatened with sexual
assault, and we were threatened that if any one of us opened her mouth, she
would be thrown to the soldiers outside, and she knows what would happen to
her," she told the committee, choking back tears.
Another released detainee, who did not give her name, said in a video
recorded by an activist group that what happened during detention "was
worse than what you could imagine ... So, you can imagine what happens to
Seif al-Dawla said most of the women were not ready to go public because of
the social stigma attached to sexual issues in a conservative Muslim
society and because they could be called back for further investigation.
A military official said there have been no formal complaints of such
abuses, declining further comment. He also said Kamal remained under
investigation, implying she could still face charges of assaulting military
personnel and disrupting public order.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military
Activists charge that the military has resorted to the abusive practices of
deposed leader Hosni Mubarak's rule, which were largely behind last year's
popular uprising that toppled him. There was outrage last year over
"virginity tests" performed by a military doctor on female detainees.
The military admitted that there were such cases but claimed commanders had
not approved them. A military doctor put on trial over the tests was
acquitted. A civilian court asked the military to stop the practice.
Repeated allegations of sexual abuse have toughened the attitudes of
protesters demanding that the military give up power immediately.
A recent target of the frequent protests since Mubarak stepped down 15
months ago has been the Defense Ministry, headquarters of the military
Last Friday, several thousand demonstrators converged on the complex, and
some started cutting through the barbed wire the military strung to keep
them away, while others pelted troops with rocks. Soldiers reacted swiftly,
beating demonstrators with clubs, firing gunshots and arresting hundreds. A
soldier was killed in the melee.
The detainees face military prosecution and trial, though that practice has
been harshly criticized by rights groups.
The sexual assault allegations add to the tensions. Protesters see the
tactics as attempts to intimidate women and keep them away from
The incendiary charges come before the first round of Egypt's crucial
presidential election on May 23-24. A runoff between two leading candidates
is likely June 16-17. A winner will be declared June 21, the final step
before the military is due to hand over power.
A leading candidate, moderate Islamist Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, lashed out
at the military Tuesday, calling the arrests "arbitrary" and the abuses an
"affront to human dignity and a disregard of laws and traditions."
"It is an insult to the established military tradition in the minds of
Egyptians," he said in a statement posted on his Facebook group.
CAIRO 9 May 2012 Sapa-AFP
EGYPT LOWER COURT ORDERS POLL SUSPENDED: JUDICIAL SOURCE
An Egyptian lower administrative court on Wednesday ordered a presidential
election due later this month suspended, a judicial source told AFP,
although the ruling is likely to be overturned.
The court in the Nile Delta city of Benha said the first round scheduled
for May 23 and 24 should not go ahead, as the law did not give the
electoral commission chief powers to call the poll.
But the ruling will be appealed in Cairo on Thursday and is expected to be
overturned, the judicial source said, because the military ruler who
exercises executive authority delegated the powers to the commission chief.
The decision comes just two weeks ahead of Egypt's first presidential
election since a popular uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak last year.
The run-up to the election has been drama-filled with repeated legal twists
and turns that have kept the Arab world's most populous nation on edge.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) headed by Field Marshal
Hussein Tantawi, which took power when Mubarak was ousted, has vowed to
hand over to civilian rule once a president has been elected.
The main candidates running include former Arab League chief Amr Mussa,
Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi and former Brotherhood member
Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh.
KINSHASA, Congo 9 May 2012 Sapa-AP
CONGO CEASE-FIRE DUE TO EXPIRE
A spokesman for the Congolese army sys the military has not yet taken a
decision on whether to resume military operations this week, after a five-
day cease-fire expires on Wednesday night.
Col. Sylvain Ekenge, a spokesman for the military in eastern Congo, told
The Associated Press by telephone that "hundreds" of mutinous soldiers had
bowed to an ultimatum and rejoined the ranks of the army.
He said that for now all is calm in eastern Congo, where the military
operation was launched on April 29 after large numbers of soldiers had
defected from the army. Some regrouped in the bush and announced the
creation of a new rebel group.
Ekenge said that regarding the cease-fire, "no one can say what is going to
happen. The hierarchy is going to evaluate the situation and take the
JUBA, South Sudan 9 May 2012 Sapa-AP
OFFICIAL: SUDAN WARPLANES BOMB SOUTH SUDAN
Sudan resumed its aerial bombardment of South Sudan, violating
international calls for a cessation of hostilities between the two
countries, a South Sudanese military official said Wednesday.
Col. Kella Dual Kueth, deputy spokesman for the South Sudan military, said
there were attacks Monday and Tuesday in the states of Upper Nile, Unity
and Northern Bahr el Ghazal.
"Automatically it is a violation," Kueth said. "They always attack in the
morning and (in the) evening, as usual."
Kueth did not say how many bombs were dropped or how many people were
killed in attacks launched by Sudanese warplanes. He said he was not aware
of any attacks Wednesday.
Khartoum has repeatedly denied it is carrying out a bombing campaign over
southern territory, saying instead it is the victim of its southern
The U.N. Security Council last month approved a resolution threatening
nonmilitary sanctions against Sudan and South Sudan if they do not stop
escalating violence and return to negotiations.
The African Union is now trying to help the two Sudans reach a settlement
and avoid a return to all-out war. Although Sudan has endorsed the AU'S
roadmap to peace, it insists on the right to defend itself militarily.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on both countries Wednesday "to
disengage and resume post-independence negotiations."
"It is imperative that both sides stop any and all warfare by proxy, before
it becomes too late," he said.
Ban also urged Sudan and South Sudan to immediately establish a joint body
to monitor the disputed border, as required by the U.N. Security Council,
which set a deadline of Wednesday.
He told the U.N. General Assembly that the government of Sudan must address
"legitimate political and economic aspirations of its people in Southern
Kordofan and Blue Nile, where humanitarian access should be immediately
granted and a cessation of hostilities negotiated."
Kueth said the latest attacks suggest Sudan is not interested in peace
talks with South Sudan.
"Maybe they want to decide not to go (for peace talks)," he said. "If they
are genuine and really serious (about) making this peace process they could
have gone before they attack. How could you attack and then you are going
to a peace talk?"
The most recent fighting started last month after South Sudan's brief
capture of the oil-rich town of Heglig, which is claimed and has since been
reoccupied by Sudan.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan last year but has outstanding
issues with the north over oil revenue sharing and the border.
Meanwhile Wednesday, Sudan offered African tribesmen in the disputed oil-
rich region of Abyei its citizenship in an effort to woo them to the north.
Abyei's fate was left unresolved when South Sudan split from Sudan.
In Khartoum, Interior Ministry official Salaheddin Khalifa told the
official SUNA news agency the Sudanese government has decided that members
of Abyei's Dinka Ngok tribe can become northern citizens.
Abyei is home to the African, south-aligned Dinka Ngok tribe but the land
is also used by nomadic Arab tribesmen from the north for grazing cattle.
KHARTOUM 9 May 2012 Sapa-AFP
UN RESOLUTION VIOLATED AS SUDAN SAYS IT FIGHTS SOUTH
Sudan's army said it fought with South Sudan along the disputed border on
Wednesday while the South alleged it came under Sudanese air attack,
violating a four-day-old UN-imposed ceasefire.
The army in Khartoum said it had expelled South Sudanese troops and their
rebel allies from two areas, Kafindibei and Kafia Kingi, in South Darfur
state across from the South's Western Bahr el-Ghazal state.
Sudan's foreign ministry has previously described Kafindibei and Kafia
Kingi as disputed.
Earlier Wednesday, Southern army spokesman Kella Kueth said Sudan had been
"randomly bombarding civilian areas," in the border states of Upper Nile,
Unity and Western Bahr el-Ghazal on Monday and Tuesday.
It was not possible to independently confirm his allegation and Sudan has
repeatedly denied it has bombed the South.
South Sudan's army confirmed, however, that Kafindibei had been captured by
Sudanese troops backed by air support on Monday.
The incident is the first confirmed violation after Khartoum and Juba both
pledged to seek peace in line with a United Nations Security Council
resolution which threatened sanctions if they did not cease hostilities by
last Friday evening.
The UN said the situation along the Sudan-South Sudan border "constitutes a
serious threat to international peace and security."
Violation of the UN's resolution came as UN High Commissioner for Human
Rights Navi Pillay visited South Sudan to discuss the protection of
civilians affected by the border fighting.
While Khartoum announced last week that it would honour the ceasefire, it
accused South Sudan of continuing aggression by occupying disputed points
along the border and warned that if they did not withdraw they would be
forced out in an act of self-defence.
Kueth said his forces were not involved in the Darfur border clashes,
saying they were between Khartoum's army and northern rebels.
"We, the South, do not have anything to do with Darfur. We do not concern
ourselves about that," Kueth said.
Sudan accuses the South of backing insurgents from Darfur as well as those
fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
Juba rejects the claims, and in turn accuses Khartoum of backing rebels on
The UN resolution calls on each side to stop supporting rebels against the
It also ordered them to pull troops back from their disputed frontier,
effective Wednesday, but Khartoum said it could not comply until there was
a border agreement.
Both sides are to establish a "Safe Demilitarised Border Zone" and jointly
begin monitoring the frontier, the UN resolution said.
South Sudan said it had pulled back its forces in line with the demand.
The UN also requires that by next Wednesday the two countries
"unconditionally resume negotiations", mediated by the African Union, on
issues left unresolved after South Sudan separated last July following a
22-year civil war.
These include oil payments, the status of each country's citizens resident
in the other, disputed border areas and the contested Abyei region.
The resolution followed a border war which erupted between the two nations
in late March, culminating in the South's occupation of Sudan's main Heglig
oil region and Sudanese air strikes against the South.
Both the air strikes and the occupation were condemned by the international
community, which feared the conflict could spread into a wider war.
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