Friday, October 31, 2008

Political Turmoil SA October 2008

Say it with a sting.....

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Friday, October 31, 2008
Experts in limbo about new anti-crime plan

Xolani Mbanjwa
October 31 2008 at 10:24AM

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Government is moving ahead with its plans to incorporate private security companies in the fight against crime - but experts are divided on whether it is a good idea.

Ministers in government's justice, crime prevention and security cluster defended the initiative, which will see private security guards as the "eyes and ears" of the police, and have urged the public to support it.

Safety and Security Minister Nathi Mthethwa told a media briefing at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Thursday a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) had been signed between the SAPS in Honeydew, Johannesburg, and private security companies for a pilot project.

The plan has been endorsed by Justice Minister Enver Surty and Intelligence Minister Siyabonga Cwele, who said there was "enthusiasm" in government about the project.

Mthethwa said in terms of the agreement with the private security companies, guards would "preserve" crime scenes if they arrived at them before the police.

"We are going to train security guards on the basic things such as crime scene preservation.

"This is a pilot project we'd want to extend to urban areas in other parts of the province."

Private security guards will be trained on how to use radios to communicate with police.

"We are not pressing panic buttons but South Africa is in a panic mode on the issue of crime so we will do anything possible to reduce crime. Contact crime is a major concern that requires partnerships with communities," said Mthethwa.

All security companies that will be used in the project will be "screened" before taking part.

Mthethwa said the SAPS would rely on the security companies' "visibility" on the street to decrease contact crimes.

"We hope to tap into the availability of their (private security) vehicles. It's quite a comprehensive partnership. We need to move with speed in such a partnership because the private security companies are bigger (in number) than the SAPS.

"We have recruited 10 000 members every year into the SAPS but this is not making a significant impact in contact crimes," said Mthethwa.

The head of the crime prevention centre at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Barbara Holtmann, said the initiative was a bit "naive".

"We should be cautious about handing power to private security companies because they are not subject to the same oversight and tight rules that control the SAPS.

"On what basis can we trust what the security companies say when they are motivated by profit? Even with screening it is naive to think that this project will rule out criminality," said Holtmann.

She questioned whether the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), which investigates police wrongdoing, would be able to investigate security companies.

"It's dangerous for us to blur the line. Surely there must have been more strategic planning than that. I applaud any initiatives to fight crime... but we need to think again about what protection we put in place for citizens if legal issues arise.

I would feel much better about this initiative if I knew how the private security companies will be held accountable," said Holtmann.

Steve Conradie, the chief executive of the Security Industry Alliance (SIA) and representative of Business Against Crime (BAC), said: "Police will continue to do their work and security companies will continue theirs.

"The project will increase the eyes and ears for the police.

"The BAC facilitated this project from the beginning and it could be the recipe to use in other crime hotspots such as Honeydew," said Conradie.

He said security companies would help police by sharing information, and identifying wanted criminals and stolen vehicles.

"The crime management centre will respond to incidents when we tell them about it.

"This is part of using maximum resources to achieve the maximum results because the project could have a huge impact if rolled out successfully," said Conradie.




This article was originally published on page 4 of Pretoria News on October 31, 2008
Posted by Sonny Cox at 6:59 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Labels: Safety Threat SA
DA to attend Lekota Convention





A weekly letter from the Leader of the Democratic Alliance 31 October 2008
Why the DA is attending the National Convention


This weekend a DA delegation will attend the National Convention in Johannesburg organised by Mosiuoa Lekota and Mbhazima Shilowa.

When Mr Lekota initially proposed a National Convention, he said the purpose was to discuss the ANC’s abuse of the Constitution and its implications for South Africa. He enumerated the specific issues for discussion, including:


Protecting all institutions of the Constitution, including Parliament, the judiciary, Chapter 9 institutions and upholding the rule of law;


The principle of equality before the law;


Introducing a constituency-based electoral system for national and provincial elections and introducing direct elections for the President, Premiers and Mayors;


Progressively realising socio-economic rights;


Combating corruption; and


The regulation of party funding.

These agenda items were confirmed by Mr Shilowa in a telephone conversation with me on Monday.

As the DA has been at the forefront of the debate on these crucial issues for the past decade, it is consistent, logical and necessary for us to continue this role. This is the main reason why we will be attending the national convention. We will use the opportunity to re-state the DA’s position on the supremacy of the Constitution, which has been seriously undermined during the ANC’s 14 year rule.

If we chose not to attend, this debate would happen without our voice, which has been central to defining the issues. It would be a mistake to allow this to happen.

We are also aware that the organisers of the Convention are planning to form a new political party in December.

That is their right in an open democracy. Messrs Lekota and Shilowa have both assured me that the Convention itself will not be used as a platform to launch a new political party, and it is on this basis that we have agreed to attend. We are there to discuss the key issues facing South Africa’s future. What other participants decide to do after the Convention is up to them.

The DA’s attendance at the Convention is not an endorsement of any other political formation. The DA will move into the future, consolidating its position as the champion of the Constitution and promoting the open, opportunity-driven society for all.

We will participate in the discussions and we will state our views. We will not necessarily commit the DA to any resolutions or declarations, unless they restate mandated DA positions. Here then, are the key issues that the DA looks forward to debating:

1. The Supremacy of the Constitution

It is a welcome development that Messrs Lekota and Shilowa and their supporters appear to be recognising the grave risk to the future of democracy posed by the ANC’s abuse of the Constitution. The DA recognises that this abuse was initiated under President Mbeki’s watch and is epitomised by the ANC’s cadre deployment policy endorsed by the Mafikeng Congress in 1997. In terms of this policy, the ANC converted institutions established by the Constitution to defend the rights of all South Africans into extensions of the Mbeki faction. The Zuma faction has now usurped this role. This is the central reason for the ANC split.

If Lekota and his supporters now recognise the grave risk of this abuse of the Constitution, to which the Mbeki faction was party, this is a welcome development. We are not interested in the politics of patronage that simply exchanges deployment powers between rival factions. We will state our case that the institutions of the Constitution and the state must defend the rights of all South Africans and remain independent of the ruling party.

2. Equality before the Law

We welcome the repeated statements by Mr Lekota and his supporters that all South Africans must be equal before the law. We believe that this applies to Jackie Selebi and Jacob Zuma, both of whom appear to have been protected from this principle by rival factions within the ANC.

We will use this opportunity to emphasise the centrality of the National Prosecuting Authority’s independence and the conflict of interest occasioned by the fact that the President has the power to appoint and dismiss the National Director of Public Prosecutions. We will remind the Convention that the ANC’s primary motive in disbanding the Scorpions was to protect senior ANC members from investigation and that this fundamentally undermined the principle of equality before the law.

3. Electoral Reform

The DA has long called for electoral reform. We will put forward the case for introducing a system of multi-member constituencies combined with party lists to achieve overall proportionality.

We also look forward to debating the merits and demerits of directly electing Mayors, Premiers and the President. The DA has been considering adopting direct elections for these office bearers as part of our policy review process because it gives more power to voters, although it is not currently DA policy. There is a good argument that if holders of high office are directly elected, parties may be more circumspect about the qualities of the individuals they nominate as their candidates.

4. Socio-economic rights and poverty alleviation

We have always championed the progressive realisation of socio-economic rights for all, not as a lever of patronage to reward supporters or punish opponents of the ruling party. At the Convention, we will set out our proposals to provide quality education and extend opportunity to more South Africans.

5. Party funding and Combating Corruption

In the discussions around party political funding, we will re-iterate the DA’s long held view that legislation needs to be enacted which prohibits donations to political parties from foreign governments and obliges parties to disclose all donations above a fixed threshold. Any such legislation must ensure fairness, transparency and be equally applied to all parties. It must contain watertight guarantees that disclosure will not result in the state discriminating against companies that donate to opposition parties. Legislation that deals with party funding must put a stop to the corruption inherent in Chancellor House whereby the ruling party receives kickbacks for the awarding of state tenders.

The DA will put forward our views on these and other relevant issues at the Convention, but our aim is not to deliberate until we have reached consensus with the other participants. Our aim is to state our position.

The DA recognises the potential of the Convention to be a turning point in South African politics. The DA has long noted that the current political formations, trapped in the racial rhetoric of the past, are obsolete and that a political realignment is necessary to reveal the real political choices South Africa faces.

The Constitution must be the basis of this realignment. Defenders of the Constitution are currently located in various political parties, with the DA at the forefront. All those who believe in the supremacy of the Constitution, what I call the regstaat, belong in the same political party. All those who believe in the supremacy of the ruling clique of the ruling party, in other words “the higher law of the party”, or the magstaat, belong in a different party.

The dividing line between these two opposing philosophies runs down the middle of the ANC. We believe that the National Convention could help separate the wheat from the chaff.

If the National Convention facilitates this, it will, with hindsight, be recognised as a pivotal development in South African politics. If however, it merely spawns a carbon copy of the old ANC, differentiated only by revenge and competing power cliques, it will be an opportunity lost. We will evaluate developments at the Convention to determine whether it will lead to progress or stagnation.

If the Convention unleashes processes that open the prospect for the peaceful change of power through elections in various provinces, then it will have contributed enormously to consolidating democracy in South Africa. We will seek to facilitate progress in this direction and to highlight the key choice South Africans face: between the open, opportunity-driven society for all championed by the DA, and the closed, patronage-driven society for some, promoted by the ANC: The regstaat vs the magstaat. We believe that this choice is becoming clearer and that, for the first time since 1997, there is a realistic prospect of the regstaat winning out in the new South Africa. This alone is sufficient reason to attend the Convention.

Best Wishes



Signed Helen Zille
Posted by Sonny Cox at 6:45 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Labels: DA Helen Zille, Terror Lekota SANC.
Affirmative action here to stay, says Zuma




GIORDANO STOLLEY | DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - Oct 31 2008 08:40


There will be no immediate end to the country's affirmative action as long as white males continued to dominate the top management structures, ANC president Jacob Zuma told the Black Business Forum in Durban on Thursday night.

Citing figures from the Employment Equity Commission, Zuma said: "Whites maintained dominance at 65,2%, with blacks at 18,1%. On senior management recruitments during the same period, 40,6% were black and 55,2% were white. In essence, we are far from declaring an end to affirmative action. We know that affirmative action is a critical matter for black professionals as well as for the country's economy. No economy can succeed in the long-term if the majority is excluded in its management."

Referring to land reform, Zuma said the ANC-led government planned to intensify its land reform process in a bid to ensure that "30% of the land is in the hands of the rural poor by 2014".

He said the complaint that the government had been slow in addressing land was a valid complaint.

However Zuma warned against people being given land and allowing it to become unproductive. A programme was needed to ensure that those taking over the land were made aware of how to keep the land productive.

ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa said that of the agricultural land that had been redistributed to black South Africans in Limpopo, 70% had become unproductive.

He said those who received land should be either trained or "counselled" on keeping the land productive.

"It is very important that every parcel of land transferred from white people to black people remains productive," he said.

Phosa questioned why the government had cancelled farm subsidies and said government might need to revisit the issue.

Referring to the formation of a new political party, Zuma questioned whether it would be successful given the short time left until the election.

"I don't think it can be a force in the next election. Firstly the timing is wrong. You can't start a party if you have less than a year. You can only start a party if you are angry. There is no amount of anger that can make it a force."

He said he was of the opinion that voters did not want to vote for "disgruntled members".

"We differentiate between members who have grievances but who want to work with us to find solutions, and those who are angry because they lost power and leadership positions at Polokwane and provincial congresses.

"We unfortunately cannot assist in that regard. Usually angry people are difficult to handle." he said.

He said that while people had the right to establish a new party, the ANC could not allow it to be destabilised from within.

"The test of loyalty and understanding of ANC membership comes when a person faces difficulties. Some of us could have packed our bags and called many conventions long ago."

The party faced the upcoming election without any fears andthat it was "business as usual".

"We have no crisis, are not jumping up and down, and nobody should panic about anything. Our programmes continue as always," Zuma said.

Phosa added that ny attempt to hijack the party's name "in any form" would be opposed.

"The law is "though shall not steal the word ANC," he said to great applause.

Sapa

Comments by Sonny

The polygamist has spoken.

As long as the ANC is in power White males will be discriminated against. Only

their money is good enough.

...."Thou shall not steal from the ANC".....

What will 'his' rewritten 'Bible' look like?

What about ANC corruption against the poor and needy? Where is service delivery.

Let the "PEOPLE" stand up as one and be counted in the 2009 elections.

Long live all opposition parties especially the DA and the SAANC.

May Justice take her stand and prevail over corruption in government and state

institutions.

Reinstate the death penalty NOW!

....."What wisdom is possessed by one man"..... (Quote)
Posted by Sonny Cox at 10:40 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Labels: Justice in SA
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Still no ID for ‘dead man’ – two years on


Penwell Dlamini


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30 October 2008

Mandla Nkosi met Sowetan at his workplace in Soweto yesterday – but according to Home Affairs records he died six years ago when he was only 14 years old.



Nkosi, 20, of Jabulani, Soweto, first applied for an ID at the Home Affairs office in Dobsonville in February 2006.

He was told to return after three months to collect his ID.

But on his return Nkosi got the shock of his life.

“They told me I could not get an ID because I died in 2002,” Nkosi said.

They said he died on October 3 2002 in Madadeni, KwaZulu- Natal.

“I have never been to KwaZulu-Natal in my life,” Nkosi said.

Nkosi was then advised to take the matter up with the Roodepoort office.

In Roodepoort Nkosi was told to get an affidavit stating that he was alive – which he did.

He returned weeks later and was told”: “We are working on your ID.”

In July 2007 Nkosi decided to go to Home Affairs in Market Street, Johannesburg, hoping for better service.

“I was upset when I was told that I was still dead,” he said

Nkosi applied for a new ID again but when he returned he was told once more “we are working on it”.


Department spokesman Joseph Mohajane said the error could have been caused by the capturing of wrong ID numbers or a fraudulent registration of death.

“Nkosi should submit a birth registration form and an affidavit that he is alive, and his application will be processed,” Mohajane said.

Sowetan

Comments by Sonny

Makes one wonder, doesn't it.
Posted by Sonny Cox at 10:17 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Labels: Home Affairs incompetence.
Mapisa-Nqakula is very much like apartheid’s Dr No



Themba Molefe: Slice of Life

30 October 2008

Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula reminds me of one apartheid minister, Andries Treurnicht, who was called “Dr No” because of his obstinacy.



Mapisa-Nqakula refuses to admit that her department is in shambles and that she has to go.

During apartheid, Treurnicht was at one stage given the portfolio of “bantu education”, a system designed for the exclusive denial of blacks to proper education. He never cared for blacks, that Treurnicht, and he said so in so many ways.

Somehow the current home affairs minister reminds me of him.

Lest I am harangued for comparing a struggle heroine with a dead oppressor, I will defend my reasons for feeling the way I do.

During apartheid, not only were the education laws designed to subjugate blacks, but we had the hated dompas that curtailed the movement of black people in their own land of birth.

To obtain the dompas was no easy feat.

For instance, when I applied for my reference book – as it was called – I was unable to produce a birth certificate.

So at the infamous 80 Albert Street I was told to go home and bring along my mother, which I did.

After a long wait in the snaking queue, the young white man behind the counter asked my mother where she was born.

She duly said she was born in Benoni on the East Rand.

When I fetched my reference book three months later, I had been classified as 10(1)(D).

This meant I was not born in Johannesburg but because I was Sesotho-speaking, I belonged to the QwaQwa homeland and could be “deported” at a whim.

It also meant I could remain “in the prescribed area” of Johannesburg as long as I was gainfully employed.

Apartheid is gone and now our movement in and out of our free South Africa is determined by Home Affairs.

Alas, it is this department that has declared many legitimate South Africans dead, others as twins, women have found themselves married to Pakistanis they have never met, women have been declared men and others have lost jobs because they could not produce valid IDs.

But Mapisa-Nqakula does not see any crisis.

It is said if you steal someone’s identity it is as good as killing him. Yet we live in a free country, but no.

This is the reason, therefore, that I find it hard not to draw a comparison between Treurnicht and Mapisa-Nqakula.

You see, Dr No, even when Soweto was burning in 1976, refused to believe that the end of an abhorrent era was nigh.

Home Affairs is in shambles and Trevor Manuel has suggested it be taken out of Mapisa-Nqakula’s hands.

Look, this is an important department. It deals with our very existence. It controls our borders, guarding against illegal entries – or at least it should.

The recent xenophobic violence could have been avoided if there was proper legislation in place.

Faultless IDs and birth certificates, instead of death certificates for people who are still alive, should be issued by efficient officials reporting to a convincing minister.

As for me, I will keep using adhesive tape to hold the pages of my worn ID book together.

What if it returns with the face of a white woman were I to apply for a new one?


Comment by Sonny

Sounds similar to Charles Nqakula.

I wonder if they share the same interests.
Posted by Sonny Cox at 10:06 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Labels: Home Affairs corruption.
Gunmen attack SA peacekeepers




30/10/2008 15:06 - (SA)


SA peacekeeper killed in Darfur


Sarah El Deeb


Khartoum - Gunmen on vehicles assaulted a group of South African peacekeepers guarding a water well in Darfur, killing one and seriously wounding another, a spokesperson for the joint UN-African Union mission said on Thursday.

The attack took place on Wednesday night, said Noureddine Mezni from the peacekeeping force known as UNAMID.

A total of nine South African peacekeepers were guarding the well, used by the force and the population of Kutum in northern Darfur, he said.

"A convoy of vehicles with armed (men) attacked the force," Mezni said, adding that the peacekeepers fired back. The armed men then fled, leaving two peacekeepers seriously wounded.

One died after reaching the nearest camp, about one kilometre from the well. The other, a seriously wounded female soldier, was evacuated to el-Fasher, North Darfur's provincial capital.

Mezni said the peacekeepers remain "shocked" at the attack.

"We were securing a water well used by the population. We are not part of the conflict," he added.

The joint UN-AU mission took over peacekeeping duty this year from a beleaguered African Union mission. But the new force has struggled with growing insecurity in the conflict-wracked Darfur as it operates with less than 50% of its authorised capacity.

The force is also facing shortages of equipment, mostly transport and combat helicopters which hinders its access to wide swaths of the remote western region of Sudan and leaves the peacekeepers vulnerable to repeated attacks.

Mezni said the peacekeepers were investigating who was behind the attack and remain "undeterred" to carry out their mandate.

However, the UNAMID has rarely blamed any of the warring factions in the conflict zone, and only in one incident were attackers arrested.

The mission has lost at least 10 other peacekeepers since deploying in Darfur.

In July, at least 200 gunmen ambushed a UNAMID convoy in northern Darfur, killing seven peacekeepers in one of the most brazen attacks against the force. The attackers are not yet identified. Three other peacekeepers were killed in separate attacks around Darfur this year.

- AP

Comments by Sonny

Why must our SANDF soldiers defend and die in other African States who have been

involved in civil wars for centuries?

Did we not stop our 'wars' in 1994.

The African Renaissance was Thabo Mbeki's dream and where did it get him?
Posted by Sonny Cox at 9:38 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Labels: AU Wars.
SA seeks private security firms in fight against crime




WENDELL ROELF | CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - Oct 30 2008 18:06


South Africa, suffering from one of the world's highest rates of violent crime, is turning to private security firms to help make the streets safe ahead of hosting the Soccer World Cup, a minister said on Thursday.

Soccer's world governing body Fifa has raised safety and transport as key concerns for South Africa, which is battling perceptions that it might be too dangerous for visitors.

Murders, rapes, robberies and carjackings are frequent and critics accuse the government of not doing enough to contain the violence.

"South Africa is in a panic mood on the issues of crime" Safety and Security Minister Nathi Mthethwa told reporters.

"So we are doing everything possible, we'll partner with everybody, not only the private security companies [but] anyone ... who wants to assist."

More than 400 000 visitors are expected to attend the 2010 tournament, officials said.

Fifa has approved South Africa's security blueprint but has said it needs to be fine-tuned ahead of the world's most popular sporting event.

South Africa's 2010 safety and security strategy covers terror threats, hooliganism and crime. Hooliganism is not a part of the soccer scene in South Africa, though there have been some random incidents of fan violence.

Despite the high crime, tourism growth in South Africa outpaced the global average of 5% in the first quarter of 2008, surging to 11,9% after a record 9,1-million tourist arrivals last year, authorities have said.


The government has held "extensive" consultations with the private security industry to bolster crime fighting over the Christmas season, hoping to ensure the safety of local and foreign tourists, said Mthethwa.

Reuters

Comments by Sonny

Many of these private security companies are 'fly by night's' and are not regulated

properly.

Who will take the blame if tourists get killed, robbed, raped, maimed and kidnapped?

Will the blame be put at the doors of these private security companies who are only

allowed to act in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act.

The State must get their act together before 2010 or waive the games.

The Constitution is clear on who should protect the citizens (and guests) in South

Africa.
Posted by Sonny Cox at 9:03 PM 2 comments Links to this post
Labels: FIFA., World Soccer Cup 2010
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▼ 2008 (1132)
▼ October (217)
Experts in limbo about new anti-crime plan
DA to attend Lekota Convention
Affirmative action here to stay, says Zuma
Still no ID for ‘dead man’ – two years on
Mapisa-Nqakula is very much like apartheid’s Dr No...
Gunmen attack SA peacekeepers
SA seeks private security firms in fight against c...
ANCYL: No go for convention
'It's about the principle...'
Cop held for murder and rape
Don't free Derby-Lewis, says Hani's wife
'No reason to be humane'
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Wanted criminal kills cop
'I couldn't vote to disband Scorpions'
Convention now in Sandton
Fifth Jeppe accused convicted
Syndicate boss held in Jhb
Cop stations fail health test
Who is running the country?
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‘Mandela, Mbeki to lobby for ANC’
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Policewoman in tragic shooting
The second coming of Jacob Zuma
Political sabotage
Fury as ANC kills Scorpions
'Gayle would forgive' killers
The ANCYL 'is as good as dead'
Zuma: Too soon to end affirmative action
Zille slams ANC "Thugs"
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