Two police arrested for student’s death
Two policemen implicated in the death of Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) student Katlego Monareng in August last year were due in court this past week. Monareng was killed during police action on TUT’s Soshanguve North campus. Police officers, who used live ammunition, were called in when violence broke out after SRC election results were contested; allegations of vote-rigging had been made. After Monareng’s death, there was a chaotic protest in central Pretoria, and students did not attend classes for six weeks. The Independent Police Investigative Directorate said the two officers were a captain and a constable and would be charged with murder in the Soshanguve magistrate’s court.
Khashoggi complications develop
After Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan’s revelations about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Istanbul, events have moved rather slowly. Several of those involved have been fired by the Saudi regime, but this is seen as an attempt to avoid Prince Mohammad bin Salman being connected to the murder. CIA director Gina Haspel, sent to Turkey to investigate, was reported to have heard the tape recording of Khashoggi’s torture and death that Turkish intelligence had produced. Meanwhile, the Saudi public prosecutor was quoted by Saudi state media as having called the killing “premeditated”. Saudi Arabia was initially silent about Khashoggi’s death, then claimed he’d died in a “fist fight” in the embassy, but now seems to admit it was murder. Sky TV reported that Khashoggi’s dismembered body had been found in the grounds of the Saudi consulate, but this had not been confirmed.
The suspension is killing us
In a yo-yo-like motion, National Prosecuting Authority officers Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi have been suspended from their posts pending an inquiry into their fitness to hold office. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that former Constitutional Court judge Yvonne Mokgoro would lead the inquiry. Jiba and Mrwebi have been suspended, reinstated and resuspended, and have been in and out of court (including the Supreme
Court of Appeal) and hearings by the advocates’ association. Both were seen as loyal to former president Jacob Zuma and as having acted in his interest while in office. In 2016 Judge Francis Legodi said Jiba was dishonest and Mrwebi was a liar.
Will we, won’t we see the report?
The Democratic Alliance mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga, is under fire from ANC members of the legislature, who have threatened to sue him if he goes ahead with a multimillion-rand tender deal with engineering firm GladAfrica. The deal is for infrastructure projects and is worth about R12-million.
The ANC says the deal is riddled with tender irregularities. (Never bothered them before.) Julius Malema has said the Economic Freedom Fighters would aim for a vote of no confidence to end Msimanga’s tenure. Meanwhile, Tshwane city manager Moeketsi Mosola has gone to court to apply for an urgent interdict to stop the public revelation of a report into the GladAfrica deal. Msimanga is opposing Mosola’s application because, he says, he wants transparency in his administration.
Trump critics are da bomb
United States intelligence agencies are investigating a host of “suspicious packages” that looked as though they contained bombs, which were sent to a range of people known to be opposed to President Donald Trump, or generally disliked by him. Among them were financier George Soros, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, former president Barack Obama, the offices of broadcaster CNN, and a restaurant owned by actor Robert De Niro. CNN has been a particular target of Trump’s ire, though he abominates all the media except Fox. Trump called the mailing of the packages “a despicable act” and, contrary to his usual stance, urged unity and co-operation. He also said he would moderate his own violent rhetoric. “Do you see how nice I am behaving tonight?” he later asked
the audience at a Wisconsin rally.
Gang member gets life
Cape Flats gangster Garin Paulse, a member of the Junky Funky Kidz gang, was sentenced to life in jail for the murder of Lindsay Arendse, a member of the Terrible West Siders, in July last year. Paulse is 40; Arendse was 24. Paulse’s co-accused, Faried Johnson, was sentenced to 20 years in jail. Paulse was also given a concurrent sentence of five years under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act. Judge Mark Sher said he did not believe Paulse could be rehabilitated.
Omotoso judge: ‘Good luck’ isn’t bias
The trial of televangelist Timothy Omotoso and two others on 97 charges including human trafficking and rape continued in Port Elizabeth this past week. Earlier, Judge Mandela Makaula had dismissed a motion by Omotoso’s lawyer that the judge recuse himself because he had shown “bias” and wished prosecution witness Cheryl Zondi well in her exams. Omotoso’s lawyers then launched an application to appeal the decision, and argument continued as Omotoso supporters and co-religionists danced, sang and prayed outside the courthouse. Police were mildly concerned but God made no comment.
Hawks officer purloined R3 700
In the Tlhabane magistrate’s court, Lucas Mosoane, a former Hawks officer, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for theft. During an operation in which a house in Phokeng, North West, was searched for drugs, Mosoane was seen putting R3700 in his pocket. There was also a disciplinary hearing on the case and Mosoane was fired.
Song for sore ears sparks Twitter flap
Pakistan’s minister of human rights, Shireen Mazari, is concerned about a “massacre” that took place in that country this past weekend — the massacre of a song. On the popular TV show Coke Studio Pakistan, pop star Mohmina Mustehsan and actor Ahad Raza Mir performed their version of Ko Ko Korina, a beloved number that first appeared in 1966 as part of the soundtrack of the romantic drama Armaan. The love song is often played at weddings in Pakistan. “Horrendous!” tweeted Mazari. “Destroyed a great classic — why oh why did Coke Studio allow such a massacre of this classic song?” Mustehsan, a well-known singersongwriter, responded to Mazari: “As someone holding office, I’d expect you to be more responsible with how you express yourself on public platforms.”
Man of the cloth: Timothy Omotoso is accused of rape, among other things