Tribal reactionaries in lovefest
Putting the past (as in Zulu king Dingane’s murder of Piet Retief, the battle of Blood River, and so on) behind them, Afrikaner lobbyists AfriForum have linked up with Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini to “uplift agriculture in our land in order to have food”. The king’s confusing statement is interpreted to mean he and “the Boers” want to promote food security but also to oppose land reform. The king’s Ingonyama Trust is under fire for the way it controls land in its fiefdom. The king clearly said that “anyone who wants to be elected by us [the Zulu people, presumably] must come and kneel here and commit that I will never touch your land”. Watchword: Don’t mention the war!
R50bn pissed down the drain
“Irregular expenditure is at an all-time high,” auditor general Kimi Makwetu said this week. He added, with some understatement, that “we are not in a good place”. By “we” he means the nation. Fruitless, wasteful, unauthorised and other irregular expenditure by government bodies has risen, as it does every year. Now it is R50-billion, Makwetu’s latest report (2016-2017) shows. “People are ignoring the recommendations that are made by the attorney general,” said Makwetu, and there are few consequences for civil servants party to the wastage or unable to submit adequate accounts to his office. Only 12.8% of municipalities received clean audits in the latest round-up.
Gordhan and Hogan delay Zondo
Testimony by Pravin Gordhan, the former finance minister and present minister of public enterprises, and by Barbara Hogan, former public enterprises minister, at the Zondo commission looking into state capture was postponed. They had not submitted their up-front statements in time, said the commission, so the lawyers of those implicated in wrongdoing in their testimony would not have time to prepare. The commission is now running about a month late.
Zuma holds his tongue …
Not that former president Jacob Zuma, who is likely to be implicated further in the story of state capture while he was in power, has made any moves to respond to claims made at the Zondo commission. Commission advocate Thandi Norman said Hogan’s initial statement was sent to Zuma in August because her testimony would implicate him but he has not replied.
… but Duarte’s raring to talk
But Jesse Duarte, the ANC’s deputy secretary general (and ruling poison dwarf), is very keen to speak to the Zondo commission. The subject she wants to tackle is not her son-in-law’s or her son’s relationships with the Gupta family but, rather, the Guptas’ establishment of the New Age newspaper and the ANN7 TV channel as disguised propaganda outlets for Zuma and the ANC. They were funded by advertising channelled from the state and monies diverted from the SABC, inter alia. (Yes, Jesse, we would love to know why that was such a great idea.) Both the
New Age and ANN7 have since collapsed.
Seriti didn’t get this
Corruption Watch and Right2Know are going to court to obtain a review of the findings of the Seriti commission, which investigated the arms deal that cost South Africa up to R90-billion. The organisations say the commission, which found no evidence of wrongdoing in the deal, ignored key evidence from bodies such as Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Scorpions and the Hawks, and didn’t ask the right questions of the German authorities, who also probed the deal and agreed to cooperate with South African investigators. The commission didn’t follow up on records of email exchanges between the Scorpions and the SFO in 2007, and called only one Hawks officer to testify. Judge Willie Seriti, who chaired the commission, is not opposing the organisations’ application.
Hoist by your own stiletto
A Johannesburg nightclub has been slammed all over social media for the footwear rules for women it recently tweeted. No sneakers, kitten heels, slides or pumps would be allowed, it said. Knowledgeable footwear analysts say this means the club basically wants women to wear stilettos only. When criticised for sexism and unfairness, the club quickly posted its rules for men’s footwear (and other garments), including a ban on flipflops, slides and All Star takkies. Experts consulted by the Mail & Guardian speculate that All Stars may be considered too lightweight, or perhaps insufficiently expensive, by the finicky club, which is appropriately called Taboo.
Gone offline: Jacob Zuma