The public works department will spend about R750 000 to rent a house for Gauteng police commissioner Mzwandile Petros, The Star reported on Tuesday.
"Last month, the department hired Siyakula Logistics to provide a house at a cost of R31 042 a month, or R745 008 for the two-year contract," the newspaper wrote.
The award was listed in the Tender Bulletin on Friday and the cost was confirmed by department officials.
The state provided Petros with housing because he did not apply for the position, but was transferred from his previous position as Western Cape provincial commissioner.
He was appointed in Gauteng September of last year.
The Star reported that the housing tender, issued in March, called for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in or around Rosebank, Melrose, Oaklands, Dunkeld, Killarney, Morningside, Houghton, Illovo or Saxonwold.
It also called for the house to have electronic access control and a "solid perimeter wall with a minimum height of two metres" with an electric fence on top.
The acquisition of the house followed a report by the Gauteng department of infrastructure development, in which revealed it had 780 state-owned houses in the province.
One of these houses, in Bryanston, which was previously occupied by Mzwandile Kibi, deputy director-general of the department of infrastructure development, "appears to have all the features to accommodate Petros," The Star wrote.
The provincial government owned 826 state houses across six regions, but only 46 tenants had signed lease agreements.
In February, infrastructure development MEC Bheki Nkosi promised to act against those who were illegally occupying government houses.
"He issued a March deadline, but apparently has yet to act on his promise."
Prime example of corruption...why do the department have to hire a shipping logistics company to provide a house? I wonder how much of the rent is going into the back pocket mr Siyakula?!
anc -stop your wasteful ways. This is not a senior position. Any state house will do. This is why the anc is losing the vote . You are rip off artists with zero good intentions of doing a job. Your housing department should never have a mandate to go private ,especially when it is not a seniot job. WHY IS HE GETTING A HOUSE ANYWAY . BUY HIS OWN. I HOPE HE GETS TAXED ON THE FULL AMOUNT WHICH ADDS R372000 to his ridiculous package.
What makes this prick so special, he is a PUBLIC SERVANT and should be treated as such. Again we see the excess of the ANC and the waste of taxpayers money that should be used for uplifting the poor and service the country. They have hundreds of houses that would surfice. Why the additional security? if he did his job correctly then he would be a target, but for now he is the puppet and has no enemies!
Not really amased by this. Government issues mansions for government officials while poverty sits at the bottom of their list. Why he need the electric fencing etc. most probably comes down to the fact that he knows the the comunity and tax payers are being hard done to accomodate him. Pathetic! And everyone else in the country is expected to buy or rent their house with monthly income.
When is this going to end? When the money dries up.
This is the free housing everyone voted for.......
Keep voting ANC people...you will keep voting for your children to be uneducated, for your health system to continue in the downward spiral it's already in and you'll keep living in shacks and having lower class income through blue collar jobs!!!
Exactly why does this house have to be in so-called elite areas? Is Millionaires row in Soweto not good enough?
Did you know that commercial banks create money out of nothing, and lend it to you at compound interest, and moreover insist that you pledge real assets for such loans? Let me repeat - banks create money out of nothing. So why not have our own municipal bank which creates money out of nothing and which will enable lower property rates, low interest home loans and low interest student loans for the benefit of all our citizens?
The myth, which private bankers maintain, is that they accept deposits and then lend these deposits on to borrowers, earning the difference between the higher and lower rates of interest. This is not the case. Banks lend on those deposits, which can be withdrawn by new borrowers either by cheque or electronically. In terms of the latest Basel III agreement, banks are only required to have share capital and reserves of 12%. The other 88% of loans and advances represent money created out of nothing. This is known as the fractional reserve system.
How we will benefit: (i) The City of Cape Town currently has outstanding borrowings and bonds of R5,5 billion. A municipal bank would enable the redemption of these loans and the funding of all infrastructure programmes at zero interest. As a result of the municipality not having to pay interest and the bank’s profits, ratepayers will enjoy a permanent reduction of at least 15% in annual property rates, and future increases will be lower than the official rate of inflation.
(ii) A ratepayer who deposits for example R60 000 for a fixed period of 5 years, will receive a competitive interest rate of say 6% per annum and be entitled to a home loan of R500 000 at a fixed rate of 2% p.a. Remember that the municipal bank will create this money out of nothing. It will pay R3 600 p.a. on the fixed deposit and receive R10 000 p.a. on the home loan. Currently, Capetonians who have home loans spend 52% of their income on interest and repayment of capital per year. A drop in the home loan rate from 9% to 2% p.a. would result in a substantial boost to take-home pay and a rise in overall levels of prosperity.
(iii) In order to assist all our young people in obtaining the best education possible, student loans for tertiary education will be available at a nominal rate of 2% p.a. Applicants will have to be South African citizens permanently resident in the city for at least 5 years, with those born in the city receiving preference.
A municipal bank will not only help to eradicate poverty, it will make Cape Town one of the most prosperous cities in the world. Are there any precedents? One may look no further than the state bank of North Dakota in the USA, which was founded in 1919. North Dakota is the wealthiest state in the USA, having full employment and is one of only two states reflecting a budget surplus.
Visit http://www.banknd.nd.gov/ STEPHEN GOODSON is qualified in all aspects of banking and currently serves on the board of the South African Reserve Bank, where he has been a director for the past 8 years.
The largest tea estate in the southern hemisphere, Magwa Tea outside Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape, faces ruin after being looted and abandoned by its workers earlier this year.
The 1803 hectare farm had a turnover of R65 million a season and provided jobs and career training for 1200 permanent and 2300 seasonal workers.
In February, the farm was shut down when workers, the highest paid in the tea industry, went on the rampage after management refused their demand for a 104% increase.
By May, tea plants usually kept pruned to waist height, for ease of picking were shoulder high and useless.
The plants stretch as far as the eye can see on both sides of the dirt road that winds across the hills from Lusikisiki to Mbotjie on the Wild Coast, in Transkei.
“The crop for the year has been lost,” says Pierre Leppan, a director at the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) which has managed the farm for the past seven years.
“The names of six managers are on a hit list and the ECDC is unable to guarantee their safety. They are having to run the farm on their cellphones.”
The farm had started thriving in recent years, after decades of plundering, corruption and mismanagement.
A Magwa manager, who declined to be named for fear of his job and his safety, says the trouble started last year, soon after a Farm Workers’ Union (Fawu) official was redeployed to Cape Town and replaced by two others.
The original union official had understood Magwa, its history, and what was and was not viable, but his successors had not.
“The workers and the management had a harmonious relationship until then,” the manager says.
“The two new officials were confrontational from the start. They misunderstood how Magwa worked. They thought, for example, that the management were the owners of the farm.”
The manager said the officials postponed a Magwa workers’ council election to allow seasonal workers to “boot out” most of the permanent workers.
Last year, the new council demanded a 104% wage increase, even though Fawu had negotiated a 7% nationwide increase for agricultural workers.
Magwa management told the council it was not authorised to approve the increase, but that the decision was up to the ECDC board and the department of agriculture.
Incensed, the workers cornered managers in their office and assaulted them.
A violent strike, which was later declared illegal, went on for three months.
“Throughout the strike, the managers had shots fired at them,” the manager says. “Vehicles were stolen and vandalised. Houses were looted and burned.”
The strike ended when the department of agriculture offered the Magwa employees a financial package to return to work.
Production was soon back on line, but the mood at Magwa remained tense.
“Workers were not following management’s instructions, which led to the suspension of programmes around the farm,” says the manager.
Magwa security manager Daan Schoeman recalls the tension when he returned to work in July.
“When I went back in July, I could feel that something wasn’t lekker [right],” he says.
In March, workers went on the rampage again. “They destroyed everything in sight. They stole what they could. Fridges, freezers, ovens and vehicles — everything,” says Schoeman.
The police were called and rubber bullets and tear-gas were fired.
He received a desperate call for help from a manager.
“He said ’Help Daan, they’re killing me’, but I couldn’t do anything. It was impossible to get in.
“They chopped him up with pangas, but he made it out [alive]. One of the security guards, though, was shot dead.
“It was terrible; that day, I started becoming an old man,” he says.
Permanent workers, who lived in houses on the 13 settlements on the farm and refused to take part in the strike, were chased off their properties.
Police spokesman Captain Mduduzi Godlwana confirmed that one person was arrested for murdering the security guard and another 48 for public violence. They are to appear in court soon, he says.
Fawu official Tonga Mbaliese blames the management for the strike.
He says the initial dispute was about the imposition of a 253kg a day tea plucking quota, up from between 180kg and 200kg.
“The target was set unilaterally without employees agreeing with it. The workers are not the cause of the problems on Magwa. The problems are caused by the style of management,” Mbaliese says.
“There is no transparency at Magwa. Management can’t cry foul and blame everyone when they are the ones who are not working.”
Surrounding communities, politicians and tribal leaders have all laid claim to the land in past decades.
The plantation is in the Pondoland magisterial district of Lusikisiki, which falls under the Qawukeni Tribal Authority.
In the 19th century, the land was used to graze cattle, according to University of the Western Cape land and agrarian studies programme lecturer Thembela Kepe.
In the 1960s, Johan Mills, the then secretary to the Chief Minister of Transkei, suggested to Paramount Chief Botha Sigcawu that Pondoland needed a commercial venture to provide a local alternative to migrant labour to the sugar cane fields of Natal.
“When people rejected the notion of tea being good for the Mpondos, Sigcawu is said to have intimidated the residents, claiming that the land belonged to his father anyway and implying he could force them to move,” Kepe writes.
The residents retaliated by burning down Sigcawu’s supporters’ houses. Several deaths were reported, including that of Sigcawu’s brother, Chief Vukuyibambe Sigcawu.
Even after the plantation was established, it was beset by problems. Its assets were regularly plundered through corruption that continued into the 1990s.
Another problem was a demand by Fawu that workers receive higher wages at agricultural schemes.
It was thought that state-run enterprises should set a good example in labour practices. As a result, Magwa workers became some of the highest paid tea estate workers in southern Africa.
The high wages and poor profitability plunged the farm into financial trouble.
A plan to lay off workers sparked violence in mid-2003 when 15 offices and a boardroom were burnt down.
In 2004, the ECDC, which was brought in as a custodian of the land, appointed a team of specialist tea farm managers to make the farm viable.
It seemed an impossible task.
Magwa was producing just 1.2 million kilogrammes of “made” tea a season. Exports were at a minimum and the cost of production was “extremely high” at R25 a kilogramme.
However, by 2007, Magwa was achieving its highest-ever production figures, with 2.7 million tonnes of “made” tea a season.
“The department of agriculture would give us R15 million a year, and we were giving them R65m back,” says the senior employee. “The tea was sold in advance on contract, making in roads into huge markets such as China, Pakistan and the [United Kingdom].”
This success was despite the infrequent and late arrival of government funds and a monthly wage bill of R3.5m.
Before operations at Magwa shut down, workers were earning five times more than those in Malawi, the farm’s general manager says.
They were also earning bonuses and being taken out of the fields and mentored.
“We were taking from the bottom and building up skills so that they could take over the running of the farm one day,” says the manager.
“Tea industry skills are in enormous demand around the world, so many of the Magwa workers were poached, but this was fine. We would train more. We became something of a university for the tea industry.”
Now Magwa’s future remains uncertain.
Eastern Cape Rural Development spokesman Ayabulela Ngoqo says a new Magwa board will be appointed on June 30, and will be tasked with finding a solution to the problems.
“The board will be given the prerogative to deal with all administrative matters affecting operations,” he says.
The history of the tea estate follows a pattern now becoming apparent: when the new government came to power in 1994, they moved to rid many old “homeland” structures of personnel from the old regime. Affirmative action candidates and political comrades replaced what was an efficient band of people, whatever their political affiliations. Thus the rot set in. The plantation was already in trouble in 1997 and was liquidated. The state pumped in R10,6 million to get it back on its feet, and in 1998, the workers became co-owners of the estate in a land reform initiative, funded by South Africa’s taxpayers.
In May 2003, a South African agricultural magazine alerted readers to the fact that the Eastern Province MEC for Agriculture Max Mamase was budgeting R20 million for a “turnaround strategy” to salvage what once was a successful tea project.(7) Democratic Alliance agriculture spokesman Athol Trollip declared that the corporation was ailing and “doomed to financial failure”. In July 2003, another press report declared that workers on the estate hadn’t been paid for six months and “years of gross mismanagement” had led to the torching of the Magwa Estate’s offices by thousands of workers.(8) Fifteen offices, a boardroom, computers and financial records succumbed to the flames. “The fate of an entire rural economy is balanced on a knife edge”, said the article. “Workers children have been pulled out of school to plant vegetables as their parents can no longer make ends meet.” The 2 500 ha estate has the potential to produce more than 3,5 million kilograms of good quality tea per year. Last season, output was budgeted at 2,3 million kilograms, but only 955 000 kilograms were produced. To remain viable, the operation needed to produce at least 2,4 million kilograms of tea. It is the only tea estate in South Africa that is not irrigated. In October 2003, the DA’s Athol Trollip issued a press statement declaring that certain creditors had foreclosed on Magwa. One of the creditors had already begun attaching tractors computers and office furniture. The debt dated back to 1998! Trollip said he and DA MP Stuart Farrow had brought the plight of “this magnificent tea estate” to the attention of MEC Max Mamase and the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs in September 2002. R20 million was appropriated in April 2003 to effect a turnaround to save the estate. Seven months had passed and no management company had been appointed. “Magwa lies idle as workers are not paid and the estate is now faced with liquidation, a classic case of ‘too little, too late”.(9) If nothing is done, “Magwa will follow the path of other failed parastatals” said Trollip. It later transpired that R15 million was owed to the Land Bank and others, and these debts would have almost swallowed up the R20 million “turnaround” money. Further, Magwa workers had taken management to the Labour Court over disputes arising out of non-payment of salaries.
This thug is wanted by the Hague so how he can be offered an exit strategy ?
Please tell me Zuma does not plan to give him refuge here !
Why not just send in the Navy Seals? They know all about arranging exit strategies.
Another criminal that we must support?
Didn't you know?!
South Africa is an official retirement
haven for despotic African dictators.
Mad bob already has a R100,000,000
retirement home built in Llandudno,
Yep, another tin-pot despot living of the South African taxpayer.
Exit plan by giving him asylum in South Africa?That must be it since nobody else in their right mind would want the ****er in their country but us.
Zuma's actually gone over to discuss an ENTRANCE PLAN for mad old Gadoofus to come live with us here in Mzansi. Can you imagine if someone invited a murderer into your home without asking your permission first! Surely a public referendum would at the very least be in order?
As the racist anc says..."there are too many Coloureds in the Cape". So he is going to dilute them with an arab!
Zuma should rather focus on his own exit stratgey
JZ - best you work on your own exit plan........ You can go to Libya....
And then he can work on his own exit strategy. Maybe he and Looney Tunes and Bad Bob Mugabe can move in together.
No dictator will give up power on a 'pretty please' from Zuma. Just another expensive trip to get some lessons from his buddy.
The deal will probably go like this : Gadhaffi leaves Libya. Gadhaffi gets amnesty for crimes committed. Zuma and ANC gets cash. Everybody is happy, except lady justice, who gets raped again.
Who does Zuma think he is? I voted for the ANC in 2009 and regret it. We should work on an exit plan for Zuma and his merry thugs so that this country can start progressing instead of becoming another African basket case.
Zuma couldn't plan a piss up in a brewery...
Please Zuma...this is higher grade stuff...
Hey Zoom Zoom,forget his exit plan - please rather work on yours.
zuma is getting in some work experience so when it comes the time he can organise his own exit stategy
I am working on an Exit Plan for Zuma and his anc cronies. Any suggestions?
I bet the rest of the world is laughing at us poor South African suckers.
We've got no money to uplift the millions of poor people in our country, but we can spend millions on another country's criminal. Just like we did with that guy from Haiti. All this, without the people of SA having any say in the matter, and many not even knowing about it.
Zuma is about to discover what NATO thinks of him and the AU.
Somehow the ANC and Zuma has some policital clout outside SA...news is they dont. The Americans and Europeans dont give a hoot about some horny phoney president from the tip of Africa trying to score brownie points by trying to persuade Gaddafi to go into exile. Neither CNN, BBC nor sky or any major tv news channel has reported that Zuma has been trying to mediate. Nobody knows and nobody cares!!
I HOPE HE DOESN'T BRING HIM BACK HERE TO RSA! WE HAVE ENOUGH DESPOTS LIVING OFF US. THE ONLY EXIT STRATEGY I WANT TO SEE IS THE ANC PULLING THEIR FINGERS OUT OF THEIR POEPHOLS AND DOING SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE.
Here is a thought for NATO - put a tracking device on Zuma or whichever fat wife that has gone with him to "negotiate", then you don't have to guess in where Gaddafi is hiding - no more wasted bombs. Do us all a favour, why don't you....
This coming from the ANC who last week in Limpopo said they salute the work of Robert Mugabe...
Zuma visited Tripoli on April 10 as part of a high-ranking AU delegation to broker a truce, but a peace plan fell through" This costly exercise was hailed as "a huge success" by our government.
NATO : Stop this bombing immediately. The man has spoken.
Hope one stray missile lands on showerhead
With his thick scull, no effect, will probably only bend the missile.
UN please don't bomb tripoli whilst Zuma is there, cause just maybe Zuma will die and we have to deal with Malema the clown.
Let him be castrated by a stray missile. he thinks with his little head. jacob Dick Dooma. Lots of people skills. Little else.
hahahaha I think we actually really under estimated the ANC! They are so stupid that they think that the rest of the world gives 2 hoots about what the gibbering African circus has to say!!!!! the ANC is a joke and an embarrassment to the world!
The Exit strategy is RSA. The discussions are simply about how much Gaddafi will pay Zuma into Zuma's undeclared offshore bank accounts to give him asylum in RSA. Just like what was done for Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Sounds to me like one criminal aiding and abetting another
This week’s Southern Man – Letter from New Zealand comes to you from South Africa.
This is my first trip back for around a year. I thought I might share some thoughts with you.
· The sunsets – as magnificent as ever. There is nothing like an African sunset. I can’t even describe the colour of our sun here just before it sets – it isn’t orange and it isn’t red – it is something in between. Fiery but comforting. I can understand why the ancestors worshiped it.
· Everything is far more expensive. When I first started coming here 20 years ago this month I thought the place was pretty cheap. Even ten years ago. No longer – it is anything but cheap. Even with real money.
· Woolworths cooked chickens – still the best cooked chickens on the planet. But what happened to being able to buy a half? Now I just pig out on the whole thing!
· Middle class South Africa is getting poorer – I made a prediction about ten years ago having assisted many Zimbabweans that South Africa will in the end financially trap much of the skilled middle class who will if they decide to emigrate no longer be able to afford it. I get the strong feeling that day is here for many. Unfortunately.
· Unemployment is still going up and is now officially 25% yet the country has extreme skills shortages. Plenty from the skilled classes have left (at last count around one million – mainly whites – have voted with their feet). A social and economic time bomb quietly ticking.
· Poverty – I just cannot get used to it. Coming from a country like New Zealand I do not think you can ever get used to it. Our ‘poor’ may not lead glamorous lives but they get a (three bedroom Government owned) house to live in and nobody goes hungry.
· Politics – there are local elections this week. Strangely and possibly uniquely, the country votes on a Wednesday and everyone gets a holiday to do it. What exactly is wrong with voting on weekends?? South Africans seem to always be on holiday.
· Direction signs at the airport are almost all green, black and yellow – the colours of the ruling ANC party – coincidence or subtle propaganda?
· Frustrated people – road rage rules. It all spills over when people get behind the wheels of their cars. Ugly and frightening.
· Political standards are shall we say, not as high as they might be. The Minister for State Security’s wife was sentenced to serve twelve years in jail for cocaine importation while I was here. The Minister saw no reason to resign. Did he think the white powder under her nose was incorrectly applied make up? The wife works as Director ofHealth Servicesfor a local Municipality……
· Corruption from the top down is as bad as ever – you can’t pick up a paper without reading about who in Central or Local Government is on the take and they deny it with wonderfully straight faces;
· Politicians can sing ‘Kill the Boer”, tell their supporters ‘All whites are criminals’ and should be treated accordingly and one of the President’s favourite campaign songs is ‘Pass me my machine gun’. Senior politicans can stand up in Court and ask ‘Hate speech? You are joking…..’
· You can still get really great wine really cheap. A man could easily slide into a life of quaffing the finest wines around here without denting the bank balance.
· South Africans still walk r-e-a-l-l-y slowly – do these people have all day to get to Nandos for that chicken and chips and then back to the office?
· If so why do they drive so fast as if today is their last? (given the driving habits of many and if road death statistics are any indicator - for many it probably is).
· Cape Town– at last it has sorted out its airport. Nice. Pity the porters are so, well, persistent. I only carry one suitcase when I travel but thanks for the constant offers of assistance guys. Thanks. But no. Thanks. Really nice of you but no. Thanks. No. No I won’t tip you because I have just hauled my own suitcase to the taxi while you walked along beside me.
· The weather – you gotta love the weather but I forget how chilly Johannesburg gets at this time of year – always feels colder than Auckland (no humidity). Cape Town airport, sunny, cloudless sky and 25 degrees yet 20 minutes drive away at the Waterfront - sea fog, windy and 15 degrees. What is this? Auckland? Four seasons in two suburbs?
· It never rains in Durban – except when I am here apparently.
· The whole countryside is a tip – rubbish everywhere.
· Gautrain in Johannesburg – what a marvel. I, along with the other 4 people catching this train after my arrival in SA, each had a carriage to ourselves.
I assumed some dignitary was arriving in town and the platform had been cleared such was the security from airport platform to Sandton. I felt like President Zuma – carriage to myself and personal security posse!
The 15 minute ride cost me about NZ$20. A taxi would have cost me five times as much. I can but extend my thanks to those hard pressed South African taxpayers who have stumped up something like R35 billion (nearly NZ$7 billion) so folk like me don’t have to risk death with the local taxi fraternity and their fellow road users.
Wish Auckland had one of them.
Thank you South Africa. And your great grandchildren who I suspect will still be paying for it.
Oh and did I mention I was robbed at knifepoint by two thugs in Cape Town? I was walking back to my hotel at 2pm at the Waterfront which is the main tourist area for those of you that know the Mother City.
I had been thinking as I walked along a very main road lined by beautiful multi million rand waterfront apartments how nice it must be to live in one but I had noticed the security was intense. Fences, electrified wire around the top, boom gates, security guards – what price luxury I asked myself?
Then I found out first hand why.
Seemingly from nowhere two guys approached and asked for money (as they do here). I said I had nothing and then one of them pulled a knife. Thug number one was standing in front of me and thug number two behind. I found some coins (as you suddenly do) but they said they wanted ‘notes’. I assumed they didn’t mean they wanted me to hum a tune.
I told them I was not giving them any more money, went to push past and then thug number one waved his knife at me and said 'Don't make me use it'.
No time for arguing I thought and quickly pulled a R20 note out of my pocket. Then the other guy wanted some and he had an even bigger knife. So he got R30 but he still demanded more.
And I started to sweat ever so slightly....how in a country of 50 million people could I be alone on this footpath with my new friends?
I had a satchel slung over my shoulder with my wallet and cellphone in it but pushed the second guy out of the way and said I didn't have any more. He still demanded more and was flashing the knife so I turned my pockets inside out and said I haven't got any #$@! more. What I was thinking 'But I wish I had a BIG $#@! gun........'
All the while cars roared past.
Could happen anywhere? Yes I guess it could but it just seems to happen a whole lot more in South Africa.
Wouldn’t happen in Knysna right?
Nice to be back in South Africa where I love the sunsets, the red wine, most of the people but strangely always feel safer inside the game reserves with the wild animals than outside them with the humans.
Which is where I am headed for a couple of days R and R.
South Africaremains a beautiful country but it just ain’t beautiful enough any more to make people stay.
Until next week (with I hope less excitement in my life)
“I am just so grateful I had the privilege of being able to save the people I love,” such a sad statement for a grandfather to make...........
The 55-year-old building contractor chainsmoked as he paced the lounge floor of his daughter and son-in-law’s home in Winklespruit, marking out the events that led to the fatal shooting of a robber in the early hours of Tuesday.
“When I entered the house it was dark and completely silent; even the five dogs were missing. I thought my grandson and his parents were dead. My heart turned to stone,” he said.
The traumatised man, who asked that his identity be withheld until the final member of a four-man armed gang who raided the property is apprehended, said the country was in “a state of siege” – families needed to barricade themselves in their homes and make sure they had the means to protect themselves.
“I am consumed by anger at what happened. I am not a violent man, but I do not feel a shred of remorse for shooting him,” he said. “It was either them or my family.”
The night before, the family’s home had been filled with laughter and conversation as the man’s daughter celebrated her birthday with their extended family. When her parents left for their home in nearby Amanzimtoti, she went to bed, allowing her seven-year-old son to sleep with her as a special treat. Her husband watched television, before turning in himself in the early hours.
“At around 2.30am the dogs started barking aggressively,” her husband said. “I got up to check on them, and three men were squeezing into the kitchen past a faulty burglar guard.” Unknown to him, there was a fourth man standing lookout in the garden.
Screaming, to wake his wife to call for help, he picked up the nearest possible weapon – his son’s hockey stick, and flailed at the intruders until it broke. One of the men pulled out a knife, and another said: “Move again and we’ll shoot you.”
In the bedroom, his wife had managed to phone her parents, “They’re in the house,” she screamed.
Her father sprang into action, taking his .38 special from the safe, then covering the distance between the two homes in minutes. CCPO and Blue Security company officers were already at the scene and followed close on his heels as he activated the gate’s remote control and inched around the building to the kitchen.
“I left my bakkie’s lights on, because the house was in complete darkness,” he recalled. “I got in through the sliding door to the kitchen, and took the safety catch off the gun, praying that the kids were not already dead.”
He called out: “This is the police. Come out or I will shoot.” Two men emerged from a room, pushing his son-in-law before them as a shield. He repeated the command, as the taller of the two angled a knife blade into his captive’s neck.
“Then he threw himself towards me, slashing with the blade. I aimed low and fired, knowing it would not be a fatal shot,” the man said. “He stumbled and I fired again, then he got behind the couch and a second man attacked me.”
The grandfather fired at his assailant, hitting him in the throat, but still the attack continued. “The first man reared up when I prodded him with my boot, and grabbed the gun with both hands.”
At that point his daughter emerged from the bedroom, where her son was cowering under blankets, and threw a battery-operated stun gun to her husband. He shocked the man clinging to his father-in-law’s back until he fled – back the way he had come in. He was apprehended a short while later by security guards – along with a third man spotted hobbling along a nearby bridge with a bullet wound to his foot.
Speaking of her ordeal, and her father’s bravery, the woman said:
“I told my son to keep his eyes shut tight, and pretend he was sleeping, and I piled blankets and pillows over him. I had the Taser in my hand under the blanket while one of the men shone a torch on our faces. He would not have got to my child unless he killed me first.”
“I am just so grateful I had the privilege of being able to save the people I love,” the grandfather said. “We all need to do whatever it takes to keep our families secure. If our homes have to become fortresses, then it’s a small price to pay.”
He praised the community watch body, the security company that had provided backup, and the SAPS for going the extra mile in the aftermath of his family’s crisis.
“The police could not have been more professional, or more caring,” he said.
George Snodey of the Amanzimtoti CCPO, had recently warned people living in the area to be extra-vigilant.
“If you see suspicious-looking people on foot or in a vehicle, contact the SAPS and security as soon as possible.”
Blatter faces allegations that he ignored the alleged corruption attempts in Trinidad after bin Hammam succeeded in persuading Fifa to investigate its own president.
Geneva - Fifa vice president Jack Warner has predicted that “a football tsunami” that would shock the world was about to hit the governing body, as he prepared to face a bribery hearing alongside presidential candidates Sepp Blatter and Mohamed bin Hammam.
Speaking in his native Trinidad, Warner told the local media before flying off to Switzerland to face Fifa’s ethics committee in Zurich, that he was not guilty of “a single iota of wrongdoing”.
Fifa vice president Jack Warner
Mohamed bin Hammam
Warner, a 28-year veteran of Fifa’s executive committee, and Qatari challenger bin Hammam are accused of offering bribes to up to 25 Caribbean voters on a campaign visit. Bin Hammam has suggested it’s a conspiracy to remove him from the election contest.
Blatter faces allegations that he ignored the alleged corruption attempts in Trinidad after bin Hammam succeeded in persuading Fifa to investigate its own president. Fifa’s ethics code imposes a duty of disclosure on officials to report corruption.
Blatter was formally placed under suspicion only on Friday.
Warner, long recognised as a key Fifa power broker and who presides over the North, Central American and Caribbean (Concacaf) regional body, promised he would publish his intended statement to the ethics panel and “all of the supporting documents” backing his case.
Caribbean Football Union members who have votes in the Fifa election were allegedly offered cash bribes at the May 10-11 conference in Trinidad, where Warner is a government minister. Delegates were allegedly offered $40 000 (R277 000) in cash for “development projects”
Bin Hammam denies vote-buying.
Fifa’s case against Bin Hammam and Warner is based on evidence supplied by Chuck Blazer, their executive committee colleague and Warner’s longtime No 2 at Concacaf.
In confirming Blatter’s summons, Fifa said the evidence file included Warner’s comment that his president “would have had no issue” with cash payments to delegates.
Two Caribbean Football Union staffers from Trinidad, Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester, have also been summoned to the Fifa ethics hearing.
R.W. Johnson assesses South Africa's local government elections of 18 May 2011
CAPE TOWN - The relative success of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in South Africa's local elections of 18 May 2011, as also the noticeable decline in the vote of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has posed many questions and possibilities.
The first point to notice is that turnout was sharply up from 48.4% in 2006 to 57.6% in 2011 - an increase from 9,852,099 votes cast to 13,353,987 votes cast. This very large (over 35%) jump in turnout levels is most uncommon in local elections anywhere in the world. This is in itself a strong indication of what is happening.
In effect most South Africans regard the follies and corruption of national elite-level politics as something they can only sigh about. Both the ANC and DA have deliberately de-emphasised the role of Parliament - neither of their party leaders actually sit there - which as a result has been diminished to a degree where the press hardly bother with it and where the names of frontbenchers on either side are obscure to almost everyone. This in turn has had the perverse effect of presidentialising politics far more than before.
Thus, for example, under the previous DA leadership of Tony Leon (and Leon did sit in Parliament) all the DA frontbenchers were extremely prominent and well-known. Now their names are unknown and the party is wholly identified with its leader, Helen Zille, while the second best known figure is the party's new mayor of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille who, again, is not an MP.
Typically, the DA posters featured three women - Zille, De Lille and spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko. De Lille was there because she and Zille had made a private deal for De Lille to become mayor, while Mazibuko was there because she was a Zille appointee. The ANC posters featured Jacob Zuma, who was not a candidate at any level at all.
Unable to effect any change in the incompetence and venality of their national leaders, South Africa's voters have instead focused far more on service delivery at a local level - something of immediate importance in people's daily lives and something they can actually hope to influence. This has been noticeable both in the literally thousands of riots and protests against poor service delivery in towsnships and squatter camps and in the DA's strong emphasis on their own superior performance in local government.
Moreover, under Zille the DA has settled for a quite public strategy of attempting to conquer local power first in the Western Cape, then hope to use that as a springboard to win local power elsewhere in South Africa and only finally to offer a national-level challenge to the ANC.
Given this strategy, the municipal elections were actually the real elections for the DA, and the logic of this challenge was taken up by the ANC which, in the end, was able to contain the DA challenge by pushing up its own turnout as well. Nonetheless, the ANC declined from 65.7% of the vote in 2006 to 62% now, while the DA surged from 16.3% to 23.9%.
As will be seen, this meant that the two party share of the vote - even at municipal level, which encourages all manner of independents and small parties - increased from 82% in 2006 to 85.9%. This increasing two party polarization - which led to the decimation of most of the smaller parties - is quite extraordinary in what is the most extreme proportional system in the world.
All the structural and institutional incentives are towards multiparty proliferation, yet the opposite is happening. This is simply because the political culture is so much more powerful and because it has been moulded by decades of polarity between the System and the Struggle.
To be sure, the two sides have been swapped over but the electorate's sense of dualism remains. At popular level one normally finds that voters usually think simply in terms of "the old regime" and "the new regime", and the ANC tries hard to insist that the DA is identical to the old regime. In fact, of course, the DA and its lineal ancestors were very much opposed to the old regime and no one at all really wants the return of the old regime (apartheid), but that is less important than this underlying sense of dualism. In reality the ANC is now really the party of the System and the DA the party of Struggle against it. These are simply the forms of political life in which South Africans grew up and to which they are habituated.
This is why those commentators who have attempted to make a sharp differentiation between the DA of Tony Leon and his famous "Fight Back" campaign of 1999 on the one hand, and the supposedly softer and more inclusive style of Helen Zille on the other, have entirely missed the point.
In fact there is a perfectly continuous narrative linking the Leon and Zille periods. Leon's great achievement through the Fight Back campaign was to catapult the DA (then the DP) to its status as the main Opposition party. This in turn guaranteed that polarization works to its advantage. Zille has merely built on the platform thus created.
Moreover, Zille's rhetoric is in many ways even harder than Leon's - she accuses the new elite of being "blue light bullies" and of creating a failed state, accusations tougher than anything Leon made. But the logic of being the Struggle party, the one which attempts to incubate the new society within the womb of the old - once the ANC's "liberated zones", now the DA's successfully run municipalities - is really the continuous thread through both periods.
In that sense, every DA campaign is a "fight back" campaign. It rallies the Opposition against the rich and powerful ruling elite, just as the ANC once did. Naturally, the ANC greatly dislikes this role reversal but its problem is that the wealth and fecklessness of the new elite, its Lamborghini cars and Breitling watches, its five star luxury and its private jets, are there for all to see.
The electoral map is highly revealing, showing a spreading stain of DA municipalities moving outwards from Cape Town. Of the 30 municipalities in the Western Cape the ANC won only one, Beaufort West. The DA won 16 and will probably create majority coalitions in many of the rest. Beyond that, the sole DA municipality is Midvaal, won by a largely increased majority. It is true that the DA vote increased right across the country but the fact is that the Western Cape is now a DA country.
This is exactly how visitors from Jo'burg or Durban (or abroad) react: why, they say, it's like a different country here. Things work, the roads are mended, traffic lights operate, the litter is cleared, the verges get cut, the city centre still works. None of this is true where the ANC rules. No wonder the Western Cape is growing faster than the rest of the country, as people and businesses struggle to re-locate there.
This reflects several things. Most obviously, there is the swing of Coloured voters to the DA - so great that even in Mitchell's Plain the party garnered 80%. In effect what has happened is that the more sophisticated Cape Town Coloureds have moved to the DA and their country cousins have increasingly taken their lead from them, sending DA ripples all the way up the West Coast and up the Garden Route.
The logic is clearly of a further expansion of DA influence into the Northern Cape (with its Coloured majority). This election saw that process begin but it will continue. It also reflects the fact that under Zille the DA has become a Cape Town party. She herself is from Cape Town. So is Patricia De Lille. Lindiwe Mazibuko may be a Zulu, elected on the DA's KwaZulu-Natal list, but she was a student at UCT and has effectively become a Cape Town resident both as an MP and Zille's spokesperson.
The chairman of the party's Federal Executive, James Selfe, is a Capetonian and so is Wilmot James, the party's chairman. This is a party whose entire leadership lives within a square mile or two of one another. This is, of course, strongly self-reinforcing: it undoubtedly helped De Lille become, effectively, the party's No.2, and it leads many to tip Mazibuko as a future leader.
Under Zille, all leaders come from Cape Town. In addition, of course, all the DA's key support staff is there, some of them now employed in Zille's Western Cape administration. This provincialisation is, of course, a threat at one remove to the DA's national vocation.
However, it is important to realise that something similar is happening to the ANC, which is now ever more clearly head-quartered in KwaZulu-Natal. For the second election in a row, the ANC lost ground almost everywhere but gained in KZN, as the party feasted off the rotting remains of the Inkatha Freedom Party.
Much fuss was made this time of the relative success of the National Freedom Party, an IFP breakaway, but it is surely sensible to view the NFP as merely a stage in the decomposition of the IFP majority which ruled KZN until 2004. a process which seems certain to continue at least while Zulu votes can rally behind a Zulu President.
The enormous symbolic magnetism of that simple fact is, of course, greatly reinforced by a system of elite-level power and local patronage. This is particularly noticeable in two areas, Justice and Security, and Communications. Thus we find Zulus as Minister of Justice (Jeff Radebe), Sandile Ngcobo as Chief Justice, as chief of police (Bkeki Cele), as National Public Prosecutor (Menzi Simelane) as well as Lizo Njenje (head of the National Intelligence Agency) and Siyabonga Cwele (Minister of State Security).
In addition, of course, there are Zulu ministers at Home Affairs (Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma), Transport (Sbu Ndebele), Public Works (Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde) and Public Enterprises (Malusi Gigaba). The SACP is neatly folded into this Zulu hierarchy with the presence of its leader, Blade Nzimande, as Minister of Higher Education.
Finally, one must take cognizance of the fact that Durban Indian politicians who make it up to the higher levels of the ANC are inevitably men who throughout their careers move in a Zulu-dominated world, are beholden to Zulu political bosses and rely on Zulu votes to get elected. To all intents and purposes they are an extension of this Zulu network.
This applies to Pravin Gordhan, the Minister of Finance, as also Roy Padayachie, the Minister of Communications, seconded by another Zulu, Ben Ngubane, as head of the SABC.
The municipal elections saw the decay of the IFP taken a further stage by the breakaway of the NFP, though doubtless the larger narrative is the continuing collapse of the entire Zulu vote towards Zuma. This in turn has made the ANC more and more heavily dependent on the Zulu vote. At the ANC's September 2010 National General Council KwaZulu-Natal was the only province to report increased party membership, a fact which made it the ANC's biggest provincial branch.
Somewhere between a quarter and a third of all delegates to the NGC were Zulus, by far the largest single group. This in turn made any possibility of a challenge to Zuma's leadership somewhat remote. It is ironic that just as the ANC musters itself to celebrate the centenary of its founding in January 1912 this process of "Zulufication" is taking place, for the original point of the ANC was to put ethnic questions behind it.
"Zulufication" is a comforting process for the ANC at the moment, helping to staunch its losses. Thus in eThekwini (Durban) the ANC's vote has gone from 46.9% in 2000 to 57.6% in 2006 to 61.1% in 2011, and this last result on a high 59.3% turnout. In the longer term, however, it is obviously dangerous.
For one thing, it is liable to keep Jacob Zuma in power and these elections showed again that he enjoys no influence or respect among the nation's minorities. It could, moreover, make it difficult for the ANC to consider non-Zulus for the Presidency. It is true that after three consecutive Xhosa leaders a yet further period of Xhosa rule would have been greatly resented by other groups, but that does not mean that there is not a feeling of resentment and disempowerment among many Xhosa now.
Such feelings undoubtedly helped spark Cope's breakaway from the ANC and in 2011 may well have fed into the slump in the ANC vote in Nelson Mandela Bay Metropole (Port Elizabeth) where turnout this time soared to an extraordinary 81.2%. The ANC fell from 66.2% in 2006 to 51.9% while the DA soared from 24.4% to 40.1%.
Throughout the campaign the DA's tracking polls suggested that around 17% of African voters would vote for it this time, a huge leap from the 2% who previously had. In the last week or two of the campaign, however, the ANC moved into top gear, attempting to pull back such defectors by naked appeals to racial solidarity and, often, straightforward intimidation. Ever since 1994 it has used these two weapons to telling effect.
In 1994, for example, poll after poll suggested that at least 5% of the African vote on the Reef would go to the IFP and another 5% to De Klerk. In the event both minorities faded into virtual invisibility by polling day. It was the same this time with the DA ultimately taking only 5%-6% of the African vote. Even this, however, had to be accounted a considerable breakthrough. The DA vote was noticeably up in almost all black areas and the party even won a small number of all-African or mainly African wards.
Hence the conventional wisdom that the DA, having made this breakthrough, now stands poised to make further advances. The party's electorate is already 20% African, making its easily the most multi-racial party in the country and, indeed, in South Africa's history.
The ANC, naturally, continues to insist that the DA is a "white" party but whites now make up only 9.7% of the population while the DA scored 23.9%, so go figure. Although politicians of all stripes like to expound their allegiance to non-racialism, the fact is that a truly non-racial party is such a novelty in South Africa, where identity politics remains so strong that one should not take for granted the DA's continued growth along this path.
The notion is, clearly, that 17% of Africans came close to voting for the DA but only 5% or 6% did, which leaves 10% or more trembling on the brink. The DA's hope is that by the next election this group, buoyed by the sight of many Africans already having crossed the line into the DA and, doubtless, further alienated by ANC misbehaviour, will also cross that line - and so on. This narrative, in which the DA continues to gain and the ANC faces a downward slope, was widely accepted by the media in the wake of the elections.
The great question is, what will be the ANC's response to that prospect? Its initial response was simply denial: the ANC had won a great victory, the DA had merely taken votes from the small parties and the media were wrongly writing that up. In Cape Town, the ANC's losing mayoral candidate, Tony Ehrenreich, proclaimed himself "the mayor for the poor", grandly ignoring the fact that the Coloured working class, which he represents, had swung more massively than ever to the DA. But without doubt the ANC had had a bad fright.
Its early campaign had sputtered poorly and its own internal polling suggested the possibility of a major debacle. But in the end the party had even pulled out its vote in townships and settlements that had been racked by service delivery protests. This was not, however, quite as remarkable as it seemed for such protests invariably have their origins in factional conflicts within the ANC in any given area, with the "out" group furiously demonstrating against the looting and corruption by the "in" group, the objective simply being to replace the "in" group as beneficiaries.
These local squabbles over jobs, tenders and perks do not signify any lesser attachment to the ANC as the necessary vehicle which all of these groups hope to utilise to their own benefit.
In Midvaal, the DA's only outpost in Gauteng, where the ANC had made a particularly strong effort to roll back the Opposition, the DA won again by the healthy margin of 56.4% to 41.5%. Timothy Nast, the DA mayor commented that "We could not have won but for the black votes". This was a problem for the ANC which wished to argue that the DA had won by appealing to the racist fears of the minorities - a narrative spoilt by the DA's gains among Africans.
Immediately after the result an angry group of ANC supporters toured Midvaal's African areas, demanding to know how people had voted and vowing to burn down the houses of African DA voters. Within days President Zuma had ordered the Special Investigations Unit to carry out a probe into alleged corruption and misgovernance in Midvaal, a move which was difficult to interpret as other than punitive given that the Auditor-General has given Midvaal a clean bill of health for eight years in a row.
The same anger was evident in Port Elizabeth where the ANC's regional chairman, Nceba Faku, poured out his anger against the Eastern Province Herald (which had published articles linking Faku to corruption and tender irregularities). Faku called on his supporters to "burn the Herald down" and to "drive into the sea" black voters who had supported the DA. Luthuli House disavowed such sentiments and in the event the ANC's anger was vented in burning down the shops and houses of local Somali traders, for in South Africa anger in the streets is always likely to find a xenophobic outcome.
At Luthuli House the ANC Secretary-General, Gwede Mantashe, continued to rail against the media and also against the independent Municipal Demarcation Board which he accused of having altered ward boundaries in order to favour the DA. (In fact the MDB's brief is simply to ensure that wards remain of equal size despite demographic change.) Meanwhile the ANC decided to charge ahead with its anti-media Protection of Information Bill, brushing aside all amendments and compromises it had previously agreed to.
Even more than a week after the elections the ANC's anger was palpable, as Sam Mkokeli reported in Business Day (May 27):
"Last week's local government election results have left the (ANC) in a spin....its deep-seated anger at the media has emerged again....the ANC is seething....as the dominant party it wants to have a hand in every part of society. This is a ruling party that expects to be feared by a media that it increasingly tries to bully."
It must be realised that this anger is not the same as the disappointment that other parties might feel at an election reverse: the ANC is sui generis. In its own self-conception it is both a vanguard and a hegemonic party and it is still a liberation movement so that when it wins a ward or a town it talks of those areas as having been "liberated".
It is thus extremely painful and upsetting for it to witness the conquest of towns and cities by the DA for, by definition, this means the tide of liberation has been turned back. Rather as Mussolini decreed that his Fascists must not march but run because fascism was an intrinsically dynamic movement, so in the ANC's narrative the forces of liberation must always be going forward, must always be gaining - "the ANC leads". This whole narrative is upset if people like Sam Mkokeli describe it, in his dread phrase, as "a party in decline".
Similarly, the ANC leadership talk rather as if it was the duty of the media to see things the ANC's way. When faced with clear media bias, as in the SABC's decision to refuse to screen the DA's final rally but to give two hours interrupted coverage to its ANC equivalent, the ANC's assumption is that this is simply "normal": the rest of the media ought to behave the same way.
If the notion that the ANC is "a party in decline" is accepted then logically its leaders and members must accept the possibility that one day they will lose power not just locally but at the centre. This, of course, they are adamantly disinclined to do not only because they do not wish to surrender power and its fruits but because in their eyes such an outcome would mean the complete reversal of "liberation" and their "revolution".
Already in the case of DA-ruled Cape Town since 2006 there have been multiple attempts by the ANC to subvert DA control by almost any means it could lay its hand to. The real question thus becomes whether the ANC will seek to turn back the electoral tide by foul means. Even in 2011 it is quite possible that the ANC held on to Tshwane (Pretoria) only because of a gerrymander which added large peri-urban areas to the city.
The key to answering this question will lie in how the ANC behaves towards the African voters who voted DA this time. It is no accident that in both the Midvaal and Port Elizabeth examples cited above, the knee-jerk ANC reaction was to go after these defectors: in Midvaal the threat was to burn down their houses, in PE they were to be driven into the sea.
Note that no such threats were made against the minorities who had supported the DA; that might even be conceded as, in a sense, normal. While the DA's support remains confined to the minorities it can never be a serious threat. It is the possibility of further waves of African defectors moving to the DA which really threatens the ANC - and, of course, such voters are by far the most vulnerable to pressure, living as they do in (mainly ANC-controlled) townships and informal settlements. In those few cases where black areas actually gave a majority of their votes to the DA, such voters will be easily exposed and even elsewhere they will often be known.
So while the immediate talk within the post-election ANC was of the need to recapture lost ground amongst the minorities, potentially far more sinister will be ANC attempts to "mobilize" within African communities. Both the Opposition and the media will need to keep a very sharp eye on this front. For South Africa is not yet Zimbabwe. The Independent Electoral Commission has had seventeen years of conducting elections and is justifiably proud that they remain (largely) free and fair. Beyond that, the general public assumption among South Africans of all races is that electoral intimidation is wrong and unacceptable.
With the DA now nearing a quarter of the total vote, we have clearly reached a turning point. Until now the ANC has been able to have it both ways. On the one hand it has boasted of its proud non-racial tradition whenever it has suited it to do so. On the other hand it has based itself securely on the racial solidarity of the African voting bloc.
Now, however, it must choose. If it really sticks to non-racialism it may have to watch, agonised, as African racial solidarity decays, to the benefit of the DA. If, on the other hand, it decides to enforce African racial solidarity with a big stick, it will bid goodbye to its claims to non-racialism and to much else besides. The future of democracy in South Africa will depend on what happens next.