Monday, April 4, 2011

British Tourists Robbed at Addo


A spokesperson for the Eastern Cape police,  Priscilla Naidu, says two British tourists have been robbed of possessions worth about R71 000 while staying at the Addo Elephant National Park.
Naidu said the tourists had been woken early on Monday by two men who threatened them with a crowbar and a rock.
They ransacked the tourists' chalet at the Elephant House bed and breakfast and fled with cellphones, money, clothing, music players and other items.
Naidu said the robbers were found a short while later in Nomathansanqa village. The stolen items were found in their house and in nearby bushes.
The tourists, both of them men, decided to return to the United Kingdom.
The robbers, both aged 23, will appear in the Addo Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges of housebreaking and robbery.

Malema and Beautiful Women

“We have got beautiful women in the ANC like Angie Motshekga, the president of the (ANC) Woman’s league, very beautiful women,” Malema said. 

Malema Linked to 'wrecked' Taxi Rank

Malema linked to 'wrecked' taxi rank


ANC Youth League President ­Julius Malema has been linked to another failed construction project – a collapsed R2-million taxi rank in Limpopo.

SGL Engineering Projects, a company that has had at least three municipal projects taken over after non-performance, won the tender to build the R2.1m Apel Cross Taxi Rank in Ga-Masemola, south of Polokwane, in March 2006.

At the time, Malema was listed as a director of SGL. When his link to the company was revealed last year he claimed his signature had been forged and said he was never a ­director. Malema has since ­resigned as a director.

City Press has obtained tender documents that the municipality previously told the Public ­Protector had been lost. The ­documents showed that SGL had subcontracted the construction of the taxi rank to two companies – Ever Roaring Investments and Moloko Business Enterprises.


Malema was also a director of Ever Roaring at the time.

According to the documents, the contract was split in two – R1.8m for construction and R300 000 to SGL as consulting engineers. Moloko’s director, Mathews Mathabatha, was one of Malema’s business partners in Ever Roaring.

Malema was a director in Ever Roaring until last June.


City Press has identified the following problems with the project:

- The rank was completed in ­October 2009, two years after its original deadline of August 2007;
- In March 2008 Moloko and ­Ever Roaring were kicked off the project because of non-performance and another company had to complete the project;

- The Greater Sekhukhune district municipality had initially ­refused to sign off on the project as it had questions about the roof’s design, according to a probe by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela;

- Water and electricity have still not been supplied to the taxi rank though it is stipulated in the ­contract;

- One section of the taxi rank’s roof caved in in October last year, a year after construction was ­completed, and;

- Minutes of several site meetings held between SGL, contractors, labourers and the project steering committee show that some of the labourers were not paid for up to four months.

Municipal spokesperson Willy Mosoma said part of the roof collapsed due to natural disasters and not through any fault of SGL. However, he could not elaborate on these “natural disasters”.

He said the municipality was working with Eskom to supply electricity and water to the rank.

Mosoma’s version of how the roof collapsed was disputed by the chairperson of the Masemola ­Local and Long Distance Taxi Association Danie Mohlala, taxi drivers and hawkers, who believed it happened because poor quality materials had been used.

Malema, through his spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu, refused to comment, saying he would not ­respond to questions from this ­reporter.

                                                                      Floyd Shivambu

In a recent meeting with City Press editors, Malema “banned” Rampedi from all youth league ­activities after he’d reported on Malema’s business interests.

SGL project engineer Thomas Mulaudzi and company lawyer Mpoyana Ledwaba acknowledged receipt of questions sent to them but they failed to respond.

City Press revealed last year that SGL had been awarded government tenders worth at least R140m by municipalities in Limpopo.


Lindiwe Sisulu Jet Decision

DA questions Sisulu jet decision


The decision by defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu to lease two new aircraft for transporting VIPs, at a cost of R800 million, was cause for concern, the DA said on Sunday.
"Why are we spending R800m on aircraft for VIPs when millions of people do not have housing, health and basic services," party spokesperson David Maynier said.
"The ministerial handbook is clear: the use of defence force aircraft for these purposes should be the exception, not the rule," he said.
The tender was apparently awarded to AdoAir, a company owned by Nigerian businessman Adegboyega Olulade.
The tender document reportedly specified that the aircraft should be able to transport at least 17 people, have sleeping quarters for two passengers as well as on board communication systems and two conference facilities.
"The use of the SA Air Force for the purpose of ferrying around VIPs needs close scrutiny," Maynier said.
The party would call on the chair of the joint standing committee on defence, Jerome Maake, to schedule hearings on the matter.

                                                                       David Maynier

State Social Worker

R400 to buy a baby....


 A state social worker has been exposed selling babies for adoption.

The revelations have sparked a top-level police investigation that will probe the possibility that this was connected to a wider child-trafficking and adoption syndicate.

                                                                 Sharon Mushokabanji

Sharon Mushokabanji was employed as a social worker at Child Welfare in Kempton Park, but had faked her qualifications and wasn’t registered at the Council for Social Service Professions.

She was fired for fraud in December, shortly after Child Welfare found out that she had stolen state grant money from a foster parent’s bank account.

Child Welfare subsequently discovered that she had charged people who wanted to adopt children an “adoption fee” of between R400 and R6 000.

City Press has obtained witness statements, invoices showing her signature and an internal report describing the racket.

Child Welfare doesn’t know how many children were dealt with in this manner and has launched an investigation to determine the extent of her activities.

A Child Welfare report released in February described the scandal at the Kempton Park office.

Two more social workers – the programme manager and office head – had been fired because they were not registered.

Another worker was dismissed for distributing pornography.

The employment of three unregistered social workers has far-reaching consequences because they had conducted statutory work.

This renders all court reports and legal submissions they had made or court evidence they had given illegal.

Abused children

A shelter supported by Child Welfare was closed towards the end of last year and 11 children had to be removed after allegations of abuse, neglect and rape.

Children had allegedly been exposed to pornography and a 14-year-old girl fell pregnant after she was raped. She was forced to give birth in secret.

City Press understood that Child Welfare met a top police delegation last week to investigate fraud allegations against Mushokabanji and probe the possible -existence of a child trafficking syndicate on the East Rand that targeted neglected and abused children.

A teenage boy in one of the shelters claimed that a Nigerian man – accompanied by Mushokabanji – attempted to recruit him last year as an underage sex worker and promised him money, a cellphone and a nice place to live in return.

Mushokabanji said in a series of emails to City Press last week that she had made “terrible mistakes” but found the allegations against her “amazing”.

She denied all the charges against her.

She claimed to be in possession of damning information against Child Welfare and offered to give it to us if we didn’t publish the allegations against her.

She also said that she was in danger and forwarded an email to City Press from one “Queen Segone” who said to her: “I will make sure I cut your throat if you ever speak about the truth of this adoption... If you mention my name, you are dead.”


Child Welfare officials told police they suspected that Mushokabanji was still involved in the adoption scam.

She removed files, a stamp and letterheads from the office when she was fired.
Since then, she advertised herself on social network sites as both a social worker at Child Welfare and the owner of a mediation firm that worked with children and used several pseudonyms.

Child Welfare’s report said some of the people she had made “arrangements” with had reported that she was still contacting them, demanding more money for a baby.

Johannesburg businessman Harold Whiteley paid Mushokabanji R3 000 in July last year to adopt a Mozambican baby.

He is 72 and would not, under usual circumstances, have qualified to adopt a child.

Whiteley said he and his girlfriend went to Child Welfare and had a meeting with Mushokabanji, who said they had to pay R3 000 “to get this thing moving”.

She gave Whiteley a receipt on a letterhead with an official stamp.

“I thought it was for legal fees and other expenses like that. I wanted to write out a cheque but she said she only takes cash.”

He said he received another call from her in January to say she wanted another R3 000. He asked her if she would come to his house to collect it.


“I called the cops and said they must come and arrest her. They agreed, but just before the meeting, the investigating officer phoned to say he’s busy with another case.

"I then cancelled the arrangement with her and she disappeared.”

Mushokabanji denied that her qualifications were fake and said we should inspect her certificates.

She claimed that she obtained a social work degree from Mulungushi University in June 1997.

This university only opened its doors in 2008.

In 2009 she obtained a bona fide social worker’s registration certificate and inserted her own name onto it.

Child Welfare SA executive director Ashley Theron said Mushokabanji had performed “adoption services” without working through the Children’s Court.

People were given a false impression they had legally adopted a child.

“These adoptions would need to be redone.

"Her unethical and fraudulent behaviour as well as possible involvement in other -illegal activities is gravely concerning and needs to be put to a stop.”

Theron confirmed that charges were laid against her, but “no action has been taken by the local police”.

He said the matter was taken to “higher authorities” within the police.

“We have followed all legal avenues to do so and have now pursued the matter with higher authorities,” he said.

He added that since Mushokabanji had faked her qualifications, they had reviewed their recruitment process and that Child Welfare would now have to see copies of registration certificates.

Farmers leaving SA

Apr 04 2011

Commercial farmers were leaving South Africa in droves.
Farmers were leaving the country because of unbearable working conditions for neighbouring states such as Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Soviet State of Georgia among others.

There were 120 000 commercial farmers in South Africa in 1994 and only 37 000 remained, which has led to SA importing some of the food it used to produce, said AgriSA vice president Theo de Jager.

The country was now starting to import grains such as wheat. It was also on the brink of importing meat and poultry, which was being produced less and less in the country.

Farmers cited new laws, unionisation of farm workers, expensive water, electricity and other necessities, a shrinking supply of arable land, and the threat of land reform as reasons for farming in South Africa becoming unsustainable.


                                     Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti

Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti's spokesperson Mthobeli Mxotwa said the New Security of Tenure Bill was meant to "stop cruelty against farm workers".

"Workers get kicked off farms and dumped along the side of the road. The Land Tenure Act and Extension of Security of Tenure Act were found (to be) toothless - evictions continued unabated.

"We decided to tighten the new bill in order to give farm workers rights. By the way, we also extended those rights to land owners."

Menzi Simelane

Simelane: an appalling choice
                                                                        Menzi Simelane.

The stuff of our worst nightmares is happening

President Zuma gave one of this country's crucial jobs to the man who believes the Executive should have power over the National Prosecuting Authority. It’s truly, genuinely, extraordinarily difficult to think of a worse choice than former justice director general, Menzi Simelane.
President Jacob Zuma came in to office promising to “strengthen the institutions of democracy”.  He wanted to “fight corruption in all its forms”, ensure that “the damage done to the justice system is undone”, to help ordinary people “find justice whenever they need it”.  By making just this one appointment, he’s undone all that.  

We wanted, desperately, to trust him.  He’d made a good start, made some relatively good Constitutional Court appointments (i.e. anyone but Judge John Hlophe).  He’d poured oil on the troubled seas of the markets with the appointment of Gill Marcus, and generally behaved presidentially.

And now, he’s thrown all that away. 

Menzi Simelane is simply the wrong person to head the NPA.  He’s horribly tainted by what happened to the organisation before him.  

Remember Vusi Pikoli?  

                                                                        Vusi Pikoli

The man sacked by Thabo Mbeki because he wanted to arrest Jackie Selebi?  

                                                                      Thabo Mbeki

                                                                     Jackie Salebi

Well, the person who made that happen, the man carrying the legal hatchet, was Simelane.  It was he who claimed that the relationship between Pikoli and the justice ministry had broken down, that Pikoli’s actions were a threat to national security.

Everything you need to know about why Simelane is the wrong person to become the new National Director of Public Prosecutions is contained in the Ginwala Report into the suspension of Pikoli. In relation to a legal opinion showing that he did not have the right to interfere with the NPA’s decisions, Frene Ginwala writes: “It is clear that the DG: Justice deliberately held these legal opinions from Adv. Pikoli and the enquiry.  By persisting in this conduct, he could have misled the enquiry”.  In other words, he wanted, and tried to commit perjury. 

She continues, just five paragraphs later, “The DG: Justice did not heed the legal advice he had sought and received, and continued to assert powers he did not have”.  So, he asked for a legal opinion, didn’t like it, and ignored it to extend his own empire, or someone else’s.  We’re talking about someone who was mucking about with the higher workings of state here. 

There’s much more in the report which is pretty damning to Simelane.  But overall his position is quite clear.  He believes the Executive should have power over the NPA.  In other words, he thinks government appointments, political appointments, should be able to order who is criminally prosecuted and who is not.  

So, politicians can make political prosecutorial decisions.

The NPA Act itself is very clear on this.  It states:

“Impartiality of, and oath or affirmation by members of prosecuting authority
32. (1) (a)A member of the prosecuting authority shall serve impartially and exercise, carry out or perform his or her powers, duties and functions in good faith and without fear, favour or prejudice and subject only to the Constitution and the law.

(b) Subject to the Constitution and this Act, no organ of state and no member or employee of an organ of state nor any other person shall improperly interfere with, hinder or obstruct the prosecuting authority or any member thereof in the exercise, carrying out or performance of its, his or her powers, duties and functions.”

Simelane clearly ran afoul of section (b) when he tried to “improperly interfere with, hinder and obstruct” the investigation into Selebi. 

And this is the person now appointed by Zuma to run the agency the Constitution says must be completely impartial and independent. A person who just ignores legal advice he doesn’t like, a person who thinks he’s above the law.

For the record, Ginwala herself has told EWN, “she stands by her report”.  Good on her.  She’s been totally consistent through all of this. 

                                                                       Frene Ginwala

For the sake of fairness, we feel we should record the comments and justification put forward by the presidency .  The presidency says “Simelane’s experience as the administrative head of the justice and constitutional affairs department and in the legal fraternity provides him with the necessary skills and capacity to perform his functions efficiently and effectively”.  It’s other main argument is that there is no open proceeding against him.  What tosh!  It’s simply a variation on “this man can be president because he is innocent until proven guilty”.

By the way, if you’re wondering, does the NDPP have to conform to a higher standard, the answer is, yes.  As we reported on Tuesday, the Act states he must “be a fit and proper person, with due regard to his or her experience, conscientiousness and integrity, to be entrusted with the responsibilities of the office concerned”.  We believe conscientiousness and integrity are lacking in Menzi Simelane.

The reaction to this appointment has been fairly predictable.  The opposition parties howl, the ANC supports the president.  All very ho-hum.  More interesting is the reaction from prosecutors and other lawyers, as reported by Eyewitness News

“It’s a disgraceful decision,” one senior advocate told us. 
A brief flavour of some others, some prosecutors, some advocates; “it’s f***ing unbelievable”, “an April Fool’s day joke, disgraceful, a disaster” and “I’m in mourning”.  We’ve left out the names and deliberately obscured who could have said what, to protect their careers. 

Before he takes up his office on the 1 December, Simelane has to appear before a High Court Judge (not necessarily actually in court), and make this oath.

I, Menzi Simelane
do hereby swear/solemnly affirm that I will in my capacity as National Director/Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions/Director/Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions/prosecutor, uphold and protect the Constitution and the fundamental rights entrenched therein and enforce the Law of the Republic without fear, favour or prejudice and, as the circumstances of any particular case may require, in accordance with the Constitution and the Law.

Strange things can happen when people take oaths of office.  But we don’t really hold out much hope.

We said earlier this week that this position is more important that judicial appointments, in that it actually decides which cases judges get to hear.  We also said that if Ngoako Ramathlodi was appointed the new head of prosecutions, it may be time to panic.  

                                                                 Ngoako Ramathlodi

Simelane has us worried. Deeply worried.  We cannot see what he brings to the office that is so attractive.  Thus, we ask the question again, what’s in it for President Zuma?

Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli

Shock over top police spy’s arrest for murder....

 April 1 2011

The arrest of Mdluli, who is accused of the murder of his ex-lover’s husband, Oupa Ramogibe, 12 years ago, as well as of sabotaging the case for more than a decade, has sent shock waves through the country’s state security fraternity. 

The shock waves are not only around the arrest, but what the arrest means in terms of information Mdluli has possibly gathered on politicians, government officials, senior police officers, the country’s top businessmen and those within the intelligence community through illegal covert spying operations. 

Mdluli, along with two other policemen, Warrant Officer Nkosana Ximba, 38, and court orderly Samuel Dlomo, 49, appeared yesterday in the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court on charges of  

  • murder,  
  • attempted murder, 
  • conspiracy to murder,  
  • three counts of kidnapping,  
  • two counts of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm,  
  • three intimidation charges and a charge relating to  
  • defeating the ends of justice. 
Nonkululeko Mbatha, national police commissioner General Bheki Cele’s spokeswoman, confirmed police were looking for a fourth suspect. 

                                                               Nonkululeko Mbatha

Cele told MPs yesterday that Mdluli’s arrest warrant was linked to the 1999 murder case and not his alleged links to suspected crime kingpin Radovan Krejcir. 

He would not give reasons why the case had taken so long to be brought to court. 

The charge of defeating the ends of justice, according to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesman advocate Mthunzi Mhaga, relates to the period from when the murder was committed until now. 

Mdluli’s arrest came less than a week after private security consultant Paul O’Sullivan announced that he was going all out to ensure that Mdluli and his subordinate, Major-General Joey Mabasa, were put behind bars. 

                                                                     Paul O'Sullivan

O’Sullivan has accused the pair of being involved with Krejcir, who gave himself up last week in connection with a multimillion-rand life insurance fraud scam and is being questioned over crime boss Cyril Beeka’s murder. 

A source yesterday said:
“There is going to be a serious fallout from this. The seriousness of the arrest can be seen with the briefing that the president was given by the NPA head, advocate Menzi Simelane. 

                                                 NPA head, advocate Menzi Simelane.