Thursday, June 9, 2011

2010 Celebrations Put on Ice


The planned celebrations to commemorate the one-year anniversary of hosting a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup on Saturday had to be put on ice due to the funeral of ANC stalwart Albertina Sisulu on the same day. 

"We were going to have a celebration this Saturday and unfortunately due to the passing away of Ma Sisulu, we decided it would not be appropriate to celebrate on the same day as her funeral. We then said rather let’s look at July 11 and that’s the position we have taken," said 2010 LOC chief executive Danny Jordaan. 

Danny Jordaan

"That would have been the day the final match was played but the challenge there is that July 11 is a Monday, so instead we will have our celebrations on July 9-10." 

Sisulu died on Thursday, aged 92 and she will be buried on Saturday, the same day South Africa would have commemorated the one year anniversary of hosting the 2010 World Cup. 

It will not be the first time that the 2010 World Cup related activities are interrupted. Last year, a planned attendance to the opening match of the World Cup by former State President Nelson Mandela was cancelled at the last hour following the passing away of his granddaughter in a car accident hours before the big kick-off. 

While the 2010 football spectacle has been criticized a loss making venture, Jordaan said the gains were far more than can be imagined and that the country would continue to benefit for years to come. 

"A sense of pride… When you see South Africans all over the world and the reaction they receive when they introduce themselves, the immediate smiles and the sense that their country has delivered something they can be proud of anywhere in the world. 

"And then a generation of patriotism - when looked at South Africans in the streets, people were proud to be South African. They were good hosts, who welcomed everybody and celebrated with everyone. They supported all the teams," said Jordaan. 

Prior to the event the country had to grapple with negative perceptions relating to safety and security. While crime still remains a problem, Jordaan believes the country’s image has certainly changed from where it was prior to the World Cup.

"The third thing is the image makeover for our country. The image is different now.

I remember before the World Cup, most European press were saying there are two things you must have in your luggage – a bullet proof vest and a stab proof vest. They said you must have these items, pack it first because you are going to be mugged.

"But when they left, the same journalists were saying this was the safest World Cup ever. You don’t see them writing about crime in South Africa anymore. From that monkey on our backs since 1990, crime, crime, crime… it's gone," he said.

Wishful thinking Mr. Jordaan, Wishfull thinking!!!

Africa demands more help at Aids summit

June 9 2011 

United Nations - 

African leaders on Wednesday called for greater resources to battle the Aids pandemic at a summit where UN leader Ban Ki-moon set a target of ending new infections by the end of the decade. 

Thirty presidents and heads of government were at the summit marking the 30th anniversary of the discovery of Aids, which will set a target figure for the numbers who will receive retroviral treatment in coming years. 

More than six million people currently get drugs to keep Aids and HIV at bay. But more than nine million still do not get the treatment and an estimated 1.8 million people a year are still dying from Aids. 

Some 34 million people around the world have Aids, according to UN figures, and about half do not know they have the disease. 

US President Barack Obama, who did not attend the United Nations summit, urged more governments to get involved and co-ordinate more efficiently to create greater awareness about the virus and its victims. 

“No nation can do this alone,” he said in a statement. “Together, we can resolve to meet our shared responsibilities. Together, we can come closer to our vision of a world without HIV/Aids.”
“Thanks to an aggressive global response, fewer people are being infected, a diagnosis is no longer a death sentence and more people with HIV/Aids are living long, vibrant lives,” Obama said. 

“But so long as tens of millions of people live with this devastating disease, and so long as nearly two million people die from Aids-related diseases every year, we cannot and will not rest.” 

African presidents said they were making spectacular progress, with the number of new infections in the continent brought down from 2.2 million a year in 2001 to 1.8 million in 2009. But they added that Africa desperately needs finance for drugs. 

“The international community cannot remain deaf to the silent whispers for help from the disadvantaged countries,” Lesotho's Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili told the summit.
“Conflicts can be addressed through political dialogue. The same cannot be true for HIV and Aids. It simply does not have a cure,” he added. 

“To say that adequate funding is critical to the success of our HIV and Aids response is an understatement,” said Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan, whose country has Africa's second highest number of Aids victims behind South Africa. 

“Many countries, including mine, can neither achieve the targets we have set for ourselves 10 years ago, nor the Millennium Development Goals, without the support of our development partners,” the Nigerian leader added. 

Gabon's President Ali Bongo Ondimba said that resources given to Africa “remain insufficient given the size of the HIV/Aids impact on the continent.” 

The summit final statement is to set out the target number of people who will get Aids drugs. 

Health groups have joined poorer nations in pressing for rich countries to commit to pay for drugs for all nine million sufferers that still do not get treatment. 

The UN secretary general said that the international goal must now be to eliminate Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome by 2020 - “zero new infections, zero stigma and zero Aids-related deaths.” 

Ban also said that “bold” action was required by the international community, but also highlighted how perceptions of the disease and its sufferers have changed in the past 30 years.
“Many of you remember the early days in the 1980s. The terrible fear of a new plague. The isolation of those infected. Some would not even shake hands with a person living with HIV,” Ban said. 

“If we are to relegate Aids to the history books we must be bold. That means facing sensitive issues, including men who have sex with men, drug users and the sex trade,” he added. 

“I admit those were not subjects I was used to dealing with when I came to this job. But I have learned to say what needs to be said because millions of lives are at stake.” 

Ban called on partners to “come together in global solidarity as never before,” in a bid for universal access to treatment by 2015 and efforts to lower costs. 

Mathilde Krim, founder of The Foundation for Aids Research, said that 30 years ago no one would have predicted the scope of the Aids tragedy - which has killed more than 25 million people, including one million in the United States. 

She warned that with 7 000 new infections each day there is still a huge battle ahead.
“We are still losing ground to HIV and we are still losing the battle with HIV,” she said. “There are more infections than people put under treatment.” 

R7bn cop brutality price tag

June 9 2011

Shootings, beatings, torture, wrongful arrests, harassments and assaults are incurring the police billions of rand in damages claims, with the State forking out hundreds of millions of rand in taxpayers’ money in settlements every year. 

This information comes days after three protesters were allegedly shot and killed by police during violent protests in KwaZulu-Natal. 

The latest killings bring the number of demonstrators killed, allegedly at the hands of police, in the past two months to seven. 

The killings occurred on Tuesday when three KwaDukuza residents, including a teenager, were shot dead during protests over increased taxi fares. 

The use of force by police and an apparent lack of human rights training for recruits has been slammed by criminologists, with some calling for a review of police management and a reorientation when it comes to the use of force. 

And while claims against police have increased by hundreds of millions of rand, police management remains tight-lipped about what they are doing to curb their often wayward, violent and brutal members. 

Despite e-mailing questions to national police commissioner General Bheki Cele’s office two weeks ago inquiring about whether human rights formed part of the recruits’ training, his spokesman, Colonel Vish Naidoo, failed to respond. 

Asked about the costs the SAPS had incurred and paid out in damages for shootings, assaults and police actions, Naidoo referred the Pretoria News to the police annual report. A review of the SAPS’ past five annual reports, from the 2005/6 financial year to the 2009/10 financial year, shows that pending damages claims against SAPS assaults, shootings and police actions amounted to R6.7 billion, while police paid out more than R190 million in damages for assaults, shootings and police actions during the same period. 

The Pretoria News understands that the amounts paid out in damages each year are not necessarily for the amounts incurred in that specific year and could be for damages claimed in previous years. 

The reports reveal that over the past five years, the costs the police incurred for assaults have more than tripled, from R52.7m in the 2005/6 financial year to R186.5m in 2009/10.
For that same period, the costs the SAPS incurred for wayward police action increased by R700m, from R1bn to R1.7bn. 

When it came to shootings, the costs the police incurred more than quadrupled from R69.6m in 2005/6 to R235.9m in 2009/10. 

In terms of pay-outs over the past five financial years, the police on average paid R2m a year for assaults by its members, while pay-outs for police actions, such as wrongful arrests and harassment, over the same period increased from R19.6m to R51.9m. 

When it came to shootings, liability pay-outs decreased over the same period from R7.6m in 2005/6 to R5.3m in 2009/10. 

David Bruce, senior researcher at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, said the pay-outs and damages incurred were another reason the government needed to attach greater priority to the question of proper control when it came to the use of force by police.
“There is clearly a need for strengthening police management, especially when it comes to addressing issues on the use of force.
“Effectively, what these claims mean is that more harm is being done by police than good,” he said. 

Bruce said there was an urgent need for overall reorientation of police in their approach to the use of force. “When it comes to training we can surmise that it is inconsistent. 

“The overall tone set by police leadership on the use of force is having a profound impact, especially when it comes to what happens in training,” he said. 

Institute of Security Studies policing expert Johan Burger said training was of serious concern with not enough trainers or facilities for the thousands of new recruits entering the police force.
“The SAPS has simply grown too quickly for its training capabilities. 

“While specialised units often receive the necessary specialised training, it is impossible to do this for all station members. Not only does this apply to specialised training, but also to firearm refresher and legal training courses. 

“Even with Cele’s admission that they had taken in numbers over quality, and the extension of the recruit training period to address these problems, it does not address the problem of those already employed by the police, who simply should not be in the police in the first place,” he said. 

An open letter to the ANCYL

08 June 2011

Lazola Ndamase appeals to the organisation to vote out Julius Malema 


Lazola Ndamase
Dearest Comrades

I am made aware that some of you will be attending the 24th National Congress of the ANCYL on June 16. You will be doing this in your capacity as delegates of the ANCYL. Lucky you; I, together with Neziwe Bangani (Secretary of my Branch) were also supposed to attend the same conference, but our branch together with others from my sub-region were not taken to Calata for Auditing. The explanation given to us was that our Regional leadership had forgotten our branch files in the cupboard in the regional office.

Some comrades believe that this is deliberate, we do not; at least we hope not. Apart from the fact that there is nothing that our branch can do about the exclusion of its delegates from the National Congress, we also have no wish not to believe the explanation given to us by our Regional leadership. 

Our leaders are supposed to be beyond reproach, isn't it? 

I was requested to write this letter by our BGM which was called to discuss the fact that the views of our branch will not reach the National Congress of the ANCYL. I was therefore requested to give an account to other comrades about the views expressed in our BGM.
This is in order to lobby other comrades to agree with our point of view. If these views are objectionable to you, we will understand. It is your right to hold a different opinion.

Having engaged in such serious discussions on what our branch would want to see in the National Congress of the ANCYL, it is a pity we cannot attend the National Congress, particularly, because the National Congress is supposed to map out a clear plan on how to free young people from the yoke of poverty, unemployment and destitution. These are all things that affect the greater majority of young people in the villages that make up our branch. This is the reason why I have had to use means outside the Congress venue to lobby other delegates on the issues facing young people in my ward.

Just to enlighten you comrades, given the rural nature of the areas covered by my branch, the majority of young people have not passed their Matric. This is not because we do not like school, but because of the difficult conditions under which most study. I for example, studied at Tungwini (a mud school), and classrooms at school ended at grade five, whilst grade six, seven, eight and nine were attended at people's homes. Those that have passed their Matric have found it very difficult to access higher education because of lack of funds.

The fact that the Minister of Higher Education and Zuma say free education will be introduced gradually means for now they will remain where they are. It is with this in mind that our branch resolved to support the call by SASCO for the immediate implementation of free higher education and the imposition of an education tax on all South Africans that earn top-notch salaries and on those that rake millions out of the South African economy as profit, including those that have so much money they go around eating sushi on the bodies of naked women.

Electricity was installed in the villages in my ward last year, but the majority still prefer using candles and firewood because of the expensive nature of electricity, particularly given the fact that the majority just do not have any source of income. The usage of firewood, has already resulted in the burning of people's mud huts in some villages and we are crossing our fingers that the same must not occur in our village.

That is why our branch called for the reversal of the electricity tariffs Eskom imposed on house-hold users and calls for Eskom to decrease the salaries of its executives and to increase its tariffs on businesses rather.

The majority of the people in my ward are unemployed and live destitute lives. They sit at home, and as one SASCO document says: "they watch the sunrise and set". They live on the meagre pensions of their grandparents, and those who have kids augment their lives with this, rather than spend it on their kids. As a result, many of those I grew up with, smoke dagga and can no longer even play soccer, a sport I love the most.

Some have turned to criminal activity. But because this is a village, some steal cows, whilst others are robbing spaza shops, and pensioners and selling dagga. This cannot be allowed to go on. Just two years ago one of our childhood friends, was stabbed to death in my village for completing the roof of a house that was being built by another young person.

That is the extent to which competition for already scarce resources has turned young people against another and has turned our people into criminals who can do anything for money including murder.

Every year, in my branch, we have seen young men and women leave the village travelling distances as far as Grabbor, next to Cape Town (to work in snake filled apple farms), Stanger in KZN (sugar cane fields - risking snake bites), Johannesburg and its surroundings looking for work in the Mines, and we have seen them come back with little more than just money to go back again because of this barbaric capitalist economic system which advances accumulation at the expense of people's survival.

When these young people are either injured or grow old, their pensions amount to just enough to buy a handful of cows and some clothes. So indeed, we have seen mine-workers who have retired still struggling to send their children to school because when working they earned peanuts.

That is why our branch resolved to support the Nationalization of all South Africa's industries and not just mines.

As a consequence, our branch has also called for the abolishing of tenders within the South African state which have already resulted in the impoverishment of thousands of young people in my ward - past and present. These young people are often employed as casual labor during construction of roads by tendering companies.

They are often made to work their lives off whilst they receive peanuts in return. We hear that our President, and some NEC members of our organization are deeply involved in this type of exploitative business activity. So long as our leadership continues to clothe and live off these businesses, we do not see it possible that they would be able to lead a struggle that seeks to abolish this kind of business activity.

We would prefer that our President not just resign as a director in these companies, but renounce his shares in them and lead a most ferocious struggle to ensure that government brings an end to the system of tenders and instead builds internal capacity.

The increased reports of corruption and the awarding of tenders to a small connected elite which gets recycled raised the ire of some members in our branch who complained that Black Economic Empowerment and indeed Tenderpreneurship have resulted in the accumulation of an elite at the expense of the greater majority of South Africans, many of which include them.

Side by side, with the growing levels of poverty and destitution amongst people in our ward, we have seen, a small elite of connected individuals who do not know the hustle of job-hunting because their friends either won the Regional Congress of the ANC, its YL or the District Congress of the SACP or YCL and in other higher structures.

We have also seen the marginalization and indeed pauperization of those whose views did not win the day in these very same congresses. We have also received complaints from a number of people in our ward some of who refused to vote during the recent local government elections who complained that the problem with our movement is that we employ each other.

If you are not in the ANC or the MDM and you are just an ordinary citizen, you will not smell a job anywhere near you, goes the complaint.

Our leadership has written wonderful documents towards this National Congress and for that we would like to congratulate them. We have our misgivings about some of the issues contained in these documents but these do not take away the wonderful nature of the discussion documents. 

We are particularly delighted by the aspect that calls for expropriation without compensation, in the process of nationalizing mines.

But it is difficult to understand the fact that our leadership is happy to see the expropriation without compensation of mines from mining capital while it is not willing to ensure the expropriation without compensation of areas where it has business interests such as construction. Surely, our leadership, is playing double standards here. This is one of the issues our branch intended for its delegates to raise in the ANCYL national congress.

Our BGM noted that, for an organization to wage a relentless battle against poverty, unemployment and pauperization, our movement needs strong branches. Branches are essential. Our organization in order to succeed, it requires to exist in each and every locality. It requires attracting young people to its ranks in each and every locality. It requires to have fully-fledged branches in every corner of our society.

The presence of delegates when there are no branches presents a picture of an organization full of life when in essence this is nothing but an empty shell. Apart from electing leadership in the National Congress, bogus branches will contribute nothing to the achievement of the above-mentioned goals. The poor will suffer as a result.

An example of how these bogus branches have not been helpful to the NDR was the situation of the Western Cape, when one of our fraternal structures in its National Congress had hundreds of delegates from the Western Cape, purporting to represent hundreds of branches. Unfortunately, because the majority of these branches were bogus, and only existed to install certain people to leadership positions, these branches - and their members - were nowhere to be found when the movement needed them most during the election campaign.

At the end, our BGM paused and reflected at the strengths of the ANCYL leadership  in order to come to a conclusion whether or not there is a need for a change in leadership. Our BGM concluded that our leadership did very well in advancing nationalization. Our leadership is "radical", we are told.

Our BGM noted that the radicalism of the ANCYL leadership has only been seen on TV. We have not seen our leadership mobilizing young people and society towards any of the things they have announced they will do on TV.

Surely, our leadership does not seem serious about any of the things they claim to want to achieve. They just use them to score political points. We need a leadership that will not exist only on TV and in newspapers, but one that will mobilize on the ground. That will require that they should exchange their suits for tracksuits in order to march.

We are indeed happy with the fact that the ANCYL leadership has come out in support of decent work and has expressed its opposition to the youth wage subsidy. But our BGM wondered whether our national leadership in their own businesses. If this is not the case, surely our leadership supported decent work and opposed the youth subsidy simply for the purpose of scoring political points and ensuring that they appear progressive.

Of course, we do not agree with those that say everything about our leadership has been disastrous. That's super-factionalism.

Unfortunately, those who want us to believe that everything is rosy about our leadership are as equally factional. You were poor before the leadership was elected, you are poor now, and you might be poor after it is re-elected, but you support them anyway. That is class suicide.

In the past three years since the election of our national leadership, we have seen the suspension of comrades for nothing else but expressing a differing view. We have seen the disbandment of the hardest working branches. In the past year alone, our sub-region (Nyandeni) was disbanded by the regional leadership just because its branches did not support a candidate in the provincial congress which was preferred by the national leadership.

Many of the branches in our sub-region were also disbanded. These are branches and structures which were not accused of breaching discipline, or acting in manner that brings the name of the organization into disrepute. Rather than strengthen our branches in order to advance the struggle for economic freedom, our leadership has been weakening them in order to get delegates to the National Congress.

The so-called struggle for economic freedom desirable as it is, it can never be achieved with the presence of a national leadership that is willing to kill structures in order to maintain its presence in office.

Since the election of the current leadership, we have seen foreign tendencies taking centre stage. The National Democratic Revolution is essentially about resolution of the class, racial and gender contradictions. Our revolution is not about deepening but resolving racial contradictions. One of the most racists statements was made by the President of the ANCYL when he called SACP stalwart Jeremy Cronin a "white messiah".

If this kind of racism is allowed, what will follow next? Is it "Xhosa messiah" or "Zulu messiah"? 

This kind of behaviour has to be nipped in the bud. The attacks against leaders of the MDM has to come to an end, particularly the attacks against the leadership of the SACP.

Our branch does not say that SACP leaders must not be criticized, but there is a clear difference between insults and criticism.

Our President and our National Leadership must bear some responsibility for contributing to the creation of a picture in society that our MDM is a movement at war with itself. They were the first to fire the first salvo when they went on every platform attacking ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe as early as 2009. Surely, an innocent bystander asks themselves what type of a movement goes to war as soon as elections are done.

Zwelinzima Vavi, Blade Nzimande, Zola Skweyiya (the list is endless) all did not escape insults and innuendo from our leadership. We are not saying these comrades and others must not be criticized but the culture of insults and disruption of meetings owes more to our National leadership than to anybody else. This must also come to an end.

Our comrades in other branches going to their BGM's were forced not to express their opposition to the re-election of the current President for fear of their branches being butchered before even reaching the National Congress. This climate of fear is exactly what our movement fought against in defeating apartheid. It is the same climate that they fought against when they supported Zuma towards Polokwane.

Now, they are forced to fear the current national leadership. No more.

We were also warned by the BGM of our branch that we should not shirk this responsibility of raising these issues, hard as they are. We were also requested to point out to other delegates that: As they travel in accident prone busses to the Congress, there are those that would have flown business class to attend the same congress.

Whilst they will sleep in Congress accommodation, there will be those who will be staying in five star hotels and will be prancing around during the Congress in their designer labels and will be driving expensive cars.

These people, although they will sing the same songs as you, although they may eat from the same tables as you do, they are not like you. At the end of the Conference, you will go back to your poverty and they will remain with their opulence. As you go back to your shacks, they will go back to their posh houses. They may speak the same language as you, but both their immediate and long term interests are not the same as yours.

Just before you participate in the voting process, look back and think, will you not elect to power the same elites whose economic circumstances have nothing to do with your daily struggles. Is your vote not being used by some who claim to understand your situation but do not live it, in order for them to continue their lives riding on your vote? Will they not do this again after three years?

Our branch deliberated about the possibility of a contestation in the National Congress, our delegates were given one mandate, whatever they do, they must not re-elect the leadership of the organization. We were told to look for working class candidates. We were also told that if there is no working class candidate, we should ensure that we disrupt the current leadership (by electing new leaders) because it has already bled the movement enough.

We were told that, comrade Maile is not a working class candidate, and we should look for an alternative to the current leadership, but not comrade Maile.

We were told that if we cannot find someone else, we should vote for comrade Maile not because we believe he is a saint, but because we want to defeat the rot already under way.

One thing is for sure, my branch was dead against the current leadership. It was clearly going to vote for change, but it was not granted that opportunity, which just tells clearly what we are dealing with. Now we are forced to plead with you who have made it as delegates to consider our views.

If efforts to effect change in the ANCYL congress do not succeed, please do not throw chairs, do not disrupt the Congress as our President suggests there are some who want to do so, come back and work in your branches. Do not work to build branches for the next Congress, but build branches that will advance the struggles of the working class youth under the current circumstances of suspensions and disbandment.

Yours in struggle

Lazola Ndamase

NB: Lazola Ndamase is a member of the ANCYL Ntlangano branch (Nyandeni Sub-region), and was elected together with Neziwe Bangani to attend the ANCYL Conference but his branch was not taken to the Audit.

What are our Ratels doing in Yemen?

David Maynier
08 June 2011

DA MP calls on NCACC to investigate how infantry vehicles ended up in that country

NCACC should investigate Ratel infantry vehicles in Yemen

The Democratic Alliance (DA) believes that Jeff Radebe, Chairperson of the National Conventional Arms Committee (NCACC), should launch an investigation into how converted Ratel infantry vehicles, previously operated by the South African National Defence Force, found their way to Yemen.

Over one hundred pictures of demonstrations in Yemen were recently published by Reuters and the Associated Press. The series includes a number of pictures of a converted Ratel infantry vehicle in Yemen, one of which can be viewed here

The picture, taken on 7 June 2011, depicts a converted Ratel infantry vehicle reportedly operated by defecting soldiers in Sanaa, Syria.

The NCACC's latest annual report records that R373.8 million worth of conventional arms were sold to Yemen in 2010. Conventional arms exports to Yemen last year included R239.4 million worth of "Category A" conventional weapons, which are described as "major conventional implements of war that could cause heavy personnel casualties."

There is no evidence suggesting that the Ratel infantry vehicles were exported directly from South Africa to Yemen.

  • a number of surplus Ratel infantry vehicles, previously operated by the South African National Defence Force, were reportedly exported to Jordan;
  • the Paramount Group, in cooperation with the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB), produce a converted version of the Ratel infantry vehicle in Jordan; and
  • the infantry vehicle, depicted in the picture taken in Sanaa, Yemen, appears to be the converted version of the Ratel infantry vehicle produced by the Paramount Group and KADDB in Jordan.
We cannot sit back and allow conventional weapons manufactured in our country to end up in the hands of regressive regimes such as Yemen.

The Democratic Alliance will therefore write to Jeff Radebe, Chairperson of the NCCAC, and request an investigation into how converted Ratel infantry vehicles, previously operated by the South African National Defence Force, found their way to Yemen.

Statement issued by David Maynier MP, DA Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, June 8 2011

Nigerians Not Charged for Fake Dollars

Jun 9, 2011

Charges against two Nigerians arrested for possession of counterfeit US dollars with a face value of R80 million have been withdrawn. 

The two, aged 40 and 41, were arrested in their rented house in Bramley, Sandton on Monday, The Star newspaper reported on Thursday. 

At the time police seized five large steel trunks with $100 notes, 18 cellphones, suspected to be stolen, and seven Ingersoll watches worth R700,000. 

Prosecutors at the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Could said there was not enough evidence to prosecute the men. 

National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said: "The evidence that was there was not sufficient for prosecutors to even place the matter on the roll." 

Mhaga told the daily newspaper that the evidence did not convince the prosecutors that the money was illegally made. 

Deputy Minister Linked To Missing R100m

Jun 9, 2011

Deputy Minister of Economic Development Enoch Godongwana and his wife Thandiwe have been linked to a company that disappeared with R100 million in workers' pensions. 

Enoch Godongwana

The SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (Sactwu) is trying to get back the R100 million of pension funds from an investment company. 

The money was placed with Trilinear Empowerment Trust, which in 2007 agreed to lend R93 million to Canyon Springs Investments 12, so that it could buy an unnamed and unlisted company, but the deal never happened, The Star newspaper reported on Thursday.
Canyon Springs Investments 12 could not repay the loan as it had allegedly "lost" the workers' money. 

Canyon Springs is currently facing liquidation proceedings in Cape Town. 

The Godogwanas acknowledged to The Star that one or the other of them had been linked to Canyon Springs since at least November 2007. 

In a joint statement, they said Enoch was chairman from November 2007 to May 2009, while the wife had been a non-executive director since May 2009. 

The loan payments were made from March 2007 to December 2009, and the loan agreement was signed in February 2009. 

Cosatu said on Tuesday it was "shocking" that the low-paid clothing and textile workers could lose millions through the loan that was allegedly "lost". 

"If these allegations are proved to be true, it is absolutely shocking. Textile workers are the lowest paid workers in the whole of the manufacturing sector," Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven said in a statement, at the time. 

R7.3-million Paid to Stay At Home

Jun 9, 2011 

Suspended education officials paid millions to stay home

The cash-strapped Eastern Cape education department has paid more than R7-million in salaries to officials who are sitting at home after they were suspended, some of them at least a year ago. 

On Tuesday, senior officials in the department - which has recently been taken over by the national Department of Education - were grilled by President Jacob Zuma over the appalling conditions at some schools in the province.

Yesterday, Eastern Cape education department spokesman Loyiso Pulumani confirmed that R7.3-million had been paid in salaries to 50 employees - ranging in rank from junior clerks to a deputy director-general - in the year to March 31. 

The suspensions related to a raft of allegations, ranging from poor performance to misappropriation of funds. 

The Times's sister publication, The Daily Dispatch, identified at least 12 senior officials who are on suspension - four of whom have not been charged since being shown the door five months ago. 

Nkosinathi Godlo, a Queenstown district director, was suspended in January, but still receives his salary of R54000. 00

His three deputies - the directors of finance, human resources and procurement - were suspended with Godlo, but continue to draw their salaries of over R41000.00 a month. 

Pulumani confirmed that the four have not yet been charged. 

"The investigation of the Special Investigating Unit of the Queenstown district is still ongoing. 

Our capacity to prefer charges against the officials will be predicated on the outcomes thereof," said Pulumani. 

The department's deputy director-general of institutional operations management, Sithembele Zibi, was suspended in January on charges related to non-performance. 
 Zibi, who earns over R87000.00 a month, has also not been charged. 

The case against him has been postponed three times, "due to the non-availability of representatives because of their clogged diaries", said Pulumani. He said the case would resume on July 1. 

But some of the cases date back at least a year. 

The chief director of vocational training, Khayalethu Ngaso, continues to receive his salary of R73000.00 following his suspension, along with seven other senior officials, in June last year. 

Ngaso, as well as the director of further education and training colleges, Cwayita Zituta, internal audit director Mtunase Kali, deputy director of finance Sarel Baatjies, deputy-director of finance for Bizana, Noxolo Tokwana, and chief director of facilities and infrastructure Zamayedwa Tom were initially accused of misappropriating R34-million, along with other charges, including mismanaging money allocated to departments. 

In November, the charges against Tom were dropped when a new department head was appointed. 

Pulumani could comment only on the cases against Ngaso and his personal assistant,which he said were "still outstanding". He said that on two occasions, both cases were postponed because the employees were ill. 

Premier Noxolo Kiviet said she was concerned that cases against suspended officials were dragging on for so long in all departments - at great cost to the government. 

On Tuesday, Zuma and top education officials, including Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, visited schools in the province as part of a performance monitoring and evaluation exercise. 

In Mdantsane, Zuma visited the two oldest schools - Vulumzi Primary and Mzomhle High School. At Vulumzi Primary staff and parents revealed that no renovations had been carried out on the school since its construction in 1963. 

Zuma grilled the provincial education department's superintendent-general, Modidima Mannya: ''What I want to know from you is why the situation at this school has not been rectified."
Mannya said he was still new to the department, having only taken up the position six months ago.