A question posed to President Mbeki during his allotted question time from ANC MP P. Benghu:
To what extent have the local government elections held on 1 March 2006 consolidated democracy and (b) what steps will the government take to ensure the acceleration of integrated service delivery to ensure a better life for all?
Oh c’mon! Have you ever seen a more loaded softball question?!? That’s up there in the league of Dubya when it comes to making sure you answer some easy questions first and foremost.
- Stadium plans for Cape Town are moving forward after provincial and local government assured Mayor Helen Zille that Cape Town would not be stuck with the entire bill for construction.
- Minister of Intelligence apoligises for the NIA illegally tapping politicians phones. Although if you ask me he should be apologising because they only managed to tap two of the thirteen intended targets. If you’re going to do something illegal at least do it well.
If you’re in Cape Town tomorrow and have the day off you might want to mosey on down to Parliament and have a seat in the public gallery because I think tomorrow might be a bit, as they say in the local vernacular, bossies.
The plan is to hold a special debate in which the unlawful bugging of various politicians (both ANC and opposition) and businessmen and the e-mail hoax are going to be discussed. Let’s just say I feel sorry for Minister of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils as he is going to be getting it from all sides (maybe not from the ANC politicians in public but behind the scenes I’m sure there are words being spoken). You’ll probably be able to identify him by the fact that he won’t be sitting at his seat in parliament but rather will be curled up in the foetal position underneath it. The ANC are also going to launch an internal task team to investigate the whole sordid situation.
Now with fired NIA Director General Billy Masetlha suing the president to be reinstated the intelligence community seems to be in a bit of a mess. Frankly I expect the paranoia, accusations and counter-accusations to continue for quite a while. With the multiple Zuma trials, ANC leadership still unclear and the DA still managing to keep the ANC out of power in Cape Town the political scene is ripe for conspiracy.
Finally! After delay after delay the Taxi Recapitalisation Program is finally moving forward, albeit slowly.
The target was to scrap 75% to 80% of the oldest vehicles on provincial databases – some 25-years-old or more – by 2010.
So by the time the world cup rolls around only 20%-25% of taxis will be death traps. And considering the criminal element in the taxi industry today here’s a recipe for fraud if ever there was one:
Under the mandatory scrapping programme, owners will receive R50,000 for each vehicle destroyed, which they are expected to invest in a new vehicle.
Despite taxis being one of the more inefficient modes of transport, government is determined to keep them around mainly I would guess because they historically have been one of the main areas of black entrepeneurship. Considering the dire need for improved public transport, even without the World Cup looming on the horizon, it is a shame that progress has not been faster.
One thing that will be needed to put in place as part of the recapitalisation project is a decent regulatory agency with strict licensing laws and harsh penalties for traffic offences. Otherwise the whole recapitalisation process will be a complete waste. Instead of having head on collisions with 15 seater taxis we’ll just have them with 30 seater ones.
Mayor of Cape Town Helen Zille has decided to put a temporary freeze on the development of the new stadium for the 2010 World Cup in Cape Town for a number of reasons:
- The venue, replacing the Green Point Stadium, would pave over Metropolitan Golf Course, the only course close to the Cape Town CBD and one that is right next to tourist hot spot at the V&A Waterfront. Needless to say the tourism industryare not too pleased about it.
- The stadium is projected to cost at minimum R1,2 billion. This in a city with a backlog of 360 000 housing units.
- Wallace Mgoqi, in his infinite wisdom, signed a deal with FIFA giving them all the income from World Cup related activities in Cape Town leaving city to pick up the tab for funding that is not covered by national government.
And surprisingly provincial Sports MEC Mzonke Whitey Jacobs is agreeing with her although Premier Ebrahim Rasool is going to have a meeting with her to try and “convince” her of the current plans positive attributes. This does have the potential to be a major flashpoint between the DA and ANC.
Now I don’t think that Zille will prevent there being World Cup matches played in Cape Town, to do so would be political suicide, but I do think the council needs to carefully think things through about where the stadium should be (personally I think an upgraded Newlands is quite adequate, or even fully upgrading Athlone stadium would be nice upliftment for the community in the area) and how we’re going to pay for it all. Altough they do need to be quick about it.
What in tarnation is going in KZN local politics?
The new Speaker of the Umtshezi (Estcourt) Council, Bhekithemba Dlamini, made a brief appearance in the Durban magistrate’s court on Monday on charges relating to murder.
And then to add insult to injury:
The mayor of Umtshezi, Lymon Shelembe, himself faces criminal charges following an arson attack on the home of Nomusa Mbatha, a Nadeco candidate in the elections. He is out on bail of R20 000.
You know I really think it’s time for the ANC and IFP to get together and have a joint seminar in KZN for all their members titled ‘Politics: No One Has To Die’.
I was lucky enough to go on a short guided tour of one of the SA Navy’s brand spanking new Valour Class frigate (or patrol corvette), the SAS Spioenkop. This is one of the new ships bought in the massive arms deal, which has lead to numerous accusations of bribery and fraud. Every time I walked past a ‘Thales’ logo I thought “I wonder how much that thingamajigus contributed towards Tony Yengeni’s SUV fund?”.
Anyway the actual ship itself is pretty awesome. Highlight of the tour being the ensign taking us around telling us why the ship uses Exocet missiles which have been around since the 80’s:
Because they’re economical and still one of the most efficient killing machines on the planet.
Did you catch this quote Jacob Zuma gave to the Sowetan (as reported by Hogarth in the Sunday Times)?
I am not a rapist — angisona isishimane mina — I don’t struggle to have liaisons with women.
I always wondered if it was possible to put both feet in your mouth at one time. I guess it is.
The Sunday Times’ front page is reporting on the ties slain mining magnate Roger Kebble had with the ANC and it’s members. And the details are not pretty. A forensic report on Kebble’s companies claims that the ANC received over R18 million from Kebble, although they deny receiving any such loan. A total of R95 million is alleged to have further been invested/loaned/funneled into the businesses of ANC members.
The forensic audit was commissioned by financial firms Allan Gray and Investec, who are both pretty reputable, and if the documents prove correct they mean a world of hurt for a lot of people in the ANC. Not to mention the fact that the report calls for criminal charges to be brought against accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers for signing off on some dodgy balance sheets.
This just brings up the fact that the role of money in SA politics is a total ly opaque area with both the ANC and opposition parties wanting to keep it that way. The eagle eyed of those amongst you will have noticed a new link on the left to Who Funds Who an initiative from IDASA and ISS. IDASA have previously tried to force political parties to reveal their fundoing sources but were not successful.
This is one area of South African politics that is very dangerous. To contrast while the political scene in the US that while Republicans can probably raise R18 million at a single fundraising dinner, donations are totally above board and has to be registered (well 99% of the time). When politics, favours and money mix the only people who don’t come out ahead of the game are ordinary people like you and I.
Stop the presses!! There has been a massive scientific breakthrough in mathematical logic and it comes from none other than our own COSATU! Quick someone tell The IMU to start engraving that Fields Medal cause I have a hunch I know who is winning this year!
COSATU have figured out how to prove a negative assertion! Not only will this have massive implications for the world of mathematics but the ramifications for law and internet flaming will be major. Already the shockwaves of this landmark discovery are hitting the SA law scene, and have particular relevance to our rape laws. As COSATU now proclaim:
He should prove that he did not rape the victim
That’s right. In the past to prove a rape we needed a pesky thing called ‘evidence’. Therefore to now prove that a rape has not happened we need to prove there is no evidence, in short to prove that something does not exist, something that was logically impossible until COSATU came along!
It is quite clear that every male should report to the police (to female constables, all the males will also be handing themselves over) because with the distinct lack of no evidence that I have not raped every woman I walked past on the street, it is obvious I have raped them all. I hang my head in shame. Thank you COSATU for showing me the true criminal I am.