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09
DEC
2022

Behind Cape Town’s white picket fence façade lies a black hole of corrupt police and interminable gangsterism

It is high time that the top brass at SAPS catch a wake-up and stop trying to downplay the rot that creeps all over the crooked blue line that is our police force.
Dear DM168 readers,
On 17 October one of the members of South Africa’s judiciary stuck his neck out and in a judgement warned of alleged police corruption linked to hitmen, the taxi industry and gangsters in the Western Cape.
Judge Daniel Thulare’s unprecedented judgment, delivered in the Western Cape high court, revealed how rotten cops — right up to the upper echelons of power — collude with murderous drug lords and gangs, risking the lives of prosecutors and state figures who are clamping down on gangsters.
Daily Maverick crime reporter and author Caryn Dolley sent me a WhatsApp this week saying her phone has been beyond busy about really unsettling details, which have hitherto not been published, from this judgement and I did not hesitate to say “Yes, please let’s do it for DM168 this week”.
The details are truly unnerving and speak to the heart of darkness that makes Cape Town one of the most violent cities in the world.
While many locals from my neck of the woods in Gauteng leave the big smoke for the chocolate-box idyll of Table Mountain and False Bay, the surrounding Hex River mountains and Winelands, the reality that lies in the underbelly of our Mother City is much more malevolent.
Gangs have been a part of the inner city since before World War 2, but they became more violent and lethal after the forced removals of the 1960s to the barren Cape Flats.
My parents lived in the then low-income inner-city areas of Salt River and Woodstock from the 1930s to the 1950s and I recall the stories they told us about gangsters who hung out at the bioscope but were very protective and would not let anyone touch the kids from their streets.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
I lived in Cape Town in the late eighties and early nineties when I studied for a Higher Education Diploma at UCT and later taught at schools in Khayelitsha and Steenberg, near Lavender Hill.
I saw first-hand how young boys boxed in concrete courtyards with nothing to do, surrounded by violence and the echo of gunshots and screams everywhere, joined gangs and the drug trade for a sense of security, belonging, identity, purpose and income. ...
05
DEC
2022

The Highwaymen Episode 7: Lights Out

In December 2022, the 55th — and possibly last — elective conference of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress will take place against a backdrop of socio-political chaos. In the limited audio documentary series, The Highwaymen, investigative journalists Richard Poplak and Diana Neille take a road trip across South Africa in search of answers to how the country got to this breaking point, and how the lives and careers of three senior ANC figures — Ace Magashule, Gwede Mantashe and Dr Zweli Mkhize — may be representative of the rise and stumble of our once vaunted democratic project and, by extension, liberal democracies everywhere.
Gwede Mantashe now presides over the most important portfolio in the Cabinet — mining and energy. He’s run it like a fiefdom, trying to shut down any real commitment to a green energy transition. We also explore how Mantashe aided and abetted State Capture, and the slow but sure creep toward a gangster state — and all-out gang warfare.
Listen to the podcast here.
Richard Poplak: State Capture. What a ride!
News Clip: Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has handed over part 4 of the State Capture Inquiry’s report. The topics covered in this latest instalment include the capture of Eskom; the attempted capture of the National Treasury; Gupta bank accounts and the Free State asbestos and housing scandals.
Richard Poplak: After the ANC’s Polokwane conference and the ascension of Zuma, the ANC’s elite capture project started to coalesce under the iron hand of one man — Msholozi. The Boss. Zuma began reformatting intelligence gathering, policing and state-owned enterprises as adjuncts of his syndicate working under the umbrella of the ANC.
His secretary-general in the ANC was, famously, Gwede Mantashe.
Our colleague Ferial Haffajee weighs in on how Mantashe helped manage this process.
Ferial Haffajee: Several people approached him at the height of capture. And they said to him, comrade, there are terrible things happening here. And I remember a time where he invited people to bring him evidence, and they did. They submitted documents to him, they had meetings with him, and he did absolutely nothing. So there was a duty to the whistle-blowers, and a political duty to the country, which I also think raises fundamental questions about his role in that period, and his role as a leader.
Richard Poplak: Leaving ethics and legality aside, as secretary-general, Mantashe was sublime. He danced between and over factions, keeping the congress coherent, managing the interpersonal ...
21
NOV
2022

State Capture could be the nail in SA’s greylisting coffin, experts agree

The threat of greylisting looms early next year, with South Africa needing to show it is serious about stopping the flow of dirty money and terrorist financing. The Financial Action Task Force will decide in early 2023 whether measures that South Africa puts in place by then will be sufficient to avoid a greylisting.
Although South Africa has historically received global praise for the sophistication of its financial and banking system, State Capture has laid bare its deficiencies, highlighting how easy it was for dirty money to move through the South African financial system.
In a recent Daily Maverick webinar, Business Maverick journalist Ray Mahlaka speaking to two experts – Dr Stuart Theobald, co-founder and executive chairman of research consulting firm Intellidex, and Ismail Momoniat, acting director-general at National Treasury unpacked these deficiencies which place the country at risk of greylisting and what that would mean for the economy.
Momoniat says the Zondo Commission and affidavits from the various banks were very informative. However, he questioned what took the banks so long to close the Gupta accounts.
“The banks may say they were filing reports highlighting suspicious transactions, and what were the authorities doing? I think that’s where the big weakness was. If banks were acting and did file suspicious transaction records, the authorities looked the other way, essentially,” he says.
Momoniat adds that the South African system of fighting crime has been quite “naïve”.
“The big issue is that we are so naïve . we are suckers almost when it comes to dealing with highly organised criminal syndicates. When you look at State Capture and the Guptas, I think there were many red flags.
“The bigger issue is that we need to get the entire ecosystem to see the need for increased vigilance and quicker action. Everyone, from the banks to the authorities, should have moved faster,” he says.
Last year, Momoniat warned that South Africa was in danger of becoming a “mafia state” if anti-money laundering laws were not tightened.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a global monitor for anti-money laundering initiatives, given that it is a global activity. Since the September 2011 attacks in New York, the FATF also focuses on terrorist financing. It works with peer reviews, looking at how countries comply with its 14 key recommendations.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
South Africa, however, did not fare well in its latest peer review, falling short and complying with ...
21
NOV
2022

Cosatu welcomes Bela Bill, but rejects criminalising school disruptions and allowing alcohol sales

The federation rejects the provision in the bill criminalising any disruptions of schools. This definition is too broad, unconstitutional and will in effect criminalise teachers and education workers for exercising their constitutional and legal rights to picket, protest and strike.
The Basic Education Laws Amendment (Bela) Bill contains several progressive and some long overdue provisions which Cosatu and its affiliate, the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union support. We have presented our submission to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, and outlined our position on the bill.
These include:
Establishing Grade R as a required part of schooling for all learners
This will help lay a stronger foundation for learners entering Grade 1 and for their long-term academic success in school. Experience has shown that those learners who attended Grade R were better placed to do well in their school career. It will necessitate government to put in place the necessary resources to ensure schools are able to offer Grade R, e.g. classrooms, teachers and other resources.
Strengthening provisions requiring learners to attend school and holding parents accountable for their children’s attendance
It is critical that all children be in school at all times. Parents need to play their part in ensuring their children are in school and learning. Children need to be at school if they are to gain an education.
Clear guidelines as well as checks and balances for school language, admissions, uniform and diversity inclusivity policies to ensure that learners’ needs and diversity are accommodated as well as to prevent unfair discrimination and exclusion of learners
South African remains scarred by the legacies of apartheid and colonialism. The continued occurrences of learners being denied admission to schools because of the language of instruction or being sent home from school because they wore extensions in their hair, are evidence for the need for school language, admissions, dress code and related policies to be guided by principles set by the department and to be held accountable for this.
Recognition of South African Sign Language as a language of instruction and learning
Learners with hearing disabilities struggle to access education with few schools available providing learning through sign language. Mainstreaming access to education for learners with hearing impairments as well as other learners with disabilities is critical if we are to build a truly inclusive society where all learners are able to access education, find employment and provide for their families.
It is equally important to offer the opportunity to learn Sign ...
14
NOV
2022

Zuma channels Trump to reinvent himself as St Jacob of the Unsullied Hands

As he pretends to be running for the chair of the ANC, our former president waxes Trumpian as he laments the ANC’s being ‘consumed by a patronage network characterised by corrupt hands exchanging money’.
I’m still reeling from the shock of Jacob Zuma’s speech last week, in which he made a courageous stand for accountability and honesty in the ANC. It was like seeing Donald Trump express some compassion for another human being, or admit he’d ever done anything wrong in his life. That’s how shocked I was.
Okay, Zuma said all these wonderful things as he declared his availability for the position of ANC chairperson, which used to be a largely ceremonial role – or perhaps one of gatekeeping and conciliation between the warring internal factions – but which he surely hopes will be a more powerful position when he takes the mantle.
Oh, yeah, he’ll reconcile the warring factions. He’ll calm the looters frantically stealing another million before they’re confounded by Cyril Ramaphosa, who’s the present President, in case you’d forgotten.
As chairperson, Zuma will guide the ANC towards a newer and brighter future, in which it is able to form an actual government, ministers who can do their jobs, a Parliament of honest souls, even SOEs that don’t drain the public purse. But now I’m fantasising.
Zuma must’ve got a new speechwriter, because this isn’t the usual Jimmy “Mzwanele” Manyi stuff about how it’s all the CIA’s fault that Zuma has some political and financial problems, or even the usual Carl “Good Dog” Niehaus nonsense about how Zuma is still fighting for freedom from apartheid oppression, or whatever it is that Niehaus says when he’s not issuing tweets attacking journalists or working out which of his parents has died again.
Read in Daily Maverick: “The great greedy unwashed are the source of the water and power crisis – time for some people shedding”
No, this is a new speechwriter, or new to Zuma. Perhaps it’s someone who used to work for Thabo Mbeki, who fired Zuma as deputy president, thus seriously compromising Zuma’s revenue streams.
Or perhaps it’s a speechwriter who has helped Ramaphosa draft his speeches about the renewal of the ANC, new dawns, fighting corruption, getting in some new direct foreign investment, and how beneficial it is to go for a little run on the Sea Point promenade while conducting one or other election campaign.
Not that Zuma’s likely to commit himself to going ...
08
NOV
2022

A public service is only as strong as the people who work in it – recognise the Integrity Icons to squeeze out the bad

Maverick Citizen has been a firm promoter of the Integrity Icons campaign. We have done so because without a committed and effective public service we cannot achieve social justice, and because in our day-to-day reporting we frequently come across public servants who work tirelessly and make great sacrifices in the public interest.
On Friday evening last week, Accountability Lab South Africa announced the five winners of its 2022 Integrity Icon awards.
This was the fifth year of the awards, established in 2018, which according to Sekoetlane Phamodi, the country director of Accountability Lab, aim “to name and fame some of the many civil servants in South Africa who demonstrate integrity, accountability, and going beyond the call of duty both at work and in their communities”.
The award winners, nominated by their peers, are public servants who were “caught doing the right thing and are making government work for our people”, says Phamodi. In 2022, 109 nominations were received and nearly 2,000 people voted for the People’s Choice winner, Bongani Eric Siyona, a police officer working for the SAPS in Gqeberha, Nelson Mandela Bay.
Watch videos about the five winners:
Read Zukiswa Pikoli’s report on the awards here.
In a keynote address, Salomon Hoogenraad-Vermaak, head of the Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit at the Department of Public Service and Administration, congratulated the Icons and invited them to address the department’s National Ethics Officers Forum in 2023 (there are now 340 designated ethics officers across national and provincial government departments, according to Hoogenraad-Vermaak).
Hoogenraad-Vermaak said there is a need to challenge “the general narrative that all public servants are corrupt”. He emphasised that progress is being made in rooting out corruption in the public service, and strengthening systems that promote ethics and accountability, claiming that:
27 national and 49 provincial government departments are now conducting lifestyle audits;
98% of senior managers are now disclosing their finances using an electronic financial disclosure system for public servants; and that
“While it is true that R140-million has been spent on 304 suspended public servants who are “sitting at home”, three years ago this figure was over R2-billion.”
Maverick Citizen has been a firm promoter of the Integrity Icons campaign. We have done so because without a committed and effective public service we cannot realise human rights and achieve social justice. We have done so because in our day-to-day reporting we frequently come across public servants who work tirelessly and make great sacrifices ...
31
OCT
2022

National Lotteries Commission to fork out millions to complete abandoned grant-funded projects

Engineers to be paid directly to finish multi-million rand infrastructure projects.
Abandoned infrastructure projects funded by the National Lotteries Commission, including four old-age homes and a drug rehabilitation centre, will finally be completed, years after tens of millions of rands intended for their construction were looted.
The National Lotteries Commission (NLC) has allocated nearly R65-million to finish several multi-million rand infrastructure projects that were left incomplete after Lottery grants went missing.
These funds will be paid directly to the engineering firms commissioned by the NLC instead of the non-profit companies (NPCs) that were initially supposed to fund the projects.
Details of additional funding for the unfinished projects, which are all currently being investigated by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the Hawks, are included in the NLC’s latest annual report, which was presented to Parliament by its new board last week.
Over R240-million, including the latest grants, has now been allocated for these projects in need of completion.
Most of these unfinished projects initially received “proactive” funding, which was at the heart of the looting of the Lottery and has now been suspended. Proactive funding allowed the NLC to identify projects to fund without first receiving an application, and to identify and appoint an NPC to run the project. This resulted in dodgy, often hijacked, NPCs with no experience of construction being put in charge of multi-million rand projects which were never completed.
NLC spokesperson Ndivhuho Mafela told GroundUp that “the NLC took a decision to oversee the completion of these projects directly through its own panel of engineers. The Special Investigating Unit was engaged on completion of the projects and did not oppose such action.”
The additional funds were not paid to any of the non-profit companies that were originally funded. The NLC’s annual report identifies the new funding with the names of the organisations originally funded, but this is only for reporting purposes.
Instead, the latest grants will be “controlled” by the engineers tasked with completing construction of the various projects.
Finishing the job
The unfinished projects which have received additional funding are:
A drug rehabilitation centre in Kuruman in the Northern Cape, which will receive R14-million for its completion. Since 2016, Abrina, a non-profit company, has received R34.3-million from the NLC. A forensic investigation found that only R5.3-million of the R22-million originally allocated was spent on the centre;
An old-age home in Dumbe, near Paulpietersburg in KwaZulu-Natal, which will receive R13-million for its completion. An NPC called Ubusu received a ...
29
SEP
2022

Auditor-General’s accuser Mlungisi Mabaso axed for misconduct and dishonesty

Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke’s head of human resources, Mlungisi Mabaso, has been fired after an independent disciplinary process found him guilty of misconduct and dishonesty, among other charges.
The Auditor-General’s head of human resources — or Chief People Officer (CPO) — Mlungisi Mabaso was dismissed on Wednesday, after an independent disciplinary hearing found him guilty of “gross misconduct” and “gross dishonesty”, among other charges. Mabuso was suspended in July after he unleashed a slew of allegations against Auditor-General (AG), Tsakani Maluleke.
As Daily Maverick’s Rebecca Davis reported here, the story begins when, according to the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA), Mabaso had a meeting with Maluleke on 27 June in which he accused her of corruption. Mabaso made nine claims in total against the AG — the majority of which allegedly took place while she was deputy AG and which dealt with payments allegedly made to the former AG, Kimi Makwetu.
Maluleke served as deputy from 2014 to 2020 before she was nominated to become AG in 2020. She took over as AG following Makwetu’s death in November 2020.
The AGSA stated that, during this meeting, Mabaso effectively tried to blackmail Maluleke, telling her he “wanted mutual separation on condition he received a financial settlement”, in exchange for him not going public with his allegations about her corrupt activities.
The AG made Mabaso’s claims public in a statement earlier in September, while Mabaso was suspended on 5 July pending an investigation by the law firm Bowmans into both his alleged blackmail and Maluleke’s alleged corruption.
The legal opinion, which was heard in Parliament on 16 September, cleared Maluleke of wrongdoing and recommended that Mabaso’s conduct in making the allegations were investigated for possible disciplinary proceedings.
In a statement on Thursday, the AGSA said Mabaso had been charged with gross misconduct for threatening Maluleke, making several accusations against her and stating that he could cause her harm. The charge of gross misconduct included Mabaso failing to submit the allegations through the appropriate channels within the organisation.
“He also attempted to extort an unauthorised gratification from the Auditor-General in exchange for not disclosing the allegations,” the AGSA went on to say. This was in contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
Mabaso was also charged for “violating his suspension conditions by sending a letter to several staff members without authorisation,” said the AGSA.
Mabaso was further charged with “gross dishonesty” after ...
21
SEP
2022

Billy Downer wants Jacob Zuma to pony up R1m as security in private prosecution

This is a tale about a legal wonderland where a senior state prosecutor becomes a defendant and an accused former president turns prosecutor. But there is a twist in this neverending story.
The state-employed defendant has approached the courts to have the private prosecutor, former president Jacob Zuma, cough up at least R1-million as a security deposit in his case against the defendant.
Things work differently in a private prosecution, Zuma has since discovered.
The sting is Section 9(1) of the Criminal Procedures Act which stipulates that no private prosecutor referred to in Section 7 of the act “shall take out or issue any process commencing the private prosecution unless he deposits with the magistrate’s court in whose area of jurisdiction the offence was committed”.
Senior State Advocate Billy Downer has filed an interlocutory application with the Pietermaritzburg High Court, seeking a review of the costs a magistrate had previously determined in respect of Downer’s defence in a private prosecution initiated by Zuma.
Zuma put up R90,000 as security
Downer said the R90,000-odd Zuma put up as security for expenses that could be incurred defending the charges brought in the private prosecution was inadequate. A chunk of the deposit has been split between Downer and News24 journalist Karyn Maughan. (That gives each around R40,000 in reserve).
Zuma launched the private prosecution of Downer and Maughan on 6 September in response to the publication by News24 of details of Zuma’s “medical condition”.
Zuma has argued that publication of the medical report violates the National Prosecuting Act. The NPA had declined to prosecute Downer and Maughan, which prompted Zuma to take the route of a private prosecution.
The former president brought the private prosecution in terms of Section 7 of the Criminal Procedures Act.
Downer and Maughan are due to appear in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 10 October. This is the same court in which Downer is the lead prosecutor in Zuma’s long-running trial for corruption.
Downer, in his founding affidavit, set out that the NPA and the prosecution team in Zuma’s corruption matter regarded the former president’s private prosecution as “an abuse of process”.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
It was, he added, “without merit, designed to delay the prosecution against the private prosecutor [Zuma], intimidate me and the prosecution team and to avoid the trial proceeding on its merits”.
Therefore, the conduct and the outcome of the private prosecution were, argued Downer, matters of “significant public import ...
15
SEP
2022

Jailing of ex-treasury chief ‘is evidence that KZN is making strides in its fight against corruption’

The former head of KwaZulu-Natal’s treasury, Dumisani Sipho Derrick Shabalala, has begun a 15-year jail term. His bid for freedom went up in flames after the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed his application for leave to appeal against his sentence and conviction.
Shabalala’s appeal was dismissed on Tuesday, resulting in him forfeiting his bail and immediately being sent to jail. Last Thursday, he was handed 15 years’ imprisonment for his role for receiving R1.5-million from Intaka Investments for the acquisition of Wataka water purification plants valued at R44-million.
This followed his conviction for fraud, corruption, money laundering and contravention of the Public Finance Management Act. The corruption occurred between 2004 and 2007 when Shabalala formed a relationship with Uruguayan businessman Gaston Savoi and the company Intaka Investments.
Read more in Daily Maverick: “‘Amigo case’: Testimony of how a R144m tender was irregularly awarded to Gaston Savoi”
The National Prosecuting Authority’s KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson, Natasha Ramkissoon-Kara, confirmed that the refusal of his application for leave to appeal resulted in Shabalala forfeiting bail and starting his sentence immediately.
The Director of Public Prosecutions in KZN, Elaine Zungu, said the court’s decision is evidence “that KZN is making strides in our fight against corruption”.
“We will continue with our mandate of rooting out corruption, especially in the government sector. We commend the stellar work done by the prosecution team and the investigation team from the Hawks,” Zungu said.
Troubles not over
However, this is not the end of the road for Shabalala. He is also implicated in a related matter involving Savoi which became known as the Amigos Case and which involved the manipulation of tender contracts. Savoi is Intaka Holdings director and his company and Intaka industrial director Fernando Praderi are also co-accused.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
PricewaterhouseCoopers forensic auditor Trevor White previously testified in the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that the businessman was introduced into KZN government circles by then head of the provincial treasury Shabalala, who was his initial accomplice in another collusion scheme.
The first arrests in the Savoi case – of 21 suspects charged with racketeering, corruption and fraud – were made in 2010 and 12 years later the matter is still dragging before the courts.
The charges in the Savoi matter relate to racketeering, fraud, corruption, money laundering and infringement of the Public Finance Management Act. It is the NPA’s contention that Savoi and others participated in a criminal enterprise involving ...
11
SEP
2022

Malema’s stern warning to corrupt members: You will rue the day you joined the EFF

At the EFF’s People’s Assembly, leader Julius Malema warned that the party could not fight against corruption in SA if its leadership ‘become part of palace politics and corrupt elite’.
The problem of corruption in South Africa seems to have found its way into the EFF — particularly in Gauteng, leader Julius Malema said in a keynote address at the party’s third provincial assembly on Sunday, 11 September.
After a new provincial leadership had been elected, Malema said in his speech: “We have a problem of corruption in South Africa and we’ve started to have a problem of corruption in the EFF now. When people are sent to the leadership of the EFF, who are leading in regions, provinces and all of that, people will demand money in exchange for helping those people with whatever problems they are confronted with.”
In one instance, he said, a party researcher had been allegedly hired without an interview or the knowledge of EFF members and caucus.
Recruitment drive
Over the past few months, the EFF has embarked on a drive to recruit one million members by the end of the year. Malema said it was disturbing that some regions had failed to meet their campaign targets, but urged them to do so after the assembly.
Beyond reasonable doubt: VBS scandal exposed Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu’s corrupt dealings
“You must make sure you recruit the real numbers to reach the target. Because it is Gauteng that is going to deliver South Africa. All of us must know that Gauteng is what will liberate South Africa and without a grounded EFF that is based on the quality of highly recruited members, then the organisation will not have a future,” he said.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
Malema said the EFF had warned branches against using signatures to recruit members as these could easily be forged and, as a result, would undermine the growth of the party. Despite this, some had used signature campaigning.
“People went ahead. and thought we will not know the system exposes them. And we’ve since suspended them. It is those people who commit treason in the EFF by lying to the organisation and creating an impression that the organisation is alive when it is not alive,” he said.
‘Sober analysis’
Malema urged the newly elected leadership to remain honest and give sober analysis of the growth of the party to allow national officials an opportunity to ...
11
SEP
2022

Political lawfare between Ramaphosa and Mkhwebane reaches new crescendo

The political battle disguised as lawfare between Cyril Ramaphosa and Busisiwe Mkhwebane reached fever pitch after a Western Cape High Court ruling declared the President’s suspension of the Public Protector invalid.
In South Africa a day, never mind a week, is a long time in politics. At the close of the workday on Friday, 9 September, the Public Protector’s “dream team” were all victory signs and good cheer — only to have the party pooped on almost immediately as the Democratic Alliance filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court.
On Friday, a full Bench of the Western Cape High Court comprising Judges Lister Nuku, Matthew Francis and James Lekhuleni found that President Cyril Ramaphosa had been conflicted when he made the decision to suspend Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Initial reaction of the Dream Team just after the news broke .Thank you all for the hard work thank you all #FieldNegroes for the support.Hard luck to the others for this round..Sorry for the chest pains.(Still some way to go,but in the end victory is certain)!

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