Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sars applies to liquidate Sharemax

Sars applies to liquidate Sharemax

September 18 2014 at 07:45am
By Roy Cokayne Comment on this story

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has applied to the North Gauteng High Court to liquidate Sharemax Investments, the property syndication promotion and marketing firm that collapsed in 2010 and was deemed a Ponzi scheme by the ombud for financial advisory and intermediary services (Fais).

Sars is also applying for Sharemax’s business rescue proceedings, which were launched in November 2011, to be set aside and terminated because of non-compliance with the Companies Act. The application has been prompted by the alleged inability of Sharemax to pay Sars R15.7 million in outstanding taxes.

The application, among other things, reveals that a business rescue plan has to date not yet been published for Sharemax Investments, despite a business rescue practitioner being appointed to Sharemax on December 7, 2011.


The Companies Act requires a business rescue plan to be published by the company within 25 business days of the business rescue practitioner being appointed, or any longer time allowed by the court or the holders of a majority of the creditors’ voting interest.

About 33 000 investors invested about R4.5 billion in Sharemax’s various schemes.

Sharemax’s collapse in 2010 was precipitated when a finding that its funding model contravened the Banks Act became public knowledge after an investigation by the registrar of banks at the Reserve Bank.

This led to new investments drying up and it being unable to make monthly payments to investors.

The registrar of banks placed Sharemax under statutory management in September 2010 and appointed two statutory managers with a mandate to manage the repayment of investors’ funds or seek other legal alternatives.

In January 2012 the North Gauteng High Court sanctioned a scheme of arrangement and offer of compromise to shareholders.

The registrar of banks laid criminal charges against Sharemax for alleged contraventions of the Banks Act in March 2012.

In its application, Sars cites Sharemax and six other respondents, including Liebenberg van der Merwe, Sharemax’s appointed business rescue practitioner; the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission; former Sharemax managing director and creditor Willie Botha; former Sharemax director and creditor Andre Brand; former Sharemax director Dominique Haese, who is now managing director of the Nova Property Group and Frontier Asset Management, which took over and manages Sharemax’s property portfolio in terms of a high court-approved restructuring of Sharemax; and Nova Property Group chairman Connie Myburgh.

Elle-Sarah Rossato, a Sars official, said in an affidavit filed in support of the application that Van der Merwe confirmed in September last year that Sharemax was unable to pay the debt owing to Sars because of an unforeseen development.

This was the determination delivered by the Fais ombud between Gerbrecht Siegrist and various Sharemax group companies, including Sharemax Investments, in terms of which all of these companies were held jointly and severally liable for the payment of R580 000 to Siegrist.


Rossato said Myburgh had indicated that about 500 further complaints had been lodged with the Fais ombud as a result of this ruling, and until the appeal against this had been determined, the debts owed to Sars could not be paid.

She said Van Merwe claimed in October last year that a business rescue plan for Sharemax could not be finalised until the Sars claim was finally quantified and finality was achieved on the complaints adjudicated by the Fais ombud.

Rossato said the quantification of Sars’s claim was “disingenuous and incorrect” because the correctness of the tax debt was confirmed at a meeting in September last year.

Van der Merwe’s assertion that the business rescue plan could not be finalised until finality was achieved regarding the Siegrist determination was “equally disingenuous”.

Rossato said Van der Merwe was appointed Sharemax’s business rescue practitioner on December 7, 2011, and the Siegrist determination was only handed down on January 29 last year.

To date, no business rescue plan for Sharemax Investments had been published, she said.

Rossato said Sharemax and Botha, Brand, Haese and Myburgh were aware that Sharemax did not have any assets to pay its creditors but “they disingenuously abuse the Siegrist determination”.

Rossato claimed Sharemax’s business rescue proceedings terminated after the expiry of the 25-day period from Van der Merwe’s appointment when he failed to publish a business rescue plan. She said Van der Merwe had claimed in October last year that consent had been obtained for an extension from Botha and Brand.

In a response to Sars’s application filed this week, Sharemax Investments said the failure by Sars to cite and join Siegrist as a respondent made its application defective because Siegrist’s rights as a creditor would be prejudiced if its application was successful.

A date has not yet been set for the application to be heard.


Sharemax and directors schemed to defraud public, says Fais ombud

May 24 2013 at 08:00am
By Roy Cokayne

SHAREMAX Investments, its network of financial advisers and four of its directors – Gert Goosen, Willie Botha, Dominique Haese and André Brand – were involved “in a scheme calculated to defraud members of the public”, financial advisory and intermediary services (Fais) ombud Noluntu Bam said yesterday.

Bam reached this conclusion in her latest determination on a complaint lodged by a 73-year-old female pensioner from Heidelberg in the Western Cape against financial adviser Edward Carter-Smith after investing R490 000 in the Zambezi Retail Park on Carter-Smith’s advice.

Sharemax promoted and marketed the Zambezi Retail Park property syndication.

Bam ordered Carter-Smith, Sharemax Investments, FSP Network (a network of brokers set up to market Sharemax schemes), Goosen, Botha, Haese and Brand jointly and severally to repay the complainant.

Carter-Smith complained that he had been misled by the directors of Sharemax and called them “liars”.

In an earlier determination Bam said Sharemax was “nothing more than a Ponzi scheme” in which investors were paid interest out of their own funds.

Business Report confirmed in October last year that the Hawks were investigating allegations that Sharemax committed fraud and operated a pyramid or Ponzi scheme.

About 40 000 people invested about R4.5 billion in the various schemes promoted and marketed by Sharemax.

It defaulted on monthly payments to investors in August 2010 when a decision by the registrar of banks that Sharemax’s funding model contravened the Banks Act became public knowledge.

ACT Audit Solution told the ombud that it had concluded after seeking a legal opinion that the transfer of investor funds from the trust account of Sharemax attorneys Weavind & Weavind to the investment property companies in The Villa and Zambezi schemes, prior to the registration of transfer of the property to investment property companies, “may constitute a reportable irregularity on a proper interpretation of the prospectuses”.

However, Sharemax directors claimed no reportable irregularity occurred because a bona fide “copy and paste” mistake had occurred during the drafting of the prospectuses.

Bam said this claim by the directors of Sharemax was “disingenuous and against the probabilities”.

She said her office was in possession of promotional pamphlets produced and distributed by Sharemax in 2010 that also stated investors’ funds would be paid into the trust account of Weavind & Weavind attorneys until the property was ready for transfer into the investors’ names.

Bam said Sharemax, FSP Network and the four Sharemax directors on their own version knew at the time of producing this pamphlet that they were “wilfully and deliberately misleading members of the public” because of the “cut and paste error” and the prospectus was subject to rectification.

They failed to explain why this “error” was only discovered after the Reserve Bank intervened in 2010 and after the scheme had already collapsed. They also failed to explain why Weavind & Weavind, which allegedly made the mistake, did not file any papers or correspondence in support of the “cut and paste error” version.

Bam said Weavind & Weavind had further failed to explain why it did not inform investors there was an error before it started paying the funds out of its trust account.

She said Weavind & Weavind had never supported the notion of an error in the prospectus. The law firm was of the opinion that the government notice on property syndications did not apply to this scheme and it was therefore not illegal to pay the money from the trust.

Letters sent to each investor by Sharemax, acknowledging the investment and stating that their investment had been deposited into Weavind & Weavind’s trust account, and kept there until the investment amount was processed and the property was transferred, were “equally untrue and misleading” because on Sharemax’s version this was a mistake.

Bam said these letters of confirmation were still being written to investors after the “mistake” was discovered.

“The only reasonable conclusion to be drawn… is that the second to seventh respondents [Sharemax, FSP Network and the four Sharemax directors] were involved in a scheme calculated to defraud members of the public,” she said.

Sharemax investors waiting for appeal

October 27 2013 at 12:15pm
By Bruce Cameron
The ability of the 34 000 people who invested more than R4.4 billion in the imploded Sharemax property syndication schemes to recover their financial losses from the directors of Sharemax companies and the financial advisers who placed them in the investments, may depend on the Appeal Board of the Financial Services Board (FSB).

In a statement issued yesterday, the FSB says its Appeal Board is currently hearing appeals against determinations issued by the financial advice ombud, Noluntu Bam, in which she ordered Sharemax directors and financial advisers to jointly and severally repay the investment losses of investors.

The FSB issued the statement following a threatening letter sent to Sharemax investors by Dominique Haese, the former managing and financial director of Sharemax, who now heads two companies, Nova Property Group and Frontier Asset Management & Investments, which have taken over the problematic Sharemax property portfolio in terms of a restructuring sanctioned by the High Court in January last year.

In her letter, Haese claimed that there was no link between Sharemax and the Nova and Frontier companies and that Sharemax no longer exists in terms of the scheme of arrangement.

Haese told the investors that, should they persist in seeking repayment of their investments in Sharemax via the financial advice ombud – also known as the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Ombud – they “may have chosen to abandon and repudiate your interests” in the new companies.

But in its statement, the FSB says “nothing prevents any former investor in Sharemax from lodging a complaint with the FAIS Ombud against any party considered to be liable for any loss suffered”.

The FSB does, however, caution investors, “without suggesting a particular alternative”, that views on whether investors will succeed with complaints to the ombud will depend on appeals made by property syndicators against determinations already made by Bam and still subject to adjudication by the FSB Appeal Board.

The FSB says that until the Appeal Board has reached its decisions, “investors are well advised to consult their legal representatives before taking a decision on the matter”.

authority questioned

Haese claims that the financial advice ombud does not have the authority to investigate or deal with complaints against Sharemax.

Bam has repeatedly detailed exactly why she does have the authority to deal with property syndication complaints.

Bam’s determinations have not been against Sharemax the company, but against the financial services providers (FSPs) that were or are registered with the FSB and which, along with their representatives, were paid massive commissions to sell the shares and debentures in the Sharemax property syndications.

Bam’s determinations have also been against directors of Sharemax who were associated with Unlisted Securities South Africa (USSA), which was established as a sales arm of Sharemax. Bam has issued at least two important determinations against USSA and the Sharemax/USSA directors.

Earlier this month, Cornelius Johannes Botha, trading as CJ Botha Finansiele Dienste, and Sharemax directors Gerhardus Rossouw Goosen, Johannes Willem Botha, Andre Daniel Brand and Haese were granted leave to appeal against a determination by Bam, which made them personally liable for R580 000 in potential losses suffered by an ill, 67-year-old widow who had invested all her savings in Sharemax’s Zambezi syndication scheme.

The application by the former Sharemax directors for leave to appeal was refused by Bam, but it was granted by the FSB Appeal Board, acting in terms of the provisions of the FAIS Act. The Appeal Board will hear the appeal.

The FSB says it is trying its best to have this Sharemax appeal heard as soon as possible.

It says that much depends on the outcome of the various appeals that have been lodged against Bam’s determinations on property syndications.

Once the outcome of the appeal is known, the FSB will issue a follow-up media release in order to guide former Sharemax investors as to their options.


Law firm: Summons against Sharemax
Home News Commercial Law firm: Summons against Sharemax
14 Jan 2011

Weavind & Weavind, the attorneys acting for Sharemax Investments has launched a R9-million damages claim against Pierre Hough, managing director of Chase International, Chase Consulting, financial planner Toffie Risk and Johanna Margaretha Magdalena Bosman, an investor in Zambezi Retail Park syndication.

The firm is claiming R2-million while its seven directors are each claiming R1-million from Bosman, Hough and Chase Consulting because of damages that they allege were a result of Bosman’s conduct.

In its particulars of claim, Weavind & Weavind list a number of statements alleging that funds deposited into the firm’s trust account had been stolen. The allegations were apparently made in affidavits drafted in support of a complaint to the Law Society of Northern Provinces and a criminal case.

Weavind & Weavind says the allegations are wrongful and defamatory and implied that the directors were implicit in the theft and shared the proceeds. It claims the statements were made with the intention to defame the firm and its directors and injure their reputation.

Hough, who had assisted in compiling the affidavits, said that the damages claim lacked substance and merit and he confirmed that all the respondents named in the Weavind & Weavind application would defend the action.

He said the damages claim was aimed at scaring off other investors in the syndication to prevent them from lodging claims against the law firm.

Jaco Fourie, a senior legal official within the disciplinary department of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces says the organisation is awaiting a response from Hough to the allegations made by Weavind & Weavind. Once it has received the response it will present its evidence to a disciplinary committee of the law society.

A case of fraud was opened against the firm after Sharemax defaulted on monthly payments to investors in September last year. The commercial crimes unit is investigating the case.

Readers' Comments Have a comment about this article? Email us now.

It was the illegal release of the trust funds that started the whole feeding frenzy and made a joke of all the investor safeguards provided for in the Unfair Business Practices Act. Go for them Pierre. You have a lot of support out here - how about us starting a fund to pay a bounty on each one of those involved being put behind bars. - L. Oldacre

Hi, lees News 24 van vandag,kyk in watter weelde leef Botha en Brand,hoe kan hulle met die bedrog wegkom terwyl ek en my vrou, altwee pensionarise, van dag tot dag moet leef op genade,ek kan ook my eiendom verloor,het nie meer n inkomste nie en ons leef op R2,000 n maand.Mense,hoe werk die wet dat skelms ons geld kan vat en daarmee gegkom?Ek wat n leek is weet nie watter kant toe nie,het probeer werk kry maar is te oud,het 10 jaar terug n hartomleining gehad.Het ook nie geld om n saak te maak nie,glo nie dit sou in alle geval gehelp het nie.WAT kan ek doen,groete. - Willem


Pierre Hough
Big deal! I am informed by a Moneyweb journalist that Weavind & Weavind have struck a deal with the NPA in order to avoid prosecution for their part in the Sharemax fraudulent scheme. They will apparently turn state witness against the directors of Sharemax. As far as the damages action is concerned, they withdrew their claim against Toffie Risk and Retha Bosman in dubious circumstances, and they have done absolutely nothing about taking the damages claim against me any further. It was a smoke screen, a red herring to detract investors from also not filing complaints against them. I look forward to see the outcome of all this and who gets egg in the faces.
Reply · · 19 September 2013 at 01:51

Property syndication complaints pile up

Property syndication complaints pile up

September 13 2014 at 06:30pm

By Angelique Arde

The jurisdiction of the ombud for financial advice to make rulings against the masterminds of property syndications that have turned sour for their investors, will be determined in January, when the Appeal Board of the Financial Services Board (FSB) hears two key appeals.

The date was revealed in parliament this week when Noluntu Bam, the Ombud for Financial Services Providers, explained the delay in her office’s handling of complaints about Sharemax, one of the largest property syndication schemes.

Answering a question from a member of parliament’s finance committee, Bam said the delay was due to a legal battle over her authority to hold the masterminds of these schemes liable for losses suffered by investors, many of them pensioners.

She highlighted the importance of the appeals, saying that if the appeal board ruled against her, it would halt her office’s involvement in complaints about property syndications. Her office provides a free complaints-resolution service, and the alternative for complainants to recover their losses is costly legal action.

Some 34 000 investors bought into Sharemax, which ran into difficulty about four years ago when it was unable to meet payments to investors and builders of some of the properties it was developing.

The Reserve Bank stepped in, saying Sharemax was contravening the Banks Act, and appointed two managers to manage the repayment process. In early 2012, the High Court sanctioned a restructuring of the Sharemax group in what was called a “scheme of arrangement”.

A number of investors approached the ombud’s office seeking compensation for investing in the scheme, often on the advice of financial advisers.

Bam says her office has received about 3 000 complaints relating to Sharemax, but is in a “difficult position” pending the outcome of the hearing by the FSB’s appeal board.

“The matter is set down for January 19 to 23 next year, and until the appeal board makes a decision, we can’t do anything,” Bam says.

Last year, Bam handed down two determinations – the Siegrist and Bekker matters – holding not only financial advisers but also the directors of Sharemax jointly and severally liable for the losses suffered by the investors, both pensioners.

In the first case, they were ordered to pay back R580 000, and in the second case, R490 000. The Sharemax directors applied for leave to appeal both rulings. Bam refused, but the FSB’s appeal board granted them leave to appeal.

Bam told parliament’s finance committee that her office’s mandate states that if a consumer has suffered financial loss as a result of financial advice from a particular person, her office must take that person to task – be it a broker or an agent who is tied to a particular company.

But Bam says her office also con-sidered the “masterminds” – those who designed the property syndication schemes and employed those that sold their products – and believes they, too, should be held accountable.

“We held the directors of these companies personally liable, together with the brokers. But they took us on appeal, and it has been a battle from that day on,” she says. “They are saying that, while investors may have bought financial products from them, the company that sold the products is gone. They’re saying: ‘Sharemax no longer exists. There was a scheme of arrangement that was sanctioned by the High Court. Sharemax is defunct and therefore the ombud had no business looking into these complaints. Investors are now being paid by a new company, which didn’t sell financial products’.”

The former managing and financial director of Sharemax, Dominique Haese, is now the head of the two companies that have taken over the Sharemax property portfolio. Haese has claimed there is no link between Sharemax and the new companies, and that Sharemax no longer exists in terms of the scheme of arrangement.

“We do not agree: it all started with a financial services provider,” Bam says.

“The main issue before the appeal board is the personal liability of the directors and architects of these schemes. If the appeal board disagrees with us and agrees with them, that will be the end of our office’s involvement in dealing with property syndications – meaning all those pensioners will need to go to court. Chances are many may not outlive the court process. That’s the reason they came to us in the first place.”

The ombud is also fighting a legal battle with financial adviser Deeb Risk. She has ruled against him in seven cases where he advised investors before the restructuring of Sharemax.

Risk took the cases on review to the High Court, which instructed him that his appeal should go to the FSB’s appeal board.

Risk then tried to have new evidence heard in the appeal ruling, but the appeal board denied this request and Risk has now taken the matter back to court.

Late last year, he reached settlements with five of the seven complainants.

Bam says the architects of property syndications and some brokers have been misinforming investors, saying they can’t lodge a complaint with her office and that their claims have prescribed.

“We continue to accept and investigate complaints relating to property syndication investments, but cannot make a determination after such investigation, until the ruling in the two matters has been delivered,” Bam says.

“Each case will be dealt with on its own facts. In other words, there may be instances where a claim has prescribed.”

Bam says all property syndication complainants were sent a standard letter, explaining to them the predicament.

She encouraged property syndication investors to lodge complaints with her office. “We will tell you whether or not it’s a valid complaint,” she says.

The appeal board granted the former directors of Sharemax leave to appeal in October last year. It has taken more than a year to set a date for the appeal because the numerous legal representatives of the directors of the companies concerned had to be accommodated, Bam says.

“These directors have money, and each of them is represented by two or three lawyers. The board needs to accommodate them all,” she says.

But the elderly pensioner investors who have lost money can’t afford legal representation, so the appeal board has asked the ombud to assist it with some procedural aspects, Bam says.

“And it’s not just Sharemax. There are other property syndications, such as Blue Zone, and they all seem to do the same thing: first put the company under business rescue, frustrate the pensioners, starve them of income, then go back and say, vote for this proposed compromise. The pensioners think the compromise will release the money, but it doesn’t,” Bam says.

The ombud is limited to addressing complaints where the consumer’s claim exceeds R800 000. However, if you agree to limit to R800 000 the loss suffered in a complaint involving a higher amount, the ombud will still consider your case.

The limit has not changed since the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act was passed in 2002.

Yunus Carrim, the chairman of the finance committee, proposed that when the FAIS Act is reviewed, provision should be made for the finance minister to increase this limit.

Caroline da Silva, the deputy chief executive in charge of financial advice at the FSB, says the R800 000 limit could be dealt with as an amendment to the FAIS Act, but it is more likely to be addressed in the second phase of the market conduct legislation, namely the Financial Sector Regulation Bill.

The first draft of the Bill is due out in April next year, she says.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Zuma and the ANC’s great puzzler: What to do about Thuli Madonsela?

No Fear No Favour No Zuma Or Mantashe...........


In the extraordinary bout of attacks on the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela has been accused of acting like a “spoilt brat”, furthering a white agenda, acting like God, colluding with the Economic Freedom Fighters to embarrass the president, overstepping her powers and undermining Parliament. The recent astonishing attack by Deputy Defence Minister Kebby Maphatsoe accused Madonsela of being unpatriotic by being a covert agent of the Central Intelligence Agency and has questioned her contribution to the liberation struggle. It’s all happening in the context of the processing of Madonsela’s Nkandla report, and President Jacob Zuma’s need to respond to it. What it is though is an attempt to shape public opinion, which has swung against Zuma and in favour of Madonsela. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.

There could not have been a more opportune time for the presidency to release President Jacob Zuma’s letter to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela than last Thursday afternoon. The presidency simultaneously released the long-awaited report of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on the upgrades at his Nkandla residence. At the time, South Africa and large parts of the globe were hooked into the happenings in the North Gauteng High Court where Judge Thokozile Masipa was delivering her dramatic verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial, clearing him of murdering Reeva Steenkamp.
On any other day, Zuma’s letter to Madonsela, together with the SIU report, would have been the lead story on that evening’s bulletins and would have led the next morning’s newspapers. But there was only one show in town that day as it became evident that, contrary to popular expectation, Pistorius would be convicted of culpable homicide and not murder.
The letter to Madonsela was in response to a letter she had written to Zuma last month pointing out that her reports can only be reviewed by a court of law. This was after he submitted a response to Parliament on her Nkandla report, which in effect disregarded her recommendations and proposed an alternate course of action. Madonsela had recommended, among other things, that Zuma reimburse the state for a percentage of the upgrades at Nkandla that were unrelated to security. This included a cattle kraal, chicken run and swimming pool, which would benefit the Zuma family in perpetuity.
In Zuma’s report to Parliament, he tasked the Police Minister Nathi Nhleko with deciding whether he should pay back any money. Madonsela took issue with this, saying the minister did not have the powers to do so.
In his letter on Thursday, responding to Madonsela, Zuma said he could not give blanket acceptance of her reports as she was not a judge. “The role of the Public Protector is akin to that of an ombudsman and quite distinct from that of the judge,” Zuma wrote. “Similarly, reports emanating from a Public Protector process are not judgments to be followed under pain of a contempt order, but rather, useful tools in assisting democracy in a co-operative manner, sometimes rather forcefully.”
This could have been an interesting academic debate between the president and the Public Protector had the underlying issue not been the state-funded upgrades at Zuma’s private residence. As it is though, Madonsela found in her Nkandla investigation that the president had breached the Executive Ethics Code and benefitted unfairly from the upgrades. The debate over her powers is therefore not abstract but to do with him and whether he pays back the state as well as defining the future treatment of the Public Protector by the Executive.
It is clear from Zuma’s letter that his strategy is to go toe-to-toe with Madonsela by, among other things, taking her on regarding her interpretation of her powers. As Zuma does that, there appears to be a growing onslaught on Madonsela from the ANC to wear her down.
Madonsela is taking strain, that much is quite obvious. In a media briefing last month, she vowed to continue doing her job despite all the attacks on her. But she also did something she rarely does, which was to make reference to her political background to show how disheartened she was at those who speak now for the organisation she was part of.
“I have served the ANC, I have taken [up] arms under the ANC. A lot of the people who are insulting me, some of them are old enough to have been in the trenches with me, but they were not there when it was tough. I am not fazed by these people because, when there were no benefits of being in the struggle, they were not there.”
These comments have now been taken up by Deputy Defence Minister Kebby Maphatsoe, who launched a bizarre attack on Madonsela and has continued to vacillate between withdrawing his comments and then repeating them. Maphatsoe, also the chairperson of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), initially suggested that Madonsela was working for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in order to destabilise the ANC government. He also latched on to her comments about being in the “trenches” and taking up “arms” for the ANC and declared that Madonsela had never served in the ANC military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe.
Maphatsoe knows quite well that the entire liberation struggle was not fought through the ANC’s military action and that people fought on several fronts in the name of the ANC. Many of the ANC’s leaders in exile or leading civil disobedience campaigns within the country were not literally in the “trenches” fighting under the banner of MK. Neither were people in academia or those campaigning around the world for Apartheid South Africa’s international isolation.
The terms “trenches” and “taking up arms” is common parlance to describe people’s involvement in the liberation struggle. Therefore for Maphatsoe to go out and announce that Madonsela was never a member of MK was disingenuous.
The CIA comment is to play into efforts by some in the ANC leadership to project Madonsela as being unpatriotic because of her determination to hold the party’s big guns accountable. Though Maphatsoe was told by ANC officials to withdraw his comments about Madonsela, in light of the fact that they constitute contempt of a Chapter Nine institution, he has continued to justify and repeat his remarks.
The SABC reported on Sunday that MKMVA is now singing anti-Public Protector songs at their meetings. In an interview with the public broadcaster on Sunday, Maphatsoe repeated his argument that the CIA wanted their own “CEO in South Africa” and had even infiltrated Chapter 9 institutions. He again said Madonsela should confess who her “handler” is.
What this shows is that despite the ANC officials advising Maphatsoe to tone down his attacks on Madonsela, he has not been called off her altogether. There is clearly talk in ANC circles that the pressure needs to be kept on Madonsela as her work continues to expose the deterioration in the leadership of the ANC.
Madonsela’s office was also hit by the resignations of the chief executive and chief financial officers. The Public Protector’s Western Cape provincial representative also resigned, creating the impression that people are taking fright from the heat on her office. While the resignations may have been unrelated to the political attacks, there are members of staff in the office of the Public Protector who come from ANC backgrounds and are coming under pressure to distance themselves from Madosnela’s actions and show her to be overstepping the mark.
With there still being two years before Madonsela’s term expires, some members of staff are worried about whether they would be able to last out the continuous onslaught. Madonsela can do little to reassure them, as she has no idea what is coming next.
Last week, the presidency also released the SIU report on the Nkandla upgrades, which like with the government inter-ministerial report will be used to dilute the findings of the Public Protector’s report in political circles. The SIU report now places the blame for the upgrades on 15 public works officials, including three previous directors-general. The SIU is also pursuing a R155 million civil claim against Zuma’s Nkandla architect Minenhle Makhanya.
The work of the SIU will be used to show that decisive action is being taken for the exorbitant expenditure at Nkandla and that Madonsela is being petty by trying to insist that Zuma pay back the money for upgrades he allegedly did not ask for.
All the investigation reports on Nkandla are now before the ad hoc committee in Parliament, which will have to consider the appropriate action on the matter. Opposition parties want to call both Madonsela and Zuma before them to explain their side of things, while the ANC will look to protect the president from interrogation and penalties.
Because the ANC has the majority in Parliament, they can possibly manage to keep the heat off Zuma. But the big problem for the president and the ANC is that Madonsela refuses to back down and will probably reignite public anger over Nkandla once she does appear before the ad hoc committee. The mission therefore continues to keep piling the pressure on her. Madonsela has so far refused to be cowed into submission, but the unprecedented number of attacks on her might just take its toll.
She has won the support of many ordinary South Africans and civil society leaders, and says continuously that she is encouraged by this. But now that strain is coming from even inside her office, it may be difficult for Madonsela to stick it out.
The real test is if another big scandal breaks which requires her to take on senior people in government, and fresh attacks come at her. It might be too much to bear, even for the up to now indomitable Public Protector.
But ultimately this is not a clash of two big personalities or a showdown over who holds more power. It is about the contrasting visions of a future South Africa - one dominated by the big man syndrome and the other by adherence to constitutionality, rationality and the rule of law. Right now it is not clear which will triumph. DM

Daily Maverick










Friday, September 12, 2014

Pistorius Trial: Judgment Day (2)

No Fear No Favour No persecution of the not so innocent......

Rebecca Davis   (Life etc) 12 September 2014 08:52 south Africa

Bar some extremely unexpected circumstance, Oscar Pistorius should today definitively learn his fate from Judge Thokozile Masipa in the North Gauteng High Court. We know that he will not be found guilty of murder; we also know that he will almost certainly be found guilty of culpable homicide. Let's see if the court of popular opinion is any happier when today's court proceedings are done. REBECCA DAVIS will bring you updates from the courtroom.

09.00 It's set to be another sweltering day in Pretoria, and this should be the final D-day for Oscar Pistorius in terms of verdict - although not, of course, in terms of sentence. Today Judge Masipa will be dealing not just with the culpable homicide issue, but also that of the three lesser charges the athlete faces: two counts of discharging a firearm in public and one of illegally storing ammunition.
When Pistorius receives the verdict - assuming he is found guilty of culpable homicide - it's expected that his team will immediately apply for his bail to be extended, in order to keep him out of the cells pending sentencing. If Judge Masipa is in a tough mood she could opt to revoke his bail, taking into account the notion that he might be considered to be more of a flight risk now - taking into account not just his conviction but also recent reports that he has sold his South African property.
It should, in short, be an interesting day.
Debate continues to rage on social media and other media about the merits of what Judge Masipa has revealed about her decision-making thus far, with a number of daily newspapers carrying pieces today casting doubt on her interpretation of dolus eventualis. More than one South African daily chose to run as their front-page image today a large picture of Pistorius dripping mucous as Masipa read her judgment yesterday. It's the kind of thing that can put you right off your cornflakes if you're unprepared.
Further afield, meanwhile, the UK Mirror has run a 'tell-all' interview with Pistorius's ex Sam Taylor today, in which she paints her relationship with Pistorius as deeply abusive. It's a much more extreme version to that which Taylor presented in court. Then again, Taylor's mother has a book to punt on her daughter's relationship - which couldn't be released before verdict in case it prejudiced the trial.
More interesting points from pundits: if Pistorius gets slapped with a stiff sentence for culpable homicide and his defence team gets leave to appeal, the risk would be if the Supreme Court overturned Masipa's decision and convicted him of murder. They'll have some tough decisions o make. DM
Photo: Oscar Pistorius arrives to court on Friday, 12 September 2014. (Greg Nicolson)



With the sweltering heat reaching 32 degrees plus in Pretoria today we are about to hear the final fate of a

misguided deviant who presents the image of a sorry tormented SOUL! 




Imagine him being made a State President's patient?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

An Epic announcement on crime - COPS IDENTIFY HIGH-RISK SHOPPING ZONES

No Fear No Favour No crooked Cops............

Gauteng has been hit by at least 11 mall robberies in the last month.

FILE: An area cordoned off at Cresta shopping Mall after attempted robbery at Apple Store on 13 August, 2014. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

Mia Lindeque | 

JOHANNESBURG – Gauteng police say they are in the process of identifying a number of shopping centres in the province which are considered high-risk zones for robberies.

The province has been hit by at least 11 mall robberies in the last month, which also include cash-in transit-heists.

Gauteng Police Commissioner Lesetja Mothiba says officers are collecting evidence, including video footage in all 11 cases, in order to track the criminals down.

He says they are working with Business Against Crime South Africa (Bacsa) and the South Africa Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) to stop the wave of robberies.

Police will be meeting with mall managers to establish ways to step-up security measures. 

At the same time, police arrested five people during  a raid in Brixton and Doornfontein following an investigation into robberies in the area.

The suspects, aged between 28 and 44, were arrested at their hide out.

Mothiba says they have confiscated 9mm pistol and three semi-automatic rifles as well as 97 rounds of ammunition.

“The suspects are in custody and will be charged with be charged with the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.”

FILE: The Glen Shopping Mall has been hit for a second time after an armed group robbed a cellphone store

The Glen Shopping Mall has been hit for a second time after an armed group robbed a cellphone store.

JOHANNESBURG – As Gauteng police prepare for a briefing on the recent spate of mall robberies across the province, there has been yet another armed attack at The Glen Shopping Centre.

Police say a group of men stormed a cellphone shop in the mall on Monday, making off with an undisclosed amount of money.

The police's Doniah Mothutsane says no shots were fired and no one was injured in the robbery.

“A cellular shop at The Glen Shopping Mall was robbed yesterday. The suspects fled the scene. Police are still investigating a case of armed robbery.”
At least six shopping malls were targeted by thieves over the past few weeks in Johannesburg and Pretoria. 


Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko. Picture: Sapa.
Minister Nhleko says he's worried about violent crime, but concedes police cannot win the battle alone.

PRETORIA – Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko says the recent spate of robberies at shopping malls across Gauteng is a manifestation of the violent nature of South African communities.

The minister was speaking at the South African Police Service National Commemoration Day at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Sunday, which is held annually to pay homage to officers who have died in the line of duty in the past year.

Nhleko says he is worried about violent crime, but concedes police alone cannot win the battle against criminals.

He says he is disturbed by the spate of violent crime in the province, but adds police on their own cannot combat crime without the involvement of communities.

“You need to have a broader community engagement to begin to look at how we deal with these sorts of tendencies amongst ourselves.”

The minister has refuted claims that police lack a strategy to deal with mall robberies, saying the service is looking at ways to combat crime through intelligence.

National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega avoided questions on the matter, only saying the nation should celebrate the courage and dedication of officers who have died in the line of duty.

Nhleko also has called on ordinary members of society to submit anonymous tip-offs to police about any suspected criminal activity in their communities.

He has warned communities to stop harbouring criminals, saying it's the responsibility of every law abiding citizen to blow the whistle on crime.

The minister says police alone cannot win the battle against criminals.




Monday, September 8, 2014

Marikana Commission: Police’s defence collapsing

No Fear No Favour No Conspiracies please.......

Greg Marinovich and Greg Nicolson South Africa 9 September 2014 00:29 (South Africa)

Late last week, the SAPS expert on policing blew away the police and state’s narrative on Marikana, even going as far as to say that the massacre was an executive decision imposed on the police. By GREG MARINOVICH and GREG NICOLSON.

“Teargas, stun grenades, water canons and rubber bullets were used to try to stop them from breaching the police line. This did not deter them,” said Advocate Ismael Semenya, presenting the police's opening statement on the third day of Commission.
Throughout the Marikana Commission, the SAPS has maintained it was committed to a peaceful resolution and at Scene One, where TV cameras captured officers gunning down protesters. They say they used non-lethal weapons in their campaign to disperse, disarm and arrest people before miners, intent on a bloodbath, breached the lines of defence and posed an imminent risk to life. According to evidence, police used 533 non-lethal means before the Tactical Response Team fired 284 rounds of live ammunition at Scene One.
New video evidence presented by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to SAPS expert witness Cees de Rover has blown away the cobwebs of deceit, however. The last few days at the Commission have seen a slew of police experts. First up was the SAHRC’s Gary White, then Eddie Hendrickx for many of the deceased, and finally De Rover, who has been studying the evidence for the police.
De Rover is a former Dutch police officer, who for over 20 years has worked as a police expert for organisations such as the International Committee for the Red Cross and the United Nations. He has assisted police forces in more than 60 countries across Africa, Asia, South America and Europe. In his original statement, he said police could not have foreseen nor acted differently to the risks at scene one. But presented with the new evidence, he agreed with much of the analysis from White, an Irish policing expert who has done the most comprehensive analysis of what happened at Marikana.
De Rover even went so far as to state that the decision to go “tactical” on 16 August, when after two days of relative calm police decided to confront the miners, must have come from the executive, or at the least the executive must have been consulted.
On Thursday, Advocate Michelle Le Roux for the SAHRC presented five damning videos for the police case. Her team had TiNT Post, a video production company, compile all available footage and still imagery from media, police and Lonmin to create a detailed timeline of events. Once all the bits of the puzzle were assembled, the visuals showed multiple angles of the moments leading up to 15:53:50, when Tactical Response Team (TRT) members began firing at protesters at Scene One.
First, the videos disproved the SAPS's claim that the miners were hellbent on violence and that they circumvented the rolls of razor wire and broke through the Public Order Police's non-lethally-armed line to attack the heavily-armed TRT.
The video timeline shows that before Nyalas rolled out the razor wire, the lead group of protesters (who were said to be the ones intent on killing cops) were already leaving the koppie, at a walking pace. There were minutes where they could have attacked police, but did not. Instead, they moved away from the police towards the shanty town of Nkaneng, until SAPS armoured vehicles cut them off. Still they kept their distance, and with razor wire rolled out near where they had just walked, they slowly followed the open path between the police vehicles and a cattle kraal. In the video, four camera angles show what happened. Rather than attacking the cops, the protesters were herded to the police line. Many of the survivors say it was a deliberate ploy by the police to make them believe they had a clear path back to their shacks – they call it a “trap gap”.
The videos also show that police claims they used lethal force as a last resort are clearly false. There were two water canons on the scene. For most of time, while the protesters walk away from the koppie, videos show the two vehicles sitting idle. Only when the lead group of miners have already been guided towards the TRT line are the water canons used, within the 10 seconds before the cops open fire with live ammunition. In fact, the jets of water are shown to be aimed towards the rear of the lead group, pushing them towards the waiting line of Tactical Response cops armed with R5 rifles. Around the same time, stun grenades also go off towards the rear of the protesters. In effect, the miners are clearly seen to run away from these non-lethal attacks towards the TRT.
The SAHRC's final video looks at the shots fired at Scene One. While the miners are slowly walking between the police line and the kraal, after the cops fire rubber bullets, at the same time a stun grenade goes off, one protester fires one shot of a pistol, hitting the ground near a police Nyala. The videos do not support the SAPS claim that multiple gunshots were fired at the police at scene one. What they show is that the TRT did not fire warning shots into the groundbefore shooting the miners. Though some of the bullets do strike the ground, they hit the dust at the same time that other bullets are slamming into the miners.
Watch: Video analysis used as evidence at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry, presented 4 September 2014 by the South African Human Rights Commission showing in detail the shots fired at Scene One on 16 August 2012.
Many were killed with headshots. Strikers who had stopped in the face of the volley of police fire and adopted defensive stances were still shot at. Many of the sixty or so TRT members continued to shoot at the miners after 14 calls of “cease fire”.
If the videos are accepted as fact, De Rover admitted much of what he said in defence of the police may have been wrong and he may have received incorrect or confused information from SAPS officials. Representing the police, Advocate Semenya objected to the videos on the grounds that they were not compiled by experts in forensics.
Presented with such evidence, De Rover said responsibility had to go beyond the police. Le Roux put 10 points to him to show police should have been able to anticipate violence. Essentially, the police considered the miners as dangerous, suspected they had weapons and had been using muti, had heard threats and doubted they would surrender their weapons if their demands weren't met. Commission Chairman Ian Farlam added two more points: the four mortuary vans requested and the extra 4,000 rounds of live ammo ordered.
De Rover said considering these points, the risk to life and economic impact involved, from all his experience with policing around the world, it would be difficult to accept there was no political influence in the decision for the police to go tactical on 16 August. That's how modern democracies work, he was adamant. “I would be very surprised that [the] SAPS would have been permitted to make that decision on its own and not guided, or would not have actively sought the guidance of the executive on this prior to doing it, definitely, when faced with the 12 elements that you have presented. That's my problem,” he said on Friday.
De Rover said he asked the SAPS if there was political involvement. “My questions have been straightforward on the issue; the answers have not been.” He said North West Deputy Police Commissioner William Mpembe and Major General Charl Annandale, both involved in Marikana, shared his views but didn't know the level of political influence involved. He asked National Commissioner Riah Phiyega but received an evasive answer.
The police case has been about deflecting responsibility: to the striking mineworkers, to Lonmin, and to the unions involved. However, given the evidence presented last week, the SAPS not only failed to prevent loss of life and avoid using force, but their actions directly led to the deaths of 16 people at Scene One. At scene two, where 18 people were killed, police are accused of tampering with evidence to hide the murder of surrendering protesters, among others killed there.
Responsibility doesn't stop there. As Farlam wondered aloud last week, why did the police move to its tactical phase on Thursday? The plan – so poorly designed and communicated it's a compliment to call it a “plan” – was designed to be implemented early in the morning. Why were they so bent on shutting it down then and there? Despite their involvement, Cyril Ramaphosa, Nathi Mthethwa, Susan Shabangu, Riah Phiyega and Zukiswa Mbombo have denied there was any political pressure.
De Rover, however, wasn't convinced: “If it’s an incident that puts at risk the interests of a big international enterprise, that obviously is of economic importance to the South African Police. If it puts at risk lives and communities, and if it occasions now with regularity death and injury, I can't imagine that just to be policing questions, and that directions and choices that are made are not subject to political scrutiny or political advice.” DM
Photo: A policeman (R) fires at protesting miners outside a South African mine in Rustenburg, 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, August 16, 2012.  REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko




Friday, September 5, 2014

‘They never fought for us’

No fear No Favour No Wannebees in the MK.........

Chris Vick  5 September 2014 12;45 (SOUTH AFRICA)

Chris Vick has been active in media and politics for the past 25 years.  He runs Black, a communications consultancy, and recently hosted the PowerHour on PowerFM98.7. His email address, and on Twitter he is 

A few years after attending a memorable anniversary celebration for Umkhonto weSizwe, and among some newer political storms, an important question has arisen: what the role and character – or even the status – of MK should be in post-Apartheid South Africa.

This column first appeared on
My comrade and I had to rough it to Umkhonto weSizwe’s 47th anniversary celebrations in 2008.
His favourite private jet – a refitted Boeing 737, complete with a double bed – was in for a service, so we had to use one of his junior jets. As I recall, it was a Challenger 300, which the on-board brochure described as “a super mid-sized jet capable of traversing transcontinental distances”.
We were only doing Lanseria to Bloemfontein and back, but because we didn’t have to rely on the timetable of the national airline, we arrived later than most of the honoured ex-combatants – which meant we missed the formal seating allocations. So even though my comrade had spent years on Robben Island as an Apartheid prisoner of war (and been awarded the rank of honorary colonel in the South African Air Force, as well as the French Légion d’honneur and the Order of the Freedom of Havana), he didn’t crack a chair on the main stage.
Instead we roughed it on the grass with the lumpen proletariat – who turned out to be the real heroes, and provided insight into how Umkhonto weSizwe had morphed from being a People’s Army to something of an elite unit.
Dodging the December sun, we ended next to a 60-year-old former soldier who proudly told us how he’d saved up six months’ worth of military pension to cover the cost of a taxi from Limpopo and a new pair of boots for the occasion. He didn’t want to embarrass MK during its march past, so he’d cut back on essentials so his feet could “represent”.
Our fellow veteran was proud of his time in the trenches, and rightly so. In between the singing, he regaled us with anecdotes from his training in the Soviet Union, his unit’s skirmishes with the Apartheid army, and his return from exile as a war hero.
But his pride turned to resentment as some of MK’s “dignitaries” took the podium.
“That one never fought,” he grumbled as one speaker started reading his speech. “He spent all his time at universities.”
Another ‘commander’ took to the podium. “That one never fought either…” he muttered. “He was drinking in London while we were eating guinea fowl in Angola…”
And then he proceeded to count off, one by one, many in the MK ‘leadership’ on stage who had never seen a minute’s warfare. “They have the uniform, but they never saw combat. All they did was go to conferences. They never fought for us…”
It was a day rich with history, but not much of that was shared history – either pre- or post-Apartheid. Those who had avoided the trenches had somehow made it on to the stage at Mangaung, just as they had made it into Parliament or the Union Buildings. Some, like my jet-owning comrade, had even segued on to the Forbes list.
But on the sidelines were thousands of MK veterans who were commemorating their freedom on a shitty military pension – still waiting, 14 years after liberation, for the free housing, educational development and economic opportunities they’d been promised.
I couldn’t help thinking of that Challenger trip to Mangaung six years ago as I watched the small Twitter storm unleashed by EFF Commander-in-Chief Julius Malema two weeks ago after he was ‘served’ by Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete and slapped down by Kebby Maphatsoe, the man who’s headed the MK Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) for the past seven years.
Malema’s comments on Mbete were well reported by journalists who attended his press conference. What didn’t make it into the papers were his remarks about Maphatsoe, recently promoted to deputy defence minister in charge of military veterans (while remaining chairperson of MKMVA, as well as president of the South African National Military Veterans Association).
Maphatsoe, you may recall, has been one of the most vocal public protectors of President Jacob Zuma ever since “Butternut Head”, as he is now affectionately called by some inside the ANC, started to feel the famous Mbeki pinch in the early part of the 21st century.
Maphatsoe has entered public discourse many times, paper pistol blazing: he vehemently rejected the rape and corruption charges levelled against Zuma; he rebuffed challenges to the president’s re-election at the 2012 ANC national conference in Manguang; and during the same year he repeatedly called for Malema to be expelled from the ANC. To back him up, the KwaZulu-Natal region of MKMVA warned Malema that “as former soldiers we will not sit back and allow attacks on Zuma” (aka “we will really fucking kill for Zuma”). And earlier this year Maphatsoe condemned a proper MK veteran, Ronnie Kasrils, for his “Vote No” election statements.
So on 21 August, when Malema and his fellow fighters in the EFF banged on the parliamentary tables to demand that Zuma “pay back the Nkandla money”, it was somehow predictable that Maphatsoe would be at the frontline of those defending the president.
Addressing MKMVA’s elective conference on 25 August, he declared: “What we are saying, comrades, is that the MK manifesto of 1961 is still relevant even today because it says there will come a time of any nation where there remains only two choices: submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa, we shall not submit, we will fight back with anything at our disposal in defence of our people, our future and our freedom.”
Drawing on his experience as a trained guerilla, Maphatsoe clearly saw the EFF as a seditious threat to national security, and was not prepared to submit. He wanted to fight.
But can he fight? Sadly, if Juju is to be believed, the man who has headed MKMVA for the past seven years has done a much better job fighting for “Butternut Head” than he did fighting Apartheid.
Malema gave his own interpretation of Maphatsoe’s military history as follows (courtesy of the EFF’s parliamentary Twitter handle, @effparliament) on 28 August:
“The MKVA and the ANC have been beating war drums. The chairperson of MKVA was in Parliament on Thursday,” he said. “If he has a black belt as he claims, why didn’t he use it? He leaves and goes somewhere else to make noise.
“But there is nothing they can do. One of you must ask Kebby Maphatsoe how he lost his hand … he was running away from the MK camps. He went AWOL. Kebby was running into a dangerous farm of wild animals. The police had to shoot him to save him from wild and dangerous animals.
“We’re not scared of him … we’re not threatened by people who spent time in MK camps doing the cooking.”
For once, Twitter disappointed. Although Malema’s brief history lesson was crying out for a #onearmedbandit hashtag, his comments on Maphatsoe’s credentials died a quick death.
But Malema is not the first to suggest that Maphatsoe’s combat history is less than illustrious. I’ve heard the “deserter” accusation from a number of people who did fight in Angola. Some of them were on the grass with us on that day in December 2008, and others confirmed the Malema version in conversations with me this week.
Maphatsoe, never one to shy away from verbal combat, has been uncharacteristically quiet on the matter, and his CV talks only of his training, not his fighting – an example, from “During the Apartheid years, he went to exile and became a trained Political Commissar of MK; he received further training in Angola, and in the Soviet Union and was also exiled in Uganda before returning to South Africa.”
And, given that there is still no official detailed history of MK, we will probably never know the truth beyond what was presented to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
What we do know, though, is that in addition to the questions raised by Malema and others, the leader of the military veterans association has had his remaining hand in the till on more than one occasion.
As the Mail & Guardian reported in 2012, in an article headed “Leading MK vets ‘looted millions’”: “The top brass of MKMVA turned [its] investment holdings into their personal piggy bank, using funds to pay for jewellery, spa treatments and school drama lessons, and to withdraw large sums of cash before Christmas.
“A forensic report… by auditing firm SizweNtsalubaGobodo directly fingers former association treasurer Dumisani Khoza, former chairperson Deacon Mathe, current treasurer Johannes ‘Sparks’ Motseki and current chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe.
“It alleges that they helped themselves to R5.4 million, almost half of all the money coming into two accounts that the auditors scrutinised.”
Just as he may have escaped combat, Maphatsoe also seems to have escaped answering questions about what happened to the money in MKMVA’s bank account – or having to “pay back the money” that was meant to provide a safety net for MK veterans who use their military pensions to buy boots.
He’s also managed to elude capture and interrogation over his role in the controversial Gold Fields South Deep empowerment deal, where he was one of three former MK beneficiaries in a multibillion-rand deal.
One armed bandit, indeed…
But there’s a more serious question that has to be asked given Maphatsoe’s declaration last week that “we shall not submit, we will fight back”.
That question is, of course, what the role and character – or even the status – of MK should be in post-Apartheid South Africa.
One person who has posed that question recently is Siphiwe Nyanda, who fought in the ANC underground since 1975. Maphatsoe was 12 at the time – judging by his official CV (that’s before he even joined Cosas). “Gebuza”, as Nyanda is still known, headed the banned organisation’s regional command in Swaziland in the early 1980s and served on MK’s military committee until he infiltrated South Africa in 1988 as part of Operation Vula.
Now Nyanda may not have been South Africa’s favourite communications minister or chief of the SA National Defence Force, but his soldier’s pedigree – and his knowledge of MK – is hard to question.
He had this to say about MKMVA in 2012: “The notion advanced by some leaders of the military veterans association that Jacob Zuma is a commander-chief of the MKMVA is a dangerous illusion…
“The ANC has no army,” he wrote in the Sunday Times. “The president of the ANC does not possess a private army. To style MKMVA as a security or enforcement arm of the ANC is wrong. It has no such mandate. No decision of any ANC structure or even its own constitution gives MKMVA such a role.”
Maphatsoe’s trigger-happy mouth (as opposed to his missing trigger finger) couldn’t resist the bait, and his response to Nyanda days later was predictably cutting: “All these comments are about Mangaung [a reference to the ANC national conference in December 2012]. MKMVA has been vocal about the retention of the president. This is an attack against President Zuma in another way.”
He went on: “[Many] MK members are being buried in a pathetic way … they are people who were dismissed dishonourably in [Nyanda's] presence [at the SANDF]. Nyanda must also say what did he do for MK members when he was chief of the SANDF,” he said.
And then, as his punchline, Maphatsoe submitted a deeply ironic accusation: “He never fought for us…”
Throwing sand in the face of people who fought for freedom while you were still in short pants should, in my view, not be encouraged. But if you’re going to do it, at least have a plausible explanation for why you can’t throw properly.DM