Thursday, April 28, 2011
African Democracy, from the beginning to the end.
by Mike Watson on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 9:27pm
The Failure of Democracy in Africa
Posted by Mukui Waruiru a native of Kenya, is the founder of the African Conservative Forum, a Christian human rights and public policy organization based in Nairobi. This article has been revered and published in TIME magazine
The ongoing violence in Iraq has caused observers to refle...ct on the challenges of bringing democracy to tribal societies. Before the Iraq War was launched in 2003, the Bush administration assured Americans and the world that the removal of Saddam Hussein would result in the creation of a peaceful, well-governed, and democratic society. But it is now becoming clear that building a successful democracy is not as easy as many Americans had assumed. Pure democracy is a system that works well in particular cultures, and not all cultures are equally capable of building harmonious democratic societies.
If the Bush administration had been interested in studying the track record of democracy-building efforts in tribal cultures, they should have studied the experience of Sub-Saharan Africa, where the introduction of pure democracy 50 years ago resulted in disaster for the people of the region. For the purposes of this article, I am defining ‘pure democracy’ as majority rule under universal suffrage, in which all citizens of adult age are guaranteed the right to vote in national elections.
In 1957, Ghana became the first black African country to gain independence from European colonial rule (Sudan gained its independence in 1956, but it regards itself as part of Arab Africa, rather than black Africa). The Prime Minister of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, had won an election in 1956, campaigning on a platform of attaining immediate independence from British colonial rule. Nkrumah had served as Prime Minister from 1951 to 1956, a period in which Ghana enjoyed internal self-government, under the supervision of the British colonial governor in the country. The governor had the power to veto decisions by Nkrumah that he felt were harmful to the interests of the colony. This was the period in which Ghana enjoyed the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity in its history.
Two conservative Ghanaian politicians, J. B. Danquah and Kofi Busia, opposed Nkrumah’s campaign for immediate independence. They wanted to preserve the status quo, because of the stability and prosperity which Ghana was enjoying. They preferred a more gradual path to independence, in contrast to the campaign for rapid decolonization. Both men realized that without the supervision of the British colonial power, Nkrumah would turn Ghana into a dictatorship, and impose his deeply-held Marxist beliefs on the Ghanaian people.
The opposition political party that was supported by Danquah and Busia lost the 1956 elections, and Nkrumah was able to lead his country to independence on March 6, 1957. The dire predictions of Danquah and Busia came true, and in a couple of years, Nkrumah established Africa’s first post-colonial dictatorship. Danquah was subsequently arrested and jailed as a political prisoner, and he eventually died because of the terrible prison conditions in which he was held. Busia fled the country in fear of his life, and he returned to the country only after Nkrumah was overthrown in a Western-backed military coup in 1966.
Most of the Black African nations that gained independence after Ghana followed its path by establishing one-party dictatorships. Observers soon began to describe the practice of democracy in Africa as ‘one-man, one-vote, one-time’. In many of the cases, the winning political party at the independence elections used its majority in the national parliament, to pass legislation outlawing the existence of opposition political parties. This left the ruling party with a monopoly of power. This trend challenged the widely held notion that pure democracy leads to more freedom. If anything, in many countries, Africans enjoyed greater personal freedom and prosperity under colonial rule, than they do today under independent governments. While opposition parties have been permitted to exist in some countries in the last few years, the oppressive habits associated with one-party dictatorial rule have been hard to break.
In the 1960s, American conservatives were outspoken against the wave of decolonization and democratization in Sub-Saharan Africa, that was being pushed by the United States and the former Soviet Union. William F. Buckley, in his book, Up From Liberalism wrote:
“We see in the revolt of the masses in Africa the mischief of the white man’s abstractions: for the West has, by its doctrinaire approval of democracy, deprived itself of the moral base from which to talk back to the apologists of rampant nationalism….Democracy, to be successful, must be practiced by politically mature people among whom there is a consensus on the meaning of life within their society….If the majority wills what is socially atavistic, then to thwart the majority may be the indicated, though concededly the undemocratic, course. It is more important for a community, wherever situated geographically, to affirm and live by civilized standards than to labor at the job of swelling the voting lists”.
Buckley tried to make the distinction between universal suffrage and freedom, in his analysis of the conditions in the American South before the passage of Civil Rights legislation, which he compared to colonial rule in Africa:
“Does the vote really make one free? I do not believe it necessarily does….Being able to vote is no more to have realized freedom than being able to read is to have realized wisdom. Reasonable limitations upon the vote are not recommended exclusively by tyrants or oligarchs (was Jefferson either?). The problem of the South is not how to get the vote for the Negro, but how to train the Negro – and a great many whites – to cast a thoughtful vote”
Buckley was however careful to distinguish his position in opposing universal franchise in the American South, from that of the southern segregationists who advanced genetic arguments in opposing black voting rights in the South:
“There are no scientific grounds for assuming congenital Negro disabilities. The problem is not biological, but cultural and educational”
Today, if one was to argue in favor of restrictions to the right to vote, one would be labeled as an enemy of freedom. But, as we have seen in Iraq, Afghanistan, Venezuela, and in much of Black Africa, democracy does not necessarily lead to freedom. With hundreds of thousands of Iraqis fleeing their country as a result of the violence that has engulfed that nation, can anyone seriously suggest that Iraqis are freer today than they were under Saddam Hussein? Are the nations of Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo freer today, than they were under colonial rule?
The state governments that existed in the American South during the Jim Crow era discredited the respectable and honorable Western tradition of placing reasonable restrictions on who to allow to vote. Putting restrictions on the vote using poll taxes, literacy tests, and property ownership qualifications, has helped many Western nations to preserve liberty and order for centuries. But Southern state governments in the post-Reconstruction era applied such restrictions unfairly, in a manner which was blatantly discriminatory on the basis of race. In the early part of the 20th Century, Booker T. Washington called on black Americans to work hard to improve their educational and economic status, in order to more fully participate in the American political process. But by denying educated and financially successful Blacks access to the ballot, the state governments of the South destroyed Washington’s vision of building racial harmony in America. As a result, divisive demagogues like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have risen to prominence, and shape the agenda on race relations in America today.
Universal suffrage is a very recent development in the West. Britain attained universal suffrage only in 1928, when all adults over the age of 21 were allowed to vote. A century earlier, voting in Britain was limited to a tiny percentage of the adult male population. The Tories held power from 1783 to 1830, a 46 year stretch that was only briefly interrupted in 1806-1807. Charles Grey finally took over as a Whig Prime Minister in 1830. He passed the Reform Act in 1832, which significantly expanded the percentage of male citizens who were allowed to vote. The 1832 reforms gave one in five adult males the right to vote. The property qualifications for voting were gradually lowered over the decades, enfranchising more and more people, before they were finally abolished in 1928. During this time, the educational, social, and cultural level of the British masses was gradually raised, which enabled a successful transition to majority rule without destabilizing the social order.
In the United States, the founding fathers set out to create a constitutional republic, not a pure democracy. At the time the Constitution was adopted, half of the white adult male population could not meet the property qualification for voting in elections. Because women could not vote, that meant that only 25 percent of the white citizens of the US were entitled to vote. The U.S. finally gained the universal franchise in 1965, where adult citizens of both genders and all races were given the right to vote. By this time, the majority of American families were middle-class people who owned their homes—and therefore, such a measure did not threaten the stability of the market economy. Given that Britain and the US took so long to build well-functioning democratic systems, it is unrealistic to expect African nations to have set up successful democratic societies, given the high poverty rates and the low levels of civilization of most of the population.
Classical liberals have long said that one cannot build a free society without putting in place a political system that protected property rights. The 17th Century English philosopher, John Locke, asserted that the prerequisites for a free society were the protection of life, liberty, and property. Locke did not limit his definition of property to material goods, but included as a form of property the ownership of one’s labor. Twentieth century Communists understood that, by abolishing private property through nationalization, they would completely strip private citizens of their means of self-support and independence, reducing them to the status of slaves. This led to a situation where people living under Communism were completely dependent on the government for their very survival, which allowed the government to control every aspect of their lives.
With this understanding of liberalism, Ian Douglas Smith, the former Prime Minister of Rhodesia, can be rightly regarded as Africa’s first classical liberal revolutionary. In 1965, he led a revolution for freedom, when he initiated the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) of Rhodesia from Britain. The UDI was intended to preserve Christianity, freedom, and civilization. For that courageous action, Smith became one of the most vilified men in history, and his country was subjected to comprehensive United Nations economic sanctions in 1966. He was falsely labeled as a racist and white supremacist. But, unlike the architects of apartheid in neighboring South Africa, he has never supported claims that blacks are inherently inferior. However, like Buckley, Smith recognized that the low levels of education and cultural development of most of the blacks, made the establishment of a successful pure democracy a difficult undertaking.
In addition, there were numerous previous examples of failed attempts to establish pure democracies in Africa, from Guinea and Ghana, to Nigeria and Uganda, and there was good reason to expect that Rhodesia would follow a similarly tragic path if the universal franchise was extended. Facing a possible future of either a Marxist dictatorship or anarchy, the Rhodesian leadership declared independence and prevented Britain from imposing majority rule in the colony. The lives, liberty, and property of people of all races in Rhodesia were preserved.
Smith was motivated by the desire to uphold the historical Anglo-Saxon tradition of limiting the vote to that segment of the population that would be able to use it responsibly. The Rhodesian UDI of 1965 was modeled on the American Declaration of Independence of 1776, and the Rhodesians had great respect and admiration for America. However, the Rhodesian admiration for America was not reciprocated, and the U.S. joined the rest of the world in denouncing and isolating a friendly country.
The Rhodesian government was unfairly compared to the segregationist state governments of the American South, and to South Africa under apartheid rule. However, Rhodesia did not have the rigid racial segregation that characterized those two other systems of government, and Blacks were allowed to vote in Rhodesian elections. Blacks were allowed to have 16 seats in the 66 member Rhodesian parliament, while whites held 50 seats. Voting was limited to those who could meet the literacy and property ownership qualifications, just like in Britain and the United States in the relatively recent past. Rhodesia was a limited democracy, not a pure democracy.
It was expected that, with time, as black Rhodesians became better educated and more prosperous, they would gradually gain greater representation in the Rhodesian Parliament. Eventually, white and black Rhodesians would share power in the Rhodesian Parliament, under a 50-50 arrangement. This position fell short of majority rule. But since the whites had created and built the country, and were expected to pay a disproportionate share of the taxes even in the future, this arrangement seemed to be fair. Many white and black Rhodesians felt that this power sharing model would prevent Rhodesia from becoming a Marxist dictatorship like Nkrumah’s Ghana, or deteriorating into the chaos of the democratic republics of Congo and Somalia. But the international community would not accept anything less than black majority rule.
By the mid 1970s, Rhodesia had, proportionally, the largest black middle-class in Africa, and it was growing rapidly. This was despite the fact that Rhodesia was under U.N. economic sanctions, and the government was spending vast sums of money waging a war against Marxist terrorists, who were based in neighboring Mozambique and Zambia. Despite those challenges, Rhodesia was a successful limited democracy, governed by the rule of law, having independent courts, and a multiparty system of government. The leader of the official opposition in parliament was black, and he and other black members of parliament were able to openly criticize Prime Minister Smith and his government for what they felt were their shortcomings. This was in stark contrast to the situation in the rest of Africa, where one-party dictatorial rule was the norm, and criticism of the president was equated with treason.
In 1979, a power-sharing agreement between white Rhodesians and their moderate black allies was arrived at. Free and fair elections were held under universal suffrage, which led to black majority rule, but there were strong guarantees put in place to protect white minority rights. The new government was headed by the moderate black clergyman, Abel Muzorewa, and he was committed to maintaining Rhodesia’s capitalist system and its economic prosperity. However, Muzorewa’s government was denied recognition by the West, and Rhodesia remained under U.N. economic sanctions. U.S. President Jimmy Carter and British Prime Minister James Callaghan, demanded new elections that would include the participation of terrorist leaders who did not believe in the democratic process.
New elections were held in 1980, and the Maoist terrorist Robert Mugabe won the vote through appeals to tribal sentiment and by intimidating rural voters in the Shona-dominated provinces. Mugabe was a devoted student of Kwame Nkrumah, having lived and worked in Nkrumah’s Ghana in the late 1950s, where he closely observed how his mentor managed his government. Since 1980, Rhodesians (now called Zimbabweans), have had less freedom than they ever had under Smith.
The economy of Zimbabwe gradually declined from 1980 to 1999. In the year 2000, the Mugabe regime launched the infamous invasions of white-owned farms that completely destroyed the country’s agriculturally-based economy. Ironically, the Zimbabwean government already owned millions of acres of land, which it could have re-distributed to poor blacks, without touching the white-owned farms. But Mugabe did not want a sensible solution to the land question. He was driven by the desire to punish white Zimbabweans for supporting the emerging opposition party, known as the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). As anyone with knowledge of the situation in Zimbabwe knows, Mugabe never had any intention of helping Zimbabwe’s poor, despite his rhetoric on the issue. The black middle-class, which had thrived under Smith, has now been almost completely wiped out. Just as the Bolsheviks of the former Soviet Union enslaved the Russian people by abolishing private property, Mugabe is now in the process of seizing privately-owned business enterprises, just as he seized the white-owned commercial farms. Instead of condemning Mugabe, corrupt African politicians view Mugabe as some sort of hero, for his defiance of the West.
Out of concern for Africa’s future, I founded the African Conservative Forum (ACF) in May, 2007. My organization seeks not just the downfall of the Mugabe regime, but the complete dismantling of the disastrous Marxist legacy that Nkrumah and Mugabe have bequeathed to Africa. One of the major tasks that I plan to undertake is the distribution of 10,000 copies of Ian Smith’s autobiography, The Great Betrayal, to African legislators, civil servants, academics, journalists, university students, diplomats and others. Individuals or organizations that may be interested in assisting in this important task, can contact me.
Reading Smith’s memoirs changed my life. His book helped to make me a conservative. If African intellectuals were to get an opportunity to read his autobiography, they would realize, as I did, that the true freedom fighter from Rhodesia is Ian Smith, not Robert Mugabe. Once they learn about the link between property and freedom, and how pure democracy and political independence do not necessarily translate into freedom, then they would get a true idea of what freedom is all about.
If there is any African leader who deserves a presidential library, it is Ian Smith. His memoirs spell out how Africa can move forward to a future of liberty and prosperity. It is often said that prophets are not honored in their home countries. Smith can accurately be described as a prophet, because he predicted disaster for Rhodesia once it came under the control of the communist terrorist, Robert Mugabe. Many people who opposed Smith in the past are finally coming to realize how right he was. In the British Sunday Times newspaper of September 23, 2007, Judith Todd, a left-liberal human rights activist who was one of Smith’s most outspoken opponents in the 1970s, now admits that “Mugabe was rotten from the start”.
Not surprisingly, the Marxist government of Zimbabwe viciously attacks Smith’s legacy in the history books and in the state-controlled media. But what is more difficult to understand is the reaction of the brave men and women who make up the opposition to the Mugabe regime, whenever the UDI era is mentioned. Zimbabwean opposition activists, both white and black, make strenuous efforts to distance themselves from Smith, out of fear of being labeled lackeys of the colonialists by the Mugabe regime.
The minds of the Zimbabwean people have been so poisoned against Smith, that it seems highly unlikely that he will receive the honor he truly deserves, even if the opposition comes to power in the next general elections scheduled for 2008. I often dream about building an Ian Smith Library here in Nairobi, where I would be able to educate future generations of African leaders about Smith’s admirable legacy. But I guess, given the high cost of such a project, it will remain an impossible dream.
In 1980, when Mugabe came to power, Rhodesia had a GDP per capita that was comparable to that of Malaysia. Today, Malaysia is hailed around the world as one of East Asia’s great economic success stories, and is a newly industrialized country that manufactures goods of all sorts. Yet, in 1980, Rhodesia had economic policies that were more business-friendly than those of Malaysia, and a civil service that was far more honest and efficient than Malaysia’s. Both nations are former British colonies, and have a public service modeled on that of Britain.
Where would Rhodesia be today, if Ian Smith’s vision of power-sharing rather than majority rule, had come to pass? I will try to hazard a guess. Rhodesia would have experienced an economic boom without precedent in Africa’s history, with impressive double-digit growth in the 1980s, 1990s, and beyond. The white population would probably be double what it was in 1980, growing from 250,000 to 500,000. This would have been partly as a result of natural increase, because of the lower costs of raising children in Rhodesia. Many of the hundreds of thousands of Portuguese settlers who fled from the Communist revolutions in Angola and Mozambique would have moved to Rhodesia. There would also have been some immigration from South Africa, as well as from many Western nations, attracted by Rhodesia’s pleasant climate and promising economic future. All those whites would have brought useful skills that would have benefited the country immensely.
Interestingly, the dynamism of the free market would have reduced the racial disparities in land ownership in a fair and transparent manner. This is because the rapid growth in manufacturing, tourism, and other industries, would have led to many black workers abandoning their jobs in the white farms for better economic opportunities in the cities. The resulting rise in average black agricultural wages would have put many white farms out of business, and some of the farmers would have been forced to sub-divide and sell their farms. The newly economically empowered blacks would have purchased plots of land for residential use, or for small-scale horticulture.
If Smith’s vision had prevailed, Zimbabwe would have had a GDP per capita equal to, or higher than, that of Malaysia. But the sad reality is that Zimbabwe’s GDP per capita today is lower than that of Haiti. The Caribbean nations of Barbados and the Bahamas are majority black former British colonies, and they can provide us with a model of what the future could have been in Rhodesia, if the Communists had not taken over. Both nations have maintained the colonial tradition of providing strong protections for property rights, and, today, both nations have a GDP per capita higher than that of Malaysia.
My British and American friends often ask me to predict the future of South Africa, and whether that nation will go the way of Zimbabwe. I am often tempted to tell them what they want to hear – the politically-correct answer that the situations in Zimbabwe and South Africa are different, and that all is well in South Africa. But the past record of the ANC does not give me much cause for optimism. During the days of white rule, the ANC worked to mobilize black support by stirring up anti-white hatred. The late ANC activist, Peter Mokaba, is credited with creating the infamous chant, “Kill the Boer, kill the farmer”. Not to be outdone, the main rival of the ANC among the black radicals, the PAC party, had its own rallying cry, “One settler, one bullet”.
As one can expect, the anti-white hatred that the ANC and PAC stirred up during the era of white rule, did not dissipate with the coming of majority rule. The ANC leadership blames all its failures on whites and the supposed ‘legacy of apartheid’. There has also been an explosion in the rate of violent crime, in which whites have been disproportionately targeted, and which the ANC has shown an unwillingness to deal with. Some 210,000 blacks and 40,000 whites have been murdered since 1994. When he was challenged on his failure to tackle violent crime, the South African Security Minister, Charles Nqakula, told his critics that if they were unhappy with the conditions in South Africa they should leave the country. His statement was widely understood as being targeted at South African whites.
Blacks in South Africa enjoy one of the highest standards of living in Africa. Yet the ANC blames whites for the poverty and landlessness of much of the black population. The government of South Africa owns millions of hectares, and is the largest land owner in South Africa. Instead of offering this land to South Africa’s poor people of all races, the ANC focuses on making the blacks envious of the white land owners who produce most of South Africa’s food. The ANC plans to maintain its hold on power for decades to come, by inciting racial resentment against the white minority. There is a real danger that the country may join the long list of failed democracies in Africa. Unless a new generation of enlightened black leaders emerges in South Africa, committed to promoting Christian values, property rights, and free market economic policies, South Africa’s future looks bleak.
Mr. Waruiru, a native of Kenya, is the founder of the African Conservative Forum, a Christian human rights and public policy organization based in Nairobi. His
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Comments by Sonny
We live in a third world country with third world attitudes, culture and mentality!
How will we educate the masses to respect the rule of universal law, each other, their property and their lives?
POWER IS THE MAIN GOAL OF A DICTATOR - They do not want to share the 'Lions Portion' with nobody!
The ANC under Zuma is driven by greed and Cronyism instead of democracy and sharing of power by all the PEOPLE!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Kempton Park cop shoots dead civilian
A policeman allegedly shot dead 45-year-old Jeanette Odendaal at Kempton Park police station after she crashed into a police vehicle, the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) said on Wednesday.
"On 26 April 2011, the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) arrested a police sergeant based in Kempton Park SAPS in connection with the shooting of 45-year-old Ms Jeanette Odendaal in Kempton Park," said ICD spokesman Moses Dlamini in a statement.
He said a car guard witnessed the incident outside the police station on Tuesday evening around 8.30pm. "It is alleged that a car guard saw a white Golf collide with a stationary police vehicle, which was parked outside the police station.
"The car guard then ran into the police station to report the accident. It is alleged that a sergeant came out of the police station and shot 45-year-old Jeanette Odendaal in the upper body," said Dlamini.
Apparently the policeman thought the noise of the crash was a gun shot. She was still inside the car when she was shot.
"By the time paramedics arrived at the scene, Ms Odendaal was already dead. It is not clear at this stage what the deceased was doing at the police station," said Dlamini.
A post mortem would be conducted on Thursday. The sergeant will appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Friday.
Gauteng police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou said in a statement earlier: "It is still unknown what prompted the shooting."
On Tuesday, eight policemen appeared in court in the Free State after allegedly killing unarmed civilian Andries Tatane, who was beaten and shot during a protest in Ficksburg on April 13.
National police commissioner General Bheki Cele said the country's 8500 crowd control police officers would get a refresher course in handling protests.
A video of Tatane's death was broadcast on national television. Dlamini said two similar police brutality cases had been before two KwaZulu-Natal courts on Tuesday.
One was in Greytown, where five policemen allegedly strangled a person in custody while the other case, in Hammersdale, involved 15 policemen who alleged beat a suspect who later died. DA spokeswoman Dianne Kohler Barnard said the party was dismayed by the Kempton incident.
"This seems, by all accounts, to be another terrible tragedy that coincides with our nation's Freedom Day [and] is a horrible reminder of how far we still have to go to create a safe, caring and truly free society," she said in a statement.
"Any police service should work in the best interests of the people it serves to protect, not against them...
"The SAPS and its leadership have much to do if they are to turn the situation around and restore public faith in their purpose and conduct," she said. Cele's office declined to comment on Wednesday on the Kempton Park incident. -Sapa
Missing woman found dead
Cops search for Vereeniging woman
Policeman held for murder in Jhb
Welkom nurse hacked to death
Johannesburg - A missing Rust de Vaal woman was found dead near her home on Wednesday afternoon, police said.
"Her body was found by a passerby in a ditch... at 14:00," said police spokesperson Shado Mashobane. She appeared to have been shot in the head.
Earlier, police said Florenda Jacobs, 33, was reported missing by her parents early on Wednesday morning
They became worried and alerted the police when she failed to return home after going to withdraw money from an ATM at 13:00 on Tuesday.
The Toyota Tazz she was driving was found burnt out in Orange Farm at 01:00 on Wednesday.
Read more on: crime | johannesburg
April 27 2011 at 02:39pm
By Hlengiwe Nhlabathi
Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile. Picture: Dumisani Sibeko
Security tight as Zuma arrives in Pretoria
Pretoria - A DA member of parliament Sej Motau was heckled and howled at while delivering his speech at the Freedom Day celebrations at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday.
Motau briefly stopped speaking and observed the crowd when the howling by hundreds of people attending the event grew louder.
Many made the hand signal used at soccer matches to indicate player substitutions, demanding that he move off stage.
However, programme director for the day, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile took to the podium and interjected, with his first words being: “No, no, no.”
“Please, let's allow speakers to say a few words and sit. This heckling is taking a lot of our time,” said Mashatile.
A lot of moaning followed from the crowd, at which time Mashatile said Motau would only take one second.
Motau hastily made his concluding remarks, highlighting the importance of having such days like Freedom Day, Youth Day and Reconciliation Day to build and unite the nation, before leaving the stage.
He was not the only victim.
The Inkatha Freedom Party's Oscar Maseko also had to endure heckling.
Mashatile scolded the crowd for their lack of discipline.
“If you continue howling people, you are disrespecting me as programme director.”
No other speaker was heckled off stage after that.
Instead, they were received warmly by the crowd. - Sapa
Comments by Sonny
The ANC calls this behaviour democracy!!
They think they are the only ones who deserve or fought for this country!
Their fight was merely done in a wet paper bag!
One day they will wake up and their 'power' will be gone!!
The ANC will be held accountable for all their wrongdoings!
April 27 2011 at 01:59pm
An independent daily newspaper critical of Zimbabwe's president says thieves raided its offices and stole computer hard drives and the editor's laptop.
Mugabe vows he would force elections
Harare - An independent daily newspaper critical of Zimbabwe's president says thieves raided its offices and stole computer hard drives and the editor's laptop.
Raphael Khumalo, chief executive at NewsDay said on Wednesday components and hard drives from 11 reporters' computers were removed in the raid Monday night.
No other items were stolen. In front page headlines last week, the paper called on President Robert Mugabe, 87, to step down, declaring “It's time to rest.”
Khumalo stopped short of accusing security agents of carrying out the raid but said it aimed at crippling the paper's operations ahead of World Press Freedom Day on May 3. - Sapa-AP
Comments by Sonny
African politics - first hand!
The spooks in SA act in the same way!!!!
African democracy is more than just a myth!
SA is heading in the same direction.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Race to save ‘brothel’ girls
April 25 2011 at 11:33am
By Graeme Hosken
Photo: Independent Newspapers
Police are racing against time to save more than 100 young girls in the country who have been spirited away by an alleged sex slave syndicate, as fears for their safety increases.
An apparent tip-off to members of an alleged sex slave syndicate run by Nigerians and South Africans resulted in police narrowly failing to rescue the girls when they raided a farm outside Paulpietersburg in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday.
It is believed that a brothel has been operating on the farm since 2006 and that it has been used as a holding point for young girls and women trafficked into South Africa from countries in SADC and Asia and then into Europe.
Police, along with agents from the National Intelligence Agency and other government security agencies, as well as the Home Affairs Department, swarmed through the farm on Friday.
As forensic experts from Pretoria seized potential evidence, organised crime unit detectives questioned suspects thought to be linked to the syndicate and searched for clues as to where the young girls had been taken.
KwaZulu-Natal provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge confirmed that police had narrowly missed rescuing the girls believed to number more than 100.
“We were very close. We almost had them, but somehow those behind this were tipped off that we were coming for them and disappeared with these young children.
“Our big fear now is what has happened to these children. We have evidence of serious harm being caused to them and the longer they remain away from safety, the greater the danger they face,” Mdunge said.
He said the alleged syndicate, believed to be run by Nigerians and South Africans, was thought to be responsible for smuggling young girls from Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe into South Africa.
“Once across the border the girls are apparently brought to the farm, which we believe is being used not only to house them, but also as a brothel.
“Intelligence we have gathered indicates that the girls are then trafficked either to other destinations in South Africa or on to European countries such as Holland.
Mdunge said information indicated that the syndicate had been using the farm as a base for their operation since 2006 and that hundreds of young girls could have passed through the farm en route to their final destinations.
“This is a massive investigation into one of the most serious cases of human trafficking we have ever come across,” he said.
Declining to divulge how they had uncovered the suspected syndicate or what evidence they had seized from the raid because of the sensitivity of the investigation, Mdunge said information at their disposal indicated that the girls were being trafficked for sexual exploitation.
“Our information shows that these girls, who were moved shortly before we raided the farm, were ultimately to be used as sex slaves.
“We are following up on information that the children are being held somewhere in South Africa. The race is on to find them before they can be smuggled out of the country or before they can be hurt any further.
“We are working flat out with our SADC counterparts and Interpol to ensure that they are not smuggled across the border. The involvement of Interpol is to find out where these girls are from and what their final destination was to be.”
Mdunge said it was not known how long the girls had been kept on the farm, which had been sealed off by police.
He said the syndicate, which was highly sophisticated with operatives across the globe, was run by about 20 Nigerians and South Africans.
“Our investigation is multi-faceted. It is looking into where these girls are, how they were brought into South Africa, how long they were kept on the farm, other possible holding areas, who was involved, whether any corrupt State officials helped smuggle the children into South Africa, how they were trafficked out of the country and what countries they were being sent to.
“We are investigating various charges including kidnapping, sexual assault, smuggling and several other charges relating to human trafficking,” he said.
Home Affairs Department inspectorate head Modiri Matthews said the department’s roles in such operations was varied. “This includes looking at the victims of trafficking and how we can help them, such as repatriation to their home countries and providing whatever other assistance is needed, such as permits to stay in the country should a trial of their captors be under way,” he said. - Pretoria News
April 26 2011 at 10:32am
By Tania Broughton
Race to save ‘brothel’ girls
Police have placed a media black-out on any further information on reports that a sex-slave syndicate was holding about 100 young girls hostage at a farm outside Paulpietersburg, in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
“Any comment we make will jeopardise the investigation,” said Hawks spokesman Colonel McIntosh Polela.
A senior investigator, who cannot be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media, said it appeared a woman had approached police intelligence with information that 100 children, trafficked into South Africa from neighbouring countries and from Asia and Europe, were being held at the farm.
The woman claimed to have escaped the clutches of the syndicate. The source said little, if any evidence, had been found at the farm.
There were also suggestions that police might have raided the wrong farm on Friday and that they had subsequently lost touch with the woman.
The Mercury quoted provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge as confirming that the police had “narrowly missed” rescuing the girls because someone had tipped off the syndicate.
He said the police had information that the farm was not only their home, but was also a brothel.
Mdunge said the case was one of the most serious involving human trafficking in South Africa and the police were working in conjunction with Interpol and SADC counterparts to ensure they were not being smuggled out of South Africa.
It is believed the police will now focus on other farms in the area. - The Mercury
Comments by Sonny
This safe house/brothel has been operational since 2006 and the SAPS Intelligence section has nothing on record.
Now, after someone escapes the clutches of the Nigerian/South African syndicate of children sex-slave traffickers, the SAPS wants a blackout on the media!
Should the media not be assisting in finding the location of these abused children?
We can imagine who is behind this scheme!
THIS WILL BE THE NEXT POLITICAL BOMBSHELL EXPLODING IN THE FACE OF THE 'HAWKS!'
How far can anyone hide with 100 plus captives?
What did Cwele and the NIA have on record?
Monday, April 25, 2011
New steps to curb corrupt civil servants
25 April 2011
Incoherent corruption fight, says Pikoli
Public protector sets record straight
Probe Sars corruption: Union
SIU probes dodgy housing contracts
'New body has more powers to fight fraud'
Dodgy SA directors in R1.7bn con
Outcry over Eskom 'inside' deal
Apr 25 2011 08:32
A former employee allegedly used his position at Eskom to award his own company a R65m contract, and then used the utility's vehicles and equipment to deliver services.
Gautrain cost overruns remain unresolved
Apr 21 2011 16:25
Cost overruns to contractors working on the Gautrain project have not been concluded, says the Gauteng Management Agency.
New hope for SA shares
Apr 25 2011 08:37
Technical analysis shows that the threat of a "double top" in the local market may be subsiding.
Pretoria - The Public Service Commission wants to establish guidelines for minimum disciplinary steps against public servants guilty of fraud and corruption.
This follows the finding that culprits escape escape without any penalties, often with no more than a written warning. Departments rarely institute criminal charges.
The Public Service Commission has conducted a comprehensive investigation into the prevalence of corruption and related risks in the public service.
It appears that 7 766 cases have been reported to the National Anti-Corruption Hotline since its launch in September 2004. In 63% of cases the department to which they had been referred for investigation failed to give feedback. Whistleblowers who put their trust in the helpline therefore did not know whether anyone had bothered to do anything about their disclosures.
Only 15% of cases referred to provincial and national government departments were finalised.
More than 1 500 complaints were received about corruption and bribery. These included false overtime claims, claims for travelling and accommodation
expenses, bribes to get tenders, bribes given to traffic officials and bribes given to Correctional Services officials to help inmates escape.
Almost 1 000 complaints were submitted regarding abuse of state resources, chiefly government vehicles. In half of these cases government vehicles were allegedly used recklessly and the speed limit exceeded, while 35% of them dealt with using government vehicles as taxis. Other charges related to stealing petrol from these vehicles or abuse of petrol cards.
The Public Service Commission found departments’ attitudes to fraud and corruption generally reactive. This was not a significant component of risk management and there was no inclination to create an environment discouraging this sort of behaviour.
What was most concerning to the Public Service Commission was where officials had the discretion to investigate allegations of corruption but swept them under the carpet.
Departmental capacity to investigate allegations of fraud and corruption – especially at provincial level, where 70% of public servants are employed and most of the basic services are rendered – is sadly lacking.
If investigations are indeed conducted, officials are suspended for long periods on full pay, which is at variance with regulations. If they are found guilty they generally receive light punishment, such as a written warning, and the matter is not reported to the police.
The Public Service Commission recommends:
- that internal controls be strengthened;
- that accounting officers include corruption in their risk analysis;
- that department heads be held responsible if disciplinary investigations take longer than 60 days;
- that the Minister of Public Service and Administration set guidelines for minimum disciplinary steps – cases must be reported to the police immediately
after notification so that internal and external investigations can take place simultaneously; and
- that the ability to investigate cases should be boosted across the entire public service with a centralised investigative unit in each province, to which premiers must allocate resources.
For business news in Afrikaans, go to www.sake24.com.
Communities ditch ANC candidates
Polokwane - The ANC is reported to have lost 13 wards in Limpopo's Giyani area as community members nominate their own candidates for the May 18 local government elections instead of accepting the party's choice.
"There have been a lot of defections because of a lot of dissatisfaction with how the ANC handled candidates chosen by the people to represent them," said independent candidate Gezani Sithole.
Sithole was an ANC member in Ward 16 in Mininginisi village until he resigned after complaining that the ANC Mopani regional office had sidelined him in spite of the support he had from the community.
One of Sithole's supporters, Wisani Mathonsi, told community members during a campaign that the ANC had failed to deliver on countless promises.
"We are tired of false promises. It make makes no sense that you buy a cow and then at the time of collection they show you a donkey and tell you to take it. There's a big difference between a cow and a donkey, and we are tired of getting a donkey," said Mathonsi.
"The community has made its decision. In this ward we vote for only on one person and that’s Gezani Eddy Sithole," he said, to loud cheers from the supporting crowds.
Many community members said they were tired of being short-changed and that they would express their feelings at the polls.
"The people are expressing their anger over the swapping of candidates that took place in this region. They are now speaking out," said Sithole.
Provincial ANC secretary Joe Maswanganyi told African Eye News Service that former party members who resigned to independently contest the polls had not been overlooked within party ranks, but had long planned to leave.
"Those [former party members] who claim to have been overlooked are just making excuses. The truth is, they were looking for ways to run away from the ANC and this became an opportune moment for them," said Maswanganyi.
- African Eye
Read more on: elections politics polokwane anc
Killers walk free
April 24 2011 at 04:41pm
By VIVIAN ATTWOOD and NIYANTHA SINGH
The government is releasing some of South Africa's most hardened murderers and rapists without notifying the families of their victims, some of whom learned for the first time this week that the criminals were walking free. Photo: Independent Newspapers
The government is releasing some of South Africa’s most hardened murderers and rapists without notifying the families of their victims, some of whom learned for the first time this week that the criminals were walking free.
Opposition parties have reacted furiously to circumstances surrounding the controversial decision by the Department of Correctional Services to consider parole for 385 prisoners who were on death row during the apartheid years.
Their sentences were commuted to life in 1994 and last month, after a Constitutional Court case, they were deemed to be eligible to be considered for parole.
However, there was confusion over whether Minister of Correctional Services Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula had sole prerogative to decide on who would be released.
Now the department has been slammed for denying information to victims’ families about who would be granted parole and when.
DA spokesman James Selfe criticised the apparent haste with which Mapisa-Nqakula seemed to be “steamrolling” the process of reviewing parole for the offenders.
He questioned why there had been no attempt to contact victims or their families.
A press and radio advert this month called for “victim participation in the parole consideration of offenders, especially those sentenced to life before March 1, 1994”.
But the department this week conceded that the names of some offenders might be missing from the list, and could still be added.
Selfe questioned whether the cut-off date for submissions by victims, May 15, was not “impossibly tight”. He said because adverts were placed so recently he had “grave doubts” that victims of the applicants would learn of the minister’s plans before the cut-off date.
“I fear this is just another sham... I’d like to know what attempts the department will make, over and above placing ads that many will not see, to track down victims and hear what they have to say.”
Jeremy Gordin, director of the Wits Justice Project which investigates miscarriages of justice, described the process associated with the parole as a “complete mess” .
“The entire issue has been terribly badly handled.”
Koos van der Merwe, IFP MP, said: “The department needs to publish this widely in as many media as possible and make it easier for the public to access, including on TV.”
He said if the department failed to follow correct parole procedures the consequences would be “dire”.
One potential parolee is Thembisile Jackson Tshandu, now 58, who raped and murdered Tamsyn Garth-Davis, 9, in Knysna in 1991. The child was strangled with the straps of her school satchel.
Jo-Ann Downs, national chairman of the African Christian Democratic Party, reacted with fury to news of the parole review.
“It is absolutely outrageous,” she said. “The public has an inalienable right to know who is being released, and when. We must be given the chance to protect ourselves and our loved ones.”
Independent violence monitor Mary De Haas described the parole process as “flawed”: “It is simply iniquitous for the department to spend huge amounts of money on placing ads that most people will not read. It is absolutely chaotic. It is high time they got out there and tracked down the families of victims, so that they can be given a fair chance to respond to the proposal of parole.”
The Tribune located the families of two murder victims in Durban area without much difficulty. The families of Sonya Austin, 40, stabbed to death by the so-called “Phoenix Five” in her Morningside home in 1987, and Omar Azmuth, 54, who was shot at his garage in Reservoir Hills during a robbery in 1989, were stunned to learn the killers could be up for parole.
Advisor to the minister Mike Ramagoma yesterday confirmed that no attempts had been made to contact victims’ families directly.
“Information relating to victims of crime is not kept by our department,” he said.
“That resides with the police and the legal system. However, we attempted to list all those being considered for parole, to give the public a chance to make representation, whether they are victims or other interested parties.
“We are trying very hard to ensure that all the relevant parole boards consider the applications speedily, and we hope to meet our original deadline of May 15 to complete the current applications. When those are finalised we will look at a new batch.”
Ramagoma said “around 285” of the 385 applications still needed to be processed. “It is an interdepartmental process that will not be shared with the media,” he said. “We will release the figures on request, but no other information.”
Department spokesman Sonwabo Mbananga said that the minister had so far reviewed 88 of the 385 applications.
He said the first group to have their parole approved had already been processed and met all requirements for consideration.
He refused to reveal the names of those who had already been found eligible for parole, or the nature of their crimes.
“We originally announced that 95 would be considered in the first batch, but it was determined that seven did not qualify as having been sentenced prior to March 1, 1994. Accordingly, only 88 applications were considered. Of these 43 were declined, 21 were granted full parole and a further 24 have been granted day parole to go out into the community to seek work and bond with relatives, and return to prison to sleep at night.”
Of the 385 parole applications, 66 are from KwaZulu-Natal, 59 are from the Eastern Cape, 41 from the Western Cape, 72 from the Free State, 106 from Gauteng, and 41 from Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
Mbananga said released prisoners would be monitored for three years, and not for the rest of their lives, as has usually been the case.- Sunday Tribune
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Police report - minister misses deadline
ICD not yet probing protector case
Cele must explain, says protector
Protector won't revise report
Pretoria - Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde has failed to meet her own deadline to comment on the Public Protector's report into the police's lease agreement for Pretoria's Middestad Building.
A month ago, Mahlangu-Nkabinde said she was still reading the report released a month earlier by Thuli Madonsela, and would comment once she had fully studied it.
She gave a 30-day time frame, but Nkabinde had nothing to show for it by Thursday.
"It has not happened yet. We have to be patient, it will happen. There are still processes that still need to take place like the investigation by [Justice Minister Jeff] Radebe and [Secretary of Cabinet Cassius] Lubisi," said her spokesperson Obakeng Modikoe.
Cabinet has since instructed Lubisi and Radebe to interact with the public protector's office on the report.
This was followed by an assurance by government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi that nothing would be swept under the carpet.
Modikoe said the long wait would be over soon once the decisions and outcomes were pronounced by Cabinet.
These, he said, "will be fed into the minister's response". Mahlangu-Nkabinde has been in possession of the report for the past two months now.
The report emanates from a Sunday Times article last year that national police commissioner Bheki Cele had signed a R500m lease for the Pretoria building with property tycoon Roux Shabangu, allegedly without following tender procedures.
Madonsela found Cele was guilty of improper conduct and maladministration when the police entered into the lease.
She also found the public works department's accounting officer guilty of improper conduct and maladministration, saying the lease was invalid.
Furthermore, the public works department's decision to continue with the deal, despite legal opinion advising against it, amounted to maladministration.
Madonsela recommended that Cabinet, at its first meeting, demand an explanation from Mahlangu-Nkabinde on why she decided to continue with the lease, despite legal opinion to the contrary.
Mahlangu-Nkabinde has since denied a media report that quoted her saying the report was "shallow and superficial"
Read more on: police | gwen mahlangu-nkabinde | thuli madonsela | bheki cele
Centre for Law and Social Justice
President Zuma stop corruption: Suspend Bheki Cele and lay charges now!
Advocate Thuli Madonsela, the Public Protector has said that “General” Bheki Cele’s (SAPS head) conduct in a R500 million rent deal with his friend Roux Shabangu was “improper, unlawful and amounted to maladministration”.
President Jacob Zuma must suspend Cele immediately and ask the Special Investigations Unit to lay charges. This country cannot live with another police chief who shouts loudly about crime and then dabbles in its shady world.
Leadership from the President and Parliament is required immediately NOT tomorrow otherwise we cannot take their words on corruption and crime seriously. The corrupt SAPS rent deal like the arms deal is a test of our Executive and legislature. Will our country have a lawless executive and a toothless Parliament that rubber stamps corruption, or, will we have an open, accountable and ethical government that puts peoples’ needs first?
This case has already involved an attempted cover-up: the unlawful detention of Mzilikazi wa Afrika, the Sunday Times journalist who broke the story.
There can be little doubt that were the Secrecy Bill ever to become law in its current form then the Public Protector’s report would have never seen the light of day.
This post contains Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela’s speech on the corrupt SAPS rent deal at Parliament, the Times report (23 February 2011) and its editorial.
Address by the Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela, during a media briefing on the release of the SAPS lease report held at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria on Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Chairperson of the National Press Club, Mr Yusuf Abraham;
Deputy Chairperson of the National Press Club, Mr Jos Charle;
Members of the Press Club and the other media representatives present;
Deputy Public Protector Adv Mamiki Shai
SIU Head, Mr Willie Hofmeyr
PPSA CEO Themba Mthethwa;
The Investigation Team;
Ladies and gentlemen;
I am honored to present to the public, Against the Rules: Report of the Public Protector on an investigation in to allegations of improper conduct by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Department of Public Works (DPW) relating to the procurement of a lease agreement for a new SAPS Headquarters in Pretoria. The allegations and report also deal with the legality of the lease in question.
I am further deeply humbled by the media and nation’s interest in this and other matters that my office deals with on a day to day basis in pursuit of its constitutional mandate. My gratitude particularly goes to the Press Club for hosting this event and its ongoing support.
I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to all the parties that have cooperated during this investigation, particularly SAPS, Department of Public Works (DPW), the National Treasury, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the complainants, Mr Roux Shabangu and the Investigation Team, among others.
I must also highlight that this report relates to the Pretoria lease only. The investigation relating to the Durban lease in still underway and the public will be kept up to date with developments and later the outcome as time goes on.
In a bid to ensure accountability, good governance and integrity in all state affairs, among other things, the architects of our constitutional democracy saw it befitting that there should be institutions that keep the state in check by scrutinizing its administrative conduct, thereby ensuring that there is no abuse of power and state resources, that services are delivered responsively and that the state is accountable at all times.
My office, the Public Protector, is one of those institutions established by Chapter 9 of the Constitution of the Republic to support and strengthen this constitutional democracy.
To achieve this, I make use of the power and responsibility bestowed upon me by the Constitution and as regulated by national legislation, to investigate any conduct in state affairs that is alleged or suspected to be improper or to result in any impropriety or prejudice; report on that conduct and take appropriate remedial action.
Remarking on the role played by oversight institutions such as my office on good governance and checks and balances during the International Ombudsman Conference in Durban ten years ago, former President, Nelson Mandela eloquently said the following:
“Even the most benevolent of governments are made up of people with all the propensities for human failings. The rule of law as we understand it consists in the set of conventions and arrangements that ensure that it is not left to the whims of individual rulers to decide on what is good for the populace. The administrative conduct of government and authorities are subject to the scrutiny of independent organs. This is an essential element of good governance that we have sought to have built into our new constitutional order.
An essential part of that constitutional architecture is those state institutions supporting democracy. Among those are the Public Protector, the Human Rights Commission, the Auditor General, the Independent Electoral Commission, the Commission of Gender Equality, the Constitutional Court and others.”
“It was, to me, never reason for irritation but rather a source of comfort when these bodies were asked to adjudicate on actions of my Government and the Office and judged against. One of the first judgments of our Constitutional Court, for example, found that I, as President, administratively acted in a manner they would not condone. From that judgment my government and I drew reassurance that the ordinary citizens of our country would be protected against abuse, no matter from which quarters it would emanate. Similarly, the Public Protector (Ombudsman) had on more than one occasion been required to adjudicate in such matters.”
These statements sum up the role of institutions such as the Public Protector and the responsibility of the state in helping such institutions live up to their mandate of supporting and strengthening constitutional democracy.
Ladies and gentlemen;
On 2 August 2010, the Public Protector received complaints from Mr Paul Hoffman of the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa and Mr Pieter Groenewald of the Freedom Front Plus to investigate alleged improper procurement of the lease for office accommodation for the SAPS in the Sanlam Middestad building in the Pretoria CBD. These complaints came as a result of a newspaper article published the day before alleging improper conduct and maladministration by the National Commissioner of the SAPS and the DPW.
At the centre of the complaints was the alleged non-compliance with tender procedures in the procurement of two buildings in Pretoria and Durban for use as accommodation for the SAPS. My office investigated the matter with the assistance of the Special Investigating unit.
Ours was simply to determine: What happened? What should have happened; and whether there was a discrepancy between what happened and what should have happened. We fin ally had to determine if such discrepancy, if any constitution improper conduct, maladmi8nistration, abuse of power or any of the violations envisaged in the Constitution and the Public Protector Act. We also had to take appropriate remedial action as envisaged in section 182(3) of the Constitution. This is how the investigation unfolded.
On 3 August 2010, I requested the National Commissioner of SAPS and the Director-General of DPW not to proceed with the implementation of the lease pending the finalisation of the investigation
On 10 August 2010 both SAPS and DPW wrote back to me undertaking to comply with the request. DPW further advised that parties had been informed that the implementation of the leases in question had been suspended pending the out come of an internal investigation and the investigation of the Public Protector and the SIU.
On 11 and 19 October 2010, the Director-General of DPW informed the National Commissioner of SAPS that the lease agreement between the DPW and Roux Property Fund (RPF) in respect to the Sanlam Middestad building was invalid. This was on the basis of the findings of an internal inquiry and independent legal advise obtained.
On 25 October 2010, I issued a preliminary report on the investigation and informed the National Police Commissioner of the SAPS of my concurrence with the decision of the DPW to commence with an entirely new procurement process. This report was presented to the Executive Authorities and accounting officers of the SAPS and the DPW.
On 31 October 2010, Ms Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde replaced Mr Geoff Doidge as the Minister of Public Works.
Shortly after her assumption of duty, Minister Mahlangu-Nkabinde’s office obtained informal advice from the Office of the State Attorney, indicating that the lease was enforceable. This advice was however given subject to a further legal opinion to be obtained from senior counsel at the request of the Minister’s office.
The opinion of senior council dated 22 November 2010, concluded that the contract between the DPW and RPF was unlawful, thereby rendering the lease agreement invalid.
On 22 November 2010, the DPW advised Nedbank, the financiers of RPF, that it was continuing with the lease. This was followed by a public pronouncement by Minister Mahlangu-Nkabinde that the DPW was continuing with the implementation of the lease. On the same day, the Director-general of the DPW was suspended.
Our investigation was conducted over a period of five months. It included interviews with officials from the SAPS including National Commissioner, officials from the DPW and Mr Roux Shabangu of the RPF. Voluminous documentation relating to the procurement was perused and relevant provisions of the Constitution, the PFMA, Treasury Regulations and other procurement prescripts were considered and applied.
Copies of the draft report were distributed to all relevant parties and responses to the draft were submitted and considered for purposes of the final report.
My findings in full are contained in the full report that, I believe, has already been circulated to you. I will quickly zoom into my specific findings in relations to the SAPS and the DPW.
Specific Findings Relating to SAPS
The lease agreements were signed between RPF and the DPW and not by the National Commissioner of the SAPS, as was alleged.
Although the SAPS did not sign the lease agreement, its involvement in the procurement process was improper, as it proceeded beyond the demand management phase and it further failed to implement proper controls, as required by the PFMA and relevant procurement prescripts.
The SAPS failed to comply with section 217 of the Constitution, the relevant provisions of the PFMA, Treasury Regulations and supply chain management rules and policies. This failure amounted to improper conduct and maladministration.
The conduct of the accounting officer of the SAPS was in breach of those duties and obligations incumbent upon him in terms of section 217 of the Constitution, section 38 of the PFMA and the relevant Treasury Regulations. These provisions require from an accounting officer to ensure that goods and services are procured in accordance with a system that fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost effective. This conduct was improper, unlawful and amounted to maladministration.
On the evidence available it could not be found that an improper relationship between the preferred service provider (RPF) and the SAPS motivated the deviation from required tender procedures.
Specific Findings Relating to DPW
The procurement by the DPW of the lease was not in accordance with a system that is cost effective and competitive, as is required by section 217 of the Constitution, the relevant provisions of the PFMA, Treasury Regulations and supply chain management rules and policies. This failure amounted to improper conduct and maladministration.
The conduct of the accounting officer of the DPW was in breach of those duties and obligations incumbent upon him in terms of section 217 of the Constitution, section 38 of the PFMA and the relevant Treasury Regulations. These provisions require from an accounting officer to ensure that goods and services are procured in accordance with a system that fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost effective. This conduct was improper, unlawful and amounted to maladministration.
The process that led to the conclusion by the DPW of the lease agreements with RPF was fatally flawed, in various respects, including non-compliance with prescribed procurement procedures such as ensuring a competitive bid process or justifying the deviations in the prescribed manner. This rendered the process unlawful and further constituted improper conduct and maladministration.
The lease agreement should not have been entered into as it did not comply with the validity requirements of the Constitution, applicable legislation and prescripts. The lease agreements entered by the DPW and RPF are therefore invalid.
The decision of the DPW to proceed with the implementation of the lease agreement in the face of considered legal advice from two senior counsel to the contrary, particularly the opinion procured on 22 November 2010 under the leadership of the current Minister of Public Works, was in breach of its fiduciary duties and the requirements of good governance in terms of the PFMA, and amounted to maladministration.
The reckless manner in which the DPW dealt with public funds in this case, particularly:
the failure to subject the lease agreement to judicial review, as advised by senior counsel and by implementing the lease agreement despite further legal advice from separate senior counsel to the contrary; andreneging on the undertaking given to the Public Protector not to implement the lease until the investigation was complete, was improper and fell short of the requirements of good administration.
Remedial action to be taken, as envisaged in section 182(1)(c) of the Constitution, is the following:
The National Treasury should urgently review the purported lease agreement between the DPW and RPF in order to determine if the contract can be terminated forthwith.
The National Treasury must determine whether any irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure was incurred by the SAPS and/or the DPW in respect of the procurement process and other matters related thereto and take appropriate action, where applicable.
The Cabinet must at its first meeting convened after the date of publication of this report request an explanation from the Minister of Public Works on:
The reasons for the decision to implement the lease agreement with RPF, despite the DPW being provided with a legal opinion of independent senior counsel, soon after her appointment, advising to the contrary;
The justification for proceeding with the implementation of the disputed lease, prior to the finalisation of the investigation by the Public Protector, and despite senior counsel opinions and the DPW’s previous undertakings to the contrary.
The Secretary of Cabinet must advise the Public Protector of the outcome of the deliberations referred to in paragraph (c) above and the resolutions taken within 10 days from the date of the Cabinet meeting.
The Minister of Public Works with the assistance of the National Treasury should take urgent steps to ensure that the appropriate action is instituted against the relevant DPW officials that acted in contravention of the law, policy and other prescripts in respect of the procurement processes referred to in this report.
The DPW must ensure that appropriate measures are implemented to prevent a reoccurrence of contraventions of the relevant procurement legislation and prescripts.
The Minister of Police should, with the assistance of the National Treasury, take urgent steps to ensure that the appropriate action is instituted against the appropriate SAPS officials that acted in contravention of the law, policy and other prescripts in respect of the procurement processes referred to in this report.
The SAPS must ensure that appropriate measures are implemented to prevent a reoccurrence of contraventions of the relevant procurement legislation and prescripts.
The National Treasury should develop and introduce measures that will prevent a recurrence of a situation where client departments of the DPW infringe on the functional areas of the DPW in respect of the procurement of leased accommodation.
Further to these, the National Treasury, the Ministers of Public Works and Police, the DPW and the SAPS must submit action plans and progress reports to the Public Protector in respect of the implementation of the remedial action referred to above.
What are my expectations from the organs of state involved? I am confident the organs of state in question will deal with my findings and remedial action contained in this report in the spirit of section 181(3) of the Constitution. This is in line with global jurisprudence on the status of the report of an Ombudsman. Indeed the Minister of finance has already endorsed the findings in the Draft Report wholly.
My confidence in the state’s ability and commitment to do the right thing is further bolstered by President’s J G Zuma’s remarks during the state of the nation address where he stated.
“We have a well-established institutions that support democracy and protect the rights of citizens, such as the Office of the Public Protector, the South African Human Rights Commission, the Office of the Auditor General, the Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities and the Gender Commission”
Adv TN Madonsela
Public Protector of the Republic of South Africa
R500m SAPS HQ lease deal unlawful
Feb 22, 2011 10:22 PM | By CHANDRÉ PRINCE and AMUKELANI CHAUKE
National police commissioner Bheki Cele and Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde have fared the worst in the Public Protector ‘s damning report on the R500-million police HQ lease deal.
A five-month investigation by advocate Thuli Madonsela’s office details shocking findings about the conduct of South Africa’s top cop, and how his “improper and unlawful” conduct was central to the signing of the lease.
Flanked by Special Investigating Unit head Willie Hofmeyr, Madonsela revealed how Cele authorised funding for leasing the Middestad building in central Pretoria from property mogul Roux Shabangu.
The Middestad building he wanted to lease as his new police headquarters is next door to the current headquarters.
“The conduct of the accounting officer [Cele] … in respect of the procurement of the lease was improper and unlawful,” wrote Madonsela in her 91-page report.
Madonsela’s findings vindicate the Sunday Times reports that exposed Cele’s involvement in the deal. She praised the newspaper’s “courage” for exposing the deal.
Cele has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, claiming that he merely signed the SA Police Service needs analysis. Yesterday, he released a statement saying that he was “vindicated” by the report.
But Madonsela found that:
Lease negotiations between the Department of Public Works and Shabangu were already at an advanced stage when the police gave their needs analysis to the department;
The police first identified the building and then adjusted the needs analysis to correspond to, or “retrofit”, the specifications of Middestad, which Shabangu had not yet bought;
The leasing of Middestad was not budgeted for in the police leasing or capital works budget;
The lease was not cost-effective;
Public Works failed to record its reasons for deviating from the prescribed tendering processes; and
The terms of the lease between Public Works and Shabangu were not approved by the Special National Bid Adjudication Committee, which they should have been.
Said the report: “The conduct of the accounting officers of the Department of Public Works and of the SAPS [Cele] . was improper and unlawful.
“It was evident throughout the investigation that a number of the officials interviewed expressed their reservations with the process followed by the SAPS to procure the lease. However, they were reluctant to raise their concerns with their superiors due to the culture of the SAPS in terms of which instructions are followed and not questioned,” the report said.
Former deputy national police commissioner Hamilton Hlela said in his interview with Madonsela that he was “unwilling to question the decisions and instructions of the national commissioner [Cele]“.
In his statement, Cele said: “The Public Protector not only stops at finding that General Cele did not sign the lease for Middestad Sanlam Centre, she goes further and vindicates General Cele’s widely disregarded protestations that businessman Roux Shabangu, the owner of Middestad Sanlam Centre, was a stranger to him up until their meeting in June 2010, when Middestad Sanlam Centre had already been selected by the Department of Public Works as the building that the SAPS were going to move into.
“General Cele will now be consulting his lawyers to explore what avenues are available to him as he seeks redress over these allegations that have caused him and his family so much pain and suffering over the past five months or so.”
In her report, Madonsela said that Mahlangu-Nkabinde ignored the opinion of two senior advocates and sealed the deal with Shabangu on November 22, the day that senior advocate Pat Ellis told Mahlangu-Nkabinde that the lease was unlawful.
Mahlangu-Nkabinde disregarded an undertaking made by her predecessor, Geoff Doidge, who had told the police that he would not finalise the lease pending the outcome of Madonsela’s investigation.
An internal Public Works inquiry in October, ordered by Doidge , also found the deal to be “invalid”.
But President Jacob Zuma fired Doidge in his cabinet reshuffle in early November. Shortly after she took office, Mahlangu-Nkabinde’s staff told Nedbank, Shabangu’s financier, that the department would honour the lease and the bank should release funds to Shabangu. Mahlangu-Nkabinde announced in December that the deal would go ahead.
Mahlangu-Nkabinde suspended her director-general, Siviwe Dongwana, on December 8 – the day he was due to be interviewed by Madonsela for her report.
Describing Public Works’ involvement in the deal as “reckless”, Madonsela said Mahlangu-Nkabinde must explain her decisions to the cabinet.
Madonsela said further investigations will determine whether anyone will be criminally charged or will have to reimburse the state.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, commenting on a draft of the Madonsela report, had harsher words: “The National Treasury supports the further review of the lease agreement as a matter of urgency. This may include, if necessary, the initiation of criminal prosecution.”
The million-dollar question, Madonsela said, was: “How did Shabangu get involved with [the police]? His own evidence was not very helpful.”
She said the findings of a subsequent investigation into another lease deal between the police and Shabangu, for a building in Durban, to be released in a month, would determine whether any of those involved would be criminally charged.
Opposition parties yesterday again called for Cele’s head – and that of Mahlangu-Nkabinde.
Freedom Front Plus’s Pieter Groenewald – who, along with Paul Hoffman, the director of the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa, lodged complaints against Cele with Madonsela – yesterday called on Zuma to act swiftly.
“If President Zuma is serious about his comments that corruption should be eradicated, he should fire both [Cele] and the minister because he appointed both. If he does not do it, he makes a mockery of clean administration and promotes corruption,” Groenewald said.
“More questions are arising about the firing of the former minister of public works, Geoff Doidge, who stopped the process to wait for the report of the Pubic Protector. The Freedom Front Plus will, after carefully studying the report, decide whether criminal charges will be laid.”
Hoffman said Cele should “be redeployed in politics, which is where he belongs”.
He said the Treasury should have no difficulty in cancelling the lease because regulations were clearly violated.
Hoffman criticised Mahlangu-Nkabinde’s failure to heed the advice of her advocates.
Shabangu said his lease agreement with the police was still valid.
THE STORY SO FAR
On August 1 last year, the Sunday Times exposed details of how Police Commissioner Bheki Cele ignored tender procedures when he signed a “dodgy” R500-million lease with billionaire businessman Roux Shabangu for a new police headquarters in Pretoria.
Three days later, Cele denied signing a lease agreement, and claimed he only signed a “needs assessment”. At a press conference, he also labelled Sunday Times reporter Mzilikazi wa Afrika, who broke the story, a “dodgy journalist”.
On August 7, the Sunday Times quoted the Public Protector confirming its “biggest probe ever” into the lease after a complaint was laid by the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa and the Freedom Front Plus.
On September 5, three police generals, who said they were forced to resign from the force over the lease agreement, told the Sunday Times that Cele “lied” to parliament when he said his role ended with just identifying the police’s accommodation needs. They said Cele led the drive to relocate the police headquarters.
On October 19, following an internal inquiry and independent legal advice, the Department of Public Works informed Cele that the lease agreement with Shabangu was invalid.
On November 22, new Public Works Minister Gwen Mhlangu-Nkabinde advised Nedbank, Shabangu’s financier, that the she would honour the deal.
Yesterday, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela announced that the deal was unlawful.
Madonsela report: Will Zuma have guts to do the right thing?
The Editor, The Times Newspaper
The Times Editorial: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has finally released her report on the leasefor the police’s Pretoria headquarters.
And she has confirmed what many suspected – that there was something untoward in the way in which the new headquarters building was acquired.
At the release of her report yesterday, Madonsela implicated just about every department involved in the deal, particularly Public Works and the police, both of which she found guilty of “improper conduct and maladministration” and of flouting the Treasury regulations that govern procurement.
As she sat before the media, Madonsela offered us a moment of integrity, honesty and courage – at potentially great cost to her office and herself.
Her report is clear in its condemnation of the misuse of state authority and of the subversion of procurement processes.
But her strongest criticism was reserved for Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, who signed the lease for the Pretoria offices with Roux Property Fund against the advice of senior legal counsel.
Madonsela described the way in which the department dealt with public funds as “reckless”.
Her report has vindicated the media houses, particularly our sister publication, the Sunday Times, which exposed the headquarters deal last year.
But it is what follows Madonsela’s revelations that is of vital importance. President Jacob Zuma’s response to her damning findings will be a watershed moment in his term in office. His response to the exposing of Cele and Mahlangu-Nkabinde must be public and swift. This is no time for an “elegant” solution.
Abstaining from a very public response will give credence to what many critics have said – that the president merely pays lip service to good governance, fighting corruption and accountability. And his silence would negate the very courageous work done by Madonsela.
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