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Sunday, October 7, 2012
HomeSouth AfricaArticle 'Don't buy e-tags': Samwu
Sapa | 06 October, 2012 11:17
Traffic pours under one of the many e-toll gantries along the N1 highway. File photo.
Image by: HALDEN KROG
People should not buy e-tags and should protest against the implementation of e-tolls to ensure the government listens, the SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) said on Friday.
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E-toll meeting to resume next week
Cosatu vows action if e-tolls are implemented
Do not buy e-tags: Cosatu
"This union strongly believes that the pressure of the masses is crucial to forcing government to back down on this blatant extortion," spokesman Tahir Sema said in a statement.
"We will aim to make the tolls uncollectable and force the government and SA National Roads' Agency [Limited (Sanral)] to find more equitable ways to pay for road improvements."
Earlier, it was announced that a meeting between the inter-ministerial committee on e-tolling and Cosatu, chaired by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, would convene again next week.
"The meeting [on Friday] agreed that more time was needed for both parties to consider the proposals on the table," Motlanthe's spokesman Thabo Masebe said in a statement.
Motlanthe led the government delegation and Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) president Sidumo Dlamini the labour delegations at the meeting at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
It followed a July 20 consultation.
The IMC had been expected to announce its plans on Friday for implementing e-tolling in Gauteng.
However, Masebe said this would be delayed because the IMC needed time to discuss the issues raised.
Cosatu has mounted a campaign against e-tolling, which it believes is the wrong way to raise money to maintain the country's major roads.
The government's plans to introduce e-tolling in Gauteng have provoked opposition by motorists and residents of South Africa's economic heartland.
Sema said the government should scrap the e-toll project.
"Government must investigate as to who was responsible for steam-rolling these projects past all the relevant processes. This, for us, is highly suspicious, given the amounts of money involved in the various toll road projects."
The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa) said it was clear the government intended to launch e-tolling in Gauteng before a court review took place.
This was judging by the comments made by the transport minister urging the public to buy e-tags this week, it said in a statement.
Outa was expecting the IMC to announce it was reducing the e-toll tariff and the capped maximum charge.
Chairman Wayne Duvenage said: They [will] go on the charm offensive to woo the public into believing this is the best option.
"We also believe their announcement will include the acceptance of e-tolling by a few entities that were originally opposed to the plan."
Outa rejected e-tolling under the "user-pays" principle.
Cliff Johnston of the SA National Consumer Union said the collection costs and the burden placed on society were independent of the amount charged per kilometre.
Road users would still have to foot a bill of more than R1.1 billion a year just to cover the electronic toll collection process.
Automobile Association spokesman Gary Ronald said it was worrying that the ETC [Electronic Toll Collection] contracts remained confidential. They should be made public for the citizens who would be paying the toll fees.
The Justice Project SA said it supported Outa.
"JPSA... remains vehemently opposed to this ludicrously costly and inefficient way of collecting funding and paying for infrastructure in our country, effectively privatising public roads and enriching Austrian-based Kapsch TrafficCom," chairman Howard Dembovsky said in a statement.
There was a risk that the e-toll fees could escalate out of control as had happened with other state-owned enterprises, such as Eskom, he said.
South African President Zuma Lashes VP Kgalema Over Transition Document Critique
Republic of South Africa President Jacob Zuma has launched an attack on Vice-President Kgalema Motlanthe for questioning the succession issue within the ruling African National Congress (ANC). , a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Zuma lashes Kgalema
24 Jun 2012 20:42
South African Mail & Guardian
President Jacob Zuma has launched a veiled attack on Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe for questioning the second transition.
Addressing the closing session of the Free State ANC’s provincial conference Zuma gave his blessing to the disputed conference despite allegations of irregularities relating to the auditing of delegates.
Senior ANC provincial leaders and the ANC Youth League provincial leadership boycotted the conference which saw Free State Premier Ace Magashule controversially re-elected as ANC chairperson.
With less than six months before the ANC holds its elective conference in Mangaung in December, Zuma, who is facing a serious revolt from within the organisation is desperately seeking support from ANC provincial structures for his second term as ANC president.
The youth league and other ANC structures, including Limpopo, Gauteng, North West, Northern Cape, Western Cape and a large portion of Eastern Cape, are pushing for Motlanthe to replace him.
Speaking at the Harold Wolpe lecture in the Eastern Cape last week, Motlanthe criticised the second transition document, saying it was steeped in the SACP’s Marxist jargon and failed to convey what the ANC wanted to achieve as it grappled with underdevelopment.
Direct attack on Zuma
This was seen by many in the ANC as a direct attack on Zuma, who has been championing the idea of a second transition over the past few weeks.
The majority of ANC provinces, with the exception of KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga and Free State, have also rejected the second transition document – which is expected to dominate discussions at the ANC policy conference this week.
In what was a clear response to Motlanthe’s criticism, Zuma lashed out at his deputy for his public critique of the document. Zuma has been using the second transition discussion document as a campaign ticket for his second term.
On Sunday Zuma said: “It is important to understand how the ANC works. The ANC produces documents first and they are discussed by working committees. Once they (the documents) are looked at by the national executive committee they are sent to branches.
“This is what we did. Comrades at leadership level had the opportunity to see them and the time to look at it, not once but three times. The NEC discussed it three times. It is inconceivable for a member of the NEC to say he is not aware of it”.
Zuma said while there was some progress in terms of transformation that the ANC needed to shift into the “second transition” to speed up job creation and service delivery or risk ending up like other African countries who had gained their liberation “but did not know what to do with it”.
Review of the Constitution
“If we don’t talk about the second transition I don’t know how we are going to face these (unemployment and the growing inequalities in the country) challenges… We need a second transition because we can’t continue with the first,” said Zuma.
Zuma hinted that the second transition may include a review of the Constitution.
“Ours was a negotiated settlement. People forget this”.
Borrowing from one of Malema’s memorable quotes Zuma said: “There were sunset clauses but no sunrise clauses (in the constitution)”.
He said: “The ANC must discuss this to help people who are suffering to understand. It is us who must bring this discussion. I do not think we must be loved by people to do that. There will be opposition all the time. That is the way of life. That’s why I am saying let’s occupy the space,” he said.
A confident Zuma then stated: “The time has come to do what must be done for our country,(and) not to make a few individuals happy.”
“Those who say second transition is not right, they must produce an alternative.”
Zuma lambasted Motlanthe for his remarks that ANC leaders should avoid spending more time praising past ANC leaders instead of articulating the vision of the current leadership to take the country forward.
“We took a decision to remember our successes in 2012 (ANC centenary celebration). It is not as if the ANC never had challenges. Some challenges made other political parties perish. The ANC did not perish.”
He said the “celebration was important to all of us” and that citizens were aware that “it was the ANC that liberated us”.
“These matters that must be celebrated by us. We are celebrating those leaders who succeeded against the odds. We celebrate the fact that we got freedom in 1994,” said Zuma.
Buoyed by the re-election of his ally – Magashule, Zuma was in a full-blown campaign mode, also launched a blistering attack on Malema, suggesting Malema was never a real ANC member because he insulted elders.
“The ANC established the ANC Youth League not the other way around. This is in the constitution of the ANC. The class of 1944 which included Anton Lembede, OR Tambo and Nelson Mandela understood this very well. They never insulted leaders, they never did this. Only those who do not have ANC in their blood do this,” said Zuma.
There was jubilation as Zuma entered the conference venue in Parys on Sunday.
With their fingers up, signaling second term for Zuma, delegates sang pro-Zuma songs for almost an hour after his arrival, on instruction of the provincial leadership who encouraged them to dance for their president.
In Zuma’s presence, members of the NEC deployed to the province including Communications Minister Dina Pule, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Mining Minister Susan Shabangu, also made the signal to show their support for second term for Zuma.
The provincial conference rejected wholesale nationalisation, expropriation of land without compensation, but endorsed the second transition document.
The conference endorsed the ANC’s decision to expel Malema – saying it must serve as an example to other ANC members.
Zuma warned that the ANC would have to take firm action against senior ANC leaders who dissented from the party line.
Zuma faction to 'suppress' leadership debate
25 Jun 2012 06:44 - Nickolaus Bauer
ANC members aligned to President Jacob Zuma say no discussions about leadership will be allowed on to the agenda at the upcoming policy conference.
Supporters of ANC president Jacob Zuma will stop any attempts to discuss leadership issues at the ruling party’s policy conference this week.
This is the unyielding view of sources within the ruling party, who told the Mail & Guardian they will “suppress” any attempts to discuss succession within the ruling party.
“People wanting to abuse this conference by bringing up leadership will be silenced. They cannot use this conference to put forward their own agenda – it won’t happen,” said one ruling party source, requesting to remain anonymous but known to be a Zuma supporter.
Officially, it would seem the party itself officially supports this train of thought, telling the M&G it would be “out of line” for delegates to discuss leadership or succession in Midrand.
ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu told the M&G that “only policies” must be discussed at the policy conference which takes place at Gallagher Estate from Tuesday.
“The reality is that this is a policy conference and not an elective conference and ANC members must differentiate between the two,” Mthembu said.
This is despite nothing being stated in the ANC constitution regarding the rules of engagement within a policy conference.
Zuma is currently embroiled in a covert leadership tussle in an attempt to retain his position as president of the party at their upcoming national elective conference in Mangaung this December.
Although neither has publicly stated their intentions, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale are both seen as the frontrunners to challenge Zuma in Mangaung.
Sexwale recently told a rally in Alexandra that ANC leaders should change or face removal, while Motlanthe strongly criticised the ruling party’s recent calls for a second transition.
Both instances are interpreted as veiled attacks on Zuma’s leadership.
Zuma, meanwhile, lashed out at critics of the second transition at the party’s Free State provincial conference at the weekend, challenging them to come up with a better plan.
While the policy conference is not officially sanctioned as a meeting where leadership can be debated, it is expected to be the arena in which the presidential hopefuls would informally launch and gauge support for their campaigns.
These comments follow hot on the heels of a City Press report claiming NEC member Tony Yengeni – who is thought to be anti-Zuma – said issues surrounding succession would be thrashed out at the policy conference.
“Leadership will be discussed, especially how leadership conducts itself. There will be an assessment of the current leadership of the ANC,” Yengeni is quoted in the article.
Mthembu said that while the party couldn’t control “people discussing things in shebeens and taverns”, anyone attempting to put leadership issues on the agenda will be prevented from doing so.
“On Friday when President Zuma closes this conference, the ANC will come out with clear ideas on policies and nothing else,” he said.
But, a high level ANC NEC member told the M&G it would be “foolhardy” for the ANC to think leadership won’t come up at the policy conference.
“People talk, you can’t stop that.”
The issue of leadership of the party won’t come up directly, but it could arise within the policy commissions taking place at the conference,” the source, who requested anonymity, told the M&G.
The source also said issues involving “quality” of leadership would more than likely be introduced.
“It is possible for members to discuss what type of leadership we want going forward, what attributes and qualities we need in our leadership,” he said.
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe put a lid on any discussions around leadership in the run up to Mangaung, saying leadership debates will only officially be opened in October.
Simelane judgment welcomed
Sapa | 06 October, 2012 09:31
Menzi Simelane. File photo.
The Constitutional Court judgment that found the appointment of Menzi Simelane as National Director of Public Prosecutions invalid has been welcomed.
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Centre for Constitutional Rights director Johan Kruger said the ruling was a victory for the South African Constitution.
"The court's judgment reaffirmed our constitutional values, rights and principles, the superiority of the Constitution and the importance of abiding by the provisions of the Constitution," he said in a statement.
"This judgment by the Constitutional Court -- the ultimate guardian of the Constitution -- was a victory for the Constitution and a reaffirmation that no one, including the president, may act outside of the provisions of the Constitution."
The Constitutional Court made the ruling on Friday morning.
In reading the unanimous judgment, Judge Zak Yacoob said the court reached a number of legal conclusions, including that the NDPP's appointment was not a matter to be determined by the subjective opinion of the president.
"It was rather a jurisdictional prerequisite to be determined objectively," he said.
On May 8, the court heard an application by the Democratic Alliance to confirm a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling that the decision to employ Simelane was invalid.
President Jacob Zuma appointed Simelane as NDPP in November 2009.
Kruger said Zuma should explain his appointment because the Constitution required the government to be accountable, responsive and open.
The Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) welcomed the ruling and said it confirmed the constitutional principles that the office of NDPP had to be non-political and non-partisan.
"The Constitution requires the president to objectively ascertain whether the appointee is a fit and proper person with due regard to their conscientious and integrity..." it said.
Casac said that when Zuma appointed a new NDPP, he needed to consider whether the new appointee would be able to ensure that the credibility and neutrality of the National Prosecuting Authority was restored.
"The president has a legal duty to consider whether his chosen appointee will be able to ensure the NPA take decisions to institute criminal prosecution 'honestly, fairly and without fear, favour or prejudice'," it said.
The Inkatha Freedom Party said the fact that Zuma and his legal advisers had been prepared to go to court and had lost was proof that the African National Congress was a "failed government".
"This is yet another example of how government's incompetence is costing the taxpayers huge amounts in wasted legal costs," chief whip Koos van der Merwe said in a statement.
"The fact that the Constitutional Court gave judgment against the president of the country, is proof that our judiciary judge matters without fear or favour and true only to the Constitution and to their consciences."
On Friday afternoon, the presidency said it was studying the judgment.
"The presidency respects and will abide by the ruling of the Constitutional Court, which is the highest court in our democracy," spokesman Mac Maharaj said.
The report of the Ginwala Commission of Inquiry into Simelane's predecessor Vusi Pikoli's fitness to hold office had raised concerns about Simelane's understanding of the relationship between the justice department, where he was director general, and the NPA.
Ginwala, in her 2008 report, found his testimony contradictory and without basis in fact or law.
Yacoob said Simelane was evaluated in terms of the Ginwala inquiry and his evidence.
"[We] conclude that the evidence was contradictory and, on its face, indicative of Mr Simelane's honesty. It raises serious questions about Mr Simelane's conscientiousness, integrity, and credibility."
Comments by Sonny
Now the vice president Kgalema Motlanthe wants to serve his own agenda and that of his Gugu Doll before that of his president.
Who will survive the succession battle in December 2012?
Hopefully, none of the above.
POWER, GREED & CORRUPTION ARE THE THREE PILLARS ON WHICH THE ANC ARE STRUCTURED!
THIS IS THE COUNTRY WHERE THE PICK THE WEAKEST AND PREY ON HIS DEDICATION TO THE LEADERS.
SABOTAGE IS A NATIONAL SPORT OF THE TRADE UNIONS IN SA.