South Africa: The ANC Is in an Untenable Political Crisis, Zuma Must Step Down – Stalwarts

ANC stalwarts and veterans have once again called for President Jacob Zuma to step down with immediate effect.

images

This call forms one of many resolutions adopted at their national consultative conference which was held over the past three days in Braamfontein.

Former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe attended the event, along with several National Executive Committee members, in their personal capacity, including ANC presidential hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu, Deputy Minister of Agriculture Bheki Cele and Deputy National Assembly Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli.

The veterans, who were also joined by several civil society groups, the SACP, labour federation Cosatu and Sanco said they had come together “out of love and concern” for South Africa and the ANC.

Join The Influnester Community

They discussed issues ranging from the state of the economy, leadership in the ANC, electoral reform, and challenges the country was experiencing in its attempt to build a non-racial society.

However, the recurring concern for delegates in the room remained Zuma’s protracted stay as head of the ANC and the country.

ANC supporters mostly focused their attention on the issue of leadership; even as the different commissions gave report backs and asked for input.

“There is no leadership crisis, we just elected the wrong leaders,” Deputy Minister of Energy Thembi Majola said from the floor, during the conference.

Another man in the audience dismissed concerns over ANC policies, claiming they were not the problem.

“Remove the pigs before you implement these beautiful policies,” he said.

‘Betrayal’

The ANC’s Billy Ramokgopa, who read out the declarations, said the elders of the liberation movement were deeply hurt by what they regarded as a “betrayal” of the people’s long-standing support and trust in the 105-year-old political party.

“We observe that the current elected leadership of the ANC is paralysed and unable to deal with ill-discipline, incompetence and corruption that point directly to the highest offices in the land,” read Ramokgopa.

The stalwarts gathering, which was also well attended by young members, was not endorsed by the ANC’s NEC, which refused to grant its former leaders a conference that was not linked to the policy conference.

The NEC insisted that two days at the ANC’s June policy conference was enough to discuss the moral degeneration within the party and decline in support.

Ramokgopa decried the state of education in the country, the levels of crime, the mismanagement of the economy and a leadership that “lacked honesty, integrity and a vision for the future”.

Focusing on those in charge of the ANC, he said they had seen the crisis in the party cause “immense” damage to South Africa, which Ramokgopa said was the result of systematic looting, the unparalleled capture of state institutions, assassinations, failure to implement transformative social and economic programmes as well as the diminishing stature and reputation of the country and the ANC in the eyes of South Africans, the continent and world.

“The ANC has relinquished its leadership of society and plunged itself into an untenable political crisis,” said Ramokgopa.

Self-introspection needed

The stalwarts, in an attempt to solve the crisis, proposed a range of suggestions which could be explored.

These included – working with its numerous partners who have a shared historic vision with the party, constant introspection, that a committee be established at the ANC’s national elective conference taking place in a few weeks’ time to design and develop a renewal document “for the sake of our future” and a plan of action, which must be monitored and thorough renewal of ANC structures including its branches.

Stalwarts also want the party’s integrity commission to be an independent constitutional structure within the party with the capacity to act independently “from and without” the influence of the ANC NEC.

The veterans also advocated for “one member, one vote” to be the approach adopted by the party when it comes to the election of members of the ANC’s executive, and for the president of the party to be voted for directly by the people during elections instead of the party, and that his powers be moderated.

The ANC belongs to the people

Former General of the ANC’s liberation army Umkhonto weSizwe and South African National Defence Force chief Siphiwe Nyanda decried those who told stalwarts that their conference was illegitimate.

“[They are] saying we had no right to use the [ANC] banners but this is our organisation. The ANC is ours,” he said to applause.

He said as elders they had been watching the ANC steer “this ship towards a huge iceberg” and that they were trying to prevent a crash from happening, but the ANC’s NEC wanted to distance itself away from them.

“We want to rescue this organisation,” he said in the conference’s closing remarks.

He also praised Mbeki who earlier said: “The ANC was captured by a dominant faction which was in fact not ANC”.

“He [Mbeki] was right,” Nyanda said.

“The ANC has been captured by a clique that is very un-ANC.”

Nyanda also said the current leaders had no right to claim the ANC, as it belongs to the people of the country and the continent.

Source :  News24wire

Advertisements

Zimbabwe: Chombo Found With Us$10 Million Cash – Claim

00441444 cf399f06b548a6ad65da907f3892db43 arc614x376 w285 us1

Finance minister Ignatius Chombo was reportedly found with US$10m in cash at his Harare home after the property was raided by the military Wednesday morning.

The minister, said to be one of President Robert Mugabe’s most corrupt officials, was among the first ministers detained by the army as Generals deposed the 93-year-old Zanu PF leader from power.

The unverified claim that Chombo had bags of cash at plush home was made by independent Norton legislator Temba Mliswa.

Join Influenster

“Just for your own information, Minister Chombo’s house which was invaded as he got arrested had US$10 million,” Mliswa claimed in an interview with Al Jazeera.

Meanwhile, also reported to have been detained were higher education minister Jonathan Moyo and local government counterpart Saviour Kasukuwere.

The two were said to have sought refuge at Mugabe’s private Harare home where the veteran leader was being held hostage.

Source : New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Saga in Dramatic Twist

00430751 57d57673269f7869180ec0cf3a212502 arc614x376 w285 us1

Fired vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa is still holed up in South Africa and isolated despite claims that he is in China, sources said amid indications President Robert Mugabe has ordered that his finances must be closely monitored.

Mnangagwa fled Zimbabwe two days after he was fired by Mugabe on Monday for “disloyalty and deceit”.

A statement attributed to him threatened that he would return in a few weeks to topple Mugabe, but sources yesterday said far from being in a fighting mood, Mnangagwa was desperate to re-open lines of communication with his boss.

“Mnangagwa is in Pretoria and did not go to China as is being claimed,” the source said last night. “He is broken, terrified and scared.”

The source said the former VP was also being shunned by his business associates, including the Indian owners of the Africa Chrome Fields (ACF).

ACF owners refused to provide Mnangagwa with a private jet last Tuesday and have not been in touch with him since his arrival in South Africa

“He is desperate to reconnect with Mugabe and his wife so that he can be allowed to return home,” the source added. “He has told his children that he is not feeling well and is desperate to return home and rest but his supporters are putting pressure on him to fight his dismissal.”

Mnangagwa is said to be with his son Emmerson Junior.

War veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa, who addressed a press conference in Johannesburg last week and announced that the former VP was on his way to South Africa, promising he would join the opposition ranks, was tongue-tied yesterday.

On Friday he promised to answer about 10 questions from The Standard about the Mnangagwa debacle, but eventually delivered two lines before going quiet.

“I am focused on the future, not this parochial history. The Mugabe era of monumental misrule is in imminent sunset,” was all Mutswanga could say about the questions, including whether he penned the statement attributed to Mnangagwa or not.

Meanwhile, in Harare state security agencies were said to be investigating a number of Mnangagwa’s alleged crimes, including suspected money laundering that could see the once powerful VP being arrested on his return.

“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe financial intelligence unit has been instructed to keep a close eye on his bank accounts and his business interests because there are fears that he could be funding terror and violence within Zanu PF structures,” a senior government official said.

“His close allies, both in the business sector and outside the country, are under monitoring and surveillance — be it mobile money or their business operations — from the amounts they are banking to sales.”

The former VP is said to have interest in sectors such as banking, hotel and leisure, energy, mining and agriculture.

Mnangagwa has allegedly been linked to a case where a local company was using bank transfers to mop up foreign currency in contravention of the Exchange Control Act.

The matter was partly investigated by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission under RR 27/10/17 but was dropped under unclear circumstances.

Companies identified as Europium Star Investments, Spartan Security and Makanaka Investments are involved in the saga.

Spartan is owned by Mnangagwa’s close relative, Tarirai David Munangagwa who initially tried to leave the country for Mozambique via Forbes Border Post.

Makanaka Investments, also trades as Pote Investments and operates largely in the Zvishavane area, is owned by for former VP’s ally, Antony Clever Pote.

The directors of Europium and Spartan are being investigated for allegedly violating the Exchange Control Act by selling money through bank transfers.

A Billy Tanhira, who is believed to be opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s late wife, Susan’s brother is also being investigated as part of the case.

According to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) documents, the matter came to light after two men, Fordias Nyerere and Onesimo Ndoro; accused of converting $100 000 to personal use by Tanhira, who claimed to be the owner of Europium, were arrested for theft of property.

Tanhira’s, whose name does not appear on the ownership documents of the company but is the complainant in the matter, claimed Nyerere and Ndoro were supposed to give $201 000 from Makanaka Investments realised from the transfer of $232 000.

Nyerere and Ndoro’s lawyers, Bherebende Law Chambers have now written a complaint against the police claiming their clients were being victimised because they were small fish.

The lawyers said several transactions of a similar nature where several millions of dollars were sold by Makanaka Investments to several companies including Spartan were conducted through t Nyerere and Ndoro.

Sources this was part of many cases that could be used to put Mnangagwa behind bars.

Source : The Standard

Malawi: Nsanje Women Cry Out for Adult Literacy Classes

index

 

Nsanje — Nsanje women have faulted government for failing to provide adult literacy learning services in the area despite their strong willingness to enroll for classes.

Belita Mafunga, 45, a mother who hails from the area of Traditional Authority Malemia village explains she failed to go to school when she was young due to poverty but has always had a strong desire to go back to school.

She explained she was encountering a lot of challenges when participating in different groups such as church service as she could not read.

Due to that she explained she was forced to just stay at home.

“When I receive a letter I have to wait for my children to come from school to read it for me. I have a phone but I cannot operate it. I really need adult literacy school in our village so that we can have knowledge on different things and so that our lives can be improved,” Mafunga lamented.

Village Head John said adult literacy schools were crucial for the community development.

He revealed that apart from poverty, people in the past were not aware of the importance of going to school but now things had changed.

“In our area of Group Village Nthukuso there is one adult literacy school which is far from us, it is at a distance of about three kilometers and most women cannot manage to go that far. This the reason why we are asking for help to well-wishers that at least we should also have one literacy school adult

b in the area of Chief John,” Village Head John added.

Assistant District Community Development Officer, Joseph Gama said in Traditional Authority Malemia there are 21 literacy schools and 170 teachers.

He acknowledged that most of the women are illiterate and per the policy, each village is supposed to have one school but this is not the case currently because of inadequate resources.

Gama viewed that, “We have been asking government and other non-governmental organization to help us to fulfill the work as per the policy that governs adult literacy schools that every village must have one school and we are still waiting for the feedback.”

Source – Malawi News Agency

South Africa: Statement – Stats Reveal That Cops Are Spying On 70,000+ Mobile Phones Every Year

Press Release

00401284 d16e5c5273da87865da7dd8b71ca6700 arc614x376 w285 us1

Today R2K releases statistics from MTN, Vodacom, Cell C and Telkom that show that government accesses tens of thousands of people’s sensitive communications information every year using a loophole in South Africa’s surveillance policies.

These numbers show that, at a minimum, law enforcement agencies are spying on the communications of at least 70,000 phone numbers each year. As our analysis below shows, the actual number could be much higher.

Background to the requests

In May 2017, R2K asked MTN, Telkom, Vodacom and Cell C how many warrants they received in terms of section 205 of the Criminal Procedures Act, in 2015, 2016 and 2017 (statement here).

These requests aimed to understand how a legal loophole has allowed surveillance operations to take place using the Criminal Procedures Act, rather than the RICA law.

RICA is meant to be South Africa’s primary surveillance law. It requires law enforcement and intelligence agencies to get the permission of a special judge, appointed by the president, to intercept a person’s communications. In order to apply for this warrant, they need to provide strong reasons because such interceptions threaten peoples’ right to privacy so much. But policymakers have wrongly assumed that the information about the communication (such as the identity of who you have communicated with, when, and your location) is less sensitive than the content of the communication.

This has led to a ‘loophole’ in our surveillance laws: section 205 of the Criminal Procedures Act allows law enforcement officials to bypass the RICA judge to get access to get your phone records – who you have communicated with, when, and where. According to this law, any magistrate can issue a warrant that forces telecoms companies to give over a customer’s call records and metadata. Policymakers are wrong to assume this information is less sensitive or private than the contents of the communication: metadata can reveal as much, if not more, about a person’s contacts, interests and habits than what they say over the phone or in a text message. When a person’s communications information is handed over using the Criminal Procedures Act, they are never notified, even if the investigation is dropped or if they are found to be innocent.

In one recent case, former SAPS Crime Intelligence officer Paul Scheepers faces charges in the Western Cape for allegedly using this legal loophole to spy on the communications of various people who were not under legitimate investigation.

What Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom revealed

All four companies complied with R2K’s information requests. Their answers show that law enforcement get call records for a minimum of 70,960 phone numbers every year. Due to incomplete records (only Vodacom and Telkom could say how many phone numbers were contained in the warrants it received) the actual number is estimated to be much higher. Extrapolating from this data, Daily Maverick journalist Heidi Swart points out the estimated total could be as high as 194,820 phone numbers each year.

All together, these numbers tell a staggering story about surveillance practices in South Africa.

In 2016, MTN received 23,762 warrants for customers’ call records, while Vodacom got 18,594 warrants. Cell C got 6455 warrants and Telkom got 1,271. Due to the fact that in some cases, the same warrant will be sent to several service providers, it is not possible to add these numbers together to get the total number of warrants issued across all service providers, as this would result in ‘double counting’ of some warrants.

The most recent statistics from the RICA judge’s office show that in 2014/2015, the RICA judge issued 760 warrants for interception. At a minimum, in the same year magistrates issued 25,808 warrants in terms of s205 of the Criminal Procedures Act.

These statistics confirm for the first time that the vast majority of ‘authorised’ surveillance operations are happening outside of the RICA judge’s oversight, with no transparency or accountability.

R2K’s demands

It is clear that urgent reforms are needed for South Africa’s surveillance policies.

R2K has already pointed out that RICA does not do enough to protect people’s privacy — weak safeguards and a lack of transparency have enabled surveillance abuses. In fact, RICA already faces a legal challenge from investigative journalists whose phones were tapped by government agents.

Among the Right2Know Campaign’s demands for surveillance reform:

1) Call records must be given better protection

Metadata about your communication – information about who you contacted, when and where – must be given the same level of protection as the content of your communication. Interception of this information should only be authorised by a specially appointed judge with special insight on privacy protections and digital rights. The RICA judge is a specialist judge who must be specially positioned to weigh the interests of justice against the right to privacy. Magistrates and ordinary judges, on the other hand, may not be as sensitised to the privacy issues involved in deciding whether or not to release metadata records. This should not be authorized at the lower levels of our court system. The ‘section 205’ loophole should be closed immediately.

2) An end to mass storage of customers’ data

RICA requires telecommunications and internet service providers to store all users’ metadata (a detailed record of all messages and calls sent and received, all internet traffic, etc) for three to five years. This means even people who are not suspected of any crime are already being treated with suspicion.

3) An end to SIM card registration

SIM card registration violates privacy in that it limits the ability of citizens to communicate anonymously. It also facilitates the tracking and monitoring of all users by law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

4) Greater transparency

We should not have to resort to legal action to get this information. Private companies should be publishing regular, detailed transparency reports about their role in interceptions, and the RICA judge must publish a much more detailed report, and it must be tabled in open Parliament.

Users must also be notified when their data has been intercepted. This is a legal requirement of many surveillance laws across the world. The current situation is ripe for abuse, as people who are targeted for surveillance have no way of knowing that their rights have been violated. Only under exceptional circumstances should the judge have the power to delay notifying a user that their data has been intercepted.

Time to end surveillance abuses!

This is no time for half measures and cosmetic reforms. Right2Know Campaign will not relent on challenging surveillance abuses. The people of South Africa can and will take back control of their privacy!

Source : Right2know

Police Should Only Mount Necessary Road Blocks-Zimbabwe Home Affairs Minister

 Zimbabwe’s Home Affairs Minister and his Deputy have called on the Police to reduce the road blocks on the country’s roads.

They made this call while appearing before  a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development.

Chombo stated that his Ministry had recommended that the road blocks be reduced to four per province, beginning from the end of June.

Visit Book Depository

“We have told the Commissioner General of Police to reduce or remove all unnecessary roadblocks and leave the necessary ones,” Chombo said.

Towing the argument of his Boss, Chombo’s Deputy maintained that road blocks were only necessary to  curb crimes such as drugs and human trafficking.

“These are the core aspects of the police. These other things were being done on behalf of the Vehicle Inspection Department. There is no need for the police to check on fitness of vehicles and the route (for commuter omnibuses),” he told the parliamentary committee.

 

Zimbabwe: Linda Musarira, Others Nabbed Over Toy Gun

Police have denied access to medication to the three human rights activists who were arrested for an alleged illegal possession of a “fire arm” in central Harare on Wednesday.

00390867 47bfca98b60f4c33244843cd38c70ff8 arc614x376 w285 us1

Linda Masarira, Zimbabwe National Students Union secretary general, Makomborero Haruzivishe, and the Young Voters’ Platform national programs coordinator, Desmond Sharukai, were arrested at a local restaurant where they were having a drink Wednesday night for allegedly possessing a gun.

Fellow activists, who witnessed the arrest of the three, said Linda and friends were apprehended after they had an altercation with the workers of the restaurant they were having “drinks” at.

“Linda had a misunderstanding with one of the workers at the restaurant and she pointed a toy gun at him,” said the activists who requested not to be named.

According to their attorney, Obey Shava, from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, one of the activists who are detained at Harare Central police station, Haruzivishe, was assaulted during the skirmishes at the scene of their arrest and sustained a “fractured” leg.

“The police have denied my clients access to medication after spending the whole day negotiating with them to have them taken to the hospital so that they can be attended to by doctors,” Shava told NewZimbabwe.com in Harare Thursday.

“They denied the request to have them sent to hospital for treatment despite serious and visible injuries,” he said.

Shava also said the police were yet to prefer charges against the three activists.

“This is an illegal detention which my clients continue to be under given the fact that it is now than 17 hours since they were arrested.

“If they are to charge them I suspect that they might charge them with assault and possible pointing a gun at someone, but they are yet to charge them,” said Shava.

Source : New Zimbabwe(London)

South Africa: Do Not Open Unknown Emails

00391844 8fcfdbf56fdd530ba29daedb52677981 arc614x376 w285 us1

Pretoria — South Africans have been warned not to open any unknown emails and to urgently update their security software as a global cyber ransom attack spread on Friday.

Friday’s global cyber-attack has affected more than 200 000 victims in 150 countries and regions, Europol chief Rob Wainwright said on Sunday.

Hackers reportedly used a tool known as Eternal Blue and a malicious software called WannaCry to lock users’ computers and to demand a payment for the decryption.

The global cyber-attack has so far swept across more than 100 countries including the United States, Britain, Germany and China. Cyber security experts said it could be the biggest cyber-attack of its kind ever.

“Many of those victims were businesses, including large corporations. The global reach is unprecedented,” Wainwright said in an interview with Britain’s ITV.

Wainwright said he was concerned that the numbers of those affected would continue to rise when people returned to work on Monday morning.

“We’re in the face of an escalating threat, the numbers are going up,” he said, adding that the current attack was unprecedented.

Wainwright told ITV that the world faced an escalating threat, and there was concern about the level of potential attacks on Monday morning.

Wainwright warned the healthcare sector “in many countries” was particularly vulnerable, but that all organizations should ensure they prioritise cyber security and update their systems.

The virus took control of users’ files, demanding payments.

Russia and Britain were among the worst hit countries.

Dozens of Russian public institutions including the Bank of Russia said on Saturday that they have thwarted a massive cyber-attack and prevented vital data loss.

The central bank’s security and information protection division, responsible for monitoring computer attacks in the credit and financial sphere, has registered massive spread of malicious programs, but no instances of compromise were detected, said the Bank of Russia, quoted by Sputnik, a major media outlet in Russia

The Russian Interior Ministry and Health Ministry also said earlier in the day that they have “repelled” such attacks as the virus was promptly detected and localized, according to Russian news agencies.

Britain’s official emergency committee, known as Cobra, met in London on Saturday afternoon to discuss the cyber-attack that has caused widespread disruption to the country’s National Health Service (NHS).

Around 45 NHS organisations in England and Scotland, including hospitals, family doctor surgeries, and health services, were hit in the cyber-attack which prevented doctors, nurses and staff from accessing vital patient information.

However, Wainwright said Europol was working on the basis that the cyber-attack was carried out by criminals rather than terrorists, but noted that “remarkably few” payments had been made so far.

“Most people are not paying this, so there are not a lot of money being made with this by criminal organisations so far,” he said. – Xinhua/Sputnik

Source : S.A news

South Africa: Police Minister to Address Media On Decision to Withdraw Ntlemeza Appeal

00390855 d22fe0505ea4a56fab8273deae92cd28 arc614x376 w140 us1

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula is expected to address the media on Thursday on his decision to withdraw his application to appeal the ruling of the High Court in Pretoria to set aside the appointment of Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza.

In March the court found that when then police minister Nathi Nhleko appointed him head of the elite police unit he had ignored two court judgments which found that Ntlemeza lacked integrity and honesty.

The court found that the findings in both judgments constituted “direct evidence” that Ntlemeza lacked the requisite honesty, integrity and conscientiousness to hold public office.

Ntlemeza, however, continued with his application for leave to appeal the judgment.

On Wednesday afternoon, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria dismissed his application and ordered him to vacate his office with immediate effect.

The matter was brought to the High Court by the Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom under Law.

Source : News24wire

South Africa: Ntlemeza Ruling a Boost for Rule of Law – Helen Suzman Foundation

The court ruling against Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza supports the principle that state administration should be rational and within the confines of the law, Freedom Under Law and the Helen Suzman Foundation said on Thursday.

00390855 d22fe0505ea4a56fab8273deae92cd28 arc614x376 w140 us1

“In this exceptional case, the court found that the applicant had shown that were Major-General Ntlemeza to remain in office, the public would suffer irreparable harm,” the organizations said in a joint statement.

Visit My eBusiness Guide

The High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday denied Ntlemeza leave to appeal a previous judgment declaring his appointment unlawful and invalid and setting it aside. The court ordered him to vacate his office immediately.

On March 17, the same court found that former police minister Nathi Nhleko had ignored two court judgments which found that Ntlemeza lacked “integrity and honour” when he appointed him head of the elite police unit.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula on Wednesday said he had withdrawn the ministry’s application to appeal the March judgment.

He is expected to brief the media on his decision on Thursday.

Source : News24wire