Zuma’s supplementary heads of argument in the ‘State of Capture’ case are contradictory

The DA notes President Jacob Zuma’s supplementary heads of argument and is gobsmacked by the contents.
The prayers sought in the papers filed today are inconsistent with what his counsel sought last week.
On Wednesday last week, Zuma’s counsel did not want to refer the matter back for further investigation by the Public Protector.
The President now says that he wants the Public Protector’s remedial action set aside and instead, he undertakes to appoint a commission of enquiry headed up by a judge of his own choosing, and with terms of reference he will determine, within 30 days. As the Public Protector herself noted, this would make him judge and jury in his own case.
In another bizarre about-turn, the President is also now content for the alleged breaches of the Code of Ethics to be investigated by her.
Either the President has lost touch with reality or he is changing tack yet again to fend off any charges.
The DA has submitted our supplementary heads of argument in which we argue that the President is essentially trying to have his cake and eat it.
We have asked that the President be directed to urgently implement the remedial action ordered by the Public Protector and we are confident that the court will agree.
The DA will continue to doggedly pursue accountability for the man responsible for one of the darkest times in our democracy’s history.

The ANC government is failing our children, is failing us

The following remarks were delivered by DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Police, Dianne Kohler Barnard MP, during the debate on murder in the National Assembly today.
Why are we as a nation no longer outraged by murder?
At the very moment South Africans were protesting yesterday, two farmers were murdered. One in Deneysville, brutally beaten and then shot nine times. His 12 year old son, also terribly beaten, has survived. And yet another farmer was murdered on a farm in Vryheid. Statistics show us that these are likely to be only the tip of the iceberg – 50 more people from our townships to our suburbs, from our farms to our cities, throughout our country, might have met their end in a gruesome murder yesterday, and 52 more will lose their lives today.
Yet the deaths of these 52 South Africans will remain virtually unremarked. Such as, for example, Andrew and Loryn Monakane. The Monakane’s were brutally murdered on their farm Graigmont, near Dewetsdorp in the Free State. He was shot dead, probably not before she was gang raped, but certainly before she was shot in the face. She died the next day.
This attack on two upcoming black farmers slipped by barely making a blip on the radar and from the media’s side there seemed to be little interest. Shortly before their murder another black farmer from the Eastern Cape and his housekeeper were also murdered. No one here knows about it.
Rural areas today are beyond unsafe and the refusal or inability of the police to institute proper rural security measures not only aggravates the situation but has led to the extraordinary pressure-cooker gatherings around the country yesterday during the Black Monday protests.
But of course farmers are by no means the only victims of this terrible violent scourge.
So: 52 murders a day – our babies, our children, our teenagers, our husbands, our wives, our mothers, our fathers.
109 of them are raped each and every day, often before being murdered. 46 of them are hijacked each day, often before being raped and then murdered.
Our police are not even close to getting a grip on violent crime, despite a budget that has been increased by almost 50% since 2011/12 to R87 billion.
How did we become a nation where, the Minister tells me, child murders in South Africa increased 14.5%, totalling a truly appalling 969 cases in a single year? Three children murdered daily. What is worse is that this was a question put to various former Ministers of Police from 2014, and it wasn’t deemed important enough to answer until three years later.
How is it possible that there is such a damning lack of urgency shown by the government in tackling the scourge of child murders? The DA has been trying to pin down statistics for child homicide rates in South Africa for the past ten years, but have been frustrated by a government that is either unwilling to address the crisis, embarrassed by it or indifferent to it.
And how are our children dying? Mainly they are stabbed to death. Alternatively they are shot, cut, beaten to death by bare hands, by sticks, by stones and bricks, strangled with string or wire, poisoned, or kicked to death. You get the idea.
This is the reality our South African babies face from the moment they are born and this is the news every Mother dreads hearing. That this is what has happened to their baby. Inconceivable but it happens.
These gruesome statistics serve as clear evidence that this government is failing our children, is failing us.
It is a societal problem. Parents are perhaps only too keen to be hands-off, to leave even the most basic training to the schools where our children are increasingly at risk as teachers could hold one of our daughters down and gang rape her. Inconceivable but it happens.
The problem is, such is the fear and sometimes even loathing of our SAPS, that people run from them when they should run to them. Sadly, when they do run to them, they have no vehicles, or no drivers’ licences, or no staff. Or they demand money.
So fewer and fewer South Africans bother to report crimes to the SAPS. This makes the annual crime statistics look good if nothing else. If they are able to afford it, citizens pay for Private Security, and endless beams and alarms and bulletproof doors. If they can’t, they don’t sleep at night but lie awake terrified as shots ring out in the streets.
The damage done by Jacki Selebi, who shut down all specialised units, saw all experts in child-related crimes dumped from the FCS units, to areas where their expertise wasn’t wanted or needed.
Finally, in the face of plummeting conviction rates, some Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Units were reopened but remain ‘Cinderella Units’, under-staffed and under-resourced, and there simply are not enough of them.
And of course, effective policing cannot be realised while many stations still do not have victim-friendly rooms and rape test kits.
Because of the disaster that is the SAPS Crime Intelligence, sex trafficking syndicates and the stealing of our young girls will not be stopped and drug Lords remain free to lead our children into their dark and terrible lives.
Because of the disaster that is the SAPS laboratory based in bits and pieces of Amanzimtoti, with 456 drug-related samples swept out to sea in a flood, criminals are laughing all the way home. This laboratory is, or was, housed by Public Works in what is today a slum building that has been flooded four times.
Thousands of samples must now be shifted along with 120 staff to the other three national labs, at massive expense.
And the SAPS wonder why the citizens of South Africa don’t put them on the sort of pedestal they stand on in countries like Germany or France.
We have had three failed NPCs, one acting NPC, suspended, and a second on the way out, I gather. Are we to wait until the ANC congress before another political appointment is made or will we finally see someone brought in who won’t steal, spend money like water, oversee another Marikana, or involve his or herself in internal politics?
We need the highest possible qualifications wrapped around a spine of steel. If we’re given another unqualified, unsuitable Commissioner, we may yet see our daily murder rate reach 60 a day.

Murder is a trauma felt by many families, including my own

The following speech was delivered by DA Shadow Minister of Police, Zakhele Mbhele MP, during the debate on murder in the National Assembly today.
We welcome this opportunity for Parliament to debate the scourge of murder affecting all South Africans on a daily basis, a motion proposed by the DA following last week’s release of the annual crime statistics which showed that violent and organised crimes continue to increase. This ongoing trend is a reflection of police ineffectiveness under the ANC and has brought the crisis of rampant criminality once more to the fore of the public mind.
The recent crime statistics showed that all South Africans, irrespective of race or background, can become a target of violent crime. Every South African knows the feeling of fearing for their life and the lives of their loved ones. Women and children are the most vulnerable, often being the targets of horrific rapes and a shocking seven women and children are murdered every day.
This is a trauma and tragedy that has been known and felt by many families, including my own. In about 2 weeks, on the 15th of November, it will mark 7 years since my mother was brutally murdered with multiple stab wounds, the result of a labour dispute gone horribly wrong with her gardener, at least based on what was revealed during court testimony of the accused who pleaded guilty and received the maximum sentence for murder.
In our case, we were luckier than most in that the suspect was apprehended within days and we were able to gain closure because justice was done, notwithstanding the year-long delay in the scheduling of the case at the Regional Court because it took that long for the DNA test results to come back from the SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL).
The issues of processing backlogs, lack of capacity and inefficient administration in the FSL environment affect the lives of people already in a traumatised state in very real ways. At this juncture, I must pay tribute to the investigating officer in my mother’s murder’s case, Warrant Officer Jaco Wentzel of the Deneysville SAPS, who was a laudable help in providing regular feedback and progress updates to our family, despite the hindrances that plagued the system.
Now I know that the ANC may come up to this podium and talk about how South Africa has always been a violent society, that centuries of violence have been perpetrated against communities through imperialism, colonialism and apartheid and that cycles of violence perpetrate themselves as a legacy of our oppressive past.
We do not deny or negate the role of history and how its effects play out in contemporary patterns of social dysfunction. However, this reasoning surely loses its potency as time goes by. No one can reasonably expect centuries of that history to be undone or reversed in 23 years but we can reasonably expect to have made faster progress than we have under the ANC. As a country, we should have been further along and should have minimised the intensification of the problem, as has become the case in many contexts.
Were it not for the cronyism, corruption and state capture that has come to define ANC misgovernance, starting with the Arms Deal in the late 1990s and culminating in the Zupta saga revelations and politically motivated manipulation at state owned enterprises, we could have ensured that more poor and economically marginalised citizens were better provided for, had access to more jobs through inclusive economic growth and enjoyed more opportunities for sustainable livelihoods.
Had the ANC governed and delivered as it promised and South Africa been able to realise more of its potential, we would have had better prospects to repair our damaged social fabric which gives fertile context for domestic and interpersonal violence, rather than having seen a continued and exacerbated fraying of the social fabric. Had the ANC governed and delivered as it promised, perhaps a labour dispute would not be escalated by a desperation and despair over scarce economic resources into a murder.
Thus the scourge of violence in South Africa is a damning indictment on the ANC government.
Even with the social fabric issues aside, the fact is that violent and organised crime in South Africa has been a growing contributing factor to the epidemic of murder and has long reached crisis point. Sadly, the SAPS has been losing the fight, in large part, a direct result of the chronic under-training, under-staffing, under-resourcing and under-equipping of the Police Service (the four U’s), combined with crime intelligence-in-crisis and detectives-in-distress, meaning that the SAPS is unable to tackle organised crime and the syndicates who drive it and lack a strong, skilled investigative capacity to ensure high detection and conviction rates.
The four U’s, combined with poor leadership, low professionalism and weak accountability in the police service all mean that the SAPS is unable to get a grip on and successfully bring crime down.
Enough is enough, genoeg is genoeg, kwanele kwanele. We need to take our country back from the criminals that are crippling our society with fear and the criminals who have hampered and hollowed out the capability of the criminal justice system to bring them to book.
The fundamental problem we face as a country in effectively tackling and reducing the murder epidemic and the criminality that feeds into it is a lack of political will within the ANC national government to do the things that are required to turn the police service around to make it an effective crime-fighting organisation.
We can no longer rely on the ANC to fix the problem. The hope for the reduction of unemployment, poverty and crime, resulting in safe streets and safe homes, lies only in a post-ANC South Africa. As the DA, we are committed to seeing violent crime being rooted out of our communities and the realisation of freedom, fairness and opportunity for all. We stand with every South African who has been a victim of crime.
The only solution so that we stand a chance of having an effective police service and a more prosperous nation is for the ANC to be voted out of power and for a DA-led government to be elected in 2019 that will have the political will to fix the fundamentals in the police and grow the economy for the benefit of all the people.

DA excited for South Africa to be preferred candidate to host Rugby World Cup

The DA welcomes with optimism and excitement the announcement that South Africa is the preferred candidate to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Should our bid be successful, we must ensure that the World Cup benefits our economy and that the event creates jobs for the 9.4 million unemployed people in our country.
It is vital that if we are to host this international tournament, our country and our people benefit from it.
Sport is one of the ways of bringing about unity in our country and this was seen during the 2010 Soccer World Cup. We look forward to reliving the feeling of camaraderie our country experienced then.
Winning the bid will be an important victory for South Africans and we look forward to 15 November when the winning country is confirmed. 

Mahlobo greases wheels for nuclear deal

Indications by the new Energy Minister, David Mahlobo, that the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) will be moved forward and ready by the end of November are alarming and are yet another instance of government sending mixed signals on nuclear energy.
The IRP is a vital step for the controversial nuclear deal and is the most important piece of the nuclear puzzle. It has to be in place as the precursor for a “legal” nuclear process to start and once it has been completed, the deal will be fast-tracked.
The DA will interrogate the document to determine whether the document remains a substantive reflection of the original draft approved by Cabinet and reflective of public comment.
Should there be any suspicions of dodgy dealings, the DA will interdict any IRP that fails this test.
The previous Minister committed to deliver the IRP in February 2018 before the Budget Speech, yet there has been no progress made on it. It is therefore quite suspicious that such a large document will now be ready in one month.
Mahlobo is seemingly perfectly placed to secure the nuclear deal for his friends, the Russians, and this is but the first clear indication of this relationship.
The DA will not allow future generations of South Africans to be unnecessarily tied to a nuclear deal that we cannot afford and do not need.

DA submit supplementary heads in the ‘State of Capture’ case

Please find the supplementary heads of argument here.
The DA has submitted our supplementary heads of argument on the implications of President Jacob Zuma’s last-minute withdrawal of certain relief initially claimed, requesting that the Court order that the Public Protectors remedial actions in her ‘State of Capture’ report be set aside, but without any further investigation by the office.
The intention behind this bizarre withdrawal is clearly another attempt by President Zuma to avoid his day in court.
Essentially, President Zuma hopes that this latest delaying tactic will mean that there will be no further investigation by the Public Protector or that a Commission be established to investigate the Presidents role in the project of state capture. Alternatively, he hopes that should any further investigation go ahead, that he would be able to pick the Chairperson of a Commission and set the terms of reference.
We have argued that due to this clear ulterior motive in the withdrawal of this relief, the court has an obligation to dismiss the entire application to prevent the abuse of the administration of justice.
Moreover, as the President has previously conceded that the Public Protector’s remedial action is binding, we argue that the court should not only dismiss this application, but it should direct the President to implement the Public Protector’s remedial action immediately.
The DA will continue to make sure that President Zuma gets his day in court, in this case, and others, like any other ordinary citizen. Every day that he is allowed to abscond from justice is another day that compromises the future of South Africa.

Over 2000 guns stolen from SAPS armouries in 4 years

A reply to a DA Parliamentary Question has revealed that a whopping 2027 guns were stolen from South African Police Service (SAPS) armouries in the last four years.
602 guns were stolen in 2014/15, 630 in 2015/16, 537 in 2016/17 and 248 since the beginning of April this year.
The reality is that the SAPS is fuelling the illegal arms trade. Thousands of SAPS firearms have been stolen over the past 20 years, and are out there in the hands of criminals shooting at the police, and at you and me.
This is the result of institutional failure at the SAPS. The DA believes that to ensure professional policing the SAPS must:
• Ensure all SAPS members receive adequate, quality training on professional policing that is continually updated and refreshed;
• Introduce a successful and visible system of accountability, making it easy to report police negligence, corruption and ineffectiveness which can then be dealt with swiftly and appropriately;
• Make police members pay for firearms they lose, and dismiss repeat offenders;
• Be instructed to implement rather than ignore the Independent Police Complaints Directorate (IPID) recommendations on SAPS criminality; and
• Give the national anti-corruption unit teeth, to ensure that police officers involved in corruption and criminality are investigated, caught and charged.
This high number of “missing” firearms goes far beyond the occasional case of negligence and is evidence of a problem that is not unrelated to high levels of corruption and criminality within the SAPS.
4000 Beretta pistols cost around R18 million, and that sort of order is made regularly to replace the thousands of firearms disappearing from the SAPS armouries.
The DA will therefore conduct oversight visits to SAPS armouries to pose crucial questions on security arrangements at these armouries and insist that the Minister orders a full national audit of all SAPS firearms.
This situation is utterly unacceptable and makes a mockery of the fight against crime.
Gun violence continues to be one of the country’s top categories of crime.
It cannot be the case that the custodians of our safety and security are worsening crime because of gross negligence and poor security measures. This only gives the public less reason to trust the police.
The DA will not rest until the SAPS has been fully professionalised so that they can fulfill their mandate of keeping South Africans safe.

Minister Motsoaledi must explain massive 38 000 vacancies in public health system

The DA will write to the Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi to demand an explanation as to why he has failed to ensure a massive 38 000 vacancies in the public healthcare system are filled, which has been exposed in a reply to a DA Parliamentary question.
These vacancies directly impact the delivery of proper healthcare to South Africans and cannot be allowed to continue.
It is a clear indictment on Minister Motsoaledi and the ANC-government for their ineffectiveness at putting the needs of the people first and above their own internal party politics.
What is more alarming is that these vacancies place extra burden on the existing medical personnel, who are under-staffed and already work long hours.
It is, therefore, possible that there is a connection between these vacancies and the fact that billions have been paid out in medical malpractice cases.  Another Parliamentary reply revealed that a staggering R2.6 billion has been paid out for claims for wrong diagnosis, botched operations, botched amputations, anaesthetic deaths, uninformed consent and large amounts of obstetrics, gynaecology and maternity claims.
This points to a chronic failure by Minister Mostoaledi to carry out his mandate to ensure South Africans get the healthcare that they deserve.
The shortage of specialists and nurses is one of the root causes of the crisis that is causing public healthcare facilities to collapse.
Minister Motsoaledi must prioritise the filling of these 38 000 vacancies if he is at all serious about improving the public health system.

We will build the South Africa envisaged by Mandela and Kathrada

The following remarks were made today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, at a press conference following a visit to Robben Island, which was hosted by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank the Kathrada Foundation for inviting us on this trip to one of our country’s most meaningful historical sites. It is deeply moving to know that Uncle Kathy wanted us to understand what Robben Island meant in the context of our struggle history, and had wanted to take us there himself. His absence here today was felt by all.
Those, like Uncle Kathy, who were imprisoned on the island paid an enormous price so that our country could escape the oppression of the Apartheid government. It was their freedom for ours. And it is their stories of sacrifice and leadership that we must turn to for guidance when it seems that we have so little left to guide us today.
Anyone who has ever crossed these 12km of water and set foot on Robben Island will know what the place symbolises for us as a nation. We often speak of the negotiators of our democracy and the authors of our Constitution in the early 90s as the people who wrote the crucial early chapters of our new nation, but many of those conversations started far earlier in the cells and on the grounds of the island.
Many of the concepts of freedom and justice that define us as a nation – and that eventually found their way into our progressive Constitution – were discussed and debated, agreed and disagreed on, for many years by the likes of Ahmed Kathrada, Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu, Andrew Mlangeni, Dennis Goldberg and Laloo Chiba, who today serves on the Kathrada Foundation Board.
It is an honour for me to make this trip along with people like Mr Chiba, and Barbara Hogan, who was jailed in the 1980s for her role in the fight against Apartheid. Those who were imprisoned on Robben Island sacrificed more than we can imagine. They were subjected to the most inhumane conditions, and parts of their lives were stolen from them and their families. But they helped anchor our struggle to build a free and just society today in the selfless struggle of our history. It is for that sacrifice were are most grateful for.
But today wasn’t only about remembering history. It was also about reflecting on our present. There would be no point in remembering the sacrifices of Mandela, Kathdrada, Sisulu and many others if we don’t ask ourselves: Are we honouring those sacrifices today? Have we made all those decades spent on that island in service of a better South Africa count? Would Ahmed Kathdrada and Nelson Mandela be satisfied with the state of our democracy and the quality of our leadership today?
Every single person in this country knows the answers to these questions. The juxtaposition between what we saw and remembered today and what we read in the Sunday newspapers yesterday was not lost on anyone. The contrast could not possibly be bigger.
Yesterday’s reports that our President has had ongoing relationships with gangsters and smugglers, that he received enormous payments from a private firm while he was president, that he used every means possible to evade his tax obligation and that he used his presidential powers to shut down investigations into his tax crimes are an indictment on the legacy of those who gave their freedom for ours.
You could not turn a page in the newspaper without reading of the corrupt activities, the crimes and the scandals of members of our government and their deployed cadres, including those hoping to take over their reins from Zuma at the end of the year. The organisation that once personified selfless struggle could not have fallen further from grace. The heroes we remembered today could not have been more betrayed.
It is time for every South African to take a stand for these heroes and their vision for our country. It is time for all of us to fix the mess this government under Jacob Zuma and his friends, his family, his handlers and his supporters have gotten us into. None of us can afford to sit on the fence any longer. We simply don’t have the luxury of time.
We made this trip to Robben Island today to fulfil Uncle Kathy’s wishes. But what he also wished for was a South Africa that works for all her people. A South Africa free from oppression, free from poverty and free from the greed of bad leaders. I intend to work to fulfil that wish.
Thank you.

Dodging Dlamini’s announcement about SAPO very suspicious

Please find attached soundbite in Zulu and English soundbite by the DA Shadow Minister of Social Development, Bridget Masango MP.
The DA notes with concern Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini’s announcement today that the South African Post Office (SAPO) doesn’t meet the requirements to fully take over the distribution of social grants.
The announcement today is rather suspicious considering that SAPO has vehemently denied SASSA’s claims that they were not prepared to take over grant payments.
It is now clear that Minister Dlamini is yet again trying to manufacture another situation where the country is forced to accept another extension of the dodgy CPS contract.
Time is running out for SASSA to find a new service provider and it seems as though we are heading for another crisis.
Dodging Dlamini has continued to side-line Parliament throughout the entire procurement process, she has repeatedly failed to show up to account to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development.
Her actions are in violation of her oath of office and are in defiance of Constitutional Court orders.
Minister Dlamini is spectacularly out of order and this is sufficient grounds for her to be fired.
The DA will await Minister Dlamini at the meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development tomorrow where she can expect a grilling for failing to put the vulnerable people of our country first.