Considering the massive uproar over a loose bolt in Koeberg’s nuclear reactor, I’m suprised there isn’t complete outrage that a bunch of thieves managed to force their way into the control room at SA’s other nuclear facility at Pelindaba. Now, while nothing catastrophic could have happened (when people hear ‘nuclear’ they immediately picture a mushroom cloud rising over Pretoria) the fact is that Pelindaba should be locked down extremely tight.
Germiston is a station where a lot of industrial goods pass through, especially cargo going to industrial areas of Gauteng. If you take that cable wire you are in fact stopping the economy from growing, you’re slowing down the economy.
I have reached a conclusion that it is highly organised and is not only organised but also has got certain objectives of arriving at certain goals including economic ones.
It is entirely possible that organised crime is involved in cable theft, but I think the monetary value of the metal in the cable is far higher on the criminal mind than ruining the economy.
This is a hallmark of the paranoia that is rife in the Mbeki administration. The problems at Koeberg, a problem due to negligence, were initially blamed on ‘sabotage’. The TAC have been implied by the government to be working in cahoots with the pharmaceutical companies, when in actual fact they have fought just as hard against them as they have against the Minister of Health.
It is much easier to blame some secret conspiracy out to keep you down than it is your own negligence.
The Mail & Guardian is rerporting that the NPA is making significant inroads in their investigation into the the links between Police Commisioner Jackie Selebi and the criminal network led by Glenn Agliotti, who is facing trial for the murder of mining magnate Brett Kebble.
Agliotti, who has since been named as “the Landlord” in an international narcotics syndicate, was arrested for Kebble’s murder last November. All indications are that Agliotti has become a cooperative witness and has given the Scorpions full details of the murder, the crime network and his relationship with Selebi.
The article states that a number of other associates of Agliotti have made statements implicating Selebi in some extremely shady deals.
If Selebi is arrested it will be one of the biggest embarassments the Mbeki administration will have ever seen.
Folks, it’s reading an article like this that actually makes me look back on the violent SATAWU riots of late last year with some affection because at least those were actual protests, not some tip toe down the streets angst fest happening tomorrow:
For the march to take place, organisers agreed to rules laid down by the Tshwane Metro Council.
These include no anti-government slogans, no wearing of official uniforms, no covering of faces with balaclavas, bandanas or caps, and no stopping at intersections.
AAC founder Vinnete Ebrahim said while the organisation was not pandering to any form of censorship and would ultimately not stop anyone with anti-government banners, they wanted to keep the issue of crime at the forefront.
“It is something the Metro Police and AAC agreed upon.
“This was because we felt that when one uses anti-government slogans it allows for hate speech which could easily lead to racism.”
I guess we can expect a level of PC-ness from the Artists Against Crime but that’s just taking things a little bit too far. It’s a bit of a jump from allowing anti-government slogans to having the AWB takeover the protest.
This is pretty indicative of the way the ANC has managed to frame any debate about government: ‘If you criticise government, you’re a racist’. They’ve used that canard for years in parliament when it comes to critics of government, particularly the DA. That’s not particularly healthy for discourse and debate.And to make it worse here’s a nice bit of thoughtcrime policing from Tshwane Metro Police spokesperson William Baloyi:
As Metro Police we do not approve any gathering or march that is against the spirit of the constitution, which includes a gathering used as a platform for hate speech, illegal activities, incitement to violence or which may be offensive to the broader community.
No laws have to be broken, it just has to be against the ‘spirit of the constitution’. I know the myth of true freedom of speech in SA was shattered during the whole Mohammed cartoon fiasco, but it’s always nice to get a reminder about it from the cops.Update: Here’s a prime example of an ANC politician playing the ‘racist!’ card.
Speeding minister wants ‘racist’ whistle-blower found
KwaZulu-Natal’s transport minister on Tuesday again justified his convoy’s recent speeding and called for the name of the “racist” motorist who filmed it.
“He is a self-made, arrogant, non-accountable individual who purports to be a good citizen and I will dare to argue that he is also a racist,” said Bheki Cele in a statement.He said the motorist who had used his cellphone to film Cele’s convoy speeding at 160km/h had broken the law. The Witness newspaper, which ran the story in April, has refused to reveal the name of its source.
Minister of Safety and Security Charlses Ncqakula has decided that the SAP can release crime statistics at a greater frequency than their current annual release. It seems that they finally realised that it is easier for communities involved in crime prevention (community crime prevention being an initiative the Minister keeps on trotting out every few months) if the community in question knows which kind of crimes to focus on.
These reports will be purely at a local station level, national statistics will continue to only be released annually however an enterprising individual should be able to collate the local reports into some sort of national number. That being said it’s a bit of an about turn from the department which previously ridiculed calls for an increased frequency in the release of crime stats.
All I know for sure, is that that Bullard’s next column in the Sunday Times (hopefully this Sunday as he seems to be stable) is going to be extra special.David Bullard shot
Sunday Times journalist David Bullard was shot and wounded when four men broke into his Johannesburg house, police said on Thursday.
Update: Interview with David Bullard from Milpark Hospital Trauma Unit.
A lot of families in SA would sleep a lot easier with R9000 worth of security on their homes but I guess it’s do as I say, not as a I do.
Update: Well maybe he’s going to need it, as thieves just made off with R4 million(!!) worth of Winnie Mandela’s jewellery. Thabo’s got to keep that prized single malt scotch collection safe!Update: And Thabo’s not the only one to get some increased protection.
Protection of local and foreign “prominent people” as well as the provision of security at key strategic installations – including cabinet ministers’ homes – rises sharply in the medium term.
According to the Estimates of National Expenditure released on Wednesday with Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s budget vote, it was anticipated to increase by an annual rate of 26.7% reaching R2.5bn in 2009/10.
In recent US history, the easiest way to become president was first to become governor of a state. George W. Bush was governor of Texas, Clinton of Arkansas, Regan of California and Carter of Georgia.
In SA we have not had a long enough period of democratic rule to extrapolate any kind of trend of who will be president, but one thing that has been a recurring theme is that the Premier of Gauteng has always been mentioned as a presidential contender. When Tokyo Sexwale was premier under the Mandela administration there was a lot of chatter about him being the next president. That he was forced out of politics, supposedly thanks to Mbeki, before any of the chatter could become reality is an indication of the prestige and weight the position holds.
So while reading through this article about current Premier of Gauteng Mbhazima Shilowa’s speech at the opening of the provincial legislature I couldn’t help but wondering if we have another stealth presidential candidate in the making. The speech seemed to be everything that people wanted out of Mbeki’s opening speech at parliament. A new focus on combating crime (R600 million for the 10111 emergency system alone – which seems a bit much to me), focusing on underperforming schools, a planned 60% increase in the number of HIV+ sufferers on anti-retrovirals – what’s not to like?
Shilowa has kept his head down and quiet over the whole Mbeki/Zuma struggle, hasn’t been involved in any political scandals that I’m aware of and to top it all off he’s got lots of cred with the various left wing factions thanks to his past leadership of COSATU. The only black mark I can put against his name is the Gautrain which is still in my opinion the wrong approach to take to reduce congestion and traffic but at least there’s the possibility of something cool coming out of the whole process.
Now of course this is all speculation on my part so take it all with a grain of salt but if he is playing the quiet under the radar game then he’s playing it very well.There’s still a few months to the ANC congress and I really do hope we start getting a better idea of who the potential candidates are in the near future.Update: Shilowa unveils plan to tackle crime rate
GAUTENG premier Mbhazima Shilowa yesterday gave one of the strongest undertakings from a senior government leader to address the high crime rate as he unveiled a number of crime-fighting initiatives.
The province, which has taken a strong stance on a number of issues, including HIV, was the first to make public its crime-fighting initiatives, following criticism of President Thabo Mbeki’s and government’s alleged failure to deal effectively with crime.
What’s a worse indicator about government? That Fist National Bank was prepared to spend R20 million(!) on an ad campaign encouraging the government to do something about crime or that government (specifically the executive branch) forced them to drop it ?
Despite sharing a similar economic situation, a rich minority with an extremely poor majority, as countries like Mexico, Columbia and Russia, South Africa has not suffered the upsurge in ‘for profit’ kidnappings that have plagued those countries and earned millions of dollars for organised crime.
So I’m hoping that the kidnapping of the 19 year old Sisanda Ngcauzele, daughter of well known Gugulethu restaurant owner Mzoli Ngcauzele, is just a once off occurrence and not the start of a new crime wave. The amount demanded, R300 000, seems rather small but then again Ngcauzele is no Tokyo Sexwale. The only other publicised kidnapping I am aware of in SA was the Leigh Matthews kidnapping which ended in her death and jail for her abductor. Hopefully this time things will end on a better note for Sisanda.
I can still recall when I was shocked by the new crime of cash-in-transit heists before they were reduced to something that only warrants a report on page 4 of the morning paper. I don’t want kidnappings to become like that.
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