VBS scandal: DA accuses ANC Limpopo councillors of protecting those implicated
The DA in Limpopo has accused ANC councillors in the province of protecting mayors and officials implicated in the VBS Mutual Bank scandal.
The party said it was not surprised that councillors at municipalities, which deposited "illegal funds" in VBS, "blocked and voted" against DA motions calling for the removal of implicated officials during various special council meetings.
Looting to the tune of R1.8bn from VBS Mutual Bank was revealed in a damning report, compiled by advocate Terry Motau and law firm Werksmans Attorneys.
"All the DA motions which were tabled in the affected municipalities such as Makhado, Lepelle Nkumpi, Vhembe, Elias Motsoaledi and Fetakgomo-Greter Tubatse were either rejected, blocked or voted against by ANC councillors to protect the implicated senior managers and mayors who authorised the investments into the VBS bank," said Jacques Smalle, the DA's Limpopo premier candidate.
He said the ANC's "new dawn" under President Cyril Ramaphosa was just a dawn to protect corrupt officials and politicians who continued to steal from people oppressed by poverty.
"VBS bank is on the verge of being liquidated and all indications show that the already financially stripped municipalities will lose their deposits and life will only become harder for the people living under these municipalities. The failing ANC's 'new dawn' and 'thuma mina' (send me) will remain slogans and words and won't bring any change to the 1.9 million unemployed people seeking jobs in Limpopo," Smalle said.
Although some municipal managers, chief financial officers and directors and were suspended, the DA believed that these officials would not be disciplined and that they would simply be moved to other municipalities and departments to protect them, according to Smalle.
"The DA believes that removing these mayors who deposited money with VBS is the first real step in ensuring accountability and justice," he said.
Smalle also accused Premier Stan Mathabatha of failing to take firm action against those implicated "and this is compromising himself and the office of the premier".
"We will continue to fight for the people of Limpopo against an ANC-led government [which is] solely responsible for the collapse of VBS bank. In 2019, the Limpopo citizens will have a chance to emancipate themselves from the failing ANC's corruption and vote in the DA which has a good record of clean governance and will bring change that builds one South Africa for all."
The ANC in the province was not immediately available for comment.
Chairperson of the ANC's integrity commission, George Mashamba, previously said it had started looking into the bank saga.
He said the party had hoped to meet in the coming weeks with those of its members who had been implicated.
South Africa’s Multidimensional Poverty Measure has improved 18% in 2001 to 7% this year. That’s according to Statistician General, Risenga Maluleke.
He was speaking at the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network meeting in Johannesburg.
The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) measures a country’s poverty levels based on living standards, education and access to health.
This in an effort to reveal the disadvantages poor people experience. The Index also aims to provide governments with tools to monitor poverty and come up with policy.
Government initiatives, such as, social grant, fee free schools and free health care have improved the country’s ranking.
Unlike the MPI, the monetary index measures poverty in relation to income.
South Africa’s head of Statistics, Risenga Maluleke, says both indexes are important for government to monitor the extent of poverty in the country.
Meanwhile, minister in the Presidency, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has told delegates that skills development is the best way to alleviate poverty.
She says the National Development Plan, Vision 2030, is therefore a step towards securing socio-economic transformation in our country. It has identified three challenges that South Africa is faced with and those are poverty, inequality and unemployment.
Over seventy countries participate in the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network. These include China, Mexico, Egypt and Tanzania.
Its sixth Annual High-Level Meeting continues until Thursday.
AA expects petrol price drop, diesel price rise for November
After months of successive petrol price increases, the Automobile Association on Wednesday estimated that the petrol price would likely drop in November. However, it said the prices of diesel and illuminating paraffin would likely increase.
The association was commenting on unaudited month-end fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund.
"The exchange rate started the month badly but has since levelled out," the AA said in a statement on Wednesday.
"... [W]e expect the petrol price to drop by about 16 cents a litre," the association added. "Unfortunately, diesel and illuminating paraffin will both increase by about 30 cents a litre."
The official fuel prices for November will be announced by the Department of Energy.
No grants for more than a hundred of EC Sassa beneficiaries
More than 100 social grant beneficiaries from the rural areas of Mbizana in the Eastern Cape have called for the intervention of the government to the termination of their social grants by South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).
These beneficiaries include elderly people, people with disabilities and children, whose files were transferred from KwaZulu-Natal to the Eastern Cape, say they have been not receiving social grants since June.
Sassa provincial spokesperson Luzuko Qhina says relocation by a large number of clients has prompted an investigation.
Qhina said, “We have identified about 13000 beneficiaries that come from KZN and by law when you get such a huge number of people moving from one province to the other, you then begin to ask why are these people moving in such big numbers and the legislation thereof. This warrants that we do some investigations to establish as to the authenticity of those transfers.”
KZN father gets 3 life terms for raping 5-year-old daughter
A paedophile father has been sentenced to three life terms in jail for the repeated rape of his young daughter in J2 Section in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old man was sentenced in the Richards Bay Regional Court for raping his daughter on three different occasions in 2014 when she was only five years old.
Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said the victim had been with a childminder at her mother's home when the father had arrived.
He had taken the child away from the childminder and raped her, according to Zwane.
"Neighbours who heard the screams of the child went to investigate and found the accused raping the child. The neighbours managed to rescue the child from the accused," he said in a statement.
Zwane said the father was immediately arrested and a case of rape was opened with the Esikhaleni police and assigned to the Empangeni Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for investigation.
The father was detained for the duration of the trial, he said.
"Police investigations revealed that the victim had been raped on three different occasions. The accused was effectively sentenced to three terms of life imprisonment," Zwane said.