Zuma family linked to Sishen mining rights grab

And nine other of the best items from the weekend newspapers

10. The reports in the Sunday newspapers that ANYCL President Julius Malema had been formally charged with ill-discipline and bringing the organisation into disrepute:

The Sunday Times reported that Malema would appear at a hearing headed by Derek Hanekom, who chairs the ANC's disciplinary committee. The newspaper stated that "the decision to charge Malema - communicated was taken by ANC officials, including Zuma, after several public spats." According to City Press an ANCYL insider "blamed COSATU and some of Zuma's close lieutenants for putting pressure on Zuma to publicly denounce Malema. The insider said the likes of Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane - a friend of Malema challenger Lehlogonolo Masoga - were unhappy because they had lost control of Limpopo." The Sunday Independent meanwhile reported that "Zuma's communications advisor and close aide, Zizi Kodwa, is also in the line of youth league fire. Malema's backers are blaming Kodwa for organising the press conference last Saturday where Zuma rebuked Malema."

9. The Sunday Times lead story on the "Oilgate man" Sandi Majali had shifted R47m from New Era to Imvume Resources, which he has now put into liquidation:

Rob Rose reports that Majali's New Era, which was placed under curatorship by the Financial Services Board in July last year, has 188,000 low income policy holders. Sometime - the Sunday Times does not say when - New Era paid out a R47m dividend to Majali's Imvume. In November last year Imvume was put into liquidation, and Majali put in a R25m claim against Imvume's estate. In court papers the FSB stated that the liquidation could result in the R47m not being recovered, which would be extremely prejudicial to New Era policyholders.  

8. The lead story in the Sunday Independent on the looming legal battle between the Department of Home Affairs and Gijima AST over the cancelled R3,9bn "Who Am I Online" contract:

Mpumelelo Mkhabela writes that "As Gijima's lawyers sought an explanation this week from Home Affairs about the sudden termination of the contract, Dlamini Zuma's officials issued a directive barring the company's staff from entering the department's premises." The newspaper states that "Dlamini Zuma's battle with Gijima was triggered by the company's apparent slow delivery of the project in time for the World Cup, starting in June. Correspondence between the parties show that the reasons of the slow delivery has been a source of disagreement, eventually resulting in Home Affairs disowning the contract and denying that it ever entered into it with Gijima. Gijima is blaming Home Affairs for failing to provide sufficient and competent staff to monitor the project's implementation."

7. Jan-Jan Joubert's column in Rapport on the warning lights for a possible DA and ID merger:

Joubert notes that the only real point of an opposition merger would be if it grew the opposition share of the vote at the expense of the ANC. One advantage, in theory, is that a unified opposition would be able to direct its energies towards taking on the ANC, instead of scrapping with each other. Yet, as Joubert points out past experience has shown that mergers lead to all sorts of internal conflicts and difficulties as different party structures and cultures are merged. Joubert suggests that the pain is worth it, in the interests of growing a stronger opposition.

6. The Mail & Guardian report on how Malema suspects his recent car crash was, in fact, an assassination attempt:

According to Matuma Letsoalo "Malema was travelling with two VIP police protection guards on his way back to Johannesburg from the ANC Youth League conference in Polokwane when [he] noticed a funny sound.... ‘He alerted the VIP guards about this but they assured him there was nothing wrong,' the [ANCYL] insider said. ‘A few minutes after that there was a huge sound from the tyre burst and the car veered [off its course]'."...  The insider said that Malema's car was seriously damaged." Apparently the "two VIP police guards with Malema at the time of the accident have since been replaced because Malema no longer trusts them."

5. Stefaans Brümmer's post on the amaBhungane blog on how the original exposé's of the relationship between the ANC, Chancellor House, Hitachi and Eskom were met with utter indifference:

Brümmer notes "I co-wrote the series of articles in 2006 that exposed [Chancellor House] as an ANC funding front. Vicki Robinson and I had put heart and soul into it, our scoop of the decade." However, it "went down like a lead balloon. Unlike Oilgate when other media were humming with our exposé within days, there was hardly a whisper. Fast forward a year, to November 2007: Sam Sole and I reveal that Hitachi, the company 25% owned by Chancellor House, has bagged the Eskom contract... Another lead balloon. Who cared that the ANC, rather than some capitalist in Europe, would skim part of a R20-billlion contract?" Yet, "Fast forward to today. Google ‘Chancellor House' in combination with ‘Eskom' and a cool 10 000-plus results pop up, with 62 news results in the past week alone."

4. Chris Barron's interview in the Sunday Times with ANC Treasurer General, Mathews Phosa on his efforts to get Chancellor House to divest from Hitachi Power Africa:

Barron put it to Phosa that Popo Molefe - chairman of the Chancellor House trust - had said he knew nothing about his [Phosa's] statement that Chancellor House would be divesting from Hitachi Power Africa. Phosa replied that "Popo is being less than frank. We had long discussions. He got advice on what to do and as far as I'm concerned that process is still on... It's an issue of principle here and I stand by what I've said....[Molefe] knows what we discussed. He went to [financial advisory group] AMB [Capital] to work out the options. If what is reported is true, then he is lying. Full stop."

3. Kevin Davie's analysis in the Mail & Guardian of the toxic combination of the ANC, Chancellor House, Eskom and Hitachi Power Africa:

Davie notes that the conflict of interest created by the ANC's share in Eskom's Medupi and Kusile projects - via Chancellor House's 25% share of the boiler contracts granted to Hitachi Power Africa - goes well beyond the allocation of specific tenders. It seems to have infected the making of energy policy in South Africa. Davie writes, "Energy policy is so dominated by Medupi and Kusile that just about nothing else gets a look-in. Private players are keen to supply electricity to the grid, but cannot get agreements with Eskom, the incumbent, to do so. You have to think that Eskom does not want power from private players as this will delay or postpone the need for Kusile -- meaning that the prohibitive penalties will kick in." Davie notes that according to Xstrata chief Mick Davis, a former executive director of Eskom, the costs of Medupi and Kusile are almost twice what they should be. The only beneficiaries appear to be Eskom management and those profiting from the contracts. "It is hard not to draw the conclusion" Davie writes, "that electricity policy is a joint venture between Eskom management and the state in the form of Chancellor House."

2. The City Press report that NDPP Menzi Simelane had effectively disbanded the hugely successful anti-corruption body, the Asset Forfeiture Unit, via SMS:

Khadija Bradlow writes that AFU head Willie Hofmeyr "received a curt text ­message from Simelane earlier this month informing him the AFU in its present form had ceased to exist. All AFU staff, including the five regional heads, will now report ­directly to the provincial Directors of Public Prosecutions (DPPs) and ultimately to Simelane. The changes are mooted in the NPA's draft strategic plan for ­2010 to 2015, presented to the National ­Assembly on Tuesday." The article quoted Simelane as saying: "Some cases would be centralised to the office of the NDPP. Naturally, it will be the important ones affecting national interest. For Mr Hofmeyr, nothing has changed."

1. The Mail & Guardian report that Jacob Zuma's son, Duduzane, is closely linked to Imperial Crown Trading 289, the company inexplicably granted prospecting rights to ArcellorMittal's lapsed stake in the Sishen iron ore mine:

Sam Sole and Stefaans Brümmer report that Imperial Crown is now 50% owned by a "new investor, represented on its board by Jagdish Parekh". Parekh claims that he represents no one but himself. However, according to a source Parekh "held the stake on behalf of JIC Mining Services, a mining outsourcing company that Parekh leads as chief executive officer." The newspaper notes that Duduzane "is a JIC shareholder and serves alongside Parekh on its board. JIC is controlled by Zuma family benefactors, the Gupta brothers, with Duduzane holding a 26% stake in conjunction with Rajesh Gupta."

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