Friday, May 14, 2010
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Amy Witherden.
Most black South Africans are still waiting in vain for the better life that they have been promised, said Congress of South African Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi yesterday.
Speaking at the National Union of Mineworkers central committee meeting in Boksburg, Vavi said that the structures of domination and exclusion continue to find expression in South Africa's democratic dispensation. In the private sector, top management is 60% white male, 14% white female, 9% African male and 4% African female. Thus, 74% of top management of the South African economy is drawn from 12% of the population.
Vavi said that he found it a shame that the main benefits of transformation had gone more to white monopoly capital than to workers, and that the working class found itself wearing a "political crown without the economic jewel".
African countries on the upper reaches of the river Nile plan to push their demand for changes in the allocation of its waters, saying that Egypt and Sudan get too great a share. Ugandan State Minister for Water Jennifer Namuyangu says that ministers from upstream eastern Africa have agreed to meet in Uganda today to sign a framework agreement on water allocation. Egypt, which gets almost all its water needs from the Nile but faces possible shortages by 2017, has angered the upstream States by sticking to colonial-era pacts that guarantee that it can use most of the Nile's flow. Legal counsel for Sudan's delegation Ahmed El-Mufti says that more time is needed to broker any new deal and that an agreement without Sudan and Egypt would be "unfortunate", undermining decades of efforts to come up with a formula acceptable to all nine countries. Egypt and Sudan are not expected to attend the meeting.
South African National Director of Public Prosecutions Menzi Simelane has been forced to back down after he restructured the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit (SCCU) despite orders to halt the process, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said yesterday.
DA justice spokesperson Dene Smuts said that the head of the unit Chris Jordaan had been put back in charge after it was confirmed earlier this week that he had been sidelined by Simelane. Smuts said that she had put sustained pressure on Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe not to allow Simelane to implement a controversial five-year strategic plan for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). This plan envisioned that all four specialised units in the NPA would be restructured in this fashion and was perceived as an attempt to weaken the powers of the units, in particular the high-profile Asset Forfeiture Unit headed by Willie Hofmeyr.
Radebe claims that he had been kept in the dark, and at a meeting with Simelane on April 29 told him to scrap the plan. Justice spokesperson Tlali Tlali reiterated that Radebe's instructions stand, despite confirmation earlier this week that the SCCU had been divided in two.
Also making headlines:
Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder accuses South African President Jacob Zuma of being out of touch with the feelings of minorities.
Africa stands to lose billions of dollars as a lack of economic incentives and inadequate regulatory regimes make it unattractive for wind power companies.
Transport unions are to meet with logistics group Transnet today in a bid to resolve a wage dispute that has paralysed the country's port and rail operations.
And, Libya and Thailand are among 14 countries elected as new members of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in a vote that has been criticised as uncompetitive and "precooked".
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.