Monday, November 2, 2009
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I'm Bradley Dubbelman.
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille must take responsibility for the City of Cape Town's financial mismanagement of the bus rapid transit system, said the African National Congress yesterday. The cost of Cape Town's public transport system has escalated from an initial R1,3-billion to R4,1-billion.
The ruling party says that it is appalled with Zille's flimsy excuse of shifting responsibility to the former executive director of the City of Cape Town's Department of Transport, as she claimed that civil servants had denied her information.
In response, Zille said that she welcomed her role in the project being "put under a very powerful microscope" and that she was happy to be held accountable on the findings of an objective evaluation. This is the best way to establish accountability, not through political point scoring, she added.
Analysts say that there is more to China's goals in Africa than just natural resources. Africa offers China two important things - a chance to earn the global respect it believes it deserves in recognition of its growing economic clout, and friends which do not judge it, or which at least have little reason to directly fear China's rise.
Africa expert at the London School of Economics Chris Alden says that one could argue that the contemporary driver is economic, but China has always had a political interest in Africa, from the mid-1950s onward.
In 2006, Chinese President Hu Jintao promised an increase in investment, trade and aid at Beijing's first summit with African leaders. When Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits Egypt for the second Africa-China summit next week, analysts and diplomats expect him to match the $5-billion in loans and credit offered then by Hu, or even exceed it.
Stellenbosch University's Centre for Chinese Studies executive director Martyn Davies says that not everything is driven by politics. Rather, it is driven by business.
The proposed special tribunals for the Darfur conflict and Kenya's postelection violence will complement the International Criminal Court (ICC) and show that it is helping to end impunity, said ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Friday.
Moreno-Ocampo is due to visit Kenya this week to discuss his plan to prosecute the worst offenders behind the violence after last year's disputed presidential election which killed at least 1 300 people and uprooted more than 300 000.
The prosecutor also welcomed a proposal from a panel of African leaders to end the conflict in Darfur, which includes the establishment of a special court to try those charged with atrocities, even though the ICC is already investigating there.
Moreno-Ocampo says that it is important for national authorities to be involved as prosecution of massive crimes can take decades.
Also making headlines:
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe says that his party is working to end the power-sharing dispute.
United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon launches an inquiry into the September massacre in Guinea.
And, Mozambique's ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique seems set for a two-thirds majority as election results near completion.
That's a roundup of news making headlines today.