August 29, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu boycotts a leadership seminar in an anti-Blair protest.
The United State urges African air forces to form NATO-style ties.
And, the National Council of Provinces passes the Hawks Bill.
Nobel peace prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has withdrawn from a seminar in South Africa this week in protest against the presence of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his support for war in Iraq.
Tutu's spokesperson Roger Friedman said the archbishop is of the view that Blair's decision to support the United States' military invasion of Iraq, on the basis of unproven allegations of the existence of weapons of mass destruction, was morally indefensible.
Blair strongly supported US President George W. Bush as he launched a "war on terror", sending British troops to Afghanistan in 2001 and, more controversially, Iraq in 2003.
Friedman said morality and leadership are indivisible. In this context, it would be inappropriate and untenable for the archbishop to share a platform with Blair.
The US has urged African nations to pool their air force assets in a NATO-style effort to take on terrorists and international criminals rather than struggle to fund costly independent operations.
Many African air forces are small components of the national military and Washington is concerned about Africa-based al Qaeda agents, traffickers and illegal fishing. They want to help improve cooperation across the continent.
General Philip Breedlove, commander of the US Air Forces in Europe, told African air chiefs meeting in Senegal that the situation meant any one nation would struggle to tackle groups operating across borders.
Breedlove makes no reference to specific threats and does not give details on any US support but warns that the consequences of insignificant action, he believes, are dire.
The National Council of Provinces passed an amendment bill without debate on Tuesday to restructure the corruption fighting Hawks unit in line with the Constitutional Court's Glenister ruling.
The bill was approved in the National Assembly on May 23, with the Democratic Alliance and Freedom Front Plus opposing, and now goes to President Jacob Zuma to sign into law.
During debate in the Assembly, the ANC insisted it gave the unit adequate independence, as the court demanded. However, the opposition dismissed it as a minimalist attempt to appease the bench.
The bill is an amendment to Section 6 of the South African Police Service Act. It was reworked to make the head of the Hawks report to the police minister, and not the national commissioner.
Also making headlines:
Acting police crime intelligence boss Chris Ngcobo has not yet been vetted.
A skills roadmap is needed for South Africa’s big infrastructure investment plan.
And, Standard Bank chief economist Goolam Ballim says some sections of society will forever be marginalised.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.