September 12, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Samantha Moolman.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says Julius Malema wants to turn soldiers against the State.
The United Nations says Liberia lacks the resolve to stamp out the blood-diamond trade.
And, Nigeria's Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala seeks to reform public finances without the so-called “godfathers”.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema seems bent on turning soldiers against the State. She was reacting to Malema's plans to address members of the South African National Defence Force (or SANDF) in Lenasia, Johannesburg.
Mapisa-Nqakula said it was not clear in what capacity Malema would address soldiers. However, what she knows is that any responsible citizen in South Africa cannot associate him or herself with a person who wants to agitate and mobilise members of the SANDF against the State.
She said SANDF members should use the current structures in place if they wanted to raise concerns, and also warned that there would be consequences if they did not report for work.
The Friends of the Youth League said Malema would address the soldiers after being invited by them to listen to their grievances.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report on Tuesday that Liberia is showing only limited commitment to efforts to stop the trade in blood diamonds that has fuelled conflicts in Africa.
The report to the UN Security Council said Liberia's capacity to control diamond mining and trade, which is a vital part of the global Kimberley Process agreed upon in 2003 to regulate the $30-billion rough-diamond industry, remains weak.
The report also revealed that Liberia's presidential taskforce on diamonds had not met in a year, while its technical committee convened in July for the first time in seven months.
Diamond-producing countries have been accused of showing little interest in reform. As a result campaign group Global Witness withdrew as an official observer of the process in December after it deemed the scheme an outdated failure.
Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is battling to reform one of the world's most corrupt nations without support from the shadowy "godfathers" who wield power from behind the scenes.
Summoned by President Goodluck Jonathan last year to restore some order to Nigerian public finances, the former World Bank MD says her efforts are slowly bearing fruit.
However, while Western nations and international agencies admire her drive from afar, they hold little sway in Nigeria. Okonjo-Iweala's ability to fight corrupt interests is constrained by her lack of support from wealthy figures such as ex-state governors, military officers and ruling party hacks who use huge patronage and occasionally violence, to drive politics back stage.
Okonjo-Iweala has started to tame government expenditure and make limited reforms. However, her room for manoeuvre is limited by her restricted access to state revenue, 80 percent of which comes from oil.
Also making headlines:
Somali militants brand new President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud a 'traitor'.
Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant says employment equity compliance is improving despite slow progress.
And, BHP Billiton chairperson Xolani Mkhwanazi says South Africa's maternal and child death rates remain unacceptably high.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.