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The FW de Klerk Foundation writes regular articles on topical issues, supports language and cultural rights and participates in the national debate on racial and cultural issues. The Foundation also promotes communication by holding conferences and workshops.

GRACE MUGABE

In an incident which has made global news, the First Lady of Zimbabwe, Mrs Grace Mugabe, is alleged to have assaulted a young South African woman while on a visit to the city of Johannesburg in South Africa. Early media reports had stated that she was on a visit to the country to seek medical attention. The most recent media reports, in line with a statement released by the South African Police Service (SAPS), stated that she was in South Africa to attend meetings convened by the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has since, controversially so, granted Mrs Mugabe immunity. This has left the Zimbabwean First Lady free to return to Harare, which freedom she promptly exercised.

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Earlier this week Nkosazana Zuma, odds on favorite to become our next president, assured whites that they have nothing to fear from Radical Economic Transformation (RET) “because if it doesn't happen peace cannot be guaranteed in the country.” What is this “radical economic transformation” that her former husband, President Zuma, refers to in virtually every major speech - and where does it come from?

RET’s origins may be found deep in the ANC’s Marxist-rooted National Democratic Revolution ideology which has as its core goal “the resolution of the national grievance arising from colonialism and apartheid”.

The ANC believes that although it achieved political liberation in 1994, it has not yet achieved economic liberation because - as President Zuma incorrectly insists - the economy is still controlled by “white males”.  

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There are basically three post-December 2017 scenarios.

The first is a Dlamini-Zuma victory (“NDZ”), after which the ANC will probably split - and struggle to secure 50% at the polls in 2019. Following which, corruption will persist and economic growth will remain low.

The second is a Ramaphosa victory (“CR17”), after which the ANC could split, but probably not - and where getting 50% at the ballot box could be a little easier. Further, corruption will be tackled and the economy will slowly improve.

The third is the “unity scenario”, whereby there will be either a loser Deputy President and the ANC will paper over the cracks (and struggle at the ballot box), or a compromise candidate may be elected as President, with new possibilities for anti-corruption initiatives, as well as the economy.

NKANDLA

In the Nkandla disciplinary hearing of an accounts management employee (on charges of misconduct for approving a construction tender to Moneymine Enterprises), it transpired that President Jacob Zuma, the “owner of the property” had appointed Moneymine and that the company “had already been on site long before the tender was approved". The company was decided upon by a “negotiation process” and the tender awarding processes were rushed through - after the fact. This was the evidence brought to the hearing by Special Investigations Unit (SIU) chief forensic investigator, Christian Legwabe. By March 17, 2009, it had already been decided (by the then Deputy President) that Moneymine was the preferred construction company (and he brought them on site to begin work), but the tender was only approved on June 15, 2010.

Any owner can appoint a company to do work on his home - if he pays for it himself. If, however, the state pays for it, certain prescribed tender procedures must be followed. In this case, Moneymine was paid R6.1 million for the first phase of the construction project - from state coffers. And this to a contractor the President had chosen himself, infringing (yet another) constitutional demand that procurement should be fair, equitable and transparent (section 217).

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The attached verdict has been received recently from the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) after a complaint was lodged by the Chairman of the Foundation, Dave Steward, against Primedia and the programme host, Eusebius McKaiser. Although the Foundation is happy that the broadcaster was found guilty of contravening two clauses of the relevant regulations, and that it was reprimanded by the BCCSA, we are disappointed that no apology was required to be given on air. It was in our view, warranted by the ideological, intolerant and unprofessional behaviour of Mr McKaiser.

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On Tuesday, 18 July, staff of the FW de Klerk Foundation will be taking part in various activities in commemoration of Mandela Day. The team will spend the morning making stimulation kits at Autism Western Cape, and the afternoon painting garden walls at Iris House Children’s Hospice.

Nelson Mandela International Day was launched by the United Nations in 2009 to commemorate former President Nelson Mandela’s lifetime of service to South Africa and the world. This year, citizens are encouraged to take action against poverty in a way that will bring about sustainable change.

Both Autism Western Cape, as well as Iris House provide essential services to children with disabilities, as well as support to their families - free of charge. In partnering with these worthy organisations, not only to offer 67 minutes of service for Mandela Day - but year-round - the Foundation contributes to restoring dignity, and changing the world for the better.

DAILY MAVERICK NDZ CR optThe chairs and tables have been packed away, the delegates are home and the myriad of reports of the ANC’s 5th Policy Conference are at Luthuli House for editing, publication and, in due course, for sending to regions and branches countrywide for discussion. The final policy decisions will be made in December, at the Elective Conference.

It is important to consider whether, from the verbal feedback and media reports, the Constitution is in jeopardy after the Policy Conference. What must be taken into account is that this Policy Conference was less about policy and more about the fierce leadership struggle between the delegates backing Mrs Zuma (“NDZ”) and Cyril Ramaphosa (“CR17”).

CONSTITUTIONS OPT

Section 152 of the Constitution describes the objectives of local government as providing democratic and accountable government, ensuring the provision of services, promoting social and economic development, and promoting a safe and healthy environment. Section 195 offers a set of basic values and principles governing public administration, amongst these a high standard of professional ethics, the effective use of resources, and accountability.

The most recently-released Report by the Auditor-General (AG) on the local government sector paints a bleak, and in many instances, deteriorating picture of the state of financial management and oversight, one that is wholly inconsistent with the laudable and enforceable principles of the Constitution. This comes after 23 years of democratic government and repeated appeals by the AG to local politicians and officials to get their house in order. Local government is the lens through which ordinary South Africans experience constitutional guarantees - and failure of local government erodes public trust in the constitutional state.

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