Daily Archives: June 2, 2017

Arts and Culture hosts Africa Month Colloquium in Soshanguve, 3 Jun

The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) will on Saturday, 3 June 2017 host Africa Month colloquium on Creative Africa at Afro Zanaka Cafe in Soshanguve, North of Pretoria as part 2017 annual Africa Month celebrations under theme: The Year of OR Tambo: Building a Better Africa and a Better World.

The colloquium is part of a series of colloquia conducted by the department around the country in celebration of Africa Month. This will provide platform for authors to talk about their writings and read from their works in a celebration of what it means to be an African in the present time.

The assertion of a new Africa is present in poems and novels, essays and stories. This year's Africa Month celebrations is a Festival of Ideas in which the department have invited eminent thinkers from the rest of Africa and the Diaspora to participate in conversations about the continent.

A panel is comprised of some of the leading minds in the country and the continent, namely Dr Don Mattera, South African poet, author and a Living Legend; Nathalia Molebatsi, writer and a poet; Prof Kole Omotoso, an author and literary academic; as well as Kgothatso Madise will participate in a roundtable discussions with Frelimo Mnisi as the facilitator.

Source: Government of South Africa

Six Countries to Join UN Security Council for Temporary Terms

UNITED NATIONS � U.N. member states elected six countries Friday to temporary seats on the Security Council, the U.N. body responsible for maintaining international peace and security.

Starting January 1, 2018, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, Poland and Peru will serve two-year terms, while the Netherlands will join for one year, in a special arrangement with Italy.

The vote in the U.N. General Assembly generated little suspense, as regional groups had already decided among themselves which countries to put up as their candidates, and there was no competition for the seats. Candidates easily garnered the two-thirds majority of votes required on the first round of ballots.

The only oddity this year was a special by-election in which the Netherlands replaced Italy on the council. After five rounds of voting in last year's election, the two candidates were tied with 95 votes each and unable to reach the two-thirds majority needed to secure the seat, so they decided to share it.

Outgoing council member Egypt expressed some concern about this arrangement. Ambassador Amr Aboulatta told the General Assembly that it is an exceptional arrangement between the two countries that should not be considered as a precedent, in choosing elected members in the future.

More than ever the Security Council has to show its relevance in international conflicts; in national conflicts, it has to be active in the prevention of conflicts. The Netherlands will be a proactive partner, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders told reporters after the vote.

We will together with others try to solve and decide about the most important problems of world, Poland's Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told reporters.

We will not neglect our neighboring issues like the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. But of course, we won't hesitate to participate in solving other problems of the Middle East, Africa and other continents, he added.

Council dynamics

U.N. analyst Richard Gowan, a fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said it is unlikely any of the incoming members will fundamentally alter Security Council dynamics.

Poland is likely to follow in the footsteps of Ukraine, and use the council as a platform to challenge Russia repeatedly, he said.

Outgoing member Ukraine has been in conflict with Russian-backed rebels since early 2014 in the country's southeast. Moscow also invaded and then annexed Ukraine's Crimea region, following a controversial referendum in March of that same year the U.N. General Assembly nearly unanimously called illegal.

The Dutch will work doubly hard to make up for the fact that they only have one year on the council, Gowan predicted.

New member Ivory Coast will see a U.N. peacekeeping mission shut down at the end of June after 13 years in the country.

There are serious debates about the future of U.N. peace operations at present, especially as the U.S. wants to cut back their budgets severely, Gowan noted. Ivorian diplomats will bring extra experience and insights to those debates, he added.

But the reality is that the powerful Permanent Five members � Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States � continue to steer the council.

The P5 are in a mess at present, and remain profoundly divided over Syria, but it is unwise to underestimate their resilience, Gowan cautioned. For all their differences, the five remain united in their desire to maintain maximum control over U.N. affairs.

Source: Voice of America

MEC Dan Plato leads youth anti-crime and drug march in Lavender Hill, ...

Tomorrow, Saturday 3 June 2017, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato, will lead a youth focussed anti-crime and drug march in Lavender Hill.

The march tomorrow is being organised around the theme 'Dancing is here to stay, Drugging is not the Way'. Minister Plato and the Department will be joined by a group of dancers and entertainers along the march from the organisation 'Guardians of the National Treasure'.

During the entire Youth Month, this June, Minister Plato and the Department will be hosting various youth focused events and activities to help celebrate our younger residents, highlight the opportunities available to assist our youth, as well as what we all can do in an united front to help keep our youth safe. Tomorrow's march signals our youth month activities.

The route for the march starts at Lavender Hill High, into Depsiton Crescent, to Grindal Avenue, into Mirbey Road and ending on Blode Sports Field.

Minister Plato and the Department will be joined by the local ward councillors and police representatives tomorrow and invites the youth of Lavender Hill, and those concerned about their safety, to come take a stand with us and march against the gangs and drugs ruining the future of our youth.

Source: Government of South Africa

Lesetja Mothiba appointed as new Acting National Police Commissioner

Cape Town � Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has announced the appointment of Lesetja Mothiba as the new Acting National Police Commissioner.

The Minister made the announcement at a media briefing on Thursday night in Cape Town shortly after the Presidency released a statement on the decision by President Jacob Zuma to relieve Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane from his position as Acting National Commissioner.

President Jacob Zuma, exercising his prerogative, has relieved Lieutenant General Phahlane from his position as Acting National Police Commissioner. We wish to thank the President for his wisdom and decisive action in this regard, the Presidency said in a statement.

The acting tenure of Lieutenant-General Phahlane came to an end on Thursday, 1 June 2017. The President thanked Phahlane for leading the police during his acting tenure.

Mothiba is currently the SA Police Service Divisional Head of the Management Intervention Unit.

Phahlane to give reasons he should not be suspended

Minister Mbalula said there were clearly serious allegations of misconduct on the part of Phahlane, which also impacts on his fitness to hold office as the Acting National Police Commissioner.

He said the allegations, which are currently being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), raise questions of conduct that would be inconsistent with expectations of someone in the SA Police Service leadership.

I am duty bound to make it clear that Lieutenant-General Phahlane has a right to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise. The allegations levelled are yet to be tested in a court of law.

It is also evident from the public statements from IPID, an institution this government holds in serious esteem for its importance for our democracy and protection of citizens and human rights, that there will be continuing legal processes between IPID and Lieutenant-General Phahlane in court.

There clearly are [perceptions of] discomfort with regards to perceived interference risk, which leads itself to potential national security risk, should IPID be impeded in doing its constitutional duty lawfully (sic), he said.

The Minister said it is his belief that Lieutenant-General Phahlane and the rule of law would be better served if he is afforded adequate time and personal freedom to focus on these personal allegations against him, without the added burdens of the office of the Acting National Police Commissioner.

It is in this spirit that I informed President Jacob Zuma that the General's continued holding of office negatively impacts on the Ministry and department for which I am responsible.

The current National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega's contractual term of office comes to an end on 10 June 2017, and the President, in accordance with his prerogative, will be considering the appointment of the new National Police Commissioner shortly.

In the meantime, an Interim Acting National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant- General Mothiba, has been appointed by the President.

Ordinarily, Lieutenant-General Phahlane would then revert to his position of Forensic Services Divisional Commissioner. I have made a determination that the enormous task I am soon to set out for the Forensic Services towards the full professionalization of the police to achieve the best outcomes in the fight against crime and to secure our national security integrity require that the police are fully focused on the job at hand. The scourge of crimes against women and children is extremely important and cannot be left to hope.

With these priorities, it is clear to me that the initial reasoning over Lieutenant-General Phahlane's undesirableness [to] stay as Acting National Police Commissioner equally arises in his original role.

Accordingly, Lieutenant-General Phahlane has been requested by myself to furnish me with cogent and reasonable reasons I should not suspend him from his position as Forensic Services Divisional Commissioner with immediate effect.

Minister Mbalula said government has committed itself to being proactive in matters of corruption and in defence of the Constitution, the independence of IPID, the judiciary, the National Prosecuting Authority, Chapter Nine institutions and others.

Where there is even a perception of threat to our Constitution, we are duty bound to act to protect it where we can.

I am concerned about the allegations of misconduct of IPID. Equally these allegations are serious and they too, give rise to national security risk and risk to the integrity of the IPID's independence. IPID is required to perform its duties with the utmost integrity and in doing so, utilize trustworthy and corruption proof methods.

Mothiba reacts to his interim appointment

Meanwhile, Mothiba thanked the President for giving him the opportunity to serve.

Firstly, I would like to thank the honourable President for appointing me interim Acting National Police Commissioner.

I would like to mention that I will be meeting with the Minister so that the Minister can give me marching orders.

We all know that last week, the Minister tabled his budget vote speech [in Parliament]. So the plan is there. My role is to fight crime. That is what I am here for - to fight crime and to provide service to the people of this country.

Source: South African Government News Agency


JOHANNESBURG, The Nelson Mandela Foundation's board has joined calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down as head of State.

The board addressed the public and media on the state of the nation here Wednesday night, with Chairperson Professor Njabulo Ndebele saying it is clear that South Africa's constitutional democracy is under threat and its political process in crisis.

Ndebele said the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), needed to sort out its own house in order for the party to have direction.

He added that the constitutional accountability by public officers in government had been eroded and that the country had leaders who neither cared for the authority of the Constitution nor for its vision.

The foundation's chief executive officer, Sello Hatang, said constitutionalism in South Africa started failing when South Africans folded their arms when the Constitutional Court ruled that President Jacob Zuma failed to uphold the country's Constitution.

He said Zuma should have apologised to the entire country and not just to the ANC.