Carpet Bombing South Africa

Ian Von Memerty laments in the Daily Maverick, (here, High Speed Politics), about the onslaught on our senses of all the divisive and contentious issues that South Africa is being lambasted with. Hawks playing politics, SAA, Eskom, NPA, SABC, Guptas, SARS, issues that flood our media like a barrage of artillery designed to confuse and subdue, put one off balance and disable and dishearten one.

What is this, part of a sinister campaign intended to render South Africa’s opposition to the ANC impotent and shell shocked, preparatory to the 2019 general elections? It almost seems like it.

Put more simply, it is the response of a bunch of crooks who have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, trying to discredit anyone and everyone who has the power and the integrity to stand up to them and do anything about it, the Scorpions, Glynnis Breytenbach, Nene, Gordhan and Madonsela, to name a few notables, and that response could well turn into an on-going barrage intended to soften up and weaken the opposition. The military have a term for it. Saturation or Carpet Bombing.

We dare not let this happen. We dare not let the ANC have another go at the cookie jar because when they have finished another round of thievery, there will be even less for all the ordinary folk of South Africa to survive on than at present, which is already hopelessly inadequate.

The DDF will take every issue and deal with it separately, and indicate, by contrasting with DDF policies, just how unacceptable these issues are, and how, this time around, integrity is going to win the day.

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Hawks, Scorpions and the Constitutional Court

This report highlights the weakness of the  South African Police Service Act which in 2011 was found by the Constitutional Court to be unconstitutional and invalid because it failed to give the Hawks the adequate degree of independence they needed to fulfill their duties. The Constitutional Court sent the act back to parliament for them to fox it.  

Last Friday (13th December 2013) the Cape Town High Court found that the fixes were not good enough and still left the Hawks too vulnerable and subject to political interference arising from the ministerial appointment of the head of the Hawks and the lack of parliamentary oversight of their actions.

This is relevant because the High Court’s concerns are similar to the Direct Democratic Forum‘s concerns about the NPA and of what should be our elite investigative unit, the Hawks.

The DDF‘s solution to this would be to make the NPA and the Hawks, or their equivalent, protected by Chapter 9 of the Constitution, as expressed here.  In that post we suggested that the NPA have their own investigative unit and were thinking in terms of the Hawks being that unit, but it may work better for the Hawks (or whatever that unit is) to work independently of the NPA but with the same Chapter 9 protection.  The DDF believe that either option would render the Hawks and the NPA immune from political interference and enable both to pursue their jobs of investigating and prosecuting criminals in the corridors of power, ‘without let or hindrance’ as the saying goes, which is the way it should be.

DDF judicial policies and the DDF security policies, developed from the DDF‘s sense of what is needed for the pursuit of justice, seems to largely reflect the perceptions of the highest courts in South Africa, and the DDF is encouraged by that, to believe they are at least on the correct path with those two policies. 

The DDF are about much more than just the pursuit of justice.  They are about affordable and effective health care, affordable and effective education, affordable and effective transport, to mention just a few elements of DDF Policies, which broadly speaking are about what is needed to make South Africa work for all of its citizens.  How can the  DDF help you?

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The buck stops at the ballot box.  

Cop vs Cop

Read a concise account of South Africa’s own Cop vs Cop.

Meanwhile township vigilantes take matters into their own hands

When eventually the dust settles one hopes that heads will roll.

A Direct Democracy Forum administration will not tolerate this abysmal behaviour from it’s senior police officers.  Under a DDF administration all of this will be subjected to a timeous judicial enquiry so that proper order could be established in our criminal justice system, without delay, and our police can revert to the business of policing South Africa and protecting South Africans from criminal behaviour wherever it is found.

DDF policies call for an NPA which is a chapter 9  institution with it’s own investigating unit.  The NPA would report to the constitutional court and thence to parliament and as such would be the supreme prosecuting and investigating body in South Africa.

Political interference in the work of the NPA or of the Constitutional Court would require an act of parliament which would be tantamount to a constitutional amendment, and then only for a specific purpose and for a specific time. 

See also related posts Police In-Fighting – political interference at work? and Criminal Cops in a Criminal Government?

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Political Hands on the NPA

There is hope.  Sometimes when the outlook seems bleak there is a ray of sunshine, if only momentary, until it is hidden by yet another cloud.

What am I rambling on about?  The last post on this ‘blog’ was all about politicians manipulating and corrupting the civil service and interfering in the management of the Mandela Bay Metropolis.  At the same time another story of political interference hits the headlines.  This time politicians interfering in the National Prosecuting Authority.

Glynnis Breytenbach is a prosecutor in the employ of the NPA.  At the time of posting she has been suspended from her job.  Ms Breytenbach’s cases included prosecution of former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli on fraud and other charges.  Her boss instructed her to close down the prosecution of Mdluli and Ms Breytenbach refused.  Unable to get her collusion her boss, acting National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba, then initiated charges against Ms Breytenbach for, amongst other things, failing to act impartially in a case, improper relationships with opposition attorneys whose clients were under investigation by Breytenbach, breaches of confidentiality and insubordination (in all, 15 separate charges). The NPA brought these charges against Breytenbach and then their own disciplinary hearing threw all the charges out as ‘guilt …. on this plethora of charges …. has not been established’, this according to the hearing’s chairperson Selby Mbenenge SC.  That was the ray of sunshine.  

Breytenbach claims Jiba suspended her to prevent her pursuing the investigation against Mdluli, a view encouraged by the response of the NPA to their own findings.

Dismissing the findings of their own disciplinary hearing (they maintain “the findings are factually incorrect and legally unsustainable”) the NPA are now taking this to a review court.  That is the next dark cloud

What does this all mean?  Probably, just for starters that:

  • Facts are what the NPA’s political masters say they are and believe are expedient, even in the face of the NPA’s own expert’s opinion to the contrary.
  • The NPA really really don’t want Breytenbach to continue investigating Mdluli for fraud & etc.
  • The fallout of a continued Ndluli investigation and other issues under investigation may touch other political luminaries.
  • The pressure to close down the Mdluli investigation is most probably political (don’t touch the president’s men), in spite of ANC assertions to the contrary.

The truth of the matter probably follows the old saw, ‘if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and looks like a duck, it probably is a duck’.  So, if it looks like political interference in the judicial process and the affairs of the NPA, it probably is political interference.

What makes this so depressing is that this seems to be part of a bigger pattern.  The pattern at Nelson Mandela Metro looks just like the pattern at the NPA, or, are we just imagining this?

A Direct Democracy Forum administration’s response to this would be to ensure that Ms Breytenbach is fully restored, with all powers necessary to do her job, whatever she deems that to be, and to go where the facts of her investigations lead her, without any political interference.  If you think we are not serious about this follow the link to DDF policies on the judiciary.

The buck stops at the ballot box.