Monday, 05 October 2009 | Week #41 | Day #278 | Days Remaining in 2009: 87
Selebi Case Starts Today
Former National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi goes on trial today, to answer charges of fraud and corruption.
At his last court appearance, Selebi told the prosecution to "bring it on" – which is exactly what the National Prosecuting Authority intends to do today.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga confirmed their case against Selebi was bolstered by the recent R40-million plea agreement with former Hyundai boss Billy Rautenbach, who has become the state’s trump card in the case against the former top cop.
Rautenbach, who spent the last 10 years dodging fraud and tax evasion charges, handed himself over to the NPA on September 18 after reaching a settlement.
He will join convicted drug lord Glenn Agliotti and Clinton Nassif, who was responsible for the security of murdered mining magnate Brett Kebble, as a key witness in the state’s bid to prove that Selebi abused his office. (Times Live)
Green Point Stadium Rented for R1/year
On the subject of World Cup stadiums, news this morning is that the newly (almost completed) R4,5bn Green Point Stadium is to be rented out for R1 a year. The new ‘tenants’ a South African-French consortium, SAIL Stadefrance Operating Company, is represented locally by former Springbok great Morné du Plessis.
The City of Cape Town, as landlords, will remain responsible for the stadiums maintenance and upkeep. Cost estimates for this vary considerably. Early figures suggested it would cost as little as R1.3m a year but others range as high as R30m and even R150m a year.
The city hopes to receive a 30% share of the after-tax profits from the SAIL. If no profits are returned, at least they’ll get a buck a year in rent. To be viable the stadium will have to host between 20 and 40 events a year. (News24) [Maybe when Voted! gets his U2 concert at Soccer City they should throw in a couple of nights in CT as well? – Ed.]
Mo Shaik to Head SA Intelligence Service
AZAPO (it seems they still exist!) have slammed the appointment of Mo Shaik as the nations’ spy boss. Their criticism follows on concerns raised by many other opposition parties, all of whom are suggesting that the appointment of convicted (but dying!) fraudster Shabir Shaiks’ brother was approved by Pres. Zuma to thank Shaik for his support.
The "tainted" record of newly-appointed secret service head Mo Shaik left much to be desired, the Azanian People’s organisation (Azapo) charged on Sunday. "The intelligence wing of our country has been riddled with embarrassing issues…," Azapo secretary general Strike Thokoane said in a statement issued after a weekend meeting of its central committee in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
"The importance of the intelligence of a country is one of the most important activities for the protection and security of a people," he said, voicing Azapo’s "sadness" at Shaik’s appointment. (News24)
COPE to Expand in Gauteng
COPE (yes, they also still exist!) is planning to increase the number of party branches in the province and will launch several new provincial branches before the end of the year.
Congress of the People’s deputy leader, Mbhazima Shilowa also said that the party is aiming to grow nationally beyond the 1.3 million voters they won during the 2008 elections.
Matric Exams Almost Here
The nations’ final year school learners will start their matric exams towards the end of this month, and education authorities are confident that the exams will be credible and secure.
With 22 days to go before more than 100 000 Gauteng matriculants sit to write their end-of-year exams, preparations are on track, provincial education MEC Barbara Creecy said on Sunday.
"A total of 101 218 full-time and 8 117 part-time repeater candidates will be sitting for the senior certificate examination in 790 centres across the province," she said in a statement. (IOL)
In Other News…
The Cape Winemakers’ Guild auction brought in a record R5.2-million on Saturday – despite the recession and less wine being on offer than last year. (Times Live)
Foul play is not suspected in the mysterious death of a 20-year old man, whose body was found in the back seat of a burnt out car in the driveway of his parents’ home in Goodwood, Cape Town (EWN)
Some of South Africa’s large corporations are prepared to fork out millions of Rands to entertain guests in style at next year’s Soccer World Cup, with Match spending up to R15-million on decor and amenities for the luxury hospitlaity suites. (Times Live)
ANCYL mouthpiece, Julius Malema, whilst paying a courtesy visit to the Semenya family could not help himself as he said ASA boss, Leonard Chuene should just have carried on lying about the controversial gender tests: “He should’ve continued to say ‘I don’t know about the test.” (Times Live)
A powerful typhoon that slammed into the northern Philippines over the weekend has made a U-turn and was being pulled back by another, stronger storm. Typhoon Parma, the strongest typhoon to hit the country since 2006, killed 17 as it barrelled through the Philippines’ northeast. (Reuters)