Swiss Battle to Return Africa's Stolen Loot


It irritates Valentin Zellweger that ‘no longer than six minutes into any James Bond movie, a sleazy Swiss banker still appears.’

He’s probably referring especially to Mr Lachaise, the nasty Swiss banker and financier of terrorists and crooks in ‘The World is Not Enough’. At one point Lachaise says to Bond, ‘I’m just trying to return the money to its rightful owner’. To which Bond replies: ‘And we know how hard that is for a Swiss banker’.

The Gap in South Africa's Transparency Regime

The last time the United Democratic Movement’s Bantu Holomisa lodged a complaint with the Public Protector, it led to the eventual resignation of the chair of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Advocate Pansy Tlakula, who was found to be presiding over an ‘unmanaged conflict of interest.’

OUTA Calls on Govt to Scrap e-Tolls

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) says the only positive e-tolling outcome would be if government scraps the system and comes up with funding through the national fiscus, fuel levy and other mechanisms.

OUTA chairperson, Wayne Duvenage, states that the organisation expects that government will try and hold on to e-tolls in some form in the hybrid funding model.

“We expect Treasury will put some funding towards the problem and will be there partially to bail out SANRAL’s [the South African National Roads Agency's] situation,” he adds.

President Can’t be Own Judge – Madonsela

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has called for the Executive Ethics Act to be amended so that "the president cannot be a judge in his own case."

Madonsela says that the president is the executive guardian of political ethics and there would be a clear conflict of interest if findings were made against him.

Members of the opposition proposed that parliament's rules be amended to include sanctions against the president should he fail to account to Parliament.

Autlwetse Not Aware of Funds Embezzlement

Botswana’s deputy minister of education and skills development, Kgotla Autlwetse, has told Parliament that he is not aware of any fund embezzlement at the Botswana Society for the Deaf in Francistown.
Autlwetse pointed out that the last audit done at the Francistown centre for Deaf Education (FCDE) was during the 2013/14 financial year by an Inter-ministerial Team following the rationalisation of all non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and their alignment to line ministries.

Calls for transparent, Accountable Political System

The Constitutional Court will hear an application by a non-governmental organisation seeking to determine whether Parliament has failed in its constitutional obligation to get political parties to disclose the source of their private funding.

Currently, political parties are not obliged to disclose their funders and the applicant in the matter, My Vote Counts NPC, is calling for a more inclusive, transparent and accountable political system.

Forming the basis of its case is the constitutional right to access information and the right to vote.

Democracy Under Attack, Says Rupert

Billionaire businessman, Johann Rupert, says that freedom of speech, transparency and honesty in government and farmers - who put food on the table - are under attack in South Africa.

Speaking at a conference honouring former President FW de Klerk, Rupert urged the private sector and civil society to work with government in solving its economic problems.

e-Tolls a Burden to the Poor - Makhura

Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, says that the e-tolling system placed a disproportionate burden on low and middle income households.

Announcing the findings and recommendations following a report by a panel which reviewed the socio-economic impact of the e-tolls last year, Makhura stated that, "In its current form, the e-toll system is unaffordable and inequitable and places disproportionate burden on low and middle income households."

HSF Fights for Full Access to JSC Deliberations

Given the core role of the judiciary, the Helen Suzman Foundation wants to know exactly how appointments to the Bench are decided.

The battle for access to closed-door deliberations over the selection of candidates for the Western Cape Bench continues on 29 October 2014 in the Cape Town high court.

The Helen Suzman Foundation returned to court to ask for the right to appeal a judgment refusing it access.

Aid Workers Chased Away from Church

Humanitarian organisation, Gift of the Givers, says its aid workers were chased away from the scene of a collapsed building in Lagos, Nigeria, and threatened with arrest if they come near the site where a church building collapsed, killing dozens of people including South Africans.

Gift of the Givers founder, Imtiaz Sooliman, asserts that, “They [aid workers] tried to go to the church, but they were chased away. The authorities there did not want them to take any information or come near.”


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