The recent 19th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, injected new momentum into the decade old African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) with the appointment of new leadership to the APR Forum and the APR Panel. President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Barrister Akere Muna, president of the African Bar Association and also vice chair of Transparency International, will play pivotal roles in the two afore-mentioned governing bodies of Africa’s unique voluntary governance assessment instrument.
Justice Minister, Jeff Radebe’s proposal that a public service campaign be introduced to discourage a ‘negative culture of name dropping’ overlooks the real issues. Corruption Watch is responding to the findings of the inquiry into the Gupta wedding plane landing at Air Force Base Waterkloof on 30 April 2013.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation has called on government to make public the full report into the landing of the Gupta plane at Waterkloof Air force base in Pretoria.
The Foundation’s Executive Director, Neshaan Bolton, points out that the report must also answer whether the rich Gupta family's alleged relations with some in power might have influenced the final decision.
Bolton says: “The question most people seem to be asking is ‘how is it is that they might or might have not been able to use names of senior officials in government to get approval to land plane’.
The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation says the government’s investigation into the Gupta scandal must reveal how one family came to wield such ‘immense’ influence, ‘which it so brazenly displays over and over again’, in such a short period.
The foundation welcomes the government’s commitment to get to the bottom of the ‘sordid saga’ involving a private jet loaded with wedding guests being allowed to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base.
Political analyst at University of the Witwatersrand, Professor Susan Booysen, says the Gupta scandal has weakened President Jacob Zuma politically.
Booysen points out that, “This has been a dismal year for Zuma. The PetroSA and Central African Republic scandals have given the impression Zuma is not well-suited to leadership. The ANC [African National Congress] will try to be protective and defensive but Zuma has been weakened.
Contrary to Booysen’s view, another political analyst, Steven Friedman, says it is not clear if the scandal has weekend him, politically.
Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, has advised donors to direct non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to exercise more transparency and accountability for funds received from them.
The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) wanted to give Gauteng motorists a timely warning that e-tolls will kick in soon when it made the widely criticised announcement.
SANRAL spokesperson, Vusi Mona, points out that, "We thought it's appropriate now just to remind Gauteng motorists that we will be switching on the system in two months' time, all things being equal."
In January this year, the story broke that Eskom had contracted Swartberg Intelligence Services to conduct espionage on ordinary citizens around the Medupi power station, political parties, trade unions, and the dreaded environmental lobby axis of groundWork, Earthlife Africa, and Greenpeace Africa.
A non-governmental organisation dealing in land issues on Zambia’s Copperbelt has accused Kitwe City Council of advertising already sold plots.
Copperbelt Indigenous Land Rights Network executive director, Archie Mulunda, says the Kitwe City Council recently advertised to sale residential plots which had already been sold to some corporate institutions and a few elites at the expense of poor people who also needed to acquire plots.
The Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) says that South Africa (SA) has been dethroned as the country with the most open and transparent government budget system in the world.
In a press statement, the organisation states that SA came second to New Zealand in the Open Budget Index, conducted among 100 countries by the Washington-based International Budget Partnership.
Idasa researcher, Russell Wildeman, points out that SA is one of only six countries in the world which released extensive budget information to its legislatures and the public in general.