Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Sudan’s Armed Groups Reject Agreement on Transitional Political Document
SLM Minni Minnawi, SPLM-N Malik Agar and JEM Gibril Ibrahim speak to reporters in Addis Ababa on 17 July 2019 (ST photo)

July 17, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The rebel Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) announced its rejection of the political agreement initialled by the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and the Transitional Military Council (TMC), saying that the approach adopted was flawed and unacceptable and would complicate the national process.

The TMC and the FFC on Wednesday morning initialled the text of the political agreement which describes the three organs of the transitional authority and details the power-sharing during the transitional period.

However, the deal failed to resolve the difference on the legislative council as the TMC continues to claim the need to review the majority of 67% agreed to the opposition groups members of the FFC last May.

However, SRF spokesman Mohamed Zakaria Farajalla told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that the Front was surprised by the initialization of the agreement between the two parties while it was engaged in consultations meetings with a delegation of their allies in the FFC in the Ethiopian capital on ways to achieve peace.

He said that the agreement reached by the FFC political and armed groups in Addis Ababa provides to include the SRF vision in the political and constitutional agreements with the Military Council.

"It is not understandable that the deliberations of Addis Ababa meeting are in their final stage and the FFC negotiating team inside the country concludes the agreement without waiting for the outcome of Addis meetings to be included in the agreement."

"This approach is flawed and unacceptable and will complicate the national process. As the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, we affirm that we are not a party to the agreement and we have the right to take what we see as appropriate steps to achieve peace and democratic transition."

The Addis meetings between a delegation of the FFC and the SRF agreed on a draft declaration of principles to achieve peace during the transitional period to be integrated within the political and constitutional agreements to be reached with the Transitional Military Council.

Zakaria stressed that the meetings in Addis Ababa are still ongoing but will seek to understand the reasons that led the FFC political groups to strike the deal with the military council without waiting for the outcome of the meetings of Addis Ababa.

He pointed out that the SRF calls for postponing the formation of the institutions of the transitional period until the signing of a peace agreement, after which the phenomenon of armed movements will disappear, in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past in dealing with the armed movements after each popular revolution.

Since last April, in a series of meeting held in Abu Dhabi, the armed groups proposed to distinguish between the pre-transitional period and the transitional period which will start within six months after the conclusion of peace agreement with the armed groups in Darfur, the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

The SRF spokesperson said there is still a chance to overcome this crisis if what will be reached between them and their allies in the FFC is included in the political agreement before to strike a deal on the constitutional declaration.

"If this issue is not addressed, the SRF will have several options to deal with issues of war and peace, including direct negotiations with the military council," he asserted.

Zakaria said that the discussion on the draft submitted by the SRF to the FFC delegation on the achievement of peace is still continuing.

Agar: The agreement does not represent the whole FFC

For his part, the head of the SPLM-N Malik Agar said that those who signed the agreement, do not represent all the Forces for Freedom and Change.

"The agreement ignored important issues being discussed in Addis Ababa, foremost of which is the issue of peace.".

"There has been a deep dialogue between active leaders in the forces of freedom and change and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front," he said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

"The agreement damaged this dialogue and what is said about peace does not exceed public relations."

"We are part of the FFC, and this agreement will lead to different positions .. We are studying the issue with our comrades in the SRF before to take a position that we will announce today," he said before the joint press statement.

In a statement read at a joint press conference in Addis Ababa, the SRF groups voiced their reservations about the form and content of the initialled political declaration, including the negotiation method.

The FFC negotiators have ignored important parties and issues and focused on power-sharing and ignored important issues, "forgetting that the SRF could enter into a power-sharing deal if it wanted a long time ago," further said the statement.

Gibril Ibrahim, head of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), said in a tweet posted in the morning said that "the initialization of a political agreement between the military junta and some FFC forces a disregard for the consultations taking place in Addis Ababa."

"The Sudanese Revolutionary Front is not a party to this agreement."

(ST)
Sudanese Parties Agree on Transitional Political Document
FFC delegates at the meeting with the TMC on the political and constitutional documents on 16 July 2019 (AFP Photo)

July 17, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The ruling military council and the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change have reached an agreement on the Political Declaration for the transitional period as they will continue talks on the disputed constitutional during the week.

The deal which has been endorsed in the first hours of Wednesday will be initialled during the day, as the final signing will take place in a ceremony attended by regional leaders once an agreement is concluded on the constitutional declaration.

The political declaration includes the three institutions: sovereign council, government and legislative council. Also, it tackles the transitional period tasks such as peace, economic reforms and humanitarian relief. Further, it reaffirms the investigation of crimes committed against civilians after the collapse of al-Bashir’s regime last April.

One of the most important issues in the political document is the number of the members of the collective presidency or the Sovereignty Council which will be composed of 11 members: six civilians and five militaries. Each of the two sides will appoint five members and they will pick the eleventh civilian member by consensus.

Initially, the military junta insisted that the eleventh member should be a former military but the FFC rejected this restrictive stipulation.

The political agreement establishes a rotating presidency. The Transitional Military Council will appoint the chairman of the Sovereign Council for 21 months followed by a chairman chosen by the FFC for the remaining 18 months.

According to the document, an independent investigation committee will be established to probe the bloody attack of 3 June that resulted in the killing of over a hundred civilians at the main sit-in area in Khartoum.

The parties in the upcoming days will deal with the constitutional document which defines the attributions and powers of the three organs of the transitional authority.

The FFC recently voiced its opposition to the absolute political immunity given to the TMC members in a draft text released by the joint mediation. Different proposals have been made to make it reversible in case of involvement in human rights violations, killing or other crimes.

(ST)
NIEHAUS: ZUMA QUESTIONING AKIN TO INTERROGATION
Former President Jacob Zuma's supporters have welcomed the decision to discontinue his testimony at the state capture inquiry.

Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 17 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

Clement Manyathela
Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma's supporters have welcomed the decision to discontinue his testimony at the state capture inquiry.

A decision was taken on Wednesday between Zuma and the commission that the proceedings be adjourned until Friday to allow room for deliberations over the concerns the former president raised.

Earlier today, Zuma raised objections with the inquiry’s line of questioning, saying he has a problem with the expectation that he must remember details of events that had nothing to do with his position as head of state and those that happened a long time ago.

MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus said that they shared the former president's concerns, saying the questions he'd been asked since Monday have been unfair.

"The process of leading the president to provide the evidence has deteriorated into something that became more akin to an interrogation. There were details demanded that would be sometimes difficult for him, as the overall executive, to provide and would be more appropriate to be provided by the administrative staff that surrounded him."
JACOB ZUMA'S LAWYERS DISCUSS HIS POSSIBLE WITHDRAWAL FROM ZONDO INQUIRY
Zuma has been complaining that he was expected to remember details of what happened a long time ago.

Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 17 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

Clement Manyathela & Mihlali Ntsabo
Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma’s lawyers are now discussing whether or not he should continue with his testimony at the state capture commission of inquiry.

“He was brought here under false pretense," one of his lawyers said.

Zuma has been complaining that he was expected to remember details of what happened a long time ago.

He told the state capture commission that he had a problem with the inquiry’s expectation that he must remember details that, as head of state, he didn’t deal with directly.

Zuma was continuing his testimony at the inquiry on Wednesday afternoon, where he has denied ever insisting on the appointment of Siyabonga Gama as Transnet CEO despite him facing serious charges.

This allegation was made by Barbara Hogan at the commission last year, who was Public Enterprises Minister at the time of the appointment.

Zuma said it was unfair for the commission to ask for details of some events.

“I have a problem because I’m being made to go through the details that are the details of the officials and expected to remember every other detail on the work that is generally done by the DGs and other officials.”

Meanwhile, the former president’s legal team earlier on Wednesday again accused deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo of being unfair.

Zuma’s lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane asked for an adjournment, saying his client was brought before the commission under false pretenses.

“Now I need him to make up his mind whether he wants to be cross-examined because it is clear, it’s just been confirmed, that he is being cross-examined.”

His lawyer, Muzi Sikhakhane, also said it was not fair for the commission to question Zuma, who was head of the state, on the processes of selecting and appointing people for government positions.

“…When you have the document from the right person. I don’t think this is fair to this witness."

Zondo responded: “Well Mr Sikhakhane, sometimes you have a laid down process and you have a different understanding… of the process that was followed and sometimes, a laid down process was not followed. The question was meant to get his understanding of the appointment process."

Sikhakhane interjected and asked what that had to do with fraud and corruption.

Zondo said: “It’s got to do with whether where it is alleged that he said he had only one choice as a candidate and whether his understanding of the process is different from what is laid down.”

Zuma was being questioned about former Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan’s claims flouted procedure and interfered in the appointment of former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama.

From the onset Zuma and his legal counsel have expressed unhappiness with the commission’s treatment of him, saying he was being handled like an accused.

Sikhakhane asked to adjourn for 30 minutes.
BEHIND-THE-SCENES TALKS TO DETERMINE IF ZUMA RESUMES STATE CAPTURE TESTIMONY
A decision was taken on Wednesday between Jacob Zuma and the commission that the proceedings be adjourned until Friday, to allow room for deliberations over the concerns the former president raised.

Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 17 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

Clement Manyathela
Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma’s testimony at the state capture commission came to an abrupt stop after he denied Barbara Hogan’s allegations.

A decision was taken on Wednesday between Zuma and the commission that the proceedings be adjourned until Friday, to allow room for deliberations over the concerns the former president raised.

Earlier today, Zuma raised objections with the inquiry’s line of questioning, saying he had a problem with the expectation that he must remember details of events that had nothing to do with his position as head of state and those that happened a long time ago.

When the commission started this morning, Jacob Zuma was being asked about the allegation made by Barbara Hogan - that Zuma insisted that she, as Public Enterprises Minister, appoint Siyabonga Gama as Transnet CEO despite him facing serious charges.

"I would not have said this as I would have been saying: 'This is my person. Finished.' It doesn't work like that."

Zuma was also asked about the party’s deployment committee and whether it often put pressure on government officials to appoint certain individuals to state-owned institutions.

The former president denied this but made it clear that loyalty to the African National Congress (ANC) was one of the factors considered for appointments in state-owned institutions.

"Those people, including her, are where they are because of their loyalty to the party. They believe in the policies of the organisation."

With the commission now adjourned, the focus moves to behind-the-scenes discussions, which will determine whether Zuma continues his testimony or not come Friday.
South Africa: Commission of Inquiry Adjourned After Zuma Cries Foul
Africa News

South Africa’s deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo on Wednesday adjourned until Friday morning a public inquiry into state corruption, after lawyers Zuma’s lawyers said he was being questioned unfairly.

Zuma’s lawyers have argued that the inquiry’s lawyers should not cross-examine the former president because they say evidence given by other witnesses does not directly implicate Zuma in corruption and fraud.

“Chair I hear you, and I appreciate what you’re saying, but I’m really being cross-examined very thoroughly on the details. And I don’t know how come,” Zuma told the chairman of the inquiry.

Zuma’s lawyers told Zondo that the former president, who has been testifying since Monday, had been brought to the inquiry under “false pretences” because he was being cross-examined, whereas he thought he would only have to answer straightforward points of clarity.

“The former president has expressed certain concerns,” Zondo said. “It has been decided that we should adjourn the proceedings for the day, and we should not sit tomorrow in order to give a full opportunity to the commission’s legal team and the former president’s legal team … to see whether a way can be found in which his (Zuma’s) concerns are addressed.”

July 17: Zuma denies interfering in Transnet deal on Day 3

Former president Jacob Zuma on Wednesday denied having interfered with the appointment of a chief executive at transport and infrastructure company Transnet, during his third day testifying at a corruption inquiry.

Transnet, which operates railways, ports and fuel pipelines, is one of a handful of state-owned firms that became embroiled in corruption scandals during Zuma’s tenure.

Former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan told the inquiry that Zuma had told her at a meeting in 2009 that Siyabonga Gama was his “only choice” to be CEO of Transnet.

Gama was at the time subject to disciplinary proceedings because of procurement irregularities, and Hogan said Transnet’s board of directors wanted to appoint another candidate it deemed better qualified for the job.

Asked whether he had told Hogan that Gama was his only choice for Transnet CEO, Zuma told the inquiry: “It couldn’t be like that, we don’t work like that. As I say there was a process. … I would have been undermining the process.”

Gama eventually became Transnet CEO in 2015 and was involved in allegedly corrupt contracts worth tens of billions of rands to procure locomotives.

Gama, who was fired last year after trying unsuccessfully to halt his removal, was not available for comment. He has denied the allegations against him.

A Gupta-linked firm earned huge consulting fees from the locomotives deal.

The Guptas, who left South Africa around the time Zuma was ousted, have consistently denied having looted state firms like Transnet.

Transnet has sought to recover via the courts money it says was misspent under Gama’s leadership.

State prosecutors have said they are following the inquiry and they could open cases if sufficient evidence of wrongdoing emerges.

Day 2 of Zuma’s testimony

South Africa’s ex-president Jacob Zuma on Tuesday said he had received a death threat after his testimony the previous day to an inquiry on corruption.

Appearing for the second day at the commision of inquiry into state capture, Zuma said his personal assistant received a phone call late on Monday from an unknown caller threatening to kill Zuma and his children.

The country’s deputy chief justice, Raymond Zondo, who is overseeing the inquiry, said the threats were unacceptable.

There was no immediate comment from the police.

Zuma’s lawyers then argued that the inquiry’s line of questioning was inappropriate because it amounted to cross-examination. This led to a brief delay before the presiding judge urged those questioning Zuma to bear this in mind.

Zuma’s lawyers said the testimony at the inquiry so far had not implicated the former president in corruption or fraud, so he should not be cross-examined but should merely answer questions for clarification purposes.

When proceedings finally kicked off, Zuma was asked about an incident where one of the Indian-born Guptas allegedly offered former ANC lawmaker Vytjie Mentor the position of minister of public enterprises.

Zuma replied saying; “I know nothing about it”, repeating the same phrase several times and once letting out a chuckle.

Mentor told the inquiry that the offer of the ministerial post was conditional on her canceling a lucrative South African Airways flying route to India.

She said she refused the offer, which she said was made in 2010 at a time when Zuma was at one of the Guptas’ residences.

“No there was nothing of that nature. I was never in some room,” Zuma said when asked whether he was in the Guptas’ home when the job offer was allegedly made to Mentor.

Zuma, 77, said he had never discussed ministerial appointments with the Guptas.

Several witnesses other than Mentor have told the inquiry that the Guptas were privy to information about senior government appointments.

He however confirmed he had met the Gupta brothers to discuss the New Age, the newspaper that he had encouraged them to set up in 2010.

Asked whether he met with the Guptas over the newspaper project, he replied: “From time to time they briefed me.”

“They were just briefing me on progress they were making in establishing that business, the newspaper, not the financing,” he said.

Zuma denied that he knew about alleged harassment of civil servants by Gupta executives demanding that the government’s advertising budget was spent with the newspaper.

Zuma also denied on Tuesday that he had issued an instruction to remove Themba Maseko, former head of the government communications service, from his position after Maseko refused to direct state advertising money to the Guptas’ media company in 2011.

Zuma, expected to testify until Friday, was supported at the inquiry by his son as well as prominent allies including ex-finance minister Malusi Gigaba.

ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule, a close ally of Zuma, addressed reporters during a break in the proceedings on Tuesday and suggested the inquiry’s focus on the Gupta family was misguided.

Magashule, who is in charge of the day-to-day running of the ANC, has made comments that have directly contradicted Ramaphosa and his faction in the ANC in recent months.

“I don’t know why South Africa is not actually investigating every company which has worked with government, and why we are actually targeting one particular company and family,” Magashule said. “Tell me which company has not met with government.”

Magashule declined to answer a question about whether he thought the inquiry was biased, as Zuma’s lawyers have said.

July 16: Day 1 of Zuma’s testimony

South Africa’s ex-president, Jacob Zuma on Monday defended himself at the commision of inquiry into state capture, where he is accused of having presided over a corrupt government.

Over the past year, this commission, chaired by the Vice-President of the Constitutional Court Raymond Zondo, has heard from dozens of ministers, elected officials, businessmen and senior civil servants who have come to expose the shady cases of the Zuma era (2009-2018).

The former head of state, 77, is suspected of illegally granting lucrative public contracts and undue advantages to a sulfurous family of Indian businessmen with whom he is close, the Gupta.

July 15: Zuma’s testimony

Zuma told the inquiry that there was a conspiracy against him and that his enemies had subjected him to a “character assassination” because they wanted him out of power.

“This commission, from my understanding, was really created to have me coming here, and perhaps to find things on me,” Zuma said in his opening remarks at the inquiry, looking relaxed and wearing a dark suit.

“There has been a drive to remove me from the scene, a wish that I should disappear.”

About his controversial links to the Gupta family, Zuma said he had never broken the law with them, describing the businessmen at the centre of an influence-peddling scandal as friends.

“I never did anything with them (the Guptas) unlawfully, they just remained friends. … Never, never did I discuss any matter that does not belong to them,” Zuma told the inquiry.

“They were businesspeople and successful businesspeople,” Zuma continued, referring to the three Gupta brothers. “I’m not a businessperson, I know nothing about business, I’m a politician, I know something about politics.”

He said he could trace this to the early 1990s, when he received an intelligence report that two foreign intelligence agencies and a branch of the apartheid government that was in power at the time had come up with a strategy to get rid of him.

He did not name where the foreign intelligence agencies came from, only that they were from “big countries”.

“They (my enemies) took a decision that Zuma must be removed from the decision-making structures of the ANC. That’s why the character assassination, that is the beginning of the process that has put me where I am today,” Zuma said.

Zuma also hinted that he could spill the beans on ANC comrades who had spoken out against him.

“I’ve been respectful to comrades, maybe I’ve reached a point where that must take a back seat.”

Jacob Zuma was forced by his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, to resign a year and a half ago at the head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and the country.

But he has always denied that he was involved in all the scandals that have splashed his reign.

Reactions to Zuma’s testimony

Asked about Zuma’s comments, ANC spokesman Pule Mabe said the party would give the inquiry space to do its work.

“The ANC is not on trial here,” Mabe said.

Natasha Mazzone, a senior lawmaker with the opposition Democratic Alliance party, said Zuma was trying to whitewash serious allegations.

“The fact that we’ve heard a conspiracy theory dating back to 1990 is proof that the real truth is going to take a long time to extract,” Mazzone said.

Rudie Heyneke from the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse said the inquiry could find it difficult to pin much on Zuma because he had “always been careful to stay a layer or two away from the action”.

Reservations from Zuma’s lawyers

In a letter made public last month, his lawyer Daniel Mantsha questioned the impartiality of the commission of inquiry by accusing it of seeking “only one truth” and wanting to “trap and humiliate” his client.

Although he did not obtain the list of questions that Judge Zondo plans to ask him, Jacob Zuma agreed to respond to his non-binding summons, in principle until Friday, July 19. But there is still doubt about the attitude he will adopt at the hearing, which will be broadcast live on television.

“The committee asked me to come and testify and provide it with any information I may have in my possession,” Zuma told the press this week. “I’m going to go and we’ll see how things turn out.”

The case against Zuma

Since it launched its hearings, the Zondo Commission has compiled a thick case against the former president.

A former minister, Mcebisi Jonas, came to tell how the Gupta brothers had come to offer him in 2015 the morocco Finance in exchange for his help in obtaining contracts and a bribe of 600 million rand (nearly 40 million euros).

According to Mr. Jonas, Ajay Gupta then told that “You have to understand that we control everything (…) and that the old man (Zuma) will do whatever he tells us to do”.

Another Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene, testified that he was thanked the same year by Jacob Zuma for refusing a lucrative nuclear contract project that would have benefited the same Gupta brothers, owners of a uranium mine.

In turn, the current Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan also settled his accounts with Jacob Zuma, accusing him of having “allowed a climate of impunity allowing corruption” and the “capture of the State” by private interests.

Gordhan has estimated that 100 billion rand (€6 billion) of public funds have been diverted in recent years in his country.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has been a long-time critic of the turpitudes of the Zuma regime and welcomed its hearing. “There can be no immunity for Jacob Zuma,” said MP Natasha Mazzone, “he must be held accountable for his role in capturing the state.

Despite all the accusations against him, the former president has still not been formally charged. He is currently being prosecuted in only one case involving bribes paid on the margins of an arms contract signed… twenty years ago.

In defence of Zuma

Zuma still has allies and a group of several dozen supporters broke into clapping and chants of “Zuma” as he entered the hearing room.

Outside, supporters wearing military clothing emblazoned with the emblem of the former armed wing of the ANC shouted: “Hands off Zuma!”

One of them, Bongani Nkosi, said he thought the inquiry was out to get Zuma and that he had enemies because he supported radical economic policies to help poor black people.

Ramaphosa, Zuma’s former deputy, has made sweeping personnel changes in government and state-owned companies as part of an effort to curb corruption and revive the stagnant economy.

But he has been hampered by the lingering influence that Zuma and his allies exert over the ANC’s top decision-making bodies, as well as by the scale of the problems he inherited.

Zuma, expected to give testimony to the inquiry from Monday to Friday, has also been in court on several occasions over the past year to answer corruption charges linked to a deal to buy military hardware for the armed forces in the 1990s.

The inquiry is a rare example of an African leader being brought to book soon after losing power.

Agencies
Nairobi Issues Third Painting Order This Year
WEDNESDAY JULY 17 2019
   
An aerial view Nairobi city. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Summary
In May this year, City Hall gave the same property owners 30 days to paint and carry out renovations to their buildings.
Governor Mike Sonko warned that action would be taken against individuals who fail to comply with the order.

By COLLINS OMULO
Kenya Daily Nation

Property owners within the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) have been given two weeks to repaint and redecorate their premises or face legal action.

Acting County Secretary Leboo Morintat said after the expiry of the 14 days, unspecified legal measures will be instituted to ensure the notice is fully complied with.

This will be the third time this year that a similar order has been issued, probably showing the poor success rate.

'NO POSTERS'

A tour of the CBD returns a hodgepodge, making it difficult to know the original colours of the buildings.

This has been made worse by grafitti and posters that stay in place long after the intended campaigns are over. It goes on despite the ‘No Posters’ warnings by property owners.

Mr Morintat said the notice is anchored in law, including county by-laws and the Public Health Cap 242 on maintaining healthy and quality standards of general public health.

Mr Morintat, without giving any specific colour that the building owners should adopt, explained that the move to clean, repaint or redecorate was aimed at improving beauty of the capital city.

This is to enhance the appeal of the city which has been globally recognised among the most dynamic, innovative resilient cities and is also a strategic economic and commercial hub of East and Central Africa.

“It is hereby notified to all property owners in the Nairobi CBD that they should clean, repaint or redecorate their buildings as required by law,” said Mr Morintat on Wednesday in a newspaper notice.

At the same time, the notice gave a blanket approval to property owners to improve plot frontages — the area between a plot boundary and road kerb.

This will affect properties within and along Uhuru Highway, Nairobi River and Ring Road Pumwani, and Haile Selassie Avenue.

If successfully implemented, Nairobi will become the second county after Mombasa to effect such a directive.

In June, last year, Governor Hassan Joho issued an executive order requiring residential and commercial buildings in Mombasa’s Central Business District (CBD) to be painted in a uniform blue colour to symbolise the Indian Ocean.

However, this is not the first time that Nairobi County has asked property owners within the city to repaint their buildings.

In May this year, City Hall gave the same property owners 30 days to paint and carry out renovations to their buildings.

Mike Sonko, the governor, warned that action would be taken against individuals who fail to comply with the order.

“County laws require that property owners repaint their premises after every two years to maintain healthy and quality standards and so those who have not complied with the by-laws should do so before we start taking action,” said Mr Sonko at the time.

Nonetheless, this was after a similar order in January where the owners of buildings were directed to repaint as part of a beautification project.
Embracing Sustainability in Procurement and Supply Chain Practices
Kenya Daily Nation

World Summit 2019: Sustainable procurement

Sustainable procurement is the meeting of business needs for materials, goods, utilities and services in an environmentally-friendly, responsible and ethical way.

Companies dedicated to sustainable procurement try to make economical and effective long-term decisions that benefit the company, customers, society and the environment.

For example, beyond initial costs of a product, the cost of the product lifecycle are assessed.

This assessment includes the product’s cost of acquisition and maintenance as well as costs associated with the end of service time, such as disposal.

Once these product considerations are met, a buyer would also avoid products produced by exploitative labour or environmentally-irresponsible producers and would favour fair trade companies. Supply chain sustainability is integral to sustainable procurement.

CONSUMER PRESSURE

Economic irresponsibility has always had the capacity to destroy a company.

Increasingly, customers also strongly disapprove of irresponsibility to the environment and society -- customers who, in the age of social media, are likely to find about transgressions.

Easier access to information and communication also helps consumers respond to corporate malfeasance, sharing information, for example, and organising boycotts.

This consumer pressure and the desire for good public relations helps drive corporate initiatives like sustainable procurement and promotes corporate accountability and transparency.

WORLD SUMMIT

The IFPSM World Summit is a global, annual procurement event organised annually by the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management which serves as a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experiences among procurement and supply chain management professionals.

IFPSM comprises 48 professional bodies from across the world. This year, the spotlight is on Kenya.

The World Summit is an exclusive opportunity to experience an innovative purchasing event that includes a business leader’s conference, in-the-know international speakers in the industry and a first-class Summit experience for both attendees and partners.

To be held in the coastal city of Mombasa from September 10-13, 2019, attendees will have the opportunity to meet fellow professionals from around the world and network and engage through various sessions.

Looking at new global trends in this field, world – renowned speakers will give insights that will propel sustainable business after the Summit and spark and spur grown in organisations according to the changing environment.
WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak 'Health Emergency' of International Concern
WEDNESDAY JULY 17 2019
Kenya Daily Nation   

Health workers move a patient to a hospital after he was cleared of having Ebola inside an MSF-supported Ebola Treatment Centre in Butembo, the DRC, on November 4, 2018. PHOTO | JOHN WESSELS | AFP

In Summary
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it "welcomed" the decision.

More than 1,600 people have died from Ebola since August 1, when the haemorrhagic virus erupted in DR Congo's North Kivu and spread to neighbouring Ituri.

By ELIZABETH MERAB

The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo a "public health emergency of international concern," a rare designation only used for the gravest epidemics.

"It is time for the world to take notice," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement, as he accepted the advice of his advisory board to invoke the emergency provision (PHEIC), only used by the UN health agency four times previously.

Those included the H1N1, or swine flu, pandemic of 2009, the spread of poliovirus in 2014, the Ebola epidemic that devastated parts of West Africa from 2014 to 2016 and the surge of the Zika virus in 2016.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it "welcomed" the decision.

"While it does not change the reality on the ground for victims or partners engaged in the response, we hope it will bring the international attention that this crisis deserves," the IFRC said in a statement.

The WHO's international health regulations, drafted in 2005, say that the international emergency label should apply to a situation that is "serious, unusual or unexpected; carries implications for public health beyond the affected State's national border; and may require immediate international action".

More than 1,600 people have died from Ebola since August 1, when the haemorrhagic virus erupted in DR Congo's North Kivu and spread to neighbouring Ituri.

This announcement comes just days after the epidemic for the first time spread to Goma, a major urban town and home to more than one million people.

 The United Nations health agency, however, stressed that no country should close its borders or place any restrictions on travel or trade, adding that the risk of the disease spreading outside the region was not high.

“We need to work together in solidarity with the DRC to end this outbreak and build a better health system,” said Dr Ghebreyesus.

Sitting on Wednesday, the emergency committee cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma, a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world.

“It is important that the world follows these recommendations. It is also crucial that states do not use the PHEIC as an excuse to impose trade or travel restrictions, which would have a negative impact on the response and on the lives and livelihoods of people in the region,” said Professor Robert Steffen, chair of the Emergency Committee.

Dr Ghebreyesus this week said the case in Goma was a potential game-changer, since it meant Ebola might now spread among the urban population and into neighbouring Rwanda.

A separate WHO report cited a very high risk for Uganda’s Arua district, which borders a Congolese area where an Ebola patient died after having had contact with over 200 people.

This was the fourth meeting of the Emergency Committee since the outbreak was declared on 1 August 2018. With the porosity of our borders, allowing the free movement of people across the EA countries.

Since 2014, the world has grappled with the worst Ebola outbreak in West Africa. More recently, the continent has further faced other disease outbreaks such as Yellow Fever in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cholera in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania.

It is estimated that the Ebola outbreak not only led to loss of over 10,000 lives, but also tested the capacity and readiness of affected countries’ ability to respond to outbreaks.

The outbreak has since 2018 been classified as a level 3 emergency – the most serious – by WHO, triggering the highest level of mobilization from WHO. The UN has also activated the humanitarian system-wide scale-up to support the Ebola response.

The current outbreak of the highly infectious disease has been all but confined to Congo, killing 1,673 people there - more than two-thirds of those who contracted it - over the past year, and three in Uganda last month.

It took 224 days for the number of cases to reach 1,000, but just a further 71 days to reach 2,000. About 12 new cases are being reported every day.

Kenya has been on high alert and even increased surveillance for Ebola after a patient died in neighbouring Uganda while being treated for the disease in June.

 The heightened surveillance comes into effect following an outbreak in neighbouring Uganda where three people have so far been found to have the disease which has already killed one.

 Ebola outbreak in neighbouring Uganda where three people have so far been found to have the disease which has already killed one comes at a time when Kenya, and other East African countries have been tightening the bolts on disease surveillance as the country readies itself for any eventuality.

Last month, Kenya and Tanzania have been simultaneously carrying out a Field Simulation Exercise to test the region’s health system to respond to similar outbreaks.

A Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) declaration would be just the fifth in WHO history and include recommendations for international action. It could also help unlock sorely needed funds.

Last month the committee decided the potential disruption of declaring one risked causing economic harm while achieving nothing.

The declaration will help DRC and neighbouring countries like Kenya in combating the spread of the disease.
Goma Residents Afraid of an Ebola Outbreak After First Case is Reported
Africa News

Goma city dwellers are worried about the spread of Ebola in their metropolis.

Their fears follows the death of a man infected with the virus on Tuesday.

“I believe that the authorities must help us to reinforce the checkpoints on the road from Beni to Goma. May they help us, let everyone who leaves Beni be tested,” said Vasco Muhigirwa, Goma resident.

Goma city dwellers are worried about the spread of Ebola in their metropolis.

“When I learned about this disease, that she (the disease) has already arrived in Goma, I trembled because it is a very bad and dangerous disease. I want to get the cure,“said Freddy Bisimwa, Goma resident.

World Health Organization health workers have vaccinate 150 people so far that have been in contact with the patient who was identified after arriving by bus in Goma.

“It’s the same vaccine we used in Guinea, West Africa, Equator, Mbandaka, Beni, Butembo We’re using the same vaccine, it already proved its worth,” Alhassane Toure, WHO coordinator in charge of vaccination.

This new spread has sparked deep concern in neighbouring Rwanda and at the United Nations. So far, there have been 2,500 cases of infection and 1,670 deaths according to WHO.

WHO Director-General, Dr. Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus has called for an emergency committee meeting to analyse if the outbreak should be an international emergency.

Meanwhile, DR Congo’s health minister, Dr. Oly Ilunga, says the situation is “not a humanitarian crisis.
Brexit Upheaval Brings Opportunity for African Educators
The influential magazine Foreign Policy published an article at the end of 2018 entitled The Brexit Fueled Death of the British University (https://bit.ly/2Ghc4Jj). A grim outlook for the British education sector at the start of the year has only got worse as the nation prepares for a “No Deal Brexit” and a long period of uncertainty around UK trade and immigration policies.

A joint letter sent by the heads of 150 UK universities to British Members of Parliament called a No Deal Brexit one of the “biggest threats ever” to British universities. The letter stated “vital research links will be compromised, from new cancer treatments to technologies combating climate change. The valuable exchange of students, staff and knowledge would be seriously damaged.”

British universities are now warning that international students, worth £26bn to the UK economy, will opt for countries such as the US, Canada and Australia instead. Already Australia has moved ahead of the UK as the second biggest destination for overseas students.

However, in a time of crisis for UK universities, opportunities could open up for African higher education institutions. While political developments like Brexit are putting up increased barriers to free global movement, the demand for international education and experience has never been higher.

A British Education in Africa

Since 2002 Rushmore Business School in Mauritius has offered British education in association with British universities from its base in Mauritius. The idea of a winning a British degree without the high cost of relocating and living in the UK proved popular with Mauritian students. Rushmore now offers over 60 programmes in collaboration with UK institutions, some up to PhD level.

In an interview with AfricaLive.net  (https://bit.ly/2LX8EPE) Dr Essoo announced plans to open new international Rushmore campus in East Africa and Europe.

Both moves would represent a significant reversal of the current trend in Mauritian education of attempting to build the country as an education hub and attract students from Africa and India to study on the island.

Future of Pan-African Education

A Mauritian higher education institution moving into East Africa could be a significant moment in the development of Pan-African internationalist education.

Dr Essoo outlined Rushmore’s development strategy by stating “We were the first institution to really look at this idea of the education hub, of developing Mauritius as a knowledge hub. The previous government started the education hub programme and this government has continued.

However, having looked at it we realised that we are maybe putting the cart before the horse. My personal opinion is that we have tried this education hub approach and it hasn’t worked very well. We attracted maybe 10 to 15% of our students from Africa and India.

I think our next step needs to be going physically to those markets and expanding there. We are working on that now, we call this the third stage of our development. The first stage was setting up initially, the second stage was building our campus here and consolidating what we had, and now the third stage is to go in to other markets and take our model there.

The plan is to have campuses in Mauritius, Eastern Africa, and Europe offering the same courses and offer students mobility between the three campuses. Students from Europe could spend some time in Africa and some time in Mauritius, and see three different cultures. We would then be a truly international school or University and students would get a truly international education.

In addition to Africa, a lot of Europeans, particularly from eastern Europe, study in the UK either for their full degree or for one term or one year through exchange programmes such as Erasmus.

We believe that with Brexit there is going to be an impact on education and on those students. We believe that we can go into those European markets and offer British education.”

The developments at Rushmore highlight the rapid changes the international education market is going through.

Demand for international education has never been higher. However, the traditional education markets in the global north are fostering political environments increasingly hostile to internationalisation.

International higher education is now a $1.9 trillion global market and enrollments in higher education institutions are projected to grow by 200% by 2040. Total enrolment across the African continent will roughly triple from 7.4 million students to nearly 22 million by 2040.

Following the historic launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (https://bit.ly/2XQhh0t), the continent must develop leaders with both a Pan-African and internationalist mindset. The expansion of institutions such as Rushmore Business School will be a significant catalyst in created an integrated African higher education sector able to attract partnerships with the leading British and international academics and teachers.

Rushmore Business School offers a wide range of programmes that address Africa’s future development needs, from engineering, business, hospitality and tourism through to aviation. Learn more about Rushmore Business School degree programmes here (https://bit.ly/32qfIdj)

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Rushmore Business School.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Sudan Opposition Delays Talks on Constitutional Document
Ismail Jalab SPLM-N SG (C) and other FFC representatives discuss with Ethiopia's PM Abiy Ahmed after a meeting in Khartoum on 7 June 2019 (ST Photo)

July 14, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) have requested to postpone discussions on the Constitutional Document for Tuesday, an opposition official to the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) on Sunday.

The statements came to deny reports that the FFC rejected to meet the Transitional Military Council (TMC) because of an article granting full immunity to the members of the Sovereign Council which could include some military suspected of crimes against protesters.

"We asked the African mediator to postpone until Tuesday to conduct further consultations, and the African mediator responded positively to our request," said Khalid Omer, the Secretary General of the Sudanese Congress Party and an FFC leading member.

Khalid further stressed that the text of the constitutional declaration is an important document they want to have needed time to study and to establish it on solid bases, pointing they had not negotiated it before with the TMC.

The Constitutional Document will serve as an interim constitution for the transitional period.

The Sudanese Communist Party on Saturday issued a statement denouncing the draft constitutional document stressing that it keeps laws restricting freedoms and the repressive Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Also, the leftist party pointed to the "unacceptable" political immunity of the Sovereign Council members introduced by the mediation.

Several opposition groups agree with the SCP in its criticism but say these issues have to be negotiated first but should not reject it before talks.

Opposition sources told Sudan Tribune that the FFC factions including the SCP held a "positive meeting" on Sunday to discuss the draft constitutional document.

The opposition groups say the delay would also allow to include the contribution of FFC armed factions, which are discussing in Addis Ababa with their allied political forces, ways to achieve peace during the transitional period.

Addis Ababa meeting between the FFC political and armed groups is also discussing among other the formation of the leadership council.

(ST)
Sudan’s Ruling Junta Appeals Court Ruling to Restore Internet
Friends access internet at a cafe in an upscale Khartoum district in Sudan on June 17, 2019. (Photo AFP)

July 14, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s presidency legal adviser has asked a high court in Khartoum on Sunday to reverse the decision to restore the Internet service for the mobile phone in the country.

Yasir Mirghani, the secretary-general of the Sudanese Consumers Protection Society (SCPS) told Sudan Tribune that the legal adviser to the presidency, Haydar Ahmed Abdallah, filed an appeal with the Khartoum District Court requesting the cancellation of the decision to return the Internet services.

He said that the SCPS legal adviser objected to the appeal pointing to the absence of a presidential institution in the country, after the fall of ousted President Omer al-Bashir.

"We asked the legal adviser to bring a written accreditation to clarify who represents," Yasir further said.

Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) ordered to shut down internet access to customers citing security concerns last month after a deadly raid on a pro-democracy sit-in in the capital Khartoum on 3 June

The TMC established its offices at the Sudanese presidency in Khartoum and used to hold meetings and receive visitors there.

On 9 July, a Khartoum court ordered telecommunication companies to restore the internet services in the country.

Yasir expected that the court will hold a hearing when the legal adviser of the Sudanese presidency submits his credentials issued by an authority he represents.

(ST)
FFC Say More Time Needed to Study Sudan’s Constitutional Declaration, as Communists Reject It
TMC and FFC delegations resume talks on 3 July 2019 (Photo SUNA)

July 14, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) said its different components are considering a draft agreement submitted by the mediators while one of its factions, the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), made public its rejection of the proposed deal.

The joint drafting committees have completed its task and transformed an agreement reached on 5 July into two documents: the Political Declaration and the Constitutional Declaration.

As the two draft texts include some sticking points that the drafting committee failed to agree on it, its members decided to refer the outstanding issues again to the negotiating teams to resolve it.

A meeting held on the night of Thursday-Friday made some progress but still, other issues remained without consensus and the parties agreed to resume talks on Saturday.

"The Forces for Freedom and Change received on Friday the draft of the second document (the Constitutional Declaration), on which we have many observations that are now being studied by the FFC components," said a statement issued late on Saturday.

"The negotiating delegations will discuss and resolve the remaining outstanding points in preparation for signing the final agreement on the transfer of power to transitional civil authority," further added the FFC.

Different opposition sources said there are some reservations but the main issue of concern was an article on the political immunity of the members of the Sovereign Council added by the mediators.

They further stressed that the political immunity as such is a common practice used to protect senior officials from prosecution.

This immunity is supposed to protect them from undue pressure but not "to go unpunished for crimes including war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity and corruption," said Mohamed Hassan Arabi, Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP)’s Media Secretary.

Arabi further proposed to rewrite the document in a way to add the cases under which it can be removed and stressed that the decision should be taken by the legislative council, not the Sovereign Council.

However, the Sudanese Communist Party issued a statement announcing its rejection of the draft agreement saying it "consecrates the counter-revolution".

The draft keeps laws restricting freedoms and repressive institutions, including the Rapid Support Forces", led by Mohamed Dalgo "Hemetti", which are accused of involvement in the brutal attack on the pro-democracy sit-in, said the PSC.

The draft also maintains the international and regional agreements sealed by the former regime and affecting national sovereignty, especially the continuation of participation in the war in Yemen.

The deal gave the immunity to the Council of Sovereignty, and has maintained the decisions of the former military council, (...), which is unacceptable, said the statement.

Opposition officials, however, are critical for the "destructive behaviour" of the Sudanese communists who are accused of seeking to sabotage the opposition coalition.

They point an accusing finger to the Communists’ handling of such divergences which can be debated first inside the coalition and then move to discuss it with TMC within the framework of the joint mediation.

The SCP concerns are legitimate. Raising it and debating on it is urgently required to guard this agreement and push towards its implementation once it is achieved. "But at the same time, our unity is our lifesaver for the continuation of the resistance," said Amjed Farid, a spokesperson of the Sudanese Professional Association on Saturday.

(ST)
Congo: Chikungunya Outbreak and Research
Since January an outbreak of Chikungunya was reported in a region near Pointe-noire precisely Diosso.

Chikungunya is a viral disease caused by bites from infected mosquitoes. The disease results in fever, headaches and joint pain.

After molecular and phylogenic analysis, it was discovered that the strain had a close relation with Central Africa Chikungunya strains.

The confirmation was done after blood samples were collected and confirmed at the Laboratory of the Institute for Development Research in France

Analysis and results have shown a recent vector host switch. Some many other suspected cases have been observed around Pointe-noire and there are fears of a more devastating future outbreak if measures are not taken.

One of the specialists involved in the research was Dr Raphael Tatty Tatty, Specialist of Viral and Infectious Diseases at the centre for Infectious diseases, he now speaks out on research and prevention efforts.
DRC Authorities Confirm Death of Goma Ebola Patient
Authorities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s largest city, Goma, on Tuesday said the first patient in the city has died.

The patient was a priest who became infected during a visit to the town of Butembo, one of the epicentres of the outbreak, before taking a bus to Goma, according to Congo’s health ministry.

He was being driven from Goma to a clinic in Butembo on Monday to receive treatment when he died, North Kivu province’s Governor Carly Nzanzu told an Ebola response meeting.

The UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) described the case as a “potential game-changer” and said it would reconvene a key panel to see whether the outbreak required a heightened global response.

July 14: Ebola case confirmed in Goma

Officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo confirmed on Sunday that the Ebola virus had spread to the Eastern city of Goma.

This is the first case in the lakeside city of 1 million people, which is more than 350 km (220 miles) south of where the second-largest Ebola outbreak on record was first detected a year ago.

The haemorrhagic fever has gradually spread south, infecting nearly 2,500 people and killing more than 1,600, and now officials fear the virus could spread quicker in a densely populated area close to the Rwandan border.

Rwanda, meanwhile, said it would step up border monitoring and urged its citizens to avoid “unnecessary” travel to the eastern DRC.

How Ebola spread to Goma

The patient was a priest who became infected during a visit to the town of Butembo, 200 km (124 miles) north of Goma, where he interacted with Ebola patients, Congo’s health ministry said in a statement.

He developed symptoms last week before taking a bus to Goma on Friday. When he arrived in Goma on Sunday he went to a clinic where he tested positive for Ebola.

“Due to the speed with which the patient has been identified and isolated, as well as the identification of all bus passengers from Butembo, the risk of spreading to the rest of the city of Goma remains low,” the ministry said.

Goma has been preparing for the arrival of Ebola for a year, setting up hand-washing stations and making sure mototaxi drivers do not share helmets.

But in more rural areas, the virus has been hard to contain. Local mistrust of health officials and militia violence have hobbled containment efforts and caused the number of new cases to spike.

Ebola causes diarrhoea, vomiting and hemorrhagic fever and can be spread through bodily fluids. An epidemic between 2013 and 2016 killed more than 11,300 people in West Africa.

REUTERS
Somalia to Honor TV Host Killed by Al-Shabaab With Annual Award
Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban
Africa News

The Somali government will roll out an annual award scheme in honour of Hodan Nalaye, a Somali-Canadian TV host who was killed late last week in the city of Kismayo in an Al-Shabaab attack.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Awad, confirmed that his Ministry will have the Hodan Nalaye Award in honour of the deceased’s inspirational life.

“Every year we will recognise an outstanding individual who made a positive contribution from the Somali Diaspora,” the Minister said in a July 15 tweet promising to follow with “More information.”

On Friday, the journalist dedicated to telling positive stories from a country suffering through decades of civil war, extremist attacks and famine was killed along with her husband, Farid Jama Suleiman, entrepreneur Mahad Nur and at least 23 others after a bomb exploded outside the Asasey Hotel in the Somali city of Kismayo and gunmen stormed inside. Fifty-six other people were wounded in the attack, according to the Jubbaland regional president.

Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for the 14-hour assault that ended as troops killed the gunmen.

On Saturday, friends and family reeled as they heard that Nalayeh, 43, a journalist and mother expecting her third child, was among the dead.

Maaz Khan, a 24-year-old filmmaker in Toronto, said Nalayeh had shared her hard-earned wisdom when he met her a few years ago.

“She was always very inspiring,” he told The Associated Press. “She would say, ‘It’s tough in the beginning, but always push through and don’t give up on your passion.’”

Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, mourned the journalist’s death, saying on Twitter that she “highlighted the community’s positive stories and contributions in Canada” through her work.

“We mourn her loss deeply, and all others killed in the #KismayoAttack,” he said.

Nalayeh was born in the northern Somali city of Las Anod but moved with her parents and 11 siblings to the Canadian province of Alberta in the winter of 1984, when temperatures dropped to -40 degrees Celsius. Her father, a former Somali diplomat, took a job as a parking attendant, she told Toronto.com in a 2014 interview.
Ethiopian Rappers Challenging Israel Police Through Song
12/07 - 15:12

In his song “Handcuffed,” rapper Teddy Neguse addresses police brutality against young Israeli men of Ethiopian descent.

Although the song came out in 2017, it has recently reached new heights in the wake of street protests across the country following the killing of an Ethiopian Israeli teen by an off-duty police officer last month.

This week the 23-year-old artist was invited to perform his song live on the popular news website Ynet.

Neguse’s appearance on Ynet illustrates the growing Ethiopian Israeli presence in the local music scene.

But it also reflects the ongoing struggles against alleged racism and discrimination, some three decades after Ethiopian Jews began arriving in Israel.

Large numbers of Ethiopian Jews began arriving in Israel via secret airlifts in the 1980s.

The new arrivals from a rural, developing African country struggled to find their footing in an increasingly high-tech Israel.

Throughout the decades, Ethiopians have suffered discrimination.

In the late 1990s, it was discovered that Israel’s health services were throwing out Ethiopian blood donations over fears of diseases contracted in Africa.

Accusations have also been raised that Israel has deliberately tried to curb birth rates in its Ethiopian communities.

Today there’s around 150,000 people in the Israel Ethiopian community, some 2% of the country’s 9 million citizens.

While some Israelis of Ethiopian descent have made gains in areas like the military, the police force and politics, the community continues to struggle with a lack of opportunity and high poverty rate.

Against this backdrop, Israeli artists of Ethiopian heritage are breaking out in the entertainment world, especially in the growing hip hop and dancehall scenes.

In his music video for “Handcuffed,” Neguse is dressed up as a soldier, riding a bicycle, when he encounters two policemen.

The officers then, seemingly unprovoked, beat him up.

The music video depicts a 2015 incident in which two policemen were filmed beating a uniformed Ethiopian Israeli soldier, sparking mass protests.

The most recent demonstrations erupted after the unarmed Solomon Teka, 18, was fatally shot by a police officer in a Haifa suburb on June 30.

At the height of the unrest, protesters angrily swore at police officers, hurled firebombs, vandalised vehicles and set a car ablaze in the heart of Tel Aviv.

Police say over 110 officers were wounded in the protests, and at least 150 protesters were arrested.

The officer in question, who has claimed the youth was accidentally hit by a warning shot he had fired at the ground, is being investigated by internal affairs and remains under protective custody.

Another up-and-coming Ethiopian Israeli musician, Yael Mentesnot, says that in the past, the community has been “restrained” and “we end up coming off a bit naive.”

But this time she says the community is beginning to truly feel the despair.

“All the protests, they are not orchestrated, nothing there was organised,” she said.

“Everyone went to the streets frustrated and released their anger.”

While most of Mentesnot’s young solo career has been filled with upbeat party songs, she said the recent events have inspired her to address the Ethiopian Israelis’ struggle.

“Our whole life is a struggle, we face challenges, and we overcome them,” she said. “I want the public to see it. To understand what we feel.”

Neguse said he is pleased that Ethiopian musicians are on the rise, but said the recent protests should be seen as “a call for help, a cry of an entire community.”

Associated Press
Ethiopia's TPLF Demands Clarity on 2020 Elections, Blasts ADP Over 'Coup'
Daniel Mumbere 
Africa News
11/07 - 15:00

All is not well in Ethiopia’s ruling coalition as one of the parties is accusing the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) of not doing enough to prevent the recent high profile assassinations that have been officially described as an ‘attempted coup’.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) issued a statement on Thursday, in which it said the ADP has worked with ‘chauvinist forces’ and compromised the security of the region.

“At the moment, the unity of the nation is endangered by chauvinist forces from here and there. The ADP has been a fertile ground for this,” the statement reads.

Otherwise, it will be difficult for the TPLF to further continue working together and struggle with ADP.

The ADP, TPLF, prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM) are governing members of the Ethiopia People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

Why is TPLF angry?

The TPLF, which was once seen as the dominant party in the ruling coalition has seen its influence wane since Abiy who is from the majority Oromo ethnic group, took over as prime minister last year.

In its accusations against ADP, the TPLF was referring to last month’s killing of the Amhara regional president Ambachew Mekonen, and two other officials, who were members of the ADP.

The army chief of staff, General Seare Mekonnen, along with another retired general were also killed in the Ethiopian capital. Both generals were from the Tigray region.

The alleged brains behind the attacks, Brig Gen Asaminew Tsige, was also a member of the ADP, and has since been killed.

“The ADP has to look into its fragile internal situation, assess the killings of officials and make a public apology accordingly.

“Otherwise, it will be difficult for the TPLF to further continue working together and struggle with ADP,” the statement warned.

The TPLF has consequently called for an independent investigation into the June 22 investigations.

The party has also demanded for a clear position from the federal government concerning the 2020 national elections.
Ethiopia PM's Security Adviser Elected New Leader of Amhara Region
Ethiopia’s Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) named the security adviser to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as head of the restive Amhara region on Monday after his predecessor was killed in a violent attempt to seize power there.

Dozens were killed in fighting during the foiled coup by a rogue state militia in Amhara that claimed the life of regional president Ambachew Mekonnen and other top officials. The same night, the army’s chief of staff and a retired general accompanying him were killed in the capital Addis Ababa in a related attack, the government said.

The ADP said on its Facebook page that it had nominated Abiy’s security adviser Temesgen Tiruneh as Ambachew’s successor in Amhara. The party controls the Amhara regional government and is also one of four in Abiy’s national governing coalition.

The Amhara violence was the strongest challenge yet to the rule of Abiy, who has rolled out ambitious political and economic reforms in what was once one of Africa’s most repressive countries since coming to power in April 2018.

Abiy has freed political prisoners and journalists, offered an amnesty for some rebel groups and opened up space for a number of parties ahead of planned parliamentary elections next year in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country.

But his government has also presided over a rise of ethnic violence as regional powerbrokers try to grab more power and territory and air long-held grievances against the Addis Ababa coalition. More than 2.4 million of Ethiopia’s 100 million citizens are displaced.

Temesgen’s nomination is expected to be ratified by the Amhara regional council at a later date, according to an ADP central committee member.

REUTERS
Activists Move to Declare Another State in Southern Ethiopia
Africa News

Speculation is rife in Ethiopia that the Sidama area in the southern region will be granted a referendum to determine whether it should become its own federal state.

Sidama is currently part of the multi-ethnic Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR), which is represented in the country’s ruling coalition by the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM).

BBC reported that over the weekend, a group of youth activists and opposition politicians announced that they would declare the southern region of Sidama as a separate federal state within the country.

The declaration is scheduled for Wednesday,significant because it marks a year since SNNPR’s parliament accepted that there should be a referendum on Sidama’s future.

According to the constitution, the vote should have happened within the last 12 months.

Two weeks ago, the prime minister Abiy Ahmed called upon people agitating for statehood to be patient because changes in the election board need to happen before the referendum can take place.

The declaration of Sidama as a state could aggravate regional tensions within Ethiopia which are threatening the unity of the country.
SACP Gauteng Mourns the Untimely Death of Advocate Jeff Molobela
3 July 2019

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in Gauteng Province dips its red flag in honour of the memory of our late comrade Advocate Jeff Molobela who passed away on 27 June 2019.

Cde Jeff served as a member of the provincial executive committee (PEC) between 2011 and 2014 where he made valuable contributions, particularly in the field of economic transformation. Cde Jeff held numerous positions within the ANC-led alliance structures including being the Regional Treasurer for the ANC in Greater Johannesburg.

In these roles and guided by the theory of Marxism-Leninism, cde Jeff played a key role in guiding our responses to the systemic crisis of global capitalism. He walked with us side by side in our endeavours towards building a different world based on meeting the social needs rather than private profits of the capitalist class.

In his honour we will continue to advance the socialist struggle, waged at the terrain of the national democratic revolution, as a pivotal class struggle that places social needs above narrow selfish private profits.

We will use cde Jeff’s memory to remind ourselves of our thoroughgoing struggle to transform all facets of our society, particularly the economy, an area of interest to him, to reverse the capitalist accumulation path in our country that persist to be dominated by colonialism of a special type (CST) features.

As the SACP in the province we hope that the family of cde Jeff will find solace and comfort in the fact that in life he was on the side of the oppressed majority working class masses. For this stance, cde Jeff deserves our praise.

We also take this opportunity to express our sincere and heartfelt condolences to cde Jeff’s family, friends and relative. Our thoughts are with them during this difficult period.

Long live the spirit of cde Jeff Molobela long live.

Issued by the SACP Gauteng Province

Contact:

Jacob Mamabolo - SACP Gauteng Provincial Secretary
Mobile: 082 884 1868
SACP Welcomes the Stance by President Cyril Ramaphosa Against "Trade War", Calls for a Digital Industrial Strategy and Lowering of the Cost of Data
1 July 2019

The South African Communist Party welcomes the stance by President Cyril Ramaphosa against “trade war”. In particular the United States under the Donald Trump administration recently escalated its offensive, aimed at maintaining its global imperialist hegemony, against non-U.S. companies such as Huawei that have taken a lead in certain segments of advanced technology.

The blockade launched by the Trump administration on Huawei for instance has much wider implications and consequences, and South Africa is not an exception. As stated by our Presidential Spokesperson, Khusela Diko, “Huawei provides a strong backbone to our telecommunication sector and is the frontrunner in 5G network” (quoted in the Sunday Times, Sunday, 30 June 2019).

The steps taken to remove the U.S. blockade on Huawei are therefore important in view of 5G infrastructure development and maintenance in South Africa, on our continent and other parts of the world.

In conclusion, the SACP calls on our government to develop a digital industrial policy strategy, and on all network providers in South Africa to lower the cost of data. To the extent there is continuing little or no progress in lowering the cost of data, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) must strengthen its regulatory efforts to make data affordable in our country.

ISSUED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN COMMUNIST PARTY | SACP

FOR GENERAL ENQUIRIES ON SACP STATEMENTS CONTACT:

Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo
National Spokesperson & Head of Communications
Mobile: +27 76 316 9816
Skype: MashiloAM

CIRCULATION & MEDIA LIAISON SERVICES

Hlengiwe Nkonyane
Communications Officer: Media Liaison Services, Digital and Social Media Co-ordinator
Mobile: +27 79 384 6550

OFFICE, WEBSITE, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, USTREAM TV CHANNEL

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SACP Gauteng Notes and Appreciates Commitments Made by Premier Makhura to the People of the Province
1 July 2019

The South African Communist Party Gauteng Province welcomes the urgency as expressed by Premier David Makhura in addressing problems that face the people of our province, especially poor and working class communities.

We believe that the State of the Province Address (SOPA) by the Premier sets the right tone for the entire state in our province to attend to some of the niggling challenges faced by the people with much more determination and urgency.

This address comes at the time when our capitalist-dominated economy continues to face challenges, having shrunk by more than three (3) percent in the first quarter of 2019. Indeed, this economy, of which Gauteng constitutes a lion share, is stuck in the longest downward cycle post-apartheid.

We have no doubt that this economic challenge, partly due to our structural economic trajectory, which is still heavily reliant on the primary product exports such as mining, poses imminent danger to the national democratic revolution (NDR), if left unchallenged. The NDR remains the only path on which we can conduct a socialist revolution in our unique South African, and Gauteng context.

It is on this basis that we welcome the address by the premier premised on the plan: “Growing Gauteng Together: Our Roadmap to 2030”, which according to comrade Makhura, will be finalised in the first 100 Days (end of August).

While we fully concur with the broad thrust of the five priorities of the sixth provincial administration in the areas of the Economy, Jobs and Infrastructure; Education, Skills Revolution and Health; Integrated Human Settlements and Land Release; Safety, Social Cohesion and Food Security; Building a Capable, Ethical and Developmental State, we are steadfast in our view that it is time for less talk and more action.

To this end, we will be working with our ANC-led alliance partners to develop a monitoring mechanism, not just to police the implementation of this progressive plan, but rather to ensure that proper capacity and skills are found and deployed correctly to ensure the success of this plan.

We further welcome continuation of the Ntirhisano Outreach Programme which has been a key mechanism for the provincial government to have constant contact with the communities it serves. We have witnessed, over the past five years how this programme has enhanced the work of the government and made the state more accessible to communities.

Going to our Provincial Executive Committee Lekgotla, in a week’s time, we will be unpacking this plan so that we constructively engage and improve where necessary to ensure that it addressees the challenges facing the majority working class communities.

Issued by the SACP Gauteng Province

Contact:

Jacob Mamabolo – SACP Gauteng Provincial Secretary

Mobile: 082 884 1868
Address by SACP First Deputy General Secretary, Cde Solly Mapaila, to the Nehawu National Policy Conference
26 June 2019, Boksburg

Allow me first and foremost to covey revolutionary greetings from the Central Committee of the SACP on behalf of the entire membership of the Party.

We understand that the ambassador of Morocco will be coming to South Africa to represent Morocco in the country in the coming period. We must prepare a massive protest action against the decision, adopted by the African Union, to re-admit Morocco into its ranks while Morocco is still occupying Western Sahara. We stand against Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara and pledge our solidarity with the people of Western Sahara.

This National Policy Conference is convening at the time when capitalism and its imperialist regimes are poisoning and contaminating the ecosystem and destroying the possibilities of life on earth. The United States is presently leading an onslaught against Left or Left-leaning governments in Latin America.

As if that were not enough, the Trump administration of United States imperialism is pushing the globe towards the brink of war. The manoeuvres include violation of international law and the territorial integrity of other countries. It was in this context that Iran responded by shooting a United States drone.

The United States is concerned about losing its imperialist hegemony. As part of its manoeuvres, it has launched a frontal attack, under the pretext of national security, against companies such as Huawei of China that have taken a lead in certain segments of key technologies of the future.

The SACP is against imperialism in all its facets. We strongly condemn war mongering and all imperialist manoeuvres by the United States and its allies. The progressives and revolutionaries of the world need to unite and intensify the just struggle against imperialism and war.

We pledge our solidarity with the people of Venezuela, Palestine and other countries that are facing militarist and other forms of imperialist aggression. In this regard, we need to appreciate that the Cuban revolution, its socialist construction, needs to be defended by all progressives and revolutionaries of the world.

Before we proceed to the policy issues highlighted in your letter of invitation, we want to make use of this opportunity to pledge our solidarity with the workers who are facing the threat of retrenchments at MultiChoice and in other sectors of our economy. We must all unite against the job-loss blood bath. We need maximum levels of unity to confront the attack.

Let us construct a national democratic developmental state

According to the invitation we received, the purpose of this National Policy Conference is to discuss the union’s draft strategic policy framework review with the objective of coming up with a new ten year rolling strategic plan. The invitation in particular underlined that the conference will discuss the notion of a developmental state in order to define the posture of the union in relation to the sixth democratic administration as elected and constituted in May 2019. Within this framework, our input is concretely anchored in an assessment of some of the key features that rose to dominance in our state organisation and state-society relation. While broadly covering the entire post-apartheid period, we attach greater emphasis on what happened in the last decade. We start by engaging with the notion of the developmental state theoretically.

The notion of the developmental state can at least be traced to, released one year after our 1994 democratic breakthrough, Peter Evan’s Embedded Autonomy: States and Industrial Transformation. The focus of the study was on the so-called newly industrialising countries, but broadly defined as including those developing countries with relatively large enough political economies if not relatively advanced enough to support a full range of industrial transformation. The definition of the developmental state is therefore based on state involvement in enabling and facilitating industrial transformation, and by extension the diversification and expansion of industrial production. The main unit of analysis in the study was the relationship between internal state organisation and its impact on development – in terms of which industrial transformation was considered a key element.

Evans developed his theory of the developmental state after engaging with existing literature and conducting research. Before him, Max Webber had argued for highly selective meritocratic recruitment into the apparatuses of the state, which, he asserted, should be insulated from society. Long-term career rewards, he further argued, create commitment and a sense of corporate, what we refer to as organisational, coherence of the state. While endorsing recruitment on the basis of merit and the associated skills retention principle, Evans differed with Webber on the notion of insulating state apparatuses from society. He instead argued that the apparatuses of the state are, on the contrary, embedded in a concrete set of social ties that binds the state to society and provides institutionalised channels for the continual negotiation and renegotiation of goals and policies.

According to Evans, a state can therefore be defined as a developmental state only if it combines embeddedness, as just defined, and autonomy in terms of its professional and technical capacity. It is this “embedded autonomy” – which he also referred to as an apparent contradictory combination of organisational coherence and connectedness – that provides the underlying structural basis for successful state involvement in industrial transformation.

Let us now embed the notion of the developmental state in the materialist conception of history and dialectics. It is important to underline the fact that Evans was right, as already indicated, in differing with Webber’s notion of insulation. However, in a class divided society, you cannot talk only about state apparatuses being embedded in a concrete set of social ties that binds the state to society and provides institutional channels for the negotiation and renegotiation of goals and policies.

The state as we know it is not a classless institution. Neither is it, nor can it ever be insulated from class conflict. The same applies to its social ties in society. The state arose from class divisions and contradictory class interests which are, in turn, firmly embedded in the economy. You therefore also have to take into account the fact that society is not an abstract ideal but is concretely constituted by classes which themselves are further divided into strata, and is characterised by contradictory interests not only between classes but frequently between different strata within the same class.

While the roots of the modern state lie in the earlier development of the capitalist mode of production and its worldwide expansion as in our case, both the state and control over the state are a contested class reality. It is in this context that others argue that a developmental state must be embedded in capital, and by implication in the interests of the capitalist class. This is what they are referring to when they portray the state as the universal agent of societal interests. Theirs is therefore an agenda to deepen the sway of the capitalist economic ruling class on the state and society at large.

We cannot lose sight of the fact that a number of the so-called developmental states were not democratic. As the SACP we therefore stand for a national democratic developmental state. To be such, a state must be embedded in the interests of the class majority – that is the working class – and must be capable of meeting their needs. This is what we mean whenever we refer to a national democratic developmental state. If working class power and hegemony are not built, consolidated, strengthened and continuously mobilised as a pillar for the national democratic developmental state that we seek to achieve, the working class will not win any strategic battle. The least it will win are strategic promises.

In our case, radical reduction of the persistently high levels of systemic class, racial and gender inequalities, unemployment and poverty, as well as uneven rural-urban development, is an immediate developmental imperative for the working class. Ultimately we must eliminate these problems and their underlying system of capitalist exploitation in order to become a prosperous society. Therefore the national democratic developmental state must be buttressed by working class power, hegemony and popular mobilisation. This requires participatory democracy, including in national, provincial and local planning processes.

For instance, a national development plan can only be such when the whole population has democratically been mobilised to participate in its formulation. Otherwise it becomes merely a government development plan. Related to this point, in our May 2013 discussion document, “Let’s not monumentalise the National Development Plan”, we concluded that the NDP was neither really a plan nor still less a fit-for-implementation plan but rather a broad vision open to necessary criticism and engagement.

Despite the fact that it was agreed that the NDP was not cast in stone and therefore that it was subject to review, it has never been reviewed since the Alliance Summit declaration of September 2013 directed that the concerns raised by the SACP and Cosatu with certain aspects of the NDP, especially the economic chapter, must be addressed. We cannot continue as the Alliance as if this declaration is non-existent.

Being a progressive class oriented trade union demands of Nehawu that it must take keen interest on the broader class realities of the state, beyond the confines of the employee-employer relationship. For us as the Communist Party, a national democratic developmental state should represent an intermediate advance from the system of capitalist exploitation, leading to the completion of the national democratic revolution and towards the fulfilment of the historical mission of the working class.

Your reflections on the national democratic developmental state should therefore cover the important question of the way those working in the public sector conduct themselves in practice, their decent work status and overall working environment, over and above the professional and technical capacity required of them. The quality of public service in a national democratic developmental state, whether in education, health, administration, or in any other government service, department or state institution, must come second to none.

This will instil confidence in our people, the majority of whom is the working class and the poor, not only in the national democratic developmental state that we seek to construct but also in public servants. Here there is a concrete connection between the community struggle for development and trade union organisation in the public sector. It is also important to emphasise that a national democratic developmental state requires adequate provision of resources needed to perform public service functions and fulfil its developmental programme.

While the immediate strategic task of the national democratic developmental state is to drive national production development in the context of industrial transformation, its role is however much more than that and that is not an end in itself. Its policies – including but not limited to society-wide democratisation, not least the economy, therefore industrial strategy, national health insurance, curriculum transformation and progressive rollout of free education to poor and working class households, as well as government services that work effectively and satisfy the people – are aimed at improving the quality of lives of the people. They are anchored in serving the people with complete sincerity and commitment.

As the SACP, we urge your National Policy Conference to also look back at the regressive tendencies that held us up during the last 25 years and more so in the past decade vis-à-vis the construction of the national democratic developmental state that our society direly needs. Accordingly, we now turn our attention on “corporate-capture” and the pitfalls of narrow nationalism, a tendency concerned with empowering individuals from elitist groupings to make it on to capitalist ownership structures in the name of the entire population of the formerly oppressed.  Before we proceed on this score however, we must underline that, in contradiction, a national democratic developmental state advances the economic empowerment of every person with collective prosperity – that is its goal – a condition for the empowerment of all.

Narrow nationalism derailed our state transformation and economic empowerment towards a predatory state. As Evans state, a predatory state extracts at the expense of society, undercutting development even in the narrow sense of capital accumulation. It lacks the ability to prevent individual incumbents from pursuing their private interests through state authority. In this scenario, personal ties become the source of cohesion, and individual maximisation takes precedence over the pursuit of collective societal goals. Ties to society, especially the broad masses, and therefore in our case connections between the motive forces of the national democratic revolution and state organisation, were replaced with ties to individual incumbents, in particular the powers that be and their networks of political factionalism and economic patronage. Finally, the parasites who achieve control in a predatory state, as Evans succinctly put it, plunder without any more regard for the welfare of the citizenry than a predator has for the welfare of its prey.

In our case, the strategic levers that we need were hollowed out, looted and almost completely destroyed, meaning that one of our strategic tasks of state transformation, of the construction of a national democratic developmental state, is to revitalise them. Denel, SABC, Eskom, Transnet, Prasa, the Central Energy Fund, PetroSA, Necsa, Sars, SA Post Office, SAA, SA Express, other public entities and municipalities, among other state organisations, were plunged into crisis or driven to the brink, to the very edge of collapse.

Let us now go back on this painful journey to see how the pursuit of the economic empowerment of a few ended with the corruption of “state capture” and the disempowerment of the majority. We must emphasise that it is the working class and the poor who bear the brunt of this counter-revolution.

“State capture” and other forms of corruption

The most urgent task facing the ANC-led government, with the ANC in alliance with the SACP, Cosatu and Sanco within the framework of an Alliance reconfiguration process, and following the May 2019 national and provincial elections, is to intensify the national imperative of dismantling the networks of “state capture” – and decisively so!

The notion of “state capture” has acquired considerable currency in South Africa. We now have a Commission of Inquiry, first called for by the SACP, to investigate the corruption. The SACP played a leading role in exposing “state capture” while clearly understanding that the term “state capture” was a short-hand term for popular use. We have in fact preferred to use the term “corporate-capture”. This is what we did when we first introduced the characterisation into our national discourse. We not only did so to express our deep concerns about what had been entrenched as a systemic corruption. We did so also calling for, and at same time initiating – and developing a leadership role to push – mobilisation against “corporate-capture” as a broad category of a problem we identified.

There are at least two elements about the characterisation “corporate-capture”.

The first is that it exposes the class character and interests of the capture, in terms of which the concept the corporation refers to the dominant feature of private enterprise. In other words, the capture is part of the machinations by certain sections of private enterprise in pursuit of, and in competition with other sections of capital for dominance and monopoly. The legislative, regulatory and policy space of the state, the associated governance exercise, decision-making authority and procurement budget are the subjects of the capture. The ultimate class forces of the capture are therefore bourgeois in class character. In the same vein the venal, those who become captured, or either even bought by the capturers or sell out our revolution to the highest bidder, are driven by, and seek to secure their private interests. To this end, venality is the content of their private enterprise and gains hold in their character, in the same way as the capitalist represents capital personified. 

The second element that the broader characterisation “corporate-capture” – which is without the word “state” – expresses is that the capture is not limited to, or does not necessarily start and end in the state. The capture takes place in political and other forms of existing social organisation. It is to be found, therefore, not only a governing party, but also in other parliamentary parties, and in trade unions, non-governmental organisations or “civil society organisations”, and a wide range of other forms of organisation that can be exploited to exert pressure on the state to push legislation, policies and decisions that ultimate favour certain private interests. In trade unions, trade union resources are also the subject of the capture. Business unionism and outsourcing in trade unions have become the hotbed of “corporate-capture”, factionalism and competing factions.

Dealing with “corporate-capture” to dismantle its networks therefore requires a wider array of strategies that go beyond only the state as the subject of the capture. In addition, trade unions located in the public service, that is, in the state, need to look back on how the corporate state capture happened in this sphere of their very structural location and what they can do to contribute to the national imperative of dismantling its networks and ensure that it does not recur. Without this clarity of task it is going to be difficult, if not impossible, to develop any meaningful contribution to state transformation and the construction of a national democratic developmental state.   

We indeed have also sometimes preferred to speak of “corporate state capture”, or “corporate capture of the state” where state authorities are the subject of the capture. In either the case of the characterisation “corporate state capture”, that is “corporate capture of the state”, or the short-hand term “state capture”, we have been referring to something relatively specific to the South African reality. Accordingly, the term “state capture” refers to the forms of corruption mainly associated with the reality of primitive accumulation involving the courting, capture and exploitation of state authority as an enabler or facilitator.

Initially, state authority was used to enact a narrow black economic empowerment (BEE) policy and enforce related BEE share-holding quotas in established corporations. The BEE share-holdings were typically “leveraged” – that is indebted, with repayment based on the assumption that accruing dividends over a period of five or so years will pay off the debt. By 2010, it has been estimated, BEE share-holders had acquired R500-billion, by far more than the resources in other key areas of socio-economic transformation such as low-income housing and land redistribution. Most of this money was not looted from the state or public entities but came largely from privately held, corporate controlled surplus that was diverted into indebted shares rather than into job-creating productive investment and public assets or services.

Although it was largely “legal”, the phenomenon represented a clear class choice that was unfavourable to the working class and popular masses, and therefore to the majority of blacks despite the fact that it was couched, in general, as black economic empowerment. Established monopoly capital, with varying degrees of moaning, played along with this BEE primitive accumulation, seeing it as a better way of managing change without having to substantially change. The new BEE elite, who appeared on the scene without any capital of their own, were quickly absorbed, usually as passive and junior partners, into the life-styles of the established capitalist class.

The ethos of primitive accumulation filtered all the way down, in terms of political organisation, to the community, to the branch level, with petty accumulation for micro-entrepreneurs. Steadily, from the mid-1990s there was a political shift from popular struggle to a narrow electoralism, and then, in a further debasement, to winning elections in order to occupy office in order to reproduce and expand primitive accumulation. All this was driven in the name of Africans in particular and black people in general, of whom, especially the working class, remained under the yoke of capitalist exploitation and the super majority of the poor and the unemployed. The capitalist exploitation was not addressed. On the contrary, it deepened under neoliberal structuring.

The first generation of the narrow BEE trajectory was therefore largely played out within the laws of the capitalist system in general and its neoliberal structuring. Established monopoly capital often actively promoted this agenda and saw it as a key means to advance its wealth accumulation interests against radical threats from the Left, mainly the SACP and Cosatu as well as its affiliates. However, for many reasons, this agenda proved unstable and unleashed many contradictions and rivalries. Not all aspirant capitalist strata could be accommodated within the 1996 GEAR class project, and therefore within Mbeki’s inner BEE circle.

And then enters “state capture”, a phenomenon that has caused enormous damage to our economic infrastructure, the finances of state-owned companies and broadly the South African economy. This has further weakened our capacity as a country to face the increasingly hostile global economic environment due to the compromised nature of some of our instruments for economic transformation like state-owned enterprises.

What we describe loosely as “state capture”, is therefore a second wave of primitive accumulation based on the exploitation of state authority and, associated with it, organisational capture. But this second wave no longer played within the parameters of a “capitalist rule of law”. It involved direct looting, or expropriation, of public resources, and particularly of key state-owned enterprises. This was aided and abetted by gangster or lumpen type capitalists (Brett Kebble, Agliotti, the Guptas, the Watsons, Mazzoti, etc., some of them as alleged at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and other as previously exposed).

The perversion also involved foreign controlled multinational corporations (KPMG, Bain & Co., McKinsey & Co, SAP, Bell Pottinger, etc., as also alleged at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture but also in other inquiries). But this time it was no longer in the interests of capital as a whole, or monopoly capital in general – quite the opposite. While for the “state capture” networks, looting the likes of Eskom and Transnet into near-death experiences was their core business, many sections of established capital, and indeed the broader South Africa community – not least the working class and poor – require functioning, and mostly, publicly supplied energy and logistics systems.

This is why it has been possible, and also essential, to build a multi-class patriotic front of forces, including the working class, against “state capture”. This broad anti-state capture front – within which the SACP has played (and must continue to play) a leading role – has helped to have Zuma resign as President. Cosatu played a key role in this regard. The mobilisation has helped to bring the country back from the constitutional and economic brink upon which we were teetering. But no doubt the dangers remain.

The working class and other popular strata need to guard against the danger of a vulgar “instrumentalism” that might adhere to the notion of “capturing the state”. The state, in its ever shifting dynamic configurations in a class divided society, is not simply a neutral instrument that can be wielded by any one class without contestation, depending on who has a hand on the assumed “commanding levers”. Particularly in capitalist societies with a multiparty parliamentary democracy, there are always possibilities for class, and factional, interests to penetrate and interact within the state, with capitalist interests in their variety always likely to be dominant if unchallenged; we say this not losing sight of, and therefore taking into account, the fact that other class and political forces, both domestic and foreign, do play out such a politics through the creation of “non-party-political”, non-governmental organisations or “civil society” formations and, over and above that, with certain sections having foreign sources of funding or at least its co-ordination.

In contradiction, ours as the SACP, as our history demonstrably makes clear, has consistently been against the notion of the “capture of state power”. Our strategy, as we state in our Party Programme, “The South African Road to Socialism”, is to build working class and popular hegemony and advance transformational struggles to democratically assert working class and popular hegemony over all key sites of power, including but not limited to the state.

While vigilantly combating the networks of the “state capture” fight-back, the SACP as well as the working class as a whole, needs to build and deepen unity to contest the struggle within the anti-capture front. But does the gathering defeat of the “state capture” platform simply lead to a return to the neoliberal economic policy regime of the 1996 GEAR class project? Or do we use it to advance along the path of a serious national democratic transformation?

No to neo-liberalism, no to fake radical economic transformation

There can be no doubt that the emerging, post-Nasrec political and economic situation will be highly contested. Two problematic social forces can already be discerned as engaging in this contestation. The first is neoliberalism’s conservative tendency that seeks to turn the “New Dawn” into a regression to the past era of the 1996 GEAR class project. The second is a bruised, but not yet defeated, lootist faction seeking to defend or justify the brazen smash and grab state contracts and/or associated kickbacks accumulated by state capturers as well as their patronage networks. This lootist faction employs spurious radical economic transformation (“RET”) and associated populist rhetoric to advance its agenda, including a fight back.

The working class as a whole must say a categorical NO to both neoliberalism’s conservative tendency and spurious “RET” tendency. However, exposing and tackling the spurious “RET” agenda and its fight back must on the one hand not be allowed to be hijacked and diverted towards support for, on the other hand the arrogant know-it-all neoliberal conservatives and their advocates.

Take the debate on the Reserve Bank and the role it should play in the national search for alternatives to address and ultimately solve our economic problems, especially the crisis level structurally high unemployment rate. Neoliberalism’s conservatives are for instance oblivious to the necessity to have the Reserve Bank’s mandate explicitly in the interest of transparency and accountability target employment growth. Defending the Reserve Bank from state capturers clearly does not mean we must go back to the disastrous neoliberal policy of the 1996 GEAR class project.

We have an election manifesto which was drafted in consultation with all Alliance components and was endorsed by other progressive formations, individuals and the majority of the electorate on the ballot. The manifesto provides guidance on the direction that the sixth democratic administration should take.

The Reserve Bank’s mandate and conduct of monetary policy are not beyond constructive debate and do not fall outside the sphere of democracy. The arrogance and hysteria on display from neoliberalism’s conservatives is out of order. The talk of “the barbarians being at the gate” runs the danger of closing down any constructive and necessary discussion on macro-economic policy and the national developmental role that the Reserve Bank should be playing.

The SACP also wishes to dissuade and caution officials in state institutions to avoid any overreach. For instance in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, it is the responsibility of the National Treasury to co-ordinate macro-economic policy. In terms of our Constitution, it is the responsibility of the democratically elected Parliament functioning in the context of participatory democracy and therefore proper consultation, to legislatively determine the powers and functions of the Reserve Bank, as is the case with the establishment of the National Treasury and its role. The Reserve Bank must function within this constitutional framework.

To conclude on this score, the importance of Alliance reconfiguration to ensure policy coherence and maximum Alliance participation on all key questions cannot be overemphasised.

Necessity to protect the image and dignity of the Office of the Public Protector

We want to call on the Public Protector to not allow that important office to be used as a hired gun of the corporate capture agenda.

The SACP fully supports the existence and independent operation of the Public Protector as our Constitution’s Chapter 9 institution. During the drafting of the Constitution by the democratically elected Constituent Assembly, the SACP fully supported the establishment of the Public Protector as one of the guarantors especially of the interests of the workers and the poor from the excesses of the exercise of state authority. Unfortunately, the incumbent Public Protector, instead of being pre-occupied with defending the poor and vulnerable against such, has become an instrument of the better off in society to fight political and other battles.

It is for these reasons that the SACP had to express its serious concerns about the scathing court judgements against the current Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane. On 9 June 2019, the Central Committee of the Party publicly communicated its decision that it was imperative for Parliament to carry out an inquiry into her suitability to hold office. What do you find in the judgements?

This is what you will find: that she “would not have brought an impartial mind to bear on the issues before her”; that she acted disingenuously when she attempted, before the court, “to pass off” her “remedial action as a mere recommendation”; that she presented “superficial reasoning” and made an “erroneous finding”; that she acted in a “procedurally unfair” manner; that “it has been proven that” she “is reasonably suspected of bias”; and so on. One of the judgements concludes:

“In view of our conclusion regarding the unlawfulness of the remedial action as well as the reasonable apprehension of bias, we do not deem it necessary to deal with all the other grounds of review as we have found that the Public Protector was biased and the remedial action should be set aside… The court has found the remedial action to be unlawful and that there is a reasonable apprehension of bias. The court further finds no reason to remit the report. It is clear that the Public Protector unlawfully, ultra vires and breached several provisions of PAJA [Promotion of Administrative Justice Act].”

In “the circumstances”, the court concluded that “it would be untenable to remit the Report to the Public Protector”.

Imagine, for second, what remedial action she would have prescribed herself in the case of a person against whom she would have made such findings?

No state authority is above the law. All those who have been conferred constitutional powers and functions but act unconstitutionally and unlawfully in a manner just described from the court judgements against the Public Protector must be held to account for their actions.

ISSUED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN COMMUNIST PARTY | SACP

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