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Tito Mboweni

© AFP Tito MboweniJohannesburg - Former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni apparently lost R5 000 in an ATM scam at a petrol station in Midrand on Thursday afternoon.

He recounted the incident on his Twitter account.

"Just been duped and lost my card and ten minutes later, R5k withdrawn," he tweeted.

"Be alert at the ATMs at Shell and Caltex Petrol stations, N1, Midrand."

Mboweni later referred to an alleged criminal operating in the area.

"There is an ATM thug operating there. He looks like a perfect gentleman, bold [sic] head, smartly dressed and seemingly very helpful. Be warned," he tweeted.

However, Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said that police had not received a report of an incident in the Midrand area.

"I phoned three police stations in the area (and) didn't get any case in the area Mboweni alleged the incident took place," Makhubele said on Friday morning.

In March, Fin24 reported about well-spoken fraudsters lurking around Cape Town ATMs, who were allegedly scamming international tourists out of thousands of rands. The fraudsters operated in a group and would steal the pins and cards of unsuspecting tourists.

In October 2014, ANC MP Jackson Mthembu was shot and wounded while drawing money at an ATM in Emalahleni.

Tito Mboweni @tito_mboweni

Be alert at the ATMs at Shell and Caltex Petrol stations, N1, Midrand. Just been duped and lost my card and ten minutes later, R5k withdrawn

4:38 PM - 8 Dec 2016

Tito Mboweni @tito_mboweni

There is an ATM thug operating there. He looks like a perfect gentleman, bold head, smartly dressed and seemingly very helpful. Be warned!

4:41 PM - 8 Dec 2016
President R.G.Mugabe and his wife Dr.Grace Mugabe© Provided by The Zimbabwe IndependentPresident R.G.Mugabe and his wife Dr.Grace Mugabe

FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe has been dragged to court after allegedly invading three upmarket houses in Harare belonging to a businessman in a dispute over the purchase of a US$1,4 million diamond ring, the Zimbabwe Independent can reveal.

Grace has been sued together with her son Russell Goreraza (1st respondent) and Kennedy Fero (3rd respondent) who, according to court papers, is part of Grace’s security personnel.

Documents seen by this paper say that Grace placed an order for a US$1,4 million (R19 269 754,00) diamond ring in Dubai through Thatchfree Investments (Pvt) Ltd, a company owned by Jamal Ahmed. The expensive ring was meant to be President Robert Mugabe’s wedding anniversary gift to his wife. This year is their 20th anniversary. The two wed in August 1996.

“Sometime in April 2015, the 2nd respondent (Grace Mugabe) placed an order for a diamond with my daughter in Dubai which she indicated her husband wanted to buy her for their anniversary,” reads the document.

“As the diamond was not readily available, it had to be sourced from a third party who wanted to be paid upfront and when this was advised to the 2nd respondent, she indicated that she was in Singapore and could not immediately pay and that we could pay on her behalf in Harare and she would refund the amount. That was done.”

The documents also state that Grace gave “approval for the diamond to be polished by a third party who also needed to be paid and again we made this payment on the basis that she would refund these payments as she authorised the polishing by a third party”.

“Upon her return to Harare, the 2nd respondent instructed CBZ Bank to attend to the transfer of the US$1,350 million, being the purchase price for the finished diamond, which amount took time to transfer as it had become difficult to transfer the money out of Zimbabwe.

“The transfer was ultimately done in May 2016 and the diamond was tendered to the 2nd respondent in Dubai.

“Surprisingly, the 2nd respondent then refused to take delivery of the diamond and instead demanded a full refund in Dubai.”

“She was advised that this was not possible for a number of reasons, which include that costs had been incurred during polishing and that there was no legal basis for her resiling from the agreement and that she could herself sell the diamond and recoup what she could.”

The court papers also state that Grace was told that the seller could only refund her US$1,3 million through instalments.

Grace was also told that: “Any refund would have to be done in Harare through the account from which the original funds had come from as a refund in Dubai could easily be seen as an externalisation of funds and I did not want to be party to anything that would appear illegal”.

The court documents also say that Grace commenced a “reign of terror and harassment where I was verbally threatened, harassed, insulted and told that I could not do anything to them as they are in fact ‘Zimbabwe’”.

“Threats of taking over my properties in Zimbabwe were also made and the respondents were joined in these abuses by the 2nd respondent’s son-in-law (Simba Chikore),” Ahmed averred.

Court documents also reveal that on October 14 2016 “the respondents forcibly took control of the three immovable properties belonging to Ahmed where all the occupants were either evicted or put under house arrest with Grace’s armed guards who claim to be from the President’s Office were left on 409 Harare Drive and 18 Cambridge Road”.

Ahmed also stated in his affidavit that he tried to engage his lawyers who then wrote a letter to Grace so that she could evict her security details from the properties, for which he is a co-owner. The other owner was not mentioned in the court papers.

“The respondents became aware of the letter,” Ahmed said. Grace began to call Ahmed who had decided not to answer her calls. “When I did not answer her calls, she sent a message as follows: ‘Please serve those papers in my name. Don’t involve my son, it won’t help’.”

Attached to the court papers was a letter Ahmed’s lawyers, Beatrice Mtetwa and Tawanda Nyambirai Legal Practioners, wrote to Goreraza, who had occupied a property on Harare Drive.

“We are instructed that your mother, the First Lady of Zimbabwe, placed an order of a 10,07 carat diamond which, upon sourcing and mounting ultimately cost US$1,350 million,” reads a letter dated November 23.

“We are instructed that our client was thereafter subjected to verbal abuse and threats of violence against his person and that his properties would be taken without any form of due process. These threats were from yourself, your mother and your brother-in-law.

“We have therefore been instructed to demand, which we hereby do, that you forthwith vacate our client’s premises which should be accessible to him and his agents not later than 1600hrs on 24 November 2016.

“If you do not so vacate same, we have instructions to approach the High Court for appropriate urgent relief.”

Mtetwa also stated that “in the interim, and with regards the original agreement of sale, our client hereby tenders to your mother the diamond ring which she can collect at our client’s office in Dubai”.

Before approaching the High Court, Ahmed, according to court documents, wanted the matter to be resolved amicably.

“The letter (by Mtetwa and Nyambirai) did not motivate the respondents to consider returning possession of the properties to their lawful owner,” the papers read.

“An act of spoliation has been committed and it requires urgent redress. This court ought to intervene to correct this illegality. I therefore aver that any delay has been reasonably explained and that the matter cannot wait for the reasons that are stated in the founding affidavit.”

© MoneywebEditor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

South African President Jacob Zuma has warded off calls to resign over the scandals that have marred his administration and spread dissent in the ruling party largely thanks to a bloc of politicians known as the “premier league” that has his back.

With urban voters deserting the ruling African National Congress, Zuma, 74, is increasingly counting on the backing of the premiers of three rural provinces. When cabinet ministers pressed Zuma to resign at the party’s National Executive Committee last month, Free State Premier Ace Magashule said they should either quit or be fired, according to two people who attended the meeting. Magashule didn’t answer calls seeking comment.

“There is a reciprocal relationship between Zuma and the three premiers,” said Mcebisi Ndletyana, a politics professor at the University of Johannesburg. “They were propped up by Jacob Zuma so there is a certain level of personal loyalty to him.” Both Magashule and David Mabuza of Mpumalanga province became premiers within days of each other in May 2009 after Zuma took office as president.

Relted: Zuma out will change nothing

Some analysts see the lobby formed by the premiers and their allies in the ANC’s youth and women wings as powerful enough to determine not only how long Zuma will stay in office but who will succeed him. The front-runners in the contest are the president’s ex-wife, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, 67, and Cyril Ramaphosa, the 64-year-old deputy president who’s backed by the nation’s biggest labour federation.

Succession Battle

“It’s a virtual alternative superstructure within the ANC in which some of the provinces and the leagues -- youth, women, veterans -- combine their forces to constitute the major force lining up for the succession battle,” said Susan Booysen, a professor at the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Governance in Johannesburg.

Besides Magashule and Mabuza, the group includes the premier of North West province, Supra Mahumapelo. The three men deny they’re in a battle for control of the ANC, which Nelson Mandela led to power at the end of white minority rule in 1994. They say they represent South Africa’s “maize corridor,” because their poorer, rural regions rely on corn production.

“There is nothing called the 'premier league',” Mabuza said in an interview. “The fear emanates from our past, that we always approached things in the past in a factional way, and people believe if these three are grouping together, probably they want to approach things in the same factional way.”  

Grassroots Work

The three provinces, with about 29.5% of the ANC’s membership according to the party’s latest figures, are closely allied to the leadership in Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal, which represents 20.5% and should send the most delegates to the conference that chooses a new leader in December next year.

“They seem to be well-based in the grassroots structures of the ANC, compared to their opponents who prefer to play in the media space,” said Ralph Mathekga, a political analyst at the Mapungubwe Institute of Strategic Reflection in Johannesburg. “The ‘premier league’ tends to do the hard work on the ground.”

Local elections in August confirmed the ANC’s growing dependence on its rural base. While the party’s support ebbed across the urban-rural divide, it lost most in the cities, ceding control of the capital, Pretoria, and the main economic hub of Johannesburg in the nation’s richest province, Gauteng. Nationwide its vote slid more than 8 percentage points to 54.5%. The loss of metropolitan areas, which also included Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape, strengthens the hands of rural leaders inside the party.

“They are now pushing to take power from the metros,” Booysen said. “We know that the metros are decidedly anti-Zuma.” 

Credit Risk

Zuma’s seven years in office as president has been marred by a succession of scandals and policy missteps that have weighed on the rand and put the nation’s investment-grade credit rating at risk. A year ago he backtracked on a decision to replace Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister with a then little-known lawmaker after the rand and government bonds plunged.

The Constitutional Court found in March that he’d breached his oath of office by refusing to comply with a directive from the nation’s graft ombudsman to repay taxpayer money spent on upgrading his private home.

Before stepping down as the nation’s graft ombudsman in October, Thuli Madonsela called for a judicial inquiry into allegations that Zuma allowed the Gupta family, who are his friends and in business with one of his sons, to influence cabinet appointments and state contracts. Both Zuma and the Guptas deny any wrongdoing.

Through it all the “premier league” has stuck by Zuma.

ANC Control

Its goal is “to capture the ANC itself and try and control it,” said Solly Mapaila, deputy secretary-general of the South African Communist Party, an ANC ally that has criticised Zuma.

When Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom and several other cabinet members urged Zuma to step down at the party’s National Executive Committee, they were echoing complaints by civil-rights groups and opposition parties that he isn’t fit to hold office.

Zuma responded by saying a western plot and opposition collaborators were behind the bid to oust him, a line analysts say is attractive to the “premier league” and the ANC’s youth and women’s wings.

“They represent a sentiment of new nationalism that the ANC pushes very hard,” said Booysen It’s a new “patriotism, of anti-Western, anti-foreigner sentiment.” 

© Peter Lind/Al Jazeera

Cape Town - When Ruben November's great-great grandfather Zyzer arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, at the beginning of the 19th century, like many other slaves, he was stripped of everything - his clothes, his papers, his identity.

He was given a new name: Zyzer November. November indicated the month of his arrival. All other slaves were named in a similar manner.

The name was passed down through the generations to Ruben, one of the 12 faces portrayed in a calendar and exhibition currently showing at the Izikio Slave Lodge Museum, in Cape Town, "My Naam is Februarie: Identities Rooted in Slavery".

"This speaks for the voiceless. They should make this a living museum, where the descendants could speak and tell stories of our ancestors," said 57-year-old Ruben proudly, his son Stephan November at his side.

The two of them attended the opening of the exhibition along with the 11 other descendants of slaves who were featured in the calendar.

One of the descendants had his picture taken for the first time for the exhibition. "My family is not one that takes pictures," Alfred May told Al Jazeera. He doesn't know much about his family and its past, he explained. "It was not something we ever talked about."

Like Alfred, some of the descendants of slaves knew of their family's history, but never discussed it. Others portrayed in the exhibition, such as John January, Margaret Julie and Cecilia Augustus, didn't even know that they were descended from slaves.

But Ruben November did, and he is proud of his family's history.

Finding freedom

In 1843, after slavery was officially abolished in the Cape Colony by the British Empire, Ruben's ancestors were freed, and Zyzer November and his wife, Ruben's great-great grandmother, who had been brought over from Indonesia to be enslaved by Capetonian slave merchants, obtained land in Pniel, a rural town outside Cape Town.

Another 98 people also relocated to the town, and today Ruben and his children still live here. Ruben teaches woodwork at the local primary school, which will celebrate its 175th anniversary in 2018. He took over the job from his father, as his father took over from his.

"I think what our ancestors' story can teach us is how a community must stay strong together, especially in the most trying times," said Ruben.

IN PICS: Twenty years since the signing of The Constitution

Ruben imagines his ancestors as strong, proud, and fighting for a better life. The exhibition shows that between 1653 and 1856, 71 000 slaves were brought to Cape Town.

Zyzer November and his future wife may have met at the Iziko Slave Lodge, which is hosting the exhibit. The lodge housed 9 000 slaves in Cape Town, from its foundation in 1679 by the Dutch East India Company, to the time it became government offices in 1810. Before becoming the museum that is open today, in 1966, the Iziko Slave Lodge became a centre of government and justice in South Africa.

When Dutch colonialists like Johan Anthoniszoon "Jan" van Riebeeck , the Dutch colonial administrator and coloniser of Cape Town, arrived in South Africa, they used slaves to do the hardest and dirtiest work, say historians.

Under Riebeeck's leadership, slaves were imported from colonies in Indonesia and Madagascar to fill a labour shortage left by what the Dutch slavers described as the "uncooperative" nature of the local Khoisan groups, who refused to be subjugated and went on to lead numerous uprisings against the colonial powers.

Although slavery was abolished in South Africa in 1834, when the Slavery Abolition Bill was passed by the British House of Commons and House of Lords, the slaves of the Cape were some of the last to be freed, as the region was one of the last under Commonwealth rule to enact the bill.

A four-year transition period followed the enactment of abolition, during which time the former slaves learned trades.

Gavin Wood, the man who initiated the exhibition and calendar project, says he didn't know the story of the slaves and their names before his visit to the museum, where he learned about South Africa's history of slavery.

"I never knew about this story before that visit, but that's when I knew I had to tell the story of these people, it's an important and relevant story to tell. A story of hope," he explained.

Chie executive of the Iziko Slave Lodge, Rooksana Omar, says "the purpose of the exhibition is not to showcase 'The History of Slavery' in South Africa, but to continue to drive awareness about a tragic part of our history that is all but forgotten. This exhibition aims to bring these shared histories back into our collective consciousness."

Former human rights advocate, co-author of the South Africa constitution, and anti-apartheid icon, Albie Sachs attended the opening of the exhibition. Sachs' wife Bridget is a descendant of slaves and bears the name September, as does his son, Oliver Lukutandu September Sachs, who was unable to attend because of his university studies. "I wish my son was here today, because he would be so proud of his name," Albie Sachs told Al Jazeera.

"They weren't just slaves, they were freedom fighters," Sachs told visitors during a speech at the opening of the exhibition.

Like Ruben, Sachs believes South Africans, and the rest of the world, must acknowledge the stories and contributions of slaves. "Our history lies in the faces and names of these people. We must not reduce them to objects, they brought cuisine, language, a lot of inner life, to the culture," he said.

"It can make us understand who we are today. When they suffered, they had vitality," Sachs said.

Follow MSN SA on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news updates.

Family tree

Ruben November and his son Stephan can trace their great-great grandfather Zyzer to the island of Madagascar, off Africa's eastern coastline. That is where the family tree starts, but for Ruben, it is also where the trail ends. "I can't go back to Madagascar and find their names, because I don't know what they were called before," he said.

But while Ruben is proud of his name, not all members of his family feel the same.

"My uncle changed his name, I don't know why, maybe he is ashamed," Ruben pondered.

But Ruben thinks the exhibition is important as it highlights an issue not taught or talked about in South Africa. "It's important to present, and represent the people who were stripped of humanity. It's relevant today, because it is a reminder of human rights," he said.

Ruben and his son explained how the slaves played a role in shaping the society they live in today. "It's important to know where we are going, but even more so to learn where you come from."

While Ruben does not yet have grandchildren, he is already excited about taking them to the exhibition. "It's important that they know where they come from," Ruben said. Stephan agrees. "It's a monumental thing to be here. And it is a privilege."

iStock

© Provided by http://www.news24.comiStock

Cape Town – An Anglican church bishop in Zimbabwe has reportedly been fired after he pulled a shocker last month by digging a grave and burying his late wife inside a school chapel.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, the church said it was implementing a series of proposals to salvage "what is left of our dignity and integrity" following the incident.

"We cannot be insulted any worse than this," the church reportedly said.

The church said that burying a dead body was not part of its tradition.

The man of the cloth, Lazarus Muyami buried his deceased wife inside a chapel on November 26, causing a stir in the community.

Pictures of the burial, with a coffin inscribed "mum", were being circulated. The coffin was placed near the grave dug inside a church.

Muyami was said to have apparently also refused to hand the school over to the church, saying that he was the reason the school was built.

"Although it (school) was built by donations from the UK, he has insisted that he sourced the funds and the church has failed to reclaim the facility from him," a church insider was quoted as saying.

Muyami's family reportedly said that the chapel was indeed family property.

Springbok Coach Allister Coetzee during the 2016 Springbok Press Conference at Montecasino on 23 October 2016.© Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix Springbok Coach Allister Coetzee during the 2016 Springbok Press Conference at Montecasino on 23 October 2016.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

It’s a throwaway terms for pundits and scribes whenever a coach bumbles his way through a press conference after his team has lost another game. But what does “losing the dressing room” actually mean? By DANIEL GALLAN for CONQA Sport.

After the South African Springboks' humiliating 18-20 defeat to lowly Italy in Florence last month, Joel Stransky, the iconic flyhalf who will forever be remembered as the man who kicked the winning drop goal against New Zealand in the 1995 World Cup final, shared his thoughts with Sky Sports' The Breakdown. He did not mince his words.

"The fallout has been quite severe," he said. "We sort of see ourselves, quite rightly so at the moment, as the laughing stock of world rugby."

Stransky then went on the criticise the culture within the camp, the selfishness of the presidents who run the 14 different unions in South Africa as well as the weakness of the five Super Rugby franchises that act as feeders for the national team. He saved his most scathing attack for the coach.

Like a judge reading out Allister Coetzee's death sentence, Stransky stated that "the coach has lost the dressing room". You could almost hear the ringing of bells in the distance.

Of all the condemnations that can be heaped on a coach or manager, the most damning of all is to suggest that he/she has "lost the dressing room". You've heard that one before, right? It's a term that is bandied about with so much regularity that one would assume its definition would be universally understood. However, as with most sporting jargon, the ambiguity that surrounds this oft-quoted phenomenon means some clarification is required.

It obviously has nothing to do with misplacing a room. As football manager Ian Holloway said during his time with Crystal Palace in 2012, "People said that I had lost the dressing room. But I know where it is. It's down the corridor on the left."

It is an abstract but very real event where the coach or manager loses the respect of the players and/or support staff. "It's very much in the subconscious," Stansky clarifies for me. "Ultimately what happens is that the players, for whatever reason, stop respecting what is being said. It's not necessarily that they no longer like the individual, Allister Coetzee is a really nice guy, but the players have clearly lost faith in his vision, his mission and his message."

Also read: De Lille punts CT Stadium as new Bok 'home'

As we have seen in 2016, with the US election circus, Brexit, and a host of other examples too numerous and painful to list here, it is hard to trust the message if you don't trust the messenger. For Stransky, that is exactly what has happened to the Boks.

"It is evident that the message no longer has meaning," he says. "You can see that the unity isn't there. Individual aspirations might still exist but the team is misguided and certain players are getting away with behaviours that should not be tolerated. For me, that is a clear sign that Coetzee doesn't have the dressing room."

Stransky references that certain players ("they know who they are", he says) have been taking shortcuts in training or arriving to practise with a cappuccino in their hand – more than just a faux pas for a rugby man who won the World Cup under the strict disciplinarian, Kitch Christie. 

But how does a leader lose a dressing room? For Paddy Upton, a well-travelled and successful cricket coach who is currently the leader of three dressing rooms in India, Australia and Pakistan, a lost dressing room can be attributed to a poor coach unworthy of his position.

"In order to lose the dressing room, you must have a glaring weakness," he says. "It's either a significant incompetence in strategy or tactics, a significant incompetence in your leadership and communication, or a narrow-minded philosophy that states it's your way or the highway. Whatever the case, if you were not incompetent then you wouldn't have lost the dressing room in the first place."

Stransky concurs: "If you are a strong leader with qualities that are valued, you wouldn't lose the respect of your players."

If we take what these two are saying at face value, then we might infer that only coaches who are not worthy of their place at the head of the table lose the dressing room. This is clearly not the case.

Jose Mourinho has won trophies with every team he has managed. Despite a list of honours and accolades, the likes of which would be the envy of most managers, The Special One undoubtedly lost the Chelsea dressing room before we was sacked in 2015. Now in charge at Manchester United, there are rumours that he is dangerously close to losing another one.

Follow MSN SA on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news updates.

How can a coach with eight domestic titles and two Champions League winning medals suffer such an ignominious fate? Once again, Upton has an answer.

"In a dressing room, influence is power, and wherever that influence leans, that is where the power lies," he says. "In the modern game, the power does not sit with the coach but with well-respected senior players. It could be that in a squad, three key figures hold 60-70% of the influence. If they tip over and turn against the coach, the entire dressing room will follow."

Upton has worked with some of the biggest personalities in world cricket, first as an assistant coach with the Indian and South African national sides where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis, and then as a head coach in his own right in T20 leagues around the world. He understands that the power dynamics of a team are constantly in flux.

The one variable that sees to this ever changing environment more than any other is results on the pitch. A winning team is almost always a happy one. Sure, there may be the odd player who occupies the bench more than he'd like who is not enamoured with the state of things, but like the terraces and executive offices, dressing rooms are full of smiles when the team is winning.

This might lead you to believe that a coach at the head of a winning team could not possibly lose the dressing room. You'd be wrong.

A successful team is driven by strong leadership, a cohesive game plan that gets the best out of the individuals within the ranks, and a strong culture that permeates throughout the organisation. These variables do not have to come from the coach. Teams filled with experienced campaigners and a core group of talented individuals can self-regulate without the coach needing to exert any influence. This is not an ideal situation but it is possible.

As Upton puts it, "A coach that lacks strong leadership qualities or tactical skills can lose the reins of the team and essentially go along for the ride." If the team is winning, these deficiencies will go unnoticed.

Stransky references the former Springbok coach, Peter de Villiers, as an example of this. "He didn't necessarily have the respect of his players, but with guys like John Smit, Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez, Bryan Habana and so many other legends, anyone could have coached that team and been successful."

Whether or not you agree with Stransky's views on De Villiers, that his contribution to the team that was better than Jake White's 2007 World Cup winning side was minimal, the argument does have some weight behind it. The same has been said of more respected coaches such as Pep Guardiola during his spell with Barcelona or John Buchanan when he was in charge of the mighty Australian cricket side of the early 2000s.

"It's not just head coaches," Upton points out. "Successful teams can carry inexperienced youngsters, old-timers that are past their prime and even extra support staff who don't necessarily add a lot of value." When losses start accumulating, that's when the knives come out and the fat gets cut off.

Upton uses the example of Paul Adams who is currently in charge of the Cape Cobras, the franchise cricket team operating out of the Western Cape. In 2012 he took over from Richard Pybus, a coach who turned the Cobras into an almost unbeatable machine, knocking the Titans of Pretoria off their perch in the process to become the most successful domestic team in South Africa.

Adams, the franchise's youngest ever coach at 35, inherited a dominant outfit and his reign got off to a flying start. In his first season in charge he won the domestic double of the 50 overs competition as well as the four-day Sunfoil Series title. In his next two seasons he picked up another three trophies.

"The problems with his coaching weren't evident in the beginning of his tenure because the senior players were largely running the team," says Upton. "But when those senior players moved on, Adams needed to step up and fill that leadership role. It's pretty evident he has been unable to do that."

The 2015-16 season was the first in eight years that the Cobras did not win a trophy and, after 14 contracted players lodged a formal grievance against him in September, the wheels appeared to be falling off. The Western Cape Cricket Board stepped in and asked Upton to compile a report on the matter and although the contents of the report remain largely confidential, it proved a catalyst for change.

Adams attended a leadership course to address his weaknesses in the position. Although his side is still struggling near the bottom in two out of the three leagues in the country, he may yet keep the dressing room. Either way, Upton hopes that a lesson can be learnt from this.

"Head coaches very rarely benefit from the support structures that are afforded to every other person within an organisation," Upton says. "A coach is the person who spearheads and drives all these people. If we turn the mirror and point it back to the coach, what is anyone doing to help the coach up-skill, help him keep the dressing room etc? Everyone who arrives at this level is given all the support possible, but the person responsible for holding it all together is not."

Also read: Venter set to miss Super Rugby start

Ultimately it is the coach who is in charge of the dressing room and if he loses it, the buck stops with him. But if we are to follow Upton's argument, the people who appointed the coach in the first place must share at least some of the responsibility.

Remember, both Stransky and Upton have pointed out that a coach who loses the dressing room has done so because of glaring weaknesses in his leadership, communication or tactical abilities. Upton states, "If a coach were to lose the dressing room within the first two to three years of his tenure, the people who appointed that coach need to be held accountable."

If those people had done their due diligence, those glaring weaknesses would have been apparent. If Coetzee and Adams have indeed lost their dressing rooms because of deficiencies, why were they not identified as incompetent candidates for their positions?

To negate this problem, those in charge can surround the inexperienced coach with a team of support staff that shares his vision. At the very least he should be able to choose who those people are. As we have seen with the Springboks, Coetzee was force-fed a backroom team that appear to be singing from entirely different hymn sheets.

On top of all the problems Coetzee faces, his captain, Adriaan Strauss, announced his retirement back in September but kept his position as leader of the team (a massive mistake from Coetzee). To make matters worse, he has a shortage of senior players capable of uniting this struggling team. It is a perfect storm that the beleaguered coach currently is trying, but failing, to navigate.

So what hope does Coetzee have? Is it possible to win back a dressing room once it is lost? Upton and Stransky are once again in agreement and the forecast doesn't look good.

"When you're in a mess like the one Coetzee is in, you can't see the wood from the trees," Stransky explains. "Therefore he'll need to bring in outside help to assist him and guide him. The catch is, if he doesn't have the answers and needs someone else to step in, why is that person there in the first place? As a player I would think to myself, ‘This guy doesn't have the answers.' It takes a brave man to admit he's out of his depth but ultimately all that may lead to is Allister falling on his own sword."

Upton agrees: "The deficiencies that lead a coach to lose the dressing room are not remedied overnight. If he had the ability to identify those problems, he would have altered things long before he got close to losing the dressing room. In difficult times, a coach needs self-awareness and courage. If a dressing room is lost, those are two traits that have been lacking for a while and are not just going to suddenly materialise."

Coetzee is no doubt riding in the middle of a perfect storm. He is hamstrung by selection policies and political agendas, he has been forced to brave the toughest waters without assistants that he has personally chosen, his captain on the field has jumped ship and the players who have to do the business on match day look short of confidence and ideas.

A perfect storm indeed, but all storms can be weathered with a stronger ship, a cohesive crew and a competent captain's hands on the wheel. Coetzee looks lost at sea and if the SS Springbok continues on this dangerous voyage, a mutiny looks like an inevitable outcome. DM

Hlaudi Motsoeneng

© Gallo Images Hlaudi MotsoenengEditor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Despite calls from all centres of power in the ANC for the SABC to get rid of Hlaudi Motsoeneng, he is still around. This makes one wonder if the ANC is really in charge, writes Mpumelelo Mkhabela.

The question sounds strange for two reasons. Firstly, the African National Congress is a majority party in Parliament. From the political party point of view, the governing party is in charge. It was elected by the majority of South Africans in 2014.

Secondly, the governing party, using its electoral majority, chose President Jacob Zuma to govern the country. Zuma has appointed a team of cabinet ministers who, individually and collectively, oversee the implementation of the ANC’s manifesto across state departments and agencies. They are supposed to do so in accordance with the laws of the land.

If the current political dynamics accurately reflected the above two factors, the question, “who runs South Africa?”, would not only sound strange, but it would be illogical. In fact, it would not arise. But it arises forcefully because current political developments suggest that political power in South Africa is not what it is on paper.

Related: Zuma defies calls to quit as rural premier bloc has his back

No issues illustrate the uncertain political power than the SABC scandal and the unravelling intricate web of state capture activities. Let’s start with the SABC. A few years ago, employees at the SABC lodged a complaint with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela against Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the controversial chief operating officer who assumed the role of chief executive whenever he felt like it. Madonsela found that Motsoeneng’s appointment was irregular and recommended a list of remedial actions. The SABC deliberately ignored them.

Efforts to enforce the remedial action resulted in the SABC and Motsoeneng being dragged to court by the opposition Democratic Alliance, backed by civil society groups. While the legal battles were unfolding the ANC, through its discussion documents prepared for its national general council, lamented the terrible leadership at the SABC and demanded change.

Well, change did come as many dissenting voices including journalists were flushed out of the SABC. But Motsoeneng, the source of ethical lapses, legal breaches and corporate governance malfeasance became stronger and stronger by the day.

Until the ANC could no longer tolerate it. So, when the Supreme Court of Appeal endorsed Madonsela’s report on the SABC, confirming that Motsoeneng’s appointment as chief operating officer was irregular, the ANC demanded action against him. Instead, the SABC appointed him group head of corporate affairs, another position of power and influence.

“The appointment is no doubt the last straw that broke the camel’s back,” said angry ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu, who leads the majority of MPs in Parliament and takes instructions from Luthuli House, the party’s headquarters.

From the Union Buildings, the seat of governance power, Minister Jeff Radebe who is responsible for giving Zuma’s cabinet a semblance of unity, firmly stated: “Cabinet calls on the SABC board to abide by the letter and spirit of the Supreme Court of Appeal ruling.”

He further stated: “Attempts to subvert the SCA ruling through legally suspect interpretations border on violating the constitutional principle of legality and challenge the constitutionally assigned judicial authority of our courts.”

So, there we had it: the ANC in all the key centres of power it occupies, in the legislature and executive, was united in calling for the SABC to deal with Hlaudi. It was September when the statements were made. But Motsoeneng is still at the helm at the SABC. He is staging walkouts in Parliament and his supporters are even campaigning for him to be minister in future. The question comes forcefully: who governs South Africa? Is the ANC in charge?

The state capture revelations, the worst post-1994 corruption scandal, also raise similar questions. After Madonsela released the State of Capture report that exposed Zuma’s generally corrupt relationship with the Guptas, the ANC reacted by issuing a statement that blandly supported Madonsela and raised doubts about Zuma’s leadership capabilities.

“The ANC's seminal document‚ Through the Eye of the Needle‚ is instructive that as a movement for fundamental change‚ the organisation requires leaders who would lead the task of governance with diligence and who are equal to the challenge of each phase of struggle,” the party said.

The report contains reasons why Madonsela preferred a judicial inquiry to expose the rotten head of the fish. Zuma, the report says, was informed that the office of the Public Protector didn’t have resources to conduct an investigation of that magnitude and that it requires an investigation in the format of a commission of inquiry.

When Zuma was told about this, it didn’t occur to him that as the head of the executive he is constitutionally bound to support the Public Protector. He should have asked the minister of finance to speedily make resources available.

As a key suspect in the probe, it was not in his interest to help Madonsela secure resources. It would have been tantamount to asking a turkey or goat to sponsor a Christmas lunch. Such is the extent to which Zuma is conflicted.

A commission of inquiry established by him would no doubt be as well-resourced as the Arms Deal and Marikana Commissions were. The difference though is that as a ring leader in the state capture, he would be denied the possibility of manipulating the terms of reference. It’s now an established fact that Zuma cannot control or manipulate to suit him as a victim of everything under the sky; his only options are to stall or stop it entirely.

Madonsela’s reasons are thoroughly rational. It made sense for the governing party to be reminded of its values after reading the State of Capture report. The report reveals nothing but an overthrow of the will of the electorate, supplanted by private interests working in cahoots with the president for their own interests. Their activities have nothing to do with implementing the manifesto of the ANC. In the whole State of Capture report, there is no reference to anything that would benefit the Republic. Contrary to Zuma’s oath of office, there is everything in the report that will harm the Republic.

Yet, Zuma is taking the report on review, clearly acting against the strong anti-corruption statement issued by his own party that is clearly getting impatient with him. He is heading to a disastrous loss in the courts.

As Zuma fights for his personal interests that have nothing to do with his public duties, who actually governs South Africa for South Africans?

<p>Albert Nzula Hospital in Trompsburg.&nbsp;</p>© Christopher Clarke

Albert Nzula Hospital in Trompsburg. 

First published by GroundUp

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Albert Nzula Hospital in Trompsburg in the Free State is standing almost empty two years after it opened its doors. By Christopher Clark for GROUNDUP.

In the small Free State town of Trompsburg, a new R380-million hospital continues to gather dust more than two years since its completion. Meanwhile, other clinics and hospitals in the region remain overstretched and under-resourced, according to health activist groups.

Mariette Pittaway, the DA Spokesperson for Health in the Free State, said the new Albert Nzula Hospital is state-of-the-art and could assist a lot of people in dire need but has become a white elephant.

"There's no medical staff, no medical equipment, no patients. Nothing is happening. The hospital was scheduled to open in October 2014, but soon the place is going to start falling apart," she told GroundUp.

An official opening ceremony was held at the Albert Nzula Hospital in September 2016, while controversial former MEC for Health Benny Malakoane had stated in March 2016 that the hospital would open in April 2016 (Malakoane was replaced by Butana Komphela in October 2016).

Free State Premier Ace Magashule had previously announced during his state of the province address at University of Free State in February 2016 that the hospital was already "operational".

But when GroundUp visited the hospital premises at the end of November 2016, we were refused entry by a security guard; it was evident from outside that most of the buildings were still not in use, the public parking areas were empty, and some of the hospital entrances were cordoned off with yellow tape.

A number of infrastructural glitches including problems with the sewerage system initially delayed the hospital's opening, and more recently there have been issues around filling the requisite staff posts.

When asked by GroundUp when the Albert Nzula hospital would be operational, Free State Department of Health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi replied: "The operationalisation of the hospital will be determined by the filling of some of the critical posts among the 197 critical posts identified for administrative support services and clinical posts."

While Mvambi would not say how many of the 197 posts currently remain vacant, in October Health MEC Butana Komphela said in a Provincial Legislature meeting that only 77 posts had been advertised.

Mvambi also admits that some medical equipment and licences for the new hospital are still outstanding.

However, Mvambi told GroundUp that a dispensary and basic emergency medical response services are already operational at Albert Nzula Hospital, and GroundUp witnessed two ambulances returning to the hospital from a nearby road accident scene.

But in most instances, local residents are still restricted to the limited resources available at the small Mamello clinic on the other side of Trompsburg, or have to travel further afield to Diamant District Hospital in Jagersfontein, which is roughly 50km away.

An employee at Diamant Hospital, who asked not to be named for fear of losing her job, says that the hospital is currently having to accommodate patients from nine different communities, and is generally overcrowded and significantly understaffed.

Enoch Moware, Acting Manager for Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) in the Free State, affirms that Jagersfontein is in a "very poor state".

"There's a lack of doctors, a lack of nurses. The dispensary is closed on weekends. There's no radiography on weekends. There are many, many such problems," he says.

Moware adds that similar issues are mirrored in most government hospitals across the province. "People in Free State are fed up with the health system," he says, "many people are dying in our hospitals because they are not being rendered basic services."

Moware told GroundUp that he had sent a list of questions to the Free State Ministry of Health at the beginning of November concerning numerous complaints about the province's hospitals that TAC had received from patients; TAC also requested updates on the Albert Nzula Hospital. Moware says the department is yet to respond.

Meanwhile, on a busy weekday morning at Mamello Clinic in Trompsburg, a number of patients in the crowded waiting room told GroundUp that they have to travel as far as Bloemfontein, which is roughly 120kms away, for some medical services.

Lena Oliphant, 60, claims that Trompsburg residents were told earlier this year that the dispensary at Albert Nzula Hospital was now providing medication for chronic patients, but that on visiting the hospital she had been unable to obtain her diabetes medication. She said there was no medication there.

Moware says that Oliphant's claim is supported by various other patients who have contacted TAC.

Oliphant also told GroundUp that she has to travel to Bloemfontein every three months for cancer treatment. She adds that the costs of transport into the city can be crippling for some Trompsburg residents.

"I hope and pray they will open the hospital soon," Oliphant says, "many people here need it urgently."

But Dr Disie Kleingeld, a local private GP who volunteers his mornings at Mamello Clinic, says that the Albert Nzula Hospital is being pushed "on a political level rather than a practical one".

"It would be more appropriate to improve resources at existing sites. There are not enough medical staff to run a new hospital."

Free State experienced an exodus of 177 doctors back in 2015, as the provincial health system fell apart. In February 2015, a number of Free State doctors had highlighted shocking management failures and hospital conditions in an open letter published by GroundUp.

According to Mark Heywood, Executive Director of public interest law centre Section27, the state of existing hospitals in Free State remains "extremely bad".

"All we've had are negative reports. And instead of co-operation from the Department of Health, what we continue to encounter for the most part are stories of corruption and mismanagement. That's what we are dealing with.

Thabiso Kutumela (Gallo Images)© Gallo Images Thabiso Kutumela (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates interim coach Augusto Palacios says he sees the makings of a top striker in Thabiso Kutumela.

The Bafana-capped and former Baroka FC marksman top scored in the National First Division last season with 18 goals.

Since joining Pirates, he has featured in five matches (league and cup), scoring once.

Palacios says that if the 23-year-old remains focused, he has the potential to go on and become a top notchall-round striker.

"Kutumela has impressed me the most. He can assist, he has speed and if he puts his head in the right place he can become very lethal," the caretaker coach told the media.

Tendai Ndoro has netted 11 of the Buccaneers' 13 league goals this term, but Palacios is confident the likes of Kutumela and Ayanda Nkosi will also play their part in weeks and months ahead.

"I am not worried that Ndoro is the only striker that is scoring goals for us because we have Kutumela and Nkosi who can also score goals for us.

"They are being prepared and I am confident that they can make things happen if called upon to do so."

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