Weekend news wrap up with Bob Mabena – 7 February 2016
The Sunday Times leads with a story on every South African’s lips, with the headline “Why Zuma flipped on Nkandla”. This story has a few angles to it and obviously the first one being that he was advised to either face defeat and humiliation at the ConCourt, or offer something of an olive branch. Now, we all know how our president will employ all sorts of tactics to avoid any court appearance and it is his right to do so but this time he had two choices that both do auger very well for his looming lame duck term. Last week we saw all opposition parties rejecting his offer to pay back the money and there seems to be a showdown not unlike last year facing us with the State of the Nation address. The second angle to the Sunday Times story relates to the colour of the Advocate President Zuma has chosen to advice him. Coming in at R50 000 a day for consulting is a one Jeremy Gauntlet – a white male. I mention race here because his colour has raised the ire of bake advocates with Advocates for Transformation national Chairman, Advocate Dumisani Ntsebeza saying that Zuma’s preferred advocate proved that the presidency had no faith in black advocates. I am inclined to agree with Adv Ntsebeza on this one and that largely goes with the NPA as well. The president does seem to have a penchant for fair skinned lawyers. Me thinks our Motsweneng Bill must be approaching the Presidency for some billing.
The EFF wants President Zuma to apologise for his Yoyo moves in the Finance Department during the State of The Nation Address, and the angle the City Press has taken there is with a story about former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene being urged to disown Zuma critics. He must – as the City Press reports – explicitly distance himself from those using his name to mount a campaign against Zuma. I must say Mr. Nene has been rather opaque in either direction, and he must at least take us into his confidence about events leading to his removal, and how all the drama surrounding that confusing December has affected him. There was a report in last week’s Financial Mail which claimed that Nene said he hadn’t received a formal offer to at least join the bank the President wanted him to run. Speak up Mr. Nene, don’t leave it until you are too old and it’s twenty years later and you start writing letters to newspapers. Do it now Sir.
And finally; Tony Montana is back – no, I meant to say Lucky Montana, pardon me. The City Press reports that PRASA has filed papers in the North Gauteng High Court this Friday past, to have two contracts awarded to Siyangena Technologies declared invalid. Apparently the contracts – worth about R2 billion collectively – had a “bid-rigging” stink to them. This is the claim by Popo Molefe, the board Chairperson. It also appears that it is not only the bidding process that was illegal but also that Tony – I mean – Lucky Montana, benefited corruptly from his relationship with the company in question. Attached to this is a whole litany of zigzagging manoeuvre by the former PRASA CEO that will make John Grisham blush. Is it a case of the chickens coming home to roost for Montana? Or in the case of Al Pacino’s Tony Montana character – “EVERY DOG HAS ITS DAY”?