Today's Big Stories

Nxasana's golden exit makes way for Ramaite

Nxasana's golden exit makes way for Ramaite

A statement from The Presidency announced that Mxolisi Nxasana will be leaving his position as the National Director of Public Prosecutions later today. Three weeks ago, an inquiry into whether he was fit for office was cancelled by the President at the last minute. Nxasana had been reportedly saying he would leave the NPA if one of his deputies Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba and the head of the NPA's Commercial Crimes Unit, Lawrence Mrwebi left as well. Former Constitutional Court Judge and the head of Freedom Under Law, Judge Johann Kriegler:

It is the third honest man that has been forced out of office, a vital office that is important for the rule of law. We know that Nxasana was a properly appointed, fit and proper person and that is what the Commission of Inquiry would find and that is why the Commission of Inquiry was also called off.

Meanwhile The Presidency has confirmed that Dr Silas Ramaite is now running the NPA in an acting capacity. EWN's Barry Bateman:

We know very little about him, but he started his career as a Public Prosecutor in the 80's. The post he holds today is that of deputy head of the National Prosecuting Authority and this would make it the second time that he would be heading up the NPA. He is something of a quiet person and seems to be well-liked by many prosecutors.

Fifa gave SA 2010 WC despite forecasted financial losses

As the corruption claims continue to swirl around Fifa – and our hosting of the football world cup in 2010 – some research has emerged in The Star newspaper this morning that suggests Fifa gave us the tournament, despite knowing that our bid’s predictions were wildly optimistic and that we would lose money in the end. The academic who conducted that reseach is Dr Eamonn Molloy a Tutorial Fellow in Management Studies at Pembroke College, and Associate Fellow of Saïd Business School, University of Oxford:

If you look at the bid book that South Africa produced and the figures given in there, it it would seem that Fifa also thought that the figures were overly optimistic. There were a lot of things that the Fifa inspection group also noted, including infrastructure budgeting shortcomings and how ticket sales had been forecast at $467 million, but the actual output was $300 million made from tickets.

Meanwhile a Sunday report notes that the head of our 2010 bid committee Danny Jordaan has admitted that money from Fifa that was supposed to come to South Africa was instead directed towards Concacaf - The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football. In their indictment, American prosecutors claim that money amounted to a bribe. But Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula refutes these claims:

I wish to reiterate that there is no money of South Africa's public funds that was expended on any bribe around the World Cup 2010, either before or after the World Cup. What Dr Danny Jordaan said is that the $10 million was funded out of a process of agreement, not out of the public purse or out of any budget of the 2010 World Cup. We stay firm and resolute in that regard.

EWN Sports Editor, Jean Smyth:

It's a matter of semantics: we've heard that funds were re-directed to fund something in the region of R100 million and there were reports that money was re-directed towards development programs. The question then is, how was money funded and where was it redirected to?

Where are the black academics?

A new report from the Council for Higher Education notes that only 18% of the country’s roughly 4000 professors are black and that if you take out associate professors, that figure drops to just 13%. Associate Professor of Sociology at UCT, Professor Xolela Mangcu:

Quite frankly, it's lack of seriousness on both the part of our universities and on the part of our government, where there's a lack of investment in black intellectualism in order to advance society. There's a lack of strategic thinking: I'd even written a column twenty years ago about the lack of intellectual development amongst black people. Investing in academic institutions, targeting those that are in second year, you track them and put them on specific academic tracks and provide funding for their studies. We also need to address the way Post-Doctoral studies are structured.

Have shopping malls saturated the retail property market?

A suggestion in the Business Times on Sunday is that we may now have too many huge shopping malls in the country and that the market for them may actually be full. FNB Property Analyst, John Loos:

While you do see a lot of shopping centres when you drive around, but when you look at the Stats SA retail figures, you realise that the 572 000 sq metres used is just a fraction of the total retail space. There really isn't as much construction happening as during the property boom times.

Holomisa tells President Zuma to go to court over PP Nkandla findings

A claim over the weekend from United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa is that the findings of Police Minister Nathi Nhleko that President Jacob Zuma does not have to pay back any of the money on his Nkandla home will create a constitutional crisis:

In terms of the policies, if you differ with the remedial recommendations proposed by the Public Protector, one would have to go to the courts to challenge that. For instance, with the IEC saga with then chair Advocate Pansy Tlakula - she went that route and pursued her case in court. It is stated there in the document that if you disagree with the Public Protector, go and apply for a judicial review. (On the Nkandla ad hoc committee's findings) that was an ANC 'study group' that long endorsed that the President must not pay a cent and that was endorsed on Wednesday.

Powered out, powered up: Eskom exec exits while Medupi Unit 6 switches on

Eskom's Group Executive of Group Capital, Dan Marokane has now resigned. He was one of the executives that had been suspended, pending an inquiry. Meanwhile, confirmation over the weekend that Unit 6 at the Medupi power station construction site has been able to produce a full 800 megawatts of electricity. Energy expert and the MD of EE Publishers, Chris Yelland:

It seems to perpetuate the situation that people are perhaps being paid to settle matter quietly and walk away under the guise of cadreship. It might be that this whole inquiry that was set up never reported - as it never reported publically - and it isn't clear what is going on there. (On Medupi Unit 6) I think it is an important milestone that they reached full output of that unit, but now that unit has to be handed over from the construction people to Eskom's operational people and they will only do that when all of the other parts of the plant are in order and stable. There's usually a long list of items and the production people are going to be reluctant to take something over that's not stable, but we're being told that will happen some time in June and the sooner they do it, the better.

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