News in brief

By Drum Digital
15 January 2014

The Limpopo Health department has down played the 765 malaria cases reported in Limpopo since October.

Limpopo Health department makes light of malaria outbreak

The department says people need not panic as the figure is lower than that has annually been recorded in the past 10 years during the malaria season.

Each year, around January, cases of malaria are recorded in the Vhembe and Mopani districts along the Kruger National Park.

Health department spokesperson Adel van der Linde says that some of those infected with the disease contracted it elsewhere.


Telkom CFO to refund R6m loan

Jacques Schindehütte – suspended as CFO of Telkom three months ago over personal misconduct charges, yet to be disclosed – will have to pay back the R6 million he borrowed from the company to buy stock last year.

Telkom said in a statement yesterday that the interest-free loan was granted "in a manner that was inconsistent with the provisions of the Companies Act" – essentially negating the transaction.

Telkom says the board "cannot and did not" approve the loan, but that Schindehütte personally oversaw the advancement of the payment of the loan amount to himself.


Public protector report on fisheries disputed

Anomalies” in Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on the controversial “Sekunjalo contract” to manage South Africa’s fisheries research and patrol fleet have opened her to legal challenge, says the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

This comes in a letter to Madonsela in which the department says her comments about minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson in her report on the Sekunjalo contract – she recommended that President Jacob Zuma consider disciplinary action against Joemat-Pettersson – were “highly questionable”, “based on several highly prejudiced claims and statements” which were “unfounded”.

de Vries said: Contrary to the “premature” finding of Madonsela, fishing quota allocations had been executed on time and had been based on all necessary research. “It is clear... that the public protector has no substantive grounds for recommending disciplinary action against the minister,” Vries wrote, adding that Madonsela’s conclusions and recommendations relating to Joemat-Pettersson were “simply incongruous”.

“A legal opinion has been secured which confirms that due to the anomalies in the report, the public protector has opened herself to further challenges on the content of her report. We are taking further advice on this matter,” she said.

- Iol

Two in court for R40m public works lease scam

A businessman and a former public works department senior official accused of money laundering and corruption are expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

Businessman Sayed Hoosen Mia and former senior administrator Desmond Simamane would appear for a trial date to be set.

The two were allegedly involved in a lease scam involving R40 million.

The scam led to the department paying R40 million for the lease of six Johannesburg buildings from Mia. Despite the money being paid, the buildings were never used.

Simamane allegedly accepted bribes from Mia in exchange for recommending his companies for lease contracts for office space for other national government departments.


Four held for Rwandan spy boss murder

After initially denying all knowledge of the case, Mozambican police said on Tuesday they had arrested four people suspected of involvement in the murder in South Africa of Patrick Karegeya, exiled former head of Rwandan intelligence.

Joao Machava, spokesman for the Mozambican police, told the independent news sheet Mediafax the four were being held in police cells in Maputo, while procedures were under way for their deportation to South Africa.

“All I can tell you right now… is that the group remains detained in Maputo, waiting for the legal procedures required to take them back to where the crime was committed,” Machava said.

Among the group is a senior official in the Rwandan armed forces, Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Gakwerere.

- Iol

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