Policy issues from South Africa and its neighbours. Reports every two weeks.

v20/22 4 November 05

For subscription details ...

 


CONTENTS

[Page numbers as in PDF file]

Congo:

Military fraudsters threaten the transition process           P.1

Region:

Concerns grow about terrorist fall-out from DRC gold trade           P.2

Region:

EU draft legislation  may threaten mining industry           P.3

Congo:

Major copper miner takes on Katangan venture           P.4

Angola:

First diamond polishing factory            P.4

Zambia:

Chinese firm invests $20m in copper mine  P.4

Angola:

Case puts spotlight on operations of elite landholders            P.4

Angola:

Swiss agree to release blocked funds           P.5

Zambia:

Registration raises fears of another rigged election           P.5

Namibia:

Pohamba’s anti-graft campaign gets fresh impetus           P.6

Zimbabwe:

Foreign money claim focuses police on MDC funding           P.6

Zimbabwe:

Mbeki does deal with Mugabe on fighter pilot training           P.7

Zimbabwe:

SA lags on asylum bids by refugees           P.7

SA politics:

Intelligence chief suspended in latest Zuma affair twist           P.7

SA politics:

UN report on Iraq oil adds to ANC’s tribulations           P.8

SA development:

Empowerment rules changed           P.8

 

 


Congo:

Military fraudsters threaten the transition process

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] The DR Congo’s top military leadership, busily feathering its own nest, is turning into a serious obstacle to success in the transition process. European Union officers seconded to the force are trying to outmaneuver the Congolese top brass, but it remains uncertain whether their attempted reforms will succeed.

The current fraudulent operations of senior officers may mean that the general election will be held at the end of next year before the completion of all the steps needed to set up a unified army. This in turn would mean that thousands of fighters owing allegiance to one of the former factions could resume the war if their leaders are not satisfied with the election results. ...

Pressure on rebels ...

UN sanctionsOn the same day Monuc said that 779 militia had been disarmed in the Ituri district since October 17 and transferred to the Rwampara barracks near Bunia. The UN Security Council has also authorized Monuc to send a battalion into northern Katanga to clear the area of Mai-Mai groups there....

Mobutu troops ... >>> Full report

__________

Region:

Concerns grow about terrorist fall-out from DRC gold trade

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] The UN has again publicized the destabilizing effect of the illegal traffic in gold across the border from the DR Congo to Uganda. But inside Uganda, which is increasingly dependent on its gold exports, concerns are growing about control of the revenues and that they could be finding their way into terrorist organisations.

A UN report in August revealed a vigorous war economy in the east of the DRC based on gold smuggling to Uganda. Former warlords, even while ostensibly integrated into the new national army, are running it in Ituri province, but according to the UN investigators they are in harness with a significant number of the DR Congo’s business leaders (SouthScan v20/16). ...

Economic hopes ...

Diamond centre ...

Israeli intelligenceSecurity around senior government officers has been tightened. Museveni has expanded his presidential guard to 12,000 and his motorcade has reached 50 vehicles including armoured personnel carriers and cannon fitted armoured vehicles. According to local reports he recently spent $4m to secure his home....>>> Full report

__________

Region:

EU draft legislation may threaten mining industry

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] The European Commission’s draft legislation on chemicals could have “devastating effects” on the African mining and metals industry, South Africa’s ambassador in Brussels, Jerry Matjila, warned at a press conference last week (October 28).

The issue has already been raised in a letter from SA President Thabo Mbeki to the current EU president and British Prime Minister Tony Blair and it will again be raised by SA Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the SA-EU Joint Co-operation Council meeting on Monday in Brussels. ...

SubstitutionSA’s small black empowerment companies look thus more vulnerable to the consequences of REACH. And since many mines in sub-Saharan Africa are still state-owned or partially financed by governments, if the state has to step in to maintain their viability this could mean a redirection of resources away from social, health and education programmes, says Matjila...

ACP concernsThus far the ACP countries, together with other mining countries such as Australia and the minerals and metal industry, have not managed to influence the debate. But Matjila does not rule out that the issue could be raised at World Trade Organisation level. Mining countries like Australia, South Africa and Chile may argue there that REACH constitutes a non-tariff barrier to trade....>>> Full report

__________

Congo:

Major copper miner takes on Katangan venture

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] Phelps Dodge Corporation, one of the world’s leading copper miners, has taken a controlling stake in the Tenke Fungurume project in Katanga province in the DR Congo in what regional analysts are reading as a breakthrough in international business confidence.

Just before this week’s announcement from Phelps Dodge the UN Security Council reinforced peacekeeper numbers in Katanga. ...>>> Full report

__________

Angola:

First diamond polishing factory

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] Angola on Thursday inaugurated its first diamond polishing factory with the backing of Israeli diamond magnate Lev Leviev, whose group last year opened a similar plant in Namibia.

The plant in the Luanda Sul district, just south of the capital is Africa’s largest and will benefit from rising global diamond prices, limited supply and new exploration on post-war Angola. ...>>> Full report

__________

Zambia:

Chinese firm invests $20m in copper mine

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] A Chinese firm has announced a US$20 million investment in the construction of an acid and leaching plant at Zambia’s Chambeshi Copper Mines.

The China Non-Ferrous Metal Mining Company’s (CNMC) president Luo Tao said the new plant will open next year in June and will create 1,000 new jobs for local people. CNMC owns Chambeshi mines, which employ about 2,000 Zambians. ...>>> Full report

__________

Angola:

Case puts spotlight on operations of elite landholders

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] A former cabinet minister and general is being arraigned in court next week on a charge that he and his colleagues terrorised local farmers in the south of the country as they sought to expand their landholding. The case has brought together two key issues in post-war Angola – that of the commercialisation of land, and of the impunity of the elite.

The owners of the Kamphanda farm, 140km south of Lubango, are Fernando Faustino Muteka and Antonio Bicho. Muteka was the minister for territorial administration in Angola until last year. Now he is responsible for mobilisation in the MPLA ruling party. Bicho is a powerful businessman rumoured to have diamond connections in the Lunda provinces, where Muteka had dealings with Unita during the war. ...

Dos Santos supporterHe, Bicho, their farm manager, Jose Pinto, and two ex-combatants face the court on November 8 after original charges were laid against them in 2003. The complainants, backed by some local and international non-governmental organisations, include farm workers, who had been accused of cattle theft by the landowners, and their relatives, while others are members of local community with relatively large herds. Their supporters believe the landowners were trying to instill fear in the local community and to expand their fazenda beyond its original limits....

New land law ...>>> Full report

__________

Angola:

Swiss agree to release blocked funds

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] Switzerland has agreed to release to Angola $21 million in funds that were blocked five years ago as part of an investigation into suspected money laundering, Swiss officials said on Wednesday.

Under the agreement, the funds will be directed to humanitarian projects including hospital construction. ...>>> Full report

__________

Zambia:

Registration raises fears of another rigged election

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] Barely a week after the commencement of voter registration there are already suspicions of deliberate rigging following the omission of some important features on the voters’ National Registration Cards (NRCs).

Opposition figures and civil society organisations are calling for the suspension of the registration until areas of contention are cleared up to avoid a repeat of the last election experience, generally viewed by both local and international monitors as rigged.Conspicuously missing on the voters’ cards is the NRC number. The opposition political parties fear that government intentionally omitted the number to make rigging easier. The government says it only provided money to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and is not dictating its operations, but this has not convinced many who believe the ECZ is “highly influenced” by the state. ...

Constitutional redraft? ...>>> Full report

__________

Namibia:

Pohamba’s anti-graft campaign gets fresh impetus

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] The director of the company involved in the country’s biggest corruption scandal was this week forced to resign his parliamentary seat.

Paulus Kapia earlier resigned from his position as deputy minister of works, transport and communication in late August after a high court liquidation inquiry into how a US$5.7 million investment in his company, Avid Investment Corporation, went missing.According to Phil ya Nangoloh of the Namibian Society for Human Rights, Kapia’s defiance had threatened to split the party between Nujoma and Pohamba....>>> Full report

 

__________

Zimbabwe:

Foreign money claim focuses police on MDC funding

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] The faction round party leader Morgan Tsvangirai appeared to be winning out in Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change this week though deep splits remain in its top ranks over the issue of boycotting the senate elections (SouthScan v20/21).

But the infighting has focused the attention of the police on the sources of the MDC’s funding. MP Job Sikhala last week backtracked on claims that the party had received money from Ghana, Nigeria and Taiwan and this was at the root of the dispute. He said the MDC received illegal funding amounting to US$2.5 million from Ghana, Nigeria and Taiwan. Ghana and Taiwan denied this but despite Sikhala’s retraction police officials said they would now investigate the MDC’s funding. Receipt of foreign funds contravenes the Political Parties Finance Act. ...>>> Full report

__________

Zimbabwe:

Mbeki does deal with Mugabe on fighter pilot training

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] South Africa has agreed a military deal with Zimbabwe that will involve Zimbabwean fighter pilots training black South African pilots.

Presidents Robert Mugabe and Thabo Mbeki made the secret pact aimed at easing whites out of the SA Air Force (SAAF) according to a report in The Zimbabwean newspaper. It said that 14 instructors, led by Group Captain Chasakara, would leave shortly for South Africa as part of a comprehensive two-year training programme aimed at increasing the numbers of black pilots. The group of instructors will be accompanied by 30 aircraft engineers.The SA airforce on the other hand is acquiring state of the art Gripen fighters and other equipment as part of its re-equipment programme, making it less certain who will be training whom. What is clear, say observers, is that the deal will further cement relations between Mbeki and Mugabe....>>> Full report

 

__________

Zimbabwe:

SA lags on asylum bids by refugees

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] Just 86 of the thousands of Zimbabweans who have sought asylum in South Africa have been successful in their applications, according to SA immigration officials.

Over the past five years over 250,000 illegal Zimbabwean immigrants have been deported from South Africa. Unofficial estimates are that there may be over two million Zimbabweans living in South Africa illegally. ...>>> Full report

__________

SA politics:

Intelligence chief suspended in latest Zuma affair twist

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] The ‘Zuma affair’ appears to be skidding down new avenues and opening up further divisions in the top echelons of the ruling African National Congress. In the latest twist the National Intelligence Agency’s chief, believed to be a supporter of the former deputy president, has been suspended after putting a leading ANC tycoon on the other side under surveillance.

NIA chief Billy Masetlha is seen as a Jacob Zuma man, but he was also instrumental in setting up the personal intelligence organisation used by President Thabo Mbeki, emphasizing the close-knit nature of the elite and the growing uncertainty now about who is loyal to whom (SouthScan v16/20; 17/11). ...

Legal review ...>>> Full report

__________

SA politics:

UN report on Iraq oil adds to ANC’s tribulations

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] South African opposition leader Tony Leon this week called for an inquiry into allegations made in the UN report on the Iraq oil-for-food programme.

The report suggests that four South African companies may have been among 2,200 firms worldwide that paid money to Saddam Hussein’s government in return for oil. At least two of the companies are linked to the ruling African National Congress. ...

Silencing bidUnder a settlement between Imvume and PetroSA made an order of the Johannesburg High Court last week, Imvume had to repay R18 million, which was irregularly paid to it by PetroSA, in monthly tranches of R500,000....>>> Full report

__________

SA development:

Empowerment rules changed

[© SouthScan v20/22 4 Nov 05] South Africa has released new rules governing Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) in the face of intense criticism of the perceived dominance of the new tycoons while delivery of services at base stagnates.

A Department of Trade and Industry statement on the new guidelines speaks of a need for “a more inclusive approach to empowerment”, and the acceleration of the entry of black people into the ‘first economy’. ...>>> Full report