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29
APR
6am

Here you go (at last): The State Capture report – Read all about Eskom, Alexkor, EOH Holdings, Free State and National Treasury

The Presidency received the fourth part of the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector at the Union Buildings on Friday, April 29, 2022. The fourth report, which makes damning findings and recommendations, is in four volumes.
Here are the four volumes of the report.
Volume One:
The Attempted Capture of the National Treasury
EOH Holdings (PTY) Ltd and the City of Johannesburg.
Alexcor
Volume Two:
The Free State Asbestos Project debacle
The Free State R1 billion Housing project debacle.
Volume Three:
Capture of Eskom
Volume Four:
Capture of Eskom
State Capture commission granted seventh extension as Chief Justice defends delays
Did you miss parts one to three of the report? Here is everything you need to know:
Charge Zuma, Mokonyane and Mantashe for Bosasa graft, State Capture report recommends
Part 2 of the State Cape report – All about corruption at Transnet and Denel
Zondo’s Part One State Capture report targets Guptas’ New Age newspaper and Dudu Myeni’s destruction of SAA
06
APR
9am

Ukraine’s mosquito strategy highlights crucial military lessons and exposes Russia’s failures

As Russia’s war with Ukraine drags on into the sixth week, and as Moscow retreats from Kyiv, leaving hundreds of dead civilians in its wake, several immediate military lessons are becoming clearer. This is the first of three articles from a front-row seat in Ukraine.
The first of these lessons is that the old cliché got it exactly right: It is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog.
As the strategist Carl von Clausewitz reminds, there is a difference between war on paper or “ideal war” and “war in reality” – numbers and kit are not an exact gauge of capability. Fighting will is crucial, and here the Russians seem to have relearnt another lesson: Without motivation, conscripts and untrained militia are usually next to useless.
By contrast, the Ukrainians have learnt well the lessons of the 2014 war with Russian-backed forces in Donbas.
One of these has been to allow the commanders on the ground the authority to make decisions and flexibility as the circumstances demand. They are also not seeking to hold territory, but rather absorb the Russian invasion and then conduct hit-and-run attacks – the mosquito strategy – on stretched supply lines.
Read in Daily Maverick: As Russia abandons conquest of Kyiv, Putin’s strategic gamble unravels
A related lesson is that people’s defence works, if mobilised with the proper motivation and training. This was clear at the outset, when the Russians failed to quickly seize the strategic Antonov Airport just 10km from Kyiv in the first hours of the war, an engagement which infamously resulted in the destruction of the world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov An-225 Mriya. Although Russian forces eventually captured (and have subsequently abandoned) the facility, Ukrainian resistance – a combination of territorial defence, special forces and regular army – nixed Russian plans of a quick capitulation of Kyiv.
It was a metaphor for what was to come over the following weeks.
A further lesson is in the limits of tank warfare, at least against modern anti-tank weapons and a determined enemy. As one Ukrainian airborne commander reminds, however, of the foreign-supplied anti-tank weaponry: “NLAW and Javelin don’t fight by themselves. People are fighting. But the combination of unconventional tactics and hyper-precision weapons leads to amazing results.”
At the very least, tanks need infantry, a lesson the Russians have learnt at a heavy cost.
Read in Daily Maverick: Ten articles to help you better understand Russia’s invasion ...
06
APR
9am

It’s put-up or shut-up time for ‘step-aside’ – ANC’s decision on Dlamini, Msibi & Gumede may shape its future

Recent developments again show how deeply the ANC’s ‘step-aside’ resolution is intertwined with the struggle between President Cyril Ramaphosa’s stated agenda of renewal and the RET faction of the party.
The conviction of the ANC Women’s League leader, Bathabile Dlamini, and the election of new leadership for the Mpumalanga ANC, including Mandla Msibi as treasurer despite having been charged with murder and attempted murder, suggest that we may be about to enter a new phase in the meaning of the ANC’s “step-aside” resolution. This could be a pivotal moment to assess whether the resolution is in fact having an impact.
The direction of the firmness of the “step-aside” resolution is of particularly high importance because multiply-charged Zandile Gumede is preparing to challenge for the position of leader of the ANC’s crucial eThekwini region. In short, the issues the ANC has to clarify are:
Is the resolution actually working? and,
Does being charged or convicted of a criminal offence lessen the political power/influence of a party’s elected official?
Whatever the answers, these developments again show how deeply the “step-aside” resolution is intertwined with the struggle between President Cyril Ramaphosa’s stated agenda of renewal and the RET faction of the party.
On Friday, Dlamini was sentenced for perjury to a four-year jail sentence (of which half would be suspended for two years if she chose this option) or a massive fine. It was her second criminal offence for a crime of dishonesty – this time, she lied under oath about her role as social development minister.
She was previously found guilty of fraud in the Travelgate saga in 2006.
Despite this, it’s understood that she is arguing within ANC circles that the findings against her are not “serious”. It now appears the National Working Committee will decide on her fate within the party. For the ANC to affirm her position would surely run into great difficulty.
You can imagine an interviewer asking: How many times can an ANC heavyweight be convicted in a court of perjury to actually be removed from their position? Three times? Four times? A hundred times? An unlimited number of times?
Dearest Ma’am Bathabile Dlamini – Stay strong, you are not alone, ThugLife chose you
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the ANC in Mpumalanga elected Mandla Msibi to the position of provincial treasurer. This is despite the fact that Msibi has been charged with two counts of murder and one of attempted murder, charges that he denies.
This comes amid the backdrop ...
06
APR
5am

First Thing with John Stupart - Wednesday, 6 April 2022

“The map? I will first make it.”
Patrick White
STORY OF THE DAY
The artists, the forgers and the murky market of fake art in South Africa
By Rebecca Davis
After centuries of neglect by the global art establishment, African art is finally becoming big business. This creates the conditions for a perfect storm locally. While the demand for, and value of, African art is rapidly increasing, the South African art market is notoriously under-regulated and vulnerable to exploitation and the spread of fake art.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Zelensky accuses Russia of worst war crimes since WW2
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the United Nations that Russia has committed the "most terrible war crimes" since World War 2. Russia dismissed the civilian allegations, relating to the Bucha massacre discovered in the wake of Moscow's retreat. Zelensky rightly questioned the point of the UN Security Council if Russia could use its veto power to turn "into the right to [cause] death".
World powers prepare new sanctions against Russia
US, European Union and Group of Seven nations are preparing a new raft of sanctions against Moscow. The new sanctions are a direct response to the war crimes and various atrocities committed in Ukraine. It is not clear what more can be possibly done, barring a ban on Russian energy. Germany, for one, will be in a particularly tough moral quagmire.
Ivanka Trump questioned for 8 hours
Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka was questioned by the House panel investigating the Capitol insurrection for eight hours on Tuesday. Trump was asked about her memories of the 6 January insurrection while inside the White House with her father. Committee chair Bennie Thompson said that "she's answering questions" and was not avoiding anything, which could be a positive step forward in uncovering what Donald Trump did and didn't know, and did and didn't do on that day.
Fifteen Nigerian soldiers killed on base attack
Reuters reports that at least 15 Nigerian soldiers have been killed by gunmen in the northern Kaduna state. The Monday evening attack on an army base saw attackers use rocket-propelled grenades from motorbikes, in a battle lasting more than 2 hours. At least 19 soldiers were injured.
IN NUMBERS
30 seconds
The estimated time you have to be resuscitated if you are sucked into outer space for 9-12 seconds.
FACTS OF THE DAY
Today in 1992, the Bosnian War begins.
Potatoes are native to South America.
SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS
Soccer: Liverpool and Man City in command after Champions League quarters first leg
Liverpool took a firm ...
06
APR
3am

ConCourt candidate David Unterhalter faces unexpected grilling at JSC interviews

On Tuesday, the Judicial Service Commission began interviewing candidates for two vacancies at the Constitutional Court.
Interviews on Tuesday for two vacancies at the Constitutional Court were smooth sailing for four of the five candidates. The exception was Judge David Unterhalter, who was grilled about not recusing himself in a matter.
When asked whether a judge who sits in an application for leave to appeal and dismisses it should recuse him or herself when that case comes before the Constitutional Court, Unterhalter agreed.
Commissioner Mvuzo Notyesi then asked why Unterhalter had not done that when it came to a case he dismissed at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), which was later taken to the Constitutional Court.
Unterhalter said that he wasn’t sure of the facts, but that once he was able to ascertain them, he “would happily respond”.
Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, the chairperson of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), pointed out to the commission that Unterhalter had not been told that this matter would be raised in the interview.
But commissioner Julius Malema, who attended the interviews virtually, hit back and said that he had told the commission about it on Monday.
As to why Unterhalter wasn’t informed about this, Zondo noted: “Because [the complaint] came late, we said it wouldn’t be put to the candidate. The general rule is that if it comes late, it shouldn’t be accepted unless it falls into the exception category. Generally speaking, I don’t think a judge would intentionally sit in a matter that they know they shouldn’t sit on.”
Notyesi assured Unterhalter that it was not his intention to catch him out. “I just want clarity,” said the commissioner.
The artists, the forgers and the murky market of fake art in South Africa
Initially, the commissioners agreed to allow Unterhalter to give a response on Wednesday. However, commissioner Ronald Lamola pointed out that would delay their deliberations, which were meant to take place after the interviews.
The commission then decided to adjourn for 30 minutes to allow Unterhalter to access a laptop to allow him to answer the question posed by Notyesi.
After the adjournment, Unterhalter said the document provided to him indicated a petition served before the SCA and that he, with Ratanang Mocumie, sat on that petition.
Unterhalter said an application was then brought before the Constitutional Court by the disappointed applicant.
“In accordance with the procedure followed at the Constitutional Court, a memorandum was produced by Justice [Mbuyiseli] Madlanga in which he ...
06
APR
2am

The artists, the forgers and the murky market of fake art in South Africa

After centuries of neglect by the global art establishment, African art is finally becoming big business. This creates the conditions for a perfect storm locally. While the demand for, and value of, African art is rapidly increasing, the South African art market is notoriously under-regulated and vulnerable to exploitation and the spread of fake art.
With additional research by Emma Dollery, Sarah Hoek, Emilie Gambade and Malibongwe Tyilo.
It started happening in 2019. Pippa Skotnes would be sitting at her computer and an email would arrive from someone asking her to verify whether an artwork seemingly produced by her late father, world-renowned artist Cecil Skotnes, was really his work.
This, in itself, wasn’t unusual. What was out of the ordinary was that the artworks in question were not ones that were recognisable to Pippa Skotnes — unquestionably the world expert on her father’s oeuvre, and herself an artist and curator of distinction.
“The first one was from a gallery in Franschhoek,” Pippa Skotnes said, speaking to Maverick Life through an online call in 2021.
The gallery had sent her a picture of a Skotnes piece that was totally unfamiliar to her. The attached information on the work’s provenance — its history of ownership — claimed that Cecil Skotnes had given it to a student he was mentoring. Pippa found it “extraordinary” that she would never have seen this work, but the account of the provenance seemed compelling. She speculated that perhaps her father had been giving someone a lesson, and the work was produced in the course of that. The seller — who was the alleged student in question — had signed a police affidavit guaranteeing the veracity of his story.
If the work was faked, whoever did it was taking an audacious chance. Pippa Skotnes, who together with her brother is the copyright-holder of her father’s work, is the last person you should expect to be able to fool.
“I have a very rich photographic record of his work, and I’m very familiar with his period,” she said.
“Cecil did not sell a lot of stuff from his studio, and did not swap a lot. And my mother kept absolutely impeccable records.”
In addition, the artist had distinctive methods and tools of working.
“There are all sorts of tell-tale signs that you can point to: his use of colour, his use of shading, the confidence of his mark-making and cutting, the way he mixed paint and the direction of ...
05
APR
11pm

Gunmen kill 15 Nigerian soldiers in attack on base, sources say

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, April 5 (Reuters) - Gunmen killed 15 Nigerian soldiers and wounded more than a dozen others during an attack on an army base in the northern state of Kaduna, two army sources said on Tuesday, in the latest attack on security forces by armed gangs.
The gangs, designated as terrorists by the government, have caused havoc in northwest Nigeria by attacking villages, towns and schools and kidnapping hundreds of students.
An army officer at the military base in the town of Birnin Gwari in Kaduna told Reuters that gunmen on motorbikes used rocket-propelled grenades and other heavy weapons during an attack that lasted more than two hours on Monday evening.
Eleven soldiers died during the attack while 19 were injured and taken to three different hospitals in Kaduna. Four soldiers later succumbed to their injuries, the officer said.
“These are not ordinary bandits I know that we are fighting. The bandits took away several weapons from our base,” said the officer, who declined to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
An army spokesman did not respond to several calls and messages on his mobile phone on Tuesday.
Birnin Gwari shares a border with the states of Zamfara and Niger, which are among the hot spots of armed gangs.
Another soldier at the Kaduna base said three military vehicles were destroyed during the attack and several guns were missing from the armoury.
A situation report from the base to the army headquarters in Abuja seen by Reuters said the situation “is calm but highly unpredictable.”
Nigeria’s military is stretched as it fights an Islamist insurgency in the northeastern part of the country and the armed gangs in the northwest.
05
APR
11pm

Ivanka Trump Questioned for Eight Hours in Capitol Riot Probe

(Bloomberg) --The House panel investigating the Capitol insurrection questioned Ivanka Trump for eight hours on Tuesday, asking about her recollections of that day inside the White House with her father, former President Donald Trump.
By Billy House Apr 5, 2022, 5:10 PM – Updated on Apr 6, 2022, 2:38 AM Word Count: 276
Representative Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who chairs the committee, told reporters late Tuesday afternoon that “she’s answering questions.”
“I mean, not in a broad, chatty term, but she’s answering questions,” he added.
Ivanka Trump, who served as a senior White House adviser during her father’s presidency, testified virtually. She was not subpoenaed.
Her testimony follows last week’s interview by the committee of her husband, ex-White House adviser Jared Kushner. Kushner, who was traveling back to the U.S. from abroad when the riot began on Jan. 6, 2021, was questioned remotely for more than six hours by the committee.
Thompson declined to discuss specifics, but said her voluntary testimony has “obviously significant value.”
When asked if Ivanka Trump asserted executive privilege to avoid answering questions, Thompson said, “Not that I’m aware of.”
A spokesman for Ivanka Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Earlier: Kushner Gave Jan. 6 Panel ‘Valuable’ Information, Lawmaker Says
Thompson had previously written to Ivanka Trump requesting her voluntary cooperation “on a range of critical topics,” in a publicly released letter that pointed out other witness testimony placing her in the Oval Office during during some moments on Jan. 6 and the days leading up to it.
The panel sought to question her on conversations Donald Trump had on Jan. 6 with then-Vice President Mike Pence, and why quicker action wasn’t taken on to help stop the violence at the Capitol that day.
© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.
05
APR
11pm

Ukraine’s President Zelensky accuses Russia of worst war crimes since WW2 in UN speech

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the United Nations Security Council that 'accountability must be inevitable' for Russia, accusing invading Russian troops of committing 'the most terrible war crimes' since World War 2.
President Volodymyr Zelensky showed a short video of burnt, bloodied and mutilated bodies, including children, in Irpin, Dymerka, Mariupol and Bucha, where Ukraine accuses Russian troops of killing hundreds of civilians.
Russia’s UN Ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, then told the UN Security Council that Russian troops are not targeting civilians, dismissing accusations of abuse as lies. He said that while Bucha was under Russian control “not a single civilian suffered from any kind of violence”.
Zelensky questioned the value of the 15-member UN Security Council, which has been unable to take any action over Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine because Moscow is a veto power, along with the United States, France, Britain and China.
“We are dealing with a state that turns its veto at the UN Security Council into the right to [cause] death,” Zelensky said in a live video address from Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, urging reform of the world body. “Russia wants to turn Ukraine into silent slaves.”
Russia says it is carrying out a “special military operation” that aims to destroy Ukraine’s military infrastructure and “de-Nazify” it, and denies attacking civilians. Ukraine, a parliamentary democracy, and Western countries say Moscow invaded without provocation.
Russia’s partner China, which has abstained on most UN votes since the war started, was “deeply disturbed” by the images of civilian deaths in Bucha, said China’s UN ambassador, Zhang Jun, calling for verification of what happened.
India, which relies heavily on Russia for military hardware and has also abstained on UN action, condemned the killings in Bucha and called for an independent investigation.
Russia’s Nebenzia said: “We are not shooting against the civilian targets in order to save as many as civilians possible. This is precisely why we’re not advancing as fast as many expected.”
‘SHOW BACKBONE’
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said responsible world powers and global leaders need to “show backbone – and stand up to Russia’s dangerous and unprovoked threat against Ukraine and the world”.
“No one can be a shield for Russia’s aggression,” she said as Washington pushes to suspend Russia from the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council.
The 193-member UN General Assembly in New York is likely to vote on the move to suspend Russia on Thursday, diplomats said. A two-thirds majority of present ...
05
APR
6pm

A guide to the new Covid rules, what you can and can’t do

Despite the National State of Disaster in South Africa coming to an end at midnight on Monday, certain coronavirus regulations and policies will remain in place for the next 30 days. Daily Maverick has put together a guide to help readers with the dos and don’ts of the post-disaster transition.
The National State of Disaster in South Africa was lifted by President Cyril Ramaphosa as of midnight on Monday, but certain elements of the regulations will remain in place for 30 days to ensure post-disaster recovery and rehabilitation. These transitional provisions are intended to ensure essential public health precautions and the uninterrupted continuation of necessary services until new National Health Act regulations for managing the pandemic come into effect.
“What this means is that all regulations and directions made in terms of the Disaster Management Act following the declaration of the National State of Disaster in response to Covid-19 are repealed with effect from midnight [on Monday], with the exception of a few transitional measures,” clarified Ramaphosa during his statement on the termination of the National State of Disaster.
In light of current confusion around which regulations remain in place, Maverick Citizen has put together a guide to answer readers’ questions on the post-disaster transition.
Do I need to wear a mask?
A face mask is not required when outdoors. However, people still need to wear masks in indoor public spaces, with the exception of children under six years old.
“This is necessary to prevent transmission in high-risk places, especially while many people remain unvaccinated,” said Ramaphosa.
As such, no person may use or operate any form of public transport, nor enter any building or premises in which members of the public obtain goods or services, without a mask, according to a government notice issued by the Department of Cooperative Governance on 4 April. So you cannot go shopping without a mask.
In a Q&A session with journalists on Tuesday Nkosazana the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Dlamini-Zuma said that it was ‘in our own hands’ to follow the regulations individually and collectively, as the State of Disaster had passed. This means there is no criminal enforcement anymore, as Ramaphosa also said there was no longer ‘criminalisation of non-adherence to these rules’, but people should do it out of a will to avoid the situation getting worse in future.
The artists, the forgers and the murky market of fake art in South Africa
Do I need to ...
05
APR
6pm

As refugee central, Ukraine’s Lviv lives between air-raid sirens and flashing blue lights

Refugees are now totalling a quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people. Lviv’s population alone has swelled from 700,000 to over a million people. In this, the second in a three-part series on the war in Ukraine, we report from Lviv as fighting rages in other parts of the country.
The third toast from a bottle of Texas Ranger whisky was made in silence and standing.
“It’s for our friends who have died in the wars,” explained Sasha, as he struggled to his feet in the small kitchen of his fifth floor apartment. His friend, the bearded Volodymyr, served in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan Province at the same time as Sasha served in Herat in 1984 when he was wounded for the first time.
He was shot while serving with Soviet forces against the mujahideen – the bullet travelled through both lungs, destroying the second, before exiting his back.
But that was nothing compared to his return to combat in 2014 in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, where he was born.
“Young people did not want to fight, so I joined to help,” he says, this time fighting alongside his son in a volunteer territorial defence unit, which lost 100 of its first 130 recruits in a bitter stand against Russian separatists.
Sasha, then 50, was badly wounded by a mortar round, spending two years in rehabilitation in a hospital in the US.
Today he walks with a stick. “At least it’s my leg,” he laughs about his injuries, unable to bend his knee.
With air-raid sirens wailing outside, he opens the door to his modest apartment, apologising. The entrance is taken up with boxes of food he is packaging for refugees, now totalling a quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million people. Lviv’s population alone has swelled from 700,000 to over a million people. The two-roomed apartment he shares with his older sister, Irana, also now provided a temporary home to Volodymyr and another former soldier, Sergei.
Refugees flock around Lviv’s central railway station – from Kyiv, Kherson, Kharkiv, Mariupol . these and other cities now a metaphor for a war fought in the 21st century with early 20th century tactics.
Ukraine’s economy looks like it is caught somewhere between being Western and emerging from a Soviet nightmare, stuck between 1972 and 2022. The Soviet slab-style housing towers which ring Lviv contrasts with the superb collection of classical and baroque architecture in the old town, designated by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, its shops ...
05
APR
6pm

SA’s fuel price goes up despite government’s levy cutback – but retailers soon able to sell for less

Despite the government reducing the tax on petrol, prices went up on Tuesday night, but a month from now petrol retailers will be able to sell at less than the government-specified price.
On 31 March, the government announced it would reduce the general fuel levy temporarily by R1.50 per litre. It’s an indication of how the oil price has been soaring that even this R6-billion tax bonsella was not enough to see a reduction in petrol prices when the new prices were announced on Tuesday.
So from Wednesday, 93-octane unleaded petrol will rise by 28 cents per litre and 95-octane will go up by 36 cents.
The reduction of the fuel tax will only last until 31 May, but the government is hoping that a big change in how retailers sell petrol will ease some of the pain motorists are feeling.
From 1 June, retailers will be allowed to sell 93-octane unleaded petrol below the price cap which the government sets. For decades, the government has set a price that petrol retailers were required to sell at and no discounts were allowed. The price was set according to a calculation based essentially on the oil price.
The question is whether or not retailers will take the opportunity to do so. Petrol retailers contacted on Tuesday said they had not yet had a chance to discuss the issue.
The artists, the forgers and the murky market of fake art in South Africa
The new system has clearly taken petrol retailers by surprise. On the one hand, with petrol prices now at record highs, any retailer that sells below the price cap will get massive kudos from customers.
But on the flip side, the entire petrol retail industry has worked on the basis of what comes down to a set profit. Their business plans have been built around this system.
This has had some odd results. One is, arguably, a massive oversupply of petrol stations in SA.
There are about 5,000 service stations in South Africa, which collectively have an annual turnover of approximately R220-billion, and there are about 12 million cars on the roads in SA. In the UK for example, there are about 8,000 service stations, but it has roughly three times the number of cars on the roads than in SA.
What the petrol retailers have done in agreement with the government, in exchange for what is effectively a state-sanctioned level of profit, is to employ a huge number of ...

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