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Angelo Agrizzi
Agrizzi explains how Bosasa paid bribes amounting to millions
17 January 2019, 12:50 PM

Video evidence that has been viewed at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Parktown, Johannesburg, has shown Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson handling hard cash.

The facilities management company’s former COO Angelo Agrizzi has testified that the money was used to pay bribes.

He has revealed the extent of corrupt activities at the company saying Bosasa paid up to R6 million in bribes per month.

Agrizzi worked for the company for almost 20 years.

Agrizzi is using video footage to explain how the company paid bribes.

Bosasa CFO Andries van Tonder took the video. Agrizzi explained that the movements in it showed activities in the money vaults belonging to the company.

The footage also shows Bosasa CEO Watson, the company’s spokesperson Papa Leshabane and Johannes Gumede.

Agrizzi explains the process of paying bribes using distinctive money bags.

Click video below:

Christine Nxumalo
Esidimeni victims’ families angered by DA election billboard
17 January 2019, 12:13 PM

Esidimeni Family committee, Christine Nxumalo, says they are angry and disappointed by Democratic Alliance’s (DA) stunt to scrutinise its tragedy for political gain.

She says the billboard shows no empathy towards the families of the victims.

“We are offended by this and the DA used our pain for political gain. It’s about what they want and they have no right to put those names in their election post.”

This was after a billboard was put up outside the Johannesburg CBD with the words “The ANC is killing us” listing the names of all the victims of Marikana, Life Esidimeni and the children that have drowned in pit latrines.

However, the DA defended its election campaign billboard, saying the names that appear on the posters were already on the public domain.


Why al-Shabaab targets Kenya, and what can be done to stop attacks
17 January 2019, 10:03 AM

Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the terror attack in Nairobi in which scores of people were killed and injured. The question the terror attack raises is why the group continues to target Kenya. The Conversation Africa’s Moina Spooner and Julius Maina spoke to Brendon Cannon and Martin Plaut.

What is Al-Shabaab?

Brendon Cannon: Al-Shabaab is an Islamist terror group formed in Somalia in the first decade of this century. Its original leadership was affiliated with Al-Qaeda, having trained and fought in Afghanistan.

Al-Shabaab was originally dedicated to removing foreign influence from Somalia and bringing a strict form of Islamic governance to the country. At the height of its power, around 2008-2010, it controlled the capital, Mogadishu, and a sizeable territory south and west of the capital, including the ports of Merca and Kismayo.

Initially, al-Shabaab was a fairly hierarchical organisation and one, that despite ideological and tactical differences, was largely consolidated under Ahmed Abdi Godane aka Mukhtar Abu Zubair, the leader of the group when it attacked Westgate in 2013.

After his death in 2014, al-Shabaab has reportedly fragmented. This may partially explain the atomised group’s twin focus of attacks on both Somalia and Kenya. That is, Kenyan fighters trained by and loosely affiliated with al-Shabaab appear to be responsible for at least some of the attacks perpetrated in Kenya, particularly in the country’s northeast.

What’s its motive for attacking Kenya?

Brendon Cannon: The group began attacking targets outside Somalia in 2007. Its first attack on Kenyan soil was in 2008. The Kenyan government responded with force. In 2011, to “protect national security”, the country’s defence forces entered southern Somalia to create a buffer zone between al-Shabaab held territories and Kenya. In the process, the Kenyan forces captured the port of Kismayo and quickly joined troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia in battling al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab publicly states its attacks are in retaliation to the Kenya Defence Force’s incursion in Somalia. It also justifies them for nebulous reasons associated with international jihad.

But it’s also motivated to attack Kenya because of the benefits vis-à-vis recruitment and fundraising that are a partial byproduct of international press coverage. That is, front page news of the group’s attacks in Kenya inadvertently provides an outlet for al-Shabaab to showcase its attacks with few filters and to exploit such media stories in its own propaganda. The results of the deadly carnage often serve as prime recruiting tools in terms of foot soldiers and funding.

It also launches attacks because it can. The group has been able to exploit the absence of a strong government in Somalia and the 682 kilometre long porous border between it and Kenya for a number of years.

Since 2011 the group has lost territory in Somalia. Nevertheless, it continues to maintain the capabilities and is intent on inflicting significant damage in Somalia and Kenya. The attacks in Somalia have typically been small-scale, targeting the military and police. There have been some large incidents. For example in 2017 at least 300 people were killed when a truck packed with explosives detonated in the centre of Mogadishu.

Martin Plaut: The Kenyan invasion of Somalia in 2011 was undertaken for understandable reasons. But the decision to go ahead was taken against the advice of its international friends – including the US and its neighbour Ethiopia. The Kenyan army has attempted to establish Jubaland, partitioning the regions of Gedo, Lower Juba and Middle Juba from the rest of Somalia. It has met with little success.

This attempt to prevent al-Shabaab from establishing itself on the Kenyan border has become a mission too far, posing questions about how long it can be sustained and at what cost.

Why Kenya more than other frontline states?

Brendon Cannon: As highlighted in one of my recent articles, Kenya is attacked far more than Ethiopia or other eastern African states. This is because of highly rational reasons that are based on cost-benefit analyses and the presence of ample opportunities.

Kenya has high international visibility and its relatively free and independent media widely publicises terrorist attacks. Another factor is that Kenya has developed a lucrative tourist sector which provides soft targets.

Additional advantages are that there are a high number of Kenyan-born fighters within the group’s ranks that possess local knowledge. This has helped al-Shabaab perform attacks and maintain terror cells in Kenya. An expanding democratic space and high levels of corruption also mean that the group is able to exploit the country’s governance weaknesses when it comes to security.

All these variables help al-Shabaab plan and execute terrorist acts while fulfilling the group’s quest to survive by maintaining relevance.

What is your assessment of Kenya’s immediate response?

Brendon Cannon Reports on the latest incident are still fragmented. But, it seems that in terms of security there has been some progress since the Garissa University attack in 2015 and the attack on the Westgate Mall in 2013.

The response of Kenyan security forces, particularly the General Service Unit – a paramilitary wing in the National Police Service of Kenya – seem to have been timely and relatively effective.

The sad truth is that coordinated attacks – replete with suicide bombers, as well as heavily armed and motivated terrorists against relatively soft targets – are extremely difficult to thwart. No matter how professional and robust the security.

Martin Plaut: As Murithi Mutiga, of the International Crisis Group, has pointed out, previous attacks have seen Kenyan reprisals against its Muslim population. The authorities responded with blanket arrests of Muslims and indiscriminate crackdowns aimed at ethnic Somalis. This inflamed tensions and made matters worse. It’s vitally important that this mistake isn’t repeated. Only by uniting can Kenyans defeat the threat posed by these terrorist attacks.

What can Kenya do to address this menace?

Brendon Cannon: As terrible as this attack is, it’s worth noting that major commercial areas and tourist hubs have largely avoided attacks by al-Shabaab since 2013 –- until yesterday. This is all the more surprising because elements within al-Shabaab remain motivated and possess the capabilities to continue attacking Kenya.

I question the rationale of some politicians who advocate the Kenyan Defence Force’s withdrawal from Somalia as a way for Kenya to avoid attacks. After all, al-Shabaab attacked Kenya multiple times prior to 2011 when the KDF entered Somalia.

Moving forward, Kenya must attempt to tighten border control mechanisms, broadcast state power throughout the entire Kenyan landmass and re-energise its fight against al-Shabaab in Somalia: a fight that has slowed significantly since 2015.

This is a Herculean task and one that Kenya’s government and security professionals, given the nature and type of threat, should be commended for doing quite well since 2013.

Martin Plaut: Kenyans need to be patient and tolerant – to build links between their communities and to face the threat together. At the same time there needs to be a serious reassessment of Kenya’s role inside Somalia. There is little indication that al-Shabaab can be defeated by outside powers, even if it can be weakened.

The Somali government has failed repeatedly, most recently in preventing Mukhtar Robow, the former spokesman for al-Shabaab, from participating in elections. When the manner in which Robow was treated and was raised by the United Nation’s chief representative, Nicholas Haysom, he was declared persona non-grata, effectively expelling him from Somalia.

Mmusi Maimane
DA election billboard causes uproar
17 January 2019, 9:20 AM

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has defended the DA’s election campaign poster.

Maimane says its poster shows the struggles of the people of South Africa.

He continues to say that the names that appear on the posters were already on the public domain.

Meanwhile the African National Congress (ANC) has dismissed the Democratic Alliance (DA) election billboard which has the words, “The ANC is Killing Us” as desperate, fear-mongering and insensitive to the victims of Life Esidimeni and Marikana tragedies.

Maimane says the billboard is a memorial to those that died as a result of the African National Congress’s failures and a lack of care for people.

But the governing party says this is clear demonstration that the DA is becoming insignificant on the country’s political landscape.

The DA billboard which the party says serves to honour those that died as a result of the ANC’s failures and a lack of care for the people has drawn widespread criticism and caused outrage on social media.

The billboard put up outside the Johannesburg CBD lists the names of all the victims of Marikana, Life Esidimeni and the children that have drowned in pit latrines.

Some of the people tweeted claim that they are related to the people whose names are on the billboard and they were not told about the matter.

ANC acting spokesperson Dakota Legoete has labelled the DA’s move to put up the billboard as gutter politics.

“What the DA is doing now is just to rub salts in the wounds of the families which are trying to heal out of this particular tragedy and as the ANC we will look at our options and where possible we will approach the electoral court because this is dirty campaigning.”

Maimane’s interview ,Click video below:

Janusz Walus
Walus’ lawyer to return to court for his client’s freedom
17 January 2019, 7:14 AM

Janusz Walus‘ lawyer Julain Knights has indicated that he will return to court after his client’s application to be released on parole was denied.

Knight was unavailable on Wednesday afternoon when Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha announced that Walus would not be released on parole.

More than seven years ago, Walus received a positive recommendation from the Parole Board, however the Minister turned down his parole in 2013.

In 2015 there was another application for parole which Masutha reviewed. He ruled that placing Walusz on parole was not recommended at that stage.

Meanwhile, Masutha says it is within Walus’ rights to approach a court or tribunal if he feels aggrieved by the decision.

Walus is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of SA Communist Party (SACP) leader Chris Hani.

He was convicted of the murder along with the Clive Derby-Lewis.

Julain Knights says:”My position is always that any person who is aggrieved with any administrative decision taken by government or any other arm of state has every right to have their disputes settled in an appropriate court or tribunal and that obviously is the prerogative of the applicant in this matter.”

Click video below:

Elections 2019



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