8 January 2011

African National Congress (ANC) President Jacob Zuma delivers the traditional ANC January 8th Statement of the National Executive Committee on the occasion of the 99th Anniversary of the ANC in Polokwane, Limpopo.

4 March

Ace Magashule, Free State Province Premier, delivers his State of the Province address at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, Free State Province.

4 March

The Free State government is one of the main advertisers in The New Age. After the Free State Premier Ace Magashule delivers his state of the province address, The New Age, a Gupta owned family newspaper publishes a four-page supplement on the speech, written by reporters from the newspaper. The Gupta family subsequently becomes notoriously known for alleged corrupt activities with government officials across all spheres of government.

17 March

In 1999 a new directorate of the National Prosecuting Authority, the Directorate of Special Operations (Scorpions) was launched to ‘complement the efforts of existing law enforcement agencies in fighting national priority crimes’. At the 2007 ANC conference, delegates took a decision that the Scorpions should be disbanded. In 2008, Parliament passed the South African Police Service Amendment Bill that replaced the Scorpions with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), located within the South African Police Services (SAPS). In 2010 this was challenged in Hugh Glenister v President of the Republic of South Africa & Others. The key question in this case was whether the national legislation that created the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks (DPCI), and disbanded the Scorpions, was constitutionally valid. In March 2011 the Constitutional Court ruled that the legislation establishing the Hawks was unconstitutional and ‘invalid to the extent that it fails to secure an adequate degree of independence for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation.’ The Court gave the government 18 months to rectify the situation.

18 March

The Mail & Guardian newspaper reveals that one of President Zuma’s then-fiancées, Gloria Bongi Ngema, landed a plum job with the controversial Gupta family and that the president’s controversial friends may have facilitated his bride-to-be’s purchase of a R5.2-million home in the upmarket Pretoria suburb of Waterkloof.

26 March

The Chief Executive Officer of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Jimmy Manyi, announces that the government’s bi-monthly publication, Vuk’uzenzele, would be turned into a monthly newspaper with a print run of close to two million from 2011, and would become a fortnightly newspaper in 2012. Manyi did not rule out the possibility of turning Vuk’uzenzele into a daily newspaper. He said the commercial media would give government reason to turn Vuk’uzenzele into a daily by continuing to “censor” government information. Members of Parliament had complained that they had never seen Vuk’uzenzele in a constituency in the North West. Another member said that it did not reach many of the rural areas.

31 March

South African Police Services (SAPS) Crime Intelligence Head Richard Mdluli hands himself over to police and briefly appears in court after a warrant for his arrest in connection with the 1999 murder of Oupa Ramogibe is issued.

31 March

Complaints lodged with the National Anti-Corruption Hotline (NACH)—a public participation mechanism to report cases of corruption—involved more national departments than provincial departments or local governments. Out of the 719 complaints lodged, 375 (52,2%) complaints involved national departments. Municipalities were involved in 37 (5,1%) of the complaints lodged with the NACH. Provincial departments were involved in 307 (42,7%) of the complaints lodged.

13 April

Andries Tatane, is killed during a community protest against service delivery in the Setsoto Municipality in Ficksburg, Free State. Among other problems, the area had been battling chronic water shortages for years. Chaos erupted when residents demanded keys to take control of the troubled municipality. Tatane was among 4 000 protestors demanding a response from the municipality after they had handed over a memorandum of grievances a week earlier.  Residents went on the rampage and burned down offices of the Departments of Home Affairs and Public Works and a library. Public order police, armed with water cannons, batons and rubber bullets, clashed with the protestors. An unarmed Tatane was severely beaten with batons and shot at close range with rubber bullets. According to the charge sheet, one of the rubber bullets was fired directly at his chest and penetrated his chest cavity. Following his death, eight Free State policemen were arrested on charges of assaulting and killing Tatane. Of the eight policemen, two were charged with murder and the rest faced charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

9 May

At an ANC rally in Galeshewe, near Kimberly, Northern Cape, Julius Malema, African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) leader, makes anti-white people statements. He said, among other things, that “we must take the (whites’) land without paying. Once we agree that they stole our land, we can agree they are criminals and must be treated as such.” “They” (white farmers) are thieves. He called Helen Zille, the Leader of the Opposition, a “dancing monkey” from “monkey town”.

18 May

South Africa holds local government and municipal elections in 278 municipalities. With 57.6% voter turn-out, the ANC wins the highest number of seats and councils (198 councils and 5 633 seats) constituting 62% of the vote. The ANC fields 9 403 candidates, contesting 93.52% of the total number of seats, nationally. The Democratic Alliance (DA) is second with 18 councils, 1 555 seats and 23.9%.

30 May

President Zuma visits Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, in Libya. The President’s office said the main objective of President Zuma’s visit was to discuss with the Libyan leader, an immediate ceasefire, the delivery of humanitarian aid and the implementation of reforms needed to end the conflict in Libya. South Africa voted for the United Nations Security Council resolution authorising the use of force to protect civilians in Libya despite the AU's concerns.

31 May

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) finds South Africa's ambassador to Uganda, Jon Qwelane, guilty of hate speech for an anti-gay column he wrote before his appointment. Qwelane is ordered to apologize and pay a fine of R100,000 that the SAHRC will donate to a gay rights organization.

12 July

Journalist Jacques Dommisse calls Floyd Shivambu, ANCYL NEC member to speak to ANCYL president Julius Malema about a supposedly lavish three-day safari he took before the ANCYL’s elective conference in June 2011. Shivambu, according to a transcript of the recorded conversation, can be heard swearing at Dommisse.  Asked if he was swearing at him, Shivambu replied “yes”. He is also accused of using vulgar language on another journalist, Carien du Plessis via a SMS. du Plessis approached the Equality Court over the texts. The ANC’s National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) subsequently suspends his ANCYL membership.

2 August

The South African government agrees to a R2.5 billion loan to neighbouring Swaziland, just one quarter of the amount sought by King Mswati III to avoid his government's financial collapse.

2 August

Sindiso Magaqa, is charged for prejudicing the integrity or repute of the organisation, by making derogatory remarks about an NEC member thereby creating division within the ranks or membership of the ANC. The alleged misconduct was that he issued in the name of the African National Congress Youth (ANCYL) League a derogatory statement regarding Malusi Gigaba, a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and [former] Cabinet minister. Magaqa did not testify. The National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) found contents of the statement was derogatory and potentially defamatory in nature and constituted an unwarranted and unjustified attack on Gigaba. Magaqa’s ANCYL membership was suspended for a period of 18 months, suspended for a period of 3 years and was to be implemented if the respondent is found guilty of contravention within the said period. Magaqa was ordered to make a public apology to Malusi Gigaba.

7 August

A newspaper reports that former minister in the presidency Essop Pahad has broken all business ties with the controversial Gupta family. Pahad, a director of TNA Media owned by the Guptas, said he had resigned.  "It had nothing to do with any break-up. We're still friends," Pahad said. "I discussed it with them that I really didn't have the time and, [because of] my age, I would not be able to fulfil my responsibilities as a director." Pahad said he had given Atul Gupta his resignation. The Guptas were not happy and asked him to stay on, he said. The Gupta family, who are accused of being central to state capture, and a host of illegal activities, was seen as the billionaire clan's key Mbeki-era ally.

8 August

ANCYL members, Julius Malema, Ronald Lamola, Pule Mabe, Sindiso Magaqa and Kenetswe Mosenogi, are charged for deliberately disrupting a meeting of the ANC national officials and for undermining the Secretary General of the ANC on 8 August 2011. The ANC’s National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) found the members guilty as charged.

11 August

The government announces it has approved a National Health Insurance proposal aimed at overhauling dysfunctional public health facilities that serve more than 80 percent of the population. The National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme is to be piloted in 10 areas next year and rolled out nationally over 14 years.

30 August

ANCYL leaders (national and provincial), supporters and Gauteng school learners are bussed in to Beyers Naudé Square adjacent to the ANC’s Luthuli House. Roughly six thousand participated and caused havoc by throwing stones at police and the media, burning Zuma T-shirts and an ANC flag, and causing businesses to close shop. It is alleged that Malema orchestrated this revolt against the ANC.

9 September

A Pretoria regional magistrate sentences Robert McBride to two years imprisonment for driving under the influence of alcohol and an effective three years imprisonment for attempting to obstruct the course of justice. At the time, he was the head of the metro police force in the Ekurhuleni region, near Johannesburg. McBride was best known for his leadership of the cell that bombed the "Why Not" Restaurant and Magoo's Bar in Durban on 14 June 1986, an attack in which three white women were killed and 69 people injured. He was captured and convicted for the Durban bombing, and sentenced to death, but later reprieved while on death row. In 2011 the Constitutional Court found in The Citizen 1978 Pty (Ltd) and others v McBride 2011 (4) SA 191 (CC) that McBride may be called a murderer.

12 September

The Equality Court convicts Julius Malema, of hate speech and in effect bans the singing of the song, "Shoot the Boer.” The court found he has no right to sing "Shoot the Boer," a song some whites find offensive. The next day the ANC said it would appeal the decision.

21 September

Crime Intelligence Head Richard Mdluli hands himself over to authorities and appears in the Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on fraud and corruption charges. It is alleged that he used a crime intelligence fund to pay salaries and buy houses and cars for girlfriends and their relatives as well as his own relatives, who had been registered as covert intelligence operatives. He is released on a warning.

9 – 10 October

South Africa conducts its third census. Statistics South Africa (SSA) releases the results of its 2011Census, the third official census since the advent of democracy. It reveals that between the first and the most recent post-apartheid census the population grew by just over 11 million to 51.7 million and 79.6% of the population is black.

24 October

President Zuma appoints the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Fraud, Corruption, Impropriety or Irregularity in the Strategic Defence Procurement Package (known as the Arms Procurement Commission). The Commission is chaired by Justice Willie Seriti of the Supreme Court of Appeal, Judge Hendrik Thekiso Musi, then Judge President of the Free State High Court; and Judge Francis Legodi of the North Gauteng High Court. Judge Legodi resigned a few days before the Commission was to start public hearings, and the two judges continued with the work.

24 October

South African President Jacob Zuma, launches a major anti-corruption drive, sacking two ministers, suspending the police commissioner, Bheki Cele, with immediate effect pending the outcome of a board of inquiry into allegations of illegal conduct and naming a panel to probe a multi-billion-dollar arms deal. The President fires Cooperative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka and Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu Nkabinde from the Cabinet. Shiceka was suspected of spending 600,000 rands ($74,000) on luxury travel, including overseas visits to a girlfriend imprisoned in Switzerland for drug smuggling. The travel was not sanctioned. Zuma fired Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, who was implicated in the dodgy R1.78-billion police headquarters leasing deals, described as unlawful by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. ANC caucus spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo, said that she had resigned her seat in 2011.

26 October

Palestine’s bid to become a full member of the United Nations (UN) receives the full backing of South Africa. South Africa reaffirms its conviction that Palestine is a state that Palestine is a peace-loving state, and that Palestine is willing and able to carry out its obligations under the Charter of the United Nations.

10 November

The ANC’s NDC announces its verdict following disciplinary proceedings involving ANCYL members Julius Malema, Ronald Lamola, Pule Mabe, Sindiso Magaqa, Kenetswe Mosenogi and Floyd Shivambu for violations of the ANC constitution and for deliberately disrupting a meeting of the ANC National Officials and for undermining the Secretary General of the ANC on 8 August 2011. For these offences, membership of Julius Malema, Ronald Lamola, Pule Mabe, Sindiso Magaqa and Kenetswe Mosenogi is suspended for two years. The sanction is suspended for a period of three years and will be implemented if the respondents are found guilty of any contravention of the ANC`s Code of Conduct within the said period. Floyd Shivambu is also charged with three instances of misconduct. His membership is suspended for a period of 3 (three) years and he had to vacate his position as a member of National Executive Committee of the ANC Youth League for swearing at a journalist and for comments that were at odds with the ANC’s position on its relationship with Botswana. On the charge that he undermined the leadership of the ANC and provoked serious divisions he was found not guilty on Charge Two. Three more charges were levelled against Julius Malema: The first was for provoking serious divisions in the organization. The second charge is for bringing the organization into disrepute and the third charge was for sowing racism or political intolerance. He was suspended for five years and had to vacate his position as President of the ANC Youth League. On the charge for sowing racism or political intolerance statements at an ANC rally on 9 May 2011 in Galeshewe, Kimberley, Northern Cape. His membership is suspended for a period of two years.

22 November

The South African National Assembly approves the Protection of State Information Bill (POSIB) despite widespread opposition and question marks around its constitutionality. The vote went 229 in favour and 107 against in the 400-member House. There were two abstentions.

22 November

Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa announces South Africa's capital Pretoria will be renamed Tshwane by the end of 2012, with main roads also given names of anti-apartheid leaders.

28 November - 9 December

The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is held in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The conference agrees to establish a legally binding deal, comprising all countries by 2015, which was to take effect in 2020.

1 December

President Jacob Zuma unveils a plan to halve the number of HIV infections over the next five years. The new plan calls for stepped-up prevention efforts to halve new infections of HIV and tuberculosis by 2016 and to put 80 percent of eligible patients on anti-retroviral drugs to fight AIDS.

7 December

An investigation commissioned by the South African government into the UN oil-for-food programme in Iraq clears Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe of corruption. The probe was ordered by then President Thabo Mbeki in 2006, into what has become known in the country as "Oilgate", to look at allegations of kickbacks sourced by senior members of the ruling party from the State Oil Marketing Organisation of Iraq (SOMO).

14 December

The Specialised Commercial Crime Court provisionally withdraws fraud and corruption charges against Richard Mdluli (SAPS Head of Crime Intelligence) with no reason given. It later emerges that advocate Lawrence Mrwebi, national head of the specialised commercial crimes unit, instructed prosecutors Sibongile Mzinyathi and Glynnis Breytenbach to withdraw the charges, arguing that the ¬police and NPA had no authority to investigate intelligence matters and that the case should be handled by inspector-general of intelligence Faith Radebe.

20 December

A Limpopo ANC branch elects Julius Malema to a senior post in the party. An ANC disciplinary panel in November found Malema guilty of bringing the party into disrepute, and expelled him for five years. Malema appeals the suspension and is allowed to stay in the party pending a decision on his expulsion.


6 – 8 January 2012

The year-long African National Congress (ANC) centenary celebrations kick-off at the founding place of the ANC 100 years ago in Waaihoek, Mangaung, in the Orange Free State (OFS – now Free State Province). The weekend long activities are held from Friday 6th to Sunday, 8th January 2012. The ANC hosts an interfaith night vigil on 6 January, which Kings, Chiefs, Traditional Leaders, and leaders of the ANC and its allied partners attend.

6 January

On the evening the ANC hosts an interfaith night vigil to invoke the spirits of its founding fathers and mothers of our movement.

7 January

President Jacob Zuma hosts a Presidential centennial gala dinner at the Free State Province’s Vista University. In attendance at this dinner is the ANC leadership, Alliance partners, African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL), African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), traditional healers, stalwarts and veterans. A limited number of international guests attend the dinner.

8 January

The main celebration of the 100 years of the ANC is held in Mangaung, Free State. President Zuma delivers the ANC ‘s National Executive Committee (NEC) Centenary traditional January 8th statement. THE ANC’s NEC declares 2012 “The Year of Unity in Diversity”. The President announces the total number of ANC members is 1 027 389 members in good standing. KwaZulu-Natal leads with 244 900, followed by the Eastern Cape with 225 597. Gauteng 121 223, Limpopo 114 385, Mpumalanga 98 892, Free State 76 334, North West 60 319, Western Cape 43 397 and Northern Cape has 42 342. The NEC declares 2012 “the year of unity in diversity”. The ANC celebrated its 100th birthday this weekend with such revolutionary pursuits as a golf day and a prayer service. At the end of the mass rally on Sunday, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe proposed a toast and told the (by then half-empty) stadium that if they did not have champagne, they could take photographs of their leaders drinking, or raise clenched fists. “The leaders will now enjoy the champagne, and of course they do so on your behalf through their lips,” he said.

A National Centenary Task Team (NCTT) was formed whilst in all the Provinces and Regions, Provincial Centenary Task Teams and Regional Centenary Task Teams were established. The ANC commissions Satyandranath “Mac” Maharaj and Pallo Jordan to write the history of the ANC. The book is expected to be ready for publication before the end of the centennial year. The ANC undertakes visits to many countries including Germany, Russia as well as the United States of America to mobilize friends and allies who were also part of the International anti-apartheid movement. Apart from welcoming centenary coordinating structures in those countries as well as the support that those coordinating structures will give to the ANC, it uses the opportunity to thank the international community for the support it has given to the people of South Africa and the ANC.

11 January

The first media reports of non-delivery of textbooks to Limpopo schools emerge. A politically connected company, EduSolutions, is implicated for the non-delivery of textbooks at schools in the Limpopo province despite winning successive multi-billion contracts from different education departments. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) spokesperson Panyaza Lesufi confirms that the matter would be addressed urgently with “a minimum of disruptions”. 

25 January

The New Age reports that “extremely valuable and sensitive documents and surveillance material regarding the activities of international crime syndicates and local drug lords” were destroyed soon after Richard Mdluli, former head of Crime Intelligence at the South African Police Services (SAPS), is arrested in March 2011.

1 February

Glynnis Breytenbach, the prosecutor heading the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA’s) aborted fraud investigation into Ricahrd Mdluli, is given “notice of suspension”. The NPA says she will be given an “opportunity to motivate why she should not be suspended”.

2 February

The SECTION27 (an NGO) education team visits several schools in Limpopo and discover that poor learning and teaching conditions in Limpopo schools extends beyond the lack of textbooks – many schools had not received their funds for operational costs; sanitation conditions in some schools were shocking and the overall infrastructural conditions at many schools were very poor. Each school visited also confirms that textbooks have not been delivered.

7 February

The MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Nomusa Dube, tables, to a special full Council meeting, the report (commonly referred to as the Manase Report after the author who compiled it) on the findings and recommendations of the forensic investigations into allegations of fraud, corruption and maladministration in the eThekwini Municipality. The investigation was instituted by the COGTA. The report reveals R2.2-billion in irregular expenditure over a three-year period and implicates some high-ranking municipal officials and politicians. The MEC gave the Municipality 21 days to respond to the report and indicate how the Council intends dealing with this matter.

9 February

President Jacob Zuma, delivers the State of the Nation Address during the Joint Sitting of Parliament, Cape Town.

11 February

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) launches a new line of bank notes bearing the image of the first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, on the 22nd anniversary of his release from prison.

29 February

The ANC’s National Disciplinary Committee announces the outcomes of the disciplinary hearings of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) members, Floyd Shivambu, Sindiso Magaqa, and Julius Malema. The sanction in the case of Shivambu is that his membership of the ANCYL is suspended for a period of 3 years and he has to vacate his position as ANCYL NEC. Malema was expelled from the ANCYL and had to vacate his position as President of the ANCYL. Sindiso Magaqa membership was suspended for a period of 3 years.

29 February

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela reveals that Miriam Segabutla, the former MEC of health in Limpopo, was found to have “displayed improper conduct during her tenure”. Madonsela investigated Segabutla after a complaint in 2010 of tender irregularities relating to the procurement of services for the Limpopo health department. The complaint related to forensic investigation contracts awarded by the department to Trispen Solutions and Tsepo Technology Consulting. Tsepo's director, John William Lucas, was related to Segabutla, and Segabutla's attorney Gert van der Merwe was involved with Trispen. Madonsela said a perception could have arisen that Lucas might have been favoured in the selection process due to his close relationship with her. Under the circumstances, the MEC also created the perception that Van der Merwe was favoured in the selection process because he was her attorney. As Segabutla was no longer a member of the Limpopo executive council no appropriate action could be taken against her by the premier or the provincial legislature. She was appointed the South African ambassador to Cuba in August 2011, which meant she now worked for the international relations and co-operation ministry. Madonsela recommended that President Jacob Zuma reprimand Segabutla for unethical conduct and advise her on how to conduct herself in future.

9 March

The approval process for the procurement of 1064 locomotives commences when the case to purchase locomotives is tabled at the Transnet Freight Rail Investment Committee (TFRIC). The minutes reflected an Estimated Total Cost (“ETC”) of R38,146bn. Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), an NGO against maladministration and corruption, investigates maladministration and corruption in the contracts between Transnet (a South African government owned freight logistics company) and locomotive manufacturers. OUTA focusses on tracking the money flows in the kickbacks. Transnet ran three projects to procure locomotives for its fleet. These were the 95 locomotives project, the 100 locomotives project and the 1064 locomotives project. The 1064 project which results in billions of rands in kickbacks to the Gupta group of businesses. This project started in March 2012 and was to buy 1064 locomotives for freight trains, with 465 of them diesel and 599 electric locomotives. China North Rail (contracted for 232 diesel locomotives), China South Rail (359 electric), General Electric (233 diesel) and Bombardier (240 electric). By April 2013, the project was expected to cost R38.6 billion; Contracts were signed in March 2014 and Transnet immediately made an upfront payment of R7.37 billion. In May 2014, weeks after signing, the costs were revised, increasing to R54.5 billion, based on a recommendation by Transnet officials, Siyabonga Gama, Brian Molefe and Anoj Singh. The locomotives were all due to be delivered by 2018/19, but Transnet’s annual report for 2018/19 said that by March 2019, a total of 525 locomotives had been accepted into operations, with a further seven locomotives delivered and undergoing acceptance testing”. Only 107 locomotives were accepted during 2018/19, just half of the target of 216. Transnet’s 2018/19 report said that by March 2019, “the cumulative expenditure incurred on the 1 064 locomotive contracts amounted to R33.6 billion, with R3.9 billion invested in the current year. The report said the total spend on the 1064 contract, the 95 contract and the 100 contract and associated transaction advisory services was R41.529 billion, including R3.837 billion during 2018/19. The report also said it had recovered R618 million from CSR and was pursuing a further R86 million.  

20 March

South Africa’s Supreme Court rules in favour of the Democratic Alliance (DA) that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) must allow a review of a 2009 decision by its head, Mokotedi Mpshe, who dropped charges of corruption, racketeering, tax-evasion and money laundering against President Jacob Zuma.

20 March

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) orders Ms Nomgcobo Jiba, as acting National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), to hand over the record of all documents and material that formed the basis of the decision to withdraw corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma to the Democratic Alliance (DA). She did not comply with the order. However, on 12 April 2012 the state attorney, on behalf of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) headed by Jiba at the time, wrote to DA's attorneys two days after the expiry of the 14 days set by the SCA and indicated that they were in the process of preparing copies of the reduced record as indicated in the order of the SCA, that a list of documents was supplied, which it was alleged, constituted the reduced record and that the list was not in breach of the confidentiality.

26 March

A probe into tender practices by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry leads to concerns of irregularities being covered up. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson was using the inquiry as a means of halting discussion in the media and parliament around the awarding of multimillion-rand tenders to Sekunjalo and Smit Amandla. An internal report by the department raised questions about the awarding of an R800-million contract to Sekunjalo to police illegal fishing along the South African coast.  Among the revelations that emerged was the fact that Sekunjalo had allegedly submitted four bids under different names for the same tender, and that the company owned a fishing fleet. Sekunjalo defends its tender process saying that the department was aware that it had made all four submissions and that it owned a fishing fleet.  Sekunjalo’s preferred bidder status was withdrawn after questions were raised about the tendering processes and procedures followed by the department. Issues around the awarding of the latest tender to police South Africa’s marine resources was further complicated by the minister’s announcement in parliament that existing service provider Smit Amandla Marine, whose contract ends on 31 March2012, was not appointed in an open tender process.

29 March

Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana, is said to have reacted abusively to an airline staff member when told it was not possible to be upgraded to business class. She was furious because SAA crew wouldn’t upgrade her ticket from economy class to business class on a night flight from Accra in Ghana to Johannesburg. A fellow passenger said he saw how Xingwana yelled at a white air hostess: “Shut up! Shut up! Is it because I’m a k-----?” Business class was apparently full. When the air hostess tried to calm her down, Xingwana apparently said: “But I’m a stakeholder in this company.” She was offered a seat in the front row of economy class. SAA spokesperson Dilesang Koetle confirmed the incident and apologised for being unable to upgrade the minister. Xingwana’s spokesperson Cornelius Tanana Monama denied that the minister had yelled at anyone and denied that she had used the k-word. He also said she never said anything about being an SAA stakeholder. He said she had politely requested to be upgraded and had been shocked by the rude and disrespectful behaviour of the SAA staff member.

31 March

As at this date, 415 National Anti Corruption Hotline (NACH) cases were lodged with the Public Service Commssion (PSC) of which 321 were carried over from the previous financial years and 94 were lodged during the 2011/12 financial year.

4 April

The National Disciplinary Committee sanctions ANCYL suspended leader Julius Malema with immediate effect, banning him from all party activities. The suspension of Malema comes into effect.

17 May

Following an urgent application brought by SECTION27, relating to the failure by the DBE and the Limpopo Department of Education (LDE) to procure and deliver textbooks to schools across Limpopo for the "first half of the 2012 academic year”. Judge Jody Kollapen (North Gauteng High Court) orders the DBE and LDE to commence the delivery of textbooks by 31 May 2012 and to complete delivery of textbooks by 15 June 2012. He also orders the submission of a catch-up plan for grade 10 learners by 8 June 2012, and monthly reports detailing the progress in implementation of the catch-up plan.

23 - 25 May

The Global African Diaspora Summit is held in Johannesburg, Gauteng. The summit, which is attended by 64 heads of state, is hosted by the African Union (AU) in partnership with the South African Government and took place under the theme “Towards the Realisation of a United and Integrated Africa and its Diaspora”. The summit is preceded by an African Diaspora Ministerial Meeting in Pretoria.

12 June

President Jacob Zuma sacks Police Commissioner, General Bheki Cele, for alleged fraud and corruption in handling of leases for police headquarters that were signed at far above market rates. General Cele was found guilty for maladministration and found unfit for the office of National Police Commissioner by Justice Jake Moloi’s independent investigation Inquiry in May 2011.

12 June

Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is appointed Minister of Defence and Military Veterans. Prior to this she was Minister of Correctional Services from 11 May 2009 to 12 June 2012.

14 June

South Africa’s new national police commissioner, General Magwashi Victoria Phiyega, addressed members of the media for the first time at a press conference in Pretoria. Phiyega’s appointment, announced by President Jacob Zuma earlier in the week came as a surprise as she is not from within the ranks of police, raising concerns about her lack of experience. At the media briefing she asked South Africans for time to prove that she is up to the task. “Judge me on my performance,” she said. “I do want to say to South Africa, give me a chance. I do have something to offer.” She also dismissed scepticism about her ability to lead the police service. “I have never been a police officer, but you don’t have to be a drunkard to own a bottle store,” she said.  

29 June

President Jacob Zuma delivers the closing address at the 2012 ANC National Policy Conference in Gauteng. The fourth policy conference engages with various organisational and policy issues to finalise recommendations to the 53rd national conference in Mangaung in December.

11 July

Humphrey Mmemezi, resigns as MEC for housing and local government in Gauteng ahead of a pre-empted dismissal by Premier Nomvula Mokonyane. Among transgressions found by the premier against Mmemezi was a purchase – for R10 000 – of a painting at a McDonalds outlet, as well as his inability to report damage made to his official vehicle, among others. Reports in The Star, a newspaper, on his government credit card spending spree also surfaced. The instruction to resign came after the party’s integrity committee, under chair Baba Alexander Mbatha, found the MEC guilty of abusing his state-issued credit card and tarnishing the image of the ANC in Gauteng. Mbatha – a senior ANC Veterans’ League provincial chairman – in his report to Mashatile, found no evidence to exonerate Mmemezi and save his political career. The ANC was also aware that the Gauteng provincial legislature’s integrity commissioner, Dr Ralph Mgijima, has drafted a damning report against Mmemezi. It found that he had conducted himself improperly while holding public office. The ANC was also aware that Premier Nomvula Mokonyane’s own investigation recommended his expulsion for bringing her office into disrepute. The ANC instructed him to resign before Mgijima presented his damning report to the legislature. Mmemezi announced his resignation on Wednesday to avoid further embarrassment. In return, he keeps his seat in the legislature. Mmemezi acknowledged some misconduct, but denied other allegations, like the abuse of a state vehicle. He apologised and said he had “fully refunded” the government “long before” the matter became public.

12 July

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) suspends one of its ambassadors alleged to have accepted a multimillion-rand bribe to help MTN, a cell phone company, secure a lucrative operating licence in Iran in 2005. Both the official and the cell phone giant have denied the claims. Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela confirms that the department had suspended former ambassador to Tehran (presently the ambassador to Oman), Yusuf Saloojee, following claims he accepted a R1.65-million bribe to facilitate the MTN-Iran deal. International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane confirmed that her department did not receive a request from Saloojee for permission to do paid work outside his official duties. Although suspended, Saloojee is still an employee of the department.

15 July

The African Union (AU) elects Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its chairperson, making her the first woman and South African to lead the organisation. She takes office on 15 October 2012.

16 July

Former Rustenburg mayor, Matthew Wolmarans, and his bodyguard, Enoch Matshaba, are released on bail after being granted leave to appeal. In July 2012 they received sentences of 20 years and life respectively for the 14 March 2009 murder of Moss Phakoe (ANC) Councillor in the North West Province. The North West High Court sets aside the conviction and sentences of Wolmarans and former mayoral bodyguard Matshaba for Phakoe’s murder. Wolmarans was jailed for 20 years and Matshaba was sentenced to life in prison in July 2012. A few days before he was shot in front of his house in 2009, Phakoe is understood to have handed a dossier on corruption in the Rustenburg local municipality to senior ANC officials including President Jacob Zuma. Despite their arrest and imprisonment, Wolmerans and Matshaba were still getting paid by the municipality. Although Wolmarans stepped down as mayor, his contract was still in force and he was being paid R35 000 a month.  Since the ANC North West provincial committee never expelled the former mayor, although it was instructed to do so by the national executive, Wolmarans has been allowed to sit in jail and draw a salary.

23 July

Auditor-General Terence Nombembe tables his 2010-11 general reports on audit outcomes of local government in parliament where he spoke of a “growing trend of irregular expenditure” in supply chain management. He gave a grim view of financial management at local government level this week, with just 30% of municipalities making progress in addressing internal control disciplines. Nombembe said he “remains concerned about 70% of municipalities where the basics of key controls have not yet been mastered”. A total of 13 municipalities – a mere 5% of the country’s total – received clean audits in 2012, six more than last year. They are in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Western Cape. No municipalities in Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Northern Cape or North West received clean audit reports. And just four municipal entities registered clean audits, down from 10 last year. Almost half of audited municipalities – 156 out of 343 or 45% – received financially unqualified audit reports, but with internal control concerns. And they were only obtained after corrections were made during the audit process, and with the assistance of the auditors, Nombembe said. Financially qualified reports were received by 18% of municipalities; 19% received adverse opinions or disclaimers; and 13% of municipalities, in North West, Northern Cape and Western Cape, had not submitted financial statements in time for auditing. Nombembe blamed the slow progress in getting clean audits in local government on three causes. Firstly, 57% of municipalities showed a slow response to messages from the auditor-general and the implementation of key controls. Secondly, there was a lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions at more than 70% of auditees; and 72% of auditees showed a lack of minimum competencies of officials in key positions, most evident in the financial discipline. The lack of skills was evident in the many errors that needed to be corrected by auditors during the audit, “despite consultants that were brought in to assist municipalities having increased from 86% last year to 91% of municipalities in 2011”. 

24 July

Attacks against foreigners in 2012 are part of a changing pattern connecting legitimate protests to xenophobic violence, Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in SA spokesperson, Gwada Majange, said. Some of the six reported incidents in 2012 were examples of a new type of xenophobic attack. They originated from protests about service delivery or unemployment. The six reported attacks in this year had resulted in the injury of at least eight victims, with 42 shops and businesses burnt or looted, 273 people arrested and more than 600 displaced. The first one was in February, when eight foreigners were assaulted in Doornkuil, near Johannesburg. The men, from Zimbabwe and Malawi, were sleeping in their shack when five youths armed with knobkerries and clubs attacked and robbed them. This was followed by four nights of looting around Thabong, in the Free State. More than 20 businesses, mostly owned by Bangladeshis, were looted and 42 people were arrested. These attacks began as unemployment protests, after some local youths were unable to get jobs at Welkom's mines. The protests soon spread to surrounding localities, including Mshenguville and Themba. Over three days in Kutloanong resulted in damage to 16 businesses and seven arrests. Police had to escort foreigners out of the area. A strike by miners at the Impala mine near Phokeng, in North West, culminated in an attack that resulted in 32 shops being looted and almost 100 foreigners displaced in nearby Freedomville. Almost 130 people were arrested. In May 2012, residents of Phagameng township near Modimolle, in Limpopo, attacked and looted shops owned by Pakistanis and Ethiopians. About 30 foreign families were displaced and over a hundred people were arrested. This was sparked by the arrest of a Pakistani man for the alleged killing of his South African girlfriend. The Free State was again the location of xenophobic attacks a month later when businesses and homes owned by Somalians, Chinese and Ethiopians were looted and burned in Botshabelo. Over 500 people were displaced in these attacks and more than 100 had been arrested by the time the violence died down. Another attack flared up with the petrol-bombing of shops owned by foreigners in Beacon Valley, in the Western Cape. Police said four tuckshops owned by two Bangladeshis, a Somali and a Pakistani were set alight within minutes of each other. One person was injured. Majange said the incidents in Free State, where xenophobic attacks followed protests against unemployment and the strike by miners, were an example of the new type of xenophobic attack. "It seems these non-nationals are being used as scapegoats for bigger issues that people are trying to challenge," she said. However, she added that at least one of the xenophobic attacks this year was linked to simple extortion and organised crime. Majange said the spaza shop owners in Beacon Valley appeared to have been attacked as the result of a protection racket run by local gangs. She said this came from a perception that it was easier to get away with a crime against a foreigner.

28 July

Members of a white extremist group are found guilty of high treason and plotting to kill former President Nelson Mandela and trying to overthrow government. The "Boeremag" organisation had planned a right-wing coup in 2002 to overthrow the post-apartheid government by creating chaos in the country.

16 August

Police open fire on workers at a platinum mine in Marikana, killing at least 34 people, and leaving at least 78 injured and arresting more than 200 others. Prosecutors drop murder charges in September against 270 miners after a public outcry, and the government sets up a judicial commission of inquiry into the massacre in October.

18 August

Ms Nomgcobo Jiba, as acting National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), issues written authorisation to have Major General Johan Booysen charged with contraventions of the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act. Booysen successfully challenged the authorisation stating that Jiba was "mendacious".  Judge J Govern stated Jiba signally failed to comply with the NPA 's Code of Conduct. More pertinent to this application, the statements made by Jiba under oath were untruthful. As such her conduct indicates that she is not a fit and proper person to practice as an advocate. Booysen was the head of the Cato Manor Organised Crime Unit in the South African Police Services. Members of the police in his unit and under his command had allegedly committed crimes of serious nature including murders against suspects who were sometimes framed in the commission of offences. Booysen knew, approved and or ought to have known of the commission of these offences. In reward to the members' unlawful activities, Booysen motivated for an incentive of R10 000.00 for each of the 26 members of the Cato Manor Crime Unit including Booysen himself. Booysen was also commended for outstanding services rendered in that he 'was part of a team, who through their commitment and dedication, arrested several crime and dangerous suspects for the murder of a police officer'.

29 August

An assassination attempt, is reported, on Mzimasi Ngexe, ANC member and local leader in Port St Johns, Eastern Cape, who is said to be part of an “anti-Zuma” faction. 

26 September

Former ANCYL president, Julius Malema, is charged with money laundering over a government tender awarded to a company partly owned by his family trust. Malema says the case is a politically motivated attempt to silence his campaign against President Zuma, in particular, over the Marikana massacre.

12 October

President Jacob Zuma addresses the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) National Conference. Among other things, he says, “It also reminds us to be objective in determining who should lead and what qualities are needed to lead effectively at each given historical epoch, to safeguard the principle of collective leadership, democratic centralism, and to commit to progressive internationalism. - - -To do all this we must remain true to the traditions of MK, to achieve one singular objective, the unity of the ANC and the revolutionary alliance partners, including the Leagues and the mass democratic forces.”

15 October

South Africa’s Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma officially takes charge of the African Union, the first woman to assume its top leadership.

25 - 28 October

The final declaration of the Third International Solidarity Conference of the African National Congress (ANC), held in Pretoria (South Africa) under the theme "United for a progressive, better world", calls on progressive forces to "unite on the urgency of advancing the aspirations of the peoples of Western Sahara towards a free and fair referendum", asking the United Nations (UN) Security Council to include human rights monitoring in occupied Western Sahara. The Declaration spoke about the peoples and nations still struggling and fighting for recovering their rights, expressing in particular solidarity with the Saharawi, Palestinian and Cuban peoples. 

7 December

Dudu Myeni is appointed as acting chairperson of the Board of South African Airways (“SAA”). Subsequently, in 2020, Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) and the South African Airways Pilots Association (SAAPA) file papers at the North Gauteng High Court to declare Myeni a “delinquent director”. It is alleged South African Airways (SAA) lost R10.6 billion of taxpayers’ money in five years under the leadership of Myeni due to unethical financial practices

16 December

Four white men are arrested and face treason and terrorism charges over an alleged plot that include plans to attack the ANC party conference in Mangaung, Free State and kill President Jacob Zuma and others

16 - 20 December

The ANC`s 53rd National Conference is held in Mangaung, Free State.  The conference is attended by 4,500 voting delegates, representing thousands of branches in the country. Jacob Zuma is re-elected President of the ANC He wins with 2 983 votes. Zuma ran against his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe to lead South Africa’s ruling party. Delegates cast 3 977 ballots. There were two spoilt ballot papers and one abstention. The ANC’s new Deputy President is Cyril Ramaphosa. He wins with 3 018 votes. The other two contenders are Tokyo Sexwale (463 votes) and Mathews Phosa (470 votes). There were 13 spoilt ballots and 13 abstentions. The National Chairperson is Baleka Mbete (3 010 votes). She beat Thandi Modise who got 939 votes. Five ballots were spoilt with 23 abstentions. Gwede Mantashe is re-elected Secretary General. He went up against Fikile Mbalula for the position. Mantashe received 3 058 votes and Mbalula 901 votes. There were six spoilt ballots and 12 abstentions. Jessie Duarte got the Deputy Secretary post which was not contested. The Treasurer-General is Zweli Mkhize who won with 2 988 votes. He beat Paul Mashatile (961 votes). There were six spoilt ballots and 22 abstentions.   


Source: Zuma, Malema and the provinces: factional conflict within the African National Congress by Ian Cooper, Transformation 87 (2015), p152. Accessed 21 March 2022

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