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16
AUG
4pm

Police PPE corruption balloons to R8.5m as Investigating Directorate uncovers more dodgy contracts, suspects

An initial probe by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate into allegations of corruption surrounding the procurement of PPE for the SA Police Service revealed wasteful expenditure of R1.9-million. That was in February. Six months later, that amount has jumped to R8.5-million.
The new figures were revealed by the Investigating Directorate’s (ID’s) national spokesperson, Sindisiwe Seboka, after the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court deferred examination of the SA Police Service’s personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts and procurement of plumbing materials to 13 October 2022 to allow the defence to consult.
The new figure for wasteful expenditure was uncovered following the ID’s initial probe.
“The matter was initially enrolled as a R1.9-million case, but has now escalated to R8.5m with two further contracts amounting to R4.1m and R2m, respectively, and a plumbing materials contract for R120,000,” Seboka said.
The cases arises from charges of corruption, theft, fraud and forgery against the former head of the police supply chain, Brigadier James Ramanjalum, and 14 others.
They are charged with having unlawfully benefitted from the supply of latex gloves to the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Read more in Daily Maverick: “Two of 15 accused in police PPE fraud case denied bail”
Following an investigation by the ID, Ramanjalum and his 14 co-accused were arrested on 7 February 2022 for allegedly enabling a supplier to unduly benefit from the procurement of latex gloves in April 2020 for the police nationally.
On Ramanjalum’s role, the State contends he is guilty of receiving unauthorised gratification and playing a significant role in the alleged PPE corruption.
Six months later, further investigations by the ID have resulted in more accused joining the original 15 in the dock. The new accused are Abigayke Essau, Prinesh Naidoo, Jane Mthembu and two companies, Impokane General Trade and Distribution and Imbobezi Enterprises. There are now 26 accused facing these charges.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
“The arrests follow an investigation into the capture of the SAPS procurement and supply chain to aid front companies to score lucrative contracts and facilitate kickbacks to SAPS senior officials,” Seboka said.
Ramanjalum, Seboka added, after twice failing to be granted bail, has notified the court that he plans to apply for bail for a third time in the Commercial Crimes Court based on new facts.
Read more in Daily Maverick: “Former SAPS boss denied bail because of alleged assassination plot”
Along with former national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane and his co-accused, Ramanjalum ...
16
AUG
4pm

Premier shuffles Eastern Cape cabinet ‘with eye on ANC December conference’, says opposition

Two Eastern Cape MECs have been axed and several political heads of struggling provincial departments have been shifted around. Opposition parties claim the reshuffle has nothing to do with service delivery and that Premier Oscar Mabuyane is simply ‘cleaning house’ before the ANC’s elective conference at the end of the year.
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has dismissed the MEC for transport and community safety, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe, and the MEC for sport, recreation, arts and culture, Fezeka Nkomonye. He also appointed a veteran municipal manager as the political head of the province’s struggling municipalities.
This comes after Mabuyane’s main rival in the ANC’s recent provincial council elections, Babalo Madikizela, had requested to be released from his position as the MEC for public works and infrastructure.
Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, Mabuyane said the cabinet shuffle was triggered by Madikizela’s resignation, as “this necessitated that I undertake an intense process of finding a long-term solution of filling the vacancy to the conclusion of this term. we are halfway through the term of the 6th administration.
“Our prize at the end of this term is the achievement of the ANC 2019 manifesto commitments. We want to go bafck to our people in 2024 and say we achieved what they sent us to do.”
In a province with scores of municipalities either on the brink of collapse or having already collapsed, debilitating strikes affecting water security and a high number of initiate deaths, Mabuyane has appointed veteran municipal manager Zolile Williams — who was elected as the party’s provincial treasurer — to the portfolio of cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta). Under Williams’ watch, the Joe Gqabi District Municipality obtained several clean audits.
Williams, who was nominated from the floor at the conference, took the treasurer position from controversial politician Andile Lungisa who was convicted of assault and jailed in 2020 after hitting a fellow councillor over the head with a water jug during a heated council meeting in Nelson Mandela Bay. Lungisa, meanwhile, has won a seat on the ANC’s Provincial Executive Committee and will have his work cut out for him.
Dysfunctional municipalities
Of the 39 municipalities in the Eastern Cape, 11 are regarded as dysfunctional, 14 are regarded as high risk and only 14 as low risk.
With political instability, the serious threat of drought and Day Zero looming in the province’s biggest metro, former Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha had been unable to complete a systems change ...
16
AUG
4pm

AG slams failing Free State municipalities after no clean audit in 5 years

Not a single municipality in the Free State has received a clean audit in the past five years. According to the Auditor-General, the province is in serious trouble.
‘Inaction by political and administrative leadership [in the Free State] continued to be a deliberate obstruction to municipalities’ effective functioning. The provincial leadership should be very concerned about this state of affairs,” said Auditor-General (AG) Tsakani Maluleke.
The AG made this finding in the 2020-2021 consolidated general report on the local government audit outcomes.
“Poor financial management disciplines and in-year financial reporting processes meant that none of the municipalities could prepare credible financial statements in 2020-21,” said Maluleke.
Outstanding audits
There were also seven municipalities in the province where audits were not completed “as a result of the late or non-submission of financial statements” by the submission date.
These municipalities are: Mafube, Masilonyana, Tokologo, Maluti-A-Phofung, Mantsopa, Nketoana and Kopanong.
While the AG’s office eventually received the financial statements of Mafube, Mantsopa, Nketoana and Tokologo municipalities between March and May 2022, and is busy with their audits, the financial statements of Kopanong, Maluti-A-Phofung and Masilonyana were still outstanding.
The 2019-20 financial statements of Maluti-A-Phofung are also still outstanding, according to the report.
“Municipalities did not have the discipline to submit their financial statements by the legislated date,” said Maluleke, adding that only 52% of municipalities submitted their financial statements on time, compared with 80% in the 2016-17 reporting period.
The AG said her office had to seek help from the relevant councils and the provincial leadership over the seven non-submissions, “but their response was ineffective”.
“We notified the responsible accounting officers and authority that the non-submission of financial statements constitutes a material irregularity, as delays in the accountability processes are causing substantial harm to these municipalities.
“The lack of transparency for the finances and performance of these auditees should not be tolerated by councils, provincial leadership or oversight,” Maluleke said.
Daily Maverick has published stories on the municipal audit outcomes of several provinces:
Levels of financial stress — The best and worst municipal performers in KwaZulu-Natal
Gauteng municipalities rack up R6.6bn in irregular expenditure in a single year
Laingsburg, Kannaland and Beaufort West still identified as troubled Western Cape municipalities
Northern Cape municipalities are in dire financial health and face collapse from unresponsive leadership
Audits in North West reflect ‘a worsening culture of (un)accountability in the province’
‘History of disclaimed opinions’
According to the AG’s report, “Four municipalities have a history of disclaimed opinions and their 2020-21 financial statements were not submitted or ...
16
AUG
3pm

Mining-affected communities protest outside Parliament demanding greater development

Activists from across South Africa have called on mining firms to adequately help the communities that host them.
Under the banner of Mining Affected Communities United, about 100 activists picketed, sang and toyi-toyied outside Parliament on Tuesday, while they waited for officials to receive their memorandum. But no official came.
The protesters had come from Limpopo, Free State, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and North West provinces.
They want the Department of Mineral Resources to see to it that mining communities are meaningfully consulted, and that prior and informed consent is received for mining operations, said Meshack Mbangula, national co-ordinator of Mining Affected Communities United in Action (Macua).
In a press release, Macua and Women Affected by Mining United in Action (Wamua) said, “In 2020, Macua and Wamua delivered 50,000 signatures of affected community members to Parliament . Throughout 2021, we have sent email after email, memorandum after memorandum”. But there has been no response from Parliament, the statement said.
“Mines must have continuous five-year plans to develop communities hosting them. The plans can include building clinics and schools,” said Mbangula.
Instead, he said, mining operations saw people “forcefully removed” and suffering disease caused by air pollution and water contamination.
“We need a permanent platform where we can continuously give reports to the Department of Mineral Resources about these problems and where we continuously hold mining companies accountable for mining-related problems,” he said.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
Macua general secretary Tokelo Mahlakoane said mining had stopped communities farming in Moroke Sekutlong and other areas in Limpopo.
“Before mining companies came, we used to farm and sell our veggies for a living, but we no longer do so because mining companies removed us from our land,” she said.
“We no longer use river water because it’s contaminated. I buy water from borehole owners for about R600 monthly.”
Mahlokoane said they also wanted mining companies to employ an equal number of women.
Members of the Alternative Information and Development Center, the Social Justice Coalition, Intlungu yaseMatyotyombeni Movement, the South African Federation of Trade Unions, Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education, and the Western Cape Pickers Forum also joined the protest.
Mbangula said he had communicated with the chair of the parliamentary portfolio committee for mineral resources and energy, Sahlulele Luzipo, and they would meet on Friday to discuss Macua’s grievances and demands. DM
First published by GroundUp.
16
AUG
3pm

Saftu and Numsa clash as national shutdown looms

Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim pulled the union out of attending a Saftu special National Executive Committee meeting and took aim at Saftu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi for what he perceived as interference in the union’s operations.
As the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) prepares for its national shutdown protest action on 24 August, the participation of its largest affiliate, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), hangs in the balance.
Numsa General Secretary Irvin Jim pulled the union out of attending the Saftu special National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, being held on Tuesday, and took aim at Saftu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi for what he perceived as interference in the union’s operations.
Numsa is the largest union in the country and contributes about half of Saftu’s 620,000 members.
On Tuesday, Jim sent a letter confirming that Numsa would not be attending Saftu’s meeting, because an agenda item would discuss the court challenge to Numsa’s recent elections and Numsa’s decision, subsequently overturned by the courts, to suspend its erstwhile second deputy president, Ruth Ntlokotse.
Mac Chavalala, when he was Saftu president, had attempted to suspend Vavi as Saftu general secretary in March. In May, Ntlokotse defeated Chavalala as Saftu president. This drew the ire of Jim, who supported Chavalala. Chavalala was later elected as first deputy president of Numsa in the disputed elections.
On Monday, a lawyer’s letter sent by Numsa’s attorneys attempted to kibosh any discussion at Saftu’s meeting about the legal tussles surrounding the recently interdicted Numsa National Congress. The letter claimed that since the court battle was under way, “Neither Numsa, nor Saftu, can in any way discuss the content of matters which are currently before the courts, since this would be against all legal principles.”
In response to the lawyer’s letter, Vavi implored Jim to review Numsa’s decision not to attend and said that since Saftu itself was not a party to the court cases, discussion of the matters was permissible.
There has been a series of increasingly tense exchanges between Jim and Vavi following Numsa’s National Congress.
On 4 August, Vavi wrote to Jim to request a meeting between Saftu and Numsa national office-bearers. Vavi wrote that Saftu was “extremely concerned about the developments before and after the congress” and that they “believe that an engagement with Numsa has become a matter of life and death for the federation and its biggest affiliate”. Vavi noted that a previous request for ...
16
AUG
3pm

Benefits of vaccines still far outweigh risks, say experts after J&J-related death

It was the first death in South Africa that has been causally linked to a Covid-19 vaccine, of which more than 38 million doses have been administered in the country.
The benefits of vaccines still far outweigh the risks, experts say following a recently reported death in South Africa linked to Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine.
The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) announced two weeks ago that the individual developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) after receiving the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. It is the first death in the country that has been causally linked to a Covid-19 vaccine.
Since the announcement, some groups opposing vaccines have taken to Twitter and other social media platforms using this extremely rare adverse event following immunisation as confirmation of their stance that vaccines are not safe. Local health experts have raised concerns that these groups may negatively affect vaccine uptake.
More than 38 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in South Africa, of which more than nine million were the J&J vaccine.
According to Sahpra, GBS is a rare condition affecting the body’s immune system. Symptoms of GBS can vary from mild to severe, and include muscle weakness, muscle pain, numbness and tingling. In many cases, GBS gets better with no serious after-effects but in some cases, GBS can become serious and cause paralysis and other serious or life-threatening problems. In the case of GBS-associated paralysis, an extended hospital stay and intensive care with ventilatory support might be necessary, which can subsequently be complicated by infection, which can be life-threatening.
A known risk
Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revised its fact sheets for the J&J vaccine. In a press statement dated 31 July 2021, the FDA said it had included information pertaining to an observed increased risk of GBS following vaccination.
The 2021 statement said there were about 100 preliminary reports of GBS in the US related to 12.5 million doses of the J&J vaccine. Of these, 95 were serious and required hospital admission. There was one reported death. The Australian government, in a vaccine safety report, said two deaths were linked to GBS following administration of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, which is not used in South Africa.
‘Very, very rare’
Professor Charles Wiysonge, senior director at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), says, “The one death in the 9,135,189 doses of J&J vaccine delivered in South Africa has to be seen in context. The ...
16
AUG
3pm

South Africa’s framework for a just transition fails to recognise the climate emergency

For almost three decades the ANC government failed to address the legacies of apartheid. We certainly do not expect it to rise to the challenge of ensuring a deep and transformative just transition, informed by climate justice.
South Africa needs a people-centred and deep just transition framework. Unfortunately, the recently released “Framework for a Just Transition in South Africa” by the Presidential Climate Commission fails to achieve this. Here’s why.
While the introduction to the framework acknowledges the urgency in climate science, it fails to recognise that we are living through climate extremes and their deleterious impacts. A more people-centred document would have been less technocratic in tone and acknowledged that we have had one of the worst droughts in the history of the country, extreme flooding in KwaZulu-Natal in April 2022 (among others) and even cyclonic impacts from extreme weather shifts in the Indian Ocean.
The “Climate Emergency and Crisis” is here.
Moreover, the document does not mention upfront that we are one of 10 climate hotspots in the world, with a doubling in our average temperatures compared with the global average. When the world overshoots 1.5°C in the next few years, we will be at a 3°C increase in temperature, according to our leading climate scientists. This is a major cause for concern and should have been foregrounded to underline the climate emergency challenge we face and the need to place the country on a climate emergency footing.
In short, this framework does not recognise the climate emergency and assumes South Africa is like any other country on the planet, facing a gradual, even and linear process of climate change. We are not. The worse it gets globally, the worse it will be for us in terms of shocks and risks to all socioecological systems that we need to survive!
South Africa’s carbon emissions
The introduction to this document has a glaring omission which runs throughout the document: a failure to acknowledge our carbon emissions. We are one of the most carbon-intensive economies in the world and in the BRICS. South Africa has used coal for more than a century and is considered the 12th-highest carbon emitter in the world, according to some studies.
Moreover, in a recent study by Oxfam, it is clear that the wealthy in countries have the largest carbon footprints and are largely responsible for the climate crisis.
South Africa is no exception. Our carbon footprint and intensity across different parts of the ...
16
AUG
2pm

A series of firsts in Colombia sparks new hope for building bridges across the Global South

It was a perfect storm that may have given way to a new era. Indeed, the South American country is undergoing many ‘firsts’. The new government is the first left-leaning administration in the history of the country with Gustavo Petro, a former guerrilla fighter at its helm. It is also the first time the country has an Afro-Colombian woman as vice-president, and possibly the first time a president highlights a desire to build bridges with Africa.
Last week, Colombia inaugurated its first left-leaning government in its history. This election follows an important period in the country with the signing of a peace deal that brought to an end 50 years of conflict, two years of unprecedented mass protests, primarily led by young people, and an election that almost saw someone dubbed the Colombian Trump elected as president.
Colombia is very much like South Africa – full of all the extremes of everything good and bad. Endowed with enormous natural and cultural wealth, both countries come from histories of conflict, and both have tried to use transitional justice to heal these wounds.
Colombia, after several false starts, commenced that process in 2016 with the signing of a peace deal between the government and guerrilla group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
Recently, we visited Ciudad Bolívar, one of the largest and most marginalised neighbourhoods in Bogotá, Colombia’s capital. The public impression, much like similar townships in South African cities, has been that it is a dangerous and inhospitable place; and while safety and precarious living conditions are indeed a reality, we also had the experience of a place born anew – from the way we entered its physical space to learning its history through a local museum guide who referred to it as a “self-built neighbourhood”, while explaining the political and social history of the area.
We travelled in a relatively new cable car installed in 2018 that gives residents quick access to the rest of the city, and which turned a two-hour journey on windy, congested roads into a 12-minute direct, aerial trip with incredible views of both the neighborhood and the city more broadly.
Seeing how far the city centre looked from Ciudad Bolívar put into perspective the enormity of Bogotá, but also provided a window into the election of a government emphasising the need to bridge this enormous gap – painfully visible from the cable car – between the rich and the poor. It ...
16
AUG
12pm

Farmworkers have a claim to the stolen land of their ancestors as reparation for generations of exploited labour

Farmworkers’ land aspirations are greater than producing food for themselves and their families; they see themselves as farmers in their own right, as workers of the land, as producers of food and as farmers of livestock, and they strongly believe in their ability to contribute substantially to domestic and continental markets. An effective land redistribution programme must support their ambition.
Growing up on a farm in Nyarha, in the Eastern Cape, I had a beautiful childhood. There was the innocence of childhood, just being a little girl running freely and playing with oonopopi (“dolls”), iraysisi (“racing”), undize (“hide and seek”), upuca (“the stones game”), and ugqaphsi (“jumping rope”). The sense of community, freedom and interdependence in communal living was another joy.
My parents could send me to a neighbouring homestead without any fear for my safety. My mother would often send me to the neighbour’s house to ask for igaqa le beef stock (“a cube of beef stock”) to season our food if she didn’t have any, or intwana ye swekile (“some sugar”) if she ran out.
The only time when I felt the absence of that freedom and the sense of belonging begin to dwindle was at the sight of the white owner of the farm on which my parents laboured. Instantly, I became overwhelmed by a great fear.
The fear was both a learned and taught behaviour; we were taught that it was a form of respect. While taking instructions from the farmer, my grandfather would be deferential, bowing his head to avoid eye contact. When my father heard the sound of the farmer’s motorcycle approaching, he would quickly hide his beer.
As a child, I found it peculiar when my father used to tell me that all of the vast farmland around eNyarha belonged to white people. None of the Black people had any land.
As an adult, I was enraged to learn that five generations of my family had worked for the same family, but we had no claim to that land whatsoever. I questioned why my family’s decades of labour bore fruit only for the wealthy white landowners and their descendants. I could not reconcile the story of five generations of hard labour with the life we were living: a life of poverty.
Farmworkers relate to the land with a sense of belonging and cultural heritage, often referring to it as umhlaba wookhokho bethu (“the land of our ancestors”). This phrase has ...
16
AUG
9am

Chaos in Khayelitsha as disorganised Sassa leaves disabled grant recipients standing in the rain

From 1 September South African Social Security Agency services will also be offered at the City of Cape Town’s Kuyasa office.
The closure of the main social grants office in Khayelitsha has caused chaos and confusion for beneficiaries being sent back and forth between offices.
The office was closed for maintenance in July with little to no notice given to hundreds of grant recipients. The building, which also housed the provincial Department of Social Development, is undergoing maintenance and is expected to reopen next year.
The closure caused beneficiaries from Khayelitsha to flock to surrounding Sassa offices such as Mitchells Plain. People told us they were not helped at the Mitchells Plain or Eerste Rivier offices despite being given dates and told by officials to be there.
Following public outcry, Sassa announced that it would be continuing its services at the Khulani Resource Centre opposite the Lingelethu West SAPS.
“Staff from the Khayelitsha Office were redeployed to other sites in the metro. A priority queue specifically for all clients from Khayelitsha was also established at these sites,” Sassa said in a statement.
When we visited the new temporary site, there were about 100 people queued in the rain and cold weather outside. Many of them had travelled to the new office after they were not helped at the surrounding offices.
We spoke to beneficiaries who asked that we withhold their names because they are scared it will affect the outcome of their grant applications.
A disability grant recipient told GroundUp that it was her third visit to a Sassa office that week without being assisted. She said she was worried that she may only be given new appointment dates instead of being assisted. “We’re waking up every morning just to get a date [from Sassa],” she said.
Another beneficiary said she went to the Eerste Rivier office when the Khayelitsha one closed. “I was sent back here. We’re not working. It cost money to go there.” This was her second day standing in line for help at the temporary Khayelitsha office.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
She said some people sleep outside on the pavement while others come as early as 2am to be among the first in line. “What about their health? It’s cold outside. It’s raining.”
Last week, GroundUp also visited Sassa’s Mitchells Plain office. People we spoke to had to travel long distances at an additional travel cost to get to the office. ...
16
AUG
9am

Tarnished lottery top brass Thabang Mampane resigns with ‘immediate effect’

The National Lotteries Commission was overwhelmed with corruption during the Commissioner’s tenure.
The Commissioner of the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) has resigned “with immediate effect” just weeks before her term expires at the end of September. This is according to several sources.
Thabang Charlotte Mampane served ten years as Commissioner — effectively chief executive officer of the NLC. Her first five-year contract was extended in September 2017.
The NLC has been overwhelmed with corruption over the past few years. GroundUp has uncovered hundreds of millions of rands of misspent Lottery funding on Mampane’s watch, and what we have reported is likely the tip of the iceberg.
Her resignation comes just over two weeks after we revealed that Lottery funding meant to build a Limpopo school razed by fire during a protest, had been used to pay for her luxury home in a golf estate.
The house, in the upmarket Pecanwood Estate, which abuts Hartebeespoort Dam in North West Province, is registered in the name of a trust in which Mampane and her husband, Samuel, are both trustees. The couple and their two adult children are all beneficiaries of the trust.
Mampane’s house is one of several that GroundUp has revealed was bought with Lottery grants meant to go to fund good causes, especially in rural and marginalised communities.
Mampane, who last year earned R4.5-million, went on leave on the same day that the GroundUp story was published.
We understand that Mampane was to face disciplinary action in connection with the use of Lottery money to purchase her house. It’s unclear what the effect of her sudden resignation will be on this process.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
Thendo Ramagoma, the former deputy of the NLC’s Arts and Culture distributing agency and current legal executive, has been acting as Commissioner since Mampane went on leave two weeks ago.
The purchase of the house is under investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), which has been probing corruption involving Lottery funds ever since President Cyril Ramaphosa signed a proclamation in October 2020 authorising the investigation.
Mampane was recently called in by the SIU to answer questions about the 2016 purchase of the house for R3.6-million. A few weeks afterwards GroundUp, which had been investigating the house purchase since receiving a tip-off last year, published its story.
Under Mampane, the NLC’s relationship with Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, who has oversight of the lottery, has been adversarial and ...
16
AUG
8am

Death threat – AK-47 bullets thrown at home of leading Mozambican activist

Professor Adriano Nuvunga, director of the Center for Democracy and Development, president of the Mozambique Human Rights Defenders Network and deputy chairperson of the Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network, has received a death threat.
In the early hours of Monday, 15 August 2022, two AK-47 assault rifle bullets were thrown at the front door of Nuvunga’s residence in Maputo, Mozambique.
The Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network (SouthernDefenders), which issued a statement on Tuesday condemning the attack, signed by 31 human rights organisations and 27 leading activists from seven countries across southern Africa, says “the bullets were partially wrapped in white paper with writing not possible to decipher in full but in which one of the phrases says, ‘WATCH OUT NUVUNGA’”.
It adds that Nuvunga has reported the threat to the police and that officers from Mozambique’s National Criminal Investigation Service (Sernic) collected the bullets and promised to investigate.
On Tuesday morning, in a message from Maputo, Nuvunga told Maverick Citizen he was “a bit scared” and that two years ago, following bomb threats, he had had to relocate his family to South Africa.
However, he was undeterred: “Today, this threat, with bullets and my name on it, is a cowardly threat. They aim at silencing me and stopping my and our work. But we are here to serve the people. We are here to fight injustice. We are here to fight against authoritarianism that is pushing millions of people to poverty. That is creating inequality.
“We are activists, as you know, and the work of activists is cautious of all threats, to continue as HRDs, to fight against the shrinking of the civic space, to push back the authoritarianism and protect the rights of the marginalised and those who have no access to the formal mechanisms of justice, and victims of corruption and victims of abuse of power.
“This will not stop us here in Mozambique or the region. We will continue with this and politicians have to respect the space of activists.”
Deepening social crisis sparks protest
The threat to Nuvunga’s life comes during a time when he has been critical of the manner in which the Mozambican government is responding to the escalating social protest in the country, including a strike and protest that shut down Maputo in early July, as a result of the worsening economy, corruption and rising cost of living.
The threat also continues a pattern of politically motivated violence against Nuvunga. In ...

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