KAUNDA AND CHONWE STAY OUT FORMER Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda, expected home on Monday, has instead flown off to London, following pressure from party associates who believe he will be arrested under the new state of emergency. His son, major Wezi Kaunda, claims to have been told that the government has already issued warrants of arrest for his father. Roger Chongwe, leader of the Liberal Progressive Front, has also not returned home from the Commonwealth summit last week, and is believed to be in Zimbababwe.
LEAKS AGAIN GAUTENG’S MATRIC accountancy exam paper was leaked hours before it was due to be written on Monday. The Department of Education went ahead with the exam, offering a R50 000 reward for the paper-thieves. Education MEC Mary Metcalfe had promised there would be tight security on exam papers this year, following last year’s matric exam fraud fiasco. Democratic Party education spokeswoman Sibongile Mahlangu said “the lid was not screwed tight enough”
POWER HEIST A TRUCK carrying a million rands worth of batteries was hijacked on the highway in the Free State on Monday. Two armed men held up the truck after the driver had stopped on the side of the road because, he said, the truck’s power had failed. They drove off in the truck, worth R350 000, but abandoned it a short distance away. The cargo had disappeared by then.
HEALTH DEBT Patients owe government hospitals in Gauteng R152-million, Gauteng health MEC Amos Mosondo has announced — and Johannesburg Hospital is shouldering the lion’s share of debt, at R50-million. Debts are not likely to be collected: Democratic Party health spokesman Jack Bloom says 50% of the departmental administration posts are unfilled, and no-one has got around to collecting bad debts.
SHOTGUN DISAPPEARS The gun used to kill anti-apartheid activist and academic David Webster in 1989 has disappeared. The 12-bore Mossberg shotgun was fished out of Donkerpoort Dam near Nylstroom three years later by a farmer and handed in to police.
CONGO CABINET INCLUDES RIVALS CONGO strongman Denis Sassou Nguesso named his new government on Sunday, including several members of rival parties in the 32-member cabinet line-up, but reserving the key posts for his own aides. Cabinet director Isidore Mvouba said the new government would rebuild a society wracked by more than four months of civil war and pave the way for an “open, honest and credible” presidential election. Nguesso reserved the key post of defence minister for himself.
JORDAN SCORNED A leading anti-vivisectionist group, South Africans for the Abolition of Vivisection (Saav), has demanded the resignation of Environment Minister Pallo Jordan for approving the export of South African baboons to laboratories in France for experimentation. Saav noted the export contravenes an international moratorium.
DE BEER WINS IN GAUTENG Taking a leaf from the competition’s book, perhaps, the National Party in Gauteng avoided a bruising leadership battle when the only opponent of National Party MP Sam de Beer for Gauteng leader withdrew at the last minute, citing the need for consolidation. Excom member Yakoob Makda said there was little difference between his policies and De Beer’s.
BONUS FOR HEALTH CAR-manufacturers Mitsubishi did their annual good deed on Monday by donating two mobile clinics to the Ministry of Health. The clinics, based on Colt four-by-four trucks, were donated to “facilitate affordable and quality health care to all South Africans”, and are destined for rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal and the North West Province. Mitsubishi has being making similar donations yearly since 1995.