Daily Archives: March 1, 2019

Somali Forces End Deadly Mogadishu Building Siege

Somali security forces Friday ended the al-Shabab siege of a residential building in Mogadishu after battling the militants for almost 24 hours. An unknown number of al-Shabab militants had remained holed up in a building near a hotel in Mogadishu since Thursday.

VOA’s reporter on the scene says government security forces cordoned off the entire area and began collecting dead bodies, barring journalists from getting close to the building that was under siege.

The death toll from Thursday’s twin car bombs in the area has climbed to more than 30 people, according to admission records from three hospitals.

VOA reporters in the city say the death toll is likely to rise because the number of the dead bodies and recovery of those injured remained unavailable.

Al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-affiliated militant group, claimed responsibility for Thursday’s twin blasts and the siege of the building.

The assault started Thursday night when the militants detonated twin car bomb outside hotels and restaurants along the city’s main Maka al-Mukarama road.

Within an hour of the blasts, armed militants started firing and hurling hand grenades from a nearby residential building.

Somali security officials believe the militants missed their target, which likely was one of the hotels in the area, and mistakenly went into another building for cover.

“Somali security forces typically have been known to end such militants’ sieges in the city within a few hours, but this 24-hour operation is the longest ever, and it shows there is security negligence,” said Abdisalam Guled, former deputy of the Somali National Security Agency.

Speaking to state-run radio, Somali Information Minister Dahir Mohamud Guelleh said flushing militants out of the building was not easy.

“The operation was supposed to end quickly, but the fact the militants were desperately holding a number of civilians as human shields made it difficult for the security forces to intensify their operation,” Guelleh said.

The group has been fighting to overthrow a Western-backed federal government that is protected by 22,000 African Union-mandated peacekeepers.

Fight against al-Shabab

Al-Shabab lost most of its strongholds in south and central Somalia to military forces from the Somali National Army and the African Union.

The movement and mobilization of a large portion of al-Shabab military attacks also were weakened by a dramatic increase in the number of U.S. airstrikes.

In 2018, the U.S. military command for Africa reportedly carried out 50 raids against the militants. As of Tuesday, U.S. raids in 2019 targeted the militants 23 times, including one in central Somalia on Tuesday that killed 20 terrorists and destroyed one vehicle.

Despite the continued military pressure on the terror group, it continues to carry out assassinations and blasts in Mogadishu.

Last month, militants assassinated the country’s Deputy Attorney General Mohamed Mursal, and the oldest Federal lawmaker, Osman Ilmi Boqorre.

Source: Voice of America

South Sudan Executed 7 People in February

South Sudan executed at least seven people in February, a death toll that Amnesty International says, represents as many as were executed in the whole of 2018 in the east-central African country.

All the victims were men, according to the human rights organization. Three were from the same family.

Amnesty said in a statement Friday the execution of the three men was shrouded in secrecy and their family was not informed of their impending execution and only learnt of the death of their loved ones after they had been executed.

South Sudan executes by hanging.

South Sudan authorities have absolutely no respect for the right to life as they continue to totally disregard the fact that the world is moving away from use of the death penalty, said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s deputy director for East Africa.

Rather than execute people, the authorities should rehabilitate prisoners and make them well-adjusted individuals that can contribute positively to society, Magango said.

Amnesty warned at the end of last year that South Sudan had executed more people in that year than in any other year since its independence in 2011.

We are shocked and dismayed that executions have become the order of the day in South Sudan, Magango said.

Amnesty International says it opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception.

Source: Voice of America

Minister Zweli Mkhize welcomes new members of Municipal Demarcation Board

The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Dr Zweli Mkhize, has extended a warm welcome to the new members of the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) who have been appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The term of office of the former Board ended on the 19th February 2019 and the new Board assumed duty today on 1 March 2019.

The new members are:

(1) Mr Thabo Moses Manyoni, Chairperson of the MDB Board

Mr Manyoni holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a diploma in business management and a certificate in executive leadership. He has an extensive experience in the public service, especially at local government level. Apart from having worked for the Independent Electoral Commission for four years, he has been a municipal manager for two municipalities over consecutive periods of four years. He was also an executive mayor of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, during which period he served as the national chairperson of SALGA and the vice president of the United Cities and Local Government in Africa. He has experience of serving in the provincial and national spheres as well. He was a Member of the Executive Council over a period of three years during which he also served as acting Premier. At a national level he has served as a Member of Parliament.

(2) Ms Mbali Pearl Myeni, Deputy Chairperson

Ms Myeni holds a BA (Honours) and a Masters in Business Administration Degrees. She has held various positions in the administrative establishment of Umngeni Local Municipality from 2011 until 2016 before she became a Councillor and Mayor of the same municipality for five years. She has been appointed to various boards and she has been appointed by SALGA to provide training to councillors.

(3) Mr Monnapula Petrus Motlogelwa

Mr Motlogelwa holds a B Juris and LLB degrees. He is a practicing advocate and a member of the Johannesburg Society of Advocates. He has worked extensively in the field of both local and provincial spheres of government and has written and delivered numerous papers on those matters. He held the senior position of Acting Municipal Manager at Mafikeng Local Municipality in the North-West Province in 2004. He also served at a senior level in the provincial government, including the position of Deputy Director-General: Department of Local Government and Traditional Affairs and Acting Head of Department of the Department of Human Settlements.

(4) Mr David Mohale

Mr Mohale holds a BA (cum laude), a Master of Management and a Doctor of Literature and Philosophy. He has worked extensively in the local government sphere; firstly as Chief of Staff at Masilonyana Local Municipality in the Free State, as Head of office in the office of the Mayor as Senior Manager in the Office of the Speaker; Mathjabeng Local Municipality as well as Senior Researcher before that in the same Municipality. His knowledge of local government sphere extends to other countries in the continent and beyond. Currently he is employed in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor of the Durban University of Technology responsible for promoting quality service delivery and open communication on transformation and change. He provides strategic support to the Vice-Chancellor including driving stakeholder engagement.

(5) Mr Albert Kekesi

Mr Kekesi holds (Ed), BSC(Ed) and M(Ed) degrees as well as various other certificates. He has been involved in the local government both as a councillor and an administrator for consecutive periods of approximately five years in each capacity. On the Administrative side, he held the position of Municipal Manager at Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality in the North West from October 2007 to January 2012. He also served in the Independent Electoral Commission as an electoral officer and the provincial electoral officer.

(6) Ms Nomso Baliso

Ms Baliso holds BSc (Hons) in Town and Regional Planning. Her working experience in the local government sphere extends to about 20 years during which she held various senior administrative positions, including Chief Town and Regional Planner, Director: Macro Policy and Director: Urban Integration. She worked for the City of Cape Town where she oversaw the development of a city-wide housing strategy.

(7) Ms Greta Apelgrein-Narkedien

She holds a BA degree and a number of relevant certificates and a diploma. She has experience of more than 20 years in the public service particularly in the provincial sphere. She has held numerous senior positions, ranging from the position of Director: Special Projects Directorate, Office of the Premier in the Northern Cape, Deputy Director-General: Branch Head: Fisheries, National Department of Agriculture, Floristries and Fisheries in Cape Town and Head of Department, Social Welfare in the Northern Cape. During the time she spent at Human Settlements in the Northern Cape, she was exposed to and worked closely with the local sphere of government.

(8) Mr Themba Dubazana

Mr Dubazana holds two B Tech degrees; one in Labour Relations Management and another in Public Management , two Masters degrees in Management in Development and Management as well as a Diploma in Public Management. His area of expertise is financial management and human resources. Currently he is employed as a General Manager for Corporate Services by the South African Social Security Agency.

(9) Ms Mmatsie Mooki

Ms Mooki is a lawyer and holds a B Juris, LLB and LLM degrees. She is senior lecturer at the University of South Africa and served in the previous Municipal Demarcation Board. She has served on various committees of the Board.

(10) Ms Mabjoalo Jane Thupana

Ms Thupana holds a BA (Honours), a Masters in Public Administration and Master of Business Leadership, obtained from the Universities of Limpopo, Pretoria and South Africa. She has extensive knowledge of local government affairs, especially in the rural setting. She has experience in the land and rural development, with strong financial management component. She has held various positions in the Department of Land Affairs and the Department of Agriculture in Limpopo. She served as chairperson of the previous Board.

Minister Mkhize wished the new board well for the task ahead of guiding this important institution to greater heights.

Source: Government of South Africa

National School of Government and UN launch The Africa Journal of Public Sector Development and Governance, 4 Mar

Launch of the African Journal of Public Sector Development and Governance

The African Management Development Institute Network (AMDIN) with support from the European Union (EU) will be launching The Africa Journal of Public Sector Development and Governance (AJPSDG). The journal, published by AMDIN, is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal that investigates a broad spectrum of matters and issues related to governance, development, policy research and implementation, leadership and management in the public sector in Africa.

AMDIN was formed in 2005 to create a platform for the Management Development Institutes (MDIs) in Africa to articulate their collective voice and promote mutual partnerships, peer support and collaboration in developing leadership and management capacity to further the African stabilisation and partnership agenda.

The National School of Government (NSG) serves as the secretariat for AMDIN and supports AMDIN and its member MDIs. NSG, through its EU funded Public service training and capacity building programme, is providing support to the capacity building programmes, interventions and initiatives of AMDIN. NSG also provides training and development for public servants that supports the commitments set by the National Development Plan (NDP).

Source: Government of South Africa

Deputy Minister Chana Pilane-Majake addresses APRM launch of Africa Governance Report, 2 Mar

Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake to address the APRM launch of the Africa Governance Report

Deputy Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake will address the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) launch of the State of Governance Report on 2 March 2019 in Pretoria.

The APRM is an Africa-owned, Africa-led self-assessment initiative that promotes good governance and socio-economic development through the adoption of policies, standards and good practices that lead to political stability, economic growth and sustainable development. Launched in 2003 as a voluntary instrument, APRM uses a holistic review process that distinguishes the mechanism from other institutions through inclusive dialogue, independent and objective reviews, peer learning and compliance monitoring.

The event will bring together African-focused stakeholders, including policy-makers, international dignitaries, partners and academics, members of civil society and business leaders, to discuss the recommendations of the Report and how African States can adopt them in improving governance in their respective countries.

While the event will reflect specifically on the recommendations of the Report, its overall focus will be on how to practicalise the implementation of these.

Source: Government of South Africa