ANC Moves to Muzzle Criticism


Jacob Zuma, president of the ruling African National Congress in South Africa. / REUTERS
South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party, the ANC, has suspended youth leader Julius Malema after he called President Jacob Zuma a “dictator” in a speech last week.

Civil liberty groups are crying foul, saying the 30-day suspension amounts to gagging Malema for expressing critical views of the government – and Malema himself is attempting to appeal the decision.

But the ANC appears to be standing by its position. Derek Hanekom, chairman of the party committee that instituted the suspension, said in a statement that he was “satisfied that this utterance constitutes a very serious violation of the ANC constitution and that the institution of disciplinary action, as outlined in the ANC constitution is warranted.”

As the South African Broadcasting Corporation reports, under the suspension Malema would “not be allowed to exercise his duties as an ANC member” nor as president of the party’s youth league – and he will “not be allowed to address any ANC or ANCYL meeting or make any statement pertaining to the party.” Malema is indicating he may challenge the ANC’s decision in court if necessary.

Sweep to Malema gives ANC an ultimatum

The lesson for one Miami banking executive: Uncle Sam expects its taxes – even on your bribes.

Danilo P. Perez, a former executive at Miami-based Ocean Bank, received a 37-month sentence Wednesday for federal charges related to nearly $500,000 in cash and gifts he accepted as bribes, and then for failing to pay taxes on that “income” each year when he filed his tax returns.

“Perez admitted to accepting bribes, including payments for expensive watches, Super Bowl tickets and other items, as well as substantial amounts of cash … intending to be rewarded and influenced in connection with his role in approving Ocean Bank’s issuance of letters of credit, loans and overdraft privileges to his co-conspirators,” the Miami Herald reports.

Had he declared that income on his tax returns over a three-year period, the U.S. government says it would have collected about $91,000.

Sweep to Former bank exec sentenced in bribery scheme

Tim Cahill.
Former Massachusetts Treasurer Timothy Cahill, along with two of his top aides, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to corruption charges Wednesday.

As the Associated Press reports, the case stems from allegations “that they orchestrated a taxpayer-funded television advertising campaign for the state lottery that was really intended to boost Cahill’s failed 2010 campaign for governor.”

All three men were released without bail Wednesday after entering their pleas. Their trial is expected to begin in September.

Sweep to Cahill, two aides plead not guilty to corruption


Aaron Kessler

Aaron Kessler

Aaron Kessler is an award-winning journalist who for nearly a decade has investigated a wide range of subjects from financial crimes by corporations and individuals, to politics and government abuses at the local, state and federal levels, to terrorist financing networks.