Today the Parliamentary ad-hoc committee set up to look into the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla will meet for the first time. At a panel discussion on Wednesday night in Cape Town, two weeks before elections, the enhancements to Zuma’s private residence were on the menu too. The question on everyone’s minds seemed to be: what can ordinary citizens do to ensure a repeat of the Nkandla debacle doesn’t take place? By REBECCA DAVIS.
In many countries religion crossed with politics leads to a toxic mess. Look at the wars over abortion in the US or Ireland, or culture wars everywhere. To make matters even more interesting, one man’s religion is often intertwined with that man’s culture. But in South Africa, religion has generally been a force for good in our politics. It’s impossible to forget the role the Catholic Church, and how the Anglican Church gave Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu the platform he needed to help fight Apartheid from within. It’s impossible to forget the role people like Bishop Huddleston played. There are signs, now, that religion, and particularly organised religion, is about to step back into the political arena. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
When Gertrude Stein returned to her hometown of Oakland and couldn’t find her childhood home, she famously, gnomically said that there was ‘no there there’. Stein was lamenting the growth and urbanisation of Oakland and the ‘painful nostalgia’ she felt. The Northern Cape is not Oakland; there’s quite a lot of there there and most of it isn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future. The province is, however, poised for a fair bit of change and a clump of new investments in mining and energy. Is its political landscape facing a similar reconfiguration? By PAUL BERKOWITZ.
A new book by a French economist and a nearly-book length report by two American political scientists, the first on who controls the wealth of the world and the second why the powerful are, well, powerful, have catapulted into the limelight in both academic and public discourse on who runs what and why. J. BROOKS SPECTOR takes a first look at this evolving debate.
Early on in his testimony, murder-accused Oscar Pistorius was questioned by his advocate Barry Roux about a Vaal River boating accident in which Pistorius was involved in 2009. The Daily Maverick has subsequently learned from eyewitnesses to the direct aftermath of the accident that at least one aspect of his testimony to the court may have been false. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Democratic Alliance candidate for Gauteng premier Mmusi Maimane led around 1,000 supporters through Johannesburg on Wednesday on a march to promote the DA’s proposals on jobs. Among other plans, the DA wants to give people title deeds to their homes and rent properties to businesses for R1 to promote growth. GREG NICOLSON was there for the pictures.
As we approach World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, it’s worth reflecting on how we are doing as a country in the press freedom stakes, relative to other countries but also with regard to whether we’ve improved or digressed within the past few years. All things considered, it does not look good. By JULIE REID.
For anyone who is concerned about gender equality, it is significant that patriarchy is not raised by any political party in their election campaign. One understands the silence of the patriarchs who lead or hold prominent places in the ANC and its allies, but what of the organisations that purport to oppose the Zuma project? By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
With a soft rand, threatening interest rate hikes and an economy dragging its heels, affordability and value have become key parameters for anyone considering the purchase of a new car. And yet, new car buyers also want safety, luxury, convenience and performance. Enter the new, second-generation Renault Sandero – a car that promises to offer the best of both worlds. By DEON SCHOEMAN.
In February 2014, the South African job market lost 118,397 jobs. According to the Adcorp Employment Index, it was the largest monthly loss in almost three years. While unemployment is rife, citizens battle to understand why there are no jobs. RA’EESA PATHER reports for SOUTH AFRICA VOTES 2014 from Cape Town.
While the Marikana hearings drift through the doldrums in Rustenberg, at Khayelitsha’s Lookout Hill another commission into police failings is cautiously gathering momentum. The O’Regan-Pikoli Commission of Inquiry is a timely and consolatory reminder of the judicial efficiency South Africa is capable of. By Richard Conyngham for GROUNDUP.
Yaya Toure caused a storm in a teacup this week when he told the BBC’s Football Focus he didn’t think African players received enough recognition. But his comments were mostly taken out of context and spoke more of the desire to prove that Africa – and its players – were on the map and could compete with the best players in the world. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
As the election day approaches, it is not the last-minute rush of activity by political parties which will take centre stage, but rather what the 12-person Parliamentary ad hoc committee does when they consider President Jacob Zuma’s response to the Public Protector’s report on the upgrade to his Nkandla residence. The problem, of course, is: what exactly is the president’s response to the report? The opposition wants Zuma to be subpoenaed before the committee; the ANC probably knows this will be political suicide days before the polls. While there will be fierce resistance to any further damage to the ANC, Nkandla will continue to haunt the party as Zuma’s first term peters out. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) strike in the platinum belt has now been going for three months. The union was locked in discussions with Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Impala Platinum (Implats) and Lonmin late on Tuesday night. These discussions will determine whether employees go back to work or the longest strike in the democratic era rolls on. Either way, it’s going to be costly. By GREG NICOLSON.
Check the question again. It’s not asking whether the party should lose the province, or how likely it is that it will fail to reach the 50%-of-the-vote threshold. It just wants to know what series of events would be needed for this to happen. Whether you think this is an imminent or fantastical outcome, whether the prospect fills you with hope or dread or dismissive contempt, none of these things are important for the analysis. By PAUL BERKOWITZ.
Hotels in the Eternal City are booked out this week and city officials expect up to one million people to gather as Pope Francis canonises Popes John XXIII and John Paul II on Sunday 27 April. The mass which will be celebrated for the canonisations is scheduled to take place in St. Peter’s Square outside the Basilica, where the mortal remains of the two men rest. Thousands are expected to watch the proceedings on big screens which will be erected in Rome while millions more will follow on television around the world. Why would people spend money travelling across the globe to Rome? What is the Church actually doing when it has a canonisation? Why are these two men being canonised and does it really have any meaning today? By RUSSELL POLLITT.
There are 200 bodies rotting in the streets of Bentiu, a horrible little frontier town in South Sudan, put there by rebels who claim to be saving the place. At stake is oil, and power, and the egos of Big Men who sacrifice others in pursuit of their own petty ambitions. In many ways, the town is a gruesome metaphor of all that is wrong with the world’s newest nation. By SIMON ALLISON.
David Moyes’ tenure at Manchester United is over after a string of poor results. It isn’t really a surprise, despite Alex Ferguson being the “stick with your manager” type. Far too many unpalatable results has led to his undoing. But to remember him only as the guy who fluffed it when he took over from Fergie would be grossly unfair. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
As a nation, it would seem hard to deny that we have become quite obsessed with President Jacob Zuma. He dominates all the non-Oscar headlines we have. Nkandla is now a word with special power in our politics; sometimes it seems he’s portrayed as the devil-incarnate, the person single-handedly responsible for the decline of our country, and of the ANC. But the other night, I was asked: “How different would these elections be if Zuma weren’t head of the ANC?” It’s a question that makes you think about the image of the ANC, President Jacob Zuma, and the difference between temporary electioneering antics and the longer term issues. It also makes you wonder if perhaps we are too obsessed with Number One. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Jonathan Trott has suffered a relapse of the illness that ruled him out of the Ashes last year. It could very well be the end of his career as a professional cricketer. The most important thing to take from it all is a reminder of all the sacrifices made by professional sportsmen and all the pressures they face. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika personifies much of what is wrong with African governance: the corruption, the patronage, the sheer longevity of his time in office have all stunted his country’s development, keeping Algeria and Algerians from reaching their full potential. But they could do so much worse, as a quick glance in the direction of Egypt and Libya reveals. Over the objections of a spirited opposition, Algerians have overwhelmingly preferred stability to change, and given the ailing Bouteflika another five years in office – providing he lasts the course. By SIMON ALLISON.
Trevor Manuel, best known as the world’s longest ever serving Minister of Finance, and as the luminary who shaped South African economic policy post-1994, recently announced his retirement from politics. Slowly, subtly, he has started to knock the ANC, his political home for more than two decades. But is this the country that Trevor Manuel made, or the country he helped break? RICHARD POPLAK wants to know how the ANC’s very own unicorn—a clean politician—is shaping the election conversation.
Two of the University of Stellenbosch’s most notorious alumni were, of course, Hendrik Verwoerd and Daniel Francois Malan, the man who dreamt up the word “Apartheid”. But the institution has also delivered to this country several visionary democrats and this week, “free agent”, Jay Naidoo, paid tribute to one of them, delivering the annual Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert honorary lecture at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. He also provided some handy geographical tips to the government of the day. By MARIANNE THAMM.
It’s tempting to dismiss Boko Haram and its brutal, public atrocities as an aberration, a temporary road-block on Nigeria’s slow but inexorable upward trajectory. This is, after all, Africa’s largest economy and a thriving, if dysfunctional, democracy. But the violence keeps coming, and Nigeria’s leaders – despite their bullish, near-farcical declarations to the contrary – are powerless to stop it. By SIMON ALLISON.
Cricket’s biggest T20 tournament kicked off with its usual glitz and entertainment on the field, but it did so under a dark cloud. Once upon a time the cricket on offer could be separated from things like scheduling conflict and crassness, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
South Africa’s citizens have won rare victory over the SABC, the country’s public broadcaster, to carry campaign ads highly critical of the country’s president. Is this the start of a new era in media freedom? J. BROOKS SPECTOR contemplates the question, bringing American experience in as comparison.
Pistorius is off the stand. This is no doubt a huge relief to the murder-accused athlete, but it will likely render the rest of the week's proceedings - which may be short, given prosecutor Gerrie Nel's application for a postponement - much less dramatic. But as we know, the testimony by other defence witnesses is also extremely significant: Judge Thokozile Masipa will be taking into account the full picture of the evidence, and not just Pistorius's words on the stand.
Our local fashion industry might still be in its infancy but it doesn’t lack catwalks to show its new collections. A week apart, AFI Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and SA Fashion Week rolled out their carpets to welcome new and existing designers for two separate parades of fashion. While they are not to be compared or mixed up, the unbearable strangeness of the situation makes it impossible not to make the parallel. By EMILIE GAMBADE.
The 2014 elections are held on the 20th anniversary of the advent of democracy. Instead of celebration, the atmosphere is suffused with anger and mistrust. Many believe freedom is endangered or that some gains have been reversed or undermined. There is disquiet in relation to violent state actions against unarmed protesters, unbridled corruption and undermining of the Constitution. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
The defiance vote was always going to be the wild card in the 2014 elections. The question was how would it manifest itself. The post-Mangaung ANC and the performance of the Zuma administration have caused unprecedented turbulence and disenchantment within the ruling party. The Economic Freedom Fighters has become a channel for some of the anger against the ANC, but many respected, staunch members are at a loss about what to do with their vote. Now a handful of veterans, academics and activists have come up with a “Vote No” campaign as a stopgap measure until a better alternative comes along. Desperate times, desperate measures. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
These elections are about the ANC and whether the “broad church” can keep it together amid political scandals and dissatisfaction with the tangible outcomes of democracy. Anti-Apartheid stalwart Ronnie Kasrils clarified his position on Tuesday, launching a “Vote No” campaign. Like many others, he's hoping the ANC will see the light or a new left will emerge. By GREG NICOLSON.
With the South African women’s cricket team performing beyond expectations and the SA Women’s Seven Team continuing to dominate, there is no better time to be a female athlete in the country. Yes, women’s sport very much lags behind, but growth is certainly not stagnating either. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Gerrie Nel this week accused Oscar Pistorius of changing his legal defence from “putative self-defence” to one of “involuntary action”. This was because Pistorius seemed to suggest that he could not remember pulling the trigger of his gun and pumping four shots into his toilet door. Instead he suggested that the discharge of his firearm was an accident or, at the very least, that his conduct was not under the control of his mind. By PIERRE DE VOS.
It’s Day 23 of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, and the gruelling cross-examination of the murder-accused athlete is set to continue. Despite the fact that state prosecutor Gerrie Nel shows no signs of letting up, word on the street is that this might be the last session that sees Pistorius testify in his own defence. Pistorius’s legal team will be hoping for a less shaky performance than yesterday. By REBECCA DAVIS
If it is true that a country gets the politicians it deserves, then ladies and gentlemen: Kenny Kunene! His Patriotic Alliance Party lurks on the IEC list as a merry reminder of our celebrity-obsessed, ca$h-addled culture. Yet Kunene, who is famous for being famous, just wants to help poor children, because no one else is. He kind of has a point, thinks RICHARD POPLAK.
A small group of long-time ANC and SACP bigwigs have called for voters to withhold their support from the ANC in the 7 May election as part of a desperate effort to reform and cleanse their party and return it to its true routes. This is an extraordinary moment in South Africa’s political world – but will it have any real effect? J. BROOKS SPECTOR contemplates this development.
We’re into the sixth week of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial now. It will be a short one because even the Pistorius Industrial Complex cannot stand in the way of Easter. State prosecutor Gerrie Nel still has Pistorius himself on the stand for cross-examination for the fourth day in a row, meaning that Oscar Pistorius’s Monday may be substantially worse than yours. By REBECCA DAVIS
The Tokwe-Mukorsi dam project was intended to be the solution for the irrigation and electricity issues surrounding the communities of Masvingo province in Zimbabwe. However, the heaviest rainfall experienced in the province in over 40 years resulted in heavy flooding, culminating in the partial collapse of the dam. Thousands of rural farmers and their families had to flee their homes, leaving their crops and livestock behind, and at the mercy of the rising waters. By IHSAAN HAFFEJEE.
Conspiracy theorists are likely to have a field day – and perhaps dig up a few more Dan Brown novels – given the recent declaration that an ancient reference to Jesus’ wife may, in fact, be authentic. But instead of quibbling over the details of the prophet’s life, shouldn’t we be looking at the lessons we can learn from it as a whole? By RUSSELL POLLITT.
The ANC might have set out to tell its good story, but it is becoming more and more difficult task. The cacophony of voices of disillusionment and the negative sentiment the ANC has encountered at some public events, like what happened to Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba at The Gathering last week, should have triggered an alarm in the party’s election war room. Instead ANC leaders are trying to play it down and wish it away. It is clear the ANC is also writing off certain constituencies as lost causes and thinks the best defence is to demonise the critics. But perhaps the only long-term sustainable way to navigate the crisis is to confront it and also slaughter some holy cows – especially those in a high security cattle kraal in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Scandals, tragedies and controversies during President Jacob Zuma's administration have given opposition parties much to campaign on. The Democratic Alliance (DA) has taken the baton and through Nkandla, Marikana and unemployment, blamed the ANC for the South Africa's ills. Not everyone, however, is happy with their advertising strategy. First, the ANC took the party to court telling voters that Zuma “stole”. The SABC has since decided to pull a DA advertisement it claims could incite violence. It appears that, just months after the negative Public Protector's report, the public broadcaster is exposing itself, more than Thuli Madonsela ever could. By GREG NICOLSON.
In South Africa, economic policy is, to put it mildly, contested terrain. With our history having created a skewed scenario of ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’, there is an uncomfortable element to these arguments. In short, to argue about economics is to argue about race and our past. Which is one of the reasons that every time there is a slight change in government, or an election, everyone both locally and abroad starts to fret and worry and prepare for economic policy Armageddon. Knowing full well that the structure of our economy is simply unfair and wrong, those who are the ‘haves’, and those who have invested money in this economic structure, worry deeply. But over the last five years the ANC itself appears to have actually, slowly, started to shift to the right. Under President Jacob Zuma. For real. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
It's the last day of a long week in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius, and it's likely that nobody is more glad of the imminent weekend reprieve than Pistorius himself. For the third day in a row, Pistorius will take the stand to face the state's Gerrie Nel - who doesn't seem to be anywhere close to done with him. REBECCA DAVIS is on hand.
Oscar Pistorius’ time on the stand is bringing out the pop psychologist in many of us. Of course, we’re never likely to get anywhere close to the “real” Pistorius from watching him testify, or hearing the evidence led in his prosecution or defence. The former seek to portray him as an angry, narcissistic, responsibility-shirking gun fiend; the latter as a humble, religious, respectful young man. Neither version is likely to be wholly accurate. By REBECCA DAVIS.
On Thursday at The Gathering, four of South Africa’s top civil society figures discussed what exactly civil society should be doing in this country, and who’s trying to stop them. They painted a dispiriting picture, but there’s one thing everyone agreed on: we’re not turning into a dictatorship anytime soon. Whew. By SIMON ALLISON.
The 20th day of the Pistorius murder trial. REBECCA DAVIS is in Pretoria taking notes at the North Gauteng High Court, while the rest of the Daily Maverick's staff is jolling at the Lyric Theatre for the Gathering conference. The only voices we're hearing today are those of Oscar Pistorius and the state's Gerrie Nel, in their ongoing adversarial dance.
This week, the Judicial Service Commission has been carrying out interviews with shortlisted candidates to determine who will fill empty judge positions on the benches of the Supreme Court of Appeal, the Electoral Court, the Free State and KZN High Courts, and the Labour Appeal Court. Only four out of 26 are female, and not one of the candidates shortlisted for the Supreme Court was a woman. While racial transformation is rightly held as one of the judiciary’s major challenges, it’s clear that progress on gender isn’t happening fast enough either. By REBECCA DAVIS
The origins of South Africa's migrant labour system pre-dates the Union, and while dispensations have drastically changed over the years, workers are still coming and going from the rural areas to the mines, with conditions very much the same. As part of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry's look at the broader causes of the 2012 violence, it met on Wednesday to look at the issue of mining and migrancy. By GREG NICOLSON.
On Tuesday ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe announced that the party was very likely to create a Ministry of Small Business in Cabinet after the elections. While it's been a long time coming, there are going to be endless questions about who is really in charge of economic policy, what the ANC's economic policy is anyway, and how it will all play out. If it's played right, however, it could be a massive vote grabber for the ANC. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Suzuki is the automotive world’s small car champion. Combining big-car quality and features with agile, economical underpinnings and strong value, the Japanese marque’s range of compact models enjoy a giant-killing reputation that has earned them a loyal following. And yet, the latest SX4 seems larger and more conventional than its innovative predecessor. DEON SCHOEMAN finds out if it still lives up to the Suzuki ethos.
The sartorial choices, racial make-up and seating positions of a panel of political representatives from the ANC, the DA and the EFF who participated in a pre-election debate on the continuing role of civil society in Cape Town on Wednesday reflected more than just the issue at hand. By MARIANNE THAMM.
With Oscar Pistorius still on the stand, we're braced for another gruelling day of testimony in the North Gauteng High Court. Matters concluded half an hour early yesterday, after Pistorius's uncontrollable wailing caused the defence's Barry Roux to request that the court called it a day. We had only just reached the part in the athlete's account when he realised that he'd shot Reeva Steenkamp, so cross-examination by Gerrie Nel may still be a way off. By REBECCA DAVIS
“I thought I could work at the mines for maybe eight, ten years, and when I came back, maybe I could buy something like a tractor, and plough the land.” Mfuneko Twala shakes his head. “But I didn’t do that.” Twala, 58, is sitting outside the dilapidated two-roomed house he shares with his wife and their five young children. Inside, the laughter and chatter of the kids is audible as they jump up and down together on the one bed they sleep in at night. By REBECCA DAVIS.
War? What war? Despite predictions Cosatu's special central executive committee (CEC) meeting would descend into chaos on Tuesday, the ANC managed to pacify the federation of trade union's deep divisions until after the elections. It's a saving grace for the party, but for the country's largest labour federation, which will brief media on the meeting today, the war has only been postponed. By GREG NICOLSON.
If the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla were released at any other time, instead of weeks before the elections, the matter would probably have been handled very differently by the ANC and its government. But as things stand, the ANC leadership is patently aware of how much of a hit they have taken with the exorbitant expenditure and violations of procedure exposed. Any attempts to go to war with Thuli Madonsela over the report are bound to backfire even more. So while the damning findings of the report cannot go unchallenged, they now have to tread carefully to cushion President Jacob Zuma and the ANC, but still seek to overturn the conclusions. The Speaker of Parliament Max Sisulu, however, might not have received the memo about squashing the matter for now. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
South Africa’s Sport Ministry on Monday dropped a quota bombshell which had many up in arms. The shallow words looks like nothing more than a little bit of electioneering, but the proposed systems are also unconstitutional and will do nothing more than stall the progression they pretend to encourage. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Clean shaven, much greyer than he was on his honeymoon and dressed in charcoal suit, the slightly-built Shrien Dewani twitched uncontrollably and flinched at the slightest sound or movement as he stood facing Judge John Hlope in the dock of the Cape High Court in Cape Town on Tuesday. It has taken three years but Dewani is finally here to face charges that he ordered the killing of his bride, Anni, in the city in November 2010. By MARIANNE THAMM.
It's the 18th day of the Pistorius murder trial, and the second on which we expect the athlete to testify. After some emotional testimony on Monday, Pistorius seemed to settle down a little by the afternoon's end. But we still haven't even broached the subject of the events of 14th February 2013. We're probably in for a teary day ahead. By REBECCA DAVIS
On Monday the ANC announced it was going to appeal the decision of the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg that the DA could send out SMSes claiming that President Jacob Zuma "stole" government money to build his home at Nkandla. This will not stand tall as one of the party's best political decisions. It is symptomatic of a party that has not only lost its way but also lost the ability to set the agenda, at least for the moment. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The South African government, the Department of Justice and the NPA are determined to prove that Shrien Dewani will receive a fair trial and treatment when he touches down in this country this morning. After former police chief Bheki Cele’s unfortunate reference in 2012 to Dewani as “a monkey”, it was clear at yesterday’s technical briefing at the Cape High court that officials were playing it by the book. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The Proteas returned home to South Africa after exiting the World T20 in the semi-finals, but this time it was different. Coach Russell Domingo and skipper Faf du Plessis were made to justify tactics rather than an inexplicable loss of brain function. It’s an improvement, but the sense of what-if remains strong. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
As the epicentre of the greatest political scandal gripping South Africa, you would think Nkandla would be a hostile place for the ANC to campaign. You’d expect frothy, stinging waves in what Thuli Madonsela calls a “sea of poverty” around Jacob Zuma’s island of luxury. Well, the party’s Zweli Mkhize spent Monday handing out T-shirts there and he says not a single soul asked him about the R246 million upgrades. Surprised? So was ALEX ELISEEV.
Annnnd...we're back. For those of you who relished a mercifully Pistorius trial-free week, brace yourselves: it's all starting up again. This time, it does so with the competition - at least on Tuesday - of the Shrien Dewani bail hearing. These high-profile trials seem to be becoming something of a cottage industry for our proud nation. REBECCA DAVIS will bring you updates as the Pistorius defence unfolds.
“The call is coming from inside the house!” is the chilling line when a well-known psychological thriller climaxes, before the hapless protagonist is urged to get out immediately. Zwelinzima Vavi knows very well that the danger is inside the house, and yet, for eight months, he has been fighting to go back in. On Monday, he gets to do just that, following a ruling by the South Gauteng High Court that his suspension from Cosatu was invalid. The raging battle in Cosatu climaxes this week, with the fate of Vavi and metalworkers union Numsa to be decided at a special central executive committee meeting. Numsa is fighting expulsion, calling Cosatu leaders "Stalinist" and "jaundiced" in a hard-hitting submission to the federation. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
On Wednesday 7 May, if you are a committed South African and over the age of 18, you will come across someone wearing a blue and white bib. It will have the letters "IEC" across the front, with a voting symbol. You will want to trust them. They will, in almost every case, probably be trustworthy. They will be the person you are placing in charge of something so precious you only get to do it once every five years. And in almost every case they will do their utmost to be worthy of that trust. But up above them, much, much higher in the food chain, dark clouds are beginning to swirl. It must surely be time for Independent Electoral Commission Chair Pansy Tlakula to consider, at the very least, taking long leave over these elections. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
When Shrien Dewani disembarks at Cape Town International airport from Flight BA0059 around 9am on Tuesday to face charges that he orchestrated the murder of his young wife, Anni, in November 2010, he won’t be the only person in the dock. As is currently the case with the Oscar Pistorius trial in Pretoria, South Africa, our policing and criminal justice system as well as our reputation as one of the most violent countries in the world will once again be placed under intense international scrutiny. As a first step, at a special technical briefing to take place in the Cape High Court on Monday morning, the state is expected to outline guidelines for the case. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Having finally got its calculations right, Nigeria is now officially Africa’s largest economy. What does this mean, exactly? Not all that much for Nigeria’s long-suffering citizens, whose lives are not materially affected by a few rearranged numbers on a spreadsheet. It’s a bigger deal for South Africa, actually: not only have we lost our economic crown, but we’re losing our diplomatic clout to Nigeria too. By SIMON ALLISON.
If you have ever pondered deeply about the concept of “unintended consequences” or how, sometimes, pulling a trigger makes the gun explode in your own face, do read the full judgment in the SMS battle between the ANC and the Democratic Alliance. In the meantime, ALEX ELISEEV offers you a summary of a dramatic day in court which unfolded on Friday. Spoiler: Judge Hellens ruled that the DA was not breaking the law when accusing President Zuma of stealing money.
Phase 1 of the work of the Khayelitsha Commission was concluded this week. The picture that has emerged so far of the state of policing in Khayelitsha is little short of frightening, with witness after witness testifying to a breakdown of the contract between the public and police. The Commission is exposing not just the weaknesses of the criminal justice machine, however, but the entire structural ecosystem that fails the citizens of South Africa’s townships. By REBECCA DAVIS.