- Richard Poplak
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.
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.
In the scramble to save our rhinos, what generally comes to mind is a mix of camouflage-clad soldiers, high-powered rifles, tracker dogs and deadly force against ruthless poachers with bullets, machetes and no pity. That’s been the response so far and it's not working. Each year the death toll rises and last year it exceeded 1,000 hacked-off horns and rotting carcases. By the end of 2014 it could be worse. If rhinos are to survive, a new plan is urgently required – and one might just be forming. By DON PINNOCK.
It’s the 25th day of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, but also the last day that court will be in session for roughly two weeks. As of Friday, court will be in recess until Monday 5th May. Up on the stand first thing today we’ll see the return of forensic geologist Roger Dixon, who was the subject of an extremely tough grilling by prosecutor Gerrie Nel yesterday for giving evidence which may have been outside the boundaries of his formal expertise. By REBECCA DAVIS
It all starts with the momentary whirr of the starter – an almost disappointingly puny sound, but one rapidly and unequivocally eclipsed by the angry growl of a V8 being prodded into life. You feel as much as hear the deep, menacing throb from the gutter-sized exhausts, and when you prod the loud pedal, the whole car trembles in anticipation. Meet the meanest road-going Audi of them all: the larger-than-life RS7 Sportback. By DEON SCHOEMAN.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
You may have noticed we’re not big fans of the conventional here at Daily Maverick. So when it comes to putting on conferences, we’re quick to dispense with traditional formats and those green-and-white mints you might be getting used to. The Gathering: Election Edition is the meaningful conference of the year, and this is why you need to know about it. By BRANKO BRKIC.
The top-end luxury car segment isn’t the most important from a volume perspective. But given the R1-million-plus price tags these limousines command, even modest sales tallies represent an attractive proposition for the brands that offer them. Which explains why Audi has just updated its flagship A8 range. DEON SCHOEMAN drives the high-tech behemoth in Cape Town.
She was known for her amusing persona, her grace and her haute stature. L’Wren Scott designed garments that had an air of old Hollywood, reminders of hourglass figures in mesh stockings and garter belt. Her death on 17 March shocked her celebrity partner, her entourage and the rest of the world; her existence suddenly turning to smoke and mirrors. Left behind is a tail of stories, theories and assumptions. EMILIE GAMBADE looks through the fashion wormhole.
Don’t tell Ivo Vegter, but there’s a new Eco Film Festival in town and it kicked off this week. You can still catch the lion’s share of the films this weekend and on Monday, and every ticket comes with the chance to plant a tree – so there’s no reason Cape Town’s greenies can’t still get their film on. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
It's the first day of the defence's case in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. The benches are packed with members of the public today, in anticipation of the possibility that Pistorius himself may give testimony today - though this is not a given. Before any of that, though, we'll probably be hearing from media lawyers as to whether the athlete's testimony can be shown on camera. REBECCA DAVIS is in the North Gauteng High Court to bring you updates.