- Pieter-Dirk Uys
In a stunning move that took almost every political analyst in the country by surprise, sacked Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi will replace Julius Malema at the head of the Economic Freedom Fighters until the Commander in Chief has warded off corruption charges. And along with him comes another out-of-left-field appointment. By DAILY MAVERICK STUFF REPORTER.
Friday's North Gauteng High Court finding that President Zuma should have had his day in court in 2009 is not the end of the road for the president, but it's damning. The court found there was no valid reason for dropping corruption charges against Zuma and while the process of appeals is likely to begin, opposition parties now have extra fuel to take into the local government elections. By GREG NICOLSON.
On Friday, judgment will be delivered in the Pretoria High Court on whether the decision to drop corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma in 2009 was unlawful. The judgment, whichever way it falls, is likely to set off another chain of events that will drag the presidency and the country through more complex legal action and more muck. The Office of the President, through its incumbent, could be edging closer to being put on trial. As he has done with all his scandals, Zuma is likely to pretend this has nothing to do with him and continue to go through the motions of running the country as a hollowed out leader. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
In what is described as a historic meeting, about 50 unions are set to meet this weekend to form a federation that could rival Cosatu and unite workers. They hope to rally the majority of South African workers who aren’t union members, while Cosatu has called the Workers Summit a self-serving sideshow. By GREG NICOLSON.
Thirteen months and counting. That’s how long the constitutionally-established post of civilian oversight over the intelligence services, the inspector-general of intelligence, has been vacant. Recently Parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence (JSCI) took a second run at filling the post in a bizarre display of secrecy in the open. Six candidates were chosen from CVs in thick lever arch files, not made available to anyone but MPs, in a mechanistic process without any discussions. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
While discredited Hawks head Lieutenant-General Mthandazo Ntlemeza didn’t get the jet or helicopter he asked for, Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko did allocate a cool R1.431-billion to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks. While the stash is part of the R80.8-billion allocated to police, it will be disbursed separately by Treasury over two years. This, reckons Nhleko, should fulfil compliance with three Constitutional Court rulings seeking to entrench the unit’s independence. But more than financial independence it is the isolation of the Hawks from political pressure that is critical. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The ANC was formed to wage the struggle for the emancipation of all our people – black and white – from all forms of domination as proclaimed in the Freedom Charter in 1955. Thus, the country or its state cannot be captured again by any one or power for the price will be too high. South Africans love their country and will resist as history has shown. By TOKYO SEXWALE.
The older white liberals of UCT are a fascinating bunch of academics. With fully fleshed out ideological paradigms they have experience enough to immediately conceptualise current affairs within the larger historic narrative that has made up their life in academia. Ken Hughes is such a man. By MOHAMMED JAMEEL ABDULLA.
Transformation, despite what many seem to fear, is not about taking sport X or Y “away from white people” and it’s certainly not crying over the loss of Kevin Pietersen or Grant Elliott. Transformation is crying over every Temba Bavuma, Kagiso Rabada and Siya Kolisi we haven’t found. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
It was the summer of racism and now ’tis the autumn of treason as an increasingly hostile government, led by President Jacob Zuma, surrounded by securocrats, turns on students, private investigators, opposition party members, NGOs and private citizens, accusing them either of treason, of being traitors or “agents”. This is the same president who violated the Constitution, the same government that oversaw the massacre at Marikana and the earlier fatal shooting of protester Andries Tatane, the same government that has allowed one family to influence ministerial appointments. By MARIANNE THAMM.
As the Constitutional Court’s Nkandla decision fades into the scandal-ridden continuum that is Zuma’s presidency, and the municipal elections loom, it is becoming clear that elements within the ANC are preparing to fight dirty to protect themselves and their hold on power. While Luthuli House could well argue against this statement, when we look at the conduct of the Ministers in charge of State Security and Police, it is becoming much more difficult to argue against it. David Mahlobo and Nkosinathi Nhleko have now crossed an already crossed line, this time from dangerous to laughable. And Mahlobo is now not just being incompetent, he is insulting our intelligence too. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
State Security Minister David Mahlobo is pushing the securocrat line in the interests of national security. Racism generally, and “those political parties harbouring racists” in particular, are now in the intelligence services’ viewfinder, as are those who “seek to provoke law enforcement agencies”, those promoting “unconstitutional change of government”, and NGOs fronting as “security agents”. His budget vote speech on Tuesday, and subsequent media briefing, was a spine-chilling reminder of how, when the state feels under threat, it has the power to deploy against those it perceives as undesirable. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
About 150 people gathered in Johannesburg on Wednesday calling for President Jacob Zuma’s resignation. Civil society organisations have rallied against the president since the Constitutional Court’s Nkandla judgment, but so far have failed to attract wide support. The president meanwhile has remained resolute. By GREG NICOLSON.
On Tuesday, the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), once the sharp end of the liberation party’s spear, held an ordinary conference. They wanted to share with South Africans some of their conclusions, and thus called a press conference. Welcome to the Third Revolution, in which the ANCYL will lead fight against regime change implemented by agents of the Ruperts and the Oppenheimers. Agent Number One? That would be Julius Malema. What to do with him? Soldiers. By RICHARD POPLAK.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema loomed large over Parliament on Tuesday. Or rather, his comments to al-Jazeera that the EFF may take up arms, if necessary. Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko confirmed the Hawks are investigating this because a complaint was laid. His remarks that the constitutional right to freedom of speech was “not so absolute”, followed similar comments by his state security cabinet colleague, David Mahlobo, during his budget speech and subsequent media briefing. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
It has been four months since a 21-year-old Cape Town woman accused ANC Western Cape Leader Marius Fransman of sexually harassing/assaulting her during a trip to the party’s 104th celebrations in Rustenberg in January. The complainant has twice appeared before the ANC’s Integrity Commission where she broke down while giving testimony. Fransman too has appeared before the commission. Police, however, only took a statement three months after the charges were lodged. Why the delay and has the case got caught up in a larger political battle inside the party? By MARIANNE THAMM.
If one ever wants a demonstration of how little our society has transformed since 1994, one only need look at our national rugby and cricket teams. It is so obvious that they are white-dominated – that it is easier for white people to reach the top in those fields only because of our history – that you would have to be one-eyed not to see it. Now, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has decided enough is enough, and he is going to act. He has decided to withdraw the rights of our rugby, cricket, athletics and netball bodies to bid to host international tournaments here. This act demonstrates that this issue of sports transformation is not so much about demographics as it is about legitimacy. And some sports, particularly rugby, only have themselves to blame for squandering it away. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Fikile Mbalula’s radical action to ban four of South Africa’s sporting federations from hosting or bidding for international events after failing to meet their targets might be a wake-up call, but unless holistic action is taken, it will remain nothing but a plaster over a gaping wound. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
On Sunday morning former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi tweeted confirmation that he had been approached by the leader of the DA, Mmusi Maimane, with a view to forming a coalition in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Municipality around Port Elizabeth. There’s no confirmation yet of whether such a coalition will ever be formed, but the political situation certainly seems to be heading towards an era of coalition government. Some of them will be successful, some will not. However, it does appear that it is the near unanimous public disapproval of President Jacob Zuma, and the rise of corruption in the ANC, that is pushing this process. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Parliament is in fight-back mode. Late on Sunday it issued a 1,660-word missive against news reports that its top administrators spent about R1.8-million on trips to three overseas legislatures in a benchmarking exercise. On Monday that statement was distributed in-house, alongside the official report on those visits. But despite its fiery language, the statement doesn’t disprove the facts of the trips and the report seems inapposite with recommendations of a parliamentary press to “tell its own narrative”, charging broadcasters for parliamentary content and looking into a parliamentary protection service with “full powers of search and seizure”. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa is hitting the road to mobilise support for the local government elections. With the launch of the party’s “Community First” manifesto at the Pretoria Showgrounds on Sunday done and dusted, it’s on to the Eastern Cape this week. And then other provinces will follow – the party is doing thing differently with a series of provincial launches of their municipal manifesto, although the final itinerary is still being finalised. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
Two weeks ago Longo Monzoto ran a hair salon in Dunoon with two other women. This enabled her to live in a small but comfortable house in Phoenix, Milnerton, with her husband. On the night of Sunday 17 April Monzoto’s livelihood was destroyed when protesters in Dunoon looted her shop and other immigrant-owned shops. By Ashleigh Furlong and Barbara Maregele for GROUNDUP.
Today, we all need to demand our constitutional and democratic rights, our rights to clean government and the meeting of our basic needs, wherever we are, in faith-based communities, in business, in professions, as students, teachers, police and other state officials who want to live and work with integrity. John Berger once said that waiting is characteristic of being a prisoner. We must end the waiting and find ways of acting to reclaim and rebuild what is ours. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.