In politics you have moments when events happen, when processes climax, and the change comes. Then you have the settling of the dust, the working out of how things have changed, and finally the proper and full re-assessment of how the political world is now going to work. And then comes the peace, and the start of the new processes that will climax once again in distant future. After Mangaung, we're now in the phase where the dust has settled, sort of. It's time to look at what's happened to those who tried to raise it in the first place and how they could still influence who wins next time. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The Draft Lotteries Amendment Bill, currently being aired for public comment, is presented as a way for the Department of Trade and Industry to ensure a more efficient disbursement of funds to South African charities. But there’s one provision within it which is causing alarm among civil society: the draft bill would allow for the Minister to appoint an “organ of state” to run the lottery for up to eight years. Critics are concerned that this might be the first step towards a state lottery. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Daily Maverick published an article by De Wet Potgieter entitled “Al-Qaeda: Alive and well in South Africa” dated 13 May 2013, which was posted on the Daily Maverick website. After an exhaustive internal process, we now can acknowledge that there were inaccuracies in relation to Farhad and Junaid Dockrat in the article and we wish to set the record straight.
The revelation on Tuesday of the murder of a senior police officer in Gauteng in murky circumstances has prompted much speculation but it has also forced scrutiny once more of the perils of police work in South Africa. Also on Tuesday, a court ruled against the Minister of Police who has resisted apologising to a young man arrested for showing the president the middle finger. It really can’t be easy being Police Minister in South Africa. By KHADIJA PATEL.
In a damning report to be released at the SA Aids Conference today, civil society groups describe what happens when the drug supply chain goes wrong. As the Mthatha medical depot in the Eastern Cape remains dysfunctional, over 100,000 people are affected, with many unable to access life-saving medication. Still, the province doesn’t believe there’s a problem. By GREG NICOLSON.
Julius Malema’s announcement last week that he’s going to have “consultative discussions” around forming a new party has prompted the expected reaction from the ANC. Silence at first. And then some carefully prodded cadres came out and performed their ritual condemnation. Other parties have held their noses and said precisely nothing. But all of them must now do some serious consideration. How will Malema’s entry into the 2014 Elections, providing he stays out of jail long enough, affect them? It looks like it’s bad news for the ANC. But not necessarily. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
“Awakening on Friday morning, June 20, 1913, the South African Native found himself, not actually a slave, but a pariah in the land of his birth,” wrote Sol Plaatje. One hundred years ago today, the Natives Land Act came into being. REBECCA DAVIS reflects on the ongoing social consequences of this egregious piece of legislation.
It has been increasingly common in recent years for South African civil society organisations to approach the courts to compel government departments to take action on social issues. But even if successful, the legal route doesn’t always guarantee a quick solution. Equal Education staged marches in Cape Town and Pretoria on Monday as part of their lengthy battle to get Education Minister Angie Motshekga to agree to publish norms and standards for school infrastructure. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Six years ago, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba became the youngest ever head of the Anglican Church. In a wide-ranging interview at Bishopscourt, he spoke about the challenges of his job, his relationship with President Jacob Zuma and his respect for Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He also shared some of his concerns about South Africa today. By RYLAND FISHER.
Despite repeated assurances by Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba and Eskom CEO Brian Dames, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that power from Medupi, South Africa’s first new base-load power station in 25 years, will be delivered into the national grid by the end of 2013. By CHRIS YELLAND.
You may think the announcement by former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema this week that he is undertaking a consultation process on his economic freedom campaign was months in the making, a political strategy devised in smoke-filled rooms by shadowy political heavyweights behind him. Turns out Malema and his sidekick Floyd Shivambu, together with a few of their mates, decided on it without consulting anyone. Malema revealed this, his intentions for a “revolution” in South Africa, his impressions watching from the sidelines as Jacob Zuma won a second term at Mangaung and his life outside the ANC in an interview with RANJENI MUNUSAMY. GREG NICOLSON took the pictures.
Western Cape ANC leader Marius Fransman called on “all our people” to join a march to the DA-controlled provincial legislature on Thursday. Poor turnout and a refusal by any DA bigwigs to collect a memorandum of demands rendered the march a bit of a damp squib. No faeces was flung – other than verbally. But with the elections a full ten months away, Western Cape opposition politics are looking increasingly like – if you’ll pardon our language – a shit-show. By REBECCA DAVIS.
In 1976, I was a young American diplomat who had been assigned to Johannesburg the year before, following an assignment in Southeast Asia. Trying to understand Johannesburg, and South Africa, meant trying to come to grips with the country’s myriad of racially defined laws – as well as all the other things not actually enshrined in law but deeply woven into the fabric of this society. All of this became like a series of slaps across the face, even though America’s own experiences with racial segregation were still relatively fresh in the Washington, DC area and could have been a partial roadmap. By J BROOKS SPECTOR.
There could have been no better way for President Jacob Zuma to begin a speech than to announce that former president Nelson Mandela was “responding better to treatment” after five days in hospital. But then he had to get down to the serious business of what his presidency was doing to lead the country through troubled economic times. The opposition parties also paused to salute Madiba, and then took the opportunity to rip into Zuma’s leadership. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
On Tuesday, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane spoke at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), outlining her view of the province’s future prospects and problems; its challenges and chances; highlighting her “Vision 2055” for the province. The premier’s audience was in her corner right from the start – considering that it was a gathering of people committed to the province’s success, urging her on in her optimism. Nonetheless, despite all this good feeling, it is also clear many of Gauteng Province’s biggest, most fundamental challenges may well remain effectively beyond the power of the premier’s government to alter fundamentally – at least in the short to medium term. Instead, national, regional and global circumstances are more likely to dictate the province’s success. By J BROOKS SPECTOR.
South Africans pay some of the most expensive rates in the world for cellphone and data charges. Now a civil society group is taking on the big cellphone companies. The Right2Know organisation says that exorbitant cellphone charges are barring many South Africans from accessing their basic right to communicate – and that companies like MTN and Vodacom are needlessly exploiting the South African public. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The Democratic Alliance led media through a Soweto hostel on Wednesday to highlight the water and sanitation issues in the area. Little has been done to improve the plight of residents, for whom the most basic service, sanitation, is an everyday struggle. After years of failed promises from the ANC, there is little hope another party would improve the situation. Still, the DA gave it a shot. By JESSICA EATON, BHEKI C SIMELANE & GREG NICOLSON.
Nine months ago, former ANC Youth League president Julius Malema faded off the political radar, only sporadically appearing in the news during his court appearances and the auctioning of his properties to pay his debts. Now he has re-invented himself as a freedom fighter outside the ANC, and is embarking on the en vogue countrywide tour to “consult” supporters on the best way to achieve economic freedom. So Malema wants to form a political party, but wants to build popular support for it first. And while he is severely damaged by his corruption charges and in the political wilderness now, it is worth remembering that so was one Jacob Zuma a few years ago. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
As the nation awaits news of its Madiba, an inevitable debate has sprung up around the coverage of his stay in hospital. It's being claimed that it's ghoulish to sit outside an institution, waiting for someone to die. It was also suggested that it somehow lessens the dignity of the former president. As with most debates around the media, it's actually a debate about our society, and what is acceptable and what is not. I'm a reporter, a journalist, a radio presenter and a current affairs addict. So I have an opinion. And if we are going to have this debate, allow me to humbly give the case of the news media. Or at least, my version of that case. By STEPHEN GROOTES, writing, unashamedly, with an agenda.
“A new policy will come into effect in 2014 mandating the learning of an African language in all schools,” announced Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga just over three weeks ago, upon delivering her department’s budget speech. Since then, details of what this might look like have been scant. On Tuesday, however, the parliamentary portfolio committee on education heard a little more about it – and it sounds like the policy may simultaneously be too much (in terms of timeframes and teachers) and too little (in terms of the intended effects). By REBECCA DAVIS.