- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
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.
It might sound like an April Fool’s joke, but Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini would have us believe that 31 out of 32 central executive committee members voting in favour of Zwelinzima Vavi’s dismissal is a sign of “unity” in the federation. The ANC, on the other hand, seems not to be as confident that all will be well with Vavi cut loose and able agitate outside the alliance. But it could also be a clever move by the ANC to look like the voice of reason in an effort to keep workers sympathetic to Vavi onside. If Vavi is to be the next big thing in South African politics, he needs to move on from his head butting with Cosatu’s leaders and take on those who masterminded his downfall. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
When Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi on Tuesday spoke on companies' compliance with the Mining Charter, the results were once again disappointing showing mining houses continue to fail to meet set transformation targets. But the issue that's stolen the show is ownership and it's going to take the courts to determine how to measure who owns what. By GREG NICOLSON.
Not all the hearings of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission took place in the public eye. Some were held in-camera, and the records of what went on during many of those hearings have never previously seen the light of day. After an 11-year battle, however, the South African History Archive has finally gained access to 174 of such records. What is the significance of this? By REBECCA DAVIS.
On 16 August 2012, 34 people were killed in Marikana by the police. Promising justice, President Jacob Zuma announced a commission of inquiry into the deaths, as well as those of 10 people killed in the preceding week. Today the commission's report is due. GREG NICOLSON looks at what we know from the inquiry and what to expect.
On Monday night Cosatu’s Central Executive Committee voted to dismiss Zwelinzima Vavi. It had been a long time coming, and probably wasn’t much of a surprise to anyone. This is one of those moments where our politics enters once more the promise of possibility, a situation where almost anything can happen. It’s a catalytic moment on two fronts, both politically, and for worker/boss relations. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The level of disarray in state and state-owned institutions stares us in the face every day. At one level it is hard to untangle what is true and what is false, as well as who can be relied on to explain what is happening as one state or state-owned institution after another falls into dysfunctionality. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
A Cosatu special central executive committee meeting voted on Monday evening to dismiss the federation’s general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. It marks the end his long-running leadership of South Africa’s most powerful trade union federation and comes after two-and-a-half years of turbulence in Cosatu. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
“This is a deliberate act of defiance on my part.” This was Zwelinzima Vavi essentially requesting that the trade union federation Cosatu fire him. At a melodramatic media briefing on Sunday afternoon, the soon-to-be sacked Cosatu general secretary made the rather bizarre, somewhat contradictory announcement that he had “reached the end of the road” but was not resigning from the federation. He then proceeded to air Cosatu’s dirty laundry, including its financial troubles, all in the presence of a throng of Numsa members – the union expelled from the very building he was speaking at. In his head, Vavi’s strategy makes perfect sense. To the rest of the world, not so much. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
On Sunday, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi essentially dared the dominant faction within the federation, and more particularly, its Central Executive Committee, to fire him. His explanation is that he can no longer make any progress using traditional - i.e. boardroom - means. It is an admission that he simply doesn’t have the numbers within the CEC to push any decisions through, that the CEC wants him out, and that he will, in the end, have no choice but to leave. It is clear Vavi wants to go out in a blaze of glory and be able to claim that he tried every possible option before exiting Cosatu. But, because of his weakness in terms of numbers, his opponents have a few options. And plenty of cards. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
When Democratic Alliance Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane made the case for a vote of no confidence against President Jacob Zuma earlier this month, he said Zuma had become “President I did not know”. He said Zuma denies knowledge and complicity in anything that goes wrong. In an interview with the SABC this week, Zuma indicated that he knew a whole lot on the two issues topping the news agenda – Eskom and the battles in the criminal justice sector. Perhaps even more than he is letting on. Does he have a hand in the wrangling? Reading between the lines, probably. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Over the last two decades, the City of Johannesburg has regularly embarked on big operations, directed against apparent spaces of vice. While these operations are intended to show the authorities’ zero tolerance stance to crime, they are often characterised by an iron fist approach against minor misdemeanours. By conflating diverse issues under an anti-crime umbrella, the local state criminalises poverty, obscuring and obliterating reasonable economic activity in its sweeping campaign against by-law infringements. By CHRISTOPHER MCMICHAEL, MARGOT RUBIN & SARAH CHARLTON.
After a shambolic lead-up and a chaotic and marathon inaugural consultative conference, elections for the historic Creative and Cultural Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) ended this week with a measure of calm restored when those with political ambitions were thwarted and a new board was nominated to represent the interests of the creative sector. As the week drew to a close there was even better news, when the acting DG for The Department of Arts and Culture agreed to scrap entirely the controversial White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage. By MARIANNE THAMM.
This week has seen the NPA claiming that its deputy head, Advocate Nomgcobo Jiba, is “avoiding” police; the police saying that the NPA is “jumping the gun” to issue her with a summons; and Jiba herself saying that she’ll “discuss it all” with her boss when she gets to see him. Head spinning? Ours too. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
President Jacob Zuma spoke this week about rapidly increasing the amount of black industrialists in the country, which he hopes can boost the manufacturing sector, promote economic transformation and increase growth throughout the economy. Essential to economic growth, however, is the small business sector. GREG NICOLSON looks at the situation.
Over the past three days, stakeholders with interests in rhino conservation have had the unenviable task of presenting their views on the “feasibility, or not, of a rhino horn trade” to the Committee of Inquiry set up to investigate exactly that. The Committees’ eventual conclusion will determine whether South Africa calls for legalisation at the next meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in 2016. By ANDREA TEAGLE.
On Thursday, hundreds of supporters of social movement Ses’khona People’s Rights – the original poo-chuckers – marched to the Western Cape provincial legislature. The ANC Western Cape had put out a statement announcing that they would meet them there in support. Many Ses’khona members wore T-shirts stating “Ses’khona endorses ANC”. And yet when ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman tried to address the crowd, he was booed away. Politics is a bloodsport. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa believes now is the time to combat SA's biggest killer, tuberculosis. The state is embarking on the largest screening campaign seen in South Africa and Ramaphosa, like activists and patients, wants to see the same efforts applied in fighting HIV/Aids. But the challenges are vast. By GREG NICOLSON.
The second (and final) day of Parliament’s gun conference saw more drama offstage than on it. According to the programme, the speaker following Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega on to the podium was supposed to be the IPID head, one Robert McBride. Unsurprisingly, the suspended McBride was nowhere to be seen, and his absence never formally acknowledged. Later, DA representatives walked out after claiming they were deliberately being sidelined. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The conviction of former tennis icon, Bob Hewitt, on two counts of rape and one of indecent assault, vindicates the experiences of many women who grew up in the claustrophobic and deeply patriarchal 1960s, 70s and 80s and who were victims of the unquestioned toxic power and privilege bestowed on men during this epoch. It might be difficult for younger women to imagine just how silencing and oppressive a time it was. By MARIANNE THAMM.
On Tuesday, the democratically elected President of the Republic of South Africa, speaking to the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in Midrand, cracked open his consciousness and allowed his true dreamscape to envelop another bemused audience. It turns out that in the endlessly looped, Beyonce-style video album running in his head, he’s playing Robert Mugabe in rhinestones, running the country from Nkandla/Neverland with the wave of a bedazzled wand. RICHARD POPLAK delves into the Dream.
Allegations of corruption, political interference and a lack of transparency as well as death threats, walk-outs and boycotts formed the dramatic and sometimes chaotic backdrop to what should have been an historic consultative and elective conference for the newly-established Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) in Bloemfontein this week. By MARIANNE THAMM.