- John Vlismas & Duncan Harling
Sheer curiosity and a benevolent photographer pushed me up what felt like the steepest driveway in Bedfordview. The reward – an hour inspecting the home of arguably the country’s most infamous crime boss and the opportunity to allow myself to slip into an alternate universe narrated by Marlon Brando and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. By MANDY WIENER.
If ever evidence was needed of the glaring contradictions in Cosatu and the tripartite alliance, it was on display on the second day of the federation’s 12th national congress. The route to socialism via the ANC, which is not fighting for socialism, the attack on capitalists, who happen to be funding the congress, and the ringing endorsement of Cyril Ramaphosa for president, who represents what Cosatu and the South African Communist Party (SACP) consider to be the enemy of the working class. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
South Africa is often a contradiction. A documentary on the Marikana Massacre can win an Emmy, but won't be shown on public television. The families of the victims who are at the heart of the story can be venerated, but they still haven't received compensation. It's time these contradictions end. Miners Shot Down must be aired on public TV, and the country must come to terms with its past, which is still its present.
On 23 November, Geoff Sifrin's book,'Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris – How humanity, morality and humour helped lead a community', was launched at the Great Synagogue in Johannesburg. In his speech, JUDGE EDWIN CAMERON addressed Harris's commitment to reaching out across the divides in the South African Jewish community, as well as perhaps the most vexing question facing many Jews: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By GROUNDUP.
What stood out about Nelson Mandela was that he repeatedly changed his political understanding over time. This was notably in his attitude to the use of force, taking up arms when it was necessary, and working to build peace when possible. This demonstrated that a leader must have the capacity for introspection, and consequently be able to re-evaluate modes of operation. By RAYMOND SUTTNER
Stereotypical pictures of illegal abortion practices are of doctors with bloodied aprons and carving knives, but modern “clinics” are usually run by criminals. Women are instructed to take drugs (orally or vaginally) and are sometimes told that the baby “will dissolve” or be “flushed away”. By ROBYN WOLFSON VORSTER
South Africa is 21 years into democracy, and many poor people are still without houses, basic services, and continue to routinely face inhumane evictions. Dysfunctional cooperative governance relations; a lack of capacity, and the ineffective application of policy, are some of the reasons for this, according to a report by the South African Human Rights Commission. KOKETSO MOETI unpacks some of the housing issues and recommendations of the commission.
Parliament's ad hoc joint committee on probing violence against foreign nationals has finally submitted its report. There is little new in its findings, and if past reports on the issue are an indication, few of the broad recommendations will be implemented. But policy changes resulting from the attacks on foreigners this year are likely already decided: Implement harsher controls of those coming into SA while attempting to build township economies. By GREG NICOLSON.
There can surely be no doubting the fact that while the star of Zwelinzima Vavi has been totally eclipsed in the Cosatu planetary system, the Sun that is S'dumo Dlamini is now in control. Forced to take a minor, relatively quiet role while Vavi was general secretary, he is now the public face of the Federation. Addressing Cosatu's congress on Monday evening, it was only human for him to see the moment as a symbol of his ultimate victory over Vavi. But he also clearly believes the battle for Cosatu is still not over. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
There was a time when those mediating the conflict in Cosatu believed the only way to navigate out of the crisis would be for S’dumo Dlamini and Zwelinzima Vavi to step down as president and general secretary respectively. Cosatu took another route. It dismissed Vavi earlier this year and, on the first day of its 12th national congress, re-elected Dlamini for a third term as president. It was a triumph for the dominant faction in Cosatu. But the minority faction staged a fight back that saw heated debates for most of day one, which ended with a rather baffling speech by President Jacob Zuma. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
President Jacob Zuma, South African Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande and Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini will all speak at the opening of Cosatu’s 12th national congress in Midrand on Monday. For them, this congress will be a triumph over their detractors. Cosatu now needs to redefine itself in a shifting political and social landscape where nouveau radicalism and hashtag protests are on trend. But the Vavi-Numsa bashing and preoccupation with ANC succession could defocus Cosatu from what its core business should be. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Next week, trade union federation Cosatu will elect a new leadership at its 12th national congress in Midrand. Cosatu president S’dumo Dlamini used to be the man very much in the shadow of Zwelinzima Vavi. Now he takes centre stage, having kept his grip on the federation through its most turbulent period, leading the charge to fire Vavi and overseeing the expulsion of Numsa. Dlamini also serves in the top structures of the ANC and SACP, and is accused of being conflicted. He spoke to RANJENI MUNUSAMY about some of the behind-the-scenes intrigues, how the relationship with Vavi broke down and whether Cosatu still benefits from its alliance with the ANC.
Former president, Thabo Mbeki, noted that “among the yardsticks by which to measure a society’s respect for human rights, to evaluate the level of its maturity and its generosity of spirit” is the manner in which it treats the disabled. The marginalisation and dehumanisation of people with psychosocial disabilities, represents one of the most widespread forms of discrimination still prevalent in South African. By FARAAZ MAHOMED and DAVID BILCHITZ.
It’s not a great time for South African morale. Student protests, economy in trouble, severe drought in parts of the country. But if President Jacob Zuma is feeling the heat, he did a good job of hiding it during his final Q&A session for the year in Parliament on Thursday. There were chuckles aplenty from President Zuma, while the message from the opposition was: We are not amused. By REBECCA DAVIS.
When Johannesburg residents avoided eviction and agreed to move from a dilapidated Berea building to City of Johannesburg building in 2007, it was hailed as a victory for engagement and an example of affordable public housing for the urban poor. The model should be expanded, but the City has neglected its building and its residents. By GREG NICOLSON.
One of the great joys of a leadership struggle within the ANC and the alliance is that it allows those of us who are outside the glorious liberation movement a chance to see what is really going on inside. Fault lines appear, and that allows us to work out who will win the policy wars of the near future. We are now still two years away from the ANC's 2017 leadership conference, but already the SACP and the ANC Youth League are at each other’s throats. It is not a pretty sight; it tells us that it is getting harder and harder to maintain any pretence of unity within both the ANC and the alliance itself. And that the leadership debate/fight is well and truly underway. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
In poor areas, the demand for safety requires creativity. In the absence of money, resources and technology, and in the face of violent crime quite unlike that which is seen in the suburbs, community policing takes on many forms. Taxi associations, street committees and vigilante groups are some of the common informal initiatives in a spectrum of responses to crime that have characterised communities besieged by violence, substance addiction and socio-economic stagnation. By DANIEL HARTFORD.
Last week, Daily Maverick met with UCT Vice-Chancellor Max Price for a series of interviews on the student protests. After a notable disruption of the Senate Meeting and increasing tensions on other campuses regarding the desire for outsourcing agreements, Price gave Daily Maverick his views on the current challenges facing UCT and the issues that would still need to be ironed out moving forward. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
In joining the struggle for liberation, those who committed themselves as cadres, those who sacrificed the most, joined their fate, their consciousness and their understanding of selfhood with that of all oppressed people. In their minds they fused their own future as individual human beings with that of the rest of the people of the country. But today for those with power and wealth there has been a rethinking of their relationship to social improvement and their conception of what post-apartheid South Africa ought to mean. Individuals who may or may not have had a significant record in the struggle have come to act as bearers of that legacy and deploy that in a quest for improvement in their personal conditions. In doing so they now interpret the goals of political activity not as being to benefit all but rather to enhance the life opportunities or increase the already transformed life chances of the few who are close to power or derive benefits from those who hold power. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
In South Africa, at the moment, there are any number of unenviable high-pressure jobs; National Police Commissioner, University Vice-chancellor, or President, for that matter. But one of the most daunting has to be heading up one of the country’s beleaguered parastatals. Acting South African Airways Chief Executive Officer, Musa Zwane, has his work cut out for him. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The building of large numbers of housing units in isolated greenfield locations has had detrimental side effects on our cities over the last two decades. Yet a series of new megaprojects, designed to accelerate the delivery of housing, is now on the cards. Because they are to be built on cheap peripheral land, these schemes threaten to reinforce urban fragmentation, inefficiency and exclusion. By IVAN TUROK.
The Oranjezicht City Farm Market in Cape Town has gone in four years from being a small volunteer community project to a popular city market pumping R30 million into the local economy trading only one day a week. It has also created 200 jobs and supports around 15 small farmers in the region. One of its visionaries is former Cape tourism head, Sheryl Ozinsky, who has a plan to create sustainable, local, small scale farming in the region enabling the provision of quality, affordable and nutritious food. And she's making it happen. By MARIANNE THAMM.
By midday on Tuesday, concerned staff members at CPUT had taken matters into their own hands following yet more fires on campus on Monday night. They want to bring out the big guns, and not the shooting kind: external counselling. Following the total closure of the campus, more than 55 members of staff issued an urgent call for mediation, with the signatures on their petition growing in numbers. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.