- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
Several sex workers have been brutally murdered in and around Cape Town. This week members of the Sex worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) and Sisonke National Sex Worker Movement of South Africa kicked off a month-long campaign to raise awareness of the high levels of violence faced by sex workers in the city. While the campaign is part of ongoing attempts to lobby for the decriminalisation of sex work, it also hopes reclaim the spaces where at least four women have been found brutally murdered. By MARIANNE THAMM.
In South Africa, trouble with the law does not really discount you from politics. Let’s not forget that the rape and corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma actually aided his campaign for the presidency of the ANC and ultimately the country. Political conspiracy and corruption charges have become two sides of the same coin. Economic Freedom Fighters leaders Julius Malema chose a different strategy to Zuma in his corruption case – and it ultimately paid off. Now he has a new lease of political life and is ready to continue his efforts to demolish his enemies. Zuma, National Prosecuting Authority boss Shaun Abrahams and Cyril Ramaphosa, the man whose picture is most likely to be on the ballot paper somewhere above Malema’s in 2019, are on his target list. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty says the pile of rejections for Zimbabwe Special Dispensation Permits is getting bigger daily and the reasons given by the Department of Home Affairs are sometimes obscure. Rejected applicants are given only 10 days to leave South Africa and are not granted the right to appeal. By BERNARD CHIGUVARE.
Like child murder, the second season of hit HBO series, and U2, everyone hates corruption. So much so that a coalition called Unite Against Corruption was planning simultaneous marches to Parliament and the Union Buildings on August 19. The coalition includes some heavy hitters, such as ousted former African National Congress alliance partners Zwelinzima Vavi and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, and was thus starting to accrue some serious opposition. Now, Unite Against Corruption has delayed the proceedings to September 23. Is the postponement a good thing? Or is it an early admission of failure? By RICHARD POPLAK.
Socialist activist Liv Shange has been back in her home country of Sweden for almost a week, since being denied permanent residency in South Africa. Shange maintains that she is the victim of political tides which seek to bar her from continuing her work in South Africa – after high-profile ANC politicians publicly criticised her. Home Affairs contends that Shange simply went about applying for her residency the wrong way. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The lack of security on trains in the Western Cape is a growing concern for commuters who are sitting ducks for criminals. Now the Congress of South African Trade Unions in the province has taken up the issue, threatening strike action if its concerns are not addressed. By ASHLEIGH FURLONG and GROUNDUP.
That our police service is a mess is a statement that brooks no argument. National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega has had to justify to the person who appointed her, President Jacob Zuma, why she should stay in office. Nine former police officers are in court for the horrific murder of Mido Macia. Crime, and particularly violent crime, has surged in the last two years. Sadly, everyone knows someone who has been asked for a bribe by a cop, metro or otherwise. But instead of addressing the problems forcefully, it appears that at least a part of the police establishment has other task in hand: saving Phiyega’s career by any means. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
If a retweet by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela angered ANC members of the parliamentary ad hoc committee on Nkandla, one can only imagine the effect her media briefing on Monday had on them. Madonsela read out a 5,555-word document on Nkandla to the media that would have been the statement she presented to Parliament, had she been given the opportunity to do so. It was a political stunt, yes – one akin to Clint Eastwood addressing an empty chair at the 2012 Republican Convention. But Madonsela says this was her only option to clarify issues, respond to attacks and reveal how her office is being prejudiced as a result of the Nkandla fallout. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Architect Minenhle Makhanya has been largely blamed for the escalation of project costs during the security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s private Nkandla residence. Makhanya is awaiting a court judgment that will determine whether he will be given confidential and classified documents to defend himself in a colossal R155-million civil claim against him. If the architect succeeds in unlocking the treasure trove, he intends to show that his work was approved and signed off by the relevant authorities. If he is unsuccessful in his application, he will apply to have the civil claim struck off the court roll. Whichever way it goes, to many this entire case will appear as if it was designed to collapse over the issue of Makhanya’s lack of access to classified documents. By GLYNNIS UNDERHILL.
National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega told President Jacob Zuma late on Friday night why she should keep her job after the Marikana commission of inquiry questioned her fitness for the office. While it is clear from the commission's findings, and from more than two years of hearings, that the police commissioner should be replaced, others must also be investigated. By GREG NICOLSON.
Knowledge of the Constitution is enabling young lesbian women on the East Rand to fight for their rights and to “walk tall” in the face of persecution. In a community that seeks to push them to the very margins of society, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people are eking out spaces for themselves through small daily acts of defiance. By KYLA HERRMANNSEN for HEALTH-E NEWS.
Dozens of Metro law enforcement officers swooped on Wolwerivier relocation camp on Wednesday morning. They broke locks and ejected two households deemed to have unlawfully occupied the structures built by the municipality. A community leader has called this show of force an insult, citing the general lack of safety and protection for Wolwerivier's inhabitants. By DANEEL KNOETZE for GROUNDUP.
If you thought the latest Nkandla parliamentary ad hoc committee was about whether President Jacob Zuma should pay back the money, you were very wrong. It may have appeared that the committee was set up to consider Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko’s report on whether the president benefitted unduly from the Nkandla upgrades, but the end result is very different. The first outcome of this process was to lay the foundation to authorise that more taxpayers’ money be spent on upgrading security at the president’s private home. The second was to allow ANC members to maul Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in an effort to discredit her report and findings. Madonsela, the ANC would have us believe, is the chief villain who wronged the president and misled the public. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
MTN on Wednesday dumped their Tour de France conquering team. It doesn’t matter. When you’ve battled the hardest mountains in the Alps—blah blah blah, etc etc. But seriously, what’s next for this team? How will they cope? Can they keep making Africans across the continent happy? Or will a certain cell phone company ruin the show? We spoke to Team [Insert Sponsor]-Qhubeka's Number One, Douglas Ryder. By RICHARD POPLAK.
The Marikana Commission of Inquiry’s final report gives rise to a number of questions. Where is the body to be headed by senior counsel to investigate the police officers identified as having taken part in the violence? Why are we forced to ask this question when the report was handed to President Jacob Zuma more than four months ago? What is the role of Parliament in ensuring accountability and that justice is served? Where is the response of National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega on why she should not face an inquiry into her fitness to hold office? By REHAD DESAI.
The winter initiation season saw more young men added to the long list of deceased and injured. Illegal schools continue and prosecutions are rare. But there have been improvements and with an increased focus on regulating and monitoring initiation schools, one day the positive stories might escape the shadow of tragedy. By GREG NICOLSON.
After months of near-silence on the new visa regime imposed by Home Affairs, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom finally went public on Wednesday morning, telling the world he was worried about the impact they were having on his industry. A few hours later, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba hit back strongly. It’s not often that we have two cabinet minister slugging it out in public. While it could be considered fun for some of us, it is probably not so much fun for them. And it’s certainly not much fun for the travel industry, which says it’s losing money, passengers, and faith. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
US President Barack Obama historic address at the African Union headquarters on Tuesday was every bit as rousing as he intended it to be – inspiring yet cutting, easy-going yet contemporary. No bluster. Just Obama being Obamaesque. Thabo Mbeki’s “I am an African” speech was probably the last big oratory moment by a world leader that could inspire hope for the future and pride in Africa’s heritage. In South Africa we no longer do big inspirational speeches – although some verbal Prozac is probably much needed in a country where people resort to being fed snakes and rats as succour in the face of increasing difficulties. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Online music giants such as Spotify and Apple Music have missed one important thing: they’re not catering for niche markets. That’s the view of one local entrepreneur, who is selling online music differently. Meet the team at NicheStreem, which plans to take on online music streaming, one targeted market at a time. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
Seventeen years ago on 28 July 1998, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission granted amnesty to four young men who had been sentenced to jail terms for killing American Fulbright scholar Amy Biehl in Gugulethu in 1993. The manner in which her parents, Peter and Linda Biehl, chose to deal with her death as well as their decision to forgive and engage with the killers, provided a much-needed example of restorative justice. In a country torn apart at the time by racial tension and violence, the Biehls taught us how to step out of the eye of the tempest and seek a common humanity. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Should the words “treachery” and “betrayal” be reserved for use in a time of war? Are these words not applicable as valid descriptions of those who steal from their own people, their own constituency, the very people in whose name they have risen to power, from whose loins they have come and whose cause they claim to have made their own? Is it not a special type of treachery that orders or condones the shooting of these people or the looting of funds that could be used to meet their needs? By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
The most important phase of learning takes place in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, and if that opportunity is missed, the damage can never be undone. Yet in South Africa, the lion’s share of our education budget is spent on tertiary education – the phase which delivers the least long-term benefits from the investment. Slowly, however, with the help of key players in government and nongovernmental organisations, early childhood development is starting to gain more attention. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
Modern philanthropy is seeing the rise of activist philanthropy, with activism treated as part of a continuum of change involving various stakeholders. Activist philanthropy understands that we need to work together and that there can be no change unless we create a situation of equality and equity. By SHELAGH GASTROW.
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has just led a delegation to China ostensibly to learn more about how the country’s state-owned broadcast media works. However, as the Democratic Alliance’s shadow communications minister Gavin Davis put it, going to China to learn about media is like going to the Sudan to learn about human rights. That China is ranked by Reporters Without Borders as 177th out of 180 countries in its worldwide index of press freedom appears to be of little concern to the minister. Meanwhile, the Independent Group, which has a 20% Chinese stake, has dispatched one of its deputy editors to China on a 10-month media scholarship. By MARIANNE THAMM.