- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
The Soweto Derby is a relatively peaceful, colourful, noisy and spectacular event. In the rest of the world, local derbies can be bloody affairs that draw on deep tensions within local communities and societies. We should not forget the death of 43 people during a Soweto Derby at Ellis Park in 2001. By ISMAIL LAGARDIEN.
The ANC lives, the ANC leads. The first part of the slogan is certainly true – a 104-year lifespan is a formidable feat for a political organisation. As far as leading though, this week’s national executive committee (NEC) lekgotla leaves doubt as to whether the ANC appreciates the crisis South Africa finds itself in. From an economy in dire straits to a nation struggling to find social cohesion to serious problems in higher education and the SA Revenue Service and more scandals involving senior ANC members, you would think the party leadership would step up to confront issues. And yet, there was not a single outcome to show bold, decisive leadership. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
The ANC in the Western Cape is facing a leadership crisis with the suspension of two top officials, Chairperson Marius Fransman and Provincial Secretary Faiez Jacobs. Fransman was “directed” by the party's national office to step down pending the investigation of charges that he sexually assaulted a 20-year-old woman. Meanwhile, Provincial Secretary Faiez Jacobs, whose illegal suspension in December was at first overturned on appeal, has also been suspended pending a court appearance on charges of assault. The suspensions indicate that national party officials have had enough of the protracted and debilitating factionalism in the region. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has suggested that Twitter in South Africa has become less of a force for good for national debate, and more of a force for evil. For her, it could actually hinder debate because of the “vicious debilitating insults” that are now expressed on the medium. There are many people who, no matter what their views on Zille, may agree with her sentiments. Twitter seems to be more angry than it was. But, there may be valid reasons for this, and it may not be a unique phenomenon. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The former Transkei is like a rural conurbation; low density humanity spreads itself across overlapping villages. But this is humanity left behind. People who live here have limited (if any) access to water and electricity, no access to jobs, an ambulance is as rare as a politician, and the OR Tambo district has the worst health outcomes in the country. How that can be, God only knows. Here only marijuana and the forests seem to thrive. By MARK JAMES HEYWOOD.
On Wednesday, up to 20,000 Democratic Alliance (DA) supporters marched through the Johannesburg CBD. While the party confronts continued allegations of racism from opponents, it was the DA's first significant move in canvassing votes for the local government elections on a new, more positive agenda. By GREG NICOLSON.
The death of four mineworkers at Impala Platinum (Implats) last week was a reminder of the industry's violent history. During democracy, fatalities on the mines have significantly decreased. But drastic measures must be taken to turn the cliché into reality: the loss of one life is one too many. By GREG NICOLSON.
What would happen if you were raped or beaten by a female perpetrator? Would you report it to the police? Receive trauma counselling? Tell your family? Think about it, really think about it. Because, according to some first-person narratives, doing any of these things won’t go as smoothly as you might expect. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
While KPMG CEO Trevor Hoole publicly claimed this week that the firm's report on an investigation into an alleged illegal covert unit in SARS was a “draft” and that KPMG had been mandated merely to “undertake a documentary review”, a letter by SARS lawyers written in November last year suggests otherwise. In the letter, legal firm Mashiane Moodley and Monama, state that their client, SARS, views the KPMG investigation as “forensic” with the express intention of “of pursuing criminal charges”. Somebody is not telling the truth here. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Democratic South Africa’s second great helmsman, Thabo Mbeki, has been filing a series of missives that he hopes will reshape the historical interpretation of his presidency. In this, he shares a vocation with Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams: they are both rebooters, moulding their product in the image of a suddenly longed-for past. And so, light sabers at the ready: the farce (re)awakens… By RICHARD POPLAK.
Penny Sparrow has gone from being an insignificant KwaZulu-Natal estate agent to a personification of the state of our nation. Crass racism, contestation for the country’s resources, class division and spectacular conceit colliding in a general swirl of self-hate. We love to hate what we are. The honeymoon years of our democracy was a grand delusion, the diversity we once celebrated is now at the core of national discord and we are plunging downhill, following the stereotype of every good African state gone bad. It is easy to see Jacob Zuma and Penny Sparrow as the champions of our regression. But South Africa has a general penchant for self-sabotage. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Despite legal requirements and repeated pleas from community members that the financial accounts of “traditional communities” such as Bakgatla ba Kgafela be audited annually, the Auditor-General and North West provincial government have failed to enforce this basic oversight mechanism. This has contributed to widespread speculation of mining deal corruption involving senior politicians. By MONICA DE SOUZA LOUW for GROUNDUP.
It is almost impossible to know how leopards are faring in South Africa. They are secretive animals that are mainly nocturnal, solitary, and range over huge areas. Counting them requires intensive research using expensive technology such camera traps, which can only be deployed over small areas, far smaller than the areas in which hunting quotas are determined. Hunting them will speed up their extinction. By DON PINNOCK.
Health services in the Free State have been deteriorating over a number of years, sparking a fierce battle between provincial politicians and the Treatment Action Campaign. Yet at the height of this conflict, a key activist established a rival organisation to TAC. HEALTH-E NEWS Sibongile Nkosi dissects the split.
When the ANC decided to reconstitute its Youth League, after the rather public defenestration of its current least favourite Young Lion, there were many questions about what role it would play. Some suggested it would be a tame kitten, others that it would have a roar that would actually mean something in our politics. But, based on the track-record that the League and its members have established so far, it seems Julius Malema was right: it's been reduced to a "youth desk", now being used only to serve factional interests in the ANC. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
In the auditing world reputation matters more than profit. The collapse of Arthur Anderson LLP, once one of the world's “big five” auditing firms, under the weight of several ethical breaches including the 2001 Enron scandal, is evidence of this. Shortly after his reappointment as Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan publicly questioned the reputation of the global auditing firm KPMG after the leaking of a version of an “independent” report, commissioned by SARS to look into allegations of an alleged “rogue unit” in the South African Revenue Service. A final report has now been handed to SARS commissioner Tom Moyane but with a subtle “lets cover our arse” letter from KPMG. Meanwhile, an embattled and emboldened Moyane appears to have thrown down the gauntlet to Gordhan challenging his authority. By MARIANNE THAMM.
By normalising violence and its consequences through the media, violence is seen as almost natural to black people. This practice means it is acceptable to show the deepest pain and most private anguish for all to see, for no other benefit or news value other than to reinforce the stereotype of black people being violent, and overly emotional. By WILLIAM BIRD.
On Thursday, news emerged that President Jacob Zuma did not participate in an Africa panel session at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Although it raised eyebrows that the President of South Africa did not use the foremost gathering of investors and world leaders to market the country, it was not the worst news. Zuma’s leadership and views on economic issues has been somewhat disastrous for the country. South Africa needs a fresh approach to choose leaders or we will continue to gamble with our future and keep presidential foot shooting as our national sport. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.