- Ranjeni Munusamy
On Wednesday, in Parliament, after the usual pleasantries had been observed (the shouting and screaming that marks the traditional out-chucking of the EFF), the ANC benches stood up to applaud President Jacob Zuma. He was presenting his budget speech, the budget of the Presidency. Parliament being Parliament, he was exercising political power, explaining the choices he had made as president. But, as the defences his supporters mount for him become increasingly legal and technical, it is equally obvious that he is president only technically. Legitimacy? He lost it long ago, somewhere along the road that led us to the current sad state of affairs. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Civil society lobby group Accountability Now has written to ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe and Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, expressing concern that an interpretation in the ConCourt judgment of the remedial action ordered by the public protector might short-change taxpayers. The Constitutional Court ruled that President Zuma pay back the money for non-security upgrades within 60 days of the 31 March judgment. With less than 30 days to go, the clock is ticking. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Five months after last year’s unprotected strike by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) at Parliament, labour relations at the national legislature remain terse. On Wednesday Nehawu called for the departure of Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana, whom it accused of bad faith in facilitation before the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), and failing to fully implement what had been agreed in 2015. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
President Jacob Zuma spoke about everything except his office’s R505.7-million budget on Wednesday in Parliament. Ticking boxes mostly already ticked during his February State of the Nation Address, he talked of building South Africa’s better life “brick by brick” and educating “the children of peasants… to become medical doctors, lawyers, captains of industry or rocket scientists”. But following two recent scathing court judgments, the EFF and DA tackled Zuma’s integrity as president. As the ANC maintained no court had found the president guilty of anything, Zuma looked on mostly stony-faced. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
Cricket South Africa launched the 2016 Africa Cup without too much fanfare on Wednesday. There was much talk of “identity” and “opportunities”. It might sound like marketing waffle, but there’s a chance to capture the market of the often-forgotten smaller cricketing grounds across the country. By ANTOINETTE MULLER
Gang violence makes Cape Town one of the most brutal cities in the world. In the pilot episode of his web series Ridealong – which offers first-hand glimpses into South Africa’s least accessible professions – Shaun Swingler plunges the viewer headlong into the heart of Cape Town’s gangland. Ride along with the Cape Town Metro Police Gang and Drug Task Team as they battle gangsterism, crime and drug abuse in one of the most notoriously violent places on earth. By SHAUN SWINGLER for DAILY MAVERICK CHRONICLE. (Words by Andrea Teagle.)
The EFF has always been thought of as a party of ardent radicals, while leader Julius Malema has always been thought of as daring and fearless. Malema’s conduct has continued to raise eyebrows, locally and internationally. Here are some South Africans’ take on the EFF and its firebrand leader. By BHEKI C. SIMELANE.
Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba might have plowed through one of the flanks of President Jacob Zuma’s seven-year, massively costly legal bid to shrug off more than 783 charges of fraud, racketeering and corruption related to the Arms Deal, but a few obstacles still remain. Defending the last remaining ramparts of the Stalingrad Strategy the president has employed to delay last Friday’s judgment are his hand-picked doorkeepers, NPA head Shaun Abrahams and his Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Nomgcobo Jiba. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The 2016 budget vote debates in Parliament are an ideal opportunity for electioneering that's unencumbered by costs for transport, T-shirts, caps and the like. On Tuesday there were six such debates – on co-operative governance, human settlements, environmental affairs, international affairs, tourism and correctional services – during which speakers predictably divided along party lines, with those from the ANC recounting the “good story” and those from the opposition benches listing corruption and cronyism. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
When South Africa’s swimmers go to compete at the Fina World Championships later this year, a number of them will have to dig into their own pockets to make up the shortfall in costs. Meanwhile, Sascoc is offering an all-expenses-paid business class trip to three lucky South African MPs. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
The EFF has something in the 2016 local government elections that its two main opponents, the ANC and Democratic Alliance, do not have: a blank slate. With the EFF never having contested municipal elections before, all eyes were on their manifesto to see what would be on their target list. True to form, the EFF is setting out to do things differently and is exploiting what the ANC tried and failed to do – introducing a New Age revolutionary fighter, and perhaps some radical social engineering, coming soon to a local council near you. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Predators rely on camouflage, fear and invisibility to operate. We know that the men who beat, rape and murder women in South Africa live among us. Statistics tell us they are our fathers, our boyfriends, our brothers, our uncles, our neighbours, our pastors. Their camouflage is their very ordinariness, their protection the power imbalance in a hyper-masculine age, their freedom an unreliable justice system. So what happens if you are a young man who finds himself exposed on a list of alleged rapists that is circulated publicly? And what if you claim you are innocent? By MARIANNE THAMM.
As the ANC undergoes a kind of inner turmoil that could, perhaps, mark the start of the final break-up of the all-inclusive party as we know it, the search for clues about what is really going on inside is only going to grow more intense. Such is the nature of politics today that politicians regularly mislead and distract those who are watching. But it’s not only words that are important: in politics, tone also matters. And the tone of some in the ANC when defending President Jacob Zuma appears to have changed markedly. What could that mean? By STEPHEN GROOTES.
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.
Friday's North Gauteng High Court finding that President Zuma should have had his day in court in 2009 is not the end of the road for the president, but it's damning. The court found there was no valid reason for dropping corruption charges against Zuma and while the process of appeals is likely to begin, opposition parties now have extra fuel to take into the local government elections. By GREG NICOLSON.
On Friday, judgment will be delivered in the Pretoria High Court on whether the decision to drop corruption charges against President Jacob Zuma in 2009 was unlawful. The judgment, whichever way it falls, is likely to set off another chain of events that will drag the presidency and the country through more complex legal action and more muck. The Office of the President, through its incumbent, could be edging closer to being put on trial. As he has done with all his scandals, Zuma is likely to pretend this has nothing to do with him and continue to go through the motions of running the country as a hollowed out leader. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
In what is described as a historic meeting, about 50 unions are set to meet this weekend to form a federation that could rival Cosatu and unite workers. They hope to rally the majority of South African workers who aren’t union members, while Cosatu has called the Workers Summit a self-serving sideshow. By GREG NICOLSON.