- John Vlismas & Duncan Harling
At the EFFs first birthday party in Thokoza Park this weekend, Julius Malema insisted that “All of us must reject the DA. The DA gets money from Israel”. But how did he arrive at this interesting factoid? And how do we know that Israel doesn’t fund the EFF? South Africans don’t know who funds whom, and that’s because political parties want it this way. Was the CiC suggesting he’d change that state of affairs? RICHARD POPLAK isn’t so sure.
In July 1989, the same month PW Botha and Nelson Mandela, then still imprisoned at Victor Verster Prison, met secretly for the first time, two young Umkhonto we Sizwe operatives, Robbie Waterwitch and Coline Williams, died when a defective limpet mine they had planned to place at the Athlone Magistrate’s Court in the Western Cape exploded prematurely. This weekend a high-ranking ANC Western Cape official missed a ceremony commemorating the 25th anniversary of the event. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Julius Malema and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) saw a gap. There’s anger over the economic trajectory and rate of service delivery since 1994. 'Radicals' are increasingly moving away from the ANC. Racism continues. Whites got to keep their wealth. Within a year, the party has been able to exploit these gaps and turn militant rhetoric into one of South Africa’s most important political movements. By GREG NICOLSON.
A year ago, it all seemed like a crazy venture and a massive ego trip. Julius Malema, expelled from the ANC, facing corruption charges and being pursued by the taxman, starting his own political party? Yeah right. Who’d vote for him, wondered the chattering classes. A year later, Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are firmly ensconced on the political scene and monopolising the news agenda. Why is this and how long before Malema runs out of airtime? By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
The issue of funding to political parties was in the spotlight again last week, after ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani accused the DA of remaining silent on the situation in Gaza because the party had received funding from Israeli-aligned individuals. Currently, South African political parties are not obliged to disclose the origins of private donations. Earlier this month, the My Vote Counts campaign launched an application at the Constitutional Court to try to compel Parliament to pass legislation to change this. By REBECCA DAVIS.
On 1 July this year, a young-ish man with extensive experience in local government finance arrived in a small town to take up a new job in the municipality. Three weeks later, he is desperate to leave. He is miserable and depressed, so sickened by the corruption and theft that he has witnessed around him that he will take any job to get out of there. He approached Daily Maverick to tell his story. By NIKI MOORE.
The last time President Jacob Zuma addressed Parliament, he was not at his best. He was delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to open South Africa’s fifth Parliament after the May elections. He had been exhausted and ill, and had to take time off to rest for over a week. Zuma’s speech was hardly memorable and his reply to the SONA was also quite rudimentary. This week he was back in Parliament for the Presidency budget debate. While he was in much better form, the debate on his speech revealed the new dynamics in SA politics. The game has clearly changed. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
This week, an Afrikaner lobby group announced that they had received a commitment from government to enter into talks about the possibility of an Afrikaner state. In Cape Town, meanwhile, a human rights organization has launched a campaign to merge the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape into one mass they want to call “Winnie Mandela Province”. While neither initiative may have a great chance of success, both cases reflect a distinct sense of exclusion from the political mainstream in different ways. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Is there any political issue thornier in South Africa than “the Land Question”? On Wednesday the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform tabled its budget in Parliament, and in the subsequent debate predictably fiery scenes ensued. But they didn’t die down in the afternoon, when it was the Presidency’s turn in the hotseat – though Israel/Palestine hogged some of the spotlight, and the EFF took most of the rest. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Julius Malema is once again in a place from which he cannot lose. Once again, he is in a situation where it looks as if his back is against the wall, where he is being condemned by all “right-thinking” people. Once again, he has managed to dominate the news agenda, and, far more importantly, frame the question. How pleased he must be right now. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
In a barren political environment, the EFF has understood the power of symbolism, using dress to dramatise their entry into Parliament. Through constant reference to the Marikana massacre, Nkandla and related abuse, they have linked themselves to the fate of the poor and vulnerable. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
After EFF MPLs were forcibly evicted from the Gauteng Legislature earlier this month for wearing their trademark red overalls, party leader Julius Malema led a protest on Tuesday to speak with Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe. EFF supporters stormed the building and refused to leave. The streets of Johannesburg then saw chaotic images of running skirmishes between the police and protesters. GREG NICOLSON brings you the pictures.
On Sunday night, Carte Blanche broadcast the BBC documentary ‘Searching for Samantha’, about the so-called ‘White Widow’ Samantha Lewthwaite and her connections to terrorism. Included in the documentary is mention of Lewthwaite’s time in Johannesburg and the alleged “red carpet” welcome she received from Joburg’s Muslim community. There are undeniably alarming elements to the story, but the documentary raises perhaps as many questions as it answers, writes REBECCA DAVIS.
Four years later, the stench of crime and corruption left in the wake of convicted police commissioner Jackie Selebi still wafted through the corridors of parliament at the debate on the SAPS budget vote this week. But spare a thought for our newly minted Police Minister, Nkosinathi Nhleko, who has inherited multiple sins of the past and who is going to need big cojones and some potent pesticides to weed out the rot. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The death of four-year-old Taegrin Morris “undermined the gains made by government in dealing with serious crimes”. This is according to the chairman of Parliament’s police portfolio committee Francois Beukman. A little child died in one of the most horrendous acts of violent crime in South Africa in recent history. Is this really what you want to be saying, Mr Politician? Every day, statements are issued by politicians about occurrences, developments and plans that are supposed to reflect the state of South Africa. Often, all this does is reflect the social distance and disconnect between public representatives and communities struggling through life in South Africa. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
It’s probably going to take at least a year for the reputation of Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to recover. If you are appointed as a minister, and your first act is to anoint Hlaudi Motsoeneng at the SABC, despite the Public Protector’s findings, you are clearly a political masochist. That’s fine. You’re not alone. But it does mean that many of your decisions are going to be clouded by that one act. So, when you decide to appoint a National Communications Task Team, it is going to be evaluated through the prism that is your Motsoeneng appointment. Especially when he is part of it, even if the prism turns out to be imperfect. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Friday would have been the 96th birthday of Nelson Mandela. It was the first Nelson Mandela International Day since his passing in December, commemorated in 126 countries. According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, 1,200 “positive deeds” had been registered on their website. Amid the 67 minutes of tree planting, cycling and picking up litter, all of which is supposed to demonstrate service to humanity, it sometimes is forgotten that Mandela was, first and foremost, a political figure. South Africa is now the custodian of his political philosophy. What is it doing with it? By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
When the Department of Arts & Culture tabled their budget in Parliament last week, it was announced that it would be spending R34 million to ensure that there was a South African flag in every school, and to teach citizens how to sing the national anthem. While this was widely reported as a new development, the ‘Flag In Every School’ project appears to have been running for the last nine years – with millions seemingly budgeted. By REBECCA DAVIS.