- John Vlismas & Duncan Harling
Khayelitsha’s toilets are back in the news. The Social Justice Coalition has just released an audit of the City of Cape Town’s janitorial services for flush toilets in the township and which cost around R60 million. The audit paints a picture of ad hoc cleaning, little planning and no clear oversight of service providers. By MARIANNE THAMM.
If political talk is to be believed, there are two parallel conspiracies against two leading political figures in the country: President Jacob Zuma and Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema. One is driven by people in the state and one is driven by forces plotting against the state. Apparently. Both seemingly aim to bring the downfall of the two by immersing them in scandal and probing their conduct. And apparently they were sucked into the vortex through no fault of their own. Sigh. What is this? The year 2005? By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
As President Jacob Zuma continues to hog the headlines with scandals past and present, the speculation around who will take over from him has begun. Since he was re-elected ANC leader at Mangaung, most of this has been confined to just two names: his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, and the out-of-sight (for now) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. But over the last two weeks or so, it appears National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete is slowly raising her hand as well. While it is usually suicide to one’s leadership chances to raise your hand in the ANC, she is surely doing it with some intent. What kind of president would she make? By STEPHEN GROOTES.
As you may have noticed over the years, we at the Daily Maverick have been pretty much completely against the e-tolls. We believe that they are wrong on many levels, and have been loudly saying so from the very beginning of the issue that put so many former friends at opposite sides of the spectrum. But, as always, we need to hear both sides sometimes. We now give SANRAL an opportunity to present their story. No editing from us. This response is authored by SIPHO MADONSELA, SANRAL’s board member.
The “Eiffel Tower” code allegedly consenting to corruption, the Spy Tapes transcripts, the mystery of the Russian nuclear deal, the deadlock in Parliament over Nkandla – where does it stop? President Jacob Zuma has been plagued by controversy and scandal many times in his life. Now, however, his presidency is teetering close to the edge and there is no telling which of the various crises swirling around him will push it to the tipping point, if any. This time, there is also a pushback from opposition parties against ANC efforts to protect the president. One option, says Julius Malema, is for the opposition to withdraw completely from Parliament. What then? By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
On Thursday in the Gauteng High Court, judgment was given in a matter dealing with reverse mortgage schemes. These schemes have proliferated over the last few years as people with poor credit records seek out companies that are willing to lend them money regardless of their blacklisted status. By Claire Martens for GROUNDUP.
On Sunday the Sunday Times splashed with a front-page story that spoke for itself: “Exposed! How Arms Dealer Bankrolled Zuma”, shouted the headline. For so long the legal position around President Jacob Zuma has been short-handed to “corruption charges” that it serves as a timely reminder about how serious the claims against Zuma are. But it appears that this exposé also blows a few holes in some of the claims that Zuma has made about why he accepted money from Schabir Shaik during the Arms Deal. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Again, the courts have ruled against South African National Defence Force's (SANDF) treatment of members and recruits with HIV. In a ruling on Friday, the SANDF's actions were called an assault on the dignity of HIV-positive recruits that disregards a previous judgment and sets a bad example for the nation. Andisiwe Dwenga hopes she's the last person to suffer the unfair discrimination. By GREG NICOLSON.
News that a ministerial task team is to investigate whether Riah Phiyega is fit to hold office proves that T.B. Joshua is not the only prophet around. When the new national police commissioner was appointed (two years ago) we all warned this would happen. A year later, we warned again. For ALEX ELISEEV the latest headlines have a sad, familiar ring to them.
There must have been a way for the ANC and President Jacob Zuma to deal with the scandal over the security upgrades at Nkandla to avoid it becoming the giant, red hot, rumbling volcano it is now. For over nine hours on Thursday, the parliamentary ad hoc committee on Nkandla was bogged down on how to process the Public Protector’s report, as well as the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report, into the R246 million upgrades. The opposition wants answers to key questions, including how much did Zuma know and was involved. They want president to appear before the committee to answer these questions. The ANC has embarked on a massive stonewalling exercise. Now a legal and constitutional confrontation looms and Zuma’s escape routes are looking increasingly limited. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Saying corruption is a problem in our society is like saying Floyd Shivambu isn’t afraid of using gestures when he can’t find his words. Corruption is now so serious, and so much money is being wasted, that sometimes it appears service delivery is grinding to a halt. And certainly, in some smaller municipalities, where we’ve seen people dying because of sabotage to water pumps, it is. To be able to predict whether this is going to be repeated across our country as a whole, it is vitally important to examine how the ANC is doing in its own battle against corruption. So far, the party has done a good job in working out theoretical solutions. But it simply cannot implement them. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The Oscar Pistorius publishing industry is already in gear. One of the first titles out of the blocks is ‘Oscar: An Accident Waiting To Happen’, an account of Pistorius’s relationship with ex-girlfriend Sam Taylor, from the perspective of Taylor’s mother Patricia, with journalist Melinda Ferguson. If you’re wondering how they managed to eke an entire book out of a relatively short-lived relationship, the answer is: with surprising ease. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Police top brass continue to urge us to focus on long-term crime trends, rather than the pretty bleak outlook given by the release of Friday’s crime stats. At a breakfast briefing on Monday, the emphasis was very much on looking at the bright side, and all pulling together to root out crime. Together with some fudging, and some potentially rather inaccurate messages. By REBECCA DAVIS.
One could only imagine how the discussion went down at this weekend’s ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting that led to a rather astounding media statement released on Saturday. The ANC said it wanted Parliament to protect President Jacob Zuma and his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa from being humiliated and embarrassed by opposition parties. The ANC seems to be proposing “alternate” forms of accountability, such as Zuma and Ramaphosa addressing imbizos, instead of having to face Julius Malema and his militant red brigade in Parliament. This is officially the point where the ANC loses the plot of how a democratic state should be run. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
While listening to the discourse that dominates South Africa - the tales of crime and corruption, the middle-fingers in Parliament and the fights around democracy and our rights - it is easy to become rather depressed. There can be a sense that it should not have come to this, that we deserved better. And while reading Ray Hartley’s excellent “Ragged Glory: The Rainbow Nation in Black and White”, it’s hard not to ask: was our current situation unavoidable? Were we always going to have this angry dynamic in our body politic? Are there structural reasons that explain why we are all so grumpy, that have less to do with the personalities of the day, and more to do with the underpinnings of our society? By STEPHEN GROOTES.
There are a number of white South Africans who complain that the local job market excludes white recruits. This narrative, when it arises, often comes with fears that “our children won’t get jobs” and that there is “no future” for them in the country. But are these fears valid? By GCOBANI QAMBELA & SIMAMKELE DLAKAVU.
The search for a place to lay Nat Nakasa to rest has not merely been a literal one; it is also a search for his metaphorical, spiritual and literary home. Where to place him in our literature and history remains an intriguing challenge that requires our self-examination – and a careful re-reading of his nuanced and candid work. By WAMUWI MBAO.