- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
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.
What do you give the member of parliament who has everything? Concert tickets, livestock – and in one case, a bicycle. We know this because the yearly register of Members’ Interests – documenting the financial interests of our 454 MPs – has just been released. Its 490 pages give us an intriguing glimpse into the pecuniary lives of MPs. Unsurprisingly, particularly when it comes to property ownership, there are some pretty prosperous individuals among them. REBECCA DAVIS worked through it.
A day before brand ambassador, TV reality star and popular comedian Mongezi Ngcobondwane, aka TolA$$Mo, and his wife, designer Mome Mahlangu, were due to appear in court to face charges including attempted murder and assault, the couple publicly apologised to the man they originally claimed had racially insulted them. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Ekurhuleni has a new healthcare facility with the spanking new Natalspruit Hospital opened in Vosloorus last month. Sadly, the horror stories have already started. The hospital may be new, but its problems are symptomatic of the challenges in improving health services across the country. By GREG NICOLSON.
On Wednesday afternoon, the chair of Corruption Watch, former Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, wrote to President Jacob Zuma to ask him again to fire the Deputy Minister of Defence, Kebby Maphatsoe. At the same time, the Chief Whip of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Floyd Shivambu, reminded those who had forgotten that he is a gentleman of class and distinction, by communicating in sign language to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa what he used to say to journalists for so long. It is still less than five months since this Parliament was inaugurated and President Jacob Zuma took his oath for a second time – yet this is what we’ve come to. And there is no doubt worse to come. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
While many eyes have been glued to the drama played out in Parliament during the debate of no confidence in the Speaker, it is possible to miss the structural implications, the erosion of the standing of Parliament and other public institutions, potentially crippling democratic rule. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
Parliament’s torrid week continues. After Tuesday’s gamesmanship - which saw ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani pull a switcheroo on opposition parties to ensure they walked out before a vote of no confidence was due in Speaker Baleka Mbete – Wednesday brought little calm to the National Assembly. With a rare opportunity to put questions to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on offer, the biggest thing on the opposition’s mind was Marikana. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The five opposition parties who on Tuesday tried to pass a vote of no confidence in the Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete were never going to win the day. They simply do not have the numbers to defeat the ANC in a vote. The point of the motion was to push Mbete’s back to the wall and show her that she will not go unchallenged in future. It was also to demonstrate how a united force of the opposition can disrupt the way things have always been done. In the end, the ANC won the vote and Mbete remains in the Speaker’s chair. But Parliament is now the field of political battle and one who triumphs in the House may not necessarily be winning the perception war. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
The Marikana Commission of Inquiry has almost heard the last of its evidence before the legal teams reconvene for final arguments. We know much more about what happened in August 2012, but many questions remain unanswered. After police commanders heard of the deaths at Scene One, as evidence suggests they did, why did they allow the operation to continue to Scene Two where 18 strikers were killed? Those responsible may be guilty of causing the murders. By GREG NICOLSON.
Bailing Eskom out, again, is not enough; we need to fix Eskom’s underlying structural problems. And at this critical stage we simply cannot afford another pointless debate about the merits (or not) of privatisation – its goes nowhere. But an interesting way around this is proposed by UCLA psychologist Matthew Lieberman, who is seeking to revive an idea from the 1960s. Could it work? By DIRK DE VOS.
The insults from some senior government officials about Chapter 9 institutions and independent analysts, apparently based on their perceived criticism of the ANC, give serious cause for concern. Both amount to crimen injuria, the criminal law of defamation in South Africa. Should criminal charges be laid, then? Should the equality court be approached? And should the Public Protector law be invoked? By MUKELANI DIMBA and ALISON TILLEY.
A little over two weeks after the handing over of the final 580-page report of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into dysfunctional policing in the area, the Western Cape government announced plans to implement some of the findings. Meanwhile, in neighbouring townships, residents still battle with the same disturbing policing issues. By MARIANNE THAMM.
If students are going to spend the day at school, they need decent toilets. It seems obvious, but in some Gauteng schools, the situation is worse than in prisons. Equal Education and its young activists are trying to change that and they may have found a partner in MEC Panyaza Lesufi. By GREG NICOLSON.