- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
Chancellor House is well and truly in the spotlight again after an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which claimed Hitachi had breached the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in its business deals with the ANC's front company. In the end, Hitachi paid $19-million to make the problem go away. By JUDITH FEBRUARY.
Two days ago, the luminaries behind Unite Against Corruption, who have scheduled mass marches for Cape Town and Pretoria on Wednesday, hit a big roadblock. Their application for a strike with Nedlac was delayed by two weeks. Instead of bumping back the date (again), they’ve come up with a plan: a “phased launch.” If you’re a corruption hater, your calendar is filling up. By RICHARD POPLAK
Changes in the energy sector could happen quickly. Embracing the inevitable, if yet uncertain, changes is hard to do and South Africa and Eskom are uniquely unprepared for the future. Perhaps the challenge should be put this way: it is far more risky to hold onto the legacy energy system than to adapt and change the electricity system. By DIRK DE VOS.
Why is it that rather than public, safe spaces to access essential information on abortion to make informed decisions, women in South Africa are reduced to whispered phone calls to friends-of-friends for a non-judgemental voice that provides accurate information? Why is it that we have reduced women to such despair for wishing to exercise autonomy over their own bodies and their own lives? By MARION STEVENS and RISHITA NANDAGIRI.
If the anti-corruption march goes ahead on Wednesday, it will be remiss if it doesn't address one of the key issues of 2015: illicit financial flows. Institutions around the world are committing to combatting these and Unite Against Corruption needs to push the government to take action locally while lobbying for international change. By GREG NICOLSON.
The world’s latest vision of our global future lies buried beneath a litany of numbers and words in 17 goals and nearly 170 targets. For the next 15 years, these new Sustainable Development Goals will guide what donors fund and what countries push – and the world may take a page from Africa’s play book as it moves towards healthcare for all, writes LAURA LOPEZ GONZALEZ for HEALTH-E NEWS.
Organisers of the mass anti-corruption campaign scheduled for Wednesday met till late Sunday night, with intense discussions about whether to go ahead with the protest action this week. The Unite Against Corruption campaign hit a stumbling block when Nedlac granted metalworkers’ union Numsa’s application for a strike certificate but declared it only valid from 8 October. Plans for mass marches in five cities, including to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, look wobbly with no protection for workers who stay away from work to join in. Unions argued for a postponement to mid-October but most civil society organisations believe another postponement will derail the campaign completely. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
The march against corruption will go ahead on Wednesday, 30 September. The permits have been issued, the marshals are ready. But whatever your thoughts on the event, it has managed to bring a diverse range of groups together. The question is not what it will achieve this time, but what it may achieve for the future of activism. By GREG NICOLSON.
The ANC announced after its weekend national executive committee meeting that it wants to review its internal electoral system “as part of dealing decisively with slate politics and the corrosive impact of money in the election of leaders of the movement”. Stopping the practice of slate politics is a monumental task considering how factional battles have become so deep-rooted in the ANC. Fights in the ANC are not for singular positions, they are about dominance and control. As was evident with the appointment of the new Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane this week, power is about having your people in the right places. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Last week, Amnesty International presented the sobering outcome of 18 months of fieldwork in the area of maternal healthcare to the Third World Social Sciences Forum in Durban. Lack of access, lack of privacy and lack of knowledge remain the great barriers to maternal and child health, and as a result, thousands of preventable deaths occur each year. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
If there is a state all human beings understand it is that of hunger. While those of us with the means and access to food often glibly remark “I'm starving”, there are millions in the world who literally are and who find themselves in regions where food security, due to a variety of environmental, political and socio-economic issues, is critical or non existent. This month a food producer accredited by the United Nations Children's Fund, a partnership between Norway and South Africa, officially opened in Cape Town, revealing that while hunger make take from some, it gives to others. By MARIANNE THAMM.
On Tuesday night President Jacob Zuma announced a strange mini-reshuffle of his cabinet: Ngoako Ramatlhodi was moving to Public Service and Administration, and a complete newcomer Mosebenzi Zwane was now in charge of Mineral Resources. Immediately, the search started for a motive: Why move Ramatlhodi? And what is it about this move that seems odd? And why would Zuma make such a move at this particular time? The conspiracy theorists immediately blamed the Guptas. They could well be right. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
As research has amply proved, there’s an all but un-severable link between institutionalised racism and the historical prohibition of cannabis in South Africa. Jules Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke, the famous ‘Dagga Couple’ who’ll be making the case before the High Court in March 2016 that the continued ban on the plant is unconstitutional, will be leaning heavily on this argument. KEVIN BLOOM sits down with the Dagga Couple, and with their lawyer, to see what else they’ll be throwing at the seven state entities who’ll be acting as joint defendants.
As the day of the marches against corruption in South Africa nears, allegations of corruption and maladministration in the country's schools continue to surface. The misuse of school funds or assets, favouritism in the appointment of staff and corruption in procurement processes are just some of the complaints received by the Equal Education Law Centre. By AMANDA RINQUEST for GROUNDUP.
In the run-up to the world’s most significant climate change conference, COP 21, Parliament is hearing submissions from the South African public on the topic of climate change and the country's proposals for managing it. Early on, a pattern has emerged: frustration that the government is still so reliant on coal-based energy. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The Presidency announced on Tuesday that a board of inquiry is to investigate allegations of misconduct by National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega, stemming from the recommendations of the Farlam Commission into the events at Marikana in August 2012. Once again, a national police commissioner is to be probed, and like her predecessors, Phiyega will fight to keep a job. Irrespective of the outcome, this process does not serve as justice for the killings at Marikana, neither does it hold Phiyega to account for her overall poor track record as the police chief. What we have to look forward to is a long, expensive process with probably a whole lot more bumbling from the police commissioner. BY RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
It’s a funny thing about South Africans: when protests turn violent, everyone is horrified – as is, of course, appropriate – but when they don’t, there’s a peculiar sense of deflation, as though someone turned the sound down. Monday’s BDS protest against the Woolworths/ Pharrell Williams concert at GrandWest had been anxiously anticipated, but it ran as smoothly as an airline lunch, leaving a slightly baffled tone in some of the headlines. MARELISE VAN DER MERWE was there with her camera.
On Friday, residents of the Wolwerivier relocation area protested against the City of Cape Town’s relocation of strangers into empty units sought by the community to alleviate overcrowding. Rubber bullets were fired into crowds and people were arrested and beaten when they refused to disperse. By DANEEL KNOETZE for GROUNDUP.
South Africa has made it clear for some years that it aspires to become a permanent member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council. With the UN's General Assembly coming up on Friday, the issue of the council’s reform will be on the agenda. The African National Congress says China and Russia support South Africa’s bid – but it’s highly unlikely to be smooth sailing. By REBECCA DAVIS.
As the African National Congress's preparations for its national general council start to gather momentum and the party moves into the final quarter of President Jacob Zuma's time at the party's helm, the actions of its national executive committee (NEC) are important in setting the tone. But the statements of some of its members, in particular secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, are perhaps even more interesting. Over the weekend, the NEC pronounced on all sorts of matters, from corruption and integrity, to the brand new leaderships of its two main leagues, to whether people should be speaking about the party's 2017 leadership contest. Oh, and it's changed all the chairpersons of its policy commissions. But it was Mantashe's comments about the Springboks that stole the show. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
There seems to be a major shift in the schools that produce Springboks, from a greater number of rural Afrikaans and 'ordinary' state schools, to elite cosmopolitan ones. While the team is slowly becoming more multi-racial, it is becoming elitist in another way. Much like the rest of South African society. By WESSEL VAN RENSBURG.