- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
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.
In the extraordinary bout of attacks on the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela has been accused of acting like a “spoilt brat”, furthering a white agenda, acting like God, colluding with the Economic Freedom Fighters to embarrass the president, overstepping her powers and undermining Parliament. The recent astonishing attack by Deputy Defence Minister Kebby Maphatsoe accused Madonsela of being unpatriotic by being a covert agent of the Central Intelligence Agency and has questioned her contribution to the liberation struggle. It’s all happening in the context of the processing of Madonsela’s Nkandla report, and President Jacob Zuma’s need to respond to it. What it is though is an attempt to shape public opinion, which has swung against Zuma and in favour of Madonsela. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
The Oscar Pistorius trial may be over, but there’s a high likelihood of an appeal coming. So long live the Oscar Pistorius trial, long live. Certainly there are plenty of media outlets that would make that call. As a trial it has been more than sensational. Never mind that it’s the world’s first criminal case to get its own television channel, there’s been no shortage of consumers flocking to other channels either. In fact, the trial might in its own way mark a real change in how media works, and what is needed to add value to a news product. It may also be a major step forward on the long road to the democratisation of information, which could have massive implications for people in the media. Let's put it this way: We either add value to the media consumer, or we don't have a reason to exist. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The global corrosion of public confidence in conventional politics and the now obvious nexus between money and power is one prism through which we might view the phenomenon that is Julius Malema. Yesterday, the CIC of the EFF – in a venue that once epitomised power, privilege, whiteness and exclusion – utterly charmed a constituency, some of whom we can safely assume lie awake at night bedevilled by apocalyptic visions should he ever come to power. By the time he left some were posing for selfies. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Was the Oscar Pistorius trial really a reflection of the state of South Africa? From the day the paralympian shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year, there have been elaborate analyses by the international media about how this case was the epitome of South African society. It was a grand intersection of how the middle class deals with fears about crime and the soaring rates of violence against women. The Oscar and Reeva story was by no means the archetypal South African story, but the outcome may have consequences for society that once saw Pistorius as its hero and who like Steenkamp is the victim without a voice. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega appeared at the Marikana Commission on Wednesday to clarify questions on how decisions were made from the top. Instead, she further tarnished the SAPS position in the inquiry, painting top officers as uninterested in operational matters and effectively laying the blame at the feet of ground commanders. By GREG NICOLSON.
Suddenly, everybody knows who the MK Military Veterans’ chairperson is. Kebby Maphatsoe shot to prominence after he blasted off his mouth on Saturday, claiming that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was a CIA plant. On Monday he went further to say Madonsela thought “she is God”. And then after denying the CIA statement, he has apologised – for what exactly, nobody is sure. You might think Maphatsoe, the Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, is now eating humble pie after the furore. Hardly. Maphatsoe thinks he has now ingratiated himself with Number One and is now politically indispensable. It was exactly what he was aiming for. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
For the last few years, advocacy group Right2Know has been warning of a growing climate of secrecy within the South African government. Its just-released Secrecy Report for 2014 continues to sound alarm bells, pointing to the amount of government documents being classified as secret, the difficulty of getting hold of information, and an increasing sense of clampdown on protest. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Murder accused Shrien Dewani appears to be a changed man after five months of confinement at a psychiatric facility in Cape Town where he was taken off medication and has been able to rest and exercise. At a pre-trial appearance in the Cape High Court yesterday Dewani was relaxed and focused as the defence and state legal teams finalised details before his trial which is due to kick off on 6 October. By MARIANNE THAMM.