- John Vlismas & Duncan Harling
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.
That we have a problem with our education system is probably something on which almost everyone can agree. Twenty one years after democracy, most parts of it are about as successful as the Springboks in the last five matches. And, as many agree, the magic bullet than can fix an economy and create wealth and thus fix a nation is education. One of the main factors that have held back progress in South Africa are teachers' unions, and in particular the South African Democratic Teachers' Union. Which is why it's so important for Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to win her upcoming war with them. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
LUKAS B was eight or nine when he was first caught for burglary. By the age of 13, he was associated with the ‘outside’ wing of the 28s gang. By the age of 16, he was serving a life sentence for murder – in an adult prison. He knew, by then, that he didn’t want to be in a gang. But he also knew loyalty was a matter of survival, so he gave it all he had. Within a few years, he would be a high-ranking member. Today, out of prison, he is HIV positive and determined live the last years of his life differently. But there’s a price: an unsheltered life on the street. This is his story, as he tells it. By DAILY MAVERICK STAFF REPORTER.
After Saturday night's rugby, South Africa was in need of some good news. Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe didn't disappoint on Sunday, releasing the seventh edition of the Development Indicators, an amalgamation of all of the country's important statistics. GREG NICOLSON looks at some of the interesting numbers.
It’s early days for the new leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) Women’s League and the ANC Youth League. Already, however, one of the two beleaguered organisations is showing promising signs of ideological regeneration – while the other seems to be lurching from one public relations gaffe to another. By REBECCA DAVIS.
When it comes to corruption every country has a gourmet menu to choose from. There is systemic corruption, sporadic corruption, political corruption, grand corruption, petty corruption and legal and moral corruption. South Africans are exposed to a daily carousel of apparent corruption featuring a dollop of each of these. But we're not sitting back. While the planned anti-corruption march at the end of this month might hopefully make resistance visible, several organisations, the small axes, are chopping away behind the scenes. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The campaign to get President Jacob Zuma to comply with the Public Protector’s remedial action on the Nkandla security upgrades has moved from Parliament to the Constitutional Court. Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says with all political processes exhausted, the highest court in the land should decide the matter and the Office of the Public Protector has also asked to join their application. The EFF has decided to join the mass anti-corruption march and will also stage its own financial sector march in October. The party is back on the attack, with Zuma, the ANC Youth League and the Democratic Alliance all in the line of fire. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Pseudoscience or bad science can harm consumers in at least three ways. This harm can be direct, as when herbal preparations result in allergic reactions or unexpected drug interactions. Or, it can be indirect, as is the case with vaccine denialism, which not only exposes the denialist to avoidable risks of serious disease, but also impacts on 'herd immunity', thus threatening his or her entire community. Or it can simply result in wasting money on products that can’t deliver on their promises. Then there is the harm to public understanding of the scientific method, where claims need to be held accountable to evidence, and violations of the trust consumers place in manufacturers that the claims made about their products are accurate. By JACQUES ROUSSEAU for GROUNDUP.
The Tripartite Alliance’s consistently poor performance on job creation coupled with voter alienation cannot inspire confidence in its longer-term electoral prospects. The African National Congress, now increasingly distant from its heroic act of liberating South Africa from apartheid, is called upon to deliver. Today, the growth market in South African politics is apathy. By GREG MILLS and JEFFREY HERBST.
The anti-corruption march, planned for September 30, is turning into a thing. The coalition United Against Corruption gathers more logos by the day, and it should be one of the most sizeable gatherings of South Africans in the democratic era. But so what? What scores will need to be settled to make it worthwhile? And where does it stand in the stream of our history? By RICHARD POPLAK.
Another judgment has found the state had an obligation to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to face charges at the International Criminal Court. President Jacob Zuma and his executive are unlikely to back down from challenging the international court, but after the courts have once again said the state was wrong, Al-Bashir should not be welcomed back to South Africa in December. By GREG NICOLSON.
The Wits Justice Project has anecdotal idea of the scope of the problem of wrongful convictions. But the real number of people in South Africa who shouldn’t be behind bars, is unknown, because there is no effective remedy for people who have exhausted all their legal options, yet still maintain their innocence. And that should change: an independent body should be established, with no links to the executive or the judiciary, to review wrongful convictions, with the mandate to refer them back to an appeal court. By RUTH HOPKINS.
With up to 10-million South Africans either suffering from type 2 diabetes or in the pre-diabetic stage, a wholly preventable epidemic is about to swamp our already strained public healthcare system. KEVIN BLOOM spends a day at the diabetes clinic of a major public hospital, where he learns a brand-new word: 'Coca-Colanisation'.