- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
Residents of Joe Slovo informal settlement, Langa, have been left homeless after they started demolishing their shacks under the impression that keys to new housing units would be handed over to them. The MEC for Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela, has said that the shack demolitions were premature and that many of the beneficiaries are “too young” to be prioritised for housing. By Daneel Knoetze for GROUND UP.
For leadership to be respected there must be trust. Quite clearly across a wide spectrum of government, that trust has disappeared. It will take great efforts for it to be restored. But unless we have ethical leadership, especially in law enforcement, how can citizens be taught to respect the law? By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
The day before double amputee Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison for culpable homicide, Eric Viljoen, a one-legged prosthesis-wearing convicted rapist was preparing to leave Pretoria’s Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre, where he has been incarcerated since January this year. According to Viljoen, he has spent the past year fighting prison authorities and begging for a transfer from what he describes as the “worst of the… prisons in which he has done time”. By CAROLYN RAPHAELY.
Day two of week three of the Shrien Dewani trial in the Cape High court revealed how language is essentially a code. Where some see a ruthless killer, others might observe a grieving albeit conflicted widower. The filters we bring to what we perceive influence our choice of language and unconsciously what we possibly want others to believe. In the Shrien Dewani case the prosecution and the defence speak different languages. By MARIANNE THAMM.
In the brand-spanking new building that is Cosatu House in Braamfontein, the federation’s Central Executive Committee is considering the federation’s future. While the main agenda items are the report by the ANC’s Task Team into Cosatu, the real issue is whether or not the CEC will suspend, or possibly expel, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA. Should that happen, the federation’s split will move from “imminent” to “actually happening”. Our union landscape will probably never be the same again. But, perhaps more importantly, what will such a split mean for the ANC? By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Unlike the Oscar Pistorius hearing, cameras have been barred from recording the Shrien Dewani murder trial currently being heard in the Cape High Court. The only visual link to what is going on inside the courtroom is being captured by Cape Town artist Pete Woodbridge, who is keeping alive an old tradition in the electronic age. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Murder accused Shrien Dewani planned his wife’s funeral almost as meticulously as he had the wedding, setting out in a spreadsheet a list of songs, where everyone would sit or stand and even who was allowed to accompany the body. Anni’s cousin and confidante, Sneha Mashru, also told the court yesterday that Dewani had manhandled Anni’s body in the funeral parlour, trying to force gold bangles onto her lifeless wrist. By MARIANNE THAMM.
AfriForum initially declined to join the furore surrounding the lyrics of Dookoom’s controversial “Larney, jou p**s”. Now, in light of the increasing media coverage, they have requested a platform to respond to previous coverage in Daily Maverick. In the interests of fair representation and open debate, we obliged. By ERNST ROETS of AFRIFORUM.
A media report on Sunday claimed President Jacob Zuma was running scared and would avoid Parliament due to the aggression of the Economic Freedom Fighters against him. The presidency immediately countered the story, saying it was incorrect and grossly misleading. But there are clearly attempts by the ANC to insulate Zuma from the onslaught in Parliament. There have also been persistent rumours about a scaling down of the president’s public appearances due to health concerns. Is it possible to run South Africa remotely, and how is that different from the situation currently? By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Trying to work out how power works and is exercised in a society should be one of the primary tasks of any scholar. Formalities, rules and laws are one thing, but how power is really exercised is usually quite another. It relies on the personalities that are involved, the formal and informal mechanisms that are created over time, and, often, the practices that exist for historical reasons. Relationships between different people also change, but have their roots in the past, which means that it can be possible to work out how power really flows. One of the most interesting ways of understanding this comes from Francis Fukuyama, the political scientist who famously once wrote of the ‘End of History’. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Defence advocate Barry Roux is earning his fees. First, he got Pistorius off on the lesser charge of premeditated murder. Now, he's imploring the North Gauteng High Court not to send the former athlete to prison. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel, however, wants the former athlete behind bars for at least 10 years. The sentence will be delivered on Tuesday and will largely depend on what the society wants versus what's best for society. By GREG NICOLSON.
On Thursday afternoon, after the Oscar Pistorius trial adjourned in the North Gauteng High Court, the athlete’s brother Carl Pistorius tweeted “If you lie with dogs, you get fleas – Anon”. That could possibly explain the prickly, itching sensation South Africa feels after being exposed to the Oscar Pistorius contagion for 18 months, through 47 court days. All of it, the drama, the tragedy, the showmanship, his spectacular fall from grace, the gallantry of carrying and crying over a bloodied corpse, the fake devastation, showed how he is better than the rest of us. The conclusion of the sentencing procedure is probably not the last we will hear of and see our champ as an appeals process is sure to ensue. He will continue to contaminate and assault the national consciousness with his charmed existence. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Signatory to the UN refugee convention, and boasting arguably the most progressive Constitution in the world, South Africa is often perceived to be a safe-haven for refugees fleeing conflict and persecution in their own countries. This is a misperception. A 2012 report by the African Centre for Migration and Society found that South Africa consistently failed to meet its legal obligations to protect asylum seekers. SA receives about 61,500 asylum claims annually (although the figures are sketchy), of which it grants only around 16%. Obtaining refugee status is a lengthy, laborious process, and access to healthcare is just one more battle that migrants have to fight. By ANDREA TEAGLE.
Wednesday marked the 25th anniversary of the release of five Rivonia trialists. It went by without any real acknowledgement as South Africa continues to be caught up in the vortex of the Oscar Pistorius trial. Ahmed Kathrada, one of the two surviving trialists who walked free that day, remembers those heady days around his release and exciting change in the country. And one of South Africa’s most famous prisoners, who survived 26 years of incarceration under the cruellest conditions, says Pistorius shouldn’t have anything to complain about, should he go to jail. Oh, the irony. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
That murder accused Shrien Dewani could have allegedly found someone willing to help assassinate his wife Anni only 15 minutes after landing in South Africa from the UK is one of the more startling allegations in the case. In 2005, Dina Rodrigues, the only daughter of a wealthy Cape Town family, quickly recruited four men at a local taxi rank who were willing to murder six-month old baby Jordan Leigh Norton. But the ease with which those who plot murder can locate a hired gun is not unique to South Africa. It is a global phenomenon and an ancient one. By MARIANNE THAMM.
To treat all judges, members of parliament or other individuals in the public or private sector as if they are the same is not in fact equal treatment. It can, insofar as it fails to recognise the range of other responsibilities that childbearing women have, mean that entry into such work is unequal. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
There is a tendency, when considering our politics, to presume that what Number One wants, Number One gets. It’s easy to understand, as so often it is true. However, several recent events have shown that perhaps there is some clear blue water between what President Jacob Zuma wants to happen, and what some members of the ANC want to happen. It almost seems that he is moving without parts of the ANC. While this doesn’t necessarily mean there is movement against Zuma, it could indicate that some people in the party are feeling that they have the space to speak up against decisions that he’s made. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Today, a formerly obscure, multi-racial underground rap act called DOOKOOM releases their second EP, called A Gangster Called Big Times. The first single, ‘Larney Jou Poes’, and its accompanying video have caused a storm of outrage. Is it hate speech? AfriForum certainly thinks so. And here we go, with another made in South Africa musical controversy. By RICHARD POPLAK.
Elephant welfare is inextricably bound up with elephant management. This seems like common sense: it would be impossible to create sensible rules for managing elephants without considering the fact that they are highly intelligent, social beings with strong welfare needs – yet this is what the department of environmental affairs wants to do. DAVID BILCHITZ and MEGHAN FINN debunk the department’s argument.
There’s R1.19 billion sitting in the President’s Fund, designated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help victims of Apartheid rebuild their shattered lives. Now the department of justice finally wants to spend it, but who will actually benefit? Its intended beneficiaries say they are still being left out of the process, and that the money is being misused. SIMON ALLISON investigates.
With so many different dynamics, claims, and finger gestures in our politics, it can be hard to concentrate on the really important trends - the ones that are going to have a major impact in the longer term. Something that’s been flying under the radar for the last few months is what appears to be the imminent break-up of COSATU. But it has been thrown into sharp relief by the fact that its Central Committee is nearly upon us. And a Central Executive Committee meeting that was due to start today has been put off for another week. It appears that the break-up cannot be put off much longer. Even if breaking up is so very hard to do. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The issue of prison overcrowding is often a mirror reflecting the broader societal issues occurring outside the prison walls. To add to the overcrowding problem locally, a total of 30% of South Africa’s incarcerated individuals have not yet been convicted, and await trial in the cells. By SAMANTHA CORBETT.