- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
President Jacob Zuma suggested in Parliament on Thursday that there was a sinister force behind the burning of schools in Vuwani, Limpopo. “It looks suspicious,” Zuma said. Fear and paranoia are major campaign tools of political parties ahead of the local government elections. The ANC is ringing alarm bells about sinister forces attempting to destabilise the country and the DA is drumming up fears about the EFF’s extremism. The EFF says voters who do not support them would only have themselves to blame for the country’s downfall through ANC rule. It’s political warfare defined by the sum of all our fears. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Faced with swathes of empty opposition benches, President Jacob Zuma on Thursday used his reply to the fractious and caustic Presidency budget debate to criticise how the National Assembly conducts itself. Zuma said embarrassing questions were asked of him on his trips in Africa and rural areas of South Africa. Some in the region were “complaining”, he added: “They are now saying you (Parliament) are influencing some of their people in a wrong way.” Appearing to address Speaker Baleka Mbete, the president said: “I believe your House needs to do more to bring this House into order.” By MARIANNE MERTEN.
As South Africans call for Zuma to step down, we must be mindful of the errors of the past. There’s a range of fundamental problems with his leadership and these must be spelt out so that there is no ambiguity on what needs to be resolved, how it should be done and by whom. This will go a long way in ensuring that we “buy” the leadership we think we are buying. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
The introduction of three new antiretroviral medicines for treating people with HIV could save $3-billion for programmes in low- and middle-income countries by the end of 2025. This finding was presented in February at the world’s premier HIV science meeting, the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). By Polly Clayden for GROUNDUP.
On Wednesday, in Parliament, after the usual pleasantries had been observed (the shouting and screaming that marks the traditional out-chucking of the EFF), the ANC benches stood up to applaud President Jacob Zuma. He was presenting his budget speech, the budget of the Presidency. Parliament being Parliament, he was exercising political power, explaining the choices he had made as president. But, as the defences his supporters mount for him become increasingly legal and technical, it is equally obvious that he is president only technically. Legitimacy? He lost it long ago, somewhere along the road that led us to the current sad state of affairs. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Civil society lobby group Accountability Now has written to ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe and Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, expressing concern that an interpretation in the ConCourt judgment of the remedial action ordered by the public protector might short-change taxpayers. The Constitutional Court ruled that President Zuma pay back the money for non-security upgrades within 60 days of the 31 March judgment. With less than 30 days to go, the clock is ticking. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Five months after last year’s unprotected strike by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) at Parliament, labour relations at the national legislature remain terse. On Wednesday Nehawu called for the departure of Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana, whom it accused of bad faith in facilitation before the Commission of Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), and failing to fully implement what had been agreed in 2015. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
President Jacob Zuma spoke about everything except his office’s R505.7-million budget on Wednesday in Parliament. Ticking boxes mostly already ticked during his February State of the Nation Address, he talked of building South Africa’s better life “brick by brick” and educating “the children of peasants… to become medical doctors, lawyers, captains of industry or rocket scientists”. But following two recent scathing court judgments, the EFF and DA tackled Zuma’s integrity as president. As the ANC maintained no court had found the president guilty of anything, Zuma looked on mostly stony-faced. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
Cricket South Africa launched the 2016 Africa Cup without too much fanfare on Wednesday. There was much talk of “identity” and “opportunities”. It might sound like marketing waffle, but there’s a chance to capture the market of the often-forgotten smaller cricketing grounds across the country. By ANTOINETTE MULLER
Gang violence makes Cape Town one of the most brutal cities in the world. In the pilot episode of his web series Ridealong – which offers first-hand glimpses into South Africa’s least accessible professions – Shaun Swingler plunges the viewer headlong into the heart of Cape Town’s gangland. Ride along with the Cape Town Metro Police Gang and Drug Task Team as they battle gangsterism, crime and drug abuse in one of the most notoriously violent places on earth. By SHAUN SWINGLER for DAILY MAVERICK CHRONICLE. (Words by Andrea Teagle.)
The EFF has always been thought of as a party of ardent radicals, while leader Julius Malema has always been thought of as daring and fearless. Malema’s conduct has continued to raise eyebrows, locally and internationally. Here are some South Africans’ take on the EFF and its firebrand leader. By BHEKI C. SIMELANE.
Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba might have plowed through one of the flanks of President Jacob Zuma’s seven-year, massively costly legal bid to shrug off more than 783 charges of fraud, racketeering and corruption related to the Arms Deal, but a few obstacles still remain. Defending the last remaining ramparts of the Stalingrad Strategy the president has employed to delay last Friday’s judgment are his hand-picked doorkeepers, NPA head Shaun Abrahams and his Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Nomgcobo Jiba. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The 2016 budget vote debates in Parliament are an ideal opportunity for electioneering that's unencumbered by costs for transport, T-shirts, caps and the like. On Tuesday there were six such debates – on co-operative governance, human settlements, environmental affairs, international affairs, tourism and correctional services – during which speakers predictably divided along party lines, with those from the ANC recounting the “good story” and those from the opposition benches listing corruption and cronyism. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
When South Africa’s swimmers go to compete at the Fina World Championships later this year, a number of them will have to dig into their own pockets to make up the shortfall in costs. Meanwhile, Sascoc is offering an all-expenses-paid business class trip to three lucky South African MPs. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
The EFF has something in the 2016 local government elections that its two main opponents, the ANC and Democratic Alliance, do not have: a blank slate. With the EFF never having contested municipal elections before, all eyes were on their manifesto to see what would be on their target list. True to form, the EFF is setting out to do things differently and is exploiting what the ANC tried and failed to do – introducing a New Age revolutionary fighter, and perhaps some radical social engineering, coming soon to a local council near you. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Predators rely on camouflage, fear and invisibility to operate. We know that the men who beat, rape and murder women in South Africa live among us. Statistics tell us they are our fathers, our boyfriends, our brothers, our uncles, our neighbours, our pastors. Their camouflage is their very ordinariness, their protection the power imbalance in a hyper-masculine age, their freedom an unreliable justice system. So what happens if you are a young man who finds himself exposed on a list of alleged rapists that is circulated publicly? And what if you claim you are innocent? By MARIANNE THAMM.
As the ANC undergoes a kind of inner turmoil that could, perhaps, mark the start of the final break-up of the all-inclusive party as we know it, the search for clues about what is really going on inside is only going to grow more intense. Such is the nature of politics today that politicians regularly mislead and distract those who are watching. But it’s not only words that are important: in politics, tone also matters. And the tone of some in the ANC when defending President Jacob Zuma appears to have changed markedly. What could that mean? By STEPHEN GROOTES.