- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
Despite the dire economic state of affairs, we can expect more of the same in the SONA parliamentary address on Thursday. The numbers game dominates government-speak throughout the year. The devil, of course, is in the detail – and in quality assessment - rather than ticking the boxes. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
President Jacob Zuma might be forgiven for wondering what has happened in the last two months. A short while ago he was on top of the world. Now he faces the Constitutional Court on Tuesday and Malema in Parliament on Thursday. While Zuma has faced problems before and somehow he has always recovered, this time it may not be so easy. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
“Ultimately, Zuma must be removed from office,” was Julius Malema’s parting shot at an Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) press conference last week. The fiery briefing saw Malema shift the agenda from making President Jacob Zuma compensate the state for upgrades at his Nkandla residence to hounding out the president’s friends, the Gupta family, from the country and removing Zuma from power. This is no idle threat. Malema has Zuma squarely in the crosshairs and much rests on what happens at the Constitutional Court on Tuesday. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
South African anthropologist, Steven Robins, has just published a memoir tracing the history of his family who perished in the Holocaust in Europe. Far from focussing narrowly on this cataclysmic 20th Century event, this extraordinary account of trauma, history and silence is a layered excavation, tracing the roots of the racial science that informed it; all the way back to South Africa and indeed Stellenbosch University where Robins is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Next week President Jacob Zuma and Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema will face off on two different platforms, two days apart. The first will be at the highest court in the land, where an almost two-year battle over Nkandla reaches a climax. The second will be in Parliament at the State of the Nation Address (SONA), where Malema intends challenging Zuma on his mismanagement of the economy. It is the dance of death between the president and his nemesis. Zuma and Malema pushed each other to this point, a collision between political power and the rule of law, while they hold the country’s destiny in their hands. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
In further developments in the ongoing dispute of a R5-billion contract award by Eskom to Areva, Westinghouse has opposed their applications to the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal a Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgement on 9 December 2015. The SCA judgement had set aside the contract, declared it “unlawful”, and ordered that it be remitted back to Eskom for reconsideration. By Chris Yelland and Aimee Clarke for EE PUBLISHERS
Officially, the United States has one military base in Africa. Unofficially, the story is a little different, according to investigative journalist Nick Turse. Turse has uncovered a massive network of secret US military locations that span the length and breadth of the continent, an unmistakeable clue that indicates that Africa is where the US is planning to fight its future wars. By SIMON ALLISON.
Drought, fire, high temperatures and strong winds have wreaked havoc in the Western Cape’s farming sector, with the fruit and wine industries suffering substantial losses. The province will need a substantial bailout if its farmers are to survive, it was revealed at a briefing on Wednesday. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
News of President Jacob Zuma’s commitment to, finally, pay back a portion of the money spent on upgrades to his private residence in Nkandla, as per the public protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations, has spread like wildfire since the announcement on Tuesday night. South Africans of all walks of life have been weighing in on the latest news, which prompted different reactions from the public. We spoke to some South Africans in the aftermath of the news and this is what they told BHEKI C. SIMELANE
Daily Maverick has never hidden our distaste for the ersatz media empire created by the Gupta family, which includes the newspaper property The New Age, and the television station ANN7. But nothing—absolutely nothing—justifies the threats extended to New Age and ANN7 reporters earlier on Thursday by Julius Malema, President and Commander in Chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). By DAILY MAVERICK.
The general public is regularly encouraged to report illegal electricity connections. While some may choose to turn a blind eye and let the poor steal what government has not yet provided, other citizens do what they are asked to do and call the designated municipal and Eskom hotlines. There is, it seems, scant concern for power to the people. Safety? That comes last. By Aimee Clarke for EE PUBLISHERS.
President Jacob Zuma’s decision to make a “proposal” to solve the issues arising out of Nkandla is a massive victory for Julius Malema and the Economic Freedom Fighters. It is a lesson in the politics of pressure, and the virtues of asymmetric warfare. Finally, years after this first started, Zuma has blinked. He has felt the pressure. And the danger of the imminent humiliation of being forced by judges, as sitting president, to pay back some of the money spent on his home. It is unlikely Zuma did this because he truly wanted to, which tells us more about his particular situation. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
South Africa’s Cabinet has endorsed nuclear power. However Gwede Mantashe, ANC's Secretary-General, has stated that those who claim that South Africa can't afford it are "mischievous". Bishop GEOFF DAVIES believes that Mantashe is missing the point. It is not only a question of whether nuclear energy is affordable, but whether it is right for our nation and planet.
Suspended National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega defended herself forcefully on Wednesday against criminal charges that could be laid for misleading the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. All she wants to do is tell the truth, she says, but allegations that she hasn't in the past is how she got here in the first place. By GREG NICOLSON.
In separate processes stretching over more than two years, three parliamentary ad hoc committees, plus the Joint Standing Committee of Intelligence (JSCI), a government inter-departmental task team and the police minister all concluded President Jacob Zuma had done no wrong and thus could not be held liable to repay anything of the R215 million taxpayer-funded security upgrades at his Nkandla rural homestead. So what changed? By MARIANNE MERTEN.
President Jacob Zuma has proposed to pay a portion of the money spent on upgrades to his private Nkandla residence, almost two years after the release of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report. Zuma has continually maintained his innocence in the matter, but has finally decided to act a week before the Nkandla case is due to appear in the Constitutional Court. Opposition parties remain sceptical. By GREG NICOLSON.
On Tuesday night, Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced he was reshuffling his provincial cabinet. The headline change was the re-introduction of Paul Mashatile into an official position in Gauteng. Mashatile will now resign as an MP and come back to the province that he loves as the new MEC for Human Settlements and Cooperative Governance. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation and Ahmed Kathrada Foundation have launched a week-long campaign for South Africans to engage in activities and programmes to confront the scourge of racism. As the country flounders to respond to the surge of racist incidents, this will be an opportunity to promote race relations and spur action to tackle the underlying factors that keep racism alive. There is a danger, of course, that this can turn into another feel-good Mandela Day-type ritual, where people stage multiracial bake sales and black and white braai days. This is why mechanisms to report and punish racist behaviour are required in the antiracism arsenal. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.