- Erin Mc Luckie
The Farlam Commission of Inquiry wraps up this week, while Bafana Bafana surprise us all and the the unearthed Khampepe Report sees the light of day after 12 years. Are all the President's women also looking for Jacob Zuma as chaos unfolds in Parliament this week? Get your weekly dose of all the most evocative news from the last seven days, brought to you by the Daily Maverick, in partnership with TVPC Media. By DIANA NEILLE.
What blessed relief to hear MPs in the National Assembly on Thursday finally get down to discussing the Medium Term Budget. What a shame that the debate came over six hours after the start of the Parliamentary sitting, when many South Africans would likely have given up following events. The day started with the ANC announcing that the Ramaphosa-brokered truce between parties was definitely off; after hours of closed-doors negotiations, the truce is now back on. It’s tempting to say: a pox on all their houses. By REBECCA DAVIS.
After months of open warfare, Cosatu’s leaders have decided to smoke the peace pipe and begin a new, new negotiations process, led by the ANC, to resolve their numerous problems. Suddenly the special congress Cosatu affiliates have been demanding for over a year is on the table, Zwelinzima Vavi’s disciplinary charges are held in abeyance and there is a possibility that Numsa’s expulsion could be reversed. A week ago, these were non negotiable. What changed? Cosatu has been hit by the consequences of expelling Numsa, which, apparently, they did not anticipate. And the ANC has realised how much they stand to lose with Vavi and Numsa setting up a new force outside the Alliance. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Below the surface of the Nkandla scandal currently paralysing parliament is the fact that the monies misused were intended to meet basic needs of impoverished citizens. It is, however, important to understand freedom as indivisible: social and economic rights do not inhabit a different world from the rights to dignity and equality or other rights. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
The storm that is raging in the National Assembly shows no signs of abating. Hot on the heels of last Thursday night’s filibuster/police drama came Wednesday’s filibuster 2.0, including personal insults, racial subtext, and even the odd substantive idea. At the centre of this circular high pressure system sits speaker Baleka Mbete. Blamed by the commentariat for what happened last week, almost hated by opposition parties, and directly contradicted by the ANC’s chief whip Stone Sizani during the first filibuster debate, she is in the eye of the storm. So when she actually takes the time to grant an interview, you know it’s unlikely to be boring. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
It took little more than 24 hours for the truce between parties negotiated by Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday to fall apart. The ANC blamed the DA’s insistence on pressing ahead with a debate on whether President Zuma should be censured for non-appearance in Parliament as grounds for discarding the armistice. But the opposition argued that the debate going ahead was always part of the deal. By REBECCA DAVIS.
After a faltering start, the deadline for parties to make submissions to the Competition Commission's inquiry into the private healthcare system is up. Health is a priority in the country's transformation, but when it comes to the private sector, so little is known and, it seems, so much needs to change. By GREG NICOLSON.
Naspers appears to be a company comfortable with contradiction. On the one hand, it owns Media24, the largest independent media group in South Africa and a vocal critic of any attempts to restrict media freedoms in South Africa. On the other hand, most of Naspers’ revenue, and its entire market cap, comes from its large stake in Tencent, the Chinese social media giant that is deeply complicit in official Chinese censorship efforts. Can the two positions be reconciled? Or is this an unsustainable hypocrisy that will not end well for South Africa? By SIMON ALLISON.
On the face of it, it looks like high-octane political opposition in South Africa. The fifth Parliament is a bustle of activity, with opposition parties challenging the ANC and tackling President Jacob Zuma and his Cabinet at every opportunity. In a day of high drama last week, the opposition parties staged their first filibuster in the South African Parliament. Regardless, the Nkandla report was adopted by the ANC majority. So apart from the EFF’s red overalls, the DA’s mourning garments, the clashes with police, the constant motions mocking Nkandla and the legendary clashes with Speaker Baleka Mbete, are opposition parties succeeding in running interference against the ANC? By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Though DA MPs wore all black to the National Assembly on Tuesday to dramatically signal the death of the democratic space, two things secured a kind of fraught truce to Parliamentary hostilities – relatively speaking. One was the meeting convened between opposition leaders and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday morning. The other, which emerged from the first, was the postponement of the contentious agenda item to discuss disciplinary measures against EFF MPs. By REBECCA DAVIS.
The challenge issued by Small Business Minister Lindiwe Zulu to a political opponent last week in Parliament to come out the corridor and slug it out encourages J. BROOKS SPECTOR to look back at America’s most famous duel between political rivals – Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr’s face-off in 1804.
That the issue of Nkandla is going to be seen as the scandal of these years probably goes without saying. It has come to dominate our politics in a way we haven’t seen since the Arms Deal. Despite fierce competition from the likes of the Bheki Cele Headquarters scandal, or the Guptas landing at Waterkloof, Nkandla has come to take over day-to-day politics in a whole new way. For the last week or so, much of the action has been in Parliament. But down in Kwa-Zulu/Natal, a small drama is playing out that could really show us what actually happened. It is vital that the media are allowed to see it. Even if both the defence and the prosecution object. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Fisticuffs in Parliament, Number One not responsible for the upgrades to his private home at Nkandla, a dodgy nuclear energy tender. While our politicians provide sensational headlines, ordinary South Africans get on with the business of rebuilding and healing the country out of the public eye. MARIANNE THAMM found much to celebrate at the recent Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards.
There is a common complaint among the middle-class grumparati that politics in South Africa never changes; that no matter what happens, there is no political cost to the actions of those who dominate our political scene. But the last six months have shown, once again, how quickly things can change in our country. The question now is whether this rate of change will speed up, or whether it will subside once again. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
President Jacob Zuma has been away in Brisbane, Australia, attending the G20 Summit – not that his absence has been felt. South Africa generally runs on autopilot, even though it is crying out for strong leadership. Zuma’s public appearances, particularly inside the country, are few and far between, and generally contained to prevent the president from receiving nasty surprises. While Zuma has been lying low – both due to the scandals haunting him and ill health – his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister Jeff Radebe have stepped up to fill the void. For people trying desperately to look like they don’t want the top job, they are not doing too badly as substitutes. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
PEN South Africa, part of an international organisation which represents writers, editors and translators, and whose members have pledged themselves to oppose any form of suppression of freedom of expression or censorship but to uphold freedom of the press, is deeply alarmed at the breakdown in Parliamentary democracy in Cape Town on November 13 when the Speaker lost control of the institution, members of Parliament were assaulted by a squad of riot police who had strong-armed their way into the House without proper authorisation and videos of the proceedings were censored. By MARGIE ORFORD, MANDLA LANGA & RAYMOND LOUW.
After last week’s discomfiting events in Parliament, culminating in police entering the National Assembly to forcibly remove a female EFF MP who had insulted President Jacob Zuma, many are wondering what the way forward is to restore Parliamentary relations. Parliamentary officials have insisted that everything that happened was necessary to preserve the decorum of the institution, but there’s little doubt that a line has been crossed – and there are probably more storms ahead. By REBECCA DAVIS.
It's been a rough ride for a lot of people this week, MPs, Cosatu top brass and South Africa's resident racists alike. Get your weekly dose of all the most entertaining news from the last seven days, in this pilot video brought to you by the Daily Maverick, in partnership with TVPC Media. By DIANA NEILLE.
Thursday 13th November will surely go down as one of the most inglorious days in the history of South Africa’s democratic parliament. After almost seven hours of ultimately futile filibustering from opposition parties, the National Assembly adopted the report which essentially exonerates President Jacob Zuma from wrongdoing over Nkandla. If that weren’t enough, the evening descended into chaos when riot police were called into the House and proceeded to assault MPs. By REBECCA DAVIS.
South Africans have many people to thank for their scaled-up ability to access free antiretroviral treatment. Foremost among them is the Treatment Action Campaign, which has fought tirelessly for over a decade and a half to ensure that HIV-positive people in poor countries receive the same standard of treatment and care as those in the developed world. By PROFESSOR BROOK K BAKER and PROFESSOR YOUSUF VAWDA.
On Tuesday Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke was widely quoted as suggesting that the President has too much power in the making of appointments to some of the top jobs of state. Immediately, our cynical commentariat started making dark noises about the National Prosecution Authority and the Judicial Service Commission. As a result, much of the subtlety of his remarks was lost. And much of the other content of his presentation was simply ignored. He deserves better. By STEPHEN GROOTES.