- Daily Maverick Staff Reporter
In what could be an inadvertent subversion of democracy of major proportions, the wishes of thousands, if not millions, of voters in KwaZulu-Natal will count for nothing on August 3 because the Independent Electoral Commission has disqualified the National Freedom Party for missing the deadline to pay its registration fee. The scale of this mishap is unimaginable. By CYRIL MADLALA.
President Zuma’s senior counsel in the ConCourt Nkandla matter, Jeremy Gauntlett, comes with a rumoured R50,000+ a-day price tag. For that the man gives exceptionally good courtroom, often with a happy ending for his clients. This week Treasury suggested President Zuma personally repay R7.8-million, regarded as a “reasonable cost” or portion of the splurge on features at Nkandla that could be considered as “non-security” . But did Zuma’s legal team and office carefully craft a narrative around the exact number of these features in the PP’s report and that eventually found its way into the final court order? By MARIANNE THAMM.
The policy put forward by the Economic Freedom Fighters on land would see it all transferred to the state. The current owners, regardless of who they are, would not be compensated for their loss. Then, the state would issue 25-year, renewable land-use licences to those who apply and have a plan to use the land productively, presumably in exchange for a management fee. By T.O. MOLEFE.
In the past six months, great instability and conflict have emerged within the ANC, leading even to murders. There are apparently irreconcilable differences between winners and losers in some provincial and local elections. What has become clear is that the organisation does not enjoy authority. It may have power as the government of the day insofar as that can be wielded, but it does not have the authority that comes with trust. The ANC is now divided into warring groups fighting over loot. No one trusts anyone else. There is no overriding binding set of values that can be invoked to call anyone to order. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
As the fallout over SABC acting CEO Jimi Matthews’ resignation continues, the public broadcaster has named a new boss: James Aguma. Government, Hlaudi Motsoeneng and the ANC have questioned the timing of Matthews' decision, while opposition parties claim Aguma will continue to take the SABC down the wrong path. By GREG NICOLSON.
A strike is looming at Parliament following the suspension of at least two National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) senior members late on Tuesday. If it goes ahead, the work stoppage would be the second in eight months amid a tense labour relations environment, with unresolved matters outstanding from last year’s unprotected strike – and a stand-off to see who blinks first. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
There’s just over a week for public comments on the 59 nominations for the next Public Protector to reach the parliamentary committee heading the process. On Tuesday committee chairwoman Makhosi Khoza said next week Friday (8 July) was the last day for public comment. Then a committee short-listing process would lead to interviews after the 3 August local government elections. It’s a determination that has not always been in action for other public appointments dependent on MPs involvement, be it the SABC board, the inspector-general of intelligence or the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). By MARIANNE MERTEN.
SABC acting CEO Jimi Matthews' resignation on Monday was hailed as a stance against censorship. While Matthews was part of the public broadcaster's recent decisions, he and other SABC staffers who are speaking out might start to turn around SABC policies that have been regressing for years. By GREG NICOLSON.
The end of the Nkandla affair is in sight. In line with the Constitutional Court judgment that found the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla was binding, National Treasury determined a “reasonable percentage” of the non-security upgrades that President Jacob Zuma has to pay back to the state. After an extensive process, they set this amount at R7.8-million, which the Constitutional Court must now approve. Then the president must “personally” pay back the money within 45 days. After six-and-a-half years, the Nkandla scandal could finally be put to rest – with any luck without any further questionable conduct to settle the tab. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
The date 26 June marks the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture – a day marked globally to reinforce our commitment to the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. For South Africans, this is a day that should have particular resonance. By TRACY DOIG and SHIREEN MUKADAM, Amnesty International’s team for South Africa.
The protests in Tshwane last week tell us many things about the ANC, about its processes, and the desperation in the air at the moment, mainly because the economy is slowing. But it also tells us many things about our government, its inability to manage some of these situations, and the problems that arise when certain offices are used for political ends. We must now start to accept that the offices of our security agencies have become de-legitimised. This is going to be a major problem. And we have only our politicians, those currently in power, to blame. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
With only 37 days until the local government elections, the Democratic Alliance believes its election campaign, the biggest in the party’s history, means it has a realistic shot at taking another metropolitan municipality. For the party, which has been working for years to position itself for these elections, the chaos in Tshwane helps reiterate its core message. By GREG NICOLSON.
If you want to talk to your constituency MP, make sure you’re armed with plenty of airtime, data and a generous dose of patience. Parliament at the end of May officially went on “constituency period” (not a recess for electioneering) until well after the 3 August municipal poll. That means MPs should be easily spotted in their constituencies rather than at the national legislature in Cape Town. But neither Parliament, nor political parties, make it easy to find the public elected representative for your area. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
Deinstitutionalisation. It sounds good: taking mentally ill people out of psychiatric institutions and putting them into community homes or back with their families. But when governments do it to save money, the outcome is seldom positive, as Gauteng patients have discovered. KERRY CULLINAN reports for HEALTH-E NEWS.
Ultimately, a decisive share of British voters heard the mock siren call of the final chorus of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “HMS Pinafore”(and the sneering of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson) rather more than they listened to David Cameron and a virtual boatload of the country’s economists and doomsayers. An extremely surprised J. BROOKS SPECTOR woke up early on Friday to gaze on the results of the Brexit vote with a sense of astonishment – and not a little bit of horror at the outcome.
After days of violence and looting in South Africa’s capital city, there are no clear answers as to what caused the chaos and why there was a violent reaction to the announcement of Thoko Didiza as the ANC’s mayoral candidate in Tshwane. There is also no coherent strategy by the ANC to deal with the upheaval, with the matter being left to the police to handle. On Wednesday the ANC was meant to have a meeting with its 107 branches in Tshwane but this did not happen. On Thursday, Gauteng’s 11 ANC mayoral candidates were introduced at a festive media lunch in Johannesburg as the death toll in Tshwane climbed to five. There is clearly more at play than what meets the eye. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
For a party fond of periodically dusting off and paying lip service to the Freedom Charter at mass rallies, the ANC is often not so keen on realising the rights, freedoms and democratic ethos enshrined in the Constitution and the country’s laws. In government, the ANC has challenged, delayed or simply ignored various court verdicts. This week it was SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s turn. But where a state does not lead by example, as Judge Thokozile Mapisa warned last year, soon ordinary people too will disobey the law. By MARIANNE THAMM.
This week, the proverbial chickens came home to roost for the SABC. The public broadcaster faces an Icasa hearing for its decision to stop broadcasting violent protests, the DA threatened to take action for “disproportionate election coverage”, and Right2Know began the week picketing outside the SABC building. Amandla.mobi joined the protesting later in the week and the broadcaster came under fire from various quarters for its coverage – or lack thereof – of the deadly unrest in Tshwane, which by Thursday morning had cost at least five people their lives and ended in about 200 arrests. Was the public broadcaster abashed? Apparently not. By the end of the day, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi had stepped in to rescue COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng – again. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
While the unrest in Tshwane has begun to subside, the provincial ANC on Thursday tried to show it now has control over the conflict and is ready to move towards the elections. Despite the violence, mayoral candidate Thoko Didiza maintained that she is ready to lead and feels as loved by the community as ever. By GREG NICOLSON.