Wonderkop. Wonder hill. Is it any wonder that this farm, which houses the koppie where 34 miners were killed in the greatest state-sanctioned massacre of South Africans since Sharpeville, is subject to a land claim? Yup, the claim, which has been in effect since 1997, received a shot of legal adrenalin on 5 July 2017. Will the whole stinking edifice that surrounds Lonmin and the Bapo Ba Mogale traditional authority now come tumbling down, or will our government step in to save it? By KEVIN BLOOM.
The #GuptaLeaks are a massive trove of information made up of hundreds of gigabytes of documents and emails obtained by a team of journalists from the Daily Maverick's investigative unit, Scorpio, Amabhungane and News24. The latest episode of the #Guptaleaks looks at the individuals close to South African President Jacob.
It is not entirely impossible that the Gupta family will once again be central to the political discussion at this weekend’s ANC lekgotla. It seems that just about everybody in the ANC, with the exception of perhaps presidential son Edward Zuma, now agrees that the family is no good for the party’s image. With this little bump in the road taken care of, what was it that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa was on about again? By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
When ANC founder, Pixley ka Isaka Seme, was elected President General at the organisation’s 1930 elective conference, the party was in crisis, deeply divided with confrontational factions vying for power. In the lead-up to the ANC’s elective conference in December this year, Dr Bongani Ngqulunga’s recently-published biography of Seme not only offers fascinating insights into the complex, controversial and colourful life of this South African pioneer but also the ANC and the political contestation that has always bedevilled the party. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The story of the R30-million pension bonanza granted to Eskom’s former CEO Brian Molefe is one of greed and mismanagement. Last week Scorpio revealed how officials lied, schemed and defrauded the public in order to allow Molefe a pension calculated as if he had ten years' service at Eskom and worked there for 156 months. In reality Molefe contributed 15 months’ pension payments to the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund with the cash-strapped Eskom picking up the tab for the shortfall. This while Molefe wasn’t eligible to be a fund member to start with. But wait, there’s more: Based on another series of leaked emails, Scorpio can reveal that by a sleight of hand the tax man was scammed out of R1,3-million. By PAULI VAN WYK.
The revelations contained in the #GuptaLeaks emails may give the impression that everyone the Guptas encountered rolled over to do their bidding – either through pressure from above, or a desire for personal enrichment. Happily, this was not the case. Throughout the emails there is evidence of people who stood up to the Guptas or thwarted their intentions in some way. We take a look at some of those who held the line. By SCORPIO & AMABHUNGANE.
Hennie broke story after story, page one lead after page one lead, from 1963 to 1975, when the Sunday Times’ impact was at its pre-television peak. His stories shattered cabinet ministers' diaries. He would disclose planned secret Broederbond meetings, with times, dates and venues, and they would have to cancel and reschedule. RIP, Hennie. You made a BIG difference. By JOHN MATISONN
A little lost? As the leaks get leakier, the details remain important: one day, if or when South Africa is blessed with a National Director of Public Prosecutions with even the vaguest interest in doing his or her job, there will be many people to charge for many different activities. But there is a larger, meta story at play here: the #GuptaLeaks themselves reveal how a particular democratic dispensation (mis)functions during capitalism’s end of days: everything in our lives is subject to a longstanding collaboration between governments and corporations, a bromance that has created societies far more dystopian than any sci-fi thriller could have posited, Blade Runner’s Tyrell Corporation notwithstanding. By RICHARD POPLAK.
On Wednesday the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said it had decided to institute disciplinary charges against ANC Member of Parliament Makhosi Khoza, who has achieved a measure of fame by speaking out against President Jacob Zuma. These charges were almost inevitable. But the fact they have now been instituted presents the party’s disciplinary machinery with a complicated situation. At the same time, Khoza herself appears to have exhibited some slightly strange behaviour. The ANC is running the risk, once again, of being seriously divided because of Zuma. By STEPHEN GROOTES
In many countries anti-government forces, militias and guerrilla operatives are prosecuted at the end of war, but one country has negotiated a deal that may see these people fulfil an unusual role during its transition to peace. A peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces, FARC has opened the door for research in areas that were previously too volatile and isolated to be studied. By TUNICIA PHILLIPS.
The ANC mid-year lekgotla after Thursday’s one-day National Executive Committee (NEC) comes some two weeks after its national policy conference, where unity was touted the winner despite internal fractures. It also comes in the wake of persistent, economic turmoil. It’s a key moment in troubling times. With the governing ANC sticking to its economic policy path that seems to meander in the gloom, the question remains whether it can change gear in the interest of South Africa? Or will it be kicking for touch until after the December elective national conference in the hope of a breather in internal political tumult of factional jockeying for leadership? By MARIANNE MERTEN.
Launching the 2017 tax season at the start of July newly-ensconced Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba urged South African taxpayers to “pay to Caesar what is due to Caesar”. This week SARS announced that due to technical glitches, crucial documents filed by employers and taxpayers need to be refiled. It seems Commissioner Tom Moyane’s SARS restructuring chickens are coming home to roost. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Less than a year after black pupils at Pretoria High School for Girls revealed how they were forced to chemically straighten their hair and not have “untidy” afros, another Gauteng school, Windsor House Academy in Kempton Park, has forced several girls out of class because their braided or dreadlocked hair was deemed “inappropriate”. Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi is having none it. By PUSELETSO NTHATE.
Some in the upper echelons of the ANC Women’s League have cried foul about Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu dissing them for constructing their campaign for the ANC’s first woman president entirely and exclusively around herself. Now, for the first time in the history of the 105-year-old former liberation movement, three women are seriously vying for the top spot. But is anybody taking them seriously? By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
Parliament’s public enterprises committee is inching towards its inquiry into Eskom’s dodgy procurement dealings, state capture and governance troubles including Brian Molefe’s controversial return as chief executive. At its preparatory meeting on Tuesday, MPs heard from the South African Council of Churches (SACC) about its Unburdening Report, the academic research collective on state capacity and Outa (Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse). What emerged wasn’t necessarily new, but clearly sketched a scenario of the systematic weakening of the state and its entities to facilitate the enrichment of a few. Parliament can no longer say it didn’t know. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
It is imperative that students and staff are made fully aware of the policies in place to protect them and even more important that the members of the offices and task forces set up specifically to manage sexual violence are clear on what those policies are and how to adequately put them into practice. It is also important that the complaints of survivors are taken into account and are at the forefront of any changes made to the universities’ policies. By KIRSTEN WHITFIELD.
There is understandable pleasure that opponents of state capture derive from the revelations in the #Guptaleaks, providing confirmation of various studies and reports and the massive profits that have accrued. Embarrassing as this may be it may be premature to conclude that the Guptas and Zuma are on the way out, especially in the light of the failure of any law enforcement agencies to investigate, as far as is publicly known. There needs to be serious consideration of what can be done to remedy the failure of institutions meant to safeguard constitutionalism. This is urgent in that state capture - being systemic - can persist even if Zuma were to depart. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
A second German multinational, Software AG, has been caught red-handed entering questionable commission agreements with a Gupta-controlled company in the hope of securing lucrative state contracts. A company that manufactures billboards and a letterbox consulting company also stood to rake in millions. By AMABHUNGANE, SCORPIO and NEWS24.
Over the weekend Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu officially “launched” her campaign to take over from President Jacob Zuma as the leader of the ANC. It is a campaign that marks a serious change from what we’ve seen in the party before. She appears to be confident of her chances, and seems to be proclaiming that she wants the Number One spot. But, despite her political career and achievements, there are numerous political problems in her path. Foremost among them is the political traffic jam at the top of the “Anti-Zuma” slate that is being assembled for December. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The Traditional Courts Bill is back. Resuscitated in the National Assembly in January after two previous defeats, its purpose is to provide a legislative framework for the courts of traditional leaders and to encourage that their functioning be consistent with constitutional principles. By NYASHA KARIMAKWENDA and PHILILE NTULI.
For the fifth year in a row, South Africa is set to record a grisly killing rate of more than 1,000 rhinos poached each year (nearly three rhinos each day).The latest statistics – the first official information released by government in six months – show that at least 529 rhinos have been killed by horn poachers nationwide between January and the end of June. Should this killing rate continue unchecked, the final death toll for the year is expected to reach over 1,050 rhinos – almost identical to last year. By TONY CARNIE.
A careful political chess game is unfolding at Parliament over whether a secret ballot might be the order of the day for the scheduled motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma. Several opposition parties have indicated their concern over the silence to date from National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, who is also ANC national chairperson, on which way her decision will go, some 10 days after the deadline for party-political submissions on this matter. Depending on what happens in the next few days, the 8 August no confidence motion may, again, cause chaos in the House. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
It goes without saying that we live in cynical times. So cynical that some people believe the worst is about to happen. That a “certain someone” is about to steal the leadership of the ANC for his ex-wife, that the political situation is about to get much more disruptive and violent, that in fact what we are living through now is the calm before a very damaging political storm. At the root of these fears, correctly or not, lies President Jacob Zuma. So low has his political image in urban areas fallen that many people believe he is about to try to make a bid to literally steal the country. Quite a few of these fears may be unfounded, but, with some evidence now emerging that Cyril Ramaphosa is the above-board frontrunner for the ANC’s December leadership contest, it is worth examining what Zuma’s options actually are, and how events could play out. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The world’s most important HIV scientific conference is currently under way in Paris – yet mere days ago, one of the country’s iconic Aids activists died after battling with tuberculosis and pneumonia, a reminder that we’re nowhere near out of the woods when it comes to the virus. HEALTH-E’s Kerry Cullinan reports.
Vuwani residents opposing the area’s incorporation into a new municipality with Malamulele say an agreement announced by President Jacob Zuma in May has not been implemented. More than 20 schools were burnt in protests last year and pupils could be affected by renewed demonstrations. By GREG NICOLSON.
Many evictions from farms are illegal. Farm dwellers can resist them and can insist on the protection of their rights. Knowledge of the law is a useful tool that enables farm dwellers to assert their rights, and enables community advice officers and legal supporters to make the best use of the legislation intended to protect farm dwellers’ tenure and livelihoods security. By MICHAEL CLARK and ALANA POTTER.
A closer look at Africa’s elected governments suggests that they are not different from autocratic regimes. The elected ruling elites rely on an intricate web of personal, family, clientelism and ethnic ties, and on the military and intelligence services to control state resources and oppress society. What is also emerging in Africa’s democracies is the incapacity of citizens to organise and to hold leaders to account, even when they violate the constitution, take actions that undermine stability and human rights, and are involved in corruption. By CLAUDE KABEMBA.
The SABC’s interim board has dropped the broadcaster’s hastily adopted 90% local content quotas for music and 80% local content quotas for television. Further, the corporation has relaunched its editorial policy review process – and this time not in the context of a “good news” agenda. This begs the question – can there now be room for some optimism? By KATE SKINNER.
In a life full of difficult choices, we know that Ahmed Kathrada's decision to publicly call on President Jacob Zuma to resign his office was one of the most difficult and painful he had had to make. He made the call out of a sincere concern for the state of the movement and the needs of the country. By CYRIL RAMAPHOSA
Everyone in the ruling party understands: what happens in the ANC stays in the ANC. Obedience and loyalty are key tenets. Under the leadership of Jacob Zuma this fidelity would morph into a form of Omerta, the Mafia’s code of silence and non co-operation with the outside world in matters of criminality. However, the edifice cracked in March 2016 when Mcebisi Jonas revealed the Gupta family had bribed him to accept the Finance Ministry. ANC MP Vytjie Mentor blew the whistle soon afterwards and has been hanging the ANC’s dirty laundry out to dry ever since. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Justice Dikgang Moseneke has been appointed to lead a key redress process aiming to bring healing to the families of Life Esidimeni patients, after more than 100 people died when they were moved from the facility to NGOs last year. Moseneke is the ideal candidate to address the pain caused. By GREG NICOLSON.
Living on the northern-most portion of the Wild Coast of South Africa, the coastal Amadiba villages have been resisting the proposed Xolobeni Mineral Sands Project for over 10 years through directly confronting attempts to mine, and have also used the very land that is under threat of destruction as a weapon in creative ways. These tactics show us powerful forms of resistance to the state’s political project from above. They also they show us the seeds of alternative, democratic projects from below. By ANDREW BENNIE.
In April this year, ousted National Director of Public Prosecutions, Mxolisi Nxasana, deposed a damning affidavit accusing President Jacob Zuma’s legal adviser, Michael Hulley, of attempting to induce him to lie – under oath – that the President had not pressured him into leaving office. The capturing of the NPA by President Zuma is a matter of national public interest, as is the allegation that the President’s legal adviser might be guilty of defeating the ends of justice. The KZN Law Society, however, doesn’t think it’s worth investigating. By MARIANNNE THAMM.
South African Post office CEO Mark Barnes confirmed that SAPO had received a signed final letter from Sassa CEO Thokozani Magwaza expressing the agency’s intention to appoint the post office as part of the plan to “in-source” the payment of social grants after March 2018. On Monday Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini fired Magwaza, refusing publicly to provide reasons for the drastic move only eight months before the current extended contract with CPS/NET1 expires. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The Gupta influence network reached into the heart of the Presidency, the #GuptaLeaks show, drawing into their web at least three people who were just a whisper away from President Jacob Zuma. They targeted officials holding positions of personal trust closest to Zuma, offering gifts, favours and business deals. Even the deputy president’s office was fair game. By SCORPIO, AMABHUNGANE and NEWS24.
amaBhungane and Scorpio, having extensively trawled the be-hashtagged #GuptaLeaks, have found that the Saxonwold Syndicate proposed business ties, however tangential, with four – four! – key staff members within the Presidency. Which proves the old battle adage: in order to capture the king, first you capture the castle. By RICHARD POPLAK.
Every individual has the power to transform the world and make an impact. This is what Nelson Mandela tried to instil in South Africans when he fought for social justice for 67 years. DAILY MAVERICK spoke to ordinary South Africans about what Mandela's legacy means for them today, the former statesman's birthday.
On Monday security guards in Pretoria continued their fight against outsourcing by the Tshwane metro by occupying a space outside the offices of mayor, Solly Msimanga. The security guards stand to lose their jobs in a few months as the contacts which their employers have with the City of Tshwane will expire. By IHSAAN HAFFEJEE.
Some of the Gupta family’s most tireless defenders have been the leaders of the ANC’s former military wing: the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association. New evidence from the #GuptaLeaks emails reveals that this loyalty has come at a price, however, with the Guptas footing the bill for the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association’s four-day national general council in 2010, in addition to issuing the group shares in their company. Consider the military veterans officially captured. By SCORPIO and AMABHUNGANE.
The Islamic State’s legacy of a Caliphate will be the centrepiece of the immediate future as herein is embedded an imaginary world that has become reality; the martyr that was born against all odds, that was ruled by a governance structure, that provided a safe haven for those willing to make sacrifices and that was attacked by an alliance of “monsters”. By JASMINE OPPERMAN.
At the start of this month, prison guards at Kgosi Mampuru prison in Pretoria injured inmates sentenced to life who were protesting against the delays in their parole processes. The Wits Justice Project (WJP) has seen pictures of four prisoners with head wounds and large bruises on their limbs. By RUTH HOPKINS and NKOSIKHONA KUMALO.