Dalai Lama's visit: South Africa's true integrity test; Secrecy Bill on hold; Remember Ken Starr? - Lessons for the arms-deal commission; Yemen in deep trouble; and the Tembisa protests. By iMAVERICK TEAM.
PUBLIC WORKS WORKING WELL FOR GREEDY OFFICIALS
When you’re a minister in trouble, the best strategy is always to blame the guy who fell before you anyway, and suspend someone for good measure. Ask Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, who has “uncovered” R3 billion of tender irregularities in her department. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
On Monday thousands of residents in Tembisa took to the streets to demonstrate primarily against the high price of electricity. They were swiftly dealt with, forcefully, politically and temporarily, but not before giving us some insight into what promises to be a long, hot summer of service-delivery protests. By PHILLIP DE WET.
“Tell us another one” was the response from everyone when ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga said the party’s reason for pulling the Protection of State Information Bill on the eve of its tabling at the national assembly was because the ANC cares about what its constituency has to say. But despite the derision, Motshekga did not change his tune. He’s adamant the ANC is listening. And cares. By OSIAME MOLEFE.
AFRICAN PLATFORM ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION DECLARATION ADOPTED IN CAPE TOWN
Access to information is a crucial issue right now, not least in South Africa, and the adoption of the Apai declaration on Monday was both timeous and geographically apt. Like the Windhoek Declaration 20 years ago, it could be one of those conference declarations that actually has a real-world impact. We certainly hope so. By THERESA MALLINSON.
Outside of China, there is little doubt the Dalai Lama is the epitome of integrity, humility, leadership and kindness. The question now is whether South Africa’s rulers have the integrity and moral fortitude to aspire to the same lofty standards – or bend the knee, yet again, to the power-rattling of communist China. By GUY LIEBERMAN.
If South Africa’s gross national income were evenly distributed, each of us would earn less than R4,000 a month. For a very short while. The notion that paying executives less will leave more money in the pot with which to raise wages or employ the unemplyed is a popular delusion.
Are award shows breeding ego disorders or advertising effectiveness?
There’s an ongoing joke about Jesus’ views on homosexuality, where a pamphlet is titled: “What Jesus said about homosexuality” only to find all the subsequent pages blank. So why then, in a country where religious beliefs seem to affect legal precedent, are same-sex marriages still banned?
King Mswati III has been so busy tapping up other institutions for cash that he hasn’t found the time to sign the papers necessary to finalise the huge loan from South Africa. Or maybe he’s just looking for a new source of income, one that won’t make him change his ways. By SIMON ALLISON.
ZAMBIA: PUT DOWN THAT MACHETE, IT’S ELECTION TIME
Campaigning has ceased, a holiday declared and police have banned the selling of machetes and beer. It’s election day in Zambia and it’s gonna be close. By GREG NICOLSON.
MUBARAK’S POLITICAL ELITE LOOK TO REGAIN POWER IN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS
Egypt’s military government has finally set a date for parliamentary elections, after months of procrastination. But the new political parties are worried the electoral system might just let Mubarak’s goons back into power. By SIMON ALLISON.
OIL BE BACK, SAYS TOTAL SA TO LIBYA
Everyone wants Libya’s oil. Presumably the national transitional council will not be recognising deals struck by the Gaddafi regime, which would explain the rush to renegotiate with the new bosses in Tripoli. The latest to join the rush is French oil company, Total SA. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.
All is not rosy in the new Libya. Gaddafi remains elusive and forces loyal to him continue to take the battle to the National Transitional Council (NTC)’s forces. After widespread expectation that a transitional government would be formed last weekend, the NTC announced on Monday that it had decided to postpone the formation of an interim government – indefinitely. The NTC is clearly not as united as previously claimed. Infighting will severely damage efforts to reconstruct Libya. By KHADIJA PATEL.
FINISHING OFF GADDAFI: WHAT’S TAKING THE REBELS SO LONG?
Gaddafi’s last stands have been standing for quite a while now. It’s been four weeks since Tripoli fell to the rebels, but the towns of Bani Walid and Sirte remain under the control of pro-Gaddafi forces, with Brother Leader himself suspected to be holed up in one or the other of them. According to rebel commanders, it’s just a “matter of days” before the towns fall, but it’s not the first time we’ve heard these claims. Just how long can the old regime hold out? By SIMON ALLISON.
ZUMA IN THE RUNNING FOR CHINESE PEACE PRIZE
After the Nobel Foundation dared to award the vaunted peace prize to imprisoned Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo last year, a group of Chinese scholars linked to the Chinese Culture Ministry responded with an announcement of the victor in the inaugural Confucius Peace Prize. Not quite as rich as its Nobel rival that is worth a handsome $1.4 million, winners of the Confucius prize receive 100,000 yuan, which translates to about $16,000. South African President Jacob Zuma may not crack a nod in Oslo but in Beijing, he’s made the short list for two years running. KHADIJA PATEL explores who else has earned the approbation of the Chinese
YEMEN HURTLES TOWARDS CIViL WAR
As Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah met with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Riyadh on Monday, reports began to circulate that Saudi Arabia, had mimicked its intervention in Bahrain by staging a military intervention in Yemen. The reports remain unconfirmed but accounts of Saudi tanks in Yemen continue to circulate, fuelling speculation that despite statements to the contrary, the diplomatic negotiations over Yemen’s future may now be in vain. By KHADIJA PATEL.
CIVETS ON THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC PROWL
Twenty years ago, Harvard professor Ezra Vogel popularised the terms “the four little dragons” or “the four little tigers” to describe the rapidly growing economies of Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. Then came all-known Bric. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome “Civets”. By J BROOKS SPECTOR.
MAJOR OIL SLICK HITS SWEDISH COAST
A big oil spill has hit Sweden’s south-west coast after two ships collided in the Kattegat, the stretch of sea between Denmark and Sweden. Authorities calculate that it will take weeks to clean up. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.
New York: diplomats are preparing for what one US Department of State employee is quoted as describing as a “week of hell”. International attention is focused on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as he continued to defy international pressure, insisting that the Palestinian bid will not be thwarted. The outcome of the bid remains unknown – even informed speculation is ill-equipped to predict exactly what will happen in New York this week. But whatever the outcome, the Middle East conflict has returned to the top of the world agenda. KHADIJA PATEL spoke to South African-based activists on both sides of the conflict to draw their opinions on the planned statehood bid.
PUBLIC DISINFECTANT OR WITCH HUNT: LESSONS FOR THE ARMS-DEAL COMMISSION
With the announcement of a judicial commission of inquiry under Judge Sandile Ngcobo into the vexed Arms Deal scandal, there are valuable lessons to be learnt from similar exercises – called investigations by special prosecutors – in the US. J BROOKS SPECTOR analyses the case of the Clintons.
DE BEERS TAKES TRADING TO BOTSWANA
After 120 years of trading from London, De Beers has signed a deal to move its rough diamond sales to Botswana, who will finally get a slice of value-added profits. By GREG NICOLSON.
Apple recently took on more security staff. There’s no comment on whether this has anything to do with the iPhone 5 prototype that went missing in a pub a few weeks ago. The company is far more worried about corporate espionage, it said. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.
CAPE TOWN AND DIGITAL ARE BIG HITS AT THE LOERIES
Riaan Cruywagen was in a jacuzzi. Patricia de Lille was at a table with David Hasselhoff. It could only have been in aid of the 33rd annual Loeries, South Africa’s festival of advertising. By REBECCA DAVIS.
PRODUCTIVITY PRINCIPLES – WORKING LONGER ISN’T ALWAYS SMARTER
Once upon a time people worked in factories, clocked in early, clocked out late, and spent much of the day toiling under watchful eye of hawkish supervisors employed to ensure every pound of flesh was fed into the industrial machine. Why are these days still with us, and isn’t it about time we found smarter ways to work. By MANDY DE WAAL & DAVE DUARTE.
HUFF, PUFF AND BLOW THE MAJORS DOWN: ARIANA AND COMPANY GET INTO THE E-BOOK PUBLISHING GAME
MagazinE-book! Phat-E-Zine! What do we call the brand new phenomenon of major magazines and internet sites getting into the publishing game by producing mid-size e-books? Regardless of nomenclature, the practice has the majors very, very worried. By RICHARD POPLAK.
COULD THIS BOOK MAKE YOU FEEL SORRY FOR SARAH PALIN?
Spare a thought for former US VP Dick Cheney, whose memoirs hit the shelves a few weeks ago. It received a few days in the spotlight, but now there’s only one book that America’s politicos are talking about: Joe McGinniss’s controversial new biography of Sarah Palin. By REBECCA DAVIS.
ARGENTINA TO FACE SPAIN IN DAVIS CUP FINAL
Argentina will face Spain in the finals of the Davis Cup after winning their respective semi-final ties against Serbia and France.
TIGER’S FALL FROM GRACE CONTINUES
Tiger Woods has tumbled to No. 49 on the latest World Rankings list, but it looks as if he might just squeeze into his own Chevron World Challenge by the skin of his teeth. By Golf365.com.
SKEWED CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LOSING CREDIBILITY
Two years ago the Champions League Twenty20 started with a bang. On a balmy night in Bangalore, JP Duminy played one of the knocks of the tournament to silence a capacity crowd as the Cape Cobras won the sort of match which makes Twenty20 undeniably enjoyable. It set the tone for the tournament, which went on to produce plenty of moments that should theoretically have made it a success. By Cricket365.com.
EMI records refused to allow the Beatles' Here comes the Sun to be placed on the Voyager spacecraft's record.