iMaverick, Wednesday 28 September
- iMaverick Team
- 28 Sep 2011 (South Africa)
Playing again: Zuma spy-tape drama; ANC now owns consultation around the Protection of State Information Bill; Samantha Vice weights in on the great white debate, again; the Dalai Lama's visa problems; Groupon's folly; and George Bizos defends the Constitution. By iMAVERICK TEAM.
ANC MAKES INFO BILL ITS BABY – OPPOSITION EXCLUDED FROM NEW CONSULTATION PROCESS
As Parliament’s ad hoc committee for the Protection of Information Bill was dissolved last week, the ANC started its own public consultation process on the proposed law. Opposition parties are crying foul, reports CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
Advocate George Bizos is known for speaking his mind, a trend that continues in his old age as he takes to defending the Constitution and the courts. For that alone, one needs a bucket of courage nowadays. CARIEN DU PLESSIS reports.
Amid intense international scrutiny, South Africa has still not issued a visa to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) claims that the visa application itself was delayed by a failure on the part of representatives of the Dalai Lama to submit the necessary paperwork to the South African High Commission in New Delhi. All outstanding documents have since been submitted, according to Dirco and the application is being considered in a “routine visa application processes". Dirco can’t however confirm if the visa will be granted, or indeed, denied in time for Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s birthday bash on 8 October. By KHADIJA PATEL.
President Jacob Zuma has had a good run in the past few weeks, asserting himself as a leader of action. But an arbiter’s finding that the spy tapes used to drop corruption charges against him were illegal, could prove to be grease to his grip on the reins of power. CARIEN DU PLESSIS examines the implications.
The news had already been widely reported by the time she announced it, but that didn’t stop Democratic Alliance MP Lindiwe Mazibuko from basking in the limelight of what could possibly mark another significant change in the South African political landscape – a young black woman leading the official opposition in Parliament. Rejecting the notion that her appointment would be window dressing, the 31-year-old Mazibuko outlined some of the changes she would ring in. BY OSIAME MOLEFE.
We’re now into the main meat of the case against Dr Wouter Basson. That means we’re hearing about biological weapons, weaponised mandrax mortars and a factory of death. Unfortunately, it’s not a case involving judges, but the slightly lesser mortals of the Health Professions Council. They want him prevented from working as a doctor, because of the role he played in leading the apartheid government’s biological weapons programme, bringing his ethics into play. And those ethics took a real pasting on day two of the inquiry that could see him struck off the doctors’ roll. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
THE GREAT WHITE DEBATE – SAMANTHA VICE WEIGHS IN AGAIN
Samantha Vice’s paper on whiteness in South Africa wasn’t originally meant to be disseminated outside of philosophy circles. As it was, the paper did make it into the public sphere, where it caused a tremendous uproar. On Tuesday afternoon, Vice attempted to dispel some of the fears and concerns her first paper evoked by clarifying some of her positions. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.
Aah, the perennial clash of democratic liberties of free speech and thought, and university endorsed gabfests devoted to the scientifically suspect... 'tis the bedrock of balderdash for those who draw distinctions between pseudoscience (including homeopathy) and real science (which claims to have discovered a neotrino that travels faster than the speed of light).
FEARS OF ETHNIC CLASHES IN GUINEA AS PRE-POLL VIOLENCE MOUNTS
Pre-electoral tension spilled onto the streets of Conakry in Guinea on Tuesday as security forces cracked down on an opposition protest. At least three people were said to have been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters, and concerns are rising that the violence could spark ethnic clashes ahead of elections scheduled for December. By KHADIJA PATEL.
BLACK HAWK DOWN: THE DRONE VERSION
The last time a US aircraft crashed in Somalia, the world watched in horror as the corpse of a US soldier was dragged through the mean streets of Mogadishu. This time when an American drone went down in Al-Shabaab territory, hardly anyone noticed. It’s a convincing argument for the effectiveness of unmanned bombers, especially if you’re a military man. By SIMON ALLISON.
NEW LIBYA’S TUAREG HEADACHE
As if they don’t have enough to do, Libya’s new leaders have the headache of how to handle the Tuareg, the desert nomads who were such staunch Gaddafi supporters. And to highlight the urgency of this problem, clashes between Tuareg and new Libya forces erupted on the Algerian border this week – a warning of just how much trouble the militant minority could cause. By SIMON ALLISON.
AFRICA'S HIV PREVENTION SLOWS, DUE TO LACK OF SUPPORT FOR CIRCUMCISION
Circumcision could avert 4 million HIV infections and save $20 billion across east and southern Africa by 2025, says a new report. But only if African leaders support the snip. By GREG NICOLSON.
OBIANG PRIZE RETURNS TO TROUBLE UNESCO
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang is hellbent on seeing his plans for the Unesco-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences come to fruition. He has the backing of that bastion of hypocrisy, the AU; the rest of the world, not so much. By THERESA MALLINSON.
Score one for the optimists: a UN report has defied doom and gloom predictions that the world is running out of food and water, saying that there’s enough water in river basins to more than double food production, even accounting for a surge in population. That doesn’t mean that all people will get fed and watered, but a solution is at least possible. By SIMON ALLISON.
JAPAN MAY HELP AVOID GRECIAN DEFAULT
Everyone, it seems, is terrified of a Grecian default. But Japan may swim against the stream and says it is very possible it could be part of a global plan to bail the beleaguered nation out of its debt crisis. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.
AUSTRALIAN MILITARY TO WOMEN: ‘YES, YOU CAN!’
Good news for Australian women itching to get their heads blown off in war – or vice versa! The Australian defence force announced yesterday the removal of all restrictions on roles of women in the military. By REBECCA DAVIS.
First our own minister of international relations played the “diplomatic immunity” card as the reason her bag shouldn't be subjected to security checks, and now Dominique Strauss-Kahn is citing it as the reason why his civil rape case should be dropped. But what exactly does diplomatic immunity entail? By REBECCA DAVIS.
IS THE BBC’S SHOCK TRADER A HOAX?
It's a video that confirms everyone's worst nightmares about what traders are like. The BBC screened an interview on Monday with "independent trader" Alessio Rastani which sent shivers down many spines. Now speculation is growing that the appearance was an elaborate hoax. By REBECCA DAVIS.
On Monday night at least two people were injured after a section of the pipeline that supplies Israel and Jordan with gas from Egypt was blown up. The attack is the latest of a series of acts of sabotage on the pipeline in recent months; it has been attacked by unknown assailants a total of six times since former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February. By KHADIJA PATEL.
Ah, hubris. When Google offers you $6 billion for your too-good-to-be-true company, you take it. You don’t tell them “up yours” and then try and put your company on the stock market for couple of bucks more. But that’s exactly what Groupon CEO Andrew Mason did. Does he feel stupid now? Probably that feeling is not as strong as the relief Google must be feeling for not buying the overpriced poisoned chalice. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.
SA'S BIG MEDIA PUTS THE SQUEEZE ON PRESS INDEPENDENTS
South Africa's Competition Commission is taking a good, hard look at Media24 after complaints of anti-competitive behaviour and “predatory pricing” practices against the Naspers-owned operation. Independent presses in the community sector say Media24 is up to dirty tricks, but it’s not just the regulator that has big media in its sites. Government says it may look at bringing in a charter to prevent the decimation of SA’s independent presses. By MANDY DE WAAL.
AN ADVICE TO JOHANN HARI: FESS UP, COMPLETELY
Earlier this month UK journalist Johann Hari said he was sorry for the “two wrong and stupid things” he'd done. It's hard to believe him, when his very apology contained further lies. By THERESA MALLINSON.
@PAULKAGAME LOSES THE PLOT ON TWITTER, AGAIN
There's nothing quite as cringeworthy as watching a Twitter meltdown unfold on your timeline – especially when it involves scant regard for grammar. “Think before you tweet,” you want to DM the offender, but if it's the Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who follows exactly zero people, this isn't a possibility. By THERESA MALLINSON.
COULD A ROBOT DO YOUR JOB?
It's a serious question: ever-more sophisticated robots are being built with highly-advanced problem-solving capacities. Over the next decade, it's likely that robots will replace humans in a wide range of industries. By REBECCA DAVIS.
ROBINSON SAYS IT’S TIME FOR SCOTLAND THE BRAVE
Scotland’s coach Andy Robinson has called for his troops to dust themselves off and focus on their next challenge of beating England. By PLANETRUGBY.COM.
RYDER CUP VENUE UNDER SCRUTINY
Jose-Maria Olazabal and Davis Love III, the respective 2012 European and US captains for next year's Ryder Cup battle, have allayed fears about the condition of the Medinah Country Club in Chicago, venue for the contest. By GOLF365.COM.
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