Thibeti Ramotja: the man for the job that nobody wants; Zuma decodes SA's foreign policy; Matric: the truth; Obama breaks fund-raising record; and Walking Dead. By iMAVERICK TEAM.
When KwaZulu-Natal’s department of health decided to introduce a circumcision device called the Tara Klamp in 2010, health activists were outraged, saying the clamp was unsafe and expensive. Now reports say that the Tara Klamp’s director gave Goodwill Zwelithini a car worth R1 million. By REBECCA DAVIS.
ANC YOUTH LEAGUE YOUTUBE CLIP NOT EXACTLY A VIRAL SENASTION
“Julius Malema’s Clarion Call to Economic Freedom”, the YouTube clip uploaded by the ANC Youth league last Wednesday, had been viewed 1,416 times as of yesterday evening. “Buck Norris”, the video of a 17-year-old being knocked off a bicycle by a hartebeest, has been seen five million times since Monday. Julius, if you want to go viral, you better face facts: put a buck in it. By REBECCA DAVIS.
A LUCKY ESCAPE IN ROSEBANK AS THE HOUSE COMES DOWN
Right in the middle of the workday, with no prior warning, part of the roof of a small office building in Rosebank, Johannesburg, came down. With just a little less luck it could have been a story of tragedy; instead it is just one of poor construction. By PHILLIP DE WET.
In an unusual step, Parliament has confirmed that it would probe the less-than-well-attended People’s Assembly in Mangaung last month if necessary, while the legislature’s chief communications officer, Luzuko Jacobs, who was involved in organising the assembly, confirmed that he’s off to study again. CARIEN DU PLESSIS reports.
THE MAN FOR THE JOB THAT NOBODY WANTS
In present day South Africa, there are jobs that are nice to have – that are fun and have what appear to be certain benefits that come with the office. Then are jobs that just suck, with no glamour, fringe benefits and continuous headache. But sometimes our political masters feel they have to actually put politics to one side, and put someone good in charge, which seems to have happened at the Department of Mineral Resources. On Thursday Cabinet officially announced it had appointed Dr Thibeti Ramontja as the ministry’s new director-general. It’s a choice that will matter. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
PRESS FREEDOM COMMISSION HAS BIG PLANS, BUT WILL THEY BE ENOUGH?
On Wednesday the Press Freedom Commission outlined the work it has done so far, and what it still has to achieve before the end of March, when it will produce a report on best practices of various media-regulatory systems. Going through the recent Press Council review, setting up a whistle-stop study tour, and a plan to hold (more) public hearings are the main outcomes. But is the government listening? By THERESA MALLINSON.
President Zuma was in top form at the University of Pretoria on Thursday when he interpreted South Africa’s foreign policy. With surprising confidence but characteristic warmth, he waded through the morass of South Africa’s international relations and even managed a little dig at Julius Malema. By KHADIJA PATEL.
In 2009, Brandon Huntley enraged most South Africans with his claim for refugee status in Canada, based on his persecution by black criminals, who targeted him because he was white. Undaunted, he’s back in Canadian courts, hoping to have his revocation revoked. Eish! By RICHARD POPLAK.
ANALYSIS: MISSING THE POINT ON MATRIC RESULTS DEBATE
Ah, to be 18 years old once again, on that fresh December morning, when your entire school career comes down to one line in some newspaper. The boundless joy felt when your name appears in the paper is perhaps the final, true moment of childhood. You quickly learn afterwards that a matric pass means bugger all. Let SIPHO HLONGWANE explain.
Rhodes University had its second Truth and Reconciliation Commission last month, where students were encouraged to speak out about their experiences of discrimination on the campus and in South Africa. The university had its first TRC in 2008, and this year Jacob Phamodi testified about his experiences of racism, not only for being black, but an ‘articulate’ black.
MABINE SEABE: WHAT’S IN THE NAME OF INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS?
Our young democracy is a cunundrum of socio-economic ironies and injustices. Our poor stay in squatter camps (informal settlements for those who care to be politically correct) and our freedom fighters are honoured by getting squatter camps named after them. We need to start uplifting the poor in the name of our heroes and heroines.
ERITREA’S DAWIT ISAAK WINS GOLDNE PEN PRESS FREEDOM AWARD
Dual Swedish-Eritrean national Dawit Isaak has been imprisoned in Eritrea for the last ten years. On Thursday he was awarded the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers Golden Pen press freedom award. Unfortunately, in real life, he’s still in prison – and that’s the best possible scenario. By THERESA MALLINSON.
The provisional results of Liberia’s election aren’t good news for President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who probably can’t avoid a difficult run-off election. That means that the supporters of third-placed candidate Prince Johnson – notorious former torturer and warlord – will likely determine who Liberia’s next president will be. By SIMON ALLISON.
SIX OF SEVEN ARRESTED NIGERIAN MEDIA WORKERS FREED
After spending a night and a day in jail, six of the seven Nigerian journalists detained on Tuesday were released. The seventh was expected to appear in court on Thursday. But media organisations are questioning why they were ever arrested in the first place. By THERESA MALLINSON.
Frustrated by his inability to get rid of his VP, Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika has turned to the courts to solve his problem, taking a dig at Malawi’s “rushed constitution” at the same time. By SIMON ALLISON.
Sudan will implement an Islamic constitution and Sharia law, creating Africa’s first fully theocratic state. This is a sensible domestic move, as far as Khartoum is concerned. It also signals the beginning of the end of Africa’s influence in Sudan, and opens the door to Iran or Saudi Arabia to establish a solid foothold in Africa. By SIMON ALLISON.
Q3: OBAMA RAISES $70 MILLION AND COUNTING FOR RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN
The re-election campaign for US President Barack Obama is going swimmingly, from a financial perspective at least. The campaign raised some $70 million in the summer months. It’s way more than the Republican contenders are raising, but less than Obama managed in the April to June quarter. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.
NZ MARITIME DISASTER: STRANDED SHIP SHED OIL AND CONTAINERS
The MV Rena, a Libya-registered (but Greek-owned) carrier that ran aground in New Zealand on 5 October, has started shedding containers along with hundreds of tonnes of oil, forcing authorities to cordon off several beaches. The captain has appeared in court for the incident. We have one question: finders keepers? By SIPHO HLONGWANE.
After decades of hardship in war-torn Gaza, Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish experienced the most terrible horror – the violent death of three of his daughters following an Israeli strike on his house. Determined to use this tragedy as a force for good, the author of the best-selling book “I shall not hate” is coming to South Africa to talk peace, understanding and connection. By MANDY DE WAAL.
A LESSER iPAD TO COMBAT THE KINDLE FIRE? NOT LIKELY
Is Apple going to launch a lesser iPad to combat the Amazon Kindle Fire, the tablet that can do almost everything the iPad can, at half the cost? Rumours suggest that the oompa-loompas at Apple are preparing a rival product, an Apple iPad “mini”. We lend no credence to them, of course – Apple would be nuts to devalue their brand in such a way. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.
UK PATIENTS SOON TO REGISTER END-OF-LIFE WISHES
Euthanasia advocates in the UK will be heartened by the news that the department of health plans to allow people to register information telling paramedics they do not wish to be resuscitated. By REBECCA DAVIS.
EWOKS MIGRATE TO SEQuOIA NATIONAL PARK, KIND OF
So you thought the Ewoks lived on the moon of Endor? Not so fast. A geeky, graphic designer dad has imported them to Sequoia National Park to enchant his children. By THERESA MALLINSON.
WITH KIRKMAN, YOU’LL NEVER BE WALKING DEAD ALONE
In 2003 writer Robert Kirkman created a comic book series about a small-town lawman called Rick Grimes who leads a rag-tag bunch of survivors through an apocalyptic zombie-infested hell. The comic book was a winner, and six years later it spawned a TV series that was a global hit as well. For all The Walking Dead fans season two is mere days away from airing locally. By MANDY DE WAAL.
HOOK GETS THE NOD AT FLYHALF
Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland has lost his battle to be fit for their World Cup semi-final against France in Auckland. By PLANETRUGBY.COM.
MICHKELSON STILL UP FOR THE SCRAP
Phil Mickelson is optimistic about his future in the game and still believes his best years are ahead of him. By GOLF365.COM.
CAMPO LETS RIP AT REFS ampo lets rip at refs
Australian rugby legend David Campese has slammed the standard of officiating at the World Cup, saying “the referees are there to ref, not for the world to watch the ref”. By PLANETRUGBY.COM.
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