Weekly wrap-up: 13 March

By Andrea Teagle 12 March 2016

South Africa stares into junk status abyss, protests flare in Isithebe, and anger greets expected release of Chris Hani's killer.

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”

– Charles Bukowski 

This week’s wrap up

 South Africa stares into the junk status abyss
Notching up South Africa’s economic angst, which has been steadily building in inverse correlation with the economy’s performance, Moody’s this week put South Africa’s credit rating on review. The ratings agency cited increasing risks to our economic prospects as the reason for the decision. And so it’s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and co. to the rescue again next week, to attempt to convince Moody’s that SA is taking the necessary steps to avert further economic shocks. Meanwhile, with the current account deficit having widened by more than expected in the last quarter of last year, we’re likely looking at another interest rate hike next week. 

Chris Hani’s killer sniffs freedom
The man who pulled the trigger that ended the life of anti-Apartheid struggle hero Chris Hani is due to be released on bail in the next couple of weeks. In the absence of appeal, Janusz Walus, who has spent the last 23 years in prison, will join co-conspirator Clive Derby-Lewis outside bars (perhaps not exclusively of the jail variety). The ANC called the release ‘a travesty of justice’. Some agree that the judge was biased; others maintain that the rule of law has prevailed without emotional interference. Enter the rabbit hole of the debate. 

Petrol-bombed: Will you listen now? 
Just days after the first voters’ registration drive for the 2016 municipal elections, disillusionment with democracy bubbled violently to the surface with protests in the northern KwaZulu-Natal town of Isithebe. Residents, angered by lack of service delivery and perceived nepotism, petrol-bombed four factories – annihilating one – on Monday night. On Thursday, in a separate protest, residents of Gomora informal settlement in Hercules, Pretoria, took to the streets in similar frustration. 

Trump: Islam hates America | Rubio: Er, no.
Republican contender Marco Rubio on Thursday criticized Trump for his latest verbal offense – “Islam hates us, there’s a tremendous hatred”– with the observation that many Muslims were proud Americans. The debate was unusually policy-centered and devoid of poisonous personal attacks. Possibly Trump was feeling if not tolerant, then unusually restrained with Michigan and Mississippi under his belt and a Florida victory fast approaching.

Editor’s Picks

A former Media24 journalist criticises the country’s biggest online news publication for publishing AIDS denialism.

State capture: Did the Guptas offer Treasury’s top job to Deputy Minister Jonas? 


This Way Out: Holomisa’s “exit strategy” for Jacob Zuma

Trainspotter: The Madness of King Mbeki, HIV/AIDS edition.

Video of the Week

By murder rate, Cape Town is the ninth most dangerous city in the world. In this series, Shaun Swingler of Daily Maverick Chronicle spends time with the Cape Town Metro Police Gang and Drug Task Team to take a look at what it’s like to police gangs and drugs in Cape Town.

Fact of the week

Hydra (n.): sea creature that fuses closed its mouth after it has eaten, only to tear open a new mouth before its next meal. The hydra, in Greek mythology a servant with many heads, is possibly cooler in reality. Watch its mouth creating/destroying skills in action. 

Culture Dose

Africa Chic! – A night of African francophone fashion and music hosted at the Goodluck Bar at the Sheds @1 Fox.  Your Saturday night is sorted, compliments of the Alliance Francaise and the French Institute (IFAS).From 6pm. 

RapidLion South African International Festival of Film is one pf SA’s leading documentary film festivals, tackling a range of contemporary topics and rights topics this very weekend. Check out your options at the Market Theatre.

Cape Town 
Cape Town Carnival. Where defiance of convention and acceptance is the aim, and floats, costumes and music are a guaranteed. Festivities begin at 3pm and the carnival at 6pm. 

Greenpop Reforest Family Festival is your ultimate ‘green’, non-ageist music festival. There will be tree-planting. In fact, the festival will leave more than 8000 trees planted in its wake. R360p/p

Durban International Jazz Extravaganza presents international jazz sensations international Lee Ritenour and Spyro at the  Durban International Convention Centre. 7pm. R400 per person. 

Sporting Weekend

Super Rugby:
Highlanders v Lions 08:35
Rebels v Reds 10:45
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 12:55
Kings v Chiefs 15:05
Stormers v SHarks 17:15
Six Nations:
Ireland v Italy 15:30
England v Wales 18:00


Saturday: Black Aces v TUKS 15:30
Pirates v Cosmos 20:15
Sunday: Platinum Stars v Ajax 15:30
Celtic v FS Stars 15:30
World T20
Afg v Zim 11:30
HK v Scot 16:00
Ire v Neth 11:30
Ban v Oman 16:00

Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?

Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.

Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.

Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.

*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.

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