First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

While you were sleeping: 31 March 2017

Newsdeck

Newsdeck

While you were sleeping: 31 March 2017

Zuma sacks Gordhan, enacts his own night of the long knives. Rand plummets, and the country begins to react.

TGIF, 31 March 2017

“Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”
John Lennon

 
 

STORY OF THE DAY

TRAINSPOTTER: WAR

By RICHARD POPLAK

The Zuma Presidency has ended. The Zuma dictatorship has begun. His surprise not-surprise Cabinet reshuffle, which ousted Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas from the Finance Ministry, has already tanked the rand. But it’s going to get much, much worse. And so this enormous act of disrespect was also a declaration of war, and on Friday, South Africans wake up to a worse version of their old country. The time has come to fight for a new one.

 
 
 

Zuma axes ministers in the dead of night

It came at midnight. A cowardly time to enact major government change, but for President Jacob Zuma, perhaps the perfect time. Minister Pravin Gordhan was sacked, with a replacement toadie well entrenched in his stead. If South Africans were looking for “that moment” when the country descended into a dictatorship, this was a pretty good moment.

 

The butcher’s bill

In the end Malusi Gigaba was made Gordhan’s replacement-puppet. Nobody really saw it coming, but the shift also replaced Gordhan’s deputy Mcebisi Jonas with Sfiso Buthelezi. The official reasoning of Zuma’s reshuffle was to “improve efficiency and effectiveness”. If the aim is improve the efficiency by which the state coffers can be looted, jolly good then.

 

The reaction

Not all were asleep at such a ridiculous time, however. Reaction to Zuma’s overtures at entrenching his domain was swift, and it was scathing. Save South Africa, among others, were not content to wait until interns woke up in the morning to write a response. They called for South Africans to “act now”. More specifically, a march. Today. At 10am in Pretoria’s Church Square. If you’re around and about, your tea break can wait for once.

 

The cost. Literally.

The rand tanked predictably. Hovering under R13 to the dollar before the Zuma Overture began, the currency plummeted to a disturbing R13.42 by the morning. When markets open again on Friday, expect all gains made by Gordhan and his ministry to be erased completely. Anyone planning on shorting the rand could not have orchestrated the plummet better.

 
 — 

IN NUMBERS

13.42

The cost of a dollar, as of 6am, SAST.

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

Today in 1989 the Eiffel Tower was opened.

The measurement “lbs” derives from the latin “libra poundo”.

 

FEATURED ARTICLES

TRAINSPOTTER: WAR

BY RICHARD POPLAK

 

OPINIONISTAS

Heady times for the judiciary in South Africa

A column by LAWSON NAIDOO

 

The Other News Round-Up: Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye

A column by MARELISE VAN DER MERWE

 
 — 

Weather
BFN: min: 16° max: 31°, sunny
CPT: min: 15° max: 21°, PM rain
DBN: min: 21° max: 34°, sunny
EL: min: 22° max: 27°, cloudy
JHB: min: 11° max: 28°, sunny
KIM: min: 20° max: 33°, sunny
NLP: min: 12° max: 32°, sunny
PMB: min: 16° max: 35°, sunny
PE: min: 18° max: 23°, PM rain
PTA: min: 12° max: 29°, sunny

Financial Data
Oil=$52.75
Gold=$1,241.39
Platinum=$947.85
R/$=13.42
R/€=14.34
R/£=16.77
$/€=0.92
JSE All Share=52,261.18
DJIA=20,728.49
FTSE 100=7,369.52

Gallery

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted