World

South Africa, World

While you were sleeping: 8 May 2017

While you were sleeping: 8 May 2017

Macron wins decisive French elections, Mourinho goes on the offensive against Wenger, and Buhari back in hospital.

“Once, early in the morning, Beelzebub arose, With care his sweet person adorning, He put on his Sunday clothes.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley

 
 

Twice in six days, President Jacob Zuma was unable to address public events and had to be whisked away from agitated crowds. On Sunday, Zuma withdrew from addressing a large community meeting in the volatile town of Vuwani. Last Monday, speeches were cancelled at the main May Day rally in Bloemfontein after Zuma was booed by union members. Zuma has transformed from the leader who enjoyed mass popularity and who could venture into hot spots at will into a president who has to be protected from the people he leads. From Parliament to stalwarts’ funerals to public rallies, the list of Zuma’s no-go zones is growing. 

 
 
 

Macron to be France’s new president

In the end, Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential elections by two-thirds, depriving France and the world of another upset win by a far-right populist leader. Shying away from the divisive, outright volatile politics of Marine Le Pen, the French, it seems, are ready for something new. However, much like Donald Trump was an unknown, untested political character, so too must Macron now forge his presidency with a new manifesto and little experience.

 

Third of French votes spoiled or abstained

All was not peachy for French democracy. Although Macron defeated Marine Le Pen decisively, nearly a third of French voters abstained or spoiled their votes. This is the highest rate of voter abstention/spoilage in decades, indicating that neither the loony right nor the untested centrist were appealing candidates to many French.

 

Mourinho goads Wenger

Manchester United coach and resident football firebrand Jose Mourinho took his post-match victory gloats to new highs on Sunday. Calling Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger out for depending too much on the fourth official, Mourinho’s press briefing took on something of a Rome-esque parade, taking every opportunity to dig the 2-0 win further into Arsenal’s back. Just a normal day for Mourinho, then.

 

Buhari back in London for health

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to his London doctors after already spending two months there for health reasons. Having admitted to undergoing a blood transfusion and “never being sicker” in his life, Buhari appeared to be ill yet again, casting speculation once more on Nigeria’s political leadership.

 
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IN NUMBERS

175

The years which a bell in Oxford has been ringing. It is part of an experiment to see how long the ringing will last.

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

Today is V-E Day. This marked the end of World War ll in the European theatre, with the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany.

English boy band Blue were in NYC after the 9/11 attacks. They infamously commented that “animals are more important”, thereby losing themselves a major US record deal.

 

FEATURED ARTICLES

Zuma no-show mars Vuwani progress

BY GREG NICOLSON

 

OPINIONISTAS

How about a column, President Zuma?

A column by J BROOKS SPECTOR

 

Are judges vulnerable to public opinions?

A column by YONELA DIKO

 
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