South Africa, World

While you were sleeping: 22 December 2017

By John Stupart 22 December 2017

Daily Maverick's persons of the year announced, and First Thing's holiday programming information.

TGIF, 22 December 2017

“Apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system, and public health … what have the Romans ever done for us?”
Life of Brian

 

STORY OF THE DAY

2017 Daily Maverick South African Persons of the Year: The Whistle-blowers

By JESSICA BEZUIDENHOUT and REBECCA DAVIS

In 2017, the horrifying extent of State Capture finally became clearer to the South African public. And we would still be languishing in the dark were it not for the whistle-blowers: the handful of courageous South African men and women who did not remain silent in the face of wrongdoing, but stood up and spoke out. From the anonymous figures who risked everything to expose the #GuptaLeaks emails, to the workers who blew the whistle on misdeeds in big corporates and State-owned Enterprises: South Africa owes you a great debt. 

 
 
 

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

Daily Maverick’s person of the year

For South Africans, there can be no more obvious candidate for person of the year than the whistle-blowers. The courageous few who chose to risk life and limb to expose the rotten, decrepit core of South African government and business. For them, the threats are not just limited to email trolls. They are real, and they are dangerous. As such, they are worth your reading time.

 

International, sports and more

It would have been easy to pick the obvious candidate for international person of the year. But Donald Trump, the infamous sentient naartjie, was eclipsed in recent months by a bigger force. The ‘silence breakers’ who broke open the lid on sexual assault and the callous disregard with which men, including Trump, appeared to consider allegations there. Elsewhere, we have sports and runner-ups . They are all worth considering.

 

African person of the year – the year of dis-Grace

Zimbabwe’s military-led coup washed over the country in a matter of days. At the forefront of General Chiwenga’s grievances: the corrupt and quite possibly heartless wife of Robert Mugabe. Grace Mugabe has born the brunt of the country’s ire, having reached too far and too high by imposing the removal of then-president aspirant Emmerson Mnangagwa, effectively prompting her husband’s nearly four-decade rule to come crashing down. Aside from her political greed, Grace’s personal life is awash with spoiled, over-entitled children and outright assault charges. For Africa, there could be no other more critical person of the year. 

 

Daily Maverick holiday programming

Rather than simply going quieter than Shaun Abrahams on a workday, Daily Maverick’s First Thing will have a plan of action. Running from the 27th of December until the 5th of January, we will be highlighting some of the most important issues that happened in 2017. There’s no doubt: the year was a bastard of note, but we’ll try to limit the stories to the big ones or, at the least, the very interesting. If you have a friend who still doesn’t know what a Gupta is or who won the elective conference presidency, tell them to find the First Thing and sign up now .

 
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IN NUMBERS

250kg

The weight in gold historically offered by Taiwan to defecting Chinese pilots.

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

Today is Unity Day in Zimbabwe. Mugabe family need not attend.

Lenin spoke English with an Irish accent.

 

FEATURED ARTICLES

OPINIONISTAS

#BabiesMatter, or do they?

A column by ROBYN WOLFSON VORSTER

 
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