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



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


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. 



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 .




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



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

Lenin spoke English with an Irish accent.




#BabiesMatter, or do they?



BFN: min: 17° max 30°, cloudy
CPT: min: 16° max: 27°,  sunny
DBN: min: 12° max: 27°, cloudy
EL: min: 20° max: 28°, cloudy
JHB: min: 16° max: 26°, rainy
KIM: min: 18° max: 31°, rainy
MHK: min: 18° max: 30°, cloudy
PMB: min: 19° max: 31°, cloudy
PE: min: 18° max: 30°, cloudy
PTA: min: 19° max: 29°, cloudy

Financial Data
JSE All Share=58,771.79
FTSE 100=7,603.98


Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!

No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.

Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.

It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.

But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.

So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.


Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.

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Sushi is traditionally eaten by hand and not with chopsticks.