South Africa, World

While you were sleeping: 6 February 2018

By John Stupart 6 February 2018

Markets plummet in the US, Maldives enters state of emergency, and Falcon Heavy to lift off.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape? If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!” 
JRR Tolkien

 
 

An emergency evacuation drill in the National Assembly. Possible legal action by at least two opposition parties, the EFF and the United Democratic Movement, to push for a postponement of Thursday’s State of the Nation Address – if President Jacob Zuma is at the podium. And as firm a word as any from the EFF on Monday that “there will be no SONA” without its no confidence motion happening first. All this as the ANC is chewing over Zuma’s future as South Africa’s president in what the governing party calls the “transition”, with a special urgent meeting of its highest decision-making body between national conferences, the National Executive Committee (NEC), on Wednesday. 

 
 
 

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

US markets plummet

Wall Street experienced a brutal Monday’s trading this week. With a 4.6 drop in value among the 30 largest American companies, all eyes have been on President Donald Trump, who naturally rebuffed any claim of responsibility this time. Concern over inflated Treasury bond yields and concern over a potential Fed interest rate hike propelled the Dow into its downward spiral. The president, it seems, is only responsible when the markets are booming.

 

Maldives enters state of emergency

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has declared a 15-day state of emergency. The declaration came on the back of military intervention against the country’s highest court and a former president. President Yameen’s refusal to release nine political dissidents has squared him off against the Supreme Court. The presidential logic, then, is to declare an emergency and send in the soldiers. It’s a good thing the country is not particularly reliant on a tourism industry.

 

SpaceX to launch world’s most powerful rocket

If all things are clear and green-lit, SpaceX will be launching its Falcon Heavy today. If successful, the rocket will become the world’s most powerful in operation. Scheduled for this evening, South African time, the rocket is not carrying anything valuable. Just a mannequin in a snazzy space suit strapped into one of Elon Musk’s Teslas.

 

Frasier ‘dad’ dies at 77

John Mahoney, the Jack Russell owning ex-cop who was Frasier’s father in the hit sitcom has died. Mahoney was propelled to fame playing Martin Crane for 11 years. Mahoney began his acting career at the age of 40 at the urging of John Malkovich and Gary Sinise, and has been nominated for multiple Emmys and Golden Globes.

 
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IN NUMBERS

51

The number of times John Williams has been nominated for an Oscar.

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

Today in 2017 Springbok legend Joost van der Westhuizen passed away.

Compared to gold ore, there is more gold on a per weight basis in your smartphone.

 

FEATURED ARTICLES

OPINIONISTAS

Sleeping among Giants

A column by MARK HEYWOOD

 

The privilege of being heard

A column by THANIA GOPAL

 

A few questions for Thuli Madonsela

A column by PAUL HOFFMAN

 
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Weather
BFN: min: 19° max 34°, cloudy
CPT: min: 18° max: 24°,  sunny
DBN: min: 22° max: 29°, cloudy
JHB: min: 16° max: 27°, cloudy
KIM: min: 20° max: 36°, cloudy
MHK: min: 18° max: 32°, cloudy
NLP: min: 18° max: 34°, cloudy
PE: min: 18° max: 32°, cloudy
PMB: min: 18° max: 36°, cloudy
PTA: min: 19° max: 31°, cloudy

Financial Data
Oil=$67.43
Gold=$1,334.54
Platinum=$990.10
R/$=12.05
R/€=14.95
R/£=16.88
BTC/$=6,865
JSE All Share=57,113.74
DJIA=24,345.75
FTSE 100=7,334.98

Gallery

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.


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