First Thing – 21 May 2018

By John Stupart 21 May 2018
Britain's Prince Harry (L), Duke of Sussex and Meghan (R), Duchess of Sussex exit St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle after their royal wedding ceremony, in Windsor, Britain, 19 May 2018. The couple have been bestowed the royal titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex on them by the British monarch. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL / POOL

"Our paths are not mapped; they’re made.” ― Priya Ardis

This weekend, the ANC NEC held a land summit in Boksburg which was somewhat ignored due to the attention given to the royal wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The meeting was a gathering of NEC members, ministers and deputy ministers who don’t sit in the NEC, alliance leaders as well as former presidents Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma. Most surprising was the ANC’s appetite to hear from outsiders – the likes of Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, researchers and NGOs.

While You Were Sleeping

Maduro wins controversial poll

Venezuela’s dictator-in-chief Nicolas Maduro has been declared president in an election termed “invalid” by his country’s opposition. With just a 46% voter turn-out, claims of electoral fraud have already emerged. The United States announced that it would not be recognising the result, paving the way firmly for post-electoral protests, sanctions, and general unrest.

Back to work for Harry and Meghan

Prince Harry and Princess Meghan will take no break after their weekend wedding.  The pair, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will be heading to Buckingham Palace to attend the ever-so-dutiful duty of Prince Charles’ garden party on Tuesday. Markle’s new Royal.UK profile, however, strongly emphasises her activism work, possibly hinting at what real duties she will be pursuing soon.

Ebola vaccines to launch in DRC today

Monday will see the start of an Ebola vaccination programme in the DRC. Aiming at curtailing a significant outbreak of the disease, the WHO announced over the weekend that at least 25 people had died from Ebola. Cases in the north-west DRC describe patients refusing treatment in favour of traditional medicine, creating a significant barrier for the rolling out of the initial 300,000 doses of the vaccine.

Mueller probe could end by September

Trump lawyer and walking media dumpster fire Rudy Giuliani has said that the Russian election interference probe by special counsel Robert Mueller could be done by 1 September. The deadline was revealed by Mueller during interviews with Giuliani but was contingent on the investigator meeting President Donald Trump by mid-July. Republicans are eager for the investigation to wrap up long before crucial mid-term elections begin.

In Numbers


The conservative estimate of the number of left-handed people killed annually

Facts of the Day

Today is South African football legend Quinton Fortune’s birthday.

On a visit to Disneyland, Princess Diana made Princes Harry and William wait in line with everyone else. 

BFN: min: 4° max: 19°, cloudy
CPT: min: 13° max: 17°, rainy
DBN: min: 15° max: 26°, cloudy
EL: min: 16° max: 28°, sunny
JHB: min: 9° max: 19°, cloudy
MHK min: 9° max: 23°,  cloudy
NLP: min: 13° max: 28°, cloudy
PE:min: 14° max: 28°, cloudy
PMB: min: 11° max: 27°, sunny
PTA: min: 10° max: 22°, sunny

Financial Data
JSE All Share=57,804.33
DJIA= 24,715.09
BTC$=8 520


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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Full extent of KZN storm damage still unknown as death toll rises

By Aisha Abdool Karim

Billionaire oil tycoon J Paul Getty had a pay phone in his home so he wouldn't have to pay for guests' calls.