LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
It’s time to help choose our People of the Year
I’m not sure if any of you can identify with this, but 2022 feels like a runaway train that not even Denzel Washington can stop. So much to do and so little time to do it. It seems as if the year started just a minute ago, getting our children geared up to go back to school, and now they are head-down in their books for their final year exams.
Dear DM168 readers,
At Daily Maverick, we have reporters heading off to Egypt for the COP27 climate change summit from 6-18 November, and on 24 November we have our first big post-Covid The Gathering event at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
I was invited to the last Gathering on 6 March 2020 by our editor-in-chief Branko Brkic. It was there that he introduced the idea of this newspaper to me and to some members of the Daily Maverick team. Weeks later, President Cyril Ramaphosa had his first family meeting and announced our first Covid-19 lockdown.
Our events team had to pivot quickly to online webinars and the newly assembled print production team had to produce a newspaper from our desks at homes in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Against all odds, we made the vision of Branko and our CEO, Styli Charalambous, come alive and, hey, two years down the line, we are still here, every week curating a uniquely Daily Maverick take on South Africa and the world in print form to feed your curiosity, compassion, concern and delight.
The lead story in this week’s paper by Marianne Thamm is a fascinating insight into how all kinds of characters in the RET camp have lined up in defence of suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane at her parliamentary impeachment hearing.
In her inimitable style, Thamm wades through the hearing, explaining the histrionics from the likes of Mkhwebane’s now former legal representative, Dali Mpofu, and the one and only people’s revolutionary on the African continent, Julius Malema, who put in an appearance among a cast of many, many more lawyers, spies, spin doctors and politicians who all argue for the end of our Constitution as we know it – because it gets in the way of their plans for a radically economically transformed South Africa.
I’m not so sure if this radical economic transformation means killing the Constitution so Mpofu can earn more than the R12-million in legal fees he bagged for his Public Protector work, or so others in the RET camp can buy more fancy Italian suits and handbags, as is their predilection.
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Only time will tell but, for now, read Thamm’s take on the proxy war at the Public Protector’s impeachment hearing. There is also a number of truly inspiring, uplifting and entertaining stories in this week’s paper – ranging from a skateboarder from Athlone who is winning global competitions, to South Africa’s first black women pilots to fly a commercial plane together.
There’s a travel story on the Maputo National Park in Mozambique, where elephants and whales meet, and our very own Mr Styles, who this week has a dig at those unstylish schoolteachers who care more about toyi-toying and driving posh cars than, well, teaching.
Right now, while bringing out our weekly edition, we are also planning our year-end bumper edition of DM168 with our annual People of the Year feature.
I invite those of you who would like to be a part of this venture to suggest a few people you think are contenders in our different categories.
We look for people who have made an impact, good or bad. It would be great if you could suggest a few names and explain what makes them worthy contenders. Over the next week or so, our team of journalists at Daily Maverick editorial will meet to throw in their suggestions – and it would be interesting to see how your suggestions compare to those of your favourite writers.
You can fill in your suggestions and your motivation by clicking on this Google forms link if you have a Google account: People of the year DM168 READER suggestions. Otherwise, just email me your suggestions and motivations for your choices. Check the categories from last year here. You have until Tuesday, 8 November, to send your suggestions to [email protected].
As usual, please contribute to the lively debate and thought-sharing happening on our letters page by emailing your views on any of our stories, or write anything that comes to your mind about the affairs of our country, your dreams of how to make this a better place or an anecdote about something that inspired hope or gave you a good laugh. Write to me at [email protected] and you might see your name in our newspaper next week.
Happy riding this runaway train.
Woza December holidays!
Yours in defence of truth,
This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available countrywide for R25.