My phone started ringing at nine that morning. It hasn’t stopped since. It took state security four days to respond in the form of a letter in which they demanded that we remove the book, failing which they would bring an urgent court application. I am no lawyer but even I knew that something can’t be urgent if you give the respondent five days to respond. We told the SSA to go to hell.
Recent events in North West have highlighted the critical state of local and provincial government in many parts of South Africa. Is this a cause for despair? Has the experiment of decentralised government failed? Or are we witnessing, instead, the maturation of a new local politics?
Sixty-two foreign migrants lost their lives and more than 200,000 were displaced during xenophobic attacks in South Africa 10 years ago. In an analysis of the 2008 attacks, the HSRC contended that “there has been a steady increase in the expression of xenophobic sentiments at both the level of officials within the state, as well as in the popular discourse in the country”.
It is worrying that fathers invoke daughters to condemn gender-based violence. If your reason for wanting to end gross violence visited upon women’s bodies is that you are “a father to a daughter”, you need to reorient your moral compass.
There has been much written and spoken in the press and media that is confusing and misleading. Propaganda jostles with verifiable truth for attention, or to satisfy the prejudices, of the wider public. This response seeks to remove the “fake” news from the truth and is published by the SAZF Cape Council as a service to journalists of both the print and electronic media, and the interested public.
Numerous plays follow a theme of coming to terms with yourself through an unwelcome encounter with others. Two characters forced together whose mutual antipathy gradually thaws as they confront each other, and have their own prejudices exposed, challenged and ultimately overcome. Usually with a happy ending as they accept each other and allow new understanding to alter themselves, until they end up as best buddies. Aw, sweet!
Free State ANC members are preparing once again to go to court to nullify the party’s provincial conference, where new leaders were elected over the weekend. They claim the event was a farce and question ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule’s leadership.
Over the weekend the ANC held perhaps the most important and constructive discussion over the land question in the country’s history. The debate was just a starting point of the much larger conversation about how the land question will be resolved, or at least the way it will be handled, over the medium- to longer-term future. It is clear that interventions involving more than “simple” expropriation without compensation are being looked at. While it is now looking more likely that there will be significant change, there are still many problems standing in the way of any meaningful reform; most vested interests in our society have a lot to lose, while many have much to gain through a political process.
Patients have died as a result of the recent strike in North West. Doctors and nurses were also chased out of operating theatres and wards by strikers. How can patients and healthworkers be protected from becoming victims of a fight that is aimed an employer?
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.
There are laws in place preventing intelligence services from intercepting communications unless a specially designated judge scrutinises each case. But, on estimate, 95% of court orders related to telecoms interception are never even seen by this judge, thanks to a “legal loophole” that may prove extremely hard to close.