The Zuma presidency has come full circle. He was carried on a wave of mass popularity to the presidency and so it seems that mass power will bring him to his knees. On Wednesday, 10 of South Africa’s opposition parties led a crowd of over 80,000 people to the South Lawn of the Union Buildings, where they demanded that Zuma’s lumbering and destructive presidency be brought to an end. Because South African politics now parodies an epic thespian production, this all happened on the president’s birthday, which was marked at an elaborate celebration hosted by Zuma’s faction in the ANC. This is a time when history and politics are being redefined. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
The motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma is off, and will only be considered when MPs return to Parliament after the recess in early May. National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, who is also ANC national chairperson, on Wednesday informed opposition parties of this decision following their request for a postponement. This came as the Constitutional Court indicated on Tuesday that it would hear arguments on the United Democratic Movement (UDM) application for a secret ballot in that no confidence debate brought under Section 102 of the Constitution. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
The ANC has since the 1950s operated on the basis of collective leadership and collective decision-making. This was sometimes necessitated in order to maintain organisational cohesion when it was under threat, as in the period of illegality. In the post-1994 period, collective decision-making has sometimes been used to stifle debate, as it is now in the aftermath of the disagreement of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe and Zweli Mkhize with the Cabinet reshuffle, unilaterally decided on by President Jacob Zuma. The ANC no longer welcomes open debate for it is now held together by patronage and corruption rather than common values. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
An unexpected upside of President Jacob Zuma's post-midnight cabinet reshuffle is the imminent removal of Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza, the highest ranking police official in the country and who has been a key figure in the political witch-hunt of former Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan as well as other former top police officials. On Wednesday, the North Gauteng High court dismissed Ntlemeza's appeal against an earlier ruling that he is not fit for the job. But Ntlemeza's problems are far from over. He faces several IPID probes and other accusations that he has failed to investigate major criminal cases including corruption at Prasa. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The author featured in today’s episode of AmaBookaBooka is Christa Kuljian, whose new book Darwin’s Hunch joins 26 other excellent South African works of non-fiction on the longlist for the prestigious Sunday Times Alan Paton Award. Christa tells AmaBookaBooka about her journey to writing – from mid-career shift to Ruth First Lecture in 2010 to publishing Sanctuary in 2013 and now Darwin’s Hunch. By JONATHAN ANCER.
The dominant debates about land in South Africa often focus on the transfer of land from a few white hands to the black majority. The discussion seldom unpacks who constitutes the “black majority” as this is not a homogeneous group. In instances where the debate touches on land use, again the focus is often limited to agricultural production and whether or not small-scale farmers are productive. This narrow framework clearly has to be broadened and we need to ask deeper and more strategic questions than the ones we have been asking. That includes asking “land for who and for what purpose”?
The claim of detractors over the past few weeks has been that anti-Zuma protest action is predominantly led, and participated in, by out-of-touch elites and white people. Wednesday’s National Day of Action was an unanswerable rebuke to such criticism – and it felt like a much-needed moment of unity. By REBECCA DAVIS.
One of the Cape Peninsula’s most talented runners lives in a wooden shack in Masiphumelele with his mother and four siblings. His name is Inga Ngwenduana; he is 18 years old. He is short and slight but muscular, with sinewy knots in his biceps and legs. He has small scars on his face and an embossed ridge from an old soccer injury stretching down his left arm. He no longer plays soccer and has recently devoted himself to distance running, which he sees as an escape from poverty. Since his first competitive race last October he has achieved podium positions in seven out of eight events. By Kimon de Greef for GROUNDUP.
The first week of April saw a great deal of bad news hitting South African headlines. But there was the odd good news story, too. In the small town of Robertson, a programme in the local correction centre is beating the odds against crime. If slowly. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
It is unconscionable of Zapiro to trigger the trauma of thousands of rape survivors for the sake of a political point that everyone either gets anyway or will steadfastly remain unconvinced on. In a country with rape statistics as high as South Africa’s, with more than 50,000 sexual offences reported to the police each year, a cartoon depicting the country as a woman after the act of being raped by its president is not just shocking: it is going to collectively trigger the memory of an intensely personal event and evoke overwhelmingly painful emotions for each one that remembers their own rape. And there are many. Far too many. By KATHLEEN DEY.
by Emmanuel BARRANGUET and Daphne ROUSSEAU After Borussia Dortmund's fans opened their doors to Monaco rivals stranded by a bomb attack that postponed their match, the visitors returned the solidarity gesture Wednesday decked out in the German squad's black and yellow.
“Cut it out … Destroy it before it destroys us ...” The metaphor of cancer is being used by everyone from leaders of political parties to journalists to describe corruption in the body politic. Unfortunately, cancer cells often move to a new location where they continue to grow. The same is true in politics.
A friend of mine was once asked about his thoughts on the ratings agencies following the global financial crisis. He responded that he would rate them somewhere between “standard” and “poor”. After Standard & Poor’s downgraded South Africa’s hard currency rating to “junk” and Fitch downgraded both the hard currency and rand denominated debt to junk, there have been quite a few comments saying that ratings agencies should be ignored. There’s a way to do that – but it’s easier said than done.
Wandile Mhlengi Ngcaweni: The intellectual, militant, revolutionary and brave young people need to stand up and take back the ANC
Almost every leadership crisis of the ANC has been caused by rigid old men, who do not want to be told what the right thing to do is, leaders who fail to gauge the changing direction of where the wind is blowing in terms of ideas, the mood of the constituency and their basic and material needs.
The United Democratic Movement has approached the Constitutional Court for a ruling that a no confidence vote in President Zuma should be conducted by way of a secret ballot. Comparing the German and South African parliamentary systems and rules is instructive.