From a mysterious alleged attempted robbery involving someone visiting ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to a suspected gunman targeting the SACP’s Solly Mapaila, to death threats against DA leader Mmusi Maimane and a headless cat found in Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini’s garden, it appears that fear and paranoia are besetting South Africa’s political players. It is difficult to say how much of what is reported is due to heightened anxiety, public deception and genuine security threats, and whether ANC MPs considering voting against President Jacob Zuma in a motion of no confidence have reason to fear for their lives. What is clear is that everybody is suspicious of everybody else and absolutely nobody trusts the state. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
It was the president’s legal adviser, Micheal Hulley, who originally recommended Mxolisi Nxasana to head up the National Prosecuting Authority in 2013. It is perhaps a cruel irony then that Hulley might now face charges of attempting to defeat the ends of justice after Nxasana revealed in an explosive affidavit that Hulley had attempted to get him to lie under oath that President Zuma had not pressured him into vacating his office in 2015. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Some of the R2.808-billion SAPS protection and security services budget for the current financial year is being spent on former African Union (AU) chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. This is confirmed by police. But tracking down why specifically the Presidential Protection Service (PPS) is protecting her, rather than the VIP protection service, and details of the monies allocated to the presidential security detail, has proven to be a murky affair. What is perfectly clear is that we protect South Africa’s “important individuals” far better than South Africa’s borders. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa are widely perceived as “frontrunners” to succeed Jacob Zuma as ANC president in December. Dlamini-Zuma has entered the South African public realm repeatedly in recent weeks accompanied by a controversial “blue light” brigade usually reserved for the president and similar dignitaries. Her comments have demonstrated intolerance and do not bode well for rebuilding the democratic project, so badly undermined by her former husband, Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa’s support within the ANC is uncertain. His ideas are also largely unstated, although if elected he is unlikely to succumb to corruption and be more likely to restore legal norms and regular governance, which have been so badly undermined under Zuma. By RAYMOND SUTTNER.
As a journalist watching all of the political developments playing out around President Jacob Zuma as closely as possible, I’m also interested in the questions that some might consider hypothetical. We keep asking if ANC MPs will actually vote against Zuma? We keep wondering aloud if the ANC’s National Executive Committee would actually go there? And then, what would happen in December when the ANC’s conference finally happens? IF it happens? But more and more, I’m being kept awake at night by one question in particular. If Zuma were to lose a vote, in Parliament, in the NEC, at an ANC conference, anywhere, would he actually step down? And if he wouldn’t, what then? By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Mamphela Ramphele’s latest book is called ‘Dreams, Betrayal and Hope’. If the order of the “hope” and “betrayal” were swapped, it might be an apt description of the journey of many Agang voters. Though Ramphele has kept a low public profile since the failure of her foray into party politics, her book suggests that she remains as idealistic as ever about the contribution she can make to South Africa. By REBECCA DAVIS.
More than a decade ago, five guys from behind Cape Town’s boerewors curtain exploded on to the music scene. To this day, they have few, if any, contemporaries. Despite the conservative Afrikaans culture having progressed since then, the band seems to be as relevant – and popular – as ever. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Leaving aside such political advantages and disadvantages as there may be for delaying the vote in the no-confidence debate on the future of the President and his Cabinet, the notion that some handy guidance from the Constitutional Court may be forthcoming through the impending litigation is without foundation.