There are literally hundreds of rumours circulating the South African political space. Will the African National Congress’s December election conference actually go ahead, given the manufactured chaos swirling around deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa? Will ANC presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, soon to be a Member of Parliament, be sworn in as Minister of Sleeping While Dancing? How will all of this work out? RICHARD POPLAK performs an act of national gastroenterology.
President Jacob Zuma appeared in good spirits as he prepared to move to consolidate his power, even as the ground is shifting in his home base of KwaZulu-Natal. Zuma cautioned the youth, without a hint of irony, against electing someone “who is just good at toyi-toying”, even as his detractors launched a counterstrike by airing rumours that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is about to be axed. By CARIEN DU PLESSIS.
You would be a fool to write off Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the ANC succession race. The ANC Youth League’s 73rd birthday celebrations in Cape Town this weekend were only nominally about marking that rather arbitrary milestone. What they primarily provided a platform for was a demonstration of support for Dlamini-Zuma by the Youth League, the ANC Women’s League, and the Umkhonto weSizwe veterans’ association. But she is hard to read, and even harder to approach. By REBECCA DAVIS.
With confirmation late last week that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is becoming a Member of Parliament again, speculation is swirling that President Jacob Zuma is going to reshuffle his Cabinet in order to include her. There is a strong basis for doing this; life as a back-bencher is unlikely to be edifying for the former chair of the African Union Commission. But, so close to the ANC’s conference, any move by Zuma carries risks. And any appointment of Dlamini-Zuma to a position will carry consequences, both for him and for her. At the same time, the element of unpredictability in our politics is growing stronger; it is harder to predict what any of the actors, particularly Zuma, will do. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Developing countries must create cities of hope for the poor. However, many middle-income countries have seen wasteful congestion, the creation of slums, worsening air quality, floods, inadequate sanitation and joblessness. Overcoming these problems requires effective city management, and the integration of the urban agenda into national plans to promote job-rich growth, to provide safety and security, public goods and quality education. By ANN BERNSTEIN.
What are we to make of the purchase by Jimmy Manyi through his shelf company, Lodidox, of the Gupta-owned media assets? Well, just on the information given by Manyi himself, the whole thing should fail, and fail quickly, because the whole transaction, on the information available, is a scam. What remains is to speculate as to what the exact nature of the scam is and what clues we can look out for to make a sensible determination. By DIRK DE VOS.
Parliament is a political institution where not only broader dynamics of South Africa’s body politic play out, but also the factional power-plays of the governing ANC. And that political character, rather than its legislative or oversight mandate, is again front and centre with the arrival of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former AU Commission Chairperson and ANC presidential hopeful, alongside Matthew Wolmarans, the ex-Rustenburg mayor whose 2012 murder conviction was overturned and set aside three years ago. By MARIANNE MERTEN.
On 8 September, Kenyan intellectual, legal expert and scholar, Professor Patrick Loch Otiena Lumumba, delivered the 5th Onkgopotse Tiro Memorial Lecture at the university of Limpopo. It was a remarkable event, coming as it does a week after the Kenyan Supreme Court’s nullification of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election win earlier this month and three months before a bruised and battered ANC limps towards the close of the Zuma era in December. Lumumba’s mesmerising lecture, for the truth that it spoke, must be recorded as a pivotal one. Masterful in its delivery, it is a meditation on greed, destruction, hope and possibility for the African continent. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Political elites and security services have captured the companies mining Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields and siphoned off billions, even as the government blames private companies for crucial data gaps in its accounts, a report released on Monday alleges. KRISTEN VAN SCHIE reports.
Community-based mental health organisations are cash-strapped, and face ongoing threats from government that their subsidies will be cut. But the Esidimeni tragedy shows that more money should be invested in these facilities to protect patients from being discharged into hostile communities before they are ready. Amy Green reports for HEALTH-E NEWS.
Over the ages there has been a great deal of discussion and debate about why men (and a few women), at the pinnacle of their political careers, with their country (and sometimes the world) literally at their feet, lose it all because of risqué behaviour. A succinct response is that power, politics and corruption are synonymous.
The struggle against apartheid was fought and won by a single national organisation that was not divided by tribalism. The same cannot be said of Zimbabwe. There is no question that Robert Mugabe ordered the mass murder of more than 20,000 isiNdebele-speakers in the two years after January 1983. It is a disgrace to the historic tradition of black liberation in South Africa that this blatant, blood-soaked truth is not shouted from the rooftops by all political parties, and especially by the ANC.
In this difficult time for the ANC, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of an organisation we are and what direction we want to move in. We must make an effort, as Sindiso Magaqa did, to rediscover comradeship and an intrinsic revolutionary value of love.
Judge Mohamed Navsa, Acting Judge President of the Supreme Court of Appeal, is a judge of high standing who made it clear he is on the side of the poor at an annual Stellenbosch University law school address under the topic: “Human rights and the rule of law: bulwarks against corruption and maladministration?”
Judge Chantal Fortuin’s ruling on the land rights issue in Marikana, Philippi, has been defined as a watershed judgment; a breakthrough for the poor. Yet, as with many defining moments in law, it begs as many questions as answers.