Marianne Thamm: Elin Ersson and the lesson of human solidarity and not taking illegal orders in monstrous times
It was the earth’s shadow we saw cast during the once-in-a-100-year “blood moon” eclipse at the weekend. Our shadow side, our dark side as humanity in the 21st Century, is our increasing alienation, atomisation and intolerance. Which is why young Swedish student activist, Elin Ersson, who refused to sit down on a plane when Afghan passenger seeking asylum in Sweden was threatened with deportation, represents a small flame of hope for ordinary people across the globe resisting an increasingly authoritarian world in a time of big man politics, rising populism, nationalism, hatred and warmongering.
An impact assessment for the new Tobacco Bill fails to justify many of its provisions, such as the regulation of ‘electronic delivery systems’ and plain packaging for cigarettes. It is shot through with other flaws, which clearly makes this bad law.
On Wednesday, 1 August 2018, women and gender non-conforming people, like the women of 1956, will shut down the country and march in protest against gender-based violence. The significance of this moment in the evolutionary trajectory of women’s movement activism in South Africa can never be overstated.
While the public hearings on the possible change of Section 25 of the Constitution draw to a close in the Western Cape this week, people continue to wait for justice. Both the ANC and EFF remain mum on how to actually implement their proposals and more importantly how to fix the current problems that plague the land reform process.
The Vuk’uphile Contractor Development Programme is a national public works programme aimed at transforming the construction industry by giving small black-owned companies training and support. But in North West it was hijacked, allegedly to buy votes, leaving contractors stranded and in debt.
We have heard many reflections on Professor Mayosi’s death. None will ever know what happened, and in reflecting, we run the risk of misrepresenting his life. But we would also be remiss if we did not begin to try to imagine what would lead someone to such an extreme act.
ZIMBABWE ELECTIONS: Trepidation as observers warn that an expected presidential run-off should be peaceful
Early celebration parties in Zimbabwe kicked off even before the polls closed in one of the country’s most peaceful elections of recent times. Amid high expectations from both sides, and with a high possibility of a presidential run-off, the next 48 hours will prove to be the real test.
On Monday voters thronged polling stations to cast their votes and decide the future of the country after 38 years of Mugabe misrule that resulted in record-breaking hyperinflation due to poor policies, corruption, and economic mismanagement.
Public hearings into amending Section 25 of the Constitution wrapped up in Gauteng over the weekend, with only the Western Cape to go. The EFF line continued to dominate while speakers highlighted the complexity of the land question.
In the last few weeks and months, disparate role players faced similar problems and decided to co-operate. In a country with as many moving parts as ours, just keeping track is sometimes difficult. But there appears to be growing evidence that we are now possibly facing what could be considered unexpected coalitions, in a bid to achieve their respective goals, political or otherwise. This adds to an impression that there are big changes beneath the surface of our politics. However, it could also usher in a renewed sense of short-term politics, which leads to alliances which simply cannot last.
Two months after the Department of Basic Education was to announce a strategy to fix sanitation in South African schools, private funding has allowed the department to announce a two-year sanitation improvement plan. However, questions about the legitimacy of the data collected remain.
Almost a year after allegedly assaulting a Johannesburg woman, Zimbabwe's former first lady Grace Mugabe could face criminal prosecution after the High Court in Johannesburg ruled on Monday that the decision to grant her diplomatic immunity was illegal and unconstitutional. Whether she will be prosecuted is dependent on whether she will be made to return to South Africa.
Almost 47 years after the killing of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol, a former Security Branch officer was in court on Monday charged with his murder. The NPA says it's the first of many apartheid-era cases to come.
Many people despair of their lives improving, almost 25 years into representative democracy. The new Ramaphosa-led government has made strenuous efforts to end the illegality that marked the Jacob Zuma era. It also needs to address the failure to meet basic needs, which government is constitutionally obliged to provide. Until this is done, desperation will result in continued protest and destruction.
Vodacom has coughed up R1.2-million in an out-of-court settlement for handing over forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan personal information to jailed former underworld boss Radovan Krejcir's legal team in 2014. O'Sullivan had been pursuing Krejcir for years. The settlement is a victory for the protection of personal information from corporate recklessness.