Analysis: Political brinkmanship vs Governance: Ramaphosa’s move to amend SA Constitution kickstarts 2019 elections season
In an unprecedented move, Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation as ANC president in what’s traditionally a slot reserved for the head of state. This blurring of the lines between party and state shows the pressure on the governing ANC, particularly on the economy and land expropriation without compensation. And in a bizarre twist the ANC lekgotla and Ramaphosa effectively kicked Parliament to the kerb – announcing a constitutional amendment to “clarify” expropriation without compensation as the parliamentary public hearings and processes remain under way.
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered a six-minute address to the nation as ANC president late on Tuesday where he announced that the ruling party will move to amend the Constitution to allow for expropriation of land without compensation. He also announced that the ANC has called on government to develop and implement a stimulus package to ignite growth in the economy – on the same day Statistics SA announced a growth in unemployment figures.
AN APOLITICAL PERSPECTIVE: Lindiwe Mazibuko wants to shake up SA politics – and ‘smells a rat’ on Patricia de Lille saga
Former DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko made no secret of her disenchantment with the current South African political scene when addressing the Cape Town Press Club on Tuesday evening. Gearing up to launch her new political academy’s first programme, Mazibuko shared her thoughts on electoral problems, revealed who she would vote for if an election were called tomorrow – and expressed confusion at the DA’s handling of the Patricia de Lille saga.
Earlier this week the South Gauteng High Court held that the decision of the then Minister of International Relations and Co-operation to “recognise” Dr Grace Mugabe’s immunities and privileges to shield her from criminal prosecution for the alleged assault of Ms Gabriella Engels “was inconsistent with the Constitution” and thus invalid. While the judgment is not a model of clarity, it may have consequences for other heads of state and their close family members, but is not likely to lead to a speedy prosecution of Dr Mugabe. Let me explain why.
Social media bullying and breakdown in civility have become more glaring, with some users checking out. New York Times journalist Maggie Habermann is the latest to say she would be reducing her Twitter activity due to viciousness and toxicity. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey admits that more attention should be paid to fixing the dynamics within the platform, an impossible mission given the limited space for nuanced and richer conversations beyond sound bite or swearwords.
Catering for official banquets and dinners is when people’s defences are down and so much of real story is muttered over lists of guests and confused introductions. I just love being among those political gods on the Olympus of power, serving my bobotie and koeksisters to the good and great, and realising how lucky we are to be South Africans.
The future for the Cape Town City Bowl simply has to be tall and dense if it is to equitably accommodate more people. Elegant and sculptural high-rise towers offer a Hong Kong or Singapore-like future for our city, and therefore the opportunity for ordinary citizens to have a real stake in central Cape Town – even if that stake takes the form of a 30 square metre bachelor studio.
The morning after Zimbabwe’s much-anticipated election-without-Mugabe (sort of) was a damp squib. Both the ruling Zanu-PF and opposition MDC Alliance claimed victory, as the official results trickled in way too slowly.
Recent indications of rebel activity in the north of Mozambique, and a tentative peace agreement with long-term political rival Renamo, leave much at stake for the country. Addressing political grievances in the short term are a priority, but to guarantee sustainable peace will require addressing social and economic marginalisation.
On World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on Monday, an awareness event was held at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), almost three months since a 23-year-old student was allegedly abducted while taking a taxi home.
A nascent radical Islamist movement in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado Province bordering Tanzania has led to the imposition of a night-time curfew and the setting up of military convoy escorts through some areas. The movement is still very small, and very far removed from the main tourist areas down south, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored.
Facebook said Tuesday it shut down more than 30 fake pages and accounts involved in what appeared to be a "coordinated" effort to stoke hot-button social issues ahead of November midterm US elections, but cannot identify the source despite hints Russia was involved.
Imagine one of the most powerful men in the world was inaugurated into a system built on technology that was eight years out of date. Desktop computers with disk drives, no Wifi, no bluetooth, and an email system that didn’t work 25% of the time. That man was President Barack Obama and those digital systems were the ones he inherited at the White House.
On Tuesday various political, religious, civic, and other organisations staged a protest just outside the National Treasury in Pretoria to protest the “unaffordable fuel costs and ever-rising cost of living”. Whether anything will come of the action is yet to be seen.