Indonesian security forces and emergency workers raced Monday to aid victims of a powerful earthquake on Lombok that killed at least 82 people, as strong aftershocks sparked terror on the holiday island that suffered another deadly quake just a week ago.
The negotiated exit of Patricia de Lille from the Cape Town mayor’s office has cemented her reputation as a Teflon politician. The political solution announced on Sunday means she departs office on 31 October on her terms – with all disciplinary charges related to leadership style, nepotism and maladministration withdrawn. DA national leader Mmusi Maimane went solo in this key move to end the reputational damage that eight months of internecine party battles have caused, so the party can focus on the 2019 elections.
It is a sad reflection on the state of affairs in South Africa today that the leader of the Opposition has to put pen to paper, or at least speech writer to laptop, to extol the virtues of accountability. Mmusi Maimane has likened accountability to the baking powder that makes the cake of good governance rise. Actually, under the rule of law, accountability is more like the oxygen that enables survival.
In 2005, there were almost 46,000 inter-country adoptions globally. But just 10 years later, international adoptions had *dropped 72% to 12,000 in total. Behind this decline are political and economic factors, fear of trafficking, cultural concerns, allegations of forced adoptions, and an extremely powerful anti-adoption lobby. But, in an environment where increased vigilance and regulation can often prevent abuses, are those punting for a complete end to inter-country adoptions guilty of “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”? In South Africa, this seems to be the case.
The book is a collaboration between journalist Chris Steyn and former undercover narcotics agent Mark Anthony Dawid Minnie. They compare notes to deliver a shocking story of apartheid-era criminality, cover-ups and official complicity in the rape and murder of children. Here is the foreword, written by Marianne Thamm.
ANALYSIS: Amending Constitution only the first chapter in a long saga – the next ones will be mindbogglingly complex and difficult
As the push to change the Constitution to allow land to be expropriated without compensation gathers pace, it would be appropriate to start a conversation about what happens the day after that amendment is passed (if it ever is). While it certainly appears at the moment that there are more people in South Africa who want this amendment than don’t, there is likely to be broad disagreement on how the expropriated land is then dealt with, in other words, who will actually get it, and in which way.
There’s been a steady flow of reports and pictures in the past few days of Zimbabwean opposition supporters in Harare getting harassed by the country’s security forces. It seems Zimbabwe is set to suffer from a coup hangover for quite a while yet.
In Turning and Turning, JUDITH FEBRUARY gives us a snapshot of her time as an analyst and governance specialist at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa and the issues tackled. Combining analytical insight with personal observations and experience, she highlights the complex process of building a strong democratic society. In this extract she delves into the student protests.
LAND HEARINGS – CAPE TOWN: Political rallying point at end of 34 hearings countrywide over six weeks
It was a rough and tough final session of Parliament’s public hearings on amending the Constitution for expropriation without compensation in Cape Town at the weekend. If the 34 public hearings across nine provinces over the past six weeks has shown anything, it is that 24 years of unsolved and flailing land reform, restitution, redistribution and tenure security has left a legacy of pain, frustration and rising anger.
On the eve of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s announcement of the outcome of the contested presidential results, Harare’s central business district was barely recognisable, yet familiar, as it bore a semblance to the kind of violence incited during the Mugabe era.
When you ask somebody for their opinion, it is proper to wait for them to finish speaking. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s overtaking of the hearings of Parliament’s Joint Constitutional Review Committee on Section 25 of the constitution reflects a prioritisation of party over people. Ramaphosa justified this infraction of dialogic norms with the sentiments expressed at the then still ongoing hearings.
The gender boundaries in South Africa that decree women must be the sole food providers need to be challenged. A shift towards more egalitarian power dynamics will have positive consequences that go far beyond improving food security.
On the day of the release of staggering unemployment statistics, President Cyril Ramaphosa made an announcement about expropriation of land without compensation and an “economic stimulus package”. Many suspect the announcement was actually a way to divert attention from the dire state of the economy under the ANC. But let’s presume that the announcement was not a diversion tool. What is its impact?
Media deaths: Murder of three Russian journalists in CAR raises questions about shadowy mercenary outfit
The murder of three Russian investigative journalists in the Central African Republic (CAR) has sparked further suspicions about the shadowy Russian mercenary company they were investigating, which some analysts believe is really a front for the Russian military.
DA Politics: De Lille out – Mutual agreement struck as a political solution to damaging party infighting
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille is serving notice until the end of October, when she’ll vacate the mayor’s office. On Sunday, DA national leader Mmusi Maimane and De Lille announced what effectively is a political solution to some eight months of damaging internecine party battles that spilt from the Cape Town DA structures to the Western Cape and into national party terrain. At their joint media briefing Maimane and De Lille were at pains to be all smiles.