Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba got shut down in Parliament late on Tuesday night when MPs dismissed his attempt to proffer old explanations in the Fireblade Aviation private terminal saga. Just a few days earlier the minister’s last bid to appeal court findings that he had lied under oath was dismissed – still he wanted to tell MPs there had been no approval – and the public protector instructed President Cyril Ramaphosa to take disciplinary steps against the politician once touted to head for the presidency. MPs across the board were not impressed by Gigaba’s performance.
Neither the South African Constitution, nor the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (PEPUDA) explicitly prohibits unfair discrimination against transgender persons. However, this does not mean that the Constitution and PEPUDA do not protect transgender individuals from unfair discrimination. A case to be heard by the Equality Court in the near future is bound to confirm that our law prohibits unfair discrimination against transgender persons.
From South Africa with love: While Brexit’s Arron Banks’ UK-based troubles mount, local investigation appears non-existent
While the UK’s National Crime Agency is conducting multiple investigations into the source of Brexit financier Arron Banks’ £8-million donation to the Leave.EU campaign ahead of that country’s 2016 Brexit referendum, a South African investigation by the Hawks into Banks’ alleged illegal diamond dealing in South Africa appears to have ground to a halt.
Last October, reporters for this publication fanned out across the Western Cape in order to make sense of an unfolding disaster: a once-in-628-year weather event threatened the existence of the city of Cape Town, and no one knew what to do about it. The mayor was fighting for her political life; the ruling party was engaged in a to-the-death leadership battle; political dysfunction compounded environmental calamity. The more our reporters reported, the more shocking and unbelievable the situation appeared. Cape Town was on the cusp of becoming the first major, developed city to run out of municipal water, which meant that South Africans were about to conduct one of the 21st century’s great inadvertent experiments: what happens to the foundations of human civilisation — our cities — when catastrophic climate change begins to bite?
The last we heard of proposed amendments to the Executive Members’ Code of Ethics was back in 2011 when draft amendments to the Executive Members’ Ethics Act were published for public comment. This was intended to fill the gaps identified by then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. As things stand we cannot be sure that President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Cabinet have made timely and full disclosure.
Ebrahim Rasool: Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas – why the DA is panicking about the police’s anti-gang unit in Cape Town
Panic has set in at the Democratic Alliance’s headquarters. There simply is no other way to describe the desperation with which the DA has responded to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s launch of the SAPS Anti-Gang Unit in Hanover Park, Cape Town last Friday. Cape Town Councillor JP Smith’s intemperate statement, which simultaneously denounces and claims this crucial initiative, is symptomatic of the state of the Desperate Alliance, as the opposition has become known.
On occasions staff members of an organisation ask the question – where do we go when we see that our organisation is not doing what it claims to do? Or on occasion, a donor has concern that the funding provided is not being used appropriately. Unfortunately, there are non-profit organisations that have public benefit status that are not meeting their obligations. The question is then, what is the line of accountability and where does the buck stop?
China has declared it will permit limited trade in rhino and tiger products from farmed animals, for use in research or traditional Chinese medicine. Opponents of legal trade had a collective apoplexy, but their oft-repeated mantras are not supported by fact.
We have fought long and hard for the equality of all South Africans. We have fought against homelands and traditional authorities with their backward sexist and racist practices over the years. A reversal of any of these gains over the last 24 years would be a crying shame.
The run-up to the mid-term elections in the United States – dominated by Trump’s fear-mongering and his intentional fanning of the flames of social division – has mesmerised the world. The devastation of the last couple of years will take a long time to heal, whoever wins. The Republican Party’s campaign and the Trump rallies are evident of a wilful destruction of consensus and commonality. One of Trump’s final campaign ads in support of the mid-term Republican candidates was pulled from Fox News because it was racist. It is like watching a cobra – hood flared, fangs bared – ready to strike. This is a snake that we need to watch because the election outcome in the United States will affect us all, as the election of Trump for president has.
Election Day in South Africa is barely six months away, to be ‘held next year, before May of 2019’... Usually, this run-up period, with its built-in electoral choices, captures the national imagination and breathes excitement. Election 2019, however, is ringing in a new era, one in which voters will be asked to suspend their disbelief about the political parties available to vote for. Even more, given the issues of weak and withering government and governance, voters will be asked to pretend that they believe they will be voting for a government that will take command and govern.
Brazil President-elect Jair Bolsonaro backtracked on some of his more controversial pledges on Tuesday, promising to expand trade with China, reconsider plans to merge ministries and rethink the idea of moving the country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
PUBLIC BROADCASTER PREDATORS: There’s a culture of collusion over sexual harassment at the SABC, inquiry finds
It has been a tough couple of weeks at the SABC after last week’s news of plans for mass retrenchments. Now the national broadcaster must deal with a damning report of sexual harassment cases allegedly swept under the carpet.
South Africans should never again have to enter a polling booth and make a decision that affects their lives without knowing who backs the parties they are going to be voting for. It should be that as a nation we are now older and wiser.
Parliament: Opposition fisticuffs and racial epithets as Ramaphosa lays down anti-corruption line, even for his kin
President Cyril Ramaphosa said he’d take his son to the police himself if he were involved in unlawful or corrupt dealings. Speaking during his final 2018 question slot in the House on Tuesday, Ramaphosa said he had asked his son Andile ‘at close range’ about a R500,000 payment from Bosasa – the company has several government contracts – and was told it was for advisory consultancy services. DA leader Mmusi Maimane snuck in this question in a clear but unsuccessful attempt to unsettle Ramaphosa. And the president showed his political craftiness by turning scenes of chaos on the opposition into a message of social cohesion.
After several dramatic weeks, which saw nine Democratic Alliance councillors resign from the party in one week, Dan Plato was officially elected as mayor of the City of Cape Town. But Tuesday’s special council sitting to inaugurate Plato was not all celebration for the DA as opposition councillors criticised everything from Patricia de Lille, the DA’s lack of delivery of social housing in the city centre to the party’s reputation of crime-fighting in the Cape Town.
Cash-in-transit heists were down 36% between April and November with 230 suspects arrested, said Police Minister Bheki Cele. The interventions are working, he said, and cops are determined to win the war on crime. Convictions, however, are a better determiner of success.
Scholarship under apartheid faced restrictions on what could be studied and used in research if academics did not want to fall foul of the law. Some chose not to abide by these restrictions and forfeited degrees. One such case, Raymond Suttner’s Master of Laws (LLM) has now been re-examined, after 49 years, and will be awarded at UCT in December.