President Donald Trump cast his fight against illegal migration to the U.S. as a moral struggle, saying in his second State of the Union address that the military would meet an “onslaught” of migrants from Central America on the southern border.
On Wednesday the High Court in Johannesburg ruled that the ANC’s national executive committee had not followed the party’s own constitution when it decided to disband the party’s North West provincial executive committee. The decision has major implications for the ANC’s short-term future, and raises questions about decision-making processes of the NEC and its future ability to act decisively. While the judgment is a boost to Supra Mahumapelo, it doesn’t mean it necessarily changes the balance of power in the party in the longer term.
It has become more than obvious over the last few months that one of the most important political questions facing South Africa is about the political power of President Cyril Ramaphosa. On Thursday evening he will stand up to give his second State of the Nation Address as President. There will be many who will be hoping for big announcements around policy and, particularly, Eskom. But perhaps more important will be what the speech and the events tell us about Ramaphosa’s own take on his situation.
STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS: Ramaphosa is just a new driver of the same doomed ANC bus, says DA’s Maimane
At an event styled as an alternative State of the Nation Address, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Wednesday that the 2019 elections must be ‘a referendum’ on ANC performance, not ‘an expression of hope for a better version of the ANC’ under President Cyril Ramaphosa. Corruption, State Capture and need for credible leaders and governance were also raised by the UDM, Cosatu and civil society groups such as the Right2Know Campaign.
The crisis in our nation’s health arises from an unconstitutional state of affairs; it is not preordained, it is not even a legacy of apartheid, because there is much we could have done to improve it. It arose from bad governance, corruption and planning that doesn’t take account of human rights or equity. It points to a health department in denial about the crisis or incapacitated about what to do about it.
When it comes to spending money on a new vehicle, being sensible almost always pays dividends – even if your emotions don’t always agree. But in the case of the second-generation Renault Duster, the sensible choice happens to be fun to drive, too.
STATE OF DISUNION: Trump delivers campaign-style State of the Union under the shadow of Nancy Pelosi
The US president’s state of the union speech, delayed by the government’s partial shutdown, finally went ahead. Despite some efforts to reach across the aisle and join with Democrats, ultimately it was vintage Trump.
There is consternation among the chattering classes as to why President Cyril Ramaphosa is not acting against Jacob Zuma and why he is not being told, for example, not to campaign for the ANC. Surely, Ramaphosa must know that Zuma hurts the ANC and that letting him campaign for the ANC will cost the governing party votes? Potential international investors, as well as foreign governments, are similarly perplexed. What is CR thinking and is there a strategy?
Does trophy hunting really benefit conservation and local communities? The answer is an unequivocal yes. At the risk of boring the reader with facts and figures as opposed to emotion and innuendo, let me state the following empirically determined, scientific facts.
In a recent article on the rapid decline of natural ecosystems and what that means for continued life on Earth, an explorer for the National Geographic Society said that ‘we know that we are destroying our life support system in an accelerated way for short-term profit’ and that ‘this is like we are at the casino, on the Titanic, and we are trying to make as much money as possible, after hitting the iceberg’. It seems almost incredulous that anyone, in the pursuit of profits, would make such a trade-off with the future of the planet.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal joined all other universities recently in shutting down its campuses. As in most years, students protest for several reasons about the frustrations they face at the beginning of the year. If anything, this reveals how the UKZN is in a process of collapsing. It has come to be disorganised; basically, the centre is not holding. It might be because of the departure its Vice-Chancellor, Dr Albert van Jaarsveld at the end of 2018.
Hundreds of apartheid-era crimes were not investigated due to political interference by former president Thabo Mbeki's administration, the NPA has claimed in court papers. Now, Truth and Reconciliation Commission leaders are demanding an inquiry.