A sharp-eyed middleman spots a business opportunity at a technical college and calls his friend, an ANC politician, to set up a meeting with senior college officials. Three months later, having done no work to speak of, he walks away with a cool R3.4-million. An avaricious daydream? An amaBhungane investigation has shown that it really happened. By Tabelo Timse for AMABHUNGANE.
The burglary at the SABC’s Parliament offices on Friday night is the latest in what appears to be a trend of theft, harassment and intimidation targeted at journalists, activists, dissenting politicians and whistle-blowers in South Africa. This is not new: groups like Right2Know have been raising concerns about this for some years. But the brazenness with which such activities are undertaken appears to be rising. By REBECCA DAVIS.
While Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula on Tuesday accused possibly-suspended Hawks head Mthandazo Ntlemeza of having gone “rogue” and “armed and dangerous”, the beleaguered Ntlemeza in turn accused the Minister of embarrassing, humiliating, degrading and subjecting him to contempt and public ridicule as well as causing a constitutional crisis. It's clearly game on in the next episode of the farce that is unraveling in the highest echelons of the country's law enforcement agencies and that is playing itself out in full view of the public like a tacky reality TV show. By MARIANNE THAMM.
President Jacob Zuma is perturbed that so many people are competing for his job as ANC leader. “Where have you ever seen a situation where all of us want to become president?”, Zuma asked at an ANC event at Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend. He claimed this was due to foreign forces trying to take control of the ANC. There is a rather crowded field at present, though this is probably due to the multiple factions at play. It could also be a sign of healthy competition in the ANC. So who are the players and how do they line up? By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Mpumelelo Primary School in Midrand, Gauteng, is a no-fee school. But in 2007, whistleblowers approached Corruption Watch to report that the principal was forcing the parents of the more than 1,800 pupils, all of whom are from the Ivory Park informal settlement near Tembisa, to pay R50 in school fees per year. This was just one of a series of problems at the school. By By Julia Chaskalson for GROUNDUP.
In the information age, the public has more agency than ever. Citizen science is streaking ahead, thanks to vast data contributions by ordinary people. In South Africa, one local ecologist just made it much easier for them to do so, whether they know it or not. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
Sunday saw French citizens vote in the first stage of their presidential elections, with a second run-off stage for the two lead candidates Emmanuel Macron (of En Marche!) and Marine Le Pen (of the National Front) scheduled for 7 May. While it is premature to discuss the winner of the run-off election and its implications, the interesting conversation must begin now, beforehand, for it is one about opinions rather than outcomes – opinions that veer strongly towards politics’ favourite new buzzword: populism. By CARMEL RAWHANI.