Constitutional Court to Zuma: 'Pay back the money!' by RDM Staff, 31 March 2016

31 March 2016

The Constitutional Court has found that President Jacob Zuma was in violation of the constitution when he failed to comply with remedial action recommended by the the public protector's office and must pay back a portion of the money for the Nkandla upgrade.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said: "The remedial action that was taken against the president has a binding effect."

READ THE FINDINGS IN FULL HERE

Why South Africa should undo Mandela’s economic deals by Patrick Bond (The Conversation), 12 January 2016

30 March 2016

Is South Africa finally maturing to the point that the economic - not just political compromises of the 1990s democratic transition can be reconsidered? When engaging student activists, for example, University of the Free State rector Jonathan Jansen frets that

If [former President Nelson] Mandela gets any mention at all, it is as a sell-out, the man who led South Africa into a soft transition that left white privilege undisturbed and black poverty undiminished.

The Military Defeat of the South Africans in Angola by Horace Campbell (Monthly Review), Africa, Angola

22 March 2016

In Angola in the spring of 1988 the armed forces of apartheid South Africa and the US-backed mercenaries of Jonas Savimbi were defeated by the combined force of the Cuban military, the Angolan army, and the military units of the liberation movements of South Africa and Namibia. This led directly to the independence of Namibia and then to the fall of the apartheid regime in South Africa itself. Cuba’s heroic role is the outstanding example of principled anti-imperialist internationalism in the last decades of the twentieth century.

Cuito Cuanavale, Angola 25th Anniversary of a Historic African Battle by Ronnie Kasrils (Monthly Review), Africa, Angola

22 March 2016

Prohibited from meeting openly by South Africa’s apartheid government, the Seventh Congress of the South African Communist Party was held in Cuba in April 1989. When Jorge Risquet, one of Fidel Castro’s shrewdest and most trusted colleagues, addressed the gathered members, he was greeted with the resounding salutation “Viva Cuito Cuanavale!”

High-stakes drama as South African president and finance minister square off (The Conversation), 17 March 2016

18 March 2016

South Africa’s political landscape is shifting almost by the hour. The gloves are off in a power struggle that pits President Jacob Zuma against a group of reformers, led by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. It is a high-stakes drama that has profound, long-term implications for the country’s beleaguered economy at a time when the international rating agencies are circling, smelling blood.

Editorial: An Act of Wilful Sabotage, Part Two by Daily Maverick (Daily Maverick),16 March 2016, South Africa 16 March 2016

18 March 2016

As the Hawks' aggressive posturing against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan reaches new, previously unknown heights, the immensity of the damage it is likely to cause to the economy and people of South Africa is starting to become obvious. By DAILY MAVERICK.

My Body Was Dying by Edwin Cameron (The Con), 10 March 2016

11 March 2016

This week, former president Thabo Mbeki admitted to having co-authored the HIV-Aids denialist Castro Hlongwane booklet in his “Monday missives” – letters to South Africa which apparently seek to “set the record straight”. Mbeki also defended his denialist position, which hampered the roll-out of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) to ordinary South Africans and, is said to have unnecessarily claimed the lives of over 330 000 people.

The Fallen: Jacob Zuma, Shame of the Nation by Ranjeni Munusamy (Daily Maverick), 10 February 2016, South Africa

11 February 2016

On Thursday evening, President Jacob Zuma will stand at the front of Parliament with his hand on his heart as the military band plays the stirring notes of Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika, the 21-gun salute thunders and fighter planes roar overhead. It is a poignant moment at the Opening of Parliament every year, a brief moment of unity and patriotism. This year, the national salute will be taken by a man unworthy of the honour of leading the Republic of South Africa. He shamed himself and he shamed the Parliament he will enter.

The harsh realities about South Africa that the World Bank dare not speak by Patrick Bond (The Conversation), 10 February 2016

11 February 2016

Sometimes silences speak volumes.

In his seminal book The Anti-Politics Machine Stanford University anthropologist James Ferguson criticised the World Bank’s 1980s understanding of Lesotho as a “traditional subsistence peasant society.” Apartheid’s migrant labour system was explicitly ignored by the bank, yet remittances from Basotho workers toiling in mines, factories and farms across the Caledon River accounted for 60% of rural people’s income:

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