Unembargoed: Mail & Guardian December 1 - 7

Get your fix of the M&G here.

Get your fix of the M&G here.

All the articles in this week’s Mail & Guardian are now free to read online

Sasolburg votes against ‘degeneration’

“One long road leads to the local township of Zamdela. The difference between it and Sasolburg is immediately evident. The potholes are deeper, trees are fewer and there are more people walking along the streets — a testament of the high unemployment rate in the area.”

‘The old man is desperate now’

Faced with the ticking time bomb of legal challenges in its key provinces, the ANC leadership is attempting to reach political consensus to prevent court actions from bringing its national conference to a halt.

Sisulu shapes up as Cyril’s Number 2

She might have been dumped by Ramaphosa, but she has strong backing in the ANC branches. 

Amcu workers too scared to strike

Union employees can legally strike over a wage dispute with the union but dissent is silences and they fear being fired. 

A mother fights queer bias

Her daughter was murdered but she finds peace by helping parents accept their LGBTI children. 

System of allocating police and staff sidelines black women, court told

Civil society organisations the Social Justice Coalition, Equal Education and the Nyanga Community Policing Forum have applied to the court to declare that the allocation of police resources in the Western Cape discriminates against black and poor people, and black women in particular. 

Would-be leaders ‘must snub rigged nominations’

Candidates who hope to be elected ANC president in December should reject any nominations they have obtained through irregular branch processes, Free State ANC deputy chairperson Thabo Manyoni said this week.

Gloves come off in public protector showdown

The best public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane can hope for next week is to be portrayed as a bumbling incompetent, making things up as she goes along in ever more bizarre efforts to hide her inadequacies. 

Judges make short shrift of Molefe’s did, didn’t, did …

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe now contends he never left the parastatal and so, legally, he should be allowed to return to the office and position that rightfully remains his.

Pit toilet case: ‘Accidents do happen’

These were the state social worker’s words to a tearful mother after he five-year-old’s death.

ANC schism plays out in Eskom probe

As the probe takes a breather, committee members report intimidation and more Gupta dirt emerges. 

Baleka Mbete and the art of chairing an ANC conference

The ANC chairperson will be the one to watch during the ANC elective conference in three weeks’ time.
Not because Mbete is vying to become president, but because she will preside over what is likely to be the party’s most highly charged elective conference since 2007. 

Wits Med school hit by racism claim

Last Monday, the University of the Witwatersrand’s medical school class of 2017 stood on the Great Hall steps in their white coats to have their annual class photo taken when a group of more than 20 students pulled out posters and a banner on which was written: “Wits med school is racist”. 

Metsimaholo will be a measure of the ANC’s problems

The ANC’s woes in Metsimaholo in the Free State started in 2014, when 320 workers belonging to the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) went on strike and were subsequently fired by the municipality.

Municipality’s rot is in your face but there is  no clear-cut solution

“This municipality collapsed under the ANC, unfortunately. If you want to get an idea of how, you just have to look at Moses Kotane Stadium in Zamdela. It has come apart, brick by brick.” 

The twisted politics of KwaDukuza

‘This town is run by a mafia,” someone says between teeth gritted against the stench of human faeces that permeates the entrance to the Stanger Siva Sungum hall. 

Lives in limbo over leadership row

The Mbuyazi community at KwaMbonambi near Richards Bay is likely to go into the new year without a sitting inkosi — and without more than R30-million in a land claim payout — despite an attempt by the KwaZulu-Natal government to install a new chief while a succession dispute is resolved through the courts. 


Which way forward for SA?

The emerging frontrunners in the race to the ANC’s 54th national conference next month, presidential hopefuls Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa have both outlined their economic vision for the country. 

Junked if you do, junked if you don’t

Judging by the recent performance of the rand, you would be forgiven for thinking that there had been no ratings downgrade, and that South Africa’s last remaining investment grade rating did not hang by a thread. 

‘Probe MultiChoice and Naspers’

Much like KPMG Global’s response when first asked how it would deal with allegations of state capture in South Africa, Naspers has deferred all accountability to its compromised subsidiary, MultiChoice. 

Policy cannot disrupt food production

South Africa is ranked as the most food secure country on the continent, and is 44th out of 133 countries worldwide, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2017 Global Food Security Index. 

Tourists – and South Africans – discover Soweto Airbnb

It’s business as usual in Soweto’s famous Vilakazi Street as tourists scurry between the museums and restaurants. Tourists continue to flock there, despite the ailing economy, and locals see a chance to take their business up a notch. 


The house of stone: A parable

After a protracted war of liberation, a nation christened Zimbabwe was born and it gave a nod to many centuries past when with no cement, a great people built dzimba-dza-mabwe — houses of stones — some of which survive. 

Ruga explores exile within

Athi-Patra Ruga weaves a complex tapestry of personal and global histories that points to an all-embracing place. 

But some of us are brave

Athi-Patra Ruga’s ‘Queens in Exile’ is on at Whatiftheworld Gallery in Cape Town. Writer Lindokuhle Nkosi contributes to Ruga’s monography.

A fitting tribute to South Africa’s heroines

“That is the power and the magic of the A-Z of Amazing South African Women book: Every slice of a life is thought-provoking”. 

United by an affinity with the blues

The pairing of Nina Simone and Moses Sumney raises questions at the epicentre of life and love. 

Patriarchy is not just a black thing, FYI

The second documentary in MTV Base’s series of films on South African issues fails to render an inclusive image of the sources of toxic masculinity. 

Robby Collins: The son of Carol gets personal

Drawing inspiration from his personal experiences, comic Robby Collins is landing knockout punches to the nation’s collective funny bone. 


Congo’s quiet collapse

A long way from the capital Kinshasa, the rural province of Mbandaka in northwestern DRC is slowly falling apart. 

Can an old croc learn new tricks?

Mixed messages from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s first few days in office show that he is seemingly determined to protect the legacy of his predecessor. 

Kenya’s woes far from over after Kenyatta’s ‘coronation’

In controversial circumstances, Uhuru Kenyatta was inaugurated yet again as president of the Republic of Kenya— but the opposition maintains that they do not recognise him as their legitimate leader.

Imam vows to return to massacre mosque

The young Egyptian imam who survived the Sinai mosque massacre that killed 305 people has vowed to go back and resume the sermon he never finished. 

Malagasy women take on drought

In the dry southern part of Madagascar, it is largely the women who have to find water and food to ensure the survival of their families. 


#MeToo is about changing behaviour

Besides creating a platform for victims of sexual predation, the goal is to alter social interaction. 

EDITORIAL: Living in hope at the M&G

“The biggest threat to the independence of a small publisher like the M&G is its financial well being. It’s time we drop the pretence that all is fine and well in the lands of news publishers. Because it’s not just the M&G.” 

EDITORIAL: Grants a tool to woo votes?

“As proof mounts that voters are abandoning the ANC, we fear Dlamini and her inner circle will increasingly seek to weaponise social grants as an election weapon.”

Brown’s trickery does not fool us

“The problem with dishonesty is that, once you are in the grip of it, it is hard to escape. If you do not believe me, just study Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown,” writes columnist Eusebius McKaiser. 

Hunger is still killing South Africa’s children

The state needs civil society to help to combat malnutrition, which stunts children’s potential. 

Mugabe of the Free State digs in while Daddy goes to Durbs

On Tuesday night, the Robert Mugabe of the Free State, ANC chairperson and Premier Ace Magashule, had worked his somewhat dodgy magic again at the PGC. 

Safely embrace ‘hoe is life’

Queer people have only the heterosexual space for early lessons in sexual identity. 

Sticks and stones and smartphones

Teachers and parents must watch for signs of cyberbullying and help children to deal with it. 

Matriculants need moral guidance

Institutions and families must teach values in a decaying society and adverse economic conditions. 

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