Editorial: The magic amount: R500 000



One of the most pressing political crises (of this year, at least) started with our multibillionaire president being questioned in Parliament about a R500 000 donation from Bosasa towards his CR17 presidential campaign. His rather poor answer has led to more questions about Cyril Ramaphosa, and the donation has morphed into arguably the greatest threat to his leadership.

A measly R500 000.

Then, this week, Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago decided to hold one of his detractors to account. ANC councillor Andile Lungisa, during a debate on nationalising of the bank, stated on Twitter: “He, like many of his ilk, imagines that proximity to the culturally fetid but economically Neo-settlers, coupled with a few lattes makes him an exceptional k****r”.

This came after Kganyago warned there were “barbarians at the gate of the SARB [South African Reserve Bank]”. The governor is demanding R500 000 in damages, which Lungisa says is “extortion”.

Not to miss out on the action, former minister of tourism Derek Hanekom is taking Msholozi to court. This after Jacob Zuma tweeted that Hanekom was a “known enemy agent”. Hanekom was recently“exposed” by the Economic Freedom Fighters as having met the red berets, allegedly to discuss the removal of JZ. The former minister wants his former boss to withdraw the statement, acknowledge it was a lie and apologise. Oh, and pay R500 000.

There’s a common thread here. We also need to work out if R500 000 is a lot of money, or not so much. Who knows these days?  

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


Labour minister paints four bleak scenarios for the UIF if...

The fund has been selling assets to make Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme payouts

AG’s report reveals the municipalities where money goes to waste

Municipalities are in complete disarray, with many of them flagged by the auditor-general for deliberate lack of accountability and tolerance for transgressions by political and administrative leadership while billions are squandered.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday