Drew Forrest

Knives out for Morkel

The Democratic Alliance has delayed to next March a Western Cape party conference that is widely expected to oust Gerald Morkel as the party's provincial leader. The conference, scheduled for November 2, was postponed by unanimous decision of the management committee.

A killing animal that cannot kill

In Edwin Muir's mythical poem The Combat, a ''crested animal in its pride'' eternally savages ''a soft round beast as soft as clay'' -- but cannot finish it off. This is an apt metaphor for elements in the ANC who would like to oust or silence left-wing critics in the ruling alliance.

Now Durban chamber ditches Sacob

The Durban Chamber of Commerce has suspended its membership of the South African Chamber of Business, in a move commentators said could deal a death blow to the embattled business organisation. Durban's move follows hard on the heels of the withdrawal of the Cape Regional Chamber.

Madiba backs private anti-retroviral plan

Former president Nelson Mandela has thrown his considerable weight behind an R80-million private sector plan to extend free anti-retroviral drug treatment to thousands of poor people with HIV/Aids. The plan is spearheaded by the South African Medical Association, representing 16 000 doctors.

Zim: Fiji calls for action

Fiji has emerged as an unlikely source of pressure on President Robert Mugabe's regime. Fiji was among the Commonwealth states to voice ''deep concern over the deteriorating situation'' in Zimbabwe, noting Mugabe's ''failure to respond to the calls of the international community...''

Test for court still to come?

Will the Constitutional Court glance over its shoulder at the government when it decides the floor-crossing case? Some analysts believe it will.

Tryst by the Vaal

Herman Charles Bosman has produced another surprise from the grave. It is a hitherto unpublished murder mystery that was uncovered in archives held by the University of Texas. It appears in a new edition of Unto Dust, edited by Craig MacKenzie and published by Human & Rousseau this week.

Controversy over final TRC reports

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) final reports will be handed to President Thabo Mbeki on September 6 -- unless a court challenge by the Inkatha Freedom Party spoils the party.

Pension reform delayed

The Western Cape government this week scuppered a court application that would have transferred responsibility for paying social grants from provinces to the central government. Millions of people receive social grants, which include pensions, disability grants and child support.

IFP begs Mbeki’s pardon

The Inkatha Freedom Party is to forward hundreds of amnesty pleas by political criminals in its ranks to President Thabo Mbeki for presidential pardon. Welcoming the move, a Department of Justice representative, Paul Setsetse said he appreciated the IFP's ''attempts to seek a solution''.

Row erupts over land law

The government has controversially exempted a third of KwaZulu-Natal's land area from a draft tenure security law, in an apparent move to placate traditional leaders in the province.

Five visions of the future

Four bleak visions of our region in the year 2020. And one of hope -- given the right leaders and policies. This is the thrust of the major scenario exercise by the Institute for Global Dialogue, funded by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, the aid arm of Germany's Social Democratic Party.

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