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Lynley Donnelly

Luanda nabs activist

The arrest of anti-corruption activist Sarah Wykes in the Angolan province of Cabinda has highlighted Angola's ruthless treatment of its critics. Wykes, who works for the international NGO Global Witness, which aims to increase transparency in extractive industries, has been accused of espionage by the Angolan authorities and is forbidden to leave the country.

Canny consumption

Every evening national power alert messages flash on to television screens across the country. If the alert is green, South Africans are in luck, and there is no imminent threat of being plunged into darkness. If it's red or orange, we are expected to turn off non-essential appliances, including stoves, kettles and lights, in a bid to prevent power failures.

Report slams gender watchdog

The Gender Commission is hamstrung by internal strife and has dropped off the public's radar, according to a damning report by the Civil Society Advocacy programme, funded by the European Union. The report -- part of a review of Chapter 9 institutions -- paints the gender watchdog body as long on talk but short on delivery.

Fur flies in catwalk catfight

Yet another spat in the ongoing “catwalk catfight” has erupted between fashion designer Gavin Rajah and Dion Chang, director of Sanlam South African Fashion Week. In an article on the Women24.com website, Chang set more feathers flying by attacking as “ill-conceived” the selection of four black local fashion designers to attend Paris Fashion Week.

Slumlords cripple inner city

Plans to regenerate the inner city and to increase access to affordable housing for low-income families are being scuppered by corrupt landlords who exploit sectional title law to make quick profits. Landlords buy up flats and install tenants from whom they collect rent and payment for municipal services; but they do not pass these payments on to the municipality or the building's body corporate.

R43m on the high life

Departments are spending more on 'subsistence' -- restaurants and hotels -- than ever before, and correctional services tops the list.

Women find their voices on film

Latoya* (17) is confident and articulate. ''I want future generations to see us as leaders, not as followers, because then they will become leaders as well.'' She is talking about the Our Own Stories in Our Own Voices project, which takes 45 young women, some of whom are survivors of violence and abuse, and teaches them to document their experiences on film.

Take back the nightmare

We're confused as we arrive. Our little team of protesters, totalling three, wanders around Constitution Hill trying to locate the start of the Take Back the Night march. The plan is to fearlessly walk through one of Jo'burg's toughest neighbourhoods, to kick off the 16 Days of Activism campaign, reclaiming our right to move freely through any part of our country without fear of violence or abuse.

How employers can help battle Aids

Businesses, and consequently South Africa's economy, lose big money each year to HIV/Aids. A study commissioned by AIC Insurance last year showed that South Africa lost about R12-billion a year because of workplace absenteeism, of which between R1,8-billion and R2,2-billion could be attributed to HIV/Aids.

AU leader harasses critic

Anti-corruption activist Christian Mounzeo was arrested last week at the airport as he touched down in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, for allegedly defaming Denis Sassou-Nguesso, the Congo's president. These events follow on the heels of Mounzeo's criticisms at an international conference of the continued mismanagement of oil wealth in Congo-Brazzaville.

Survivor watch

Lynley Donnelly on the buzz created by reality TV, one that your average programme with a plot line cannot create.

Reality TV’s ultimate survivor

The jury is out on whether Survivor South Africa manages to do anything different from its predecessors. But, why deviate from a winning premise, asks Lynley Donnelly.

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