Vicki Robinson

Dexter: SACP is quasi-Stalinist

South African Communist Party treasurer general Phillip Dexter has warned that a culture of ''revisionism, opportunism, ideological incoherence and factionalism'' is consuming the party at the expense of its historical role as a leader of South Africa's working class. In a hard-hitting paper Dexter writes: ''The party cannot claim to be the vanguard in the revolution when some in it are seen to compromise with and pander to tribalism.''

Deaths in SA rising

Deaths in South Africa are rising, largely as a result of three illnesses linked to HIV and Aids, Statistics SA has disclosed. A Stats SA report, Mortality and Causes, released recently found that between 2004 and 2005 the number of recorded deaths increased by 3,3%. ''The first three leading underlying natural causes of death in 2005 were tuberculosis, influenza and pneumonia,'' the report noted.

Ronald Suresh Roberts’s ode to Mbeki

Stubborn, contradictory, a lame duck and surly. These are just some of the words used to describe Thabo Mbeki. But writer Ronald Suresh Roberts takes a different view. Roberts has mounted the first systematic defence of Mbeki's controversial presidency in a persuasive analysis of the historical and global traditions behind many of Mbeki's decisions.

ANC gears up for policy wars

Like the African National Congress's (ANC) national general council two years ago, the party's national policy conference in two weeks' time looks set to be an explosive affair. In the run-up to the summit some ANC provinces and regions are making an early bid to eliminate President Thabo Mbeki from the leadership race.

The congress of paranoid minds

In the Free Republic of Aburiria, the fabled subject of Ngugi wa'Thiongo's latest novel Wizard of the Crow, a nationwide queuing epidemic symbolic of a poverty-stricken nation whose basic needs are never met is fatally misinterpreted by The Ruler as a nefarious political conspiracy to usurp his power.

Who is Jacob Zuma up against?

It is exactly six months before 5 600 delegates descend on Polokwane in Limpopo for the ANC's 52nd national conference, when the election of South Africa's future president lies in the hands of the 4 000 delegates with voting rights.

‘A fantastic initiative …’

Delta Environmental Centre is at the forefront of shaping the environmental education and the attitudes of South Africa's future generations to preserve our ecosystems and add practical weight to the catchphrase "sustainable development". Greening the Future judges awarded the environmental centre a merit award in the not-for-profit organisation category.

War of words: round 592

The latest spat between President Thabo Mbeki and Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi followed a meeting earlier this year in which Mbeki allegedly accused the labour federation leadership of behaving like “thugs and counter-revolutionaries”, according to Sdumo Dlamini, Cosatu's vice-president.

Can home affairs be saved?

The success of the latest rescue plan for the department of home affairs hinges on uprooting the “institutional culture of indolence, lethargy and arrogance”, say experts in public administration and government leaders. Merely installing state-of-the-art technology would not do the trick, they said.

Kasrils told to hand over Hefer commission report

Minister of Intelligence Ronnie Kasrils is the latest high-profile politician to be subpoenaed by former National Intelligence Agency boss Billy Masetlha. Masetlha's lawyers have instructed Kasrils to hand over a report called Presidential Special Investigation as evidence to be used in his fraud trial in July.

The men behind Tokyo’s campaign

An amalgam of Cabinet ministers, provincial leaders and ex-political prisoners is said to form the bulk of the group lobbying for businessman Tokyo Sexwale to take the Union Buildings in 2009. But other senior party leaders have lambasted his pronouncement that he would accept a presidential nomination.

‘My ambition is my people’

''The elections process within the ANC is clear. There is lobbying, followed by informal nominations, followed by formal nominations, followed by elections. What is happening now in my case is lobbying -- people approach me and say: “We are discussing your name.” So, have I been lobbied? Absolutely, '' says Tokyo Sexwale.

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