THE DAILY MAVERICK

THE DAILY MAVERICK

is a unique blend of news, information, analysis and opinion delivered from our newsroom in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The is run by an independently owned, private company with no affiliation to any other media group (or political party or religious organisation.) It is funded entirely through advertising.

OPINIONISTA: Fixing many of SA’s problems is relatively cheap

When we all have to return to the office post-Covid-19, South Africa will have to confront the fact that the economy is in crisis because of an unforgiving global environment and poor choices by government over time. But imagine if there was an almost limitless resource at very low cost that South Africa could tap into that could turn this situation around and build a prosperous economy once again?

SURFING REFLECTION: Level Free! Surfers liberate themselves from lockdown, with a few arrests

It was a weird Monday on 1 June 2020 as a cosmic Takealot delivered a neatly wrapped package from Neptune that had the raptured hordes rush into the sea.

TRENDING: South Africa’s 24-hour trends report – 3 June 2020

This is a summary of the trending, highest impact, and most active themes and their narratives related to social cohesion and division in South African public-domain social media conversations.

GROUNDUP & SPOTLIGHT: Covid-19 Report 6: What does herd immunity mean for South Africa?

Also: Are schools safe? Hydroxychloroquine does not prevent Covid-19. And more...

SOCCER: Absa withdraws as PSL sponsor, citing economic state of the country

A fruitful relationship of almost two decades between the Premier Soccer League and Absa has reached the end.

LOCKDOWN REFLECTIONS DAY 70: Even under the shift to level 3, this week was extra emotional

South Africa went into a 21-day lockdown on Friday 27 March in the hope of blocking the spread of Covid-19. The lockdown was extended for two weeks, then Level 4 kicked in followed by Level 3 last Monday. These reflections are part of a series by writers monitoring stay-at-home life in various neighbourhoods.

BOOK REVIEW: Are trophy hunters serial killers?

Supported by wealthy and powerful organisations like Safari Club International, the Dallas Safari Club and the National Rifle Association and egged on by countless awards and record book listings, trophy hunters have gunned down 1.7 million wild animals in the past decade. About 250,000 were endangered species. This is detailed in an alarming book, Trophy Hunters Exposed, by environmental activist Eduardo Goncalves.

BUSINESS MAVERICK: Jenitha John defends her auditing watchdog CEO appointment

There is a strange fact about Jenitha John’s career which taints her new Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors CEO appointment. She was chair of the audit committee of sugar and property company Tongaat Hulett for nine years until May 2019, and an independent non-executive director for 12 years. Tongaat is one of SA’s many accounting scandals.

MAVERICK CITIZEN: OP-ED: Covid-19, as moments of crisis tend to do, has allowed the best and the worst to surface

Recovering from Covid-19 will pose many challenges. How will we rise to them? Will we see the opportunity this moment presents to fundamentally restructure political economy, and society as a whole? Will we prioritise the needs of the mos

South Africa: Whistleblower ruling ‘vindicates’ SAPS – Cele, but PP’s office says agreement voluntary

Police Minister Bheki Cele feels the police have been "vindicated" after the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria concluded that the Public Protector's report on witness protection matters involving two KwaZulu-Natal whistleblowers should be declared invalid and set aside following a judicial review.

OP-ED: City of Assassination: Six striking shootings over six months

The Enforcers: Inside Cape Town’s Deadly Nightclub Battles was published in June 2019. The book delves into just how deep-rooted and entwined Cape Town’s criminal networks are. It also explains that embedded toxic elements are impossible to totally snuff out. A year has gone by since the book’s publication and overlapping decades-old crime circles have continued grinding against each other, causing friction and sparks of violence which ensure the city remains in a bloody grip. Here is an exploration of six more recent shootings and how these fit into a broader landscape of crime.

Newsdeck: Australia’s Great Barrier Reef suffers most extensive coral bleaching

SYDNEY, June 4 (Reuters) - Australia's Great Barrier Reef suffered its most extensive coral bleaching event in March, with scientists fearing the coral recovers less each time after the third bleaching in five years.

Newsdeck: Hong Kong passes China national anthem bill amid protests by democracy lawmakers

HONG KONG, June 4 (Reuters) - Hong Kong passed a bill on Thursday that would criminalise disrespect of China's national anthem, a move critics see as the latest sign of Beijing's tightening grip on the semi-autonomous city.

TGIFOOD: Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Frozen Hazelnut Nougat

This cold dessert is rich, crunchy and decadent yet beautifully soft, smooth and sort of ice creamy. I like to offset the sweetness with some granadilla. Just a small scoop of fresh pulp on top and that tartness contrasts and yet complements this dessert perfectly.

BOOK REVIEW: The Inn at Helsvlakte by Patricia Schonstein: A novel of darkness and redemption

The Inn at Helsvlakte is Schonstein's seventh novel. It took 10 years to write from inception to completion and was one of her most demanding books.

Maverick Citizen: From Uber to courier to put food on the table

Covid-19 is making the future happen faster. In South Africa, coronavirus lockdown has killed the economy across sectors with millions of jobs and livelihoods lost. But for some, within this travesty lies opportunity.

DECLASSIFIED UK: REVEALED: Veterans of the UK military’s cyber warfare unit are teaching school children how to launch cyber attacks

GCHQ, the UK’s largest intelligence agency, is enabling a company set up by the former commander of its top-secret cyber warfare unit to enter dozens of British schools, where it is teaching children how to spy on others, to hack, and launch “brute force” cyber attacks.

Business Maverick: Stocks Rally Eases; Dollar Recoups Some Ground: Markets Wrap

The global stock rally powered by investor optimism for a speedy economic recovery from the pandemic paused Thursday. The dollar recouped some of the losses that pushed it to the weakest since early March.

Business Maverick: HSBC, StanChart Defy U.K. to Endorse Hong Kong Security Law

The two British institutions that dominate Hong Kong’s banking system backed Beijing in the standoff over a proposed new security law, joining Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd. and some of the city’s biggest developers in wading into the political minefield of the former colony’s future.

Newsdeck: New charges in Floyd killing may give prosecutors clearer path to conviction

June 3 (Reuters) - Prosecutors seeking to put a former Minneapolis police officer in prison for the death of George Floyd bolstered allegations on the use of force but stopped short of calling the killing intentional in a move legal experts said could ease the path to a conviction.

Cape Town - Bonteheuwel: Father shot dead, two-year-old son wounded in escalating gang war

The shooting occurred in a known gang hotspot where the Hard Livings (HLs) and Playboy gangs battle for supremacy.

OPINIONISTA: Government’s credibility is questionable in the absence of transparency

In the absence of transparency that engenders trust and treats people as agents, the government in South Africa has had to turn to coercion to enforce some of its decisions. 

Reflections of a Wayward Boy: A nickname shared with Dumisa Ntsebeza

I have been called many things in my day, some of them clearly unprintable.  But only once was I labelled wayward which, given the context of my life, is probably accurate.  Also, so far as I am concerned, and especially from whence the label came, it was a compliment.  It is one I shared with my friend of nearly 30 years, the advocate, campaigning jurist and, latterly, businessman, Dumisa Buhle Ntsebeza.

OPINIONISTA: ‘That Woman’: Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, misogyny and the angry black woman trope

The depictions of the minister go far beyond rational critique. They are racist. They are sexist. They are ageist. They are shameful.

OPINIONISTA: Lockdown regulation judgment is flawed, but so is government’s ‘means justifies the ends’ defence

The High Court judgment declaring invalid almost all the lockdown regulations issued by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in terms of the Disaster Management Act, raises important questions about the duty of the government to act rationally and in a transparent manner, and to limit rights as little as possible. However, the court’s superficial analysis of the specific regulations and the sweeping nature of the order made by the court, will probably lead to the judgment being overturned on appeal.

OPINIONISTA: Deglobalisation will hurt growth everywhere

The post-pandemic world economy seems likely to be a far less globalised economy. And the byproduct will be not just slower growth, but a significant fall in national incomes for all but perhaps the largest and most diversified economies.

OPINIONISTA: Mr Ramaphosa to borrow to give is to gamble with the future of our nation

Dear Mr President, please don’t finance grants from debts, thinking South Africa can consume itself out of the Covid-19 hole.

OUR BURNING PLANET: The big cull: Whose lives matter in the race to slow climate collapse?

The human tribe has swelled to 7.8 billion, and we’re now slamming up against the hard natural boundaries of an over-extracted planet. Blaming ecological overshoot on population size alone is a red herring, though. It lets the real culprits driving climate collapse off the hook and is fodder for white supremacists’ hatred of the ‘other’.

CORONAVIRUS DAILY DIGEST #64: Zondo Commission ‘will meet deadline’, Eastern Cape closes isolation centre and research group doubts coronavirus models  

On Wednesday, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said he is confident the Zondo Commission will finish its report by the March 2021 deadline. The Eastern Cape’s largest emergency unit has been shut down because of shortages of staff, sterile gloves, and uncleaned wards. In addition, the state ambulance service has stopped for the time being. The government’s chief water adviser is on indefinite study leave, after being caught on tape devising ways to get a share of water tanker contracts.

OPINIONISTA: Covid-19 and South Africa: The end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?

Court challenges, soaring coronavirus infection rates, political squabbling and government indecision are creating a perfect storm which threatens to batter South Africa even further.   

OPINIONISTA: How to harness the assets of private healthcare to respond to Covid-19 demands 

Many private beds are occupied by patients whose ailments do not necessarily require admission. Or these ailments could be dealt with in a short hospital stay along with supported home recovery. This excessive use of hospital resources is wasteful.

OPINIONISTA: As a rule, I follow the rules – but what happens when the rules don’t make sense?

Once you start making rules that are arbitrary, nonsensical, or clearly don’t lead to a more just society (like some of the lockdown rules), it starts to show a certain disconnect between those who are making the rules, and those who are expected to follow them.

OPINIONISTA: How government can help the construction sector recover from Covid-19

A forward-looking pipeline of planned projects and programmes of economic and social infrastructure is urgently required to help construction companies understand which infrastructure investments government is currently prioritising.

MAVERICK CITIZEN Op-Ed: A convenient untruth: The TB-proof healthcare worker

We were told the planned release date for an occupational health policy to protect healthcare workers was World Tuberculosis Day, 24 March 2017. Three World TB Days later and with a new epidemic claiming the lives of healthcare workers we are still waiting for the policy.

PARLIAMENT: Eskom’s long and winding stop/go road to unbundling 

Eskom’s unbundling into separate transmission, generation and distribution entities, in the making since President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement in February 2019, remains in the making. Now with a ‘TBC’ deadline.

MERE IMMORTALS: The strange history of a fix

It has taken us more than 2,000 years to find out where on Earth we are. Now all we do is tap a cellphone screen. The ancient Greeks would have approved.

BUSINESS MAVERICK: Holomisa objects to Smile Telecoms CEO Irene Charnley being on the PIC board

In a letter to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, United Democratic Movement leader, Bantu Holomisa, raises questions around the appointment of former trade unionist and businesswoman Irene Charnley to the interim board of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). Holomisa said Charnley is a former beneficiary of the PIC’s funding initiatives, making her ineligible to serve as a board member.

BUSINESS MAVERICK: Companies: Finding investment diamonds in the rough

Investors have been told that companies trading on SA’s stock exchanges are offering value and that now is the time for careful stock picking. At the same time, risks have never been higher. The economy is contracting, consumers are frugal and job losses are mounting. Where to invest? 

Coronavirus: Psychological support offered to healthcare workers

The fight against Covid-19 has taken a heavy toll on healthcare workers who are saving lives while managing personal risks and anxieties. Hundreds of volunteers have stepped up to offer them professional mental health support.

Galloping Horse: Heroin is seeping into the veins of east and southern Africa’s political economy 

Heroin consumption is more widespread in eastern/southern Africa than previously acknowledged, according to a new report. Pointedly, against the backdrop of Covid-19 measures in South Africa, the report notes prohibition is not working. 

Maverick Citizen Op-ed: Covid-19 information campaigns in isiXhosa are needed in the Eastern Cape

In a mostly poor rural province like the Eastern Cape, where many households are headed by women, it’s vital that facts about the pandemic reach the people who are all too often forgotten.

OP-ED: A letter to employers: How to safely manage Covid-19 in the workplace

As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads in South Africa, many doctors have complained of businesses flooding health facilities with unnecessary queries. Here are some tips to keep your employees safe in the workplace, without unnecessarily burdening the healthcare system. 

Op-Ed: Kliptown superheroes take up fight against Covid-19 in service of the people

What follows is a very human story of a resident-driven Covid-19 initiative amid the 13 shack communities of Kliptown, Soweto. It tells of strategies plotted through a collaboration that, like the virus itself, doesn’t heed time zones or political boundaries, but that is deeply rooted in the dusty streets of this long-neglected south Johannesburg suburb. This is a modern-day tale of a few extraordinary people who fellow residents have dubbed the ‘health superheroes’.

Newsdeck: Libya’s government retakes Tripoli airport ahead of possible truce talks

TUNIS/ANKARA, June 2 (Reuters) - Libya's internationally recognised government recaptured Tripoli's main airport on Wednesday, all but driving an eastern commander's forces from the capital ahead of what appeared to be moves towards talks on a truce.

Newsdeck: U.S. HR execs see working from home as part of new normal – survey

WASHINGTON, June 3 (Reuters) - More than three out of four U.S. human resource executives think more employees will continue to work from home even after the threat of the novel coronavirus subsides, according to a survey by a large business association released on Wednesday.

Newsdeck: Malaria drug touted by Trump ineffective to prevent COVID-19 in high profile study

June 3 (Reuters) - The malaria drug promoted by U.S. President Donald Trump as a treatment for COVID-19 was shown to be ineffective in preventing infection in people exposed to the coronavirus, according to a widely anticipated clinical trial released on Wednesday.

Podcasts: Episode 25: Graeme Smith – Born to lead

He is considered South Africa’s greatest-ever opening batsman, but even more impressively, he is the country’s most successful captain having led the Proteas to historic series wins in Australia and England and the team to the top of the world Test rankings. Graeme Smith was appointed Proteas captain at 22, but quickly stamped his authority on the team. He was accomplished in all forms of cricket and had a sensational career on the field. He’s now turned to the administrative side of the game as Cricket South Africa’s director of cricket at 39. Given the challenges that face cricket both on and off the field, which are compounded by the uncertainty over the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, these are difficult times for the sport. Smith doesn’t have all the answers, but when it comes to rebuilding the Proteas team and meeting challenges head-on, there could be no one better lead from the front than the man affectionately known as ‘Biff’.

Business Maverick: World’s Least Favored Currencies Suddenly Became Global Leaders

Latin American currencies have staged a rebound since mid-May on fledgeling signs of renewed global growth and as central banks pour liquidity into the system. Technical barriers to further gains are few and far between.

Business Maverick: Zenith Bank Targets Nigerian Farmers for Loans as Dollars Dry Up

Zenith Bank Plc is prioritizing loans to the agricultural industry and other raw-material suppliers as a dollar shortage in Africa’s biggest oil producer hinders imports.

State Capture : Zondo determined to finish streamlined inquiry by March 2021, despite lockdown

The State Capture Commission stopped holding public hearings during the lockdown but Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is still confident the inquiry will meet its deadline by narrowing its investigations and dealing with witnesses more efficiently.

Sponsored Content: Ubuntu and collectivism remain the higher order in Africa’s values system

In the midst of the battle against the Coronavirus (COVID-19), which President Cyril Ramaphosa often refers to as an invisible enemy, we should as Africans, remember that there is strength in our ethos of Ubuntu and collectivism. The African philosophy of Ubuntu talks to our ‘humanity’ in isiZulu and is an expression of our collectivism, regularly translated as ‘I am because we are’. The isiXhosa translation is ‘umntu ngumntu ngabantu’ or ‘motho ke motho ka batho’ in Sesotho.

Maverick Citizen Coronavirus: Eastern Cape’s biggest emergency unit shuts down over shortage of staff and PPE

After three days of the casualty unit not being cleaned and faced with a shortage of staff as well as personal protective equipment, the biggest casualty and emergency unit in the Eastern Cape was shut down at Livingstone Hospital on Wednesday, 3 June 2020. State ambulances in Nelson Mandela Bay also stopped operating after a crew member was stabbed in the chest during a robbery.

GROUNDUP: South African History Archive Trust wins important victory for access to information

Court orders Reserve Bank to make apartheid records public

CORONAVIRUS : Cape Town Deeds Office reopens but union raises safety concerns

After 48 hours of undergoing decontamination, the Cape Town Deeds Office reopened on Tuesday, 26 May 2020, however, sources at the office say that despite being ‘open’, some staff are refusing to work.

Maverick Citizen: How Influenza 1918 is helping Covid-19 in 2020

Composer Philip Miller has pulled a thread through history honouring the work of Rueben T Caluza and raising funds for musos financially sapped in a time of virus. 

ISS TODAY: Can Lourenço deliver at a time of crisis?

Covid-19 and plummeting oil prices are immediate crises that threaten the reform agenda of Angola’s president.

Sport: Springbok Women’s World Cup prep takes a knock as continental rugby is cancelled

Those involved in South African women’s rugby have welcomed the cancellation of the Africa Women’s Cup, which was set to play a major role in the Springbok Women’s preparation for next year’s Rugby World Cup.

OPINIONISTA: In America, the revolution is not being televised

Ben Williams considers the ways to follow and understand the events unfolding in America – and finds that poetry is a resource equal to Twitter.

Maverick Life: Space food: What do astronauts eat up there anyway?

Is space food very different from the food we eat back on Earth? Apparently not, bar a few very tasty victuals – and the scents that usually go with a meal.

Maverick Life: The artwork that has spiralled in the desert for 50 years

Coiling out into the Great Salt Lake in Utah, Robert Smithson’s ‘Spiral Jetty’ was a groundbreaking work of Land Art in 1970. Made with rocks and earth from the desert and changed by the shifting water, the artwork offers a profound perspective on our existence in the cosmos.

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