THE DAILY MAVERICK

THE DAILY MAVERICK

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

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.

Maverick Citizen Global Strike: Make today, September 20th 2019, a day that saves the world

At crucial moments throughout history it has always been organised and activist women, men, and children who have called out injustice and changed history. Think of who it was that led the struggle to end slavery and apartheid; think who drove the struggles for gender equality, nuclear disarmament or AIDS treatment. On the flip side, it has always been governments and private corporations that have sought to resist the tide of civilisation and its arc towards justice and human rights. As the world grows in awareness of the implications of the climate crisis it seems, that this iron law of history is in operation again.

Newsdeck: ‘Multiple’ people shot on streets of Washington, D.C. – local media

Sept 19 (Reuters) - Gunfire erupted on the streets of Washington, D.C., on Thursday night and at least several people were shot, local media reported.

Newsdeck: Hong Kong Police ‘Tortured’ and Beat Protesters, Amnesty Says

Hong Kong police beat pro-democracy protesters in custody and committed acts that amount to “torture” during recent demonstrations, Amnesty International alleged in a new report that could fuel further unrest.

Business Maverick: Brait stock jumps 6% on management buyout report

After losing a personal fortune of R59bn in the Steinhoff implosion, Christo Wiese shows he still has some appetite for dealmaking at investment house Brait.

Business Maverick: U.S.-China Talks Resume, With Chinese Officials Set to Visit U.S. Farm Belt

Trade negotiators from the U.S. and China resumed face-to-face talks in Washington, as the Trump administration said a Chinese delegation will visit American farmlands next week.

Business Maverick: The U.S. May Strike a Fatal Blow to the WTO Sooner Than Expected

A U.S. lawyer who is one of the last remaining members of an international panel that rules on trade disputes may resign in December, a move that would cripple the global conflict settlement system.

Business Maverick: Zuckerberg Meets Trump at White House With Facebook on the Defensive

Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg met with President Donald Trump on Thursday as he tried to sway Congress and policy makers who have been critical of the practices of the social media platform.

Business Maverick: Friday, September 20: Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

U.S.-China talks are back on, one of the world’s top investors sounds the alarm and Amnesty International accuses Hong Kong police of “torture.” Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today. 

Declassified UK: British government continues to aid repression in human rights-abusing countries, new data shows

The British government is continuing to approve the export of hi-tech surveillance equipment and software of the type that is being used by states abusing human rights to monitor and repress dissent, new government figures show. The government's exports of 'telecommunications interception equipment' to repressive states are likely unlawful.

ANALYSIS: Enough of the narrow world: Ramaphosa must bestride the South African stage

Cyril Ramaphosa’s image as a reasonable statesman is a great plus on the global stage. But he does not have to rub shoulders with Jack Ma to sustain that. He has to be seen as the man in charge of Africa’s most powerful economy.

Days of Zondo: Law enforcement’s leaky cauldron of crime intelligence subterfuge, Mdluli/Ntlemeza edition

Ntlemeza accused of telling Hawks investigator: “You didn’t do this with Eugene de Kock, so why are you doing this now?”

Bhekisisa: US hijacks the world’s first UN declaration on universal healthcare

On Monday 23 September, world leaders will sign a UN declaration that could have committed the world to providing decent healthcare for all. Instead, activists say, some of the world’s biggest health issues don’t even get a mention. What does this mean for SA’s National Health Insurance?

OP-ED: Municipal meltdowns: Bold plan to shift delivery to district level

The deputy president says government is shifting local planning and service delivery from provincial and national government to district and metro level. The plan includes recruiting retired engineers and accountants as mentors and instituting early warning systems to fight service delivery failures, xenophobia and municipal meltdowns.

GLEBELANDS 8: Defence counsels grill witnesses as first session of Glebelands 8 trial closes

After nearly three weeks of trial involving a group of alleged KwaZulu-Natal hitmen known as the Glebelands Eight, defence counsels continued this week to chip away at inconsistencies in testimony given by witnesses deemed ‘crucial’ to the state’s case.

Our Burning Planet: Analysis: Ecofeminism unleashed, or, How wrong the hawks are to view the vulnerable as meek

In this mentally disordered plot, the shimmering detail of unimaginably complex ecosystems that have unfurled over millennia are at the behest of an incontinent human wrecking ball with an orange tan, a fake blond combover and a helium-like vibrato that travels at 1,008 meters per second. And his band of merry dicktators. Not forever, though.

HOT SPOT: An explosive, unstable imbalance in the Middle East

The respective trajectories of the Iran/Saudi-US confrontation, and Israeli politics after its newest election, may mean the two are moving in very different directions.

OPINIONISTA: Can the Department of Social Development solve the foster care crisis?

With only two months to go until a court-imposed moratorium on foster care orders lapsing ends, the government’s contingency plans are beginning to look a lot less like progress towards a goal and a lot more like last-minute panic, a panic that has resulted from its failure to publicly acknowledge the extent of the problem and seek help.

OUR BURNING PLANET: Pick your protest: SA climate action gets personal

On 20 September 2019, to coincide with what is likely to be the largest global mass action event in the arc of human history, climate strikes will take place in 18 cities and towns across South Africa. Which is just as well, because on the evening of 18 September the United Nations placed our government in the company of climate rogues.

PHOTO ESSAY: Drowning World

Photographer and activist Gideon Mendel has for the past 11 years turned up at flood zones around the world, from Pakistan to Brazil, Haiti to Australia, Thailand to Nigeria, the United States and France. What has emerged is a body of work titled ‘Drowning World’, made up of narrative threads in Submerged Portraits, Floodlines and Watermark.

MAVERICK CITIZEN: Day of the Global Strike: Stand up or be drowned out

The rising tide of the climate crisis and the coming of more extreme weather conditions are already drowning and damaging the world we know. There are many ways to be an activist, and photographer Gideon Mendel is using his talent to draw attention to our Drowning World. Maverick Citizen spoke to Gideon and, on the day of the Global Strike against Climate Change, we publish some of his powerful images in a separate photo essay.

GLOBAL #CLIMATE STRIKE: Climate Profile: Kimber Jacobs, a matric student using social media as a tool for climate activism

Kimber Jacobs, a matric student from Wynberg Girls High School, says social media is an important tool for young climate activists to connect and share information, personal stories and environmental protest updates from around the world.

Open Season

Newsdeck: Millions of young people, led by Sweden’s Thunberg, to strike for climate action

NEW YORK, Sept 19 (Reuters) - With world leaders about to gather in New York for a UN Climate Action Summit next week, millions of young people from Australia to Iceland will take off from school or work on Friday to demand urgent measures to stop environmental catastrophe.

MAVERICK CITIZEN - PERFORMING ARTS: Back to basics at Black Box Theatre: iQonga Festival and other things

The perennially widening gap between the mainstream (read commercial and ‘inaccessible’) arts and the so-called community arts (often hailed for its people-centred and pedagogical capacity) warrants an urgent response.

THEATRE: Two centuries on, the story of Saartjie Baartman is a powerful metaphor for our troubled times

‘Venus vs Modernity’ at the Market Theatre, written by Lebo Mashile, is an exuberant, loud and lively production that builds from a slow, thoughtful start as Mashile, playing Saartjie Baartman, connects with Venus, played by opera singer Ann Masina.

Africa: Nigerian army says NGO aided terrorists, forces it to close office

ABUJA, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The army in northeastern Nigeria forced non-profit Action Against Hunger to close its office in the region, accusing it on Thursday of aiding terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and Islamic State.

LEARNERS IN LIMBO: #GetChildrenIntoSchool: Landmark education case will have an impact on undocumented learners

Education is a transformative and empowering right, and no jurisdiction limits access to education based on a child’s immigration status, an Eastern Cape court heard.

Business Maverick: SARB holds rates as expected, despite dismal growth outlook

The SA Reserve Bank did as expected and held its key lending rate steady at 6.5%. The economic growth outlook is dire and inflation remains relatively subdued, but the central bank does not want to take any risks in a volatile domestic and global economic environment.

OP-ED: Obesity crisis threatens South Africa’s health system

More than half of all South Africans are now classified as medically overweight or obese, and this has serious implications for the health system.

Business Maverick: When logic fails: Labour unions reject their members’ right to a secret vote

Some South African trade unions are spitting mad at the Registrar of Labour Relations who had the temerity last week to suggest the unions should abide by the January 2019 changes to South Africa’s labour law. At the apparent heart of their discontent lies the obligation of union members to cast a secret vote in favour of a strike as a legal prerequisite.

BUSINESS MAVERICK: Blue Label’s expensive adventure

The R6bn write-down of its investment into Cell C and subsequent destruction of shareholder value raise questions about Blue Label’s capital allocation strategy. That said, there appears to be a plan to save Cell C, at least, for which shareholders will be grateful.

OP-ED: Spare the rod… and spare the child: Landmark ConCourt ruling overturns Psalm 137:9

If you smack your child, you may end up in prison – the Constitutional Court has held that the common law defence of the reasonable and moderate chastisement of a child is an unjustifiable violation of the rights to freedom and security of person and human dignity.

OPINIONISTA: Nzimande’s comments on xenophobic attacks expose SACP hypocrisy

The SACP’s tone of late mirrors that of the ‘right-wing xenophobes’ it rebuked not too long ago. The irony must have been lost on Blade Nzimande when he spoke to workers in Durban this week.

OPINIONISTA: The return of fiscal policy

As we enter the last quarter of 2019 (and of the decade), cyclical indicators point to a slowing world economy amid wide-ranging structural challenges. There are plenty of issues to keep one up at night: Climate change, antimicrobial resistance, societal ageing, strained pension and health systems, massive debt levels, and an ongoing trade war.

OPINIONISTA: The economic consequences of automation

While Brexit captures the headlines in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, the silent march of automation continues. Most economists view this trend favourably: Technology, they say, may destroy jobs in the short run, but creates new and better jobs in the longer term.

Business Maverick: Rory Sutherland: on slow trains, rebel bees and the virtue of irrational ideas

Rory Sutherland, TED speaker and author of ‘Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don’t Make Sense’ talks to Marc Kahn, Investec's global head of human resources and organisational development, about how companies can use behavioural science to win over consumers.

Business Maverick: Blunders 157 with Vestact’s Paul Theron

This week: Dinosaurs, Saudi oil, Abqaiq and the Carnian Pluvial Episode.

GroundUp: Provinces scramble as 89,000 children’s foster care grants are at risk

MPs have cracked the whip over provincial backlogs in resolving a massive backlog in foster care court orders, with tens of thousands of children at risk.

GroundUp: Coal mine next to game reserve faces legal challenge

Pietermaritzburg judge grants leave to appeal to environmental groups.

Taking back the Streets: Winde pledges R1-billion a year to fight crime and halve Western Cape murder rate by 2029

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde on Thursday announced a provincial safety plan to tackle high levels of crime and violence that will see an additional 3,000 law enforcement officers deployed and 150 investigators trained.

Newsdeck: The anti-Netanyahu? Ex-general Gantz poised for top office

TEL AVIV, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Benny Gantz has little of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's worldly polish or flair as a showy ideologue - and that may be exactly why so many weary Israelis want the ex-general in top office.

2019 Elections: Four men with AK-47s hit Durban jewellery store

Four men wielding AK-47s robbed a jewellery store in the busy Phoenix Plaza Mall, south of central Durban, on Thursday, and escaped following a shootout with police.

Newsdeck: Court to Hear Boris Johnson’s Plan as Deal Optimism Wanes: Brexit Update

Boris Johnson is not ruling out a further suspension of Parliament if the Supreme Court doesn’t prohibit it, according to his government’s filing in the landmark case. But the prime minister’s team also said it would comply with what the judges decide, potentially restricting his options as he prepares for another showdown with Parliament over Brexit.

ISS Today: Africa’s youth stand up to seasoned politicians

Bobi Wine’s political movement in Uganda shows how organised youth groups can challenge the status quo. By Muneinazvo Kujeke and Chido Mutangadura for ISS TODAY.

OPINIONISTA: The Springboks’ World Cup campaign is about more than just rugby

When the Springboks open their 2019 Rugby World Cup challenge against New Zealand on Saturday, they will be embarking on a journey that has the power to positively influence a country battling gender-based violence, racism, and xenophobia.

amabhungane: Tender Comrades, Part One: Trailing the Juju tractor

A tractor the Economic Freedom Fighters ‘donated’ to supporters in Limpopo; the implausibility of an earlier alibi for payments to Julius Malema-linked Mahuna Investments, and a newly-revealed payment to another Malema company – the evidence is stacking up that the party and its leader took kickbacks from a massive City of Johannesburg contract.

Sponsored Content: The best iPhone ever comes with the best deals… ever

The world’s most popular phone was fitted with a jetpack and launched into the stratosphere in California this month, as Apple unveiled its latest innovation: the iPhone 11. This powerhouse device comes complete with a dual-camera system that offers the highest quality video and the fastest, most powerful chip in smartphone history. What’s more, South Africans can make it their own with a trade-in discount on a Vodacom contract reduced by up to R330 a month, exclusive to iStore.

Newsdeck: Trudeau Apologizes for Wearing ‘Brownface’ Makeup at 2001 Party

Justin Trudeau, who has championed minority rights since becoming Canadian Prime Minister, was forced to apologize for wearing “brownface” makeup at an “Arabian Nights” theme party in 2001, saying it was racist and a dumb thing to do.

Business Maverick: Powell Stresses Solid U.S. Outlook After Fed Cuts Rates Again

Federal Reserve policy makers lowered their main interest rate for a second time this year and Chairman Jerome Powell said that “moderate” policy moves should be sufficient to sustain the U.S. expansion.

Business Maverick: Bitcoin ETF Proposal to SEC Withdrew by Cboe, VanEck SolidX

Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s BZX exchange has withdrawn a proposal to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to list and trade shares of a Bitcoin investment vehicle.

Business Maverick: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Visits Washington Amid Scrutiny

Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is visiting Washington as the company confronts growing scrutiny over its privacy and marketplace practices.

Business Maverick: Thursday, September 19; Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

The Fed cuts rates, Hong Kong momentum builds in Congress and Fukushima hopes rugby can help clean up its image. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today. 

OPINIONISTA: Courts vs The Executive: Constitutional Court fails to provide judiciary with certainty

One must accept that the dispute regarding the firing by former president Jacob Zuma of his finance minister Pravin Gordhan and deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas was no longer a live dispute and that the merits of the Zuma decision were not decided by the High Court. However, on the face of it, the High Court judgment appears to be a significant case of judicial overreach, trenching as it does on the domain of the executive powers.

BHEKISISA: The magistrate’s tail: How therapy dogs help child rape victims get justice

The testimony of his eight-year victim may put convicted rapist Nicolas Ninow away for life. Ninow was convicted of rape on Monday but not before many questioned the decision to risk retraumatising his young victim by asking her to testify via cameras outside the courtroom. The Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism looks at how, in court, comfort for the tiniest victims of sexual abuse can come from the unlikeliest of places.

DAYS OF ZONDO: Bheki Cele was paid to approve restructuring of Crime Intelligence, claims Hawks investigator

Over the course of two days’ testimony at the Zondo Commission, Hawks investigator Kobus Roelofse has lifted the lid on a cauldron of corruption at South Africa’s Crime Intelligence. Those implicated thus far as benefiting from the financial abuse of crime intelligence have included current Police Minister Bheki Cele, former police minister Nathi Mthethwa and high-profile journalist Ranjeni Munusamy.

SCORPIO: Justice Department wants former SAA chair Dudu Myeni to pay up after that ‘fundamentally misleading’ letter

Former South African Airways chairperson Dudu Myeni has been served with a writ of execution in the amount of R200,000. The writ, obtained by the Department of Justice and Correctional Services, is aimed at recovering costs associated with Myeni’s unsuccessful legal challenge of a damning compliance notice issued against her in 2017 by the Commission for Intellectual Properties and Companies.

ANALYSIS: Mutton dressed as Lamb: Ramaphosa’s fight against gender-based violence in times of government debilitation

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ‘emergency action plan’ to end gender-based violence had little new or imaginative to rid South Africa of this blight. Wednesday’s joint sitting was a PR play by the president to regain control of the optics in a difficult moment for the whole nation — and Parliament provided the platform.

BUSINESS MAVERICK: How Old Mutual set itself up for the Moyo mess

The sacking of Peter Moyo as Old Mutual CEO was linked to NMT Capital, a firm he co-founded in 2002 and in which the insurer holds a 20% stake. Old Mutual had a nominated director named Mobasheer Patel on the board of NMT. Old Mutual chairman Trevor Manuel and Moyo disagree about whether Patel was accountable to Old Mutual or NMT.

ANALYSIS: Ramaphosa builds up a head of steam – now he must maintain it

A number of recent actions by President Cyril Ramaphosa suggest he is now determined to take charge.

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