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.

Sponsored Content: Wealthy South Africans are choosing to live the good life in Portugal

Just voted the best tourist destination in the world by the World Travel Awards, Portugal is becoming the destination of choice for South Africans looking to live and invest their money elsewhere. Most popular is the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme which gives Saffers a Plan B or the option to go and live in Portugal for a minimum €350,000 investment.

GROUNDUP: Lottery paid millions of rand to COO’s wife’s company

Companies linked to Phillemon Letwaba’s friends and family have received huge amounts of Lottery money.

Maverick Citizen: KwaZulu-Natal: Assassins strike again in bloody KZN mining wars

Chief flees home after gunmen kill two activists as bodies pile up in battle over resources.

VIRUS WATCH: Coronavirus: Travellers screened at SA airports

South Africa does not have any cases of coronavirus reported but the Department of Health, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and South African airports are not taking any chances.

ISS Today: Kenya’s reforms aren’t protecting its people from trafficking

Gaps in laws and their enforcement expose trafficking victims to a well organised criminal market.

Newsflash: Public Protector labels parliamentary process to oust her ‘unconstitutional’

At a media briefing on Tuesday, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane hit out at the DA-instigated parliamentary process to investigate her fitness to hold office. Mkhwebane said the removal proceedings violate both the Constitution and the independence of Chapter 9 institutions – and indicated her belief that they may be a form of revenge for findings she has made against President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

GROUNDUP: Cape Town businessman in trouble again over R3m beach house

Environmental authorities say construction of businessman’s second house was also illegal.

OP-ED: Why did Enoch Mpianzi die?

When Enoch Mpianzi drowned on a school orientation camp, it was not because he was poor, black and foreign. Nor was it, as leadership of the Nyati Bush and Riverbreak Lodge has stated, ‘a terrible accident’ and ‘no one’s fault’. It was the result of a series of actions and decisions made by the adults entrusted with his care. These decisions were at best poor, and at worst reckless and negligent. Tragically, the result was foreseeable.

South Africa: Netanyahu withdraws bid for immunity from corruption prosecution

JERUSALEM, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday withdrew his bid for parliamentary immunity from prosecution on corruption charges, making a criminal trial against him a near certainty.

South Africa: North-West University students told to vacate Mahikeng campus ‘until further notice’ after violence

Students at the North-West University's Mahikeng campus have been asked to vacate the premises by 15:00 on Tuesday after the institution closed the campus.

South Africa: South African Labor Unions Reject 5% Minimum-Wage Increase

South Africa’s biggest labor unions rejected a government proposal to increase the national minimum wage by 5%.

Business Maverick: Airbus Is Near Settlement of Bribery Cases

Airbus SE is nearing an agreement with U.K. authorities to settle bribery allegations that have shadowed the European airplane manufacturer for years, according to people familiar with the matter.

Business Maverick: January 28: Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

China outbreak worsens, oil falls to three-month low, and Senate Republicans face new pressure to call impeachment witnesses. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

OPINIONISTA: To everyone I offended with my journalism — you earned it — I wish I could have done a lot more!

Now that my service to the craft of journalism has come to an end — for now, and in this form — I regret not stepping on more toes than I actually did. Over the past 15 years of dedicating my life to the Fourth Estate, there were always more stories to tell, so much to do, and so little time. 

OPINIONISTA: Ramaphosa’s new dawn is stretching into day, and the results are coming 

It is encouraging that young activists have made supportive statements about the value of meritocracy as the basis for professionalising the public service and creating a capable state. But this has to be a meritocracy that is different from the ideologically-bound one associated with privilege.

EXPLAINER: ANC’s executive proposal on expropriation without compensation obscures already vast ministerial powers

Important points have gone MIA in the political noise around the ANC National Executive Committee’s lekgotla decision that the executive would determine all regarding expropriation without compensation. Ministerial powers on various land matters already are expansive. But a general law to effect compensationless expropriation after a constitutional amendment is barely on the horizon. 

ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK: Dudu Myeni tries one last trick to delay court hearing ‘delinquent’ case against her

The case to have former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni declared a delinquent director was finally set to go ahead on Monday, 27 January. But Myeni is not out of delaying tactics just yet – launching a fresh application to appeal against the right of Outa to file a civil case against her and arguing for her right to change her plea.

OPEN SECRETS: UNACCOUNTABLE: National Conventional Arms Control Committee – handmaiden to human rights abuse?

South Africa's arms trade regulator has failed in its mandate to monitor the export of weapons to countries that, among other things, abuse human rights, or wage war against their own citizens. This begs the question, who will guard the guards themselves? 

DEATH IN DETENTION: Security Branch member casts doubt on Aggett’s ‘suicide’

As the reopened Neil Aggett inquest entered its second week, a former Security Branch officer has questioned the police version about how Aggett allegedly committed suicide while detained in 1982.

MAVERICK CITIZEN: Neil Aggett: A sister remembers

Nearly four decades later, the reopening of the inquest into the death in detention of Neil Aggett may finally yield answers and truth.

MAVERICK LIFE SPACE WEATHER: How the sun can mess with our tech

Tripped electric circuits? Faulty GPS, disrupted communication signals? They might all be caused by space weather events.

OPINIONISTA: ‘Forever chemicals’ aren’t that scary

There’s a class of chemicals popularly dubbed ‘forever chemicals’. It’s supposed to be terribly scary that there are tiny quantities of them in the environment and even in food and drinking water. Some have already been phased out. Yet the research, and the very nickname itself, suggests they’re not very scary at all.

OPINIONISTA: Makana ruling the smoking gun aimed at dysfunctional councils nationwide

The order by the Eastern Cape High Court that the Makana municipality – which includes the city of Makhanda, formerly Grahamstown – be dissolved, sets a key precedent.

OPINIONISTA: Winning the electrification race

There is no doubt that by 2100, the world will enjoy abundant, cheap, zero-carbon energy. Coal will be confined to museums, and oil and gas use will be dramatically reduced. Technological progress makes that inevitable, even if unassisted by government policy. But to prevent potentially catastrophic climate change, a zero-carbon global economy must be achieved by mid-century. That, too, is possible, but only with strategic vision and strong policy support.

OP-ED: Government ignored its own science task team by redefining 32 wild species as farm animals

In listing 32 wild animal species as farm animals under the Animal Improvement Act in 2019, the Department of Agriculture went against the recommendations of the government’s own scientific authority.

ANALYSIS: The Joburg option could be Herman Mashaba’s safest springboard to political power

Former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba may well take an unconventional route in his bid to achieve national political stature – contesting the City of Johannesburg before staking a national claim.

OP-ED: Gimme shelter from the gathering #hashtag storm

It has never been more simple to start a global movement – just think up a catchy #hashtag. That's what every Thabo, Dick and Sally does these days, and the outcome is looking apocalyptic.

MAVERICK CITIZEN: Children’s health in 2020: Top 10 issues to watch

With little progress being made in certain areas of child, adolescent and maternal health, Spotlight spoke to the experts to outline the top 10 issues to watch for in the new year and the new decade.

Maverick Citizen: New Western Cape health department head punts universal health coverage

The Western Cape Department of Health will get a new head of department, Dr Keith Cloete, in April, but it seems there will be no radical changes to the strategic direction and work of the department.

Maverick Life ART: An art advisor’s guide to collecting art

Starting an art collection can be an intimidating experience. Art dealer and art advisor, João Ferreira breaks it down for us.

GroundUp: Greenmarket Square refugees reject City of Cape Town’s offer of reintegration

Cape High Court expected to rule on Tuesday on whether City can enforce by-laws.

PAROW BAIL HEARING: Second suspect in court for baby’s abduction 

Baby Kwahlelwa Tiwane was abducted in Parow, Cape Town, this month by a woman posing as a social worker. He is still missing. Meanwhile, a second suspect appeared in court in connection with his disappearance.

Maverick Citizen Eastern Cape Municipalities: Unemployed People’s Movement ready for a fight as Makana to appeal against service delivery ruling

The Makana municipality will apply for leave to appeal against a precedent-setting judgment by the Makhanda High Court that its council must be dissolved, but the applicant in the case, the Unemployed People's Movement, has vowed to oppose any attempts to have the judgment overturned.

BUSINESS MAVERICK: Congo Republic oil lubricates the path of corruption

The Congo Republic appears to have borrowed a page from the Mozambican handbook of financial shenanigans, according to a new report by rights campaign group Global Witness. And once again, the African oil industry is in the campaigners’ crosshairs. 

Maverick Citizen: Op-Ed: Zimbabwe’s economy is run by master criminals who are fleecing the poor

Ordinary Zimbabweans have suffered for years as a result of currency manipulation and corruption by the elites who have siphoned US dollars away into their overseas bank accounts. Now, a recent ruling by the Zimbabwe Supreme Court, declaring that up until February 2019, the US dollar and Zimbabwe RTGS dollar were valued at 1:1, has provided another windfall for the rich. In a country in the throes of a deepening food crisis, it will also deepen the economic meltdown at the expense of human rights.

BUSINESS MAVERICK: Even after a Constitutional Court finding, Brian Molefe has yet to pay back his Eskom pension 

Brian Molefe has not paid back one cent of the millions he owes the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund, almost six months after the Constitutional Court dismissed the former CEO’s application for leave to appeal against an order that he repay the money. This past fortnight, the matter has re-appeared on the roll of the High Court, which the fund says would enforce the judgment by ‘among other things’. But it is in these ‘other things’ that lies the catch.

Maverick Citizen OP-ED: South Africans should mobilise to support the NHI

Geoff Setswe, a public health expert with global health impact organisation, The Aurum Institute, tells us that the NHI is no different to any other structural change implemented in the health system. However, implementing it in South Africa will be a challenge.

BUSINESS MAVERICK ANALYSIS: The coronavirus, economic risk and predicting the unpredictable

Just as climate change had clawed its way to the top of the priority list at the World Economic Forum, the new coronavirus swooped in to divert attention away from the long-term seismic risks, to the shorter-term possibility of the epidemic becoming a Black Swan risk that could derail the financial markets and global economy. 

BUSINESS MAVERICK: Zimbabwe accuses Chinese company of ‘manipulating’ its currency 

Zimbabwe has frozen the accounts of a Chinese company which it said weakened the local currency through manipulation. With inflation reckoned to be galloping at more than 500%, Zimbabwe's farcical attempt at dumping the US dollar appears to be failing, with or without manipulation. 

CRICKET: Proteas wilt under English fire

The Proteas toiled on day four of the final Test against England, trying their best to delay the inevitable. It wasn’t to be though, as the English bowlers dismissed the fightback by the South Africans. To compound their misery, the Proteas were fined by the International Cricket Council.

CRICKET: Proteas women’s team boosted ahead of T20 Women’s World Cup with ODI series win over Kiwis 

The South African women’s cricket team clinched a series victory against New Zealand after an impressive eight-wicket win in the second One Day International.  

Scorpio: Kusile Slush Fund: Stefanutti Stocks’ R2m ‘school donation’ benefited Eskom officials

Construction giant Stefanutti Stocks paid R2m into an apparent slush fund that was used to enrich some of Eskom’s top officials at the Kusile power plant project. Similar payments from fellow Kusile contractor Tubular Construction in part led to the recent arrests of Tubular’s top executives and former Eskom official France Hlakudi. 

Newsdeck: Angola’s dos Santos to sue reporters’ consortium behind ‘Luanda Leaks’

LISBON, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos said on Monday she was launching legal action against a consortium of journalists and its media partners over the publication of thousands of documents about her business empire.

Newsdeck: Republicans in Trump impeachment trial on the spot over Bolton book report

WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate came under fresh pressure on Monday to allow witnesses and new documents in his impeachment trial, while Trump's defense team argued that policy differences were a crucial reason that Democrats have sought to remove him from office.

Business Maverick: Bitcoin Bolsters Its Claim as a Haven With Rally Topping Gold’s

Bitcoin’s claim for being digital gold appears to have another piece of evidence in its corner.

Business Maverick: Kenya Central Bank Follows South Africa With a Surprise Rate Cut

Kenya’s central bank joined its South African counterpart by unexpectedly cutting interest rates, citing well-anchored inflation expectations and an economy that’s operating below its potential.

Business Maverick: Davos Aftermath Podcast: Global growth in a low-interest economy

In the aftermath of the Davos 2020, Investec Bank CEO Richard Wainwright talks to Business Maverick's Tim Cohen about whether the global economic growth we’re seeing is a consequence of low-interest rates rather than increased productivity.

Newsdeck: Trump offers China ‘any help’ as virus spreads, markets reel

SHANGHAI, Jan 27 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump offered China whatever help it needed on Monday to control a coronavirus outbreak that has killed 81 people, stranded tens of millions during the biggest holiday of the year and rattled global markets.

Street Talk: Coming Out (Video)

Why is it when someone comes out as gay, we immediately turn to labels? Why does our sexuality define our identities? In a special episode straight from Zimbabwe, we speak to a group of openly out people who discuss the struggles of living in an extremely conservative, and at times, dangerous country. We look at the labels and discriminations they face every day and explore what life is like for the LGBTIQ community in Zimbabwe.

South Africa: SANDF to withdraw from Vaal River intervention project by Friday

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will withdraw its personnel and equipment deployed to the Vaal River Project by the end of the week.

Africa: Protests against Gambia president bring 137 arrests, multiple injuries

BANJUL, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Gambian police arrested 137 people and more than two dozen were injured as protests calling for President Adama Barrow to honour a pledge to step down after three years in office turned violent for the first time, the government said.

RUGBY: Blitzboks display worrying lack of mental toughness in Hamilton

The consequences of inconsistency were starkly punished when the Blitzboks ended a lowly 10th place at the Hamilton leg of the World Sevens Series on 26 January 2020.

Newsdeck: Plane crashes in central Afghan province, details unclear

KABUL, Jan 27 (Reuters) - A plane crashed in Ghazni, central Afghanistan on Monday, three senior government officials said, but details remained unclear as authorities sought to locate the aircraft's wreckage in the mountainous province, which is partly controlled by the Taliban.

Newsdeck: Jailed Portuguese hacker is ‘whistle-blower’ behind Luanda Leaks -lawyers

LISBON, Jan 27 (Reuters) - A Portuguese hacker has taken responsibility for disclosing hundreds of thousands of files revealing how billionaire Isabel dos Santos, daughter of Angola's former president, built her vast business empire, his lawyers said on Monday.

OP-ED: Civilian oversight of the SA military slipping away

Perhaps the most pernicious problem in South Africa’s polity is whether the military is an instrument of public policy or of a political party and elite.

ISS TODAY: Female Boko Haram members need tailor-made rehabilitation

Not enough information and planning is going into the reintegration of women linked to Boko Haram.

GROUNDUP: Over 100 judgments have been outstanding for more than six months

The number of court judgments outstanding for more than six months is up from 87 at the end of 2018.

GROUNDUP: Muddle over Cape High Court’s late judgments

Judge President Hlophe fails to explain why numbers don’t match.

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