Penny Sparrow, a white South African estate agent has raised the ire of social media with a racist Facebook post comparing black people to monkeys. Justin Van Vuuren similarly stirred a hornet’s nest with comments supporting Sparrow’s racist statement
Within hours of Zuma’s imprudent announcement that he was appointing as minister of finance an ANC backbencher and former mayor to 200 000 people in the West Rand (until residents burned down his house and chased him out), the South African banking index lost R128 billion in share value (its worst hit since October 2001), and the rand fell by 5.4% to a record low of R15.38 to the dollar. Within days, Zuma had to replace him by reappointing a former minister, Pravin Gordhan, to the job.
Something did snap when President Jacob Zuma, in what appears to be an impulsive unilateral move, “redeployed” the minister of finance without informing his own cabinet. The immediate economic shock has been severe, and the consequences for the treasury haven’t even been felt yet
In South Africa, the annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign seldom provides reasons for optimism, let alone celebration. It has, instead, become a time to lament failures and point to the mountain of shattered lives that gender-based violence and violence against children contribute to our national landscape. Yet this year, there are several reasons to celebrate.
Twin brothers, Wandile and Wanele Ganya from Khayelitsha township in Cape Town, excelled “in the face of adversity” to graduate as doctors from Stellenbosch University. They had to rely on their mother’s meagre income as a domestic worker, but despite the challenges, the twins pursued an opportunity, which may have once seemed impossible
Truvada, an HIV prevention drug has been approved by South Africa’s Medicines Control Council. The drug, which can be taken by adults who are at high risk of getting HIV, helps to reduce the risk of getting HIV infection when used together with safer sex practices
On 28 October, University of Cape Town management signed an agreement with NEHAWU (the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union) which commits the university to employ catering, transport, cleaning, security, and maintenance workers who work at UCT but are employed by outside companies. This promise of “insourcing” came in response to longstanding worker demands, and a period of intense protest in which outsourced workers were joined by many students and some UCT staff.
At the end of October, South Africans were shocked by the reported execution-style killing of an injured robbery suspect in Krugersdorp. The aftermath of the incident took a worrying turn, however, as it sparked much vocal and public support for extra-judicial killings by police officers.
The current wave of student protests in South Africa has been mostly analysed from a national and local perspective.