Daily Maverick launches its 2015 Persons of the Year

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First Thing with John Stupart

Tuesday, 15th December


“Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.”


– Sam
Ewing
This will be Daily Maverick's final full-length First Thing for 2015. Do not panic though. We have a new format First Thing, along with new content and
an easier layout, waiting to be rolled out for your reading pleasure. Rest assured we will still be up at the crack of dawn giving you the biggest headlines overnight, every night.
Bisquit. A gift of superb taste.

While you were
sleeping


Daily Maverick has announced its 2015 persons of the year. With so many people doing terrible and wonderful things, the
nominations and final decisions were somewhat trickier this year than many before. Head on
over
to see who we thought were the best (and worst) people of 2015, internationally and locally.
United States president, Barack Obama, has announced that ISIL is being hit harder than ever. In a statement yesterday, Obama noted
ISIL had lost 40% of territory gained in Iraq, and had not launched a successful offensive since last summer. The number of leaders targeted and killed also emerged, and everyone seemed very happy with the notion of an ongoing kill count. Somewhere
in the Pentagon a ticker clock is being assembled. BBC
The US military has decided to try Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl by court martial. Bergdahl left his post in Afghanistan and was subsequently imprisoned by the Taliban for five years. The military trial could see Bergdahl facing
a possible life sentence for desertion. This is in stark contrast to an earlier investigation in which an Army officer concluded that any sentence would be too severe. WP
Seattle has passed a law allowing Uber drivers to unionise. The first major American city to do so, and possibly one of the first globally, the decision will grant Uber drivers the right to collectively bargain for higher pay and
broader rights. Uber is expected to sue over the decision, however. Reuters
Financial Indicators:
Oil=$37.07 Gold=$1,069.45 Platinum=$850.93
R/$=15.23 R/€=16.81 R/£=23.05 $/€=1.10
JSE All Share=48,081.71 DJIA=17,184.31 FTSE 100=5,878.65: Source
A gift fit for kings.

In Numbers


25
The percentage of Central African Republic's children aged 12 and 23-months-old who are immunised against measles.
Coming Up
Today is Tony Leon's birthday. The former Democratic Alliance leader was born in 1956.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation is holding a tribute to Nelson Mandela today. This will begin at 18h00.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens begins rolling out in cinemas worldwide. It will hit South African theatres on the 16th December.
The World Trade Organisation meets in Nairobi today. Now that you know the WTO still exists, they will be attempting to form any kind of agreement that helps elevate their legitimacy.
Fact of the day: Donald Trump is
an anagram for Damp Old Runt. Other candidates include Land Mop Turd, Damp Lord Nut,
and Mad Lord Punt.
Weather: 
Bloemfontein: min: 14° max: 31°, cloudy
Cape Town: min: 16° max: 24°, cloudy
Durban: min: 19° max: 29°, drizzle
East London: min: 20° max: 22°, rainy
Johannesburg: min: 18° max: 29°, cloudy
Kimberley: min: 17° max: 31°, cloudy
Nelspruit: min: 18° max: 25°, rainy
Pietermaritzburg: min: 11° max: 26°, cloudy
Polokwane: min: 18° max: 27°, cloudy
Port Elizabeth: min: 16° max: 29°, drizzle
Pretoria: min: 16° max: 30°, cloudy
Source: Forecast.io
Bisquit. A gift of superb taste.
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Now on Daily Maverick


2015 South African Person of the Year: The Student
In a society trapped in a leaderless quagmire, where somebody probably stands for something yet nobody stands for
anything, a new flame has flickered to life. Thousands of young people rose up, stood together and challenged the establishment – from their campuses, the streets, Parliament and the lawns of the majestic Union Buildings, they made their voices
heard. They brought down a symbol of exploitation and privilege, exposed the prevailing racism on their campuses and fought against fee increases in higher education. When all else is being sucked into a bottomless pit, the youth of the nation
raised their fists and reminded us what true leadership is. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
2015 International Person of the Year: The Refugee
After considering a roster of other challengers, Daily Maverick has decided the refugee most clearly represents the
person of the year internationally. J. BROOKS SPECTOR looks at the competition, and then sets out why refugees – from that small, frail child drowned at the seashore and who never even made it to Western Europe, to the many thousands of desperate
people now tramping their way through the Balkans to the promised land of Germany or England – deserve our nod in 2015.
2015 Africans of the Year: Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu
Buhari

In 2015, Nigeria experienced its own peaceful transition. Before this, Africa’s most populous nation had never
experienced an orderly, democratic change of ruling party before – a sorry state of affairs which goes a long way towards explaining why has this African giant developed so slowly. But before Buhari could take power, President Goodluck Jonathan
had to accept defeat. By SIMON ALLISON.
2015 South African Sportsperson of the Year: Wayde van
Niekerk

While Wayde van Niekerk has much to prove at next year’s Olympics, 2015 will be remembered as the year when the young
South African sprinter announced himself on the world stage. Grounded, talented and proudly South African, Van Niekerk is the kind of sportsperson who offers a better alternative to the harsh and dark realities of every day society. By ANTOINETTE
MULLER.
2015 International Sportsperson of the Year: Serena
Williams

Although Serena Williams finished 2015 on a disappointing note, she battled through illness and adversity on more than
one occasion during the year to edge ever closer to breaking Steffi Graff’s record. She does not need accolades to confirm that she is one of the best athletes to ever live, but that doesn’t mean we can help ourselves being in awe. By ANTOINETTE
MULLER.
Game of Thrones, Pravin Gordhan edition: When the target reclaims the hot-seat by
default

It is a supreme but delicious irony that the old new Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, will now be the person dealing
with a compromised KPMG report, commissioned by SARS to look into a so-called “rogue unit” allegedly established under his watch as commissioner of the revenue service. President Jacob Zuma's hubristic move in firing Nhlanhla Nene last week -
triggering a tailspin for the Rand - left No 1 with no option but to surrender the public purse back to Gordhan and in so doing scoring a spectacular home goal. Let the games begin. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Report: A press conference South Africa badly needed
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan was impressive on Monday in his first media briefing since returning suddenly to the
post. But can he save the the institution from the damage the president has done? By GREG NICOLSON.
Analysis: The day grownups took over
If a week is a long time in British politics, five days in South African politics is literally an aeon. On Wednesday
evening, President Jacob Zuma appeared to be able to do anything. By Wednesday night, it appeared that he was more than just the MacDaddy of our politics, he was its lord and master. And those around him were the barons and dukes and earls who
appeared to have a lock on our economy, our government, and its remaining wealth. Now, suddenly, the power relationships have changed. It seems the ANC has reasserted itself. Zuma, surely, will never be the same again. And Pravin Gordhan has
returned, along with fiscal probity, fiscal discipline, and most thankfully, sanity. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Crisis in Burundi: From non-interference to non-indifference, invoking the
responsibility to protect

Indifference and inertia among African states may mean that the United Nations could be called in to prevent atrocities,
and a return to mass-scale violence in Burundi. By FRANK CHARNAS.
Mali: Peace from Below?
After a summer marked by renewed clashes in northern Mali, a surprising détente began taking shape in October 2015
following a series of talks between leaders of the Coalition of Azawad Movements (CMA), the main rebel coalition, and those of the Algiers Platform, the pro-government coalition. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
Tshepo Motsepe: Recall President Zuma!
The South African Presidency should be a site to advance the struggle for social equality, for the righting of historic
crimes against black people, for jobs, houses, healthcare and education, for human rights globally and at home. This struggle can no longer be lead by a person as compromised, divisive and ineffective as President Jacob Zuma. He must be recalled by
the ANC.
Nic Haralambous: Forget Petitions and Marches, I’m Joining The
ANC

Currently, the online petition for President Jacob Zuma to step down has over 150, 000 signatures.These people want to
be change agents, but they want to sit at home, moan, click a button and make change magically appear. They want to march to the Union Buildings without a plan, without an agenda and without a leader to bring cohesion. Instead, I’d like all of those
people to join me in becoming a member of the ANC.
Rian Malan: True confessions of a bourgeois
counter-revolutionary

'Tis the season to be jolly, and here I am, laughing at myself. I spent the weekend agonizing about the Nene crisis and
constructing a counter-revolutionary plot that might have put me in jail, then I wake up this morning and poof, Van Rooyen is gone, finance is back in steady hands and the Mad King is mortally wounded. This country!
KARL CLOETE: What does the working class stand to gain from the #ZumaMustFall
campaign?

The call that #ZumaMustFall call implies that changing personalities changes policies. In fact, it would at best make no
difference to policies, and at worst could replace one individual with an even worse individual. That is definitely what the business interests have in mind – a President who is a more reliable servant of monopoly capitalism.
In case you
missed it
Zuma climbs down, Gordhan takes up SA's rescue mission
The drama and financial carnage precipitated by the firing of former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene on Wednesday
resulted in an unprecedented backpedal by President Jacob Zuma on Sunday night. The presidency announced via an email statement that after receiving “many representations” and “after serious consideration and reflection”, Zuma decided to appoint
Pravin Gordhan as Finance Minister and move David van Rooyen to the Cooperative Governance portfolio. The president has been forced into making an embarrassing about-turn and has been exposed as a leader who has lost his grip. By RANJENI
MUNUSAMY.
Revolving finance ministers: Shock & continued calls for Zuma's
recall

President Jacob Zuma's announcement that Pravin Gordhan has been appointed finance minister and David Van Rooyen
Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, days after he took the job at Treasury, was met with disbelief on Sunday. While the president says he is listening to citizens, calls for him to be recalled continued. By GREG
NICOLSON.
The Paris Climate Agreement – a first look
In between the financial and economic policy chaos in South Africa, there was also that little business of a global
climate conference in Paris involving 195 nations and the future of the planet. And miraculously, they largely agreed on the terms of this agreement that calls for lowering carbon emissions to – in turn – lower global temperatures and that richer
nations are going to help the others to make technological adjustments. J. BROOKS SPECTOR takes a first look at the result.
Evita's Free Speech - Episode 9
Leading up to the 2016 South African Municipal Elections and the 20th year celebration of her theatre in Darling, Evita
se Perron, Tannie Evita has committed herself to broadcasting a Sunday recap of the week's news, with the accent on Free Speech. Here's the Episode 9. By PIETER-DIRK UYS.
Health-E News: NHI White Paper doesn’t explain how it will get buy-in from private
doctors

We have finally been given government’s blueprint for how it plans to marry the private and public health sectors – the
NHI White Paper. But many areas are fuzzy, particularly how it will persuade private doctors to work in a system that is likely to mean more work and less pay. KERRY CULLINAN from HEALTH-E reports.
Axing of Nene: Statements and Lies
President Jacob Zuma has never been one to give the commercial middle-class media much time. And he has never felt the
need to explain himself in public much either. Once, he even put out a statement saying that when it came to cabinet re-shuffles, he didn't have to explain his decisions. So it must be an indication of how the pressure is beginning to have an impact
that over the weekend he released a series of statements, all relating to the sacking of the finance minister Nhlanhla Nene. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The turning tide: Blood Lions v lion breeding and canned
hunting

The makers of the film, Blood Lions, expected to be taken on, and when the court legal challenge did come, the judge
threw the case out in its entirety, and awarded the filmmakers all costs. The judge took the point that we simply ask legitimate questions and listen to the answers we are given. By PETER BORCHERT.
Op-Ed: Toward universal health coverage in Africa
In Africa, the Ebola epidemic showed us the “worst case scenario” when health systems are weak or broken. For coverage
of several basic health services – including family planning, immunisation and improved sanitation – sub-Saharan Africa lags well behind the rest of the world. The region accounts for approximately 25% of the world’s disease burden, yet it has just
3% of its doctors. Furthermore, too many households across the continent are forced to borrow money or sell assets to pay for health care. By Dr MATSHIDISO MOETI, the World Health Organisation’s Regional Director for Africa.
Review: Swan Lake on Ice
Ballet on dry land is never going to thrill me again after watching The Imperial Ice Stars perform Swan Lake on Ice.
While the grounded version is a classical beauty, the icy alternative is absolutely spectacular. The cast is a collection of Olympic figure skating medalists and athletes, so this is ballet dancing on steroids. Of course, I do not mean that
literally, although there are certainly some super-human feats. By LESLEY STONES.
ICG: Thailand’s Lengthening Roadmap to Elections
On 6 September 2015, a reform council appointed by Thailand’s military-run administration, the National Council for
Peace and Order (NCPO), rejected a constitution prepared by a drafting committee it had itself appointed. With the draft scuppered, the military regime extended its tenure by at least seven months, backtracking on the roadmap to “fully-functioning
democracy” it announced after the May 2014 coup and delaying a general election until mid-2017. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
Cape Town Sevens scores on the pitch, but falls foul off
it

While the Blitzboks triumphed on the field, the Sevens tournament – and the South African Rugby Union, left much to be
desired off the pitch. Lack of development clinics while the world’s best rugby minds were in town are just one of the sticking points for what could have been a truly memorable week for everyone. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Judith February: Sharing public spaces is the best way to bring people
together

South African cities, for an array of reasons to do with the past and present have failed to grasp quite how fundamental
cities and their development are in creating those spaces for interaction between ordinary people in a society with such high levels of inequality. Sharing public space is the great leveller, after all.
Marelise van der Merwe: The impact of gender-based violence on the
economy

As the 16 Days of Activism draw to a close, it’s worth looking at what gender-based violence is costing us, not just
socially and morally, but also economically and politically.
Rev Lawrence Mduduzi Ndlovu: Presidential leadership is about
trust

What we have witnessed with the removal from office of Nhlanhla Nene, has gone beyond the usual inter-party politicking
and criticism. We have now moved into the realm of the infringement of the fundamental agreement – the breach of trust. It is also a sad irony that the once mighty ANC, that has always been associated with bravery, is now full of people who can
barely open their mouths, let alone shake their heads.
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