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First Thing with John Stupart

Monday, 21st December

"It isn’t about how much sense you make, it is about how compelling you are.”
― Nalo Hopkinson

The First Thing will be bringing you the best Daily Maverick articles for each month of 2015. Starting tomorrow and running for the rest of
the month, we will highlight some of the biggest, funniest, or downright outrageous articles of the year. The regular First Thing shall resume fresh and absolutely irreverent in the new year.
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While you were

Media lose veneer of objectivity with #ZumaMustFall
An even casual perusal of local and (interestingly) international coverage of South Africa the past week – particularly on the so-called #ZumaMustFall
campaign, and you’d be forgiven for thinking the mass media have tossed their ethics manuals out of the window. By JACKSON MTHEMBU
Video: Evita's Free Speech - Episode 11
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 11. By PIETER-DIRK UYS.
Jackson Mthembu: Media lose veneer of objectivity with

An even casual perusal of local and (interestingly) international coverage of South Africa the past week – particularly on the so-called
#ZumaMustFall campaign, and you’d be forgiven for thinking the mass media have tossed their ethics manuals out of the window.
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Now on Daily Maverick

ICG: The unbearable urgency of resuming Turkey/PKK peace

With a new government in place after the 1 November election, now is the time to reverse the spiral of mistrust between Ankara and the disparate
Kurdish movement, represented, at times interchangeably and without clear mandates, by the legal Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), now in the parliament, as well as the outlawed PKK and its jailed leader, Abdullah Öcalan. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS
Op-Ed: South Africa's most powerful man
We are talking about Pravin Gordhan, of course. If President Zuma removed him now, the financial consequences would be so much worse than his last
prank that his political life would be over, which it already almost is. Gordhan knows all this, of course. He is also a patriot with integrity, and a strategist. These are the exact qualities our leaders need, those of which Zuma is so woefully
2015 Photo of the Year: President Jacob Zuma
As this year began, so shall it end. It started with mayhem in Parliament, and by July we were in the winter of discontent. Now as we careen
towards Christmas, we are in another season altogether, and it is ripe with chaos. By SISONKE MSIMANG.
While you were sleeping: 17 December 2015
Trump glows orange in debate, mushroom clouds seen over Nkandla, and Chelsea is officially the worst football team in the
ICG: Iran after the Nuclear Deal
Tensions within the Islamic Republic stem in no small part from its blend of popular sovereignty and religious authority. Theocratic forces seek
to maintain the dominance of the supreme leader and other tutelary bodies, while republican forces advocate more clout for popularly-elected institutions. Each camp is further split between pragmatists who seek incremental political evolution, and
radicals who either resist any change or promote revolutionary transformation. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
Five years since the famine, Somali children are still stalked by the menace
of hunger

Since the 2011 famine, malnutrition in Somalia has decreased, to some extent. Among children under five years old it has fallen from 18% in the
2011 Gu (the rainy season in Somalia, which is the primary cropping season and runs from April to June) to 13% in the 2015 Gu. However, the improvement has not been enough to lift hundreds of thousands of children out of the fear – and the reality –
of hunger. By KUN LI for UNICEF.
ICG: New risks on Nigeria’s Shiite fault line
On 12 and 13 December, Nigerian government troops clashed with members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). Their battle in the city of
Zaria, in north central Kaduna state, reportedly killed more than 100 people, including some senior movement members, and threatened wider violence. Crisis Group’s Senior Nigeria Analyst, NNAMDI OBASI, provides some insight into what happened, the
relationship of the Shiite group with the government and with Sunni radicals, and whether the Nigerian government risks a second Boko Haram-style insurgency. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
2015: Africa for pessimists
Despite all the progress – and there is a lot of that – there are still plenty of bad African news stories. SIMON ALLISON looks at what has gone
wrong in 2015.
2015: Africa for Optimists
There has been plenty to celebrate in Africa this year, from successful elections and brave new leaders, to winning the fight against Ebola. SIMON
ALLISON looks at the best stories from an eventful year.
SA Nine-Hour endurance race: Playing Guitar with Bob Dylan … en

The Team Africa Le Mans Ginetta G55 driven by South African racing legend Sarel van der Merwe, Le Mans 24-hour winner Jan Lammers and Dr Greg
Mills finished first GT car home, second overall and won the Index of Performance in the South African Nine-Hour race at Killarney race track on Saturday 12 December 2015. This is their story. By GREG MILLS.
Press Ombudsman's rulings against Sunday Times vindicate Pillay and van

Three rulings by the Press Ombudsman that stories published by the Sunday Times with regard to a SARS “rogue unit” were “inaccurate, misleading
and unfair” vindicate former SARS acting commissioner Ivan Pillay and group executive Johan van Loggerenberg. The saga has tarnished the reputation of the country's biggest-selling newspaper which, it appears, was drawn into an elaborate
cloak-and-dagger campaign to discredit SARS. By MARIANNE THAMM.
Pravin Gordhan vs Sunday Times: Press Ombudsman finds paper in breach,
delivers a damning judgment

Press Ombudsman Johan Retief found on Tuesday that reporting by the The Sunday Times on the SARS “rogue unit” had been “inaccurate and unfair”, is
in breach of several sections of the Press Code and that the paper should apologise unconditionally to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Gordhan has come out guns blazing since his reinstatement as Finance Minister after President Zuma scored an own
goal firing Gordhan's successor, Nhlanhla Nene. Gordhan's surprise visit to SARS this week also sent a strong signal that we can expect more drama and fallout in coming weeks and months. By MARIANNE THAMM.
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