Van Rooyen out, Gordhan in. Country confused.

3 years ago

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First Thing with John Stupart

Monday, 14th December

“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. …We must be cautious.”
– Obi-Wan Kenobi, talking about the
presiden... Mos Eisley spaceport.

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While you were

In a fit of lucid action, President Jacob Zuma has appointed Pravin Gordhan as the new new finance minister. David van
Rooyen has been redeployed as minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs. The Democratic Alliance has called this a game of "Russian roulette" with the South African economy. If only Zuma's actions were so deliberate as to be
reduced to a rational act of probability... BBC
The Paris Climate Agreement has been signed. An initial examination of its release shows a global promise to be "really responsible" and aim towards lowering carbon emissions to levels the planet can tolerate naturally. With a
timeline for this specific promise set for somewhere between 2050 and 2100, don't hold your breath. The main focus, a reduction of global warming by two degrees Celcius, remains an immediate goal. DM
Chinese tycoon Guo Guangchang has re-emerged a week after disappearing into police custody. The head of the Fosun Group, the new owners of Club Med, said Guangchang had been arrested on unknown charges relating to his personal
affairs. At any rate, the Chinese equivalent of Warren Buffett has re-emerged, which is better than several other executives have done thus far, having disappeared entirely into the ether amid a Beijing-wide police crackdown. BBC
Far right French political candidates have been thoroughly defeated in the country's municipal elections. Despite showing promising support during initial polls and surveys, Marine Le Pen, leader of France's far right National
Front, was unable to celebrate a single victory at the polls. The anti-immigration, anti-establishment conservative organisation was ultimately defeated by a combination of voter antipathy and political maneuvering by more moderate, minor
individuals withdrawing from the vote and enabling a surge of support for socially saner candidates. WP
United States authorities have begun investigating FIFA. Media companies such as 21st Century Fox, for example, are now the focal point of prosecutors in a widening investigation. Large media houses appeared to have had generally
naughty interactions with marketing houses relating to FIFA-sanctioned events. At any rate, it appears floorboards are being lifted and the FIFA-related rats unveiled. Reuters
Financial Indicators:
Oil=$37.93 Gold=$1,074.77 Platinum=$840.30
R/$=15.33 R/€=16.78 R/£=23.21 $/€=1.09
JSE All Share=48,067.53 DJIA=17,265.21 FTSE 100=5,952.78: Source
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In Numbers

The rand's strength to the British pound. This is a full rand stronger, less than 12 hours since the announcement of Pravin Gordhan as the new new finance minister.
Coming Up
Today in 1900 Max Planck's law describing electromagnetic radiation was proposed. It has since remained a stalwart of modern physics
and quantum theory.
Eurasia discusses its affairs today. The Chinese-hosted 14th Shanghai Co-operation Organisation kicks off today.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens begins rolling out in cinemas worldwide. It will hit South African theatres on the 16th December.
Angela Merkel has to defend her relatively-tolerant immigration policy over the next two days. A Christian Democratic Union summit will challenge her policies and put the chancellor to the test.
Fact of the day: Harrison Ford was paid just $10,000 for Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. You can be sure he's getting a bit more
this time round.
Bloemfontein: min: 18° max: 30°, cloudy
Cape Town: min: 16° max: 27°, cloudy
Durban: min: 19° max: 24°, drizzle
East London: min: 20° max: 22°, rainy
Johannesburg: min: 18° max: 28°, evening rain
Kimberley: min: 17° max: 29°, cloudy
Nelspruit: min: 18° max: 24°, rainy
Pietermaritzburg: min: 11° max: 20°, rainy
Polokwane: min: 18° max: 28°, drizzle
Port Elizabeth: min: 12° max: 22°, drizzle
Pretoria: min: 19° max: 28°, cloudy
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The latest podcast of the Daily Maverick Audio Show (now on iTunes)

Now on Daily Maverick

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
Revolving finance ministers: Shock & continued calls for Zuma's

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
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

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

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

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

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

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

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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In case
you missed it
The madness of King Zuma
“Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.” Since the axing of Nhlanhla Nene as Finance Minister
Wednesday night, President Jacob Zuma had two public engagements where he could have given his troubled nation the assurance that there was some rationality behind his decision. At both the events he appeared detached from the spiralling crisis he
had singlehandedly engineered. It is plain to see that South Africa is not in safe hands. And yet Zuma has more power and security than ever. Perhaps it is us who are mad, as it us who are being destroyed. By RANJENI MUNUSAMY.
Casualties of Cola: THE MOVEMENT
Thabo Tsolo's house is a fading middle class property in a fading middle class neighbourhood in an old part of
Johannesburg, with views of the same mine-dumps around which South African Breweries was born. On a Sunday in late November, Tsolo’s outdoor carport was transformed into a command centre. The Tsolo residence served as the unofficial headquarters of
a movement called Golekane! (Tagline: Enuff is Enuff!) Inaugurated by Seipati Tsolo, Thabo’s wife, in 2012, Golekane! included at least 140 former ODs, the widows of eight deceased drivers, seven current contractors, and sundry lawyers and
politicians. It’s one of innumerable hashtag-free, self-generated special interest groups that assemble in communities across South Africa every weekend. Democracy at work; revolution by a thousand cuts; epic whinge-fest: call it what you like, but
Golekane! was formed to wrestle back a measure of the agency that was lost—Seipati would say stolen—when Thabo Tsolo signed that contract back in 2009.
Axing of Nene: A move that changed everything
One of the great arts of politics is the art of not making enemies. As you get more powerful, that becomes harder and
harder. The more power you have, the more your colleagues are affected by decisions you make, and thus the more they become rivals. Every re-shuffle of your Cabinet creates a loser, who in turn could become an enemy. It is one of the great dynamics
of democracy, it ensures no one stays on top for too long. But President Jacob Zuma appears to have forgotten this. (Or he does not care.) His sudden decision to remove Nhlanhla Nene from the position of Finance Minister has created him a whole new
list of very powerful enemies. People in the middle class primarily, but also in the ANC, too. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
#ZumaMustFall: South Africans react to the new finance

While new Finance Minister David van Rooyen was sworn in on Thursday, the President's decision to replace Nhlanhla Nene
was met with shock and disappointment. Some responses give President Jacob Zuma the benefit of the doubt, others see it as a symptom of a bigger problem that needs to be resisted. By GREG NICOLSON.
Axing of Nene: SA's Twittersphere voices country's fear and

In the twittersphere, the verdict is clear. South Africans are incensed by President Jacob Zuma’s dismissal of Nhlanhla
Nene. The public are taking the topic to heart. The ANC would be well advised to start damage control measures, immediately, in order to mitigate long-term harm. The question though is whether they even care about any harm that it might cause to
themselves or the country at this point. By KYLE FINDLAY.
Cartoon: How The Grinch stole Christmas!
No explanation necessary. By JERM.
Ole Blue Eyes: Frank Sinatra at 100
Sunday, 12 December is the hundredth anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s birth in Hoboken, New Jersey. Chairman of the Board
and ole Blue Eyes – the names he was often called - has left an indelible mark on American culture as J. BROOKS SPECTOR takes the measure of the man and his work.
ICG: For Aung San Suu Kyi, the real work begins now
The landslide victory for Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy was the easy part. The party’s limited
experience of government, a shallow pool of skilled technocrats and the difficulty of reforming key institutions all constrain how much can be achieved quickly. This is particularly important given the range of problems the country faces, any of
which have the potential to spawn crises. By the INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP.
Putting AB de Villiers back behind the stumps is risky

It is not that AB de Villiers cannot keep wicket for South Africa, it is just that putting so much extra pressure on the
team’s most reliable and prolific scorer seems a bit unnecessary when there is young talent waiting in the wings. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
Andrew Ihsaan Gasnolar: The appointment of 'The Nobody' shows how far we have

Pragmatism and the opportunity for the ANC and leaders in South Africa to take hold of this situation and deal with Zuma
decisively has been vastly diminished. We can no longer wait for someone to neutralise the most polarising and destructive leader, but rather we need to get off our laurels and do something profound.
Dirk de Vos: Nuclear Build: Do we really know what we are entering

In countries where nuclear power policy serves an overall energy policy that serves the public, and not the other way
around, no nuclear power plants are being built. Those part of the world that procure electricity using democratic, transparent and market-based methods do not build new reactors. It is not surprising. Nuclear energy is ruinously expensive, it is
always over budget (by a lot) and suffers interminable delays.
Mmusi Maimane: Nene’s axing: We can still avoid going over the

We’ve all seen the action movie where the bus slams through the bridge railing and is left teetering precariously over a
deep ravine. The smallest movement could send it crashing to the rocks below. The last thing you want in this situation is an unnecessary move. Everyone stays right where they are, and you think very carefully about how you can ease the vehicle back
from the edge.
Ismail Lagardien: We are stuck with Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma really, actually, represents the most basic instincts of the ANC. The movement remains committed to a strict
form of respect – what loyal members would refer to as “discipline” – patriarchy, and a crypto-traditionalism that does not question the dominant male in the community. By ISMAIL LAGARDIEN
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