Sunday Times Politics Weekly

The weekly political show by top journalists of the Sunday Times discussing the week's biggest stories, toughest topics in a tight and guided conversation.

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Now we know SA was captured, but will knowing change anything? 

Last week the Commission into State Capture, led by chief justice Raymond Zondo delivered its fourth report into state capture. So, in this episode of the Sunday Times Politics Weekly we reflect on the outcomes of the commission’s work, and whether SA is a better place after its revelations.

SA's political shift to racial & ethnic tribalism 

Racial politics and the rise of ethnic pride, are on the agenda for the Sunday Times Politics Weekly, this week.

Recently, a new organisation, purportedly standing for the rights of coloured people, or the 'brown people', as it put it, was announced. It was met with skepticism from many quarters. We looks at the question of group identity, specifically so-called coloured identity, as part of our national conversation.

Joining our host, Mike Siluma, are journalist, academic and author of “Too White to be Coloured, Too Coloured to be Black”, Ismail Lagardien and long-time social and labour activist and former deputy general secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers Karl Cloete.

The panel untangles racial politics, the feeling of othering that the coloured community in SA is subject to, the danger or ethnic and racial tribalism and the undeniable decline of nonracialism as a form of popular thinking in SA. 

Ramaphosa's Catch-22 in dealing with 'ethically challenged' ANC members

President Cyril Ramaphosa has campaigned on a policy of clean governance, but when it comes to cleaning up the ANC he seems to be all bark and no bite. 
This week on the Sunday Times Politics Weekly, our panel looks at the question of ethics in political and other leadership in society.
Why? Because, as you may know, the ANC in Mpumalanga has elected someone who is facing charges of murder — treasurer Mandla Msibi — flying in the face of Ramaphosa’s campaign to clean up the party’s tarnished image.
While Ramaphosa had words with the voting delegates during his closing address, little was done to prevent the appointment. In this week's discussion, we ask if it is too much to expect ethical political leadership in SA. Who — if any — of our politicians are for clean governance, and why Ramaphosa would not intervene in an appointment with his own reputation on the line? 

The rise of vigilantism and the decay of formalised governance

Today on the Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we consider the harm and the need for vigilantly groups, such as Operation Dudula, in modern SA society.
Recently, we had a conversation about the challenges of managing immigration in our country, and touched on the activities of organisations such as Operation Dudula, which campaign to give priority to South Africans when it comes to job and business opportunities.
Dudula is again in the news, following the arrest of its leader, Nhlanhla 'Lux' Dlamini.
his week, we ask whether there is a leadership vacuum in our society, which leaves space for groups like Dudula to flourish. Are vigilantly groups necessary to enforce the law in SA? What dangers accompany vigilantism? What is the difference between citizen policing or a citizens arrest and what Operation Dudula has been doing? 

SA’s obligation to foreign allies - “Let’s solve our own problems”

This week on the Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we are looking at the controversy surrounding our country’s R50m donation to the republic of Cuba, which has been interdicted by the courts.

The panel discusses what our legal and ethical obligations are to allied foreign countries. Can South Africa afford to help others when its own house is not in order? If we do not look to maintain foreign relationship, will our allies still support us when we need aid? 

Government's failures are to blame for tensions between locals and foreigners, say commentators

This week on the Sunday Times Politics Weekly we talk matters immigration, more specifically the activities of the group calling itself Operation Dudula and the Dulula Movement , which have been campaigning against what they calls 'illegal foreign traders' and the employment of undocumented foreign workers.

This week our host Mike Siuluma is joined by Shenilla Mohamed Executive Director of Amnesty International, Prof Rothney Tshaka Director of the School of Humanity at  UNISA, as well as Naledi Shange a Senior Sunday Times journalist, who has been following the Dudula Movement closely.

ANC National Conference: Who are the frontrunners, in a leaderless ANC?

This week on the Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we thought we should catch up on the build up to arguably the major political event of the year – the ANC’s elective conference taking place in December.

Among other things, we look at the state of play in the provinces, the lack of skilled leadership within the party, as well as the names of some of the candidates bubbling to the top.

SA's foreign policy flip-flopping sends poor message to allies

SA’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has divided public opinion. Some felt our response was too tepid, while others supported Pretoria’s call for a negotiated solution. In this week’s episode of the Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we explore the government’s rationale, as well options open to it.

Our host, Mike Siluma is joined by Prof Daniel Bradlow from the University of Pretoria and co-editor of the book Values, Interests and Power: South African foreign policy in uncertain times, as well as Caiphus Kgosana the Sunday Times Opinions editor. The panel sits down to discuss SA's standing on the international stage, what indecisive foreign policy does to that standing and where SA should position itself.

Is the ANC too big to fail or to broken not to?

In this week’s episode of the Sunday Times Politics Weekly we are talk about the state of the African National Congress – and how that impacts our national life. This off the back of the assertion by former president Thabo Mbeki that the collapse of the ANC would have dire consequences for the country.

Is he right in that assertion? Or the ANC itself become a threat to the well-being of the country and its people?

Is the State of the Nation Address just an empty ritual? Should we abolish it?

In this week's episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly we are reflecting on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address, and asking if we need to maintain an event that seems to be nothing more than a political ritual.

Our host Mike Siluma is joined by UniSA political lecturer Dr Dirk Kotze and Associate Prof with the School of Governance at Wits University William Gumede. The panel concludes that the vision is there politically, but the state simply does not have capacity. They also find that Ramaphosa avoids direct rule or declarations strategically, to avoid putting his head on the political chopping block.

The uncertain future of prosecutions, for those implicated in the state capture reports

When the majority of a country is “captured” who is left to hold those responsible to account?
This week on the Sunday Times Politics Weekly podcast, we’re reflecting on the Zondo commission’s reports so far. Now that we have a clearer understanding of the effects of state capture in SA, our panel asks: who should we be holding accountable and is SA’s justice system up to the task?
In this riveting episode our host, Mike Siluma, is joined by political journalist Mawande AmaShabalala and associate professor with the School of Governance at Wits University William Gumede.
The panel discusses the likelihood of any action being taken against those implicated in state capture, the political willingness to make heads roll in an ANC leadership election year and whether the commission was money well spent for the country.

Is Lamola really too young to lead or has the ANC let down its youth leaders?

In this episode of the Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we’ll be looking at the ANC’s succession race, which is under way in all but name. Apart from the obvious names, such as President Cyril Ramaphosa and tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu, another name that has come up is that of justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola.

This week we consider the “youth factor” in ANC leadership and whether the party should have more young people in its leadership ranks.
Is Lamola really jumping the succession queue by wanting to form part of the ANC's top leadership? Where did the idea of queuing originate, and is Lamola really to young to be considered for top leadership, or has the ANC let its youth members down?

124 episodes

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