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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Money makes the world go round - A broke ANC and a desperate diamond digging populous

This week's top political stories have revolved around the all mighty Rand. It's no secret that SA's economy has been under strain and it seems that everyone - from paupers to politicians - have been trying to recover. 

This week on Sunday Times Politics Weekly we discuss the ruling party's shrinking purse. This after scores of disgruntled staffers took to the streets at the party’s headquarters, Luthuli House in the Johannesburg CBD, on Tuesday to air their grievances over late and unpaid salary payments, provident funds, medical aid and other “unfair” labour practices. What do the ANC's recent money woes mean for the party? 

We also discuss the unofficial 'diamond rush' underway in Kwa-Zulu Natal, where more than 1,000 fortune seekers have flocked to the village of KwaHlathi in search of what they believed to be diamonds after a discovery of unidentified stones in the area. Despite the fact that these stones have not been authenticated and that mining them with out proper authorization is illegal, hundreds of desperate South African's have be spending their days trying to gather as many precious rocks as they can. 

Another Covid-19 corruptions scandal: Is it naïve to expect politicians to be ethical? 

Another week passes in SA, and with it another Covid-19 corruption allegation rears its ugly head, this time in relation to the mass sanitising of Gauteng schools in 2020.

The presses are still hot with the news of health minister Zweli Mkhize’s special leave over the controversial R150m Digital Vibes contract.

As the country grew accustomed to that news, yet another allegation of fraud and corruption related to SA’s handling of the pandemic has arisen.

In a matter of weeks, the directors of seven companies contracted to decontaminate Gauteng schools during last year’s Covid-19 lockdown blew through more than R40m in a spending spree that included designer watches, jewellery, luxury cars, plastic surgery, investment policies and paying off home loans.
In this week’s episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we confront the latest allegations, and check in with our disgraced health minister. 

Is the ANC doomed because it failed to raise a new generation of moral leaders?

There can be little doubt that the ANC is currently negotiating its way through a crisis. Consistent infighting, ideological rifts and corruption allegations seem to be the norm for the party. 
In this episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we consider what it means to be an ANC member, what turmoil in the ANC means for the rest of SA and whether the party has any viable leaders to take them into the future.
We also discuss the fiasco that unfolded at the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand, where chaos broke out, not over the advancement of our continent, but over power and positions. Should it shut up shop for a while?

A lie of politicians - unpacking SA's latest corruption scandals

The collective noun for politicians is a lie of politician, and given the political week SA has had, it's little wonder why.

From allegations of irregular spending that seem to have tainted health minister Zweli Mkhize illustrious political career, to the the circus around former president Jacob Zuma's corruption trial and finally to the seemingly unending State Capture Commission. No one could be blamed for losing track. 
In this weeks episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly, our host Mike Siluma breaks down the biggest political stories of the week with his panel of journalists, experts and analysts.

Public sector wages: Government blinked first — what does this mean for SA?

What you will hear:

(01:41)The government has tabled a revised offer of a 1.5% salary hike and a R978 cash gratuity for a year in a bid to end the stalemate in the public sector wage negotiations. This after almost three months of deadlocked talks at the Public Sector Co-ordinating Bargaining Council as the state previously insisted on a 0% salary hike and a wage freeze for the next three years — citing a fiscal cliff. This week we consider what impact this decision will have on South Africa's economy and where government will recoup the money they have offered over to unions.  

(14:10) The ANC’s current 'cash crunch' and its political implications. Is it possible for the ruling party to function without funds? What could this mean for the ANC's political future? 

(19:08) An Update on the, seemly never ending, State Capture Commission. The Commission is due to finalise its interviews next week, but are we in for yet another extension of proceedings? 

Can Luthuli House bounce back without a split?

(01:30) With the National Executive Committee having confirmed ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule’s suspension, we consider if president Ramaphosa has managed to knocked out Magashule, or if Magashule is just down but not yet out. We consider whether Magashule will apologise for the falsified suspension letter he sent to the president and what this internal conflict means for the future of Luthuli House and the the muster of the ANC constitution.
(14:40) In the wake of fractional battles within the ANC, our politics team considers if the party can repair itself without splitting up. In leaked audio, former president Thabo Mbeki suggests that the ideological differences with party cannot be overcome and our analysists feel the same way. 
(17:20) As the State Capture Commission slowly begins to winddown to a close, the every-day-joe's came to realise that SA's intelligence services have been in the pocket of the powerful. Our dedicated State Capture Commission reporter Mawande Amashabalala unpacks the updates from the past week's testimony. 
(25:30) Finally the team supplies us with a Zulu royal succession update. Can South Africa expect a new king and a new era, or is the country still going to bare witness to infighting within the royal AmaZulu family over the coveted throne?

‘Ramaphosa is a boxer’ — what the step-aside saga says about President Cyril  Ramaphosa’s power within the ANC

SA has had a dramatic political week.In this episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly, the Sunday Times politics team guides you through the ins and outs of SA’s biggest political news stories of the week.
(01:56) The latest updates from the state capture inquiry, including Lucky Montana’s funding allegations against the ANC. We discuss what the allegations by the former CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA mean for political funding in the country.
(13:05) We take a deep dive into the step-aside issue and ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule’s suspension. We consider what the saga indicates about fractional battles within the ANC and the strength of Ramaphosa heading into the weekend’s national executive committee meeting. 

Ramaphosa's time in the hot seat, Ace's head on the chopping block & do politicians need to be educated?

SA has had a dramatic political week. In this episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly, the Sunday Times politics team guides you through the ins and outs of SA's biggest political news stories of the week.

(01:14) The conversation begins with the Sunday Times politics team dissecting President Ramaphosa's responses before the State Capture Commission. The team considers if Ramaphosa did enough to prevent state corruption during his time as Deputy President and what his action tell us about him as a leader. 

(19:09) The team also discusses the controversial 'step-aside' issue brewing within the ANC. They consider what might become of ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, now that his grace period has lapsed. Will he step-aside peacefully or attempt to test the issue further?  

(22:34) Finally, spurred on by recent allegations of misrepresentation within the DA, the team asks how important it is for political leaders to receive a higher education or form of training.

What's behind Zuma's legal team's withdrawal, who will be left if step-aside action is taken & the burglary at

SA has had a dramatic political week. In this episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly, the Sunday Times politics team guides you through the ins and outs of SA's biggest political news stories of the week.

(01:09) The latest updates from the state capture commission, including the brazen burglary of the state capture inquiry administration offices in Parktown, where one computer and a monitor screen were taken. Is the robbery a gambit to derail the work of the commission? 

(12:18) Former president Jacob Zuma's legal problems mount by the day. Lawyers acting for Zuma in his corruption trial due to start next month filed a formal notice of withdrawal in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Wednesday. Reasons have not been given but we speculate as to what the reasons might be.  

(19:46) While former president Jacob Zuma seems to have lost popularity, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule seems to be more popular than ever, as his supporters fight to keep him in the ANC. We discuss the ongoing step-aside issue and consider who might be left in the ANC if the step-aside rule is enacted. 

Zondo's state capture circus, ANC factional battles & Judge Pillay in the hot seat

SA has had a dramatic political week. In this episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly, the Sunday Times politics team guides you through the ins and outs of SA's biggest political news stories of the week.

(01:28) The latest updates from the state capture commission, including the failure of the estranged wife of former finance minister Malusi Gigaba, Norma Mngoma, to appear before the commission.

(09:59) KwaZulu-Natal judge Dhaya Pillay's need to defend her private financial investments, her “friendship” with Pravin Gordhan and a lunch she had with Jacob Zuma at his homestead in Nkandla during her interview with the Judicial Service Commission on Tuesday.

(26:50) How comfortable should President Cyril Ramaphosa feel in his post, with the likes of Ace Magashule or Jessie Duarte in the post of ANC secretary-general? 

Andile Lungisa talks about prison and continues to defend Jacob Zuma

In this episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we bring you an exciting interview between our host Mike Siluma and convicted former ANC councillor Andile Lungisa.Former ANC Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Lungisa was recently released from jail on parole. His release has angered many South Africans who took to social media to call out the ruling party for “wasting taxpayers' money”. 

In this episode, Lungisa talks to us about the incident that lead to his conviction, his time in jail and his plans going forward. He also defends his recent warning to President Cyril Ramaphosa to halt attacks on former president Jacob Zuma to preserve "national unity". 

Trucking protests: justified or economic sabotage?

Tensions in the trucking industry have reached boiling point after a 45-year-old truck driver was shot and killed on Monday night, the latest in a string of attacks that has seen at least 30 trucks targeted in the past week.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken out against the carnage on SA's roads as truck drivers and companies have come under attack amid a spate of vehicle hijackings and protests by those calling for the removal of foreign truck drivers.

In today's episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly, the politics team considers if there are any merits to this kind of protest and what implications these protests have for the political structure of the country. 

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