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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The ANC's left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing

This week on Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we discuss money in our politics, more specifically the high court’s decision to keep sealed the CR17 funding details, information on the funding of Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign for the ANC presidency. We ask, what is the decision’s affect on transparency and the role of money in our politics?

After that, we’ll try to make sense of the apparent broken telephone in the government’s security cluster in the wake of last week’s rioting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. Join our host Mike Siluma and his panel of experts: Dr Sithembile Mbete, senior lecturer of political sciences at the University of Pretoria; Franny Rabkin, Sunday Times legal correspondent; and Sibongakonke Shoba, Sunday Times politics editor, as they unpack SA's complex political landscape.

Unpacking SA's looting crisis: Would pardoning Zuma help or hinder efforts to bring calm to SA?

In this episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly, there can only be one topic worth delving into; this week we focus all our attention on SA's current looting crisis and how it came about. Was it organised? Is there a political agenda, who may be complicit and would pardoning former president Jacob Zuma escalate or calm the situation?  

We delve into all this and much more in this week's episode. 

Zuma's arrest presents Ramaphosa with a golden opportunity to shape the ANC in his image

It's arguable that this week has been one of the most important in the political history of democratic South Africa. The arrest of former president Jacob Zuma was seen as a representation of the tussle between the rule of law and the political elite. But what does Zuma's arrest mean for the ANC as a ruling party and political structure. In this week's Sunday Times Politics Weekly, our host Mike Siluma is joined by Wits School of Governance associate prof William Gumede, Sunday Times political correspondent Mawande Amashabalala, and Sunday Times parliamentary correspondent Thabo Mokone. The panel discusses the implications of Zuma's eventual arrest, what it means for our democracy and how it has changed the face of the ANC by all but destroying what was left of the parties RET faction.

‘Those defending Jacob Zuma have no moral basis on which to stand’ — political analyst

Supporters of former president Jacob Zuma fired gunshots in the air as they led a motorcade from Eshowe to his rural homestead of Nkandla in northern KwaZulu-Natal to lend him support on Thursday.

This after a momentous Constitutional Court judgment sentencing him to 15 months in prison for contempt of court.

In this episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we dive head-first into the former president’s sentencing, what kind of threat his supporters pose, what might have led to his decision to disobey a direct court order and his potential underlying motives for refusing to appear before the state capture inquiry. 

Is SA on the verge of becoming a failed state? 

In this week's episode of Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we ask the question: is SA on the brink of becoming a failed state? 

We speak to Associate Professor in the School of Governance at Wits University William Gumede, about the state of local governance and the collapse of basic service delivery. The conversation outlines how crucial local governance is to service delivery, job creation, investment and the overall functioning of the country as a whole.

We then turn our attention to Land Expropriation Bill, which is currently the subject of heated debate in parliament. We dissect the issue with our parliamentary correspondent Andisiwe Makinana, who has been tracking the story since its inception

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. 

106 episodes

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