Don't Shoot The Messenger

DAILY MAVERICK  |  Podcast , ±21 min episodes every 1 week, 3 days  | 
Don’t Shoot the Messenger is a podcast brought to you by South Africa’s leading independent news and analysis website, the Daily Maverick. We take you into the stories behind the stories, to give you a fresh view and new insight on some of the most important topics of the moment.

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18
OCT

The plot to blow up Koeberg, Part 1: The man with the blueprint

Professor Renfrew Christie risked death by hanging to spy on the apartheid government’s power stations - using his doctoral thesis as a pretext to gain access to the plants in order to gather intel. He became South Africa’s pioneering nuclear whistleblower. In this week’s episode, he explains how he wrote a confession read aloud in court to provide information on how Cape Town’s nuclear power station could be bombed without loss of human life.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger is produced by Haji Mohamed Dawjee and presented by Rebecca Davis with editing by Tevya Turok Shapiro, original theme music by Bernard Kotze and additional support by Kathryn Kotze.

This podcast has been sponsored by Investec.
11
OCT

The worst that could happen: How ready are we to face disaster?

On 26 September, Cape Town was rocked by tremors after an earthquake occurred off the South African coast. The incident was minor, but it got a lot of people wondering about South Africa’s preparedness in the event of a(nother) major disaster. In this episode, we speak to a disaster management specialist, an earthquake expert, and an activist who has been horrified for years by the risk posed by Koeberg nuclear power station.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger is produced by Haji Mohamed Dawjee and presented by Rebecca Davis with editing by Tevya Turok Shapiro, original theme music by Bernard Kotze and additional support by Kathryn Kotze.
04
OCT

In the Rough: Golf courses may be South Africa’s most wasteful luxury

When legal advocacy group Ndifuna Ukwazi launched a 2019 campaign to have Rondebosch Golf Club land re-allocated for affordable housing, it was revealed that the club was paying less than R1000 rent a year for hectares of public land. In this episode, we take a look at those crazy leases - and find that around the country, some golf courses on municipal land are paying as little as R20 rent per year. You read that right: R20 annually.

In this episode, we have no trouble making the case against golf in South Africa in 2020 - but in the interests of fairness, we take a look at the other side too.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger is produced by Haji Mohamed Dawjee and presented by Rebecca Davis with editing by Tevya Turok Shapiro, original theme music by Bernard Kotze and additional support by Kathryn Kotze.
27
SEP

QAnon: How the world’s fastest-growing conspiracy theory is spreading to SA

On this week’s show, we’re exploring the global movement called QAnon: a web of conspiracy theories, fantasies and lies which may have started in the head of a former tech journalist from Johannesburg, but which has spread to the United States Congress and the White House. And we’re looking at its growing hold on South African social media users too – many of whom may not even realise that they are playing into a vast and very dangerous game.

Additional Resources:
For further information on the possible true identity of Q, listen to episode 166 of the excellent podcast Reply All.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger is produced by Haji Mohamed Dawjee and presented by Rebecca Davis with editing by Tevya Turok Shapiro, original theme music by Bernard Kotze and additional support by Kathryn Kotze.
20
SEP

Roll-Call by Emoji: The battle to use technology to save SA’s schooling

A teacher logs on to a WhatsApp group at a specified time. All students who are present send emojis to indicate their readiness. And so class begins.

This is what education has looked like in some parts of South Africa during the Covid-19 lockdown, with teachers, NGOs and businesses scrambling to find ways to keep pupils learning from afar. The innovation is there, the technology is available, and online teaching does away with some of the practical problems which plague the local education system.

So in this week’s episode of our podcast, we’re asking: Could virtual learning offer the key to boosting South Africa’s schooling even in non-lockdown times?

Don’t Shoot the Messenger is produced by Haji Mohamed Dawjee and presented by Rebecca Davis with editing by Tevya Turok Shapiro, original theme music by Bernard Kotze and additional support by Kathryn Kotze.

NGOs and businesses mentioned in this episode:
Olico Mathematics Education: https://learn.olico.org/
Axium Education: https://www.axiumeducation.org/
Digicampus: https://www.digicampus.co.za/
13
SEP

Can life be normal after kidnapping by Al-Qaeda?

Stephen McGown is regarded as Al-Qaeda’s longest surviving hostage. Since his release in 2017, he has been putting his life back together, and is working on a book about his experience. In this episode, he discusses the profound strangeness of trying to readjust to normal life after losing 6 years - and his ultimate feelings on Al-Qaeda may surprise you.

Six Years With Al-Qaeda: The Stephen McGown Story will be published by Maverick 451 in late November. Keep an eye on the Daily Maverick website for further details.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger is produced by Haji Mohamed Dawjee and presented by Rebecca Davis with editing by Tevya Turok Shapiro, original theme music by Bernard Kotze and additional support by Kathryn Kotze.
06
SEP

Where are South Africa’s superheroes?

Your local bookstore will definitely stock ‘Harry Potter’, but when it comes to South African kids’ books featuring children of colour, all bets are off. The local publishing industry admits there’s a big problem - but just how big, nobody knows.

In this episode, we speak to local writers Buhle Ngaba and Mohale Mashigo about the crisis in representation that led to them creating their own work for South African children. Pan MacMillan publishers Miemie du Plessis and Sibongile Machika talk frankly about the issues - and also argue that the publishing industry is not entirely to blame.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger is produced by Haji Mohamed Dawjee and presented by Rebecca Davis with editing by Tevya Turok Shapiro, original theme music by Bernard Kotze and additional support by Kathryn Kotze.
30
AUG

Puff & Pass: The legal limbo of SA’s marijuana laws

Since a March 2017 Western Cape High Court ruling, you can’t be arrested for smoking marijuana within your own home in South Africa. But that doesn’t mean marijuana is legal: you still can’t buy it or sell it anywhere. It’s also been totally unclear how much weed you’re allowed to possess for your own use.

The courts gave Parliament two years to draw up the necessary laws to take South Africa out of legal limbo. With the deadline about to run out, a draft bill has been produced - which both weed advocates and lawyers say is a disaster. In this episode, we explore the ways in which users and businesses are currently exploiting the loopholes in law, and look at why the proposed legislation is problematic.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger is produced by Haji Mohamed Dawjee and presented by Rebecca Davis with editing by Tevya Turok Shapiro, original theme music by Bernard Kotze and additional support by Kathryn Kotze.
23
AUG

The Long-Haulers: When Covid-19 doesn’t go away

Seven months into the Covid-19 pandemic, frighteningly little is still known about this new disease. But one thing that is now clear is that Covid-19 is not simply a lung disease. It can attack the brain, the kidneys, the gut, the blood system and more. And for the people now known as the Covid Long-haulers, the effects of Covid-19 can persist for month after month - laying them low with over 60 separate physical symptoms. There are over half a million Covid Long-haulers in the UK alone, and it’s estimated that millions more are suffering around the world, including in South Africa.

In this episode, we speak to health activist Robin Gorna - herself a Covid Long-hauler - and infectious disease researcher Professor Francois Venter about the growing medical acceptance that Covid-19 can manifest as a long-term condition for which there is currently no treatment and no cure.
01
JUN

The New Underworld: How Covid-19 helps create new kinds of criminals

Lockdown conditions imposed all over the world have succeeded in halting certain types of illegal trade – but also given rise to new and expanded black markets.
And while some of them are relatively benign, others are anything but.

In this episode we’re taking a look at the Covid-19 underworld: how the global lockdown has both disrupted traditional black markets, but also birthed new kinds of criminals. We’re taking a trip to the underbelly of the Dark Web, where the illegal products for sale now include the blood of people who have tested positive for coronavirus; and we’re zooming in on one particular South African black market, the trade in abalone, to see what effects the lockdown has had on this type of illegal trade.

Additional audio:
The Most Trafficked Animal in The World is Probably One You've Never Heard Of, by Fusion Media

Motherhacker podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/motherhacker/id1487213874

Additional reading:

Coronavirus source found in pangolin meat, by Don Pinnock and Tiara Walters on Daily Maverick

South Africa’s abalone black market is being squeezed by Covid-19, by Kimon de Greef on Haika

Poacher: Confessions from the Abalone underworld, by Kimon de Greef and Shuhood Abader
24
MAY

Inside the bizarre world of the Zumas’ new YouTube series

“Zooming With The Zumas” is the real title of a real YouTube series offering the public a front-row seat to intimate video chats between former South African president Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzane.

In this episode, we rope in Daily Maverick journalist Marianne Thamm to help unpack the perplexing world of Zooming with the Zumas: fact-checking some of the confounding claims made by the Zumas, analysing what it tells us about their undeniably curious family dynamics, and interrogating what on earth the point of this strange production could be.

Additional audio:
Zooming With The Zumas on YouTube

Additional reading:
Duduzane’s Dubai Lockdown Diary - Everything But The Lost Years, by Marianne Thamm

Parts Two and Three, in which the Zuma Dynasty finds itself a hapless victim of circumstance, by Marianne Thamm
17
MAY

The Big Chill: What lockdown can teach us about the benefits of slowness

The great global slowdown imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing a slower pace of life on most of us, whether we like it or not. There’s something about hitting the brakes for this amount of time that can feel deeply anxiety-inducing - so we thought we’d use this moment to explore the benefits of taking it nice and slow.

In this week’s episode, we’re investigating the virtues of slowness: learning about the secrets of the world’s slowest mammals, exploring the delights of the Slow Food Movement, and hearing how the annual month of Ramadan brings a moment of calm and reflection to Muslim lives.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger is produced by Haji Mohamed Dawjee, presented by Rebecca Davis, edited by Tevya Turok Shapiro, with original theme music by Bernard Kotze and additional support from Kathryn Kotze.

Special thanks to Muhammad Dawjee for providing this week’s episode with original music from his soon to be released EP: Otherness.
Featured tracks in order of play:
Doublespeak
Neither
Dialect

Additional audio:
This American Life -

Additional reading:
All-Day Venison, a slow-food recipe by Tony Jackman

19 episodes

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