Eusebius on TimesLIVE

Eusebius McKaiser, well-known broadcaster, author, and now also contributor and political analyst for TimesLIVE, hosts a weekly podcast that journeys to the heart of major news items, dissecting politics, law, and ethics.

Eusebius is known for sharp debate, and this podcast is no different. It will inform, entertain, explain and frame evidence-informed debates about the major stories of the week.

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No time to be complacent about the war against HIV/AIDS

In this edition of Eusebius on TimesLIVE, he was joined by Judi Nwokedi, Chair of the AIDS Consortium in South Africa, to take stock of the war against HIV/AIDS on World AIDS Day. South Africa has the largest antiretroviral rollout programme in the world. Yet, despite this achievement, Nwokedi warns against complacency.

She argues that it is a mistake to think of living with HIV as being akin to having any other chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. HIV comes with “a lot of excess baggage” unlike other chronic illnesses. In many families, it is still not spoken about and many people living with HIV experience derision from others. The war against HIV/AIDS, she warns us, will not end by 2030 if we do not deal stigma a fatal blow.

ActionSA grilled on decision to vote for DA mayors despite describing the DA as "dishonest"

Michael Beaumont, national chairperson of ActionSA, faced questions on Eusebius on TimesLIVE, about why his party had seemingly contradicted itself by describing the Democratic Alliance as dishonest over the weekend yet voting for its mayoral candidates this week. He attempted to defend their voting choices by drawing a distinction between supporting the DA per se and ensuring the African National Congress is cliffed, insisting the latter motivation trumps the "dishonesty" of the DA.

McKaiser also engaged him on the political differences between ActionSA and the DA, and he conceded that "there is overlap" between the parties but that there are also "values differences" such as their different positions on race. He characterised the DA as being colour-blind whereas ActionSA, by contrast, accepts and understands the historical reality of racialised identities. Beaumont conceded, however, that his party had yet to fully develop a clear identity beyond contesting the local elections.

McKaiser and Beaumont also explored other themes including the reality, which Beaumont conceded, that the party cannot survive without the leader Herman Mashaba, and that coalition arrangements are likely to be unstable because of a lack of political maturation within South African body politic. McKaiser, lastly, also pressured Beumont to explain reports of a journalist, Edwin Ntshidi, who had been sworn in as an ActionSA PR councilor, suggesting apparent unethical behaviour if the conflict of interest had not been declared while he was freelancing as a journalist during the elections. Beamont confirmed that the party is "investigating" the matter.

PA leader Gayton Mckenzie explains his rejection of DA, and embrace of ANC

In this first Afrikaans interview on Eusebius on TimesLIVE, McKenzie dodges bullets from Eusebius McKaiser who engaged him on his decision to form coalitions with the ANC in municipalities.McKenzie criticises both the DA and the ANC, but attempts to offer justification for why the ANC is preferable to work with despite its shoddy governance record.
McKenzie also explains his view that overlapping principles are irrelevant when forming coalitions, and that one should rather talk about the business of sharing membership of mayoral committees and other important portfolios and positions within councils.These powerful positions are necessary, he argues, to ensure tenders and job opportunities reach "[his] people”, referring in particular to coloured people, and working class and unemployed South Africans generally.He goes so far as to claim that he would even have been willing to negotiate with the erstwhile AWB, because leaders should rise above value differences when no-one received an outright majority.The discussion ended with a probe of the PA’s ultimate purpose.

PROFILE | Who is Sandile Mnikathi the 26 year old new deputy mayor-designate of uMngeni Municipality?

Eusebius decided to hang out with the Democratic Alliance's nominee for deputy mayor of uMngeni Municipality, Sandile Mnikathi.

Interestingly, he does not identify as a liberal but as a social democrat. On Eusebius on TimesLIVE he explained the difference. He also tells us about his personal biography and how, as the son of a domestic worker, he has come to live comfortably within a blended family featuring black and white family but which is not a life that is crudely reducible to race as such.

The discussion ended with a description of the plans for the Municipality, Mnikathi's response to those who think he is excitingly young but maybe too inexperienced for the job, and finally some thoughts on his academic journey including his research focus for his PhD which flows from his Master's work.

Rises and falls in a changed political landscape

Eusebius invited fellow columnist and veteran journalist and editor Peter Bruce to discuss the local government election results.
They explored a number of themes, including how the electoral hegemony of the ANC has been dislodged and what the political implications are. They also discussed the realities facing the DA and the EFF, that the electoral data clearly demonstrates that the two biggest opposition parties are not immune to voter discontent.
Bruce, who has observed elections here and in the UK for many decades, made an interesting argument about the massive potential of Herman Mashaba, leader of ActionSA, to get enormous financial backing from business leaders who have been secretly waiting to back an economically conservative black politician, and who can find that economic conviction and conservative politics in Mashaba.
They ended their discussion by stepping back from the details, and assessing the general state of the country’s democracy and its overall economic health. 

Mmusi Maimane outlines his pathway back to formal politics

Former DA leader and founder of One South Africa Movement Mmusi Maimane spoke to Eusebius McKaiser about how his exit from the DA has allowed him to grow, and with it his new “lit” persona on Twitter.

On Eusebius on TimesLIVE he also critiqued the electoral system and explained why reform is crucial to improve governance.

Maimane confirmed that he will return to formal politics next year and remarked that he is “not coy” about his political ambition. He explained why and how the results of Monday’s local government elections bolster his intuition about the limitations of the parties that dominate South African politics.

Herman Mashaba shares his value proposition for the city of Johannesburg 

In a wide-ranging discussion on Eusebius on TimesLIVE, ActionSA's mayoral candidate for Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, engaged host Eusebius McKaiser on his vision for the city.
Mashaba suggested he would prioritise both a skills audit and a lifestyle audit upon occupying the position of Johannesburg mayor in order to break corrupt patronage networks within the municipality. He explained what his views are on coalition politics and vehemently ruled out the possibility of a coalition with the ANC at any level of government. While open to local government coalitions with other parties, he also ruled out coalitions with the EFF at a national level in 2024 because of ideological differences.
Mashaba also responded to probing questions about how he might handle the effects of national energy insecurity and infrastructure decay.He ended the discussion with his reaction to the Constitutional Court judgment that declared police raids within the inner city, under his leadership, to have been unconstitutional. 

Cricket SA struggles to defend compulsory take the knee policy

In this episode of Eusebius on TimesLIVE, CSA's Lawson Naidoo joined the platform to explain their decision that it is compulsory for the Proteas to take a knee before their matches in a show of anti-racism solidarity.

McKaiser challenged Naidoo to explain what value such symbolism has if it is not voluntary. Naidoo conceded that the moral and political value of symbolism is diminished when it is mandatory.

Naidoo also confirmed that this new policy directive had been taken without consulting the players.

Lindiwe Mazibuko looks back on her political career and critiques current DA leadership

Sunday Times columnist and former Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko is the latest guest on Eusebius on TimesLIVE. They started off the conversation with Mazibuko reflecting on biases in media coverage of politics, including reinscribing violence against women politicians into the public sphere.

A big part of the dialogue focused on Mazibuko's hindsight reflections on her career in politics, before she critiqued the current leadership including an emphatic and fiery answer to the host asking her if she could vote for John Steenhuisen if he ran in her ward.

The interview ended with explorations of Mazibuko's views on political communication and tonality and, finally, whether abstaining from voting is sensible at all.

The DA's election strategy is at best incoherent and at worst reveals its unattractive traits

Veteran political analyst and elections expert Ebrahim Fakir (Director of Programmes at the Auwal Socio-economic Research Institute (ASRI) is the first guest on Eusebius on TimesLIVE. In a lively discussion about the Democratic Alliance's elections strategy, Eusebius and Ebrahim explored whether or not the DA has a coherent strategy, and whether it is, as former DA leader Tony Leon recently argues, based on pragmatism rather than identifiable political principles and values. Ebrahim explains why he thinks the DA's approach to the forthcoming elections is ineffective, and he and Eusebius puzzle through the dynamics of the party that stop it from capitalising on the governance weaknesses of the African National Congress.

10 episodes