SCIENCE INSIDE: Zuma, a traditional man?

It’s no secret that Jacob Zuma is a traditional man. With rumours that his health is failing, we wondered whether our president would turn to Western medicine or traditional African medicine should he become seriously ill. We spoke to a traditional healer, a medical doctor and a researcher.

The Science Inside, the show that goes inside the science of major news events, is produced by Paul McNally, Anina Mumm, DJ Keyez and Lutfiyah Suliman for The Wits Radio Academy.

Tune in live to VowFM every Monday at 6pm.

If the full podcast does not load automatically, please click here.


ELECTIONS: Nkandla resident casts his vote for the party that brought water and gas to his family

NKANDLA VOTES: Voter and Nkandla resident James Dlalala voted ANC at Jan Hoffmayer community Centre. Photo: Luke Matthews

NKANDLA VOTES: Nkandla resident James Dlalala voted ANC at  the Jan Hofmeyer community centre today. Photo: Luke Matthews

James Dlalala is from the town of Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal and today he cast his vote in Johannesburg as part of the national general elections.

Voting almost 500 kilometres away from the town that is the talk of the election period this year, Dlalala admits he was not persuaded to vote for any other party but the African National Congress (ANC) despite the negative publicity around Nkandla.

“We didn’t have gas and water before the ANC,” said  healthcare worker Dlalala.

Despite the controversy surrounding the security upgrades to President Zuma’s homestead in Nkandla, Dlalala is adamant that the ANC  “has helped South Africans more than it has damaged them,” citing the building of hospitals in rural KwaZulu-Natal as one of the developments that has been introduced to the area.

Dlalala, who is from the section of iPholela in Nkandla, insists the report released last month by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is not an accurate representation of President Jacob Zuma. “I don’t trust that this is the truth … Nkandla is a beautiful place”.

After casting his vote at  the Jan Hofmeyer community centre in Vrededorp, Dlalala was not shy to say: “I don’t breathe in the DA – it is difficult to speak on the DA.”



South Africans drown Mandela sorrows in boos


Some of the crowd at FNB Stadium jeered the South African President Jacob Zuma during former president Nelson Mandela’s memorial. Photo: Shandukani Mulaudzi.

An unruly crowd spoiled proceedings at what was meant to be a sombre memorial for former president Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg today.

On the day on which South Africans gathered with international visitors to unite in memory of Madiba, a significant portion of the mourners at FNB Soccer Stadium was unable to hide their dissatisfaction with the current South African president Jacob Zuma.

As dignitaries from around the world including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and former South African president Thabo Mbeki were shown arriving for the memorial the crowd cheered them on enthusiastically but Zuma’s image on the large screens around the stadium was treated with loud booing and jeering.

Deputy-president of the African National Congress (ANC) Cyril Ramaphosa appealed to the crowd to be disciplined but as he did so, an image of US President Barack Obama was shown to which the crowd responded with cheers. Immediately afterwards, Zuma was shown again to further booing.

The crowd became more restless when the screens stopped focusing on the speakers on the stage. During Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s speech singing erupted from the stands. The African Union chair’s speech was interrupted by Ramaphosa who yet again appealed for quiet.

The disruptive behaviour persisted during the rest of the program although US President Barack Obama’s speech received more attention and applause.

Soon after Obama’s speech though large groups of people made their way out of the stadium.

“Where is the Ubuntu?”

Ramaphosa finally resorted to speaking in Isizulu and pleaded for the crowd to be disciplined and refrain from embarrassing the country in front of foreign guests.

One South African journalist was overheard saying: “Some in the country are so angry that even Mandela’s spirit of unity can’t silence people.”

People on Twitter expressed their disappointment in the crowd’s behaviour.

Mel Msane (@mel_msane) tweeted:“Buphi Ubuntu” – “Where is the Ubuntu?”. Liesl Frankson (@LieslFrankson) said: “This is so ridiculous why can’t people respect that this is not about the president and former president it’s about #Madiba!! Stop booing!”.

Wits vice-chancellor Professor Adam Habib (@adhabb) tweeted: I am not sure it is that it is appropriate to boo Zuma at Madiba’s memorial. This is Madiba’s day. We should not be distracted from this. ”

Attention then turned to concern for what would happen during the President’s keynote. A praise poet made an unscheduled but welcome appearance in order to introduce Zuma but this did little to settle the restless crowd. Zuma’s appearance thereafter was briefly greeted with more booing but the crowd quietened as he spoke and he concluded to some applause.

Editorial: Where are our leaders?

Picture by Bafana Mahlangu for Sunday World

In the wake of the Lonmin massacre, South African political “leaders” came crawling out the woodwork, just as predictably as the tow trucks arrive as soon as there is a car accident.

They slithered out of their luxury sedans, surrounded by bodyguards, prepping their insincere, disingenuous speeches on their iPads, breathing in the desperation and tragedy that surrounded them thinking only one thing: good time to earn brownie points and point fingers at my enemies.

Of course there will be an investigation. Probably with a dedicated paid team, which will then have a sub-committee, which will then hold endless meetings without coming to any conclusion that will bring back the dead or even prevent something similar from happening in the future.

Where are our leaders? Where are our voices of reason who can guide us through the difficult political, social and economic times? They do not have to be any particular race, religion or speak any specific language, but they need to have the needs of the entire country as their main focus. I would argue that there is not one single leader in SA at the moment that has our best interests at heart and is willing to act to make them so.

We are now sitting with “leaders” who prioritise making profits off tenders over delivering textbooks. “Leaders” who have kept at one point three corrupt police chiefs employed while they exhaust the legal system with endless retrials and legal challenges.

Perhaps the reason the whole country idolises Madiba to the point of deification is because we have no one to look up to after he’s gone. While no one ever had to reach the standard he set, the fact that no one has even come close is a sad prospect for the youth of our country.

Last week Friday, thought leaders came together for the Ruth First memorial lecture. Not one, ANC-inclined included, praised the wonderful, strong leadership in our country. In fact, a lot of discussion revolved around where it even was.

As university students we have an incredibly important role in our country’s future, and if no one from the generation above us is going to take the mantle of balanced, controlled, and inspired leadership, we will have to mould into them ourselves without any guidance.

This week we will have a new SRC. Let us hold them up to the standard we expect from our country’s leadership. Hopefully they will turn into the kinds of leaders we can be proud of who will lead us into a future where political mileage isn’t gained out of tragedy.

New AU Head of Commission just the woman for the job


South Africa’s minister of home affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma recently elected head of the African Union’s (AU)secretariat will have to use her experience in creating efficient administrations to move the organisation forward according to local analysts.

Dlamini-Zuma was elected head of the AU commissionafter a drawn out battle between herself and Jean Ping of Gabon. Tension between Francophone and Anglophone countries was allegedly the cause of the six-month long voting process which pitted the leaders against each other for votes.

Receiving 60% of the votes on 15 July, Dlamini-Zuma became the first South African and the first woman to chair the AU since its inception 49 years ago as the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

Dlamini-Zuma is a qualified medical doctor who finished her degree at Bristol University whilst in exile during Apartheid. She took on the post of Minister of Health after Apartheid ended.

In 1999, after Nelson Mandela retired as president of the republic, Dlamini-Zuma became Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Since Dlamini-Zuma took over control of the Department of Home Affairs as minister in 2009, she has been largely credited for making dramatic positive changes to the department, which has historically been riddled with corruption and inefficiency.

It has not yet been decided whether or not Dlamini-Zuma will remain in this post now that she is the AU Head of the Commission.

Prince Mashele, an analyst at the Centre for Politics and Research, who worked with Dlamini-Zuma’s ministry when she was foreign minister told the Mail and Guardian: “She takes her work very seriously … She has the rare quality of putting up very good administrators.”

Gwede Mantashe, secretary general of the ANC, noted that while the AU has made some very important decisions to move the continent forward, they have had trouble implementing them in the past.

Dlamini-Zuma’s experience in creating efficient administrations and her notorious stern, no-nonsense attitude makes her a suitable candidate for the job.

Congratulations came from all corners of the world, including South African President and Dlamini-Zuma’s ex-husband, Jacob Zuma.

“It means a lot for Africa … for the continent, unity and the empowerment of women,” Zuma said to Aljazeera.

The African Union Commission is the secretariat of the AU. Other bodies within the organisation include a Pan-African Parliament, currently based in Johannesburg, and a newly developed Peace and Security Council.

The President’s Privates

The artwork depicting president Jacob Zuma with his penis exposed has caused quite a stir this past weekend. Here’s a round-up of the controversy.