Sunday Times Politics Weekly

TIMESLIVE PODCASTS  |  Podcast , ±30 min episodes every 1 week, 3 days  |  Broadcast schedule  | 
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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Is it possible to hold Zuma to account, despite the risk of unrest?

He left office more than four years ago but former president Jacob Zuma has remained a feature in SA's political and public life.
This week the Pietermaritzburg high court gave VBS Mutual Bank permission to seize Zuma’s assets to repay a loan of nearly R7m relating to the refurbishment of his Nkandla homestead.This follows his pending corruption trial and a separate court case on whether he should return to prison after being controversially released on parole by former prisons boss and supporter Arthur Fraser.
This week on Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we discuss the “Zuma phenomenon”.
Is it possible or even advisable to hold Zuma accountable before court? How has Zuma managed to have so much influence in SA? Should he face rearrest, will SA experience another 2021 July unrest scenario?
These are some topics discussed by host Mike Siluma and his panel — Sunday Times political writer Mawande AmaShabalala and independent political analyst Prince Mashele.

What will Kenya's recent election mean for SA?

Last week one of the more influential countries in East Africa, Kenya went to the polls to choose a new president. And, not for the first time, the outcome sparked controversy as current vice-president William Ruto narrowly defeated long-time campaigner Raila Odinga.
Odinga, who lost the August 9 presidential elections by a tiny margin, rejected the outcome of the vote and vowed to take constitutional steps to challenge it.
Odinga, 77, who was making his fifth run at the presidency and secured 48.9% of the vote to deputy president William Ruto’s 50.5%, said the head of the electoral commission didn’t follow due process, rendering the results declared “null and void”. 
The dispute and delay in the swearing-in of the new president poses a risk to political stability in East Africa’s largest economy.
 In this episode of the Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we unpack the significance of the result and its implications for the region and the continent, we are joined by Sunday Times correspondent Carien du Plessis and Associate Professor of International Relations and Political Sciences at the University of Johannesburg David Monyae.

Contestation for the Zulu throne is set to intensify

In March this year President Cyril Ramaphosa legally recognised Prince Misuzulu ka Zwelithini as the king-elect of the Zulu people, following the death last year of long-reigning King Goodwill Zwelithini ka Bhekuzulu. But subsequent events around the Zulu royal household suggest that the president’s decision does not enjoy universal support.
The Zulu royal household this week condemned an alleged planned entering of the cattle kraal (ukungena esibayeni) ceremony by Prince Simakade Zulu kaZwelithini set for this Saturday.
The ceremony is reportedly taking place just days before the same ceremony will be held for Prince Misuzulu kaZwelithini.Simakade is the late King Goodwill Zwelithini's first son, born out of wedlock. He was allocated a home within Zwelithini's palaces.
However, Zulu prime minister Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the event is illegal and a “foolish provocation”.
To talk about the rift, as well as the position of traditional authorities in a democratic dispensation, our host Mike Siluma is joined by lecturer in Public Policy and Political Science at UKZN Dr Fikile Vilakazi, and political correspondent for the Sunday Times Zimasa Matiwane. 

Why SA lambasted Eswatini government spokesperson for his comments on crime

This week on Sunday Times Politics Weekly we look at the strained relationship between SA and its neighbours due to an influx of foreigners accused of crime.
Recent cases include the gang rape of eight women in Krugersdorp, which has been blamed on illegal foreign miners, and Eswatini spokesperson Alpheous Nxumalo's comment that “South Africa is infested with a cancer of criminality from head to toe”.
Clayson Monyela, deputy director-general for public diplomacy, said Nxumalo had insulted South Africans.
Monyela joins host Mike Siluma to discuss these issues.

Step-aside issue set to dominate policy conference and influence ANC leadership

Today on the Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we look at one of most important events on this year’s political calendar – the ANC’s policy conference, which is in preparation for the organisation’s national conference in December.
Hypothetically, if the proposals of the policy conference are adopted in December, they should feed into government policy and impact directly your life and mine.
The question is whether the ANC is attuned to the problems faced by the country – or whether its leaders are living in a leadership bubble? Most analysts and commentators predict that the 'step-aside' policy, which requires ANC members charged with serious crimes to recuse themselves from their posts within 30-days or be forcefully removed, will steal the limelight this weekend. The so called 'step-aside' issue, is suggested as being a yardstick with which to gauge President Ramaphosa's support base within the ANC, ahead of the all important December leadership conference. In this episode we consider the significance of the ANC's policy conference in 2022, what we are expecting from the conference, the significance of the step-aside policy and what this all means for Ramaphosa and the country. 
Joining our host,Mike Siluma, to discuss these critical issues is Sunday Times political reporter Kgothatso Madisa, as well as Associate Professor at the School of Governance, Wits University William Gumede.

A province run by personal politics - what to expect from the ANC KZN conference

This weekend, the ANC in KwaZulu Natal holds its provincial conference, as part of the build up to the all-important ANC national Conference in December, which will, among other things choose a new leader for the organisation – and by extension, the new leader of the country.

On the Politics Weekly this time we look at the significance of the conference, and also at the key players and factions squaring up. We consider important questions such as what kind of support is president Cyril Ramaphosa likely to receive, the hold former president Jacob Zuma has over the area and the framing of KZN's political landscape in 2022. 

Gun control in SA: To arm or not to arm? 

As the nation mourns the deaths of 21 people in three separate shooting incidents at various taverns at the weekend, the silence around gun control in SA's political arena is coming to the fore. A report by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime released late last year, found that SA has an estimated 2.35-million illegal firearms in circulation. Most of these weapons become instruments of violent crime and come directly from state departments and domestic homes. 

Host Mike Siluma holds a gun-control conversation with Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime researcher Jenni Irish-Qhobosheane, Gun Free SA representative and former SAPS commander Jeremy Vearey and firearms legal expert Martin Hood

“The state remains captured,” says Madonsela while explaining the need for amnesty for state capture foot soldiers

With the work of the State Capture Commission finally concluded, this episode of the Sunday Times Politics Weekly is set aside for a one-on-one with the catalyst for the commission, former public protector who recommended the establishment of a commission into state capture Professor Thuli Madonsela.
Madonsela opens up to our host, Mike Siluma, about the importance of whistle-blowers in protecting the integrity of our democracy, why she feels amnesty should be given to certain enablers of state capture, what Ramphosa ought to have done about the ‘Farmgate’ scandal and more.

Farmgate - 'the ANC needs to step aside', says analyst

In today’s instalment of the Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we look at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s predicament, in the wake of the scandal over a burglary on his Phala Phala farm two years ago. The scandal was set off by the laying of charges including bribery, kidnapping and money laundering, among others. The controversy which has been dubbed 'Farmgate', 'Mattressgate' or even 'Dollargate', now threatens to topple the ANC.
In this episode we consider the likelihood of President Ramaphosa's political career being able to withstand the proverbial storm. We also consider the implications the scandal has had on the inner dynamics of the ANC and the trust voters have in the party. 
For today’s conversation, our host Mike Siluma, is joined by Sunday Times  Political Reporter Kgothatso Madisa, lecturer in Public Policy and Political Science at UKZN Dr Fikile Vilakazi, as well as Associate Professor at the School of Governance, Wits University William Gumede.

Is SA ripe to be captured... again?

This week the country was abuzz with the news that the villains of the state capture story in SA, the Gupta brothers, had been arrested in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), pending extradition to SA.
In this weeks episode of the Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we ask how soon they might be brought back to SA – and whether the country is ripe to be captured again by other nefarious interests?
Our host Mike Siluma is joined by Sunday Times investigative reporter Thanduxolo Jika, political analyst and Unisa politics lecturer Prof Dirk Kotze, as well as author and professor of political theory at Wits University Prof Lawrence Hamilton.

Ramaphosa vs Fraser - disinformation campaign or presidential scandal?

This week the former head of the State Security Agency Arthur Fraser dropped what looked like a political bombshell – laying criminal charges against President Cyril Ramaphosa. 
According to a statement released by Fraser, he has pressed criminal charges against President Ramaphosa which include defeating the ends of justice, torture, kidnapping and bribery.

However, the presidency quickly rebutted these claims saying that while a robbery did take place at his farm in Limpopo on or around February 9 2020 in which proceeds from the sale of game were stolen, Ramaphosa rejects claims that he was involved in any criminal conduct over the theft of millions of dollars at his farm in 2020.
Ramaphosa holds that he was attending an AU summit in Addis Ababa at the time the incident occurred. He claims that the allegations are simply a disinformation campaign. 
On this week's episodes of the Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we consider who Arthur Fraser is in our political landscape, why he might make these claims now, who might gain from a 'disinformation campaign', why Ramaphosa might keep such a large amount of cash on a farm and the political implications for SA should Ramaphosa be made to step aside. J

Zweli Mkhize’s dangerous tribalistic approach to winning the ANC presidency 

Embattled former health minister Zweli Mkhize used his son’s wedding, over the weekend, as a mini rally to launch his bid to unseat President Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC’s national conference in December this year.
A group of Zulu regiments, along with controversial former Ukhozi FM presenter Ngizwe Mchunu, took turns to endorse his campaign at his homestead in Willowfontein, Pietermaritzburg. This week on the Sunday Times Politics Weekly, we look at the question of ethnicity or tribalism in SA politics, particularly in the ruling ANC. Of course, we’ll also discuss the danger it poses to nation building.
Our host Mike Siluma, is joined by lecturer in Public Policy and Political Science at UKZN Dr Fikile Vilakazi, as well as Sunday Times Politics Editor Sibongakonke Shoba to unpack this important issue. 

149 episodes

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