On Tuesday, 29 June 2021, the Constitutional Court of South Africa handed down a judgment that carried a 15-month jail sentence for South Africa’s former President, Jacob Zuma. The judgment was in relation to Zuma failing to honor an appearance at the Commission into State Capture and as such being in contempt of court. Among the Judges that handed down the judgement and sentence were Judge Chris Jafta, who gave a strong dissenting judgment against the majority judgment to sentence Zuma. Jafta partly argued that the majority judgment was unconstitutional.
Jafta was celebrated by Zuma supporters and hailed as being “not captured” by capital interests and anyone opposing the former president.
Fast forward two days on the same week on 1 July 2021, Judge Jafta was the Justice now responsible to deliver judgment on whether South Africa’s current President, Cyril Ramaphosa, did indeed mislead parliament regarding the funding and donors towards his campaign to be elected the leader of the ANC in 2017. This follows South Africa’s Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, changing the wording of the Executive Ethics Code to conclude that President Cyril Ramaphosa had inadvertently or deliberately misled the legislature. In a majority judgment, Jafta, along with six other Constitutional justices, dismissed the Public Protector’s appeal against the Pretoria High Court’s judgment’s dismissal of the same case. In delivering the judgment, Jafta said that the Public Protector was wrong on the facts and the law and said the high court was right to set aside her finding that Ramaphosa misled parliament.
Jafta, barely two days after opposing the Zuma judgment, was now deemed a WMC (White Monopoly Capital) puppet by the same people who hailed him a hero a couple of days earlier.
If you have been following South African politics, or politics in any country in Africa for long enough, you will realize that much of the discussions, sentiments, or opinions are mostly generally not about the merits of the topic at discussion but rather the narrative that is being pushed. It appears that we generally view political matters through a lens of a narrative that we hold and from that point onwards, our dominating narrative determines our views.
In my humble opinion, this is not a productive way to discuss political matters. Beyond our Narrative Wars, we need to develop critical thinking so we can hold African governments accountable. Whether they are our favorites or not.
🐦 Twitter is one of the biggest platforms for social and political interaction in Nigeria. It gives the youth in the West African country a voice on various existential social and political issues affecting the country. The Muhammadu Buhari administration announced the shutdown of Twitter Nigeria on 4 June 2021 after the social media company deleted a “genocidal” tweet by the president. Since the ban took effect, the digital space experience has not been the same for many Nigerians. Meanwhile, as the ban enters weeks without a resolution, more Nigerians are defying the government order by using virtual private networks (VPN) to access Twitter. Link
⚖️ Nigeria's House Of Representatives has voted against the lifting of the Twitter ban which was first enforced on 4 June 2021. This follows the House mandating its Committees on Information, ICT, Intelligence, Justice, and Orientation to investigate the circumstances surrounding the suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian government. The final report urged Nigeria’s Federal Government to consider the negative impact the Twitter ban is having economically on those that rely on the platform for their livelihoods. However, despite the investigative report, the majority of the members of the House voted against lifting the Twitter ban. Link
🏥 Zipline, the American drone deliveries startup that helps deliver urgent medical supplies in several countries across Africa, has raised $250 million in Venture Capital funding. This takes Zipline’s valuation to $2,75 billion. According to the startup, the new investment will help it to build out its instant logistics serviced. Zipline was launched in 2014 and since then it has made a name for itself in Africa, first in Rwanda and then in Ghana, where it delivered blood, vaccines, life-saving medications, and other essential supplies using autonomous electric drones. Link
✒️ South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) is there to protect us because the misuse of personal information has real-life consequences. We all need to take it seriously. This is especially true when you consider how many people complain about having to comply with another “useless” law; or get caught up in the hype of the “POPIA clock” ticking down to the deadline (the real experts may joke about the clock, but know that compliance is a journey), or opt for a quick-fix “POPIA-in-a-box” solution just to deliver a façade of compliance, go back and read Issue Paper: 24 – Privacy and Data Protection. Link
🚚 The inventory business in Kenya is an extreme sport. Losses, cartels, taxman, and other unknown factors can make it really hard for new entrants. This also contributes to the difficulty of importing goods into Kenya. Importing goods into Kenya has a myriad of challenges. One of these is about import taxes that are high, and seem to be random. One cannot conclusively tell how much import taxes they are going to pay in advance. This is because the value of the goods is determined by the revenue authority and not dependent on the actual cost of the goods. Link
Thought of the Day
In debating politics, beyond our “Narrative Wars ⚔️”, we need to develop critical thinking so we can hold African governments accountable. Whether they are our favorites or not. (Tweet this | Share on WhatsApp)
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