Flash Briefing: Herman Mashaba accused of “xenophobia campaign”; Zuma’s final push; income grant not off the table

  • ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba and distinguished education professor Jonathan Jansen had social media in a mess on Sunday with a fiery exchange about foreigners allegedly being employed by the education department. It started when Mashaba took to Twitter to claim foreigner nationals were being employed in senior positions in the department. “It has been brought to my attention about the employment of foreign nationals in senior positions in the department of basic education. I will take up this matter with the minister and the SA Democratic Teachers Union if they have knowledge of this when South Africans are unemployed,” he said. Jansen responded, calling Mashaba a “disgraceful leader” on a “campaign of xenophobia” and “an embarrassment to the country and the continent”. Herman Mashaba hit back, suggesting Jansen was “promoting lawlessness”.
  • Jacob Zuma is in a final push to stay corruption charges against him by appealing an October 2021 ruling that dismissed his attempts at getting the lead prosecutor of his corruption case removed. Zuma has pulled out every legal argument his team can muster to delay the trial, including special pleas to have all charges dropped and to get the prosecution team kicked off the case. The former president has even gone as far as to lay criminal charges against the lead prosecutor to aid his case. Zuma faces several charges of corruption and racketeering related to an early 2000s arms deal.
  • A new report from president Cyril Ramaphosa’s advisory council has been leaked, showing strong support for a basic income grant in the country. This follows a report last week, with the opposite message. The earlier report warned that a basic income grant could jeopardise South Africa’s financials and lead to instability. The latest report presents a more favourable view, saying that the depth of poverty in the country is so deep that it is unlikely that it would be able to ‘grow’ its way out of it – so a grant would go a long way in tackling this problem. The leaked report said it would also boost economic activity by enabling more participation.
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