Eid 2017 in South Africa: here’s what you need to know

The month of Ramadan is almost over for Muslims in South Africa and around the world. However, the holy month is followed by the observation of a three-day celebration by Muslims: Eid-ul-Fitr. The Daily Vox team breaks down what Eid is all about and how it’s celebrated in South Africa. What is Eid? No, it’s not just “Muslim Christmas”. Eid is a three-day celebration which marks the end of the month of fasting for Muslims. However, in most non-Muslim countries, it’s only celebrated for one day. (Good luck trying to get three…

Africa Votes: these are the elections to look out for on the continent

With no less than five national elections taking place this year, 2017 is going to be an important one for electoral politics in Africa. The continent will see elections in Kenya, Rwanda, Liberia, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Somaliland. Fatima Moosa tells us what to watch out for. Democracy in Africa has seen many challenges over the years, including post-electoral violence and election rigging. Just this month, Lesotho was forced to hold a snap election - its third in five years - after a vote of no-confidence in…

Where do African states stand on the Qatar-Gulf Crisis?

The ongoing Qatar-Gulf crisis has been described by many as a significant world event that could have a long-lasting impact on geopolitics in the Middle East and its surrounding areas. With several African states pledging their support for Saudi Arabia by withdrawing diplomatic ties with Qatar, The Daily Vox team takes a look at what, if any, role African states have to play in this conflict. The Qatar-Gulf crisis arose when Saudi Arabia along with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Yemen, The Maldives, Bahrain and Egypt broke…

South African film wants to end the silence around date rape

Cut-Out Girls is a play-turned-feature-film project by Cape Town art students from ACT Cape Town, aimed at raising awareness about rape, date rape, and rape culture. The project was written and directed by Nicola Hanekom. The Daily Vox team chatted to Ashleigh van der Hoven, one of the actors involved in the project, about the film. What was the inspiration behind the project? We were in art school together along with Nicola (the director and writer) and she wrote a play for our final year theatre production. Nicola wrote…

It’s time for SA to look beyond BRICS to improve its foreign policy

On Thursday, 8 June, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) launched a new report titled Life beyond BRICS? South Africa’s Future Foreign Policy Interests. Dr Jakkie Cilliers, author of the report and chairperson of the ISS board, along with Professor Maxi Schoeman of the University of Pretoria, outlined South Africa’s current diplomatic and economic relations as well as what the future of South Africa’s foreign policy will look like with our next president. The Daily Vox looks at the major takeaways. The biggest…

Why do SA universities have more female graduates but fewer academics?

May was graduation season at many universities around South Africa. As usual, social media timelines were flooded with pictures of proud parents and grinning graduates holding up their certificates. What the pictures don’t show is that more women are graduating from South African universities than men, a global trend that’s been mirrored on local shores. At the Durban University of Technology (DUT) this year, 629 more women than men graduated graduated during the May ceremonies. At the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University,…

Palestinian student seeks funding to pursue his engineering dreams

Mohamad Hamdan, a 23-year-old Palestinian living in Beirut, Lebanon, has been accepted to study his master’s in engineering at the Grenoble Institute of Technology in France. Hamdan’s parents are refugees, his father has a disability, and the family simply doesn’t have the €8 000 to pay for the programme. The Daily Vox team spoke to Hamdan about his struggles. I was born in Lebanon in 1994. My parents were born in Lebanon but my grandparents and uncles are from Palestine. They came to live here in 1948 because of the war and…

EFF want justice before reconciliation in Coligny

The North West Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) marched to the police station in Coligny to demonstrate against the decision by the magistrate to grant bail to the two men accused of the murder of 16-year-old Matlhomola Moshoeu. The African National Congress (ANC) in the North West have said they are going to appeal the bail decision, as well as introduce a reconciliation programme in the racially divided community. However, the EFF in the North West have said they are marching because they want the appeals process to be…

Does women’s political participation matter when the policies are still patriarchal?

On Wednesday, France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron, caused a wave of excitement when he appointed a cabinet that was 50% female. The cabinet is also politically diverse, with people chosen from both the left and right. (None however, are from the far right National Front, lead by Marine Le Pen, who Macron beat in the election.) via GIPHY The Daily Vox team looked at women’s political participation around the world to see how it stacks up. In recent years, several governments have tried to improve gender representation in…

We’re backing these Proteas players to slay at the World Cup

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World Cup kicks off on June 24th until July 23rd 2017. This year’s competition is being jointly hosted by England and Wales. The Proteas Women’s Team, who are ranked sixth internationally, will be hoping to bring home the trophy for the first time in South African women’s cricketing history. The Daily Vox team rounds up the players we think might help the Proteas to get there. Dane van Niekerk The South African skipper (23) was unfortunately ruled out of the Proteas pre-World…

Gifted South African makes history in US Major League Baseball

Mpho Gift Ngoepe made history on Wednesday, becoming the first South African-born player to make his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut in the USA. And his debut was made even more memorable by getting a single in the first at-bat for his team, the Pittsburgh Pirates (basically this means he hit the ball the the first time it was pitched to him… Yes, we don’t really know what this game is about, can you tell?) via GIPHY Ngoepe has been playing in the US for the past eight years. He got scouted in 2008 by the Pittsburgh…

Still no peace in the CAR, a year after election

It has been a year since Faustin Archange Touadera was elected president of the Central African Republic (CAR) after the civil war and violence that gripped the country, yet the situation in the country has not improved. Almost half the population goes hungry every day and humanitarian aid in the country is sorely lacking. The president introduced many reforms including disarmament, demobilisation and preventing crime to try to ensure stability, but attempts to end the conflict and achieve some semblance of peace have had…

Wits residence protests may escalate if demands are not met

Wits University students from the Yale Village residence say they will escalate protests over a lack of services if management does not address their demands. On Thursday morning, students barricaded the university’s Empire Road entrance in protest of high residence fees, lack of services and security issues, amongst other things. The Yale Village Residence is a new residence that was created for Wits students who had previously been living in the Parktown Village (PKV) and Esselen residences. Both were closed down last year…

Wits students barricade Empire Road entrance over res dispute

Early on Thursday morning, students from the University of Witwatersrand Yale Village residence barricaded the Empire Road Entrance to the main campus. Students burned tyres in front of the gates and barricaded the pedestrian entrance with a stop sign. Students say they are protesting the lack of cleaning services and WiFi at the residence, and the lack transport services to campus. Their demands include uncapped WiFi, an increase in security at the residence and a convenient bus schedule. They’ve also asked to be reimbursed…

MSF field worker draws parallels between xenophobic attitudes in SA and Europe

Kate Stegeman is a South African field worker for Doctors Without Borders (MSF), a non-governmental organisation that delivers emergency aid to those in need. She is the first South African join MSF’s search and rescue operations for refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean. She spoke to The Daily Vox about her experiences. What have been your experiences working in the Mediterranean Sea? This was a very different mission compared to what I usually do with MSF. Normally my job is to do communications and it’s mostly…

#CabinetReshuffle sparks protests

President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle caused shockwaves across the nation Friday. Zuma fired five ministers and reshuffled several more including, controversially, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who has been replaced with former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba. Civil society organisations and ordinary South Africans have already started organising protest marches around the country. The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), lobby group Save South Africa, Section 27 and various trade unions held a #OccupyTreasury…

Uncle Kathy lived a life committed to non-racialism

As South Africa lays struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada to rest, The Daily Vox team looks at his political ideologies as a young man and later in life. Ahmed Kathrada was politically precocious. One of his earliest traumas - being sent away from his parents at age eight to attend an Indian school in Johannesburg - came about because he was prevented from attending either the white or black schools in his home town of Schweizer-Reneke. Kathrada had played with white and black children in his hometown, and had wondered why he…

South African women are slaying at the Special Olympics Winter Games

Bianca Basson, Thato Serepedi, Joanne Crowley and Caroline Mignolet are four South African athletes slaying in the figure-skating competition at the Special Olympics, which is currently taking place in Austria. Basson took the gold while Mignolet won silver. Serepedi and Crowley both took bronze in their competitions. Here is Caroline Mignolet receiving her silver medal for Figure Skating. Caroline Mignolet brings home the Silver for Figure Skater level 1 #SpecialOlympicsSA #TeamSOSouthAfrica #austria2017 ⛸⛸⛸…

A foray into the messy world of Fees Must Fall politicking

Behind one of the many buildings that dotted the Eskom Learning Centre in Midrand, a huge white marquee had been erected for the Higher Education National Convention due to take place on 18 and 19 March. Various stakeholders from government, student leadership, and civil society were to gather and discuss ways to solve the higher education crisis that is facing South African tertiary education. Rows upon rows of chairs filled the tent with a huge podium erected in the front of the tent. Justice Dikgang Moseneke, various…

Sassa social grant crisis averted, for now

On Friday 17 March, the Constitutional Court ruled that the invalid South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) will be extended by one year with strict controls. The ruling also stated that the two parties are under a constitutional obligation to ensure the social grants are paid out to recipients. The judgment, which was handed down by Justice Johann Froneman, ruled that the outsourced CPS cannot use the personal information of Sassa recipients to market its other products. The…