Citizen. Speak. Amplify.

Lindiwe Sisulu: “The people of Zimbabwe are probably justly unhappy with us”

African National Congress leaders have in the past not taken strong stances on Zimbabwe, and President Robert Mugabe’s authoritarian rule, preferring instead “soft diplomacy”. Now, ANC presidential hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu says the ANC should have taken a stronger stance on Zimbabwe. In an interview with The Daily Vox, Sisulu said that South Africa has now learnt that “there are no special cases” and that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) needed to heed this as well. “There must be a one size fits all, don’t…

Five things you should know about Emmerson Mnangagwa

The former vice president of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa is rumoured to be the next president of the country following a military coup last week. He was set to succeed 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe but then axed in early November with some saying place was being made for Grace Mugabe, wife of the president. Mnangagwa, 75, is a veteran in Zimbabwe’s ruling party, Zanu-PF. Here are five things you should know about the man who is poised to become Zimbabwe’s next president. 1. He was a part of the Second Chimurenga…

What the Zimbabwe crisis means for South Africa

With the ongoing coup playing out in Zimbabwe, what could this mean for South Africa as a neighbour state and Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner? Zimbabwe's military on Wednesday claimed to have seized power from President Robert Mugabe. This was sparked by the firing of Mugabe’s deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa. Since then, the South African defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and state security minister Bongani Bongo met with Commander General Constantino Chiwenga of the Zimbabwe Defence Force (ZDF), Zimbabwe Defence…

How schools are failing pupils when they don’t report sexual violence

Schools are failing at preventing and dealing with sexual assault that happens on school property, according to Sheena Swemmer, a gender researcher at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS). More and more allegations of rape of school pupils have surfaced throughout the country. In October a scholar patrol guard was in court for allegedly sexually abusing 87 pupils in Soweto. A grade 10 pupil from a Johannesburg northern suburbs school was arrested for raping a grade 8 pupil in the same month. Following these…

#ThePresidentsKeepers: “If this the best way to let people know the truth then so be it”

Jacques Pauw's hard-hitting book, The President's Keepers, which makes claims about President Jacob Zuma being involved in corruption, is the centre of a court battle after the State Security Agency (SSA) issued Pauw and his publishers with a cease-and-desist letter, saying the book contravenes the Intelligence Service Act. The Daily Vox asked Durbanites whether they think the book should be removed from shelves or if books like these enhance our democracy. Chantel Khan, 35, stay-at-home mother, Newlands East I think the…

Disunity and confusion over Wits shutdown

Students at the University of the Witwatersrand are confused after the incoming Student Representative Council  (SRC) backtracked on its decision to shut the university down. During a mass meeting at Wits called by the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) led SRC on Thursday, a shutdown was announced for 6am on Friday morning. Six hours later, the SRC sent a statement to students reversing that position. In the statement the SRC said the “number of students present at the mass meeting did not represent the…

We need to talk about the long-term effects of FMF on students’ mental health

The effects of Fees Must Fall (FMF) protests are long-lasting and damaging to students’ mental health and ultimately affect their academic performance. The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (Seri) launched two documents: Student Protests: A Legal and Practical Guide and A Double Harm: Police Misuse of Force and Barriers to Necessary Health Care Services on Tuesday. The launch was held at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, next to the University of the Witwatersrand. Speaking at the event, students from the…

Don’t be intimidated; security guards don’t have any special policing rights

Security guards in South Africa are known for abusing their power but what a few people know is that security do not hold any real power according to the law. A man was killed outside the Athlone Magistrate's Court in the Western Cape earlier this month while security officers watched. In another incident, a woman was assaulted in Cosmo City a few days earlier by security guards while her 3-year-old was present - because her daughter apparently relieved herself in the store. The guards have since been arrested. The security…

“Nothing less than free education” – Student leaders on leaked fees report

Some Student Representative Councils (SRCs) have decided to wait till the president releases the Fees Commission report rather that relying on the leak. On Sunday, the City Press reported on a leaked copy of the Fees Commission report which stated that the demand for free education would not answered. The Commission was set up in early 2016 following the first protests against higher education fees. The 748-page report with recommendations made by the Commission was handed to the president in August this year. The Daily Vox…

Detained human rights activists in Tanzania could face “forced anal exams”

Tanzanian police have approached a court seeking an order granting them permission to perform "forced anal tests" on lawyers and activists in custody for “promoting homosexuality”. This is according to a statement released by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) on Tuesday. The ICJ said the police sought to perform these tests on nine men who remain in detention in order to collect evidence that they had performed sexual acts with other men, and prosecute them for such acts. Thirteen people were arrested and…

UCT students to host mass meeting on #FeesMustFall

A library on University of Cape Town’s upper campus was shut down and several lectures disrupted on Monday morning. The disruptions were carried out by a group of students who informed other students of a mass meeting on Tuesday at 1pm at Jameson Hall. #UCTShutdown Tomorrow let's meet pic.twitter.com/OYMoURTtlo — Raf Neck(@Kaffir1) (@raf_neck) October 23, 2017 A student asked not to be named said his 10am lecture came to an abrupt end when protesting students took to the podium to invite them to the meeting taking place on…

Arrest of two South African lawyers in Tanzania “an intimidation tactic”

The Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) says that two of its lawyers who were arrested last week for “promoting homosexuality” in Tanzania is a scare tactic. The lawyers were arrested in a hotel in Dar-es-Salaam on Tuesday along with 11 others from ISLA and Community Health Services and Advocacy (CHESA). They were released on bail with no charges soon after, but were taken back into police custody on Friday and told the case was being investigated by a new team of police. Those detained were meeting about a…

Pasma threatens to shut down universities if Fees Commision does not announce free education

The Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma) threatened to protest if The Fees Commission Report does not offer free education to students. Sinethemba Mkhatshwa, the secretary general of Pasma Gauteng spoke to The Daily Vox at their march to the Union Buildings on Wednesday. About 50 students were marching in demand of free higher education. The students first handed a letter of memorandum to Treasury. Some of their other demands include transformation and decolonisation at universities, cancelling the debt of NSFAS…

Why Al-Shabaab has not claimed responsibility for the Mogadishu attack

The attack on Mogadishu may not have been targeted at civilians but the government. A blast hit the centre of the Somali capital city on Saturday resulting in over 300 casualties. (The number of fatalities is increasing.) A truck with several hundred kilograms of military-grade and homemade explosives exploded. The East African jihadist fundamentalist group Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (commonly known as Al-Shabaab) has not claimed responsibility but all fingers are pointing at them. The group first emerged in 2006 and…

How the weather service failed to warn of the Gauteng and KZN storms

The South African Weather Services (SAWS) has admitted they failed to warn the vast majority of citizens about the serious storms that swept across Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal earlier this week. The senior manager of stakeholder relations at SAWS, Ndivhuho Mafela said on Thursday it had come clean and that it needed to improve its infrastructure and community reach. The CEO of SAWS, Jerry Lengoasa also said they were “reflecting” on their role as the weather service and the “challenges” of these events. Lengoasa was speaking…

LGBT folks share their Coming Out stories

Today marks Coming Out Day and people are celebrating freedom to live their truth. We share voices from queer people in South Africa and their stories of coming out. Waseem Imam Saheb, 32, Pretoria, freelance writer and radio show host I came out to my cousins, high school and my sister before coming out to my parents - I didn't really come out to them, my sister decided to out me to them. When they confronted me, my father said they were told something that concerned them and I knew I had two choices. I could say my sister…

Another SA soccer player dies in a car accident

South Africa has lost another young soccer player to a car accident; this time it was Mlondi Dlamini, who played for Maritzburg United. The midfielder died on his way to Cato Ridge in KwaZulu-Natal in an accident that occurred Sunday.The general manager for Royal Eagles, James Dlamini said the accident happened at around 4am. The 20-year-old had only recently been promoted to first team. Last year @MaritzburgUtd lost #MondliCele to a car accident, last night again they lost a 20 year old to a car accident😢#RIPMondliDlamini —…

Now there’s a crowdfunder to help the Shoprite 8

A crowdfunding initiative has been started for the eight women who were fired by Shoprite, allegedly for accepting tips. The women, most of whom are bread winners, were arrested in August and charged with theft. They are now on trial. The eight women worked as cashiers at Shoprite in Pelican Park in the Western Cape and were earning around R2400 a month. They are currently not receiving money from the Unemployment Fund because of their pending criminal case. The initiative was started in September by Mario Segal, the founder…

South Africans deserve more than homophobic comedy

Last week marketing company iTen Entertainment published a 90 second video teeming with homophobia. They, and many of their viewers, didn’t take too kindly when I called them out on it. You wouldn’t think making homophobic jokes for cheap laughs would be a thing in 2017, and yet here we are. The video, titled Coming Out Of The Closet, seems promising at first. It plays on the fact that queer people have to come out of the closet but not straight people. But it becomes problematic fast when the father says he did everything…

Here’s what you need to know about the Cosatu national strike

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) are readying for a national strike on Wednesday to protest against state capture, corruption and retrenchments. They're also calling for an end to outsourcing, the exploitation of workers and e-tolls. At a media briefing held on Tuesday, SACP deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila called for all workers to join the strike. He also called on MECs and members of parliament to excuse themselves from work and support the strike. “We…