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Third Umpire

He may be on the wrong side of reality, and morality, when it comes to many domestic issues, but President Jacob Zuma is correct in demanding “fundamental reform” of the archaic UN Security Council structure.

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The Gupta family’s UK public relations company knew about Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s boo-boo regarding SA’s banks before he had even announced it, and we’re expected to believe he wasn’t the source?

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Contrary to Sadtu Western Cape secretary Jonova Rustin’s claim that school assessors will take the education system “back to the archaic times”, the move is, in fact, essential to arrest the slide in standards.

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Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has done his bit by coming up with funds to cover 2017 fee increases for the “missing middle”. Like it or not, universities are autonomous and must be allowed to set their own fees.

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Another day, another court ruling against SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and another loophole exploited for him to stay in the job he is patently unfit to hold. This saga has come to epitomise all that is wrong with SA.

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ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman, accused of sexual harassment, quit as leader of the opposition in the provincial legislature on Friday. Truth be told, he should have been fired by his party for incompetence long ago.

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Whatever your position on whether homophobic US pastor Steven Anderson should have been banned from entering SA, the fact remains that he is a bigot of the worst order, the kind who give religion a bad name.

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SARS commissioner Tom Moyane, whose kid-glove approach to the suspicious payments received by his second-in-command is in stark contrast to the alacrity with which his predecessor was hounded out of the job.

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EFF leader Julius Malema. The pressures of incumbency are already starting to show, despite the party declining to enter into formal governing coalitions. It appears that disruption and radical rhetoric can only get you so far.

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Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga has got off to a flying start, banning blue-light brigades, luxury cars, parties and overseas trips for politicians, and laying corruption charges against his predecessors. Strength to his arm.

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AngloGold Ashanti chairman Sipho Pityana, for taking the lead in uniting the various disparate groups — including some trade unions — that have concluded President Jacob Zuma must step down for the sake of SA’s future.

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It took six years of legal wrangling, but the president’s nephew, Khulubuse Zuma, has finally agreed to pay R23m to the provisional liquidators of Pamodzi Gold as compensation for his role in asset-stripping the mine.

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Philippines President Rodrigo “Dirty Harry” Duterte. If calling US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” was not meant as a personal insult, please spare us when his attempts at diplomacy really do get personal.

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Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, who faces calls for his dismissal after the highest court ruled his suspension of Ipid head Robert McBride — who was investigating corruption among senior police officers — was unlawful.

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Ag shame, with all the focus on state capture by the ANC, EFF leader Julius Malema has been feeling unloved, so felt compelled to make baseless allegations against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Anything for attention.

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IMF MD Christine Lagarde’s warning over the danger protectionism presents to world trade is especially relevant to developing countries, hence the alarm expressed by Brics leaders at the G20 talks in China.

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Progressive Professionals Forum head Mzwanele Manyi. Constitutionality se voet — the organisation’s objections to the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Bill are all about keeping the patronage gravy train on track in SA.

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Springbok wing Bryan Habana’s 65th Test try in the game against the Pumas is a record for tier-one nations. Pity his achievement was overshadowed by a dreadful team performance that led to SA’s first loss in Argentina.

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ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte has certainly nailed her colours to the mast by using the Gupta-owned ANN7 channel to opine that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is projecting himself as “above the law”.

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Given her own history as a beneficiary of dicey empowerment deals, ANC national chairwoman Baleka Mbete is the last person who should be advising the party to rid itself of the “foreign culture” of greed.

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Eskom CE Brian Molefe may be justified in his concern over SA committing to power purchase agreements for renewable electricity it cannot always use, but that is a policy decision, and policy is beyond his pay grade.

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The Constitutional Court has ruled that the gross misconduct complaint against Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe that he has managed to stall for more than eight years, be concluded without further delay.

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Even if you ignore the clear political motive behind the attack on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza should hang his head in shame at how incompetent it has been from a legal perspective.

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Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils, who has donated the damages he won in a defamation case against Kebby Maphatsoe to the woman President Jacob Zuma was acquitted of raping.

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There are two ways of interpreting President Jacob Zuma’s move to take control of state-owned enterprises: either his mind has been focused by the ANC’s electoral drubbing or the patronage machine needs fuel.

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Newly elected Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba. Just think, free-market advocates at the helm in Joburg and Tshwane, the engine room of the economy and cockpit of the country respectively. Let the growth begin.

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Deputy Defence Minister and full-time ANC political hitman Kebby Maphatsoe, who faces a R1m defamation suit arising from allegations he made against former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils. It was only a matter of time.

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SAA chairwoman Dudu Myeni. You know there’s a witch-hunt under way when the best the airline can come up with to nail a whistle-blower, such as suspended head of treasury Cynthia Stimpel, is a charge of “insolence”.

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Mmusi Maimane. After a bit of horse trading with the EFF, his party has achieved its main electoral goal — the opportunity to prove in Gauteng and Eastern Cape that it is better at governing than the ANC.

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Things are finally looking up for Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, with the Mugabe regime under severe pressure due to the collapsing economy, and opposition parties united as never before.

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SA speedster Wayde van Niekerk, whose blistering world record time in the 400m at Rio not only earned him a gold medal, but personal congratulations from the legendary Usain Bolt, winner of the 100m gold.

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NUM general secretary David Sipunzi, for trying to justify defying an interdict against a nationwide strike by Eskom workers. If the union believes this is not an essential service, it should challenge the notion directly.

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National Council of Provinces chairwoman Thandi Modise. The house is on the brink of being in breach of an order of the Constitutional Court after yet another bill was sent back due to doubts over its constitutionality.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose cosying up to his Russian counterpart reinforces concerns over an increasingly dictatorial approach to governance on his part since the thwarted coup.

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JSE CEO Nicky Newton-King. The bourse claims to welcome the prospect of competition, yet has gone to great lengths to make life difficult for ZAR X as it jumps through the many hoops required to obtain a licence to trade.

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If the local government elections were in fact a referendum on President Jacob Zuma’s leadership, as some analysts were saying, he has received a resounding thumbs-down, particularly in SA’s cities.

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Telkom chairman Jabu Mabuza, who will chair the Africa portion of the merged AB InBev-SABMiller entity. Pity, given SABMiller’s origins, that there’s no South African and just one African on the post-takeover exco.

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ANN7 editor-in-chief Moegsien Williams. The Gupta-owned television station has fired five journalists who protested against the dismissal of nine of their colleagues who had objected to being dragged into the Guptas’ battles.

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Has the backlash begun? Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s habit of attacking as a form of defence failed spectacularly in the case of a fallen Muslim US war hero whose parents criticised him.

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President Jacob Zuma. Talking about good governance and action against corruption may have worked in the past, but it is clear the electorate has had enough of unfulfilled promises. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

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Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who has ratcheted up the pressure on his cabinet colleagues, and especially the president, over SAA by withholding new financial guarantees until a new board has been appointed.

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Deputy Public Works Minister and SACP stalwart Jeremy Cronin, who has been left with egg on his face after insisting that the Expropriation Bill is constitutional, only to have President Jacob Zuma send it back to Parliament.

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SABC operations chief Hlaudi Motsoeneng has added a fresh black mark to his name — the dismissal of journalists who resisted his decrees has been found to be unfair in court. But this is Teflon Man, so don’t hold your breath.

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Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who appears to have fallen out with the “war veterans” who have helped keep him in power, often through violence and intimidation. When you have a tiger by the tail….

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Social networking service Twitter, which has finally cracked down on abusive behaviour by banning a user who led a campaign vilifying actress Leslie Jones. There is a difference between free speech and vitriol.

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Sharks hooker Monde Hadebe, who has been banned from participating in all forms of rugby for four years after testing positive for steroids. What a senseless waste of a potentially stellar career.

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The situation at the SABC has become untenable, and when it explodes — as it will, sooner or later — we hope Communications Minister Faith Muthambi is one of the first casualties. It couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

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Justice Minister Michael Masutha. It is clear from the Public Service Commission’s report that the state attorney’s office has many shortcomings, but most glaring is that it fights unwinnable cases for party political reasons.

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Wannabe US first lady Melania Trump, who made a great speech in support of her husband’s presidential nomination. Pity she "borrowed" large chunks of it from an old address by Michelle Obama, of all people.

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Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose foundation has arguably done more to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria than any African government. The rate of new infections remains scandalously high in southern Africa.

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Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima is most decidedly “in” following the amazing success of Pokémon Go, which apart from sending the world crazy, has resulted in a 70% rise in the company’s share price in the past week.

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Some say new governments should have 100 days’ grace. Not the umpire. UK Prime Minister Theresa May is out for appointing flamboyant leader of the Leave campaign Boris Johnson as foreign minister. Please. Not that.

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Oversight. That’s what Parliament is supposed to do to keep the executive on its toes. Yet it was also Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s excuse for failing to inform it of a crucial appointment. The system is broken.

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Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has done his bit by coming up with funds to cover 2017 fee increases for the “missing middle”. Like it or not, universities are autonomous and must be allowed to set their own fees.

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Another day, another court ruling against SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and another loophole exploited for him to stay in the job he is patently unfit to hold. This saga has come to epitomise all that is wrong with SA.

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Contrary to Sadtu Western Cape secretary Jonova Rustin’s claim that school assessors will take the education system “back to the archaic times”, the move is, in fact, essential to arrest the slide in standards.

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It is hoped that the new R1.5bn SME fund established by SA’s largest corporations will help avert a sovereign credit rating downgrade. Kudos to Discovery’s Adrian Gore and Bidvest’s Brian Joffe for driving the initiative.

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Ethiopian Asefa Negewo’s winning time in the weekend’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon smashed the nine-year-old South African record by more than a minute. Second and third places also dipped under the old mark.

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The Constitutional Court’s ruling ending the free-for-all on salary attachment orders is a victory for justice in general and the poor, in particular. Take a bow, businesswoman Wendy Appelbaum, who drove the review process.

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Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s desperate juggling act in trying to stick to the deficit and debt numbers outlined in February has been made that much easier by the weak rand’s effect on the current account deficit.

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President Jacob Zuma has finally paid back some of the money spent on nonsecurity upgrades to his Nkandla home, although the amount is but a fraction of the hundreds of millions of rand wasted on the project. About time.

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National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete. When the people’s elected representatives are convinced that they need walls and bullet-proof glass to protect them from the public, something is desperately wrong.

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A bit of SA’s young democracy died this week when the law library at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Howard College was burnt to the ground, allegedly by protesting “students”. Cry, The Beloved Country.

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Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane may not be the sharpest tool at the coal face, but his performance in Parliament on Wednesday, ducking and diving to avoid answering questions, was dire even by ANC standards.

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UCT vice-chancellor Max Price, for keeping his cool despite extreme provocation by #FeesMustFall protesters at Tuesday’s Cape Town public hearings on the feasibility of free higher education. #RationalityMustRise.

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Former AU Commission chairman Jean Ping, whose bid to organise a general strike in Gabon against President Ali Bongo’s allegedly fraudulent re-election failed to gain public support. It seems the Bongo dynasty continues.

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If the threats and intimidation that kept ANC protesters away from Luthuli House constitute a “victory for the age-old tradition of a contestation of ideas”, as secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said, the organisation is doomed.

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Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who has discovered that sycophancy doesn’t always pay. If you get it wrong, pre-empting Number One’s desires can end in humiliation when you’re hung out to dry by the boss.

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Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan may disagree with the European Commission’s demand that Apple pay back €13bn in subsidies, but that’s what comes with being part of an increasingly political monetary union.

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Spare a thought for ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, whose appeals for unity and discipline in the party are being roundly ignored. Will he be remembered as the man who presided over the ANC’s demise?

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Eskom group executive Matshela Koko, who would be well advised to cover his butt lest he find himself holding the Tegeta coal parcel bomb when the music stops. And the way the fight is escalating, this game will end soon.

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Islamic fanatic Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, who has become the first person to be convicted by the International Criminal Court for cultural heritage crimes. He oversaw the destruction of ancient shrines in Timbuktu in 2012.

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Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, who is backpedalling furiously over her attempt to scupper the investigation into corruption at Prasa. She won’t be the first to be sacrificed by her party to prevent the truth emerging.

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Public protector designate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has huge shoes to fill, but what better opportunity to serve your country and boost your long-term career prospects than to continue Thuli Madonsela’s good work?

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Geffen International Realty Franchises CEO Jason Rohde, who has been arrested in connection with the death of his wife Susan, whose body was found in the bathroom of the winelands hotel the couple were staying in.

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The long-suffering rand, whose rally in the wake of the recent elections was rudely interrupted by news that the Hawks are back to hounding Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. A wounded Number 1 is a dangerous beast.

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It took a small boy to tell the emperor he was naked, and a boutique trading firm to pick up the multibillion-rand JSE glitch that overstated the value of foreign equity inflows. Take a bow, Navigare CEO Vuyisile Radebe.

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Olympic 800m star Caster Semenya. Whatever the outcome of the IAAF review of the rules regarding hormone levels in female competitors, she is who she is and gave it her all to take gold. Nobody can take that away now.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Asking black voters what they have to lose by casting their ballots in his favour come November is like asking turkeys what they have to lose by voting for Christmas.

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Opting not to join governing coalitions is tactically astute on the part of EFF leader Julius Malema, allowing the red berets to influence outcomes and benefit from successes without bearing responsibility for failures.

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International Olympic Committee. Replacing the flowers traditionally handed to winning athletes with something more enduring was all very well, but did they have to go from biodegradable to PVC and resin?

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Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, for trying to duck responsibility for next year’s varsity fee increases by claiming it is in the hands of the institutions themselves. No sir — the subsidy level is your call.

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There’s nothing like a thrashing at the polls to concentrate minds. It is dawning on the ANC that Western Cape leader Marius Fransman has become a liability to the party, just like his pal Jacob Zuma.

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Eskom CEO Brian Molefe. In the context of the Westinghouse legal action, the “precautionary suspension” of Koeberg executives for the unauthorised distribution of information looks disturbingly like a witch-hunt.

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Cricket SA CE Haroon Lorgat. As sad as it may be that the sport has again been besmirched by match-fixing, the lengthy bans that have been handed out to four players is the only way to tackle such corruption.

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Swimmer Cameron van der Burgh, for opening SA and Africa’s account at the Rio Olympics with a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke. May it be the first of many for the continent — we can all do with the distraction.

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Spare a thought for President Jacob Zuma, who had to go through the motions of celebrating Women’s Day shortly after being targeted by protesters reminding SA of his controversial acquittal on rape charges. Awkward.

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Indefatigable shareholder activist Theo Botha, who has finally triumphed after a two-year battle to force Coronation Fund Managers to disclose details of its remuneration policy in the annual report. Let there be light.

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Incumbent Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Danny Jordaan is in for a busy year whatever the outcome of Wednesday’s election — he’s briefed heavyweight lawyers to counter an FBI probe of 2010 World Cup corruption allegations.

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Rio Tinto CE Jean-Sébastien Jacques surprised the market with a higher-than-expected dividend for the first half-year, reinforcing analysts’ impression that the miner is better placed than its peers to benefit from the next upswing.

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Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande kicked the #FeesMustFall can down the road by tapping the Treasury for the extra cash, but the current state of university finances means finding a long-term solution is critical.

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US President Barack Obama’s half-brother, Malik Obama, apparently admires Donald Trump’s “down-to-earth” yet demagogic politics and inward-looking policies over those of his sibling and Hillary Clinton. Thanks, Obama.

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Proteas bowling sensation Kagiso Rabada, whose phenomenal performance in all three formats of the game in the past season earned him an unprecedented six awards at the annual Cricket SA prize-giving on Tuesday.

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ANC elections head Nomvula Mokonyane is in trouble with her party for revealing that it has spent more than R1bn campaigning for the August 3 elections. Perhaps she could also reveal where all that money has come from?

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Cyclist Louis Meintjes, for finishing in the top 10 of the Tour de France at the weekend, the first South African to have achieved this feat, and just seven minutes behind the SA-educated winner, Chris Froome.

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ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman, whose attempt to exonerate and reinstate himself while still facing harassment charges and a disciplinary hearing has only highlighted the factional divisions in the party.

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Texas senator Ted Cruz, for resisting pressure to endorse Donald Trump’s nomination as Republican presidential candidate. Apart from the moral issue, association with the Trump brand is destined to be a political millstone.

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If Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini was hoping the expulsion of Numsa and Zwelinzima Vavi would be the end of it, he is set to be disappointed now that most Fawu provincial structures have also opted to leave.

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It’s not as if we haven’t heard it all before, but IMF deputy MD David Lipton’s blunt call for reform of “anticompetitive behaviours” by business, labour and government regulators in SA can’t be repeated too often.

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He can’t be accused of giving up easily, but Mark Caruso, executive chairman of Australian mineral sands miner MRC, has had to throw in the towel over the Xolobeni project in Pondoland after fierce community resistance.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is using the weekend’s failed military coup as an excuse to further restrict freedom and purge legitimate political rivals who had nothing to do with the attempt to overthrow him.

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Here we go again. “According to our belief,” says ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, the party was “anointed by God to lead the country” to freedom. And, presumably, to govern forever, however badly.

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Mosebenzi Zwane was appointed mining minister in September 2015. Every month since then, mining production has declined, including the 4.4% in May that Statistics SA announced on Thursday. Coincidence?

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For Steinhoff International CEO Markus Jooste it may be third time lucky. After failing to land two other potential acquisitions, his £597m bid for UK discount chain Poundland seems to be in the bag.

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The Third Umpire

SA is not being considered for investment by new mining finance company Triple Flag because of poor leadership, policy unpredictability and corruption — and that’s from the horse’s mouth. Your move, President Jacob Zuma.

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Edcon CEO Bernie Brookes. The conversion of more than R20bn in debt to equity has stung Bain Capital, but it has made it possible for the retail group to operate without the constant burden of servicing excessive borrowings.

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Parliamentary energy committee chairman Fikile Majola, for finally acceding to opposition demands that Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson be called on to provide documentation on the state’s nuclear plans.

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