• Tuesday, June 30 2015
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Third Umpire

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. A smaller deficit on the current account of the balance of payments is ordinarily good news, but not when one of the main reasons is reduced dividend payments due to foreign disinvestment.

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6%
94%

US singer Taylor Swift. One open letter to Apple threatening to withdraw her music from its streaming service and its royalties policy is promptly changed. Who said artists were disempowered by the internet?

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84%
16%

Dube TradePort CEO Saxen van Coller, who has been fired for failing to disclose an unspecified past criminal conviction. She is also alleged to have falsely claimed a BA, MBA and doctorate when applying for the position.

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Southern African Litigation Centre executive director Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, for insisting on answers from the government on the Bashir issue. If Parliament won’t or can’t hold our leaders to account, civil society must.

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94%
6%

Gauteng Premier David Makhura, whose “activist” philosophy of governance is all very well in theory but smacks of expedience. Next year’s municipal election will tell whether the voting public are buying it. We suspect not.

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16%
84%

Property tycoon and part-time TV host Donald Trump. His entry into the Republican presidential race will do nothing to raise the standard of debate, but is guaranteed to make the primaries more entertaining.

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33%
67%

President Jacob Zuma. Whether the Bashir debacle was all part of a cunning plan or merely incompetent diplomacy, the outcome is a disaster for SA. The world will judge us by the friends we keep — and protect.

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3%
97%

British broadcasting personality Chris Evans, who has been brave — or stupid — enough to accept an offer to replace Jeremy Clarkson as host of Top Gear. The fact that Clarkson is a clown makes his boots hard to fill.

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47%
53%

Arise, Sir Mick! SA-born mining executive Mick Davis is to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his services to the commemoration of the holocaust. Musician Johnny Clegg also made the latest birthday honours list.

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88%
12%

President Jacob Zuma. There’s no doubt the power shortage is a major cause of the steady deterioration in business confidence in SA. But politics, corruption and policy matter, too, and the buck for that stops with him.

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5%
95%

Medicines Control Council registrar Joey Gouws, for relaxing the approval process for imported active ingredients to help free up the medicine-supply bottleneck. Just what SA needs: less red tape, more pragmatic solutions.

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91%
9%

Sasol president and CEO David Constable, for leaving halfway through a far-reaching corporate restructuring that has had a profound effect on employees and whose outcome remains uncertain. He should finish the job.

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16%
84%

Exiled former US security contractor Edward Snowden, whose decision to expose the state’s draconian post 9-11 phone surveillance programme has been vindicated; a new law has been passed restricting its ability to snoop.

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76%
24%

ANC chief whip Stone Sizani. The caucus he leads has refused to call President Jacob Zuma or public protector Thuli Madonsela to testify before the committee considering Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s Nkandla whitewash.

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1%
99%

President Jacob Zuma, whose agreement to pay NPA head Mxolisi Nxasana R17.3m to step down, while refusing to explain why this is necessary, amounts to gross abuse of public funds. South Africans should demand accountability.

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5%
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President Jacob Zuma, whose visit to the Tshwane University of Technology on Tuesday was marred by protests led by students allied to Julius Malema’s EFF. Welcome to your future, Mr President. You have brought it on yourself.

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Chamber of Mines chief negotiator Elize Strydom. The fresh approach that SA’s major gold producers have brought to this year’s wage talks is the kind of initiative that is needed for the industry to survive and save jobs.

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87%
13%

Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance co-ordinator Samson Mokoena. The antipollution group gets full marks for persistence in its struggle to verify claims against ArcelorMittal SA. Sunlight is the best cleansing agent.

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92%
8%

Having failed to stop colleague Malusi Gigaba from hobbling the tourism sector with his onerous visa regulations, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom now wants to spend taxpayers’ money upgrading state tourism assets.

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8%
92%

National Council of Provinces chairwoman Thandi Modise, who either does not understand the meaning of the term “sub judice” or abused it to help the executive avoid having to answer questions on the Bashir debacle.

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6%
94%

SA tennis player Kevin Anderson, whose victory over French Open winner Stan Wawrinka in the Queens Club tournament on Wednesday augurs well for Wimbledon, for which Queens is considered a curtain-raiser.

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92%
8%

Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim, whose vision of a new United Democratic Front of progressive organisations to oppose corruption and poor governance will be boosted by the planned mass march to the Union Buildings.

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80%
20%

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, for keeping SA’s nuclear co-operation agreements secret. Now that they’ve been tabled in Parliament, it’s clear they are largely generic, so all the intrigue was unnecessary.

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2%
98%

Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke, who led the public sector unions in withdrawing from the recent wage agreement, despite the government agreeing to abide by the court’s decision on a historic dispute.

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Deputy director-general for trade and industry Zodwa Ntuli, who took the brunt of MPs’ ire at proposals to raise the drinking age and make liquor distributors responsible for harm caused by their products.

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20%
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Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko, who has overseen an impressive turnaround at the utility, which has declared a dividend for the first time since 2011. Next challenge: improving service levels while cutting staff costs.

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74%
26%

ANC NEC member Pule Mabe, who has been cleared to stand for the presidency of the ANC Youth League after a dispute over his age. Question is, why would a mature man of 35 want to lead a mob of undisciplined youths?

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6%
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SARS commissioner Tom Moyane. Nobody wants to pay more tax, but the more profit shifting and base erosion that takes place the bigger the burden on the rest of the tax base, so the current clampdown should be supported.

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76%
24%

Fifa president Sepp Blatter, for doing the right thing for all the wrong reasons. If he recognised that the buck stops with him he would have stepped down long ago. He resigned because the pressure became unbearable.

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5%
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The Third Umpire

Eskom acting CE Brian Molefe, for getting ratty with Nersa chairman Thembani Bukula. The way to convince an independent regulator of the validity of your case is with facts and persuasive argument, not defensiveness.

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The president’s nephew, Khulubuse Zuma, who along with Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Zondwa, has been found guilty of stripping the assets of liquidated gold mine Pamodzi, to the detriment of its employees.

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Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. According to a UN report, SA soldiers on peacekeeping missions in Africa are the world’s worst military sexual predators. As if our reputation for xenophobia wasn’t bad enough.

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