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Third Umpire

KwaZulu-Natal local government spokesman Lennox Mabaso asks whether a sane party would deliberately cut the water supply to Pietermaritzburg residents to benefit politically. Really good question.

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s insistence on keeping the naira pegged to the dollar despite the oil price rout was always risky; now the central bank has been forced to bring in a dual currency system.

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Eskom CE Brian Molefe insisted there was “nothing to hide” regarding its coal-supply contracts with the Gupta-owned Tegeta. Now, it emerges it prepaid R580m on the contract to rescue Tegeta from bankruptcy.

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Acting Brazilian President Michel Temer, whose administration is on the brink of collapse after the country’s prosecutor-general requested the arrest of several senior party leaders over an alleged corruption cover-up.

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Even if the US did go off half-cocked with its SA terror attack warning, the way the dispute has been handled by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane reveals she and diplomacy are strangers.

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South African Council of Churches acting general secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana. The council’s “Unburdening Panel” for people who have information on state capture sends a strong message to the ANC.

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Former US first lady and secretary of state Hillary Clinton, whose victory in the Puerto Rico primaries means she has all but wrapped up the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Time for The Bern to bow out.

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New KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu. Reshuffling the provincial cabinet is his prerogative, but the manner in which he has done it is sure to worsen factional divisions in the party and increase pre-election tension.

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In addition to facing an inquiry into her fitness to hold office in the wake of the Marikana killings, suspended police commissioner Riah Phiyega has been panned by a ministerial reference group for firing officers unfairly.

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Oudtshoorn administrator Kamalasen Chetty has by all accounts done a great job cleaning up the mess left by the previous council. The revival of the Cango Caves as a source of tourism revenue is just one outcome.

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According to the auditor-general’s local government report, eThekwini was one of only two SA metros to incur no wasteful spending in 2014-15 — for the second year in a row. Take a bow mayor James Nxumalo.

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The courts have ruled that her failure to consult broadcasters about the nonencryption of the set-top boxes required for digital television was irrational. This is becoming a pattern.

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Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Khama Billiat, who has capped an extraordinary season by cleaning up at the Premier Soccer League awards, winning the footballer, players’ player and midfielder of the season gongs.

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Newly listed Bidcorp’s CEO Bernard Berson. Seldom has the term “unlocking value” had as much meaning in the real world as the R18bn gain in total market cap following the unbundling of the former Bidvest Group.

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UCT vice-chancellor Max Price. Having drawn a line in the sand after the arson and vandalism incidents that occurred on campus in February, the university has now taken a firm line against those who have crossed it.

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Whether the “rotation” of SA’s oil stocks is legitimate or an enrichment scam, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson must know she needs the finance minister’s permission to dispose of significant state assets

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Zimbabwe Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa. Without the reserves to back them, the “bond notes” he plans to print to supplement scarce dollar supplies will result in runaway inflation. Has his government learnt nothing?

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Record investment in the local motor industry indicates that Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies’s incentive programme is working. Let’s not blow it by imposing onerous BEE requirements that kill competitiveness

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Chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya’s concession in the Constitutional Court that he may have “misconstrued” the IEC’s legal obligations is a far cry from his obstinacy of the past several months.

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PIC CEO Daniel Matjila. The role the state pension fund administrator is playing in compiling a consortium of black investors to buy control of Absa is far better than putting pensioners’ money on the line for political ends

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The NDPP’s rather wordy news conference did not cast much light on matters, but Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has at least been reassured that neither the Hawks nor the NPA are about to have him arrested

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SARS commissioner Tom Moyane. Extracting R200m more than budgeted from the economy when SA is on the verge of recession is nothing to be proud of, especially when so much of it is bound to be stolen or wasted

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EFF leader Julius Malema. We get it: you don’t like Zuma. There is a difference, though, between making a point in Parliament through civil disobedience and using violence to cause chaos and undermine the institution.

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The South African Democratic Teachers Union, which has called for a legal review of the department’s damning investigation into the "jobs for cash" scandal. That is its right, but be careful what you wish for.…

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Former African Bank CEO Leon Kirkinis, who got a roasting in the long-awaited Myburgh report on the bank’s failure for repeatedly riding roughshod over prudential requirements and corporate governance procedures.

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Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, whose valiant efforts to avoid a sovereign ratings downgrade by building investor confidence are being stymied at every turn by a self-serving faction of his party. With friends like these …

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Local artists will be delighted by SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s announcement that 90% of the music it plays on its stations in future will be local. But is that what listeners want? Has anyone asked?

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Many a true word is said in jest, and after British Prime Minister David Cameron labelled Afghanistan and Nigeria hopelessly corrupt, it seems this applies to words uttered when you think no one’s listening, too.

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Telecommunications Minister Siyabonga Cwele. The rationalisation of the state’s broadband interests is long overdue, but welcome nevertheless. So too, the state’s new openness to strategic public-private partnerships.

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SAA chairwoman Dudu Myeni, for vowing to keep running the airline regardless of the Treasury’s threat to withhold state financial guarantees if corporate governance issues are not corrected. Good uck with that, lady.

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DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard made a mistake for which she has apologised. Expelling her implies that the party either believes she is lying, or is too lily-livered to stand its ground against politically inspired criticism.

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All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, the man Springbok rugby fans love to hate yet can’t help but respect. Kudos to the All Blacks, they were the best team by far and deserved winners of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

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Secretary of Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana. Could the paranoid security crackdown he has initiated have anything to do with the fact that a “whistleblower” staff member accused him of abusing state resources? Surely not.

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MTN group executive chairman Phuthuma Nhleko, for negotiating a massive reduction of the $5.2bn fine imposed on the group by Nigeria in December. Little wonder the share experienced a relief rally on Monday.

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Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe’s announcement that crime statistics will in future be released quarterly rather than only once a year has been universally welcomed. Great news, but why did it require a 20-year battle?

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SAA chairwoman Dudu Myeni. In its eagerness to tarnish the reputation of outgoing Mango CE Nico Bezuidenhout, the “national carrier” appears to have opened itself up to investigation by the competition authorities. Oops.

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SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who, after canning The Editors on SAfm, is now reported to have banned presenters from reading out newspaper headlines on air because they are not positive enough.

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Former ANC treasurer-general and past Mpumalanga premier Mathews Phosa, for reminding his party that its handling of the Nkandla issue has been scandalous and it is high time it took responsibility for what happened.

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Business Unity SA chairman Jabu Mabuza, who, in partnership with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, has managed to stave off the downgrade to junk threatened by all three major rating agencies. For now, at least.

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Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko. The telecoms utility’s focus on expanding its optic fibre network countrywide marks a welcome return to its core function as the backbone of SA’s communications infrastructure.

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SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, for parting ways with the ANC on the issue of state capture by the Gupta family, saying the decision to shelve its investigation was misguided. What was that about a sinking ship?

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World men’s tennis number one Novak Djokovic, whose victory in the French Open on Sunday makes him only the third man in history to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time. And it must augur well for Wimbledon.

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Lewis minority shareholder David Woollam. Given that the company has breached the National Credit Act, forcing the board to investigate whether the executive has been delinquent in other areas seems entirely reasonable.

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Evan Mawarire's nonparty-political “Enough is enough” slogan has struck enough of a chord among ordinary people to prompt the government to dismiss him as an agent of imperialism.

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Gwede Mantashe has revealed that only one of the eight party members who complained about the Guptas’ inappropriate political influence has agreed to put it in writing. Intimidation much?

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The AU, for doing more than simply criticising the ICC. Former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre’s conviction for crimes against humanity, in an AU-backed court, is a giant step forward for the continent.

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Comrades 2016 men’s race winner David Gatebe, for setting a new down record and, along with women’s winner Charné Bosman, for keeping the South African flag flying in an event often dominated by foreigners.

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ANC “communication” subcommittee member and Cabinet member Lindiwe Zulu, who wants a ban on broadcasts of violent protest to promote nonviolence. Sure, that’ll work, just like it did during apartheid.

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Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s daughter, Rev Canon Mpho Tutu-Van Furth, has chosen to return her licence to the Anglican Church rather than have it revoked for entering into a same-sex marriage. Sad, but dignified.

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Ousted KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu, who was forced by the ANC to step down. The manoeuvring has begun in anticipation of the party’s elective conference, at which a new presidential candidate will be chosen.

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Mozambican Finance Minister Adriano Afonso Maleiane. The country is set to default on its foreign debt after owning up to undisclosed borrowing that resulted in its credit rating being cut and the metical collapsing.

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SABC chairman Mbulaheni Maguvhe, for failing to end chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s employment despite a court dismissing his application for leave to appeal against a ruling setting aside his appointment

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Irish golfer Rory McIlroy, who won the Irish Open for the first time on Sunday with a final round of 69. On an emotional high, the 27-year-old world No3 promptly donated the entire R12m in prize money to a number of charities.

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Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Whatever her motive, using a VIP flight to smuggle a foreign national into the country without the proper documentation smacks of impunity. So much for accountability.

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Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe’s protracted bid to avoid accounting for his alleged attempt to influence the outcome of four key pending ConCourt cases involving Jacob Zuma has finally run out of steam.

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KwaZulu-Natal premier Senzo Mchunu, who is right to suggest a review of the province’s performance bonus payment system as an alternative to freezing posts or having to retrench public servants. Times are tough.

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DA finance spokesman David Maynier. The raft of amendments the party has proposed to the Appropriation Bill have little chance of being adopted, but they show there is a viable alternative to the governing party.

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Auction Alliance founder Rael Levitt, for the damning outcome of the forensic investigation into the system of secret commission payments he put in place to solicit business. The legal fraternity must be licking its lips.

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Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. A fifth of the airforce’s total flying hours are now devoted to transporting Very Important Politicians, like the president, while many of our fighter jets are mothballed.

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Denel chairman Daniel Mantsha, for attempting to muddy the waters on the controversial joint venture with a Gupta-linked company by blaming the now-fired former CEO and then ducking and diving when pressed.

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However Co-operative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen does in his new portfolio, he will unfortunately always be known as the man whose appointment as finance minister cost state pensioners R95bn.

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The unveiling of SA cricket’s new sponsor may have been bungled, but the fact remains that securing a major sponsor in the current economic climate is a feather in the cap of Cricket SA president Chris Nenzani.

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The policy paralysis gripping government and that is largely responsible for SA’s disastrous unemployment figures, is a direct result of the factional politics President Jacob Zuma has relied upon to avoid facing criminal charges.

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South African Qualifications Authority CEO Joe Samuels, who is entirely correct to reject the suggestion that people who have lied about their qualifications be granted amnesty. How could they ever be trusted in future?

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South African referee Craig Joubert, whose controversial decision to award a penalty to Australia in the dying seconds of their World Cup quarterfinal denied Scotland an historic win. Who would be a rugby referee these days?

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The Third Umpire

Disgraced former Fifa head Sepp Blatter, who now claims to have personal experience of the draws for European football competitions being fixed. So he knew about this and didn’t kick up a fuss? And he insists he is clean!

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PPC CEO Darryll Castle has pulled out all the stops since taking charge to try to keep the cement maker afloat, but Deloitte’s disclaimer on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern comes as a cruel blow.

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Now that wasn’t so painful, was it? Collapsing the Pick n Pay pyramid control structure won’t change the Ackerman family’s control of the group, but has already unlocked billions of rand in value for Pikwik shareholders.

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