GroundUp Newsletter 21 February 2014: How I was nearly conned and other stories

Top stories

Masello Motana and the politics of personality

A year ago, Masello Motana introduced us to Cyrilina Ramaposer, a rich diva with political and business ambitions. Now she is back as Julia Malema, a lady with a liking for pink dresses, flaxen weaves and pseudo-revolutionary talk.

Sibusiso Tshabalala

How I narrowly avoided being conned

As an investigative journalist I\xc2\x92ve come face-to-face with grifters. I\xc2\x92ve interviewed fraudsters and studied sociopathy extensively. I\xc2\x92m fascinated by psychopaths and the peculiarities of the brain that make them different to the rest of us. Trying to understand the mental workings of good and evil is a hobby of mine.

Mandy de Waal

Ugandan doctor, released by Home Affairs, thanks South African activists

Paul Semugoma is free and can live and work in South Africa. This followed a dramatic day of court action and negotiations between lawyers representing Semugoma and the Department of Home Affairs.

GroundUp Staff

Gay rights doctor narrowly avoids deportation to Uganda - Home Affairs accused of contempt of court

Release Paul Nsubuga Semugoma. That was the essence of a court order against the Minister of Home Affairs yesterday. Yet, Home Affairs proceeded to attempt to deport him after the court order was made. As of last night he was reportedly still in custody.

GroundUp Staff


SASSA still failing to pay grants in Gugulethu and Mitchell's Plain

On January 17, Anthea Qonga was told by South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) officials at the Mitchell's Plain branch that she cannot receive her grant money because its managers were unavailable to sign the papers.

Pharie Sefali

Three murders in one night - Doubling Khayelitsha cops won't be enough.

Khayelitsha police officers had to deal with three murders in one night, the inquiry into policing heard today.

Adam Armstrong

Gugulethu women's marimba goes national

A group of five Gugulethu women studying at UCT are hitting the big time with their marimba music.

Pharie Sefali

Last ditch battle for a famous black choral music school, Simon Estes High

Simon Estes Music High School in Wynberg, which was closed down on the first day of term, is fighting a last-ditch battle to survive.

Pharie Sefali

How to hold provincial government accountable

The 2014 national and provincial elections are around the corner. You will have the chance to vote for the national assembly and your provincial legislature. What is a provincial legislature and how does it work? In this sequel to our article on holding local government accountable, Fergus Turner explains.

Fergus Turner

Khayelitsha police overburdened says “honest cop”

Brigadier Zithulele Moses Dladla dealt with only three murders the last year he was stationed at Wynberg Police Station. When he was subsequently transferred to Khayelitsha Police Station, he saw four murders in his first weekend.

Adam Armstrong

Tense student protest outside False Bay College

Students protested outside the Khayelitsha Campus of False Bay College this morning. A crowd of about 300 people blocked access to the main gate. Police attended the scene.

Adam Armstrong

Station Commander\xe2\x80\x99s job comes under fire at the Khayelitsha Commission

Advocate Peter Hathorn has said his clients will recommend that Colonel Michael Reitz be removed from his post as the Lingelethu West Station Commander in Khayelitsha.

Adam Armstrong

Activist Beat

The week in activism

This week we have reports on Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Phillipi settlement named after Marikana, a new book by SERI, Greenpeace and fracking and facts and fibs in the President's state of the nation speech as explained by Africa Check. Also, the SJC and others have published a report on the Khayelitsha Inquiry into policing.

Compiled by Brent Meersman

Book extract

Justice: A Personal Account

Constitutional Court judge Edwin Cameron has published a new book, Justice: A Personal Account. It is a forceful defence of the rule of law and South Africa's Constitution.

Edwin Cameron


An open opportunity society for some?

“An Open Opportunity Society for All” is the idea which underpins the Democratic Alliance's vision for South Africa.

Gilad Isaacs

City committed to promoting small businesses

It is with disappointment that I read your piece “Red tape blocks Khayelitsha small businesses”.

Garreth Bloor

Strikers refuse to be misled

The curse of spin and speculation is well and truly upon us. It could hardly be otherwise, with a major strike on the platinum mines underway, a general election looming and the labour movement facing the biggest crisis in its history.

Terry Bell

Three suggestions to improve the lives of thousands of people in South Africa

It has become taboo in much of the world to discriminate against people because of their religion, skin colour or sex. Despite recent setbacks the same goes for sexual orientation. Gradually we are realising that these are arbitrary distinctions, at least when it comes to law and policy.

Nathan Geffen


The President's Cabinet

Roberto Millan & Gareth Dawson

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