Instead of focusing on rebuilding the country after years of state capture, we were distracted by a sideshow, writes Mandy Wiener.
Mostly sunny. Mild.
The ANC retains control of the Mamusa Municipality in North West in a by-election, while the EFF grows substantially and the FF Plus takes a ward from the DA.
The Freedom Front Plus believes that the Gauteng education department's online school registration system should be investigated, saying it is aimed at destroying the "Afrikaans character" of some schools.
The problem is that when general policy failure happens, it is unjustifiable to conclude that the general policy failures are caused by affirmative action, writes Ralph Mathekga.
The Black First Land First (BLF) movement is set to debate whether it should call it quits or to go "underground" at its special policy conference set down for November 30 in Durban.
The Freedom Front Plus feels the Eben Etzebeth allegations are being treated with undue haste.
The DA managed to retain three wards in by-elections this week, but lost two seats to the ANC and Freedom Front Plus. It also saw double-digit drops in support in a number of wards.
The ANC and the Democratic Alliance have both expressed their happiness about the results of the municipal by-elections.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, replying to the budget vote debate for the Presidency, made it a point to note that every life in the country had equal value and every murder, every violent crime must be equally and unequivocally condemned.
The FF Plus' issue with the BLF stems from its constitution that only allows black people to join the party.
SABC News reported that the regulator said it had received complaints from members of the public regarding the alleged misconduct of the Red Ants during recent evictions in Alexandra and the Ramaphosa informal settlement in Johannesburg.
The FF Plus has taken a ward off the DA in the by-elections in Mamusa, which includes the town of Schweizer-Reneke, the party says.
The North West's Mamusa Municipality - which includes the town of Schweizer-Reneke - will elect its new council on Wednesday after the previous one was dissolved.
In each of Wednesday's by-elections, the incumbent party held on to its seat - with the ANC retaining three wards, and IFP and DA one each, but the DA dropped almost 24 percentage points in Thabazimbi, Limpopo.
This comes as the Electoral Court on Monday rejected the BLF's application to appeal its deregistration, which it brought in June.
The South African Human Rights Commission is taking Limpopo FF Plus leader Marcelle Maritz to the Equality Court for allegedly using the k-word in an incident captured on video.
While the ANC and its coalition partner, Cosatu, welcomed the introduction of the National Health Insurance Bill to Parliament on Thursday, opposition parties were less than impressed.
The Freedom Front Plus has complained about comments by an Economic Freedom Fighters MP that Afrikaans is "disturbing", calling the comments a concerted attack on the language.
"The BLF believes that should the Electoral Court grant us leave to appeal, strong prospects of success exist that the court will ultimately overturn the decision of the IEC," said the party's deputy president, Zanele Lwana, in a statement.
The Freedom Front Plus is continuing to frustrate the Democratic Alliance, taking a seat from the party in a North West by-election.
FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald has said the party was 'overall' satisfied with President Cyril Ramaphosa's new Cabinet, but pointed out that the president failed to deal with the 'continued presence of Deputy President David Mabuza'.
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