5 most read columns on News24 this week

Jacob Zuma in court. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)
Jacob Zuma in court. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24)

Furious Zuma still pulling strings behind the scenes - Melanie Verwoerd

If there was one thing that Jacob Zuma’s brief court appearance last week taught us, it is that we haven’t seen the end of the Zuma faction yet.

Flanked by the ever loyal Carl Niehaus, our former president was as defiant as always, "Umshini Wam-ing" outside the court with the same enthusiasm as a couple of years ago.

There is no doubt that he will use these court appearances to mobilise support for himself and to put pressure on the NPA to drop the charges. However, there is undoubtedly also a broader, longer term political vision behind these mobilisations, writes Melanie Verwoerd.

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The greatest lie the ANC told Joburgers - Herman Mashaba

ANC politicians that once ruled the City of Johannesburg have to count among the greatest illusionists of modern times.

This is because they successfully managed to fool millions of residents in the city into believing that, despite clear evidence witnessed daily of below par service delivery, the ANC in Johannesburg was somehow better than their counterparts around the country.

People were duped into the belief that the City worked better than others, even if it was far from perfect. 

Why not, right? 

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I used to love Steve Hofmeyr, then I found out he was a racist - Bombeleni Mavundza

Steve Hofmeyr's latest disappointment was when he wanted to start a debate on Twitter on whether it is wrong to call black people k***rs when white people were doing it for years before it presumably got negative connotations. You know, long before "we" had literature.

No, Steve, it is not alright. It is not alright to show up in someone’s house, take over and then call them names to demean and dehumanise them, then centuries later tell them to get over it. Or try to convince their descendants that your people did them a favour showing up, Helen, and when they finally take ownership of their narrative and identity, you cry foul and want to run to your cousins in Australia, writes Bombeleni Mavundza.

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The KZN threat to Ramaphosa's presidency - Max du Preez

There is real potential that the Zuma grouping could persuade many KZN voters to vote ANC on the provincial ticket at next year’s general election, but to abstain or to vote for another party on the national ticket.

That could weaken Ramaphosa’s position, and if this group is very successful, it could even force the ANC into forming a coalition to run the national government. One of the Ramaphosa camp’s strongest arguments why he is the right man for the job was that he is the ANC’s best chance to do well in the 2019 elections. His enemies can’t publicly use ethnic mobilisation to counter Ramaphosa, nor can they accuse him of being soft on corruption.

They will use the argument that he is too close to white capital, that his heart isn’t really in radical economic transformation and that he has no plans to return the land to black people without paying compensation.

He needs an early win or two, writes Max du Preez.

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Quiet diplomacy over Guptas won't deliver Ramaphosa's 'new dawn' - Mpumelelo Mkhabela

Direct and unethical outside interference into our domestic affairs should be met by an immediate and strong response. Sisulu will do well to claw back lost prestige by coming up with assertive diplomatic initiatives that will result in the United Arab Emirates handing over the Guptas to our courts and Parliament.

India, whose authorities are also looking to grill the Guptas for allegedly breaking its tax laws, could join forces with South Africa to enforce the rule of law in both countries. But the South African government, through our chief diplomats Ramaphosa and Sisulu must take the lead. There must be no quiet diplomacy over the Guptas and state capture, writes Mpumelelo Mkhabela.

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