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Best Of The Blogs 23 December: Top Reads You Shouldn't Miss

Here's your chance to catch up.

23/12/2017 12:00 SAST | Updated 23/12/2017 12:00 SAST
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1. Dear President Ramaphosa: Let's Talk Frankly

Ntate Matamela... Congratulations on your election to the ANC's top job. Well deserved. You have survived the worst characterisation as a complicit chap over the Marikana massacre to emerge as a leader of our glorious movement, and one of the first "concomitant" things you must do is to reconcile with each one of the Marikana widows. Wishing you well in your term of office. Again, please stay out of the steamy headlines –– and while you're at it, can you please urgently fire whoever advised you to go to court to stop a newspaper publishing a story, writes JJ Tabane.

2. Mathews Phosa: David Mabuza's Biggest Dilemma Is His Crisis Of Credibility

Mathews Phosa, the accomplished Afrikaans poet and ANC veteran, uses an Afrikaans idiom about pigs to describe the election of his party's top six. "Meng jou met die semels en die varke sal jou opvreet." If you mix with the bran, the pigs will eat you. He is worried about his old friend with a good heart, Cyril Ramaphosa, and what he has sacrificed to become president -- the dangerous deals he has done with dubious characters all out of desperation, writes Mandy Wiener.

3. 7 Reasons Why Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Lost The ANC Presidency

One should commend Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for accepting a nomination to run for ANC president. Having lost to Cyril Ramaphosa by 179 votes, her dream of becoming the first female ANC president, not to mention the first female state president, remains a dream deferred. More than 70 years since the party first accepted women as members, and 23 years since the dawn of democracy, the reality of a woman as leader of the party or country remains elusive. The real loser is not Dlamini-Zuma, though. The ANCWL and women, in general, are the real losers, writes Molifi Tshabalala.

4. Expropriation Without Compensation Not As Simple As It Sounds

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
A "For Sale" sign is seen in front of vacant land and a house under constrution in an upmarket estate, south of Johannesburg, South Africa, July 21,2016.Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Conversations about compensation on expropriation should include clear guidelines on how the state will determine who gets what land –– we already sit with outstanding restitution claims that are 20 years old, because of overlapping claims –– and at the same time, consider the consequences of no compensation. These are complicated matters, further complicated by a delay in land reform for which the ruling party should shoulder a great deal of the blame: the studies are there; ways of utilising the property clause are there –– but it seems the political will is not, writes Prof. Elmien du Plessis.

5. 3 Tips For Matrics Who Aren't Happy With Their Final Results

Have you finished matric, but discovered that your results aren't good enough to apply for the course you want to pursue? Here's how you can improve your matric subjects and get the marks you need to pursue further education. Finishing high school is a huge step forward in your life, but it also comes with a lot of pressure, decision making and disappointments. This is a dilemma many matriculants face. Remember, you are not alone –– and second chances do exist. Read more.

6. Not Everyone Has The Privilege Of Christmas With The Family

Missing someone this Christmas? Claim the rightful place of your alienated child or grandchild in your family. Hold a space for them in your circle of celebrations, and honour the tremendous trauma of everyone involved. Millions of families all over the world will be spending Christmas and the holidays without one (or more) of their beloved children. Why? Somehow, somewhere, a parent decided to violate that child's basic human right to a healthy relationship with both his/her father and mother, writes Sinta Ebersohn.

7. Try Something Different This Christmas: Spread Ubuntu Around

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Who needs another disheartening race-based story to ponder this festive season? We could all do with more positivity and magnanimity. A little more love, and less anger and harshness, would be welcome. It is time to stop blacklisting black diners in restaurants. It is time to stop the labelling of whites. It is time to drop the derogatory Indian or coloured jokes. It is time to stop mimicking accents for a wicked laugh or two at lunchtime. People are not commodities or brands you can define in an elaborate marketing brief. Try getting along with people who share the same ideals as you do, writes Tafi Mhaka.