1. MALUSI AND THE ECONOMY'S MEGAFLOP -- Seven months into the job, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's maiden medium-term policy budget statement on Wednesday confirmed fears of an economy in a critical condition. As was somewhat expected, the "mini-budget" bore bad news of rock-bottom tax collection, sky-high government debt, low growth disabled by politics, a yawning deficit of 4.1 percent and plummeting revenues. In short, the economy's in dire need of life support and critics said Gigaba's prescription for recovery may be the wrong medicine.
READ: Broken Economy, Smashed Confidence: It's State Capture, Minister!
2. RAZZMATAZZ AND SA's RUNAWAY CRIME STATS -- Overall crime is down but "the people do not feel it" and most South Africans still "live under siege from crime", said Police Minister Fikile Mbalula while delivering the country's annual crime statistics on Tuesday. (Attempted) murders and aggravated robbery were among the subcategories of crime on the rise.
Independent crime analyst Chris de Kock told HuffPost SA that the statistics are extremely worrying, not only because of what was revealed, but also what was concealed. Statistics on street public robbery, which constitute a "large chunk"of this subcategory of crime, along with farm attacks and murders, did not feature in the release. Furthermore, in the absence of a permanent national police commissioner and strong leadership within the police, he said, the desperately needed turnaround may not come quickly.
In the interim, here are some tips on how you can (hopefully) keep safe during burglaries and hijackings.
3. ANC's AILING ALLIANCE -- Alliance partners may have been smiling and waving for the cameras this week, but behind closed doors Cosatu and the South African Community Party (SACP) were less than jovial. According to sources speaking to HuffPost SA, the leaders of the ANC's two alliance partners went on the offensive when issues such as a lack of consultation in executive decision-making were brought to the table, demanding proper engagement from the ANC... or else.
READ: Alliance Council Meeting: Reading Between The Lines
Meanwhile, SACP leader Solly Mapaila's email account fell victim to attack in the same week as an alleged hack, which the party said is part of a "protracted campaign to tarnish his reputation".
Here are more stories you cannot miss from the week that was:
1. The GQ Best Dressed Awards 2017 announced "sartorial consultant" and self-proclaimed dandy Menzi Mcunu as its overall winner this week -- a major feat for the 21-year-old tailor and founder of the Afrocentric Gentleman service. Read more.
2. Prominent activists in the LGBTQ+ community will be staging citywide boycotts of this year's Johannesburg Pride -- Africa's biggest queer gathering -- due to the event's location at an "elitist" venue, and choice of a "homophobic" headline performer. Read more.
3. A High Court ruling that declared spanking your child in South Africa illegal caused major controversy this weekend, with many -- including powerful religious groups -- disagreeing with the historic ruling. The South Gauteng High Court found on Thursday that the common-law defence of "reasonable chastisement" was not in line with the Constitution. Read more.
4. Human rights group Sonke Gender Justice has lambasted the Spur Corporation for cancelling the panel that was expected to do an in-depth investigation into an alleged racist incident that happened at Texamo Spur at The Glen Shopping Centre, south of Johannesburg, in March this year. Read more here.
5. Presidential candidate Lindiwe Sisulu has said: "We should all take responsibility for the fact that Jacob Zuma is still president". However, she felt that whether he should go or not should be his decision. Sisulu, who was speaking on Talk Radio 702 on Thursday about the factions within the organisation, said that the ANC was in a "difficult period" and that it was a "hot mess". Read more.
6. When the robot takeover of the world happens, we hoped it wouldn't be a sci-fi cliche. But it seems we hoped for too much. This, after a conversation between an artificial-intelligence robot and a journalist revealed that the machines will in fact be merciless and communicate only in thinly veiled threats towards our leaders. Read more.
7.Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba had a number of people fooled when he presented his medium-term budget policy statement to Parliament on Wednesday. His eloquence, coupled with his not referring to his manual presentation, caused many to wonder how he managed to memorise an 8,000-word presentation, figures and all. Read more.