1. ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the party is all-systems-go ahead of their national conference this weekend. "We are going to the conference, we have done everything. We have done preregistration, we have developed whole master lists for delegates as nominated from the branches. We are ready for the conference," he said. Read more.
2. Striking SABC employees have threatened to shut down the broadcaster ahead of the African National Congress conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg on Saturday, if the board does not meet its demands for a 10 percent salary increase. "Minister Gigaba, give them the guarantee, because they are blaming you. Gigaba, we will not move from here. We are going to switch off this country. Nobody will watch television in this country," Nathen Bowers, an employee and a member of the Communications Worker Union (CWU), said outside the SABC's Auckland Park headquarters on Thursday morning. Read more.
3. Judge-President Dunstan Mlambo gave President Jacob Zuma an almighty smack on Wednesday in the North Gauteng High Court, when (on behalf of a full bench) he delivered a scathing assessment of Zuma's cynical and manipulative approach to justice, governance and compliance. The court was brutally honest in exposing the dishonest way in which Zuma uses the judicial system, with all its avenues for recourse and review, to postpone and delay justice. Read more.
4. Up high in the hills of Johannesburg's northern suburbs, Africa's most powerful artist, William Kentridge, is busy in his studio -- one of three active William Kentridge art studios around the city -- where he is in the midst of creating one of his most ambitious works to date. In 2018 Kentridge will premier a 50-metre long theatrical work, with a cast of some 35 performers, titled "The Head and the Load" -- a reference to a Ghanaian proverb that explores "the capture of Africa", he tells HuffPost. Read more.
5. Dear Delegates,
As ANC members, we think all national conferences are "watershed moments", or at least "historic". Whether this is true, is of course only determined by history. The 54th national conference, though, will be a watershed. The magnitude of the issues that the movement faces at this conference, in many ways makes it a make-or-break event. These issues –– like the integrity and values of the movement and its policy direction –– have been around for a while, but we are approaching breaking point. Read more.
6. Multiple women have come forward to accuse hip-hop producer Russell Simmons of rape, harassment and assault, according to reports in the The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Some of the incidents detailed in the reports published on Wednesday involve Simmons allegedly revealing his erect penis to a female colleague and a masseuse, attacking a woman, and pushing an alleged victim into a broom closet. The alleged incidents date from 1983 to 2016. At least four of the victims say Simmons raped them. Read more.
7. The world produced 44.7-million metric tons of electronic waste in 2016, according to a new United Nations report. That's equivalent to the weight of 4,500 Eiffel Towers. Laid out in a line, the waste would stretch from New York to Bangkok and back ― about 27,700 kilometres. Global e-waste ― discarded electronic and electrical goods such as cellphones, laptops, televisions, refrigerators and electrical toys ― rose 8 percent from 2014 to 2016, according to the Global E-waste Monitor 2017 report, published on Wednesday. Read more.