16/12/2017 04:59 SAST | Updated 18/12/2017 10:05 SAST

Best Of The Blogs 16 December: Read These Right Now

Some of the country's leading minds wrote for us this week.

President Jacob Zuma gestures as he addresses parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, November 2, 2017.
Sumaya Hisham/ Reuters
President Jacob Zuma gestures as he addresses parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, November 2, 2017.
1. Dear Delegate: We Have Much Work To Do To Fix The ANC -- Jessie Duarte

As you pack for the conference, along with any chronic medication you need, please pack your National Policy Conference discussion notes and then remember that your branch mandate is sacrosanct. Our country has great potential and we also have the most wonderful history of resilience at times of real need. We now need to use our strength as a movement to ensure that we take a giant leap forward and embark on radical economic transformation. Read more.

2. The Seagull's Name Was Markus Jooste: Steinhoff And The 'Stellenbosch Mafia'

They called him "The Seagull". This nickname, which was only uttered behind closed doors and among friends, was a name that Markus Jooste had earned, not by virtue of his free-flying nature, but instead, as a result of his uncompromising hard-nosed executive style. Markus was the seagull because he would fly in, shit all over his executives and then fly out, writes Christopher Rutledge.

3. Dear Delegate: Please Utilise This Opportunity Responsibly -- Mongane Wally Serote

Dear Comrades, Please utilise this opportunity and responsibility carefully, and reaffirm your solemn declaration as set out in the constitution, and pledge that you will act with honesty and integrity at all times, and that you will indeed expose all forms of corruption and dishonesty. Read more.

4. Dr Eve's Top List Of Sex Toys To Gift This Christmas Season

Getty Images

Let's begin unpacking this sex-toy story... I know some of you remain sceptical and uncomfortable about the notion of sex toys. I adore seeing the faces of people who walk into my practice and ask for the Dr Eve Store. Some look like deer in the headlights: exposed and vulnerable, while others are playful –– just looking at the products fills them with glee. Read more.

5. Violence Against Children Leads SA Into A Downward Spiral

One of the criticisms of the #16DaysOfActivism initiative is that it lumps together gender violence and violence against children as if both were the same thing. It infantilises women, and disregards the fact that violence against children is different in its scope, and the nature in which it manifests itself. It becomes this "one thing" we can talk to in one sentence, and "do something about" in one go by giving money or launching a campaign, –– maybe even secretly hoping that "this thing" will go away, says Carolin Gomulia.

6. Dear Delegates: Do You Wish To Squander The ANC Heritage?

Dear Delegates,

There is no doubt that the 54th national conference of the African National Congress (ANC) will be a watershed moment for the party and for our country's future. I urge you to look to your organisation's past in order to guide the future. It is time to pause and reflect whether you wish to squander that heritage through the court-managed chaos that South Africa has lived through over the past ten years, or steer our country back to the right path, writes BLSA's Communications Director Themba Maseko.

7. Dear Delegate: This Is A Make Or Break Conference -- Fèbé Potgieter-Gqubule


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. ANC delegates and leadership must act locally but think Pan African. The ANC must define the role that South Africa must play in continental integration, in industrialisation, in the African skills revolution, agrarian reform, the blue and green economies, in advancing Agenda 2063 and the African renaissance. Read more.

8. ANC Delegates Must Think About Which Candidates Will Best Serve South Africa

The future of the ANC and the South African governing party is in the hands of about 5,000 delegates who seem to be the most courted people in the country at present. Fair-minded comrades such as Wally Serote have appealed to the delegates to "cast your vote for integrity, honesty, anti-corruption, anti-factionalism and for principled unity". Others, such as Jessie Duarte -- who sat on their hands while President Zuma acted like Father Christmas, enabling the looting of our state coffers by those we all consider to be naughty, but who are very nice to him and his family -- blamed the failure of the ANC to reduce poverty on the movement's error in allowing it "to be led by a combination of business and labour". Read more.

9. Comparing Ramaphosa And NDZ's Policies: But What Does SA Really Need?

From the reported numbers, there's an indication that after the conclusion of the ruling party's national elective conference, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will be anointed new president of the party. It is plausible. However, unbridled positivity about the potential of this outcome could shatter dreams of the many who hope for such an outcome, writes Mohau Bosiu.