Analysis: The damage the Zuma Tsunami has wrought | Daily Maverick

The speed at which a tsunami can move is frightening. But what is less dramatic, and sometimes more important, is the speed at which the tsunami pulls out, as its power is sucked away and what has been destroyed is revealed. Tuesday was a day in which we saw some of the devastation that has been wrought. As the power is sucked away from President Jacob Zuma, as the wave that brought him to the highest office in the land withdraws, so we see the stark damage that has been done to the ANC. And to the office of the Public Protector. Unfortunately, in the case of this particular tsunami, it has the potential to cause as much damage during its withdrawal phase as it did when it first broke across our political banks. By STEPHEN GROOTES.

 News editors of the land didn’t know where to start at 10 o’clock on Tuesday morning. A set of legal papers filed by the Reserve Bank had revealed that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane had met the Presidency and the State Security Agency before releasing her finding that the inflation setting mandate of the Bank must be changed. Exhibit A in the papers was a note, purportedly in her own handwriting, made during her meeting with the SSA, in which she posed the question about the Bank, “How are they vulnerable?”. Then, just as the legal reporters were digesting that, the KwaZulu-Natal correspondents were fighting to be the lead with the court ruling that the conference that saw Sihle Zikalala elected leader of the ANC in the province was illegal, and thus null and void.

In so many ways these two issues, taken together, say so much about the last decade of our politics. They are two completely separate developments. One is about economic policy, the other about a provincial conference of the governing party. And yet no one can deny that they are both about Zuma. Mkhwebane was clearly part of a plot to undermine and destabilise the Reserve Bank. After her ruling on the ABSA/Bankcorp bailout (which she then abandoned when challenged by the Bank, Parliament and the National Treasury), there were only two possibilities. That her time as a spy proved the adage that “once a spook always a spook” and she was working for Zuma, or that she was a loon. Now we know that she was working for Zuma. The KZN ANC ruling is also all about Zuma. It is about his determination to cling to power through any means necessary, by breaking the rules of his own party. Zikalala is one of his strongest supporters, it is obvious to everyone how important the province will be in December, and so he was making sure that it was in his grasp.

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Remembering Biko: Black Consciousness Movement leader’s killers must sit in the dock | Daily Maverick

Forty years after police killed Black Consciousness Movement leader Steve Biko, no one has been prosecuted. That’s despite five officers being denied amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As the country commemorates another year since the struggle hero was killed, the inquest into Biko’s death should be reopened. The recent inquest into Ahmed Timol’s death sets an example. By GREG NICOLSON.

 In 2014, auctioneers Westgate Walding tried to sell Steve Biko and Ahmed Timol’s original autopsy documents. Biko’s had a reserve of R70,000 to R100,000. The families of Timol, who was allegedly killed by apartheid police in 1971, and Biko, killed by police in 1977, hired the same pathologist to conduct autopsies. He left his records to his assistant and when she died they ended up with her children. Then Westgate and Walding tried to sell the autopsies, including certificates from pathologists and post-mortem reports.

The auction was interdicted, but the grotesque attempt was symbolic. How can someone so blatantly disrespect South African struggle heroes, who were killed while fighting for freedom, their remaining loved ones, and the country? It’s simple, really: because justice, much like democracy, has never quite arrived and we commemorate the dead without actually honouring them.

More at :  Daily Maverick

Minority stress, experience of parenthood and child adjustment in lesbian families


The aim of this study was to explore the relationship of minority stress with experiences of parenthood (e.g. parental stress and parental justification) and child adjustment in lesbian mother families. Three components of minority stress were examined, namely, experiences of rejection as a result of the non‐traditional family situation, perceived stigma, and internalized homophobia. A total of 100 planned lesbian families (100 biological mothers and 100 social mothers) were involved in this study. Data were collected by means of a written questionnaire. The lesbian mothers in this sample generally described low levels of rejection, they perceived little stigmatization, and they also manifested low levels of internalized homophobia. However, minority stress was significantly related to experiences of parenthood. Lesbian mothers with more experiences of rejection experienced more parental stress, and appeared to defend their position as mother more strongly (e.g. parental justification). Furthermore, mothers with higher levels of perceived stigma and internalized homophobia felt significantly more often that they had to defend their position as mother. Finally, mothers who reported more experience of rejection were also more likely to report behaviour problems in their children. Our findings emphasize the importance of the effect of minority stress on the lives of lesbian mothers and their children.

Source:  Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology

Our 9/11 Heroes |

Normally Chris Young wouldn’t have been anywhere near the World Trade Center. But on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, the 33-year-old actor was temping for the Marsh insurance firm and had volunteered to shuttle reports from the company’s midtown office to the 99th floor of 1 World Trade Center. He delivered the reports by 8:40 a.m. and then got back in the elevator for what would turn out to be the longest and scariest ride of his life.

Thousands of feet below, 38-year-old attorney David Draigh was just getting out of a taxi. His metered receipt recorded the time as 8:39 a.m. He then walked through the north tower’s revolving door and headed toward the elevators to go up to his 54th-floor office. Before he could get there, the building shook around him as American Airlines Flight 11 hammered into it. “Next thing I knew, a fireball of debris was headed right at me” says Draigh, who dived for shelter behind a steel planter. As black smoke mushroomed through the lobby, he choked for air and then jumped through the lobby’s blown-out windows. Once outside, he says, “I thought about my mother and my boyfriend, John. I was just glad to be alive.”

Source: Our 9/11 Heroes |

GroundUp: Married transgender people can change their official sex, court finds | Daily Maverick

Home Affairs’ approach is “coloured by the persisting influence of the religious and social prejudice against the recognition of same-sex unions” says judge.

By Safura Abdool Karim for GROUNDUP.

Photo: The Western Cape High Court. Photo Masixole Feni.
Photo: The Western Cape High Court. Photo Masixole Feni.

The Western Cape High Court ruled on the rights of married transgender people to change their gender with Home Affairs last week.The Alteration of Sex Description and Sex Status Act, 2003 allows you to apply to the Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs to change your sex (or “sex descriptor” as it’s called in the act) on the birth register. Specifically, the Act allows for your sex to be changed if you have undergone surgical sex reassignment, have experienced a natural evolution of your sexual characteristics or you are intersex. Any rights and obligations you held before the registration, are still valid after the change. You are also entitled to a new birth certificate reflecting your amended sex.

Source: GroundUp: Married transgender people can change their official sex, court finds | Daily Maverick

How Does the Gender of Parents Matter? Journal of Marriage and Family


Claims that children need both a mother and father presume that women and men parent differently in ways crucial to development but generally rely on studies that conflate gender with other family structure variables. We analyze findings from studies with designs that mitigate these problems by comparing 2-parent families with same or different sex coparents and single-mother with single-father families. Strengths typically associated with married mother-father families appear to the same extent in families with 2 mothers and potentially in those with 2 fathers. Average differences favor women over men, but parenting skills are not dichotomous or exclusive. The gender of parents correlates in novel ways with parent-child relationships but has minor significance for children’s psychological adjustment and social success.

Abstract: Journal of Marriage and Family 

British Voters Support UBI (But don’t want to pay for it)

The first independent, UK-specific opinion poll on UBI (Universal Basic Income) that I have seen, shows that a plurality of voters would support its introduction, with 48% “in favour” and just 25% against. However, there’s a catch: the degree of support drops sharply, when asked whether they would be prepared to pay for it, either by way of increases in tax, or by cuts to existing welfare programs.

The research was conducted by Ipsos Mori and the Institute of Policy Research at the University of Bath. by the Institute of Policy Research at the University of Bath. The university’s Dr Luke Martinelli describes the result as “surprising”, as there has been so little public debate about the idea until very recently.

There’s little point in paying too much attention to the detailed numbers. Voters are not really able to make an informed opinion without more information. The degree of support or opposition would likely change, depending on the proposed level of UBI payment proposed, and the associated cost.  However, the mere fact that a substantial proportion of voters have expressed for the idea in principle, shows that this is an idea that merits further serious debate.

Further debate, and research, is needed. We need greater definition of just what is meant by “basic” income. Would in include housing costs? Who would qualify – all citizens, or adults only? If children also qualify, at what level? What existing benefits would it replace? What would it cost?

To estimate the cost, we need to know more about how potential recipients would respond. Would a significant number of people simply choose not to work, so reducing the government tax take, as some opponents fear? Or would the removal of the existing disincentive for benefit claimants to find part-time work, lead to more people supplementing their basic income payments with part-time work, or risk-taking in setting up new businesses? Supporters argue that this could expand the economy and the tax take – making the project affordable.

Fortunately, the work has begun. There have been a number of experiments and research studies already, in many parts of the world (in both rich and poor countries). The SNP government in Scotland recently announced its own plans for an investigation. Politically, the Green Party has incorporated the principle or a UBI in its formal policy platform. It is time for other parties to join the debate.

 Related posts:

Child Well-Being in Same-Sex Parent Families

Recent legal cases before the Supreme Court of the United States were challenging federal definitions of marriage created by the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s voter approved Proposition 8 which limited marriage to different-sex couples only. Social science literature regarding child well-being was being used within these cases, and the American Sociological Association sought to provide a concise evaluation of the literature through an amicus curiae brief. The authors were tasked in the assistanc

Source: American Sociological Association

Fashion designer Tom Ford says sleeping with men ‘doesn’t make you gay’ · PinkNews

On Aug. 24, there was an introductory session for delegates to share their personal stories and outreach programs to support their fellow LGBT people. The participants who were from Benin, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Togo told passionate stories of judgment, denial, shame, violence, rape, hatred and pain.

Participants on Aug. 25 focused on developing religious texts aimed at pushing for LGBT rights advancement and acceptance on the continent. As part of events lined up for this diversity event, the first-ever LGBT-specific interfaith worship in West Africa was held with IDNWA Co-chair Davis Mac-Iyalla presiding.

More at: PinkNews

Immigration and Brexit.

The problem with resorting to Brexit in order to “take back control” over immigration, is that it was never necessary. As Vince Cable has pointed out before, even within the EU, there are controls over immigration that were open to us,, but were never applied – not under Blair or Brown, and not under Cameron or May. That includes the time when Theresa May was Home Secretary. Not only did she not attempt to apply the controls that she could have done under EU regulation, she also failed to enforce the regulations nominally in force, instead cutting back on the numbers of border control staff and police who could have been apprehending illegal immigrants.

Now even Tony Blair has pointed this out. In today’s Red Box email, from The Times:

Today’s big story is Tony Blair’s explosive demand for tough new immigration rules. The former prime minister says that “leave” voters’ concerns “cannot be ignored” and that the open borders he presided over in office are no appropriate.

Blair says Britain should force EU migrants to register on arrival, so they can be counted in and out of the UK, and ban those who fail to do so from renting a home, opening a bank account or claiming benefits.

In a policy paper for The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, he also recommends restricting free healthcare for unemployed migrants and letting universities and businesses discriminate in favour of British citizens.

Blair’s intervention will make grim reading for Theresa May as it makes clear she does not enforce existing rules that already permit the removal of EU migrants who do not find work after three months in the UK. Nor were they enforced during her time at the Home Office.